Monday, September 29, 2008

he's ba-a-a-a-ck...

I had not planned on telling Emma that her Daddy was coming home. Unfortunately I did not pass that decision on to Mr. Bill at church! Sunday night I saw Emma over with Bill--attached to him actually--but did not think too much about it because she has become extremely attached to Bill and Camillia. After some time, she comes over and says something to Ms. Jennifer. Jennifer looks at me--because she had been clued in--and said "Emma, who told you your Daddy was coming home tomorrow?" AAAHHH!!!!!!! Of course the answer was, "Mr. Bill."
So she knew the secret and the questions, "When does Daddy come home?" "Is it time for Daddy's plane to land?" began. I told Bill I would have her call him and ask him every 5 minutes:):)
Because I knew Emma Shea would drive her teachers to the edge with the "Daddy questions", I let her have a mental health day {For those who do not know, that is a parent approved day to skip school. I began them with Michaela in Kindergarten. We have a few each year.} She and I slept in and then, after the 1000th question, I pulled up and let Emma watch the plane get closer. Steve was landing at 2:20. Around 1:00, Emma asked for Cracker Barrow for lunch. She was under the impression that Mr. Joe was picking Steve up (Because they always picked us up) so I let her think that and told her we had to pick up a package before we went home. She was very concerned that Steve would be home alone; sitting in the porch.
Okay, so you remember when your child was 3 and naive. You can pull anything over on them? Well, those days are over for me. I pull into CVG, telling Emma this is where we have to pick up the package. She says, "This is an airport." We have seen no planes, how she knew it was an airport is beyond me. I tried to divert her attentions, but she insisted it was an airport. {I guess being a world traveller at the age of 5 has allowed her the ability to know what an airport looks like!} Okay, it is an airport, but this where we have to pick up our package. We wait for about 10 minutes and then luggage begins to come around the conveyor belt. I grab Steve's bags. ($550.00 worth of extra luggage I might add!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sure hope the Air Force reimburses for that expense-- I won't hold my breath though) Finally I see him come around the corner. I look at Emma Shea and say, "There is your package!" She looks around, "I don't see anything." and then she spots him. I only wish I had a video camera going because it was beautiful!!!! "Daddy" resonated throughout the baggage claim and she took off into his arms. These are the moments a parent lives for!!
I drove him home. Happy reunion with Mac, not quite as theatrical:)
We headed to Michaela's dance class, dropped her off, and then drove around to show him the changes in Florence--after not being here since January '06, there were a few things he had never seen before.
After dance, we met Joe and Kathy for dinner at L*ngH*orns and dessert at Gr*eters!! YUMMY.
My goal was to keep him awake until 7:00 so he could get on American time easier. He did really well, but on the ride home at 9:00pm, he was having a HARD time keeping his eyes open.
He is now driving MY VAN (AHHH) to Wright-Pat to out-process. I just hope he drives on the correct side of the road:):) The first few days of driving on the left side of the car and the right side of the road are AWFUL!!!!!!!!
My family is whole again.
I have given him tomorrow off--and then the honey-do list comes out:):):)


We have just arrived back from CVG--with a package for Emma and Michaela!!!

Their DADDY is home.

Emma has not left his side----YEAH FOR ME!!!!

More later....

Saturday, September 27, 2008

the mind of a 5 year old...

This morning, as I come out of the shower, I was greeted by a giggling worm under the quilt on my bed. Knowing that this worm cannot be still or quiet for more than a few seconds, I wasn't surprised when the giggling got louder and out popped Emma! I was soooo surprised:)
With the surprise over, Emma went back 'reading' her children's Bible.
E: Mommy, are the roads made of gold in heaven?"
M: Well, the Bible says the roads are paved with gold." Won't that be beautiful?"
E: So we can drive a car on them?
M: There are no cars in heaven.
E: Oh, so we need to take ours up there?
***Where do you go with that question:)
the conversation continued:
E: Where are Adam and Eve's Mommy?
M: They didn't have a Mommy. God created them so big so they didn't need mommies. They had Him.
E: Eve ate the poisonous apple because of the snake.
M: Emma, the apple wasn't poisonous. That is in the fairytales. God told Adam and Eve not to eat of the fruit. They disobeyed him.
E: We need to make good choices.
M: Yes we do. And we do not know what kind of fruit it was. The Bible doesn't say.
This leads to 5 minutes of her insisting it WAS an apple. "See here in my Bible it is an apple!"
I let it go--for now!!!
E: What is God's real name?
M: God!
E: Oh.
Gotta love the logic of a 5 year old!!

Friday, September 26, 2008

mother of the year i am not...

I love when teachers have to tell parents something that is not going to be received well. Because this happens frequently, teachers have their own special way of saying things that sound 'positive' and polite but the underlying message is .."Your kid is a pain." "You stink as a parent." and so on. {I especially love when the teachers do not realize I taught and I know the lingo!!}


As Emma Shea and I are walking home from the bus, she tells me she got sick in the sink at school. We continue to the house talking about her morning. When we got home, I searched the backpack for a note explaining the circumstances of the 'sickness'--running too hard, a coughing fit, ... When I did not find anything, I called Mrs. Anderson (on her lunch break, before the afternoon students got there--teachers REALLY love that!).
The conversation went as follows:

Me: "Hello. I am sorry to interrupt your lunch, but Emma said she got sick at school today. I was just wondering what happened."

Mrs.A: "She did. I think she is fine. What came up was clear. I think it is because she was hungry. She's mentioned a few other times that she doesn't eat breakfast. I am sure she is probably one of those children who are not big breakfast eaters. Why don't we try sending in an extra snack and I can just give it to her at 9:00 or 9:30."
***TRANSLATION: "Yeah, your daughter has told us you do not feed her breakfast and she is soooo hungry she is vomiting. You suck as a mother and you need to make her eat breakfast. Since you can't seem to do your job, just send in some food and we will make sure she eats something."

Me: "No, she doesn't like to eat breakfast right when she wakes up so by the time she has been awake long enough and is hungry, she is in school. Usually she eats a Go-gurt or drinks some milk before she gets on the bus. She did eat some mandarin oranges this morning. This will be a great lesson on the consequences of not eating breakfast. "(The entire time, I am thinking.."My child has never been a great breakfast eater. I can't believe that is the reason for the vomiting.")

Mrs.A: "She ate some graham crackers and then she was fine. I am sure she will be okay!"

...conversation moves on to honoring Steve in the HOMETOWN HEROS for serving his country, etc.


***UPDATE: Guess what I have just finished doing?
Giving Emma a shower and cleaning vomit out of my van.
Yeah, she threw up because I starve her!!!! HA

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

i don't think so...

As we were sitting on the couch earlier, Emma Shea had this smile on her face. She looks at me and says, "Today on the bus I kissed Casey." Of course the smile quickly left her face when she looked at my expression and I proceeded to tell her she is not allowed to kiss boys. We discussed--or rather I spoke, she listened and hid her face crying--that kisses are saved for mommies and daddies. I am dreading the day Michaela has a boy call and she is 12. I certainly was unprepared to have this "conversation" with my 5 year old !

She comforted me by assuring me, "It was JUST ON THE CHEEK."

Sunday, September 21, 2008

did you know...

that umbilical cords can regenerate themselves and reattach years later? No, seriously. I am living, breathing proof that cords cut (I have pictorial proof of the event) by my husband in 1996 and another by the medical team in 2003 have reattached themselves to my daughters and myself.
Stop shaking your heads at me!!!
What other explanation could there be for my daughters to have to constantly be with me; to follow me from place to place? I am sure it is not my loving patience that draws them to me--that seems to have flown out the window with Emma's ability to NOT cry at everything and Michaela's ability to use common sense. And if it is not my effervescent personality, it certainly must be that the cord has reattached itself.
I am just thankful that it is long enough to stretch to their schools!!!!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

steve, get the shot gun...

Ever since the first day of school, Emma Shea has sat next to a little boy on the Kindergarten bus. She came home talking about a new friend, but could not remember his name. After 2 or 3 days, she knew his name and she wanted to write our phone number down because he had asked her for her phone number so they could get together and play!
I do not think I am ready for my daughters being asked for a phone number--especially my 5 year old!!!

It seems as if the 'relationship' has progressed. As I was putting Emma's snack into her backpack this morning, I noticed a small piece of paper at the bottom of her bag. Upon taking it out, I realized it was a LOVE LETTER to Emma. When I asked her about it, she just smiled and said it was from Casey!!!
She is locked up until she is 25!!!!!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

it's the little things...

As much as I miss England and the simpler life we had, there are some 'American conveniences' that I am extremely thankful for!!!!

I know, you are thinking, "Trash? You are thankful for trash?" Not the trash, but the fact that I can put this much trash out every week if I need to. And I have for the last 2 weeks--I am sure to the the delight of the trashmen.

In England we have ONE bin half the size of my Bavarian bin. Trash is picked up every other week!!!!! If it does not fit into the bin, it it is not taken. Recycling is collected the opposite week. And yes, they pay a tax for this service!!!! They are a 'greener' country and do recycle better, but as I have carpet, padding, boxes, shingles, .... to dispose of, I am thankful for the weekly collection.

***You can see the screen I had to destroy to get into the house.

***The tree in the picture is the dead one that I was hoping the wind had knocked down.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

thank goodness...

They just made the announcement......
Boone County HAS school tomorrow!!!!!
YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We have used two 'snow days' this week.

whew!! what a crazy few days...

I had some nice, summer pictures to upload on Sunday evening when we returned from church.

Mother Nature had other ideas.
Saturday was a sunny, beautiful day. I worked on the riding lawn mower--doing, as Emma Shea called it, DADDY-MAN work. ( you let the man do all the icky "man" stuff Emma, just make sure you KNOW how to do it for yourself!!!) I changed out the battery, fixed the rear tire, drained oil, and cleaned out the accumulation of grass...and then mowed the back yard. The girls took advantage of the sunny, fabulous weather and ran through the sprinkler. (Their first summer fun--in September!!!!)

Sunday, we woke up and headed to La Grange for church. The weather was good--very muggy, but clear skies. The wind began blowing harder and harder throughout the afternoon. We ate lunch at the Allison's and the lights flickered every once in awhile, but nothing too bad. As the afternoon went on, the wind continued to blow, knocking trees down and blowing anything that was in it's path. Due to the electricity being out at the building, evening services were cancelled (the first service cancelled in 28 years!!!). Bill requested (in that fatherly tone) that the girls and I wait to drive home. Michaela went to the young adult study at the Hunter's home (they were one of the few that never lost power) and then we stayed around and talked to Gayle until 9:45pm. When we arrived at our exit, I noticed that the lights were out east of the exit, but still on west of it--optimism abounded. Of course, my optimism sank as I drove towards our subdivision and noticed how dark it was--it was 11:00, maybe everyone was in bed:) We pulled into the driveway and parked next to a pile of shingles--that had been on my roof when I left! The thoughts going through my mind--1. Great! No electricity. I sure hope the basement is not flooded. (The sump pump does not work with out electricity!!) 2. Great! Without electricity the garage door is not going to open. I have no keys to get into the house. (I do now!!!) 3. Great!!! Great!!!! Great!!!!

All is well. I destroyed the screen to the kitchen window and Michaela climbed through. Emma was a basketcase--literally shaking. She just kept saying, "Daddy is soooo brave." I asked her why Daddy was brave. He wasn't even here. He just is. She went to sleep--with me. The power came back on at 6:20am. (Half the subdivision still does not have power.) I walked around and assessed the damage. The back of the roof was the only damage. I called insurance. And now we wait for the adjuster and hope that the "NO RAIN" forecast is accurate!!!!
**Do you think the wind could have knocked down the dead tree in the front yard???? NOOOO!!
AND....our phone just came back on!!!!!!!! YEAH!!!! Since we do not plan to hook up the television, we get all of our information from the radio and the internet. With our phone down, we had no internet. AAAAHHHHH!!!!! I am back among the living!!!

***There are still over 400,000 people without power. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

this and that...

we got a pet!!!!!

Yesterday, while Emma and I were out choosing carpet for the steps and her new room, she saw a small furry friend that she fell in love with and just had to have. He was running around playing with a ball. So, because she misses Katie Belle so much, I bought him for her. She has named him Jack. It is the sweetest thing!!! He is house broken. No shots were required. He stays in the rooms we allow him in. He does shed, but it is minimal. Emma thinks we need a cage for him, but I think he will be okay on his own. Jack is a good addition to our family!!!
***See a picture of Jack at the end of this post.

surely it has to end!

Since we have been back in this country, I have watched the prices of petrol go up and up. Last Thursday it went up to $3.69. Then on Tuesday, as I was driving to order Michaela's new bed, I watched all of the stations between our house and Mall Road change the price to $3.89. Last night, as I drove home from scrapbooking, I noticed that the price had gone up to $4.09!!!! If those three increases were not bad enough, this morning as I drove into Valvoline for an oil change at 10:45am and drove out at 11:05, the price had gone up AGAIN!!! It is now $4.19!!!!!!!!!!!

hoof hand update

Emma Shea is very excited to update you on her thumbsucking intervention... It has been 4 days and no attempts to put that thumb in her mouth!!!!!!!!! yeah!!!!!! I have not added anymore HH to her thumbs since Wednesday. I am going to see how she does without it!!! Wish her luck!!!!

*** at scrapbooking last night, there were some women there who work for a pediatric dentist. They were talking to another woman who was concerned because her 4 year old sucked her 2 fingers. (She takes her daughter to this dentist). I heard her friend, that works at the dental office, tell her to not worry about it. "Dr. ___ told you it was no big deal. All kids are orthodontic candidates so why stress over it." They went on to say that he does not even begin to do anything about finger/thumbsucking until at least SEVEN!!!!!!!!! WHAT!!!!! Lets really mess up the permanent teeth. More money lining his pockets!!!!!

our new babysitter

Last night, I decided to go to Scr*ps Etc. to do a fling from 5:30 until 11:30pm. SO....Michaela had her first paying job in the States. She does a great job---especially when I remind her she is the BABYSITTER, NOT the BIG SISTER!!!!

She painted flower pots with Emma, watched a movie, and then got her in bed. Great job, Michaela!!!!!
:):) :)Only complaint...they were BOTH in my bed when I got home:):):)
Picture of Jack

Best $7.99 at Cr*cker B*arrel I have ever spent!!!

Had you worried didn't I, Stephen!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

isn't it the ugliest thing...

Today, instead of organizing the house, washing out cupboards, cutting up carpet for the carpet layers, etc.... I went to the scrapbooking store and to H*bby L*bby. While I was walking through HL, I passed this statue on a shelf. He does not match any of our decor. He is U*G*L*Y. BUT... he made with laugh. I was feeling down and he made me laugh. I walked by andf left him on his shelf, but every time I thought about him, I laughed. I have no idea what it is about him that amuses me, but I walked back to him and I bought him. (don't worry Steve, he was 50% off). He will make me laugh every time I walk into my bathroom!!!

it's raining, it's pouring...

Today was SUPPOSED to be the New Haven Walk-a-thon and dunking booth. But alas, the sky has opened up and the rain has been been coming down all morning. I guess the walking will be done in the gym!!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

she cracks me up...

Emma Shea is a child of many personalities {I think there is medication for that:)}. We have the moody Emma, the sassy-mouthed Emma {who has been making MANY appearances since we have returned to Kentucky--even with the consistent discipline--sassy Emma is a stubborn personality!}, sweet, loving Emma--who I love and adore and wish would stick around more often, and of course, humorous Emma--among soooooo many more.
I think they all came out to play today!!!
This morning, Emma got ready for school, as usual. We walked down to the bus stop, as usual. She got onto the bus and sat down, as usual. Then she looks out the window, begins crying and holding her arms out for me. WHAT WAS THAT ABOUT!!!! I left her on the bus and told her it was okay. I felt like grabbing her and taking her home to hug all day. I called the school to give Mrs. Anderson a heads-up about the emotional meltdown. Mrs. Anderson gave her cuddles when she got there and all was well!!
SASSAFRAS EMMA--a nice way of saying mouthy.
Emma Shea was sweeping the garage and wanted help with the dustpan. I was on the phone and told her I would help in a minute. Michaela was at the laptop studying for a test so Emma asked her. Michaela said she would in just a minute. Emma looked at her and said, "NO!! You come help me right now!" You would think she was the older, bossy sister.
Tonight in the shower, she was rinsing the shampoo out of her hair and I went to get her towel for her. All of a sudden I heard her gasping for air and saying, " I can't breave. I can't breave." When she did not get a response from me (because I knew she was okay--do not call 241-KIDS on me) The gasping stopped. Sighs of annoyance began, and then, "Ooookay. Ooookay. I am breaving, but it's messed up breaving."

What a goob!!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

the rain in spain falls mainly on he plains....

While the girls and I were walking through HOME GOODS, Emma spotted some stationary that had letters on it. She went over and began searching for an "E". While looking, she was stating the letters she was finding. She came across a "H" and said, "Heche"--as any good British 'commoner' would-- and then she looked at me and said, " I have to call it something else because that is what they do here." I told her she could continue to call it 'heche' if she wanted to. "No Mommy!! They call it something else in my school. 'H'. They call it 'H'." My little Liza Doolittle is losing her accent:(:(:(:(

Before you know it, she will be talking with a nice Southern drawl where the words have extra syllables!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

the first steps towards therapy...

for emma shea???
or for me?????

Am I causing Emma undo stress?

Have I started her on the path to years of therapy?

Will she resort to other oral fixations later in life?

Oh, the confusion:):)

This sweet, peaceful sleep was acquired after 90 minutes of tossing and turning because she wanted to suck her thumb so badly!!! She begs, "Please mommy!! I just NEED to have my thumb!!"

It breaks my heart.
I just want to remove the HOOF HANDS!!
I will be strong.
I will survive this.
I mean, she will survive this.:):)
Time to go get her out of the tub and apply a new coat of the HH:(
Academy Awards beware...The drama is about to begin!!

Monday, September 08, 2008

acclimation complete...

Emma is loving her back garden

This is her new trick

Doesn't Michaela look THRILLED to be out swinging???

What a good big sister!!!

Why sleep in a bed when you can sleep on the floor in a Dora tent??

This lasted until midnight--she got wise and climbed into her bed!!

Doing her Math homework!!!

what we have been up to...

We have managed to settle into our life back in Kentucky. We are all lonely and miss our friends --have had a few pity parties--but we are just going to press ahead and make the most of our lonely existence:):)We have eaten at all of our favorite restaurants--Olive Garden three times!! No Chick-fil-a Holly!!!! My treadmill is calling. LOUDLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The weather has finally broke. It has been in the upper 90s, lower 100s since we have been back. I was sick with a migraine (from the air conditioning) and complete lethargy for the first 5 or so days. Having not lived in the heat and humidity for 3 years has caused my body not handle the heat very well. The weather broke and the air is off and the windows open!!! YEAH. FALL IS ON ITS WAY!
The girls have adjusted to school excellently. Michaela has more homework than she is used to, but she is getting into a routine. Emma Shea loves Kindergarten. She is up by 7:30 and is exhausted when she gets home (she is not morning person--she comes by that honestly!) So that all of us can like her later in the day she has begun taking a nap again. She complains all the way up the stairs and for about 3 seconds in her room--until her head hits the pillow!!
We visited the Oldham Woods church of Christ in La Grange, Ky yesterday. The members were all very friendly and we were invited over to homes after each service. Emma was confused as to why we were going to church twice--I had to explain that most churches have 2 services--she took it in stride. What will she think when we go again in Wednesday!!!!! The girls called Steve and told him there was land; open space in La Grange. Let's Go!!!! Michaela was confused as to why Kentucky seemed to get more 'southern-sounding' while she was gone. Ms. Camilla explained because she was now in real KENTUCKY. Florence is not the real Kentucky --it is southern Cincinnati.:):)
Steve will be home at the end of the month. We are not sure of our plans. He will do a month of make-up drill dates at Blue Ash, but we are not clear as to our next move. There is so much to do at the house to get it ready to sell and with the market so poor, I am not sure if selling is the best thing right now. We just have to wait and see! The Lord has always provided for us.
My neighbors have not come over to yell at me this time--so that has been good. I do have to get the lawn mower running before the grass needs mowed again since I canceled the lawn service--so that Karen and Scott can worry about other important life crisis besides the length of my grass. I do have a dead tree in my front yard that Steve will have to remove when he returns--I hope that is not the next topic of attack!!!! If only I had so little in my life to worry about!!!!!
Well, I guess that is it for now. I have been ugly enough for one morning. I think I will go drink a Pepsi ( my forbidden drink!!) and get pleasant!!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

i am afraid. very, very afraid...

Yesterday, when Michaela arrived home from school--loaded down with books and homework, she began telling me about seeing friends from New Haven and all of her classes.
In her Career class (not even sure what that is yet), a girl, who will remain anonymous as to not cause extreme embarrassment to herself and her family, began asking Michaela about living in England. In the midst of this conversation the girl asks, " So, do you speak fluent French?" Michaela answers, "No. I have had one year of it, but they do not offer it here so I cannot continue." The girl then says, " So you lived there for 3 years and you cannot speak the language!" After Michaela picked her jaw up off the ground, she responded with, "They speak ENGLISH in England." AND THEN THIS INDIVIDUAL SAYS.." Oh, I thought England was part of Europe." ????????????????????????
OH MY!!!!! This is the educational system I have brought my children to??????
I am frightened.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

birthdays and first days...

Today is Emma Shea's 5th birthday!!!!

WHERE DID THE YEARS GO!!! I know, I know, "How cliche'.

But seriously, it feels like she was just born!!

Happy Birthday, Emma Shea

Along with a birthday came the first day of school for both girls.

Michaela and I began our day at 6:00 am--UGH!!!!--Emma woke up at 6:30. I had to go pick up Michaela's shot records from the Dr's (she could not ride the bus or enter classes until the school had it), so I dropped Michaela off with her guidance counselor this morning at 7:25 and ran to get the form. She was getting a tour of the school and her schedule and was VERY apprehensive, but excited!! Her schedule is so much simpler than her one in England--no Week A's and Week B's. No rotating schedules. She was shocked when she was handed a small sheet of paper with only 7 periods!! Of course, she has PE 6th period today---she HATED PE in England--hope it is a better experience here:)
I cannot wait to see how her day went.

Emma Shea also began Kindergarten today:(:(:(
She got on the bus without looking backwards!. I of course followed the bus--crying--to New Haven and got her from the bus to go into the office to find out who her teacher was going to be.

Ms. Lou, from the office, walked us down to Ms. Anderson's class and Emma became quiet and bashful????? I am sure that has ended. I was so glad to see Ms. Hutchinson walk in--she was Michaela's teacher's aid in Kindergarten (the saving grace in that AWFUL class) and she will also be Emma's!!! This should be a good year!!

More later:)