Sunday, April 27, 2008

It was a great shopping day here! I scored a small Trek bike for $12 and found a tag along for Nora for $50. The real finds were 2 Oilily items. The cutest shirt with gnomes traveling around the world for Hazel (we considered it for Lars but too much pink) and he got the cutest pants with a suitcase on front and an orange star in back! I was in love. So I took pics of him today (front and back!)

We also bought mother's day cards and mother's day presents, not for me, for the grandmas. Ella loved choosing the gifts at the Riverbank Art Fair. Nana loves pottery so a pretty bowl was an easy choice and Grandma Sandy will love the hanging hummingbird Ella got her to hang in her window.It is small but very pretty. I think we all need a little pretty in our lives. Then we had to take pictures of them for Mother's Day.

Bret's softball season began today and the kids cheered on daddy. It was pretty cute how much they got into it. Did I mention it was like 40 degrees out. With the sun it felt warmer- but man it is way too cold for end of April! I cannot wait for it to warm up on a consistent basis! My favorite part was when Ella yelled, "Go Daddy Hackathorn!" What a ramble today. Just a lot going on I guess!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Like Momma like Daughter

Here is Ella and me with our new haircuts. Clara cut Ella's on Saturday and I had planned on getting it much shorter since it grows so fast. Ella was so still and did such a great job at the salon.

Yesterday, I found myself with a few hours and hoped Kristy could sneak me in- and she could! I was all about getting my bangs cut and she did that first. Then we decided to take the length up and about 5 inches were gone before I knew it. I love it but still am not sure I am looking at in the mirror when I walk by. It was fun today at school as I received lots of compliments on my new hair- as it is a pretty extreme difference from yesterday.

I was not particularly intending to get the same haircut as her, but when I came home she was so proud of me for having the same haircut as her. I can't quite get over how much the same color we are. I think there is little bit of a resemblence! HA!

Monday, April 21, 2008

South Africa

We actually did go to Africa for quite possibly the most beautiful wedding I have been to and hands down the best family vacation I have been on (so far). I thought I needed to post some of my favorite pictures of this event. I don't think much description is needed! How great is it though that the entire group there in celebration of Amy and Brian's Wedding can be photographed together! I loved it! We have some great memories of this wedding and this trip. I was honored to be included in such a loving event.

Preschool Blues

I have officially discovered that Ella's lead teacher and classroom aid are not returning. This makes me sad, but I am glad they are telling the parents. I do not want them to tell Ella quite yet, but we'll see how she handles it. This will however, seal the deal for me to take Ella to Kleinschool (the preschool in my building) in Amana. I have computed that I would earn more than 100 hours of time with her- and that does not include the 30 minute drive in the car everyday! She will loose morning time with daddy- I will need to ask him how he feels about that. I will be able to eat lunch with her. She can take private, yes you heard that, private swim lessons in Amana. she will go swimming every Tuesday. Who takes preschoolers swimming? Crazy! I know many of the kids and she will love playing with them. They go on field trips. They go to the library. WW does not really have a library. We have a great one! Oh- did I mention I will save money! This is one of the biggest reasons- but all the others are definitely factors too.

Nora just told me that she thought Ella was one of the most resilient girls she knows. That made me a little choked up. I thought she was but I think I had forgotten in all this craziness and then I realized- she will be fine. It really is just preschool after all!

There are way too many things I cannot mention right now that we will miss. I think that will be another post. A sad one. Lets keep this positive. I think it is a good thing!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Rocky Balboa

Lars ate a rock. I still can't quite believe it. I picked up Ella from school and Lars must have picked up a rock. Our rule is that you are to not bring outside things into the car, but a very small pebble escaped my eyes. I was on 1st avenue when I heard Ella whisper to him, "Put it in your mouth!" To my horror I whirled around and asked what he had. Lars proudly announced it was a rock! I quickly pulled over into the nearest drive (which I never do!) and got out to fish the rock out of his mouth. When I got there he smiled huge, open his mouth for me, and said, "I ate it mommy. All gone!" I was a little horrified, then mad at Ella and Lars, then myself. Then I called Bret who laughed a little then told me to call his mom. She of course responded with, "Call him Rocky Balboa!" The sarcasm in this family runs deep. We all hope this shall pass:)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Carseat Cover

Seems like I have been fairly crafty lately, so I will retro blog about one of my favorite accomplishments. I made another carseat cover for Lars' Britax. The one that was on there is okay but the elastic was a little stretched out and I figured that if I was going to redo that I may want to try to just do the whole thing.

I used paper and created my own pattern. It took much less fabric than I thought it would. I would say the most difficult thing was getting the stuffing right. This seat is a little more padded in a few areas than the Britax carseat and I really liked the fact I could use 100% cotton fill. It really is comfy! Now I am reluctant to show this to others because they may want one. It was possible but not exactly a few hour project. I did it in many sections and really worked on finishing my seams off well. I think the serger my mom gave me may actually help me on a project like this.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Monkey Cape- update....

Getting materials ready
My own bias
The pillowcase effect
Tucks and pleats
Finished product

I have not written about my latest fiasco. I recently showed the beautiful fabric I purchased to make capes for a few of Ella's friend. I took it to school to show a friend, where I am positive I set it down and forgot about it. Well I am pretty good about retracing my steps but after 3 weeks the fabric was still missing. I had a message placed in the announcements- which was read everyday for a week. It was pretty embarrassing but also very funny when kids and teachers alike would ask me why someone would steal my fabric and I received all sorts of questions about why I even had a bag of fabric. I am pretty sure it was just thrown away or it will mysteriously appear towards the end of the year, when some clueless 6th grader finally cleans out his/her locker and remembers my crazy announcement from 3 months ago.

Anyways, I have completed Grace's sock monkey cape. I think it turned out pretty well! I did not edge the applique "G" because I was not sure how it would look in reverse. I made the bias from donated scraps from Jess S. and I used much more of a pillowcase format this time around- which is different from the others I have made- and I must say, much much much easier!

Saturday, April 12, 2008


I think I have all ready stated what a crazy week it has been. I forgot to record the important events for Ella this week from her classroom.

I went to pick her up from school on Monday and like usual I went to the multipurpose room and then we went into her classroom to gather up her many many drawings, bag, lunchbox, and coat. She immediately began looking in her cubby and grabbed out a piece of white paper and said, "Mommy this is so sad. I don't like this." I asked her what it was and she showed me. It was a picture of a hand drawn little girl with a huge X through her face and in block letters across the top it said "NO ELLA". I asked Ella, like the idiot I canbe, if it was hers. (Duh) She said no. She had no idea where it came from. Remaining calm, I wrote a short note on it for the teacher, as I felt she really needed to see it saying something to the effect that she would likely know more what to do with this than I would.

As the night went on though, I regretted not leaving her a much longer note, expressing my sadness and outrage about how dare another student hurt my dear daughter's feelings! I talked to Nora and we both agreed to see what happens. I thought it was strange for sure, and I had my suspiscions as to who it was, but I also tried to ration it out in my head as to how it could have been a joke or a mistake.

Flash forward to the next morning. I arrived at work (my school) late as usual. Well, I was very surprised not have received not one, but two responses in regards to Ella's note. One was from her teacher and one from the school dean.
I can share it here:

Dear Jen,

Hello! Thank you for the note and picture you left for me yesterday evening. First, I want to express how much I am sorry for Ella's hurt feelings! This is certainly not the kind of behavior toward others that we approve of in our classroom!

I wanted to contact you right away, and I thought that email might be easier than calling because I know you are at school (and please know that you can call me anytime today...I'll let Jenn know that I'l be expecting to hear from you).

I did want to let you know that we have a good idea of which other child was involved and that we have been speaking with that child in general this week about thier interactions with other children. Susan has also been in contact with that child's family and now has the copy of the note that was left for Ella. I will call or write as soon as I have further information to share. I have, too, copied this message to Susan so she is communication with us about this.

Thank you for your understanding, and again, I am sorry about the situation and hopeful that today will be a good day for Ella.

She took this incident very seriously which I was glad about. Both Ella and the other student were talked to. Turns out Ella really did not understnad what was going on. The other boy, however, told the teacher that she was not supposed to see that. So his secret message for Ella was really a joke (to him). Sounds like they are all in the process of talking about nice words/ bad words as a whole class now. Many kids were not understanding the consequences of their actions. The little boy made Ella a nice drawing. Thus, "YES ELLA" for my title.

I will say as a parent I was a little taken aback that this kid did put a note in her box as a secret with such a negative visual image. This was about as close to bullying I think you can get in a pre-school classroom. I know several of my friends also were wondering how a Willowwind kid could do this. They think of everyone there as granola, hippy dippy so this negative message seemed very out of character. I laughed at their responses since the a few of the boys in Ella's class have been very much like this since the beginning of the year. Oh yeah, he is also 5 1/2. That is completely 2 years older than Ella, which explains a little to me of how she really does not know what is going on like he does. I am really glad that the teachers took it seriously and they are going to watch their talking as well because I think that is where it all begins.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Hazel is home!

It has been a crazy week! But there is a new girl on the block. Hazel Mae. I am anxiously awaiting meeting her. She was 5 days late in her arrival and she gave us all a scare as she did nto want to come out and her heart rate went down pretty low. We have been helping in what ever ways we can by playing with and taking care of Alice and Greta. I almost forgot to tell her stats; She was born Wed. April 9, 2008 at 4:20 pm (Bret did laugh!) and she was exactly 7 pounds small. My Ella was exactly 7 pounds as well, so this is familiar territory for me, but it is a whole new world for Nora and her other two were closer to 9 pounds. We will likely go meet this little girl tomorrow. Ella has already asked me for a little sister especially now that, as she told me, that Lars is no longer a baby. This about made me cry because I do think of him as my baby. But reality is that he is getting to be such a big boy! I wish Nora and Jeff well with their new little girl and hope they transition smoothly to a family of three!

Monday, April 7, 2008


Did I tell you Clara gave Lars the jackpot of clothing? I really cannot believe how much she gave us- including Jacob's superman jammies- which were from his Superman phase- so I was told. Well Lars may be starting his own. He loves his Superman jammies and looks forward to bedtime and putting on his jammies then proudly waving his fist in the air and yelling "Superman!" I may need to try to get a video clip of this because it truly is adorable. I do not think he knows anything else about who Superman is other than the pictures on the jammies but it really is pretty cute!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Snow today! What season is it?

Why can't I go outside mommy?

I thought it was an April fools joke on me. It snowed in Amana today for about 2 hours this morning. It was cold! Yesterday it was 58 degrees. I am glad it is spring but I can't believe it is spring.

I am also thinking a new baby will be here soon....I can't wait to see this little girl!

Big thanks to Clara too for giving me Lars' entire 3T wardrobe. I am completely aghast at how much she gave me. It really is awesome to just be handed clothes that are nice and cute and not having to search for them. I do not think anyone has ever given me this much. So I am truly grateful.

Soon, I will gain my husband back. He has been very busy getting all of his stats ready for his fantasy baseball draft. It really consumes him for 3 weeks and then he comes back. He had a really nice article in the Press Citizen describing his league, The George Bush League. Boy do they ever take it seriously! But then it is baseball season, which means summer is right around the corner! Woo Hoo!