Monday, September 1, 2008

Wrap-Up of Summer 08; Biting the Bullet(s)

In case you missed it:
Happy Labor Day! (cute movie/pictures post from earlier) And...back to school we go. Ick.

On the last day of summer (for us, since we go in for full-day in-service meetings tomorrow), I'm taking a look back and listing everything I can think of that's of any interest at all since the previous school year ended. This just helps me feel less bluesy about August coming to a close. It also makes me feel pretty darn productive.

Accomplishments, Occasions, Events, Trips, Milestones, (and the like) that we'll forever link to the lovely summer of 2008:

  • Traveled to Gettysburg for a visit, saw relatives and outlet shopped.
  • Celebrated our 5th Anniversary
  • Cut the cord and spent our first night away from Maddie (that's right, we made it 18 months till she finally kicked us out of the house), stayed in OC and boardwalked like teenagers in honor of above-mentioned anniversary.
  • Took Maddie to her first fireworks show, commemorated by much dancing to the string bands. She literally still talks about it.
  • Went to Brigantine Beach and celebrated Dad D.'s birthday. Enjoyed the gnomes.
  • "Bring the Kids" party at Stacey's - cause other people's toys are always a treat.
  • I got less-than-stellar results of an A1C screening. (Blood sugar.) Dealing with it as proactively as possible before thinking about kid #2, since uncontrolled diabetes + pregnancy = bad news. The doctor said I couldn't blame Maddie for this, but I could blame her for it starting in my twenties, rather than much later in life. Thanks, kid.
    • Endocrinologist appointment Friday the 5th.
    • Dang, I miss potatoes.
  • Discovered the library's kid section, repeatedly robbed them of most of their toddler books, adored large array of puzzles, repeated every few weeks.
  • Went to a kids' concert: "C. Shells". Maddie liked it; this is pretty much my Kindergarten classes. Only I play an autoharp instead of a guitar (because I just don't think I can pull off the Julie Andrews impression). Maddie danced and dug it the music.
  • Visited Historic Smithville with Nana and Pop, shopped, saw the boats, geese, and mini rides, and their pretty lake, and of course, rode the train!
  • Attempted Church nursery and actually sat the whole way through a church service we weren't performing at.
  • Worked in the church nursery and discovered that other people's kids can indeed be cute, too. However, changing other peoples' kids' diapers can be scary.
  • Ikea field trip! Got a play/drawing table and two chairs as a set, & other cool stuff for house. Made mental note to buy out store when we win the lottery.

  • Sampled the county's various playgrounds, discovered favorites. This was pretty much the summer of the playground. ("Pay-groun!")
  • Discovered that we have a bit of a climber.
  • My Grandmom & Pappy and Mom had a very nice visit with us.
    • Went to Brigantine for a beach day with them.
    • Had Maddie and Mom (Grammy)'s picture taken at JCP - beautiful results.
  • Made my own hummus (a low-carb diet snack staple), found out why most people buy it in stores, but it's enough of an undertaking for me that I'll mention it.
  • Actually visited ShopRite and price-checked them in the hope that they'd be cheaper than Wal-Mart. They weren't even close. Wal-Mart gets older and more annoying every week we shop there. Moral: You get what you pay for in grocery stores.
  • My grandfather, John Staub, died peacefully in his sleep. He was 81. We're going to miss him. He was the first grandparent I've lost, and the first great-grandparent that Maddie's lost. Realizing this...we are very, very blessed.
    • Did some airport shuttling and Bob attended his first funeral.
  • Had a nice visit with Heidi, Maddie got to know her better.
  • Dad got to visit and hang out with us, and we enjoyed his time here very much. And Christmas doesn't seem so far away.
  • Found My Heritage family tree site. Fine family fun.
  • Found out that Wegman's is actually an excellent field trip destination. And omg, the "Asian Wokery" buffet!
  • Bob did lessons at the homes of several of his school students, giving him some program-building and lesson experience...and giving us some more "fun money"!
  • Parties: two cute little cousins turned 1 and one turned 6. And we're getting old.
  • Sidewalk chalk was a minor hit.
  • Baby pool was a major hit.
  • Little playset slide put inside baby pool: Priceless.
  • Maddie loves roof ball.
  • Discovered that the big, shady maple tree out front is a big plus on a sunny day when you just can't stay inside anymore (if you did, either you or the toddler will jump out the window)
  • I read actual books. Like, novels, not something from the What to Expect genre.
    • The Starter Wife by Gigi Levangie Grazer
    • Family Acts by Louise Shaffer
    • Mademoiselle Boleyn by Robin Maxwell
    • I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephrom
    • The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory
    • I started Julie & Julia by Julie Powell but couldn't get into it. Or couldn't get past the "woe is me, I can't find a decent _________ in all of New York" whining. I may get back to it, it's partly a snippet biography of Julia Child, and I love(d) her like a big, butter-eating grandmother. I couldn't justify my time reading Powell right then when beckoning me from my nightstand was:
    • The Sixth Wife by Jean Plaidy (Continuing my "Women Who Shouldn't Have Gotten Involved With Henry VIII" tour.)
    • Bought Night Swimming by Robin Schwarz...will I get to it before Christmas? Place your bets.
  • Bob read: some Popular Science magazines and lots of technology/news blogs. And assembly instructions for a few things. The usual.
  • Went to Barnes & Noble and Maddie bonded intensely with the train table. After 20 minutes of very focused soap operas with the choo-choos and helicopters, I finally had to tear her away to shop for some fresh books. Incidentally, the tiny wooden Thomas engine I briefly thought of buying her to commemoriate the visit would have cost more than the 2 books and fingerpuppet playset we did buy. Crazy train.
  • Went to Brigantine one more time for a beach day, then hit the boardwalk and Maddie road the rides - see video/pics on previous post. Planning to repeat the boardwalk part. We still have tickets! We have to go!
  • Cleaned a LOT of the house. Every room got a detail-clean (cause it's not like they get anything major during the school year) and you can actually find stuff in the laundry room, the linen closet, and the junk drawer.
  • For the first time in well over a year, we rented a movie and watched it together. Me & Bob, that is. Maddie had no interest in Star Trek: Insurrection. Too embarrassed by her parents already, no doubt.
  • Bob made me a cool jewelry hanger for the wall above my dresser. Necklaces double as decor! No, I didn't accomplish anything in this one, but I like to brag about my handy hubby.
  • Rewrote many, many many lessons for school, reorganized my curriculum maps. I'm not ready, but I'll be there soon.
  • Bob over-hauled his plans and lessons, prepped all his band stuff and is probably much better prepared than me. But I'll get there tomorrow.
  • Made an ABC book for Maddie. Got the book and letter stickers as a shower gift way back when. You take an empty scrapbook and glue pictures of stuff your child knows (her cup, your family's car, Elmo) to the correct first-letter page, one page for every letter. You can remove the pictures and add other ones, and it's great letter recognition and pre-reading fun. Maddie knows all her capitals and numbers, and the small letter "m"...because it appears on my "This Mommy Rocks" t-shirt.
  • Learned how to play two versions of poker (again, thank you Bobby!)
  • All summer: got up at 7AM and swam laps for 1/2 an hour almost every morning this summer until...
  • We borrowed Bob's mom's exercise bike (she'll use it more at our house during the school year anyway) and then it was a lot easier to ride it at night than get up early to exercise. I hate "early". And getting up for the purpose of exercise? Please. I've ridden it about 6 days a week, after Maddie's in bed, for weeks.
  • Made and ordered a digital scrapbook for the year 2004. Vowed to do more than one scrapbook a year so we can actually catch up.
  • Attempted potty training. Well, sort of. More like "thought about". Maddie showed a lot of interest in it, and showed a lot of signs that she was ready. She sat on it and a few times, early on, was successful several times. Then she decided that sitting still long enough to go potty wasn't really worth her time. I think she's ready, she's just not willing. Too much other stuff to do. Eh, when it happens, it happens.
  • Switched to the big girl bed. In other words, took the side off the crib and added a toddler bed rail. She has yet to figure out that she's able to get out of it without one of us in the room.
  • Switched to a booster seat instead of the highchair.
  • Maddie learned to climb up on house furniture. We expected this months ago, but it just occurred to her to try it this summer.
  • Again, discovered that we don't have a baby anymore.

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