Lazy Summer Days

We’re were lucky to enjoy a few lazy summer days in between having family visits and camps starting next week.

I decided not to work this summer, and instead stay home with the boys. That is a whole different post, but for the most part I have been very thankful for the extra time at home. I’ve never had a “real” summer break with my kids, and while many days are still busy, it’s fun to have a few sprinkled in there where they can just stay in their pajamas until dinner time.

My birthday last week was one of those nice lazy summer days. To say “lazy” isn’t really correct because days are never lazy for me. Being at home with three boys is action packed even when they are in their pajamas. But we got to be home a lot of the day just playing in the backyard and imagining things like little kids are supposed to do.

Actually…I took the boys to Costco because we really needed some milk. Caleb got to sit in the cart for the first time ever. You can tell my kids are really happy to be grocery shopping with me on my birthday.

20160706_102326When we got home, though, we got to play in the backyard for a long time. Elias has been teaching himself to climb our trees, and he is getting pretty good.

20160706_130321Simon performed with the bubbles for his baby brother.

20160706_130206I sat out in the sun watching my boys just so happy to be alive and in that moment. It was a wonderful birthday gift.

Later in the evening we went to Red Robin so I didn’t have to cook dinner. Then we went to a Hops game with my parents. The game was moving super slow and the boys did get a little bored for a bit, but they still had a lot of fun and didn’t want to leave when we forced them out the gate.

20160706_200834Nathan says I’m 20 in hexidecimal now. (That means I’m 32). I think the good years are just starting.

 

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Too Much Testosterone

Being the only girl in a house with five people was bound to catch up to me eventually. I have three little boys and I wouldn’t have it any different. Little boys love their mamas and they are just so much fun.

But….I am beginning to feel all the testosterone floating around in the air. All the stuff that annoyed me about my brothers is starting to crop up now that I have a five and three year old. Constant wrestling. Wanting to talk about bodily functions. Fascination with peeing outside. Or peeing in the same toilet at the same time. Not wanting to wear clothes. Making everything…I mean everything….a weapon. Constant noise. Constant movement.

The list goes on and on. Sometimes I love it. Sometimes I just wish I could have a nice quiet tea party with some dolls or stuffed animals. A nice quiet tea party without having to pretend any of the guests are “bad guys” or are eating each other’s babies. (Because that is what happens at tea parties at our house). Sometimes I just want nice imaginary tea and cookies thank you very much.

Exhibit A:

20160709_152136You may think this is the letter “Y.” But no. It is his bow. The arrows are imaginary. He cannot let it go even in sleep.

I find so much joy in my boys. I find joy in their play. Even in their fascination with peeing.

But man. I’m in desperate need of some girl time.

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Star Wars Night With the Hops

My mom gifted us a four game mini plan for the Hillsboro Hops last Christmas. We chose the “early plan” which had two games in June and a game on each of Nathan and my birthdays because Nathan’s family usually visits in August and we didn’t want it to conflict. Luck would have it that this year, they came to visit in June instead so it still conflicted, but it’s alright…it all worked out.

Anyway, tonight was one of the games on our mini plan, and with the boys having high fevers yesterday we were worried we might not be able to go. The fevers disappeared, though, and despite having somewhat sunken eyes and a bit of a cough, the boys really perked up in the late afternoon today. We decided to head to the hops game for as long as we could make it…one inning…four…seven…whatever we could get.

Tonight was Star Wars night with the Hops and the boys had a blast taking some pictures with some people they recognized. They’ve never watched the movies, but know many of the characters from books.

20160630_184236 20160630_185031 20160630_185127They boys had a blast and did not want to leave.

20160630_194735We forced them out of the ballpark, though, after 6 innings because it was already 9pm (2 hours past bedtime) and we want them to get some rest before hanging out with their cousins tomorrow!

The Hops games always provide a good family fun evening!

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Teeth!

As of this morning, Caleb has two teeth! The are both bottom teeth. I took the obligatory tooth shot yesterday. You can actually see his first tooth now on the bottom. To some it may look like he has some on the top, but not yet!

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The Sickies

About a week ago Caleb and I both felt like we had colds. A few days later, Simon came down with a fever. Yesterday, Elias had a fever of 102.7 and Simon had a bad cough and almost completely lost his voice. What do you do when you have a bunch of sickies? Stay home and rest!

Unfortunately, we are missing fun family time with cousins, but the boys needed the rest. I couldn’t believe I got them both laying down at the same time for more than five minutes. I put a movie on so I could get them to sit still. Usually they move around a lot even while watching movies, but yesterday they must really have felt awful!

20160629_083811 After lunch they perked up a bit, but with fevers, I still wanted them doing some quiet. I pulled something out of my closet I had been saving for just such a time. They were both very excited to be scientists. Geologists to be more specific!

20160628_105257At quiet time Elias said he wanted to lay down, which I don’t think has ever happened before. I came back to check on him after feeding Caleb and look what I found:

20160629_135513Then I went to check on the other boys:

20160629_143241 20160629_143310This was the first time ever that all three boys had been asleep at the same time (during the day). I knew if I tried to sleep too I would jinx it so instead I just lay on the bed and rested and thought about how lucky I was. (Not that I want them to be sick….but it did have one positive side effect).

Today the boys were still sick so we had another rest day. Toward the end of the afternoon they really started acting more themselves so hopefully we’ll be back on track tomorrow for some fun with family!

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First Tent Camping Trip!

Last year Nathan and I decided that we wanted to be a tent camping family. My parents gave us a tent as a gift, but since I was pregnant, we never ended up using the tent despite good intentions. In January we had a two month old, but we were bound a determined to tent camp this summer. We made three one night reservations for different campgrounds and different weekends to try it out. (We were only so ambitious with an infant, a toddler, and a preschooler in tow.)

We scheduled the first trip for Stub Stewart State Park, only 30 or so miles from our house. I mentioned our trips to a friend from church and her family ended up joining us. We were happy to have friends on our first trip, and the boys were happy to spend time with their friends Jane and Josie as well.

Friday night we packed up the van and headed out in some sprinkles to the campground. Luckily, it hadn’t really rained out there. It was dry and beautiful. We set up camp and the kids got to play around at the playground. We roasted marshmallows and ate s’mores.

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The boys were super excited about sleeping in the tent. Here they are as we were getting ready for bed.

20160624_212517And Caleb was happy too:

20160624_212524It was pretty cold out there, but the skies were clear and it was so wonderful seeing the stars. All three boys went to bed relatively easily and the adults even got some adult time out by the campfire.

In the morning we cooked a yummy breakfast, sat around the campfire, and then packed up to go home. Nathan and I both had a lot of fun spending time with our friends, and I think for our first tent camping trip it was a big success! I’m glad we have two more short trips coming up this summer. Barring disaster on those, I think next summer we will be in store for some longer adventures.

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Caleb: 7 months

Caleb turned seven months old yesterday. I feel like a broken record, but time really is going by too fast. I have no idea how seven months have already passed! A lot has happened this month.

Caleb went with us on a family vacation to Florence, and then went to the beach again on a visit to Astoria with Grandpa. He also went on his first tent camping trip (just one night). He’s getting to be a well traveled and flexible baby! Here he is on our camping trip last weekend:

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Caleb also got to meet new family members this month. Here he is with my cousin Renee:

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He was also reunited with his own cousins and Grandpa for their second visit since his birth.

We started Caleb on solids at six months. After one month of experimenting with some fruits and vegetables I have to say we are moving slower than I’d like. He doesn’t swallow much food yet, but he seems to have enjoyed different tastes and textures so that is a good thing. So far he has tasted apples, oatmeal, carrots, peaches, sweet potato, peas, avocado, apricot, raspberries, and bananas. (Along with spinach pea mum mums).

Caleb is sitting up now. He is still known to plop over occasionally so we still stay pretty close or surround him with pillows and toys. He also is turning around on his tummy so we can surround him with toys all 360 degrees and he will have a lot of fun. He moves backward as well but so far not forward.

This month Caleb also got his first tooth. His little smile is changing every day! It’s been a big month for him, and there are lots more changes to come.

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Cousins Time!

We’ve been lucky to have more cousin time. Auntie Erin, Audrey and Sonya arrived on Thursday along with Grandpa!

Caleb met his cousins in January but he doesn’t remember because he was only a few weeks old. He has been having fun watching them and playing with Auntie Erin who has been a very devoted Auntie the past few days.

20160623_195912Caleb enjoyed watching Sonya play.

20160624_125326We had to get the picture of Caleb and Auntie Erin while he was wearing the Auntie bib.

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Elias and Simon are having a blast with their cousins as usual. This evening they snuggled up with Auntie for a story.

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We’ve got many more fun times planned for the next week or so. We are always happy to visit with family.

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Father’s Day 2016 #2

Yesterday on the real Father’s Day we had another great time. We went to church and then came home for a very brief lunch, and headed out again.

We met my parents and my brother’s family at Horning’s Hidout. My grandpa took my brothers and me there when we were little, but I hadn’t been for at least 20 years. We were in for some good ol’ fashioned trout fishing.

When we arrived the boys saw Ama and Baba across a grassy field and immediately wanted to run over to them. Simon took a major spill and wiped out in front of some other people. He was fine, but one of the nice ladies gave him some sparklers to use for fun later for taking such a hard fall.

Trout fishing started out a bit slow, but we had some good family times anyway.

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Eventually we got a bite on Simon’s pole. Once it was hooked he reeled it in. We talk about fishing a lot at family gatherings, and I had talked to the boys about what was going to happen, but I don’t think it really sunk in for Simon because he seemed pretty shocked when the flapping fish came out of the water. He gave it a disgusted look and said, “I don’t want that!”

20160619_145810Elias was a bit disappointed that he didn’t get to catch the first fish, but went on to catch three of his own.

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In all we caught four rainbow trout and one golden trout. The boys agreed to show off some of their catch if they didn’t have to actually touch the fish.

IMG_3224 IMG951075Here are all the best dads and sons around!

20160619_155541After finishing up at the lake we went to my parents’ house to hang out and have dinner together. It was a very fun evening.

Tonight Nathan cooked up some of the trout for our dinner. I have to admit (for fish) it was pretty tasty. I was adamant that the boys eat some trout. Fishing is a sport, but I don’t want my boys to ever be wasteful about taking life from any of God’s creation. Fishing is fun, but if they catch it, they eat it!

Both boys eat pretty much zero meat normally and were not enthused that I was requiring them to eat some trout, but Elias ended up eating more bites than I required of him, and Simon ate a ton of the fish…perhaps even more than I did! Here they are giving a thumbs up after eating their catch:

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Early Father’s Day 2016

Tomorrow is Father’s Day, and between church and celebrating with my side of the family/my dad, there wasn’t much time left for Nathan and our traditional fathers day happenings. We decided to do our own family celebrations today.

On Nathan’s first Father’s Day in 2011, I asked him to think of something he’d like to do every year for a tradition. He chose swimming. We’ve been swimming every Father’s day since. It has been a lot of fun for our family, and I’m glad I asked him to create a tradition.

Earlier today I asked Nathan how long we’ve been doing Father’s Day swimming because I couldn’t remember when we started. Like most things about our family when we can’t remember, Nathan said, “I don’t know just look at the blog.” So I went back to June 2011 and found our post about Father’s Day that year. Sure enough, 2011 (Nathan’s first father day) was our first swimming year. You can read about it here. It actually made me tear up a bit when I read Nathan’s own words about his first fathers day.

Anyway, today was Nathan’s day. We relaxed most of the morning. Nathan got to take Simon for a haircut and we just had a leisurely morning. The boys each got him a gift. I let them choose something they want to do together with their daddy.

Simon chose ice cream. Elias chose Minecraft. Nathan has given him a small taste of playing the game. He gets to play 10 or 15 minutes a day. Elias got Nathan a second account so that they could play together. It was cute listening to them interacting both in the real world and in the game at the same time. Nathan had to rescue Elias (who had fallen under some ice) multiple times in the game.

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I’ve always wanted to do one of those cute pinterest-y questionnaires so I printed one out and had the boys answer some questions about their daddy. They turned out pretty cute, but I think they were trying to be silly rather than serious. It will be interesting to see how they differ in a couple of years.

Here they are for your reading enjoyment:

20160618_120955 20160618_121041After lunch we packed up to go to the swimming pool. Our normal pool for this tradition (Conestoga recreation and Aquatic center) was closed today so we had to try a new one. Luckily, the Shute Park Aquatic Center in Hillsboro is just as great and way closer to our house! We were really glad we checked it out.

I took my tradition picture of Daddy and his sons in the locker room before heading out to the pool. Here are my goofballs:

20160618_134810We had a blast swimming, then headed home for a dinner of Nathan’s choice. I’m happy to be married to a man who actually wants to spend time with his family on Fathers Day!

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