Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Rylan in kindergarten

And then, my first born, the boy that originally inspired this blog, was a kindergartner. In a way I feel like we've been through so many more than five+ years in the last five years with illnesses, therapy, playgroups, moves, and more. At the same time, I feel like I blinked and this:

Turned into This:
Really fast

Yes, his favorite song is Turn Down For What by Lil Jon. What? I never nominated myself for mother of the year. I do have two kids that can dance like WHOA though! And one that can do Tommy Likey on command and the other shouts "the new phonebook is here, the new phonebook is here!" like on The Jerk. sooooo....Our work here is done. Seriously, how cute is it that he wants to be a toymaker. That is so much more doable than last year's Spiderman wish. Also, the fact that his favorite food is yogurt and he can't eat dairy and he thinks that dairy free yogurt is the beez kneez is proof that he is a cool kid fo sho.

When I came to Fayetteville to find us a place, I purposely found a place in a certain school zone, because that's the school I was told would be good for Rylan. Since he was 3, Ry has had some form of therapy. He's done Speech, Occupational, and Developmental. In May I found out, he'd graduated from speech, Developmental isn't offered past Pre-k and Occupational isn't given if he doesn't qualify for speech or Physical Therapy. They basically said "goodbye and good luck." So, I was hoping for a school that would help ease the transition of full-on school with no therapies. I had heard this one would do it.

We were set to move on a Monday. On the Friday before our move, I found out Rylan was on a waiting list for that school. They had just forgetten to tell me about this. Good news, he was #2. Bad news, no idea where he would go if he didn't get in this school. Chances were big that he might be put at a school quite a distance from our townhouse. You know, the one I purposely picked out because it was in this school's zone. 

We moved on a Monday. On Tuesday we found out at 1pm that he was going to a different school. And, oh by the way, we needed to be at parent night that same evening at 6pm. mmmmkay. We got lucky. The new school is MAYBE one mile further away than the zoned school, just a different direction. Rob and I went to parent night while the kids played at Rob's sister's house with their cousins (shout out to living in a town with family!) and met his teacher.

She's a seasoned teacher with 20 years under her belt. She insists on "yes ma'am" and "no ma'am". She says she is hardcore for the first 6 weeks so that the kids know the rules and the year goes better. A no nonsense teacher that isn't a pushover and has worked for 20 years with kids Rylan's age for our son that thinks fits are going to fix all his problems and needs someone that will help him ease his transition from having 3 therapies? Yeah, sign us up for that.

Then the original school called and told us Rylan had a spot. We went on a wing and a prayer and decided to stay at the overflowed school. We had a gut feeling about the teacher, and the school was recently renovated and looked nicer and was on a wayyyyyy less busy road, which would make drop off/pickup less of a headache. 

He's done pretty good. Rylan is a precious little thing. He loves to make friends and make people happy. He has a good heart. He is also a bit emotional (he gets that from Rob, just kidding), so things hurt his feelings that other kids would just brush off. Yesterday he was so upset because kids called him "Rylee" all day. He's working through things. I have every belief that he'll do just fine.

I am amazed daily at how much his knowledge and abilities have grown in the last month. His pencil grip that he struggled with so much in therapy is so much better. He is recognizing letters like crazy, something I worried about big time. I have worried so much and tried so hard not to put his abilities next to other kid's. It seems like now he is catching up. And doing it fast. He has started picking out books at the library that have no pictures and just listens intently while I read. He sits and draws and colors pictures, something I have NEVER had with these two rambunctious boys!  

And last Friday? He had a Sock Hop! Is he a teeanager in the 60's? I mean, it was a Superhero Sock Hop and he did wear a full on Iron Man outfit, and he did call it a "Stock Hop" and we didn't correct him, so he's not aging too fast, but stilllllll. He isn't a baby anymore.  

Monday, September 22, 2014

Fayetteville Life

We arrived in Fayetteville August 11, 2014. This is a dream we've always had. I pinch myself sometimes and other times I have to remind myself that we actually live here. Yesterday I was driving through town and had this feeling "its Sunday, time to head home" when I remembered home is 5 miles away.

We've been having a blast living in Fayetteville. I joined a gym that has an awesome Chick-fil-A type playground and 3 tvs for the kids, so we've been going there quite a bit. Fayetteville has waayyyyyy too many good restaurants that we've been enjoying so the scale hasn't quite moved as much as it should based on my gym schedule. We are getting accustomed to townhouse living. It is not much smaller than our old house, just placed differently, lots of narrow rooms, very steep stairs and a very small patio in the back, rather than a 1/2 acre lot. The fact is, this place is amazing when you compare it to apartment living, which we truly considered. Also, we aren't tied to a mortgage, which is heavenly considering that fabulous house we just flipped that no one has bought yet. Let me know if you need a house just outside Little Rock!!!!!

Tiny porch=Tiny trampoline

A park less than a mile from our house has a huge sandbox

My first gym selfie

I had almost two months off of work, this guy and I had lots of time together

He is so normal

 This is our nephew Wil. We are so happy we get to just call our family and eat pizza on a Friday now. Rylan thinks he needs a family or friend at our house daily now.
 I've perfected pouched eggs. I know that's random, but it needed to be documented. 

This is an awesome Fayetteville thing. A retro arcade. You pay $5 at the door and get to stay as long as you want. They have all the old machines: Pac Man, Tetris, Frogger, Hockey table

I'm ready for slightly cooler temps so I can walk my kid to the park and back without sweaty red face. 
Rylan joined the Boys and Girls Club for after school care. He hates it. Just kidding.

And, most importantly, our kids have been to their first tailgate.  All is well

After a month and a half being home 24/7, I went back to work. Don't mind my allergy eyes here, but I got a job in adult GI. Its at a center, not a hospital. Its all new to me. New people, new center, adults not kids, but so far so good. The biggest perk is that they pay me. I like getting paid. Being home was so fun, but being in this brand new town with all my friends and family and stores and restaurants being so close? I was spending money EVERY day I was home. That didn't happen when I lived in the sticks. 

We're having a blast

We do and will always miss our people from MOPS and our other playgroup and our church. We spent so much time worrying about not living in Fayetteville, it took us leaving East End/Little Rock to realize how many people we actually already had. I am trying hard to find our niche. We have joined a MOPS here, though we've already missed the first meeting, so we suck at it so far. I have two of my besty friends here, but one is moving and one is about an hours drive, so I need to find my own people.  I am loud and chatty when I get to know you, but I am actually quite shy to start with. Work is.....let's just say I hate being the new kid. I worked at Arkansas Children's Hospital for 13 years. I was only NEW twice in that time. I hated it both times. I don't have a very thick skin and feeling dumb isn't something I do very well. And I feel dumb right now.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Ch ch ch Changes, Part II

I apologize,I lovingly sat in my van while Max slept and finished this blog post on my phone and thought I'd posted it. Come to find out, I never did and all the pictures I'd posted, one at a time, are not on here. How annoying to do a "to be continued" and then not continue. Bless it.

I left off on my last post when Rob received an offer for a job, in a town 3.5 hours away, and we had a house they needed major work and very little time to find a house and fix ours and move.

Back to moving. We needed to move yesterday. And we had all that flooring that couldn't be returned in the garage. So, we went to work.

By some wonderfulness, the week after we found out we were moving, I had already taken a week off work to help my church with Vacation Bible School. I talked to the VBS director and told her about our situation and she was so understanding when I said "you remember how I told you I took the week off and could help all five days all day? Maybe I could do 3 half days?" Reason # 8,034,923 why we were sad to leave our church. My blessed Mom and Dad came for 4 days and helped me paint and pack and paint and pack and paint some more. We got a major amount of work done and I am so grateful to them. So, a week into knowing we were leaving, we had repainted the kitchen, master bedroom, master bath, and hallway ceiling and had filled a storage unit with 20 something boxes and donated 5 boxes of crap.

After Mom and Dad left, my sister and her husband came. My brother-in-law helped Rob lay floors in our kitchen, living room and hallway that weekend while Angie and I took the kids downtown and partied at the museum and had a trolly ride and a hotel stay. We attempted helping the boys, but 4 kids+exposed nails+copious amounts of dust=FAIL. So we left and they got much more done without us.

Can you tell which child took a nap and which two didn't?

By the time my sister left, our hearts were so full from all the help we had and our nerves had calmed considerably because of all the work that had already been done. We had three weeks left to find a home, put our home on the market and finish our house.

Everytime we discussed buying a new house, and started looking at houses online, I got crazy face and GI upset. I didn't want to have two mortgages and I didn't want to pick a house in 2 weeks that I would be stuck with if it turned out we didn't like it. We decided to rent until we sell our house. I took the kids alone to Fayetteville and went on an all day search for rentals. Houses, apartments, townhomes, duplexes. We saw it all. And nothing fit. Too expensive. Too small. No outside area for kids to play. Wrong school district. Too many college students. No parking. I felt really defeated and thought we'd never find a home. I thought I was going to have to go back to Little Rock and tell Rob we were going to have to live in a hotel. My sister drove in the area I liked, and texted me a phone number to a townhouse we had missed the day before. Maybe the landlord had put the sign up overnight, who knows. I called the number and somehow this townhouse had an extra room, and a dining room, a one car garage and was $100 cheaper per month that most of the places I had toured. He let me in to look and it was perfect. We had planned to get a storage unit to store lawnmowers, stuff from our attic for Christmas, ect. The one car garage would serve as a storage unit and we'd also save that $$$$. He also offered to give us a 9 month lease, rather than making us do a year. We were going to move in August right before school started and we didn't want to have to move the following August, in the heat, directly before school again.

I drove back to Little Rock feeling happy that we had a place and ready to kick it into high gear. I put in my notice immediately and was done working July 25. It was kind of sad how not sad I was. I mean, when I went prn, I did a whole blog post about it, but I didn't even tell a lot of people I was leaving until I was literally LEAVING the building.  I worked at that hospital for 13 years. It was the end of an era for me and on my last day, two of my favorites weren't even there, the doctor that makes my head spin had overbooked her day and we ran all day and I ended up staying late, alone, while everyone else went home. It was very anticlimactic and I didn't shed a tear. It was time to go. My time there was good but things were changing that I didn't really care for and if we were staying, I probably would have been seeking a new job, to be honest.  I have kept in touch with my old boss, who had retired a year before I left, and two of the nurses I worked with and one doctor. I hope to always keep in touch with them, they are good people.

Getting your house ready to put on the market is hard with littles. But, something happened inside me where I realized the reason why our house was in the shape it was, was because we had lived five years with babies and I didn't BELIEVE I could do it with kids home. It was time to start believing and just freakin DOING. Luckily, I was home and could put in full days of help and the kids were more than happy to zone out with the TV, Amazon Prime streaming, and ABC Mouse, and many other electronic babysitters. We still had to do our "last tour of Little Rock" so in between visiting our favorite stay at home stomping grounds,  I painted 1500 square feet of trim and every door in our house. At night and on weekends, Rob finished the floors in our bedrooms. I powerwashed the house and poolshed and took over mowing. In between we packed, packed some more and packed some more. Literally, where did all that shiz come from.
I can't pain without getting it all over myself

How I felt after 3 days straight of painting trim. Everything hurt (Oh, and I chopped my hair off)

 I started falling apart after a week. Sleeping on my coffee cup helped.

I did have some help
And I took some pics of my electronic babysitters 

 My parents took the kids a few days early to give Rob and I a couple days to be crazy cleaner/painter/mowers. The kids had one last swing on the swingset. It makes me cry to see theis pic. We left the swingset there.
 And one last swim in the pool.

I drove the kids to my parents and came back ready to do the final push needed to get the house ready. Thank goodness for this extra time with just us. We got Rylan's room moved out and discovered that the one room we thought the paint was ok, looked BAD with no furniture in it, so I repainted it. We fixed our fence, cleaned our pool, and began the worst packing of all: the garage. UGH, that place was a mess.
 And then we went on a date to the place where we had our wedding reception. Memories. In all seriousness, the food was MEH, and the wait staff was, meh, and well.....I'm good.
And then, this happened.