Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Parker's Turn

    Parker has had an eventful couple of days.  Yesterday was his first trip to the dentist.  Jackson and Mia had been telling him how much they love the dentist, and that he would get a prize and a new toothbrush if he did good, so he was excited about that part.  It was the getting in the chair and letting a stranger poke around in his mouth part that he wasn't so thrilled about.  I went first, to show him it was no big deal.  He even got to pick out my toothpaste for me.  When it was his turn we made a big deal about how cool the chair was, and the hygienist gave him a ride on it, which he loved.  Then she showed him the little mirror and counted his teeth.  That was as far as she got with Parker.  He was not having anything else done to his teeth.  I bribed with pizza and donuts, but nothing worked.  So he got to pick a new toothbrush and that was the end of his visit.  When we got in the car he reminded me I said we'd get a donut.  I reminded him that I said we'd get a donut if he let the girl brush his teeth.  I think next time he will cave.

     Today we went to registration for pre-school.  Starting next week, Parker will go to Treehouse 3 days a week.  He is a little apprehensive, but I know he will love it.  That is if he doesn't get kicked out for trying to wrestle all the kids!  His teacher is Mrs. Corby and he is in the bluebird class.  He walked in and saw a bazillion toys, and took off to play.  He didn't even want to see his classroom.  I had to drag him in there to find his cubby and look at all the cool stuff there was, and then he took off back to the toys.  I really hope he loves it once he gets into the routine of it all.  My camera's battery was low, and finally completely died when I was trying to snap pictures of everything, but I managed to get a couple of horrible shots before it quit.  Maybe I can get some next week when I take him for his official "first day of school".  It sure will be lonely with just me and Everett at home!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Y - E - L - L Everybody Yell . . .

     . . . GO TROJANS GO!  Tonight the whole fam headed out to the first high school football game of the season.  Nothing says Southern like melting into the metal bleachers at the local high school football game.  At least we can count on the concession stand to have plenty of sweet iced tea!  Luckily it cooled off after the sun went down.  That's if you call low 90's cooled off, which we do in August in Alabama.   We quickly discovered the cousins were there, so the kids had a blast. Jackson saw a few friends from school (but mostly girls, so he hung out with us).  Everett quickly realized that the cheerleaders were throwing footballs and tried his best to follow where they went.  Aunt Carley saved the day and brought one up into the stands for him.  Mia and Parker strictly go to the game for the snacks.  Once they've had some candy they are ready to head home, so we hold off on getting some as long as we can.  We did end up leaving at the half since Everett started to have a mini meltdown.  He really wanted to throw his new ball, and didn't understand why we wouldn't let him chunk it into the stands.  On the way to the car I told Parker one day soon it would be him out there tackling those boys and throwing the ball.  He said, "Yeah, I'll wrestle them down good!"  When I asked him what number he wanted to be he promptly said 1 million.  Because that's the biggest number he knows right now, and he also associates big numbers with being the best player.  It seems like yesterday that Jeremy and I were at that same stadium as students watching and cheering for our football boys.  The biggest difference is that now our team is actually pretty good.  It was unheard of for Muscle Shoals to beat Colbert County when we went there, but they were winning 41 to zip when we left.  I hope they continue to do well.  And I hope we can continue to go to the games as a family.  Football is our official Southern past time after all!

Getting ready for some Trojan football!

 Jackson, Isaac, and Parker

Kenzie and Mia

Everett's new prize

Parker showing off his "special moves" with the football

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Orange Beach

     Well, we're back at home.  You know that time when you're packing up for a vacation and the excitement of it all is at it's peak?  I wish it were that day again.  I hate the coming home day.  Back to all the routines in life.  Not that we don't have a wonderful "routines", but I love the beach.  As we gradually got closer to home yesterday my thoughts started to drift towards bills and laundry and make up school work and first day of school jitters all over again, since we only went 1 day last week.  You get the idea.  But we're here now, so let the everyday chaos begin!
     My mom (Nana) went with us this year, so on Monday afternoon we picked her up, picked the kids up from school , and headed out.  Wait, let me back up a minute.  We were on the way to the first school to pick up the first kid, and Parker starts to ask if we are "there yet".  Then Jeremy realizes he forgot something.  Let me remind you that he only had to pack for himself, unlike his wife, who had to pack for 5.  So, we pick up the kids, go back to the house for the forgotten items, then we headed to the beach.  Pretty uneventful ride.  Mia got a little carsick just as we were stopping to eat, so she got out and was fine.  By the time we got there it was late, so we unpacked, stepped out on the balcony to look at the beach, and went to bed.  Oh how nice it was to take that first step out into the salty air and hear the waves crashing on the shore.  I love that moment.
     Jeremy and I got up early to get groceries the next morning, then we went back to the condo so he could get ready for his meetings that day.  By then everyone else was up, so we ate and got ready for the beach.  We trekked from our hotel room to the beach chairs with 4 kids and tons of beach stuff, and what'd ya know, Everett HATES the beach.  I cannot emphasize this enough.  I'm talking total melt down.   This is a child who loves to dig, so I felt sure he would love it, but he did not.  He was content to sit on a beach chair and eat grapes and drink juice pouches, but he would not set foot in the sand, and he would turn his head and scream if we took him close to the water. He did love the pool and the splash pad, so we roamed around to all 3 throughout the day.  Parker loved the birds, but wasn't too crazy about the ocean.  Our first day out he saw an "airplane with a note on it".  This thrilled him beyond words, and every time he saw one we would have to read him the ad on it.  He also liked watching the boats and the parasailors.  Jackson has always loved the beach, and he is in the ocean and the sand as much as possible.  He is always the one to volunteer to get buried and Mia is always only too happy to oblige.  Jeremy loves all things fish, so he and Jackson spent a lot of time catching fish and crabs out in the water.  Mia really took to the water this time too.  She has actually fallen in love with the movie Soul Surfer so she thought she was going to surf when we got there, but she settled for riding the waves on her kick board.  She did have homework while we were there.  She had to look for a seashell to bring back to the principal, so we found a really good one in the water one day.
     Thank goodness Nana went, or we would have never made it!  There are really no words to describe what a blessing she was to us this week.  With Jeremy in meetings off and on everyday, it was a tremendous help to have another adult along.  I know she's probably had enough of us for a while, but we loved having her with us. 
     Other than the anti-beach baby, and Parker screaming "Burger King" every time we asked what everyone wanted to eat, the rest of the week was wonderful.  We found a great new place to eat called Cobalt.  We found out the owners of this place also own another of our faves called Cosmo's. We shopped, ate, and played til we dropped every day.  I don't regret taking the kids out of school, but I know Monday will be like a whole new "first" day again.  I hope the jitters don't return and that the kids settle in fairly quickly.  I got a text from Mia's sweet teacher saying that they had missed her, and she grinned ear to ear when I read it to her.  I had sent notes to both of Jackson's teachers to send his homework home with Max (bff & neighbor) and we got nothing.  Not one worksheet, list of spelling words, nada.  I guess we will have double duty on the work this week.  Oh well, it'll get done.  We had a great week, and as we settle into the school year, I know we have lots more fun times to come!

Jackson having breakfast on our first day

Everett is overjoyed

Parker was so excited his daddy got a free hat at his meetings. 
He wore it everyday to the beach.

Jackson and I made Parker a Sonic Village for his boys, but it was too close to the ocean, so Parker never played in it.

Splash Pad

Playing at Lulu's

Some of the men at the convention went fishing, so Jeremy took the big boys to watch the boat come in.  Here they are with the day's catch.

 Mia's newest hair accessory

 This boy is tired out from a day of swimming and shopping!

When Everett started freaking out about the sand I thought I would never get my "beach pic" of the kids this year.  Luckily we found this bench in our closet at the condo, so Mr. High Maintenance never had to put his precious toes on the ground!

 Until next year!

Monday, August 15, 2011

52 Home

Week 33 - 18 months old today

First (& Last)

     Well, we now officially have a 1st and 4th grader at our house.  We dropped the kids off at their classrooms for the first time this morning.  They were both a little nervous, and Mia shed a few tears, but I know they will have good days today.  Mrs. Collins texted me not too long after we were gone and said Mia was all better.  When Jackson got to class his teacher told them to sit where ever they wanted to, so he was happy about that.  Jeremy got to go with me to take them for the first time on the first day, so that was a nice change! 

Right before the water works

     So, while the kids were getting used to their new classes, I was doing this.  If there were an Over Packers Anonymous I would be the president.

     .  That's right folks.  This is the kids' first day of school and also their last for the week.  We will pick them up this afternoon and head straight to Orange Beach!  All summer long we've watched as our friends have headed off to vacation, but now it's our turn.  Jeremy always has a work conference in August so we always tag along for our "summer" getaway.  It wasn't bad when the kids were little (before they all started school), but we still take them out and go.  Family time will always trump school for us.  I know we'll have tons of make up work to trudge through this weekend, but it's well worth it to have some fun in the sun and sand! 


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Registration Rat Race

     That is exactly what the kids' school registration feels like.  First of all, they like to keep the class lists shrouded in secrecy.  We only found out a couple of days ago who our teachers would be.  Then they cram all the registrations into about 4 hours (when the kids meet the teacher, see the classroom, take their supplies, etc.).  A lot of people even have 2 or 3 kids that are supposed to be there at the same time.  Luckily Mia's was at 9 and Jackson's was at 10, but I'm sure that we will have conflicts in the years to come, when all 4 are in school.

Mia and Mrs. Collins
     Mia's teacher is Jennifer Collins.  I grew up going to church with her family, so we are very glad about where we are for 1st grade!  Mia doesn't have many friends in her class from last year, but she has a very positive attitude about making new friends this time around.  She's never met a stranger, so I'm sure she'll have a little group of friends in no time!  She wanted her picture taken everywhere.  So glad at least one of my children appreciates my attempt at preserving memories!

Mrs. Daniel & Jackson

An entire set of Magic Treehouse books in Mrs. Golden's room.  Jackson is beyond excited.

Looks like Mrs. Golden is a Bama fan.  Jackson's daddy will be equally excited.

Jackson and Max are so happy to be back at school!!!

 Max, Jackson, and Dawson

     Jackson will have 2 teachers this year for 4th grade.  As he is anti-photography I only snapped a pic with his homeroom teacher.  He has Carolyn Danielfor homeroom and Marie Golden will be his other teacher.  Mrs. Daniel was actually my 4th grade teacher as well as my neighbor growing up.  She has a son that graduated with Jeremy and me, and a daughter that graduated with my brother.  Our families did a lot together when we were little.  We had a clubhouse in the "woods" between our houses when we were growing up and we would spend hours out there.  I told Jackson I can remember reading The Boxcar Children in that class, which he loves, so he is happy.  He is not happy that he doesn't have many friends in his class.  Unlike Mia, he is a worrier and his anxiety often gets the best of him, but after meeting his teachers and seeing a few familiar faces today, he seems alright with his class.  His best friend Max has the same teachers, just reversed.  I did manage to get a picture of the 2 of them, and then again outside with Dawson before they left to go spend the night with him.  I think the kids will have a wonderful year!