Monday, May 30, 2011

Summer is here!!

After what seemed like weeks and weeks of rain and dreary weather, Summer has arrived! It is really hot - today 95 and really humid. We start the day in the pool out back and spend any time outside up to the neck in water. That is - the kids do - there is no way I would set foot in that pool!
I've finally gotten some furniture for our front porch. I've been waiting to find something that I liked that was also a reasonable price. I found these at Cost Plus World Market - they were on sale AND I had a coupon so they were very reasonable! I didn't know if I'd had enough room for 2 chairs and the bench so I started out with one chair but ordered another one and it should be here soon! As a side note - pea plants make for a very nice privacy fence!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Aidan's Last Day of Kindergarten

Today was Aidan's last day of Kindergarten - again! This time it seemed a lot more real since next fall he will be going into 1st grade. He's had a lot of anxiety during the past few nights about not wanting to leave Ms. Tejkowski's class. Since he can remember, the end of the school year means a new school. He did 2 years at Tauxemont Preschool in Virginia but he doesn't remember both years - he was 2 1/2 when he started the first year. After his second year at Tauxemont he did one year in England and then moved here. 3 schools and he's only just finishing Kindergarten - poor kid! Come to think of it, Emmy will be on her 3rd school next year as well!
Here's Aidan today with his teacher:Here he was on the first day of school - back in August:

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Aidan's Field Day

Aidan had field day on Friday. It was a nightmare - chaotic, poorly run and hot - seriously 90 degrees with 90% humidity and no wind. The kids moved with their grades from station to station. One station was tug of war - but I missed that because I was dropping the girls off - then they played on the playground, then they hopped on big bouncy balls with handles, then they jumped on a bouncy castle inside, then they did sack "races" (more like hopping around in sacks with no supervision except for the parents who were there to watch), then the play tag. I think Aidan had an OK time but I think he liked buying snacks from the PTO table the best of everything!!
Here's Aidan waiting in line to jump on the bouncy castle - it was cool inside!!If nothing else, Aidan is awesome at sack races!!3 legged race using a sack - at least they didn't fall on their faces like most of the kids did!!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Emmy's Last Day of School

Friday was Emmy's last day at St. Mary's Preschool. She has really loved being in Ms. Debbie's class and has had an all around great year. It's also been really nice for me to meet some great people - both Clarksville natives and other military moms who are in other units and who I wouldn't have met otherwise. Aoife will be starting in the 2's class in the fall so it wasn't quite as sad a day for me as some of the other moms - or maybe it's just because it's our 5th school. Can't get quite as emotional when you've been through it so many times!
Emmy on the way to school:Emmy with Hadley and Charlee - I think I can safely say that I have giants for children:Emmy's class had a picnic on the last day - great idea and beautiful weather!!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Potty Training Aoife - day 1


The dreaded Potty Training started today. The end result is really worth it but as I'm sure you know, the process is sooooo much work for everyone involved. Today is day 1 so we started out like usual. Last night we talked about the potty and how she was going to only wear underwear today - yesterday she wore underwear over her diaper. The first part of the morning was going well. I set the timer for 20 minutes and every time it went off I put her on the potty starting from when she woke up. Remember - I said this is a lot of work! Dry underpants for an hour - through breakfast even. She had just sat on the potty and hadn't peed. Since it had been so long since she woke up, I knew it was coming. About 2 minutes after sitting on the potty she peed - all over the floor. It surprised her and she just looked down and watched the puddle around her feet get bigger and bigger. I sat her on the potty, cleaned up the floor and explained that her Dora underpants had to go in the laundry because they were wet. I got her another pair of Dora underpants - not quite as good because they weren't pink. We went outside so that when she had another accident I wouldn't have to mop again. When the timer went off we tried again - no dice. 20 more minutes and she went on the potty! Woohoo!!! I got over confident. More juice, more timer - 20 more minutes - no pee. 20 more minutes - still no pee. 2 minutes later - pee all over the ground. I put her back on the potty and nothing. 2 minutes later - in another pair of underwear - another accident. Ugh. I hate this cycle. She has an accident but doesn't empty her bladder. On the potty she is still a little upset and doesn't pee although she needs to so once she gets off the potty and relaxes then she has another accident. I just keep reminding myself that this is day 1 and she is learning. It is still very frustrating and not the best day for the neighbor to be trying to push her kids off onto you or for your husband to call from Afghanistan - sorry Bren!!!! So by lunch time we have gone though 4 pairs of wet underwear and peed in the potty twice. Not so bad really! Lunch and naptime in a diaper is a relief for everyone. This whole process is exhausting but if you give up and go back then you have to start all over - and really, who wants to do THIS day over again? This afternoon will be a little easier and tomorrow will be even better. In a few weeks she'll be doing great although it really takes a few months to be 100% confident and to not have to know where the closest potty is at ALL times!

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UPDATE:
After Aoife's nap she was like a different kid! She went for almost 4 hours in underwear and didn't have any accidents!! She was even telling me when she needed to go to the potty. Amazing!! Hopefully tomorrow she'll continue to improve!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Picking Strawberries

Emmy, Aoife and I went strawberry picking this morning. It was so much fun!!! Aoife ate her weight in strawberries, Emmy refused to pick even one but was very helpful carrying the bucket! We got a gallon of beautiful strawberries and since there is no way that we can eat all of them I think we have a few pies in our future!!
Starting out - everyone is very clean so far:Aoife having her first strawberry:And her second - why use only one hand??Phew, this is tough stuff carrying the bucket:Finding one:the strawberry aftermath:

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Emmy's End of Year Music Program

Emmy's school had their end of year music program today. The theme was "the beach" so they wore sunglasses and each class had a color to wear - Emmy's was yellow. They performed a few songs and were totally adorable and well behaved. Aoife came with me and was so good! I couldn't believe that she sat on her chair - with the iPad - the entire time and didn't make a fuss at all! I managed to get both photos and video so you are going to be blessed with both. Here's the video and the pictures will come later when I have a few minutes to get them off of the camera!
Emmy is in the 2nd row - just like here mama, cursed forever to be in the back row - behind her friend Charlee who is wearing a big white bow in her hair.
video

video

Monday, May 16, 2011

Aoife's Love Affair with Worms

Since we live on Fort Campbell and they make you jump through hoops to plant a garden I have devised a genius plan to grown tomatoes. Baby pools with holes drilled in the bottom set on wooden pallets that the Class 6 was so nice to donate. I started a compost pile in the back woods when we moved here and now I'm able to use it! I mixed the compost with garden soil that I bought. The best part of the compost pile was the 1,000,000 worms living in there. I put a bunch of them in the pools with the plants and once the kids saw them, they forgot all about planting the tomatoes and started a worm hunt. Aoife decided that she LOVES worms and was in tears when Emmy said that she wasn't being gentle enough and she was going to kill the worm. We had to tell her that the worm needed to go back to its mother for her to put it back in the pool. It reminded me so much of Aidan's lady bug trauma only this time we won't be getting a hamster!
Aoife looking for worms:Aoife - devastated after giving up her worm:

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Nurse's Appreciation Cake

Emmy's preschool teacher asked me to make a cake for the nurses at the nursing home where her brother lives. I had a really hard time coming up with the design for it. Initially she told me that she wanted it to be nursing related and when I did a google search for nurse cakes I found cakes with band aids, syringes, blood, and prescription medication on them. These all made me want to throw up a little in my mouth - not exactly the reaction you want to something that is going to be eaten! I tried to think about the sentiment behind the cake and what she wanted to convey. I imagine that if I was thanking people for taking care of my family I would want them to know how much I respected them and loved them for what they were doing. My designs tend to be simple but I think this one is thoughtful as well. Here is what I came up with. I used the words care, hope, trust and love - I guess love made it onto the other sides! I hope they enjoyed it!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Garden - May 13

First of all - sorry for not posting. Blogger was read only for a while and even now as I type strange things are happening so there's no guarantee that this will post or remain posted. Ugh.

Anyway - our little garden is getting bigger and bigger! The carrots, peas, beans, garlic and onions seem to be doing very well and have weathered the severe storms just fine. We even have flowers on the pea plants so hopefully the first peas of the season will be here soon!Beans:Carrots:Pea flowers!!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

Ahhh - Mother's Day. It's different when there's no Dad around!! No sleeping in - no breakfast in bed that turns into breakfast in bed eaten by three children that leave you with a bed full of crumbs.
Emmy and Aidan both came home with beautiful cards from school and Brendan was very thoughtful to order gifts for me. Both my parents and my sister sent me flowers which was very sweet.
We got up and had a little bit of a slow morning since we didn't need to leave until 9:30. We went to Cheekwood, which is a very large estate in Nashville that has been converted into botanical gardens. It was beautiful and the kids really had a great time running around. Aidan kept saying, "This is really fun! I think we should come back here lots of times!" It may have also had something to do with the large model train exhibit that the kids found enthralling! There were many gardens with lots of different flowers from the color garden to a Japanese garden to rose gardens, perennial gardens and even an herb garden. It was really hot - 92 when we left - so we ran out of steam before we saw a lot of it but that just means we'll have to go back! Here are lots of pictures I took today - they are in no particular order:
Aoife in the Japanese garden:A cardinal:Emmy:Me with the kids during our picnic - I used my mother's day gift - a tiny portable tripod for my camera! It's perfect and maybe there will be more pictures of me in the future!Aidan:Emmy and Aoife playing in the fountain. It was so hot and keeping Aoife out of the fountain was a full time job!Can I just say how much I LOVE their curly hair???The kids walking through the color garden:Us - outside the mansion:this looks like a huge lantern or bird cage!The end of the day - not so much in the mood for group pictures!Dancing on a mosaic:Watching the model trains: