Friday, August 14, 2009

1st day of school

I know it's been forever since I've posted anything, but what can I say?? Ellie's first day of Kindergarten seems like a worthy mention :)
Ellie has been so excited to start Kindergarten -- like ever since preschool ended in May. I guess I can't blame her -- she must be bored hanging out with me and Nathan and Lucie all the time. She is a thinker, though... lots of things goin' on in that little head of hers! What will her teacher be like? Will it be very hard? (She had a real issue thinking that school was going to be ALL work and NO fun...) What would she eat for lunch? Who would she eat with? Even with all of her thinking / worrying, she couldn't wait to get out the door on the first day.
Frank went to work late that morning so that he could be around for "the moment" where his little girl entered the big bad school and did her very own thing for the very first time. She appreciated it very much -- after all, it must be a big deal if DADDY is around for it, when he would normally be at work... We all made the walk (it's like 2 blocks from our house) -- us and the rest of the neighborhood -- seriously - felt like we were part of a parade... Got to school and managed to spot Ellie's teacher in the midst of the "first day drop-off chaos" -- she (although she looked a little unsure at the last moment) could almost not be bothered with "good-byes" -- it's like she didn't want to miss anything that was going to happen -- not even to say good-bye. She did great. Mom and dad did OK, too :) We knew she was going to have a great day and a great year - so exciting for her!!
She came home with LOTS of stories -- an almost verbatim account of the whole day, it seemed. She's like that - very shy, kind of quiet, but totally studying everything and committing it to memory. We heard all about the school song (seriously, an elementary school song!), the "beautiful" teacher, the kids at her table, the lunchroom routine, the music room, the gym,. . . she was pooped - cashed out after school for about an hour. But day 2, she was up early and ready to go back for more! She was sad to see Friday come this morning -- "Man, two days this weekend with NO Kindergarten?? What am I going to do??" Ahh, the mindset of a five year old -- where Monday is exciting and Fridays are a big disappointment... can't even recall what that's like!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

4th of July in Omaha

Well, the fourth of July weekend reminds us a lot of last year when we were brand new to ol' Omaha. The difference is last year, we had the Hilts in town - and we played tourists all weekend. This year, it was just us, and we painted the basement :)
Actaully, it was a perfect blend of productivity and play. We kicked off the weekend with "family night" at the pool on Thursday night. The kids love it and it was the perfect night - HOT and sunny. They play tunes and of course, Nathan really loves that. Friday, Frank and Ellie went to see Ice Age 3... Nathan opted to stay home again. The kid is afraid of the movie theater for some reason -- "too much dark" is the reason he's giving lately, but who knows. Don't know how much to force the issue -- I'd think he'd go just for the lemonade and popcron, but no...
Saturday - "the" day... the weather was fairly crummy - cool and drizzly rainy! Frank and Ellie went to the neighborhood bike parade, but they were home within a half hour. (nathan, again, elected to stay home -- could a three year old turn into a raging agoraphobic, and would they blame his parents??) We went out to dinner on Saturday night - apparently, if you want to go to dinner and fight absolutely NO crowds, 5 pm on the 4th of july is the time to go! It was fun, but we were home early and faced the task of keeping everyone awake until dark for fireworks. We enlisted the help of videos... Cars, anyone? We remembered the fanfare of neighborhood fireworks from last year, so we didn't plan to attend an official fireworks show (especially since it was still cold and wet outside.) 10:00 pm - finally dark, and the kids really enjoyed seeing the sky light up -- best view was from Lucie's room, but the kids liked the excuse to run around the house to check out all the views... driveway, deck, Lucie's room, Nathan's room... it was fun, and no - staying up late did not make anyone sleep in later on Sunday morning... :)
Sunday, we spent a fair amount of the day putting the basement back together - we painted off and on all weekend (naps, night time, anytime we could catch a break from those kids!). But, ti took a better part of Sunday to strip all the tape, put the railings back on, switchplate covers, etc. -- such a great feeling to have another room freshly and cleanly painted!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Dykstras visit Omaha

My parents came out for another visit -- I won't fool myself into thinking they wanted to see me... it was a "grandkid fix" I'm pretty sure! :) They were here for just a few days, and the weather was iffy at best, but it was great for us to have them here. Despite trying to get our whole crew moving in one direction and Lucie's "schedule" -- it's a wonder we did anything at all. We managed to go to the park...twice. We met Frank for lunch one day. My dad offered to watch the kids on two different occasions while my mom and I went out... once to the Quilted Moose (I'm not the authority on fabric stores, but my mom says it's a good one - i'll trust her opinion.) and once to Village Pointe, your typical outdoor shopping mall. Fun. It's been a long time since I've just "browsed" for a couple of hours. And the kids were all too excited to have poppa all to themselves -- he is a very good sport about playing hide and seek, "school bus" and "horsie" and a whole bunch of imaginitive games of make-believe. Frank and I even got out one night to go to dinner, which hasn't happened since Lucie's been born, for sure! I always
think that people must be so bored here when we don't have any major sightseeing plans -- just hanging out with our crazy non-scheduled selves. We appreciate the visitors. As soon as they left, I instantly noticed that all three kids needed and wanted MY attention -- when Grandma and Poppa are here - they want them to read stories, they want to play with them... when they're not here - I guess I'm the best thing going :)

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Lucie is 2 months old!

2 months already?? Lucie is a keeper -- we weren't sure, but she started smiling and sleeping through the night just in the nick of time! :)

Memorial Day Weekend 2009

Another quick trip home...but any trip home is a good trip home! Frank was headed that way anyways for the annual trip to the Indy 500, so the rest of us decided to hitch a ride as far as chicago! We left Friday morning around 7 am -- had to make 2 stops as opposed to our usual 1...thanks, lucie! Add in Friday of Memorial Day weekend chicago traffic and the whole trip was about 9 hours (compared to the usual 7 1/2). Overall, Lucie did well on hir first (of many) roadtrips to chicago. We stayed with Frank's parents on Friday night - got to see Emma and Gina (and Oliver, of course). That's the second picture above...the cousins on the Williams side. Fun times.
Saturday morning, Frank and "the guys" left for Indy...they've got this trip down - the whole guys' weekend seems fairly routine for them at this point... but, that's what keeps 'em coming back! The kids and I and Frank's mom went to Emma's for lunch, which was excellent...and something about her place makes Ellie and Nathan run frantically in circles - also excellent. After lunch, the kids and I headed down to Glen Ellyn to see my family. The Hilts came over for dinner on Saturday, lunch on Sunday and we went to their house for dinner on Sunday -- lots of good cousin time (and the kids are all old enough to really "disappear" and play well together -- it's awesome!)
Ellie was very excited to show Lucie around nana's house and grandma's house...cute. It was the perfect way to kick off summer -- and I hope everyone in chicago had as much fun as we did... we'll be back in July for a longer stint (if they'll have us!).
Once Frank returned from the race (sweaty and tired, as usual), we pretty much took off for OMaha first thing Monday morning. the return trip was only one stop again (go, lucie!), and only about 8 hours (including a stop at McDonald's for lunch that included 2 trips to the bathroom for ellie, nathan spilling his milk to the tune of needing an entire new outfit, and lucie having one of the worst poop "blowouts" in williams kid hisotry...also requiring a full outfit change.) SOmehow, with all of that, and a stop for gas -- and I think we actually ate lunch, too -- it was a 45 minute stop. Not too shabby. In the middle of all this chaos, without fail, an elderly couple stops and comments on how "cute" the kids are (the poopy one or the milky one?) and how it reminds them of their family years ago and how...(they always say this)... we should enjoy every minute. (again, the poop or the milk?) :)
Frank brought back souvenirs for the kids... a onesie for Lucie, and a couple of matchbox-like cars for ellie and nathan. I think he stresses out a bit about ellie's souvenir - not the easiest place to shop for a girly-girl. No princess stuff at the brickyard! She was happy with the replica of Danica Patirck's racecar. She was all, "oh, a racecar...COOL! IT's a GIRL driver!?!?"
It was a fun weekend - we'll be back soon. :)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Mother's Day 2009

Here are Ellie and Nathan (Lucie was sleeping - slacker!) were up early and very excited about Mother's Day... what great kids! :) My only request for the day was Grands... yep, cinnamon rolls in a can... yummmm.... my favorite! The kids had never had them, so they were looking forward to trying this new breakfast treat. Ellie got the idea (from Caillou, I think) to do "breakfast in bed" (one of the more overrated concepts around, but..) and she was all jacked up about it. So, around 7:30 (I know! Sleeping in!), up came the troops (Lucie still sleeping at this point...) with the Grands. Delish! And, the kids wanted to eat "in bed" with me - yikes! Frank brought up the card table instead, so they could eat with plated flat on a table and chairs at a table -- always thinking! But, a lot of work for cinnamon rolls in a can :) It was fun.

After breakfast, we headed to the zoo -- it was a gorgeous day, and plenty of other moms were celebrating their day at the zoo, too. The new "skyfari" was open, and Frank and Ellie took the ride. Basically, a chair lift that "flies" about 30 or 40 feet off the ground, and goes over several exhibits, like the giraffes, rhinos, elephants. I would have been too scared - so would Nathan - and Lucie can't quite jump on or off a moving chair lift, so the three of us headed to the monkey house instead. The skyfari got great reviews from Ellie (and pretty good reviews from Frank). Some day, I'll try it, too.

On the way home from the zoo, we drove through Arby's (it was a real "mom's choice of un-nutritious foods kind of day!). We spent the rest of the day kind of hanging out and enjoying the day. It was weird to not be home to see OUR moms, but it was a nice kind of quiet day here, too. And it was a day that was relatively bicker-free between ellie and nathan, so perhaps that was the greatest gift I could have asked for. :)

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Lucie's first month

I realize that I haven't posted in a while... I guess we've had a few things changing around here.
Here are the highlights of the last month:

Easter: Frank's parents and his sister Emma came out to Omaha for Easter (and to meet Lucie, of course). It was very fun! 2 weeks after Lucie was born, and I was feeling much better. We did the neighborhood Easter egg hunt and did a brunch on Sunday. We even squeezed in a trip to the zoo and yet, it seemed like we had plenty of time to just "hang out," too. It was great to have visitors again - what a fun weekend!

Back to the Routine: Not much of an event, but April 15th, I got back to our routine here officially. Ventured outside of the house with ALL three kids (OK, it was just to preschool, the dry-cleaners and target, but still!). It was fine - Lucie screamed (that infant "i'm starving" blood curdling cry) the entire trip through Target. Why do strangers feel the need to stop you and say dumb stuff like, "somebody doesn't sound happy." Really, captain obvious?? Oh well, it was good to get out and not as bad as I would have thought to keep track of all three at once. :)

"The week of the young child": Yes, a whole week devoted to the "young child" -- it was tons of fun for Ellie, that's for sure! A preschool field trip to go see Disney's "Nature Earth" on earth day, a preschool picnic for the whole family on Friday. And the biggest thrill for her that week (nothing to do with the "young child") -- Kindergarten Round-up. She couldn't be more excited to be in Kindergarten (and I really couldn't be more excited either!) :) Full-day Kindergarten in Nebraska -- Omaha does a FEW things right! She had a blast - met all the K teachers, saw the classrooms - she loved it. (phew!)

Lucie: has it been a month already?? She's a keeper, of course. She is starting to really try to look at us and she is starting to have longer "awake" periods during the days (which has eased up the night time wakings a little bit). She's pretty consistently doing a good 4-6 hour stretch every night - who can complain about that? We think she is trying hard to smile at us, too... but not quite yet! Ellie continues to be very "into" her and Nathan is definitely coming around - asks to hold her and give her bottles and even offers to "check on Wucie" -- it's cute -- they'll all be buddies someday (I have to remind myself of that as Ellie and Nathan are in a serious sibling - bickering stage right now - ugh!)

More soon - I'll try not to go weeks between posts anymore! :)