International Day

Ava had international day at school last week. The kids in kindergarten have been learning about kids in different parts of the world this quarter, so to wrap it up they all were asked to come to school dressed as a person from another country. Then during a special chapel service, they sang a song in Spanish and said a few things in different languages etc. to demonstrate what they’d learned.

I tried to get Ava to dress in her Ao Dai, but she’s never one to do things the easy way. She told me from the beginning that she wanted to be an “Indian Princess”. I knew there was no fighting her on this one, so I went off to try to find material that might pass for a sari. Here’s what we came up with:

I snapped that one in the car at a stop light on the way to school. We didn’t have time for pictures outside our house before school!

The next one was taken after the chapel stuff, so her clothes we starting to slip off a little:).

I think she’s ready to take Bollywood by storm!

First Day 2011

It’s been a crazy week at our house, to say the very least. Ash started a new job. Well, same job, but at a new location. He’s still doing the same job for the navy, but we’ve technically changed duty stations. The new location is just on the other side of town, so we don’t have to move or anything.

I started my new teaching job. The kids are great, the other staff is great, but the getting up at 5 in the morning? Not so great. I also have to get the kids up and take them to before care because I have to be there at 7:10am. This whole routine is going to take some getting used to. Also, I have to make spankin’ new lesson plans every week which is really time-consuming. I told one of my co-workers, who is the other new teacher at the school, that I wish it was next year. That way, I would already have all this up front work finished.

Now the part you really care about. The kids had their first day. So far, they are both loving school and doing great. Ava cried the other day when she had to go to before care, which broke my heart, but she really likes kindergarten and her teacher. I was a little worried about how Binh would do around adults he wasn’t used to, but the staff at the school had been “working on him” since last January. The principle and other preschool teachers always made a point to speak to him when I picked up Ava, so he already knew them a little bit on the first day. His teacher told me he is a regular social butterfly, that he talks to her and the other kids. What a huge victory! I had prepared them that Binh may not talk for 6 months since that’s what he did in Mom’s Day Out, but I guess he was just ready to get to school.

Both of my kids seem to be teacher’s “helpers”. Since Ava will not nap at school, she has been the “nap monitor”. The teacher leaves the room during nap time to go make copies, use the restroom, etc. and Ava makes sure no one gets rowdy while the teacher is gone. This little job is right up Ava’s alley since she loves to boss and tell on people! I’m joking (mostly) 🙂 Binh has helped his teacher with teaching the rest of the kids what vowels are and what they “say”. He apparently also taught the other kids their shapes. I hope he continues to enjoy himself. So far, so good.

Here are a couple of pics I quickly took before heading off to school on the first day.

I know Binh looks a little apprehensive in this photo, but I think he was totally fine. He just hates picture time.

Here’s Ava at her desk on the first day. I went to Ava’s room first and Ash accompanied Binh. Then, we each took a little time at the other’s classroom. I did a really quick job of blurring that kid’s face in the background and erasing our last name. But isn’t my little gal a sweetie?

Five? How Can That Be?

My baby girl turned five years old last week. In a way it seems  both like she was just born and that she’s been a part of our lives forever all at the same time. I remember taking her home from the hospital, when the nurses handed her to me, thinking “I can’t believe they just let people walk out with these things!” It was surreal to think she was mine for the rest of my life, and just like that I was in charge of another human being.

Ava is busy and full of life these days. She is sweet and loves people, a total extrovert. She thrives on interaction with others and has a great time playing, laughing, and acting silly. She has a sense of humor similar to mine in that she loves words and plays on words. Plus, she is great at imitating accents. Sounds like an auditory learner to me…

For Ava’s birthday, she was able to have a family party and a day with a couple of friends. My parents and nephew came to visit, so she got to have cake, singing, etc. with them. She loved having Tutu visit. Girl loves her Tutu. I think she likes because Tutu will sleep in her bed with her because Ava hates sleeping in her room alone. The day after her birthday, I took her and a couple of friends to get these kid’s mani/pedi/hairdo’s. It was so funny to see her there with her feet in the water. She and her friends had a ball. The salon is for kids, so they had “Max and Ruby” on tv while they were getting all gussied (sp?)up. It was a big day for everyone.

I haven’t done any pictures for her fifth birthday, but I hope to get some in this weekend. In the meantime…

Ava insisted that she have a surprise party. I think the concept of “surprise party” was lost on her, because she told us that she wanted one, then told us what to do. She said when she wasn’t in the room we were supposed to hide in different places (she specified that) then she’d come in and we’d yell “surprise!”. So, that’s what we did. This one I took right after we jumped out at her.

Ah, nothing warms my heart like a girl with a microscope. Ava got this one for her birthday. She’d been asking for one for months.

The girls had a ball getting their nails done.

Plus, getting a cute hairstyle and lots of glitter is never a bad thing either!

Ava is such special little girl with a sweet, tender heart. It’s a joy to be her mom. I love you, baby girl!

Last Day

Today is Ava’s last day of school. She is excited to be a kindergartener when she goes back to school in the fall . The kids get out at 11:30 this morning, so I told her she could pick where she’d like to go out to lunch and we’d go there. I thought I’d post her first day and last day picture. She could go out of uniform today, so the one from today is a little different.

Ava’s first day of K-4, August 2010:

Her last day of K-4, May 2011:

She also asked if she could “pose” and do a silly picture today, so I told her sure.

Birthday and Three Years Home

Last week was Binh’s “family day” and his birthday. He is now a big four-year-old and has been home with us for three years! Time flies!

We had a small get-together at a local Chuck E. Che*se-like place. It’s much cleaner and calmer there, and the time we picked was perfect for littler ones to run around.

I don’t have time to do a big post right now, but I’ll get around to posting lots of pics and maybe do a run down of what Binh is doing at 4 years. I have to tell you, it’s sort of mind-blowing so don’t think I’m crazy or anything (like when I tell you he’s busy learning the countries of Africa- because he wants to…) Yeah, anyway..

Three years ago God and (apparently) an incredibly intelligent birth mother entrusted me with this tiny baby boy :

Praise Jesus I now have this small and mighty little man:

Mommy loves you to Jupiter and back, Binh. Happy birthday.

Who Knew?

A couple of nights ago we went to Olive Garden for dinner. The kids had dentist appointments in the evening after school, so, you know, we had to go out since it was getting late. I found it strange that Ava didn’t want to eat her spaghetti since she usually loves it, but I thought she was just getting tired from all the running around that day. That night she got up about 10:30 and said her jaw hurt. She blamed it on the dentist, but I assured her he had done nothing to make her jaw hurt.

I checked her before school the next morning. She was bouncing around the house and didn’t have a fever, so I took her to school. Well, they called at about 10:00am and said she said her ear hurt but she didn’t have a fever. Since I knew what had happened the night before, I decided to try to get her to the doctor. I picked her up and she was acting totally fine. In fact, she wanted to go back to her class for snack time while she was waiting for me to get there.

We ate lunch and went to the doctor at about 1:30. We didn’t get home until 5:00pm. I was just wanting the doctor to see her incase she was starting to get an ear infection because Binh’s birthday party is Friday and I wanted her to feel good for that. Well, the doctor took one listen to her lungs and the ear went straight to the back burner. She was very concerned about her wheezing and crackling in her lungs. We ended up having to give her a breathing treatment and going to get a chest x-ray at a different clinic. It was all very surprising. The doctor kept asking me if she had wheezing like this before, if she had been in the hospital, if she had eczema- all to which the answer is no. I must have looked flabbergasted at all the questions because she said she couldn’t say this was asthma, but she definitely had bronchitis and possibly a touch of pneumonia. A touch of pneumonia? She was acting totally normal and had no fever? How did I suddenly become the most out-of-touch mom ever? I missed pneumonia? How do you have pneumonia and still want to go to dance class. (which of course we didn’t. We were busy getting a chest x-ray during that time anyway.) Oh, and yes she did have a horrible, fluid-filled ear as well. Just to be clear, yes she’d been coughing, but so has the rest of the South with all this pollen floating around. She’s been blowing her nose and the mucus has been clear. It doesn’t look infected like when Binh had pneumonia. (that mucus was disgusting…) I thought she had some allergy issues and that’s it….weird.

So they sent us home with a spanking new nebulizer and now I’m doing breathing treatments with her every 4-6 hours today. They said she could go to school tomorrow if she feels like it. (believe me she does) but they want to see her again Friday morning “just to check her before he weekend”. I have some asthma issues but nothing too serious, so I leaning more toward she’s starting with something like that. Poor kid. She’s apparently pretty sick and no one knew it. Just hand me my Mother of the Year award now. I’ll put this one up on the shelf with the one from when I let Binh flip out of a shopping cart at Wal-M*art.

In her honor, I’m posting a few pictures of my girl from just a few days ago.

This is one for my family because they were asking about her hair. Her head is tilted back a little, but you get the idea.

Just a couple more, because this gal simply hates having her picture taken..

I Willn’t

Poor Binh is home from his usual, Thursday Mom’s Day Out with a double ear infection. So in his honor, I’ll make fun of him. Kidding. I kid from time to time. I just wanted to document this so I can remember it later.

Binh took speech from Early Intervention the first year he was home. It really only lasted about 8 months until he “graduated” out of the program. I don’t think he had any real problems. He just didn’t really speak at all, but he could understand and follow directions. (Well, he followed directions as much as any 18 month-old would.)

Now days, he’s a talking champ. He talks to us all the time, but is still shy with people he doesn’t know well. That’s just part of who he is though, not a function of his actual speaking ability. He does still say the “Wuh” sound for R’s, which is funny because you can ask him how to spell things like “red” and he’ll sort of sound it out in his head for a second and then say “w-e-d”. So cute!

His vocabulary is pretty big these days and seems to be growing all the time. The other day we were waiting for Ava at dance class and he was looking at one of those “I Spy” books. He looked at me and said, “Mommy, I can’t find Little Bo Peep. She should have a staff..” A staff? Who says that? It was strange enough that some other moms looked at him then asked how old he was. I guess he’s just been listening in Sunday school. There’s probably lots of talk of staffs there. 🙂

The cutest thing he still does is use the word (or non-word as the case my be) “willn’t”. This may come up when I say something like, “No, you can’t take your drink in the living room. You’ll spill it.” Binh’s reply? “I willn’t!” It makes sense to say “willn’t” instead of “won’t” if you’re applying the usual rules for contractions.

Do not= don’t

cannot= can’t

will not= willn’t

I just don’t have the heart to correct him. It’s way too sweet!

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