Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Chloe's First Day of School

Chloe became a kindergartener yesterday. It was rough. Mostly for me. I have been beyond nervous about the thought of her being gone 8 hours a day (8:00-3:30, but we have to be there around 7:45 so she's not late) and only being around me for about 3 hours a day. What if the world teaches her things I don't want her to know? I know I want her to be a capable, caring, independent adult, and she won't be able to if she hasn't ever had to do hard things, so this is good for her. I just keep telling myself that. These situations are good for her, and for me. She's growing up, and that's hard. I remember her as the tiny little baby that made me a Mom, not this big kindergarten girl.

I said this on my Instagram page on Saturday. It pretty much captures my feelings exactly, so I wanted to post it here. Today I had a mommy-daughter date with the girl that made me a mommy. We went back to school clothes shopping and out for hot fudge sundaes after. She told me she's mostly excited for kindergarten but she is scared of one thing..that everyone will laugh at her. She has told me me this fear before and it breaks my heart every time. It's the reason she is so shy and never speaks except on a much smaller level. She is getting better, but I'm terrified for her. The other night I cried myself to sleep thinking of her having to sit alone at lunch or play alone at recess because she is too afraid to make friends. I want her to become more brave and able to deal with these situations but I also just want to scoop her up and keep her at home with me forever. I don't know if I could ever be excited for back to school.. I'm mostly scared out of my mind and heartbroken. It's an awful combo. And while I wish I had some adorable pictures of just me and Chloe together on our MMD, I wanted to take it all in and not have any technology get in the way. I will always remember me saying- ooh, this dress is cute! And her replying, Yeah, I think I want to buy that one. (About every. single. thing!) 

Sunday night, Cody gave her a father's blessing for school. It was perfect and I bawled through the whole thing. He said that she "will be a leader in school…" and "teach those around her." That helped my heart to feel like she'd be ok. I kept thinking, "She's got this. She's got this."

On Monday morning, we snapped a few pictures and walked over to the school. (Side note, I'm going to have to take like 4 showers a day because even though the school is only across the street, it's HOT and HUMID outside! I can't wait to walk over in November when it's cool!) We found her classroom and said hi to her teacher. She sat down in her desk and got that nervous, scared look on her face. She was trying so hard to be brave and I just wanted to hold her and tell her to let out a great, big cry to get it out of her system. Of course she would never do that, but it would've been nice if we could've cried together!I knelt down beside her and asked if she was ok, and if she was happy. She said, "…kind-of…" Which in Chloe talk means, "I'm actually really nervous but I don't want to tell you… I almost started crying again, but Cody tapped my shoulder and told me I had to leave. Chloe wouldn't let go of my hand. Again, holding back tears. We walked out and walked home and then the phone calls and text messages began, and a friend even brought me a drink from Sonic as a pick-me-up. People are good. My brother, Noah, has been calling me a lot to get me through it. He kept saying, "It's hard. That's what being a parent is. But you can't raise kids. You're raising adults. They have to do these things so they can become the adult you want them to be." I spent a lot of time looking at this picture I have in our home - 
It's true for her, too. I want her to be a strong tree, even though I'd much rather her be able to stay under the shade of the mama tree and not have to deal with the harsh winds, rain and sun. 

We tried picking her up from school and it was pretty stressful and hard. I know it's the first day, which is always crazy, so I hope it gets a lot easier. Chloe's teacher gave us a green sign with her name on it. She said if we drive to pick her up, we have to have that sign, but if we walked up, we didn't. So I didn't bring it. When we walked up to the school, I saw all these other parents standing around holding their signs like they're drivers waiting for people at the airport. You can't really see into the school, and they didn't let any of the kids out unless they see your sign, so I didn't know what to do. I didn't know if she was standing right there and would see me walking away to sign her out from the office and think I was leaving her? So I just stood there until a woman came out and said they had taken the rest of the kids into the gym. I went to the gym and looked around. She wasn't there. I went to the front of the school where they said the rest of the kids were..She wasn't there. By this time I was freaking out. More for Chloe than for me. I knew she was there somewhere, but I was hoping she wouldn't be scared or think we weren't getting her and she was alone. 

Preslie has to wear her backpack every day when we walk to school. I always end up wearing it home..

I went in the office and they were worried I hadn't found her, so they were about to call her over the loudspeaker when she walked up with a faculty member. I saw her and said her name and they just let her go to me without showing ID or doing anything. So I was glad I didn't have to actually do anything, but I was also thinking, "Don't ever do that again! Don't let someone just walk out with my baby!!" When she walked up, she seemed SO much older. I know that's crazy because it had only been 8 hours, but she just seemed different. Like she's really not a baby anymore.

I started asking her about her day, and it all was sounding awful. She said they had recess but she couldn't play at all because there were so many kids and they weren't listening to the rules and would push her out of the way and she never got to go on the swings, "and the swings are my FAVORITE part." (Today as we were walking, I told her if someone pushes her out of the way to go down the slide or do something on the playground, to push them back and take her turn. Preslie looked at me like I was crazy and said, "But that's NOT NICE!" …Is it took soon to be teaching them to stick up for themselves?) I asked her how lunch was and if she talked to anyone. She said, "No. You have to be quiet during lunch. They won't let you talk." She also excitedly told me, "I made a friend! I don't' know her name, but she's nice." She said the girl had come up to her at recess and said, "Do you want to play with me?" Oh, my heart went out to that little girl and her mama when she told me that! I kept thinking, I'm sure they've been practicing that ALL week just like we have! Please, oh please tell me you said yes for the sake of that little girl and her mom!!! So I asked Chloe what she said, and she replied, "I said 'I don't know. There's way too many kids out here to even do anything.'" I could not stop laughing. I was like-Chloe!!! You have to say yes! Tomorrow, you have to ask that little girl to play with you! She wants to be your friend! I told her that they didn't have to play on the playground if there was too many kids. They could make up a fun game like she does with Preslie. Chloe said, "Oh, but I never remember that!" I told her it would be ok, she would figure out something, and next time, just say yes!! Preslie asked her what her friend looked like and Chloe said, "She had on a cat shirt and I think pants. Yeah, pants. And she wore long, brown hair." Haha! :)

She said she didn't have a water bottle (I didn't know they needed one) and couldn't get any drinks because their class was too far away and she said she kept telling her teacher and she kept saying no. She also said she raised her hand a lot and talked loud (usually she only talks right in the teacher's ear) and later when she was going to bed, I said, "I'm so proud of you, Chloe." She said, "I am, too. I didn't even remember I could talk quiet. I just talked loud and it was fine!" She's so awesome. 

After the crazy pick-up rush was over, we drove back to take her teacher a first-day of school gift.

Teacher gift

 I was glad to have a minute to talk to her about what was going on. I had e-mailed her on Sunday night about some of my concerns, and when we walked in she had just started e-mailing me back, so she was glad, too. Her teacher, Mrs. Williford, said she was so impressed and she had a great day. She said after reading my e-mail she figured she would be very reserved and quiet, and she actually raised her hand and participated a few times. She also said she felt awful about not letting her get water, but that she was scared she would get lost because the water fountain was far away from the class. She thought about having her go with a buddy, but then she knew all the kids would want to go. 
I could not stop laughing when she told me - "At snack time, we had animal crackers, and Chloe raised her hand and said, 'I'm gonna be reaaaal thirsty after I eat these animal crackers.'" Hahaha!! But the poor girl still couldn't get any water!

Oh, Chloe. You are my perfect little kindergartner. It's only going to get better from here, sweet girl.

Monday, July 14, 2014

New York Day 2

The next morning we started out bright and early. We were going to spend the morning riding bikes around Central Park! We were all so excited.

Central Park is so beautiful and amazing. At first it was a little overwhelming because we didn't really know where we were going and there were so many people that were hardcore biking/running that you didn't want to be in the way. But after a few minutes of getting the hang of it, it all worked out perfectly and was simply amazing!

Seriously beautiful!

After biking for about…5 minutes :) we stopped for brunch! We went to The Boathouse and sat at the second table from the left in the open space in the picture (on the website).
 It was soooo yummy. They brought us banana bread (umm any restaurant that brings me banana bread to start the meal? My absolute fave.) and then we ordered. 

Mom, Amy and I all ordered Eggs Benedict (from the menu -"Eggs Benedict - Irish Smoked Bacon, Smoke Salmon or Spinach, Hollandaise and Chefs VegetableI dare you to guess if we ordered it with bacon, salmon or spinach… (Also, most amazing carrots I've ever had)

Katie ordered Macaroni and Cheese (with vermont cheddar and gouda and it was the BEST mac and cheese I've ever tasted) and Brooke and April ordered the omelet of the day.
Everything was SO good. We just kept sitting there in amazement that we were really eating at such a beautiful, amazing, picturesque place. When I go back to NYC (someday) I will definitely be going back there!

After brunch we continued our bike ride. We could only rent our bikes for 4 hours and our brunch had taken at least 1 1/2. We could only ride the outer loop of the park and on the map it said that took 2 hours. So we had to hustle!
We stopped by this lake and I just couldn't get over how beautiful everything was. There was this little cabin in the distance that was so pretty. I wanted to go explore it, but decided against it. Lucky, for me, because April and Brooke went there to use the restroom and said that close up it is super stinky and gross. 

We quickly biked the rest. I wish we could've explored the whole park more, but bikes weren't allowed on any of the paths so we couldn't really go into the park. Next time!!

After we had returned our bikes we did a little bit of shopping! We walked past Trump Towers to Tiffany's and did some window shopping. 

Amy said I needed something else in there so you could compare sizes. We didn't really have anything, so just compare it to the ring boxes. Those are normal ring boxes and that diamond almost fills the ENTIRE top!

This was all there is to this Apple Store. You walk in and immediately go underground. The whole store is under the street!
The hotel from Home Alone 2

We headed down to one of my must-have stops - Serendipity!
 I just had to get some Frozen Hot Chocolate! We also wanted to have lunch, but the wait was so long and we had to get back. So we put our names in and decided to just get some frozen hot chocolate and eat later. While we were waiting we headed down the street to Dylan's Candy Bar.

 The owner of this store is Dylan Lauren, Ralph Lauren's daughter.

They had a s'mores bar downstairs. It was a chocolate fountain with graham crackers, marshmallows, as well as rice krispy treats and some other things they would dip for you. Each individual thing cost $1. Not bad for NY, but can you imagine the killing they make off that? Buy a bag of marshmallows for $2.50 and sell each one for $1?? I should've thought of that!

I almost bought this for Cody :)

We went back to Serendipity and I have to say, it wasn't really the experience I was hoping for. 
Maybe because we were in a rush, but I felt like the servers were being super slow and I guess I just felt really anxious to get going because I didn't want anyone to be late for our next activity. Also, the frozen hot chocolate was really good, but I think next time I'll order what Brooke and April got!

April and Brooke's dessert- yum! I think it was called Humble Pie?? Doesn't look humble to me! :)
I also have to say, I have some ammmmazing pictures of Katie from here, but I'm not allowed to post them or I have to pay her $500 :) 

Our next stop was the World Trade Center Museum. It was amazing! I will have to make that into another post because there was so much to see and experience there. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

House Tour

Since moving in to our new house here in Texas, I've had a few people asking for a video house tour. It's only taken 7 months to complete, but I did it!

I would love to share our house tour with you!

However, I am extremely, super duper a wee bit terrified hesitant to post a complete video of my entire home online for any and all to find and map out how they will kidnap my babies.

So, if you'd like to see it, I would love to share with you, as long as Cody and/or I know you and you're not a crazy murdered/kidnapper.

Just leave me your email in a comment and I will gladly send you the link!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

New York Day 1 (part 2!)

After we left the cathedral we started heading to find some lunch. We decided to go to Juniors, which is famous for their amazing cheesecake! On the way we had to stop and take a few pictures of the sites...
Naked Cowboy! I ended up seeing about 7 "Naked Cowboys" (And 2 "Naked Cowgirls") but this guy was the real one! 

The Lion King! We ended up seeing it later that night.

We made it to Juniors and even though we were all starving, a lot of us shared. Which was a good thing, because the servings were huge!

Maybe this looks just like a regular bacon hamburger…but it was giant! I shared it with my mom. And the onion rings, oh the onion rings. They're huge, and doughy, and not crispy, and so, so good. It's probably hit or miss, because a lot of people have to have them crispy, but they're amazing. Oh so good.

Before we got our food they brought out this huge bowl of pickles right in front of me. I hate pickles, but Chloe LOVES them so I had to take a picture to send to them. Cody said when he showed her, her eyes got huge and she said, "I want to eat ALL THE PICKLES!" 
(We talk about pickles at least once a day at our house. Preslie and I are the "pickle haters" and Cody and Chloe and Charlee are the "pickle monsters" because they love them..)

They also brought out pickled beets. I sent Cody a picture of this, too, and he asked if they were good. I told him someone else tried and they said they were, but he told me I had to try...

I decided I liked them. But only enough for one bite. They weren't bad, though!

Then came the desserts...
We ordered two for everyone to share. This is the Devil's Food Cheesecake

And the Strawberry Shortcake Cheesecake. Both were amazing and we would take a bite or two and pass the plate along, until...

This was all frosting. We would've eaten it, but we were all so stuffed by then.

After Juniors, we dragged our tired feet back out on the streets and headed to Soho. 
I was super nervous to ride the subway at first, because my knowledge of the subway consists of Adventure's in Babysitting (knife in the foot anyone?), and Full House and Boy Meets World (Both get stuck in the subway on very, very important days.)

Luckily, the subway for us was awesome. (Except Even when Amy and I saw a giant rat!) 

I took this when no one was around…So people couldn't laugh at my tourist-ness

First we stopped at the cutest store, Purl Soho

It was gorgeous. I honestly felt like I could've stayed there all day looking at all the gorgeous fabric, material, and colors.

Isn't this the cutest little dog?

Ahh beautiful. I bought some fabric there and a pattern and was so excited about them!
After we left Purl, we went to Kate Spade. Again, I was in heaven :)
I was so in love with this dress. And the shoes (not pictured). They were both amazing. The dress was only $548 and the shoes $348. NBD. …Too bad I can't even handle buying a $20 wallet from China town without stress. Sadly, I left there empty-handed.

Afterwards we hit up China town and little Italy but only for just a second. It was way too hard to walk around China town with 6 of us because all the shops and the sidewalks are so small. So we went to the Cannoli King and grabbed my second cannoli for my second day. It was ammmmazing. Better than the first.

Yum don't you just want to take a bite? (I didn't eat it at the place but took it back to the hotel for later. I was still stuffed from cheesecake!)

We got back on the subway and got off near a little Swedish candy store called Sockerbit. It was cute! I thought it was funny they had two Asians working the store, because it's a swedish store :) We filled up our bags and I took pictures of the candy I got so I could remember what it was called and what it was supposed to taste like before giving it to my kids.

By this time, we were all pretty wiped out and couldn't stop saying, "I'm so excited to just sit all night!" We went back to the hotel, changed, and hurried over to see our shows on broadway! Amy, Mom, and Katie saw A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder (and loved it) and Brooke, April and I saw The Lion King. It was fun! 

To be honest, I didn't love it. It was good, but for some reason I was being extra critique-y, and kept thinking, "I could've saved a ton of money and watched the movie." But, it's a classic Broadway hit, so I'm glad I can add it to my "Have-Seen" list. Maybe I didn't love it because the only other Broadway show I've seen is Wicked…it's hard to go next after that!

It was fun to spend time with April and Brooke, though! After the show we just went back to the hotel because we were all pretty exhausted after such a long, fun day.

But before we got back to the hotel, we saw Zach Braff on the street! He was coming out of another Broadway show and there were people everywhere trying to get his autograph. You can just barely tell it's him from these pics - we were across the street and didn't cross because he was so surrounded by people it wouldn't have been worth it. Plus non of us really care about him :)

Wow after reading back through this post and the last, I feel exhausted! But that day, I was so pumped full of energy and the city I loved every second!! Day 3 is on it's way!


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