Tuesday, June 25, 2013


I give up. I guess this new level of busyness is just the new normal, and I need to get used to it. But it just feels like spare moments are few and far between, with 4 kids at home, 2 of whom do not nap. This week and last week we've had swim lessons every evening for Katy and David, so one parent is heading to the pool and the other parent staying home with the littles. The lessons are going really well for both of them, and I'm glad that they have them because we haven't been doing anything during the days, but Brian and I feel so behind on life because we're tag-teaming every evening. Oh, well!

There have also been a few bumps in the road. A couple of weeks ago, there was a fire at our rental property. Thank the good Lord that it happened during the day, and that the tenants on the other side were home and noticed quickly to call 911. Our tenant on that side had left a pot of beans on the stove and left to go to a movie (honest mistake). The only damage was that the fire department had to break down the door to get in. So Brian was at the rental late for two evenings cleaning up and replacing the door and updating smoke detectors.

Then my Granny had a fall at a restaurant while my mom and Greg were taking them out for Father's Day. She fractured her neck and wrecked her nose and all kinds of other (relatively minor) injuries. She was in the hospital for several days and now is home with a neck brace that makes it hard to do anything. So I've been concerned for my Granny, and my family has been busy helping her get settled again.

Melanie moved out and we rearranged some bedrooms (pictures soon - I'm waiting on a curtain in the mail before I can take a final "after" shot). It is SO nice to move Anna out of our room, and she has adjusted just fine to being in a crib. So far we've still seen Melanie quite a bit, and I'm really glad.

So we're chugging along at home - the kids are doing well at keeping busy. Katy's motivated by summer reading programs and it's so nice that she can track her own minutes. David and I have been practicing writing letters for kindergarten. The one piece of disappointing news is that Katy's kindergarten teacher, who we loved, moved to another building. So I don't know who David will have and I have no idea whether we will be AM or PM.

Luke had a great birthday on Sunday (see below). The poor kid - I threw his birthday together just a few days before because we've just been so crazy I haven't had a chance to plan anything. But you know what's great about being 3? You don't know the difference between a well planned party and one that was thrown together at the last minute. He still had a great day.

Some photos from the past few weeks...

Following the traffic signals in Safety Town. A small part of what they teach in Safety City.

Grandpa and Grandma Sue came for Safety City graduation. It's a very well organized musical performance and ceremony. It was also Aunt Mel's moving day!

Just a picture of everyday life...these two spend SO much of their time in some imaginary land of monster trucks, vehicles of various kinds, superheros and the like. It is such a relief for them to play together so much of the time (with occasional bickering instead of constant fighting).

Katy figured out that if she sleeps in french braids, especially damp ones, she will have curly hair in the morning. She is loving the new looks and wearing it often. (I have to admit that I like it, too, and I'm thinking - why didn't I discover this in the 80's? I would've slept in braids every night! Maybe my hair didn't hold the curl as well.)

Brian hung up these decorations on Luke's birthday- I had found them in a bag while I was sorting through stuff in preparation for a garage sale. (My mom, sister, and I are joining forces - we should have a TON of stuff for sale).

Luke was really excited about his Avengers cake! This was Brian's idea - he spotted the figurines at the dollar store - DONE!

Oh, to be the third child, he never gets to do anything by himself.

So Luke's gift from Grammy and Papa John was a trip to Build-a-Bear. We also stopped on the way home at a pet store that encourages socialization of all the pets for sale - so you are allowed and encouraged to pet all the animals. We walked in the door and they literally shoved a puppy into my hands and pointed to a playroom. The kids were in high heaven. But back to Build-a-Bear,

This child was an angel - she just sat in her seat and smiled at us for the entire 3 hour journey.

It's the stuff of wedding slideshows, people. This is my son's selection, from all the available animals. Rainbow Dash, from My Little Pony, with FOUR black Sketchers and roller skates. He's seen the MLP show quite a bit lately, and he likes it. He was adamant about picking this animal. And he did not understand at first why we were giving him the empty one instead of the one that was already stuffed (insert 3 year old tantrum here). But once he caught on, there was no question that he wanted the shoes and the skates. They were the clear winners. Oh, Luke. You certainly have a mind of your own.

Oh, Lukey Loo! How I love you so! Even though I didn't write a big letter this year, you are such a passionate little kiddo, petite only in stature, confident about what you want, and willing to go to great lengths to get it. You make us all laugh on a daily basis, and I'm so proud to be your mommy!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


We're in full force summer mode, even though the thermometer hasn't touched the mid-80's more than once or twice. We're getting into somewhat of a routine and figuring out what summer looks like for our family. The hard part is that with this many young children, especially with the baby and toddler, it's really difficult to go places. I cannot/will not take them to the pool, the zoo, the museum, etc, by myself. It's plain ol' not safe at this point. So we are planning a few things for evenings and weekends when Daddy's here to help. And the big kids have a few drop-off programs that they will be doing (like VBS and Girl Scout camp). But we're spending a lot of time at home, and inviting a lot of friends over to play at our house, where the baby can nap and I have all the supplies that I need for endless snacks and potty accidents and the like.

Both of the boys are making new strides on their bikes, as seen in videos above. Luke just took off on David's old bike and I can't believe it! He just needs a little help turning around but he's doing great. And David's cautiously working on learning to ride without training wheels. It's a process. By next summer, if David and Katy are both on 2 wheels, I could put Luke and Anna in the trailer and we'd be more mobile to parks that are close by, etc.

Brian went on a four day trip to help his good friend Joey move from Texas to Florida. I know I am totally spoiled that he doesn't travel much, and I even had my mom and sister close by to help with a few things. But it was still hard! As cliche as it sounds, I don't know how single parents or parents with spouses who travel do it. Really tough.

Melanie is moving out on Friday. I am really going to miss having her around, both for her company and for her assistance with the littles. But she's moving in with friends and is ready to have a little of her own life again. And we will be able to move our 5 month old out of the pack n' play in our room and into a crib! In her own room! And stop waking her up by accident when we need to take a shower or change clothes or get something out of the closet, etc.

This week and last, Katy and David have had some morning programs to keep them busy. David is doing Safety City, which is a fabulous program put on by our local police department. I am amazed at how well it is run. And they learn SO much. David absolutely loves it. He was so proud of himself for earning his junior officer badge for reciting his address and phone number. And he loves riding the bikes around the pretend city, following traffic signals.

Katy did a geocaching class that she loved. I still don't completely understand it, but it was an outdoor treasure hunt and they even learned historic facts and landmarks around our town, so it was perfectly up her alley. She enjoyed it so much that she had no hesitation about going each day, which was great.

We're supposed to start evening swim lessons next week but we haven't set foot in the pool because it's been so chilly! I'm hoping for a heatwave over the weekend? Not looking likely...

Anna's rolling over consistently. We call her Sneakypants, because the first several times, we just laid her down on her back, turned around and she was on her tummy - no one saw her do it. But now we have eye-witness proof that she's got it down. She's still a great sleeper, knock on wood, waking up once most nights and sometimes even sleeping through. I know this could change, but I'll take it for now!

My dad crashed at our house one night between a graduation party and a meeting for drill (he serves in the Ohio National Guard). He was here in the morning long enough to see the kids show them their new foot racing skills on the front sidewalk, motivated by the new sneakers they all got over the weekend.  This is what we look like at 9 in the morning:

They had the Spiderman costumes on so early that Dad asked if they slept in them (they didn't).