Monday, March 31, 2014

Sports Camp: Tee Ball

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Harper was excited about going to sports camp despite last weeks “tagging” incident. I was feeling pretty worried about the whole thing, but, I put on my happy face and off we went.

He ran into the gym very excited and kept asking me if they were going to play hockey despite the 5 tee’s set up in the gym. I gave him a quick explanation about the sport they were going to try and then he ran over to say hi to his coach.

They had the kids run across the gym and back as a warm up and then gave them each a ball. The first drill was to try to toss the ball in the air and catch it, which really was toss the ball and chase it. Next up was tossing the ball higher into the air and attempting to catch it, then bouncing the ball on the floor and trying to catch it. As you can imagine, balls were going every direction and little kids were running around like crazy trying to catch them. Once they were good and winded from all the ball chasing, they demonstrated how to properly throw a baseball…that they then had to go get. It was basically chase your ball day, and they loved it!

Harper was enthusiastic the entire time. He was happy to try everything they showed him and was even cooperative when either of the coaches assisted him or gave him pointers. He really enjoyed today’s lesson and I really enjoyed watching him. I did have to get on to him once or twice though. When all this ball chasing was going on, if a ball stopped near his feet, he’d kick it, even if a kid was right there about to pick it up. I don’t think he was doing it to be mean to anyone, I think he just wanted to kick the ball for fun. But, I did tell him that he shouldn’t kick someone’s ball away from them and he didn’t do it again after I told him not too.

At the very end of the lesson, they got to hit the ball’s off of the tee’s. I’m fairly certain this was the best part of the whole lesson. The kids really enjoyed setting the ball on the tee and swinging the bat…usually several times before actually connecting! It was very cute to watch!

So far, tee ball has been the favorite. There was no crying, no baby talking and no giving up. Maybe we have a little baseball player on our hands? Only time will tell.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Saturday Six

I didn’t make time to blog yesterday so I’m going to do my usual Friday 5, but make it my Saturday 6, because I can. So there.

  • Landon has completed his first week of UVB treatments. It’s so nice that the office is close by and that each visit is so quick! His first treatment was only 1 minute and 16 seconds. The second was 1:25 and the third, 1:36. He literally signs in, waits for the room and then does his minute, redresses and we leave. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
  • Kiersten and Jeff drove up from Georgia Thursday night. They drove straight to Mema’s house and we didn’t get to see them until Friday afternoon. They’re up here visiting family while they have a little time off and before they head overseas for their next adventure. I’m so happy that they came up and it’s always nice to see them. Jeff wasn’t in the door 5 minutes before Harper was sitting on his lap showing him the game he was playing! Dakota took a little longer to warm up, as usual, but before we knew it, she was down on the floor playing like everyone else. We all went out to dinner at Genghis Grill, then came back here for a bit. We talked and laughed and it was great having them. It’s really hard to believe that they are going to be gone for three years…
  • Landon and I made a trip back out to Crofton to a dance studio to watch a hip hop class for kids his age. I’m thinking about signing him up for a class in the fall and was hoping to spark his interest by taking him…and he certainly seemed interested! He loves to watch all kinds of hip hop/dub step videos and I’ve even caught him attempting to mimic the moves, so I’m really going to push him to get him to give this a try. Fingers crossed!
  • Tony was home yesterday so we took the two youngest kids to the indoor playground. It’s such a great place to hang out when it’s raining! The two littles had a great time and were pooped out when we got back; Dakota actually fell asleep in the car on the way home which is pretty unusual for her!
  • I’ve been wanting to get a new front door ever since we moved here, but just this past week I found the one I want to get. I’m in love with this one! No idea when it might actually happen, but I can hardly wait!

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  • It rained here all day long today. The only time any of us set foot outdoors was to check mail and when Landon and I went to CVS so that he could get an iTunes card. It’s not easy staying in the house all day with three energetic kiddo’s, but we did it. Tomorrow’s forecast is another day of rain, but you can bet your button’s we WILL NOT be sitting in the house again! Smile One day of that was enough!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Sports Camp: Soccer

Sports camp for last week was cancelled because of snow, so this is only the second week. Harper was really excited about going and I was thrilled that he was looking at this whole thing in a positive light; lord knows I wasn’t looking forward to it since he didn’t really care for it the first time.

Harper must have remembered how the first class went too because he assured me on the way there that he wasn’t going to “be a baby” this time. I asked him why he thought he’d been a baby the last time and he said because he’d talked like one. He uses baby talk sometimes when he’s nervous or needs attention and he did do that during the first class. I told him I was sure that they would see that he was a big boy and that he just needed to remember to use his big boy voice if he wanted to say something.

Harper’s the one in green.

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As soon as they opened up the doors, Harper eagerly ran to sit with the teachers. He listened nicely while they talked and only jumped up once they were directed to get a ball. After a brief explanation about soccer being a no hands sport, they showed the kids how to “stop” a ball with their foot. (I use quotes on stop because the ball wasn’t moving in the first place.) Harper, as well as many other kids, had a hard time keeping his balance while keeping one foot on the ball. He was diligent though and kept trying and trying and there were some good moments in there.

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Next up was stopping the ball with one foot then the other. This just wasn’t happening for Harp’s at all. He just kept working on the one foot while everyone else chased their ball around the gym floor. Once that chaos was over it was time to dribble the ball down the court. Ha. It was basically a bunch of 3-5 year olds running after their ball and then kicking it in the general direction of the net at the end of the court. Some, like Harper, would just pick the ball up and run it to the end! Now, don’t get me wrong, Harper did try to dribble, but when he got tired of chasing his ball, he figured it would just be easier to carry the damn thing down to the end.

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After trying out the basics there were a few games. First was red light green light, which Harper totally loved, then tag…which he started off loving. There were two kids in the middle of the court and the rest were lined up with their balls at the end of the court. The kids at the end were supposed to try to dribble their ball to the other end without getting tagged by the kids who were in the center. Got it? Well, Harper was successful the first couple of times, but the very last time one of the kids tagged him. As soon as he turned around and I saw his face crumple I knew he’d had enough. He broke down sobbing and was completely hurt that the other little kid had gotten him. He cried for a little bit but I didn’t want him to feel bad about not finishing the class so I didn’t say anything and I didn’t force him back out on the court. I just explained that the other kid tagged him because they were playing a game and that if he was done he could just sit with me and watch, which he did.

Here’s a little video of Harper’s “dribbling” skills. Don’t you just love how the one kid just decides to stop and lay in the middle of the floor? Ahhh…to be three.

At one point during the class the teacher had them all lined up and wanted them to have their foot on the ball to keep it from rolling off. Harper had his ball in his hands and the teacher asked him “Harper, how is your ball different than mine?” Harper said “Well, your ball has black things on it and mine has orange!” Haha! The teacher then asked a better question “Harper, how are you holding your ball different than I am?” If you want a specific answer you gotta ask a specific question! Winking smile

Project Life Weeks 4-6

Week 4, left page.

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Week 4, right page.

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Week 5, right page.

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Week 5, left page.

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Week 6, right page.

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Week 6, left page.

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Day at the Park

I guess it’s time to do a little blog catch up again. We had a very full, busy weekend and blogging just wasn’t in the cards…

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Saturday was a beautiful day. We had temps in the mid 60’s and we all enjoyed a trip to the duck park. I brought a little bread so the kids could feed the ducks, but I don’t think we even saw a single duck in the pond. It was all geese and dive bombing seagulls. Seriously, the seagulls were super quick when it came to getting the pieces of bread we tossed. The geese were barely able to get any.

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We took a walk around the pond on our way to the park. Dakota pushed her baby in her stroller almost the whole way, and it’s a pretty good distance.

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The boys ran ahead and as soon as they noticed other kids playing in the empty creek bed, they had to do it too. Rocks are for climbing on after all. 

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Dakota, not one to be left out, grabbed her baby out of the stroller and started to make her way around to where the boys were. (If she hadn’t decided to poop right before going around, I’d have pictures of her playing on rocks too, no doubt. Instead, I ended up going to get stuff to change her diaper.)

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I want some of these trees in my yard. They’re some kind of river birch and I just LOVE the way their bark peels away from the trunk.

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Eventually we finally made it to the park and the kids played and played. Harper, as usual, made a friend. They were playing “general store” and she was placing orders as he filled them. It didn’t last long, but it was cute to watch.

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Dakota enjoyed swinging. She likes to try out each swing at every park we go to. She’ll start with one, have a few swings, then she wants out and into the next one. I guess she’s trying to see which one is the best.

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Landon’s getting a little big for the park, but he had his soccer ball to keep him busy. There were some kids passing one around when we got there and eventually Landon got the nerve up to ask them if he could play too. Well, one of the assholes kids told him no and that they had enough players already. So,Landon went and got his own ball out and within seconds there was a group of them playing with Landon…including the kid who’d told him no in the first place. I thought it was nice that Landon let that kid play even though he’d been rude when Landon had asked.

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We spent about 2+ hours out there and we were exhausted when we got home. Dakota fell asleep on the way home and it was tough waking her up. When that girls tired, she’s tired!

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Friday, March 21, 2014

Five On Friday

  1. This week when Harper went to Rolly Pollies, he did something he’s never done before. He rode the zip line. I know it doesn’t seem like a big deal, but for him it was. He’s been going there for nearly 2 years and every time they’ve offered him a chance on it, he’s declined. There was a male teacher in his class this week, and Harper was drawn to him for some reason or other. He played with this Mr. Tim the entire class time and when Mr.Tim suggested he try the zip line, Harper went for it. When I met up with Mema and Harper for lunch that afternoon the first thing out of Harper’s mouth was “Momma! Guess what I did! I rode the zip line!” and boy was he proud of himself! The next day when I brought Dakota to her Rolly Pollies session, every teacher came up to me and excitedly told me that Harper had ridden on the zip line! One teacher said it had made her day and another said she’d just wished she could have been the one to have gotten him to do it. One of the other parents had been there the day before also and told me that when Harper had gone down the zip line the first time the whole place erupted in applause! I feel like I missed out because I wasn’t there, but I’m so glad that there were so many people there to cheer him on. Mema and all those teachers are helping my boy grow and for that I am so thankful.
  2. Dakota is finally starting to put two words together. Her vocabulary is slowly growing and she’s trying more and more to communicate with words. Today she was playing in the living room and came to me and said “nap, mama”. It took me a little bit to figure out what she was talking about, a napkin. She took that napkin in the living room to clean up her baby doll. I couldn’t help but be proud of my little cutie taking care of her baby and putting her two words together. Another little person growing up in my life…how sweet it is to watch.
  3. Landon had sports day at school today. He came home early yesterday because he was sick, but luckily it passed and he felt much better this morning. He chose to go skating for sports day and he had a terrific time. I sure wish he and his friends would go back to skating on Friday nights instead of always playing video games.
  4. Last night Harper asked me to play castle with him instead of reading books before bed. He told me that he wanted to get his “pew pews” and shoot the bad guys. :) How could I say no to something as cute as that?
  5. I noticed a few buds coming up in my yard and couldn’t help but get excited for warmer weather. I grabbed my phone and took a few pictures, just because I love this time of year and the new life it brings with it.

Peonies

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Tulips

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I can’t remember what these are…

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If the weathers nice tomorrow I think I’ll get out there and start cleaning up the beds a little. Can’t wait to see some flowers out there!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

It’s Spring! It’s Spring!

The first day of spring is finally here! It’s been a long white winter and we’re all ready for some warmer weather. Today was beautiful and we were able to spend some of it outdoors. Not much unfortunately, but we did what we could.

Our day started off like any other Thursday, but Landon came downstairs telling me he didn’t feel well. I left the decision up to him whether or not he’d go to school and he ultimately decided to go. So, I got him off to the bus then the two littles and I headed out for preschool and Rolly Pollies. I’d just taken off Dakota’s shoes at Pollies when my cell rang and Landon asked me to come get him. I wasn’t sure I could go get him then be back in time to get Harper so I asked him to hold on for me until 11:30 or so. He said he would, but I felt terrible for asking him to do that and ended up asking Zoe if she’d go get him. Luckily I put her down as an emergency contact for him so she was able to do that. He pretty much just watched TV in my bed all day, and I could tell he was really feeling badly. (He never fakes illness in order to stay home from school so I can trust him.) As of 9pm he said he was feeling better so hopefully he’ll be able to get back to school tomorrow in time for his fieldtrip! I know he’d be really disappointed to miss sports day tomorrow.

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After Dakota’s nap Tony and I packed the kids in the van for a trip to Rita’s because they give away free Italian Ice on the first day of spring every year. We got there and didn’t even bother to stop because the line was all the way around the back of the building. Italian Ice just isn’t that damn special.

So, since we missed out on the free ice, we took the kids to a nearby park. About 15 minutes after getting to the park, Harper yelled “Hey momma! I gotta poop!”…and back in the van and back home we went. Parks without bathrooms are a real bummer.

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All in all it was a good day. I’m looking forward to many more days like this but first I guess we’ll have to see about a possible snow storm they’re calling for next Tuesday. Winter just isn’t leaving quietly this year.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Narrow Band UVB

For some reason Landon’s eczema has been really bad lately. We’ve been working with his allergist and doctor for years concerning his eczema and allergies, but last week I decided maybe we should seek help from a dermatologist as well. Why it took me so long to decide that is beyond me.

Anyways, he had his appointment yesterday and it was quite an experience. His doctor is a pretty cool guy and immediately set us at ease with his sense of humor. (Landon was ready to run when he was told he might have to undress to be examined.) The doctor (a man confined to a wheelchair who has an aide help him from room to room because he doesn’t have use of his hands/legs as far as I can tell. The wheelchair is electric, but I don’t think he’s able to use the joystick to make it go, so the aide uses it to wheel him around instead of pushing from behind.) told Landon that his immune system is going crazy and that he has a classic case of eczema.

He asked us what we were using to treat him and when I told him what prescriptions we’d been given thus far, he just rolled his eyes. Dramatically. He said that the ointments we’d been given were “safe” and that they’d never work for him. He explained some possibilities of steroids and creams and then explained why he didn’t want to use them on Landon. (He also speaks very softly, so much so that I realized Landon and I were both leaning forward, on the edge of our seats trying to hear him. His voice rises and falls in an usual manner and his facial expressions are constantly changing but he’s got a wicked sense of humor and it’s totally worth the effort to hear what he’s saying.)

He told us he wanted Landon to do Narrow Band UVB Phototherapy. Basically, Landon will stand in a light booth, similar to a tanning booth, for short periods of time. Initially the treatments are only a few seconds long and gradually the time is increased. It isn’t a “cure” for eczema, but if it’ll give Lanny some relief, I’m all for it.

He has to go three times a week for now, and then we have a follow up with the doctor. I’m not sure how long he’ll have to do this, but on the paper they gave me, it said most treatments are 15-25 sessions long.

I spent most of my day today figuring out how I was going to get him to and from the treatments. They close at 4pm every day and he doesn’t get out of school until 3:50pm. He can’t really miss all that school, so the next option was to bring him in the morning before school, and that’s what we’re going to end up doing. He’ll go to his appointment at 8:15, then I’ll take him on to school. Thankfully Mema is going to help me out or I don’t think we’d have been able to do it. It’s already hard enough getting three kids out the door by 8:30am 2 days a week, and this is just adding to the stress around here.

If this solves his itching and cracked skin issues, it’ll all be worth it. So, fingers crossed please!

Pump It Up!

After the amazing weather we had Saturday it was hard to believe we were under another winter weather advisory on Sunday…but, we were. We did our best to ignore the impending weather but it came anyways and early Monday morning we had about 8 inches.

You can tell we’ve lost the thrill for the snow because not a single one of us went out in it to play. The cars were cleared (thanks to Brandon), and our driveway and walkway were cleared thanks to our neighbor with the snow blower. None of the kids wanted anything to do with it so we stayed inside all morning driving each other crazy.

While Dakota napped I got on Facebook for a minute and almost immediately saw that a local moon bounce place was open and having a free play that afternoon from 4:45 to 6pm. Tony and I debated it and then ultimately decided it would be a good idea to get everyone out of the house.

Let me just say, it was THE BEST IDEA EVER!

Not only did Landon, Harper and Dakota have a great time (who we went for) but Tony, Brandon and Zoe also had a great time. They acted like they’d never done anything so amazing in their whole life.

Video’s for your viewing pleasure:

I see lots of moon bounce birthday parties in our future!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Saturday at Mema’s

Saturday afternoon we headed over to Mema and Umpa’s house for dinner. It was such a nice afternoon that as soon as we got there, the kids headed outside to play. Zoe, Brandon and Landon brought Harper and Dakota in the back yard but before I knew it Harps and Koko were back in the house with us. They were ready for dinner so they couldn’t think about playing until they’d eaten. But, the big kids stayed outside and had fun playing monkey in the middle with Mema’s big green ball.

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After dinner we all headed back outside where the kids were happy to run around and play. I went in the house for something and when I came back out Tony, Brandon and Landon were all up in the tree.

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I’m SOOOOO looking forward to more nights like that one! Love all the opportunities for play when it’s nice outside!

A Trip to the Wildlife Refuge

Tony and I didn’t want to waste our Saturday morning sitting inside the house but we didn’t have any idea what to do. We were sitting at the table contemplating another trip to the mall’s play area when Tony found an advertisement in a magazine about a free activity at a local nature refuge.

We didn’t really have any idea what we’d do there, but it was a nice day and we figured we’d at least get the two little ones out for a bit.

The refuge is set way back in the woods down a long winding road and if we hadn’t read about the place in a magazine we’d never have known it existed! The building itself was huge and there ended up being plenty to keep us all busy.

I didn’t get many pictures because we were busy going from one thing to the next. The first station we visited was a craft station. The kids used a toilet paper roll and some string and cotton to make a bird nest builder. The idea is that the birds will use the string/cotton/ribbon to make their nests. I have no idea what this craft was called, but the kids were happy to make it!

Another station we visited had covered boxes in which you had to stick your hand inside and then guess what you touched. There was a snake skin, bears fur and something else I can’t remember. I hate those things and couldn’t bring myself to put my hand in the box even after the kids did! It’s just freaky.

There was also a huge display area in the back of the center where many different animals were set up. Among the many different displays were otters, wolves, turtles and several species of birds. The very back wall had a huge panel of windows and binoculars where you could look out onto the water. We showed Harper a large flock of geese that was out on the water, but he wasn’t too interested…he and Dakota were having much more fun climbing up and down the step stools to the binocular stands.

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Before we left we hit up the music program. I can’t remember now who the musical guests were, but my kids couldn’t have cared less. They invited all the kids up to the front to play with maracas and dance and sing along and neither of my kids were interested in the least, and as soon as Dakota shouted “EAT” we knew it was time to pack it up and go. Harper was totally thrilled with the folding seats in the auditorium though! He loved sitting in them and folding up inside them…ah, to be three and so easily amused!

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All in all we had a good time and it was a great way to spend an hour and a half keeping the babes busy. Smile

Monday, March 17, 2014

A Friday Spent at Home

Friday was an at home day for the two littles and I. We didn’t have any plans so we ended up just staying at the house and finding things to do. Since we are typically so busy during the week I tend to get a bit freaked out at the prospect of staying home all day, but I really should try to remember how nice it is to just sit at home and play with them without going anywhere. We ended up having a great morning and the two of them got along pretty well.

When Harper got tired of playing with the toys in the living room, I pulled out a book of questions for him to answer with me. He just loves doing these types of activities and I’m always surprised by how much he knows. He’s  a very smart little boy!

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While Harper and I were looking through the book, Dakota was next to us playing with the cupcake set. She likes to use the markers to decorate the cupcakes, then she puts on the candles and wants to sing Happy Birthday. It just makes her day to hear us sing that song to her!

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Zoe’s school is on spring break this week. It’s kind of crazy that her break is an entire month before Landon’s. I swear that child wasn’t home more than half an hour before she curled up on the couch to take a nap! Bum!

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Later, after she’d gotten her tired buns up, we made some mini donuts.

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I thought they’d be something fun to try, and while they weren’t too hard to make, I didn’t think they were very good. I’m not exactly sure what I didn’t like about them, but I don’t think we’ll try them again. As a matter of fact, they’re still sitting in my kitchen uneaten…guess no one cared for them!

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Wiggling Her Waggles Away

I’m pretty behind in posting but I just lost interest there for a minute. There are some days that I just want to quit posting at all, but then I know I’ll regret it later on. I’m trying to do some exercising in the evenings and that is leaving less time for writing here too, but I’m hoping to keep this up as I add that…guess we’ll see how it works out.

I’ll start with last weeks gym class for Dakota. She’s really coming out of her shell a bit more these days and she just loves when they do songs and movement.

Here’s a little video:

She also loves to choose which color star we will sit on when we first enter the class as well as pick up the stars and bring them to the teacher once we’re finished with them. I love to see her growing up right before my eyes…it’s a wonderful thing to witness!

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At the end of each session the kids get stamps. Dakota always wants one on each hand, each foot and one on her belly. This past week she sat and waited very patiently for her turn. She was content to sit and watch the other kids get theirs before she finally got hers. My sweet girl is really growing up and learning how things work.

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Elf Antics

I've made it to day 9 without forgetting to move Peppermint and I have to admit that even I'm surprised. Here's what our elf has...