Thursday, July 31, 2008

What a way to start the day.

Ben: I don't want to be a good listener. I want to be a grouchy boy!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Best Shot Monday - story time

This is probably my favorite image from our recent trip to North Carolina. On our very last night there, after putting on his pajamas, Ben wandered out to the family room, and asked Brian's grandpa to read him his bedtime story (Paddington Bear). Claire joined them as soon as she got her pj's on. Seeing the three of them all sitting together in the chair, and knowing how much that moment must have thrilled Papa Jim made my heart melt.

Head on over to see more shots from Best Shot Monday at Mother May I.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The times they are...

a changing.

Around here anyway.

In just a short time - a month from tomorrow to be precise - I will be headed back to work. This is not something that I was seeking out, however it is an amazing and exciting opportunity that was too good (and unpredictable) to let pass by.

I will be working at the same middle school that I taught at before Claire was born. This time I will be serving as a math resource teacher - helping the students who need it the most. Our goal is to raise student test scores starting with the incoming seventh graders.

I can't tell you how immensely flattering it was to have the school seek me out and tell me how much they wanted me to take this position. I have been lying awake nights ever since coming up with ideas of what we can do for these students, and how to best accomplish it. I have dozens of ideas of ways that I can help the classroom teachers.

At the same time I am extremely anxious at the prospect of being away from my kids for so long every day. I have no doubts that they will flourish in their respective schools, but I worry about missing out on so many little moments in the day, or feeling like I have the time to just stop what I'm doing to roll around on the floor with them - or dance in their pajamas.

I know there will be a learning curve for the whole family as we get used to a new arrangement. I know that we will continue to make many happy memories together. I know that there are times that I will love it and times that I will hate it. I know that we will have lots of help as we get used to things.

It's not going to be easy. But it will be good. For all of us. I know.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Stolen moments

This morning the kids were at a high-level of neediness. I, of course, was running around trying to get a lot done in not enough time. Welcome to my life. I put on our Imagination Movers DVD, which usually makes everyone happy while they dance and sing along. They squabbled. "Don't touch me!" "No, Claire! I don't want to dance with you!"

Until I separated them. You get this half of the carpet, you get this half. As soon as I looked away, they were sneaking onto each other's space - giggling together. Conspiring against me. I'm all for it since the whining stopped. Temporarily.

Some of my favorite recent memories:

Ben: Mama, I want to tell you something.
Me: Yes?
Ben: A car got broken, and a tow truck fixed it and a fire truck fixed it.
(He repeats this at every rest and bedtime. In its current incarnation there are also usually five tractors of different colors who also help fix the car. Staller extraordinaire.)

Me: Why are all of the pillows on the floor?
Claire: All of my friends are coming. We're having a hotchskop (hopscotch) tournament. If you need me send me an email, ok Mama?


Right now the silence is wonderful. The dog is sleeping in Daddy's chair, head resting on an Elmo slipper. (Oh yes, he is a daddy's boy.) Ben is quietly snoozing in his crib - he chatted for approximately 12 seconds after I put him in, and then dropped right off. When I last left Claire she was setting up her chairs and her bunny blanket to make a tent for all of her "friends". Now I hear no pitter patter of footsteps on the dining room ceiling (no KABLOOM of jumping off of her bed, either). I imagine her up there on the floor in a tangle of blankets and stuffed animals, legs stretched out in what appears to be an impossibly uncomfortable position. Flushed cheeks and even breathing. I wish I could sneak in, but her door sticks, and invariably wakes her. I will just have to hold onto the picture my mind has built, and wait for her to wander downstairs with creases on her cheeks, and eager for hugs.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Best Shot Monday - uncles

Growing up I had two uncles, one aunt, and no cousins until I was halfway through college. One of the things I am so excited about for my children is being part of a big family. They have 7 uncles and 4 aunts, and more great-aunts and great-uncles than I could possibly count.

We don't always get to see a lot of all of the aunts and uncles, though we do really try to make an effort to do it whenever possible. I was pleased to get this picture on our recent trip to North Carolina.

Ben was intrigued by what Uncle Calvin was doing on his computer (looking at magic cards).

Check out more shots from Best Shot Monday over at Mother May I.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Happy Anniversary

Eight years ago right now I was a nervous wreck. I was probably getting ready to go with my mom to get make-up done, and then back to the house to get hair done.

I'm not sure I spoke more than a 3 word sentence to anyone the entire morning. When I am nervous or stressed I tend to become much more introverted than normal.

I can still remember the feeling of taking those first few steps into the church, and seeing Brian at the altar, and our friends and family smiling at me. All of the butterflies magically disappeared. The rest of the ceremony is a blur, I couldn't wait for it to be over, and to hear those magic words, "husband and wife."

The last eight years have been full of a variety of challenges and excitement. I can't wait to share many many more years together.

Happy anniversary, baby - I love you!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Best Shot Monday - hydrangeas

I love hydrangeas. They remind me of all of the beautiful ones we saw on our honeymoon in Nantucket - almost 8 years ago! This is the first summer of the 3 we have been in this house that we have successfully managed to get our hydrangeas to grow and flourish (and not get eaten by deer).

This one was in the backyard when we bought the house. Brian accidentally mowed over it the first year trying to clear out brush. The next year the deer ate it, so no flowers. This year it is a vibrant purpley-pink brightening up the corner of my shade garden.

This is one we bought this spring. It is a lovely pink - Merritt's Pink I believe. It has been flowering quite prolifically.

And the more traditional Nikko blue hydrangea. How can anyone resist the beauty of these flowers?

Check in with Melody at Slurping Life for more wonderful Best Shot Monday pictures. Tracey will be back next week!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Happy Fourth of July

We certainly hope everyone had as much fun on the fourth as we did. We spent much of the day getting ready for our friends - primarily preparing food. Brian smoked salmon, chicken, and ribs which is an all day affair. I made panzanella, a sweet and spicy cucumber salad, dessert, and the kids helped by shucking the corn.

We proudly flew our new flag. Our old one was badly faded, and our flagpole desperately needed replacing. We also bought 5 small flags that are decorating our front walkway. As we made our way through the store to purchase them, the kids waved them in the air, and loudly cheered, "Go Hokies" much to the amusement of the other patrons. Eventually I convinced them instead to chant, "U-S-A! U-S-A!"

After everyone had stuffed themselves, and we'd all been dampened a bit by the rain, the dads brought out the fireworks. Claire was a big fan.

Some of the children preferred to watch Noggin.

So from our tired family to yours - a very happy fourth of July!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Knock knock who's there?

Yesterday I was determined to get in my 3 mile training walk, despite Brian being out of town on business. So after lunch I piled the kids in the double stroller, hooked the leash on Lucky, and we headed out. It was a beautiful day, so pushing an extra 80+ pounds wasn't as brutal as it could have been. At one point along the way the kids started telling each other knock-knock jokes.

B: knock knock who's there?
C: you just say knock knock, and I say who's there.
B: oh. knock knock who's there?
C: who's there?
B: bush!
C: bush who?
B: bush stop sign!
*both kids break into uproarious laughter*

C: knock knock
B: who's there?
C: banana
B: banana who?
C: banana TREE!
*more loud laughter ensues*

It was a good day.