Friday, May 23, 2008

School's Out For Summer! [Warning - Brag Post Ahead]

This morning, my wee little girl, Miss Maddy, graduated . . . from kindergarten! The whole school (K-8) and assorted parents attended a lovely mass and then the kindergartners had graduation in the church hall. Those kidlets are just so cute! Nearly each one raced to the teacher to get his or her diploma and then hurried off the stage. No decent photo -- she went by too fast!

And what a year it's been! When kindergarten started, she was very tentative and more than a little scared, though she put on a brave face. Either the Husband or I had to walk her in to class nearly every day. While many kids got used to the routine within days, weeks or months, there was no way that she would jump out of the car in the school drop-off lane for some time -- actually, I think it was March when we were able to master the drive-through lane, drop her off and get the car moving and out of the way. She was very quiet in her room at first and that's just part of her sweet personality. As a little time passed, she became more comfortable in her classroom, got to know her teachers and made many new friends. She had to deal with a couple things that were hard for her -- being the smallest in her class and having a hearing aid. No one wants to be different than schoolmates, but she came to realize that her hearing aid helped her and she might be small, but that didn't stop her from anything she set her mind to do. Her confidence grew and she learned so much! She yakked away in the evenings telling us all about it, esp. about who got in trouble and "had to move a slip of paper" (a rather complicated type of accumulation of naughtiness resulting in time out or the dreaded visit to the principal's office). We practiced reading nightly so she could mark the chart! Definitely a "prize hog" the incentive of reading for a little prize worked its magic on my girl.

She's had an amazing year and is truly a bright, amazing little girl. She's learned to read, write sentences and do a little math. She's learned a multitude of prayers and wonderful songs. We love her school, are so happy with her progress there and are so proud of our baby girl. Now, on to first grade!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Baby, You Can Drive My Car!!

What??? Um, sorry sweetie, but no, I changed my mind, you can't drive my car -- not until you're about 20 years old! Doesn't she look like she's ready to take off!! If only those little legs were longer and could reach the gas and brakes! Man, I sweated it when the boys were learning to drive. That is one scary time in a parent's life!! And having to allow them in the driver's seat so they can get some practice . . . let me tell you, that takes a lot of guts! Do you know that boys inherently have a lead foot and how close they get to parked cars??? Just remembering that "special" time about makes me break out in a sweat.

Of course, I never caused my parents any worries when I learned to drive. For one thing, my twin wanted to drive all the time and hogged the one and only car my parents owned. I didn't even get my driver's license until I was 17, even though I could have gotten it a year earlier! Driving is still not one of my fav things to do -- but car-dancing -- man, I can really car-dance!! Hmmm, I think I have a few more years of Maddy thinking that it's fun to car dance. I'm so lucky -- she hasn't figured out yet just how dorky her Mom can be sometimes.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A Bear Like No Other!

As a little reward for helping out with the party and littler kids last Saturday, I took Maddy to Build a Bear workshop last Sunday. I know, I know, we have more than enough stuffed animals, but I had a feeling this bear was going to be special. We were spending the afternoon with my Mom and went to the mall to shop a bit and visit the workshop. Perhaps because it was Mother's Day and finally some lovely weather, it wasn't very busy -- very nice for us, indeed. Maddy picked out a sweet brown bear, stuffed it lovingly and kissed its little heart before putting it into her bear. Of course, then it was on to clothes and accessories. Maddy Bear (as she was named by Maddy) is a very special bear. She has a hearing aid too! I learned that the Build a Bear workshops had hearing aids for the bears from one of Maddy's teachers. One of the things that does seem to bother Maddy sometimes is that she is the only person in her whole school and daycare with a hearing impairment and a hearing aid. But now, having a little bear with a hearing aid too seemed to make her feel better about hers.

And we've finally been enjoying some warmer and not so rainy weather. Maddy and I have been going to the park or school playground in the evenings. But, where is everybody else? The last couple times we've gone to the playground, it's totally empty. Weird, but nice since Maddy has the run of the place. Here she is -- enjoying some fav activities.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Grad Party Update

Well, you'll all be happy to hear that the graduation party went off without a hitch! We had plenty of yummy food and drink, cookies and cake. However, the weatherman evidently did not get the party invite as it poured buckets that day, but otherwise, it turned out very nice. And wow -- did Philip ever luck out! Catherine's family is so nice -- no weird in-laws at all.

The little kids were all so well-behaved. Maddy liked being the "boss" since she never gets to boss anybody around . . . except for me and Rick, that is. The kids were so good in fact, that we totally spaced off taking any photos of them at all! And they were so adorable! The little boys (there were 4 in all) were so cute and reminded me a bit of when Philip and Connor were little. And little Meghan was adorable and loved playing with Maddy's girlie stuff, like the doll house and Princess Pony castle -- oh my -- such fun!

And bonus -- I realized that I am kind of "with it" and not so old as to be out of the loop, after all. Catherine's sister and sisters-in-law were all extolling the virtues of Spanx and spray-on tans . . . just like me!!

Even though we managed to forget the kids in the photo-taking, we did manage to get a couple of the graduate. Pic above of Maddy and Catherine and below of Catherine, Philip and her siblings and spouses. Congratulations Catherine! We're so proud of all you've accomplished!!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Having a Party!

The party season is getting into full swing around our house. My son's sweet bride-to-be graduates from the University this weekend, so we are having a little lunch at our house with her family to celebrate. Now, if I can only get party-planner extraordinaire (the Hub) to let go of the reins, I could get it organized. For some reason (maybe I haven't done very well at gatherings in the past??) he wants to do everything for the party. Anyway, it's going to be fairly casual, so am not too worried, but he suggested coleslaw and baked beans -- ugh -- not yummy, in my book! And there will be 6 little kids -- they don't want to eat coleslaw and baked beans -- heck -- I don't want to eat coleslaw and baked beans! Bring on the chips!! Bring on the cookies, bring on the cupcakes!

And then the pre-wedding festivities get into full swing with bridal showers on May 17 and on May 25, bachelor party on May 24, a bridesmaid luncheon on May 30 and the rehearsal dinner on May 30 with the wedding on May 31! Just look at these darling invitations I had made for the rehearsal dinner -- are they just too cute or what!!
Maddy says she is very nervous about being a flower girl and having people look at her. When the other little flower girl is visiting on Saturday, I'll have to remember to have the girls practice a little bit. I'm sure they will both do fine! And you can probably guess, I am still working on the beautification process. Yes, it does seem to take a while and some things, like eyelashes, spray-on tans, pedicures, etc. need to be re-done. Beauty doesn't come cheap, does it!

Man's Best Friend

Hey, whoever said that a dog is man's best friend? I'm here to tell you that a dog is certainly not the Hub's best friend!! Yeah, yeah, of course, I'm his best friend, but he has another really good friend and it's with him nearly 24/7. Can you guess what it is? It's his Bed Buddy (BB)! It absolutely cures what ails him . . . well, not really, but it does help. When his back/hip/knee bothers him (and generally, at least one bothers him daily), his BB is there to ease the pain. Plus, it keeps him warm and toasty on those really cold mornings when he shuffles out to the hot tub (another really good friend)! The only problem with BB is that BB needs a microwave fix periodically to work most effectively. And going downstairs to the kitchen in the middle of the night is not much fun. So, guess what has moved to the second floor of our house (the bedroom level)? Bingo -- a microwave! I awoke a couple nights ago to hear repeated "ding ding ding. . . " I wondered, was the smoke alarm going off? Was a cell phone going off? Was it time to get up already? Nope, nope and nope. It was the new microwave warming up BB! I kind of wish BB came armed with some sleeping pills to help me get back to sleep! But, if BB can help the Hub put off knee and/or hip replacement for awhile, I'm all for it. I just wish we had some type of silencer for that microwave!