Sunday, August 30, 2015

Our Happy Place - OBX 2015

We just returned from 10 days at the Outer Banks.  This is the longest trip we have taken down there and the extension was well worth the money.  10 days of relaxing, playing on the beach, in the pool and just having good family time.  It's our happy place.

We arrived on Thursday (but not before stopping at the best BBQ place in the world and gorging ourselves plus getting some to go) and checked into the Best Western Hotel.  Little Man has started referring to it as the Not-So-Best Western - but while it wasn't the Ritz, it was clean and it was the beach.  Usually we are all so excited when we arrive that everyone heads straight to the water and get right in without changing clothes.  But this year, knowing we couldn't check into the hotel yet and we didn't have a beach house to change in, we changed into our suits in the car and then hit the water.  It was perfect and the boys were jumping in the waves within minutes.  Peanut was having a ton of fun in the water this year and had no fear of the coming waves and Little Man was thrilled to have a playmate out in the deeper water with him.

After two days in the hotel and a few forts on the luggage cart, we headed to our friend's beach house for the day until we could check into our house.  This year we stayed in Southern Shores instead of South Nags Head.  We liked the location change but will likely end up back in South Nags Head next year.

We traded beach front for a private pool with a semi-beach front property.  This was a good exchange but I missed the relaxation of a beach front property for my morning coffee.  We do think that the private pool is worth the location exchange though. 

Every day was beautiful and we spent a lot of time at the beach and in the pool in the backyard.  When we needed a break from the sun, we went go-carting, mini-golfing, bumper cars, laser tagging and ate and ate and ate.

1. Watching Peanut take on the waves like he was born in the ocean
2. Taking walks on the beach with the kids.  We went on two different walks and it was when I had some of the best conversations with the kids including talking to them about their worries with school starting back up and their favorite parts of summer.
3.  Playing games especially Tenzi's with the kids for hours
4.  Watching Sweet Pea spin and smile in the bumper cars
5.  Playing pool games with all of the kids.

Next year, we want to figure out how to go for two weeks.  It's our happy place.  Sweet Pea woke up in tears this morning because she wished she was waking up at the beach.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

It's Been A While

Over a year has passed since my last blog post.  I am a creature of habit and when I get out of the habit of doing something it is hard to find that starting point again.  But it's in the dog days of summer and while life is going to be all fun and games for the next 4 weeks, we all have a lot of changes coming.

First a quick update:
Peanut rocked Kindergarten and ended the year reading at over 1st grade level.  He was a social bee and made a best friend and even had his first sleep over.  They made a schedule of things to do at a sleep over and checked them all off, including having a secret spy meeting and a pillow fight.

Little Man had an up and down year in 2nd grade but did great academically and continued to build his friendships.  He participated in a lot of activities which kept him (and me) really busy.  He spent most of his time in the pool or at his best friends house.

Sweet Pea had a great year in preschool and continued to be the social girl that she is and writing her letters and drawing adorable pictures.  She loves to pretend she can read and write like her big brothers and can draw a rainbow or pony better than me.

Little Man is changing schools.  This was a difficult decision for Papa Bear and I, but it's what Little Man wanted and although it will make life a little more complicated it is the right decision for him.  He will be going to a school where he will be in an advanced academic class for all of his main subjects.  He has been working on multiplication and division over the summer to prepare.  He is also moving up in his swimming club to the next level of age group where his practices get a little longer and he can fine tune his swimming even more.

Peanut will be staying at his current school but won't have his big brother there to help him out.  He will be going to school and won't be anyone's big or little brother.  He also isn't going to be having routine speech therapy anymore.  This makes me nervous, but I think it's the right thing.  He will be playing baseball in the fall and joining an Odyssey of the Mind team.

Sweet Pea is changing preschools because with 3 kids in 3 different schools and 3 different start times I couldn't manage to make it all work and keep her at the same school.  She will know a few kids are her new school but I anticipate that this will be the hardest of all of the changes.  She is still only 4 so between separation anxiety and not liking change in general she may fight this for a bit.

I have a new job and am able to center my hours around the kids schedule for the most part but will have to heavily rely on Meemom especially when it comes to Sweet Pea.

So here we are.  A year + out from the last post with an 8 year old, 6 year old and 4 year old.  The next month is all swimming pools, vacations and relaxing so I will use those days to fill in the blanks from the last year.  There are a lot of amazing memories to capture.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Finally Five!

Dear Peanut,

Last night I tried to explain to you that today is your birthday. The conversation made me laugh so hard I could barely watch where I was going.  It went a little something like this:

Me:       Peanut, tomorrow when you wake up it will be your birthday
Peanut: Today is my birthday!
Me:       No, tomorrow is your birthday.
Peanut: Oh you mean in 5 days?
Me:       Nope, I mean tomorrow.
Peanut:  Does tomorrow mean today?
Me:       No, tomorrow means tomorrow.
Me:       Peanut, do you know when your birthday is?
Peanut:  Yup, tomorrow!

Every single day you make me laugh hysterically with your wit, amaze me with your vast knowledge of so many topics, inspire me with the pure joy you find in the most simple moments (like when you exclaim, "Look, a rock!" as if it were a rare gem on our walk in the woods, and humble me when you work so hard for some things others just take for granted. 

Right now you know just about everything there is to know about space and the planets, you rattle off facts about Venus and Jupiter, tell me that stars are made of helium and hydrogen.  You love to talk about dinosaurs and all natural disasters but especially earthquakes and volcanoes.  You could read about magma and lava and tectonic plates with me for hours and then you go and turn all of that knowledge into pretend play while you scream that the tectonic plates are shifting and pretend the earth has swallowed you up or that your bed is a rocketship that is taking you to Mars.  I love all of these things about you daily, but there is one thing that you do that brings me the most joy.  You skip.  Everywhere.  You skip to the bathroom, to the kitchen, you even skip to the step when I put you in timeout.  To me, skipping is like rainbows, they just make you happy and are proof of all that is good in the world.  I love watching you skip because it reaffirms for me that you are a joyful, happy little boy still untouched by the craziness and hardness that growing up can bring.  I hope you skip forever, but for now I will just hope that you skip at least until your 6th birthday.

Papa Bear and I love you so very much.  We wish you a very happy 5th birthday.  Keep playing and pretending to be an astronaut, a garbage truck driver, a paleontologist and a dad.  We would love for you to be any or all of those things and keep skipping through life because nothing can stand in your way!

Mama Bear

Friday, March 7, 2014

Just Call Me Caveman

Two cavemen, two bunnies and a sabertooth tiger joined together to create the worlds first art festival, complete with a cave wall painting, song, dance, artwork and costumes.  What an awesome Odyssey of the Mind team!

Here is the link to a dress rehearsal:

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Too Big for Kisses

I knew this day would come but I was hoping that I could put it off for a few more years.  At the start of the school year, Little Man would let me walk him to the bus stop, give me a hug and a kiss before getting on the bus and never think twice about it.  I loved those moments and hoped that he would stay little and unaware of "being cool" for as long as possible. 

Recently, we were getting ready to go to Little Man's basketball game and he asked if Papa Bear could take him instead of me.  I was surprised because basketball was kind of our thing to do together so I asked him why.  I was hoping that my enthusiastic spectating wasn't upsetting him.  It turns out that it had nothing to do with basketball and everything to do with the sleep over he was going to after the game.  Apparently he didn't want me to come to the game because that would mean that I would insist on a hug and a kiss before he headed out with his friend and Papa Bear doesn't insist on that level of affection. 

Of course, I understand where he is coming from and get that can be embarrassing.  So after the game I told him we could say our goodbye in the car or around the corner where no one would see but that the hug and kiss goodbye meant a lot to me and isn't anything to be embarrassed of.  So we did.  With a huge sigh and a teenager like rolling of the eyes he gave me a quick hug and kiss and went off with his friend.  I really wish we could have delayed this because I think we have way too many years in front of us before giving your mom a hug becomes cool again. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Nap Time...a thing of the past

Sweet Pea has been ready to give up her nap for a while but I was fighting it.  I loved that quiet time in the afternoon while Peanut played quietly in his room even if it meant that bedtime was more drawn out.  Peanut stays in his room happily and even requests quiet time, he likes to recharge but there was no way I was going to keep Sweet Pea in her room playing for an hour or more like Peanut.  But over the last week a new solution has revealed itself.  Sweet Pea and Peanut play together in Peanut's room.  Sometimes they play in parallel and sometimes they play together but it still provides me with an hour or two of down time, they love playing together and bed time is a breeze. My favorite part is listening to the giggles that emanate from the room.  Sweet Pea is usually the "baby" and Peanut plays the "Daddy" or they are both dogs and their pretend play is absolutely hysterical.  I have started to think that Peanut going to Kindergarten in the fall is going to be just as hard on Sweet Pea as it is on me.  That first year or so was so tough, but having kids only 18 months apart is really a beautiful thing to watch.  These two can go and play together without fighting or causing problems for hours at a time especially if Little Man isn't around to try to boss them around.

*** As I was typing this Sweet Pea decided to be a dog and pee on Peanut's pottery barn chair.  I am no longer celebrating their close age and relationship and am instead wishing naps back and scrubbing out pee.  But it was a great few minutes of thinking I had this mom thing figured out***

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Oh The Drama!

Everyone warned me that the drama with a girl would be different than the drama with the boys.  But knowing and experiencing it are two very different things.

Peanut can be in the middle of a full blown tantrum, get distracted or just turn it off and move on.  Little Man is still my worst in the whining department but he moves on quickly and can be easily reminded that whining doesn't work.

But with SweatPea, oh the drama, and the tantrums and the inability to let anything go...

"He's looking at me!!" 
"He was thinking about looking at me!"
"Can we go to LaLa's house? Cillin's house" now put this on repeat ad nauseam and this is my day...every single day.

Sweet Pea nags, complains, screams as if being stabbed and it all works.  She is also sassy and is my most likely to say a bad word or name call. 

All of that being said, she is also sweet and so kind and grown up in so many ways.  I love all of my time with her but I could really really use a little less drama and I have heard that it only gets worse.  Oy!