Feb 26, 2009

Lunch with the Teacher

Tate's teacher will do interesting things to get the kids to do homework, be quite, etc. Her latest thing was if parents signed the homework folder every night for a week, their names could be put in a hat and on Friday she would pick a name out and that student would get to pick three friends to have lunch with Ms. Pride in the classroom. Isn't it awesome that lunch with the teacher is such a great prize to a 2nd grader. I love it.

Anyway, Tate's name was not picked but her friend Abbie did pick her as one of the three friends to come have lunch. What I found so amusing was the lunch conversation. They all started sharing Disney stories. We have only been once and it was amazing. So Tate was telling Scott all about this Friday after school and he asked her what story did she share. She smiled and said, "THE SQUIRREL ATTACK." Of all the wonderful things we did...eat at the castle (mucho money), roller coasters for the first time, an amazing hotel with a volcano in the pool...and my did tells everyone about the squirrels.

So here is the story...We were at Epcot. We had gone on Soarin', Tate's favorite ride, and were now walking through the different countries. The girls were in the strollers (yes even Tate) looking at the buildings and people in country garb. It was time for lunch, so we stopped at the McDonald's for nuggets for the kids and parked ourselves by the lake that the countries are centered around. The ducks and geese are very tame, obviously fed by more tourists than you can imagine, so I had my eye on them eyeing the french fries. Who knew you had to watch out for the squirrels. Before my eyes, a daring squirrel was crawling up the backpack on the back of one of our strollers. He was trying to get inside since it was open. I looked at Scott and told him to do something. Luckily the girls were not in the strollers then so they came over by me and Scott tried to stomp and yell but that squirrel did not care. It was hilarious. He realized there was nothing to be had in the Brennan backpack and went on his merry way but goodness it was interesting. I felt like he was going to start talking to me in Eddie Murphy's voice. Doesn't he do all the animal movies?

I just find it very interesting that when asked about Disney that is the story Tate chose to share. It was memorable, and it just goes to show that the little things count just as much as the big things we do.

Feb 19, 2009


I can't stand to do homework with Tate...most of the time. It really has nothing to do with Tate. I just think it is the way my mind works and why I teach high school. It is not my thing, and I think today I just needed to say that outloud.

It took two hours, lots of tears, whining, and raised voices for her to write 12 super sentences today. The sun was shining and I wanted to go outside, but twelve sentences that each had to start with a new word and include a spelling word became a huge rock on my back.

The only light in the whole experience was Tate's use of the word torch. I had gone outside with Paige to let her ride the car on the sidewalk. No need for her to not enjoy the sunshine. When I came back inside, I looked over Tate's sentences. For torch she had written....My dog Scout torches my dog Jackson in the backyard every day. I smirked (inside) and asked her if she knew what a torch was. She said no, so we talked about the Olympics and Scooby Doo carrying a torch through a haunted house. But how hilarious is that!

Feb 18, 2009

A few lessons learned

First, I mentioned swimming lessons to Paige (who has refused lessons--and when she says she won't do something she means it). She made that wrinkled face, so I thought of a story I have heard a million times about my grandfather. My Dad often told me growing up about how his Dad didn't know how to swim and while fishing he fell off a boat and almost drowned. I don't remember if my Dad, who can't swim either, witnessed this and could not help or was just told about it. Anyway, I toned the story down so as not to scare Paige but explained that my grandfather could not swim and got really scared and barely made it back to the boat he was one one day. I told her I didn't want her to ever feel like she could not get to the side of a pool or a boat. She has been a ball of questions ever since. "Mom, what did he do. Mom, how did he get back to the boat. Why didn't he like swimming? What did Pop Pop do? Is he OK? Where is he now?" Anyway, I asked again...will you try lessons...and again...the wrinkled face.

Second, Friday night I watched Chronicles of Narnia with the girls on the Disney channel. I questioned if the movie would get a little too scary but it seemed OK. Disney channel right? It was great until the king lion gets his mane sheered and then he is stabbed by the witch. Paige was not phased because she is no where near the TV junky that Tate is. Tate's eyes almost bugged out. In an instant I realized it was a little too much. We talked about it and she seemed OK. By the way, the lion came back to life...thank goodness. That night she had trouble falling asleep. She said every time she closed her eyes she saw the lion being hurt. We talked more about movies and real life and books and real life and that seemed to work. She hasn't mentioned it since, but I guess we will hold off on watching ET.

Moral is...snap decisions to tell stories or watch movies you have never seen before with your kids can lead to more harm than good. Hopefully they are not scarred!

Feb 14, 2009

Heart Day

What an awesome day! Some Saturdays seem endless as I try to think of things for the girls and I to do while Scott is working. Today being Valentine's Day, I came up with a project that they both thought was a great idea and it sailed us through the day. We planned a "special" dinner for Daddy. After getting baths and dressing in our red for the day, we headed to Wally World (my pet name for Wal-Mart) and got brownies, wine, and other odds and ends for our dinner. We delivered leftover neighborhood valentines and got home to start getting ready. We put the leaf in the table and cut out place mats from felt. We put the flowers Scott gave us on the table and added candles around them. Tate made Scott a menu for dinner with only one choice: calzones. Scott had mentioned steaks or going for calzones at our neighborhood Pizza place (great place!). I let the girls pick and they picked calzones. So calzones, salad, water, wine, and a surprise dessert (a heart brownie I attempted to write "We Love You" in powered sugar--attempted being the key word) made it on the menu.

About 30 minutes before Scott got home, the girls got into dress up clothes. When I gave them the idea, I intended for us all to "get fancy," but they came down a few minutes later looking like Sleeping Beauty and Snow White. Scott came home and Tate took him upstairs to wash his hands so I could quickly put out the salad. Once we were all seated, Paige was our waitress bringing the water and giving Scott his menu. The girls had apple juice in wine glasses which was the hit of the night. They cleared the table and acted absolutely perfect. At the end of dessert, I asked them what they loved about our family (thanks Laura for the idea!). Tate said she loved that we spend time together a lot. Great answer! Paige said she loved me and Daddy. Who could ask for more!

After such a wonderful day, all I can say is what holiday can tomorrow be so that we can do it again?

Feb 10, 2009

Like Cats and Dogs

This morning I was prepared to write a depressing note in here about the girls fighting for the last few days but luckily today has been much better. I fought like cats and dogs with my brother. We had knock down drag out fights. We locked each other out of the house. Tate and Paige aren't like that. They never get physical. If they do, it is an accident. They are whiners and toy stealers. Their big conflict is one wants to be the boss and the other one does to. When it gets bad, I tell them to take a break and play separately for a while. This never works. They just keep trying to talk the other one into doing it their way. Anyway, today was better, and I have to hold on to that for today. It comes in waves, and right now Tate is tracked out so they have had a lot of together time. Tomorrow is a new day! Wish us luck. We are going rollerskating as a family after I get off work!

Feb 6, 2009

Circus anyone?

Scott took the girls to the circus last night! Don't tell him, but I'm calling it his man date. He went with a friend from work who took his three nieces. So just imagine...two men and five little ladies. I was sad to miss it, but I did take Tate while Scott stayed home with Paige when she was just a year old. It was his turn.

He took them early so they could go down on the floor and watch the clowns. They even got to be a part of a juggling act. Paige actually went out there on her own! Big news there! Since it was her first time, Scott got a kick out of her comments. She was very concerned when she saw the elephants. She said, "Daddy, the elephants are inside. That is not right." Just as they came out the horses came out too. She looked at him with complete shock wondering why all the animals were inside. She thought they should be outside like at the zoo. I really think she only expected to see the clowns and acrobats, so animals were a surprise.

They got cotton candy, popcorn, a horse for Tate (to match the one she got when I took her), and a white tiger for Paige (nothing like another stuffed animal to add to our house). It was a late night...after 10 I think when they got home. Gotta love those childhood memories. They couldn't stop telling me about it!

Feb 3, 2009

The Mommy Touch

Saturday night Tate was invited to a sleepover for Ella's birthday. She had a ball doing nails, getting a mud mask, and playing a game to win fingernail polish. Everything went perfect until it was time to settle down and watch a movie. Tate loves her house, her bed, and her Mommy and Daddy. She called to say goodnight around 8, but I could tell she was not sure about staying the night. Just my voice was making her want to come home even as upbeat as I was trying to be. She stayed for the movie but did call again at 11 for me to come get her. She tried so hard but just wanted to be home. Gotta love that! Anyway, this experience made me think about the Mommy touch that we all know we have when our kids are babies. My nephew Connor loves his Mommy. Her touch instantly soothes him. I saw him on Saturday, and I watched all the other moms try to console him but that boy is smart. He knew who his mom was and she had a special touch. As moms we all have that special pat, special hold, special song that will calm our children. When Tate was small, I would walk around (no sitting allowed) and bounce her a certain way that would make her stop crying. No one else had that bounce..my bounce. A little singing of "You are my Sunshine" never hurt either. Paige liked to be over my shoulder and I would pat her diaper. Scott seemed to find success with singing "Going to the Chapel" until the girls got old enough to ask him to stop singing. Whatever it is, moms have something special that soothes their children. That is why we are moms. I miss that mom touch. I don't get to use it as much now, so I guess that is why I recognized it the other night when she was sad. As they get older, I wonder what my Mommy touch will be. Maybe my wallet? As they as they always know where home is.