Saturday, April 25, 2009

Is It Nearly The End Of April Already?

It has been a busy week. Last weekend Leah had a four hour long birthday party to attend. Four hours!!! Fortunately, she is now old enough to be left at the party, so I did not have to stay. What was that mother thinking?! The party started at the Pizza Gallery, where the girls had lunch. The party then moved to Justice (a clothing store for tween girls) where the girls got lots of goodies and "makeovers." Check out Leah's hair after her makeover.

On Sunday, Mike rode his motorcycle up to the space center to catch a glimpse of the space shuttles. It is a rare occasion that two shuttles are on launch pads at the same time. If you look closely, you can see the fuselage of both shuttles in this picture.
Monday I went to visit the school that Rachel will be attending in the fall. She will be going to kindergarten!!!! It seems to be a really nice program. There are two little girls that Rachel knows from last year there already, so she will have friends. I hope she remembers them. After the school visit, I had to go into Allison's class to volunteer. That took up all morning. Grandpa came down Monday afternoon to stay with us and help watch the kids for us on Tuesday so I could go on a field trip with Allison. We had a nice dinner that evening visiting with Grandpa.

Tuesday started bright and early. Allison and I had to be at school at 6:45am. At 7:00am the buses left for St. Augustine. We arrived there about 9:30am and toured the sites ALL day. It was a beautiful day, but we were all worn out by the time the buses loaded up at 5:00pm to head home. We got home about 7:30pm. Fortunately, Grandpa, Leah and Rachel had survived the day. I had left Grandpa a note about what to do and when, and he said that things went smoothly. I know he was glad to have that day over!!!! Mike had a busy day too. He had to leave the house about 6:00am to fly over to Lakeland for the Sun-n-Fun airshow for his work. He got home around 6:30pm that evening. He has had to keep that schedule all week long. He is going to be tired when he finally makes his last flight over there tomorrow! Below are some pics from the St. Augustine field trip. A BIG thanks to Grandpa for being for us, we really appreciate it!

Thursday I took Rachel into the doctor for a well check to get her paperwork completed for the kindergarten registration. Turns out her ears are red!! The doctor allowed me to decline antibiotics for an ear infection for the moment, since Rachel has not had any other symptoms. I will have to take her back next week for a recheck and if they are red then, she will have to start on some meds. Who knew?!?!

Friday, I went in and registered Rachel for kindergarten. It seems so strange to think that she is old enough for that! She has been in school for the last three years (I cannot believe it has been three years already!), so it won't be a big change for her, but she will be staying all day instead of just til noon. I still think of her as a baby, but realizing that she is going to kindergarten, I am going to have to start thinking of her as a big girl. I am also going to have to work in the next couple of months to make her do as much for herself as she can. She will be in a special classroom, so they will not expect her to be independent, but they will want to mainstream her as much as possible, and the more independent she is, the more likely that will happen.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Pleasantly Surprised

I have seen this day coming for a long time, and it has finally arrived. I have now outlived my mother. For years, I was sure that I would die at the same age she did. Of course there is nothing saying it won't happen tomorrow, but any day after today will seem like a bonus! I dreaded turning 45 for the last 22 years, and I felt that I would be depressed to reach that age and surpass my mom. Strangely, though, it has had just the opposite effect. As I approached and passed the milestone this week, I felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. I feel like I am now breaking new ground and walking where no one has walked before. I know that sounds odd, since everyday people live to be older than 45, but surpassing my mom in age, makes me feel that I am totally out of her shadow now (for better or worse). I have no mold to have to fill. Not that I tried to be just like my mom, but people are always going to tell you that something you do reminds them of her. Now, I am going somewhere she has never gone. I have no preconceived notions of what that will be like, no road map from the past. I feel like I am free to invent myself into whatever I want to be. I can be whatever I want to be in my "old age." I am certainly not saying that I am glad my mother is gone, having a road map is not bad thing. I may actually miss her more now than I did 20 years ago, but I was surprised this week when that dreaded day arrived and I was okay with it. It was not nearly as depressing as I anticipated. I now feel like my life is not destined to end at 45, and I am now able to believe that I just might live to be a grandmother!! I miss you Mom!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Funny Moments

When Rachel and I got to her class Friday morning the teacher looked at her shirt and saw the butterfly on the front. She asked Rachel, "What is that on your shirt?" Without looking down, Rachel said, "Pop tart!" Just so happened that she did not have pop tart smeared down the front of her shirt today, though. Most any other day, she would have been right!

I walked into the family room Friday afternoon, and Rachel was standing on the couch bouncing. She looked at me and said, "Jump?" Fortunately, me telling her not to jump worked, and she sat down instead of taking a leap. A while back, she stretched out her arms and took a swan dive off the couch. After she hit the floor, she looked back over her shoulder surprised, like she was shocked that the floor was so hard.

The big girls have come home from school with a new song. Think Black Sabbath's song, "Iron Man," and then insert the words, "I am the ice cream man. Twenty different flavors in the back of my van!" It is too funny to hear them sing that. Today, "Iron Man" came on the radio while we were in the car. The girls started singing their version. It was really funny. I have tried to get them to sing it for the camera so I could put it on the blog, but they refuse.
Here Rachel shows off her Easter basket. She was not too impressed with her new stuff. She kept handing her stuffed bunny back to Leah. I guess I should have told the Easter Bunny how much she likes Groovy Girls.

Allison hangs out in the hammock. We have no trees we can tie a hammock to, so Mike tied it to the rails of the garage door. The girls had a great time hanging out in it.

Leah has three eyes!! You would never guess it, but the third one is actually cardboard from Leah's happy meal box. Woooooooo.......very scary!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Back To The Grind

Wow! I wish we were still on vacation. Yesterday, I dropped the kids off at school and about an hour later, went back and checked Leah out for a dentist appointment. By the time I got Leah to the dentist and back to school, it was nearly time to pick up Rachel from school. The rest of the day was a blur of washing clothes and stuff from the camping tip.

Today, Rachel had a dentist appointment. That meant that I took everyone to school, went back an hour later and picked up Rachel, took her to the dentist, took her back to school, ran home and ate lunch, then went back and picked her up.....whew! From school, she and I headed over to Orlando for ST. Debra Beckman, the SLP, is supposed to be really good, so I am hoping that these trips to Orlando are going to be worth it (I am also hoping that insurance is going to cover it; we are still waiting to find that out). Debra says that Rachel is really improving. I am glad to hear that, because I am never sure if I am doing the oral motor exercises right. Fortunately, it was raining this evening, so soccer practice was canceled, yay! That allowed me to get some things done around the house.

Tomorrow I am supposed to volunteer at school. I hope the teacher does not have lots for me to do, because I have lots to do around here. Friday, I have a dentist appointment. I am not sure how three of us got on the same six month schedule, but for that one week of appointments, it gets old going to the dentist office almost every day! I am sure they get tired of seeing me too! Fortunately, everyone has gotten had a good check up this week-no cavities, thank goodness.

Here it is 11:00pm already! Where does the time go? I need to make a habit of getting to bed sooner, but once the girls are in bed, I want to enjoy the quite and always seem to stay up longer than I should.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Keys

We had a nice trip to the Keys. Despite the trip reminding me of all the things I detest about camping, we had a good time. We arrived on Big Pine about 3:00pm and set up the campsite. Afterwards, we wandered around the beaches and trails, then went to the pool. After swimming, we went back to the camp site and cooked dinner. Before we knew it, it was bedtime. The weather was a little cool, so the sleeping was not too uncomfortable. For some reason, though, Allison and I did not sleep to much. Mike and Rachel slept very well, snoring throughout the night!

Friday morning we loaded up and went to the nearby state park. We sat on the beach for a little bit, hiked up to the old bridge to check out the view, and headed back to camp for lunch. After lunch the girls went to the pool for a little while. Afterwards, we all took showers and drove over to Seacamp where I worked in the summers of '88 and '89 (yes, twenty years ago!!). The director offered us a room there-no air conditioner there either, but we did have our own bathroom. We ran back and packed up everything and head to our new room. After unpacking there, we headed down to Key West to the sunset celebration. we ate dinner there and headed back to Big Pine.

Saturday morning, Mike got up early and went fishing. About 10:00am we waded over to a nearby island to let the girls play in the sand and water for a little. After that we showered, ate lunch and packed up. We got home about 7:00pm. It was nice to be in the Keys again and the girls thought it was a really col place. Maybe next time we can stay longer. Below are some pictures of the trip.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Spring Break

This week has been rather laid back. Monday was the start of the girls' Spring Break, so we have been taking it easy. Sunday, Allison and Leah each had a friend over to play for the afternoon. They tried to swim in the pool.....well, they actually did swim in the pool, but not for long. This time of year the air temp is usually warm enough, but the water temp is a little chilly. They got in the pool, but only lasted about 15 minutes before they were too cold.

By late Sunday evening, Leah had managed to come down with a cold. I am betting swimming in the cold pool didn't help. She kept me up most of Sunday night complaining about not being able to breathe through her nose. That conversation went something like this........"Mommy, I can't breathe through my nose." (in hyper-whining mode) "Well, breathe through your mouth." "I don't sleep with my mouth open, so I can't breathe through my mouth either, so I can't sleep!!" I know we had this argument several times throughout the night, but Leah survived and managed to fall asleep some time after 2:00am or 3:00am, so she figured something out.

Monday, Leah ran a low grade fever for a little while and had a stuffy nose, so we didn't even leave the house. Not that we had any plans to, though. Allison kept pleading to have her friend back over, but the friend is about to travel to Colorado for vacation, so I figured her mom would not want her exposed to Leah, so I said no.......this was not what Allison wanted to hear, so I spent quite some time listening to her beg and plead her case.

Today, Leah was feeling better. I managed to get out to the grocery store, which was nice since we were really running low on food supplies. The weather was surprising. When we got up this morning, it was about 50 degrees and the wind was HOWLING. I know that doesn't sound cold to most of you, but that is winter weather for us! I want my spring weather back!!

Tomorrow will be a little more hectic, because Thursday morning we are leaving for a camping trip to the Keys. We are going to down to Big Pine Key on Thursday and coming home on Saturday. It is not long, but since we are camping, I am somewhat thankful for that. I have never been a camper, but we are trying to do things while not spending too much money. Should be interesting. The girls are REALLY excited about it. The weather is supposed to be good, so it should be a nice trip. Wish us luck!! Below are some recent pictures.
Leah wearing fake finger nails she printed off the computer. Yes, they are paper, and she taped them to her fingers.
Allison made her a set too. She couldn't stand the tape on her fingers, so she only wore them a few minutes before she asked me to take them off. I had to cut them out, tape them on and take them off. How do I get chosen to do all of this......why do I do all of this?!?
This picture was taken from our back door. We had a mommy otter and her pups in our yard this evening. It was soooo cool!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Still Zoomimg!!

Time escapes me! It has been really busy here lately. Since my last post Leah and I have gone on a field trip to the Kennedy Space Center; the whole family went to Palm Coast to visit with Mike's dad and sister; and Rachel and I have made another trip to Orlando to see the Oral Motor specialist again. While Rachel and I were in Orlando, we visited with a friend of mine that I had not seen in probably 15 years! She was in Orlando on business, and it worked out perfectly to meet up with her for lunch!! Just this month, I have seen two old friends that I did not even know where they were just two months ago........Facebook has really let me reconnect with people from my past!!!!

Everyone is good, I think. Leah is starting to complain of a sore throat again, just a few days after her second round of antibiotics for strep throat. I hope that the strep bug is not still hanging around! The girls got their report cards on Friday. Allison got all As and one B!!!! The teacher says she is doing GREAT! Maybe holding her back in third grade is going to finally pay off. Leah got all Os (which means outstanding). We are so proud of them! Rachel does not get report cards, she gets a progress report, but it is not on the same schedule as the report cards. Her evaluation at the speech therapist's office in Orlando was good, though! The therapist says the exercises we are doing twice a day are really working. I am glad she thinks so, because I am really not sure I am doing them right. On Monday, Rachel bit the c@*!?*$!#@! out of my finger while I was doing one of her exercises. Not sure what that was all about, but she seemed to be mad at Allison for some reason. It REALLY hurt, but it did not draw blood.

I would put lots pictures in this post from our recent field trip and visit with grandpa, but while Rachel and I were visiting in Orlando, yesterday, Rachel started getting antsy. In order to entertain her, I let her look at videos on my camera. She was really enjoying it, and then decided to start pressing some buttons. She managed to delete all 200+ pictures and videos that I had on my camera. Of course I had not downloaded any of them to our hard drive. Mike is currently trying to recover them. He says he will be able to recover most of them. I am sooo glad he knows how to do that. At the moment, this is the only picture I have in my camera. It is a picture of Rachel last night right after dinner. I guess she had a big day going to Orlando for therapy and visiting................ all this zooming is wearing Rachel out!