Saturday, May 30, 2009

A New Beginning....

Let me set the scene: bright skies which eased into a cool, starlit night; a stadium filled with friends and family; seniors clothed in cap and gown; cameras ready and waiting.

Yes, graduation day finally arrived.

Just a few hours earlier, as I scurried around trying to get dinner ordered (for those staying behind), a frozen pizza made (for those leaving), clothes ironed, and nerves settled, Katie headed out the door to her final night as a high school student.

Friends arrived to hang with the girls, so we headed on out with a complaining boy. Why do I have to go? I don’t want to….

Well, he came but did not sit with us. And, trying to track him down later for pictures was a nightmare. But I’ll refrain from commenting on that, well, right now anyhow.

As luck would have it, we ended up sitting right near Catlan’s family. Perfect! Whatever pictures I didn’t get, perhaps Tracy did and vice versa.

After some superb and not so much speeches, graduation commenced. We were very impressed at how quickly the entire thing seemed to move. Wow. Now, I could have done without the air horns and other stuff but hey, this is the south.

Cat graduated before Katie. He received his diploma from a school board member who is a former Atlanta Braves player. Cool, huh?

And then Katie. Yep, how could she liven things up? Well, red sandals instead of white is a start. And then, all the way to the podium, what does she do? Talk. Yep, the whole way.

And on the way back to her seat.

We giggled the whole time. It didn’t occur to me to be teary eyed. Yeah for me!

The students were supposed to recess in nice lines. Well, the first three rows of students did that, but the rest? They did a mass free for all exit to the goal post.

Once all present, the music blared, and they tossed their caps. I, of course, missed that shot. Bummer. I also lost Katie in the midst of the chaos.

How do you find your kid in the mass of people swarming the field? Easy. You look for the tallest person on the field. I knew she’d be with Cat so it was just a matter of finding him. But that even took a while. Whew.

It is amazing that in the unreal mass of people, you can actually find your friends. Here are Nat and Tori with Katie…..all future college roommates. (note: Tori graduated earlier from another school within the metro area)

I shall spare you all the friend pictures. Trust me, it’s a good thing!

Then the mom “obligatory” pictures started. I had warned them at Baccalaureate that graduation would be worse…..don’t think they listened.

And in the midst of the chaos, I see this…

a very pensive look. I think she was overcome with the emotions of the night. She has been with some of these kids since first grade. Tears means she truly has had wonderful friends at school and knows that those times are over. A hard thing to accept.

Picture time over, we headed on out. Katie and Catlan headed to pick up their actual diplomas…..and I just happened to be stalking following them.

I will leave you with this picture. My favorite of the night. When my baby was so emotional, I look up to see this……

She has grown up and is no longer just my baby.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Soccer in the mud....

We interrupt this blog to bring you something new.

Lest you think we only have graduation events happening right now, I thought I’d do a quick post about soccer.

Soccer has been in our lives for a very long time. Both big kids played for years, although Alex much longer than Katie. Anna Grace had a short stint in playing when she was three, but guess what? She didn’t listen to the coach so her soccer career was pretty short lived.

But I digress.

This weekend, Alex had a tournament. I haven’t been to a game in a while. Dave is a coach so he’s always there (unless he’s in countries across the sea). And taking the girls can be….well, a challenge.

But I was determined to go to a game today. So we headed out after Baccalaureate for the final game of the season. Mind you now, it’s been raining for a while so the fields are complete mud. What a mess.

The boys ended up second overall. Very good showing!

And what did the little girls do while Alex played?

Play with sticks, play in the water, and torment unsuspecting bugs.

Ah, bliss.

Another milestone down.....

Ah, the beginnings of a new week. How did it begin? With an 8 am soccer game. Yuck. And no, I did not attend. Who wants to be on a soccer field at that time of day?

Today also marked Baccalaureate. In between soccer games today, we headed to a local, extremely popular church for the program. Now, we’ve been there before for other events but I’d forgotten what it was like.

To set the stage: we attend a Catholic church here in town. It’s pretty laid-back as far as Catholic churches go but still quite traditional.

This church we were in today had a huge stage, sound/lighting system, and two big screen TV’s on the wall. Nothing like we’d see each week.

So we read the program to see what we were facing. Turns out there were several songs we would all be singing. Okey dokey. So I browsed through the program to find the words to the songs. Huh, no words. Guess we’re all supposed to know them.

Then it hits me. The words will be on the big screens. Yep, karaoke Baccalaureate.

The high school pastor did a nice job with the service. So all in all, it was fine.

And…..I didn’t cry! Teared up a few times but I had on my waterproof mascara just in case.

When it was over, I headed to the lobby of the church to locate Katie. Not hard to do since Catlan is 6’4” (or more!). Just find him and I’m good.

Tracy, Cat’s mom, took this photo of us for me. You’ll notice Alex and the girls are absent. You think I’m crazy enough to take them to a church service?

You’d think we were trying to kill the teens. Pictures? Why? Are we done yet? No one else is taking pictures. And the comments went on and on.

Just wait until graduation. You ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Sunrise, Sunset

“Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
swiftly flow the days
seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers
blossoming even as we gaze….”

Senior week has begun. The next few days will be filled with parties, Baccalaureate, exams, graduation practice, and yes, graduation. Friday night will be here before we know it.

And our lives will never be the same.

Eighteen years ago, a beautiful baby was born. Her parents had many hopes and dreams for her. What would the future hold? Would those dreams be fulfilled? Would she blossom into a respectable kid and teen?

Hard to believe that time is already here. In some ways, the past eighteen years have gone by so slowly. But, now that we are facing graduation, I realize just how quickly time has flown.

When did this chubby cheeked baby

turn into this energetic, crazy kid?

When did this happy, blonde toddler

grow into this beautiful girl?

When did this perky preschooler

bloom into a fun-loving teenager?

When did this sweet six year old

become a gorgeous woman?

Did I miss all those days? I must have because now I can’t remember how she grew from a cranky baby into adulthood.

As the first born, Katie had to endure our first trials at parenthood. She was the one who taught us what to do and what not to do; she was the one who helped us grow into our role as parents.

And now my baby is graduating and leaving. Leaving for a life all of her own. Without me. What am I going to do?

My tiny baby has become someone I really count on. My chubby cheeked toddler has become someone I enjoy being with. My preschooler has become a reliable, responsible adult.

My little girl has become my best friend.

I love you, baby girl.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Happy Trails to You

Happy trails indeed. The trail to first grade. The trail to more challenges. The trail to a new school year.

Today marked another milestone in the life of a five year old…kindergarten graduation. Lucky me was the kindergarten teacher in charge of teaching the music. Yeah me. Can I just say that I am tired of the songs? If I hear Happy Trails to You anytime soon, I may scream.

Despite our poor rehearsals at school, the kids did a great job! I was very pleased. Even our little monkey cooperated……and believe me, I was worried.

However, I had to keep motioning to her to stop playing with her skirt!

Whew, we’re done!

On to the classroom. Anna Grace had her own little fan club with her. Daddy, Katie, Natalie (K’s best friend and future roommate), and Catlan.

Anna Grace received several awards including The Most Cheerful. Do you agree?

The official diploma giving

After the awards portion but before the party portion, the kids were allowed to go greet their guests. So what does Anna Grace do? Runs straight past Daddy and Katie and into Catlan’s arms.

Coming up next….Baccalaureate and senior graduation

Monday, May 18, 2009

Times, they are a'changin'

The countdown is on
‘til the end of the year!
Eight more school days
until we’re all clear.

No more waking up early.
Well, maybe for some.
No pencils or books,
come, summer, come!

Daddy is home
from his trip ‘cross the sea.
Just in time for the chaos
our days surely will be.

As before the year ends,
milestones will be hit.
From kindergarten graduation
to Baccalaureate.

The season is here
with changes galore.
One headed to first grade
another to Pre-K4.

A sophomore arrives
and hits the roads.
Eeek! Not another teen driver?
Stay in your abodes!

But the biggest event
we will witness quite soon,
is senior graduation
held under the moon.

The moon and the stars
will light up our way
to watch Katie and friends
have their big day.

Can’t believe the time’s come
for my first birdie to fly
far away from our nest
without a glance goodbye.

So bear with me right now
as we prepare for the sight
of my baby to leave me
and ride off in the night.

I promise you pictures
and tales of each day
that we spend celebrating
a new passage-way.

A passage that leads
my four kids somewhere new.
A passage that shows me
just how much each one grew.

Time to look back at time
and shed a few tears
as I realize how quickly
we move through the years.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Mommy's "Me" Time

As if graduation and other senior events aren’t already enough, just add baseball to the mix. Nope, not for Alex. For Katie.

You see, The Boyfriend is one of the starting pitchers for the high school team. The same team who is now entering the third round of State playoffs. The same team who did so well this season that they have home field advantage. Yes!

First rounds took place last week on my lost day. Second rounds were last night with a double-header. I was determined to go to at least one game. All by myself.

The girls love going to Catlan’s games but I then spend my time keeping an eye on them while they climb fences, throw rocks, play under the bleachers… know, anything EXCEPT watch the game.

So I prepped the girls that I was “going shopping” and they would be staying with Alex. All the way home from school yesterday, Anna Grace was begging to go shopping with me. I stood my ground and said no.

Poor Alex. I left him with a screaming, flailing, upset kid. I know, bad mommy. First daddy is gone for a very long time and now mommy ditched her. Sigh.

But let me tell you, having time by myself was so nice. I was able to sit at the game, chat with Tracy (Cat's mom) and watch the events unfold without the distractions of short people. Can’t say the same for the big people.

Distractions? Yes, there were some at this game------primarily organized by my kid. They had to outdo the other team’s fans, of course. Check out the paint jobs. Thank goodness I teach kindergarten and have lots of paint, huh?

Hint: Katie has the big 3 painted on her stomach.

Photos courtesy of Tracy and facebook

I had to leave after the first game to get Alex to soccer practice. I walked in the house and heard Anna Grace ask, “What did you buy?”

Huh? Oh yeah, I was “shopping”.

I told her I couldn’t find anything to buy. Alex just gave me the look. Hey, sue me.

Despite the noise, or because of it, the boys won both games putting them into the third rounds for State. I will make it to one of the next games on Tuesday for sure. But alas, I will have to bring the girls.

Unless daddy is too tired to stay at work all day because of jet lag. Ah yes, that will be the plan. Let’s hope daddy is tired and needs to come home early.

After all, being at home with the little ones is sure to wake anyone up!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Lost Day

Lost. No, not the show. Never watched it.

Lost as in can’t locate. Me? Can’t find something? Shocking, I know.

But as I spoke with my mom tonight, I realized I’d lost an entire day full of events. I also evidently neglected to tell her I am moving to fourth grade next year. Whoops. I’m telling you, I’ve lost something…… mind and my sanity.

The Lost Day. That would be last Thursday. If my memory is correct, which it’s probably not, I raced home, and then, hmmm. Not sure. Let’s check my facebook status from that day.

Okay, here we are: updated the blog, went to Subway, is dropping Alex off for his soccer game, hoping to catch some Viking baseball (Catlan already scored two homeruns!), all before heading to Katie's yearbook banquet WITH the girls. Pray for me.

Ah yes. Headed to the yearbook banquet with the girls. But I had a few things in my favor. Subway for them for dinner and brand new markers/coloring books. We did lots of talking about being quiet during the talking parts, being polite with all the grown-ups, and anything else I could toss in.

Fortunately, they were pretty well behaved. They were able to convince another mom to sit and color with them. Her son is a junior so hasn’t had little ones in a while. She was taken in with their cuteness. If only she knew…..after all, those are the markers that just got thrown away on Sunday.

Now, at the same time we were at yearbook, Alex was playing soccer in a neighboring town. He called me when he was on the way home.

Guess what, Mom? What Alex? I got a red card (in soccer, this means he was tossed out of the game). I didn’t believe the kid. He finally handed the phone to a friend so I could ask about it.

Sure enough, he got thrown out of the game AND cannot play in the next game. What did he do? He was playing goalie and pulled an opposing player down so he could not score. This is evidently referred to as a “professional foul”.

I was a bit stunned so called Katie. Katie said, “Whoo hoo, Alex!” Say what? So I told Dave. He said the same thing. As did lots of my friends on facebook.

Huh? Getting kicked out of a game and banned from the next is a good thing? I guess in soccer status, it is. All I know is, it means I don’t have to be at the next game since the boy can’t play. I can just drop him off.

Oh my. Got to run. A certain child just drew on the velour bar stools with pink ball point pen while another certain child sat there and watched.

What’s up with that?

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Next 24 Hours.....

Continued from yesterday.....

After our dinner of leftovers whatever you want, we moved into the bedtime routine.

7:30 pm Girls in the tub, rub a dub dub. No guarantee how clean they are because they washed themselves.

8:00 pm Stories on mom’s bed. Oh no, not that book again. Groan.

8:30 pm Bedtime. Yes! Anna Grace in my room (I know, I know, but at least she goes to sleep), Abby in theirs.

8:30 pm Dinner for mom, facebook time, email chatting with daddy.

10:00 pm Headed to bed via a stop by each big kid’s room to thank them for the help during the day. I, of course, started crying again. It had been a day, let me tell you. Katie was on the phone with Catlan when I came in the room. Usually she just answers me while putting him on hold. But when she saw I was upset again, she promptly hung up on him and said, “Do you need a hug?”

4:30 am Up when storms rolled through. Now there were three people in my bed. Yippee.

5:30 am Out of bed, getting ready for school.

7:00 am Chick Fil-A drive thru for breakfast after dropping Abby off at school

7:30-2:30 pm A crazy day with crazy kids. Thirteen more days!!

2:30-4:30 pm Prep for the week.

Side note: I had told Anna Grace’s teacher about our day yesterday. Both she and the assistant pulled AG aside at the end of the day to talk with her about being mean to mommy. Both times, she cried.

5:00 pm Arrived home.

And.......I arrived home to the smell of freshly baked cookies and an unloaded dishwasher.

Thank you Katie and Alex!!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Bah Humbug

I know, I know. That’s a Christmas saying but I can do whatever I want. I’m old.

It’s just been that kind of day though. A kind of day where you want to stay in bed and ignore the world around you.

Like I can really ignore what goes on in my house. Yeah right.

Today, some of you were being served breakfast in bed. Me? I was making frozen waffles at 7am for the younger crowd. The older crowd either was still in bed or not even home.

Some of you received gifts of flowers or jewelry. Me? I got two bottles of draino and soap scum remover that I purchased myself. Yep, spent the day cleaning.

Some of you went out for a nice meal. Me? Leftovers.

Some of you had great pictures taken with your kids. Me? I tried to hide from them.

You see, we’ve had quite the day with the five and under crowd. A day of sassiness, defiance, and blatant ignoring of requests. A day where the brand new markers were taken apart to see what was inside, where the bathroom was flooded and trashed when little hands tried to clean washable marker off their bodies.

Happy Mother's Day to me.

Katie and Alex to the rescue. Alex cleaned bathrooms with me while Katie fed the little ones and kept them entertained. Tag….Katie headed off to do homework while Alex watched the girls outside.

The day has calmed down, thank heavens. But I can’t shake my bah humbug feeling.

Golly gee, I hope next year is better.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Where Do You Blog?

Many moons ago, I asked people where they blogged but never answered for myself. I thought I would enlighten my friends with that fascinating fact. I know you are just dying to know.

What prompted me to do this post was that a friend at school today told me she was amazed at my organization skills. What? Me? You’ve got to be kidding.

But, according to her, my blog is updated regularly (ha!) and I am often the first commenter on our mutual friends posts on Facebook.

Ah, but that does not mean I am organized. I multi-task ignore my household.

Here is where I blog/facebook/email.

Yes, in my kitchen. My laptop is on my kitchen counter. When I look to the right, I see this

so I can monitor dinner cooking. When I choose to make dinner, that is.

When I look to the left, I see this

so I can see who is messing around. Right past that is the playroom which I can’t see (thank heavens) but can hear.

Therefore, I can park myself on a stool by my laptop and monitor my household. No, I don’t accomplish the laundry, cleaning, school work, child rearing, or much else.

What a mom, huh?

But if I didn’t do that, you would not receive tidbits like:

Abby: The book fairy came to school today and you bought us books!
Mom: Abby, that is the book fair, baby.

Dad to Anna Grace via Skype: Are you going to stay in your own bed tonight?
Anna Grace: No, never. Well, when you get home.

Alex: Did you know I walked to Wal-Mart the other day? (a mile or so away) Oh, actually, me and David walked to Ashley Park (a shopping mall) also.
Mom: What???? That is miles away.
Alex: Yep, it took us one and a half hours to walk there.
note: yes, my kid is a dope

Katie when driving Dave’s car to school: The gas tank says it’s on empty. Zero miles to empty.
Mom: You will be fine going home. It always reads low.
Katie: Fine. Then I will call you when I break down.

Ah the joys of parenthood. And how wonderful that I can share it with all of you. Especially tonight when Anna Grace is being a pill and refusing to go to bed.

Yes, the joys.

Breathe, breathe, ……

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Prom Experience

Cast: Katie, Catlan, The Little Ones, The Moms, and Hundreds of Extras

Soft lighting

Cue sentimental music

Think back years ago to your prom. Well, it may not be years for you but it is for me. Humor me.

Did you do the whole party bus, group picture thing? Did you do the hair and make-up thing? I didn’t but maybe I was a bit on the slow side.

But here in our town, that is the norm. Thankfully, our prom prep was rather low-key, non-stressful, and very UN-dramatic. Whew. Last year? A different story.

Catlan arrived today as Katie was getting dressed. His greeters at the door? Anna Grace and Abby. I had told them emphatically that they could NOT jump on him like they usually do. He was dressed for the special party and could not get his clothes messed up. Thankfully they listened….for once.

Last year, I had to pin on Cat’s boutonnière; Katie just couldn’t figure it out. Today, she was determined to do it herself. Worked out well, fortunately!

Outside for pictures. I wouldn't let the little ones play outside all day so they'd be clean for pictures!!

We then headed out to a local golf club for group pictures with everyone and their brother. Alex, poor soul, had the watch of the little girls. I took them with me last year and it was a nightmare. Heck, they almost destroyed the nail salon on Friday…..offering manicures to strangers. Need I say more?

Cue It’s Raining on Prom Night

We hadn’t been at the club very long before the clouds rolled in and rain began to dump. Picture 200+ people trying to run for cover. We, of course, sent the girls in first. The parents got wet…..or got umbrellas.

Katie wasn’t very thrilled with the change of weather.

But we were able to hook up with some good friends for pictures.

Being in the club with hundreds of people meant wrestling for open space. We found a niche outdoors (but covered) until we heard rumors that the main entrance had thinned out. The kids started heading that way. Tracy, Catlan’s mom, and I headed for the front as well but going out in the rain instead.

We got there and waited….waited….waited…..and waited. No kids. Well, lots of kids but not ours. What’s the deal?

Tracy tried calling Catlan but he didn’t answer. Cat had Katie’s phone but no one answered that one either. Okay then. We searched the club and found nothing. They must be somewhere. But where?

My phone rings. It’s Katie. Where are you? I listen, ask a question, ask again just to be sure I understand. Huh. Where were they?

Yep, the men’s room. Can you imagine the look on some poor golfer's face when he entered the room hoping to use the facilities in peace and quiet?

Turns out, the men’s room had a sitting room area. The kids all hung out there while moms’ took pictures. Too bad neither kid bothered to inform us! But I did take a few.

The bus arrived on time, kids loaded quickly, and they were gone. Headed to a nice dinner in Buckhead before reaching the prom destination.

Another milestone reached…senior prom.

Graduation? Only a few weeks away. Sigh.

Oh that reminds me. I've got to buy waterproof mascara. It’s going to be a tough night.

You know what? It’s hard to watch your babies grow up and leave you. They make you insane all the time but to imagine them leaving is…………

very exciting but very sad too.

Stay tuned for more senior events.

Cue any music to make moms cry