Monday, June 30, 2014

A pool kind of day...

 Today was a big day for the Logster--his first swimming lessons (with mommy of course!).  He did pretty darn good, especially for it being nap time.  He only screamed at me a few times. :)  And look at the forlorn face.  Love that sweet boy!
 The other kiddos also did great with their lessons! 
 Me and my boy in parent-toddler class.  He clung tightly to that froggy for the whole class...and he tried to steal half the other kids' toys too :)  (sorry for non-cropped pics...cannot figure out how to crop iphone pics)  And below is a pic of Log last night....can we say "RJ?"  We might have another Gritz kid who loves vacuums (like my cousin did).  Logan loves to take apart our Dyson now!  Maybe this means he'll be a very clean kid?  I'm not counting on it...
So, it was a busy, busy day....swim lessons for 5 of us.  And then a fun trip to the city pool.  I rarely make the plunge and go there b/c honestly it's a lot of work to keep track of all the kids, but today was the PERFECT day to go!  It thunderstormed right around 1pm and then cleared right up, so by 2pm the pool was cleared out and the weather was perfect.  Not even too hot or too sunny.  I'd say there were only like 50 people at the pool whereas there can be hundreds usually with lots of crazy camps there.  It was the ideal day to take a toddler there.  Logan loved it.  After 5 hours of swimming he should sleep good tonight...we all should.  Highlight of the day was talking to our Hays just now.  She's doing good aside from 5 nasty blisters on her toes thanks to forgetting her toe pads in her new shoes today.  But she is lovin' her teachers and especially loved getting a fun goody package from Aunt Sue today.  Thanks, Auntie Sue!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Fountain Fun!

 I think I already mentioned how we had fun with the Lincoln Center fountain the day after we dropped Hays off.  Here's the proof through pics :)  Dylan was being like a conductor...he has a musical flare in him for sure.  It was "fantasmic"!
 The girls were pretty funny too trying to jump higher than the fountain :)  I love this fountain...it's so fun.  And you can see Hailey's dorms right behind in the distance.  She's in Julliard dorms this year (above SAB ones).
This is what Hailey did today...a trip to the Freed (ballet shoe) store.  I could probably do a whole post on pointe shoes, but I'll spare you today.  It would certainly be educational (Hailey should do it b/c she knows waaaay more than me....I took one pointe class and quit b/c I loved my normal-looking feet too much :)).   These babies cost around $100 each and she usually can go through 1 pair a week during an intensive.  I think you can do the math in your head.  Ouch!  Today she bought a new kind of Freed's...she moved on from "Operas" and is now trying "Neptunes"?  No idea the difference, but I hope she likes them since they cost a pretty penny :)  So...this was the extent of her day.  And ours was mostly spent just doing piddly things around the house.  The day went by quickly.  I have to say...this was one of the dullest weekends ever and I LOVED it!  Dull rocks!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

I love this kind of day...

Well, I have to say that I could get used to this kind of Saturday.  We had absolutely nothing to do today....and we really stuck to that for the most part.  The kiddos played in the basement all day long.  They built tents and played with fake food and amused themselves. The best part of that is that they all got along all day. Yes-siree-bob...for the first time all summer there was no fighting!  We only ventured out to do recycling, the post office and Target.  And all were optional.  It was super duper lovely.  I even laid down on the couch at one point in the peace and quiet and could have gone to sleep.  Then we realized we needed to plan our next NYC/NJ trip, so we did that instead.  But all in all a superbly wonderful day. Only thing missing was our Hays.  But she probably would have just slept the day away anyway :)  j/k, Hays!   We did get to talk to her tonight so that helped us fill our Hailey-void :) 
 And, she even sent us some pics of her "goings-ons" this week....above is her at the Boston Ballet last night at Lincoln Center.  She said it was great, even though none of her roomies went.
                                                           
 And I think this may be from today on her outing to the neighborhood?  Her and her suitemates. I don't know most of them, but the one right behind her is her roommate, Logan, from last year :) (I cannot get this pic to not go sideways)
 This is how we started out our morning...bright and early and into the angel hair already!  Stink-meister!
 Proof of the fun of today.  Love simple, fun days (it was raining outside so we made our own indoor fun!)  I think Shelby was the chef :)
Logan was in rare form tonight and refused to talk to Hays so we took this pic of him to show her :)
And I just came across this old pic from 2012 on my desktop.  Can you even spot Hailey?  She looks so young since she was only 12.  The girl in pink was her roommate that year and she is actually still there and in Hailey's class.  Time sure does fly!

Well, I'm off to enjoy a movie by myself.  The other bad part of my day is Kev had to go into work :(  But all in all--a good day!  I hope tomorrow is much of the same!

Friday, June 27, 2014

I'm 18M!

 Yo, Peeps!  I'm 18months old today. Yes, you read that right...1.5 years!  How this happened, my mommy will never know...and as far as she's concerned I will always be her little baby.  But, like it or not I'm growing up and I'm doing it loud and proud!  Here I am giving myself a half bday shoutout!  YAY for me!
 I'm a pretty funny fellow most of the time.  I crack myself up.  I like to wave and clap when I am happy and I will do a very excited clap if I see food I like (mostly candy!).  I was smiling like this b/c mommy was gonna give me candy.  I am a sucker for candy...just like the rest of my family before me.  I'm one cool kid!  I can also say lots of words now.  My fav. word is "mom"...which also sounds a lot like "more"...I say this a lot (and VERY loud) when I like things and like food.  I am loud, did you know?  I also like to say "dad"...and "ball"...and "boo" (balloon)....and I LOVE to say my sib's names, especially Hailey and Dylan (Hayeee!  Dyyannn!)  I like to yell for them when it's time for dinner.  I am good at it!  I also think all animals are cats and I am good at pointing at them and calling them "caaaas"! :)  I am getting so smart!
Sometimes I can be serious and  I often refuse to slow down and smile for mama...I am just too busy for that!  And, yes, everyone says I look just like my blue-eyed daddy.  I am his mini-me, especially when it comes to my rambunctious attitude.  I like to scream at the top of my lungs lately and I can be a big ball of energy.  I can even throw some big-boy tantrums and flail around on the ground if I don't like what I'm seeing/getting.  My fav. thing to do these days is CLIMB!  I climb on everything!  My fav. place is our big, tall dining room table. I feel like I'm on top of the world when I'm up there!  It's great!!  I especially like it when I can play on daddy's computer there or when there are markers up there and I can color freely!  I am trouble, I admit it!  But, someone's gotta keep my family on their toes. I am happy to do it!

Well, peeps...I just did my half bday poop and now it's time for my half bday bath.  I wish my biggest sissy was here to enjoy the aroma I have left. :)  Adios, Amigos!                                            
 Yo, Again!  It's me...I've been up to trouble since my bath.  Mommy was silly enough to think I'd go to bed right after she bathed me.  She should know better by now.  I am too busy to sleep!  While she was watching a movie with my sibs, I pushed down the gate and had a snack.  Have I mentioned I loved to raid the fridge?  Mommy was silly to think my bowl of applesauce was safe!  I dug right in.  She was not terribly pleased to find me in this "apple-y" state since I was clean 10mins before.  Don't I look innocent as always?!  :)  And I also got caught in the act of coloring on the table.  Yes, I am a stinker...this is proof! 

One week down :)

                                                           


Well, our Hays has been gone about a week...and her first week of classes are almost over.  From what I can gather she is loving SAB classes as usual, is really enjoying her new teachers this year and is being challenged greatly.  While she is only dancing 17 hours a week (which is almost less than she usually dances at IU), she is doing almost all of it on pointe.  This is not the norm for her.  Her feet hurt pretty bad midweek so by yesterday she was at Bed Bath and Beyond buying containers to ice her precious (and very sore!) ballerina feet.  I am glad those stinky feet get a rest for most of the weekend (she only has 1 hour of dance tomorrow and off on Sunday).  But she is loving the challenges of the Balanchine technique and all the hard work it entails. 

I just checked the SAB parent portal and was happy to see my Hays in 2 pics.  This is rare for her as she is usually the queen of "avoiding the camera" :)  I think she takes pride in this. :)  But I cherish seeing her face from afar b/c I do miss her in our home.  She has had a low-key activity week. She backed out of her bus tour (I won't go into that, but let's just say she didn't want to go b/c "no friends were going"...really?) and she apparently didn't sign up for cookie decorating in time...but I'm ok with that (we do enough cookie decorating at home!).  She is going to see Boston Ballet tonight so that will be her first official school outing...and she goes to visit the Freed (ballet shoe store) on Sunday.  Other than that she's been to Starbucks a couple times and around her stomping grounds of Lincoln Center.  So far so good. She's slid easily back into being a New Yorker. :)

The Steg kids on the homefront have had their ups and downs.  We have tried to play it pretty low key this week....for multiple reasons. 1.  This mama is tired after that crazy NYC trip and my unfortunate sickness on the way there that landed me in an urgent care in WV.  2.  I really like being lazy and there is definitely something to the lazy days of summer.  3.  I don't want to do too much fun stuff while our fav. ballerina is gone (we don't want her missing anything)!  4.  It's our last week to just chill.  We have swim lessons the next two weeks (even Logan and I!).  So it'll be busier!  But, we've had fun with friends and that is always a blessing.  We had a super water balloon fight with our buds, Isaac and Lillian, yesterday.  Our kids had a blast!  Thanks, Debbe!  We had a park outing today with Ash's friend, Lisa and fam!  And then we raced to the Splash Pad to see her other friend, Annie, and her fam.  It was fun, but nice to get home to the cool house and just sit.  Logan has been in rare form lately and I've noticed if he doesn't eat well or misses one (or both) of his two naps, he is toast!  He is screamy and tantrum-y.  Today he is 18 months old.  Where in the world has a year and a half gone???  This is craziness.  He is a little man now, not a baby.

Well, sorry for a picture-less post. I will do my best to add photos this weekend if Kev can download them.  Tonight the kids want to "camp" in our backyard.  Hmm.  We'll see how this goes.  I am just thankful we have a weekend with nothing planned. This truly never happens.  So thankful it's Friday!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Best NYC Toy!

We don't usually buy much in NYC, but the kids wanted this magic trick set at FAO soooo badly that Kev must have caved (I was at bfast at the Plaza!).  Anyway...$30 seems like a lot for a box of tricks, but the kids paid for it with their own money and it was WELL worth it!  Not only did it amuse them for lots of hotel time, but it was quite comical to watch.  It actually is a pretty good magic kit.  Even the kids are pulling stuff off on us adults.  Shelb is one of the best at it (as seen above :))

Love this place!

Best toy store ever--hands down.  I just love this place.  It's different, yet fun.  I know it's owned by Toys R Us now, but it's way better than the actual Toys R Us in Times Square.  And the kids got their FAV toy there too (more pics of that to come!) :)  Just had to post one fun pic today.  Still resorting to i-phone pics til we get unpacked and get our real pics downloaded. 

huh?

Ok, this is very random, but it's been on my mind since I heard it on the radio yesterday....

Weddings now cost on average $30,000????

Is this really true?

I thought the average was $10,000 back when I got married 15+ years ago and I thought that was way too much.

That means when my girls get married it will probably cost over $50,000 each???  (yes, don't remind me I have three of them!) :)

I thought we should be saving for college, but it might be the 3 weddings instead.

Craziness that THAT much money can be spent on something that only lasts a day!

Maybe I should go into the wedding business...or at least encourage my girls to elope (or all get married at once!) :)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Our Fav. Ballerina's home away from home :)

Just a quick post of my beautiful Hays outside her 2nd home in Lincoln Center (NYC).  This is the famous fountain that's been in movies.  It's one of my most fav. places in the city.  I have some hilarious pics of the other kids dancing and jumping along to it as it shoots water many feet high.  It's quite a sight!  But, it was a calm fountain day on Sunday as we dropped our oldest girl off.  She pretty much refused to do a ballet shot in front of the fountain, but after I told her she'd get a 5 week break from me taking pics of her, she agreed to one simple pose. 

So far so good with her 3rd day of classes.  She had two fabulous new teachers yesterday and I have no doubt today was just as good.  Knowing she is learning from the best ballet teachers in the U.S. and probably the world is such a blessing.  So far she's ventured out in the "neighborhood" (near this fountain)...to Starbucks, Duane Reade (like Walgreens) and Lululemon (sportswear store).  She's been feasting on food in the Juilliard Cafe and even had Sushi last night b/c the grill was broken (she usually eats pizza or a Philly cheesesteak every day).  She has a sweet roommate from CA, and she knew at least half her suitemates already.  So she's got a good lil' friend-basis going on.  She's been busy with floor meetings and activities, and tonight she'll venture out to the city on the tour bus (something she's done every year and enjoys).  We're so proud of our independent and mature Hays.  I almost wish I was there having all these fun experiences.  But, boring Bloomy calls my name! haha :)  Live it up, Hays, and hope you make lots of fun memories and learn a ton!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Back from the "Apple" :)

Just got home...had a splendid time with lots of memories made (and pics taken!).  This mama is worn out though so it's off to bed early tonight.  Sweet dreams to our fav. ballerina in NY!  We miss you, Hays, but know you are having such an amazing time being taught by such top notch SAB teachers and experiencing the sights of NY! 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Back to the Big Apple...our 2nd home! :)

Well, that time is upon us once again--NYC, here we come!  Amazing how fast it's flown...b/c honestly it seems like we were just there and that was a year ago!  So excited to return to our home away from home.  Never thought a big city would feel like home to us, but we really are comfortable with this place having been there three summer straight!  I am actually all packed (yes, you read that right!)...I was pretty much packed yesterday...so with my extra peaceful moments I thought I'd post some old pics from last summer.  I might have posted these before, but it's still a fun refresher to see them again! Above is two lovely ladies--our Lady of Liberty and our Beautiful Ballerina....this is right after we picked the SAB girl up from her dorm on Kev's bday (7/27)
Logan livin' it up on his first trip to the Big Apple...I think he rather liked Times Square!
Shelb's fav thing about NYC...finding lots of Audrey Hepburn stuff and eating "breakfast" outside Tiffany's jewelry store (her idea :))
Don't let the sad face fool you...Logan was a star on the Today show!  He had to get up VERY early to make it on to the concert series so maybe that's why he was lookin' grumpy, but he did fabulous on his first tv debut! :)
Daddy on his 38th bday and Logan on his 7 month bday in front of our hotel (you can see it behind the Hershey store---Crowne Plaza)...right on Times Square.  Best location ever!  We are staying there tomorrow...and next month too!!  Thank you, Nina and Poppy Stegs for letting us "borrow" your hotel points!
My girls at the "Rock" observatory...overlooking Central Park.  Awesome views!
BEST place to eat...Shake Shack...the main one in the park is beautiful with twinkling lights. We hope to take Hailey on Sat. night!
Livin' large on the subway!  On our way to SAB for drop-off.  She looks like a natural New Yorker, doesn't she?!
Nothing like turning 7 months old in NYC and chillin' in Times Square in your onesie and tie!  Golly, how he's changed in 1 year....now he'll be rockin' NYC with his busy boy ways!
Very cool castle in Central Park.
Our lil' "liberty" boy :)
Kev's bday bfast location...Alice's Tea Cup...very cool eclectic place to eat.  He got his fav--crepes!
Can't go to NYC w/o a trip through Hoboken, NJ to get some goodies at Carlos' Bakery (Cake Boss!).  Yummers!  I hope we can get back in this year with the rest of the kids!
And we hope to go back here this year with Hailey...Serendipity 3!  Frozen hot chocolate...yumm!
And our most fav. place (well, mine at least!) is the fountain outside Lincoln Center.  We always do a ballet pose there when we drop our girl off!  

And so it goes...summer #3 for our girl in NYC.  It seems like old hat to us at this point.  She's actually been packed for days.  Never have we Stegs been this prepared for a trip.  I was smart enough this time to NOT plan any last minute pool trips or get togethers with friends, but instead we just chilled this week and leisurely did things. I am really learning to chill a lot this summer and not stress about stuff.  It makes life so much nicer!  So, this time tomorrow we should be halfway to our 2nd home.  NYC, here we come...ready for another summer of fun and memories!  

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Adios, Helmet!

 We got the green light today to forgo the ol' "helmie".  So, much to our "dismay", we will no longer have to be dealing with the stinky blue helmet and the sweaty blonde head!  Hurrah!  Just in time for a very hot summer...I think today was our first 90 degree day!  It's been a "fun" ride with the extra head-wear, but I am glad the day has come that we can say goodbye (we will actually be keeping it on one more week (by choice), just b/c I think it can't hurt to have it on for the two 14 hour drives to/from NYC)...but come next Tuesday I will finally be able to cuddle and kiss a baby head w/o blue plastic on it!  I think we might just have a "bye bye" helmet party that day!
(do not be fooled by the sad face....the boy will definitely be happy to have his blonde locks showing again!)  I think he only made a few "mm" change in head shape over the last few months (2/14-6/17).  It is amazing to me how fast 4 months flew by!  I am not real enthused by the change in head shape, but not really surprised either. My thought is that at least he made a few mm change for the better and not a mm change for the worse, which might have been the case had he been helmet-less.  And we did get lots of cute comments and conversations over the helmet...not to mention we educated many on why he had it.  So I guess that all makes it worth it.  But, we are not sorry it's time to kick the helmet to the curb in time for summer!  Bye, Bye, blue helmet-head and hello little blonde-haired boy!  I have missed seeing your sweet head all day long!

Monday, June 16, 2014

There's always one stinker in the bunch...

...I just didn't expect it to be the guy on the left :)  Would have been a nice Father's Day fam. pic if Dylan didn't decide to show his true colors. :)  Oh well.  I guess it's just proof how nearly impossible it is to get a perfect shot of 7 people. :)  In just a week we'll be minus one.  Sorta sad about this, but excited for our girl and her summer #3 in NYC!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Dad's Day!

Happy Father's Day to my three favorite dads!  My sweet, wonderful, patient daddy-of-a-husband who has stood alongside me and parented 5 crazy kids!  He is the best daddy a girl could ever ask for to parent her kids.  I am blessed beyond words by him every day.  I love him more than anything!
And my own dad...good ol' Pops.  He might fool ya' with a tough exterior, but he's an ol' softie at the core.  He's been there for me for 37.5 years and he's sacrificed a lot in that time to give me everything I could ever need and want even now that I've become a parent myself.  He and I are often on the same wavelength when it comes to things...we are just wired similarly with our "feeling deep" brains and hearts :)  I love you daddy/Pops! 
                                           
And Dad/Poppy Stegs...he's awesome as well.  He's the slightly more mature version of Kevin so I love that about him (not that Kev is immature or anything!)  He helped mold my patient man into the husband and father he is, so how can I not love and appreciate my father-in-law. He is a wonderful, caring and patient guy who gives unconditionally to his family.  He's an amazing patriarch to our Steg fam.
                                               
So thankful for the dads in my life...and so thankful for a day to honor them. Not sure I did much of anything special for Kev today....but Shelby did make him bfast in bed (a french one...complete with a french menu...crepes...Kev's fav!)  It was very cute.  She did a good job and I think it was his first breakfast in bed.  We had a busy morn at church.  Then had a yummy Chipotle lunch!  Yumm!  He got lots of homemade gifts/cards from the kids...and a very thrown together oreo ice cream dessert (ho hum that our cold stone closed and we can no longer get him a yummy ice cream cake!).  But, it was still a relaxing afternoon amidst my lack of effort to make it extra special.  Then we raced off to Indy to spend the evening with his dad and bro and fam.  Had a yummy dinner of filet and fixin's and lots of fun playing croquet in the yard!  Just a perfect/beautiful day.  The only down side was scraping egg off our van this morning....thank you, bored neighbor kids who had nothing better to do last night than to egg cars in our neighborhood. 

But, all-in-all a good day.  Happy Father's Day to all you daddies out there!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

the best thing about being sick...

...it makes you thankful to be better and healthy!  I've not had this kind of flu bug in a long time and, boy, do I hope I don't have to endure it again.  I quite honestly don't know how I made it through the last few days, but by the grace of God.  Oh, how I cannot wait for it to be the weekend and to finally get some rest and sleeping-in time.  I love VBX and the message it brings to our kiddos...and shepherding a group of busy 5th graders has had its blessings, but I am plum burned out and just want to focus on enjoying my oldest girl for the next week that we have her at home.  I fear summer is going to go by waaaay too quickly. :(  June and July...please-slow-down, b/c I can't honestly bear for August to be here!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Home from our mini-Chicago-Steg-vaca...

Well, it was another whirlwind of a time for us Stegs these last 4 days...and this time we dragged Nina and Poppy Stegs along with us! (lucky them!) :)  But we had a wonderful time crashing the city of Chicago.  The main purpose of the trip was for Ash to get her 1st AG doll!  And we are now +1 with our new addition of, Isabelle the ballerina. (one reason why we went this year b/c she is the doll of 2014!)  Ash adores her 1st AG doll and all the goodies that Nina and Poppy got to go along with her....and her first luncheon at the AG place...(the boys had a grand ol' time at Lego store).  Add onto that some fun times at a wonderful hotel (with a pool...and special AG package!)...a trip to the Museum of Science and Industry...an attempted trip to Shedd's Aquarium (apparently someone bought it out for an event the day we were going...go figure)...and then a fun trip on the boat down the Chicago River....oh, and did I mention we didn't even have to drive at all...we took the train to/from the city and then took the bus and taxis.  I think we covered all aspects of transportation, except flight! haha :)  Wish we could have hit some more fun things like the Aquarium and Navy Pier and maybe one of the tall buildings, but let's be honest...we do plenty of that touristy stuff in NYC and that will be here in just a week!  But a big ol' thank you shout-out to Nina and Poppy for a wonderful lil' city vacation!

Anyway...more pics and info to come on the Chicago fun, but this poor mama hasn't sleep much since last Wednesday.  I got some kind of flu bug on Friday and am now w/o a voice...not good on the 1st day of VBX where I am leading a group and need to speak!  Oh well.  I made it through today and honestly wasn't sure I would.  Now just counting down the days til the weekend when we can get some rest!

 ok, a few pics from the ol' iphone...I couldn't resist :)  Logan was a trooper on the train...I really don't think he could have been any better (we were worried about this!)...but he slept probably half the time due to the early morning (6am) departure and the midnight arrival home.  And dumdums really got us through in the tough times :)
 Ash and her new friend :)
 They boys at the Lego store....Logan.. spotted a ball as you might be able to tell from his yell :)
 a pic for Pops in FL...of the planes at the museum...he would have loved them!
and my and my baby on the boat down the river....yes, he is picking all the foam letters off his helmet...his new fav. past time :)

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Bye Bye Blonde Curls :(

 This mama is sad today.  We had to say goodbye to one of my fav. things...my baby's blonde curls.  I have grown quite attached to them b/c they are the only thing I often see hanging out from under the big blue helmet.  But, he was recently mistaken for a girl with his helmet off...and a few people have made a point to say "you need a haircut" lately to him...so I bit the bullet and gave the baby of the house his 2nd haircut.  I think I might cry though now looking at how much older he looks.  I loved those curls.  Above is the Logster after a few snips...he looked pretty excited about the endeavor...but actually he was just thrilled to have lemonade and a dumdum.
 Looking lost...without his curls :(
 Looking like he wants them back...
...then it was on to playing....he soon forgot about his lost "locks".  I'm not sure I'll forget that easily.  He looks so different w/o hair on his neck.  Sigh.