Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Very Best Mummy of All!

Georgia has talked for months about wanting to be a mummy for Halloween. After I offered to wrap her in toilet paper, David took over. They spent last weekend shopping for white tights and using tea to dye a white bed sheet. I think it turned out pretty great! She was a huge hit with the whole neighborhood.

She was determined to scare everyone, so she walked up to houses with her arms straight out like a zombie and said "ROAR Trick or Treat!" when they opened the door.

However, the first house was the best! She walked up to the door with her best scary face and when she saw the Grim Reaper coming to open the door she screamed and ran off. Pretty funny!

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Thursday, October 29, 2015

All Hail the Queen of Hearts!

Halloween festivities are in full swing.

We did Zoo Boo and the pumpkin patch a couple of weeks ago, painted pumpkins and have some "smooky" Jack-o-Lanterns and headstones in our front yard.

Today was Halloween at Georgia's new school, and she went as the Queen of Hearts.

Speaking of her new school - WOW! This was only her second day (she goes Tuesdays and Thursdays) and there is a night & day difference. She is so excited now, wants to tell me every little thing that happened. Her teacher is a Godsend. She is definitely along the lines of the type of teacher we are used to, and I'm thankful for that.

Georgia is fitting right in. Ever since Tuesday all I've heard is "Catorina this, Catorina that" because she and Catorina carved a pumpkin together. Mrs. D. said yesterday the half of the class that attends five days a week kept asking where she was. That makes me so happy!

It was nice to get to know some of the parents and grandparents at the party today. Georgia sits by a little girl who lives in the next neighborhood over and is also an only child, so maybe we will have her over to play.

Another very minor thing, but comforting nonetheless, is that the one reason I didn't want to leave our old school is because a lot of my friends' kids go there. So every drop off and pick up was a tiny social time for both of us. I ran into several moms that I know today! It's nice to know that if I ever need an emergency pickup or something, I have people I can call on.

I hope it doesn't rain this weekend....we have another stellar costume to show off!

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Monday, October 26, 2015

Life Lately In Photos

There were a couple of extremely busy weeks with lots of outside commitments, but we still made time to make cupcakes. And to enjoy licking the batter.

My friends got such a kick out of this! Georgia drew me at school. "Look mommy! Stripes!"

Preschool OOTD.

First Halloween outfit of the season.

We did a trial run at camping before we committed to packing everything in the car and driving to a real camping spot. Good thing we did, too. Because I was back inside, in my comfy bed, by 11:45 p.m. Everyone else survived, though! We got as legit as possible, making S'mores inside on the stove.

This goofball! We stopped to order a quick drink and instead of asking for lemonade, Georgia said "I'll have a steak, please!"

Georgia's friend Jackie turned four and the birthday party was a big hit. This summer Jackie went with us to see a Barbie Rocking Royals concert and she loved Georgia's Courtney Barbie. She was thrilled to get her own, and now they can play together. With two singing Barbies instead of one. Really though, a fun Christmas gift if your little likes Barbies because you can watch concert videos on YouTube (or the movie on Amazon) and the songs the doll sings are actually pretty catchy.

It's finally getting cool enough for Georgia to wear the Janie & Jack equestrian outfits I posted about earlier. We decided to just use a regular grosgrain bow instead of this headband, the headband doesn't really hold her bangs out of her face.

This poor gal! She came from the Dollar Tree and Georgia calls her "Break Apart Barbie" because you can just take her arms, legs and head off and put them right back on. Georgia brought her down all dressed up, as you can see, and told me she was ready for a Junior League meeting, ha!!

We got invited to Piada Street Food's soft opening and all three of us really liked it! I had the chicken piada which I was really impressed with. Georgia had spaghetti.

We got to go visit a local Middle School whose volleyball team raised quite a bit of money for a breast cancer fund. Georgia was pretty much in awe of the cafeteria and multiple gyms.

We always try to get to ballet a little early so she can watch the big girls practice their solos.

She's getting ready for a mini tap recital. This routine is to the song Sugar Sugar and they also have a Halloween-themed dance.

Georgia had a great time partying at Carly's fifth birthday party! Here she is with Addison and Allyson.

The girls all got their hair, makeup and nails done rockstar style then had a runway show and concert for us!

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Friday, October 23, 2015

This Momma's Broken Heart

I am definitely a follow your gut and heart kind of person. And they have rarely led me wrong.

I don't know why I have tried to ignore what they've been trying to tell me the past six weeks.

I finally started listening this week and my instinct was right. Even though I try to do parenting with no regrets, never again will I ignore what I know is right.

Georgia has been going to preschool three days a week. Toward the end of the first week, she told me that a little boy was hitting her. She started acting out more at home...much more emotional and dramatic toward us and one time hit the dog with her Barbie.

I asked her what was wrong and she told me a little boy at school had hit her. Had been hitting her. I asked what happened and she said it hurts, she cries, he goes to time out. The next day I asked the teacher about it, and she assured me it was something they were working on and that his behavior had improved.

I'm not a teacher. I'm not there during the day. I'm not trained to discipline twelve kids at once. I left it to her and asked that she keep me in the loop.

I noticed other things, like Georgia regressing in some developments. Namely, she stopped holding her pencil correctly and started wanting to take her nighttime lovey everywhere with us.

I talked to the teacher about the pencil-grip and other regression (I've never in the three years Georgia has gone to preschool, ever, had to have talks with the teacher), and she told me Georgia wasn't ready for these skills. Which didn't sit well with me because she had been doing fine before.

But I'm not the type of mom to push skills, and she is only four - lots of time until kindergarten.

But my instinct was telling me something was wrong.

So Tuesday I met with the preschool directors to talk about my concerns. Here I was, sitting in the office, feeling like a tattle tale because I didn't agree with the way the teacher was managing her classroom. I felt guilty for that. However, I was prepared to give things time to see if my concerns were being addressed.

How much time? I'm not sure.

Thursday on the way to school I overheard Georgia telling her stuffed animal, "Don't worry, I won't let him hit you."

That day after school Georgia told me that the little boy had gone to time out for hitting another boy, and that he had hit her in the nose and came to her table and started slamming his fist on her hands and arms.

My heart was so heavy.

David, Georgia and I spent lunchtime and recess today at another preschool and it was literally an answer to the prayers that had been on my heart. I point-blank asked the teacher if there were any problem children. She laughed and said, "You're in luck because usually there is one, but this year I have all little sweethearts."

Huge, huge, huge relief off of my shoulders.

Tonight while I was in David's office contemplating what to write to get myself in the groove of blogging again, I overheard David and Georgia talking about her new preschool. When I heard this, my heart broke in two: "Yes!! That was my wish! I made a wish that nobody at school would hit me!"

This is the first time I've felt so bad for a parenting decision. I chose to ignore my gut for fear of being that mom. The helicopter mom who always has to make sure her special snowflake is getting special treatment.

No more! Never again will I ignore my heart when it's trying to tell me that my daughter is in a wrong situation. Never again will I fully trust that all teachers have her best interests in mind. I will make sure to stay involved in any issues - even if it means I'm the annoying mom who keeps pressing for information when I feel like I'm not getting the full story.

I realized that no matter how good or well-regarded a school or program is, I am her only advocate and it's my job to make sure she is being treated fairly and respectfully. And to do something about it if she isn't. I won't be afraid to approach the other child's mom to ask how the school is handling an issue when it involves the emotional safety of mine.

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Monday, August 17, 2015

Alamo Draft House / Houston Restaurant Week

David and I had a movie date night earlier this weekend to see the new Vacation. We loved it, despite the so-so reviews! Ed Helms was the perfect Rusty, but it made me sad to see that cool guy Russ had grown up to be a little dorky. Because it made me realize I had grown up to be less cool than I thought I'd be...

We celebrated Houston Restaurant Week at Alamo Draft House. You should see if your city has a Restaurant week, most do and the proceeds benefit local charities. In Houston, dinners are $35 or $45 (depending on the restaurant) and $5/$7 of that goes directly to the Houston food bank. I love helping out the Food Bank and I also love getting to try special menus and new places.

First, can I just say what a great concept the Draft House has going on? I'd heard a lot about it, but thought it was just a movie theater with more food than the usual popcorn, nachos and candy. Nope! You go in, sit down, get a menu and a waiter, and get to pig out on good food while you watch a movie - just like at home! If you want a refill on your drink or popcorn, or want to order something else, you just write it on the little notecard and stand it up on your table and your waiter will pop right over.

I really loved the ambience of the Katy location. It was like a small hometown theater, and reminded me a lot of the Sci-Fi Drive-In Diner at Hollywood Studios. Except we got to watch an entire real movie. You can also arrive early and enjoy a drink or two at the bar in the lobby.

The Alamo Draft House's Restaurant Week Menu includes admission to the movie of your choice, three courses and a second ticket so you can return to see another movie whenever you'd like!

Between the two of us, we sampled quite a few different things, and of course I tried a drink off the cocktail menu (the Blue Hawaii, it was pretty good, but the Clooney was voted Houston's best margarita so try that one if you like margaritas). Here's what we had:

  • Bottomless Herb Parmesan Popcorn - Because you must have popcorn during a movie! I would ask for melted butter and quite a bit extra herb cheese. It comes in a little container for you to sprinkle on, and the bucket is huge!
  • Roasted Tomato and Bacon Chutney - I loved this! It had a kind of tangy-smoky taste. And I dipped some popcorn in it after all the crostini was gone.
  • Torch Burger - I had the veggie version since I don't eat beef and it was so, so, so good! I love spice, but I ended up taking about half the jalapeƱos off after a few bites. The burger was huge and I totally recommend it as your second course.
  • The Thing Calzone - David had this and ate it all. I tried it, but it really wasn't my style. Or maybe I was just so enamored with my burger that it just didn't measure up.
  • Maker's Mark Milk Punch - We both had this shake, but there were several adult shakes to choose from. I made fun of David when his first drink was followed by "Whoa." Then I took a drink of mine. Yep, whoa. But in a really good way!
If you haven't yet celebrated Houston Restaurant Week, or if you want to go again, I highly suggest a fun date at the Alamo Draft House! I really loved the experience and the food was great. Georgia and I are taking her friend Cooper to a kid movie today. I'll report back on how the bottomless lemonade works out for us.

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Saturday, August 15, 2015

Janie & Jack Fall 2015 Boy and Layette Items

Some of you fellow shoppers begged for the boy and layette SKUs. I planned to post Thursday night, but I got a serious case of food poisoning and I'm just now getting back to life.

Here are some of the items. There are a lot more, just posting those that I think will be favorites!

Halloween SKUs - I'm really not crazy about any of these, but the Halloween lines are usually pretty popular. I have an orange sweater dress from a year or two ago that I bought ahead for pumpkin patch pictures.

Janie & Jack Fall SKUs - Boy - What do you boy moms think of these? I'm just not loving it, but then again I don't have to dress a boy. I liked so much of the summer stuff that this feels like a bit of a letdown.

Janie & Jack Fall SKUs - Layette - I like baby clothes that look really babyish, and I'm not totally sure how I feel about these. But like the boy items, I don't have any reason to shop this section except for gifts. Maybe I'm just feeling really pessimistic today?

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