Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Purple Song and Donuts

Tonight as I was tucking Lila in for bed, I asked her what song she wanted me to sing.

Lila: Sing the Purple Song.

Me: I don't know that song.

Lila: You want me to sing it for you?

Me: Sure.

Lila: whispering. Purr-plllle.

Me: laughing. Is that the whole song?

Lila: Yeah. You want me to sing it louder?  singing loudly, PURRRR-PLLLLLLLLE!

Me: laughing harder.  That's a great song.

The tune of the song kind of sounds like a doorbell, just in case you were wondering.

So, Lila is going on night five of sleeping in her big girl bed.  I don't want to jinx it, but I think we're really doing it this time.

Night three, she decided she wanted to sleep in her crib again, but I encouraged bribed her to sleep in her big girl bed by telling her we could get donuts the next morning if she stayed in her bed all night.  I'm not above a well-timed bribe.  Also, I wanted donuts.  So Saturday morning, we got donuts at our favorite place.

I think she was enjoying it.

Daddy enjoyed his favorite applesauce donut.  I had chocolate glazed. Yummy.
And then she scowled at me for taking too many pictures of her.
She's such a big girl.  Also, she has her first cold of the school year so she's a real grump.  A grumpy big girl.  Yay!

Friday, September 21, 2012

5 things

1. Lila wants to be a baby.  We have a daily battle when I change her out of her nighttime diaper when she wakes up because she always tries to negotiate a diaper instead of undies.  We have this conversation every morning:
Lila: (in her baby voice) Diaper.
Me: Lila, you are a big girl.  You wear undies now.
Lila: No, Diaper.
Me: Lila, we talk about this every day.  It's not a choice.  You wear a diaper at nap and night, but that's all.
Lila: Diaper.
Me: Time out.
Lila: Undies.

I hate starting our day with an argument and threats, but I've got to stand my ground or I might lose my mind.
Speaking of big girl undies.  This is a frequent discovery in my house.  It either means she's been raptured without me or there's a naked toddler somewhere in my house.
 Also, she has recently witnessed several friends nursing their new babies so she's all kinds of intrigued about the whole babies-eat-milk-from-their-mommies'-boobs thing.  She started asking me if I have milk in my boobs.  "Not anymore.  When you were a baby, I did and that's how you ate.  And when I have another baby, I'll have milk in my boobs again and that's how your little brother or sister will eat, too." I decided the frank discussion of this was appropriate for her age and understanding.  That decision, however has come back to bite me.

Example 1: In Costco yesterday, I ran into a man who used to work at Heartland and he was talking to a couple who knows my family, but whom I have never met.  I introduced myself to the couple, introduced Lila, and the man I knew commented on how big Lila was getting.  At this point, Lila interjected, "And my mommy needs to get more milk in her boobs."  Nice to meet you.  I'll be going now.

Example 2: After we left Costco, I told Lila in the car on the way home that it wasn't polite to talk about Mommy's boobs to other people - only in our house.  That evening we had my cousin and her husband over for dinner and mid-way through dinner Lila asked me loudly, "Mommy, can I talk about your boobs now?"  My cousin burst into a fit of giggles, her husband guffawed and I proceeded to explain Example 1 to them.  Her timing is impeccable.

2. We met the Husband at the Cow Restaurant (aka, Chick-fil-a) for lunch today and there was a mom battling her tantrum-ing child in the play place.  It was one of those awkward situations where we could tell she was aware that her parenting choices were on display at that moment so I made sure to tell her as she was walking out that she was doing a great job.  Because she was.  Next time you see me battling a Lila tantrum, remind me that I'm doing a great job, okay?  I think that would make me feel better.

3. I've lived in my house for 6 years and I just "discovered" a park within walking distance.  Up until today, I thought the only "park" close enough to walk to was the playground at the neighborhood school.  I had actually been told it was there, but it's kind of tucked away among some dead-end streets so I never drive past it.  It's a sweet little park.  We'll be going there more often.  The longer I live in this neighborhood, the more I love it.  We can walk to the grocery store, farmer's market, neighborhood pool, our school, our favorite doughnut place, an ice cream shop (actually, it's custard), and now a PARK!  The only other thing I'd like closer is a library.  Maybe there's a hidden library somewhere, too!

4. Words Lila says wrong right now that I love:
tennis shoes = shoesy-shoes
excited/exciting = excigaded/excigading
slippers = flippers
bottom = bah-dun

Flippers. Lila took this picture.
She also says, "What you say?" about 1000 times a day.  It's Lila-speak for I didn't hear you/wasn't listening/didn't understand you because you used words I don't know.  The Husband dubbed it the single cutest AND most annoying thing she says right now.  It IS really cute.  The first 101 times.  The other 899 times I kind of want to put my face in her face and yell "NEVERMIND!" But she'd probably retort with, "What you say?"

5. I just realized that I forgot to brush my teeth this morning.  I have been interacting in public for 8 hours with stinky morning breath.  I hope no one noticed.
5a) I should get up and brush my teeth now.  But I think I'll take a nap instead.

Bonus: When I typed the title I accidentally typed 5 thinks instead of things.  Now I've got Oh the Thinks You Can Think stuck in my head.  Think left and think right, think low and think high. Oh the thinks you can think up if only you try!

Happy Friday, everyone!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

first grade quotes

My day at school today was hilarious.  My fellow teacher, Heather said that the things that happened in my classroom were the stuff of movies.

Just a few:
- one of my kids (who kind of reminds me of the kid from the Goonies) had a collision on the playground with a 3rd grader and he kept correcting me that he didn't hit his head, "Actually it was my cheek."  Apparently the cheek is not part of the head.

- same kid accidentally ate his lunch at snack time and when I announced that we were having lunch next he exclaimed excitedly, "We're having another lunch!?" (Heather called him a hobbit. "What about second breakfast?...What about elevenses? Luncheon? Afternoon tea? Dinner? Supper?")

- and when I offered this same student a PB&J sandwich for lunch, he said, "Hmm, I'd rather have a graham cracker and peanut butter sandwich." To which I responded that we didn't have graham crackers.  "You don't have graham crackers?!?" he said, incredulously.  As if such a thing were unheard of.

- and finally, this same kid (I know, he'd be the star of the movie, I think) interrupted Heather's suggestion that maybe he could just have a granola bar with, "I think my original idea was better."  Choking down laughter she said, "And what was that?"  "The sandwich idea," he said simply.

- a different kid (finally), we'll call him Denis, yelled down the hall while I was talking to another teacher, "Mrs. Kautzi! I need help opening my yooooogurrrrrrtttttt!" His tone of voice suggested a state of emergency.  Yogurt emergencies are the worst.

- another kid was accidentally swiped by a kite string (we flew kites today as a part of our weather unit) when one of our kites went rogue in the enthusiastic wind and got a small rope burn on her neck.  She milked that baby for all it was worth (and then some) and required an ice pack for over an hour.  I finally said, "You have to stop whining.  I think you are over-reacting."  After which she pouted for ten minutes.  I clearly did not appreciate the severity of her wound.

- also while flying kites, I yelled to a student to avoid the tree.  When he turned to yell, "WHAT?" back to me, he turned just wrong enough that the kite got tangled in the tree branches.  Oh, the irony.

- at recess, a student came up to me and announced excitedly, "I have a new friend and that dirt over there is our club house!" Is there anything sadder than a dirt pile as a club house?

- one of my students' mom is in the hospital on bed rest until her baby is due and his little sister (who is in Kindergarten) was having a hard day today.  I asked her if a hug from her big brother would make her feel better and she nodded.  I brought Big Brother down to the office and she fell into him and wrapped her tiny little arms around his waist.  He stood there, awkwardly with one arm limp at his side and the other arm gingerly patting her shoulder.  It was very first grade boy of him.  But it still kind of made me tear up, it was such a tender moment.  It made me desperate for a sibling for Lila.  No child should have to endure the scary things in life alone.  And it kind of made me wish Lila had a big brother.

I have a feeling this class will necessitate a quote book.

Speaking of quote books.  I've got one to add to the Unofficial Lila quote book:

Lila befriended a kid in the booth behind us at the restaurant (by the way, hilarious days like today tend to also be the more exhausting days and thus require dinner at my new favorite place.)  He asked her name and she told him.  She asked his.  Then she asked his mommy's name and his daddy's name and his grandma's name and his dog's name.  Then she told him, "My mommy's name is Kelsey and my daddy's name is Husband."

The Husband and I laughed until we had tears streaming down our heads - I mean, our cheeks.  You may not know that I actually call Eric "Husband" in real life (not just blog life I mean) as a term of endearment.  Lila evidently thinks this is his name.  Hilarious.

By the way, she's still sleeping in her crib.  I'll give it a week or two and then try to persuade her again. I'm in no rush.

Monday, September 17, 2012

big girl bed update

Night one was a success!  Lila fell asleep quickly and slept all night!  She did wake up a bit earlier than usual, but I was so proud of her that I forgave her (I am NOT a morning person).  She followed the rules and waited for me to come get her out of bed.  Actually, I got her out of bed and then she asked if I would put her back into bed so she could get out by herself - I suppose that is one of the perks of the big girl bed!

Nap time went great again today, too.  She slept two hours and called for me when she woke up.


She's currently asleep in her crib.

She chose her new bed initially and gave it a good go tonight, but she freaked out every time I tried to leave the room.  Finally I said, "Do you want to sleep in your crib tonight?"

"Yes!" she said in a relieved voice.

Half of me wondered if I should have pushed her a little more to try to fall asleep in the new bed.  But the louder, more emotional and persuasive half was so relieved that she's still a little bit of a Baby Girl.

That loud, emotional and persuasive part of me is sighing a big sigh of relief tonight.

It was all moving a little too fast for my tastes!

wish us luck

We got Lila a big girl bed at Ikea last week when we went to Minneapolis.  She'll be three in December, so I wanted to have our plan in place to try to get her transitioned between now and then.  We started talking about her big girl bed a few months ago, pointing out her friends' big beds and searching for a new quilt for her new bed.  I asked her often if she wanted a big bed and she always said, "Yes!"  But when I would say, "Okay, that means you wouldn't sleep in your crib anymore.  You'll just sleep in the big bed," she would say, "No! I want to sleep in my crib!"

Based on those conversations, I started prepping myself for a long road of making the switch.  We showed her the beds like hers in the Ikea showroom (they actually didn't have a display of the model we were buying, but we showed her similar ones) and she seemed excited about it.  I knew we'd have some sleep to catch up on after our sleep-deprived trip so I didn't even consider putting it up until this weekend.

So last night, the Husband put it together in our room after she went to sleep and when Lila woke up this morning, he showed it to her.  She climbed right in and snuggled there for a few minutes.  Then the Husband moved it into the living room so she could play in it and I could go back to sleep (because I'm spoiled and he's awesome).

It lived there most of the day.

And then, for nap time we moved it into her room.  I had researched tips for transitioning to a big bed and found that most sources recommended the following:

1. Leave the crib in the room so the child doesn't walk in to find her beloved crib gone with no warning.
2. Place the bed where her crib used to be in the room.
3. Do a first try during a nap so that she can fall asleep when it's light outside and get used to the change.
4. Don't push it.  Give her the choice if possible.
5. Keep all other sleep-related routines and comforts the same.

And of course, since I'm a rule-follower, I did all of them.  I moved her crib to the side and set up her bed in position her crib had been in.  Then I asked Lila if she wanted to sleep in her crib or in her new bed.

New bed.

I asked her again.

New bed.

We got ready for nap and I asked her again.

New bed.

Okay.  We'll give it a go.  I honestly was not planning on doing our first run today.  I thought the bed would live in her room for a bit and we'd try in a few days or a week, but evidently she was ready.

I explained that she was not allowed to get out of her bed until Mommy came to get her.  I explained that she was not allowed to stand or jump on her bed and that she was not allowed to bring anything into her bed.  I explained that she was not allowed to touch the curtains on her windows.  I explained that the rules for her bed were just like the rules for her crib.  "Okay, Mommy."

I read her a book, gathered her many comfort objects (Lambie, Snuggle, Birdie Blanket, Bink) and she crawled into bed.  I tucked her in and was all ready to pat her back until she fell asleep, but then she told me, "I want you to leave, Mommy."

"You do?"


"Okay, goodnight, Peanut.  I love you."

"Love you, Mommy."

I left the room thinking, This is never going to work.

I gave her 15 minutes and when she was still talking I went in to check on her.  She was sitting on her pillow holding her Lambie.  Her Birdie Blanket and Snuggle were on the ground and she and Lambie were, "Picking the butterflies off the blanket."  Also, she had pooped.

 I changed her diaper and then told her, "I am so proud of you for staying in your bed and for trying to fall asleep by yourself.  Mommy will rock you today and we'll try again tomorrow."  I rocked her to sleep and put her down in her bed thinking, I'll be happy if she sleeps 45 minutes or an hour.

Nearly two hours later, she called over the monitor, "Mommy!  I awake!  Come and get me, Mommy!" I rushed in so that she would know that I would come right to her if she called, hoping this would encourage her to stay in her bed over the long haul.  She was sitting on her bed grinning with pride.

"Lila! I'm so proud of you!!  You slept in your big girl bed all by yourself and you didn't get out just like Mommy told you!  Awesome job, Sweet Girl!!"

"Yeah! I did it!  Let's go tell Daddy!"

I'm not gonna lie.  I cried a little bit.  You mamas know, tears of pride and also sadness and disbelief that my girl could really be old enough to be sleeping in a big bed!?  I just looked at her and the tears came.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I have dreaded each big transition we've made thinking it would be hard, that she would fight it, that we would all be frustrated.  But in hindsight, each transition has been almost painless.  Except for the pain, in hindsight, of the reality that my baby was growing up with each new stage.  The switch from swaddle to sleep sack and then from sleep sack to blanket, the switch from breast milk to cow's milk and then cutting out the bottle altogether, cutting back on the bink to only sleep time, and even potty training was easy once it clicked.

I was pondering this aloud to my parents tonight and my dad said, "Maybe you should just start realizing that you're actually really good at this."

But I don't think that's it.  It's not that I'm good at this mommying thing.  Believe me, most of the time I feel like my best isn't good enough.  I think most of the credit goes to my girl.  If she's ready, she's ready.  If I've done one thing right in each of these transitions, it's been reading the signals to know that she's ready.  The rest has been her own independence, autonomy and development at work.

I'm also not dumb enough to think that after one nap time we've got this thing nailed down.  In fact, my expectation was that she might not want to sleep in her bed tonight.  Or that she would be getting up out of bed a bunch or that she would be too excited to fall asleep.  Or that she'd end up back in her crib after a trial period.

But tonight I gave her the choice again, crib or new bed.

New bed.

"Okay, so Daddy will rock you and Mommy will come and tuck you in and you'll stay in your bed all night.  You sure you want to sleep in your bed and not your crib?"

New bed.

So I read her a book, the Husband rocked her and prayed with her, then I tucked and kissed and prayed  and sang to my big girl.  And I asked her one more time if she wanted to sleep in her bed or her crib.

New bed.

I think there's a part of me that wasn't ready, even if she was.  She's so big.  She's not a baby.  Even the name of her bed declares it: she's a big girl.  And that's just a little more than this mommy heart can take.

She's been asleep for an hour already.  She barely talked or played at all.  This very grown-up countenance came over her as she hugged me goodnight.

"I love you.  Jesus loves you.  I'm so proud of you.  I'm so glad I'm your mommy.  Have a good sleep, Peanut."

"Have a good sleep, Mommy."

We'll see how the night goes - it could be a long night.  Maybe we'll be back in the crib tomorrow, we'll see.  Maybe I just hope we will.  Either way, wish us luck!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Emmaus Roadies!

This morning we joined a few hundred other people in the Step Forward walk to raise money and awareness for Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC).

Our dear friends, Dan and Laurisa Ballew, have a little girl named Emmaus who was born with TSC.  People who are born with TSC lack the gene that inhibits tumor growth, so non-malignant tumors grow uninhibited in vital organs like the lungs, kidneys, heart, brain, skin, etc.  Emmaus has tumors in her heart, skin and brain.  As a result of the tumors in her brain, she suffers from daily seizures which in turn cause developmental delays.

From the time Dan and Laurisa found out that Emmaus would be born with this disorder, we have been praying with them for Emmaus' health and healing.
This is Emmaus at Children's Mercy Hospital when she first began having seizures at eight weeks old.
Laurisa asked us to link to this post today.  I hope you take a few minutes to visit their blog and especially to watch the video embedded here:

As the video says, TSC is what researchers call a "linchpin disease" meaning that breakthroughs in TSC research could lead to breakthroughs in many other diseases including autism, epilepsy and cancer.

Please consider donating $10 or more to the TSC alliance here.  Even though the walk is over, it's not too late!  Help to Unlock the Cure.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

on weather and Narnia and ineptitude and Jesus

Nap time silence is broken by a small raspy voice singing the words I sang to her as she fell asleep,

"I love you Lila, oh yes I do.  I love you, Lila and I'll be true.  When you're not near me I'm blue!  Oh, Lila I love you!"

Of course she doesn't realize how narcissistic it is to sing those words to herself.  I'm not sure she even thinks about the words that she is singing.  But I love that those are the words that were swimming in her subconscious while she slept.

It's a melancholy day today.  Cloudy and dreary.  I'm actually relieved, as many are, for the cooler weather, excited to pull out my sweatshirts and put socks on my toes.  But Lila kept asking, "Where's the sun?" and was unsatisfied with my answer that it was still in the sky, but the clouds were hiding it from us.

I thought about something that Puddleglum, the pessimistic Eeyore-type character in C.S. Lewis' The Silver Chair, says in response to the Witch's suggestion that Narnia didn't really exist, that they had made it all up in their minds, and that her dark underground world was the true world.
"Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things-trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. And that's a funny thing, when you come to think of it. We're just babies making up a game, if you're right. But four babies playing a game can make a play-world which licks your real world hollow. That's why I'm going to stand by the play world. I'm on Aslan's side even if there isn't any Aslan to lead it. I'm going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn't any Narnia. So, thanking you kindly for our supper, if these two gentlemen and the young lady are ready, we're leaving your court at once and setting out in the dark to spend our lives looking for Overland. Not that our lives will be very long, I should think; but that's a small loss if the world's as dull a place as you say.” 

Lila's brain is so literal sometimes - how can the sun be there if we can't see it?  And yet this morning she told me, "Mommy!  Jesus is here!  He's right there! Welcome to our house, Jesus!" And I couldn't help but wonder if something in her heart is truly stirring with the presence of our Aslan.   And then, the Witch in me says, "She's just pretending.  It's make-believe.  She also says there are monsters coming and you write that off as imagination.  Why should imagining Jesus be any different?"

But he is different, isn't he?  He's just like the sun behind the clouds.  There if not felt or visible.  There whether or not we acknowledge or believe it.  And why wouldn't he appear to her imaginings?  It seems like the sort of thing he would do, doesn't it?

My mood is matching the weather.  I watched the season premiere of Parenthood while Lila was sleeping.  The oldest daughter of one of the families left for college in this episode, and I made myself sad imagining the impossible day when Lila would leave my home and my protection.  I often identify with Puddleglum who describes himself as  "a chap who always liked to know the worst and then put the best face I can on it."  Except I'm not all that good at putting the best face on things when they're all stacked together.

The truth is, I am exhausted.  Physically exhausted from getting back in to the school routine with a five-day trip sandwiched in between the two school days we've had so far.  And Lila's sick or something.  She's sneezing and has had a mild fever and cried today when I walked out of the room to get her a pair of socks.  And I've gone two weeks without exercising (despite lugging my five-pound weights across three states with the overly ambitious intention of working out during Lila's naps in Minnesota) and having a hard time getting motivated to get back in the swing of things.

August whooped me.  The calendar was too full which was partly my fault and partly unavoidable.  But now, nearly half-way through September, I'm still recovering.  And trying to find that line between healthy rest and restoration and laziness.

 And we're in that tricky time of year financially, capping off a summer without my school-year paycheck and hoping we can stretch our pennies to the end of the month when I start getting paid again.  It's like this every August/September and I even over-budgeted when I set aside money from our tax refund this Spring so that we wouldn't feel the pinch this year.  I did not, however, budget for the $1000 bead extraction we are still getting bills for.  (Is it a blogging faux pas to talk about money?  Probably.  Sorry.  I just need to get it all out of my head and in black and white.)

The truth is, I'm feeling...inept.  Inept at managing our schedule and balancing our finances.  Inept at kicking that still-lingering baby weight (oh, who am I kidding - at this point it's just weight).  Inept at taming our child. (She drew on the carpet with "washable" markers the other day and is now grounded from them until she's three.  When I explained this to her today she said cheerfully, "Okay! I three now!")  Inept at making new babies who will grow up to draw on my carpet.

I'm feeling that familiar ineptness that comes with a new class, as I learn how I need to tweak my expectations and consequences to fit the needs and personalities of this new crowd.  (Are any other teachers plagued by nightmares at the beginning of the school year?  You would think eight years into this my subconscious would be a little more confident in my abilities and experience, but I still have the same dreams I had when I first started teaching - in which the children are running amuck and I am trying to get them under control, but my voice can't go above a whisper and there are 60 of them instead of my 23.  It makes me sweat just thinking about it.)

In short, I need the confidence of my two-year-old who hears love anthems to herself in her dreams and wakes up singing them.  I need the reminder that the sun is behind the clouds.  I need the faith that Jesus is present in my house.  I need to believe his Word that says he sings love songs over me just as I sing them over Lila.  I need those songs to sink deep in my heart so that I wake up singing them and live like a Narnian.  Because, despite my current reality, this world is but a Shadowland.  And Puddleglum is right, that World will "lick this world hollow."

I love you, Kelsey. Oh yes I do!  I love you, Kelsey and I'll be true!  When you're not near me, I'm blue! Oh, Kelsey I love you!

P.S. The Kautzis are participating in a walk this Saturday to raise money for Tuberous Sclerosis research.  If you'll remember, our dear friends the Ballews have a sweet daughter named Emmaus who was born with TSC.  Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC) is a rare genetic disease that causes tumors to grow in vital organs.  Emmaus has tumors in her eyes, skin, heart and brain.  We have a goal of raising $100 by Saturday, so if you would like to help us reach our goal, visit our team's website and donate to the cause. :)  Info on our team is here and our family's donation page is here.  To read more about Emmaus, visit her mama's blog here. Thanks!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Linking up and our annual Minneapolis trip

I'm linking up over at Dreaming Big Dreams.

Check out the other adoption blogs linked there and share your support!

Also, here's a quick photo update of our weekend in Minnesota:

Baby Henri obeyed my instructions to come before we left for Minneapolis and we stopped in on our way out of town to kiss his cheeks.
Lila loves holding babies.
Friday we wasted no time visiting our favorite pizza place in the Twin Cities, Davonnis.  It's really just a chain pizza place, but it's delicious and we crave it when we're home.

We also took Lila to the Mall of America on Friday, thinking she'd be too little to ride any of the rides, but she was just tall enough so we splurged and let her ride a few.  The favorite was the toddler version of  the Detonator.
Mine's the one without shoes.  Figures.
And here's a minute of the fun if you want to watch a video.  About ten seconds in, Lila initiates some counting cheers with each bounce.  She's a born leader, what can I say.

We stayed with our friend Bonnie's sister and her hubby.  They were so gracious to us and we had their entire basement to take over.  It was a perfect set up for us and we are so grateful!  Friday afternoon, Bonnie and Tim stopped by with Baby Tad and I flirted with him while Lila napped.

Friday night, we had dinner with friends at our friend Stephie's house.  Lila loved Stephie's dog, Chako, and they were equally matched energy-wise.

Saturday we met my aunts and grandma for lunch at Lake Harriet.  Lila was in hog heaven and made friends with a bunch of little girls at the playground.  I forgot to take pictures, though.  Dang!

Saturday night we got together with my college roomies, Bonnie and Lindsey, the only two of the seven of us left in Minneapolis - everyone else has moved away.  Boo.  But those two have really cute babies so it was a fun reunion.
Tad was putting the moves on Hazel.
I love that Hazel baby.  She sounds like a little kitty when she cries.  It's the cutest thing.
Did you know it's impossible to get a good picture when children are involved?  Not sure what Lila's doing there.

Sunday we went to Mill City Church where my friend Stephie is a pastor.  They are being trained/discipled by the same organization that the Gathering is being trained by - 3DM.  It was so encouraging to see another congregation using the same language and tools as we are.  I think we'll learn a lot from the way their church is implementing some of the tools 3DM offers.  If you are looking for a church in Minneapolis, check out Mill City.  We loved it and their child care team is seriously gifted.  Lila is usually shy about new places, but she was ran into the classroom without looking back and had a blast.

Sunday afternoon, we made trip 1 of 2 to Ikea.  We bought Lila's big girl bed - I'm sure I'll write a post about that when it actually happens - and several things for friends who had put in requests.
Lila tested out all the beds.  I'm not sure that's allowed, but there you go.
Then we picked my grandma up and took her to dinner at her favorite place.  Again, I forgot to take pictures.  Ack.
Lila earned herself a cookie which she refused to share.
Monday we met Bonnie, Tim and Tad for breakfast at Sunstreet Breads.  I had the yummiest sourdough flapjacks.  My mouth is watering, just thinking about them.

Then we headed back to Ikea for trip number two to pick up a few things we didn't have time to get the night before.

It took some creative packing to get everything in the car, but we the Husband did it!  And just like that, we were on our way home! 

Lila found ways to entertain herself in the car.

And I entertained myself taking pictures to send to my friend, Holly so she wouldn't forget what I look like.
unfortunately, I look like I've been in the car for 6 hours.
 And taking pictures of the Husband and his awesome sunglasses.  He's getting his money's worth out of those puppies.  They've been superglued at least ten times, but the side fell off again on the way home and Eric decided they were done.
RIP sunglasses.  You had a good run.
Lila did reasonably well for having no nap two days in a row, lots of late nights and coming down with a cold the last two days.  She kind of lost it after we stopped in Des Moines to see some friends on the way home and cried for about 30 minutes because she wanted me to hold her.  Poor girl.  She's such a trooper and sometimes I take for granted how well she can function on little sleep and in new environments.  In hindsight, we may have pushed her too much.  We'll be laying low this week and helping her recover.

Thanks to all of our friends and family who made time for us this weekend.  We love you guys and this annual trip is always one of the highlights of our year!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

first day of school

Today was my first day back to school and therefore Lila's first day back to school.  She was beyond thrilled.

"And my friends will be there and I will play with them!" she told me when I was getting her dressed this morning.

I've had my eye on this cute little hippo lunch box at Target the last few weeks and I've been waiting for the price to drop to a reasonable amount to pay for a lunch box that she really doesn't need.  My patience was rewarded when I found that it was 50% off, so I snuck out last night after she was in bed and bought it to surprise her.
hippo face

I tried to walk the line between making her wear a perfect first day of school outfit and still allowing her to feel like she had some choice in the matter.  In the end, she used her master negotiating skills and talked me into the butterfly shirt and the sparkly skirt - neither of which were in the first round of choices I gave her.  At least they matched, which is more than I can say for her usual outfits.

I tried and failed to get a perfect first day of school picture.  Too wiggly, too ornery, too cheesy.  The result was perfectly imperfect.  Which is to say, perfectly Lila.
I'm not entirely sure why she's arm-less in this one
Then, I tried to get her to let me take a picture of her with her teachers this morning, but she wasn't having it.  This was as close as I got:
...blurry, frowning and no where near her teachers.  You can just hear the word, "Nooooooooo!" whining out of her mouth.  Enough with the camera, Mom.  Don't you have a job to get to?

My day was a blur of activity.  I hardly know what happened.  But I survived and so did my students and that's what counts!  The first day is always a little nutty as I establish the expectations of my classroom and try to find that oh-so-thin boundary between "I mean business and you won't get away with that" disciplinarian and "You'll have fun here and don't need to cry" nice first grade teacher.

I came home utterly exhausted and wondering (as I'm prone to do every evening after the first day of school) why I ever considered teaching full time when this one day a week gig sufficiently wears me and my little introverted self out.  After Lila fell asleep (at 7:15 (!) - unheard of for my little night owl, but she didn't get a nap today) I flopped on the bed and said to the Husband, "I miss summer."

He was unsympathetic.  Which I suppose is fair considering he works really hard every day, all day with no summer vacation while my job allows me to take a nap when if Lila naps and potentially stay in my pajamas all day if I see fit.   Which I do.  Tomorrow.