Three Kids and a Dog

Sunday, January 15, 2017

10 Month Old Sadie

Sadie definitely is going to be bigger than Adler. She's already taller and probably will be heavier too. She loves to sit on our back deck and survey our yard for prey like a lion atop a mountain. Spotting a squirrel or bunny she flies off the steps and just misses catching them before they scurry under the fence. She's surprisingly quick for a big dog and agile too.

And, she loves to chew. Her favorites are the woodwork by the windows where she rests her head to look outside or the corner of our bottom stair. Her favorite snack is the mulch in our yard or bark from a tree and of course sticks. She does love a good treat or a good bone though. 

She is not as big of a jumper as Adler which is helpful when others come to visit but she does have an annoying habit of tugging on our clothes to try to get us to play. The kids don't dare hold a stuffed animal or shoe or shirt when walking past her because she basically tackles them trying to get whatever they have. She also loves to go for rides in the car but sometimes eats the seatbelts, and if we leave her in the car sometimes she'll jump over the seat and tear up some papers just for fun!

She's amazingly loveable though as she flops down on your lap if you're sitting on the floor or she'll attempt to climb on your lap if you're sitting on the couch. She's great at holding her bladder and waits a really long time to go. She's starting to sleep in more now too as she waits for us to get up most mornings instead of waking us to play or go out.

Sadie still has a lot of puppy in her and more training to do, and she's still a lot of work but so are our three kids. Someday life will get easy again...when Sadie grows up and our kids don't need us on a minute by minute basis. That's when will miss this.

Monday, January 09, 2017

Happy 10th Birthday Austen!

Double digits this year for Austen. Hard to believe my first born turns 10 on Wednesday. 10. Unbelievable.

As his 4th grade teacher said, "he's such a good boy." I hear that a lot from other parents about Austen. He's the kid who is friends with everyone. You won't catch him being mean to another kid (beside his sister Peyton). He is organized and always has a clean room and offers to help his sisters clean theirs. He's a caretaker. Loving and nurturing, he's the one who walks Peyton home from school and makes sure that at a party full of kids on New Year's that Hailey wasn't left downstairs in the basement by herself for the balloon drop, but comes upstairs with her big brother guiding her and holding her hand. He's the one who wakes up early to get his 30 minutes of reading in before school and buckles down right after school to get his homework done. He's the one who was chosen to play Joseph during his religious education program because he was the best behaved boy in religious ed class (even though he declined the offer and didn't tell us - we found out two weeks later from another parent). He's the kid who readily steps up to help out without asking and does so without whining when we do ask. He's the kid who lives and breathes sports all day. Doesn't matter which one. He loves them all and tapes games to watch later - fast forwarding through them for the highlights. He's the one who hates to lose - even at board games. He's the one who doesn't like to go to bed with his mom mad at him because he was a sore loser that night during game night and couldn't pretend it was just all okay.

He's the one turning 10 on Wednesday and in just 8 1/2 short years will be off to college. He is why I quit my job two years ago. I didn't want to miss one more minute of his games or helping him with his homework after school or driving him to his practices. I'll have the rest of my years to go back to work after Hailey leaves the nest, but now I have this short time - this really small window in his whole life to really be there and be his mom. And, it's a role that I love playing for a boy who I couldn't be prouder of. I love you Austen. Happy birthday buddy!

Monday, January 02, 2017

Happy 7th Birthday Peyton!

On Friday, Peyton turned 7 and if she could have celebrated all month she would have. The countdown began as soon as December started and while most kids would've been sad that Christmas was over, Peyton looked forward to her birthday and celebrating with her friends.

This year, she had a friend movie and we took 14 of her girlfriends (with the help of Papa and Grandma) to see the new movie "Sing." It's an animated piece about animals and a singing show like American Idol. What could have been more perfect for Peyton - animals and music?! And, the movie was super cute. She enjoyed her friends singing to her after and handing out her goody bags (which are very important to a first grader's party).

The goody bags!
She got lots of presents which is what she wanted! And I have to say all of her friends must know her really well because she had lots of animal presents! She opened more presents from us and then even more from her grandparents and relatives. We topped off the evening by going to Red Robin for dinner - Peyton's choice.

It may have just been one of my favorite kid birthday parties! Hoping 7 turns out to be just as fabulous for her!

 The Friends and Peyton with Hailey (Austen didn't want to be in the pic)!
Hanging out with her friends at the movies

Really? More presents?!

Monday, December 26, 2016

Merry Christmas 2016!

Christmas just keeps getting better and better with kids! Hailey was really into Christmas this year and Santa (even though she wouldn't sit on his lap). She had a great time opening all of her presents and waited ever so patiently for her turn at all three houses (both grandmas and ours) where she opened even more presents. She asked sweetly each time, is it my turn yet (again)? Favorite presents were probably anything to do with Mickey Mouse and the Hatchimal that her Grandma found for her because if her sister had one then she had to have one too.

Peyton loved seeing where our elves ended up each morning during the Christmas season. But, she wasn't sure she was going to get presents this year as she was undecided if she was good enough to deserve them! So she was very excited on Christmas morning to discover lots of presents to her from Santa (after all we couldn't scar the child two years in a row after forgetting her Santa presents last year and having to have the "elves" deliver them later). Favorite presents were probably her Hatchimal that Grandma scored on an early morning Toys R Us/Walmart run and then her Flip A Zoo stuffed animals. Go figure.

I think we really relished Austen's possible last year of believing... or really of all three of our kids believing at the same time. He's started to ask me lots of questions like how could I have the receipt to one of the presents Santa gave him (I honestly don't remember what Santa gave him and what we gave him, but he does!). How can Santa possible fit all those toys in his sleigh? Why are there tags from stores we shop at on some of his Christmas presents (no, I don't always remove those! But that Sears commercial really came in handy where they show the elves shopping at stores!). How does Santa deliver presents to everyone all around the world in just one night (time zones, what'd he think?!). Not sure how many more straight faces I can keep as I answer him! Favorite presents for Austen was his Xbox video game system (that I said I would never buy) and all his Lego sets (that I said he can't have anymore of!).

As for Sadie's first Christmas, we sent her on vacation for a few days to her breeder for boarding while we spent extended hours at our families for Xmas Eve and Xmas. We didn't know what kind of damage she would do being left alone as a 10-month old puppy for up to 8-9 hours each day and thought she'd have more fun romping around with some playmates. She came back exhausted as well as nicely groomed!

I can't believe Christmas is over for this year but I'm sure glad the radio stations are still playing Christmas music so I can ease myself back to reality.

Monday, December 19, 2016

My Soccer Stars

It's been an exciting week of soccer.

Hailey finished up her last soccer skills class for 3-4 year olds before the break. She just moved into this class without parent involvement and has done remarkably well listening to the coach's directions and competing with mostly boys in her class. She can dribble the ball pretty well for a girl who just turned 3. And, I taught her just once not to use her hands to get the ball out of the net but rather roll it back by placing her foot on top of the ball. She looks like a superstar out there doing just that, running and scoring. Maybe she's following in her big brother's footsteps!

Speaking of Austen, he may have just had one of his best soccer seasons yet. He's been a monster scoring at least one goal in every game and sometimes five to lead his team to a first place playoff berth. His skills have improved dramatically and he is throwing moves I've never seen before. His intensity has also increased which means he rarely gives up even when his team is down. His tenacity was evident during the playoffs this weekend when he had just an okay game first round even though he scored an awesome goal in the last 5 minutes. 

Heading into the championship, I let him know his team needed him to play not his usual 100% but 150% if he wanted to win since his team was missing some key players and now they were up against a tougher team. He answered with some great defense, assists and a goal to claim the first place spot.
His smile was as big as could be and I was so proud of him for digging deeper to be a leader in his actions and words on the field. This kid has potential. I saw it at a young age but seeing his development into an even better player has been a joy to watch. 

Next up for his team is dominating during the next league play and traveling to Florida to compete in an international tournament. What a lucky almost 10 year old! 

Monday, December 12, 2016

Sledding in a Winter Wonderland!

It was our second snowstorm on Sunday and even though the roads weren't great the temperature outside wasn't too cold so we loaded the family into the car and went sledding.

There were some really funny moments from our hour on the sled hill. This is my favorite one - typical brother!

Hailey was also adorable - making snow angels and loving sledding down the hill (sometimes insisting she was going by herself). She loved being outside and kept her mouth open to catch the falling snowflakes on her tongue. She also didn't complain about walking back up the hill! Big bonus for us because we didn't have to carry her every time or pull her back up in the sled. 

Since Hailey didn't seem to mind the cold, we may try to get her to ski this year. Austen was 3 when he first hit the slopes. Could it be that I may be able to ski again soon after a 10-year hiatus due to kids? If so, I see some really fun trips in our future!

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Sadie's First Snow

Sadie was born Feb. 28, 2016 so she probably doesn't remember snow last year. Therefore, this year was her first real snow.

She didn't know what to make of it at first. She stood there sniffing it almost paralyzed in the heavy, wet snow that enveloped her paws. Then she did what she usually does - she started eating it. Mouthfuls. Upon mouthfuls. 

After her belly grew full, she started running. Oh what fun it is to frolic through the snow, she found out. She knocked Hailey down more than once as she played crazily in the yard. She stole her gloves and delighted in us chasing her around the yard trying to retrieve it before she decided to eat it. 

Like Adler, Sadie who never did like the sun, loves the snow. She'll go outside run around and lay it in it for hours. All that fresh air certainly tires her out but not enough to stop her from stealing the ornaments off the tree and running under our long dining room table with them so we can't get her! Sadie is definitely getting coal in her stocking this Xmas!