Okay, here is the long-overdue update on the family.
Rylee, the wee one, is too cute for words. She is two now, and chatting up a storm, although we only understand about half of what she says. She is in swimming lessons and gymnastics, both parent and tot programs. I've only taken her to swimming once, but she did pretty well that one time. Daddy took her to the rest and says she's improving. One of the things we did was to jump off the side into Mommy's arms. I counted to three, then she "jumped" to me and I put her in the water. The other night as I was giving her a bath, she put her rubber duckies on the edge of the tub, counted to three ("Two...fee...") then had them "jump" into the water. This was followed by what I choose to believe was, "You did it!" Like I said, too cute for words. She goes to the sitter every day and does very well there - she seems to have fun, but is always happy to see me when I come pick her up. The dog comes running to the door as soon as he realizes I'm there. Wee one runs after the dog, calling, "Mommy here!" When the door opens, she gives me a big grin and says, "Hi Mom." When I ask for kisses I get them about half the time. She sleeps well, usually eats pretty well, and has just started sitting on her potty - I think she realized she gets cheers when she does, so she does it over and over and doesn't want to stop. Also, she seems to think she has to be naked to sit on the potty.
Hailey, the middle child, started school this fall, and absolutely loves it. Almost every morning she asks, "Do I go to school today?" (JK and SK here go all day every other day - either Mon/Wed/alt Fri or Tues/Thurs/alt Fri) and gets pouty if the answer is no. She's learning her letters and can recognize at least a half dozen now by sight, and more by sound. She knows H for sure! She is also in gymnastics, which she greatly enjoys, and started hockey a couple of weeks ago. The first session did not go well - she hated it and complained before, during and after. Last week I took the big girls to a public skate and she didn't do so well there, either - crying and complaining most of the time. The next day she went to hockey again, and came up positively aglow. "Mommy, I was so fast, I was so good, I love hockey!" According to her daddy, she definitely wasn't fast - she's probably the slowest skater out there - but she had fun and now says she wants to keep playing hockey again and again and again. She also started skating lessons this week. I was FLOORED at the difference from the kid I took skating to the kid who was at skating lessons this week. She wants to skate all the time now. She is still a drama queen, and has quite a temper, thought not as much as her little sister.
Samantha, our big girl, is in school full-time now, which saves a considerable amount on day care, which has me looking forward eagerly to Hailey starting school full time :) She was named Star of the Week last week, for being a great leader in her class and showing excellent learning skills. We found out through a phone call from the principal, which was cool. She is also in gymnastics, hockey and skating lessons. She moved up a level in gymnastics this year, just because she's too old for Kindergym, so her class is now 2 hours. She enjoys it, but her real passion is hockey (and we can't figure out where she gets that from!) Ryan says she's definitely improved since last year, and has lost none of her love of the game. At skating lessons this week she was probably the best skater on the ice. I'm hoping that will boost her confidence, which will then help her improve even faster. She is a sweet, sweet kid, so kind, and smarter than any kid her age needs to be. Tonight we tried to convince Hailey to give her little pumpkin from her class trip to the pumpkin patch to Rylee, but she refused. I said, "So you get two and Rylee doesn't get any?" Sammie piped up, "Mommy, if Hailey won't let Rylee have hers, she can have mine."
Ryan doesn't like me to write about him on my blog, so I won't.
I started at a new school this fall. I think after almost moving to California last spring I decided I needed a fresh start, a new challenge, some kind of change. Honestly, I think I had sort of latched onto the idea of moving to California as a chance to re-invent myself. When the move fell through, I decided to make a new start here by switching schools. Most days, I think it was a pretty good decision, but it's been a big adjustment. The new school is much larger, with a much larger staff, which has taken some getting used to. One of the teachers is from my hometown and it was nice to have that connection with someone to start off. It's also much more multicultural, which I've loved. We had a Say Hi day at the beginning of October, and my class was able to cover the white board saying hi in many languages. In my homeroom alone, I have kids from Brazil, Germany, China, Korea and a few middle Eastern countries.
Anyway, I think I needed a change, and while I haven't loved every minute of it, I think it's been good for me. I also started hockey this year, as I mentioned in a previous post. My team is 3-3-1, I think. I'm getting better each game - last time I could actually tell what I was doing well/right. I play once or twice per week, so it gets me out of the house and gets me some exercise. Beyond work, hockey and my family, I don't have time for a whole lot else - a few Rangers games, some reading, hoping to go see High School Musical 3 soon (yes, I'm serious)... yep, I think that's it.
I found out last week that one of my former students, who has been battling cancer for four or five years now, probably only has a few weeks left. We've thought he was close before, but from what I've heard, this time is different. He's a real fighter, and still says he's not ready to give up, so it may be a little longer, but not much.
He's nine years old.
And with that, I believe I have brought anyone who is interested up to date. I apologize, but make no promises that I'm going to change :)