Monday, September 24, 2012

Weekend with Daddy

Bananas and I waiting for Daddy to come home!
Hubby was able to make it home last weekend. We weren't sure he'd make it because of all the work he's had to do, but yes, he did make it home! Yay! He walked in the door well past midnight. I have a hard time sleeping while he's gone so I ended up just staying up to greet him when he walked in. Unfortunately, Mr. Bananas was having one of his tough nights and was up with me. While I crocheted he "helped" by grabbing the skein of yarn, shaking it really hard and wrapped it around himself. He then proceeded to run around the house with it which left me with many, many knots. After 6 hours of diligently undoing each knot, I had a ball of usable yarn again.  While I was working on the knots he was practicing his gymnastics skills doing back bends over my extended legs that were laying over an ottoman.  I finally took him to bed after a few hours.

The kids were so excited to see him and crawled into bed with us on Saturday morning. They snuggled with him and relished they time they had with him.  Later that afternoon Hubby read a book to all three kids. He found a neat book by one of my favorite children's authors, Patricia Polacco.  He brought it home from his trip and shared a fictitious story about the ducks that are a fixture in the hotel where he was staying.

Hubby was able to move his flight and stayed later on Sunday. We spent Sunday at the Renaissance Festival spending time with friends. It has become an annual event for us.  We enjoyed spending time with our friends, watching the shows, eating the yummy food, and spending time together. The weather was great and the company even better!

All in all it was a wonderful weekend.  I'm looking forward to having Hubby home for more than a weekend. The countdown begins!

Mr. Bananas helping me crochet another blanket

Daddy reading a book to his favorite people

Ladies on the bridge

Best friends on the bridge.

My tired Godson and his Mama

Little Sisters playing at King and Queen 2012

Queen and King 2012

Queen and King 2009

Queen and King 2007

Friday, September 21, 2012

Catching Up

My Bed Bugs
Yikes! It's been so long since I posted. We are busy over here. Playing mommy and daddy while Hubby is away is exhausting. We have gotten into a nice routine with our new schedules, but the kids are having a horrible time sleeping while Hubby is away. Often I will find at least one big, sometimes two big kids in my bed by the time I am able to head up the stairs.  They are getting so tall, that it takes quite a bit of effort and juggling to get them into their own beds. It's a good thing I added strength training to my routine at the gym ;)

Showing off his outfit from his Godparents

I think Mr. Bananas is going through what Buggy calls a "gross spurk" (growth spurt!).  He is waking up within an hour of going to bed at night and he's up for at least another hour.  However, he's taking 4 hour naps during the day and is all stumbly bumbly when he is awake. It's like his limbs are learning how to coordinate. He's a happy stumbly bumbly, but very stumbly nonetheless.  He is LOVING his gymnastics class. He giggles and squeals with joy, especially as he runs/jumps down the long trampoline. I think it's called a sprinting track.  I'm having a great time in the class with him.

Buggy is also enjoying her gymnastics class. I'm so happy that I was able to get Buggy and Bananas into the same time slot for their classes. It makes things so much easier on our time and travel.  Buggy is loving preschool and her teachers. I am also realizing how she is very organized. She knows when she has show and tell and will have already put something in her bag. When I ask her the night before class, she says, "Oh, Mommy. I already put it in my bag!"  She is also going around the house and putting things into their rightful place. My once tornado is now becoming my calm. I think God knew I needed her in my life and blessed me immensely with her compassion, organization, and help.

Checking out the horizon 
Boogie is doing well in school and we just received word that he is reading on a 2nd grade level. Awesome!  We continue to read every night before bed, he stills loves listening to audio books, and he is more interested in reading on his own. I'm a little concerned that I haven't seen any math, writing,  social studies, or science homework come through the door. We were very spoiled last year and Boogie practiced a lot of skills for homework. This year the emphasis is on reading. On one hand, I am grateful that homework is simple and easy to do. Read. He does that daily.  On the other hand, I'm concerned that he isn't practicing enough of the other subjects especially writing and math.  I think I will supplement at home to strengthen his writing and math skills. I'm not so worried about Science and Social Studies, because that is easily integrated with reading.  He started soccer last week and he still looks like he doesn't know what's going on, but the physical activity is so good for him.  The practices are longer that what we used to have through our church league, so I'm still getting used to it.  I'm also learning to coordinate dinner better so that the kids have dinner before soccer practice and then Boogie gets a snack after practice. Last Wednesday all three kids went to bed no problem and everyone slept through the night!

Spending some quality time with Hubby while he's home.
Me? I'm doing alright.  I miss my husband terribly.  I am so grateful for technology and that we can Face Time most nights for bed time prayers with the kids.  He also calls each morning before the kids head to school and so they start their morning speaking to him. It has made his travel a little easier on all of us. He has also been able to come home on the weekends, but the time home is short and we try to soak up as much time with him as possible.  While he's been gone, I've been running myself into exhaustion trying to keep busy. It's been helpful that I have a race next month. It's given me a goal and something to focus on while I wait for him to come home from his travels.  But keeping busy is a bit numbing, which can be good or bad depending on the circumstances.  But I'm hanging on and I'm grateful that I just received a text that he is heading home once again! Even if it's for just a few hours, I'll take it!

Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His presence continually (1 Chronicles 16:11)

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Almost Wordless Wednesday--Crocheting Buddy

Over the last few years I have taken up crocheting. I have found it to be incredibly relaxing and I love making afghans and baby blankets for friends and family.  I have enjoyed it so much that I have also joined the knitting/crocheting ministry at church. However, I am woefully behind on many projects. I'm crocheting a couple of afghans for daughters of friends who are entering college. I better get moving or the girls will graduate before I finish!  Mr. Bananas tries to help whenever he can ;)

The hook goes into this loop...

This isn't hard, look how much I've done!

Really, Mommy, this is a piece of cake!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Hanging On

Hats off to all of the single parents out there. I only have to do it temporarily and only every few months. However, when I do it, I am exhausted!  Most nights after the kids are in bed, I find myself face down on my bed trying to find the willpower to get up from my 2 minute "let's sit down and rest" so I can finish putting away the dinner dishes, feed the cats, lock up the house, prepare everything for the activities for the next day, and pop up in a moment's notice when one of my doodlebugs startles in the middle of the night and needs me. There doesn't seem to be a down time.

Hubby is working on a big project that will take him in and out of town over the next few months. The thing with his job is sometimes he doesn't know when he's headed out and I'll find out a few days ahead of time with an, "Oh, Babe, I gotta travel in a few days and it will be for x amount of time."  We did really well last February. We knew it was happening, we knew he'd be gone for a while, and I used all my "waiting" time to prep myself mentally and emotionally.  With the help of technology and lots of "Face Time" thanks to last year's anniversary presents of iphones for each of us, the kids and I were able to see Hubby often enough to make things easier.

This time around has been a little tougher. I think that the timing isn't the greatest (but when is it ever great?). The beginning of the school year, the beginning of new extracurriculars, and new schedules have made this season's traveling a bit harder. We weren't set in our school routine when Hubby had to start traveling, so Boogie has been taking it especially hard. My heart broke a little when I overheard him tell Hubby, "I tried to fall asleep in your bed when Mommy was downstairs. I even tried to sleep on your side of the bed, but it didn't help. I still missed you a lot, so I went back to my own bed."  The little kids seems to be doing okay with it. Buggy knows that this is just the way it goes and keeps telling Daddy to "have a good time and I miss you!" and Mr. Bananas goes with the flow because he doesn't know any better. But, man, my Boogie Monster is having a rough time.  He's super bouncy. He's antagonizing his sister more than usual and having a harder time following directions.

Me? I'm more exhausted than ever. I'm keeping busy by training for next month's running festival.  Running let's me forget how tough it can be sometimes.  I think I'm also trying to run myself into exhaustion so that I'll sleep better at night, but that's not working. Not getting enough sleep coupled with intense work outs are leaving me drained and a little cranky. Not a good combo.

But day by day and week by week we'll get by. We're settling into school routines and by the end of the week each of the kids will be scheduled into their extracurriculars. Buggy and Bananas are taking gymnastics this Fall and Boogie is signed up for soccer. Gymnastics started last week and soccer will begin this Saturday. I think regular classes/practices will keep us busy and we'll settle into an overall life routine for the school year.

I'm very grateful for the offers of help from various friends. However, I think my strategy will be to hold on tight and keep on runnin'. Oh, and prayers for patience. Lots and lots of patience!

And just as it says in Proverbs 31, her husband has confidence in her (I just wish I had a little more in myself)...she works with eager hands (well mostly eager)... she gets up while it's still night (did I actually ever fall asleep???)...she sets about her work vigorously (keeping busy is my motto)...her arms are strong for the task (and for lots of hugs for my sweet kids who need a little more TLC)...

Here's to praying for a little less discombobulation and a little more strength and patience.

Our early bird squeezed in one more snuggle and one more story before Daddy left for his business trip

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Labor Day Weekend 2012

Labor Day weekend was busy with family and friends.  It started off with a quiet Friday. My parents offered to take the kids on Friday night and away they went. My kids love spending time with their lolo and lola and I'm happy that they are able to benefit from living so close to them.  My kids adore my parents and it's evident in the way they barely look back when we drop them off. I have to chase them to get kisses and hugs before I leave, because once they're there, they're there. The kids actually ask us to leave!

Hubby and I were able to go out for an early and leisurely dinner. We took advantage of the nice weather and ate outside. I think it's important that we get this time together when it's just the two of us. It's a time for us to reconnect.  After dinner we walked around the course I was running the next day for a 5K race I had entered.  During our walk we ran into two separate couples we had met when we facilitated infant baptism informational meetings earlier in the year.  It was very nice to stop and chat with each couple. We came home and went to bed early because I had a race in the morning!

Yes, I signed up for a 5K race. After I injured my foot earlier in the year, I haven't been able to run. Between swim team, summer camp, and the beach I have been way out of practice. I was not going to run in a race this month because I didn't think I could do it, but after a couple of practice runs I decided I could swing it and off I went. I ran in my Vibram 5 Fingers and it was a great run. I ran a full minute faster per mile than I had in any of my practice runs. I'm still much slower than I was earlier in the year, but at least I was running!  I went by myself to the race. My kids were at my parents and Hubby didn't want to run with me because it was a very crowded race.  However, as I was ending the last mile of the race, my husband was on the side cheering me on.  It was awesome and gave me the burst of energy I needed to complete my race. I have decided to try to run at least one race each month through December. I'm already signed up for a local marathon relay in October. I am running with my husband's cousin and her husband, and my brother-in-law. Good times!

No, we did not dress them alike intentionally!
After the race, the kids came home and our good friends came over for dinner and a night of cribbage. We just to visit our friends every summer when they lived in Maine. Now they are local and we're trying schedule regular dinners/cribbage night. The was first one of what I hope will be many, many more. While we played cards, the kids watched Mary Poppins. It doesn't get much better than that!

Sunday was spent at my in-laws celebrating August and September birthdays. I love that we all get together to celebrate family birthdays. I love how the kids get along and hang out together. I love catching up with my family. I love the easy flow when all 30+ of us get together.

Monday was just us and I was happy for it. Buggy woke up earlier than the boys so Hubby and I were able to spend some quality time with her. Two rounds of Candy Land with our sweetest girl was just right. I love that we can squeeze in one-on-one time with our early bird.

We're back to the daily grind, but the weekend was just thing to rejuvenate us and helps us make it through this week.

Boogie with Buggy and Cha Cha

Am I really friends with these guys?

Silly kids in Green

August/September Birthday celebrations

Buggy and Daddy during our early morning Candy Land Game.

Concentrating on her move.

Bedhead Mama and Buggy

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Jumping Mr. Bananas

When I had my first baby, everything seemed to happen in a blur. A lot of it had to do with being a new mommy, sleep deprivation, having a newborn, sleep deprivation, juggling motherhood and my career, and did I mention sleep deprivation?  While each new milestone was amazing, I don't think I was able to savor each moment the way I would have liked because I was overwhelmed and exhausted.

With baby #2, I was able to enjoy each milestone a little bit more, but I was also mommy to a toddler. While I felt that I had the ins and outs of mothering an infant, I was learning how to mother a toddler and how to juggle two kids. So while milestones were amazing, savoring them was not at the top of my list.

Now I have baby #3, who is quickly showing me that he is swiftly leaving babyhood far behind and he is very much a toddler.  I'm still trying to catch milestones, though I will never ever be able to catch up on the teeth chart on any of the baby books! I feel like my brain has finally caught up and I now have a chance to enjoy some of these milestones as if they are brand new. Boogie is old enough to be helpful, does not need as much guidance as he once did, and he is more independent. Even though Buggy is a preschooler and the same age as Boogie was when I had him, I feel like I have a better handle on what to expect so I am able to give Mr. Bananas some more attention and be more aware of his milestones.

Last Saturday, Mr. Bananas demonstrated his attempt at jumping and I'm so glad I was able to get it on video. It is adorable. I vaguely remember when the other two started jumping, and how they would be so proud. Now I have it on video with Mr. B.  He tries so hard. He is able to get one foot off the ground and he is tickled that he can "jump." He loves to show off his new skill and loves when we wildly applaud his efforts. Did I mention it's stinkin' cute?  He was able to demonstrate his skill at a family birthday party on Sunday and his Godmother, grandmother, and cousins had a front row view and cheered and applauded. My little ham ate it all up.

I love that I was able to catch this!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

End to the First Week of School 2012

Boogie had a great start to the school year. It was wonderful to see him get back into the groove of things pretty easily. However, it took the entire week of school until Sunday for him to settle. During the week and part of the weekend, he just bounced everywhere and had a terrible time following directions from mommy and daddy. He holds it together so well in school, that I think he can't contain himself once he's let out of the building. On Sunday, I was relieved to see a somewhat calmer Boogie Man. He sang next to us in Church, and I absolutely love it when he sings. I think his singing and my kids' giggles might be my favorite sound in the entire world.

Before all the screaming began.
Buggy had a great first day of school and a very tough start to the second day. On the second day, the students go by themselves and it lasts only an hour. Buggy started the morning telling me she wasn't feeling well and maybe she should stay home from school so that she doesn't get the other kids sick. How thoughtful. She had a sniffly nose, but was otherwise just fine. Just very, very nervous and anxious. My mom came to take Boogie to school and Buggy lost it. She started crying and screaming about how she wanted to go with Lola to drop off Boogie at his school.  I had to physically hold her down to buckle her into her carseat as she arched her back, cried, and screamed.  Her wailing became louder the closer we came to her school. By the time we made it into the parking lot, it was piercing. I opened up the van door and she was clutching her carseat. I had to pry her fingers off of the seat. When I took her out of the car, I closed and locked it. She immediately turned to it and clawed at the van to go back in.  I had to physically drag her to the front doors of the building and down the hall as she literally dug in her heels and wailed all the way to the classroom. Thank goodness the preschool team is awesome. They looked up immediately and the TA gently grabbed Buggy and pulled her away from me. I kissed her hand and took off running, only to be reminded as I headed out the door that the kids were supposed to have something for show and tell and did Buggy have anything by chance? Epic Mommy fail. No, I didn't. Fortunately, a MOPS friend saw the fiasco and followed me to the van. After some digging around I came up with an audio book and my friend dropped it off for me. Whew!  Mr. Bananas and I ended up hanging out in the van waiting for Buggy.  When I came to pick her up, she had a big grin on her face, bounced out of her classroom, and told me it was the "funnest day ever" and asked if we could do it again.  Yes, I'm happy to do it again, just without all the drama.

I'm happy that the kids are doing well and that the first week ended well. I think both kids will have a wonderful school year and I'm really looking forward to hanging out with Mr. Bananas when it's just the two of us. I don't think he minds that the big kids are in school, it means Mama can give him all the attention his little heart desires.

The early mornings are wearing out the kids and they are going to bed earlier. They fall asleep quickly and ready for the new day. Now if only Mama can get to bed early, too. Wouldn't that be something!

Mr. Bananas waiting for Buggy to get out of school.

Oh, that face. I love it. Can't you just see the mischievous twinkle in his eyes?