It really does take a village. My village sure showed up this week. It was nice. I took the Applegate girls to the zoo for the MOPS play date with my crew. It sounds nuts, but really it was so nice to have built in playmates. I had a sweet morning on Tuesday. Voss and I went to storytime then had a picnic at the park. Still a bit hot for the park but it's getting there hopefully. Phil and I went to this Choice Wine program at church that night. We started the class on Valentine's Day, if you remember, at St. Luke's. But we only went to the first one. So, we picked this up since it came to our church. The video portion is rough but the discussion afterwards is great. And I'm a sucker for babysitting and wine! Wednesday was a Costco day. Then, a busy afternoon. Marly had soccer practice then Phil came to grab the girls and bring them to the Applegates to Meghan could drive them to religion class and Dave picked them up. Bam! Awesome, village action! Thursday we did a morning play date with our pals, Nico and Mabel. Voss ran over to Nico when he saw him at the zoo! Phil and I went to a prospective member mixer at TCC. Jess took the girls to and from Girl Scouts that night. The village again! We had such a great time meeting some new people and convincing some to join TCC. Friday I paddleboarded to a play date. So cool! That play date was another village move- awesome! That night we brought dinner to the Harringtons to celebrate their baby twins. It was chaotic with nine children running around! But, it was fun to spend time with them! Saturday morning after breakfast, Phil went to play in a tennis match. We ran to TCC to cheer him on, then we went to Marly's soccer game! The village came to cheer her on! My parents, Suzanne and the boys. Jersey Mikes for lunch then the afternoon at FYC. Fun afternoons with the Applegates and Nixons! We stayed for the kids dinner then headed home. Caroline came to babysit late. We met some of Phil's work friends for dinner at TCC to show them around. They are planning to join. This morning Voss woke up with goopy eyes. I defrosted my last pack of breastmilk and have been squirting his eyes. So far, so good! Phil stayed home from mass with him so he could rest. It was a relaxing day. I made a lion and scarecrow costume. Then, we went to celebrate my dad's 69th Birthday! Suzanne and I made shrimp quesadillas. I made a 7 layer dip. Dad had his favorite, lemon meringue pie! It was so nice spending time with him on his special day. I'm so thankful for my village!
I did get my 7.5-ish hours of sleep for the next few nights. I think. I don't have one of those bracelets that actually tracks it. I mean I went to bed around 11 and got out of bed around 7. Sure, lots of things happen between those times. There's lots of bed hopping. Random kids appear. There was a Buckman bridge nightmare in there at some point. But, I tried. It was one of those weeks where fun stuff just happened. I like that. We went to a breakfast play date with the Leens, Trexlers, Suters and Blaizes. That was pretty neat. Then, Tracy and I went to Joanne's for some MOPS star fabric. I got all the stuff to make some Halloween costumes. Wednesday was early release so the girls had golf. I took the littles in the pool and forgot their bathing suits. So, we just winged it. I think they loved that! Marly had soccer practice then I booked it with the older two to the kick off for religion class. It was a mass then meeting the teachers. Whew! What a day! I've been good about running each morning- just a 2-miler. I threw out a MOPS FB play date on Thursday. BLTs and lots of baby boys! Ballet was a bust for Abby. She fell asleep before class, which I thought was okay. But she woke up crabby and cried for 30min of class then fell asleep AGAIN! Blah. That night was girl scouts and Phil played tennis so that was a bit intense. Friday we did a ballet play date with Abby's friends, Alice and Katie Jo. It turned into an all day party! We had CEE that night. The Oehmanns did a fantastic enrichment. It was a good meeting. After putting the kids to bed, I went out for a GNO with some ole gal pals. We saw the new Bridget Jones movie. It was pretty corny but still good to get out. I didn't get home until 2am then had to monogram Birthday gifts for the next day. Suzanne, mom and I left early Saturday for the Girls Day Out. It was a really great day! We heard from a great chef showing us how to get in more veggies and a breast cancer survivor convincing us all to get a mammogram. I went to a session on the importance of sleep, which was so ironic since I was running on 3 hours! I know it's important but I'm just not good at sleeping. I mean, my motto is to sleep when I die! I wonder how many years this will take off my life? I'll keep trying to get some sleep, I guess. I also got a facial, massage, vision test, skin cancer test, spinal exam and heard a session on disease prevention. Plus, got some much needed QT with my mom and sister. It was perfect! I came home and 10 minutes later, a babysitter showed up. That was great! Phil and I met some friends out at the new brewery location downtown. It was so cool! Oompa band, brats and a rooftop bar. After, we had a nice dinner at TCC watching the harvest moon. So nice! This morning was mass, TCC bfast with the Hoggats then Sunday Funday at the Hollands. Another great week! I'm going to go ahead and get ready for bed. We'll see how this goes.
The thing about this phase of life is that there really is no down time during the day. Remember that other phase of life when there was an awesome naptime window? Sometimes I had to fight for it- and sometimes I too got to partake. Well, that ship has sailed. It makes me think how different the little kids lives already are compared to the big kids. Life used to revolve around that naptime. Now, Voss and Abby just snooze when they drop. I'm still rocking the mornings with play dates and activities, just like I've been doing for EIGHT years now. With Abby in school two mornings, it's just Voss and me. But I do a quick blink (or spend too much time on Facebook) and it's already time to go pick up Abigail. We went to story time and switched out books. I was sad to see that the awesome storytime guy, Josh is no longer at our library. I've got to do some work to find him. MOPS is back in session, thank God! We had a play date at Clarke House on Friday, the kick-off dinner on Thursday and our first meeting this past Monday. Whew! I missed those girls!! We had a play date with Nico on Thursday morning, a great catch up sesh with some gal pals. So yeah, I'm getting some great QT with the littles. But then after I pick up Ellie and Marly, things get taken up a notch. Gone are those pm wine play dates and last minute trips to the park! My house is shaking with melt downs, home work battles and dinner prep. I should take a video. I bet you think I'm exaggerating. It really is that crazy. I turn to hip hop dance music to morph the tantrums into a dance party when things get really bad. Wednesdays are going to be insane. I predict that now. I got a bit of a taste this past week. Marly has soccer practice. And this week we had school spirit night at Lillians, which was fun. By fun I mean Phil and I took turns chasing Voss into the arcade area and watched he and Abigail eat M&Ms off the floor. Thursdays Abigail has tap/ballet after school, then I got the big girls from school, picked up dinner for a pal. When I went to pick up Abby from dance, I was nervous because I could see her dance teacher holding her. But then I got closer and realized Abigail fell asleep in the middle of class! Wait, what!? I really meant, they nap when they drop! We rushed home for dinner and last minute homework then the big girls had girl scouts. Marly is a Daisy and Ellie is a Brownie. This was just an info meeting, which worked out bc then I had to rush home to meet the babysitter so Phil and I could go out for the MOPS kick off party. It was at Burrito Gallery. Super fun! Friday night we met the Nixons at FYC for a dinner outside. Perfect weather! I was super smart and brought a can of glow sticks for the kids to play with on the lawn. I met one of Ellie's new pals from school. The next day her mom invited Ellie to spend the afternoon with them. They went to the town center for shopping and lunch then came back and played at her house. So nice! I made the girls run to TCC (and back) so they were pretty mad at me. Phil had a tennis match so we came up to meet him and go swimming. He won! We went to lunch at Simply Sarah's and just took it easy- watched the FSU game. That night we hosted a Mafia night. Super fun! I even dressed up! It was a neat group of friends. Sunday we did mass- the prodigal son- always seems to hit just at the perfect time! We did breakfast at TCC. The Bravos came in town. I took the middle two to Tabby's Sweet Pete's Birthday party. We went on a boat ride then had a rotisserie chicken dinner. I went out to meet up with some pals to celebrate my friend, Lauren's Birthday. We had drinks and apps at Taverna. Monday was a super day. The Bravos stayed home with the littles. I took the bigs to flag raising to honor Sept. 11. The first MOPS meeting was a little hectic, but so great! I loved seeing everyone and meeting lots of newbies! It was Mercy Monday so I took Ellie with me to confession. She receives her first reconciliation in December! I grilled salmon for dinner. Then, I drove the westside carpool to Book Club to discuss, Me Before You. Wow, it was intense! I lost it talking about working at Camp I Am Special as a teenager. Today was a lot more relaxing. It's so nice waking up to the smell of my MIL making breakfast! They came with me to take everyone to school. We went for a walk then I went on a quick run. By then it was time to pick up lunch. We met Ellie and Marly for lunch. Too bad I got Ellie's lunch time wrong so we were late getting to her and she had to eat fast. After Marly's lunch it was just time to get Abby from school. Now the Bravos are on their way home. The littles and I are watching a show and it's about time to get the bigs. What a pace! I feel like I need a coffee to ramp up for the afternoon! On your mark, get set...
We got back into the swing of things just in time to watch a storm roll in. But hey, we needed some rain and we sure enjoy some cooler weather- so we just put on some rain boots and plugged along. Since soccer was canceled all week (Marly's first week!) we spent the afternoons catching up on reading charts and going to bed early (the kids did, not me- I'm not good at that). Voss and I had to re-do MOPS name tags and run errands one day. On our other day together we did a train play date at the mall. That was way better. The kids walked up (in the rain) to the voting poll with me. Ellie and Marly had their first early release golf clinic. Glad that wasn't canceled at least! By Thursday afternoon, Hurricane Hermine was headed for Steinhatchee then headed across the state to us. Well, aside from a good rainstorm, we didn't feel it. School was canceled on Friday. Phil went into work. I took the kids to a play date at the Harmons. It was perfect- an awesome way to spend a day off! That evening we did First Friday at TCC. So fun! We had a lazy Saturday morning, Ellie made us peach pancakes. I burnt the bacon (and ruined the weekend, according to Phil). The girls and I went on a run- Phil took Voss for a haircut. I read a bunch of my book, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. (It's SO GOOD!) That night we did a family night out with habachi dinner and a visit to the Halloween store. Sunday we went to mass then bfast at TCC with the Applegates. Then we went to my parents for a Sunday Funday. The Herons came over. Ribs and a boat ride. Still kina rainy and breezy. Today was another lazy morning, I stayed in my PJs until like 1pm reading Me Before You. Phil took the girls to play tennis. Then, we all went up to TCC for Labor Day festivities. We ended the weekend with brats at the Applegates. Now, Phil and I are watching the first FSU game of the season. Fall is really here! Happy Labor Day!
Abigail had her first day of preschool! Monday was open house when she met her teachers. She's in the same class as her older sisters so we already knew the teachers. I'm so happy to have her in there. The school is so sweet and the teachers are the best. Abby and Voss played in her new classroom and on the playground. She was very excited. We went out for popsicles after to celebrate. On her first day the next morning, she was a little shy. But after playing in the classroom for a bit she warmed up. She loved her first day! She was sad not to go the following day. I have her going two mornings a week. She did get to go the next day, though. We left on Wednesday at lunch for a Bravocation sort of thing. In case you haven't been following along, Phil and I are the local coordinators for Engaged Encounter. The National convention was in New Orleans this weekend. We decided to bring the kids. Which maybe wasn't the wisest choice- pulling them out of school to go to sin city. But, they had a cool childcare program during the convention. We just got a babysitter while we did a CEE weekend earlier in the month. And hey, family time is priceless, right? So, there you have it. We had dinner at Old Bay Steamers, our favorite place to kick off our vacation. We stayed in Navarre for a bit on the way over. The beach was pretty sea-weedy thanks to all the storms. But we still enjoyed the gulf and the perfect sand! We met up with our ole pals, the Hilleys. We headed over to NOLA on Friday. The kids loved the "trolley" rides all over town! We went to the Mardi Gras museum and walked along the Mississippi river. The convention began that evening. Phil and I had a bit of time to hit up Bourbon street after we dropped off the kids. Nice! I think the best speaker was on Saturday morning, Fr. Alello gave an awesome talk about upping your prayer life. There was lots of affirmations for our work in the ministry, which is always nice. We met some of our counterparts from Mobile and Tallahassee. There were also friends from Singapore, MX and Canada. We did a vow renewal on Saturday night then had an awesome shrimp and oyster dinner. Then we all hit up Borboun street for a few hours. Lots of fun! Sunday morning there were closing remarks and a mass. I volunteered to read for mass, but that was before I knew there was no childcare during mass. Picture our whole family up there on the altar as I read. Wow. Very intense. Just a few humiliating meltdowns in the front row. We couldn't get out of there fast enough! The perfect way to shake off all the grime of sin city was to stop for pizza with cousins on the way back to the beach. We love the Mallettes! This morning we woke up and had one last swim in the gulf and got all the seaweed off in the pool. We packed up and are now on I10 headed back to J-vegas. Yep, we're going to milk this summer-thing.
It was the first week of school for the big kids! Phil came to drop off on Monday. I went to the boo-who breakfast. I was close, but no tears for this mama! The girls did great with their seamless transition! To help, I distracted myself by taking the younger two to a MOPS play date at the Adventure Landing water park. They loved it- and I did, too. Great plan! And I was totally late with school pick-up, but if you're going to be late, the first week is the time! That worked out well! I am so blessed that little kid play dates popped up for me. We went to the Stevensons on Tuesday and the Thivierges on Thursday. Great for mama and the littles! Wednesday, we dropped off the bigs then took the littles to breakfast, Then, Phil and I went to visit our financial advisor. Not quite a date night, but still a necessary date. That afternoon we did pool and dinner at TCC with some pals. It was a nice break in the middle of the week! We did an Abigail-sized play date at TCC on Friday afternoon. We went to story time before- I did a mad-dash for chapter books for Ellie, I was pretty stressed about that piece! The bigs girls had their first sleep-over on Friday night- as if the first week of 2nd grade and kindergarten wasn't enough! We had a CEE meeting that evening. It went well. We had some new friends sign up, too! I went on a GNO and met some friends for drinks later. Lots of fun! On Saturday morning, Phil smoked the tennis court and I picked the bigs up from the sleep-over! ( So grown up!) I went to my pal, Jessica's baby shower for her sweet girl. So much fun celebrating her! We rode bikes and went swimming with cousins that afternoon. We did BLTs and family movie night. Later, Phil and I did a date night PH. Always nice. This morning we went to mass then b-fast at TCC. We did a Sunday Funday with the McGraths, Applegates, Hollands and a bit of the Nixons. Pizza for dinner. The kids had a ball, adults had fun, too. A great way to begin the week!
This was our last week of summer. I have mixed feelings about this. It has been a HOT summer, with too much family drama. Maybe I should have put the kids in more camps? I was trying to do a no frills summer. Maybe I should have worked them harder? Less ice cream, more girls runs. But that doesn't sound fun, does it? Let's hope the sass means they are ready for school to start. We did some fun "last week" things- like the base splash park with cousins and the beach with Mimi. We went to the pool with the Mitchells and fed cows with Katie Jo. We did some chores, too. Voss had his 18 month check-up. He's doing great weighing in at 27 lbs! We got new tires on the minivan. My sister, Katie was in town this weekend. She and her boyfriend came over Thursday night. We sat out and watched shooting stars. I grilled him, like a good big sister. Friday was a whirlwind of a day. It began with Ellie and Marly meeting their teachers, seeing their classrooms and dropping off school supplies. We did a bit of back to school shopping at JNJ. We went on the boat to the FYC with my parents, Katie and Steve. I raced home to pack and prep for Emily, the babysitter to watch the kids for the weekend. I picked up Phil at a golf course and headed to Marywood for an Engaged Encounter weekend. We had an awesome time with the 17 couples and the August Dream team! The Yazdiyas came to shadow. I know it's a lot to get out there, but once you are there, it's perfect. It really is good for Phil and I to keep on track, too. I did the #LoveYourSpouseChallenge this week. What a great way to end it! Today we went over to my parent's house. Phil played bball with the kids while I admired Katie's new ring. Yes! She and Steve got engaged Friday evening! I'm so excited for them! Now to help plan a wedding in March! We went to Firehouse for dinner at Marly's request- our brand new kindergartener! And tonight the toothfairy is coming for our 2nd grader who lost her first TOP tooth! I think we'll have to do some ice cream tomorrow to celebrate all this!
A bit of a different tone this week. I'm not so flying high anymore. The big girls went to camp at Timuquana this week. Tennis in the morning, golf in the afternoon and swimming in-between. They came home wiped out and stinky every day. It was awesome! Ellie even won a medal at the end of it for being the best camper! The littles and I didn't do too much while they were gone. We met friends at the FYC pool one day. We filled up the baby pool another day. We also spent lots of time at home. I watched this video that took some wind of out my Hillary sail. My brother talked me down, but I'm still not as glittery. We went to the FFC Summer Marriage series on Wednesday. We heard Fr. Joseph's parents talk about "A Call to total self-surrender". And wow, they are amazing people. It was sorta a kick in my butt to up my game with the prayer! I'm just not doing nearly enough! I had the girls doing a rosary by Thursday and the big girls and I went to the family Helow family rosary tonight. We took the family to mass on Saturday evening. Not sure we'll do that again anytime soon! The kids were awful! We're spoiled with the nursery on Sundays! The only good that came from that was putting the kids to bed early and Phil and I having a thai date while watching the Olympics! The Bentons had an Olympics party on Friday night. We ate and drank around the world while watching the opening ceremony. We were Germany with brats and beer. Fun party! I finished reading Black Flags this week. Lots to think about there, too! The girls and I went to see the new Odd Squad movie on Saturday. A fun PBS event! And we did some water skiing after that. I helped cook breakfast for MOPS at St. Marks this morning. The big girls went to a Birthday party. The littles had a play date with the Birthday boys younger sisters. It was a pretty relaxing weekend.
Every night this week, I watched the DNC. I sorta became addicted to it. By Thursday I was camped out with my glass of boxed wine ready to watch by 8pm! It was great! During the day I caught up on podcasts and articles then at night I watched and texted and FB-stalked my conservative friends. It was so good. I feel like my brain grew a size just this week! Love this one! Don't worry, I left the house more this week. Monday I kicked it off with a trip to GA for the spash park. My pal, Jessica met us out there with her boys. I brought dinner to a new friend that night and went for a run. Tuesday I felt inspired. I made sandwiches and we met the Freemans and took the sky way to the library and looked for homeless people to give our sandwiches to. (Except we couldn't find any). We got ice cream and headed back to the sky way and finally was approached by a homeless woman. But she didn't want our sandwiches. I guess that's a lesson learned, too. The thought was redeemed on the way home when we saw a homeless man on the on-ramp. Too bad Steph had the sandwiches! Good thing I had the PB crackers and canned good in my door! Yay! That night was the Swim Team awards banquet. I'm so proud of my super swimmers! It turned out to be a stressful night. Phil left the banquet for a tennis match. Voss and Abby went nuts at the banquet. I was wiped out. Thus began my personal DNC-watching party! I took the middle girls to see the Wizard of Oz on Wednesday. I think we figured out our family Halloween costume! Yay! We met a friend for breakfast at Cool Moose on Thursday then spent the afternoon at the pool. At the pool I had a great conversation with a new friend, Tiffany. Part of the MOPS Starry-Eyed challenge. It morphed into us planning a spring break cruise! Wow! Friday I took on 2 extra kids- the Holland boys- and headed back up to the pool for coffee club. Awesome topic! #blacklivesmatter It was Jessica and I- so no challenge, yet still an awesome discussion. Fun Friday Family night = trip to Costco! Oh wow. I monogrammed a backpack. It was a wild night. The next morning Phil headed out to play tennis. The kids and I hit up the thrift store, library then a girls run to my parent's house to swim in the pool. Lots of cousin fun! It was a hot run back! Phil and I went on a date to 13 Gypsies. Much needed! Then we went to wine club. We didn't stay out too late. This morning was mass. Then I went with a bunch of moms to see Bad Moms. It was a great GNO- laughing! Then we did Sunday Funday at the Applegates for BBQ and pool time. So much fun! Nothing to complain about here. I'm getting excited! Bumper stickers are ordered! Feminism wings are flying! Love it!
"Smart people are never bored", "If I had a dollar for every time I hear that...", "I wish I was bored" Oh dog days of summer are here! These people are bored. Too many toys, too much tv and junk food, worn out from the pool, beach and river. Oh these poor children. They were bored this week. Meanwhile, I think I read 3 books this week, or at least in the last few weeks. Our book club book, Saint Mazie and then two sultry summer reads- The Friends We Keep and The Forgotten Room. I finally got around to putting together family videos so check out that page! We're working on a 1,000 piece puzzle. We watched a lot of tv, had lots of dance parties, ran lots of laps around the house. We went on bike rides and played with our toys here. We went to the library a few times. We had a fun gymnastics play date on Monday. The girls stayed in their leotards all day, including lunch at CFA. It was our last week of swim team. We had a team photo on Tuesday and a pizza party on Wednesday. Marly's race was Thursday. Super hot, hundreds of swimmers. It was a long afternoon. We did dinner at Dairy Queen on the way home, well deserved! I'm so proud of Marly! She placed 33rd in free-style- my little 5-year-old! Ellie's part of the Championship meet was on Saturday. It was brutal. Hotter and even more crowded. There was an actual attempted child abduction. Ellie did really well. She was worn out. An official made a mistake and told her she missed her race. She was confused and swam butterfly instead of breast stroke. Poor girl! She was so embarrased. I finally calmed her down in time to swim fly for real. We went hot and sweaty with some swim friends to La Nap. Margaritas help a lot. Then today she went back out there (I got her a ride this time!) to swim a relay. After all that, the relay was canceled! Awful! Good thing we have a year before we have to do that again! Friday night we did this Night at the Zoo event. It was neat but crowded and expensive. Still, it was a fun thing to do with the family on a Friday night. Today was very lazy. I stayed in my nightgown reading until 11am! We had some friends come over for Sunday Funday in the cove. No frills, so nice! I think I'm ready to get out of the house now!