Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween weekend part I

Grandpa Bob got in Thursday afternoon. We are so excited for him to be here. I got the kids a little early from school and we drove out to the airport in Johnson city. We had a quick dinner at Cedar favorite restaurant Cici's pizza. It's a pizza buffet. They even have macaroni and cheese pizza. (Though I didn't try it.) We raced home only to be stopped by 2 wrecks and traffic. I've never been to Johnson City when there was traffic, so I didn't know to expect any. Now I know.

We made it only 15 min. late to football practice. Then home and bed. The kids have school tomorrow.

After the kids were tucked safely in school in the morning and my errands were finished, it was off birthday shopping for grandpa and I. Aspen said she wanted a new CD alarm clock. As we were shopping I had a better idea. (At least my fingers were crossed that it was a better idea...) Grandpa got her an MP3 player and some little speakers and I hot her an alarm clock she could plug into her player. Mission accomplished.
After we picked the kids up from school it was piano lessons for Cedar and quick get your chores done for everyone else. Cause it was party time! The kids got invited to a friends house for a fun Halloween party. They had a blast. Tent in the living room haunted house, leaf maze tag, bobbing for apples and reach for doritos. scary dinner and costumes. What more could you want? We picked them up a few minutes early because we are party hopping!
Next it's on to the ward trunk or treat and chili cook off. It's a tradition of me not to make chili. I brought hot dogs. There is some really good chili there, and then there is some that will burn your insides right out of you.This year we combined with the Bays Mountain ward that meets in our building. So it was huge! which means, the treat bags overfloweth!My favorite part of the whole evening was when my dad was passing out treats. Amazingly enough, my kids were trick or treated out and sitting in the back of the van when our candy ran out. Cedar decided to help out and made a round of the parking lot then dumped it in the sack Grandpa was holding. We could stay open for another few kids. In came a group of kids and grandpa pulled out a candy to give to the first one. Then he stopped in mid giving. He was holding a full sized 100 grand candy bar. Cedar saw it and didn't care. He's never had one of those (do you think I have failed my children by not making sure they are familiar with all of the best candies?) G-pa struggled for only a second with the internal debate of giving or not giving the candy bar to the kid with his bag open. Good job Grandpa, he handed out the candy with good grace and waited till there was no one at our van before telling Cedar not to give away the best stuff! I took the hint and saved the full size bag of peanut butter m&m's. a few treaters later we were out of goods and started closing up shop. The kids had made a great haul, and we had just begun!What did you give out this year? Sometimes I am on a healthier kick than others. This year I compromised. A little of both. We gave out silly band and dark chocolate bliss bites. It was interesting to see the reaction of kids. Some asked for only silly bands then got back in line to get some more. Others asked for only chocolate. I guess silly bands may be on their way out...

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Scared

I have already kicked the cat off the computer chair. Had my hot chocolate and checked everything I "need" to check in computer land. Yet I am still sitting here. I haven't felt much of a desire to blog lately. But I feel it now. So, even though my dad will be here this afternoon and there is some major cleaning to do. And even though I didn't have bread this morning so I had to stop at the store and get some on the way home from school. And I still need to make sandwiches and deliver lunches to my 3 cuties (by 10:30.) And even though I need to shower, and make my bed, and run my errands, and clean the kitchen, and, and , and... Here I sit. I hope this post isn't really lame. That would mean I am wasting time. But I want to get this memory down. Before the emotions fade and it's just another thing that happened once.

Once a week we car pool with a friend of ours who lives behind us. Usually it's on Friday. She works at the school as an aid. I pick up the kids since she doesn't have to be there until 10:30am. The she brings them home. She's already there. It's a win-win situation. We save each other a trip and a good 45 min.

This week my dad will be here on Friday so I didn't want to car pool then but I hoped that we could move it to Wednesday because I had a midwife appointment in Knoxville and then I wanted to do a little shopping. I would get an extra 45 min. Perfect.

It was all arranged.

Tuesday morning the kids got ready for school. Aspen packed her piano books and we got all of the library books ready. That afternoon I went and had lunch with Cedar. I saw Christine there and we reconfirmed plans. Everything would be great.

When I pick up on piano lesson days (Tuesday) I don't try to be there early. Lessons are at 3:30 and it only takes us 10 min to get there. So I usually leave my house at 2:55-3:00pm. I get to the school by 3:05-3:10pm. I have until 3:15 before they have to go sit in the gym and I have to sign them out.

Today was no different. I picked Olive and Cedar up and drove over to the intermediate building (there are 2 buildings.) to get Aspen. I was annoyed. It was 3:12 and no one was outside calling students when their parents came. (These schools have it down to a science. If you don't have the "card," you have to go in show id and sign them out.) I still had time. I wasn't late. I drove around front where the intermediate kids go if their parents are late. I saw a bunch of bus riders, but no Aspen.

Back to the back of the school. Still no one. I got out. The doors are locked and no one is waiting where the kids should be. Now I'm getting really annoyed. It's still not 3:15.

Back to the front. Still no Aspen. I see one of her friends. I ask if she's seen Aspen. No. Great. Park, unload the other 2 kids, grab my wallet and go inside.

The building is empty of adults. There are basketball players and cheer leaders waiting for practice to start, but no adults to be seen. I look in the office. The principals office. The teachers lounge. I had passed her teacher walking over to the other building on my last trip around the building. Annoyance is starting to turn to fear. Where on earth would she be??? They aren't allowed to keep kids after school here. And besides, the last time Aspen got even as much as a warning was MAYBE in 1st grade. Finally, there is an adult that works there. She seems in a great hurry but stops when I say I can't find my child. She does an all call through the school. No one there. She suggests I ask the 2 teachers who are out with the 100 or so bus riders getting ready to load the bus.

OK. Nope. They haven't seen her. They have been pretty busy with the students they are in charge of. It wasn't a surprise.

My last hope is that for whatever reason she walked over to the other building??? Why she would do that I don't know. And if she did. Christine would surely send her back. Tomorrow is car pool day. Fear is bubbling pretty close to the surface now. I don't think it helps that all emotions are intensified with pregnancy, but regardless. I couldn't find my child and no one was around to help or explain her absence.

We load back into the car and head back around to the other school. There she is with Christine. Once she sees me she breaks into some sort of stick your tongue out nanny nanny dance that drives me over the top. What in the world did she think she was playing at? Did she not know that I was about 1 1/2 min. from calling the police to look for her? And here she is enjoying a good joke? NOT FUNNY!

(Remember, I just lost it.) I pull up, roll down the window. Dangerously speak for her to NEVER do that again. The joke is wiped clean off her face. She knows it's not a joke. Now she feels all of the fear I did. I've never talked to her like that before. She gets it. I know she's sorry. I am beginning to understand it was a mistake. Christine sees that i didn't "forget" her or tell her the wrong day. I ask her through stuffed nose and willing myself not to cry that if Aspen ever makes that mistake again, to please send her back to the other school to wait for me. I am really in no condition to comfort Aspen crying in the back. To understand why Christine would be in on this joke. To do anything other than leave and cool off. But Christine needs to explain. And later, I take it in. She was busy with a serious situation in her class. She had just learned that Aspen walked over. That Aspen thought that we were carpooling today. She had been calling me. (I left the phone at home.) She was comforting Aspen trying to lighten her mood (I think she realized there was a mistake) by saying I was silly and had forgotten or made a mistake.

It was a learning situation for everyone. I know that no one was trying to make a joke. No one had failed to do anything they should have. (There was a faculty meeting at the other building which is why no one was in the intermediate building.) Christine would have told her to go back if she had seen her, (which she usually does.) The stars had lined up just right for it to all go wrong, and it was no one's fault.

But still, it took me all afternoon to shake that feeling. That empty gut feeling that a big chunk of me is missing. Like someone could have taken my child. And then how would I live if there was that vital a part of me missing? I've seen things like that on TV. But when I watch them, I am warm and comfortable in my living room and I have just tucked my children in to bed. It doesn't happen to me. It couldn't happen to me.

But it could.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Busy day!


The gang
October brings with it cooler weather, fall leaves and our one and only party. Don't mistake me on that one. We do birthday parties ALL THE TIME. I am talking about hosting something close to a real party. We have people over and we go out, but when it comes to big bashes. The annual pumpkin carving party with our Japanese friends is the only one we do. This was our 8th year! It's really hard to believe that we've been around for 8 Halloweens! Cedar wasn't even one when we hosted our first one. That one was so much fun. We invited Jonathon's boss and his family over to carve pumpkins and make pizza. Halloween was very new to them, so when we told them to bring pumpkins to carve, they brought one little pie pumpkin for all 5 of them. We had a ball telling them about our funny Halloween traditions, and this little get together became an annual thing.The spread
Taking out the guts.

This year was another first for one of our party. A family we are friends with is hosting a Japanese teenager for the school year. We invited their family and were super excited when Moeko got to stay even after the rest of the family had to cut our to make it to a play the kids were in. Designing and planning
She had never carved a pumpkin and really didn't like the "getting the guts out" part. When we took every thing outside and lit them though, her face and reaction were priceless!
Olive admiring Jonathon's creation


Cedar deep in concentration. (Aspen and Olive were too quick to get pictures of.)
Cedar's mummy

Aspen's kitty
Olive's face
Jonathon's pumpkin
That was how we ended the day.

We started with Cedar's 8:30am football game. Brr!

After that it was a mad dash to get all of the last minute details taken care of for the pumpkin party AND Aspen's birthday party.

Aspen's party ended up being really small. But who needs tons of friends over, when you've got a brother and a sister ready to liven things up?! Even though it was small, it was super fun and full of all the right ingredients for a birthday party.

It was a super busy, but super fun day. Next up... finishing painting the bathroom before Dad comes!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

What you've been waiting for!

Pictures!

I will admit it. I love to read blogs. But what I really love is to look at the pictures that go with those blogs. Do you agree? (I know you do!)

So here you go! Pictures with a little bit of commentary. (I'll try not to bore you.)

Playing on the swing set. We actually have another little feature to add. But as you can see. Who needs more features when you have rope?

I realize that last year everyone got sick of weekly football photos. I have forgotten the camera almost every single morning this year, so you are all being spared. This is Cedar waiting for the hand off to run the ball. He's pretty good. Usually his games are at 8:30am (ugh) but Thursday he had an afternoon game. I saw him score 2 goals and after the game congratulated him on his 2 goals. He said, "MOM! I scored 3 goals!" "What? I was watching the whole time! I only saw 2." "MOM! I saw you reading your book!" (btw...I wasn't reading a book. I was going over Aspen's homework. I read books at practice.)

This is what Aspen and Olive look like during the 8:30 games.
The massive living room tent. We have discovered that sheets work better than blankets because they aren't as heavy. We also prefer clothes pins to safety pins for many reasons!

One of the blogs I like to read gives hints on photography shots. Not anything Allison worthy, just things for the average snap shot taker to change up your pictures a bit. This weeks challenge was to look down on what you are taking a picture of.
Happy pictures everyone!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

They're off, the details and the long list

Firstly,
Jonathon and Aspen are off. Which is why I am blogging to you at 4:00am. (I don't normally see 4:00am. Unless it's through half shut eyes on the way to the potty...)

They have the cell phone, so all you who are out there, give them a call. But if you are trying to reach me, call my home number!

Aspen was / is soooooo excited! We told her she was going Sunday night. I think she has been walking on air ever since. The best part? Her siblings are excited for her! They are all sorts of jealous if, say one gets the last piece of candy in the dessert jar, so we were ready for fits and fits of jealousy for a week long trip with daddy. It never came. Cedar asked in his prayers that they could have a fun trip and Olive, as she went to bed last night said, "I'm really going to miss you Aspen."

I love it when they love each other!

The details!

I never did put up any of the details from the last post. Here they are!

Our newest little sapling is due April 21. A short 2 weeks after Emily's (I think she called it a..) soybean. I personally am cheering for Emily to go a week early. That way I won't have to lie and tell her she can have mom and I don't need her. (mom) Don't worry Em. If you do go over 2 weeks, I will lie so you believe me and you really can have her!

We didn't tell anyone for a while after we knew because we have had a few miscarriages and were really nervous. We honestly didn't think we COULD have any more kids. After all, we did all sorts of stuff. Including diving as far as we dared into infertility treatments. It just wasn't working out. We found out we were pregnant the day after starting foster to adoption classes.

So there you have it! I don't have many more details yet. We saw the baby dancing the conga on the ultra sound and heard the heart beat. That put us in the 5% chance of miscarriage. 2 more weeks and we are down to 1% chance. I finally believe that I really am pregnant and it really will (fingers crossed) stick. I not so sick anymore. Though, I actually felt better, in a weird, psychological kind of way, when I was feeling so lousy. That meant I really was (am) pregnant. But now I am back on a diet of instant breakfast and milk and crackers. (but unfortunately, not so much chocolate. It just doesn't taste that good right now. **yep, definately pregnant!)

The long list
When we told the kids we were going to have another baby, the first thing that Aspen did was ask for all of our tree books so she could pick out a name. The fun thing about having a name theme for your kids is it brings the scope of names down to a large handful, instead of say, volumes of baby names books. I have had people stop me in the parking lot (yesterday in fact.) and ask if "it" was true. When I confirmed it, they throw out their top tree names and let me know that they have done the hard work and this is what I should name the baby... It's fun for me actually. As long as no one is offended that we don't choose the name they picked, I love to hear ideas. (Olive is voting for Pine if it's a boy...)

So what do you think? Bring on the tree names! I want to hear them!

And now, it's 4:30am. I am tired, still have to get up and take kids to school. I do, however feel a nap being worked into today's schedule! Good night all!

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