Parenting Story

Parenting Story

Thursday, August 16, 2012


Today was Reese's first day of Kindergarten! I can't believe that my oldest baby is old enough to be in school! We have been very excited and anticipating the start of the school year. We got ready in record time this morning and I took a few pictures of Reese all ready for her first day.
We drove to grammy's to drop the other kids off and then drove to the bus stop because of the rain. We introduced Reese to a couple of kids that were waiting at the stop. One of the kids asked who Reese had for her teacher, and when we told her she responded that that teacher was mean. When we inquired further why she was mean, I almost laughed out loud when she said that she gets mad if you color outside the lines! I snapped a picture of my sweet little girl waiting in the rain with her princess umbrella.
Soon after the bus pulled up and the kids ran for the door. I tried to take a picture of her climbing on the bus, but between trying to give her a kiss, showing her the bus number to look for when it was time to come home and my heart suddenly jumping up into my throat, I didn't even have time to turn on my camera! I stood back and waved as the bus drove off and then walked to the car with tears in my eyes. As I got into the car and realized that Randy was also teary eyed, I started to lose it! I can't imagine how hard it would be to let a child go if either the parent or child had any apprehension. Here we were all excited and looking forward to this major step and we still turned into blubbering idiots! Her school is on the way to my work, so I wound up following her bus all the way to the school. As the bus turned into the driveway, I waved and blew a kiss out the window. A family friend works at the school and I thought about emailing her all day just to see how things were going, but I restrained myself. I cannot say the same for my mother-in-law! She emailed her and found out that Reese seemed a little shy but that things were going well! Randy was there to greet Reese as she got off the bus this afternoon and she was all smiles!
The smiles did not last for long though. I arrived soon after and anxiously approached her to see how her day was. She whined and pushed away from me, refusing to tell me anything about her day. I anticipated that she would be tired as she is used to taking a 2 hour nap, but did not expect for her to want nothing to do with me! We went home and she went straight up to her room without a word. I went up to check on her after a while and found this:
That is Reese completely passed out! She stirred a little when I took her picture, but went back to sleep immediately. About an hour later I woke her up for dinner. A few minutes later when she was fully awake, she was finally in the mood to tell us about her big day! "They read a story, "The Gingerbread Man" and went on a tour of the school to find the lost cookies. They finally found them in the lunch room on top of the milk cooler. Could I believe that they have a doctor in their school? We got to see her room and everything. I had a taco thing for lunch. We didn't get to play on the playground for very long." Besides being tired when she got home, it sounded like she had a fun day. Unfortunately, she does not go back to school until Monday, but she did bring home some work from school and pulled it out right after dinner and got to work. I think that this year is going to be a lot of fun! I can't wait to see all of the new things she learns and all of the changes that will take place.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Just around the corner

On Monday night we attended a Meet and Greet at Reese's school. We arrived just before 5pm and introduced ourselves to her teacher. After chatting for a moment, the teacher instructed us to find Reese's chair and to do the activity we would find there. We walked over to the tables and after walking around about 3 times, Reese finally found the chair with her name on it. At her spot we found a bag full of goodies that represented the goals for the year: Smarties because they are all smart, gum to remind them to stick with it, and band aid to remind them to be kind to their friends. After looking through the goodies, we got to work on the activity. The activity was a sort of classroom scavenger hunt. It directed us to find Reese's mailbox and locker as well as important areas of the room including the bathrooms, calendar and play kitchen. I read off the items and hung back to let Reese find the items on her own. Immediately after reading the first item, Reese grabbed my hand and asked me to come with her. After finding all of the items on the scavenger hunt, Reese sat down to color in a worksheet with a blank t-shirt. I snapped this picture of her working at her desk.
Aidan had been occupied with some blocks while Reese and I worked on the scavenger hunt. As soon as Reese sat down to work on her coloring page, Aidan grabbed up the container of blocks and moved to the seat across from Reese at her table. As he sat down he announced, "I want to sit by my Reesey!" I have been so concerned with Reese's transition and my own feelings about Reese going into Kindergarten, that I had not really considered the transition that Aidan will also be experiencing. Reese finished up her assignment and then got down on the floor to play with Aidan while I ran around taking care of bus arrangements, dropped papers off with the nurse and made a payment on her lunch account. We made our way to the car and went out to dinner to celebrate. I can't believe that in just one day we will be watching Reese board the bus for her first day of Kindergarten!

Monday, August 6, 2012

DIY Baby Sandals

I have been pretty busy lately with a newborn, a 3 year old and 5 year old, starting grad school classes and just keeping up with housework and family commitments. Despite all of that, I have been antsy to do some crafting. My sister-in-law found some baby sandals for her little one and said that she thought they were something that I could probably make. After hearing this I went out and bought a pair of Toe Blooms to take a closer look. I figured that I could make some and began searching online for a tutorial. I came across this one from Laura at The Creative Muster and immediately went looking for supplies. I was unlucky in finding any cotton jersey in the girly colors that I was looking for- all of the stores I visited had darker fall colors out. So I began to think about what I had on hand that I could use. I had a few cotton t-shirts in my fabric stash that I thought could work. I cut one apart and used the pattern from the Creative Muster as well as the Toe Blooms that I bought to create my own pair of baby sandals. The first pair was too big for my newborn, so I altered my pattern and made another pair. This pair fit perfectly, stretching just enough to fit and stay on my little girls feet.
I paired the sandals with a beautiful gray and pink dress for a wedding that we attended recently. My mother-in-law gifted us the kids matching clothes when our youngest was born. Aren't they just adorable!
Though time consuming- cutting out all of the pieces for the flowers and handsewing all of the tiny pieces together- the sandals were totally worth it! It was a perfect project to pick up and work on anytime I had a few free moments. The best part is that you can do it all by hand and do not have to be a great seamstress. Though summer is almost over and the weather will be cooling off, I think that the sandals would also be cute with tights. I have made a pair in black and plan to make another pair in white. I would also like to play around with the pattern and see if there would be a way to make a pair that looks more masculine for boys. Things like this make me wish that I could come up with something like this myself!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Very Convincing

I got a rare opportunity to watch the kids play at aunt Linda's house one night as we waited for Randy to pick us up. Immediately when we got there Reese found a treasure, a paper drink umbrella. She snapped it right up and started going on about how she needed something like it for her "fluffy". When Linda said that she could have it, Reese absolutely beamed! She turned away from Linda, pumped her arm and mouthed, "Yes!". Oh yeah, she knows how to pour it on!

Family of Five

Every time that we get into the car, I look back into the full back seat and I can't believe we have three kids!
Reese and Aidan both love Gretchen so much. Whenever anyone asks if they can take the baby home with them, both kids immediately respond that she is "their baby" or "our baby", not just my baby. I love it when they ask me to hold her but that is not the only time they interact with her. They talk to her while I change her at the changing table and play with her while she sits in her chair.
One of Reese's favorite things about having a little sister is dressing alike. I have convinced her that wearing the same color is dressing alike for everyday, but she would much rather have all of their clothes be exactly the same as they were for a wedding we recently attended.
No, I still can't believe that we have three children! Though I can't believe it, it is like Gretchen has always been a part of our family and I can't imagine life without her.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Drivers Ed

After attending the fair last night, I drove home. While driving I may have gotten wrapped up in a conversation and noticed at the last minute that the car in front of me was stopping. I slammed on the brakes and stopped in plenty of time. Unfortunately, Reese noticed the jerkiness and piped up from the backseat with, "Mommy's just learning to drive."

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Magic Aidan

I was treated to a quick magic show by Aidan this afternoon. He told me that he could make moosey (his favorite stuffed animal) disappear. He then tossed moosey into his new top hat from grammy. Then he quickly picked the hat up and placed it on his head! Moosey did almost "disappear" to the floor as he manuevered the hat to his head.

It's A Girl!

  • On Thursday, June 7th, Randy and I welcomed our third child! We did not know the sex in advance and were both shocked to discover that our baby was a girl as we were both expecting a boy. In fact, the midwives asked Randy to announce the sex and he initially said "Boy!" because he only saw her from the back and thought that he saw male anatomy.
    While pregnant with this child, I purchased a few new maternity clothes from Motherhood Maternity, specifically for our family vacation to Florida, back in March. Along with the purchases I received several coupons, one being for a $20 card to Shutterfly. I have used Shutterfly for photos and cards in the past, and decided to utilize the card to purchase announcements for the newest member of our family.
    They had a wonderful selection of cards to chose from and I created several different cards, before finding the one that was just right.
Photo Card
View the entire collection of cards.
The cards arrived quickly and I mailed them out to our friends and family within 2 weeks of her birth. We got so many compliments on the quality of the cards and will definitely be using Shutterfly for photo cards and other photo services from now on.

Family Ties

The other night we were discussing family relationships after Aidan reported that grammy is daddy's mom. I then asked him who daddy's dad was, and he immediately responded grampy. Then I moved onto my family and asked him who mommy's mom is. He knew that it was Grandma Potter. Finally, I asked him about who mommy's dad is. He immediately responded, "Uncle Devin!" My parents are divorced and my brother still lives at home with my mom. And in Aidan's defense, he has only met my father a handful of times and probably has not seen him now in over a year.

Big Kid Day

Reese and Aidan have been such big helpers since we brought Gretchen home. They will do absolutely anything I ask to help out with their little sister. Besides being big helpers, they have been really good about taking a back seat to their little sister. Though we still spend time doing things together like reading books before bed and snuggling on the couch or playing outside, they have definitely had to entertain themselves while I am feeding or taking care of Gretchen. Which is why, when Reese had a doctor appointment this week, I figured it would be the perfect opportunity to leave Gretchen with grammy and spend some time with just the big kids. We dropped Gretchen off just after 8 in the morning and headed straight to Reese's appointment. We got the worst part over with immediately when we arrived. We went to the lab where they did a finger stick and took blood. Afterwards we went to the optical lab to have her eyes tested. Finally, we checked into the doctor's office and they gave me a development questionnaire to fill out. It asked several questions related to Reese's physical and mental development for her age. Some of the questions I was to ask her and see her response, others she was to try and repeat, still others she was to perform some task. Although she was able to write in the responses that were required, I wish that we would have done this before she had blood drawn. It was major drama to get her to hold a pen because her finger hurt, but she did it. Finally, the nurse called us back to weight and measure. Reese weighed in at 62 pounds and was 47 inches tall, off the charts for both at only age 5! Then the doctor came in to listen to her heart and check her ears, throat and belly. Since we didn't need any shots, she gave us our Kindergarten physical forms and sent us on our way!
After the doctor, we started the fun part of big kid day. We went to the Dollar Store next where I let both kids pick out one toy. Aidan picked a checkers game and Reese picked a hair bow. After shopping around for awhile, we were ready for lunch. We went to Culvers for kids meals and m&m topped chocolate ice cream. Finally, we headed to the theatre to watch a movie. We were uncertain which movie to go to, but in the end we decided on Madagascar 3. We got our popcorn and a water and proceeded to our seats after going to the restroom. We found seats in the very top row of the theatre and when the movie started we were the only people in the theatre. The kids gobbled up popcorn and laughed with the movie.
Immediately after the movie, we went to grammy's to pick up Gretchen. I had the kids stay in the car while I went in to get her so that they wouldn't wake up all of the sleeping babies. As soon as I opened the door to put in the carseat Reese said, "Get that blanket off, I wanna see my baby!" I was so happy to have some time with just Reese and Aidan as big kids to reward them for being so helpful during the transition of family of 4 to family of 5. But it absolutely made my heart melt that they missed Gretchen during our outing and were so excited to see her.