Friday, August 28, 2009

2 Rotations down...4 more to go!

Tommy has completed his 2nd rotation! Woohoo!!!! Yesterday was the last day of his family practice rotation! He really enjoyed this rotation as well as the doctor and staff working at the clinic he was at. The kids and I went to the clinic yesterday to meet everyone and they were the nicest people and made us feel so welcome....showing the kids all around the office. They loved seeing where Daddy has been going all these days and getting to try out some of the "tools". Tommy got to see and do lots of new things this rotation, some of which...his first time to do suturing, giving injections, and performing a couple minor surgical procedures. I got to see him in action yesterday when we were there and I was just amazed and so proud of him! He did this rotation with another med student named Ryan Rasmussen...and let me tell you, this guy is hilarious! He keeps everyone laughing when he's around. Tommy said he's also a very smart guy and will be an awesome doctor one day. It's also really neat because Ryan and his family live here in the same apartment complex as us! (I still think that's such a huge coincidence when you consider how huge Tulsa is.) Anyway, Ryan has a beautiful wife, April, and 2 precious little boys named Emmet and Weston that we have gotten to meet. :)

Tommy and Ryan at the clinic

On Monday, Tommy will start his Internal Medicine rotation. This is a 12 week rotation so it will be tougher than the previous two 6 week rotations. He will be at St. Francis Hospital and I'm thinking this may start the longer hours for him. We've really enjoyed him being at clinics because those doctors usually keep nice hours. But, we'll just enjoy the nice schedules when we get them, and we'll survive the tough schedules just the same! Please keep Tommy in your prayers as he works through these next 12 weeks!

And as I said in my post when he finished his 1st rotation, we will make a point to celebrate each and every one of these rotations! He is breezing through them and getting closer and closer to graduation! Not sure what we'll do to celebrate this one this weekend, but I'm sure it will involve a nice dinner! =)


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Books, surprises, & a pretty little girl :)

Tag came home from school yesterday so excited because his class got to go for their first visit to the school library! (He was jealous the day before because Bella had gotten to go and he thought he wasn't ever going to get to go!) Of course Tommy and I have always taken the kids to the library for story time and to check out books, but as far as Tag goes, he considers this his first trip to the library! He told me he had a surprise for me and when we got home he whipped out his library book he had checked out HIMSELF! :) He was so proud I just had to take his picture with it!

He and Bella received in the mail this week a box full of new books from Ma C (Tommy's mom) and we've enjoyed reading them each night. It's always nice to get new books to spruce up our home library. And the kids are also SO excited to be able to order the Scholastic books this year through school and have a blast going through the catalog circling the books they want! I remember how exciting this was to me too as a child. Now to just get them to understand we can't get them ALL!

Tag loves to give us surprises. I don't know if this is just a stage or if this is his own little personality shining, but I can assure you each surprise he has is making his mommy a very happy girl! Sometimes his surprises are a picture he colored at school (he's getting very creative with his drawings of monsters and robots and airplanes!), or a cleaned up room (my personal favorite!), or telling me he stayed on green light all day at school! The other night was an all time great surprise though! Tommy was going to a pharmaceutical sales dinner so the kids and I went and picked up Chick Fil A for us. When we got to our front door, Tag asked Bella and I to wait outside while he did something to surprise us. We waited and waited and waited......and finally he opened the door for us. I cried when I came in! He had gotten all our food out ready to eat, had gotten a plate for Bella with ketchup on it ready for her to dip her nuggets, set our drinks out and napkins and all! And he had put the movie we rented in the dvd player! I was the proudest momma in Oklahoma, for sure! He said he did it so I wouldn't have to do a thing! How awesome is this kid?! I told my mom this gave me a glimpse into his future...probably one day doing these little "surprises" for some lucky girlfriend! But for now I'm his main girl and I hope it stays that way for a looooooooong time! I'm definitely a lucky (more like blessed) girl!

I can't have a post without any pics of my sweet girl!

Bella also wanted me to take a picture of her from behind so we could see how long her hair is getting. She's like her momma was when she was little and seems to have slow-growing hair, but we're getting there! She loves when she can feel it on her back...and this little shirt is perfect for that!

Bella is getting better and better at morning dropoff. She hasn't shed a tear this week, much to her Mom and Dad's relief! We still walk her to her class, but Tag walks down to his room on his own. He doesn't know it, but I still walk down to peek in and make sure he made it there, though! ;) We were told we could walk the kids in until Labor Day, which is completely understandable, but it's going to be a new step up for Bella and I hope she transitions ok. I keep telling her I'll be letting her out of the car at the front soon and she'll walk to her class with her bubba, but she still feels uneasy about it. I pray after she does it once that she'll feel more comfortable. I am so proud of her and how well she's adjusting to being away from home all day. She has a new song to sing for us each day and is still getting rave reviews from her teacher!

We got Bella signed up for dancing last week! She starts week after next and is so excited! She is constantly singing and dancing and tells me she doesn't need dance class because she already knows how to dance! hehe! Then she said, "Maybe I can teach them how to dance!" =) You gotta love her! What I wouldn't give to have that kind of confidence! I want to keep her this way forever!

Tag has decided he wants to play flag football again this year, so we are getting him signed up for that. He's also wanting to sign up to play Mini Basketball. It's a school team for K-2nd grade. It sounds very cute to me and I can't wait to see it! Mini basketball starts when football ends so it shouldn't interfere too much.

One last picture...I'm learning I apparently don't have a green thumb. I can't even keep a hanging plant alive?! Ha! Actually I don't think it's me because all my other ones are flourishing beautifully! Oh well, I hung my cross wind chime that my mother-in-law gave me on that hook so now I have some pretty flowers to look at and a nice chime to listen to! :)

:( This was a couple days ago, it's much worse now.


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Random pictures

I haven't had much to post about these past several days! So I'll just update a little on the kids and school. They are really loving school. Bella still has some trouble getting dropped off in the mornings, but I have to understand that this is her first time away from home for so long and it'll just take time. She really does enjoy herself once she's there though! She loves singing and comes home with a new song just about every day! And yesterday her teacher told me that she is the most well-behaved in the class! She told me to really praise her because she is always the first child to sit quietly each day on the rug and be ready to listen. And Miss Bella is so proud of herself at the end of each day because she is racking up in prizes (candy-Bella's one true love!) from her teacher for her good behavior! Tag said he took a one on one test with his teacher yesterday and he answered every single question correctly! He was proud, and so were we! I'm assuming it was some sort of assessment test. He went to pre-k for about 4 months in West Monroe when he was 4 years old at Lisa Robinson's. She is a former teacher who now does pre-k at her home using the ABEKA program, and she is just amazing! She has this incredible ability to teach kids. I'm still in awe that she was able to get Tag to reading in that little bit of time! Anyway, I can't say enough good things about her, and really had wished Bella would be able to go to pre-k at Mrs. Lisa's as well. But, I know she is getting a great foundation here with Jefferson's pre-k program as well.

Here are a few more pictures I've taken of the kids before school. :)

This hairdo was a special request from Bella one morning. She saw a girl at the pool with 3 ponytails and she wanted to do hers this way! She ended up taking them all down while waiting to go in school. I think it made her more nervous to be trying out a new "do" when she was already nervous about leaving mom and dad for the day. :(
Front view of the 3 ponytail hairdo! :)
Poor Tag has so many shirts with the #45 on it! If we see one, we almost always snatch it up! Gotta keep the infamous Banks boys' number going!!
I love our patio at our apartment, it's got a nice little courtyard area down below where the kids can play and it's just a nice place to sit out and look over. I had been wanting to have some flowers out there, though, to cozy it up some and when mom was in town she helped me get set up with some. It's not much, but you don't realize how happy it makes you to look out and see pretty flowers! Just looks so much more homey. I can't wait to have a HOUSE where I can have flower beds, but for now, this makes me plenty happy to look out and see!
I laugh at myself because I'm always moving those 2 pots on the floor around to follow the sun! You can see in these pics I had moved them over to the front in full "view" of the sun.
I love these pink flowers in the center. Mom told me my brother told her the name of them because he has some planted at his house, but now I can't remember the name. I just call them my little pink "Dr. Seuss trees".
Pretty daisy

Ok, so the flowers weren't that interesting to look at compared to most people's flower beds and landscaping at their houses, but they are surely making me smile when I see them! It's the little things...... =)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

1st Day of School

As of Wednesday, August 12, 2009, the Banks kids are officially school kids! It was such a bittersweet moment! The first big step in their independence from mom and dad! As much as we'd love to huddle them up and keep them home with us forever...obviously, we know we can't. ;) And I cannot wait to see them grow up and see what God has in store for each of their lives. Ever since they were born, I remember looking at their sweet little, chubby hands and wondering what God would have those hands do one day! No matter what it is, we will be proud of them and support and love them so! I can't wait to watch every step of their precious lives!

Here is Bella Rose on the first day of school!

Tag wasn't that much into picture taking that morning, but I did manage to get a few! It's a reality shock for me to look at this picture in particular, they both look like "big kids"!

Showing off their backpacks! I think this was the most exciting thing for them about starting school, getting to get a "real" backpack! Kids are so sweet and innocent!

Daddy and Bella heading up to school, school supplies in tow!

This (blurry) pic is of the outer room of the kindergarten "pod", as they call it. This room leads into the kindergarten rooms behind. You can see one of the many Thomas Jefferson quotes painted on the wall.

We took Tag to his room first. We figured if either of them had a hard time being left it would be Bella Rose. We were just a tad bit wrong on that thought tho, but he still did really well! Here Tag is looking for his locker! Having their own locker is another exciting thing for the kids!

Tag's own locker! =)

Tag and Mrs. Newburn

This is just as we were saying goodbye. He was a little unsure and just a little teary-eyed. But I am so proud of him! I would be so scared to go to a brand new school in a brand new city and he fought back his tears! He told me after school that he wanted to cry, but made himself stop! What a big little guy! And he has no idea how helpful that was for mom and dad to leave him!
Next was Bella's turn! I can't explain the nervous and upset stomach I had all morning, but it grew when going to leave her. I just didn't know what to expect with her when we were leaving her. But, she went right in, found her locker and was just ready to get started on her big girl day! Here is her and daddy putting her backpack in her own locker.

She was too excited to have any nervous feelings!

She sat right down in her spot and got busy coloring! Whew...such a relief! I left her room without a single tear in my eyes!

Getting a kiss from her daddy. Ok, this maybe made me a bit teary. He's the most amazing dad!

Mommy and her big girl!

We didn't get to take pictures like this with Tag because we could tell he was close to being upset. We thought it best to just make a quick exit with short goodbyes with him and get on our way.
I think that was the longest 6 and a half hours, and I'd love to know how many times I checked the clock worrying I was going to be late to pick them up! Thankfully, my friend Donna was in town this week with her husband for work so we went to lunch and to Target that day. This definitely helped time pass by quickly!

They both had an awesome first day and were so excited! Day 2 was a little more difficult (ok, it was ALOT more difficult). I think they were tired from the sudden waking up early, and the reality that this was an everyday thing was starting to set in. Tag started right off not wanting to go and eventually it transferred over to Bella. Tommy went on to work because I thought the dropoff would be easy. Tag and I took Bella to her class first, and she would not let me leave....she was crying and wrapped around my leg! I felt terrible because poor Tag was seeing her so upset and it just made the feelings he was already having much much worse. I finally got freed from Bella and walked him to his room. He was just staring at me and saying "I love you" as I left him, with tears rolling down his eyes. Was definitely a heartbreaking picture to leave with. Another child's sweet momma was walking out with me and saw me crying and was able to comfort me some. She had been in the same situation last year, taking 2 at once to school for the first time. And she survived! The kids had a wonderful 3rd day and Tag didn't want to leave. He has come home all 3 days talking all about some little girl named Jillian. Apparently they are taking turns chasing each other around during recess...and we all know what that means! ;) So we have survived this milestone! I'm praying they will have a good dropoff on Monday. Hopefully the weekend won't mean we have to start all over with it all!
Mommy and Daddy are so proud of you, Tag and Bella Rose!!!


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

It's schooltime!

Tomorrow both our kiddos start school! Tag will be starting kindergarten and Bella Rose is going to Pre-K! They are so so excited to finally be "big enough" to go to real school! Tag has wanted to go ever since his cousins have gone! We actually just found out last week that Bella got a spot in the Pre-K program at Tag's school-she was on the waiting list. It's such a relief that they'll at least be together at the same school. I must confess, I was secretly hoping she wouldn't get a spot so I could have her home with me a little longer. But, I know she will benefit so much from school in so many ways, ways that Mommy just can't provide! The whole thought of sending them both to school tomorrow just makes me ill, though! But I'm known for being emotional and somewhat of a worry wart! hehe! But, like every other mom who loves their child, I'll take them to their classes and try my hardest to make it the funnest, most exciting thing they've done! Then give them big hugs and kisses with a big tear-free smile and calmly walk out of the school! (Ok, that last sentence has been my prayer for the last several days. I WILL NOT cry in front of them!) Once I'm in my car I can do whatever I want, just not in the school!

We went last night to meet the kids' teachers. The kids were ready to go meet them all day long, which made for a long day! Finally it was time to go. Their school is a brand new school, last year was the first year. It's called Thomas Jefferson Elementary and is in the Union district, which is an awesome school district! I was amazed at how nice the school was and the layout of the school is so neat! Almost like each grade has it's own department. For instance, to get to Bella's pre-k class, you go to an open room (that had a rocking chair and a couple tables, maybe for storytime?) then off behind it is all the classrooms sort of in a cluster. Same for the kindergarten classes, etc. Hard to explain but is really neat. The walls are painted bright colors like red or royal blue and have Thomas Jefferson quotes written everywhere really big across the walls. The center of the school is the big, open library and the hallway circles it. Of course the playground is so nice since all the equipment is brand new. Also the school is nestled in the back of a nice neighborhood, which is really neat and different to us! Here are some pics of the school we took when we first moved here. Tomorrow I'll have our 1st day of school pics to put up!

Front of the school

This is the neighborhood the school is in.
Please pray for us all as we start this new and exciting chapter in our family's life tomorrow!


Monday, August 10, 2009

Sewing runs in the family!

Ok, so none of these family members are technically related...but they are each in MY family and are very talented! I thought I'd show off some of their handiwork! I hope to get a sewing machine of my own soon so I can start some sewing in my spare time!

This is Bella Rose in a tutu her Aunt Erica made her for Christmas last year!
She loves it!
Rosie dancing in her tutu!

Auntie Erica also made Bella this precious dress that we love! She's gotten so much wear out of this one! And the colors are so cute!

I love this outfit Bella Rose's Nana made her! My mom is very talented in lots of ways. She used to do alot of sewing, she painted some, and made cakes! She doesn't find time much for any of it anymore, though. But, maybe eventually she will again.
I love the ruffle collar and around the bottom of the pants. Very cute!
Love these fabrics!

And most recently, Auntie Amber has taken up sewing and bow-making! This is, I think, her first dress she made! We are honored to have it and love the colors and fabric so much!

We are definitely feeling very blessed! This little girl is looking just adorable in her outfits, thanks to these talented ladies! Thank you all so much!


A visit from Nana!

My mom came to visit us Tuesday and stayed until Sunday. Dad was supposed to come also, but had to stay in West Monroe because something came up with work. :( At first I was worried because the kids got a stomach bug when Nana first arrived. But thankfully, it was just a 24 hour thing and we were back in business afterwards! We had a great time while Nana was here. We shopped some, swam some, went to the Oklahoma Aquarium, and just enjoyed each other's company. Here are some pictures from our trip to the Aquarium...

Nana with Tag and Bella outside the Aquarium

Tag getting ready to put his head in the gator's mouth (his daddy's suggestion!)

Petting a starfish

Petting a starfish

Posing with starfish

Love this picture of Bella Rose and Daddy in the shark tunnel

Nana & Tag cheesing in the shark tunnel

Ahhhhh...a shark is coming for you! Tag loves this picture!

Tag wanted this picture so badly! We took about 50 pictures trying to get one of Tag with some sharks around him.

Me with my mom

Petting the sting rays

Love this picture...Tag is so excited and telling Nana about petting the stingrays
While Mom was here Tommy got to go out on a date! This was our first date in about 10 weeks so it was much much overdue! We went to the Cheesecake Factory and the food was delicious! Thanks, Mom, for giving us a date night! We really needed it and really enjoyed a quiet dinner alone!
Tommy and I before our date!
Also while Nana was here, it was time to change out Bella's earrings! She's accumulated a nice collection of earrings! Auntie Amber gave her a pair of heart earrings, Ma C sent her several pairs of earrings including some diamond butterflies, which is the first pair she wanted to change into! The first earring went right in, but we had a little trouble getting the second ear done. She got a little worried, but finally I got it in!
Bella worrying that it was going to hurt
Finally...beautiful butterfly earrings on a beautiful little girl!
And then it was Sunday and time for Nana to go. I always dread saying goodbye at airports. We had several miserable goodbyes with Tommy when he would leave to go to Grand Cayman and I guess I just can't get those out of my system!
Posing with Nana while waiting on her plane to board

Such little cutie pies!

We have really enjoyed all our visitors, but now it's all over! Too bad we couldn't have spread them out some! But we are planning to go "home" to WM middle of October so we'll get to see everyone again then. We have a really big week this week as the kids start school to keep us occupied!
We can't wait for you to come back and visit, Nana! And next time be sure Poppy gets to come too! Love you so!