Hello world, I am still here. Man I can't believe I let it go so long since I wrote anything. But yes, we are all still here. School is going well for the kids, Alex and Collin both and doing great! The only small problem we had was Collin not wanting to use the potty at school, but we got past that and now it is smooth sailing! We had Mackenzie's birthday 2 weeks ago, and it really was great. I can't believe she is already 3! I do not know where the time has gone, it was like yesterday that I was pregnant with her, dragging both boys to my million doctors appointments, starting this whole stay at home mom thing.
One rather odd thing was that somehow Imanaged to get strep throat in the middle of all this, none of the kids had it, and I didn't give it to anyone. It was just some wierd fluke case I must have gotten out somewhere. But let me tell you, I don't remember it being so bad when I was a kid, it really knocked me out for the count for a good few days. But now I am all better (I won't say normal, I don't think I was ever that! LOL) and it is pretty much the same old same old around here. I gotta say though I LOVE this time of year, Halloween through New Years is my favorite time of year. So here we go, into the holiday season, and I will try to keep up better with the blogging thing, but then again I can't make any promises. :-P LOL
4 years ago today my little Collin was born!! I remember that day very well, mostly for how normal it was compared to my other birth experiences. I was exactlly 36 weeks along, and hadn't been feeling well for a few days. I few days before I had had my 36 week check up and they did all the usually tests for Preeclampsia since I had had it with Alex. I had not heard anything back from the doctors office yet and so I had called them during the day but I was told the tests were not back yet. By about 6pm I was feeling pretty confident that if they hadn't called me yet then everything must have been fine. But just a little bit later I got the call from my doc saying that while my tests weren't too bad, my blood pressure was up and since I had made it to 36 weeks already (and because of how sick I got with Alex so fast) it would be best to just go ahead and have a baby! She told me to meet her at the hospital that night. Luckily the hubby was already home from work, and I quickly made the call to my mom that we would be needing a babysitter for Alex, that today was the day! So off we went, rather calmly, to the hospital to meet up with everyone. I was admitted to Labor and Delivery that night and was prepped for a C-section.
Oh yes, and we can not forget the funniest part about it all, that up until that point we all knew I was having a GIRL! I had brought a little dress to the hospital to take her home in and her name was going to be Mackenzie Ann. So, it was to everyone's suprise when at 10:36 that night, after a very normal c-section in which I got to be awake this time! LOL. A little boy was born! At first I thought my doc was joking when she said it was a boy, but then everyone in the OR realized that this was supposed to be a girl, and amisdt some laughing I was shown my new little boy. The problem was that we didn't have a name, at all! Or any boy clothes, and the nursery was already painted in pink and yellow. But after a day of talking hubby and I came up with Collin Thomas, Collin because it was a celtic name we both liked (hubby was very picky) and Thomas after my brother. And it was up to my mom and hubby's mom to go buy some boy clothes for the little stinker! And well, he just had to handle the pink room for a while. :-)
And Collin was as healthy as could be, he was 5lbs 8ozs at birth and went right to the regular nursery ( a feat for my kids!). And he got to room in with me, and came home with me after 3 days. In fact the day after we came home was MY birthday! What a fantastic present!
And while Collin has been a challenge at times, he is also a joy. He suprises me everyday with his curiosity, his compassion, and his uniqueness. My little boy who chooses to wear his pants backwards because, well, he wants too! Who takes care of his little sister and always has a funny face to show you. My baby who will be starting pre-k in a few weeks! I am so proud of the person he is growing up to be, and can not wait to see what the future has in store for my little Colli-buggers. :-)
Baby Collin in June of 2007, he was almost 11 months old and was already starting to walk!
Collin this past Saturday at his birthday party! We all had a blast, and Collin behaved incredibly well!
Happy Birthday to you!!!
The three kiddos with my brother Tom and his wife Sarah. :-)
Ok, ok, so not in temperature, or really in season, but we only have 2 more weeks before schools starts on Aug 23rd, and with Alex in all day Kindergarten this year it means the beginning of a whole new adventure! And though I am a little nervous for him, in reality I am fully confident that he is well prepared. Alex is already a very social kid, he can make friends with anyone anywhere (once he gets over his initial shyness) and while he isn't quite reading yet, the drive to do so is definitly there and I have no doubt that he will pick it up quickly. The other cool thing is that Alex's elementary school, North Jefferson Elementary, has actually been make smaller this year. A new elementary school is opening and so the whole county has been redistricted and because of that our district was made smaller and so now there will only be 2 classes per grade with no trailers. They are even small enough that they are having a catered seudo back to school night before school starts so that all the kids and parents can meet their teachers and see their classroom before the year actually starts.
Collin is also starting school this year, pre-k, at their elementary school. His year will probably start later than Alex's, not until September. But honestly I am not sure, they changed teachers this year and I have not heard anything yet from the new one. But last year with Alex, I didn't really hear anything until like 2 weeks or so before school started for them, so I am not concerned yet. And speaking of Collin, mister boy turns 4 in just a few days! Tomorrow we are having his party, and I am so excited for him. He is such a special little kid! I would never say any of my kids are my 'favorite', because I love them all with all my heart and soul, but I do have a special place in my heart for Collin. He is very much like me in a lot of ways, and he was my 'normal' baby. He is the one who gave me the opportunity to be an average mother, who got to room in with my baby and bring him home with me. I also feel like I missed a lot with him, since I went back to work when he was 3 months old and didn't become a SAHM until he was 12 months. Plus, he is just a very unique little kid, for example, he always wears his pants backwards. He knows he does it, and if you ask him why is pants are backwards, he will say "Cause I'm Collin!". I love my special little boy and am so proud of how he is growing up!
And then there was Mackenzie. She is in the middle of potty training and is having so so luck. She knows how to, and will use the potty correctly, there are just some days where she won't, and it is accident after accident, and then she will go back to going potty again. So, who knows, but hopefully she will pick it up soon!
So anyways, that is us for now. I will post pictures of the kids first days of school when they come around. My little babies are growing up!
I hope everyone has a fun and safe 4th today, and I want to say a big thank you to all our men and women in uniform, military, police, and firemen. Without them we wouldn't be the safe, free place this country is. I feel so blessed to live in the United States, where I can raise my children without fear. And as the wife of a former Navy man and police officer, I can say the sacrifices those men and women make are tremendous and they deserve all our appreciation for the job they voluntarily do everyday. So, thank you for keeping me and my family safe, and have a happy Independence Day!!
It is finally summer! Though with the temperatures around here you would have though summer started back in the beginning of June. It has just been stupid hot here, and we have had no rain for at least 2 weeks, the grass is all starting to die. Which normally wouldn't be that bad, we don't care about having a pretty green lawn, but with goats and a cow who need to graze, it is going to become an issue if it doesn't rain soon. But oh well, it will be winter again before you know it and then we will be wishing for these days back again. LOL.
The kids at least have been enjoying themselves, with Alex out of school the days have been full of coloring, playing outside, going to the pool, and helping Daddy with work outside. Little Collin has just gotten over being sick with some stomach bug, he was down for the count for about 3 days, but now is back to his usual, opinionated, emotional self. Though I must say, over the last few weeks he has started listening much better. And I have seen him helping Mackenzie a lot, he will get her toys she asks for and shares with her and last night he brought her one of her baby dolls when I was putting her to bed "so she wouldn't get lonely". He really is a very sweet, kind little boy. And speaking of Mackenzie, the potty training continues. She will go on the potty, and will even go with the right timing and all, so I know she can, but she just isn't completely interested yet. Though considering she can change her own pull up now and will tell you whether she went pee pee or poopie, I may just have to take the pull ups away all together and "force" her to do it. And I have to say, her language ability is pretty amazing to me, compared to her brothers she is far beyond where they were at 2 years old. I can have a pretty normal conversation with her about most things, she expressess herself very well. And then there was Alex, he is definitly a little kid now. All the good things, like being able to make his own sandwiches and pour his own drinks, and learning how to read (very slowly), and he has a fantastic imagination. And all the bad things, like talking back, acting snotty, ordering his brother and sister around, and lying. Oh yes the lying, his new trick. At least he isn't very good at it yet, I catch him almost every time. But that is going to have to be reigned in, cause as my mom always said to my brother and I, "it isn't that you did something wrong, that can be delt with, it is that you lied about it that made me angry."
So, it is always intesting around here, never a dull moment. And now to a few pictures.
Alex and Collin coloring some pictures about outer space that I printed off the internet.
Alex found an old book of sheet music of mine from back when I was a kid and was learning how to play piano. I wrote my own (rather horrible) song in it. He saw it and copied how I wrote the notes and then proceeded to play his own 'song'.
Alex and Kenzie eating a snack. They were just too cute not to take a picture of. :-)
Today was Alex's last day of school for the school year. I felt silly being a little emotionaly about it. I mean, it was only pre-k, not high school or anything, but still, I am just so proud of how he has done and to think he will be in full day kindergarten next year!! He is a kid now, not a preschooler. Alex on the other hand didn't seem to care too much. He did give his teacher a hug as we left, but after that all he could think about was what we were having for lunch. LOL. Now on to summer, I am trying to think of ways to entertain the kids. I am thinking about taking a "schoolish" approach and every week picking a theme to focus the week's activities around. Next week I think we will do 'outer space' since Alex has recently gotten into Star Wars. I figure on monday we will go to the library and pick out books about outer space, and then during the week we will work on an art project where we will build a model of the solar system using paper mache to build planets that we will paint and then maybe hang in the play room. The next week I am thinking of doing 'water' since that week Alex and Collin have their swim class all week. Beyond that I am not sure, but I am thinking of animals, dinosaurs, plants... Hopefully it will work and keep the kids busy and learning some too. :-)
The weather around here has been very odd. Some days are 90+ degrees and sunny, others are 50 and rainy. It hasn't really felt like Spring, just summer part 1. We have already had to kiddy pool out once and have spent many days in shorts and t-shirts with icepops outside. I took this picture this past weekend. It was on the warmer side and all three kiddos climbed up on the ATV to sit and eat their icepops. I was amazed they all actually smiled and I managed to take a pretty good picture.
But on the whole nothing too exciting is going on around here. There is lots of work outside to do now that it is warming up and we are going for a small veggie garden this year, so there is lots of weeding in my future. I really can't wait for the pools so open though in like a week. The kids are old enough now that going to the pool will actually be fun this year and not a chore, plus I have lost like 20lbs and plan on buying a new bathing suit that doesn't make me feel like a cow squeezing into spandex. :-) Here we come summer!
So, I know, I am getting bad at the blogging thing, a whole month and nothing posted. Oh well, here I am now with some updates!
Both Alex and Collin are all signed up for school next year, Collin for Pre-k and Alex for kindergarten. Alex is so excited about taking the bus next year too, though I am nervous about it, not from a safety point of view but just from a "oh my god my baby boy is going to be all myhimself on a bus with other kids and I don't have control!!" point of view. In other words, mommy issues. :-P But I gotta start snipping away at those apron strings one thread at a time, so Alex will ride the bus (and I am sure I will cry my eyes out that first day!).
Alex also just had his 5 year check-up last friday. He is 33lbs and 41 inches tall, small but still within normal. His weight is in the 5th percentile and his height in the 25th. Developmentally he is right on track, and growing well. He also got 2 shots, his second MMR and Varicella (chickpox). he actually did very well for those. He cried but he didn't fight at all.
Mackenzie is growing up so fast as well. She is speaking in full sentences now and is just a spunky, lively, opinionated little munchkin. She definitly keeps up with her brothers and gives them a run for their money. The potty training kinda stalled, but I am not worried, it will happen when it is supposed to happen.
Overall things have been going very well here, a lot of the same old same old, but I won't argue with that. :-)
Something I deem as close to amazing happened this morning. I was getting the kids ready to get in the car to take Alex to school and then go to the grocery store. Alex was getting dressed on his own and I was changing Mackenzie's pullup when I saw Mackenzie had an old braclet of mine (a really old one I didn't really care about), Alex saw the braclet too and went to take it from her and in the process pulled it and broke it and beads went everywhere. Alex immedietly appologized to me, which was good in itself, but then Collin came in the room from the bathroom and asked to no one in particular "What did Mackenzie break?" assuming it was his sister who had committed the crime, Alex spoke right up before I could say anything and said "Kenzie didn't break it, I did". OMG!!! My 5 year old who loved to lie and manipulate, because well, he is 5! Just took personal responsibility for something he knew he might get in trouble for. I couldn't get upset about the braclet, I was so happy and proud. Ok OK I know, in the long run is it that big of a deal? No, not really, but It is such a thrill when you see your kids finally showing the morals and behaviors you have benn trying your darndest to instill in them. :-)
On 3/12/2005 at 3:04pm (a saturday) my oldest was born. Alex was a fighter from the beginning. I had developed preeclampsia at 28 weeks and was put on bedrest at home and then full bedrest in the hospital a few days later. I had been in the hospital for a week, had gained 20lbs of water weight, and was on magnesium sulfate all the time (which makes you feel like garbage, let me tell you!) when on the night of 3/11/05 I told my nurse that I was having trouble sleeping and was uncomfortable. She went and got permission to give me an Ambien, and when she returned she decided to do a quick assessment on me. When she listened to my lungs she said it sounded a little rattly and that she was going to get me a chest x-ray. Maybe 2 hours later, the chest x-ray ws done and I was immedietly put on oxygen, I had fluid backing up into my lungs. I didn't sleep at all that night, every time I would doze off my oxygen sats would drop and the alarms would sound, everytime they would up my oxygen levels. Finally by about 7am I was on almost 100% oxygen and even with that could barely think about anything else but breathing, all I wanted was to take a deep breath and I couldn't. My OB told me today would be the day, but because of 2 other emergency c-sections I had a to wait a few hours. Luckily through all this only I was suffering, Alex was always fine, his heart rate stayed normal. Finally a little before 3pm they took me back and the docs tried to put in an epidural, but I was too swollen and after sticking me twice they had run out of time. My hubby was allowed to come in and give me a kiss as they prepped me, and at 3:02pm I was put under general anesthesia. At 3:04 little Alex was born, screaming so loud they could barely intubate him. He was 2lbs 14ozs and 15 inches long, but he was all fighter. He spent less than 24 hours on a ventilator and another 4 weeks on gradually weaning levels of oxygen. After a very uneventful 6 weeks in the NICU our little man came home. The only intervention he needed was support for his little body to grow, some time under UV lights, and one blood transfusion. He was 4lbs 8ozs when he came home, but was an excellent baby.
Today he is the picture of health and happiness. He has no lingering effects of his early birth and is smart as a whip. Today I take my little man to be registered for kindergarten. What an amazing journey his little life has been, and the blessing is, it has only really just begun.
This is what happens when you leave this little girl alone for 5 minutes. LOL I was talking on the phonein the kitchen, and when I walked back into the living room, here she was. :-P
The boys playing on Hubby's drum, they loved it!
Our little drummer girl!
Thank goodness spring is almost here!! Today it was 60 degrees and bright and sunny. After this horrible winter it was absolutley fantastic. Right now I am trying to get ready for Alex's birthday party this coming saturday. This past saturday I took him up to Strasburg to ride the big steam engine they have up there. We road in the dining car and had lunch during the hour long ride. it was really a lot of fun! I do have some pictures of that, but they are in my phone, so I gotta go through the extra effort of e-mailing them to myself and, well, I just haven't done it yet! LOL. Then on the 12th Alex has his kindergarten registration, and on the 22nd Collin has his pre-k registration/testing. This month is definitly going to be busy. But, as long as this nice weathe sticks around I can deal with anything. :-) Happy Spring ya'll!
Snow, snow snow!! Between last night and today we got 30 inches of snow. 30 inches!! Absolutely crazy. The kids tried to go out in it today but only spent a few minutes before they were frozen. Plus they could barely walk in it! Luckily we had Sophie, our dog, who was brave enough to go out first and make some paths for us. Man's best friend! LOL. I am so ready for Spring!!!
I have fallen in love...with a blog! The blog is called FreeRange Kids and while it is a 'parenting' blog, I think just about anyone could read it. It is run by a woman named Lenore Skenazy, who now has a book out by the same name, FreeRange Kids. Some may know her as "the worst mom in America". She was dubbed that because she wrote an article a couple years back about how she let her then 9 year old son ride the New York Subway alone from a department store to their home. There is a whole story that goes along with that that I won't get into here, but what the main point of her blog (and her book is) is that we need to trust our kids and let them experience the world according to their own abilities, not by what society lays down as what is appropriate. She goes into a lot of crime statistics and talks with a lot of experts about everything from baby toys, to the media. And while her brand of parenting may not be for everyone, I know she goes a little farther than I myself would be comfortable with, I don't think it could hurt to take a look at what she says. She is snarky, funny, and very informative. And on her blog she posts a lot of letters she gets as well as newstories. So, if you have a mind check her out!
www.freerangekids.wordpress.com Or just look for the link on the right of my page. :-)
It is hard to believe that I don't have any babies anymore. Not that I necessarily want anymore. But still, having 3 back to back I felt like I constantly was doing the baby thing, now my munchkins are growing up! Alex's kindergarten registration is on March 12th, and he turns 5 on the same day. I am also trying to get Collin's preschool paperwork done, which means getting a million forms filled out by his pediatrician and dentist. He will be in the same class next year that Alex is in this year. And to top it off Mackenzie is potty training!! I just bought her her first set of little girl underwear, with princesses on them (cause that is what she picked). The idea of not buying diapers again is so exciting and yet kinda sad. Now instead of screaming babies, diaper changing, and naps (why do those have to go too!!?) I have three arguing, opinionated, little kids who are too smart for their own good. You can't pull one over on them anymore. Oh well, at least I get to sleep all night. :-)
Ok, so I am a child of the information age. I am 26 and I think mine was the last generation to write papers in elementary school with blue or black ink, cursive, double-spaced on college ruled paper. By high school is was all typed. And today, even my four year old can use the computer. But even so, it still surprised me when low and behold, I rediscovered an old friend, the library!! Imagine it a whole building full of PAPER books, all available to borrow for FREE!! LOL I know I felt stupid that I hadn't even thought of going to the library for probably close to 10 years, but yesterday I made the leap and got myself a library card and took Alex and Collin with me. They loved it!! For our first check out we picked some kids audiobooks to listen to in the car. Last night I couldn't help going on and on about all the cool stuff they offer, and what kind of stuff I could check out. It made me realize, there really is no excuse these days not to read to your kids. I mean come on, it is the simplest thing that can give the most pleasure and really change a child forever. I know I would not be who I am today without books, reading has always been a tremendous part of my life, and even today I feel rather empty if I don't have a good book to read. So go ahead, rediscover the library, for yourself and your kids, they really are amazing places! :-)
Yes, the boys are wearing make-up! They wanted me to put some on them, so I did. LOL
Mackenzie in her Christmas dress.
Mackenzie out in the snow storm we got.
Yes, it is true, I am still here. I did not fall off the face of the planet, just been very busy with the holidays and all. So here I am, back in a new year (and a new decade!) Things have been very good here! Alex is doing wonderfully in school, he loves his classmates and his teacher, he even has a "girlfriend" named Alyssa. Collin and Mackenzie are growing like weeds! Kenzie is already speaking in sentenses, and Collin is learning his ABCs.
Our holidays were fantastic! Christmas eve we spent with my husband's side of the family at my sister-in-law's house, then Christmas day we spent with my family at our house. Then we went down to visit my dad and step-mom in North Carolina for a week, which was a blast! We are so blessed with such a big loving family!!
So much has gone on it would take pages to write it all down here, but I will say this was probably our busiest, but most fun holidays yet!