Big Days for the Little People (and me)

Part I

Adrian said goodbye to his pacifier this weekend!  A little earlier than we had anticipated, but we had to jump the gun when the state of his current paci rendered it useless (peanut butter somehow got inside of it…).  So we all piled into the car and headed out to Toys-R-Us.  To help Riley give up her paci, we got her a scooter.  To help ease Adrian’s transition and look forward to the summer, we got him a sandbox.  Strapped it on the car, and off we went!  At home, we told Adrian he would have to surrender his paci so we could open his present.  No hesitation there.  Then we ate dinner, the kids played in the sandbox, and we did bath time.  Such a nice, enjoyable family night!

Then bedtime hit.  And Adrian realized what he had surrendered.  Let’s just say it was a long night.  We’ll see how night two goes.  I have to say, I am thrilled by how communicative he is now that he doesn’t have his paci.  He seems so grown-up, such a big boy in just a day!

Part II

Riley went to her Pre-K orientation this morning.  To celebrate, we had bagels at Panera for breakfast.  All morning, she kept saying, “Today is a really big day for me.  I’m getting so big.”  And she is right.  At the school, we got to see both classrooms and watch one class in action for about five minutes.  We were probably only there for 30 minutes max.  Unfortunately, because it was so quick, I didn’t think of any questions until after we left.  Now I have a ton!  How much art time?  Homework?

Reflective Ramblings… 

I get that this was just orientation and that she is only starting Pre-K, but I have to admit this upcoming transition to her starting public school and driving to work with Shawn has me a little sad.  I have loved our time together in the mornings (well, maybe not every morning but most, definitely most).  And sure I will be up when she leaves in the fall (and probably still help get her dressed, washed, hair brushed, etc.), but it won’t be the same.  I already know I will have a hard time with our kids getting older.  Already, they are all growing so fast.  I need my remote control button for life.  I want to pause, linger on these sweet, crazy, full to bursting moments when all three of them are so adorable and close and mostly ours.  Next year, Riley will have 22 kids in her class instead of just 10.  She’ll have a new teacher.  She’ll have a new school of influences and experiences raining down on her.  She’ll have more thoughts and ideas and start to become even more of a separate person, an individual.  And I am thrilled about that, thrilled about all of the learning and experiences and fun and challenges life is going to start offering up to her – oysters everywhere.  But that means she is going to need me less, and that’s what scares me.  Finally, maybe in the last two months or so, I finally really feel like a mom.  And I love being a mom.  I love caring for, thinking about, talking to, cuddling with, and loving my children.  I know these activities will continue, but I am more aware of how fragile, how quick, how sweet this time is.  Right now.  And I just want it to last a little longer.  A lot longer.  Maybe forever.

Part III

Sidney tried her first spoonful or so of rice cereal.  She laughed and barely ate any of it, which was pretty much what I expected.

Part IV

Tomorrow is my last big day for the semester (attending class and teaching).  I am in the home-stretch!  My classes have been terrific, and I am sorry to see them end (though I do need a bit of a break…).  Really, if all my semesters are like my last two with amazing teachers, reading lists, peers, and discussions, I will be quite happy!

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Then and Now: What a difference a year makes!

Last year, around this time, I was..

…teaching high school.

…deciding to start a Ph.D. program.

…finding out I was pregnant (and freaking out a bit, too).

…starting to plan for our big move (finding a place to rent, finding renters, etc.).

…finishing my thesis and getting excited about graduation, and a much anticipated return to the Domain.

…taking the kids (just two!) to the parks and pools and play dates after school – enjoying our final months in Gainesville as much as possible.

And now, I’m…

…about two weeks away from finishing my second semester of course work and teaching at UGA.

…working from home with Sidney three days a week.

…writing and revising a collection of 75-100 pages of fiction for my workshop portfolio.

…reading at least one book a week.

…deciding on my three concentration areas: creative writing, composition and rhetoric, and digital humanities.

…getting three kids up and dressed and out the door every morning – now without too much stress most days.

…enjoying evenings and weekends with the family – dinner, bike rides, park trips, errands, games, reading, baths, and bedtime.

Last year, the kids were smaller (Sidney probably the size of a kidney bean!), but now they are so much bigger, more mature, more expressive, and more active.


…Riley is trying to read on her own and can color with amazing patience and meticulous concentration.

…Adrian can say dozens of words (though most sound like gaga or baaaa).

…They both are doting older siblings to Sidney.  Except for Adrian trying to drill a hole through her forehead with a toy drill, that is.  They fetch her toys and blankets and pacifiers.  They cuddle with her and try to tickle her belly and toes.

…Riley wants to be an artist when she grows up.  She wants to marry her brother.  She likes my singing.

…Adrian wants to do exactly what Riley does.  He wants everything she wants.  He laughs at everything except when he doesn’t get his way.  Then he loses it.

….They love their blankets, cereal (with and without milk), playing outside, running, themselves silly, snacks, and cuddling.  They are still so young, so sweet.  I want them like this always.

And Sidney.  She’s not a kidney bean anymore.  Now she’s…

…rolling back to front and front to back.

…sleeping mostly through the night.

…nursing like a champ (at least according to her thighs).

…already wearing 6 months clothing though she’s just four months old.

…smiling and giggling and full-belly laughing some days.

…grabbing and holding toys.

…so alert and aware.  Especially when Riley and Adrian are around.  They fascinate her.

…holding her head up and spending more time in her Bumbo seat.

…looking more and more like a little girl and less like a baby.  I put her in a t-shirt and shorts the other day – wow did she look grown up!  Today she’s back in a sleeper because it’s cold and rainy and I’m glad.  She can’t wear ruffles on her bum forever, but today she can.  There are hearts on the bottom of her footsies.  They make me happy.

What a year it has been!  So full.  So exciting.  It’s been everything I hoped it would be and more.  So much more.

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