Saturday, May 30, 2009

Is it Saturday night already?

This week went by very fast. With so many activities and fun times, the weekend is half over already.
Wednesday was swimming - the next to last class. Thursday was actually kind of peaceful. Mat didn't have a dinner meeting and we didn't have to run around. Friday Mat had a dinner meeting. His last one, he tells me, for awhile - yay!

So before we knew it - it was Saturday! This morning Arlington had soccer. After that, we got a call from Mat's co-worker who has a little girl who is Arlington's age. She wanted to get the girls together to play. So this afternoon we had a playdate.

The girls had a great time. Finley didn't nap, so she played too.

We had watermelon and juice.

The day was really warm and the kids really had fun playing in the water.

Mat also took apart the old playhouse. This is the best it has ever looked:

He had it down pretty quickly - it is just removing all the screws so we can burn the wood that took a long time.

After they left, I went out to dinner with two new mommy friends Karen and Emma. We had been planning this get together for awhile and decided to make it a regular thing. Arlington and the girls of these two moms have become good friends this year, and we decided that if our girls are going to be friends, then so should we. We had a fabulous time. We went out to eat and chatted and I got to learn a lot about them. We relaxed and ate good seafood and were gone for about 3 hours. It was a great time and I am so glad we did it. I look forward to getting together with them again.

So now I am sitting and relaxing with Mat. Sorry this was a short post, but my belly is full and and I tired.

I will see you Tuesday!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The post that lasted days

Did you miss me? Huh? Did you? Yeah, I thought so. A whole week without blogging - that is a record for me. I am going to try and wrap this up in one post, but it may become several to get all the pictures in. But we will see. The pictures are random shots from this past weekend - just in case you were curious.

Let's see - where did I leave off? Ah yes - the week of endless spring activities. Tuesday was T-ball. Arlington is getting pretty good at T-ball. She is hitting the ball on a consistent basis without the T, which is good. And she seems to really be enjoying it. I have a feeling that softball may be something she does next year, but we will see. Tuesday the babies and I were at T-ball because Mat was in Boston. The kids did fine. It was our first game in a neighboring town, and I got a little lost on the way (Mat had my friend GPS, so go figure). So we were a little late. AND...I forgot her glove. Luckily they had an extra. The babies were good - we took a blanket (no stands at this field) and camped out. I got a couple of comments about how impressed people were that the little ones stayed on the blanket the whole 1 1/2 hours. The just didn't realize that threats snacks go a long way.

Wednesday was another fun day for the Pletcher household. I was gone this evening, so Mat had to take Arlington and the little ones to swimming. The little ones were good there too - enjoyed watching the swimming. Arlington is doing well in swimming - diving in, swimming without help, etc. Starting to remember a little more each week that she is a Florida girl, and Florida girls can swim. Not that we love Florida or anything. Just wanted to clear that up for anyone who may have thought we had a change of heart. We haven't. Florida is still the stinkiest state in the country.

Anyway, Wednesday was incoming Kindergarten orientation for my school where I work. I had to stay and do my part as the nurse and talk about healthy eating, turn in your physical form, the nurse is not if your kid needs a break, I am not a free clinic...... Just kidding. I only talked about the first two and about 5 other valid points. But the break and clinic thing.....people actually believe that about my job, so I should have said something.....

I didn't get home until about 8pm from that. But I did get a free dinner out of it. Treat from my principal. That was good.

Thursday was T-ball. Again. And it was a bit chilly and really windy. I was alone with the kids tonight becuase Mat had a dinner meeting. By Thursday, Mat and I had only crossed paths for about 1 hour in the evenings before having to go to bed. Thursday's T-ball field was local and I was glad because it meant getting home a little earlier. By Thursday the little ones had really had it with being good at all of this running around. They were good at T-ball, but they weren't interested in sitting and watching the game. So we stood by the fence and they played a little game running back and forth. It was fine. I was tired of it too.

Thursday night after the kiddies were in bed, Mat and I started to pack for our weekend. We weren't going to be gone long, but still. 8pm after a long, tiring week having to now pack - it wasn't fun. But it didn't take long.

Friday after work, we left and drove to PA. The trip went about the smoothest ever. We made it in 9 hours, and that was 1 hour stop for eating/bathroom breaks and 1 hour for traffic. So not bad! We usually take 10-12 hours because we hit so much traffic. But the kids did awesome on the trip. I do have good travelers. Finley is usually the worst, but she did great. We did give in and buy a DVD player to take along with us, and we used it for part of the trip. But it helped pass some time. We were in Pennsylvania by midnight and went right to bed. The kids slept in the car for several hours, and just fell right into bed when we got there.

Saturday Mat and the kids spent the day with his family. Mat's dad looks great. He is doing great, and says he feels really good. He was up the whole time we were there - just taking little breaks during the day to lay down and relax. But he is exercising and getting his strength back. He has another appointment in a few weeks to hope to clear him to get back to "normal" and start driving and getting out more. We were glad to see him and Mat's mom (and Mat's brother and aunt and grandma). We don't get home much, so this was a nice visit. And we didn't do anything but relax and enjoy each other's company.

On Saturday I spent the day with my parents. I went down to their house alone while Mat stayed with the kids. I never get to do that anymore, so it was really nice. Just as a recap - Mat and I met in high school, so our parents live in the same town. We started the day eating breakfast at my favorite home town restaurant. Then we went to the town's geranium festival. Then we hit 3 more greenhouses to get plants and flowers to plant at my parents house (and a few for me to bring home). We went back to the festival for lunch and then home to plant that afternoon. That evening we went to dinner at another favorite home town restaurant, and then I headed back to Mat's parent's house. It was a fun day, and very relaxing.

Sunday we spent the day with Mat's family just at the house. It was another warm, sunny day, so we spent most of it outdoors.

The kids had a blast. They love visiting their grandparents. Finley is a "gramma's girl" and Arlington loves Mat's parent's dog, Lucky. The played bubbles.

Arlington swam in the creek.

And swam in the creek - REALLY. Such a weirdo.

Mat's mom tried to teach them to play crocet.

Got piggy back rides from Uncle Zac.

Played with a magnifying glass.

The heat and humidity even curled Finley's hair! (don't mind her face being wet!)

Fun all around. Arlington's "funny" for the weekend was that she and Mat were blowing the white dandilions around. Mat blew one in Arlington's direction just as she opened her mouth. A lot of dandilion got into her mouth. After she spit it all out, Mat asked her:
"How did dandilion taste?"
Arlington: it tasted like stuffed animal.

Monday we started our long drive back home. This time it took around 10 hours because we just hit a little more traffic and we had to make an unexpected stop to pick up our car from a friends house. We didn't get home until after 6pm, and we were really, really tired. The kids did great on the trip back, though. It was a pretty peaceful trip for the most part - just long. We unloaded, ate some dinner, and went to bed early.

This morning was back to work and school for all of us. It was a really busy day at work for me today. The kids got into mischeif over the long weekend, so I eased a lot of poison ivy and bug bites, and I removed three ticks. Fun times, fun times. Plus, I had three meetings. I saw well over 50 kids today. I think they missed me.

Tonight was T-ball. Again. Mat was at a dinner meeting, so I took the kids with me again. By the way -Mat's dinner meetings? If you remember - he is in the process of hiring a lot of new people, so this is part of it. He says it actually isn't that much fun - trying to make dinner conversation with strangers. I still told him I would trade places with him. Tonights T-ball game was a little on the long side plus it was only in the 50s. We were glad to get home. Mat got home in time to help with bath time and bed time (yay!).

Now we are sitting around watching a movie and enjoying seeing each other for more than a few minutes. The rest of the week is busy, but not as bad as last week.

So I made it one post. I hope you are still awake. I will see you Saturday!! Here are a few more pictures to enjoy!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Blogging Hiatus (just for a week)

Hi all. As I sit here barely keeping my eyes open because I am running on empty, I decided that I need a week break from the blog. Not that I don't love keeping this puppy floating. But our family has not been home each evening together for more than 15 minutes for over a week. Arlington's spring activities may actually kill me. I love that she is loving them, but we are never home. And today, Arlington - who never goes to the nurse (because her mother told her not to) went to the nurse because she was tired! My bad. She is still getting 11 hours of sleep a night, so I am not sure how tired she actually is, but we just have been running. All weekend too we were out and about and having fun. This week is the pits because Mat is in dinner meetings, Boston, etc. because he is in the process of hiring 6 new employees. So I am home alone in the morning AND evenings without him this week, and that hasn't been a picnic. I don't know how single parents do it. I would fall apart - I am the first to admit it.
But anyway, we are busy every night this week and we leave Friday to visit family in Pennsylvania and won't be returning until next Monday. So - that being said, I am not going to blog this Saturday and will return with a smile on my face next Tuesday! Power of positive thinking......
So, enjoy your week and I will see you next Tuesday. With pictures. I promise.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig

Mat's dad is home from the hospital! After being there for just shy of a week, he is home resting in his own bed. I find that patients heal much faster in their own environment. If nothing else – not having someone interrupt your sleep about 100 times a day/night is about the best reason to be discharged from the hospital. When I worked night shift on a pediatric floor, I always felt terrible about waking the kids every 4 hours for vital sign checks. It just seemed to cruel to wake kids in the middle of the night when they looked so peaceful.

But he is home and on the mend. He still has a long road ahead of him in his recovery, but each week he will get stronger and stronger. We look forward to seeing him next weekend.

The rest of the week was busy. Wednesday was a fun day at work for me. I went on a field trip with the third grade class. This is the class my diabetic child is in, so a nurse has to go with him. But I didn't mind. I had a sub, and the trip was fun. One of my favorite things about living in New England is its incredible American History. This third grade class is studying local history, so we got to tour some of the oldest homes in the area and learn about the history. We got to see the oldest grave stone they had still standing, and the person died in 1711. We toured a house – preserved how it was then – from the early 1700's. We went to the town hall and got to see all the records they have, and we opened a book from 1634. AMAZING. Truly. And it was touchable – and readable – very cool. We did find out that the town where I work was bought by the British from the native Americans for 30 coats. The British gave them 30 coats (worth about $100) and the British got 100 square miles. Unreal.

Wednesday Arlington had swimming lessons. A little bit of her “swimming memory” comes back each week. The class has definitely been worth it to make her a strong swimmer again. I need to remember to take my camera one of these lessons so you can see her in her swim cap and goggles - she looks hilarious.

Thursday was T-ball game #2 this week. We FINALLY played another “own town” team (we have been playing neighboring town teams the last couple of weeks) and I got to spend some time with other Kindergarten mommies I know. So that was fun. During this game it rained off and on. Never hard, but enough that I thought they might call the game at some point. But they never did. A little rain didn't melt anyone, and it was nice to get the game in so we don't have to make it up. Arlington hit the ball on all three of her turns this time without the T! It was great! A couple of them she hit on the first try. She really seems to love it. Arlington was the last batter of the last inning, and as soon as she rounded to home plate, the skies opened up and it started to pour. We got really wet and were glad it was time to go.

Friday, finally, we didn't have to be anywhere. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday this week I lost my early evenings to activities. So it was nice to come home today and not have to quickly eat dinner and rush back out the door. So, after picking up the kids from school on Friday, we changed our clothes, and headed outside to play. We stayed out for an hour and a half just enjoying the sunshine and time off from running around.

I took a picture of one of my new lillies that opened up.

I planted four orange lily plants in the back yard. The deer haven't eaten them yet – maybe I shouldn't say anything.

Friday evening around dinner we watched “The Tale of Despereaux”. After Arlington read the book, she wanted to see the movie. It was sort of like the book. She didn't care – she liked it anyway.

Today was soccer. Finally. Arlington, as always, loves playing soccer. She and I went and Mat and the babies stayed behind so that he could work on the playset. Soccer went well – I managed to take one picture. But, you have all seen her play before, so I didn't feel too bad. It was a nice morning – warm, but not too hot. There were a lot of other Kindergarten mommies there to chat with, so that passed the hour and a half quickly.

After that, Arlington and I came home to help Mat (and the babies) with the playset. Mat had gotten pretty far while we were gone. And you aren't going to believe it (and I am afraid it might snow now), but the playset it DONE. DONE. DONE. DONE. Say it with me!!!!! DONE!!!! It took until 6pm tonight, but it is finished. The kids even used it a bit! They were so glad. We are so glad. Although, since Mat and I are old not in our 20's any more, we are both REALLY sore. Tomorrow isn't going to be a picnic for either one of us.

But it looks great! Here it is!

Now all that is left to add is the sandbox that Gramma and Pappy are getting for the kids, and the “play area” will be complete. Yay.

One funny story from Arlington. It started out a little sad, though, because I accidentally hit a squirrel today with the car. The squirrel was crazy and I couldn't avoid it - I felt terrible. I don't think I have ever hit anything ever before. Anyway, Arlington - the avid animal lover - wondered what happened. She was okay with it for this reason:

Arlington: what color was the squirrel
Me: it was a gray one - so sorry honey
Arlington: oh, that's okay then
Me: why?
Arlington: well, it had gray hair, which means it was an old squirrel.

Oh boy.

So that is all. Tomorrow I am having some ladies from the school over while we work on our school's end of year picnic details. It will be fun to have them here in the afternoon. Arlington also had flower planting at our town's library at 4pm. (BTW - I looked up our town library and it was built in the mid 1800's).

One last note - today was the memorial golf tournament for my Godbrother, Matt. He died the week before Arlington was born in a horrible car accident. He was student teaching in music when he died, so every year, his parents and my parents and several other 100 friends and family - golf and raise money to give away 2, 4 year scholarships to two high school students who will be majoring in teaching. This day is both wonderful and heart wrenching at the same time. But each year, the turn out is bigger, which makes the scholarships bigger, and I know that makes my Godparents smile. Mary Louise and Chris - we were with you in spirit today, and hope that next year we are there golfing with you guys!

Here is a saying just for you guys:

"Don't tell God how big your storm is. Tell your storm how big God is."

Loving and missing Matt every day.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, and I will see you Tuesday!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The good, the cute, the weird, and the sad

The Good:

First, I wanted to start with an update on Mat's dad. He is doing well. He had his surgery first thing on Monday morning and was done in what I felt was record time. The doctor said he did really well, and he is now on the road to recovery. Our prayers were answered. Thank you to all of you who were thinking of him yesterday. Today he is out of the ICU and in a regular room. He has been a little out of it, but is getting better and better. As the anesthesia wears off, and they start weaning him from those good drugs, he will be more with it. We are looking forward to seeing him at home next week.

The pictures in this post are for my Father in law and mother in law during their long hospital stay. It is faces of the kids. Finley is making a ton of faces because she doesn't want to eat her peas (I personally can not blame her). Arlington wanted to get in on the action, and Cainan - well - he will do whatever we ask him to do. :) Ben, these are pictures to make you smile at your goof ball grandchildren.


The cute:

Sunday was a wonderful Mother's Day. I was woken by my first baby - the one who made me a mother 6 years ago. Arlington was excited to give me my mother's day gifts. From school she had made me a pot with flowers in it. They were artificial flowers so “I don't have to remember to water them”. Good thinking. And she also made a book. She wrote a whole little story which went like this:

"My mom looks like me. My mom takes care of me when I am sick. My mom likes to shop in Stop N Shop. My mom likes to clean. My mom is a nurse."

Okay - so, some of those things are true. But I do not like to grocery shop and I HATE to clean. I LIKE it clean, but I want someone else to do it. But Arlington liked that she made a rhyme.

And then she had to fill out the following questions. Here are the questions and her answers:

My mom likes to: shop
She smiled when I: came to her work.
Her favorite food is: shells with cheese and sauce on top
Her favorite TV show is: almost every big kid show and sometimes she watches movies with
I help my mom: make my bed sometimes.
My mom likes to go to: "G's" house and talk with his mom.
I love it when my mom: lets me go for a walk in the woods with daddy.

What a hoot!! Okay - I do like to shop. I would prefer to spend other people's money, though. I love to shop for the kids! My favorite food is NOT shells with cheese and sauce. That is Arlington's favorite food (she likes pasta with Alfredo sauce). The rest - all true. :) She loves to go exploring in the woods.

My second baby - this is what she said to me when she gave me my mother's day present she made me at school: “I need to keep my flower”. See, she hasn't really gotten the whole giving thing. She and Cainan planted flowers for mother's day and gave them to me in a pot. BUT – Finley didn't really want to give it up. It was hers. Cainan was clueless. We had a wonderful day together. We were outside the entire day. Our yard is looking awesome now that the grass is cut, and the weeds are pulled. And the playset moved forward a few more steps. The cursed roof is on!! It was so hard. Mat and I woke up sore Monday from putting that thing on the playhouse. But I really believe we have turned a playhouse corner, and done (gasp!!!) I am setting next weekend as a goal for finishing it, but we will see.

Monday was day one of this weeks activities. We have quite a few. We had more, but Daisy Scouts was canceled for Tuesday. Monday was T-ball for Arlington. This week they decided to NOT use the T. Now, there was a limit to the number of times they let the kids swing at the ball before they brought the T back, however, the game lasted a whole half and hour longer this way. I wouldn't mind so much if it wasn't 55 degrees during the game. I was freezing! But Arlington had a blast and actually hit the ball without the T's assistance. That was a miracle in itself. But the kids are getting better. This was a big step.

Monday Arlington and I finished her latest book. We have been reading about Harry Houdini. When she and Mat went to 6 Flags, she rode a ride about Harry Houdini, and she was really curious about him. I think I have mentioned this before, but I am too lazy to scan my post to find out. Anyway, she came home wondering how he died, and about his brother, and his magic, etc. So first we looked him up on the internet and found out that he died of appendicitis. Then she wanted to know if there was a book about his life. I found this book:

And found that my school library had it. So I brought it home and we read it together. She loved it! And it was a good book. This author has written books for her age about several historical people, so I am going to check out a few more. Now we are reading about Ben Franklin and Mark Twain. The kite and the key caught her interest and -of course - we have to read about the greatest writer of all time. It is where Finley's name came from anyway. (her name is Finley Sawyer for those of you who don't know).

It was fun reading these books together. We are also going to watch a TV special that David Copperfield did back when he was popular. I saw him once and his show is really fun, so I think she would really like it. She wants to see some of the tricks (now that she understands that they are just that) to see if she can figure out how they are done. Too funny.


The weird:

When we were talking about historical figures she might be interested in, we talked about how mail used to be delivered by horse. (don't ask how we got there). So Arlington said:
“and before THAT – remember mommy, they got around by boogies”
Me: what?
Arlington: boogies. Remember – that is how people got around.
Me: you mean BUGGIES?
Arlington: right. That was before horses
Me: no, Arlington. The horses pulled the buggies. How did you think the buggies moved?
Arlington: by cow.
Me: um, no.

That girl is too much. We saw the cows pulling the plows in Williamsburg, so she thought they pulled the people too. Maybe they did.....


In other news:

Finley and Cainan are doing well. Cainan's evaluation by our Elementary School was today. We will be getting another meeting scheduled here in the near future to discuss their findings and then we can plan for his next year's preschool. So we will know soon where he will be going. I feel confident that even if he doesn't get to go to our elementary school's preschool program, he will be going to a better program than what he is in now.

Finley said something funny in the car on Monday. On the way to school EVERYDAY, I remind the kids that I expect good behavior, nice to their friends, on and on and on. (so many rules). :) I say to Arlington, “and you are going to be really good in Kindergarten today”. Finley, the boss pipes in “and not scooch around - sit still”. Arlington and I cracked up at this. What a little boss! She has also taken to calling Cainan "buddy". She will say "okay buddy?" "come here buddy". She thinks he is her baby. Or her pet. I am not sure which.

No Daisy scouts today, but Cainan did have a check up on his ear from last weeks infection. Looks good and we will be finished with his ear drops by Thursday. It was just he and I when we went to the doctors. He has really become a chatty little thing. He was going on and on about this thing or that. I remember the days where Cainan and I could ride 2 hours in the car and he wouldn't make a peep! It is nice to see him making that change in his personality.

The sad:

One last thing - we would like to express our deepest sympathy to Mat's family in the loss of their daughter, sister, cousin - Audrie. She has been sick for quite awhile and we found out that she passed away this morning. So to Aunt Joan, Megan, Elaine, Tracy, all of you. We are deeply, deeply sorry for your loss. I have been following Audrie's journey with cancer for the last year and hoping for a good outcome. Our prayers and thoughts are with you during this difficult time.

I will see you on Saturday.