Friday, January 30, 2009

Movie night

We had a nice relaxing evening this evening. We ordered Chinese and then while we waited for that, we ran to the grocery store and picked up some ice cream. We're having another "chilly spell" so it was nice to get home, eat supper, and then put our pajamas on and watch a movie. As you might have already guessed by the pictures above, we watched the original Disney Cinderella. Kevin had never actually seen the original Cinderella and it had been years since I had seen it. Kaelyn's favorite part (before she fell asleep) was when the mice sang "Cinderelly, Cinderelly". Something about that struck her funny and we had to watch it twice. She giggled both times. I think my favorite part was where her clothes change into the ball gown and I'm pretty certain Kevin's favorite part was when they said "They lived happily ever after" and it was over. :) I remember watching it when I was a kid and my siblings and I thought it was hilarious when the stepsisters sang/played (rather off key) "Sing sweet nightingale". For some reason, it wasn't as funny to me now as I remembered it to be as a kid. Ya' gotta' love the two "lead" mice Gus and Jack, though I could only understand half of what they were saying. If you remember, the movie was made in the 50s I believe (though they did a lot of restoration on it when they released it on DVD) so the humor, special effects, and music are all quite different than what we are used to nowadays though I'm sure it had some of the coolest "technology tricks" at that time. I told Kevin that it was kind of nice to watch a movie that doesn't have any of the number of things that [even kids] movies nowadays have as far as "adult" humor, things implied or even subtle [secular] messages. I'm not sure how nice he thought it was but overall, we all had an enjoyable evening. Happy weekend to you all!
P. S. All of your comments on my previous post really made my day and made me feel a lot better so thanks for taking the time to leave some encouraging words!

Day 2 of school

This morning went about as "unsmoothly" as yesterday went smooth. Kaelyn seemed anxious to go to school and even ran in to bed last night when we told her she had to go to bed and then she could go to school. She was fine till we got into her classroom and then because she knew what was coming, she started clinging to me. When I left, the teacher was holding her and she was struggling to get free and she was SCREAMING and saying "Mommy, Mommy". Not a fun start to the day and I didn't feel very good when I left but after I walked out and around the corner of the building I could already hear her screaming subsiding to crying and I'm sure she will be fine once she gets busy. So, hopefully we won't have to go through that too many days 'cause that's really hard on a mommy.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Kaelyn's big day

After a long process that started MONTHS ago (screening, hearing screening, evaluation, etc.) Kay-Kay started school today at Jensen Beach Elementary in a special pre-k class that focuses on kids with autistic symptoms. There are 10 students in her classroom (counting her) along with the main teacher and two full-time aides. Along with the other classroom activities, she will also spend time in the sensory lab and with the speech pathologist. Kevin and I snuck out of the classroom while she was playing after seeing the classroom and being shown the routines that they do. She spotted us when her whole class was walking down the hallway and we were just leaving the office after doing all the enrollment stuff. We felt really badly because we heard her start crying but she did fine after that. She burst into tears when she saw me at the end of the day but other than that her teacher said that she didn't cry at all and she transitioned from one activity to another with all the other kids just fine. Her teacher said she did great which of course is a huge relief! She will be attending 5 days a week just like a regular school schedule. It was very hard to "send her off" to school like that and believe me, I've spent plenty of time crying but Kevin and I both feel like this is the best thing for her right now. Our hope and intention is that she will catch up on areas where she is behind and also learn how to act in a school setting so that by the time she is school age, we can have her in a [regular] Christian school. She got up so early this morning (she has to be there by 7:50 every morning and it's a 20 minute drive without traffic), that I thought she would probably fall asleep on the drive home but she didn't. She chattered ALL THE WAY home. Some of the things she was saying I wasn't sure exactly what she was talking about, but she was sure animated. I'm sure she will still have some rough days in the next couple of weeks but it was a huge relief to have this first day go so well. I debated sharing all this but as you all know, my blog has never been one of those blogs that portrays just the perfect parts of our life! :) I'm proud of how well she did and thought you all might enjoy seeing some pictures we took this morning.

She looks like she's "reflecting" on life in this pic.
doesn't she? :) I'm pretty sure that wasn't the
case! :)

All ready to go with her princess "pack-pack"
on her back. (It only had a change of clothes
in it.)

She looks so big here in such a little way if you
know what I mean.

I thought this picture was quite cute!

She entertained herself by sitting in all the little chairs
around the classroom while we got a "tour" and talked
with her teacher.
The three of us. She wasn't really interested in
having her picture taken here if you can't tell.

This was the toy Miss Marilyn got her interested in
when we were ready to leave. The other kids had
gone to breakfast with the 2 aides.
I was going to take a picture when she came out of
the classroom at the end of the day but since she
burst into tears as she walked out, I decided not to.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Goin' places (Kaelyn and her car)

I've decided it's time to come back to blogland. I haven't had much heart or inspiration to blog lately but I am making myself come back anyway. I don't have anything too exciting to post but I might post some disney pictures from December sometime soon.
This upcoming week is a big week for us as Kaelyn will be starting "school" this week. It is actually a special class that will help deal with some of her issues. This will hopefully help get her on track so by the time she's old enough for school, we'll be able to put her in a regular Christian school. I may have pictures to post of that later on in the week. Meanwhile, emotions are running high for me in regards to that so say a little prayer for us as it crosses your mind.
Here are a couple of snapshots from a couple of weeks ago:

I went to take some stuff to a local consignment shop after
doing some cleaning and they had this car. We have quite
a bit of store credit from the last bunch of stuff I took and
Kay has always loved these cars when she has been
places where they have one. It was less than $20. It has
a little bit of wear and tear but considering what these
cost new, I thought it was worth the price.

They pulled the trailer out of the lot next to us and
right now it's just an empty lot with a concrete slab
so it's a perfect place for her to ride around.

I laugh every time I watch her. She has a tricycle but she
hasn't learned how to pedal it though we've tried and tried
to teach her. It would be so much easier to pedal the tricylce
than to have to propel herself along with her feet in this car
but she doesn't seem bothered at all at how slow her
progress is as she scoots herself along. I will try to get
some pictures to post later of her little pink shoes
walking along underneath. I don't know why it
amuses me so much to see but anyway...
She has even had some of the other kids and me to push
her in it which she's okay with but she seems to prefer
to just "shuffle" along at her own speed.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bittersweet Memories - In memory of Patricia Miller Bigger

Let me first say in regards to this post that it is mostly for my own sake. There will probably only be 2 or 3 others who read my blog who this will mean anything to. As most of you know, many people are in shock and grieving at the loss of Patricia (Miller) Bigger and her two children Caroline, who was seven, and Anthony, who was four. Many people have posted recent pictures of the kids and the family on blogs,facebook, etc. I am going to post a slideshow of old pictures. When my family moved to Thomasville, NC many years ago, Tricia became one of my first and eventually best friends through highschool and on into my first couple years of college. Because we went to a REALLY SMALL Christian school, she and I were the only girls in our class in tenth, eleventh, and twelth grades. However, all of the kids in our highschool were quite close because it was such a small school. After we graduated from HS, we both came down to Hobe Sound the same year and lived on the same hall in the dorm. I was in Tricia's wedding but as time went by, we eventually went our own ways. I had thought a lot about her in the last couple years and actually joined a social networking site because I discovered that she was on it. Just since July, we had re-connected just a little bit and chatted back and forth a bit and she told me that she followed by blog regularly. One of the last comments I had posted on her page back in Dec. was about a dream I had just had. I had dreamed that she and Brent and the kids were in Hobe Sound visiting and I was so excited to see them and get to talk with her. I kind of thought that maybe we would eventually get together at some point and there would be more conversations, etc. So while my extreme grief and this post might seem strange to some of you since we were not close for the past several years, I can't help but remember that Tricia WAS one of the best friends I've had even though my fondest memories are from years ago. Not only was Trish a close friend but her sisters were kind of like my own sisters back when we were still in highschool. Knowing how close all 4 of my sisters and I am now, and how close the 4 Miller girls were, I can only imagine the pain Lydia, Sylvia, and Julie are feeling as well as her husband and the rest of the families. As I sit and watch the slideshow (as I always do when I get ready to post one) I am in tears again and I can't believe she's really gone.
I have gone back through old pictures and scanned in a lot of photos from high school and my early college years. While I regret not knowing about Tricia's children and life recently better, I have lots of good memories of the wonderful person she was back then and I know still was. As Mrs. Miller told me Tuesday evening at the memorial service, I'm sure Tricia would have been so happy to have so many of her friends from over the years together again. I guess this is my own personal goodbye to Trish and my little tribute to who she was and the great memories I have of a wonderful friend.
P. S.
I had a hard time deciding which pictures to use since I had so many of the two of us but you will see pictures of Jr./Sr. banquets, graduation, and many other school events. We used to joke about being Old maids and traveling around playing the guitar and accordian so when we had a chance to dress up for Wacky Wednesday our Sr. year of high school, we went with that idea - thus the awful picture of us and our sisters in horrible clothes. We both played the piano and loved to play duets as well as imitate southern gospel singers with our sisters. In college, we had tons of fun with a whole group of friends as you will see. That probably won't explain what was going on in all the pictures but that might give you a better idea. If you have seen the movie "Beaches" about two friends, you will understand my choice for the first song of the slideshow. It was taken from the movie soundtrack. The second song is self-explanatory.
Click to play Bittersweet memories
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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Home sweet [warm] home

We flew out of Syracuse, NY on New Years. While I felt sad leaving family, after a week away from home, it was kind of nice to get home. Rach and John were on the same flights we were on so we left at the same time and we all hung out together in Charlotte during our layover. Kevin loses his gold status with US Airways in February but he was able to get us bumped up to first class for free one more time. We had an uneventful flight home, which is always nice. When we got into West Palm, Kevin and John went to get the cars (Kevin from the long term satellite parking and John from the motel they stayed at the night before they flew out.) We long ago discovered that it's much easier for Kevin to catch the bus and bring the car back rather than trying to fold the stroller and load everything on the shuttle bus that goes to the long term parking lot. Normally, Kevin helps me get all our stuff out to the curb and then Kay and I just wait outside for him. Since Rach was there, she graciously offered to help me get all our suitcases off the belt while Kevin went to catch the bus to save some waiting time. We had decided Rach would stand with the bags by the luggage belt, Kevin would have to stay with the car out by the curb and I would haul our four suitcases plus carry- ons and the stroller and car seat out to the curb once Kevin got there. Well, as only Rach and I could do, we decided that we could manage to move all our stuff little by little till we gradually had it outside without being more than a few steps away from the luggage at a time. That way, if John got back first, Rach could go ahead and leave. The only problem was there were about 3 of those pesky baggage guys with their carts there wanting to help us and for some reason they could not seem to understand why we didn't think we needed help moving 13 suitcases, 7 carry-on bags and the stroller with a tired 3 year old in it. We told them our husbands were coming - which WAS true. We DIDN'T tell them we were too cheap to pay $2 a bag just to get our bags taken a few yards out to the curb. Now you may not find this story funny at all as I am relaying it to you but trust me, at 12:30 in the morning, it was hysterically funny. (Besides, even if no one else thinks it's funny, I imagine Rach will giggle about it all over again 'cause I'm getting tickled just remembering how silly we looked!) We stood there for a few minutes until most of the guys had left but one. When he was looking the other way, I grabbed about 3 suitcases and made a dash forward about 15 inches. I then ran back, grabbed another suitcase and the stroller, Rach grabbed the remaining stuff and we dashed the 15 inches while never taking our eyes off the suitcases we had already moved. We finally managed to slink by the baggage guy if you can call 3 people running across the airport with 100 bags sneaking (or slinking)! We stood there for a few minutes looking around sheepishly to see how many people were watching us. Rach said, "Let's go for the bricks now". That was where the carpet ended and the brick tiling started near the doorway. After 2 or 3 sprints back and forth, we were about to the door. This lady was sitting on a bench by the door and she was like, "Do you all need some help?" By that point, we were one more short dash from being outside so I thanked her but told her we were just trying to get them outside. However, that made both Rach and I sheepish and embarrassed enough that we went from chuckling a little to giggling so hard that it was hard to run with 5 suitcases apiece because we were laughing so hard. With one final burst of speed, I hauled my first load out, dashed back, met Rachel with the rest of the stuff and we sprinted to the finish line - all bags safely by the curb. Just as we got outside, John was pulling up so they loaded their stuff and just as they were pulling away Kevin pulled up so it all worked out perfectly.
It was quite late by the time we got home but Kaelyn came alive. She had only napped about an hour total the whole day but when we got home and she saw the new toys she had left behind on Christmas day (especially her Little Einsteins rocket), she was not ready to go to bed. We never do this but she was so heartbroken about having to go to bed that we let her take the Rocket and toys to bed. We figured she would be out of it in no time and then we could move them. She stayed awake and played with them till Kevin went in later and took them. By that point (probably close to 2:00 AM), she was so tired that she laid down without protesting as soon as Kevin took them. And so ends our Christmas travels story. But... I have a whole CD full of Disney World at Christmas time. Don't worry though, I've already decided I should probably spare you all and not post them.

Minnie didn't really fit into a bag or suitcase easily
so she got to ride first class with Kaelyn.

She fit in the seat w/Kaelyn with room to spare.

Tired travellers.

She was so excited to get back to her new toy!

Christmas in Massena

We arrived in Massena to my parents house the Sunday evening after Christmas. We had a ton of fun. We kept busy with shopping, a pizza hut trip, an afternoon of scrapbooking, ping-pong, air hockey, etc.

Austin and Bryce playing in the snow.

There were only "left over" piles of snow when we first
got there but by the time we left there was a light blanket
of snow covering the ground.

Kay and Emilee eating during our mall outing.

Grabbing a bite to eat before doing some shopping.

Kay-Kay and Emilee hanging out together at the mall.

All the "shoppers" met up with the rest of the family
at Pizza Hut that evening. Nana kept the little ones
entertained by reading one of Kaelyn's books while
we waited for food.

Emilee and Kay's matching p.j.s from Nana

All four grandkids in their p.j. s from Nana

Lynette's family got Kaelyn this Pooh bath set with
a swing and slide and several of the characters. It's
perfect given Kay's love of little "figurines" and the way
she loves to make them "slide" down things and splash
in water (much to her parents dismay at times). She
has played and played with it - at my parents and since
we have been home. She and Emilee had a blast when
they discovered they could play with it in the water.

And this is what some of the guys did while the rest of
us had gone shopping Monday. They used the snow
that had been plowed from the church parking lot to
make the little hill and the "walls" were made using a
sand bucket. I thought it looked pretty cool!

Monday, January 5, 2009

More Christmas photos

The pictures posted below are pictures from when we were in Rockwood (NY) at Kevin's parent's. The first two are Kaelyn with this gigantic Minnie that Kevin's uncle got her. I hadn't seen one like it and we all thought it was pretty cool. (I know that Disney world sells huge ones like that but I'm sure they are a ridiculous price in the parks.) The other pictures are of Kaelyn playing with snow. Notice I said playing WITH snow not in the snow. See, we were outside the church Sun. morning getting ready to leave. Kaelyn didn't even have her coat on but a bunch of kids were throwing snowballs and she was all excited about the snow on the ground so she went right over and started picking it up. She played happily for the next few minutes while Kevin and I stood talking. That was probably the closest she was going to get to playing in snow since both her parents were too big of wimps to feel like getting out in it this year. Actually, it wasn't really just that we didn't want to be outside, it just seemed like we were always trying to get somewhere or we had something we were supposed to be doing so we just didn't take the time to get out and spend time walking around/playing in the snow like we did last year.

This was probably her favorite gift of all the ones she
opened at her [Mosenthin] grandparent's house. Good
choice Uncle David!

Ever so daintily getting some snow. :)

Holding her little snow ball.
And back for more - seemingly oblivious to
the fact that it was stinkin' cold!
And I finally got her to turn and show me her snowball.

Friday, January 2, 2009

"I'm in a New York [frozen] State of Mind"

A few of you have been asking me when I am going to do another weather report. Well, since I have not been heroically braving any hurricanes recently, I decided to do my next weather report while I was enduring extreme frigid temperatures in New York over the holiday season. I AM NOT complaining by the way for those of you who are family members and might be tempted to be offended by my little jokes about the horrible weather. As you know, I would brave ANY weather to spend the holidays with you all. Besides, every since about November, I have desperately wanted to be wearing sweaters, and sweatshirts, and long sleeve shirts and there have been very few days in FL where I could. I was bummed out every time I went outside and it was 80 degrees outside. However, once I got to NY, not only could I wear a sweater, I could've worn THREE sweaters and not been too hot I think! In case my weather report gives you the [wrong] impression that I was just hating the cold weather, I actually like to be in the snow and cold weather - for about a week around Christmas. Although I must admit I was thinking more like 30s or 40s cold when I was wishing for cold weather pre-Christmas not zeros and teens cold. Anyway, for those of you who have been waiting for another infamous weather report, here it is:
P.S. You will see it black out for a second at one point due to editing. I just wanted to let you know it's not your computer, it's the video itself.

Click to play Winter Weather Advisory
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