Thursday, October 31, 2013

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Sleeping Beauty(ies)

Playing hooky from school

Me that is, not Thomas.
I got to play hooky from school today for one of the best reasons - chaperoning a 1st grade fieldtrip with my favorite boy & his classmates.
Today's trip was to the Alaska Junior Theater to see the opening performance of "Little Red Riding Hood & other Fairy Tales."  No sooner did the school day start, we loaded up on a school bus and headed downtown.
Thomas & one of his buds
The boys
Once inside, we were super surprised to find that we had the same mezzanine seats that the kids & I had at the last performance we attended last season.
As we waited for the theater to fill up with 100s of other students from other schools, Thomas & his friends relaxed & talked "boy talk" which included dinosaurs, monster trucks, & racecars.
What a morning.. alone time with my one & only baby boy, Thomas!
And ya know what? 
 He still wanted to hold my hand, give me a kiss and tell me he loves me all
while his buds were nearby.
I know this won't necessarily last, so I tried to savor every last moment of it.
It was wonderful.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Clean Teeth & All Smiles

Look which baby girl just had her first dentist visit... and is all smiles!

And look which guy had his first dental xrays taken and did great!
Would you believe that the same 4 wiggly teeth that he had 6 months ago are still hanging on?
Xrays showed everything looks great... maybe in the next month or so the Tooth Fairy might come for a visit!
And of course this sweet girl has clean teeth and an amazing smile!

On the horizon

Change is on the horizon.
8 months to go.
Last winter in Alaska.
Final PCS road trip plans are already in the works.
Plane tickets for Spring Break to Florida to house hunt.
Already thinking about schools & neighborhoods to live in.
Next year will look entirely different than this year.
Networking & connections will help me with my career move.
Recertification (once again).
Returning home to family after 3 years.
Military retirement is bittersweet (for me, anyway).
Having to say goodbye once again to dear friends.
Getting rid of "snow stuff".
8 months is going to fly by.
Change is absolutely on the horizon.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

BOOtiful decor!

My extra tiny helpers (and painters)!

Friday Night Leftovers (the planning has begun edition)

  • I can say with almost certainty that this will be the last snowless weekend we have this year.  Snow and cold are in the forecast... for the next 6 months.
  • We are mid-season for basketball and we continue to be in awe of how much Thomas has excelled this year with his skills.
  • We are still waiting for the official email announcing Brian's retirement date for summer 2014 (the waiting has been a bit frustrating, as well as finding out more about how this whole process works); meanwhile, we have already begun the travel planning for our return home to Florida. 
  • Speaking of planning, it feels crazy that we are to that point AGAIN.  Where has the time gone?  Wasn't I just pregnant with Marilyn and thinking about how we were going to drive 5,000 miles with a 4, 2, and newborn baby over the course of two weeks?
  • Have I mentioned that I am an excellent sleeper?  So much so that my husband makes fun of me every time I sit down on the couch (even with the kids) and knows that I will close my eyes and bit drifting in dreamland.
  • I think, I said "think" I'm ready to tackle my last winter here in Alaska.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

bump in the night

The girl loves to get cozy and snuggle.
Some times she is happy, relaxed and just enjoying some loves from her Daddy.
But when a little girl goes bump in the night
and introduces themself to the corner of the wall in her haste to go downstairs...
 ... sometimes you just need to reach for the Boo-Boo Bunny and get cozy on the couch
with Mommy.
Eventually the smile comes back (and the swelling goes down) and someone is back to their old self.
But one thing is for sure, Marilyn Jane loves her some cozy time on the couch with someone special!


At almost 2.5 years old, Marilyn says far too many things that are down-right hilarious.  Add in her defiant, yet sweet & sassy personality and you get days where you just shake your head while you try really hard not to giggle, snort or bust out laughing. Here's a taste:

Boobie button = belly button
Jump-o-line = trampoline
Mae-yin = Marilyn
Dannie = Grannie
shol = school
Tandy = candy
yips = lips
yuv = love
yap = lap

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Candy Witch

It's a tough call which one is the most candy-infested holiday - Easter or Halloween? 
I tend to think it's Halloween because me and the Bunny have talked about the appropriate amount of candy he leaves in the eggs and baskets each Spring.  Unfortunately, I have no control of my neighbors and how much candy they dole out to each of my kiddos on Halloween night. 

Either way, there is one thing that I'm sure of... I'm The Candy Witch.
My house rule is the candy can stay for ONE week.  Period.  That's it.  After 7 days, it goes in the trash.  Or to my office.  Or even to Brian's work. Period.  No more candy in the house for my 3 pumpkins to eat.
The kids enjoyed an indoor Trick-or-Treating event here on base this week which means the house is already filled with candy.  Aughhhh, Candy!
I figured that I have the right as the mother to end the sugar insanity in a timely fashion.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Friday, October 18, 2013

Friday Night Leftovers (I'm the Middle Kid edition)

  • I have no idea what the conversation was about with the kids the other day, but Abby busted out with "Because I'm the Middle Kid - that's why!"  Apparently that was good enough for them.
  • Marilyn is already in size 3T clothes.  If she doesn't watch it, she's gonna earn the nickname Big Bertha.
  • It's been unseasonably warm this month (high in the 50s) and we have no snow yet.  However, I'm quite sure that that will change sometime before Halloween and winter will be here for the next 6 months.
  • We are experiencing a LOT more darkness already with only 9 hours and 40 minutes of daylight.  The sun isn't rising above the mountains until almost 9 AM and it's setting at 6:30 PM.
  • Marilyn has been sleeping in her toddler bed (crib converted) for about 5 months now with absolutely no issues.  I'm so ready to get rid of all of her baby furniture including the rocker.  The problem is were not really thrilled with the furniture stores here and very well might wait until our move back to Florida this upcoming summer.  I hope she and I can hold on that long?
  • It's so weird to listen to Brian talk about putting together his resume.  Since he was 17 years old and for the last 22 years, he just hasn't needed to have one.  Oh how things are changing.
  • Although I don't know how I would make it work (just yet), I'm wondering if I need to start researching real gymnastic gyms in town for Abby.  She has moved up 3 class-levels (by her instructor) to continue to challenge her.  She loves it and it is so clear to everyone that she is really good.
  • When Brian scored a serious deal on the trampoline this summer, it didn't occur to me that it was one of the best things we could do for Abby's love of gymnastics.  We are already thinking about a large one for the backyard in Florida.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

How's 1st grade going?

Recently, we attended Thomas' 1st grade parent/teacher conference and we left feeling like the proudest Mama & Papa Bears.  Let's review:
  • He is a very strong reader (we certainly already knew that) and is almost reading at a 2nd grade level.
  • He is a inquisitive scientist who loves to find out "what will happen when..."!
  • His math and reasoning skills are phenomenal and is also almost at a 2nd grade level.
  • His writing is detailed, descriptive, and always amusing.
  • He does a great job with participating in class activities, working independently, producing quality work, being organized, and completes homework on time.
  • He is very respectful of others - classmates and adults alike.
  • He always accepts responsibility.
  • He works really hard to solve problems constructively.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Admin 101: What I've learned so far...

Last Thursday marked the last day of the 1st quarter of the 2013-2014 school year at SHS. It also marked the end of the first quarter of my career as an administrator. The past 9 weeks have been quite an experience to say the least. I have helped get some great things started and I have also made several mistakes, but most importantly, I have learned a tremendous amount about relationships, leadership, support, and what it takes to keep a school moving forward.

Here are some of the main things I have learned so far...

- There is nothing that is not my job or part of my responsibilities...absolutely nothing...

- The student who you hammer hard with a punishment will most likely forgive you and not hold a grudge; taking time to rebuild that relationship is key to creating a positive school culture...  

- It's impossible to be an administrator without upsetting someone or making a mistake on a daily basis...

- Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing; don't overwhelm your staff by breaking off too much to chew at one time, even if it is great and will help students...

- If a teacher is doing something awesome in their class and they invite you to participate or witness the event, stop whatever you are doing and make time to stop by. It doesn't need to be the whole class period, but a few moments of an administrator's time can go a long way...

- The life of an administrator is a life of interruptions and putting out fires. The joys of an administrator are helping others to solve their problems while enabling staff members to do their jobs more efficiently and effectively...

- Building and establishing strong and enduring relationships is absolutely crucial to the success of a school...

- Communicating expectations and procedures is easier said than done; some staff members don't want or need it laid out for them, while others need every single step with a justification. Either way, creativity, autonomy, and freedom are jeopardized by too many procedures and steps...

- Trying to learn the names of all 1766 students at SHS is difficult, but it can be done and it is definitely worth the time and effort.  One name at a time is what I'm focusing on...

- There is not enough time in the day to keep up with my blogging while still doing my job.  I think that has been apparent over the last few weeks...

- I have definitely chosen the right job and profession...