Thursday, September 27, 2007

Today is Red Day!

At the "big girls" Tiny Tot class, they celebrated all things red. Everyone wore red, shared red, did a red collage, ate red things, etc. Thank goodness Aunt Missy got the girls these shirts, otherwise it would have been one in red gingham and one in pink. These are more of the cute presents Missy got them for their birthdays. They wore the shirts with jean skirts because they did not want to "look like boys." The bandannas only made it through part of the day (this picture and the car ride) before they grew weary of them.

They are loving the class and have made many new friends. Monterey really has gotten better over the last month. The first week was tears. The second week was trying to distract her while I sneaked out. The third week was finding an activity to engage her. This week she waved bye to me as soon as she got there. I guess they really are big girls now.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Soccer News

McKayla got her call first. Her team is the Breakers. She is very sad about this because she was on the Breakers last year and they did not win a single game (they tied one.) So even though she knows it will be a whole new team with a new coach (we did like her coach, despite the record) she still does not want to deal with the harsh memories. Practices are M & W from 7:30-9. I'll be walking at the park during that time if anyone wants to join me.

Madison got her call and she is on the Tikibirds. This made her break out into the Tiki Room song from Disneyland. Maya woke up from her nap and when she heard the news, she immediately broke out in the Tiki Room song from Disneyland. They crack me up. Madison's practices are T & Th from 6:30-7:30. I'll be walking at the park during that time if anyone wants to join me.

Maya got her call last. She is on the Fireflies. She wanted to be on the Tinkerbells so I don't even want to tell her her team name. We looked in the Disney Fairies Book to find a fairy that had some relationship to fireflies and alas, we found one. She is dressed in reddish-pink and teaches the fireflies how to glow. Her name is Fira. (I don't think she is buying this, so if you happen to see her and ask her what her team is, respond with something like: "Oh, like Fira the fairy." This year all games and practices for her division will be at a brand new Middle School. I am not too familiar with it so I'm not sure about walking during her practice. I'm not sure if I want to miss one moment of a practice with little four-year-olds playing soccer. Her practices are on Wed from 5:30-6:30.

Monterey is not old enough so she will be junior mascot for three teams and have lots of time to play at the playground.

MBA Start Day:
Ryan went to his orientation on Saturday. He left at 7:45 and got home at 5:00. We went through his stuff and I can tell that I am going to be an MBA widow. He has two papers due and several chapters to read and know by the first class. Everything goes super fast - six sessions to cover a whole semesters worth of work, two classes at a time. We have two long years ahead of us but I know it will all be worth it. (Remind me that I said that if I start whining too much.) His first two classes are on ethics in business and business legal aspects.

Here are the babies getting ready for church on Sunday. They wanted curly hair with lots of Hairspray. We have been listening to the Hairspray CD endlessly so they think it is cool. They spent the whole day feeling their stiff hair and hated it.

I am lucky that my older girls help so much and we work as a team so well. Saturday, I taught them how to clean their own bathrooms-thoroughly, by doing mine. After each thing (like cleaning the mirror) they went back and did their own and then came back for the next step. I thought they would have issues with the toilet part, but they were real troopers and now I have turned that chore over to them. I was really impressed how they saw it as part of their job and didn't whine about why someone else should do it for them. They really see themselves as a member of a team/family. We will see how long it lasts, but I think the part they liked best was their independence and the fact that I trusted them. They are awesome, as I'm sure that anyone who knows them knows. People ask me "how do you do it all?" and I tell them: "First you get yourself a McKayla and then get yourself a Madison." It is so true.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Princess Party Pandemonium

The girls went to a Princess Birthday Party for their friend Mia today. It was quite the extravaganza with everyone dressed to the hilt. Lots of netting, ribbons, and Disney gowns. Most of the activities centered around dancing. When they weren't doing that, there was giggling, screaming, licking the frosting & sprinkles off of the cupcakes, fighting over who got to wear which crown, switching outfits, positioning themselves so they could help open presents with Mia, and hugging. It was a classic. I'm not proud of the lack of good pictures, but they never stopped long enough to get a proper pose. The girls adore Mia and Monterey says that she is "my best friend."

McKayla is having a sleepover tonight with one of her best friends. I like this girl. She is VERY quiet. And VERY sweet. McKayla is going to win the prize for picking the best friend for a sleepover. (Not that we don't love all of you, but some have a tendency to giggle and try to stay up all night. We still love you, and you are always welcome.) They had a little after school dance which I will not comment on for fear of mortifying her. (I probably already have just in mentioning it.) Let's just say that she had a good time and wants to go to the next one. That is good enough for me. No pictures for obvious reasons.

Madison was supposed to participate in a grandiose sleepover involving all the most popular girls in 4th grade. It was getting bigger by the day. Thursday night when the mothers started talking it turned out that no mom had actually said yes to hosting it. All plans cancelled. How discouraging. No one could bail them out because all their siblings already had sleepovers planned. Poor Madison. Now we all will feel bad and I'm sure someone will step forward to host for next week. (After she read this, she informed me that their plan was to put it in writing in a type of contract that each mother will sign so we will take them seriously next time and to ensure that there really is a host house.)

As for the luncheon, I only have about ten things left for people to sign up for. That is out of over sixty items, so I am very pleased. Usually most of the donations are at the last minute. It must be the beginning of the school year where most of the parent are still ultra willing to help out. It relieves my stress immensely.

The biggest news however, is that this week, we finally had temperatures in the 80's. Finally, we can play at the park. The mom's group is starting up again with park day, but now that the girls are in Tiny Tots we have kind of graduated from there. I already miss it. But we are heading to bigger and brighter days of independence so that is just the first casualty.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Busy

We have had a busy few days. Now the third week of school, we are beginning to settle into a routine. Which is nice since with soccer practices starting next week, we needed to establish some good routines for getting homework done and chores finished. Add in thirty minutes of piano practice and thirty minute of reading for pleasure, and they will have very little down time. I'm sure that there are those of you that believe that children need down time and time to just play and be kids. With my children, they are more inclined to watch TV, play on the computer, re-design their room, etc. Therefore, I like the super scheduled. It means I don't have down time either; but well-rounded, confident kids make it all worth it.

I am starting on my first major PTO event. It is putting on a Teacher & Staff Luncheon for 80. We are going to do a salad bar with over thirty-two items. Plus pies for dessert, beverages, and paper goods. So far today, I sent out emails to all the people who signed up that they would be willing to volunteer and I have had a response from about ten so far. That's not bad for the first few hours. I am still trying to figure out decorations. I could go with a harvest theme, since the next one will be Christmas and we won't have another opportunity. We will see if any volunteers offer to take it over. We have our first general meeting tonight so I am sure I will get lots of people coming forward to help.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Birthday Dresses

Okay, so I don't have any reception pictures to post after all my promises. I am still waiting for all the people who were taking pictures to share them. How is that for diverting blame? Pretty good, eh?

While Aunt Missy was in town, she brought over the babies (the babies told me I had to stop calling them babies and they want to be called big girls since they attend school) I mean the big girls their birthday presents. (Maya's was a little late, but worth the wait.) So these are the dresses she bought them. They love them and wore them to school on Monday. All day long I get asked if they are twins and I always explain, no they are fifteen months apart but they wear the same size. Perhaps you have heard that conversation in person, or have been the one to ask. So then they dress the same and it really confuses people. They love the dresses and I think we get the same number of questions no matter what anyway.

Thank you Missy for keeping my big girls so stylish.

Friday, September 7, 2007

The Wedding

Kym and Chris Got Hitched!!!


Well, we are back from the wedding. It was great. Kym and Chris looked so good, so happy, and so ready to be married. The person that married them said Chris should change his name to Lucky. We agree. Here is just one picture of the whole Caress family.
Tomorrow is the reception and the formal pictures so there will be more to post later. I can't wait for everyone who was taking pictures to share. The different shades of brown were so pretty and elegant. Everyone was so happy to be there, which made everyone look even more beautiful. The ceremony was awesome. You could feel so much love in the room. Am a gushing? I feel like I am gushing, but I really cannot stop.

More details to follow. This was just a tease.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

The Potty Fairy is Here at Last

Tomorrow is Monterey's birthday, so for school today, we brought cupcakes (which were actually brownies, since kids usually like brownies better than cake.) Frosting and sprinkles is still a must. We are trying to get her to say she is three. With the wedding on her birthday, we figured we would celebrate today. She even helped put on the sprinkles herself. She was so proud. She came home from school with smeared frosting on her face so I know she enjoyed them.

The next great piece of news: she had no potty accidents at school all week. I think we are getting close to saying she is "trained." As her reward (since I have no problem with out-and-out bribing when it comes to potty-training) we gave her The Potty Fairy otherwise known as Prilla from the new Disney fairy movie. My sister Karen bought this for her potty training reward back in June. It took a while.




















Finally, we are now in the official prep mode for the wedding. We dressed the Bitty Babies in their outfit that match their mommies'. I just need to finish the gift wrapping and get geared up for the whole long list of activities for Friday (wedding, pictures, dinner, road trip to Newport Beach and back again) and Saturday (primary activity, luncheon, pictures, reception) and Sunday (teaching at church and prep for the second week of school.)

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

The First Day of School

Today was the first day of school for all four girls. For three of them, a brand new school. It is difficult for my brain to process so much all in one day. Both older girls had minimum days for the first day so it was short and sweet. We also restarted piano (we were on a break for August) and Madison had soccer tryouts for her second year in the competitive division. The girls had little to no homework, but I have tons: filling out all the paperwork, emergency cards, and reading through all the notes.

So here is the breakdown:

McKayla started 6th grade at a new Middle School at 7:30 am. Pick up at 12:15. McKayla loved her first day, all her teachers, lunch, etc. She has at least one good friend in all her classes and has a nice group from elementary that she can hang with during lunch. She had no homework, no paperwork or handouts. Tomorrow she has a block schedule: four of her eight classes for two hours each. The other four will be on Thursday. She is currently busy picking out her outfit for tomorrow.

Madison started 4th grade at the same school she has been at for three years at 8:30 am. Although this is the only returning school we had, I am on the PTO Board so I had to be there helping everyone find their new classes and help students and parents, who were new to the school, find their way around. So this ended up being very busy anyway. Madison loves her new teacher, she said "mom, she is so organized, just like me!" She has homework which must be done in cursive (which, I discovered, she forgot a lot during the summer.) She has several good friends (but not all) in her class and has several of the cutest boys (except two) in her class. Pick up at 1:00.

Maya started "big tots" at 9:00 am. She was a little apprehensive until she saw several friends. She really liked the playdoh station and wrote her name with beans and glue. She missed Monterey but they did get to play outside together. She is excited about being able to go everyday. Pick up at 12:00.

Monterey started "little tots" at 9:00 am (same location as Maya.) She had a accident free day (potty-wise: YEAH!!!!!!!) She was a little sad to be left alone, but she too found some friends in her class. She started writing her name with fruit loops and glue, but opted to eat most of the fruit loops. Pick up at 12:00.

While they were all at school, I went grocery shopping (to two stores) and picked up dry cleaning for the wedding on Friday (we are so excited for that, we are ready to burst.)

And just in case you thought Ryan was being left out of the fun day, they announced at his work today that he got a nice, little promotion. Today turned out pretty good for all.