Feeds:
Posts
Comments

The darkest days

This winter was rough.  When daylight savings ended and it started getting dark at like 4:30, I felt like we struggled every night.  It is so hard to keep all 3 kids happy cooped up in the house and they got sick of all 3 of our closest libraries really fast.  We added a few activities to help keep the kids busy —  Wil started taekwondo and Evie started dance.  Evie is also doing an extra day of school for 3 total days and Wil is going ‘long’ days (until 2pm) on M/W.  We also finally found a few babysitters in the area and have been using them on Wednesday and Friday afternoons — It makes it easier for me to run kids to activities and not disrupt Zev’s nap and it gives me a chance to occasionally get some Hopkins work done during the day instead of evenings and weekends.

Phil and I made it into the city a few times — We went to Hamilton (our big christmas present! and it was sooo amazing) and also saw Regina Spektor at Chicago Theater which was beautiful.

We had our first trip to immediate care, ever.  I’m actually surprised it took 5.5 years of parenthood until we had a true emergency.  I’m not surprised it was Zev.  He fell right into a door hinge and needed liquid stitches.  Yuck.

Auntie Em had her baby! Welcome to the world cousin Hank!

Annakate came to Chicago! It was so great to have a day catching up with her.

We introduced Wil and Evie to Mario Cart. It took a few weeks to catch on but Wil is legitimately good now, he has beaten Bmalm several times.  Evie still likes to ‘explore’ rather than race the courses.  But then gets mad when she loses.

We are finally finally finally almost done with all the boxes in our house!! I swear I’ll do a house tour once the last few things are on the walls, and the dining room is done, and the workout room is done….so like…1 more year…But its nice that things are finally finding a place in our home.

Here is a montage of our winter in Long Grove — with lots of leftover holiday pictures as well —

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Holidays 2016

Its April and I’m giving a run down of thanksgiving and christmas.  Yikes.

I feel like I usually look back on events with rose-colored lenses but when I think back to the holidays of 2016, all I remember is everyone being sick.  Mostly me. Which is usually fine — but I was sick FOREVER and then everyone else was sick on and off, which made for a grumpy few weeks. And holidays are not the time to be sick.  You cant lay in bed for a few days and get better — you have to suck it up and be where you need to be.  Which was sometimes great because holidays are when you see people you dont see very much — but man, it was an overwhelming few weeks, when I probably should have been laying in bed.  I will give the highlights — because thats more fun and I dont have pictures of anyone puking.

My parents came for Thanksgiving! I hadnt had thanksgiving with my parents in like 7 years! It was really nice to have them.

IMG_20161124_152412

I went to my first Bears game!  It was a miserable, cold, snowy day —  but we managed to have some fun.

20161204_130424

Then we went to Bloomington for Em and Sam’s baby shower – its always great seeing these two! Wish we could see them more.

IMG_0397

IMG_4560

The week before Christmas the kids had a million school parties,  concerts and events. We of course went to see Santa.

20161220_164229

christmas_2016_santa

Then it was Christmas! This was our first year of playing Santa.  We have always gone to bloomington and had Christmas morning at one of the grandparents — so we’ve never really had to worry about having presents, santa gifts, stockings, etc.  I LOOOOVED being ‘HOME’ — especially since this is our first real home.  We made cookies and the kids had ‘reindeer food’ from school.  (Did you know reindeer eat oatmeal and glitter — GLITTER?! F-you school. It got everywhere.). It was awesome and stressful and exciting at the same time.  We wrapped everything in secret and stashed things away and waited for them to be asleep to get things ready (and ate all the cookies).  Luckily we are still at the age where kids didnt have anything big or pricey they really wanted — Phil and I actually just went up to our local goodwill store and bought like $50 worth of toys/puzzles/books and it was a HUGE christmas! We bought like 10 plastic airplanes for 50 cents a piece and individually wrapped each one and the kids thought it was the best thing ever.  So easy.  I know it wont always be that easy, so i’m thankful for this year when its still as simple as that.

Then the day after Christmas we drove down to Bloomington for Christmas with the grandparents.  We overlapped with my sister for a bit and got to celebrate Nick’s birthday! I even snuck out with a drink with friends.  We pack in as much as we can on these trips!

IMG_4653FullSizeR100

Then we made it back for NYE at the Deviches (which is also Quinn’s birthday!) It was a crazy night 😉 and we were at home asleep by 9pm.

20161231_182359

PHEW! Since then — we havent traveled at all!  And spent the rest of winter doing activities around here.  More on that next…

7:00am — The big kids ‘clocks are green’ (we have the ‘OK to wake’ clocks and they know not to leave their room until 7:00am when the ‘clocks turn green’ — best investment ever!).  They both come into my room and crawl into bed and wake me up. We put on a Blaze episode while I wake up a bit and I hear Zev start to fuss. I grab Zev and we head downstairs while the kids finish their show in the bed.  (Phil is already gone. Hes always up by 5-ish. He took Barney out and drove my car around for 15 minutes since it died the day before and he wanted to make sure the battery was working again. He was at work by 7:15).

I do a zev diaper, make a bottle, get the kids oatmeal ready, and grab a cup of coffee. The kids come down and everyone eats before playtime.  I help Evie in the bathroom and set up Zev with some toys in ‘the baby cage’.

20161102_07232220161102_074049

8:00am — I head upstairs with Zev to get ready while the kids play downstairs.  Zev hangs in the pack-in-play in our room while I get dressed.  Wil and Evie get in a fight downstairs and I end up making them both come upstairs to play in their rooms while I finish getting ready.  Everyone gets dressed.  I do a diaper for Zev.  Phil calls about planning some work travel.  We all head back downstairs and I get Wils school stuff ready — snack, library book, and parent-teacher conference signup sheet.

20161102_082856

8:45am — We are out the door to drop off Wil at school.  Its still warm enough that we dont really need jackets yet.  We park and get out to play on the stairs with some friends and I chat with parents about the Cubs.  We make it back home by 9:15 and Zev plays in his bouncer and Evie plays in the playroom while I clean up breakfast, straighten up the house, start roasting some chicken for dinner, round up all the trash in the house, start the dishwasher, put laundry away, and water plants.

20161102_092459

9:45am — I make Zev a bottle and head upstairs for his nap — do a diaper and lay him down, but have to check on him a million times and keep laying him back down until hes finally asleep around 10:15.

10:15am — Evie sits at the table with me to do ‘homework’ while I make notes for Wil’s OT teacher.  We only have a few more sessions, so his therapist and I are making sure he has everything he needs.  I finally eat a larabar.  Then unload the dishwasher, take out the chicken, take barney out, and start to get lunches ready since we have to eat at OT.  I get Zev up around 11 and do a quick diaper, help Evie in the bathroom – then we are out the door.

20161102_10272720161102_110540

11:15am — heading to get Wil from school.  On Wednesday he has ‘Computers’ and tells me all about this game he played ‘jumping to get the letter J’.   The kids eat in the car on the way to OT.  We get there 5 minutes early so I have time to give Zev a bottle in the waiting room.  After Wil heads back with his teacher — Evie, Zev and I run to target down the street.  I bump into a mom from Wils class last year and try to be friendly but I only have 30 mins!!

20161102_124558

1:00pm– we make it back to OT just in time to get Wil and make it back into the car  before it starts pouring down rain! I meant to give Zev a pouch and some crackers while we were out but never had time, so hes getting super grumpy.  We’re home by 1:30 and within 10 minutes Zev is changed and in the high-chair eating.  Evie picks out her small treat before nap time, I help her in the potty and I tuck her in for a nap. I have no idea what Wil was doing during all this. I head back down to help Zev finish up his lunch and hear Evie go in and out of her room like 5 times.  So I head back up to reinforce that its nap time and to stay in the room. Wil plays with Zev while I get target, lunch, and bookbags out of the car, and start cleaning up and putting things away.

20161102_142804

2:oopm — make Zev a bottle, do a diaper, and lay him down for his afternoon nap.  Evie finally seems to be asleep.  But I go upstairs about 5 times to get Zev asleep.  Wil is watching minecraft videos on youtube on the tablet (he doesnt understand yet that you can actually play video games yourself — he just watches other people play video games, haha — someday we’re going to blow his mind!).

2:30 — i finally sit down.  i’m exhausted by this point. Its nice to sit with Wil in some peace for a second.

screenshot_2016-11-02-14-39-53

3:00pm — Its time to get Evie already!  I carry her downstairs and she and Wil watch a show and have a snack while I take barney out and get the mail.  When I come back up, we make cards for my Aunt, cut fingernails, then playtime — Currently they love making houses out of megablocks and magnatiles for their little paw patrol figures.  I usually expect Zev to get up around 3:30 or so — but by 4:00 hes still not up and the big kids are still playing nicely by themselves.  I dont quite know what to do with myself when things are this calm.

20161102_15333720161102_155534

4:00pm — I start prepping dinner.  I cut up some onion and butternut squash for risotto and by 4:15 Zev is up.  I do a diaper, bottle, and cut his fingernails.  Then he plays in the kitchen while I start cooking the risotto.  Hes pretty fussy and feeling a little warm.  He ends up on my hip for most of dinner prep.  I pop some chicken nuggets in the oven for the kids. I havent heard from Phil since the morning, so I’m not sure when hes supposed to get home and the kids are fussy – so we sit down to eat around 5:20.  Kids try the rice, but eat mostly chicken nuggets and bread roll.  Zev like the risotto though!

20161102_16552420161102_171555

5:45 — Phils home after a marathon 4 hour meeting.  He eats and we chat while the kids play/fight in the other room. Zev hangs on my hip until I pass him over to Phil so I can go upstairs and change for 6:15 yoga class.

20161102_175415

20161102_163536

6:00pm to 7:30pm — a glorious 1.5 hours out of the house.

7:30pm– I arrive home.  Phil has the bath filling up.  I get the run down of what I missed: Zev pooped,  Wil accidentally poked Zev in the eye, Wil and Evie did NOT play well, and Barney had eaten two toys in the basement. I give Evie and Wil their baths, then Phil takes over on PJs and books while I give Zev a bottle, pjs, diaper, bed.  Zevs still warm, so we give a bit of medicine.  Then I head over to Evie rooms for songs.  Then to Wils room for songs, and then back to Evies room for songs again, while checking on Zev and laying him back down a million times in between.  Phil is downstairs cleaning up the kitchen and putting on the cubs game.

20161102_19510620161102_20055920161102_201728

8:30pm — I think this is the time I finally went back downstairs.   I start a load of laundry.  Phil is making his lunch and prepping coffee for tomorrow. He sits down to write some work emails and I hop in the shower real quick.  Then around 9:15 we grab a beer and watch the cubs!! I’d say 999/1000 days we’d be in bed with lights out by this time, but its game 7 of the world series! so beers and baseball it is.  I switch the laundry at some point and check work emails.  By the time the rain delay hit — we did finally go upstairs — I woke Phil up for when they won — Lights out around midnight!

*********************************************

So yeah — thats a typical day around these parts — when the cubs win the world series!

Synopsis: Nine Zev diapers, still helping Evie with nearly every bathroom break, but Wil is independent.  Evie and Wil are good playmates but also tend to fight a lot. Zev is currently contained but starting to learn to bust out of his baby cage making things very difficult for getting things done.  Zev is having about 24 ounces of formula + whole milk and lots of solids.  Big kids are picky eaters but learning to try new foods.  Even though I mentioned checking on kids and reinforcing bedtimes often — we are still very lucky that our kids go to sleep relatively easily and stay asleep for the entire night (usually).  I took my fitbit off before yoga and dont know how many steps I ended up with — but its easy to get 10,000 a day around here!  I was lucky to fit in a work-out out of the house (but didnt get any work done, thats usually the trade-off).  And even luckier to stay up late and hang-out with Phil.  We paid dearly the next morning!

 

 

I havent had a story-time in a while — here are a few things in my mind that stick out from the last few months:

–Zev head butts everything.  If you are holding him and looking at him — he will throw his forehead into you.  I think it might be a form of cuddling or getting a kiss — but watch out because he will knock your teeth out! He also does it if you are watching him perform some sort of task — like climbing a stair — where he just head butts the step.  Good times.

–Evie spells her name: “E” “Up down” “I” “loopty-loop”

–One afternoon when I was picking the kids up from school — my battery randomly died and I was stranded in the firelane with 3 hungry kids.  I immediately went into an F-bomb tirade.  Of course after things calmed down a bit, Wil repeated the word.  I asked him what it meant and he said ‘something bad happened’ (not too far off!).  So then I had to talk about how its not a nice word and I shouldnt have used it and Wil is NEVER allowed to use it.  And since I said a bad word – I would have to throw away a piece of my candy (This was right after Halloween, so candy was a big motivator at the time).  A few weeks later I was at the grocery with Evie and I couldnt find the ‘stupid cheese’ and Evie goes – “Dont say that word mommy – throw away a piece of your candy!”

–We have a big costume box in the basement and one afternoon Wil combined the dinosaur costume and the batman costume to make ‘batman dinosaur’. He proclaimed it was the best costume ever and thats what he wanted to be for halloween.  Evie then followed suit and made ‘butterfly witch’.  I asked them a million times if they wanted to go to the store and pick out something brand new — but they were dead-set on their super-awesome costumes and LOVED telling everyone what they were for when trick or treating.   If they’re happy – I’m happy!

–Wil is done with OT!  He had his last session in early November.  As much as we miss Heidi, its a nice milestone.  We still work on self-regulating our emotions and channeling our energy in appropriate ways — but we have so many more coping strategies after 6-months of OT.  We are so glad it was recommended to us.

–Oh gosh — after many many months of talking about ‘the crazy guy with the orange hair’ vs ‘the nice lady’ — I quickly had to change my phrase to ‘the guy with the crazy orange hair’.  Yikes.

–We live off of a road with a very strict 25 mph speed limit and cops are always sitting on the way to school.  I often find myself going too fast and say out loud that ‘i need to slow down or the police officers are going to get mad’.  Evie’s response one morning was ‘Or you could just go fast, and not tell the police officers?’  hahaha — (What is this girl doing behind my back!!?)

–Now that Zev is one, he is like a totally new person in my eyes.  Maybe its my own mental shift or a recent growth spurt — but hes so with it. He understands everything.  He points at things he wants, I swear he nods when I ask him questions, He will sit and ‘read’ books by himself.  My baby is gone — but I’m loving this toddler Zev phase, too. (Hes not actually toddling quite yet — but he’ll take a few steps here and there — I’m guessing by Christmas.  Then lord help me, because I can barely keep tabs on him now! Ah!).

–Wil knows that the year is 2016 — (which he learned at school to be “two-thousand-and-sixteen”.  Isnt it supposed to be “twenty-sixteen”? Anyway…) — He also knows that this is a really big number.  The biggest number he knows, in fact.  So when he thinks something is a lot of money – he says i wonder if its 2016 dollars?! Or if I say we have 5 more minutes – he says how about 2016 minutes? Or if he wants more crackers — can I have 2016 crackers? It was cute for a few weeks.

–Wil and Evie call the American flag the ‘captain America flag’.

–Evie is OBSESSED with UPS trucks.  She literally freaks out when we see one driving.  One time we saw a double-semi UPS truck on the way to bloomington.  Oh. My. Gosh. was it exciting.

–When I give Wil a snack cup of fishy crackers — sometimes its too full for one sitting so I’ll say ‘dont eat all of them’.  So he leaves exactly one. Smart kid.

–Wil is working on rhyming word at school and Evie is trying to catch on.  But she seems to think ‘rhyming’ is when two words are kind of related.  For example, she saw an IU Hoosiers ornament on the tree and exclaimed “‘IU’ and ‘Hoosiers’ RHYME!”  She is so proud of herself every time she finds ‘rhyming words’ — its hard to correct her when its so cute!

Here is the Fall photo dump:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Fall 2016

We had a fabulous and busy fall 2016 — We were in btown for a wedding mid September, then Phil had back-to-back trips at the end of Sept/ beginning of October, then we headed back to indiana for back-to-back weekends — Things finally calmed down at the end of october and we made the most of the gorgeous (and warm!) fall in Long Grove.

20161104_155330

We enjoyed lots of bonfires with friends:

img_20160924_180332

Flew kites on windy days:

20160926_164721

Had multiple date nights celebrating so many people we love:

20160917_2012080

Made our own scarecrow:

20161001_110831

Got to see all the Watkins in one place (of course zev is the only one not pictured)

20161007_15010420161008_222142

Had fun at the pumpkin patch:

20161022_121049

20161022_123448

img_20161022_120413

And played in lots (and lots and lots and lots) of leaves!

20161106_16040420161106_160434

The warm weather has finally gone and day light savings had ended (the sun goes down at 4:30 around these parts).  We’re bundling up and hunkering down until spring!

 

Zev is one!

Oh man – I can barely believe its been a whole year since this little guy was born.

1 day old:

20151030_093932

1 year old:

20161004_094239

 

It seriously flew by — which sometimes feels like a good thing — but I will also miss him being a baby (never thought I’d say that — but now that it coming to an end – I’m definitely feeling sad about it).  Zev was such an awesome baby. For the first 8 months of his life, he never had his own nap time or even his own crib/room.  He just slept in the carseat on the way to pick up his siblings and roughed it in the pack n’ play in our room until we moved to the new house.  Once we got settled, we finally started giving him scheduled naps and real bedtimes in his own room. Thanks for going with the flow, buddy.

 

 

He is currently obsessed with finding belly buttons, he likes dropping things to say ‘uh-oh’, knocking on windows, and destroying everything Wil and Evie build (which they are less than thrilled about).  Wil and Evie call him ‘monster baby’ these days because hes always on a mission to wreck their games.  Hes cruising around the couches and using the walker but wont let go on his own yet.  We usual contain Zev in the living room using toy boxes as blockades and lovingly call it the ‘baby cage’.  It’s a place where he is relatively safe so I can get things done and he cant get to Wil and Evie’s playroom.  Hes been a great sleeper and we’re currently transitioning from two naps to one nap.  He just started working on sippy cups (because we couldnt find them in the storage boxes until a few weeks ago). At his one year appointment he was 90th percentile in weight (25.6 lbs!!) and 98th percentile in head size. My back hurts carrying him around everywhere!

 

We had a great time celebrating his first birthday.  Busia and DziaDzia were up for it and the cubs were playing in the world series! Wil was very excited to help him open presents and Evie was excited to eat the little pumpkin cakes.  Zev was definitely my best baby at the ‘smash cake’ – he didnt hesitate at all before destroying the thing!

 

20161028_16503820161028_17184020161028_17180220161028_172706

img954313

Happy Birthday Mr. ZP Woz — We love you!

img954307

Summer 2016, Part 2

I came across way too many pics that made me smile from summer — so I’m dumping them all here for future enjoyment. Nearly 100! Wish I had time for individual stories for all of them. Summer is so great!

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.