Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Ding Ding Ding......school is back in session!!!

 Where did the summer go?! I mean, I feel like it was 2 weeks long and then BAM, time to buy school stuff. Well, I guess if I add up all those days of children whining, arguing and fighting with each other.....it might all add up to a lot more than 2 weeks! ;)

 I truly believe that I get more anxious and nervous for school to start than my kids. I worry that they won't fit in, that they might get picked on, that they will get lost, will they have friends in their class? The last week of summer vacation for me, is awful. I hate it. I make myself sick with mommy worry. I will, as long as I am a mom :)

 I have fantastic kids. Happy, fun, nice, caring, generous kids. I shouldn't worry as much as I do, but I can't help it. As much as summer break is annoying, I hate having my kids away from me. I'd rather have them fighting all day long, then have them go to school with any type of nervousness. Well....maybe hehe! I as their mom, have to learn that they need to figure things out on their own sometimes. Mommy doesn't have to fix everything. I will learn one day!

 My kids have been in school for a total of 5 days so far, and I've heard no complaints at all. I've heard excited voices telling me about their day, their new and old friends, their teachers, their classrooms. The list goes on, and I can't begin to explain how happy it makes me.

 We got all three of the older kids ready for school, new clothes, backpacks, supplies, shoes....everything they needed to start a great school year. They were all thrilled to have new things. And might I just say, that as a mother that does school drop offs and pick up.....I believe we deserve new school clothes too :)

 The last day of summer was spent here at home, with pizza, a new movie (The Lorax, a complete love for my family) and lots of reassuring cuddles.....for me lol! We tucked our kids into bed early that night, because lets be honest.....every child is way too excited for the day ahead, that they take a lot longer to fall asleep. Well, except for Katie. Nothing fazes that girl.

 I woke up early, got myself ready (of course I knew there would be pictures taken, and I have a huge deal with making sure I look presentable when I go to my kids' schools. I have a mom that always made sure to look nice when going to my school, when I was a kid.....honestly, I did notice and I appreciated her not wearing pj's and slippers to pick me up! Try to remember that moms, we are teaching our kids to respect themselves, and care about themselves enough to change, when leaving the house. But be sure to teach them that it's a-ok to change right back into their comfy clothes as soon as they step foot in the house! HA!)

 So, got up, got ready, and then I went to wake up my kiddos. The girls were already awake, and playing. Uhh.....hellooooo, don't you guys know what today is?! Don't you know you are supposed to be sickly nervous?! Nope, those girls were up and ready to play! As the morning went on and they started getting their new school clothes on, nervous bellies starting showing up.

 Nicholas is in 7th grade this year. I'd say he makes me feel old, but he was born when I was 15 haha! He wasn't nervous at all....he knows the school, the teachers and has so many friends. He was a great big brother and told his sisters that its ok to have butterflies in your tummy when you are nervous. :) We dropped Nicholas off at school and were so happy to see him excited for school!!!

 Laura ate a couple bites of her breakfast, and then decided she had too many butterflies in her tummy. A bit late, but the nerves were there! I sat her down, did her hair exactly how she wanted, and gave her the good ol' uplifting, comforting, first day of school, mommy speech. I think she would have been even more nervous if she didn't have the teacher she wanted and a lot of friends in her class. Nick and I took Laura to her new first grade class and she paced like a crazy woman, waiting for her best friend Madison to show up. She already saw friends that she has known since preschool, but Madison is like a sister to her. As soon as Madison showed up, I grabbed her name tag and rushed her over to Laura, before another kid chose the desk next to Laura. LOL, I know, I know....I'm that woman! We gave kisses and hugs and waved as she was so eager to meet all the new kids, and learn!

 Katie was nervous until we got her into her class. And then in good Katie fashion....made herself at home. She was lucky and was able to go to preschool in this same class with the same teacher, last year. She will be 4 soon and is one of the big kids in class now! As soon as she saw all the toys she played with and the teacher that she loves, she was as happy as could be. I stayed with her for a few minutes, because honestly.....I didn't want to let go. But I did. For her. :) She blew our famous kiss (blow the kiss and catch it, it stays in your heart all day long!), and I blew one back. Then, I left my little 3 year old in her class, as she marched around like she is the queen of preschool!

 I went home with Nick and William, and felt lost. I had just spent all summer with all 4 of my kids, and now I was down to one. What the hell do you do with ONE kid?! LOL! It was strange to get that one on one time with my favorite 1 year old......but it's so amazing, for the both of us! We anxiously awaited pick up for Katie, and bus stop for Laura and Nicholas. I couldn't wait to hear about their day, and ask all the mommy questions. "Did you eat all your lunch?", "Were the kids nice to you?", "Did you have a great time?". "Did you miss me?!"....lol, no the last one I keep to myself ;) But I hear every single day, that I was missed :)

 Nicholas likes all of his teachers, and has friends in all of his classes....which is good and bad!! He had a good ol' time showing the new 6th graders around, and not being the baby of the school anymore. He is already talking about girls he thinks are cute.....did I mention we are only 5 days in?!!

 Laura got off the bus and greeted me with a big hug, that melted my mommy heart. I knew by the smile she had on her face, that she had a fantastic day. She made new friends, loves her classroom and adores her teacher. Can I just say how much I adore her teacher as well? I requested this specific first grade teacher, due to all the amazing thing's I've heard about her, and we were lucky enough to get her! She is simply amazing. Her first weekly parent newsletter made me cry. LOL! She is a mother and has a huge heart, so I know my girl is safe and loved when she is with her.

 Katie was very shy last year and barely spoke.....this year she is a changed girl! She is talking a little more, and laughing and playing with other kids. She is almost 4, and has grown so much this past summer!! Her teacher makes her the snack helper some days, and Katie is totally loving it. One of her teachers, has told me twice that Katie has some of the best manners in the class, and that she is incredibly smart! :)

 The first day of school was a hit for all of my kids, which meant I had a huge sigh of relief. My kids are happy at school, and thriving....that makes me thrilled! I got a lot of hugs, when my kids got home and told me they found the little notes I put in their back packs. It meant so much to them, but I wonder if they know how much those thank you hugs meant to me?

 As a mother, the first day of school is really hard. Will the teacher be all I hope for, for my child? Will my child feel safe and loved? Will my child have friends and make new friends? Will my child miss me too much or feel too shy? It's a whirlwind of worry for a mom. I'm thankful that my kids are doing well, and are in amazing schools, but mostly, I'm thankful that my kids are happy.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Summer camping trip with 4 kiddos!!!

 We went on a family camping trip last week. There were ten of us. My 6, my mother and father in laws and my aunt and uncle...in law......is that what I'd call them? They are Nick's Aunt and Uncle lol! This was sort of a last minute trip, but as soon as I heard the words camping, I was all for it. I'd consider myself an outdoorsy girl. I love being outside with my kids exploring, and I can't tell you how much I love sunshine!! I grew up in Arizona, so that's not much of a shocker.

We planned to go for 4 days. I'd only been camping once in my life (that I can remember), it was for one night and kind of a bust. SO, I was super excited to go camping for real. My kids have never been camping either, and since summer is coming to an end, I was thrilled that they'd get to have a vacation to talk about when they go back to school.

 We packed more than we needed, but hey...better to have more than you need, than not enough! I did however not really think about it being cold at night.....meaning I left most of the kids warmer clothes at home. :/ That's ok, they stayed warm with lots of blankets, jackets, and good pj's. I won't mention the quick trip to target to get some emergency warm clothes for my littlest man. :)

 The kids were amazing on the way there. We split them up, gma and gpa took the 2 oldest and we stuck with our two youngest. My son and daughter barely made a peep on the way there. Thank you laptop for playing Toy Story 3 :) Yes, I let them watch movies the entire way there.....shoot me. It made for a great trip there, which was needed.....because we were all tired, hungry and cold when we got to our campsite. The men set up tents and the women organized and made dinner. Whoever said crackers, cheese, salami and fruit isn't a good dinner, has never been camping! The guys finished the tents, and I must add....the tents were literally a foot apart. It was hilarious, and genius! We were able to fit three tents in that space and it was awesome! We got the kids to bed, ok....that makes it sound.....so easy. HA! Let's get to the details from a mother here...

 I got my girls in bed and they of course were great.....excited to sleep in a tent, but were quiet, and pretty much went right to sleep. William on the other hand.....lets just say he won the award for loudest scream in the entire campsite. :/ Now, I already am battling with anxiety....so imagine me laying on my air mattress, between William in his play pen, and the girls on the bed we made them.....praying to God that William stops crying, that he doesn't wake up the girl's and that we don't get kicked out of the camp site LOL!! I know, I'm so dramatic, but if you have anxiety, you know I'm not kidding!! I was freaking out on the inside, but all I did was lay there trying to show my son that it was ok, and that it was time for night night. He took about 10 minutes to stop his fit, and then proceeded to talk to himself. Not just any old talking to himself...I'm talking about clapping for himself, saying "bye" every time someone walked by the tent, laughing at himself, pretending cars were driving by and making the "vroooooom" sounds. Oh yea, we were all cracking up. I am laying next to the child trying not to have an anxiety attack AND trying not to laugh. Oh boy!! I finally think he is about to lay down, but no. He squats down, presses his lips against the mesh of the playpen and makes the "mmmm" sound, hinting at me to kiss him. How can I not!? So we shared a mesh kiss and he went to sleep :)

 The rest of the nights we were there, he only really talked to himself for about 30 minutes before falling asleep for the night, thank goodness! I only layed in bed so he could see me the first night, all the other nights I made sure he knew I was outside of the tent and he was ok. He napped a couple times in the tent, but otherwise he slept while we drove to different places like the beach. Katie, Laura and Nicholas slept great.....I was cold, but once I cuddled my husband and realized you have to put a blanket OVER the mattress....I was great! ;)

 Our days were spent making meals, enjoying company, exploring our surroundings, talking, and walking children to the bathroom 8,937 times :) HEHE! I truly enjoyed our time there. One of the highlights, was when we took the kids to a little area in the camp grounds, that was amazing. It had a little creek, places for the kids to climb and the most beautiful trees I've ever seen. They enjoyed snack with gma and gpa and the pictures that we all took, are my absolute favorite. William tagging along with his grandpa, Nicholas looking for bugs, the girls showing gma EVERYTHING they could find, and my husband and I smiling. :) It was perfection.

 We took a day to go to the beach, and the kids were super excited for that. I kinda was too......ok, I was TOTALLY excited for it! I absolutely love the beach. There is nothing about it that I don't like. Well, maybe the sand that magically sticks to every child, but other than THAT.....it's total love for me. We played in the water, made sand castles, ate our lunch and the adults sat smiling as we watched the kids enjoy every moment. We were all happy, and that meant so much.

 We had lots of late nights, and I loved it. I liked that the kids didn't have to be on a strict schedule, but I must say.....it was nice to come home and get them all back on a normal schedule!

 The kids were so well behaved, and we had so much help with them from our family. We are so blessed to have them be so involved with the kids.

 One of the biggest highlights for us was going to the Trees Of Mystery. There are pretty much no words to describe this place. Amazing. Beautiful. Humbling. It was just fantastic. The trees there are so huge, so beautiful, so interesting. Nobody can go there and be bored. That just can't happen! We went on a sky trail ride that was breathtaking. We went SO high, and even then, we weren't as high as the tallest trees. Nick was going to stay behind with William while we went on the ride, and at the last second changed his mind and went with us!! We all enjoyed it, even William and Katie!!

 That night we went to a hotel (all of our stuff was packed that morning) and enjoyed sleeping in big soft beds! We had a great breakfast the next morning and made our way back home.

 I had my times of feeling super stressed, what mother wouldn't?! I had all four of my children there, and they were happy very single minute of that trip (even if they did whine when tired), and that made me the happiest mother. We went on that adventure, all ten of us....together. We made memories that I will never forget. We shared those days and nights together, and showed the kids what family is about. Being happy together, making memories and enjoying every day.