Wednesday, August 31, 2011

He's a Barbie Girl

One afternoon last weekend, Madi and Charlie were playing in his bedroom. After about ten minutes, Madi came out to the kitchen and reported, "Mommy, my baby is sleeping.  Come see him!"

On that note, "her baby" began loudly calling out from afar.

She escorted me back to the bedroom to find this. "Her baby" was lying on the floor, all neatly tucked into her Barbie sleeping bag!  Ready for nap?  NOT!!!

Thursday, August 25, 2011


So...the second day of Kindergarten ended up being significantly smoother than the first.

Let me back up.

First of all, I must say that Madi handled the morning routine yesterday like a champ. We set her alarm clock for 6:30 and she came into our room, all dressed, at 6:32. She ate her breakfast bar (she picked them out) and was ready to go with time to spare.

We were disappointed that Daddy had to be away on business for a couple of days, so he missed out on seeing her off for her big day. I know that had to kill him. Thankfully, Madi's friend, Ami Mei, and her mom, Carmen parked at our house to walk to school together. The girls enjoyed having a friend along.

When we showed up at the classroom, we were told by the teacher that she had never received a roster with Madi's name on it. She also mentioned that the class was overflowing and there was a possibility that some students may be moved. I was confused. She was confused. And I think Madi was a little confused, too. Afterall, there was no cubby assigned for her belongings and no hook for her to hang her backpack.

Ms. Maldonado graciously offered to keep Madi in the classroom while I attempted to sort things out with the office. This was not the "warm and fuzzy" first day of school that I was expecting. I guess that's what I get for expecting, huh?

I went to the office to find that Madi's registration forms were not to be found, though I had hand-delivered all of the paperwork back in May. After several minutes of speculation, they sent me on my way with a clean registration form and insisted that I return it as soon as possible with accompanying "proof of address" documentation.

I left the office feeling more confused than before and extremely frustrated--on the brink of tears, actually. Charlie and I walked back to the classroom, with an updated roster for the teacher, and found Madi, like such a big girl, combing through baskets of books over by the sofa. She handled it all in stride--so typical for our extraordinary daughter. It was I who was boiling inside.

We walked back home, and Carmen entertained Charlie while I scurried to complete the registration form. Half an hour later, Carmen went on her way and Charlie and I walked back to the school to submit the new form. The office staff continued to tell me what additional paperwork was needed, as I continued to tell them what paperwork I'd already submitted. You get the point.

Finally, one of the women had an epiphany.

"She's in Kindergarten?" she asks. (sounding somewhat perplexed)
"Yes." I reply with frustration.
"Oh...I was looking in the Pre-K folders!"


At that point, I really didn't care about the mistake--I just didn't want to have to go through the process of obtaining more blue and yellow forms from our pediatrician, etc. etc. etc.

Charlie and I left the school, hopeful that our paperwork would be found. Of course, the experience wouldn't have been complete if we didn't get caught in the rain on our way home...

Over the course of the day, the anxiety of the morning's events began to subside. It's really no big deal in the scheme of things, right??  Charlie woke from his nap in perfect time for the walk back to collect Jie Jie (big sister). The walker pick up section was chaos, but I really wasn't expecting much from our tax dollars by that time.


I loved seeing Madi turn that corner at pick up.  I could barely wait to ask her a zillion questions. But, like she's prone to do, she shut me down and kept very quiet about her day. I knew that getting this information will take time and some very covert prodding.  I was able to get a drip of info here and there yesterday afternoon. At one point, Madi said to me, "Mommy, if I can stay home from school, I'll take naps!"

Finally, last night before bed, Madi had a total meltdown when I told her that movie night and popcorn had to wait until Friday. As she was sobbing, she defiantly cried in her little voice, "I don't want to go to school! I don't like winter! I want summer!"  The reality was setting in.  No more lazy days. No more late nights. No more hanging around and playing with Charlie. The schedule's on.

Back to today...Madi was a bit more sluggish this morning than yesterday, but she didn't put up a fight, thank goodness. We did manage to leave on time (barely). Today, due to questionable weather, we drove to a park closer to the school, and walked from there.

And we were thrilled to find that Madi had been assigned her own cubby and backpack hook!!! I helped her unpack her stuff and she was totally comfortable with a place to call her own, so I knew that it was my time to go. I kissed her goodbye and off we went to the office...

...where they had found all of our forms.

We went to the "Boo Hoo" tea for a short time, but Charlie was pretty antsy, so we didn't stay for long.

Oh...and of course, the experience wouldn't have been complete if we didn't get caught in the rain on our way home...again...

Daddy, please come home!! And bring wine with you!!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Missing my baby

Will this sadness ever cease?

Will I forever think of milestone missed after milestone missed?

Tonight it finally hit me that Daniel would have started Pre-K 3 this week. He would have started going to the same sweet preschool that Madi went to. And he would have loved every minute of it.

I think I've been suppressing this for a couple of days, which would explain why I'm an overwhelmed mess right now.

Not to mention that my baby girl started Kindergarten today.

Tomorrow's another day.

And I promise to post something happy.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Negotiator

I have been in discussions with Madi about caring for our cats lately. She's at an age where she could handle feeding them, and I thought perhaps she could use that as a chore to make some money.

Tonight before bed, she noticed that they needed a food fill-up. As we tended to their bowls, the following discussion took place:

Madi:  "You know, Mommy, I could start taking care of the cats for you."

Mommy:  "Oh yeah, Madi?  What would you do?" (trying to feel out the scope of the position in her mind)

Madi:  "Ten."

Mommy:  "Ten dollars? I was thinking more like five per week, Madi."


Madi: "Seven!"  (She shouts desperately as she chases me down the hallway)

I wish her Kindergarten teacher good luck this year...

Monday, August 22, 2011

Future Hand & Foot Model


Took Madi for a manicure and pedicure this weekend to celebrate her big year. It amazes me that every color looks fabulous on her gorgeous skin tone!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Open House

The last few days before Madi's Kindergarten open house had resulted in much build-up. Most families we spoke with had received post cards informing them of who their teacher would be. We received nothing.  For once in my uptight, need-to-know life--I was totally calm about the whole situation despite the lack of information I was holding.

We strolled over to Banyan at 10:00 a.m. sharp this morning and headed into the over-crowded cafeteria to search for Madi's name on the class lists. Murphy's Law prevailed, and her name was not to be found.

As though this were an expected outcome (given our last name), we walked over to the office to resolve the dilemma. We had requested a particular teacher for Madi. She's the "veteran" K teacher--the K director, actually, with many, many years under her belt and an awesome reputation to boot. When we toured her classroom in the spring, we could practically see Madi thriving under her tutelage. Lately, however, we started second-guessing our decision and wondering if we did the right thing by requesting anyone at all.

But we learned this morning that Madi did not get her. Who we ended up with is simply amazing to us, and several months ago we would have never dreamed this would happen.  Our neighbor, Linda Maldonado, has a beautiful, sweet and talented daughter named, Charde, whom we watched grow up. She went to Banyan Creek school as a child. In fact, she was taught by the "veteran" K teacher I mentioned. Charde went to college to become a teacher, and literally months ago--she was looking for a job.

Charde went back to Banyan for a visit and ended up getting hired as the first Banyan Creek student to become a teacher at the school teaching gifted 3rd grade classes. We were so thrilled that she would be back in the neighborhood and that she would be teaching in our home school!  In her heart, however, it was Kindergarten that she wanted to be teaching.

In a last-minute class shuffling, some changes were made at the school, and Charde landed her dream job--the Kindergarten class she had dreamed of.  We were so happy for her with this wonderful news, but our hopes of having Madi in her class were slim, since we had requested another leader.

And mysteriously, the Good Lord had a different plan for Madi--our request had not been granted. This morning, we received the joyous news that Charde (Ms. Maldonado) will be Madi's teacher.  This news brought tears to my eyes--a totally unexpected reaction. I love the surprises in life (the good ones, anyway). Jimmy and I both feel relieved and pretty confident that Madi will have a great year.

Oh...and I had to promise Jimmy that I will try not to drive Ms. Maldonado crazy...

Saturday, August 13, 2011


Yep.  Already.

Back to school starts the week after next.

I think we're probably late to the "Twinkle Toes" party, but Madi was certain these were the shoes she wanted for the big "K" school year. She had two stipulations--they had to be purple, and they had to light up. Mommy had a different stipulation--they had to be on sale!

We finally found the "perfect" pair the other day. They met all criteria except they do not light up. Madi settled. On the way home, she declared, "Mommy...I think it's good they don't light up. It would probably distract the other children in class."  So proud of her reasoning...

We have been busy gathering school supplies from Banyan Creek's list this past week. We found an adorable backpack to fill up with her required "stuff". It certainly helps bring some excitement into something that she's a bit apprehensive about--new school, new teacher, new friends. Our "big girl" has actually been making noises that she would like to be a baby again. We know she'll be fine once she gets in there. It's just a lot to think about for her.

Jimmy and I remember the good old days of shopping for school for our own school supplies. Back then, pencil boxes were made of cardboard, and lunchboxes were made of metal!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

An Early End to Vacation

Mid-morning on Thursday, we headed over for our weekend get-away in Marco Island. We thoughtfully planned our departure around Charlie's nap.  Of course, it wouldn't be natural if we didn't have to turn back to the house three times for various things we forgot (and to go potty one more time).

Thanks to Madi's desire to do everything in one day, we managed to go to the beach and get seashells, swim at the pool, visit the gift shop, eat dinner out at the restaurant, and watch the sunset from our balcony.

Sadly, our vacation was cut short by an alarming accident early Friday morning. Put it this way--we won't be winning any "Parents of the Year" awards.

Shamefully, we left a cup of hot coffee within Charlie's reach. Being the sweetheart that he is, he attempted to deliver it to Jimmy and ended up spilling it on himself. You can only imagine the panic when we heard his blood-curdling screams. THANK GOD for his long-sleeved pajama shirt, which Jimmy ripped off of him immediately. We put him in a cold tub and decided that we needed to seek further medical attention because we were really concerned about his eyes. We weren't sure if they were red because of crying or if they were actually burned by the coffee.

In our panic, we called the front desk and they arranged for a Marriott driver to take us to a nearby urgent-care center.  Unfortunately, the doctor on duty was new and really wasn't able to give us much help other than to take Charlie to a pediatric emergency room. He, too, was concerned about his eyes and wasn't sure how to treat them. The nurses there were a great help. They tended to his 2nd degree burns with cream and bandages, and gave us signs to look for in case of respiratory distress.

Since the closest pedi-emergency room was in Fort Myers, which was 1.5 hours away, we decided it best to pack our bags and head back home. Thanks to the double dose of Motrin (one from us and one from the clinic), Charlie was totally content on the drive home and even fell asleep for an hour.  We drove straight to Joe DiMaggio's Pedi-ER and they confirmed that NOTHING was wrong with his eyes:)  The redness was totally due to crying. THANK GOD once more. The burns on his back/shoulder appeared much better by then with a few blisters. So much more damage could have been done...

We felt terrible to leave our vacation (for Madi's sake, really), but we felt worse about Charlie and knew that he'd be much more comfortable at home. And we were right. He was so happy to be home that you'd never know anything was wrong with him. Because Madi suffered the greatest disappointment, we have promised her a do-over to Marco within the next couple of weeks.

So, now we have to "up" our security level in the house with the realization that nothing is safe with our little guy. He is truly a "Curious George."  We feel SO BLESSED that Charlie is okay.

Today, we breathe a sigh of relief and thank the Lord for our wake-up call that could have ended up in tragedy.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

What's in a Name

Seems like everyone's been referring to Charlie as "Daniel" lately.

Do we mind?

Not. One. Bit.

We don't find it appalling.
Or careless.
Or mean.
Or stupid.

We find it...well...
Very, very heartwarming.

Hearing his name from others reminds us of the mark he made on this Earth.
On our friends and family.
And we're thankful for it, actually.

We will certainly never forget sweet Daniel.
We hope no one else does either.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Bug Bites

The kids were like a buffet for the mosquitoes over the weekend. I can blame myself for failing to put repellent on them. Madi must have ten red, swollen bites on each leg.

After watching Madi scratch at her poor legs all day long for relief, I applied some Benedryl cream to the bites last night.

As I rubbed her legs, I shook my head and told Madi that I was very angry. "At who?" she asked. "At the mosquitoes." I replied in disgust. 

"Why did God make mosquitoes?" she asked. "I don't know." I replied...again in disgust.

Madi suddenly became very annoyed with me and said, "MOMMY!"  "How would YOU feel if you were just a little bug and you had no food???!!!"

She sure puts things in a different light sometimes.

"'re not mad at the mosquitoes?" I asked.

"No." she responded quite adamantly.