John and Dana

and our life with the munchkins!

Goodbye 2nd Grade, Hello 3rd!

Today was Kaelyn’s last day of 2nd grade! She had a wonderful year 🙂 She continued to excel in reading and writing but also continued to improve in math! Mrs. Krewer was a fantastic teacher and I hope she’s still around when Ian gets to Dundee Highlands! The boys and I went to the school to see the end of the year bell ringing but didn’t get a chance to take any pictures of Kaelyn and the bell.

Here is one pic I took with my phone right as she came out the doors into her new found summer vacation freedom!

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Ballet Recital

Kaelyn had her ballet recital this past Saturday and it was so much fun seeing her and all the kids up on the stage! John, myself, the boys, Maga, Baga, Uncle Steve, Nana, and Papa were all able to join us at CMS to see Kaelyn dance!

She said she couldn’t get her eyes to open any more…She had too much makeup in them! I loved their costumes this year!

Floating away!

Oh these boys were so so SO good the entire recital!

Naps normally start at 11:30 at our house. So by 1pm Gavin took a nap on Baga’s shoulder. Thanks Baga!

Kae and Ian with Maga, Baga, and Uncle Steve (home from college for 3 days…now off to an internship for the summer…Mr. Golfer)

Meltdown? What meltdown! Papa being a superstar holding on to a screaming, bucklebacking Gavin.

And finally…we haven’t had a family photo taken of us since last LAST Christmas. Gavin still didn’t want to participate but we’ll take it!

NEXT UP: GAVIN TURNS 3 TOMORROW! WOAH.

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Kaelyn’s Parties!

Well… being 8 and all, Kae decided to ask if we could have a friends party this year, because she thought she was old enough now and had enough friends 🙂 We decided on having it at the Centre in Elgin. They have an awesome zero depth pool with water slides and things for kids of all ages and it was perfect because they provided lunch and drinks and 2 hours of fun in the pool! Baga and Papa helped wrangle the boys while Maga and Nana helped keep an eye on the girls. The girls had a blast and were EXHAUSTED sitting in the party room eating. They all looked like they were gonna fall asleep in their pizza! The boys and neighbor boys were totally amped up and ready for more party by the time it was all over. How do little people have SO MUCH ENERGY?! Agh. I don’t get it. Well enough of my yapping…pics from this party:

Kaelyn, Ella M, Ella P, Marissa, and Julia

All a bit sleepy after swimming.

Ian all sugared up with a cupcake the size of his face.

Jackson enjoying his cupcake and Gavin staring off into space. Oh boys.

On St. Patricks Day, we had Kaelyn’s family party at Maga and Baga’s house! We had loads of corned beef, cabbage, carrots, bread, and polish sausage (I’m probably forgetting a bunch more…we tend to make a lot of food and eat it too). Oh and can’t forget black and tan’s from my dads bar. It wouldn’t be an irish/polish celebration without mentioning the bar and the booze.  🙂 Sloshy sloshy beer. HA. We stuck with the St. Patty’s theme but did a bit more rainbow than anything else. Kae got to go with Nana to Deerfields Bakery and got to design her cake. Again…enough with the yappin’…here are the pic’s:

Kiki’s creative cake!

Boys reading with Uncle Al

I just love her face in this one! Muah! My big 8 year old…wow…just wow.

 We also got to celebrate another birthday! Nana Jean turn 87(??) this year so she got to celebrate with Kae and all the other March babies in the family (Aunt Gail, Uncle John, Aunty Ann, Matthew…I’m probably forgetting someone). March and May and September are big birthday months in our family!

I’ll be back shortly (a day or two) to update on spring break (did absolutely nothing and LOVED it) and Easter! xo

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This Never Stops Being Fun

So when Kaelyn was born and the following 2.5 years we lived with my super awesome parents while John and I went to ECC. Our days were often split, Kae would come with me some days and she’d go to daycare at ECC, and other days she would spend time with John depending on our work and school schedules. We loved to play outside at Maga and Baga’s and there was loads of room for her to run and play. The one thing she loved to do the most is probably still one of her favorite things to do when we head out to play there. The stone wall around my parents patio island has been around as long as I can remember (they had all landscaping/stonework done right after they built the house).  I even remember walking and walking and walking in circles on those stones! So here she was circa August/September 2006:

and May 2011:

I love the ‘Dad…stop taking photos’ face. Priceless. And I LOVE how compact and round she was in 06. She’s going to be a lean mean fighting machine, probably towering over me in a few short years. Wow. Just wow. Where has that time gone?!

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New Photos!

John has always loved photography/cameras/technology and with his job now gets to take photos for the school district for their websites! What a sweet deal right?? So to figure out how the camera works, he’s been taking some pretty cool photos of our kids and other objects! So here are a few really beautiful shots from Wednesday and Thursday!

My Mother’s Day Orchids from John

My Fatty Catty

My OTHER Fatty Catty

This guy has mastered “The Pout”

Smiling for the camera. She said it was like a photo shoot!

John asked them to show him their teeth. What cheezies.

Our rocking new park at South End! Should be ready in time for summer break!!

Can’t you just smell them through your computer screen??

I think at some point the boys asked John to KEEP GOING. I believe his response was NO with a foot stomp.

They finally made it to Maiden Lane park.

Can you believe these are all just practice shots?! I can’t wait to see what other practice photography comes out of this! Good job John!!

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Christmas Day 2010

This Christmas morning the kids woke up and giggled all the way down the stairs to find all of their goodies Santa had stashed under the tree. We let them open their stockings while John and I woke up. That took about 2 seconds and they were ready for round 2 of present opening. The one thing the kids all wanted were those godforsaken Pillow Pets. So of course Santa went all out! Kaelyn got her ladybug, Ian got his dolphin (definitely not a comfortable pillow) and Gavin got a dog.  The kids also got other miscellaneous things like more wooden train tracks, puzzles, LuLu the Kitty that doesn’t ever stop meowing, and some board games.

The boys got dinosaurs from Santa in their stockings.

Gavin looking for more.

He was being such a cutie pie Christmas morning!

Kae with her Dolly and Buttercup. The boys also got Mr. Pricklepants, Rex, Trixie, Lotso and Stretch, all from Toy Story 3 of course, in their stockings as well.

Oh man, there she is. 13lb LuLu. That’s all I have to say.

Gavin lovin on LuLu. Thinking that this cat doesn’t run away from me!

Ian got some extension pieces to make his Thomas and Brio wooden railway systems bigger. Little did he know a much bigger railway surprise was waiting for him at Nana and Papas!

After the opening of gifts at home, we headed over to my parents house to opening up stockings, gifts and have John’s special biscuits and gravy breakfast before Baga had to work. The kids got more spoiled with all the attention from Maga, Baga and Uncle Steve and loved seeing what was hidden under all the wrapping paper. By this point, Gavin was kind of over the whole “gift” thing but Kae and Ian had no problems helping opening his gifts.

Ramone, from Cars, was in Ian’s stocking. He has been sleeping with him ever since. He also changes color, totally  just like the REAL THING! Too cute.

Kaelyn with her Selena Gomez and the Scene CD from Uncle Steve. She got this one signed by Uncle Dane today. Kaelyn also got the animals she wanted from the American Girl doll catalog, along with some more accessories and clothing for her dolls.

Gavin with his very own pop-up toy.

My dad got his Griswold Family Christmas shirt from us. It vividly brought back memories of putting our own cut down tree on top of his jeep and having it fly off the top of the car onto Rt.31. Oh the memories. Definitely one Christmas memory I won’t forget. It’s a bit full. Lot of sap. *spits*

I just love how this picture came out. Seabrook Island and Dad, two things that go very well together! Mom ended up getting some awesome new pj’s, perfume, and necklace. Dad got a rocking new esspresso maker and made some for all of us! It was truly a great Christmas morning. (also, his mustache is back…if anyone was wondering 😉 )

After our Cathony celebration, we headed home and  all took naps. We then headed over for round 4 of Christmas! The Rork Christmas! Nana, Papa, Megan, Pat and Al were all around to join in the festivities! Nana and Papa made an awesome roast, with tons of sides and drinks to go around!

Kaelyn opened up her big gift from Nana and Papa and it was her very own American Girl doll, Lanie!

Auntie Megan made Kaelyn and Lanie matching hats for the winter months!

During the BIG reveal! Ian and Gavin got their own Brio table and new track set from Nana and Papa!

The one and only time we will capture on camera the boys behaving so nicely and sharing.

Well Santa got a bit carried away. The boys love Toy Story and so does Mommy, so Santa decided to get them their awesome Buzz and Woody pjs for Christmas this year. He was able to find some Tangled jammies for Ms. Kiki too.

 

I’m almost finished wrapping up the end of the year posts. Just a few more to go and I’ll be all caught up! Next up blog: Downstate Springfield Trip to see Nana Nana and Papa Papa! We had a blast and are still full from all the eating we did down there 😉 Healthier foods and exercise are on our agenda in the new year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Books and Ornaments

We have been busy busy beavers here in the Rork household. Please bear with me as I go back in time and remember what we did all through December. (just look at the pretty pictures if you must)

This Christmas Kaelyn and I made ornaments for our close friends and family. We made drip ball, paper-mache  and got fancy with stick-on jewels and glitter glue! And boy did Kaelyn work hard!

Concentrating. She loved mixing the colors and making them mesh together. Baga Baga would  have been proud.

Part of the finished product! So pretty!

Now Gavin has been busy getting into things he shouldn’t.  One way we divert his attention is to remind him of his book area. I set up 2 baskets filled with some of his favorite books and he will sometimes sit on the window sill for 30 minutes! He is become such a big boy, can still be quiet at times but is studying what everyone else is doing. He loves saying his animals and what sounds they make, and sometimes will hum Twinkle Twinkle perfectly.

Reading his favorite, Fuzzy Fuzzy Fuzzy. I remember Doggies being Kaelyn’s favorite and Moo Ba La La La by Sandra Boynton being Ian’s favorite. I love the humor in her writing. Too cute.

Once he is done reading his book, he either throws it down on the ground (typical) or puts it back in the basket (completely shocking). Lets just say I clean a lot of book up off the floor every day.

Soaking it all up.

Ian News: As of today, he has finally figured out the whole pooping on the potty deal. He’s also in the ‘potty game’ to win the gummy bears. Total manipulator. One squirt of pee and he thinks he can get a gummy…too funny. No pictures from this photo shoot. Next post should have EE too.

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Running Behind

I know, I know. I said I would TRY to blog more. ‘Try’ being the key word here. The kids and the squirrels/mice have been keeping me busy! Halloween was so much fun this year. The kids had a bit of a cold and it was chilly outside on the 31st but we still made it around the neighborhood. Kaelyn trick or treated with her friend Marissa (all of those photos are on my MIL camera) and Ian kept up with them!

Monkey Gavin

Monster Ian

Asian Princess Kaelyn

Baga carved pumpkins with the kids. They chose to take home this pumpkin. Look at that detail! Good job Baga!

I carved this one for the kids. I learned from a master carver!

Gavin LOVED hanging with the pumpkin on the window sill.

I’ll update flickr with a lot more from Halloween. Happy Monday everyone!

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West Dundee’s Heritage Fest 2010

This weekend we spent some time down at our home town festival! Saturday was a short visit, but we munched on quite a bit of yummy snacks. The kids had kettle corn and the adults had corn on the cob! With a little bit of rain ruining our fun, we spent the rest of the day hanging out inside. Sunday we had the opportunity to head down again (yes, it’s only 3 blocks away so walking was our mode of transportation) and we joined the Foley’s for the car show, lunch, kids games and the Dundee-Crown High School homecoming parade.

Giant balloons kept the kids happy for a very long time. Ian loved the games too!

Gavin struttin’ his stuff and holding onto his balloon.

Mr. Jonathan, child/balloon wrangler

Kaelyn rocking the UPHILL monkey bars

Sitting on 72 waiting for the parade to start

Always the comedienne!

Gavin enjoying a yummy dum-dum. And getting totally sticky in the process. Ick.

FIRETRUCK!

Our two camera hogs 🙂

Check out our flickr site for more cute and adorable moments from our adventure. Up next: IAN’S 3 on Wednesday!

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Walkin, Talkin, Kissin, Huggin

We kinda sorta have another walker! Gavin still favors crawling but we’ve been able to get him to walk holding onto our hand! And he has walked a few steps on his own, mostly between us and to Kaelyn. He LOVES being by Kaelyn, and is always looking for her. This school year will hopefully allow Gavin and Ian to become buddies. Yay!

As far as development goes, Gavin seems to be doing everything at a slower pace than the other two. I would have guessed the opposite since he always wants to be with his siblings, but he’s taking his time and we are ok with that! Once the full-blown walking begins we are in trouble. He has been babbling away recently. We ask him to say Mama and he says Dada. We ask him to say Omnomnomnom (think Cookie Monster when saying that) and he says Mama. Gavin LOVES to say HI. And is super friendly, once he knows who he is dealing with.

We did have our 15 month appointment today, Gavin is 22lbs 4ozs and in the 25th percentile for height (forgot to write down his measurements). So he’s growing! Yay! He did get 3 shots today but was a total trooper. Like I’ve said before, I was kind of worried about his development since he was a month early. But the dr said there is nothing to be worried about either. It’s just his personality (the baby) that is keeping him from wanting to do anything for himself. He said he sees Gavin progressing and he is doing great!

Letting go, and swatting his hands up and down. It is so hard to catch him walking but he’s been doing it more frequently.

This week is another big change for the boys. Gavin has now moved onto one nap a day. The past few weeks, Gavin has been fighting me on the second nap when clearly he wasn’t tired. So to break up the day and keep him from falling asleep on the carpet, I’ve been taking the boys to the park, or grocery shopping, or other errands. This past Tuesday Jen and Jackson joined us at the park. And as you can see from the photos, the kids are not going to stop for the cutest photo-op. They are ON THE MOVE.

Both my boys trying to climb the swirly thing. Jackson running away from the camera.

Crawling and getting completely filthy.

Ian made it the whole way across AND he didn’t kick his brother! Yaaaaay!

Yes, cute photo opp. No? Oh ok. *sad mommy*

And last but not least, Fur Baby 1 (Mac) has been a complete lounge cat. He loves to hang with me so he usually comes into the den, finds the most comfortable thing possible to lay on, and then curls into a ball. Awee! Fur Baby 2 has definitely become the gremlin under the bed. I was searching for dirty clothes and he hissed from behind the shadows. Scary.

Yes, he does hold his legs together. It looks like he’s getting ready to dive.

This week has gone by quickly! Steven is off to college tomorrow so we are having Dad’s homemade pizza at their house tonight! Woo hoo! Let the weekend BEGIN!


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