Monday, March 30, 2015

Videos and more Videos - A quick cheater post!

In an effort to clear some space on my phone I went through my videos the other day.  Many were of Matthew and Catherine's fingers with plenty of screaming in the background, but every once in a while there was a gem worth uploading!  

Here's John chatting away one morning:

And John chilling out and squirming around:

When we came home from spring break John did really well in the car with the exception of the last 10-15 minutes.  The kids both sang songs for him and have been doing so ever since.  Here is one Catherine composed for him:

And Catherine busting out her dance moves!  Love this little girl!  Too bad the kids are on to me when I take a video.  I always try and stand casually like I'm just checking my phone but they've figured it out!

And the other day we were at the park enjoying some amazing weather and John found his name to be absolutely hilarious!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Life with 3!

The beauty of 3 kids is that there is no groove we need to get into because every day is a new schedule and new adventure, times 3!  With 3 big personalities they each take turns in the spotlight with new skills, new challenges and the desire to get near the camera, which totally trumps how they each get documented!  Catherine is on the tail end of a rough patch behavior-wise, but when she's up she's a ray of sunshine!   A friend last night described a three-year old as being on the worlds fastest and tallest roller coaster and I'd have to agree!  
 This spring brought swim lessons on Thursdays!  Thursdays have become quite the exciting and utterly exhausting day!  Before John was born, Thursday was the day I volunteered in Matthew's class during reading.  In January an opportunity came up for me to create and teach science lessons in Matthew's classroom under a grant which has been fantastic for me.   However, it combined with evening swim lessons created some magnificent logistical moves.  James now works from home on Thursdays, allowing me to do preschool drop offs and pick ups without waking up John if needed.  On days I teach science, he gets time in the classroom volunteering for reading and then works from home and watches Catherine and John while I teach science.   Then James continued to work from home so we could have an early dinner, get dressed and get to the pool!  I can't tell you how thankful I am for these days.  Neither James or I would really want to go back to his working full time (though I am oddly nostalgic about those first newborn days). Both kids did really well with their lessons and made big strides.   John enjoyed the sauna like temps and mostly slept through the lessons.
 He's also picked up sucking his thumb/hands for comfort.  It's super adorable!
 Catherine's favorite two-headed baby picture!
 After my ski trip we had a nice weekend at home enjoying our oddly spring-like temps.  It was time to try and get all the kids in their rocket shirts from Mas and Pas!  You can get them dressed up but you can't get them to all look at the camera at the same time:
It's especially hard when there's a cute baby to love on!

We then headed to get passports.  We eventually got suitable pics of both kids but Catherine's expression was so weird I was laughing myself into tears!  Imagine this but 1,000 times more awkward!

 We then headed to the Museum to check out the new dinosaur exhibit.  We ran into friends and the kids enjoyed finding fossils on the climbing wall!

 And leaving dino footprints:
 John got really into our dining room chandelier and kept contorting himself to keep an eye on it!
 Flying baby!
 Catherine really is a good helper around the house.  One of Catherine's new favorite tasks around the house has been helping with the dishes.
As we headed into March, Matthew's class spent the week celebrating Dr. Suess!  We kicked off the week with a Dr. Seuss dinner of green eggs and ham, truffula trees and Cat in the Hat smoothies while we watched some Virginia basketball.
 Catherine looked at me one day and asked me to take her picture so she could send it to her grandparents.  This was before the kids embarked on their email fiasco, so I'll post it here instead!
 James and I headed out one night to see Neil deGrasse Tyson speak.  It was absolutely fantastic and in an odd turn they gave out glow-in-the-dark wristbands!
 They sold 3,000 tickets in less than 90 minutes which is pretty exciting for our little old town.  He said it was the largest speech he's ever given.  We were pretty close to the nosebleed seats but it was worth it.
 And our happy baby!
 A friend gave us a boppy and John has been enjoying the new perspective on tummy time!
 The whole time the kids took swim lessons they asked for goggles, so we grabbed some pairs but they didn't arrive until nearly the end of lessons.  They wore them around the house for a while as we planned our big end of swim lesson celebration trip!

More smiley baby:
 Catherine wanted in on the photo action and took these silly pics!

And then of course she asked for another two headed baby picture!
March also brought someone's four month appointment where we learned he is not quite a little guy anymore!
 He came in at 25 inches tall and 15.25 pounds.
 Saturday we were supposed to be headed to visit grandma for spring break.  Our super flat tire was actually the least of our issues as we headed out!   Eventually we headed out and had a great time which we'll share next time!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Hello from Tuesday!

Every once in a while (but not as often as I had envisioned) the stars align and I have a 6 hour break in the week from shuttling anyone anywhere where it's just me and Mr. John! If the stars align further I get a few hours while he naps to take care of projects that require an attention span.  Today is not exactly that day as he's chilling on my lap right now "helping" by drooling on my keyboard and poking at buttons, but it's close so I thought I'd check in with a more complete blog update!
Anyway, back to February!  For Catherine's second week of preschool at our house we explored spontanaeity and curiosity and made some Oobleck!
 It was also the week before Valentine's day!  A friend hosts a fantastic kids party so we made heart shaped pizza!  Catherine enjoyed helping!

 And taking pictures with her brother once we got there!
Delivering Valentines!

The kids were excited to compare treats when they got home! 

And I had fun comparing them to a year ago!
Fueled with heart-shaped sugar, we headed outside to enjoy the unseasonably warm weather and our smiley baby!
We "celebrated" Valentine's Day by putting heart sprinkles on everything for the weekend and with John's second symphony!  He slept through most of it and then found his hands to suck on.
 The kids weren't too excited to try instruments but we got them to try a few:
 Meanwhile John did some reading when we got home!
 I decided to chop my hair off and go wild with bangs for the first time since probably middle school!
 Two headed baby:
 Gentlemen grooming lessons:
 We put on our party hats one day to wish Uncle Matt a very happy birthday!
Catherine decided to bust out last summer's dress with thermals underneath!
 John and his fox hat on the way to pick up after school:
 And a sleepy, stiff-fingered baby on our way home!
 And then some tummy time with big sister:
 And brother of course!
 Cute baby in his ranger outfit helping mommy pack for her trip!
 Matthew on the 100th day of school with the 100th day shirt he helped "design".  Thanks Target dollar bin!
 And a picture his teacher sent of Matthew at 100 years old!  It was apparently a creative writing activity and he wrote that when he was 100: "I wud play widyo gamz. I wud nap."   Seems like a solid plan!
Speaking of school work, they also worked on President's Day things and I'm not sure what pictures of presidents he has seen but on multiple pages he wrote that the president (or if he were president he would "col and worc."  To be fair, a quick google search confirms there are a lot of pictures of the president doing just that:

 As I sent Matthew off for the 100th day of school I headed up into the Crazy Mountains for a girl's weekend.  Last winter, just before I got pregnant with John I went skiing with some fabulous ladies and we discussed a girl's trip.  Forest Service cabins tend to fill up quickly so we had to book it in August when I was only mostly pregnant.  Anyway, I always just assumed I would go and the reality of having a 3 month old never really set in!  When the time arrived to fine tune the details I couldn't imagine NOT joining in after a year of thinking about it so John got to come on his first and only girl's weekend!  The plan was to ski in to the cabin about 2 miles but when we arrived there was not enough snow to ski on so we drove to the cabin and dropped our gear.  Here's the view from the front!
 Once we got unpacked it started snowing like gangbusters so the other ladies took the cars down to the parking and John and I got the cabin warmed up and the fire going.
 The next day we hiked down to the cars and drove to find more snow for a great snowy day of skiing!
 I won't lie, energy management for me was a big thing as most of the time I was actively skiing John slept, which meant when I was ready to rest he wasn't!  Poor thing only tipped over twice, but besides being mostly confused it didn't phase him at all!  He however did not sleep well in my sleeping bag or in his little tent so we have some work to do on that before our summer adventures!  All this made the return hike after skiing a bit of a slog for me but I'd do it all again in a heartbeat :-)
 The next day we woke to blue skies!  This was the view behind the cabin!
 The cabin!
We couldn't get the cars back up so we hiked/sledded out all our stuff
 After hiking back to the cars and stowing our gear we decided to take advantage of the gorgeous day and squeeze in one more ski!  John was excited and adorable as always in his bear suit!

 The other gals took turns hauling John so I could squeeze in some actual gliding on my skis in this gorgeous area!
 I think we're still at least a year from skiing with just our whole family.  It was one thing to have 6 moms to one baby or even with 2 adults and 2 kids like James and I did a few years ago.  It's totally different for 2 adults with 3 kids at this point :-)
 The kids and James had a great weekend too, though for the life of me I can't remember what they did!  We all got to cheer on Virginia one more time when I got home.  Catherine is greatly confused by all the Virginia mascots and logos so she just cheers for the Bobcats the whole time!
And a very happy baby to see daddy again!

Though my sneaking away wasn't exactly a "relaxing" weekend and was utterly exhausting, it was completely good for the soul to spend some time off the grid with just John and some time chatting and laughing with amazing ladies who made sure I was included even though I couldn't come exactly kid-free.    Thankfully John is super chill and James understands my need for my semi-annual weekend escapes :-)

Five on Friday

1.  Look at these winter white legs out enjoying the sunshine at the dino park.  Spring has FINALLY sprung! These boys went from winter di...