Wednesday, September 28, 2016

One month down...

Is it bad that I am excited that September is over?   It is always such a crazy month.  There have been weeks where I have had something every night.  The kids are playing on two different soccer teams that practice on different nights and have games on either Saturday or Sunday.  Sara has Ballet on Tuesdays and Gymnastics on Wednesdays.  Thursdays I have had to the concession stands at the JV Football games.  We have had our Academy of Finance kickoff barbeque, open house, and the kids meet the teacher night.

My poor hanging baskets haven't been watered once this week, and I don't care.  We started out the month with our front load washing machine gasket tearing in half.  The washer is 5 years old and has been a nightmare since it passed the warranty phase.  So Labor day I shopped for a new machine.  I bought a top load and its nice but very deep and I am not that tall. 

At the end of August I had planned to have the carpets cleaned at our cottage.  Our new neighbors mentioned they have a commercial carpet cleaner for the pharmacy they own.  It was a great machine and a huge savings to do it ourselves.  The down point was I was moving a table and forgot there was a large piece of coral (5 lbs or more) and it fell on my foot.  My toes were sore and gashed but it was in the middle of the shampooing so I ignored it.  Once school started the pain increased and I went to an Emergency Care center.  They took x-rays and said they thought it was a bruised bone and told me to see my Dr. if it continued.  I ended up seeing my Dr. since I have only been wearing one pair of tight shoes that make if bearable.  I am seeing an orthopedic Dr. tomorrow.  It was the first appointment I could get.  The good news is its feeling much better. 

The Sunday after Labor Day my brother who lives with my mom called me.  He NEVER calls me.  I thought it was about my kids and he said I think Mom needs to talk to you.  Well I called her back on the home phone and she said something was wrong she couldn't remember anything.  I rushed to her house and she said something isn't right I don't remember anything I did today. We had went to church that morning and she couldn't even remember what day it was.  I said lets go get in the car.  As I drove about a mile I called a friend who is the head trauma nurse at a hospital in Buffalo.  She told me to call 911 it could be a stroke.  Well after hours and hours at the hospital she was diagnosed with Global Transient Amnesia  .  She was released and everything thankfully has been ok since then.  Just a completely crazy night.  We made it home at 2:45 am and I had to be at school for my first class at 8:10.... and exhausting week.

I am now trying to get my class officers ready for homecoming.  October 14th we will spend the day building a float and the 15th will be homecoming dance.  The 15th is also my Birthday.  Being the Sophomore class advisor is a very stressful September and October  but it pays very well and the rest of the year is very easy. 

I am debating taking Sara and Evan to NYC for Veterans day.  Sara is dying to go the American Girl store for her birthday.  As expensive as they are they are beautiful dolls and she plays with them every day.  Seeing that we haven't taken them to Disney yet I can somewhat justify this.  I am still on the fence.  I would also take them to see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular.  Marc has zero interest in going to NY.  This is the first year I haven't had to take my students to Chicago or NY. 

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Goals Accomplished!

I am a few weeks behind I wrote this at the end of August and never posted!

We are reaching the end of summer.  Two weeks from today I will return to school.  The kids and I have enjoyed are time off and we have completed most of our summer goals.

1. Both kids are successfully riding bikes.  I was hesitant this would happen.  Evan had zero interest in learning to ride.  After 3 practice sessions with Marc in a parking lot he is riding like a pro.  Sara has been riding on a bike that tows behind my bike and attempting on her own a bit.  Well she became determined this weekend to ride and by yesterday she was doing laps around the neighborhood with me and Evan.  Its so nice to exercise with them.

2. Sara is finally falling asleep without watching any electronics.  As a baby she did this and it was difficult to get them both down at the same time.  Marc started to let Sara fall asleep on the couch and that was our downfall.  To keep Evan in his bed he would fall asleep watching a DVD and eventually Sara started the same bad habit.  Well now Sara is begging to go to bed so she can read.  She is on her 7th Heidi Heckelbeck book and loves them.  Evan is starting to get back in the habit and read and entire Diary of a Wimpy Kid book between last night and this morning.  He is also reading the Stranded series and loves it.

3. We completed all of their summer assignments including Evan's first book report.  I will post a picture.

4. We rode the waterslides at Darien Lake.  Our kids are not big on amusement parks and knowing this makes me feel ok that we haven't taken them to Disney yet.  They love water parks but could care less about regular rides.

5.  I painted our cottage.  The inside has not been painted in almost 20 years.  My Dad gutted it and put new drywall up and painted it white.  I had painted the large family room and put a wall paper border up years ago.  Well I have been slowly stripping the border and I finally repainted the room a pale gray and painted the kitchen a creamy pale yellow.  Now we need to rip out the shower (it was leaking behind the wall) and install a new shower.  Luckily the plumbing is good but we are going to attempt to put a tiled shower in rather than the vinyl one that has to be recaulked every few years. 

6. Sara is diving last night we went night swimming at the neighbors and she started with a few sitting and kneeling dives and quickly mastered the standing dive.

7.  As I write we have an AC tech here.  Our AC died back in the fall and we had it charged and then again at the end of August we needed it charged again.  We called another company to find the leak so I am praying it is an inexpensive fix.

8. My last project for the summer is to tag all the clothes and toys for the consignment sale.  Each year I tell myself not to buy them as many clothes.  Its easier not to buy for Evan since his outfit of choice is a NFL Jersey and jeans.  Sara seems to need more dress up clothes and special outfits.  Evan is so easy he didn't even want a new backpack or lunchbox. 

9.  We purchased all of our back to school supplies, uniforms, and shoes.  Sara is wearing a 13 in NIKE (which run small) and Evan is wearing a 3.  I would like to clean up last years soccer spikes and some ice skates in my basement to trade in at a sporting goods store that sells used equipment.  Sara insisted on a Vera Bradly backpack.  I debated but gave in figuring its her only chance to have something her own at school.  Plaid skirts, navy pants, plaid jumpers, and white shirts are pretty boring. 

10.   Evan had his haircut today and Sara is scheduled for Monday.  I am dreading the crazy schedule of back to school.  Sara has Ballet on Tuesday, Gymnastics on Wednesday.  For September and October there will be a soccer practice each week and a game on Saturday.  I will also have my Sophomore class advisor duties of 3 JV Football game concession stands and homecoming the weekend of my Birthday.  Luckily it will all end 10/15.  After that I will be hosting Trunk or Treat at the kids school.  I will be very happy after Halloween!

11.  We have managed to keep the house much neater this summer.  The kids have really kept the basement clean, their bedrooms manageable, and have kept all messes out of the family room.  I hoping they are getting older and can continue to help more.  I have kept up with vacuuming a few times each week.  I bought a Shark vacuum in the fall and love it.  I actually like to vacuum with it!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

What a week...

Its been one heck of week.  Last Tuesday night Sara asked to go across the street to play with the 5th grader Lisa.  Evan piped up that he wanted to go so I told him to cross Sara.   I checked a few minutes later and she had brought her scooter across but did not have shoes on.  I made her put some sturdy shoes on and went down to the basement.  Evan came screaming in the house Sara is hurt and she wants you Mom.  Of course I ran down the yard and a neighbor was carrying Sara and she was crying hysterically.  Marc tried to comfort her and she said I just want Mommy.  Well a few seconds later she stormed up the yard on her own. I didn't see any blood and she said her arm hurt.  A bit later a neighbor called and invited everyone swimming so Sara said she wanted to go.  We went over and she was very guarded of her arm, but still went down the waterslide and jumped in.  The kids played tag and Evan bumped Sara's arm and a big fight broke out.  At that point it was time to head home.  I gave her some Motrin for her arm and figured she would be fine in the morning.

Wednesday morning Evan had day 3 of his football camp.  I called my Mom and she said Sara had hung out in a chair all morning but didn't complain.  When I arrived home she said it really hurt to move and refused to straighten it.  So I thought we better be safe and  I ran her to the Peds.  They sent us for x-rays and put Sara's arm in a sling.  We went to a new facility for the x-rays and were told  our Ped would call us with the results.  Our Dr. called and said that it was dislocated at the elbow and they would set us up with an Orthopedic by 9am.  Well 8:58 the next morning they called and said we had to head to Children's hospital where they would sedate Sara and reset it and probably cast it for 3 weeks.  We went and they wanted to re x-ray Sara and they did very quickly and told us that it wasn't broken or dislocated and come back for a follow up  in 2 weeks if she still has pain.  She slowly seems to be improving. Wow I feel like we dodged a bullet!  All the kids in the waiting rooms had casts above their elbows. 

We did 4 days of football camp at my High School last week and Evan loved it.  It was very well run and only 1.5 hours a day.  It was very hot though close to 90 each day and it was 11am -12:30.  This week Evan attended a Sammy Watkins camp and had fun but not as much as the high school program.  This was double the cost and was held at a community college from 9-12:30.  It was a long time to sit in the bleachers and the kids were only given water or SunnyD during the camp.  He was starving by the end of the morning.  Sammy did a great job and interacted with each group of kids.  I was amazed at how far kids traveled for this camp.  Some kids from Florida, South Carolina, traveled to Orchard Park to participate.  Most of the families around me drove over an hour or two to attend.  I am not sure I would do that. 

Last night Sara did a paint night with some friends from school.  She can't wait to do another class.  On the way home she was getting grumpy and arguing about playing with the kids in the neighborhood.  She finally asked for help strapping in her booster seat.  This is where it became ugly.  I went to strap her in and didn't realize she had the strap in her teeth.  She had been doing it with one hand and holding it in her teeth to compensate for her left hand.  Well instantly she lost her top front tooth and there was blood everywhere.  Her teeth were loose but probably had a few weeks to go.  She came downstairs at 10pm and told me her tooth was just hanging and I burst into tears. The tooth fairy left $10 for this tragedy the most they have ever left at our house.  She woke up the next morning with her other tooth.  So a short ride on a scooter has been an expensive time consuming trip.

We are done with camps and vacation now its time for some daytrips and playgrounds.  I would love to take the kids on the Maid of the Mist next week and to the Genesee County Museum - Mumford for Laura Ingalls Wilder Days - the actress who played Caroline will be there.  I also plan on taking Evan to Bills minicamp in Rochester in early August.  We have off until after labor day this year. The past few years we have returned the last week in August so this feels like an extra 2 weeks off. 

The Dance Competition
Add caption

Friday, February 12, 2016

Another Birthday!

Last week was busy.  It was Evan's 8th Birthday on Sunday but the celebrations began on Friday.  Friday I baked cupcakes for school and of course Evan is very specific.  He wanted homemade frosting for school.  He loves shortening frosting since it forms a hard crust.  His friends seem to like Buttercream so I did that for his classmates.  There is a peanut allergy in his class so that always adds to the challenge of baking.  Friday I had to stay late at school for a meeting and I came home and Evan had a classmate here since his mom needed a babysitter for a bit.  I started his Buffalo Bills cake and we worked on cleaning the house. 

Our families joined us on Saturday and Evan really didn't want anything special for his birthday.  He has mentioned our xbox has been freezing since we added the Lego Dimension game to it and after seeing a neighbors xbox one he said he would like one.  Our families were very generous with money and gift cards.  Evan is so thorough that although he has enough to purchase his new xbox he wants to wait until his doesn't work anymore.  I laughed that he has more cash in the house than I do.  Generally I put his birthday money in his college account and I still will a good sum in from his Grandmas and my Great Aunt but since he didn't get gifts he can hold on to his cash.  He also received 2 target cards, a Dicks sporting goods card, and some new gifts.  We also ended up doing Christmas with Marc's Aunt and cousins.  I have to admit it was nicer doing it now that during the holidays. 

Sunday Evan had two friends come over to play and we had pizza for lunch.  I baked more cupcakes since Evan destroyed the cake taking the frosting off it when I wasn't looking.  We then headed over to Bounce Magic where Sara had a friend meet us and Evan had another friend meet us.  The kids played for two hours and we were relieved to end the celebrations.  Marc and I gave Evan a flag football set, a Mario Williams jersey (he insisted this is what he wanted even though the plans are to cut him from the team), a large Lego set, and a Madden 25 game.  His friends gave him a Sammy Watkins jersey, a Bills pillow pet, and a gift card. 

I still can't believe I have an 8 year old.  Evan is my really smart boy.  His teacher writes on all his progress reports and report cards that he is always the role model for the class.  His reading is fantastic.  Lately he has been reading the I survived books.  He amazes me he is reading about Pompeii, the Nazi Invasion, Gettysburg, and Pearl Harbor.  He loves history and sports.  He is amazing with his knowledge of football.  He reads sports books and the sports page in the paper constantly. 

Evan and Sara are both doing Common Core math at first I was frustrated with it but as we do it more and more and I see how well they are doing I am probably one of the few that like it.  Both of them are really strong in math.  Evan picked up on multiplication a few months ago on the way home from a playdate.  He told me a friend with an older sibling is learning it and as soon as I explained it he caught on.  He is a mini calculator and added all his birthday money as he opened cards. 

This week was valentine parties at school.  My kids had zero interest in filling out paper valentines.  I remember having such fun choosing who would get each valentine.  So we made some M&M tubes and put stickers on them (well I did and Sara helped a bit).  Sara had her party yesterday and they made fruit kabobs and Evans was supposed to be today except we have a snowday.

We are off all of next week and are headed for an overnight at a water park in Niagara Falls Canada with another family.  I can't wait to see how the exchange rate brings down the prices.  Canada is usually much more expensive than the US but the looney is only worth .72 cents to the US Dollar. 

Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas 2015

The time is flying by and I have been so bad about posting to this blog.  We had an amazing Christmas.  Sara is super easy and had only asked for American Girl things.  Evan is a bit more difficult and wanted a few video games, a Lego, and football cards.  Well in addition to their gifts we had purchases an American Doll and a Jim Kelly autographed football at the school auction in April.  Needless to say the kids had a very exciting Christmas. 

We had planned to go to Mass at 4pm on Christmas Eve, unfortunately that means arriving at 3pm to be guaranteed a seat.  Well Evan had issues all day long he complained his neck itched and refused to wear a shirt.  Well trying to get dressed for mass was a nightmare filled with tears.  Finally we decided to go at 5:30 instead.  Well the drama ensued and Marc and Evan returned home and we joined my mom for mass.  In hindsight it worked out very well.  The church was very empty at 5:30 and Marc finished cooking dinner while we were gone.  Marc has never really practiced any religion.  While the kids attend a Catholic school and I have always attended church he doesn't and I don't push it. 

Christmas morning Evan woke up at 3:45 and I heard him talking at 4am, I told him to come into bed with me and he did not return to sleep.  Well at 4:45 Sara woke up so our day began.  By 10am Marc and I were exhausted and still in pajamas.  I returned to bed for a nap and slept for a little bit.  My Aunt showed up at noon with gifts for the kids.  She likes to give them more gifts than my brothers kids so always stops by prior to going to my Mom's.  We went to my Mom's at 1pm and fought stay awake for most of the day. 

We did a few returns and cleaning the past few days and the kids are missing the snow.  I am loving the lack of cold weather and snow.  Today after gymnastics there was a snowy icy mix and the kids were ecstatic and I am happy it will all melt again tomorrow. 

On another note the kids have been having a great year in school.  Evans teacher told me his is the role model for the class and asked if she could challenge and push  him harder.  She keeps telling me how bright he is.  We are currently studying for the national spelling bee.  He amazes me he can see a word once or twice and be able to memorize it.  Sara worked with a reading specialist for two months and now is doing very well.  She struggled for a bit but once she started there is no stopping her.  Sara was chosen for the student of the month for Determination and Evan for Discernment.  They both love school and have great teachers.  Sara has had the same best friend for two years and Evan has made a new friend this year. 

Evan loves to play video games, read, play football and talk football.  Sara loves to do crafts, play with her dolls, watch family fun packs on youtube, go to gymnastics and dancing.  Our family room is constant handstands and headstands.  Sara loves to be outside and even asked today when it was 26 degrees if she could go on her swing set.  She is such a little companion.  We often shop or run errands together.  Yesterday we had the rare opportunity to go out to lunch together.  The boys stay home and watch football and Sara and I get some girl time.  I will be sad  next week when our season ends and we loose this time.  Evan is slowly discovering that football in Buffalo is very disappointing year after year.  Last week the quarterback was supposed to be at a local restaurant for a tv show and autographs. Well I gave Evan a jersey as an early Christmas gift and his special autograph football and sent Marc, Evan and a neighbor.  Evan was so excited until they arrived and it was cancelled.   The poor kid was super disappointed and I wanted to cry for him!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Summer Fun

I love summer vacation and we try to do something each day.  So far we had our Florida Vacation, many trips to the village pool, trips to the Gallagher Beach playground, weekends at the cottage, lots of ice cream, reading at the playground with our school, the Minion movie. We have had many playdates too.   This summer the kids are so easy they are completely on their own in the pool.  I am still watching with a close eye but they both go off the diving board and are confident enough to swim everywhere. 

In Florida we caught Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer.  In this movie Judy create a point system and if they reach 100 it is will not be a boring summer.  Well Evan is very motivated by this.  So far he has earned points for learning to dive, going off the diving board, scoring goals in soccer, going down the pool slide, trying some new food.  He is playing flag football and soccer.  I told him he can earn 25 points for learning to ride his bike. 

He has the same coach for each of them and loves him.  They are very small groups and the coach is very positive with the kids.  So last week he scored two goals in the mini soccer game.  He has never scored in a game before.  Sara was bummed that she didn't score, maybe this week. 

Evan is the youngest playing football but has lots of fun.  The downside is it has been very rainy so the past two weeks we have been in a very hot gym for an hour and a half each week.  Tomorrow he heads to the orthodontist to see what we will need to do for his open bite. 

Saturday I thought we would go to the cottage but Marc wanted to do some things around the house.  I had picked up 2 gallons of paint at Sherwin Williams and planned to paint our morning room.  Well I decided to tape it off (I tape everything when I paint I used an entire roll!).  Marc still wasn't done with his projects so I started painting.  Sunday morning I finished the room.  We have a high peak in the middle and its around 20 feet tall.  So we have this mammoth ladder and I really couldn't do it during the week without being stuck with a ladder in the house all week.  So it feels really good to have it completed.  I think I will paint the spare bedroom next.  The only rooms unpainted so far will be our bedroom and master bath, the living room, and the front foyer and upstairs hall.  The front  foyer has ridiculously high ceilings and I think we will need to hire someone. 

I still need to complete some summer projects, doing a major cleanout of the upstairs bathrooms drawers, cupboards etc.   Finish the mulch outside, clean the storage portion of the basement, wash  and clean out the kitchen cupboards, and tag everything for the next mothertime marketplace sale.  I usually procrastinate until the last week of summer and then go nuts but I have been doing pretty well doing a few projects each week.  Hopefully I can stay on this pace. 

We need to complete some more summer fun too, a trip to the beach, canalside, the zoo, the fair, Darien Lake, Maid of the Mist, the Canandian side of Niagara Falls, a trip to Letchworth. 

We are almost done with our summer packets although we could spend more time reading.  Evan is fantastic Sara needs more work.  She is very stubborn and the only thing she lacks confidence in is reading.  I am hoping it clicks in the fall.  Evan had  a slow start and then he exploded and became way above grade level.  Hopefully Sara will follow suit.  I do need to keep in mind that she is 10 months younger than he was at that age. 

A funny Sara story the other morning I hear her yelling Mom it was almost 5am, I asked her what was wrong and she told me "I am all out of sleep", well I carried her to our bed and within a few minutes she went back to sleep until around 7:30.  I don't think I am ever all out of sleep!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Kindergarten Graduate!!

Wow I can't believe both of my kids are past kindergarten.   My decision to send Sara to kindergarten was not a mistake.  She has blossomed.  She is full of confidence, she is reading.  She is so excited to go to First Grade that she came home today and read a 34 page book about going to First Grade. 

We had the most adorable graduation ceremony today.  The kids came in individually saying "Read all about it"  and handed someone in the audience a paper.  The paper was the kindergarten news.  The teachers had each student tell what they liked about Kindergarten and what they expect first grade to be like and then turned it into a paper.  Well the first article was "I Love Mrs. Craig" said Sara.  We also loved her teacher and having her for both kids was wonderful.