Sunday, September 30, 2012

We're home!

There's no place like home!
We are up on a Sunday morning before the sun comes up because we still have jet leg... just waiting for the boys to wake up!
We got home last night to surprise the kids during their bath - it was SO NICE to see them! We've decided that no future trips can go past a week... we just miss the kids and have too much chaos with work/life/kids/house to be gone that long. I was DEFINITELY overwhelmed last night with everything sitting in front of us that needed/needs attention.
Ohhhh I can't explain how much I missed the boys!

So we're home safe and sound and plan to spend the entire Sunday soaking up the kids and making a game plan to conquer all that needs to be done this week. I've uploaded pictures from the trip that I think I'll just make into a share-site and give the link to in the next day or so (there are 560!). We have some super cute Italian zip ups for the boys that are air drying that I'll snap a photo of them in before school tomorrow... we had to make them fist pumpin', right?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Checking in!

Bonjour everyone!
We are on a train from Venice to Rome right now, so I thought I would try to get a quick update in.

First of all, the boys are doing well. We Skype each day and I love being able to see them. They are usually squirmy and only like making faces , blowing kisses and saying love you. They both have a cold, which we expected in the first month back to school, but they're doing well.

We had a great time in Paris and Venice. The cities are extremely different, so it has been pretty cool. Jason is in love with Paris, which seems to be a European New York with an enormous amount of history, except everyone stops for coffee or wine multiple times a day. I can only imagine that Europeans must wonder why Americans don't stop and converse/enjoy each other's company more each day.

Venice is an island of preserved history that most people don't actually live on (they take the train in to work there). The buildings, churches and canals are beyond words. We walked everywhere (there are only boats otherwise) and have been so impressed with how clean and safe everything was. All the pasta is necessary to  load up on carbs since we walk non-stop each day!

Everyone has been SO nice to us so far, so I'm hoping Rome will continue with the nice people. We have gotten by fine with just a few words of pleasantries of each language. The  time change has been hard, but we' re decently acclimated now... So just in time to go home and start over again on Saturday :)
Everyone keeps asking us if we're on our honeymoon. We say it's our 5 yr anniversary and we have 2 children. The looks of shock that we look "so young" is enough to make any 33 yr old gal love Europe even more ;)

I'm missing the boys like crazy, but know I'll see them soon. We have a CRAZY month of October to go home to, but I still get homesick for the little men!

On a funny note, I only have 2 "Jason moments" to report so far... He kept calling the euro, "YEN" throughout the Paris part, and once when we were on a bus touring the city, he went to plug his head phones into the speaker and got upset that there was no ENGLISH option to listen to the tour. I looked and his options were the French flag, Italian flag, British flag... Yeah. I took a picture to haunt him forever ;)

I'll update at home on Sun/Mon when I get the chance and try to put a few pictures up, ciao!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

First day on the bus and Bon Voyage!

Our bags are packed and we're ready to go (who doesn't love John Denver?).

The boys were out of their minds excited for the bus today, and we got to see them off. I will try to check in at some point over the next 10 days for an update - enjoy your next week everyone :)

Waiting for the bus!

All strapped in!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

We rode a dragon

We have been outside pretty much the entire weekend - it's been so nice out! Yet somehow we've still gotten a ton of stuff done around the house. Why is it we all wait way too long to clean out the refrigerator? I'm always disgusted with myself when I pull out the shelves and drawers and see what has collected back there... seriously.

We took the boys to a park yesterday for a nice long walk, an impromptu paddle boat ride (in the shape of a dragon) and some playground time with pumpkin frozen custard on the way home - what a perfect family afternoon. I really enjoyed the simplicity and happiness of the day.

We've been working on as much 'work' as possible to be caught up for the trip that we leave for on Wednesday, so that's been plugged in intermediately as well. We had Miss Steph and Miss Lynds over today to go over the house and my binder of notes. I feel better after reviewing everything with them. Now... if I could just get the bus company to give me the boy's official bus schedule for school, my anxiety would be in a better place! Yeah... I'll be the stalking-mom over the next 48 hours calling the bus company.

I had the boys "practice" smiling on cue for picture day... Brady kept making this face and it was making Jax mad.

So Jax pushed him out of the way and came right up to me to show me how a kid should smile at the camera!

Then Brady got into it - my hams!

Yum! My friend Tamlyn makes gourmet chocolate goodies and she sent me some last week. SO YUMMY! Check it out if you need holiday gift ideas - The Chocolate Bar

Of COURSE we had a photo snapped. Come on.. we rode a dragon!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The daily and the not so daily...

So the busyness continues, but just in other normal life-ways. A quick update about my grandpa. He has an aneurism in his heart that is apparently not large enough to operate on, but it explains his high blood pressure and dizziness. He's wearing a monitor for the next 30 days and then seeing a Cardiologist to review. Good thing Grandma was a nurse and takes good care of him with daily blood pressure checks. Hang in there Grandpa!

I just realized yesterday that the boy's school pictures are tomorrow... uh, oops. Thankfully the forecast drops 20 degrees by tomorrow so I can just use a couple of the new sweaters I had gotten prior when doing back-to-school shopping.
I ran the boys to get hair cuts yesterday morning since they don't have school on Tuesdays, and since it was SO beautiful outside and they did such a good job, we wandered over to the zoo to walk around. Not only is this weather fleeting, but so are the times when I can take my young kids to the zoo on a Tuesday morning when most other kids are in school. I can't imagine there will be too many more times in the future after the next year that we can do that.
It was a quiet and peaceful morning of strolling around talking about the animals. I think I'm really loving the age of 4 so far.

I'm currently in the process of setting up the school bus system for the boys. I'm bringing the boys into the bus company tomorrow after school to get them fit for their harnesses that they'll wear while on the bus. They are SO excited about the bus, and I'm excited to save an hour and a half of my day to get more work done, so hopefully that all works out and they can start it up next week. Currently I have to leave 30 minutes before school starts since there is always perfect timing for a train, and then I have to fight for a parking space with my beast of a vehicle, then I have to walk the boys across a busy road and into their school and up to their classroom. This school is ONLY for preschoolers, 4k and kindergarten, so all the children have to be walked in - imagine the craziness! I see the kids coming off the bus right at the front door where the teachers unbuckle them and walk them in... I've been so jealous of the ease, convenience and non-stress! Sign us up!

In other world news, Jason and I will BE world travelers this time next week. We are going to Europe for our five year wedding anniversary, a total dream come true. Jason broached the subject with me before the holidays and had done research with a friend who had gone. Um... how SWEET is that? Jason promised me when we got married that we'd see Europe by our 10th anniversary and he decided that after the first five that we had... we should do it. Cease the day, Life is short, all these things come to mind... Our last big trip together was our honeymoon, and obviously we didn't have kids then, so I'm a bit anxious about missing the boys. We've never been apart after 3 or 4 nights, so... yeah, there will be daily skyping!

The boys will be with Miss Steph, the nanny next door who doesn't have her kids until 3pm now that they're in school, so she has the boys during the morning and early afternoon, and Miss Lyndsey is coming when she's done with her classroom and doing the late afternoons/overnights. The nanas will do the weekends. 10 days... wow.

You can imagine the prepping that has had to be taken place. I'm not gonna lie... I have a binder with 8 chapters all labeled and every.single.detail. laid out that we'll go over in detail at a meeting set Sunday afternoon. Yup... lots and lots... and lots of planning has been going on for 6+ months!

I've been feeling like this was a bad time to be traveling with everything our family has been going through, and obviously, I've been having a hard time with things. But as of today and some good talks... maybe it's a good time to get out of town next week. Like... way out of town.

Yes, Jax likes to vacuum his own mess after a haircut.

We learned which penguins were female by their arm bands and how to tell which penguins were 'mates'. Zoo keepers have a lot to say when there aren't any crowds!

Yup, apparently my kids can turn shyness off and on whenever they want.

The boys just pulled seats up next to me as I was typing and Brady looks like he's going to interview me. *And that may possibly be Jax covering his face because he got caught with his hand up his pants. You're welcome Jax!

They walked away for a few minutes and came back like this. Gotta love little boys!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Busy Busy

Yup, as you can tell by the title... we've been busy.

Last Friday we packed up the kids early and headed up to my mom's house with the trailer. My mom will be moving in a few months, so since my brother was in town for the day before going back to Texas, we cleaned out her garage. Les' brother and best friend took a few items that they wanted to remember Les by, and we cleaned out the rest. Jason and I hauled an entire trailer and truck full home to sort through. It's been quite the project, and not a project I was really emotionally ready for, but given the circumstances of mom having to move, winter coming and everyone's availability that day... it is what it. Or as I usually say here, Such is Life... Ce la vie.

We spent all day Saturday sorting through everything, taking pictures, cleaning and running errands. Well, I guess we did that all day Sunday too, but we also got our outside work done too. It REALLY cooled down for the weekend and we were all in jeans and sweatshirts outside. It was a nice change, but I see it will warm back up this week.

* My grandpa has been having medical problems this past weekend and was actually hospitalized for testing over the weekend. Please send out prayers for his health. I'll update when more information is available.

I thought this was a sweet moment. My mom and the boys feeding "their ducks" across the street during the clean-out. Brady has claimed Bumpa's cowboy hat...

The boys peeking at some pumpkins while at the garden nursery. I promised them to pumpkin-pick in October.

Sunday morning shopping for outdoor fall plantings.

A quiet moment for Jax "reading" his Tag Jr books.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

First day of school

Thank goodness I have something happy to write about today.
The boys had their first day of school and they LOVE it. I had 3 hours to myself to start in on the PILE of work sitting at the house. The teacher (Ms Barb) said the boys did great. Jax fed himself some pudding at snack time and drank all his milk (pediasure). I'm so glad they're back into a structured learning setting. Jax is talking better each day with words being said that I didn't even know he knew. It will be so great when Brady starts down that path. I'm sure that school can only help.

Otherwise, my family is still picking up the pieces of losing Les so unexpectedly. My brother and Jess (his fiance) have been with my mom since we left late Monday night (they live in TX). They're all sorting through... well... how and where to go from here I guess. I can't thank Adam and Jess enough for being there when I can't be these few days. He said "that's what big bro's are for..."

We'll be going back up (my hometown is 2 hours away... not convenient in times like this) all day Friday to continue helping with some things.
The stress and anxiety for my immediate family have been at all-time highs this past week, but we're starting to see rays of light, so I'm hoping and praying for some peace soon. We all deserve it.
Thank you to friends and family who have shown such kindness, it is felt so deeply.

My mom will get through this. One day at a time...

I would be embarrassed too if my shirt was tucked in this way. Yeah, I fixed it before going into school...

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Here is the information on Les.

Jason and I are heading back up to the GB area this morning and the boys will be with Rachel until we get some more final things taken care of with our mom. Rachel will be bringing the boys up for the visitation on Monday.
Brady still has that fever, so Jason brought him to have labs drawn and back to the doctor. So far his ears, lungs and throat have all been fine and he's acting fine, so the fever is a mystery. We're just covering our bases to make sure it's not more than just a lingering virus.