For that reason, I'm here to update you all!
Here goes nothing...
I think first of all, is the introduction of two new family members since the last update.
Nibble is our pet duck! Back in December, a friend forwarded me some information from a second grade teacher in a school in a neighboring town. She was hatching ducklings as a science unit for her class, and was looking to give the baby ducklings away once they were hatched and ready to go. Kendall has been obsessed with ducks since she was a year or so old, and we had always joked about getting her a pet duck. Now, this was reality. It took some talking, but I talked Jeff into letting us get a few. When it came time for the ducklings to begin hatching, this little guy was the only one out of about 10 that hatched and survived. He was the runt of the litter, being the smallest duckling the teacher had ever seen when first born, and she has hatched quite a few! So, we were lucky to get our little miracle duckling! We set him up inside our house in a rabbit cage, and so began the journey of raising a farm animal. He came out nightly to run around the house and play while we all took turns cleaning his cage and refilling his food and water. Once spring finally decided to arrive, Jeff was able to finish building the duck coop and we got it all set up in the backyard and finally moved him outside about a month or two ago.
A few months after getting Nibble, we got a call from the local animal shelter that they had received some lab/retriever mix puppies in, and we were next approved on the waiting list to get one if we were still interested! Thus began the adventure with Oreo...
Oreo was only 7 months old when we adopted him. We originally wanted a younger puppy, but by the time the kids and I arrived at the shelter that day, the younger babies had already been spoken for and were pending adoption. We were a little bummed, but then we saw Oreo (he was named Rupert by the shelter), sitting quietly in his kennel, not barking or jumping at the door like the other dogs all were. We asked the shelter associates to let us bond with him in a private room and see what happened. He seemed so sweet, was good with the kids, and adorable as ever. We decided he would be the one, and brought him home that night! It was a bit crazy at first, getting him house trained as far as going potty, but he seemed to grasp that concept fairly quickly, and we got the hang of his "potty signs" down within a week or two.
Fast forward to four months later...
While he doesn't go to the bathroom indoors, Oreo is still pretty crazy. We taught him how to sit within a week or two after bringing him home, but anything else has been out the window and a challenge. He jumps on everyone, chews everything he can get his paws (or teeth!) on, and has ridiculous energy. Sometimes I joke that he has ADD/ADHD because there are times he just can't chill out or sit still well at all. We are working on it all though! He sleeps in his crate at night in our room, and before nicer weather got here, he would be in his crate all day while we were both at work, as he just could not be trusted to be out and on his own. I came home to the house destroyed and his throw up all over the place at one point. That was when we started zip tying him in his crate, as he is a master at getting himself out of crates if he wants to bad enough! Now that the weather is nicer, he gets put outside on his dog run all day while we are all at work or school. He is a sweetheart, but we need to get some basic obedience under control still. He will be a year in July, so I am hoping we get some control over this soon!
Let's see, what else has happened lately?
Mason turned 5!
Mason celebrated his 5th birthday back in March with a pizza party out, and then a bowling party over the weekend with friends and family. He had a blast! I can't believe he is 5 already, and now after the summer is over, he will begin kindergarten! I think it will be a big adjustment for him. He is excited for real school and to ride the bus like his big brother and sister. but I think it will be interesting to see how he does with no nap during the week days like he is used to, and having to come home and do some homework before he can watch television or just go outside and play and be a bit carefree like he is now. On the other hand, he LOVES to learn and is just a little sponge right now, so that part will be fun and easy. He can write his name on his own with very little help, and loves learning letters and numbers, so I am so excited to see his growth this coming year!
Another little one celebrated her birthday as well...
Tootie turned 3 in June!
I can't believe Kendall is 3 already! We celebrated with some cupcakes at home the night of her real birthday, and then an owl themed birthday party with close friends and family that following weekend. She is such a little joy! She begins preschool this upcoming school year, and she is so excited to go to "school" like her older brothers and sister. Her laughter and fun loving personality is contagious; nobody can be around her and not be in a great mood or laugh their butts off. How have three years already gone by with my sweet little baby?!
This year has been full of other fun! Lots of playground visits and other adventures!
For Mother's Day, Jeff bought me a day at a local spa, something I had never done before. It was so fun! While I was at my spa day, he took all four kids on a hiking adventure nearby. They had never been hiking before, but they did an awesome job, even little miss Kendall!
Some other exciting news from this past year is that I graduated college! Finally! I have been working towards a college degree for eight years! It took six years to get my Associate's Degree from community college, and then two straight years to finally earn my Bachelor's Degree, and this May, I graduated with my Bachelor's of Arts in Psychology!
It was an incredible accomplishment and I was so thankful my babies got to witness their mommy walk across that stage and accept my Bachelor's degree. I truly believe it is something they will remember forever, and sets such a positive example for all four of them to strive for in their futures, as I am the first in my family to obtain a college degree. A couple of weeks before graduating, I was offered a job as a behavior interventionist in the same agency where I work now. I accepted the offer, as this was a Bachelor's degree level position, full time hours with benefits, in the same agency, and the day time hours of the specific position could not be beat. I couldn't have asked for a better opportunity to be able to officially use my college degree literally right from graduating!
A couple of weeks before I graduated college, Merasia had her big dance show! She worked SO hard this year in three different dance classes: ballet 2, hip hop 1, and tap 1! The show her dance academy did this year was Aladdin, and it was one of the best shows yet! Merasia was part of Prince Ali's Entourage for her hip hop class, the young arabian princess for her ballet class, and performed for the "royal family" with her tap class. She did SO well and was such a trooper handling the long rehearsals in the week leading up to the show. We are so proud of her!
More recently, we took a trip to Story Land in New Hampshire, and had a great day there spent meeting Cinderella, Tinker Bell, and Prince Charming, as well as going on ride after ride. It was a blast!
On even more of a brighter note, school is officially out for the summer! Connor and Merasia had their last day of first grade on June 16th. I had to go in for minor surgery that day to remove my gall bladder, so a mom of a friend and classmate of the twins offered to take the twins home with her after their half day of school, until I was home and settled in after surgery. I was a little bummed I couldn't attend the end of the year BBQ at the kid's school and go to the beach with them afterwards, but I am so glad they had a good friend and her mom to step in and help make it a fun day for them!
Whew, that was quite the update! I think I covered the major milestones, at least! I am greatly looking forward to this summer full of beach trips, pool trips, cook outs, trips to our camp, concerts we have planned, and most of all, our big vacation to Cape Cod in August!
My other big goal is to keep up with this blog! I hope I can do it, as I miss it greatly and really do enjoy it! Check in and let me know what all you lovely readers have been up to these days!