Saturday, May 29, 2010

Memorial Day Saturday...

Birthday Fun

Today is my Grandma Jean's birthday so we all met at a local cafe for lunch. She was tickled and it was a nice time getting together. Here are some pics from that:

Here's my cousin Jaime and her boyfriend Tim
Here is my baby seester Kelsey and Emma...they are best buds :)

Here is my Uncle Doug and our little Birthday girl!

The Zoo!

This morning I took the kids to the zoo. We are members so we can go in 2 hours before it opens to the public to see them feed the animals. Emma decided to sleep in (thank you Lord!) so we made it a little later. We did get to see the alligators eating which was fun. In general all the animals are a little rowdier than during the day because it is just the start of the day and it isn't so hot.

Here are a couple of pictures of the kids on the turtle statue...I think I like the second one better :)

This is a picture of the tiger. It was so cute because it was kind of playing in the water and then I guess it decided it was tired because it just came over in front of the kids and rested its head on a ledge in front of the glass. His breath was fogging up the glass. The kids just loved this moment.

"Driving Around in my Automobile..."
I love these pictures of the children. Its so funny what they went for too. Cal was steering the car while as soon as Em got in she pushed every button imaginable. So funny, these two are, I could just eat them up.

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Friday, May 28, 2010

All About Ems

Today was Emma's last day of preschool and I simply cannot believe that the time is already here! I love that they are so excited for the summer. It makes me feel like a little kid and we have already been brainstorming a few ideas, including:
Going to the beach lots
Visiting the different zoos in the area
Visiting a couple different museums in Chicago and Detroit that have free days coming up
Running through the sprinkler
Eating lots of popsicles
and lastly having lots of family time and fun!

After preschool we all picked Emma up then got some happy meals for a picnic at the park. The kids were ecstatic. We then got to play at the new playground and they always have such a ball there.

I thought I would share some other things about Emma now:

I am trying to get her off the potty chair and onto a regular toilet. It is such a habit for her...she looks funny sitting on the little potty chair with her long legs, she reminds me of a frog.

She took her kitty cat to school today for show and tell. Its name is Phildore, and before you ask please just let me tell you that we have no idea where she got that name from. She just looked at it and said she was going to name is Phildore. And if you ask her what its name is this is what she'll say: say phil (and you'll say phil) now say door (and you'll say door) see, its name is phildore. Ha! Someone is very good at helping their brother talk.

Emma has no idea but we took her to the dentist and she has to have that flappy under her tongue cut know the one that attaches your tongue to your mouth. That's going to be a nice day, right? ha! I have to work up the nerve to schedule that appointment sometime this summer while she is off. They say it doesn't hurt THAT bad which I believe...I am just worried about them getting to her. This is the girl they had to wrap bodycast style on a stretcher to take her stitches off. Good luck with this one dentist.

Emma is loving being a little girl. I often time find her in her room strutting around with big play earrings on with a purse full of money and huge high heels on. She likes to tip me for things. So when I do her hair she gives me a quarter, you know because I am her stylist apparently. She is so funny.

I love her, she is so cute and funny. She always says the funniest things and I can't wait to have this summer to spend with her. :)
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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Me and Summer...of sorry, Summer and Me

I am 28 years old now. That is close to 30, in case you were wondering. I have always heard that when you turn 30 you begin to have the better version of yourself emerge...the self that doesn't care so much what other people think, the person who is braver and willing to try new things because you realize life is 33% over. I think I am beginning to understand that part of turning 30.

You see, Summer and I have never really gotten along. It has never been my favorite season. When I was a kid it was always so stinking hot and we didn't have air conditioning. When I was a teenager summer meant having to have a job and again, be hot. When I was in college summer meant being apart from Nicholas, which was gut wrenching in itself but also meant that I was either in classes ALL day long or working. After college and since having kids it has meant heat, slathering bug spray and sunblock on four bodies everytime we are outside and giving bath after bath.

Well that all ended this year.

This year I am not going to be hot in a long sleeved shirt because I don't like my flabby arms. I would rather be in a tank top disgusting all of you and be happy then be hot and cross with my children because of it. This year I will embrace the popsicle sticky hands around my neck and the tummies with blue popsicle juice dripping down them. The dirtier the children are the happier they are and the more fun they must have had. This year I am going to be spontaneous. Dips in the pool, playing outside, garage saling, going to the beach, all will be done on a whim, not with intensive planning and devising and list making (by lists I am speaking of going to the beach, not going outside, ha!).

I want to be the fun mom. The mom who stops everything to eat zerbert on the front porch instead of hurrying to get the to-do list completed. My kids will remember having fun, not that I made them change into the perfect outfit or packed everything before rushing off to have an adventure.

So I am looking forward to this summer. On my front door I have an uppercase living saying that says "Summer is the season of life" and this year it really does feel that way because I feel God has given me a new perspective and a new look on life.
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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Boots :)

This picture was from a couple of weeks ago but I just love it and totally forgot to post it. Calvin loves his boots and Emma is showing off her boots that she got for her Birthday. So now we are boot partners in crime. When Nicholas was a little boy he had boots that were way too big for him that he evidently refused to take off and would wear all of the time. I just think they are so cute how they are following in their Daddy's footsteps.

Today was a wonderful day. We had a lovely visit with our neighbors during the afternoon while the kids were swimming. Then after naptime we went to get a pizza (love when the hubs gives me the green light to not cook!) and came home and dined on the patio (still don't have pics, I know I am completely a loser!) After that we got some work done in the yard and then we went to meet our neighborhood garden lady. We bought a plot in the community garden for a vegetable garden and I am super excited! I love our yard but it is super shady and let's face it...kind of small. So we are hoping this will mean that we will actually get some produce because we've tried before and got nothing out of our garden.

When we got home from that we all indulged and had Raspberry sherbert outside on the front porch. It was one of those priceless family memories I will always remember. Calvin kept picking up in his hands. When Nick asked if a spoon just wasn't worth the trouble Cal said "yeah". He was COVERED in pink stickiness. Emma calls sherbert zerrrberrrts. So when Nick would hear her say she wanted zerberts he would zerbert her which I loved.

So it was a good day. Tomorrow morning I am taking the two kids to meet the preschool class for a trip to the zoo and playground. Hopefully I won't be the mom who loses her kids...I hate when they outnumber me!
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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Hanging Out Poolside

We decided that with the high temperatures and humidity levels starting that we were going to need a pool. We found this huge pool at Christmas Tree Shop for only $16.99! Wowwie! Okay it isn't gigantic or anything but for the two kids it is plenty big enough. They were in the pool three times today and it was just the first day! They just love it! The water really feeds into Calvin's evil plans to annoy Emma beyond belief. As you can see they are super cute in the water and I even let them enjoy popsicles in there. Yeah, that's right I am one cool mom.
Tonight was Emma's last Gymnastics class which was kind of sad but geez oh pete I am so excited I don't have to take those kids anywhere for the whole summer after this week! Hooray! Not that they are involved in so, so much or anything like that but it will be nice to have a practically clear schedule to say, go to the beach, or a museum, or the waterpark, or, or, you can see I have some big plans for these kids.
I started casually chatting with Cal's therapist about him not listening. I have always figured it was a stubborn mule of a man thing...after all I have to tell Nick to do things three times so why would his son be any different? Turns out it could be something bigger. The therapist seemed to be really concerned about the part that I can't let Cal walk with me or go anywhere unless he is strapped in as he just won't stop. Even when I am screaming and scared or mad, the kid won't stop. I guess the fact that there might be something that can be done to help the situation seems amazing to me as that has just been the way of life around here.
Emma said the funniest thing tonight. Tonight Cal said "no me, no me" about something and she said "no Cal, we don't use rhyming words towards people that we love." I just laughed. I won't tell her that he didn't rhyme, he repeated, and man, oh man, she could really set some rappers straight, am I right?
So that was our day. Hope you are enjoying your week!
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Monday, May 24, 2010

Tuckered Out

I had to share this photo with you because it is so stinking cute! As I mentioned Cal loves, LOVES Toy Story right now, especially Buzz Lightyear. We got this book from the library and its kind of a dictionary of the movies, but anyway, he makes me read from it every night (only the pages that have Buzz on them) and then he begs me to leave his light on so he can look at the book until he falls asleep. I went in to turn off his light last night and this was what I found. Isn't he just too precious? Not only the book but I also love that his Buzz Lightyear figure (that we can't go anywhere without and I spend who knows how many minutes searching for each day) is jammed under his head and shoulder. He doesn't mind. As you can see he has also stopped clinging to the side of his bed (all of the time!) in hopes that he won't fall out of bed. He just makes me smile.

Today is hot! We went for a family walk to the park and fed the baby ducks. The kids loved it. Then we came back and played in the sprinklers. I was hoping to have some cute shots to show but Cal seemingly hates the water so no pictures were had...I ended up trying to coax him in the whole time.

Happy Monday!
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Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Weekend

Here are the kids. This weekend we went to Nick's Grandma's house for a belated Mother's Day celebration. She lives on a lake so the kids did a lot of fishing and we went for a boat ride which the children just relished! Above is a picture of the kids walking to the shore together...aren't they just so cute together?
Here's Cal ready for anything

Here's Emma playing with plastic worms or "nightcrawlers" as she would be sure to correct you with if you called them worms.

My whole purpose in life all snug on a couch...

And here I am with curly hair. You'll have to let me know what you think. With how humid its been it has been a beast to straighten it so I thought to heck with it, we are going au naturale. I think I like it and I think its cute. More importantly as I near 30 I am beginning to not care if anyone else likes it or not (aside from Nick :) ). Hope you all had a wonderful weekend as well!

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Do you know what put this goofy smile on my face? This...
An empty dishwasher! This afternoon I came home from my run (hence the disgusting-ness of myself in above picture, but I don't care, its my blog so I can post gross pictures) and was DREADING unloading the dishwasher! I HATE unloading the dishwasher. Anywho I pulled it open and to my surprise my darling of a husband had unloaded it while I was picking Emma up from preschool! He got up (he worked last night and tonight) to play with Cal and unload my dishwasher apparently. I am one lucky lady for sure!

Tonight after dinner we made Puppy cookies which was a recipe from a cookbook my rockin' hot Aunt Jan gave Emma for her Birthday. I made the chocolate chip cookies ahead of time so they could make these with them. Aren't they darling? You can tell Em's really proud, such a sweetheart!

Poor Cal didn't really understand. He tried to eat each part of the cookie when we were putting them together. I kept him from doing it because Iknew he would be crushed if he didn't have the same end product as Emma's so this picture is him devouring his once I gave him the signal to go!

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010


This has to be one of my favorite pictures ever! How happy is this guy? This was
Cal's first Christmas so he was about two weeks shy of being a year old.
As mentioned in the previous post we basically fired Cal's old therapist. That being said Cal hasn't had therapy in probably a month's time. In that time Calvin's language has taken off in that he is gibber-gabbering and starting to put words together.
Yesterday we met with Cal's new therapist and I am just so, so excited. He looked over his old paper work and talked to us and then gave us his opinion. He said that he does see some Apraxic tendencies but he doesn't think Cal has severe apraxia at all. He thinks in the last 3 weeks he has basically healed himself. He said he thinks he can have him having conversations by August. Then he proceded to appologize that we have been put through all of this.
He said that his main goal is to get his language up to a level so he can enter school and preschool as a normal kid and not need any special classes or have to have any labels. You all know through reading this and talking to me that one of my huge concerns outside of him needing to be in a special needs class is that he won't be able to read or write or will have a delay. He said that in the fact that Calvin has two highly educated and caring parents, he doesn't think that will be a problem at all.
I am just a little in shock and awe...speechless is one way to put it. I have had so many tearfilled nights. Just last Sunday we took the kids to the park and Calvin was trying to show a little girl his shoes (because he has the light up buzz lightyear shoes). He kept pointing and saying "aka, aka" and she just looked at him like "I have absolutely no idea what you are telling me". My eyes filled with tears as I felt like this was just the beginning of him not being understood. Now I feel like this might be the end. Oh and by the way, Cal was thankfully clueless to this little girl not knowing what "aka" meant because he started stomping, so she started stomping and that became the new thing to do.
I am not sure if Cal was healed or if he was just late in talking. He still isn't talking in words anyone can understand and I am leary to believe he will be telling me how the weather is outside by the end of summer, but I am believeing and here's what I do know: I know that God made Calvin just perfect. Absolutely perfect. I believe he has such big plans for him. And I believe God has his big strong hands around him, loving him and comforting him at the end of each day that he goes to bed frustrated that we couldn't understand what he wanted. That's what I know.
So we are very thankful and hopeful that we will be sending a completely normal little boy to preschool next year! Thank you Lord!
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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Playing Catch Up with this blog...

Sorry I haven't been on here lately. I just noticed that it has been a month since I posted last...wowwie how time if flying! Things are not crazy or anything, just full of life and fun and sometimes I just don't feel like interupting all of that with writing.
Emma and Calvin at Em's Birthday party...when your sister gets to dress up, why shouldn't you too? She has been calling him her Prince Charming which has been shortened to cute!

The children are wonderful and amazing and we are all having so much fun together. I just love them and I am cherishing the time that I am getting to spend with them. God is so good, all of the time! Princess Emma!
Here's Emma's Birthday cake made by Auntie Bean...isn't it just adorable?

Emma turned four on May Day and it is just so bittersweet to see her grow up! She is such a sweet heart and is such a little lady. I take such pride in her that when someone leaves our home she tells them to drive safely or when we leave someone else's home she says "thank you for having me". But on the other hand she is Miss Independent. The other day she said (in her little voice) "I am four now, I don't need my mother to blow my nose." Well excuse me!

Emma being absolutely adorable on vacation! I just love her so much! She is so fun and has the cutest bathing suit...cutest suit for the cutest girl!

Emma is really flourishing in preschool, has tons of friends and is learning lots of new things. I am just so happy to see her progress. She is in gymnastics and soccer right now. We are trying to get her to try everything to see what she likes and what she doesn't. So far she is not in love with soccer but does have a passion for gymnastics.

Here's Cal painting. He never wanted to be artsy before so when he asks we jump on it. I don't know what I love about this picture more...the fact that he is standing in his Daddy's shoes painting or that he has paint ALL over his face! So fun!

Calvin is really starting to try to talk. No one can really understand him but he is starting to gibber gabber and have fun. He is about a year late on that one but he is starting. I basically fired our speech therapist. She genuinely had concern for Calvin but had no desire to have any hands on therapy. Towards the end he was looking at flashcards for 10 minutes and then would watch a movie the rest of the therapy time. It was just not working. We are going to be starting with a new therapist who is supposed to be crazy involved and active and I think Calvin will really respond to it. Yippee! I am so excited as next week is our first meeting with him!

Calvin is OBSESSED with Buzz Lightyear which is the cutest thing I have ever seen! Shoes...Buzz. Umbrella...Buzz. We have Buzz Lightyear posters, books, figurines everywhere! It is so cute when a child takes their first interest in something. Calvin calls Buzz Lightyear "aagaaa" for Lightyear. I just love that little boy so much!

I am loving staying home but the last month has definitely been an adjustment! I am such an organized person who always has a schedule. When I worked I had my planner open and would write everything down that needed done. Then I would make a timed schedule of how the day would go. That seemed to go well when I had a job but now a days it just didn't seem to work and I seemed to be just spinning my wheels. I have been spending my days seemingly very busy and at the end having nothing done or accomplished.

So I bought and downloaded "Motivated Moms". It is a day by day plan of things to do and I love it! I feel like I have my life back. I feel so accomplished when I check everything off and it is almost mindless. It makes sure I do basic things every day like take out the trash, do the dishes, laundry, etc, etc. but it also has scheduled things it tells you to do that you have to do periodically to keep your house running. Things you think of but now you don't have to like changing the sheets, clipping the children's fingernails, etc, etc. It is just a lifesaver for me and it was only $8.00!

A dear friend of mine recommmended it and at first I thought I could make a schedule up for myself and wouldn't need to pay the money but in starting that it seemed monumental and now that I have the lists there are things on there that I would never have thought to put on the list. For example last Monday I scrubbed down the bathroom walls. Wow, those were gross!

Nick, poor Nick is still on nights. He is such an amazing man that he works all of the time to support us and does so without complaint. I think he secretly takes pride in supporting us all by himself. That is something that we have never had before so it is new and exciting for all of us. I am so happy to be able to teach my children that the man's role is to provide for his family and his wife is to be his helpmate. Not that women can't work or men can't stay home but I am so happy with how things are now and pray that God continues to bless us so I can keep staying home! When Nick is home I am sure to make him big breakfasts, bake homemade cookies, and cook lots of good foods for him.

Our poor dog Lucy has heartworm. Ugh. This has been such a battle. The week before Nick was laid off I took her into the doctor for her checkup which came back that she had heartworm that had been contracted before we got her from the humane society. Naturally once Nick was laid off we couldn't pay the money for her to be treated which had just been heartbreaking. Now that we are back up on our feet (by on our feet I mean we have gone from being dirt poor to "frugal") we are having Lucy treated. She has to be on medicine for another 3 weeks and then they are doing a steroid procedure to try to kill the worms. Which by the way better work because it is going to cost at least $1000! Wow! I know it is a lot of money and I really had to sell Nick on it but I couldn't in good conscious just let my children's beloved dog die because it was too much money. I may be singing a different tune when she needs chemo or something but for now we are going to do this. The good thing about it is that we need grass seed planted but have been leary that Lucy would dig it up. So since before and after the treatment she can't run or go out except on a leash for 2 months, we are using that time for landscaping and getting some grass planted and rooted. I am super excited to see the finished product of my Landscape Architect Husband's plan!

What else has happened? Hmmm, trying to think. We have our living room half way painted. You can see the green in the picture of Emma and Calvin. I'll post pictures when it is done as Nick is doing some finishing work on it. I am growing my hair exciting, I know. The good thing about that is that I am saving a ton of money on my salon bill as I now go every 4-5 months just for a trim. We went on a mini-vacation in April. Something we had been promising the kids since Nick was reemployed. It was more stressful on the adults than relaxing because it rained the entire time but I think the kids had a good time. I'll do another post on vacation.

I think that is it for now! Whew!

The children are loving the warmer weather and we have been having meals on our new patio and spending lots of time playing outside!
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