Monday, June 4, 2012

Week 1--Summer Bucket List 2012

It was a busy week~bookended by two busy weekends!  Over Memorial Day weekend my sister graduated with a master's degree in health care administration and we celebrated a first birthday at my cousin's house.  This weekend another cousin got married and we spent Sunday afternoon working in my dad's barn.  We did check off some items (and as usual a few others that I hadn't thought of when I developed the list).  

1.    Visit a park each week to play and picnic.  We hit up Little Indian Park Tuesday after Track Camp.  We had pbj, apples, and carrots.  
2.    Fishing--Ron took the boys to Three Mile Lake to enjoy Free Fishing Weekend (no license needed) last night.  There wasn't a lot of fish caught, but they were still pretty excited to tell me about the new (to them) location.
6.    Wienie Roast with s'mores--Yesterday with Grandma, Chris, and Melonie. After spending the night before celebrating a wedding, I wasn't sure if we would squeeze in our Sunday Summer Tradition of a Wienie Roast at Grandma and Grandpa Onn's.  But the call came in from my brother at about 10:30.  "Are you coming over?"  Little did we know he needed the manual labor to do a little rearranging and de-cluttering in the barn.  It was all good!
44.    Slip and Slide--at the birthday party~fun!

Other items:  
**Track camp-Braedon and Colby participated in Track Camp all week.  This involved learning stretches/warmups and running techniques.  They also got to try out a variety of field events.  This all culminated in a Track Meet Saturday morning.  The coaches were fantastic and the boys had fun and learned a lot.  Brody and I hung out at the track most mornings and he got to play with playdough, sidewalk chalk, and play hopscotch.  I got to read a book (yay!)
**Friday Funday-(I have no idea why I didn't just include these, other than I don't think I had all the details when I made up my list.  They will be a weekly tradition.)  Brody and I met his daycare friends at the park on Friday while his brothers were at Track Camp.  It was so fun to see all his friends run up to him in excitement when we got out of the car.  He painted a rocket (and I have never seen him so interested in art) and played on the playground too.  
**Ron attempted to take the boys on a bike path, but found out the fancy bike rack we bought last year needed additional parts to fit the boys bikes  and they are sold an hour away.  So, maybe that will happen soon.
**Little League games--We are at the fields MWF evenings through the end of June.  Ron helps with both boys' teams.

Plans for this week:  community service, two items from the destination list, at least one each from the projects and recipes lists.  Love it!  

Our Summer Bucket List 2012 can be found here.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Summer Bucket List 2012

I know I've been neglectful.  I don't have any good excuses.  I have had people interested in our Summer Bucket List.  I am publishing it now, but come back because I will have links to many of these items eventually.  Hopefully by the end of the week.

Summer Bucket List 2012

Family Traditions (things we would probably do anyway, but I'm adding them here to make sure we squeeze them in)
1.    Visit a park each week to play and picnic.
2.    Fishing
3.    Swimming at the pool
4.    County Fair
5.    Camping
6.    Wienie Roast with s'mores
7.    Library activities (5 different types at our library)
8.    Catch Lightning Bugs
9.    Look at the stars
10.    VBS
11.    Swimming Lessons
12.    Fly a Kite
13.    Fourth of July parade/carnival/fireworks
14.    Feed the Geese
15.    Mud Pies
16.    Car Wash

Destination Fun (can't afford to travel far, but we do have some nearby destinations planned)
17.    Visit a farmer's market other than our own.
18.    Hunt down Dan Wardell (Creston in June or Humeston in July)
19.    Go to Adventureland
20.    Bike Paths
21.    Visit Reiman Gardens
22.    Visit a zoo
23.    Hot Air Balloons
24.    Science Center
25.    Frisbie golf
26.    Scavenger hunt
27.    Freedom Rock
28.    Local Museum
29.    Go on a hike
30.    Go to a movie as a family

Crafts and Science Learning  (lots of fun stuff on Pinterest)
32.    Make Crystals
33.    Start a Worm Compost Bin
35.    Homemade Bubbles (pinterest)
36.    Tie Dye (traditional and sharpie)
37.    Make fizzing sidewalk chalk
39.    Make a Pinata
40.    Another Pinterest Project

Family and Community (things that we plan to do for the community or as a family; some of this list satisfies badge work for cub scouts)

41.    Donate toys and clothes
42.    Play board games (chess and monopoly)
43.    Water Fight (pinterest)
44.    Slip and Slide
45.    Creek stomping at my brother's house
46.    Family Pictures
47.    3 community service projects
48.    Colby's Birthday Party
49.    Braedon's Birthday Party
50.    Explore maps
51.    Mini Olympics
52.    Attend Baseball Game (high school or older)
53.    Attend Rodeo

The Taste of Summer (more fun Pinterest stuff, too many to pick from--go see the ones I posted on the Summer Bucket List board linked below)
54.    Pinterest Recipe
55.    Pinterest Recipe
56.    Pinterest Recipe
57.    Pinterest Recipe
58.    Pinterest Recipe
59.    Pinterest Recipe
60.    Pinterest Recipe

I have a Pinterest board devoted to our Summer Bucket List ideas.  I also have been pinning in many other topics including preschool ideas and recipes.  Find all my boards here.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

My Ides of March Baby

Just over five years ago (I'm a bit late with this post), I was a week past my due date with my last baby.  This was normal for me--all my babies came two weeks past their due date, and mom said we all came three weeks past our due dates.  I had the day off because I had a doctor appointment.  I did have a parent conference that morning and she joked that I could have that baby that day.  I assured her I still had another week or so.  Part of my appointment was for an ultrasound to make sure there was plenty of fluid and everything was still looking good.  The tech lady wouldn't say much, but told me that my doctor would talk to me more about it at my appointment.

I walked over to the doctors' office.  My appointment that day was with one of the midwives (they were no longer delivering babies, but did office visits).  This gal and I had hit it off well and I was looking forward to visiting with her and planning the delivery for later in the week.  She read my ultrasound results and told me the baby was measuring big, I think she told me ten pounds.  She asked if this pregnancy felt any different than my others (it hadn't).  Long story short, I decided to go ahead and start induction that day because I was fearful of having a 10-13 pound baby in a week.  I met the new doctor in the group--the only doctor I had not met--who would be delivering that afternoon/evening.  I filled him in on my plan.  He was very agreeable and suggested we have a baby today.  I called my husband to make sure he was able to get up to the hospital after work, my mom to make sure she could pick up the other two boys, my sister to see if she could come be with me if Ron couldn't get there in time, and my work to fill them in on what was going on.  And I walked over to the hospital.

The nurse that began my induction was fantastic.  We talked about our kids.  She was cool with my birth plan, which involved an epidural when I reached 4 cm.  (I was stressed out about that big baby and in both of my past births I went from 4 to 9 cm in about 20 min.)  I talked to my work folks again during the weekly staff meeting.  Ron arrived.  The shift changed around 3 and Barb the nurse from hell arrived on duty.  We filled her in on the birth plan.  She took vitals and checked me.  Before long I was at four and I asked for the anesthesiologist to be called to begin my epi.  She told me it wasn't time yet.  I assured her that it was and I wanted to make sure I didn't miss my window.  She told me she didn't want me to think that she didn't believe me, but it really wasn't time.  I asked Ron to talk with her and he assured her that my history showed that I would dilate very quickly now that I was at 4.  I told her that I was in back labor.  I knew that the baby was not in proper position and that I was not looking forward to pushing out a giant baby who was not in the proper position.  She did finally call the anesthesiologist and told me to go to the bathroom.

When I returned from the bathroom, she checked me again.  Lo and behold I was at nine cm and I no longer qualified for an epidural.  In fact she ordered delivery and baby equipment be brought to the room asap.  I was quite angry with her for not listening to me.  She lost all respect from me and Ron.  I quit listening to her and became a bit of a rebel.  She asked if I was pushing.  I told her I was.  She insisted I quit pushing as the doctor was not in the room.  I smiled and kept pushing.  About that time the doctor arrived.  As he walked in the door I updated him on the status--no epidural even though I had asked several times, back labor, very unhappy with the nurse.  He looked at her.  She said--'she's pushing and I told her to stop'.  He looked at me, I nodded.  He was gloved up by then and smiled.  He said, 'Aren't we here to have a baby?  Go ahead and push.'  

Brody came out facing my left leg sometime before 6.  He was just over 8 pounds, less than Colby.  The nurse had the audacity to suggest that it was a good thing I didn't have the epidural.  I quit talking to her.  I still believe he would have been perfectly happy in there for another week and would have come out on his own when he was ready.  I tell other pregnant women not to trust those ultrasounds.  

Fast forward five years.  Brody was confused that his birthday was Thursday, but his party was Saturday.  He chose grilled hot dogs and brats for his birthday supper (well first he just wanted cake, but Ron helped him to decide that grilled meat was a good thing).  Saturday we had a family Birthday Bowling Bash at the local bowling alley.  I made two cakes.  Since I am on spring break this week I was able to go to preschool with him on Monday and bring treats.  

Brody is our youngest.  He tries hard to do whatever his brothers are doing.  He has always been a bit shy, but has gotten better about that over the last year or so.  He loves to pretend and can play by himself or with others quite well.  He tries to be a good friend.  He loves to dance and asks me to dance with him several times a week.  He likes to make chocolate chip cookies and lick the beaters.  He is getting to be a big boy and I will miss these little boy moments.  

Friday, March 16, 2012

March so far...

Several weeks have passed since I last posted.  Let's see if I can hit the highlights:

I got to go to a great training at the local college.  I spent the day with two local child care providers learning about the value of play.  Jeff Johnson was the keynote.  He is a phenomenal speaker and much of what he said struck a chord with me.  He spent many years as a center director in NW Iowa and is currently home provider along with his wife.  He is preparing for another transition in his career, moving out of direct service and focusing on writing and speaking about early childhood.  I also attended a session on natural playscapes that has my wheels turning about how to include more nature in our playground at school.

Braedon's music concert was earlier this month.  He volunteered for a solo (2 lines) and let us know about a week before the concert.  I was surprised because I didn't know he had a strong enough voice for a solo.  His music teacher is the pianist/organist at our church.  Her son hangs out with us during Sunday school and church while she is practicing and playing.  He is just younger than Colby and fits in to our group of boys really well.  Anyway, Braedon said Mrs. Wallace asked for volunteers for solos and he volunteered. The weekend before the concert he told me he didn't realize a 'solo' meant that he had to sing by himself in front of the whole audience.  I assured him that is exactly what it means, but that he would do fine.  He did!  He sang clearly and just grinned the whole time.  He has always loved music, but his taste is more to the 80's heavy metal scene.  A bonus for me was seeing so many of my past preschoolers singing with the large group, solos, and introducing the songs.  I was quite proud that night.

When I was young, our high school AFS club put on a spring carnival for the youth of the community.  There was a cake walk, clowns, balloons, balloon darts, and other such games.  Actually a picture of me at the carnival made the yearbook when I was in kindergarten (thanks to my aunt who was on yearbook staff).  I also have fond memories assisting with the carnival when I was in high school.  Not long after I graduated (when my sister was in high school) the local AFS club disbanded and with it so did the carnival.  A few years ago the spring carnival was brought back by the PTCO.  The kids love it!  Games and food are all one ticket each.  Tickets are a quarter apiece.  It makes for a fun and cheap evening of entertainment.  Braedon opted out this year, but I took the other two.  Colby was old enough to go out on his own with a few parameters, and he ended up spending much of his time standing in line with friends to ring a 2L of pop (he was not successful).  I allowed Brody to lead me around.  It was interesting, because he was so random and indecisive about what to do.  Had I taken charge we would have circled the gym's games and then circled the games in the cafeteria, but Brody moved from game to game completely randomly.  It drove me a bit nuts, but it was great to see him get to take charge since he is the youngest and it doesn't happen all that often.

The boys had spring break this week.  Since Ron did not get his request for time off in to his boss in time and I have spring break next week, we made arrangements for the boys to hang out with Grandpa Onn.  They got to do some chores, clean out a shed or two, and play outside.  Braedon made breakfast most mornings.  The weather was darn near perfect--upper 70s.  They have been singing some random Schoolhouse Rock songs today, so they must have fit in a little tv time.  Probably Grandpa needed a nap.  :)

Brody turned five yesterday, but more on that tomorrow after his party.  He's asleep across my lap and it's hard to type. Good night all!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Conference Reports and Right Now

We had conferences with the boys' teachers last week.  

Brody (4) loves to play in the house corner and dress up.  He has several friends he enjoys at school, including Andrew and Landon.  He needs to keep working on writing his name, drawing, and scissors skills.  

Colby (8) catches on to school work quickly.  He has gotten perfect scores on all his spelling tests.  He needs to work on talking less in class and being responsible about turning in his weekly poem and reading log.  

Braedon (10) qualified for title 1 reading for the last three years and did not qualify this year.  He is now reading and doing math slightly above where he should be.  He is on the last test for state capitals and just finished x12 on Mad Minutes.  He needs to work on his handwriting.

Right now, Brody has music blasting and is doing this crazy, stomping, spinning, smiling dance.  Colby is singing along as he and Braedon play a racing game on the playstation.  Braedon's head is bobbing to the music.  I haven't been home much this week with my own conferences, and I really need to catch up on the normal housework (and dig in to some more heavy-duty housework).  I wanted to take a moment to appreciate these boys.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Valentines Post-Pinterest

Our Sunday plans were altered this morning when my van wouldn't start.  Thankfully it was just a battery issue and is now fixed.

So, since we couldn't go to church, we finished our valentines.  I found this post on Pinterest (love that place, btw) and that's what all four of us are using this year.  Who doesn't love glow sticks?  I just hope they make it to school mostly intact.  Braedon, especially, is having a hard time not breaking them.

A couple of years ago I bought out Walmart's clearanced boy valentines for a quarter a box or less.  I thought I'd be set until we got all the boys through Valentine's Day parties.  Now I have loads of really cool homemade valentine ideas pinned, and may never use those cards stored away in a box in my basement.  Oh well, I'll hold on to them for a year or so and then will either use them as games/crafts at school or give them away for someone to use.

Here I am on Pinterest (in case someone besides my sister is reading).  Until I figure out how to post pictures here, that will be the place to find my ideas for the preschool classroom (plus good recipes and organization ideas I hope to try).

I'm trying to think of a good catch phrase to use to post about some of my favorite Pinterest finds each week.  A friend of mine is working through several Pinterest craft and recipe ideas and posting photos on her Facebook page.  I'm hoping to do something like that here too.  What are your thoughts?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Catching up

I've been trying to post most days here.  However Wednesdays I work late and those days won't always have a post.  Thursday I was not feeling well and actually fell asleep before 7:30.

Yesterday Brody's daycare was closed.  Since I don't have preschoolers on Fridays (we work on paperwork, lesson plans, prep-work, and do many other things we aren't able to do while we have kids), I brought him with me.  He was excited to bring his lunch in the Spiderman lunch box.  He was able to entertain himself for much of the day, but I did have to pause to read to him a few times.  :)

We left the school to hurry home to pack the van for our Scout Camp-in at the church.  Colby and Braedon are both in cub scouts this year and since Ron was schedule to work Saturday morning, the other four of us camped without him.  It's fun to see the boys making and playing with their friends.  Colby has always had many good friends, but making friends has always been tougher for Braedon.  He is beginning to really make a number of good friends though.  In fact two of the boys from his den asked to come sleep on the floor with him.  They whispered for a bit after lights out, and then fell asleep.

Let me say that sleeping in a cold church basement with fifty other people is tough.  When half of those other people are adults, and half of those adults snore, it gets tougher.  I did sleep, but was awake 4-5 times during the night.  Next year we are bringing more blankets, though.  (And if I thought I could handle having things stuck in my ears all night, I'd bring earplugs too.)

Braedon's den was in charge of breakfast this morning and they did a wonderful job cooking pancakes and sausage.  Braedon was so excited to show me that he could make pancakes and insisted I come into the kitchen to watch him flip them.  He can now do fried eggs, pancakes, and toast, but is confused how I can manage several things like that at the same time, so while he could make a full meal, he probably won't be turned completely loose just yet.

We left the church sped home to change clothes and headed to my school.  We had several parents interested enough in the Love and Logic training to devote a Saturday morning in training.  I was in charge of childcare and not all of the families brought their kids, but I know we had at least four families present.  I'm told there was a great deal of discussion, which is fantastic.  I had my three boys and four other children.  It would have been perfect had I had enough sleep, but I am pretty sure I was a bit short with some of the older kids (two of which were my own).  Nothing major, but one of those things I wish I would have handled better.

We came home to take a nap.  When I woke up Ron was home and told me that the Nascar draft was tonight and that he would take the boys with him to Martensdale.  So now I'm relaxing on the computer and eating chips and salsa for supper.  The salsa was made by my dad with Grandma Lewis's recipe and it is yummy!

Tomorrow we have Sunday School and church.  Mom and Dad aren't going to be home, so lunch is to be determined.  We will be finishing our valentines, and the boys need to finish their reading for the week.  Then the busy week of Valentine's Day and the boys' conferences will be upon us!