T Rex Family

T Rex Family

Monday, July 21, 2014

Slowly I am catching up. We hit a bit of a snag this past week with our baby getting her first major illness. She has barely been ill in her entire short life but she debuted with a big one. More on that another time perhaps. For now, I am finally getting around to posting the kindergarten hike photos from about 6 weeks ago.

T's teacher (Mrs. T) did an extra field trip for families that wanted to join. It was not a school supported activity. Anyone wanting to participate had to be accompanied by an adult. My friend KN (again, still working on her screen name) and I thought we would each take our three kids along on the hike. Plus, the rating on the hike was "easy" and the weather had been fairly temperate. 

As I mentioned in a previous posting, that last week of school our household was hit by a bad gastrointestinal virus. I was especially hit hard and felt weak for several days after I was rehydrated and no longer acutely ill. I was going to ask baby's super awesome sitter Ms. B to watch her but KN and Mrs. T said they would carry her. 

So, of course, no battle plan survives contact with the enemy...(not that our kids are our enemies - just a figure of speech.)

It was hot. One of our hottest days of 2014 up to that point.

Mrs. T started off with the baby on her back (see first photo). Baby did not like that because it was nap time - she wanted to be front carried. So we switched her to front carry. That made her much happier and she snoozed until I took over.

KN's youngest decided about 10 steps into the hike she wanted to be carried and KN was not as fortunate as me to have a child carrier. Lil Sister tried inspiring little B to walk along with her and B's big sister L. That only worked about 25% of the time.

Mrs. T and my T were way ahead. KN and the rest of our kids were at the tail end. That was fine with me. I enjoyed the chit chat. About the last 25% of the hike, Mrs. T came down to find us and said she needed to carry some of the other kids the last part of the hike (she is a machine - super fit and strong). I took over and front carried baby the remaining steep portion of the hike. I thought I was going to die. I am usually pretty good at hikes but having lost 5 lbs from illness and still weak, it took everything I had to finish the hike. KN was still carrying B without assistance. She also had a backpack full of Poweraid which came in very handy when we had to stop and help someone having a little heat exhaustion. I was totally prepared with my first aid kit but did not bring anything to help with fluid replacement. 

Another mom also brought a minor first aid kit. A couple of the kids scraped their knees and I provided bandages. T only saw the moms putting the bandages I brought onto the knees. When we got home he was telling his dad how another mom was super prepared with an awesome first aid kit. Hubby looked at me and I looked at T. My response was, "Draw when ready, Son - do you think she was more prepared than your mom?" He smiled and laughed. Then he said, I thought those were our super hero bandages. However, I did not think to bring extra Poweraid like Ms. KN.

I was proud of my kiddos because they did carry their own back packs stocked with water and snacks and they even shared their snacks. We actually hike quite a lot as a family - the big kids and their dad even more than me. I am wanting to get them kid-size camel's backs for future hikes. If you look at the photos closely you will see their flushed faces. Baby (B.B. as we are coming to refer to her) did great.

Eventually, we did make it to the top. We were the last ones up, but we did it. We were up there long enough to eat a popcicle and snap some photos before heading down the trail again. This time, T stayed with us most of the way but we did get separated from the group and had to back track once. The kids were getting weary and I tried entertaining them by telling William and Sweetpea cat stories - bedtime stories with life lessons I've made up for the kids. I eventually ran out of stories and opted for some made up, on the spot ones but those barely sustained us. 

KN (aka Iron Woman or Wonder Woman - I am torn between these two screen names) - carried my baby down the hill but once again, her baby wanted to be carried so she actually carried both kids down the hill. What a woman! (See the last photo.)

We decided we would probably do the hike again with kindergarteners but not with our other kids. Plus, I would not do it again after a week of illness. I would want to have been doing my steady work outs leading up to it. The memories of the day are quite priceless and I will always cherish these photos to go along with the memories. Plus, how many other kindergarten teachers would organize all this without any compensation and carry kids up the trail? Mrs. T is also very much a Wonder Woman, too. So amazing to be surrounded by such incredible women - Mrs. T, KN, Ms. B (more on her in a future posting, too - because it all comes together how we know each other).  And I will end on that note...

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Brother's Visit and Nan's Big Surprise...

On July 1st my land line rang. It rarely does so usually I pay attention when it does. It was my brother. He said he was going to be passing through town and asked if we would be around for the 4th. We had already made plans but since I've been asking him to come up for a visit for the past couple of years to meet his nieces and see his nephews, not to mention, celebrate our Mom's 75th birthday, I said I would drop everything and be on stand by for his visit. However, I wanted to throw our mom her birthday party. Her birthday is just a few days after the 4th so this would be perfect.

I called up my mom and asked her to come over for the 4th. She said she had plans already. I explained I really needed her help to get ready for a July 4th gathering so I was hoping she could change her plans. She, of course, said sure. I also arranged for my sister to be in on the plan as well.

On the 3rd I had to work. I don't usually work on Thursdays but I've been working different days here and there to accommodate summer vacations. I don't have much vacation time because of maternity leave. Thursday night I stopped and picked up a birthday cake. My mom was already at my house when I arrived. She was going to stay the night and "help" with the festivities and watch the baby so I could prepare things. She saw that the cake was yellow (her favorite color). My reply, "Uh, yes, umm, the store did not have any more red, white, and blue ones that were chocolate." (Just seems like a totally horrible thing to lie to one's mother so I was really stumbling on my words.) But, she bought it. Fortunately, I had the 7 and 5 candles hidden away in my purse at the time.

On the 4th, Hubby and I awoke early. My mom played with the kids while we cleaned up the house. Then she started to help me cook because that's just who she is - she just dives in a helps - all the time. She will often tell me, "What can I do to help? Put me to work. I don't like sitting here watching you." So, I did just that - I wanted her distracted from her surprise birthday party, especially with the big surprise that was driving a long way to see her. While the baby slept and the kids played in their clean rooms, she and I cooked. As she was rolling out tortillas I received a text from my brother that he was about 30 minutes out. I sent the kids outside to wait. Well, it took a little longer than that and the directions I gave were a bit confusing but about a hour later, he arrived and the kids greeted him at the door. Man, was it tough on them to keep this whole thing a surprise but they were great!

I thought it awesome that even though they were traveling on the 4th they were still wearing red, white, and blue. The kids led in their uncle and Lil Sister announced, "Nan, we have a surprise for you..." She looked down at her because she was totally expecting a drawing as that is usually what accompanies such an announcement. But instead when she looked up, there was my brother. 

It was awesome! She was speechless. Then she cried and hugged him. It had been a couple years since they had last seen each other. However, it had been about 10 years since all her kids were together. A short while later my sister (and brother-in-law and nephew) who lives local arrived and there she had it, all her kids together. She said later that she thinks it may have been the first birthday she had all of us together to celebrate her birthday. That may very well be true. She also said, for the record, it was the best birthday she has ever had.

It was wonderful to catch up with my brother and sister-in-law. I know they were tired from their travels and went well out of their way to drive up here for the visit, but it was wonderful and Mom is still talking about it. It was nice to hear about my nieces and nephew and all their kids. They are more like cousins to me with some of their kids being older or the same age as mine. I especially enjoyed the political conversations with my brother and sister-in-law. We share a lot of the same opinions there.

Before they left, I insisted on singing happy birthday to our mom. Then I confessed that I lied to her about the cake. She laughed and forgave me. I also insisted on some photos. My brother was a good sport.

A few other things I will remember from the day - T kept calling my brother Uncle Jules. Lil Sister was pretty shy around him. The baby liked my sister-in-law, but then again, most babies do. It was fun to also see my brother carry my baby daughter around. I will also note in the photos my brother looks like a giant among us ladies. He is definitely the tall one in the family but we are also quite short (Mom being 4'11").

It was a great visit. I am so grateful to my brother and sister-in-law for taking the extra time to drive up here for the afternoon and celebrate with us. They could only stay a few hours but it meant the world to my mother, as well, as the rest of us.

Here are some of those photos to commemorate the day...

Sunday, July 6, 2014

An Update - Finally...

I know I am totally behind. However, I am trying to embrace life with my kids and enjoy them and not put so much pressure on myself to blog. With that being said, this is a log of our family and its happenings so I need to at least update once in a while. So here is the update. It may be long. Or it may be short - kind of depends on how my pack does while I pull my thoughts together.

T finished up T ball and Lil Sis is ready to start next year. It was a great year and we had lots of fun.

At the end of May, right before school for T was out, over a two week period we all contracted a bad gastroenteritis virus. Everyone except the baby became ill. I worked so hard to keep nursing the baby so she would get antibodies and not get sick that I ended up getting dehydrated. Two liters of fluid later I was no longer in danger but still ill. It took me a full 7 days to get my energy back. (A huge shout out and thank you to the folks who helped while I was sick either with health care or child care - you know who you are and you know you saved our bacon). Poor T, he had not missed a singe day of school until that last week. He was pretty bummed but his super amazing teacher dropped off a little care package to help him feel better.

That same week was also T's kindergarten graduation. I was still feeling ill but managed to pull things together so I would be there, especially since I was the art mom for the class and I wanted to present a special end of year gift to the teacher that the kids had crafted. She was very touched. I will post a full series of photos from graduation on T's blog. We also participated in a hike with T's teacher and a few classmates. I will post more about that in a separate posting. That was fun and adventurous.

The same week as kinder graduation there was kindergarten lunch. Hubby, Lil Sis, and I all met T for lunch. BB was already at Miss B's since I had to sneak into work late. It was the end of my 6 1/2 days off. I'm sad I was ill the entire time but glad I did not have to miss work. This time of year patients get really grumpy if we have to reschedule them. I am booking appointments about 6-8 weeks out it's been so busy.

Then school was out. I simply cannot believe how fast the school year went. And then just like that, it was over. T cried the first day we did not have school. We lined up some activities to keep him occupied and I think we did a good job because no one has claimed to be bored - yet. Both kids are doing gymnastics. T did asthma camp. They start martial arts next week. 

Somewhere in there BB turned seven months and learned to sit up - finally. The child is always held so it's no wonder she is lacking in the gross motor skills department. She's really ahead in the language area though - probably from everyone always talking to her.

I've picked up a few extra days of work since all the other providers are taking vacation. I was really questioning the extra days since I've had a few rough days of late but I am learning a lot and even had my very first student. That was pretty cool.

I have also been helping my friend (still working on her screen name and I have a separate posting about her - yes, KN, be scared) with her kids while she is in graduate school. Actually, it's more of a kid swap. Plus, my kids absolutely adore her and her kids. They are starting to act more like siblings of late. It's great for the kids and me, too, since I've been feeling so overwhelming being a mom of 3. Now, when I go back to having 3 from 6, 3 it seems totally easy. The caveat being her kids are pretty easy, though.

I have also undertaken a few big sewing and small crochet projects. I will post more soon but this update is already exceeding the duration of Toy Story 2, which was keeping the kids entertained while I write. 

Then BB turned 8 months. That really crept up on me. She is still super smiley and happy. Still only has 2 teeth but says a lot.

Lastly, my brother came for a quick stop and I turned his visit into my mom's 75th birthday surprise. So far, that is the biggest highlight of my summer. I'll do a quick single posting on that as well.

So, there you have it. Lots of updates. I'll throw in some photos and write more soon as well as try to update the kids' blogs.

T ball crew. 

T with his dad at kindergarten lunch.

Kids at the top of Table Rock - from our hike.

Baby 7 months and finally sitting up. 

My handsome graduate.

The crew of 6 that I took to the Botanical Gardens. I just love this photo. I smile every time I look at it.

Playing on her actual 8 month birthday date - she is at that racooning stage - a favorite stage of mine. She is about over the baby toys, too.

T was so excited Nan was able to see her "little guy" on her birthday.