Thursday, August 27, 2009

Vacation time!

I am so ready for a vacation!! OK, so I am ready every day for a vacation, but finally we are taking one. We're leaving tomorrow afternoon (hopefully) and driving out to Omaha. It is about an 8 hour trip, but with 3 small kids and a dog, that means the trip is really about 12 hours. I do not look forward to the driving, or riding in the van with all of them. I hate it enough when it is just Andy and I, but add in 3 kids and it is a recipe for disaster. They get restless and whiny, then they fight, then scream and then cry. Then somebody has to go potty so we stop, yet again, 20 minutes after we just stopped. Then they run around and refuse to get back in the car seats, so the 15 minute stop turns into an hour or longer. I can't really blame them, it is a long trip and if I was 4 I would act the same way I'm sure. Usually by the time we get there I feel as if I've spent about a week straight in the van... and the van looks like it too. But we'll hope for the best this trip!! I usually pack a small bag for each kid with toys and coloring books, etc, so they have something to do on the ride. And of course we'll take our mini laptop/DVD player so they can watch some movies.

Hopefully Alex will look something like this on the trip - asleep and content. He actually fell asleep 'talking' on his phone.



We'll stay at my moms for a few days, then we're driving all the way across Nebraska to stay at a cabin at Chadron State Park. (Are we really going to do this with 3 small kids? Andy and I have been asking ourselves this over and over. We must be crazy I guess. Optimistic maybe.) It is supposed to be a nice area, and it is only about 2 hours from Mount Rushmore. So we'll take the kids there one day - I'm really looking forward to that as I haven't been there since I was a small child. It should be an interesting trip.

Preparing for the trip is another whole ordeal. Packing for 3 kids is crazy! Faye and Drew are old enough that they have their own suitcases and can help decide what to take and what they need, but preparing to take a baby or toddler (is he a toddler already now?) is a ton of work. Getting diapers, clothes, portable crib, sippy cups, etc. etc. etc. It is so much work I sometimes wonder if it is even worth it, but hopefully it will be a nice relaxing vacation.



On top of all that, it seems as if our garden exploded cucumbers and tomatoes. I didn't feel right just leaving them to go bad, so we stayed up late last night making pickles and pizza sauce. We eat a lot of pita pizza's when we don't feel like cooking, and pizza sauce seemed like the least amount of work. Although, we had two huge pots cooking so it took forever! So we'll also be starting out tired. Ugh... we'll see how this goes!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Vacuum

I've discovered that Drew likes to vacuum. Loves to vacuum. This has to be one of the best days I've had this month! Our floor is constantly dirty and I am constantly cleaning it. With 3 kids and a dog, I'm sure you can imagine how that happens. Drew got a carrot from the garden, and he was supposed to be eating it outside. Of course he didn't listen, and he made a mess all over the floor, after I had just spent the morning sweeping and mopping and vacuuming. The kids like to eat the carrots with the whole stem and greens attached, so pieces fly off here and there as they swing them around. I have to admit it does look like a fun way to eat a carrot.

I told the kids if they were old enough to make messes, they were old enough to clean them up and handed them the vacuum. The kids have now vacuumed the floor at least 3 times, and if they find a little crumb will ask me if they can get the vacuum out to clean it up. After dinner tonight I didn't even have to ask, Drew got it out of the closet, plugged it in, and cleaned up Alex's dinner mess. Yeah!!! I have a little helper. I just hope it lasts. Or maybe that will be a chore I will have the kids take turns with each day.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Little angels and devils!

Of course I'm talking about my kids... they can be either little angels or little devils, sometimes switching hourly and sometimes daily or weekly. Most of the time they are great kids, but they do have a lot of energy and that sometimes gets them into a lot of trouble. And there are days - those days you wish would just end quickly so you can start fresh and hope it is a better day tomorrow. We had one of those days yesterday...

I took them to Billie Jo's house yesterday to see Colton and to see her new house. The kids had never been there yet. I had an early 8am dentist appointment so I was up early, but the kids were not. Andy tried to get them all ready so we could leave as soon as I got home, which we almost did. Andy forgot that one of the kids needed shoes, and another one was dressed but very mismatched so we had to fix that a little! I was hoping for the best, but I felt rushed and unprepared, which usually means trouble. The kids must sense that.

Skipping all the terrible details as I really don't want to relive it anymore than possible, there was at one point in time an accident in the kitchen and an accident in the bathroom (yes almost at the same time - they are twins!), with a one year old running all over the house climbing and grabbing everything he could, not to mention it was already afternoon and no nap at all for the day, with Billie holding her baby who was still awake probably from all the commotion!



But it was great to see Colton again (and you too Billie, Mike and Brittney). He is one month old and a very sweet and adorable baby. He looks about like a 3 month old! But then so did Alex. He has huge chubby cheeks and would just look around at everything and is already holding his head up really well. He talked to me a little which was so sweet! He barely cried the whole time we were there, and he was awake the whole time. He is growing up way too fast!!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Warm busy weekend

Finally a warm weekend that we could enjoy outdoors!! We didn't have a single 90 degree day the whole month of July. It seemed like we barely had any 80 degree days in July, but I'm sure it saved on our electric bill.

Saturday when we woke up it was already warm. We headed outside and decided to have the kids help wash the van, which was long overdue. Its probably been six months since we last washed it. Oops - I guess that is why we have an old van. The kids had a blast washing and spraying it off with the hose. Even Alex enjoyed it, although he spent all his time playing with the soapy water in the bucket. He even decided to get in the bucket at one point and sit down. I of course ran for the camera but I was a little too late (why is it never around when you need it?). He was already starting to get out. He had an extremely wet diaper by the time we were done... it was dripping water when I finally took it off him. The kids decided they should wash their bikes too. I don't think the bikes were very dirty, I think they just wanted to extend the playing in water/playing with the hose time.



Saturday afternoon we finally made it to the pool, after a whole month of waiting for warm weather. I'm not sure we'll be buying pool passes again next summer, we haven't got a lot of use out of them this year. Andy and Drew rode their bikes to Spalding pool, while Faye rode in the Burley. Alex was napping so I rode my bike over when he woke up. The water was very very cool, but it felt great and we all had fun. It was not very busy, but this pool never seems to be busy. The other pool has water slides and a lazy river so it has much more appeal. This one is just a plain old pool, with two diving boards. I LOVE the lazy river, but the kids are too little so I rarely get to enjoy that. We can use our passes at either pool, but the kids usually choose this one - I think that will change in the next few years once they can use the waterslides.



We did manage to wear Drew out with all the activity, which is something we can rarely say! He did really well biking, probably about a mile each way. He was biking much slower on the way home so we could tell he was getting really tired. Of course they were all hungry when we got home, so we had pretzels dipped in peanut butter with white chocolate. Alex had it all over his face.



Sunday morning the boys got up early and went again for another long bike ride, while Faye and I slept in. We filled up the kiddie pool and the kids spent they day playing outside. Hopefully the warm weather will stick around for awhile. All the playing outside/swimming/biking really tires the kids out!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Boys boys boys!



The boys decided to help themselves to an afternoon snack yesterday. I was upstairs on the computer (only for a second) and thought they were downstairs playing. Faye was still napping. I noticed that things were especially quiet downstairs, which is always my sign that something is going on that shouldn't be. So I tiptoed downstairs as quietly as I could - I like to sneak up on the kids and see what they're really doing when they think I'm not watching - and found the boys sitting at the table and eating graham crackers. Lots of them! They had a whole package open and had broken them into pieces. At least they were both sitting at the table and not running around the house with them. So much for dinner though...



Raising boys is unlike anything else I think. They have this extreme energy and willingness to try anything, no matter how much they will get hurt or how much trouble they'll get into later. To them it is worth it - have the fun now and pay the consequences later. And they do get into lots of trouble, but the certainly have fun doing it!

Monday, August 3, 2009

The table..

I spent the morning today telling Alex, "no no - get off the table." He has learned how to climb almost anything, including the benches for our table as well as the chairs. So he climbs the bench, then on to the table, where he then decides he should stand up. So yes, I have a one year old standing straight up in the middle of our dining room table. So I tell him no and shake my head, he also shakes his head no as if he understands, and I lift him down. As soon as I set his feet on the ground, he is back to climbing again. Back on top of the table where he decides he should stand right in the middle of the table. We did this about a hundred times, not exaggerating a bit. I tried distracting him, but no luck. (I didn't take any photos of him doing this as the camera was upstairs and I was too busy getting him off the table to run and get the camera).

I finally remembered that Faye and Drew also had a thing about climbing the chairs and getting on the table. They were a little older, and they also did not stand on the table so it was not quite as worrisome. I also remember what we did - we bought them their own little table and chairs. And we still have it. It was covered in toys on our porch, but we cleaned it off and brought it out, and Alex, well, he seemed to like it. This is how he decided to eat his breakfast. At least he was sitting.




And yes, I do believe he is trying to lick his plate.