Three Kids and a Dog

Monday, April 17, 2017

The Longest Easter

Easter started at 6:30am for our family because 7:30am was the only mass we could attend if we wanted to be at Grandma's by 11am. Keep in mind, I don't even wake up at 6:30am during the week! So it was a bit of a rough start getting everyone out of the house by 7:25am to get everyone to church on time. Good thing it's not a popular mass and we didn't have to go early for seats. I guess that's the benefit of attending the earliest mass on Easter Sunday. The kids were all great and came home to our own Easter egg hunt and their first Easter baskets. Although the yard was a little wet from an early morning rain, they still managed to track down their Easter eggs although Hailey was not thrilled picking up muddy eggs - she refused more than once even though they were Dinosaur Easter eggs.

After our hunt, off we went to Grandma Lou's house for a big brunch and the infamous big Easter egg hunt. Austen and Mark were not going to win this year as Grandma hid their eggs pretty well and went easy on the rest of us. Hailey placed second with Auntie Nina while Peyton and Uncle Mark scored third. First went to Papa and John John! Even a bad hip/knee couldn't slow him down although he was cited for not following the rules! The kids enjoyed big Easter baskets from Grandma too with lots of candy and toys. Too soon it was time to leave as we rushed home to get Sadie and bring her to Grandma Szurgot's house for our final Easter stop. We ate more, played cards, a bean bag game and they had another Easter hunt and an Easter basket with more candy!

I think it may have been the longest Easter on the books for us! I think we were all tired when we finally got back to our house about 8:30pm.
I found my Easter basket!

I found mine in the laundry room!


Easter hunt with "good hair" compliments of her cousin Ryan

I love Mickey Mouse and Grandma got me a Mickey Easter basket

I'm pretty happy because I got a lot of toys and candy!

Look at my Easter basket - I got a Blackhawks one!

Saturday, April 08, 2017

Phillip

That's all we hear about from Hailey these days. I want to talk about Phillip. Phillip lives in that house over there. Phillip is afraid of the spooky house. Phillip is my best friend.

Apparently, Phillip is a boy in her class and a few months older than Hailey. Now, there are other boys in her class that she likes and talks about but no one can hold a candle to Phillip! In fact, her teachers recently told me that just before snack time she's anticipating where Phillip will sit so she can sit down next to him - and that's before the teachers even ring the bell to signal snack time.

Hailey has even gone so far as to move some other children so she can sit next to Phillip! I like it - a girl who knows what she wants and goes after it!

Here's an interview with Hailey about her BFF Phillip and a picture from the school newsletter of Hailey and Phillip working on a gingerbread house together.





Monday, April 03, 2017

Turks and Caicos 2017 - Part 2

After we decided to leave the airport without our stroller (which we still do not have back), we made our way to the car rental place to meet our contact for the house we rented. Thankfully we did! With Tom having to concentrate on driving due to driving on the other side of the road AND the steering wheel being on the other side of the car as well, we didn't need to be the navigators too. Also, we might have wondered if we were lost as she took us off the main highway and we traveled for about 10 minutes on dirt roads with little signs of civilization. Having just rained, our rental car was covered in mud pretty quickly as it splashed through the puddles and the pot holes. I might have been a little concerned, until we opened up the door to this view. Amazing. I don't think I've ever seen a view this beautiful. The water was like glass most days which was great for kayaking, floating and just for the kids to explore sea life.

The view from our patio


Tom driving on the other side of the road and on the other side of the car!

Halfway through the week, we had some friends come over since they were staying on the other side of the island. The kids had fun finding starfish, hunting for crabs, building sandcastles, finding conch shells and just hanging out together. It was a nice break for them to have other kids to play with all week.

Friends from school

Lots of starfish found at low tide

We spent a lot of time at the pool, hanging out on the beach and going out to dinner as well as exploring the downtown area of Turks. But Peyton will tell you that her favorite part was the resident cat that came with the house, "Goldie." She's a stray who hangs out outside but basically is fed by us renters each week. The kids enjoyed having a cat to care for and even for Tom who never owned a cat before thought it was a nice cat with personality! It was hard to leave her!

Goldie! The resident cat.


Kayaking in the crystal clear waters.

Peyton said the pool was her favorite - she's a true midwest girl at heart!

We got dressed up to go to dinner almost every night - the kids went to some fancy restaurants and did great!



Dinner selfie!


Hailey liked building sandcastles with Daddy!

And tracing his body in the sand!

All tired out!


It was one of those vacations where you didn't want to leave - especially that kind of tranquility and peacefulness. You just want to bottle it up and remember how it felt to read, relax and soak it all in. And, that's exactly what I did:)



Monday, March 27, 2017

Turks and Caicos 2017 - Part 1



My kids are incredibly spoiled. Mostly because their mom likes vacations but also because we can afford to take them to nice places. Most people don't go to the Cayman Islands or Turks and Caicos on Spring Break with their children. In fact, while my family went on more vacations than my husband's family, I don't recall too many spring breaks other than the year we went to the Bahamas and my brothers spent a lot of time in the hotel room watching TV which really pissed off my dad!

I'm happy that we are making memories as a family and my kids are getting to experience different places. I'm also happy that it's getting easier to travel as my kids are getting older. On the flight to Turks about halfway through I was thinking that this was almost easy as my 3.5 year old sat next to me watching her iPad. I was jolted back to reality when I heard whimpering next to me and turned to see that Hailey had just vomited all over herself. With Austen plugging his nose and creating a bigger scene than the smell, I tried as best I could to wipe her off before summoning help from Tom and the flight attendant, Luckily, we had carried on 2 small suitcases with clothes for Austen and Peyton (which we never do but was really grateful that this time we did!), I quickly moved her to the back of the plane where I stripped her down, threw her soiled clothes in a plastic bag and put on Peyton's clothes that were about 3 sizes too big for her but didn't look completely ridiculous. Meanwhile, Tom sopped up her seat before the smell became too bad and we settled in for the remainder of the flight with me silently hoping we land before she had to throw up again! So much for an easy flight!

We landed without another incident only to find out that they lost our stroller. Good thing our kid is 3.5 and in between needing one. In fact, we almost didn't bring one but with her now being under the weather it would have been nice to have as we waited for our bags and passed through customs. Even so, Hailey was a trooper even with what we found out was a low grade fever.

Stay tuned to find out if we ever got our stroller back, how our rental car got covered in mud and other details from our spring break 2017 in my next post!


Watching the planes on our departure

So excited to leave!



Monday, March 20, 2017

Sadie's Training

We've been doing some hard core training with Sadie and it's either worked or she reached one year of age and decided to start being good! It's probably a bit of both, truthfully! But, I have been working with her extensively with a trainer who is tough! My friend recommended him when she met Sadie and learned about some of her antics.

Now this trainer is not for the faint of heart. He's a Vietnam Vet and tough!  He doesn't care if he hurts your feelings or embarrasses you in class. He's there to make sure you get the most out of his class so in turn your dog succeeds in his class.

First, you had better be there early (I've never been so early for a class in my life and it's a 30-minute drive for me!); be paying attention; and you better have done the homework which is at least two 10- minute training sessions every day for the week in between your class.  If you don't, and you're wearing a color like pink, he may yell at you and say "Pinky! What are you doing? We've been over this before!" Note: I never was called Pinky (because I knew not to wear this color to class).

I cringed each time he used Sadie as the example for next week's homework (he loves big dogs and had an affinity for Sadie) including trying to get her into a stand then stay position. He tried. She sat back down each time he got her up. He was sweating and finally he gave up and asked me if I took my dog to Bakers Square before the start of class! 

This isn't your average training class. This is a class where your dog must have balls bounced in front of them while they hold a stay position; food put out that they have to walk by without giving a sniff; and live rabbits that they cannot chase while in a down position. Add in staying in a down while a towel or fake skunk fur on a stick gets dragged over your paws or kids' dancing toys are inches from your nose making a racket and you can see why this is a challenging class for most dogs. I thought, my dog will never do that! Sadie wants to eat the bunnies! But, alas, last week she stayed in a down and ever so gently smelled the bunny without so much as moving. Incredible!

She definitely seems to be more present in her own body and I have more control over her after taking this class. I think it's helped tremendously even though I definitely do not look forward to going! Last class on Wednesday.  I can't wait!




Monday, March 13, 2017

The Middle Child

I am the middle child so I completely get the middle child antics but I will tell you that being a mom of a middle child is tough! I love my middle child to pieces. She is not only adorable but she's smart too excelling in both reading and math within a very competitive school district.

She craves her own time after school - retreating to her bedroom and closing her door to play with her stuffed animals. She's a deep thinker as well looking on the bright side of why it rains or pondering whether there are babies in Heaven. And she loves me... oh so much! I know this because every chance she gets she's smothering me with hugs and kisses demanding my time and attention.

You see she's not the oldest who naturally gets our attention with all of his sports and she's not the youngest who needs our attention and help doing most things. She's our middle - caught in between and she acts like it most days. Ripping toys out of her 3 year old sister's hands and smothering her with a pillow or begging us to buy her a toy at every store we enter - creating a scene sometimes worse than a 2 year old. 

I'm convinced Peyton is going to be a hoarder when she grows up because she has so many little toys and items that she has to have and then forgets about under her bed or in her closet. In fact, just last week, she decided to write me a sweet note at school and I just had to laugh because there she was again telling me she loves me (sweet) and then asking for a toy (is this a joke?).

But, I remember what it feels like to be that middle child and I don't ever want my middle child to feel that way. Another mom told me that she's having the same issue. Her therapist recommended asking them to choose what to do with mom/dad - 1) spend time with them alone 2) go out and buy a special gift together or 3) do something fun with mom/dad. I thought for sure she'd choose number 2. But surprisingly, she said she just wanted time with me. Time that's it. So this past weekend, even though Tom was away and I had 3 kids to get ready for bed and a dog to take care of. I made sure we had 15 minutes extra of reading time together where we snuggled up in her bed and we read. It was nice, she was sweet and appreciative, and that's all she needed to feel loved and to go to bed without complaint. She just wanted to feel loved. Don't we all?      

Monday, March 06, 2017

Science Fair


Austen and Peyton decided to do the Science Fair this year. Now the science fairs these days are a lot different from the science fairs of our days as kids. First, it's completely voluntary. Second, there are no winners or losers! Everyone wins! And lastly, it's more research based. For example, you can't do the actual experiment during the science fair. They want you to display your results of the experiment at the fair so you have to get a little creative with how you're going to still make it fun for the kids instead of just boring them with data.

Tom being an elementary science fair winner himself took this on quite well and both kids enjoyed working together - especially when it came to performing the experiment. They decided to see how much weight certain bridges could hold. So they built their bridges, set up the experiment and videotaped it. See below!




Austen enjoyed presenting. Peyton got bored after awhile but they both decided they wanted to do the Science Fair again next year - just not with each other!