Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Welcoming a new member of the family

Freaked you out a little with the title right?!

As we were trying to appeal to something within Eli to obey us yesterday he rather clearly answered the request (whatever it was...there are so many) with "No Edward want to." No what? "No Edward want to." Emily caught it first. "Edward [is] a frightful boy" from a book that is pretty new to the Cannon Library (The Boy Who Would Not Share). You would think that with as many people as are scurrying around this house no one would need an imaginary friend. This is still in the cute stage right now (the way he says it is priceless) but I'm already trying to ignore Edward since he does not seem to want to do anything, especially the important things like potty, eat, drink milk, go to time out or nap. I'm trying to figure out if this really is an imaginary friend thing or if Eli just knows Edward is a brat and would answer that way so Eli will too. I've asked him where Edward is and he has said that I am Edward or just kind of ignored the question. When asked if he is Edward, Eli says, "No! Me Eli!" Edward has served one purpose, Eli will now say his name.

The girls threw Edward into the woods at lunch today, but he apparently found his way back because he did not want to potty after nap. It may take until Kindergarten to get Eli potty trained, I really hope Edward will get with it soon and help me out! Open to suggestions on dealing with imaginary friends, 'cuz you know I don't really need another kid to take care of....feeling blessed each day to do this well with the ones I've got!

Monday, May 25, 2009


The best thing about having to sit backwards is always seeing the brother that loves you!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Pensacola and the Beach

James's grandmother, Mimi, moved into an assisted living living room from her independent living apartment at the same retirement facility last week. There were still some, OK alot, of things to go through and some furniture to be moved as she was moving to a much smaller space. Since the last day of school for Emily was void of all learning and James had to go down on Thursday do take care of some banking items, I checked Emily out early and loaded up the four children and off we went. James had left a few hours earlier to make sure he got there in time to take care of the business stuff. Yes, me and 4 kids on a 5 hour trip. It took us an hour and a half to get to Clanton due to work on the side of the road. It had not even started to rain yet! Potty breaks were interesting as the five of us herded into the restrooms at the rest stops (no way was I taking all of them into a place of business). We did have to stop at a store in the middle of nowhere, where I did leave everyone in the car except the pottier~Rachel, of couse, whose bladder can sense the most inconvenient time/place. We parked next to a sherriff's cruiser so I felt pretty safe as I paced between the bathroom and the front door. At long last we made it. I had the beach as a behavior bargaining chip for part of the way until James called and said the weather was not looking good. At that point I decided I'd better let the subject rest to keep it fom being a bigger deal if we did not get to go.

When we arrived James had completed his "musts" for the day and we decided to take a chance on the beach as Friday's weather looked worse. It poured on us most of the drive over and we considered turning around. I am so glad we didn't. The beach was perfect! A little overcast with sun breaking through and a cool breeze. The water was cold though. Disclaimer: I am not a beach person. It is a pile of dirt with international cess pool washing up in my opinion. You do not have to agree with me, I just don't like the beach. Too bad for me, my children love it! Eli does not remember earlier trips to the beach and of course this was Sam's first. He thought it tasted fine! Here are the pics~see if you can tell when Eli stopped liking the water and never went close to it again.

Friday, May 15, 2009

End of the School Year

Another school year has come and gone. I guess this was our first real school year, like we could be in trouble if someone doesn't show up, but we've been doing the preschool thing for a while so that's close. Anyway, it is always bittersweet. It is good to have a break from the daily grind, especially for mommy~she is so tired of packing lunches at 6 am. It is good that the children have grown and changed and matured through the months. It is hard to accept all that change and growth; escpecially for me since I don't live in the moment well, I blink and the children are a year older and so grown up! Really gotta work on that!

Emily had a fun-filled last 10 days of school. She had field day, her musical performance and party, splash day and pajama day. The non-themed days were filled with movie watching. I am sure there was nothing left to learn! She has had a great year with a super teacher and a really good class. My baby is a first grader and I am sure she will not like that as well. Something about all the work 1st graders have to do. We'll deal with that in August.

Rachel also had a great class with most of the children having been in her class for the last 2 years. Next year, as they move into 4-K they will be spread out among more classrooms and it will be a little sad. But this year she has learned so much from her wonderful teachers Mrs. Joy and Mrs. Lanette. They were perfect for this little girl who is so full of life that she would exhaust just one teacher. Though they say that she was the calmest, most quiet child in the class. Ummm....no.

Eli went from being "the sweetest little boy" to being a little handful. He really started to own being a 2-yr-old mid-year and threw everyone for a loop. He too has come a long way, especially with speech. It was so hard to teach the class next door and have outside play and chapel with his class. He is such a "mommy boy" (his words) that I actually had to stop going to chapel with my class because he could not behave with me in the room. On the playground, he would call to me and give me sideways glances as he would go to do something wrong. Totally frustrating and totally Eli all at the same time. It is hard not to spoil him~he is just the cutest thing and knows how to work it. A little easier for me than some of the staff though, he so has them wrapped. They just hand over their phones and keys when he walks in the room. One is even at his beck and call for snacks when the school day is over. Ridiculous I say!

Well, Sam still sleeps most of the time he is in his classroom. The other time is mostly spent eating. If you've met Sam, you are not surprised. He did learn to sit up, crawl, pull up and say mama (that's right, not dada) during the last 8 months, but you know, he's a baby and would have done that anyway. Sorry Amanda, you get no credit other that keeping all your digits in tact while feeding him bananas!

The last day in my class was much harder than I thought it would be. I am exhausted and have been eagerly awaiting the end of the year. I started out the year on "maternity leave" and came into the classroom a month into the year. There were challenges, but for the most part everything went as expected and really was good. I just really need a little break from all the busyness. So the last day, the director had us watch the video that was shown to the parents at the recognition program two days earlier before the children came in. I had already been a little sad, but I just got so emotional watching the pictures from early in the year and realizing how much they had grown (my kids' pictures were in there too). At the party later that morning I wanted to say nice things about the children, but got choked up on that too. I am an admitted crier, but this was a bit much even for me! Anyway, I will miss my sweet little class, but move on they must.

Strawberry Picking & Carnival

We took the kids to pick strawberries a few weeks ago and had a great time. They liked chasing the farmer's dog as much as anything else, but it was a great chance for them to realize in an interactive way that food does not just come from the store. The farm is in Clanton and we arrived just before I thought my head would explode from the "when will we be there"s. (A thousand apologies Mom and Dad for each such utterance in my youth.) Everyone grabbed a basket and was off! The girls did a great job choosing berries while Eli and Sam kicked back in the stroller. We let Eli out for a bit (you know, the photo op) but out of concern for the entire patch we had to keep him reined in.

On the way back we remembered that a local school was having it's fundraiser which is a carnival. We have taken the girls the past couple of years and thought it was time for Eli to join in the fun. So we drove straight there without mentioning it to the kids. As we drove through the parking lot Emily said, "What are we doing here? This place makes me think of the carnival." Then she looked up and saw it all and got super excited! It is a small thing, but it has become a tradition. Emily and Rachel ask throughout the year when the carnival is and Eli talked about driving the motorcycles (one of the rides) for several days. I love that they look forward to these times together. I love even more being their mom.

Softball: I Survived, I Deserve a Prize!

Well, I totally intended to post something about softball before the season was over, but alas the season is over and somehow we survived. First of all, I was expecting one practice and one game per week like all the other sports we've done or inquired about. Not so! 6 & under softball requires at least two practices per week before games start and up to 4 games per week once the season get underway. Already grumpy from this schedule, when someone mentioned that we had to travel I was ready to scream. I mean, I love my children and I want them to have fun and experience things, but a traveling 6 year-old softball team is a little hard to take. Lucky for whoever is in charge they did not make the 6U girls travel this season. We did however have some 7:30 games on school nights. Can you say "Happy Mommy"?

Two of the four teams at Chelsea were coached by Softball Board members and so were pretty advanced if you catch my drift. We had evaluations before the draft (yes, I am using these words for 6U) but they were certainly not used to make things fair. Truly, this is not just sour grapes! I am not all about winning, but I do think that all the teams should have some chance to win sometimes. Our record was some big number-2 (one win was a forfeit, the other by the skin of their teeth) so Emily and Rachel did have to learn to be good losers and it was not a wasted experience. Our girls, the Chelsea Heat, played with alot of heart and by the end of the season were making some good plays. I am proud of all of them and grateful to our 3 coaches for being positive with the girls in a tough situation, especially since other coaches were teaching their teams to be extra rough (push the runner off the base, shove the runner to the ground when tagging them out in the baseline, etc) even though they outweighed our players by a good 15-20 pounds. Seriously, in the last game if Rachel had had a white flag she would have waved it. She just stopped running and threw up her little hands to try to keep them from doing bodily harm. It was cute, but hard to see her give up. I can't blame her though, these girls had knocked her down hard too many times to risk it again.

Rachel at bat; I know this is her because she is so tiny that the socks go right into the shorts that you can't really see because the shirt is so long.

A great level swing from Emily at a poorly thrown pitch (sorry Coach Jim); that's my story and I'm sticking to it!

That said, it wasn't all bad. We loved going to the fields and the sense of community you get there. Eli loved that he got a little freedom running between neighbors in the bleachers and later on just running. Even Sam thought it was pretty cool just to be chillin' outside in the stroller. Will we play again next year? If the girls want to. They had alot of fun with their teammates and cheering (did not know there were softball cheers) in the dugout. I'm told things will be a little different next year and I did my part with my ballot. So, we'll just have to wait and see.