Winter walks

We have a couple of local trails we like to go to for some family exercise and fun. They are paved so the boys can ride bikes or scooters, making it possible for us to go further.

  The one closest to home goes from South Prairie to Orting and is very flat. This is the trail I usually take the boys to when Tony isn’t with us, just because it’s close to home.
  
The other trail is a circle around a man made lake. This is the trail Tony prefers, probably because the walk can be short (one time around) or longer (we’ve made it around 3 times in one visit).  Plus it’s close to a 7-eleven, where we usually stop for a slurpee in the summer after our walk. 😜

Today we all went for a walk, in spite of the cold, and since Tony was with us we went to the lake trail.

  
We park at a Lowes store near the park, so we don’t have to fight for a parking spot. And in one of their bushes in the parking lot we saw a cute little bird with a red spot on his head. TJ thought maybe that was part of its camouflage, since he was in a bush with little red berries.

  
I love living in an area where we are surrounded by nature (even in the parking lot)! 😃 

  
It was COLD! And foggy. 

  
I think this may be G’s favorite trail too, since he wants to stop at every other tree for a picture.

  
TJ rode his scooter and G walked/ran with us. It was really interesting seeing all the frosted trees and bushes.

  
Another tree. 😜

  
It looked like lots of people had the same idea we did when we realized that the lake was frozen:  Throw rocks on the ice. It made a really cool noise as the rocks bounced across the ice.

  
We stopped many times to throw rocks, see how far we could get them to go and listen to that noise.

  
Probably the same number of times that we stopped to make G happy by taking a picture with a tree.  This trail does have some cool trees!

  

D actually cooperated today. TJ was on the low side, but no major crashes or spikes, just a nice steady number (probably because I gave him a couple lifesavers uncovered).
  
TJ has gotten really good on his scooter. He was coasting down hills like a pro! And was riding his brake to slow down when needed. I was really impressed by his riding today.

  
Tony spotted a birds nest in the blackberry vines. It was an interesting nest, I wonder what type of bird built it.

  
So cool!

  
It’s funny how hard it is to convince everyone to go to one of the trails, since we always have fun and see awesome things on our walks.

  
It makes me want to go for hikes as a family to see even more. Sadly, that’s a long ways off for this family. TJ prefers to ride and that would be difficult on a hiking trail. Plus Tony doesn’t like to drive very far to go for a walk. I will just enjoy what we have for now, and hope for more fun in nature together in the future.

2015 

 I just looked back over my year in review from 2014 and thought that I should do the same thing for this year, especially since I haven’t written as much this year. 😁

   
 
We went to the pacific science center.

   
  The boys got to celebrate their birthdays at RR! Yum!

  

And have a family party at home.

  

Poor kiddo got sick at his own birthday party.

  
He finally felt well enough for a cupcake that evening.


There has been a lot of building with Legos (and taking apart- G’s favorite thing to do is take the Lego guys completely apart 😱)

   And a few family game times.

 

We had family photos taken and he really got good smiles from my boys (all by use of fart sounds)  
   
 

We had some lows   

Poor TJ had to drink (or eat) in his sleep a few times to bring his BGS back up.

  

But he still had fun during the days! We love our back yard!

 

The boys made their own strawberry toast.   
  

G started sleeping in a big boy bed!     
We were given the table I grew up with.

 

Tony fixed the bench that goes with it. 

 The boys learned how to do some chores.

 

 
I found out G likes to drink tea.  
We tried planting some veggies in the spring. Although we didn’t get any food in the end.  Luckily a friends mom kept us well stocked with their overflow of cucumbers, zucchini, and green beans.   

 
TJ has come a long way in his reading! He is also learning to multiply and can add and subtract up to 3digit numbers with regrouping.  
Through out the year we’ve our highs 

  

And we’ve had some lows

  But that’s just part of the roller coaster we call life. 

   We had more fun at the pacific science center

  

  

  

  And the Seattle center
   

I got lots of snuggles.  

We dog sat a lot!
  

With spring came a bubble machine.  

And footie pajamas
 And illness. 😕

  
We shared some exciting news.

   
 
The boys ran in the sprinklers.

   
Went for walks on our local trails.  G asks to stop at this tree and take a picture every time we pass it.

 
More dog sitting and walking. 😜

   
    
We went to Aunt Cheri’s birthday party at  the lake (even though we were just getting over something)


More fun at the PSC

   
Learning how our bodies work.

   May brought sorrow. We lost our baby right at 12 weeks. It was heartbreaking, but we were surrounded with love and prayer.

Plus, banana splits. Banana splits helped get me through.

As summer came we spent more time outside (we were blessed with a beautiful warm summer!)
    
 

Went for more walks.
   

 

  

 Summer marked TJs 1st day of 2nd grade.

 
We got a pool (or 2-the first one was cut)

   
We had good days

  And joined an art co-op

   

  
  Ate lunches outside.

   

And spent lots of time in the sunshine.

G went to the allergist and had a scratch test to see if he had outgrown his egg allergy yet. No such luck, plus he’s allergic to grass and tree pollen.

   
 TJ went back to Panther Camp and had so much fun!

   
G spent lots of time with mommy.

      

It was tough for G to leave his brother behind. We went to a lake to visit a friend from out of town.

  We went to the museum of flight with Papa.

   

  

   

TJ learned to ride a bike with no training wheels! Thanks to an awesome friend teaching him (after I gave up)

  
 
We replaced our tub in the master bathroom.

  

Oh, how awful it was getting that tub in!   But we found ways to keep the boys busy while we worked. (Tiny movie theater)  

With fall came some crazy weather   

That same tree
  

Wind  

And rain  but a very memorable walk! And play date.

With October came the memory of the belly picture I was planning to recreate. But instead I get this picture

 
Plus family camp!

   G hated the drop off this year. Cried every time and didn’t want us to go (he never does that!) he managed to have fun while we were gone though.

  

TJ hurt his finger and had his first xray.

  
For the first time ever we trick or treated at the mall.
   
Luckily it cleared up a little later, so we got to trick or treating out side too.

 

Tony taught TJ some origami.  
   

The boys snuggled under blankets as the weather got colder.

We got a little snow (very little) and had some fun.

   
   
The boys had an awesome Christmas! 

 
G refused to sit with or talk to Santa this year.

 Santa brought them scooters anyway! 

 
  
We’ve been spending our Christmas break sick (again) tummy bug made its rounds and then a cold that hits the chest hard. G even got a nebulizer because he was wheezing and coughing so much.

  
But he’s only needed it twice in 5 days.

   

   

  
Over all it’s been one crazy year. Fun in the sun and snow, and illness and sadness. We made it through together and my hope for next year is health and more fun together as a family. 💜 

  
Happy New Year!
  

Pumpkin Patch Visit 2015!

If I only blogged once a  year, this would probably be the post I would share every year.  I love the pumpkin patch pictures of the kids (and Tony and I too–when we are captured).  G was especially active this year, most of his pictures are fuzzy, so I apologize in advance for any fuzzy action shots. 😉

DSC_0114  The pumpkin patch we always go to had a couple of fun picture spots. The boys actually enjoyed getting in those shots. DSC_0116  TJ surprised me by his self posing for pictures and partial cooperation in the photo shoot (he normally gets out of photos if he can).DSC_0119DSC_0120 DSC_0121 DSC_0122 DSC_0123The selection was pretty small this year, so we only picked out one to take home and carve.

DSC_0124 I’m not sure why TJ was touching his nose in this picture, I’ll have to ask him. DSC_0126 He’s always trying to show us how strong his is!DSC_0127 We had to stop our fun for a couple minutes and check TJ’s blood sugar level.  He was low when we left, and after a couple of treats he was starting to climb high, but a quick check and bolus and we were back in the fun of things and ready to go on with the photo-shoot. 😉

Daddy came out from behind the camera to help them decide which pumpkin would come home with us.

DSC_0129 and put it in the wheel barrow.DSC_0130 DSC_0131 G thought the pumpkins were chairs.DSC_0133

DSC_0136We had to come up with a new way to take our standard

boys in the wheelbarrow with pumpkins shots. DSC_0139TJ was just too big,

so he got to be the driver. DSC_0141

DSC_0144G didn’t feel safe with TJ in charge.DSC_0157

He felt safer with both feet on the ground. DSC_0161DSC_0148DSC_0134 TJ got to help us wheel the pumpkin over to the scales to get it weighed. DSC_0176  DSC_0182Daddy took over when TJ got tired.DSC_0183

We got our pumpkin weighed DSC_0184but not the two big ones. 😉 DSC_0187We managed to get in and out just in time! The weather turned just as we were getting back in the car and shortly after we got home it started raining.DSC_0117 I sure do love all the smiles with lots of pumpkins!

I almost forgot to add in this picture! It was my way of making up for the photo I expected to take with the boys and the pregnancy belly. It didn’t turn out exactly as I envisioned it, but it is a cute picture and will fill its purpose. It took some time and energy to get the boys to cooperate, which will be a fun memory in itself. 😉

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Sweet boys loving their mommy. ❤

I wasn’t planning to go…

The hospital where TJ was diagnosed puts on a little kids camp every summer. It’s just a short 2.5 hour party with activities for the kids and a free lunch. The boys have enjoyed it every time we’ve gone and the first couple years we went my parents came too. It was a fun time for parents get to meet and talk to other T1 parents and for our little T1’s to play together and feel normal since there are so many other kids there going through the same thing: pumps and dexcoms are visible and fingers being poked all around. 

  
I usually am excited for this and ready to take the family Tony would take the day off from work) and we’d have fun. This year I wasn’t excited, or all that interested. TJ is on the high end of the age range for this “camp” and I was thinking I would let last year be our last year for attending.  Tony hadn’t requested the day off and other families we usually see there weren’t going, plus we had to keep up on TJs school work. (I’m really trying to keep him on a 5 days a week school week for 2nd grade and get as much done before fall as we can.) So today I told the boys they could wear comfy pants and I put on my yoga pants and a hoodie. I put on minimal make up and braided my hair for a lazy day at home. We were working through TJs schoolwork when I got a text message from Tony. 

    So, suddenly it was a race to get TJs schoolwork done and the kids and I into clothes we can go out in public wearing.  (TJ and I just needed to change into capris/shorts)

  
We got everything done and were ready when Tony got home so we could all drive to Tacoma together (parking sucks by the church where they host the event)

   
  The boys got to fish

   
    
 
They did some crafts and visited with friends.

   
 
G got his face painted! He asked for a penguin and when he was told she couldn’t do that he asked for a monkey (something else she couldn’t do). Then she started suggesting things that she could do and as soon as he heard ninja turtle he was happy again.

   
 
TJ wasn’t interested in face painting this year, so I got some butterflies for me. 😬 

 
With glitter, of course! 😉

We had fun visiting with friends we hadn’t seen in a while (some we haven’t seen since last year at this camp). Although I always feel like I can’t spend very much time visiting because I’m following my kids from activity to activity.

   
   
The boys got balloon animals too. They both picked something they came up with all on their own. G picked this

   
 
Can you figure out what it is? It’s a monkey (on a palm tree–not requested) with wings! 

TJ wanted this

   
 
Figure that one out? It’s a snake with wings. (I said better a snake than a spider with wings!!!) apparently my boys think everything should be able to fly. 😜

All in all it was a fun day, plus daddy came home early, so that’s like another weekend day! 😁 Too bad he has to work tomorrow. 

   
 Although I have to say, he’s been working 6am-2:30 this week and that has been so nice! He’s home before 3:30 and we dont have to rush through dinner and bed time. That will change back to his normal schedule soon, but then he’ll have some time off! He took a little over a week off to do a (not so fun) project. 😕 But he’ll be home, so it will be like a work at home vacation, right? 😜

Oh! I have to show you! When we cleaned G’s face paint off (with baby wipes, while shopping) it looked like he had blue eyeliner on. So funny! 

   
 
I guess it didn’t really show up in the pictures, but can you tell he’s tired? 😳

Pretty, happy, funny, real

its been a while since I’ve joined in with this. Maybe I wasn’t feeling pretty, happy, or funny, but I definitely had a lot of real since my last PHFR post. I really wasn’t blogging much at all, it was a hectic and stressful end of the school year. Tony switched jobs and that changed his schedule. We love having him home with us on weekends, but dinners during the week have become hectic and followed directly by kids bed time. And then we were pregnant and excited and planning in addition to all that. And at 12 weeks, on May 3rd, we lost our little baby.  So now it’s July and its summer and I am still sad every once in a while, I’m moving forward and feeling better.  And after all that! Here’s my PHFR post:

Pretty   We joined an art co-op this summer and my boys are learning about Georgia O’keeffe and her art. G is still a little too young to understand and follow the art concepts, but TJ did pretty well. His close up flower turned out very pretty! Here’s G’s:


(He had fun mixing all his paints once he got tired of trying to paint in the lines)

Happy:

I am SO happy it’s summer and that I get to stay home with my boys. We are enjoying our backyard to the fullest this summer! I’m so glad we spent the money (and energy-we did them ourselves) to put in the patio and the fence!


Funny

I’m always laughing at my boys! TJ informed a friend that daddy (and everybody) has money but mommy never has money. And G constantly surprises me with his comical facial expressions and ideas. The boys are currently in bed (but not asleep) and G just shouted out,”Daddy! TJ got out if bed 3 times!!” LOL


To top it all off my sister in law sent the boys a joke book. TJ has been reading the jokes to anyone who will listen and is constantly surprised when G remembers the punchline from the last time he read one. It also inspired the boys to create thier own jokes. 😜

Real

It’s summer! The weather has been so beautifully sunny and hot! I love it!! But it doesn’t really feel 100% like summer to me. I started TJs 2nd grade school year to try and get as much done as we can before he goes back to my parents during the day in September.


And I’m trying to stay fit and healthy by exercising daily and watching calories, which is a big part of why it feels like a regular work week. I still have to get up at 5am(ish) to get my workout in before the boys wake up. It’s so hard to get up early every day!!! My boys won’t sleep past 6:30(and that’s on a good day!). Here’s to keeping with my program and getting healthier! It’s hard work, but I’m excited to once again be seeing some results! I want to look and feel as good (or better than) I did last summer at Disneyland!


I’m linking up with

round button chicken

Our Tiptoe through the tide pools 

We want to Tacoma parks “tip toe through the tide pools” last week. It’s a free event that Tacoma parks puts on and it was lots of fun!

TJ didn’t want to go. It seems that lately that’s his favorite phrase, “I don’t want to see the butterflies/go to the tide pools/do whatever mommy planned or suggests”. He went anyway. We had gotten all his schoolwork done earlier in the week so we could just have a field trip day. Some friends went with us and actually drove us in their new car! It was so comfy and the kids even got to watch a movie while we drove to the park.

  
We got to the park and found a parking spot and then followed a trail that we hoped would lead us to the path across the train tracks to the beach. We got lost (maybe due to my map reading skills) But eventually we turned around and found our way to the right path (thanks to some strangers on the trail).

  
We got to see some little crabs in buckets before we actually made it to the beach. And we got a laminated set of pictures with descriptions of things we could find on the beach. Then we headed down to the slippery, rocky shore.

   
 Our friend Danny was diligent and brave, he found little crabs and picked them up for us to see. 

  
Eventually I got brave enough to pick them up too but the boys didn’t want to hold them.

  
One of the park employees found a red rock crab and showed it to us.

   
 
We found some Turkish towel, which is a flat red seaweed type plant (but apparently I didn’t take any pictures of it).

 We found sea lettuce, rock weed, and other sea weeds that I can’t remember the names of. 

We had a hard time finding other creatures, other than barnacles, there were millions of barnacles!     

We had fun looking though.

     

 

We picnicked on the rocks.

  
I think TJs favorite part was just playing in the rocky sand, trying to make a sand castle.

   

  

  

  

  TJ was running on the low side most of the morning, so he got some extra treats a couple time (which makes it easier to get him to poke a couple extra times. I packed our lunch and planned ahead by writing carb counts on the bags with his lunch. 

 There was a park and a splash park back across the tracks near where we parked so we got to go play before heading home.

   
                 We had so much fun!! And the the kids continued their movie in the car on the way home. They were so tired we were amazed they stayed awaken the whole way home!


I think this is a trip definitely worth repeating! Although I would warn parents interested in taking their kids to make sure that their kids wear good shoes, water socks or sandals, lots of kids appeared to have gotten cuts on their feet from sharp rocks or barnacles.  This was in the bottom of TJs sandal that he wore to the tide pools:

  
Definitely not a barefoot adventure (or kid in flip flops) kind of place! 

From traffic to pool time

We had a super busy day today, parts of it were really tough but most of it has been lots of fun. We had to rush out of the house to get TJ to a dermatologist appointment in Bellevue.  During our hour plus drive TJ did his school work. He only had some English, math, and reading to do because he worked ahead on all his other subjects on Monday and Tuesday.

  
G cooperated most of the time by entertaining himself.

  
We got to the doctors office an hour early (because I over compensated for traffic) so we headed to a local park for some fun. TJ read to me and gave me an oral book report before we got out of the car. The park had a cute little trail so we walked around the long way to the playground. Where the boys had so much fun!

   
    
    
    
 
It’s a really cool park!

Then we walked around the little trail again and back to the car.

Back at the Drs office TJ was seen for a rash he’s had for over 2 months. It doesn’t really bother him most of the time, but it looks bad and some of the spots seem to get infected. 

  
She thinks it’s PLEVA which is a non-contagious rash some kids get,  that can last anywhere from a month to a year. Since some of the spots looked infected she said that it would be best to biopsy one of his spots to verify that’s what it is. That was NOT fun. 😕 my poor TJ gets poked so very often that you’d think he’d get used to it. But the needle with the numbing agent really hurt him.  And then I think he could feel the pulling of the sutures as she gave him 2 stitches. Poor guy.

After that traumatic experience we went to the mall for a play date. I got to visit with a friend (the reason I have no pics) while the boys had fun playing with her kids (or by themselves). 😃 we even had lunch together. It was lots of fun!

We decided to visit daddy at work on our way home and bring him an iced tea to keep him cool in the hot warehouse. On the way home from there the boys both took short naps which means I had a peaceful drive home. 😜 the first words out of their mouths when they woke up at home were,”can we go in the pool?” Of course the answer was yes! 😃

   
 They got to cool off and play and I got to sit on the patio and read. Win, win!! Daddy even joined in the fun after a brief pool exodus for dinner.

  
Thank goodness there are more happy memories than painful ones for today. Hopefully TJ will remember them more than the pain and tears.

    

Our first week of summer

and TJs first week of second grade!  

It has been gorgeous outside! Lots of sunshine and so warm. We slept in a couple days (6:30am–that’s sleeping in for my boys).  We had breakfast and then got started with schoolwork.  It was so nice!  We got started early and finished before lunch every day! It’s been easy review stuff from first grade, but he already got through this weeks work and got a jump start on next weeks!  

The first day was a perfect day! We sat together and he got all 7 subjects done before 10 am. No fighting, no yelling, just a perfect day. (Don’t worry, I knew that wouldn’t be a typical day, I just tried to enjoy it in the moment) he finished early enough to go outside and play before lunch. We ate outside and then they both went down for naps. It was a beautiful first day, and I hope I can remember it when I’m struggling later.

The second day was a little tougher. He was unfocused on his independent work and struggled with his math facts (2 pages of adding and subtracting). I didn’t sit with him the whole time and that seemed to make a big difference.  I decided to rearrange his subjects so we alternated between  independent work and direct instruction for the next day.

On Wednesday we got a late start. I decided we should change sheets and wash pillows and blankets, before breakfast, and it took a while to get the beds stripped and remade. (TJ had to take care of his own bed.)  with a late start and a new schedule of subjects it wasn’t as bad as the day before, but he still didn’t like doing those math facts (1 page this time) quickly. We had a late lunch, so we could finish before lunch, and then it was nap time.

Thursday was smoother with another early start and the same subject schedule as Wednesday.  He did better with focus (math was easier –time and shapes and place value). We were done super early, so the boys played outside before we had another outdoor lunch. 

   
   Then, once again, it was nap time. (Can you tell I love nap time? 😜)

Friday was light, a few subjects aren’t in the lesson plan, but I kept him moving forward anyway in English, phonics, math, and reading. He already passed his spelling test on Thursday. I didn’t want to start a new lesson of science or religion for 1 day , so he did a very quick review. 

All in all it was a really good first week. I worked with Gabriel on some writing practice, shapes, and letter names and sounds everyday too. 

This schedule will not be possible all summer, next week in particular will be very busy and include a doctor visit and a field trip to the tide flats in Tacoma. But I really enjoyed our first week.

We had time to play outside in the pool! 

    
 Did some art, 

   
  

     Enjoyed the wonderful weather we’ve had all week.

   

And played with bubbles!

   

  

  I hope and pray we can have many more weeks like this one, even as he stops reviewing and starts learning new, more challenging skills. 

Hope you are enjoying your summer!  

 

Fear

This week has been calming and filled with support and love. Our family was going through a painful loss, but we were home, together. No errands, no play dates, no craziness (other than the usual craziness if being together). Today Tony went back to work and I stayed home with the boys. Another day of just being a family: some school work, some cleaning, nap time, the usual for a non-work day.  Tomorrow I re-enter the real world, I go back to work. I’m pretty sure my body is starting to shift back to normal hormone levels and is winding down everything else that happens during a miscarriage.

My initial fear of going back to work this week was that I would complete this miscarriage there and the first night was pretty bad. There was nothing I could do and no way I could handle the physical aspects of it in public (let alone the emotions that went a long with it). Since then I’m pretty sure my body completed the process even though it wasn’t any where near as bad as the first night. 

So why am I afraid to go back to work?

Because I still cry at the drop of a hat, my emotions are not controllable and I don’t like to cry in public. The love and support I’ve been overwhelmed by, still makes me cry. A hug, a kind word, it all makes me tear up. I know that the support is helping me to get through this, and appreciate everyone’s offers of help, I just wish I could keep my eyes dry, at least while I’m surrounded by students and coworkers. 

I guess this is how I heal

when things are hard and I need to vent, get something out of my head, or try to move on this is where I turn. I write for me and I write in hopes that what I go through might help someone going through the same thing.

What I’m writing about today is heartbreaking, but it happened. I’m not the first person it’s happened to and I won’t be the last. I don’t know why it happened, or if I could have done anything differently to keep it from happening.

I was 12 weeks and 2 days pregnant. Was. I noticed a problem and called the on call dr, the nurse I spoke to said to just take it easy and call back if it got worse. It got worse. We spent most of Sunday in the ER waiting. And waiting. Trying to think positive and praying. We had lots of people praying for us, but we can’t change Gods will. 

We waited for blood work, and then for an ultrasound, and then for results.  It was a long, hard day. I had very little physical pain, but was in a constant state of worry. And we were kept waiting. 

Finally around 1:30 the ER dr came back and said he was the bearer of bad news. There was no heartbeat on the ultrasound, and the baby didn’t look like it was viable.

   I was past 12 weeks, I thought my chances of having a full term pregnancy got better after 12 weeks, but I guess that’s just a percentage game. Pregnancies are still miscarried after 12 weeks, after 16 weeks, even after 20 weeks. Percentages make us feel safe, until we’re in the lower side of the percentage scale.

God has a plan. As hard as it is for me to let go of my baby that I never met, never got to hold, or even look at, I believe that God has a plan. He wanted my little angel up in heaven.  Maybe someday, I’ll get to meet the precious angel I never got to watch grow up.

  

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