Friday, May 29, 2009

Charlotte Trip...

This past weekend John and I made our annual Memorial Weekend trip down to Charlotte with John’s parents. Thursday morning our nanny came as usual, we said “good-bye” to the kids, and we headed out.

You would think this trip would get easier for me, but in fact, the more kids I have, it gets harder. This year it was harder for three reasons: 1.) This was my first time away from Ryan, so of course that was hard; 2.) Kylie has been extra clingy lately and has a hard time when I leave for work every morning; and 3.) My parents now have three kids to watch, and I know that’s not an easy task at all.

So with conflicting emotions, John and I headed down to Athens to pick his parents up. We got there around 9:30, loaded up their stuff, and then headed out. We drove for a couple hours and then stopped to eat. It was a nice drive in that there was no fighting, no worrying about diaper changes or bathroom breaks (except for Jody :) ), and we could eat whenever we felt like it. I even got to take a little nap on the way down there.

We got to Charlotte around dinner time and checked into the hotel. I had to pump, which began my weekend of pumping every so many hours, which really was the downside of the trip (I have no idea how women exclusively pump…there’s no way I would have the patience for that!).
After that we headed in to downtown Charlotte, which we’ve never done before. It was neat because they close off some streets and there are all kinds of booths and free stuff. We ate dinner down there and then got to see Jason Aldean perform…he was giving a free concert!
The next morning we woke up and headed to Hendrick – they have a showroom with memorabilia as well as a store. We got Joshie a little 88 car, and then headed to the track. This year they were having a free cook-out! See the brown ring around the grass below? That whole thing is a grill! And some of the drivers were out there cooking food. It was all free, and you could eat as much as you wanted! Hamburgers, hot dogs, pasta salad and brownies, along with all the coke, diet coke and water you could drink. It was really neat!

After that we headed back to the hotel to watch Mall Cop. That was the dumbest movie I have ever seen! But we still had fun lying around and relaxing. The rest of the weekend the only thing on the TV was Jon and Kate Plus 8…I have always despised that show, but with all the recent hype surrounding them, I couldn’t get enough!

Friday night we went over to the mall. This was the reason I came to Charlotte :) See, I always try to buy the kids clothes at outlets, and since we’re here each May, it’s a great time to do that. And since I have lost a ton of weight (I know, I still owe you a post on how that happened), I have been waiting to buy new clothes until I was at the outlets because I knew that I would be spending a TON of money. Also, I NEVER get to shop here at home…even though I love to shop, I would rather be spending time with the kids, and we all know kids don’t like to shop…not one bit! So I was really looking forward to this! I went to one store Friday night and got a ton of clothes. Then we headed to our favorite Mexican restaurant down there, sat on the patio, and ate great food and drank a gigantic margarita!
Saturday we got up, had our normal morning breakfast (this hotel has the most fantastic breakfast buffet, including made to order omelets and waffles). Then John and I headed over to the mall. We got the kids their clothes, and then we had an awesome 2-hour lunch with an old high school friend that lives down there. After lunch John and I went back to the hotel (so I could pump) and then I headed back to the mall. I stayed there a few hours, bought more clothes, and then came back to get John’s mom and take John and his dad up to the track for the Nationwide race. Jody and I headed back to the mall, shopped for a few hours, and then went to Olive Garden for dinner (where I discovered my new favorite wine).

Sunday we had breakfast, and then I headed to the mall for some last minute things (including ponchos because rain was in the forecast). When I got back to the hotel, we packed up some things and headed up to the track. We got to our seats, heard the National Anthem (we called the kids during this because they love to hear it and have the whole song memorized!), and the drivers were getting ready to get into the cars, when John checked the radar and said “let’s go down by the concessions…it’s going to pour!” Sure enough, we were down there just a few minutes and it started raining. I happened to be wearing one of my OU shirts, and a guy walked by and said “cheers, OU” and he also happened to be wearing an OU shirt. We talked for a few seconds, and realized that the guy he was with went to our high school! So we actually hung out and talked to them the whole time the race was rain delayed (and ultimately cancelled for the day).

Monday we woke up, packed, and checked out and headed up to the track for the 12:00 race. We actually got to watch 70 or so laps and then it started raining again. We hung around for a little bit and then we all decided to leave. John and I had an 8 hour trip ahead of us, and I felt bad that my parents had been with the kids for so long (even though they say it was fine, they enjoyed it, and that I shouldn’t have thought twice about it).

We drove home, listened to the race, and finally pulled into Columbus at 10:30 PM. Kylie and Josh were still up, so we gave them their presents (Joshie got Fun Slides, a hockey horn and 2 88 cars while Kylie got a notebook and some Hello Kitty stuff). Then we went to bed and got up just a few hours later to go to work :)

It was a great trip, and while the weather wasn’t as perfect as it normally was, we still had a fantastic time!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Kylie's Birthday Party...

Saturday was crazy-fun!

We had sent out all of Kylie’s invitations (family, friends, and her whole class), forgetting to put RSVP information. So we had no idea how many kids would be coming.

We were worried about the weather as it was supposed to rain off and on during the day. We had no idea what we would do with a lot of kids inside if it was raining!

We ended up having about 15 kids there, and I had told the parents to drop-off so that I didn’t have to worry about entertaining them as well! My family was a huge help in getting everything set up!

It was not raining and warm at the beginning of the party, so John set up a huge treasure hunt, and we played some other games like red rover, red rover and relay races. The most annoying part was that we had some kids that just whined the whole time about the games not being fair, and one girl kept trying to walk home!

After the games we went into the garage for cake and ice cream and it started pouring! So we just closed the door and the kids ate their cake and ice cream. Kylie then opened everyone’s presents and then we finished with a piñata. Parents were there to pick up right at 5:00 and then it was time to relax! We had all of our family staying for a cook-out, so we threw some hamburgers and hot dogs on and sat around while the kids played. Kylie also opened all of her family presents at this time.

Kylie got some great presents and had a ton of fun. She was soooo tired that night! I want to give a HUGE "Thank You" to everyone that helped us on Saturday...we couldn't have done it without you guys!!

John giving the kids instructions for the treasure hunt:

More treasure hunting. See the dark clouds in the background???

Kylie got a pair of roller skates from my sister, so Joshie got a pair too. Here are my sisters trying to get them out of the package and onto their feet!

Ryan with Jody (my mother-in-law):

Monday, May 18, 2009

Happy 6th Birthday Kylie!


I can’t believe that you are 6 today! This year has flown by so fast…I would give anything to make time stand still because I feel like in a blink of an eye I will be saying you’re turning 16.

This year was a big year for you…you started school! I still remember that first day…you wore your green “Paris” outfit and had your long hair in pigtails. Your dad and I walked you to school and you were so nervous and shy. What a difference a year makes! Now you have a whole class full of friends and act like you run the school!

Right after you started school you got a new baby brother! For such a long time you were hoping it was a girl. By the end though, we had you convinced that there were upsides to having another brother (like not having to share your clothes and toys!). Thank goodness we did because you received another brother! From the get-go you were the biggest help! And to this day you are so helpful with Ryan and so very protective of him. Whenever you hear him crying you try to make him feel better, and you always want to come with me when I feed him. Sometimes we’ll watch a show, and sometimes you’ll read a book to me, and sometimes you’ll just talk to me. I love spending time with you!

When I was on maternity leave this year I got a lot of extra special time with you. I was able to take you and pick you up from school, and I was able to meet you for lunch once a week. I got to meet all your friends and some of the teachers at your school.

Because of being in school this year, you can now read anything. And I mean anything! You read so well and I have so much fun writing you notes! You are also a fantastic writer! You and I like to play a game where I’ll start a story, and then you write a sentence, then back to me, and so on until the end. We have come up with some crazy stories!

You and Joshie are the best of friends. You play together all the time and 99.9% of the time are the best big sister to him. You take care of him and watch out for him. You guys are still sharing a bed (even though you each have your own room) and have no desire to have your own space….yet :)

You LOVE gymnastics! This past year you skipped two classes and are in the big gym with the big girls. You are now in a special class training to be on team maybe next year. You are doing cartwheels and roundoffs everywhere! And just recently you did your pullover and back hip circle all by yourself! I’m so happy that you like to do something that I know about and have done before!

You are so inquisitive and smart when it comes to the Bible and Sunday School. This year you are in Carlo’s class and are learning so much! For your party this year, you even requested that you open all your presents from your family after you friends left. You know why? Because you said that you always get such good presents from your family, and one of the commandments is “not to want what other people have” and you were scared that your friends would want your presents. What 6 year-old thinks that way??? My Ky-Bear!

Your favorite color is purple and you love The Littlest Pet Shop, baby dolls, Webkinz and pearler beads. You like to watch The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, Hannah Montanna, but you also still ike to watch Barney and the Berenstain Bears.

You are the light of my life and I’m so very thankful that God gave you to me. Each day you amaze me more and each day I love you more (which I still don’t understand how that’s possible). Thank you for being my special girl!


Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day and Ryan's Dedication

What a great weekend! I couldn’t have asked for a better Mother’s Day weekend (although it would have been nice if it were about 10 degrees warmer, but that’s a minor detail).

Saturday my sisters and I headed out to get my parents their present (this weekend we are also celebrating my dad’s birthday (it’s the start of the birthday week – his birthday is today, the 11th, and Kylie’s is next Monday, the 18th, so ever since she was born he has coined it “the birthday week”)). We ordered them a kitchen table for their new house (the one that is next door to us, that they only spend the weekends in, so there is not much furniture in it). We had a great time and found a table that we LOVED!

My sister Suzie with Ryan:

My sister Cindy with Ryan:

Suzie hanging out on the hammock with Kylie and Josh:

Saturday night we made my dad his requested dinner: Spaghetti and meatballs, garlic bread, salad from Olive Garden, Fettucini alfredo and then a Heath Bar cake. It was so awesome! After dinner we played outside and just hung out.

Sunday morning Ryan was dedicated at church. So both of my sisters and my sister’s boyfriend and my parents came and celebrated with us! This was a very special dedication because Ryan was dedicated by a pastor that knew him. A pastor that had held him and played with him. A pastor that visited us in the hospital when he was born. This meant so much because for Kylie and Josh’s dedications we were just a number. One family in a sea of new babies. This was a special dedication.

After church we headed back to the house and John grilled out for us. We had a great lunch and tried to relax outside, but it was a little chilly because there was a strong wind. But it was very sunny! I gave my mom the photo book that I had made her along with the card I made her (I’m now into card making…I love it!). John and the kids got me a slushie maker! It’s the coolest thing! And they got me an extra cup and flavored syrups for my slushies!

My one sister left to go to her boyfriend’s family’s house to see his mom, and then later on my dad and other sister left to head home. Josh was so beat from the day that he went to bed at the same time as Ryan (7:00!), which happens so rarely! So my mom stayed with them while John, Kylie and I headed out on a bike ride to the park. It was so nice getting some one-on-one time with her!

I was so exhausted at the end of the day (and still really tired today!), but it was such a fun weekend! Kylie’s party is this coming weekend, so I’m excited that I get to do it all again and see everyone again soon!

My mom with Ryan:

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Little Ry-Ry...

I feel like so much has happened over the past couple months with my little guy! He’s constantly amazing us with ways that he’s more advanced than the other kids were, and ways that he’s perfectly content at being way behind the “normal” – like with moving. Or teeth.

Everything goes in his mouth. If he grabs your fingers to play they are immediately brought up to his mouth. Thankfully, he doesn’t have a hard bite :) And he’s not a bad drooler so far, which is so nice! He has the biggest, most amazing blue eyes, and the little hair he has is very light blonde (which is so different from the other kids' dark hair).

The first way that he amazed us was at around 5 months he was able to take his paci out and put it back in by himself. Do you know how huge that is? When he’s sleeping, if he can find his paci, he’ll put it back in and go back to sleep! He also claps his hands...very well! He started this about 1 1/2 months ago and I don't remember the other ones doing that this early either.

And he is a talker! He babbles and babbles like crazy! About a month ago he said his first “word” – dadadadada :) My dad has a theory…dads are called dads because that is usually the first set of sounds a baby says, and when guys first hear those sounds, they decided that they should be called dadda :)

He decided that rolling over was a good thing around 6 months. Even though he had been able to do it since before he was 3 months, he just chose not to most of the time. But at 6 months he really did start rolling back and forth a lot. He also wanted us there with him constantly. I’d lay him in his little jungle-gym thing and go make dinner and he’d be fine for a few minutes, but then he would start screaming (not crying, screaming), and as soon as he saw me, he would smile and go back to playing. He just wanted me to sit there with him while he played :)

He only just recently has decided that sitting up is a necessary thing. A little after 7 months he really started working it, and that has made life so much easier! I can finally leave him sitting and go into another room without worrying about him too much. He’ll still topple over occasionally, so I have to set him in the middle of the room so that if he falls he doesn’t hit anything, but most of the time he’s good to go. Now I can set toys in front of him and he will play with them while I go and made dinner.

When he’s on his belly, he shows no interest whatsoever in moving. No pushing up. No rocking. Nothing. Nada. But that’s OK…the other kids were late on crawling too…

He finally, just a few days ago, cut his first tooth! I’m nervous because Kylie didn’t cut her first tooth until 8 or 9 months, and it was so hard teaching her to eat real food (we had a lot of choking scares). But Joshie cut his first tooth when he was 4 months and ate like a pro – not one single choking scare! We’ll see how Ry does!

He is eating like a cow! Does this surprise me? No…he’s big and fat! The other day he ate 5 jars of food and 2 8oz bottles while I was at work. That’s a lot of freaking food for that little belly! And since he shows no interest in moving, he’s packing on the pounds :)

At his six month check-up:

Height: 27 inches (75%)
Weight: 18 lbs. (75%)
Head: 44 cm (70%)

He does not like cereal too much, and loves just about every type of baby food they make (as did the other two kids). And he’s still nursing great! But I’m still counting down – only 4 ½ months of pumping!

About 1 ½ months ago I decided that I had had it with him sleeping in our bed. He gave up the bassinette at around 2 months when he got his first cold. Since then he was sleeping in my arms and you had to hold him to get him to go to sleep. I was waking up sore every morning and I was a grump! Now with Kylie, she was such a problem sleeper and stayed that way until about 3 (we tried to have her cry it out and she screamed for 3 hours every night and we finally just gave in since we needed to go to work the next day!). With Josh, at around 8 months we went right to the crib and had him cry it out – night 1 was 45 minutes and then after that it was 5 minutes and then he was a dream sleeper. We weren’t sure what to expect with Ryan, but at 6 months we started trying him with naps in the crib. He screamed, but sometimes he would put himself to sleep. So we went back and forth for a while, and then about 3 weeks ago the magic started happening…we put him down for naps and bedtime, and he would play for a little bit, and then go to sleep. At night he would wake up after about an hour, and then I would bring him to bed, but that hour at least let me get ready for bed and have some “me” time! And then he started sleeping for hours at a time, and now, he only gets up to eat, and then I can put him back in his bed!!! It’s like we have two new parents…who get sleep and aren’t cranky because they have a baby that sleeps! He’s definitely following in Josh’s footsteps and by 7:30 he’s rubbing his eyes and cranky, which is hard for this late-night family, but hopefully he’ll switch over in a while like Joshie did. It’s hard to only have 3 hours with him in the evening! This is why I really don’t mind too much that he still gets up at night to eat. Another way he is like Joshie is that now the only place he will sleep is his crib or in the car. So if we’re out, I can’t put him to sleep in my arms anymore. Which is a pain!

And all of this, the eating, the sleeping, and the sitting up, has left us with one incredibly happy baby! He’s so happy, and smiley, all the time. When I go in to get him in the morning (and in the middle of the night a lot of times), he smiles as soon as he sees me and starts kicking those chubby legs! He smiles when he sees Kylie and Josh too…he loves them!

To say I’m in love with this little guy would be an understatement :)

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Where Have I Been?

I’m back! Unfortunately, my mind works in a very sequential way…things must be done in order. When I scrapbook? Yep, start with birth and go forward…you will never see me scrap a page out of order. So when it came to this blog, I had to get that vacation documented, which was taking forever. But there’s no way I could let myself write about what was going on in our lives until that was done. So thankfully, that’s done and now I can get back to documenting our day-to-day activities, which will be done in bullets to catch-up…

-I am feeling so good right now…I lost a bunch of weight and couldn’t be happier! I will write a separate post about how I did it, because it was so easy for me!

-Ryan is growing like crazy and becoming tons of fun! I will write a separate post with all of his updates as well.

-We had a wonderful Easter. We hid 72 eggs outside and the kids had a great time finding them. I have no family pictures, however, because when we got home from church Ryan was asleep, and for the first time in a long time, he decided to sleep for 2 hours, and by then, Josh’s cute sweater-vest was full of chocolate, and John had changed because he had to do yard work. But we really were a cute “blue” family before all of that!

-I have been really enjoying our trampoline :) We got it last year and since I was pregnant I couldn’t jump on it, but now, Kylie and I go out and jump and I help her do gymnastics on it.

-I had my annual scrap weekend at my house and had a ton of fun! On Saturday we had 10 people there scrapping! The rest of the weekend people came and went, but as usual there were the “core” ones of us that were there the whole time.

-I also scrapped all day this past Saturday on National Scrapbooking Day. I had so much fun!

-Work was super busy and thankfully, has slowed down now.

I think that’s about it for now…I will be back to posting every day now…I hate that I have missed documenting a month of my kids’ lives!

The Last Days of Vacation...

Our last full day of vacation we decided to head over to the speedway. We wanted to do the whole Daytona Experience. We went in (and thankfully, it was not busy at all) and watched the 3-D NASCAR movie (which we saw when it came to theaters, but it was still cool to see again). Then we went out and John did a tire change and we walked around and looked at all the neat stuff (including playing on the “bank” of the turns that they had set up inside).

After all that we went outside for the track tour. We were loaded up on the tram (looked like a lot of golf carts put together) and drove around and learned a lot of interesting facts about the track. We got out and had our picture taken in the winner’s circle and drove through the pit boxes. On our way back, Ryan decided to spit his pacifier out and I had almost caught it before it bounced out of the tram and down turn 3 :) So we joked that when we watch the next race, watch out for a blue pacifier flying around :) But when we got back and told the guide (he was great, making jokes with us and the kids the whole time) he offered to go and find it for us. I told him it wasn’t a big deal, but he insisted. So he and John hopped in a truck and went out. Meanwhile the kids and I got some great French fries and took a break! Luckily, John and the guide were able to find the pacifier very easily!

That night we went to a restaurant on the beach with a racing theme. We realized it was because way back in the day, the racers used to race on the beach, and this place was called something like North Point Turn. Ryan was a pain (as he really had been at every restaurant), but I finally got him to sleep right after our food came (I walked circles around the tables for what seemed like forever). And our food was really good! Wonderful French fries!

The next day we packed up and cleaned the place up. We said our “good-byes” and headed to the airport. The flight back was easy…Ryan slept the whole time and the kids watched a movie.

The one bad part of the vacation was that we found out that John’s grandmother had passed away while we were gone. So we knew that we had to head to New Jersey the next day for the funeral. So we got home and got everyone to bed, and then the next morning we packed up and hit the road for the long drive.

On the way to NJ, we stopped at the candy store that John and his family stopped at each time they made the trip to NJ as kids. It was awesome! Rows and rows of bulk candy for $3.29 per pound. The kids were in heaven!

The funeral was nice and hanging out with family was great. We had a fantastic dinner Saturday night and then headed home Sunday morning. The kids were absolutely fantastic the whole time! Even with being in the car for almost 20 hours in 3 days!