Saturday, August 30, 2008

If only . . .

If only I could take pictures half this good! We just got a super nifty printer/scanner/copier machine and my dear husband scanned in these photos for us. No way did I take them, and it is probably illegal for me to be doing this, but I had to share. They were taken around each of their birthdays, so they aren't exactly recent. Within the same year, though!




Long weekends. Love them.

I love long weekends. I love having my husband home for even just one extra day.

I am able to have so much more quality time with the kids when there are two of us around. Grace and I went to the store together this morning and sat and ate a donut before we shopped. It was there in Hyvee that she told me about some of the things that have been happening in her classroom at school. She hasn't had the opportunity/desire to tell me much up until this point. I love hearing about her day.

I am so blessed to have a helpful and willing husband. Not only does he do everything to care for the kids, he also does laundry, cooking and cleaning as well as outside maintenance. Did I say that he does all this willingly?

I have a new concept I am trying to get him to present to the president of his company. It is called reverse retirement. Wouldn't it be great if, while our kids were little (before school age), if he could be at home with us daily, and then make up those work years after the children were in school. Anyway, it sounds great to me!

Have yourself a great long weekend and enjoy your time with your own family!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Random Update

It seems that the much anticipated "break" I was going to get when Grace started school, isn't as much as I would have thought. I am now officially Sam's main playmate. Not that I don't enjoy playing, but I was hoping to get a few things accomplished once school began. I have been getting a little cleaning done in the basement, since that is where Sam likes to play. I have been turned on to a really great website, http://www.freecycle.org/, that lets you list items that you would like to give away. I have been weeding out some of the unused items in the basement and listing them on the site and within hours, someone comes to the house and picks the items up. I just leave it sitting on the porch and no hassels or anything. It is great, because it allows me to get rid of things a little at a time. The group is set up for specific cities, across the nation, check them out in your part of the world!

We are currently in the process of hiring a contractor and buying the materials to remodel our bathrooms upstairs. Hopefully, we will have them wrapped up before the end of the year. It has been fun to make this home our own over the last four years. Not sure how we will fare with having a bathroom unavailable (especially our only tub), but we will manage!

This fall has been and will be full of changes. Please pray for me that I can adapt and figure out my place in everything happening around me. I hope to post at a later date some of the specifics about all of the changes happening.

Here are a few pictures from our day picking peaches and apples at Roger and Deanna's. Thanks to them for letting us pick and eat of their fruits, and much play time in their beautiful yard. The kids loved climbing the trees to get just the perfect one, and Nate really enjoyed climbing in and out of the trailer again and again as you can see from the video.

video

Notice about halfway through the video, Nate's finger pointing, then his right hand waving. This may not seem much to you, but it is these little things that we celebrate in his progress. We work on things like this with his therapists and we have really been seeing so many new things the last couple of months. It is so cute!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Post first day

She wasn't too full of words after her first day of school, but I didn't really think she would be. She is the quiet/observer type and when experiencing new things, it really takes a while for everything to soak in. She did tell me that the bus ride and music class were her favorite things.

video

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The First Day

Well, let's just hope that the pictures speak for themselves. It has been a big day at our house to say the least. The much anticipated bus ride to school was late - and 20 minutes late for your first day of school is a big deal! I was disappointed that we were not able to go to her classroom to take any pictures, but I understand that there are reasons . . .








Monday, August 18, 2008

The Big K

That is kindergarten! You heard it, my baby will be starting school tomorrow and I am a wreck. Thank goodness that we still have only half day kindergarten, because I am really going to miss my girl.

I am terrified, not because she is leaving my care, but now I am forced to get it together! Being on time, sending in the right papers, knowing when school is in session and when it is not, having clean clothes (because I'm sure they don't have pajama day once a week at school), taking the snack when it is my turn . . . . the list goes on. Let's just say that being home with the children, well, everyday is pretty unstructured for us.

When I was teaching, my time was dictated by the clock. Lunch was at 11:23 and we had 18 minutes to eat, there were exactly 4 minutes to use the restroom between classes, the warning bell rang 2 minutes before class ended, etc. You get the picture. When I quit, I threw out my watch and decided that I no longer needed to live this way. It was hard at first, but now I never know the time, or care to know!

We are beginning a new chapter in our lives and it is scary. I have never had to turn over the care of any of my children to anyone else for any length of time. I have been in charge of the care of my children, what they wear, who they play with, what they eat, etc., and now I am learning to let go and trust that she will be fine.

Grace does not show a lot of excitement about school, and if you know her, that is typical. Unless it is something that she has already experienced, she is usually apprehensive. We have met her teacher and toured the classroom, but there are still a lot of unknowns for her. I know she will do just fine and love the school experience.

Our plan is to put her on the bus, then follow it to school (so I can get some pictures), and then cry all the way home, then wait for her to return home on the bus. Her backpack is loaded, clothes are clean (not ironed yet), and she is set to go at 12:15. I will post pictures tomorrow of my baby's first day. Happy back to school everyone!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

New Look

If you are a frequent reader of this blog, you will notice that I have been having lots of fun playing around with some fun new looks. I am learning a lot and probably couldn't do any of it again! Anyway, along with the new look, I also changed the name of the blog (go ahead and notice it, if you didn't already).

Life has been happening at a very rapid pace and over the last couple of years, I have learned much, grown much and have deepened my faith in God. I have decided that I don't have to run the race that most of us are in and that if I choose, I can walk or sit and rest, while the race continues on without me. My perspective on life has been changed.

As summer approached, I was researching like crazy all the things we could do to keep busy, so the kids wouldn't drive me crazy (I know, I am already there!). Then, one day it hit me, we don't have to be entertained all the time, and this is the last few months before Grace starts school, so let's just let the kids be 5, 3, and 1 and let's do the things that kids those ages should be doing. I bought a slip and slide, sand for the sand table, finger paints and paper and we have been entertained all summer.

Don't get me wrong, there are moments every hour, that someone is crying, whining, fighting, and really driving me batty, but I don't think I will ever look back on these years and regret the time that I have spent with my children. School is starting next week and I am getting really sad, as I will miss having Grace around all the time. We are starting a new chapter in our lives.

When I was teaching, this was my favorite time of the year, the time when you can break out the newly sharpened pencils, and clean notebooks. Since I am not teaching anymore, it is still one of my favorite times and I have chosen to start "fresh" and work to organize and simplify my life. We have way too much "stuff" and it is my goal over the next several months to rid our lives of this unnecessary stuff, so we can just enjoy each other and the short time that we have with each other.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Hello Kitty

The highlight of our weekend was seeing Hello Kitty at the mall! The things we do for our kids. Sam, for those of you who know him, was just as excited about seeing the Kitty as Grace was! Nate, of course is always just along for the ride. I walked in the Race for the Cure and my legs are feeling all 5 miles or so that we ended up walking. I hate exercising and the thought never even crossed my mind that it would have made today easier if I had just gradually gotten up to the five mile walk! Oh well, I guess I'm still alive. Looking forward to this week as it is the last week before Grace starts school. That will be a new adventure all together.






Friday, August 8, 2008

Frustration

I think I am a highly frustrated person. I guess that goes with the type A personality. I do not exhibit great qualities when dealing with my children and I hate what I am teaching/passing on to them.

This morning, after a rough week, I thought it to be a great idea to serve Grace some Gatorade for breakfast as she was not able to keep anything down yesterday. Whose idea was this?? It seemed fine at the time, not a lot of harm done. Of course, what Grace gets, so does Sam. Anyway, the entire bottle of Gatorade was spilled by Grace all over the clean kitchen floor, the wall and baseboard, the table and chairs and her.

After expressing my displeasure, I grabbed Nate (who was waiting to crawl through the big mess), a roll of towels and went to work. I let my tongue lash out at both Grace and Sam (even though Sam didn’t do anything, this time), and informed them that from now on, they are only allowed sippee cups since they obviously aren’t big enough to handle a real cup yet.

I got the mess cleaned up, sat down at the computer and proceeded to drip a little diet coke on the keyboard. Mad at myself now, this could have been more of a problem than something spilled on the kitchen floor and how silly of me to ream my kids when I turned around and did the same thing. I went and apologized to Grace and asked that if an accident like that happened again, that she please offer to help me clean up the mess or help in some other way.

This type of thing happens all the time for me and I am very slow to learn and change my behaviors/reactions. At least I know that I do this and that is one step in the right direction. Here’s to a lovely Friday!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Post Vacation

The week after vacation -- ughh. Back in the swing again, reality. It has been one of those weeks already, and is isn't over yet! Monday led Ed to the doctor with a sinus infection. Tuesday, Nate went to the doctor for yet another ear infection (thank God we already have an appointment with the ENT next week). Wednesday, our power was out all morning, but I did manage to get the house cleaned up. Today, Ed woke me up to tell me that his car would not go into gear and he was waiting for the tow truck to come get it and take it to the dealer. Then, Grace woke up sick and has been puking all over everything in sight. We ended up taking Ed to work, running some errands, puking, cleaning floors once again, puking, and now this evening, Sam has a fever and I'm waiting for him to blow his hotdog all over me any time now. Let's hope for a better day tomorrow. At least the car wasn't that expensive and we do have it back now!


Vacation

We decided to take a vacation with the kids to Minneapolis. I figured if we only made it to Des Moines, we would call it good, but, the kids traveled fantastically and we made it all the way to our destination. It was a great time, but now Ed and I need a restful vacation to ourselves! We went to the zoo, amusement parks, the Mall of America, a water park, and the children's museum. The kids did very well and we are already excited to plan our next outing (what they don't realize is that it will probably be another year from now!).





Ed, Grace and Sam played a round of mini golf. Sam would hit the ball once, then go where it rolled, pick it up and run the ball right up next to the hole. Then he would put it down and tap it in and declare "hole in one", every hole!

We saw many of the Nickelodeon characters, since the amusement park inside Mall of America was run by Nickelodeon. Nate is trying to escape Blue!


Poor Nate did an awful lot of riding in the stroller. Doesn't look like he's too crabby though!









Naps were skipped, dessert was eaten first, movies were watched, snacks were a must, fits were minimal, and at the end of the day, you can see how all the activities affected the boys!