Thursday, September 30, 2010


In the past few months, little visitors have entered my bedroom in the middle of the night. Sometimes they just stare at me from across the room, sometimes they poke at my face with their fingers, and sometimes they push me out of the way and steal my precious pillows and blankets, leaving me cold, cramped, and uncomfortable.

Those little visitors are Nora and Emily.

I'd have to say that, when Nora was born 5 1/2 years ago, I knew my sleep schedule was going to be interruped by midnight feedings and the occassional bad dream. I had NO IDEA that this many years on, I would be getting up regularly in the middle of the night. Not every night, but a lot of nights. No wonder I've accquired quite the caffeine habit. Something, Ryan and I decided, needed to be done.

Last winter we played around with the idea of moving the girls into one bedroom and converting the other bedroom into a toy room. I was worried this wouldn't work, seeing that the only experience I had ever heard of involving sisters sharing a room was nothing short of a disaster (yes Aunt Jessica and Aunt Stephanie, I am referring to you). Besides, Nora would never want to leave her beautiful princess bedroom.

Or so I thought. As the months have been going by, the midnight visits have increased steadily. Our sleep, not just the grown-ups sleep but the kids sleep, was suffering. One morning I found Emily asleep on my wooden floor. She was too tired, apparently, to make it all the way over to our bed. That was the final straw.

A few weeks back Ryan and I used our muscles to move furniture and toys and we created two new spaces in our home. Emily's room, which is slightly larger and painted in a lovely shade of calming pink, was chosen as the new bedroom. Nora's huge bed clashes terribly with Emily's daybed, but at the moment I don't care. Really, its more important for them to feel like they have someone, that they're not alone, and that bed is the place for rest.

Nora's purple Princess palace was chosen to be the toyroom. With a minimum of investment (because hey we still don't know if this is really going to work!) we set up the room like a little girl's dream. There are now two toy boxes, two cubed shelves, and an armoire filled with dress-up clothes. The rule is no toys outside of the toyroom. This is designed to help keep the house from looking like a tornado went through it, but more importantly, its to keep the girls from having any distractions that might tempt them out of bed.

So far the switch-a-roo is working! The girls still get out of bed, for sure. But the number of noctural shenanigns are down significantly. And, usually, if one kid gets out of bed, the other follows. I only need to get up once from my chair to put them back to bed!!! This actually does make a difference!

If the switch-a-roo is going to be permanent, I plan on redecorating the girls bedroom for Christmas. Until then I will share pics of the new playroom. Note there is room on the wall for a flat screen TV. I think, personally, that putting a flat screen TV in there is the worst idea ever. They will never play in the yard again as long as they live. But the whole keep the toys in the playroom rule isn't going as well as hoped, so I have to keep my options open.

New Playroom

Saturday, September 25, 2010

School Daze

Is it possible that Emily has been in school for FOUR weeks already??? Is it true that Nora, after only three weeks of school, is reading 32 page books out loud? No wonder I haven't had anytime to post!

My initial blissed out, nothing-to-do state of mind has been replaced by a very busy schooling schedule. Busy yes, but totally rewarding. Emily, Nora, and Momma are loving the fall semester.

Emily is still ga-ga with the school bus. She might not be too keen on finishing her juice or getting dressed in the morning, but when I tell her the school bus is coming, she gets ready as fast as a flash. Teeth brushed, hair combed, shoes on, and out the door. My favorite part of the morning is waving good-bye to her, and sometimes she even smiles back at me! She returns home every day with a note from the teacher letting us know how her day went. Those teachers, they think of everything! One of my biggest worries about sending Emily off was that I would lose those hours of her life; after all, there is no way for her to tell me about her day. She still can't talk about anything but the present moment. But I suppose the other kids in her class are the same way, so they have a worksheet that is sent home with all the information about the day's activities. I can find out the name of the songs they sang and the stories they read, it tells me what snack was offered and if Emily ate it, and if she had any additional services like speech or OT. Its great. Emily always comes home with a big smile, and she proudly hangs her artwork on the fridge. In Em's words, "I love it I love it I love it!"

Nora is also in love with school, although getting my little fashionista out the door can be quite the challenge on most mornings. She spends time with her friends Illiana (another fashionista) and Ian (the only boy that can give Miles a run for his money) in between some serious study time. Her ability to read has just flourished over the past three weeks. I swear her sight words have doubled, and she can read long stories like Courdory and Elmo's ABCs with a minimal amount of help. She continues to work on her math skills as well; no kidding, she's learning fractions. At this rate her mathematical prowess will surpass my own by second grade. I wish I had more to say, but I have to rely on Nora to tell me about her day. For whatever reason, she usually "can't remember". Can't remember, or perhaps she's already too cool to want to talk to mom? Sometimes I swear she's already 13. Lucky for me Ian is a talker, and his mom can keep me up-to-date on the kindergarten social scene!

I am also having a pretty good semester. Teaching three classes is a lot of work, but its fun. While the girls are at school Monday through Thursday, I grade and write lectures and upload info to my online course website. While I miss working in the yard, and being in front of a screen for 5 or more hours a day can be torture, having a little extra money roll in is nice. And having a captive audience listen to my tales of the wonders of Ancient Greece and the piety of the Middle Ages isn't too bad either.

We've established a nice routine around here. I don't want to get to attached to it, since these things are always changing, but for now its pretty darn nice.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The New Design...

Welcome to the new layout of Momma Needs another Cup of Coffee! Thanks so much to Ryan for helping me with some html code to make the blog look a little more professional. I'm also very pleased to introduce the slide show, and will be adding more photos to that over the coming weeks. Hope you enjoy the updated formatting, and if all goes according to plan, I should have some more entries about the girls schooling sooner than later. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Kindergarten and other new beginnings...

The summer days are getting shorter, the first leaves are beginning to drop, and its the beginning of another school year. Its funny in a way that it is another full-time school year for Nora, considering she's only just begun kindergarten. Because her birthday is in December, she wasn't eligible to officially start kg last year, but she basically received that level of education from the Montessori school she attends.

Nora's first day was the Tuesday after Labor Day. That was a long long wait in her eyes, since Emily had begun school the week before. Every day she asked, is it a school day? I'd tell her no, and she would work on math problems here instead, pretending that she was at school. When the day finally arrived, she popped out of bed at 6am, and was dressed in head-to-toe pink, promptly, by 6:03 am. I didn't think the hands on the clock would move fast enough, but they did. We had a nice breakfast, and then she was gone. This was the first year that I didn't bring her to school on the first day. Ryan wanted to be the one to drop her off, since I'm usually the one playing chauffeur. I'm not complaining though; the benefit of being the driver is that you get to witness all of those great moments that define childhood, and parenthood too. I'm glad Ryan had the opportunity to be the one to bring her to the first day kindergarten at her "new-well not so new anymore-school".

So off they went, then Emily rode off on the bus 30 minutes later, and it hit me. I AM ALONE IN THIS HOUSE. The possibilities are endless...I can do anything or nothing. A smile spread across my face from one ear to the other...I felt like I'd just graduated to the next phase of my life, and you know what, that is a good feeling!

And the best part is, that in those few hours of silence, I can recharge my batteries and greet those girls with open arms, and more importantly, an open heart, when they come home. The girls did come home, with big smiles on their faces. We are a happy bunch! Emily presented me with the artwork she completed that day, and Nora told me all about her new classroom, her new teacher Miss Kim, and how she was so excited to see Illiana and Ivan and Ian. She was a little confused, since some of the kids from last year were gone, but every indication is that all lights are green and Nora is ready to take on that school with all she's got. Now I've got to go and help her with her reading homework...

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Random Silly Pics

Ok, I couldn't pick just one! Well, when it comes to flower power, more is better.

Nora modeling her Candies sunglasses and Hello Kitty jewelry. She's 5 going on 13...

Everytime I see Emily in this outfit, I think Janis Joplin has been reincarnated...and we do know that Emily loves to rock!