The new house 

16 Apr

Ahh after 6 days of solo parenting our 3 kiddos (5, 4 and 2), I’m finally sitting down mid afternoon on a Saturday while everyone ( including the Hubby who just returned from a red eye this morning from Cali ) is either napping or having quiet time.

It’s been a little over 4 months in our new house and I’m loving it more and more each day!  I truly miss our European life, the culture and my friends in Switzerland, but having our own place with a yard is bliss ( especially with boys )!

We bought our house last July and fell in love with the area and the ‘bones’ of the house.  The layout was perfect it just needed some major updating.  While updating the house we lived in an apartment just down the road and that was tough…for 4 whole months! 

The kitchen is our favorite space in a house for many reasons; we love to cook, we entertain a lot and no matter what everyone always congregates in a kitchen regardless of size.  We completely gutted the kitchen down to the studs and myself and Henry designed the new kitchen on our own!  It was a huge project but also a lot of fun!  Along with this, we renovated all bathrooms except the master (which was new), closed a wall that was open on the top half of the living room ( like a railing that showed the second floor but also made it so that you could hear everything upstairs, no bueno for kiddos!), opened the entry way to our basement, added a mudroom with lockers, took out a wall in the boys room ( I love how it looks; gives both of them their own space! )and repainted the entire house!

Our items arrived from PA and Switzerland the Monday before thanksgiving week and all boxes from Switzerland were labeled in German although we spoke French there!  Each box was its own surprise and the truck from PA had been in storage for 3 years: early Christmas?!?!  ( The movers lost an entire crate of ours containing our king bed, a 12 foot sideboard table, a 1800s high boy that Henry’s father refinished for our wedding present (and held our China), all oriental rugs, etc.  It was/still is a huge bummer.

Anyway before I get away from myself here are some photos of the new casa:

 

Our new kitchen

  

Upstairs guest bedroom

  

View walking in through garage and side door

  

  

Side wine/coffee bar

  

Basement living room

  

Basement guest bathroom

  

Basement playroom

  

The boys room

  

Downstairs guest room/Henry’s train room 😉

  

View walking into kitchen from front

  

Anna’s room

  

Master bedroom (don’t mind the mess, we just got our bed delivered)

  

Upstairs guest bath


Enjoy the tour
 

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Life in transition

12 Apr

Well well it’s been almost 6 months since my last post. I promise I blinked a few times and here we are.

Here’s a month by month recap.

September 2015:

  • The boys started preschool at Saint Brigids Day School; Henry’s in the young 5s program and Thomas is in 3s program.  They both go each morning from 8:45-12:30    
  • The construction/renovations officially started in our new home   
  • Henry and Thomas started soccer and tball, they really liked the program they were in           

Life in the south

27 Aug

We’ve been living here in metro Atlanta for just over a month now.  We have kept quite busy in those 4 weeks.  Here’s a little update – enjoy!

Week One

We arrived in Atlanta on Saturday late afternoon and we closed on our house that following Monday morning.  That was our first BIG step to establishing our life here.  We aren’t living in our house yet since we are doing a big remodel to the house such as gutting the kitchen, making a true mudroom, adding hardwood floors etc.  Currently we are living in a 3 bedroom corporate apartment (just 1/2 mile away from the house so I can manage the construction) and just enjoying life in GA and finding ways to keep cool!! Thankfully our new neighborhood has a club complete with 3 pools and 12 tennis courts.  We have thoroughly enjoyed the pool to beat this summer heat!

  
  
Week Two

After being in Atlanta for 7 nights, we packed the car (to maximum capacity) and drove the 5 hours to Sullivan’s Island SC (just outside of Charleston) for a much needed family vacation.  We rented a 5 bedroom house on the beach, invited our Atlanta cousins and Henry’s parents also joined us for the 8 days we spent there!  It was exactly what the doctor ordered – just perfect! We spent our entire day (minus naptimes) on the beach, cooked dinner on our back porch facing the Atlantic and simply enjoyed family time!  There was one day that we took a break from the heat and visited the Charleston Aquarium.  The Saturday we left, we were able to spend the day in downtown Charleston, wow such a beautiful town.

   
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    

   
  
Week Three

On the Monday of week 3, we trialled a new babysitter.  I put my lululemon capris on the shelf and traded them in for a nice black dress and off I went to my interview at Emory Hospitals NICU.   The interview lasted roughly 2 hours and went really well!  

  
 

The rest of the week I continued to trial the babysitter and I ran errands, did a few barre classes, etc.  other than that I didn’t do much but play with the kiddos and help them adjust to our new normal.

Sunday was Henry’s 5th Birthday so we headed down to the Atlanta Zoo and had an amazing morning!  That evening we enjoyed a family birthday party at the hubby’s brothers house – they decorated their house and all for Henry!!

   
    
   
 

Week Four

We trialled another babysitter as the last was just 19 yo and may need to do overnights if I work a night shift.  Again I just had appointments regarding the construction and such.  Mid week I received my offer to work at Emory (insert me being super excited) therefore I needed to start getting all things in line such as paperwork, health assessment and recertifications.  

Thomas got his first non-mommy real haircut!! He was a superstar!!

   
 
On Tuesday I took Henry to a local playgroup at our outdoor mall – he loved all the attention and even got to pick out his backback for school.

   
    
 During the week I also interviewed more candidates because you can never be too sure.  Ends up I’m super happy that we continued to interview since I’m less than satisfied with the current one.  She’s not once been on time (always 5-15 minutes late) and has never really done this before.  One day I came home and Anna’s diaper was so wet that her clothes were completely soaked 😢

On a good note I’m 99% sure we found the one and she’s coming tomorrow for a trial.  She’s been a full time nanny for a family of 4 Littles so she defiantly has experienced abc seems super nice.  Plus the first time I met her I just had a feeling that she would be right – a moms intuition!  Wish us luck! 🍀

About my upcoming job if you care to know: I’ll be working 1 day a week in the NICU but will be crossed trained to catch the babies in the delivery room.  This really is my dream job and I’m so blessed to have found a place to work with such flexibility… and its only a 10 minute drive!  

Anyway, on Saturday we enjoyed the pool with daddy and had our first bbq at the new house, complete with hotdogs and smores.

   
   
That’s it for now!! 

Xo

Tara

DATL Summer Edition

17 Jul

                         July 9, 2015

                     Me : 32 years old

                 Daddy : 45 years old

          Henry : Almost 5 (1 month to go)

               Thomas : 3 1/2 years old

           Anna : 20 months old exactly

 {Daddy is traveling this week and is currently in Atlanta so I’m solo parenting}

3:00am – Anna calls from her room “Mama!”  She talks for a few minutes and is back to sleep

5:51am – Thomas calls from his room saying something fell out of his bed. Now I’m up and he’s up – we go snuggle in my bed

6:15 am – Now Henry’s asking if he can come into my room ( this isn’t the norm as he usually sleeps until 7 or later; now T, he is our early bird)

We all ‘snuggle’ in bed for 10 minutes or so until we head downstairs as I’m already getting requests for breakfast.

Once downstairs I make myself some coffee before I whip us some pancakes

I put on 1 episode of Bob the Builder for the boys 

 

  
   
 

7:15 am – Anna Joy is awake

    

Madame Crazy Hair as we call her 

7:30 am –  Breakfast is served; sprinkle pancakes as requested by Henry 

   
8 am – We load in the car to take Thomas to his play goup ( he just loves his ‘school’ and Ms. Erika )

   
8:30 am – Once back home we paint a few cards for cousin Bridget’s 13th Birthday since  we are heading  to Grandma Crit’s house this morning to play with Bridget

    

  

  

 

 

I make myself a smoothie for the road ( have you had your bee pollen today?) 

  
9:30 am – We pack in the car once again and drive the 10 minutes to Grandma Crit’s (I have a repeat Gyn appt (they didn’t get enough cells the last time ) this morning so Grandma and Bridget are watching the kiddos)

10:30 am – I leave and go to my 10:45 am appointment; it takes 20 minutes then I go back to Crit’s for lunch and to pick up the kids

12:30 pm – We pick T up and go home for naps!!

   
    
 

All are quiet and napping I make myself some lunch 

    

 
  

 1:40 pm – Our babysitter arrives because I have a much needed hair appointment 

{Typically the kiddos nap until 3:15 pm or so, later for Anna, and I usually workout, read my book, clean or just rest too}

{Also each day around 3 or 3:30 our babysitter comes to help out since I don’t feel comfortable taking a 3 crazies to the pool/park alone; plus this lets me get dinner in the table without all 3 kiddos hanging on my legs – usually just 1 if she’s there!}

   
I stop by the grocery store on the way home to grab some essentials

 
I eat a quick snack in the car before heading home, once home it’s evening crunch time and I don’t get a chance to eat until after the kids are in bed 

 

Have you tried these – amazing!


4 pm – I arrive home to play/do crafts with the kids

4:45 pm – I start making dinner; grilled chicken, seven grains mix and steamed broccoli and cauliflower 

5:15 pm – Dinner is served ( amongst our crafting area ) 

   

Henry’s slightly obsessed with drawing trains or tracing them from the iPad


6:15 pm – I take Thomas and Anna upstairs for bath ( either our bath tubs at our rental house are small or my children are growing but squeezing 3 in at once is a bit tight )
{At this point, my night is getting away from me and I forget to take more photos}

6:30 pm – I warm up some milk for Anna and we go into her room for cuddles before bed, she’s out by 6:45 pm

Once downstairs I relieve our babysitter.

7:00 pm – I give Henry a bath all alone ( he loves this), Thomas watches one show on the couch

7:15 pm – Brush teeth and upstairs we go to read books.  The boys have separate rooms at this point ( that will change in Atlanta ) so I read them each a few books before lights out

7:30 pm – I’m back downstairs eating some dinner, in somewhat of a quiet atmosphere as Thomas usually has some sort of request; Henry on the other hand is usually out in 5 minutes

I clean up the main floor

8:30 pm – I head upstairs, get ready for bed and read my book in bed waiting for daddy to call

9:30 pm – Lights out for me too

The next time I wake up is to hear Thomas at 6:15 am – wow it’s amazing how one feels after a great nights sleep

Springtime

22 Apr

Life is good here – it’s now been 4 months since we’ve moved back to the US and it feels good to be home. With saying this, I am missing Europe quite a lot. Our ‘good’ camera broke on our last day in Prague (back in November) and we just got it back from getting repaired and I was a little sad looking at our last pictures taken while in Europe. I will definitely be visiting Prague again later in life – still holds the place for “Best City” to me. Henry will be doing some European business meetings, so I’m thinking of tagging along next time.

Anyway, back to my topic – Springtime. Isn’t everything better when the sun is shining, the flowers are blooming and the kids can run for hours outdoors. We were blessed with the most perfect weekend. Saturday it was almost 80 degrees and we spend every moment we could outside. We started off by meeting my parents for donuts in the park, came home for a picnic lunch, naps, then went over to Henry’s parents for a BBQ and smores. I even went for a looong run during naptime – when I could have been sleeping – but I’m such a better mom when I workout 🙂

Atlanta update – we still haven’t found ‘the’ house, but Henry is there as we speak ( and will be for the next four weeks; minus weekends ) and he’s looking at what appear to be great houses tomorrow and Friday. The boys got into our school of choice down there (gosh they are competitive) and it’s associated with our church which will be wonderful.
We’ve decided to hold Henry back from Kindergarten since he will just make the cutoff for ‘real’ school – I mean he turns 5 on August 16th and you have to be 5 sometime that week, I forget the exact date, because school starts that week in Atlanta. We chose a program for him called “Young 5’s” and it’s suppose to transition him nicely into Kindergarten the following year. It’s similar to the school he’s currently at – a Junior Kindergarten within a K-12 school. Thomas will be in the preschool program and they will for the first time be at the same school – they are so so so so excited. And when we move to Atlanta they will share a room – the excitement between them is contagious!

Another update related to Atlanta – I’m really thinking about going back to work. Not that I don’t love my children and love spending every second with them, I just really miss my work. There is a position I’m looking to take at Emory Johns Creek which would be a PRN Nicu nurse. Since it’s not a Children’s hospital and the Nicu isn’t always full, they would have a pool of nurses they could call if they needed some extra help. You would work just a few shifts a month – how perfect right? I mean if I’m not sure about having baby #4 then why not take a job where I can help other babies get home to their parents and if the Nicu isn’t full I could help out in the Special Delivery Nursery!

Back to the boys; I don’t know what it is but the boys are really growing by leaps and bounds and getting along so great. It hasn’t always been this way. Yes we still have our fights and troubles with sharing – but it’s improved tremendously. Even with school, when we were living in Switzerland Henry was always getting in trouble ( by their standards which are ridiculously high ) and I was getting calls and letters – some saying that he and another boy were pushing – not a big deal to us parents. But since coming back to the US – he is an amazing student, he can read a little bit on his own, is a fantastic artist and his behavior is outstanding. Maybe it was the language barrier – I don’t know but I just had his parent – teacher conference and he had all good marks.

Thomas is doing great. He’s enjoying being outside, going for walks and playing soccer. He loves his school and is really growing up before our eyes. He’s still having his stomach issues but this poor little boy has had more blood taken from him and more doctors appointments in the past 2 months than in his entire life. He’s been such a brave little boy.

Anna oh Anna – wow how quickly you are growing up. Anna now runs, wants to do everything her brothers are doings and loves loves loves walks ( and walking her baby! ). She still only has 2 teeth at almost 18 months, but they will come in eventually right?? We’ve started making a list of words she says and it’s unbelievable how much she talks – right around 20 words.

And here are some photos to sum up our life lately

Easter 2015

Easter 2015

Tommy painting at school

Tommy painting at school

We had a Tornado Warning the other night so I made the boys set up camp downstairs

We had a Tornado Warning the other night so I made the boys set up camp downstairs

Saturday morning at the park

Saturday morning at the park

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Henry helping my mom at work

Henry helping my mom at work

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This boy loves to chalk

This boy loves to chalk

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Yes the stomach bug hit us, just another reason to cuddle

Yes the stomach bug hit us, just another reason to cuddle

This girl loves mouth care

This girl loves mouth care

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Easter week; haircuts, doctor’s appointment and a many days and nights of solo parenting…

3 Apr

Life has been a crazy around here. I still feel like we are in transition ( in which we are being that we’ve only been back in the US for 3 months and have NONE of our things yet, and won’t have them until this summer ). The great thing about this transition is that we picked to live in Harrisburg, PA for 6 months before we move to Atlanta and it’s where both sets of parents live too. It’s hard though, I don’t really know anyone and we are here so short term that even when I meet moms I know it’s short term. Another really difficult thing about this transition is that Henry has been traveling extreme amounts, some weeks I only see him ( we don’t really talk since the kids are usually fighting for who’s turn it is to talk to daddy :)) some weeks for 1 day before he’s off again. When he is away, he is at meetings from 6:30 am until most nights 10 pm, therefore making it very difficult since that’s when I’m usually sleeping. The good thing is that this is short term and yes he will always travel, but a lot of his travel has been to Atlanta. To add to this stress our afternoon babysitter who helps me with the kids so that I can go for a run, make dinner and have some 1 on 1 time with them, was in Bali the past two weeks (rough right??!!). Well she has returned and life just got that much easier.

Now onto this past week.

Henry was out of school for Spring Break so we had a lot of quality time, along with him being able to have sleepovers with his cousins and many play dates. I usually cut Henry’s hair myself, but thought that maybe I’d try a nearby place for a little morning treat. He loved the pampering and was smiling from ear to ear.

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On Tuesday morning, Thomas had an Easter Egg hunt and lunch for the kiddos and parents. It was a lot of fun and he had the time of his life. It’s the little things:

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Throughout the week we had many of doctor appointments; Thomas has been so pale, tired, having tummy pains and such that I mentioned this at his 3 year appointment. The doctor kind of dismissed it but I asked for blood work anyway, just to make me feel better. Then on Tuesday morning I noticed a open sore with some scabbing behind his ear – it ended up being Impetigo ( a highly contagious skin infection caused by a staph infection ) so that was our 3rd appointment in 3 days. Poor kiddo is going to be so scared of the doctor. He’s better now and his blood work came back normal so I’m just keeping a close eye on him.

Here he is waiting in the lobby for his blood work with is rosary in hand

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Here is just a random photo of Anna and Henry kissing – as Henry goes to the bathroom of course

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Yesterday Henry had his 4+ year appointment. He had a 4 year appointment in Switzerland but I wanted to make sure he was on schedule with the US vaccine schedule. He received 2 boosters, but they are his last until he’s 11 years old – that seems crazy! They gifted him with a free ice cream cone from Dairy Queen and from there he totally forgot about the shots!

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This morning all the kids were home since it’s an inservice day at T’s school. I cut Thomas’ hair ( it was so needed! ), we played and played and now they are all napping!

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And here’s a photo of last Sunday evening, all 3 kiddos getting their much needed dose of daddy.

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Not the most exciting post – I apologize. I’m really trying to back into the blogging mindset…especially when I realize how much fun it is to look back on them.

xx

Anna; 16 months

24 Mar

Gosh where it the time going – my baby is growing up far too fast! We finally had her 15 month appointment ( a month late due to our insurance cards taking FOREVER to arrive ) and all is well with her!

Anna’s current stats:

Length : 33 inches ( greater than 90 % )
Weight : 21 3/4 lbs ( 5 % )

Their computers were down but these are the average percentiles. I don’t really see Anna being such a peanut in weight, so in just 2 months we’ll have her 18 month appointment to verify. She received 4 shots – OUCH. We had to catch her up on the US vaccination schedule as they differed a bit from Switzerland. She seems in good spirits so far, but her pour chunky thighs look like they hurt 😦

Up until last week she would walk, but was super hesitant around her brothers ( I wonder why ;)). On the 18th, last Wednesday, something must have clicked and now she’s running all over the place, regardless of the other monsters here! It’s so funny to finally see here walking around.

Anna is quite the talker at such a young age. She will try and say any word you say to her. Her current words that most people can understand are : More, please, thank you (she can also sign these 3), mama, daddy, hello, bonjour (hello in French, aurevoir (by in French), bath, cheese, shoes, ball, and ditty ( not to be confused with Daddy but referring to her blankie and pinkie – it took me some time to figure this one out!)

Her hair is growing so much too and I’m finally able to put piggies in it – that’s a milestone right??

Thanks to her cousin Isabella who is 8 months older – her wardrobe is better than mine and she’s currently wearing 12-18 month clothes.

Anna is such a fun, loving little girl and I can’t wait to watch her grow up – just not too quickly!!

Xoxo

I had to add 2 photos of the boys just because!

This boy loves to snuggle

This boy loves to snuggle

Look how big he's getting

Look how big he’s getting

Fun at the grandparents

Fun at the grandparents

"Hello?"

“Hello?”

First piggies

First piggies

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