Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Apples of My Eye

We took the kids to the farm and apple orchard for the past two weekends. We have had so much going on lately that it was so refreshing to take them out for completely kid-centric fun. We visited two separate apple orchards and each place had so much to offer. Of course, taking the kids out seemed like a good idea but right before we left I keep thinking how tired I was and how late it was and blah blah blah. I sucked it up, and wow, was it ever worth it. They had a ton of fun and I was able to eat my body weight in cider donuts. So much was right with the whole day.

Just look at Easy Rider over here. 

This is his "I'm on a to a purdy lady" face.


Other than these small breaks for recreation, we have been going nonstop. This transition into school has been wonderfully smooth for Aiden (minus a few exhaustion induced meltdowns) but a leeeetle harder for me. I won't lie, it's the getting up early thing. I actually like getting up early and have no problem getting everyone ready for the day, the problem comes at 11am when I suddenly want to go back to bed and nap into the afternoon. I can't do this obviously, so I end up sitting down to watch a movie at 9pm with Sean and falling asleep five minutes into it and demanding he turn it off. I'm so fun.

Aiden still has soccer every week and a game every weekend, which is another cause of all the crazy. Fate has it so that soccer practice and school events ALWAYS coincide. We run to one to the other and everyone's head it spinning and yeah, Tuesday has become the bane of my existence.

One such event was last night's Back to School night where Sean and I pretended to be grownups and went and chatted with Aiden's teacher. She reported that he is very, very quiet but just about the best direction follower she's ever met. Yup, between my social awkwardness and Sean's obsession with PROCEDURAL COMPLIANCE, we are not surprised. At all.

Aiden may not be talking but somebody else is!!! Rory, in the past month or so, has had some kind of language explosion. He started off the summer with this new head banging tantrum routine that had me really worried. It was obvious he was getting really frustrated at not being able to communicate, and since I remember that Aiden didn't speak recognizable words until the ripe old age of two, I was worried. Aiden had zero words at this age but suddenly Rory has many. You give him something, he says "Thank you". He wants to hug the dog, he says "Sit!". You leave, he says "Bye bye!". On and on, all these new words in addition to "What's that?", "Daddy" and his favorite word in the world: "AIDEN!" Not only is he speaking but he understands and actually follows simple requests like "Please come here" or "sit down" and "please stop". It has made life with him pretty wonderful.

Even with our new jam packed schedules we have been really enjoying life as of late. Sean goes back to his previous rotating shift schedule next month so we're trying to enjoy the freedom we have right now. These two kids make that a lot easier.

Monday, September 16, 2013

First Day of School

This week has been pretty huge for us. Aiden had his first day of kindergarten! He had been both nervous and excited this whole summer but I was really confident. He was soo ready. He's lost his clingy ways and has enjoyed all sorts of new activities this summer and it seemed so obvious that he was ready for the next step.

However, this belief was immediately challenged last weekend. The weekend before the big K was his first soccer game. He'd had one practice already and loved it and so I wasn't worried about the game. I wasn't even thinking about the game at all. That Saturday we showed up at the fields and it was a total madhouse. It always is since it seems like our entire town, or at least the portion of the population with kids, comes to play. There were people everywhere, kids on every field, and Aiden was totally thrown for a loop by the huge crowd. He refused to play until the last minute of the game, and then he only wanted to play goalie where he'd be far away from all the watching parents, and basically refused to have anything to do with his team. It was especially awkward since Sean's the assistant coach. Good times....not.

Well, this had me suddenly wondering if he was going to have a huge meltdown once the bus came on Wednesday morning (don't ask me why they didn't just start on Monday). To try and prevent this we went over and over what to do when the bus came, what to expect at school and all the other little details. I had been pretty nervous myself but all the reassurance I was trying to give Aiden seemed ot work on me too. He was ready. He was excited. Nervous, but also really excited. And when the bus came Wednesday morning, he trooped across the road with his giant backpack and climbed on that bus by himself.

And he LOVED school. I knew he'd love it once he got there, and everyday since he's been so excited for each day.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The "Labor" in "Labor Day"

Sean had a four day weekend to celebrate Labor Day this year. We did the major back-to-school shopping trip on Friday and battled crowds and unenthusiastic little boys and managed to cobble together a wardrobe for Aiden with pants and shirts that aren't several inches to short in the leg or sleeve. After that we whizzed around finishing our errands and chores so that we'd still have three days of freedom to enjoy the last of summer.

Welllll, "freedom" "enjoy" and "summer" do not describe what the next three days looked like. Saturday poured rain. We are seriously in search of the dreaded "family vehicle" to fit our soon to be three children in  so we braved the rain and headed to our local Honda dealership....which was closed....until Tuesday. Great. Whatever.

We went home with plans to visit the much farther away dealership later in the day. I was sitting in the basement when I heard a dripping sound. Not outside rain dripping but something INSIDE dripping. The level of dread I experienced is roughly equivalent to what a horror movie character feels when they're alone on a stormy night and they hear the doorknob start turning. Bad things are about to happen.  And bad they were: the hot water heater was pouring all over the floor. Several hours, trips to Lowe's and the purchase of epoxy/soldering tools/pipes later: it's kaput. This was also the middle of a holiday weekend so we did not dare call a plumber.

We decided to forget our plumbing troubles and drive the half hour to the next Honda dealership.....which had been open when we called aaaaand was now closed. No hot water and no Honda's for us.

Basically we've spent the days since Saturday trying to get to the dealership, which hasn't happened, and we've made appointments to make appointments to make appointments to have someone look at the hot water heater. Someone came to clean our chimney (another mind numbing appointment it's taken FOREVER to get since no one will call me back) but when the guy arrived he claimed that he could only be paid in cash. Rrrright....let me just fork over a fist full of hundred dollar bills to a chimney sweep who looks a lot less like Dick Van Dyke and a lot more like fat Elvis. No thanks.

The toaster over broke this morning while I was trying to make the kids breakfast. My coffee maker malfunctioned fantastically and spewed coffee grounds all over the kitchen THREE times this morning. Did I mention we have no hot water? WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?!

A very frustrating, not relaxing, rainy end to the summer. But in the bigger picture, I get that these are all pretty silly problems. We're all healthy and happy and can I really complain about not getting a new car? We may not have hot water but we have unlimited clean water.  Although coffee and a hot showers are nice too.

Sean and I might be tearing our hair out but the kids are happy as clams. Aiden finally lost his first tooth! It had been hanging on by a thread and flopping around while he talked when I finally plunked him down in front of the bathroom mirror and told him to just get it over with. And voila, there's now a giant new grownup tooth pushing it's way through.

Aiden also had his first soccer practice last night. Sean is the assistant coach and the two of them spent the evening running around playing games and doing drills and other soccer-y type things. I'm obviously an expert on all things soccer. (Also, can I tell you how surreal it was for me to sit watching my kindergartener practice soccer while contemplating the merits of various mini vans? How old am I? Why am I wearing this cardigan?)

Rory isn't quite ready for soccer but he's practicing his walking. All over. Up and down and  sometimes right off the edge of the steps...whoops.


 (He's just a wiiiiild and ca-raaaazy guy)

I cannot believe my kids are this old. I cannot believe I spend so much time on the phone with repair people. I cannot believe I'm actually looking forward to a mini van. I need a nap.