...and the living is pretty easy. :) we are keeping busy this summer, but in a real "let's have fun and enjoy our time together" kinda way. and in a "let's try to keep the kids entertained so they don't drive us crazy" kinda way. working part time has really allowed me to appreciate and enjoy summer in a way i haven't been able to in a long time. i remember in years past, i'd be out driving to a meeting or whatever, and see a mom out walking or playing with her kids, and HATING the fact that i had to work and didn't get to play with my kids during the day. don't get me wrong, doing stuff during the day with three kids is exhausting, especially when it's at the cost of a good baby nap, but 30 years from now i won't look back on how well the baby napped, but on the fun times we had in the summer of 2014.
noah has already done tee ball, critter camp at the lincoln marsh and vacation bible school at grandma and grandpa's church. today he started a two week long swim class, and the week after that he's doing a train camp at the dupage historical society. we decided to keep him in activities for a lot of the summer because we know that in the past he has been a bear by the end of the summer when he hasn't had enough to do outside of the daily routine. i think our plan worked out pretty well. he loved tee ball. he was on the red team (aka the Cubs) under Coach Jenny. tee ball was kind of exhausting for this mama, since in the beginning we had weekly practices and then games sometimes twice a week, and always on days that daddy had to work. doing dinner, getting ready, loading our crap, and getting there on time, especially when a lot of the evenings well into the season (which ended in late June) were pretty chilly. but i'm so glad we did it, because he really enjoyed himself, despite the whole everyone gets to bat, nobody's out, and we only play three innings thing...
camp and bible school were fun, different activities than he's done before. it was nice for him to have somewhat structured peer interactions with new kids. i have had some worry about him going to kindergarten and not really knowing anyone. total former painfully shy kid projection, i know for sure. even though he has his moments of uncertainty and shyness, he really does engage well with other kids and loves making friends.
emily has been busy too. she is my little helper. she always wants to help with henry, the laundry, the dishes, cooking. she took a short dance class at the winfield park district. it's funny to see her with other kids because she does love kids, and is actually very outgoing, but does kind of clam up with strangers. she will be going to parents morning out again in the fall, this time two days a week.
probably since the beginning of summer, emily has been napping in noah's bed, but recently, we have started letting her sleep in his bed at night. the goal has been to get her crib transitioned to a toddler bed before vacation in mid-August. she has done pretty well except for the general pattern of her getting out of bed at least 2-3 times after lights out, song, good night... the worst is when she peeks into henry's room when i'm in there, in the dark nursing him. seeing a shadow moving in the hallway is pretty creepy, even when i know it's her. she has only fallen out of his bed twice, once with a giant thud that made us go running, and the other time just the other night. i'm not even really sure how it happened, but it was 12:30am and i'd been asleep, and i heard her wimping and calling daddyyyyyy. we went in there to find her squeezed between the bed and side table, with her head stuck under the bed. i had to pull pretty hard to get the poor thing out. somehow, there wasn't a mark on her.
henry is "awesome" as emily would say with a little lisp. at seven months old, he continues to be truly the best baby. he is the dream for a third child. along for the ride, happy as can be. he is very predictable in when he is hungry or tired. he's not a great napper, but then, we don't have the most consistent schedule. i feel like if we were up and out at the same time every day, we could get him in a better nap schedule, but somedays he wakes for the day at 7:00 and other days he wakes, eats, and falls back asleep. in any case, he is a great night time sleeper, very rarely waking at night. he is a rock star breastfeeder, but he's in the super distracted phase, which can be really annoying, especially in public.
he has his first two teeth, which came in within days of each other the week he turned six months. he also started solid foods the week he turned six months. the first few days, he seemed to enjoy it but wouldn't open his mouth. by day three, he had it figured out, and now eats so voraciously that i can't keep up! he loves puffs and will eat table foods like eggs and bread.
like the other two, it took awhile but he is finally rolling all over town. i'd say within the last week, week and a half, he's really mastered it, and it's funny to watch this giant child roll around his crib. he is longer now than the crib is wide, and i'm afraid he's gonna get himself wedged in there. even though he's rolling now, he's yet to start sleeping on his belly like noah & emily did. he's like his mom, more of a side sleeper.
he loves his exersaucer, and just today i noticed that he's tall enough that he can stand up flat footed in it. he LOVES music and thinks it's hilarious when i dance. his chuckle is incredible. he babbles and coos and smiles all.the.time. he truly is such a happy baby, and he ADORES his brother and sister, and they adore him too. they are so gentle and kind to him. it really makes me happy to see them giving him toys or feeding him puffs or even just talking or singing to him.
we have done a lot of fun family outings this summer too. we went to the train museum in union, il, the airshow in rockford, the pool in west chicago, the beach in st joe, michigan, the lincoln park zoo, a cubs game, a cougars game, the memorial day parade, the 4th of july parade, the movie theater, the bowling alley.... and ben built the kids a swing set. and it's only the middle of july! :)
as for us grown ups, life is crazy busy. my working part time since returning from leave in march has been working out well, with minimal need for child care. i'm home on tuesdays, fridays, and wednesday afternoons. a few weeks ago however, ben started a new job, dispatching for the addison police department. the pay is slightly less for now, but the long term opportunity for growth is excellent. plus it has great insurance! for the next few months, he is training and his schedule will be shifting every few weeks. the hope is that his permanent schedule starting in the fall will be 6:30pm to 2:30am, and i will be able to slightly adjust my schedule to working mon 9-5, wed 8-12, & thur 9-5.
we have tried to have a few mommy/daddy night outings too. we we to see ray lamontage and the dave matthews band. we went out for dinner for our anniversary. maybe that was it. lol. but we're fine with that for now. our focus is on our family, as it should be. do i wish i had more time/money/energy to do stuff? sure, but when i have to pay a baby sitter on top of whatever money i'm spending going out, the desire to go drops dramatically. plus i'm just really friggin tired by the end of the week, and the idea of putting my pants back on and leaving the house is so unappealing! i'm content to be a lame middle aged housewife and mother, living in a messy house, with dirty kids, because at least those dirty kids are happy and enjoying life.