Saturday, December 20, 2008
Last Thursday we had his winter party for school! I along with another Mom, are the "party Moms" and we plan the parties for the class for the whole year. She is such a wonderful person and we work well together, which makes the party for the kids a blast and easy of their teacher. I wonder if we can get our kids in the same class next year???
Punky is getting bigger and bigger, she'll be 5 months on the 28th and acting all the red head that she is! She is feisty and spirited and lets everyone know it! She has been in daycare for 2 weeks now with a wonderful woman who lives in our neighborhood. Her name is Kristen and she has 5 boys (yes FIVE) and her youngest was on Connor's baseball team this past summer. She takes such good care of our baby girl. I hate to leave her, but I know she is being very well cared for. Hopefully in the next month I can can go down to three days a week and work one from home.
Connor is doing fabulous, just learning up a storm! Math is still his favorite and we often have discussions about college and when I told him that in college you can learn about just what you want to. So he was very excited to learn that he could just go to college and do math and science! Watch out MIT! He is loving Christmas and loves sharing all of it with his baby sister. He is so sweet and just loves to be around her and she adores him, she just lights up when she hears her voice!
It has been a weird fall and winter for us, we went from having 60 and even 70 degree days to dropping below zero! Talk about your global warming! But we have been having a lot of fun together! So this would be our "virtual" Christmas letter! Enjoy the pictures and have a wonderful holiday season!
Saturday, November 29, 2008
We started the day having "Nate the Great" chocolate chip pancakes. If you haven't heard of "Nate the Great", he is the main character in a book series Connor and I have started reading. Nate is a detective and he always has to have pancakes while solving a case. So in one of his books they printed the recipe he uses, we added the chocolate chips ourselves. They were GOOD!
We headed up to my Mom and Dad's at about 2pm and we had a really great time talking and eating. I think I ate for two, I figured I was making up for last Thanksgiving since I was just newly pregnant and was throwing up and had to sit near an open window since the smell of any meat made me sick! So I ate last year's meal plus this year's- I was FULL! But since we had fewer people, we could all fit at one table!
We also played Monopoly Jr and had a chance to catch up with each other. It was a wonderful day and I have SO much to be thankful for! My family, my friends, my dogs, a new job and safe and warm home with a kitchen full of food! Plus this year we finally have the family we have dreamed of, Punky is here and now our home is full!
Dave & Kristen
Connor and his favorite part of TG- PIE!
Billy, Connor and Gus playing Monopoly and Connor WON!
Hmm, not bad...
Friday, November 28, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
I have accepted a position at our church on the Children's Ministry team. I will be working with Sunday school, but also Vacation Bible School and really all programs that are related to that. I am very excited, because after almost 10 years of not working outside the home, I am getting a chance to be with other people and do something I am good at! It contains a lot of detail work and organization and those are things I am very good at it! I really love it! It is semi-part time and I can still do my other insurance CSR work around that schedule. Connor is in school from 9-4 everyday, so he's settled....but Punky, ah my sweet Irish Princess.
I am having a hard time finding daycare, so right now my Dad (or 'Da' as Connor calls him) takes care of her when she can't be in the childcare at the church. I actually wasn't going to take the job when the first person I had lined up to care for her fell through, but my Dad stepped up and so "no you are not going to quit, I will take care of her until you find something permanent!" Which is a HUGE relief off of me, since I am feeling a LOT of maternal guilt! I waited FOUR years for this baby girl to come along and I feel like I am just shipping her off! And the thing is, yes we could use the extra income, but also I LIKE the job! And I really like the people I am working with! So now I feel guilty for liking working again! Ugh! How does a Mother reconcile those feelings?
And we have all had some adjustments. I am not home to the normal housework, grocery shopping, etc., but Bill has really stepped up to help me. And I have also had to learn to curb my potty mouth! I am working at church for crying out loud! Can't be cursing at the computer!
So in this year of changes, we have had one more. But we Howards are a strong bunch and we will keep rolling with it!
I wish everyone a wonderful and peaceful Thanksgiving! We are all so very grateful for all the great family and friends in our loves- that means YOU!
See ya, Melinda
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Punky was wearing the same gown my sister and I had both worn. The Pastor who baptized her, Jerry, used to be a stand-up comedian in LA, before he felt called to become a minister. He is so sweet and funny and was so kind with our little one. My older brother, Christopher is her Godfather and my best friend, Tami, is her Godmother. Tami couldn't be there, she lives in the UK, so my Mom was her "stand-in" at the baptism. And most of our family and good friends were there to help us celebrate.
After the baptism we had a reception at my parent's home. My Dad is quite the chef and everyone loves when he gets in the kitchen and does his "thing"! So there were a lot of happy people! We changed Regan from her baptismal gown to a beautiful dress her Aunt Tami sent from England, it is GORGEOUS! And she got to wear little tights and black patent leather shoes, too sweet.
We ended the party with an Irish toast to Bill's brother and Connor and Regan's Uncle Jimmy, who passed away this past March. It has left a hole in the life of all who knew him and since part of Regan's middle name came from him, we wanted to honor his memory and his place in our hearts.
Regan being baptized (the red ribbon Bill is wearing is for Veterans Day)
Punky and Mommy at the party
Punky is partied out!!
Monday, November 3, 2008
She had to be taken by ambulance, which was scary and funny at the same time. They took her in her carrier and strapped it to a gurney and it was sitting almost upright. She has pretty good head control now and she was wearing the nasal O2 and I swear she looked like a pissed off little old man! So I rode with her and Bill followed. The admitted her for the night and had her on a 1/4 liter of O2 and brought it down to an 1/8 by 1am and then she was on room air by 3am. And her O2 stats were holding in the upper 90's. By 11am she was ready to be discharged, she just had a upper respiratory infection and we had to watch her little nose and suck it out a few times a day. And since her immune system has taken a hit, everyone in close contact with her had to get a flu shot. Bill, Connor and I already have had ours (Connor had the influenza virus twice at 2 and 3 and was in the ER- don't want to repeat that again!) and my Mom who never gets one, bravely went and got it. So by now she is doing well, the time change has screwed her up a bit, but otherwise she is fine.
Mr. Cub, the pumpkin girl and Optimus Prime
Punky's little pumpkin butt!
Optimus Prime and Thing Two
Last bit of news. This coming Sunday is Regan's Baptism. We are so excited to have her baptized in our new church! She is going to wear the same gown that both my sister and I wore when were baptized. And we are having a little reception afterwards at my Mom and Dad's house. Her Aunt Tami bought her a beautiful dress to wear for the party. We will take lots of pictures and post them next week.
Hope you all had a great Halloween!
See ya, Melinda
Ok I have NO IDEA why blogger hates me. My posts look like one long paragraph and I swear I indent! I have spent 15 minutes going back and forth trying to fix this so it looks right, but I can't and it won't, so it is how it is....
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
Thursday, October 9, 2008
We did a SpongeBob theme, it was a movie and pizza party. He invited four of his friends and we rented "SpongeBob Squarepants: The Movie" and set up a theater in our family room. I spread out a huge quilt to make it cozy (and to keep the carpets I JUST had cleaned protected!) and each boy got a pillow to lay on.
We started out with some pizza, then moved on to the movie. I had to let them have a massive pillow fight first to get some energy out and then they all sat down. We turned the lights off and the stereo on and they each got little boxes for popcorn. After the movie was half way through, we stopped for cake, cupcakes actually. Connor is not a kid who likes sweets AT ALL, which is a little strange. So instead of buying or making a huge cake, I decided to make cupcakes and ice them and then let each kids decorate 2, one to eat then and one to take home. They had gummy worms, mini m&m's, and sprinkles. Connor covered his with m&m's and we put a #7 candle on top and sang happy birthday and he never even touched the cupcake!
Then after running up and sliding down the staircase about a billion times, Connor opened his gifts. He got great transformers and a new game for us to try on game night! Then the boys managed to sit long enough to finish the movie (I was wondering if I would get a visit from DCFS if I shoved a Xanax down one kid's throat) and then we let them run around outside until their parents came.
And while we were outside, I was holding Punky all wrapped in a cozy blanket and I wanted Bill to gather the boys in the yard and take a picture of them all. But during the hand off of the camera there was a fumble and the camera hit the sidewalk and broke! And I have not even had the thing for a year! SO MAD! And when I went to see how much it would take to fix it, the guy said it would be a minimum of $150 since they are required to send this particular brand back to the manufacturer! So I guess we'll be doing some camera shopping!
Once the party was over, we surveyed the damage. Abby and Chase cleaned up any remaining popcorn on the floor and Bill and I cleaned up the kitchen. It wasn't too big of a mess and I managed to get the house back in order before bedtime. We decided 3 hours was WAY too long to have them all here, but we are very glad that we decided to have the party at home and did not succumb to the HR pressure of shelling out hundreds for C's 7th birthday!
Here are some shots of the crazy event!
Tim, Tyler and Jack on the stairs
Ahh, all quiet for the movie!
Happy Birthday sweet boy!
And now for an update on Punky....
She had her two month checkup on September 26th. She weighed in at 9lbs. 14oz and is 23 1/2 inches long. She is TINY! At this age Connor was almost 14lbs and 26 inches long! But our doctor said she is eating well and is healthy. Her arm is doing great and she is getting very steady with that head. I broke down and got her vaccinations due at 2 months. I am just so conflicted! I do not believe that they are the reason Connor has ASD, but it stills scares the life out of me! So my doc agreed we will stay on schedule for all of them except the MMR, which we will wait until she is 2 years old.
Other than that, she is doing great! Most nights she makes it about 7 hours. She is sleeping in her crib in her own room and it feels so great to have my house full! She is smiling like crazy and loves to see her big brother and listen to all the songs he makes up about her. We have scheduled her baptism at our church on November 9th. She will wear the gown that both my sister and I were baptized in!
We are doing well here this fall! Hope you all are too!
See ya, Melinda