Tuesday, October 6, 2015

2015 Family Photos

We haven't had a good family picture in at least 3 years. It really just hasn't happened since Charlotte was born. I've been putting it off for quite a while... Every year on, or around our wedding anniversary, Perry and I take a picture holding the picture from the year before. This year I planned to do that again, but have a photographer take the picture in addition to a few family photos. Right around the time I was planning on booking a session, a friend of mine offered to trade me services - a cake for her son in return for a photo session. It was perfect!

For our anniversary this year, I planned on surprising Perry with tickets to the home football game. He's been wanting to go to a game for quite a while, but the timing hasn't worked out. This year there was a homegame just two days after our anniversary AND it was homecoming. I was planning it for at least 9 months. Unfortunately for us, it didn't work out this year either. Perry was going to be a groomsman in one of his friends' wedding that day. Instead of going to the game, we spent the weekend in Whitefish without the kids. Grandma had JP and Nanny took care of Hunter and Charli. So nice to not have to tend to the kids at the wedding/reception. 

Because I took the whole weekend off of work, I opted to do the photo shoot that Sunday evening when we returned home. It was a beautiful evening out too! We couldn't have asked for a better night...just a couple better attitudes. Perry and JP really don't like getting their pictures taken... I've been in suspense the last week waiting to get the pictures back from her. 

 Because I don't have many pictures with the kids, I asked for one. 
 And one of just me and Charlotte too! I love how this one turned out!

Even though Hunter isn't looking, this one is a good representation of the kids. Charlotte being all cute and adorable, JP with his "look", and Hunter not paying attention. :) 

Saturday, September 5, 2015

2015 Soccer Season Off To A Good Start

It started out as a rough morning for us. Everyone was extra tired from yesterday, and I was wanting to sleep for an extra half an hour. Charlotte woke up around 7 and came running to my room announcing, in a not-so-quiet voice, "I'm wake, mommy! I wake mom! I wake up mommy!" Oh good job, Charlotte...And then she turned on the lights. UGH. I'm so not a morning person. I then found Hunter trying to sneak a bunch of snacks out of the pantry, followed by another pillow fort making the downstairs a disaster. Not what I wanted to wake up to...

We made it to the soccer field with a couple minutes to spare, after hiking clear across the rain soak grass in my heel boots. What was I thinking? 
 JP got his jersey right before the game. He's number 5 and thinks it's super cool, since he's 5. (Hunter 6 in baseball and was 6 years old too..)
 Before the game began, Coach Debi went over the basic things, like how they were going to kick off, and which way to kick the ball. They also decided they were going to be the Sharks when they wear their blue jerseys and the Dragons when they wear the red pinnies. 
JP was chosen to kick the ball off to start the game off. Woot woot!
 Not to be confused, that's about the only time he kicked the ball...There was a little bit of standing around on his part. 
 Occasionally, he would throw it in, or do a corner kick? whatever that is...
But more likely you could him chasing after everyone and running to where the ball was before it was kicked away. He did great regardless. Other than practice the other day, this was really his first time playing soccer. 
 At the very end of the 2nd quarter, he just stopped playing. He instead stood in the center of the field staring at me...like this. 
 There was a little confusion after the half when they switched nets. JP was told to go near the net so he could be ready to kick it in. He instead opted to be the goalie against his team. Ooops!
He took a break on the sidelines for a little while, and then came in without his coach's "okay" so they played 5 on 4 for a while before she noticed. 
At the beginning of the 2nd half, it started to lightly rain. By the end of the game, everyone was pretty wet and ready to go. JP said he had a lot of fun and is excited for his next game. I just hope the weather is better! 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

JP's First Soccer Practice

I was feeling really, really bad this spring when I signed Hunter up for baseball because we had agreed that JP could play soccer. Then I missed the sign-up deadline for soccer and JP was heartbroken, especially when he found out his friend was in soccer... After talking with his pre-school teacher a few weeks ago, she referred me to a recreational-based soccer club, who has a season in the fall. I put off looking into it a little too long and missed the deadline by a week. I really didn't want to have to break the news to him again, so I emailed and asked if I could still sign him up after the deadline. I'm glad I asked too because they were able to find him a spot. Phew! 

We hustled out of the house this afternoon and were *only* a couple minutes late - got to love 5:00 traffic...But getting out of the house with 3 kids is a challenge alone! JP had a little meltdown when we arrived because Hunter brought JP's soccer ball to play with while practice was going, but JP insisted that he needed it for practice. There were plenty of extra...The things they fight over...
 They did a couple drills at practice, like throwing the ball in-bounds and dribbling. 
 After about half an hour, they played a little game to practice chasing the ball and getting it to *their* net.
 JP did great! He was always on task and it was so much fun to watch all the kids! Coach - "What do you do when someone takes the ball from you?" Little girl - "Start crying." Ha ha ha...
 Since the kids started school, Missoula doesn't seem so big. We're slowly but surely getting to know people. This little girl with JP, above, went to the 2-day pre-school with him. He says he doesn't remember her though.
This little boy has quickly become one of JP's friend's at school. Other than the two in his class that he went to pre-school with, this is the first kid that JP remembers what their name is. (Coincidence? He's the tallest kid in the class. Hunter also picked the tallest kid in his class last year to be friends with first.)
After practice Perry took the kids to the soccer net so he could shoot some goals while I got clued in to where all the games were and what to wear...JP looks so small in the net!

Our First Week of School So Far

We're officially a week into the school year and so far it's going *fairly* smoothly. We're still trying to get back into the swing of the things but we're getting there! I am very anxious for Perry to get the lockers done that he's been working on for the last couple weekends. So far it looks great! I love when I can draw and describe something I want, and he can build it for me. Like the gate at the top of our stairs - the best idea I've had in a long time! More on the lockers, next week?, when they're done!

JP has been enjoying school so far. He knew two kids in his class from the start, so I think that helped him adjust a little - not everything was new! One of the kids he knows is my friend's daughter, and she is so stinkin' cute! (I think JP can agree too, though he won't admit it to his mom...) They don't sit at the same table, but he was sure to tell me the arrangement. "I sit at the orange table and she sits at the red table behind me. I can't see her, but I know she can see my back!" *said with a lot of emotion and googly eyes. He also asked if he could take some candy to school to give to her... Ahhh!

But not everything has been so cute with him so far. Last week he went to school in the morning and a mid-day bus brought him home around 12:30p. That length was perfect for him. It was adorable to watch him get off the bus the first day - he sat by the window and waved at me as the bus approached the stop. SO CUTE! This week though, the bus ride home has been a little hard him. On Monday he and Hunter got into a spitting fight because JP didn't want Hunter to sit with him...so Hunter spit at him and then JP spit back... They both got in trouble from the bus driver and since that made poor JP mad, he ran across the road after getting off the bus, and then got in trouble again for not waiting for the driver to signal them across. That plus mom not letting him eat his snack in the living room caused a HUGE meltdown after school. Mom is so mean...

On Tuesday he waited for the driver to signal him across the road, but he was looking on the verge of tears when he got to me. Apparently "some kids older than Hunter" were pinching him on the bus. It didn't hurt, but he didn't like it. They also tried to take his backpack and that really hurt his feelings. Perry asked Hunter to sit with him on the bus, or near him, so if it happens again, Hunter can help JP out in the situation, or more likely, so we can get more information on what is going on. I expected problems on the bus, but more so between Hunter and JP.

Hunter and I are having a couple struggles this year too. He has homework this year, and he hates it. Each night he is supposed to read for 15-20 minutes and complete his math homework that should only take about 5 minutes. He's pretty good at math, but absolutely hates reading. I think he just needs more confidence. He hates sounding out words and when he reads he just mumbles and it so frustrating because I can hardly hear what word he's saying... So that's been fun. Yesterday brought a form home explaining how each child needs a homework helper. The person he selects will be available to help the him with his math homework each time homework is sent home. The person he selected? Not mom or dad. Neighbor Dan. And when we explained that he might not be home all the time to help him, he selected neighbor Darrell, who he hardly talks to. Honestly, Dan would be a good choice for him because Hunter adores him. But I really don't think it would work out. Maybe every so often we could work something out with him though... Hunter doesn't know it yet, but I signed up to be his helper. Kind of an obvious choice. Maybe in a few years he can be Charlotte's helper?

We're also struggling to wake up in the morning. And by we, I actually mean ME. I hate getting up before 7am. I am just not a morning person! I'm really surprised we were never late for the bus last year. A couple close calls but we made it. Hopefully we can keep the streak going this year! Tomorrow should be fun waking JP up since he has soccer practice tonight...

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Kindergarten and First Grade Bound!

I have been waiting for this day since roughly June 15, the Monday after school ended... No, I'm kidding. But seriously, it was a looong summer break. About two weeks ago, the boys started getting excited about going back to school. JP received a letter from his teacher, and took the news really well when he learned he didn't have the same teacher Hunter had last year. I never got around to writing a letter to request her... I think it turned out for the best since his best friend is in her class this year. It'll be good for them to make some new friends!

For the past week, they've both been asking if it's their school day, pretty much everyday. Last Wednesday our neighbor's daughter was doing a special back-to-school camp where the bus would pick her up Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday at the bus stop. Wednesday morning the boys saw her walking down the road with her backpack on and they freaked out thinking they were going to miss school. I played along, solely so they'd get dressed and their teeth brushed without fighting me to do it...It worked. 

This morning they both woke up around 6:45a and quickly got dressed, brushed their teeth, and made their beds. JP then sat in the living room for the next half an hour with his backpack on. Hunter played Legos. Of course before we left, I took a few pictures of them.
 I felt pretty proud that I was able to get *one* decent one of the both of them together. They were so antsy! And JP hates pictures. So there's that too.
 I tested my luck and said, "Okay, one more. Pretend that you guys like each other." Hunter took it a little too literally and kissed JP on the cheek for a good 10 seconds. Their next attempt was followed by Hunter demonstrating how strong he is by picking up his brother. 
I put the kabosh to that and asked if they could just put their arms around each other. I got this before JP ran off. It works...
Aunt Kim came over to watch Charlotte while I took JP to school. I told Hunter he could ride with us to school, but he really really wanted to take the bus, so we walked him down there and Aunt Kim stayed with him until the bus came. It passed them and had to slam on the breaks. #newbiedriver 

Perry lucked out and had to pick up the closing shift at work so he was able to join in the festivities this year. Yay! I asked JP and Matthew if I could take their picture together. Matthew was all about it. JP threw a fit. You would think JP hates him in this picture. Way too early for so many pictures mom... He's excited to be able to play with him at recess since they aren't in the same class. 
Once we made it into the classroom, JP found his name tag and LOCKER (Hunter only had a hook last year!) and then the kids gathered on the carpet for a story. He was really hesitant to join, but insisted he sit on a green square, so he wound up in the very front.
After the story, we went around to the tables and did various activities together. His favorite was one where you had to roll the dice and color in the squares in a shape. JP vs Mom - the person with the most squares colored at the end, won. He won (the second time)! He also created an underwater scene using re-usable stickers. 
I'd say he had a pretty good first day. Even though he was really shy. I'm so glad Perry was there to join in on some of it. (He had to leave for a bit for a conference call.)

Before I tell you about Hunter's day, or what I've gathered from it, I just want to say this: I took JP to ShopKo to get his new frames, since his other ones broke in July. (The ones he's been wearing are temporary replacements.) While at the optical center, one of the workers there, gave him a *free* Ninja Turtle lunch box. He was over the moon. And then he found the straps to hook on the back of his glasses...
I don't want to call him a nerd but... He insists the ends go all the way up to his lenses, otherwise it's too big. I was going to get him a black pair for soccer, so if he gets bumped or the like, and they fall off they won't get trampled...He wants them as an everyday thing. #failfailfail

On to Hunter's first day of school...
 While Perry and I were waiting in line with JP to go inside, I remembered I forgot to put a note in Hunter's backpack about how he was going to get home each day from school. I hurriedly wrote a note and had Perry take it to him before he went in. Some how Hunter lost it. The school called me this afternoon, and my heart sank. What did he do now?! Kind of a huge relief when they just needed to know how to get him home... When it was time to pick him up, JP and Charlotte and I walked down to the bus stop to get him. Fifteen minutes later he still wasn't there. School ended nearly 35 minutes prior, so my neighbor called the bus company to see where the bus was. Turns out it had a mechanical error so they had to get a new bus. 
 He finally made it home, twenty-five minutes late, and the first thing I noticed was the bandage above his eye. The word "karma" immediately came to my mind. One of his friends apparently threw a stick and it hit him in the face. "A good thing it didn't hit my eye because you can't tape that back together!" That's about all I got out of him from his first day at school. Other than he still likes free choice, and they only had two recesses. 
On a side note, I bought him "blunt tip" scissors just in case his nerves get to him and he feels like jabbing another classmate. At least this time it won't draw blood... #imstilltryingtolaughaboutthis

Thursday, August 20, 2015

BAM! Superhero Cake + Cupcakes

My kitchen has been a busy place today! Other than frosting and baking the cake itself, I did all of this, including the cupcakes, today. I would tell how happy I was to hear that Perry took the day off of work since his planned trip to Bozeman was cancelled, but he literally stayed in bed all day. He was pretty useless. It made for a couple *high* stressed times when the kids weren't quite behaving...But he did manage to make Charlotte take a nap with him in the late afternoon so that rocked! She can be quite the little tornado in the kitchen... 
 I haven't really used melted chocolate much before, but I thought that since I volunteer to add cupcakes to the order, I may as well do something I haven't done before. I love how they turned out. Probably my favorite. Can cupcakes be my favorite cake?
 The cake turned out cute too though. Except the spider. I hate the spider. I cringe a little every time I even think about making Spiderman. I guess less specifically, red and black. But one or the other appears on pretty much every cake...
 But I really just love the cupcakes. They were a huge hit with all the kids. I normally don't make chocolate, but this recipe knocked my socks off. And if you haven't already, you should go to my Facebook page, Simply Delightful Cakes, and "like" it. 
The party was at the YMCA in one of their gyms. Kids were running everywhere! Hunter and JP had a lot of fun together. Charlotte ran around by herself. She really enjoyed kicking balloons and chasing them around the gym. She was adorable, until she was just done. Conveniently enough it was the same time that I found Hunter curled up in a corner crying because no one wanted to play with him. Poor guy. (It might have been because he was steamrolling everyone and everything over...) 

Get ready for another superhero cake next weekend too!

Monkey Shiner Babblings

M-Is it okay that I didn't sign you up for soccer this fall? No hurt feelings?
H- No, I never want to play soccer. Too much running. And I never want to play football either. It's so dangerous.
M- What makes it dangerous?
H-Every time you get tackled, your brain wobbles around in your head, and I really don't want a wobbly brain.

Mom opened the bathroom door so Charlotte could go potty and found Jim just getting off the pot.
M- OH! Jim! Flush the toilet! Nobody needs to see or smell that!
J- It's okay mom. It's most just green poop.
M- I see that. Do you know why your poop is green?
J- Yeah, my poop knows I like green, so it comes out green.

H- knock knock
M- who's there?
H- banana
M- banana who?
H- knock knock
M- Hunter is that you?
H- no it's a banana. Knock knock
M- who's there?
H- banana
M- banana who?
H- orange you glad I didn't say banana again?

Jimmy just came in from helping dad in the garage...
J- Mom, dad can't get the oil filter out of your car.
M- Well that's no good!
J-*getting upset* Yeah, now we can't go to the round house!
M- uh oh. What do you think we should do about that?
J- *pauses to think* I guess dad will just have to start drinking milk again.
M- how will that help?
J- he'll get strong bones to pull it out!
M- touché...

C - Deer Mommy! Deer!
M - Where? Oh, no, Charli, those are cows.
C -  Yeah, cows-NO DEERS! Deers!

J - Look mom, the sun is following us!
M - No, it's just setting. That just means it's way past bedtime.
J - So you mean to tell me that that big ball of hot gases is setting?
M - Yeah, I suppose that's what I mean...
H - Jim, you know the world is just turning in circles around it.
J - No it's not!
H - No Jim, stop talking. The world spinning around doesn't involve you right now. 

M - Eat your dinner guys. I want to go to the Farmers Market afterwards, and the Carousal is right next to it.
*A couple minutes later JP still hasn't started eating.*
C - Keep eating Jim. Kill-a-self.
C - Eat Jim. Kill-a-self.
Turns out kill-a-self is how she pronounces "carousal." I'd be pretty mad too if my sister was saying kill yourself to me too! Poor Jim!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Kindergarten Transition Night

On Tuesday JP and Mom went to Kindergarten Transition Night at the school. JP was SO excited to go! This is their first year with a night like this. Hunter didn't have one last year, but would have been really helpful! 
 Before we left, JP was sure to grab his new Batman jacket to bring along. I wanted him to leave it home because it was around 85* out, but he wanted to "scare" his friend... When we pulled into the parking lot, he stumbled/fell out of the car so he clammed up and refused to let go of my leg. Not my lower leg, but my upper leg, my waaayy upper leg. I can't tell you how many times I had to pry his hand off the inside of my leg. Super annoying. Stage 4 clinger right there. His friend invited him to play with him a few times, and he would hardly acknowledge him. Just before we went inside for supper, he loosened up...
 The school ordered in pizza to eat and used the opportunity to show the kids how to go through the lunch line. While we were waiting in line, his teacher (who is not the same one Hunter had...) asked him what kind of pizza was his favorite, and HE RESPONDED! I'm pretty sure my mouth dropped when he clear as day said, "pepperoni." My insides were jumping and screaming. That NEVER happens! He still refused to hold his tray and pick out his drink...and then we had a hard time starting to eat because there wasn't Ranch to dunk it in. We eventually bucked up... After dinner we walked over to his classroom, in the annex building. Much bigger than Hunter's room last year. For the next half an hour, we did various activities at each of the tables. He really liked playing with the blocks...though it doesn't seem that way in the picture.
 He also had the opportunity to make a bracelet. His was all green. Who would have guessed?
 I love when he draws pictures! I think it's adorable that he draws circles around his eyes because he he wears glasses. Ahhh! He drew a picture of him playing basketball. "Hunter is throwing the ball to me." Again, he teacher came up to him and asked him about his picture, and he spoke to her! So proud! 
We finished the evening with a story and then were released to go home, but I let him play for a little bit on the playground before we left since he was too shy to when we arrived. I'm surprised with how many people I knew this year! There were a couple families from our lane, and a couple from the preschool he went to last year. Hopefully he'll get at least ONE kid he knows in his class...!