Wednesday, March 12, 2014

wacky wednesday

When Sawyer was sick last week, what he was most upset about -more than throwing up 9 times in 8 hours, more than not sleeping all night and feeling craptastic with a fever, and more than the idea of putting a dent in his perfect attendance this school year...
was the realization he would miss the highly anticipated Wacky Wednesday at school.
[I've learned over the years there are some do or die days at school these days... my kids will FALL APART if attending these school days are threatened: D.E.A.R days (read-ins), pajama days, or Wacky Wednesdays.]
Turns out some icy patches on the roads in the northernmost corners of our county saved the day for Sawyer.  School was unexpectedly called off. Again. And when school was called for so many days and that coincided with our school's planned Literacy/Read Across America Week with five days of special events planned, the school decided to reschedule them. So the kids got to go ahead with their "A Good Book Will Knock Your Socks Off" (crazy sock) day and their "Hats Off To A Good Book" day (wearing a favorite hat) that they missed... and the ever anticipated Wacky Wednesday.
There was much rejoicing in our house. By a certain eight-year-old at least.

And so I present to you,
Wacky Wednesday!!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

sunny weekend

perfect weather for some baseball...

perfect weather for a walk in the park...

perfect weather for some spring cleaning in the yard...
Love it!!

Friday, March 7, 2014

thank. God. it's. friday.

This has been the type of week you call A Wash.

It's finally Friday.
It happens to also finally the first day of the week that we are back to "normal".
The first day the big kids are both at school this week and the first day Ryan is at work.
Here's how the week unfolded...

Monday: snow day (freezing rain day), kids home, Ryan home, appointment at Vanderbilt rescheduled due to weather, started out the day relaxing together enjoying a rare whole family snow day off. But by the time we had lunch, I wasn't feeling too hot. And by the time Ryan returned from a late afternoon run to the grocery store, I headed upstairs to bed. With a bowl. And proceeded to be sick all night. Ryan took the baby and slept in the guest room.

Tuesday: snow day #2 (but no snow or ice to be seen anywhere around us), kids home, Ryan stayed home to take care of sick ol' me and all the kids, plus take the baby to his rescheduled specialist appointment. I was feeling better by dinnertime. Took a nice shower and got into a freshly washed bed for bedtime... Ryan didn't trust it yet though so he and the baby still slept in the guest room.
i slept blissfully for all of two hours... and then Sawyer came in to me at about midnight with the dreaded news; he had thrown up. And continued to do so every hour after that until after sunrise. He and I (again) didn't get much sleep that night. And so much for my fresh, sick free bed.

Wednesday: snow day #3 (with not a trace of wintery issues to be found)(and was in fact supposed to be 50 degrees that day). Sawyer was happy to not have to ruin his perfect attendance. Ryan got up for work, but ended up in bed with Sawyer unsure of his stomach as well... and ended up in the bathroom before midday.We played musical beds and I took over the guest room that night while the two sickies camped out in my room. I feel like was only half asleep all night expecting SJ to join the stomach bug club at any moment.

Thursday: finally school is back on! Savannah was eager to get out of the sick house. Unfortunately Sawyer had spiked a fever with his bug until late the night before so he was out of the running for the school day. He was disappointed because he really felt pretty fine in the morning with his fever gone. Both boys stayed home to recooperate.  And watch a Star Wars marathon.

Friday: thank God. School is on, Savannah (and the babies) seems to have made it thru our sick days unscathed, Sawyer was eager to get back to class, Ryan headed to work for a one day work week and I'm finally here with a semi-quiet, thoroughly lysol-ed, freshly laundered house.

So the sun is out and it's supposed to be a beautiful (warm!) weekend so I'm happy.
I'm thankful for the smallest of breaks today and for everyone getting back to their normal. And I'm thankful it is Friday and we can have a great weekend... and just pretend this longest week ever just didn't even exist! ;)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

and there was much rejoicing!

Our littlest buddy, the itty bitty babe we have with us, at three and a half months old,
slept thru the night last night!!!!!!!
Now, he's actually been "sleeping thru the night" in infant terms (ie, 7-8 hrs straight) for quite a few weeks.  Problem is, he very much likes the early to bed mantra.  He wants that "last" bottle at about 7 o'clock -8 if we're lucky- and then he'll sleep a good seven hours.  Problem is, 7 hours from then is 3 or 4 in the morning.  Oh we've tried waking him up before we go to bed and feeding him again.  We've tried the dream feed. He just will not wake up and if he does, he will. not. eat. He just wants to sleep. So we've been stuck at this 7pm to 3/4am schedule.
Until this morning.
Ryan's alarm goes off at 6:30am.
"Did Sonny wake up last night?"
"I didn't get up with him, did you??"

Maybe he was happy to be back in his own bed??
(he'd been in the pack 'n play in our room while Coen was visiting us for the past five days)
Maybe he's just relieved to finally have his surgery scheduled.
(large inguinal hernia... to be repaired Feb 5th)

Whatever it was, I'll take it!!
When you have [newborn]baby after [newborn] baby like we randomly have, a sleeping thru the night milestone is a big one!!!

Hard to believe this bitty has been with us for three months already...
He's smiling more and finally seems happier and I think we're moving past the "rough start" he's had.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

a new year

I'm not even sure what to say.
I knew it had been awhile, but jeez...

When I finally logged in and dusted off the old blog and saw the date I actually last posted... ouch.

I mean, I've had little lapses before, but four months??!?
Never in the eight years I've been babbling here blogging has that happened.
I don't even know what to say. Not even sure I know how to jump back in. It must be kinda like riding a bike, eh?

What a crazy four months it has been.
But I'm just going to jump into January and pretend like that little leave of absence never happened and back fill things in as I go.

And so, New Years!
Our only out of town-ers to ring in the New Year with us were the Laughlins.  They came and stayed a couple of nights before and we had a great time hanging with them. We all ate lots and played lots and laughed lots and our two kids made it to midnight (which 3/4 of the adults did not!) on New Years Eve.

And then of course our New Years Day Dinner.  Eighth Annual, fyi. :)
[Here are 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 and 2007 if you like trips down memory lane like me!]

It was a bit of a smaller affair this year; The Harkins again, The Laughlins, one half of the Wrights again and us, which made 7 adults and 8 kids. We had a full afternoon with a colorful table, a symbolic menu, fun fortune cookies, kid decorated toasting cups, breaking and sharing the peppermint pig and wonderful friends...

 L-R grown-ups: Mike, Ryan, Me, Mindy, Kevin, Kelly and Kasey
L-R kids: Evan (4.5), Wesley (2.5), Baby C, Kyle (8.5), Sawyer (8), Savannah (10.5), Alex (2.5) and Micah (4.5)

Always the best way to start off the New Year!

Monday, September 9, 2013

weekend end

Monday is here too quickly. As usual.
Let's see... what made up our weekend?
Neighbors over Friday night for a couple of drinks and pool table action,
a Saturday morning soccer game (first of the season!),
one sick kiddo with the throw ups for a bit, meaning cancelled plans for a music festival I was looking forward to, which also meant a no-go on plan B; the State Fair, but also meant a loungeful Saturday afternoon of movies and slushes and snacks,
a Sunday morning at church with an extra kiddo hanging out (watching a friend's daughter for the day),
a Sonic lunch,
a spend a good few hours at the pool 'cuz it's the last day of the season kind of afternoon (complete with a faceplant on the bottom of the pool by a certain 7-year-old boy)(yes Sawyer, there's a reason we say no diving in a depth of five feet!),
followed by some more take-it-easy movie time that evening winding down the weekend.
It was a full, relaxing weekend.

Soccer was super fun to watch.  Sawyer was crazy excited to play... he must have asked me a half dozen times before 10am (game time) "are you so excited to get this game going mom?!"
First loss of the season as well, but they all had a blast and Sawyer is even more excited for the next practices and games.  I think this is when sports get so fun... when they actually mature enough to look forward to practices and games as the actual learning and experience and you know, practice, for what they are... that they get it and embrace it.  And become better players.  Love it!

And it was the last weekend our pool was open.  Boo.  We spent a good few hours down there though with friends on Sunday, so all is well.  Minus Sawyer's faceplant on the pool floor.  Last week Ryan had been doing tricks with the kids, having them jump and dive through our big tubes... he'd hold them up angled or perpendicular to the water and the kids would attempt to dive through from the edge.  Or they'd make a stack of tubes and jump in pencil dive style and try not to disturb the pile.  Well, Sawyer was attempting these on his own while we were absentmindedly talking with our friends... which was fine, they always make up all sorts of crazy jumps on their own.  But we didn't notice that apparently he had forgotten the fact that the only time he was supposed to be diving -head first- into the tubes was when someone was holding it upright.  Not when it was floating flat on the water.  So apparently he tried that.  And succeeded.  And met the bottom of the pool with his nose.  Ouch.
Saddest thing is, we never even noticed it happened.  We did notice that he had gotten his towel and was just lounging on a chair in the sun next to an older buddy who was taking a break and reading.  And then we noticed he initiated a game of pool baseball... outside the pool, with a squoosh ball and pool noodle.  And then he moved to another chair and was just laying down relaxing again.  Ignoring our numerous encouragements to get back in the water. He finally came over to our spot for a drink and that's when we noticed his nose was scraped up and slightly bruised.  And he was definitely not his usual rambunctious pool self.  Sawyer takes a lot of licks and keeps on ticking, so you know it's a big deal when he decides for himself to take it easy. Poor guy.  I felt really bad. :(

It was a perfect day at the pool though. And Coen at least, as usual, was all smiles. :)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

the see was sawed

Savannah somehow, some time ago, got a hankering for some teeter-tottering in her head and has not stopped mentioning it almost daily for weeks. Months?  Seriously... "can we go to a park with see-saws?","do you know where a park is with see-saws?","is there a park near the soccer field with see-saws?","can we get a see-saw for our backyard?", with every mention (or not) of anything outdoors.

After admitting (for the hundredth time) that I don't know of any see-saw/teeter-totters around --my kids call them see-saws while I call them teeter-totters... potayto, potahto anyone??-- but I showed her this plan and told her to start bugging her dad about it...
She and Sawyer agreed to pay for the supplies and help with the project.
This was last Friday. Of what happened to have coincidentally been "Labor" day weekend. By Sunday it was on.

It was a family affair in the garage.  Mostly the baby just watched, and SJ helped him out with a little ear protection when the saw was on, but the rest of us all got our hands in it at some point.

A (few) trip(s) to Lowe's, about $30 and just a few hours later and ta-da...

They're already discussing plans to break the world record a la Bobby and Cindy Brady.

Friday, August 30, 2013


School lunches.
I hate 'em.
Don't get me wrong, the school's are definitely trying to make school lunch more healthy for children, but the problem is, I know that my kids won't eat much of what they serve for those lunches. 
Turnip greens? Black bean salad? Baked (soggy, I'm sure) tilapia on a whole grain bun? Orange Chicken w/ whole grain vegetable rice? I'll give them credit, but this is stuff my kids would hardly touch at home with prompting (and bribing) from me.  Left to their own accord... looking at that food that's been sitting in a school cafeteria kitchen all day and surrounded by friends who are enough of a distraction from eating even an appealing lunch, and I'm not sure much of that food gets eaten. What good is a cafeteria full of healthy(ish) options if no one actually consumes anything but the lowfat chocolate milk? Let's stick with kid friendlier food and make it real, good tasting food, okay?

Needless to say, my kids, hands down, day after day, choose to bring their lunch to school.
(Except Mondays... sometimes Sawyer chooses to buy Mondays because it's of course Cheesy Flatbread Pizza)
In fact they resist school lunches so much (seriously, sometimes I just want a break from lunches! can't you just eat cafeteria food for one day?!), it has become their "punishment" for not emptying their lunchbox from the day before.  If they leave their day's lunch in their backpacks and I don't have an empty lunchbox on my kitchen counter when I'm ready to pack a new one, I dole out the money.  And they hate that. ;)

But packing a lunch to send to school every day gets really old for me — figuring out things my kids will eat that will fill them up and give them the good energy they need... things that will survive the trek to school and sitting in a lunch box... and then take peanut butter options out of the equation as well... it's what I hate most about the school year. :(  I feel like I'm constantly trying to come up with things that are healthy, appetizing to a 2nd and 5th grader, good hot, cold or room temp, and are easy to make and eat??? Lunch -even at home- has never been my forte.

So these have kind of been my go-to's so far this year:
whole grain waffles w/peanut butter or nutella, hard boiled egg, fruit and yogurt
whole grain mini bagels w/ cream cheese and turkey, sugar snap peas and carrots, fresh fruit
spinach salad w/ ham bits, mandarin oranges and raspberries, carrots, cheezits
pizza quesadillas, cucumber slices, applesauce, pirates booty
pepperoni stick, cheese stick, fig newtons, yogurt, carrots
muffins (usually carrot/zucchini/berry/bran varieties), deli meat, cottage cheese, fruit

That's it. Pretty much the same old things rotating all year long.
Sawyer won't eat sandwiches.  Or pretty much any vegetable besides carrots. (he'll eat spinach if he has a canned mandarin orange segment to eat with every bite of spinach. weirdo.)  And he doesn't like berries, fresh oranges, peaches or bananas.
Savannah isn't so picky, but you never know what she's "in the mood for". (i.e. what comes back home uneaten that day)

Savannah leaves for school a bit later than Sawyer does this year, so I've decided to see how it goes giving her her own lunch responsibility.  (this may or may not have to do with the fact that she cannot seem to remember to not leave her lunch box in her backpack every. single. night. -and weekend!)(and the tears and stomping that ensue when I try to enforce my "I don't have a lunch-box so I can't pack a lunch, here's your lunch money" rule)(every morning)(seriously.)

So she's started making her own lunch. Supposedly following my "protein + vegetable + fruit + grain" requirement. Which meant today she basically packed the same thing that I packed for Sawyer.
But she did it herself. Because I refused to, when at 7:45am I still hadn't seen her lunchbox return from the day before.  She slathered a couple of mini bagels w/ cream cheese, cut up a nectarine, threw in some snap peas and grabbed a frozen yogurt tube and called it good.

There may be a light at the end of the tunnel of my dreaded lunch-packing days... ;)

Any other great packable lunch ideas for me?? Well, for me and my non-sandwich eating, dip hating, most fruit and veggie boycotting seven year old??

Monday, August 26, 2013

pulling the plug

We're changing things up around here: No tv during the week. Zip, zilch, nada.
Some of you are probably a lot smarter than I am and had this going on from the get-go. I, on the other hand, always foolishly thought,  we've always had a nice balance... no need to get drastic. ;) 

You see, my kids didn't used to watch too much tv. 
But as they've gotten older, it's gotten to be more and more... and now they don't like to watch the same things, so that's more and more time that the tv's on... mostly, I blame it on the all-things-screen obsessed going-on-eight-year-old boy in my house. 
Regardless, however we got here, it's gotten out of hand. Waaay out of hand.

The two biggies right now:
My kids didn't watch Spongebob until lately.  And now suddenly Sawyer is obsessed. OBSESSED.
And Savannah is likewise preoccupied with watching every single Full House episode known to man.
She'll get up at 6:30 in the morning on the weekends to watch the reruns.  And have the DVR record it when she leaves for school.
Meanwhile, Sawyer discovered that he gets a little taste of (his idea of)heaven with the fact that Spongebob is in fact on one certain channel for hours straight every afternoon when he gets home from school, making it so convenient to kick off his shoes, grab a snack and relax after a hard day at school, soaking up all the Sponginess... and losing all track of time in the real world.

Add to those tendencies suddenly fuller schedules and a big handful of things that need to get done each day... and we're in trouble. Sorry, but summer's over kiddos!

Sawyer has a tiny bit of homework (practice work) most every day... that is a huge fight to get him to do.  I'm hoping that snapping him out of his Spongebrain er, Bob coma will help with that. Also, his teacher moved him up to the highest spelling group (he's in the highest reading group, but his spelling is a struggle we've had going on way, way below that) wanting to really push him and see how it goes, so he really needs to spend a good amount of time on his spelling list every day of every week.  Plus, you know, actual reading time each day.  And how about actual childhood playing and oh yeah, eating.  And soccer on Thursdays. And we still enforce enjoy early bedtimes. ;)

But SJ is actually the one who is a little more crammed for schedule.  She gets home an hour later now that she's in middle school, so her home afternoon time doesn't even start until almost 4:30.  That will leave three short hours 'til bedtime (that's reading in bed time for her) to do any homework, spend 30 minutes each day practicing multiplication facts (a stickler for her, so we're spending some real time working on it), practice piano, practice for band, and of course eat dinner, and oh yeah, it'd be nice if she could help clean up and hopefully relax and actually spend some time with her family.  Oh and Mondays are minus an hour to go to actual piano lessons.  Luckily, she doesn't get on the bus until 8 in the morning, so she has a extra little leeway in the a.m. as compared to Sawyer.

Anyway, all that to say... I made the executive decision to unplug the tv during the week. 
[not literally. this is only as far as the kids are concerned. the grown-ups?... are you kidding?  all the new shows are about to start up for the fall!]
I also made up some little magnetic charts for the kids to "plan" their own afternoons each day... handing them the responsibility of looking at their time and fitting things in to get everything done that they need to get done.  They have to slot in time for homework and practice and so on and so forth.  And of course snack time and free time...
...that doesn't include the television. 
I expected that little detail to be met with an uproar... but surprisingly, they agreed to it easily after I showed them how it just wasn't smart to waste time with tv right now... and after I reminded Sawyer especially that it was making it really hard for him to be cooperative with getting his spelling and homework done the best that he could.
Dare I say, they actually agreed with me. And got busy planning their Monday afternoon ahead of time... ;)

So, we had talked (and agreed) about it over the weekend, but I was braced for complaints this first morning as well. (tv has almost always been on first thing in the morning around here... kind of some brainless wake up time for me the kids)
But complaints never surfaced.

So it makes this choice a lot easier.  So far. ;)
Check back in with me when I have a fussy baby, I'm trying to get breakfast made, lunches packed, dinner ready, I have the two bigger kids at each others' throats, Ryan's working late, and I'm ready for the day to have been over at 4pm.

How about your house?  Do you have to regulate tv during the week vs the weekends? Are your seven-year-olds kids as obsessed as mine with screen time?? What works for you?

Friday, August 23, 2013

hello friday

Well, hello Friday.  Here so soon?
Actually I was wondering if you'd ever get here.
I am beginning to wonder if that's how my weeks are going to be from here on out... a crazy mix of "the days are long but the years are short" mindset.  Every single day I can't believe it's only Monday, only Tuesday, only Wednesday, not yet Friday and then all of a sudden the week is done and I don't know what happened with time's fly-by.

But it is Friday.
Hello middle school skate night. (a bit scary!)
Hello no-plans-weekend. (minus soccer practice.)
Hello to some real August weather. (finally!)
Hello to entertaining the idea of repainting a bedroom.
Hello to probably not really doing it. ;)
Hello new favorite song my husband introduced to me... which makes it better than just me hearing it myself. ;) It's a cheery little song to have stuck in your head...
"Some days are better than other days, but these days life is better with you"

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