Friday, August 31, 2018

Friday Thoughts


Two weeks of school completed!  I’m getting used to waking up even earlier.  W is doing great.  Yesterday, he mentioned that he sat at a table with first graders during lunch and one of the first graders told him he should go and sit with the other kindergartners.  It broke my heart a little – W has never been very social with other kids.  And really, he seems to get along better with older children.  On the bright side, he didn’t seem to mind very much and just commented that it wasn’t a very nice thing to say.  His only complaint is attending school for a full day is a long time.  But he’s also said that he wishes school was on Saturdays and Sundays.  I don’t expect that sentiment to last, but I’m incredibly proud of him.  Starting a new school where you know no one is tough – especially for a shy kiddo.

Also! I love making his lunch!!  Another thing that I don’t expect to last very long (ha!), but right now I have so much fun choosing items (a limited selection since W is very picky) and arranging them in the bento box.

S also loves school.  I can usually find him on the tire swing with a group of friends or trying to master some sort of tricycle.  The only thing he’s struggling with is potty training.  One of my least favorite things in the world and to be honest, I haven’t been pushing it (but I should).  In all other aspects, he’s doing amazingly well.

Franklin and Theo are still lots of fun, but very mischievous.  They knock over drinks, bite at toes and electrical cords, and have even managed to turn the oven on twice!!  Hopefully, they don’t burn the house down.  Franklin makes a habit of biting at my legs and feet in the morning for attention – if you have any advice on how to put an end to this, I’m all ears.  It drives me crazy.  I’m thinking I’ll try a spray bottle.  Aside from their mischievous behavior, they can be sweet and cuddly and W is still smitten.




S makes me laugh every day.  That boy is a clever one.  He recently asked what I thought he should be for Halloween – a garbage truck, a semi truck, or a big French fry.  Bahaha.  On Mondays and Wednesdays, he comes with me to drop W off at school and loves getting in the “car line”.  We stop at Starbucks afterwards to kill time and he’ll get an apple juice while I get coffee.  Wednesday, he asked if he could bring his juice into school.  I told him no.  He then asked, “how come the teachers can bring their coffee, but I can’t bring my apple juice?”.  I thought that was impressive reasoning for a three year old.  Yikes.  I foresee a few battles in our future.

I’m so looking forward to a 3-day weekend.  We have plans to get together with family and friends and it should be fun despite a rainy forecast.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

CF Clinic


A had clinic on Tuesday and all went well.  I was worried his lung function may be down since he doesn’t have to walk Addie dog anymore and he hasn’t been on the treadmill lately.  He has stayed active this summer and often goes on walks with the boys so that helps.  He didn’t receive a results print out, but was told his lung function was up – always the best news!!  I’ve been pushing him to ask about the Monarch or Afflovest.  He did and was told something about the manufacturer not working with his current vest provider.  It didn’t make any sense to me and I think the portability of both vests would be a game changer for him.  He could essentially do his vest while making dinner or playing with the boys.  Compliance would be so much easier to achieve.  I’ll keep pushing.

So all in all a good visit and I’m very relieved – especially as everyone is heading back to school, which means germs, germs, and more germs.

Also!!  On the topic of CF, I received an email from Christa a month or so ago.  Hi, Christa!  She is a CFer and asked that I mention her Instagram account.  I’m sorry that it took me so long, but you can follow her at @cfwithgrace.

Finally, I came across these tees at Jumping Jack Apparel and fell in love.  I ordered one for the boys.  A portion of the proceeds benefit Caleigh, a CFer who just had her second lung transplant.  I follow her on Instagram (@Fight2Breathe) and she’s incredibly inspirational and positive about everything she’s experienced.  Definitely check out Christa and Caleigh!!

Monday, August 27, 2018

Weekend Recap


We survived the first week of school!  This week is the real deal because there are no more half days.  W attends for a full day AND takes the bus home.  Everyone has warned me that he’ll be exhausted and cranky by the time he gets home.  I’m prepared for the worst.  S is never ready to leave school – he just wants to keep playing outside with his friends.

We had a good weekend.  Friday, we met at my mom’s house for pizza as we’ve been doing lately.  Always a good time!  The boys enjoyed driving around the neighborhood in their Jeep.

S's face... hahahaha.  Not so sure about big brother's driving.


Saturday, I headed to the salon for a pedicure.  I had gotten a gift certificate for my birthday and left it at home… boo!  I guess that just means a free pedicure next time.  But it was so relaxing and I’m enjoying my navy blue toes. J  We headed to Andrew’s parents’ house (aka Nani and Papa’s) in the afternoon to celebrate Nani’s birthday.  We had a yummy lunch and the boys enjoyed playing with cousins.

Sunday was our usual.  We attended mass at our new church and I let the boys bring some toy cars and toy garbage cans to keep them occupied.  S snuck some tongs into the diaper bag, which he pretends are a garbage truck arm.  I noticed a few odd looks.  S would occasionally chatter and the cars and garbage cans would occasionally make a noise, but it was nothing too loud or distracting – just typical little kid noise.  At one point, the woman in front of us shushed the boys.  I was shocked and appalled.  I told A that I felt like we didn’t fit in at this church.  At our other church, everyone knows us and adores the boys.  Definitely a different experience.  Hopefully, this was just a fluke, but I’ve always felt a bit out of place at the new church – it’s the same place I was previously asked if I was a house wife.  What?!?  On the bright side, I saw my very first boss (well, first boss at a real job).  I had no idea he attended the same church.  Small world!

In other news, I’m determined to be healthier.  I'm really unhappy with the way I look at the moment.  I was doing so well walking/running on the treadmill nearly every day at the start of the year.  When my brother got sick, I stopped.  After he passed away, I had zero motivation; I was just consumed with sadness.  But I feel like I'm ready to reclaim myself and I'm determined to be happy again.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Preschool!!


S started preschool on Wednesday!  This is his second year of preschool and he’s at the same school and even in the same classroom he was in last year (though a different class).  This boy rocked preschool last year so I have no concerns about this year.  On Monday, we had ‘Meet the Teacher’ night at W’s school.  S cried the entire time because he wanted to go to HIS school.  On Wednesday, he had a half day (which didn’t really make sense to me because he only attends for 3 hours, but whatever).  He was mad that he had to wait until 10am to go to school when W got to go earlier.  He loves school and I hope that never changes (though I’m sure it will).  We’re considering a different all day preschool next year because he seems so ready, but I can’t even think about the logistics of that right now.  This year is complicated enough.  S still loves books, loves to be outside, and is socially mature for his age (I mean aside from crying because he can’t go to school) – he communicates incredibly well and seems to play well with other kids.  I have no doubt he’s going to have a blast this school year!







Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Kindergarten!!


W is in kindergarten!  I still can’t believe it.  I know he’s ready academically.  The kid was actually asking to do math worksheets over the summer?!?  He’s so close to reading.  And despite all the parent meetings, rules, required volunteer hours, and days with no buses, I really love his school and think it will be the best fit for him.  And I know meetings and volunteer hours are a good thing – I really do, but gosh, they’re tough on working parents.  W’s new school has a STEM curriculum starting in kindergarten – my nerd heart is loving it.  He’ll be able to take Spanish classes starting in fourth grade (I wish it was sooner, but I started in 7th grade so this is a step up).  His class size is small, but not too small - 17 children.  And I’m just so excited for him to learn ALL THE THINGS.

But I have to admit, I’m also sad.  Sad that he’s growing up so quickly.  Sad that I don’t yet know any of the teachers or fellow parents - I can’t just check in like I used to at preschool.  I’m worried for his shy, sensitive heart and devastated that he’ll have to practice lockdown drills.  I’m concerned he’ll fall behind and worried that he won’t know who to sit with at lunch.  I’m sad for the world we live in.  I’m sad I can’t protect him.  I'm sad that I have to let go and allow him to grow.  And it breaks my heart a little.  

Yesterday was ok.  It was technically W's first day, but parents were required to attend a meeting with the principal so we were on campus at the same time as the kindergartners.  Today, I had to drop him off and drive away.  I couldn’t even walk him into school.  I had to let an aide help him out of the car and into the school (this is a good thing for safety reasons and efficiency).  Cue all the tears as I watched him walk away without me, never looking back.

A big step for all of us.  My sweet boy is growing up.






Monday, August 20, 2018

Weekend Recap


Our last weekend before the start of the new school year.  Cue all the tears.

Last week was crazy.  I can’t remember anything prior to Wednesday so I’ll just start there.  My company has been partnering with a charter school in Chicago for quite some time.  We do lots of volunteer work there, donate school supplies, mentor, adopt families during the holidays, and more.  I love the work that we do and the experience is always rewarding.  When the opportunity came to prep the school for the upcoming school year, I initially declined because I’ve been so busy and had a different volunteer meeting planned for that evening, but I changed my mind last minute and went to Chicago.  I spent about 3 hours painting the office area and then headed back to work.  I had a great time and I’m really glad I went.  I just accepted a volunteer position as Executive Board Secretary at S’s preschool and also had my first Board meeting that night.  By 9:45pm, the meeting had already been going for 4 hours and I was completely exhausted.  The discussion was really interesting, but I knew I had to be up at 5:30am the next day so I headed home though the meeting hadn’t quite wrapped up.  Not sure what I got myself into and I’m hopeful that upcoming meetings won’t last as long.  Yikes.

Thursday, I was just so darn tired.  My office had their annual summer gathering and while the food and company were great, I just wanted a nap.  Our CEO announced that in honor of the company’s 10 year anniversary, he was giving everyone the day off on Friday.  Wait.  WHAT?!?!  I was so excited for a surprise free day and after such a busy week, the timing was perfect.

Friday was perfect.  There was initially a chance of rain in the forecast for much of the day, but when we woke up, the chance of rain had diminished.  We had a very slow morning and finally decided we’d head to the Milwaukee Zoo.  The boys had never been to this particular zoo and A and I haven’t visited in several years.  We eventually headed out of the house and when we arrived at the zoo, it was sprinkling rain.  We decided we’d look for a lunch spot and then head into the zoo.  Oddly enough, we couldn’t find any family restaurants near the zoo.  Our options seemed limited to fast food or taverns.  Not what I had in mind.  We eventually decided to try out a little Italian restaurant.  As soon as we opened the door, there was a sign indicating gentleman were not allowed to wear tank tops.  I’m not sure if it was meant to be cute, but of course W was wearing a tank top and I was in ripped jeans.  I was about to turn around, but A suggested we give it a try.  If they didn’t want to seat us, their loss.  We were seated, but the restaurant was clearly not meant for children.  No kids menus, no lids on cups, I was so nervous about making a scene.  BUT.  The food was great, the boys were perfect, and we all really enjoyed lunch.  An elderly man even stopped at our table to compliment the boys’ behavior.  So halleluiah for no spilled drinks, no meltdowns, and no puke. #winning #thistime.

The zoo was awesome.  I had forgotten how great the Milwaukee Zoo was and we all had so much fun.  There was some festival going on with food trucks and live music so we enjoyed treats: shaved Hawaiian ice and popcorn for me, chips and lemonade for the boys.  There were lots of animals to see and after about 3 hours, we decided to head out.









W's stank eye... hahaha

 From the zoo, we headed to my mom’s house for pizza.  A full day, but so much fun.

Saturday, we ran errands.  W suggested a trip to Dairy Queen.  Neither of my boys eat ice cream.  WHAT WHAT?!?  But W had had some type of popsicle (Starkiss) at summer camp and liked it.  I’ll never turn down an opportunity for ice cream so we stopped after grocery shopping.  We took a family walk and spent the rest of the day cleaning and playing.

Sunday, our usual church and Starbucks.  We played dominoes and bingo and had a relatively low key day, which was the perfect ending to summer vacation.

I remember that I declared last summer my favorite summer ever.  Now, that almost feels like it was an invitation for disappointment and sorrow in the year to come.  Like I was destined for struggle.  This summer was the worst I’ve ever experienced.  I wish I could have a redo –with the exception of our trip to Maryland and NYC, I feel like I was cheated.  While I know this school year will be hectic with the boys at different schools, I’m hoping that it will be a happy one.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Weekend Recap


We had such a busy weekend!!  I mentioned that we now have kittens!!  They are so fun and these kitties are the people-iest (yes, I made up a word) cats I’ve ever encountered.  They constantly follow us around and love to be near us at all times.  W has especially taken to them and constantly picks them up, plays with them, etc.







Friday night, we also went over to my mom’s house for pizza.  I texted Susana and it turned out that she had the day off so she joined us.  I love this routine because the boys get to play and A and I get to relax a bit while grandma entertains the boys – it’s a win win!

Saturday consisted of errands and more errands.  A shampooed the carpet – unfortunately there are several spots from Addie still (and I don’t think they’ll ever disappear).  I wanted the boys to be out of the house while he worked so we went to the bank, pet store, Bath and Body Works, lunch, and grocery store.  They were such good company and good for the most part (except S in the grocery store… ahem).  The rest of the day was spent cleaning up and playing with kitties.

Sunday was our usual morning routine and then we headed to my cousins’ house for a cook out.  ALL of my cousins were there – all eight of them, plus spouses, aunts, uncles, etc.  About 35 people in all.  It was so great to see everyone, though it was a hot day and I felt like a sweaty mess after spending time outside.  Everyone brought a dish and the food was so yummy.  It made me wish we hosted more get togethers.  A great weekend in the books!

cousins <3



Monday, August 13, 2018

Introducing...


Our family is growing by eight paws!!  We’re so excited!!

During my birthday dinner, A and I started talking about how much we miss Addie.  I even got teary during dinner – I just miss her immensely.  A explained that he wasn’t ready for another dog, which I completely understand.  I’m not sure I’m ready either.  And A did most of the work – taking Addie out all the time, taking her to the vet, etc.  But then A said he would be ok with adopting a cat.  I had been saying that I wanted both a cat and a dog at some point so I was super excited.  I had been following a few different rescue groups/shelters in the area and had fallen in love with an orange kitten.  We like to name our pets after Cubs/baseball players/characteristics (hence Addison Ivy = Addie).  I also have an affinity for orange kitties.  So anyway, a local rescue group posted a picture of a little orange ball of fluff name Franklin.  Franklin!!  I loved the name, both because Franklin is a company that makes baseball gear and he’s a character in Charlie Brown - which is the only show/movie that both boys have watched and liked.  I also thought the name was super cute without its connections to baseball or Peanuts characters.  It just seemed like Franklin was meant for us. J

The following day, we filled out an application to adopt Franklin and then we waited.  We were supposed to hear back within 24-48 hours.  24 hours came and went and I was disappointed.  Had he already been adopted?  Were we deemed not a good fit?  And a small part of me felt like “gosh, I can’t even adopt a cat without being rejected and disappointed” and then I told myself not to be so dramatic. ;)  At the 48 hour mark, A’s phone rang.  We talked with the adoption coordinator and all was well until she threw us a “curve ball”.  She asked if we’d consider adopting two cats.  Another one wouldn’t be that much more work according to her, Franklin had a couple brothers, and that way, he’d have a companion.  I looked at A.  It was totally fine with my animal loving heart and I grew up with multiple cats.  A said it was fine.  Yay!!

After the phone call, we told the boys and they were both really excited about our new family members.

So.  Without further ado, introducing Franklin Clark and Theodore Banks (all names tied to baseball/the Chicago Cubs) or Frankie and Theo for short.








Monday, August 6, 2018

Birthday Weekend Recap


Friday was a long, busy day.  Both boys woke up at 5:45, which is way too early for them so I knew it’d make for a challenging day.  W had his final STEM class.  Let me digress here and say that we signed W up for a few different one week classes during the summer and he’s LOVED them.  STEM was no exception.  He built different contraptions using straws, toothpicks, marshmallows, tape, paper cups, clay, etc.  I was so impressed with this class.



Anyway, after class and lunch, A took the boys for haircuts.  After that, we were supposed to go to our new church to take photos for their directory.  They offered a promotion where we’d get a free 8x10 photo if we went.  Here’s where I should have realized that NOTHING is free.  So W had a major meltdown before we left because he was so tired at this point.  He threw a fit because he wanted to change into his picture clothes at the church.  I told him that made no sense, but he could definitely change out of his picture clothes and into comfy clothes after the photos were taken.  Cue full on temper tantrum.  Somehow A got him out the door and into his car seat where he continued to cry and carry on.  We made the short drive to church and once we arrived, the location had changed so we found our way to the “old” church.  W cheered up as we found our way around.  The pictures went well, but the photographer took quite a few, which confused me.  Here’s the part where I’m incredibly na├»ve.  I thought she’d just take a family shot for the directory, but she took several family photos, pictures of just the boys, and A and I sans boys.  We then went to a meeting room to view the images.  So we’re choosing photos we like best and every five minutes the boys are asking if we’re done, telling me they’re bored, asking to go to the bathroom, etc.  And I’m getting stressed as the photographer is showing us different layouts, frames, even Christmas cards.  So we get to what I think is going to be the end of it, and she announces that our total will be $200+.  WAIT, WHAT??  I said umm, no.  I’m not spending that.  So she took out some of the photos and talked us into getting this framed piece with 3 photos.  And then says, “Do you want to purchase the photo CD?”.  WTF?!?  Had I known  this was an option, I would have just bought that.  I don’t know why I didn’t stop her right there and tell her that, but I do know the boys were done at this point, I was stressed, and I just wanted to get out of there.  So we got in the car and I told A I had no idea what I just bought, I have no idea why I agreed to it, and where the heck was I even going to put this giant framed photo.  I felt like such an idiot.  Blaming A too because he could have told the lady no way… he probably assumed I wanted the stupid overpriced picture.  So A suggests we just cancel the order and buy the CD.  Great!  Then I look at the receipt and it says orders are processed immediately, no cancelations.  Of course!  Because I’m sure they’ve scammed hundreds of people into ordering.  UGH.

After that disaster, it was off to Touch a Truck, where we all had a great time.  The boys loved sitting in various trucks.  W’s favorite was the garbage truck (of course!) and S’s favorite was the snow plow.  We grabbed dinner from a food truck, which was fun.  The boys jumped around in bouncy houses (I really hate those things), and we called it a night.






Saturday, was W’s final t-ball game.  It was so darn hot.  Mid 90s at 11am and I was not a fan.  But I am super proud of W for participating.  He had great hits all season and improved in the field.  And he was adorable in his baseball cap.






After that, I got my haircut and then Susana came over to watch the boys so A and I could go on a little birthday date.  We went to an amazing steak restaurant and stuffed our faces.  The food was SO SO good.  Wine, kale and artichoke fondue, filet mignon, mashed potatoes, mushrooms, and brownie with ice cream for dessert.  I ate so much.  But it was really great to eat delicious food and talk to A.  We toasted to a better year ahead and I’m really hoping that’s the case.

Sunday was church and Starbucks.  The boys made me a birthday cake, which was delicious.  I opened some fabulous gifts, including Ed Sheeran tickets – I’m so excited!!  The Cubs lost – boo.  And we finished the night with spaghetti from Olive Garden.  It was another really hot day and while I originally suggested a trip to the water park, it was nice just to have some down time.  It was a really great weekend and I appreciate my guys making me feel extra special.

Preparing for brighter days to come!

S only has eyes for cake!



Friday, August 3, 2018

Stitch Fix #20


It’s been way too long since I’ve done a Stitch Fix post.  And truth be told, I can’t even remember when I got this Fix – sometime in June.  It was my 20th Fix!!  While I love Stitch Fix, I haven’t really felt like I needed new clothes (I bought a few dresses from Old Navy and Loft earlier in the summer and recently found a few fall items during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale) so I haven’t been scheduling Stitch Fix deliveries.

The first item I tried was this Market & Spruce Penny Cotton Embroidered Eyelet dress.  At first glance, I really liked it.  The entire dress was made up of thicker embroidered material and I love navy blue.  While I liked the pattern/style, there was absolutely no give to the dress.  It just felt confining (snug) and impractical for outings with the boys.  I also didn’t think it was very flattering on so I decided to send it back. RETURN


Items two and three where the Q & A Barahona Lattice Detail blouse and Just Black Lane Skinny jeans.  My initial impression of the top was ehh.  But once I put it on, I thought it was really cute.  I liked the style and colors and thought it could be a great work top, but was also casual enough for weekends.  It was light and flowy.  I really loved these white jeans.  They fit well, had the right amount of stretch, weren’t see through, and just great overall.  BUT.  I rarely wear white jeans because KIDS.  When I do wear them, it’s usually a day in which I’m heading into the office.  I already have one pair and just didn’t see a need for another.  However, if you’re in the market for a high quality pair of white jeans, I definitely recommend these.  KEEP, RETURN



The fourth item tried on was this Market & Spruce Caitria Tulip Sleeve blouse.  This was just ok.  I didn’t love the pattern or the tulip sleeves.  The fit wasn’t perfect.  I tend to gravitate to florals, but this floral pattern just didn’t wow me.  RETURN



Finally, the Collective Concepts Eayers Embroidered Cold Shoulder top.  I know cold shoulder tops are on trend, but I hate them.  While I think they look cute on others, they’re just not for me.  I’ve decided I have slopey shoulders (lol) so straps often fall down and I really have no desire to highlight my shoulders.  I did like the seersucker material and embroidered flowers, but absolutely hated the fit/style.  This was a definite NO.  Goodbye.  RETURN



Only one item kept this time so my wallet is happy. J