Saturday, May 31, 2008

Camping, School and Selling Houses

Have you ever been camping? Well, I had only done so once, that I could remember, and it was NOT a positive experience.

Well, all that changed over Memorial Day weekend. The hubbies family gets together every Memorial Day weekend for a big family camping trip in Arkansas. We slept in tents, and cooked over campfires and Coleman stoves. One of the families brought a boat and let the kids wake-board and water ski. E played in the water and had big fun throwing rocks. The water was chilly, but the weather was perfect!

We all ate good, and had a really good visit. The hubby tried to help one of the kids fly a kite on the peak we were camping on, but the wind would not cooperate. Momma Jo brought E some bubbles, a big ball and sidewalk chalk, all of which were a big hit with all the kids. Grandma did not camp, but came down from the Village a couple of days to visit during the day. She also brought E containers of Strawberries, one of her favorite fruits! Yum, yum! One evening, one of the uncles/cousins cooked steaks for everyone....fantastic! The next night, the hubby cooked up jerk chicken and pineapple-soy chicken, and I supplied smashed sweet potatoes.....they seemed to be a big hit, so we were pleased.

I have recovered from my bad camping experience, and would -definitely- do it again! The hubby is thrilled, and already planning our next outing. And I have gathered up a bunch of 'must bring next time' and a bunch of 'don't bring next time' lists! :o)

E has completed her second week at Montessori school. She still cries when we drop her off, but even that is starting later and later, and ending pretty quick. She is always so happy when we pick her up. The other day, when I was returning from picking her up, I told her that the K family was coming over for dinner, and she would get to play with her friends, the K Kids...she immediately got excited and started say "and Noah, and Mia, and Ms. Connie..." just listing off her teachers and other classmates. I thought, wow, this dinner party just got BIG. :o)

So we are convinced that she really does like school, just hates being dropped off. We are hopeful that tis will not continue for too much longer.

On a different topic, We Sold The Old House!!!!!! We are so relieved! It only took a little over one year to do so, but it is all over now! Yay! Now we are down to just the one house, and we have a pretty aggressive plan to try to pay it off early.

The hubby is considering a job change and I am still looking for a new job myself. Those two fronts keep us pretty busy.

It has reached 90 degrees pretty consistently, so we are definitely in the throws of 'swim season.' I was joking with the hubby, and asked, 'once we get our finances a little more stable, can we hire a pool-boy?' He laughed and said, 'no, let's get a maid instead.' Yeah, that's sound better. :o) But I do wonder, who is going to clean up -before- the maid arrives?? Hhmmm.....

We shall see....we shall see....

Love to All!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

School has started....we are on Day Four...

So....we started E in Montessori School on Monday. I'm attaching her picture in her school uniform. Sure, she looks all happy in the picture, but that expression did not remain.
Once we arrived, she remembered the last time we were here, she was left without us all day! NOT HAPPY! She cried for about 20 minutes. I know this because I was in the lobby with the hubby filling out the remaining paperwork, and I could hear her. It was heartbreaking.
By the time we left, we peeked in and she was sitting with one of the teachers playing with a doll, dressing and undressing it, but all red-faced and puffy-eyed.
So we left. Then it was my turn to cry. The hubby called to check on her a few hours later, and was told that she cried that morning, but had recovered and enjoyed the rest of the day, with a few intermittent crying episodes during the day.
We have her scheduled until 5pm. However, around 2:45pm, the hubby starting asking me -repeatedly- if I wanted to go and get her at 3pm. Finally I asked him if HE wanted to go and get her....or if he just wanted me to say I wanted to go get her so HE didn't have to admit that HE actually wanted to go get her! Whatever....we went and got her at 3:30pm.
She was sitting at the table having her afternoon snack, looked like a little peanut butter sandwich. The teachers saw us watching through the window, so they gently started encouraging her to eat her snack. Eventually they asked her if she want to save it for later, and wrapped it up in a paper towel. Then off for a quick hand-washing.
Then they told her that we were there. She started looking around trying to find us, and doing a little 'happy dance' with her feet.
Finally she saw us looking at her through the window in the door. She yelled "MAMA!!!" and started running toward the door. Then she stopped, put the sandwich on the floor, and continued running, into my open arms. She was so happy to see us! And we were very happy to see her!
The teachers all reported she had done well for the first day. She passed out hugs and told everyone bye, and we headed to the house.
The hubby and I had discussed during the day, what could we do to help her during this transitional period. So we had landed on putting her to bed a little earlier, and seeing if she would be up by 7am, and focusing on continuing her 'normal morning routine' before getting ready for school. We did not do this on Day One.
So E went to bed at 8:30pm, instead of 9, and went right down. In the morning, the hubby went into her room at 7am, and turned off her sound machine and left the door open....she toddled out shortly thereafter.
The morning of Day Two at home was more 'normal' for her. But the drop off resulted in the same reaction. Screaming and crying and clinging to my legs and then trying to climb into the hubby's arms. Not a good scene. But we did not hang out in the lobby this time. I did not cry today, but yes, I called later on in the morning to check to see if she had calmed down. She had, and was having her morning snack with her classmates. All was good. And the hubby and I even managed to refrain from picking her up until 4:30pm.
Day Three: We went through the same early-to-bed, early-to-rise routine this morning. She woke up a little weepy. She cried a few times during the night, so I was not surprised. We went through our regular routine, with the exception of her starting to whine a little bit when we were getting her dressed. She started to cry when we put her in the car seat, and she only stopped when we distracted her by pointing out all of the buses on the streets as we drove (E is a FOOL for School Buses). But, again, screaming, crying, clinging when we left. This time, the school administrator told us to not go into the classroom. Just walk to the door and let one of the teachers come and take her from us, without going into the classroom with her. This will help coral the children already in the class, and help to prevent anyone accidentally getting hit by the door or trying to escape. She was still crying as we walked out the front door to head to the truck. Today I backslid. I started crying too. But pickup time came at 4:30pm, and we found her outside with her class, happy. REALLY happy once she saw us :o)
Today is Day Four. Although she slept good last night, I think the jig is up. Today she started full on crying when we started putting on her school uniform. She kept saying "momma I want to go home." I kept saying, "E, you -are- home." But I knew what she meant...that she wanted to -stay- home. She cried through her requested breakfast of cereal with milk and a banana, of which she ate very little. She cried as we were getting in the car. She stopped on the drive over, but, alas, started up again the second we stopped in front of the school. As we entered the building, we could hear other kids crying. When we walked to E's class, one of the teachers came to unlock to door. Evidently, there were two new children today in her class, and one of them knew how to operate a door knob! So as we dropped off our crying child, bringing the total number of crying children in the room up to THREE, I started crying before I even got out the front door. "She hates it" I told the hubby. He said, "she hates the drop-off, but she is always happy shortly there after." He is worried that I might have problems dropping her off tomorrow.
You see, he is going out of town on business today, and will not be here to either pickup this afternoon or drop off Friday morning. I told him, yes, I will still bring her...and leave her ...until at least 3pm.
But I have to be honest. All of this crying is really starting to get to me. I'm not a big 'crier' and this is just starting to wig me out a bit. Could be all the hormones I'm on too...
Needless to say, I'm looking forward to Saturday......when there will be No School! Yay!! And hopefully no crying....for anyone!
Love to All!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Montessori or Daycare

So we are currently looking into Montessori Schools for E. I'm extremely anxious about this unavoidable event. I've been her primary source of EVERYTHING for a little over 2 years, with the hubby being a close Secondary source. However, she is nearing that time in her life where School will be necessary. The hubby went to a Montessori school as a young student and genuinely loved it. He wants the same for E.

I went to regular public schools, with the exception of one year spent in a private Church-run school. I found the majority of the time spent in public school, I was generally bored and unchallenged. I am hoping to provide a better learning experience for E.

However, the notion of dropping her off all day under the care and attention of someone else is quite frightening. But I'm trying to go back to work, and I would rather a Montessori over a regular Daycare...not thrilled with either, but that is just me being the overly protective 'momma bear.'

We are still trying to sell our old house, and hope to get sometime this week a few offers...we have been told by our Realtor that 2 potentials are in the works. It would be great to get out from under that house!

We are hoping that I can find a job within 2 months, and that income will help pay for the schooling and some much needed Energy Efficiencies on our existing house. So everyone keep your fingers crossed and say a little prayer for us!

Meanwhile, we have been planting some flowers, vegetables and spices around the property. Just a few beds, not all of them, as there are LOTS...trying to work with a limited 'flower budget' :o) But we have been blessed with good weather and rain for all the new baby plants, so that is optimistic.

We are looking forward to the Deaton Memorial Day Camping Trip in Arkansas. It should be really fun, and we are all looking forward to seeing the extended family again!

I guess that is about it for now.
Love to you all!