Tuesday, July 30, 2013

July in a Nutshell

Besides taking care of Finn this past month, we've also had fun doing our typical summer things:

A few lazy days at home lounging around in our pjs until far too late watching cartoons. 

Riding our bikes to play at the park down the street. 

Swimming at the YMCA where the kids are also taking lessons once a week. 

Hanging out in the backyard all afternoon and enjoying popsicles for snacks.

Trips to the local library followed by the occasional stop at Cherry Berry.

Soaking each other with water guns on the hottest days of the year.

Summer Day Camp at Church.

Friends over for play dates.

Harvesting our backyard crop of raspberries.

Creating lots of yummy goodies out of the raspberries that actually made it from the backyard to the kitchen (a large number of them get eaten right off the bush!)

Afternoon naps.

Hot Dogs and Smores over the backyard campfire.

A trip to the movie theater to see Despicable Me 2 with Daddy.

A few pedicures for Mommy.

A road trip to Wisconsin for the yearly Dzioba family reunion.

At a park in Lodi before the reunion.

Despite the calendar saying it was July, it felt more like September!

Sportin' the shirts Grandma and Grandpa Dzioba brought back from Hawaii.

As July is coming to an end and August is right around the corner, it is probably about time I go through the kids' backpacks from last school year and begin to assess what we need to stock up on for this year.  I reluctantly dug out the school supply lists last night and need to begin filling out Olivia's preschool forms for Fall.  While I've started mentally taking account of who needs new jeans and sneakers, the calendar has been adjusted to show the impending "First Day of School."

Even though Fall is right around the corner, we're going to do our best to enjoy the last glorious weeks of summer break!

Meet Finn

Wow.  July is over.  Just like that! 

Where, oh where, is the summer going?!  I know it's about this time in the summer that many parents become increasingly excited for the school year to begin, mostly due to kids' boredom and running out of things to do, but I feel just the opposite!  I can't believe we only have about four weeks' time left!

I've decided my feelings are mostly due to the fact that our time has been vastly spent this past month acclimating Finn into our household.

On our way home from picking Finn up at the breeder's home about 2 hours away from the Cities
We knew having a puppy wouldn't be easy, but it has definitely been a lot harder than either Ben or I anticipated.  I think there were probably a few times we questioned whether we had made the right decision in bringing Finn home, especially as we lay in bed at 2:47 am listening to him whine in his crate for hours on end, when he decided to sneak into our room to take a dump after he had just been given ample opportunity outside, or the time I trusted the kids to watch him outside for less than five minutes while I ran in the house and returned to find his fluffy white hair covered in mud.  While I'm not able to compare the difficulty of caring for a puppy to the care of a baby (3-4 nights of no sleep barely seems like a blip on the radar compared to months upon months of no sleep with a newborn), it has definitely been trying at times.

But, then we see the kids' joy in playing with him or helping care for him (Zach, for some strange reason, is incredibly excited about being on poop-scoop duty, Allie handles him so well and is always willing to take him outside, and Olivia loves to feed him treats) and we know that we are making memories as a family that will last forever. 

Even though he's only been with us for a little over three weeks, Finn has officially become part of the family.  So much so, that when we left him overnight to attend a family reunion, he was so upset he literally made himself sick!  A long first night back at home and a vet visit later, he's back on the mend.

And just in case you haven't seen enough puppy cuteness, I bring you the brothers' reunion:  Finn and Fred together again at last.  Both pups had a great week while Allie was at our church's day camp and the rest of us crashed my parents' house during the day. 

We still have lots of learning to do regarding puppy training, but thankfully our puppy kindergarten class has been helping us out as we teach him basic commands.  The kids are also gaining more and more confidence each day in handling him as Finn continues to learn (and oftentimes test) the boundaries around here.  Thankfully we have all of August to continue working with him until the Fall routine sets in and everything changes.  I'm pretty much anticipating he will miss the noisy house as the kids go back to school...but, who knows, maybe by then he'll enjoy a little peace and quiet!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Happy Birthday Ben!

This year Ben celebrated his birthday Northwoods style in Minocqua!  We started out the day with a morning date:  a peaceful walk into town and breakfast at a local coffee shop while my sister stayed back to help the kids with breakfast and get them ready for the day.

We may look a little sleepy, but I promise, we are morning people! 

While I enjoyed a vanilla latte, the non-coffee drinking Birthday Boy indulged in a strawberry smoothie that looked more like a strawberry shake!

Amish Egg Bake with Asiago Cheese Toast and Caramel Apple Stuffed French Toast

Later that morning, we all decided to take a walk into town so Ben could pick out his birthday gift at the Green Bay Packers Fan Store.  He chose a Packers Polo shirt and a gift that reassured me that no matter how much I fret about Zach growing up, there will always be a little boy inside just waiting to play with a cool remote control helicopter that projects the Green Bay Packer 'G' on the wall when the lights are out.

The afternoon was spent in classic Minocqua style:  on the boat.  Then it was time for a birthday dinner at The Thirsty Whale.

A birthday is never complete until there is cake.  We returned to the cabin after dinner to indulge in ice cream cake!

I think we all enjoyed celebrating Ben's special day and can't wait to do it up Northwoods style again next year!