Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Filling the Tank

We are board game players in this house and the kids are starting to pick up on it.  When we have game nights with friends Ethan always wants us to play a game that he can play as well.  One can only take so many rounds of Operation, Mouse Trap or, (please no!) Candyland.  At 6 (and a half!) the choices are pretty limited, but we've found a couple successes.  The first one is Dixit Journey, which is a game of creativity and weirdness.  It's fun for adults, but it helps kids learn adjectives and vocabulary.  I would describe it as Apples to Apples in picture form.

So that one worked, and he can play a round fairly quickly with all the adults.

But then, last Sunday, Steve pulled out his old Solarquest game, and Ethan has been enraptured ever since.  They played together on Sunday (which Ethan declared his "best Sunday ever"), and then after school and homework on Monday, Ethan sat and played the game against himself for over two hours.  To say he was overjoyed that his dad offered to play with him after dinner would be an understatement.  Anyway, it doesn't seem like they make that game any more, unless you want to pay bookoo (buku?) bucks on Amazon, but it's so neat seeing him enjoy the time with his Dad and the game itself.  There may be something similar out there,as the game is basically monopoly in space.  Ethan tells me that he has won twice, and Steve tells me they were fair and square wins, not just Dad-being-gentle wins.

I would say that Ethan's "love language" is quality time, so a good game of Solar Quest seems to fill his tank right up to overflowing.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

I Have a Boo-Boo, Honey

Steve always gives me a hard time about how often I injure myself in the kitchen.  It seems like I'm always burning myself or cutting myself in some minor way.  Well, last night I managed to outdo even my best injuries and I wasn't even cooking.  I was washing our big, heavy knife and it slipped and fell right on the knuckle of the index finger of my right hand.  I thought it just sort of "bounced" off my finger, but when I looked, there was blood.  And when I was trying to bandage it I could see in my finger.  Oh man.

note the attractive slippers
 Now it's immobilized and my long suffering husband dealt with my dramatic antics while he cleaned it and bandaged it.  I'm not sure what I'm going to do for the next week (?) or so while it's healing.  Even with the splint I can't move it the wrong way without pain, and people, I have diapers to change and jars to open.  And if you look to the picture below you can see how much trouble this guy can get into on a regular basis.  Not to mention, typing this post with nine fingers was less than ideal.

organizing the cupboards

Maybe I will just relegate myself to safety scissors from now on.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Sick Days

We have had a pretty good, solid 365 days of health up until this month, which I have now dubbed Fever February.  We haven't been to church as a family in three weeks, which is really unusual, and Ethan had to miss days of school.  We either caught two waves of bugs, or we got a covert bug that masked itself as a cold and recovering cold, and then burst forth a few days later as the fever of all fevers.  It's a really good strategy for a germ because just when I thought it was safe to take the baby out and have people over my kids got sicker and probably spread everything all around.

Silas got it so bad last weekend I took him to the ER when his fever spiked and he started acting funny.  I tried to cool him down by wiping him with a baby wipe and that only made the wipe hot.  I've never felt a little body so hot before and seeing the look in his eyes when it happened made it even scarier.  Of course by the time we got the the hospital he was a balmy 102.8 and decreasing.

Silas climbing up to see if he could make sick big bro feel better
All I know is I'm ready for Spring and fresh air and less mucous all around.

Monday, February 10, 2014

5 Kilometers

If you had told me 6 months ago that I would be able to run 3.2 miles without stopping and without dying when I was done, and that I would pay to run in one of those silly 5k races that are always happening around town, I probably would have laughed at you.  To be honest I'm not sure what happened, but on Saturday, I did exactly that.

There wasn't one single thing that made me start running for exercise, but just a weird combination of events that put me out on the road, in the cold, sometimes in the dark, jogging and/or speed walking three times a week.

#1) I felt bad.  Not really unhealthy, but not healthy either.  I don't know how to describe it, but I suspect a lot of moms with young kids feel it.  Stiff, saggy, tired, etc.  I wanted to feel better.

#2) I kept hearing or reading of people in my circles doing the Couch-to-5k program and it didn't seem horrible.  Which was weird, because since my Air Force days I had actually grown to hate running for PT.

#3) It was the new year, and that's always a good time to start something.

#4) I had a good friend willing to run with me, and I had the support of my family, who came out at 8:30 on a Saturday morning to cheer me on at the finish line.  I think in the end that made all the difference.  Well, that, and committing to going out for brunch after we were done.

At any rate, I recommend it.  I don't know if I will ever be a "runner", but I hope to keep up what I've worked for and it was actually pretty fun!

Friday, January 31, 2014

7 Quick Takes Friday

Well, the blog has been in hiatus for awhile, but I thought a good way to get back into it would be 7 Quick Takes Friday.  I'd like to start writing weekly again just to exercise my brain.

1.  This week has been really overall strange.  Monday and Tuesday were both days off of school for my oldest (term break), and Tuesday night into Wednesday we got a foot of snow, so he's been out of school all week, and hubby has been off work too.  It feels like vacation, and it's starting to go to my head and make me really lazy.  I always think that I will get more done if Steve is home, but I always get into weekend mode so I actually do less.  Not good for a whole week.

2.  The upside of a snow week is of course, the snow!  My kids stay outside for hours digging, playing, sliding, freezing and throwing snowballs.  You'd think this would lead to even further productivity on my part while I'm inside with only the baby, but nope.  It makes me think I need to soak up all the time that they are out because it gets busy when they are in.

What kind of busy?  Snow laundry busy.

3.  So why is it a whole three days off for just a foot of snow?  Well here in Virginia Beach, they don't plow in the neighborhoods at all and even more traveled roads can be dicey.  So, you can get around if you have to, but it's treacherous and therefore everyone just cancels things and decides to stay home.  I find it hard to believe that over the course of three days they couldn't get one or two plows out to go around everywhere (and by everywhere, I mean my cul-de-sac and surrounding routes in and out of my neighborhood), but I'm no mayor so what do I know?

4.  We are starting to gear up for our Big Move across the country next year.  We will be in California again after a long time away.  I am praying that the Navy doesn't do too much switcher-rooing on us between now and when we are supposed to leave, because we are planning a big road trip, including Yellowstone, and apparently Yellowstone is worse than Disney World when it comes to making reservations.  Who knew?

5.  The baby pictured in my last blog post?  He just turned the big 1 last week.  I can't believe it!  He is such a peanut for his age that he seems to be more of a baby than his brothers ever were at 1.  I think it's just because he's 4 years younger than his closest brother, though.  We had a great time eating tacos and singing happy birthday in his honor with some great friends.

6.  Speaking of the third kid, it has amazed me how much he picks up just by being around the family.  He's only one, but when someone says, "let's pray," he clasps his little chubby fingers together because that's what we do.  When he hears someone tromping up the stairs at high speed, he gets so excited because he knows it's one of his brothers.  He got a ball machine thingy for Christmas and Matthew (middle child) spent 15 minutes teaching him how to put the balls down the chute and I didn't have to lift a finger.  So for anyone who says that kids in families with lots of siblings don't get enough attention, I say pshaw.  I only have three kids and Silas gets more attention than both of the others did combined.

7.  And, speaking of our big move a couple points up, it looks like I'm going to be homeschooling the older boys next year.  I've really planned out a lot already, and as long as the kids don't get in the way I think it will go swimmingly!

Monday, February 4, 2013


Originally uploaded by Steve Bremer

It's been so long since I've blogged that I've had time to gestate and birth my third son!

Silas John
January 21st, 5:04 a.m.
8lb 8oz, 20"

Sleeping on my chest right now!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Look, a Blog!

It is hard to write a new blog post when my last post keeps staring accusingly at me from November. You missed Christmas, it says. You missed all of January and most of February, it says. There's hardly any point in writing now, it says.

It's not that interesting stuff hasn't happened in our lives, it's just that it was so interesting, and I was so tired because it was so interesting that I couldn't summon the energy to blog about it. Yeah, not really, but it sounds good if I put it that way.

In sad news up front, we had a miscarriage this past November and lost a sweet little baby. I didn't put an announcement on Facebook, and I didn't write about it here. I felt really reluctant to announce the pregnancy early on, or the miscarriage, but I feel a bit differently now. We did tell a few family and close friends when we found out we were expecting again, and when I was lamenting the fact that we'd have to un-tell them, Steve reminded me that those people who knew about the pregnancy were all praying for us during our time of grief. That was a very comforting thought. I've decided that if we, Lord willing, get pregnant again we'd like all the prayers we can muster and all the joy that anyone wants to send our way when we get those two lines. In a lot of ways I'm still grieving, because it is hard for me to deal with the fact that I "should" be a certain number of weeks pregnant and I'm not. I have seen God's mercy in a lot of this, though, and I'm trying to remain ever thankful for His provision.

What else has been going on? Well, as of January I stopped changing diapers. That's right, Matthew uses the potty (mostly). Kind of a momentous thing since I have been changing diapers since September of 2007. Even though using cloth diapers for most of that time has reduced the total diaper count, it is still a lot of changes. Potty training for me is very stressful. The only way we got through it was going cold turkey, meaning I just didn't buy any more diapers (truthfully, I forgot my coupons when I went to Costco and refused to pay full price for diapers). If I have them available to use, I will give up about 4 hours into the potty training process and just slap a diaper on that stubborn little bottom. But, given the coupon situation I was forced to deal with my frustration and get that kid to use underpants. We're all happier for it.

I am teaching Ethan to read using this book and we're both loving it. I read on another blog how a mom counted it one of her greatest blessings to be the one who taught all of her children to read, and I have bought into that romantic notion. It is pretty fun. Ethan is, helpfully, a very willing student. We (mostly I) am very excited to have found a half-day, classical model school here in our newest town, and so he may actually go out of the home to kindergarten next year. I am hoping that a couple of years of having him there (before we have to move again) will give us a good foundation for homeschooling if we move to a place where private school isn't an option for us.

The other big thing that we've done is taken the plunge into the world of minivans. Since the U.S. government seems intent on devaluing our savings for the future, we thought we might as well spend it now! Actually, our RAV-4 that we bought when Ethan was still cooking turned out to be not the family vehicle we thought. You can't really fit 3-across in the back row and it was proving problematic anytime we had family visiting, or thought about carpooling with anyone to any event, and especially with the idea that God might give us a third little baby we decided to upgrade. So far I love our Odyssey, even if I was a mite sad when we traded in the RAV.

So, we are just trucking along. Our days are full of home group, Bible study, teaching class, disciplining, whooping it up, laughing at toddler antics, cleaning up spills, reigning in our tempers (I like to say that one applies to the 2yo, but it's mostly me), and just generally working on loving each other. Hard work that doesn't necessarily lend itself to blogging, but this time I know I will be more disciplined about keeping up with the blog now that I've caught it up. ;)

Here's the boys, wishing you a good 2012: