Tuesday, September 3, 2013

First Day of Kindergarten and 4K

We're going to pretend for a minute that it hasn't been nearly a year since my last post. Ahh... that feels good.

 Today was a big day in our house. As we were going to bed last night, I really felt like it was the last night that we "owned" our kids. From here on out, they are regular old school kids. We are at the mercy of school schedules and regulations. I just can't believe I have kids that are old enough to be in school full-time already! We open enrolled the boys into the Edgerton School District this year. Sean is attending 4K at the Edgerton Children's Center. He goes to the preschool class in the morning, then he's in 4K in the afternoon. It's a 4 day/week program. Ian is attending Kindergarten at Edgerton Commmunity Elementary School. Our morning are even more hectic than they already were, and much earlier as well. We have to be out the door by 6:55am. First we drop Emmett off at the farm, then we drive into town and drop Ian off at the elementary school. Luckily the teachers stand at the door and usher the Kindergartners into the small gym where they get breakfast and line up for class. Then we head over to ECC where I drop off Sean. Then back track 45 minutes to work for me.

 I took the day off work today so I could be with them on their first days. First we dropped Emmett and Sean off at the farm (Sean was skipping morning preschool today) and took a few pictures of Ian. He was FREEZING which is ironic, because it's been so hot here the last couple weeks. I actually had to search high and low to find a short sleeve shirt that I liked for his first day since all of the stores are already selling fall/winter.

Then we headed off to school. While we were driving, I asked him if he was nervous about anything and he said he was nervous about taking the bus home. I assured him that I'd be there waiting for him today, and Lolo or Lola would be there every day. That seemed to calm his nerves. Parents of kindergartners can come in and drop the kids off in their classrooms on the first day, so we found a parking spot and went in. After last year's screaming fit at his first day of 4K, I was at least expecting a few tears. Not so much! Ian unpacked his backpack, found his name on the table, gave me a hug and a kiss and sat down and started coloring. I was so proud of him! 

Then I headed back to the farm to have breakfast with Sean and Emmett. We got Sean into his school clothes and I took him outside for pictures. He was a total ham as usual.

 Last year before Ian's first day of 4K, I took him out to lunch at Perkins so I had to continue the tradition with Sean and we went to Ray's Restaurant in Edgerton. He chose chicken strips with fries and white milk. I love having one-on-one time with each of the kids because they are just little characters and it really shines through. They talk to much and don't have to worry about getting your attention. After lunch we headed to school. I was pretty certain that Sean would cry. He woke up this morning and was already getting worked up about school. Once we got in, we hung up his bag and Ms. Cathe invited him into the classroom. He started to get upset so I went in with him. More kids were arriving so they all sat down on the carpet and Ms. Kim, his teacher, got the kids singing songs. I was able to leave after a few songs without any issues!

I went home and worked for a couple hours, then headed back to pick Sean up and raced back to the farm to catch Ian coming off the bus. The bus pulled up and the bus drive opened the doors. As soon as Hobbes (Raymond's black lab) saw this, he ran and jumped on the bus! I followed after him and Hobbes just made himself at home in the back of the bus. All the kids were petting him and loved it! I initially panicked because I didn't see Ian, then I saw him sound asleep in the second seat of the bus! I woke him up, called Hobbes, and we made the long trek down the driveway.

This is when we discovered Ian's only "bad" thing about his day. Apparently Charles forgot to pack a spoon for his applesauce. He asked his teacher for one, but she didn't make it back in time before lunch ended so he put the opened applesauce container back in his lunch bag, which of course spilled everywhere and leaked into his backpack. He was not happy with Charles over this! If this is the worst that could happen though, I'm considering the day a success! Below are a few more pictures I got of the boys after school.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Labor Day Weekend

It would only be appropriate that this year it would be 90 degrees+ on a weekend when we are normally in jeans and long sleeve shirts. But it was the boys' favorite holiday of the year (yes, even more than Christmas perhaps), so we spent a full day of our Labor Day weekend at the Rock River Thresheree.

Ian and Sean save up all their money for the entire year for this weekend. They earn their money by helping Grandma when she comes (she always gives them quarters), filling up their jars with warm fuzzies for good behavior, or digging through mom and dad's pockets. I also tend to put coins in their banks when I find them in Charles' pockets while doing laundry. The day before the Thresheree, I took them to the bank to cash their coins in. They were so excited to see who had saved more! They were very close (perhaps it was set-up a bit by mom?), and came in at just about $35 each. They picked up a little more when a man in line at the bank saw how long they had been saving their money and he gave them each $2.

Of course as soon as we arrived, the boys wanted to start looking at all the different toy tractors so they could decide which they wanted to get. They have both pretty much set their hearts on getting a tractor and some sort of implement. If you've ever bought toy tractors, you know these things are not cheap. Charles and I were pretty clear to them that while we would help them figure out what they could and could not afford, we were not going to give them money for any toys. We said we would pay for their train tickets (which ends up being a moot point as you read on) and their lunch, but any extras were on them today! After much debate, they found a box set of 2 Farmall tractors (a brand they do not have yet) that allowed them to split the cost and still have enough for Ian to get a plow and Sean a gravity box. Good gracious, that is just too much for this city mom to handle!

This year, Jim was the Treasurer of the Thresheree and it turns out when you are the child/grandchild of the treasurer, you get to each your lunch in an air conditioned building! This was a relief and blessing since it's difficult enough to try to manage a lunch in a festival-like setting with 3 little ones. After lunch, we walked around the grounds and took in all the usual attractions. A new one for the boys this year was the corn box (which I've only ever seen at the County Fair before), and the pedal tractor races. I personally enjoyed the corn box because it was shady and the corn felt nice and cool on the hot day! If you haven't sat with your bare feet in a corn box, you haven't lived.

Following a break from the sun in the corn box, Ian and Sean rode in what can only be explained as "oil barrels painted for different tractor brands and pulled in a train like formation behind a tractor." This is Ian's 3rd year riding them, Sean's 2nd. Last year we had to chase the train o' barrels down when Sean started crying during the ride. This year was all smiles! The guy who puts this on is just awesome. He doesn't charge anything and does these rides all day. It's not sponsored at all by the Thresheree, it's just his own tractor he brought to show that pulls the train.

 Finally it was time for one of the boys' favorite activities  the steam train! I can still remember the first time I rode the train at the Thresheree. I was pregnant with Ian and still confused about what this whole Thresheree event was even about (although sometimes I'm still unsure...) If you don't know how steam trains work, because I didn't, they are powered by coal. Dirty coal that spatters you when you sit in the train cars behind the engine. I am quite sure that my one 10 minute trip on this train each year will shorten by life by at least 5 years. Anyhow, I have come to realize that kids get dirty and I must just deal with this part of the day that brings them so much joy. When we were eating lunch with Jim earlier, he had mentioned to Charles that he had talked to the train conductor and asked him if his grandsons could ride up front. Cool, I thought! The boys will LOVE that! Well wouldn't you guess they were just thrilled to ride up front... IN THE COAL CAR. Yes, my children (well, 2 of them) sat in the coal box with my husband for the train ride. You bet they had a blast, but man were they ever dirty.  They had a THOROUGH wash down after this event and I declared that to be a once in a lifetime event, aka not happening again next year.

It wasn't long after the train ride that it was about time to go home. We caught a few more little things here and there, but then worked our way to the exit and caught the next tractor to the giant parking lot in the farm field. If you are in the Rock County area and have kids that are interested in tractors, I cannot suggest this event enough. Just walking around and looking at all the different tractor models is entertainment enough for my boys, but there is so much more to do!

Are you wondering where Emmett was through all of this? He was there just being his sweet old self. Sleeping. Waving. Sweating.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Ian's 1st day of school!

Yesterday my oldest baby, Ian, had his very first day of school! I had been preparing him for several weeks, letting him know that soon he'd be starting school and he'd be going there almost every day. He didn't seem the tiniest bit phased by it. We took Sean and Emmett to the farm and I took pictures of him there (see below). Then I let him pick out where he wanted to eat for lunch (he chose Perkins), and we headed to school. He's in the afternoon class which starts at 12:15.

As soon as we got out of the car, I could tell he was nervous. As we entered the building, he started squeezing my hand tighter. Finally, as I sat down at one of the tiny tables to fill out a few papers, he was full on freaking out. He was grabbing me so tightly and begging me not to leave. He even wrote "MOM" on the top of one of the papers to try to convince me to stay.

Luckily, there were a few familiar faces there. This 4k is at the same center that his previous daycare is located, and the teacher from him 3 year old room is now the 4k assistant. I was so relieved to see her there as I know how much she adores Ian. She actually had to be the one to pry him off of me so I could leave. At least he wasn't the only one upset, almost the entire class was crying!

The next hours dragged on as I worked at home and wondered what he was doing. Did he stop crying? Did he feel like I abandoned him? Was he making friends? Learning? Having fun? I was pulling into the parking lot at 2:59, not a moment too soon. I peek in on him before letting him see me, and he was running around outside and looking like he was having a blast. PHEW! He teacher said he was a great listener and answered questions about the story at story time. She said he calmed down almost right away and had a great day.

As we drove home, I asked him how he day was. He said he had fun and played with other kids. They read a story but didn't do any crafts. He also said, "Mommy, I didn't learn things today." I asked him, "What did you want to learn that you didn't learn yet?" He said, "Santa's phone number." Oy.

All in all, it was a good day. It's so hard for me to believe that this was literally the first day of the next 18+ years. We now have a school-aged child and this will be our new normal till Emmett is 18 years old! After that, they're on their own ;-)

And now, my favorite part! The pictures!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Emmett is 7 Months Old!

On June 22nd, Emmett turned 7 months old! It's so hard for me to believe that my sweet baby, my littlest boy, is closer to a year old than to his birth! Emmett is like his big brothers in many ways, yet he is so different from them in many other ways. Anyone who meets Emmett immediately comments on his smiley nature and his big, blue eyes. After spending a few minutes with Emmett, you'll notice that he's such a happy and content baby. As long as he has someone he loves close by, he's just a happy little clam!

At 7 months old, Emmett is still without any teeth! He's loving solid food more and more every day, but he prefers soft bites of food rather than purees. He loves watching his brothers play and he loves touching Ginny. He sits up on his own very well and lunges for toys. He pushes up onto his hands and holds himself in plank position. He is taking a morning, afternoon and short evening nap. He is starting to sleep for longer stretches at night and has actually slept through the night several times now.

At 7 months old, Emmett is about 19 1/2 pounds. He wears a 12 month clothing is most brands.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Happy Half Birthday, Emmett!

Happy Half Birthday (on May 22nd) to my littlest man! At 6 months old, our blue-eyed boy is still incredibly smiley and flirts with everyone! He can sit up on his own and rolls tummy to back and back tummy. He loves eating his toes and anything else he can get into his mouth. He babbles a lot, his favorite saying being "Ba! Ba! Ba!".

At 18 pounds 11 ounces, he's at the 71st percentile for weight for his age (and the largest of our 3 boys at this age!), and 26.25 inches puts him at the 43rd percentile for height. He is mainly in 9 month clothing with a few 6 and 12 months mixed in, depending on brand.

We just started solid foods and we're taking it slow. So far his favorite foods are sweet potatoes and oatmeal.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Reflections on Running and my First Race...

On May 5th, I ran in my first 5k in 10 years! The last time I ran a 5k race was probably after my senior year of cross country. I can't remember much about it, other than it sucked and I only did it because my friends were doing it. This one was totally different. There were so many reasons that I wanted to start running again.

When you become a mom, especially a mom of several, you sometimes find it easy to "lose" yourself. You're so busy putting your little one's first that you forget how important it is to recharge and do something for yourself. Getting back into running has helped me find myself again. Although I'm still not getting very good sleep at night, I feel more energized when I run. I feel better about myself because it's helping me shed the baby weight. That one hour or so I get to myself 5 times per week allows me to listen to my music and be alone in my thoughts without someone yelling, "MOMMY!!" Being a mom is my most important job and I've found I'm a better mom when I have this little bit of time alone.

I started running in late February. At that time, I wasn't able to even run for 10 minutes straight and it took me 30 minutes to cover 2 miles. I was running 3-5 times per week, depending on the week. I quickly became (re)addicted and every week I wanted to improve upon my times and distances from the previous week. My mid-March, I had signed up for a race. No turning back! My original goal for my 5k was to run it in 10 minute miles, so I wanted to complete the 3.1 mile race in 31 minutes. After several weeks, I found that I could complete a 3 mile run in about 30 minutes and I was able to run longer distances at this pace. I adjusted my goal to be sub-29 minutes.

Several weeks after I started running, I really started battling with my plantar fasciitis. It's something I've had for many, many years. I remember having the stabbing pain in the bottom of my foot back when I skated, but not knowing at the time what it was. Anyhow, the running had certainly aggravated it. I was icing, heating, and stretching as much as I could. I was also in so much pain that I was spending a lot of time limping. As my race got closer, I had planned to rest the Thursday and Friday before the Saturday race. The week before my race, somewhere between the limping and favoring my left foot's plantar fasciitis and running hills, I sprained my ankle. I did a 6 mile run the Sunday before the race and it was PAINFUL! Slow and PAINFUL! At that point, I figured I had 2 options. I could complete my planned runs for the week and possibly be unable to race on Saturday from the pain, or I could rest the entire week and hope for the best on race day. I choose to rest the whole week.

Saturday morning came quickly. I got up early before anyone else and had a bowl of oatmeal, a banana, and water. I changed into my race clothes and soon Charles, my mom (who was coming to help with the boys), and all the little guys were up. We got ready and headed to Monona. It was pretty chilly but that's how I prefer it to be when I run. I had my iPod loaded and ready to go. First stop was a bathroom break (port-o potties, awesome.), then I did some light jogging. Now mind you, it was almost a WEEK since I had run so I had no idea what it would feel like. Well, it hurt :( I'd come this far though, so I wasn't going to just quit. I lined up somewhere near the middle of the pack at the starting line and soon enough we were off. The first mile sucked. Actually, the first half mile I almost stopped. The pain in my ankle felt like I had bone chips floating around. Sharp, stabbing pain where my ankle felt so week. After I was in my groove for a bit, it improved somewhat. Mile 2 passed and as much as I wanted to run faster, my foot would just not cooperate. The coarse was flat and nice, but the one thing I didn't like was that it was through neighborhoods, so you couldn't really see where you were going, just lots of turning through city streets. At the end, it was like you hit the 3 mile marker very suddenly, there wasn't really a nice long place for a good kick at the end. So apart for the last 1/10th of a mile, I felt like my body never got to THAT point in the race. You know that point where it's not your legs giving out, but your actual body giving out? That's where I like to get to towards the end of races, just so you know you gave it everything. I certainly did give it all I had left for that last stretch, but I just wish it was a little bit longer.

I crossed the finish line with the race clock saying 29:01. I was initially so disappointed that I missed my goal time by 2 seconds! Well, what I had forgotten to take into consideration is that the race was timed by timing chips in our race bibs. The clock didn't start for your own time till you crossed the starting line, rather than when the gun when off. So, my official time was 28:49! I was thrilled, especially since I had so much pain!

So the statistics...
*61st place out of 164 total runners
*28th overall female out of 101 females
*5th of out 23 in my age/sex group (20-29 year old females)
*9:17 minute miles

Below is a picture of me crossing the finish line. It's a horrible picture of me, and even better it's a picture of a computer image (I'm not paying for a disgusting picture of me), but it's proof that I CAN do this! I have one more picture of Ian, Sean, and I before the race that I will upload when I can locate the USB cord for our point & shoot camera!

Next race... Run to the Rhythm 5 MILE race on June 30th!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

3 Boys at 5 Months!

I love seeing their similarities and differences! I think they're all pretty cute!