Sunday, June 25, 2017

Roar to daddy dinosaur.

We had a great Father's Day around here. It was a weekend full of family activities, which was extra necessary since we weren't together on Dave's birthday. We spent the morning at Stella's dedication and then had a bbq with my dad and family in the evening. The weather was gorgeous and the moods were good. It was a great tribute to the best dads in my life.

I few thoughts about the dads in my life...

My dad is funny, present, and always available to me. I am grateful that he always answers his phone when Im calling for advice or input. He has a steady head and the greatest sense of humor. Im always proud when someone asks if he is my father and then proceeds to comment about what a guy he is.

Dave is the favorite around here. His silly roar is always ready when the kids call upon 'daddy dinosaur,' he is the first person all three of them (separately) ask for each morning (even though his is gone well before they wake 80% of the time), he is the one we watch for every evening with excitement of his arrival. He is the one we fight over at bedtime. We cannot get enough daddy time, and are so lucky he is ours. He is so devoted and so proud of all of us. How did I get so lucky?

Happy Father's Day!

Father's Day crafting (easy peasy ;)).
Daddy and his crew on Father's Day.
Foam pit fun- Dave was the hardest one to get out
(for a couple of reasons ;)).
Sweet Stella on her dedication morning with her daddy. 
Dave and his entire crew.
Lauren, Stella (3 mos), Matthew, Miles (6 mos), Sarah, Maddie (2.5),
Helen, Kyle, Piper (20 mos), Sully (5), Dave, and Greta (3.5).
We love watching this family grow.

Friday, June 16, 2017

A garage project.

Dave and I have been slowly working on some sort of garage storage system, and are making decent progress. We get out there on weekends when we don't have plans and work while the kids play. As you can imagine, the work is slow as the kids are busy, but we are getting there. Last weekend Dave and I were hanging some things and Sully was eager to help. We found just the right project for him and the garage is now priceless.

Learning how to run the drill. 
Thumbs up.
Hanging the clock. 
Proud teammates. 
The finished product- signed by the hanger ;)

Sum sum summa time!

A quick blog post to keep up with all of our summer fun. We have been nonstop for the last two weeks with camps, zoo days, park outings, date nights and life. No complaints here!

Sully and Greta both participated in a Science Camp at the Washington Pavilion last week. They had so much fun and made really cool things. As the week went on, Greta gradually got homesick for her afternoons home with me, but she rallied. Sully was her best friend and the best support for her.

This week Sully is in Little Vikes morning camp. He 'gets' to ride a bus to camp and do awesome things like horseback riding, bounce houses, and even a day at the YWCA (thanks to torrential rains on the first morning- dang). He loves camp, but hates the bus. Fortunately, he has hooked up a with a 7 year old buddy, Jude and that has worked wonders. Thank God for that sweet boy. He is officially done with week one, one more to go. I'm proud of him for being so brave.

Catching up on photos...

Pool fun. 
Getting so big and brave! 
And this girl, goggle and swim queen. 
Ten minute break/snack time. 
Selfie. 
'Everybody say ROAR!'
Zoo fun. 
Washington Pavilion Camp. 
Showing off their artwork. 
Catching Isaac's soccer game. 
Happy camper. 
Managing this one is no joke ;).
Instead of pancakes, we eat 'campcakes' with smiley faces, of course.
Golf date with Dave, this turned into a pretty good chip. 
The kids with the blooming Catalpa Tree. 

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Uncharted territory.

Having had three babies in less than four years, I felt like we had dealt with all of the dilemmas and situations, until Piper threw a curve ball at me. She never really got back into her bedtime groove after she and Dave had gone to Vermont, but I was determined to get things back in line on a Friday evening when Dave was on call. After giving her plenty of time to situate herself, she would not calm down. I heard some activity long after bedtime and assumed it was Sully or Greta making their way to my bed. Much to my surprise, when I walked upstairs I could hear her crying plain as day. Turns out she had climbed out of her crib and had been crying at her door. I was in disbelief and denial as she was barely 19 months old. I immediately put her back in her crib and told her it was time for bed and within two minutes of walking out of her room, she did it again! The third time, I watched her on the monitor. I had stripped her bed of everything except her blankets. She strategically threw both of her blankets out and tossed her leg over, and then the other, then teetered on the edge before dropping to the floor. She had it mastered in no time. I sent a desperate text to Maggie and Dave begging for a solution. Maggie was fast to reply and told me to put her mattress on the floor, so that's what I did. She was not thrilled when I left, but my saving grace was that she isn't tall enough to reach the door handle, yet. She eventually made her way to her mattress and stayed put for the rest of the night. 

I made the decision a couple of days later to just take the crib down, its inevitable it has to happen eventually. We currently have a twin mattress on her floor and are working on a new bed/nap routine. As you could imagine, it has made things more complicated, but it is getting better. 

It was slightly bittersweet to take the crib down, our first time in 5 years (almost to the day) to not have one in use. But I feel good about it. She is still the sweetest cuddler. When I rock her, she whispers 'shhh shhh Piper' and it melts my heart. Often when I'm lying with her on her floor, she will rub my arm or back. She is definitely our icing on the cake, I just can't believe how fast she is growing up. 

The first night.
In her comfort zone. 
Taking the crib down. 
Big girl bed. 
Seriously, so grown up. 
Sweet baby girl. 

Monday, June 5, 2017

We have a 5 year old!

After our trips, we had a quick turn around before celebrating Sullivan's 5th birthday. We were all so excited to have a 5 year old around here. Isaac and Anna slept over the evening before because Isaac and Anna wanted to be the first ones to give him birthday wishes on the big day. They are all so sweet together although the night was sort of a disaster with 4 kids playing musical beds all night long. It will prolly be a few months before we attempt that again ;).

Sully had a great day, I woke up to him calling to Isaac at 6:20am who was in Greta's bed, saying 'Isaac! Its my birthday!' I walked in and gave him a snuggle before Isaac woke up and crawled over to talk to him all about being 5. When they came down for breakfast, Isaac challenged him to a race and let Sully beat him and said, 'wow, you are such a fast 5 year old!' What a kid. He had a great day playing with cousins, his sisters, and friends while we prepped for a family party. Greta was so excited for him to, showering him with birthday love and hugs. The weather was amazing, 73 and sunny and perfect for outdoors.

We gathered with family and celebrated him in the evening. We had a soccer game in our back yard with neighbors and family before eating dinner, cake, then presents (Greta was his number one assistant, and Piper was never too far away) and a piñata (which I forgot about until most of the kids were gone :/). All in all, it was a successful night.

We are so proud of our sweet, sensitive, intelligent, and slightly ornery 5 year old. He is growing into such a big helpful boy. He is into soccer, characters, scooting, his iPad, pancakes, cheeseburgers, his dad, his sisters, and insists on only wearing clothes to bed. I love that I am able to have a conversation with him and that he is a confident and (mostly) well behaved little boy. We love you, Sully, and are so grateful for you. Happy Happy 5th birthday, buddy!

The original bedtime plan- everyone sleeps in the secret room.
Anna's face says it all- it lasted for 10 minutes. 
Birthday morning fun for the boys...
....and the girls. 
Birthday family photo. 
Sully and his really cool cake. 
Greta 'reads' Sully's cards to him. 
Piper- officially 19 months ;).
Last minute piñata fun. 

Memorial Weekend Getaways.

Dave and I continued our annual tradition of dividing and conquering in order to visit longtime favorite friends. Piper and Dave went to see John and Vicky in Vermont while Sully, Greta, and I went to visit Stacy's family in St. Louis. We both had our work cut out for us, loaded down with kids and belongings while catching planes. Much to my delight, neither of us had any flight issues or delays.

Dave and Piper kept busy mostly indoors as they had rainy weather and mosquitos to deal with. They were able to enjoy the local farmer's market and some park time. His highlight was getting some one on one time with Piper. He turned 55 over the weekend and loved the extra snuggles he got from her. We missed them greatly.

Sully, Greta and I were so busy with Stacy and her kids. We had ice cream, burgers, neighborhood fun, Arch photos, and even an outing to see Paw Patrol Live which was a major hit with all of the kids. It was so fun to watch them all play together. Stacy and I were even able to have a couple of meals in peace while the kids kept busy amongst themselves. As usual, Stacy spoiled me with a facial and a massage outing, and we were able to get a sitter so we could enjoy some adult time out on the town. Greta was not ready to come home. On our fifth and final day, we woke up and I told her we would be traveling home later that day and she quickly replied with 'mom, I'm not ready to go home. I want to stay in St. Louis for 180 more days.' We are always thankful for our time with Stacy and her family.

The travel home was no joke. We flew through O'Hare and during the long walk to our next gate, Greta literally gave up and simply laid down in the middle of the busy terminal, and then started crawling and meowing like a cat. Haha, she is a dandy ;).

It was sweet relief to have us all under the same roof after 5 days away.

First flight.
The welcoming committee! 
Room for all the kiddos in Stacy's minibus ;).
Sam is basically in charge of everything- here she is reading bedtime stories. 
Jazz Fest fun. 
Stacy and I. 
Downtown Glendale. 
Photo op at the Arch.
And the kids. Tommy, Joey, Greta, Sam, and Sully. 
Paw Patrol- look at those smiles! 
Over O'Hare. 
Piper mastering O'Hare with daddy.
Travel buddies arrive in Albany. 
Rutland Farmer's Market.