Thursday, December 31, 2009

Gig em Aggies...or not.

Ok, so I feel like my blogs are getting very long and boring. I already wrote the blog about going to the Independence Bowl, but I feel like all those details are a little unnecessary. Here's what you need to know. (feel free to read the original blog found below if you are just terribly bored.).
1. Back in the car for 5 more hours.
2. Midway through the car ride, drop Kherington off at Mom's for her first night away from Mommy and Daddy.
3. Get to the hotel. Layer, layer,'s gonna be cold.
4. Get to the game...diggin the atmosphere. Have a little "sweet tea."
5. First half + crazy Aggies = fun. Oh yeah, A&M is a bit like a cult, but a fun one.
6. Second half + lots of turnovers + sunset = freezing cold and losing
7. Got to see David, Kathy, and the kids.
8. Dinner at Saltgrass. YUM! "losers, party of four...losers, party of four."
9. Sleep on an air mattress...ewww
10. Next morning, Waffle House. "I sure hope this doesn't affect my tip," after we waited FOREVER to even order drinks.
11. Finally home!!!!

The morning after Christmas in Cleburne, we got up early to hit the road yet again. Off to Shreveport for the Independence Bowl to see A&M play Georgia. First, to Bogata we went to drop Kherington off at my mom's. She keeps Andrea's 2 girls overnight often, but now that we are adding another kiddo to the mix, it should make for an interesting night. The rest of the trip would be with Andrea and AD. We went straight to the hotel when we got there to put on our many layers for the cold night ahead and to meet Aaron. From there we went to the game. We got lucky and didn't have to fight too much traffic; however, we had to park forever away from the stadium. After the long walk, we were regretting all the clothes we had on. The atmosphere outside the stadium was awesome! We made our way to the stadium only to wait in a long line to get inside. While waiting, our cousin, David, and his family joined us in line. They live in Indiana, so we rarely see them. The line moved quickly and we found our seats. The first half was great! With such a close score, it looked like the Aggies might have a chance. Since I didn't go to school there, I wasn't really invested in the game. However, my sister is an Aggie, and if you know an Aggie, you know it's probably just best to cheer for A&M right along with them. They can get a little crazy about their school. :) I will admit that being surrounded by Aggies made for a fun time! As you probably already know, the 2nd half got a little out of hand. As the spread between the two teams' scores became larger, the crowd got smaller. This gave us a chance to go sit with David, Kathy, and the kids. After an excrutaiting 2nd half, the game ended and we got to the car as quickly as possible to thaw out. To make up for the loss, we went to Salt Grass for dinner. There we met David and the fam yet again. While waiting to be seated, we hear " of 4, of 4." With confusion, we all looked around to see who exactly the "losers" were. A group of 4 Aggie fans made their way to the front of the crowd to go to their table.
During our trip, Andrea and I talked to Mom a few times to see how the girls were doing. At one point, Mom txt me a picture of Kherington's bathtime. The pic says it all. Nothing like a night in Bogata...

What has the world come to?

Am I seriously at home blogging on New Year's Eve?!

Christmas in Cleburne

Dec. 27, 2009

On the road again, I just can't wait to get on the road again...

It seems like we just got back to Tyler, and we have to leave again. This time it's Christmas with Brad's family in Cleburne. Up and at em early again. On the way to Brad's parents house, Steve (the middle brother) txt Brad telling him to hurry and get there. We were only about 30 minutes away, but Brad just had to txt and say it would be a few more hours. Christmas just isn't Christmas without Brad making some kind of joke. Of course, when we got there they were shocked to see us so soon and excited to see Kherington. It was another full house. Brad's parents, all five boys, myself, Kherington, and Megan (Brooks's wife). With that many hungry boys, of course lunch came first. Afterwards, we opened gifts. This is always a very eventful time in the Baca house. They have a tradition called the 'Dollar General Christmas.' It started as an inexpensive way for the brothers to buy gifts for one another and has turned into gag gifts and it's good for quite a laugh. I'd say the prize goes to Steve for his gift this year. He got Brooks a locket. If you know Brooks, it's funny enough that he got a locket for Christmas. He's about 6'5" 230 and not really the locket type. We were all already laughing when Steve told him to open it. Inside he would find a picture of himself in one side and a picture of Steve in another. It was priceless! After the DG gifts, we all opened the real deal. I got a new George Foreman grill, more scrapbook stuff, and some money. Kherington got even more cute clothes and a cute teddy bear.

The rest of the night was full of football, Kherington fussing (imagine that), even an impromptu talk show in the living room. If I can figure out how to upload videos from my video camera, I'll put it on here with a little better explanation.

Finally it was time for bed. One more night on the air mattress and an early morning ahead of us.

Friday, December 25, 2009

It's our First Christmas as a Family

How many of you have seen the ridiculous commercial for the jewelry store where a mommy is up in the middle of the night rocking her baby. The dad comes in, and she says "It's 2am, what are you doing up?" He replies in his sweetest whisper voice, "It's not just 2am. It's 2am Christmas morning. It's our first Christmas as a family. I couldn't wait." Get real! That's pretty much exactly NOT how anyone's first Christmas as a family goes. There are several things wrong. 1) If it isn't your turn to wake up with your baby in the middle of the night, there's no way you would go voluntarily. 2) The baby is way too calm. 3) The mom is WAY too alert. 4) The daddy turns on the Christmas tree lights right next to the sleeping baby. I could go on... Here's a little of how our first Christmas as a family has gone so far.

Christmas Eve started at about 7:30, which is still a little early for me and Brad on a vacation day. We did a couple hours of cleaning. How festive...I know! Next, came packing which happened according to Jo Jo's (that's her new nickname) mood and naps. We were sure to have everything ready to load in the car before she was ready for her next bottle. With a two hour trip ahead of us, we needed her to have a full belly. The drive, thank goodness, was uneventful. We got to mom's at about 3...let the fun begin. We had a couple of calm, quiet hours before Andrea and the girls got there. They are always full of energy and excitement, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Since Aaron had to work, we did a lot of snacking and hanging out while we waited for him. While we waited, we also let Kherington "open" her gifts since she was getting a little cranky. (She is the most even tempered baby in the world, until we go to someone else's house. Then, she acts like a dang fool. Crying and whining...only wanting to be held...being very particular. Our families are going to start thinking we are lying when we brag about how good she is.) Anyway, she "opened" her gifts. She got lots of cute clothes and some diapers and money from Mom and Andrea. Mom also got her a glowworm. Glowworms have come a long way since we were little.

Finally Aaron got there, so we all opened our gifts and played the white elephant gift exchange game with gift cards. Our family always seems to do things a little different...maybe even wrong. Other families usually live to steal someone else's gift, even if they don't love it. It's just fun to take it from someone. Not us. We went through the entire game with not one stolen gift card. The game ended in about 2 minutes. I got a gift card to Olive Garden (Aaron, here we come) and a ticket to the Independence Bowl. Once all the presents were opened and the piles of reindeer paper were picked up, it was times to play games. Andrea and I kicked some major tail at Catch Phrase and Guesstures! And...that's pretty much all we played. The other game doesn't even deserved to be mentioned as far as I'm concerned. :)

One of the best things about Christmas this year was Mom getting up with Kherington for the night since we stayed at her house. Jo Jo sleeps through the night for the most part, only waking up for her paci, but it is still annoying to wake up in the middle of the night. It's nice to have a night of uninterrupted sleep.

Christmas morning came too early...8:00. We got up, fed Kherington, and headed to Dad's. Their house was packed, just as on any Christmas morning. Dad, Mary Lynn, her three kiddos + one boyfriend and one friend from the Marines, and us three + 2 husbands and 3 kids. For the first time in YEARS, Andrea beat me there! There is something so wrong with that picture. Not long after we arrived, we opened gifts. Kherington got a cute stuffed bunny, a pretty quilt, and lots more cute clothes. I got money (ummm hmmmm) and stuff to start a scrapbook for Jo Jo. After gifts, we had breakfast and sat around the dining room table listening to AD's antics as usual.

After going back to Mom's for a few hours, we came back to Tyler, but not for long...

I am the big loser whose camera died during Christmas. To see pics, visit Andrea's Blog. :)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Why is it that Brad hears Kherington before me at night?! When we first brought her home, I heard and woke up to the slightest sound she made. Now, Brad will wake me up to go get her. I'll say "Why don't you get her this time and I'll get her next time?" To that he replies, "I already got up with her." How is it that he not only hears her cry, but also gets up to give her her paci, and I never even wake up. One of two things is happening. Either he is lying and not really getting up, or Kherington and Brad have some kind of morse code they are using at night. Better yet, maybe her cry is like those sounds that only dogs can hear. Maybe Brad's ears are the only ones that can hear her nighttime cry. Seriously?! What kind of mother has to be woken up by a daddy to get her baby?!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Kherington's First (and hopefully last) Teacher Workshop

I started this blog a couple of weeks ago but just finished it. This was actually on Dec. 10th. Another warning: I do a lot of 'blah, blah, blah' with no pictures, so if you're like me you may want to skip this one. Anyway, on to the story...

I got to school Thursday morning ready to give it one more try with hopes that a few more kids would catch on. I was in a pretty good mood. It was Thursday which is the next best thing right behind Friday, and we were getting to wear jeans. Right when I sat down at my desk I remembered that I had training after school from 4:30-6:30. Pre-baby, training sucked bad enough, but now I am even more anxious to leave work in the afternoon. At that same moment I remembered that Brad was driving the basketball boys to their tournament and would be working later than usual too. Who in the heck was going to keep Kherington? I called Brad for suggestions, but more so, for someone with a level head to tell me that it wasn't the end of the world. We decided that the best bet would be for Aaron, yes my little brother Aaron, to keep her if he didn't have to work. If he had to work, it was looking like it would be Kherington's first teacher workshop. Since it was before 12 noon I knew he would still be asleep, so I just txt him to see if he could do it. Unsure of when he would get off, I just decided that she could go with me.

With a plan in mind, I felt a little better, until...I realized that we have tutorials after school on Thursdays until 4:00. That would mean that I had to leave the school at 4:10ish, pick up Kherington, go home to pack a diaper bag, and make it there by 4:30. Late is not an option for me, especially when I need to be somewhere early and get a seat in the back. Luckily, Dena (another 2nd grade teacher) offered to take my tutorial kids for the last 15 minutes of tutorials, so I could start my rat race. I rushed out the door. I got home and threw together a bag with a few diapers, a bottle and a bib or two. Next, off to get Kherington. Whew...she still has on the clothes I put on her this morning, I thought to myself. She won't have to go with me looking like an orphan. Now, for the drive across town. I made it there on time, maybe even a few minutes early, only to find that our class was not in the room it is usually in. This time we would be in a packed room with no tables, only rows of chairs. No problem, we'll just sit in the back to cause as little of a distraction as possible...not an option. The only empty chairs were in the front row. Isn't that lovely. In I walk, carrying the carrier that now seems to have grown to the size of Mt. Everest. Getting to the front with the big awkward thing was a sight to see. Finally to my seat....let's get this thing started so all eyes will be off of me and this will be over with! Oh it couldn't be that simple. The presenter had to make her way over to me and ooh and goo about how cute Kherington is. Don't get me wrong, I love to hear it as much as the next person, but when you are trying to draw as little attention to yourself as possible it's not ideal. I was really hoping for a back row seat, so I could play with Kherington and it wouldn't feel as rude as it would feel on the front row. Well, here I am on the front row. It's either pay attention and maybe (I said MAYBE) learn something new to use in my classroom, but have Kherington whine because she's not getting enough attention, with Kherington and not hear a word that's said the entire time. I went for the latter. At least that way the people sitting around me could hear. The presentation started, Kherington was being an angel, and I started to feel relaxed, until I remembered that right about now every day is when Kherington 'shooeys in her panties.' (That's what we call it in our house...not sure where it came from.) Sure enough, there she goes and there I go with my first trip out of the room with yet another huge distraction. It didn't help that the presenter announced, "Isn't that the cutest baby you've ever seen?" Needless to say, that was not the last time I had to leave the room and cause another commotion. It' was a l-o-n-g two hours!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Gotta love 2nd grade....

One of the stations in my classroom is the "Dear Mrs. Baca" station. Each of my students has a journal. They write letters to me, and I write them back. I hear lots of kind things like "You're the best teacher ever," and "You are so pretty." I recently read a letter that was a little different, still sweet though. One of my kids wrote..

Dear Mrs. Baca, If your hilter ever runs out of hilt I will get you some more.

I was so confused about what he meant. I went next door to Ms. Gaines who teaches 2nd grade with me. She taught kindergarten for years before teaching 2nd grade, so who better for the job of decoding the writing of a child. Even she could not figure out what he was saying. The next day I called the student to my table while the kids were in stations and said, "I loved your letter. Can you read it for me?" He said, "Dear Mrs. Baca, If your highlighter ever runs out of highlight, I will get you some more." How precious is that? Is that a sign that I need to put the highlighter away?

Here's a poem that I got from one of my kiddos. I'll translate for those who don't teach elementary school. :)

rosis are red (Roses are red)
bluw bonis are blu (Bluebonnets are blue)
the owe I cair (The one I care)
abowt is you (About it you)
I cair abowt you (I care about you)
mor than flowers (More than flowers)
so hav haqqy owrs (So have happy hours)