Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Quotables for October

The Target we go to gives kids free cookies in the bakery.  The lady gave Graham two.  When I mentioned how nice it was for her to give him two cookies, he replied, "Yes, but not as nice as foooour cookies!"

Mia's comment: "All of the animals on Earth are God's pets, right?  Even the wild ones are."

Mia and Graham went through the carwash with me.  I thanked them for going with me, and Mia sweetly replied, "You're welcome!  We would be honored..."

Graham and I were discussing how orange juice comes from oranges.  Then, he said, "Where does water come from?  Oh!  I know...Watermelons!  God took a watermelon and smashed it up in the food mixer and put it in a cup."

Graham's next project:  "We should make a handsoap that smells like hands.  That way when you wash your hands, your hands smell like hands!"  

Never a dull moment...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Cheerleader

Wow!  I can't believe how long it's been since I found the time to get on here and write!  Has it been almost two months?  It seems like the time flew by, but when I start thinking about everything that was going on during that time, I remember that it didn't FEEL like it flew by!

The most time-consuming thing that has been happening lately has been Mia's cheerleading.  She begged to do cheerleading, and so we signed her up.  I thought it would be a great way for her to meet some of the girls from her new school. What a crazy decision that was! Little did I know that out of the 50 cheerleaders on her team, only one other girl would be from Mia's school. 

On top of that, this cheer team is way more serious than we anticipated.  Jeremy and I have said, "What have we gotten ourselves into?" several times in the past few months, and with the dance competition part coming up soon, things are just getting more hectic.  It's quite a time commitment... especially for something that was a random "just fun" hobby to try out.

Mia loves the idea of being a cheerleader.  At home, she does the cheers and shows us the dances.  On the field, she does the arm motions, but rarely actually cheers.  She gets too embarrassed.  Her halftime dances are adorable- and her favorite.  I have a feeling she'll end up leaning more toward dance than cheer.  Because of all the practice time, she already said she doesn't want to do it again next year.  She wants more time to play with her friends.  Jeremy and I were relieved to hear it!  :o)  I think it could be easy to get caught up in "acting older" as a part of this cheerleading world.  I like seeing Mia playing with Barbies and acting like a six year old!

Being a cheerleader to Mia is more about getting to wear the uniform, knowing some cheers, and doing halftime. are some pics of my sweet cheerleader "looking the part":

I really am happy to know she'll be branching out to something new, but I have to admit that I'll miss seeing her in her uniform.  She's just so darn cute!!!!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


My sister puts quotes from her girls on her blog, and I love it.  I'm totally going to start copying that.  I know I need to, too.  I have been making a mental list of quotes to put on the blog and already forgot them all.  If I don't start putting them in writing, I just know that a lot of memories I'd like to hang on to will be lost.  :o(

For now...

 I loved what Mia said so much when she was 4 that I put it in the "notes" app on my phone.  This seems like a great place to record it:
While she looked out at the rain on the car window she said, "Mommy, the rain is having a dance party on the window!"

Graham:  "Mommy, did you have to cut your shirt when you took Ross out of your belly?"

Graham to Jeremy:  "How much did you have to pay for Ross?"  After Jeremy explained that we didn't pay for Ross, Graham asked, "Even his eyes and his nose and his mouth?"

Mia goes to school at Mittlestadt Elementary.  While she was at school one day, Graham said, "When I was a little girl, I went to Mittlestadt."  I tried and tried to understand what he meant...(still working on it).

It's so sad that's all I can remember right now.  I know my mom and I were cracking up recently because of something Mia said to her.  My mom told me that I HAD to write that one down.  I reassured her that I'd never forget it!  Ummmm....just a few weeks later, I have absolutely no idea what Mia said.  Ugh!!!  I guess I'll have to update this the moment I have a "moment". 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

A Plan!

I think I finally have "a plan".

Now that Mia's in school, I can commit sooo much more of my focus on Graham.  It's amazing how much he has to say!  It is seriously nonstop, and I must admit that I do completely block him out at times.  I'm trying to be better about it, though.  I don't want him to think I don't care about what he has to say, but Jeesh!  Give me 60 uninterrupted seconds of silence!!!

Through all of his questions, I have started to figure out how he learns.  It amazes me how much of an auditory learner he is!  I find it impressive since I am completely visual/kinesthetic.  I've been trying to use any opportunity to work on letter recognition and sounds with him.  I was concerned about his complete lack of interest, but have been validated as a good teacher and stay-home mom the past few days.  Graham is pointing out letters everywhere we go and telling me the sounds they make.  He is full of excitement to be recognizing things and makes connections, reminding me of a story I told him or a book we read together when he learned a specific sound.  He is constantly wanting to read to Ross, and has even memorized a handful of books to "read" him.  It's adorable!

I decided that I'm going to start doing PreK lessons with Graham.  I'm going to start with A Letter of the Week and do various activities with that letter all week.  I'm going to integrate math, science, etc. in as well.  I think he'll love it!  He's such a little sponge right now!  I've also started teaching Mia piano, and I am noticing that Graham really wants to participate!  He'll go into our formal dining room, where we keep our other piano, and mimic the lesson Mia's doing.  It makes me sooo proud!

I feel like I now have a purpose, and this blog will have a purpose!  I can post different activities that I do with him, and maybe it will help other stay-home moms work with their kids, too.  Or...Maybe nobody will read it.  Who knows?  All I know is that I'll get to feel like I have a purpose!  I plan on starting next week.  Stay tuned... I hope I can pull this off!!!

Graham reading his Thomas the Train ABC Book to Ross!  

Monday, August 22, 2011

Just a mom

Today feels strange.  It's the first day of school, and I'm at home instead of in my classroom.  I'm not reassuring parents that their child will be fine and that we're going to have a great year.  Instead, I found myself in a foreign classroom, nervous about walking Mia into a new school where she's just another student, not "Leticia's daughter".  Because, after all, at Mia's new school, I'm just a mom.  I'm not a teacher in good standing, just voted Teacher of the Year by my peers.  Nope.  I'm just a nervous mom dropping her first grader off for the first day of school.

The past two weeks building up to today have been full of anxiety for me as I've realized my unimportance in the school.  The hardest part has been my ignorance of the first grade teachers at the new school, Mittlestadt.  The only teacher I even know much about it Mrs. Parsons.  She knows my mother, and Mia being in her class would be great for two reasons:  1)  Mrs. Parsons has an excellent reputation and   2)  I like the idea of Mia being with someone both my mother and I know.  Of course, I don't have the relationship with the principal like I use to, and have really no influence over who Mia may or may not have as a teacher.  Scary.

The class lists were posted on the windows to the school yesterday,so I drove up and checked it out.  Mia was assigned to Mrs. Parsons and Mrs. Pruski's class!   I was so excited, I felt tears building up in my eyes.  It felt like such a relief to know that Mia was going to have great teachers!  Mrs. Pruski and Mrs. Parsons job share, and they're a mother/daughter team!  I felt like it just couldn't get any better. 

This morning, I drove Mia to school and walked her to her classroom.  Practically every parent does this at Mittlestadt since there isn't a Meet the Teacher night, and most kids have no idea where to go.  When we reached the classroom, Mia was beaming and couldn't wait to go in.  As soon as we got to the door, we saw Logan.  He was in her kindergarten class at her last school!  Because of his mom's school transfer (she and I taught together last year), he is now at Mittlestadt!  Mia quickly took a seat next to him, happy to have a friend.  Then, we heard, "Oh my gosh!  Mia!!! Where have you been?!!!"  We looked up to see Morgan.  Morgan and Mia went to the same home daycare from infancy until preschool.  Then, they went to preschool together and were only apart for kinder.  Now they're back together again!!!  They hugged and Mia glowed!

Mrs. Parsons introduced herself to Mia and told her all about how she has known her grandmother for many years.  Mia was very impressed, and the girl that is normally quiet and reserved around teachers at school was more talkative than I had ever expected!  All of my anxiety washed away.  I said a quick goodbye and headed out the door.  She never even looked up to see me go. 

My daughter looked more confident and secure than ever today.  Graham is loving the special "mommy time" that he had to share with Mia all summer, and I'm not going to miss a moment of Ross's development.  Being "just a mom" is suddenly feeling "just right" to me!

 Mia posing in front of her new school!

The Amazing Mrs. Parsons!
Mia and her friends!
 Teacher Survival Kit

Thursday, August 18, 2011

That's What Family's For

When you think about an entire family being sick, there's a joke that the biggest baby out of all will be....the husband.  It's funny, a little mean, but usually true.  This past weekend, though, Jeremy took sickness by the reigns.

I was at my friend's bridal shower / cooking class at Central Market.  The only person I knew at the shower was Monica, the bride.  We had only been cooking for about an hour when I started to feel symptoms of what I thought was low blood sugar.  I tried to play it cool, but it was obvious to people around me that I wasn't feeling well.  The last thing I wanted, though, was to be the drama queen at the party.  I went to the restroom to compose myself when I suddenly found myself kneeling in front of the toilet.  Ugh! 

Once I got up, I felt absolutely fine.  I washed up and rejoined the party.  About 15 minutes later, though, my symptoms hit me again.  I felt like I wanted to cry, roll up in a ball, and pass out.  I went into the hallway and called my mother-in-law, Sally, who lives a whole lot closer to Central Market than I do.  I was hoping she could pick me up.  After three answer.  I called Jeremy to update him, and he informed me that Mia was throwing up, and Ross had diarrhea.    Oh no!This wasn't blood sugar!  I obviously had some sort of stomach bug! 

I immediately knew I had to get out of there before I got every single person in the room sick.  I said a very quick goodbye, and walked to my car at the back of the parking lot.  I got in and called Sally one last time.  Even if she wasn't home, I was going to drive to her house, let myself in, and pass out in the guest room.    She answered, but before I could completely explain what was going on, I had to throw open my car door and "shower" the parking lot.  I was absolutely embarrassed, but felt too awful to fully care.  I apologized to Sally between heaves, and hung up on her.  Then, just as before, I felt better.  When I called Sally again, she offered to let me spend the night, or drive me home. I chose the latter.  I drove to Sally's house where she was waiting with a hair clip for me, a wet washcloth, and a lined bucket for the drive home.

When we pulled up to the house, all I could think about was changing and passing out.  Jeremy was upstairs with Mia, and looked pretty tired. I was impressed that he hadn't called me to tell me the kids were sick.  He was going to deal with it solo.  I wanted to help out, but stood in the living room too weak to go upstairs.  Luckily, Sally volunteered to sleep with Mia to take care of her, and Jeremy slept on the couch to avoid my germs and dealt with Ross throughout the night. 

The next day was a lazy day of recovery for everyone.  Sally was sick by Tuesday, but Jeremy is still standing strong.  Let's hope it stays that way!

Thank you so much, Sally and Jer!

Friday, July 29, 2011

What's my "Job"?

So...I'm not only new to blogging, but I am also about to embark on the role of "stay home mom".  Yes, I've been home with the kids all summer, but that's not new to me.  As a teacher, I have always been home during the summers.  I don't think I'll really feel the difference until Mia starts school.  I'm beginning to have anxiety about it.  What am I suppose to do?  I'm stressing out about my lack of a plan.  Here are the thoughts that are honestly running through my mind:

1.  I work out at the gym right now for two hours at least 5 days/week.  By the time I get home, feed the kids, give Ross his breathing treatment, eat, and shower, it's 12:00-12:30.  I begin wondering if I'm being too selfish by spending so much of the day at the gym.  It is a lifestyle change that I really am enjoying, though.

2.  I want to write a book (or a few).  I actually have tons of ideas, and many of my fellow teachers have been pushing me to get some of my ideas down for quite some time.  I have some creative ways that I've taught grammar, and I know that it could really help other teachers.  How would I find time for that?  Wouldn't it be double-selfish for me to spend so much time at the gym AND writing?  (Yes, it's ironic that I have started a blog while I'm feeling this way.)

3. To Teach, or To Mother?   I have Graham in a sports development class at The Little Gym.  He loves it, and we're learning a lot about how he learns by watching him in the class.  He is also going to be doing soccer at the park on Tuesday mornings.  (There goes my Tuesday morning workout!)  What should I do the other days?  I know I can take him to the library, and tons of other fun places, but I'm picky and tend to think "hmmm...I could have done that better." or "Jeesh!  Check for understanding, people!"  It sounds bad, I know.  I'm just being honest.  What I really want is to do fun lessons, crafts, etc. with him at home, but would that be boring? Even if I make it "fun"?

4.  Mia.  She is super excited to have a mommy who can participate in all of her school activities and events.  I will get to be a parent reader, take her lunch, volunteer at parties, etc.  It's going to be awesome!  What I'm going to struggle with is the "just a mom" part.  Since she's labeled "GT" and I'm GT certified, I know exactly what she should be doing in her classroom to be challenged.  What if her teacher doesn't do those things?  I don't want her sitting in the back of the room reading all day, or having to be a tutor.  Not her job.  I guess I'll cross that bridge if I come to it.  I hope I won't.

5.  Household Duties- UGH!  I really do feel like I should have a spic-n-span house now that I'm home.  I've tried.  Trust me...I really have.  I just can't figure out how to do it.

Example:  One day, I did my whole gym routine and headed to the grocery store at 1:00.  I took all three kids.  Yikes!  We got home at 2:30.  By the time I unloaded the groceries (with tons of interruptions), it was 3:15.  I then fed Ross, put him down for a nap, and poof!  It was 4:00.  Time to start folding the clothes I had put in the wash before the grocery store and in the dryer when we got home.  4:30- Dinner prep started.  I have to start early b/c it takes a long time with the numerous interruptions!  By the time Jeremy gets home at 5:40...Dinner's ready.  The house is a mess, and I feel guilty b/c I didn't "do anything" all day.  Does Jeremy care?  Nope.  He knows how it is.  It's just pressure I put on myself.  I really need to figure this one out! 

So...These are my random thoughts.  This is my anxiety about needing to know exactly what I'm doing.  I've never been a fan of lesson plans at school.  I just know the material, and I teach it the way that particular class needs it taught.  It's different every year.  This is foreign to me, though.  I'm not well-versed at the art of homemaker and I'd love support/advice...whatever!  Thanks!!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Whirlwind Weekend

It's no secret that I love Austin.  I miss living there almost daily.  There's just something special about it that Houston won't ever be.  Yes, I miss the beauty of the hills, the laid-back, open-minded people, but most importantly- I miss the town where most of my closest friends live.

We don't visit nearly as often as I'd like, and we finally made our first trip since Ross was born this past weekend.  It was a weekend that flew by, but we did a ton of things, and I got to see my Austin "crew", minus one of my best friends, Kim.

Packing for a family of five is...interesting.  I could use other words like, stressful, hectic, unpleasant, and time-consuming, but I won't use those negative words.  teehee!     I started off by writing a list for every single thing that each child needed to pack.  Mia's six and very independent, so I handed her her list and sent her upstairs.  She checked off each item as she put it in her suitcase, and was finished in no time!  By the time Jeremy got home from work at 6:00, I had the car loaded, and I had even packed most of his things.  He was impressed.  I think I deserve a "wife of the day" award for that one.  Did I mention that I started packing around 1:00 with a 3:30 Dr. appt. for Ross thrown in there?  Well... I did.

We got to our friends' house in Dripping Springs around 10:00 Friday night after a very pleasant car ride!  Thank God for an amazingly patient and happy baby - not to mention iTouches and an iPad!  Some drinks on Rhett and Elaina's back deck, shooting stars, and great company made an exhausting day all worth it.

Saturday was filled with kids playing (Rhett and Elaina have Eva (6) and Harrison (4)), bowling, Texadelphia, and a great restaurant called Freddie's Place.  Freddie's has large oak trees for shade, misters to shake off the heat, live music (of course), and a playground for kids.  You'd never find a place like it in Houston.  Seventeen of us gathered for drinks, food, and tons of catching up.  Exactly what I had hoped for.

On Sunday, we took the kids swimming for a few hours, and then Elaina and I headed downtown to Milk & Honey Spa.  I had an amazing 75 min. sports massage!  Much needed.  We both walked out complete zombies.  It was the perfect way to end my Austin trip.  I'm already trying to figure out when it will happen again.  I love you, Austin peeps...'til next time!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

What am I doing?

This is my first official post!  It's exciting to have a blog, but I must admit that I am slightly intimidated by the whole thing.  What if I'm boring?  What if nobody even reads this?  We'll see...

I am starting this blog to help myself stay sane.  Until this school year, I had been an elementary school teacher for 9 years and loved the kids who I got to teach year after year.  After having baby #3 in February, though, my husband and I decided that the best thing to do would be to stay home.  This makes me happy and nervous.

At such a hard time for teachers, I should count myself lucky to have this opportunity.  I know lots of moms out there would stay home with their kids in a second if they could.  I'm super excited about this journey with my own children, but part of me already misses the kids I'm not going to get the chance to help in the classroom.  I'm sure I'll find a way to make a difference in that area. 

In the meantime, I have overloaded my brainstorming list with tons of projects and goals I'd like to do.  This will be the place where I can write to clear my head, see my own insanity, or pat myself on the back for a job well done.  Right now I'm just constantly cooking for the kids, cleaning up the kitchen after I cook, feeding Ross, changing diapers, working out (gotta lose that baby weight), and finding the time to shower afterwards!  Oh- and now... finding time to keep up a blog!  We'll see how it goes...