Thursday, September 18, 2014

A visit from Grandma

We've been busy outdoors, trying to enjoy these last beautiful days before the real fall/winter weather sets in.  I sadly enough had to turn the heat on last week, as temperatures got down to 39 over night.  I absolutely love the fall, it's just what comes after that that I'm dreading.

We're all doing good.  Ava started dance last week and absolutely loves it.  It is so cute watching her and the other girls dance around in the studio.  She has so much fun there.  Grant is finally loving daycare.  There are no more tears at drop off, which makes Nate's day so much better!  This daycare has been so good for him.  I left him with a sitter yesterday when I took Ava to dance.  No tears or whining, he just went off to play with her.  Same things today at ECFE.  I couldn't be happier with the situation!!!

Last week Nate was able to get away to WI for a few days with a couple of buddies to do some golfing.  Grandma had an extra few days off so she came up to spend Thursday evening through Sunday morning with us.  The pictures below will show you are trips to Minnehaha Falls, the farmer's market, a bike ride, and the park.  She even took us out for lunch at Culver's and dinner at Pizza Ranch (Ava got to pick the restaurants).  We were so glad that she was able to come and visit.  Daddy got home Sunday just in time to head to the neighbors football party with us. 

Tuesday Nate turned 34!  What did we do to celebrate you ask?  Well, he started his day out feeling very dizzy and sick.  He threw up, took the kids to daycare, and then went to the clinic to be diagnosed with vertigo (getting old sucks).  He then hopped on the bus to go to work.  He also scheduled a paint consultant to come over (forgot it was his birthday).  She stayed for 2 1/2 hours, so he had left overs for dinner since it was to late to go out.  He at least got some birthday cake.  On the up side of things, we have paint colors picked out for the house.  :)

The rest of the week should be low key here.  I'm working this weekend and Nate is thinking of taking the kids (hopefully just Ava if we can find a sitter for Grant) to the gopher game on Friday.  Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

We all went to the gopher game a few weekends ago.  The kids did a pretty darn good job considering they were confined to such a small area during the game.  Grant was even able to take a little nap during half time.  An added plus, the gophers won!

 There is a band that goes through our tailgating lot.  They stopped on the sidewalk outside our lot and let  Ava and Grant play the drum. 
 Grant & Boppa during the game
 Daddy & Ava during the game
Ava enjoying her first ever snow cone at the game (it got much warmer out than expected)
Atticus came over for a play date
Ava very excited to start her first dance class
Grandma, Grant, & Ava at Minnehaha

The kids loved "hiking" on the different paths
Stopping to throw rocks
Stopping for a little snack on the rocks

Somebody was getting tired of walking

Heading out on our bike ride.
Ava getting her princess balloon from the clown at the farmers market Sat. morning
I love that she can play by herself and other kids at the park now.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The rollercoaster of parenthood

I've learned that this parenthood thing is quite the roller coaster of emotions. I'm sure that the ride gets even crazier as toddlers eventually turn into teenagers.  Let's take today for example.  Our days at home almost always start out very nice (don't most peoples?).  The kids get to sleep in a little later and don't have to rush out the door for daycare.  We get to enjoy breakfast together and be silly while getting dressed. 

This morning we started our new ECFE class.  I always look forward to these, and know that Ava did as well.  Grant on the other hand always had to be close to me during play time, and cried when it was time for separation.  He eventually did ok, and I always found him enjoying singing songs during circle time at the end.  I was a bit leery about how things were going to go this morning since this was a new classroom with new teachers.  Let me tell you, Grant walked into that classroom a completely different little boy than he was 3 1/2 months ago.  He explored and played on his own.  He whimpered for only seconds when I left for separation.  My heart was filled with happiness as I saw him becoming more independent and confident. 

Independence and confidence, it's what we want for our children.  I was so excited for Grant.  However, with the start of school this week I've been reading all of these things about sending your children off to kindergarten and how quickly the time goes.  Ava has always been independent and social.  With that being said, my excitement and happiness for Ava quickly and selfishly turns to sadness.  This time next year there will be no more ECFE classes with her, no more play dates to the park, the zoo, the Children's Museum.  No more mid-day dance parties, or chilling in our pjs till mid-morning on snowy days.  Some days these things are exhausting and I just want 5 minutes to myself.  However, knowing that these days are quickly slipping away brings tears to my eyes.  (Then there's Grant. Grant will be 2 next month.  My baby is turning 2.  How can that be?!?  He's my baby.) 

So, I don't want my kids to grown up right?  Well, let's move ahead 2 hours.  We're getting ready for nap and Grant has decided he wants to sit on the potty while I'm changing his diaper.  I put him on, he shockingly enough does nothing.   He jumps off and runs into Ava's room as I tell him that we need to put his diaper on.  He stands at the bottom of her bed looking at me.  He's still for quite some time, which starts to concern me as I ask him what he's doing.  I go over there and step on wet carpet.  I look closer and he's peed on her bed spread, bed skirt, and the carpet.  I want to scream.  I am once again reminded as to why I am not a full-time stay at home mom. 

Fast forward 6 hours, it's time to wind down for the day.  Grant wants to try out his little potty chair.  He sits there and does nothing so I walk out to get his pjs ready.  I go back into the bathroom and step in a puddle.  Yes, it's a yellow puddle.  Really, he peed on the floor twice in one day?  I stop and look in the potty, there are about 3 drops of pee in it.  We celebrate the 3 drops of pee as I scrub the floor and my foot with disinfectant.  We give high 5's and tell him good job (hoping that next time he'll keep it in the potty, which next time will most likely be 6 months from now). 

We finish the day with bedtime stories, hugs & kisses, and rocking Grant before putting him in his bed.  There is a peacefulness in the house at bedtime.  A time to reflect on the day and be thankful for the tickle time, the time that I got to hold their little hands as we walked across the parking lot, the marching parade that we had in the house, the hugs & kisses.   It's a time to realize that even though it had its crazy points, our day was filled with lots of love, giggles, and blessings.  At the end of the day, what more could I ask for?  
Another trip to the zoo

Grant, our ballerina.  I may have put the skirt on him (he definitely didn't fight it), but he's the one that brought the shoes over and asked me to put them on.  He was having a great time dancing. 
We had a play date at the park with our good friend Maria and the kids.  They found the one puddle in the whole park and had a great time jumping and splashing in it.

I worked this past Labor Day weekend.  Nate and the kids headed up to the cabin for the long weekend.  From what I hear, they had a great time while I stayed extremely busy working my night shifts in the ER.  I absolutely love this picture of Daddy and Grant enjoying one last boat ride.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Finally, a weekend at home

Another crazy busy couple of weeks, that have been filled with a lot of fun.  We were supposed to be heading up to the cabin this morning, but decided to spend the weekend at home.  I couldn't be more excited.  Weekends at home (where I'm not working) have been nonexistent this summer, so I'm really looking forward to this one. 

Two weekends ago I worked, which meant Nate was a single stay at home dad.  He and the kids had a lot of fun.  They spent the weekend at the zoo, going to the library, and some time at the pool in our neighborhood.  Last weekend Nate was again a single dad as I left Friday morning to spend the weekend in Des Moines.  We had our girl cousin get together.  My sister-in-law Sara was even able to make it up from Springfield, MO.  We were so glad that she was able to join us.  It was a fun weekend of relaxation and lots of laughs. 

As for the kids, they have been busy at the park, the zoo, the Children's Museum, and daycare.  Ava is still loving her new daycare.  When Grandma asked her last night on Skype if she liked it she replied, "It's so awesome I can hardly believe it!".  We love the changes that we've seen in her since starting there.  I wish we would have found them sooner!  Grant on the other hand isn't completely sold on this place yet, but is getting used to it.  He's now eating, and took a 1 1/2 hour nap there last Wednesday.  He still cries when Nate drops him off, but when asked about his friends at daycare he smiles and tells us their names.  I think he enjoys his time there, it's just the the drop off is still a bit rough (although getting much better). 

Grant's hand is healing nicely from the fire pit incident.  The blisters are now gone.  His hand looked pretty raw earlier this week, but the new skin is coming in nicely and his hand looks pretty darn good. 

The rest of our weekend looks nice (and hot).  Nate is currently golfing.  We're hoping to make it to the pool this weekend, get together with neighbors for a party tomorrow afternoon/evening, and perhaps have a BBQ on Sunday.  Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

I don't think that I posted any pictures of Ava's room since we painted it and hung up the artwork that our sweet friend painted for us. 
A little afternoon parade
On the train with their luggage at the Children's Museum
Ava making something tasty at the museum
Grant trying on a few hats
Aunt Lisa celebrated her 40th birthday on the 12th.  I told her that this was the kids's response when I told them she was 40.
Grant loved wearing Ava's slippers around.
Cousin get together: Sara, Sara, Lisa, myself, Melissa, & Kristin
Nate and I were able to enjoy a beautiful night out at the Twins game Tuesday evening.   
Since Nate took the day off, we decided to take a trip to Minnehaha Falls to show the kids the waterfall.  They loved the waterfall, but more so enjoyed throwing rocks in the water and hiking. 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Burns, bumps, and new daycare

This past week has been pretty crazy around here.  Last week Ava and Grant spent their last day with Cyndi as their nanny.  It was an odd feeling going to pick the kids up from there for the last time.  I had a sense of sadness, mostly for Grant, as he had no idea what was about to change and I've been worried about his transition to a new center.  Also because Grant has been there since he was 12 weeks old.  Cyndi took great care of the kids and became kind of like family to us.  She was there in case of an emergency, snuggled my kids when they were sick or tired, and kissed their owies.  However, I knew that the change is what would be best for the kids.

With that being said, Ava is loving her new "school".  She has her two new best friends (girls of course).  She whined the past two days that I've picked her up because she didn't want to leave.  She wanted to know why I couldn't come later when the other parents came so that she could stay and play longer.  I couldn't be happier.  Grant on the other hand cries at drop off, is refusing to eat breakfast and snack, and sleeping a whole 30-45 minutes at nap time (he takes 3 hr naps at home).  I expected the transition to be rough for him.  I'm hoping that in a couple of weeks he will settle into the routine and start enjoying his time there.  The director and all of the teachers have been amazing in trying to make this transition go as smoothly as possible.  They send me text pictures with updates to let me know how everybody is doing.  I am so grateful for the kind and patient people that work there.

Not only has Grant had a tough week at daycare, but his week started out rough.  We left for Cresco, IA on Saturday morning to meet some of my family down there for a weekend camping/tubing down the river trip.  Aunt Darlene and Great Grandma were so nice and drove up for the day to watch my kiddos so that Nate and I could enjoy floating down the river.  We had a great time, and we heard that the kids were good.  A HUGE thank you to Aunt Darlene and Great Grandma for doing that.  Nate and I really enjoyed our time away relaxing.  That evening was a little crazy, chasing the kids around, trying to get dinner ready, etc.  Ava made a friend and was invited to do sparklers with them.  Long story short, she touched the end of the sparkler after it was done burning (not realizing it would still be hot since there was not spark coming off).  She burnt her finger and came home crying.  No, she was not there alone, Nate was supervising.  So, after awhile the kids were down in Grandma & Grandpa's motorhome and Nate and I had a tent to ourselves.  Good thing since this "4 person tent" barely fit our air mattress for 2 people.  Anyway, the next morning we were packing up and were all outside.  I was looking for something in the car when I heard my mom yell Grant's name.  I turned around to see him sitting on the ground next to the firepit, his arm covered in ash and him crying.  He evidently fell backwards and caught himself with his hand in the firepit (which had been burning until probably 3 am).  I could not calm the poor guy down.  I forced Ibuprofen down him and we decided to head into the Decorah ER to have it looked at.  By the time we got there he had finally calmed down.  They cleaned it, put some bacitracin on it, and bandaged it up.  So, he's been on antibiotics this week and had dressing changes twice a day.  Yesterday the blisters were very big.  I feel like today they may have gone down a little (or maybe I'm just trying to be optimistic).  The good thing is that it doesn't seem to bother him.  I don't think that he feels it, because he was poking at it during bath tonight.  I'm just hoping that it doesn't scar and hopefully by next week we can have the dressings off. 

So that was the trauma for Sunday.  Monday the trauma was spending the day at his new daycare.  Tuesday evening we got to spend some time with our friends Mike, Kristi, Cora, and Henry.  We got together at a great park and had a picnic for dinner.  On our way out Grant was running and his legs couldn't keep up with his upper body.  Down he went, head first onto the sidewalk.  Took the top layer of skin right off his head and gave him a little road rash on his knee.  I am thankful we had no injuries today.  If he showed up at daycare tomorrow with something new they would probably have child protective services there.  Poor kid!

So that's our week in a nutshell.  I'm hoping that this weekend and upcoming week will be a little more low key.  I'm working my 12 hr days this weekend, so Daddy is in charge!   
This is what Grant looks like when he tries to drink the yogurt out of his bowl. 
He was exhausted coming home from Aunt Lisa & Uncle Brent's almost two weeks ago.  We went down to pick up Ava.  She spent the entire week there and attended VBS at their church.  She had such a great time.  We rock out to the VBS songs in the car all the time. 
Superhero Ava.  She got this stuff at VBS.
So this past week we've also been battling something else...Ants!  Ava pointed one out to me last Friday.   After that, I found MANY more.  They consumed my whole day as I tried many different things to get rid of them.  We now have the cleanest kitchen floor in the state...vacuuming and mopping almost nightly.  I have a feeling that frequent occurrences (like pictured above) may have something to do with them.  It grosses me out though!
This is a man who loves his cupcake
Swinging at the campground
Morning snuggle time with Grandpa
Ava & Cousin Reece
Getting ready to go tubing
Driving the motorhome
Playing on the playground

A picnic dinner
Grandpa & Grant

The tubing group
Grandma & Ava
Grandma & Grant
Reece, Grant, and the cutest little puppy ever. 
Me with Grandma & Aunt Lisa
Reading some stories
Grant chilling with the big kids 
On our way home from the hospital. 
Grant's head after it met the sidewalk