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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

swimming away the summer.

We were having a rare but nice, mild summer and then the heat hit. And now we are looking at some triple digits for the next several days. So these days we are not outside for long unless we are in the water. And we've been in the water a lot. Holden is a complete fish in the water. Diving boards, slides, swimming on top of the water and underneath. He can do it all. And I have a feeling Abe will be the same way one day. That baby boy has no fear. He jumps in, he goes under, he rarely takes in any water. I am working with Pax when I have the opportunity. I probably need to sign him up for lessons. I just hate to do that this late in the season, thinking he might forget it all by next summer and then it would just be a waste. I used to teach swim lessons so I think I could teach him. I just don't have the pool and the one on one time to do so very often. And Jeremy won't justify putting a pool in our backyard so I can teach Pax to swim. What a stick in the mud?! ;) But we work on it when we can. He's not as confident without his puddle jumper and he doesn't love putting his face in. He's been swimming since his first summer when he was 10 months old, but he doesn't yet love it like the other two. But he does like to cool off in the water and he likes the slides and the fun that goes along with the water places that we visit. He would just much rather float around than swim. Who can blame him for that!
Below are just a few pictures from some of our water fun this summer.

 Abe in the tiny pool we bought for him last year.
 Pax does this every time we go to the water park. He parks his tube on the "shore" of the wave pool and chills.
 Swimming with Nana and Papa J.
 And swimming with lots of friends.
 Below are pictures of a very cool nearby city pool and spray park we went to with friends this week. The boys LOVED it. And it was actually much more relaxing for me than the water park!
 
 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Summer Fun!

We have been having a whole lot of fun this summer. The water park has been much more tiring for me than any years in the past. Even when I had two in swim diapers, it was easier than this year. At least they were close in size and age to be content to play in the same area. Now I just convince myself that I must be burning some mega-calories by the way I'm huffing and puffing to keep the 4 of us together and alive for so many hours. But even with the challenge, it gives us a time to play with friends, me time to talk to some mommies (typically for very brief bits of conversation) and it is just so fun to be out in the water. So the effort is worth the fun! Last week I sat in a lawn chair in the sand area for a good 20 minutes while all 3 of mine played in the sand. Yes, sand can be a beast to clean up, but it might be worth a few moments of rest for this mommy.
We've enjoyed lazy days at home. Always with lots and lots of books. Holden loves to read to Abe now. I'm so proud of the big brother he is to our little one.
We continue to eat our weight in watermelon just like summers past. And with the more mild temps so far this year, we can enjoy the occasional dinner out on the back patio. I can't believe there are three at our little picnic table now!
The occasional game night with our two favorite ninjas once the littlest guy is in bed.
Fun pool parties.
Plenty of backyard playtime.
 A 4th of July celebration that included:
 friends, food, fireworks and playing in the water. 
And thankfully we are only halfway through our summer fun. We are doing our best to enjoy each day!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

first haircut.

Jeremy finally gave Abe his first haircut. It had to happen sometime, I guess. Every time we would say, "let's go do your hair", he would shake his head no and sometimes it would be followed by tears. So even though we just did a big trim, still leaving some length and curls, it's much less maintenance in getting it picked through each morning. So no more tears. It takes very little time. But he looks a lot different without all that hair, but still as adorable as ever!
 before:
 in progress:
 after:

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A long 5 days

Last week Jeremy had a business trip. It was only his second work trip in nearly 5 years with this company. I think that sounds pretty good. Though he will have his third trip before this month is over. He was scheduled to leave bright and early Monday morning and return late on Friday night. Five full days. I knew it would be tiring for me. He helps out a lot around here the moment he walks through the door until the boys are in bed. He typically does some playtime after dinner with the boys, bathtime, bed time story and the whole shebang. He just takes over and I assist. He's a good daddy and husband. I'm thankful that he comes home ready to dive in and help. So it would be five full days without those extra hands. Like I said, I knew that it would be a little tiring but I wasn't all that worried about it. I knew that we would have plenty to keep us occupied and entertained. We would make trips to the waterpark, the library, Nana and Papa J's house, etc. My plan was to stay busier so that my days didn't feel as long. And that all sounded like good plans, until the rain started on Monday morning. And it didn't stop until Friday. Not exactly. That's an exaggeration. But the week was full of sporadic storms and lots of rain that never failed to interrupt our plans. So it felt like a long 5 days. So last week, we had no water park days and very little swimming and outdoor time. I even hired a sitter for Abe and attempted a movie with the big boys. Halfway through the movie the entire theater lost all power due to the storm. They were speculating that lightening had struck the back up generator also. Nice. Here I had thought storms and rain couldn't stop us from seeing a movie and yet I was proved wrong. But we did indeed survive the week. It just didn't go exactly as I had imagined. A few pictures from our long week without daddy.
They loved painting these terracotta pots. And in them, I am now trying to keep alive basil and cilantro to use in my cooking.
 
Pax is really starting to enjoy puzzles so he had some puzzle time.
 
 By far the highlight of their week were these water balloons. At Aldi I purchased a $5 water ballon set the night before Jeremy left town. We've used them several times and still have half a container of balloons left. After this water balloon battle, Holden told me I was his favorite mommy in the world. :) He is my water boy. Water is his love language. ;)
 The big boys took turns sleeping in bed with me. This is a little memory I have of my childhood on the occasion that my dad was out of town. They thought it was pretty special to be sleeping in daddy's spot while he was away.
 
 We went swimming in Nana and Papa J's community pool one evening. There were grey clouds over us the entire time and even some thunder, but we stuck it out. We needed that swim!
This guy pulled his 8th tooth. We texted Jeremy this picture to show him.
One morning they rode bikes for over an hour in the empty school parking lot. I just walked around with Abe in stroller the entire time. The boys loved splashing through the rain puddles and I was just glad to have us all out of the house.
 We made homemade popsicles. 
 I tried out a new style on Abe. I saw a little boy at the water park with a big poofy ponytail on top of his head. I loved it. But I don't think it's the right look for Abe. He gets mistaken for a girl way too often, without the ponytail. The big brothers thought it was hilarious.
 
Most days I had Holden and Pax skip naps so they would crash hard in bed at 7:30. So as soon as they crashed, I turned on an old Netflix movie, poured me a glass of wine and worked on the boy's baby books. I am way behind and this gave me several hours to start playing catch up. Abe's is still in the plastic wrap, so even though I did make progress, but I'm still behind!
On Friday the big boys did take naps so they could stay up extra late to welcome daddy home. They enjoyed a movie night, with pillow forts that Pax had built for them, and stayed up until around 10pm when Jeremy walked through the front door. They were excited that daddy was back home. And so was I!

Friday, June 27, 2014

*Soccer Stars*

We finished up our little 8 week soccer season nearly 2 months ago. In fact, the boys will start basketball tomorrow. It should be interesting. For whatever reason I never got around to posting some great photos that my dad had taken of their soccer games. Both Holden and Pax had a great season. It was so much fun to watch and cheer from the sidelines.
Pax had watched Holden play soccer for 2 seasons. So going in to the sport he already had a pretty good idea of how things were played. He had a much better first season than Holden's first season. He was a full year older than when Holden began. But we also think that watching so many games helped prepare him a little.
Pax had great control of the ball and shocked us with his aggressiveness on the field. In life, he's just not a "get after it and go fast" type of guy. Lo and behold, in a soccer game, that is exactly who he is!
He was rarely ever far from the ball. He always went after it.
 water break but still watching the game.
 I love seeing these action shots.
 Pax was accused by the opposing coach of pushing this little girl down and hurting her. Pax is a pretty gentle boy. And look at her throwing elbows. I think she can hold her own. :) A parent from our team turned that volunteer coach in...suggesting he not volunteer again. Ha. He was a bit ridiculous. It is NOT supposed to be all that competitive. They are 3 and 4, people! They normally don't even care who won the game. They just want to know what the snack is afterwards!
 And he scores! After scoring (which he did often in this first season) he always looked at us with a big smile and a thumbs up. He was so proud of himself.
And here are a few pictures from one of Holden's game. Holden has a long legged stride and speed to help him in soccer. He loves to race other kids and play chase because he is typically the fastest. And he is pretty competitive. This was his third season of soccer. By now he knows the sport pretty well, and he loves it. 
 Taking it to the goal.
And he scores.
 
 His humble victory run down the field. Several times during this season, Jeremy said out loud, we really need to work on humility. You can tell after each goal, when everyone is cheering his name, he's half shy about it but mostly loving all the glory. It made us laugh every time.
I am not a competitive person. I don't play sports. I don't enjoy watching many sports. I was cheerleader for 8 years. I rarely watched the football game...didn't know if we should be doing an offensive or defensive cheer most of the time. That's right...don't nominate me to be head cheerleader. I would have made us look a fool! But watching my own little boys participate in sports and activities that they love...now that's a different story. Being their personal cheerleader brings more joy than those 8 years ever knew. Soccer was fun. And now we are all looking forward to basketball!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Curb Appeal

When we bought our house in December of 2009, the front landscaping looked something like this.

I hated it. The overgrown bushes, the plastic faux rock edging pieces and the lack of anything pretty to look at. But it was a crazy season in our lives and so we complained about the eye sore that it was, but we never worked on it. We just trimmed down those ugly bushes when we thought they were getting too out of control. But last spring as we settled into our adoption wait on baby #3, we decided to landscape and do a little extra work to the font of our house. Jeremy had watched the professionals create for us a new backyard patio. So with that knowledge and a little googling, he thought he could do something similar, yet smaller in the front of the house. I was spending alot of time in the driveway watching the boys play, so I asked for a little sitting area that would be shaded most of the time. And wallah. He never ceases to amaze me.
And with grand plans to create more to this area, we got the call for Abe and never finished this little project until a few weeks ago. A little over 1 year later! Jeremy got to work, using his friend Google again to figure some things out along with his incredible talent and eye for detail. And I think he's finally created for us a little curb appeal. Here are a few pictures from some of the process.



 And the completion. He amazes me. I seriously can not believe he did it all by himself. It took a lot of time. We are more than glad it is completed!