Sunday, June 14, 2015

We love summer!

I forgot how much I love summer and being able to be outside the with the kids. Have I mentioned before that I also love our neighborhood? There isn't a day that goes by that we don't have an invite to hang out with some little one at the park, or just hanging out riding bikes, etc. Although I wish that we had family closer, many of our neighbors have become like family.

Like I said, we have really enjoyed being outside.  A few weekends ago Mema & Boppa came down to hang out with us for the day.  We all went to Pahl's Market (the local nursery) and picked out lot of pretty flowers, and a bush to replace the one that the rabbits ate.  They helped us plant everything, and gave me a little tutorial on how not to kill all of my flowers this year.  I'm glad to report that they are still holding strong and look quite lovely.  We had a great day, and were able to end the day with dinner on the deck and some delicious dessert.

The following weekend we were supposed to head up to the cabin.  There were some last minute changes in plans and Nate went up by himself while I stayed home with the kids.  We got to meet up with a friend at the zoo, and enjoyed the afternoon outside with our neighbor friends.  Nate cut the trip short and returned home late Saturday evening.  Sunday we got to celebrate Ava's BFF's birthday with a party at her house (Avery).

This past week  was a big one for Ava.  On Monday she graduated from preschool!!!  Mema & Boppa joined us for the graduation ceremony and celebration (Uncle Wes attempted, but got stuck in traffic from hell).  Ava sang her little heart out at the program like she always does.  We had dinner at "school", and the completed the night with a giant bouncy house and balls outside.  Thank you Mema & Boppa for coming to celebrate.  Ava was so glad that you came!

This weekend Uncle Brent, Aunt Lisa, & cousin Reece came to visit.  Reece spent the weekend with us, while Brent & Lisa went to celebrate their anniversary.  We had a great time with him, and are so glad that he came.  Saturday we got to celebrate our friend Tyce's birthday with is Superman party.  The kids had a great time, and Reece found a new pen pal (one of our neighbors).  This morning we headed off to the donut shop to get some donuts for our "donut picnic" at the zoo.  What a great way to start the day!  So, after donuts we took Reece to the zoo before his parents arrived at our house for lunch.  It was such a beautiful day today that after nap we were able to go and enjoy some swimming at the pool in our neighborhood. 

It will be another busy week.  Tomorrow morning Grant will not follow his normal routine.  He will no longer be going into the toddler room.  As of tomorrow he is in the preschool room.  One going into preschool and one going into kindergarten.  How did they get so big?!?  We'll see what he picks up in this room.  Hopefully all good stuff, including being potty trained! 

We're hoping to go and watch Nate play softball tomorrow evening, and have a little picnic outside (usually the kids sit still if they're eating).  Wednesday both of the kids start swimming lessons.  We are trying a new place near our house, and this will be the first time that Grant has done swimming lessons.  Then Friday we have Auntie Lisa P and her family coming to visit for the evening.  I can not wait to see Nick & Sadie.  I haven't seen them since visiting KC earlier this year after Sadie was born. 

I have plenty of pictures to share with you.  Some of them are older, I just forgot to get them off of my phone earlier.  Hope you all have a great week!    
Grant is always practicing his swing. 
Ava & her BFF  Avery taking their first ride on the school bus during the open house last month
The kids playing at the bookstore when my mom was here visitng last month
While Daddy was at the cabin we decided to make cookie bars.  What good helpers I have.
Another trip to the zoo.
Another chicken picture that cracks me up
Hanging at the pool on my day off. 
Ava & Avery
My strong man
Our donut picnic this morning outside of the zoo.
Somebody was loving his donut
Watching the reptile show
Ava & Daddy
 Boppa, Ava, & Mema at graduation
 More graduation night pictures

 Planting flowers

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Late is better than never

I know that it's been awhile since the last update. We've had a few things going on that have been consuming more time than I was expecting. First and foremost, my new job.  Everybody keeps asking if I like it.  Well, I don't not like it. :)  In all honesty, I don't feel like I have a good grasp on everything that it entails, and how I'm going to manage my time to get everything done that needs to be done.  My orientation has been very fragmented due to the fact that I work only 4 days/week, and that I have had a lot of meetings off site for new leadership stuff.  My manager and preceptor are off tomorrow, meaning I'm on my own.  I'll find out if I sink or swim.  :)  Due to all of the meetings and everything, I've been putting in a lot of 10 hour days, or closes to 10 hr days.  I'm assuming that the time commitment will decrease once I figure out my own system. 

So, let's go back a couple of weeks ago...Mother's Day weekend.  I have to say it was probably my most enjoyable yet.  Saturday morning Ava had her dance recital.  Boppa stayed home with Grant (win-win situation for both of them), while Daddy, Mema, and I went to watch Ava.  It was a 2 hr show, but I actually really enjoyed it all.  Ava did a great job, and everybody loved watching the little ones up there.  I have to say that I surprised myself, when the tears started streaming down my face when she was up there.  What?!?  Why was I crying?  I'm still not exactly sure, but it was emotional for some reason.  Perhaps a feeling of pride watching her succeed at something that she worked hard on, maybe a feeling of sadness that she's growing up so quickly, perhaps they were tears of happiness knowing that she is able to enjoy the things that she loves, and gratefulness knowing that we currently have the ability to provide her with those opportunities.  Most likely, it's a combination of all the above.  Or, maybe all of that is complete crap and I was just a hormonal woman that day?  No matter the reason, I enjoyed the show, shed a few tears, and am grateful to have our Wednesday evenings back until next fall.  Nate and I asked her if she wanted to do dance next year.  She replied, "yes, because I want to get ribbons and flowers" meaning she liked the flowers we gave her after recital.  I could get some pretty darn nice bouquets delivered monthly for what we pay for dance.  We'll have to come back to that discussion as registration opens up. 

After the recital we had lunch together and then Mema and I went to the dreaded MOA to look for some work clothes for me.  We were very successful and had a great time.  I came home with a great new work wardrobe, and felt so much better.  Thanks Mema for helping me spend my money.  When we got home Uncle Wes and Aunt Janna were here playing with the kids.  We all enjoyed a nice low key dinner out on the deck together.  What a great day!

Sunday was kind of cold and rainy.  We went to church that morning and then stayed in for the rest of the day.  We watched a movie and just relaxed.  It truly was a great weekend!

The following week started out good until Wednesday hit.  I woke up not feeling well, but decided I had to go into work since I had so many meetings that day.  By mid-morning I was dying.  I had chills, body aches, sore throat, etc.  I decided to leave after my big meeting that afternoon and went straight to the clinic.  Mind you, I have never had a fever in my life (I know, crazy right).  I got there and it was 102.3.  They swabbed my throat and shockingly enough it came back negative for strep.  I was told I had a virus and to take Ibuprofen and go home.  So, I stopped and bought Ibuprofen because since I don't ever get sick I don't even have that in our house.  The next 30 hours were spent in my bedroom shaking with chills, waking up in a pool of sweat, decreased appetite, body aches that I have never experienced, fevers up to 103, etc.  I was miserable. 

Thursday afternoon Nate left for his golf trip up north with the guys.  I was SO grateful that my mom was going to arrive late Thursday night.  I knew that I could take care of the kids 1 night by myself if I had to, but I knew I couldn't do much more than that.  I just felt bad that she was coming up to see us, and was going to end up taking care of all of us.  Friday morning the clinic called me back to tell me that my strep send out came back positive.  Not shocking!  I picked up my antibiotics that morning and within 24 hours I felt like a new person.  Needless to say, I was grateful that my mom came up, and was also grateful now that I could enjoy some time with her as well. 

I can't believe that this week is almost over already.  Nothing too exciting this week.  Long work days and spending any time outside that we can.  We're looking forward to spending the long weekend at home this year.  We're hoping to maybe plant a few flowers and just relax.  Wishing you all a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend!
Grant & Grandma before our trip to the MOA.
Ava has mastered climbing the new rock by herself.
"I'm going to play basketball when I get bigger".  I'm told this at least twice a day.
Ava has become much braver this year.  She can scale this thing pretty quickly.
Our typical afternoon here in suburbia
Ava showing Grandma how she can ride without training wheels
Granting "riding" (walking) his bike.
Digging in the rocks while wearing his helmet.  You can never be too safe.
Getting ready to head off to church Saturday evening.
All ready for the recital
It's blurry, but it's the only picture we have of the three of us. 
I mastered the bun, and it stayed in for the whole show!
Ava & Mema
Mother's Day 2015
Daddy & Ava

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Loving this weather

We are loving these nice warm days!  Daddy might not like them as much as we do, since most afternoons after work we can be found at the park rather than in the kitchen preparing dinner for when Daddy gets home.  Needless to say, dinners have been a bit later and perhaps thrown together last minute.  We've been too busy soaking in the sunshine to worry about dinner and baths being on time. 

Last weekend we were able to enjoy some family time in IA helping cousin Reece celebrate his birthday.  Unfortunately it rained all day Saturday so his soccer game was cancelled and we were stuck inside all day.  Mommy & Daddy did get to enjoy the evening outside with Uncle Brent & Aunt Lisa relaxing in the hot tube after bedtime though.  Sunday morning we decided to leave early and stop in Hollandale to see the Veldmans.  We got to see so many people, and meet sweet Ellison for the first time.  She is the sweetest little thing, not making a peep the whole time we were there.  I loved getting my little baby fix, and the kids loved riding on the golf cart with Aunt Susan. 

This past week I realized that this summer is going to be a bit crazy with schedules.  Nate has softball on Monday evenings, Ava will have soccer on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and I signed the kids up for swim lessons on Wednesday nights.  Aren't our kids too young to be this busy?  I finally bit the bullet and signed the kids up at the swim school near our house.  The lessons come with a pretty price tag, but I'm hoping that it's worth it.  I needed to get Grant into lessons, and I can't be with him in the water while Ava is at the community ed lessons.  So, we're going to give it a shot. 

Some of you may not know, but I'm going to be starting a new job on Monday.  The position is a "patient care supervisor".  I'm not sure why they call it this, as I don't do patient care.  Essentially, it's an assistant manager to these nurses and PCAs in the float pool.  I am very excited to start the position.  I'm ready for a change, and will enjoy not working weekends anymore.  However, Thursday was my last day on the floor doing patient care.  I was much more emotional about it than I thought I would be.  I have been taking care of patients at the bedside for the past 11 1/2 years.  I have worked along side some of the most amazing nurses, experiencing situations that I never imagined.  I have depended on them to help me in a crisis, have cried with them during tragedy, and laughed with them in situations where we wanted to cry but decided that laughter truly is the best medicine sometimes.  They celebrated with me when I got married and had my children.  These nurses that I work with are not just coworkers, they are my second family.  I will still see them, but in a different situation.  I will no longer be in the trenches, but instead in an office.  I will no longer be reassuring the scared patient, hugging the crying family member, assessing, medicating, and educating the patients.  This I will truly miss.  As physically, emotionally, and cognitively draining as this job is, I will indeed miss it.  So, after reading that I'm starting to wonder why I took a new job.  :)  In all honesty, I'm ready for a change.  I want to see "the other side" to get a better understanding of why things are the way they are in the hospital.  I'm excited to help guide and encourage new nurses that are joining the float pool.  And I'm hoping that I can help make/change policies that will help the bedside staff and the patients alike.  So, wish me luck as I put on my heels instead of my Dansko clogs Monday morning!

Another big development yesterday...Ava not only tried to ride her bike for the first time without training wheels yesterday, but she succeeded!  I asked Nate to take the training wheels off before he ran to the store with Grant.  I held onto Ava's seat while we went down the block and back.  By the time we got back to the house I was starting to let go.  Within 5 minutes she was riding down the street by herself.  She was almost crying before hand because she was so scared.  She was elated when she realized she was doing it herself.  What a proud moment for all of us.  :)  She's still a bit unsteady at times, and has to work on starting by herself.  I'm anticipating some scrapped knees this summer, but am so excited for her.  She's growing up so quickly!

What can I tell you about Grant.?  Well, he continues to do pretty good with potty training.  Some days are better than others (some days he has no accidents at school).  I'm not pushing it because I don't want to go through what I did with Ava.  If he's not potty trained in a few months then I guess I'll push it since I know he's capable of knowing when he has to go.  His latest shenanigans happened Thursday at school.  I picked him up from school and had to sign an incident report.  This isn't the first one for Grant.  It's usually because he's running and hits heads with somebody or falls.  That day is was, "Grant was looking at family pictures with all of us and then punched his friend in the eye".  What?!?  Whose kid just punches another kid in the face for no reason?!?  When I asked him about it he said he punched Marcus in the eyeball and then gave him a kiss.  Oh good, I'm glad you gave him a kiss.  That makes it ok to punch your friends in the face.  Geez!!! 

I think that about sums it up.  It's just me and the kids for a few days since Nate is in WI for work.  Thankfully Boppa is coming over tonight so he can take the kids to daycare on Monday morning.  They will start going full time this week since my new job is 4 days a week.  Wishing you all a wonderful week!
Cousin Andrew & Grant (they are only a week apart in age)

Thanks for lunch Aunt Carolyn & Uncle Rick!
The kids planted grass in their little bunny vases at Easter time.  Here they are trimming them up.  I seem to kill everything else, glad I can at least make grass grow.

I can not tell you how much Grant loves "driving" the car. It's always interesting starting the car up the next morning with the blinker, wiper,and  emergency break on with the radio cranked up.
Oh yes, I forgot to mention that Grant has been having hives on and off since Wednesday.  I ended up taking him to urgent care (there is nothing urgent about that place) yesterday evening because a friend PA of mine thought it could be a rebound reaction and go to his throat.  Thank God for our amazing neighbors who took Ava while we waited for 2 hours to find out that I should just continue giving him benadryl which I was already doing. 
My sweet babes heading off to church this morning. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A beautiful weekend

I was so fortunate to have this past weekend off work, and be able to enjoy some time outside with my family.  The sun was out and the temps were up, and we soaked it all in.  Saturday morning we took the kids to the park near our house.  This is after Grant escaped the house and attempted to walk to the park by himself.  One of the scariest 1 1/2 minutes of my life when I came downstairs and realized that he was not in the house.  I then noticed the garage door open, and went to the garage to get him.  It was then that I noticed that Nate had left the big garage door open since he wouldn't be gone long.  I ran to the front of the house searching the streets and yard and yelling his name.  I got no response.  I ran inside to get my shoes and tell Ava to stay inside.  I then ran to the back of the house, which is where I saw this messy haired little boy in his pjs and snow boots on the wrong feet, walking down the path about 3 houses down.  I ran to him and asked him what he was doing.  His response, "I going to the park".  Duh, where else would he be going besides across the street to the park near the lake?!?  My goodness!!!  We had a little chat about not going outside with mommy or daddy. 

Anyway, we spent the morning at the park, and then down by the lake throwing rocks.  That was obviously Nate's involved mud.  After nap we packed up and headed to Minneapolis for the Gopher spring game.  Ava enjoyed running up and down the stairs, and eating.  Grant on the other hand Loved playing catch, kicking the ball, and watching the game.  Our little man even made it on TV on the Big Ten Network.  He was in heaven there.  By the time we got home that night, they were both disasters and ready for bed. 

Sunday was another beautiful and low key day.  We went to church that morning, and spent another afternoon at the park with many of our neighbor friends.  We couldn't ask for better neighbors!  Monday morning the kids and I headed to the zoo with some of our neighbor friends.  They enjoyed seeing the baby farm animals.  I think feeding the goats was definitely the highlight though.

Grant continues to recover from his surgery.  He has been good during the daytime hours for a couple of days now.  He still needs his ibuprofen at night, or he wakes up crying.  Poor little man.  That adenoidectomy kicked our butt.  At least the fevers are now gone, and I think that his breath may be improving at least a little bit.  Hopefully we can get back to restful nights where I don't have to get up twice a night with these kiddos. 

Throwing rocks into the lake 
Down on the field at the Gopher spring game 
Grant, Boppa, & Goldy 
Daddy & Grant
Ava (Anna) & Avery (Elsa)

Grant talking to the goat
Grant & Avery feeding the goats
Avery, Cailyn, Grant, & Ava
I seriously laugh every time I see this picture.  Her facial expression cracks me up!