Monday, January 30, 2017

7QTs - better late than never

Linking up with Kelly and the usuals...


Sometimes my kids show me flashes on my childhood... 

I had a ski hat phase and M has a few days of needing to wear her new BB-8 hat around with the tag on (of course). Crazy the things that flow through your DNA and the crazy things we pass onto our kids!


E documenting A's every move... 

She was freaking out as in - hurry up we have to get a pic of A standing by himself (even though he's kind of been doing it for awhile now). He can take a few steps on his own earning him the rank of earliest walker at 15 months but he doesn't seem terribly motivated to do anything more than a few steps occasionally sooooo.... walker but for all intensive purposes, not-walker. 


E had a swim meet this weekend and my phone has just about zero space for pics plus I never get a good pic in that pool so...

Here is how you survive your big sister's swim meet... Lots of snack and a little distraction from Jibbe - who actually had the crew camp out at her house Sunday during that part of the meet. We hit Saturday evening Mass and I had high hopes for R to behave like she needed to (trying not to compare with E at almost 5 but having a really hard time). R made it to the Gospel and then was back in the narthex with me and A who was a WRECK. Like we had to stand outside the church because he was screaming SO LOUD. Maybe he needs an extra exorcism or something because the child is not a fan of being at church (both of the ones we go to). 


A is basically like this all the time when I'm around... 

He's usually okay in the tub and thought it was funny when I had the goggles on but when the tables were turned it was not so funny. I promise I love him but he is not the most pleasant baby to be around for reasons that I will never understand. Lee will vouch that  he does great if I am not home but if I am its a totally different ballgame. 


Lee's new name for M is 'M is the ascetic'...

Some nights she readily eats dinner and other nights she looks at what we are having and announces she's not eating it or she's not hungry and goes and puts on her pajamas... Its no wonder that some mornings she's up well before 6 but who's up for arguing over food with a 3 yr old? 


R had wacky Wednesday brought to you by the letter W... 

She wasn't so sure about it and didn't want to wear her dress backwards or do anything more to her hair so this is what we got. 

I might have had to throw her socks and shoes and coat out the door because she was little unnerved about wearing 4 different footwear items.


R, M and A and I were walking the track during E's swim practice... 

And an older lady said as we scooted by her, "you are a good woman" and I have been thinking about that. Though I smiled and said thank you, I couldn't help but think about Jesus asking - "Why do you call me good?". Why was this woman calling me good? Because I was walking around the track with my three small children? There's nothing inherently good about that. I mean would she have said that if she knew I had to halfway argue my 6 yr old into swim practice which put us up on the track to kill some time? Would she have said that if she saw us loading up 40 minutes later and me shouting so the people halfway across the parking lot could hear me - SIT DOWN AND BUCKLE UP? Because there was a couple who witnessed that moment of greatness. 

I've just had an increased awareness and subsequent pondering of people's reaction/interaction/thoughts about our family as it grows. As we get lumped into the 'y'all must be busy' and 'you have how many kids' mold people form opinions of large families base on what they see. There's assumptions that we are crazy (I stand by that), there's assumptions that we have it all together (I really don't, I just have an excellent game face), there's assumptions that we are 'good' (I fall short daily). I just wonder the different opinions those two sets of people had based on my actions - walking around a track and yelling at my kids. Makes me think twice about how my actions are effect others ideas/opinions whether I like it or not.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Living La Vida Sno-ca

Last week the weather (folks) were talking about snow, snow snow. Possibly to the tune of 6-9 inches. Well boundaries and sleet lines were all over the place and we ended up with ice and snow but we were snowed in from Saturday to Tuesday... I didn't hear a final snow total but I would guess to the tune of 2ish inches on top of ice. 

A was the last to get dressed and he almost seemed to know he was getting left out of the fun!

Hurry up mama!

The ice has switched to snow when we ventured out after lunch on Saturday (the snow eventually covered up the grass)

Trying to recreate a pic from ages ago with a phone camera

A was super impressed!

First sled ride! He thought it was great!

M was not as impressed and her fingers were FREEZING because someone forgot there were only 2 pairs of waterproof ski gloves (that has since been remedied) 

I found 2 pairs of snow boots at a consignment shop at the end of last season and they were an excellent buy and the girls had warm, dry feet!

Obligatory friend pic... I promise they are friends : ) 

R had a big time and wasn't a huge sledding fan

I had on three layers plus a baby bump and I was still FREEZING! 

We rode together down the hill on a sled I got for Christmas ages ago!

Lee wasn't going to make snow cream but who knows if we'll see snow again this year!

It was a little on the icy side but still a hit

Then there's all the behind the scenes work of snow days that you don't experience as a kid...

everything has to be taken from the icy, cold pile in the garage and warmed and dried and made ready for the next day of play

I wo-manned the laundry and Lee manned the kitchen. He cooked a pot of chili on Saturday and a bunch of spaghetti sauce the next. 

Me and M on day #2

See they are friends!

The hill from Saturday was already patchy from the sun so the sledding crowd changed locations

M was content with just lounging in the snow and ice

Papa also made oatmeal and oatmeal raisin cookies for everyone to go with hot chocolate... which was awesome! 

There was a third day of snowness but the sledding was far from good and I was on day 3 of undiagnosed strep throat so my level of wanting to be outside was pretty low. 

We only suited up the kids once each day. If you are out you are out, if you are in you are in. No potty breaks, snack breaks or anything. If you are cold go inside. The first day I made 3 trips back and forth from the neighbors taking cold little girls home (E snuck into the neighbors house so she lasted way longer than the others on the first day). A didn't go out day 2 or 3. M stayed out way longer than I would have expected on day 2 and appreciated the 2nd pair of cotton gloves I had for her on day three. 

Overall, A+ snow experience. Next time I could go for more snow but only if it is 75 degrees 5 days later - like it was this time!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

7QTs - Strep Throat, Cozy Coupes, Hills Climbed

Linking up with Kelly  because I have been meaning to blog all week!


Umbrellas inside? 

More like outfit accessorizing... but seriously M's attachment to her umbrella reminds me so much of E's need to bring hers everywhere when she was 3. R likes having her's too but M freaks if she sees a droplet of rain and doesn't have it. 


A scored a bunch of toys with wheels for Christmas... 

I mean we probably didn't NEED another Cozy Coup but I'll catch E riding around in the one she got for her birthday so many years ago I figured A might like to have first dibs on his own. We are keeping it inside until the spring then it will live outside but for now and enjoys his set of indoor wheels. 


After Christmas break someone had a seriously battitude EVERY SINGLE MORNING. Whining. Being slow. Generally unhappy with the world. So one morning, everyone else was ready to go and someone was still packing their bag and complaining about her book bag being too small so I said see you later and pulled out of the driveway. Then when she emerged from the garage, I closed the door and slowly headed to our stop sign (no terribly out of the ordinary... I have done this a few times in the afternoon if we are running on the later side for swimming - usually she catches me at the mailbox). Well on this day she was going snails pace. So I got to the stop sign and still walking... Not running or making an effort so I started (not as slowly) up the hill

That's when I finally got a running reaction and I think it set in with her I could leave and she would be left without Papa at home or another option to school. So I slowed down and she started walking again. 

Two can play the game girl. 

So I sped up and she started running and there may have been some frantic tears and she caught up about halfway up the hill. 

Lesson learned. DON'T MESS WITH MAMA. 

Although I think there were some other attitude/schedule adjustments going on that week, she's been in the van (last) for an on time since. 


Speaking of on time departures... 

This is what you get the next morning when you go to Theophany Vesperal Liturgy at 6 pm on a school night at your church one hour away. After the Great Blessing of Water, I think it was nearing 8:45. A was a miserable WRECK for the greater part of church. I was so so so done. Then it was time to eat dinner? Yes. Lee didn't want to get the salad out that he made so I did and then there ended up being none left - #trustthewife. There were homemade chocolate cupcakes that made everything just a little more manageable. 

I don't think we rolled in the house until about 10:30 that night so I knew the next morning was going to be kind of a joke. We were only 15 minutes late dropping E off - and then I picked her up right after I collected the preschool peeps because A. she was tired, B. there was a funk going around a few kids in the class, C. it was going to snow later, D. I didn't want to the snowed in with kids who had the funk. I was actually kind of proud of myself for doing that because I NEVER EVER do early pick up just for the heck of it but maybe I'm softening up a little bit. 


Speaking of the freaking funk.... 

These two went to the doctor a week before Christmas. Got on a prescription and then about a week after Christmas have had constant runny (I made the mistake of using snotty in from of M and now she goes around announcing - I have a snotty nose! Still trying to correct that!) noses for 2 weeks. So after our snow - more on that later, I took them to the first doctor appointment the pediatrician had in 1.5 days. They opened at noon and we were there sans appointment at 12:02. 

We are the first seen and as I guessed there is nothing wrong; treat with Claritin and move on. I have one burning non-peds question for their pediatrician.... 

"My throat hurts. I don't have a primary care doctor. I don't trust the urgent care people. I cannot go to the walk-in clinic (that the trustworthy practice in the area runs) because I'm pregnant. What is your recommendation?" 

One rapid strep test and eleven minutes later and... I have a strep throat diagnosis. Seriously? I mean hats off to the doctor because he didn't have to do that. He did me a HUGE HUGE HUGE favor - that I will not forget. But it totally explained why it hurt to eat for the past day or so. After a not so quick call to my OB and explained I had a positive strep test and I needed an Rx ASAP because I was DYING... I got one. 

This is how bad I felt though. I went to Cook out to get a milkshake because I seriously couldn't eat. The line was a mile long. Head to Chik Fil A... the haven of pregnant women... I didn't even want any food and I hadn't eaten all day. Not even Chik Fil A sauce. Needless to say one dose of penicillin later and I felt like I didn't have 20 horns growing out of my head. Strep is going down as on the same level as bad as the sinus infection from a few years ago. Although, I didn't think I was actually going to die with strep. 


This guy is 15 months old now...

He's still super clingy to me. He'll take a few steps on his own but is generally not interested in walking. He is a picky eater but loves bananas, blueberries and pumpkin muffins. He says Mama occasionally but doesn't really know what he is saying. He loves pointing to the Christmas tree. He likes watching the ardillas and birds at the back porch. 


The bookworm...

after swim practice on the 5 minute ride to Jibbe's.. The car reading lights now have come along way for sure. She sure loves her Rainbow Fairy books. 

I have a mountain of things going on right now. Work trips - yes potentially multiple if I can get my act together. E's schools biggest fundraiser - if you need another 2016 tax write off let me know... I know a small Catholic school : ). Also, I had this brilliant idea for a class auction time for the school dinner dance but it was an idea without a vision. Yesterday I was kind of freaking out about it so I called in my best reinforcement and I'm feeling so much better (thank you, you know who you are if you read this!) Now, to actually get it done. And if it does get done then I might tell you about it but for now there is still a bunch of work to be done!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Thoughts on our Fall Activities

I meant to write this post a million days ago but you know... life, kids, bebe #5...

Ready. Set. Run!

Three kids. Three different fall activities. Here's how we got there:

August rolled around and it was time to pick fall activities. R wanted to do swimming - a carry over from the summer. Well unfortunately for her she still was not at the point of swimming the length of the pool by herself which meant it would be swim lessons for her instead of swim team. Definitely on the more expensive side (not as much as dance) so I pulled a veto on that (though she and M are/will do swim lessons this winter). R wanted nothing to do with soccer : ( (for me) so tee ball it was.

Since R didn't want to do soccer, I asked M if she wanted to and got a resounding YES. Even though she wasn't quite 3 they bend the rules a little if you volunteer to coach! Three yr old soccer is super easy compared to the older ages because games and practices are on the same night and practice is pretty much limited to 20-25 minutes courtesy of a 3 yr olds attention span!

Well E took over where R left off with swimming. E was torn between soccer and swimming and ultimately wanted to do swimming - which Lee and I wouldn't commit to without some serious thought. There was much more at stake for us because it would require a lot more money each month and with that we believe going to practice only once a week was crazy so she really needed to go at least twice (if not 3 times) a week to get our monies worth. Plus it was a 9 month long commitment versus a 2.5-3 month long commitment.

Thank you windows for creating impossible picture taking... (I spy a KibbeMobile) 

Are we crazy for letting our kids go in a three million different directions?

Maybe. But we really found a great rhythm for our family during the fall months that required us parents to be more disciplined about family dinners and being prepared for them and it required some give and take on the kids part - which is a good lifeskill to learn.

E has dinner at one of R's tee ball games (after her swim practice)... I have no idea the circumstances past that but let's be flexible people!

The littles were troopers with swim season... This was at a Friday night fun meet and they waited for Papa to get home from work to take them home for pizza and bed. E and I have had some excellent conversations about sacrificing our time and not whining about it. 

How did the scheduled shake out?

Batter up!

5:00 - Eat dinner
6:00 - M's soccer practice/games
6:35 - Papa leaves soccer to lead his Bible Study
6:50 - Me and kids roll in and girls let me get A down and then the regular bedtime stuff with a story or two

4:00 - Get E and Papa's dinner ready
4:30 - E swim practice
5:00 - Me and R and M and A eat dinner
5:45 - E and Papa eat dinner after swim
6:00 - R tee ball game - with the little peeps - this was the most dicey for me but doable
6:30 - American Heritage Girls - this was a nice convenient set up and was the only night we didn't have family dinner

4:30 - E swim practice - sometimes everyone would go and we'd trek to the playground for 45 min
5:55 - Roll in and eat dinner promptly
6:30 - R tee ball practice

NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

4:30 - E swim practice - IF SHE WANTED TO. We'd hit the playground if everyone went

E has a swim meet about every month - which are completely optional. We went to the ones locally and Lee took her to a few that were about 1.5 hours away just because she wanted to and we are still feeling out what swimming is all about.

Silly girl!


R reflecting my inner thoughts some nights!

Swimming - I love the practice time for swimming and the flexibility of being able to go to practice whenever we can make it. There is practice at 4:30 every day so we go when we can but we always know it is available. Also, I've been able to go swimming when Lee says home with the others - this is great because the high school teams have taken over the pool in the morning - not really but who wants to share a lane? : ) The biggest downside of swimming is that it is so far away - okay only about 12 minutes but traipsing in and out with a small pack of children requires extra time and parking and actually walking in. Swimming requires us to leave at least 20 minutes before practice - which doesn't always happen. Also I like 4:30 because it gets us home to eat dinner by 6 HOWEVER it gives E less than an hour once she is home from school to decompress and eat snack and do homework. Some afternoons she'd rather stay home and play outside and I really try and respect that and realize she is 6 and she needs to play. She likes going to the meets and isn't afraid to do some over the harder races - she loves 100 IM but the poor child gets DQed every time BUT she likes it so whatever.

Tee ball - Somehow I got voted into helping coach at a practice I didn't go to?!?!?! I guess that's what you get when you know the head coach : ) Actually that didn't require too much so it wasn't bad. R seemed to enjoy tee ball even though she had never played before. She's a lefty but I might be a little convinced she should hit righty so that was confusing. I did find the store's only pink lefty glove the day before practice so that was a win. She wasn't terribly interested in practicing throwing and hitting at home - which is pretty typical for her. I think R learned a lot and played with a lot of dirt and enjoyed herself so I think it will be tee ball again in the spring. Tee ball worked well for us because it was 4 minutes from the house (just like soccer) so getting to practice was very very doable. I think tee ball is tough for 3-6 yr olds because there isn't always a lot of action that involved everyone at the same time. The one ball is being hit by the one batter and the ball goes near one - maybe two kids. That's the nature of the game so that's not changing. I stood in the outfield many innings talking to the kids about the ball that was about to be hit and the dirt and paint on the ground and the color of the bat the batter was using. It was fun/ny. In terms of logistics with the kids and the games it was doable somehow... There was one game that A hung out with me for an inning or two and M was usually a good sport about sitting on the bench or with other parent.

Soccer - 3 yr old soccer is just funny to watch. Half the time the kids are not into it; there is usually at least one kid crying either on the field or on the side line - that's just the nature of it. Soccer was easy. M seemed to catch on pretty quick. There was the usual not wanting to share and not wanting to participate but that is pretty normal for all the kids at some point. She did score a goal - or two actually. She got the biggest cheer when she did. It was awesome and she managed to accomplish something that eluded E for 3 seasons and continues to elude R. She was definitely the smallest one out there so she's got time. She keeps on asking if its 'soccer time' so she's ready for the spring. In terms of coaching and handling the other kids, it wasn't terrible. It required water for everyone which I learned after the first or second week AND telling them where it was. The playground wasn't too far away but I wasn't crazy about E and R going there by themselves - mostly for R's sake. Papa was stuck with A and A is a crazy so... it was rough for him. But it's 3 yr old soccer so if you have a baby attached to your hip there's nothing too out of the ordinary.

We will see what the spring holds for our crazy crew!

That's a wrap... Until the next time!