Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Field Trip for Spencer

I had the pleasure of attending Spencer's first field trip of the school year to Dodge Nature Center today. We had a great time despite the mind numbing cold! As soon as we got on the bus, I had to pull out the camera - I got a couple self-portraits, but was then told by Spencer that I had taken enough! He obviously doesn't realize I need to document all of our fun for the blog! ;)

Once we arrived we met with the instructors for a quick lesson on what animals we may see (woodpeckers, squirrels, deer, rabbits...)and the different clues they may leave for us ( tracks, fur and the ever popular scat). Fortunately this was done in a mildly warm wooden structure...the rest of our time was outdoors. Once outside, we started our search and quickly found various tracks and scat of several animals. The only creature we actually saw was the woodpecker - I guess a group of twelve 1st graders made the animals run and hide...go figure!
After about 30 minutes, we headed over to a frozen pond and the kids were able to use kick-sleds. (It was at this time I realized the batteries in my camera died!) Finally we rounded up all the kids and it was time to head to the buses. It was a great time and I'm looking forward to our next field trip...which will be indoors!!!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Going potty...

While putting clothes away in Gemma's room, I noticed this doll on her toy box. I think it's cute that she left the doll sitting on the potty....just waiting.
On a separate note...Gemma starts 16 weeks of dance class tonight! Here are pics from the last 2 recitals. She is one adorable ballerina!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Found pictures

My mom was going through her email and found some old pictures of Gemma! She's about 8 or 9 months old in these photos and I'm about 5 months pregnant with Spencer! How time flies!!!!

David had hair!!!!

What a precious face!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A Day at the Mill City Museum

Welcome to my first contribution to Life With Three. I hope to contribute from time to time with my unique take on our life.

I had the great pleasure of being a chaperon on Gemma's field trip to the Mill City Museum in Minneapolis. The museum is housed in one of the old grain mills along the Mississippi River and chronicles the history of milling and the rise of Minneapolis. The museum is really well done and turns a dry subject most know little about into something interesting. It combines local history along with some pretty cool technology from the past. I think people of all ages would find it a worthwhile trip with or without kids.

Despite Kim saying I look like I have been drinking in this picture, I assure you I was only blinking. Besides, you should only be looking at my beautiful little girl anyway. Gemma and I shared a seat on the bus and this self-portrait came out pretty good if I do say so myself.
Gemma and her classmates were given the rules of the museum and the schedule of the days events by a staff person. My little ham was not paying attention, but that is what the chaperon is for, right.

The two girls on Gemma's left are her "really close friends" Serena and Cassandra. They decided to adopt me as their father for the day and I decided to play along. I gave them the pet names of Serenita and Cassita to go along with Gemmita.

The museum uses a scavenger hunt to keep the kids moving around the museum and has plenty of hands on interactive activities for the kids (and adults if they had let me).

In the activity below, the kids were working on a model of Saint Anthony Falls, the site of the grain, lumber and textile mills that Minneapolis grew from. See even I learned something. They had to create a dam system to make the turbines spin, thus generating power for the mills. Water = Power is the sign over this activity room.

After lunch, we went on the Flower Tower attraction. This is an old working grain elevator with vignettes on each floor that tell a history of the mill. It got a little scary at times especially during the old mill explosion, but Gemma held my hand and reassured me.

We finished up with a short movie called Minneapolis in 19 Minutes Flat. I didn't time it, but I think they were right on time. It was now time to load the bus and head back to school.

We had a wonderful time at the museum and I look forward to going with Spencer later this school year.

I hope you have enjoyed this first installment of my musings. I'll probably keep writing even if you don't, but my goal is to inform and entertain. Tune in next week after Gemma, Spencer and I go to our first Minnesota Wild hockey game with our good friend Chris.

I still have not figured out how I explain the fights to the little ones, but I am sure it will be amusing if nothing else!

Ciao for now.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Little Helper?

Yesterday morning, Gianna decided she wanted to help clean.....

Here she is hard at work! I don't know if you can see her expression, but she was giving me instructions...

Oh, if the vacuum doesn't pick it up, Gianna just eats it!

And when Gianna is done, she just drops the vacuum and walks away.

However, today is a new day. This is what I found when I left Gianna in the family room while I was in the laundry room.... She decided it was time to "clean" out the entertainment center.


I had Gianna take this photo of Gemma, Spencer and me (I'm in the middle) as we were leaving for school this morning. (don't we look cute!)
The temp at 9am was -21' and with the windchill, it is in the -30's. Almost all the schools in the state of Minnesota are closed....except St. Paul and Minneapolis! Excuse my language, but WTF!!!!!!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Wrap Up!

Sunday was a great day.

Usually David takes Gemma and Spencer to Sunday school at 9am and then Gianna and I meet up with them for mass at 10am, but I was able to get the four of us ready and out of the house by 8:45 all by myself!

We didn't stay for church - I don't think Gianna would have made it!

We were home shortly after 10am, so I put the little one down for a nap. She slept for 2 1/2 hours!!! I was able to do dishes, laundry, clean, help the kids with homework...it was great. After her nap we headed over to Nona and Grandpa's house for Sunday dinner. After a yummy dinner of homemade pasta and visiting with family for a couple of hours, we headed home.

The kids were in bed by 8pm and I was ironing shirts by 8:15 (wow, how fun!). David was home shortly after 9pm. I'm thankful it was only a two-day trip; since Gianna's arrival he hasn't had any long trips. He had been able to break up his required 2 -weeks into shorter trips. However, I don't think we'll be so lucky this year!

Life is now back to "normal".

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Day One...

Well, so far so good! It's 1pm and I've only had to yell once! WOW!

Gianna woke up at the ungodly hour of 5am. I was able to put her back to sleep - in bed with me. Officially, she and I started our day at 6:30 - which is still earlier than I like, but it's her normal waking time. David and I have been very spoiled with children who like to sleep late, however that changed when Gianna arrived. Out of the three kids, she is our rooster.

By 9am everyone had eaten breakfast so I decided it was time to hit the shower. Gianna played in her crib (which is in our room) while the radio was on. (That's my way for her to know it's play time - lights on, radio loud)...so imagine my suprise when I came out of the shower and saw her sound asleep! I quietly dressed and left the room. She slept for an hour!!!

I decided to try to put her down for her normal nap time at 12:30/1pm....guess what....she is asleep!

Gemma and Spencer are watching a movie in the play room, so I think I'm going to take advantage and lay on the couch for a little while!!!

Only 28 more hours until David comes home! Yeah!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Where's Gianna?

So while I was in the laundry room this evening Gemma, Spencer and Gianna were playing hide and go seek. (To be more accurate, Gemma and Spencer were hiding under a blanket and Gianna was finding the kids.) After several minutes of hearing the giggling, running and yelling....Gemma and Spencer yelled for me in a very concerned tone...Gianna was missing.
Our house isn't very big and the kids were on the main level of the house. The front and back doors are always locked - I knew she couldn't be truly missing, but I was still getting the icky knot in my stomach.
I called for her as I ran around the living room, dining room and entry way quickly - still no Gianna. I opened the hallway door that leads to Gemma and Spencer's rooms....the "Gianna-free zone" and that's where I found her! Standing alone, in the dark, in the little hallway with a Lego (from Spencer's room) in her hand!
The little girl now knows how to operate the doorknob! So, needless to say, we'll be running to Target tomorrow to get some sort of childproofing contraption to prevent that from happening again!

15-month check up

Today was Gianna's 15 month check-up...only 2 weeks late! Anyway - she is growing like a weed! She weighs 28lbs 6oz and is 33 inches tall! She had one shot today and took it like a trooper. She cried and then once the band-aid was in place she asked "what's that?". Overall, an easy trip to the doctor's office.
On an unrelated note, this weekend David is in New Orleans for a Navy conference...so I'll be a single parent this weekend!!!! Is it bad that I'm already looking forward to Monday? ;)

Monday, January 5, 2009

Changes for my "big" girl!

Gianna is 15 months old and has been wearing these since September. I was at Target today and found these for only $3.74! Today was the first time she has ever had an actual shoe on her foot and I wished I had taken a picture of her face after I put them on her. She stood in place for at least one minute looking at her feet and then looking at me - it was like she didn't know what to do! I realize the shoes are a little dressy for her sweats - but she loves them! (She wouldn't cooperate and model the shoes for me!)

Another change for Gianna is graduating from the highchair to a booster chair! She loves sitting at the table with us - and just loves sitting in her chair by herself. I took these photos after Gianna walked to her chair and "yelled" for me until I put her in it!

It makes me a little sad to see her growing so quickly - it seems like just yesterday Hoa gave us the highchair! (It was actually back in April though - she was almost 7 months old!)

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year!

Since it's been so long since my last post, here is what has been going on...
First of all - I over reacted...Gianna didn't have a cold. Her breathing was whistley and I did notice her nose run a couple of times. But fortunately nothing else developed!

Since we were unable to go to Edmee's for Christmas on the 21st because of Gianna's fever and the disgustingly cold weather....she brought Christmas to us on Saturday the 27th. The kids once again made out like bandits! Each year they receive a calander and ornament - which is something they look very forward to. However, I think the highlight for this year was getting their own digital cameras.

We had another Christmas celebration with Chris (Gianna's godfather) and his parents later that afternoon. Again, the children were spoiled with more fun toys and they each received a homemade scarf and mittens from Mrs. K. We also had some yummy cupcakes - and we were given the extras to take home!!!

For New Year's Eve, we had dinner with my mom, David's parents and Chris and his parents. We went to The Olive Garden and the had a very nice dinner. We had wanted to eat at 5:30 - before the rush, however it seems that we weren't the only people with that idea! We weren't seated until after 6pm! The kids were great. It wasn't until Gianna started rubbing her eyes that we realized it was 8:30!! Once we got home and put the kids to bed, David and I watched a movie. Needless to say, I was asleep within 15 minutes of the movie.
Friday, we met Hoa and the boys at an indoor play park. Gianna had a blast running around the gymnasium chasing scooters and running after the kids. Gemma and Spencer had a blast too. I did notice that most of the kids were preschool age - Gemma and Spencer were some of the only "school-aged kids". It made me a little sad knowing they are growing up.

This weekend has been pretty uneventful. We're working on turning what was known as the "living room" in the basement into the "official playroom". This requires rearranging furniture, getting rid of furniture, moving toys, donating old toys....the list goes on and on. Ultimately it's going to give Gemma and Spencer much more room for them to play - especially Spencer. He loves his train sets....at last count he had 5!

On a separate note....we had a great 2008. Our kids are healthy and the rest of our families and our friends are doing well. We hope and pray for more wonderful blessings in 2009!