Thursday, October 1, 2015

After Work Adventures

I love Ben and Jerry's. It's my favorite place to have dinner. And if you think chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream in a chocolate and nut covered sugar cone doesn't qualify as dinner....we cannot be friends, my friend.

But now I love Ben and Jerry's for an entirely new reason.

Tonight, that's where Jon took his first steps!

(and I amazingly caught it on video!)

He's been unsteadily taking one and two steps at a time for a couple weeks now. But this is the first time he's taken so many steps in a row. I love how he is so proud of himself after the fact.

Ten minutes of Jon's face pressed against the ice cream cake fridge glass has confirmed that, yep, he's mine.

"I want THAT one."

Yay, it's ice cream for dinner!

For the past two weeks I've had full control of the kid duties while my husband has been slaving away at getting our old house renter ready. Seriously, he goes straight to the old house after work each day and doesn't get home until 9 or 10pm. Turns out that 8 years of living in one place with three kids can really wear a house down. There has been so much cleaning and painting and fixing to do. Plus, he's put in brand new counter tops. The new kitchen is far from magazine quality, but wow, it's a big improvement from the nastiness that used to be our kitchen.

Before (YUKO!)

After (tolerable)

I can't believe that was my kitchen for eight years. I have no idea how I handled all that expansive counter space and that flood of natural light (*cough*). But I have so many memories of rolling out cookie dough on that oven. Washing 8 years of dishes by hand in that sink. And staring out that tiny prison window at the back of the neighbor's dilapidated fence. I clearly have a hard time saying goodbye...even under the best of circumstances :)

So while my husband has been slaving away at the old place, I've been trying to entertain the kids enough to keep them from killing each other. It's been a huge test of my patience and self restraint from wanting to cause bodily harm after twenty minutes of screaming from three different sources at the same time. But! We did it!

On Monday, I pulled into the driveway and walked up to the house and was greeted by this adorable sight. Jon Jon was waiting for me at the door, banging on the windows, baring a huge grin, and emitting happy cackles. This is why parents do all the hard stuff. This is the best reward.

I wanted to take the kids out for a bike ride on our new bike path but my bike was broken. So we did a walk instead. It was fun at first. We saw new bugs. Checked out all the neighbor's houses and front yards. We chased the sounds of bullfrogs in the ditches. We laughed at the neighbors weird shaped shubbery. We imagined what life would be like to live in the insanely huge mansions down the road. And then the melt downs began. And there was a poo explosion. And a tantrum because I couldn't conjure Sponge Bob cereal from thin air (sorry Ry, still working on that one).

Tuesday was my errand day and after an insane trek through our new (to us) Costco during which I had to learn where everything was stocked in this particular branch, we came home and scarfed down some Costco poppy seed muffins (or "opium muffins" as my grandma would say). Ryan refused to eat his without dipping it in Ranch dressing. OMG. So nasty.

Then it was super late and I tucked (alligator wrestled) all the kids into their beds (unsecure cages) before sitting down to my own dinner of a yummy bleu cheese, bacon salad which I had to eat with Ryan's airplane fork because my dishwasher was completely filled with dirty silverware. So hipster. Right? 

By Wednesday I FINALLY had my bike fixed and after nearly a month at the new place we ventured out to the nearby bike trail for the very first time. I had been looking forward to this adventure since the very day we closed on the house. The bike trail is six miles of secluded pedestrian/bicycle path only. Two miles into the trail it stops at our nearby grocery store and shopping center.

With the promise of a special snack of his own choosing at the grocery store, Jacob was a very motivated biker. He only complained the entire first half of the bike ride. Loaded with snacks and refreshments, we hit the trail once again and headed home. It was so great to get out into the fresh air and do physical activity other than lifting a three year old on and off the toilet.

I LOVE pulling the babies in my bike trailer! They are strapped up with no escape and I am free to ride the open roads. It's so therapeutic!

Every day after dinner, Jacob sits down and does his spelling and math homework while I clean up the kitchen. This is really our only chance to connect during the craziness of the day. I read him his spelling words, help him with the math work instructions, and then sometimes we just do silly things. Today, Jacob wanted to draw the sentences he wrote for his spelling words. He wanted all the sentences to have a theme and he chose his pet cat as the theme. The sentences (spelling words bolded) were things like: I trained my cat to play the guitar. My cat is very popular. My cat is my companion. Below, is the illustration he came up with. He laughed and laughed and thought he was so funny and clever. I totally love it. Also, can we talk about how first graders have ridiculous beginning of the school year spelling words!? Last week his spelling words included "scurried," "country," "feast," and "subject." I distinctly remember learning to spell "cat" in first grade.

When I picked Jacob up from school today, I found him like this. I have no idea what that toy is supposed to do. It's way too high for elementary school kids. I guess it's there to give parents heart attacks. Anyway....Jacob's always pushing my last nerve and driving me insane. He physically is unable to sit still. Like ever. But he is also incredibly smart and thoughtful and is a great bear climber. 

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