the great caretaker

It has been a long week in the Wheat household, and it is only Wednesday. On Sunday Tillie came down with some sort of mysterious fever virus. When she didn't eat her lunch on Sunday I knew something was up--decreased appetite in any of our children is a sure sign that something is amiss--and she soon sprouted a fever of 102. We've been to the doctor once already and we're going back tomorrow if the fever doesn't magically disappear overnight tonight (I'm guessing it won't). This poor little creature has been spending most of the last few days not eating and napping.

The positive side of Tillie's sickness, however, is that Scout has emerged as quite the caretaker. She has made her drawings and books at school every day this week, telling Tillie how much she misses her and hopes she feels better soon. She's also been reading to Tillie on the sofa and replaces the cool rag on her forehead. I told Scout she's been a great caretaker, and Scout told me she's practicing for when she has her own children one day. In the meantime, I'll keep her on my team.


second grade love story

Before I begin...where did that last month go? It was 95 degrees in Austin on the first day of October, so it still isn't pumpkin latte sipping season around here, but I've already eaten an entire bag of candy corn (the big bag), so there's that.

And then there's this...as I was cleaning out Catcher's weekly homework folder this afternoon, I came across this little gem of a letter (below) that was stashed neatly in the front pocket. Catcher was in the room when I discovered it, and he snatched it out of my hand before I could read it. After much coercion--and an attempted bribe of an ice cream cone--Catcher did not consent to let me read the letter, but he did explain the situation.

I was told the letter is some sort of a second grade "prank" whereby Catcher is confessing his love to the classroom's most eligible bachelorette while pretending to be another young gentleman in his class. (I know it's killing you, but I won't name names.) To me, this is your classic Cyrano de Bergerac state of affairs adapted for the the seven year-old brain. Boy likes girl. Boy's friend finds out boy likes girl. Boy's friend writes love note to girl as a "prank." But boy really does like girl, so the prank isn't a prank so much as a true confession coming from boy's friend. Do you follow?

Prank aside, however, I love this letter for a few reasons. I think it's adorable and sweet that Catcher thought to write "I won't let enything [sic] happen to you." And it's also kind of awesome that his post script is requesting a play date. Oh, and the illustration is pretty fabulous. Are they holding hands or fist-pumping?

If you're wondering how I got a photo of this letter, I'm sorry to say that I can not share that information either. A reporter must protect her sources.


340,000 miles

There was a time in our lives when Alex and I were saving his airline miles for a trip to Fiji. I figured we should use all his hardworking miles to get as far away from our everyday lives as possible. I pictured myself sipping cocktails in our oceanfront bure overlooking the seas of the south pacific. It was going to be the vacation of a lifetime. And then we had three children; and I remembered that I'm not a ba-jillion-aire or a celebrity whose life you read about in US Weekly. So instead...WE'RE GOING TO DISNEY WORLD! And we're taking the children with us.

If you recall, this time last year we were gearing up for our first family trip to the Wonderful World of Disney. The vacation was such a hit that we decided to go back again this year...or that's kind of how it happened. Alex was asked to work a basketball tournament in Orlando the week of Thanksgiving. Over the years we've spent many Thanksgivings apart due to his work schedule. While I've grown accustomed to our holidays being cut short by business, I didn't know if I was up for a solo gig this year. One thing lead to another, and the next thing we knew Alex was on the phone with US Airways burning 340,000 miles to get the children and me to Disney. Although it meant putting my dreams of Fiji on the shelf for a while, the decision was a no-brainer. With Alex's "cast member" status we get free admission to the parks and we can all get cozy, hostel-style and cram ourselves into his fancy hotel room (fancy for Orlando, FL anyway).

I may regret this all on night four of sleeping in the same room with our exhausted children during one of Disney's busiest weeks of the year. But, then again, it is the happiest place on earth. Cue the music...When you wish upon a star...


look of the week

Yes, dear readers, I am still here (or there). The past two weeks have been busy as I adjust to my new working life as a part-time teacher and full-time mom. I used to think I would have all this free time on my hands when Scout started kindergarten and Tillie was in preschool. All that imagined "free time" has turned into planning for classes and grading papers (along with school drop-offs, PTA meetings, cooking dinners and doing the laundry and helping with homework and shuffling the kids between soccer and piano...and all those other chores busy moms like to remind you they are constantly juggling). Honestly, though, I don't know how full-time working moms manage this shuffle every day.

And then there's Sweet T. Miss Tillie has quite the personality, and that personality has been shining like a bright star this week. A bright star that came down to earth and scorched my ivory skin. She is a hot-headed little three--excuse me, three and a-half--year-old who insists on getting her way. Even when that means squealing at the top of her lungs and flailing her body about. I lost count of the temper tantrums as the ringing in my ears kept me dizzy all day, but I got a text message from her teacher saying "Tillie was great today!!!" at the exact moment the little lady was clinging to my body in hysterical tears because we were picking up her siblings from school. Maybe it's me. Needless to say, we're going through an adjustment period.


catcher defends

He didn't score any goals on Sunday but Catcher defended (like the true thinking man that he is), and even reminded his goalie where [on the field] he can and can not touch the ball with his hands.

For the fall season Catcher and several of his friends have embarked upon the world of Jr. Academy Soccer. Sure, it sounds fancy, but what it means is "we can charge you a bunch of money to have you think we're making soccer stars of your children." I'm kidding (sort of). The coaches are actually great; it's the parents who need to realize that their 7 year-old child is just a child. I'll save my soap box speech for another day. In the meantime, let's have fun, people. Call me when your son makes it to the World Cup. (Too harsh?)

I mean...look at these little guys. They are so cute!


scout scores

School started [check]; Labor Day has come and gone [check]; the air has chilled from a balmy 100 to a slightly-less balmy 90 [check]. Soccer season must be upon us.

This year Scout and her preschool BFF join a team of four boys as they tear up the brown, crunchy fields of North Austin's elementary schools on Saturday mornings. Although Scout scored two goals during her allotted 16 minutes of play, her favorite moment of the morning by far was running through the "tunnel" at the end of the game. I think she's in it for the snacks and tunnels.


poker face

A bit of friendly competition is always a good thing for the children. Yesterday morning these three card sharks put their skills to the test in a heated round of Crazy 8s. Although Tillie looks like she's taking an eye exam in one of the photos, that's her "Oh, man!" gesture when she draws a card she doesn't like. Scout's tactic is to distract her opponent by chatting him/her to death, and Catcher just wants to make sure everyone plays by the rules.