Three Kids and a Dog

Monday, January 27, 2014

Hailey Update

I'm sure you all have been waiting for an update on our now almost four month old. (I didn't post her three month picture given all the birthdays and other news but this is her 3 month shot!)

Hailey continues to be a fairly laid back kid.  She rarely cries and when she does it's easy to calm her down. She does recognize us now so if we put her down and walk away, she doesn't like that unless she spots something interesting on the ceiling or has a toy to play with to occupy her time. Her neck muscles are getting stronger so she's almost holding her head up by herself now. She's not sleeping through the night yet but she's doing a pretty consistent job of sleeping from about 7:45 p.m. until about 4 or 5 a.m. Then she eats and it's back to sleep until about 7 a.m. Not too bad.

She is also a very happy, smiley kid. It's easy to get her to smile or make her laugh. Simply tickle her collar bone and she'll let out an adorable little giggle. I need to get that on video! Austen and Peyton continue to be a great big brother and sister and hold her or entertain her whenever needed. Austen is usually the one who tries to soothe her if she fusses at all. He'll try to stick the pacifier in her mouth and if that fails, he'll sing.

Next week she goes back to the doctor for her 4 month check up so we'll get an update on height and weight. She certainly has no issues eating and rarely spits up either. She has outgrown most of her newborn clothes and is ending her time in her 0-3 month old clothes too. That makes me a little sad to know that none of my kids will ever be this small again.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Return

I've been back at work for about two weeks now. Lots has changed. I have three kids to manage and I live a lot farther away from work too. I wake up about 5:50 am (unless Hailey wakes up at 4 or 5 am to eat and it's my turn to feed her) and get ready in the dark. The house is quiet and everyone is asleep aside from Adler who watches me wondering why I continue to get up so early these days.

At 6:40 am, I make my way downstairs and out the garage door into darkness. The weather has been cold and the sidewalks and streets are caked in ice. I cautiously slide along as fast as I can manage so I don't miss my train. It takes me eight minutes to walk to the center of town. It's dark and there aren't a lot of commuters walking at this hour, but I pass the same lady every day who walks toward me.  She has just disembarked from the train and is walking toward all the houses. I imagine she's nannying for someone in the area as she trudges along with her lunch. I gage where she is in her walk and calculate how much more time I have to get across the tracks before my train comes without pulling out my phone to check the time. I don't know why I even bother, the trains have been miserably late the past two weeks due to the cold. So I wait with the rest of the commuters, hoping I don't make a mistake and get on the local instead of the express when every train is running behind.  I take the train into Union Station. It's a mad house compared to Northwestern, which I used to commute into 15 years ago. I disembark and fight my way through the wave of passengers and then wait for the bus to take me to my work. By now I've been up for more than two hours now and I'm just ready to start my day.

I work all day, maybe get together with a friend for lunch and then bound out of the office as fast as I can pretty close to 4:30 pm to catch the train that will get me home and inside my house by 5:45 pm.
My kids are bathed and happy thanks to our new nanny who is working out great. Now we can enjoy dinner together, do a little homework, talk about our day and play a game together as a family. The evening seems a lot more enjoyable and less stressful. But I still miss seeing Hailey regularly, picking up Austen from school and having one on one time with him as he does his homework; taking Peyton to ballet and gymnastics and watching her play on her own in the mornings admiring how big of a four year old she already is turning out to be; and not seeing my kids in the morning.

Austen has gladly stepped into the role of helping in the morning since I can't.  He helps Peyton get dressed if needed and starts preparing breakfast for everyone. He can really be a great helper. How lucky I am to have him as my first born.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Happy 7th Birthday Austen!

Hard to believe that my oldest child turned 7 on Saturday. At 7 years old, he's a happy kid who easily makes friends. He's sensitive and has a deep concern for others when they are hurt.  He loves to play any sport...and watch any too. He hates to lose, is strong in math and is finding he likes to read more and more (when prizes from the principal are involved!). He loves his sisters, plays with his dog and idolizes his dad. He loves to build with Legos, enjoys being outside and is afraid of things like sleepovers, having his bedroom door closed and older kids who hog the basketball (which after some coaching from me he stood up to by not passing them the ball and instead passed it to the kids who didn't get it that much).  He's growing up fast and learning new things every day. I miss picking him up from school and having our own time together (okay, Hailey was there but she doesn't talk much). I look forward to having that time again someday. Just me and him.

Here's how we celebrated my special 7 year old. We started off with presents.  Austen's favorite present that we gave him was his Chicago Bears helmet. He even let Peyton try it on. Then we went to brunch where Austen ordered his favorite french toast and Grandma and her husband helped him celebrate.

Then Papa came over and we went bowling. Papa got two strikes and won. I'm surprised Austen didn't cry over losing. He only cried when we had to leave because they were starting league bowling. He made us promise to go back tomorrow. Thankfully, he didn't bring that up today and we didn't remind him!

Finally, we went out to dinner to celebrate yet again and Austen ordered his favorite dinner - noodles with butter and he got a free cupcake with a candle.

He summed up his birthday by writing in his class's birthday journal.

Monday, January 06, 2014

Xmas Recap

A little late but I have lots of pictures from Xmas that I need to post. It was a busy season and most people would say we were crazy for hosting a small Xmas Eve for eight; Xmas Day dinner for 17; and Peyton's birthday party for 25 all within a span of five days. Not to mention doing this with a 9-week old and having just moved into our house six weeks prior. Yes, we are crazy but somehow we pulled it off including driving to my mom's on Xmas morning about 30 minutes away to open presents with my family and have brunch then rushing back home before Tom's family arrived at 3pm.

Here's a recap of our Xmas.

A few days before Xmas, practicing our posing for the camera.

Xmas Eve before attending mass which we had to watch from a TV in the back of the church due to our new church being so small! As Uncle Mickey said, we could have watched this from home!

My sweet, little Hailey Kate on Xmas Eve.

The kids and Adler on Xmas morning. Austen wouldn't go downstairs until we did. Glad he isn't one of those kids (yet) who wakes us up at 5am! And, Peyton we had to wake up!

All of the cousins! Four girls and two boys. 

Another set of cousins on the other side of the family.

And another round of presents.

It was a busy, but fun time. Now, it's time to get back to school and work (which is delayed now for another day due to freezing temperatures!).