Thursday, November 16, 2017

Two, Halloween, and Four!

We had a fun week of celebrating the Munce girls, Piper turned 2 and five days later, Greta turned 4. We also jammed a bit of halloween fun in the mix during the week.

Piper is 2! She is a little string bean, working her way out of diapers (potty is about 75% there while number 2s are at 0%- mega yikes). It is so cute to see her little body, her pants hardly stay up now that she is out of diapers. She is sassy and silly, talking so much, and a pretty good tantrum thrower ;). As long as we are able to backtrack to where the tantrum started, we are usually able to work our way out of it, fortunately.

Greta is 4! She is super independent, my helper with all things potty training with Piper, and everything else that needs to be done. She has taken a mama's girl turn and I secretly love it. I love having her close; she is smart, shy, silly, and can do anything (as long as she has her buddy, Sully, nearby). She is into youtube, suckers, playing in the basement, and is gradually getting better at the school drop-off.

I always like to throw in an update on our current sleep situation, because I know someday I'll think back and say something foolish like 'we never had major sleep problems,' or 'the kids rarely slept in our room.' But the reality is that its the exact opposite. Piper had a quick bout of needing one of us in her room every night at some point. We are working our way out of it, but I have never been so happy to have her in a full bed as it gives us another sleep option. Greta is still coming in 98% of the time. Sully comes in about 25% of the time. Our rule of going to bed in your own bed remains, but all bets are off after we are all asleep.  Last week we had our first night where Dave and I woke up alone in our bed since Piper transitioned out of her crib-- yes, you read that right, ONE night. Haha, the good new is is that it can really only get better from here on out.

Halloween was smack dab in the middle of the celebrations, it was a cold year for trick or treaters. Between the cool temps and the wind, our kids only lasted out for a little more than an hour before they came home with cold faces and runny noses. We still had a good amount of trick or treaters here (250 per my count ;)). We love being in the neighborhood year round, but especially at Halloween time.

Celebrating Piper on her day: October 30th. 
Halloween fun- Peppa Pig, Pink Power Ranger, and Bumblebee. 
Trick or treating with the Kimbers.
Cassandra leads the birthday song. 
Big wishes from these two. 
Matching princess outfits. 
Mama with her girls. 
And one with Sully. 
All things Greta on November 5th. 
Three pretty princesses. 
What I imagined bedtime would be like.
Bedtime reality. 

Friday, October 27, 2017

Embracing our new normal.

I feel like I am always making comments about how busy our lives are, and I almost opened this blog up with the same sentiment, but paused to reflect. This is actually our new normal. I just need to embrace it, soak it in.

So we continue with Munce family fun, this version consists of putty, snuggles, soccer, camping, kids bop, potty training, some amazing days, followed by a bitter sharp cold end to fall.

Let me elaborate-

Ill start with the putty. I loathe silly putty, that crap ends up everywhere. But somehow, Greta catches me in a weak moment or someone buys it for us and I always pay for it. This time, in a big way. Greta came in at 4am, (per usual) and when she and I woke up I noticed there was a gob of putty on our sheets near the pillows, but didn't think much of it. She sat up and said 'ah, mom, my hair.' I sat up and there it was, a whole glob of it, lodged in her hair, and on her sheets, and our pillows. Ugh. Nothing a bit of elbow grease couldn't take care of (fortunately, ultra patient Dave was home to field this one). NO MORE PUTTY! 

I've graduated to morning showers! After 5.5 years, I am finally to the point of being able to take a quick shower in the morning. Dave is always gone for work by 5:45 and because of the kids' ages and always having a little one, a shower was something I *maybe* got during quite time. I'm finally able to set the kids up in my bed to watch a show first thing in the morning while I jump in the shower. Being able to be ready (and by ready, I mean clean hair and brushed teeth, none of this make up business ;)) for the day has honestly been life changing. Ahh, the little things.

We wrapped up soccer, it was a short but really fun season. Sully loved every game and gradually got more into it, and he was so proud of the medal he won at the end of the season. We can't wait to get both Sully and Greta in the program next year.

Fall fun- the weather had been amazing and gorgeous with some warm summer-like days. We did our best to enjoy the warmth of the shorter days, and to take in the fall colors. We are loving pumpkins and anything to get us into the Halloween spirit- I love the joy and excitement the kids feel, and that it is contagious. As we near the end of October, the weather has turned cold and windy- we are hopeful for a sort-of warm Halloween.

Camping fun/fail. We had rented a cabin at The Palisades months ago hoping for perfect fall weather so we could stay as a family of 5 in a sleeper cabin. Unfortunately, we were plagued with a cold, grey, and windy day, a miserable diaper rash, and a new fear of the dark resulting in 3/5 Munce members returning to 5th Avenue. Fortunately, Greta and Dave had an incredible time looking at the starts (all 180 of them), singing campfire songs (Old MacDonald), and exploring. We will try again next year ;).

Potty training- last, but certainly not least- we've started potty training! I had planned to do it on Pipers birthday (Monday), but got a wild hair yesterday (Thursday) and knew with the weather changing, and Dave being home next week, an earlier start might be a good idea. So, we started. We had an ok first day at about 50 percent and today has been even better with only one accident as of now. Im so freaking excited to be done with diapers, but more importantly, I am so so proud of Piper for being a good sport and actually going along with this. Don't get me wrong, I know there will be plenty of ups and downs, but we are all in, and are going to wrap the diaper digs up.

And that's it for this update, will check in again soon. We've got another fun week ahead with two birthdays and Halloween, the fun never ends :).

Not-so-silly putty. 
New piano. 
A glimpse into our future (hopefully ;)).
Morning snuggles. 
The girls at the soccer fields. 
Action shot. 
Sully and his team 'The Jawbreakers.'

Sully and his biggest fans.
Camping fun- before the fun ended. 
Greta patiently waiting for her pancakes. 
Morning hike with dad.
Kidz bop kids. 
The kids get pumpkins that match their costumes
from aunt Shelley- major hit! 
Sweet Piper. 
And Sully.
Interested in the potty?
You could call it that- yikes! 
Potty training bootcamp begins. 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Hamilton in the Windy City.

The idea started with a Maggie/Anna and Suzie/Greta trip to Minneapolis and then turned into both of our families traveling together to Minneapolis. Then things got really crazy when we took the kids out of the equation and broadened our horizons. Before we knew it, we had settled on Chicago and Hamilton. We had hoped to rally all of the siblings and my parents, but ended up with our foursome conquering The Windy City. 

Dave and I arrived on Friday evening (Maggie and Jeff traveled earlier in the day) and met the Olivers at the Chicago Athletic Club for drinks, dinner, and more drinks. Maggie and I studied the bar tenders making fancy cocktails while the guys did their thing. It was unwinding at its finest. We made our way back to the hotel to get a decent nights sleep before a full Saturday.

We started Saturday with a coffee stop before catching our architectural segway tour, which was hilarious and informative. Those machines are really funny and the way we all looked cruising down Michigan Avenue was definitely a site to see. We followed that with lunch and shopping before heading back to the hotel to regroup and then dinner with Jill (my long time college bff) and then Hamilton. I don't even know where to begin with the explanation of the show. It lives up to ALL of its hype. I had been preparing for weeks with the music and kept pinching myself when I was actually taking it in in person. I loved every second of it and really hope to see it again.

Maggie and Jeff caught an early flight on Sunday morning while Dave and I had some time to explore before our 4pm flight. We decided on (another) architectural tour, but this time by boat. It was perfect. The weather was warm for an October morning and the tour was relaxing and informative. We grabbed a bite to eat riverside and then made our way to the airport.

We had a great weekend away, it was short and sweet, but we made the most of it. Chicago has so much to offer and its so doable, it will definitely go into our get-away rotation. Thanks to Dave and Maggie and Jeff for a really fun weekend- and being the best travel partners.

*** Meanwhile, back in Sioux Falls, Courtney was a trooper with all of our kids for the first 24 hours, in addition to two flat tires and having to have my car towed to the dealership- ugh! ***

And these two- the lucky ones :).
Maggie mastering the segway. 
Dave- getting the swing of things. 
Michigan Ave cruise. 
Dave and I looking ultra nerdy. 
The Olivers. 
Group photo. 
Millenium Park- Dave didn't get the coral message ;).
Dave and I. 
Chicago streets.
Hamilton prep. 
Set photo. 
Boat tour with Dave on our final day. 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017


We are settling into our new school routines, Sully continues to rock preschool with a few bumps here and there. On the days he resists, he quickly comes around when he sees his friends. Greta remains hesitant, but the tears no longer start the minute she wakes up, she is able to hold them off until the moment I'm ready to drop her off. She is always happy to see me after school and has even talked about how much fun she has at school. She snuggles nonstop when she is home, just wanting to be by me (which is so sweet).

I'm certain I spend twice as much time in the car compared to previous years. My trusty old car is definitely getting some use in its old age ;). Fortunately it is well lived in and well loved. 

Dave and I celebrated our 7 year anniversary on 9/25. We had a fancy meal at home followed by a homemade '7' cookie cake, which was a major hit with the kids. With all of the traveling and coming and going, home was exactly where we wanted to be. Its been a busy and fun 7 years. We are looking forward to this next phase of enjoying kids and life together, and taking the time to reconnect as a couple and a family now that some of the busyness has passed. 

Sully's soccer has been a fun family event, along with other sports activities for cousins and friends. Autumn is a great time to spend crisp evenings bundled up playing outside. Dave was talking with Lauren last week and said something that really resonated with me. He was talking about Sully's games and how proud he is to be out there as spectator dad and said 'if some could've taken me out to that field 6 years ago and said 'fast forward 5 years, which one of those boys is yours?'" He talked about how life has taken us for this joy ride and how he is completely taken away with the fact that he gets to have his own boy in the game. He is totally right. We are lucky to be the parents and can't wait to watch all three play someday. Sully has been practicing with Isaac on the evenings our schedules allow and has shown lots of improvement. He no longer runs away from the ball, in fact, he even had a goal attempt, it was so exciting to watch. He has also mastered his 'thumbs up' to me at the sideline. 

Last, but certainly not least, Nowayjose, our scarecrow returned last week. He looks as fresh as ever (in spite of spending the last 10 months propped up in our garage ;)). Everyone is excited to have him back as it means Halloween (and Piper AND Greta's birthdays- wow!) are just around the corner.

Seven blurry years. (Photo credit: Greta :)
Dress up.
Sully (in the green sox) getting in on the action. 
Courtney and Andrew came to watch, a fun surprise. 
Afternoons at the park.
Team Connelly with Coach Isaac. 
Pumpkin patch. 
Nowayjose makes his return while Piper naps. 
Costco fun with these two.