Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Lake Compounce bring a buddy day

Today we had made plans with an old childhood friend of Joe's to go to an amusement park. It was bring a buddy day. It was such a beautiful day. Very crowded though. Small world with Joe's childhood friend, she went to school with my brother. She remembers him a little. I showed her a more recent picture of him and she said he looks the same.

Anyways, I have no pictures to share. I had my camera, but it seems that with taking care of the baby I had a hard time getting pictures. I don't think I went on a single ride. That's okay though. The kids had a great time. It was an exhausting day. Natalie was really unsure about the whole thing because Joe's friend has 3 boys. She didn't think she wanted to hang out with all boys. Turns out they weren't too bad though. She actually enjoyed them. The kids hit it off pretty well.

I got sunburn. Shame on me. I make sure the kids are protected from the sun, but somehow I never get enough sunblock on myself. My own fault. I know better. It was a day full of swings, bumper cars, roller coaster, water park (with really cold water), more bumper cars, more roller coasters, ghost hunts, more swings, games, a lost child, a found child, and complete exhaustion. That's what spending from 11:30 in the morning until almost 8 at night will do to you though.

Our summer is getting off to an exciting start!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Tales from the potty part 3

It has been a while since I've done a potty update. Probably because there hadn't been too much change. I have been trying everything with him. I pretty much have all of his cars now which he has to earn back by staying dry. I have tried guilt trips with him. Telling him he's a baby when he pees or poops in his potty. And now with cloth diapering his sister I've just been washing his underwear with her diapers. So every time I've had to put his underwear in the wet bag I make a big deal about his underwear going in with the stinky baby diapers. Well, that back fired on me. He wets and tells me I'm a baby now. Okay so what's going to work with this kid?

Last week was his last day of school. We have been telling him right along that if he doesn't learn to use the potty he's not going to be able to go to school next year. He actually got to see what hopefully will be his new school next year last week. And as we walked out to the car he told me he was wet. So I talked to him about how he has to tell the teacher he has to potty and they won't let him in school if he doesn't use the potty and we went home.

His vacation started and he had been asking to go to school. I think he started thinking that he can't go to school anymore because he didn't use the potty. Because last Friday he was dry all day and pooped on the potty twice. Just went in there and went all on his own. We made a huge deal of it too. The whole family was cheering for him. Then Saturday we were out all day and I was paranoid he'd be wet in no time. We brought his potty chair with us in case we couldn't find a potty for him and I brought a ton of underwear and clothes. And we didn't need any of it!!! He stayed dry all day again. And then Sunday more of the same thing. Until right before he went to bed that is, he had an accident. Still, super proud of him.

But then there was today. He had some accidents including a poop accident. However, he did also poop in his potty. We might be getting closer though. He's a stubborn boy, that's for sure. We're hoping he gets this down pat soon so being in school won't be an issue next year.

Beach time

Now that summer is officially here and school is out we headed off to the beach on Saturday. It was a cold summer day though so no swimming. But plenty of beach exploring and lots of fun. CJ wants to go back too so we'll definitely have to make sure to go to the beach when it's warmer and we can really play.

Walking through the sand

Here's a nice rock Daddy!

Come on guys lets go swimming!

Mom wants a pictures of us

One more for good measure

Carrying CJ

Best I could do of a picture of fussy Alyssa. And of course Joe had to make a face

Awww, that one's much nicer!

Such a great way to start out summer vacation.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

School's out!

Yesterday was the last day of school for the two big girls. I now have a 7th grader and a 4th grader. Here's my new 4th grader with her teacher from this year. He was a complete God send to her. It was an emotional day. Kaitlyn does not want school to be over. She misses her teacher already. It's probably going to be a very long summer of her talking about Mr. T until she goes back and sees him again next school year.

So, report cards! I don't have one from Natalie yet. However, based on her grades on the computer she should have 3 A's and 3 B's. Pretty good way to end the year of accelerated classes. I see great things for her next year too with the Avid program.

Kaitlyn's report card was her best EVER! She doesn't get letter grades yet, but it was all 3's and 4's except for two 2's in things that they had just started learning though. This has been an exceptional year for her. While she is still below grade level in reading she made huge leaps and bounds there and if she keeps that up then she shouldn't have any trouble at all catching up.

Just to give you an idea of the level of understanding and respect Kaitlyn's teacher had for her here are the comments he gave:

Kaitlyn has had a fabulous year in third grade. She has made major gains in reading, which is a testament to her hard work and determination. Kaitlyn is eager, ambitious, and demonstrates a true love of learning. As the year comes to an end she has taken pride in showing me just how neat her written work can be as well. I have so much respect for Kaitlyn, as I have seen her diligently work through this entire school year always with a smile on her face. She is a truly wonderful child, and I will greatly miss having her in class.

That's my girl. So proud of them both. I'd share more about Natalie, but there is nothing to share. She just continues to push through and do well in school.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

This is a stick up

Awww, who would stick up this adorable baby girl? She fell asleep like this the other night. She likes to rub her head to fall asleep so I imagine that's how she ended up like this. She is quite the character. Last night we were laying in bed with her and Joe would rub her head and she would start rubbing her head. Not sure what it is about rubbing her head to fall asleep. She'll probably be one of those kids who twirls her hair around her finger to go to sleep when she gets older.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Welcome to summer fishing

It's the first day of summer and Natalie and Kaitlyn are still in school. However, CJ is out. So we took him fishing to celebrate the first day of summer. He loves "fishing pole". That's what he calls fishing. Although, he needs to be reminded numerous times to not reel it in.

Here he was waiting for Daddy to set up his pole...

Alyssa came along for the ride...

Finally doing some fishing...

He caught his first fish...

We went to explore the rest of the park because there had been some new additions since last summer. So on a little nature walk...

We came back and CJ Daddy had caught three more fish...
No one tell his sisters that he didn't catch these guys.

It started to rain, but CJ wanted to try to catch another one. So he was giving it a go, but didn't end up catching anymore.

We enjoyed our start to the summer for CJ anyways. The girls only have 3 half days of school left and then they finally get to start their summer vacation and fishing trips with Daddy on a whim.

Monday, June 20, 2011

CJ's End of Pre-K 3 Ceremony

Today was CJ's last day of his first experience with preschool. I was told they were going to have a party today to celebrate the summer birthdays and just it being the last day of school. I wasn't really expecting any sort of performance or ceremony. So I brought him to school, but needed to feed Alyssa. So I told his teacher I would be back in about 15 minutes figuring we were just going to be hanging around mostly anyways. Well, I walked back into the classroom and there were chairs set up for the adults and the kids were all standing in the front of the class. A bunch of parents were snapping pictures. So I grabbed my camera and then the kids started to sing. So I had to quickly switch to video mode. But not being entirely prepared I hadn't cleared my memory card. So I ran out of room partly through recording. However, my son quickly lost interest in actually participating in the song so you didn't miss much I promise. I worked on getting some pictures off my memory card though so I could get more video and pictures. They sang one more song, but I couldn't get a good angle on that one. Then they gave each of the kids a certificate and three books and crayons. Then the eating began. For your viewing pleasure though here is my Pre-K 3 year old graduate...

Now tomorrow we go to have him evaluated for the 4 year old program. It's a little easier to get into this program because there's more than one of them in the district. I'm pretty confident he'll get in.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

This dad does not need to wake the hell up

A friend of mine had directed me to this article last night. Written by a dad who is very much awake. A dad who doesn't understand many fathers who think their job is done once the seed is planted. A type of dad which I'm fortunate enough to say does not live in our house.

As I write this, my husband, the father of our four children, is laying down with Alyssa. So sweet seeing him cuddled up with our baby girl. Here it is, Father's Day and he's getting her to go to sleep. My husband got up with CJ this morning while I stayed in bed with Alyssa for a few more. He then went off to work for a little while. When he came home he played with Natalie and Kaitlyn. He helped me cook dinner. Even though I urged him to go sit down he preferred to help me out. Even though it's father's day.

My husband brings our 3 year old to school and picks him up whenever he has a day off or is in work late. He brings Kaitlyn to the bus stop on mornings when he's here. He rough houses with all of the kids. He lets his daughters put barrettes and ribbons in his hair. He takes all of them fishing. He cooks dinner. He helps out around the house. He goes to the kids school events. He knows their teachers. He wipes boogers and poop. He changes poopy and peepee underwear. He rocks babies to sleep.

He is a father who gets it. He prefers to be home with his children. He doesn't go out much with friends. He doesn't golf or go to sporting events. He is a wonderful father and I hope my children realize how lucky they are to have him. I know I'm proud to say that man is the father of my children!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Saving the planet one diaper at a time

When I was pregnant with Alyssa I looked into cloth diapering with her. I was really on the fence about it because of the up front cost of it and when I had discussed it with Joe he said no way. So I didn't push it, but I got a deal I couldn't refuse recently. That coupled with the fact that since Alyssa was born Joe has only changed a handful of diapers I knew I had to try this. Just a note about Joe, he took on a huge role in potty training CJ when Alyssa came along and has cleaned him up countless times so I'm totally not complaining about his lack of diaper changes. He is doing more than his fair share.

So anyways, before I said yes to this I did discuss things with Joe. He still didn't want to do this and he has his reasons, but he said go for it, but he would not be changing the diapers. Okay, that's fine. I understand him being leery about this. I never thought I'd be on board with this, but yet here we are.

So yesterday I received our cloth diapers. We got flats which are like the old fashioned cloth diapers that our parents and grandparents used. There really is so much out there, but I didn't have much of a choice in the whole thing when it came down to it. But after looking into everything I was pretty confident I could do this. So last night I washed and prepped our cloth diapers to give it a go for today. I just couldn't wait to get started.

This morning I got up and got our cloth diapers all piled up.

That's 24 flats right there

I took one flat and folded it with an oragami fold like I had learned from a few different videos. I got Alyssa in it and was amazed that I got it on her to stay on her.

Look at that cute cloth diaper tushy

And then I went along with my busy morning of getting a husband to work and kids off to school. About an hour and a half later in the home stretch of getting the kids to school I thought Alyssa felt wet. I didn't have time to stop and change her as I needed to get CJ out the door to school. So I brought him to school and came back home to check the diaper situation. I was very shocked. She had completely saturated the diaper all the way through the cover, onesie, and her pants. Wow! super peer. So I changed her and went about my morning. Fed her and did some stuff around the house and then it was time to go get CJ from school. I needed to redress Alyssa though, but figured I better check that diaper. It was very wet again. So changed her and put clothes on her and went and got CJ.

She ended up being in this diaper for about 4 hours because she ended up taking a nap after lunch. I was really worried about what I would find when she got up to eat again, but she was fine. She needed changing, but it wasn't soaked. Okay, so thinking maybe she just pees a lot in the morning. So I changed her, fed her, and then headed out to pick Joe up from work. When we got home about 45 minutes later I checked her again. And again she had leaked. However, this time her diaper wasn't as soaked so maybe it's the way I'm folding it. So now we get to try things out to see how it works. Might have to put some inserts in to catch a little extra pee. As long as she doesn't pee or poop while Joe is holding her we should be good.

Speaking of dad, she was lounging on him tonight...

I was hoping and praying that she was not going to leak on him. She didn't. she was wet, but she held that one in pretty good. I think we're going to be okay with this though. Just think of the money we're saving and the planet. So I have got to stick with this, right?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A new blog

I love blogging so much that I started another one. I am now also writing for Monica's Mom Musings. I will still continue with this family blog. It will just be focusing more on the family. My other blog will be more about me and my thoughts and my ideas on parenting. And hopefully some reviews and giveaways thrown in there too. So be sure to watch me there too if you like my writing. I'm really excited about this new adventure.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Duck Watching

Every so often I get a chance to have what I have lovingly coined as a "date" with my handsome little man. Joe gets out of work early and I want to cut down on the driving back and forth so after school I'll take CJ out, just me and him. Well, now it's me, him, and Alyssa. Thankfully he doesn't seem to mind much. Well, most of the time anyways. One of CJ's favorite things to do is go see the ducks. So usually I'll pack us a picnic lunch and we'll go to the park to eat and watch the ducks. However, this week when I was going to do that on Thursday it had started raining in the morning. It was a short lived rain, but it was enough to have me concerned about sitting on the ground in wet grass. So I canceled the picnic portion of our "date" and told him if we get home quickly and eat lunch quickly then we could still go to the park and watch the ducks. He was okay with that change of plans and he did good. Before we left the house he did request that we leave Alyssa here though. I asked him who would watch her and he said he didn't know. So needless to say we had to bring Alyssa with us. She didn't put too much of a damper on things. We got to the park and found a nice bench under a tree to sit at and watch the ducks. Someone had been feeding them so they were all out of the water when we got there. CJ started heading over to investigate...

They started heading back into the water, probably to beat the heat of that super hot day

He's so excited about the ducks.

Doing some investigating...

He found a feather, which he kept calling leaves...

He wanted to take a picture of Alyssa, but he cut her head off...

I took a picture of him...

And he wanted to try to get another picture of Alyssa, but he still cut her head off...

Just to try to make sure there was a picture of her whole face I gave it a whirl with her sitting in my lap and if you put my picture together with CJ's we've got all of Alyssa...

Some more leaf, I mean feather finding...

Before we left CJ wanted some picture of the ducks...

Now we're all ready to go, got his shades on and everything. Shhh, don't tell him they have Snow White on them and don't tell Natalie he was wearing her sunglasses. Still he looks super cool.

So that was our fun trip to see the ducks on a super hot day. That might have been our last date of the year to see the ducks because this is his last week of school. Our next trip to the park will probably be with all of his sisters.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

CJ's Spirit Week

This week at CJ's school they had spirit week. We missed Mondays because the paper didn't come home with him until Monday, but he participated in the rest of them.

Tuesday was red white and blue day!

Wednesday was field day. This completely wiped him out and he fell asleep at the table after eating lunch...

Thursday was favorite character t-shirt day. CJ's favorite character is Handy Manny...

And finally on Friday was mismatched day. He could wear anything, mismatched socks, sneakers, clothes. Backwards. Inside out. Whatever. So he picked out his clothes and he got himself completely dressed. In all honesty he didn't do a terrible job. It's kind of hard for him to mismatch though because his drawers mostly consist of blues, reds, and denim. But this is how CJ would dress if left to his own devices...

And that was spirit week at CJ's school.