Thursday, May 20, 2010

We've come a long way baby!

I just sent Jacob off to his last day as a kindergardener! I can't believe it! This school year has been SO good for him! He has been a fantastic student. Each week, he brings home a backpack full of worksheets, papers and art from the week. I love to see stars, A+, Wow!, and all the other great things that his teacher marks in bright colors at the top of the pages. He has excelled in every subject. I went with his class to the zoo yesterday and I just loved hearing him and another classmate read each of the signs in front of the animals. A whole new world has opened up for him now that he has that wonderful freedom to read!
I'm really excited for the summer to be here. Hopefully the kids will sleep in, even just a little bit. It doesn't help that the sun is up so darn early here! It's bright and sunny before 7 these days and Abby pops right up, comes in my room and says "Mom! It's daytime!" I usually can get away with a couple extra minutes before I have to wake Jacob by sending her downstairs to play or watch TV. I try and leave the TV on Nick Jr or PBS when we turn it off the night before so all she has to do is turn it on. I have, on occassion, come down in the morning to see her watching some random infomercial. I guess our next lesson should be how to find the kid shows using the remote! :)
Last summer was kind of tough. I was in the first trimester of my pregnancy with Rachel and I pretty much felt like crud all summer long. I was so tired and sick and didn't have the energy to run around with the kids to all sorts of activities. We did do some things and got to the pool a decent number of times but this summer I hope to be a little more energetic and involved in their activities. Sioux Falls has a summer activities guide that they send out each year. There are summer plays, family swim times, family movies in the parks and community center activities I can sign them up for. Hopefully we can do several things each week to keep them entertained and stimulated. Little do they know, I also plan on instituting a chore chart. If they don't get the chores done in the morning, no afternoon activities for them. I think it's going to be the only way to make sure we keep up with the house AND have a fun summer!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

What a day!

First if all, I have no idea how to make the pictures show up anywhere else but right at the top of my posting. I would have preferred these pictures to go at the bottom, and in the opposite order. Any help would be great!

We definitely did not have a quiet Saturday at home today. It's a rare Saturday that Joe doesn't have to work so we took full advantage. This morning I went to a Visiting Teaching/Relief Society Birthday event at the church and got to spend the morning socializing with some great ladies while Joe took Abby to a photo shoot. Yep, my girlie gets to be in a promotional ad for a local photographer! I don't have pictures yet but you better believe I'll get them up when I do!

This afternoon, we headed to the mall to watch the Children's Miracle Network Cake Decorating Challenge. This is the third year it's been held and the second year we've gone. It was so fun to see all the predecorated cakes that were out for judging. I didn't have my camera and didn't think to take pictures with my phone but there were some pretty cute and creative cakes. Norm Davis (who is much shorter in real life that I had ever expected, I think he's MY height!) and Lora Mahaffey, winners of Food Network Challenges, were the guest judges. There is a live, 2 hour cake decorating contest as well where all the decorators create their cakes in front of the audience. Pretty fun to watch! My friend Carrie-The Cake Goddess-has participated all 3 years and this year she took First Place! Her cake was a pumpkin in the process of turning into a carriage! The kids also got to decorate (and eat) their own cupcake. At the end they raffled off all of the 12 cakes from the live contest. We were really hoping our number would get called but alas, no free cake for us. At least our raffle money was going to a good cause!

The hightlight to our day was our evening activity. Carrie, the cake goddess, and her husband have a hot air balloon. Her husband was looking for crew and passengers for a flight this evening. I jumped right on the opportunity! We didn't get to fly this time (got to put in some crew time before we get our chance) but Joe helped get the balloon set up and ready to go, then we jumped in the van to "chase" the balloon so we could help take it down when they flight was done. It was so amazing to get close and take part in getting the balloon all ready to go. The kids had a good time but weren't quite as enthused as Joe and I. When the balloon touched down in a plowed out corn field, the kids and Joe ran through the mud to help pack it up and put it away. Rachel and I watched from the comfort of the car. We had such a good time we told Troy to call us anytime and we'd love to help out again. Eventually, we'll get our turn to hop in the basket and see the earth in a way we've never experienced before. We can't wait!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Pity Party

I try not to complain too much about Joe's schedule. It's not his fault that he often has to work long hours and weekends. But it's really starting to get to me! 4 years of medical school and nearly 2 years into residency I'm pretty much ready to be done.
I like my husband. I really enjoy having him home and just hanging out with him and the family. I don't deal well when he's gone too much. The kids are whinier, I have less patience, the house is more cluttered. Life is just better all around when he's here. And maybe if he had a set schedule, I could adjust better. But he doesn't. Every 4 weeks, he moves to a new rotation, with new doctors and new hours. And even if his schedule is, say, 7-5, most of the time he's not leaving the hospital at 5. Sometimes he's 30 minutes late. Sometimes 2-3 hours late. Some nights I get the kids all excited and let them know daddy is going to be home soon only to get a two word text: "home late." When I read those words I get angry. Like I said, I know it's not his fault but I just can't help it. I'm mad that someone else is stealing more of my precious time with my husband away from me.
Today I'm mad. I got a text from Joe this morning telling me that he had to cover the night shift tonight from 6pm-6am. This ruins the weekend. Well, part of it, at least. He has Friday afternoons off this month, a VERY rare treat. But today, instead of coming home and relaxing with the family, he came home and went right to sleep so he can be awake all night tonight. Tonight, he was supposed to take Jacob to church for a Pinewood Derby activity (not scout related, but just for fun) that he now can't attend. Now I have a sad 6 year old as well. Abby, Rachel and I are supposed to go to a Pampered Chef party and, while I can still go, I now have to take all 3 kids. Fun. NOT! Then, tomorrow morning when he gets home, he'll be exhausted from working all night. So, instead of his usual morning basketball game at the church, he'll be sleeping. He usually takes Abby and Jacob with him to the church and they watch from the stage while he plays. They think it's the coolest thing ever! I love it too because I get a few quiet hours in the morning to sleep in a little and enjoy some time with Rachel. Not tomorrow. :(

Thankfully, I have a few fun things planned for the family tomorrow so the whole weekend won't be a bust!

Friday, April 9, 2010

It's finally spring!

I hope the weather is ready to stay nice! The winter has been really long. I think at one point we had gone over 90 days with temps below 40 degrees. That's one long, cold winter! Add in all the snow and we were so ready for spring to arrive. It's been teasing us for a while now but hopefully it's finally here to stay.

I love the nice weather. As soon as Jacob gets home, he and Abby head outside to play. Abby is old enough this year that I can let her ride her bike along the sidewalk in front of our house without worrying that she'll run into the street. So, the two of them are allowed to ride down the sidewalk and go past our house, two houses each way. They have a nice little pattern where they ride down, turn around in the second driveway and ride the opposite way and do the same. Those kids could ride up and down the sidewalk for hours. I love it because it leaves me with a nice quiet house and I can get some things done without someone following behind me undoing whatever I just did.
Joe got home early today so we all spent some time outside this afternoon. The kids drew a hopscotch on the driveway. Jacob perfected bike riding with no training wheels. Rachel hung out and enjoyed the fresh air and Abby sped along the sidewalk on her princess bike.

He did it! Joe took the training wheels off Jacob's bike today and he's riding like a big kid now! We tried last summer but he just wasn't confident enough. This year, he's more than ready!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

I am not a photographer

As you can clearly see by my terrible picture taking skills! I always say that my kids aren't photogenic because they always seem to look so silly in pictures but I think it's about time I blame the picture taker instead. How does everyone get such cute random snapshots of their kids?

This is my attempt to get a picture of Rachel's smile. She's been so smiley lately but never when I have a camera around. I'm so slack about taking pictures anyway so I never think to even have the camera nearby. I need to work on changing that.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Adventures in bottlefeeding.

Well, that didn't work! I'm exclusively breastfeeding Rachel, which is fine and dandy when I don't mind toting her around with me wherever I go. However, there are some things coming up that I really can't take her to. So, we're trying to introduce a bottle. Well, let's just say that someone isn't too happy about that and it's not me! I had to go up to the church tonight to do activity days for the boys and while I can take Rachel with me, I just don't see anything appropriate about nursing in a room full of 8-11 year old boys. So, I left her home with Joe. I pumped earlier today and had a nice little bottle ready for him to give her while I was gone. I fed her a few times right before I left to make sure she was nice and full and headed off all by myself for, I think, maybe the second time since she's been born! When I walked back in the door just over 2 1/2 hours later, my poor baby was sweaty and red in the face from crying because she was so sad that I was gone. She took the bottle for a little bit but, according to Joe, let all the milk dribble out of her mouth and gagged on the nipple. So, needless to say, it wasn't a success. I guess we try again in a few days. It's kind of a catch 22. I only need her to take a bottle maybe a couple of times a month. But, in order to get her to take a bottle a few times a month, I'm going to have to try and give her a bottle much more often so she'll accept it. :( What to do, what to do?