A Peek Into Our Week

posted by Andrea | 06/27/2016

peek into week

As I scanned through our pictures from the past couple of weeks, I realized that although it seems like we hung out at home most of the time, we really did pack A LOT of fun into our first couple weeks of summer!

We…

  • went on 2 picnics at local parks and ate lunch on our front porch another day
  • had a bunch of friends over for a backyard BBQ
  • picked strawberries
  • went to the mall for free carousel rides
  • scored an amazing deal on a new Little Tikes log cabin for the kids to play in
  • celebrated my birthday with Arby’s and bowling
  • participated in free programs at the library 2 mornings
  • signed up for the local summer reading program and already won some free McDonald’s coupons
  • went to Costco for lunch one day and enjoyed lots of samples
  • went for a couple bike rides
  • set up a backyard “slip-n-slide” using a big tarp and a sprinkler
  • went swimming in a friend’s pool
  • had various friends and neighbors over to play throughout the week
  • had an extended-family sleepover at Dave’s parent’s house with all the cousins

We also did a bunch of “fun-ish” everyday “home things” that always seem so much more fun when Dave is home.

I’m sure I don’t need to explain how fabulous it is to have another adult around all day long — especially since James still isn’t nearly as mobile as the other two. Although we did a lot as a family the past couple weeks, and although James is a very easy baby, it has been SO nice for one of us to do something or go somewhere with just Nora and Simon and the other one stay home with James.

Things like picking the garden, washing the car, running errands, playing in the kiddie pool, jumping on the tramp, swinging, and digging in the sandbox are all so much easier when one of us can focus on Nora and Simon while the other one stays back with James or goes inside when he’s had enough sand, sun, water, and wood chips!

Speaking of James… he celebrated 11 months a couple weeks ago and promptly started walking everywhere and climbing on everything!

We’re gearing up for his FIRST birthday in a couple more weeks (I currently have no theme and nothing officially planned yet — sorry 3rd baby!)

James still wakes up once every night (but I really haven’t done anything to stop this) and he is not interested in most baby foods or solid foods, BUT is very happy, very easy-going, and very cute, so I’m not complaining!

Recently, he has been so intrigued by Nora’s dolls. He’ll find them, grab them, play with them, poke at them, and always gets a big smile when he sees me watching him play.

He loves being outside for short periods of time, but when he’s ready to go back inside, he makes it known.

Also, he is now tall enough to reach the tops of most end tables, night stands, and side tables… so nothing is safe anymore!

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Nora is friends with a few of the neighbor girls and one neighbor recently came over with her doll. Within 2 seconds of seeing this neighbor friend, Nora asked to take her dolls outside… and ever since, we have had LOTS of dolls and stuffed animals outside.

Many of the dress-up clothes have also managed to make their way outside 🙂

Even Simon is getting in on the doll fun!

Simon starts a more “intense” speech therapy program today. I’m super excited and I hope it will help him to start speaking and communicating more clearly, as I can tell he has really started to get frustrated when we can’t understand him.

Last week, I mentioned that he sometimes yells “cheeseball” in the library (and everyone thinks it’s so funny) but the truth is, “cheeseball” is one of the only 2-syllable words he can say. I think he gets so excited that he can say something people understand that he just starts shouting it whenever he’s happy or excited.

It’s hilarious and pretty cute, but it’s also kind of sad because I know how badly he wants to be understood.

Simon and Nora can be “best buds” one second and enemies the next… but they do play quite nicely together most of the time. Nora is very protective of Simon and Simon is usually pretty go-with-the-flow and lets Nora dictate most of their play time together.

Last week, we went to the mall for free carousel rides, and we also let the kids play in the play area for a few minutes. There was a boy who seemed to be bugging Simon and kept getting really close to him. Nora noticed it, walked over to Simon, picked him up, and walked right around this other boy to bring Simon back to us. Dave and I sat there watching the whole thing unfold and had a hard time containing our laughter when Nora brought Simon over!

So sweet 🙂

Oh, and my mom got the boys matching camo shorts — Simon LOOOOOOVES them!

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I was hoping I would have lots of projects to share with you, but I think I filled all my “extra time” with yard work and the fun activities listed at the beginning of this post.

The only “project” I tackled was a cute potting bench I found on Craigslists (see below). I used some extra barnwood from our basement to tweak it a bit and make it fit the look of our space.

I like how it turned out and I think it will be a good addition to our deck. I’m not planning to use it for potting, but as more of a buffet area if we’re eating out on the deck. It even has a recessed area on the left side that we could use for ice to keep drinks cold!

Even though we were home a lot and didn’t do anything too over-the-top exciting, I honestly felt like I’ve had a really great change of pace from my normal school-year routine.

I haven’t had much down time at all (and Dave and I have been staying up WAY too late) but I have the rest of the summer to relax a bit more and (hopefully) catch up on some of the projects on my list!

Also, my list of “to watch on Netflix” is growing weekly, but I haven’t made time to watch anything for the past several weeks. I think I need to start putting “watch _____ show” on my to-do list so I actually watch a few of the shows before they are gone!

I did check out this book from the library — I’m not a big reader, but I’m hoping to make a little time to skim through it this coming week.

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Our Weekly Meal Plan:

SUNDAY

  • Leftovers for lunch
  • Pizza for dinner

MONDAY

TUESDAY

  • Stromboli
  • Salad with lettuce from our garden!
  • Ice cream Snicker bars

WEDNESDAY

  • Chicken on the grill
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Corn
  • Asparagus
  • Fruit
  • Ice cream dessert from my grandma (she was over for dinner)

THURSDAY

FRIDAY & SATURDAY

  • with Dave’s family at his parent’s house

Dave and I will celebrate our 10 year anniversary later this week!

We don’t have any big plans (actually we have no plans) but I’m excited for this milestone. I know 10 years isn’t a huge number, but since I was pretty young when we got married, I’ve essentially been married to him for a 1/3 of my life — so it seems like a long time for me.

I hope we’ll have many more anniversaries to celebrate in the future — and maybe when our kids are a bit older, we’ll celebrate with a fun kid-free vacation!

For now, we’ll just hang out around the kiddie pool and enjoy our kid-free evening after they are all in bed!

family june

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36 comments

  1. Liz

    10/29/2016

    LOVEtge log cabin playhouse. Where did you find a new one?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    It’s not new — it’s actually very old and has some holes in areas 🙂 BUT, it was only $10 from our local thrift store this past spring — so totally worth it!!

    [Reply]

  2. Abby

    06/30/2016

    We started speech therapy for our middle son, who will be 3 in July for the same reasons. He was very frustrated with not being able to communicate and not being understood. Therapy has been helping him talk more and has been training us with how to help him and model the language we want him to say. He also has his own catchphrase. He yells “Daddy Orange!” over and over again and it is funny to hear, but like Simon I think those are the two words he can say the best and be well understood. I can’t wait to continue to unlock his speech and find out more about what he thinks!

    [Reply]

  3. Char

    06/30/2016

    Our youngest son, Hudson, wasn’t talking when he should’ve so our doctor did a watch and wait approach. He thought that maybe his 6 older siblings were “talking” for him. By age 2 we weren’t making any progress and he was becoming increasingly frustrated, making up his own “sign language” to communicate. The doctor got him into a Speech Therapist and we started with a “delayed” speech approach. After quite some time with no noticeable progress, the Speech Therapist mentioned that she thought Hudson was dealing with Childhood Apraxia. It can affect anywhere in the body; the brain doesn’t connect with the rest of the body in what to do. Hud’s was mainly with speech. We hadn’t put “all the dots” together until she started questioning some things. Hudson never did nurse, he never babbled at all as a baby, etc. Once she started intense therapy directed at teaching the brain to communicate, Hud started making progress. It was a slow and sometimes painful process, lots of frustration and sometimes tears. She told me to think of the hardest thing I’d ever attempted and know that’s what Hudson was dealing with. She also put him into occupational therapy and things started coming together even more for him with that. He deals with Sensory Processing Disorder too, but the ST/OT together really helps. He was at the point that they thought he might never talk and would have to use a computer to communicate.

    Well, that was 2 1/2 years ago. He’s still in therapy, but is doing 100% better! Most people would never guess he couldn’t talk when younger. He deals with on and off stuttering and has trouble “thinking” of words sometimes, but he’s communicating as a other children his age! These are things that will never go totally away and will be worse when tired/stressed, but are quite minimal when thinking of where he’s come from. The first time I heard “I love you Mom” is something I will never forget! When Hudson went into a pediatric specialist in Jan., the specialist was so impressed with how far he’s come and said to keep up with whatever we’re doing! It’s taken lots of time going to therapy, working on things at home, and hours researching/reading to figure things out, but has been so worth it to see the light in his eyes since he can finally communicate like others. We do anything/everything we can for our children, right?! 🙂 All this to say, we’ve been there and will be praying the ST is able to figure things out quickly for you.

    Absolutely love your blog and love seeing your family grow up! You guys are doing a great job! Happy 10th Anniversary!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks for the encouragement Char!
    I have heard of Childhood APraxia, but Simon hasn’t been diagnosed with anything yet. He’s making continual (slow) progress so right now, we just keep moving forward and doing the next thing. If we don’t see more significant changes by the time he’s 3, then we’ll move to more intense therapy and possibly other therapy options.

    [Reply]

    Char Reply:

    Hudson was not diagnosed until this year. The therapist just worked towards what she thought was his issues. We were glad they did not diagnose it too soon.Progress, even if slow is great encoragement and the ultimate goal. Only when she was pretty sure what we were dealing with did we do more intense therapy and they always tried to make it as fun and interesting as possible. I hope I did not come across as saying that is what I think Simon has, just wanted to share how ST changed our lives and to be an encouragement. We will be cheering Simon on!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    No, I knew you weren’t implying that Simon potentially had Childhood Apraxia — don’t worry!
    Sometimes I wish they would just diagnose him with something so we could then “fix the problem”. Right now, we don’t even know what the “problem” is — or even IF there is a problem. He is making progress, so for all we know, he’s just slightly delayed so we don’t have an awesome game plan for what to do and just keep trying different things.

    If we actually knew exactly what was causing his delayed speech, we could work more diligently on correcting it — but that’s not the case right now (and yes, I am Type A!)

    [Reply]

  4. JoDi

    06/28/2016

    Nora and Simon are so adorable together. What a sweet older sister looking out for her brother!

    Looks like James is going to be the daredevil of the family! He’ll be climbing trees before you know it. 😉

    Happy 10th Anniversary! Wishing you many more decades to come!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks JoDi! And I agree with your comments about James — he has no fear so far!

    [Reply]

  5. Mary

    06/27/2016

    Really like the weekly posts….brings back memories of when my girls were little!

    [Reply]

  6. Annette

    06/27/2016

    Oh Andrea, I so enjoy your posts! I wish you had been around when I was a young mommy of my 3 kids (all grown up now). Your choices, priorities,ambition,and plans would have helped me so much. I know you are reaching a lot of women at different stages in life and I just want to tell you that you are much appreciated! I have shared your blog with my daughter, who has two littles, and have encouraged her to read regularly. James i such a cutie! I loved the photo of him climbing the stove–it reminds me of my 15 month old grandson. I’m hoping SImon gets his ‘words’ soon!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Wow — thanks so much Annette!!!

    [Reply]

  7. Nina

    06/27/2016

    Sounds like you’re all enjoying the summer!

    Congratulations on your anniversary, 10 certainly is a big deal. 🙂 No matter how much you love someone and get along there is always compromise and work involved.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha yes! And I still actually REALLY “like” him too!

    [Reply]

    Debby Reply:

    Haha. I have been married 27 yrs and I also always say and I still like him. 🙂

    [Reply]

  8. Kelly

    06/27/2016

    Sounds like fun! I am surprised party-planner Nora doesn’t have anything in mind for James’ birthday… she must be burnt out. 😉

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    oh she does — I’m just not sure I’m willing to implement it!
    She wants to do either a rainbow party (with a 7-layer rainbow cake) or a very hungry caterpillar party! The issue is that most of our family members are on vacation for July so there isn’t really a time when even half of them can all get together (and I’m not going to have multiple parties!) We’ll see, maybe we’ll just have a party with our immediate family members and Nora and I can make James a cake 🙂

    [Reply]

  9. Debbie

    06/27/2016

    Sounds like a busy week with fun things! Poor Simon! Here’s to sending positive thoughts that his speech therapy will help lessen his frustration with communicating. I’m so impressed at how Nora handled the situation in the mall play area. You and Dave should be proud that you raised a gentle little person that knows how to solve such a situation without resorting to bullying the other child or saying bad things to protect her little brother. So fun to read your peek into our week posts.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Debbie! The speech therapy went really well this morning — and yes, Nora is a special little lady!

    [Reply]

    Debby Reply:

    Good luck to happy boy Simon. My daughter is studying to be an early childhood educator and is taking sign language because they are finding that this helps kids that are non verbal or limited verbal skills from becoming frustrated. Good luck with his therapy. I have a feeling he will start speaking and never be quiet again. And then you and Dave will be saying “Remember when he couldn’t express himself” LOL

    [Reply]

  10. Kristen @ Joyfully Thriving

    06/27/2016

    Happy 10th anniversary! Marriage is always worth celebrating! We were a bit older when we got married so are celebrating our 7th anniversary this year. It’s amazing how quickly time passes! Take this summer…like you, I feel like I haven’t checked off many of our projects yet, but we’ve been keeping plenty busy. Maybe this week we can get to some of them?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Kristen! The reason you haven’t done any projects yet is because you’re off traveling the world with 2 tiny babies! So adventurous of you!
    Here’s to crossing a few things off our lists!

    [Reply]

  11. Amy

    06/27/2016

    Great post! My family and I enjoy life in similar ways……the little things! To me, that’s what life is all about. Trips to the bowling alley, Culver’s (our FAVORITE!!!!!!), Target runs, karate classes, movie night, playing cars………NOT waiting all year for one big vacation. It’s taken me and my family some time to adopt this attitude about “everyday life”, but we are much happier seeing it this way!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    YES!! I hate looking forward to that one big vacation all summer, and then it’s a huge let-down once the trip is over.
    And yay for Culver’s! We actually just went there this afternoon for a custard treat to use up a bunch of freebie custard coupons we had! The kids thought it was fantastic!

    [Reply]

    Chris Reply:

    We are planning a vacation and will be where there is a Culver’s. We don’t have one. I saw they have an email sign up where you can get a buy one get one free basket meal. 🙂

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Yes, you can sign up for their emails and get a BOGO coupon (do it for each family member if you want!). You can always unsubscribe later if you don’t want to get the emails anymore — but that’s a great coupon!

    [Reply]

  12. Mara

    06/27/2016

    Awesome way to spend your summer time!! Congrats on your big milestones for your anniversary, as well 🙂 Thanks for sharing!! I am a new reader here, and I have had one of your posts open on my phone at all times for the past two weeks. So many good posts to read, I am happy to have found your blog!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Welcome Mara! And thanks so much for your kind words! Happy reading 🙂

    [Reply]

  13. Christine @ The (mostly) Simple Life

    06/27/2016

    It sounds like you’ve had lots of summer fun already! We’ve already done quite a few fun things and I keep remembering that it’s not even the 4th of July yet.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Yeah for you!! And let’s just not mention July yet! It’s still June for a couple more days 🙂

    [Reply]

  14. Katie

    06/27/2016

    Question: How do you keep all of your outside areas so clean?! Do you just hose it off? Your deck and porch always look so clean! It seems ours get so dusty and dirty so fast.
    I really enjoy the peek into our week posts!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    We have a very “sheddy” spring and everything looks really crappy! But after our trees stop shedding helicopters, cotton, and other junk, we power wash and/or blow off our deck and porches and then they stay relatively clean for the rest of the summer. We either blow (using a gas blower) or sweep to get some the small things off.
    And I just deal with the dust — for some reason, dust doesn’t bother me!

    [Reply]

    Katie Reply:

    That’s pretty much what we do except that we have to blow off the porch and patio once per week (after mowing). The dust must just not show in your pictures! 🙂

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Also, I swept the deck right before I brought that potting bench up there — so it probably IS really clean in my picture!

    [Reply]

  15. Jen T

    06/27/2016

    The picture of James climbing the oven cracks me up. While Ryan never really was a climber, he did love to open the dishwasher and sit on the door, lol!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I know, I caught James in the dishwasher the other day — but I’ve heard stories of kids breaking off the doors so I hope that doesn’t happen again!

    [Reply]