Friday, August 22, 2008

Gracie goes to pre-school

This is the week that Gracie has been waiting for. She finally got to start pre-school. She woke up on Tuesday all ready to go and even had her outfit all picked out. She is very particular about her fashion, so I was thrilled that it was actually a normal outfit and not a bathing suit adorned by a slip.

Carson was just as excited for her because she will be attending the same class that Carson attended! He was really sweet with her all morning, explaining what she could expect to see and happen at school. Because he is an afternoon Kindergartner, he was able to go with me to drop her off and he showed her everything she needed to know. There were a few tears when we left, but Carson was so protective of her and reassured her that we would be back in one hour to pick her up. She did great and had an even easier transition yesterday! She gets to go twice a week for 90 minutes, so that is the perfect length for our little homebody.

She is really growing up so quickly. She loves to play house and help me out in the kitchen as much as she can. She also loves to mother Bayden. Today he stood up in his high chair to get down and she ran over and put her arms out for him to jump into. Well the poor soul, he jumped and they both landed very hard on the wood floor with Bayden hitting his head! The best part was Gracie just kept talking to him in her high pitched mother voice, "Ohhh that was such a big boy jump" as Bayden lay there screaming. She loves to help out. She also loves to eat (a girl after my own heart) and does it quite often. Her favorites as of late are steak salad, spinach basil pasta and chicken basil panini's. She has the most mature taste buds, unlike any of my other kids. She is also loving art. Give her some crayons, paper and scissors and she is off to create some new masterpiece.

Bayden is crazy! He is a mischievous little soul. I'm talking- toothpaste in the electrical outlets, entire Costco size boxes of cereal dumped all over the floor, play-doh thrown in fountain-mischief. On Wednesday I was at my wits end. When he wasn't destroying some part of the house or yard, he wanted me to hold him and carry him all over the place. For a kid that can't talk yet, he has no problem communicating what he wants in a very LOUD and DEMANDING way. He cried most of the day on Wednesday.

This week he discovered a new little treat that my friend Leanne found at Trader Joe's, they are these little mint Oreo ice cream cookie sandwiches. Bayden loves them. On Wednesday, in order to soothe him for a few minutes I offered him one. He literally gulped it down in 3 bites and then screamed demanding another. Because I was so fed up with him, I didn't care and just kept feeding them to him in an effort to maintain some sanity. Well here are a few pics of Bayden when he discovered the package was empty and there would be no more. He cried for a good 15 minutes in total anger. Luckily, Mark and I had a babysitter for the evening and so our sitter Annie had to deal with him from 6:00 on.
So Mark and I got to go celebrate his company's 10th anniversary at the coolest restaurant called the Kitchen. It was such an amazing evening and the food was incredible. The concept of the restaurant is that you are visiting their kitchen and they prepare a six course meal in front of you. No part of the kitchen is off limits, so you are free to explore, watch or help out with any part of the meal. They gather the finest and freshest ingredients from all over the world and support a lot of the local growers as well. The food was so divine! The best part you get to eat as much of anything as you want. My favorites were the homemade hot chocolate, the Lobster, the tempura shrimp, the crab and their homemade bread. Mark and I ate so much that we were ill by the time 11:00 rolled around. I seriously haven't been that full in a long time. If you ever get the opportunity to go to the Kitchen, I would highly recommend it. You can click on the link above to see our menu for that night. It was great to come home to a houseful of sleeping and quiet children (thanks Annie!). I peeked into Bayden's room and was able to fall in love all over again with the sweet little guy. A night out can do wonders!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Happy 8th Birthday Parker!

Okay so this is a few days delayed, but I've been having too much fun looking at all of the pictures of my sweet boy Parker. I was going to put one of him as a baby in here, but I couldn't narrow it down to my favorite. Instead, here is a picture of Parker on the night of his birthday eating his birthday dinner of pepperoni pizza, while watching the Olympics and putting together his new birthday Lego's.

Parker had a great day. He woke up and opened up all of his gifts and got to eat his breakfast choice of Coffee cake and fruit! He was then off to school to spend time with his friends. He selected Jamba Juice as his class treat, so Gracie, Bayden, Carson and I were able to come to his classroom just before recess and listen to his class sing happy birthday in French before we passed out the Jamba's. After delivering the class treat, we ran home to finish up the breakfast dishes. Next, he selected Taco Bell for his birthday lunch, so we ran there and headed back to the school to drop it off. After school we worked on one of his new Lego sets and then he was off to soccer practice. After soccer, he wanted to get a pizza and watch the Olympics. We had so much fun cheering Michael Phelps onto another gold medal!

This Friday, we will celebrate his birthday with all of his friends at an Olympic Birthday party! Parker came up with the idea all by himself. It should be fun.

I can't believe that Parker is 8! In our church children are baptized at the age of 8, so Parker is anxiously awaiting his baptism in September. We are so excited for him. I thought I would share the 8 things I love most about Parker

1. I love how he belly laughs in his sleep. He is the only person I have ever met that laughs very loud and very often in his sleep. Every time I hear it, I laugh too!

2. He is a great brother. He loves loves loves his siblings and expresses it in both words and deeds. On Saturday night we were getting out of the car after going to the outdoor movie and I heard him lean over to Carson and say, "I sure love you Carson."

3. He is very creative. I don't know where he gets it from, but the boy is so full of creative ideas. His imagination runs 24/7. I'm sure that someday he will be an inventor of something! For now he just thinks of 101 ways to mess up the house with all of the different games he creates.

4. He loves fruits and vegetables. Oh how I wish I loved them too. He is the only child I know who craves broccoli or a green salad. In fact, he cried last year when he heard about the spinach recall on the news. He was afraid he would never get to eat it again.

5. He is very observant. Although Parker is very shy and can keep to himself at times, he is a wonderful observer. He watches and listens to people and never forgets a thing. He gets it even when people don't realize he does. He is very intuitive and can read people so well.

6. He is incredibly sensitive. He knows me better than almost anyone and can read me like a book. When he senses that I'm getting stressed or frustrated, he immediately tries to solve the frustration. He usually does it by first expressing his love for me, then telling me I'm the best mom in the world (until he figures out I'm not, I'm not going to correct him) and then follows it up with the question, "Is there anything I can do to help Mom?" Interestingly enough, he can sense it before I even realize that I'm stressed. He helps me realize when I need to take a step back and take a deep breath. I REALLY love and appreciate him for this. He has diffused many a stressful moments.

7. He loves babies. I hope he has the opportunity to be a father to many because this kid loves babies. He just found out his friend's mom is having a baby and he has been sketching out ideas for the new baby ever since he found out. Ever since he was little, if we couldn't find Parker, we knew where to the crib with the baby.

8. Parker is funny! The kid has a great sense of humor. A very dry wit and he keeps us all laughing. No one can get us laughing like Parker.

I could list a 108 things I love about Parker, but my meager list of 8 will just have to do. I need to go and continue my Olympic addiction. I love you Parkerman.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Back to School

We woke Bayden up at 7:oo, he was less than thrilled.

Gracie insisted on getting a new school dress and putting on a backpack even though she wasn't going anywhere today.Parker heading off to second grade.
McCall heading off to her 5th and final year of elementary school.Gracie had high hopes of getting out of the stroller, but with three different start times and two different dismissal times, we spent a lot of time in the stroller today.

I had a really hard time letting this little guy go today. I pretended to be happy for him.
Little Carson off to Ms. Masters Kindergarten class.

Sad, but true we headed back to school today. I got most of my tears out on an early morning walk this morning. When I got home it was time to wake the kiddies up for showers and breakfast and return to our routine of packing lunches and rushing about the house. I tried to ease the pain a bit by surprising the kids with donuts for breakfast. Actually, I was only easing the pain for myself because all of the kids were excited to go back and see there friends. I'm the one hiding my tears behind sunglasses wishing we could continue the magical summer we had together.

I LOVE SUMMER and I think it is a real crime that we don't get a longer summer with our children. I swear I didn't go back to school until after Labor Day. I want to know who decided to change things. Summer is great because for the most part I get to dictate my schedule. I get more time with my kids without the worries of trying to get someone out the door at a certain time with all of the appropriate instruments, meals, permission slips, flash cards and therapy paraphernalia organized. We aren’t as rushed, which really allows us to take things a bit more slowly and really enjoy being with each other. I can definitely do without all of the over scheduling, yet I know we do it to ourselves. Gracie, Bayden and I tried to fill our time with errands and cleaning, but we were all sad with the other kids gone.

The only one who was somewhat hesitant today was Carson. Today he started Kindergarten. I really can't believe the little sweetie is old enough to go to school. Uncharacteristically he has been very quiet today. The only thing he would tell me before school was that he felt a little nervous and that he was sad Kindergartners couldn't have chocolate milk. After school he was pretty excited about the cookie he got and his teachers classroom management happy face=good choices red frownie face=bad choices and a trip to see the principal. It was a long day for him, so I think he is a bit tired even though he would never admit it.
After school we hosted a Popsicle party with our all of neighbors to hear about every one's first day of school. We didn't last outside too long because it was very hot. McCall has Mr. Brown for fifth grade and told me, "I think he will be a great teacher because he is SUPER organized" She has some fun friends in her class and was excited to be back. Parker is entering 2nd grade and has Mrs. Holl. This is the same teacher McCall had for 3rd grade, so naturally Parker was thrilled to have this teacher that McCall has talked about so much. He has his three best friends in his class, so naturally he is thrilled. They all got together on Sunday night to make goals for themselves for the upcoming school year. It was actually pretty cute and got me thinking I should probably come up with a few goals for myself (maybe writing more regularly in my journal/blog).

Well tomorrow is Parker's big 8th birthday and I've been staying up too late watching the Olympics, so I guess I should turn of Michael Phelps and go get to work. Banners, balloons and crepe paper must be hung.