Thursday, January 28, 2016

Eight is Great! Photo Post!

Nathan has always been a cutie, but he is growing into his own now....he seems so old but I know EIGHT is just scratching the surface...


Likes:  Star Wars, Pokemon, Video Games, Soccer, Running around like crazy with his brothers, legos, friends, reading, doing new things, hummus, root beer

Dislikes:  People who do not follow rules, frosting (weird, I know), getting told to do something over, some chores...


Nathan has gotten really good at soccer this year -- he thinks about others, thinks about his team, and where people should go.  I enjoy watching him play so I hope this continues.

Nathan cares about everything and everyone.  He is a rule follower and takes after his mother there.  He doesn't understand why anyone would want to be mean or unkind to anyone else.  He tells me he doesn't understand why kids are sometimes mean to him.  I love how he doesn't understand something you really can't.

Nathan is learning how to play the piano, I am slowly teaching him, but he doesn't seem to have the drive to learn like I did.  He is pretty young so I am not pushing him.  He loved playing Jingle Bells for everyone over Christmas break.

Nathan is a great helper.  He may get frustrated sometimes being the oldest and having to do more, but I just remind him that he always gets to do more.

These two pictures (above and below) were hilarious because Nathan started posing like the models he sees on tv.  Made me and the photographer LOL.




It surprised me this summer how much Nathan started to enjoy reading.  Once he found books he enjoyed, he would rip through things like crazy.  He loves the Magic Tree House books too -- although they aren't written very well, he learns things.  The other day he told me the Titanic sunk because it hit an iceberg and that we dropped two atomic bombs on Japan.  I was like, what?!


Deep down I have always known Nathan was smart.  But after some bad teachers in preschool, and a slightly rough start in Kindergarten, and a first grade teacher that was more concerned about his wiggliness than his aptitude, I doubted myself.  This year was the first conference ever where I was told what a delight Nathan was, how bright he was, and how he is incredibly bored in math.  While he got put into a more challenging reading group, they said they would give him harder math, but haven't yet.  Nathan says he dislikes math at school because it is so boring.  We do multiplication now at home -- he thinks differently than I do, and so I am fascinated how he comes up with the right answer in such an unusual way (compared to me).  Granted, I don't go around telling people my son is "gifted".  Boy, people who do that are annoying!  (I know one mom who talks about it  all.  the.  time. "Oh, he is so gifted so I wonder how they will challenge him??" )  *puke*.  I want to say, "your son is smart, like many others... oh, and he is a little jerk when you aren't around by the way...."



Nathan is such a blessing to our family, he is sweet, humble, and loved.  He says he wants to be a mechanical engineer when he grows up, like Uncle Kevin, and build things.  

We love you Nathan!

Friday, January 22, 2016

A day in the life post...

About three or four years ago, doing "a day in the life" post was really popular,...and I always wanted to do one!  I really do enjoy reading them...so, I thought I would do one for this post:

A Day In The Life of Renee -- A work day

5:50 AM:  Wake up.  Decide I am way too tired to go into work or ever get out of bed.  ever.  Test leg to see if it still hurts.  Yup.  Damn.

6:10 AM:  Husband in shower, guess I should get out of this dang bed and get kids up.  Wake up Evan by turning on his light.  He rolls over.  I head back to my room. 



6:12 AM:  Evan is ready to go and is bouncing on my bed.  He amazes me with how fast he wakes up, gets dressed, and is smiling.  I tell him to wake the ranks.



6:20 AM:  Nathan up, Daddy getting out of shower.  I ask Nathan if he read his Cub Tracks book, he says  "no".  I complain and tell him to go get it quickly -- I am half dressed (no pants yet!).



6:30 AM:  Kids and Daddy heading out the door.  I glance down quickly to make sure Nathan has boots and Evan has his letter "L" toy.  I head upstairs and start doing my exercises & stretches for my injured leg.  I think, "am I ever going to get better Lord?   It's been over four weeks now..."



6:45 AM:  I am finally dressed -- I head down and feed cats, take out some garbage, grab some lunch, and start the car. A few minutes later I head to the Park and Ride.  (Normally I would stay home and take Nathan to school, but parking downtown has been non-existent around 9:30 AM since it got cold this week.  On Monday I had to valet my car!  So, Nathan went to Grandmas before school today....)

7:00 AM: Get on the bus.  Bus is pretty full by the time I get on so I have an aisle seat in the middle.  Not my favorite.  I get out my phone and check messages, emails, texts, facebook, and then I play HayDay.  Dang, gotta plant tomatoes today!



7:30 AM:  I arrive downtown Minneapolis and get off bus.  I walk to work, not too chilly this morning, air feels good.  I know I should have a fiscal year corporate return to review this morning so I think I will start with that -- excited to  have a quiet cup of coffee at my desk and dig into things.  Sunrise is gorgeous.



9:00 AM:  Haven't even started on that return I thought I was going to look at -- getting interrupted and trying to get my time for the week entered.  Cup of coffee, still half full, sitting on my desk lukewarm.  Have a meeting in 30 minutes so should prep a little for that and print out some information so I can review that return post meeting.  I need to go to the bathroom too...



10:00 AM:  Back from meeting discussing international tax implications going forward on a client expanding in New Zealand -- not my favorite type of work.  Ready to dig into reviewing this return -- ready, set, go.  Think:  I need to water plants, so I dump my water into them since I know I will forget later.   Now I have no water.  Get water and get started. 



10:10 AM: Return is prepared by a relatively young staff person, who never prepares corporate returns, so I remind myself of that.   It's in okay shape, but a few big errors here and there already.  *sigh*



11:30 AM:  Barely gotten half through the return -- a few of the schedules that should tie things out don't tie out.  Time for another meeting.



12:15 PM:  Meeting over and I am starving -- head to the fridge and grab leftovers to heat up in microwave -- heat them up, read Paul Douglas' weather forecast and think of what an idiot he is, and head back down with my lunch.



2:00 PM:  Mid year performance review with my partner counselor.  Spend an hour discussing goals, past year, future work, things to improve on, things to think about, how I am going to continue managing my schedule -- overall, a good meeting.



3:00 PM -- SHIT!  I gotta get outta here and catch the 3:20 in order to make it to my 4:15 PT appointment.  I have to pack up my computer and this return so I can work on it later tonight or tomorrow.


3:20 PM  -- Get on bus.  Take a break and take out my phone to play Hayday, but my eyes are tired.  Shut it off and rest my eyes during the ride.


4:00 PM -- Arrive at park and ride.  Appointment in 15 minutes -- book it car and get going.


4:15 PM - At appointment.  PT says I am walking "better".  I know I am, but can't wait for the day he says I am walking "normal".  Also can't wait for the day of no pain.  If I never feel my piriformis muscles or hip abductors again I will be happy. 


5:00 PM -- Leave appointment, very sore.  He worked me hard.  I am amazed that even though before this happened I could jog a 5K no problem, I still have incredibly weak muscle groups which probably caused this injury.  I vow if I ever get better I am going to fix that and crosstrain more. 


5:15 PM - Pick up kids since Daddy hasn't gotten them yet.  Text Daddy to start meatloaf if he gets home, as I put hamburger in the fridge to thaw before I left.  First I stop and get Nathan and Jeffrey, then I stop and get Evan at Preschool.


5:40 PM - Get home, Daddy is still MIA.  House dark, cold, and nothing going for dinner.  Take kids winter coats off, tell each what to do, where to go, turn on TV show for Evan and Jeffrey, tell kids to let cats out, give them food, change my clothes, tell kids to pick up toys from last night, take out garbages, make their beds, pick up their shoes, stop arguing who gets to sit where on the couch, and I take out the hamburger to make meatloaf.   Listen to Nathan tell me about his day while I start dinner.

5:55 PM - Meatloaf in oven.  Daddy comes home and goes downstairs to work a little on Nathan's new bookshelf.

7:15 PM - Kids keep telling me they are starving -- finally we eat!  Good dinner.

8:00 PM - Bedtime!  Start with Jeffrey, Evan, and then eventually Nathan.

8:30 PM -- decide I am tired and I go lay with Nathan.  We chat about life and he tells me all sorts of things I never get out of him during the day.  Even though I don't plan on falling asleep on his bed, I do...

11:00 PM - Wake up.  Move to my own bed.  I love the night!  Look for the moon, fall back asleep.










Tuesday, January 12, 2016

An Open Letter to the walking moms I see each morning:

Dear moms that walk your kids to school everyday (and the one dad):

I see you almost everyday.   I think you are awesome.  I have names for each of you.

There is "mom that walks with her three kids" -- two at her side, one headed to school, one probably preschool age, and one infant she wears.  She is always styling while she walks her kids to school.  Her hair looks done up, she has a cute long dress or coat on, but she is always walking all three of those kids.  rock on girl!

There is "mom that walks back with her little boy".  I don't always see her walking her kids to school, but she is always walking back with her little boy.  She makes me laugh.  Sometimes, she makes the little boy walk.  Sometimes, she brings the stroller.  And sometimes, I see her carrying that little shit back probably because he refuses to walk or has gotten tired.

There are two "moms that always walk with a few kids, and then slowly walk back home by themselves."  The one mom today was wearing snowpants and a long winter coat.  I was like, "that mom has boys and they get her full of snow.   good planning girl!  dang boys!"

And then there is the "one dad".  He never just leaves his kids at the crosswalk.  He always walks with his kids, and they aren't kindergarteners, across the street and up to the school.  I see him hug them good-bye and wave and then he heads home.  I always admire how he walks them up to the door.

Anyways, these people have no idea I watch them everyday, but if they did, I would just tell them how awesome (and lucky) I think they are for walking their kids to school, and spending that quality time with them.  


Saturday, January 9, 2016

Here comes the five year old....

It's rarely all about Evan.  But sometimes, it is, and that's good, because being the second oldest/middle child IS hard.  

We did the County Fair on Evan's actual birthday, but there was lots of other stuff happening around that time.  

Here's Evan all sad because he had an ear infection (totally random, in the middle of summer).  


Here he is at his last soccer game:


Love this one of Coach with his boys!

Hanging out with Grandma one night having some popcorn...

Went to a birthday party for a friend on the weekend before his birthday...they hired a petting zoo and everything (kind of ridiculous, but Evan liked it!)





There was a celebration at school of course:

His new birthday pjs!

A trip with Daddy to see the Twins...He lasted about an inning, because the first inning took like an HOUR!

let's face it, he was there for the food...

Blowing out the candles!  



Playing on his bed, enjoying being little....boy do I miss those days...

Evan has been wanting to see my work...so Auntie Karen and I took him downtown for a day. We saw my office and then went to my favorite hot dog stand!

Here we are waiting for the train..Karen was being silly...



Then we rode the train!



Then we had ice cream...

A summer wouldn't be complete without a few injuries...Evan decided to screw around one day on the playground at school and cut his head open nicely...he was the winner of three staples.  Honestly, these boys I tell you.  I say to them, "Can Mommy just have a year of nothing?  No sickness, no injuries,...just nothing!?"  

And finally, here he is with Spot...

Friday, January 8, 2016

Fierce 2016!

I have actually made New Years resolutions this year.  And they are hard ones....so I have to be tough to accomplish them.  FIERCE.

One of my goals, which I am doing at work as well, is to be real, to be transparent, and to be there.  All too often in my life, people haven't been there for me, and that's been a major disappointment.   It's taken me a long time to forgive them (and to continue forgiving them...).  But anyone else tired of all the pretty, happy blog and facebook posts?  That's not real.

Real life sucks and is messy and wonderful and crazy and ironic and fabulous.  That's real.  Let's get real.

I used to read Kelle Hamptons blog.  She used to be real.  When her daughter was born, she shared her pain, her struggles, but as her blog got popular, I found her to only be posting about all the wonderfulness of her life.  It got boring -- unrealistic.  She said she didn't want to focus on the negative.  I guess I understand that, but at the same time, boring.

Anyways, here's to 2016!!!  woot.  The New Year came in like a flash....December has been an interesting month for me, for our family.

I feel bad I haven't blog about anything from like, September, but at the same time, I don't feel bad.  I've been busy.   Why?  Because I keep busy.  And life keeps us busy.

Around Halloween, we all got a run of strep.  1, 2, 3, and 4 -- somehow, Nathan survived catching it.  Poor Daddy had it on Halloween so poor Mommy had to take the kids trick or treating BY HERSELF.  it sucked.  except for the beer I drank.  That night, I woke up with the sorest throat ever.  In my mind I was like, "really Lord?  Really?"....

We had a trip planned to Wisconsin Dells that following weekend and I was pissed I was sick...but the miracle of antibiotics had me almost 100% by Thursday and we were on our way.  woo-hoo!  I was so happy!  We stopped at a Culvers about halfway and the boys and I were chatting and I got a phone call.  I answered it -- it was my mom, and a good friend of ours had suddenly died.  I got up from eating my butter burger and went outside of Culvers and cried on the sidewalk.

After awhile I realized I had to be tough for my kids and could cry later if I felt like it.  So I went back in and told the kids we were getting ice cream!  We finished and made it to the Dells around 8 and let the boys play in the huge indoor playground they have there for an hour.  On the way back to the hotel room, Nathan started to puke.  Having been an expert puker myself growing up (I puked all the fricking time, my poor parents), I started yelling at him.  It was NOT one of my proudest moments.  I was like, "Nathan!  Knock it off!  Hold it in until we get back to the hotel room for gosh sakes!!"  He couldn't.  He puked in his shirt and all over the hallway.  Chris found a garbage can and then he puked in that.

We finally got back to the hotel room and had a puking kid covered in puke, a sad Renee thinking about her friend that died, and the fact that this vacation would probably be over before it started.  We finally got things cleaned up and kids to bed, and then Evan said his tummy hurt.  Figures, stomach flu on vacation I thought.  So, we grabbed two garbage cans and I sat with the kids in their beds to see how the night went...minutes passed into hours, and finally around 2AM I decided it was safe to crawl into my bed with Christopher.

It ended up being a good vacation overall.  But it definately wasn't perfect.  The kids did not get sick again, and we had a great time.  Maybe I will post pictures sometime if I ever catch up on this blog thing.  haha.

My friends funeral was the following weekend, and then it was Thanksgiving, and before you know it, November was over. That's all the time I have to type for now...maybe a photo post later?