Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Jane's First Day of 2nd Grade

Oh, Jane! What a wonderful day she had yesterday! The last week we've talked about school starting and she has been really excited. When I asked her what she was going to wear on her first day she showed me her favorite uniform clothes. I told her she didn't have to wear uniform at this school and that she could wear whatever she wanted but she said so proudly, "I decided it's my decision and I'm going to wear uniform." I finally talked her out of it but I thought it was so funny that after 2 years of wearing uniform for school it was like her second skin and she liked it. She decided on some new heart jeggings and the DIY shirt she got from the tooth fairy the week before. She lost her 8th tooth, biting into raw corn on the cob while we were in Chicago packing and we made a deal that she'd wait for the tooth fairy to come until we were in our new house because the tooth fairy had THE PERFECT gift for her at our new house. I've had this gift waiting for a really long time just for this purpose. Anyway, she designed it and I absolutely love it. It's so Jane.

So, we woke up much too early that morning to her bursting into our room exclaiming, "Guess what?! It's my first day of school!!!!" We both quickly went, "SHHHHHH!" Ha! She was so excited. After taking pictures and pouring a bowl of cereal, she only had enough time to take a few bites before we had to leave. We were walking with our neighbors and she didn't want to miss that so she didn't finish her cereal. I told her it was ok because I didn't want her to be hungry but you could just see the excitement in her eyes and that eating was a burden right then.

We ran across the street to meet up with our neighbors and then off to school we went. Her and our neighbor boy, Sam, who is also in 2nd grade but a different class became instant best friends (they even wrote about each other in their respective classes when they had to write about new friends they met the first day).

Here are her first day of school pictures:

This was her first pose all on her own. Can you tell she was excited?

Jane laughs are just so fun. She's always been such a happy girl and her laugh just makes me happy.

Jane, Wendy and I played the silent game last week and Jane was always the first one to bust up laughing and then me because I can't help but laugh when she does. Wendy won every time. 

This is the shirt she designed. It says:
Jane is the 
Jane is the 
Jane is the 
Love it! (pronounced "Looooove it!")
Jane is the 
Jane is the 
Jane is the 

My cute 2nd grader!

I always have her make a silly face and this face cracked me up. She's still quite the Hurricane Jane.

"Jane, what grade are you in?"

Here's Sam and Jane walking together. See, instant best friends.

When we got to her school I got to go into her classroom and help her get settled. She found her hook and desk right away.

 I asked her if she wanted to take a picture with her teacher (who she met the week before and who also goes to our church!) or if she wanted to just stay at her desk. I was SOOOO hoping she would say take a picture with her teacher but knew she was getting older and was going to be ok if she didn't want it. She thought about it for a second and then chose to take a picture with Mrs. Saunders. Inner Christina did back flips.

I said goodbye to her and left before backing up to get a second look at her through the door. She was beaming and had already made friends with her whole table. She's such a friendly little girl and I love it.

After school we all sat around the table eating Jane's favorite cinnamon chip bread and talked about her day. I asked her what the best part of her day was and she said, "Getting recess two times and no homework. Just the best day ever and I'm a SECOND GRADER!" I asked her what the most fun thing was and she said, "Making Jitter Juice!" She said it was sherbet and Sprite and they got to watch it fizz. Lastly, I asked her if there was anything sad or scary about the day and she said, "Nope, nothing." She totally rocked her first day of school. I'm so glad it went so well and is going so well. She's going to have a great year!

Earlier that morning she asked me to tighten the waste of her pants and this was our conversation:

Jane: Can you tighten my pants?
Me: No, they don't have the pull things. You just need to get chubbier.
Jane: You said to stop growing!
Me: You can get chubbier, just don't get older. 

And that's EXACTLY how I feel. Please, please, please stop getting older!

Monday, June 27, 2016

The Brinkerhoffs Drive to Utah!

I spent the week packing and getting ready for our trip to Utah in between taking care of a 2 week old and three other rug rats. It was a little nuts. I think I only had one super duper hard day where nothing worked out as planned and my nerves were on edge. Long story short I had to run 5 errands (one was to re-buy a travel toy I accidentally shipped to Texas) and the last one took me way out of my way during Boston's nap time. Brandt and I really wanted bagels from Einstein Bros to eat the next day on our drive super early in the morning. I decided to go south to one I hadn't been to because it was closer than going north at that point but after getting lost, not being able to find it, paying for parking and walking a crazy distance with four kids right after having a baby I found out they had closed for the summer. !! I called Brandt in tears. I just couldn't go to the other one and was just so tired. He told me to not worry about it and he'd figure it out. It was hard to not worry about it because I had done all that with nothing to show for it but turned out the place he was going to lunch was right next to an Einstein Bros and he was able to get us the bagels we really wanted. I have a gem of a husband. 

So, I packed us all up and we left about 6:30am. Day one of our drive went as smoothly and enjoyable as I could have ever dreamed. The kids were angels. We drove 16 hours that day and it didn't even feel like it. We stayed at a hotel that night in Cheyenne, WY after watching the most beautiful sunset and then an hour or so of playing with glow sticks in the van. I was really worried about packing us all in one hotel room but it wasn't bad at all. The girls shared a bed, we made a bed for Boston on the floor (more on that in a second) and Logan slept in a pack n play. We got the kids ready for bed and then Brandt put them down while I got ready in the bathroom. I was in there maybe ten minutes. When I came out every one of our kids was asleep... sound asleep! I couldn't believe it. We were nervous about Boston sleeping on the floor because he'd never not slept in a crib but he was SO excited about his "cool" bed and got right in and fell right to sleep. Probably helped that it was 4 hours past his bedtime and he only took like a 20 minute nap on the drive. 

The next day we ate breakfast at the hotel (the kids loved their mini boxes of cereal and even grabbed an extra for the road) and then we left for another 7 hours of driving. The kids were far from angels on this day but I don't blame them. The girls fought a lot and Boston cried a lot because we think he needed to poop but couldn't sitting in his car seat. Then he started crying because the trains he enjoyed watching were not longer out his window. Rough life that kid has. My favorite moment was when I took away Jane's speaking privileges for a while when we were about 30 minutes from our destination because she wasn't being nice. Brandt eventually asked the girls if they thought the mountains and reservoir were amazing. Wendy answered but Jane didn't. Jane had done such a good job being quiet (due to a serious threat of compliance) that I let her speak again when we were about 10 minutes away. The first thing she said was, "And yes, Dad, I liked the mountains." Ha! We'd forgotten we asked her a question but she remembered to answer it the whole time!

We FINALLY got to Grandma and Grandpa's house around 4:30pm, just in time to see them drive away to go to a family party. We chatted for a minute and then they left, we unpacked and got settled. It felt so good to be done driving and we were so glad it went pretty well and we made it safely. 

Here are some pictures from our trip:

Cute girls keeping busy, perfectly content.

Wendy just trying to get comfortable.

A little adjustment and there, that's much better.

Jane got pretty comfy too.

Then she got creative and made some glasses to help her read her book.

This is pretty much what Logan did the whole time (when he wasn't eating).

Boston spent all but this 20 minutes of nap time playing with squishy balls I bought for the trip. That $7 was the best $7 I ever spent.

Lunch time! We couldn't find food for about 2 hours and then we couldn't get to the place we wanted for a while because the exit was closed without warning. It was a little frustrating (understatement) but worth it. After lunch we all got ice cream and those cones were so huge no one finished theirs except Jane. Then, Jane finished her dad's and then wanted to finish all of ours but I cut her off.

My ice cream lover and her daddy.

Wendy Bendy and me!

This is Boston the next day when the trains weren't in view any more.

It basically ruined his life. Poor kid.

Wendy took a nap (I love seeing her sleeping, she's a beauty) and Jane did what she did most of the trip... read the book her daddy spent weeks gathering content, designing and binding. It was full of lyrics to songs he put on mix CDs specifically for our trip. We'd listen to the songs and Jane would sing along from her book. When we weren't listening to the music she'd just read her book to herself. It was the most genius thing Brandt has ever thought of and was so perfect for Jane.

So glad that trip is over though and are excited to spend the summer in Utah!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

First Grade: Check!

Jane rocked first grade! She got honor roll each quarter, only getting B's in 2 things... Gym (she's kinda lazy when it comes to sports) and "Focusing" (uh, duh... she's a space cadet). She made so many friends, can do multiplication and read like a pro. She had a really good year, was challenged and had a great teacher who put up with her spaciness and love of telling jokes... All. The. Time. Her teacher said everyone loved her and she was a joy to have in class. I believe it. She's pretty awesome.

 First day of 1st Grade:
 Last day of 1st Grade:

She aged years this year! She's not a baby anymore for sure!

 Cute girl loves that headband and bow. I think she's worn it 80% of the school year!

I love her smile.

New Field has been a great school:

I'm so glad we could send her to our neighborhood school (a lot of them are no good) instead of driving around Chicago every day.

He teacher, Mrs. Nelson, did such a great job with her and Jane loved her.

Jane and her friend Lynn. Wendy needed to be in the picture, naturally.

For her end of school treat I let her have her very own Italian ice. You may not think this would be a big deal to her but we never let her have them, let alone her own, because they are so expensive (compared to popsicles, etc).

It made her day for sure.

I'm a little nervous for 2nd grade and the changes it will bring (how the teacher will handle her, homework, etc) but I know she's excited and ready!

Friday, June 17, 2016

1st Grade Field Trips

Jane went on two field trips this year... the first to Lincoln Park Zoo and the second to the beach near our house. Both were during the last couple months of school which had me wondering the whole year of they were going to do ANY field trips!

Both places are very public and free so Jane said we could come if we wanted but I was very pregnant so we didn't go. Luckily I got texts from another student's mom during both field trips with pictures of my not so little first grader. It made me smile getting those texts/pictures because I usually don't see Jane during the day or her interacting with her other classmates.

Here are pictures from her field trips:

At the barn part of the zoo:



This was from the beach park near our house. That's her teacher Mrs. Nelson.

Playing in the sand! I didn't even think about her pockets being filled with sand when she got home so we had a lot of cleaning to do after she played around the house for an hour before realizing it!

Cute and silly Jane and her friend Candy:

Most of her class.

Looks like she had a great time on both field trips!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Introducing: Logan Fox Brinkerhoff

This little boy kept us on our toes during the pregnancy with one issue (albeit small in the scheme of things) after another and then at the end he kept faking us out making us think he was coming but after a few hours all the contractions would end. We decided to induce one day before his due date and I'm glad I did. Made me feel like he was actually going to come instead of me being pregnant forever with a fake-out every couple days.

At my last appointment I was 3.5 centimeters and the day before the induction I was having some really hard contractions, especially in my back so we prepared to go but alas, it ended after a few hours. Honestly, we would have gone in the night before (the Dr. told us to) but I really wanted him to have the 6-10-16 birthday :)

The morning of the induction we sent Jane off to school with Grandma Ann and the other two kiddos while Brandt and I headed to breakfast at Le Peep, where we'd never been before. It was quite the hilarious breakfast, with Brandt's meal being sent back two times because it kept being wrong and me finishing before it was brought out the third time. We laughed a lot that morning. I love that guy. I'm so glad he is my husband. We asked for the check and they ended up comping our entire meal! Way to start out the morning!

We got to the hospital at 10am, got situated, they started the antibiotics around noon and then pitocin a few hours after that finished. This time the antibiotic didn't hurt which I was super nervous about. They were careful to up the pitocin because baby's heart was either a little high or a little low so they didn't want to stress him out. Between that and the fact that they were busy it was a VERY slow and boring process. I finally got the epidural after a few painful contractions because the anesthesiologist was available which was different for me because I normally wait till I'm really hurting. Getting it so early made it so I wasn't really in any pain the whole delivery! Something that did happen though was a fairly good size mental freak out. Apparently, the anesthesiologist is known for putting more narcotic in the epidural and I apparently don't do well with that. Normally I just feel itchy all over but this time I started feeling really weird and hot, my heart was racing and then all of a sudden BAM! I started freaking out, trying to get out of bed, pulling my cords off and ugly crying. Brandt was really worried and called the nurses in while trying to calm me down. They came in trying to reassure me everything was fine and I knew it was but I couldn't get the strange feeling out of me for a while. Once it left, after she turned down the medicine a little, I was hit with SUPER tiredness. I kept falling in and out of sleep the rest of the time.

They broke my water about 7pm (which finally made the contractions get more frequent and consistent) and around 8:35pm (?) I felt the pressure I knew meant it would be time to push. They told me to tell them when it came but I didn't want to have to push for a while so after I felt the pressure 3 times I told Brandt I had it and that I would let them know after two more. Well, after one more time of feeling it I knew I couldn't wait to tell them so we called and they came right in. The Dr. checked and immediately said, "Yup" and got ready. I thought it was a little weird that there was only her and a nurse there to deliver but they were all that was needed. As they got me ready to push, the Dr. said, "Oh, yup. I see his head without you even pushing!" We waited for a contraction to come and when it did I pushed and less than a minute later (at 8:57pm) he was out! They were just laughing at how easy it was. I was laughing because I was SO grateful it was as easy (the easiest) as my other babies.

And there he was! Our little Fox! Well, not little because he was 8lbs 3oz (1+lb more than Boston, 2+ more than Jane and 3lbs more than Wendy) and 21.5 inches long! Luckily his size didn't make it harder for him to deliver! Though he was bigger than my other kids he was still so tiny! I got to snuggle him for a while while the Dr. finished up and I loved holding him on the outside of me. He's a sweet little dude.

The epidural was really strong so one of my legs finally stopped feeling numb by noon the next day but it was ok because I just got to rest with Logan in the nursery overnight. The next day Brandt and Wendy came to hang out and Wendy is just IN LOVE! I knew she would be. She's been asking for him to come for nine months, kissing/hugging my belly multiple times a day and talking about him non-stop. She just wants to hold him every second she can and has the happiest "I won the lottery" look on her face while she carefully holds him. Later on Brandt and Wendy came back with Boston, Jane and Grandma. Boston was really hesitant and distant from me and the baby for a while and then decided he wanted to do what his sisters were doing (having a pillow on his lap with the baby on top) but I think he's going to struggle with jealously. Jane was cute holding Logan. She looked like such a big, mature girl with him in her arms. Things got a little crazy so we decided it was time for the kids to go.

Wenders and her new best friend:

Biiiiig yawns!

Brandt stayed behind so we could hash out a name for this kid because we had NO idea what it would be. Finally we decided on Logan Fox. Logan because we both liked the name and 3 of my siblings recommended it within a minute of each other while we were choosing so I asked Brandt about it and we both felt it sounded right. Fox because he came home many months ago with name suggestions and Fox was one of them. I told the girls that dad wanted to name the baby Fox and it stuck! That's what we'd been calling him since that day. Though, the kids came up with loads of variations... Clover Fox, Foxine, Foxy, Foxy Brown (Wendy's latest that I kind of love). We will probably still call him Fox with Logan thrown in there when he's in trouble :)

Big sister Janie with baby Fox. She looks so old!

I'm so grateful everything went so well. He didn't even have any health issues like the other kids did after birth and he knew just what to do for nursing right away. He's got some really blonde hair so it'll be interesting if it stays. The other kids had really dark hair that lightened up over time. He looks like Boston (we actually keep calling him Boston...) so we'll see in a little while who he actually turns out looking like.

My three boys!

Grandma Ann and little Fox:

Little Logan Fox, we are so happy you're here! We will love you and teach you and try our darndest to protect you from your crazy brother and sisters. We are excited to be your family!

Welcome home Fox!
(Chalk drawing by your daddy)

Here are some random pictures I took of him on my phone throughout the hospital stay:

"Why did that just happen!? I was so comfortable in there!"

The view from my bed. I love it.

 Just relaxing with me and enjoying the peace and quiet before we go home!