Sunday, September 21, 2014

That Could Have Been Really Embarrassing

After our first trip to Hersheypark in July, the kids have asked at least once a week about when we could return.

We didn’t have plans yesterday and the weather looked good, so we decided it would be a good day for the park.

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Of course we all had to wear our Aggie maroon since it was a game day!

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Trenton and Charlotte rode a few rides, I took turns riding a coaster with them (Jarrod’s stomach wasn’t feeling wonderful, so I was the ride rider), we ate lunch, and we rode a few more rides.

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Evelyn even got to ride one, but she wasn’t in the mood for a selfie.

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By about 2:00 in the afternoon, the park was starting to get crowded, the sun was getting really hot, I was getting a headache, and the Aggie game was going to be kicking off soon.  So we decided to bribe the kids with snacks on the way out of the park and call it a day.

We were walking toward the park exit, and were crossing a bridge.  Trenton was a little ways ahead of us, and a dwarf walked past him.  The first dwarf that Trenton had ever seen.  Jarrod and I watched as Trenton spun around to do a double take, and a look of astonishment came across his face.  Both Jarrod and I could tell that he really wanted to yell something out to us (as could the two ladies standing on the side of the bridge trying to suppress their laughter), but thankfully “the look” from Jarrod stopped Trenton from being impulsive. 

Jarrod and I caught up with Trenton, found a bench to stop and sit down at, and explained to Trenton that he had just passed a grown up man who didn’t grow as tall as most grown ups.  Trenton told us that he had thought the man was a little kid with a mustache.  He also said that he was glad he didn’t laugh or yell out to us “that is funny” (what he had wanted to say) because that would have hurt the man’s feelings.

I must say – in that moment that Trenton passed the dwarf on the bridge, I just knew that he was going to say or do something completely embarrassing.  But, I was pleasantly surprised by his self control.  My little boy is growing up. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

A Pennsylvanian Farmers Market

We moved here from the salad bowl of the United States.  Monterey knew how to do farmers markets.  There were stands upon stands upon stands of fresh produce.  Berries, apples, oranges, plums, tomatoes, vegetables, herbs…they had it all.  And the markets were HUGE.

Yesterday evening we went to our first farmers market since moving to PA.

And while Pennsylvania doesn’t have the plethora of produce that California has, let me tell you what they do have…

The Amish.

Holy freakin’ cow, people.  They do everything!

They grow produce, have chickens (and quail) and sell the eggs, milk their cows and make cheese, bake bread, make homemade root beer, can, and make the most delicious sweets.


So our bag of farmers market takeaways wasn’t quite as healthy as it used to be in California, but boy is it yummy!  

And just because a little baby head peeking out of a carrier is always cute, here’s this…


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Well, That Didn’t Go Quite Like We Planned It

Our weekend didn’t go quite the way we had planned it.

Even though it’s not the weekend, I’ll start off with Thursday.

Charlotte went home with a friend after school, and Evelyn and I met her for lunch at the friend’s house.  And while wearing a cute little dance recital costume and her friend’s ballet slippers, Charlotte threw up everywhere.  And all she had eaten that day were blueberries and blackberries.  Nice.

I got Charlotte cleaned up, we came home, Charlotte laid down on the couch, and I put a movie on for her.  I figured that Charlotte would fall asleep watching TV, but she didn’t.  In fact, she didn’t act like she was feeling bad the rest of the day.  I played it safe though and gave her toast for dinner.

Friday morning I went into Charlotte’s room and saw that she was sleeping in her beanbag.  That’s not uncommon for her, so I didn’t think anything of it.  Until I looked at her bed and it had vomit in it.  Ugh!

Luckily Jarrod had the day off on Friday, so I took Trenton to school while he stayed home with Charlotte.  I got home from dropping Trenton off, and Charlotte was laying on the couch.  I went and touched her forehead, and she felt a bit warm, so I took her temperature.  It was 101.0, so not much of anything.  She did fine the rest of the day, with her fever going down and no more vomiting.  I still took it easy with food, giving her a banana, crackers, and rice for meals.

We had bought tickets for LobsterFest down on base, but I didn’t want to get Charlotte out.  She, Evelyn, and I stayed home, while the boys went to eat lobster (or a hamburger bun and chips in Trenton’s case).  Charlotte was feeling okay though, so I gave her a project to work on.

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She created a masterpiece for her room!

Charlotte made it through the night without vomiting (so she had gone 24 hours), but as soon as she woke up she threw up again.  And since she barely had anything in her stomach by this point, it was mostly bile.

Whatever Charlotte had wasn’t presenting itself like a normal stomach bug, so I called the pediatrician to see if I could get her in for Saturday morning office hours.

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Given Charlotte’s history, the doctor wanted a urine specimen.  And it’s a good thing I took Charlotte in because it is in fact another UTI.  Since she also had one in July, we will be going back for a follow-up in a week and a half to make sure the infection is gone and to discuss whether or not Charlotte needs to start being seen by a specialist again and/or go back on prophylaxis.

But, the doctor did give me one nice piece of news.  Since Charlotte wasn’t contagious, she could get out and about and around other people as long as she was feeling up to it.

Luckily Charlotte was feeling up to getting out, so Jarrod and I were able to go on our scheduled date night last night!  Our first in almost three months!

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Our church is doing a six month date night series, with monthly date nights.  We drop the kids off in the scout room at church and then go to another room for snacks, mingling with the other couples, and a short video.  Then we head out for an hour and a half on our own and are given discussion topics to pick and choose from while on our date.  Topics come from the book that we’re reading to go along with the date nights – Blessed is Marriage: A Guide to the Beatitudes for Catholic Couples.

Jarrod and I had a wonderful time on our date, and all three kids did perfect in childcare.

This morning we let Charlotte sleep late, so we split up for church.  After the boys got home, and I put Evelyn down for a nap, I went outside to work out and then do some yard work.  Like I said a few weeks ago, our back “flowerbeds” were a MESS when we moved in.  I still had some more stuff to clean out, so I got to work on pulling out a whole mess of tall weeds and dead plants.   While I was weeding, I found some sort of fungus/mushroom stuff growing in a moist section of ground under a bunch of dead wildflowers.  So I starting pulling it too since I had gloves on.

But apparently this wasn’t fungus.

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Too bad I didn’t realize it until I got stung.  Luckily only one hornet/wasp/whatever got me.  But after I ran inside screaming like a banshee and was running my stung arm under streaming water in the sink, Charlotte, who was standing next to me, started screaming too.  I looked over and she had a hornet on her shirt.  And with all of the screaming and swatting she was doing, it stung her through her shirt.  Poor kid can’t catch a break!

Neither of us are allergic, and Jarrod hooked us up with a baking soda/water paste, so we were back to normal pretty quick.

Problem is, I still have 1/4 of the bed to go, and I know there are more hornets in there.

So this evening before I went to church, I stopped at Tractor Supply to stock up on stinging insect killer.  Hopefully I won’t have a post later this week about when killing hornets goes bad…

Here’s to looking forward to a week with healthy kids and getting rid of stinging insects!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Watch Me Grow: 8 Months

And just like that, another month has gone by, and I now have an 8 month old.


I know that this is my third time around, but I still can’t get over how fast babies grow and change.

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Even though she’s not in school yet, she still got dressed up for the first day of school!

So last month I told y’all how I was up 2-3 times a night to give Evelyn her paci.  I was so ready to be done with that!  While Jarrod was in New Jersey with work for a week, I decided to do some sleep training.  The first night was hard to get through (but some wine helped out on my end), but then Evelyn started doing great!  I would put her in bed awake and she would maybe cry a minute or two, sleep through the night, wake up between 5:00 and 6:00 for a bottle, and then go back to sleep until 8ish.

I knew it was too good to be true.  Enter a new routine with school in session and some teeth that are taking for-EVER to make their debut, and we’re back to waking up in the middle of the night.  But at least it’s normally only one time instead of 2-3.  And she’s still going down for bed awake like a champ.  She loves when I tuck her in “snug as a bug in a rug” and grins from ear to ear.

Now naps are a different story.  Normally we get home from dropping the kids at school, I give Evelyn a bottle, and then she goes down for a nap.  But sometimes she just isn’t tired, and I wind up with an audience for my morning workouts. 

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Evelyn LOVES Bailey (and his toys and bones).  She also thinks Mommy’s pushups are really funny.

Evelyn will usually go down around 1:00 for an afternoon nap.  Some days she sleeps an hour, and other days she sleeps three. 

We have hit the “witching hour” age.  I’m not really sure why it’s called an hour because it definitely goes on longer than an hour in our house.  From about 4:00 until bedtime (between 7:00-7:30), Evelyn is cranky.  She cries when I’m not playing with her.  She cries when I put her on the floor.  She cries while she stuffs her face with puffs while I try to get dinner ready.  She’s normally happy in the bathtub, but cries as soon as Jarrod takes her out. 

But the rest of the day, she’s a happy baby.  A baby who loves pulling up and standing!

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Evelyn isn’t super steady yet, so we have to be near her when she is pulling up/standing, but she’s getting better at it every day.

And she’s still perfectly content with army crawling.  Every once in a while, she’ll get up on all fours, but then she brings herself back down.  I think she just likes being stealthy.

Eight months down, only four more to go until we have a one year old on our hands!

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She might as well skip her first fifteen birthdays and move straight to sweet 16 with the driving skills she’s been perfecting in the commissary parking lot.  We have about a 45 minute window between dropping the big kids at school and the commissary opening.  Evelyn takes a bottle and then practices “driving.” 

Weight: About 19 pounds
Liquids: Between 24-28 oz of formula a day and a little diluted juice in a sippy
Solids: Three meals a day consisting of fruits, veggies, and meats.  She has also started on a few regular table foods: pita bread, hummus, baked beans, crackers, and small pieces of bananaphoto 2 (36)

Clothes: 6-9 months
Diapers: Huggies Little Snugglers size 3
Words/Sounds:  I have heard, b, h, m, and w consonant sounds so far.  She is not putting multiple syllables together yet.  I heard “mum” the other day, so I’ve been really working on getting Evelyn to say mama!  Jarrod of course is working equally as hard to get her to say dada!

Monday, September 8, 2014

And the “Funnest Parent of the Weekend” Award Goes To…


Hands down, the winner is Daddy.

While I attended a spouses luncheon yesterday afternoon, Daddy let the kids….

Ride in a monster truck.


Oh yeah – I’m pretty sure they thought it was the coolest thing ever.  Evelyn was a little too small for the ride, so Daddy will have to take her back in a few years.

Trenton and Charlotte also became friends with some snakes.


Thankfully they warned me that they had misplaced the toy snakes that they brought home.  Otherwise I would have jumped out of my skin this morning when I was putting Evelyn in her carseat and found a little snake at the bottom of her seat!

The kids also learned about electricity from a 308 year old Benjamin Franklin, and learned about coffee beans from a coffee grinder.

And to top it all off, Daddy took everyone out for dessert!


Yep, I’d say that he’s a pretty fun Daddy!  Trenton, Charlotte, and Evelyn are lucky to have him!  I think I’m pretty lucky too!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Labor Day is AWESOME!

Most of our 3-day weekend was fairly laid back (other than the ER trip that a family member that will remain unnamed took).  We worked around the house trying our best to eradicate bagworms that built little cocoons all over one of our bushes, organizing the playroom, and starting to clean out the huge overgrown mess of back “flowerbeds” (I use the term flowerbeds very loosely here because they are really more like weed beds) that were awaiting us when we moved here.

Yesterday evening we took a break from all of our work and had friends over for dinner.  Our plan was to eat dinner and then walk down to the high school for the township’s Labor Day fireworks show.

But after dinner the big kids started watching a movie and the adults and babies were hanging out on the back deck enjoying adult conversation and drinks while the babies tried to figure out if they wanted to go to sleep.

Since we were all enjoying ourselves (and it looked like it could start raining at any moment), we decided to be lazy and stay at the house rather than walking to the football stadium.

Then came the surprise.  We could see the fireworks from our house over the tree line!

The big kids all came outside and we watched the 20-30 minute show from our deck - where potty breaks, diaper changes, and putting a sleepy baby in bed were all made easy. 

We also got to enjoy our own little sound effects.  Lots of ohhhhs, ahhhhs and wows.  Charlotte also threw in “This is the best day EVER!” and “Labor Day is AWESOME!”. 

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Right after the show ended, it started raining.  If we would have walked to the stadium, we would have be sprinting back home in a downpour.  So I guess the moral is that every once in a while, it actually does pay to be lazy!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Back to School Throwback Link-Up Party

With so many back to school posts floating around, I thought it would be fun to do a little back to school throwback!

I know you’ve got some old back to school photos laying around!  Probably not with a little sign or chalkboard – a simple photo sufficed back in the day.

So do you want to see mine?

Here you go…

The first day of kindergarten 1989…


Check out that homemade back to school outfit.  My mom rocked, y’all!  I loved that romper-ish thing.  So much so, that I even wore it for school pictures a few weeks later.


Good gosh – I had lost SIX teeth by picture day!  I don’t think Trenton is anywhere close to losing any yet. 

Okay, now that I’ve embarrassed myself with no-teeth, big-hair pictures, it’s your turn.  The link up is below.  Have fun checking out everyone else’s throwback pictures!

If you don’t have a blog but still want to join in the fun, you can post your picture(s) to instagram with the hashtag #creativelybloomingbacktoschoolthrowback, or post them to my blog facebook page HERE.



And One in Pre-K

Trenton wasn’t the only one that we sent off to the first day of school yesterday.

It was Charlotte’s first day of Pre-K!


She has grown up so much!


I was a little worried about how Charlotte would do because she can be very shy in new situations and with new people.  But the back to school picnic and open house helped calm her nerves and get her used to the people that she would be spending her mornings with.  I dropped her off yesterday morning, and she never looked back.  Not even for that little tiny wave that she likes giving me.


  Charlotte had a wonderful first day of school.  She was a little bummed that her class didn’t have time to go out to the playground that she’s been eyeing every Sunday at church, but she said that she did a lot of other fun stuff.  She made a fish, played a bean bag game, colored a picture, played with blocks, and ate snack with a new friend.  She also told me that she drew a picture, but when I asked her what she drew, she said that it was a surprise and she was going to give it to me for Mother’s Day.  Wow!  That is quite some time to wait!

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The four hours following pick up were spent trying to keep Charlotte busy so that she would quit asking every five minutes when Trenton would be home….

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

I Have a Kindergartener

And just like that, I have a kindergartener.


Wasn’t he just starting his first day of preschool last week?


Trenton was so excited about this morning.  So excited, in fact, that he didn’t fall asleep until sometime after 10:00 (I don’t know when exactly since Jarrod and I had already gone to bed) last night.  But he was up bright and early ready to go this morning!

I was a little worried about getting everyone out of the house by 7:30, but things went really smooth this morning.  I made and froze bran muffins and pancakes over the weekend, and made some omelet muffins that are in the fridge.  That helped a lot.  So did making Trenton’s lunch, setting out everyone’s clothes, and getting backpacks packed last night.  And that first picture?  Yeah, I dressed the kids in their first day clothes yesterday afternoon and took pictures.  I knew that we didn’t need the stress of posed pictures this morning.

I did manage one picture in front of the house this morning though.

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(Charlotte will get a post all to herself tomorrow about her first day of Pre-K.)

I love Trenton’s smug look.  As if to say – “Don’t worry about me.  I got this, Mom.”

Trenton is going to the Catholic school where we attend mass.  Between a back to school picnic over the weekend and open house yesterday morning, Trenton was ready for drop off.

I wanted one picture with my little man though.


Drop off is in a coned off area in the parking lot.  I could tell that Trenton was getting a little nervous.


The principal says a couple words each morning, the junior high students raise the flag, and the students say the Pledge of Allegiance.  Then it’s time to go inside – without parents.  Trenton’s teacher told the moms that they could get one more hug in, and as I walked over to Trenton, I could tell that he was trying to hold back the tears.  As was I.  I bent down, and Trenton gave me a hug and a kiss.   A big thing - because according to Trenton, it’s not cool to kiss Mom anymore.  My little boy is growing up too fast, but I was glad that he still needed and wanted Mommy this morning.

Trenton is riding the bus home from school.  The bus was 15 minutes early today.  Luckily, we had just walked out the door when the bus pulled up.


I asked Trenton about his day, and he said that he had a lot of fun.  He told me about lunch (he didn’t have time to eat his cheese stick and two little girls sat next to him), the playground (“we called the van an army van”), and about learning that God made nature.  When I asked him about the rest of his day in the classroom, he told me that they made a rule poster, he had show and tell,  and he “forgot the rest.”  Code for he probably got called out by the teacher.  While we were at Rita’s eating our after school treat (note to self – have Trenton change out of his white uniform shirt before eating red Italian ice), he opened up a little more about his day.  Apparently we need to work on actually being quiet during quiet time and raising a hand to talk….  Thankfully it’s pretty typical stuff, and he said he wasn’t the only kid that got called out.

One day of kindergarten down, and 179 to go.  Here’s to a fun year!


Get ready to dig through those old picture vaults.  Thursday I am going to host a Back to School Throwback link up.  I want to see your old back to school pictures!  I’m sure I’m not the only one with funny kid pictures, so get to searching so I don’t have an empty link up!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Mixed Emotions

As I said in the beginning of my last post, this summer has been really long.

We moved out of our Monterey home.

We moved cross-country with three kids and a dog, spending a total of 14 days in hotel rooms.

We moved into our new Pennsylvania home.

We’ve done a lot of fun things this summer.  Friends and family have visited us in our new home.  We’ve explored our new hometown.

But there have also been the not so good times.  There has been tattling, whining, crying, and fighting.  And sometimes my patience wears thin with all of it.

Trenton and Charlotte start school on Tuesday.  They have been counting down the days and so have I.  Trenton is going into kindergarten, and I’ve told myself that I’m not going to be one of those moms who gets all emotional.  I’m ready for school to start.  I’m ready to spend some one on one time with my kid who doesn’t whine or back talk yet.  I’m ready for Trenton and Charlotte to have some time apart from one another so maybe they won’t fight quite as much when they are together.

Last night I went to parent orientation at the kids school.  And I almost became that emotional mom that I said I wasn’t going to be.  We were walking down the hall on a tour of the school, and I was holding back tears.  Hearing that we drop the kids off in the parking lot for morning assembly and don’t get to walk them into the school – I was almost in tears.  Seeing that Trenton has graduated from a cubbie to a locker – I was almost in tears.  Sitting at the little bitty desk with his name on it, in his little bitty chair filling out paperwork for him to ride the bus home – I was almost in tears.

I didn’t cry when I dropped him off for his first day of preschool three years ago.

First Day of Preschool

But we’ll see what happens on Tuesday.