Thursday, August 28, 2008


I am unsure of how to even begin this post and afraid of what I will have to post after this one. Paula is leaving us and I don't know how to handle it or what to do. :( She has been in the hospital for about a week without a lot of answers and with a lot of ups and downs and today it became clear that there is not anything that can be done to help her.
My heart is so heavy. I could barely contain my tears when I tucked the kids into bed and wondered why I was lucky enough to be home with them when she couldn't. She is an amazing person, amazing mother and has been an amazing friend to me. Please keep the Kohn family in your prayers.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


I took this quiz that I found on my girlfriends blog (thanks Darby!) and I wondered if there was any possibility that 8 questions could possibly even begin to delve into the depths of my high school hell... apparently, YES, it is quite accurate. ;)

You Were the Arty Kid

Whether you were a drama freak or an emo poet, you definitely were expressive and unique.

You're probably a little less weird these days - but even more talented!

Mickey, here we come!

How darn cute am I? Aren't I talented?! I know, I know. Hold the applause. ;) I was making fun of- er... watching- I was watching Martha Stewart one morning and she was making these REALLY cute appliqued t-shirts and I decided Neily and Jack HAD to have one! They were made with Amy Butler fabrics, my fave, and then I got the idea to do customized Mickey tees for our trip in a few weeks. I set out to make some for the kids, and then remembered I already had some Amy Butler fabric in my stash, so I made one for myself as well. I didn't have the best print for mine, but it looks cute anyway. I love the classic Mickey for the kids! Although I just realized I made Jack's shirt white. Oy. What was I thinking?! He's going to need a spare. ;) Eddie didn't put in a request for a cool shirt at first, but now I think he wants one and won't admit it. He has worse Mouse Fever than I do, in fact, he was the brains behind this whole trip! I found a *cool* man fabric... even a little indie looking. I think he'll wear it. Maybe we shouldn't all wear them the same day, though. LOL!


I've felt a little sorry for Jack lately, he really misses his friends now that school is back in session and everyone is gone. He will start next week, but this week I've been trying to find things for us to do together. We made rice krispie treats on Monday, we played games yesterday, and today I had to run some errands. When we got in the car, I realized I hadn't even fed him breakfast yet! I asked if he wanted to go to McDonalds with me. Of course, I got a big fat YES!!!!!!
He ordered his favorite, hot cakes, and was very concerned as to why no toy was included with breakfast. Other than that, I think he loved it!

Happy birthday Icky!

;) Just wanted to say it again. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Jack the comedian?

I took Jack to school today to meet his teacher for this year. He is going to the same school and will be in the same classroom, but has one new teacher. Luckily, he still has Ms. Cain and Mrs. Owen, which made him really excited.
We met Mrs. Carson today, who seems very nice. We'll definitely miss seeing Miss Katie every day, she really *got* Jack. Let's hope Mrs. Carson can keep up with him, she seems very quiet! And we know that Jack... is not.
Anyway, Jack seems to be a bit of a celebrity at school. EVERYONE on the summer staff remembered him and wanted to say hello and hear about his summer. Jack hasn't talked about school much this summer, honestly, but the second we pulled into the parking lot, he was chatting away all about it, so I know he'll be happy to go back. He just has a one track mind.
As we were leaving, he ran into another group of the teachers from a different class, and they asked if he was ready to get back to school. Then they asked if he was up for more tricks this year. Miss Kelly informed me that she and Jack used to play tricks on Miss Lisa by putting sticks and leaves on her seat when she got up. LOL! He thought it was HYSTERICAL, and couldn't wait to do it again. Goofy kid!

Oh, and on a side note, third day of school and we nearly missed the bus. LOL! I was walking Neily up to the bus stop at what I *thought* was ten minutes early only to see the bus start to pull away. I told Neily not to worry, it was the intermediate bus, but nope! It wasn't! Luckily our neighbors held the bus for us but Neily had to RUN. Apparently, the drivers 'told' the kindergarteners to tell moms and dads that the bus would now be coming 15 minutes earlier. And they were surprised that they didn't remember?! In any case, I felt sad all morning because I hadn't gotten to kiss her goodbye, but she seemed to make it through just fine. Come to find out that the entire rest of the neighborhood missed the bus, so I guess we did okay after all. LOL!

And here I was all worried about Em up at school...

But I just checked her Facebook page and I'm prrrrrrrrrrrrretty sure she's doing okay. ;)

Friday, August 22, 2008

First day of school! First day of school!

She woke up all bright eyed and bushy tailed for us this morning, talking nonstop. She said that she'd woken up a lot during the night ready to go but it was still dark out. When I went into her room, she popped her head up and said, "YES! It's finally light out!" Through breakfast, she was all chatterboxy about how her day was going to be soooo great. ;)

All set to go! Check out the height differences every year as she got older! WOW!

Waiting at the bus stop. She stuck a little close by, and was pretty quiet. At the bus stop just before ours, I could see her little friends get on and I started to get choked up. I knelt down by her and told her, "If I cry when you get on the bus, don't worry, it's just because I'm really happy for you but I can't believe you're big enough to go to school! Don't cry if you see me cry, I'll be okay." She gave me this face that I can't quite describe, then she took my chin in her hand and kissed me and then brushed my hair out of my face. Then she told me, "It's okay, I'm going to have a great time!"

Barely even gave us a hug when the bus came! She followed our neighbors, Hannah and Cameron on like a little pro.

She walked way to the back and I panicked for her, thinking she would get stuck with no seat or a bunch of older kids, but she plopped right down with her friends Grace and Natalie and they started chatting away. She never even looked our way until the bus started to pull off. Then she smiled and waved. Can you see her in the middle window in the aisle seat?

So Neily is off to kindergarten! The whole thing went off without a hitch... truthfully, not too exciting! ;) When she got off the bus, classic Neily- she gave me a thumbs up and didn't really say much more. I never heard anything about preschool, so I didn't expect to hear much about today either! I mostly found out that the bus went the wrong direction and turned around in Daddy's old work parking lot (Whaaaa? School is around the corner, how can they turn the wrong way??), Mrs. Hoffman is nice and sweet, she drew us a picture (of a mermaid with a coconut bra, great first impression, right?!?), and Mr. Honthy, the gym teacher is AWESOME! (according to her)

First soccer game tomorrow, sheesh!

Neiliy's fourth year

So... I just realized after uploading an entire set of pictures that I have screwed something up in my timeline, but this has been way too time consuming to figure it out, so just enjoy the pictures. LOL! This is Neily's 4th birthday to her 5th birthday. :)

Happy fourth birthday Neily! She requested Strawberry Shortcake. For her birthday, she got a Leapster and a Fisher Price camera. The camera lasted about a week, and the Leapster is still a favorite nearly two years later!

Grandma gave her tickets to the aquarium for her birthday, which was a huge hit! She had her face painted while we were there. Fancy, huh?

In June, we hit the beach of Chicago! The kids looooooooove this and ask when we're going back nearly once a week!

And she was a flower girl for the first time for Aunt Amanda!

And by the time Aunt Lindsay's wedding rolled around, she was a pro. ;)

Our second 'first day of school!' She was a big kid now and there were no worries marching into school!

We learned how to tailgate this year... and made new friends. ;)

First year she was able to stay up until midnight for the ball drop on New Year's Eve! Crazy kid!

She made her own Valentines this year, we took her picture and she glued them all together.

Happy fifth birthday Neily!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Neily's third year

We took Neily to the circus when she had just turned two, and the cotton candy obsession began.

She moved into a big girl bed at 2 1/2! She thought she was HOT STUFF. I still love this bed and wish it could have made it just a few more years, I can't bring myself to toss it even though I know it's beyond repair. She transitioned to her big girl bed SO well, it was amazing! She never once got out of her bed- even in the morning, she would wait for us to come and get her! I can remember opening her door to check on her and she was laying there playing with her cup and waiting for me to appear. ;)

Cowgirls at Jack's first birthday party!

The 'first' first day of school! She looks so little! She LOVED every second of school from the start. She had a wonderful teacher, Mrs. Fenstermaker, who she still talks about today.

In September, we had to say goodbye to Icky and Phil when they moved to Chicago. :( It was sad because Linds had always been around, it was rough on Neily at first, she asked if we would see her each and every day. Luckily we were able to go visit a lot and fell in love with Chicago!

For Halloween, Neily insisted on being a kitty cat! She was the cutest kitty on the block. Nana made her costume, which she still plays with!

A disastrous attempt at the pumpkin patch.....

Merry Christmas! I am STILL thrilled that I got this picture- and Jack doesn't even have a smile on his face!

She started dance class too! She was the littlest one but she followed along so well and loved it. You can see her reflection in the mirror.

Happy 3rd birthday Neily!!!!
I'm sorry. I had to.

Neily's second year

Neily was so cute and funny at this age. She had her first pet, Ishy the Fishy, who would. not. die. I guess he finally did, because he's not here anymore... but I honestly can't remember what happened to him! She loved Ishy more than anything!

This was the summer of the cicadas out in Indiana, DISGUSTING! Thanks to Emily to introducing them to Neily at a young age and showing her how gross they really were!

Baby Jack joined the family in July and Neily didn't exactly welcome his presence. She never acted out against us or him, but she blatantly ignored him for the first few months of his life. Once he started to touch her and talk to her, the fun began and Neily didn't want him anywhere near her! Jack of course has always adored Neily, and she's finally coming around. ;)

See? Always a fish!

And has NEVER loved the snow. It's gotten better since this picture was taken, but ooooh boy! This was the big snowstorm of 2004- three days before Christmas and we were completely snowed in! Of course we weren't finished with all of our shopping and because of that, we are now early birds, vowing that will never happen to us again! This was also the year that our heater decided it was quitting on us. Two days before Christmas. We pulled out of the driveway on Christmas Eve and waved to the HVAC guys who were intalling a new one for us in time for Christmas. That was our gift to each other that year.... *sigh*

Neily's second birthday! She was in LOVE with Dora, so we surprised her with a whole Dora theme. I always hated themey bday parties, but for the family parties, it's too much fun to watch their face light up, so I just go with it each year. We set everything up during her nap. I'll never forget the look on her face when she came downstairs!

Neily's first year

Miss Neily Jane arrived at 10:26 am on February 27th, 2003. She arrived in her own way, her own time. We would come to realize later that this was how she was always going to be! Independent and her way or the highway. ;) She was the BEST newborn and baby. All of our friends struggled with fitting their newborns into their lives, we didn't. She was a great eater, great sleeper, and almost always happy. The only thing she did early on to make us crazy was show off her fabulous puking skills- is something wrong with her? Yes? No? We don't know. She was quite a little chub, so likely NO!

Neily had tons of admirers waiting to hold her and snuggle her. The line was always very long. :)

At around 7 months, she picked up this habit that we all affectionately called "Piggy Face". She must have known it made everyone laugh, because she would whip it out whenever you glanced her direction. No matter what you said to her, she would answer with that face. Eventually people started addressing her by saying, "What does a piggy say?" and she would answer with that and loved that everyone laughed at her. She was an early crawler but never got into anything serious. She was just happy to be moving around and checking things out.

Happy Halloween! Neily was Dorothy. Started out that way because there was no other option- as a first time mom, I had no idea that you had to shop for Halloween costumes in September or they'd be sold out! Now I know. ;) Ended up being my favorite costume of hers ever.

Third or fourth attempt at a Christmas picture of our family. We ended up not even bothering to send one out, now that I look back, I really love this picture and wonder why I didn't just use it!

First steps at 9 1/2 months old! She walked between Aunt Icky and Daddy for ages, sooo proud of herself! Again, like crawling, she was just so happy to walk that she spent most of her time walking and giggling, not really getting into anything. It became very clear as the years went on that Neily was hiding her evil little twin from us for her first few years. ;)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Disclaimer: There are no pictures in this post! I am on my way out the door for kindergarten orientation. ;) I'm gearing up for a major, major picture post tomorrow, stay tuned!

I just had to share a bit about our day. A quick background- Neily has been nothing but happy- even aloof sometimes- about starting kindergarten, like she'd been ready for years. I had a quiet moment alone with her at one point yesterday and I sat her in my lap and we were talking about kindergarten and how I couldn't believe she was heading off to school. I said, "Have you had fun staying home with me so far? Do you think I did a good job being a mommy?" (loaded question) She politely said yes, and I told her, "I am really going to miss you!" I must have pushed a button, because that got the tears flowing (hers, not mine!) and she got very upset, saying how much she was going to miss me and didn't want to go. This morning, Neily had her kindergarten tour at 9:30 this morning, so Jack went to play with his buddy while I took her in to school to meet her teacher. On the way in to school, she got very quiet- unusually quiet. She would not let go of my hand, and she was very shy talking to the teachers.
They did a quick assessment, asking some questions to gauge each kindergarteners understanding of certain skills. The first question she was asked was "Why do we wash our hands?" They are trying to determine if they understand why, when, where, etc. SILENCE. Complete and utter silence from Neily! Apparently we have never explained why it's important to wash your hands. ;) She finally said, "I don't know." She quickly perked up and answered the rest of the questions flawlessly and her teacher told me later that she was sure she was just being shy. I told her to enjoy it, because that was the last time she would ever see Neily acting *shy* and we had a good laugh. On the way out, Neily was back to normal, jumping and skipping and telling me all about how happy she was. Then she said, "I don't think I'm gonna miss you now, that's going to be too much fun!"
Oh! My heart! ;) I've known from the day she was born that Neily was just different and she was ready to fly away. She's independent and very confident that she can handle anything, she has made it hard to worry about her! I always knew we'd have to let her fly, but it has certainly happened a little faster than I thought.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

One fish, two fish

What a summer we've had! I feel guilty (don't all moms?) now that summer is coming to an end, but when I look back, I think we spent the summer in just the right way! Maybe I didn't plan out a curriculum for them each day or teach Neily to read (although she did it for herself!) but we did what really counts- we spent a lot of time together and did what they really wanted to do. That usually included the pool! They were happy- ecstatic!- most days to get up and take a picnic lunch to the pool, that was usually the request I received.
At the start of the summer, we had one little boy who shall remain nameless that would NOT get in the pool to save his life. He cried. He whined. He was shaking because he was so afraid. We ended the summer with half boy/half fish! We plan to protect his privacy so that when he one day shatters Michael Phelps' Olympic records, he won't ever be ratted out as a kid who didn't like the water at one point. ;)

I'm pretty sure that Neily was born part mermaid, as she has ALWAYS taken to the water and been happier there than anywhere else. A few swim lessons and she is at a whole new level. She loves to flip underwater, do handstands, and show off how she can swim the length of the pool. I think I see swim team in our future. ;)