Sunday, June 30, 2013

Meeting Lucy for the First Time

We got the chance tonight to go visit our new puppy! She is super cute and so sweet. I know that we are making the right choice having our first family dog be a Golden. Everyone I talked to about it says that they are about as perfect as you can get for a pet with small children. She willingly let all three of the kids hold her and was very playful until she got tired. We will be able to bring her home at the end of next week. The countdown is on and we are keeping track on a chalkboard in our kitchen. The excitement level is high and Roman and I are doing our best to prepare the kids for what is to come. Will they clean up their toys so that they don't get chewed? Time will tell, but it's a lesson they will learn early if they don't. Seeing her sweet face and snuggling with her made it very real that we will be adding her to our family soon!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

I Am A Stay At Home Mom

Never once in the 6 1/2 years since Braeden was born have I questioned my choice to be a stay at home mom. There have certainly been times when it would have made a huge difference to have a second income, but together Roman and I had decided that we would make it work with me at home. Growing up I always thought I would be a working mom. I couldn't see myself being home all day not accomplishing something tangible in the world. I just knew I would have it all. But when I got pregnant with Braeden and our situation was different and there was a possibility that I wouldn't be able to stay home, I realized that in fact that was exactly what I wanted to do.

Honestly for all but the last few months I haven't really thought about this choice at all. I am a stay at home mom. That is my job and my role in the world at this point in time. I take my kids to and from school, hang out with whoever is home during the day and stay busier than I ever thought possible.

But recently I have been (perhaps overly) sensitive to the comments around me about how other moms work and have jobs. I must have time because I don't work. I can do whatever I want when I want to do it because I don't have to go to work. I simply don't understand how valuable their time is because I have all the time in the world. Often times it isn't even being said directly to me but instead conversations going on around me. I don't think that anyone is purposefully knocking my choice, but in every way shape and form that is exactly how it feels. I end up feeling like they think I took the easy way out by not trying to do both.

I am not questioning my decision. I will happily fill my role as personal assistant, chauffeur, cook, teacher, maid, etc. to my children for as many years as I can. I am happy to be home with them. I enjoy being home with them.

I am very happy to be a stay at home mom. I would just like to feel that other people see the value in my choice as well. But as Roman has said to me over and over again, it's not about what other people think. He is supportive of my choice and loves me for it. My children love me for it. And he's right; that should be enough.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Good Times Keep On Rollin'

Thursday was such a fun day and I really thought we'd take a break and stay home for a couple of days, but it's summer after all. We can rest in September! Friday we ended up going to play mini-golf and get some ice-cream. I was playing too so I didn't take any pictures, but writing it down is better than nothing and I'll have to rely on the memories of Evan getting two hole-in-ones, Maggie actually playing for the first two holes and Braeden working so hard to putt properly the way Mike taught him at golf lessons last summer. The boys had fun while Maggie gave up completely around the 9th hole. I went and got her some ice-cream to keep her occupied while we watched Roman and the boys finish. We went right from there to pizza night at my parents. Braeden and Jason spent another evening diligently watching the DVD that came with Braeden's magic set. Jason is like Houdini to him and he wants to be just like his big cousin. It's very cute.

On Saturday we were changing out the rug in our bedroom and decided that the furniture that we have, sadly, really is too big for the room. It was great in our much bigger bedroom when we lived in New Haven, but now we have too many pieces in a small space. So around 9:30 we decided that a trip to IKEA was in order to see if they had anything that we liked. The kids were more than happy for a road trip and we called Roman's mom and had her meet us for lunch when we got down there. Unfortunately Maggie cried every time she looked at her so I spent the entire time with an almost two year old hiding in my shoulder. But anyway, the restaurant was right near Toys R Us so we took a quick trip to find treasures. The boys almost expect to go there when we see Roman's family because any time we take them to visit we feel bad about how it went and end up offering a trip to Toys R Us to make ourselves feel better for putting them through it. Yes, I know this isn't the best plan, but it was something that started a long time ago and since we only go see them every year or two, it's really not that bad.

The trip to IKEA was great and we found a bedroom set that we really like. It's a matter of seeing if we can sell our existing furniture first though. And then today we had a visit from one of our dearest friends from our time living in CT. We were able to visit for a little while. I wish it had been longer. We really miss her and need to make it a priority to be in contact more frequently. So much fun in only a few days! It's early to bed tonight though because Braeden has to be at baseball camp bright and early tomorrow morning. And I will be headed on a little shopping trip to keep my mind off of my "baby" being at camp all day :)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Thursday Fun

Today was our first full day of vacation and we all took advantage of a little extra time in bed this morning. The kids all snuggled in my bed with me for a while after they woke up which was a great way to start the day. Once everyone was up and moving Roman began purging his clothes, which led to me doing the same, which led to 6 garbage bags headed out to Goodwill. Our closet is very grateful I'm sure. It's such a good feeling to see the floor in there!

After lunch Roman took the boys bowling. Evan LOVES bowling and they have been asking to go a lot recently. If your family likes to bowl and you have the option to sign up for in your area, it's a must! They send you coupons every week and each child gets 2 free games a day all summer long. All you have to do is pay for shoes. It's a great deal and I expect my family to take great advantage of it this summer. I signed Maggie up too but she was supposed to be taking a nap while they went today.

Then it was on the farm where we have a CSA share. My kids love to go to the farm and run through the fields and help pick out our vegetables for the week. Today we were able to pick strawberries and of course we had to go visit the pigs. Evan goes with my mom when she goes too so he gets to go twice every week. The pigs probably recognize his voice by now!

We finished off our great day with a trip to Target followed by dinner at Five Guys and then ice-cream at Rick's Ice Cream. The kids were all great and we had a perfect evening enjoying the food and each other's company.

I love summertime with my family and today was just one of those perfect days. I hope we have lots more of these before the summer is through!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Let the Summer Begin!

Today was the last day of school for the year for both Braeden and Roman. The excitement level about the last day of school was high this morning as we got ready to drop Braeden off one last time for the year. He was super excited because his teacher had promised gum and soda as a treat for the last day. As he told me over and over, "it's tradition".

Roman came home early and we went to school for Braeden's end of the year gathering which included watching a video of the class doing the Harlem Shake all over the school. It was really fun and the kids were awesome in it! 

First Day                                    Last Day

Maggie made herself comfortable to watch the video

The boys 

Our attempt to get a picture of Braeden and his teacher Ashley

After the program, we busted Braeden, Brayden and Riley out of school a little bit early and summer vacation officially began! We had some pizza for lunch and then spent the rest of the afternoon at the pool and eating dinner at Thayer's house.  

We're looking forward to a very busy, but fun summer packed with lots of activities and the arrival of our puppy Lucy. But first we enjoy the sweet, sweet joy of sleeping a little longer tomorrow and not having to be out of the house at any particular time. Yay for summer. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

On the Eve of the Last Day of Kindergarten

Right now I am in disbelief that Braeden is 6.5 years old and one day away from being finished with Kindergarten. Whoa, what happened to this whole last year? I vividly remember preparing him (and myself) for that first day of school that he would have to stay all day. His preschool had been a few hours 4 mornings a week and the transition felt huge. I don't know if he was as nervous as I was, but we both bravely walked into school that morning in August unsure of where the year would take my beloved first born. He was a champ and loved it from his very first minute inside his classroom. 

Now we have come to the end of the kindergarten journey and I am awed and amazed at the transformation that can take place in ten seemingly very short months. I sent a fairly timid 5 year into his new world and in return I have been given a confident and social boy. He has enjoyed making new friends immensely and while I know that he spent the majority of time with those friends that he knew before the year began, he openly engaged and enjoyed the company of all of the students in his class. He is kind and compassionate and very much aware of his friends needs and feelings. He struggled early in the year with being a follower and has blossomed into a person who can make his own decisions and generally chooses the right path in making decisions for himself. I admire him for standing up for what is right rather than laughing at or encouraging behavior that can hurt other people or himself. He has made me so proud. 

I have watched him learn to read and grow incredible confidence in math. He can count by 1's, 10's, 100's and 1000's. He is improving on his spelling and more often than not now I can figure out what he has written on his daily work or pictures. He loved all of his specials and always came home to share what they had done in art class that week. He even told me at one point that he wanted to be an art teacher when he grew up. I guess he really liked his art teacher. 

Yesterday they had step-up day and he is beyond excited to move on to first grade next year. He enjoyed visiting both classes but wants to go to the teacher that I already know that he has for next year. Yay! For about the last week he has been counting down the days until the last day of kindergarten. He is so ready to move on. The idea of a new classroom and new classmates and routines next year doesn't phase him at all. I only wish I was that kind of kid! 

So as we prepare for tomorrow and saying goodbye to his teachers, I am willing myself not to cry and make a blubbering scene in his classroom. I don't know how the time has gone by so quickly. I am so proud of all that he has accomplished this year. He is definitely ready to become a "grader". 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Father's Day Pictures

After I had pictures of my friend Erin's kids done as a birthday gift for her, I realized that it would be a great time to do some pictures for Roman as a Father's Day gift. He's been asking for pictures to take to work and  it's been almost a year since we had pictures of the kids taken anyway, so it all seemed like the perfect plan.

Maggie was not very cooperative because she remembered that when we had been there a few days before, there were balloons. Well she had that one thing in mind and was not going to sit pretty and smile all nice without us giving her a balloon. While we didn't get any amazing pictures of all three of them, what we did get is funny and pretty indicative of all of their personalities at these particular ages.

This picture cracks me up because Maggie wanted no part of it (which explains why I am in it) and the boys are both in the middle of saying "Happy Father's Day". 

I love my munchkins so much and I know that their daddy does too. We had a wonderful day yesterday celebrating Father's Day first with breakfast with my dad and then dinner with friends. Lots of food and great company makes the very best kind of days. 

All pictures taken by

Thursday, June 13, 2013

T-Ball 2013

I can't believe that t-ball season is over already! I truly feel like we were just doing sign-ups. It's amazing how quickly 2013 is moving. We had our last practice for the year yesterday and I was sorry to have to say goodbye to my little players. They were all so improved this year and came a long way over the course of the season. I will likely be sending most of them to Farm Team next year. Crazy!!

We had one game again this year against the other t-ball team in our town. I knew they were ready and they did awesome! They were actually making plays and getting outs. It was so fun to watch. They were all very proud of themselves and I was super proud of them too.

 Serious fielding

 Beating the runner to the plate

Waiting to bat

I am so proud of Braeden. He has come a long way since last year. He can hit a pitched ball now and is throwing and catching with much more success. I love watching him get excited about the game as he gets better and more confident. He's going to baseball camp with several of the other players in a couple of weeks and I'm sure that will help him improve his skills even more. 

Thanks to Stacy and her as usual awesome picture taking abilities, I was able to give each child a team and an individual picture as well as a collage of pictures she had taken during the season. I had so much fun making the collages because the kids are all so unique the pictures did a great job highlighting their personalities. 

Braeden's collage

Now if I can just convince Evan to play next year.. 

Friday, June 7, 2013

Evan's Last Day of School

It's amazing to me to think that it's been 10 months since I had to beg Evan to give school a try. He had no intention of giving up the easy life at home. But once they told him during his home visit that he could paint at school, he was on his way. And he hasn't looked back once.

While I was very sad when we received word last June that the preschool at our elementary school wouldn't be available anymore, it has actually been a wonderful experience at the new school that we chose for Evan. It's definitely more expensive to switch from public to private, but it has been worth every single penny. Evan flourished this year and loved being there spending time with his friends and learning lots of new things. We actually had to add an extra day a week a couple of months in because he was getting stir crazy having too many days off. We love the people, the place and absolutely everything about his school.

First Day - August 2012

Last Day - June 2013

As he told Roman yesterday, he is looking forward to "swimming and being with mom" during the summer break. Seems pretty easy to do and I can't get enough Evan snuggles so it works out for both of us! He's earned it. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

In 6 Short Weeks...

This pretty girl will have turned 2!

This crazy guy will be preparing for his last year of Preschool!

My almost big kid will be a first grader. What?!?!?

And.. we will have brought home our newest family member!
(This is not our dog because we haven't gotten any pictures of her yet. But this is what she'll look like!!)

It's going to be a very exciting summer around here. Lots of camps and lessons and puppy training. I have a feeling it's going to be September before I know it! 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Almost Ready to Celebrate (Maybe)

It's been a long 2 years, but... I think that this might actually be the time that I kick Citalopram to the curb for  good. I still don't know why getting off of it after Maggie has been so different than the boys, but I am very hopeful that this time will be successful and I can say goodbye to post-partum depression medication FOREVER! It's been about 5 very up and down weeks so far, but I've managed to get farther in the process this time than either attempt at weaning before now.

Interestingly the side effects to weaning off this medication are the same as the symptoms that lead you to take it in the first place. I am first in line to say that makes no sense at all. All it does is lead you to believe that you are heading back down the PPD road when it's part of the transition back to every day medication-free life. It takes strength and determination to make the decision to push through the negatives.

This time I went at it well armed for the fight. I began the weaning process very slowly. Half dosage for a month and then the half dose every other day for about another month. Now I haven't taken it in 5 weeks and I am mostly feeling okay. I've been through the headaches, sense of anxiousness for no reason, feeling lightheaded and crazy irritability. I'm hopeful that those are gone now for good. I still have nights where my body doesn't let me sleep. That has always been the symptom that forced me back onto the medication because I can't function after a week's worth of sleepless nights. But this time I am trying some homeopathic herbs that a relative made for me to help me sleep at night. So far so good. I only have to use it occasionally now so my body is slowly figuring out how to get back to its own normal.

I won't be jumping for joy and screaming that I am all better yet, but I am optimistic that I have made it through this battle and can now move on with my life. I have loved the having babies process, but dealing with the resulting PPD each time has taken a toll. It's time to be me again. I think I've earned that.