Thursday, April 29, 2010

It's official- we are old(er)!

So I was excited about tonight.  So much so, that even though I couldn't find the paper with today's date and time on it- I had put it somewhere safe.... I remembered what tonight was. 

Kindergarten Information Meeting
Burlington Elementary School

My Elijah is registered and starts Kindergarten in the fall. 

Me and Rex like to call tonight a date night- no dinner or movie but it was 1 hour kid free, so we celebrate that anytime.  We arrived right on time- 7:04 pm.  Can you believe they had already started the meeting?

Anyway, as I stood at the door to sign us in, I heard the principal ask "How many of you, this is your oldest child starting kindergarten this fall"  I didn't need to see the hands- she immediately said with excitement- Oh, I think that's everyone of you.   That was the first clue...

We went in to find a seat and the presentation continued.  I was having a hard time concentrating- I kept looking around the room at the "parents"  oh my sooooo young they were.  And can you believe some of those moms had freshly applied makeup.  Do they not know that made me look bad? 

And the dads- had they just come from the gym or what?  Where was their wisdom?  (that's belly fat for anyone who hasn't attended an Anita Renfroe concert)   I looked down at my new wisdom, and then at my dishoveled beloved.  That was the second clue....

I tried to pay attention:
  • Supplies- yep put their name on it
  • Extra clothes- always a good idea
  • Needs a beach towell not a bed sized blanket
  • Needs to be able to write their name - he can
  • Some will cry- mine will  
  • Some will throw tantrums-oh yea, mine will
  • Tardy after 7:55 am - uh-oh...
  • The wonderful daily folder- I hate that folder.  It looks like it has been chewed up, wadded up, and wrinkled in places never inteded by the 10th day of school; and this perfectionist partial OCD mom has to put up with it for the next 9 months... oh, sorry  rabbit trail.
Anyway, a cute little video played with pictures in the background- what a day at Kindergarten is like with cute little kids doing cute little things.  It is fun and exciting and I am anxious for Elijah to experience all those fun things.  I even thought about what fun we could have on the field trips and how he WILL let me come have lunch with him.  Those youngin's in there think they'll get to have lunch with their kids forever but I know that ends.    I'm not allowed near Northside between the hours of 10 am and 2 pm just in case I would give the false illusion I was there to have lunch with a student (I can't mention names here to protect the innocent)

Then, it was Q&A- That was the final clue....

  • How long is nap time? 
    • As the teacher explained that it would get shorter as the year went on- now most days they really just put their heads down for a short while.  (I heard the dad say to the cute mom with perfect hair- "we should wean him off his nap"  NO, don't do it- you've got a good three months left of naps.. you'll be sorrrrrry.
  • If we pack his lunch, should I use a cold pack- (only if you want stuff to stay cold) 
  • Can they ride the school bus?  Of course- everybody has the first day of Kindergarten school bus picture don't they?

Such good questions especially for first timers, but Rex cut right to the chase..
His question- you guessed it-

How do you handle discipline in your classroom?

Yes, this mom and dad have been around and as hard as it is to accept, we understand that our sweet little angels are not perfect.  We know that the end of the day- lost scissors, short naps or hot cheese sandwiches pale in comparison to whether or not they earned a star. And, I have had many a conversation about "just why didn't that star get put on that index card"  

I've been told that I may have a reputation for being one of those moms

And you know what, I'll take that label.  I am one of those moms!  I've been around for a while, and I do have some experience.  And nobody is going to fight for and defend my boys like me and their Daddy. 

So, watch out Burlington- these old(er) parents are coming, and we can't wait to get back into Kindergarten!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Shayne is Fifteen

My Shayne- what a gift. 

The details of his "birth day" are forever engraved in my memory.  I can't remember what I need from the store, but I can remember the sound of his first cry, the smell of his newborn skin and the feel of him on my chest.  I immediately missed being pregnant; but loved holding him in my arms. 

He was born at 9:21 a.m. April 26, 1995- at Carilion Hospital of Roanoke Valley.  He was 21 1/2 inches long and his weight is a mystery.  The scales were broken so his official birth weight was 7 lb. 8 3/4 oz... his weight about 8 hours after birth. 

From day one he was strong willed and determined,  but always happy - I remember taking a picture of him crying just to prove that he did in fact cry.

He went to sleep when he wanted, for however long he wanted and always got up early

He cried everyday from around 5:30 - 6:30 pm

He hated the sun in his eyes

He did everything early- crawl, walk, run, hit a nail with a hammer, and so on.  He could carry on an adult conversation long before he should have been interested. 

Today he stands taller than me-and provides an awesome shoulder to lay my head on.   Shaynie hugs are precious. 

Shayne has had alot of change to deal with- homes, schools, friends, loud little brothers.  He handles it like a pro.  He is a great big brother.  He is strong, and disciplined, and more determined than ever.  He is caring, mannerly and compassionate.  I love the nature of his heart.  He makes me proud.

He loves hunting, being outdoors and working with his hands.  He loves to learn new things as long as it isn't connected to school, like mechanics and carpentry.  If he doesn't know how to do something, he googles it and teaches himself.  He sets high goals for himself.  He has talked about serving in the military since he was about 5 years old. 

Because he is just like his momma; we clash.  I know he is a teenager and this too shall pass.  I want to be part of his world but think right now I just embarass and frustrate him.

 Does he have any idea how much I love him? 

His requested birthday dinner was simple- could have been anything he wanted but he asked for Hamburger Helper Cheeseburger Macaroni (his favorite)  I also made him eggs for breakfast (a little thing but it does make him happy)  He celebrated by hanging out with his friends over the weekend and a butterfinger cake.  He got clothes, the movie AVATAR and a new smart phone. 

Is this real... where did 15 years go?  What will the next 15 look like for Shayne? 

I don't know but I do believe God has great things in store for Shayne and I am honored to be a part of the greater plan.  How blessed that God chose me to be Shayne's mom. 

He doesn't usually read this blog- thinks it is silly- but just in case he checks this one out excuse me while I talk to him ...

Happy Birthday Shayne- I love you to the moon and back- you are more than I ever expected or could have imagined. As long as I'm living, my baby you'll be.   I love being your mom!  

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Isaiah is Four.....

Just like with big brother Elijah, I didn't know too much about Isaiah's "birth day" until recently. 

Isaiah was born at Community Hospital - Roanoke Valley

April 24, 2006
10:12 AM
he weighed 7 lb. 4 1/2 ounces
was 19 1/2 inches long

I learned alot about his first days of life that makes me sad- but I am so thankful that those days are done and God brought him to us October 23, 2006. 

Here is one of our first pictures of Zita - (Elijah couldn't say Isaiah when he first started talking, in case you were wondering about the nick-name)

He looks so big in the pictures, but was actually scrawny (in the photo above- the shirt was a 0-3 months size)

He is rough, and tough and determined and we say all the time that he is just like Shayne
who he refers to as "bubby" 
which Shayne loves (not)
Isaiah thinks Shayne hung the moon. 
He looked like Mr. T and laughed like woody woodpecker.  He drooled ALL the time. 

Today, Isaiah

loves to wear his green basketball shorts

likes cheeseburges and french fries from McDonalds- but is very specific that he wants the cheese, and the round thing, but not the red stuff on it. 

pouts by hanging his head, dropping his shoulders and saying "okaaaay" on his way to a corner somewhere

doesn't like the dark, having dreams or nighttime in general

has become "shy"

chooses "Diet Coke" as his beverage of choice--- that's my boy

likes to brush his hair and frizz it up

loves to put on multiple pairs of socks to play "soccer ball"

(these are what I pulled off of his feet today to get him dressed for the birthday party- really!)

has to have at least 3 hugs and 3 kisses before he will lay down to go to sleep

is calmest when he colors- which he does very well

loves to watch his favorite movie which is the "Wizardofaaaaah"

can turn anything into a drum

blushes when he sees "Gabby" and flirts with older women....

Likes Go Dog Go

Is wide open from early am (usually between 5:30 & 6) until he is asleep - by 10pm if we are lucky :) 

For his birthday, he got a new bike & helmet (which he found in the garage this morning before I could wrap it) and a Mickey sword from Shayne (yes, exactly the same as Elijah)

(note the green basketball shorts- again)

and his requested birthday dinner- hot dogs

but he was just too tired to clean his plate - birthday's are hard work you know!

Have I mentioned how blessed I am to be Isaiah's mommy?  Happy Birthday baby- Love you!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

One of those days

When I woke up the second time at 7:15 am instead of my normal 5:30 am I should've stayed in bed; but then I would have missed out on...

The mad dash to get me and 3 boys ready for school and out the door in 2 hours less time than normal

a horrible day at work

Getting to meet my husband on 460 after our blazer decided to stop running in the middle of the road

Rushing to the bank

Rushing back to work after making sure my husband and blazer was safely towed to our house

Finding out a friend lost his job

Discovering the warranty on the suspected malfunctioning part on the blazer repaired 6 months ago expired 3 weeks ago

Birthday and grocery shopping with preschoolers-
     opening back of van to put purchases away to reveal Isaiah's birthday bike that was hidden there

Impressing my preschoolers that I was magic and managed to get Elijah's new bike from the garage into the van without them seeing me -

Excitement to see the car wash with NO line for the first time in weeks; paying for car wash and then scraping side of van on the bumper/money machine on the way into the car wash

       at least any damage is not visible in the dark- will see in the morning if it is worse than I think

good conversation with Shayne and my boys who were all in all fairly well behaved

Monday, April 19, 2010

Elijah is 5...

Today is Elijah's birthday. 

This birthday is the first one that I knew anything about his "birth" day.  That information wasn't made available to us until we signed the adoption papers.  I think its because they are afraid that some people may back out if they actually know the truth about the beginnings for their adopted kids.

What we learned- that I'll share- about Elijah's birth day is:

He was: 

born at 3:45 a.m.
weighed 8 lb. 4 3/4 oz.
was 20 1/2 inches long

he had two older sisters at the time and left the hospital to return 3 days later- his first visit to the ER for shortness of breath and congestion.  He would return to the ER several times during the first year of his life. 

I don't have pictures of that day or his first birthday, which still makes me very sad. 

I do know everything about him since 10/23/06- when he joined our world.  This is how he looked at 18 months old.

Today,  Elijah is.....

Full of life- and laughter (when he is really happy, his smile swallows his eyes and his cheeks look like they will burst)

loves the color orange

very polite and mannerly

still says "lasterday" for yesterday

prefers chocolate milk over soda

consistent in his choice of chicken nugget and french fries as his favorite food

concerned about why his friends are sometimes mean to him

just can't help but to move and dance to the beat of music, any music

loves to help clean and do chores

can sit down and play the drums as if he has been taking lessons for years

refuses to let a point go (he really is my son)  

he loves his big brother Shayne- and still thinks it's his job to protect his little brother Isaiah

he requested pancakes and sausage for his birthday dinner

received a Mickey sword from Shayne, a new bike from Mommy & Daddy and a bike helmet from Pappaw Parks & Mammaw Barbara

and as much as he likes his new bike- he was more concerned that Isaiah was having a meltdown that it wasn't his birthday yet- so he graciously shared...

He weighs 46 lbs and is 45 inches tall

He is an amazing little boy who has brought great joy to our family

How blessed are we?  VERY.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

From the mouths of babes...

-Jesus is our Savior

He's our daddy

-Yep, we have two daddy's

Daddy & Saviour Daddy

-He's our cute Daddy

Yeah, our cute Daddy.

-------Recent conversation between Elijah & Isaiah

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Disney----Allen Style.... Coming Home!

EARLY morning today.  Everybody up, dressed, car packed and on the road by 6:45 a.m.  Intended on having plenty of cash today for toll roads but I missed 417N so we missed all the tolls completely.  I was shocked by the traffic so early on a Saturday morning.  Doesn't anybody sleep in on the weekends?

Breakfast at CinnaBon at the airport- $29 double ouch and the boys didn't even like the mini-bites.  Go figure!

Allegiant checked our baggage for free again but I find it funny that she didn't offer until after I told her I would be carrying all of them on.  Felt like a crazy game of chicken- but thankful we didn't have to lug it all through the airport.  My kids are a little more "frazzled" than they were a week ago and not so excited to share in the baggage parade. 

Poor Isaiah, mention the word elevator and he panics "are we going down, I don't want to ride"- I wonder how long the Tower of Terror will haunt him?

The flight went well- landed in Greensboro right on time.  Lost my parking ticket so had to pay an extra day- oh well.  I'm the first to admit my brain doesn't work as well as it used to. 

We had hoped to be able to spend some time with Katie and Audrey but those plans didn't work out.  We were disappointed, but the change got us home a little earlier.  Lunch at Wendy's drive-through in Martinsville and the boys actually were awake to eat. 

We are getting so close to home now, I think I can hear my doggies barking.

Sleepily pulled into the driveway around 3pm.  Teri, JJ, Kristen and Phillip came by to welcome us home.  We enjoyed the sunshine on the patio although it is definitely much cooler here than we've been accustomed to the last week. 

Shayne left with them.  An early bath and bed for the boys and Szechuan delivery for us. 
Everything is off schedule for us now- naps, bedtime, baths, meals.  I am fearful they may wake up around midnight and ask me for some pizza.

Rex asked me if I feel like I've been hit by a truck- and yes, I believe I do. 

24 messages on the answering machine and a stack of mail - bills, including the official notice that our boys insurance was fully approved and new ID cards being issued in the name of Elijah & Isaiah ALLEN.  The last -last thing to be done legally.  Now, when we go to the Doctor  they can change all their medical records and call them by their real name.

As I look back on the week I have learned some important things about me and my family.  First, is that the world isn't as ready as I thought to accept "different" families like ours.  But, the hardest thing for me this week is that reality slap in the face again that my oldest son is growing up.  I can't force him to enjoy the same "family" stuff that my little guys enjoy.  I am accepting that that is okay too.  He doesn't have to be with us in everything we do for me to know he loves us and I love him.  He is turning into a man and this mom is just not sure how to handle that one.  I found myself treasuring every minute I got to spend with him.  Swimming and playing in the pool, letting him dunk me and get my hair wet was the easy part.  Letting him stay home while we went to Magic Kingdom was much more difficult.  My favorite time was just being together during the long wait for the Rockin' Roller Coaster it was precious to me- he will never know how much.  Watching him, listening to him.  Our conversations are changing.  He is changing.  He was a great sport and while I know he would have preferred to have been at Universal Studios, Kings Dominion or the beach he was kind and sweet and patient and a great big brother this week. 

I am happy to be outnumbered 4:1 by males in my life.  And so blessed to have good friends through thick and thin.  Friends like the Holland's who endured the tantrums, exhaustion, fits, whining, tears, hunger pains, untimely potty breaks and walking in circles trying to decide what to do next.  They even endured a few tantrums from me & Rex. Since we are both raising children who need a little more from us than we sometimes feel like we have to give, doing it together and having the support of each other is so helpful.  And, for the Nance's who usually vacation with us and couldn't this year, who were so genuinely excited we were coming home they made it a priority just to come by and get some hugs and chat for a while.  We treasure you all. 

I joked this week because although at times I felt like crying, it had nothing to do with the castle; and I kept  looking for the "magic" I've heard about my entire life. At first, I was disappointed when I didn't find it in Orlando. 

Seems I have been looking in the wrong place- the happiest place on earth is really right here within the four walls of my home and my heart. 

Now, it is off to bed for this emotional and tired momma because tomorrow vacation is over and my life is back to "normal"  There is no place like home.

Disney---Allen Style Day7

Today proved to be one of our most relaxing.  We were late getting home from Magic Kingdom last night- so no alarms today.  For whatever reason my boys still got up fairly early- by 8am.  Had some coffee and wished the clouds would go away.  They didn't confirming that this mom would not have a sunny day of lounging by the pool on this vacation.  No worries.  I puttered a bit and watched part of a moving with George Clooney and Michelle Pfeiffer, still don't know the name of it but it was really the only TV I had watched all week.  I know, I hear your jaws dropping all over the country. 

We got everybody dressed and out the door around 1:30 and headed back East to visit our cousins Don, Amy & Austin.  Revisiting the lovely toll roads- using up all our cash once again. 

We tried to feed the boys lunch but they passed out in the car just as we were grabbing the McD's chicken nuggets and "fench fies"  They slept through the first hour of our visit. 

Shayne played XBox with Austin for a while and the adults actually talked in peace in quiet.  When the little woke up, everybody headed out to the pool- the boys swam and we continued to enjoy catching up with Don & Amy.  It was late afternoon, sunny and perfect weather. 

Elijah loved it when Shayne throws him in the pool!

Isaiah loves his Shayne "bubby"

Rex, Don & Amy


Shayne was great- played with all the kids, including a friend of Austin's

We decided we should eat around 7pm and Don & Amy took us to a great (kid friendly) place- Bubaloo's Bodatious BBQ!  It was a fun place with great food.  Free Snow Cones for the kids, and Rex & I enjoyed some homemade peanut butter pie.  YUM, YUM!  Kari, I thought about you and tried to get some pictures- pigs everywhere.  Every shape, size, color- I even saw some pigs fly. 

After dinner- we said our goodbyes and headed back to the villa.  It is now around 10:30 pm.  Gary & Mary Ellen & Halianne had spent the day at Magic Kingdom so when they got home we chatted a short while before heading to our rooms since we each had to get everything packed.    Last look at the clock before climbing into bed 12:42 a.m. - alarm set for 5:00 a.m.  Here we go again...

With an hour drive to the airport and a 9:50 am flight, the Allenz have an early morning ahead. 

Friday, April 9, 2010

Disney---Allen Style Day 6 back to Magic Kingdom

No alarm clock today- slept in. 
Kids went swimming early on. 
Isaiah is back in his green basketball shorts.
Magic Kingdom for all except Shayne who is a bachelor today- laying by the pool and watching TV. 

I am tired so I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Dinner at Chili's again since they were the only thing open- take out to Villa and finally got to eat around midnight. 

So thankful for the experience and memories, but so done with Disney.  I'm thinking this is a once in a lifetime vacation for the Allen's.  This mom is a true beach bum. 

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Disney---Allen Style Day 5 -Hollywood Studios

Alarm off at 7:15 am

Got to the park around 9:30 a.m.  To you die-hard Disney pro's I know we've broken all the rules as we've yet to arrive an hour prior to opening.  In my personal experience I have decided the earlier you arrive, the MORE you wait in line.  So I am a fan of the early afternoon late evening schedule. 

Parking- Film 28 the furthest spot we've had to date with the earliest arrival to the park. 

Right off the bat- High School Musical Wildcats in Concert.  Shayne was so excited... not.

Next stop- 5 Fast Passes for Tower of Terror and were a little disappointed to learn that only 1 active Fast Pass can be held at a time.

Me and Shayne head to the Rock nRoller Coaster- 70 minute wait- Group F2
Rest of gang headed to Playhouse Disney Live on Stage- Handy Manny, Tigger & Pooh, Little Einsteins and more. 

I was impressed with the waiting process for the coaster- DJ with games and music, Dance Revolution, etc.  It was fun.

No, this is not my husband but we did find his twin.

Shayne made a new friend
Mom had to disappear for a while
Shayne smiling
Mom happy 
Technical difficulty-ride closed for 10 more minutes
Finally after 90 minutes or so we ride

Thanks to Ride Swap Rex, Shayne and I got to get right back in line to ride again.  

Well, I thought the three of us were going to ride.  After this picture in line, Shayne ditched us to ride Tower of Terror with said new friend -it's okay mom- she's from Indianna :) I actually got to ride a coaster this week with my husband.  First and probably the last. 

Mary Ellen & Gary took the little ones to see Beauty and the Beast.  Elijah is still trying to find out who the Beast really is.  Whatever happened in that show, Isaiah is now convinced he make things disappear. 

Next up- the whole gang rides the Tower of Terror. 
Elijah loved it; Isaiah and Halianne not so much- but they handled it.  Souvenier - Skull of Horrow- a wonderful little squeeze ball in the shape of a skull with worms and rats inside.  I so love being a mom to boys! 

Shayne came back for his Fast Pass- friend had to leave- strangers gave Rex and Mary Ellen their Fast Pass (shhh, not supposed to do this) so they rode again, free from scared little people hanging on their arms.

I spotted a family like ours. White daddy and mommy, older daughter and two beautiful little black daughters about 3 and 4- so cute.  I would loved to have sat down and talked to her.  Since my boys weren't with me at the time, she probably thought I was "one of those people"  I wasn't, I was just happy to see we are not alone.   I smiled at her.  I wondered if she thought I was judging her. 
Later, I ran into her again, this time I had my boys with me.  She smiled at me. Maybe she was glad to know she wasn't alone either.   

Ice Cream Sundaes.  Isaiah threw my brand new bottled water in trash can.  Mom fished bottle water out of trash can.  Don't judge me- it was $2.50, ice cold and I had sanitizer and baby wipes. 

It's now about 3:30- huge crowds, rude crowds.  Curt & Charles meet us at the park and give us some direction- seems we have wasted some time trying to decide what to do next- thankful for patient friends who roll with us. 

Purchased the Disney Misting Fan for Elijah- (thanks Aunt Bonnie) on our way to the other side of the park.  Fun little fan that sprays water as it cools- at $17 still a good purchase since it was so hot today.

We catch the last few minutes of the  Pixar Block party parade and head to the Studio Backlot Tour.  Exit right during the special effects for emergency potty breaks.  Thankfully, the Disney staff let us go through the back to meet up with the rest of our group to finish the tour via tram.  Radioing ahead so we could get through- I'm sure those in line thought Mary Ellen & I were superstars or something, especially since I'm told they never do that.

The tour was fun- I especially enjoyed the Mojave Oil tragedy. 

Next- I played with Elijah, Shayne &  Halianne in Honey I Shrunk the Kids while Rex waited in line with Isaiah to get the Monster autograph- Isaiah didn't make it; fell asleep in line. I had a blast climbing the webs and sliding down the slides with the kids.  Actually relaxing. 

Pit stop for a little 1:1 with Elijah on our way into Lights, Motors, Action Extreme Stunt show.
Stadium seating for hundreds- top row seats- dead-weight, sleeping Isaiah.  I think Rex lost a few pounds getting to our seats and I was thankful when all 10 were accounted for and noboby had  passed out.

It is now a little after 6pm.   I realize that the misting fan is nowhere to be found (think it got left in bathroom during my 1:1 with Elijah)  I went to the Disney staff and explained - she tried to call manager to see if they could replace- waited about 10 minutes then gave up and bought two more, Isaiah decided that is what he wanted as his surprise (thanks again Aunt Bonnie)  The woman at the stand literally chased me down with her manager in tow.  They gave me a refund for newly purchased fan.  Disney scores points on this one. 

1 fan, 2 fans, 3 fans more...

Eleven hungry, hungry people head to The Commisary for dinner.  Cheeseburgers, Chicken Nuggets, Fries and drinks for five $45 ouch.  My boys love Charles, their new BFF.

This mom's goal today was the Toy Story Midway Mania- it wasn't meant to be.  Fast Passes all distributed by 3pm- 90 minute wait right up until 9 pm... so we finished the day with the Great Movie Ride at Curt's suggestion and it was a good one- glad we didn't miss this one. 

                                                        My own barrel of monkeys. ....

The time is now 9:05 pm and we are on our way home.  I often ask my kids what their favorite part of the day was.  When I asked tonight the answers were:

Isaiah "not the elevator"  meaning Tower of Terror -his favorite was the choo-choo train (tram to the car)
Elijah "the elevator" 
Shayne never answered me but I think I know.

Elijah passes out in the car, I put Isaiah to bed. 

The adults and Shayne have a late night swim- and Papa Johns pizza (not the best idea at our age, but we were still hungry)

We solved the world's problems for a while and Murray and I called it quits about 1:45 a.m. Gary and Rex gave it up about an hour later.
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