Three Kids and a Dog

Sunday, January 27, 2019

I Wish I Was Good

For her First Communion last spring, we gave Peyton a cute, little prayer box so she could write down her prayers and place in the box for safe keeping. Every so often, I check these prayers to see who she is praying for these days.

Of course, the usuals - mommy, daddy and Sadie (no mention of Austen or Hailey. Hmmm).
Children (yes, good).
The boy in the novel she was reading (okay).
The Army (good one).
Maddox (my friend's son who passed away in October).
Uncle Wally and Mrs. Case (her great uncle and religious ed teacher who was sick)
Mushers (she loves Alaska and the Iditarod).
Musher dogs (huskies in the Iditarod race).
Her swim team coaches (proof she loved swimming but still doesn't want to swim again next summer).
Animals (yes, especially in these frigid temperatures).

And then amongst her prayers, I found one that said "I wish I was good."
No idea when she wrote this but my guess is that it was pretty recent as she's been in fine form lately - teasing her sister, tattling on her brother.

But I was still pretty impressed that she wanted to be good. Don't we all, Peyton? Don't we all?

Monday, January 21, 2019

Slovenian Bread

Last week, Hailey came home from school raving about some bread that she had made at school that day. "It was so warm and yummy, mommy, we have to make it at home!" she demanded. 

Now when Hailey becomes obsessed with something, she'll ask you 100 times a day if we can do it. That means I wasn't getting away with not making it. And what excuse did I have not to anyway? So I did what any good mom does and emailed her teacher for the recipe. (One of her teachers just moved here from Slovenia so she was the one who happily supplied the recipe.) 

Once secured, I had to add the ingredients to my grocery list and then finally we were ready to make the Slovenian bread. So one afternoon when we didn't have gymnastics, soccer or dance, Hailey dragged over her stool, put on Austen's old dinosaur smock/apron and we made two pie pans full of Slovenian bread. And it must've been good because by that evening, both were gone. 

Hailey once again declared it yummy and Austen and Peyton devoured their pieces. I thought it tasted similar to a pretzel (but I think a true soft pretzel is way better). 

Nonetheless, Hailey was happy, it was a fun afternoon with my youngest and I'm off the hook for baking - at least for this week!

Monday, January 14, 2019

Austen Turns 12!

My first born turned 12 on Friday. Twelve. And I must say I felt a mixture of emotions.

Pride. He's a really good kid. Caring, sensitive and hardworking (in both sports and school) and responsible. Sure he has his moments like all kids when he forgets his gym clothes or the pair of cleats that I told him 100 times to put in his bag but he's the kid who many teachers and coaches have told me, they wished they had at least 25 more of.

Excitement. What does the future hold for this kid? In sports, school, friendships. I'm really excited to see him grow up and get to experience a lot of firsts - like his first 6th grade dance that was on the evening of his birthday. We went to dinner with him beforehand and he could barely eat he was so excited to get there and see his friends. He went to an "after party" after the dance too and didn't get home til 10:30pm so I'd say he had a really great birthday (add that on to the fact we gave him an Xbox gift card and the soccer jersey he really wanted among a few other things and I'd say he was pretty happy).

Bittersweetness. Six and a half years. That's all we have left with him til he leaves for college. That seems so short!  But is a good reminder to make the most of the time we do have together as a family. Whether it's spending time in Michigan at our beach house or on some other family vacation. The time is now. Live in these moments with him from guiding him on navigating friendships, helping him those few times when he asks me for assistance with his homework or even relishing that he still wants me to tuck him into bed every night.

Honestly, that's why I hold my tongue more often than not when I hear my friends say, if I stayed home all day, I would shop all day or I don't know what those stay at home moms do in their Lululemon pants drinking Starbucks. Believe me there's plenty to do especially if you actually volunteer a lot at your kids' schools or for their sports teams.

I've been on both sides now - the stay at home mom and the full time working mom. I've made great money working. Managed a large staff. Received big promotions. And, this is why I don't miss it. I have six and a half short years left. And, I'm NOT going to miss those years. I can always go back to work, but I'm never going to get back these six and a half short years. For me, that's all there is to it. No regrets.

Blowing out his birthday candles in a cookie skillet with a few friends

Monday, January 07, 2019

Hailey's Work

Over the last month, Hailey has been involved in a lot of activities. From her parent/child worknight where she showed me all her work (this is what Montessori calls any of the activities they do during her time at school) to her own holiday celebration at school to asking to complete her workbook pages at home.

She's been busy so I thought I'd offer you a glimpse into how she's grown so much since the start of the school year. It's crazy that in another month, I'll be registering her for kindergarten next year.

Hailey's addition work

Hailey's art work on display

Hailey and her buddy Zack

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Peyton Turns 9!

It's been a crazy couple of weeks - hosting Xmas dinner, moving into our beach house in Michigan and then celebrating Peyton's birthday. Lots to do so little time! But, we did manage to give Peyton a birthday that I know she'll remember.

I always like to plan a unique birthday party for my kids especially for their "friend" parties. And, this year was no different. I thought a cooking party might be a lot of fun - after all there was this cute place in the neighboring town that did just that and would put on a healthy cooking party for a bunch of 8 and 9 year olds. Only problem was that it was "healthy." Peyton put the brakes on that pretty quickly when I showed her the menu of what they suggested. "I don't want that!" she whined. "I want pizza and cupcakes!" Pizza and cupcakes? Tom makes a really good homemade pizza that he's perfected over the years and it's pretty simple to whip up some cupcakes so I was thinking let's just have it at home. I could add some food related games, crafts and prizes and we'd be all set. Just more work for us the day after Christmas prepping the house (after just cleaning up from Christmas) and the food but probably a lot more realistic for what Peyton really wanted. 

I set the girls up in our dining room at first. All 11 of them plus Hailey so that made 12. They each got an apron and chef's hat to decorate while waiting for everyone to arrive. I placed "Would You Rather Questions" in mason jars around the table too if someone got done early they could kill some time asking these questions while others worked on their "art." After the aprons and hats were done, we moved into our kitchen, where we could set up everyone around our big island to work on kneading out their own ball of pizza dough. They worked diligently and creatively kneading out their dough and shaping it into hearts and perfect circles while adding sauce, cheese, spinach, pepperoni and other toppings. Once everyone had finished (and washed their hands), downstairs they went to play a variety of games from food bingo to I spy a vegetable to tell me what's a fruit or a vegetable. It was great fun and the prizes were a big hit and kept their interest in the games. 

Once the pizzas were all cooked, it was back upstairs to eat in the dining room. They all looked super yummy. And the girls devoured them quickly. I guess they wanted to get to decorating their cupcakes. So it was back into the kitchen where we once again gathered around the island to frost the chocolate and vanilla cupcakes and add sprinkles and other decorations. They packed up their extra cupcakes and then it was back to the dining room to eat one cupcake and sing to Peyton before the end of the party. It was just 2 hours but the time flew by and Peyton and the girls all had a great time (including Hailey - and Austen who helped lead the games). 

For Peyton's real birthday, we were in Michigan where she opened her presents including gift cards to Build a Bear from her aunt and uncle as well as Tom and me. We had looked up the location of a Build a Bear close to us and told her we were taking her there for the day too. She was so happy and declared it her best birthday ever! Success! 

Now on to Austen's birthday sleepover with a few friends on Friday...

Introducing Bowser!