Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Another spring break

Our true spring break was during the time when we were in Florida. However, it did not coincide with the school's spring break and so here we are, in the midst of the other spring break. It has not been the smoothest of weeks so far, and Trevor also has Monday and Tuesday off of next week as well. I'm going about this week as best I can in trying to do a little thing each day in order to get the kids away from the house, even if for less than an hour. Monday is our usual grocery shopping day. Tuesday we went to Target, to get the release of Tangled of course. And today, I knew everyone would feel a little better to get outside. So I bundled them up and we walked to the grocery store. Thankfully it was into the 40s and the north side sidewalk was clear enough to bring the wagon. I was prepared to let them play outside for a little while, but neither was interested after the walk. Strangely enough, Trevor ran a slight fever on Sunday, but nothing ever came of it. I guess I can't say nothing, as he seems to have the sniffles, but I was slightly concerned that we had another ear infection or strep as it has been going around his class. I'm slowly sifting through toys and other odds and ends in the house to try to do a major purge soon. Or maybe my finding all the things I put aside to sell or something. I feel like I have gotten better about getting through a lot of the extra things we are carrying around, but some of the things I set aside haven't been looked at since. Although I should probably also get my resume and other things updated just so I can put myself out there in case of another connection were to take place.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Almost caught up

Well, we are officially back from our trip to sunny, warm, gorgeous, perfect Florida. It was really hard to leave, even knowing that we were coming back to much less snow than when we left. We could not have asked for more perfect weather. All during the time we were outside, I'm pretty sure that we saw a total of 5 minutes of cloud cover, I'm not joking. Gwen, my fish, was out in the pool an average of 4 hours a day. Trevor had probably a combination of being a little bit nervous of spending a lot of time in the pool after he got an ear infection on the 4th day. I specifically asked the doctor about him swimming and he said that I couldn't keep him from swimming on his vacation. While I saw his point, I had thought that part of Trevor's issue could have been how much he loves to dive down to the bottom and pick things up. I remember how when it is a level deeper than 3 ft of water, there is some pressure that you can feel in your ears. Probably not something that he should be doing until his ears are clear. The antibiotics he got were for 10 days so I asked Trevor to try not to dive down to the deep end for the rest of the trip. I think also part of this lack of extreme interest in the pool was a result of his other interests. While the trip to see a spring training game was good, he loved to be outside throwing his baseball or any ball around and playing catch. He enjoyed (after getting his swing back) playing golf. He built a sand castle at the beach, and did get out into the Gulf, but was more interested in the sand side of things. But his biggest event was the Sunday brunch that we had on the last day. He remembered it from last year, and it is pretty much your standard brunch: an omelet station, waffles, eggs Benedict, potatoes, bacon, sausage, muffins, doughnuts, cereal, fruit, OJ, water, and coffee. Trevor ate four plates of food. Granted on a few of the plates all he had were eggs, but it was clear he tried to save up room for this food event. Our reservation was at 10:30 so I even had him eat a bowl of cereal before we went because he is a morning eater, like me. Gwen was excited the most about the coffee cups which she called tea cups. She was able to get orange juice in them and stir and drink it with her spoon like some of the coffee drinkers do.

Gwen was really able to enjoy her time in the pool. When we went to the beach, my mom found some sand toys left by the owner of the house, and it had two dolls with hair and a small baby doll. She played with them in the sand, but wanted to spend most of her time in the water. Unfortunately, I didn't bring her swim vest and so she couldn't go out on her own. Not that I would have let her have free reign, but she knew she couldn't swim without it so she had to stand where she could touch. The water was chilly compared to the heated pool water at the house, but it was a much better beach experience than last year. Last year we had to have on our coats and the water was really really frigid. As is per usual, Gwen did want to make sure she did everything that other people did so I took her to the driving range and putting green to go golfing on Saturday. She hit a few balls at the driving range and then we headed over to the putting green. She had a much better time there as I think she likes that she can make sure it gets into the hole. Soon, we headed home to go swimming again. But she got to do her golfing! Anyway, the thing that was so nice about Gwen and her swimming was that she was entertained a lot of the time by her toys and did things by herself. She did enjoy it more when someone else was in the pool with her, but she was able to play with her dolls and the "new" dolls that we used at the beach. That left the adults to watch her while eating on the porch, sitting on a lounge chair, or chatting outside the pool. She was also very tired out by the end of the day. A few days she passed out on the couch for a nap around 4:00. I know she too had a wonderful trip. A huge difference was also the change of clothing. When we put on our clothes for the trip she was exclaiming, "No sleeves! Look mom! No sleeves!" It will be nice to be able to wear those again here.

While Trevor was recovering on Tuesday, Russ, my dad, and I all were able to go golfing. It was the first round of the year for Russ and I and he started the year off much better than I did. I was able to get in a birdie but that was about it. Then on Friday, when Trevor, my dad, and I all played 9 holes, I actually made an eagle. I wouldn't doubt that it will be my last, but hey, I'll take it. Because my grandpa came back to visit on Sunday I was able to tell him about it. My dad's side of the family are the golfers, so it was nice to be able to share it with him. For those wondering, it was the first hole, par 4 an L shaped hole to the right. I hit a good drive and chipped it in with a 9 iron, maybe 50-60 yards out. Some lady had driven up and asked to play through because Trevor was with us and I was not pushing him to get going. I had to tell her more than once that no thanks, we'll move along. So I think I was a bit upset at her. Anyway, fun day for me. Friday and Saturday evenings I went back to where Russ and his dad were playing golf for their evening events. Unfortunately they did not win their flight like last year but I think they both had a good time. I also completed my final course for my accounting degree on the Tuesday we were in Florida. So I can check that off the list. Now I can finally look ahead to all the other things that I have been pushing off doing until I have a little more time. I probably should also get my resume together in case I really want to push the job seeking piece of things.

Something that kind of popped into my mind during the trip and has come up on more than one occasion, are family traditions. Not necessarily the ones you think of that are yearly events, but also things like the way your family took care of things. When you get married or even when you date someone, how those family traditions carry forward, even without thinking. I grew up with my mom driving a station wagon then a mini van. I never cared one way or the other about it, but when I had kids and needed to be the driver of the kids, it wasn't a problem for me to get a mini van. I was talking to someone who simply could not see themselves as a mini van driver, not because she didn't like them but because her family never got one. Now, if you family did do something that you yourself detested, I can see why you wouldn't get one or do things that way, but otherwise it seems almost genetic that it follows that same pattern. An example that happened on our trip is that when I was younger, my grandfather that lived in Florida owned a house that had a pool attached. It was so much fun to be able to get dressed (or not...ha ha) and jump in the pool. It was also so easy! If I was hungry, I could get out and sit at the lounge chair with a little table and eat some snacks. I think there were some chairs that went in the water if you wanted to have a beverage while in the water. Could you ever do this at a community pool? Not the getting dressed part, at least. You could eat but you would have to pack it in advance or go out and buy it somewhere. It was just so easy. Now, he didn't always live in this house, when I got older he was married and they lived where we had to go to a community pool. It was fine, but not as easy. Now, my parents are renting a house and it is a priority to have a pool at the house. There have been questions as to why they don't look at condos or other similar areas that have a community pool, and to most people, making the trek a few hundred feet to the pool isn't that big of a deal. But to us, it is what we know and what we like best. Had we never had the pool attached to the house, we may never have even thought about it. But we did, so now it is what we prefer. Just a thought that I had....

Pictures are up from our trip. Hopefully they can make me keep the Vitamin D high until I can get back outside again in the warmth. I keep hoping that the snow keeps shrinking and shrinking faster and faster....

Monday, March 14, 2011

Here we are

In sunny Florida. Today was day 4. It has been an adventure, as always. The flight was a piece of cake. This was the first trip that I didn't have to haul around a stroller, carseat, diapers, food, and the like. I did bring movie players, but with the planes like they are now, I really didn't even need them! Man how times have changed! Now, they have free satellite on the plane, and one of the channels is Nickelodeon. There were a few shows that weren't really up Trevor's alley, but at least they occupied them when the kids couldn't have the electronic devices out.

We made it through the security and luggage check quickly and when we landed, our bags were literally ready to be picked up. Hopefully our flight home will be just as easy! We got out to the vacation home within a few minutes and the air immediately felt wonderful. I hear that the weather at home has the snow melting, and that is just fine with me! As we were taking off in the airplane on the way, I had Gwen say goodbye to the snow. Guess that will be the truth!

Every day so far, and for the forecast, has the weather as sunny and in the 80's. It has been perfect, in the weather department. Both kids have been swimming for hours every day. Unfortunately a little wrench has been thrown into the mix. This time, Trevor has come down with a bad bad cold. He was inches away from throwing up, and had a fever for a time during the day on Sunday. I was good about keeping Gwen away from the germies, but I think Trevor's hockey party did him in. 4 days later is when he got this bug. Strangely enough, he took two naps on Sunday and was able to swim for a good period so I think he doesn't feel too shorted. He was still not eating and didn't have much energy but we went out to our Twins game. It was a bright sunny day, and he started to wilt after being in the sun for all of 30 minutes. So we went back behind the stands, in the shade and he perked right up. We went down outside the game to watch some players take batting practice, but never ended up with an autograph. Next time we are out there, we know better.

Hopefully Trevor can sleep off the rest of the weakening cold and have a good time tomorrow. Our plan is to shoot for the beach and play some golf. Gwen was asking if we could look for Ariel's sisters tomorrow. I guess we'll have to see what we can see!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Two new things....

I forgot one major event that took place on Monday, completely by surprise. Also, one thing that just happened today that I also took me by surprise.

Starting on Monday, Trevor decided before dinner that he wanted to write a play, that we as a family would perform. He wrote the play on two pieces of paper. Trevor had parts as did Russ and I on one piece of paper that we had to hand off to each other. Gwen had another piece of paper that she had one line at the very end. So I give you Trevor's Play, as written by him, spelled by him and occasionally translated by me:

Trevor: Hello wecome! to a show of how humans meet ailians.
Dad: here I am at the moon Mom: see anything yet? Dad: yes I see a alian
Mom: waht! Trevor: We come in pace (peace)
Mom: how are thair alians?
Dad: Well I see um (them)
Trevor: come to are planit Dad: okay
Trevor: here we are

Gwen's paper:
Gwen affter show: Yay! Clap clap

The performance went without a hitch, thanks to everyone's cooperation and Trevor's enthusiasm during and after the performance.

And then what Gwen did today: We were playing with the Strawberry Shortcake Playdoh kit after school and in it is a mold of Strawberry Shortcake and 6 stamps that cut out the fruit that each of Strawberry and her friends represent. Like on the back of blueberry muffin is a blueberry stamp. She was asking me to use the stamps with different colors. What got to me was that she was asking me to do plum with a pink color, but she was giving me the stamp for lemon. Or at least that is what I thought. It was the yellow colored stamp. I looked on the back of the yellow stamp and it still looked sort of like a lemon. When she was calling the blue one the lemon, I really looked. Sure enough, she knew her characters. Hasbro or whomever made the cutouts and mistakenly put the wrong colors to the wrong people and fruit. Only one out of six was correct - Orange Blossom. All 5 others were mixed up. On the box they were correct, but something got mixed up along the way. I could not believe she didn't even pay any attention to the color of the stamp. She looked at the faces of the people and she went off of that. If I can find the time, I'll be writing to the toy company to see what they say. Maybe it'll be an ebay gold mine :-)

What's going on

Again, this title has dual meaning. There have been a lot of activities going on within the last few days, but at the same time, I'm asking myself "What is going ON?!?!?" particularly with Gwen.

Last Sunday we were able to participate in a fundraiser at the Waterpark of America. The kids and I, Kyrsten and Tracy all went toward the end of summer. It was much more busy this time, but for the price it was very tough to pass up. Trevor enjoyed playing on the jungle-gym type area, even though it was for younger kids. Gwen played on it too, but she had to have someone nearby to help shield her from the gigantic barrel of water that occasionally dropped down on top of everyone. Primarily she just went up and down the slide that was more her size. Trevor did get to go down the big slides with dad on two occasions, but soon enough it was time to go. Trevor was quick to say that the water park plus his goal at the parents vs. kids game for hockey made it the best day ever! He just has the rest of the week before hockey is done for the season, which to him also signals the end of winter. YIPEE!!!

Now, the kids are done with swimming lessons, so that is something gone for the time being, but piano lessons keep coming. Trevor now knows a significant portion of reading music. I'm curious to know if he translates it to his music class at school, but regardless, his teacher remarked at how well he knew his songs for the lesson both playing and in rhythm. What I find very interesting is that Trevor's ability to memorize things is becoming more apparent. It does take him a day or two to learn new pieces but he gets to the end of the practice week and he has the pieces memorized. I don't know that he tries, but he just does. Oh...and one other noteworthy event for Trevor, he has graduated from addition time tests to subtraction time tests. He is 5 answers short of starting his finishing subtraction, and then I don't know what will happen. He knows about multiplication, but I'm not sure if we are going to have to have him memorize those facts as well? I guess we'll see what happens.

Now oh my. She returned to the childcare school yesterday, and seemed to have a good time. She had a special day at preschool on Tuesday where Russ got to be in her class for the last hour. They both enjoyed that, I was told. When I took her to dance class last night, I had been very clear to her that she needed to do a good job listening to the teacher. Well, right away she decided not to listen and one of her classmates accidentally stepped on her finger. Ouch! I gave her hugs and kisses and she did get back into class, but after a few minutes she wanted to come out again. And again. After the third time I had to take her home. Not peacefully, I can assure you. I'm hoping that it just started off bad and she couldn't recover, but I guess last week was Trevor's week to be a bit "off" in my opinion and this week it is Gwen's. She is starting her teenage attitude of mouthing off to me and loving the attention it gets her when I talk to her. Oh the joys of raising such a daughter.

On a positive note, I took out the old playdough that I won during our sibling division of toys a while back, and when I showed her that I could turn playdough into sesame street characters, she was in heaven. DOLLS!!! Unfortunately, we didn't have a wide selection of playdough so last night more colors were bought along with a strawberry shortcake mold, similar to the sesame street characters. I'm guessing that is what we will be playing for a good portion of the coming days. Hopefully, she will also get some more sleep during naptimes so that she can feel better than she does.

And when it comes to me, the time seems to be flying by. I have a final paper for my final class due on Tuesday. I have completed one business tax return, and have been asked to complete another. I love how much I have learned in the past 8 months and now this year's taxes have expanded my knowledge! To add to my resume, there could be the potential of helping out in a non-profit setting. I'll let you all know more about that if it works out ;-) So yeah, that's what's going on.