Monday, September 7

Growin' Up . . . (sniff, sniff)

Spaghetti makes the best hair product, don't ya think? Great hold and washes out with ease! Tonight, as Morgan was winding down for the evening, she crawled on into her room to retrieve her blanket from her crib! And it was work! I love catching her leaning over a baby doll or stuffed teddy to give them kisses. She even lets her brothers hug and kiss on her which is just adorable! She's finally holding her own bottles and sippy cups after months of refusing. Her two top teeth are just barely breaking through and they look like some real chompers! Her banshee scream gathers horrified and concerned looks, even from other mothers in the trenches. Dad calls her our parakeet, but that's being kind. It's quite the high pitched screech.

McKay + Potty training = Strategery. McKay's German kindergarten has a two week break so I figured now was the best time if there ever was one. He loved his new big boy Transformer and Batman underwear. The very first day, he would wet through each pair so he could put on the next great pair. That way he could wear all his faves in one day! We don't raise no dummies here! My mom and a friend wisely talked me off the ledge that evening with the tip to reward him with a new pair by staying dry for a predetermined, agreed upon time. Why do the simplest solutions evade the supremely frustrated? We've switched to treats now. He's so proud and so am I! Now I can tell when it's getting close to a meal because he goes potty a lot in order to get his treats. Here he is showing off his muscles below -- from adorable to fierce at the flip of a switch!

Easton starts bonafide full-day American kindergarten tomorrow. I'm not sure he understands everyone in his class speaks English and I think he's going to love it. His teachers, Ms. Senna and Mrs. Vigue, seem wonderful and we've heard others rave. I know I'm way more excited and nervous than him which is probably a real good thing. He'll probably sleep better for it. Ryan just admitted to having first day of school jitters for Easton too. I doubt we'll join the other kindergarten parents at the Boo-Hoo Breakfast put on by the PTA, but I wouldn't be too surprised if a few tears were shed by these two proud parents!

Perhaps once we're good and settled into this new routine, we'll get Easton back into tai kwon do or a soccer league. He sure loved his tai kwon do class and it was great to see him totally focused on learning the moves. I'm just not eager to add to our growing schedule and am anxious that kids today don't get enough down time at home. We'll just have to see how he adjusts to full day school!

Easton's still our cute little reader. When the boys were playing after dinner, Ryan found him perched up on the shelves trying to ignore McKay's pestering.

Ryan is in the final two weeks before his Berlin marathon and yet didn't shy away from any shop o' sweets we passed by in Strasbourg this weekend! He's signed us up for German conversational classes and we're also doing a financial planning course. Time to be grown ups? We'll see!

What happened to my deliberately quiet, non-scheduled life?! I knew it would end sooner or later but I'm in mourning. Well, I'm in mourning when I have the time to mourn. I already feel rushed each day to accomplish daily tasks at hand! We used to head to the kindergarten around the corner at 8:45. Now Easton will be on the bus at 7:20 with a lunch and two snacks packed. McKay will probably head out with him and Ryan to save me from being seen that early in the morning (right, Ryan??!). That leaves Morgan and me with her naps, morning German class and homework, preschool pickup, meeting Easton at the bus, and my cleaning lady throwing me into a frenzy to clean so she can really clean . . . Life will march on at a quicker pace now and I hope I'm up for the challenge! I know many who are much busier so I really can't complain! I'm one lucky gal!

I must say I have really come to admire new friends here that amaze me with their efforts to build their own support networks from scratch. On a handful of days I've been out running errands and stopping for a bite to eat on base with the kids where I've been approached by another young mom with kids in tow. Playdates are arranged, local tips shared, and general mom stories laughed over. All these moms are new to the area when we meet, often still living in a hotel while finding housing. As I've also come to find out, it's such a small world on base. I often run into these new friends and ward members running errands on base. I guess I'm still feeling new to the area because it surprises me every time!