last day of kindergarten. . .

It’s kind of sad that my little girl starts 1st grade in the fall.  First grade will come and go and then we’ll send Ellie off to Pre-K and then college for both girls. . .grab a kleenex. . .I can’t take it.  Wait, what’s that?  I get to delete my alarm on my phone?  No more waking up in the morning to an annoying ringtone?  No more looking in the mirror and thinking, “My hair totally doesn’t look like I slept crazy.”  That’s right. . .it’s time to get back into our old routine.  Nine months out of the year we are not in our routine, but for three glorious months, we do what we want.  And we stay up late and sleep in.  Goodbye school, hello summer!!

This was Dustin’s Friday off, so he got to experience the early morning drop off.  Actually, he got to sleep in two hours and wondered why it was after 8:00 a.m. by the time we left for school.  Silly man, the tardy bell doesn’t ring til 8:15 a.m. and there’s traffic.  Okay, so maybe our small town doesn’t have any traffic. . .ever, but it is humanly impossible for me to get out the door before 8:00 a.m.  Miracles are more likely to happen.

“Let’s go get Emma!”  How many times did I hear that the last week of school.  Ellie understands this nine months out of the year we aren’t doing our normal routine.  She loves summer because her Emma is home and they can have sleepovers in each other’s room every night!


. . .and rock on.

Dear Mrs. Thompson,

You’ve been there for all the ups and downs we had during Kindergarten.  From anxiety separation in which she begged you to let her call her Mama to getting our stick switched when she stepped in a rain puddle after you said don’t step in that rain puddle.  You’ve seen our alligator tears and you’ve difused the situation wonderfully.  We are going to miss you, but remember Ellie will be there soon!

Emma’s Mama

Dustin picking Emma up from her last day in Kindergarten.

Ohhh my baby is growing up. . .wipes tear.


pee wee track meet. . .

I have found out that my child was not built for speed.  Emma also is not the competitive type.  She tied for second to last in the 50 yd dash and the 75 yd dash and couldn’t be happier.  And this is why I love my little girl.  She actually told me after school, “Mama, I was so happy for my teammates!  Some of my friends came in first place and second!  We did so great!”  I wonder how long it will last before she gets a taste of victory.  For right now, watching her leisurely jog down the field during the race was definitely one for the photo books!

Each grade wore a different colored shirt that said, “OUR SCHOOL IS PAWSOME!”  The kids got to run through the panther like the football team does and with the same music.  It was really cool! 

We’re at the football stadium and I’m sitting up in the stands with the other parents.  Imagine roughly, two parents per child, not to mention grandparents and even some aunts and uncles all at this Pee Wee Track Meet.  Out of all those parents, Emma finds me in the stands and then jumps up and down waving.

Emma is the happiest runner.  She was actually moving pretty quick during this race where the classes race each other.

Emma looks like a cut out of a runner.

Emma is next to Sydnei with the pink hat.

She starts off strong and then starts looking around and noticing the wind. . .and the butterfly that the wind has brought in. . .and Sydnei’s cool pink hat. . .Emma gets a little distracted!

Big sister got to show little sister all the cool things a big Kindergartener does during the afternoon part of the track meet.

This was Emma’s excited face.  She loves bouncing all over the place on the boucers.

Dustin swears every time he sees this picture it looks like Emma is passing gas and out comes a yellow bubble!

Ellie and her acorn.  You can tell her it’s a pine cone but she won’t believe you.  We had a huge pile of acorns by the end of the afternoon.

Juliet and Romeo. . .I mean Emma and Spencer.  These two adorable kiddos played the leading roles in their class for the Romeo and Juliet play.

Pass the ball over the head, pass the ball through your legs, repeat.  Emma passed the ball over her head to Ellie and Ellie passed the ball through her legs to Spencer.  Emma is turning around and witnessing Ellie perform this correctly and is telling, “You are really good at this game!” and Ellie is responding with, “I know, I really am!” 

Here’s Emma telling me that Ellie really is good at this game.

Here’s Ellie doing her excited face because she’s proud of herself.  It’s funny because Ellie’s excited face and her shy face both involve her tongue touching her chin!

A friend of mine Maria and I had a bet going to see if her daughter Lexi or my daughter Emma would be the first to cry during the afternoon activities.  It was almost like the game Clue.  Instead of Colonel Mustard in the Library, it was Emma in the Bounce House.

Here’s Emma bouncing onto the slide after going crazy in the bounce house.  It was the second time in there that she managed to fall in a corner and get trampled on by four other Kindergarteners.  No bleeding or bruises, but she swore to me she couldn’t even walk!

Let’s do something a little easier and without so much contact with other kids! 

This girl can hula like no other kid I know.  She walks around carrying on a conversation with you and keeping the hula hoop going.

This was after a minute or two.  She started out with five hula hoops.

A little while later. . .

still going. . .

By now, Emma’s eased three of the five hoops down her legs and is just working with two.  Can I enter her into some contest for hula hooping that pays for a college education?  Surely there is some kind of sport that involves the hula hoop!

Rylee, Emma and Maycie being serious. . .

and the girls being silly!

Ellie latched on to Emma’s teacher Mrs. Thompson because she gave Ellie some goldfish when they had snack time.  We love Mrs. Thompson!  You talk about awesome Kindergarten teachers, here you go!  How are we going to get through 1st grade without Mrs. Thompson?!?  I think it’s going to be rough on us all!

Doesn’t she look so tiny?  Heck, all the girls look tiny!

Emma cleared 4′.  She didn’t want to sprawl in the sand like some of the other girls and get it in her shoes!

Here’s Emma jumping a little more than 4′.  She did awesome!

And that’s how it’s done. . .

Ellie gave everyone a congratulatory hug. . .she’s the class little sister.

Ahhhh, a sweet moment.

luau and water wedgies. . .

And so begins another year with Emma choosing a swimming party which means every friend of mine hates me. . .lovely I know.  The thought of a bathing suit months before summer and with pale skin all a glow makes me not the most popular person in the room.  It was a really busy weekend and we ended up missing Emma’s second day of her basketball tournament, but her 6th Birthday Party was a blast!

This was the last picture of Emma’s M&M striped cake.  I silently prayed to the birthday cake gods and it made the 45 minute trip intact!

Me and my girls

You can’t tell, but I just went down the slide.  I’m under the water.  I held my boobs for fear of the impact since it’s only been six weeks since my surgery, which meant that I got a nose full of water. . .my boobs were just fine for those of you wondering.

Emma and her best friend Emi

Emma’s Daddy enjoy himself.  The lifeguard didn’t look to thrilled with Dustin not going down feet first.  He’s never been one to follow the rules.

And this sums up our marriage. . .

Emma went down the slide!  This was a pretty big deal.  Emma was offering up Ellie to go first and was even saying, “I think Ellie would be better at this.  Maybe she should go first.” 

 I told her to hold her nose and her Daddy would catch her before she went under.  Sure enough, she held her nose (I’m not sure she breathed the entire way down the slide) and her Daddy faithfully caught her.

Here comes Ellie. . .I told her to hold her nose and you see how well she listens to me. 

This would be part of the “water wedgie” title of this blog.  Or really the losing of the swim suit bottoms.  Ellie was wearing Emma’s old swim suit, so it was a little big and when she flew off the slide so did her bottoms.

And here’s my husband’s daughter, the one who’s not much for rules.  Ellie’s going head first.  How she flipped from me sitting her down at the top of the slide to here at the bottom, it’s a wonder to me. 

Look how skinny and tall Ellie’s got this year!?!  My baby isn’t a baby anymore.  😦

Dustin trying to catch all the girls. . .even the ones that don’t need catching.

It’s the “Papa”razzi!  Him and Dustin were trying to figure out a pulley system to get Dad to the top of the slide before we had the birthday party.  Dad said he could wheel himself into the kiddie part and then float around the lazy river.  Dad and Dustin both got one of the “Mom looks” from Mom.

This is where I got water shot up my. . .well, let’s just say when the water fall part of the pool is going and you’re stepping on the little water fountains, the fountains not covered shoot up with more pressure.

Ellie and her best buddy Ady

Uncle Wes didn’t make it too long before Ellie tracked him down and spent the party with him.

Mom took all the pictures this time around.  We have to come up with something better than “Nana”razzi.  She did carry on the tradition of excessive on the pictures because I think the total was around 175 pictures.

My poor mother-in-law. . .last year she was in the pool and managed to get soaked from my Dad flying down the slide and drenching her.  We’re talking about the ride at Six Flags where you stand on the bridge while the boat goes down the ramp and your thrown against the fence with the water force.  This was Terry last year.  As you can see in the photo this year, Wes is trying to explain (and apologize to his mother) for soaking her yet again this year.  Dad took the opportunity to shout to Terry, “It wasn’t me this year Terry!”

The Birthday Girl and her Mama

Dustin trying to catch more girls. . .so let’s see, my friends in their swim suits and now my husband won’t leave them alone. . .yep, I’m so not popular.

Aunt Katy, Ellie and Uncle Wes. . .don’t they look like the best babysitters. . .I’m thinking yes!

Emma’s request for her annual birthday pool party was a luau theme with leis of every color for EVERY person (adults included), cone hats and an M&M cake. 

making a wish and blowing out the candles

Emma and Ellie. . .typical Ellie refusing to wear the lei and cone hat.  Anyone got an Anarchy in the Pre-K t-shirt?  I think we’ll need one when she starts school in two years. . .

It’s not a party unless you’ve got a hula girl monkey wearing a coconut bra.

Let me tell you Zhu Zhu Pets are the in thing.  Maybe just at our house?  I’m constantly seeing hamster/mice looking creatures scurry across the floor.  At least they aren’t real!

This is Emma’s “OMG” face.  She always explains to me what OMG stands for like I’m not hip with the lingo or something?!?  Is this the first signs of me not being the coolest person she knows???

Only my child would make the OMG face for not just a regular watch, but a watch with a skeleton with a pink hairbow and crossbones.  She wore it to church the next morning.  I know Nana, one day she’ll have a tattoo just like me.  I should totally get a “I love Mom” tattoo for Mom to show her how much I love her. . .she’d totally appreciate that. . .and probably like Jess a little more than me that day. . .

Emi got Emma the watch

Hello Kitty is popular among the 6-year-olds this season, at least it is with my 6-year-old!

Emma’s cousin Alex gave her that.  Something tells me that his Mama had something to do with the very girly gift?!?

This is my best friend Amber and her daughter Ady. . .

This is my husband trying to make a move on my best friend while I’m taking the pictures.  You can totally see him doing his Brooklyn accent and saying, “How you doin’?”  You can see him can’t you.  His mouth is saying those words and I’m pretty sure he’s about to wink.  Next he’ll probably do the gun with his finger.

Even Ellie got a gift from her buddy “My Friend Roland.”  That’s how Ellie refers to him.  He gave her a piece of gum once and she talked all afternoon about how her friend Roland gave her gum.

“My Friend Roland” a little tired after swimming for two hours.  I don’t know if he even made it to the car after the party was over!

Nana got Emma a bunch of sun catchers and paint and put them in baskets for her.  Emma yells, “LAUNDRY BASKETS!!  Thank you so much Nana, thank you Papa!

My friend Robin (one of the ones not too happy with me about wearing a swim suit!) made Emma an adorable outfit.  It was so stinkin’ cute!

Uncle Wes, Emma the Birthday Girl and Ellie the girl who needs a nap

The whole party was focused around Emma’s love of the hula.  She is a hula dancing fool around the house.

She’s also a cone wearing fool.  She went into the restaurant with only one cone hat on after the party.  Ahhh, that’s my girl!!


Easter pandamonium. . .

We had a great Easter weekend that involved beautiful weather with surprisingly very little wind.  Friday was a little cold, but Emma’s class got to go to the gazebo across from the courthouse for her Easter Party.  I was in charge of desserts and yet again, was not allowed to go.  Emma will tell me, “Mama, I know I’ll cry if you come up to the school and I don’t get to leave with you.  I know I’ll get in trouble at home for crying at school, so I don’t want you to come.  We’ll try this maybe in the 1st grade.”  At least she’s being honest with herself!

We also are trying a new church here in town.  How awesome is it to sleep in Sunday morning, leave three minutes before church starts and still get there with two minutes to spare?!?  Dustin was the time keeper and kept telling us that we had to get going.  We got in the truck and when he sat down in the driver’s seat, he spilled his coffee on his dress pants.  How I managed not to hold my tongue on not make a comment about the time is still a wonder to me!  The girls had fun hunting easter eggs and ate at least two pounds of sugar during church.

Another round of cupcakes.  They are supposed to be easter eggs sitting in grass.

The chocolate cupcake is supposed to be the dirt on the ground.  I asked Emma if she knew what everything was and she got it.  She also loves cookies and cupcakes and would have told me anything I made looked wonderful.  Sweet girl.  Knows exactly what to say to make her Mama feel good.

easter egg #24

Emma the Kindergartener

Emma wanted to hold the easter egg cupcakes and then was saying, “This is really heavy Mama!  Hurry and get the picture!”

“I found an egg.”

“God Almighty!  Who put lemon drops in these eggs?!?”  I love this picture.

Emma here is thinking someone is about to grab this egg she saw from the next lawn over. .

She dove on the ground and in the process lost all of her eggs.  Silly girl! 

Ellie’s not too sure about the Easter Bunny.  This so reminds me of Steel Magnolias!!  “We’ll talk about uncomfortable when you’re nine months pregnant!”

I had on 4″ heels and apparently my head kept getting cut out of the picture.  We opted for a sit down (or as Ellie thought lay down) family photo.

This is the ultimate big sister/little sister picture.  “I’m not touching you.”  “She’s touching me!”

Now they are friends again.

Ellie’s facial expressions are priceless.

Notice the t-shirt Dustin chose to wear on Easter Sunday.

This is one of the 200 pictures Dustin tried to take of us girls.  Ellie smiled for two of them.

The sugar made her a little tired and she was ready to lay down.

This is one of the two of her smiling.

We got the girls some easter toys and I cracked up when I saw the bunny mask.  The girls are such suckers for glasses or masks!  They love anything that has a “Super Hero” look to it.

As always, Ellie can never puts her mask on straight.  So she always ends up being the trusty sidekick. . .with alot of bruises because she can’t see where she’s going.

It’s the Easter Dinosaur?!?  I love the toys in the Easter aisle at Wal-Mart!


the big 6. . .

I have many loves in my life, but one in particular would be my first born.  Emma set the tone for my life as a stay-at-home mom and I couldn’t have asked for a better career choice.  For six years, she’s helped me realize my place in this world and I can never thank her enough.

It’s amazing to think of Emma as just a tiny baby and now see braving the world every day as she walks into Kindergarten.  I never thought time would fly by this fast, but it has.  She makes me laugh every day with her quirky little “Emmaisms” and she brings a smile to my face when she randomly tells me she loves me.

A stay-at-home mom’s work is never done, but with such a caring, thoughtful daughter like Emma, I really can’t complain.  I thank God for the wonderful child he has given me and can’t wait to see what the future holds for my baby.  I may cry a little along the way as she goes from big girl to young lady and then on to a woman, but it’s only because I’m so proud of her and couldn’t imagine my life without my Angel.  I love you Emma.  Happy 6th Birthday.

Emma’s must have cowgirl sparkly pink horseshoe belt with new purple boots she wore on Monday back to school after Spring Break.  I love the Harley-Davidson hoodie, she’s so my kid with the bold fashion risks.  She used her birthday money and gift cards on these fashionable accessories to complete her ensemble.

Emma’s old boots started hurting her feet, so we headed for Cavender’s to find our cowgirl (she wants to be a cowgirl this month) a new pair of boots.  She tried on every boot in the store and was a little undecided.  The pink ones were twice the price of the purple boots, but couldn’t commit.  We left the store without boots and a little sad.  About a week later, we finally found out that Emma just wanted a pink pair of shoes.  She didn’t care if they were boots or not, but didn’t want to spend all of her money on one pair of shoes.  Smart girl.  Maybe Mama should take Emma’s advice.

These are the cupcakes I made for Emma’s class for her birthday.  Plan A.  I  wanted to do a chocolate “6” on all the cupcakes and then realized that I would have quite a few 666 cupcakes.  Okay, plan B.  Emma picked a font on the computer and I melted and tinted the chocolate and wrote on the wax paper over the printed sheet of paper.  I added the white nonpareils before I put it in the  fridge for about five minutes.  I peeled the letters off and stuck them into the purple cupcakes.  I spelled out “HAPPY 6TH BIRTHDAY EMMA.”  It actually stayed like this in the box until I turned at the end of the street and then it looked like “PHHMDBPYIAAYR6THAMET.”  A little disappointed, yes, but then 5- and 6-year-olds are not that picky. . .and can’t spell that great either!

Emma being Emma before we headed to school.  She colored picture and I made an iron-on of it and that’s what she picked out for her birthday shirt this year.  Note to self:  scan the picture, FLIP THE PICTURE so when it prints out it won’t be backwards, follow the rest of the given instructions.

Ellie being Ellie before we headed to school.  Ellie also made a page for her shirt and wrote her own name and made the flower in the middle all by herself, I’m pretty impressed with my 3-year-old!  She made all the stems to the flowers and colored in everything else. 

My goofballs.

This was Emma’s birthday dinner tonight of. . .

olive and sausage omelets!  I’ll wait while everyone throws up.  Done yet?  I think Emma and I are the only ones who love these ingredients in our omelets?!?

Ellie thought her pancakes with a side of sausage was worthy of a thumbs up.


eat my dust. . .

Here’s the girls on the Sunday they got back from Mom and Dad’s house after my surgery.  I’m the one taking the pictures while I’m trying to hide my giant  ice pack for my boobs.  Imagine a Chinese tourist in New York City.  Okay, imagine a 6′ tall tourist maybe that’s a little more accurate.  I asked Dustin, “Can you tell?”  I think he hid his laughter as he replied, “No.”

As for the bikes, Ellie got a Spike the Dinosaur for her third birthday.  That sentence makes absolutely no sense.  Anywho, she loved playing with the one at Jack and Luke’s house, so we thought this would be a great gift.  Not so much.  She played with it a total of 30 minutes and the rest of the time she just kept running past it to get to whatever she needed in her bedroom.  Luckily, my friend Robin’s son Kellen loves Spike and wanted one for his birthday.  She couldn’t find one in town and Ellie was more than willing to sell her Spike.  She found Spike’s bone and I’m pretty sure carried him down the hall and all but loaded him in the back of Robin’s Expedition!

With the weather getting warmer, Ellie wanted/needed a new bike and we needed to get a do-over birthday gift.  Again, imagine me as a clown in the circus riding a tricycle.  That’s the way Ellie looked on her bike minus the clown face paint and not quite 6′ tall.  She must have had a pretty good growth spurt over the winter.  So, we loaded up the girls a few weeks ago and went into town in search of a bike.  Of course we can’t go to Wal-Mart because of Dustin’s dislike for crowds and Wal-Mart in general, so he thought it would be easier to go to Toys R Us on a Saturday, silly Daddy.  Actually, it wasn’t too bad and Emma enjoyed being that kid flying down the aisles on the bikes.  It doesn’t matter how many signs you post or how many dirty looks you Toys R Us workers give us, parents are going to let their kids try out the bikes before they buy them.

Ellie on her big girl bike.  I think the streamers and the heart-shaped bag attached to the handlebars sealed the deal for Ellie.

Seriously, it doesn’t get much better for a 3-year-old.

Emma’s wearing Dustin’s old motorcycle helmet because we didn’t think about buying another bike helmet for Ellie.  Emma has that, “I’m ready to blow this joint” look.  Oh yah, she’s bad.

Ellie looked like me driving a standard, but without the screaming and crying on her part.  Lots of stop and go, stop and go.  It took her a while to figure out that peddling backwards made her stop.

Emma turned too sharp and caught the handbrake in her leg.  Don’t worry, when Ellie seemed to be catching up, she sped off again.

Good thing Daddy was there because this is how Ellie peddled.  She kept watching her feet and had no clue when a car, dog, walker, etc. was headed her way.

Finally looking ahead.

Ellie’s in the lead!

Not for long.  This is where Ellie was yelling, “WAIT SISTER!!!” and Emma was like, “Eat my dust.”  Okay, she didn’t say that, but it’s amazing the confidence a helmet with flames gives a little girl on her bike with training wheels.

This work is exhausting.

So exhausting.

Ellie crawled up in Daddy’s lap while he was playing his PS3 and fell asleep on him after a vigorous bike excursion.


three little bakers are we. . .

Much like cleaning and ironing, I am not too fond of baking.  As a stay-at-home Mama, those are probably some of the important qualities one must possess to be a stay-at-home Mama.  Baking is too much exactness for my taste.  Measuring precisely and using a thousand different utensils.  And don’t even get me started on the watching and waiting.  Not leaving the oven for too long because we’d hate to burn those cookies.  On my old oven, you had to turn the knobs rather than pushing buttons and let us not forget about the 2005 fiasco of the broiled cookies.  Bake and broiled look alot alike when you just don’t care to bake.

Now cooking I love.  A palmful of this and a sprinkle of that not to mention the around the pan with olive oil and voila!  you are cooking.  So there are maybe a few more steps involved but give me cooking any day of the week over that baking crap.  Yep, I said it.  It’s baking crap.  And as I am writing this, in the back of my head I am thinking about the cake Emma wants me to bake for her birthday party. . .crap.

Anywho, at some point in life, all children must bake.  The girls frequently visit the kitchen while I am cooking dinner and are my little taste testers but yesterday was different.  Apparently while I agreed to a “No Nap Sunday” after church, I thought to myself, “Self, why not just bake something with the girls?”  I was a glutton for punishment.

Actually it went really good and the girls had a blast getting to mix all the ingredients with their little miniature baking utensils and getting all sticky while rolling the biscuits in balls for me. 

I learned that a 3-year-old doesn’t understand why you can’t just drop 1/2 a cup of flour from two feet above the mixing bowl.  I also learned that a 5-year-old who has a fondness of butter can barely resist dipping her fingers in the bowl.  Another food for thought if you will, would be that doubling the recipe is a must when cooking with said 3- and 5-year-olds.  It is not fun for and nor will a 3-year-old and 5-year-old willingly take turns mixing the brown sugar, flour and cinnamon.  Which leads to my fourth discovery that letting your daughters bake with you makes you gain weight because now instead of the planned 16 cherry bites there are 24 mini bites as well as 24 cherry bites.  Seriously, if I have to eat another one of those delicious morsels of cherry pie filling and flaky biscuit with the strudel topping. . .and I’m off to the fridge yet again this afternoon!

Three little bakers are we. . .and apparently if you are a little girl, an apron is a must.  I think my beehive hair fits my apron style.

I’ve got the Limp Bizkit song Rollin’ stuck in my head watching the girls roll the dough.

I have decided that if this baking thing becomes a weekly or monthly activity, we have got to get more counter space.

The topping made a little bit of a mess, but the final product was amazing!  This was one of three batches.

Now I’ve got Rollin’ Rollin’ Rollin’ Rawhide stuck in my head.

Don’t worry.  We were all done with our pastries before Ellie started playing with Daddy’s beard. . .

and sticking her fingers in her nose apparently.  I’ve put some weird things in my food, but boogers are not one of the ingredients.

This was sweet Ellie getting Daddy her princess pillow to lay on as well as a blanket.  She was helping him relax that afternoon.  Then Ellie kept pulling the blanket higher and higher and then sat on Daddy’s throat and cut off some of his air supply.  Sweet Ellie.