Friday, August 31, 2012

Bathroom Blues

We had our master bathroom shower redone about 3 or 4 years ago as it was leaking.  Not only did we change from a fiberglass to a tile shower but we also had the vinyl floor replaced with tile.  A few weeks ago, we noticed that the ceiling was wet over the kitchen, which is also where the bathroom is.  We immediately stopped using the shower and started using our hall bathroom.  4 people in that bathroom is not the most ideal situation.  Todd started getting estimates from contractors to have the shower fixed.  The general consensus was that the shower would have to be gutted and rebuilt.  This made us so upset since it was not that long ago that we had it fixed the last time.

The contractor that we chose proposed a plan where we would take out our garden tub and put in a large shower and turn the existing small shower into a linen closet.  Todd and I both like the idea because we need a bigger shower as well as most storage space.  Todd also discussed pulling up the floor in the master closet and getting a new organizer in there.  The bathroom will be gutted and it will be like starting from scratch.  Let's hope everything goes smoothly this time!

 Here a few pictures from the first week of progress.

Old shower

Old shower floor

New shower area and smooth ceiling!

New linen closet

The shower seat

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Disaster at the Dentist

Today was Katie and Michael's semi-annual checkup at the dentist office.  The appointment was right before lunch, which I am not sure is the best time but it's hard to schedule them with school as they only have appointments in the morning for cleanings.

As soon as we got there, the kids were trying to get into the room with the games and toys.  Michael accidentally knocked Katie down and she was then inconsolable.  I was holding her while trying to take everyone to the back after they called us.  She wouldn't let go of me or sit in the chair for her cleaning and exam.  We ended up having to go into a private room away from Michael.  She refused to let the hygienist clean her teeth.  He went out to get the dentist for the checkup and then she was completely compliant!  The hygienist ended up brushing Katie's teeth and she even let him floss them.

Michael did fine for his checkup but he had to get some x-rays done.  The x-rays revealed several cavities between the teeth as well as 2 on the surface of his molars.  We were referred to the other location of the practice that does fillings using sedation since there were quite a few that needed to be done.  I am going to contact Johns Hopkins to get their opinion on sedation.  We have some concerns in regards to Michael's heart rate and being sedated.  The consultation isn't for another 2 weeks so we will see what happens then.

Monday, August 27, 2012

First Day of Preschool - Katie

Today was Katie's first day of preschool.  She will be going on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings.  For the past few months, it's been all she has talked about.  She would always say "tomorrow I am going to go to Michael's old school".  Then I would tell her that it was going to be a few more months, weeks, days as the time approached.

Katie got up this morning and was ready to get dressed immediately.  She came downstairs and ate breakfast.  Todd came downstairs about 10 minutes before we were going to leave.  All we wanted was one picture with Katie for the first day.  For some strange reason unknown to Todd or myself, Katie refused to let us take a picture of her.  She started crying and took off her shoes, saying that she didn't want to go to school.  Then she went upstairs into her room, still not wanting to have her picture taken.  I guess we should have just given up and took her to school then.  Katie just does NOT like to have her picture taken for anything!  It wasn't pretty but Todd finally got her to pose holding the paper for the first day of school.  By the time she let us take the picture, we were already going to be late.

We drove to the school in silence.  The three of us walked up to Katie's classroom.  Her friend Tyler (the little boy that I watch) was already there with his dad waiting for her.  His dad said that he didn't want him to leave until Katie got there.  It was so cute.  She hung her backpack on her hook and went to play with the toys in the class.  She seemed to be fine once she was there at school.  We stayed for a few minutes to watch and then headed home.

I was much more emotional when Michael had his first day of preschool.  I think that I was still mad about the picture incident with Katie and that took away any sad feelings that I may have had about being away from her.  School started at 9:00.  By 11:00, I was ready to go pick her up.  I couldn't wait to hear about her first day.

Todd took the day off of work so we could go pick her up together.  She and Tyler told us all about their day.  They had fun eating a snack of goldfish crackers.  Tyler made a new friend.  Katie said that she really didn't play with anyone but still had fun.  The one thing that she didn't like was getting sand in her sandals on the playground.  She requested shoes that wouldn't let the sand get in on Wednesday.  Guess it's time to take out her new sneakers.  Katie also told us that they did some dancing and read a book.  At the end of the day, they got Skittles.  So it was a good day after all!

Sunday, August 26, 2012


The first day of preschool for Katie is tomorrow.  I am so excited for her to start on this new journey but at the same time, I am sad.  For the past 3 years, she has been with me almost every day since I became a stay at home mom.  I am not worried about her adjustment to preschool because she has wanted to go there ever since Michael did.  In fact, her teacher even remarked about that!  Maybe it's because she is our baby and it seemed like this day was so far away.  Now that it's here, I am wondering where the time has gone. When she was younger, I felt like we had so much time until this day came.

Katie will only be at school for 3 mornings a week from 9-11:45.  I know the time will fly by but I think the first few days are going to be quite an adjustment for me too.  It will be nice to be able to run errands by myself and get some things done around the house but I know that I will be so happy to see her at 11:45.  It also helps that she is going to have the same teacher that Michael did so I already know what to expect.

Before she went to bed, she told me that she was going to miss me while she was at school.  I told her I am going to miss her too!

Saturday, August 25, 2012


Today I took Katie to a live stage show based on the book series Pinkalicious, which she loves.  I was so excited that they were having another performance after having several shows earlier in the year.  I got the tickets and Katie wore a cute dress that had a girl on the top part who looked very similar to Pinkalicious.  The show was performed in a theatre in a former store in a local mall.  It was very kid friendly.  All of the kids could sit in front of the stage on the floor to see the show.  I told Katie that we could sit on the floor together if she didn't want to sit by herself.  She just wanted to sit in the chairs.

The show started and Katie started eating the snacks I had brought.  I asked her several times if she could see or wanted to sit on the floor.  She still didn't want to.  The show lasted about 50 minutes.  5 minutes before it was over, Katie told me that she was ready to go.  I told her that the show was almost over and she told me it was boring.  This kid cracks me up!

After the show, the actors were outside the theatre signing autographs.  I got out Katie's program and she let several of them sign it but she wouldn't take a picture with anyone, not even Pinkalicious.

I was disappointed that she didn't love the show like she loves the books but I think that Katie didn't quite know what to expect.  I imagine that she was expecting it to be like a cartoon or something that we watched on a TV.  This experience won't stop me from trying more shows like this in the future.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

First Day of First Grade

Today was Michael's first day of first grade.  I can't believe I am even typing first grade.  He was so excited to go this morning.  When he got home, he actually said it was an awesome day.  I am not sure I ever heard him say that last year.  I am hoping that this year is going to be a great one.  When Michael got off the bus, we started asking him about his day.  He was very enthusiastic as he gave us the details of the day.  All in all, it seemed to be a fabulous day and we look forward to many more this year!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Preschool Open House

Tonight was the open house at Katie's preschool for parents.  This is going to be her first year.  She has been talking about going there since Michael went there and cannot wait for the first day.  Katie will be going on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings from 9-12.  We got to meet her teachers, Ms. Beth and Ms. Jane Ashley.  Several of Katie's friends are going to be in the same class as well.

I am excited for Katie to be starting this new part of her life but it's a bit sad as well.  She is our baby and it seems like she is just growing up too fast.  I can remember Michael's first day of preschool when Katie was almost 6 months old.  It seems crazy that time is going by so quickly. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Pioneer Preview

Michael's school had their back to school event this afternoon, also known as Pioneer Preview.  We went in and got his class assignment for first grade (yes, I did just type first grade!!).  His teacher for this year is going to be Mrs. Smiley.  He was so excited to go down to the classroom and find out if anyone from his class last year was going to be in his class again.  There were a few of the same kids but mostly new ones.

The most exciting thing for Michael was the fact that he has his own desk this year.  What a step up from the shared tables in kindergarten!  He had to bring his school supplies with him.  His teacher helped him to set them up in his desk and it was really all he could talk about.  He walked around the room while I filled out paperwork.  His teacher gave him a little treat before he left the room.

We stopped by the cafeteria to get our car tags, confirm that he is riding the right bus and got some information on Cub Scouts.  We also talked to some of his friends from last year.  Looking forward to the start of a new school year!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Reading Class

One of Michael's birthday gifts from his grandparents was a reading class.  This class was designed to help to review the concepts learned in kindergarten as well as introduce the students to words and phonics used in first grade.  The class met once a week on Sundays for 5 consecutive weeks.  Each class was 2 hours long.  The first hour involved interaction between the students, teacher and parents.  The second hour involved the students working independently.  It also included the teacher reading a story and having the kids act it out or write their own story. 

To be honest, Michael was less than thrilled when he found out that he was going to be in the reading class.  After the first session, he said that part of it was actually fun.  His favorite part was the second hour of the class because the teacher did her best to make it engaging for the kids.  Michael also really enjoyed doing the worksheets in the workbook.  I stayed with him during the second hour for the first few weeks and then he did it on his own for the last few weeks.  The teacher did a great job of picking out stories that were interesting to this age group.

One of the most important things taught in this class was techniques for me to help Michael to be a successful reader.  I learned about assisted reading, as well as independent reading with varying levels of support.  I found that it is much more important to help Michael with words that he is struggling on to keep him from getting frustrated than for him to read it correctly by himself the first time.  I can see the confidence emerging in his reading when he is a willing participant (about 50% of the time).  For the first time, I saw him open up a book and sit down and read all of the words on the page.  That is something I haven't seen him do before.

I understand that it's going to take time for him to read and to enjoy it and that the journey may take a little longer than expected.  I love to read so much and I want to give him this most wonderful gift: to learn to love to read!!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

New Roof

We have lived in our house for almost 11 years now.  We are now starting to have to replace things at the house.  We had an inspection done on our roof and it was determined that we had wind and hail damage from a recent storm.  We filed a claim with our insurance company and they determined that we needed a new roof.  The new roof was put on earlier in the week and it looks great.  For once, it was a home project that went smoothly from start to finish.  I guess I shouldn't have typed that because then something else always happens!




Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Summer Swimming

The summer is coming to an end with school starting in less than 2 weeks.  Our neighborhood pool will remain open for a few weeks after that, closing sometime in mid September.  I plan to take full advantage of the remaining days of summer at the pool.

This was the first summer that I was actually able to let both kids go into the pool with me standing at the side.  Michael's swimming lessons of the past few summers are finally paying off.  He was able to swim this year without any assistance, although he still likes to swim to Todd and I.  He even was able to use a kickboard the right way and swim from one end of the pool to the other.  Michael has always been timid when it comes to the water.  He finally embraced jumping in to the water to make big splashes!

One day early in the summer, Katie took a swimming ring, stepped into it and swam off into the pool.  This was pretty much how she spent her entire summer.  She would easily swim from one end of the pool to the other.  I can't wait until she can get lessons when she is 4 because she already uses her arms to paddle and legs to kick.

Apparently Katie felt so safe in the ring that she thought she did not need it.  When we were getting ready to leave the pool one day, she took the ring off, walked to the side of the pool and jumped in.  She went under the water and had to be rescued by the lifeguard.  Talk about a scary moment for both me and Katie!  The good news is that this incident left a lasting impression and she never went near the water again alone or without her ring.  Katie still talks about when she went in the water without her floaty and sank to the bottom and says how it was scary.

Overall, there has been a lot of fun time at the pool!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Michael has always been a big fan of putting together puzzles so we thought that Katie might enjoy them as well.  We got her a Dora puzzle and she also has a Sesame Street one.  From time to time, I ask Katie if she wants to work on a puzzle.  She would do it with me but quickly get frustrated when the pieces didn't go together immediately.  I am not sure what has happened recently but she can now put together a 24 piece puzzle by herself.

Last week, Katie took out a Dora puzzle and sat down at the table with it.  I watched her pull out the pieces and start to work on it.  I was doing something in the kitchen and when I looked over, I noticed that she had already put together at least half of the puzzle.  I went over and sat at the table with her and watched as she finished the rest of the puzzle without any help from me.  She was so proud of herself and it was awesome to see that!

Katie got a new Dora puzzle last week and she promptly set to work putting that one together.  Now that she has it down, she assembles the puzzles, takes them apart and does it all over again.  I figure this is how she is getting so good at doing the puzzles.  And here is the finished product: