Monday, August 23, 2010

The Night Before Kindergarten

Dear Brooke,

You are sound asleep in bed, after hours of excited anticipation for the morning. Not only are you to be visited by the tooth fairy tonight, you will also be able to finally start kindergarten tomorrow. Mommy helped you pick out a special outfit from your closet tonight, and you helped pack your own lunchbox- applesauce, grapes, Life cereal, pudding, and a juice box. You can write your name, count by tens, read Dr. Seuss books, and recite the Pledge of Allegience. You have not stopped talking about school, and wanted to play school bus and teacher today. I even heard you whisper to your baby sister this afternoon, "It will be so much fun!"

While I know you will be in good hands, make wonderful friends, and have a great time, I have told you that you may see mommy cry happy tears tomorrow. I have protected you around the clock since you were formed in my belly six years ago, and it will be a very different experience to place you into someone else's hands.  I have tried to prepare myself for tomorrow, but a few tears may slip on by. I will be anxiously awaiting in the afternoon to pick you up at school and hear all about your wonderful day. In the meantime, sweet dreams, my baby girl. You are loved more than you know.

Love, Mommy

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Tooth Fairy in Training

Last week Bill and I learned how to be a tooth fairy. To Bill's relief, I am sure, it did not involve a tutu- only being able to sneak into a room of five sleeping children without getting caught.

After days of trying to convince Brooke to let us pull a tooth hanging by a thread, she had to explain over and over that she wanted to do it herself, in her own time. As tempting as it was to just yank it out, we wanted to maintain her trust and not do something she wasn't expecting. Here is a pic of Bill checking out the tooth at Amy's house, and then Brooke explaining why he could not pull it for her.

The next day, Amy took us to the Columbus Museum in Georgia. Brooke was in a different vehicle than me, so when we all met up at the entrance, Brooke ran up and asked me to notice what was different. Her tooth was gone!! I was so happy for her that she had been brave enough to let it come out. I took this picture immediately. You can't see the missing tooth spot since it was on the bottom, but you can see how excited she was.

She was definitely excited for the tooth fairy to come that night. I wasn't sure if she really believed that a two inch fairy would bring her gifts, but we played along. Here is what she got for her first tooth. Deflation will follow for the other teeth, I'm sure.
The next morning, Brooke ran excitedly into the bedroom to show us her loot. Later that day while she was sitting on my lap, she talked about the tooth fairy and her toys. She asked me how such a tiny fairy could carry all that loot. I paused, wondering how to respond. I have mixed feelings about Santa, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy...While it is fun to play along, I never want to lie to my child. So I said, "Well, you know that it is fun to talk about the tooth fairy, even if it is just for pretend." I could tell she was annoyed by that response, and said "Yes, mommy, I know that. Now, how do you think she carries all of this stuff?" So she had known all along the tooth fairy was pretend, and was having fun with the fantasy all the same. I laughed, and we came up with different ways she could possibly carry all that stuff. We decided that she shrunk everything to carry it, than brought it back to normal size before she left.

How to carry out the duties of a tooth fairy is what I learned this week. For more on what others learned, visit Julie at Inmates.

Monday, August 9, 2010

A Dream Come True

When something is built up in your mind by someone else, whether it be a restaurant or a book or a movie, usually a small part of you feels let down when you experience it for yourself. I had heard my entire life how wonderful Disney World was, and while I believed it, I was a bit afraid that I would be let down when I finally experienced it for myself. But two weeks ago we took our family to the Magic Kingdom in Orlando, and I found out that Disney is everything that I had heard, and more. So much more. It far exceeded my expectations, and I couldn't stop smiling the entire day. Walt knew a thing or two about how to create magic.

One of the best parts of our vacation was making a dream come true for our little girls. Ever since Brooke and Madeline were able to speak, they have asked over and over to see Cinderella's castle in person. They are infatuated with Disney movies, and every time the castle is shown in the intro, they scream out, "Cinderella's Castle!!!" and occasionally throw in, "Mommy, can we go there??" I would explain that the castle was in a land far, far away, and it costs a lot of money to go there. Mommy and Daddy would save up, and one day they would get to go. When the opportunity to take them for one day finally arrived last month, the excitement was palpable.

We spent one night in a two bedroom suite in Disney's Contemporary Resort, mainly because it had the monorail onsite that would drop us off in the Magic Kingdom in a matter of minutes. The hotel room was absolutely beautiful, and the girls were able to see the castle afar off while walking to dinner. Here they are seeing the castle for the very first time.
There is nothing like being a parent and watching the joy in your child's eyes as you watch a dream come alive. They were so happy and we had not even entered the park yet!! The next morning, Brooke seemed to be the one most excited, because she was old enough to truly understand what would take place that day. She knew she would be meeting the princesses at lunch in the castle, and that she would see Mickey's and Minney's houses. Watching her board the monorail and see her smile is definitely a highlight that I will always have to look back on. Madeline was beside herself with joy when she met Belle, and Isaac was more than happy to fulfill the role of prince, though he seemed more like a pirate when using the sword. I could go on and on about the rest of the day, but I'll leave with a few images instead. I am counting down the days until next year when we get to back for an entire week and experience it all over again.

The first four pictures are of Madeline modeling in the Dumbo ride. She asked her daddy to take these photos prior to leaving the elephant.

Brooke riding the teacup. A classic ride, I know, but one I may have to pass on next year.
Though it may not be clearly evident, Isaac was loving every minute. He cried everytime a ride ended.
Despite a terrible cold, Lydia was a perfect baby the entire day.
My baby girl and her prince.
I was outside with Sleeping Lydia, so I missed this part. My mom and Bill said that Isaac was so excited to see Mickey and Minney that he ran up and gave them both hugs. He also honked Mickey's nose.
This was taken at Cinderella's Round Table lunch. Madeline was beaming. She is infatuated with Belle.
I think Isaac liked Jasmine. He wouldn't pose with any other princess.
Madeline and Grandma on the Nemo ride in Epcot.

While we had planned to stay and watch the electrical parade and fireworks that night, my mom unexpectedly became ill. She fainted from dehydration while in line for the rocket ride, and was taken to the hospital by ambulance. She thankfully recovered a few hours later and was able to leave the hospital before morning. The staff at Disney was absolutely wonderful in taking care of us, and even put us up for another night in the Contemporary Resort for free. I absolutely cannot wait to go back next year. It really is a place where dreams can and do come true.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Turning a New Page

I'm baaa-aack!!! After a two week hiatus, my nightly blogging habit has officially resumed. My family and I have been on a whirlwind tour of Florida, Alabama, and Georgia for the past 16 days,  giving us a much needed break from day to day life, as well as giving me loads of blog fodder for weeks to come. I have so many blog ideas buzzing around in my brain, but tonight I am settling on one in particular- my birthday.

Yesterday, ready or not, I turned in my twenties card in exchange for the big 3-0. Although I wasn't bouncing off the walls from excitement, no tears were shed. It's hard to feel self pity about my age when I have soooo much to be thankful for. When I left for college twelve years ago, I had a life plan organized in my mind. I wanted to earn my degree as a physician assistant, get married to a loving, God-fearing man, have three to four children, buy a home, and raise my family. I am still amazed that God has allowed (yes, allowed) all of this to happen and more. I still have my health- something I don't know even dawned on me to pray for back then,  as well as wonderful parents, sister, and extended family still alive and well. I have amazing friends who I love and respect, and have reconnected with my childhood best friend who I love so very much, maybe more than she knows. So when I sit down and seriously think about all I have been blessed with, how can I feel sad about the number thirty?

Funny side note: The week we were in Florida, just days before my birthday, Brooke asked me  how old I was. I smiled and told her twenty nine, knowing this was probably the last time she would ask me before my big day. Then yesterday, after we cut my birthday cake, Madeline asked her daddy how old he was. Bill was able to still say 29. He likes to say that he married an older woman, even if it is just a difference of 8 weeks. Watch yourself, my love, you aren't too far behind me.

So glad to be back up and writing again! See you all tomorrow night!