Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Growing Up Abby

On Monday night, the girls and I ventured to school for Open House, where the girls were on a mission to finally meet their new teachers.  Abby was basking in the glory of being the big sister, when finally, for their first time in their educational career, they would be at the same school.

It was great to have Abby has our personal guide.  In and out of halls, she led us to our destinations effortlessly.  It was a stress-free meeting of both the girls' teachers, and both Abby & Lauren left their new meetings even more excited to begin the new school year.

But there was one more stop to make before we left for the evening.... greeting Abby's first grade teacher for the first time as a second grader.  Mrs. Barr was just as happy to see Abby as Abby was to see her.  She treated Lauren to a welcoming smile, then we exchanged that look that parents & teachers give one another when they are saddened not to have your child their room, and likewise.  Last but not least, Mrs. Barr noticed how much Abby had grown up.  The earrings, bracelets, necklace & headband.  She was accessorizing to the max.  Second grade style.

Mrs. Barr was right.  Abby is increasingly self-aware of how she looks.  What she will wear for her second grade pictures is always on her mind, not to mention her adamantity (is that even a word?!) for having a gray, not blue background for her school pic.  Then there is the conversation of having her own bedroom.  And the one about not using her pink booster seat in the car.  Sometimes I can't keep up.

Today, on her first day of second grade, she went to school with a smile and an argument with her sister already under her belt.  And that is just how she came home.... with a smile, and another argument that sent her to her room.  And like magic, the storm of anger & tears was amplified to what I can only describe as a second grade scene.  It isn't easy, but I know this is normal, even healthy.  But it's hard.  For all of us.

And then there was tonight.  Traditional story time means each of us choosing two stories, and once we're all in our jammies and ready for bed, we gather on my bed with our collection of literature as I take turns reading our selections.  But in the presence of a second grader our night time routine is changing.  Abby now intentionally chooses books she can read.  And not just read, but read with ease and inflection.  My heart swells with pride.

I know it isn't easy growing up for our Abby.  It isn't easy being around growing up Abby.  But it is a beautiful view watching Abby grow up.  I love that I can still see the face of that newborn in in her.  I love just as much that she loves the little lady she is growing into.

I still love her more.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Ten on Tuesdayish

1. First day back to work is in the books.  Sort of.  Yesterday was our meeting of the minds to gear up for the upcoming school year, then our open house last night.  It was refreshing to meet new faces and a delight to see students & parents from years past.  I'm reminded again how grateful I am to work with such an incredible staff and looking forward to this upcoming year.  What a blessing to love my job sooooo much!

2. Sometimes it takes hitting rock bottom to ground you.  In our case, shape up these little rugrats of ours.  Too much TV, too much leniency equals too much of two monsters.  Today we're turning over a new leaf.  I pray they get the message.

3. I miss Bunco.  Once a month, great food, great friends, maybe some drinks & interesting conversation always prove to be an event worth looking forward to.  Too bad it's so hard to find enough people to get on board & commit. :(

4. I'm so pleased with the amount of back-logged organizing I've been able to get done.  I've still got a considerable amount to tackle, but I'm on a roll.  Look out house!

5. While it's nice to have the down time around our house to get stuff done, I am beyond happy that we go home for the summer.  Not only do the girls have a chance to listen to people speak proper English for two plus months, but it gives us something to do.  We'd be bored out of our minds here no doubt.

6. Have I ever mentioned how much I dislike when people put a 'Ms.' in front of my first name?  Two months of being called Brooke or Mrs. Zahn.... Ahhhhh.  It makes me hate it more everytime I come back to it.  Grrrrrrrr.

7. I'm not entirely hating on Ohio, but for sure there are things that get under my skin and the fouled up linguistics is top on the list.  I am, however, looking forward to my very favorite thing about Ohio: Autumn.  Bright, bold colors canvassing the landscape; crisp morning air.  Heaven.  Well, next to being Up North it's heaven.

8. While everyone at home is posting about all of their great eats at Minnesota's largest county fair, I'm stuck with savoring them by memory.  I've been reminding myself that my daily workouts will benefit more from mental endulgance.  So eat up friends.  And thanks for thinking of me as you eat your way through the event of the summer.  Okay, let's be honest, I'd still rather be there eating with them!

9. Oh my brother-in-law.... Bacon jam.  What they don't think of.  And if I knew how to can, I'd probably have to try it by virtue of curiosity.  How I wish I lived closer to my brother-from-another-mother.  Truly one of my favorite people.  I miss ya, Kevin.

10. A week from today the girls head back to school.  Eeeeeek!  One week and we're back into the bump and grind.  I'm not sure if I'm ready for this.  I've rather enjoyed sleeping in in the mornings. Sigh.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Love Letters

On June 9th, just after the girls & I got to Minnesota to kick off our summer adventures, I found letters the girls penned to their babies scattered upstairs next to their resting beloveds.  Their thoughtful and loving words were so enduring that I secretly hijacked the notes.  With all the sassy language that boldly comes spewing out of their mouths, it's nice to know their hearts are filled with so much love....

by Abby

from Lizzie
I Love you very
much and I Love
you more than everysing
Love mom

by Lauren

rockit big
I Love you very much
You are the best I Love
You to the moon and
back You are a very
good boy Love to
You and me gave
me a kiss and
a hug Love mom

rockit medam
I Love you Like I
do right now I will
Love you the Rest of
my Life all the time
I Love You to the moon
Love mom

rockit Little
You are the Littleist
boy and are family
all the time and
You are a kind
boy and nice boy
Love mom

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Thank You Thursday

1. Thank you, Mother Nature, for the rockin' thunderstorm & cooler temps.  May this be the end all to the disturbing heat of summer.

2. Thank goodness for Book Club.  I had no desire to leave my house last night.  I hadn't even read the book for the month.  But getting out and chatting with friends was exactly what I needed.

3. I'm thankful for this time off work.  I don't seem to be moving too fast these days, and I haven't been able to pinpoint why.  But it's good for me to take it easy and work my way slowly back into the hustle & bustle of our daily grind.

4. I'm thankful for the girls' innocence.  They never cease to make me smile with their young worldly perceptions.

5. I'm also thankful for their curiosity.  Seeing their tonsils was a must.  I'm sure they were disappointed when all they got was a photocopy, but I'm glad they are filled with wonderment.  I pray it serves them well someday.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Let Me Translate è in Cinque

Both girls continue to fumble their way through the English langauge.  With clever comprehension & understandable misunderstandings, here is the fifth installment of translations....


Sit Mower: Riding Lawn Mower
Woodcheck: Woodchuck
Cinnamons: Synonyms
Rumber: Broomball
Feel Yourself at Home: Make Yourself at Home
Dollar Free: Dollar Tree
Ruth: Wreath
Ash Tray: TV Tray


Personalimy: Personality
Styrophoned: Styrofoam
Licker: Dog's Mouth
Nahkin: Napkin
Aerio Cookies: Oreos
Gorilla Bar: Granola Bar
Oyster Crasher: Oyster Cracker
Taco Sauce: Soy Sauce
American Whip: Miracle Whip
Brown Beans: Baked Beans
Garbage Despoiler: Garbage Disposal
Tinaganize: Antagonize
Peir-a-Shoot: Parachute
Pop Up: Push Up
Matters: Manners
Hoblow: Hobo
Vinepapper: Vampire
Squirt Poop: Diarrhea
Hostable: Hospital
Wahiee: Hawaii
Back & Forth Tape: Double-Sided Tape
Three Temple: Three Dimentional
Burn Garbage: Burning Barrel
Sparkle: Sparkler
Holly Olly: Holly Hobby
Baskwards: Backwards
Twick: Tick
Beach Eagle: Seagull

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Ten on Tuesday

1. Finally the girls took naps. It only took separating them and banishing one to her bed for them to relax enough to sleep. But it was just what the doctor, and more importantly the mom, ordered. This is how recovery rolls.

2. I'm increasingly disappointed in the lack of professionalism in the service industry. I've long understood it is the responsibility of the person providing the service to guide the patron.... if the doctor's visit is over, stand up, doc; don't sit closer to me and stare at me while you wait for me to say something. And then there was the service manager at the dealership today. Seriously buddy, you came into the waiting room to chat to someone else. Then you sat down and just looked at me, saying nothing. And THEN you tell me you'll wait for me to finish texting. First of all, I wasn't texting, I was loading coupons. Second, if you want to talk to me about my car, address me as Mrs. Zahn and spill out the words. Grrrrrrr.

3. I'm currently in possesion of a Chevrolet Sonic. It looks nice, it's cozy to sit in, but it is not the car for me. Admittedly, it does feel nice to be behind the wheel of a car again. I feel like a sports car driver. No worries, I'm not giving up my Acadia any time soon.

4. LOVED Hatfields & McCoys. I know, that was on in May, but for one reason or another I wasn't able to watch it before we went to Minnesota for the summer. Today was my super, super lazy day, so I watched the last four hours. Well played, History Channel.

5. Lauren told me when they took out her tonsils they also removed all the naughty. We shall see. A mom can hope!

6. Geoff has been extra kind to me today. I'm not complaining, but part of me wonders what he is buttering me up for. Maybe he feels bad for me. Is it that obvious that I'm exhausted?!

7. LOVED our health care staff at Dayton Children's yesterday. Our nurse was awesome. So attentive, kind and caring. Maybe she was grateful to have easy-going patients. I imagine that is not always the case.

8. I'm nearing the halfway mark in the last of the Fifty Shades series. I'm most definitely savoring it, and equally anxious to see how it ends.

9. I had raisin toast this morning made from Purple Wheat. A first to my knowledge. And delish.

10. The girls are stuck like glue to the stuffed animal buddies we got them after surgery. Melts my heart.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Two by Two

Two little girls.  Two tonsillectomies.  Two adenoidectomies.  Two waiting parents.  Two hour recovery until we were sent home for two weeks of calm, peaceful rest.... Is that two much to ask?!

As the rest of Dayton enjoyed a sunny day, we left our house just before 10 am bound for Dayton Children's where both of the girls were admitted for routine, outpatient surgery.  Boy was I relieved when they led us down the hall to a cozy room for two.

Lauren was a nervous wreck.  Not sure of what to expect, and not willing to be away from her mama in times of uncertainty, she was less than thrilled about the impending procedure.  The medicine did little to calm her nerves; in fact I'm pretty sure she was coherent enough when I walked her back to surgery that she remembers our entire trek & good-bye.

Abby, on the other hand, was giddy with excitement at the thought of a new adventure.  She was also not giving into relaxation, quizzing me until the moment she left with clues to whatever word she had on her mind.

Once both girls were gone, Mom & Dad waited patiently for the results of the surgery, enjoying every ounce of peace & quiet.  And once the good word was received, it was time for our first date since we've been back in Dayton: the hospital cafeteria!
When they wheeled Lauren back into the room for recovery after she came to, she was a quiet, pale shell of her former self.  It wasn't until her big sister was escorted in happy as a clam that she began to perk up.  If slushies were made with booze, Abby would have been sloshed.  She pounded one white cherry slushy before dozing into oblivion, than three more after the nurse finally woke her up.

Lauren also got into the act, and my dynamic duo were back in business, taking full advantage of slushies & Sprite with a Scooby-Doo Meets Batman & Robin chaser.  Somewhere along the way Lauren gave in to the day's events, and before it was time to go she admitted, "I had fun."

And so it is.... Our summer is going out with a bang that sounds like cauterizing tissue.  Another adventure. Another life experience.  Another moment that ties these two lovely girls of mine together.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

I Love Youisms

Lauren.  If I had to describe the child in one word it would be Difficult.  All.  Summer.  Loooong.  Last summer was a challenge for Abby, so I am taking a leap of faith in casting Lauren's behavior in a light I can swallow.... This is just a phase.  And most likely it is.  But it isn't a phase that is easy for any of us to live through; ask my parents.  Or honestly, anyone who has come in contact with the child for any length of time.  Difficult is being kind.

Underneath it all is a smooshy, mooshy, loveable little girl who oozes kind words just when you need her to fill up your heart in a way that only she can.  Mixed with a shot of sarcasm and that little stinker of a smile, here is a list of Lauren's recent I Love Youisms:

"I love you a hunderd million.... Even when you're dead you'll still be in my heart."

"I love you, but today you're making me have a issue."

"I love you more than a Kleenex."

"I love you more than your dog."

"I love you more than a leaf."

....and last but not least, the ever confusing

"Even I love you more than five."

Seriously.  Where or where did this child come from?!

Friday, August 3, 2012

The Adventures of One Earring

Before the girls and I left Ohio for the summer Lauren made a decision: she was ready to get her ears pierced.  I was suspect to this conclusion, mostly because I had overheard bits & pieces of a conversation she had with Abby focusing on the glory of wearing earrings.  But there was something else, watching Abby get pierced in December prompted Lauren to declare she had no intention of getting her ears pierced until she was older, at least 10 or 21.

Practicality outweighed intuition, and I scheduled Lauren to have her ears pierced when we arrived in Minnesota for our haircuts.  And on June 11, 2012 after two attempts in the chair, Lauren left our favorite little salon with only her right ear pierced.

From there our summer took off with one adventure after another.  That single earring accompanied Lauren as she mastered riding her bike on the gravel road, enjoyed countless trips to ice cream shops all over the country, flew to and from Washington, made several trips to the pool & water parks, joined her family for our annual Cousin Time sleepover, and traveled up north to the cabin where she swam, jumped off the dock, fished, made a new friend and then attended his memorial service four days later.  This summer that one earring went with Lauren to seven different states, spent countless hours in the sun and served proudly as a bracket to one side of a beautiful smile enjoying the glory of summer.

But in spite of the bond Lauren shared with her right earring, she could not bring herself to muster up the bravery to get her left ear pierced.  I know the torture I felt when she went into her crying fit of refusal at the moment she faced piercing earring left.  I can only imagine the nerves that raced through her belly every time it was mentioned ALL SUMMER LONG.

In part because I could not allow her to be tortured any longer, and in part because I was not going to have "that kid" that walks around with only one earring for life, I served her up an ultimatum and made it entirely her decision: Either get your ear pierced before we leave Minnesota, or take it out, let it grow shut and pierce them again on your dime when you're ready.  Minutes before we left for the salon on the morning on July 31st to get our final hair cuts before departing the motherland, she confided that she wanted me to take her earring out.  It's funny how even when you know it's coming, hearing the words you don't want to hear can make your heart drop.

We kept that earring in at the slight chance she would change her mind.  We even kept it in on our drive back to Ohio, just to add that last little bit of adventure to its short-lived life.  But last night I stood true to my word and took that earring out, where it was secretly deposited in Mommy's jewelry box for posterity.

In the end I think we all learned a few things from the adventures of that one earring.  As to who learned more, Lauren or I, that remains to be seen.  When will Lauren finally take the leap and get her ears pierced?  I think that one will be a sore spot for quite some time.  The One Earring Wonder.


{About Me}

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Fairborn, Ohio, United States
I'm a teacher by trade, writer at heart & mom in every sense of my being. I never considered writing as a profession, but after I got married and began moving around the country, I began sharing my adventures, misadventures & updates through a sort of e-mail newsletter. I found a true passion in unconventional story-telling that has followed me into motherhood.