Wednesday, October 2, 2013

September 2013

September was such a great month for our family. 

I have made the decision to have gastric sleeve surgery.  As many of you know, I have struggled with my weight my entire life and with much consideration, it feels like the best decision for my family and I.  I met with the nurse practitioner and got the ball rolling in this process in early September.  Throughout September, I went to a seminar, education class, a couple of psych evaluations and had a sleep study.  I have all of the pre-requirements done and go to meet with the surgeon tomorrow.  Hopefully I will be able to have surgery in early November. 

Pete was extremely busy coaching soccer in September.  He either had a game or practices anywhere from 4-5 times a week.  We played a lot of tag-team parenting and there were many nights that the kids only had one of us around.  I think there were maybe 6 nights this entire month that we were all 5 together.  

Claire is thriving in kindergarten.  She absolutely LOVES it!  They have a behavior chart and purple is the best you can get and she continues to strive to get a purple.  Green is what you start at every day and you can move up to pink, blue, and purple or down to yellow, orange or red.  Last week she got all greens and blues and so far this week she has 2 blues and 1 pink.  Claire also started to play soccer.  She has a couple of friends on her team and Pete is her coach.  She is learning to read and reads us books almost every evening.  It is so fun to watch her grow and learn.

Grace and Jake have also done a great job adjusting to their new school.  Jake is saying many more words and one of his favorite words is "barbie"....thanks to Grace and Claire! Grace has made many friends at school and I am so proud of her.

Here are pictures from our month of September...

 The kids decorating cupcakes

Here are pictures from Claire playing soccer...Pete's in heaven! :)

Jake just kicks the soccer ball up and down the field next to Claire's game

SO inappropriate to take pictures in church but the girls were being so sweet that I couldn't help myself

On Tuesdays and Wednesdays I get to spend my day with these two little cuties!

Aunt Beth came to visit for a few days. She watched the kids for a couple of different times that we needed her help.  In this picture, you can see that she let the girls do her hair before she read them books!

Claire was VIP at school.  Each week, each class at her school picks a name to be the VIP for the week.  They get to bring in items, a snack, and show some pictures that are "All About Me".  We also got to eat lunch with her in the cafeteria.  She was so cute and it was nice to see her new friends.

TV tray dinners always were such a fun treat growing up...the kids loved it!

Movie night!

Claire's best friend from her old school had a birthday party towards the end of September.  It was so cute to see them reunited and hear them talk about kindergarten together!

Pete had a guys night at the end of September and Trina brought her son over and we were able to hang out with the kids and have a little girl time of our own!

Hope you guys had a wonderful September!  Thanks for reading!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

August 2013

To say August was a busy month is an understatement.  We started the month with Kathy and Kwabena's wedding over the first weekend in August.  It was a lot of fun and Claire and Grace were flower girls for the 3rd time in their short little lives.

In the middle of the month, my mom came to watch the kids while Beth, Matt, Pete and I headed to Put In Bay for a weekend getaway.  We had a great time and sampled a lot of the different restaurants and bars and hung out in the pool.

The big event of the month was switching all of the kids schools.  With Pete starting a new job, it just made sense to switch daycares to one that was closer to our house.  Grace and Jake go to this daycare on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and Claire has before and after school care at this daycare on those days as well.  This daycare is much bigger and much more structured and I was worried how they would do but they both seem to be doing great!  I am so proud of their ability to adjust.

We sent our first kiddo, Claire to kindergarten and this was a stressful situation to say the least.  I came from private schooling where there are the same 20-25 kids in your class from 1-8th grade and your parents drop you off and pick you up.  In this public school system, there are 7 kindergarten classes in her school alone and she is 1 of 26 in her class...and her class will completely change next year!  She is also riding the bus to and from school.  Unfortunately, Pete and I's schedules aren't consistent enough to be able to take her or pick her up so in order to avoid confusion we went with a consistent schedule.  Unfortunately, confusion has already happened and the school put Claire on the wrong bus yesterday and she took a very long bus ride around before they finally dropped her off where she needed to be.  She took it in good stride, but Pete and I were a nervous wreck when the school called and said, "Don't be alarmed Mr. Vandervaart, but do you have Claire?"  Umm..... NO!  What the heck?  Oh well - she was fine so I wasn't going to get too upset about it!  She is doing well as far as we know, but will find out more at Parent Night next week.

Here are some pictures from our month of August....

The following are pictures from Kathy and Kwabena's wedding:


The cool new helmet from Aunt Beth and Uncle Matt

Claire went to something called "Safety Town" where she learned about stranger danger, police men, fires, etc.  Her friend, Emme was in the class with her and one night she came over after class for a sleepover!

We made a weak attempt at potty-training to see where Jake was at and he is NOT ready.  He was sitting on the couch and started to pee and stood up in fear because he didn't know where the arch of fluid was coming from!

Three kid snuggling :)

Crazy daredevil, Jake!

Pictures from Put in Bay

Our big kindergartener!

Jake has a new love for coloring!  The boy that is constantly on the go will actually finally SIT and color!

Claire also started playing soccer.  Here are Grace and Jake cheering her on.  Pete is her coach and she does a great job but is still learning the concept of teamwork and its OK if you don't kick the ball the most!

This may look like child labor, but the kids love to wipe off the table after dinner.  They fight over who gets to spray and who gets to wipe.  IT IS AWESOME!

My Tuesdays are spent with these adorable faces and I love it!

Pictures from Claire's first day of kindergarten!  When she got on the bus, Grace threw herself over the stroller and cried because she forgot to say "Bye" to her and Jake just kept pointing and crying "Claire, Yellow Bus!"  So...we hopped in the car and followed the bus to school so we could see Claire get off the bus safely.  It was a trip solely for Grace and Jake....not me at all...hence the sarcasm! :)

We ended the month by going to my mom's for labor day.  I took the kids on my own because Pete had to coach a soccer tournament.  He is a coach for Claire's team and two additional 10-12 year old teams.  I  was anxious about being a single mom for the weekend but my family really stepped up and it was really enjoyable.  The kids loved the lake and love to swim.  We had a great time!