Monday, June 28, 2010

Night Off

I have the best parents ever!

A couple of weeks ago I asked if they could watch the kids on the 27th since I had won tickets to an A's game. I thought it would be nice for Jason and I to spend the day together and I knew the kids would love swimming at Grammie & Grampa's for the day. Of course Grammie said yes. Then last week they suggested that we drop the kids off on Saturday night so that we could go out and have the night off. Who am I to say "no" to an offer like that? I warned them that the kids are a lot of work and I knew that they would be worn out, but they insisted.

So, Saturday afternoon, after Cooper woke up from his nap, we loaded the kids up and drove them up to Grammie & Grampa's house. We dropped them off, took Mom's new car (a convertible!) and headed down to Marin. Jason and I had a great time driving with the top down and feeling the wind in our hair. We had a great dinner at Buckeye Roadhouse where we ate way too much food. Then we came home to a quiet house and got to sleep all night (with no one crawling into our bed at 4am)!

Sunday morning we enjoyed a hearty breakfast at Norm's and then headed down towards the game. Again we put the top down and cruised down to Pleasant Hill. Jason enjoyed shopping at Rocklier, one of his favorite wood-working stores that he never had the opportunity to visit. Then we made it to the almost empty coliseum and watched a fun baseball game. Even though it wasn't very good ball playing, at least the A's won and we got to watch from the comfort of a suite.

When we got home we discovered that everyone was worn out. Cooper was crashed on the couch in just a pull-up and t-shirt. Grampa looked ready to hit the sack but Grammie was still "on the job" taking Emma Jo to Youth Group. Only Grace seemed energized and ready to move on to her next adventure. She LOVES spending the night at Grammie's and is looking forward to July when she gets to spend a whole week up there.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Home Stretch

Tomorrow we will be 35 weeks pregnant. That means Little Bean is due in just 5 weeks and since both Grace and Cooper were induced a week early it is likely Little Bean will be here in less than a month! I'm starting to get really excited about this.
Last night we took the kids to see Toy Story 3 and I kept looking at them thinking this is one of the last outing we are going to be going on with just 3 kids. Kind of funny to think of just 3 kids. I never thought I'd have more than 2 kids and for a few years after Emma Jo was born I didn't think I'd be blessed with a second child.
Now that we are expecting #4 I'm trying to be thankful and positive. Even though my back hurts so bad many nights that I just want to curl up in a ball and cry and the contractions take my breath away I'm trying to stay positive. If I say "I'm fine" enough times it has to be true, right? I know many women who would love to trade spots with me and would gladly take the discomforts of pregnancy in a heartbeat. I'm trying to remember that these discomforts are only temporary and in just a few short weeks I'll have a new baby to hold and love and cuddle which will make it all worth it.
Since we are just a month (or so) away from meeting this new little one, I've realized we need to get ready. We are going minimalist with this baby, but we still are going to need a car seat, diapers, wipes and some clothes. So far I have about a dozen sleepers. We have a big kid stroller, changing table and Ergo carrier. I was blessed by my colleagues with very generous gift certificates to Target so in the next week or so I'll sort through the house and decide what we are going to need right away. Then, before my blood pressure gets any higher and my doctor orders me on bed rest, Mom and I will go shopping for the essentials. Then I'll just have to find the baby clothes I've purchased over the last few months and wash them up and wait for this little one to arrive.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

My Dad

My dad's most favorite thing is his family. He was the most excited about anyone when he found out about the little bean. He delights in his grandchildren and will use any excuse to spend time with them. We have dinner together every Sunday but he often finds excuses to see the kids another time during the week.
One of his other favorite things is growing things. I'm sure this is why he became a farmer.

To finish off the Gimme Five celebration on Memorial Day weekend, Dad got all of the grandkids to plant pumpkin seeds in the garden. It has become a tradition for Grampa to provide personalized pumpkins for each of the grandkids (and other special kids too). The past couple of years the Gimme Five have been involved in the planting. I think this is the best merging of Dad's two loves.

Grampa sorting out the multiple types of pumpkin seeds for distribution to the Gimme Five.

Cooper digging in the dirt. He and Dallas were much more interested in digging than the actual planting.
Dallas and John planting in their designated pumpkin ring.
Grace and Mays planting.
Emma Jo and Jason showing Cooper what to do.
Cooper, still playing in the dirt.
Grace showing off her pumpkin seeds.
When all of the pumpkin seeds were planted the boys wanted to plant more so Grampa got out the tomato starters and let them help with those as well.
Mays and John planting tomatoes.
Cooper had to use the "big" shovel.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Official Summer Kickoff

I know the calendar says summer doesn't start until next week, but in our house it has officially started! Yesterday was the girls' first day of their summer camp. This year they are going somewhere new, Steve and Kate's Camp. The camp has been in Marin and San Francisco for years and is new in Santa Rosa this year. It looks like a lot of fun with many options for the kids and both Grace and Emma can attend, which makes it a great choice for us!

On their first day, Grace knitted a scarf and sewed a pillow. Emma Jo learned hip-hop, started recording movie, started knitting a hat for the baby and played Dance-Dance Revolution. Both girls talked about camp all night last night and were excited about what they might try today. Emma is thinking about making a blanket for the baby. Grace wants to try out Hip Hop.

Both girls agreed that the food was fantastic. Emma had a crepe for morning snack. Yesterday was cinnamon crepes, but she thinks there might be different flavors every day. She also enjoyed the lunch of Margaretia Flatbread and Shredded BBQ Chicken Sandwiches. Each day there is a choice of five different meals (Sandwiches, Pasta/Rice, Flatbread, Salad and Soup). Grace wasn't willing to try something new, but did say their pizza (flatbread) was very good.

I'm so happy that we found someplace for the kids to spend the summer that they really seem to enjoy. It makes me happy to hear them so excited about their day.

In Cooper news, he is officially potty trained! He decided himself on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend that he was done with diapers. He went through a few days of protesting having to use the potty but we have only had a handful of accidents since he made his declaration. This past weekend he discovered the joy of peeing outdoors. I think he has only used the potty a couple of times since Friday night when he discovered that he could stand and pee on the grass. I think he is the cutest little thing and I'm pretty happy that we will only have one in diapers in August.
Cooper has also gotten better at going to sleep. He moved into his toddler bed last month and we've been transitioning him from rocking to sleep to being put in his bed awake and falling asleep on his own. Last night we read a story, rocked for about 10 minutes and then I put him in his bed. I held his hand for a couple of minutes (until my back couldn't take it anymore) and then I kissed him and walked out of the room. Cooper protested a couples of times (he said he needed a band aid) but after just 2 or 3 visits from Papa he fell asleep and stayed asleep until almost 6am.

I could do without some of the heat we are experiencing, and I wish my back and side didn't hurt so much from this pregnancy, but overall we are having a great kick-off to the summer. On this week's agenda is: Saturday-Emma Jo's birthday party, Sunday-shopping for Father's Day then dinner at Grammie & Grampa's, Monday-Basketball practice for Emma, Tuesday-Jason's softball game, Wednesday-Bible Study for Mommy & Youth Group for Emma, Thursday-Emma's 11th Birthday!, Friday-Family Game Night (or maybe the new Toy Story movie), Saturday-Mommy & Daddy Date Night, Sunday-Father's Day. We are busy, but having fun together.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Emma Jo's 11th Birthday

Although she doesn't turn 11 until Thursday, today we celebrated Emma Jo's birthday. (I'm not supposed to call her that anymoe, she is just "Emma".) We planned a pool party at Grammie and Grampa's house. The temperature was in the 80s or 90s but thankfully there was a breeze. The pool was crystal clear and warm so the kids didn't care about the outside temperature at all.

Emma Jo decorated these cupcakes to look like the beach towels we gave out as party favors.

Friday, June 4, 2010

My Grandpa

Today would have been my Grandfather's 88th birthday. He died when I was a very young girl, but I still remember him and my grandmother. There was nothing more important to them than family. They raised four boys (my father is the oldest) and were surrounded by brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews. There were three grandchildren when they passed away (I was the first girl), two more came after their deaths. They loved us and always made sure we knew it.

I've heard people say that my grandfather was a big man. In fact many people called him "Big Johnny". I never thought of him as big. I realize now that is because he always got down on my level to talk to me. He did however have huge hands and all future great-grandchildren's hands have been compared to his.

One of my favorite memories of my grandfather was when he took my brother and I to the fair in Napa. We were going to the fair and the destruction derby. All the cars had to park in a dirt lot which was a little drive from the actual entrance to fair. Grandpa told the gate attendant that he had a bum leg that was injured in the war and requested special parking. We got to park in the first row!

My grandmother was a very special lady as well. When I was really little we lived on the same property as grandma and grandpa and got to visit them just about every day. It seemed that every time we visited she had something new for John and I. One of our favorite things to do with her was paint on the kitchen table. I thought she was magic that her coloring books would change color when we painted them with water. She also always had chocolate kisses. She would pull them out of the cupboard and tell us not the let the "boys" know where they were. I always thought it was funny that she referred to my dad and his brothers as boys.

When we have weekends together as a family like we did with Gimme Five last week I think about how happy it would have made my grandparents. How great that the legacy of family that they created lives on.