Monday, September 21, 2015

Back to School

And back to routines. We started school 2 weeks ago but our school does this awful thing called, "phase in" for the first 2 weeks. This is where they start out only going an hour a day the first day, and every day they add in time until, finally, after 2 whooooole weeks, we have built up to a full day of school. Its a pain in the butt and makes it impossible to have a normal schedule, but I understand why they do it - to ease the kids back into things and to reduce childhood stress and all that. Great.

Anyways, today is finally the first day that we have a full day of normal schedule. So Audrey's at school and the boys are napping and I'm....alone?!! This is awesome! I have cleaning and laundry and work to do but it won't hurt to drop a quick update here will it?

Audrey is enjoying school so far this year, although she's a little sad that 3 of her friends from last year aren't there this year - one went to Kindergarten and 2 are now homeschooled (very conservative families at this school!). But she's talking a lot about several other kids in her class so hopefully she's making some new friends and adjusting just fine. She's still very enthusiastic about school so that is comforting to me.
JJ goes two days a week for a few hours each morning. I also signed up Nathaniel for their "mommy and me" class once a week so today was our first morning of that. It was nice to get to sit back and watch Nathaniel (and JJ, since he tags along with us!) explore the classroom and kind of go off without me. I mostly just watched them, though I did help them along with some things as well. I'm looking forward to watching the boys grow together this year. Audrey and JJ are like two peas in a pod and sometimes I feel like Nathaniel gets excluded. I mean obviously a large part of that is due to him being only 15 months old, but I also think JJ and Audrey are really close and I just want Nate to have a part in that as well. Currently JJ won't play with him at all, although Audrey does. Her maturity plays a part in that as well of course..
I am hoping to kick up my real estate business this fall now that summer is over and I can get some time alone while the boys nap to get things done. We'll see how that goes. I am interviewing a new babysitter tomorrow, so fingers crossed that this one works out. It seems every time I find a sitter something happens with their schedule and we end up losing touch after one time sitting. If I could only find reliable childcare, I could maybe work some more! We have a lot of things coming up that we could use an additional income for, and I'm ready to be working!

Audrey's birthday is this week so I do have some things to go work on for that! Here's to writing more often this year ;)

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Vacation Mode

This summer has been, by far, one of the best summers we’ve had. I think its due to a lot of different things - the kids all being at a great age, moving to the new neighborhood, having a little extra money to do things, and lots of family and friends willing to hang out with us!
The first few weeks of summer were spent doing a lot of playdates and meet ups with friends. It was great, but we were looking forward to later in summer when we could start our travels and see some family!
We headed up to New Jersey in July to spend a week with Maria. It was a week packed full of stuff to do and we loved every minute of it! We made an overnight trip to Sesame Place which was probably the kids’ favorite part. They got to ride their first roller coaster! I was a little worried that JJ wouldn’t be tall enough and that we’d have a problem with jealousy. Luckily he WAS tall enough so Josh and I rode with him and Audrey. They were in Heaven. I thought JJ was a little scared but at the end he asked to do it again so I guess he wasn’t that scared! Audrey, we already know she’s wild, and she sat right in the front row of the roller coaster. haha. She even rode with her hands up! We waited in long lines to go on all the rides and the water slides too, but it was so worth it to see how excited the kids were. There was plenty for Nathaniel to do also, but he napped straight through the Sesame character parade. It was a HOT day, so we left around 4 and went back to the hotel to relax. The next day we got up and did it all again! We didn’t stay as long the second day, but still had a blast. We also took a quick train ride up to New York City one day, so it was exciting for them to ride the big “mima train” as they call it. We took them to the huge Toys R Us in Times Square and Maria spoiled them with candy and toys and all sorts of goodies. :)
The rest of the days we were there we hung out at the pool, the awesome playground, Chuck E Cheese, and the movie theater (we saw The Minion Movie!). We all had so much fun that week and when it was over, we were sad to say goodbye. We sure would love to have Maria closer to us so we could spend time with her more often!! 
We took a few days at home resting before mom flew in. We spent time with Liam and went to the park, and then left for Texas early Saturday morning. The drive is about 19 hours so we drove 9 the first day and stopped overnight in Nashville. We found a fun park and a hotel with a pool, and left again at 3 am Sunday morning and drove another 10 hours to moms house. We were all so happy to be out of the car and we went right over to Uncle Bryan and Don’s house to swim. The 2+ weeks in Texas were just as packed as the week at Maria’s. Lots of time at the pool, splash pad, playing in the baby pool, and hanging out with Tiernan. Lexi was even nice enough to take Nathaniel one night so I could get a good night’s rest before driving again.
We drove down to San Antonio for a long weekend to visit David and Debbie (Josh’s dad and his wife). They live down the street from Sea World so we got to spend a few hours there watching the dolphin and Shamu shows! Audrey couldn’t stop asking about the penguins so we made sure to visit them before we left. It was H-O-T that day and the park was packed, so we didn’t spend a whole day there, but we can’t wait to go back and visit again next year and maybe do Sea World again. We did a lot more swimming, chuck e cheese, shopping, and lots of attention for the kids. At this point I think I was so tired I was just delirious. However, Nathaniel decided to sleep a whoooooole night in his bed without waking up for me to come get him! Not sure what it was about their house, but he slept well! Once we were back in North Texas, we met up with Iliana (josh's sister) and went out for pizza and more games!
We took a trip to LegoLand with Lexi, Shawn and Tiernan - it was so cool! Fun stuff for all four of the kids and a really neat water area too. My kids, for some reason, were cranky and didn’t want to get wet so we didn’t spend as much time as we could have out there. Back inside JJ spent quite a while building while Audrey and Tiernan explored some of the older kids’ exhibits. The rest of the time we were in Texas was more pool time, splash pad, and we ended it with a big pool party with the whole family. OH! And I almost left off the best part (for Audrey) - she got to have her very first sleepover with TIernan!! They stayed up until midnight (!!!) playing Paw Patrol, playing in the rice table, more Paw Patrol, and watching Tangled. On the drive over to his house she kept telling me, “This is going to be the best night EVER!”. She was just so excited and the sleepover did not disappoint. :) Too cute.
We’ve been home 2 weeks now and have been taking it suuuuuper easy. We’ve been to the park a few times and have been playing out back on the bikes, but we’re all still regaining our energy from those exciting few weeks. We still have 1 more week before school starts, so plenty of time to hit the pool and catch up with friends some more. I think after this summer its safe to say we have three very spoiled, loved, water logged kids. :)