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Saturday, February 4, 2012

Christian's Preschool Screening

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to take Christian to his preschool screening.  I was pretty nervous.  I attempted to teach him specific skills.  That didn't hurt, but it didn't help since the questions changed in the last couple years.  Apparently, they have parents worse than me!

We headed in and we had a reward ready.  A lunch at Old Country Buffet if he followed directions well.

Ok, we were ready.

Then we walked in.

This kid was way more nervous than me.  Wanting to sit on my lap rather than do a puzzle.  Asking many questions while cuddled up to me.

Then I was even more nervous.  Dear God, If he was this nervous, how the hell was he going to do!?  This is important!  Really important!  (Weeks later I've come to realize not such big deal.)

It began.  Asking questions.  Building with blocks.  Answering questions.  Sequencing.

He was doing ok in my mind.  I knew he could do better.  I've seen better...from him.
Much less a couple years ago when his sister rocked this test like she was a third grader.

Eventually it got...uncomfortable.

I will was painful.  I gasped a couple times.  I flinched.  I couldn't believe what the hell I was seeing.  At one point I text Mark, 'Watching my worst nightmare come true:-('

Really?  What did I do wrong? Second child syndrome? I am the worst parent in the world. I must do better.  Tonight we're going to start .......

Then he took his visions test.

Then hearing which he thought was funny to smile at me when he heard the beep rather than raise his hand.
When I finally started scowling at him when he smiled he began raising his hand.

Turns out, he scored almost as high as his sister.
But I don't compare.

Ok, ok. I compare.  I need to stop.
Turns out the little dude is very smart and can do very well.
I know he's better at many things than big sister, 
but when it comes to school I want them both to excel. 
 Hopefully this screening has an indication they'll both be successful.

We both enjoyed a extremely satisfying lunch at OCB with double desserts - 
We had both earned it.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Card for Her Brother

Christian celebrated his 4th birthday last Saturday.  Since we do fairly elaborate birthday parties we try to go low key on a gift.  We actually did no gift until last year when they were old enough to figure out they were 'supposed' to get a gift.

This year we just had Victoria pick him out a gift (adorable Volunteer Firefighter yellow rain jacket, little truck & a couple little goodies Mommy threw in).  I thought that was plenty.  I was already running to get a cake with a child (Victoria) that could throw up at any time.  Not a good feeling in Sam's Club.

She's complaining her belly hurts while sharing the cart with an entire sheet cake.  Then on the way home blatantly says, "Weeelll, aren't we going to get him a card?!"

Really?  Ok, swung over to Party City and stood her in front of the birthday section.  I couldn't have card less if she grabbed a card with a dog on it for a grandpa.  I just wanted to get this girl home.  But she stood there.  And stood there.  I was a little worried she'd gone into a coma.

Then suddenly her little hand stretched out and said, "Here it is!"  like she's been looking for it the whole time.  The exact same card I would have chosen for her to give him.

We paid the $1.09 and headed home.  I figured she'd go straight to bed.  Instead she grabbed a red pen and said, "I'm going to decorate his card now.  Don't disturb me."

This is what she did:

Considering she's a kindergartner and she's was totally alone, 
I'd say that's a job well done.

She had put it in the envelope and I didn't think the check it out prior.

It was a very pleasant surprise on the morning on January 28, 2012!

We're so lucky that we have kids who love each other so much and get along so beautifully!


When Victoria was a baby I was nominated for teacher of the my principal.  What bigger honor in the world?  Ok, in the world is a bit dramatic.  In my life.  There, that's better.

I will never forget finding out and then being so curious as to who it was.  When I found out it was her I was over the moon.  Long story short I ended up being one of the six finalists...then lost.

Since I knew we were going to start trying for baby #2 soon I was relieved (TOY on maternity leave = no good!) and truly honored to get as far as I did.  It really was a dream come true.

A couple years later I was nominated by a parent.  Another very nice gesture.  My student sat next to me in the audience as I stood when they called my name.  (I didn't make it to finalist status.)

This year I was nominated for Teacher of the Year, not once but twice.  Of all the years of my career, the teacher side of me could really use an ego boost.  This has got to go down in history as the most difficult year, professionally.  It's really quite ridiculous, but that's another story for another day that I may never put in writing.

Back to the good stuff.

About two months ago I received a beautiful email from a former parent/colleague/friend about how she nominated me for Teacher of the Year.  I cried while reading it and then called and left her a voicemail.  Talk about a hot mess!  I tried to control my voice while thanking her and talking about her and her family and then took a huge gulp and actually started crying and then just hung up.  Haven't spoken to her since.  Now, that's weird!  Probably should get in touch with her...soon.

When I got the email this week from the district that I was nominated, obviously I knew, however I was shocked to see someone else nominated me also!

The mother of one of my current students nominated me.  Her daughter was in my class last year too.  I have a lot of respect for this single mom.  I feel so amazingly honored she would take the time to fill out the form.

Not to toot my own horn but since the papers will probably end up in a paper stack in my office sooner rather than later I would like to record them.

Parent #1:

My oldest son, Jake, now a junior, had Mrs. B--- for a 2nd grade teacher.  But, much to our dismay, she went on very early bed rest with her pregnancy so after only a month, they brought in a long term sub, Kelly M---.  I was anxious as a new parent...would this be ok??  Well, since the first time I met her & volunteered (possibly to get a sneak peek at her teaching) I was blown away. What a natural.  Kelly's expectations are clear, and her classroom shows it.  She teaches them far more than math or reading.  She teaches them kindness, respect & how to be a good friend.  She cares about the kids so much that she wants to challenge them.  She celebrates with them and never gives up on them.  She has so much energy and enthusiasm, that the students get excited to learn.

Parent #2:

Mrs. H----- has had both my kids and she is so wonderful!  She makes the kids feel so special and extends her hand to make sure everyone makes sure everyone has an extra special experience in the second grade.  She keeps the parents informed on what's happening in her classroom.  She puts the extra effort into everyday teaching.  I have never met a more caring/kind/loving/ teacher ever!  We really wish for her to win teacher of the year because she truly deserves it and has touched our lives!

Well, if that doesn't warm my heart, I don't know what does!!

I emailed Parent #2 yesterday and thanked her and said I'd be honored if the girls accompanied me to the ceremony in a couple months.  Even though I know I'll be in the audience rather than on stage, it's a pleasure being nominated, not once but twice!

Maybe next time I have a rough day I'll look back on this blog

My Night with Jordan Knight

A couple months ago I had came home from a really rough day at school.
I made the kids dinner and sat down with my computer and pulled up Facebook
 (which is not a usual thing) 
and immediately saw 
What in the hell!?!?!
Is what I thought to myself.
Too good to be true!
I clicked on that link 
so fast my fingers were flying.
Price didn't matter - quite expensive.
Date didn't matter- school night.
Jordan Knight baby!
Jordan Knight baby!
This is a dream come true!

I've loved the New Kids on the Block for 69.6% of my life.
There was the stagnant period from 1994-2007.

Then this fabulous band shocked me in 2008 with a reunion and I was ecstatic.

Beyond the original reunion which I claimed was 'once in a lifetime chance.' 
Turns out apparently these dudes with keep playing until they can't!!

Thank you NKOTB!!

Back to recent times:

Finally the day came, last Thursday 

Thursday finally arrived. 
When I bought the tickets I never would have guessed I would have been taking care of a sick child all day long and would have been totally exhausted.
However, I picked up Christian, made dinner and put on some serious make-up (for my standards) 
some jeans and my high boots (which I've worn 6 times ever)
and sipped a beer while waiting for Mark's arrival.

Liv picked me up and we were out of here!
We headed to Minneapolis in rush hour and talked and had a great time.
Liv drove us straight to the location.

I was so nervous, my anxiety was at an all time high.
I didn't know what to expect.
I didn't like that feeling.

We had a sampler platter at Whiskey Junction.
Let's just say, the clientele wasn't used to having 60 dressed up girls there to have dinner.

I ditched the 'dinner' (10 tator tots) to go stand in line.
Online it said doors open at 6:00.
I gave Liv my debit card and was at the line at 6:04.
The line wasn't moving. At All!!!!!

Liv paid, put the left overs in the car and we continued to stand there.

This concerned me. WHY weren't they opening the doors.  Was it too good to be true? 
Jordan really wasn't performing at this little bar in Minneapolis?
Never mind we're standing outside with no coats in 28 degree weather with wind.
Never mind we have the most annoying people around us ever.
Think - strange girl (even shorter than me) standing alone yelling to random family members of her experience.  Beyond odd and extremely annoying.

I was quiet and just wanted to get in the building to see what I was in for.

Finally, at 7:15 we got in the door.
Completely aborting our plan and went to the bathroom at the same time and still got a rocking' spot in general admission.

The location

Us freezing

We found a very comfortable spot about 10 feet from the stage and next to a pillar that had a nice stand for our drinks.
We had a great time laughing and drinking.

That's not true, I was wrapped toooooooo tight to do any such thing.  I just wanted to see Jordan.
Unfortunately, there was an opening act. 
Tim Mahoney.
If I saw Tim at a random bar I may be a fan.
But seriously, get off the stage and get Jordan on! is all I was thinking.


If that's not worth it in itself...I don't know what is:-)

We Were Damn Close!!!!!!!!!!!

Blogger won't upload my 5+minutes of Higher.
However, it is worth seeing. 
The floor was shaking and so was I it was incredible!

Then he took his shades off for 
Give It To You. . . another 'hit' I love.

It was really unbelievable how close we were and the amazing pictures I was getting.
I think he was actually smiling right at me here!
Really, who else would he be smiling at?
Simply adorable!
"Hello Kelly!
I've missed you!"
Isn't that what his smile is shouting to you?!

The serious look, love it!

Me 'with' Jordan LOVE it!

Liv and me 'with' Jordan perfectly centered, 

Even though I really would have liked to be pulled on stage, 
at least I went to high school with the girl who did!

Liv got his one.
I'm taking video and she's got it on camera.
Very very cool.
(Didn't know my hair was so 'golden' gotta do something about that.)
But extremely awesome shot!

He's a real person too, he needs some water.
I just love that about him:-)

Very nice picture, but really, 3 ballads during a pop concert.
No thanks.

Back in action, I don't know what song it is, but, I guarantee I was having a GREAT time!

Jordan played for about one hour and fifteen minutes.  The minute it was over we were outta there.
I had a smile on my face so big I could actually see my own cheeks.
We got back to my house at 10:24pm.
Then we uploaded pics and video and reminisced.
It was a knight night to remember.

Really, nobody could ever wish for a wing girl better than her.
I just need to convince her to continue being mine as long as these dudes continue to deliver!

Can't thank you enough Liv, that was a GREAT night!
It's a cherry on top you liked it too!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

My Baby is Four

Dear Christian, my son, my baby, my little boy, buddy,

How can you be four already?  I know that's what all parents say, but really how?  It seems like a couple months ago I was sitting in my bed crying over daddy's laptop about you growing up in this post.

In the past year your attention span has gotten quite a bit longer.  Now that your big sister is in kindergarten you insist on doing 'homework.'  You don't allow me to help you, at all, therefore making it very difficult to actually teach you.  However, you love to paint and 'write' and 'read' draw.  I love to watch your little face when you're concentrating.

In the past year you've really gotten a great sense of humor.  Yes, you laugh when you say P P assuring me you'e talking about the letter and not pee pee so I can't say it's inappropriate.  Which makes you even funnier!  You like to joke around and climb into the tub totally taken when it's empty and try to scare me each night.  Little do you know I walk down extra slow so you have time to do it.  On my way down I think of funny things to say while I'm pretending to look for you and try to make you giggle before I throw back to curtain.

In the past year you began preschool.  Daddy and I were a little nervous about you beginning.  I don't know if it was because you are our baby or because you're so different from you sister.
Like it or not (you already don't and I'm working hard on it) you're compared to your sister.  It's a typical little sibling thing.  You're different and I completely totally love that.  It's just hard when it's the same situation and now we don't know what to expect.  Should have know Ms. Joy would love you.  Visiting you at school is one of my favorite things.  Seeing you in your very own element and hearing the teachers talk about how much they enjoy you makes me so proud to be your mommy.  When I walk in and your little face lights up and you can barely keep yourself in your spot (but you do) because you want to get to me, even though we were just together less than two hours ago makes me feel so special.  The whole time I'm there I can't help but think I'm so lucky to be your mommy.

In the past year you've loved me to the moon and back.  I remember when you were turning three and I never thought you'd love me more than you did then.  Well, I've come to realize it's the bond we have.  It's solid.  It's unconditional. It's forever.  It's beautiful.  I don't worry about losing it any more.  You love to pinch my necky.  You love to listen to me read.  You love when I tickle you.  You love to shop with me. You love to clean with me.  You really really love to clean with me.  You never stop without crying for 'more spray!!"  You love to tell me about your day and I love to listen.  You love to play air hockey with me.  You know it's good when I tell daddy to get the camera and just capture it.  Your smile.  Your little arms raised above your head when you score.  You're getting pretty good.  I'm having to let you win less and less.  You love to be with me.

In the past year you've gained balance.  You appreciate being with Daddy a lot more.  He dressed you up in a little Ralph Lauren shirt and jeans and took you to the Home Show at the Metrodome last weekend and you came back with so many stories.  You love your daddy.  You love to 'tape measure' with him.  You love to talk about how strong you daddy is.  You truly believe daddy and capture a bear.  You talked about it the whole time we were in Colorado last summer.  You talk about daddy being the boss at work.  You love love love to work with your daddy.  Most of the time you just stand there and watch and that's good enough for you but when he says, "Hey buddy..." and 'needs' your help you're right there.

In the past year you've gotten significantly stronger than your sister.  She doesn't like it.  However, since she constantly answers questions that I ask you, I think you're even.  I've never seen you two so close.  You sit right next to each other at the edge of the couch laughing hysterically to Tom & Jerry.  You say, "Toria, do you want to play puppy?" and follow all of her crazy rules and do what she says.  As soon as you get in the minivan at the end of the day you tell her the things that happened at daycare.  She asks you questions and you two converse about your day.  It's a mother's dream.  

In the past year I've realized how charismatic you are.  Kris said, "I know I'm not supposed to have favorites, but boy do I love that Christian!"  You're so lovable.  Caleigh your babysitter loves you. Mr. Lloyd loves how interested in him you are.  Your uncles love to rough and tumble with you.  Your cousin Ashley loves to hug you.  You are so lovable.  You are so loved!

In the past year you've been such a ham.  And I'm taking every opportunity to capture it.

In a box at Christmas...go figure!

Walking in Mommy's shoes.

Look at that weird little awkward smile.

Chillin' with Papa - 
I think you were ready to make a break for it!

Your favorite hobby - shaving those pesky whiskers!

Playing air hockey with Papa.
He doesn't let you win like I do though.
Ok, maybe he does.

Your favorite activity.
You always want to invite somebody.
You were thrilled when Brian and Aunt Molly came went.

Playing trains with Papa.
You were in heaven!

Eating pie at Thanksgiving.
And then eating Papa's.
You were in heaven!

Driving Daddy's truck at the tree farm.
You thought you were so big and tough.

The fun you have with daddy!

You don't like ice in your water at night.
Mama put water in it, so instead of complaining you just put gloves on so you could handle it.
I'm surprised I didn't wake you with my laughter when I got home!

Your Christmas extravaganza at preschool.
You were so happy to see me!

I'm so blessed I could pop in!

What a big boy!
You're so cute.
You're so photogenic.
You're mine!

Love this look!!
You came up with this look on your own and I'm so glad she captured it.
I feel like it's looking into the future at what's to come.
It makes me a bit nervous.

Big Boy is FOUR!!!!!!

You're into weird photos right now and ask for me to take them
and want to see them.
Apparently you thought it would be cool to see yogurt coming of your mouth.

Or your fingers by your mouth.

You are really into eating broccoli to make you taller to go on more rides.
Reality hit here.
Nope not yet.
Keeping eating broccoli though,
which you are!

But with a chaperone you can still get on the Log Chute
your absolute favorite in the world.
You love it!
Every time before we get off you ask if we can go again.

Your new love.
Ice skating.
Wow, within a few minutes you were a pro.
When you fall you get right back up to practice more.
When I take your helmet off you're covered in sweat.
You love it and ask to go every single day.

I'm so lucky to be your mommy!!

Love you Buddy!

Happy Birthday