Saturday, September 19, 2009

Brooklyn's "New Preschool"

Brookie's First Day

Brooklyn started her second year of preschool on September 1st. She is going to a new school this year, the same one that Jacey went to as a 4-year-old, and is now going 3 days a week instead of 2. I LOVE her teacher and the set-up that she has at her house (converted garage with classroom, playroom, and pint-sized bathroom), as well as her awesome backyard with tons of playground equipment and ride-on toys. Brooklyn is in heaven there and loves it, which makes the long drive to get there worthwhile (it is about 15 minutes away). She is always asking each morning if she gets to go to "New Preschool" that day. She also loves her little buddy Ethan who is in her class and drives in our carpool with us.

Since starting "New Preschool", I have also begun to panic as I realize that Brooklyn is only 1 year away from starting kindergarten! How can that be? As smart as she is, I have discovered that Brooklyn needs a lot of help when it comes to learning to write her letters. The poor girl doesn't even know how to hold her pencil the right way! Since Jacey picked up a crayon and started coloring and writing virtually on her own at a very young age, I guess that this kind of caught me by surprise. Brookie would much rather be playing cars and trains than be bothered with the tedious work of printing letters and coloring in the lines. It is so interesting how my two girls have such different personalities!

Riding the trike in the backyard!

Packing it up for another day!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Jacey's 7th Birthday!

How do you go from this:

to this:

in just 7 short years?

Jacey turned 7 years old on September 1st. It is hard to believe that my little baby girl is growing up so fast! If the years aren't proof of that, her sassy attitude and love of clothing and all things GIRL are. Some days she seems to be 7 going on 17. I am not quite sure how she got this way given the fact that I am more of a tomboy and not into all the girly-girl things. But I digress.

The big celebration started the Saturday before her actual birthday with her friend party. Since it is still quite warm outside we decided to have a water-themed party, with a little Hannah Montana thrown in (more about that later).

We got out the big water slide. . .

and played some games using water balloons.

A couple of girls even got the brilliant idea to use water balloons in some more creative ways!

The girls made visors. . .

Jacey opened up her presents, which were mostly make-up items (ugh!). . .

and then we had cupcakes, ice cream and punch!
(Jacey wanted a Hannah Montana party, but the only things that were "Hannah" were the cups and napkins.)

She definitely felt like the "Queen of the Party!"

A couple of days later was her actual birthday. I took some goodies into her classroom and her teacher spotlighted her while I was there. That night we went out to eat at Applebee's (her choice) and then we came home and opened up her presents and had ice cream. As you can see, she got quite spoiled! She got a big sticker book from her "Red Grandma", some books and Justice shirts from California Grandma, and a shirt, DS game, headband, necklace, AND a new bike (training wheel-less) and bike helmet from us. We have already been out a few times teaching her how to ride her new wheels, and she is doing great!

Jacey is such a sweet and sensitive girl. She is always quick to give hugs and kisses and also quick to forgive. She is the ultimate first child in every way, and is very responsible and helpful around the house as well as with her brother and sister. I am so grateful that our family has been blessed with this sweet little girl! Happy birthday Jacey!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Wal-Mart--Always Poor Customer Service. Always!

I have a million more important things that I need to blog about, such as Jacey's birthday, Brooklyn's first day of pre-school, soccer games, etc., but I just could not resist posting a rant about Wal-Mart's sub-par customer service. I have come to expect that when I go to Wal-Mart I am going to get a better deal on my groceries and such, but that I should not go there if I am in a big hurry (10 customers in line for every cashier) or have any questions about where to find something ("Huh? We carry that?"). I often get a rude response or at best a blank stare from the robots who work there if I request even the slightest thing. Today was no exception.

As the cashier checked out my groceries today, I noticed that she scanned a large can of banana chips that I had bought for food storage twice. I asked her about it, and she said,"Well you did get two cans of banana chips, right?" Yes, that was true, but the problem was that the other can had already been bagged so I was convinced that she had also scanned that one earlier. I said "Oh, so you must have not scanned the other one earlier then?", to which I got the "Hmm mmm." Okalee dokalee. I was in a hurry to get Brooklyn from preschool and knew that if this lady messed up I was not going to have time to go to Customer Service to get my money back, because at Wal-Mart you do not get to see your receipt to check such things until after you have already paid and the cashier cannot do anything to fix it. I think that may be part of their strategy for making their huge profits. I can't tell you how many times they have wrung up something for the wrong price and I have not had the time or the guts to go stand in line to get my 50 cents back. But at $5.99 a can, I was not going to let this one go!

After she finished checking my things, I uncomfortably asked "Um, before I pay would you mind just checking the receipt to make sure that you only scanned those bananas twice?" Sigh. Hiss. How dare you ask me to do that!!! The cashier curtly pushed the magic button on her register to print out the receipt so I could see it. Mind you I only bought 17 items, so they weren't hard to find. She took her pen and checked them off "Here's one here. Here's one there. And, uh. . .oh there's another one there." No apologies, or "I was wrong", just an angry yanking of one of those cans out of my bag to void the entry. As I paid I said "Thank you for checking on that for me" to which she replied, if you can believe it, a robotic "You're welcome." I felt redeemed, validated, but also somewhat perplexed at how Wal-Mart keeps these awesome employees when so many people are looking for jobs right now. And maybe a little more perplexed at why, despite the numerous times I have had these kind of encounters there, I will still go back again and again.