Friday, August 29, 2014

A Week of Firsts

Quick Take Friday....I apologize in advance if it sounds a little whiny!  I'm feeling a little overwhelmed right now!

1. New Beginnings
This week, Ellie started middle school on Monday, Peter on Tuesday and Sarah on Wednesday.  Sarah made the J.V. volleyball team so she has practice every day and I've been working out a car pool with a couple of other moms.  It's been overwhelming getting these three started and making sure the kids starting next week have everything they need!

2. Moving Away
The next child up is Andrew.  Saturday am we will be making the drive to deliver him to Assumption.  I think he has everything he needs.  (Special thanks to my mom and dad for helping with Andrew and Mike's school supplies and Sarah's books!)  

Andrew is looking forward to school.  I'm nervous for him...but I'm sure he will settle in and do great.  I'm sad for myself...one more baby bird spreading their wings in the process of leaving the nest.  It's a very bittersweet feeling watching them grow and step out into new adventures while stepping out of the home we have spent years trying to nurture them in! 

Change is hard....but it's all good. 

(That will be my mantra as I cry on the way home from Assumption tomorrow!) 

3.  More Moving Away
On Monday, I will be helping Mike move into Assumption.  Jay and I were both supposed to do it until his boss reminded him yesterday that Monday is his holiday to work.  Grr!   August was a rough month with way too much planned on the weekends for Jay and the older kids and not much summer fun for me and the littles left behind.  Last weekend, Jay had to work, too.:( So, even though we are making 2 trips to Worcester, I was really looking forward to a long weekend.  Sigh.....

I think it will be less emotional to move Mike in since I've already done it last year.  He's in apartment style living this year, which he is looking forward to.  I should be able to say a quick hello at least to Andrew, too.  Then, they will be on their own until family weekend at the end of September when we plan on visiting them.

4.  Also On Monday....
Jon has freshman orientation on Monday and Tuesday.  He is excited to start his new adventure!  I'm glad he will be close to home, even though he will be busy and not around much!

5.  Another First Day
Luke starts pre-school on Tuesday morning.  Just this week he has finally started to get a little excited for school.  That's a positive!  He's still going to do half days.  I'm hoping this extra year in pre-school, which we decided he needed since he is a very young 5 and only makes the cut off by a couple of weeks, will give him the time he needs to mature a little more and better able to handle the work load next year in kindergarten!

6.  Surgery
On Tuesday, my mom is having knee replacement surgery.  This is adding a little extra chaos to the already chaotic two weeks of new school year and sports schedules!  If you could say a prayer that the surgery goes well and the recovery is as quick and as painless as possible I would appreciate it!

7.  He Said
Andrew:  Someday, If I'm excessively rich, I'm going to buy a herd of goats.  All of them will be fainting goats except for one screaming goat.  This way, the screaming goat will startle the fainting goats and they will all fall down!
Jon and Sarah:  hahaha....you know that's 'going on the blog'.
Andrew: Put it on the blog...I don't care.:)

....and so I did!
Happy Labor Day weekend everyone!:)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

TBT...School Days

Throw Back Thursday.....it's been such a crazy week!  I'm exhausted...and it just keeps going!  It's so hard to get back into the rhythm of Fall!

In honor of the first week of school...at least for some of my kids...

This is a throwback for sure!  Mike was in 4th grade, Andrew in 2nd and Jon in 1st!

This year, Mike's a college senior, Andrew is a college sophomore, and Jon a college freshman!

Sniff...sniff!


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Ready....Set....School!

And just like that, another summer comes barreling to a close!  The end of summer is bittersweet.  After all the spontaneity/non-structure of summer, I look forward to the fall's predictability.

Having the kids move forward and grow up and start another year is sad to me, though.  It makes me want to huddle them close just a little longer because life goes by just so darn fast!

Move forward they must, though, so it's my job to help them on and up to the next step.  With the younger set, (namely Kate, Luke and Peter), that still means helping them moment by moment.(Getting their supplies, fixing their snacks and meals, bath time, bed time, etc.)

With the middle set, (Sarah and Ellie), I'm more of a chauffeur, reminder to do their daily routine in a timely manner(Ellie), and the person that encourages them to stay organized and on top of everything(Ellie) and to stop and have a little fun once in a while(my perfectionist, Sarah).

With the older crew, I'm the cheerleader.  I also still encourage them to stay organized and on top of everything for the bigger things(a.k.a, please go online and order your books today Andrew and Jon!).  I'm also the go-to person when they want the occasional clothing purchase.  Other then help them with loan paperwork, they have their own jobs, their own cars, and are pretty independent.

Andrew and Mike will both be away at college this year.  Jon will be commuting to college but, between his class schedule with multiple labs and his jobs and the clubs he wants to join and his regular friends and the friends he will meet and his new "special friend", the writing on the wall is clear that he won't be around much this year!

Change is hard....and a little sad...but it's all good things.

After all, as I read in a book recently,
 "If we do the whole parenting thing right we are supposed to be working ourselves out of a job!"  
(Pam Farrel)


Ellie started middle school yesterday!  It's a big step for her...changing classes, different uniforms, more responsibility.  She is excited and likes her new teachers:)

At only day 2 of the school year I have already won the "bad parent" award!  Today was Peter's first day and I completely forgot to take a picture until he was driving away on his 'van bus'!  He is in the same special needs program as last year.  This year his class will have a few less kids which will be good for him I think.  He wasn't all that fired up to head back to school.  Poor guy has a bad sinus cold right now.:(  Hopefully, the transition goes well and he has a good year!

Sarah made the high school volleyball team and has practice this afternoon.  Her first school day of sophomore year is tomorrow.(Hopefully I will remember to take a picture of that!)  

Then, we have a 2 day reprieve until Saturday when we drop off Andrew at Assumption.  I can't say I'm looking forward to that.  I am excited for him and for the friends he will make and the clubs he will join that will make him feel connected in a way he didn't find at UMass last year.  The house will feel empty without him...and now I will have to run to the grocery store to pick up anything I forgot instead of just texting Andrew and having him bring it home!

We move Mike in on Monday, Jon starts freshman orientation on Monday, and Luke starts pre-school on Tuesday!  And, just like that, we will be in full swing for the 2014-2015 school year!

I hope your family's transition is going well!  Here's to praying for a successful and healthy school year! 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Friday Wrap Up!

The summer is just slip sliding away!!!  

I'm trying my best to enjoy just a little more summer...kind of like trying to squeeze the last drop of toothpaste from the toothpaste tube! 

Here's my quick take Friday high-lights our week:

 #1:  Birthday Fun
It was my niece, Mya's, birthday on Thursday.  We had a family party on Tuesday night to celebrate and Kate was joining right in!  

#2:  Zoo Time
On Wednesday, I took all the kids sans Mike to the zoo.  The day didn't go as smoothly as I had hoped.  Right before I was ready to leave for the zoo, I noticed that Mike forgot his lunch.:(  So, to avoid feeling guilty, I brought his lunch to the camp he is working at this summer before we headed to the zoo.  

We arrived at the zoo a little past snack time, so Kate was more interested in eating than in seeing the animals.  We stopped to get a snack.....which took a while because someone wanted popcorn and they hadn't started making it.  "A few minutes" was what they told us....15 minutes later we got the popcorn.  A couple of kids wanted an ice cream treat but they had none because their food freezer had broken and all their food was in the ice cream freezer.  So, one of the teens was hungry(and Jay's kids don't do hungry well!).  Those "someones" may have been Andrew Jon...but I won't tell you for sure to keep them, I mean "someone", from feeling embarrassed!;)

The visit was fine....just not as good as usual.  Plus...you know that mom pressure we put on ourselves for everyone to have a great, bonding experience?  Yeah, left me feeling a tad deflated!  

But I got some cute pics....

#3:  Carousel/Train Rides
 Jay's mom had given Peter carousel and train passes for his birthday and they got put to good use....
goofy Peter

Kate:  "Mommy, you need  to hold onto me!"
Me:  I will.  I just want to take a picture first.

Kate:  Ok...cheese.
 Train ride....

 
 ....and a picture of the train ride from 10/12!  Kate was so little:(

#4:  Photo Fun
Jon:  Take a picture of me.
(runs over to bear)
Jon:  Look, it's a bear hug!

Peter's loving the bear hug!

#5:  Photo Op
They gave me a 30 second pose...I guess I should be grateful!



Kate doesn't seem to know that it helps to see where you're going!:)

#6:  Shoe Shopping
After the zoo, Andrew drove the boys home(because they would rather gouge out their eyes than go shoe shopping at the mall!) and I took the girls with me to do some school shopping.  Ellie needed some school shoes.  Kate is a shoe fashionista and got in on the fun.
Kate:  I like these, Mommy!  They too big for me?

Kate needed sneakers, so we found a cute pair of princess shoes that she loved!  Then she spotted a pair of purple shoes with silver sparkles all over...it was love at first sight!  (Yeah, Jay is in trouble with this one!)

#7: So He Doesn't Feel Left Out...
Mike ended up getting a really great job this summer.  He worked as a camp counselor at the local YMCA summer camp.  He got to be outside all summer...and it will look good on his resume when he(fingers crossed) graduates in June with a middle school teaching degree!

Mike has made a lot of new friends through the camp counselors and lots of them hang out multiple times a week.  The camp also threw different get togethers for the counselors a few times this summer.  They had a sailing night and a cook out earlier, and last night they had a fancy dinner night.  So they all got dressed up and had food catered from a very good local Italian restaurant.  

Their bosses also gave out awards.  Mike got "Rookie of the Year" and "Most Likely to Brighten Someone's Day".  That second one gave all of us at home a very big laugh because that's not always our experience with Mike!  But, since we got a laugh, that did brighten our day so there you go!


We're heading into the last weekend of summer for three of my kids!  Ellie starts Monday, Peter starts Tuesday, and Sarah starts Wednesday.  Then, it's a short reprieve until Saturday when we move Andrew into Assumption.  Then, we move Mike into Assumption on Monday.  Jon has freshman orientation on Monday and Tuesday.  Last but not least, Luke starts preschool on Tuesday!

Crazy busy times!  I have to say I have mixed emotions, but it's all going to happen whether I like it or not!   That seems to be a recurring theme around here!

I hope you enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Throw Back Thursday....Special Cousin Edition

I haven't fallen off the face of the earth...really!  Things are a little crazy over here as we try and squeeze every last moment out of summer and prepare for the fast approaching school year!  With so many kids going in so many different directions, it's a bit overwhelming!

Hopefully I can figure out my new groove soon!

I'm here today for Throw Back Thursday........and another special birthday edition!

Today is my niece, Mya's 3rd birthday!  Mya defied the odds after arriving at only 23 weeks and 6 days gestation!  You can read more about that on the post I wrote on her first birthday here.

So, even though this throwback is really only a short "tossback", it's a pretty special one...just like Mya:)

Mya at birth(1 lb. 5 oz)...and at one year

During her 4 month stay in the NICU


Mya's first birthday party
(Mya is in the flower dress on the left and Kate is on the right in the green dress)

New Year's Day 2014

I still haven't figured out a way to get them both looking at the camera and smiling at the same time!

August 2014....special cousin time!

Mya's birthday party...with an adorable Hello Kitty cake made by Jay's mom!

Happy Birthday, Mya!
Love, Uncle Jay, Auntie Michelle
and all of your cousins:)


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Fishing Edition

Throw back Thursday:)

This is the first Thursday in 3 weeks that we haven't had a birthday celebration!  I found a good picture to share today!:)


Andrew was about 11 in this picture.  Andrew went fishing with his brothers and my dad on one of our Vineyard trips. As you can see, he caught a sand shark.  He was very excited and proud!:)

It's hard to believe that Andrew will be leaving in 2 weeks for college.  I don't think I've actually processed it yet.  It's going to be really different having 2 of our children gone for months at a time!  

It goes by so fast...... Don't blink!

Have a happy Thursday...we've almost made it to Friday!:)

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Slow Down August!

Sorry, everyone...the summer is getting the best of me!  With everyone home all.the.time there just isn't much free time to write.

Well, I shouldn't say everyone home!  Jay has been working like crazy and the older boys are almost always at work or out with friends.  It's like a revolving door for the boys...they go to work, rush home, shower, grab something out of the fridge and head back out again many nights of the week!

It's all good...just a wee bit crazy!

The little ones are enjoying the summer...lots of swimming and playing and play dates so that I don't have to play Transformers every moment of the day.  As soon as I sit down to do something, I hear Luke's little voice, "Mommy, want to play with me?".  (Pretend play is my nemesis!)

I'm trying to make the days as enjoyable as I can for everyone.  With the middle of August arriving this week, I have to start prepping for the dreaded "s" word.  I put it off as long as possible....but Ellie, Peter, and Sarah start school the last week of August.  In fact, Sarah has book pick up and volley ball tryouts next week!

Sigh.....

Andrew leaves for school two weeks from Saturday and I haven't even started to tackle his very long list of things needed to move away for the semester.  Mike won't need as much as last year, but he has a list, too!

Things will certainly be changing around here....

I hope the rest of your August goes by nice and s.l.o.w.!