Saturday, May 30, 2015

The Second Half of our Rubber Band Week

Sometimes... some weeks... some days you are given just to see if you can survive them. Just to see how you are going to get through it. To stretch to like a rubber band nearly to your breaking point (or what you think that breaking point is). You can A. run away from it and say I'm not going to or B. you can look it and say 'How in the heck I'm I going to get through it'. I dove into option B for this week not because I really wanted to but because I had to. Grit my teeth and powered through it. Got stretched in ways I didn't think I could get through but I think I (and we all) came out for the better. We had some fun. Made some memories. Did what needed to be done. Survived the craziness. Proved to myself that an easy week with 4 kids is probably going to be a cakewalk after a week like this.

Buckle up because here we go... and if you missed the first half of the saga... check this out!

Tuesday -

Pretty typical morning looking kitchen scene.... School papers, mail, snacks, cups, dishwasher needing to be unloaded, dirty dishes awaiting attention.

So tired of looking at these things. By Tuesday M's sickness was better but she still was not 100% to the point I could not take her to school so she was headed back to work with me for the day... Hello kink in plans!

The pool store is insanely slammed during the summer but especially before Memorial Day and 4th of July. And one of the ladies who works there was out of town for the week for her son's wedding so I couldn't just not go into work. Me + whiny baby = better than nothing. This picture was taken in the last 20 minutes of our being at the store when M FINALLY decided to detach from Jibbe (my mother in law) mainly and me. 

Think she cried when I threw away that cracker on the floor before she could start gnawing on it again? 

Well we worked through it. I cannot say I would EVER want to repeat that experience again but I would if I had to I suppose. 

Then we pick the big girls up and head home except before we can get 2 miles from school E starts breaking down about how she has to know all nine of her Bible versus from the year (so she can get a special something at school the next day) and she doesn't know them - and ask me if I could remember some of them from last fall. I try and convince her it will be okay but she's not buying it.. WHY, CHILD... WHY? WHY NOW? WHY TODAY????

Probably because I would have done the EXACT same thing to my mom... oh payback.... 

20 minutes later...

You better believe I drilled her on those things even when she didn't want me to. 

Evidence of toddler going to work = pen marks ALL OVER YOUR CLOTHES

Impromptu ballet recital before dinner

R pretending like she didn't just get caught stealing one of E's asparagus - which happens to be E's second favorite veggie second only to brussel sprouts... She does not like (but will eat) uncooked carrots and ranch dressing but seriously she doesn't like it. 

Then after a quick dinner we were off to the races back to the soccer field for night #2 of soccer game. It was later than yesterday and I called Jibbe as were were loading up to see if she was leaving the store because I knew M would be on cling-on-child AGAIN. 

I think the Leopards won the game. Trying to convince 4-5 yr olds to share is tough especially when scoring goals is involved. M sat with Jibbe for the game and was content. I think Jibbe even organized a little mini scrimmage during our game because we played with only 4 on the field and 3 subs and trying to convince 4-5 yr olds 'to take a break' every 4 minutes isn't easy either.

M waiting on a squeeze from her Papa. 

Papa's work hours for the day - 14
Papa's work hour total for the week - 27.5

Wednesday - 

E seeing Papa off at 6:30... 

M was back to normal so she and E went to school while R and I headed to the office for an hour before her end of class party. Her party was actually tomorrow BUT my bilocation skills are lacking so she went to the other 2 yr old class party - she has friends there too and it was either that or nothing. 

She colored for all of 2.5 minutes and then all I heard was "We going to Putt-Putt?"... in a very audible tone for the next 45 minutes. 

FINALLY it was time to go. I cannot say R really understood trying to collect tickets while playing the games and I think we burned the last tokens on those games that you just put the tokens in and it is chance if you get tickets. (There is a game there that I can get a bunch of tickets - they are 3 don't judge me - but that stopped working). R was more interested in playing Putt-Putt but that did not last terribly long : ) 

We picked everyone up from school and R gave E the other slinky she won - and they were both broken with the hour and unfixable according to Papa. 

E discovered she had a packaging waiting at the door... Uncle Kev came through on a Frozen sprinkler! She was thrilled

If you know anything about my brother and his lack of attention to detail when it comes to present wrapping then you can appreciate the work that went into wrapping this... Also, I still have 4 thank you notes I'm working on. My goal is before the end of the month!

So I turned on the Frozen splash pad and the girls had a ball - it looked NOTHING like the box though - just for the record; but I think that was beside the point for the girls and the neighbors who came to check it out. 

Then we heard some farming action in the field at the end of the road so we HAD to check it out - yes in bathing suits : ) 

I couldn't even tell you at this point what was for dinner but I probably had the girls bathed by the time Papa got home but the kitchen was probably a wreck. 

Papa's work hours for the day - 12.5
Papa's work hour total for the week - 40 (yes and it is only Wednesday!)

Thursday -

Thursday was the official last day of school so the girls colored and doodled and wrote on their teachers cards. I should have had them do this the night before but I didn't... E and R were running away from M who was doodling everywhere. 

E and I had to go to work - the pool store - today before the party. E colored on the dry erase board and I don't know what was happening there because it was so crazy. 

Then we headed to Chuckie Cheese - a place I had been avoiding for 5 years!. E enjoyed the small playground more than anything. You get way less tickets at the games than at Putt-Putt and Chuckie scared the mess out of E so she was not the happiest of campers when he was out. Pizza + cake and a full tummy later we scooted back to the store for 45 minutes before we had to pick up R and M. I still didn't get done everything I needed - but I guess taking your kid to work with you will do that. 

Then we got home and rested up for the preschool program which was that night. Papa made a surprise appearance at home in the afternoon to print a proposal - and catch a 30 minute break and take a shower before heading off to his appointment. St. Joseph has been VERY good to him/us this week so while Papa has not been home much we are grateful for the work that needs to be done. 

I got everyone fed dinner and we were going to be late for seats. If you want seats you need to be there 30-45 minutes before - okay good seats. There is an abundance of seats just not close ones. So we loaded up with hair in disarray without bows or anything and sped off and then Papa saved the day by finishing his appointment on time so all the rush for nothing. I did brush their hair in their classrooms but seriously if it came down to not getting a good seat or grooming in public... I choose grooming in public. 

I do have some pics from the night that I might share if I have 2.5 seconds. R did much better than at Christmas. She actually tried singing the second song - as opposed to looking stage right the ENTIRE program. E did great too. We got a pic of her and her friend in Kindergarten so life was good especially with cookies afterward. R was melting down in typical 3 yr old fashion so the week was getting to not just me...

Papa's work hours for the day - 10.5 - we has talked for a least a week about how he HAD to be done with work by 6 so he could make the program so he planned accordingly

Papa's work hour total for the week - 50.5 

Friday - 

Ahhhh... Friday. A normal day. I had a babysitter come since school was closed and I think the girls just needed some time when we weren't running 100 miles a minute. They had a good time. I had I peaceful morning at the office - first day of the week when I did not have a child with me at work. 

Oh but we did not get full reprieve from the craziness though... After a quick lunch we headed over to E's school for next year because they were having uniform fitting... 

I think my nerves were shot for the week otherwise I would have been an emotional WRECK the night before at the preschool program and seeing this... 

Too cool for school... I think some hemming is in order and good thing 'I know people' because I don't know a thing about a sewing machine. 

R of course had to get in on the action... After uniform fitting we went over to the field day the school was having across the street. It was blazing hot so we did not stay too long. 

After rest I shoveled the girls outside to 'do something' before we ran some errands. Of course it was straight to the bubbles that were in their end of year bucket from school. R is learning what happens when liquid in a container is dropped or tipped or let go of... 

E didn't want to share her bubbles and I cannot say I blamed her so I put some dish soap and water in R's bottle and she was good until the next blood curdling screams... 

Seriously, seriously... I can only handle so many 'crisis' issues in one day! So we blasted off to find a present for R's BFF from school. Seriously they are insanely cute together and they have nicknames for each other and they sit next to each other. It is funny. Anyhow when shopping for this present R knew it could not be pink or purple but other than that the sky was the limit. 

At first she picked out this thing from the movie Planes but then honed in on trucks because she could get him two instead of one thing. So we spread them out over the aisle and she decided to get him 'matching ones'... they were both yellow : ) This would be the face of a 18 month old who is tired of being in the cart and a 5 yr old who I've asked to not voice an opinion on her sister's present picking.

Before we started shopping we returned the second set of Frozen Legos E got for her birthday - it was the ONLY thing she was asking for so I think she told too many people or Legos + 5 yr old + Frozen obsession - she could have ended up with 5 or 6 sets actually. Anyways, so after we got the birthday party present, E had a chance to pick out whatever Lego set(s) she wanted with the coveted gift card. She had seen a vet set on and immediately went for that (thank you brilliant marketing) but then went back and forth over a 'bigger set' - which would mean she could not get the vet set and Cinderella's castle which was MASSIVE and way over her gift card value. FINALLY she settled on the vet set and a car.

I must say the attempts to get girls 'into' Legos is working but the selection of boy Legos is probably quadruple the size of the girl options. There was some Elves themed set in the girls section but I was not crazy about them

Moving on... to dinner

I ordered pizza and the girls wanted leftover chili????

I have no idea but I was not going to argue so Veggie pizza for me and leftovers for them.

Papa rolled in at some point in the bedtime process after AN INSANELY frustrating day for him... He was mad as fire but of course eventually - but too late for his customer - the problem was resolved. I think that is probably one of the toughest things about working in direct customer service... You know these people and you have a vested interest in them getting what they want, when they want it. When that doesn't happen because of problems COMPLETELY outside of the realms of your control... it is a BUMMER. Major bummer.

Papa's work hours for the day - 11

Papa's work hour total for the week - 61.5 

Saturday - 

I didn't make the girls take down their tent from the day before so we woke up to this : ) 

Then all morning I heard - Is it time for the paaa-tay

"Is the cake ready yet????"

Finally it was time for the party and we loaded up in the van, a mountain of bathing suits, googles, lifejackets, Crocs, 3 girls, 2 wrapped up monster trucks and 1 brave as heck mom who was venturing to a birthday party - solo mama (and a partridge in a pear tree). I would NEVER choose to voluntarily take 3 kids to a birthday by myself BUT, BUT... Taking one for the team to get it done and have some fun. 

Everyone behaved and ate and sang and played in the pool and intently watched the present opening... M and I stayed out of the pool which was good. R and the birthday boy took turns shooting water at each other and the person filling up the guns for them (despite our efforts to convince them he was the worst person to shoot)

We headed home just in time for rest before we totally lost our cool and our manners at the party. R opted for the nook in between the wall and the crib in her room : ) 

Then Papa got home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Papa's work hours for the day - 8

Papa's work hour total for the week - 69.5 

and all was well in our world and we went about our normal activities... Like 

Eating a statue of Jesus and reading a book.... 

But it kind of looks like she's having a conversation with Him but I made her take him out of her mouth!

Then right as Lee was in the middle of dinner prep (he wanted to make dinner) he gets a text... From a guy whose pool is foaming and he's got half of the world coming to his house for a pool party. And just when we thought it was over... He's back to work. Fortunately it was really close by and a relatively quick fix and the guy was super nice and that's how you take care of your customers... 

But it was getting late so M ate dinner and she had to get to bed but not without a bath first... 

I was grumpy about Lee being gone that I blew some bubbles to make bath time more interesting and when you see a toddler cackling at bubbles it is bound to raise your spirits : )

In fact I'd say she loved the bubbles and I loved it went 6:45 rolled around and Papa was back home to stay. We ate dinner and crashed into bed.

Papa's work hours for the day - 8 9

Papa's work hour total for the week - 69.5  70.5

We survived the week.

One week down... the ENTIRE summer to go. I pray to St. Joseph every day for Lee since that's his saint plus St. Joseph is the patron saint of workers and man has St. Joseph been looking out for him. In so many ways, there is an abundance of work to be done (of course all at one time) BUT we cannot complain about the work because it is a means he has a job and that is a blessing.

Bring it on summer! If we can make it through that week I think we can take any kind of week you throw at us... However, when Labor Day rolls around in a few (fast-paced, flying) months I cannot say we will be super disappointed!

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Friday, May 29, 2015

7QTs - Swim Team with a chance of crazy

Gracious it has been a busy week - but does anyone not have a busy week these days?!?!?!... 

--- 1 ---

On the way to church Sunday... 

Because sometimes you just need a pretty pic to look at and it makes you think. Or the 3 yr old who sung a tiny amount at her spring program, sings the songs she was SUPPOSED to sing and more on that way home and that makes you think...

"He's got the hoo-l wor-ld in His hands... He's got the little tiny babies in His hands"

If He's got the whole world that means He's got me too which is good because after this morning (at work) I needed some reassurance. Nothing like a really crazy day to make you appreciate the weekend even more. 

--- 2 ---

Sunday the big girls and I hit up out new summer hang out... The pool. 

I had never even seen the place before so it was a bit of a reality check when we drove up and it was the same shape as the pool we went to growing up except it was 4 lanes instead of 10!


Any how they liked it. I joined for them - not for me by any means. 

Adult swim - the last 10 minutes of the hour, every hour - is very perplexing to them. 

--- 3 ---
Monday was Memorial Day so no one worked (thank goodness). We ate a leisurely breakfast and went on a walk around the neighbor that did not end particularly well thanks to R who desperately wanted to ride her bike down the hill but was terrified. 

Lee insisted he wasn't going to do ANYTHING after the week he had had but after about 10 minutes of listening to E and R's bantering he weed wacked backyard of the house behind us (that is still in foreclosure!) because it could be a serious snake haven and planted some plants. 

--- 4 ---

For dinner we had an impromptu family gathering: 

Cousins were involved so all was well in our world... at least for a few hours : ) 

--- 5 ---

Feel free to reinsert the craziness... here aka Tuesday (and the rest of the week)

Tuesday was first swim practice of the year. E had been talking it up. R I wasn't quite so sure about. In December she MELTED down at the Y for swim lessons so I really didn't think she'd want to participate much at all. I mean, if she did great, if not then no problem. I really just wanted her to TRY and get in the water again. 

R made it halfway down the pool (with the coach) and was so proud of herself.

This about a pregnant pic of me as I'll probably post... 

Papa made it and sat through swim practice... Yes Papa showed up at the pool. I cannot believe it. Maybe he'll shock us all and get in next week - wishful thinking I know. 

M is a crazy person in the pool. She does not like sitting in the float and does not want to be held on to so I'll let go of her for a few seconds and she goes under water and once she catches she breathe she wants to do it again!

--- 6 ---

I could, should, and will write an entire post dedicated to this girl and her Nini because it's not just the pregnancy hormones that make me want to cry

--- 7 ---

On my counter...

As soccer comes to a close tomorrow I guess this will be our new reality for the next couple months. Fortunately I'm not coaching and hopefully R will hang in there at swim practice because she is just beside herself that she's in the pool with the big kids.

I have a standing offer for E... once she swims in the 6 and under heats - and not just the Pup Squad - which is for kids like R who either don't want to or cannot complete a lap on their own so coaches are in the lane with them - THEN I will get her the team suit. Apparently not many kids wear the team suit but I wore the team suit when I was growing up so here I go trying to get the kids to relive my childhood - if ballet were not so STINKING expensive then I'd consider signing them up and I'd prove myself wrong in the 'MUST IMPRESS MY CHILDHOOD ON MY KIDS' statement - no one really does that anyways, right?

Speaking of which, Lee and I are pretty much on board with signing E up for American Heritage Girls in the fall - it is similar to Girl Scouts. I'm not going to get into the politics of AHG vs GS. I never did scouts growing up but Uncle Kev finished his Eagle Scout project - whether he wanted to or not may have been debated but I think now - 10 years later - he appreciates having gone through scouting - camping trips and all. So we'll give AHG a whirl. Hopefully E will meet some new friends and maybe even see some familiar ones from preschool.

Lastly... since I know you really really care...

The ONLY maternity tank tops I like are at the one-stop-red-dot-stop so I finally broke down and ordered some new ones since I had one from when I was pregnant with R and the old one is headed straight for the trash. I probably could have used them 2 weeks ago but the bump is really starting to get bumpy so... I guess all the maternity clothes will be out before too long. I like these because they are stretchy and stay in place and are not a heavy cotton. 

Now if I could only find a few good additions to the preggo-warerobe I'd be set.