Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Developments for this week

In addition to Luke's birthday, we've had some changes around here this week. Most significantly, we welcomed a new roommate to our home: Aunt Mel! My sister recently got a job close to our house (it's at our church, actually), and asked if she could live with us for awhile to save up some money and be closer to work. So thanks to the decluttering project, it wasn't much effort to clean out the guest room for her and give her some shelves in a few cabinets. It will be great to have her around, the kids love having her here, and she's even mentioned providing some much needed date nights for Brian and I in return. So we are excited that she's here.

Next, after assuming for 3 days that David's fever was a virus, I finally took him in and discovered strep throat. The poor kid, he really wasn't complaining that much. I'm thankful that so far no one else has come down with it. But it has kept us home more for the past week.

Finally, our wonderful neighbors Mike and Sarah are moving this week. They are the family on our street with whom we borrow eggs, go trick-or-treating together, exchange child care, and cook hot dogs over the fire in our backyards. They have been great friends and we will miss them dearly. They also have kids who play really well with my kids, and their girls can be found skating around the court with Katy fairly often these days. They are only moving a few miles away, but that seems like a great distance when you live on the same street.

We will miss you, but hope you love your new home!

This is the second set of good friends to move our of our neighborhood in recent months. I swear, it's not that bad here! :) It's hard and sad to watch good people move away. Here's hoping that more good people move in.

This is hard to replace, though.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Luke is 2!!

Dearest Luke,

Your second birthday was a low key and relaxing day in the middle of a busy week for our family. Part of me feels badly that we didn't have a big party for you, but I've also learned with time that for a two year old, the low key days are the best kind.

Grandpa and Grandma Sue brought a drill set, which was very popular with you and your siblings.

You had two sets of grandparents visiting at different parts of the weekend, and everyone gets such a kick our of you. You are so joyful at this age, very happy, laughing often and playing hard. You are still an intense kid, throwing some serious fits when you are upset about something, but you have settled down in the past few months, especially as your language has developed more. I just can't express how much I enjoy you, buddy! You are so fun, so cute, so interesting.

Several new cars from Cars 2 were another big hit.

You have your sister's heart in your hands and can get away with anything around her. You drive your brother crazy stealing his toys and running away saying, "mine!". He loves his little treasures and I hope you guys can figure out how to be buddies and let go of the possessiveness a little bit.

You seem to have a knack for physical coordination - you push a tricycle with your feet (fast!) and try to pedal. You can scoot the scooter and everyone comments on how fast you ride your push bike. I have to jog to keep up with you!

Apprehensively meeting your new balance bike from Oma. Let's take this up a notch!

One of my favorite things that you do often these days is crack up laughing and say, "That's funny!" or "That's silly!" over and over. Here's a video where I tried to capture it. You were laughing because Papa John drove his truck into the grass to make room for the big kids to skate on the driveway.

This year on your birthday, since we were just hanging out at home with family, we let you open one present every couple of hours. You really enjoyed this because you got to play with everything immediately after opening it. And you kept looked surprised and excited as each gift was presented. Everything you opened you said, "Ooooooo....wow!". And all day as someone would say to you, "Happy Birthday!" you'd reply, "Happy Birthday!" Classic.

A simple cake this year. Nice for The Wiggles to get some representation.

I love you, little buddy, and can't imagine our family without our baby boy. Don't try to tell me you aren't a baby anymore, because I'm not buying it!

Love, Mommy

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Annual cousin swim 2012

After having no plans for the first 2 weeks of summer, things started to pick up last week. Katy and David went to VBS for the first time. Our church doesn't offer VBS, but our friend Stephanie invited Katy and David to their church, where they'd be in class with her kids Brooklyn and Maddie. I have such fond memories of VBS from childhood, I was excited for them to go. (Bonus - it's a daytime VBS, which I prefer so much to the evenings!)

So they had a great great time, except for one little hiccup that I anticipated would be a problem. Every morning opened with 30 minutes in the auditorium with music, dancing, and...Lord help us...a skit. As soon as I heard the word skit I knew we were in trouble. And yep - Katy was a bucket of tears. I got her calmed down and the she loved the rest of the morning. That night she got all worked up about it and we had a really good talk about her fears. She worked up her courage and made it through the next morning without tears (covering ears and eyes), but guess what? She had gotten David so worked up that now HE was in tears. It wasn't until the final morning that they both made it through without crying. But if you ask them about VBS, they'll tell you they loved it and won't even mention the blasted skit. *sigh*

Then we just returned from 4 nights in Kentucky for the much anticipated Annual Cousin Swim. Grammy and Papa John did a fabulous job of hosting the whole crazy crew and cooking lots and lots of good food for us. They are the king and queen of hospitality.

Grammy made an awesome cake for Luke's birthday (and mine and Aunt Kelly's)

Can't believe he's about to be 2!

Whenever we make them get out of the pool? They play Disney Monopoly.

Katy has been enjoying her rollerblades so much that she asked her cousins to bring their skates.

David LOVES his friend Kimmy. He follows her around like a puppy and she is so kind to oblige him.

We took turns pushing each other in the hammock. It's actually really comfy and I could have fallen asleep in there.

And of course there's swimming. These kids swam for hours and hours and hours for 3 days straight. My three reached a new level of exhaustion that I didn't know existed, but they had a blast doing it.

It's always fun to see each kid's progression in the pool each year. David was able to move himself all around the pool with this floatie, even in the deep end (with adult supervision of course). On the last day, he stood up in the shallow end and shouted "I can touch!" Then he explored what that was like for awhile.

There's always great conversation going on among the lifeguards in the shade.

Katy made several big accomplishments this year. She was able to go off the slide into the deep end and swim to the edge without an adult. She could touch in the shallow end and swim well enough in the deep end to get to the side or to a raft as needed. So basically she could do anything she wanted throughout the pool, which was awesome. We always kept a close eye on her, because she tends to get cocky in her ability to swim and I was nervous she'd get tired in the middle of the deep end.

The big kids were holding hoops for each other to jump through and Luke wanted to try. He jumped right through, it was hilarious. He got a lot more comfortable - jumping off the edge, riding around on rafts, playing with his cars in the steps, etc.

And he even went down the slide on Brian's lap - and wanted to do it over and over again!

Rest time!

David introduced the cousins to Cars 2, his latest obsession.

We had such a good trip, thanks everyone! Now that we're back from all that swimming, the kids have 2 weeks of swim lessons at the local pool. They're going to be swimming like fish after all this!

Friday, June 01, 2012

First week of summer

*It's Friday afternoon, so we're officially through the first week of summer (which was only 4 days). These first two weeks I have literally NO plans. It's been nice to hang out and relax, but I'm also trying to schedule some playdates for next week...

*We went to the pool twice before the warm weather took a hiatus. Luke is very cautious about the water - he wants me to hold him, and then when he gets down, he just walks around in the shallow part with his toys, like it doesn't really matter that he's in the water. However, he threw a fit when it was time to leave, so I guess he liked it.

*Katy went off the diving board 3 times - Brian jumped in ahead of her and swam to the side so he was next to the ladder just in case. She didn't need him, but the water is 12 feet deep, and she can just barely swim to the edge alone, so we feel safer this way for now. Her goal is to be able to go down the slide and swim to the side at Grammy's house in a few weeks without help. I know she'll do it. (She shed some pretty heavy tears that her classmate is tall enough to go down the big slide this year and she isn't. I didn't mention it, but I think it'll be 2-3 years before she's tall enough. Sometimes it's tough to be short.)

*David had the lovely experience of throwing up in the pool - after swallowing too much water and being thrown around by some rambunctious daddies. And I loved the 16 year old lifeguard's reaction when we told him: rolling eyes and "oh, GREAT." I mean, yeah, that's my reaction on the inside, buddy, but maybe save a little face next time?

*So remember when I was lamenting about night terrors a few weeks ago? Well, my friend Jen commented on that post that they had figured out that her son's night terrors were associated with becoming overheated while he slept, and that they moved his bed off the heating vent and the terrors stopped. When she said that, things started to click in my mind...the terrors had started back up as the weather had gotten warmer. Nearly every night as I put Katy to bed, she was complaining about being hot and sweaty in the night, even though we have central air and a ceiling fan in her room. But her room stays warm, and when I put a thermometer in there, I discovered that it was 80-82 at night, even with the AC running. So...I put the tower fan from the guest room 3 feet from her bed and pointed it right at her, blowing all night. That was over a week ago, and she hasn't had any night terrors since!! I'm not completely confident that they are gone for good, but I'm thankful to have maybe made that connection and found somewhat of a solution. So thanks, Jen!

*We've joined a couple of summer reading clubs and are off to a good start with that. Katy got a set of Junie B. Jones books for her birthday so we're working on some early chapter books. She hasn't been interested in the past, but these are catching her attention. (Although it makes me cringe that Junie B. calls everything "stupid" and "dumb" - those words are so piercing to my ears!)

*Last night I made a list of all the fun things I'd like to do with the kids this summer, and then made the mistake of reading it to them. All day today they've been saying, "Are we going to the climbing wall today? When will we go to Jungle Jack's landing? When it stops raining can we go pick strawberries?" We've got good times to look forward to, that's for sure...