Friday, September 23, 2011

Joey and Jillian Updates

Joey has been in school now for 3 weeks and absolutely loves it! He loves the fact that they play outside for at least a few minutes every day, and loves to paint! He also received his first Scholastic Book order which he (and I!) were super excited about. His school offers an enrichment program where you can pick a few days a month or all and sign up to eat lunch at school and stay a few hours longer to do some other activities and learn more, next months topics discovering ABC's and PeeWee Picasso. October will be the first month it is offered and when I asked Joey if he'd want to stay at school for lunch and be with his teacher's from last year (they are the ones that do the program) he gave me an excited yes! So I will probably be looking into a few days to let him stay at school a little longer! He is also enjoying t-ball on the weekends and I can't believe its already decision time to put him in the next session! He really enjoys it and loves that Daddy hangs out at the school to watch him while he's there.

On Thursdays Jillian started Mommy and Me Dance class. She absolutely loves it! She has performed her Rock-a-Bye Baby dance for several willing audiences (grandparents and Auntie!) and learned some more dances this past week. The first week she had a little freak out moment when they brought out the big parachute...she wouldn't go near it, and wouldn't let me either. If I reached for the handle she'd scream "Mommy, no, no!" She sat back in the corner until I took her to go potty and then they had put the parachute away and we were dancing with bubbles. This week she not only allowed me to play with the parachute, but sat in the center of it as we twirled them around in it. She much more prefers to dance than play with the parachute, and really enjoyed doing her ballerina walks, plies and twirls during ballet time! She even received a Tinkerbell stamp on her hand and was walking around with her hand in the air the rest of the morning!

Today was such a beautiful morning and I think we are in for a rainy weekend so when I mentioned the Arboretum to Joey last night he was all for it. We explored some areas we don't regularly frequent and it constantly amazes me how big and how much the Arboretum has to offer kids and adults alike. I can't wait for the leaves to really start changing over there! I hadn't been there on a Friday and the other days I am working or Joey is in school so this was the first time we were able to make it to story time! We all enjoyed hearing Ms. Donna read about the animals and trees of the forest and we went looking for some acorns and leaves before lunch time.

Trains, trains, and more trains

Last week Daddy went out for a "work" lunch, and while he did get some work conversation accomplished he also brought home some of his coworker's son's trains for us to borrow until Joey is done with them! Thank you Sam for being such a good sharer! Sam is Kevin's (Phil's coworker) son who was really into Thomas as you can tell from the pictures and while we are giving them back Joey scored a ton of trains as well as track, fountain, bridges, roundabout, and many, many other things Thomas! I tried to line up all the new trains (these pics do not include Joey's roughly 20 trains that he had and we thought was plenty!), there were quite a few, I should have counted before Joey woke up from his nap to see the Thomas world in the basement!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

#10...and a PR!

This morning I headed out in the rain to run my 10th marathon. I was doing 1-2 each year with a couple of setbacks...the first year had stress fractures that didn't allow me to run, and then a good 3 years off to have kids (either be pregnant or on bed rest at the time I should be training or running). I have run several half marathons and other races in between, but today was my 10th marathon.

My mom and sister have always been there cheering me on, and the first year Phil was finishing school so he couldn't be there, but has been to almost every other one since then. The additions of Andrew, Joey, Emma, and Jillian came in the past few years, and today my (mother-in-law) mom and (father-in-law) dad also made it to Curbside Superstar status! While I did not decide to run Chicago this year it saved them and myself from the congestion and chaos of the crowds, but we also got a pretty cold and rainy day.

My best time to date was 4:04:45, and I couldn't surpass that time no matter how hard I tried. Some days you win, some you lose no matter how hard you train or prepare, some days are just not yours. With the support of my Curbside Crew and many other wonderful encouragements from friends (thank you, your words were bouncing in my head most of the way today!) I hit my goal of beating my best time while still finishing feeling well. I have wanted to break 4 hours, but even a PR with the wet, cold weather we had today would have thrilled me. I am delighted to say that I ran my 10th marathon this morning with a time of 4:01:54!

Breaking 4 hours might take another year or two ( it is really hard to shed a mere 3 seconds per mile over 26.2 miles!), but considering my shirt felt like it weighed 10 pounds from all the rain and my shoes were sloshier than ever I am one happy girl! Thank you to all that gave me words of encouragement and support, and of course the whole crew that went to different spots along the course to sit in the pouring rain to wait for me to run past! And thank you Phil for the awesome playlist!
Here are pics from Daddy and Nonna and Grandpa

Pictures from Auntie Christy
Pictures from Grandma and here too.
I can't thank them all enough for being there! XO

Sunday, September 11, 2011

We like to potty, we like, we like to potty!

First off, lots of posts here sorry they all come condensed onto one day/update!

Our Labor Day weekend was very low key--spent at home except for an outing to Grandmas for dinner, but what a momentous weekend at the same time! Saturday we were planning on going to a Kane County Cougars game...we've never been to one, and since the Flyers that were even closer are gone we figured it was time to try them out. The weather forecast was calling for rain, it wasn't looking too promising outside, and we were back and forth on if we should go. We have also been back and forth on when we should start potty training Jillian. We started Joey pretty early. Since they are 17 months apart I was pregnant and very big with Jillian, having to go potty quite a bit myself so I would put Joey on the potty as well. It took him a while to catch on to the whole process, but he was fully potty trained before he was 2. Jillian has been so interested in the potty chair because of Joey always going, and she has had her attempts of jumping on there herself. A while back I had thought after our Orlando vacation we should start trying her, but hadn't quite committed. Well, we finally had nothing going on over the weekend, I had bought some underwear for her for what I thought was going to be Christmas or whenever we started trying, but I wanted to have it washed and ready to go. Well, Jillian saw the Tinkerbells and Minnies and had to put them on! So our Labor Day was spent 99% of the time in the bathroom with Jill! It did seem a bit early, but Joey had already started trying at her age, and really we can not wait to be done with diapers! Jillian loves showing off her big girl underpants and has moved on to major big girl status wearing her underpants all day long, even when we are going out. She has a few accidents, but is doing an amazing job. She is still in her "night nights" (pull up diaper) at nap and bedtime, but since she's been in her big girl underpants she has not #2'd at all in them! She must not want to mess the pretty patterns! What started off feeling like we were potty training a puppy carrying a dripping girl to the potty, currently has come to our pretty girl grabbing my hand and saying "I go potty" this morning as we walked to the potty! Its not a 100%, but she is so well on her way. She has done an amazing job, and we couldn't be more proud of our little big girl!

Honey Bee Weekend

This weekend was honeybee weekend at the arboretum so we went out for some honey fun! Ok, so we didn't do much in terms of tasting honey, bee hive tours/talks, or visit the local vendors but we did play and have fun! It was Auntie, Andrew, and Emma's first time at the Arboretum so Joey showed Andrew the ropes so to speak! The weather was perfect and was a great way to let the kids run around and burn off some energy!

Play Ball!

Joey started t-ball this weekend! We signed him up for a 3-4 class and thought it was a parent/child class, but when Phil went in with Joey he was told it was just kids. Joey had asked Daddy to stay with him before they got there, but once he was in the gym he was in his element. He ran the bases, was learning to field grounders, and throw. While he was the shortest one there he had the enthusiasm to make up for it. Jillian and I walked up to the school to meet the boys, and Jillian picked dandelions to make a bouquet for her big brother who loved receiving it! Great job Joey!

Let's Go Out to the Movies!

Friday was a rainy and somewhat dreary day around here. It was a day we didn't have school, Mommy didn't have to work, so we could just hang around and relax, but I think Joey and Jillian are getting to be like me where we just like getting out of the house. My thought was to go to the Arboretum, but given the weather it didn't seem worth heading out there. So we played with Play-Doh, painted, colored, still we found ourselves wondering what to do. Joey asked to watch Cars on tv, which I don't allow tv during the day (after naps and before bed is ok) so I said no. He then remembered going to the movies for his birthday and asked if we could go see Cars 2 on the biiiiiig screen! I laughed at his great memory, and said I didn't think it was at the theater anymore and told him how we have to wait for it to come out on video (dvd,blu-ray, you know what I mean!). But then I had an idea... we had never been to the Picture Show by us, the $1.75 show, so I looked up what movies were playing and Winnie the Pooh was! I asked the kids if they'd want to go after naps and they both agreed, as did Daddy when I told him Joey had a great suggestion. So after naps we headed to the movies! Popcorn, m&ms, and a movie later Jillian was still dry--no accidents proving once again she is a big girl and can go out on the town! The best part was "dinner" and a movie for 4 was less than $20, I was super excited and told Joey if Cars 2 is there soon (there were posters in the lobby) we would go. Jillian's first movie was a success...they both behaved well, which I know the popcorn helped, and enjoyed themselves quite a bit!

Extra, extra

And here are some random photos...
I had to take pictures of the kids thumbing through their first toy catalog asking for Christmas presents. Joey will sit down at random times of the day and ask for this catalog to look at the toys that he wants from Santa and will share with everyone!
There are also pictures of a day watching Jessie, flying a kite in the backyard, playing with the neighbors...or should I say all kids tackling Dominic, and other random pics, enjoy!

Joshua's Journeys #61 Remembering...

Of course I could not let today go by without some sort of reflection of 9/11. I have tried not to watch too many specials in fear of being glued to the tv and not paying attention to my kids that are still here playing, growing, and enjoying the day. But of course I have caught some specials, clips, commercials, songs, how could you not? In talking with Phil about where we were that day, calling each other to make sure the other was safe, it seemed like a long time ago in some respects, but like yesterday in others. I can't help but be selfish right now and think if 9/11 was just 10 years ago and it feels like yesterday, how fast is the 10th "anniversary" of Josh's passing going to come? What will Joey and Jillian be doing? Where will I be in my journey? And of course what would, and what if if Joshua were still here. While many are still mourning the devastating attacks 10 years ago I am remembering along with them, and aching for each family member, friend, and stranger that has to relive what they were doing that day and how this has affected them. There are too many heads falling on pillows with eyes wide open wondering what if...
We miss, we remember, and we love.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

First Day of School!

Last school year Joey had started school in March after finding and contemplating a lot about a preschool for him being under 3 years. Joey had a hard time with being overly shy and things as I've stated before are magnified around March (when his twin brother passed away). So we had put him in preschool last March right before spring break was his first introduction, and then he finished off April and May. So today was officially his first day of school!

Joey was very excited for his first day of school! He had been talking about it for a while. He met his teachers last week and was very excited to go back, but a little apprehensive about Mommy and Jill not staying with him. Then this weekend after telling him that Jillian is too little to go to school and he is a big boy he took that as his way to indulge in being able to be away from Mommy and Jillian during the day! He kept telling me that Jill is too little to go, but he's a big boy! Joey sported his backpack, did his "homework" from meeting the teachers (he had to decorate a treasure chest to put on the bulletin board the first day) and headed out the door. He refused to hold my hand in the parking lot but did tell me there were no cars coming before walking, and even held the door for Jillian and I. Joey did a great job on his first day, we left him outside of his classroom where he did not cry--instead Jillian was the one that was crying as I told her we had to leave. She came in for the meet the teachers day and I think she thought she was going to be allowed in again. We took a peek into the classroom she'll be going into once she turns 2, but we didn't spend much time because she was not happy with having to go and I didn't want to disrupt the other classes!

Jillian does have some big girl status news of her own, but we will wait a bit to share...

Joshua's Journeys #60

Last Tuesday was meet the teachers where Joey and Jillian enjoyed playing in the classroom and with all of the stuff set out on the tables. Last Monday night was parents night, the informational meeting about what will happen during the school year, etc. It was just under an hour, but it didn't take much longer than the opening prayer (its a Christian school) where the lady was talking about blessing our children and letting them teach them and take good care of them where I found myself panicked that I was going to lose it! I had to spend a lot of time looking at the calendar so that I wouldn't burst out into tears--thinking Josh is supposed to be here too! Maybe not in this exact school, but he should be here with us, and what would he be doing now? Joey would love playing with him, and as nutty as Jill can be at times (I have often envisioned her deliberately yanking out his g-tube) she would also find him a pleasure where I could see her bringing him something to play with, patting his head and leaning in for her hug. Life would be different that is for certain, I would take it all if I could, but I know I am in my own school--I may have bad days where I want to cry, where I miss him, where I just want to lay in bed and try to get back to a dream.