August 24, 2013

  • First Full Week

    We made it through our first full week of school beautifully.  A is not at all a morning person, so rolling out of bed at 8 is a little rough, but she manages a smile and is always excited about the school day.  B is usually up around 7:30 or 7:45 and typically has made and consumed his own breakfast before A has even wondered into the kitchen.  He then spends the rest of his time reminding A of how little time she has to eat and get ready for school.  Fortunately, she is pretty good natured and/or ignores him most of the time.

    Thanks to all of B’s prompting we were even the first ones to the  bus stop.  First time ever.  Maybe the last too.

    Mental note: make a larger chore list for B in the morning to keep him busy.

    C and I have been more productive in this first week than we were all summer long.  Running errands with just C along for the ride seems like a vacation, so we knocked out our Target and grocery trips on separate mornings this week.  And then we started the clothing rodeo…one closet started anyway.

    A little DVD organization for me…distracting Mom from the task at hand for C.  It’s his specialty.

    He asks to sweep every morning.  And there is usually some part of the house that needs swept every morning, so he’s lucky like that.  We even did a quick surface cleaning with the wet Swiffer.

    We did find some time to play this week, of course. ;)

    Sitting on the mower, watching one of our neighbors mow.

August 15, 2013

  • A Return to the Blog…First Day of School

    We’ll see how long this lasts….

    When C was born 16 months ago I knew that I would fall behind on several things.  Apparently, blogging was one of those things.  I made my peace with it a long time ago.  At the end of the day, if the house is relatively clean, the kids are happy, behaving and have eaten healthy it’s a good day.  But now that I have two children in school I have tricked myself into thinking I will be more productive.  Time will tell. 

    This morning started early for me.  I woke up at 6 with knots in my stomach because I knew that the day I had been dreading since the day Alexandria was born had arrived…I had to send her off to Kindergarten.  I had to share her with someone else for many hours of the day.  And sure, there have been days during this summer that have been long and the kids seem to have been in constant opposition with each other, but I so want summer to go on forever.  I want my kids all right here with me.  I’m greedy like that.

    So I put on a brave face and directed my thoughts away from saying goodbye to my girl, made some monkey bread (sugar will cure sadness, right?), and got ready for the day.  At about 8, with a lump in my throat I went into A’s room and started waking her up for the big day.  She was sleepy but excited, which definitely made it easier for me.  As I was sitting on Alexandria’s bed watching her get ready, my mind was flooded with memories from her past five years at home with me…as a baby spending countless hours nursing and holding her in her room, as a sweet one year-old hearing her call “Moooooommmmmyyyyy” when she woke up in the morning, as a toddler and a preschool scattering her bedroom floor with every Disney princess we own, and more recently walking into her room and seeing the floor covered in dresses and shoes.  I’m going to miss her constant chatter, the way she plays so sweetly with her brothers, the way she drags out all my scarves and high heel shoes for us to play dress up, the way she whispers in my ear and invites me to her bday party almost daily, the way she always puts her clammy hands on my arm when she wants to tell me something (ok, might not miss clammy hands), the way she tells B to “pretend you are a dragon and you said…”

    But I tell myself that she is having a great time at school and making new friends and learning new things.  And while I know that all of that is true, I still miss her a bunch.  And for those of you who are wondering, I miss B too, but I have adjusted to not having him here during the school day.  And somehow that makes it easier on me too.

    I heard a quote a few years ago and have repeated it to myself a multitude of times over the past several years, “The days are long, but the years are short.”  And that seems ever so true today.  My brain can’t quite comprehend that we now have two school age children, and my heart is struggling with it too.

    This is me putting on a brave face.  The ugly cry came after we said goodbye to the kids at school and I was back in the privacy of the car.  Shortly after that I turned to C and told him that he was never going to Kindergarten.

    Matt, C and I followed the bus to school and got the kids to their classrooms…and snagged a few more photos.

    When she got off the bus she told me, “Mommy, I wasn’t nervous at all on the bus!”

June 28, 2012

  • Early Baby Days

    It’s hard to believe that Colton has been here for 11 weeks already.  He’s growing fast and really showing us his sweet easy going personality these past few weeks.  Since I am not a big newborn loving person, I am excited for the next phase of babyhood that we are entering. 

    Here’s a look at the early baby weeks and all the activities we’ve been a part of recently.

    Angela came to see Uncle Drew…or maybe she came to see Colton because he is pretty stinkin’ cute.

    This is back when Colton had bird legs.  He doesn’t suffer from that problem anymore. :)

    Crazy eyes!

    The ladies from church threw me a baby shower, and I didn’t even have to leave the comfort of my own home for it!  Special thanks to Jackie, Wendy and Mom who did a lot of prep work!  Mom prepped my house by cleaning it, while Jackie and Wendy did the planning/decorating work.

    Blake’s contribution to the shower.

    Blake had a field trip to the local library and adjoining park in mid May so we joined his class at the park.

    Ginger, Shea, Papa Bruce and Gma Suzanne made it down for a quick weekend in May as well, and we had a lot of fun in a short amount of time!

    Busy with projects…

    Little brother snoozed through much of this.

    Mother’s Day Tea at preschool.

    Golf clinic out back.

    Someone snoozed through that too.

    Dane and Samantha came out for a visit in May too!

    I think Samantha and Angela took these pictures while I was feeding the baby.  They were great nannies for me in May.

    Eli turned one in May and celebrated with a grand party at the park.

    Alexandria hopped up to the next year of preschool.

    She managed to fall over during Hop-ups. :)  

    Last day of school!

    Tee ball games start.

    Fun Day at Ma’s house.

    Colton had to get some bottle practice before we went to Dawn’s wedding since I was *in* the wedding.

June 19, 2012

  • Pre-Baby Post

    It seems like these pictures were taken ages ago…

    Planting day.

    Blake had to interview Matt about what he does for a living.

    Doing some outdoor projects.

    36 weeks pregnant.

    Preschool Easter Egg Hunt.

    Playing out back.

    Tux fitting for Dane’s wedding.

    Flower girl dress fitting.

    Supervising the window washers.

    Bridal showers for Sam/Kelsey and Dane/Samantha at church.

    General silliness at the house of Harvs.

    Breaking out the pool during the first week of April because it was so hot.

    Zoo trip during Spring Break week.

    Making monkey bread.

    Egg Hunt.

    Coloring eggs.

    Hanging out at Papa and Ma’s house.

    Goodies from Iowa.

    Easter morning.


May 29, 2012

  • Baby Day

    It was just another ordinary Tuesday…until our little man was born.

    April 10 started out just as most other Tuesdays  at our house do with the usual rousing sleepy kids at 8:30 so I can get everyone to their respective places for the day.  I was having a few sporadic contractions throughout the morning, but I’d had other mornings like that so I didn’t give it a second thought.  I got both kids to school and then headed back to Blake’s school where I was scheduled to help in the media center and his classroom for the morning while Alexandria was at preschool. 

    I chatted with some of the other moms who were volunteering in the work room, even telling them I’d been having contractions that day but was pretty sure it was nothing to get excited about.  Alexandria was born at 36 weeks, 6 days, but Blake had come just five days before his due date so I hated to expect an early delivery.  I was 38 weeks, 1 day along with this particular pregnancy. 

    After I finished up at Blake’s school I picked up Alexandria and feeling like our girl time was limited asked her what she wanted to do for lunch.  She immediately chose 54th St. because they have the best mac n cheese, according to her distinguising tastes (I’m pretty sure it’s just like any other box mac n cheese).  We enjoyed a nice lunch, just the two of us and then ran a couple of quick errands.

    When we got home, I assessed the to-do list and started checking things off.  I noticed that my Easter decorations were all up, so I quickly got all of those down and put the red, white and blue things up.  I knew that if baby was coming, this would be a job that never got done. 

    Around 3 I noticed that my contractions seemed to be a bit more regular but again, dismissed the possibility of having the baby on that day.  I did call Mom to give her the heads up that she might want to let her daycare moms to get a back-up plans for their kids for the following day….just in case. 

    Around 3:30 I called Matt and told him the same thing that I’d told Mom pretty much.  Just giving him a little heads up. 

    At this point I thought I should probably at least start keeping track of contractions so I downloaded a contraction app on my iPhone (they really do have an app for everything) and started keeping track of my contractions.  At 4 Alexandria and I walked up to the bus stop and got Blake off the bus.

    We went inside, got snacks, and I finished up the laundry, vacuumed the living room floor and cleaned the kitchen because I was starting to feel like the baby probably was coming soon.  Matt called to tell me he was on his way home and asked if I thought we’d need to go to the hospital soon or if we could wait until after Blake’s first tee ball practiced, scheduled for 6 that night.  I told him I felt fine still so he could probably plan on practice…it seems funny now!  He apparently didn’t trust my good judgement so he ran home and took the tee ball equipment to one of the other dads. 

    Around 5:30 my dad got here to take the kids to their house for the night.  He asked if I thought I could wait another six hours or so to have the baby, hitting April 11, their anniversary date and Bruce’s birthday.  I thought I could probably do that since we hadn’t even left for the hospital yet. :)  

    At this point my contractions were getting strong enough that I couldn’t just keep working through them.  I had stop and bend over when one came, but I still wasn’t in pain necessarily, just uncomfortable.

    Just before we left the house for the hospital Alexandria asked, “What if you have a puppy?”  I explained to her that that would be very disappointing for me since I don’t even really like dogs.

    We left for the hospital at about 5:45.  I texted Jackie telling her that we were heading to the hospital and that I was kind of paranoid that it was going to be a false alarm.  My water had broken with the other two, a sure sign that it was time.

    Shortly after we left for the hospital, Matt cracked open a bag of beef jerky, one of the smells that I find most repulsive.  It’s funny now….then, not so much.  On the way to the hospital we reviewed our top five boy names multiple times, and Matt wasn’t getting on board with any of them.

    Thanks to Matt’s shortcut on a 100 year old brick road through Alton we made it to the hospital in record time, arriving around 6:15.  We went in the ER entrance, answered all of the obligatory registration questions and were on our way up to Labor and Delivery. 

    At about 6:30 I get into my room and joke with the nurses that I am afraid this is going to be a false alarm since my water hasn’t broken yet.  I go into the bathroom to give them a urine sample and as I get off the toilet, my water breaks.  I pull the call cord and assure the nurse that we are NOT having a false alarm after all and tell her that I feel like it’s time to have the baby.  She rattles off a whole list of things we need to do first (get blood taken, hook up the IV, hook me up to the monitors, answer a whole slew of other questions, etc.) and all I can think is, “That is soooooooooo not gonna happen before this baby gets here.”).  She checks me and then realizes that the baby is coming NOW.  As soon as she checks me, she says, “Ok, the baby is right there.  I’m gonna go get some people to help out.”

    And then my hospital room becomes a hot spot of activity with nurses bringing in equipment, calling the doctor, moving the bed up and getting ready to greet our baby.  Finally someone realized that Matt’s not in the room yet, so they go and get him out of the waiting room.  I think he was surprised to see that much activity in the room when he get in there.  Matt quickly redeemed himself from the beef jerky episode in the car by fetching me some ice chips.  I was *really* thirsty, so I was jamming those ice chips into my mouth by the handful while the nurses got the room ready. 

    I was pretty much ready to push from the moment I came out of the bathroom, but since we didn’t have the room ready or a doctor there to catch the baby I had been doing the pant breathing during contractions so baby wouldn’t come crashing into the world just yet.  At one point one of the nurses said, “Can we get Dr. Talsky to dress a little faster?”  Amen to that!  I was ready to have this baby.

    At some point during all of this Matt tells me that he now likes one of my top five boy names but doesn’t indicate which one.  Don’t worry, in about three minutes we will know which one.  Once the doctor is fully dressed we wait for a contraction and with one push for his head and one for his shoulders, our little Colton David was born at 7:06.  That escalated quickly.

April 9, 2012

  • Phone Pictures

    I’ve become quite fond of the Istagram photo app on my phone lately, and I have the pictures to prove it.

    Shopping for new ball gloves.

    Yay for this weather!

    35 weeks of baby growing.

    Waiting for monkey bread.

    Love it when Dad comes home early enough to get Blake off the bus.

    Fancy girl, who is quite fond of this pose.

    Sometimes the whole gang comes to get Blake off the bus.

    Time for some projects.

    Roly poly soup is served.

    Just relaxing in the green grass.

    Supervising the window washer.

    Cozy tree spot.

    Now this Gator is street legal (except for the expired sticker).

    Fun at the zoo during Spring Break.

April 4, 2012

  • Tee Ball Practice

    And so the tee ball season (a.k.a. season of torture) begins again.  If you’ll recall from years past, this isn’t necessarily an area where Blake excels…or is even moderately interested.  But Matt is determined to bond with Blake over baseball, so we will give it another shot this year and see how it goes.  Blake does seem to be showing at least some small bit of interest in hitting this year, and he will play catch with Matt for a few minutes at a time. 

    Matt seems to think that if we had fewer toys, then Blake would be more interested in playing ball.  I’m fairly convinced that he’d rather play with sticks, dirt and rocks if we had fewer toys.  Actually, he plays with those things despite all the toys he has.  Alexandria, on the other hand, does like to play ball with Matt.  So maybe he will bond with her that way.  Either way, we have some entertaining tee ball practice photos.

    Power swing.

April 3, 2012

  • Buddies

    The kids have had so much outside time with their friends lately.  There’s something about being outside that makes everyone happier too.

    Alexandria got to meet some of her preschool buddies at the park for a playdate a couple of weeks ago.

    And then we got to meet up with some of my very first childhood friends in Brighton a few days after that. 

    The scene of the meet-up.

    The adults didn’t require nearly so many shots as the kids.  Julia and Gretchen were our neighbors in Brighton on Victor St. in the early 80s.  They now live in Wisconsin and Georgia, so when they meet in Brighton at Grandma Huebener’s house, I try to track them down.  So fun to catch up!

    Bonus–there are cows there!

    And then we headed to Papa and Ma’s house for a bit to play.

April 2, 2012

  • Visions of Spring

    Even before Spring was officially here, we had all the signs of it and some from summer as well.  So much green to soak up!

    Popsicles and swings.  Maybe we are going to skip right to summer this year.

    And I am sure Blake is resposible for the next several pictures…

    I was busy trying to get all the weeds out of the landscaping before the rain started.

    Alexandria crashing our neighbor’s family pictures on St. Patrick’s Day.

    “Helping” Dad trim the bushes.

    And then for some backyard tee ball with Dad and Dace.

    And a few other random shots from this month.

March 30, 2012

  • Joe Glik Park Day

    Park season is starting early this year!  One beautiful March afternoon we picked Blake up from school early and headed to the park for some scootering, bike riding, playing, roaming and rock throwing.  I mostly just supervised these activities, as I am no longer in  prime running around form.

    Checking out the fountain area.

    She takes her cycling very seriously.

    She likes to pretend this is her ice cream store.

    It was all fun and games until someone let their dog loose.  And that was just enough to freak the kids out and send them running back to me.

    The dog wasn’t chasing them at all, but you couldn’t have convinced these two otherwise.