Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Back to Reality

I can't wait to tell you all about our perfect weekend away in KC, and show you pictures, but unfortunately, I won't get it done as soon as I want to because I was so rudely thrown back into reality upon our return. We started off the day yesterday with a trip to the ENT, where we discovered that the tube in Evan's left ear (which has been there for over 9 years and just won't fall out) needs to be removed surgically because it has caused a tear in the ear drum, and because it is collecting what the doctor referred to as debris, it is causing a dangerous infection. So, on top of the three doctor appointments we already had scheduled for the week, we added a pre-surgery physical by his pediatrician, and surgery this Thursday morning. At least they could get us in quickly so I don't have to take time off of work.

It was a lot easier to do this with Evan back when he was 18 months old, as he was during his last surgery, when he had no concept of what was coming. Now, he wants to know the specifics of IV usage, and how anesthesia works, and if there will be any side effects, and he is a nervous wreck.

And did I mention that my MIL is coming to stay at my house only a few short hours after the surgery? Fab!

We also got school supply shopping out of the way yesterday. Is there anything worse? Mothers and children pushing each other out of the way in the aisles, crowds, long lists, and huge amounts of money to spend. Blah.

Anywho, I hope to get the pictures of our getaway downloaded soon, and maybe between trips to the doctor (we have 2 just today!!) I will get it posted here.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

We're Off!

Jeff and I are off to a short weekend getaway to a bed and breakfast in Independence, Missouri. It's our first trip alone together since our honeymoon 4 years ago. Not sure what we will do with ourselves without 3 boys to run after, but the quiet will be nice.

See you soon!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Happy Anniversary!

4 years ago today, just about now, I looked something like this:

I am on the left, no make up. My hair was just beginning it's transformation for my wedding that evening. On the right, is one of my favorite people, my friend Katy. Isn't her hair a lovely shade of red? I've always wanted to have it as my own.

And here are my two best girls, Katy and Christi, doing each other's nails at the salon that same morning.

After getting beautified, we went out to lunch at Valentinos. Every bride should go out in public with her hair and veil before the wedding. It's delicious to feel so special. And next to me, is my 5 year old Evan, on the last day it was just the two of us, before we became a new family with Jeff. Isn't his smile the greatest?!

This is my flower girl Nora. She became a student in my classroom only four weeks later! Also, Evan has loved her since birth, and someday she will be my daughter-in-law. I love her to bits.

And here I am with my sister Sarah, who was my matron of honor. She is precious to me, and I am so glad she was there to stand next to me that day. You can't tell, but she is the smidgiest bit preggers in the picture!

And this my friends? THIS is my kick ass, cathedral length train on my dress. It was the one thing I knew I needed to have when I was dress shopping.

My bouquet was a replica of the bouquet my Grandma Sophie Micek carried in her 1934 wedding, 71 years before.

And most importantly, here I am 4 years ago today, vowing to love and treasure the love of my life, for the rest of my life. And while I wouldn't have believed it possible on that day, I love him a million times more today than I did when I pledged my life to him. I have learned that marriage takes a lot of work, and I have certainly had to grow into my role as a wife, but I am so incredibly thankful every single day that I have been blessed with Jeff as my husband. He is the greatest of friends, fathers, and providers. He rocks my world, every day.

Thanks for the best 4 years of my life, Jeff. I pray we have so many more together!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Dental Woes

So! Remember that cavity I told you about the other day? The one I had to have filled yesterday? My appointment was supposed to be at 1:00, but that morning, the receptionist called and asked me if I could move my appointment to 4:00 because "Dr. F feels like he will need more time to work on your cavity than we originally scheduled". For all of you out there who are aspiring to become dental office receptionists, here is a tip. DO NOT tell the patient the reason for moving the appointment. Especially if it involves more time to drill.

By the time 4:00 rolled around, I was a nervous wreck. It only got better when I sat down in the chair and the doctor told me, "I didn't want to mention it ahead of time, but this is a pretty serious cavity. We are going to need to give you four shots of Novocaine, as opposed to the usual three." And then? He made me wear safety goggles! Not a good sign.

After much drilling and deep breathing on my part, I was left with a sagging left side of my face, oceans of drool, an aching jaw, and this warning from the dentist: "If this doesn't work, and you feel pain or sensitivity in the tooth, we will need to do a root canal." Fab! 'Cause I SOOOO love the dentist!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Getting Motivated

When I was 5, and three months into my stint in Kindergarten, I was so filled with my love for Mrs. Fee (my teacher), the smell of school, new crayons, and learning how to read, that I decided I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up. The next year, instead of changing my mind as many children do, my love for my teachers and school only intensified, and my desire to become a teacher someday grew. All through elementary school I studied my teachers closely, observed how they set up their classrooms, and watched how they treated me and my classmates.

I set up a school room in a corner of my parent's garage, complete with old textbooks I had begged my teachers for at the end of each school year. I subjected my siblings and friends to hours and hours of being my first students. I gleefully created lesson plans, and pretend grade books. I was obsessed.

When I entered college, there was no doubt as to my major. Everyone within a 10 mile radius knew I wanted to teach. When I finally became a student teacher, my instructors commented on how natural it seemed for me to be in front of a group of students, and how well I managed "tough" students. I knew it was because this was the mission and talent God had gifted me, but also because I had been practicing my whole life.

In January 2001, as I stood in front of my first group of 17 3rd graders in a classroom I could finally call my own, I was filled with a fire that was my love for teaching. Everything sparkled with awesomeness for me, from the little things like organizing learning activities to the big things like teaching someone to read.

Now, in 2009, I am preparing for my 10th class of students. It is my 7th year of teaching 1st grade. I am not sure why, but much of that fire has settled into a dull warm feeling. I am feeling pretty unmotivated. Maybe it is because I am in my 10 year slump, or maybe because I have been teaching the same grade level for too long. Maybe it is because my focus has changed to my own children, family, and husband. Or it might be that the demands of these things have made it harder for me to focus as much as I used to on teaching and my classroom. Maybe it is because in my effort to be supportive of my husband and his career (and lets face it, he is bringing home the big bucks, not me so I feel this is pretty important) and I am for the most part solely responsible for the kids during the week, I just don't have the time or the energy to focus on teaching. And a funny thing has happened as I got more disconnected from my desire to teach this past year and over the summer. I have a strange feeling of emptiness, and that I don't really recognize myself too much anymore. My spirit has been defined for so long by my teaching that to have it go missing makes me feel like I am missing a limb. And when I am very honest with myself, I know that a big reason God put me on this Earth is to work with kids. (Did you notice the teacher just started that sentence with the word "and"?!)

So I am on a mission to find my inspiration again. I called up my oldest friend Katy who ironically also teaches 1st grade and asked her to tell me about her favorite things she does in her classroom. (We have a phone date tomorrow to strategize!) I have been poring over 1st grade teachers websites looking for some new ideas I can use to revamp things with this year, to put some pizazz into my room. I ordered two new books from B & N to help me rethink my classroom layout and how I teach reading groups. This morning I woke up thinking about how to reorganize my classroom, and I felt a zing of excitement in my stomach. I can't wait to get started, and I think I may have found a way to light the fire again.

Watch out kids, Mrs. Kleffman is on her way BACK!


I had to stop a minute and brag here for a second. My cousin John started a rockin' new website for college football fans. So if you are like my husband, and are crazy with excitement that it is almost August (which only means ONE thing-FOOTBALL SEASON!) check out this site:


It's worth the trip!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Big D

I have to go to the dentist tomorrow to have a cavity filled, and I am an absolute nervous wreck about it. I hate having this done, but not because of the drilling. It's because of the novacaine. I don't know if I am allergic to the drug or just highly sensitive, but it makes me feel woozy and faint. And the worst part? It lasts about 3 times as long as it should, making mothering so much fun. It's lovely when your kids realize you can't talk, and that the drool coming out of your mouth because you can't feel a thing is a sign to them that they can get away with whatever their creative minds can think of.

On the upside, my anxiety on this upcoming event has kicked my need to organize into high gear. I have filled out and completed the 8 gazillion forms needed for Evan to go to school and be a 5th grader, and sent them back into school. I've ordered my new planner for the upcoming school year, the supplies I need for my classroom, and Evan's school uniforms for the year.

Maybe cavities aren't such a bad thing.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

A Post Full of Pictures

I finally got around to uploading all of the pictures I've been wanting to share.

My cutie patutie Evan at his last swim meet of the season. You can't see it, but his swim cap matches the team swim suit. I had no idea swim teams had uniforms before this summer!

Evan is the one in the middle of the picture, standing up, getting ready for the 25 meter freestyle.

My cute boys on the 4th of July. We celebrated at my sister's house. This is when we were watching the fireworks. Notice the sweatshirts and jeans! It was COLD and rainy the whole day-low 60s and a mist the whole time. Crazy weather for July in Omaha.

Charlie enjoying the privilege of being allowed a can of pop.

My birthday cake I treated myself to on my birthday Tuesday.

At the beginning of July, The Sweet Tooth Fairy bakery in Provo, Utah held a fundraiser for Nie Nie over at The NieNie Dialogues in honor of her birthday. I was super excited that I was able to participate long distance, as the bakery was willing to ship me an order of VaNIElla cupcakes. TO.DIE.FOR. Seriously. I could have ate all 15. But I didn't, just for the record. I had to fight my family for them. Don't they look yummy?

The pretty box the cupcakes arrived in.

An impressive lego city built by my aspiring young architects.

And finally, a precious shot of Sammy enjoying a cup of coffee and the morning paper. He loves to do everything just like his Mommy and Daddy. Adorable, no?!

Hope you are having an enjoyable summer too!!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today at 4:48 PM I turned 32. That feels really old. 30 was bad enough. 32? That's approaching mid thirties. The kicker? My brain stopped aging at 18. I don't feel any different mentally than I did then.

At any rate, it was a lovely day, filled with the birthday wishes of friends and family, which made me feel warm, happy, and loved. Jeff took the day off from work to watch Charlie and Sammy so that Evan and I could spend the day at the pool. It was heaven. We spent from 10-3:15 lounging by the water. All I need to be happy in the summer time is sun, water, and warm temps. I know without a doubt that I was a fish or a mermaid in another life. I read, soaked in the sun, soaked in the water, drank diet Coke, and swam. I talked with my first born without being interrupted, and got to hear his thoughts on the upcoming school year. We ordered lunch from the pool's Bistro, and ate grilled hamburgers with salty fries. I couldn't have asked for anything better.

I picked up a birthday cake on the way home from the pool, since for Charlie and Sammy the best part of a birthday is cake and singing. We sang and ate cake together as a family after dinner, and then-my husband did the dishes for me! I wish it could be my birthday every day.

I'm not ready to be 32, or even 30, but I loved my day.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Short and Sweet

Here is the tweet I just posted over on Twitter.

July makes me anxious. It is too close to August. And let me be clear: I DO NOT WANT TO GO BACK TO SCHOOL. The end.

I was going to do a whole lengthy post on this, but that just about sums it up.

I love being home with my kids, I love being in the sunshine every day at the pool. I love being the one to take care of what my kids need during the day.


Wednesday, July 01, 2009

4 Swim Meets Down, 1 to Go

Evan had another meet tonight, and he won another 2nd place finish (in the 25m freestyle). It was at our home club too, which meant that the toddlers could go to the daycare center, and I could watch/cheer in peace from my chair poolside. It really was a nice night. Not too hot, and 2 hours to myself in a beach chair. The whole thing is soooooo much less stressful when I don't have to entertain the little guys for three hours.

The best part? (Besides my kid being a rockin' good swimmer of course!) was that it was the fastest meet in our short swim team history. Even though it started about 8 minutes late due to technical problems with the sound system, we were done at 7:20. AWESOME.

I do like that the little ones are getting to experience watching Evan practice and compete. They are already getting excited for their turn and asking when they can take lessons and swim in a race. Who knows? Maybe we'll become a swim team family!

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