Saturday, August 28, 2010

Back to School!

It's Back to School Time!!  This is kind of a bittersweet time for me.  I have had such a wonderful summer with my munchkins, that it was really hard to go back to school leaving them everyday.  But, it also is nice to have a little "break" from 24/7 kid time.  It's amazing that I can go to work to get a break!  Ha!  It's a working break, but it can be a silent break (close the door and I can actually think--haven't done that in 3 months!)

This is from Day Two...I just like her uniform & hairdo better!
Madie started first grade this year.  She was definitely excited to see her friends.  She was too excited about the rest of it, but you could tell that she was looking forward to this new adventure.  She started a full two days ahead of Jack due to the kindergartners staggered start, and I think she liked that little bit of independence from everyone.  Since she started the same day I started, I couldn't take her to school.  You have no idea how guilty I feel!  She said it was OK, but I do feel like I let her down a bit.  Ah...the never ending feeling of a working mom.  Thank goodness I at least have June, July and August to make it up!

This is her First Day of First Grade!!!
Jack's first day of Kindergarten went pretty smoothly, except for the fact that he woke up sounding like a seal.  The poor kid and his allergies!  He did this last May too.  I decided to send him to school.  It was his first day of school!  I couldn't imagine him missing it!  Usually, the cough is better by mid-morning anyways.  I emailed his teacher and warned her of his allergies and told her not to hesitate if he isn't feeling well to call.  Grandma was on call all day just in case!
First Day of Kindergarten!!!

Since I was emailing anyways, I thought I'd ask his teacher if Jack could be call either by his full name or just Jack.  When naming him, I never thought about how bad it would sound in preschool when he was called by his first name, last initial.  We found out that the little ones don't realize it...but their parents do... "Jack S"  is not all that appropriate!  Luckily, he's the only Jack in his class this year and his teacher was on board with not starting the last initial fiasco again :0)

I love that Jack loves school.  Even though he felt a little punk...he was still excited to journey into the many years of education before him!  He was really looking forward to it.  

Second day of school for Jack...has yet to happen.  The night after his first day, he came home and laid on the couch.  By 6 pm he had a temperature.  He was up all night (and so were we) and his cough got worse.  Poor little buddy!  Thank goodness for grandmas!!  He spent all of Friday watching movies and going to the doctors.  
Putting his bag away and taking out his lunchbox.  Such a big boy!!

Now that it's the weekend...he still sounds terrible!  I think he felt a little better because he was wild this morning.  His meds usually do that to him...lucky me.  By nighttime though, still not feeling well and sounding worse!  I hope he is better by Monday.  I'd hate for him to miss out on all the beginning of school bonding time!  Get better soon, Bubba!!!
Ready to Learn!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Madie's Flip Flop Friend Birthday Party!!

My little girl is turning 7 years old!  It is unbelievable how quickly time flies...I sure wish it would slow down!  Since Madie's birthday is in September, I usually try to throw her "kid" party before school starts.  She's lucky to have a summer party, and even luckier to sometimes get to have it at the lake!
I thought I'd just blog the highlights of our flip flop birthday extravaganza!  :0)
I tried to decorate the deck a bit, here are the flip flops that I decorated with paint pens for each of the party goers.  I especially liked the lady bug ones.  I also added little tin centerpieces that I made to highlight Madie's birthday party.

More decorations for the deck.  I found flip flop garland and put up the balloon wreath I made in the center of the deck.  We also had blue, white, pink and yellow paper globes hanging up.

This is the Snack Shack!  I think this was a big hit.  I loaded buckets full of snacks.  I didn't want to attract bugs, so I opted for bags of chips, rice krispie treats and fruit snacks.  The framed photo I edited with --it's Madie fishing at the lake and it says "Snag a Snack!"

Another favorite spot of the partiers...the "Cool Down" center.  I decorated spray bottles and loaded them with cold water and placed them in a basket full of ice.  Again, the framed photo is Madie underwater edited with picnik.  By the end of the day, they became fun water "guns" and they worked really well!

The party crew!  (missing a few--wish I would have taken another one after everyone was there!)  Everyone also had a bucket on the break wall with their name on it for them to use on the beach.

I found the craziest pinata--a big shoe, that slightly resembled a flip flop.  I decorated around the tree and the fish with some potted mums and another  little flower tin that I made.

Being at the lake, I had to improvise a bit on the cake.  I had originally planned on doing just rainbow cupcakes.  When I iced the first dozen...the icing melted overnight.  What a pain!  So, I had made a tiny cake from the leftover batter and I decided I should decorate it for the party in case I needed extra.  Not the prettiest cake, but it tasted yummy!

Inside a cupcake... a little rainbow :0)
We even got out the parachute for some extra fun when the beach was getting too hot!

Present Time on the deck.  After Madie opened presents, she handed out the last of the "goodie bag" prizes--a CD with Madie's favorite songs that I decorated with a flip flop.  So far, I've heard that many are enjoying Madie's top picks!  
The Birthday Girl!  Happy Birthday, Princess!  I hope you had a wonderful party :0)

Friday, August 13, 2010

More Crafting :0)

Today, we ran into Madie's friend at Walmart and decided to invite her to come over and play.  This sparked an interest in making a craft.  I had seen these super cute Post-It note holders on Sisters' Stuff and have been wanting to make at least some version of it.  This is what we came up with.  

Hard at work decorating their holders

Love the concentration

Our Final Holders.  Don't you love how Jack's "Playground" sticker is upside down?  Classic Jack.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Guinea Pigs

Today was an emotional day. We found a new home for our lovable little guinea pigs. I am so happy to have found a home that will love, spoil and not separate our buddies, but it was definitely hard to part with them. Madie took it the hardest. She cried all morning. I will say, though, she did amazing at the hand off. She held onto them and showed their new little girl how they liked to be held and talked to. It was me that was the baby--I bawled through most of it. It is definitely for the best--no worries about allergies and no worries about all of the work involved. I hope that the family will love them and spoil them as much as they deserve!

Sweetheart (above)--the momma
Snowball (above)--the baby
Rockstar (above)--the daddy

Hugs and Kisses little Buddies! We will miss you!!!

**Crazy "Baker Moment" during the hand off: Snowball jumped out of the box that we were transferring him in and crawled under the van in the parking lot of Wendy's at the outlets in Monroe. It took FOREVER to get him out of there. We had quite the crowd forming to watch us all calling for "Snowball" under the van and to watch my butt in the air while I tracked him under the car. Luckily for us, their new little girl is a tiny 6-year old and was able to crawl under the van and catch him. So lucky he didn't get hurt! I was worried about his poor little paws on that hot pavement. Such a fiasco!

Fun with Mandie, Cori & Gavin :0)

This week, I was given the opportunity to go to Birch Run Outlets WITHOUT my kiddos! It was seriously the best gift anyone could ever give me. My friend, Mandie offered and I jumped at the opportunity to have a kidless shopping experience. Luckily for the kids, Mandie is awesome and took them to the 577 Foundation on a river walk, Pizza Hut buffet for lunch and then an afternoon of swimming. As a kid, who could blame them when they "booed" Mandie when it was the end of the day. I thought the funniest thing was when she dubbed my mini van the "swagger wagon". I could definitely not pull off that cool of a vehicle!

Thanks again, Mandie!!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Family and Fishing

My kids are beginning to love fishing. They aren't real sure about taking the fish off the hook yet, but they enjoy the rest of the experience. Drew's uncle has a pond in his backyard stocked full of blue-gill and other kinds of fish that apparently practically jump onto the hook each time it's cast! We were invited out for fishing and dinner this past Sunday and the entire evening was a wonderful time. The kids were able to fish, play with Mandy the dog, go on a little boat, ride on a golf cart and succeed in driving their dad crazy. All in all it was a fun time!
This was the view from their back porch. I could get used to that!
Each time the kids caught a fish, Uncle Marty wanted them to kiss it! Here is Madie catching one, but she was already pulling away--ready to run after Marty de-hooked the fish. This went on the entire evening. She eventually let him let the fish kiss her cheek :0)
Jack, on the other hand, didn't want to kiss a fish--but offered to kiss the worm! What is with this kid? He cracks me up and drives me crazy all in the same breath! He had so much fun that night. They have a little Maltese name, Mandy. Needless to say, she didn't walk much while we were there. Jack kept carrying her anytime he could get his hands on her. Every time she'd be down, I tried to encourage her to RUN! get away while you can! She didn't listen. It's crazy how a dog can be so loving and trusting around a 5-year-old like Jack.
Peaceful little fishermen :0) It's amazing how fishing can calm the crazy beasts when needed!
I love this shot--mainly because I'm pretty far away and am totally zoomed it--but Jack still knew that I'd want to see a smile :0)

I Love my Kids!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Birthday Preparations

Madie is turning seven in just a month. It is CRAZY how fast time flies! Since her birthday is in September (which is one of the busiest months for a teacher mom) we usually try to fit in her "friend" birthday before school starts. Lucky for her, almost all of my friends around her have little girls her age that have been perfect guests for a party! So, not only was it a party for was a get together for moms, too. (Jack hasn't been so lucky...last year was his first friend party. Don't think I don't feel super guilty for that! Oh well...) This year will be the first year that Madie has actually picked the entire guest list of friends that she goes to school with. It should be a lot of fun.

Last year, we started the tradition of having her party at the lake. Lucky girl! We had a lot of fun and can't wait for a return party. We will basically be doing the same party, so I have been trying to think of interesting ways to decorate or organize the party to make it more interesting, fun and crafty! Major props go out to my friend, Michelle, for being a party queen and making me want to have some cool party features as well. I hope I can make it even half as cool as her parties!

Last year, we just went strictly beach theme...sand buckets, ice cream pinata...nothing too crazy.
I'm thinking that I need to step it up a little for this year, since it is a similar party. I have some ideas that I'm excited to do...if you have any suggestions for a "flip-flop" beach party, I'd love to hear them!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Can't believe it is August!

Where does the summer go? Cross Country already started and that just means that school will be starting again soon! Hard to believe!! Last year, Madie started running Cross Country for school. I never knew that it started to young, but it was a really great experience for her and she got to meet some friends that she'd be in class with. For kindergarten, that was awesome! I also think that running is a great sport. It is something that they can both do for the rest of their lives!

This season, it will be so nice to have Jack involved as well. Last year, he had soccer games at the same time as CC meets. It was a nightmare trying to get to see everyone play! This will be so wonderful to go to one event and see both kids. Already at practices, it is really great to have both involved.

I love this photo of Madie last year at a meet with her two friends. I also LOVE their CC motto: Follow My Lead.
So far, I haven't seen many kindergarten boys yet to get to be friends with Jack yet...there's time. I'll be scoping out the parents soon!

Madie's favorite part of the meet is getting to spray her hair green. She even had green hair at the morning meet before being a flower girl last year at her godmother's wedding! That was a busy day!
Follow My Lead!