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Battling my own addiction. :)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Well, I understand my son's addiction to Spiderman. I know it sounds crazy. I know. I really am wondering about my own mental capacity at this point, but I am addicted. Not to Spiderman, of course. I am addicted to the Twilight books. Now, for all of you who have known me since I was young, you are probably not surprised. I love to read. I LOVE to read. I just never get to. And there are multiple reasons for that. First and foremost, the kids make it difficult. I feel guilty when I'm reading and they are just running around. I don't know why. I guess I feel like they are neglected or something. Before, when they were smaller, it was harder because there just wasn't a way to find time or to relax for long periods of time without them needing things... a clean diaper, a bottle, a snack, attention, love, etc. Not that they don't need all of these things now (in different ways, of course). They just don't need them as frequently and I don't have to remember to do these things. They tell me what they need. And, what's the difference in my reading versus watching a movie or show (I do that frequently). Secondly, I become engrossed in a story, if it's worth anything to me. Engrossed meaning I can't think about much else. I am in another world, wondering what will happen next, rushing through whatever trivial errands or housework needs to be done, in a desparate hurry to get back to the story. That's typically why when I do read, it is in the form of someone's blog, a newspaper article, a magazine story, etc. It rarely turns into a novel, especially a fictonal novel, because I know that makes my imagination run wild. It's like I'm on some kind of drug that I can't come down from until I've finished the book.

So, I'm high right now... obviously not on any kind of drug. I am high because this saga is four books long. I started this whole thing on Saturday night (at about 9 p.m.). I stayed up until 4 a.m. that night reading. Got up on Sunday and finished it off. Thought about the second book all day on Sunday... contemplating a trip to buy it, but holding off, thinking it would go away for a while. Finally, on Monday evening, I gave in and bought the second one. I finished it off today and I've read everything I can get Google to bring up to tell me how the third book goes. I predict that I'm going to be driving to Walmart at some point tomorrow to buy the third AND fourth books. My brother has them in Ashland and is ready to loan them to me this weekend, but I just don't think I can wait that long. LOL. I guess Jake gets his addiction to a great story (heroes, bad guys, romance, twisted relationships, love triangles, all of it) from his mother.

Oh well... I guess it could be worse.

I Spiderman

Monday, September 21, 2009
Our son is addicted. I think he has an addictive personality or something. It seems like he just goes through these phases with movies. He used to watch the Grinch over and over... then he went through Meet the Robinsons, Peter Pan, Scooby Doo, etc. Right now? Spiderman... and not the animated versions, the real life movies. He's obsessed. He gets up in the morning and the first thing he wants is "Spiderman watch tv." Then, he proceeds to tell us that he's Spiderman. He growls at us aggressively, flexing all the muscles in his body in a near strain, and says, "I spideyman." Then, he typically proceeds to punch us... sometimes in the face when you aren't really paying attention. It's not the best phase he's gone through. lol... He would literally watch it all day if we would let him... carrying around his little Spiderman dolls, sometimes wearing his Spiderman costume that is two sizes too big. It's adorable to see how excited he gets about these movies... Bailey will be scared and Jake will be re-enacting it all. I guess that could be why Bailey is so scared! :) I guess it could be worse... he is at least going to Spiderman dolls instead of Barbies.


Well, we were lucky with t-ball... we got on the winning team, only losing one game during the entire season and playoffs. We had a great crew of parents and players... a wonderful experience. Bailey began to enjoy it and really started to understand the concept by the end. We were fortunate.

Soccer is a little different. The parents are good, the kids are sweet, but the team, overall, is like watching the Bad News Bears... with one exception... the Bad News Bears at least cared about playing. They just weren't any good. :) Bailey's little team is quite hilarious to watch. It's kind of like watching a bunch of little kids with Attention Deficit Disorder. They see the ball and start to run for it, but then notice that they like the yellow shirts the other team is wearing and decide to stop and check it out. Bailey could be the biggest culprit. Our little social butterfly is very interested in making friends with her teammates and the other team's players... so much that there's no way she'd try to take the ball from them or even kick the ball, for that matter. She'll play great defense against us, but not against the kids. That, apparently, would be wrong. lol... So, we're working on it. It's a challenge, to say the least. But, it's also freaking adorable. She'll stand on the field and do nothing. Meanwhile, I'm yelling instructions to her. She'll hear me (after a few minutes of me yelling over and over at her) and then look at me and smile, giving me a thumbs up or blowing me a kiss. It's so adorable, I can't help but just crack up. Our game on Saturday was horrible. We didn't score a goal and the other team scored between 10 and 15 goals. lol. The coach's dad was sitting by me and we were laughing about it. He said, "Well, they don't seem to be mad that they are losing." I cracked up and said, "I don't think they even realize that they are losing." It's going to be a long couple of months! :)

School Update

The shift key that I use most often is stuck for some reason... probably because I'm on the computer too much, but nonetheless always behind on something. So, don't be surprised if I revert to just not using caps at all in this blog. You don't realize how much you use that shift key until it doesn't work. :)

Things here are becoming more routine with the school schedule and babysitter change. The kids are overwhelmingly happy with their environments, which only makes it that much easier to not feel guilty when I'm working or needing a little time for myself. I know they are happy. What a wonderful feeling. Jake is being spoiled to death by Morgan and Mickey. He's eaten out several times for lunch, whether it be McDonald's or Applebee's or even home-cooked meals by Morgan's grandmother... he's definitely getting the royal treatment. He gets to sleep in, although he isn't doing that as often as I had hoped, and he gets to watch whatever he wants to watch on tv, play with any toy he wants, and visit with his friends, Kaden, Konner, and Braxton on a regular basis. It's just amazing how nice it is to have a good sitter!

Bailey is also thriving... she comes home with new stories, new ideas, and having learned how to spell words regularly. She is learning the letter L this week, which means that we have to talk about every word since the beginning of time that starts with the letter L. She also learned about the Statue of Liberty last week (they are talking about patriotic symbols and America) and described her as being the blue-green lady with the princess crown who holds the light. :) Each week, the children recieve "jobs" for their classroom. Bailey really enjoys this responsibility. She was the weather girl one week, the light girl, the flag holder, and is now the caboose in the line on the way to the bathroom. I think the cutest description of her job came last week... she told me she gets to hold the flag and then demonstrated by holding her arm straight up above her head and waving it side to side as fast and hard as she could. I can envision her doing just that at her school. She's not big on nap time, but she's adjusting well... and even starting to remember some of her friends' names. Finally.

Sports fans...

Monday, September 7, 2009
And so life goes on... beyond the new school and babysitter situations, we have entered a new season for sports. I LOVE THE FALL. Football weather is here, so pull out the hoodies, get your cow bells out, and get ready for Friday nights. Or at least, that's how I feel about it. For one more year... my little brother, Colt, is in his senior year of high school and we are trying to get every ounce of high school football that we can while he's still playing. There's just something about watching someone you know play that makes it even that much better. And this year has already been a lot of fun. Colt's football team has been playing great and winning. You know, Bailey gets that competitive thing honest. Her daddy is bad, and on any given day (especially Friday), I could be worse. I love to win. LOVE IT. I even felt some of the old redneck coming out this last week. No worries... I kept it in check. And, I'm quite certain that most of the fans think I'm crazy because I yell like an idiot the whole time. But, at least my whole family is that way, so I'm not alone. For those of you who haven't watched high school football with me, visualize the little girl in the movie "Remember The Titans" and add about 20 years onto her age and you'll see what I mean. :) I just love it. And, I don't know what we're going to do when we don't have Colt to watch. I guess I'll have to adopt a little brother for a couple of years, until we get Jakey ready to put on the pads.

Or... I guess we can learn soccer. I think Brad and I are going to have to take a class to learn all about it, because I think we might have a serious soccer player on our hands. We signed Bailey up for fall soccer and she is loving it. She's had three practices and is doing really well. Perhaps most impressive, she actually wants to practice in the yard with us. We don't have to beg her like we did with t-ball. She ASKS us! I've spent at least 6-7 hours this past week in the yard, kicking with her. It's been a lot of fun. Her first game is on the 12th, so we'll see how she does there. I didn't make it out to practice today, but Brad said she did well. She stole a ball from one of the better players on the team and also scored against one of the better players on the team. So, we might have found a sport that she's going to like and be good at. Fingers crossed that she has fun with it. That's really all we care about... that and winning. lol... :)

Here are some pics of her playing at the soccer field last week. And a couple of Jake playing at the playground during practice. Jake's pictures aren't that great... actually none of these are. I'm having a terrible time just trying to catch them, even mid-action!

Oh... I'm going to have to get a shot of his shoes. We bought him some black tennis shoes on the same day we got Bailey's cleats. Every time Bailey puts on her cleats, he has to wear his black shoes. Their his "football" shoes, as he calls them. SO CUTE. :)

School Days...

More than a month has passed since my last blog... yes, that surprised me! I truly didn't think it had been that long. Once again, I am playing catch up.

I have a daughter in preschool these days. We are going on week three of our first year at preschool at one of the local Christian schools. Bailey has attended (off and on) day care since she was 6 weeks old, so it's not THAT new. But, it is a new school, with many more people, a different perspective, a car line to get wait through, and a uniform dress code. It is different in many ways...

The first day was the one I dreaded most, thinking that she'd have a tough time with the new environment. Fortunately, we had attended an open house the Friday before, so she had met her teacher, made some friends, and become familiar with the classroom. We got up extra early that morning, as we were also beginning a new thing for Jake - he would be staying with a sitter in her home (my update on that will follow this). I had laid out Bailey's uniform outfit, complete with a homemade hairbow to match. She was excited, a little nervous, but geared up to try this new thing out. We got dressed, dropped off a very unhappy Jakey, and headed to Bailey's new school. Drop off was a little hectic, as it was the first day for preschool and only the second week for the rest of the school, who, we learned, were still figuring out the routine of dropping kids off, not parking in the wrong spot (i.e. the car line), and dealing with tearful goodbyes. I pulled into the closest spot I could find and we made our way to her classroom. I felt like I was going to school for the first time when we entered the building. I was probably much more nervous than she was. She was eager to see her new friends and to show off her new back pack and Scooby-Doo Mystery Machine lunchbox. Photos will come... I promise. We walked up to the classroom, found her coat hook outside the door, and hung up her backpack. As I was pulling out her snack, blanket, and lunch, I overheard Bailey's teacher saying to place the lunchboxes under the backpacks. Apparently, Bailey heard it, too. She quickly directed me that, and I quote, "My teacher said to put the lunchbox under the backpacks, Mom." She proceeded to take the lunchbox out of my hand, place it under the backpack, and quickly proceeded to grab her snack and head into the classroom. Clearly, she had no problems figuring out what needed to go where or how to handle it herself.

Some might think that this would bother me. Well, no it really does not. This was so nice to see and hear. Bailey was not one bit intimidated by the changes. She welcomed her new-found independence and the way the teachers encourage the students to handle things on their own. She even visited the restroom (that has about 10 stalls), went in and took care of her business completely by herself, without locking herself in or needing assistance with her clothes. She truly grew up overnight. And I could not have been more proud or more pleased. Yes, I hate it that she's not a baby anymore, but yes, I love it that she's become so confident in her own ability to handle things. The only drawback to this is that she is completely and utterly intolerable when it comes to "knowing" things. She knows EVERYTHING. We are all idiots in her mind... no one can do anything as well as her. She even asked my mom this weekend if I had been smart when I was little. My mom replied that I was very smart, etc. Bailey just looked at her and said, "Well... I'm smarter." :) Competitive? Never. And, she is even more eager to become more independent, too. One day last week, she asked me if I could just drop her off in the car line in the morning like the big kids do. She said that she knew where her class was, so she didn't really need me to walk her in. I just laughed and told her she had to wait until she was a little older (in Kindergarten, which she calls Flower Garden - too cute). She did not like my response. She said, "Well, I'm almost 5..."

It is so nice to have one that is so happy going to school... especially when the other one hates to be away from you. My little man has had a rough time of it lately. We've had him at a day care in Lexington for more than a year. He's never acted like he loves it or anything, but he's always tolerated it and even enjoyed it (when he didn't know we were looking). But, with potty training comes great responsibility, or so it would seem. lol... Apparently, taking a child to the bathroom instead of changing his diaper was a little difficult for Jake's teachers. After about three weeks of picking him up to find him in a diaper, after he had been completely potty trained and the teachers instructed not to put him in said diaper, I decided to pull him out of day care. It was a very frustrating decision. I loved having Jake in a day care environment. I feel like kids learn a lot (good and bad) from playing with other kids their age. I loved it that he was around other adults who would teach him games, songs, and other fun things that I have forgotten, never learned, or just don't ever think to teach him. However, I think it's even more important for the day care to take care of basic needs and that just didn't seem to be a priority.

So... I was in search of a babysitter. And I found a lady in our neighborhood who takes care of other children, including her own. We visited her a couple of times and Jake seemed to really enjoy it. So, on Bailey's first day, we took Jake to the new sitter. He cried a little, but I thought he was fine. He seems to struggle with separation, but always dries it up quickly. I called the sitter about five minutes after I dropped him off to make sure he was OK and she said he had stopped crying before we were out of the driveway. When I picked him up that evening, he was happy... ready to go home, but happy. Same report for the next day or two. This past week, however, I've got mixed reviews. This weekend, I asked Jake if his sitter was nice. He says, "No... not to Jakey." Tears welling up in my eyes, I could just feel my heart breaking. So, I started asking questions and he gives me mixed reviews (he's not that good of a speaker still, so I have to translate WHAT he's saying and then translate if what he's saying is TRUE or just him not wanting to be away from us.). I ask if she yells, and he says yes. I ask if she yells at him, and he says no... just at (child's name that I won't mention). Jake is a nervous little boy when it comes to people. He bites his fingernails all the time... even when he's not nervous, but especially when he's nervous. He wrings his hands when things get really loud, if he's confused, or if he's not sure about things. I could just see him sitting there, a nervous wreck, terrified to make a mistake. And... well, despite my own feeling that this could be a complete fabrication, I just prayed that I wouldn't have to take him back there.

And, you know... God is watching over me. Mackenzie and Mickey, our babysitting SAINTS from when Jake was an infant and Bailey was 2, have a sibling and daughter (respectively) named Morgan. She's in college and has taught at Bailey and Jake's day care for the past year or so. Lo and behold if I didn't talk to them and find out that Morgan is no longer at the day care, but looking for work. Sometimes the pieces all just come together. I talked to Morgan tonight and she can start on Wednesday. Do you know how relieved I am?

So, Jake will be pleased on Wednesday morning, when he gets up and stays in his PJs to watch Blue's Clues or Sid the Science Kid, eats his pop tart and orange juice, and stays with someone he knows and loves... other than us.

A photo of Bailey's first day of school (in her adorable uniform, I might add). And a photo of her with Jake... who was just dying to get in the photo. Notice the soldier-ish pose... I have no clue where that came from. My only guess is that they felt very official being up so early and dressed in new(er) clothes. lol...