Friday, August 26, 2011

the reveal

One extremely long hour in the waiting room, one stressful and struggly hour in the dimly lit room with restless kids (remember the one hour wait?) and a passive-aggressive ultrasound tech who doesn't love kids, one passive-aggressive ultrasound tech calling me back in as we packed kids into car because she'd forgotten to take a photo and actually dared to politely blame it on my kids for distracting her... and we have a verdict:

I will NOT be returning the following mass of cuteness I have accumulated since my inconclusive ultrasound two months ago! And I WILL be headed to Goodwill's 50% off sale tomorrow morning for more.

Yeah, you're right. I wasn't planning on returning a jot of it, anyway. I'll admit it feels good to finally have a scientifically-founded confirmation, but the kids and I were already quite certain that a baby sister is on her way. I've had a great deal of intuitive revelations about this little nugget. We are anxious to see the rest of our predictions realized.

P.S. I left kitchen chairs in the living room overnight while my freshly-mopped floor dried. The next morning a rare and unprompted scene of harmony greeted me.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Cool enough for school?

The way it's worked out best for our schedule and finances, Erik is attending a five-day preschool in a neighboring school district, but only ten minutes away. He's actually in class longer than his big sis! I wouldn't consider preschool necessary for every child, but for Erik I believe this is going to be a critical stepping stone toward a positive kindergarten experience.

Erik's preschool teacher and aide visited us at our house the week before school started, which was thoughtful of them! They also held an open house in the classroom, appropriately adorned with toys. This in combination with the excitement of Ellie starting school and getting to pick out his own backpack led to a completely smooth transition for Erik into an entirely new environment.

For a kid generally very resistant to change, I cannot express how grateful and excited I am that he has so openly embraced preschool! His papa was one of those clingy, crying kids who didn't want to leave his mama's side. Not this boy! It's not easy to get an energetic reaction out of Erik, meaning even ice cream and Christmas morning fall short, but we could tell he felt good about entering school.

As Erik selected his outfit for the first day of school, he kept verifying with me that his selections were sufficiently cool. Even down to the socks, "Mom, are these socks cool enough for school?"

Kyle: Wow Erik, you look so handsome!
Erik: Don't you mean cool?
(Tiff: Yes, a t-shirt with a "pork chop" pig doing karate? Quite cool enough.)

Erik and his teacher, Mrs. B, are going to get along swimmingly.

Even Charlie won out on Erik's first day of school. With the parent-child ratio now in our favor, we decided to make a spontaneous stop at McD's for soft serve and germy playland, and then Char was out in a wink for his afternoon nap. I think we've got a good system down for afternoon bliss all around.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Weekend of Stress

Usually I like change. Change is good. In four days, however, Kyle's beloved internship ended, he started another job, his scooter died, my phone died, Ellie started school, Erik's preschool registration hit some hiccups, we thought we lost our family's medical insurance, Kjerstin started school and an internship (she's been living with us), and while Kjerst was borrowing our car, someone ran a red light causing a massive collision with her that totaled both cars involved.

Thankfully, Kjerstin and the other lady are okay. Also thankfully, Kjerstin was not at fault. These are the most important factors. Then came some practical details.

But it could have been worse. We could have been this car...

At first our insurance would only give us $15/day to rent a car which is maybe enough to rent a bicycle. They've gone back-and-forth (even today) but finally we did finagle out of them a school bus-esque s.u.v. (no really, it doesn't even fit in our garage) we've dubbed Canyonero (a la Simpsons episode) until Tuesday. That's our deadline for locating and purchasing our dream car with a settlement that is not much more than we dished out in May to replace the transmission.

Feeling patriotic, anyone? No but really, though we'll always be partial to minivans, we sure have appreciated having this vehicle around.

So stress. Yes, it was a stressful four days. I honestly am not sure how I worked in a shower (forget bathing the kids) and I think ultimately figuring out how to get a healthy dinner to materialize each night was what was throwing me over the edge.

I was actually posting all of this nonsense not to whine, but because Kyle and I just started busting up laughing last night at the ridiculosity of the number of burdens we'd faced in a few short days. This post was supposed to be light-hearted because things are already looking up.

True, the first two days of sending Ellie to kindergarten were overwhelming, not that tears of separation-anxiety were anywhere near shed. It was just a lot of information packets with checklists of forms and donation and volunteer obligations thrown at this first-timer, confusion about the bus schedule and the classroom environment, having no means of transportation to drop off and pick up my child, and just barely throwing her on the bus before she'd even had a chance to eat lunch.

But we're quick learners and now she's got her kindergarten groove down solid.

Note Ellie's size relative to the school bus tire.

And then they whisk my young, vulnerable child away.

Erik is also all set for preschool to start next week. I'm not looking forward to parking, unstrapping, and dragging 3-4 children to the school door twice a day in order to sign Erik in and out, but I am looking forward to the extensive and much-needed social and emotional opportunities Erik will have in this classroom. He's going to eat it all up.

Also, my phone self-resurrected.

So things are not so bad as they were not long ago.

P.S. On top of all those changes, Ellie is officially going by Elisabeth now. Well, at least at school. We're a little harder to convince at home.

P.S.S. Also, Ellie lost her first tooth by natural causes a while back (woooeeee was that a dramatic evening!) and Charlie deemed himself ready to potty train.

The beloved tongs. He goes nowhere, even to bed, without a kitchen tool of some sort. Most recently it's been a collection of butter knives. We're thinking about weaning him off of his binky and onto the knife. It's about our only hope.

Monday, August 15, 2011

An end and beginning

Today my big little girl changed our lives forever (by limiting the flexibility of my schedule) and entered the public school system.

Last week we briefly met her teacher and discovered the classroom.

Today she cruised down the monkey bars and owned that kindergarten class. She will be a super star. If her teacher wants one, she'll be her pet. This girl is ready to shine.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Baby bump

Just over half-way through this shpeel and finally me and my big-bellied self made it into a photo! My intention was to look all content and maternally glowy, by the way, not sweaty and sleepy. Alas, I am all of the above. Honestly, this middle trimester has been lovely. I'm a wee bit frightened about the coming months, however, as this belly's only gettin bigger...