Packin’ up and movin’ out

Since you all might be sick of looking at “penis” at the top of my blog, I figured I’d get a post up before Christmas – just cuz I’m nice like that. ;)

I got all of my Christmas cards in the mail (finally!) today. Hooray!

And Jody and I met with Ava’s Waldorf preschool teacher tonight for parent-teacher conferences. Who knew we’d already be in for that with a 3-year-old. The conference went very well. It was great to hear more about Ava from someone else’s perspective and how she well she’s acclimated to preschool. I may blog more about the conference another time (when I have more time to spare).

We’re packing up and heading out tomorrow morning (or afternoon based on how quickly we get our crap together) for a road trip to southern Kansas to celebrate Christmas with Jody’s side of the family. We’re only driving half-way there tomorrow, then the rest on Sunday since the thought of trying to do 9 hours of driving in one day with two small children is not my idea of a good time. ;) I think breaking up the trip will go much better for all of us.

We haven’t yet turned Julian’s rear-facing car seat around (even though he’s a year old now), because he’s stayed relatively content with riding that way and it’s much safer that way (12 mos. and 20 lbs. is actually the minimum requirement for rear-facing). However, I think we are making the switch tomorrow which will hopefully keep him riding happily longer and will also allow Jody or me (the passenger seat) to recline and move back the seat a bit more, which will hopefully keep me/Jody riding happily longer as well. ;) I’d love to keep him rear-facing longer just because it is so much safer, but with all of this driving ahead of us, for my and Jody’s comfort (neither of us like riding with our legs all scrunched up and our seat-back straight up) and for the sanity of all, I think this is a good time to make the change.

I’ll likely be blogging during the trip as Jody will have two (count them – one, two) laptops (from work) with him. (Woot!) They may not be lengthy posts, but I might upload some pictures and whatnot. Then again, I might have some great wisdom to share. Ya just never know. ;) Speaking of pictures, Jody bought a new P&S camera yesterday. It seems to be a vast improvement over our old one, though I can’t even remember at the moment what kind it is. Anyway, it’s going on the trip with us.

I must get myself to bed in the very near future so I can get up and pack our bags in the morning. Oh, and finish laundry too.

Wishing you all a safe and happy long holiday weekend. :)

Oh me, oh my!

NaBloPoMo – Day 15 (15 days down, 15 days to go!)

There are a lot of reasons why I love that Ava is going to a Waldorf-inspired preschool, but one that jumps out at me lately is how polite she’s been. Don’t get me wrong, she’s always been pretty good with her pleases and thank yous, but now she’s also starting to use the word “may.” “May I have a treat please?” “I may do _____ now.” “You may take a turn.” Etc.

Ava making a “cake” - 10/30/07Another thing she’s been saying that I love is “Oh me, oh my!” :) Since neither Jody nor I use that expression, I had a sneaking suspicion I knew where she picked it up. I asked her if her teacher Miss G says it and she said no, but I knew better. At the Halloween party we attended at school, on a few occasions I heard Miss G utter “Oh me, oh my” or “Oh my, oh me.” :) It’s a lot better than “Oh crap,” so you won’t hear me complaining.

And actually, that reminds me. My sister (Aunt Carrie) was at our house a few days ago and she accidentally let an “Oh crap” out in front of Ava. And Ava replied, “Why did you say ‘oh crud‘?” I wonder if that’s the product of preschool as well, because as much as I hate to admit it, “crap” is one of the words I haven’t been able to stop saying.

Ava with silly hair - 11/6/07In addition to the cute little things that come out of Ava’s mouth, I love that her class is so small (only three other kids) and she has such a great relationship with the other kids as well as her teacher. She often plays “school” at home and pretends to be one of the kids in her class or her teacher or she asks me to be her teacher and Julian is one of the other kids, etc. She has such a wonderful imagination and I love that she’s getting to explore it so fully in Waldorf school. I also love that she is nurtured, respected and loved there. I don’t have to question the care she is receiving.

I’m not sure how far we will continue doing the Waldorf thing. That’s still up in the air, but for now I’m very happy with it and think the money we spend to send her two days a week is well worth it – not only for the experience for her, but for the break for mommy. Let’s face it, as much as I love being a SAHM – oh me, oh my – I need my breaks too. ;) Balance is a good thing.

Shopping, parties, leaves and more

NaBloPoMo – Day 11

It was a busy weekend around here (the first of many!), complete with a Lantern Walk and potluck dinner (celebrating Martinmas) at Ava’s preschool, a housewarming party at my friend‘s new (and gorgeous) house, more leaf raking and bagging (we’re finally done!), a haircut for Ava, Freecycling a table and chairs set, as well as birthday (Julian) and Christmas toy shopping.

wooden blocksThanks to a tip from my friend Melissa, I spent over an hour on Saturday looking through toys at Tuesday Morning of all places. They got a shipment of German wooden toys in and there were deals to be had! :) (They weren’t HABA – how rockin’ would that be? – but they did seem like good quality, lead-free toys.) I’m starting to believe that this desire to find good, quality wooden toys is an addiction. I’m on the lookout for them where ever I go – thrift stores, consignment stores, and now – thanks to Melissa – closeout stores as well. LOL

I hope to write about my wonderful wooden finds in the next week or two and actually compose a Crunchy Domestic Goddess Holiday Gift Guide of sorts. :) Won’t that be fun?! :)

The funky funk

I feel like I’ve been in a total funk the past two weekends and I’m not exactly sure why, though I have my suspicions. My guess is that I’ve had these ideas of how I expected/wanted the weekends to go and, in both cases, they didn’t go that way at all. Be forewarned, I sound like a whiny baby ahead. I haven’t been getting as much sleep lately as I would like/need so I’m sure that’s playing a role here too.

Two weekends ago, we planned to go to a Harvest Festival at the local Waldorf school. It went from 10 til 2, but because Julian woke up really early and then needed a nap, we didn’t get there until 1. I was really bummed to have missed most of it. I still managed to get an impromptu tour of the school thanks to a friend of mine who’s son went there for summer camp, and I still had a good time, but I just wished we all had more time to enjoy it before they packed everything up.

The good news is the school is amazing and I absolutely love it, so I’m glad that we got to go and check it out. The bad news is that tuition is even more expensive than what we’re paying for preschool (think college tuition), so I don’t know if it’s something we can realistically pursue or not. Well, I know it’s not something we can pursue without me getting another income. We live pretty much hand to mouth as it is, so “finding” extra money isn’t even an option.

The rest of that weekend went something like this. We suspected that Ava had a urinary tract infection so Jody took her to urgent care on Sunday, where they were for much of the day. The culture came back negative, but they let it grow (or whatever they do) and we heard back from them a few days later that she did in fact have a UTI (e-coli to be exact). So she’s on antibiotics (and probiotics) for 10 days.

Then this weekend we had plans to go to a pick-your-own-veggies fest at a local farm with a bunch of friends from our AP group. Unfortunately Julian woke up early again and I felt that he really needed a nap before we ventured out for the day. So we missed the group but decided to go, along with my sister (Carrie), much later in the day. By the time we got to the farm the wind was racing madly and there were huge dirt clouds all over the place. We let Ava take a ride in a little train, then we headed into the corn maze where the cornstalks protected us from the flying dirt. We then go lost in the corn maze and Ava had had enough and just wanted to go home. So Jody forged his own path out of the corn maze, while we followed behind, Ava (all 36 lbs. of her) in my arms. We gave up on the veggie picking and went home. I was bummed. I’d been looking forward to bags and bags of produce, especially in light of getting my new food processor. Perhaps another day.

On Sunday we decided to take a drive up into the mountains to see and photograph the beautiful fall foliage. (Can you tell where this is going?) The drive up was really nice (if you don’t count Ava whining and crying because she was tired, but too stubborn to take a nap in the car) and the leaves were gorgeous, but once we got to the Peak to Peak Scenic Byway, they were about 90% down. That is to say, they were well past peak and all we saw were a lot of bare aspen trees among the evergreens. Disappointment. We did stop at an Open Space area and went for a little walk (not long enough to call it a hike), but it was really cold and we were hungry so it didn’t last long. Pics from our walk coming for Wordless Wednesday this week.

The silver lining was that we found a new (to us) cafe to eat at up in Nederland and had a delicious late lunch while watching snow (yes, SNOW) fall outside. :)

So all in all, I just felt that both weekends didn’t go the way I wanted them to and it bummed me out. I know that’s life with kids, and the way the cookie crumbles, and all of that, but I just felt like being selfish and having things go my way. I try to remind myself that someday my kids will no longer be living at home and I will be free to go pick vegetables to my heart’s content and take weekend treks by myself, if I like, to take all of the nature pictures that I want. It’s so hard when you are in the thick of it to remember that these days of self-sacrifice will be gone before I know it and then I will undoubtedly miss these days and wonder why I couldn’t have just been happy in the moment.

Night out

Jody and I are stealing away for a date night tonight. Yes, an evening out – without the kids! Aunt Carrie is babysitting and we are going out!

Where will our night out take us you ask?
For a romantic dinner? No.
To a movie? Nope.
A walk on the beach? (Yeah, I don’t know what beach either, but it sounded good.) Guess again.

Jody and I will be spending our night out at …
Ava’s preschool! ;)
It’s the first of several scheduled parent evenings as part of the Waldorf school.

Despite the fact that our night out will not be a romantic one (unless we sneak away to the playhouse in the backyard – *wink, wink*), I’m looking forward to it. These days I’ll take a night out however I can get it. he he. It’s funny how things can change so drastically once you have kids.

First day of preschool

Yesterday was my big girl’s first day of preschool. Despite my mommy nerves the day before about sending my baby to preschool, everything went really well – for all of us. :) It took her all of about 30 seconds from walking in to acclimating and starting to play. She didn’t even want to stop to kiss me goodbye so she blew me a kiss instead. My little bird is spreading her wings.

Of course, I had to take a few pictures to document the morning.

Ava has all of her stuff (lunch, extra clothes, sun hat, inside shoes, paperwork that mommy and daddy filled out) and is ready to go to her first day at preschool, while Julian wonders why in the world he’s awake and in the car so early.
1st day of preschool 9/6/07Ready for preschool - 9/6/07

Arriving at preschool …
Preschool 9/6/07Arriving at preschool 9/6/07

Ava’s symbol at the school is cherries – on her basket, her cup, her hook and her towel.
Ava’s basket 9/6/07

All of the inside shoes (the teacher’s and the kids’) lined up in a row. (Ava’s new moccasins are on the right.)
All the “inside” shoes 9/6/07

Let the fun begin!
Playing at her first day of school 9/6/07

Dig in.
Sand play 9/6/07

And lastly, here’s her “I’m done with pictures and it’s time for you to leave now, Mom” face. Whomever said attachment parenting doesn’t promote independent children never met Ava. ;)
Enough pictures, Mom. 9/6/07

When I went to pick her up at 1 p.m., she was playing on a bouncy ball with two other children (a boy and a girl), and looked so happy. Then she looked up, saw me, scowled and said, “Go back home.” Aww, I love you too, honey. :oP

The little girl said to me about Ava, “She’s my friend.” :) She and the boy stay until 3 p.m. and have nap time there. Because they weren’t leaving, Ava wasn’t thrilled with the fact that she had to go home. My girl, who never naps anymore, even said, “I want to stay and nap too.” Anyway, we are going to look into how much it will cost for her to stay the extra two hours and see if we can somehow swing that too. (gulp) I think it would be good for her to try it. She obviously loves the place and her friends. :) And maybe it was just wishful thinking, but it sure seemed like Ava was in a really good mood the rest of the day yesterday. AND we didn’t turn on the TV the whole day! I think this Waldorf preschool is going to be a wonderful thing.

After learning my lesson when my kiss request was denied yesterday, today when I dropped her off I made sure to get my hug and kiss in before we went into the preschool. She is much more accommodating when the prospect of playing doesn’t get in the way.

When we walked in I heard the other girl’s dad say sweetly to her, “OK honey, Ava is here. Is it OK if daddy leaves now?” She then said goodbye to her dad. It’s not a surprise, but it’s always nice to hear that my little girl is loved by others as well. :)