I am really enjoying this summer! I've been keeping Derek's sister Monday- Thursday from about 10-4. Although I might cut it down to just three days a week. Most of our days are spent just around the house or playing outside.
The girls are still figuring out how to share, so I spend most of my time trying to make peace. I've been thinking a lot about how to get them to treat each other nicely. Especially my little rascal. Anna-Kate is really a sweetheart but she gets frustrated easily and usually acts aggressively by hitting or screaming. Whew that's hard to admit! I've begun to realize that she understands the idea of friends so I've been trying to approach things from that angle. Kristen is our friend, we don't hit our friends, we love our friends. We want our friends to be happy, so we share our toys.
It's really neat to see how the girls are growing and developing. They are starting to understand how we treat other people, so I know it will soak in eventually.
Derek has been home on Fridays and boy did I love it! It was so nice to have a break and get an extra day of family time! It really made us feel like we actually got a weekend! Derek and I spent most of those days working in the yard! We just finished the front yard, so look for a post about that soon!
Derek started one night class in Little Rock the first of June. Tuesdays and Thursdays he's able to come home and get dinner to-go then he's gone until about 10:30 or later. On top of that he's got an online class with deadlines on Wednesday nights. He has one more meeting of this class in Little Rock. They got tonight off since they have a paper and presentation due Thursday. Last week he finished one online class on Wednesday (with a paper and final on top of his usual postings) and then he turned right around on Thursday and started yet another online class. Thankfully that one is his LAST ONLINE CLASS!! Yipee!! Poor Derek also had a portfolio due last Friday. That required him to write a paper and turn in an updated resume. Poor thing had a really rough week! He starts another class that meets in Little Rock sometime in July. Then HE'S DONE! Wahoo!! We could not be more proud of him! He will be graduating with his Master's of Business Administration on July 31.
Two weeks ago Derek and his dad and brother got to go on a float trip! They left around 8 or 9 in the morning and did not get back until about 8:00 that evening! That was actually part one of his Father's day gift. They all had so much fun. I was really glad that they got the day to bond. I did not sit at home though! :) Derek's mom and I took Thomas and went to Little Rock! We went to the Container Store (my favorite) and then to Garden Ridge and finally to Sams. It was a lot of fun! The girls stayed at the house and had so much fun playing with the babysitter! Cara and I got in around 4 and unloaded and then I made homemade pizza for us girls!
Last weekend we went on a trip to Saint Louis!! It seemed to hit right when Derek needed it, so I was really excited for him to get a break! Derek LOVES the STL Cardinals... I don't even know if love is a strong enough word!! I think he's counting down to the day that he can have a room in our house to put all of his Cardinals things! He was just so excited to get to share that with the kids. We left on Friday morning and drove to Lepanto, where we stopped for lunch and then drove on to STL.
Derek reserved the room through what is called a blind booking. Basically that means he chose a general location (downtown STL) and the rating (3-4 stars) and then you book the hotel without knowing any other details. We had heard this was a great way to get a nice deal on the hotel. We ended up with the Crown Plaza Hotel, just a few blocks away from the stadium. The room is not actually assigned until check-in. When we went up to the room we opened the door and realized we had been booked in a suite! So we really did get an amazing deal! We spent about 20-30 dollars less than a regular room would cost!
We changed clothes and then went swimming on the roof! That was Thomas' first time to get to swim! At first he just clung on but after a bit he started kicking and splashing. That didn't surprise me though because he LOVES bath time!
After the pool we got cleaned up and then ate dinner and went to the ballgame. Poor Thomas was tired before dinner, so I worried he'd be a challenge! It was a really hot evening and the seats were packed but the kids did really great! Thomas fussed a bit but we held him off with Cheerios and one of Anna-Kate's toy cell phones. He would have gone to sleep but there was just so much to look at! Anna-Kate loved so many aspects of the game. She did really good until about the 8th Inning and then she was asking to go back to the hotel. We stalled and got to see the end of the game. The Cardinals won, so it was pretty awesome!
We walked back to the hotel and gave them a bath and then got their jammies on. Anna-Kate slept on a pull out sofa bed and Thomas got to sleep in a little crib. Both of them went right to sleep around 10 and slept until 8 the next morning.
Saturday we woke up and checked out of the hotel and then made our way to the Zoo! Anna-Kate was so excited to see the animals! We got a Safari Pass so we could see the Sea Lion show, get into the children's zoo and ride the train. We could have gone on a motion simulator ride and rode the carousel but we were all too tired! We also got to see a penguin exhibit! That was my favorite part. We actually got pretty close to them.
Derek took Anna-Kate to see the giraffes while I fed Thomas. When she got there she said "oh no! I forgot to wear my giraffe shirt!" Derek told her that it was okay, that Mr. Giraffe would understand. Anna-Kate then said "Can I talk to him?" Of course Derek said that she could. So she said "Hi Mr. Giraffe! I have a shirt that's just like you but I forgot it." haha! She's so cute! :)
The zoo was tons of fun, but it was SO hot!! We were almost miserable, but thankfully there was plenty of shade and a few indoor exhibits! I'm not a fan of being hot and it seems like I'm increasingly hot natured these days, so I'm not sure how I survived! :)
After the Zoo we ate and then headed back to Lepanto. We stopped in Sikeston and ate at Lambert's, where they throw the rolls and pass around all of the food! There was an hour and 45 minute wait, but it was worth it!! I have a large appetite, so it was my kind of place!
Monday we picked up our newest addition! Her name is Maddie and she is a yorkie/ poodle mix. She was adopted almost a year ago from a puppy mill by a family with four younger children. The husband left the mom and she was a little overwhelmed and needed to get rid of the puppy, so we took her! She is SO sweet and loving! She sleeps all night in our bed. Anna-Kate is so excited to have her! She has followed her around and made sure Maddie is taken care of! Last night at dinner she said, "I'm going to let Maddie watch my beggie tales, hers going to borrow it. Maddie's going to think it's funny when that boy falls on the tb" haha... Derek and I were rolling!
So June is almost over and hopefully things will calm down after the baby shower and wedding shower that I've got this weekend! But who knows, things seem to stay a constant pace of crazy around here!
Well I'm sorry for the long update, but I think that about brings everything up to speed! I'm afraid that this post is too large to upload photos without it being crazy, so stay tuned for another post with just pictures!