Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Elliot Andrew
May 16, 2014
8 lbs 13 oz
8:21 am

Someday I will tell you all about it. I finally got super annoyed that whenever I came to my blog, I still saw pictures of me, pregnant. :)

Alternate title: Poor, poor 3rd child.

I filled in Colin's baby book until Ben was born. I bought Ben one but never filled it out. I didn't even buy one for Elliot. They're boys...they won't care about the minute details of their early childhood anyway. They'll just be happy they have teeth and they can walk, talk, and smile.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

25 week belly comparison

Curious to know how I'm measuring up compared to past pregnancies, here are belly pictures of all three at 25-26 weeks. It should be noted that I took belly pictures pretty regularly while cooking Colin, almost as regularly while cooking Ben, and, well...seeing as a 25 week picture was the last I took of Baby Sunshine and I'm now 31 weeks, yeah. Sorry kiddo. It's not that I don't love you any less, it's just that your brothers keep me busy.

26 weeks with Colin.
 26 weeks with Ben.
25 weeks with Baby Sunshine.
What are our thoughts belly-wise? Does it look different? The same?

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Hello? Is anyone still there?

I'll just spare you the "sorry I've not blogged since October speech." I'm busy, yo. And I haven't felt like writing anything, despite some huge changes, okay?

If you didn't already know, we're expecting #3 (Little Baby Sunshine, keeping with the weather-themed nicknames) in mid-May. Call us one of the crazies with 3 kids (possibly all boys), we don't care. Someone was missing from our family and s/he is growing in my belly right now. We had an ultrasound last week and all was well. We got a CD of pictures but the CD drive in my computer is broken (I may or may not have dropped this sucker a few too many times in the last NINE YEARS I've had it, especially in the last 6 months or so). No, we did not find out the sex. You know me and how I like surprises! other news from the last 2+ months tops that, so...moving on...

I always like to reflect on the new years resolutions I made last year and see how I did. Here we go...

Resolutions for 2013:
1. Pay OFF all debt. Heck yeah! This totally happened, earlier than expected even! The only debt remaining is our mortgage.
2. Run another 5k. Check that. I walked the Color Run 5k in June (July?) and I also ran the Women Rock 10k in August. And I didn't die!

3. Unplug. Yeah...still working on that.

Now GOALS for 2014: (I like goals better than resolutions)
1. Build savings. Now that our debt is paid off, this is step #3 in Dave Ramsey's baby steps. We are looking forward to getting a decent amount saved up in case we should ever need it.

2. Do yoga and be a strong mama. I follow a mom of 5 named Melissa (she's also MN photographer) on instagram. She started yoga in March and she can do amazing things like handstands and all sorts of crazy things, and I want to do that too. I started tonight by signing up for a free 15 day trial of yogaglo. I can watch it on the TV through Roku or on my laptop. I figure if I can keep up with the trial, I can keep up with it after that. And since I don't like running while pregnant or breast feeding, I can do this as exercise this year instead.

3. Unplug. Still working on it. Still bothers me. I need to set some parameters with myself or something.

So...that's about it. I'm not sure when I'll update next, so don't hold your breath or anything :)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

*Clears throat, steps onto the stage*


I would LOVE to call Dave Ramsey on Friday and scream that, but, you and all. So I'll scream it by way of large, bolded, italicized, underlined font!

A post I wrote in August about being credit card debt free was a HUGE step because it freed up a large chunk of money we had to pay monthly. If you go back and read that post, we had a goal to pay off our Explorer in November and my student loans in January. Well guess what!??! We made it happen TODAY. In OCTOBER. Isn't that crazy!?!? Kevin has taken a few overnight jobs (and sometimes 3 overnights in a row) every once in awhile to earn some additional money that definitely, definitely helped us pay these off sooner.

Considering our original DMP plan wasn't supposed to end until June 2014 and then we had the other debts--Explorer and student loans--to pay, I'd say we did pretty darn good, finishing a year ahead of schedule.

So...what's next? We're on to Dave Ramsey's Baby Step #3: 3-6 months of expenses in savings. According to our calculations, we should be able to finish this step within 6 months (even with Christmas accounted for) so huzzah! And you know how our calculations go. We always seem to overestimate how long it will take because we think on the conservative side.

I'm really getting dorky-like excited to start saving up for retirement and the boys' college fund (although we do have the college fund already set up for them, we're just not contributing yet).

Sunday, October 20, 2013

"About a Bear and a Guy" By Colin, Age 4

Colin wanted to write a story the other night, so I dictated it while he told it. Here it is:

Once upon a time there was a bear, then there was a man who got bit by the bear. He got scared and ran away with his ax. Then he drove in his truck and he saw the bear in his back window. He was in the woods. He wasn't afraid of the bear. He drove back to him. Then he said, "Hey, want to trade axes?"

Then they walked together and built a campfire. Then he went in the woods and built a campfire with bricks and wood. Then he burped when he ate all the marshmallows. Then the bear burped when he ate all the marshmallows.

Then the bear rode in a baby stroller. He broke it and fell and said, "Ow! I'm never going to play with you again." Then he said, "Hey want to carry me?" Then the man fell down.

They walked together and the bear wasn't tired. Then the bear said, "Hey, you want to go home and sleep?"

The man said, "Yes."

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Life Lately

We've settled into our routine now, and routine is good.

A few weekends ago the four of us went to Como Zoo/Town for probably the last time this year. Colin had a blast going on the "big rides" with Kevin. My body just can't take those anymore. I went on the Tilt-a-Whirl earlier this summer with Colin and almost threw up. No bueno, because I love rides. Ben rode on the rides that go around in a circle, and I hopped on the train with him.

We also attended Josie's baptism. Benny loves baby "Doe-Dee," and he got his turn to hold her and give her a bottle.

I had a pretty stressful week last week. Kevin was working up north Tuesday through Friday. There was some work drama involving hiring a kindergarten teacher (like, now) and moving either me or a third grade teacher out of the hallway we're currently in. Long story short, I'm not moving--the other teacher is, but oy. There was stress involved there.

This past weekend, we met up with my family in Red Wing at a park to play and eat lunch. My grandma is visiting from Tucson so we had fun spending time with her. She gave Ben (and, as a result, Colin) a "Bug Vac" that sucks up bugs so they can study them. They've been having a blast with it, although bugs in general are pretty sparse this time of year.

Colin is loving school. Every day he comes home with a new song he learned. He illustrated (colored) a book called "Do You Know Clifford?" and he reads the book to us with pride. My teacher heart goes pitter-patter when I see his little finger out tracking the words and "reading" them.

Ben is still silly Ben. He's for sure going to be the comedian of the family. He knows a lot of single words, even uncommon ones like ladder and window. He's still not putting words together. Sometimes he'll say 2 or 3 words in a row that "go" together, but not very often. He'll get there.

My Explorer's battery and alternator died today. I got to daycare and left it running. When I got back, the battery light was on so I turned the engine off and couldn't get it started again. Neither I nor Sandy had jumper cables. I called Kevin who told me to turn off the remote start. I did, and I got my car to start, so I drove to work. When I got about halfway between Sandy's and school, my radio died, my airbag light turn on, and all of my dashboard gauges when to 0. I pretty much coasted to school, my car lurching up the hills. Kevin came to school this afternoon to fix it. When I left (early, just in case!), I was able to start my car, but again, halfway to Sandy's the same thing happened. I was able to coast juuuust past the train tracks (thank GOD because they're still in use multiple times a day), where I called Kevin and waited. He jumped my battery, and we went to Sandy's, but then the battery was dead, dead, dead. I got to drive Kevin's beast of a work van home to make it back in time for piano lessons, while Janelle drove to Sandy's to pick up Kevin and the boys. While I was teaching piano, Kevin and his dad were able to get an alternator and a battery and install it in Sandy's driveway and Kevin drove the Explorer back home. Such a fiasco. Murphy is totally at play here since the Explorer will be paid off in TWO DAYS! :)

Sunday, September 8, 2013

New Routine, and then I go off on a tangent. But there are pictures!

We've been back to our school year "routine" for a week. I put routine in quotation marks because it's a new routine for us. Actually, this week we will start our REAL routine. Last week was just a transition week.

Colin's first day of Junior Kindergarten (He looks a little tense. He was actually very mellow. I blame it on the word "cheese."). Oh and...(I had a cute outfit picked out for him, which he agreed he'd wear the day before. But that morning, he decided he didn't want to battle with the button and zipper on the shorts, and the grey henley t-shirt didn't have any pictures on it, so he didn't want to wear it. Whatever...get long as it's clean I'm cool with it. So he picked mesh shorts and his helicopter t-shirt.).
While my first graders were at gym, art, or music, I picked Colin up at Sandy's and took him to school every day. I am pleasantly surprised at how easy the transition actually has been for him. On Tuesday, I walked him in the building and helped him find is cubby, hang up his backpack, and walked him into the classroom. He did amazing. On Wednesday, I walked him to his cubby but didn't go into his classroom. He sniffled for about 30 seconds and then he was good to go (I think he was especially tired that day because he almost fell asleep in the car on our way there). On Thursday, I walked him to the door of the building. As I was walking away, he called for me and I thought, "Oh we go" but he just wanted another hug :). On Friday, I dropped him off at the end of a path that the parent drop-off kids get dropped off, and he waltzed right up to the building no problem. Seriously, I did NOT expect it to go so smoothly. Every day after school, he gets walked to the office and I pick him up there after I get my first-graders on their merry ways home. He hangs out in my classroom. The first few days were a little hairy, but now he knows that I have to get work done so he has to be quiet. He has been looking at books, watching Curious George on my phone, and every day I give him a snack.

He loves school. He talks about two boys named Reed and Ryland. There's two reasons I think he chose to befriend them first: 1. They both sit at his table and 2. There are boy-girl siblings at Sandy's named Reid and Rylan. He has learned a few new songs, and he's generally anxious to go to school. I think it really helped that his two good friends from Sandy's also went to school this year, so he's the oldest when he's there in the morning, and he really doesn't want to take a nap with all of the little kids.

This week we start our real routine, where I take him to school Mondays and Fridays, and Kevin's mom takes him Tuesdays through Thursdays. That will be nice so I can have some of my prep time back. The 20 minutes it takes to pick Colin up and drop him off isn't a very long time, but enough that I can get a lot done!

I'm teaching piano on Tuesdays from 5-7 and Wednesdays from 6-7. It's a bit late, but it's nice because we don't have to rush home. Right now I have 11 students, but 1 is moving out of town sometime in the near future. 10ish students is the number my studio sustains itself at. The money is amazing, and I love learning how to play piano Simply Music style, but now that Colin is getting to the age where he might start showing interest in extracurricular activities, I have to stop building my studio. My plan right now is to keep teaching the students I have, but not add anyone. If someone drops out, I won't be too heartbroken. Simply Music has been wonderful for me as a pianist and piano teacher. As much as I would love to quit my teaching job and work from home as a piano teacher, I don't want to take that leap of faith. It's too dependent on too many factors out of my control. Plus, I'd be teaching piano mostly in evenings, and when my kids are in school, I won't have a lot of time with them if my evenings are packed with teaching 60 students (the amount I estimate I would need to have to make the same income, plus purchase our own health/dental insurance). Plus I suck at bookkeeping, so there's that. I mean, I manage 11 students "fine," but I could never keep 60 straight. (Sorry, that was so not on-topic, but relevant I guess).

Anyway, so that's our new routine. Hopefully we can add swimming lessons into the mix in October :)

A few pictures Colin's teacher sent me of him at school on Friday:
Plotting his escape:
 School district motto: