Monday, September 21, 2009

A Full House!

As Promised, here are some pictures from the week we spent with Wes and Sydney! This one was taken at Waterfall Glen. The kids loved being there and playing in the water. I especially liked this picture because it is pretty true to how things were whenever Kevin was around. He was always holding Sydney and Brooklyn was close in tow.

Sydney thought it was a pretty great trip. I have a ton of pictures of her but this was my favorite. She was splashing in the water and playing in the dirt like it was the best thing that ever happened to her. I love an outdoors girl, and I love that funny tongue face!

Brooklyn and Wes spent the majority of the time seeing who could throw the most rocks in the water. It was really a great game and kept them busy for the better part of an hour!

The only bad part of the visit was when we left. As you can see, Wes was not a fan! Brooklyn spent the whole way walking out saying goodbye to everything to make herself feel better about leaving. "Bye bye wawe (water), bye bye stick, bye bye tree" get the picture.

The kids played so hard that they spent a lot of time in the tub. Its amazing how bad a little kid can stink after running around for a few hours!

During one of the bath times, we had our regular assembly line going. Kevin was bringing the kids out of the tub while Janna was watching the remaining ones, I was putting diapers and lotion on them. Then Janna came out and started doing pajamas when we realized someone was missing. Kevin went back to the bathroom and found that Brooklyn had crawled back into the tub with her diaper to have one last hooha before the water was drained. Scary but funny at the same time!
After baths the kids would all drink milk and watch Signing Time to help them calm down and get ready for bed! I love all their curly-haired little heads!

One day I gave all the kids balloons to play with. It was really fun and crazy until Sydney tried to bulldoze Brooklyn. Its really funny when she does it. She laughs the whole time and Wes actually gets a kick out of it too...but Brooklyn isn't practiced in the fine art of having a sibling yet and, well...she freaked!
Sydney was hilarious with her balloon. I didn't blow it up very big so it wouldn't pop. Good thing too because she was all over that thing, laughing and rolling and biting! It was SO cute!

That same day Janna and I took the kids to a small park by our apartment. Brooklyn found the one pile of dirt in the whole place and proceeded to teach Wes and Sydney how to swim in a small dusty pit. They were all filthy when we got home, but they had a blast!

When we went to the zoo most of the pictures were taken on Janna's camera so I don't really have any, but I did manage to get some of Brooklyn at the petting zoo! Wes didn't want anything to do with the animals so he was outside with Janna and Sydney, (who we didn't want crawling around in animal pee).
Brooklyn got to groom the goats and she thought it was awesome. We had to leave pretty fast though because she tried to brush her hair with the goat brush after she was done with him and then tried to play in a puddle of goat pee...and she licked the goat!

I don't have any real pictures of the animals that were supposed to be at the zoo, but that's OK. The kids loved the ones that weren't supposed to be there just as much. They got a big kick out of this little guy!
Wes loved the train and bulldozer at the zoo but steered clear of all living things until the end of the day when we saw the giraffes. I think they were far enough away for him to be OK with it.
Cute picture huh?

I don't have any pictures of Sydney at the zoo but she was amazing. She didn't really care about the animals, she was just happy to be in the stroller and to be outside. She spent the whole time kicking her legs, eating crackers, and singing to herself! Cute girl!

After Janna left I only really had the kids to myself on Friday. Then Kevin was home for the weekend and could help. Unfortunately, it was just long enough to make me question my ability to be a mother of more than one child!

In that very short time, Wes found out he could throw toys into the floor lamp in Brooklyn's room and started a fire with the pictured toys! Man that kid has good aim! I don't even think I could have made that shot! :) Luckily I have a great sense of smell and found the toys right as they burst into flames, therefore avoiding a major house fire!

That same night I let Sydney crawl around without a diaper to air out a diaper rash she had developed. I thought Kevin was watching her while I put the other kids to bed ,but he didn't actually hear me so when I got back from putting the other kids to bed I found Sydney in the kitchen throwing toys into a pile of her poo! No picture needed. It was sick and I felt like a bad mom/aunt!

Luckily, kids are forgiving. I never got more hugs in my life then I did from Sydney, and Wes informed me before he left that he was my buddy and he loved me! :) Thanks Wes! I needed that!

Kevin never had to worry about what the kids thought of him though. It was obvious that Uncle Kevin was the best part of everyday and the kids all adore him! Thus, I leave you with a video that demonstrates how every night was when Kevin came home from work. Enjoy!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Crazy Schedules and the World's BEST House Guest!

As mentioned before, Kevin's little sister Janna came to help us out while we were at the RAGNAR. But a lot more went into it than you would think! Janna flew in on Wednesday the 19th after long flight delays and hung out with us for the evening. The next afternoon she drove us to the airport, by herself, in Chicago traffic, in a place she's NEVER been! Then went home BY HERSELF (Something you couldn't pay me to do) to rest until the next day when Natalie would drive in with her kids. Natalie got to our house Friday afternoonish and her and Janna spent the rest of Friday and part of Saturday getting prepared for Natalie to leave for Greece on Saturday night where she would meet Brian who had been in Bulgaria for a week or two! WHEW! Did I mention that Janna also had to drive Natalie to a DIFFERENT airport and drop her off after dropping our car off at the Midway airport so we could get home! And she did it with two little kiddos in the car! Man! She is so much more mature than I am! :)

On Sunday afternoon we arrived home to a spotless house with Wes and Sydney quietly reading books on the living room floor! Is life ever really like that? Not once Brooklyn walked in the door. We got home and there was an immediate explosion of screaming, laughing, giggling, and well...suitcases. But not to worry, for the next few days, between Janna and I, we were able to keep the house clean, the kiddos fed, naps in order, and diapers changed (about 15/day) and still managed to fit in fun trips to Waterfall Glen, two parks, the pet store and the zoo!

It was really quite a fun and wonderful experience. The kids were a handful of course, especially since Brooklyn never had to share before and all three of them had "magic diarrhea" all week! But it all worked out like clockwork. We would bathe, diaper and feed those kids in an assembly line and get them out the door with barely any effort. And every night when the baby woke up it was a race to see who could get her first. That NEVER happens! I got to sleep in several times.

Not only did Janna make it WAY easier to have 3 kids ages 2 and under, but she cooked us food, ate nothing but cereal, cleaned up after herself...and often times us, took up no space at all on the living room couch, and she kept the house at a perfect temperature all day every day! Weird thing to say maybe but it mattered to me and Kevin. :)

Here is Kevin and Janna with the Kiddos at Waterfall Glen. They loved every second of it until we had to leave.
The day before Janna went back home, Kevin and I got some babysitters and took Janna downtown so she could at least pretend she had a vacation! We rode the train in and then took a water taxi to the middle of town.
Here we are enjoying the breeze on the deck. It had rained all day and we didn't know if we were gonna make it, but the rain let up as soon as our train stopped and we were lucky to experience downtown Chicago with NO tourists...or people for that matter... since they were all hiding from the weather. It was perfect and the temperature was great for sight seeing!

We took some cool pics by this statue but they are all on Janna's camera. Oh well, still a cool statue!
Kevin and Janna cheesing it up like they're related or something...Kevin got to be a classic "Hanks nerd" for that whole week! Computer games and all! :)

I think this is where Obama gave his acceptance speech. Not that most of you care or that I really know since I never pay attention. But wherever that took place, I'm sure lots of other cool stuff happens here!

THE BEAN! We had to go there. And look...almost NO people!

This fountain changes pictures all day. Sometimes it is a waterfall or rushing stream. Sometimes it has many alternating faces. This one is spitting at Kevin! Pretty COOL!

Here is that place again...We went to the bathroom was huge and underground!

Anyway, We had a wonderful time with Janna and are SO grateful that she decided to come out and see us. If any of you are looking for a GREAT house guest, invite Janna over for a few days. You won't be disappointed. The saddest day of the whole month of August was when she left. Me, Brooklyn, Wes, and Sydney watched her hop into the car with Kevin from the balcony (we were on the balcony, she didn't jump off it) and as she drove off I'm pretty sure that we were all crying! Brooklyn was screaming at her daddy to bring back "my Janna" and Wes and Sydney were clinging to the bars crying for her to come back. Yeah...bad idea on my part to let them all watch her go. You live and you learn! :)

I will do another post with pictures of the things we did with the kids and the days after Janna left. Until then, I would like to leave with a special shout out to Tyler (Janna's husband) who sacrificed time with his beautiful wife ON HIS BIRTHDAY just so she could be out here with us! You are the BEST Tyler!

Monday, September 14, 2009

While They Were Running...

While Taber, Becca and Kevin were running for 2 days...(which is considered "FUN" for many people)...
I got to spend the weekend with my mom and dad who flew out to take care of Teya and Brinley during the race! This was all thanks to my sister Sarah and her awesome husband Tau (who helped me figure out a way to get to MN) as well as my sister Janna and her awesome husband Tyler (who sacrificed a lot to take care of my responsibilities in Chicago while I was away...and after I got back!) You guys are the BOMB!

During our time together, Me and Brooklyn were treated to a wonderful meal at the Rainforest Cafe from mom and dad! Brooklyn ate as much as Teya and Brinley combined, although I think Brinley would have matched her if we had allowed it!

After we ate, we bought one of Becca's favorite treats to split amongst ourselves, just to make Becca rethink her decision to spend 2 days running without sleep or food! :) He HE!

Brooklyn even got a hug from her Hero, Dora the Explorer! She couldn't have been happier and was giggling hysterically!

The hug was received at the amusement park in the middle of The Mall of America where grandma and grandpa Uda took us to make sure we were all spoiled good and hard before they left! The girls also got to play in Lego Land at the mall, and since Legos are Brooklyn's new favorite toy, it was a smash hit!

Grandma and Grandpa also took turns taking the girls on the round-and-round rides (because they make me sick) which got Brooklyn begging for "mo wides? please Wide?" And officially placed them higher on the "coolest people alive" list then mommy!

Then to top things off, Grandma bought Brooklyn a matching necklace and bracelet and a gooey frog that she named Teya! They are currently her favorite treasures.
We had a wonderful and relaxing weekend together and I am SO grateful to my sisters for making it possible for me to get a much needed break. I love you all!

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Friday, September 4, 2009

Friday Foto

Today I felt like being as random as Chris and Becca, thus, the Friday Foto!

This is a series of pictures of Kevin after he ran the Grandma's Marathon with Becca...Goes to show, you should never underestimate the power of the sun or the great need to wear sunscreen...especially if you are a cute haole boy who has marble-white skin!
You can't tell in the pictures, but Kevin actually was covered in small blisters and now has scars on his shoulders from the burn!

Lesson learned though. Kevin is now trying much harder not to get skin cancer and has been wearing long sleeve shirts to the pool and running later in the evening when the sun doesn't beat down on him so hard! Still haven't been able to convince him to wear sunscreen though! Baby Steps!