Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Few Funny Stories, and a Plug

The plug is for my friend Erik. Not my son, my son's namesake. He got a new blog! We are totally taking over the world people, get on the bandwagon quick! Here's the address if y'all want to take a looky-loo:
Jonni's been in school for a week and a half now. She comes home everyday with something, and sometimes several somethings, new she's learned. A few days ago, or maybe it was yesterday, I can't remember, we were driving around town. We do this frequently, trying to get to know our new hometown, and find important stuff, like the post office. Jonni started counting, and she got to 115. I thought this was very impressive. She needed very little help to get that far, and we never flat out told her what the next number was, just helped her figure it out on her own. Later, I asked her if she learned that at school, since she's been learning so much. "No," she replies, "I just wanted to see how high I could count." That's m'girl.
We are having a smallish problem with Jonni going to school, in that Erik is very disappointed that he isn't. Almost everyday he comes up with a new tactic; at first it was tears and fits. Then he asked and asked and asked, and I just patiently (and then less patiently as time wore on) explained that he was too little. The next day he spent a significant amount of time trying to convince me he was six. Today he just boldly announced that he was going, end of story. I again explained that no, he couldn't go yet, he wasn't old enough. Jonni piped up that yeah, he was too little, and she gets to go because she's firstborn. With no thought at all, Erik shot back "Oh yeah? Well I get to go grocery shopping!!"
Man I love my kids.
The Almighty Liz

Sunday, August 24, 2008

First Week of Kindergarten Updates!

Okay, I realize that I've been seriously remiss about posting this week. After all, this was a super big week for our little family. Jonni's first week in kindergarten! All I can say in my defense is that I have been beyond exhausted this week. Getting up at quarter to eight is kind of killing me. But enough about that! Let's get to the good stuff;
So you all know that I've been giving myself ulcers worrying about how this was going to go. My beautiful daughter has kind of a fit-throwing nature, and coupled with a shy streak ten miles wide, leaving her with strangers, or even people she knows reasonably well, can oftentimes be...difficult. Doing new things is also something she doesn't handle well. A good description would be "slow to warm up". So we were expecting her to do about a million new things, from getting up at a totally different time, to transportation, to spending the entire day with someone she'd met once. I really wasn't looking forward to this, not to mention the fact that I would have to get up with her. I've never been a morning person (much to my mother's chagrin). Lay on top the fact that I've been ill this year, and am still recovering, which translated means I still sleep a lot, I just didn't know how on Earth I was going to be physically able to do this! Well, my smart husband gave Jonni and I blessings the night before, and immediately we all felt better. Of course, I still had my misgivings, but do or die, we were past the point of no return.
Monday dawned, and just a little later, my alarm clock went off. I cannot express the enormous amount of will power it took to peel myself off my bed, but I did it. I even managed to portray some semblance of alertness, and made the kids breakfast. Whilst they were eating, I showered. After the shower, I quickly decided that showering would be a nighttime thing from now on, that way I could sleep an extra fifteen minutes. (*side note* this was the first time in our marriage that I was up before John went to work. He said it was ultra weird to have everyone up while he was getting ready for work, but nice) I got Jonni and Erik dressed. I had some fore site, and had packed Jonni's lunch and her backpack the night before. Genius on my part, I think if I had had to do it on that fateful Monday, I would've cracked. I got us out to the bus stop, two houses down from us, in plenty of time. Jonni so far had been bouncy with happiness and excitement, but here was the first real test. She had to actually leave me behind, and get on the bus her own self, by herself. The bus pulled up, and I literally held my breath. I told her that I would follow the bus, so when she got off at the school, I would be there to help her find her classroom. Jonni gave me a hug, a kiss on the cheek, and (here it comes! The first fit!I thought) got on the bus with a grin. No problems whatsoever. She found a window seat, and waved to me, smiling, as the bus drove away. A miracle!, I whispered fervently to myself. But no time to dwell, I had to book it back to the car and throw Erik in his car seat, and somehow beat the bus, and park, and get Erik out, and get to the school where the bus drops off the kids before Jonni got off. And I did it. I had to park a couple of blocks away, and pick Erik up in my arms, and walk as fast as I could, and somehow manage to not pass out, but I did it. Another miracle! (for those of you who don't know, this recovery also means I am hideously weak right now. Much better than a couple of months ago, or even a couple of weeks ago, (thanks to "let's get svelte!"), but still nowhere near normal) I even had to wait on the bus! Hallelujah. Now here it comes, I thought. The real test. The biggie. Jonni now has to enter school, and be left behind with her teacher and a room full of strange kids. She got off the bus. She's still smiling and happy and excited. Number three miracle. We walked down the halls of the school, and finally arrived at the classroom. I took her aside at the door. "Here it is, and I can do this tomorrow too, walk you to your door. I can do this all this week." Jonni stepped inside the door, and pulled me with her, and gave me another hug, and a kiss on the cheek, and said "No, you don't have to do this again mommy. Love you, bye!", and walked off to greet her teacher. I stood there for a moment, completely and utterly dumbfounded at miracle number four, the biggest of them all. Her teacher caught my eye, and said "She seems fine, you can go now." I shook myself, gave her a slightly sheepish smile, and walked out, and to my car. And here's miracle number five; I felt fine. I even felt excited! I had a whole day, and no Jonni! Now, I love, adore and cherish my daughter, but she's not what you would call an easy child. She takes up a LOT of attention, and makes it nie unto impossible to get anything done, let alone any kind of lengthy project. Erik is the complete opposite. He likes to play by himself. He likes to play with other people too, ah heck, he's just a happy kid doing whatever. Having just Erik is almost like being by yourself. An entirely different vista unfolded before my mind's eye. I had days and days filled with no Jonni. The sheer amount of things I could get done in just one day was staggering. I made it home full of hope, and yes, happy. Tired to the point of nausea, but happy.
The rest of the week has gone just the same. Jonni is still over the moon about kindergarten, I've accomplished more this week than in the past two months, and we're slowly but surely adjusting to the early morning schedule. Another benefit of no Jonni during the day is I can take actual naps. Jonni has never, ever been a naptaker, or a very good sleeper overall, but Erik always has been. So I can nap during the day. I wouldn't be able to make it otherwise, I'd be dead. So we start a new week, and I'm excited to meet it. My fitness blog is also doing well (if you want to join it, you have only to send me your email, and I'll send you an invite. Or you can do what one other so far is doing, and just post your workouts in the comments) and is helping me tremendously in the getting in shape department. We still love our new town, our new house, and John's new job. I think that next week I might actually be able to make it to Church on Sunday, something I haven't been able to do since April. (I've been trying for two weeks now, and I'm getting closer to being able to get up in time) Overall, life is very, very sweet.
The Almighty Liz

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

My Baby

Okay, I am officially FREAKING OUT. Now, I do believe I've done well up to this point. I've gone supply shopping and not a blip on the monitor. I've talked to Jonni about strangers, and felt no anxiety. I talked to her about teachers and classroom rules and being nice to the other kids and getting on the bus, and everything that goes with this new phase we are barrelling towards, and felt just fine. But last night we attended Jonni's kindergarten round-up, and suddenly it hit me; my baby, my little girl, my Jonni is going into KINDERGARTEN. I will not only have to change my entire routine, which I knew and was pretty much braced for, but I won't get to see her for a huge portion of the day. I thought I was good with this, I felt prepared, even fleetingly happy to have her off my hands for long periods of time. (For those of you who don't know, my girl is just a bit...difficult. Strong-willed is a good description.) However, I didn't think about the fact that that meant someone else was going to be responsible for her. I don't know this silly teacher from Adam! Or Eve! How do I know she's nice? How do I know she'll just let Jonni be for a few weeks 'cause Jonni gets super shy and won't talk for a long time? How do I know if she's competent? What the heck am I thinking, handing over my precious little girl to a building full of strangers who could all be child molesters, as far as I know? And handing her off to a bus. Just let someone else drive her around?? But the worst is, and this is what I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around, is that there is no going back. Can you believe it? Now she's in school, and she's no longer even remotely my baby. She's a KID. A bonefide dyed-in-the-wool kid. Can I handle this? Can I handle all this responsibility and growing-up stuff now? I still can't even get up before ten in the morning, now I need to have my child up and clothed and fed and teeth brushed and all her school stuff packed and on the bus by 8:25am?? What was I thinking here? Having kids I mean. I really thought I could handle this? This horrible wrenching letting go crap? Ugh. Never mind.
If you think this is bad, you should have seen me last night after the round-up. *shudder*
The Almighty Liz

Monday, August 11, 2008

Extra! Extra! I've Got a New Blog! Read All About It!

Okay, I said I would do this awhile ago, but I didn't because I was sort of waiting to get an exercise bike. Well, guess what?! I got one!! So now I'm launching my new fitness blog! I will be invited many people to join me soon. (I'm just waiting for John to get home to show me how) The rules? Simple: every time you work out, post it. I go into more detail in my very first post on "Let's get SVELTE!", so go ahead and visit me there. I will put a link with all my others to the right there on this blog. I'm super excited, and I hope you guys will join me when I invite you. I think this will be a great way to get in shape together, even though we are all flung out across the country. I also think it will be a great resource to find new ways to work out, to pool all our knowledge in one place. So let's do it people. Let's support each other. Let's get SVELTE!
The Almighty Liz

Monday, August 4, 2008

Breaking Dawn (no spoilers though!)

So, as most of you out there know, if you're loyal fans at all to the Almighty Liz, the fourth book in the Stephenie Meyer Twilight saga, Breaking Dawn, came out this last Saturday.
I loved it.
I couldn't put it down. John took the kids to his sister's on Saturday night, and stayed over through Sunday, and so I could blissfully concentrate all of my attention on the book. I would look at the clock, and with a shocking jolt realize that four hours had passed, and I really ought to eat something. I made a pact with myself that I would stop at midnight, because I need my rest still, and I couldn't. I completely blew through midnight without noticing. I finished the book that night. It was awesome. The perfect ending to Bella's story, and the perfect opening to another character's beginning.
I came down to Earth with a thud when I started reading other's blogs on Sunday and the vast majority of these people hated the book. Someone's even having a book burning party. Another someone applied the word barf to the book. Inconceivable. Incomprehensible!
I am not saying that these people have no right to their opinion. Of course they do. I just totally, completely do not get it. At all. I'm speechless and horrified.
The only point to this is, if you hear the book is crap, I would advise reading it for yourself. (after you read the first three of course, because nothing would make sense in the fourth if you didn't) I thought it was delightful. And I don't care who thinks I'm a crazy sop.
The Almighty Liz

Friday, August 1, 2008

Various Catch-up, and Granted Requests

So once again we've been busy here in my little family. I do love that we have such a great social life now that we've moved back to where people love us, but man oh man! I was a bit worn out after last week, so we took this week off to recuperate. We've had visitors, (including my visiting teachers who came and cleaned my house; Floris and Michelle you guys rock!), but they have come to us, and we haven't done a darn thing we didn't want to do. Here's the sum-up:
In the past couple of weeks, we went to the zoo with John's friend Brad. It was a great time, we really like Brad. He's very witty and hilarious, as well as thoughtful and generous. I loved watching my husband have fun with his old friend! I'll put some pics up for that too here in a second. Brad took the pics, as we are having technical difficulty with ours.
My niece, Wren, had her fifth birthday! My sister threw her a big party at the local water park, and the girls had a blast! They even had a kiddy pool, so Erik and I hung out there and had our own little boy fun. Erik and I had to leave early though, because, (we found out later), Erik had caught a crazy summer virus that is really rare. It affects your ribcage cartilage, making it swell painfully, and you run insanely high fevers. We went to my mom's house to wait for Jonni (my sister kindly offered to watch her and drop her at mom's when everyone else went home so she didn't have to miss out), and by the time we got there, Erik's temperature was over 103! He continued to run super high fevers until we got him to the doctor later that week. (he already had an appointment) This is where we found out what he had because, my doctor, Michael Mulligan, is a genius. The virus lasts about a week (six days for us), and then poof! It's gone with no lasting effects. Weird huh? And not so good for mommy's nerves.
After that is when we decided to take some time off, and stay home for awhile. It's been super nice, and like I said, we've had company, so we haven't gotten too bored. We've also been swimming, and I'm getting better! Still at four laps, but two of those laps were simultaneous, meaning I didn't rest in between!! That is a super huge improvement. We also went to the library for the first time this week, and got us a library card! The library is about the smallest I've ever seen I think. But you can order stuff online, and the kids were super happy with their selection, so I think this will work out fine.
Speaking of books, someone requested I reveal what books I like in my last post, so I'll just go ahead and do so here. Sorry it took so long, Bre!
One of my favorite books is In Summer Light. I totally can't remember who the author is, and I can't find it since the move, I'm sorry! But it's an amazing book. The author's ability to paint word pictures is stellar.
I of course love the Harry Potter series. JK Rowling is a genius.
I love the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyers as well. She also wrote The Host, which is right up there with Twilight, New Moon and Eclipse. (Breaking Dawn is coming out tomorrow!! WooHooooo!!!)
Mecedes Lackey is also a favorite author of mine. She writes fantasy. Fred Saberhagen and his Dracula books are also good. He takes the classic story, and gives birth to a whole series written from Vlad's point-of-view. Very good reads. I also love James Herriot's books. They are awesome. He was a country vet in England in the 1930's, and he turns a phrase better than just about anybody. Those are some good ones to look up at your library. If they don't have 'em, order 'em, seriously, they're really good.
Those are just a few of my faves, but basically I will read anything just about. Anybody feel free to share your faves, because, as any avid reader will tell you, I'm always on the lookout for something good!
Alright, I'll wrap up with a few pics from our zoo outing. (thanks again Brad!) Until next time!
The Almighty Liz

This is Jonni next to the baby Orangutan. He was being super cute. There were ants, and he just couldn't figure them out!
Here's one of everybody but Brad, who was taking the picture. John's the crazy looking one, Brad's daughter Emily is next to him, with Erik next to her. Brad's son Peyton is in the black shirt, and then Jonni is in the foreground. That's my elbow there on the left; I'm sitting in a wheelchair. Wheelchairs are, by the way, mortifying. But it was worth the day at the Zoo.

Here are some of the local animals in their natural habitat. Aren't they cute?