Monday, September 7, 2015

Week in Review, Labor Day Edition

Major Takeaways From This Weekend:

1) Rest is good, but somewhat overrated
2) Carter is an above average potty trainer
3) Yard work + allergies = a crappy day after
4) Cookies are awesome
5) I really should have done more late nights in the pool

School starts tomorrow.  Luckily all of the school supplies went to school last Tuesday when we met his teacher.  I didn't even blog about that, as it was a pretty low-key meeting.  It was such a big deal a couple years ago, but this year it felt a little "been there, done that".  I sensed the night before that Jacob was feeling a lot of stress about school because he was complaining of a headache every time school came up.  I hoped that seeing his classmates and meeting his teacher might help, and I think it did.  He's in the same class as two of his biggest troublemaker buddies last year, unfortunately.  But he's got some other new names so I'm hopeful that maybe he'll have a chance to make some better friends.  His teacher seems nice.  Not quite as bubbly and fun as last year's, but she's relatively young and friendly, so I hope he'll be a good fit in her room.  We dropped off supplies, did the usual in-room scavenger hunt, mentioned his Celiac disease to the teacher, and were in and out in less than 20 minutes. 

Here are a couple pictures of the pretty flowers the boys got me for my birthday...

My birthday was pretty simple since it was a work day.  My boss got me some chocolate and a cute mug, and we all went out to dinner at Red Robin.  We finished off the day with a quick trip to Five Below to buy Jacob's headphones for school (and I got a couple Christmas gifts for Carter in the process--score!!).  I had a slice of the gluten-free cake from the little celebration with Craig's family, and that was about it!

I haven't felt particularly inspired to take pictures lately, but I did snap this cute shot of Carter this week...

One night this week we had some time to play outside before it got dark.  Carter decided to take the wagon for a walk.  He insisted on pulling it!

He pulled it around the block about halfway!  According to Google, he pulled it about half a mile!  After that he wanted to ride, which was fine since it was getting dark and it was probably another half mile home.  He was so cute, though!

Even though my parents were hosting my family's Labor Day picnic, we opted to stay home this weekend and relax.  We were on the road last weekend, we'll be on the road next weekend, and then Craig will be gone for two straight weekends (and the entire week in between) to work the World Indoor Lacrosse Championship.  So it seemed we should just have some family time at home.  It was supposed to be a hot weekend, so hopefully we'd get in a little more pool time and find something fun to do.  Well...I can't say it was the best weekend.  It was fine, I guess, but not what I'd hoped. 

I managed to fit in a little running around Friday afternoon when we got released from work early.  We had a pretty quiet night as usual.  I really wanted to do something fun Saturday, and gave the boys a bunch of suggestions--like going to the balloon festival an hour south of here, or going to the canal on the other side of town and getting a treat, or going hiking in a park nearby.  No one wanted to do anything.  I baked some flourless chocolate cookies that I'd been wanting to make for months, and we are now all officially addicted to them.  They have a ton of powdered sugar, four egg whites, some cocoa, and chocolate chips.  They're amazing.  We opted for a quick dinner out and a run to BJs.  After a very successful day of potty training for Carter, almost by accident, we needed to buy some pull-ups, and there were a few other things we needed to stock up on.  I was disappointed about the day, but the boys had been pretty good and we celebrated by bringing out the DVD of Despicable Me 2 that I'd gotten a great deal on and squirreled away for a rainy day.

Sunday we got up for church and had something to look forward to--Carter's first day of Sunday School.  Our church started a class for two year olds that does not need them to be potty trained.  I wasn't sure how he'd be when we dropped him off, but I figured he would really enjoy it in the long run.  He screamed for a few minutes when we tried dropping him off, but the teachers were great and just tried to work with him.  They gave us a pager, but they never had to use it.  When we came back, he was happily stamping away, and he's still talking about it!  Meanwhile, Craig and I got to sit together, in church, next to each other, and actually listen, for the first time in years!  For most of the past seven years we've sat in the family room with a kid constantly interrupting or running around the room.  Even when Jacob was finally potty trained and we had a year or so where he was in Sunday School, so many of those weeks Craig was on the road or had worked late the night before so I was there alone.  It was such a rarity.  I'm still a little torn about taking him out of the church atmosphere (even the family room version we sit in) this early, for fear he won't be able to behave as well when we visit my parents and do sit in church, but I think in the long run he will learn so much more in Sunday School.  We won't be able to go this week (which is a bummer for Jacob, too, since it's the first week with his new class), but in a couple weeks we'll see if he remembers!

I did some work in the yard Sunday afternoon to "earn" my time in the pool.  It was about 90 out, and by the time I pulled some weeds, killed some others, and tried to hack away at the overgrown blackberry vines in the back yard, I was dripping in sweat.  I also looked like I'd been in a cat fight from the thorns on the vines.  The pool cooled me down pretty well, thankfully.  I made crockpot pork chops for dinner, and we had another quiet night.  I did try to take some pictures of the boys playing baseball, but it was so hot and humid outside (and so cool in the house) that the second I turned the camera on, the lens fogged up and stayed that way.  Oh, and I did finally try to remove the stains on the ceiling of our porch from when the ice jams caused dirty water to leak through the vinyl panels.  I had to try to bleach them.  I didn't get them completely removed, but they're better.

As much as I wished we could do something interesting today, I knew it wasn't really meant to be.  Between sleeping in, Carter's nap, and needing to keep a decent bedtime, I knew it wasn't really happening.  I did try to catch a cute shot of Carter watching a movie in his little pop-up tent this morning, but he was on to me and the best I could get was this squinty shot through the open roof...

I'll admit I was rather bummed out about our unexciting weekend and pretty much spent the day stuck in a funk.  I was feeling crappy from my allergies reacting to yesterday's yard work (I could see the pollen every time I pulled out a set of vines), and I didn't even get out of my pajamas until about 4pm.  Craig and Jacob spent a few hours in the pool, and I tried to nap.  I finally gave up, watched a little TV, and then showered and got dressed in case we somehow did anything productive.  We ordered in for dinner (only because it was a good deal and I knew we'd have leftovers for another meal this week), and planned to go on a quick school shopping trip (with yet another good set of Kohl's coupons).  However, Jacob let Carter out the back door just before we were going to leave (Craig was in the yard and Jacob desperately wanted Carter out of the basement), and Carter tripped on the steps and scraped up his nose a bit.  So, it became just Jacob and me going shopping, which he was not happy about at all.  He really wanted Craig to go.  But he had to deal.  And although I was ready to strangle him (again) because he was fixated on an expensive Adidas hoodie that he didn't need, I finally found a pair of Adidas pants that we could agree on, and he voluntarily picked a really nice collared golf shirt made out of the breathable sports fabric.  It was a really nice shirt, and I was super impressed by his choice.  We got both for less than $20 total--not as good as two pairs of shorts for $1.90 like last time--but it was worth it to get two items he really liked and hopefully gain a little trust. 
It was so warm and lovely outside that I made it a point to finally go out to the pool tonight after bedtime.  The water was warm and I just sat in a chair raft staring up at the stars and praying for a good school year for Jacob.  I almost hated to come in because it felt like I was officially letting summer end.  Sigh.  Back to routine tomorrow, which is good in some ways and hard in others.  I still have to prepare Jacob's chalkboard for tomorrow's first day pictures, but we're mostly ready to go.  Carter will be going back to daycare with some pull-ups (if I can remember to bring them).  He did really well this weekend--not perfect, but very good.  He told us he had to go a lot, and we asked quite a bit, and one time he told me he was pooping and we managed to get him up and on the potty before he actually went.  His main slip-ups were when we went out for dinner, his naps, and when he got a little too busy playing.  But he did really, really well for a 2-1/2 year old boy who's only been sitting on the potty regularly for a couple weeks.  I sort of thought he might be the type to just "get it", and I think I'm right, but I think his bladder might still need a little more time. Definitely at night, but he's probably 85% there during the day.  We'll see, but I'm encouraged.

So, yeah, I appreciated the downtime this weekend and the opportunities to sleep in and not have to pack and travel, but I really could have used a couple high points to spice up the weekend and send off summer in style.  Next weekend should be better, and on the bright side, it's only a four-day week!  Fingers crossed that tomorrow goes could be the difference between a great year and a long one!

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