Monday, August 30, 2010

Jenny's Birthday

For Jenny's birthday we spent most of the day together as a family. We got up this morning and I made Jenny her favorite breakfast, cinnamon rolls. After she ate, she was allowed to open her "morning present". It was a jewelery box that was mine as a kid and inside it had a butterfly necklace and a Tinkerbell bracelet. She got to wear the jewelery to school today. She was very excited about her necklace!

The "bed head" picture.

Her "morning present".

All dressed and ready to go to school!

Opening her gift.

Look at the expression on her face, she was excited!

Her first day of school as a 5 year old!

After school she spent some time with her mom, and then came back to our house around 4:30. When she got back it was time to go to her manicure and pedicure appointment. She had been asking for a mani/pedi for the birthday for months now, and she was really excited to be getting one. Of course I took tons of pictures of the whole process. She said she really liked it, but didn't like when they put her hands in the heat gloves. She said they weren't real hot, but they made her sweat a little. Watching her get her nails done was a little surreal. All of a sudden she looked so grown up, and I could just picture her getting a mani/pedi when she is a teenager. It made me glad that we decided to let her get her nails done for her birthday, because we were able to be there with her for that first experience. She debated for a while over which color to choose. First she said she wanted pink, then she said blue, and finally she decided on purple. One thing she was sure about though was that she wanted some sort of design painted on her nails, she chose a yellow flower.

So excited to be getting her nails done!

Jenny and Daddy.

Jenny and I.

Her color choices.

She picked purple.

She had to sit at the front of the seat so her feet would reach the water.

The products they used for her pedicure.

She got the deluxe treatment!

She was having so much fun!

Her fingernails.

Her toes.

Letting her nails dry.

After we left the salon we stopped at Burger King (Jenny's choice) for dinner. We just brought it home rather than eating there because my parents were going to be coming over to eat cake and ice cream with us and to open presents. I had baked her cupcakes earlier that day, and she loved them! She also had several more presents to open from us, but the best present of all came from Ninnie and Bill (my parents)!

The presents.

Ninnie and Bill got her a Nintendo DS!!

This is how Jenny spent the rest of the evening up until it was time to get ready for bed. Ha!

List of Gifts Received:

A SpongeBob Squarepants DVD
A Miranda Cosgrove (iCarly) CD
Her own hairbrush
A puzzle
An umbrella for rainy days at the bus stop
Whoppers candy
Butterfly Necklace
Tinkerbell bracelet
Hannah Montana lip gloss and carrying case
Jewelry box
Make-up bag
A Nintendo DS

As you can see, Jenny had a great birthday! This is the first year we haven't had a party for her on her actual birthday, but we do plan to have one soon. It was more difficult to plan one this year because we moved recently, then school started, and her birthday was on a weekday. We do plan to have some sort of birthday party for her soon though, so expect a post from me about her party too.

*Yes, I took pictures of Aiden too. I am going to put all of the pictures I took from today on Facebook for everyone to see. I didn't put them on here because this post is supposed to be for Jenny's birthday, and I wanted to make it about her. Aiden's birthday post will be done the same way when he turns 2 in November.

Dear Jenny,

Today you are 5 years old! It is so hard to believe that you have been blessing our lives for so long. You have brought so much happiness into our lives and you have a major role in this family. You are the daughter, the stepdaughter, and the big sister. You are such a big help around here and you are always amazing us with your intelligence. Sometimes you and I can just sit and talk for a long time and then all of a sudden you'll ask, "are we having a conversation?". Ha! I love our little chats on the phone and our Girl's Nights. My favorite thing to do with you is to cook or bake. It is a great oppertunity for me to teach you things and you're having so much fun that you don't even realize that you're being taught. You have become quite the cook! Before I know it you'll be cooking dinner and baking cookies for me instead of the other way around. You recently started kindergarten and so far you're off to a great start! Your teacher told us that it is a joy to have you in her class and that you are very sweet. I'm so glad she sees those qualities in you because those are two of my most favorite things about you. You are a very loveable little girl and you would let us love on you all day if we could. You have become very independent over the years and that leaves your Daddy and I with mixed emotions. We are so glad and excited for you to do new things on your own, but it also makes us sad to know you don't need our help anymore. You are a constant joy to be around, and we are so lucky to have you as a part of our family. We love you more than you'll ever know, and we hope you have the best birthday ever!

Love Always,

Daddy, Katie, & Aiden

Happy Birthday, Jenny!!! We love you!!!

The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes: Chapters 21-35

Hello! The following post is my response to the discussion questions for the Book Beginnings and Bookends book club hosted by Erin and Rachel. If you haven't joined yet then you really should! We are about half way through our first book now, but you could definitely join us for our second book that we'll be starting sometime in September.

Are you enjoying this book as much as I am? Honestly, I have already finished it and now Jaime is reading it. Ha! It was such a great story though, and I can't wait until the next book. In the mean time, I am reading "Eat, Pray, Love" and I hope to read "The Help" after that. This book club has really brought back my love of reading and I am enjoying every minute of it!

1. Do you think Tim is the one sending the money?
Honestly, I have no idea. It seems like he could be the one sending it because we're fairly certain he sent it before, but how in the world does he know where CeeCee/Eve is at this point? Also I think that by sending her the money he is putting himself at risk of being found. It would also put CeeCee at risk of being found and connected to the crime as well. However, seeing as how he is probably the one who sent CeeCee the $5,000 before he is probably the one sending money now. Maybe he feels guilty for what he has done to CeeCee or even feels partly responsible for this baby she is now having to raise.

2. So far, there's been a lot of discussion on CeeCee/Eve and her choices. What choice(s) would you make differently from her?
First of all I think I would have had to confess about Cory and what happened to Geniveve from the beginning. Secondly I think I would have had to be more honest with Jack. Maybe not right away of course, but eventually I'd have to let him know. Or at least tell him that Cory is adopted and not actually her biological child. I wouldn't have been able to keep up the charade of going to doctor's visits alone.

3. What do you like about Jack? Are there things about him that you don't like?
I really like him! I think Jack is just what CeeCee/Eve needs in her life. He is upbeat, funny, and seems like a genuinely good person. He is very different from Tim and that is a good thing. I also like how well he interacts with Cory. She kind of gives him a hard time at first, but he keeps trying and eventually she starts to come around. The only thing I have a problem with is how willing he is to depend on his parents his whole life.

4. What are the differences between CeeCee/Eve's relationship with Tim and Eve's relationship with Jack?
When CeeCee was with Tim, she was young and inexperienced. She jumped into a relationship with a man much older than her for all the wrong reasons. She was too naive to see that he didn't really care about her, he was only using her. With Jack it is much different. Not only is she now more experienced in life and relationships, but she has also had a bad experience in her relationship with Tim and that makes her more cautious. She is also several years older and has been raising a child for the past few years, and that makes her more mature. She was essentially a child before, and now she is an adult.

5. Do you think Eve is to blame for Cory's fears? What could she do, specifically, to help Cory feel like less of an outsider?
Yes, definitely. She is way too overprotective of Cory. They have been through a lot, but she is going to have to let her take risks and fall down sometimes too. That's an important part of being a kid and growing up. It's hard for any parent to let their child do that, especially one who has been through what CeeCee has been through, but she needs to do it.
I think she is doing the right thing by sending her to a private school. There will probably be kids there who she can better relate to.

6. Do you think Eve appropriately answered Cory's questions about her father? Do you think Cory will question her father more as she grows older?
I think that she answered them the best that she knew how. She obviously doesn't want to answer those types of questions, but can you really blame her? She wants to be able to be honest with her daughter, but the effects her honesty would have on Cory would be devestating. For now Cory is satisfied with Eve's answers, but I think she will definitely have more questions to come.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

At the Playground

A few days ago, after taking Jaime to work, Aiden and I were sitting at home bored and with nothing much to do. The cleaning was all done, the laundry was done, and we had alread eaten dinner. So, we did the only thing we could think of....

We took a trip to the playground!

The best thing about living in an apartment so far has probably been the playground here. It's a bit small, but it's close by which is convienent. There usually aren't any people there and the playground is fenced in - which is great in that it keeps Aiden from escaping. =)

This looks like the face of a little boy who had lots of fun at the playground!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes: Chapters 11-20

This post is in response to Erin and Rachel's book club, Book Beginnings and Book Ends. We are currently reading The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes by Diane Chamberlain. These responses are for chapters 11-20. I am already almost finished with the book, and so far it is great! I would definitely reccomend it to any of you out there who are looking for a good book to read!

1. Where do you think Tim and Marty are at this point in the story?
Honestly, who knows?? Hopefully they are out negotiating with the Governor just as they said they would. For poor CeeCee's sake I hope they didn't decide to back out of their plan and leave her to pick up the pieces of this mess that they've made.

2. What were your thoughts as CeeCee was helping Genevieve deliver her baby?
"WHAT IS GOING ON? CEECEE DOESN'T KNOW HOW TO DELIVER A BABY!! TAKE HER TO THE HOSPITAL!!" This part of the storyline seemed so intense to me, and I was definitely flipping through the pages much faster during this part. My heart was beating faster, my palms got a little sweaty - I can't imagine what it must have been like for CeeCee. I just kept anticipating something bad to happen, but I couldn't picture CeeCee doing anything bad to her (on purpose).

3. After Genevieve died, what would you have done with her baby if you had been in CeeCee's shoes?
I would have called the police and turned myself in. CeeCee got wrapped up in a crazy plan that she didn't know a lot of the details of. I'm not defending what she did, but I think this is when she could have redeemed herself. There is no way I could live my life knowing that I had essentially stolen another woman's child. Yes, that woman is dead now, but Cory's father is still very much alive and should be with his daughter.

4. Why do you think CeeCee/Eve is still holding onto hope that Tim will come for her?
Because like most 16 year olds, CeeCee truly believes that Tim loves her. She is expecting him to come to her rescue and save her from the uncertainty she is facing. With all that CeeCee has been through, losing her mom and being in foster homes all her life, I think she is just looking for someone to love and for that person to love her in return. Right now she believes that Tim really does love her, the way that she loves him.

5. How do you think Eve will establish her new identity in Virginia?
I think her first step should be to get a job so that she can have her new name documented somehow and so that she will have some sort of income and a seemingly normal life. After living in foster homes all her life and essentially having to start over each time, I think this is something that may come easily to her. I'm hoping that she will see that she doesn't need to depend on any man (especially Tim), and that she can do it on her own.

6. What do you think of CeeCee/Eve now after she has gone through with the kidnapping, the delivery of the baby, the escape, and the relocation?
At this point in the story, I really like CeeCee. She has definitely made some bad decisions, and really needs to think things through a little better, but all in all I like her. I feel horrible for her though because she seems like such a good person with such a big heart, but every person she has ever really cared about has been stripped out of her life. Now she has Cory, and I think this is her chance to start her life over and to finally be happy.
I do have to touch on the part where CeeCee thought Cory cut her hand on CeeCee's hair. Um...DUMB! Up until that point I was so involved and interested in the book and then....BAM! I literally almost started laughing out loud! I'm not sure if it was just poor writing, or if it was to show just how immature CeeCee is. Either way, it seemed a little out of place and I think it could have been written better. Other than that though, I am loving the book so far!!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Catch Up

Just thought I'd do a quick catch up of the last few days....

Jenny came back home on Sunday, and since Jaime was off that night, the four of us went to the playground here in our apartment complex. It's actually pretty nice, and the best part is that it's fenced in! In case you're wondering what's so great about a fence, I'll tell you.... that means that I can sit on the bench and I don't have to worry about Aiden running away or escaping. =)

On Monday we took Jenny to the bus stop that morning and then Aiden and I went to Grandma's house to go out for breakfast with her and Uncle Billy. Later that afternoon Grandma came over for a little while and we took the kids to the playground and then we went out for ice cream. Afterwards it was time for baths and bed. The best part of our Monday....Aiden went pee-pee in the potty for the first time!! It was immediately after his bath, he had squatted down in the floor and he started asking me for a diaper. I put him on the potty, and after a few seconds of him telling me, "I don't want it!" he finally went! At first he only went a little and he seemed like he was trying to keep himself from going, probably because he was afraid he was doing the wrong thing. But then once he started going and Jenny and I started clapping, he knew he was doing the right thing and he finished going on the potty! I am so proud of him!

Big boy!

Jaime was home with Aiden and I Tuesday morning. After we took Jenny to the bus, I headed to the gym for a morning work out. Afterwards I came home and the three of us went out to run a few errends. We stopped at Subway for lunch. I was thinking that it was going to be my first real bad experience eating out with Aiden because at first he refused to eat anything except chips. But I didn't give in, and eventually he started eating his sandwich. Aiden also hadn't had much of a nap that day and he was starting to get sick, so he wasn't in the best of moods.

Someone did not want to have their picture taken.

Don't let him fool you, he was actually sticking his tongue out because he was mad I was taking his picture.

Lunch at Subway!!

Wednesday morning Jaime had to be at work at 5:30am, so it was the first day I had to take Jenny to the bus stop without him. Aiden had starting getting sick the day before, and when he woke up Wednesday he was even worse. So he and I made a trip to the doctor that morning. The doctor said he had a common cold and that there was really nothing she could prescribe him because they don't usually prescribe decongestants for children under the age of 6. She said his symptoms could last up to two weeks, and that he could possibly get worse before he got better. I was instructed to bring him back if he started running and fevers or if his symptoms lasted longer than two weeks, but so far he's doing better.

My little Sickie. =(

At the bus stop.

Yesterday (Thursday), Jaime was home with us all day and we ran a few more errands that morning after taking Jenny to the bus. We spent the rest of the day at home cleaning and doing laundry. At 3:10 we headed to the bus stop and after picking Jenny up we went to Walmart to get a few things we needed. On our way home we made a quick stop to pick up something that I had told Jenny we would get her once we moved into our new apartment....

Jenny's new Beta fish! He still has no name, but we're working on it.

I can't believe it's already Friday! The weeks go by so fast! I can't believe that the summer season is almost officially over and it will be fall before we know it! Honestly, I can't wait. I love the fall and all of the fun fall things that come along with it. Now that Aiden is older and can enjoy more outdoor activities with us, I plan for us to do lots of stuff this fall. I am always looking for oppertunities to do fun things with the kids, and fall seems like a great time to be outside and just enjoy the cool weather!

Happy Friday everyone, enjoy the weekend!

*Please ignore the picture quality or lack thereof, I've been having to take picutes with my phone this week since I'm using my roommates computer (until we can get ours working), and I don't want to upload a ton of photos to his computer.

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