Posts tagged ‘hanging out with the family ‘




Weekend Hike

Before having Charla, Tim and I used to go hiking almost every weekend. We would pack some food, water and our dog and hit the trails. We didn’t just stick to Wisconsin trails either. We would drive down to Illinois or over to Minnesota for a day. Tim doesn’t mind the more natural trails. I, however, enjoy the state trails. The trail is clearly mapped out and usually covered with wood chips or gravel. It’s perfect for walking along and enjoying the scenery.

After Charla was born, we stopped hiking. For the first 9 months Charla hated anything to do with the carseat or stroller, so it was nearly impossible to even walk around the block unless one of us was carrying her. I had a Bjorn backpack for her, but she didn’t like that much either. So we just didn’t go.

Looking back on it, we should have tried going. There would probably have been enough to look at that she would have been fine and then fallen asleep. If/When we have another child, I’m going to try those experiences. What’s the worst that could happen? We have to leave early? We carry a screaming child for 15 minutes back to the car? Back when Charla was a baby, those scenarios would have been the end of the world. Now though, I think I would have a hard time keeping a straight face. That’s probably why studies show first-borns are more anal — their parents are.

Anyway, last fall we started hiking again. We took Charla on a handful of small trails and she really liked them. On Saturday we went to an amazing trail that is actually only about 15 minutes from our house. We’ve known about it for a few years, but never gone. We should have though because it’s beautiful. Charla really enjoyed it too. She got to eat a picnic dinner overlooking Lake Michigan and thought that was the coolest thing ever.

I got some nice pictures that I plan to blow up and hang in the bedroom. I have a few pictures from last year hanging in the kitchen. Charla looks at those pictures and still remembers taking that hike. Building memories….that’s what childhood is all about.

Add a comment June 13, 2011

Balancing Busy

There is nothing better than a busy but fun weekend. Weekends are meant to be busy. They are meant for getting together with people, going to new places and playing with children. Of course, there needs to be a balance between being busy and allowing yourself to relax. This past weekend supplied both opportunities simultaneously.

My brother and his wife rent a townhouse that supplies a pool. The pool is in great shape, is fairly large and it’s heated. We all love it and, now that the weather is improving, we’re taking advantage of it. By the end of last summer, Charla was able to swim with her life vest on. We’ve gotten into the pool twice so far this year and, while Charla is a bit more timid in the water, she is still loving it. I bought her a floating tube which she loves. She hangs onto its sides all by herself and spins herself in circles. We stayed in the pool for close to 2 hours. Then we sat on the porch and dried off. It was fun, relaxing and the weather was super.

Sunday was our relaxing day at home. I spent some time straightening up the master bedroom. We have lived in our condo for almost 7 years and I still have not given the master bedroom a personal touch. It is a room I go into to sleep and not much else. Over the years it has built up some storage items, even though we have a storage area in our basement. Yesterday, I focused on getting the storage stuff out of the bedroom. This took me about an hour and made a huge difference in the room’s appearance. Then, I bought some sheer, white curtains and hung them. They give the room a very cozy feel. I need to hang a few pictures on the walls, but it’s starting to feel more homey.

Over the next few weeks I’m going to focus on decluttering. The closets and cabinets desperately need this. It’s amazing how much junk gets accumulated. It is slightly life-threatening when opening some closets. Most things have places to go and I try to keep them there. The kitchen is a constantly losing battle because of dishes. I always feel like I’m one load of dishes behind what I should be.

We have 3 more weeks before our long holiday weekend. With the long weekend last weekend and the short week that followed, I’m out of synch and not ready to get back to work this morning. Life goes on though and the weekend is only 5 days away. Can you tell I live for my weekends?!

Add a comment June 6, 2011

The Day After

Yesterday we didn’t want to stop celebrating. Saturday was so wonderful, it felt a bit anti-climatic to just let Sunday drift by. It was too cold and windy to spend a lot of time outside. But, we decided it would be the perfect day to drive over to Lake Michigan and watch waves roll in for a bit.

Charla had a great time throwing stones into the water. Although the water was way too choppy to watch them make a splash. A few times a wave would come right up to our feet and I would pick her up and we would run backwards so our shoes wouldn’t get wet. She would laugh and laugh.

Afterwards Charla got to play at the park for a little bit. It was a great end to a wonderful weekend.

Add a comment May 16, 2011

3!

I can’t believe it. I just can’t wrap my mind around the fact that Charla is 3 years old. She’s been a part of my life for  3 years. On one hand it seems like these years have flown by. On the other hand, it feels like she’s always been here. I didn’t have this much trouble grasping her first or second birthdays, but this time is different. I feel like my baby is now grown into a child, basically overnight. How did this happen?!

I know she’s going to need me for quite a few years yet, but with her baby years behind her, I can feel our relationship changing. Where before I had played the role of nurturer, now I’m finding myself being more of a disciplinarian and playmate. Of course she still likes cuddling at the end of the day, but these cuddles aren’t what get her through the day. Now she needs me to help her work out right from wrong. She needs me to laugh at her jokes (this is a new thing, she sings silly songs and laughs and laughs at them). She needs me to push her in the swings and play hopscotch with her. As much as I miss holding her as a tiny baby, I like this change.

I look forward to this year. I’ve loved watching Charla grow and learn new things. I love teaching her about life and being with her while she explores on her own. This has got to be one of the best things about being a parent. I’m sure this year is going to be full of exciting new things.

Charla’s birthday party was amazing. The weather was gloomy and windy, but that didn’t matter. Family was gathered in the living room, presents were being opened and a good time was had by all. Now that these last two super busy weeks are over, I’m ready to look forward to summer fun. Swimming, vacations, parks, picnics – it’s going to be a good one!

Add a comment May 15, 2011

Long Weekend

We had a wonderful Easter weekend.

It started on Friday. We took Charla to see Rio. I told her we were going to see a really big TV. When we walked into the lobby she looked around and asked me where the TV was. I tried to time things so we got there after the previews started so we would only have  a couple minutes before the movie started. As we walked  in, the previews were finishing up. I asked her if she was ready to see the big TV.  When she saw it, her eyes got HUGE! She was mesmerized. The movie was super cute and held her attention the entire time. The bucket of popcorn she ate helped a bit too I think. All in all, a big success.

Saturday we didn’t have anything planned. The weather was okay, it was in the low 50’s but cloudy and pretty windy. We got outside in the morning for a little bit. Tim planted a bunch of flowers while Charla and I colored with chalk, blew bubbles and swung. We took her to the park in the afternoon so she could fly her kite and then dyed eggs after dinner. The weekend could have ended right there and it would have been a great time. It was fun, relaxing and Charla was in a good mood pretty much the entire time. There are some weekends I end up counting down the hours to Monday, this was definitely not one of them!

When Charla woke up Easter morning she got to look for her Easter basket. Of course the bunny came and brought her all sorts of little things. She’s not a fan of chocolate, so Easter shopping was kind of challenging. It seems like 99% of Easter candy has some form of chocolate in it! The two chocolate items she likes are M&M’s and Reeses Peanut Butter cups. So, she got those, jelly beans and a push pop. The she got a flower snap bracelet, two little nail polishes, and headbands. Unfortunately, the headbands hurt her head. I was disappointed because she looks so cute in them and they get her hair off her face.

Her hair……bit of a tangent here. It is so thin and flyaway. It’s getting longer but it’s still not long enough to weigh itself down and it is multiple layers because none of it grows at the same speed. I’ve been trimming the back hoping for the sides to catch up. For awhile I was toying with the idea of cutting her bangs but Tim says absolutely not. So, her head resembles a dandelion fluff.

Anyway, now it’s Monday and time to get back to normal life. I wish every weekend could be so fun and relaxing!

Add a comment April 25, 2011

Egg Hunt

We had a busy weekend! I love weekends that start out slow but then pick up and, before you know it, you hardly have a free moment. That was our weekend.

It started out with Charla having a minor fever/stomach bug. She wasn’t that sick, just sick enough to want to lay on the couch until 10AM watching Sunny Patch. I laid down, she laid on top of me and we cuddled for an hour. Then her Ibuprofen kicked in and she was ready to go! It was rainy on Saturday so we played downstairs, read books, painted and played some Kinect bowling.

Sunday was our busy day. Tim was going to have my dad and brother over to help him build Charla’s playset. We bought this for her birthday, along with my parents. It’s got swings and a slide. She’s so excited. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate. It was sunny but it was only in the upper 30’s/lower 40’s with 30 mph winds, not great playset building weather. So, we’ll have to wait until the weekend after Easter.

So, Tim and I took Charla to an Easter egg hunt. The hunt was at the church my mom works at. Charla had a lot of fun. The kids are split up in 2 groups according to age: 1 to 5 and 6 to 12. This is so nice because those older kids had their eggs cleaned up about 5 minutes after the hunt started! Charla filled up her Easter basket and then said she was done. We went inside and emptied out all her treats. She got mostly chocolate, which was disappointing for her because she doesn’t like chocolate, but I don’t mind! She’ll get plenty of treats she likes from the Easter bunny, so I don’t feel bad stealing her chocolate!

After the hunt we went out for lunch with my parents then headed over to their house. We stayed and chatted the afternoon away, getting home right before dinner.

The rest of the week is supposed to be cold and rainy. Spring simply refuses to start this year. We’re facing a 3 day weekend coming up. Tim and I are talking about taking Charla to her first movie on Friday…..we’ll see. I think she’ll sit for at least most of it. I guess if we have to leave a little early it won’t be the end of the world.

Add a comment April 19, 2011

House Hunting

Over the last 6 months my parents have been looking for condos. They aren’t in a super hurry to leave their home, but neither want to do the yard work anymore and my mom would like to do laundry on the main floor. I’ve gone with them on a few viewings but nothing has jumped out to any of us.

Last night we went to another viewing. They’re looking for a 2 bedroom condo with an open concept and a quiet neighborhood. You wouldn’t think that would be so difficult to find with all the homes on the market today, but every condo we’ve gone to look at has something wrong with it. The one last night didn’t have central air, yard work and snow removal weren’t included and the laundry was in the garage (?!?!?!?!). There was also a window installed in the hallway with this fake flickering lamp thing. Apparently the little old lady who lived there had it installed because it reminded her of home. Sounds sweet, right? NO, that light was creepy! My dad liked it, but he was the only one!

On the plus side it had a private backyard, open concept, fireplace in the living room and lake access. It’s all check and balances but I’m pretty sure the yard work is going to put an end to that condo. Something keeps drawing my parents to it though because this was the second tour they took of it and they had the real estate agent come price their home.

I wonder if they want to downsize as much as they just want a change. Perhaps their home right now just feels too big with me and my brother gone. Maybe the last year has put a sour look over that home, with my dad’s heart attack and my mom suffering through severe back pain all summer long. Or, maybe they want to start off their retirement years in a quiet place of their own since there are quite a few young families around where they live now.

It will be hard to say goodbye to that house. My parents built it when I was just 1 year old. There are so many childhood memories there as well as adult memories. I wanted Charla to grow up with memories of that home. But I can’t be selfish about it either. I understand their need to move on. They are at a different time in their life and are looking for a home to reflect that. In the end, home will be wherever mom and dad are.

Add a comment April 15, 2011

A Merry Christmas

Christmas was amazing!

Charla woke up on Christmas morning and, as soon as I went into her room, she asked if Santa had come. We went out to the living room to see and sure enough, there was a mountain of presents! Her eyes were huge. She immediately noticed the scooter since it wasn’t wrapped and wanted to try it out right away. I convinced her to unwrap her other gifts first. After unwrapping each gift she would declare that she wanted to play with it after breakfast. I don’t think there was a single gift she was not excited to receive.

After breakfast she had a little bit of time to play with some of her new toys and then we needed to drive over to my parent’s house. It was a little rocky there at first. All the excitement was a bit too much and she got overwhelmed. I think she also had a bit of a headache because her sinuses were super stuffy with the recent cold she had. Tim went to get her some Tylenol and about 30 minutes after getting a dose of that, she was fine.

She got all her presents from Papa and Papa Jack last weekend. But she did get a few books, a My Little Pony, a My Little Pony puzzle, a Dora hat and a sled, from other family members. She was thrilled. She got to try out my brother’s old air hockey table and she loved it! The hockey puck was flying back and forth between her and her aunt, it was funny to watch. Charla had to stand on a chair to reach the table and her legs would kick up behind her as she hit the puck. She must have played that game for almost a hour.

I’m so pleased with the way our Christmas turned out this year. I really couldn’t ask for anything more. However, today something more did happen, Tim got hired for a job. A real, permanent job! One we will actually be able to count on for awhile and make a budget. Things have been so up and down for the last 3 years the way this economy has been. This job is very needed and we are truly blessed.

Add a comment December 29, 2010

Christmas Eve

I am so excited, our third Christmas as a family! I went a little nuts with the shopping this year. However, it really makes me happy to watch Charla open her presents Christmas morning.

When I was a kid, my brother and I would enter the living room to find two piles of presents under the tree. One for me and one for him. There would be wrapping paper everywhere when we were finally done opening them all. Breakfast was all but forgotten as we played with our new toys. Most of the time, I got exactly what I wanted plus more. This is what I want Charla to experience. This is what I want Charla to be able to pass down to her own children.

Tomorrow morning, after the gifts have been opened and played with, we will drive over to my parent’s house. There, the entire family will come together to enjoy the day. I plan to soak up as much of it as I can. There’s  no guarantee what tomorrow will bring, so enjoy the here and now. Memories, those are my gifts for the holidays now that I’m older. And I plan on getting a lot of gifts this year!

Add a comment December 24, 2010

Get Together

I absolutely love Christmas now that I have a child. When I was a kid, it had all the magic that Christmas should. But as I got older, it lost a lot of its charm. When it was just Tim and myself, we didn’t really do anything special. We put a tree up and decorated a bit, but we never bought each other gifts to unwrap. Having Charla has brought back all the beauty.

Yesterday my parents, brother and sister-in-law came over to celebrate. We started this small get together the year Charla was born. It has been a very enjoyable time for everyone. We give gifts, talk and eat. We will still get together on Christmas day, but then extended family members will be there so it will be more busy, less relaxing.

Tim and I haven’t given Charla her gifts from us yet. I think we will do that tomorrow. She’s supposed to go to school tomorrow, but I’m going to keep her home because the poor thing is sick again. I took her to the doctor this morning and he said she keeps getting different viruses. I know this is a normal part of childhood, her immune system needs to mature. But I think it’s been an entire month now since she hasn’t had either a runny nose, cough or fever. Starting January, she’s going to be in school Monday through Friday mornings. I’m both looking forward to this and dreading it.

More on that later.

For now, I’m going to enjoy the holiday. I’m going to cuddle with my poor, sick baby on the couch and watch some VeggieTales. And I’m going to savor all the snuggles I get.

Add a comment December 21, 2010

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