30 Jul 2012

The Things You Do When You are You, Jayce

A few weeks ago I was looking at a blog entry that I did when Jayce was around Hannah's age where I was detailing some new trick that he was doing at the time, and I found myself wishing that I had given more information about the other things that he was doing at that age.  So I thought I'd do something like that  for both kids.

(The photos are not of a typical day, but a recent evening of sparklers with Grandma and Chelsea.)
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Jayce, on a typical day...
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 You wake up between 6:30 and 7:30.  If it is close to 6, we let you climb into bed with us and sleep until 7.  Then we let you watch some cartoons.

You don't really like breakfast and you don't want it right away.  You need to wake up a bit first and be left alone to do so.  If you stayed dry through the night, dad might let you play Angry Birds on his phone while he showers.
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 Your favorite shows are The Octonauts and Doc McStuffins, but if you had your way you would always be watching Fireman Sam or the Rescue Heros.  

You STILL love to sing Fireman Sam.  We went to the Children's Museum last week and you grabbed a hat and a microphone, ran on stage and then sang the whole song through to a crowd of moms and babies in strollers.  I love it.
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 You run from one "station" of the house to the next.  Run to the bathroom, run to the kitchen for a drink, run upstairs for a toy.  You also ride your scooter all around the house.

Your favorite toys are your Imaginex planes (and guys), your firetrucks, your tools, your kitchen, and your remote controlled Lightening McQueen car.  You love puzzles, games and books.   
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Last summer it was all about the water table, but this summer was all about the water guns.  Big and little squirt guns, cool ones and cheap ones, you don't discriminate.  You have trouble following through with not squirting people, but what fun is it to squirt trees and the porch?  Well, it's a little fun.  You do a lot of that, but always with the hose, and whenever I tell you to turn it off because you are flooding the grass or the dirt under the deck, you'll innocently remind me that you were just putting out a fire.  Of course you were.

You still love your tree swing.  Just as much this summer as the previous three summers.  We will miss that swing, but it has certainly been put to good use.
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Favorite food: Chicken nuggets, of course.  Honorable mention: carrots, peeled apples (darn you McDonald's!), corn on the cob, yogurt, fruit snacks, lemonade, pepperoni, sunflower seeds, grilled bratwursts and chicken.  
For breakfast: pancakes & sausage, strudels, waffles, cinnamon rolls, pop tarts. (Can you tell which parent fixes breakfast?  It's not me.)  For lunch: Turkey or peanut butter sandwich, peanut butter on graham crackers if you're being picky, apple or carrots, yogurt, sometimes Cheese Its.  If Chris is home he'll give you chips.  For dinner: Chicken/pork/sausage/beef- plain with barbecue sauce for dipping, "crunchy" lettuce-the white parts, some fruit or vegetable that you didn't already have for lunch.  Dessert: break n bake chocolate chip cookies, fresh from the oven, the chips from the cookies before they are baked, icing off of cakes or cupcakes, ice cream with sprinkles.
There is not a lot of food variety, but you don't like much.  When you ask to be done, I ask how old you are, and then tell you that you have to take that many more bites before you are finished.  You typically do this without argument.  I think in your mind the logic is rock solid.  I am four, so I have no choice other than to take four more bites.  It works.
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 You still take a nap nearly every day, and you need one, about 1 1/2 -2 hours.  We read two books, sing two songs, (okay, three, with only a little prompting), you get into bed with your two bears and blue blankie, and we must cover your feet.  If your toes feel the slightest breeze that is a deal breaker, which means that you are only covered from the waist down, since your blue blankie is a baby blanket.
 During the day you love to play games with me, help me cook/eat whatever I am trying to cook, go for bike rides around the block and play with sidewalk chalk.  
With Dad gets home it is always changing, but typically involves wrestling, running, sports equipment, bed jumping, music, sneaking treats when I'm not looking and running away together giggling.
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Your bedtime is 8, which means that we start the bedtime routine (bath, pjs, hairdryer, medicine, brush teeth, stories, songs) at 7:30 and finish around 8ish.  Then you get up to go to the bathroom about 5 minutes after we close the door.  Always.  There is no curbing this and you always go.  You get up a few more times, usually to come give us kisses/hugs/nose nuzzles, and again to ask if you can get a book to read.  It doesn't matter if we try to do these things when we are putting you down, you still get up to ask about them.  Which means you often actually go to sleep around 9ish.
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27 Jul 2012

St Louis Zoo

Last month we headed to St Louis to do some fingerprinting and whatnot that was required for the visa application process.  Since St Louis has a large (and free) zoo, we decided to make a little family day of it.
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Jayce and Chris by the prairie dogs, which were a favorite, for some reason.
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It was seriously hot that day, 93, so we only lasted a few hours.  But it was just long enough.
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Hey guys, look over here.
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No, over here.  
I am standing right in front of them.  Not sure what the confusion was here.
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The last time that we all went to the zoo together was on Jayce's 2nd birthday, which I posted about here.
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I had taken this picture of the boys walking together, and I discreetly tried to get a similar one this time around.
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Hannah was pretty chilled out while we walked around.  At one point we stopped to look at the walruses and she sat up in her stroller to wave at people walking by.  Most people waved back, but some didn't, and she would sit up to yell after them as they walked past.
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Eventually the sitting up and yelling was too much effort, so she just laid back down and kicked her feet up for the rest of the trip.
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Both kids, checking out the elephants.
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Overall it was a good trip.  It was Hannah's first time to the zoo, and her casual interest matched perfectly with our casual time commitment to the outing.  Luckily, free entry relieved the pressure of feeling like we had to see the whole thing, to get our money's worth, and we headed out as soon as we were too hot to be cooled by a stint in air conditioning or a round of ice cream.  It was just right.
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25 Jul 2012

Selling Things

As I said previously, when Justin came to town, he helped me go through my "big things" and decide what to sell.  When Chandra came to town, she helped me go through and photograph my "small things," mostly Etsy stuff and decor, to sell.
I was originally planning to throw it all on Craigslist.  But we found a better way.
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I put an album of my larger home and kids items on Facebook and got rid of 75% of it that way in about 5 days.  I would HIGHLY recommend this.  My friends just messaged me, and then came by to pick stuff up, or Chris dropped the bigger things off at people's homes who live in town.   This way we didn't have to stand in the heat all day (or all weekend) for a garage sale, all of my facebook friends could look through my stuff from the comforts of their own homes, and we didn't have to worry about potentially crazy Craigslist people showing up at the house to collect things.
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Everything that was listed for sale was put in the garage and I set up half of the garage like a mini garage sale.  So when people came to pick up whatever they had purchased, I would take them outside, give them their stuff, and ask if they'd like to look through the other items that I was buying.  It worked great.  Only 1 person left with only the items that they had come to collect.  
Then I took the last 10 or so bigger things, and a few electronics and threw those on Craigslist.  I sold 5 out of 15 things on there as well in the last week, so Craigslist certainly is a useful tool as well.  Especially since people will drive to town, take things off of our hands, and give us money as well.  It's a wonderful way to clean out that garage.
I haven't gotten rid of everything, and a big trip to Goodwill is in our future this week with whatever is leftover.  But for now, I'm happy to have had a relatively peaceful parting with most of our possessions.

24 Jul 2012

Month of Moving

Well, the moving is in full force.

We will be moving out of our house in the latter part of the week.  The specific day is still to be determined by a few different factors, but more on that later. 

I spent the end of May and most of June in a slight (or not so slight) panic, because there was so much to be done.  We were swamped with the paperwork and to do's of starting our life in London, while still living our life here, and completely physically and mentally exhausted.  So around the house, we were getting NOTHING done.  
We had energy explosion from this one,
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and the constant cleanup from this one.
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By the end of the day, Chris and I were both completely spent.

There was a week where we had been looking at houses in London, and every single day I said to Chris, "After the kids go to bed, we need to sit down and make a list to help us in this housing search, of non-negotiables, niceties, areas, etc."  Every night, neither one of us could do it.
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Then July came, and the help that we had been waiting for descended upon us.

In 21 out of the last 23 days, 7 different people came to help us.  Lovely, wonderful, helpful helpers.
Justin drove 10 hours, was only here for 1 full day, but helped me haul tons of things from the basement, talked me down about if I wanted/how to sell them, staged them for me to get pictures, and moved them into the garage.  Then he and Chris took a full truck load to Goodwill and another full truckload to a dumpster.
Patsy came and played tirelessly with one or both kids while Chris tried to finished up work at the office and I sorted through and packed up the kitchen.  She took Jayce for a few outings, made dinner, and even let Chris and I get away for a movie, the first in forever, and it didn't even matter that it was an incredibly stupid one.
Chandra came while Chris and Jayce were away, and helped me sort through my craft room, one of the trickiest to pack up, took down and packed up the decor, the kids' rooms, cooked yummy goodies, loved and played with Hannah, and basically gave me 4 days of free therapy over sweet coffee. :)
Jody and Christine came, brought us a big check, and took our car.  I was sad to give up a car that I loved so much, but selling it to some good friends seemed to cushion the blow.
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Christine also made me so happy by offering to take some family pictures of us, something that I have wanted her to do for about 5 years since I first saw her in action, but we have never been able to pull off.  She helped me go through the basement as well, making me pull the trigger on a few things that I had been putting off, and this time Jody rode with Chris for a run to the thrift store and to drop off another load of trash.  And our babies, Charles and Hannah, played.  Their due dates were only 1 day apart, but their birthdays are 2 weeks apart, and we couldn't stop comparing them to one another despite ourselves.  
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Then Mom and Chelsea came for a week and helped us finish up the packing.  
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We cleaned the basement all the way out, cleaned out tubs and refilled them, labeling the contents and then added ship or store in large black marker.  
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We packed clothes and vacuumed out the air, removed everything from closets and drawers, removed nails from walls and curtains from rods.  We emptied every cupboard, basket and drawer, and then did it again at the end of the week with those large piles of random things.
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We also had some fun.  The mall, the museum, sprinklers and water guns, we built a bear and got serenaded by Jayce.
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Now it is the last week of the month, the week that we move.  
I'm hoping that it goes as smoothly as possible as we attempt to tie up the loose ends, keep the kids happy and under control, and nurse our sentimental souls.

23 Jul 2012

Miscellaneous and Blog Change

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I have come to the realization this past month, that in order to keep up on the blog in the midst of selling the house, changing jobs, and moving to London, I'm going to have to change up the format of my blog a bit.  

My previous goals have been, catch all the way up, pictures, and 2-4 times per week.  I want stories full of the important details, edited and relevant photos, milestones, funny quips, accomplishments small and large.

The past month has been full of craziness and transition, and the next few will be as well.  It only makes sense that there would be some transition here too, right?

My new goals, which I'm hoping I'll stick with if I put them out there.


1.) 3 times per week.  I'm going to go ahead and forgive myself for not telling the whole story most of the time, but try to still tell the important part of the story.  We're about to go through lots more transitions, and I don't want the events, and my thoughts about them, to get lost in the dizzying busyness of it all.

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2.) Pictures, by whatever means possible.  Yes, this means you, instagram.

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3.) Catch up.  Yeah, I know, that never worked for me before.  But I still think that those pictures of all of the kids at the farm, and Hannah's birth story, and pictures of the interior of the house that we are about to move out of are all still entitled to their day in the sun.  So stay tuned.

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Linking to Miscellaneous Monday.

16 Jul 2012

Father's Day Questions

This post is pretty belated at this point.  I know I've been saying that a lot lately, but still.  
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For Father's Day this year, among the gifts I had Jayce answer a few questions about Chris, and typed his answers exactly as he said them.
(Jayce's voice is in red.)

** I think I've explained this before, but "bellies out" is what Jayce calls he and Chris' playtime.  It started when he was around 2 years old, Chris would come home from work, get attacked by Jayce, and say, "Hang on a minute buddy, let me change and then we'll wrestle."  So, in Jayce's mind, the evening has 3 events: 1.) Chris arrives home from work, 2.) he takes off his shirt, 3.) they play.** 
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Anyway, after I had asked my questions, Jayce decided that he had some questions to ask me as well.  Luckily I still had my computer out so I could record them word for word.

Mom, what will we travel in?
No. Airplane to London.

What if somebody is stuck on a roof, what will a fireman use to get the people off the roof?
No. You were close, but they will use a firetruck to get a person down from a roof.

If a door is locked what do they use to put out a fire?
An axe.

What if something is broken and it's going fast and making a messy mess, what do firemen use to fix something that's making a messy mess?
I don’t know.

What makes the planet? What makes the houses?
No. Workers
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This boy.  His whole world is about wrestling with his dad, and miscellaneous fireman information. So funny and so fun.  I love it.
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