What a busy and hectic life we've led the past 2 weeks. Life with 2 kids 3 and under and working full time is, well, a full time job! There is a balancing act that I haven't quite grasped yet...I'm working on it. The bills, house, and Clint seem to be taking a backseat to children, work, and food.
Melanie is doing so great at her new school. She is the star of the show (partly because she is constantly running her mouth for a full commentary on the show). She gives me such a detailed report when she gets picked up of who behaved well, who behaved poorly, what craft they did, what they talked about in circle, what they ate, when she saw me, etc. She has 3 main friends: her 2 girlfriends and 1 boyfriend and they are the "cool friends." They did a science experiment on Wednesday and she was so proud of it and couldn't stop talking about what happened and what each person's part was in the experiment. I love her teachers. They are super nice and full of energy.
Natalie's go of the whole school process is not quite as positive. Natalie is quite a crier and always has been. However, when you are in a classroom crying can be very trying on the people stuck in there with you. The teachers are great trying to hold and comfort her as she drags around her lovey. I spy on her constantly. It seems that most of her crying is during transitions. Her morning playground time occurs at the same time as my class. Our playgrounds are separated by a fence and I spend the whole time trying to hide from her. If she happens to see me she'll cry. Then her afternoon playground time is at the same time as Melanie's and if she sees Melanie leave she'll cry. Then her mealtimes are the same as Melanie's and she cries when Melanie leaves or if she happens to look in my classroom door and see me. Finally nap was difficult but seems to be getting better. She sleeps on a cot. Her daily report says that she is sleeping anywhere from 1.5 hours to 2.5 hours. I'm sure the teachers really value this time! She apparently loves the food there. They write and "A" if the child ate all of their food and an "x" if the child ate extra. Natalie supposedly eats "Axx" for many meals! Each day her daily report paints a little better picture than the day before so I hope she's adjusting. I just feel bad that she doesn't understand when and why she gets to see Melanie and myself.
As for me, my class has many amazingly exciting new features for a job. I have a couple of students that were a bit more difficult than I was expecting for this type of classroom so I am very exhausted at the end of the day from trying to control them. However, with some trial and error hopefully we'll figure out what works best for them and myself and get everyone under control and successful. The hardest part of my job is coming home. Both girls want my undivided attention when we get home and it's hard for me to give it to them. Thankfully, Clint has changed around his schedule and he is here a few afternoons a week and he can really help out with the girls and house things.
Melanie started dance again on Thursday. She is taking this one at her school. I've learned various companies contract with childcare centers to bring their lessons to the center for children to sign up for. Melanie's school offers: Playball, Piano, and Dance. I let Melanie pick an activity and she picked dance. She really likes her teacher, Ms. Christina and I like that though I am at work I can spy and watch her in her dance class. The girls start gymnastics back on Tuesday. Clint and I are going to tag-team the gymnastics and each take one girl to gymnastics (the classes are back to back) and then take that girl to dinner so they can each have some one on one time. I feel that one on one time is the one thing they are missing with school. During the summer I could give it to them when one was napping but not so much anymore. And, this will be a good way for them to get some Clint time too. We are going to switch off girls each week.
Melanie also had some difficulties staying dry at night. She would have 1-2 accidents/month. So, Clint and I made a deal with her if she stayed dry one whole month she could sleep one night in our bed. The deal came to fruition this weekend. She had to make it through Thursday night and Friday night was the big night. She knew all week and was so excited and proud of herself. Then she came in our room Thursday around 11:30 PM crying and was so upset saying she tried, it was an accident, she really wanted to sleep in our bed. She was so truly upset. It really broke my heart. So, I gave in and let her sleep in my bed Friday night. It probably was not the best teaching of a lesson but she did go 30 nights which is quite difficult- poor baby. We re-set the chart of another month so we'll see what happens.
Natalie is still trucking along with her toilet training. Her class works very hard on it when they or the parents believe the child is ready. The main teacher in Natalie's class had to be out last week b/c her father is in the process of passing away so I am not pushing it at Natalie's school right now. I'll let everything get settled first. But at home she'll still go 3-5 times per day on the potty. Basically every time I change her she'll attempt. She really knows when she goes b/c she'll ask to wipe "/p/" for paper or "/wi/" for wipe and then will put her hand up for a high five. However, she has no concept of staying dry. But, she does know if she pooped. You can ask her if she pooped and she will correctly answer you yes or no many of the times.
We had a neighborhood end of summer festival yesterday. It was so much fun. They had food, horses, a pool party, dj, games/prizes and a giant blow up water slide. The girls had a blast and we had great family time. Melanie of course loved the horse, Lady was the horse she rode, and Natalie liked them from afar but wouldn't touch it or most certainly wouldn't get on it. Melanie had a great time dancing to the DJs music with her friend Caroline. Melanie idolizes Caroline. Caroline gave us another set of outgrown clothes the other day and it's all Melanie wants to wear. She thinks Caroline hangs the moon. It was a really fun day!
I'm absolutely loving not being in school. Sometimes (rare times) when I sit down with nothing to do I have the fleeting thought, "I should probably go work on some school work now." But then I smile and realize I'm done. I'm really glad I did it last year working at Partee with Elizabeth b/c the setting I'm in now doesn't really have access for me to use a computer or phone on a regular basis. Running is going great. I'm waking up before the family each morning to go to the gym. I LOVE this time. It is all my time with no one to bother me and no noise. I run all of my weekly runs during this time. My long runs are on Saturdays. Next weekend is an 8 mile run. That will be the longest I've ever run. Elizabeth and I are doing it together. I hope it goes well! Our race seems to be getting closer and closer and our total miles to run during the week is steadily increasing. I can't believe I'm running the distances I am. Not that I feel I have any drastic weight to loose or anything but I really thought this training would change my body more than it has. I guess it goes to prove you really do have to make sure your eating is pretty close to perfect b/c even hard core exercise can't do it all! But, boy do I love to eat out....yummmm! I wish it were free!
Okay, the end to the longest post ever (which as you see is super early Sunday morning when no one is up but the dog and the gym is closed) that I finally had time to write. I'll post 1st day of school pics later.