So thankful…that it gets better

I read the blog Momastery sometimes.  Last year, I read this one blog post that had me just GIDDY for the first day of school, 2014.  I was going to be exactly like Glennon.  11 years…full time stay at home mom (plus numerous “money making” schemes and a part time work at home job that generally doesn’t interfere with the full time mama gig.).  I was going to literally JUMP for joy!
Then…first day of school came.  My “baby” (who happens to be taller them pretty much the entire Kindergarten and first grade) started school!   One in middle school, two at Dodge Elementary.
I dropped him off, no tears from either of us.  Entered an eerily quiet house, just long enough to yell to Bart (who now works from home full time) that I was off to meet friends for Starbucks and hanging out.
First day, went great!
Second day, went okay.
Third day….it’s like Ethan and I turned into mental patients.  I totally blame this on Ethan, though. 100%.  And 0% on the fact I’d worked til midnight the night before and had also worked that morning from 6:30-8 a.m.  The new-ness of school was wearing off for Ethan.  He was realizing this early morning thing was NOT going away.  P.J’s are not appropriate school attire.  He can’t bring his Slam City Wrestler to show his friends.  And, each day he had to WORK.
Drop off on day 3 was traumatic.  For both of us.  He had to be carried/drug (this kid is heavy, y’all!) into the school.  Held to the side of the locker while I unpacked his backpack.  Then, his tiny itty bitty teacher came out to save the day (Thank you Mrs. James).  She picked him up in one swoop (That lady has got muscles, y’all…I bet she does weight lifting challenges in her spare time, just saying, I had no idea!) and carried him inside, as he cried and kicked her, and shooed me away…it was for the best.  A parent staying does NOT make things better.  I KNOW this.  I have seen this happen.  I just never had it happen to me…..
So, needless to say, I was a nervous wreck that day.  I cried.  I was in a pissy mood.  I literally had to bite my tongue to keep from cussing the kioski dead sea salt scrub man who asked me not once, not twice, but THREE times to take his product.  Then, on the way back out of the mall, he tells me, “I believe in second chances!”.  At that point, I bit my tongue, put my head down, and kept walking.  I am *so* proud I didn’t punch that asshat out.  Or open my mouth.  I was really in a foul mood.
When I went to get Ethan that day, they said he did okay, after about ten minutes of sitting and shooting “Go to hell” looks.  I know that look well…..
So, next day, I am stressed out.  Ethan doesn’t to go to school.  I am so nervous we are going to have a repeat of being carried into class.  I don’t want his teachers to take away his recess if he misbehaves in that manner again (p.s.  he gets all “green lights” for behavior, so it is the getting him INTO class part that is a problem, once he is engrossed in the work, he is fine, and has happy tales to tell at the end of each day!) and I don’t want to be worried sick about him all day…worried he won’t snap out of his bad mood and will misbehave and be sent to the PAC room or principal.
Although he did walk into his class on his own (Thanks Aunt Jess for the family pic in his pocket idea), he’s not really happy about it.

So, you get the picture…school has been a battle to start out.  It’s caused all these deeply hidden emotions of being alone and missing my babies to come to the surface.  I turned into a big ball of crazy.  I felt like maybe I wasn’t as needed, like I wasn’t quite sure what my next phase was supposed to look like, because what I was experiencing and had planned for the future is not what I thought it would be, not even last spring when I looked forward to all 3 boys being in school full time.  It was as if I didn’t know quite who I was anymore…identity crisis is one way I heard this feeling referred to in a podcast I listened to.  (Love Power of Moms podcasts!)

But today…today I feel like I can confidently say YES!  IT GETS BETTER!  I left Ethan in the line before the school bell rang, where he was talking to his friend from preschool who is not in his class this year.  Ethan didn’t turn to me with tears in his eyes, his voice quivering, and say, “Don’t go Mama.  Don’t leave me here, please!” desperation in his voice.  He smiled and gave me his cheek so I could kiss him, but didn’t run after me for ONE MORE HUG PLEASE MAMA PLEASE.

And it felt so good.

I am so happy he has (hopefully) found his groove.

I am not say there will not be more hard days ahead.  Ethan is and has always been a hard kid.  But, the joy I felt today as I left without one moment of upset or sadness…THAT is what I need.  What I want.  All I want for my children is for them to be successful.  To do the best that THEY can do.  It might not be the best that others can do, but as long as they try, then they win.  And I think Ethan is figuring it out and now doing his best.  And for that I am so grateful.

Because seriously, I was ready to go to the doctor and get a script for some crazy person anxiety pills…sure, I am not exactly sure what this new phase in MY life holds….there are so many changes that will be happening within the next year.  But, for today, I will kick up my heels and say YES SCHOOL IS IN!  My babies are growing up…and I love it!  Someday I will be grateful for the lessons I will figure out I learned from this hard time.  But for now, I am just grateful to have easier mornings where I am not a crazy person the whole day, ready to snap at the kioski guys just doing their job, no matter how awfully annoying that job may be….

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White and Nerdy

Disclaimer:  This post is kind of braggy and whiny.

 

When I was in third grade (I think?) I remember going into the library at whatever school I was attending (Fort Polk/Leesville, LA) and being given a test.  It was a test to see if I could get into the gifted and talented program.  I don’t remember the person who gave me the test, the questions on the test, or my end score.  I did not “pass” this test.  And I remember wondering which questions I got wrong, how I could have taken the test differently to have done better.  I don’t know that I felt that way in third grade (the sadness at not passing) but I did in later years, sometimes thinking, “If they’d just let me take it again, I know I’d do better!”  ( am very competitive, especially in grades, and always wanted to do better then I had the time before)

Anyway, Brennan was tested for gifted a few years back.  This kid scored perfect or nearly perfect on his state math exam. (I think 100%, but maybe 99%?), prompting the testing.  Anyway, he did amazing and he got in.  He LOVES this class/program and he has really excelled being in a group of 4 white and nerdy kids, learning and being challenged.

 

Jackson just got the letter sent home yesterday.  He did very well on his initial tests and they’d like to exam him further, to see if he qualifies to be in the “challenge class” and maybe gifted and talented program.   He was SO excited, too!  He kept talking about the cool things Brennan had done, saying he hoped he was able to do some of the things Brennan had done before we move.
While this test excites me, it also makes me nervous…he’s seen how very cool the program is.  He wants to do the things his brother does…what if he is given the same testing opportunity and doesn’t quite make the cut?  I know he will be fine…he’s a smart kid with a huge heart.  But,I still pray he “passes” the exam, because I don’t want to have to see him sad, even for a little while.  I’ve had enough “sadness” from Mr. Ethan every day at school drop off!  I can’t take more child tears. It beaks my heart.

 

So, this post isn’t to brag, promise…….whether it is nature or nurture that these boys of mine seem to be Mr. Smarty Pants, I am happy for them, excited to see them excel…but my mama heart doesn’t want for Jackson wonder if he could have just done a little better.  (p.s.  that article made me laugh.  a lot.  it’s sort of dumb, but also funny)….And hey, if my kids have above average intelligence and become the rulers of multi-million dollar corporations, who am I to deny myself a spot on the board of directors, along with a fat pay check and company car.

 

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Fun Plex for $9.95

So, the family fun nights has ended, but you can still get into Fun-Plex for just $9.95….see how below!

 

 

 

 

 

My Readers can receive Unlimited water park wristband at Fun-Plex for only $9.95 on Wet & Wild Weekdays August 18-22 and August 25-29 in the water park. From noon until 6 PM you can get an unlimited water park wristband for only $9.95 plus tax per person through this exclusive offer from OmahaKids.com
http://omahakids.com/coupon.php?regionid=52&bid=9823&dealid=1339

 

 

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Fun-Plex, on our #Omahabucketlist

We are working on an #Omahabucketlist of all the fun places we want to visit before we move from Omaha back to Louisiana!  Yes, we are moving!  But…not until next spring.  More on all this later.

moving

So, since we have time, we have created a bucket list of places we want to visit, both in Omaha and the midwest, while we are still here.

One of the places facebook friends suggested in building our bucket list was visiting Fun-Plex.  We’ve never been, so we thought it was a great idea!  And now…they have a monster good deal!  See the VERY end of the post to find out how to get in for $9.95!  Yep, I love you dear readers and want you to have great discounts!

 

So…let’s find out a little more about Fun Plex together:

 

It’s gonna be a fun day! Nebraska’s Largest Water Park!

Family Fun Nights
Family Fun Nights at Fun Plex are the best way in Omaha to entertain and amuse the whole group, all for only one low price!
Whip and spin with mom & dad on the classic Tilt-a-Whirl, splash your brother or sister on the bumper boats, and see who in your family is King of the Road on the Fun Plex Speedway Go-Kart Track. There are kiddie rides, kids karaoke, face painting, and special surprises to entertain all night!

The whole family plays all night for only $59.95!

Details
Family Fun Nights run throughout the summer on Friday and Saturday nights from 7:30pm – 11pm.

We will occasionally cancel the event because of a private event, holiday, or weather conditions, so be sure to check the website or call the park before your visit. Family Fun Night will not be held Friday, July 4th and Saturday, August 2nd. Family Night ends August 9th.

One “family” includes a group of up to six. Age 2 and under are free and do not count towards the family participants.

My Readers can receive Unlimited water park wristband at Fun-Plex for only $9.95 on Wet & Wild Weekdays August 18-22 and August 25-29 in the water park. From noon until 6 PM you can get an unlimited water park wristband for only $9.95 plus tax per person through this exclusive offer from OmahaKids.com
http://omahakids.com/coupon.php?regionid=52&bid=9823&dealid=1339

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First Day of School, 2014

IMG_5804Ethan started kindergarten this year.  On Tuesday, we had pretty much an EPIC summer of fun to celebrate…and let me spend LOTS of time with the boys before they all went away.  Then Wednesday, they were left in the capable hands of teachers, new and old.

Today is Thursday, so I’ve only had a little time to see how it feels to be kid-less and at home.  (This post written on two different dates)

I won’t lie…it’s a little lonely.  BUT…I have had some great friends who have helped me adjust, as they adjust, too!  This pic was the day we all dropped our babies off at kindergarten!

However, I am sure I will soon no longer miss them in the quiet moments of lunchtime and while driving.  I mean, not one person vetoed any songs I listened to on the way to Applebee’s for lunch with girlfriends today.  Crazy.

So, Ethan started school…he’s a child who needs a schedule, which hasn’t always happened this summer, so he’s had good days and bad.  He also needs sleep.  And regular feedings (read:  if he’s grumpy, he is either tired or hungry).  He is a big boy, pretty tall…and probably one of the tallest in his class.  He’s so ready for school to start, but then he would have moments of worry or fear that would just break my heart.  However, having two older brothers, he’s been waiting for his first day of school since the womb, often asking when HE got to go to the BIG school. 😉

***Finally finishing this post on Saturday night***

So, Ethan has attended school for THREE whole days.  He is loving it, though I worry he will become the class tattle tail.  Each day as soon as he sees me, he reports how many students got a red or yellow light.  He is very proud of his green lights (good behavior), and I just pray his pride will be enough to keep him well behaved…he only had one “incident” in preschool that was reported to us…so maybe he is a much better child away from home…really, though, Ethan has grown up and matured so much this past year.  And for that I am grateful!

And now…adjusting to life at home without any littles.  I do babysit Harper some, so that is fun, but I think it will be nice to do some craft fair work while the sun is still actually up!  It’s weird how quickly time seems to have flown by…wasn’t Ethan just a FAT BABY in my belly?  I have a lot of thoughts about this, but I’ve stretched this post out too long, so I will organize all of that at a later date.

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Jack is in third grade, Mrs. Bressman is his teacher.  He is such an easy going kid, he’d do great with any teacher.  He was mostly disappointed Alaina is not in his class this year. They’ve been classmates and friends since K.

Brennan is at Davis Middle School.  He has to ride a bus, which makes Bart VERY nervous, but I don’t mind…I rode a bus my whole life!  He seems to like it, but he knows very few people (he transferred there, it is not his “home” middle school) so it’s going to take some time to make friends.  He seems willing to jump in and try new things, though…he’s got a list a mile long of clubs he wants to join and activities he wants to participate in.  🙂

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Fishin’

boys fishing

While we were visiting Louisiana this summer, the boys got to go fishing with Papa Jeff and Bart.  They were so excited to catch all those fish!
They fished in a private lake owned by one of my cousins and apparently it was a very picturesque southern setting, complete with alligators in the pond and bald cypress trees all around.  (Or so I was told/saw in pictures, I was working at the bakery this day!)

I am so grateful to have a father who wants to do things with the boys.  The boys are still talking about this fishing trip and what they want to try/do differently next time…Papa Jeff and Bart beware!  Their plans are BIG.  That alligator might just get reeled in this time! (Yes, Bart caught an ALLIGATOR!  Not on purpose, and it got away, but still!  Crazy!)  I don’t know how accurate their plans are, but I can say this:  Alligator sausage is amazing. 🙂

 

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The Yellow Slide

Alternately titled, “Another sure sign my baby is growing up”

We’ve gone to Fremont Splash Station at least once a summer for the past two or three summers.  It’s only about an half hour drive from my house and it’s not too expensive and provides some cool summer fun for the boys.

Every year Ethan, our daring boy, has been so sad he can’t ride on the BIG slides.  But this year…he measured in at about 48 1/8 inches tall, JUST tall enough to ride the slide.  He was so excited.

When we got home that afternoon, he could hardly stop talking about riding the slide.  He has said no less then 150,234 times “Today was THE BEST day of my life.  I am serious you guys.”

But…to me, it’s just another sure sign that my little guy is growing up.  Kindergarten is just a few days away and we all know once elementary school starts, there is no looking back!

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