Saturday, August 17, 2013

Happy Days Are Here Again! Back to School!

Summer has come and gone and now the kiddos are back to school. They have only been back to school for three days. This year there were no partial days. Trust me I had no complaints but I could see it on my kids exhausted faces when they returned home, their day was a long one. We tried to "train" them back into their school routine but of course that didn't work. Good intentions and all that jazz. My oldest instantly fell asleep when she came home. My oldest son was frantic that he would miss a homework assignment being posted on their new class website. Plus, he was upset that he wouldn't have any "game" (video game) time because he had football practice. My younger two seemed the least bit affected by the long school day.

The youngest started preschool this year. He is four years old. He calls it "Priest School" and now that he is going to "Priest School" he is a priest. According to him. It's so stinking cute and I love that he is so excited about school.

I have to say I am so happy that school has started back up. Not just because the kids are out of the house. I have enjoyed spending time with my kids this summer. The summer did go by incredibly fast. The reason I am happy that school is in session is because my family will be back on a schedule. School forces us to get on a schedule and stick to it. Bedtimes, wake up times, homework assignments and deadlines, practice and game schedules, all of it forces us to adhere to a routine. And let's be honest we do better when we stick to a routine.

Part of our routine includes making lunches.  This year we are making the kids take their own lunch 4 out of 5 days a week. They can decide at the beginning of the week what lunch they want to purchase at school. With four kids in school, lunches add up quickly. I figured it to be about $200 a month on school lunches. If we pack our own and limit purchases of the school's lunch then we can save about half that amount. It adds up quick and with those savings we could afford to send three kids to summer camp next year. I searched Pinterest for several lunch ideas. My favorite one was of a three drawer Rubbermaid organization bin. Each drawer held different items that can go into a lunch box. In my top drawer I have things like fruit cups, granola bars, cheese and crackers, raisins. The kids can pick two from this box. In the second drawer I have sweets like Little Debbie treats, cookie packs and fruit snacks. They can pick one. The third drawer is for our drinks. We are allowing the kids to choose a drink from the drawer, a bottle (reusable) of water, or milk purchased at school. Plus, the kids can make sandwiches or rollups and get fruit and veggies from the fridge. So far (for the three days we've had) it's gone well. I hope we can stick with it. I believe that the lunch making will help my kids with decision making. They will learn about choices and healthy food. We also have an after school snack bin in our pantry. This keeps the kids from sneaking the lunch supplies.

Guess what also comes with the kids going back to school... FOOTBALL! I'm not a huge football fan. I cannot tell you what play is what but I do understand enough to enjoy the game. Yes, I am a football mom. And I love to watch my son play...when he plays. I enjoy the high school football games as well. We are a small town how else are we to spend our Friday evenings? But the best part of the season....wait for it... FANTASY FOOTBALL. Oh my goodness, my husband has his draft coming up next weekend. Now to be fair he isn't like most men who get all out of control with their teams but I do find it amusing. He enjoys it and that makes it worth it. I'm looking forward to the cool weather (which we are enjoying today) which means chili and sandwiches while watching college or pro games. Woohoo...I'm so excited.

So as you can now tell, I love this time of year. The routine of back to school. The excitement of football season. And the wonderful fall weather. I'm dying to start decorating with pumpkins, fall leaves and little ghouls and monsters. But I will give it a week or two.

I hope you are enjoying the back to school fun.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Let's Catch Up

My last post was in August of 2012. So it hasn't exactly been a year that I have ignored this blog. Life has been crazy insane since then. Let me catch you up and hopefully I will be back on track to this whole blogging world.

I'm still working as nurse. I have almost survived my first year as an RN. My anniversary date is June 18th.  It has been a challenge for sure but I am learning everyday. I started out on night shift and just recently switched to days. Life is so much better on days. Work isn't easier. In fact it is downright crazy and I often wonder why I agreed to switch shifts. But I am home by 7pm on the days I work and am able to spend time with my family. Then I can sleep like a normal person. Yes, I am enjoying days!

On Christmas Day we had a big snow storm and I was snowed in at work. The entire area was covered in snow. And you know what happens when it snows right?  People want to warm up. They snuggle. Then snuggling leads to other things and... well you get the point. We did some (ahem) snuggling of our own ringing in the new year and now we are expecting our fifth child. We will be having a little girl and we are ecstatic about it.

A little surprise to both my husband and I. I say little because we had discussed having another child and we weren't taking any precautions so it wasn't a big surprise. The big surprise came when I became so sick during the first trimester. I don't remember being that sick with my other kiddos. My husband said it was a combination of working night shift and being older. God bless him that he is still alive for bringing up the fact that I am now older. Seriously, I didn't have the energy or the stomach to take him out on that one. So I let it slide...for the time being.

Thankfully, I survived the first trimester and everything is moving along perfectly. Life is going pretty good I would say.

In late April we decided to pull the kids out of school for a week and take them to Disney World. It has been a goal of ours to take the family to Disney. The first night at the Magic Kingdom I couldn't hold back my tears. My youngest was asleep in the stroller. He didn't stay awake for Tinker Bell's flight or for the fireworks. The older three were standing on a bench, overlooking a lake and watching the fireworks over Cinderella's castle. Blame it on the hormones but it was a beautiful moment that I will never forget. For a few minutes my children were calm and loving. We spent the entire day in the park and had a couple of meltdowns. But at that moment of the fireworks everything fell into place. The kids were cheering and pointing. It was perfection and the Disney magic fell upon my family.The rest of the week was like that. There was so much to do and we were lucky to be able to do most of it. Really, the end of April is prime time to visit Disney World. Barely any lines or crowds. The weather was perfect but I think that was just luck more than anything.

So what do you do when you return home from Disney World? Well, the kids went back to school. That Monday morning I convinced my husband that we should consider getting a dog. Yep, I went there. We have had pets before but had to give them to other homes when we moved or for other circumstances. We have been pet free for about five and half years. The kids are to the age where I believe they will benefit from a family pet. My husband decided to humor me and off to the county shelter we went. Of course we saw puppies first but they were already claimed for adoption. We took a walk around the kennels. All the dogs were cute and very excited. They jumped at the fence and barked. It was heartbreaking to see so many animals without a home. At the end of the kennels there was a red dog who calmly sat and waited for us to get to her. She didn't bark. We were told that her name is Harlow and was found wandering in one of the local businesses. After spending some time with her in the shelter's office we decided she was for us. Of course we had to see how she was with four kids. Later that day we told the kids the news and that they would meet Harlow. The meeting of dog and kids was funny. Harlow was the calmest of the bunch. She is extremely tame and only barks if she wants to go outside. Yay for a housebroken dog. She also doesn't jump on anyone. BONUS!!! Now she is ours forever. I couldn't be more pleased. Harlow is the chill pup that our family needed.

There you have it. You have been caught up. My life is still crazy as ever. And it is going to get crazier. Is that even possible? Well, stick around and find out.

Upcoming posts:
1. Harlow and her preferred place to poop. (Thank God it's not in my house)
2. My husband bought an XBox.
3. Don't call it a Geriatric Pregnancy!