28 August 2013

A New Season

A new season has begun in our family.

The night before this season felt a lot like Christmas Eve...there was no, "I can't believe summer's ending." They were ready for and excited about the new season. Frankly, so were we, which surprised me!

We were ready with shoes and clothes and supplies, and we did a little late evening prepping, as well. Neither child could sleep for the excitement-the big one started out in our bed, and the little one ended up there. I was grateful to be calm and comfort.

And there's always a bit of whimsy around here.

We enjoy our traditions.

And we celebrate how big and beautiful they are. We are blessed with kids we like, and we try not to take them for granted.

We celebrate the little things, like lunch boxes that beep and boop and light up.

We coordinated their arrival, even though they have different teachers for the first time since kindergarten.

I wandered around lost for most of the day, and then it was time to navigate 2 carlines. I'll learn.

I tried to surprise her with a back to school pedi on Sunday, but I was the one surprised when not one nail place was open! So we went after school.

And I soaked up the just being with them again.

At home, time to unwind and visit and another tradition-the line up of first day pics, all the way back to 3 years old.

With this new season at home comes a new season for me at work. In celebration, I finally accepted an office space...but I had to Kristi it up, of course.


...and after. It's still in progress, but I am excited to have a happy place to work.

After a 13 hour commute day yesterday, now I'm up early to grade, as my online work has increased in this new season as well. I pray this new season is a season of balance, of living fully each day, and of counting my blessings often.

10 August 2013

What's the big eye-dea?

Yesterday was one of Kayci's favorite days of the year...her annual eye exam. She was excited to get new glasses, and had her fingers crossed that she'd get to try something new, as well.

That's right, this responsible young lady got contacts. Popped them right in and that was that--she had no trouble taking them out at bedtime, either. So impressed with her! She's been wearing glasses for a little more than two years, and it's been a long two years for a little girl who loves, loves her sunglasses. So the first thing we did was to buy her a new pair of sunglasses to celebrate!

I also got glasses when I was 7, but my vision had probably not been great for a while. That's why we were so vigilant about checking Kayci's vision--and we STILL missed it. I felt horrible when James pointed out that she was squinting. :/ We took her right to the optometrist and I'll never forget the look on her face when she put her glasses on for the first time, or the wonder in her voice when she talked about how much brighter the colors were. It was pretty cool to see that face and hear the wonder again yesterday when she opened her eyes after putting the contacts in. To be able to see when you open your eyes, without glasses, is something people with good vision take for granted. I got all choked up to see Kayci experience that for the first time since getting her glasses.

It was a big day. Sigh. She also got glasses, but our insurance doesn't cover new frames for her until next year. Kayci chose the frames I have (sweet, right?) but luckily, the ladies talked her into a more reasonably-priced pair that were a little smaller. For a while there, I told James it felt like I was hemmorhaging money...those fees add up, even with insurance! One of Kayci's classmates was also in the store, and I was reminded of how blessed we are when they had to leave without glasses because they didn't have insurance and couldn't afford them. My heart broke for that Mom who wants the best for her kiddo, just like we do. So that ended my personal pity party about our bill.

Given that I missed when Kayci's vision went bad, I have been watching Noble like a hawk for any signs of squinting, etc. I asked about an eye exam for him and the staff was like, well, we can take a look. Think about it-many 5 year old boys can't readily identify letters, etc. But Noble climbed up in that chair and took the regular eye exam...the doctor was floored, and said she'd never been able to test a 5 year old before. I noticed he was hesitant when there was a group of letters on the screen, and I finally figured out that he was trying to figure out what the "word" was! I think he breathed a sigh of relief when I told him they were just groups of letters, not words. :)

I had been telling him and telling him, you probably won't get glasses for a long time, we're just checking your eyes. Well, imagine my surprise and his delight:

These were his favorite, because they're a cross between Daddy's glasses and Uncle Ronny's glasses. No kiddy frames for this little man!

06 August 2013

Being There

Kayci's Children's Chorus has a mandatory camp each year. This is her first year and ironically, the first year that camp was planned during the week instead of over a weekend. It's the beginning of August, I'm in education...do the math.
I finagled a few things and worked it out so I could be here overnight both nights and one full day, which still leaves Kayci and her friends with two full days without me hanging around. It's a pretty good compromise, and it fills a need for an overnight chaperone.
Does Kayci need for me to be here? Probably not, but James and I plan to be involved in whatever she chooses. It's a fine line we've got to learn to walk between involved and over involved. This trip, so far, I'd say has been a success on that front.
Kayci's bunk mates are her BFF, an old friend, and a girl she just met this week. I've given them space, and my reward has been that they seek me out to talk about what they've been doing in their classes, and they want me to listen to them sing. I'm trying to play it cool, but them seeking me out just warms my heart.
THIS is the Mommygirl I want to be. I want Kayci and her friends to come to me when they need something, and to want me around sometimes. :). I want to give them a safe amount of independence...and I want to be there to guide and protect them.

This is Kayci chasing her friends and trying to sneak up on them...their favorite break time activities are singing and hanging out in the dorm shining flashlights up their faces as they tell "scary stories" that never get past, "There once was a girl named Annabelle, and she looked a lot like...THIS!" Cue girl with flashlights, other girls shrieking and running away. I wonder what they'd do if I finished that story tonight?
It's been fun just being here, seeing a different side of Kayci. She's often torn between wanting me around and wanting her independence/not wanting me around...I understand. I'm still trying to figure it all out, too.