Tuesday, October 07, 2014

September and October Highlights

We welcomed this sweet baby to the family
sweet baby Caden
Is there anything better than holding a sweet little newborn?
Don't eat him Cece!
This little lady chopped her hair and we love it!
 I joined her class on a field trip around Minneapolis
 I enjoyed the time with Tess and snapped a photo of her and her best friend "Tessa"
 These 2 are still buddies.
 and this little lady went to her first of many Gopher games.  The other girls didn't go so Steve and I were having fun with one!
 and Auntie spoiled her.
 While we were in Steve's hometown I snapped a few photos while in a very beautiful cemetery there.
Maybe not the most appropriate place for a photo shoot but it lightened the mood and
 they really did look so cute together.
 I think they are related.
 Next we celebrated Grandma V's 90th Birthday.

 there were a lot of kids for the girls to celebrate with.
and you didn't think I was done talking about my birthday did you?  
One last surprise lunch celebration for me, thanks friends!   I really am spoiled.  
I had a sad weekend at work, sad reminders of how quickly life can change.  Sometimes sad things happen to good people.  For these people I pray.

Have a nice day.
Love, Gina

Thursday, October 02, 2014

9 Month Stats

Drum roll please….
Weighing in at 17 pounds, 8 ounces.  In the 37th percentile for weight.
27.3 inches long, 34th percentile for height.
Head circumference 17.3 inches.  51st percentile.
Not too shabby.  Oh and she had an ear infection, yes of course I knew that.  Oops.  Well apparently she wasn't fussy because we didn't bring her in!  I mean how would I know, she is only our 4th child.  Oh well, she is now being medicated and all is well.

Have a great weekend.
Love, Gina

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Feeling the love

Are you sick of hearing about my birthday yet?  I promise I will stop writing about it soon.  I just don't ever want to forget all of the details so I have no choice but to bore you with the details.  I do love birthdays and this one was no different.  Everyone made me feel so special.

This guy worked really hard to make everything special for me.
 along with these sweet girls.
 Steve knew I wanted no part in a surprise party and he kept my wishes and made me feel very special along with my family and friends.  My sister started me out with our normal Saturday morning coffee date but had flowers and gifts waiting at Patisserie 46 on "our table."  It was very sweet.  Then I went home and the girls told me to shower…sometimes an optional activity as a Mom.  Then they all got dressed up and brought me out to the van and asked me to go in the back seat because Steve was going to be my chauffeur.  Then they provided me with a beverage and snack.  Then they pulled out my "Mom Books" that they had written in for my birthday for me to read on the drive.  They took me on a scenic route around the lakes and then dropped me off at a spa.  They had made me an appointment for a massage and pedicure.  It was wonderful and I loved it!  Then they picked me up and took me to Chipotle for lunch.  Again, no cooking, my favorite.  Then the 6 of us went to see a few houses on the Remodelers Showcase.  This is also one of my favorite things to do.  The girls were good and we all enjoyed it.  Then Steve arranged for a sitter for the evening and we met friends for a wonderful dinner.  
The next day was more family activities.  We went on a 11 mile bike ride and stopped at a wonderful park for a picnic and playing.  The weather was perfect and it was one of my favorite days as a parent so far.  Everyone was happy and it was simple fun.  It felt like a gift.

 Then my local family came for dinner and we celebrated again!  Before I put Gabby to bed she told me she couldn't wait for my birthday in the morning and I said, "Yes, then I will be a big girl."  She responded, "Then I won't be able to touch your shoulders anymore!"  Cute.
 Then on my actual birthday my friend brought me a mocha to drink while I did the normal morning Mom rush to get children out the door.  They were all so excited for my birthday, it was so sweet.

 Then I got to talk to my Mom on the phone before heading out to Rustica for this treat with my girlfriend.  Just as it looks, it was delicious and relaxing.
 then Miss Cece went for a visit to Greg's and Beth and I went out for a nice lunch at Bluestem Bar.   Again, delicious.
After a leisurely afternoon I went home to be a Mom again.  Greg brought a great after school treat for the kids so everyone was happy.  The girls did fight after school and that really irritated me on my "special day."  But I got over it as this is their normal routine after getting off the bus.  I became happy again when Steve arrived home with sushi and french silk pie for dinner.  So as you can see, my "birthday week" was wonderful and I still have some more celebrating to do yet!  I was treated to bagels this morning, coffee tomorrow.  I do have a life of leisure..ha.  But seriously, I am so thankful to everyone for making my 30th so special!  All of the phone calls, cards, messages, texts and emails have made me so happy.  I promise I will stop talking about my birthday now I am a little old for this behavior,  I sound attention starved don't I?  Sorry.  

Have a great night.
Love, Gina

P.S. As I review this post…it seems a little "food focused" doesn't it?  I will admit it, I am not that great of a cook and going out for food it a special treat that I don't do very often (until this week.)

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

this is 40

I rarely take a selfie but for my 40th I will.
40 things that I am proud of (from my first 40 years) that you may or may not know about me, that I am thankful for:
  1. I don't really feel 40 but then again what does 40 feel like?
  2. Cece being put in our lives was the icing on the cake of the end of my 30's.  
  3. I am proud to be a Christian.
  4. Our girls....the girls are my insurance that I will be leaving this earth someday better than I found it.  
  5. My husband/our marriage.  I almost married the wrong person but then I turned around and married the perfect person for me.
  6. The 2 marathons I ran in my life...there maybe one more in my future...someday.
  7. Being a nurse, it has always felt like my calling.
  8. My relationship with my sister, we have become so much closer as we got older.  
  9. My relationship with my brother, he always can make me laugh when I am with him. 
  10. My relationship with my parents, they never hold it against me that our conversations are always interrupted!
  11. My degree, college stressed me out but I stuck with it. 
  12. Kissing our girls a million times a day.
  13. Friends, I have so many people that show me so much love every day.
  14. I love coffee and enjoy coffee dates.
  15. My sister weekend mornings at P46
  16. I make sure we have a family photo by a talented photographer every year.
  17. I hold each girl at least once a day, even my 10 year old.  Usually a million times a day.
  18. I get up very early for exercise and time for me.
  19. I love having 4 children and feel very proud of it.  
  20. I realize all of the blessings that I have been given.
  21. Growing up on a farm, I loved it and even though my children have a great life, you can't beat the farm. (Thanks Mom & Dad.)
  22. My relationship with the girls, each one is different.
  23. My relationship with my husband, we work at it.
  24. Our neighborhood, I love it!
  25. Living in Boston for almost 10 years.
  26. Visiting my girlfriend in Ireland and never losing touch.
  27. Visiting Europe with my parents, Steve, Syd & Tess
  28. Learning to play the piano (thanks Mom & Dad)
  29. Singing to my husband at our wedding.
  30. Surviving the trials (and joys) of newborn bootcamp 4 times!
  31. All of our house and condo projects.
  32. Baking with the girls.
  33. Taking millions of photos.
  34. Keeping up on the blog for 8 years.  
  35. Remembering to thank my maker.
  36. I love, love, loved being pregnant and am thankful for those opportunities. 
  37. I rarely watch TV.
  38. Leaving Facebook, it was the right decision for me.
  39. Being real for our children.
  40. Loving life.
40 things I hope to do more of  (or less of) in my next 40 years:
  1. Run another marathon.
  2. Always be able to race my children and play on the park equipment.
  3. Take more baths.
  4. Stop cursing.  
  5. Worry less about what other people are doing.
  6. Worry less about what other parents are doing.
  7. Write a book.
  8. Complain less about the stress of being a working Mom.
  9. Write more handwritten notes/letters
  10. Pray
  11. Be confident.
  12. Worry less about what my house looks like. 
  13. Get more sleep.
  14. Eat more fruit.
  15. Eat more vegetables.
  16. Take guilt free time for me.
  17. Go on more dates.
  18. Continue to color my hair (I don't want people to think I am Cece's grandma!;)
  19. Learn how to help my children when they are stressed and not get stressed myself!
  20. Love myself for who I am.
  21. Worry less.
  22. Keep baking with the girls.
  23. Start Christmas shopping early so it doesn't need to be stressful.
  24. Stop getting behind on emails during the school year.
  25. Get the girls' blog books all printed out. 
  26. Graduate to a queen size bed.
  27. Move Cece out of our room.
  28. Stop sending out belated birthday cards and mail them on time.
  29. Reach out to people that seem "unreachable."
  30. Volunteer more.
  31. Educate on ovarian cancer.
  32. Suck it up and get Tess a dog.
  33. Use my time wisely.
  34. Don't watch the swimmers in the other lane, I will never win.
  35. Stop whining.
  36. Simplify.
  37. Set a good example for our girls. 
  38. Watch more movies with my husband, he loves them.
  39. Write in my gratitude journal.
  40. Treat everyone the way that I would want to be treated.  
There you have it, some of the things I am very proud of and some of the things I need to work at.  Now I am going to celebrate my first 40 years and hope for another 40.  Life has been very, very good to me and so have all of you.  I am so thankful.

Have a great day.
Love, Gina

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Cece B is 9 Months Old!

Little Miss Cece B is 9 months old!  
She is so much fun right now.  
 She loves making faces and smiling at all of us.
 She has one new tooth.
 And her favorite thing is "Patty Cake."
 She loves all of the attention we shower her with
 and is officially on the move now.
 and I still want to bite these.
We love our little 9 month old so much.

Friday, September 26, 2014

The Randomness Continues

I haven't had a minute to post anything lately so I am back to a posting of randomness in no random order:
A favorite photo from a few years ago during harvest time.  (Watching Uncle Joe.)
  • I am so excited for the weekend and I don't even know what we are really doing, maybe that is why I am excited.  It is the beginning of a special week for me;)
  • The weather around here is just beautiful, I could handle this year round.
  • I have had some very special patients lately that have made my work very worthwhile.  
  • I cried in front of our sitter last week, mostly because I was just spent after work. (And hungry.  Not sure when I will become a "big girl.")
  • I had a talk with Tess about her need to start wearing deodorant, after our talk I kept catching her sniffing her pits and smiling to herself.  (Remember when you were little and felt so excited to be growing up?)
  • Later she came home from school and tattled on Gabby and said, "Gabby used my B.O. without permission."  (She meant her deodorant.)
  • While doing school shopping Gabby really wanted me to buy her a bra.  (I almost told her to hang on a little bit and as soon as my chest returns to its "post 4th baby chest" we can actually just share bras!)
  • Cece is crawling all over.  
  • Syd seems to really enjoy helping Gabby get ready for school.
  • Tess enjoys holding Cece every minute. 
  • Cece is still in our room.
  • Sydney is putting the pressure on about a phone...we aren't cracking.  
  • I went on a fun field trip with Tess.
  • Cece volunteers at school with me on my back and it is hilarious to hear what the little kids have to say to me about her, such as: "You have a baby on your back."  Wow, I do?  "Your baby is really cute."  I think so too.  "Is your baby alive because she looks dead."  Whoa.  
  • We hosted another successful kids movie night at our house with the movie playing outside on a projector.  The kids loved it.  
  • Cece went to her first Gopher game at TCF stadium last weekend.  
  • I am ambivalent about extra activities getting into full swing.  I know the girls enjoy them but I  love unstructured, relaxing days.  Does this make me a bad Mom?
  • I am really looking forward to a family weekend.
Have a great weekend. 
Love,  Gina

Monday, September 08, 2014

Living for the weekends.

This past weekend we remembered my Auntie Joyce and my friend Kelly's Mom at the Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Walk.  Two wonderful women that were taken too soon by this awful disease.  
 The first song they played that day was one of Joyce's favorite songs and I am sure it was no coincidence.  We had a great time and the kids were great troopers as usual.
 Steve was out of town so it was really nice to have my Mom in town.  Mom, Beth and I went for pedicures and out of an adult dinner at Broders Pasta Bar on Friday night.  The food was wonderful.  It has been so long since the three of us just hung out without children.  It was really a nice time and so wonderful to catch up and laugh together.

 On Saturday night my Aunt Vicki and Uncle Mark took Tess with them to the Twins game.  Tess had a great time and was giddy about it when she got home.
Lastly, Cece hit a big milestone this morning that every baby hits…she pooped in the tub.  Nice.  This is the "first" that I can live without.  
Mornings can be a little busy around here, especially Monday and cleaning that up was not on my list.  Then we got to school and I took a glance at Tess and said, "Did you comb or brush your hair this morning?"  She responded, "Oops, I forgot."  Just a day in the life.  Have a great week.

Love, Gina

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Thursday night randomness

  • Steve is having a "guys weekend" this weekend and I don't even feel crabby about it.  It isn't very often he gets to hang out with his brother or college friends. 
  • I am excited my Mom is coming to town for the Moca walk, probably why I am not crabby that Steve is leaving. 
  • I found Tess counting her money the other night and asked her what she was saving up for and she quickly responded, "A dog."  Persistent.
  • Gabby is enjoying Kindergarten so far.  They have a rest period every day and if they are good and quiet they get a sticker.  She is on day #7 and she has 2 stickers…..hmmm.  We didn't name her Gabby because she is quiet.  She claims that people are bothering her, I know it isn't her fault;)
  • I cleaned my house today because Paul and my Mom are coming to town (I like to pretend we live like civil people.)  Cece screamed a majority of the time while I tried to accomplish this.  She had a look on her face that said, "Mommy, why are you trying to do this now, you haven't cleaned all summer, remember your priorities, you know you hold me all of the time."  
  • Sydney really seems to like school this year so far.  
  • We ran to the bus yesterday because we almost missed it. (2nd week of school.)  I am pretty sure all of the parents watching thought, "Wow, she really needed a 4th baby," as I ran with Cece in tow.  People we were only late because we were finishing up practicing our instruments, doing our foreign language homework and calculus…..aka watching cartoons too long and digging through unfolded laundry for clothes. 
  • I am enjoying the first 2 weeks of minimal homework and after school activities.  
  • I love the weekend off.
  • Have a great weekend!!!!
Love, Gina

Great parenting moments

You know what I like best about summer?  It is easy to be an awesome/fun parent in the summer.  For example:
Child: "Mom can we stay outside and play a little later tonight."  
Me: "Yes."
Child: "Mom can we have friends over?"
Me: "Yes."
Child: "Mom can we go to the fair and eat a lot of junk food and ride rides?"
Me: "Yes."  
Child: "Can we go swimming for the 6th time this week?"
Me: "Yes."  
So you get the idea, I spend a majority of the time saying, "Yes."  How fun is that?  Minimal nagging and a lot of yeses.  Easy parenting, yes, I love it.  So now I will wrap it up with the rest of our random photos of our summer of being fun parents.  In random order.

We saw these dear people at church one Sunday….I babysat these girls…wow.  
Then we headed to the State Fair
Always a favorite place for our family, it was hot but the kids loved it because we said, "Yes."  A lot.
Then we ran into these special people and caught a little bit of the fair with them.  
Then we watched a dog show, the girls were in heaven.

Mandatory awkward family photo!
I love that the big girls will do things that Gabby enjoys even though they may be over it.  (Do you think they will do this for Cece when they are teenagers?)
This little lady was an awesome sport.

She came along for the ride.
And of course there were treats galore.

and some people napped.
and road some rides.

As usual we had a great time and look forward to next year.
We took this little lady our for her very own lunch before she started school,
she chose her favorite, "Noodles & Company."
These lovely people invited us for a final swimming celebration before school started.  

We all had a great time.  

I even got to relax in the pool and

this little lady was well taken care of.  

Daddy took the ladies on the traditional sneaker shopping expedition.  A great success and I liked all of their choices.  The sweet b's love the sweets and checked out a fun donut shop.  

Then we hit our annual movie at TCF with family and neighbor friends.

This wraps up my random photos from the summer 2014.  Didn't we have fun?  Are you sick of me talking about it?  I can't help it, it was a summer of a lot of fun.  Mostly because the girls are fun ages and of course because Steve and I could say, "Yes."   A lot.  Now if you will excuse me, I better get ready to work on homework…so fun.

Love, Gina