Wednesday, October 23, 2013

life interrupted

Why not end a long silence on the blog with an awkward selfie?  Okay, now that that is taken care of...let's do a little catch up.

There is no way to organize the craziness that has been the last few months so I will attempt some sort of bullet point strategy to hobble along.

  • Roanin LOVES his school.  Like, really, really loves it.  Two situations to prove it: the other day he remarked on the way to school (this is like 8 in the morning you know it was not based on something that had just happened) that he wanted to go to this school until he dies.  My heart and body did a little dance right then and there while others drivers stared and judged.  Also, last week I attempted to surprise Roanin by bringing Rex and picking him up 30 minutes early from school so that we could go to the last day of the Dinosaurs Alive! display at the museum.  I emailed his teacher and then waited at the school office at a couple of minutes before 3:00.  At 3:01 I heard his little sneakers squeaking down the hall so Rex and I popped out of the office and said, "Surprise!" only to realize that he had a look of pure hurt and frustration on his poor little face and I could tell was fighting back the tears to prove it.  When I asked what was wrong, they spilled out while he exclaimed, "WHY DID YOU GET ME OUT EARLY?!?!?! MY SCHOOL DAY IS NOT FINISHED AND YOU ARE MAKING ME MISS STORYTIME AND SLOAN'S GRANDMA IS READING A BOOK ABOUT DOLPHINS AND SHE BROUGHT SPECIAL COOKIES WITH M&M's IN THEM AND ..." I made a feeble attempt at describing the dinosaur exhibit but am not sure he even heard through the continued laundry list of things he would be missing out on.  I had to make a tough parenting call and decided to deal with the consequence of Rex's disappointment of missing the exhibit later and told Roanin he could go back to class to finish out the day if he wanted to.  He turned on his heel and literally ran back to his little first grade class before I could even finish my sentence.  That makes me so happy.  
  • We got a puppy.  And OMG why did no one warn me that having a puppy is exactly like having a newborn?!?!?!  They should totally advertise that somewhere, although I'm pretty sure puppy sales might plummet...unless they look like this:
His name is Woodrow and he is such a smooshy faced doll baby.  Although he looks just like Professor, he reminds me so much of our Dalmatian, Ickabod, who we had to have put to sleep about 5 years ago.  He is a total momma's boy and is getting the hang of things slowly but surely.  After a frighting (both emotionally and financially) battle with Parvo, he is healthy as a horse and we have the dog food bill to prove it.  
  • In other animal news, we got two new bunnies who are pretty adorable and relatively low maintenance but added to the growing zoo we are accumulating...makes for A LOT of animals.  Their names are Stormy and Sunshine.  They live outside, although Stormy is litter box trained and loves to come inside.  They boys love them, and I am pretty sure the feeling is mutual. 
  • Shawn turned 40 in August.  FORTY! 
 I have a little post all its own I want to do for that in the future, but I thought it was worth noting.  He is such an amazing man.  My bff, my baby-daddy, and pretty easy on the eyes.  He was in Chicago for a 100 mile bike race with his buddies for the big day, but we didn't let him off too easy here it home when he got back.  We like a good celebration now and then.  

  • I'm struggling a little bit with figuring out how to soak up my last year with Rexy at home in the afternoons, maintaining things at home, being present in Roanin's new school, dealing with the herd of animals we have roaming around the house, figuring out which dreams I feel daring enough to chase and how that will fit into an already tight schedule and overall just figuring myself out.  I feel like I am continuing to make progress on becoming New Sarah, and am making great strides in my healing process but I know I still have work to do.  More to come.  
  • Let's just end on a few million pictures, shall we?

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

the birfday partaaay!!

Being around for four whole years doesn't go without some celebration around these parts.
We started with a little family party...
And then I did a little sewing....
And then the friends showed up and the rest is history...
There was a dinosaur egg hunt...
And some little guys who needed some rescuing from big guys...
And what is a birthday without your best girl?
I love this one.  His face makes me so happy.  Thanks, Anney, for the pic.
Rexy, if you were even half as happy during your party as you make us every single day...I will call it a success.  We love you birthday boy.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

birthday boy

Dear Rex,

Somehow I blinked and you turned four years old.  I have no idea how this happened because I really feel like you are still the little gigantic baby we brought home one hot day in July.  But here we are...several weeks after your birthday and I find myself so grateful for such a special boy.

You seem to be so many things, my little jelly bean.  You are the parts of a child that I never knew I needed but I so desperately do.  You are so easy and yet so hard.  You are so much more of a go-with-the-flow kind of kid than you brother will ever hope to be.  You are so open to new adventures and what's next that it is always my favorite thing seeing your reaction rather than experiencing it myself.  With that being said, you can throw on the brakes faster than any kid I know and hold them there long after we are all beat down.  You are a stubborn one, Rexy, and your confidence in your opinion thrills and scares me beyond belief.

You are so little and yet so grown up all at the same time.  You are able to do things faster, better and with less effort than I would ever imagine...probably a result from your constant studying of your older brother.  You have a knack for athletics, for building, and one of the most vivid imaginations in the world.  I could spend hours watching you line up all the little plastic animals in the house and listen to your conversations and wars between them.  And yet I would trade all of those hours for just five minutes of the precious privilege I still enjoy of being your go-to lap when you are tired and want to drink some milk and pick my nail.

My little social bug, I am in awe of your confidence...your raw ability to walk into a room of strangers and have them eating out of the palm of your hand within minutes.  I pray that you learn to use that skill to better your life and to help others.  That you find success with it and learn to use it as a tool.  Oh...and your father and I have secret conversations about once a week about how terrified we are for all the poor little girls in your high school and are already plotting a way to safeguard all the parties in college. *sigh*

Your fourth year has brought so much growth when it comes to being a contributing member of our family.  You have become so responsible and gentle with all of our animals, have clearing the dinner table and your room down to a science, and can tell a joke like it's your job.  The best friend that you have become to your brother is perhaps one of the most beautiful things I have ever experienced.

You are a gem, Rex Patrick.  You light up the lives of all that you come in contact with and I feel honored to be your Mommy.  I will spend this last year of Pre-K soaking up the afternoons with you and memorizing all the small bits of baby that are still here.

I love you.  We all love you.  Happy Birthday.

love, Mom

Thursday, August 22, 2013


For the two years we have lived in Omaha, Roanin has attended the Montessori school that is close to our house.  We chose it because he had started as a 3 year old in a Montessori back in Texas and felt like the familiarity with the Montessori Method would help with his transition here...not to mention I am obsessed with this type of schooling method and love it to pieces.  His kindergarten year went great, but due to the fact that the kinder year is spent in the same classroom as the first and second was very familiar and anti-climatic.  We all missed out on the first day of kindergarten freak out session and the "my baby is all grown up feelings" that I have heard horror stories about.

*cue this year*
Sneek-a-Peek Night at Roanin's new school

We decided to make a switch.  I adore Montessori and think that the education system in America would actually do better if it had more of these concepts Incorporated into it, but there were things about Roanin's experience that needed some consideration.  First, as is traditional at all Montessori schools, the bulk of the learning experience is done through independent initiation of works.  Teachers don't tell you what to do for the most part...the students tell the teacher what they are interested in and ask for help if they need it.  Although Roanin has a work ethic like you wouldn't believe, his timidness finds him often looking for cues about what to actually hone in on.  His teachers told me at conferences that they would often find out Roanin had a question about something in the class only after they approached him and asked him why he had not chosen a new work to pursue.  He had the desire, and the potential to be successful at something, but would sit quietly because other children were asserting their questions and he didn't want to barge in.  Secondly, and a point that could have potentially cancelled out many of the problems of the first if it were different, but our school was extremely small.  Roanin had a small pool of his peers and an even tinier few that he latched onto and got his cues from.

I had a great public school experience as a child.  From the time I moved to my school in 2nd grade through my graduation day, I loved it.  I learned a lot (for the most part).  I made life long friends to whom I still share my most intimate secrets and get the honor of listening to theirs.  Shawn's public school experience was not so great.  Shawn was very shy as a child and also laid claim to a horrible case of undiagnosed (and unnoticed - WTF) dyslexia to boot.  So he was often under the radar...and really off the radar for that matter.  He didn't learn a lot and doesn't talk to a soul from high school.

I began snooping around.  I looked at our public schools, local private schools, parochial schools, and reevaluated our current learning situation.  It kind of became a case of having too many good options...and I won't bore you or annoy you with the details but a decision still loomed.  I toured and grilled other moms I knew for their opinion.  I lured kids with juiceboxes and drilled them about their school experience.  I will even admit to finding a way to fit school history into cocktail conversations with adults who I respect and think are thriving in life in order to accomplish some weird no-where-close-to-scientific study in my head.  If you haven't figured it out yet - I tend to over think things a bit.


So the decision finally was reached.  We chose a school in a neighboring district and I wrote the dissertation that was necessary to have a chance at getting into it.  And we waited.  And we heard back.  And we celebrated.  And then I overthunk some more and got nervous.  And then we got his teacher assignment and list of classmates.  And then we cheered some more.  And then we got backpacks and supplies and laid out clothes.  And then it was the night before the first day and I felt a lump in my stomach.

There it was.  It was the elusive "my baby is grown up feeling" and it hit me like a ton of bricks.  I woke up the next morning and found that it had found a partner, reproduced itself 14 fold and picked up the skill of breathing fire all overnight.
German tradition of first day of school Schultutes for the boys.

We give ours the night before as to avoid the sugar dump right before class.

So Rexy and I walked him in, and I disguised my disheveled new emotion with lots of smiles and pats on the back and blurry photo opps with my phone.  But it was happening and I couldn't breathe.  We walked down the loooooooong hallways and pointed to all the cool new things about this school.  A lunchroom that is also a gym!  My own cubby!  My own desk!  A girl named Rowan in my classroom! And she's cute!  But for each new thing that was cool, I could have listed off 100 that were not cool about this little baby of mine being able to perhaps make this walk tomorrow by himself.

Rex and I returned home and I sat down at my desk to shuffle things around to feel productive and avoid a pretend play marathon with overly-eager Rexy.  I came upon an old notebook that I had when we were living in Idaho and had our first born.  Roanin had some nursing problems for the first few weeks and we didn't know and were trying to troubleshoot the situation by any means necessary.  At the suggestion of the pediatrician, I kept a detailed log of Roanin's life....eating, sleeping, mood, etc.  As I studied this detailed list of Roanin's life from his first few days, I was shocked at where I find myself today...just six short years later.  Somehow I have catapulted from knowing every ounce he ingested and every minute he slept to waving at him through the glass door of a K-6 public elementary school and then spending the next six and a half hours obsessing about what he is possibly doing and how he is feeling.  If he is making friends and whether he is making good choices.  Wondering if he ate all his lunch and if he is being bullied at recess.  And the dichotomy is MIND BLOWING.

For me, parenting never ceases to surprise me.  The second I am somewhat comfortable with where we are at, and I feel as if I might possibly be getting into the groove of things...we free fall to the next level where everything is completely the opposite and no one has explained anything and yet everyone seems to be watching and quick to criticize if you don't get it right straight out of the shoot.

Roanin made it through the first day.  And even more shocking, so did I.  He was elated when I picked him up...with news of recess and PE, with the report of having his name on Super Student all day,  with directions about what he would like in his lunch the next day so he has time to finish it all before recess and with a toothless grin that tells me we made the right decision.
And even if we hadn' would all still be okay.