Brooks’ Birth Story

Brooks Cooper is here!

He came punctually on his due date.  His grandparents got here Saturday night, and I went into labor the following morning.  I woke up around 4:30 with some uncomfortable cramping, but it wasn’t enough to alarm me.  It was the first night I had slept in my bed in at least two weeks.  I had been sleeping on the couch because it was the only way I could a few hours’ stretch of sleep without waking up with pain in my legs, hips, sides, etc.  So I just assumed the cramping was due to the bed.  Around 5:30, after not being able to get back to sleep, I decided to get up, thinking that would help the cramping go away.  But the contractions persisted.  I started to time them thinking they would die off quickly, but they were coming every 3-4 minutes and lasting about 30 seconds each time.  I thought maybe I needed to have a bm, so I went to the bathroom, and that’s when I lost my mucous plug.  At that point, I started to get excited, though very calmly.  I noticed that when I sat down, the contractions weakened, so I decided to stay busy folding a load of laundry standing up, walking around, unloading the dishwasher…

Ellis came downstairs around 6:30.  She’s normally not allowed to come out of her room until 7, but I thought if I went to the hospital that day, it would be a while before I might see her, so I let her stay up and hang out with me.  The rest of the household started stirring around 7, and I was going to make breakfast for everyone, but thought it might be smarter to take a shower and get cleaned up for the day.  As I was getting ready to head up the stairs, I told Travase, “I’m gonna go upstairs and take a shower.  By the way, you may want to do the same because I think I’m in labor.”

I waited until after I had showered and gotten dressed before I called the Ob.  While I waited for the nurse on duty to call me back, I ran around packing the last bit of things and making sure the kids were set with their grandparents.  We left the house a little after 8 and stopped at Starbucks for breakfast since I knew it could be awhile before I was able to eat again.

After getting to the hospital and getting checked, I was only 4 cm dilated.  Sitting in the car and lying in the hospital bed slowed down my contractions so the doctor ordered me to walk around the hospital for an hour and then come back to be checked.  When I came back I had only progressed to about 6 cm, but the doctor decided to go ahead and admit me.  They started my IV, and I was told as soon as I finished the bag they could order my epidural.

At this point, I should mention that even though I had delivered two babies previously, they were both fairly easy deliveries.  My water broke first with each of them, and I had epidurals administered before the contractions ever got too painful.  That was not the case this time around.  I had been laboring since 4:30 in the morning.  The pain and intensity getting more and more severe as the morning went on.  Now my contractions started to pick up just before they decided to give me Pitocin, so my contractions went into overdrive.  On top of that, I was having back labor which hurts even more than regular contractions, and I still didn’t have an epidural.

By the time it was ordered and the anesthesiologist got there to administer it, I was about a 7 on the pain scale.  Having to move and getting a needle stuck into your spine while you’re having contractions 1 minute apart is not a fun experience.  Worse than that?  It didn’t work.  Well, it was working somewhat on the right side but not at all on the left.  If it was possible, the pain was even worse.  The nurse said to give it 5-10 minutes, but I had already given it more than 10 minutes and the pain was unbearable.  There were more nurses in the room at that point, not sure why.  I had no idea what was happening other than the pain of my contractions.  (Oh, thinking back, my water bag popped during a contraction, and it made me scream.  I think that’s what sent all the staff into the room.)  They were trying to reposition me thinking that that would help the .  I had to beg them not to touch me and to call the anesthesiologist back.  Finally, my nurse did, and after contracting through another epidural insertion, I started to feel some relief.  I remember realizing I was sweaty and thinking about all the movies and shows where the women looked like a sweaty mess.  This labor was turning out more and more like the stereotypical labor you see on TV.

Once the epidural took effect, Trav and I were both able to relax a little again.  I think I looked at Facebook, posted a Snapchat, sent some text messages, booked my newborn photographer…  But it wasn’t for long.  Brooks was ready to arrive.  They checked me and could already see him crowning, so it was push time.  We weren’t allowed to video tape the birth, so I had Trav take pictures.  They didn’t offer a mirror, so I told Trav to watch.  He had no desire to, but I said I couldn’t see, so he had to look for me.  He instead used the phone as a mirror so I could watch while he looked away.  It took 3 or 4 pushes, and he was out.  He came quietly into the world at 3:29 weighing 7 lbs 12 oz and 21 inches long.

Read about Asher’s birth here.

Read about Ellis’s birth here and here.



Car Seat Struggles

Or, Perhaps the Worst Part of Parenting

Most days I am confident in my parenting capabilities.  Then there are days like today that kick me in the butt and continue to pummel me while I’m down.

Today we had an appointment to get our 3 new car seats installed.  This has to be one of the most challenging parts of parenthood.  It seems like you need an engineering degree just to be able to pick out the right seat, install it, and use it correctly.  Statistically, 90% of parents who get their car seats checked have installed them incorrectly.  To me, that’s a glaring problem – not the fault of the parents, but the manufacturers who have made these seats almost impossible to use correctly.  In the case of one of our car seats, the manual didn’t address a certain installation issue, and we had to call the manufacturer directly.  And it was an issue most all parents wouldn’t have known to even ask about.  Two hours.  Two hours to install car seats this morning.  And it required all of my husband’s strength and additional support from the technician.  But a pregnant mother with impatient children under her supervision is supposed to be able to do this on her own???  It’s like the chips are stacked against us.

The configuration was less than ideal once all was said and done, but after two hours laboring to get them in, a super-fussy toddler, and a bladder that was about to burst, I was just ready to be done.  The seat that was supposed to be Ellis’s was turned rear-facing in the center for Asher to use, with Ellis’s old car seat on the passenger side and the infant seat behind the driver’s side.  The recline on Asher’s seat was so low he was practically lying on his back and for me to strap him in, I have climb in on either side, squeeze on top of one of the other seats, and wrestle with Asher to get him buckled because he fights getting in his seat every time.  Again, less than ideal.

After leaving the car seat check, I asked Trav to follow me to the nearest fast food restaurant so I could run in and use the restroom without having to get Asher back out of the car.  Afterward, Asher screamed the entire ride to Ellis’s school.  I sang to him, tried to hold his hand, stroked his head, but he was unrelenting.  I had no more snacks for him because he had eaten them all during the two hours it took to get the seats installed.  I should add, he hasn’t screamed in the car since he was an infant.  (Okay, there was one time that he was tired and couldn’t reach his water, but we were close to home so it didn’t last long.)

We got to Ellis’s school in time to pick her up.  That’s right.  My morning consisted of dropping Ellis off, getting the car seats installed, and immediately driving back to pick her up.  I figured we could take a breath after getting her, and the kids would play on the playground for a while after school like we usually do.  Only this day, as the two were running from the classroom to the playground, Ellis tripped and scrapped her knee and both hands.  She’s bleeding and crying.  Asher starts crying again.

I am fully aware that this is a spectacle with many observers.  I know I shouldn’t care what people think about me in the moment, but I do.  Especially the grandparents of one of Ellis’s classmates, who were waiting to pick her up from class.  We had met them at her birthday party on Friday night, and again, of course, my kids were the only ones who cried and were upset at the party (Ellis didn’t want to play the party games.  She just wanted to play with toys and eat cake.  Asher didn’t want me to help feed him).  Embarrassing then, too.  My kids are usually super easy, tough, resilient, happy, fun-loving kids.  I’ve always been proud of how I’ve been raising them, but moments like these I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing and I’m completely failing.  And I’m worried others in these moments think the same thing.

I find a way to pick Ellis and Asher both up (made Ellis stand on a bench) and carry them to the car where I have a first aid kit.  I clean and bandage Ellis up, assuring her it won’t sting and which band-aid does she want, while Asher makes trouble in the car without my ability to supervise him.  Then it’s time to strap them in, and Ellis learns that Asher is the one who gets to sit in her new car seat.  She starts crying again, completely upset that she has now been misinformed twice (we told her she was going to get to sit in the third row, which we later learned she couldn’t because it doesn’t have a top tether for her car seat.  Then I was informed this morning that the purple Diono Radian RXT that I purchased for her wouldn’t grow with her past the next year, so the technician chose to use it for Asher, who could use it longer, and keep her in her Graco that will grow with her for longer).  I’m hunched over her trying to finagle Asher into the middle seat that he despises and his sister doesn’t want him in.  He starts having a fit of rage.  Both kids are beyond upset.  I am emotionally tanked at this point.  I call Trav just so I can cry to him instead of unleashing my emotions on the kids who are already distraught.  I realize he is busy and doesn’t have time to deal with our relative problem, but I just need to let it out.  So I do, with the kids crying in the back seat.

They have both exhausted themselves with their tears and are napping, and I am now, with the help of this post, stabilizing.  I was hoping this car seat appointment was going to be a huge check off my to-do list and bring relief that we are finally ready for this baby to come.  Now I feel like I’m back at square one.  We need to return the new seat we had purchased for Asher and either buy the angle adjuster for the Diono, or possibly return it and find something more user friendly  that would allow us to put Ellis back in the middle and Asher on the side.  I am THIS CLOSE to asking Trav if we can trade in my beautiful GX460 that he spent a lot of time researching, finding, and driving to Miami to purchase, for a minivan.




Asher’s 1st Birthday

Man, mom fail!  I’ve just not had the desire to blog in the longest time, but I feel guilty not having these updates for Asher when he’s older.  It’s been a couple of months since Asher’s birthday, but I will do my best to recount his special day(s).

Trav’s parents were in town, so on Asher’s birthday we enjoyed some dinner and ice cream cake.

That Saturday we had a super hero-themed birthday party with a Kilwin’s ice cream catering cart and a bounce house.  I decided to do his party up big more for Ellis than Asher.  Her birthday is in the summer when it’s hot and everyone’s on vacation, so I thought she would love celebrating her brother’s birthday with some of her friends.

Super girls!


Cutest Hulk I’ve ever seen!


1st ice cream!


Here to save the day!


Happy and entertained kids


Can’t go wrong with freshly made waffle cones!


The set up


1st birthday went off with a bang!


He needed no help enjoying his cupcake


Princess super heroes


The company was late picking up the bounce house, so Ellis and Asher got some extra night-time bouncing fun in.


His face says it all


We opened presents the next morning


All in all a successful birthday


Thanksgiving 2016

I want Thanksgiving to be a more meaningful holiday to my kids than it was to me growing up.  I was never excited about the day.  We ate turkey (not a favorite of mine) and the fixings, and then the adults watched football while the cousins would find ways to entertain ourselves.  It was nice to get together with family, but I took it for granted because we all got together for every holiday.  Now we’re all grown up and spread apart, and so for my kids, I want to create special traditions and make the day about more than a table full of food.  And since having kids, the holiday has become more meaningful and special to me.  This year was probably the best yet, and I’m hoping they only get better.

I tried to do activities with Ellis that reinforced the idea of being thankful and what this holiday is about, but she knew what I was doing and quickly shut me down.  Anytime I get “teacher-y,” she changes the plans.  So instead of reading Thanksgiving books, she chose others, or wanted to read them to me.  And she wanted to play the teacher and for me to be the student.  So maybe next year will be the year we can have those conversations about what she’s thankful for.  I mean, the girl doesn’t even get the idea of Santa yet – writing a letter and asking for gifts.  I asked her what she wanted for Christmas and she said “a swing for my butt.”  She likes to talk about her butt and poop a lot these days.

Anyway, this year we had a great Thanksgiving weekend, and I can already see traditions forming.

Thanksgiving Day

2016-11-24-07-44-18 2016-11-24-08-02-44 2016-11-24-12-13-52I decided not to stress or kill myself trying to get everything ready in time for lunch, so I made our dinner time for 5 pm.  That meant an entire day of drinking and cooking, and I don’t really remember eating much of dinner.  I think we’ll go back to eating around 1, but there was no way I was going to make that happen this year.  I did buy a Honeybaked turkey, but I spent the day making green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, cauliflower au gratin, macaroni and cheese, and bacon wrapped asparagus for a lunch time appetizer.  Dad and Cindy came over around 10 or 11, and we had a good time watching them interact with their grand kids.  I didn’t remember to pick up anything for dessert, but luckily our neighbors invited us next door that evening, so we got to sample their pies.

Black Friday

2016-11-25-13-33-03 2016-11-25-13-53-49-hdr 2016-11-25-17-00-37 2016-11-25-17-03-32 2016-11-25-17-06-26I spent the morning cleaning and taking down fall decor.  Trav had a funeral to attend, but before he left he went out and purchased a new Christmas tree.  Dad and Cindy came over for leftovers, and we worked on putting up the Christmas tree and decorations.  We went to V’s Pizza for dinner and enjoyed some live music and good company.


Trav took Ellis to the gym while I tried to finish up the Christmas decor and clean the house, again.  Later, we met up with Dad and Cindy in St. Augustine to see the lights.

img_6833 img_6853 img_6857img_7893


After church, we took the kids to Village Bread Cafe for pancakes, then went out to tour Dad and Cindy’s airstream before coming back to our house to finish watching the Jags’ game.  Our church was having their annual advent festival.  We missed the service due to Asher’s late nap.  We also missed the chili, but we got some mac n cheese, enjoyed the dying bonfire, and Ellis got to take a few spins on the horse and buggy ride.

img_7869img_7874img_7889 img_7880

It was a fun weekend, and I was definitely not prepared to get back to reality on Monday morning.  Ellis barely made it school on time, and I was rushing to get Asher to his 9 month well-check.








Turkey Craft

Ellis learned how to write her name a few months ago, but she still doesn’t fully grasp that the order of the letters is important.  So sometimes she writes her name correctly, and sometimes she writes it backwards from right to left.  Her teacher said she doesn’t recognize her name at school yet.  There are several students whose names begin with E, and so she’ll just go to any name tag with an E instead of looking at the whole name.  That’s another skill we’ve got to work on.  This week, though, I saw a cute turkey craft that she would have fun doing, and it would help her practice putting the letters of her name in order.  (She can recite it, but that doesn’t always transfer to application.)  It was also great for her to practice using scissors and working with glue.

Just for fun, she did one for Asher, too, and it was good practice for recognizing other letters that she doesn’t use too often.  I think the ‘R’ was the only letter she didn’t know.

2016-11-21-11-00-44-2 2016-11-21-11-01-44 2016-11-21-11-06-01 2016-11-21-11-11-23 2016-11-21-11-11-26 2016-11-21-11-22-022016-10-22-12-41-12



8 Months

8 Months Old

(Written October 20th)  Tomorrow you turn 8 months old.  You could say I’m on top of this update, but I’ll be real with you.  I can’t find my phone, and the tv is broken.  Seriously, my iPhone 6 plus is the size of a brick, and I can’t find it anywhere in this house.  And your daddy is at HHGregg as we speak replacing the TV we bought a mere 3 months ago.  So I’m eating potato chips, drinking wine, and bored with Facebook and YouTube.  I could go upstairs and watch Keeping Up With The Kardashians (I started watching that this week after being fed up with the election-heavy news coverage), but your sister is still awake, and also I have to finish this bottle, I mean glass of wine.

Asher, everybody loves you.  You have the best smile, the best giggle.  To the world, you are the happiest baby, and really you are.  You have whiny days, but don’t we all?  You just recently learned to sit yourself up on your own, and so when you wake up from sleeping you often sit up and don’t know what you should do after (here’s a hint:  lay down and go back to sleep).  You are fully crawling now and move at an alarming speed when there’s something you want or places you want to go.  With all of this mobility comes new experiences and new environments.  You were once confined to the middle of the living room, and now you find your way to the patio door, Mommy and Daddy’s bathroom, your sister’s toys that she is huddling under her legs to keep from you…

We’ve lowered the mattress in your crib, and it looks like this weekend we are going to be installing some baby gates to the stairs.  More baby-proofing is necessary.  I’m in the process of moving all of Ellis’s tiny toys (choking hazards) to her bedroom.  And we’re back to needing to vacuum every day to try and avoid you putting random dirt and hair in your mouth.

You are wearing 6-12 mo/9-12 mo/9 mo clothes (why are kids’ sizing so difficult?!?) and size 3 diapers.  You enjoy eating puffs and love the banana, spinach, blueberry puree I made for you.  I need to start working on some new purees.  I tried offering you cut up watermelon and on another occasion cut up banana, but you’re still not excited about finger food.



5 Months

IMG_3782I thought for this post I would do kind of a Day In the Life post.  Our activities from day to day vary greatly, but we roughly follow the same routine each day.

We’ll start at 6am when you wake up.  You quietly hang out in your bed making little grunting, moaning, cooing, and raspberry sounds.  I only wake up because you have me programmed to.  I wait about 15-20 min before coming to get you.  This morning, you started to get fussy, so I fed you and put you back to bed.  Most mornings, however, you aren’t interested in eating and just want to get your day started, so I’ll bring you downstairs, change your diaper, and let you play while I make coffee.


You rotate between your activity mat, which is basically you playing with a hanging object for five seconds before rolling onto your belly and grunting/drooling for 5, maybe 10, minutes before you start to get upset.  Then we move you to the bouncer if you’re up for it, and you keep yourself thoroughly entertained.  The chair is used mostly if I am playing with your sister and trying to include you in whatever we’re doing.  You work on grabbing and mouthing objects before throwing them aside.

Your sister wakes up between 6:45 and 7:30.  You take a cat nap around 7:30 and 8am, and I use that time to get myself and Ellis ready for the day.

Ellis has ISR lessons every morning, so we have to be out the door early every day.  Her lesson is only 10 minutes, so we usually have something planned to do afterward.  On Monday we did story time and Chick-Fil-A.  Tuesday we drove to Nocatee on an errand.  Ellis spotted a playground, so we had to stop and play, before jumping back in the car and heading to Brooks for a practice (that was a looong morning), Wednesday we went to the dollar movies to see Curious George (you had a poop explosion, and I had to change you right there in the theater.  So fun.), Thursday we went to Target, and Friday we had to take Alex to the vet.  I’m exhausted just thinking about all of that.  You usually take a nap somewhere in the middle of all of that.


Dinosaur story time

Once home, it’s lunch time if we’ve not eaten yet (definitely lunch time for you!), and then/or nap time.  Depending on the day and time, you might go down before or after Ellis’ nap.  You are now napping in your crib consistently because you are too big and roll-y for the couch or bed.  I’ve even had to roll up blankets on either side of you in the crib to keep you from rolling over and getting stuck on your tummy – too many sleepless nights getting up and turning you back to your back!

Problem with nap time in your crib is that you consistently wake up at least every 30 minutes, and I have to nurse you back to sleep (I know, bad habit, but only thing that works).  In those instances, you wake up really unhappy, so I have to be quick to calm you so you don’t wake up your sister.  Your best feeds are in the middle of the night, and during your long nap.  I can’t figure out how to switch that around so that you’ll eat well during your wake time and stay asleep during your sleep time.

So, your midday nap is usually from 1-3:30, waking every 30 min.  Around 3:30 or 4, you and your sister are both up, so it’s play time again.  We hardly ever leave the house at this point, unless I want need to go to the gym.  Then, I drop you off at Kidzone, and your daddy picks you up.  You take another cat nap around 5:30 and are in bed for the night around 7:30 or 8pm.





4 Months

IMG_3098I’m hoping now that Ellis is out of school for the summer, we can create a more consistent routine at home.  We mostly have a routine, there just isn’t any conscious effort to follow it.  It’s organic, I say with much sarcasm.


Height: 26.5 inches (94th percentile)

You’re wearing 6 month clothes and in between size 2 and 3 diapers.  To put that into perspective, Ellis was in size 4 diapers when she was potty trained at 2.5.

Weight: 15 lb. 7 oz (49th percentile)

You have your momma’s figure – tiny arms and big bottom.  You don’t push up with your arms yet, and I blame your lack of upper body strength on my genetics.  You have pretty squeezable thighs though.

Head: 17″ circumference (89th percentile)

I couldn’t get your onesie back over your head at your doctor’s appointment.  Doh.


Technically at 4 months we can start introducing you to solids.  I held off until Ellis was about 5.5 months, and I will probably do the same with you.  Nursing is going well, but you don’t mind taking a bottle either.  I still have to be careful about the amount of dairy I consume.


You can grab objects with your hands, but you also pull your socks off your hands and your paci out of your mouth.  (The socks were initially on your hands to prevent you from scratching your sweet face, but then I also put them on you at nap time so you would stop pulling your paci out of your mouth.)  All floor time is tummy time these days.  You can roll from your back to your belly, and you do just about every time I put you on the floor.  The problem is you haven’t figured out how to return to your back even though the first day you were rolling over it was from your belly to your back.  I can’t leave you on your play mat now because I did that once to take a shower, and not too long into it I heard you screaming.  You were stuck on your belly and couldn’t roll over.  You’ve rolled over in your bed a couple of times, too, usually when you’re wide awake, so I check on you often at night to make sure you’re asleep on your back.  You don’t have the strength to roll over on a soft surface like the couch or our bed, so that’s where I lay you down for your naps.  (I hear all the old ladies right now saying, “It won’t be long!”)

You love to chat and be face-to-face.  You giggle when I pretend to eat your neck.

You like to play in your jungle bouncer, a favorite of Ellis’s, too.  You’re not quite tall enough for the lowest setting, so we stick a pillow under you and you sit and play in it.  You also hang out in the Bumbo and the Fisher-Price chair, and play with toys or listen to a story with your sister.


Playing cars with your sister.


With the exception of growth spurts or developmental leaps, you only wake once to feed at night, usually around 2:30.  Then around 6 or 6:30, you’ll eat again and either hang out in your crib or sleep for another 30 minutes to an hour.  You still nap after every 1-1.5 hours of wake time.  With Ellis, I made an elaborate deal out of putting her down for a nap.  With you, I lay you in a soft, cozy, somewhat quiet spot (usually our bed in the morning while I’m getting ready and on the couch in the afternoon during Ellis’s nap), give you a paci, tuck a blanket over you, and let you do your thing.  If we’re out, you might sleep in your car seat in the car or in the Tula (baby carrier).  You take cat naps in the morning, but I think if we weren’t running around, or if you had a consistently quiet place, you’d sleep longer.

Yesterday, you had woken up and then fell back asleep.  I saw Ellis go upstairs, and I asked her what she was doing.  She said she was going to put her flashlight in her room.  I said, “Okay, but be quiet because your brother is still sleeping.”  “Okay, Mommy!”  Five minutes later I went to check on her, and she was in our bed playing with you.  I kind of love it when she gives you attention, so it was hard to be upset about it, and you didn’t seem bothered at all.

Our lives still revolve around your sister’s naps, so I aim to have us home by 1 pm.  I put her in her room and get you set up on the couch.  Some days you have trouble dozing off or staying asleep, and I get nothing done.  Other days, I can make all the noise in the world, and you sleep right through.  You and your sister usually wake from your naps at the same time, whether it be 3:30 or 4:45.  You might take one more cat nap before bedtime, which is around 8 pm.

You don’t use a swaddle, and you outgrew the Magic Merlin sleep suit (not so magical but kept you warm and cozy) in less than a month of having it.  So at night, you sleep in footie pajamas, socks on your hands (to prevent scratching and keep your hands warm), and your grandma’s blanket.

Nap time

Afternoon nap.













3 Months

Asher 3 monthsAsher, you amazing little baby, you!

You are just like all those babies everybody brags about.  You are literally why people like babies.  You are cute and sweet and easy to please.  And also just a reminder of what pure innocence looks like.  Not a lot has changed in a month, but we’ll talk about you anyway…

You are doing a great job keeping your head up, but you can still be pretty wobbly, so head support is still necessary.  In one week, you went from failing to killing it at tummy time.  I will admit, I didn’t make you do a ton of tummy time early on.  It was enough to get you to lay on your back; I wasn’t going to push it.

You still only bat toys mainly with your left hand.  I’m thinking it’s just that the left side of your brain needs to catch up with the right.

You are one of those mythical babies that can be put down “drowsy but not asleep.”  Heck, I can put you down wide awake, and you’ll put yourself to sleep.  I love you.

You are starting to wriggle from side to side and can turn yourself in a circle on your play mat.

Thank you for taking a paci.

Here’s a video of a baby being a typical baby with bonus footage of Ellis on her last day of her 2-year-old preschool class.

Hello Again, Old Friends!

IMG_2873Hi!  It’s been a while.  My name is Bethany for those who have forgotten, or didn’t know in the first place.  I have a two-year-old, and she basically is my life right now.  We were out of town for a month-long vacation (okay, 2 weeks and change) in August, and by the time we got back, there was no slowing down.  September was fast and furious  (with a few changes), but we are getting into a rhythm, and life is starting to settle down a bit.

We had a week from getting back from vacation to Ellis starting preschool.  Let me tell you, I couldn’t have been more excited.  The transition to school couldn’t have been more smooth and easy.  Unlike other classmates who would kick and scream all the way to the classroom door and then scream and fight to run back out the door, Ellis completely dismissed me the moment she walked through the door.  And the only reason she gets excited to see me at pick up time is because my arrival means she can go play on the playground.  The playground is right outside the classroom, so there is no avoiding it. Ever.  Rain or shine, she demands to play before agreeing to leave.  I’ve done the whole dragging her kicking and screaming to the car, but it’s not fun for either of us, so I just schedule it into our pick up routine.  She was initially going two mornings a week, but we switched to three mornings halfway through the month.  It’s so nice to have those couple of hours in the morning to run errands and get housework done when I’m at my most productive.

In addition to preschool, Ellis was promoted to Sunday school at church.  Now she gets to learn a little Bible lesson and do crafts in her own classroom instead of going to the nursery on Sundays.  She’s in the same room as her classroom for preschool, so she’s very comfortable being dropped off.  I’ve signed up as a helper, so I’m excited to see what they do in there.

We “graduated” from Financial Peace University in July, and at the start of September began a new Wednesday night study.  We were going back and forth between the marriage study and the membership class.  We decided to put membership on hold and focus on the more important issue of our marriage.  We also wanted a place to meet other couples and find new outlets for fun and socializing – something we’ve been lacking lately.  This is a really fun, caring group of people, and I’ve already grown and changed my perspective on marriage to Travase in a positive way.

Let’s see… I’ve put teaching Sh’bam on the back burner for obvious (or not so obvious) reasons.  Did you even know I taught Sh’bam?  Do you even know what Sh’bam is?  I’m going to guess not, so I’ll fill you in.  It’s a 45 minute dance workout set around “popular” songs and simple moves that anyone can pick up.  If you like to dance, you’ll like this class.  If you claim you have two left feet, well, you’re harder to convince.  The majority of my Tuesday morning class is made up of  AOAs (active older adults), so I had been teaching low impact to them for a while, but I still had to give that class up because it’s a 30 minute drive (hour round trip) for a 45 min class, and with Ellis starting preschool, I didn’t want to be unavailable if the school were to call and need me to get there ASAP.  Also, my endurance was slowing down, and my bladder was holding me back, so I had been asking other instructors to team teach with me.  We’re paid so little as it is, that it wasn’t worth the gas money.  I miss it, but I can always get back to it next year.  I’ve been doing yoga/pilates/bodyflow and bodyvive to keep up with my fitness regimen.

And finally (I think), Ellis started swim lessons.  We started out taking a “Mommy and me”-type class at our Y, but having me with her made her unreceptive to the swim instructor and all the skills she was supposed to be practicing.  Though we are still doing that, I also signed her up at a swim school that has gotten a lot of positive reviews from other families.  It’s a bit of a drive, but it’s 30 minutes once a week, and Trader Joe’s is only 10 minutes away, so I have an excuse to get some shopping done there before we head to her lesson.  She’s only had two lessons so far.  Her first one, they did a ton.  It was just her and another girl her age, so they each had their own instructor.  She was dunked more times in that half hour than in her entire life.  The second class was a far less pleasant experience.  There was only one instructor to 3 girls, and one of the girls looked at least twice the age of Ellis and the other girl.  They basically sat on the edge the entire class, and then five minutes till the end of class, Ellis’s swim diaper leaked, and there was a major poop catastrophe.

Oh, I didn’t even mention potty training!  That’s happening.  She’s been out of diapers and in glorified diapers (pull ups and training pants) for a couple of weeks now.  That deserves its own post!  And we’ve been listening to the Frozen soundtrack on repeat.  I practically know all the lyrics now, and by gosh if those songs don’t grow on you!  You think it’s annoying until you hear your two-year old singing it and realize that’s reason enough to have kids.  It’s the most adorable thing ever.


The weather is starting to cool off a bit, and it’s October, my favorite month, so I am looking forward to all the new memories we’ll be making in the coming weeks.  For now, you’re basically caught up to speed.  Hope all is good in your world.  ‘Til next time!