Thursday, June 30, 2011
I'll be bringing my camera and posting pics of all the fun things we will do including 4th of July celebrations, birthdays and parties and enjoying summer in the country!
Off for my beauty rest;)
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Farmer's markets, library trips, hours at the park, t-ball.....
Sunshine, squirt guns, scooters, walks, bbq-ing, picnics, green grass, windows open, children laughing and screaming, dirty boys and nightly baths, bubbles, birthdays, relaxation, flies in the house, lawnmowers, bright flowers, squirrel's playing tag, birds and butterflies, 4th of July, traveling, family and friends....
Summer is Good.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
He has been begging me to get the boys in sports and unfortunately that is not an easy thing to accomplish in the city. But this past year, he was adamant that this would be THE summer of father-son sports time:)
We started doing some research shortly after we moved, trying to find the best program to fit our needs (a.k.a. money and time!) and came across the YMCA Little T-Ball League last week. The 8 week program had already started the previous week but the staff put us in contact with the youth sports director to see if there was still a spot for the boys.
He called back last Wednesday late afternoon and said the Wed night group was just starting (they had been rained out the first week) and we could come. I hesitated for a few reasons, one being the practice was at 7:15 and the boys are already in bed at that point! Ben, who was on his way home from work, was ready to move heaven and earth to get those boys to the practice that night.
The coach let the boys tryout together but Zakkai, after being hit in the face with a ball, quickly rejected the idea of playing. And that left Samuel, who has never had an easy time trying new things (This being no exception!), to play.
They left the house shortly before 7pm in baseball caps, sweatshirts (it was cool out) and we practically had to pry Samuel off the porch to get him to go.
They came back at 8:30pm beaming. Ben's eyes were lit up with the joy that only a fulfilled dream can bring. A Daddy's Dream.
Ben got some used t-ball equipment and we took the boys to the nearby baseball field to practice yesterday. as Samuel (as of last night) is officially signed up for t-ball this summer! Our sweet boys, mostly Samuel as Zakkai prefers to do things his own way (strong will anyone?), are just soaking up the special time with their daddy-instructor teaching them how to play the timeless game of baseball.
It really fills my apprehensive sports-less heart with joy to see this wonderful man, who longs to be a daddy who teaches, guides and leads his children, passing on something that is so important to him and filling these little boy's memory banks with a strong secure daddy-love.
Something to pass on to their children someday.
A Daddy's dream. A Daddy's love.
Monday, June 27, 2011
No, I'm not dying my hair black or getting my nose pierced or buying a convertible. Yet. I'm not changing my personality or going off the deep end (I don't think anyways!) but I am having a mental freak-out!
How in the world am I about to turn 30? Didn't I just graduate from high school? Weren't Ben and I just dating? Wasn't I just a young starry-eyed 19 year old with no clue about paying bills and adult responsibility?
How in the world am I THIRTY (almost), married for over 8 years, with 3 kids?
I joined the YMCA tonight (so S could join t-ball....see tomorrow's post!) and they had to take my picture. I had bad flashbacks of my driver's license picture last year where I tried to go for a pleasant yet not-quite-smiling look and ended up looking like I'm snarling my lip (hey, none of the other hardened Chicagoans were smiling and I felt peer-pressure!) so I gave a good smile for this one.
Only I look so.....old. I'm just supposed to be a young lady still! I'm still a daughter, young and ready to take on the world, right?
So why am I feeling like the minute I turn 30 (soon...hey, I can still enjoy my last days of youth!), everything's going to change? Like suddenly I can't have fun anymore and have to be a "real" adult? Like suddenly my body will change and I'll blow up and won't have the energy to chase after my kids? Oh wait....that already happens....
My knees are starting to get stiff when I spend too long on the ground. I get elbow pains when I lift weights, my legs fall asleep more. I get headaches when I stare at the computer screen too long (not that I have much time for that!) I'm getting wrinkles, for heaven's sakes!!
I find myself repeating phrases I heard as a child like, "In or out! You make up your mind and stay inside or outside!" ( you know you heard that one) or "What part of NO did you not hear?" (during my mean moments) or "You have to try your vegetables." or "If you make that face, it might stay that way!" (purely joking, of course!)
I'm driving a car that I swore up and down I would NEVER EVER in a million years drive and pretty soon I'll have a soccer decal on the back and you'll see me swerving in an out of lanes turning around and passing out juicing boxes and/or screaming at my children in the rearview mirror.
Pretty soon I'll be wearing coulats and white reebox or jumpers with little animals on the front.
So if you see me sometime soon and I really have done something crazy like bought a motorcycle or chopped off my hair and dyed it pink and changed my name to "Trix".....don't worry, I'm just having a crisis and I'm sure it will pass.....
(Don't worry, children, Mommy'll be alright soon...)
Sunday, June 26, 2011
It's been a nice weekend as the love affair with suburbia continues:) And before I tell you what we did, I have to say that to enjoy the weekend is such a nice change for me. For the past several years while Ben has been in school (esp the first 4-5 hard-core years), the weekend has been just an extension of the week which meant more long, lonely days just trying to figure out what to do and care for the kiddos while Ben worked really hard. And Ben is a really dedicated hard-worker which I respect so much! But I admit that I love with all my heart that his schedule is more flexible now and that he has some more time to devote to family time. It means the world to me! And to him, too:)
Yesterday we drove to Naperville and enjoyed the farmer's market there, which I must say was quite a bit more impressive than the local one from last Saturday! There were quite a few more varieties of things including wisconsin cheese, popcorn, honey from local bee-keepers, more varieties of fruits/veggies, baked goods, etc.
After strolling through that for a little bit we headed nearby to downtown Naperville, which we love and spent a couple of hours walking around, enjoying the nice day and having lunch! It was so easy to get there from our new place and much closer, too.
Today we tried out a new church that is close by and really liked it! We were warmly welcomed by people, the boys enjoyed their classes and Eliana didn't yell during the quiet parts too much:) In fact, she was pretty much ooohed and aahhhed over by everyone! Which she is used to by now....
Poor baby must be teething or something though because she has been really off the past few days. Having trouble sleeping well, crying when I try to feed her baby food and waking up grumpy and irritable. I wouldn't be surprised if those little sharp teeth poke through any moment....
In fact, I hope they do so we can get our happy go-lucky girl back!
We also enjoyed a homemade fresh peach-strawberry pie this weekend (oh so good!). I never thought to add strawberries before but there they were calling my name, all fresh and ripe and I thought, "Peach and strawberry go well together, don't they?" I'm here to tell you that they do indeed!
We are in the middle of making traveling plans, birthday plans (a certain little boy that I know is turning SIX and we shall NOT mention how old someone else is turning....), 4th of July plans, play-date plans.....all sorts of plans!
Have I mentioned that we are enjoying summer?!
Friday, June 24, 2011
Thursday, June 23, 2011
So here I am at the library! The boys are sitting in front of me in the children's area on little couches reading about tornadoes, flies and science experiments and Eliana is shrieking in her stroller. She'd probaby be totally quiet in the grocery store but the library? Definitely a place for baby shrieks!!
Be back soon!
Monday, June 20, 2011
*Enjoying more and more foods! I finally have time to introduce more foods now that school is out. You have had oatmeal, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, carrots, peas (your favorite!), applesauce, pears, sw. potato puffs, cheerios (the jury is still out on those), and today little pieces of wheat bread, which you loved! I'm hoping to find a good produce market and get lots of good green things for you to try. Since I know that kids LOVE anything green......(snicker!)
*Really close to getting your bottom teeth. I fully expect them to pop through anytime now and can't wait to see what you will look like! But please, no biting....
*Such a joy-baby. You are so happy most of the time and so content when you can just be with your family. It's so easy to take you places and you'll work with us when we mess with your schedule a little (to a certain point!). You LOVE to take walks and just look up at us and smile and look around at the big sky.
*Really blond! It's not the light blond that Z was but a golden blond color. Your hair, which always gets admired, is so shiny, silky and beautiful. It curls up a bit when it's wet or when you get hot and is always a wild mess when you wake up in the mornings.
*Adore your paci, once again. We reintroduced it in May when mommy got desperate for you to get back to the wonderful sleeping you were doing before vacation. You find it in your sleep and usually put it in upside down or sideways. Once again: adorable:) But we take it out as soon as you wake up so hopefully it won't be a hard habit to break...the second time around;)
Happy 8 months of love, sweet girl!
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Daddy fell in love with you before you were even born and if he wasn't head over heels already, he tumbled the second you were born!
I never knew how much gentleness and tenderness a little girl could bring out in her daddy until I saw him with you!
Little Girl, find a guy just like daddy someday (that is, if he ever lets you date!) Someone that will love you from the inside out. Someone that will respect you, care for you, treat you like the precious rose that you are. A man who will honor you and stay committed to you through anything that life throws your way.
Friday, June 17, 2011
In the first video, it is Samuel's class only singing "The Kindergarten Class" to the tune of the Adam's Family:) S is to the far right in both videos..
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Here is the long-awaited video of our new home! Keep in mind that it isn't "perfectly clean" (I mean, really, I'm pretty sure it's impossibly to have a perfect house with many small children) but I'd say it's pretty good for less than two weeks move-in!
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
They'll never believe me:)
We are currently connecting our new router and coming live on the internet! Back soon with pics....
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Samuel was SO nervous about today because they were secretly preparing for this big show for all the parents. He would start to sing songs and then clap his hands over his mouth and say, "Oh, I forgot! I can't sing that, it's a secret!"
You should've seen all the 5 and 6 year olds dressed in button down shirts, ties, frilly dresses, shiny shoes, curly hair and in one case, a fedora:) There are two kindergarten classes at the school, the English class and the Dual class (Spanish). They lined up at the back of the auditorium and some music started playing and one kid from each class danced their way up the aisle, stopped at the front and did a funny pose or motion (ex. flexing muscles) and then climbed up the stairs at each end of the stage, did another quick pose and sat on the floor of the stage.
I thought for sure Samuel was going to freak out and not go but he marched down the aisle, did a little pose, climbed right up on stage and did perfectly! SO cute. And the cutest part (to me) was that half his shirt was untucked and hanging out of his pants;) We tried to get a picture of him posing but it turned out blurry:(
But not to fear! I have some cute videos and pictures to come as soon as the much-anticipated home internet comes! I admit that I was a teensy bit teary off and on today, reflecting on how much my Samuel has changed and grown this past year.
He faced many challenges and situations where he was afraid he wouldn't succeed and yet he did! He learned SO many things, made tons of friends, captured the heart of his teacher and kept marching forward time and time again despite fears and anxieties of the unknown.
I am SO incredibly proud of my big (little) boy and how far he has come. He told me tonight that he wished he could be in kindergarten every day:)
In the car on the way home, B and I were talking about how big Zakkai has gotten (he was actually quiet at the moment staring out the window) and I turned around and said, "Zakkai, can you do me a REALLY big favor?" He looked at me very suspiciously at first but then I said, "I need you to STOP growing up, okay?" He immediately smiled and said, "I can't! My body just keeps growing and growing and it can't stop!"
I replied, "But I need you and Samuel to stop growing and stay little and still hold my hand and snuggle and sit on my lap and give me biiiiiigggg hugs!" A sweet voice from the bag piped up and said, "We will still do those things when we grow up, mommy!"
It's going by so quickly and I feel like I am trying to grasp sand that is falling through my fingers as I try to frantically soak in all the beauty (and challenging times!) of these days.
A wise person once told me, before I had kids, that having children was one of the most wonderful, beautiful and painful things that can ever happen to you! They can fill your heart and break your heart so easily.
I understand now. My heart is entirely full tonight of joy that is bittersweet.
~An emotional Mama
Sunday, June 12, 2011
We have been working hard all weekend to unpack and make our new place a "home." I'd say we're about 90% there! I really can't wait to share it with you by video in a few days. I convinced the hubs to hang things today. That always makes a place feel a little more homey, don't you think?
The boys really love the place. They spent the entire morning outside today soaking up the sunshine and cool air. They squirted each other with tiny water squirter animals (that was such a great description, wasn't it?), played tag, made hats out of paper bowls, played with a big box that I unpacked....They begged me not to throw the box away and I couldn't resist, especially considering how one of my favorite children's books in the world is "Christina Katerina and the Box." (written by my very own great aunt!)
Ben and I have worked hard to save a rug that about bit the dust. Somehow something very wet (as opposed to not very wet?) spread all over the rug we laid down in the basement and we couldn't find any other water damage anywhere so we don't know where it came from. It didn't dry due to the lack of air circulation down there and started to smell so I dragged out the trusty and wonderful "Little Green" machine and spent an hour cleaning it last night while Ben worked on organizing his office. It really was my ploy to get him down there organizing;) Okay, except the stinky rug part...
We laid it out in the sunshine to dry, turning it over like a hot dog on a spit and aside from a faint smell, I think it will survive. Nothing that a little baking soda and febreze won't cover!
Aren't you glad I shared that with you?
Now that we have that covered....Eliana is doing great. I can't remember if I mentioned that she had a hard time the first several days here adjusting to her room and the changes. She cried a lot when we laid her down at bedtime and for naps (well, what little naps we squeezed in between school-runs!) but now is as happy as a clam! She has the cutest, most perfect little room for her! It struck me today that she is only a week away from turning 8 months. I feel like I blink and another month goes by...
She is rocking on her hands and knees a lot and trying to mouth everything in sight! She started eating puffs yesterday and it is just adorable to watch her try to get them into her mouth. She always seems a little surprised at the taste but really enjoys them:) Hopefully when things settle down after school ends this week, I can start feeding her more foods.
I know it sounds crazy to most people that we're still in school! Sounds crazy to me, too..... We don't start til after Labor Day and get out later in June. The sad part is that the new school starts in August and ended over a week ago so we are losing an entire month of summer this year. Wow. I will have to make the most of our two months of freedom!
We took a long walk this afternoon around the neighborhood, just soaking in the peaceful quietness of suburban life. It.is.wonderful. I don't think I would've appreciated it so much if I hadn't had almost 6 years in the city.
Sidewalks that aren't falling to pieces, grass...green grass, children riding bikes, rabbits in people's yards, the feeling of safety, no screaming ambulances or roaring buses, friendly people that actually smile back at you...
Wow. It's a lot to process. We are really thankful!
Friday, June 10, 2011
It's been an incredibly exhausting week! Not only have we (mostly me:) been attempting to unpack and settle in, I have also been driving a minimum of 2 hours a day back and forth to school. Soooo tiring but a couple of friends have been kind enough to allow me to hang out in the mornings to save me another hour of driving, which was much appreciated!
We are crazy about our new place, new neighborhood and certainly not least, our new landlords! It is night and day from our last place and we are really looking forward to our time here.
I enjoyed some quiet time (my first full day here) today with Z and E while Ben did school drop-off/pick-up on his way to/from work. It was nice to relax, unpack a little, do laundry (NOT IN A LAUNDROMAT!!!) and play games with Zakkai.
Tomorrow we're off to a birthday party and probably more unpacking:) Pics/video soon to come!!
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Thursday, June 2, 2011
It has been a crazy two days and I fell asleep at 8:30 last night with a terrible migraine. Yuck! Today between the hours of 7:30-12pm, I went to the laundromat to wash all last minute stuff including bedding while Ben dropped the boys off at school and dropped around 175 books off at his school library (That only leaves 135 books that he has out now!). Just think on that for a moment.....
And then Ben picked me up, we picked Z up, we rushed home and I met with the federal investigator (who was waiting outside for me by the time we pulled up)about E's sweatshirt incident while AT THE SAME TIME, the landlord's realtor company brought people through our horribly messy and embarrassingly half-packed, box-strewn place. It was really fun.
The afternoon has been filled with feverish packing for me (and children-tending, of course!) while S and B dropped a load off at the new place and got more boxes.
Because you can never have enough boxes.
Annnnnnddd...aside from Eliana deciding that it would be a great day to start screaming at the top of her lungs for the pure joy of it....that was our day!
The race is on!