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Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Drive to SA

Victoria qualified for an enrichment class called Bookworms for reading through a standardized test last fall.  In the winter she qualified for the next class called Inchworms for math.  She excelled at both.  She enjoyed both.  Through that class the teacher invites a couple of the top academic and responsible students to Summer Academy (SA).  Victoria got invited.  She got invited about a month before Brecken was born.  I looked into it.  Everything I read about the rigor I loved.  I thought she's love it too.  The cost was $400 for 13 days.  It began just after school got out.  The school it takes place it is 18 miles away.  It goes from 8am - noon with two extended days for field trips.  Mark and I discussed it.  I said I was only going to sign her up if we REALLY wanted her to do it.  Since it would be such an inconvenience for the boys and me.  We decided, yes, it would be really good for her to be with other smart kids.  Sometimes she thinks she's the smartest kid.  I will admit, often she is, but I want to keep her seven year old ego in check and more importantly I want her to learn to push herself.  Generally, school is easy for her.  So it's great to be in an environment where she is naturally challenged.  

Summer Academy started on Tuesday.  Mark drove the whole family there last weekend so I was sure I knew how to get there.  It seemed not a problem.  We were there in 20 minutes.  He reminded me there would be morning rush hour so I should leave 45 minutes to get there.

Tuesday morning came.  We left the house at 7:20am.  That's a ridiculous time to get two kids and a baby ready and out the door to go and sit in traffic.  The traffic and construction were horrible.  However, not as horrible as the scene in the monstrous parking LOTS.  Imagine 1,200+ students getting dropped simultaneously.  Holy shit balls!  What a mess!!!  

I parked with 1 minute until class time.  Grabbed the baby in my arms (no way in holy hell was I going to carry the carseat and didn't want to drag the stroller out since her class was on the second floor and didn't want to waste time looking for an elevator) and Christian and Victoria quickly followed me as we weaved through cars police escorts to cross through the large school yard, up a flight of stairs, down a hallway, finally to room 210.  Good grief, I was exhausted.  

I used to teach with Victoria's teacher (what are the odds?) so I knew she was in good hands and Christian, Brecken and headed out.  Finally got to the minivan and couldn't even back out of the parking spot for SEVEN minutes because hundreds of cars were driving past.  I am not exaggerating.  It was pandemonium!!  It was another 30 minute drive home in traffic.

Once home it was only 2.5 hours until we left again to do it all over!  Just so you know, that's just about enough time to pee, change a diaper, nurse a baby and make a PB&J for Christian.  That's it.

Besides the time and my sanity, the drive there is 18 miles, then back home, then back to get her and then back home again... NEARLY 80 miles!  

For the girl who only works four miles from home and plans her day around not driving in traffic, this is straight up madness!

I did that for 1.5 days then I looked into if she could still get on the bus.  Originally I didn't like the idea of her on a bus for 45 minutes in the morning and afternoon and was worried she be nervous or too hot and it costs another $100.

1. It's actually less time if she takes the bus because the bus can pull right up to the door.
2. The kid over prepares and is rarely nervous.  Plus, experiences builds character, right?
3. It's by no means hot in MN.
4. The gas over the next 11 days would be more than $100.

I got that bus pass yesterday while she was at SA.  I actually kissed it in front of the secretary.

Yes, it's seriously that bad!

Therefore, I just had to pick her up one last time.

In the pouring rain.  I actually thought a tornado may touch down it was so terrible.  Liv actually looked it up and assured me we were "just in a severe thunderstorm watch" exactly where we were.  

I dropped her off this morning at an elementary school just 3 miles away.  She happily pulled out her little yellow bus pass to show the driver.  She had her chapter book tucked in her backpack to keep her busy.  Her class is going on a picnic hike today to find patterns in nature.  

Hoping she enjoys the bus ride!

Off to a Great Start

Victoria is at an Extended Day of Summer Academy.  Christian is at the zoo with his daycare friends.  I got in a my first full workout since I had the baby.  Brecken slept through it all.  The sun is shining and the birds are singing (literally)!  My To Do List is packed.  It's going to be a great day!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Full of Rocks

A couple weeks before school get out Victoria's backpack's zipper broke.
It turns out most stores don't really sell backpacks year round.
Not the kind a seven year old year wants anyway.
So she found a small one Aunt Molly gave her for Christmas a couple years ago and called it good.
I went to throw out the old one and it seemed heavy even though I had emptied it myself.
I opened the front pocket and it was full of rocks.

If you know my girl, it's not that unusual.
She'll pick up a rock here and there.
Apparently she's been doing that all through first grade.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Look Who We See!

About a month ago Mark was watching the TWINS game and I was feeding the baby and I said, "I wonder if we'll see your brother."
"We're AT Boston," he replied.
"I know, he's there at the game."
"No shit?!"

He texted Johnny and Johnny said that foul ball was right by us.

We rewound the DVR and happened to spot Tegan.
We played with the play and rewind a bit more and paused it at the precise second the capture them both.

Then Mark took a picture and texted it to them.

They showed it to the people around them and they asked to text it to them too.

What are the odds?

The power of technology!

First Smiles

His very first smiles.

It's easy to make his smile now.
Now, he even laughs.
But nothing beats those first smiles!

Christian called it, "His very first trick!"

Sleep Little Baby Sleep

I take a picture of Brecken sleeping almost every single day.  
I really don't know what's sweeter than a sleeping baby.
Here are just a few...

Fell sleep watching me watch him on the couch.

On a late night Target run.
If you've seen us out and about this is how he usually looks.
His carrier and the cover make him instantly fall asleep.
A Mommy's dream!

Had to throw one in of my Big Boy who still falls asleep in the car.

He was about a month old here.
Back when it seemed he was narcoleptic;-)

Of course he loves to cuddle with Mommy and Mommy loves to look at his adorable little face while he sleeps.  I wish my mind was a video recored so I'd never forget a second of this precious time in our lives.

I love when his bottom lip quivers when he's sleeping.
And when his mouth drops right open.
And when he has a hold of my shirt and doesn't want to let go.
And when he startles when I move.
And when he stays asleep for eight hours when I lay him down;-)

My All Time Favorite sleeping picture (so far).
He was cuddling me on the couch and his little hand went up to his face.  
I love his nearly bald head.
His milky white skin.
His tiny little fingers.
His barely there lashes.

Love love love that boy of mine!

Happy Birthday to My MIL

I met my husband over 12 years ago and met his mother soon after we met.  I am not close with my own mother, therefore, making my relationship with Jeanne all the more important.  As she's said many times, we were friends before I became her daughter in law. Not many MIL & DIL can say that.

In the dozen years I have known her she has been there for me each and every single time I have ever needed her.  She's been at all my proudest moments of my adulthood.  I am never more proud than when I hear her 'brag' about me.  I've heard her tell people I'm a good teacher and I've heard her tell people I'm a great mommy.

She has proven to be an amazing grandma.  She loves our children something fierce!  She is always so proud of them for the big and small things.

She's always the person I cannot wait to tell when we're expecting because I know she's going to be so damn excited!

A few of my top Mother in Law Moments:

* Her 50th Birthday at Jane's cabin.  There's a classic picture of us standing on chairs drinking bottles of wine - straight from the bottle.  Classy classy.....but oh so fun!

* The day after my bachelorette party....she picked me up...then drove me to WI...

* April 14, 2006 she paced outside my hospital room waiting for her very first grandchild to be born.

* Her attendance at both of my Teacher of the Year finalist ceremonies.

* Her pure excitement for our wedding.  We spent hundreds of hours talking about it and then spent hours and hours watching the video over and over and over and over.....  It's about time we do that again!

* The joy of watching her enjoy my children.

* Leisurely evenings when the guys are grilling and we were just chilling.

* On the very day I had Brecken she came over to watch the Victoria and Christen.  We weren't ready to talk to anyone yet and she respected our privacy and she was the only one to give me flowers.

Today my Mother in Law turned 60.  It's a perfect day to recall all the reasons I'm so lucky to have her in my life.  I don't tell her often enough how much I appreciate her.

Happy Birthday Momma!!