Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Power of Gratitude - Day 2

1. I'm grateful for my husband today. He is usually a person very set in his routine, but today he completely adjusted to accomodate me. After work, he picked up Chelcie and took her to get a dress altered. Then picked up Alaina and waited for Paige to come home to babysit so he could go work out. Then picked up laundry soap and dinner. :) So nice to be able to work till 7pm with no guilt.

2. I'm grateful for my hat, gloves, and scarf. It is cold today!

3. I'm grateful for the 'forgotten' money that I remembered this morning. It is nice to have an extra $115 in savings that I forgot about.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Power of Gratitude - Day 1

A friend recently sent me an article about the power of gratitude. The article moved me - and I quickly accepted a challenge presented in the article to spend the month of December journaling each day about things that I'm grateful for.

Today is December 1st. So here is the start of my journal.

1. I'm grateful for a new friend, Juli from Denver. She is the sweetest and is in town for a few weeks. Looking forward to dinner with her on Thursday.

2. I'm grateful for a husband understanding enough to accept the crazy work hours that I'll have over the next month.

3. I'm grateful to the kind lady at the Dept of Revenue who helped me deal with a tax return amendment issue.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A sad realization

Yesterday, I had to run an errand that I didn't want to take Alaina on... so I called Betty to see if Alaina could come over for an hour or so. I knew Alaina would love the visit. She misses her Betty so much.

After I picked her up, Alaina tells me that she ate two packets of fruit snacks. Clearly these have Red40 and Alaina knew it. I don't know why Betty won't follow my instructions when it comes to this allergy. She either doesn't care, or doesn't agree with me, or doesn't believe me. It makes me sad but also reinforces that it was absolutely the right decision to move Alaina to preschool.

I also have had another talk with Alaina about refusing the Red40, even if she knows the food tastes good.

So, today has been no fun. She is impulsive, not listening to normal instructions, and can't focus. She didn't nap well either. She just appears to be a child with ADHD. Sigh.

So, Alaina can no longer go to Betty's house alone. I'll have to make time take her over there for visits, and won't be able to use her as a back-up babysitter anymore.

I really hope this gets out of her system soon. Last time it took 3 days. I'm scared about how she'll act at the preschool the next few days.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Our Summer: In Pictures

My Summer in Pictures... Enjoy!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Long time, no Blog

The school year is about to begin again, and its sad to see that I haven't blogged all summer.

Looks like I've got some catching up to do!

Paige is going back to school on Thursday. She is starting 8th grade, which is her last grade at this school. She is excited to go back, can't wait to see all of her friends. But is also rather nostalgic that this is her last year before high school and feels like her middle school years have just flown by.

Alaina started preschool a few weeks ago and is doing great. She is adapting well to the structure and it has made hometime much more pleasant.

Chelcie will be starting her Junior year in TX. She was here for a month this summer, and it was a great visit for all of us. Lots of bonding and special time. It was sad to say goodbye.

That is all for now - but will try to do a better job of keeping my blog up-to-date.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Paige was accepted into AVID!!!

Well - since I haven't blogged in months, I guess this is the best topic to blog about, since it was the last post!

Paige has been accepted into AVID.  We are so happy for her.  Tonight was the first parent meeting, where they just went over the basics of the program, the committment by the kids and the committment by the parents.  

Paige will be assigned to one, maybe two, Honors classes. We know she won't be in Algebra because she wouldn't have scored high enough for that. But she might be in Honors English or Honors Social Studies.  

She will also have to take the PSAT next year.  That will be a great experience. 

One of the best parts of this - all three of her best friends were also accepted into AVID.  So, now the four of them will be together through the next five years.  A lot of kids run into conflict with their social group not being in sync with their academic goals - so this will be a really good thing for all of them.  

Paige is also proud to be a part of something that is leveling the playing field - especially for minorities.  

I'll plan on updating regularly (well, once we get into the new school year) about her AVID class and how it is all going.  

Thursday, February 5, 2009

So Proud of Paige

Yesterday’s was Paige’s last parent/teacher school conference for the year.  Despite her sassy mouth and talking too much in class, her teachers really like her and say she adds “spark” to the classroom.  Her grades are great too.  She has 7 As, 1B, and 1C.  I’m proud of her for the effort she is putting forth.  But, even more so – I’m proud of her for what she MIGHT be doing next year!  One of her teachers recommended that she participate in the AVID program that is available for 8th graders.  So, we went to talk to the Leader of the program yesterday to get more information, and an application form.


AVID stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination.  It is a program that targets kids in the middle academically.  The purpose of the program is to provide support to these kids and help them with college eligibility and success.  It takes a very big commitment from the kids too, which is why I’m so impressed with Paige’s desire to participate.  She will be required to take an Honors level class next year ( and I think each year she participates).  She takes an AVID class daily, that is considered one of her “elective” courses so she has to give up other electives to participate.  She is required to carry a HUGE AVID binder with her to all classes and take notes in all of her core classes – for a total of 20 pages of notes a week.  The leader said “even if your friends are taking notes, and your teacher doesn’t tell you to take notes.. you do it for AVID.  And we check your binder each week.” 


They bring in college graduates to talk about different careers and college life.  They get to take tours of college campuses. 


One of the coolest things about this program is that these kids in her AVID group will stay together for 5 years.  When they transfer to High School, the continue in the AVID program for four years in the highschool with the same group of kids that they started with in 8th grade.  What a great support system! 


So, we will fill out the application and cross our fingers that she gets accepted. 


Thursday, January 29, 2009

A Mother's Guilt

Alaina is home sick today – with a stomach bug.  I got a phone call shortly after dropping her off at daycare that she had thrown up 3 times already.  I called Palmer and sent him to pick her up and he is staying home with her today.  But there is that gnawing in my gut that I should be there with my little girl.


I called to talk to her, hoping to offer some comfort, but instead I received the guilt.  Her little sad sick voice saying “Mommy, I need you. I really really need you.”  L 


I know Palmer is completely capable of taking care of her and offering her comfort.  But caring for a sick child is a task that I have a hard time relinquishing.  The babes always want their momma when their sick. 


If it wasn’t for so much work to do, and having missed so much time here in the last month or so, I’d be home with her.  But I just can’t justify leaving work when she has a parent there already to care for her.


Man, I’m bummed.


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Alaina's First Dentist Visit

On Monday morning, Alaina had her first ever visit to the dentist.  Let me say, I was uberly amazed at how incredible she was.  I never expected this wild child of mine to be so calm and relaxing and completely comfortable with the whole experience.


Paige had prepped her the day before, by telling her they would clean her teeth with a little tool that made a “zzzzzz” sound.  So, Alaina had said – I’ll cover my ears!  Paige assured her it wasn’t loud at all. 


Paige and I were also getting our teeth cleaned, and I assumed Alaina would want to watch one of us go first so she could see what it was like – but nope!  My little girl wanted to go first.  She was so eager.  She got up in the chair and relaxed when they leaned her back.  The hygienist showed her all the tools and Paige wasn’t the least bit intimidated.  She got to pick out some purple sunglasses to wear so the light wouldn’t bother her eyes. 


She did everything she was told – opened wide, sucked the straw, held still…. EVERYTHING!  Paige and I sat there in utter amazement with big smiles on our faces.  The hygienist said she’d never had a 3 yr old act like Alaina.  She thought she acted more like her big sis.  Very proud moment. 


I’ll have to remember for next time, if we are all getting cleanings to have Palmer come along and take Alaina home when she is done, as she did get rather antsy.  The hygienist was nice enough to give her a bagel with cream cheese when she began complaining of being hungry.  And when I got my teeth cleaned, Alaina climbed up and laid down on my stomach.  She propped her chin in her hand and watched intently at the work going on in my mouth.


Overall – a wonderful and unexpected first dentist visit! 


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I LOVE Barack Obama!

This morning as I watched my little Alaina walk up the stairs to daycare, I had this overwhelming love for the country she will grow up to know.  She will never be a child that will question her ability to become president - if she chose that path.  For as long as time, a black child never really felt like they could grow up to be president.  Now the day is here where that is a valid dream for the millions of black children in our country. 

Speaking of Alaina - tonight when I turned on the ball - I pointed to the screen and said "who is that?"  Alaina yelled "Arack Abama!"  I said "Yes - He is our President!"  Her response - "Yes!  He is OUR President!  He is my President.  He is Betty's President.  He is Paige's President.  I LOVE Arack Abama!"  

I watched the swearing in this morning at a bar/grill around the corner from my job.  I got their early and got a good seat and was soon joined by a crowd of people, pulling up chairs, standing in rows.  I shared this experience with two friends a crowd of strangers.  It was just as it should be.  
Today is a monumental day.  Not just for our country, but for me personally.  I do believe this is the first day of my life that I have ever felt patriotic. I'm proud to be an American.  I'm proud to be a part of a country full of amazing people who are all so eager to work hard towards a better future for our country.   

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Memories of Grandma

Today I had the pleasure of looking through some of Grandma Berts treasures and finding some things that I can keep as a remembrance.  But it is more than a remembrance, it is a connection. I feel the connection to her through the things that belonged to her. 

Here is a summary:

Jewelry - I was thrilled to find a peridot ring, as Grandma and I shared this as our birthstone.  I also found several bracelets, a necklace, and a few more rings.  

Santas - Grandma collected Santas.  My Uncle Mike (#11) and Aunt Debbie started her collection by buying her a new Santa every year from the time they got married.  So, I have two standing Santas.

Butter Dish - This is a vintage (I assume) glass butter dish with lid, that is that beautiful purple/blue iridescent glass.  

Ashtray - This item was actually my Grandpa Bill's.  It is a vintage glass ashtray that was given to him as a gift when he retired. His coworkers all signed it, and wrote "We'll miss you Bill" on it. 

Doll - I brought home a doll for Alaina to play with.  It is plastic, so it is safe with her.  But still she'll have to be careful with it, because it is so old. 

Zipper art - I'd never heard of such a thing, and didn't know that my Grandma used to do this. She took apart zippers, and glued them in a design on a piece of board my Grandpa cut for her. Then she filled in the spaces of her design with colored sand and glitter. It is really cool!  

The Letter 'A' - Since my grandma's name was Alberta, she had a few items with the letter A on them.  These were set aside for my cousin Amber and I to choose from.  I have two pins, one of which actually has a photo of Paige in it when she was a baby; and also a pink hankerchief with an embroidered 'A'.  

So, I now have many items to fill my home with the love of my grandmother.  It was a nice experience, and surprisingly didn't cause me grief.  I was just able to focus on her love and my memories of her as I sorted through her belongings.  I'm so blessed to have had her in my life.