Friday, March 28, 2008

They are Growing Up So Fast!

My kids are making me feel old. I know, I know, some of you are rolling your eyes and thinking something like "Shut up you're not even thirty yet, how are you old?!?" (I know this because some of you have already said this to me!) but I can't help how I feel! Everyday I look at my babies and they are just so big! Some days I swear they've grown 8 inches overnight - they just seem huge to me! They are figuring out how to do things for themselves and are not needing me as much now. I know that this is ultimately the goal - to not need mom to zipper their jackets or help them take a bath - but it's weird that they are doing things for themselves! They are doing MY job!! I swear I'm not just whining, I do have examples - and they are good examples and great accomplishments for them, I just needed a little vent. Okay I'm done!!

As most of you know, I potty trained Alexander pretty early. He was such a good boy about it and hardly any trouble catching on but I was having a heck of a time trying to figure out how to get him to aim be himself once he started peeing standing up. I agonized over it forever and even asked you all for suggestions. Well, after all of my worrying about it HE went and figured it out by himself. I walked into the bathroom about two months ago and there he was going by himself!! At the time he was still too short to reach to toilet so he just stood on the stool and leaned over the bowl while holding on to the lid. I was SO proud of him!! Since then he's grown about an inch and a half so he can now stand on the floor and go. I still go in there with him just to watch and make sure that he's not getting pee everywhere and I still have to occasionally intervene (to save my walls), but he's going by himself. I feel a little silly about all the worrying that I did. I mean, he'd watched Bill go PLENTY of times. I should have known that he'd figure it out on his own when he was ready. He has also mastered his ABC's, colors, shapes, 24 piece puzzles, counting to 13 (when he feels like it), all of our names, how to work the DVD player and is a whiz at electronic and computer games. It's amazing how well he does with his leapster and vsmile games - he's really good!! We're working on our phone number now and I have no doubt that he'll pick it up quickly!

Hannah is also growing like a weed. She is full of questions and is not afraid to ask them. There are days when I feel like hiding from her just so that I can stop answering her questions! Since she is only in preschool she is woking on writing her letters and numbers in class. At home Bill and I are trying to help her learn to read. She knows all of her letter sounds and can spell some simple words and she is DYING to learn how to read (and to lose a tooth but that's a different story). The only problem is that Hannah is stubborn and tends to give up on things easily (she gets that from her father :-P!! ). It took us forever to get her to try to ride her "big kid" bike last summer but once we finally got her to try it she loved it. I have a feeling that reading is going to be the same way. Okay, that is not her great acomplishment, it's my preface to her accomplishment!! Hannah got a shoe tying book for Christmas and has been avoiding it ever since while whining that she wants to learn to tie her shoes so that she could be in the shoe tying club at school (somethig her teacher came up with). Well, after weeks of fighting and cajoling she finally tied her shoes last night!! She was so proud of herself and I couldn't have been happier for her. Now she can go back to school on Monday and finally join the shoe trying club!

I can't believe how much they've grown and learned in so short a time. While it does make me a little sad that they are growing up, it also warms my heart to know that I am here to help them along the way. I am so greatful that I am able to stay at home with them!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Spring Break

Today was Hannah's last day of school and she is now on spring break. Alexander's class ended about 2 weeks ago and doesn't start again until April 1st. So now I've got two kids nagging me ALREADY because they're bored. What the heck am I supposed to do with them for the next 10 days!??!! We can only play so many games before they're bored with those and I'm sure that taking them to the library will get old quick! If it were warmer I'd take them to the parks and maybe if I got brave enough I'd take them to the zoo but the weather is still too unpredictable for my tastes right now. (Although it is supposed to get into the 50's next week, Hmmm...) I mean, we've got a snow advisory going on right now. How crazy is that, it's a beautiful day but we're supposed to get something like 4-6 inches of snow tonight!!

Anyway, enough with my weather spiel. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to keep my kids occupied and happy for a few days?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Spring is one the Way!

At the begning of last week the kids were sick. Hannah had an ear and throat infection and Xander had Strep. We had beautiful weather with the temperature goinging into the mid 50's and they were upset that they were sick and couldn't go out and play with the neighbor kids who we could see playing in their yard from our front windows. After explaining that they couldn't go there because they were sick and could possibly infect the other kids they calmed down and stopped asking to go out.

By Thursday they were dying to be outside and as soon as they woke up they were beging to play in the yard. I figured that since they'd been on their antibiotics for 4 days that they were okay enough so I told them that after Hannah got home from school that we'd play outside. They were so excited that you'd think I had told them that we were leaving for Disney World.

We had to drive out to Bill's work right after school because he had forgotten something that morning and we ended up going to lunch with him which is always a nice treat. But once we got home we tossed our stuff inside and the kids went straight to the swings.

Hannah's first slide of the season

Alexander's finally tall enough to grab the rings without help!

Practicing for Spring Soccer

I think it's time to get him his own helmet - pink flamingoes aren't really his thing!

Hopscotch Anyone?

He's ready for the spring construction season!

I was so nice to be outside, I think we stayed out for about 2 hours. I know that the kids and I have been suffering from a mild case of cabin fever and this was just what we needed. I am SO looking forward to the warmer weather. I love it when you don't have to be all bundled up in the cold or half naked in the extreme heat. Spring is one of my favorite times of year.

Friday, March 7, 2008

We're Back!

We actually got back late Monday afternoon but it has taken me this long to settle in. We had a great time in the Dells and the house was fantastic! We got there Friday afternoon and after checking in we headed off to find the house. It took us a while to find because it was really far out and we weren't sure of where we were going but eventually we got there. As the men unloaded the cars and the women assigned rooms the kids (all 9 of them) were going insane running from floor to floor (there were 3 floors) and room to room checking everything out. We ended up going to dinner after settling in and then the women and children headed back to the house while the men went to Super-Walmart to stock up on food. By the time the guys made it back it was time for bed so off the kids went and most of the parents ended up falling asleep with the kids so it was an early night for all.

Saturday morning we were all up early and ready to head to the water parks. We went to the first water park and for some reason, my kids hated it. They did not want to be there and whined and complained the whole time that we were there. We took them on the lazy river which they didn't seem to mind but they refused to go anywhere else. Luckily we had found some tables so we ended up hanging out there and having some snacks and eventually having lunch. After lunch Bill and I packed up our kids and headed to the second water park (the one that everyone liked best last year) and the kids liked that one much better. They had a blast going in the wave pool and splashing in the water. Hannah liked the smaller water slides and Alexander liked the Tot area and the little slide. After leaving the water park we hung out at the house and barbecued burgers and hot dogs for dinner. The kids spent the rest of the running around and watching movies in the screening room.

Sunday morning after breakfast we decided to take the kids sledding. The resort offers tubing, which we did last year and it was nice but it was also kind of crowded and a pain in the butt if you had little kids because you have to pull them up the hill and then chase them back down the hill in order for you to be there for them at the bottom. I did this last year with Hannah (Alexander was too little to go) and I refused to do it again this year. Luckily our house was just off the golf course and we were surrounded be hills so we just took the kids out behind the house to our own private sledding hill. Everyone was having fun - except for Alexander. The boy just doesn't really like snow. He'll play in it for a little while but then he wants nothing to do with it. Fortunately one of the other smaller girls was done too so the two of them went in and hung out with Willie while the rest of us finished sledding. It was lots of fun and we even got to see a family of deer wandering around looking for food on the other side of the clearing. Unfortunately I was not fast enough with our camera so I missed them.

Here is the hill that we were on - it was pretty high!

Hannah flying solo

Bill waiting for his turn

Alexander's Snowball

Some of the girls decided to make a snowman - I think it turned out pretty good!

After about and hour and a half we all headed in, had some lunch and headed back to the last water park after the smaller kids had their nap. I didn't know how my kids were going to like this water park because it's basically a giant wave pool with a tiny kids area on the side and one big water slide (I think but I've never been on that water slide so I'm not sure). We were lucky enough to snag a table and then into the water we went and the kids loved it!! I don't think I saw them this wet all weekend!

Alexander after jumping in the waves

Posing for Mommy

Having a great time

Coming down the slide

There is a huge play area/jungle gym and arcade in the hotel so after dinner and showers we took most of the kids there. I think that this was the worst part of the whole weekend. It's a very crowded area and it is very warm. I don't really like this area because it's always a madhouse and because there are multiple exits on the jungle gym thing and you never know where your kid is going to come out of. We've worked out a system with the kids that works pretty well but it's still not my favorite place. Alexander didn't like the play area so he and I went into the arcade part which was even worse then the play area. It was so congested in there and twice as hot as the rest of the place that it was hard to keep an eye on a little person even when I was right behind him! I was glad to leave when we did.

After putting the kids to bed that night we finally had some adult time. It was the first night that ALL of the adults stayed up instead of falling asleep while putting the kids to bed. It was also someone's birthday so we felt like we had to stay up and do something. We ended up playing Apples to Apples (which is a word game) - I know we're party animals! Once we got bored with that the birthday boy suggested we play a drinking game that all of us were either too old or too sober (or both) to remember. We finally figured it out and I have to say that we had a good time. Several drinks, some popcorn and some frozen pizzas later I was ready for bed. I'm not sure how long everyone else stayed up but I was done!

Amazingly enough we all felt fine in the morning. I had packed the night before so while everyone else was putting their stuff away I did one final sweep of the house,l packed up some leftover food to take home and was done. We went back to everyone's favorite water park for an hour then went back to the house grabbed our stuff and headed home after stopping for lunch. So our trip was pretty uneventful but it was a great time and I'm looking forward to next year's trip.