Yep.. that's right. MacKay and Oscar are going to be starting preschool... tomorrow. It is a program through our school district/ECFE called Preschool Plus. They go twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays for 2 hours each. Tuesday I go with them and stay with them the first hour, then split up from them and the parents get together and chat about child related topics while the kids continue with their "schooling" .... then Thursday I drop them off and they go at it alone. I'm really excited about this part both for them and myself/Evie. I think the drop off day will be good for them to get used to going to something without me .... and during the time that they are in their 2nd day of class I get to take Miss Evie to her first ECFE class for 1+ yr olds. I can't wait to see how she reacts to it - I'm sure she is going to have a ball. We had our first "conference" with the teachers the other week where they explained the program (very organized) and expectations of all of us. We learned that we needed to get the boys backpacks where they will carry in/out their assignments for the day (Week 1 we bring an apple for a math exercise - ooooh) and also a change of clothes at all times. So we took the boys to pick out their backpacks and Oscar chose Buzz Lightyear and MacKay chose Spiderman - they are SOO proud of their backpacks and upon getting home they wanted them on and wore them for hours until we made them take them off for dinner. The 2nd week we bring in something from another country - so MacKay will be bringing in the Scottish" MacKay clan tartan (on a plaque) which proclaims "Manu Forte" (strength) ... and Oscar is going to bring in a Norwegian mug. I'm very excited to start this with the boys and get Evie into the ECFE program too - they seem to enjoy it so much.
Let's see... some news on the kiddos first. Evie is a teething monster lately.... she has popped out several teeth in a short time span and has handled it like a champ. She now has 10 teeth... two of which are her bicuspids - which I thought didn't come in until right before the molars, but what do I know? She also is a little chatter box lately. She says "Hi" (used to be "Ha"), "Up," "Stop," "Thank You" (Tah - Too) .... and she growls and roars when she flips through books about dinosaurs. We flip a page and if she sees a ferocious dinosaur she does this low growling/roaring sound that really sounds awkward coming from such a cute little girl. Just the other day she grabbed a little lion figurine of the boys' and was pushing it at us and roaring too. She's very affectionate with us and her big brothers as well. The boys fight her off some nights at bedtime as she crawls into their beds to give them a hug and kiss good night .... tho many nights they are more than happy to accept her affections and will actually hunt her down for their good night hug and kiss. Just last night Chris was reading her a Grover book and every time he turned the page she leaned forward and kissed the picture of Grover... it was hilarious to watch. Even more funny was about an hour later, right before bedtime, when Evie was chasing the boys around the living room laughing hysterically and hugging them - they would wrap their arms around her (her head cuz of the height difference) and sort of drag her around while hugging her which would eventually end in some version of wrestling. She would get up and go back for more every time. Everything was all squeals of joy and laughter until Evie bit MacKay on the chest/tummy... after that he was afraid to get anywhere near her and the game sort of lost its attraction to Evie... just in time to get them settled down for bed time. I even tried to get it on film.... but you know how it goes, by the time you get the camera out, it's all over. Evie also loves being read to... especially books that demand some sort of action on her part (flip books, things to feel/touch etc). I think it has even inspired the boys back into their love of reading, as they too are demanding a lot of "book time." Evie's favorite past time ..... DANCING. You just tell her to dance and that little rump of hers is swaying and a'boppin' all over. And certain music from TV, commercials, toys etc will really get her into it and she'll just break into dance in the middle of whatever else she was doing prior. Just the other day she started doing that "Flash Dance" move .... stomping her feet back and fort very fast and waving her arms in the air - super cute. But haven't been able to capture on film yet ... same as above. She's about 100% on table food now, mostly eating whatever we are eating at our meals ... and has gotten so much better at self feeding (vs smashing everything on her tray). She LOVES LOVES LOVES strawberries and would probably eat herself to death on them ... and chocolate pudding is another favorite of hers. Otherwise she doesn't seem too picky and will eat most anything we put in front of her .... pot pies, chicken, veggies, fruits, pizza, sandwiches etc - our good little eater.
The boys .... their new love.... riding around on their John Deere Gator HPX. A few weeks ago we took them to a John Deere store and they were in heaven... running around looking at toy/model tractors, utility vehicles, toys etc. They were kept entertained in that store while we looked at the Gator for about an hour. Did our research and found it for cheaper at Walmart (tho I despise that store I gotta appreciate the lower prices we have gotten on some spendier items we have needed) so we decided to go ahead and get that for them as an early birthday present so they could get some use out of it this year. It was either the Gator or two 4 wheelers ... and Chris made the final decision when he pointed out we didn't have room for two of these monster toys in our detached garage (aka "the new shed"). So the Gator, it was. They LOVE driving it around. Oscar does most of the driving ... but will gladly move over and let MacKay drive when he actually wants to - I think he has noticed that MacKay's driving interest is short lived so he knows he will get it back in a few minutes if not sooner. They love being outside (what kid doesn't) playing with their T-ball set, sidewalk chalk, picking up sticks in the yard and putting them in the Gator to dump in the fire pit, and... I am happy to report, riding their trikes. They both now get the gist of pedaling ... and can even go slight inclines if they have enough momentum behind them - before they always had to be going downhill to help them out. Another new love of the boys' is play dough. We made up a homemade batch a while ago and they sat playing with it for almost 2 hours one afternoon while Evie was napping. Grandma Chris was amazed ... she had brought up all her old stampers/cut outs and tools for them to use and they were busy busy busy using them all. Grandma Chris also brought up all her Dinosaur books she had accumulated through the years of doing daycare (she always did a dinosaur unit with her classes).... and the boys are non stop readers now - always wanting to read their new dinosaur books and show us all they know about all the different dinosaurs. Not only can they name about 20-30 different dinosaurs now... but they also can tell us if they were plant or meat eaters.... tell us things about them (Pachycephalosaurus head butt'd .... Parasaurolophus has a crest ...Iguanadon has a big claw for a thumb ... etc). They are SOOO into dinosaurs ... and I just love it. And with their books... they have a few that are their favorites, and now they can actually read parts of the books to us because they know them so well. MacKay can practically read "I Love You Stinky Face" by himself (he spouts off the main parts)... and Oscar is really good at the rhyming books (Good Night Moon etc) and can fill in the end of rhyming patterns with the right words. And they are just continuing to be so chatty.... especially Oscar who could hold a complete conversation with anyone, sure it might not always stay on track or make a lot of sense.... but he can keep you talking for hours. My mom about pee'd her pants laughing when she walked in the house the other day with a can of pop in hand and Oscar approached her and said "Oh... you got beer?" ..... nice. And I must mention... I think I have boys with really big feet. They are not yet even 3 years old and they are wearing size 11 shoes. Came to find that the size 9s they are currently wearing are fitting VERY snug - measured them up and they were measuring AT or FURTHER than the line for a size 9. The size 10 in the shoe they wanted wasn't that much bigger and didn't leave them much room for growth ...... so we got size 11. Can you believe it? Their feet need to take a break and stop growing for a bit now.... though I was excited to get them their new pair of keen shoes - they're pretty snazzy.
Well - another update, this time about me. Many of you probably already know about this from Facebook.. but thought I would include it anyway. I right now am a week into recovery from surgery in having my gall bladder removed. It all started about 3+ weeks ago when I woke in the middle of the night to an achy back.... hours later it was getting worse and when I got up at 5am to get some ibuprofen it hit hard. I paced the house while all were sleeping scared at what was going on as it felt like something was wrapped around my torso and squeezing - that is the best way I can explain it - you pretty much think you are having a heart attack other than you can't explain why you are still walking around. I had quickly found I couldn't lie down, sit down, stand still or even bend over and rest on something... I HAD to keep moving and pacing the floor. Finally woke Chris up cuz I was getting scared and he witnessed the last 20 minutes of the attack before it just up and went away..... right at the time I had told him to grab the phone and dial 911. I chalked it up to gas pains or eating something bad etc. But then almost exactly a week later (Labor Day, Mon 9/6) at about 9:45pm it came on again... and FAST. I endured it thinking last time it only lasted 30-40 minutes ..... but after over an hour of pacing the floor (last straw was when I was so exhausted I HAD to lie down.. and that did something horrid and really flared it up... I couldn't breathe and it felt like something was squeezing the heck out of my heart) I finally gave Chris the go ahead to call 911. Got my first ambulance ride out of the whole ordeal (and some nice meds to boot). By the time I reached the hospital I was feeling NO pain. After a barrage of tests they finally did an ultrasound and found I had gall stones .... Remedy = get that useless organ out of me. So I lived in fear of another attack for 1 week before I could get in for surgery on Monday the 13th - I should note, they put me in room #13 as well - NOT NICE. So I've been recovering for about a week now and it wasn't a pleasure cruise, I will tell you that. I'm still quite sore in areas (I have 4 incision points) and VERY inflamed/bloated ... and the gas is still an issue that I would have hoped would have been gone by now. I really wish they didn't have to blow you up like a parade balloon to do these surgeries..... if they have to do it, then vacuum the air out before you close me up for pete's sake. Anyway.... definitely on the up swing of it all.... and happy to know I won't have to deal with another one of those "passing stones" episodes EVER again. But a big thank you out to my mom and dad and Terri who were here to help with the kids during this time (I couldn't have done it with out you guys). And my in-laws as well. Diane got me a get well gift and Bonnie and Dean have checked in with me daily if not even more than that to make sure I am doing okay.... was nice to have Bonnie to talk to as she went through this just about a year go - I walked into all this knowing what I was getting into and she was able to give me a heads up on all this gas stuff which really has been the worst part of recovery. It's always nice having such great family and support when this sort of stuff happens.
Another note... an editor from the Lake Country Journal stopped by our house this weekend (apparently lives in the area) and is interested in doing a "remodelling" piece in their magazine and would like to showcase our house as an example of what you can do to turn your house around. She said she's driven by and admired all the work we've done and wanted to know if we would be interested and if we had before and after pictures..... WOW. So they are coming out tomorrow to take outside pictures while the plants are still somewhat in bloom and the colors are nice... and later this winter we'll get the house in tip top condition for them to take some pictures inside. Can you believe it? I guess I will believe it when I see it, but that would be something fun ...... I mean, not the cleaning the house part... but seeing your house in a magazine being showcased. Nice.
Well here are a barrage of photos.... sad thing is that these are so back logged, I have tons more recent ones to share too but they will have to wait for another time as I don't have them all fixed up and sized to put in here yet. Either way... enjoy and know that more are coming.
Here are some photos of the kiddos from the day of the photo shoot with Trina ... lil Evie - our little kissing machine lately.... and our handsome little boys.
Later on that day (photo shoot day) ... we dressed Evie up in the little pettiskirts that Gma Chris had bought for her ......... which caught the attention of our two little studs. (Chris don't kill me for posting this one....)
Oscar and Evie being silly... Oscar in a diaper box (can't believe he actually fit himself in there)... and Evie taking on a new look of the world
Enjoying the remaining nice, sunny days outside......
MacKay and Oscar sitting on the fence that borders our yard (from 371) .... where I wanted to possibly have Trina take our photos but we instead went to a park. Will have to use this for next year's 2011 family photos as I like it as a backdrop.... nice and rustic, and the kids can sit on it.
Boys having fun running around, riding their trikes, drawing on the driveway and as always ... sitting on Daddy's lawn mower
MacKay and Oscar refusing to take off their favorite PJs when they woke up the other morning... too engrossed in Sesame Street.
Just more of the silly Hoglund kids... Evie on her bouncing zebra .... Oscar doing his own version of pilates :) ... and MacKay thinking he's hiding from me behind a slatted chair.
More Fun Outside ...... can you say GATOR ?!?!?!?!
** Snuck in a few pictures of Evie enjoying the outdoors too .... love the picture of her and MacKay with the sidewalk chalk
Grandpa Gary and Grandma Terri's visit (before heading to AZ for the winter) .... and Evie with her phone that she likes to put to her ear to immitate Mommy.
Well that is about it - know that more should be coming soon, should I get the time to get it all ready to post.