To Make a Long Story Short

I have been so busy lately - which for blogging presents a ton of things to write about. However because the pace of things hasn't yet slowed down (and won't for another few weeks), I will sum up some of the "main things" from the past couple days/weeks rather than drag it all out into a big long post. Because it would be LONG.

Here are some tidbits:
  1. This is freshest on my brain, so I have to share...I got an iPhone for my birthday!!! I turn 28 on Monday (for the first time in my life I feel old!) and my husband surprised me with my early bday gift this afternoon. He came home from work, snuck the phone into my purse as we were coming inside from playing in the awesome fall weather, and had the ringtone set to the Happy Birthday song. He called it from his phone. I had NO IDEA where that song was coming from. As I made it closer to my purse on the kitchen table, it just didn't process in my mind that the song could have been coming from my purse because I was SURE that I had nothing in there that would sing Happy Birthday. Finally, I opened it to uncover the beautiful phone that I've been eyeing for many many months. I WAS 100% SURPRISED. And 100% happy. It is a bit out of our budget right now (especially since we have to pay a contract termination fee for T-Mobile to switch to ATT), but Ricky always has a way of making things happen. He knew how much I wanted this phone (and the internet on my phone) so he had everyone in his family and my parents go in on the gift to cover all the fees - which in and of itself are more than the phone even costs. With his work discount, the monthly cost is only a few dollars more than the one I'm currently on with T-Mobile WITH NO INTERNET. I'm so pumped. Now I can blog on the run, check in on Facebook, and actually use GPS when I'm lost in the middle of Sacramento (as I was just last week). :)

  2. I went to Sacramento, Modesto, Los Gatos, Santa Cruz and San Jose last week. It was AWESOME. We attended Alexa's Appeal hosted by the Rast family who has a child with Craniosynostosis, just one of the things that Aiden has endured as part of his Apert Syndrome. They did a phenomenal (that's for you Ricky) job putting it all together. I was honored to have Aiden be a part of the message that they were sharing with the 150 or so guests that came to support CCA. Everything from the food, raffle, silent auction, and comedian were just excellent. The video Denise put together herself was absolutely amazing. I want to do something similar for Little Fire Big Heart next year - but I doubt I will even be able to come close to the quality that Denise's video was. If you're interested, click here for the link (you will need to download the free video software and will need about 25 minutes to see from start to finish).

  3. I attempted to see a movie by myself for the first time ever while in Sacramento. But got up and asked for my money back when I got to the creepy, damp, basement theater to watch "Sorority Row" (I know, I know, don't even comment) because it was only me and a fifty-ish man with a duffle bag in the entire room. I thought it was strange so I decided to trust my instincts and get out of there. I hope he enjoyed it!

  4. AIDEN IS WALKING!! Yes he is 19 months old but so what. This is a milestone that we are probably 10 times more proud of than when Ethan started walking. He's had his chips stacked against him from day one and yet he continues to amaze us each and every day in his very own way. We couldn't be more ecstatic!

  5. Did I say I got an iPhone for my birthday????

  6. And speaking of birthday, I am officially starting to feel old. Aside from the fact that I find myself scrutinizing my complexion in the mirror on a daily basis (which now doesn't only have the stubborn little blemishes on my chin that I had as a teenager, but also includes MANY more fine lines and wrinkles than I thought I would see while still in my 20s). I took my niece to her gymnastics class the other day and began to reminisce about the days when I was a competitive gymnast at the very same gym. I did the math and literally gasped out loud when I said it again in my head: "It's been 20 years...TWENTY YEARS...since I was a gymnast". I'm not a math person so I began recalculating it to make sure I wasn't making a mistake. But I wasn't. TWENTY YEARS. Ugh.

  7. I guess that statistic would make sense considering that my TEN YEAR high school reunion is tomorrow. Why do I have butterflies? I mean I'm married and have kids. Yet I am getting butterflies about seeing people I haven't been friends with in TEN YEARS (unless you count Facebook - but we all know that being "friends" on Facebook doesn't necessarily mean much). I recently saw a Facebook group that was called "If we're friends on Facebook, we should atleast acknowledge eachother when we see one another in person". LOL.

  8. Considering where I was 10 years ago, and even 20 years ago for that matter, and although I may still have some insecurities, some fears about the future and some things about myself that I'd like to change (that 10 pounds I was going to lose before my 10 year reunion never happened...) let it be known that I am madly in love with my handsome husband and my two little boys are my world. Some may think I was dealt a crappy hand when Aiden was born with his condition. Yeah, it kinda sucked, I'm not gonna lie. But my life, to make a long story short, is still nothing less than amazing.

Preschool: Day 3

I learned a very important lesson today with regards to taking Ethan to preschool.

Don't go in the front door and pass by the "Kid Watch" room that has a slide in it. Choose the side door instead.

Ethan insisted on going down the slide before he would even entertain the idea of heading to the preschool room. After all reasoning failed, I ended up talking the Kid Watch employees into letting him just run in to go down the slide one time - with the agreement that he would then go to Preschool.

Yeah, that didn't work out too well.

We made it back to Preschool, but I then battled with my very reluctant and usually not shy two year old during circle time and learning about the letter "B". All of this while also keeping tabs on Aiden. I would get Ethan settled on his spot on the rug and try to tip-toe out of the room, but not two seconds later Ethan woud come running out sobbing.

I'm second guessing this whole Preschool thing. Both Ethan's readiness and also choosing the YMCA for this adventure. I really do think Ethan may have been just having one of those days. Maybe something scared him about returning to Preschool (um, I don't know, maybe the fact that he got in trouble on the 2nd day of class).

I'm planning on trying it again on Thursday. But I will also be getting there first thing to discuss some of my concerns with Ms. Kathleen. First of all - the Preschool room is near the back of the building. If you enter from the front, you pass the front desk and go down a long hallway. You then go through 2 double doors into the classroom. Doors that my 2 year old can open on his own. I know locking them might be a fire hazard, but shouldn't there be something keeping the kids from getting out of the room? Not to mention that there is an exit to the parking lot just outside the Preschool classroom. Each time I tried to sneak out of there this morning, Ethan would always come busting out the doors to run and find me.

Which brings me to my next concern. Not one time did a teacher follow him. I would meet him halfway, fully expecting Ms. Kathleen to come out and make sure he didn't run out into the parking lot or atleast to see if I were even still there. But I'd return him to the room where Ms. Kathleen and her assistant (who wasn't there on the first day) were sitting in circle time with all the other kids. I know you can't leave a classroom of 2 and 3 year olds unattended to chase after another one, but come on, if I'm going to leave my child in your care, I need to feel that they are safe.

And call me crazy, but you can't tell me that my kid is the only 2 year old that ever cries and tries to run after their mom or dad. It would've helped out A LOT if the teacher had intervened and given Ethan a little "pep-talk" about all of the fun things they were going to do today. Instead, I felt like I was fighting the battle on my own. I left pretty much feeling like they could care less if Ethan stayed or not. It's the first time he's really gone into a setting like this. Would it be too much to ask for the teacher to try and make him feel welcome there?

Ugh. I'm hoping that I can discuss my concerns with Ms. Kathleen on Thursday and that Ethan will cooperate. I really think he will thrive in a school setting once he feels comfortable there. But I also think a lot of that depends upon the teacher who takes on the task. I hope it all works out!

Preschool: Day 2

As you all know, Ethan started preschool on Tuesday. On that day I was all: 'Awww - you are so cute with your back pack on sweetie. Say cheese!' And when I went to pick him up I was all: 'Ooohhh - show me your wonderful artwork'

Well my friends - preschool day 2 went much differently. Either Ethan put on a good act for Ms. Kathleen on Tuesday or sweet Ms. Kathleen is one of those teachers that tells all the parents the kids were "so good" when in reality they were little hellions.

Today, the preschool director filled in for Ms. Kathleen (her daughter was having ear tube surgery) and when I went in to the classroom to pick Ethan up the director surprised me with her stern "We need to have a talk about Ethan's behavior".

I immediately felt my face get flushed as the other parents were skipping past us all 'Kissy kissy honey, how was school today?' while shooting me an 'I'm sooo glad I'm not you' look.

She got down to eye level with Ethan and asked him "How many times were you on the naughty mat today?" He mumbled something that I'm certain was not "1" as he hung his head.

Ms. I-look-like-I'm-just-out-of-high-school then stood up and proceeded to give me the run down.

"Ethan threw mulch during outside playtime and put it in his hair and in the hair of another child," she said. "Then during craft time, I asked everyone to stop cutting their paper, but Ethan didn't listen - he just kept right on cutting until I finally had to take the scissors away," she continued with a big frown.

I'm a little ashamed to admit that my first thoughts were: 'Oh come on - he's a boy. A TWO-YEAR-OLD BOY. If you take him outside, of course he's going to throw mulch. If you give him scissors, of course he's going to want to cut.'

But I quickly realized that some of the things that Ethan does to wreck havoc around the house just aren't going to fly here at preschool. So I suppressed the small little urge I had to defend my child.

And then suddenly, I started to feel like a failure as a mother. I mean really - IT'S JUST THE SECOND DAY OF PRESCHOOL and my son is "that kid". The bad one. The one that all of the teachers are going to dread having in their class and all of the kids are going to be scared of. The one that other parents will get a small parenting ego-push when they hear 'what that little Ethan did today'.

Okay so maybe I was getting a little carried away. I quickly urged that feeling away just the same. I mean, I refuse to let myself feel that way. I know that I'm doing a good job raising my kids. Will they be perfect? Heck no. Are they always going to listen to the teacher? Nope.

But now more than ever, I am aware of the great responsibility I have to shape my children into good people. Teach them right from wrong. When to listen and when to talk. How to share. How to make friends. How to learn.

Welcome to Preschool...Here's hoping we make it through Day 3!

PS - For all of you that are telling me to write MORE MORE MORE, you're in luck. I'm sure I will have plenty to write about now! Just check back every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon. :) update on Aiden's eye surgery

With the craziness that was this past weekend, I completely forgot to update everyone after Aiden's eye surgery last Wednesday.

Everything went well. It was really a very short procedure and he bounced back to his good ol' happy self within 24 hours after we left the hospital.

Aiden had surgery on his right eye to repair and strengthen an eye muscle that was causing some mild strabismus (where the eye veers off in one direction or the other due to lack of muscle strength). This condition is quite common, and the majority of kids with Apert Syndrome require surgery to address the issue. The procedure is very routine and only takes about 30-40 minutes.

We didn't have to travel to Dallas for this surgery, rather it was done locally at Kosair Children's Hospital. They gave him the "goofy juice" and we held him as he got a little...goofy. After the took him back for the operation, Ricky and I headed to the waiting room. I barely got through making my grocery list when they called our name. We immediately thought something was wrong as it had seemed like they had just taken him back. In reality, the surgery was over. I guess we're used to the 5+ hour surgeries and all of the waiting that comes along with it.

We talked with the doctor who said that everything went well, then met Aiden in the recovery area. He drank some fluids, we got him dressed and we were on our way! Short and simple. No bandages. No pain medicine. Just some eye ointment for a week and that was it.

So happy that it is over with and we can once again look forward to going a few years without any surgeries (of course I won't hold my seems like something always comes up). But for now, I want to stay away from hospitals!!!!

1st Day of Preschool!

I am happy to report that Ethan did great on his first day of preschool! He has been so excited about it for the last few months - we've been talking about it, reading books about going to school and telling him stories about what happens at preschool.

But you know how that goes, some kids get really excited and you think they'll do great, but when the day actually comes they get super shy and want nothing to do with it. Not Ethan!

He is normally not a morning person. This morning was an exception. He woke up in a great mood and wanted to hurry up and get ready for school.

We picked out his clothes, packed up his backpack (he brought along two special friends in case he got scared) and ate some breakfast while I did my motherly duty of marking "Skees" on all of his belongings using a Sharpie. And out the door we went.

Ricky got to come along with us to drop him off at the YMCA. He couldn't wait to get there and once we did, he started chanting "Preschool, Preschool, Preschool"!

Because we were out of town at the end of last week through the weekend for Angie's wedding (more on that later), we missed the "Come meet your teacher and see your classroom" day on Friday. So we got there a little early for introductions and to check things out.

We met Ms. Kathleen. We found his name tag and his little hook for his backpack. Then Ethan took off into the room to see all of the cool things he was going to get to play with. And with that, he pretty much could have cared less if we left, so we did.

Aiden and I had breakfast at Chik-fil-a (mmmm...chik'n minis!) and killed some time in the play area. Then we drove to the other YMCA in Floyd Co. so I could try to get a workout in since the one where Ethan's class was being held was closed for cleaning. However all of this fell smack dab in the middle of Aiden's nap time so they came to get me because he was crying. Then we just drove around for a bit and I let him sleep in the car until it was time to pick up Ethan.

When I went in to get him after the 3 hours were over, Ethan ran right past me to his basket where they keep the things that they made throughout the day.

He proudly presented me with what were clearly masterpieces - the cutest little fish bowl craft and a paper with the letter "A" scribbled in with blue crayon. Something tells me he could be the next Picasso...

So - the day was a success. After a quick lunch and an episode of Imagination Movers, both boys are now napping peacefully. I think I'm going to like this preschool thing ;) More pics here.