Saturday, August 31, 2013

Phone pics

I forgot to include a couple of pictures from Brian's phone that I wanted to share.

It seems to go in waves, but lately the kids have been outside playing with neighbor kids a lot. In the backyard, we have some neighbor kids David and Luke's age who are living there just for the next 6 months or so, and they've been playing together a ton. But then in the front yard, our street is full of big kids (that's where the waves come in). Sometimes it seems like they are all gone and busy for long periods of time and no one is outside. But then we have a few really sweet middle school aged boys who will humor my boys here and there playing with them. Somehow the playing always involves wrestling or fighting of some type. One night it was swords and light sabers. (In the street with adult supervision, of course)

That face is priceless!

Another night, Brian got last minute free tickets to Columbus Clippers minor league baseball game so he took the big kids. This new stadium was just built a few years ago and it's a really fun and social atmosphere (so I hear...I've yet to go). They had a blast and Brian was glad they went, even if they didn't get home until 9:30 on a school night. Some memories are worth it!! 

What was incredibly random was that we didn't realize until the next day that my mom and Greg were at the same game! I was even texting with my mom that night and neither of us mentioned it so they didn't see each other. Still wrapping our minds around this whole living-in-the-same-town thing.

Friday, August 30, 2013

See Mom Sweat

School is in full swing! Every September I have this same feeling because all the usual stuff (Girl Scouts and Awana at church) is starting up and it's all new and busy and then SOCCER. Soccer (and now TWO kids in soccer with different practice and games schedules) is making my head spin. But I have to remind myself that everything that I'm stressing about is only 5 weeks long on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays between 5:30-8pm. So we're talking about a maximum 40 hours of craziness. It'll be ok, and the kids are loving it.

Two themes for David right now: Proud of Himself and Exhausted.

Here he is on his first official first day, with his full class, the whole 2.5 hours, etc. He was NERVOUS - looked terrified as he was walking into the building in his line.

We were the first ones there...this group is not nearly as prompt as the PM class two years ago.

But so far (knocking on wood, fingers crossed, etc), he is doing really well. He really likes it, and every new thing he does, he comes home and tells me about his new accomplishment that he is so proud of. And he says he has friends, but he can't tell me any of their names. One night at dinner, I was asking him to describe just one of his friends to me...anything about them...boy or color...anything. David's eyes glazed over and Brian said, "If he's anything like me you are killing him right now." *sigh* So I'll give him some space.

He's coming home with some unfinished work - but I'm not clear if he is a slow worker or if they aren't expected to finish or if they are supposed to finish at home? Got our first newsletter today, so I'm hoping we're on the road to clearing things up.

I was SUPER proud of him for being the first kid in his class to get on BLUE (for being a superior listener) and get to pick a prize. Then he did it again today - keep up the good work Bubs!

And he's hilarious about soccer - just so proud of each new lightbulb that goes on. Sometimes he dances around the ball, and sometimes he's getting in there to play. Either way, it's a structured way for him to burn some energy. Win.  But he's so tired. He plays hard every morning, goes to school every afternoon, and then has soccer two nights a week. He's napping on the weekends to keep from melting down.

Now it's time for the preschoolers to get started...

Landon (Beth and Jason's son) and Luke are buds.

Friday, August 16, 2013

BIG week

So much has happened this week!

On Monday, after several attempts throughout the summer, David finally "clicked" with riding a two wheeler.

He then became OBSESSED with riding his bike, wanting to be outside every possible minute. Within 24 hours, he was starting on his own, braking to stop, making sharp turns, up and down hills like a pro. I great-big-puffy-heart this video, because this was one of the first times that he rode it for a really long time without stopping, and you can hear it in his voice that he is amazed at himself and so proud. Halfway through he says, "Maybe I really CAN ride it to school!" (I had told him on the first day he would need some more practice before we rode across streets and around the neighborhood traffic.)

On Tuesday, Katy took a bite of breakfast and started shrieking about her front tooth that was about to fall out. Ten minutes later she asked me to just pull it because it was driving her crazy.

So on Wednesday, the first day of school, she went with a huge empty space in the front of her mouth. LOVE. 

 And even though the boys didn't start that day, I like to take a picture of them all together.

She had a really good first couple of days. She loves her kind-hearted teacher, sits right across from a good little buddy of hers, and has had no hesitation about going in the mornings. We walked on the first day, but after that, she is getting a morning ride from a family around the corner, and then I'm walking my kids home everyday and their kids home 2 days a week. I'll still be walking David everyday after lunch, so I'm going to the building 2 times instead of 3. 

Well-worn path.
On Thursday, Anna started sitting up next to her basket of toys (which she uses for a little bit of balance). This seems to make her so happy and I love getting those pictures of them with their new perspective when they start sitting up. (Sorry for some of the blur)

Also on Thursday, both Katy and David started soccer practice for fall. It's going to be a bit of divide and conquer because their practices and games will overlap nights, but they both seem to be on great teams (meaning the families are great and have the right attitude about 5 and 7 year old soccer), and they both love it. Katy is excited because she's old enough to be on an all-girls' team. And David was once again SO proud of himself - loved putting on the shin guards and cleats, and he was right in the pack chasing the ball. On the way there he asked me, "Mom, what's soccer all about?" and "When will they tell me who is on my team?"
Bless it. 

So then Friday, it's time for David's gentle start for kindergarten! He goes in a small group for a shorter period of time to get to know the teacher and the classroom. He was scared, he told me, about what they were going to do. And I think he was nervous because he really wants to show people that he can do things, so he is worried they will want him to do something (like write his name) and he will have trouble. I told him over and over that he's going to school to learn those things, they do not expect him to already know them. Oh, Bubs! Such a sweet heart and I want to protect it.

He really was ready to ride his bike to school by this time, and that made him really really happy.

There were several changes in his teacher assignment because they were shifting kindergarten teachers all around the district (the half-day thing means that happens a lot). He ended up with a new teacher who is fresh out of school, but she subbed in the building last year. And get this: she was hired 3 days before school started. So she seems very nice and I think she'll be great, but the poor girl has a little bit of deer-in-the-headlights syndrome right now.

He was very quiet and shy at first, then he sat down and drew a picture of "a shark." Then I left him to do his best on his own.

He said he had a great time! The highlight was that he got to sit in the cafeteria with Katy and having a popsicle on the playground for completing his summer homework packet. Here's hoping for a good year for both of them.

Monday, August 12, 2013

My girls

Recently I looked up some photos of Katy when she was Anna's age just for fun. But it was a little jaw-dropping for me. I felt like, if not for the setting of the photos, I wasn't sure I would be able to tell which baby was which?










I just had to throw this in there, because look at the baby cousins!

A - Anna
B - Katy
C - Katy
D - Anna
E - Katy
F - Anna
G - Katy
H - Katy
I - Anna

I know it's super obvious because of the Christmas pictures and my old camera giving her constant red eye, but I don't's surreal to look at those pictures of Katy and think...wait...which baby?

Sunday, August 11, 2013

School starts in two days: photo dump!

Summer has given the boys a lot of bonding time. They did not actually sleep, but even pretending is nice for a few minutes.

Mini-golf with Grandpa and Grandma Sue (at a former teenage stomping ground of mine)

So nice and shady - truly pleasant!
So competitive.

Hanging out with Great Grandma Martha

One afternoon they all wanted to skate at the same time. You other mamas know this represents 20 minutes of sweat to get all this equipment on. But worth it for this cuteness.

All Aunt Mel wants for her birthday is a homemade dinner and for my mom to make a cake. Done.

Annual trip to the zoo and Jungle Jack's Landing. The new attraction this year is Dinosaur Island. I didn't have high expectations for it, but it was the kids' favorite activity of the day, and Brian said it was actually pretty impressive. (Yes, the dinosaurs are spitting on them. Eww.)

My trooper of a husband. I didn't get a wrist band for me because Anna couldn't ride anything so I had to stay with her. He enjoys some of the rides but we're getting a little old for the spinning ones, you know what I'm sayin'?

Clutch. Poor baby was so good.

We were really proud of Luke and David. Katy is fearless and we knew she would ride anything (roller coaster, log ride, swinging pirate ship, bumper cars, you name it). But David got up his courage and rode everything that Katy rode - he was nervous to do the roller coaster but ended up going alone 4 times in a row when no one else was in line. And Luke - we almost didn't buy him a wrist band because he tends to be really timid and I wondered if he would just refuse to ride anything. But if Brian went with him, he rode everything that he was tall enough to ride. I couldn't believe it! Even the swings. He never wanted to ride anything a second time, though. :)

For part of the day, Luke, Anna and I went and did some calmer rides (train, carousel) and see some animals while the big kids rode their hearts out on all the bigger rides. He was really good, especially since he skipped his nap. We got our traditional Culver's afterward and he fell asleep in the car at 4pm on the way home.

Teething much? She kept opening her mouth and chomping toward his hat.

Monday, August 05, 2013

Updates/Stats/Anna at 6 months

Summer! Oh, summer, how you escape me! I literally canNOT believe that school starts next week. NEXT WEEK!! I keep reminding myself, though, especially when I look at my summer bucket list with several fun things that we never got around to, that there are still a good 8 weeks or more of warm weather, even if school is in session. So we can still be doing fun things for awhile, I hope.

Lots of updates. The biggest (most time consuming) update is that the patio is D.O.N.E. (Well, we are currently trying to grow grass around the outside, but that takes time. And lots of watering. But other than that.)

Brian worked his God-fearing tail off building this patio. I am forever amazed at his work ethic. And he's been so tired because he's really busy at work and we're trying to do summer fun, and you know...also the four children. But a couple of pictures... (incomplete because I can't get to my real-camera files right now - just Brian's phone photos)

Once the stones arrived, I couldn't believe how quickly it came together. It was like a big puzzle.

Two days to lay all the leveling sand, stones, makes cuts for the corners and steps, and fill in with the anti-weed sand. Shew!

I quickly did my part and filled it with stuff. (I'm most excited that we moved the sandbox so I can see if from the kitchen window. Game changer.)

First meal on the new patio!
So we love it!! Thank you to my wonderful husband for doing all that labor so that we could afford such a beautiful patio. 

Random photo of Luke - I love that we have room on the basement floor for set-ups like this now that we've purged so much stuff.
Katy ended up loving Girl Scout camp. It was actually the best experience she has had in a long time. No hesitation going each morning, talking excitedly about what she's going to do, what she did yesterday, making sure we packed the proper supplies for each day. God bless those leaders - camp is not easy to run! And they are all volunteers!

Rotate, darn it! Oh, well, you get the idea. It's quite the process to get ready for camp each morning - sunscreened and hair covered and body bug sprayed, ankles covered, water bottle frozen, lunch packed, mess kit clean, extra clothes, and on and on. And it all comes home soggy and smelly. 
This weekend Katy and David had a super fun weekend away at Grandpa and Grandma Sue's house. We were trying to remember the last time they stayed overnight without us - it's been a few years. Dad and Sue planned lots of fun activities for them and they had an absolute blast. They went to the county fair, dug for fossils at a local reserve, saw a movie, ate picnics, and had a good ol' time. I also appreciated the chance for Katy and David to do big kid stuff without the Littles holding them back.

The rest of us visited great-grandparents on both ends of the trip and stayed a night with Dad and Sue as well. I will share more pictures later, but for now I love this one of two mini-golfers who are disappointed with their performance on the green. 

School update: We did find out that David is in PM kindergarten with a teacher who is new to the district (but not a brand new teacher). Here's hoping for a good kindergarten experience. Unfortunately, the 3 families that I know with kindergarteners were all assigned to AM. But oh, well, we'll meet new people, I'm sure.

Stats and Anna update:  Three of the kids had well visits in the last week.  Here are some peanut stats:

Katy at 7 years:
43 pounds (10 %'ile)
44.5 inches (5 %'ile) - (but tall enough to ride a new set of rides of Jungle Jacks!)

Luke at 3 years:
29 pounds (25 %'ile)
36.5 inches (25 %'ile)

Anna at 6 months:
14 pounds, 12 ounces (20 %'ile)
26 inches (45 %'ile)

Before she turns 7 months, let's talk about Anna at 6 months old! She rolls around in both directions and has been sleeping through the night (shhh!! may not stick!) for several weeks. She doesn't support herself in sitting, I think she just prefers to stand up. She really does not care to eat cereal or solid food. She's still nursing pretty often throughout the day (every 2-3 hours) but considering she doesn't eat and sleeps so long at night, I'm fine with it. She got her first TWO teeth on the same day just a week ago. She's been a little more fussy and clingy lately, preferring for mom to hold her most of the time that she's awake. Her siblings are the best at making her laugh. I wish I could get it on video! She's at that perfectly precious baby stage - so chubby and smiley and cute. Love my baby girl!