Three Kids and a Dog

Monday, September 25, 2017

Happy 70th Birthday to Papa!

A lot has changed in the 10 years since we celebrated my Dad aka "Papa's" 60th birthday in Michigan including the addition of three more grandchildren. But this milestone birthday is especially significant because it's the year that Papa will retire (four more days to be exact).  Now most of my friends' parents have been retired for years but not mine. They kept on working (yes, they happened to be younger than many of my friends' parents too but still not that much younger!). I guess it keeps their minds sharp so why not keep working if no one is kicking you out the door and you don't detest what you do?

I for one am looking forward to seeing him enjoy life a little more - travel to all the places he's never been - abroad and right here in the U.S. Play golf whenever he wants. Join clubs and meet new seniors! Not to mention watch Hailey for me when I volunteer at Austen and Peyton's school in the afternoons! Life has just begun again in a lot of ways for him.

So cheers to the best Dad around - the one who I knew loved me more than my brothers and the one who has led by example and encouraged us to move past wrongs to continue to build relationships  when we knew it was especially hard for him.

And, cheers to the best Papa that we know. The one who delivers chocolate milk, cookies and cinnamon rolls to his grandchildren and can always be found at one of their games on the weekend cheering them on and giving them dollars for goals or good plays.

Papa, you have no idea how much we all enjoy your company and how much your grandchildren will remember your presence in their lives. Now it's your turn. Enjoy your time. We love you. Happy birthday. 

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Bump, Set, Spike!

This afternoon, after attending four of Austen's games (soccer and lacrosse) over the last two days we went to watch Peyton in her first volleyball game. I wasn't planning on signing up Peyton for volleyball but one of her good friends was signing up and asked if she wanted to join. Trying to find some type of physical activity that Peyton enjoyed, I said yes (after checking with Tom to make sure he was committed to taking her to her game if Austen had a conflicting soccer game as I don't miss soccer!).

I wasn't so sure this sport would stick either as Peyton would rather spend more time at home with me or playing with the neighbor kids than actually participating in any type of team activity. Actually, the only activity that I have to say that she's passionate about is Indian Princesses (think Girl Scouts but with Dads).

At any rate, I was pleasantly surprised by how well Peyton did today. The soft volleyball and the modified rules helped get the girls used to playing real volleyball. Instead of returning a serve they must catch the ball from the serve to get the side out. Peyton caught the most balls on her team today and did better than I thought she would. We still need to work on her serve though. But dare I say she might like volleyball. I'd be thrilled if she found something she really liked and it involved some type of physical activity!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Keeping Sadie Busy

Now that Sadie is 18 months old she's settled down a lot. That means she's no longer chewing on my window sills and not eating the seat belts in the back of my car (yes, I had to replace a whole seat belt thanks to Sadie!).

However, she does still like to eat the dirt and the flowers in our backyard. Sadie also loves to chomp on mulch from our landscaping and the other day stole my Vitamin Water bottle right off the outdoor end table and I had to chase her around the yard to recover it! But still she is getting easier - even with the walks we have to take her on and the therapy we still need to do on our own with her. (Water therapy is complete and we have seen a good deal of improvement in her gait after just 8 sessions.)

We do still need to keep her mind busy though and while she was recovering from her spinal surgery a friend lent us several treat puzzles that kept her stimulated. We purchased a new treat puzzle recently that she still can't figure out but she sure had fun trying (once they figure it out it's much easier for them - the hard part is figuring it out though!).

Watch Sadie struggle with opening all the secret compartments on this treat puzzle (she gets the easy one but still hasn't figured out the hard one).

Monday, September 04, 2017

I Want to Do Gymnastics!

Hailey has been asking me since spring to sign her up for gymnastics so this fall that's one of the classes she's doing after her morning Montessori school class. She was so excited to go her first day and had so much fun hanging from the bars and walking on the balance beam (close to the floor - they don't let the little ones up on the high ones just yet) that she promptly declared I want to do that again tomorrow! I had to break it to her that it was only once a week.

She looks strong out there and solid. Her balance is pretty good and she enjoys all the tasks that they give her like picking up or stepping over items as they walk on the balance beam or kicking an object as they swing from the bars.

I'm glad she's having fun and doesn't mind trying new things even if none of her friends are in her class or her mommy!