Friday, May 31, 2013

Yeah!

So my babies don't exactly speed through their milestones.  No one walked before they turned one.  (Lucy didn't even start crawling until she was 11 months!)  Nate was the only one wearing underwear before age 3.  (Please note that that meant that I had at least 2 in diapers for more than 5 years and even a few months with 3 in them!!)  Slow is just our style.

But when we do reach those milestones, no matter how small...well, with absolutely no bias, my kids have done so in the absolutely cutest way possible!

Case in point...



Admit it!  NEVER have you seen such a cute clap.

I'm such a mom.

Monday, May 27, 2013

So...

We adopted a dog.


If you know me at all, there is a really good chance that you know that I am not a dog person. It's not that I dislike dogs, it's just that...well...they make me nervous and they smell and well...I'm just not much of a dog person. But Anthony has always wanted a dog and I had originally told him that after 2 kids he could have one. Whoops.

So here is how it happened this weekend.

On Friday, Anthony and I were on a walk in our neighborhood and found a little dog without a tag. We picked him up and asked a neighbor and took him to his home. As we were walking away, Anthony told me that he had been preparing in his head to bring the little guy home and take care of him and was kind of disappointed that we were walking home empty handed. He (Anthony) was just so cute about it and after about a minute of thinking it over, I said to him...

"I think it may be time for us to get a dog."

Look, this is just how Anthony and I do things. We talk about them for years and then all of a sudden one of us says let's do it and we do. It tends to cause our family members to scratch their heads, but it always makes perfect sense to us.

So, we began to check things out online and found a dog that seemed to fit the bill for us...medium sized dog, not a little puppy but not very old, doesn't really shed...and get this, his breed is from the Congo! Seriously? An african breed? Done. We told the kids Saturday morning and went to the shelter that afternoon. He ended up being the only dog we spent time with and we just loved him.


We named him Huckleberry. "Huck" for short.  We wanted something from classic children's literature and Huckleberry was the clear winner.  (Lucy enjoyed the fact that that is also the name of one of Strawberry Shortcake's friends.)  He's been doing really great so far. He follows commands really quite well, but is not house broken, so Anthony is working on that. ;)


I have no hope that at the end of the day I will be a dog person, but I do hope that our family enjoys having a dog around and I am so glad that we were able to get this little guy out of the shelter and into a home.


Welcome to the family, Huckleberry!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Camping.

I don't camp and I don't have any desire too. I love hiking and spending time outdoors, but when it is time to go to bed...I WANT A BED!!

Anthony, on the other hand, loves the idea of camping and has been counting down the days for the kids to be old enough to do it with him. With Adele and Elise 9 and 8 now, the three of them have been making plans to sleep out on our trampoline since this winter. We decided that last night would be the perfect night and so while I was out with a friend for the evening, they roasted marshmallows together and then snuggled down in their sleeping bags.

It truly was the perfect night. The temperature was supposed to hover around 60 degrees, the moon was full and there wasn't even much dew this morning. I was a little doubtful that they would all make it through the night, but I woke up early this morning and snapped this picture before they woke up...


How sweet is that?! I don't think anyone really slept all that well, but they were all pretty happy when they got up this morning anyway.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Did you notice?

In the last post there is a family picture, did you notice that Adele and Nathan were both wearing glasses?  And these aren't the much loved fake frames that the girls have sported for years, nope, these are the legit, expensive kind.

And as of this evening, there are three kiddos sporting them...


Sigh.  I guess Anthony's dominate genes fell short in the eyesight department.

We had known that Nathan might need a pair when we went to the doctor's a couple of months ago and he had struggled with the eye exam, but it didn't seem like a big deal, so I didn't rush to make an appointment.  Then a couple of weeks ago, Adele came home and told me that her teacher had noticed that she was getting up to read things on the board...so I made appointments for the both of them the next day.

That night when we got home and shared the news that they were both in need of glasses, Elise started saying that she was having trouble seeing things at school too.  Oh no.  So when we went to pick Adele and Nathan's frames up last week, we had an appointment for Elise...and then ordered her a pair.

They all look adorable and are adjusting really well (although Nate is really not too fond of wearing them), but I have to say that I am really sad that they are all needing them.  I got glasses when I was in the 2nd grade and they are such a pain. Not being able to see the clock at night, swimming, contacts, the cost...it's all such a pain and I hate that three of my kiddos (hear that Lucy and Matthias!!!) are having to deal with it.

But they do and I'm glad that they are all being such great sports about it.

Of course, Lucy is dying for a pair too, but I have already told her no way...it's fake frames only for that girl, I'm hoping! So, she settled for loosing her first tooth last week...


Man, they are just all changing and growing up so fast!!!  Good thing I'm getting to start over with that sweet little baby in our house...


Oh my, he is just so insanely cute.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Graduation Part Two.

He did it. We did it.


Anthony graduated today with his Masters in Counseling and we are beyond proud of him. I could really brag on him, but that would embarrass him, so let's just leave it at this man just got a degree today that perfectly fits who he is. (Okay he totally kicked ass in school...it just needed to be said.) He was simply meant to be a counselor. I don't get to sit in on his sessions with others and he is only able to share little bits here and there, but let me tell you, to hear him talk about what he does...he was meant to do this and I am just so happy for him.

This journey has been much longer than the two years of school that he has under his belt. We began talking about him counseling during our first year of marriage. We ALWAYS thought he would move in this direction. And now here he is, well, he won't actually be completely done and able to start a practice until this fall, but the bulk of the work is done and we have a wonderful laid-back summer ahead of us to enjoy how far we've come.

I am so proud of him.

And I'm proud of our whole family. Our kids have been incredible. I mean, it has been hard. Anthony has been gone 3 nights each week for a long time. Not to mention all the day hours and studying. And it has been hard on the five of us at home. For one, we just love the guy...okay, we all tend to fight over his attention. (Yes, I'm including myself in that.) And he does so much. Everything just seems better when he is home with us. And yet, the kids have been so understanding. More so than me sometimes, which never ceases to amaze me. They have made this doable and I am so proud of them all. Heck, they sat through two and a half boring hours of a graduation ceremony this morning and I didn't have to scold any of them even once! They rock.


Congratulations sweet husband. You deserve all the praise and affirmation that you have been receiving. You always have deserved it and I am so thankful that you are finally hearing from others things that I have been telling you for years.

I'm so proud of you.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

What we are reading.

Yesterday while I was at my mom's house, she had me go through a bunch of children's books she had.  There were some real beauties in there and I grabbed a few that were my favorites when I was a kid...


and some really lovely ones that were my mom's and grandma's...


We have just grown more and more in love with books in our house the last few years and often find ourselves talking about what we are reading, what we want to read, and books we would love to add to our collections.

So what are we all reading right now?

Adele and Elise read together each night before bed.

Adele just started Wonder by RJ Palacio.  A friend had given it to her for her birthday.

Elise is reading Mary Poppins in the Park by Dr. PL Travers.  It's the 4th book in the Mary Poppins series (did you even know that there was a series?!) that we gave her for her birthday.

Anthony is so glad to be able to read some novels again and is currently reading through one of my favorites, Tess of the D'urbervilles by Thomas Hardy.

And I just picked up my oh-so-lovely copy of Les Miserables by Victor Hugo.


A family of bookworms...I love it.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Snow? No. Food? Yes.

This could be a post about the fact that it is May 2nd and while yesterday I was getting overheated in the 80 degree weather as I mowed our yard, today looks like this...


SNOW?!  Are you freaking kidding me?

But I'm not going to post about that, because that would be entirely too depressing.

So, instead I figured I would post a little bit about food.  More specifically about feeding a 7 and a half month old.

A little history on feeding babies in our house...

When Adele was born we were told to start solids somewhere between 3 and 6 months.  Being first time parents and excited for each new stage, we jumped right on feeding at the three month mark.  And I really have no regrets about this at all.  I was using the accepted knowledge of the day and she was my only child, so I had all the time in the world to see how much rice cereal she could eat.


Elise came less than 13 months after Adele, and I was a whole lot less anxious to add another thing to do in my day, so I waited until the absolute latest "acceptable" time of 6 months to start her on things.


It was the same with Lucy except that I had learned at that point to get rid of the bulky high chair and use a lovely little portable seat that they can actually sit up in.  (And that cost about a third of the price!)


Nathan was a little different because we didn't have him with us until he was 11 months old.  But with him, I'm not sure he had ever self-fed at that point and he was completely incapable of doing so.  In fact, he didn't seem use to anything that wasn't pureed, so there was definitely a learning curve with him.

I couldn't find an eating picture of him, but this old video of Nate "eating" lunch always gives our family a giggle.

Now, with Matthias I knew that I wouldn't start solids until he was six months old.  So when six months came along, we slowly began to introduce food.  But within a couple of days, we began to notice a rash in his...ahem...region and we wondered if it was the food.  So we backed off.  We don't think the rash had anything to do with the food, but removing it opened my eyes to the fact that he was still not physically needing the extra food, so we simplified our day and kept it out.

At about 7 months, we decided that even though we aren't feeding him solid food, it was time to start training him on mealtime.  So now the little man joins us at the table during our meals and we give him something to learn to self-feed with.  A carrot stick, some snap peas, an apple slice, and tonight he gnawed on a pepper slice...


Oh dear, could he be any cuter?!

So he is learning.  To sit with us during mealtime.  To use those adorably pudgy fingers to feed himself.  All without the stress of having to bring food wherever we go or starting up with the super stinky diapers.  And most importantly, I now get to eat my meals without a baby in my lap!

Sometimes not rushing through life is just better for everyone.