Friday, March 16, 2012

3 Month Wrap-Up

Yay; I'm posting! Although being busy with 4 kids now has been part of my blogging absence, I think I just had to get back to a place of being interested in blogging again. I think I'm there. I always remember it's something I enjoy doing once I actually do it. I feel like it's a better use of my time, anyway, because when I clean the house, it's messy again a few hours later. But a blog post remains!

Our baby was born the second week in January. And this is a little of all the other stuff we've had going on since Christmas.

Our new baby...
at the hospital
one of the proudest moments of my life, thus far

 2 or 3 weeks old


Since my almost-7 year old thinks he could drive a car perfectly on the road if we'd only let him, he obviously doesn't understand our apprehension toward him walking around the house (on our concrete floor) with the baby, up and down the stairs (which we don't let him do). It's a challenge to allow him some responsibilty and yet keep him close. However, he is actually really good at holding him correctly and tending to his needs. All 3 of them want to hold Baby regularly, but this guy is especially into it. 

2 months, 10 days

At Awanas lately...
One night, the Sparks were asked to dress as someone from another country (because of the focus on missions). This is what we came up with for Dash. This guy makes me laugh out loud as much as his defiant nature frustrates me.

Ryan and I were also able to spend the evening witnessing a night in the life of our Sparkie this week at parents' night.

In our homeschool lately...

I thought that our homeschool would take more of a hit, with our addition. But we have been plugging right along. We've managed to stay pretty caught up with all of our homeschool co-op homework. (Spring Break couldn't have come at a more perfect time; we needed this break.) And here are a few school-ish pictures I've also taken lately:

The kids have been playing with some of the educational games/activities, like this Little Achievers addition puzzle we got at Wal-Mart the other day.

also: two Magnix books, one on counting and the other, rhyming/word families

The kids, led by their oldest brother, have been working on this zoo picture for weeks - gluing on craft stick fences, cutting out pics from magazines, and adding additional artwork with crayons and markers.

One night, they all decided to make puppets and put on a play. They came across an old book about making a play, which inspired them. They made puppets, which turned out really cute, from socks (a new sock, ahem) and toilet paper rolls. Their book Scrambled States of America (which they had read every day for about 2 weeks) also inspired the play, Scrambled States of America and the Haunted House.

Dash was the main narrator, and I could cry over how sweet he was, trying to be serious announcing the show.

Dash received this Magic Tree in his stocking. It worked really well, and the packet was only around $2.

The boys and I went to a local library for an Ireland/St. Patrick's Day homeschool activity. They listened to books, music, and passed around items from Ireland. They finished with these leprechaun crafts.

What I'm Reading Lately...
I mentioned before that I was reading Large Family Logistics. It just so happened that my friend Karen started a book club based on that book, and I've enjoyed being a part of that the past two months.

I just finished Seriously...I'm Kidding by Ellen Degeneres - sooo funny. I love how kind and clean her humor is. I really laughed out loud during every chapter. I have been reading The Heart of Homeschooling by Christopher Klicka. I am also almost finished reading The Best Kind of Different: Our Family's Journey with Asperger's Syndrome by Shonda Schilling (wife to former pro baseball player, Curt Schilling).

Extracurricular lately:
Not only did we start Sis back up with ballet (after taking off two months for Christmas and baby's birth), soccer season also began about three weeks ago. AND - it's Sissy's first season on a real team. (She played last year on the parent-child practice league.) Now I have to be at the practice field for two hours, rather than one, and it's all little bit of maneuvering to hit both games (Tomorrow, they're at the same time.). But it's twice the fun, and she seems to really enjoy it just like her brother.

her first after-game tunnel

People we've been seeing lately...
Ryan's parents came down this past weekend to meet their 2 month old grandson.

Aunt Cary was one of the first people to meet our little prince at the beginning of February, when she came down also for Sissy's birthday. Googie, Papaw, and Aunt Tracy were the first ones to meet him (since they live close by).

 Cousin W and Cousin R got to hold their new little loved one too.

A crazy thing that happened...
(Sorry this story is so long, but I wanted to write down the memory for my kids'.) A few weeks ago, I became motivated to go on our first fun outing with just us 5. We went to a library in a nearby town. It's one we particularly enjoy because there is a little lake right next to it. The kids like to walk around the walking/bike path and feed the birds. Well, that's what we were doing, as I was slowly pushing our new Sit 'N Stand stroller plus carseat that held our approximately 15 library books, my iPhone, keys, several blankets, Sissy's coat, and the diaper bag full of clothes and diapers, etc. I was holding Baby Brother because he had been crying, and I was taking pictures of the other 3 kids.

All of the sudden, the wind blew so hard that my stroller, plus all it contained, went flying into the lake. I think a young guy running by yelled out a warning, but it all happened so fast. I stared at the stroller sideways in the lake, starting to float away, and in about 2 seconds tried to process my plan of action. I handed the baby to the stranger (Great, huh? He seemed nice.), pulled off my boots, and jumped into the water. (I only had to go to my knees.) The stroller weighed a ton, and I had to pull with all my might to get it out of there. I grabbed any loose object I could, one at a time, but half of our things, including most of the books, went floating across the lake. I remember thinking little silly things like, "Oh, no, I'm going to have to buy Sissy a new coat, even though winter's almost over," and "Phooey, I really wanted to read those books." We did get her coat, which floated to the other shore, along with a baby shoe. The books floated across, too, which really surprised me. They're readable - just not returnable.

The devastating thoughts came when one stranger asked in the middle of all of this, "Do you have a phone? Can you call someone?" My phone! And my keys! They were both in the water. I never got my phone back, but I did find my keys when I went back to look later. I borrowed a cellphone to call Ryan to come help me. He left work and arrived about 20 minutes later. Fortunately, they were playing Wall-E inside the library, so the 3 big kids were occupied while Ryan helped me with my mess. It had been a little chaotic while I was grabbing things out of the lake because Sissy (who was upset by the whole situation) and the baby were crying the whole time. I only cried after I heard Ryan's voice on the phone (calling from a stranger's phone # while crying with crying in the background, I was smart enough to begin the conversation with, "Everything's okay, but...").

Good news: baby wasn't in the stroller when it went sailing into the water. So that clearly trumps all of the bad news, but still: ruined tons of diapers, ruined my NYC wallet, had to throw my make-up away, lost my new iPhone and I'm not going to pay $500 to replace it (It was purchased as a buy one-get one deal with my husband's, so now I'm just using an old rechargeable phone I had.), had to take the stroller and carseat to the carwash and also take apart the covers to wash at home, and the library is charging me $375 for the books. Oh, and also fortunately I had my nice camera on me and not in the stroller.

Out and about...
Baby Brother's first trip to the zoo (5 or 6 weeks old?)...he pretty much slept through the whole thing, but we enjoyed the beautiful day. I especially liked it because it was the first real day I'd gotten out to walk around in the sunshine; I'd really been craving that. I think my body had been getting sore from sitting around so much.

At Sissy's preschool lately...
Rainforest Unit

Sis was oh, so excited to bring mini cupcakes (from Dempsey's Bakery) to her class for her 5th birthday.

Hope you had a good week!

Linkin' Up:
weekly wrap-up 


Pam Rohde said...

Hooray! You're back! I have missed your blogs. I am still sick for you about your terrible library day and just wanted to say your family is so beautiful! I could squeeze that baby. I wish my kids could play with your kids.

Phyllis said...

With that beautiful bundle, I can see why your attention has been elsewhere. It is good to see you again!

Annette {This Simple Home} said...

:) Many blessings indeed! I see you borrow MANY books at a time, too, for that price! I wonder if insurance could help?

Jenn said...

So glad you're back! Your little one is so precious- such a blessing! Love all the photos:) Your story...oh, my! Glad everyone was okay (and your camera too). Sorry about the library books...yikes!