Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Yearbook - PreK

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Jayda had a birthday and turned 5.

5 years old.

Do you understand what that means?

A) I'm getting old.
B) My parents are getting waaaay old (just kidding guys).
C) It's going WAAAY to fast.
D) She starts kindergarten in September.
E) I only have her for 13 more years before she's off at college.
F) Russ only has 10 or 11 years to clean and prepare his shot guns before she starts dating.
G) There's maybe 5 more years (and that's being generous) before she's totally embarrassed by everything we do.
H) Ten more years and she'll be driving with a permit.
I) I need to have more babies because mine are growing up too quickly.

Anywhoo- we kind of celebrated for about a week. It was a bit much and I'll try to reign it in next year (yeah, right). Grammy was here and so she got to spend Jayda's birthday with us. That was probably Jayda's favorite part of the festivities. Having her Grammy there to celebrate. They had slumber parties and art days. They played and talked and laughed all day, every day, for two whole weeks. Russ and I would go on dates and come home late. We'd sneak in the house trying to be quiet, only to hear giggles and whispers coming from Jayda's room. We'd open the door to find Jayda and Grammy snuggled in bed telling each other stories and cracking each other up. Those two are sure close.

On her actual birthday we went to Cheesecake Factory for dinner. She was able to wear whatever she wanted to and selected a very classy Fancy Nancy dress accompanied by some killer leggins and toy shoes. She's such a hoot! She also got to take special treats into her class and be the "line leader."

But the real festivities took place at her Megamind Movie Party! We rented out the movie theater next to our house for the entire morning (it was SUPER cheap...I highly recommend this party to anyone who doesn't want to host at their house and is on a tight budget!). The 15 kids arrived, had a tour of the theater, got some popcorn and soda, and watched Megamind. After the movie they ate some cupcakes and sang Happy Birthday to Jayda. They ran around and played together in the lobby and then got a nice little gift bag on their way out. It was short. It was sweet. It was perfect. Jayda had a great time. The kids were all really, really well behaved and it was the most stress free event I've ever done!

So, Jayda...when you read this when you're older I want to tell you a few things: you are the sweetest, most loving, kind child I've ever met. You bring hours, and hours, of joy to our home. You exceed my every expectation in regards to being a big sister. You are patient and giving and cherish your little sissy. She's lucky to have you. You LOVE to laugh and give your dad a hard time. You joke with him (in a very adult way) and crack us all up. You are tender and get your feelings hurt easily, but you also love fiercely and forgive easily which make you just the right mixture of everything good. I often watch you play and interact with those around you and think: "I hope I can be as sweet and loving as Jayda." You're an inspiration to us and we adore you. Happy 5th Birthday, Gracie. We love you.

Here's Jayda in her outfit she picked out and wore to her birthday dinner. Love her!

Jayda on the morning of her 5th birthday...on our way out the door for school. Can you tell I was tearing up?

Happy and Healthy Lilly Mae

Silly Lilly had tubes put in her ears on December 20th, 5 days before Christmas. Poor sweetie had ear infection, after ear infection, after ear infection and NOTHING would help her feel better. We tried chiropractors, acupressure, and normal antibiotics and no matter what we did...her poor ears were always infected.

It got so bad at one point that we had to take her to the doctors 4 days in a row where they'd give her a shot in each leg. 8 shots in 4 days! That SUCKS! Her fever was 103.5 for nearly a week and no medication would clear her infection. After being on so many meds in her short life her body became immune and the meds stopped working. It was time for tubes.

She handled the procedure like a champ. She came out of anesthesia fighting the nurses and her daddy. She was trying to "come to," but her eyes weren't open yet when she started trying to box anybody her little fists could reach. It was quite hilarious. And sorta sad. Poor pumpkin.

Anyway, it's been almost 2 months and we are ear infection FREE! This is fantastic news! She's had several colds, but its never turned into an ear infection and we are thrilled!

Apparently, when you have fluid in your ears all the time it sounds like you're always under water. Now that her tubes are in she's starting to talk more and she's SINGING! It's the cutest little thing on the planet. Her favorite (and I mean FAVORITE) song is Elton John's "I don't wanna go on with you like that." She sings right along with him when he ooh's and aah's (because she can say those) and is actually enjoying music. Thank heavens she can hear better. Now if only she'd actually listen to me! Do you think there's a medical procedure that would help that??

In the hospital waiting for the procedure to be done. I love that you can see Jayda whispering to me. I remember she kept asking "Is Lilly gonna be okay?" "How much longer does Lilly have to wait...she's nervous and I want the doctor to hurry up." It was pretty cute. I also love that Lilly looks like a deer in the headlights...she was a bit overwhelmed.

This has nothing to do with this post, but I just had to put it in. Here is Lilly in her daily "uniform" a diaper and a winter coat. She insists on wearing winter coats (and usually hats and boots) in the house all day long. It's so precious!

My word I love this kid! She's perfect for our family. We're so blessed she joined us!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Sucker punched & eating food w/ your hands in a place that smells like horse crap.

So Jayda got punched in the face at school. Hard. A new little boy in the class named James 2 (no, his name is not really "James2", but there was already a James in her class so she now calls them "James1" and "James2" to differentiate) used his left hand to hold her head still and his right hand to sock her in the face. No warning. No verbal clues. No reason. He just got upset about something and decided to use Jayda as a punching bag. She had a lump and bruise on her cheek so when I picked her up from school she had an ice pack.

What did the teachers do when he did this? Simply moved him to the back of the line. Now, if you move him to the back of the line where he waits to be put in a trash can and rolled down a steep hill...then fine...the back of the line sounds great. But if you just put him in the back of the line and no other disciplinary measure is taken...not fine. Not fine at all. That's showing that kid, and the others that saw it happen, that you can sock a kid in the face and nothing will happen to you. Why don't you just paint a red bullseye on my kid so everyone else can hit her when they're angry too?

The next day the same kid pushed her down. What did the teachers do this time? They had a "talk with him" and told him that our hands are not for hitting (I disagree. I think there are times that our hands are for cold-clocking someone right in the face if they repeatedly pick on you and physically assault you...but maybe that's for another post. So, I digress...).

I was pissed. Stark raving mad is more like it. I understand that pushing, shoving, and that kinda stuff goes on at school. I want Jayda to experience social issues and learn and grow from them. But a fist to the face goes above and beyond the normal preschool stuff. And pushing her down the very next day crosses into "my mom is gonna annihilate you" territory.

I talked with Jayda about what was happening. I was so angry and I just kept telling her that this wasn't her fault and that she didn't deserve this. I told her that the kid obviously has some issues and she needs to stay far, far away from him. If the teachers are gonna let him beat people won't be my kid because she'll be out of his reach. Russ was planning on giving her boxing lessons. I'm partly sure he was willing to display those boxing skills on the kids dad as an example. We were peeved.

Do you know what Jayda said? She said, "Mom. I was thinking about it today and I just don't think that he feels the Spirit. When you feel the Spirit you don't act that way. Maybe he just needs the Spirit in his life."

What the? Whose kid is this? I'm planning on hanging the kid by his shoelaces and my 4 year old gives me a spiritual lesson about how the boy is obviously hurting inside to act this way. I do not take credit for her awesomeness. The Lord made her little spirit strong and sweet and forgiving. I'm pretty sure those traits slipped off of me as I came through the veil into this world...because I just don't have that kind of Christ-like love. But she does. And it's amazing.

And it gets better...

I talked to the little boys mom and told her my concerns and issues. I was very nice, but when she told me that he's her problem child and she can't guarantee it won't happen again, I let her know that if it happens again one of us would be leaving the preschool and it won't be Jayda.

The next day he brought Jayda a cupcake and a handmade "I'm sorry" card. I had told Jayda to be polite but to stay away from him no matter what and that she didn't need to be subjected to his "issues." But when she came home from school holding her prized cupcake and card she said "mom, I know you said not to sit by him, but he said sorry and I think he really meant it. So I forgave him and invited him to sit next to me. We had a nice snack time together. I think that if he has friends at school he'll feel the spirit more."

It took me a minute to pull my jaw up off the floor. And then it took me another minute to wipe my tears. I was really, really proud of her. The Spirit she feels in her little body is overwhelming to me. I was proud. And I was humbled. And I was taught. By my 4 year old. Who feels the Saviors love and practices being a true Christian.

So, what does this post title of "eating with your hands in a place that smells like horse crap" have to do with this story? Well, we wanted to spend a special Mommy-Daddy-Jayda date night with our little girl who made such wise decisions. We wanted to spoil her and make her feel special and loved. So we took her to Medieval Times. And it was AWESOME!

We left Lilly with a sitter and made the 90 minute drive to the Baltimore Castle. Jayda had no idea where we were going and got super excited when we got there and she realized what she was about to see! It was so cute to see her little face light up with excitement!

We sat in the front row, ate yummy food (even though the entire arena smelled like horse crap), her name was announced by the knight because she was turning 5 that week, and our knight (the green knight) gave Jayda his winning sash! She truly felt like a princess and it was, by far, worth every cent. We had a fabulous time and will always cherish those few hours of Medieval fun!

But more than anything, I will always picture her tiny face with fat 4-year-old cheeks smiling at me while saying that she turned her enemy into her friend. I am so blessed to be her mama.

Ice Ice Baby

On new years weekend we took the kiddos to the Gaylord Hotel in DC. It's a beautiful hotel overlooking the water that hosts an annual ice sculpture event. This year's theme was The Grinch.

We got there early in the morning, bundled up in the issued parkas, and walked around amazed at the awesome display. It was truly breathtaking to see the talent and time that went into each piece. There was also an ice slide that we had fun sliding down for several butt-freezing minutes. After seeing the ice sculptures we took the kids to the main hotel and Russ took them on a little train ride. It was super cute!

With that said, I wouldn't go back till the kids are older. It was great to see...but it was ridiculously overpriced and with the wee ones there things felt a bit rushed. But it was a fun morning and great way to start the new year!