Friday, May 28, 2010

My best girlfriends! Girls Weekend 2010...

See these girls?

These are the BEST girlfriends a girl could ask for.
I have known Susie and Shelley for almost 15 years.
And every year we find a way to get together for a girls weekend.
Whether it's at the Tech Homecoming game in Ruston.....

Or for someone's birthday! (Here we were glammed up for my 30th birthday party!)
We ALWAYS find a way to leave the husbands, children, and pets at home and take a couple of days to reunite. There is always LOTS of drinking, laughing, and reminiscing.

Our Annual Girls Weekend begins at 3:30 p.m. today when Susie and I will drive to Baton Rouge. Look out Baton Rouge! Here we come!
I am very blessed to have these amazing women in my life.
(AND - I am also very blessed to have a husband who never complains when the annual girls weekend comes around. He graciously takes over at home while I soak up some time with these girls. Thanks honey!)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

She did WHAT!??!

Apparently Kennedy thought she needed a haircut. She told Mrs. Ward she cut it so "it would look like my mommy's hair." I think she was saying that to make up for the big **GASP** that Mrs. Ward gave when she saw what Kennedy had done.

Mrs. Ward sent the evidence home with Kennedy. A nice chunk cut from the front of her sweet little head.
The bad news? My child feels a little to free with scissors.... last week she cut her lip because she put the scissors up to her mouth and started snipping.

The good news? When I put her hair in a ponytail this morning, you couldn't see the missing chunk. I think we might just try to conceal it because not being able to put her hair in a ponytail for the summer would be a challenge....

Oy vey....

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Kindergarten Year

My Dearest Kennedy,

I cannot believe your first year of school is over. I remember your first day of kindergarten last summer when you proudly put on your crisp new navy and gold uniform and you gently held my hand as I walked you into your class. You were a little timid walking in, not knowing anyone or what to do. I did not want to cry in front of you, but you can see it in the pictures your daddy took of us that I was tearing up.

Now you walk right in with no fear.. with your ponytail swinging, your backpack secured to your back with your homemade lunch inside, and the biggest smile on your face. You wave goodbye and on the rare occasions when I am able to take you to school, I can feel "that" feeling in my throat like I want to tear up again. You look so SMALL up next to those BIG kids and even BIGGER school. But you are not afraid. You are confident and happy... and the most amazing daughter. Each day that passes, I love you more and more.

Your kindergarten year has been one that I will always cherish. Your teacher, Mrs. Toni Ward, is a loving, patient, and truly gifted teacher. I will do whatever it takes for Brady to have her in a few years.

(Okay Jennifer - don't start thinking about Brady going to kindergarten... the tears will definitely come flowing then!!!)

Kennedy - you have had an absolute blast this year. You had Rodeo Day, Dr. Seuss Christmas, pajama day, Halloween dress up, Field Day, graduation, and many more events that have helped you grow and blossom into a bubbly little first grader. Last night, we snuggled in your bed with about 500 stuff animals surrounding us and we looked at every page in your first ever yearbook. What a special moment that was to me. You pointed out your friends, teachers you knew, and we talked about the fun you have had this year.

My sweet "Lil Bit" - I love you more than you will ever know. I cannot wait to see what First Grade brings!

Love always,

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Third year of dance...

Our ballet recital this year was much different than the past two years. We had to change studios this year... totally mama's fault because I didn't know you couldn't start classes in December. Note to self: sign up EARLY this year.

So we started late and ended up in the only available class on Saturday mornings. Only three little ballerinas in her class and all one year younger than her. But that was okay for my sweet baby girl because it meant she got to be the LEAD! Haha!

(She never met a camera she didn't like. I LOVE that about her...)

The song was "Funny Face" so they kept making funny faces at the crowd. When her teacher, Ms. Rebecca, told her that they were going to be kind of like clowns for their recital, she nearly had a melt down.

"A clown, mommy? I don't WANT to be a clown! Ballerinas aren't clowns!!"

But........when she saw the hot pink and polka dots, she was okay.
Every dancer needs flowers after their big performance! She was so happy to have fans in the crowd: Aunt Susie (a dancer for many years!), Aunt Tracy, Lauren, Nina... and of course our favorite guys Daddy and Brady. Brady kept pointing to the stage saying, "Sissy???" He was excited to see his big sister perform.

I hope Kennedy continues to take dance. If she decides to move on to something else, that's okay, too. But I will ALWAYS remember these days with her beaming personality on stage!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Catch Up

To say that I am tired is an understatement. It's SUCH an understatement that I decided to look up the thesaurus to find better adjectives:

"petered out" .... "burned out" .... "broken down" .... "wasted" .... "haggard" ... "tuckered out"

Okay, you get the picture. Exhaustion has set into my lil body and I will need several naps this weekend to keep myself from turning into an emotional puddle of poo.

So in very few words (because writing another sentence makes my head hurt), here's what's been going on in the LaPierre house:

1. Lots and lots of playing outside. The kids LOVE to play outside, so every night - we head out to ride bikes, write each other love notes in sidewalk chalk, and play in the sprinkler.

2. At an impromptu Monday night BBQ, we had the chance to see all of our North Bossier friends (and some new friends that Leann has known for quite some time). Rarely do we all get a chance to get together with all the kids. It's a little hectic, but fun to see the little ones play together.

(My daughter never met a camera she didn't like..... but we all know that. I love that she is so confident!)

3. Kennedy helped me plant some flowers to freshen up the front flowerbeds. We even bought her some seeds to plant her own little flower in a terracotta pot. She is trying to remember to water it. It's hard when there are more fun things to do like play outside, jump on a neighbor's trampoline, run through the sprinkler........

4. This week, our sweet girl graduated from Kindergarten. Chris said they don't do this type of thing in Maine, so I explained the whole deal. His question: Do they do this EVERY year? Since she "graduated" from pre-school last year and kindergarten this year, it's a legitimate question. Thank goodness the answer is NO! We'll see in her a cap and gown again in about 13 years when she graduates from high school. I have a feeling those 13 years will FLY by.

5. We celebrated my BFF's birthday at a very high-end restaurant in town. I was excited because Susie is a very low-key private person, so we have done very small birthday celebrations the past two years. This year, she was ready for dinner with some close friends. Oh - and a birthday tiara and sarepta are always fun!

6. Kennedy's ballet recital is this weekend. We had threeeeeeeeeee dress rehearsals. Pictures from the stage coming after the weekend.

7. This picture just might say it all......... HELP!

In the midst of all the spring activities, I wrapped up my second semester as a graduate student. This term, I took Organizational Communication and studied General Motors and Toyota. My research was comparing the two companies in the middle of their crises to determine who is winning the public relations war. It was very interesting, but extremely difficult to keep up with the daily updates to the story since both companies are in the news regularly. So, at the end of the semester, I wrote 7,000 words on the subject. I managed to finish at 3:00 a.m. on the day it was due... and the hard work paid off. My professor gave me a 100%.

No rest for the weary though. I have to catch up at my paying job. And summer school starts in two weeks. Please send caffeine in large quantities!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day

Mother's Day is my absolute favorite day of the year. I love it better than my birthday... better than Christmas.... better than the last day of a semester. It truly is THE best day of the year.

Because even though I tell my kids I love them every day....

And even though I give them lots of hugs and kisses every single solitary day...

And even though they drive me crazy from time to time...

And even when I show up to work with crusted boogers on my shirt... or can't get a sentence out to Chris because they interrupt... or never get to finish a meal while it's hot... or clean up their messes non-stop...

I know they were my creation. Yes, Chris definitely helped!! I couldn't have done it without him. But I am the one who carried them for ten long months, nurishing them with my sometimes-unhealthy-but-mostly-good food, singing them songs hoping they could hear me, decorating their rooms in preparation for their arrival. They are my little angels from God. I truly believe this. I was blessed beyond measure when so many women are unable to physically carry babies on their own.

Each one of my children has changed me.

Kennedy has given me an amazing sense of awe. She lights up a room when she walks in and I hope that my continuous encouragement for her to be anything she wants will help her into adulthood. She has such a warm and loving heart and I have watched her blossom into a young schoolager who loves to learn, draw, and smile as if she is the happiest child on earth. When she gets too big for her britches, I am suddenly blessed with a moment that let's me know she's still my baby girl. Last night when she woke up crying from a nightmare, I snuggled up next to her and saw the expression of her as a one-year-old. Part of me cried that she isn't that age anymore; part of me was greatful for the glimpse of the little girl who was once my only child.

And just when I thought my days of toddler snuggles were over with Kennedy, along comes Brady who has captured my heart like I didn't know was possible. Little boys know how to make their mamas melt. Brady has taught me that it IS okay to love two children... that love is not taken away from my Kennedy to give to another child. But that each child is loved in different ways, but BOTH loved equally.

So being a mother, while stressful, exhausting, overwhelming, emotional, challenging, and frustrating, is truly the most amazing job in the world. I love it more and more every day.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Teacher Appreciation Week

I am a semi-creative person. SEMI. I can copy most of the projects I find. I consider myself a good copier. Original ideas? Ummmm, not so much. So imagine my delight when I found this crafty blog eighteen25 and all its wonderful craft projects!

Here's the thing. Craft projects I am willing to tackle must follow these rules:
1. Require ONLY inexpensive supplies
2. Need only basic tools (like scissors and glue... nothing crazy like scrapbook die cutters)
3. Be able to complete in one afternoon

It's not that I don't enjoy a weekend of craft-making goodness... it's just that, uh - I don't have time! Remember the whole 40-hour job + 2 kids + grad school. It's sad really... because I often channel the spirit of Martha Stewart. I love, love, love flipping through her magazines.

Okay, onto the project from eighteen25 - Teacher Appreciation Week! We love Mrs. Ward, so doing something unique for her was a no-brainer. Look how cute!

So you get one of these divided boxes from Wally World and fill it with matching goodies - paperclips, magnetic clips, CHOCOLATE!

Then on the box top, you wrap the outside with gros grain ribbon FIRST, so that it gets glued in with your paper. You cut the scrapbook paper to the size of the inset on the top of the box - and glue it on. The you add your teacher's name with letter stickers.. and PRESTO! Unique gift!!

My directions were very basic (remember my craft rules? BASIC! EASY!)
Get the complete directions from my friends at eighteen 25 here! Enjoy!!
And to all the teachers in my life, thank you for all that you do to make this world a better place!

First Field Day!

My heart is filled with unbelievable happiness when I think about Kennedy's first Field Day last week. When I was in elementary school (not saying how many years ago...), we always had so much fun at Field Day. For our friends and relatives living elsewhere, Field Day is an entire day of outdoor games - WITH RIBBONS WHEN YOU WIN!

But winning isn't the most important thing. Okay, WHO am I kidding!? The MORE ribbons, the better! Mrs. Ward's Wild Things ROCKED! I also remember having team names based on our teacher's last name. Kennedy had such a good time and the rain held off just long enough for the kindergarten groups to compete!

Here are Kennedy's favorite girlfriends from Mrs. Ward's class. Kennedy W., Riley Grace, Lauren and my sweet girl. And yes - there is another Kennedy in Mrs. Ward's class. Just when you think you have named your child something unique - they go to school and find that there more! So "Kennedy W." and "Kennedy L." have been friends from the start. Why not? They have precious names!

Do you SEE the determination on my girl's face? This was her favorite event because she said she likes to run. (sniff, sniff - maybe she'll run with me someday!)
The must-have Sack Race. But when I was little (again, MANY years ago) - we had burlap sacks, not these colored sacks with handles! Notice how Kennedy is eyeing her competition in the lane next to her.
And I could JUST CRY with joy looking at this photo. She was having a BLAST with her egg-on-spoon race. She followed directions by holding her hand behind her back. I saw one kid who used his thumb to hold onto the egg. All the mamas started yelling "CHEATER! CHEATER!" Oops... guess we got a little competitive, too.

And the Tug of War! These kids pulled their little hearts out!!!! And the teachers and parents yelled... uh, I mean, CHEERED on the kids! They won second place in the Tug of War!

Before I know it, Brady will be having his first Field Day in Kindergarten and Chris and I will be jumping back and forth between kindergarten field day and third grade field day. Yikes!! Time is flying!!