Friday, August 27, 2010

Kam Goes To School!

Today begins "Adventures in Substitute Teaching: Vol. 1" haha!

I was awakened to a phone call at 5am asking me if I wanted to coach middle school tennis and high school sociology! I just laughed. So random, yet so exciting. So I got my things together, got Mollie off to school, and went to teach/coach!

It really was a great day. I was nervous having never been in this particular school, not knowing anybody, where anything is, what I'd be doing specifically, etc., but it ended up being great. I had no discipline problems, but when a group of 7th grade tennis players got a little rowdy, I just had them run lines!! It was awesome!!! Then when they questioned me, I added a lap around the courts :o) So much fun. Too bad you can't really do that in a regular classroom!

So I survived my middle school athletes, and my high school sociology students. Luckily, they were working on a research project, and I've done my fair share of projects like that, so I was actually able to help them some. They were a lot of fun...keeping track of juniors and seniors is VERY different than herding around toddlers!

Anyway, I survived my first substitute experience. It was fun, and I'm ready for more! Specifically, the bunch of 3rd graders I get to work with next week. I'm just hoping I won't be quite so exhausted... :o)

Speaking of exhausted, Mollie made it through her first week of school! She did so well, but boy is that girl tired. I think it's going to take some time before she naps well at school. She went from taking lengthy 3 hour naps in her comfy, quiet bed, to sleeping on the floor (on her comfy nap mat!) but with several other kiddos nearby. It's just not quite the same. I'm hoping she'll get used to that soon...we actually had a 6:30pm bedtime this week! That girl was simply done.

On another note, potty training is still going well! We unfortunately have had a few accidents at school this week, but she tells them she needs to go 99% of the time and just got a little distracted the other times. She's also doing great staying dry over night! We take her before she goes to bed, then before we go to bed, then she stays dry till morning! What a champ!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Mollie Goes To School!

Our little Mollie started her first day of "school" yesterday! We made the decision to enroll her in Harvest Children's Academy, a small preschool/daycare at a church nearby. They have a small teacher/student ratio (she has 6 kids in her class!), a good curriculum, will be learning basic Christian teachings, will be learning Spanish and Sign Language, and have super nice teachers to love on our baby girl!

Her first day went great. I knew she'd be a little clingy when I dropped her off because it was new and she's got a bit of separation anxiety these days, and sure enough she was. She kept going back and forth between crying and noticing all the cool new toys and cheerios at her table...couldn't quite make up her mind if she wanted to be upset or not :o) So in order not to prolong fussiness, I spoke to the teachers long enough to explain that she's potty trained (I got some crazy looks!!) and then rushed out the door. I couldn't WAIT to go back and get her because I was just so curious as to how she did all day! Here are a few pics of her on the way to school...she's got her new backpack, lunchbox, and nap mat (all of which she is very proud of)!

When it was finally time to pick her up, I found her playing happily with her friends (they were playing with little percussion instruments). Her teacher was very impressed with how she did; she made friends, followed directions well, and told them when she needed to go potty!!! I was so nervous that she would be afraid to tell them she needed to potty, but she did great! They even sent home a little "report card" about what all she did that day. I scanned it so that I wouldn't loose it :o) Also, when she came home, she was very talkative (maybe practicing some new words or something) and even sang us a song during dinner! They must have sang "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" at school because she serenaded us with that over dinner...let's see if you can decipher the words! And she gets a little distracted with her A BED! (bread).

She sure was tired last night after all the fun at school. But she was super excited to go back this morning! When we pulled up this morning, she wanted to walk and carry her backpack. We got in and saw all her friends and she was all smiles! She cried for a sec when it was time for me to leave, but was just fine. It made me feel so relieved to know that she had a great time and was ready to go back. We're so proud of our big girl!!

You may be wondering why we decided to send her to school? For those of you who don't know, I've decided to return to work full time and make a slight career change. While obtaining my Counseling degree, I realized I am a better fit for School Counseling instead of Community Counseling, but didn't have the 2 years teaching experience that Texas requires of school counselors. So I'm kind of back-tracking now and getting my teaching certification so I can teach for a few years then move into school counseling (or just continue teaching...who knows!). I'm taking courses online and am substitute teaching for Ropes ISD and Frenship ISD so that I can gain some experience and hopefully get my foot in the door for a permanent teaching position. We feel like God has been leading us in this direction for a while, and I thinks it's perfect timing. Mollie is old enough to enjoy her "school", so to me it feels less like "daycare"(and it is structured like a school), which in turn makes me feel good about sending her. My time as a stay-home/work part-time Mommy has been SO WORTH IT, but this is what's best for our family now.

So that's where we're at! If you know any teachers at either of those districts, tell them to call ME first when needing a sub :0)

Friday, August 20, 2010

18 Months & Changes Galore!

Whew, what a milestone! 18 months has been a crazy one. This kid is definitely turning into a toddler, in some cases overnight, and all these changes are making quite an adventure for Mollie's Daddy and I. Here's what happening:

1. By far the most substantial change in our house; we've gone DIAPER FREE!!! That's right, Mollie is potty trained. I never thought my 18-month-old would be potty trained, but it seriously just happened. She was telling us she needed to go potty several times a day anyway (it was to the point I was only changing her diaper once or twice a day because she was using the potty), so we thought why not go all the way! So last week, Mollie put her big girl panties on and hasn't looked back. She's had plenty of accidents the first day, did NOT like being wet, and got it down from there. With the help of M&M's, silly made up cheers, and an exhausting amount of positive reinforcement, we made it. I'm so impressed with this kid and her willingness to try something new and stick with it!
Now we are still having some accidents at night, but she almost always wakes up when she needs to go (just sometimes a little too late). So, she's very close to having the overnight part down, but we'll still need some work. I wake her up a few hours after she goes to sleep, then an hour or so before wake time to take her, and that seems to help. Naps are usually not a problem.
Notice the sagging? Yeah, they don't make panties in size 18m! 2T/3T is as close as we can get!

Sporting her Fancy Nancy panties! We also have Dora...

2. Another big change is that we're having some tantrum/fit/nightmare/separation anxiety/growing pain/teething issues going on. I'm not really sure what it is, perhaps a combination of all of the above, but it has rocked our world. She has been screaming/crying/melting down with no explanation, and is just in a funk most of the day. There was only one day she ran a fever, but had no other obvious symptoms. We had just left her pedi's office for her well-check and they ruled out any ear infections or anything like that. I've been doing some online research and found that lots of kids go through something like this around this age, so it must be something developmental happening. Who knows. But whatever monster has invaded our happy, easy going child, GO AWAY ALREADY!!! I see glimpses of the "real" Mollie throughout the day, so I know she's still there. This too shall pass!!!

3. On a more positive note, she does lots o' talkin! She says lots and lots of words (a considerable amount more than the 6 they suggest they know at this age!!) and still signs some, too. We REALLY encourage her to "USE YOUR WORDS" because the alternative is whining, which is absolutely irritating. She does a good job with this usually, but needs some reminding, especially when she's in her funk.

Some of the funny things she says right now is "uuummmm...." when you ask her a question; "A B! A B!" when she sees letters; points to everything and says "Daddy's"; "Help me" when she wants to help you; and "Woooock" when she wants to rock a little longer before bed. She also repeats everything!! We have to watch our mouth now :o)

4. Paci Free! This wasn't as big of a deal because she only used it at night anyway, but it went "bye bye" a few weeks ago. Mollie cried for it for two days at bedtime, but then just got over it! It was an easy transition.

5. Growing! At her well-check the other day, Mollie now weighs 24 lbs! She's now in the 50% for height and weight (which is an increase), and her sweet little head continues to grow off the charts! It's past the 100th percentile now. Yikes. She'll grow into it one day :o) She is also slowly growing more hair, which makes some way cute piggy tails to decorate that precious noggin of hers.
Cute piggies!

Those are the major changes we've gone through lately. Wears me out just thinking about it! We've got some other major changes coming Monday. I'll save that for another blog post. In the meantime, Happy 18 Months Mollie Moo!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

My Old Kentucky Home...

I had a bittersweet opportunity to visit the bluegrass state last weekend! Never thought I'd say I'd be in Kentucky, but there I was.

Over the past two years, we've had the pleasure of becoming close friends with the Gibson family. They moved to Lubbock so Paul could serve as college pastor at our church, just happened to buy a house on our block, and just happened to have a sweet little girl (Natalie) just 6 months older that Mollie. We've loved getting to build a friendship with them and raise our little girls together. However, being soooo far from their families was hard, and they felt God call them back home. So they packed up and headed to Louisville, Kentucky....and I joined them!

Driving to Kentucky from Lubbock is no easy's about an 18 hour drive. Imagine doing that driving a U-Haul with a car in-tow, and with a toddler. So I rode in the van with Tara to help keep Natalie entertained and to help drive. I can't imagine going all that way by myself! It was nice to have the company and to be able to switch out drivers often. So we left Sunday morning, made it to somewhere in Missouri to spend the night, then pulled into Louisville about 6:00pm on Monday. Then I got up early the next morning and flew home! What a whirlwind...needless to say I was pretty tired after the adventure, and am still not sure I've caught up on my sleep :o)

Although it was fun to go on a roadtrip with good friends, it was also super sad to say goodbye. Mollie and Natalie have grown to be close friends and absolutely have a BLAST together. It is sad that they are losing their BFF! And we've been blessed to have Paul and Tara as friends. Although we complain about having to say goodbye, it's good to know they are "home". And we now have another place we can go visit on vacation!! Jason's already looking into triathlons in Kentucky for next year :o)

So here are the girls having fun...we'll miss you Paul, Tara, and Natalie!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Jason's Talk Show Debut!

So, many of you may already know this story, but I thought I'd document it anyway.

One day last month, Jason gets a call saying that someone wants to take a swab of his DNA and send it to a lab in Iceland. WHAT!?! My thoughts exactly.

Here's the background: Jason's dad, Bruce, had a heart attack a few years ago. This was a surprise as he's a pretty healthy guy and is a runner. He's fine now, and is seeing doctors regularly to take a more proactive approach to his health. Throughout some of the tests they ran on him, they found out he had a link in his DNA that predetermined his risk for heart attacks. Well, his doctor is working with the lab in Iceland to conduct a study on these DNA links, and thought Bruce and Jason would be good subjects for the study. They offered to take Jason's DNA, and see if he inherited Bruce's heart attack gene.

Somewhere along the way, Mike Huckabee (former Governor of Arkansas and host of the Huckabee Show on Fox) heard of this and wanted to interview the guys on his show! So they got a free trip to New York, made it on the show, and saw few sights along the way. Here's a clip of the show and the dramatic results of Jason's test...hahaha (they always try to make things more dramatic on air). I think most exciting of all is that they got to meet Bob Barker! He was the guest host that day. Very cool!

Here are the clips to the show (thanks to Paul!) There are two clips, so you must watch both! :

Monday, August 2, 2010

Camp Livingston 2010

Mollie survived her first annual Camp Livingston! Well, actually her daddy and I survived her being gone, while she had a blast. This is something that I hope she (and any future siblings/cousins) gets to do each year. It was so good for her to be away from mommy and daddy for a bit, good for us to have a week to ourselves, good for her to bond with the grand-folks, and a week in the country is just good for the soul!

Here are some highlights from the week:

Play date with a new friend, Carvin!

Playing with fun!

Rockin' with Great Grandma Anna!

Playing in the rain with Poppa Kelly!


Going on a bear hunt!

Who doesn't wear silly outfits at camp?

Burger King!

Sporting Mommy's sunglasses at Daddy's concert in Shamrock!

Mollie had a blast, and we're so glad she did. I got a lot of stuff done here, as well, so I think it was a successful week all around! We suuuuuuuuuureeeeee did miss her, but can't wait till next year!