Monday, February 22, 2010

Picking up blocks...

I can't believe that this is my last week as a stay-at-home momma. I am back to work on March 1st! How quickly time has passed by since Noah's birth! Almost 10 weeks ago... he changes every day. I am blessed to have a wonderful woman who takes care of my daughter each day I am teaching. My step-mother will be keeping the baby until the end of the school year. What a blessing!

As I am sitting here on the couch, checking my email and watching my sweet little pumpkin play, I am amazed at how much she has picked up/mimicked lately.

For Christmas, I bought her a set of mega blocks. She LOVES them. The first thing she does when she enters the family room is pick up that container and dumps them all over the floor. She builds with them, hides them, and (unfortunately) throws them around the room. Each day, we pick up those blocks 4 or 5 times. When I say "we", I am speaking of my husband and myself. We try to engage Selah in the process... singing songs (It's time to put the blocks away, blocks away...), making a game of racing to put them in the container... anything to get her to put them away with us. Once every ten times, it may or may not work. This afternoon, I hear "Away! Away! Yeah!!" I look up to see her putting a block in the container. I say nothing... sitting perfectly still, as to not disrupt this moment... Again, I hear "Away! Away! Yeah!!" I am almost afraid to breathe... I don't want her to stop! On the third time, I joined her in her excited "Yeah!!" The next time, she looked at me, as if inquiring "aren't you going to cheer with me?" So, I cheered her on! How exciting to see her put almost all of her blocks away!!! What a sweet moment. It just proves how closely kids watch us and our actions, copying our excitement, even in the most mundane tasks. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we all mirrored our Heavenly Father's excitement... even as He helps us clean up the daily messes we make out of our lives!

I am so proud of Selah... even as she picked up the container and dumped it back all over the floor...

What a sweet blessing she is. How amazed am I that God revealed a little of His Love and Truth in a 19 month old's actions!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A New Adventure...

I have had a few anxiety attacks in my life. Most occurred after my mom passed away from cancer almost seven years ago. One a few years ago, days before my wedding. And, last night.

My husband and I decided it was time to buy a house. The process has been quick, in order to get the tax credit by April 30 (moving in before July 1st on a new build). Well... we have decided to build a house out in Cibolo.

As we were preparing to go to the design studio, we sat down to decide what we definitely wanted to "upgrade" and what we could live without. Garden tub with a separate walk-in shower: definitely! Tile throughout the house: maybe later (I prefer wood floors anyway!). So many choices! Then, while adding them all up - the panic began to set in... first, the heart rate increases... then, breathing increases, turns shallow, and a paper bag is needed... my poor husband. "Do you need a bag? Where are the bags? We have no bags?!?! Breathe., but not too fast!"

We managed to make some decisions, and agreed to make other choices at the deco place.

So, we make it to the design studio. Now, I am pretty impressed with the standard things that this builder and community has in place. But, of course, I want to upgrade the carpet to something a little more forgiving (since we have 2 kiddos under the age of 2). The cabinets upgraded... the counter tops... I wanted to bay window in the kitchen nook and the extended patio. In the long run - we would never find anyone willing to enlarge the patio for that cheap later anyway! We will build/add-on our own patio cover next year.

As we finished up, I had to write another check (gulp), but it wasn't as much as I thought it would be (sigh...).

I was proud of BJ (my hubby). We were able to compromise on the brick and siding colors. He gave me input when I asked, but let me pick the colors I wanted. We both agreed on the wall colors, the carpet, floors, tile, etc. He let me pick the kitchen colors because "that's your area". He knows how much I love to be in my kitchen, not to mention - he loves to eat what I make!

So, after that, we were off to meet with the mortgage company. Pretty painless at this point. Just exploring our options and getting all the documentation we need in place. Now, when the time comes to sign all those papers, BJ will be sure to have a paper bag with my name on it handy!

As the build begins in a few weeks, I will post pictures and updates. Exciting and scary - all rolled into one!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Some days, the reality hits that I am 32 years old, married, and the mother of two beautiful children. When I say "reality", I mean the messy house. Then there is my 19 month old daughter running around, getting into EVERYTHING and telling me "no" or smacking my hand when I keep her from exhibiting her independence in such a way that she could hurt herself or her brother. Her brother is 2 months old. He is who I affectionately refer to as my "swine flu baby". I thought I had the swine flu last May... turns out I was having him instead! So in the midst of the chaos, I feel the effects of getting older... in my knees and back... and see the effects in the mirror in the form of all these pesky silver hairs streaking through my red! When I wanted to see the silver lining in life, it most definitely was NOT in my hairline!!

I will, however, miss this daily reality when I have to return to work on March 1st... back to the daily adventures in Kindergarten. When people ask what grade I teach, I always get the same response... "Oh, you teach kindergarten? It must be so much fun to play all day long, take naps and eat snacks!" What I wouldn't trade for THAT reality!! But, alas, that's not close to what Kindergarten is. Try - teaching 60 minutes of math, 90 minutes of reading, 45 minutes of Science, 45 minutes of Social Studies, 30 minutes for lunch, 40 minutes of "specials" (PE, music or art) and 15 minutes of recess. No naps... no snacks... and the only "playing" they get to do is in the 15 minutes of recess and any morsel of time I can justify integrating one of the academics into some sort of game or learning center. If they get time on a computer, it's utilized to complete a technology program which bores me to tears. However, at the same time, I want to rip my hair out because they are crying that they don't know what to do... usually because:
a) they weren't listening to the program/lesson
b) the earphones don't work
c) the volume was turned down
d) several of the above

So, obviously, it's not the same old Kindergarten we attended as children. These kiddos have to be reading before they leave for 1st grade. Not a few words... sentences. Plus, comprehending what they are reading! It's a little frustrating, to say the least. I see so many with no imagination. And, the best place to learn to use your imagination, is where? PLAYING! ANYWHERE! In order to be a successful reader, one must be a risk-taker. How does one become a risk-taker? Anyone? hmmm... through PLAY... that's my final answer.

So, when my sweet baby girl is playing with her blocks or her farm house or with boxes out of the recycle bin - I let her make the biggest mess she wants to. I am not going to interfere with her imagination at work. I join her, watch her and encourage her. We are tyring to learn how to clean up, but if I have to take extra time after she drifts off to dreamland.... so be it. And when my little boy is old enough, I will have double the chaos... so, in closing, let me say - I love the mess that is my home!