Tuesday, August 5, 2014

10 things I have been doing instead of blogging. Version 2.0.

Last summer my blog was severely neglected. I blamed it on an incredibly needy, reflux-y, screaming baby.

This summer my blog is severely neglected. I blame it on an incredibly needy, high maintenance, "get into everything" toddler.

I apologize. School starts in less then a month, I am hoping to find more of a routine to the madness that is my household and increase my posts. I have lots of ideas and thoughts to share, just no time to get them on written down.

So, in an effort to catch up during what could be the only ten minutes I have to myself today, like last summer, "10 things I have been doing instead of blogging. Version 2.0"

1) Childproofing my house. Jack continues to be our most challenging child to date, and it hasn't slowed down as he has gotten older. The kid gets into everything, EV-ERY.THING. You would think I would be used to this? Nope. With Charlotte, baby gates and cabinet locks were not needed. Katherine & Will, though not as easy as Charlotte, had nothing on Jack. In an attempt to find a solution to control the chaos, we moved Mike's office to our bedroom and turned the first floor space into a playroom. With gates on either side. Good thing he is cute, and makes us laugh often with his crazy antics.

2) Potty training Charlotte. I will have a post coming up about this, as I know there are many who want to know more. I have cleaned up a lot of pee in the last three weeks, and while it hasn't been as quick as it was with the older two, she has definitely shown progress. However, potty training has proven to be quite an expensive ordeal; during Charlotte's first public potty "success" I jumped up to celebrate, and threw my cell phone in the toilet. $269 later, the Apple store was able to help me out. Ugh.

3) Saying goodbye to the smartest lady I know. My grams passed away a few weeks ago. We (as in me and all four of my kids) were extremely close to her, and it has been hard for all of us. I have a post started for my grams, but haven't been able to find the right words to finish it. Grandma didn't want a funeral, but rather a party...so in a few weeks we are going to celebrate her life, with good food, drinks, music, and memories.

4) Getting things ready for my new job this fall. I am looking forward to it; it is for a local school district, and I get to work mostly from home allowing me still to be home with the kids, but dip my toes back in the public schools...it is hard to believe it has been nearly seven years since I left teaching.

5) Increasing my Milwaukee Brewer knowledge. Pretty sure Will is the biggest fan there is, and in an effort to show him I care about his interests, I know every player, their positions, and pertinent stats. All this baseball hype must be contagious, as Katherine seems to have gotten bit by the Brewer bug too...Mike has taken them to quite a few games this summer, and there is rarely a night we don't have baseball on the television.

6) I am still doing the Norwex thing, and it has picked up quite a bit this summer, keeping me busy and giving me an occasional night out away from the fam.

7) Reading lots of Katherine's writing. She wants to be an author when she grows up; she recently discovered the word processing program on our family laptop and has spent HOURS the past week writing. I told her she needs to add "printer ink" to her birthday list as her favorite part of typing up her stories is adding clip art. Lots of it.

8) Celebrating our tenth anniversary with my husband. We had a quick night away, and stuffed a whole bunch of stuff into a short amount of time. When you don't get a whole lot of time without children, you tend to really cherish the little time you have; which we did. Love that man more every day, and look forward to many, many more years to come.

9) Fun summer stuff with the kids. After our anniversary getaway, Mike took the rest of the week off and we planned a bunch of fun stuff with the kids. Noah's Ark, the zoo, a local pool...it was fun to have little structure to our day for once, and enjoy each other.

10) Shaking my head in amazement as Charlotte's speech has seemed to take off over the past month or so. Beginning sounds she used to drop, are all of a sudden there. Two word phrases have become full sentences, and lately when I ask her questions, her responses are not only appropriate, but right. A favorite lately has been, "It's mine, not YOURS! No fair!" ....apparently the result of a summer with her siblings.

There ya have it...hoping to get a least one more post in this August. No promises though ;-), I've got things to do!

Thursday, July 10, 2014


I am not sure what it is about summer, but my ability to keep up with this blog decreases greatly. Pretty sure it has something to do with the four little humans living in my house. My work (outside the home work that is) schedule cuts down to almost nothing, but life with my children becomes much more complicated in the summer....camps, summer school, swim lessons, speech, zoo classes...summer for this mom of four = taxi cab driver. 

Here is a quick catch up of the last month in pictures (with a few captions). 

Baby boy comes everywhere with us. 
We spent Father's day visiting a local petting zoo. Best dad ever. 
Dinner date with my girls while the boys went to baseball. 

Trying on flower girl dresses for Aunt Keri's wedding this fall. Both girl's loved it.

First pedicure. Katherine: "Mom, we need to do this more often."
Jack's teething (finally, 14 months finally got a tooth, or four!). Those baby books that say "children may be a little irritable while teething"....they haven't met Jack....a little?!?!
Annual 4th of July pic. It's a keeper. 

A lot of these pictures were on Instagram; I apologize for the repeats. I tend to post there more frequently as it is quick and easy to do. Feel free to follow me (ekc80) if you would like more frequent updates. Thanks for checking in, enjoy your July!

Monday, June 9, 2014


Dear Charlotte,

Oh my, baby girl. Where does the time go? Today you are four. Four years old...how did that happen?! This past year has seem to fly by faster then the previous three, if that is even possible!

We had a great weekend celebrating both of our birthdays. I think you may be confused by when your actual birthday is, as it seems we have celebrated multiple times over during the past week, but hey, why shouldn't we? We have lots to celebrate.

Saturday was your birthday party. Like Jack's party last month, we kept is small and simple. And frankly, I am so glad we did. You were in your element. The ecstatic look on your face the entire day as you played with your siblings and cousins in your new pool and on the swing set was perfect. Pretty sure there wasn't much more you could have asked for; a day outside, good snacks & dinner, followed by a cake with the five inches of frosting you ordered.

Not a fan of everyone singing to you...you don't like being the center of attention :)
It was incredibly fun watching you open your presents this year. You opened them when you and each of your guests felt fit, not all at once. It was truly the birthday party that kept on giving. It didn't matter if you were opening bubbles or a sprinkler or your new swing or favorite blocks or a hot pink pair of googles; your reaction was the same, amazing amounts of glee & delight, followed by immense gratitude towards the gift giver. Missy said it best, "Charlotte is the kid you want to give gifts to, as she loves and appreciates each one so much!"

Tucker loved the "fruit swords!"

This past year you have grown so much; physically, socially, academically, verbally...actually pretty much all around growth! It has been fun watching you leave the last stages of toddlerhood behind and blossom into a delightful little girl. A girl with opinions about what you want, when you want it, and how you are going to get it. You are pretty strong willed, and have no problems communicating your desires with us.

Your amaze me with your ability to empathize with others as such a young age. A few weeks ago, I took both you and Jack for routine annual blood work. You went first, chatted up a storm with the tech taking your blood, didn't shed a tear, and thanked her when she was done. Then it was Jack's turn...he didn't do quite so well. Jack started crying as soon as the tech looked at him. His crying escalated to full out wailing before the needle even hit his skin, and I am sure you remember how loud he was screaming when he was actually poked. While I was trying to comfort Jack, I looked over at you; sitting in your stroller, with your new Frozen sticker stuck to your shirt, and your lower lip was quivering. Big tears started to roll down your face, and you kept saying "Boo boo, it is okay, it is okay boo boo." You hate seeing others in distress, pain, or upset. When he was done, you came over gave him an hug and wouldn't let go.

In April, after your tonsil/adenoids surgery, I went back to the recovery room to see you after you had woken up. I had been prepared to see you upset, as a lot times when kids come out of anesthesia  they are disorientated and inconsolable. Not you. You were awake, smiling, and greeted me with a "hi Mom!" Your nurse told me that you were the most polite and sweet kid she had ever taken care of; you even thanked her for taking your blood pressure. I smiled and agreed.

I should really write down all of the crazy, funny, clever things you say. Your ability to communicate with us and others this year has increased exponentially. Last week, I went upstairs to get you after your nap (which these days, it is more of a rest time, as you rarely sleep), and there was white stuffing all over your room. I asked you what happened, and what stuffed animal did the stuffing come from? You responded with, "Oh no!! It is snowing!!" ...today I went up to put you down for nap and found your stuffed dinosaur with your bandaid that was on your knee last week, across his neck seam. Sure enough, dino had a big hole under his bandaid and was missing quite a bit of stuffing.

At the beginning of May, we sat down for your annual IEP meeting. It came up that you hadn't met one of your goals, which was "Be able to answer the question, what is your name?" Your teachers and therapists had been trying for weeks to get you to answer this question. Silly really, as you know your name, and we let them all know this. I continued on to tell your team about the swim story (which I have mentioned a few times on this blog), and all of a sudden everyone was laughing and lightbulbs were going on, you indeed were telling them each time that your name was swim. Why? Because you think (and know) you are funny. Your sense of humor is crazy, and keeps us laughing.

Thank you my girl, thank you for being you. I could go on and on with stories from this year that have blown us away, made us laugh, or reminded us what a crazy, polite, strong-willed, smart little girl you have become.

What lies ahead for you? A summer filled with camp, zoo trips, parks, birthday parties, swimming lessons, a few road trips...and this fall, 4 year-old kindergarten. I look forward to this next year. Can't wait.

Happy birthday my love,

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Cake. And frosting too.

My girl's birthday is fast approaching. Here are her thoughts on the upcoming event. As you can see, she is also quite a help in the kitchen, and is always there asking me what I am cooking and if she can help.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Hot Zoo day.

 Apparently we skipped spring in Wisconsin and went right from winter to summer.

The kids aren't so sure about the extreme temperatures, but it sure is nice to be outside without shivering! 

And since the zoo is right across from Mike's office, lunch with him was an added bonus. 

Happy Wednesday! 

Friday, May 16, 2014

To make you smile.

My neglected blog is the result of a week of no sleep thanks to my favorite 1-year-old. Most nights by the time all four kids are in bed, and I have time to myself, writing a blog entry isn't in the cards. Tonight isn't any different, as my eyes are heavy and my pillow is calling my name....so, while I have a huge list of topics in my head that I need to write about, a short video of my girl is what you get instead. I love this kid so much and I can't tell you how much she makes me (and the rest of the fam) laugh on a daily basis. 

Here's to hoping for at least a few consecutive hours of sleep tonight without a coughing/snotty baby laying on me.