Finding calm in the chaos

Finding calm in the chaos

Monday, October 29, 2012

child labor

Making beds and getting ready for the Gemmers' visit...more on that later.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Gymnastics

Summer has ended and yet, my children beg to go swimming every day. It doesn't help that we daily drive by our neighbors' house where we pool-partied it up once this summer and all the fun they had during that one afternoon is burned into their little minds so firmly. So, I was shopping around for a fall extracurricular activity and conned talked Teenie into joining us for tumbling classes. Grandma K comes too to help wrangle the brood. 
That's me and ND on the left near the big gray mat and Teenie and Ben on the yellow mat.
 It's been a huge hit with the three cousins. Ben and Teenie and ND and I are taking a Buddy and Me class for kids under 3. Basically, it's like herding cats around a bunch of obstacles and trying to get them all to take turns. But, the kids love it and it seems to produce a better nap time, which this pregnant mama is all about.
Sam, Will, and Grandma K wait patiently through the first class until it's time for Sam's class. The 4 year old class is much more structured and ND and I watch as Sam waits his turn and follow directions to jump on the trampoline, forward roll, etc. Afterwards, we celebrate our fun morning by going to McDonald's.

It's been a fun Friday activity and now it looks like our Fall extracurricular will also be our Winter extracurricular, too.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Gemmer visit!

My college roomie, Deanna, and I have a deal that we see each other twice a year. So, at least once a year, she loads up her husband and children and makes the long drive over from western Washington to Lewiston. I feel very loved that the Gemmers think we're worth the long trip, considering now they have 3 small children to entertain during the 7 hour drive.
 
I took almost zero pictures of our weekend together because we were too busy having fun. Friday, we borrowed Ben & Will for the afternoon and had fun hanging around the house. That evening, Steve & Teenie joined us for a board game night. I was slightly sad too be the only sober one at the table, but quickly found out that I was already pretty impaired by pregnancy brain and the late hour.
 
Saturday, Deanna took our family pictures (which I can't wait to see and will post the second I get them!). We celebrated surviving another photo shoot with small children by eating lunch at McDonald's.
 
Their visit was all too short and they loaded up on Sunday to drive back home. Fortunately, I had a conference to attend the following weekend in Seattle, so I got to see the whole crew the next week.
Sam doesn't spend much time around girls his own age (other than his cousins), but had a good time with Daisy and Dani. I'm not sure the Gemmer girls spend a whole lot of time around boys either. Sam and Dani were going potty when I overheard their conversation about their differing anatomy. Dani remarked that Sam had a "peanut" while Sam informed her that girls didn't have penises, they had "Parmesans". We'll have an anatomy lesson when everyone is older...

Saturday evening, we went to the corn maze and got back late and hungry. Darin bathed and dressed all the kids while I hurriedly got dinner on the table. Joe snapped a picture of story time during the chaos.

Wrestle-mania

We're totally showing this photo to your prom date, Sam.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Nuts

Several weeks ago, Teenie and I embarked on a canning adventure. We quickly learned that it was impossible to do with children underfoot, so we decided that for Round Two, we'd send the kids out with their dads. Grandma K was entirely supportive and came up with the idea of having the kids pick up walnuts out at Joe's grandparents' old place, which was a productive way to tire out little bodies.

Canning was much more labor-intensive than I'd thought it would be. It took a LONG time, I got a blister from peeling so many teeny tiny apples and pears, and I had to stop frequently to eat (my fetus is VERY hungry all the time), so when we finally finished, the last thing I wanted to do was deal with the walnuts.

But, I've finally recovered and so, today, on my afternoon off, we decided to make banana bread with walnuts and chocolate chips (and some organic whole wheat flour that Steve and Teenie got us from their recent ag tour around the LC Valley). ND picked out the nuts and we all attempted to crack them open.

I realized I didn't actually have a nutcracker, so we used crab-claw crackers instead, which worked...some of the time. Sam and ND cheered me on. When I finally got the first nut to crack, I yelled, "Jackpot!". Sam and ND are often puzzled by idioms, so I tried to explain it and went on cracking nuts.

After a few "tough nuts to crack", I finally cracked open another one. When we all heard that sweet cracking sound, Sam yelled at the top of his lungs, "JACK-O-LANTERN!"

Close enough. Spending time with small children can be so amusing.

And our banana bread is delicious!

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Our ninth anniversary

Some anniversaries are celebrated with a trip to a new place and a new adventure. Other anniversaries are celebrated with a little nightie and a hotel room you never leave. Sometimes, anniversaries are celebrated with a babysitter and dinner at a nice restaurant. When it's your ninth anniversary and you're pregnant with your third child, you celebrate your anniversary by EATING and SLEEPING.
 
Joe and I had planned to celebrate our anniversary by participating in an Engaged Encounter weekend. It's a ministry we enjoyed in our pre-kid life and we have loved getting to spend time with the EE group now that we're back in Lewiston. Life has changed a lot since we last presented at EE, so the leaders invited us to watch a weekend before we updated our own talks. However, there weren't enough couples signed up to attend our particular weekend, so the retreat was cancelled.
 
I was disappointed. We'd had childcare lined up for months and now we had no place to go. I did some online searching and found the Hearthstone Lodge in Kamiah was one of the few local places that had any vacancies, so we booked a room. We dropped Sam off with Grandma K for his much-anticipated first-overnight at Grandma's and dropped ND off to spend the night with Ellea and the rest of the Poxleitner gang.
 
Then, Joe and I enjoyed a leisurely drive from Keuterville to Kamiah, listening to the radio and having grown-up conversation. On the way into town, we spotted a yard sale and stopped to pick up some treasures. We checked into the lodge and discovered that the owners also owned the local bakery, where they'd be serving a fabulous prime rib dinner that evening. The restaurant opened at 4p. We were there at 3;59pm.
A delicious curry soup. I told the server that I planned to "eat like a pregnant woman", a phrase I think she initially found amusing, but then found slightly alarming as I really shoveled the food away.

Tiger prawns with a spicy orange sauce. We also had prime rib and ordered pie to take on the road. After dinner, Joe wanted to listen to the end of the UI game on the radio, which was in overtime, so we decided to drive toward Orofino and visit my Lola and Uncle Noy. We had a nice relaxing visit, although Lola was disappointed that we didn't bring the kids.

Since we were in Orofino after all, I thought we'd better stop at The Ponderosa, a restaurant with the BEST milkshakes in Idaho. We had a peppermint milkshake. Amazing!
Then, it was back to our B&B, where I attempted to soak in the jacuzzi. It was a bit of a let down. We quickly decided that a 2 person jacuzzi really means it can accomodate a pregnant woman and her fetus, so Joe enjoyed the rare treat of channel surfing through cable while I soaked. The water has to be not-too-hot when you're pregnant, which makes baths not as awesome as they could be. I dried off and watched Pawn Stars with Joe while we ate our pie. We were both asleep by 8:30pm! Sleeping through the night..amazing!

We got up and went to Mass early that morning. We didn't have any children so we got to listen to the homily and actually participate in Mass instead of constantly sshhing and wrangling kids. Then, off to the bakery for our free breakfast. I had delicious French toast and bacon while Joe had an omelet and hashbrowns. The pastries looked so delicious that I had to buy several and ate a sticky bun on the way back to our B&B.

My handsome husband DID come on this eating extravaganza with me. :)

We packed up and then spent a few minutes in the B&B's living room. I tinkered on the piano for a little while and Joe leafed through a few books.
Then, it was off to collect our children, whom we were missing by that point. ND, we learned, had been a well behaved little girl during her visit with the Poxleitners and had slept through most of the night. Ellea was a trooper and let ND sleep in her room. Nicole and Loretta treated ND to a horse ride the next day before we left.

Sam had a great time at Grandma and Papa's. They let him fall asleep in their bed (which he thought was amazing!) and after church he played in the dirt pile. Life doesn't get much better than that.

Thank you to Grandma & Papa K and the Poxleitners for making this weekend possible. We had a wonderful anniversary!