"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Monday, September 24, 2012

Sunday Snapshot - 5



Ok, yes, it's another post about my Jack-Jack turning 5!  But I just can't help it, he's so darned cute!  And he's so happy to finally be 5, or almost at the time of publication!  I was lucky enough to get his approval for a special 5-year-old photoshoot yesterday afternoon and I'm so glad I did!


Yes, he can be a handful.  Yes there are times he drives me up the wall.  But all in all he is an amazing child.  A big personality.  He loves big, lives big, and dives full-on into everything in life; literally and figuratively.


I know all of these little personality quirks will be what makes him an amazing man when he grows up.  If he has it his way, he's on the fast track to something big.  I'm honored just to follow along!  Happy 5th birthday to my baby big boy!  I love you Jackson!


All is well, picture perfect, in Drosche Land.



Ni Hao Yall



Sunday, September 23, 2012

5

Jackson turns 5 on Tuesday.  5.  Seriously?!

He has been waiting for this day for nearly a year, no joke.  Jack has always been a kid that wants to be older.  He wasn't content to coo, he wanted to talk.  He wasn't content to crawl, he wanted to run.  He wasn't content to play with baby toys, he wanted to play with big kid toys.  You get the picture.  So 5 for him is practically adulthood.  An entire hand.

We celebrated his birthday yesterday and this post was to come last night, but we had his party at Chuck E. Cheese.  Enough said right?  Now you can guess why this wasn't published.  Usually we have the boys' birthday parties at home, with just the family invited.  Until they're 6 that it, that's when they can have a big party with their friends.  But Jack had been looking forward to this birthday for so long we decided to make it a little special.  So we held our family party at the most insane fun place he could think of - Chuck E. Cheese.  Truth be told, I love me some Chuck E. Cheese though so I was pretty happy.  My favorite games are the ones where you insert the token and it drops, pushing others further to the precipice.  You know, the one where the more tokens that get pushed off, the more tickets you get.  Its like a gambling gateway game.  Just one more token and the rest will fall and you'll win big.  Chuck E. Cheese, like a closer, cheaper Vegas!  But I digress.

What we didn't anticipate for the party were the other 6 million people heading out on a Saturday evening in late September to enjoy pizza and games.  But as a parent you take one for the team when it comes to your kids.  Even if that means braving the crowds or pizza-crazed kids, lax parenting, and wide sampling of the population (seriously, you see some interesting people there).  But in the end it was a fun and successful time and the boys and their cousins had a great time.  Stella didn't take to the noise so much, but she tolerated it as best she could.

Jack was on cloud nine the entire night.  The tokens, the orange soda, the pizza, the games, the presents, the cake.  Oh the cake!  This year, in a startling break from tradition he chose to get his cake from Sam's rather than Costco.  Yes, we have memberships to both but that's another post.  Also, instead of the typical cake, he chose a cookie cake.  Jack, always his own person.  However, in case you didn't know already I'll tell you, the cookie cakes from Sam's are incredible.  They're not just a giant cookie.  They're a giant cookie stacked on top of another giant cookie with chocolate frosting sandwiched in between.  Yes, you read that correctly.  I won't say how much I ate, and don't ask the scale, but I highly recommend it.

So, all in all it was a great day.  Jack is still flying high though because he knows he gets to celebrate again on Tuesday so it's like one big party for him these next few days.  Ahhhh to be 5 again.  5, wow.












All is well, partied out, in Drosche Land.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sunday Snapshot - Helper



Jack is certainly a handful.  Always busy.  Always going.  It's difficult and tiring to try and keep up.  But deep down he's a great kid.  Underneath his rough and tumble exterior is a caring little boy who loves to help.  One of his favorite ways to help is when Amy is cooking.

Whether it's planning a menu, serving as a sous chef, or helping to make something; Jackson loves to be in the kitchen with her.  Truth be told I think a portion of it has to do with the snacking he does while he's helping.  But he's just as equally interested in the cooking portion of his job as well.

Proudly displaying the cookie cutters he picked out  

Lately Amy has been making cookies each weekend for the boys to take in their lunches.  A special, little treat and something she enjoys doing as a Mom.  Of course this is right up Jack's alley.  Helping, cooking, and sweets?  Count him in!  Last weekend Halloween sugar cookies were the baked good of choice and Jack was in it from the get-go.

Amy lending a helping hand

Measuring, mixing, rolling, cutting, frosting.  He was involved in the entire process.  True, he ate quite a bit of cookie dough along the way, but we still ended up with a respectable amount of the finished product.  With as short as his attention span usually is, it was remarkable that he was able to stick around for the entire process.  Me?  I just sat back and watched the two of them work their magic in the kitchen.  It was fun and heartwarming to see them together, teaching and learning.  Quality family time, what memories are made of.  Oh, and I might have snuck a little cookie dough as well!  Shhhhh!

The bakers!

All is well, picture perfect, in Drosche Land.




Ni Hao Yall
  

  


  

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Bespectacled

Well, we knew it was coming.  It had been in the back of our minds for a few years in fact.  But today it finally happened.  Braeden got glasses.  I've mentioned before, here, he has always had a slight strabismus/lazy eye.  We had it checked out a few years ago and confirmed by the opthamologist.  This past summer it reared its head again at his 6-year check up.  We've been watching it and also looking for signs that his vision was weakening.  This morning it was very noticeable so, as there is no time like the present, Amy made an appointment for him and they went off.

The appointment lasted a ridiculously long time and poor Amy and Braeden were stuck at the optometrist's office for like 3 hours.  I'm sure the fun wore off early on.  But he was a trooper and made it through the exam and the dilating of his pupils without any problems.  As it turns out he does have a light vision problem so we decided to act on it now as we'd been suspecting it for so long.

Then the fun began, trying on the frames.  He's a little dude with a proportionately-sized head so many of the frames were just too big.  However, they did manage to find a pair that fir perfectly and he loves them!  Score!  Another perk about having him in my class is the fact that we don't have to explain this to his teacher.  That he needs to wear them in class but not at PE or recess.  That he's been told how to properly take care of them.  One less step to take in the process.

He's always been so self conscious about what others think about him, so naturally we were a little worried about how he'd take the news.  Luckily, he seems unphased and is actually pretty excited about it.  For now at least.  He does have a classmate that occasionally wears her pair of glasses when she remembers, but other than that he's the only one.  Trendsetter?  Well, he is my son!  :)

The one downside to his glasses?  Although he is adorable in them, he looks so much more mature and grown.  A quick reminder that he is no longer a baby or little kid.  Sigh!  At least the adorableness of it all outweighs that and we can pretend for a bit longer to be blissfully unaware at the lightening pace of their growth.  For now we focus on a fun milestone.  That and trying not to need the one-year warranty we purchased to cover the lenses and frames!

Sporting his "3D" glasses, post eye exam!

Seriously, how adorable?
Seriously, 6 years old?

All is well, and clearly seen, in Drosche Land.
    

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Connectivity

Well, wouldn't you know it?  I make a vow to not be gone so long and bam, our Internet goes o n the fritz.  And I totally had a Sunday Snapshot too!  Oh well, I guess it'll have to wait until this coming Sunday. Bummer. 

I mean I could have blogged from my iPhone is 4G but that's an ordeal in itself and leads to numerous grammatical and spelling errors. Both of which drive me bananas when I find them elsewhere, so I truly loath making them myself. But here I am. 

Having the Internet down got me thinking about how much we rely on it, that and technology in general. I mean, I wasn't totally disconnected (Yikes!  I cringe just thinking about it) as I could still use 4G for everything but still. We've taken a break from cable again, a topic for another post, so no Internet connection meant no way to access Netflix of Hulu.  Gasp!  Only network TV?!  

Now you know how addicted I am to technology and media in general, too much I know. So maybe I was affected more than the average person?  Maybe not?  It made me wonder what life will be like for the kids in the future, or in a few years for that matter?  How will minor interruptions in connections affect them?

Speaking of technology, in my already random and rambling post, today the new iPhone 5 was announced at Apple's big event. Woo hoo!  Now I'm not getting one, I don't need one as my 4S is only a year old. But it is still so much fun to see all of the new features and offerings Apple has for us all.  I can dream right? :)

Well, I think that about wraps up my random, stream-of-consciousness post.  Maybe I'm sleep-deprived or suffering the effects of limited connectivity an technology?  Maybe I'm just in a random mood?  Hmmmm?

All is well, connected again, in Drosche Land. 

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Bust A Move

It's no secret that the boys love them some video games.  It might border on addiction, but it's all good.  Now that school has begun we limit their video game time to the weekends, during the week it's homework and family time at night.  Needless to say they spend a majority of the week looking forward to the weekend.  It brings a whole new meaning to the 80's song "Working for the Weekend".  You know the one.

Thanks to Redbox the boys can play new Wii games all the time without Amy and I having to shell out the big bucks for them.  A great try before you buy situation.  Last weekend Amy stopped and picked up a new game on a whim, this one for the whole family, Just Dance.  She thought it would be something fun and different for us all to play together.  Little did she know the hilarity that would ensue.

As it turns out, the game was a huge hit in our house and we all spent the better part of a day and a half playing it.  None of us will be appearing on So You Think You Can Dance anytime soon, but we've each got a few good moves in us!

Groans of disappointment were sounded when it was time to return the rental, but who knows.  Maybe we have a future with this game?  What better way to spend time together as a family than acting goofy and honing our dance moves?

I took a quick video of the boys dancing to one of our favorite songs and I still can't help but crack up every time I see it.  Good times.  Oh and yes, Jack is only in his underwear.  He's at that stage in life. Well, actually he's been at that stage for most of his life!  Ahhhhh, even more ammo from this video to show to his future wife!

All is well, as a family of dancing machines, in Drosche Land.

video

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Teamwork

Ok, so Amy and I are both well into our respective school years and I have to admit, having her also teach First Grade has turned out to be a lot more fun than I thought it would be. Sure I knew we'd be able to talk shop and share ideas, but it's turned out to be even better than that.  I've told her that it's just like having a team teacher but without having to share anything or the obligation to do it someone else's way.

This might come as a surprise to you, but I'm a little OCD/particular about the way I do things.  It's not that I don't play well with others or don't get along, it's just that I have slight control issues. Especially when it comes to my classroom. I want things done my way. The first time. And only my way. I hate being away from the classroom, regardless of how awesome my Sub might be. It's never going to be done MY way.  Controlling, OCD, anal; call it what you will, it's just a fact of life. I've always said that I don't know how I would ever be able to teach the same grade as a coworker and team teach. I'm not sure I'm cut out for that. However, having Amy as a First Grade teacher seems to have presented me with the best of both worlds!

I have a peer who I can bounce ideas off of, go to for advice/counseling, and share things with. But, at the end of the day, I don't have to trade off for any subjects and my classroom is still just that - mine!  See what I mean? She's already given me many great ideas and fresh perspective on things.  I can get in a rut and, although I'm not always a fan of change, I do try to change things up from year to year to keep it interesting.  Having Amy around is only going to help me out in this department.

It's also been fun to see her as a teacher once again. I'd forgotten just how much fun it was to share teacher stories and talk shop. It also serves as a bit of therapy when she experiences the same or similar things as I do. Maybe it's not just me?!  Maybe it's 6-year-olds in general sometimes!  She's having such a great time too, it makes me happy. She loves her job and it's going so well!

Even though it's only been a few weeks, I can tell this year is going to be a good one.  Turns out change isn't always such a bad thing. Who knew?

All is well, Team Drosche, in Drosche Land.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Sunday Snapshot - 3 Months


3 months gone.  Where did they go?  I'm still asking myself that very question.  All I know is that suddenly Stella is no longer an infant.  She's a full-on baby now.  She smiles, coos, and laughs.  She kicks and has discovered her hands (totally in awe of them still!).  She's even working hard to sit herself up, although she still needs the help of her trusty Bumbo chair to sit upright.

Her smile melts me!

She's finally past the blob stage where she just lays around.  However, I completely forgot how this stage in life brings on the frustrations of not being able to do what they want when they want to do it!  Oh the drama our Little Miss can bring about!  But generally she is always in a good mood and her smile is infectious!

Love this clip!

So we're 1/4 of the way to her 1st birthday.  It sounds so far away yet when I look at how fast the past 3 months have flown by, it's a little scary.  But of course I'm enjoying it.  I didn't think I'd forgotten much about having a baby, but apparently I had.  Plus, throw a girl in the works and it's a little like being a first time parent again!  Only the late nights are definitely different when you're in your 30's than when you're in your 20's!  Fun! 

My girl!
All is well, picture perfect, in Drosche Land.


Ni Hao Yall

  



A Brief Hiatus

Well, I'm back again.  This time it's been about 2 weeks since my last post, I think that's a record.  One I wish I didn't have, but one nonetheless.  Let's see, 2 weeks.  What's been going on.  In short - lots.  Life, once again, and school have kept my away from the blog dear readers.  But it's a new month and with that I'm back, for good this time.

So, on with the catching up.  Obviously a lot has happened since we last hung out.  However, the biggest thing centers around Little Miss Stella.  Both boys have had their own minor little medical drama in life.  A couple of years ago Braeden fell out of the car and hit his head on another car.  A bloody trip to the urgent care center resulted in a large wad of glue on the back of his head.  A small bald spot remains.  Our first adventure with trauma.  Shortly thereafter Jack, ever the daredevil, took a face-plant into the wall and broke his nose.  Yes, that's right, broke his nose.  He couldn't have been much more than 18 months old.  Scary as it was, there was far less blood than the head injury so we were considering ourselves pros by now.

Stella, however, has decided that she will stand out.  Not only beating the boys by having a major event at only 3 months, but also by throwing in not 1, but 2, ambulance rides, a first here in Drosche Land.  "What?!" you say?  Well, just sit back and read on.

Flashback to the last post on August 19.  The kids and I were 3 days into the school year and Amy was just getting ready to begin (another event from the hiatus that I'll have to touch on later).  The week began normally enough.  Monday and Tuesday were fine.  Then came Wednesday.  Wow.  Late in the afternoon Stella's teacher came to my classroom with "the look".  If you're a teacher where your own child attends school you know "the look".  If you're not, rest assured, you're getting "the look" when you get "the call".  You know the one.  Where your child has a fever and is being sent home sick from school.  Well, there's a look, trust me.  A "Sorry!" look.  So I knew right away.  Crap!  It was literally Amy's first day of school so she couldn't take off.  I'd only been in a week, but it was my turn.  So I made plans to be out the next day.  Well, I'd make the most of the day at home with a sick kid.  Grading, organizing, revamping my Sub Folder, etc.  I brought a variety of things home with me to pass the time, in addition to blogging and Netflix.  But I was never going to get the chance to enjoy them.  Cue dramatic music - Bum bum buuuuummmmm!

Stella did alright that night, fevered and not eating well.  We were sure it was just a cold.  The next morning I drove the boys to school with the intention of taking her straight to the doctor.  But at school I realized that her breathing wasn't so great.  Yikes.  I hurried to the doctor where they confirmed my fears.  The nurse took one look at her, didn't even weigh her, and brought in a doctor who immediately ordered a breathing treatment.  A few minutes later I was informed that we were being taken to the hospital, via ambulance, because she was in respiratory distress.  Yikes.  So I e-mailed Amy and told her.  But she needn't worry, I had it all handled and there was no reason to leave work.  A short ambulance ride later and we were at the hospital and Stella was receiving another, more intense, breathing treatment.  Throw in some steroids, suctions, x-rays, and an episode of CSI: Miami and we were just sitting in an ER room.  All seemed well.  Until.  Bum bum buuuuummmmm!

Then I got the news that we would be transported to another hospital, one with a transitional unit.  It seems that she wasn't bad off enough to go into the ICU, but she wasn't in good enough shape to be admitted into a regular room.  So, off we went.  And this wasn't just any ambulance mind you, this was a mobile ICU!  By now Amy had left work and ended up meeting us at the hospital.  By now the 5 breathing treatments and 4 doses of steroids had done their job and she was on the mend, totally different than she was just a few hours prior.  But we still needed to stay overnight for observation.  So we did.  On the upside we found out that Jimmy John's makes a wicked BLT and Beach Club, trust me, try them!

The official diagnosis was croup.  A day later Amy went to the doctor and found out she had an ear infection, strep throat, and bronchitis.  She'd been feeling poorly for a while so she went in.  My girls were not doing so well but I'm happy to say that here we are, a week later, and they are both on the mend and doing well.  Hopefully illnesses are far behind us now and we will have a smooth cold and flu season.  Hopefully.

So now each of the kids has a fun story to share about medical adventures, although Stella may have the uphand for now.  An interesting side note: Stella and I somehow bonded over the adventures that day.  She used to only smile at Amy and stare at me.  But now every time she sees me she grins, coos, and bats her eyes.  We're tight now and Amy jokes that I  finally have my little Princess.  Weird, but I guess we bonded in some sense.

Well, there you have it.  The most eventful happening of the past 2-week hiatus.  Luckily for us things are settling into our usual "boring" lives, and I use "boring" as a positive term considering the events of this story.  We could use a little "boring" right about now, and hopefully for the unforeseeable future!

All is well, somewhat caught up, in Drosche Land.