Tuesday, December 09, 2014

November: 40th birthday, Toothless, Feasts, and Buckeyes

This little stinker...she pushes stools up to reach whatever she darn well pleases. I have walked into the kitchen and found her with a carving knife in her hand, trying to open bottles of medication, spilling coffee all over, turning the water on in the sink, you name it! I am either holding her or she's getting into trouble...those are the only two modes of operation at this point.

November brought another special birthday: Brian's 40th! We had a really good weekend celebrating. Unfortunately, I was a dork and didn't get picture of the two biggest events. Friday night we went out to eat with friends, which never ever EVER happens, because if we are lucky enough to land a babysitter for the evening, the chances of your friends also lining up a babysitter on the same night are practically none. So it was really fun, we ate a lot, we laughed a lot, and our kids were all spending the night with grandparents so no one had to rush home. It was awesome.

Then on the morning of Brian's birthday (Saturday), he and Katy ran a 5K together, her first. We had done that same race the previous year and she had done the kids fun run, but then noticed some kids her age running the actual race and getting medals. Well...that was that, she just had to do it. So they trained together this fall - and she ran the whole thing without stopping, which was her goal. I was so proud! The only disappointment was that they didn't give out medals this year - one very disappointed girl.

We did lunch and cake and gifts with the kids at home and went to church. Then that evening, Brian went out to a new-ish sports bar in our town with a few of his friends to watch the OSU vs. Michigan State game. It ended up being a great game and he had a blast.

When Brian got to work that day, some of his co-workers had decorated his office to appear like a fish bowl - they really went all out, including photos of the kids and my faces floating around in the aquarium. Hilarious!

Some football chocolate covered strawberries from my Dad and Sue.

Ready to race!

Finishing strong! (I love this race, it is very close to us, very small, easy to park and get in and out.)

Now for some day-to-day stuff...

For a long time (maybe 5 years?) we had been in the routine of letting the kids watch TV in the morning, which was especially helpful when I was preggo-sick or nursing babies in the morning and trying to shower, etc, before school. This was the only time of the day that they watched any TV.  Recently I decided to try changing that routine to see if it would improve focus and behavior at school, especially for the boys. I thought it was going to be really hard to give it up. It wasn't at all, I was shocked! A couple of days in...I came down from taking a shower to find the boys writing their own Star Wars books  that they had put together themselves, after they had already played Legos. I felt silly that I hadn't done this sooner, because I really think it has improved our school mornings. (They do still watch some TV on days with no school, but it's less). 

Girl Scouts has been really busy this fall. This picture is from our trip to the Art Museum. They were carrying those folding chairs around and parking them in front of the paintings that they liked and then answering questions about them on their clipboards. They ALL parked in front of this one, which was just too cute. This year many of the girls are going to different schools, but it is really nice to have the troop to keep them seeing each other, because most of them will still end up in middle school together.

This was very upsetting. One evening shortly after all the offices close, Anna was heading up the steps, following her siblings up there, and Brian and I were taking our time to follow her (she's about 98% accurate on the steps at this point, so we've gotten lazy about closing the gate.) So you know the rest of the story...we heard a big tumble and a thud - she fell, thankfully only 3 or 4 steps, but the hardwood is not forgiving. At first we thought she bit her tongue because she was bleeding so much, but then we discovered a gaping whole in the bottom of her mouth...and found the missing tooth on the steps. I just felt sick about it - hated that she had fallen, that there was nothing that we could do, and that she would now have a blemish until she's 6 because of it (but I'm glad it's not a top tooth that is more noticeable). I called the pediatric dentist on call to make sure I wasn't supposed to do anything, but I didn't hear back until the next morning, in which he apologized profusely that he didn't call back...the cleaning staff found his phone overnight in the building where he dropped it on the way out. But as Google had already old me...there was nothing they could do about a baby tooth anyway. They made sure that nothing else was damaged and that's that. :(

Luke has been absolutely OBSESSED with Legos lately. Specifically, he wants to follow the instructions to build all the sets that we have. And I've been blown away at how well he can follow the instructions. This truck above took him days - hours and hours, (so much of that time is finding the pieces that he needs once they've been mixed in with all the other Legos.).

Just an example of the detailed instructions that he's following...about 90% on his own, to build these things. My grandpa says that Luke is going to be an engineer like he was, he recognizes that part of his thinking.

Helping Daddy make calzones one night. This girl loves her Daddy - he is definitely the fun parent.

Katy and David both earned a trip to the bowling alley as part of our "I Can Do Hard Things" campaign (Katy hates that name). I decided to try this new posh bowling alley and WOW. It was awesome. I'd like to go back there again with a big group of people.

These two. They are the most cuddly of the bunch, which I think draws them to each other, and it melts my heart. Anna is such a sympathetic soul...when any kid is crying, she sprints over to pat them on the back and say, "It okay, Bubby, it okay."
 Thanksgiving weekend was a lot of fun, even with two more cases of strep throat (more on this in the next post). Our Thanksgiving Day was low key. Mom, Mel and I started the morning with a 5 mile Turkey Trot. It was really fun, but also reeealllly cold and windy. We have signed up to do a half marathon in May, and I'm hoping the weather will be a bit warmer (but you never know).  Then we came home and ate casserole and watched the rest of the parade and relaxed. Then that evening we went out with the crazies and did a little shopping (Michael's and Old Navy). I know, I know...shame on us...but when my husband is off to watch the kids and my best two shopping buddies are also off work and available, you take what you can get.
Trying to stay warm before the race.

Friday we had my mom and Greg's whole family dinner at mom's house. It was a lot of fun and the kids really enjoy playing with Abby's boys. We've gotten to see them more often this year with more things to celebrate, it seems.

On Saturday, after a quick trip to the pediatrician and the pharmacy,  Melanie and I took the kids to Dayton to watch the Michigan game with my Dad and Sue. It was another awesome game with the exception of JT Barrett's injury...so sad. We ate a lot of good food and enjoyed the game together.

This is my dad's happy place.

Luke found some Legos, and much to Sue's amazement, she still had the 40 year old instructions for this helicopter - only missing one piece! Aunt Mel was proud that they got this thing together.

Meanwhile, Brian was at the game with his friend JT. They rushed the field afterwards, which took me back...Brian rushed the field after the Michigan victory back in 2002 that sent us to the National Championship - wearing a sombrero because it meant we were going to the Fiesta Bowl (which of course we won).  And since I am writing this in December and know where we are headed...could this be...foreshadowing??
You still got it honey, just like when you were in your 20's!!

And now it's time to get ready for Christmas...look what we found in our bin of Christmas decorations that we forgot that we purchased after season last year...

I bet this girl will get into it more this year. She can say Ho Ho Ho but she wants NOTHING to do with Santa. 

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