Sunday, October 20, 2013

Here We Go...

It's opening weekend for duck season.  Which translates to it being a Kinley/Mommy weekend.  I keep thinking that the days will get easier the older she gets, but truth be told, it just stays difficult in a different way. 

It's report card time.  I have so much work to catch up on, and a three year old is not sensitive to those needs at all.  I was a totally bad mom and had the TV babysit her most of Saturday.  Judge me.  Don't care much.

Today, her cheer practice was cancelled so I decided to take her to my mom's group Halloween party.  I paid out the nose for her costume, I might as well get as much use out of it as I can!  Overall, it went pretty well.  She only bullied once!  From that party, we went to the local high school for their National Honor Society's read in.  The students dressed in costume and read to the students.  They had pumpkin painting, face painting (her absolute favorite) and games.  It was really a cute set up.  But, we left a hot mess.  She was being mean and not listening....running through the halls with me chasing behind her.  Ugh!  Such glamorous times as a mommy!

I know I've been MIA from this blogging thing, so many things that I hit on in posts will be in bits and pieces.  We are obviously having issues with behavior with Ms. Kage.  She's a bit of a bully.  I blame us, 100%.  We've given in to her every desire and basically worshipped the ground she walks on for almost four years.  We are paying dearly for that now.

I say that she has only child syndrome, but it's not an excuse.  She's a mean girl.  I fear how she will turn out once hormones hit.  We're working diligently to fix our mistakes.  It's so not easy.  Her expectations are ridiculous.  Way to go, us.  I am hoping to find a nice balance of showing her our love but making her a loving child at the same time.  I know it's possible...but it's a lot of work to fix a mess that's been in the making for so long.

Don't get me wrong here.  She's not a naughty bully all of the time.  It peaks right around nap time.  And when she doesn't get that nap.  But we have days where it can go all day.  Ugh.  Those days.

So yeah, that's been a steady battle for us lately. 

Work is hard.  H.A.R.D.    Teaching is great.  The paperwork and data collection, not great.  I will admit, teaching is not what I thought it would be.  Or how I watched my elementary teachers do it.  I feel like I am there teaching for 7 hours and then I have to use about 5 hours beyond that to collect data and organize it.  Add that to my wife and mommy role and you get one exhausted lady.  Here we are finishing the first quarter and I feel like it should be May.  I question how I will survive!  I am so thankful for my teaching team.  They are my lifelines, for sure.

And did I mention that we have a new house?  We bought it and moved in right after the fourth of July.  It's so fantastic.  We love, love, love it.  I can finally say that everything is painted.  That was insane.  Why I didn't hire it out is beyond me.  Most rooms have super high ceilings and that makes it so not fun to paint.  We didn't do the that will be hired out.  For sure.  We put a deadline on ourselves with this home improvement stuff.  Kinley's birthday party is December 7th, so we want to be done by then.  Or with the first round of improvements:  paint, furniture, major decor.  So yeah, painting is done.  Dining room is mostly done.  I have a lot of windows in need of covering, but what to do with them completely eludes me.  And I'm okay with that right now.  My plate overflows with everything else in life.  There is no room for windows.

For the first time in about...oh, seven years, I feel settled.  When my life crashed with my divorce, I was left feeling changed.  I felt like I couldn't grow roots or feel settled anywhere.  It was a feeling that I could not get past.  It left me searching for something, but I couldn't figure out what it was.  I still don't know what it was, but that feeling is gone.  The emptiness, the loss, the's gone.  I think that it was having a home.  A real home.  That's what I needed to feel complete again.  So this home has fulfilled so many voids and answered so many prayers.  Kinley loves her home and we love coming home here.  It was a good thing for us.

We are in a good place right now.  Things are moving in the right direction at the right pace.  I have hope for us again. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Wrap It Up

My last day of spring break was the warm break that I longed for.  We had temps in the 70s and the sun finally came out for more than an hour.  The day was screaming ZOO! 

Kage was very excited and actually wanted to see all of the exhibits.  Last year, she wanted to see one or two and that was the extent of it.  Granted, she only wanted to see each animal for about 2 minutes before moving on...but it's progress.

We spent the majority of the day there and the weather just got better as the day went on.  It was a good day. 

When we got home, we spent time outside.  I decided to look through some of our boxes in the garage.  We never fully unpacked when we moved into this house.  It's still too temporary for me.  But it was a little bit like Christmas to see some of our stuff that I haven't seen in six or so months.  Kin rode her bike, her car, her other bike...the child has an abundance of outside toys.  You'd think we spent more time out than we do.  But no, she's just an only child and hasn't a need in this world.

Our weekend wrapped up with a nice grilled steak dinner and "marsh-pillows" on our backyard fire pit.  So relaxing!

Just before it was time to put Kage to bed, I decided to just buck up and get the running shoes on.  Despite being totally freaked out by our neighborhood, I ran.  I didn't make it too far....but I feel that I broke through that first time.  And maybe the second time won't be so hard.  And the third....

Happy Monday to you!  I will be blessed to corral 26 5th graders on the first day back from Spring Break!  Good times!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

It's the Age? I hope....

I am so excited to be a mommy to a little girl.  Long hair, pink clothes, princesses, dresses, hair bows, dress-up, nails done, hair appointments, ballet....all of those fun girlie things that little girls bring to your life.

Since starting at this new pre-school, Kinley had really taken to these two {rowdy} boys in her class.  Okay, so every boy seems rowdy to me.  She just adores Danny and Nicolas.  She thinks they are the coolest.

So, I guess I can thank them for my little girl's love for talking about chicken poop.

Everything is chicken poop.

Kinley, what do you want for dinner?  Chicken Poop.

What do you want to wear today?  Chicken Poop.

What did you say?  Chicken Poop.

Want to take a bath?  In Chicken Poop?

What do you want to play?  In Chicken Poop.

And to make things even more fun....

We have a new phrase that she's brought into the house.  What does she want to eat?  Chicken Poop and Pee Sauce.

Three year olds are so fun!

I will continue dressing her girlie for as long as she lets me!  :)

Saturday, April 13, 2013

It's What You Make of It

So, it's either have a script called in for some Zoloft....or blog.  Blogging is cheaper.  And safer.  And well, easier.

I haven't blogged this entire school year.  Well, I popped in here and there, but really, it's been since the summer that I really sat down to blog.  I have to figure this whole thing out, again.  It's hard to make sense of this spilling your thoughts onto a keyboard thing.  Something that once came so easy to me, now isn't so much.  Remembering that your thoughts are loose and allowed to come out without a filter is something that I've learned to curb over the last 8 months.

My spring break is over.  I had intentions a mile long for this break.  And none of it happened.  I'm feeling a bit down about that.  In my head, spring break was going to be amazing.  Spring break was going to be huge for me.  Big changes, getting ahead, figuring things out, feeling on top of my game.  None of it.

I've been on a weight loss kick.  Cause, you know, I love failure.  I started with a program through Kinley's pediatrician.  Yes, I said her pediatrician.  I know....makes no sense.  Her doctor is a homeopathic practioner and she sees everyone.  But technically, she's a pediatrician.  She is on a weightloss venture herself, so she decided to open up her journey and hire a nutrition coach to help us along.  So why not?! It's a regimen of shakes, some nutritional supplements and diet.  Supposed to be exercise too, but yeah, I've not gotten that far.

I see the nutritionist every couple of weeks, for menu help and accountability.  But let's face's slow going.  I am so discouraged.  I am totally the kind of girl that needs instant gratification, if I'm going to stick to something.  I'm down 7 pounds.  Yes, that's it.  My husband has been doing the diet and shakes with me (no supplements or nutritionist meetings) and he's down like, 12.  It's so not fair.  He can eat Mc Donald's twice a day and still lose.  True, he's got a super active job, and I teach....but still.  It's so not fair. 

So over spring break, I had these huge ideas.  Initially, I wanted to travel solo.  I need a break:  from life.  From the everyday.  I wanted to head to the Myrtle Beach area.  Why?  Well, because who doesn't want to retreat to a Nicholas Sparks based novel.  Right?  Yeah, I am that shallow.  But on this solo trip, I envisioned this amazing 14 hour drive, alone, blaring listening to my music (not Three Little Ducks or The Cat Came Back), stopping when I want to stop and seeing what I want to see.  Upon arrival to my Nichaolas Sparks novel setting, I envisioned staying in a little room near a beach.  I would do nothing but sight see, run, read, rest, run, rest, eat yummy food and read some more.  I envisioned this being my agenda for about three days before driving home feeling refreshed and renewed in life.

When I see her smile like this, all is perfect in my world.  :)

In her world, blue ice cream with sprinkles and "nim nims" make everything perfect.

Instead, I did three days in the Dells with the fam.  Was it nice?  Sure.  Did I make amazing memories with the family?  Sure.  Do I feel that renewed sense of self that I so desperately needed?  Not at all.  So yeah....I wrap up this spring break feeling the slightest resentment (at myself) I knew I would.  I need to be my own advocate.

My break wasn't all bad...I did get highlights in my hair.  I got my eye doctor appointment done, and ordered new glasses (my current pair is about 4, maybe 5 years old).  I balanced our check book and cleaned the house.  But aside from that, my feet have yet to hit the pavement (thank you, Mother Nature, for the rainy and cold weather), I haven't picked up a book and the only "rest" I have had is at midnight when I sit up thinking about the things that I wanted to get away from.  Yes, pity party for one, please.

The whole running thing stems from the fact that I volunteered to co-coach the 5th grade running club.  Yeah, the girl that can barely walk the block without becoming winded.  Running Club.  Hold me!  This is going to be rough.  So my goal was to build my stamina over spring break.  Didn't happen.

I think that most moms feel that strong desire to just get away.  Or, I hope they do.  I sure would feel like a mommy fail if I am the only one that just wants a break. 

My plan didn't work out.  So I'm working to make the best of it. 

Kinley and I had some great bonding time and we really had fun together.  She had a play date yesterday with a co-worker's little girl.  She had so much fun.  Last night, we went to her swimming class and today her ballet lesson.  Being a mom sometimes is more than you ever dreamed that you bargained for, but it's a life that I can't imagine doing anything else.

School is over in just about 7 weeks.  I then have my summer break to get back on top of things, feel renewed, become the mommy that my little girl deserves and get the ball back in my court.  We have a renewed zoo membership to use and I am hoping to spend a lot of time outside with my baby girl.  My feet will hit the pavement and I will become a runner.  Somehow, someway.  :)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas Traditions

When we expanded our family and welcomed Miss Kinley Grace into our lives, we held tight to one major rule:  We would always be home for Christmas.  We both live a decent distance from our families.  Mine is about 3 ish hours south and his is about 5 ish hours south.  We are lessening our travel as the months go by, which is good.  But we almost always are on the road for holidays.  We are the ones to travel.  Easter, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving.... and Christmas.  But our rule of being home for Christmas is number one.  We will travel to celebrate before the holiday or after, but Kinley wakes up on Christmas morning in her own house.  Not too much to ask, no?

Last year wasn't too bad.  She was super young, didn't care too much about the gifts.  We opened presents and then traveled to my parents house around lunch time.  This year, it will be different.  My in-laws are going on a cruise, so we won't celebrate with them until after the new year.  My family is celebrating the Sunday before.  This is the first time (since Kinley) that we have no where to be on Christmas day.

At first, I was a little sad.  But then I realized what a golden opportunity I had before us.  We can start our traditions this year.  What do we want Christmas day to be like for Kinley?  What traditions do we want to carry on year after year?  What do we remember from our childhood that just made the day "Christmas!" 

So with that, we started to discuss making a big Christmas dinner.  Yes, it's just the three of us, and well, what's the point....but the point is that it is our family.  We deserve just as much a celebration--even if there are only three of us.  I still get kind of teary thinking of not being with our families on Christmas day, but I want to be home.  That trumps all.

We have hopes that someday the families will travel up here to spend the holidays with us (at least some of the holidays) but until then...Christmas will be ours.  And spending it in a car is not how we want to spend the day.

What we're thinking, so far, is visiting a new church for midnight mass (why not break it in on the busiest night of the year!), a special cinnamon roll breakfast after opening presents, watching a Christmas movie together, preparing a nice meal (ham, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, corn, green beans, deviled get the idea) and then.....  we're not sure what.  That's where the blog community comes in.  Help me plan a day to remember....

What is the timeline of your Christmas day?  Do you have a special breakfast?  Do you prepare a big meal?  What dish is special for Christmas day?  Do you watch special movies?  I'm open for ideas and suggestions!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Have Faith

I pulled out the sweater that is the closest to green that I's totally a "teacher sweater" but I don't care.  Yesterday afternoon, I went in to school to work on my plans for the week.  It's something that I've done almost every weekend since late August.  I actually enjoy the solitude of a silent school building.  But yesterday, I needed Richie to come with me.  I needed the extra strength of someone there with me.
He walked me in and get me situated in my classroom.  My classroom is the first room on the left past the office.  He had me step out of my classroom to see how much of me or my door could be seen from the office, just in case.  We discussed the lock down plan that my school has in place and how I could make it safer for my students.  After some time, we agreed that I was okay for him to go and run an errand.  So he left, and I stayed in that solitude.
I couldn't work.  I stared out the tiny rectangular glass window in my classroom door.  I stared as if I were waiting and watching.  I heard noises that normally wouldn't make me think twice.  I texted Richie to tell him that I couldn't do it.  I couldn't be alone there.
This is a room where I have spent countless hours.  I have spent many nights, weekends, holidays.  This is a room full of life and color and love.  But that day, it was empty.
As I got ready for work today, I couldn't help but think of the teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary that started their Friday in much the same way.  Thinking of their plans for the day.  Seeing the students that you call your own.  Making plans for the holiday...asking yourself if you got everything that was on your list.  They didn't see this coming.  None of us did.
We teach.  We aren't soldiers.  We have hearts and love for the students that walk into our classroom and trust us with their precious minds.  We aren't programmed to handle the stress and fear that comes with the job nowadays. 
Our school is holding an emergency meeting today, to discuss how things will be changed and affected since Sandy Hook.  I was happy to have my family to hold close this weekend in the fall of this tragedy.  But today, I can't help but look forward to seeing my other 27 children that I hold dear to my heart as well.  Children whom I would go to the ends of the earth to protect.  I want to be there to allow their sense of security and safety to rebuild.  To rebuild my own sense of security and safety. 
Right now, it's shattered.  Being home alone while Kage is silently sleeping (in my bed) makes me fear the unknown.  What happened to the United States?  The people are not supposed to live with this fear.  The fear that one of our own will turn on us. A silent face in the crowd.
My husband kissed me an extra time this morning, and hugged me before he left.  He's afraid too.  I'm not sure how long it will take to feel secure again, but I look forward to a day where I don't fear going out and taking my baby with me.  I look forward to a world that I can have faith in again.
My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims.  So close to Christmas, their loved ones were taken away.  The Christmas tree will be a reminder of this tragic loss.  The gifts have been purchased, their beds lay empty.  Their rooms still have the crumpled PJs on the floor from the night before.  Their favorite cereal is in the pantry.  Their toys still on the floor.  I couldn't handle it.  I'm sure they haven't slept--haven't eaten--haven't breathed a breath without regret for what they wish they could have or would have said if they had only known.
Today I'm wearing my green and white to honor those lost at Sandy Hook Elementary, my thoughts are with you.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

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