All systems are go at Eagle Elementary. The girls both seem to like their teachers and are happy to be reunited with their friends, despite having most of them at our house once or twice or a billion times over the summer break. I am pleasantly surprised by how smoothly we have slipped back into the school morning routine. Now its all about what the weather is going to be and how it will affect their outfit choices, what the special of the day is (library, music, P.E., art) and do I really, truly, HAVE TO brush my teeth before school? And is there ANY wiggle room in the whole "clearing your plate and cup from the table" routine? And my answers are always the same: yes to the first and no to the second. Just do it.
Bedtime continues to be a ridiculous struggle; so much so that I finally had an epiphany a few weeks ago while brushing Jenna's teeth and asking her for the 20th time to please stop looking in the mirror at herself and OPEN HER MOUTH SO I CAN MOVE THE TOOTHBRUSH.
"Jenna," I told her, "guess what?"
"What?" she asked.
"Tomorrow night, you are going to be me and I am going to be you and you are going to get me ready for bed. You are going to brush my teeth, and comb my hair and get my jammies on. And I'm going to be you and I'm going to stall and whine and do all the things you do that make Mommy crazy."
"Ohhhhh! I can't WAIT!" says Jenna, beaming.
So the next night we did just that: I played the part of Jenna and she was me. And I did all the things that she does: stalling, laying down on the bed when she should be getting her pajamas on, taking a ridiculous amount of time to pick out pajamas, dropping the dirty clothes on the floor instead of putting them in the hamper, asking WHY DO I HAVE TO GO? when I was told to go potty, saying, I CAN'T DO IT! IT'S TOO DIFFICULT! when asked to brush my teeth, looking at myself in the mirror when Jenna was brushing my teeth, clamping down on the toothbrush, spitting and making a mess in the sink, wanting them to lay down with me before I go to sleep, complaining about bug bites itching, and then after they finally go me tucked into bed, a few moments later I got up and told them I wasn't really tired.
Michaela got such a kick out of watching me that she made Dan play her (minus the getting jammies on). And he played it to the hilt. It was brilliant.
After we were all done, I talked to both of them. "So, what do you think?" I asked them.
And they smiled.
"That was hard," they said. (AHA! Understanding! Victory is MINE!)
And then Michaela added:
"But we want to do it again tomorrow!"
Alec has had some steady gains in the language development department. His receptive vocab is pretty impressive, he has started to say an approximation of his own name (which sounds like a open-mouthed version of the word AWK), and is babbling a lot. His articulation is not great and he really seems to struggle in that area. He has learned to say "Aw, man!" from Dora and will put up his little hand and garble something to the effect of "Swiper, no swiping!" (Michaela said, "Shep, no shep!" for years and we still say it to her every once in a while.) He loves pointing to the trucks and airplanes and motorcycles in one of his books and has consistent sounds for each that are single syllables.
Alec has learned the connection between DVDs and the DVD player and now constantly hands me DVDs to put in. He then watches the first 10-15 minutes of a movie and then gets another one for me to put in. In heavy rotation are Yogi Bear, Tangled, The Backyardigans' Surf's Up, and Diego's Animal Rescue. When he watches Diego, and the camera in the show asks, "Is THIS the pygmy marmoset?" Alec always answers, "Noooooo!" He says that to no matter what question Click asks. It's very cute if you're his mom.
Michaela started another soccer season this past Saturday. She picked out awesome new cleats that are neon yellow and bright purple and look very professional. They look great. She's excited to play again after a break last season and is playing for her usual coach, The Incomparable Coach Tim, who has coached her every season but one since she was 4 years old. Her team color is lime green and looks great with her cleats.
I signed up to be Alec's Toddler Sunday School class teacher, and we were the only ones in the class on Sunday. Made for an easy lesson! My Girl Scout Troop is on it's way and we'll maybe have our first meeting at the end of this month. Half of the girls in the troop are named Emma. I'm not kidding.
I went grocery shopping with only one child this morning for the first time since June. It was heavenly.
I went to Hobby Lobby yesterday with my mom and let me tell you, they have THREE SHELVES OF PILGRIM FIGURINES. And that's all I have to say about that.
Dan is slammed at work with claims from Hurricane Irene. He was supposed to take last week off but had to cancel his vacation because of the amount of work to be done. Now he gets to take a week off almost every month from now until January. He is VERY happy that it is fall and that means he soon will not have to mow the lawn every week. We don't have any leaves to rake, either, so once the grass stops growing, he's done for the season. I am making a long Fall/ Winter Honey-Do list for around the house- things we've lived with for the past year but would like to remedy.
I bought apple crisp topping at the store today. Cant wait to make my first batch.
Speaking of Walmart, let me wrap up with this story:
I shopped for the week and had about $175 in groceries. I bring my own bags, because I love my earth and all that, and I piled them on top of my stuff. About 3/4 of the way through the check out, I realize that my checker has not put any of my items in my bags, instead choosing to stack all of my items (in categories that made sense in her head but not mine) on the carousel where the plastic bags lay. When she was done ringing me up, she applied hand sanitizer and then told me, "I hate reusable bags! I sliced my hand right open on one because someone left a RAZOR BLADE in there!" and then proceeds to tell me that sentence again exactly as she just had. I said very lightly, "Well, my bags are empty! No razor blades in there!" and smiled helpfully. She went on to tell me, as she struggled to pack my bags, that she hates to bag things because "it has to be perfect" and she dislikes "stacking groceries on top of one another." And I again say lightly, "Oh, that's okay, I'm just going right home from here..." and while I'm saying that, she shows me the bag she's packed and says, "See? Everything's STANDING UP!" And I see that my bag is indeed filled on the bottom but only about 20% full with all canned items that are standing up, and while it fit her OCD proclivities, it would have taken about 40 more bags to carry all of my items out of the store. So I took matters into my own hands (after complimenting her for her lovely packing job) and just threw the rest of her piles into my bags. Enough's enough.