Monday, August 31, 2009

365 days...

Wow - we have made it a year in Illinois! Today a year ago, we moved to Morton. And I know what your thinking yeah, yeah, we know, this will be another post about another anniversary for the Shook's. So I won't dwell on that as much as the 360 degree difference in the weather we had a year ago. This day last year it was HOT!! And when I mean hot, I mean really hot. If my brother or sister-in-law are reading this (we know that Mike is behind on his blog reading!) I know they can attest for how hot it was. I don't think I've ever been so sweaty in my life. EVER. It was just plain gross out. We carried load after load after load of our stuff up 3 flights of stairs to our new apartment. It was the pool of sweat in your bra hot. Double gross. I remember us taking a break and going to eat at Culver's. We were so tired and hot that I don't think I even cared who saw me. And, it wasn't pretty. The weather today is very cool. I took Amanda for a walk tonight and I was sorry I didn't have a sweatshirt on and it was 7 pm. It's very pleasant during the days but a little cool for my liking at night. Especially since tomorrow is only the 1st of September. I hope we get an Indian summer here. It would be so pretty and would make this month really nice. September and the preparation for Halloween is big in this town. In a few weeks we will celebrate Pumpkin Festival in town and it is a very big deal. Huge. And fun! We are really looking forward to it. But before then we will marvel in the fact that we have been in the Land of Lincoln for one year. Pretty cool if you ask me!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

My life when I existed in the real world...

Believe it or not today is the 5 year anniversary of the last day I officially worked outside of the home. I can't believe it's been that long! Mike often reminds me that there is a real world out there that I may have lost touch with and I'm afraid he is right. Some days my time exists with really basic questions - what to have for lunch? Does your diaper need changed? Do you want to drink out of the blue cup or the orange one? Do you want to watch Caillou or Little Einsteins? Nothing earth shattering. But I think that's where I'm hoping I am making a difference in the lives of our children. I am here. I am present. I meet their needs and truthfully, they meet mine, too. I cannot imagine a world without them. After the last 6 or 7 months I jump every time one of them tells me something hurts. I worry if they get a fever or say their stomach hurts. We have recently gone on a big band-aid kick here. It may be on the verge of becoming ridiculous but if a band-aid solves the problem I'm all for it. I sometimes wish we could band-aid the world! But the whole point is that they can turn to me and I can attempt to fix it. So to say that I haven't worked is a bit of a stretch. We all know that. This job can be very demanding but also very rewarding. Today I was baking those big frozen pretzels in the oven for our after school snack. I asked Amanda if she wanted one and she said, "Yes, please, Mommy." Dang. That just melted my heart. Those 3 simple words. And, I think that I'm doing a darn good job if I may toot my own horn (a little)! On days when I question my worth in life (and my sanity) I just try and remember the long term impact I am making in their lives. One wet, sloppy kiss validates the whole thing!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Beautiful weekend...

It was a beautiful weekend here in Central Illinois. We had some good rain storms on Friday which blew through to allow for a perfect weather weekend. Saturday morning started off with Cameron's first fall soccer clinic. Mike is the "coach" and after one week I'm not sure that it is the best arrangement. Cam hardly wanted to leave his father's side which is normally very sweet but not really great when you are suppose to be having a soccer scrimmage. I'm sure it will get better next Saturday.

After soccer we headed out to the Wildlife Prairie State Park in Hannah City, IL. It is just a few miles north of Peoria. We have a membership and it is a fun place to go and ride the train, go down the giant 56 foot slide, walk around and enjoy the nature and see the animals that they have in their natural habitats. They are known for their large area of grazing bison. The kids love running around there and it was a great way to enjoy the cooler weather.

Hope you had a great weekend, too! I could easily live in this kind of weather year round!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Uneventful until 5 pm...

We survived the first full day of school today. By we, I mean, myself, Cameron and Molly. I didn't feel that lump in the throat feeling that I thought I would get for sure. I'm glad I got it out of the way yesterday! And by full day I mean the whole 2 1/2 hours that they are gone. Hardly enough time to get too worked up! They loved it and had lots to tell me at home. It was a beautiful day so we went outside to play. Everything was great until Molly told me that she needed her jacket because she was cold. It was at least 75 here today. When we went in I noticed that she felt very warm. Yep, you guessed it, a fever. Seems youngest child shared her fever with her sister. Amanda had a fever Monday and Tuesday with a yucky tummy. Same thing tonight with Molly. I am so sad that she will miss school on the first week. How disappointing! I'm also wondering how long it will be before Cameron comes down with this bug. There must be a small time bomb waiting to go off here. Great.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Freezing time...

It's the night before I become a parent to my Kindergartner son and I am feeling sentimental. I was sitting thinking about our short 5 1/2 years together. I can clearly remember details of Cameron being born like it was yesterday. The relief I felt when he was born, taking his first gasps and crying from the shock of entering this world. The best sound in the whole entire world. I remember crying as Mike went to go get the car seat so we could take our precious bundle home. I was sitting in the hospital room thinking that the nurses were crazy for thinking we should be taking this beautiful boy home without supervision. We had no idea what we were doing! I can remember Cameron's first steps. How he was trying so hard to do it on his own. Cameron was an absolute joy as a baby. I remember how big he seemed when Mike brought him to the hospital when Molly was born. He instantly became a giant overnight. He looked so huge! I have lots of great memories. But I keep thinking about wanting to freeze time. I am so excited for tomorrow yet it represents many, many more firsts that will come in our life. I have been thinking about people we have met who have children starting their last year of elementary school. The last year before the dreaded Junior High. We have a sweet baby-sitter starting 7th grade tomorrow. I know she will do great but there is all that uncertainty. I think of those we have met starting their first year of high school tomorrow. I wonder if their parents want to freeze time and go back to the days where Mom drove them to school and dropped them off at the door. The days where we needed Mom and Dad more and our friends a little less. All so exciting yet scary in the same breath. Freezing time sounds like a great idea but it wouldn't allow us to grow as parents and wouldn't allow us to see our hearts walking around outside our bodies. After all, that's what having children is all about.

Whether your first day is tomorrow, yesterday or very soon - best of luck on a great year!!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Enough already, Mom...

I'm am pretty sure that Cameron has grown extremely tired of me asking if he's excited about Kindergarten starting. I'm sure because I believe he has started to ignore me when I ask. Or I get the "yes, Mom, I already told you I'm excited." OK, enough with the questions for my boy. I really think this is more monumental for me than it is for him. I'll tell you who is going to be the most effected by school starting - smallest Shook child, Miss Amanda. I have a distinct feeling that she will be less thrilled to pull away from the school at drop off than her brother and sister. She follows those 2 around all day. It's only 2 1/2 hours but that can be a very, very long time when you are 2!

I got the label maker out today. It was a new purchase and I was excited to try it. That is until it required labeling 12 colored pencils, 8 crayons, 8 markers, 2 Expo dry erase markers, 3 glue sticks, one bottle of Elmer's glue, a pencil box, 3 sharpened pencils, a tray of watercolors, a back pack and a pair of blunt tip scissors. I'm surprised I have any label tape left! And the whole time I'm doing it I have 2 girls who want to "help." Aaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh!

We are anxiously awaiting an Old Navy delivery for our first day of school shirt. Our Grammy gave us school shopping $$ and Cameron requested a Star Wars shirt. I am praying that it is here in time. Part of our excitement for the start of school all hinges on this one shirt. The pressure!! My Mom reminded me that she always loved having a new outfit to wear on the first day when she was in school and she always made sure we had one, too. You forget it's the little things. Or it is the little things that are really big!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Lookout Lincoln Elementary...

Today was an exciting day! It's the day when they post the class lists and teacher assignments for the upcoming year. A very big deal! Cameron is going to the only elementary in town that has 2 classes of Kindergarten so we didn't already know who his teacher would be. Cameron has Miss Shields and will be in the afternoon class.

Molly will be going to the same school as part of their early childhood education program. She was asked to be a peer model for the class. There are usually 2 or 3 peer models out of 10 students in the class. It is a great opportunity for her and the program is free so we are saving the cost of preschool, too. It will be so strange having 2 kids gone every afternoon for school. Molly's preschool is the same length of time as Cameron's Kindergarten. Win Win if you ask me!

Today on our daily adventure we headed out to Northwoods Park here in town. I had this great idea to search for the Letterbox that is hidden in the park. If you aren't familiar with Letterboxes check out Letterboxes is a clue based hunt that is designed for families to do. We weren't able to find one of the clues but I thought we could work around it. 2 miles later!! we still hadn't found the hidden box. The kids were very tired of walking but it was great exercise. Maybe we can convince Mike to help us locate it soon!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A new year...

I have decided that my new year will begin on Labor Day. That will be the one year anniversary of us moving and I think it is the perfect time to start new. I will set a new resolution which I will try not to break. I will vow to be a better mother and I will try not to break that one either. It will be a bunch of new starts. Doesn't this sound like a grand idea? With school starting one week from today, let me say that again...ONE WEEK FROM TODAY!! we are going to enjoy our last week. No worries about the house (within reason) and we will have a fun time. Today we filled the big pool (as Cameron calls it) and splashed around. It is a beautiful day here in central Illinois.

Here's to one more week of summer fun!!!

P.S. Who can believe that my first born is going to kindergarten!!??

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Anniversary to IL...

Tonight I am missing my high school class reunion. It's a monumental one - somewhere between 15 and 25. It's so hard for me to believe that it has been that long. High school wasn't exactly the highlight of my life. It's such an awkward and emotional time in a girl's life. I like to think that I was a nice girl who was too afraid to break the rules. I probably had one of those lives where the punishment at home would far exceed anything that would happen at school so I didn't test it. I think the worst thing I did in high school was take some "for sale" signs with friends. Why?? I have no idea what our intentions were. I also had a Dad who thought being toilet paper was very funny and he didn't mind it at all. I think my Dad realized that there were way worse things that could have happened and a little t.p. was harmless. I always hated cleaning it up. We had some really high trees!

A lot has happened since I graduated high school. I suppose everyone would say that about their life. One of the most monumental events happened a year ago today. Mike interviewed and accepted a job at Caterpillar on August 8, 2008. I had hoped and prayed that Mike would get this opportunity and it came our way. I knew that it meant moving but it was a chance to further his career and we needed to take advantage. I believe things work out the way they are suppose to.

Happy anniversary to our love affair with Illinois!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Etc...Part 2

More random things going on here...

Today we purchased Cameron's school supplies. What fun! He really, really wanted to add more than what we needed. He thought for sure he would need a folder with a really crazy cover and pockets. He's going to check and make sure he doesn't need one - it's not on the "list!!" I can't believe in 2 weeks I have a kindergartner. He is sooooo excited! Mommy is apprehensive. I also had to purchase this...

I know my Sullivan Sitcom friend will be giving me a thumbs up on my purchase! The school asks that you label everything, including each individual crayon. What??!!

Tomorrow is stent removal day for Molly. We will go in at 11:30 for a 1 o'clock procedure. I hope we are home by 4 or 5. We pray, on our knees, that this is the last thing that our little pumpkin has to go through. Will you say a prayer for us, too? Thanks!

It has been a rough few weeks here with smallest child. At 26 months we have decided that we are done with naps. Oh no we are not, sister! I try every day and there is blood curdling screams coming from her crib. It breaks my heart and wears on my nerves. Occasionally she will lay down with me on our bed and snooze. That is rare. By 5 o'clock we have one unpleasant little chick. It makes for some very long days. I'm hoping this gets better when Cameron and Molly are both at school in the afternoon. Then maybe she won't feel like she's missing anything. I don't need advice on this, just sympathy! Can you hear the small violin's playing my heart bleeds for you??

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


I wanted to share a few random thoughts of my life...

I try my darndest to get the kids up and dressed first thing in the morning. It's usually right after we eat breakfast. Yesterday I really lost track of time. I was trying to get a few things done around the house. I wasn't watching the clock at all. Our first floor is a big circle which has quickly become the area for the kids to do their laps. It can be like the Indianapolis 500. As I was cleaning the kitchen I was obvilious to everything except the noise and shreaks of kids flying by. It became time to have lunch and this is what I found:

I guess Amanda, had yet again, undressed herself and was quite happy to be running around only in her diaper. Molly was the "sheriff" and Cameron was the bad guy. I guess Mommy was the bad guy for not getting everyone dressed. It was only lunch time, it was still early, right?

Dearest husband tackled the job of changing the ancient dial thermostat on our house to a modern, programmable, digital one. This project began Sunday. We were up and running or so we thought. I realized, after he left for work, that the fan was running constantly and the air wasn't kicking on at all. I called him and he told me to look at the instructions. I swear they were in a foreign language to me! I turned it off and opened the windows. That worked for a while but it started to get warm in here and everyone started to get cranky. I now no why people don't want to turn on their ovens when it's hot out. Gross. Mike worked and worked on it. And then he worked some more. Nothing. I went to bed hot and he went to bed frustrated. I called a heating and cooling company this morning and for $150 and two new A/C parts we are up and running again. I find this to be rather ironic but 2 parts went bad on the air conditioner. Who knows but at least we are cool again. I have to say, for Mike's sake and ego, that he had the new thermostat hooked up properly. I am sure I will be saying this for weeks to come. Yes Honey, you did it right!!