Wednesday, August 31, 2011

My little secret is out.

Sunday at church, Bree and the other kids were learning about how we shouldn't dirty our minds with bad things like scary TV shows.  She raised her hand and said,

"Have you ever seen the show The Vampire Diaries?  My mom loves that show.  But I think it's creepy."

Great.  Now everyone knows.

And for the record, I do not let Bree watch it.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

First Day of Kindergarten

I can't believe my little girl is in kindergarten!  She, of course, has been ready for kindergarten for the past two years, and doesn't understand what the big deal is.  

After doing a bit of research, I enrolled her in the Mesa School District (thank you, open enrollment).  Then the big first day came!

Here she is in her new classroom.

She was super-excited to meet her teacher. 

Then she buckled down on her schoolwork.

Other than the little boy who couldn't resist wandering into Bree's classroom, it was a pretty uneventful first day at school.

We love Bree's school.  It's comfortable and laid-back, there's no dress code, no drop-off/pick-up, and I didn't spend a dime on school supplies.  So, whether you call it distance-learning or homeschooling, it fits us perfectly.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


At 4 months Lincoln is so healthy and happy, and by far the best-behaved Wallace baby.  He's been sleeping through the night since he was a month old.  We're talking over 10 consecutive hours.  I can't imagine dealing with life without the wonderful amounts of REM sleep I enjoy every night.

Now Lincoln is smiling, cooing, rolling back and forth between his stomach and back, he's grabbing toys, clasping his hands, sucking on his fingers, and will laugh occasionally.  His therapists were so impressed during their visit Friday.  Lincoln continues to make progress.  And I forget about his diagnosis.  I mean, yes, I remember he has Down Syndrome in the "Let's participate in the fundraising walk!" sense, and I am fully on board with scheduling all the therapy and appointments he "needs."  But in the day-to-day sense, he's my happy, healthy baby.

Until something reminds me.  Little things like the physical therapist mentioning that he'll need extra help propping himself up as he learns to sit because his arms are shorter.  And when I take him in for his 4-month well-visit, I can't check "sits with support" on the milestones list.  And when the doctor says we need to do another blood draw in a couple of months because he has borderline indicators for hypothyroidism.

In the grand scheme, these are very small things.  But being reminded of them isn't easy.  And I get knocked a little off kilter for a day or so.

But it passes.  I'm looking over at Lincoln, who is grinning at me around the thumb crammed in his mouth, grabbing his foot and filling his diaper.  He's ready to eat and join his brother who is already asleep.  And he'll give me another fabulous night's sleep.  And I'm going to rock tomorrow.

Semi-Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

Adam and Heather are busy people, and have a fixer-upper that might overwhelm anyone.  So when Chad got enthusiastic about helping them re-install their flooring, I had to laugh.  He says he enjoys house projects, just not all house projects.  And definitely not the ones I am currently wishing would get done around here.  I have yet to completely figure out the criteria for projects he likes, but so far I have deduced that if it involves gardening, landscaping, or painting, it's not on his list.  But he likes working with the table saw.  And wood.  And the rubber mallet is okay too.  Hence, floating wood floors are on his list.  
 So we invaded Adam and Heather's home for a weekend to tear up the flooring, which was installed ineptly and without foresight. (Note the gap running across the middle of the room)

We did not expect to have to remove the lower cabinets and oven along one wall of the kitchen.  But since we wanted to reuse the flooring, we had no choice.  We had planned to have the project mostly in hand by the time Heather got home from work on Friday, but things didn't go as quickly as we'd hoped.  And there might have been a few moments there when I was inwardly freaking out a little, looking around at the mess, wondering what we'd done.  But then we temporarily moved the oven back into the still-unfinished kitchen so we could cook some dinner.  And with some food in my belly and new energy for my brain, things started looking up.
We managed to complete the flooring throughout the living, dining, kitchen, and front room, and into the front hall.  With no ugly gaps.  Ready for baseboards.

And this is what the kids did the entire time.

Yeah, that's a TV they're staring at.  For two straight days.

Poor things.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Bree's aspirations

"When I'm big I'm going to be a florist and a vet....I'm going to be a vet first when I'm not even married.  And I'm going to be a florist when I'm married and have kids.  And my husband can stay home and watch the kids and relax."

It's awesome to have Bree back home.  Apparently she did a lot of growing up during the two and a half weeks she was with my parents.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Sewing again. Feels good.

It's been a while since I've done any serious sewing.  I've sewn a few Nursing 360 covers, and I made Lincoln his blessing pants, but that's pretty much it for the last couple years.

Jaime's new baby girl was a perfect excuse to try something new.  The baby skirts were just rectangles with a ruffle sewn on the bottom and a gathered waistline.  And I stitched some matching buttons on plain white onesies (I really wanted to try my hand at a freezer paper stencil, but our town failed to provide the necessary supplies).  Hair accessories came from my Sweet Whimsy stash.
 I did a little "tuxedo" ruffle effect on this one.
 But my favorite were the shoes.
I found the inspiration (and a link to a pattern) for these cuties on Jessica's Running With Scissors blog.  Hers are made of satin, and have more pleats.  But I thought mine turned out pretty incredible for a first try (okay, actually one of the shoes was a second try).

I might try to sew something for myself next...

Goodbye my friend.

Sunday suppers.  
Cookie Days.  
A listening ear.  
Cupcake taste-tester.  
Last-minute baby-sitter.  
Emergency contact.  
Singing buddy. 
Ward activities savior.
Amazing friend.
Joanna, words cannot express how you will be missed.
Why do friends have to move?
Photo: "Go Away" party. 7/29/11

Adding to the list

Wednesday is the first day of kindergarten...for Bree's friends.  I've chosen to homeschool Bree, and her program doesn't start until next week.
In the mean time, I'm feeling a little bit like she's missing out on that exciting, nervous, first-day-of-school experience.  And back-to-school shopping?  Nope.  None of that.

I remember when I was little, how I adored my new school supplies.  I would literally sneak out of bed at night, open my closet, and gaze lovingly at my beautiful pink and purple plastic backpack.  Then I would try it on, and wear it as I stealthily visited the bathroom with it on my back.

But Bree is on vacation with my parents today, something that would not be possible without the freedom of homeschooling.  And I don't have to worry about her bringing home all manner of sicknesses from kindergarten (we get enough of that from Mason bringing crud home from his Nursery class on Sundays).  And I get to shelter her from bad words and the mean drama of other little girls for a little while longer.

But sometimes I wonder if I'm crazy for adding one more thing to my list of responsibilities.
  • Homeschool Bree and keep up Mason's preschool lessons
Along with the chores every woman has.
  • Keep house clean (This counts as extra for me, because I have a seriously dusty house.  No really, it's true.  Something is wrong with our ventilation/air filter or something.)
  • Keep kids clean
  • Laundry
  • Dishes
  • Grocery shopping
  • Cooking
  • Budgeting
And don't forget those things that I've taken on because I'm an overachiever like that.
  • Gardening
  • Home improvement projects (our new master tub is the latest)
  • Blogging
  • Sweet Whimsy business and weekly Farmer's Market booth (making jam, baking cupcakes, etc)
  • Farmer's Market newsletter writing/editing
  • Formatting piano exams for a friend in exchange for family singing lessons.
  • Filling occasional Mary Kay orders
  • Facilitating monthly book club meetings, and reading said books
  • Exercising; P90X is a time-consuming program
Add on the extra things that have sort of fallen upon me.
  • Primary Music Chorister
  • Daily therapy with Lincoln
  • Scheduling and keeping appointments, which have become more frequent lately
  • Um, breastfeeding
  • Oh, and figuring out how to keep my kids happy all day every day
Thankfully, I have a husband who helps me with my list on a regular basis.  And who, more importantly, supports the half of the list that is, as he puts it, all me.  Don't get the wrong idea; I am constantly behind or neglecting half of the list so I can give attention to the other half.  And I haven't even mentioned other time-wasters like movie-watching, sewing projects, or blog-reading.  Unfortunately, there are just too many things that I enjoy doing.

So, yes, it would be easier to let someone else take Bree off my hands for six hours every day.  But I'm going to give this homeschooling thing a shot, and I'm hoping that it'll be worth it.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The poor boy is confused.

Mason has developed quite an impressive vocabulary, but he doesn't always recall the appropriate word for the situation.  Just a few examples:

*Cough* Ow.
Mason, does your throat hurt?
No, it's my diet.  My diet hurts.
(I've tried explaining what a diet is several times.  Apparently it's a difficult concept to grasp.)

(As Mason puts on his pool floaty) This will make me melt in the water.
You mean float in the water?
Oh yeah, it will make me float.  I don't want to sink in the water.
(A few minutes later) This will make me...not sink in the water.

Mason, will you close the driveway gate?
So the avacados won't get in the garden?
Do you mean the javelinas?
Yeah, the javelinas.

Avacados, javelinas...four-syllable words from a three-year-old's mouth are always impressive, even if they are out of context.

Be one of Lincoln's Heroes!

Our family is gearing up to participate in Arizona's Walk for Down Syndrome, which is a fundraiser for the organization Sharing Down Syndrome.  We'd appreciate any donation you are able to give!

Please click here, and it will take you to Lincoln's Heroes team page.  You can click on the "Donate" button from there.  I have set a very lofty goal of $1,000!  (Note to self: must make more friends from whom to beg money)  All donations go to the charity, and it is a cause that has already changed our lives.  Two representatives from Sharing Down Syndrome visited us in the hospital when Lincoln was a day old.  They gave me the hope and resources to feel like, yes, I can do this, and yes, it will be beautiful.

If you are in the area and want to join us for the walk, it's Saturday, September 10th at Tempe Diablo Stadium.  It will be a lot of fun, especially for the kids, since there will be fun stuff to do after we all walk around the stadium.  Click on the "Register Now" button on Lincoln's Heroes page, and you can register to walk with our team.  I'm thinking we should all dress like super heroes...or maybe we'll just have matching t-shirts...we'll see :)

*Donations are just a one-time thing, not per mile.  Actually, I'm pretty sure we're literally walking once around the stadium, so it's a good thing it's not per mile!
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