Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Hormonal Fuse

The hormonal fuse is oh so short these days. My poor kids...really. I hope after this pregnancy I have a more loving approach.  And hopefully this pregnancy doesn't do too much emotional damage that they end up needing counseling because I can't handle them smacking their food, talking all day long, and their need to be fed...every single day...several times a day. Future Owen, Amelia, and Simon...please know I feel as crazy as I appear. I know you are just being kids, but sometimes I react before I think and let's all hope and pray that once Becket is here your mom will be a little less crazy. I do love each of you, dearly.

I feel your pain, Simon.
As you know Chris is leaving the last 2 months of this pregnancy for ALC. And we will begin homeschooling August 4th. I'm excited and nervous. I think this will be great to start while chris is gone. Something to keep us all busy. But the crazy!!! I am worried about this hormonal fuse that seems to be a little bit shorter everyday. It's just kindergarten, Nicole! I know. But I already feel the third trimester drag that makes me want nothing more than to lounge on the couch. I hope to push through. I will be rearranging our schedule since we are no longer moving next month. So, I am going to rethink our approach to each day.  Then I will get everything copied, laminated, and prepped as needed.

Yes, your mom is nuts, Owen!
I have a little mental list of things to get done this weekend with Chris home. Mostly homeschooling prep...some baby prep (washing car seats)...Oh I can't wait for the end of this pregnancy.  I get to snuggle the newest Lockhart. This fall and winter will be the best, yet. More love to go around to keep us warm here in Northern New York. 

Sleep through the pain, Amelia..Simon she's not hungry.

Sorry for all the rambling. I am full of lots of conflicting and quickly changing emotions lately and the best outlet I have is here with you lovely readers.  You're awesome! Anyway. That is all for now.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Say My Name!

You guys!!!! I am still kind of freaking out about the news we got on Thursday!  The kids manage to keep me busy, but I have fleeting thoughts throughout the day that remind me it's happening.  We do not have any dates about when Chris will be classed or when we will PCS, but we will have that information soon enough.

AIT graduation almost 5 years ago. 

He took me flying after he got his private pilot licence 6.5 years ago.
Chris is still going to ALC in Virginia August 3rd-September 30th.  My due date is September 26th which is always a great twist.  I'm blessed with some great friends here so I'm sure I can get to the hospital.  As much as I don't want another October baby, I guess it won't be the end of the world if he waits to show up until Chris is home from ALC.

I'm sure you saw the 30 week pic on FB or IG, but whatev!
Speaking of this baby, I guess it is as good a time as any to announce the name we have chosen.  Waiting until the baby actually arrives to announce some think would be best, but I really like calling the babes by their name evening through social media on the trusty and not so trusty interwebs.  So why wait?

So as you know we had that little online poll.  I just checked 52% for Becket and 48% for Sebastian.  Neck and neck for sure.  The poll wasn't going to sway our decision, but as close as this one was we definitely weren't pushed to reconsider.

Anyway, unless we have a huge change of heart when we see this little guy in real life he will forever be known as.....

Becket Roger Lockhart.

And if he is anything like his siblings he will arrive September 29th or 30th, weighing over 10 pounds, and labor will be fairly quick.  But who knows, maybe he will be early, under 10 pounds, and I will labor for days.  Time will tell.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Day 9 of Sacred Heart of Jesus Novena.

Okay, I am going to keep this short and sweet because I am just in an erratic head space.  Tonight we will complete our first family novena.  Chris and I have done novenas together in the past, but this was the first time that the kids were apart of it.  They are remembering the basics though.  We are praying for nine days to the Sacred Heart of Jesus for Chris's selection into flight school. Owen has been awesome at remembering what day we are on.  Day 5 I totally thought it was day 4, but he was right.  Amelia is picking up the prayers rather quickly.  I think Owen is too, but he's less confident.  We even found this at a thrift store on day 2 for $.99

Before we hung it on the wall Amelia would hold it above her head for everyone to see it while we prayed.  Presh!

Well, today on Day 9 we will be praying in thanks giving.  Results came out a day early and Chris was selected for flight school!!!

Q-S means Qualified - Selected!

I am so proud of my husband.  He has worked very hard for everything leading up to this point.  We are thankful for all the support and mentoring he has received in the past 5 and a half years in the Army.  We are beyond thankful for all the prayers that everyone has offered up for us.  Flying has been something he has been working towards when we first started dating 12 and a half years ago.

This man y'all!!! 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Answer Me This #1

I'm linking up with Kendra at Catholic All Year for the first time.  Actually, linked up with her about a year ago but this is the first time for Answer Me This.  I've thought it would be fun to participate in the past, planning to do so the next week, and then I would miss it again...story of my life!  But not this week baby!  I'm linking up.  So make sure you head over to Catholic All Year to read other's Answer Me This.

1. How did you get your name?

I'm not 100% sure where my parents found the name Nicole.  Maybe a baby name book.  I do know that they had a boy name ready to go, Ryan.  On the way to the hospital, my mom told my dad that she knows they are having a girl and they needed a name. She said, "I like Nicole." And my dad said "Okay".  I think that's the story anyway.  Marie is after my dad's grandmother.  My siblings and I all have middle names after someone.  Chris and I have continued that middle name tradition with our kids.  Owen Clarence (Chris's grandfather), Amelia Rose (my dear friend Julie), Simon Paul (my dad), and #4's middle name will be Roger (Chris's dad). Clarence is the only first name, the rest are middle names.  I think Marie was my great-grandmother's first name, but I could be completely wrong about that.

2. Do you have a set time for prayer in your day?

No, not really.  We manage to say prayers with the kids every night before bed.  We are improving saying the blessing before meals.  Dinnertime is becoming more frequent, but not every time. There have been a few times we pray after we have eaten because we forgot.   Breakfast and lunch get skipped more often, but it's getting there.  Neither Chris or I grew up praying before meals regularly, so trying to make this a priority and breaking habits is taking some work.

Most of the time my prayers are randomly said.  When something crosses my mind I will offer it up.  Our day to day living is going to change as we embark on homeschooling this year.  I have scheduled prayer into our day, but I'm not great with schedules.  My plan is to make a visual daily timeline, so the kids can help keep me on track.  They often remind us to pray before meals, so I think this will eventually work.  The visual reminder will likely help me, too.

3. Did your mom work, stay home, or both?

Mostly worked.  She was home for the first few years of my life, and then began to work.  For a while she would be off work around the time I was getting out of school.  And there was a summer where she was able to stay home with us.  Overall she worked.  I think she would have really liked to have been able to stay home with us, but it wasn't in God's plan for her.  

I'm really grateful that I get to stay home with our kids.  Most days, I enjoy having them around.  After an hour or two I start to miss them when we are separated.  I love that I'm available when Chris is off work.  Combating schedules in one of many reasons we are choosing to homeschool, and it is one of the reasons I am grateful to be home.

4. Do you vote?

YES! I even do the research that is necessary to vote in the right person for smaller titles. 

5. What is your favorite drink?

Diet Pepsi.  I know it's terrible for you, but I really like carbonated, aspartamey goodness.  I have stopped buying it for the house, but I will still order it if we are out to eat.  I have been known to drink a good amount of sweet tea, too.

Adult, wine, cocktails.  Middle of the road leaning toward sweet, but not too sweet and I prefer chilled.

6. How are your photography skills?

Ummm, mediocre at best.  Every so often I will snap a few gems, but mostly the ones I really love turn out blurry or dark.  I have a fancy-ish camera that I mostly keep on auto because I just don't know what I'm doing.  There are some people who are really talented with their trusty camera phone.  I specialize is dark grainy camera phone pictures that I just make worse with filters.  It's all good.  Even if my skills do not improve I will try to continue to capture our lives with low quality images.  Hopefully, my kids will appreciate it down the road. 

Here are some of the low quality images that I love! 

Weird flash


Dingy weird lighting

Blurry and weird lighing

My finger!

Too dark.

My kids are weird :)

So don't forget to head over to Catholic All Year for others' answers to these 6 questions!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Little of This, Little of That.

Attempting to to use the app again...let's see how this goes, shall we?

We have several projects going on right now. I still need to unpack our suit cases from our trip to NC. Fill Owen's dresser and remove the shelves currently holding his clothes. Some things need to be hung.  Arranging our patio (seriously that's a project). And the biggest project is assembling our swing set.

It's pretty old but in good condition.  We are painting it with this Rust-Oleum Restore hoping that the cold winters here will not wear out the set. So far it seems like our efforts will be worth it, but it's a slow process.

I had planned to start school next week with the kids, but various things might not make that possible. We will start by the 4th of August at the latest.  I was going to only have 5 weeks of school until we were going to start traveling to AK, but since orders were canceled I have a little bit of flexibility.

I'm really trying to remain busy. Next week is the board, and I hopeful things will go our way, but I'm not very optimistic that it will.  I have no reason to be pessimistic other than trying to protect myself from disappointment. Our family is currently saying the Sacred Heart Novena for his selection.  The kids are grasping simple concepts of a nine day novena which is pretty cool. Amelia holds this picture of "The Secret Heart of Jesus" for everyone to see as we pray. It's sacred not a secret, Amelia...get it together ;) Their absorption is making me a little hopeful for the school year.

99 cent thrift store find

My friend Ashley just wrote a review on some materials at Holy Learning.  There is a 15% off code, too.  They have some neat material for teaching kids the faith. I'm starting my list now. I have no experience yet with the product, but I think it will be to have whether you are homeschooling or not. It's worth a look. Promise.

Thanks for voting on my little poll. Last I checked it was almost 50/50 with Becket in the lead by a vote or two.  I got to see the babe today, unexpectedly. He has some big ol' cheeks, y'all! The 20 week ultrasound his face always looked like a skull. But clear as day were his chubby cheeks. Can't wait to see him and compare him to our other 3 monsters. I have to go back in 2 weeks to review my blood sugar.  I'm so grateful they are letting me skip the terrible 3 hour glucose test. I almost vomited and or pass out last time. No bueno.

29 weeks today (or yesterday I guess). I was going to do a belly shot but I recently posted a 28 weeks shot on Instagram.  It just seems too soon. Maybe 30 weeks people. If I remember.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The NC Excursion

The 4th of July vaca!
I have worked on this post on and off for the past few days so if I'm talking about what I'm currently doing, that is what I was doing in that moment it time.  I preface this post mainly because I'm eager to post this I didn't feel like editing. So bear with me. You're the best!

I'm not sure if I like the Blogger app or not. Mainly because I am not very good at proofreading, and I tend to have more errors when I'm typing on my phone. However, I do like being able to get a little bit of a head start on a post if I have some down time while I'm out and about and all I have is my phone. Maybe one-day I will grasp proper grammar and have the skills to proofread appropriately.  Until then my grammar geek friends suffer and endure, but know you're much smarter than me. For realz!

Well we are wrapping up our trip here in NC. Currently, we are relaxing at my in laws.  My father-in-law has the day off and my mother-in-law has the day off tomorrow.  The kids are in and out of the house. Chris is dissembling the swing set so we can drag it back to New York with us. He's a hard working man that I don't deserve, people. I'm not even exaggerating.

I am super excited about having a swing set in our back yard.  Even with a little playground walking distance from the house can be a pain when I am wanting to get things done around the house...or if I just dont feel like sitting in the heat for a couple of hours. I'm a total wimp that struggles with suffering's a flaw I'm trying to correct.  But it will feel like luxury to sit outside for a little bit, step inside when I'm hot, go outside again...and so on. Also, having the potty in close proximity!  Potty training is a part of parenting that completely eludes me. I feel that someone needs to go every 20 minutes. With the swing set in our yard I don't have to gather everyone up to take a child to the bathroom. I am so excited about this generous hand-me-down. 

Yea, yea, get it. I'm lazy.

Doing "homework". Writing their names.

But more about our vacation.  It has been slammed packed full of late nights, early ish mornings, and limited diet monitoring.   And my kids have managed to keep it together so far.  My sister was generous enough to leave us with the coolest niece for the week. She lives about 3 hours away. We arrived at 10:00 Saturday night and with all the excitement and energy that needed to be burn no one fell asleep until 1:00 ish. And we were all up and ready for 9:30 mass Sunday morning.

The kids always seem to behave better for others.  Less squirming than normal.  Chris and I sat behind my parents and the kids.  After mass the kids played at the house until we headed to my in laws to swim for a few hours. And we returned to my mom's house for dinner.  My kids got to catch fireflies for the first time which was very exciting, and enjoyed playing in the mud that Pop-Pop made for them.

Mud in the wheelbarrow.
Monday we took it easy with some playing outside until we headed to my in laws to swim again. Tuesday was the same other than going to $1 kid movie before going swimming.
He LOVED being thrown.
Don't be fooled.  He's not crying.

Wednesday we took a break from the pool. My dad came over while the kids played. Chris and my dad hauled some things away for my mom. I mowed some pretty tall grass.  And picked up some rock my mom needed for the patio wall her and my dad are building. It was an enjoyable full day around the house.

I think Simon looks just like Chris.
Thursday my mom was off so we did a little bit of shopping. The kids and Chris went home half way through because they just couldn't hang. Wimps! We went to La Hacienda for dinner and watched Saving Mr. Banks after the kids went to bed.

Friday was the 4th. We hung around the house for a bit and let Simon take a nap before we headed to my in laws for a little party. The kids swam. Hamburgers and hotdogs all before we headed to see fireworks. I attempted to paint the kids' faces. They liked it well enough. We left to see fireworks...ok the fireworks themselves were awesome! We had great seats. No one was around so the kids were jumping around with excitment. And the presentation was really great. Parking wasn't even that bad other than people driving without any sense. We parked on the side of the road and started walking to the park. People were driving really fast in my opinion considering how many people were out specifically with children.  And Amelia can not walk a straight path to save her life.  I know this to be true since I had to grab her several times to avoid being hit by a moving vehicle. There aren't any sidewalks...just ditches with terrible weeds and scary wildlife. So managing the 4 kids while carrying chairs and a blanket and dodging cars was quite stressful. On the walk back we did have my parents' help but it was really dark. People had been drinking and a fight had broken out in the middle of the street. The good thing about the fight is it stopped traffic making it much easier to make our way to our truck. Silver lining?

Happy Birthday USA!
Saturday we went to the zoo.  I took my camera to NC and didn't use it once.  (I kept forgetting to charge the battery.  So I have some ok pictures from our phones.) The zoo was fun. A little stressful because it was a Saturday and a holiday weekend but we made it through. My friends Libby and Laura met us there with their families.  We walked so much. The kids did awesome! Very little whining. No melt downs. A few tears that quickly ended. We even chose to skip the shuttle back to our parking lot. It added another 1.5 miles (I think don't quote me) of walking. Everyone was sweaty and sore by the end.  The kids slept HARD and so did the adults, but we still managed to wake up and go to 9:30 mass on Sunday.

He LOVED the turtles...and the polar bear.

They climbed on everything!

I considered going to a later mass but Chris was dissembling the swing set later and my mother-in-law was taking the kids shopping so we got up and went at 9:30. The kids were pretty good other than Simon yelling Amelia's name loudly when he saw her sitting with my parents. And after communion pointing at the door and yelling "GO"! I was stopped by a lady (I didn't know) that seemed overjoyed about our fourth baby. She just thought it was wonderful and was very happy for us. It's reassuring to receive joyful comments. We did shop, and later had dinner with all the parental units.

Monday was a slow easy start before we headed out to my in laws again. My father-in-law had the day off and Amelia and Owen were staying the night. Chris loaded half the swing set into the truck and we took it home before heading out to dinner at a Japanese restaurant in Greensboro.  It was delicious.  I burnt my mouth because I wasn't patient enough to wait for my skillet bowl to cool down.  After putting Simon to bed my mom, Chris, and I watched Austenland.  Funny!

About to enjoy some Japanese food!
Tuesday we picked up the U-haul trailer before heading to pick up the rest of the swing set. When we got to the house my dad had started pressure washing the set that was already there. It took nearly 4 hours to wash the whole thing. Chris and I ran to his aunt's house to pick up some furniture that goes with the bunk beds she had already given us. And we had everything loaded in the truck and trailer by 11 pm that evening. 

Wednesday we hit the road an hour earlier than we did for our way down and made it home 30 minutes later than we did arriving to NC. Coming home was a rougher trip. My kids are generally very good in the car. I'm sure our rough trip was much better than people who have kids that don't travel well, but it was still off putting. Simon serenaded us with his whine/cry/scream while saying "get out, get out". Amelia dramatically needed to poop when no restroom could be found. Once we did make it to a restroom miraculously she no longer had to poop. Owen wasn't too dramatic but did feel the need to instigate throughout the trip. But we made it home safe and sound so really that's all that matters.  We did take a gamble on a local pizzeria for dinner somewhere in Pennsylvania.  It was really good and they had $.30 wings that were delish....I just wanted to roll around in them.  

When we got home Chris immediately started emptying the trailer and truck into our garage, and he took the trailer back.  I can say that my house was clean for a week and a half...of course we weren't home.  The children are back to their tearful protests.  C'est la vie.

We had a wonderful time.  These "vacations" are never long enough.  

Some extra pictures for your viewing pleasure!