Three Kids and a Dog

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Sadie Visits a Chiropractor

Tomorrow Sadie will see yet another health care professional to try and help her live a normal life. After picking her up from spring break, it was apparent that she overdid it in the running department. I'm sure she had a great week playing with the other dogs including her brother Riggs (who is at least 25 pounds smaller than her! I thought the males were supposed to be bigger?!). In fact, she was so sore the next day that she couldn't hold herself up walking down our stairs.

As time went on, she regained her strength and the soreness has worn off a bit. I visited a wholistic vet but wasn't all that impressed with her trying to figure out how she could help Sadie so onto a chiropractor. She actually works on humans and has a certification to also treat animals. She does actually work on a number of canine patients with Wobbler's Disease (which is what Sadie has been diagnosed with and had surgery for that we think did nothing to help her walk normally again and reverse her symptoms).

Anyway, Sadie has really turned into the biggest lover out there. Adler would rest her head upon my knee every so often and literally "purr" with contentedness but Sadie will crawl right up next to you or in your lap and literally shower you with kisses. She's such a lover and she's settled down and turned into such a great dog (one who you still need to watch because she'll still steal your shoe - not to eat it but to slober in it!). She loves when I make lunches for the kids (because of course I give her some of their lunch); she loves going for rides in the car (and won't take you're staying home for an answer sometimes); she continues to sleep in her crate in our room (even though we don't latch the door on it) and squeeze herself between our chairs and at the base of our kitchen island when Hailey and I eat lunch (she prefers being in small spaces even though she's a big dog); and she essentially kicked me out of my spot on the couch which has now become her spot. It's okay though because I get to cuddle up right next to her and the couch isn't that nice anyway (which is why I don't mind that she has one little spot on it).

I'm hoping tomorrow goes well and the third time is a charm with the chiropractor. Maybe she'll only need a few chiropractic treatments each year for the rest of her life? I'm willing to do that for her as long as it helps her be able to walk without dragging her paws and eventually be able to run and play again without it crippling her afterwards. Fingers crossed!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Hailey's First Daddy Daughter Dance

Lately, Hailey has really been wanting to do every activity that her big brother and sister do so when I saw the park district was putting on a daddy daughter dance, I thought it would be perfect for her and Tom. She does love her daddy and always wants to go with him whether he's coaching Peyton's team or taking her to Indian Princess. She wants her time too and doesn't want to be left out just because she's younger.

So I broach the dance to Hailey (Peyton's dance is associated with school so Hailey can't attend that one even if she wanted to). She's really excited at first but then she thinks twice about it when I inform her that she has to wear a dress. After a moment, she decides she'll go if she can wear her dinosaur dress. Well, that's not exactly what I had in mind but somehow I convince her that all the girls will be dressed up and I have two dresses that she can pick from so she's happy with having a choice. She picks a sparkly silver number that's a hand-me down from Peyton. Shoes are a bit of a problem as her and Peyton's shoe sizes don't really line up for dress shoes and she's just outgrown the pair that I stuffed her feet in for Easter. Thinking quickly, I pull out her black high top kitty sneakers which look adorable with her dress. And, it turns out those were the right choice as she did a lot of dancing according to Tom.

They danced, ate, made a fairy tale hat, had fun in the photo booth and met new friends. In fact, Hailey befriended a kindergarten girl which was a bit surprising because if you know Hailey she very rarely gravitates toward girls. She prefers friends who are boys but slowly she's been showing more interest in having friends who are girls. Apparently, this girl and her just hit it off and hung out the rest of the night happily forcing Tom and her dad into a new friendship too.

It was the first of many new things that Hailey is finally old enough to do - she's 4 1/2 now and exhibiting her temper, her preferences and her opinions more. And, she's also demanding the attention and activities that the other two get too. Oh adding a third with activities not during the day to the mix is a whole new ball game of craziness with schedules but bring it on (as long as I have good car pools)!

Great hat!

Fun in the photo booth!

Daddy bought me a flower (well, really mommy did but it's the thought that counts!)

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Austen Gets a Phone

Some months ago, my big brother and I were having a conversation about phones and kids. I was saying how Austen has started asking for a phone and I was reluctant to give him one because I didn't think he needed to be exposed to all those social media apps earlier than he really needed to be. But, he said, when you find the kids start using it as the main means of how they communicate it will get challenging.

I'd say most of Austen's friends started getting phones around December of last year. Some had them before Xmas, some got them for Xmas and as the months stretched on after Xmas, it seemed more and more kids were getting them.

"Aren't you going to ride your bike to school this spring with your friends?" I asked. "Well, they all text each other,"  Austen said, "and they aren't going to text you to tell you when they are leaving." Sigh - imagine what we did as kids before phones! Another time all his friends went into town after school but he had no way of catching up with them because he couldn't text from his watch phone (although he could from his iPad but he wasn't going to carry that around!).

Fast forward, to him coming home from school very upset one day and me figuring out the phone was the main reason why. "I feel like I'm losing connection with my friends," he said. "They're all texting and have a group text and I'm left out. Same for my soccer friends." Come to find out about 90% of his friends had phones and were using it as a means of making plans together and meeting up.

So Austen wrote down all the reasons why he thought he should get a phone coupled with the fact that most of his friends are second or third born children and presented it to Tom and me. We could hardly say no especially when he promised to pay for the phone which he saved to buy.

So last week, his phone came. To say he was beyond excited is an understatement. Of course we have rules like no phones at dinner (even when we're out). It stays downstairs at night to charge (just like our phones). And, there is no taking, making or sharing videos or pictures of people that you know are wrong. Lastly, we get to check all of his history and messaging.

It's been less than a week but so far he's making his own plans and using it respectfully. It is nice to be able to text him now too. He's a very responsible kid so I think it was a good time to allow him to have a bit more independence and responsibility.

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Best Vacation Ever?

Waiting to board the Disney Dream!
According to my three kids it was! Spring Break 2018 aboard a Disney Cruise was a hit with Austen, Peyton and Hailey and all for different reasons.

Austen was thrilled he had some freedom to come and go from the tween club on the ship with a lot of different activities from making slime to playing in foosball tournaments to video game challenges.

Hailey loved all the photo opportunities with Mickey Mouse. I think we took pictures with him at least six or seven different times when he was dressed up in his captain's outfit, beach attire, tuxedo, etc.

Peyton loved ordering warm chocolate chip cookies before bed and meeting her favorite characters too - Goofy and Pluto.

Tom and I loved all the live shows that they had scheduled after our dinners. They truly were works of art from seeing a live production of Beauty and the Beast to a story called "Believe" all about being in the moment with your kids because they grow up so fast.

The service on the ship was also outstanding from housekeeping to our servers who cut our kids' food (this is all part of the Disney experience making parents feel like they are on vacation too). Peyton and Hailey spent a few hours in the kids clubs (Hailey really wanted to go as they hold really fun activities with characters too like Mickey Mouse). Peyton wasn't so much interested in the kids club but she went begrudgingly after Hailey ran in so Tom and I could attend adult discussions on the making of the Disney Dream ship (the one we were on) and have a little quiet time as well where we relaxed for a bit on the adults only section of the ship reading.

It was so great to see so many generations of families enjoying the cruise and making memories together. I for sure want to go back again - hopefully Disney Alaska!

Bon Voyage! The Sail Away Party!

Meeting Mickey!

Swimming in Mickey's pool was a must!

Spent the day at Castaway Cay - Disney's private island - Amazing!

Floatin' in the ocean! This is the life!

Mickey again!

Tom and kids worked on this sand creation. Many took photos by it.

Pirate night was a hit with our kiddos!

Mini golf on a ship? Sure, why not?

One of the fabulous creations created by the housekeeping staff during turn down service.

Monday, April 02, 2018

Easter 2018

It's not often that I miss posting for a week but we were on spring break on a big ship and therefore had no access to wifi - which is good sometimes to just totally disconnect. We all did. Me from my emails, Tom from work and the kids from their iPads. Surprisingly, it was relatively easy for all of us. But more on that fun spring break trip later because this post is all about Easter!

My kids love Easter. In fact, I was just thinking the other day how when Austen and Peyton were small we used to do a regular Easter egg hunt around our condo in the city no matter what season it was. We'd hide the eggs and the kids would revel in finding all of them. Well, it seems they haven't outgrown that. They still love our morning Easter egg hunts and going to Grandma's house for the big competitive Easter egg hunt in her backyard complete with prizes and giant sized Easter baskets stuffed with candy and toys. And, they certainly weren't too tired later in the day to complete a third scavenger type hunt at their Aunt and Uncle's house while eating more candy.

Reading their Easter egg hunt clues to find their baskets
Austen tries to figure out a clue

Pretty happy kids
Peyton's loot
Grandma blindfolded them this year so they couldn't see their baskets

Hailey was pretty happy with her dinosaur basket

Hailey loves dinosaurs!
She couldn't wait to eat her chocolate dinosaur egg