Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The daily grind

Emily's first airplane ride.

What to post about when nothing new is happening...I guess it's good that we are starting to get into a routine (only to be changed again in 8 more weeks : ) ). Mary is going to gymnastics, which has become a big part of her life. Both kids are taking swim lessons, which as a side bonus has aided with bath time woes--Mary no longer screams when water gets in her face. Elijah goes to his preschool 3 times a week. I am working on trying to manage household chores and spend time with especially Emily, but all of the kids really, while I am home.

Emily went to the doctor today for her 2 month checkup and she is pretty healthy. She is in the 95th percentile for both height and weight, but has been growing steadily, so it's not a concern. Dr. Miller was impressed that she is sleeping for 7 hours straight at nighttime. It has definitely made our life seem better since I am getting a full night's sleep. In fact, I am not feeling guilty at all about staying in bed until 7:15 am every day. A time will come shortly that we will be walking out the door at 7:15, so I will enjoy this time while I have it!

Tonight Brian will bring home his new 4 Runner. He is super excited to have a new vehicle, even though he's sad to no longer have a truck. My parents are especially sad because now they no longer have a truck either (ha ha!).

Saturday, January 26, 2008

on being "poor"

Well, first of all compared to many people in the world we are very wealthy. But, especially after visiting the posh neighborhoods of homes in Ft. Lauderdale that have multi-million dollar homes that sit vacant, you do have to remind yourself at least I don't live in a cardboard box. That was all an aside. The real thing I am writing about today is actually the joy of not having a lot of disposable income. This week we had an unfortunate thing happen. The transmission in Brian's truck needs to be rebuilt. Since it has almost 200,000 miles on it we decided to pass and start the search for a "new -to -us" vehicle. Now, we were not shocked that his truck needed this major overhaul. In fact, we'd been starting to talk about what our next vehicle should be, but we were hoping the truck would get us through the end of the school year and we could have the summer to find something right for us.

So, back to being poor. We drove around the local dealerships last night and realized we just cannot afford anything around here. When we got home we were looking at Craig's List for vehicles in the area and on a whim decided to check Terre Haute after we had looked through Lafayette and Indy. Well, we actually found something that we thought, "wow, this is in our price range, and what we are looking for." So, I did a bit more research online and this morning gave the number a call. By noon we were driving to meet the owner half way to Terre Haute and later this week we will be going back to pick it up. We got to meet the guy and his wife and three daughters who all came along too.

Brian, Emily and I got to have a fun road trip on a Saturday afternoon, we got to meet some very cool people, and they were telling us all about the car and how they would miss it so much, yadda, yadda. It even already has a name--Gertie. The wife was saying that you say, "gun it Gertie" when you want her to go fast!

If we had plenty of disposable income we would have researched what kind of car we wanted, test drove a bunch, been picky about color, style, etc. and we certainly would not have driven to Covington (half way to Terre Haute) to buy it.

Oh, by the way--it's a black Toyota 4Runner. We will actually have 2 vehicles that our whole family can fit in. Brian is limited about cars because he is so tall. It's hard to find something his head doesn't hit the roof in. But, since he drives 70 miles a day, he needed something that gets a little better mileage than a large SUV or truck. He really wanted a 4Runner, but even the old ones are fairly pricey. So, we were pleasantly surprised to find this one. It has a lot of miles on it, but apparently not for a Toyota. I was looking at other comparable ones on ebay and some of them had twice as many miles--well over 200,000! So we feel confident that even if he ends up hating it (which I doubt) we will be able to sell it and get our money back.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

More fun from Ft. Lauderdale

The boat my brother works on. It is docked at the owner's house.
Brian, Jeff, and some friends preparing for the wedding.
Here we are on the beach.
Jeff and Michelle with my parents.
Riding in the Just Married Jeep.

We really had a lot of fun and the trip went very smoothly. When we got there it was in the upper 80's and hot, but by the time we left it was raining and only in th 60's. Thankfully the wedding was on the warmer day and it was beautiful on the beach. During the ceremony all the cruise ships that go down to the Bahamas left their port, so we watched about 5 really large ships go out into the ocean right behind the bride and groom. The boating industry tends to attract some interesting people, so we got to meet a lot of Jeff and Michelle's friends that had some cool stories and lifestyles.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Killing time

I am waiting for Brian to get home from work so we can leave for the airport. The kids are gone and the baby is asleep. I just got the mail and we got 2 statements for our teacher retirement funds. Not really a big deal, I get one every quarter. This time there were 2. One for me, one for Brian. Just a fun reminder that we are a 2 teacher family now. We both get summers, Christmases, and Spring Breaks off. Joy!!!

Thursday, January 17, 2008


You better watch it buddy. I know karate!

Ugh, Emily. Why did your mom put us like this?
I don't know, Jonathan. Probably she likes to listen to us cry...or she wanted to see who would spit up first. I think she likes cleaning the carpets.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Our bags are packed and we're ready to go...

Cuz we're leavin' on a jetplane.... everybody now!

Only 2 days and counting until we depart for (sunny?) Ft. Lauderdale!! I have been trying to find springish clothes that fit me reasonably well and getting all the last minute things done so that we can leave and not look back for a couple of days! Elijah and Mary are staying with family while we are gone. What, did you think we were going to fly to Florida with our 3 kids and all their car seats, strollers, and other miscellaneous gear in tow? You must have thought we were crazy. We are taking Emily since I am currently her food source AND because she can fly for free. I am really looking forward to seeing my brother and other family members who are coming, all of whom have yet to meet Miss Emily Ruth. I'll make sure to post pictures when we return on Monday.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

I guess my postpartum days are over

Emily is 6 weeks old today!!!

Here are a couple shots of this growing girl. She is up to 11 lbs. already and well on her way to 12! She is holding her head up pretty well and starting to give her first smiles. I had my doctor visit today and was given a clean bill of health. The one disappointment was that he said I should wait a couple more MONTHS before attempting abdominal exercises. I have already started walking and trying to eat pretty healthy in an attempt to slide into my jeans--they're so close, and yet so far...I am also trying to find an inexpensive outfit to wear to my brother's wedding next weekend. It's in Florida--on the beach. I just hate buying clothes that I (hopefully) won't be wearing for very long. I did buy a couple of shirts this weekend, but they were cheap and probably won't last that long anyway.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

A Few Random things from my camera

When I uploaded pictures to my computer today I found a few things that were fun. The first picture was this morning--I realized that Mary and Emily were dressed almost alike. Then I realized I can start buying matching outfits for the girls! I don't know if I will...okay, I probably will. For Christmas Mary got this cute nightgown from Gymboree and a hat and purse from The Children's Place that all happened to match. I think she looks like a Mary Jane-esque character from Spiderman (the damsel in distress for all of you non-Spiderman watchers). Elijah was absolutely thrilled with this new costume that includes a face mask. He has been doing Spidey jumps all around the house.

And for anyone who didn't see the article in the Journal and Courier about The SmallTown Heroes, check this out.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year

I am not one to spend a lot of time reflecting, but at this time of year it certainly seems appropriate to remember what things have influenced and affected us in the last 365 days.

Last New Year's Eve was spent in Cleveland, OH. We had 2 wonderful children and were pretty content with them starting to grow up a bit (read no more sleepless nights). We enjoyed the winter with lots of snow, playing outdoors, shoveling, etc. Elijah took swimming lessons. I felt like we kind of found our groove. Brian was finishing school, I was settled at my job, the kids had their routine...enter baby number 3. Thankfully my pregnancy was fairly uneventful and I was rarely sick--in fact I don't think I threw up even once now that I think about it.

I can't think of anything that happened in the spring. Oh, Elijah played soccer. That was fun!!

Summer started (late due to a week's worth of snow days to make up) with me taking a week long kindergarten workshop and Elijah going to zoo camp. Brian was home with us most days as he finished up some class stuff for Purdue and later in June worked for the University part-time at Stone Hall cafeteria/catering. We (he) put a new back porch on our house with the help of several friends and family members. We grew and enjoyed our garden, went on a long weekend just the two of us to northern Michigan, we swam at Aunt Susan's and Tropicanoe Cove, attended the coldest, rainiest Fiddler's Gathering ever, hung out with Foghorn Stringband at Bob-o's retirement party, kept our kids up for 4th of July Fireworks for the first time, listened to SmallTown Heroes play at Wolcott, spent a week in Michigan with our family on vacation...whew, it seems like a lot when you list it out like that!!

Fall was intense. Brian keeps saying to me that he has been seriously stressed out since he got his job the first week of August. Between my growing belly, a couple of head lice infestations, my aching back, his new job and student teaching, Elijah starting preschool (me driving him back and forth during my lunch time), and trying to prepare for whatever our life would look like with the addition of our new baby...we were kind of, okay really, stressed out. Thankfully Brian finished with an A from Purdue, got all of his work done and next semester should be significantly less busy.

Emily has been a wonderful addition to our family. She is the snuggliest baby! I won't lie and say our life has just been rosy since her birth. It has been hard. Harder than I thought. Mary has been tough to deal with, the lack of sleep is difficult when you have other kids to deal with in the morning, and navigating the holidays has proven to be almost impossible for us this year (well, that was because I was throwing up, but nonetheless). I know I am looking forward to getting back into a routine with preschool, getting the kids signed up for an activity. As I was writing on my calendar today I realized just how soon I will be going back to work. I know the days will fly by and then we'll have a whole new set of stresses to deal with: paying for 3 kids in daycare, dropping off at 3 places in the morning before work, pumping for breastmilk during the day, oh, and actually doing my job, writing lesson plans, teaching 23 6 year olds how to read and write. I guess the moral of the story is this: life is always busy, always hard in some way. If you are always looking for the next "resting period" you will miss the good parts along the way.

This next year will bring more firsts to our family: Elijah will start kindergarten in the fall. Mary will start preschool. Our summer will include us both bringing home a paycheck and not working. Emily will have her "first year" and all that comes with it--sitting, crawling, talking, walking. Next Christmas we will have a one year old. As I wrap it up I am both excited and sad as I think of the passing of time. So often I wish for something different and then look back and wish for that time to come back. This year I will try more to enjoy the moments as they come.