Tag Archives: Meg

Divide and Conquer

This past weekend Elise and I left the boys to fend for themselves. We packed up a bunch of princess dresses, multiple pairs of pjs, and hit the road.

Christine, Jess and I have been friends since college. We try to get together for a girls’ weekend 2 times a year. Sometimes we get together more than that, and sadly, sometimes less. There have been 3 girls’ weekend crashers in the past. Namely, Elise, Christine’s boy Jaxon and Jess’s boy Cooper. We are all Mamas after all and when a new baby enters our group, said baby is allowed to crash one girls’ weekend after their arrival on earth. This helps ease the guilt of leaving a baby at home and also the rest of us get to snuggle a little one for the weekend without the 18 year commitment of you make it, you raise it.

This weekend was a bit different. This girls’ weekend we decided to invite the kiddos. We decided this will either be our best idea ever or our worst idea ever. I left the boys at home with Tim, because all the kiddos there would be 4 and under, and to them, a weekend home with Dad is more fun than playing with a bunch of babies.

The boys had a blast at home with Tim. They played hours and hours of Minecraft, went to their weekly science class, watched boy movies, played Legos and ate nothing that even resembled a vegetable all weekend. In fact they were still in the same clothes that I sent them to school in on Friday morning before Elise and I hit the road. To say they had a good time is an understatement.

Tim sent me some pics throughout the weekend. Everyone of them made me grin and giggle.

I think the most memorable thing Tim did with the boys was having a slumber party in the basement.

*Correction* I have been informed that it wasn’t a slumber party it was camping in the basement.

What I learned while driving to Grand Forks with just Elise is this, Elise is way more fun to travel with then the boys! Yes we made a few more pit stops at pottys than I would have liked, but time flies when you are singing along to Disney Princess songs. We stopped for a snack at the gas station and she was content with an apple and a little tub of peanut butter and didn’t once ask for any candy.

When we made it to Fargo for potty and lunch break we dashed to the bathroom and then took our time eating a yummy lunch. Then she played in the mall play area to “get her wiggles out.”

One kid is easier than three.

That said, when Elise was eating her yummy lunch or climbing the play equipment she said to me over and over again, “I think the boys would like this! Can we tell the boys about this park? That little kid won’t play with me, the boys like to play with me.”

One kid is easier, but three kids is more fun.

The boys didn’t change clothes all weekend. Elise, on the other hand, had many costume changes. However the majority of the weekend she spent in a princess Aurora dress that Gracie was kind enough to share.

We ventured out of the house as a group only once. We went out to lunch and then went to SantaPalooza where Elise got to write a letter to Santa.

What did she ask for you wonder? Oh this little girl with two big brothers wants only one thing, a pink spider.

Gracie is destined to be Elise’s BFF. Christine got pregnant 4 months before me and about the time she found out she was having a girl, I found out I was pregnanrt. When I found out I was pregnant with a girl it became official. Our baby girls would be besties.

Gracie’s mom Christine is a photographer. Check our her Facebook page her or click on the photos below.  She isn’t like me who carries around a big camera and pretends to know what she is doing. Christine is a legit photographer. While the girls were playing princess, Christine and I quickly moved some furniture, convinced them to let me curl their hair and positioned them in front of a big window with lots of natural light. It goes without saying that Christine and I met while doing theatre in college and staging, costuming and directing is something we don’t get to do often now that we are moms, so when we saw the opportunity to pose our sweet girls, we did!

(Next three photos were taken by Christine)

Also funny to note, Jess was also in our theatre posse in college so when she walked into the room and saw that we had rearranged all her furniture, costumed our kids and placed them in “the good light” she didn’t even bat an eye. It is as if she expected her dining room to be transformed into a photo studio while she was in the other room caring for her son Cooper.

What is really cosmically wonderful about Jess, Christine and I being friends and all now being moms is that not only are Gracie and Elise close in age, but Christine and Jess both have little boys that are just a year apart. The age gap between 20 month old Jaxon and 10 month old Cooper seems big but by next year they will be great buddies.

It was a fun weekend. It wasn’t easy and we were all tired come sunday morning (kids sleeping in new places never makes for a restful night) but being tired is being better than the usual hangover that comes with girls’ weekend so I think this may become a tradition. Not every weekend will we invite the kids (Mamas need a break) but I think at least once a year Elise and I will leave the boys behind to play video games and stew in their own boy filth while we go and play dress up and eat chocolate cake.

a few more blurry phone pics here. 

Elise’s First Day of Preschool

Alternate title: Meg is 36 pounds lighter

Alternate title: Last First Day of Preschool

Miss Elise is at school. Last year when she started Preschool she was a sweet and shy 3-year-old who was hiding behind my legs. She would only peek out from behind my legs for a moment and even then, it was just a quick glance at the teacher. All the kids overwhelmed her. I guess that’s what happens when you have a Stay-At-Home-Mom and you are naturally a bit shy. The boys never had that problem. They saw a group of kids and beelined toward them. Elise loved meeting one new friend at a park, but a pack of kids was a bit much for her.

That was last year though. This year was a whole different story. She was up at the crack of dawn and ready to meet, “ALL OF MY NEW FRIENDS!”

She walked into that preschool room like she owned it (and since this is our 5th consecutive year of having a kid in that Preschool I feel like we have probably paid for at least a few square feet of the brightly colored, carpeted room).

Elise is my shadow. All summer long she has been at my side. It is sweet, I cherish the time where she looks up at me with udder awe and believes that I am the best thing ever. I love her so much but let me tell you what, when I walked away from that preschool this morning and could hear Elise telling her teachers and new friends everything she had done this past summer, I didn’t shed a single tear. I feel lighter, stronger faster. I feel like I lost 36 pounds and I did. I am 36 pounds of wiggly, noisy, sticky, horse loving little girl lighter. unfortunately the scale doesn’t say my body has lost 36 pounds but I feel it so that is what counts.

The best part of all of this is that Elise is just as happy as I am.

This is our family’s Last First Day of Preschool Ever.

 

SAHM Summer School Fitness

I know. Go ahead and laugh. Me writing a post about fitness is definitely joke worthy. But this isn’t about me. Well it is a little bit about me, but it is mostly about the kids.

I have blogged about Michael’s Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) before and to say it has an impact on the entire family is an understatement. The impact is not all bad. Yes, it is a challenge for Michael daily, and it is also a challenge to parent a kiddo with SPD but there are also some positive things about SPD; mainly it keeps us moving. Moving is a must.

Michael is a sensory seeker. His body needs massive amounts of input to slow his brain down to function like the rest of us. He likes to push things, pull things, crash into things, lift things and generally find resistance and fight against it any way physically possible. Keeping all that energy locked up is a recipe for disaster, so exercise or occupational therapy is a daily requirement. The difference between exercise and occupational therapy for us at this point is a co-pay. This is not to say that OT isn’t a good thing. OT was the best thing that ever happened to Michael. OT was the best thing that ever happened to Tim and I as parents. OT taught us so much and we now have the tools to help our boy.

SPD really is a hard thing to describe. Whenever I try to imagine what Michael is feeling, I close my eyes and think about being on a plane. I am sitting economy coach and I am in the middle seat between to people who have taken over the armrests. These people smell. Not necessarily bad smells but one has on too much perfume and the other is eating a oniony and garlic filled sandwich. Both are talking loudly and at the same time. We have been on the plane for hours and I am tired of sitting. I am antsy, and I feel like I could jump out of my skin and nothing in the world would be better than being able to stand up and walk up and down the plane isles a few times to stretch my legs, but alas the fasten seat belt sign is on. My seat neighbours are still talking loudly and occasionally they look at me for a response, but I am working so hard at staying inside my small bubble and not elbowing them WWF wrestler style in an effort to gain another few square inches of arm space, that I have no idea what the loud talking neighbours asked me.

When Michael is having a bad day, this is what I imagine life is like. Sitting at the dinner table is hard. Everyone is noisy, all the smells are filling the air and he is being asked to sit, partake in dinner conversation, remember manners and try new foods. He has siblings or a parent on either side of him within arms reach. With nothing to anchor him or engage his body, the simple task of sitting at the dinner table is overwhelming.

When Michael isn’t sitting at the table well, I think about myself in that plane seat and the only things that makes the my plane situation easier is being well rested so my head is clear but physically exhausted so my body can relax. This is the goal for Michael. This is why we exercise. We exercise to help his body relax. We eat healthy food and are super strict about bed times so he can have a clear head.

Over the school year I have had the luxury of handing over that daily exercise routine to Michael’s teachers. Now that he is home full-time it is all on me. Three weeks into summer and spending all this time working on “school”  and having lots of free time have led to many bad days for all of us. The only thing all those bad days had in common was the lack of movement and input. It is time to add fitness and exercise into the routine. Michael isn’t the only one who needs the movement breaks and exercise, Patrick would spend an entire day on the couch or in front of the computer if allowed. Elise is prone to nightmares and she sleeps best after a long day of physical activity, fresh air and sun.

So here we are again. Another GIMPed up graphic to get me motivated.

LOGOFitness

The Frog JumpStarred Photos23

The Bear Crawl

Starred Photos24

 

Elise wasn’t the only one getting into character when doing the bear crawl.

 

The plank

And here is Patrick capturing exactly how I feel about the plank 47 seconds into it.

The crab walk.

And Elise chose to make the crab walk especially difficult by refusing to go backwards. Have you ever tried to crab walk forwards? It may be impossible.

I try to set an example at reading time by grabbing my book and reading with them. It would be easy to use those 20 minutes to make lunch or check email, but instead I sit down and read. It is wonderful to look up from my book and see that all three kids are looking at pictures or reading to themselves. In reality most of the 20 minutes is me answering the age-old question, are we there yet?  are we done yet? So when it comes to SAHM Fitness I try to set an example by choosing five, resting and then choosing five more. Most of the time it is fun but sometimes I find myself asking, “ARE WE DONE YET?!” when the timer doesn’t seem to end with the crab walk.

summer school fitness list

For the record the crab and bear walk are by far my least favorite.

More photos in the gallery

Mommy and Elise Beach Date

We are still not completely unpacked and settled back into our home after the renovation. So much has changed in the house that we have had to get rid of a lot of stuff and find new places for all that is left. Every photo that was on a photo ledge or hung on a wall had been taken down and now has to be put back up. We have taken this opportunity to purge more of the kids’ toys that they have grown out of and on top of all that, life is still going on. Baseball and t-ball games are still happening. School work needs to be done. Clothes need to be washed. Lawn needs to be mowed. Basically we are still treading water. I think we will be treading water for the next 15 years.

This is Elise’s first week since school got out and every day has been filled with errands and chores. This morning we took a break from all of that and hit the beach because the beach with one kid is a lot of fun.

Because school isn’t out for another two weeks the swimming hole was basically empty. There was no more than 20 people there when we arrived and usually on a day as sunny and warm as today you can expect a couple hundred people.

We even got to set up under one of the coveted umbrellas! That has never happened before today.

Even though there were probably only 10 kids splashing in the water, Elise still managed to make some friends. My shy girl has grown so much this year.

There was a lot of running from the umbrella into the water.

Elise is wearing a Champion C9 rash-gaurd that I picked up last year from the big girl section. You know that she is a girl with two big brothers when you ask her what her swim shirt is. Without hesitation she will tell you that “It is a girl Spider Man shirt!”

We played until it was lunch time, and when it was time to go she gathered up her things and left nicely. I need to spend more one-on-one play time with Elise. We need more Mommy and Elise play dates because I all too often get frustrated and fed up with her for slowing me down or getting in the way of me getting stuff done. There is a constant power struggle between us. She wants attention, I want to get stuff done.

Sometimes it is good to just leave the mess and to-do-list at home and build a sand castle.

A few more photos here. All photos pictured were taken with my My Little Blue.