Three Kids and a Dog

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Father's Day Weekend - Phew!

Even though we didn't have baseball (or soccer) games this weekend, it still was a very full weekend.

We kicked off the weekend with Peyton's dance recital. She takes hip hop dance at a local dance studio with a few of her friends. She loves this part of the whole season (which literally is the entire school year) - the recital where she gets to dress up and hang out with the big kids. I think this may be her last year as she's ready to hang up her dancing shoes for soccer, basketball and softball, she recently informed me. 

After the dance recital, we had lunch then spent the late afternoon at our town's carnival. Hailey loved the cars. Her smile was so big and genuine. She was clearly having a blast!

Sunday started with our annual 5K race for the adults and 1K race for the kids. Tom ran it this year as we alternate because one of us has to stay with the kids. Peyton joined Austen running the 1K this year. See Austen in the red shorts in the home stretch below. Peyton ran the whole thing too and I am so proud of her. It's crowded and she tripped coming out of the starting gate, bloodied her knee, but got right back up and kept running. You can see in the picture of her, her bloody knee. So proud of all of them and my husband - who doesn't run a lick all year and still completes a 5K.

We capped off the weekend with a swim at our local pool and celebrating with my Dad and dinner. Happy Father's Day Tom and Papa.  We love you!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

It's a Wrap for 3 and K

Last week marked the end of third grade for Austen and kindergarten for Peyton.
Can't believe I now have a fourth and first grader....and a 2.5 year old! Oh, and an almost 4 month old puppy!

It was a crazy week with a lot of Austen's baseball games, but we made sure to have some other fun too as the neighbors and I planned a lunch and a surprise water balloon fight for the last day of school.

Yay! School is out for the summer, and we are finally in 1st and 4th grades!

Water balloons! Even Hailey got in on the action (see our little brunette in the blue suit next to the pink pool).

Austen and a bunch of his soccer teammates all got to see the USA vs. Costa Rica men's soccer game this past week at Soldier Field.

Meanwhile Peyton enjoyed a special night attending a farm team baseball game for her elementary school. Daddy took Peyton and Hailey while I went to baseball with Austen.     

Summer has officially begun in our household and camp starts early least for Austen. Should be a fun summer!

Monday, June 06, 2016

Our Escape Artist

This past Wednesday, I went about my morning per usual. Tom and I got the kids ready for school. Tom and Austen left for school and work. And, I put Sadie in her crate and then took Peyton and Hailey to school.

When I returned home three hours later, I opened the door and there was a stuffed animal on the floor. Weird, I thought. How did Hailey leave that there when I was the last one out? I climbed the stairs and noticed one of Hailey's boots from the boot tray downstairs was now at the top of the stairs. I still was not registering why these things were out of place until our 3 1/2 month old puppy came bounding around the corner to greet us. She looked thrilled. I, however, was not.

Oh my God, I thought,  how did she get out? I know I put her in her crate. I took her out right away before I even had a chance to survey the damage. Good news. She went to the bathroom outside almost immediately. A good sign. I breathed a sigh of relief. After I got back inside, I surveyed the damage walking through each part of the house. What I found was that aside from the boot and the stuffed animal that she licked to death, the only other thing that she did was pull a string on our front door mat. Really? That was it?! She could have done so much more damage. How long was she even out?

My mind raced through so many different scenarios. She could have choked on one of the kids' toys left out or fallen down our steep stairs. But nope, she was okay. She didn't destroy anything and aside from being very tired, she looked none too worse for the wear.

So how did she do it? She squeezed her fat little body through a small opening I failed to properly latch on the bottom of the crate. She must've been working it for awhile too because she seemed exhausted after her little adventure.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Life with Sadie

It feels normal again to have a dog in the house. To add one more thing to do to our list of getting everyone out of the house. Feed the dog, take out the dog, make sure we tire her out and play with her. It's all become part of our routine again.

It wasn't hard to do but it requires more time and certainly more time than an almost 11 year old dog did. Time for training, time where you can't be gone longer than three hours at a time and time for playing. It's almost like having two toddlers in the house. Hailey needs help sometimes down the stairs and so does Sadie so often I carry both of them to the car or outside - side by side - just like having twins! More than once both of them had to go to the bathroom at the same time. If I'm lucky enough that Austen (or even Peyton) is home with me then I can ask one of them to help me otherwise one of them has to hold it while the other goes.

Just like Adler, I take Sadie everywhere I can with us. It may just be to drive car pool or pick up the kids from school but it's getting her used to traveling in the car and so far she's proven to be a good little rider.

Last week I took her to the vet for her 12 week check up. She weighed in at 23 lbs (she's probably about 25-26 lbs as I write this). She's getting big and bets are that she probably will be bigger than Adler.

She's different from Adler in a lot of ways like the fact that so far she doesn't mind being doused with water (I had to give her her first bath with Austen and Peyton's help because she threw up in her crate - that was a fun day!); she is very vocal and knows how to bark when she wants something like her food or for you to get up in the morning; and she does get the supposedly trademark sweaty paws.
Sadie is also similar to Adler in that she loves to sleep on her back and get her belly rubbed. She loves to be close and already knows "her people" and her house. 

It's nice having the same breed, but a Berner with a bit of a different personality. We will always love Adler but now we get to experience even more of the different sides of a Berner. And that makes us love this breed even more.

Austen with Adler last summer by the baseball fields/tree.
Austen with Sadie this spring/summer by the same baseball fields/tree.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Peyton Learns to Ride a Two Wheeler - By Herself

So this happened the other day...

I was getting all of the kids and their gear out of the car after school and in my peripheral vision I noticed Peyton had jumped on an old bike of Austen's - one without training wheels.  It took my brain a second to comprehend that she was riding around the driveway on it all by herself. What was amazing was that we hadn't even really practiced with her. I mean we had filled that old bike with air in the tires and gave her a few pointers here and there but really taking the time to teach her - we didn't.

I guess she grew tired of waiting and figured it would be quicker to learn how on her own. I guess this means we owe her a new bike!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

This is What I Signed Up For

When I decided to stop working a little over 1.5 years ago, it wasn't because my youngest had turned 1 and needed me at home. It was because of my oldest.  He was starting to get more involved with after school activities, needed more help with a growing pile of homework and I was beginning to resent having to miss his games for work meetings.

Well, this is what I signed up for. I quit my job so I could drive car pool; become more involved in school volunteering my time and lending my knowledge; making sure all homework got done in between games and practices every night; and keeping up with the piles upon piles of laundry that just seemed to multiply while trying to schedule any work or errand needing to get done in a few spare hours of free time that mostly happened at night. 

I see more and more divide and conquer going on in our household because surely the girls don't want to sit through more than one game a day no matter what sport it is, and we need to be home for Sadie too. So we switch off most days/weekends. I usually take the soccer games and a few baseball while Tom sits through most of the never ending travel and little league baseball games (is it too late to switch him to lacrosse?!).

Just this past weekend, Austen and his travel baseball team had the opportunity to play at Miller Park in Milwaukee at the little league stadium. What a great opportunity for him and his teammates.

I had opportunities like these growing up. My parents made sure I had them. So now I'm paying that forward for my kids. Are they lucky? Yes. But I see parents just like me every day running their kids to a baseball game only to rush them to their soccer game right afterwards. Is it too much? For them - probably not. Austen for one thrives on being busy. For me - maybe. But this is what I signed up for. And, I'm grateful that I did. I know I will blink and he'll be graduating from high school. I can always work again, but I can't ever have these years back of being there for my kids in this way.

I know I am exactly where I should be. After all, this is what I signed up for.   

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Austen's Big Presentation

Every year, each grade at our school puts on some big performance about something. In first grade, Austen and his classmates learned about Washington, DC, and built monuments for their big project. In second grade, they did a whole unit on their family's heritage. So now for third grade they are each researching a hero of our very own heartland - the USA.

Austen was given Orville Wright. How great is it that when he was 2 1/2 we went to the Outerbanks on vacation and visited the site where Orville had made his first official flight? So we had pictures of Austen at this age around the museum-like visiting area that they have constructed there. Perfect for his presentation!

We got to work. Austen read books, then I had to read the books to make sure he accumulated the correct facts and information for his timeline. Then we needed to layout how his presentation would look. We traveled to the local craft store to buy his poster board complete with a header. Then it was decided that we would sketch out on paper how his presentation would look. I ordered the pictures from the Outerbanks that we needed while Tom got creative with the timeline and helped Austen build a model of one of Orville's glider planes.

The board looked great...until last night as we were trying to get all the kids into bed, he kept asking me if he should write his name on his poster board. I said I don't know, maybe on the back as I was distracted putting the other two to bed.

Later when I walked into his room, I saw right away that in fact he had not waited for me and with a big blue marker, on the header of his presentation board he had written in big blue letters - By Austen. Right Smack in the middle of our title. I could've killed him. Well, at least it makes his presentation look authentic Tom and I said through clenched teeth. Oh well. It's his project, we reminded ourselves.

And, even though it was Mother's Day today we spent a bit of time going over Austen's presentation with him as well as watching his morning soccer game and having him take a few swings at the batting cages. Maybe we should have relabeled today, Austen's Day?! We did, however, squeeze in a fabulous brunch with my three kiddos, and our new puppy Sadie spent a lot of time with us today too. Welcome to the family Sadie and I'm glad I'm your mom too!