Sunday, September 30, 2012

Getting geared up....

Not as though I had any time to gear up for was a weekend where I had two nights of something going on.  It was then followed by a Sunday of family time at the last home Twins game of the season.  Unfortunately, that left little time for anything else.  And we have a birthday in 3 days.  I have not yet even planned her friend party.  Thank goodness she hasn't even asked about it, because as I said previously, I think she would just prefer to have a bunch of her friends over for a playdate at her house.  We will see how it all works out after this week. 

Friday night, I hosted our 3rd annual wine party hosted by Vicky and Richwood Winery. I have a wonderful group of mom friends.  And a wonderful excuse to get us all together for a very fun time!  It was great to see everyone again!

Saturday night, I invited myself to the Upper Midwest Regional Emmy awards.  Brian was nominated so I asked if I could come along as his "plus one".  Guys were in suits and ties, girls were in dresses.  They had it all ironed out so that the actual handing out of awards were done in groups of 5-6 at a time.  Not everyone was allowed their 15 second acceptance speech, so really it didn't take very long at all.  Unfortunately, their group didn't win as they were a city cable High School football broadcast up against FSN Twins, FSN Wild, and FSN Timberwolves.  Maybe one of these years they can pull out a win!  It was a fun time to be downtown all fancied up.  Funny thing, I ran into one of our golf pros at the course we play at up on the rooftop of Crave that night. 

Then Sunday, it was Kid appreciation day at the Twins game and we called and found out that their autograph session was not worth being there early for and headed out to the game.  Russ won the tickets for a contest he entered at his work and he picked that day's game.  Unfortunately he had to fly out to San Francisco that evening so he couldn't stay until the end of the game.  Because it was a Sunday, they invite the kids to run the bases after the game, which the kids both wanted in on.  Sadly, the Twins lost but being able to be on the field was pretty cool, I thought.  Trevor jumped up on the wall in center field so I got a picture of that in mid-jump.  Running the bases was more of an experience than getting a picture was.  There weren't very many good places to take a picture but I got what I could. 

This week its back-to-school with the little one's birthday on Wednesday.  She can bring treats for her class, we will have a special birthday dinner, dessert, and opening of presents before her family party next Sunday.  She is very excited, and actually after the kids conferences on Thursday, we plan on telling them about our spontaneous (at least from my perspective) trip to Disneyland in the middle of October for MEA break.  Then I'll have to get those last minute details finalized. 

So on the list of things to do, I can check off:  first day of school, first PTA meeting, and fall fundraiser.  Unfortunately (only kind-of) I have to add many more things to the list including:  Disney plans which include lots of reservations and tickets needed to make the trip a success and finalizing costumes for both kids.  Because we are going during the time we are, we are also going to attend Mickey's Halloween Party.  It will be a trip to remember because we don't plan on doing it again!  It just worked out so nicely with Russ traveling to San Diego and the kids being out of school for 3 days before a weekend.  I love planning for Disney, I just hope I don't mess it up too bad!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Another few weeks of school

Time always seems to fly on by once school starts...for me it goes from school to birthdays to holidays to the new year.  So while I know Trevor's birthday and Christmas are a ways out, I am already thinking of things that involve those two events.  Tonight I even double-checked with the kids on what they wanted to do for their "friends" party and I think both of them have changed their tune a bit.  Gwen had been saying Chuck E. Cheese for a bit, and while I would be fine with that, I think she still likes the idea of having a bunch of friends over to her house to play.  So that might be a change.  And then Trevor has said he wanted to do a sleepover, but when he came down to his guest list, I suggested maybe doing a waterpark birthday and having a few friends sleep at the hotel if they could.  I just don't know many of the kids well enough to know if they would even want or have been on a sleepover.  A different choice may be an option for more of them.  Oh well, it is a ways off, and we have time. 

Gwen is loving school, although not loving her quiet time after school.  She thinks that if she gets homework, she shouldn't have to go upstairs since Trevor has to do his homework right after school.  She has just started to get a cold, and this morning Trevor woke her up before 6:30 to see the planetary nebula from his window....I have no idea what he was talking about but Gwen has been pretty crabby ever since.  Hopefully she can get some better sleep tonight to keep the cold away.  But after her rest time, she is free to do her homework...which really isn't homework, it is just activity pages and books she didn't completely color at school.  To watch her work, it is amazing the complete difference between Trevor and Gwen.  She has yet to complain, she has a huge amount of patience (in order to do her "quality work" - as directed by her teacher), and she genuinely loves doing it.  I still remember Trevor's work, which even now, he prefers speed to accuracy so as to get it done with as fast as possible so he can move on to the things he wants to do.  I remember the fights we would get in just to get him to complete his reading of a book.  So I would say she is loving school right now. 

Trevor is off to a wonderful year so far.  He has gotten two rewards from school for being kind to his fellow students and won a drawing at the first school assembly.  The school has introduced a new planner system as well as an academic coach that has already given us one seminar on how to encourage and teach the kids to succeed by staying organized and owning their job as a student.  I'm struggling on letting it all go, and letting him find his own way, unless he asks.  So it seems this year he really has grown and is having a highly successful year...I'm hoping his conference in two weeks is along the same lines.  It would be such a relief to feel as though we really have turned a corner for him this year. 

Similar to his summer at the roller rink, he has already had a few chances to get to know girls a bit better to.  MAN does he have age 8!  What.the.heck?  We have had 2 swimming lessons already and although Gwen and he start the lessons at the same time, she ends 10 minutes earlier.  I told him on the first lesson he had to get himself out of the pool and into the locker room because I would be getting Gwen ready when he was done.  Didn't listen and went into the leisure area to have fun.  Typical Trevor.  So this week, I explained that he can't do it again, or he won't get McDonalds for dinner or his Nintendo for the night.  Didn't listen again...but this time, he was chatting up some girl.....probably in his class, who then walked by us and into the 10+ age women's locker room.  An older girl again?  Who does that?  Try to get older women?....oh wait.... it must be in his genes.  Well, its not from my side of the family anyway ;-) 

So that's it from me for the weeks of school so far.  I'm crossing my fingers on two wonderful conferences....It seems like it just might happen!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Week 1 kids are back in school!

Yahoo!  Mom's sure excited here!  We are a week down of school and everyone is still smiling!  Trevor had the least amount of change because most of his class followed into the next class, they just changed teachers.  There was one that transferred schools over the summer and three added, but only one from a different school.  I have already gotten notes home from his teacher on his classwork on how well he is doing and how impressed she is with his work.  And he is soaking it all up.  He told me he befriended the new girl in class that came from a different school.  Trevor said that she wants to write a book, and he said that he wanted to illustrate it with her.  At first, I thought it was a guy and then he clarified it was a girl.  Then I started to count back to realize that next year will probably be the year (if it was anything like my school) that kids started "going out" - meaning absolutely nothing except in name only.  Oh goodness.  Already???  REALLY????  I don't know that I am ready for that...but really I probably never will be so time to suck it up!  I'm looking forward to getting a good game plan on for Trevor to see how much he can learn this year. 

Gwen is so gosh darn excited for school every day.  The first day was huge, except that it is simply an hour and a half meeting with parents involved.  So technically the first real day was the next day, but from that point on, she has been telling me she wants to go all day, and when I told her that she couldn't be with her good friends that are in her class she said she still wanted to go all day, but that she would just bring them with her.  And the talks begin about how she can't wait until she is in first grade so she can go all day.  Now yes, there is a full-day option at her school, but I'm at home, and really Gwen has been looking forward to doing things with me and spending time playing with me and then gets amped up watching the clock to know when she gets to go to Kindergarten.  She also seems to think it is really cool to be able to walk past her classroom in the morning and peek in to see her teacher.  I'm glad she is having such a great experience!  I'm also so happy to know that she has an opportunity to expand her friends even though two of the girls she knows - one from dance and one from preschool - it will be great to be able to get to know their families better too. 

So this week, we are already in the thick of things with a PTA meeting, dance class, swimming lessons and I have been able to get some appointments for myself on the calendar too.  So this week, while hectic, it has been good to start to set a revised schedule.  Of course Trevor is already testing those rules to see if they still hold true, but I'm hoping that he'll come around quicker than usual since for him, the changes are virtually nothing.  I guess I should focus on gearing up for the upcoming birthdays/holidays.  I know those things pop up on me every year.  I'd love to actually be ready for them one of these years!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A beautiful end and a wonderful beginning

Thursday was HOT.  We spent the afternoon at a family friend's pool.  Everyone was getting ready for their back-to-school meeting the teachers evening.  So it was a great way to close out the summer with friends.  The kids did very well playing together.  As the kids get older it gets easier and easier to relax and not worry about them.  I love my mom friends and know that these friendships will be around for a long time.  Of the group that was at the pool, there are 6 families and none of us go to the same elementary school.  I've told a few of my friends that I think it works out REALLY well.  At least from my perspective.  My kids think it is a huge treat to be able to see these friends as opposed to seeing them every day at school as well.  I hope it continues into their teens!

So we made it to back-to-school night and unloaded the school supplies, met the new teachers, the kids saw their school friends, and I tried to keep it all together organizationally.  There is so much to try to keep track of and get ready for our first PTA meeting.  So not only did I play the part of parent, I also had to help with the PTA stuff too. 

As soon as Friday rolled around, we were off to the lake for a beautiful weekend of sun, water, golf, and fun family times.  The weather was nice and warm for me, although not warm enough for me to want to go swimming....but I was able to watch the kids if they did want to swim. 

Apparently, it was the weekend for Trevor to grow well beyond his years because he drove the boat by himself, could have been offered an alcoholic drink (which he could never drink if it was any form of carbonation...he tried it again and could not drink it), and then was asked to go behind the bar and serve a drink or two.  What got me was that Trevor didn't ask for ANY of it.  People were just willing to give it to him.  The kid already thinks he is the coolest thing out there, and I have no idea if it is possible, but if so his head grew even larger that weekend. 

I wanted to drive back home from the lake on Sunday instead of Monday so the kids could have two nights of sleeping in their beds, so we started back after dinner...around 6:15.  Gwen was so exhausted that she slept the whole way home and all the way until the next morning, around 6:30 and she was happily playing in her room until my required 7:00am time.  Trevor was ready to fall asleep before we got home at 8:30 but made it upstairs and asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow. 

And on the final day of our summer vacation, we were blessed with the arrival of becoming an aunt, uncle, and cousin to the newest Johnson boy.  I dropped Russ off at the hospital where he was delivered a few hours after we were back in town so he got to meet little Adam right away.  The kids love him and are excited to watch him grow.  I couldn't think of a better way to end our summer vacation than with the start of a new life in the family.