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Friday, August 22, 2008

I'm Ba-ack

Well, now. That's been a nice little bloggy break, eh?

First off, school started this week. Can I get a hallelujah AMEN!?

This is the first time all three kids have been in school at the same time. At least part of the time. Four same times a week, to be exact. For about 3.6 hours at a go, give or take, when you factor in bus schedules.

Can I hear a hallelujah amen?!

It's only been two afternoons so far -- since Sean-Peter doesn't have preschool on Fridays -- and at first I felt a little bit like another mom I was acquainted with when we lived in Aviano, a very funny woman named Rhonda. She has three kids, and when her youngest started preschool she said for two weeks she didn't know what to do with herself. She'd pace and sit around and stare into space, then when her daughter got home she'd set her down and tell her, "You stay right here, baby, mamma's got some work to do".

The first afternoon was a little like that. I ate my lunch. In silence. I read a little in my latest library book in yet another attempt to actually finish a book I check out before I run out of renewals. (Girl Meets God. An engaging, intelligent read.) I even tried to take a nap -- until the phone rang. Then I ran down, breathless, sure that a bus had crashed or one of my kids was bleeding profusely after hurting themselves on the playground and was being rushed to the ER.

Then I cursed telemarketers. Then I prayed for forgiveness. Then I tried to be productive -- I even tried to blog. But I got caught up editing photos instead. About 30 minutes before the bus was due (and it was bound to be late the first day)(but you never know) it occurred to me that I could at least take a shower. Every time I went more than five minutes without checking the clock I panicked and was sure the bus was sitting outside, waiting for the slacker self-indulgent mom not even pretending to pine for her kids on the first day of school.

The bus that did end up being late. Forty-five minutes late. At least Olivia's was. Hers was scheduled to arrive before Sean-Peter's, and ended up coming 30 minutes after. Yes, they take different buses. Even though Sean-Peter's preschool managed an overflow problem by sending one class -- his class -- to a classroom in the kindergarten building, and Sean-Peter and Olivia's classrooms are right across the hall from each other. How cool is that?!

Thing is, the only reason Sean-Peter is even able to take the bus in the first place is because he is part of the Special Needs program. The regular "peer models" in the public preschool aren't even offered busing. So we are fortunate. Because, really, this whole busing thing rocks. Saves on gas. Saves on physical energy. Saves on mom getting out and doing those While I'm Out I Might As Well As errands that end up putting a hole in your pocket.

And that's not even mentioning that riding the bus is Sean-Peter's most favoritest thing of all. Truly. Last year? Every Wednesday Olivia and I would go pick him up from his morning preschool. At first because Olivia had gymnastics, and we would be late if we waited for the bus to get him home. And later because of Sean-Peter's newly scheduled OT (occupational therapy).

It didn't matter the reason. Every time, the second he saw me, he burst into tears. Why? Because he knew he wouldn't be getting on the bus. It was heartbreaking, but a little funny, too, to be honest. I always had to try not to laugh. I would tell his teacher, "I'm not feeling the love, here". For her part, she would try to remember to prepare him on those days. I think he finally got used to it -- or resigned himself -- about the last week of school. Here he is, two days ago, convinced that his bus must be coming because his sister just got on a bus and that is just all kinds of not fair.

(Doesn't he look so little?) He ended up settling himself down for what ended up being a bit of a wait. And a bit of a furrowing of the brow. Because there must be 50 buses that come through our neighborhood in any given five minutes. And none of them are his. Oh, yay! Finally, it's my turn!
He clearly remembers the routine. And the bus aide readily indulges me my photo.

Olivia's bus had been late, too, while they both waited, backpacks ready. After witnessing her brother getting on a bus last year, and never complaining (not much) that she wanted to ride the bus, too......this year, she is clearly in her element.

She is so ready for kindergarten. Earlier in the week at the open house she even informed her new teacher, "I am soooo a little smart."Indeed. And here she is, after I asked her to pose, showing off her backpack -- clearly, the most important part.
I love this photo, camera quality notwithstanding. It captures them so well. If you look real close you can even see the smattering of freckles on Olivia's nose.

Lest any of you think I am completely blowing off my oldest and oh-so-much wisest child, here is Conner, his first day of 7th grade.
Walking off to the bus stop, more than ten minutes before the scheduled time......wait, what's that? Hey, that was quick! Weren't you just here?
"No one else was at the bus stop."

Well, duh. I guess even almost-teenagers get the jitters.

I can't fully explain the length of this bloggy break. It was sort of intentional, sort of just happened. Combination of guests, traveling, fundraising commitment, sickness ... oh, and The Olympics. Anyone else a little obsessed? Have I ever mentioned how much I love my DVR? (And fast forwarding through commercials?) I can't tell you how many times I turned it on to a recording of the show, "just for background noise", only to find myself drawn to the couch and leaning on my elbows totally engaged in the competition: swimming; gymnastics; diving; track and field .... oh, the Back Stories just shoot me now. And how about that Michael Phelps, eh?

How fitting, after a blogging drought, to end by commemorating a young man who will go down in watery history. Whose mom will forever be remembered -- because tell me you saw her reaction to the race he won by .01 seconds?? Just in case you haven't gotten the email that's going around, here's a sneak-peak at "The First Photo of Michael Phelps", truly portending his future success:


Dan said...

As requested on your profile just letting you I stumbled in. Beautiful family!


Cherilyn said...

Welcome back! Missed you! Love the Michael Phelps picture!

Mrs. Staff Sergeant said...

Love the back to school pics!

I cant even imagine all of my kids being in school together. That's a loong way off for me! I bet it's wonderful to take a shower without being interrupted, lol.

Carmen said...

Yeah! She's back!

Jerilyn said...

Finally! Now I can get back to starting my day with your blog (no pressure!). Loved the pictures.

Therapy Mom said...

Yeah for back to school and yeah that they are on the same bus! Love all the photos and Olivia's school bus drama! Love the Olympics too! I'm gonna actually start getting sleep now. My average throughout the Olympics has been 5 hours! Way too many late nights watching gymnastics and beach volleyball!
I haven't seen the MP email...totally cracked up at the pict!
Welcome back to bloggyland!

Anonymous said...

Welcome back! I had gone into withdrawal mode. The photos are great, such beautiful children! They are fortunate to have such a talented Mom.

Jennifer said...

You continue to entertain me. I missed you in your absence. Thanks for the beautiful pics of your family. I hope hubby is home for all the excitment?

Betsy said...

Love the cartoon. I haven't seen that. Glad to know I'm not the only one who lets weeks, possibly even months, go by between blog posts.

the dragonfly said...

I can't imagine being without my son for a day. I just can't. Of course, he's only 14 months old, so I'm sure that will change in a few years. :)

Love that Michael Phelps cartoon. Too too funny. I enjoyed the Olympics so much...I can't believe how quickly they went by!

Glad you're back..


Scott and Hannah Reasoner said...

Yay, you're back! Love the kids back to school pics. Thanks for the update.

Tam said...

Great POST and with all the back to school Pictures!!!!! This school thing is breaking my heart though...with my little one in Pre K...I miss HIM so much during the DAY! LOL LOL YOUR little guy does look so so little being on the bus! HE is too cute!

Carolyn said...

What beautiful kids! Isn't the first day of school wonderful.... for them and Mom!

I live right by Wright Patt! It's a small world isn't it!?!?!?