Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Dear Bean . . .

Today was your first day of fifth grade. Unlike Butter and Bug, you are not "starting" something this year, but instead are "finishing." This is your last year of elementary school. Wow--again, where does the time go?

While we originally were going to have you going to the same school as Bug, we decided to let you finish your last year of elementary school at the same school you've been at for the last two years. With your friends. Imagine our surprise when Bug's school had you assigned to a fifth grade class. Imagine our bigger surprise when we almost had to take them up on it. Turns out your teacher for the last half of fourth grade, with whom we had extreme issues, was given a fourth/fifth combo class to teach. Luckily, he is NOT your teacher. If he had been, you would not have been going there. Sorry, no dice, not dealing with that again.

Instead, you have Ms. Crane. An experienced teacher who, according to dad, is very nice. You are also back with your "besties." All three of you in the same class--just like third grade. I'm sure you are going to have a great year! You also get to be in advanced band--which means early school three days a week--but we will make it work. You, like Butter, have a natural talent for music and you picked up the flute so well. Your band teacher sees definite potential in you--and I'm sure it will help next year when you move to middle school.

I'm hoping this is a year of change and growing for you. You still seem on the cusp sometimes of being a big girl and still being our little one. You have a definite "attitude" that we need to work on, but it is coming out less and less frequently. When you and I are alone, we have a great time. I like just hanging out with you. You are the one who will hang out with me doing pretty much anything, including when I donate blood. I'm not sure Butter or Bug would do that.

Remember this year to have fun, but to still concentrate. It is your last year of elementary school, and you should have fun. But remember that it is also important to learn and grow.

I love you and am very proud of you and the young lady you are becoming.

Love, Mom

Monday, August 15, 2011

Dear Bug (fka Baby Bean*) . . .

You start kindergarten tomorrow—where has the time gone?  Where is my little baby?

Yesterday we went out and got haircuts (with Bean) and bought some school clothes.  You had such a good time tonight showing your fashions to your Princess dolls.  Then you and Bean picked out what you will be wearing each day this week for school.  It was all so cute.

You did great at your kindergarten assessment last week.  By coincidence, the teacher who did you assessment is going to be your teacher for the next year.  You seemed to get along with her and I’m hoping that everything will go well for you.  We did find out last week that this is going to be a bit different than we thought. We’ve been telling you all summer that you will be having lunch at home with daddy. Well, we were wrong.  Your school does all day kindergarten.  That means we drop you off for school at 7:30 for 7:45 start time and then you do not come home until 1:45.  It is going to be a long day for you, but I think you will do great.

I might be more worried for daddy.  A couple of weeks ago you and I were talking about school.  Your first comment, “daddy is going to miss me so much.”  I think you are right.  You have been his buddy for the last five years.  You have been by his side every day, all day—except for the three months when you were in preschool.  It is going to be different for him.  I’m not sure what he is going to do for the first week or so.  But it will be good for both of you.

Sunday night was another big milestone for you.  You lost your first tooth!  You told me a couple of weeks ago that you thought it was loose and I wasn’t quite sure.  Bean has been talking about loose teeth and she actually lost one of her last week.  I didn’t believe that you were old enough to lose a tooth already.  But there you were, you and Bean were in our room watching tv and having a tickle fest.  I guess, from what I can piece together, Bean accidentally hit you in the mouth and the next thing we knew you were both running into the front room—laughing about losing your tooth. Unfortunately, the laughter only lasted a few minutes before you freaked out a bit.  For the rest of the night you wouldn’t close your mouth—you said it was freaking you out.  But you were also so excited about the tooth fairy.  Getting you to bed early wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be.

My wish for you in the next year is to just have fun.  Enjoy kindergarten.  Make friends. Learn and be a kid!

I love you!

Love, Mom

* Although I’ve been calling her baby bean, she is now our bug.  She wanted her own “name” and Bean wanted her name to herself again!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Dear Butter . . .

Tomorrow you start high school Where has the time gone? You have grown up so fast and I am so in awe of you and everything that you have accomplished and everything that I know you can and will do.

I can remember being pregnant with you and wondering who you were and who you would become. I had a feeling that you were our boy, but we didn't know for sure until you were born. I was so thrilled that I had a son! You then decided to show your stubborn streak when you decided to hold your breath. But I think that just showed us early your determination to do whatever you wanted to do.

You are definitely a boy who knows what he wants. You set your mind to what you want and strive for it. You proved that to yourself and us when you were able to graduate from middle school with straight As. You put your mind to it, and whenever you thought that you were going to falter, you made a point of working harder and seeing your goal. You amaze me almost daily with what you can do and what you want out of life.

On the eve of high school, I want you to go forward and really enjoy your high school days. I want you to go to football games, go to dances, attend the various performances that go on at your school. I want you to get involved and really make the most out of the next four years. Your freshman year is going to be a challenge. Your classes are tough, I can see that, and I am impressed beyond belief over the classes you are taking and the fact that your teachers believe that you can accomplish this. You are taking an extra class by being in jazz band, but I know you can do this.

I want you to make friends that will last a lifetime. I want you to enjoy the time you spend in high school and be able to look back on these days and say that you really learned, grew and had a great time.

I am so very proud of you. You are more than I ever thought I would have.

I love you!


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Internet Makes the World Seem So Much Smaller . . .

The internet has brought me together with so many people that I would never have met in real life, and the majority I never will meet in real life, but I still consider them friends. That's why, when someone I've never met, who lives 3000 miles away, loses her husband, my heart aches for her.

This is a woman who I had the chance to meet via the internet back in 2002. We were both women who kept a journal on a website for moms. Our stories were very different--I was already the mom to two kids, she was struggling with infertility. It hurt to read her struggles, but then it was wonderful to be able to rejoice with her when she finally did get pregnant. It was even more amazing for her when she was able to have another son. They seemed to have the perfect family--her husband was a stay-at-home dad and volunteer firefighter. She was a teacher at a prestigious college in Vermont. She has a lot of the same beliefs as I do, and I seem to relate to her a lot. When we both stopped keeping a journal on the website, she started a blog and I followed it religiously. It was great to read about her and her family and what they were doing.

When I learned on FB on Saturday that her husband had been killed, it really struck me hard. A senseless car accident took away a father and husband and forever tore apart a family. It hit me really hard because hubby and I had just had a fairly large fight, but now it seems petty. I was mad and hurt and left the house. Then I saw this and just felt like if it could happen to them, it could happen to anyone. It made me realize that what we had disagreed about had been petty. Just a lot of pent up frustration that came out all at once. But it made me realize that we can't let petty things get to us. We need to say, "I love you," and kiss each other goodbye.

I read her blog today, and it broke my heart. Her oldest son has a broken leg, she and her younger son are banged and bruised, but to hear that the four-year old is having nightmares, just is wrong. No child should have to be there when their father dies in a situation like that. No child should have their father die like that.

If we lived close, I would be over there, cleaning her house, cooking meals, anything to help lessen her burden right now. She deserves to just "be" with her boys right now.

I know I'm rambling, but this just really makes me sad. And, it makes me realize that even if you have never met someone in real life, they are real and they do matter and their pain can make you ache for them.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

What would you have done?

So, I had to leave to drive to a hearing this afternoon, and gave myself plenty of time (strange for me). As I'm getting to an intersection on the way to the freeway, I notice these two girls, probably mid to late teens, walking across the street from where I am. I initially noticed them because of the dyed black hair and short shorts, but then noticed a guy walk up to them and start talking. He had come from the opposite direction so I just kinda looked (I was stopped at a red light at the time), all of a sudden the guy puts his arm around one girl's shoulders and then lifts her in the air and threw her down onto the ground (HARD). He then picked her up by her hair and started dragging her. The other girls starts screaming and he lets go and walks off and gets into a car as they start running the other direction.

I was so shocked--I hollered out my window to see if they were ok and they ran across two lanes of traffic begging me to give them a ride. I didn't really think and just unlocked the doors and let them in. I ended up taking them to one of their sister's neighborhoods (there was traffic construction and so they walked the rest of the way), but while they were in the car they borrowed my phone to call the sister and then they were talking about the fact that the guy had a gun, mentioned they had had a knife, and I really started questioning my thought process. They mentioned that they had called 911, and then they took the battery out of their cell phone and one of them mentioned that they had warrants so the police would have arrested them and not the guy. Yikes!

I know now that I should not have let them in the car--but I kept thinking to myself what if that were my daughter and her best friend, I would have wanted someone to help them. I probably should have dropped them off at the fire station that we passed, but again, I just wasn't thinking. After I did let them out (with them thanking me profusely and commenting that there are still nice people in the world), I started shaking.

I guess in the long run I'm glad I helped them and I'm very thankful that they were nice girls (at least to me) and didn't try to hijack me or anything.

What would you have done?

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Changes . . .

Fall is here, although with the weather this week you wouldn't know it. Along with the change in seasons, there are also other changes happening.

First, I did a minor overhaul on the blog. I was getting tired of the polka dots and wanted things moved around a bit, so I did a minor tweak. I'm not sure if it will stay this way, but for now, I like it.

Zoe made a change. While she thought trombone was the end all be all of instruments, the initial fascination quickly disappeared. Luckily, her teacher was willing to let her switch instruments. She really wanted to play clarinet, but there are already too many clarinets in class, so she switched to flute. Today was her first official day playing--and with only one lesson (a group one at that) she seems to be doing just fine. Better than fine, in my opinion. To be able to play two songs after about 1/2 hour of instruction? I couldn't do it!

Zienna has a bit change tomorrow, too. She is moving preschools. While we had done a lot of research on preschools before deciding where to send her, we realized last week that we really weren't getting the warm fuzzies that we have had with other preschools. She seemed to like it enough, but didn't know all the kids names, and it just wasn't really jiving for us. When that combined with an incident that happened at the school (didn't involve Zienna, but one that definitely put us on guard and one that we had semi-discussed the night prior), we decided it was time to do some more research. So, effective tomorrow, Zienna will be going to school with Zoe. They have a preschool and she will be in the pre-kindergarten class. She can got to school with Zoe and gets picked up at the same time as Zoe--a win-win for Scott as it reduces trips and gas. In addition, she will no longer have to take naps (which she hasn't really done in over a year anyway) and she gets to bring her own lunch-ok, not a win for us, but definitely one for her as she envies her brother and sister being able to bring a lunch box. Scott has her out right now getting a hair cut and tomorrow will be the big day!

Speaking of my kids, I think I'm going to go meet them at the salon! TTFN!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Where does the time go?

I posted over a month ago about school starting for the kids and now they are in full swing. 

Zach is continuing to do well, maintaining straight As except in one class, but that is moving in the right direction. He learned the hard way that he needs to be prepared for class—he lost full credit for a day of reading.  It is taking time to pull it up, but he is doing it. 

Zoe is experiencing her first year of actual grades.  She is maintaining As and Bs, but she just doesn’t seem to have the same drive that Zach does.  She isn’t putting herself into school as much as she could. Even her teacher thinks that she could be an A student, but it just isn’t a priority like it is for Zach.  I am hoping that when grades actually come out, she will have a change of heart and move toward working harder.  Zoe does have her first chance to play an instrument this year.  She was initially looking at clarinet or flute, then wanted to play saxophone, but ultimately, based upon the music teacher’s impression, she is playing trombone.  She has been playing for two weeks and can actually play notes and some easy songs. I’m very impressed.  She is also participating in choir and seems to be loving that as well.

Zienna LOVES school.  She is almost upset when the weekend comes.  Almost every morning she asks if she gets to go to school.  She did miss out on school the week of Labor Day because she contracted pink eye.  She HATED that week.  Although she was still home with daddy, she was very upset at not being able to go to school.  And her friend Brooklyn was apparently missing her too.  Brooklyn now makes sure that she is coming back the next day.  It is very cute.  She is learning a little bit of Spanish and some sign language.  She is so cute trying to teach all of this to us.

We’ve had Zach’s & Zoe’s school photos, but Zienna’s aren’t until next week.  I will make a point of posting them all once we have them.