{Right Now} New House: Morning One

14 12 2013

Early in May, we signed an Intent to Purchase agreement for a home built in 1977 in an established neighborhood north of Brownsburg (a Western suburb of Indy). It is a 2 minute walk through backyards and over a little creek from our best friends (Brooke and her family), and Brownsburg schools are among the best in the state. The house itself is unique and large enough for our growing family of boys (we will improve it to 3100 sq feet, and 5 bedrooms, 3 full baths), has an in-ground pool, and needed a lot of work. Brent and I made plans to have the entire place renovated. We knew within the 2nd time walking through it what we wanted to do, and we presented our design to contractors for bids. The timeline has been ridiculously lengthened compared to our original plan, due to complications, weather, the unique mortgage we had to learn about and teach our contractors about, bad planning, communication errors, and a dozen other things. We have driven Cade 25 minutes each way (plus the in-car time in the pickup and dropoff lines!) to kindergarten for an entire semester when we thought we’d be in by Halloween. And we had a baby.

Although the timing wasn’t what we had planned or anticipated, I have been confident throughout that God was aligning things in His way to best take care of us. (That doesn’t mean I didn’t complain, however!) It has been nice for the contractors to be able to work in a vacant house, but they were simply not feeling any sort of urgency to stick to a deadline. When we said, “December 13th is it!” suddenly there were workers in on evenings and Saturdays instead of the 9:00-3:30 days we’ve seen so far. (Truly, we have been nothing less than absolutely pleased with the work that has been done and the men who have done it. Time management is the ONLY thing we can fault throughout this whole process.)

Yesterday was December 13. The day went so well from every angle, from the movers to the baby. (Cute side story: I was showing the furniture movers the downstairs rooms, and the head guy says to me, “You know, we can hold your stuff for a couple of days. It looks like you have a little more work to do here.” As we’re standing on subfloor with a circular saw in the middle of the living room. Thanks for your concern, Wayne.) Last night, as expected, the boys, all three of them in new beds, were up multiple times. Unexpectedly, Brent was up throwing up all night. So, although I sat in exhausted happiness in our beautiful unfinished master bedroom last night (before taking a shower in the boys’ bathroom after Brent ran out to the shed to get the shower curtain and rod, without a curtain on the window), today is definitely the reality check. Baby who doesn’t want to be put down, hungry tired boys who still think it’s a construction zone instead of a home, a kitchen that really is a construction zone (did you know that all you need to legally live in a house is a working bathroom, a sink in the kitchen, and handrails down the stairs??), a sick husband still in bed, and boxes.
But we’re here. And it’s going to be amazing.

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My two dishwashers still sit in the garage. For now, this.





Finally! Cam!!

23 10 2013

{The title of this post could refer both to the timing of his birth and the lateness of this post!}

Our third dude was 10 days late. He was predicted to arrive somewhere around August 10, so we all made plans around August 10. Silly us. Mom came two weeks early to help because surely our third child would be early. Dad came the weekend after the due date to meet him. And they both said goodbye to their pregnant daughter and two grandsons at the airport. Vicky came a few days later, hoping to hold her 5th grandson, but ended up learning how to drive Cade to school and how to manage breakfast just in case he was finally born while she was there. And everyone started talking induction.

Grandma and Grandpa (4)

Juan Solomon morning (13)

“Everyone” included my doctor, even. But I’d made it clear from the onset that I was determined not be induced unless medically necessary. Three years later, I still feel like my last OB invented a reason to induce me with Kasen so he could be delivered on the doc’s schedule. Sure, the right-on-time outcome was my perfect, sweet-cheeked love, but I spent the 17 hours before he was born lying in a bed, hooked up to the meds that would do the work my body was designed to do. I wanted my last labor to be on my terms. Even at my last OB appointment, 9 days overdue, I only agreed to set an induction date because Dr. Wright told me that the longer we waited at this point, the harder the delivery would be on the baby. So I agreed, and suggested getting it on the calendar as soon as possible since Vicky had a flight back to Iowa already scheduled. This was Monday morning, and I was even okay with going in later that day if I could. As God would have it, the soonest I could be fit in was Wednesday morning, so I went home at 5 cm with the hope that the baby would fool everyone and come on his own. Which he did.

Monday night, the real contractions started. I was hesitant to believe my own body at this point, because I’d thought, “This could be it!” at least a dozen times in the last month. At about 1:00am Tuesday I started tracking them on the app I’d downloaded weeks ago. I had timed them in my head lying in bed before that and thought maybe they were 10 minutes apart, 30 seconds long. Turns out, they were 5 minutes apart, 60 seconds long. Still determined to do much of the work at home, I walked around downstairs so as not to bother anyone sleeping upstairs and called in to let Dr. Wright know. At 2:00, I got dressed and suggested that Brent do the same. Apparently I wasn’t urgent-sounding enough, because I had to wake him up again with a clear, “This is it!” And yet (true to his pre-planning nature), he took the time to prepare breakfast for the boys so his mom would have an easier time of it in the morning. Finally, I had to yell at him during the huge contraction in the downstairs bathroom. He pulled the car out, but I couldn’t even get in before I had another contraction walking around the front yard. I’m so grateful it was the middle of the night so he could run all those red lights!! I’m sure he’s grateful I didn’t actually deliver our third child in his Charger, though he did miss one of the turns and had to turn around, adding another minute to our time! Once in the parking lot, I tried to get him to go ahead of me to check me in because at that point I had to do things at my own pace. Flip-flops off, I couldn’t even stand still in front of the registrar to give her my info, then it was miserable to lay myself down on the bed in triage. (Why do they insist that women deliver lying down??)

I was the screaming lady they ran down from triage to L&D, having been proclaimed 10cm by the doctor on call. Clearly no time for an epidural. I could only get myself from the triage bed to the bed I’d deliver in between contractions, and there was hardly time for that. I couldn’t hardly handle not being on my side, but they flipped me to my back between contractions. And that was it! One humongous push, and we had a baby! I later heard a nurse say that we checked in 6 minutes before he was born.  No IV’s.  I was still wearing my own tank top. It was awesome. Excuse my language, but I’m so damn proud.

Cam had pooped while he was in utero, so the NICU staff was called in to clean him up and inspect his lungs. (That’s my only problem with the whole story: Only the hospital staff held and handled him for the first 15 minutes of his life. Whatever. We were able to send messages to everyone then!) Dr. Wright, my actual doctor, finally walked in while I was being stitched up. She said congratulations, inspected my repair job, and went back home to bed.  I might have been the most crazyjoyful woman in the universe. Cam Joseph finally nursing in my arms, all was right with the world. Well, it was right all night.IMG_9037

Nana got to tell the boys when they woke up. Cade raced downstairs, assuming that’s where we were (apparently we didn’t make the hospital thing clear), and Kasen immediately asked when he could see him. Since he was born in the middle of the night, we chose to bring Cade to the hospital to meet his baby brother in the morning rather than wait until after school as we had anticipated doing after Wednesday’s induction. Brent went back home to help with breakfast and getting them ready to visit their brand new brother. They both were astonished at how small he was! (And more interested in the buttons on the bed than the baby.) Kasen climbed right up beside us, but Cade was clearly uncomfortable. I think he did manage a kiss on the head before Brent took him back to school where his class was eagerly waiting since I’d sent a picture to Mrs. King already. Kasen and Nana x5 stayed another hour or so, Nana snuggling and Kasen eating the breakfast I’d ordered and watching cartoons on TV.Birth Day (5)

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Since then, Cam has been nothing less than wonderful. He cries when it makes sense for him to cry, went from every-two-hours feedings to sleeping 12 hours at night in less than 8 weeks, has been a social smiler for a month, and has brought the sort of love and happiness into our family that we so desperately needed. I knew he would, right from the start. I know we will have 3-boy struggles, just like we have 2-boy struggles (Currently, biting and spitting. Good grief.), but life is just better with him. Exactly like it was when Kasen was born. Exactly like it was when Cade was born.first day home (5)

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God does bless families through children; they are a reward from Him. And they are also His way of challenging us to trust Him and work hard to present our children to the world as our blessing and His tools. Lord, I do trust you and believe You have equipped Brent and me to raise sons who will make their world a better place by knowing You. Help me to always remember that You love them more than even I do, and with every stumble they or I make, every trial we face, You are working to make us stronger, more beautiful, more like You.DSC_9457

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fun with puffballs and Cam (1)

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2 months old (4)

 





And Now, a Kindergartner!

3 08 2013

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As an ex-kindergarten teacher (at the b.e.s.t school a girl could ask for in her first years of teaching… ahem, Marcy School…), and “professional full-time mom” (the title I’ve chosen to justify teaching a mere 2 years after earning my Master’s Degree), I was thoroughly prepared – and rather excited – to homeschool my kids through kindergarten.  And then Cade threw his crayon the very first time I tried to teach him how to hold it correctly.  I realized quickly that my firstborn wasn’t impressed by my boxes of thematic units, the library of books in the office sorted by subject, or my action research thesis on teaching parents how to write with their kids.  And it wasn’t worth our mommy-son relationship to force my teacher-self on him.  As he began to show a little social anxiety around the age of 3, we started shopping for preschools that would fit his needs and our desires as his parents.  God paired us with Meridian Street Preschool Co-op, and Cade’s first “school” experience was a huge success, beginning with the first moment he met Mrs. S.

We were (and, truthfully, still are) concerned about the huge jump from such an amazing, developmentally-appropriate preschool to an overstuffed classroom in a public school system, especially for our boy who is quite astounding if you take the time to get to know him but easily slips out of notice if you don’t.  Thus, we got him open-enrolled in a not-in-district school we felt comfortable with and began the house-hunt in Brownsburg (one of the best districts in the state).  More explanation in another post (which will be written after we officially close on the house), but we are now driving Cade 30 minutes to Brown Elementary until renovations are done enough to move to Brownsburg.  Probably 8 weeks at the least.  The good news, however, is that he LOVES it.  And so far, WE love it!  And a great start to a kindergartner’s year is worth so much to an ex-kindergarten teacher/Mommy.

His teacher, Mrs. K, is the best of both worlds: she has 7 years of experience but this is her first in kindergarten.  She is very well-organized and professional, but is sweet and loving to the kids (she’s a mama of two herself).  When I picked him up after the first day on Thursday, I asked him what he loved about her, and he said, “She’s just awesome.”  Can’t ask for more than that!  He’s not a details guy, but we did discover that someone had him buy milk at lunch (there was a bill for $0.40 in his folder the next day), he played some silly underwear-on-the-clothesline game in computer class, had a shirt-twin in his class, sat on a red square for meeting, went to the bathroom approximately 4 times with his class, saw Jack and Ayla at recess, and may or may not have built with blocks during Choice Time.  My favorite story of the day was that when he got pushed down by the slide at recess and his finger was stepped on, he went to a “lonely place” on the playground until he felt fine enough to play again!  For a dude who usually loses his temper completely when he gets hurt at home (well, only if Mom saw it or Kasen caused it), this is BIG.  And Brent and I can breathe a big sigh of relief that a negative incident didn’t cloud his view of the day.

He and Kasen are, and will probably continue to be, struggling with how to handle each other after a long day apart.  Kasen is beyond excited to see his best buddy (especially after an hour in the car just to pick him up: 30 minute drive plus 30 minutes in the pickup line).  Thursday, Cade talked nonstop all the way home, and when we parked in the garage, Kasen finally asked, “How was your day, Cade?”  Cade replied, “I was just telling you!  Weren’t you listening?”  I could still cry.  Cade is quite the emotional quagmire, and from one moment to the next, even I can’t figure out what he needs, so it’ll be a learning curve for all of us trying to figure out whether he needs alone and quiet time, alone and loud time, or play together time.  And I’m sure it’ll change from day-to-day.  Thursday he was happy to be home and kind to us all, and then  yesterday he had me in (39-week hormone-induced) tears because of his rude words to both me and Kasen.

But we really won’t get a chance to figure it all out “for real,” because real life won’t exist for the next few weeks.  Mom flies in Monday afternoon and will stay until she has to get back for her own kindergarten to start in Kansas.  There is a third boy to be joining our family any day that will rock our world entirely.  Nana and Papa will be staying with us for an extended period of time later in the month.  We will hopefully be selling our house and may have to move before the new house is ready for us.  Etc. Etc.  ETC!!  Usually you hope that life stays consistent during the transition into school.  We’re hoping that school stays consistent during our uncertain life!!  Pray for us, would you??  Our daily prayer here has been one of thanksgiving that he is happy at school.  We can handle and bounce back from the other stuff (especially after Grandma gets here!), but school’s the stuff that needs to be “right” for him.  And so far, it is!

Apparently, we still need to work on the "smile for the camera" smile.

Apparently, we still need to work on the “smile for the camera” smile.

This was him telling us about how excited he was for computers.

This was him telling us about how excited he was for computers.

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first day of kindergarten (7)

first day of kindergarten (8)

SO thrilled about the caddy of supplies in the middle of the table!

SO thrilled about the caddy of supplies in the middle of the table!





Backtracking: Grandma and Grandpa Camp

31 07 2013

{June 3-9}

As mentioned in the last post, Kasen got an airplane ride for his birthday.  My mom and dad treated us all, and took the boys back with them for almost a week of Grandma and Grandpa Camp.  Uncle Andrew, Aunt Sarah, and Ryan participated for a few days too, making their stay even more special!  While the boys were having fun swimming, playing with the cats, visiting the Discovery Center, and eating at super fun places, Brent and I decluttered the house, staged each room for pictures, and put the house officially on the market.  I also slept in, got a pedi in the middle of the day, cooked or didn’t as I felt like, and didn’t blog or get caught up on editing as I had planned.  Overall, we were all ready to see each other when the plane landed back in Indy, but we definitely all enjoyed our time apart!

The following, straight from Grandma and Grandpa:

We had our first “real” Showalter Grandma and Grandpa Camp with both Cade and Kasen!  Our adventures started after the family birthday party in Indy.  We flew with Cade and Kasen to Kansas to spend 6 days at our house.  The boys couldn’t wait to have their juice, peanuts and pretzels on the plane!  Cade sat with Grandma and Kasen with Grandpa right over the wing.  Of course, the boys had the window seats and were so excited.  Only for a moment did Kasen relax and put his feet up on the pulled down tray table!  After Cade helped Grandpa get the luggage from the baggage claim, we got to ride the airport shuttle bus to the car.  Cade and Kasen desperately wanted to ride that fancy bus all the way to our house!

On the way to our house (a little over an hour), Cade asked Kasen, “Would you like to go to Indiana or Grandma and Grandpa’s house?”  Kasen said, “Indiana.”  Cade asked him again and Kasen told him the same thing.  Then Cade replied, “Too Bad!  We are going to Grandpa and Grandma’s house!”  A short while later, Cade said, “Grandma, remember when I said I would get homesick on day 6 at your house?  Well, I’m homesick on day 1.  I miss my mom and dad!”  But thankfully, that was the end of homesick talk for the whole week!

The week was filled with pretending in the Club House, basketballs, swimming in our freezing pool, of which Grandpa showed his unending love for his grandsons by swimming with them when he HATES cold water, the “hot tub” (our bathtub with jets) with lots of bubbles, the Children’s Discovery Center, the exercise room, riding on the Grasshopper mower, and the 3 cats.

Kasen was soooo excited to see Chat Mat, Cookie, and Jade (the 3 cats) and he ended up scared to death of them!  Chat Mat (named by Cade because the names rhymes with “cat”) and Cookie (named by our other grandson Ryan because he loves Cookie Monster) are such friendly kitties.  They love to be held and petted by anyone; we just knew they would love the boys.  And love them, they did!  The two cats like to stretch up your leg in love – they really don’t use their claws at all.  However, while the cats reach up to our legs, they reach up to Kasen’s neck!  He was so frightened of them after the first time they did that, his whole body shook whenever he saw them!  He wanted to love the kitties, but he truly loved Jade because Jade will have nothing to do with the boys!  She was a safe cat!DSC_0002

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As a special treat, Uncle Andrew, Aunt Sarah, and cousin Ryan, came for a couple days to play with the boys.  We took the crew to Fritz’s, a train themed restaurant that delivers your food by an overhead train and lowers it to your table.  Not much food was eaten because of all the whistling excitement, but we took them to get frozen yogurt anyway!DSC_0139

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Grandma flew with the boys back to Indy.  Cade and Kasen were sad to leave Kansas, but excited to see Mom and Dad.  Grandma spent a few more days with them before coming home.  Both boys wanted to come back on the plane but April quickly had Cade count up the number of days spent with Grandma and Grandpa (13) and he felt OK about staying home!  We were thrilled that there was no homesickness by Cade and Kasen and only Grandson sickness when we were home without them!  We’re looking forward to Grandma and Grandpa Camp 2014 already.





Backtracking: 2-Boy Birthday Bash

1 07 2013

{May 31-June 1}

This party was our third annual 2-Boy Birthday Bash, and each one has had a different “feel.”  This year’s attendees included Grandma and Grandpa (they flew in Wednesday morning), and Nana and the Kahlers drove in Friday night.  With such a small crowd for such a short amount of time, we slept everyone under our roof; usually we kick the grandparents out to a hotel so we can have sibling/cousin time together.  Short and sweet, our time together was!

We LOVE our birthday photo booth!

We LOVE our birthday photo booth!

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This year's accidental theme: "Fancy"

This year’s accidental theme: “Fancy”

Saturday morning, the boys were thrilled to have plenty of time to play at home together while Brent and I ran out to pick up our last-minute supplies.  The Hoopers arrived for lunch, which was tacos or chicken ranch tacos with all the fixin’s and huge pickles.  Absolutely no reason for the huge pickles other than that we knew the birthday boys would love them!  ALL the kids loved them!

All of my favorite kids in the whole world around my kitchen table at the same time.  If Ryan would have been there, I think my heart would have exploded.

All of my favorite kids in the whole world around my kitchen table at the same time. If Ryan would have been there, I think my heart would have exploded.

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party lunch (8)

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Presents followed lunch, and they were a hit with all the kids!  We have such thoughtful gift-givers in our family; I’m always so grateful for what the boys receive, even if I don’t get thank-you notes written!  And even if it means we have a hard time purging our playroom; the boys have such good stuff!

A recycling truck of his very own!  (He's been coveting Owen's for 2 years!)

A recycling truck of his very own! (He’s been coveting Owen’s for 2 years!)

A remote control robot for Cade.  Gee, thanks, Grandma and Grandpa!

A remote control robot for Cade. Gee, thanks, Grandma and Grandpa!

Mom and Dad's present to Kasen: a digger like at the Children's Museum.  Now if only we had a rubber mulch pit too...

Mom and Dad’s present to Kasen: a digger like at the Children’s Museum. Now if only we had a rubber mulch pit too…

Retro Batman costume, handsewn by Landon and Owen's Grandma Kahler

Retro Batman costume, hand-sewn by Landon and Owen’s Grandma Kahler

From the Hoopers: A certificate for a Fun Day for both the boys after Brent and I drop them off.  Pretty sure that's more a present for Mommy and Daddy!

From the Hoopers: A certificate for a Fun Day for both the boys after Brent and I drop them off. Pretty sure that’s more a present for Mommy and Daddy!

Love Kasen's peeking face!

Love Kasen’s peeking face!

Cake time!

Cake time!

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Wearing Grandpa’s glasses in preparation for his own!

 In the afternoon, the daddies and Grandpa took the biggers to a par-3 golf course while the littles took excellent naps and the ladies began prep for our annual plan-and-make-your-own-appetizer supper.  Both big boys got golf clubs this spring, and the men were excited (albeit a little apprehensive!) to take them out for real.  9 par-3 holes was just perfect!  When they returned home, we enjoyed supper and s’mores together before much-needed baths and bed for the boys.  The three bigs had a sleep-over in Cade’s room where 7-year old Landon was frustrated with Cade and Owen (5 and 4) for not settling down and going to bed!  They did a pretty good job, though, and were up with the sun on Sunday morning.

afternoon play (3)Trying to figure out his new game, Qwirkle.
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Looks like they know what they’re doing!

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Post-nap reading with Nana. Doesn’t get better than that.

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If you need a tutorial on how to roast a marshmallow, Grandma’s your girl!

Rather than needing to zip out right away, the Iowa folks spent a leisurely morning with us.  Breakfast burritos and pancakes for breakfast, followed by a trip to one of our favorite parks to burn some energy before that 6-hour car ride.  Everything was going swimmingly until Owen slipped and cut his chin open.  His Mommy, Dr. Kahler, knew it would need stitches, so they hightailed it up to an urgent care while the rest of us finished playing and headed home for lunch.  Landon was very concerned about his little brother, but a little play-acting and a lot of praying got him through until Owen arrived back at our house with two stitches and a new set of Star Wars action figures.

I just love their sweet morning faces! (Matching jammies!)

I just love their sweet morning faces! (Matching jammies!)

Breakfast-makers.  The other adults in the group were doing their part by keeping the boys out of trouble!

Breakfast-makers. The other adults in the group were doing their part by keeping the boys out of trouble!

 

Apparently fruit is better kabob'd!

Apparently fruit is better kabob’d!

Our gorgeous boys!Our gorgeous boys!

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After he got over the initial pain, the poor guy was only upset about having to leave the playground! What a trooper!

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It’s Kasen’s new doctor kit, but it sure helped Cade and Landon process what was happening to Owen!

Giving Landon stitches

Giving Landon stitches

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Mom and Dad weren’t scheduled to fly back to Kansas until Monday afternoon, and we’d made plans a few weeks ago for the boys to join them for a week at Grandma and Grandpa Camp!  What a birthday present for our 3-year old!  After sugaring them up with birthday cupcakes from The Flying Cupcake, Brent and I sent them off.  It was hard to tell who was more excited!

Captain America and Batman playing the Sneaky Snacky Squirrel game

Captain America and Batman playing the Sneaky Snacky Squirrel game

Cade was motivated, for some reason, to ride without training wheels.  It didn't last long, and I'm glad Grandpa was there to help!

Cade was motivated, for some reason, to ride without training wheels. It didn’t last long, though, and I’m sure glad Grandpa was there to help!

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Assisting with replacing said training wheels.

Assisting with replacing said training wheels.

Happy birthday, dear Kasen!

Happy birthday, dear Kasen!

Happy birthday to you!

Happy birthday to you!

off to Kansas (1)

I'm not quite sure that he knew what was going on at this point...

I’m not quite sure that he knew what was going on at this point…

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A Little Bit of Summer

29 06 2013

Life is rolling right along with our family in full “summer” swing.  If you’re not a Facebook friend (or in-person friend!) of mine, our biggest news is that we are in the midst of selling our house and buying and renovating a place in Brownsburg.  I will dedicate a full post to that sometime in the nearish future, but that little (big!) piece of information is rather why this blog has been so neglected recently.  Our life has been fully simplified for a couple of reasons.  First, all of our excess stuff now resides in a storage unit in an effort to declutter and make showing our house easier with less to clean up.  So I’m not knee-deep in 13 different projects, I’ve turned over the preschool presidency to this coming year’s co-presidents, and I’ve pared down to the basics around here: keeping the house clean, the boys busy, and the family fed.  Second, being 34 weeks pregnant with the impending stress of a intense renovation, starting Cade in kindergarten at the beginning of August (and not moving to the new house probably until September), having the baby shortly thereafter, etc, etc, I am being super intentional about taking it easy.  Not that the blog is a lot of work, but it’s just one more thing off my mental plate.  Plus, I much prefer eating ice cream while watching NCIS reruns during naptimes than sitting at the computer.  To be completely honest!

Therefore!  Minimal blogging.  But lots of living.  Simple living.  The boys have suddenly discovered how to entertain themselves, and can play together without much fuss for an hour or more, usually outside, but also in our pretty cleared-out playroom.  They love to go places still (Cade especially), but a quick drive to the “School Park” will make them happy.  I’m proud of the summer days that they’re experiencing right now: nothing fancy, nothing super entertaining, just kind of “old fashioned.”  Sidewalk chalk, walks, library trips, lunch picnics in our yard, playing in the hose in the afternoon.  I think this past week there were three days we didn’t even get into the car.

I won’t say that every moment has been blissful and simple.  Truthfully, both boys deserve their own posts dedicated to their behavior!  But with less to worry about, my physical and mental energy has been up to the task of moving through the tough moments with more patience and grace as well as focusing on strategies to overcome some consistent challenges.  And within the last few days we have seen a huge payoff, especially with Cade!  Praise Jesus!  (Seriously.  The changes have been so significant that we absolutely cannot take credit for them!)  So I can definitely say that we are living simply, more intentionally, and are very happy.  *Insert contented sigh here*

One of those moments I’m glad I said “yes” to their request instead of worrying about supper: a puddle stomp on the golf course

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These boys are ALL boy!

These boys are ALL boy!

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Curator Cade discussing his Lego Exhibit

Curator Cade discussing his Lego Exhibit

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A Hooper/Show cookout (after Iris's cake smash photo shoot), complete with a few backyard fireworks!

A Hooper/Show cookout (after Iris’s cake smash photo shoot), complete with a few backyard fireworks!

Watching the birthday balloons float away

Watching the birthday balloons float away

Enjoying some watermelon at our first trip to Arbuckle Acres in Brownsburg

Enjoying some watermelon at our first trip to Arbuckle Acres in Brownsburg

After the birthday weekend (which needs a post of it's own!!), the boys went to Kansas for Grandma and Grandpa Camp for a whole week!

After the birthday weekend (which needs a post of it’s own!!), the boys went to Kansas for Grandma and Grandpa Camp for a whole week!

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We were sure glad to see their faces, but SO enjoyed our time at home without them!

We were sure glad to see their faces, but SO enjoyed our time at home without them!

Indy Parks has dedicated a lot of money to the construction of neighborhood splash parks, which we LOVE to take advantage of!

Indy Parks has dedicated a lot of money to the construction of neighborhood splash parks, which we LOVE to take advantage of!

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One of the many reasons we love having boys!

One of the many reasons we love having boys!

 

Brent repaired the golf course fence in our back yard (not our responsibility!) so the house will show better. The boys were happy to play with the power tools!

Brent repaired the golf course fence in our back yard (not our responsibility!) so the house will show better. The boys were happy to play with the power tools!

Hosing off after a particularly muddy afternoon

Hosing off after a particularly muddy afternoon

hosing off (5)

While I ate on the deck, the boys had a nice little lunch picnic in the "tree house."

While I ate on the deck, the boys had a nice little lunch picnic in the “tree house.”

One of the activities that sustains them for quite a while is coloring the playset with sidewalk chalk.

One of the activities that sustains them for quite a while is coloring the playset with sidewalk chalk.  This particular picture doesn’t have much “decorating,” probably because their favorite afternoon activity is hosing off the chalk!

We've had a pitiful little blueberry bush for 3 summers now, and it's finally producing blueberries!  These were the first two, and they were apparently sour.

We’ve had a pitiful little blueberry bush for 3 summers now, and it’s finally producing blueberries! These were the first two, and they were apparently sour.

Morning rain gave way to a cool and cloudy afternoon, so we brought the Legos outside!

Morning rain gave way to a cool and cloudy afternoon, so we brought the Legos outside!

 





Five

12 05 2013

{A good post for Mothers’ Day, yes?}

I will never tire of telling Cade’s birth story.

For-real contractions begun on his actual due date, the Wednesday before he was born, spurred on by Dr. Stanton’s magical (and miserable) membrane-stripping.  Praying with Mom and Dad Thursday night over the phone because I knew “this was it” and was equal parts scared and thrilled out of my mind.  A whole night walking the hall, trying to time contractions while not keeping Brent awake (why I didn’t ask him to go to the guest room, I’ll never know!).  The 8:00am call into work to let them know that he would not be coming in, he would be taking his wife to deliver our first child.  Breathing through contractions as absolutely long as I could at home, heeding Dr. Stanton’s wise advice to “stay home until you need help with the pain.”  We were checked in at about 10:30 and I measured at 5cm.  The blessed epidural that was to help me relax and maybe sleep for a bit actually helped me relax enough for the baby to drop (we didn’t know whether it was a boy or a girl with this one!), and the labor nurse came hustling in to tell me not to push until she called Dr. Stanton.  Brent left to grab some lunch and came back to a moments-away birth.  Water broken, 30 minutes of pushing, and Brent crying as he said, “It’s a boy!”  And all of a sudden I was holding my heart in my arms, wondering where that wide and flat nose came from (turns out, it came from me!).

Minutes old

Minutes old

Five years later, he’s still got that wide and flat nose, “wiggly eyes,” a killer smile (if you can catch a real one), bruises all over his long legs, and just a little of the baby fat left in his cheeks.  He loves basketball (obviously), pretty much any other sport, being read to, snuggling, climbing, Legos, eating, being silly with his BFF Kasen, and his Grandma and Nana.  He doesn’t like being told what to do, showing off anything but his dunking or climbing prowess, and being quiet (talks all.the.time).  He can count to 999 probably if you have the time to listen, is this close to reading (but don’t you dare ask him to), wants to know everything there is to know about outer space, and can pretty much build a marble run or Lego thing by independently following the instructions.  He is all there is to be about 5, which means from moment to moment we are astonished and thrilled or disappointed and frustrated.  He tells me 93247 times a day that he loves me, and he’s super excited about our new baby.

His birthday was such a special day!  Nana and Papa came to our house the day before simply to celebrate the birthday weekend, as Brent’s birthday is the 6th, and were at his beck and call the whole time.  (Can you even imagine the hours spent shooting hoops outside or playing UNO??)  After birthday donuts, we spent the morning at the very-busy zoo, but stuck to the “special” things like the butterfly garden – seriously, the boys love it! – the train, and the roller coaster.  Then Kasen and I visited the meerkats and went home while the rest of the crew met Brent at Weber Grill for a birthday boys’ lunch.  Our afternoon/evening was all about playing, and he got his favorite supper: Sausage and Tomato Rigatoni, corn on the cob, and a basketball birthday cake.

Exploring the new clubs

Exploring the new clubs

new golf clubs (6)

Off to the zoo!

Off to the zoo!

This guy.  Excited about everything.  So full of joy!

This guy. Excited about everything. So full of joy!

This gorgeous butterfly must have been injured a little, because it was content to be passed from gentle hand to gentle hand.

This gorgeous butterfly must have been injured a little, because it was content to be passed from gentle hand to gentle hand.

birthday zoo (8)

The zoo train!

The zoo train!

Heading to the roller coaster!

Heading to the roller coaster!

Happy birthday, dear Cade...

Happy birthday, dear Cade…

Happy birthday to you!

Happy birthday to you!

Friday morning, Nana and Papa co-oped in Cade’s class and visited in Kasen’s.  I spent meeting time with the 4/5’s so I could read Cade’s birthday book, entitled “5 years of basketball.”  Naturally.  We had lunch out on the deck, and the afternoon and evening were dedicated to play play play while I edited two photo shoots from Wednesday (a newborn session here and a maternity session here).  I’m still thanking God for Nana and Papa because there would have been one stressed-out mama trying to get those done in a timely manner and keep children alive at the same time.

Countless games of UNO...

Countless games of UNO…

Brent and I got him a set of Nike golf clubs (that Papa picked out at the Nike store in Oregon!), so Saturday morning’s plan was that the big boys were to do 9 holes while Nana and I took Kasen to the Children’s Museum by himself.  Turns out, all golfers at our backyard course have to be at least 8, so instead they hit 2 free buckets of balls (the guy felt really bad about the dumb rule) on the driving range and practice putting green, and Cade was happy as a clam!  AND they were back in time to join us at the Museum!  We basically kept the boys separate for the trip, letting each pick out his favorite place to play.  Brent and I took Cade to the planetarium for the first time, and he loved it!  Saturday evening, we celebrated Brent’s birthday with some amazing, expertly-grilled steaks from the comfort of home.

Saturday morning golfing

Saturday morning golfers

At the Children's Museum

At the Children’s Museum

My gorgeous 5-year old

My gorgeous 5-year old

Birthday steaks

My gorgeous 32-year old and his birthday steaks

Sunday morning, we skipped church to spend a few more hours together before Nana and Papa had to head home.  Breakfast at LePeep is pretty hard to beat, and our newly-5 year old ate as much as the adults!  A perfect way to end a special weekend celebrating a couple of special boys.








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