Monday, August 29, 2011

First Day of All Day

Today I sent Shannon off to his first day of all day school. Wow how the time flies. He was so excited, I think it was the husband and I who were a little sad. There's a certain freedom when your children are young and not tied to any schedule other than the one you choose to put them on for meals or naps. Now, not only am I tied to my own work schedule, but to his school schedule as well. Soon I will be that woman at work who is explaining why I need a certain week off from work because "that is when my kids are off from school."

Doesn't he look so grown up in his uniform?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Rough Ride

Was I just talking about a great vacation? I guess I spoke too soon.

Wednesday the husband and I got up early and took the baby with us to breakfast at a great greasy spoon in St. Germain. We got home in time to round everyone up to go horseback riding. The plan was for my nieces to go riding and I figured I'd hang out with my sister until they got back and the husband was going to take our kids to a park to play. Well, then my sister said that she was going to go riding with her daughters so I figured what the heck, I'll go too. The last time I rode a horse I think I was ten years old. The last time my sister rode a horse she was five and the experience wasn't a good one. Her horse walked straight into a bush and stopped and much screaming and crying didn't get it out of the bush. Little did we know that this trip would prove to be far worse.

We arrived, paid and then signed a release - you know the ones, you agree to not sue even if you are maimed or killed. Then we were assigned horses. I got Big Blue and yes, he was very big. We were ready to go when three other people decided to take a ride as well so we waited while they mounted up and then we were off. We rode through the woods and it was pretty easy riding. Every so often one of the horses up in front would slow down to grab a bite of grass or would just lag behind and then we'd all trot a little bit to catch up. Mainly the horses just seemed to do what they wanted without much direction from us. They followed one another, sped up when necessary and slowed down the same way. We were about half an hour into a 45 minute ride when my horse trotted a little bit to catch up to the rest (my horse was last) and the last thing I remember is my horse coming really close to my sister's horse in front of me and then I felt like I was falling. The horse was up on his hind legs and I was trying to hold on but I could feel myself falling off to my left and then bam! I landed on my hip and behind and had the wind knocked out of me. I saw my horse running off into the woods, I saw my sister turn around and call to the guide saying I had fallen off and then I tried to stand up. No way so I settled back down into the dirty trail. But then I saw my horse coming back towards us and I got up because as much as falling off a horse hurts I was guessing having a horse trample you would hurt far worse. While I was trying to stand up something happened, all the horses spooked and they were gone, all off in different directions taking their riders with them. I could hear the kids screaming and the guide was off her horse trying to control things but not having any luck whatsoever. I just started walking up the trail to find everyone and my sister wandered dazed and confused out of the woods. She was covered in blood that was coming from a large cut on her head. Next we came upon the mom and daughter that were riding in front of my sister and although shaken up, neither were injured. We found my nieces in a field just a little ways up the trail. One had a big bump on her forehead that was bleeding a bit and the other was scared with a twisted knee. It was a pretty crazy scene with kids screaming and crying, specially after seeing their mother covered in blood. It took a bit to get everyone calmed down and I tried to assess my sister's injuries. As I tried to clean the blood off her face I could see how deep the cut was, down to bone and told the guide that we would need to go to the emergency room. The guide had no way to communicate with the stable but luckily I had brought my cell phone. She called for help and about ten minutes later a pick-up truck came and took us back to the stable.

The husband was there waiting for us and we transported everyone to the hospital in Eagle River. I think that was the most action that emergency room has seen in quite a while. My sister had a cat scan of her head, one niece had an x-ray of her knee and the other of her back and I had one of my pelvis. I was also checked to make sure my kidneys weren't bleeding. My nieces and I were found to be fine, albeit sore and badly bruised, but my sister was diagnosed with a broken nose, broken occipital lobe and the cut required 11 stitches. The doctor also said she needed to see a specialist in Milwaukee the next morning so the rush was on to figure out how to get her back in time.

Needless to say, this is not how I saw our vacation ending.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Real Real Gone

I'm on vacation. Wait, I'm on "vacation." I'm actually still working part-time from home and although I'm not at home, I'm with my three children and two of my nieces, not sure that qualifies as a vacation or just the same work in a different place. But, it has been fun. We are staying at a beautiful house with plenty of room for all of us, a short walk down a hill is a sandy beach and a good swimming and fishing lake. We brought the boat and the kids have been out numerous times just on fun rides and also for fishing. They have spent time on the beach making sand castles and time in the lake swimming. Today, during a rain storm, the kids colored and played old school marbles. It's wonderful to see how happy the kids are taking part in such normal activities. You don't necessarily need a trip to Disney Land to have a great vacation.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Our State Fair is a Great State Fair

Yesterday we all went to the state fair. It was fun, although tiring, to get everyone out and about. QT loved seeing the cows. Given her addiction to milk she as thrilled to see where the milk comes from. SB liked all the animals but I think really liked riding all the carnival rides more. The husband took SB and QT to see the pig races while my younger sister and I walked around with Sully just taking in all the booths full of mops, cheese graters, slicers and dicers, etc. Sully garnered quite a bit of attention for being such a cutie. People just seem to be drawn to babies.

As for eating, I think I did pretty well with not going overboard. I had some mini-chocolate chip cookies, some bbq pork nachos, some sour cream and chive fries, Mexican style corn and soda. I think that's it. I didn't even get any hot candy nuts which I LOVE. Oh wait, I did bring home some popcorn mix which I snacked on last night. I didn't have any deep fried butter though, or deep fried snickers bars, or deep fried macaroni and cheese, or deep fried beer.......or really anything deep fried other than the french fries and I somehow got out of the fair without eating anything on a stick. It's a miracle.

I don't think I've been eating as much during the days in general but I do seem to be eating quite a bit a night before bed. As of this morning I've lost over 20 pounds since having the baby but I can say I'm not making any effort to keep that off and seem to have just resigned myself to the fact that I will eventually gain it back. I suppose I should start thinking about adopting a healthier eating plan but it just seems like so much work on top of all the work I'm already doing.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Due Date

Today is my official due date. I know it hasn't even been three weeks but I'm going out on a limb and say this is actually easier than I thought it would be. Now, I know saying that is asking for a world of trouble to drop down from the sky but I really do feel that way. I also know that things will change substantially once I am back to work full-time, commuting, at home more and more with the kids by myself and things will really change once Sully is mobile, but I'll take what I can get and right now that is that things are good.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Back to School

It's amazing how quickly this past week has passed by. How is my little boy already two weeks old? Things have been going really well with everyone. I am feeling a million times better, SB and QT are still excited about their new little brother and the baby is both a good eater and a good sleeper. The last two nights he's been up right around 4:00am for a feeding and I find myself almost falling asleep while feeding him and then, when he's done and it's time to put him pack in his bed I don't, choosing instead to let him cuddle on my shoulder and we both sleep. I love holding him and in the quiet of the early morning it's nice for it to just me him and me.

We've gotten out a few times now as a family of five and it doesn't seem as overwhelming as I thought it would but I suppose if it were just me and the kids it might me. Last weekend we went out for breakfast and today we did a quick trip to a pizza place and to get SB and QT new shoes.

SB starts school in just three weeks. He'll be going full-time to school and it's just hitting me how much he's growing up. School supply shopping and buying him a uniform really made things real to me. He's really going off to school, everyday for easily the next 15 plus years. How did that happen? I know he'll love school but I'll admit to be a tad nervous. It's not even so much about him being away every day, it's more all the things that will change. We've never had a strict morning schedule. SB could wake up naturally and he'd be eating breakfast as I was heading out to work. His school starts at 7:45am so now he'll have to be up by a certain time so that he can be at school on time. In the past we've taken fall family trips around Columbus day because I would have that day off of work but now with him in school we'll have to work our trips around his schedule, which, of course, everyone else I work with who has kids is trying to do the same thing so it makes it hard to get off. He'll have homework and permission slips and he'll need a lunch each day and oh my gosh, so many little things that just add to my ever growing list of things to keep track of. I have a hard enough time keeping up with my stuff, much less all the stuff that a kindergartner seems to generate. Some parents find discipline challenging but I know that for me keeping track of different schedules for three kids will most likely be the toughest part of motherhood for me. I'm also just not sure I'm ready for the loss of freedom him not going to school full-time has allowed us.