Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Swimming Lessons

 Swimming lessons are going along well!  Aidan is doing extremely well and I can see daily improvements in his endurance and form!  Emmy is putting a lot of effort in and getting much better and Aoife is pushing through her fear of going underwater.  As you can see from the picture below she wasn't happy to have to go under and put her feet on the bottom of the pool but she did it - and she even did it twice more right after that picture was taken.  It takes a special kind of drive to keep torturing yourself. :(

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Emmy Gliding

This is a big deal for Emmy - she has really worked hard to overcome her fear of going under without goggles.  I feel mean for not letting her use them but I know it's in her best interest.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Pickin' on the Porch

 We went to Pickin' on the Porch again on Saturday!  Aidan, Emmy and Aoife all went to Super Saturday which is FREE childcare two Saturdays a month for families of deployed soldiers.  They can go from 9-5 and run around with their friends, have lunch and get completely exhausted!  They have a great time but I think it was a little too much to have so much fun all day and then go to Pickin'.  They had fun and ate about 3,000 snowcones each but they were pretty tired.  Declan was also tired because he and I ran errands in the morning so he only got his afternoon nap.  It was still fun but we didn't last too long!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Declan is 10 months!

 It's amazing how quickly these past 10 months have gone!  Declan is just the happiest little kid.  He's always smiling and laughing and just enjoying life.  He has four teeth - two on the top and two on the bottom.  He loves taking little bites out of thing like pretzels or tortillas!  He has really started eating a lot of table food within the past week and I HOPE to get him completely off of baby mush by his birthday!  He is starting to sleep through the night every once in a while which is nice when it happens!  He's crawling around like mad and pulling up on everything.  He is pretty good at getting back down when he pulls up too!  He said his first word yesterday while we were skyping with Brendan.  Declan said "Aidan" twice right after Aidan went outside in the backyard.  He was calling for Aidan to come back in!  Declan thinks Aidan is the coolest person on Earth and watches everything he does.  It's wonderful to watch the two of them together!!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Swimming Lessons - Day 1

 The kids have been looking forward to swimming lessons for AGES!!!  OK - maybe only Aidan has been looking forward to them.  Aoife spent all day yesterday how she didn't want to go to swimming and she was scared etc etc.  I think that she thought someone was going to throw her in the water and see if she would sink or float!  She had a great time - as you can see from her smile in the pictures!  They didn't do much - it is a preschool class.  They learned how to get in and out of the water safely and then caught plastic fish with a net.  Worth $60??  We'll see..

 Poor Aidan's class was canceled and we didn't know it.  He was so disappointed but hung in there.  He'll get to make his class up on Friday while everyone else has to stay out of the water.  Should be fun. 
 Declan munched on some French Toast and watched all the kids.  45 minutes was his limit and he was happy to be on the way home to crawl around.
 Emmy did well although she wasn't happy that I didn't let her use her mask.  The teacher told her to practice in the tub tonight and I think she was in there for about an hour putting her face in the water!  I think she'll do much better tomorrow.

This is what you get happening on the other side of the pool when you take lessons on an Army base!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Pancakes are Super Tasty

Declan has been a little bit under the weather for the past day or so.  He's getting his second top tooth and he really pays for each one - poor little guy!  He woke up from his afternoon nap yesterday with a bit of a fever and then two bites into dinner barfed the entire contents of his digestive tract onto his high chair.  Aidan almost lost his dinner as well!

Declan went directly into the bath and actually ate some of my chicken pot pie while I ate my dinner sitting next to the bathtub.  The other three ate together downstairs with minimal arguing AND cleaned up their own dishes before joining us upstairs.  I think that was the first time that I ate my dinner sitting on the bathroom floor - pretty good that I made it to kid #4!

He was super hungry all night and decided that apple pancakes looked WAY better than mangoes with oatmeal for breakfast.  He loved the pancakes and seemed to have no issues with the texture at all.  He just can't handle lumps in the food that I spoon feed him but he does OK now with goldfish - and pancakes evidently!  He's going to be 10 months on Tuesday.  I can't believe the time is going so quickly.  I'm savoring every little moment with him, knowing that he's the last one.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

101st Airborne Divison (Air Assault) Museum

 This afternoon we went over to the museum on post just for SOMETHING to do!  It's been really hot - maybe not as bad as last summer - but too hot to play outside.  Aidan, Emmy and Aoife would be happy if we went to the pool everyday, all day but I'm already burnt out on the pool.  So many people and so close together plus Declan tries to drown himself at any chance he gets.  I totally understand because after spending even 20 minutes there I want to drown myself too!  :)  Swimming lessons start on Monday and are everyday for the following 2 weeks.  I think we'll spend plenty of time in the water.

I've been trying to come up with fun things to do that cost little (or no) money and are inside out of the heat.  Clarksville doesn't have a ton to do anyway so when you put those limitations on it you are down to a very limited number!  We are members of the Customs House Museum and so we go there a fair amount but Aidan is really too old and he gets bored.  He's so good about it and tries to have fun but I feel badly taking him there too much!  I thought that the museum on post would be a good compromise - inside, free (donations) and lots of things to look at.  The kids did have a good time but it's just not that big and not super interesting for them.  They really liked the airplane that they could go in - Emmy was CONVINCED that one of the manikins was looking at her - and there was a movie about the history of the 101st that Aidan watched for a while.  I wish there were more hands-on exhibits but they seemed to enjoy themselves.  It's nice to talk about history even if they don't REALLY get it.  One day when they're in high school they will be learning about WWII and realize that their Dad was in the 101st.  It's pretty cool to be part of history!

Here we are walking in to the museum.  We arrived with a few other people and I was trying to give them a head start before we stormed the building!  Aoife is obsessed with "Old Abe", the Eagle that is on the 101st patch.  We found lots of Old Abes in the museum including this one below that she was horrified to realize had real feathers and was - at one point - alive.

 Here I was trying to get a picture of them in front of the jeep - not quite so much!!
 Emmy didn't quite understand what I was going for here.  More cheerleader than guard!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Great, just great.

I'm in the kitchen taking meat off a roasted chicken when Aoife walks in.

Aoife: "GROSS!!! What's THAT?"
Me: "it's chicken for the salad."
Aoife: "It looks like snot."
Me: "What? No - it's just a whole chicken with skin."
Aoife: "Skin??? Is it a REAL CHICKEN?"
Me: "Well, yeah - all of the chicken we eat is a real chicken."
Aoife: "You mean someone killed it DEAD????" Looks horrified/disgusted/betrayed


And then she refused to eat dinner - Chinese Chicken Salad that she LOVES.  This is NOT good.  No one tell her that hamburgers are cows!!! 

July 21 - Aoife no longer eats fish because they are "cute fishies swimming in the sea".  This is getting worse.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Emmy's 8th Tooth

 Emmy pulled out her own tooth today!!  It's been bothering her for quite a few days and she wanted me to pull it out but I was feeding Declan his lunch so I told her to grab a napkin and see if she could pull it herself.  She was in the bathroom and I heard her say, "Ouch!!" and she had pulled the tooth out!  Aidan was a little embarrassed that he had never pulled out one of his teeth and she just kept rubbing it in.  When you have an older brother there aren't too many opportunities to be first!!
After dinner the girls found their princess castle in the garage and we put it on the trampoline so Aidan could still play basketball.  They LOVED it but they did NOT want to go in for a bath.  I bribed them with an in-bath facial.  Aoife kept asking for the zucchini for her eyes!!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Light at Cheekwood

 On Friday night I took the kids to see "Light" at Cheekwood Botanical Garden in Nashville.  It was fantastic!!  It was neat to get there before sunset and see the transformation of the landscape.  I took some pictures of what it looks like in the daytime so we could compare it with the night pictures.  It really was magical! 
We ate dinner at home and then got in the car and drove to Nashville.  We got to Cheekwood around 7pm and wandered around.  The kids played on the treehouse and I had a glass of wine from one of the many bars they had set up around the garden and listened to the live jazz.  I felt as sophisticated and refined as I could with a baby strapped to my back and three other munchkins following me.  There weren't many other kids there and we got lots of stares.  I have to say that the kids behaved perfectly.  I think they were so impressed with the display that they didn't have anything to complain about plus they got to have gourmet popsicles!
We finished up around 9:30 pm and headed home.  We got home just before 11 and thankfully the girls and Declan slept some of the way.  It was tough getting them up this morning!!

The Field of Light - Day 

The Watertowers - day - made of 10,000 plastic tonic bottles filled with water and fiber optics

 Aoife swinging on the treehouse
 The Watertowers at night - they shift colors - it's hard to capture it in still photography!

 the Fireflies
 The Blue Moon
 Aidan and Emmy watching the Teepees - the colored tubes blink on and off and change colors

 the Field of Light

 Rain - inside the Mansion

 Chandelier of Light inside the Mansion