Sunday, November 27, 2011

Happy Post Thanksgiving...

4 months have passed and I think this year I will reach my all time blogging low.  I'm just sitting around bored and watching an old movie, so I thought I'd catch up on my posts...Since we last saw each other....

  • I'm working more now, almost full time.  Sometimes I'm in Westchester cty NY, which is a long drive.
  • Kurt gifted me with a lovely new car, a Honda CRV.  Kelsey and I named her Fancy (as in Fancy Nancy) and yes she is very Fancy.
  • We had our annual reunion with our China Travel Group in October at the Lillis' home in CT.  We had such a great time and the girls and guys loved playing together!
  • We finished summer and Kelsey began first grade.  She likes school and is beginning to make new friends.  That being said, we are having some challenges with one of her K friends.  Trying to work it out to what's best for the kids. 
  • I am looking for a tutor for Kelsey again.  She struggles with reading and math.  We'll get there eventually.
  • The family grew again this fall, as my BIL Rich and SIL Liz welcomed new son Marshall Owen at the end of October into their family.  He's a cutie and I think we'll be making a road trip in Jan.  We finally were able to get to MD and meet baby Ellie (who turned one) in August.
  • We had some electrical work done on the house and had it painted.  Looks fabulous now and we haven't had to reset the breaker in months!
  • We had a hurricane in August that dumped a foot of water into the basement.  and had a freak snowstorm in Oct.  Global warming indeed.
  • Kelsey started her 4th year of ballet.  I may be prejudiced, but she is a very graceful dancer.
  • In September, we began our first year of Brownies.  Looks like it's going to be fun!
  • Kelsey hosted a Halloween party for her K classmates - it was a blast!
  • We hosted Thanksgiving here with my Sister's family.  We had a great day.
  • Maddie is one now and such a joy to us all.  She is a bit of a chewer, but such a love sponge.
  • Kelsey lost her first two teeth this summer.  They were the center bottoms and her adult teeth were growing right behind them.  They filled in nicely.

Friday, July 15, 2011


I have to say that summer 2011 is fairly happy. The reason for all this bliss? Kelsey of course :) And having the time and some resources to enjoy her sweetness. Let me delve into Kelsey's personality for a minute. She wakes up happy...wanting to know what she is doing that day. She snuggles with me and then she wants her Daddy...craving the tickles and fun he brings. The minute she wakes up, she wants to "watch her show" (and sometimes I cave ---it's always Nick Jr.)
Kelsey enjoys her life. She skips and dances when she could walk, she says "hello" to everyone she meets and she has a smile on her face while she does it. Yesterday in the middle of walking Maddie (the dog) we stopped to speak with a neighbor. He was pulling weeds in his lawn and Kelsey quickly stepped in to lend a hand. She did a good job and he paid her a hearty thanks and gave her a quarter. She thanked him without me prompting her :) Kelsey is a social child and enjoys making new friends. We began a daycare/camp two weeks ago and when she enters the space, kids yell out "hey, it's KELSEY!" (one child saw me and didn't see her first and asked me if I brought her :) Her Camp Leader says she makes friends easily and adjusts well to new situations. Tomorrow is her last day at Trini Camp (where she'll attend her new school) and she has told me (again smiling) this is HER school now and she likes it! She's attending a cooking class and enjoying making food.
Next week we begin swim lessons at our county pool. We are looking forward to them. Tomorrow, after camp, I am taking her to Pottery Barn Kids for a Doll Tea Party. She's really looking forward to it.
Since I've last blogged, Kelsey graduated from Kindergarden, started camp, started her reading program and turned SIX with a birthday extravaganza. It is my joy and privledge to raise this child....I still can't believe she's really mine to love and cherish...and she's the happiest person I know. If I could bottle her love of life and happiness...well life would be sweeter for us all! Here are a few photos from the last few weeks in the very happy life of the very happy Kelsey Hoppe!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The night before Kelsey graduates Kindergarten

She is blissfully asleep, but is kicking the heck out of me. I'm so excited for Kelsey - she is making such a big step to graduate K and leave the safety and comfort of the Giving Nest. My Baby is growing up and I am delighted in how wonderfully smart and talented she is. I'm also sad that my Baby is growing every Mom most likely is.

Kelsey's first Teacher at the Giving Nest caught me this AM and asked me if I was going to cry...silly Kelly...OF course I'm going to cry Baby is literally leaving the NEST! :)

I've said this for the last two years, I can't believe how wonderful her class is this year. Every child is great and she's made some Fantastic Friends this year. Adult Kelsey reading this, please smile at the memory of Emily, Alyssa, Catherine, Jasmine, Lily, Cadence, Ben, Ameer, Adian, Liam, Paul, and Joe. What a great group of friends you've made this year!

I spent about 4 months planning her Summer this year. We have joined our county pool (which looks like a country club!) and I signed her up for swimming lessons. She's going to Trini-Camp in July and at the end of June will start a 6 week program at Rutger's Continuing Education. Kelsey is close to reading....she knows all her letters and sounds, she needs to make the leap to putting them together and sounding them out. We have a tutor until August and also she'll spend 2 days each week at GMB's "camp" which focuses on education. She should have a fabulous summer and go into first grade happy and prepped for learning.

I'm excited about this next step of her education. Holy Trinity is an excellent school (poised for blue ribbon next year) and with the small class sizes (only 2 classes per grade and about 15 children in each class) it's a comfortable next step in her independence. I don't think I would ever have a comfort level in throwing her into a large public school where there are 5 classes in each grade of 25 students.

On the horizon for next week, Kelsey has a flying up to Brownies ceremony after spending a fun year as a Daisy Scout. Next Friday night is her dance recital and on July 9th she'll have a double birthday party (afternoon for her friends and evening for her family). We also have a lot of friends' parties coming up too....we are busy busy!!!!

Speaking of Family....this time of year I am missing my Mom dreadfully. She should be here front and center for all the fun things going on in her Granddaughter's life. I am so sad and missing her...especially when I will see all her friends' Grandmother's watching their little darlings Graduate, Fly up, and Dance.

Thank Goodness Kurt has been able to take the time for tomorrow and will be attending Kelsey's graduation. He had to miss her Pre-K one last year, so we were hoping things would be different and they are! :)

I'm leaving you with some photos of my baby as she started her school career and now :)

Kelsey's first day of Pre-School as a Ducking in 2009

Kelsey was a Cardinal in Sept 2010

Kelsey graduated from Pre-K (only a year ago!)

Her first day in Kindergarten (she was a Senior in her school!)

Just taken last week.....

Peace out!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Playroom fit for a Princess!

named who had so many toys, they were taking over her family's living spaces. Her Mommy, the Queen thought she might be able to make a playroom in the basement, but it looked like this:

which, as you can see, was a pretty dreary, dirty and sad place for a beautiful Princess to play with all her pretty toys!

But the Queen was determined...and worked every week in the basement for months...throwing out stuff, organizing and cleaning the room up...until it was finally ready for some paint. So she painted the walls a cheery yellow and blue. And epoxied the floor so it looked like a sandy beach...the Queen also had some furniture from her Mom's house and wanted the room to look like a whimsical beach house plus toy storage.

Finally the room was ready for the little Princess....and here is what she saw:

This is the dress-up corner, where the Princess and all her Princess friends get to change into their costumes, wear tiaras and pretty sparkly Tiaras and jewelry and pose in from of the mirrors.

This is where the Princess plays with her doll houses and stores the Royal Barbies, Polly Pocket and My Little Pony Paraphanalia This is the main game/storage wall where the Princess can see everything she can play with all at once. We never realized how many games we had until we put them all on display.

This is the Royal Papasan Chair that the Queen found on Craiglist. The Princess adores this chair and has dubbed it the "hot tub" at her Beach House. You can see the Princess adores her new playroom and is having lots of fun rediscovering all the toys we organized.

This was my Mom's couch and table and chairs, which set the beachy theme for this room. The blue/white curtains are shower curtains which I hung from eye screws and rope from the ceiling joists. I chose shower curtains because this is a basement that we have lots of storage hiding behind. I can slide the curtains back and grab what I need.
Even Ariel likes to hang out in the new playroom now.

And the Queen is thrilled that all the Royal toys are no longer hanging out in the Royal living room!

The End (or really, the beginning of lots of new playdates in the new playroom!)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Every Three Months?

Wow, are not performing up to expectations on your blogging assignments!

Here is the low down on life at Casa de Hoppe as of today:

1) I'm working as an Independent Consultant in the non profit world. I like it (wish I made a bit more $$$) but right now, it's working well. It's a part time gig which gives me great flexibility to care for our sweet girl.

2) Maddie is the most amazing puppy ever. I completely love her and adore spending time snuggling with her. She's slowly potty training and I'm patient with it for the most part.

3) Kurt started an amazing job a few weeks ago....I'm so proud of him! He's doing so well professionally!

4) Kelsey has been attending lots of birthday parties lately. We love her friends :)

5) I just finished volunteering at the Giving Nest's Annual Tricky Tray. It was exhausting and fun.

6) Summer plans are shaping up for our Princess. On the agenda are:

A summer reading program at Rutgers
Summer camp sessions at Holy Trinity Summer Camp
A stint at another camp in town (Ginny's)
Summer tutoring

I'm putting Kelsey in some academic programs this summer because she's resisting reading. Most of her class are good readers and she may be lagging because she's younger than most of her classmates and due to the adoption hit most of her milestones later than normal. She's a perfectly normal, lovely child, but she needs to get her reading butt in gear and begin. Todays' Kindergartners are expected to finish their K year reading and I don't want her to lag behind in first grade.

7) Speaking of first grade, I agnonized over where to send her to school. Ultimately I chose a Catholic School in a town a few towns over from ours. This is a good school (about to be Blue Ribbon selected) and her two dearest classfriends are also registered there for fall. The deciding factor for me was that I went to the Superintendent's office to discuss our options...we had none. either I put her in a school that wasn't right for her academically or diversity-wise or send her to Private School. We can't really afford this, but when I told Kurt that there are zero Asian students in the school they'd force upon us and the Assis't Superintendent herself told me that she wouldn't send her own children to that school...well, what does that say to you? Anyway, we went to an open house before we applied and both Kurt and Kelsey are really excited about this school. I think it will be both nuturing, supportive and will provide our little Diva (yes Kelsey, YOU!) with the kick in the pants she needs to jumpstart academically. (yes, we want to move, but right now that's not in the cards for 2011 -we'll see for 2012)

8) We splurged and decided to take a short vacation. Kelsey had been asking to go to Disney for, well forever! So we decided to suprise her and go! We left on March 1 (right after her big school musical show) and came home on 3/5. We had 5 days to explore the Magic Kingdon, Epcot and Hollywood Studios. She loved every single second of her adventure. I think I want to do some more posting on Disney...stay tuned (promise it won't be 3 months later)

9) I'm finally (FINALLY!!!!!) almost done with the basement refinishing. Taking it from its digusting roots to a place where you can walk barefoot has taken me months (sometimes I just left in disgust) but tomorrow I paint the final part of the floor and then I can move the furniture and cute decorative stuff in....AND all the toys! (did I mention ALL THE FREAKIN' toys?)

Leaving you with some photos of my girl's trip to "The World"

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Do this...For Susan and for all the other Warrior Princesses out there...

No Princess Alone button

Please visit Susan's blog and read about the challenges she is facing. then please post this badge to your own blog and let the battle rage.

Susan, I am proud to do this small thing for you. Go you Warrior Princess!

Another Mom.