Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Keepin' It Real Wednesday

The kids and I took a spur-of-the-moment trip to the garden last week. It was raining lightly off and on, and I didn't know how long we would be able to stay, but all four of us desperately needed some time outside. Okay, I desperately needed some peaceful time outside.

I found that the sweetly soaked flowers were exactly what I needed to soothe my soul. The kids know the garden well enough to run up and down the rows while I quietly and slowly meander. With Oliver in my arms, I admired the vibrant colors brought out by the cloudy sky. My camera stayed on constantly because couldn't stop myself from taking picture after picture.




I was soon in my entraptured, "Anne" state, lost to the troubles of the world and given over to the lush and generous glories of the world. Red, purple, pink, green, all illuminated by pearly raindrops. My soul soared and my shoulders relaxed.


As I stood trying to capture the perfect image of this trumpet vine crawling off a pergola, with ants busily scrambling over it, Oliver strained to get out of my arms to the wet floor. I decided he could sit on the floor for the duration of a few shots...


And three shots was all it took to look down and find this..




Oliver snacking on freshly planted vegetation, like it was a crunchy celery stick.

It was a quick and efficient way to be snapped back into reality. You are not Anne of Green Gables, Katie Lynn. You are not on Prince Edward Island. You have three kids who need to be fed and you have a very dirty house waiting for you at home.

I scooped my baby up, brushed him off, tried to replant his snack, and told a gardener on him. She just laughed, and a little bit of that gloriousness was able to cling to my heart the rest of the day.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Well....

I didn't quite meet my goal of 22 posts by the 22nd.

Oh wait, I just did :o)

We are off to Spokane early early tomorrow morning. Wish me luck flying with three kids! I have some posts planned for the time that I am away, so still come back and visit.

Music at the Pond

We went to Music at the Pond last Friday. We brought sodas and pop ice to keep the kids happy, and Ollie kept quite busy trying to get grab everyone's drinks when they put them down. That kids never gives up!


It was great fun! Looking at last year's pictures, I can't believe how much the boys have grown up! And hurray for no drought and green grass this year!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

To The Father of My Children

I had a post all planned out in my head about you. As you know though, it has been a busy nonstop weekend. So busy that you made 3 dozen cookies for church (your own Father's Day cookies) as a surprise for me while I was out shopping for you yesterday. You knew it was on my to-do list. Then you washed the dishes today and did about 5 loads of laundry so that we could pack for our trip. What a special day for you! (sigh)


That's the way you are, and it is one of a million things that make you wonderful.


I took this picture of you the other day and it made me laugh. At first it looks like you are ignoring the kids to text or something, but you and I know you have never sent a text message in your life.


What you are doing is trying to figure out the camera on your new phone so that you can snap some pictures of our adorable kids.


I also like it because your arms look hot.


Super Dad. Super Husband.


I love you.

Happy Father's Day Dad!

For your present this year, I went over to your house and got your throne all ready for you!

Love you!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Hurray for Chick-Fil-A


You gotta hand it to Chick-fil-A for being closed on Sundays and showing that you can still be successful while keeping the sabbath day holy! What is really great about this is that unlike most places, they gave away their Father's Day freebie today instead of on Father's Day, which means we actually got to enjoy it!

Today they gave away a free milkshake to all dads who came in. It wasn't crowded at all when we went, and Chad got the "limited time only" peach shake because he has never tried it. His verdict? Very peachy, good for a peach shake, but he wished he had gotten the cookies and cream one instead. I enjoy fruit with ice cream more than he does, but I had to agree with him.

Thanks Chick-fil-A. Just one of the many reasons we love you!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Keepin' It Real Wednesday

Underneath my couch, out of the reach of Chad and the Roomba.

Sun-kissed

While I am very diligent about putting sunscreen on my kids, I have to admit that I am secretly happy when Gabe's freckles creep through anyway.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Ollie I love you, Ollie I do....

...mostly because you are sleeping right now!

( This was Ollie today when I put him down to take the picture of Colin with the popsicle.)

Wrestling with a pig

Colin: Mom, this is an orange popsicle.

Mom: Really? 'Cause it looks yellow to me.


Colin: No, really. It really is orange because on the popsicle box there is an orange. So there has to be an orange one.


Mom: Look at it. It isn't orange, and it tastes like pineapple.


Gabe (with all the indignance that a 3 year old can muster): It's yellow Colin! It's NOT orange.


Colin(still cocky): No really, it's orange! There is an orange on the box!


Mom: I think they just throw a bunch of fruit pictures on the box.


Gabe(now quite offended): It's not orange Colin!


Mom: Let's take a vote. Who thinks it isn't orange?


(Gabe, Mom, and Colin all raise their hands.)


Mom: I said "isn't orange." Why did you raise your hand, Colin?


Colin: I know it isn't orange. I was tricking you. Gotcha!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Breathe Katie, Breathe

Mom, are you out there?

How could you leave the room without me?

Ahhh, you came back!

As soon as Oliver got over the novelty of being very mobile, it's like he suddenly realized that he and I are two separate people and he was hit hard with separation anxiety. Nine months old for him has meant that his jolly personality has been edged out a bit by a clingier, much fussier side. I'm not talking about when I leave him with other people - that isn't really the problem - Sabina is very patient and he keeps busy exploring their house. It's more that when we are at home he wants to be touching me or in my arms quite often when I am making dinner, putting away the dishes, reading to Gabe......which wasn't the case a month ago. A month ago he was pushing himself out of my arms to go exploring. Sometimes I will turn the corner to change the laundry and hear him crawl around looking for me briefly and then start fussing when he can't see me.
Though I am almost always the one putting him to sleep, Chad does on occasion. He usually cries for awhile, but Chad can usually get him to sleep. The other night though, I awoke with a horrible horrible headache. Oliver just wanted me to hold him and nurse him, but every movement and sound that he made had me writhing in pain. I had to have Chad take him, and Ollie just refused to go to sleep. I could hear Chad showing him all the patience in the world, but he wasn't having it. It was the middle of the night, and I was vomiting from the pain, and he was just screaming away downstairs. Chad took him out and drove him around for 45 minutes. He fell asleep three times in the car and then woke back up. It was a bad night for the three of us.
I really think I understand what he is going through - his world has gotten much so much wider lately - and I know that it is a phase he will get through. It is frustrating though, and while I find that I have all the patience in the world with a newborn, it is a little harder with a nine month old that used to be so joyful. All babies go through periods like this - I guess I just haven't experienced when I have two other kids to care for as well.
So today, I concentrated really hard on just trying to enjoy him. He is still adorable and charming, and full of love and smiles for his family. Just because he isn't easy right now doesn't mean I should forget all of that. My house will just have to be dirty for awhile.
(For some reason blogger wouldn't let me do spaces today. I give up. Please forgive me.)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Oh, what do you do in the summertime?



So far our summer has included the following activities:

A walk every morning to the pond and back. I push the two little ones in the jogging stoller and Colin rides his bike. Once we get there Colin reads some Chinese books aloud to me and I read to Gabe. It is the first thing we do after breakfast is over.

A trip to Ikea. Gabe has been wanting to go ever since we were supposed to go with my mom and didn't get a chance, so I thought now would be good time, since Colin could go too. Every other mom in Charlotte must have had the same idea as me, because it was SO crowded the kids had to wait for their turn in the play area.

Lots of trips to Blockbuster. As a congratulations for a great report card, we got Colin a week of Wii rentals. He can have two games out at once, and Chad has taken his almost every day to trade them in for new ones. It lasts until Tuesday night and Colin is already whining that it is going to end.

A trip to the library to sign up for their summer reading program.

A couple of McDonald's visits.

Chad took Colin and Gabe to see "Up" yesterday. Chad said Gabe was laughing so hard that he almost had to tell him to shush. They all loved it.

A SYTYCD party at my house last Thursday.

Wow. It really looks like a lot considering school just got out last Wednesday! I have already warned Colin that last week was extra fun but this week we go back to normal life - I actually have to get things done around here. This is what we will be doing for the rest of the summer though:

Lots of trips to the pool

Lots of playing in the little pool on the patio.

Lots of water balloons.

A walk to the pond every morning. I really want to keep this up.

Gardening.

Lots of playing with the neighborhood gang.

Free movies every Tuesday.

Music by the Pond.

A trip to Spokane the last week in June and first week in July so that Oliver can meet his grandparents! We are all so excited! Have I ever mentioned how much I love Spokane?

Hanging out with my parents when we get back, and helping them get settled.

A visit from my sister Ashley and her family. We get to meet little Isaac.

It is going to be a great summer! What are you up to?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

We've been there!


Know how we got a season pass for the Riverbanks Zoo? Well, here are some pictures from our trip there last month, and here is a exciting news story about the zoo (and one of the gorillas above). It was the talk of the Coleman household this morning after the boys went out for donuts and a newspaper.




Friday, June 12, 2009

Hours

It started in September.



Buckle tiny Oliver into his carseat, put Gabe's shoes on, load them in the van. Drive fifteen minutes to Colin's school to pick him up. Arrive early to find a spot in the crowded parking lot, and to be there when the kindergartners came out (oh please let me be there before they are!). Slowly walk my postpartum body over to the sidewalk, with muscles that feel unused and a back that aches.



Oliver, you slept every day through the drive and then through the transfer to the blue sling I wore. You settled right in, blanketed by my warm chest and the warm, muggy air. Everyone smiled and asked how old you were, and the German teacher asked twice where she could buy a sling for her friend. As long as you were fed beforehand, the trip was just a lullaby.



Gabriel, the trip over sometimes lulled you to sleep as well. You were sometimes moody but always obedient, holding my hand through the parking lot and waiting patiently in the shade of the hot sun to see your big brother come around the corner ("Mom, I see Colin!"). You seemed to take it all in stride, but I wondered if you noticed everyone asking about the baby. When they noticed you as well, you turned your head away and scowled. The scowl disappeared with the arrival of your big brother and you didn't scowl when his friends noticed you.



Colin, I worried about you a lot in those days. You went to bed crying every night. Was this the normal adjustment, or was it more? Every day when I stood waiting, I prepared myself to inspect your face. Would I see signs of distress? Sadness? As soon you came into my view, and I came into your view, an exuberant and relieved smile would appear on your face. You hugged me and told me whether you had art or PE or media, and I probably asked too many questions. Who did you play with? What color did you get? Wasn't it fun?



Then we waited together for Santiago, and my heart stopped beating for three minutes as I guided three distracted boys through a busy parking lot to my van.



It was our daily ritual from 2:20-3:30. Off to school and home again as a family.



I figured out exactly what time I had to start the process to be there on time and where to park so that we wouldn't have to worry about being run over. My back stopped aching, and slowly we added layers of clothing.



One autumnal day I motioned to Gabe to stand in the shade and then realized that it now fell five feet away from the sidewalk.



Oliver, the crossing guard laughed out loud the first time she saw your bright eyes and then again when she finally saw you out of the sling.



Rainy days. Windy cold days. We all trekked through it together.



Then it thawed and you boys picked weeds together, pressing your crushed green gifts into my palms. Oliver stopped sitting on my hip and insisted on the grass. Colin's classmates took turns pulling him up and laughing at his teeth.



Gabe wore sandals again, Colin was back in shorts, and the baby went barefoot.



Until finally, on Wednesday, we made that final trip for the school year. The German teacher who asked about the sling stood out with her very pregnant belly. I looked over your little bodies - grown so much since the fall - and searched my memories to capture the other changes. A more independent and self-assured Colin. A more humorous and social Gabe. A baby who now has opinions and a sense of humor. I couldn't possibly realize all the changes.



All those days, and those seemingly routine hours, gone forever. I teared up on the drive home.



And that question that I ask myself more and more often each year -



Where did the time go?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

My favorite snack lately



It is way too easy to eat too much of this stuff.

Monday, June 8, 2009

It must be summer

*Edited to add:

When Colin got these bites, he was crying and screaming and he blurted out, "Oh, I wish I was Gabe!!!" (meaning he wished the pain he was experiencing was instead being experienced by his 3 year old brother) Lovely.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Dearest Chad,

Thank you for letting me sleep in this morning.


Thank you for making the boys chocolate chip waffles for breakfast.


Thank you for getting them dressed and taking them for a walk while I slept.


Thank you for all of the cleaning,


and thank you for providing for our family in the way that you do. We are so fortunate to have you.


But Chad,


Sweet Chad,


O husband of mine,


I will never be okay with you emptying the trash and then not putting a new trash bag in.
Yours,
Katie Lynn

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Just five minutes away

Sure, sometimes we all know each other's business too well, but this week has been a great reminder of why it is so nice to have Robert and Sabina so close. (For those of you that don't know, Robert is my brother and he and his family live just a short drive away - they would even be in our ward if they didn't attend the Spanish branch)

On Tuesday, Liam and Evan came over while Sabina assisted at Santi's field day. Field day isn't something you want to have to pay a sitter for, and it is no big deal for me to have the boys hang out with my boys for a few hours. Works out great for everyone!

On Thursday, Sabina called at around 9:30 in the morning and asked if Gabe wanted to play. When I took Gabe over, she said not to bother picking him up until I dropped Santi off from school - at 3:15! That means that all day long, it was just the baby and I (and he was particularly fussy that day, so I was very thankful) and Gabe couldn't have been happier having that much cousin time. When I dropped Santi off, Sabina told me that she had made too much dinner and persuaded me to take some home with me. Basically, she made my day. Thanks Sabina!

Later today - it is date time for Chad and I, courtesy of Sabina.

I really have a hard time letting people (other than Chad) do things for me. So the best thing is, I know that when they volunteer to do things for us, or say it is no problem to babysit every once in awhile, I know they mean it - because that is how I feel about helping them out. My kids have no idea how lucky they are to have cousins who are their best friends and aunts and uncles who will always treat them like their own.

Did you know that my mom and dad are moving to the neighborhood next to mine this July? My blessings are about to double!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Keepin' It Real Wednesday

I surprised Colin today - when he came home from school, his brilliant mother had a little pool all set up on the patio. Cheers erupted, and after the two oldest boys hopped in, Oliver decided to join them.



After a short time, Ollie and I went inside, where I proceeded to make dinner without Gabe and Colin asking me every ten minutes if we could go to the pool. Woohoo! I pulled the curtains open so that I had a clear view of them ten feet away, just outside on our patio, and put some water on for my pasta salad. Soon their friend Morgan joined them, and laughter filled the muggy summer air. The kids were happy, and so was I. My plan was working perfectly.

I patted myself on the back. Great ten dollar purchase from Walmart. Mother-of-the-Year title earned.

I looked their way frequently and kept track of which screams were happy and which were angry, and supervised when it was needed.

Once I glanced their way to notice a strange hue to the water. An unnatural blue.

As I walked to the sliding door, a familar plastic bag laying on the ground next to the pool came into focus.

What was almost a full bag of Miracle Gro, was now an almost empty bag of Miracle Gro. My children were soaking in plant fertilizer.

Thank goodness Morgan had stepped out of the water. I didn't really want to explain to her parents why they might wanna keep on eye on her, just in case.

Commands inside were issued, time-outs were awarded, explanations were offered (I just wanted to make the water blue!!).....

And Mother-of-the-Year title was lost.

(and now you know I'm not organic. Shhhh! You still think I'm crunchy, right?)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The force is strong with this one



Ollie has seen his brothers do this so many times that he has been joining in lately. He does this all the time now!

Monday, June 1, 2009

June (1)

Every month, I look at my little sidebar, with the months listed and the number of posts next to the month in parentheses. If it is May 6 and the number is 6, I feel a little giddy. Every month I think, "At the end of the month, I want that number to match the date." It never does.

I would make a goal to have 30 posts by the end of June, but we are going out of town on the 23rd, so that just isn't going to happen. So I will make this goal - by the 22nd, I will have 22 posts for this month.



I always have a million blog ideas floating around in my head. Whether or not I have the time or energy to carry those posts out (in the manner that I want to carry them), is another question. Most of the ideas that mean a lot to me take a long to actually make it to my blog, because I want to do them right.



So my 22 posts are probably not going to be very brilliant (not that my posts ever are), but they will be there. That is all I can promise.




Here we go then...


For Family Home Evening tonight we started out with making refreshments (because they had to go in the oven). When Chad's aunt Carolyn came to visit us in March, she brought me The Magic Kitchen Cookbook. My kids have loved looking through it because it is full of Disney characters, and today we finally made a recipe from it -Jungle French Toast Sticks ( basically spead cream cheese on whole wheat bread, put sliced bananas on top and a piece of bread on top of that, then dip the sandwich in egg, milk and cinnamon and bake for ten minutes on each side and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Cut into sticks). As my kids get older, I'm starting to get frustrated with how picky they act sometimes with food. I am not a picky eater, and neither is Chad - I want my kids to grow up trying all kinds of healthy different foods. One very useful thing I have found is that if they help me make something new, rather than just having it show up on their plate, they are way more likely to give it a fair chance. I think this book is great for this - everything in it is healthy and easy. I definitely need to utilize it more.




While we got the french toast into the oven, Oliver kept himself busy in the chemical cupboard. That's Orchid Spray right there (with a fly swatter behind him), which is actually worm poop that has been liquified. Seriously. It was shut though. I don't think that qualifies as "healthy different foods."

Next we had our opening song, prayer, and family business (Colin has Field Day tomorrow! Chad has a meeting Wednesday night! Gabe has Speech on Friday! Mom's got nothin'!) we read a story from an old Friend about how our Heavenly Father is always there for us. We talked about prayer and how we can use it for comfort, or to deal with anger (possibly brought up because of the two blow-ups followed by time-outs that Colin experienced earlier today), or to receive answers to questions we might have. Both of the big boys were quite attentive during the lesson, while the baby got a mixing bowl out and dropped it over and over, from varying heights, onto the wood floor. He was quite satisfied with his sound experiment. I know that all babies are curious, but I am tellin' you, that little boy is something else altogether. He never stops.

After the lesson we had some time to kill while the french toast cooled down, so we sang songs. We all made Oliver laugh by singing "If You're Happy and You Know It." Clapping is his favorite, but other variations tonight were "Kiss Oliver," "Run a Race,"and "Fight."

Gabe loved the refreshments. Colin wasn't too fond of the warm bananas, but still ate his share, and I ate too much - very filling!

A good evening was had by all. I am so thankful for my six year old, who has an absolute fit if we forget Family Home Evening.