Sunday, June 21, 2009

Eight "Don'ts"

1) Don't do the :08 minute abs DVD 2 days before a race.
2) Don't leave strollers/extra booster seats in the garage. If you do, make sure you move them before anyone uses a saw...the sawdust is very messy.
3) Don't tell anyone you're going to clean your fridge and your "scary closet" and then not do it. You feel lame later.
4) Don't buy chips and dip if you're trying to lose weight.
5) Don't buy hot fudge either.
6) Don't leave 5 giant beach towels hanging outside if rain is in the forecast.
7) Don't go to bed at night without listening to the weather forecast.
8) Don't make Ambrosia Salad (especially a double batch) with coconut if your children don't like coconut.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

June is Jumpin'!

1) Frank turns 36:
Frank opted for Chinese take-out as his birthday meal. NCH and KBH helped Dad blow out the candles.

2) Pool time for the kiddos:
NCH and CAH are all over the entire pool - jumps, cannon balls, holding breath contests, you name it. KBH insisted on wearing her vest at first, but she is now comfortable jumping in (vest-free) to Mom or Dad, and swimming (face in) to the stairs. All three older kids start swim lessons in just a week and a half...they'll take lessons every day for 6 weeks. I've been thrilled with the lessons in the past. The older two have become strong swimmers, mainly due to the daily lessons, building confidence with lots of practice and fun. So far, (thankfully!), NJH is content to play in the yard, outside our pool fence, watching the big kids swim. There won't be a fence at swim lessons, so we'll see how that goes!

3) NCH starts swim team practice:
This is new for our family, but so far, it's been a lot of fun. NCH practices every day and will have six swim meets this summer. The coaches make it fun for the kids, and I already have my younger three on the waiting list to join one day! They've participated in stretching time and it's been so cute to watch NJH do "arms" as he sits in his stroller. I'm finding many large families are participating in the swim team (some with 4, 5 and 6 children.) It's nice to go somewhere and have others smile understandingly, rather than stare and ask, "Are they ALL yours?" or state, "Wow - YOU've got your hands full!!"

4) More Saturday soccer:
NCH is on a very good team this year and he's really enjoying the "winning feeling." He has shown a lot of improvement, especially on defense. For the first time, he looks forward to games and wants to play again next year! CAH has happily gotten herself ready for soccer games, but doesn't participate much during games. When I asked her why she doesn't kick the ball, she replied, "Every time I run to get to it, but when I get there, the ball is already gone!"

5) CAH graduates from preschool:
If you read my "tough cookie" entry awhile back, you'll know the deep attachment here, to this little miracle girl! At the beginning of June, she had an Alphabet Celebration (top picture, below.)For preschool graduation, she wore a light pink dress with a bow in her hair (of course!) She sat up front like such a lady. When it was her turn to sing, she sang her little heart out. She blushed a little bit when her teacher called her up for her "diploma" and to give her the "loves to learn" award. I was SO proud of her! We celebrated that evening at the "99" with my parents.

6) Flag Day celebrations:
NCH enjoyed participating in his school's Flag Day celebration. I love that the school holds patriotic events. As you can see from the photos, we all like wearing our red, white and blue!

7) NJH poops on the potty:
Yes, I saw him with that "I'm about to go potty" face and hurried him to the toilet. Sure enough, he went #2 on the potty twice the other day! Now he asks for "potty" and will go #1 almost every time. The first time he went #1 on the potty, he said, "Peeper, water!" The older three are so excited for him. He doesn't stay dry yet, but this is a great start for a 20-month-old.
This picture is of "the boys" before heading to church -

Monday, June 1, 2009

Wow, What a Weekend!!!

Yes, it was such a wonderful weekend, I just have to write it all down while it's fresh in my mind. Friday was a really busy day. CAH had Circus Day at preschool and dressed as a clown:

After preschool, we had to head down to the Empire State Plaza in Albany to pick up my bib and chip for Saturday's 5K (prior to this, I never knew a runner's number tag was called a bib...and I never knew a runner could wear a plastic band called a chip on her shoe, which kept her time data at a race.) Anyway, I was nervous about parking downtown and getting in and out with 3 kids in tow, but as I pulled up to a parking space with a meter, just one block away from the Plaza, I saw the meter already had over an hour left on it (bonus!) I heaved the stroller out of the van and strapped in KBH and NJH, while CAH walked with me. We found the Health Expo and picked up my bib, chip and t-shirt without any problems. The kids loved seeing all the action and NJH amused himself by making his voice echo throughout the concourse. It was so noisy in there, no one seemed to mind his echoing! Next, we stopped for a special lunch treat at McDonald's and decided to bring our lunch outside...we sat in front of the fountains and had a wonderful time people-watching.
The sun even came out while we admired the scenery. By the time we got home, it was nap time, and my mom was there for a bonus afternoon visit.
The next few hours flew by, and it was time to pick up NCH from his "Green Thumbs Club" after school. We had a quick bite to eat, NJH's babysitter arrived, and off we went (5 Hill's plus my parents) to NCH's play at school. We were delighted to see our once shy little guy come alive on stage! He said his lines beautifully and sang like an angel. This is the same child who cried during his preschool "Stone Soup Celebration" because he didn't want people looking at him!! Needless to say, my hubby and I were so proud of our big boy. The only sad part is our video camera ran out of tape just before his special line and song, but we'll keep the memories in our hearts forever. We took plenty of pictures, too:

After the play, we came home and had a chocolate lava cake in honor of Frank's birthday (coming up on June 3rd), and then off they went to the lake - the 4 kids with my parents! Frank and I enjoyed a quiet evening and I headed to bed early, in anticipation of my 5K in the morning.
Saturday morning came and Frank and I hurried up to Barney Road pool to sign the three older kids up for swim lessons. Thankfully it went quickly and before we knew it, we were in Albany, waiting in a long line of cars to park in the East Garage. I was getting more nervous by the minute. I saw hundreds, then thousands of women gathering along Madison Avenue, ready to run the 31st annual Freihofer's Run for Women! Frank took a few pictures of me:
and then it was race time! I had been warned not to start too quickly, so I reminded myself to take it easy. Well, that was one piece of advice I didn't need! I couldn't even break into a run until I was almost all the way up the hill!! There were SO many people running!! When I was finally able to run, I had to keep slowing down so I wouldn't bump the runner ahead of me. After I got into Washington Park, I ran up on the grass to go around many people. As the race progressed, some runners came to a dead stop right in front me! Although the sounds of the many encouraging fans was motivating, I dared not look anywhere but straight ahead for fear I run into someone!! I did love hearing the crowds cheering for us all, and I was surprised to see there were people lined up along the course for the entire race. Water stations were new to me...I didn't stop to get any water (never stopped for water when I trained), but the sound of cups crunching was, well, loud! I learned to stay in the center of the course when approaching a water station, so I wouldn't get bumped as runners darted back and forth. As I ran past the mile 2 mark, I let out a "woo-hoo!!!" knowing there was just 1.1 mile to go! Before I knew it, I was heading back down Madison Avenue towards the finish line...and the crowds were cheering like crazy!!! As I crossed the finish line, I knew I could have run a faster race, but I was proud to have accomplished my first really big 5K. Frank was there to congratulate me and off we went to find my free box of cookies! :)
We hurried home for a quick shower and change and we were on to Cooperstown, where my sister, Amy, had planned a big surprise birthday gathering for her husband, Steve. (My other sister, Kara, and her husband, Paul, joined us too...such a treat to have the three sisters together!!) A tour of the Ommegang Brewery, festivities at Cooley's Tavern, a nice walk to the Otesaga Hotel (that's one magnificent place!!), dinner around the campfire at Glimmerglass, and more celebrating back at the Holiday Inn Express...we finally turned in some time after 2am! In the morning (ok so more like noon time), we had lunch at PJ's Diner, said our good-byes and headed up to Northville to fetch our Herd. Frank took the older two home right away in his truck. I left a couple hours later with the younger two in the van...I had the sheer pleasure of watching KBH fall asleep in her car seat
and what joy it was to listen to NJH sing along to "Kumbayah" with the Veggie Tales CD!!!

So many treasures in one short weekend...I am blessed, truly blessed!