Elijah's 3rd Birthday!

Lilypie Third Birthday tickers

Rachel's 4th Birthday

Lilypie Third Birthday tickers

Jeremiah's 6th Birthday!!

Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Our 8th Anniversary!!!

Daisypath Anniversary tickers

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Daddy Daycare (Day 3 of 3)

Today's my last full day of "Daddy Daycare". I love the kids and all, but I really look forward to Elizabeth coming home and getting back to normal.

Today started out with a breakfast of cold cereal. The kids chowed down on raisin bran and I had Grape Nuts. Speaking of Grape Nuts, why isn't this cereal more popular? I know they're hard but let 'em sit in milk for a bit and they're delicious. Who doesn't like the taste of malted barley?! After breakfast I put on Little Einsteins and caught this video of the kids helping "Rocket" take off:

I then escaped the house with the kids to run a few quick errands. We stopped at Safeway for eggs to make Dutch Babies for breakfast tomorrow and washed the car on the way home. Rachel is totally freaked out about the car wash, but today I told her I would hold her hand and daddy wouldn't let anything happen to her. She actually held it together the whole time and afterwords exclaimed, "Wheeee! That was fun!". I asked her if she wanted to go again and she yelled, "NO!"  I have to hand it to Jeremiah - he was encouraging her the whole time.

After getting home I dried off the car while the kids remained inside watching Jonah and the Whale. Then I let the kids out for snack time. We ate raisin muffins, but each kid had to have them prepared a different way: JP wanted his split in half but no butter and not toasted; Rachel wanted toasted and buttered; Elijah wanted buttered, not toasted. I guess I shouldn't complain because it's much faster when they don't all want them toasted and should be encouraged that they're not all just following Jeremiah's lead.

After snack time the kids went out for more bike riding, which was stopped short when JP decided to have a pee accident. He was so excited about going out and riding his bike that he lied to me when I had asked him if he had to pee before we went out. While I was taking care of that, and the bathroom was occupied, Rachel decided to relieve herself on our shoe cubby. Ugh!

By the time everything was cleaned up and the laundry was running it was time to start preparing for lunch. The kids and I each had a Chobani greek yogurt. If you haven't had this stuff you should try it. It isn't nearly as sweet as Yoplait (good in my book) and is remarkably thick and creamy given that most flavors have zero grams of fats. Liz and I were turned on to it when Costco was handing out free samples. Now our Costco doesn't carry it anymore but it is priced competitively with other brands at the local market.

After lunch the kids straightened up the loft while I vacuumed their rooms. Then they went down for their naps and once I was sure that Rachel was asleep I vacuumed the rest of the rooms. Unfortunately JP never did get to sleep, but he is used to staying in his room quietly until his clock says 4:00. Since JP didn't sleep I woke the others up from their naps early because I now was planning to put them all to bed early.

Now that the kids were up, we went back outside for more bike riding. I took JP's training wheels off again for more practice without them but he's still not quite getting the feeling. So I decided to give in to his pleas to put them back on, but did so with them slightly higher off the ground. My hope is that the extra side to side play will help him get the feel of it. It seemed to be working. Today he also discovered riding out of the saddle:
We didn't go back inside until dinner time. Dinner tonight was tater tots and dinosaur chicken with ketchup. The kids loved it so much that each one ordered seconds. Jeremiah ate a total of 5 nuggets and 10 tots, Rachel had four nuggets and ten tots, and Elijah had five nuggets and a half a tot. I guess he didn't like the tots.

Then it was cleanup time, bath time (got to have the kids clean for mom tomorrow!), story time, song time, and good night!

I've had a lot of fun the last three days, but I sure am looking forward to Elizabeth coming home!


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Daddy Daycare (Day 2 of 3)

Well, the kids are now in bed on the second full day of three of "Daddy Daycare".

This morning started at 5:40AM when Jeremiah came into my room complaining that his brother was stirring and woke him up. I told him that he could climb in bed next to me and go back to sleep. Yeah, that was a mistake because not only didn't he go back to sleep, he kept me up until 6:22AM when Rachel came in and turned on the TV (note that coming into mom and dad's room after 6AM and turning on the TV is an accepted practice in this house).

Breakfast was intended to be "Dutch Babies" but after yesterday's egg & cheese muffins we only had one egg left. So I resorted to the Krusteaz pancakes, which just require mix and water, and are always a hit with the kids. After breakfast the general consensus was to ride our bikes back to the "green park".

While JP was riding his bike in circles around the play area I snapped these photos of Rachel playing on the equipment. It's neat to see her doing the things that JP was doing a year ago, although he was more aggressive.

After the park we returned home for snack time which consisted of apple slices for everyone. Elijah had a tough time with them and ended up doing what Rachel did with them up until recently; chew them up and spit them out. The kids hung out, rode their bikes a bit, drew on the driveway with sidewalk chalk, and watched me turn the sprinklers back on. We haven't had any precipitation for the last few weeks and with this hot weather all the snow has melted.

By this time JP had been such a good boy that he earned enough marbles to fill up his marble jar and earned his reward. He chose to have me take him to Chick-fil-A for a vanilla shake and chicken nuggets for lunch. I keep trying to get him to order a chocolate shake but have been thus far unsuccessful... Thankfully this outing went quite well. The kids were all in a good mood and there was ample seating when we arrived. The staff at Chick-fil-A were very helpful (as always) with getting us situated and making sure we had everything we needed. Unfortunately JP was the only one who ate all his food. Rachel ate one nugget and Elijah, who usually eats as much or more than his older brother, refused to eat any! The only hangup was when Rachel declared that she had to go to the bathroom.

After lunch we headed home for nap time. All three kids went to sleep today between about 2pm and 4pm. During that time I finished cleaning up the kitchen, vacuumed downstairs and the stairs, put the toys away, and fixed a problem my mom was having with her computer that prevented her from seeing yesterday's videos. Just as I was finishing up with that JP, then Rachel, then Elijah woke up...

After nap time JP and Rachel went out to ride their bikes on the sidewalk. Elijah wanted to ride in his tricycle that has a seat belt and a push handle for dad. I snapped a picture of Rachel on her trike (wait, this picture is from yesterday!?). For some reason I just didn't think to snap a pic of Elijah.
Rachel on her trike ... yesterday (what happened to today's pic!?)

We ended up having pizza for dinner, and after dinner the kids wanted to ... you guessed it ... ride their bikes! By 7PM the first mosquitoes of the year were out buzzing around and it was time for the kids to go inside and get to bed. An hour later the kids were in their PJs, teeth brushed, we had read a book, sung "Gentleness", and the kids were in bed. Only one more full day before Mommie returns!


Friday, March 23, 2012

Daddy Daycare...

Elizabeth is in California to surprise an old friend by showing up for her baby shower. She didn't take any of the kids... So hold on kids, 'cause it's time for daddy daycare! (Cue ominous music)

Overall, my first full day went really well. It helped that Liz left us with a crock-pot full of beef stew to ease me into it last night. The kids woke me up around half past six, which is on the later side of normal, and I began the day of outdoor activities I had planned. By 8:30AM we finished our breakfast of home made McD's style egg cheese and ham muffins and were out the door. Jeremiah is now quite accomplished at riding his bicycle (since it has training wheels does that make it a quadricycle?) so we rode to the local park. The other two rode in the trailer behind me.

After spending an hour or so running around the park we headed home for snack time. The kids ate bananas while I prepared for our next activity. Since the weather was so awesome (sunny and 75F) I wanted to go for a mountain bike ride in Waterton Canyon. The only problem was how to take all three kids along since JP's training wheels just wouldn't work on the dirt... Well, if necessity is the mother of invention perhaps cabin fever is a distant cousin because by the time 11AM rolled around I was rolling down the driveway with not one but TWO bike trailers behind me. Connecting the two trailers involved adding a new hole to one of them to mount the hardware. Yes, as affirmed by passing motorists, bicyclists, and runners - I am still "The Man".

Yes, not one but TWO trailers with THREE kids
Once inside Waterton Canyon I shot this video for Liz:

Despite how out of breath I was, I made it 7.5 miles up the canyon to this covered picnic spot where we dined on PB&J, crackers, oranges, bananas, and drinks.

Kids enjoying their picnic lunch

I let the kids run around for around a half hour before loading them up and heading back. We saw tons of wildlife and beautiful early spring scenery. Here are some photos I took while riding today.

Whitetail deer

Juvenile bighorn sheep

Mature male bighorn sheep

A group of bighorn sheep climbing the canyon

A fisherman I spoke with claimed he caught and released 8 trout in this section in 30 minutes
The remainder of the day involved JP and Rachel riding their bikes around the neighborhood, watching Cars the movie, calling mommy, eating Mac'N'Cheese for dinner, bathing the kids and putting them to bed. Overall it was a very rewarding day and the kids were overall pretty awesome. I mean it's just got to be a good day when my 3 year old maintained a good attitude all day and helped his brother and sister. You know, today he started to turn into my right hand man. That's the kind of thing that will bring a tear to any dad's eye.