John and Dana

and our life with the munchkins!

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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Oh Goodness

Far too many things have happened and I haven’t blogged them (shame on me):

Groundhogs Day Blizzard– yeah…that happened. John got 2 days off from work and Kiki got 2 days off from school. The boys, well, they just hung out like any other day!

Our House-during our big dig out

The kids in front of the neighbors 5 ft fence, I guess the snow drift was close to 4 feet here at the bottom of the driveway.

Goofball, on top of snow mountain. (I love her jack-o-lantern smile)

Always Helping

Our Snowmound

 

Next: Kaelyn’s 7th Birthday! Chicka turned 7 on March 10th and she didn’t let ANYONE forget 🙂 Her family party was on the 6th and it was American Girl themed. Kaelyn is very much into American Girl right now, she currently has Lanie and Kit which were gifts from Nana/Papa and Maga/Baga, along with a bunch of their accessories including pets. She also has my Girl of Today, Samantha and Kirstin. So basically, we can say she is ALL SET. Now for future gifts, we plan to purchase clothing and accessories.

Kaelyn’s Samantha Cake

Lanie on one of her birthday cards, I love her face. This is just so KAELYN. 🙂

Gavin in the best seat of the house, on Papa’s shoulders of course.

Too Sweet to not post, she was so excited!

For her actual birthday Kaelyn requested a ‘White cake with pink frosting with white piping and writing on it saying Happy 7th Birthday Kaelyn‘. I improvised.

She didn’t seem to mind.

Ian enjoying cake.

Gavin without a care in the world, all he needs and wants is CAKE.

Kaelyn got a nightgown from Mom and Dad, and Kit got a matching one. She also got a fold out trundle bed that sleeps 2-3 dolls. Perfect for Kaelyn’s dolls 🙂

Last: IT’S MID-MARCH!! Which means we are super-d-duper busy here in the Rork household!

We are…

Spending time in time-outs…

Dressing our dolls…

Licking our plates clean…

AND

Dressing our cats in miniature leprechaun hats!!

HAPPY MARCH MADNESS EVERYONE!


 

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Apples and Pumpkins and Scarecrows, OH MY!

Lets just say we’ve been a bit busy the past few weeks.  And keeping up with everything has been a bit of a challenge since we were all hit with a lovely fall cold. Bring on flu season, we are prepared!

Last weekend was a bit of a chilly one here in Dundee. So of course we decided to take the sick kids to the apple orchard before all the apple were picked! We don’t let snot noses get in the way of a good old fashioned family fun weekend.  Janine, Ben and Cameron  came along for their first apple orchard adventure too! John drove our butts up to Royal Oak Apple Orchard in Hebron, IL and we got there at a perfect time! The chill was in the air so the sweatshirts/jackets were a must. We forgot our gloves at home but those would have kept our apple juicy hands from freezing off. The kids had a blast and the adults were treated to a lovely Dairy Mart lunch on our way home!

Getting ready to go to the field on their wagon

Ian loving his apple

 

Family photo op

Gavin got his chance to pick an apple

Kids got to ride on the tractor and that was probably their favorite part

Then on Sunday, after our birthday bagel/lox fest with my parents, we bundled up the kids and headed out to Goeberts to get our fall essentials. Essentials being: pumpkins, gourds, kettle corn, apple cider, apple cider doughnuts, indian corn and mums. The kids loved running around the fields and playing on the train, tractor, and other wooden objects.

 

Thing 1 and Thing 2

Thing 3

Snarfing down his kettle corn by the handful, he wouldn’t let me wipe his nose either. Ick.

He loves being with his sister, can you tell?

They (Kaelyn) wanted a photo with the pumpkin. Super Dad to the rescue!

 

This past weekend we headed to St. Charles for the Scarecrow Festival with Nana and Papa and the Flahertys. It was such a lovely weekend and the weather was PERFECT 🙂 Definitely good eating festival food and  looking at scarecrow weather! We didn’t bring our camera but Nana remembered. I’ll share them once we get a few of them from her.

 

Other than busy weekends we all have had some busy weeks too! John has been doing quite a lot at work, I’ve been trying to keep up with the boys/housework/life, Kaelyn is still liking school and has gone up a letter in her reading level (K), Ian has started working on reading/colors/numbers and loves to sit and color, and Gavin has become a monkey with the amount of climbing he does in a day. I won’t be surprised if he finds a way to climb on the ceiling.  Spider Pig anyone?! Not gonna lie, never had climbers before, he’s the worst to keep up with. I was “worried” when he wouldn’t walk. Now I’m worried he’s gonna be running faster than I can.

I also finally signed up Kae for gymnastics at Spring Hill Gymnastics. She couldn’t be more excited! Ian will also be taking his first structured class at SHG ever, and I’m nervous/excited. He doesn’t like to listen to us, but does listen to other people. Should be interesting to watch!

And there you have it. Busy busy busy!

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Oh September

Where did August go?! I’ve been lazy with my blogging and so many things have been going on. Writing is a bit of a release for me, so it’s very nice to be able to do it in a way that I will be able to look back and see all the fun events and memories we’ve had. This family is growing up. We’ve got a 1st grader, an almost 3 year old, and a 16 month old WALKER. Yes finally, those small weasley steps turned into a full-on run. Am I in trouble? Yes. Did I ask for it? Yes.

September is a wonderful month for us. The heat dies down so we can actually enjoy being in our house once again. Although, we won’t be taking the A/C units out just yet, I’m still waiting for one more little heat wave. Wishful thinking? Sigh. In 07′, just as I went to the hospital to have Ian, we got that lovely heat wave. Happy mommy, hot sweaty Ian. Poor guy has been a sweat box ever since. But we’ve got all our fall/winter clothes put in our drawers, with a few summer t’s at the top of our bins. The boys are set with clothes this year, minus a few things Ian will get for his birthday. I saved a boat load of Ian’s stuff when I found out we were having another monkey. And Kaelyn will always have more clothes than the boys. Because it’s a whole lot more fun to shop for her and with her. I have heard though, from miscellaneous sources (Mom), that girls get more difficult when they get older?! How true can that be. *handslapsface* Oh, karma…you are a bitch.

Kids:

Kaelyn is doing well in school.  She has had a bit of trouble following directions and keeping quiet when asked. She has had quite a few card changes from talking when she’s not supposed to. I know she is going to have to learn to keep her mouth zipped but she is so intelligent  and social that sometimes I think it’s hard for her to do. Her mind is working a million miles per second, always taking in everything and processing. It’s going to be a lot of hard work but fun work to keep her focused and interested in school. If anyone  has any suggestions on keeping her motivated, we are all ears! Kae also enjoys coming home to her brothers. It has been a fairly smooth transition for her with being at school all day with no down time to relax or play with her brothers. The boys seem to interact with Kae a lot better now too. I’m gonna keep my fingers crossed that Ian and Gavin have the same relationship with each other. She also lost another tooth 🙂

Ian, Ian, Ian. It has been a battle with EE for a while now. He knows he can say no and he uses it to the best of his ability. If I were grading him right now in his ability to say and use the word NO correctly, he’d be getting an A++ with extra credit points for all the times he makes me put him in his time-out chair. Was it this difficult with Kae? Yes. But it’s been 3+ years of not having to deal with it so I’m starting from scratch with this kid. His vocabulary has grown exponentially since he turned 2. I’m always amazed when he communicates with us at how precisely he says his words. No slurring his v’s, no s’ing his f’s. *sad face* No Ian-isms. No ‘Sive o Sive South Surst Street’ <—Genuine Kaelyn-ism. More on Ian next week for his 3rd birthday update.

Gavinator. Gavi-gav-sinosen. Baby. Lil’ Man. Bitty. Bubba. Tiny one. GG. NO NO BABY! Poor thing won’t ever know his real name. Gavin has been RUNNING throughout the house as of last week. And he’s been getting into a lot of trouble and making a lot of messes. I had to officially bring out “the grey gate” and it is now locking the children out of the rest of the house. The boys only have full rein of the living room and dining room. No kitchen, no den, NO STAIRS, NO BATHROOM. *crazy eye twitch* He says mama, dada, kitty (di), EE, Ki, nana, uh oh, NO, hi, om nom nom.  Gavin LOVES the cats. However, Cooper sees no need in liking Gav and Mac could care less about anything other than food. If Gav has food then Mac is his buddy and will wait under the high chair/table/ottoman for droppings. He’s on a one nap schedule with Ian, and they sleep from 11:30-12 until 2-2:30. That break in the day gives me a bit of a time to rest and recover from the early morning events. Waking up while it’s still dark is hard and I think this winter is going to royally suck for everyone involved.

Stove. Or technically speaking, Frigidaire Gallery 30″ Freestanding Gas Range In Stainless Steel – FGGF3041KF, arrived at 9:36 am on September 11, 2010. Weighing in at a whopping 217lbs, 30 inches wide and she is beautiful. And we will treasure her forever or until the first thing goes wrong and we get her replaced.

Other Happenings:

John and I saw John Mayer. I melted. We celebrated Megan’s 27th birthday at Ravinia last month. We saw Rodrigo y Gabriella under the lovely stars and perfect weather. Loads of cheese, meat, and wine were consumed by all.

Uncle Steve turned 2-0. Happy Birthday Brother/Uncle! We love and miss you! Can’t wait to see you soon! (the following photo is from 09′, perfectly shows what the kids are truly like-screamy, chill, picture perfect )

Ian’s 3 on the 22nd! John’s busy with work and has gotten a few other projects to keep him even more busy at home! I’ve been working newline at Gymbo which has allowed me to get out of the house for a few hours every month.  And that’s all folks! *Looney Tunes exit*

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Bringing Back All Kinds Of Childhood Memories

This weekend was our weekend to prep the yard for Gavinator’s party! We bought all of our supplies/plants and dug right in! It was also the first 80-90 degree days of the year, John was less than thrilled about this while I felt like I was in heaven South Carolina. We also slow cooked ribs on Sunday, and they were DELISH…heat/grill/humidity…we all basically got scorched. I decided to pull out the ***drumroll please*** SLIP ‘N SLIDE! WOO!

Kaelyn at first was extremely hesitant, the water was TOO COLD…I basically told her to suck it up and deal, HAVE FUN DAMN IT. 🙂 And she did. And it was amazing.

Ian had no fear. He enjoyed drinking the water out of the sprayer and running after Kiki. Here are some shots from the day!

There she goes! Slip n slides are so incredible dangerous and SO AMAZING! We decided to put it on the flat side of the lawn…not “the hill”. For those of you who have encountered “the hill”“the hill” is painful if you take a tumble…we felt that there was no need to visit the ER that weekend. Anyway…back to more PICTURES!!!

Ian totally going for it!

I love this picture! Childhood fun!Action shot!From what I remember, water always tastes best out of the hose! Am I right?!

And the kids got to eat outside! Here is Ian munching his second hot dog! Slip n Sliding makes kids hungry AND sleepy! (both kids actually took a break in the afternoon)

And then we come to Exhibit C. Gavinator got to chill in the grass too! Not quite sure…

Seriously Mom, I’m wet and cold and I DON’T LIKE IT! I give him a few days in the kiddie pool and he’ll LOVE the slip n slide! One can wish, can’t they?!

Did that put everyone one in a happy, summery mood?! I love this season, yes I will complain about the heat occasionally…but it’s manageable with shorts and t-shirts and lots of “lime water”! Right Dad Cathony?! I learned from one of the best, to enjoy the summer, no matter what…Pictures of my dad lounging in MY kiddie pool will eventually surface. And that is how I plan to spend my summer as well, hoggin’ the pool.

Happy Summer!

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Playdates for Ian

Cameron, one of Ian’s friends, came over today to play while his mom and dad both worked! He’s a wonderful kid with an awesome personality. Definitely a bit cautious and sometimes likes to give Ian a hard time with toys. Ian’s gotta figure it out someday but today was not that day 🙂

And thats what the boys did today, SWING! And my arms will fall off tomorrow because of it! At least they weren’t fighting over them! WIN!

Oh and I can’t help posting these photos!

Mr. Happy today!

Miss Kiki hanging out in her “tree house”!

And that’s what we did today…did you enjoy the sunshine?! xoxo

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Day 2, still happy about this :)

So the kids had a rough day yesterday. For some reason Gavin and Ian like to wake up way before the sun comes up and then become cranky MUCH sooner than I would appreciate. So naps were short, school was a blur for Kaelyn (who came running out of school at 2:45 without her backpack, sounds like another human being within this household), and dinner was late to be put on the table. We usually eat around 6, it was close to 7. YIKES!

John and I watched Antiques Roadshow and then went to bed at 9. We are a party crowd, I tell ya!

Thankfully today is a fresh start!

P.S. GAVIN WILL BE ONE ON SATURDAY~ where did the year go?! Remember this?

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