New Year’s Interview – 2015

IMG_7355
Time for 2015 interview with the kids!  Maybe this will jumpstart my motivation to blog again?

Past Years:

2009

2010

2011

2014

So here we go for 2015:
IMG_8624ALEX – age 13.5
Favorites:

• breakfast – doughnuts

•vegetable – That’s a tough one.  Um, tomatoes and peppers when used in salsa.

• toy – Do gaming systems count?  My favorite toys is the X-box or Wii-U if including gaming systems.  If not, then my favorite toy is my Perplexes.

• TV Show – Big Bang Theory.

• game – Assuming video games count, I’d say Minecraft.

• book – Wesley the Owl

• restaurant – Maggiano’s

• holiday – Christmas

• animal – Either the barn owl or the snowy.

If you could change your name, what would
you choose?

I’d stick with my current name.

What do you love about each person in our family?

Emma reminds me that it’s okay to be young (oh, and she is awake).  Autumn reminds me that with enough determination, anything is possible.  Izzy shows me that a small package can have a lot of power.  Jackson reminds me that there is a time to be independent.  Mom shows me that just because a task is daunting doesn’t mean it’s impossible.  She does that everyday by taking care of us kids.  And dad shows me that just because you’re busy doesn’t mean that you can’t devote time to other things.  And Nova reminds me of the power of devotion.

Where would you like to go on vacation this year?

I’d really like to go to Great Wolf Lodge, but if I could choose anywhere, I would really like to go on vacation in the UK.

What are some of your wishes for this year?

World peace and a sandwich.  I’d also like to volunteer for a raptor rehabilitation center.

IMG_8651JACKSON – age 10

Favorites:

• breakfast – Biscuits and gravy

• vegetable – Spinach that dad makes

•drink – Chocolate milk

• toy – the X-box

• TV Show – Chima

• game – Terraria

• book – The Minecraft Handbooks

•restaurant – Olive Garden before they changed

• holiday – Christmas

•animal – Dolphin

If you could change your name, what would you choose?

I like my name how it is.

What do you love about each person in our family?

I like that they are my family.

Where would you like to go on vacation this year?

North Carolina

What are some of your wishes for this year?

I want to see a shooting star or a meteorite.  And I want to beat some of the bosses in Terraria.

IMG_8194IZZY – age 7.5

Favorites:

•breakfast – I like doughnuts!

•vegetable – broccoli

• drink – My body likes water.

•toy – My Perplexus.

• TV Show – My Little Pony

• game – I like my Spirograph.

• book – My SAM books.

• restaurant – I’m going to go with Autumn, Fazoli’s.

• holiday – My birthday!!!

• animal – Lion.  No, actually bald eagle.

If you could change your name, what would you choose?

I like the name Aerus.

What do you love about each person in our family?

I’m going to do individual people.  I like Jack because he’s always willing to play… well most of the time.  I like Alex because he gives me help when I need it.  I like Autumn because she’s so creative.  I like Emma because she’s always willing to play everyday.  I like you, mommy because you are my teacher and you’ve raised me since I was a newborn.  I like daddy because he works hard to earn our money so we can live in our house and have the food we eat.  I like Nova because he’s always there when you need someone to talk to.

Where would you like to go on vacation this year?

Wisconsin

What are some of your wishes for this year?

That Nova stays longer.  And that I get old enough to play Minecraft cause it looks fun.

IMG_8346AUTUMN – age 5

Favorites:

•breakfast – pancakes and hot chocolate

•vegetable – tomatoes

• drink – hot chocolate

•toy – my doll that I got for Christmas

• TV Show – My Little Pony

• game – Mariocart Wii

• book – Phoebe’s Sweater

• restaurant – Fazoli’s

• holiday – Christmas… or my birthday… BOTH

• animal – dolphin

If you could change your name, what would you choose?

Chrystalina

What do you love about each person in our family?

Because they love me back.

Where would you like to go on vacation this year?

The beach.

What are some of your wishes for this year?

That me and Zoe are sisters.

IMG_8374_2EMMA – age 2 (her first year answering for herself!)

Favorites:

•breakfast – Maybe some yogurt.  Pancakes are my favorite breakfast.

•vegetable – Peas.

• drink – Yogurt.

•toy – That one is mine.

• TV Show – Jake and the Neverland Pirates.

• game – Puzzles

• book – Clifford the Big Red Dog

• restaurant – Chicken

• holiday – Trick or treat!

• animal – Nova

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New Year’s Interview – 2014

IMG_2394I’ve done this interview with the kids in the past and LOVE tolook back over them.  I’m sad that I skipped the past year or two, so I’m gonna welcome 2014 with the interview!

Past Years:

2009

2010

2011

So here we go for 2014:
ALEX – age 12.5
Favorites:

• breakfast – cinnamon rolls

•vegetable – corn on the cob

• toy – Kindle

• TV Show – Transformers Prime

• game – Minecraft

• book – Wesley the Owl

• restaurant – Maggiano’s

• holiday – Christmas

• animal – Owl

If you could change your name, what would
you choose?

I like my name the way it is.

What do you love about each person in our family?

Well, Jackson is really creative.  Izzy is quite intelligent.  Autumn is creative as well.   Emma, she is still learning.  Dad is very reliable.  And mom is always there when you need her.

Where would you like to go on vacation this year?

Great Wolf Lodge!

What are some of your wishes for this year?

This year, I hope to actually see our owl friend in the daylight.  I’ve never seen his plumage, and it would be quite interesting to observe.

JACKSON – age 9

Favorites:

• breakfast – Eggs and ham

• vegetable – Kale

•drink – Root beer

• toy – LEGO Hive Crawler

• TV Show – My Little Pony

• game – Wii Lego Ninjago

• book – The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

•restaurant – Olive Garden

• holiday – My birthday

•animal – Dolphins

If you could change your name, what would you choose?

Frost

What do you love about each person in our family?

That they are my family!

Where would you like to go on vacation this year?

Great Wolf Lodge!

What are some of your wishes for this year?

That my birthday is a good one.

IZZY – age 6.5

Favorites:

•breakfast – IKEA cinnamon rolls

•vegetable – broccoli

• drink – chocolate milk

•toy – LEGO Evo

• TV Show – My Little Pony

• game – LEGOs

• book – Tiptoes Lightly

• restaurant – Red Robin

• holiday – Christmas!!!

• animal – Lion

If you could change your name, what would you choose?

I like Bella.

What do you love about each person in our family?

Jack is great with LEGOs.  Alex likes reading.  Autumn is creative.  Emma is cute.  Mom and dad care for me.

Where would you like to go on vacation this year?

The Beach! Actually LegoLand.

What are some of your wishes for this year?

That everyone has a good year.

AUTUMN – age 4

Favorites:

•breakfast – cinnamon rolls

•vegetable – mashed potatoes

• drink – orange juice

•toy – Snow White doll

• TV Show – Dora the Explorer

• game – Wii Dancing with Dora

• book – Diego book

• restaurant – Red Robin

• holiday – When we go to Trader Joe’s

• animal – Bears

If you could change your name, what would you choose?

Izzy!

What do you love about each person in our family?

Because they love me!

Where would you like to go on vacation this year?

To Halloween!

What are some of your wishes for this year?

That My Little Pony was with us.

EMMA – age 1

Favorites:

•breakfast – eggs

•vegetable – mixed veggies

• drink – mama’s milk

•toy – doll

• TV Show – What’s a TV!?

• game – Itsy Bitsy Spider

• book – Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes

• restaurant – Mama’s!

• holiday – Everyday!

• animal – Nova

Day 7: Pets

IMG_7462Thirteen and a half years ago, my husband came home from work, told me to put on my shoes and come with him.  He took me to a local pet store to show me the last 2 of 11 puppies in a litter of half black lab and half golden retriever pups.  We had been married just over a month and he was completely smitten with this cute little 4-lb fur ball.  We were on a tight budget and having had a dog most of my life, I knew a little bit about the costs associated with a dog.  I told him if he wanted to give up cable, then we could probably afford a dog.  He didn’t hesitate.  He was named before we even got home: Nova.Alex 3284@0

He was younger than we were told and my husband spent that first week rocking him and sleeping on the kitchen floor with him.  He taught us all the important stuff about being a parent: letting go of the messes, cuddling to sleep at night, playing being more important than working.  A year or so later when we brought home Alex, Nova licked him and made sure we always picked him up when he fussed.  He’s been such a great family dog and has tolerated crazy amounts of hair pulling, eye poking, food stealing, and teasing dished out by the kids over the years.

P6140048@0 He’s been everywhere with us: the beach, camping, family trips, law school, hiking.

IMG_6448He’s an old dog now and spends most of his days cuddled up with Alex, who is the one who now walks and feeds him.  He still plays a little fetch, but much slower than he used to.

 

Day 6: Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day will be a bit different this year.  My dear husband will be away so it’s just me and the kids.

So, I decided rather than feel sorry for myself, I will help my kids prepare for Mother’s Day.  Here’s what I’m doing ahead of time in order to make the day a success:

  • Talking with them about what they’d like to do.  What does Mother’s Day mean to them?  What would they like to do to celebrate?  How can we make their visions for the day come to life?
  • Giving them a pile of construction paper, glue, scissors, markers and crayons so they can make make cards if they want.  My 2 oldest can read and write, so they can assist the other two if needed.  And knowing my youngest, she’ll want to make pictures and cards for grandma more than anything.
  • Meal prep!  If I spend the time with the kids in the kitchen today, I can set them up for breakfast in bed tomorrow with minimal clean-up in the kitchen.  Same goes for dinner.  Crockpot dinner – I think so!
  • If I want flowers, then I better find a field where the kids can gather and pick them.
  • If they want to get a gift, then I’ll need to take them shopping and give them money or the supplies they need to create their gifts.

Here’s hoping for a wonderful, memorable Mother’s Day!

Day 3: A Day in the Life

(Yes, I know it’s the 10th and I skipped a few days, er, um a week or so, but I’m not going to throw in the towel yet!)

6:51 – Emma is smacking me in the face. I open my eyes to find her all smiles.  She’s reaching over me to either wake up Autumn in her bed next to us or get to the window so she can watch the birds.

 

7-ish – Coffee time! James makes the coffee and I start on breakfast and laundry.  By 8, they’re all up and hungry.  Alex does his morning chores, walking and feeding Nova, tending to the rabbits, and unloading the dishwasher.  Autumn clears and sets the table for breakfast.  The kids eat at the table, while I drink my coffee at the computer.  They finish and run off to play.  I get my own breakfast, a second cup of coffee, and nurse Emma for her mini morning nap.

9 or so – Encouraging the kids to get their morning-5 done so we can do some housework together.  It takes a lot of encouraging today.  I also do my own morning-5.  Then outside to hang-up laundry.  They all follow me out and water the garden and check out their plants.

10 – Alex is self-motivated and starts his math lessons and works on the rest of his school work.  I play with the little girls while Jackson disappears (usually trying to take Izzy with him) in an effort to avoid anything related to cleaning or lessons.

11:30 – Lunch time.  We’ve been working together at mealtimes so Jackson brings the PB, jelly, honey, and bread to the table, Autumn gets the plates, Alex pours drinks, and Izzy helps with the fruit.

1-ish – I read The Voyages of Dr. DoLittle.  It’s part of Jackson’s OM2 curriculum, and it has captured his attention.  Izzy is also over the moon with this book and listens intently.  We finish up the lessons for the day while Autumn is loud and active and baby Emma tries to avoid another nap.

3:30 – Lessons are done and the boys are begging to play wii.  Grumble.  I let them each have a half an hour of screen time while I try to get some lesson planning and more housework done.

5:00 – We load up the van and drive to the local state park.  The kids get to play at the playground while James and I take turns running.

7:00 – We’re back home, everyone oh so hungry for dinner.

8:30 – Bedtime!  Not that anyone is ever in bed at this time.  Teeth brushing, drinks of water, jammies (that didn’t get wet while brushing teeth), prayers, bedtime stories, hugs and kisses.

10 – They’re all asleep or at least quiet in bed and pretending to be asleep.  I’m exhausted!

And now she’s 6!

Six years ago (yesterday – I’m a day late in posting), we were blessed with our first baby girl.  She asks me to tell her her birth story every night before bed, so in honor of her birthday, I thought I would share it here too.Picture 027_2@0 I woke up around 7 that March morning with contractions, which was normal as I had been having Braxton-Hicks contractions for over half my pregnancy.  They felt a little different so I practiced what I preached to my students (I was a certified Bradley Method childbirth instructor at the time)  to see if maybe this was the real deal.  I tried resting through the contractions in bed.  I walked through them. I drank a glass of water. I tried to eat, but instead fed the boys cereal and started a movie for them to watch.  Before trying the last thing on the check list, I decided to wake up James to let him know what was going on and that I was getting in the shower.

He knew.  I still wasn’t convinced, but he knew.

I got out of the shower and found that James had everything ready in the bedroom.  I think I finally realized that it was the real deal, but thought we still had time.  Only a half an hour had passed since that first contraction of the morning.  I buried my head, curled up on the ground with each contraction.  I was calm and repeating affirmations to myself.  This was transition.

I began humming and moaning when James asked me if I was pushing.  I said no.

Again, he knew. James called the midwife.

We anticipated that this labor could go fast because Jackson came in 90 minutes, so we had discussed the “what ifs” with our midwife beforehand.  The drive to the birth center was 40 minutes before adding in the fact that the 3-lane interstate was down to one-lane due to construction and it was rush hour.

Hearing that I was pushing, the midwife insisted that we come to the birth center.  We knew there wasn’t time, but when we told her that, she hung up on James.

A minute later, I calmly said, “There’s the head.”

James reached down just in time to catch our sweet baby.  He put her on my chest and covered us with a blanket.  It took us a minute to realize that we didn’t check to see if it was a boy or girl, so I peaked under the blanket and announced, “It’s a GIRL!”

Picture 030_2@0James tucked us into bed and cleaned up the bedroom.  He then went to the nearest store and bought every pink thing they had and a fish scale so we could weigh our little one.  She was 20″ long and 6 lbs 15 oz.  It was an amazing birth!  And she is an amazing girl!IMG_7353

Happy Birthday Izzy!  

Dress Up

Every morning, my 3 and 5 yo get dressed, but within an hour of having clothes on, they are off again.  They dress up as princesses, as ballerinas, gymnasts, tea party hostesses, etc.IMG_6587I often get invited to their tea parties and balls, but one day I thought I would surprise them by dressing for the occasion.  I slipped away into my closet, unzipped a bag that’s been closed for more than 13 years, and put it on my wedding dress.IMG_6262I wish I would have gotten a picture of their faces when I arrived to the tea party that day!  They LOVED it and didn’t even care that I couldn’t zip up the back!