Three Kids and a Dog

Monday, March 12, 2018

It's Camp Time!

Well, not quite but the registration for summer camps are in full swing and my kids are all talking about the camps they want to do (and don't want to do). At least Peyton and Hailey are - Austen has a bit more freedom now that he's older so he has a lot less scheduled than in previous summers.

Austen will take on some lacrosse this summer once his baseball season ends and then move into golf lessons and a golf league with some friends. He's decided too that he will be attending Indiana University's boys soccer camp. To say I am excited is an understatement! It's a premier camp so I'm hoping he learns a lot and a bonus is that I get to visit IU!

Peyton is trying some new things this year and I am very proud of her. She's agreed to do swim team at our local pool which will only enhance her confidence in the water as she's tested out of all of her lessons but still needs to convince herself that she's a strong swimmer. Her stroke is beautiful though. I'm hoping too that swim team gives her the confidence to pass her swim test at her very first sleep over camp this summer. As a lover of sleep away camps with my friends, I'm so excited for her and this experience. She'll be gone for a week this year (although she asked to go for two weeks and I said let's start with one week and see how it goes!) My only fear is that she'll want to go for weeks on end next summer! (I used to beg my parents to let me go again and even paid for it myself so I could attend.)

Now, Hailey knows exactly what she wants to do this summer and has told me in no uncertain terms what to sign her up for. "First, I want to to do the same (park district ) camp I did last summer. You know, mom, the one that has Mickey Mouse?"

"Please sign me up for the super hero camp too," she says. She means the vacation bible school camp that Peyton has attended the last few years and she's finally old enough to go. They do a theme complete with a CD each year that we all get to listen to in the car. It won't be super hero this year but it will have some catchy theme that all the kids will be excited about.

"And, I want to do the zoo camp!" Peyton did the zoo camp last year with a friend. It's not exactly close to our house (a good 20-25 minutes away) and for a half day, I'm not sure it's worth it for a 4 year old. "Let me see if your friend Conor wants to go," I say. I tell her later that Conor is not going to zoo camp. "I don't care," she says, "I'll go by myself." Okay, I think as I drop the subject thinking she will too. But just this morning she reminds me that she wants to go to zoo camp and that she will go by herself. But can I please give her Austen's watch (it's a phone watch so he can call me). That way she can call me when it's time to go home and I'll know where to pick her up! This kid! I love that she's not afraid to try new things even if her friends aren't! I'm still not convinced that I'm going to sign her up this year for zoo camp but definitely when she's a bit older for sure.

Summer is shaping up quite nicely. Definitely some fun things to look forward to for the kiddos before entering their next school year.

Monday, March 05, 2018

Sadie Turns 2!

Two years. It seems like just yesterday but then again it seems like forever. Isn't that what we say about our kids when they are young and you are in the thick of it - running around, tending to their every whine and whim?!

That's how I feel about Sadie too. She definitely required much more attention than a "normal" puppy should and I'm not talking about eating stuff or behavior issues, I'm talking about her health issues that we've been dealing with since about 6 months of age. She has been a lot of work for sure. A lot of time and God knows a lot of money. But she has also turned into a really good and sweet and oh so cuddly big bear of a dog. All 100 pounds of her!

She's been through so much in her short two years of life (and never once did she act sick or hurt when she really was) that we really needed to celebrate her on her big day last week (Feb. 28).

First, I ordered her a Puppachino at Starbucks with my morning coffee. For those of you who don't know, Starbucks gives the pups a big dollop of whipped cream in a cup. Whipped cream is one of Sadie's favorites for sure. Next we bought her three new birthday toys that Hailey picked out especially for Sadie. That afternoon she chowed down on a few pup cookies which are also one of her favorites too and lastly we celebrated with another of her top 3 favorites - a glazed donut!

Sadie is our kids' dogs. And you can tell. She doesn't mind when Hailey lays on her (she's never known anything different). She loves when Austen plays with her in the backyard and when Peyton kisses her goodbye before she leaves for school. But what I love most about her is when she curls up on the end of the chaise on our couch and cuddles up for the night - happy to be surrounded by her family and have everyone home. I love that she crams herself into small spaces like under our kitchen table or below our feet when we are eating.

I can't believe at 2 she still prefers to sleep in her crate and that she's gotten really good at me recalling her. She loves to rest her head on the step down into our family room and watch us run around like crazy people at breakfast or dinnertime. She sleeps on the cool granite in front of the fireplace tucked in between the array of lanterns surrounding it - letting the cold air that sneaks in from the chimney cool her off. She does hate the sun and was panting halfway through our short walk when it almost reached 60 last week.

It's been a whirlwind 2 years with our Sadie for sure. I know the clock is ticking but I'm hoping for at least 11 more!

Sunday, February 25, 2018

For Once It Was Hailey

For once it was Hailey who got into trouble today. She's usually my good kid - does what I tell her, plays nicely by herself and always listens. Well, she must've woke up this morning and decided she was done being the good kid because she was just bad...all morning long. From waking up too early and then waking me up (for the second day in a row) to refusing to get dressed to making little messes wherever she played.

Peyton and Hailey playing nicely at Lacrosse before the dreaded incident!
Late morning she found me in my room getting ready to try to get in some exercise before I had to start running around for kids' activities. She has a book in hand with a read to me CD in it. "I want to read this book," she says. Not now I say, I'm busy and you haven't cleaned up one mess that I've asked you to clean up all morning (and I need to go do that now before Sadie starts eating the toys she's left out).

"No!" she stomps her foot. "Right now! I want to read." This is where I pretty much lose it on her and tell her that she's not reading until she cleans up and she's going to have to wait for me to be done with what I'm doing but I will read to her later at Austen's lacrosse or when we come back or some other time that day. She doesn't like this answer and says, "I don't even like you!" (All words/phrases that she's heard her big sister say mostly to Austen!) So I leave her to go downstairs and commence my workout as she's screaming and crying. Yes, I walk away from her because even though she's the youngest, she clearly is not getting her way all the time.

Forty-five minutes later I come back upstairs to my room which is torn apart. My bedding is thrown askew, pillows are all over the floor, drawers are flung open and the toilet paper in our bathroom is now puddled in a pile on our floor as she rolled the whole thing out. I mean I've known that Hailey has a temper but I never thought she'd go nuclear when I went downstairs.

She was obviously much calmer when I returned as she took all her frustration out on my room so she was much easier to talk to about her behavior. I made her apologize and take a long time out before loading her into the car for Austen's lacrosse practice.

I thought she was on her way to being better as she seemed a bit tired out in the car from all her rage but that was short lived. While Austen's playing, her and Peyton get into an all out brawl at the arcade at Lacrosse. Hailey tells Peyton not to shoot the deer in the video game (Peyton likely ignores her and shoots it) and Hailey grows frustrated, clobbers Peyton and rips out part of her pony tail.

I'm feeling a replay of Austen when he was 4 (his worse year yet). But I'm ready this time! Bring it Hailey! But for your sake, I hope it's a short lived phase for you!

PS. Austen and especially Peyton were thrilled that Hailey got in trouble today for once it was not one of them!

Monday, February 19, 2018

Paw Patrol, The Aquarium, Rock Climbing, Camping....and More!

Back to the city where they were all born!
Winter is supposed to be the take it easy season but somehow we've grown adept at making the winter months pass quickly. If it isn't watching Austen playing soccer or lacrosse or Peyton playing basketball, then we're either at a fundraiser, out of town, or doing some type of activity with our kids.

This past weekend, Tom went camping with Peyton for her Indian Princess outing while I watched Austen dominate in soccer (churning out 5 out 9 goals and 3 assists in two key games where his team came from behind to win both) and shuttled him to and from baseball practice and his lacrosse game before taking the girls to see Paw Patrol in the city (and enjoying some Sweet Mandy Bs) cupcakes. Tom in turn had a boys night with Austen rock climbing (and grabbing some food at BW3s - Austen's choice).
Austen rock climbing

Today, with the kids off of school we visited the Shedd Aquarium - which Hailey liked - especially the sharks as long as they didn't get too close! Peyton only wanted to go because she wanted to spend her money at the gift shop and Austen was a good sport about going (even though he's probably been the most since he went often with school and us when he was younger).

I definitely like keeping busy although I am tired of driving - especially to the city! I don't miss that traffic! I can't even believe that I used to make that commute twice a day when we were not quite moved into our house in the burbs but the kids were going to school there while we commuted from the city. I must've been crazy! In fact, I remember thinking some days I must be losing my mind doing this with a newborn, 3 and 6 year old!

Waiting for Paw Patrol to begin
What could be better - popcorn and toys!
And, a trip to Sweet Mandy Bs!

Peyton's Indian Princess Camp Out
Hailey loves penguins at the Shedd

A day off at the aquarium

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

We Escaped the Blizzard!

By chance a bad snowstorm was headed toward Chicago right when we were scheduled to fly out to Arizona for one of Austen's soccer tournaments. On Thursday night, flights were already being cancelled or delayed and although our 5am flight had yet to be canceled we worried that half of Austen's team wouldn't make it to Arizona in time for our first game (and, if you don't have enough players you can't play).

That didn't happen though. Our flight left on time at 5am and we drove through several inches of snow covering the highways at 2:30am just to catch our flight. We weren't the only dedicated ones. The rest of Austen's team battled through delayed and cancelled flights but all made it to Phoenix by 2am on Saturday.

Our reward was the near perfect 80 degree weather. And, it helped too that the boys played hard - knocking off a #7 ranked Colorado team 6-1 (but then losing a tough one to the #2 ranked team in the country) before trampling the #7 ranked Arizona/#40 ranked national team 4-1.

As usual, Austen had a great time with his teammates. Typically it's just me and him that attend these tournaments but this time we decided to bring the entire family despite Austen's protests. Hailey did great. Peyton complained a lot (when she wasn't at the pool) and Tom enjoyed getting to know the parents on a different level than just during our regular league play. We took the kids to the Grand Canyon (the day before the bad helicopter crash that made national news); toured Old Scottsdale and checked out Arizona State University (where their Grandma Lou went to college).

It was a short but fun trip for all and somehow we missed the foot of snow that fell back home in Chicago and got lucky with no flight delays or cancellations. I think that means we were meant to go away!

Teammates but also great friends!

That's Austen dribbling and just missing the goal.

Peyton's note to us at the end of the trip because she demanded to not be left behind once again while Austen goes "on vacation" but yet she did a lot of whining!

Having fun at the pool!

This was their reward for watching soccer.

Monday, February 05, 2018

The Things That My Kids Continue to Say...

I'm trying to remember all the little things that my kids say that make me really laugh every week. There's a lot and I only remember a few after a day or two so not all of them make it to the blog but when they do they will forever be a part of my kids' story.

Here are the cutest ones that I can remember lately:

Hailey says, "Mom there's the PS truck!" She means UPS but she's pointing out the Fed Ex truck and when you try to tell her that the brown truck is the UPS truck and the white one is Fed Ex she gets mad. I guess this also means we receive too many deliveries from online stores because she knows a truck delivers the best things!

Peyton then says, "Hey, I'm PS!" And, she is as they are her initials...

Hailey about a man coming out of church with a walker, "Papa has one of those (she says loudly and points to the guy's walker). Yes, he did as he had hip replacement surgery a few weeks ago.

And, the day of his hip replacement surgery, I pick Austen and Peyton up at school and they said are we going to visit Papa in the hospital now? I said, well, I have some good news and some bad news. Peyton says, "Did he die??" Uh, no - you just can't go visit him because of the flu epidemic but his surgery went well.

Hailey later hears an ambulance - "Is that for Papa?"
I hope not!

When talking about her Grandmas, Hailey identifies them as Grandma with the white hair and Grandma with the bracelets. I guess that's better than Austen identifying one of his Grandmas as Grandma close the door when he was staying with her and she shut his bedroom door at night (something he didn't like!).

Finally, one last bit of cuteness from Hailey is when she wants you to tell her a secret she will tell you to "speak to my ear!"

Of course many of these are the things that Hailey says as she's the youngest. Peyton's just dead pan funny while Austen's a bit more serious than his two sisters (and a little bit older). 

Sunday, January 28, 2018

It's Finally Hailey's Turn...

to swim! With Peyton testing out of her last swim class just last week, Hailey now enters the pool for her first full fledged swim lesson. She's been watching Peyton attend swim lessons for years so she knows sort of what's expected at swim class so I think that helped ease any swim anxiety. Although she was worried about "getting her eyes wet" but then I reminded her that she'd be wearing goggles and all was well again.

So on Friday, she waited (less than patiently) asking every minute if it was her turn yet to wait by the door for her swim class to begin. Then she told me she knew where Lane 1 was so I didn't even have to go in with her! Is she for real? Of course I'm going in with my 4 year old on her first day to meet her teacher. I told her it's probably best just this first time and she can go in by herself every lesson thereafter. She relented and walked past a girl in her class screaming and clinging to her mom's leg. She said hello to the teacher and calmly sat down on the ledge of the pool to begin her swim lessons.

She did great, waiting her turn and following her teacher’s directions. Every so often she would look over at us and I would flash her the thumbs up to let her know how awesome she was doing. In fact, Austen and Peyton were so excited to watch her too that they put down their own iPads to observe her independence.

It was different for them being the ones watching instead of the ones doing (as Hailey's soccer and gymnastics classes are when they're in school). But, you could see how proud they were of her and even told her so after class ended.

So swim was a success for sure - only 3 more years to go before she hopefully passes out of all the levels!