Tags: the beautiful baby

June 2011 kids


We enrolled and paid for Bennett's spot at the Lawrence Art Center Preschool last week. While we really enjoyed his preschool experience last year, I am looking forward to this year and all the fun stuff that happens at the Art Center. Fun stuff = a million art projects to display.

This is Bennett's special year- his bonus year of "I get to be a kid one year longer."

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We could totally send Bennett to full day kindergarten. His August birthday comes just before the cut-off date. Not going to lie- my life would be SOO MUCH EASIER if we sent him all day. It is so tempting to do what is best for me and not what his best for him. I wouldn't have to worry about childcare, or who is going to drop him off at the Art Center, or who is going to pick him up. I wouldn't have to keep him entertained or feed him lunch. My house would be cleaner and much quieter.

Oh, Ben-butt. Don't worry. I am not going to send you off to school. This is your bonus year and I am not going to make you grow up any faster than necessary. Did you know you have your whole life to be an adult? That is the choice that we are making. Either we push you out and make you grow up OR we let you stay home one extra year. You aren't ready to sit and learn all day. You aren't ready to separate from your home and the people you love best. The maturity you need to manage in a classroom all day isn't there yet. You don't know all your letters and your brain isn't ready to process all the information. I'm not ready to let you go either.

Sure, you would be totally fine if we did send you. You might struggle and have a difficult time but you would eventually make it. However, I don't want that for you. I don't want you to face adversity. I don't want you to struggle. I want you to love school. I want you to be ready for the tough stuff.

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Another year at home is what you get whether you like it or not. You also get the gift, the privilege, of being one of the oldest in your class and we hope this makes you a better leader and a better friend. If nothing else, you can be the friend with the car that drives everyone around. You will not, however, be the friend that buys the beer.

We have high expectations of you, kiddo, and we expect nothing but great things. Great big things that can only happen when you are ready and you aren't ready yet.

So we wait and we hope and we have more year to go.      

June 2011 kids

Preschool ramblings and a lesson in Spanish

Bennett is feeling much better today. Thank you to those that left comments here and on Facebook. Having sick kids is no bueno.

What is this Spanish class? I don't know where that came from.

So, because of yesterday, Bennett got a sick day from preschool today. I was still in bed when Daddy made the call to keep him home. Had it been up to me, I would have hauled his happy pants to preschool. Bennett never had a fever or runny nose, just the ear infections but alas, I was not awake to protest the decision.

Hi, my name is Bennett

Hola, my name is Bennett and I get whatever I want. All I have to do is flash my big 'ol brown eyes and Daddy becomes a puddle of mush.

"My ear still huuuurts a widdle bit, Daddy."
"Okay, kiddo. No preschool for you."
"Would you like to paint instead and make Mommy's head spin off?"
"Si, Daddy. I would like 'dat berry much."

Art class

Art is his thing. He is always wanting to cut and color and paint and make giant messes and so because he was home and feeling fine, we decided to take a trip to the Art Center. I wanted to enroll him in preschool for next fall and blow his mind at the same time. Mission accomplished. Although Bennett really, reallly enjoys his current Tuesday/Thursday morning preschool, I don't feel like it was a very good fit for me. I think we've decided to bump him up to Monday/Wednesday/Friday mornings at the Art Center instead. I would have kept him at his old preschool but the M/W/F was full and more expensive.

I don't think preschool needs to be a very big deal or taken super seriously. 

I believe that preschool = fun.  

I also believe that preschool =/= Kindergarten. Right now learner behaviors are much more important. Things like sitting in a circle, waiting for a turn, getting along with others, and walking in a line rank right up there with learning letters, writing your name, and math facts.

Art class

He's pretty excited about this next adventure. Of course, the Art preschool doesn't start until August which is a LOOOOONG time from now in the world of a 4 year old. (6 months is like an 1/8 of his life so far?) (Math was never my strong point.) The good news is that is all the more time to practice our letter names and sounds Spanish.

I hear it's pretty important for Kindergarten.

On that note, buenas noches!

I can't seem to get Spell Check to work correctly. My apologgies if their are meny mispelled wordz. (Spelling was never my strong point either.) (Reading was more my thing.)
June 2011 kids

Sad and happy

Yay! Spring is almost here! I made it through my very, very least favorite time of year. What is good about January and February? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

It was a good winter though especially because we had like ZERO inches of snow. We also made it through without any major illnesses. We had a few colds but nothing that was deadly. Simon hasn't even taken a single sick day all year. Knock on wood.

Speaking of sickness, this kid was sick today. He was a sad, sad panda bear.

After starting the day at 6:00 am with some screaming (and more screaming through breakfast), I called and got him an appointment at the doctor. By 9:00, we were there and waiting for her to confirm my suspicions. Forty-five (45!) (with a baby!) (and a screaming kid!) minutes later, I learned what I already knew.

Double ear infection for the win. Or, really, not a win at all. His very first ear infection. Bennett is my always happy, silly, perfectly content to play by himself, easy going little boy. Not today. Today he was crying, clingy, and a couch napper. Two naps, actually. He broke my heart. After his second nap, he rallied a bit and ate a big dinner. I am hoping that he can make it through the night and feels much better tomorrow.

Tomorrow is March 1st and the high is supposed to be 70 degrees.

Happy boy
Oh, happy day.  

June 2011 kids

Bennett aka Bennbutt

Sometimes we call him Bennbutt. He really, really doesn't like it when we do. I guess that is what happens when you are the younger brother, right? Such is life, I suppose. I can't make Simon stop any more than I can slow down the clock. How is it that my wee little boy is four and a half?

January 2012 0912

June 2011 kids

Big dreams

So, Bennett. He is pretty much my favorite four year old ever. On Monday, we spent the day as a family in Kansas City. While we were watching the ice skaters at Crown Center and he turned to Matt wide-eyed and whispered out loud, "I think this is a dream."  


Sometimes I wonder if this is the whole point of parenting, right? My job is to show them the world, provide them with different/new/fun/educational/exciting experiences, and BLOW THEIR MINDS over ice skaters in the middle of downtown KC while traffic barrels down the street and the wind blows.

Job well done, self. 

Of course, It's easy to congratulate myself on what goes right. The days spent together on day trips to the city. The books we read. The bubble baths that end in giant bathroom messes and squeaky clean bodies. It's much harder to forgive myself for what goes wrong. The stomping of feet. The yelling. The "I'm so tired I don't have an ounce of patience left" moments that come entirely too often and, let's be real, daily in our home especially for the Mama that gets up EVERY TWO HOURS with a baby (by herself) and then works three full days a week.

Lord, have mercy on my soul.


Most of the time our daily life really does overflow with happiness- if they could just please all stop waking me up before 7 am, remember to take their shoes off in the living room and quit jumping on the couch, and if they want to live another day KEEP THE FLIPPIN' LEGOs PICKED UP.

You have your dreams. I have mine.

June 2011 kids

Good enough

"Bennett has become much more confident and independent. He's working hard at paying attention during circle time and sitting without talking or touching his classmates. He seems to enjoy preschool!"

So says his preschool teachers. The preschool that he attends two mornings a week. The preschool that I visit maybe twice a month. Between my busy work schedule and Katie being completely responsible for Thursday pick-up/drop-off, I am so disconnected with his whole experience.



Just like Bennett needs to practice finding clothes that are seasonally appropriate and the right size sitting without touching or talking and following two-step directions, I need to practice on letting go of my control. I can't do everything. I can't work three days a week. I can't volunteer weekly in Simon's or Bennett's classroom. I can't feel guilty about him not getting enough attention. I can recognize that, under the circumstances, I'm doing the best I can. And that is plenty good enough even if he can't recognize his name in print yet.

We're always a work in progress.

17 down. 13 to go. Feeling like I might be able to do this? Maybe?
June 2011 kids

Poster child

I took the boys to the library today.  Going to the library isn't a new thing but something that, sadly, we haven't been doing very much of lately. You see, it's just that I am not a fan of the library in the summer- there are too many unattended children milling about. And I have a new baby. And the weather has been INCREDIBLE. And I have been subbing two days a week. 

Basically, I am full of worthless excuses. I'm a teacher. There are no excuses for not visiting the library. There are also no excuses for finding library books under the bed.  

So to the library we went. I immediately headed to the check-out desk to return said books. For the record, I had NO IDEA that these books were even checked out which clearly explains why the books were 25 days overdue.

I am the POSTER CHILD for MOM FAIL. Nothing like finding out books are 25 days overdue AND that we owe the library $18.00 in overdue fees. Consequently, I learned that one cannot check out books if fees are over $10.00. Since we do everything with cash and OF COURSE I had no money with me I had to quickly retrieve the boys. Boys who were dying to check out books. Boys who haven't been to the library in weeks. Boys who, like the children who annoy me in the summer, were unattended in the children's section.

As I was hurrying to gather the boys, I turned around and saw this:   


Just like those books under my bed, I had NO IDEA that Bennett's picture was even taken OR on a big display for all to see.

I can't help but think WHO'S THE POSTER CHILD NOW, BITCH?

Cora is also on display. Feel free to check out her picture, taken by my beautiful sister, on a post titled Breathtaking Babywearing Wearing Photos in Celebration of International Babywearing Week. Happy Babywearing Week. Wear you baby. Maybe even to the library? It's good for you both.

One of Cora's newborn modeling outfits and the bow are both on sale. Feel free to check them out!

Have a great weekend. I'll be back on Monday with Cora's 5 month update. (GIANT SAD FACE.) You should visit the library if you have time. Just make sure to attend to your kids.

If not, you might find their picture on a poster.
June 2011 kids

Two thumbs up

I am feeling a wee bit guilty about not sharing Bennett's first day of preschool. Completely ignore the fact he's already in his third week of school.

I'm so sorry. My poor, sad, middle child who gets no attention.

Favorite outfit

Preschool is two mornings a week, which equals 5 hours of freedom for me. Bennett will not be going to kindergarten next year, so he is just dipping his toes in the educational world. Therefore, I most decidedly do not love my quiet and peaceful mornings with just Cora Jane. I do not. Do too. Do not. Do too. Do not. 

Do too.

Fine. I will be completely honest with myself and the group. I do love my quiet and peaceful mornings. Please don't tell anybody.

My poor, sad, middle child.

Totally 4

Being four years old is a lot of work. There are the MANY, MANY pants changes each day due to potty accidents. Stopping to go potty? So over-rated. And let's not forget about the continual fight and subsequent refusal to eat anything healthy. (I'm pretty sure that an entire diet made of carbs does not count as healthy. Good to eat? Yes. Healthy? Not so much.) Let's not mention his absolute insistence to do everything that the big boys do.

Two thumbs up for never giving up though. No, you may not ride your bike to the 3rd mailbox. No, you may not eat Goldfish crackers for supper. No, you may not ride in a booster seat. No, you may not do a front flip on the trampoline. 

Yes, you may dress yourself!
Not many people can pull off the backwards-rainbow-muscle-shirt with an undershirt and plastic rainboots look. But you can! You rock that look, Bennett Patrick. I would NEVER have allowed Simon to leave the house this way. Consider it a gift that your brother never got. See? There are some benefits to being a middle child.

To his preschool teachers- yes, it may look like he's a poor, slightly dirty, neglected child with a Mother that is too busy, guilt-ridden, and not present. But that is TOTALLY NOT TRUE. Know that he is loved.

So very much.

June 2011 kids

Party time. Excellent!

Hey, look! I've got a new blog. Welcome to the new and improved Pool, Party of Five. Now it's still the same old place but with our added bundle of joy House of Boys just didn't fit anymore. (Related: neither do my pants. And I'm not talking about my maternity ones. They seem to fit just fine.) Some of you might be wondering about the "Pool" part. I have never shared my last name until now.

 Hi, my name is Audrey Lynne Pool. I go by Audrey, Mom, and/or Mama unless I'm in trouble with my husband and then it's AUDREY LYNNE. My favorite color is blue. I like horses and my social security number is 512-43-5301. Just kidding, Mom! I don't give out THAT much personal information and I only talk about sex on the 3rd Tuesday of every month. I do like horses though. Kinda. 

Just as before, no topic is safe here. Nothing is taboo. I might talk about my period. (Example: WTH, body. Did you not get the message that exclusive breastfeeding is supposed to postpone menstruation?)  Or maybe I'll talk about my neighbors. (Example: 3501, I think I love you. 3509, wanna come sit on the patio?)  You can continue to expect mediocre pictures of my children, periodic (read: frequent) whining on my part, inappropriate details of my life, and other pointless stories about my totes! adorable children.

As a refresher, I thought I would reintroduce you to the Pool Party.

Simon. Age: almost 8. Loves: riding his bike, Legos, Spongebob, and annoying Bennett. Hates: his mean mother, homework, vegetables, and being quiet.  

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Bennett. Age: almost 4. Loves: carbs, tagging along behind Simon, reading books, and Simon. (Did I mention that he loves Simon?) Hates: anything considered healthy, tornadoes, t-shirts, and bathing.  

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Cora. Age: 5 weeks. Loves: boobs, being worn, bathtime, pacifiers, and sleeping. (FIVE to SIX HOURS at NIGHT. I KNOW.)  Hates: being put down, having her bum bum wiped, and paper diapers.

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Matt. Age: OLD. Loves: sleeping, reading books about Jesus, gang graffiti, and listening to me talk. Hates: yard work, when I share inappropriate details on the blog, and tomatos. 

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Audrey. Age: 28. Loves: writing about my babies, my husband, my life. Hates: early mornings, loud children, and a messy house.

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So, follow me along for the ride.. You can click on the subscriber button on the left, add me to your Google Reader, friend me, bookmark the site, or check back here often. If you use Google, google searchers will continue to find me via House of Boys but I am not sure for how long.

You can also share my blog via Facebook or Twitter. I don't mind. Share the love. Just click one of these:
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Welcome to the Party. It's going to be fun.


Putting this up at Em's Embrace the Camera. Totally counts cause that's me and Cora up there. Right?


Many, many thanks to flockofgulls for her mad banner-header-font-creative skills. Julia knows much, much more than me when it comes to writing code, creating banners, and other such blog-related business. Thanks again, Julia. ♥