Sunday, June 26, 2011


Summer is in full swing and so far we've been having lots of fun and keeping busy!!!

End of the year party with her friends:

The one other "Brooke" at her school:

Ready for the pool!!!
Fun times with Grandpa--going to the pool:

Getting down on the farm at Little Farm:

Buddy's first trip to Train Town in Sonoma:

No trip to Sonoma is complete without a trip to Sebastiani:

Nothing says summer like a popsicle, sunglasses and a good nose pick!!!! He's a ultimate classy guy:

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Pandamania VBS

Last week Brookey participated in her first VBS (Vacation Bible School) that was offered by our church. Man, was this her "thing!" She absolutely LOVED every minute. The day consisted of lots of great songs, crafts, games and Bible looked so fun that I even wanted to stick around!!

Thursday night was their little "concert" and showcase of what they learned. Soooo cute!!! Buddy was rockin' right along with the music so I'll definitely be signing him up next year!! I have also noticed that ever since this VBS, Brookey has been EXTRA nice to Will...they must have taught the kids a lot about how to treat your siblings!!

God is Wild About You!! Thursday's Concert:

Brookey and her 4th grade friend, Brooke :)

Friday, June 17, 2011

He's a Big Kid Now!

Scott went out of town for a week and it was our first week of summer vacation so I thought it was a great time to start the =dreaded= process of potty training. I planned not to leave the house for AT LEAST 3 days hoping I could just get it all done in those 3 days. I also decided on the Day 1 "bare butt" that really a "method?" I don't know, but it seemed like a good idea. Here's our daily account:

Day 1:
- I completely cover the house with towels and washable blankets. The thought of a bare butt anywhere on the furniture was disgusting. We don't leave the house at all.
- I tell him to use the potty when he has to go (duh). He's watching TV, starts to go, then sucks it back in and runs to the potty. There is not one more "accident" the entire day... #1 and #2!
- Reward with candy and Brookey and I make up a potty dance...I really hope none of the neighbors saw us. We sing A LOT that day!!!

Day 2:
- Thinking he's trained, I start Day 2 with underwear. Runs to the potty and pees....but forgets to take down his undies. =sigh= Does that 3 more times, including #2 (I throw those undies out) Arrghhhh!!! Doesn't tell me when he needs to go, he just goes...not helpful when he can't maneuver his underwear.
- Need to get bigger undies since his Toy Story tightie whities are too hard to take down. Throw the potty in the truck and drive like a bat out of hell to Target. I refuse to do Pull Ups or diapers!!! Successful trip-no accidents!
- Put on new underwear, he's doing better. Trip to the pool--I bring the potty with me. Get skeptical stares from people. Whatever.

Day 3:
- Underwear the whole day, he tells me when he has to go and I help him a little. No accidents. Wakes up dry at naps.

Day 4:
- Long birthday party at the park, errands and no accidents. It's really done!!!!

Four days with no diaper changing and NO PULL UPS!!! Although I still do a diaper at night but I'll tackle that later. Scott came home from his work trip and wonders why there isn't any food in the house and I told him on Days 1-3 I was too scared to leave the house! He tells me, "just put him in a Pull Up and go!!" A Pull Up???? The Anti-Christ??!!! Um, no. I'm doing the potty training here, thank you :) And I'm DONE!!!! Happy Father's Day!!!

*** I have to footnote all of this by saying this is the complete 180 of my experience potty training Brooke. It really think it was 25% my "method" and 75% the fact that I just got a really easy kid!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

And Just Like That..She's a 1st Grader!

I don't know how many times I have said this to people or how many times it has run through my mind, but it really seems like just LAST WEEK Scott and I were sitting at Mass getting teary eyed on Brookey's very first day of Kindergarten. Now all of a sudden, I found myself sitting in church AGAIN, but this time getting teary eyed because now Kindergarten is DONE. I know time goes fast with kids, but this year was really ridiculous.

As much anxiety as I had for sending my 4 year old to Kindergarten, I sat there at Mass on the last day breathing a sigh of relief that Scott and I made the right decision. Not only did she "survive" as the youngest one in the class, she thrived. I knew she definitely wasn't going to be the top, A+, most studious kid in the class, just given her age however, I did want her to be able to keep up, meet all of the standards and enjoy school and be happy. Mission accomplished! The "award" in right hand is for being the "Happiest Student" in the Kindergarten class.

Her report card was great, too. Everything was good with extra pluses in Spanish (don't ask me!), Rhyming, Spelling, Citizenship and "Working Independently." She got a Satisfactory MINUS in......HANDWRITING!!!!! I had to laugh out loud when I saw this on her report card because #1-I am totally aware of this and if I were her teacher, I would have given her a worse grade! and #2-I distinctly remember in Kindergarten getting a "Needs to Improve" in Handwriting! If anyone has seen my handwriting, you'd know that Brookey is a chip off the old block. She's come a long way, though. It's legible at least, and with texting and iPads, who needs to write neatly anyway?! HAHA!

I'm looking forward to a relaxing summer without washing uniforms, packing lunches and rushing around in the morning. First task on Tuesday--Potty Training!!!! I guess I can forget the relaxing part... :)

Happiest Student! Yay!

Brookey and her teacher--she's 11 years younger than me...depressing :)
All the kids lined up for Mass. It's really mind-blowing how well they behave!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Room Mom Retirement

Yes, dear friends, it is HERE that, with great sadness, I am officially announcing my retirement from the esteemed position of Room Mom at St. Dominics School....

Actually, I told the school two weeks ago and I am not the least bit sad :) What a ride! It was everything I wanted...and SOOO much more :) I knew that I wanted to stay super involved in Brooke's school...especially since it was her first year. Check. I knew I needed to complete 35 hours of volunteer work for her school, anyway (LOVE that about her school in that it makes parents stay involved). Check ++++. 35 hours? Whaaaat? Try 235! :)

But between the school auction, three class major parties, a casino night event, teacher gifts, field trips, monthly newsletters, preparing a faculty luncheon, PTG meetings.....I am ready to spread the wealth here, people. Luckily, they got a brand new sucker, I mean, LOVELY, COMMITTED MOM to be the Room Mom in 1st grade.

All jokes aside, it really has been an amazing year for both Brookey and I. It was such a blessing to be able to be involved with her school by working on campus 2 days a week and participating in Room Mom activities. I can tell it means so much to Brooke when I am in her classroom--her face just lights up. I know these moments won't last forever so I'm trying to hold on...I can find other ways to "hold on" without being Room Mom, though :)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Irish Dancing

I haven't posted forever! Nothing super exciting has been happening...we are all just busy doing our thing and having fun! Nothing really worth posting!! Come Friday, the last day of school, I am sure I will have plenty to say :)

One wonderful thing that has happened is Brookey's progress with Irish Dancing!! After a Sesame Street episode featuring Irish Dancers last October, she was begging me to take Irish Dancing lessons. It was unbelievable that I actually found an amazing school right in Vallejo! Her school was featured in the local paper on St. Patty's Day this year: McBride School of Dance

Her first lesson was the beginning of November, and even I was completely overwhelmed!! The dancing is SOOO complicated! Brookey was just hopping around like a frog for about 6 months, barely making it through every class. She told me a few times she was "done" with Irish dancing and she wanted to "move on!" I was fine with that, but I (gently) encouraged her to "try one more time" and keep practicing. She hung in there and a few weeks ago I was literally AMAZED at her progress!!! She is REALLY dancing now and at the last class, she was moved to the next level.

It was just so shocking that one day, it just clicked for her. In teaching, I have seen this a lot as well...a kid struggles for 18 months learning to read and you think they will NEVER get it and one day, it just happens. Same with potty training :) It was a proud parenting moment! I felt that I pushed and encouraged just the right amount without being too overbearing ("Stick with it even if you hate it!! Never give up!!") or too sappy ("Ohhhh you're the best dancer!! You're sooo good!"--no, she sucked!! Haha!!).

Anyway, she got a huge confidence boost getting moved up last Friday and told me after class that she's going to do Irish dancing for 10,000 years and until she qualifies for the World Championships like some of girls at her school. I don't know about that, but I'm very happy she's learning that hard work and sticking with something can really pay off :)

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