Saturday, July 30, 2011

New Job!

I'm sure that you're realized that something is going on here! Nothing bad though!! I've been away in Killeen, TX just outside Fort Hood on a training trip for my new job with Military Child Education Coalition! I'm now part of Fort Cambell's Parent to Parent team. Our team of three military wives will be giving workshops in the Fort Campbell community to educate parents on how to become their child's best advocate in their educational career.
While I was in training, my mom and sister came and stayed with the kids. I am so thankful that I have such loving support. This is a fantastic opportunity for me since I will only be working 10 hours a week and it is something that I really think that will make a difference in our community.
The kids had a great time with my mom and sister and everyone was pretty sad at dinner tonight. Here are a few pictures that Laurie took while I was away. It was so nice to come home. I thought it would be nice and relaxing to be in a hotel room by myself but the truth is that I missed the kids and the chaos so much. I'm glad that the training was so good - it balanced out the guilt of being away and the pain of missing my babies.

Saturday, July 23, 2011


It's hot everywhere but it has been just unbearable here. Thursday evening we got a tiny bit of relief in the form of a rain shower that lasted all of 5 minutes. It got a little cooler and the rain cooled the pavement off enough that the kids could run around without shoes. We were playing in the backyard and waiting for the "storm" to arrive. It seemed like we were going to get an actual thunderstorm but it went south of us and we just got sprinkles. The kids thought it was just OUTRAGEOUS to be outside while it was raining but let me tell you - it felt so good!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

New Shoes

Brendan has this affection for VANS - must be something from his childhood or perhaps a deep desire to be a professional skateboarder. These arrived in the mail for the kids a few days ago and boy are they adorable!! The kids love them and they are easy to get on and off so I love them even more!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Cold Stone Creamery

As a reward for doing awesome at swimming lessons for 2 whole weeks, we went to Cold Stone for ice cream on Friday night after supper. The kids had been really looking forward to it and Emmy had been planning what she was going to get mixed into her ice cream since I explained the process to her. Her original plan was to get gummy bears, gummy worms and m&m's all mixed in. Once we got there they all chose cotton candy ice cream (it is blue after all). Aidan and Aoife chose gummy bears but Emmy went a different route and got white chocolate chips mixed in. They all enjoyed the outing and came home VERY sticky!! And - yes - the people at Cold Stone thought I was totally weird for taking pictures inside the store!

A visit from Kate

Aidan's godmother, Kate Clarke, came to see us on Friday. It was so great to see her - if only for a few hours. She visited us last October and it was so nice to spend a little time together again before her next big adventure! Kate gave Aidan the hat he is wearing in the picture and he literally has only taken it off for baths - he even sleeps in it. Please stay safe Kate! We love you and miss you!
Here's a link to her book.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Swimming Lessons

So Thursday is the last day of swimming lessons for the kids. Aoife has made good progress - from screaming every minute of the 30 minute class to only kicking and screaming when she knows it's time to go underwater. I can't get any pictures of Aoife in her class because I am in the water with her - can't figure out the logistics on that one. Emmy has stayed in the level 2 class with Aidan and has made good progress as well. She can kick with a kickboard all the way across the pool and back and can glide on her front and back and float on her back. Pretty good I think for a 4 year old. Aidan can swim freestyle and backstroke - although not very far on his own. He really likes using the kickboard and jumping off of the diving board. Here are a few pictures I managed to get today:

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A visitor

The heat here has been incredible but the flowers seem to like it - as long as I keep them watered at night! Butterflies are regular visitors but I managed to actually photograph this one the other afternoon. Usually they fly away before I can get the camera but this one was really enjoying the purple flowers and stuck around for a while!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Aidan's Legos

Brendan sent Aidan this little Lego set with the challenge to follow the instructions and build it all by himself. It took him all of 20 minutes to come back downstairs with it all completed - I think he's ready to move on to slightly bigger sets!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Baking Cookies

The kids have been asking forever to make M&M cookies - probably because they know that they are my favorite! Baking with 3 kids has lots more challenges than baking with just one but we made it through and the cookies turned out great!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Pool Now?

This is how Aoife told me that she wanted to go to the pool this morning. She came around the corner like this and asked, "Pool now??".

Friday, July 8, 2011

Baby Hawks

This morning there were 4 baby hawks on our front lawn! It was so weird to see 4 hawks all together and on the ground no less! I didn't want to open the door to take a picture because it would have scared them away and by the time I went to get the camera they had hopped onto the street. They were so fluffy looking and they were hopping around on the street looking around for their mother I'd guess. I didn't see them fly they just hopped around. It was really cool!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Aidan jumps!

Aidan jumped off of the diving board for the first time yesterday. He was so excited and did an awesome job. He didn't hesitate at all! I made sure that I brought both the camera and the flip video recorder today. They jumped off twice today so I was able to catch it in still and video format! The first time the instructor caught them - like yesterday - and the second time he didn't. It seemed to me that it took forever for Aidan to come up from underwater although it probably didn't! He wants to go back this afternoon but I told him that I can't catch him during free swim so he has to learn to do it on his own AND swim back to the side on his own. I think that will light a fire under him for sure!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

First Tomato Harvest

The gardens have been doing great! The snap peas came in first and everyone in the neighborhood enjoyed coming over and picking them - delicious! Green beans came in next but we were away and the plants were destroyed by Japanese Beetles - YUCK! I hated to do it but I had to rip up all the beans plants and get rid of them. The tomatoes are just starting to turn and everyone is very excited - everyone BUT Aidan that is. The girls helped me pick these grape tomatoes before lunch today and they were sooo yummy! There really isn't much better than tomatoes that are still warm from the sun! We're still waiting for the carrots, onions and garlic. They shouldn't be too far off!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Just one of those days...

Today was one of those days. OK - I planned too much AND didn't really think about the fact that last night was the 4th. It was late - really late - by the time we got home. I don't know if the kids had ever been up until 10:30 before but they have now! We sat in line at Gate 4 waiting to get onto post for about 20 minutes. No one was happy about that.

Taking extreme exhaustion into consideration this was our day today. I had to get them up early (for them) at 6:50 this morning - after going to bed at 10:30 instead of 7:30 - in order for everyone to be clean (finger and toe nails clipped as well - see below), fed, dressed and walking out the door at 7:50 am. We had to take Aoife to hourly childcare (it opens at 8 am) and then go to the kids' physical appointments (hence the nail clipping) at the hospital at 8:20. Why on EARTH would I have made an appointment at 8:20 AM you ask? When I called 5 weeks ago it was the ONLY appointment available during the first 2 weeks of July - and they hadn't opened up appointments for the second half of the month. FAN.TAS.TIC. Oh - and did I mention that the hospital has a new policy that extra children are not allowed at appointments so that means that if I brought Aoife to Emmy and Aidan's appointment then I would get turned away AND charged for a missed appointment. 3 of those in 1 year and you get kicked off post for your medical care. Again - fan-freaking-tastic.

The appointments themselves were fine - 25 minutes late - but fine. Aidan is 57lbs (87%) and 4 feet 1 inch tall (89%). Emmy is 35 lbs (49%) and 3 feet 6inches tall (89%). No abnormalities and Aidan spent the entire time quizzing the doctor on the various instruments/posters/supplies in the office. Then came time for the shots. Emmy had been telling me that she was going to be brave and take a deep breath. She tried - she really tried but it proved too much. She took one look at the 4 needles sitting on the bed waiting to impale her and she started screaming. Aidan said he needed to stand outside the room because he didn't want to see Emmy cry. She didn't resist being put up on the bed and she didn't even need to be held down, which kind of made it worse for me. She just looked at me and cried and cried like I was betraying her in some horrible manner. I dosed her right after with Tylenol and we headed out the door. She may only be in the 49th percentile but 35 lbs is a lot to carry all the way to the car.

Back to the hourly care to pick up Aoife and then home for a quick snack. Change into bathing suits, slather on sunscreen and back in the car. It's the first day of swimming lessons because what is better after shots than physical exertion in freezing cold water? We show up to the pool - Aoife's in Mommy and Me, Emmy's in level 1 and Aidan's in level 2. Great - except they've canceled the level 1 class because there weren't enough kids and they've forgotten to tell me. What do I do now? I convince Aidan's teacher to take Emmy in the class promising him that it won't stay that way if it's too much work for him - knowing full well that's a total lie. This is the only time slot where Aoife can take lessons so Emmy's staying right where she is - a foot in the door so to speak. Emmy's totally freaking out because level 2 is in the deep end and she can't swim. The teacher said he'll do level 1 stuff with her and she can sit on the side until it's her turn. Surprisingly, everything actually turns out fine. Aidan said that swimming lessons were "the best hour of my life" and Emmy told me that she thought she was going to cry but she took a deep breath and didn't. Not too bad for a late night, 4 shots and now a fever.

Oh - and Aoife barfed on the way home.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July!! Instead of braving the Fort Campbell festivities we went to Steph's house for a BBQ. It was nice to hang out, relax and eat good food! We brought the water slide with us and the kids had a blast. It wasn't as hot as it has been and it was really nice to be able to enjoy being outside. After dinner the kids did sparklers - although both Emmy and her friend Bella got little burns. Aidan managed to not burn himself and use all the sparklers after the girls decided that one burn was enough. We also watched the fireworks in the neighborhood and all of the kids seemed to have fun. We didn't get home until really late and we have to get up early for doctor's appointments and swim lessons tomorrow. Ugh - we'll see how it goes!Emmy and Bella with sparklers.Aoife eating dinner - for maybe the 3rd time. She loves a good cookout!Aidan and Emmy watching fireworks:

Fort Pickens, Pensacola Beach, FL

One evening we drove down to Fort Pickens in Pensacola Beach. It was really fun and satisfied my craving for ruins! The kids had a fun time running around and going down tiny tunnels inside the fort - until I decided it was time to turn around. Thanks to my Dad for some of these pictures! It's always nice to be in a few!!