Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Today's Thankful List

I was chatting with a bubbly, always-up-for-a-good-time friend today and she was proclaiming how much fun VBS (vacation bible school) week is for her.  I just kind of shook my head and laughed.  I told her I was happy that she was so enthusiastic about it, but that I find it kind of hard.

I love, love to be home and most of the time my outings for the week consist of grocery shopping, nursing home visits and church.  This week, since Monday morning, I have put 500 miles on my car.  We've been leaving the house well before my kids are usually awake to go to VBS and the evenings are filled with things like trips to Boston and Providence.  Fun things, good things, but put all together and its a little draining.

Unlike some, I find no satisfaction is having my calendar full.  My "cabin fever limit" has never had the chance to be tested.  I need regular"alone time" and I think I was five the last time I said I was "bored"...I am very good at self-entertaining.

This same friend, in this same conversation said she admires the contentment that she reads on my blog, so I wanted full disclosure...its been a little trickier to find contentment this week as I race out the door yet again.  To that end, I thought I'd make a quick, broad list of things I am thankful for at this very minute

Thankful for...

  1. a good church 
  2. wonderful volunteers who are pouring into my kids this week
  3. wifi at the mall playscape so I can get a little work done
  4. one-on-one time with my baby boy
  5. God's presence in the car this morning, despite my "drive-thru" time with Him the last week
  6. a reliable car that starts everytime I turn the ignition
  7. a husband who fed the kids pizza and put them to bed, even after a physically grueling day at work
  8. this night at home, just the five of us for the first time in well over a week 
  9. the blessing of work and an able body to do it
  10. the chance to feel the sunshine of a brand-new day
  11. the five hours a day I get with Shaun, even if it is just sleeping next to each other
  12. people, for their uniqueness, the homebodies and the if-I-don't-get-out-of-this-house-I'm-going-to-go-crazy ones

I've kept my feet on the ground, I've cultivated a quiet heart. Like a baby content in its mother's arms, my soul is a baby content.
Psalm 131:2

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Project 365, Week 26

We were thrilled to celebrate the beginning of summer.  Hopefully no one is offended, I thought this was  a cute tweet by Rick Warren on summer: Kay& I married on June 21st,the summer solstice.That made it the longest day of the yr (in No.America) &the shortest night!

Happy Summer!

June 19
Father's Day
 June 20
I took the kids to a park to get some pictures of Avery and they ended up being fascinated with the people fishing.  Not sure how much this (non English speaking) man appreciated the attention and questions like can we see your fish?
 June 21
No picture.  The kids were gone so I was able to get some work done.

June 22
It was a rainy afternoon as I was driving to a meeting.

June 23
Shaun's grandparents arrived for the weekend and the girls were anxious to put them to work reading stories, playing games, doing puzzles.
June 24
Me and my birthday girl...six years old!

 June 25
We went to an air show to see the Blue Angels among others.  Aiden really liked it but thought the planes were "too youd!"

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The State of Avery

A couple years ago I started "interviewing" the kids on or around their birthdays.  I ask the same questions every year so I can compare from year to year.  The other day during naps Avery and I sat down on the porch for the questions.  Its pretty funny if you go all the way to 1:30 on the video (there nothing past that).

Here are some of her other responses...

Tell me what you think of when I say these words:

Home Um, because I like to stay with you
Brother/Sister I like my brother and sister and I love them
Favorite Color  light pink and dark pink
Love I love my whole family
Bedtime before you go to bed, you brush your teeth
School  I do school.
What’s the last thing you were sad about?
Um…I don't know.
What makes you really happy?
When I stay with you.  When I play with my brother and sister, like Andrew and Jasmine.  Amanda is Jasmine and Aiden is Andrew. and I'm mom.  And baby.
I always push the stroller and I stay with Andrew because he was just two and I took care of Andrew and the baby and I told Amanda and Andrew what to do.
Are you scared of anything?
At night? (Anytime) No.
What do you think you’d like to be when you grow up?
I want be a server at a restaurant like Amanda wants to be.
Who’s the last person you kissed?
only you guys and great-grandpa

At what age is a person officially grown-up?
I do not know what that means . Well you're like 23 and…and 27 and 30 and 50 and 41 and 44 and I think thats all I want to say.  But I know there is more.
What does mom or dad do at work all day?
Well, you work with Uncle C and Daddy does Oak St and next year he'll do HR Block again and you do weddings and Daddy does Center St and thats all.  Oh, and Mommy does engagements.
If you could always get everything that you want, do you think you’d always be happy?
What do you think heaven is like?
Well, I know it has lots of music and lots of toys and I know everybody who believes in Jesus and knows Jesus will go up there.  And that's all.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Happy Birthday, Avery

**Warning: crazy long post...feel free to just skip through to the photos

Ah...our little Avery-Girl, our first born is six years old today.  That means I have been a mom for six years!  I can laugh about it now that I really wasn't sure I ever wanted to be a mom.  But, we'd been married for 10 years, I was turning 30 and (finally) graduating from college so after much discussion, we decided to go off birth control...days later Avery was conceived.  When I went to the doctor's office for the pregnancy test, it was just to make sure I wasn't pregnant, not to confirm that I was.

I told Shaun the news in between my panicked sobs.  "Trying to get pregnant" had been more of a hypothetical thing to me, not something I actually thought would happen.  I wanted a summer baby, so we'd thought we'd try for September, October and November and then call it quits til the following year. I had that "following year" built into my plans....actually, was kind of counting on it.

Eventually I did get somewhat excited, but my overriding emotion during my entire pregnancy was what did we do??  we've made a terrible mistake!  I distinctly remember having a really hard day with those thoughts and I was at work emailing with a friend (about business!) and I tucked those thoughts into the end of my message.  I still remember her response so clearly...some sweet words about me and then "Don't worry, Lisa...your mommy-ness will kick in." 

Oh, and did it!!  The moment I held that slippery little girl my heart was spoken for...forever.  Any thoughts of wanting to maintain our DINK (Dual Income No Kids) status vanished.  So thankful for God's plan and the grace he gives us.

I tried to take all three kids out the other day to do a six-year photo shoot with Avery, but we got less accomplished than I was hoping...couple little distractions. :)  Plus, believe it or not, it took me a little while to get her to relax.  She kept saying, Mom...tell me what smile to do.  No smile?  Big smile?  Is this good?

Since June 1st, Avery has been counting down the days until she is six.  Every morning she has said to me, Mom, 16 more days til I'm SIX! with a huge smile.  Its hard not to join in with her excitement.

Though sometimes I miss that toothless four-month old baby, or the eighteen month old toddler, I'm so thankful to have and know this sweet six year old.  She is a classic first-born...mature, organized a rule follower.

Avery loves her brother and sister dearly and rarely argues with either one...she likes to keep the peace.  Especially toward Aiden she is very motherly and watches out for his safety.  She is the only "worrier" in our family but sometimes I think she does enough for all five of us.  It must frustrate her sometimes that the rest of us live fairly worry-free.

She is very fashion conscious and has her own style.  Since I am not like that at all, its been fascinating to watch.  She spends time thinking about her outfits and laying them out.  

Most days she wakes up and asks what are we doing today?  Unlike me and Amanda, she likes to be out and about and is energized by being out and on the go.  Shopping, visiting people, doing errands, exploring a new place..she likes all of it.

 She's still shy and it takes her a while to warm up to any new situation.  She enjoys dance class and seems very comfortable in front of crowds.  One day we were driving to class and she was underslept.  I said, Avery, you haven't had much sleep and are very tired.  She interrupted me and said I know, I know Mom...I need to work extra hard to focus and listen to my teacher.  Well, yes..that's exactly what I was going to say.  Now I feel really old!

She's very cautious and is adamant that we all be buckled before leaving the driveway.  She has an inordinate fear of getting stopped by a policeman.

Avery has an incredible memory.  Its almost as if she takes a picture of everything and files it away somewhere, to be retrieved as needed.  She's very observant and remembers little details, like what so and so was wearing when such and such happened.  Its also really useful for memorizing scripture.  

She likes watching UCONN basketball and knowing the score and statistics of the Red Sox.  She surprised her dad when she said, Dad, is this the Red Sox 23rd game?  He stopped to think about it and it was actually the 24th.

She's also got the sugar and protein content of most packaged items memorized, especially sugar.  I came home with Raisin Bran (trying to give some variety to Aiden) one day and she expressed her surprise and delight.  I was thrilled that she was excited about something so healthy as having raisins in it.  Then she said, wow, Mom...that has _ grams of sugar...that's more than __ and __.  Alrighty then.

She finished kindergarten (with honors...he, he) and is very excited to start First Grade at her new school.  We very recently stopped naps with her, in preparation for all day school.  Now she spends a quiet time reading to herself.

She's a very hard worker around the house and yard.  She's also really good company and we have more and more adult conversations.  Though she usually treats Amanda as an equal she has started to give me "a look" behind Amanda's back when she's doing something or saying something "childish". 

They really are so blessed to have each other and it is amazing to me how well they get along given the fact they spend nearly every waking moment together.  And really, Amanda is not consistently easy to get along with, but they make it work. 

We love Avery so much and its really a joy to know her.  Though its sad to see how fast time is going by, it is so exciting to see the young woman that she's growing into.  Her heart is soft towards God and she loves her immediate and extended family dearly.

We love you, sweet Avery May.  Can't wait to see all the wonderful things that SIX brings you.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Aiden is Twenty-Three Months

My last month-by-month post of Aiden.  I've been doing them since we announced my pregnancy.

He is all boy, but in the sweetest way possible.  He loves, basketball, baseball, football.  He thinks the beads on my necklace are balls and he calls fruit, such as oranges and apples balls, too.  He's got a good arm and uses both right and left for now.  He's also pretty good at billiards. :)

Trucks are very exciting to him.  The ones we see on the road, in books....he says BIG truck!  Big Truck!

He can do stairs by himself without holding on to anything.  

He loves to wear hit "Boston Red Sox hat"

He can count to 9 (he misses 6 or 7).  Nine, as in nine innings.  Sometimes he goes from 9 to 12, 13....extra innings??

He talks and talks....parrots little pieces of just about every sentence he hears.  He can repeat just about anything you throw at him or will at least attempt it.  He calls the bible She-shush (Jesus) book.

All in all, we think he's fabulous.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

She's On Two Wheels!

Her tire needed fixing, we don't have a good place to ride, um...can't think of any other excuses of why its taken this long for us to teach Avery how to ride a bike, but she did it!  Just like that she's a pro at riding a two-wheeler.

Shaun spent some time working with her and so did her cousin then I took her where we had some space and she was off.  (I know...she looks silly on this tiny bike.  When Grammy and Bobbi got it for her three years ago, it made much more sense).  Oh, and if there are any pediatricians or concerned adults seeing these pictures, she just happened to not have her helmet on for these. ;)

We're so proud of you, Avery!

This is for you, Shaun.
Of course, the next day we had to go back out. :)

Amanda agreed to pose for a picture if she could take one of me.  I didn't remember til later that they'd put a feather in my hair. :)
The LORD will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” Psalm 121:7-8

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Boston Trip

Saturday was such a full, fun day.  The night before I had told the girls what we would be doing and asked them to get everything prepared for soccer, then Boston, then church.  This is what I saw when I walked into their room (not sure about the three pairs of underwear for one day).
 This is what I saw when I walked into Aiden's room.  On occasion, he falls out of bed and then can't get back up....he improvised. :)
 By 9:00 we were on the soccer field for the last practice/game.  After, the girls got their participation awards.

 From there, we loaded in the car to head up to Boston.  My blogger friend LuAnn was vacationing from Wisconsin so we arranged to meet up.  I chose to meet at Quincy Market because its a fun place to have lunch and easy to find.

Well...apparently some hockey team in Boston just won some championship so one million crazy hockey fans came out to Boston for a parade and other festivities.  The parade route went right by Quincy Market.  It was madness!  I kept thinking to myself (as I was desperately trying to keep track of my three small children) that this is what a sea of people is.

To be honest, I really would never have guessed that there were that many hockey fans in ALL of the United States, nevermind New England.  Once I got over the initial shock, I was wishing my brother-in-law was with me...he's a long-time, die-hard Bruins fan and could have appreciated the "spirit" that was there.
 Despite the crowd, it didn't take long for LuAnn and I to find each other.  It was so good to meet her after reading her blog over the last couple years.  She stayed with my kids while her husband, son and I all braved the food court.
 Our families immediately hit it off.  Her son Phil was so good with the kids and we chatted so easily.  Just like when I met Sara back in September, it was actually a little strange that it didn't feel strange, if that makes any sense. :)

 She so kindly went to great lengths to bring us fresh cheese.  She didn't know it, but my family lived in Wisconsin for a couple years when I was young.  My dad tells the story of how they would go to the farm and I would fill my two-year old cheeks with the still-warm cheese curds.  What a treat they were again, though I tried to refrain from filling my cheeks. :)
 Joel, LuAnn, and Phil...we had such a nice afternoon with you...just wish it could have been longer!
 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together 
in perfect unity.
Colossians 3:14