Tame

I wrote this post at the end of the year last year.  I never published it- I didn’t feel brave enough.  Today, now that it is behind me, I feel it’s okay to post.

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The other day, my AP kids and I were finishing Le Petit Prince.  I don’t read it every year because I try to choose texts based on the kids’ needs and stuff, but I have read it several times with kids.  I had to read it as a student and to be honest, it didn’t thrill me and still doesn’t really.  I have friends who absolutely love it- mostly teacher friends.  I even have a friend with a tattoo of one of the characters.  But generally, the students I’ve chosen to share it with tend to really enjoy it.  So there’s that.

This year, my AP class is very, very special to me.  They are profound, witty, sweet, and fun to be around.  They put forth efforts in class, they’ve done amazing things with the language, and I truly enjoy each and every one of them.  So I decided to read Le Petit Prince with them.  It was going well, and then we got to the fox chapter.

We were reading it aloud the other day, and I got choked up.  I know I cry easily, but not generally at things like this, especially not Le Petit Prince.  But there I am, reading with my kids, tears streaming down my face.  It wasn’t that it was particularly beautiful- I had heard it many times before.  It just had special significance to me today.

I’ve been grieving the loss of my classroom job.  I mean, it was my choice, and yes, I’m super pumped about my new position.  But as the year closes, and it is becoming more and more real that I am not coming back and I won’t be teaching again next year.  This is my tenth year teacher, and that’s a long time.  It has had a profound impact on my life and my identity.  I am grateful for my new opportunity, and I know it’s going to be great and all that good stuff.  Of course.  I’m just sad to be leaving.  That doesn’t mean I’m not happy to be coming into my new position.  I get to be both.

The prince realizes that the time he has spent on his rose in the process of “taming” (“apprivoiser” is really a little different than just “to tame” but whatever) was not wasted because it’s his devotion that has made her unique and special to him and allowed him to be tamed too.  I am also feeling like I have wasted some of my time.  I’ve devoted so much time to doing things that probably in the end don’t really matter.  I’ve made sacrifices that feel meaningless.

This morning, something made me so mad, it made me cry.  I was embarrassed that I was crying, so I sought refuge somewhere- anywhere.  I went to one of the administrator’s offices and let it out.  He talked to me, and while it was nice, it made me more bitter and regretful I think, really.  So I excused myself to a conference room to get myself together.  As I was sitting in there, I was thinking about the stupid fox chapter we had just read the day before.  I realized that I wasn’t as angry as I was hurt and disappointed.  I realized that this is the price of being “tamed”- of trusting.  I’m not very good at trusting.

But this special AP class.  They have taught me so much about trust.  Trusting each other, trusting the process, and how much all of it can pay off.  There’s a person I work with who has also taught me a lot about this as well.  I am so grateful for my experiences at Howell, despite sometimes feeling like I have wasted some time.  I’m realizing it wasn’t wasted at all.  It tamed me.  It taught me.  They tamed me.  They taught me.

 

Our New Home

Our new home is very lovely.  It’s everything I ever dreamed of, really.  I always thought, both growing up and as an adult, that all I ever wanted was a typical, sunny suburban home.  As an adult, I got more particular- a four bedroom ranch with a laundry room with a window and a kitchen island.  If I was extra lucky, maybe a wall oven and a high ceiling or two.  More than anything, I wanted a yard where my kids could run and explore and play.  A place where we could have family and friends over.  This house has all those things, and even more that we didn’t even know we wanted.

I don’t feel quite at home yet- I think it’s the previous owners’ paint colors still on the walls.  But Spencer and the kids seem right at home.  Lucy was so thrilled with her big girl bed.  And Nick with his room.  They both love the play room in the basement.  And they enjoy the yard so much.  Our neighbors have a swingset with a few swings they let my kids use.  It’s right on the line between our yards by the woods.  (Woods!  We have trees!  And woods!)  Lucy will swing forever if you let her.  Every evening, we take a family walk through our quiet and pretty neighborhood.  It’s seriously idyllic.  But again, it’s not quite mine yet.

I miss my little cottage.  I never, ever thought I would.  It’s where I brought my babies home.  It was our very first house.  We built it.  Everything in there was something we chose.  We learned to cook there.  We had some of the greatest ups and downs we’ve faced as a married couple there.  And now somebody else lives there.  It’s hard for me some days.  But it makes it a lot easier seeing my family so happy in our new home.  When we cook dinner as a family, when we had Nick’s birthday party, when the kids set up “dinosaur park” in our living room which is actually big enough for furniture AND playtime.  Family home evenings at home.  Nightly porch-sitting with Spencer after the kids are in bed.  Waking up to a view of our big backyard and the woods as opposed to our little bitty yard which backed up to Tommy and Megan’s little backyard and their home.  I burn my fall candles, and it smells like our house.  Taking out our fall decor and putting up our family photos.  All of these things makes it easier.

Everyday in our house, it becomes more ours.  And we’ll bring our new baby home here.  And our babies love it and Spencer loves it and really, I love it too.  I’ll just love it more when it’s painted gray and yellow.  🙂

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An Illinois Evening with Lucy

The past few posts have been very Nick-centric with his birthday and party and everything.  This one has lots of Lucy photos, and I’ll take some time to talk about her and do a little update on her too.

We went over to Illinois for a family dinner/party with Spencer’s family.  Spencer’s uncle and his family were in town from Germany, and we always get together when they are here.  It was a rainy day, but the rain didn’t stop Lucy from wanting to play outside!

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The rain ended right around sundown.  There was a gorgeous double rainbow and lots of golden sunset-y light goodness.  I had to take some photos!  Nick was inside participating in a giant multi-cousin wrestling match, so Lucy and I went outside and while she explored and danced, I snapped photos.

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Lucy is nearly a year and a half old.  She has a huge personality that seems to get bigger every day!  She’s a very passionate baby.  Dramatic, silly, and fun.  She is a happy and loving girl, but when she loses her temper, boy watch out!  She is fiercely independent, intent on doing most things by herself.  It makes for messy and hilarious days with this girl.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.

She really likes to dance.  She loves music and is very interested in the piano.  She wants to do anything and everything her big brother can do, which results in a broken heart sometimes when he’s doing big boy stuff that she just can’t do yet.  But she gets along just fine and does a lot of things that he does that I probably wouldn’t have had Nick doing when he was her age, but this time is different.

She’s an absolute delight, a light of our life.  Lucy is the perfect name for this sweet, independent, happy, and adventurous girl.

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Nick’s Birthday Party

Nick’s birthday party was this past weekend.  It was so fun!  I’m so glad I was able to give him a big party.  Last year, we had to cancel his party because he was sick.  Actually, we were all dreadfully sick.  It was gross.  Anyway, this year, I knew with moving and a new job and all of these things, that it might be tough, but I was dedicated!  I wanted him to have a friend party and a great time.

So I got a bounce house from our good friends at Bounce House STL.  I got a bunch of Fitz’s soda, a Costco cake, and my mom brought some sandwiches.  Then I invited anybody who I thought would enjoy being there and/or who had kids who would enjoy being there.  I wanted it to be pretty low-key.  Just friends and family at our home doing stuff Nick loves- eating cake and bouncing in a bounce house.  We were lucky to have a really nice day.  It had been super duper hot and the forecast went back and forth between like 100 degrees and/or storming that day.  Ugh.  But we lucked out and while it wasn’t crisp and cool, it was not nearly as hot as it had been.  Nick still got real crazy sweaty because he was addicted to his bounce house. He was committed to staying hydrated though.  🙂

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A lot of friends and family came to celebrate Nick’s birthday.  He had an absolute blast!  He keeps talking about how his birthday party was so special and that his “whole friends and family” were there.  He couldn’t believe he got so many gifts!  We all slept really good that night.

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I was excited to have our first party at our new house.  It definitely passed the entertaining test!  I didn’t feel stressed or worried that we would run out of room.  The backyard tree provided shade for people, and there was room to be inside as well.

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I took almost no pictures- I was having too much fun!  Actually, as soon as I grabbed my camera to go out and take photos, the toilet overflowed.  So that foiled my picture-taking plans a little.  Everything was fine though.  It was a lovely, lovely day full of love and happiness.  I’m so glad Nick got to have a wonderful party.

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Nick’s Fourth Birthday

Hello, blog, my old friend.  It’s been a while.  A few friends recently have pointed out how I haven’t been blogging.  It’s been quite a summer!  I promise to update on all of it soon, but first- Nick’s birthday.

Nick turned four last weekend!  He is such a joy in our lives and makes everyone in our family smile.  He’s the boy who made me a mom and totally changed my life.  I am so grateful for him.

He’s really changed a lot this past year. So many good things have happened for him.  Going to Wentzville Early Childhood was the best thing ever, and his last year saw lots of opportunities to grow.  We were watching videos of him the other night, and we can’t believe how much he has changed this year!  His vocabulary is out of control and he never stops talking, which delights me.  🙂  He tells creative stories, he loves to try to read and sound out letters and words.  He doesn’t often get discouraged when he gets one wrong- he just keeps trying.  I love it.  He’s way into science-y stuff like dinosaurs, space, building, and machines.  It’s pretty cute.  He also loves baseball and trying out different sports.  He’s such a big boy now- he got to do My Gym camp this summer a few days a week for a few weeks and he did summer “school” where he learned about camping which just thrilled him.

His birthday party isn’t for another couple weeks.  We moved into our new home last week, so it was just too hectic to try to do his party on his birthday weekend.  But we did celebrate with him and our family, of course.

Friday evening, my cousin put on a small BBQ/pool party for his birthday.  He loved it and really enjoyed his dinosaur cake.  He also had his first bee sting which was heart breaking.  Otherwise, it was a very sweet time.

Saturday was his actual birthday, so we celebrated in true Schneidenbach fashion- a trip to Crown Candy!  We go for everybody’s birthday every year, and have since Nick’s first birthday.  So that was super fun and delicious.  We were first in line- a first for us!  Nick is on a cookies and cream shake kick, so that’s what he ordered.  We then went to the Magic House, his favorite place, and then took a breather at home for a few hours.  Lucy took a much-needed nap and Nick played with his new dinosaurs.  Then we went up to the “family fun park” as Nick calls it, known as Kokomo Joe’s to most people.  He had a blast there too.  My parents met us up there and we ate pizza and Nick bounced himself silly.

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Sunday was low key, but we ended with a trip to FItz’s for dinner where Nick got to eat his favorite food (grilled cheese- ha!), but best of all, he got to watch the soda bottler machines.  He also made a couple friends.  It was a delightful end to a very fun weekend.