Hello? Is This Thing On?

Since my last post fall has given over to winter and now Christmas is just a few days away. Here at our house, the days have been a blur of activity. We haven’t even put our tree up yet. I vow to do that today.

I am in the process of giving finals for first semester. My kids had their last day of school before Christmas break yesterday. Ash went to their little Christmas program at school and then to their class parties. He was busy running back and forth between the kids’ classrooms. I had to give finals until 11:25, so we were able to meet for lunch at Cracker Barrel. This first semester of school has been tough for me- lots of planning, paperwork, and all the other regular day-to-day stuff that has to be done. I can’t decide if it will actually be easier next year or if that’s a foolish hope I’m holding on to.

I hope to be able to do some posts while I’m off for Christmas break, which starts Wednesday for me. I also hope I’ll be able to take some pictures. If I’m that blessed, I’ll be sure to post them!

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Fall Photos

I haven’t had much time to take any pictures lately. So, we made a point to get out and take some photos of the kids, etc. over the weekend. I was wanting to use my new 50mm fixed lens so I could get some practice, so I only used that one for all the following photos. We were only out for a couple of hours, but it was fun to be with the family and take some pictures without thinking about much else.

Here are some that I took:

Enjoy, Tutu.

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!

I’m Still Alive

I know it’s been forever since I posted anything, but it’s been a whirlwind at this house. Our family has been in the process of adjusting to me being back at work. Well, I’ve never worked since having kids, so they had a lot to get used to.

The kids have to go to before-care at school. That has not been a big hit. There were tears from Ava for many many days. Now she just mostly slumps in there and gives me a sad look before I leave. I have to get up at 5:00 am to get the kids to school and me to work by 7:10 am. Once a week (at least), the kids go to after school care. They like that much more because they get to play at the play ground for about and hour and half after school ends.

We also don’t have a lot of time after school or even on the weekends. I have to make lesson plans every weekend, though I’ve become a little more efficient. And, we eat out more than we used to during the week. It seems like we one of us (me or Ash) has some sort of meeting etc. every evening. We have gotten a house cleaner since I went back to work. It was Ash’s idea because he didn’t want me to feel so stressed about all the things I had to get done in my “down time”. He may have been getting fed up with our house in disarray, too! (There really is not down time, it’s just the time I’m not at my school!) It has been a wonderful investment so far. How great is it to come home to a clean house- one that I didn’t invest any time into doing? Ah, yes. A silver lining.

So, it’s been hard. Everyone tells me the first year is the hardest and that it will get better. I’m not sure that makes me feel a lot better! A year is a long time. There have been a few upsides. I have a pool of babysitters now! We’re going to go out to the movies tonight for the first time since I don’t know when. Another plus? Kids at school are starting to come by my room just to say hi or to tell me about something that happened to them during the day. One kid yesterday stopped by after school just to show me his art project he’d worked so hard doing. I bragged on it though I actually know nothing about art. It made me feel good to know he took the time to share it with me, though.

Also yesterday my students filled my board with messages of “I love Mrs. F____” in different languages (They know I love languages). That definitely helps make it worth it…

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?

To Be Excited About Laundry

I talked a little while back about wanting a new washer and dryer and all of my woes with the old ones. Ours were getting old, a little rusty, and pretty inefficient. Well, I’m happy to report that we bought a new set (washer/dryer) a couple of weeks ago.

We’d been looking at this Samsung set and were waiting for them to go on sale again. The first time we looked at them, they were on sale for a great price at B3st Buy. We weren’t sure we wanted that exact model at the time because we hadn’t done any research first. Well, if you if you know anything about Ash, you know the man’s a researcher. Our online Consumer Reports subscription gets a work out from my husband. (And our friends, because we give out the password  so others can research their purchases, too!:) Anyway, after we found out that it wasn’t just us who thought this was a great washer and dryer, we went back and they were no longer on sale. 😦 The girl who worked there, Thoa (yes we became friends through this whole thing.) said she’d call us when they went back on sale. Being the impatient people we are, we beat her to the punch. I was online looking at the ads each week and saw them back on sale a couple of weeks ago. Ash and I are like my parents always were; once we get our mind wrapped around wanting something, we want to buy it THAT DAY. So, before Thoa could even call us we were out at B3st Buy.

We had also looked at L0wes who also carries this model. We decided to use the L0wes’ price match guarantee. I think they do price match plus 10%. We couldn’t double up and get Ash’s military discount as well, but that was ok. We got a great deal and made a friend at B3st Buy. PLUS, I got my awesome washer and dryer! Who could ask for more? Ok, well, I’d like to ask for someone to fold and put the laundry away…;)

We bought the Samsung models. The washer is 4.7 cu. foot capacity. I went with the white because the pewter was about $150 more per appliance. Who, really, is going to see my washer/dryer anyway since it’s back in its own little room? Well, except for the whole internet, of course, since I just posted pictures! It’s not like I’ll be inviting anyone back to the laundry room for tea and cookies on them or anything, so I’m totally fine with the color. I think the white looks clean and neat too. Ash also just bought white cabinets to put in our laundry room, so we’ll be getting rid of the wire shelving that is above them. Come to think of it, I may want to serve guests in my laundry room once we’re done with it. It may be nicer than the rest of the house!

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!

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