Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Butterfly Farm

This weekend we went with my parents and sisters to the All a Flutter Butterfly Farm next to the Triad Farmer's Market. All morning long Molly kept saying she was going to go see Tinkerbell's Butterflies.  She was so excited.

It was a wonderful trip and I highly recommend a visit if you haven't been before!  The morning we went, there was a children's author who had written a book about butterflies. 

They have a little interactive presentation that is very educational and kept all 3 children's interest.  Andrew was chosen out of the audience to be the moth in the play.  A role he took "very seriously." 

There is  a large field with balls and frisbees we played with while we waited for our turn in the butterfly house. 

They also have this fun mister that the children (and adults) loved. 

When it was finally our turn to go see the butterflies, Andrew and Ryan enjoyed feeding them the sugar pads and having them land on their heads.

Poor Molly, who had been looking forward to meeting Tinkerbell's friends, was terrified of the butterflies.  She cried and scared them all away. 

We ended the field trip with a stop at the Farmer's market to eat lunch and eat ice cream!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Andrew is a First Grader

My sweet Andrew headed off to First Grade last week.  He was so excited and so ready!  And believe it or not, I was excited for him.  It wasn't like kindergarten, when I was a basket case.  He had such a wonderful time last year that I felt completely relaxed sending him to school again.  I miss him terribly while he is gone at school all day long, but I am happy for him.   I really like his teacher a lot.  (So far, she reminds me a lot of a very good friend of mine who used to teach at ABES.  I have always thought that friend would be the perfect teacher for Andrew).   I also really like the assistant teacher!

Before his first day of school, we asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up.  In kindergarten, he said a Jedi Knight.  This year he wants to be a Famous Writer.

 He came home from the first day of school and announced in a very serious voice, "Mom, first grade is WAY different than kindergarten!  Apparently, they do math AFTER lunch."  (Apparently is his new favorite word).

His teacher told me at the end of the first week that she was really enjoying Andrew.  That he laughed at all her jokes and was a very attentive and well behaved kid.  (The words every mother wants to hear.  At least the attentive and well-behaved part.  The fact that he inherited his dad's sense of humor is just an added bonus).

 We have started a tradition of giving a book to the new teacher when we meet them.  I asked Andrew what book he would like to give Mrs. Green.  He answered, "I don't know.  Do we have one called "Introducing Mrs. Green?"  I googled and actually found a children's book called "Meet Mr. and Mrs. Green" so we bought that one.  It is a really cute book about a married alligator couple who have fun adventures together.  It is very sweet.

When we went to meet Andrew's teacher he sat politely and answered her questions, until she mentioned she had Bionicle books in her classroom library.  Then he spent the rest of the time assessing the titles in her library.  He was happy to discover the library was "apparently filled with tons of chapter books....  And Mom, she had checkers and Battleship in her game center."  After that, he was pretty much convinced that First Grade was going to be even better than Kindergarten.

 I am not sure that any year could ever be better than kindergarten, but APPARENTLY, First Grade has potential to be just as good!  

Humbled and Overwhelmed

I have been Missing In Action from the blogging world this summer, well from the world in general.  I had tendon surgery on June 16th.  Spent 2 weeks on bed rest, 4 weeks in a cast (one pink and one black one) on crutches, and so far 3 1/2 weeks in a walking boot.  August 3rd I got rid of my crutches finally and  August 4th was the first day I was allowed to drive since my surgery.  I am in physical therapy twice a week.

Being the mom of 3 little children on crutches was more difficult than I thought.   I wasn't able to do pretty much anything for them.  Everyday I felt like I was in an "I Love Lucy" episode.  Trying to cook on crutches, trying to carry Molly while on crutches.  But luckily I have 3 wonderful helpers.   They really stepped up to the challenge.   I don't know what I would have done without Andrew.  He made lunches,  got snacks, poured drinks, carried things, and even learned how to get Molly out of her crib.  He helped Molly in and out of her swing outside.  He helped her on and off the trampoline.  Read stories to his brother and sister.  He brought me anything I needed, anytime I asked.  He is such a sweet little boy. 

I also don't know what I would have done without such a wonderful and supportive church family and friends.   I have 2 to 3 appointments each week.  Each visit I needed one friend to babysit and one friend to drive me to the appointment.  I still have two friends each week watching my kids so I can go to the appointments.  Ten families brought us dinner during the first three weeks!  Our home teachers came and trimmed a few of our bushes.  Others have done my scouting calling for me all summer.  A friend from church came and cleaned my kitchen.  Then 2 different young women came and volunteered to help with the children 3 hours a day for the first week Chad went back to work. A friend drove my children to swim lessons everyday for a week.  Friends drove from far away to visit me, since I was stuck here.  (One even all the way from Alabama).  And of course my wonderful parents and sisters have been here all summer, whenever we have needed them.  Folding laundry, watching kids, taking my kids fun places so they aren't cooped up indoors, and helping me take the kids places like the dentist.

Wow!  Just reading that list makes me feel very loved.  And very overwhelmed with gratitude. I know that this very tiny trial is nothing compared to what so many go through.  It has only been 10 weeks of my life so far.  Not life threatening, not permanent.  But I personally have never needed this much help before.  It is humbling to ask for help and even more humbling to know there is no way I can possibly pay anyone back for all they have done to help.  That is hard for me. Like everyone else, I prefer to be on the giving side.  I don't like receiving.   I really like equality.  To me, fairness has always meant equal.  I am really uncomfortable knowing I can't reciprocate.   It has been good for my pride.

Speaking of is really hard to have any when you get to come to church every Sunday wearing these beauties.   I am quite the Fashion Diva these days.

(I will be updating the blog over the next few days with pics of summer fun the kids had.  I am going to file them under the right dates, so make sure to take a look back)! 


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Roller Skating

I spent almost every Friday night of  7th grade and 8th grade at the local skating rink.  I loved to roller skate, but I must confess, I was mostly there to flirt with the boys and hang out with my best friend, Lisa.   I have only been a handful of times since then.   But I used to love skating.  My sisters and I took my kids to skate the day before school started back.  It looked exactly the same.  The carpet was the same, the skates were the same, the yellow booths in the food area, even a lot of the music was the same.

What wasn't the same was the company.  This time I wasn't there to flirt with the handsome 8th grader wearing an acid washed jean jacket, hoping he'd ask me to couple skate.  Nope, I was there as a mom.  A mom in a boot who couldn't skate.  So I had time to observe my children as they tried to learn something new.

First I watched Molly.  She was hesitant to put on her skates, until she saw that Andrew had them on.  Then she was adamant that I put them on her right then.  I did, and she LOVED them.  She wanted to go around the rink over and over again.  I held her up and walked around the rink in my tennis shoe and boot.  ( I think it is the same floor from when I was 13, too, so they weren't too worried about me scuffing it up).   When she discovered she could go all by herself on the carpet, she ran (on skates) back and forth between the rink and carpet.  I had a hard time keeping up with her, so I took her skates off.  She ran all over the rink in her socks dodging in and out between skaters.  Now it was impossible to keep up with her.  She was giddy and laughing.   Skating with Molly is like anything with Molly.  If Andrew will do it, she will do it.   She doesn't mind letting someone help her out, but once she knows how to do something, she wants to do it herself.  And if she is going to do something, she is going to smile and laugh and enjoy it.

Skating with Ryan was also like anything else we do with Ryan lately.   He insisted that he didn't want to go skating.  He knew he wasn't "going to like it.  He declared that it wasn't his choice, it was Mommy's choice.  And skating wasn't fair! (That is what he says to everything these days).   But then he went out and held his aunts' hands and had a fun time. He was a very cautious skater the whole time.   They played his favorite song "Dynamite" and he laughed and danced on his skates.  Out of the blue, these two older girls came over and offered to skate with him and he went off and had a great time with them.  Then, when it was time to go home, Ryan again declared that skating was boring and yucky and no fun had that he had not had a good time at all.  Then the very next day he randomly came to me and asked if he could please take skating lessons because he really liked skating and skating was AWESOME!  And that in a nutshell is my sweet Ryan for you, lately.  Hesitant to try new things. Hates transitions.  Makes friends with strangers, wherever he is without even trying. Kids are just drawn to him.  Still he refuses to admit he enjoys something while he is doing it.  I haven't really figured that out yet.  It is a new behavior that has cropped up this summer.  Maybe as a result of all the chaos in our house with mommy out of commission? 

Andrew put on his skates and was gone.  He did NOT want help from ANYONE.  He was going to figure out how to skate on his own.  He spent way more time on his bum then on his feet, but he very seriously brushed himself off and got back up again.  He was determined to do it on his own.  He acted almost offended when his aunts wanted to skate with him.   Like he thought they were somehow insinuating that he needed help.  (Which, by the way he did!  Because he had never skated before!!!!).  Andrew wants to teach himself everything.  He did the same thing with bike riding and shoe tying.  He pretty much told us to go away and leave him alone.   And then he taught himself to tie his shoes, to ride a bike, and now to skate.  Not that he is an expert at any of it.  He is six.  When Ryan declared his intention to take skating lessons, Andrew actually said, "I don't want lessons.  I just want you to let me go skating at the same time as Ryan's lessons, and I will figure it out on my own."    Let's hope by the time he is ready for driver's ed he will let someone help him.  I don't think they actually let you get in a car and drive by yourself the first time.

I had a great time watching my sisters with my children.  My children adore their aunts, as do I.  I sure am going to miss them when they go back to college this week.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Second Annual Super Stupendous Summer Send-Off

The last Saturday before school started, our family headed out the door to say good-bye to summer in a fun way doing stuff around town.  Each kid got to choose a place to go.

Andrew chose to go to Toys R Us!  The Kruegers met us there for some fun in the store.   He Ryan were so excited to see that the Bionicles were Buy 1 get 1 Free.  (Bionicles is the new favorite at our house among the boys). 

Molly was in pink heaven.  She didn't have enough hands to touch or carry all she fell in love with.   The umbrella was a definite favorite!  But in the end she came home with a Tinkerbell doll.  (Tinkerbell is her newest obsession). 

We headed to Sonic for lunch with our free coupons from the library summer reading.  (Sorry, no pics). 
Then we were off to Ryan's choice...Bounce U. 

We headed next to Kimonos for dinner.  (Mommy and Daddy's choice).
 And we ended the day at Molly's choice.  Chick-fil-a for ice cream cones.  Three happy children! 


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Flag Ceremony

My dad retired from the army this year and he and my mom have relocated to the area.  He placed a flag pole in his front yard and invited us over for a flag raising ceremony.   It was a very sweet occasion.  I am so proud of him and his service to our country.