Ready. Set. Go.

“Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save.” ~Will Smith

The summer has flashed before my eyes…again. Not so sure how that happened…seems like every year it flies by even faster. Here I am nearing the end of my break between semesters and with Hope starting back at school…still in a bit of shock that the summer is nearing an end. This week is when things are about to pick up…not that I haven’t been busy most of this year…but the fall will bring quite a few more busy moments. I think most people know I thrive in busy times…now I just have to get ready to hit the ground running and pray I find and maintain the “umph” to keep pushing forward with some big things ahead…and really just pray the medical moments settle down.

Last Friday we went to “meet the teacher”. Hope arrived at school to check out her class list and for the first time in a long time she knew barely anyone in her class.

For the first time in two years Hope is going into a class with a new teacher. We’re going to miss Mrs. Myers who has taught her the last two years…though I thinks he already knows she (and her other teachers) are stuck with us for life. Hope’s new teacher seems really nice and enthusiastic about teaching my fourth grader. Yes, she’s going into the fourth grade! *sigh* She was so enthusiastic that Hope left school that day saying she thought her teacher took a five hour energy before meet the teacher…yes, I love my girl for noticing just how excited her teacher was.

Since my surgery I haven’t carried Chance quite as much in the bjorn…so we pushed him in his stroller during meet the teacher. He such an awesome baby boy…just chillin’ while we walked around saying hi to Hope’s new teacher and all her previous ones. Several years from now I know I am going to look back and miss him being this little on his first time joining us for meet the teacher.

Jaylen told us while we were in Hope’s class that he wanted to go home. Part of me was wondering if he knew his big sister was about to go back to school and that he’d have to be home with out her. He and Hope have spent so much time together this summer and the last six months since Chance was born they really have built an amazing bond. At times they’ve come to antagonize one another like most siblings but this little guy truly looks up to his big sister. Yes, I know…it won’t be long and he’ll be in school too…I won’t rush that thought…I’m definitely NOT ready for that moment.

We rushed around to all her other teachers to say hello. It was evident she was having a lot of fun and excited to be going back to school. I paused for a moment and told her we needed to take a picture…okay, I’m pretty sure we were still walking as we took this one.

Hope & her awesome teachers…kindergarten through third grade…yep, they’re keepers. It’s so awesome to see how much Hope’s face lights up when she sees them…and equally as awesome to see how excited they are to see her. Every year the transition to a new class is definitely not what we look forward because we sure do miss having her former teachers teaching her. I suppose this year it’s a tad bit tougher because she had been in the same class for 2nd & 3rd grade. Thankfully they let us come back and visit every year.:)

We left school hearing the best news that came as a bit of a surprise. One of Hope’s good friends since first grade has returned to her school and just happens to be in her class. It totally made her day.

Every year on the first day of school I take a photo of Hope and her brother…well, now brothers. When she started school it was just her…now she’s an amazing big sister to her two little brothers.

Yes, time is flying a little too fast…and she’s growing up before my eyes.

Friday afternoon after meet the teacher I did something a little crazy….I took Hope to let her get pink hair extensions put in. Yes, I did. Call me crazy…or perhaps “cool”.:)I made sure it was okay with her school. Rather than highlights we elected to let her have pink extensions because they could be removed more easily than dying her hair back blonde afterwards. She’s been begging for them forever and I admit I tried to avoid getting them but I came to realize it really won’t hurt her. I am a creative…and totally supportive of individuality…within reason. She’s been such an amazing kid that I figured it was worth letting her do something fun that would help boost her self esteem.

I allowed her to get three put in and let her choose where they’d go. Whenever she gets tired of them or wants them out they can easily be removed.

As Hope returned to school I was a little curious to see how Jaylen would react after they enjoyed their summer together. We returned home and he went right to playing contently like her being back in school didn’t bother him at all. I was a little shocked because often times when there are big changes he reacts emotionally. But he’s an awesome kid and most of the morning he spent playing with his super hero squinky toys (or as he says soup hero quinkeys). I asked if we could take a few photos…I knew I wouldn’t want to forget just how amazing he was today. He showed off these squinky toys that he’s suddenly become obsessed with.

Yes, something so simple and tiny keeps him occupied for hours. He flies his “soup heroes” around the house or in some other play toys he has. He’ll pretend they’re fighting and all. They are so small that he drops them or they get lost  somehow quite easily. These are the only ones he could find today. Today Captain America was his favorite…but really only because he couldn’t find spiderman.

Yes, he loves these things. I was just glad my baby boy spent the day playing with these rather than missing his big sister too much.

Yesterday we spent a bit of time with other families affected by spina bifida at the spina bifida association of central florida’s back to school Ice Cream social. The kids had a lot of fun – they got to add their hand prints to the banner for the upcoming walk-n-roll event.

We even got to let Chance put his foot prints on the banner. He doesn’t know it yet but he’s helping make a huge impact in the walk-n-roll event this year….so it’s only fitting that  we leave his mark on the banner. Thanks to Jason taking my camera from me we have a few photos of these moments.

I made sure to have Chance’s other spina bifida baby friends add their foot prints to the sign too. A quick photo of the boys and their awesome Momma’s. It’s been a challenging year and it sure has helped to have other families like theirs there to show their support and reassurance every time spina bifida has decided to hit us hard. You ladies rock…and so do your baby boys.:)

A huge thanks goes out to Nicole Gower who helped make the social happen. You rock lady…well, then again…this is my competition…you know Nicole is leading “Team Gower Power”. I knew they were closing in on Team Chance…but I just learned they’re officially in the lead now…by $10. Nicole give it a little time and my supporters will help us take the lead again.:){We’d love to see you all donate to Team Chance…we’re still in need of donations for the walk-n-roll event}  And really I can pretend to be competitive in the spirit of helping the cause….but Nicole knows I adore her and I sure loved her helping me with Chance for a moment at the social so I could play paparazzi. We definitely owe her a huge thanks for how much effort she’s putting into the walk-n-roll event coming up and all she’s been doing for the spina bifida association.

So I had this brilliant idea today…after being super busy all day it hit me that my baby boy was six months old. I had intended on taking the kids to a park and taking Chance’s six month pictures and some of the kids. Then the thunder came rolling in – so I decided not to stray too far from home for these photos. I asked Jaylen to come outside with me and we tested a sweet spot near the conservation area behind us…it wasn’t quite what I envisioned but close enough. I dusted off my 50mm lens in hopes of some sweet bokeh..and now I have two more awesome shots of Jaylen that make me realize he’s growing so fast.

I can’t believe my baby boy is six months old. It’s still a shock that that much time has passed. It’s been a tough six months but I love this kid…he so awesome…and well, these photos certainly should make you all smile. Considering how much he’s endured it’s uplifting to see his sweet spirit shining through these photos taken today. Once again Hope was a huge help making sure he sat properly and didn’t fall while I took the photos of Chance again in his wooden bowl. I totally love naked babies in wooden bowls.:)And yes, he seriously loves his big sister.

I got so many cute shots but he hadn’t quite smiled so I poked my head up from behind my camera and said “hi baby boy” and he laughed.

I keep wondering as I take his photos “does this kid get any cuter?”  ….yes, he does. Happy 6 month birthday little man…may the next six months be as much of a blessing as the last. Now lets continue to pray that the next six months are filled with far more smiles and laughter than tears, fears and moments in the hospital.

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August 23, 2011 - 5:03 pm

Pepper - Amanda, honey, these are great.

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