Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Finally an update!!

So. It's been a very long time since I've updated this thing. I haven't had a laptop and I don't like typing lengthy posts on an ipad. And I have 4 busy kids. Those are good excuses right? I'll give a quick update on them and then try hard to be more diligent at keeping this thing updated.

 Let's start with Marley. Holy cow does this girl make me proud! Super student....check. Super softball player...check. Super daughter....check. She is such a good little kid. She is nearing the end of 2nd grade which is so hard for me to believe. She recently made it into the Spelling Bee at her school and came in 2nd out of her entire class. She does very well in school, always making good grades and getting wonderful remarks from her teachers. She is still pretty shy and uses her siblings' outgoing personalities in her favor a lot of times. She is also still playing softball and doing so well. She is incredibly focused and has a real passion for this sport. She has really developed as a player and just loves her teammates. Marley has always been such a good kid. Teachers and coaches have always told me they wish they had 20 Marley's, and she's continuing this trend thus far. I thank God every day for giving her to me.

Marissa. Oh, the queen of sass. Talk about a smart, sassy, full of spunk little girl. She is tiny in size but very big in personality. She is still very hot and cold. Either super happy or just stay away from her. She is the most attached to me and will still rarely leave my side. The other two are getting a little tired of constantly being at softball with Marley and will stay at my mom's house, but not this one. She is my little shadow. She is doing very good in preschool and is excited to start Kindergarten soon. She is so smart and her teachers just love her. I have told them when they turn 5 they can each choose a sport to try and as of now she is wanting to play softball like her big sister. She is still a bad sleeper and wakes up every single night to find me. The girls recently got a bunk bed and most mornings the three of them plus me and the cat wake up in there together. All on the bottom bunk. Maybe we should have just got a king sized bed for them. She has incredible will power and can be very stubborn. She is selective in who she loves, but when she does love you it's a very fierce love. She is very funny. She often enters a room exclaiming, "Hello people! I'm here." Only Marissa.

Makayla. She is such a sweet little girl. Super smart as well and ready for Kindergarten. She is big on trying to trick people and see if she gets caught. Considering most people can't tell the girls apart, this could be bad in a few years! She is a bit more laid back than her sister and likes everyone she meets. She talks about getting married all the time, I think more to see my reaction than anything, and claims to have several boyfriends at school. She also loves preschool and loves her teachers and friends. The sport she is wanting to select as of now is gymnastics or softball. So we will see when it's time which one she goes with. Makayla is always smiling and hugging someone. She loves to learn and is a very smart little girl. She picks up on things so fast. At times she can be sassy, but nothing compared to her sister. She can run very fast. She says they have races at school and she always beats everyone. It wouldn't surprise me. I think she will follow in Marley's footsteps of being very athletic and coordinated. Overall, she is just a really sweet, good kid.

Jack. Jack Attack! Huuuuuge on personality. Huge on smiles. Huge on popularity. Not much has changed! We walk into school every morning and kids from every class are calling out "Jack Attack!" He's got girls wanting to marry him and so many friends who just love him. He's definitely Mr. Popular. He is still in a separate class from his sisters and it has worked out so well. His two best friends are in his class with him and he just loves that boy time. He comes home completely filthy but happy as can be. He has really taken off this second half of school and is ready for Kindergarten. He still loves Ninja Turtles though he is finally starting to show interest in other things as well, such as Rescue Bots and Wild Kratts. He has really outgrown his sisters in height, but is still a string bean who won't eat anything. He is wanting to play baseball. If I can get all 3 of them on a team together at the same field as Marley, that would make my life much less hectic! He is such a happy guy all the time. He is definitely the easiest to please of the three and not much upsets him. He plays really well by himself and has his own bedroom now! He still ends up in his sisters' bed most nights but he loves having his own personal space. He is full of energy all of the time, hates sitting still for very long and such a "boy" but he sure is a charmer.

So, there you go. That's the quick update on the 4 Boucher kids. We have a lot of things coming up....triplets turning 5, VPK graduation, summer, Marley turning 8.......so I'll try to keep this thing updated better. We will see....

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

First Day!!

"Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”

This rang very true this past Monday. It was Marley's first day of 1st Grade and the triplet's first day of Preschool. Everyone was very, very excited about all of these firsts. Everyone except me. I was not ready for summer to be over and definitely not ready to have all four of my children away from me for more of the day than they are with me. Ideally, the triplet's would have been able to do half days at preschool a few days a week like the majority of three year old's starting do. But, because there are three of them (plus a big sis!) I really need to work so they have to do full days, 5 days a week. Me working full time is the best decision for our family so that is what will be done. They have been going with me to drop off and pick up Marley since she started there plus going to any of the school events and programs so all of the teachers and staff know them really well. The Preschool Director has been anxiously awaiting for "The Trifecta" (as she calls them) to start. We went to Open House the week before school started and they got to meet their teachers and new friends. They loved it. The anxiously awaited Monday morning when they began a whole new adventure. Marley had her Open House that evening and got to see her 1st Grade Teacher and all of her friends. They go to a small school so Marley already knows all of the teachers there so she wasn't meeting her teacher for the first time or anything. Everyone went to bed at a decent time on Sunday as we have to wake up pretty early to get everyone up, dressed, fed and in the car before 7:30. They have been a little confused as to why they have to get up before the sun is up, but they've done really well with the early wakeups. (They were sleeping until 9ish and Marley until 10ish over summer!) So on Monday everyone was ready and loaded in the car and off to Preschool and 1st Grade we went! We took Marley in first and she hugged each of the babies bye and told them she would see them during the day (she passes by them while they are on the playground a few times a day) and then hugged me and I watched my big girl sit at her seat and begin her morning work and transform into a 1st Grade Student for the next 7 hours. Next we walked a few doors down to the Preschool Room. When we walked in there were two little boys screaming very loudly and Marissa instantly asked me to pick her up. They all put their bookbags and lunch boxes in their assigned cubbies. The teachers then had them form a line to wash their hands before beginning their day. Jack went right in, washed his hands and then sat at a table with a few other kids. Makayla did the same and happily ran to sit by the teacher who was going to read a story. Marissa asked me to take her in to wash her hands so I did and then I told her I had to go and her eyes filled with tears. I think the two boys crying unsettled her and she felt nervous for the first time about it all.  Her teacher came and got her from me and the real screaming started. I gave her a quick kiss and exited the room. It is so hard to walk away from your child crying for you to stay, but I learned with Marley years ago that the sooner mom is out of sight the sooner they calm down. Lingering around just makes it harder on everyone. I stood outside the door for a few minutes and she calmed down in no time. One of their teachers texted me mid-day to let me know they were doing great. I did not have work that day and it was a very long day waiting to go pick them up. You would think after going over 3 years without having time to myself that it would be enjoyable, but I was so anxious about them that all I wanted to do was go get them and hear about their day. At 2 o'clock I finally left to go get them a surprise to have waiting in the car and then go sit in carline. When I pulled into carline I saw the Preschool class playing outside and saw how much fun they were having. All of last year while sitting in carline to get Marley, they begged to go on the playground that you are parked right next to while waiting. How bittersweet that their wish has come true! Marley's teacher is the one in charge of calling out the student's to come to their cars and she told me that Marley had a great first day! I expected no less from her. Marley got in the car and told me she had a lot of fun and seemed really excited about First Grade. Then we went around and parked and went in to get the triplets. By then they had moved inside but the teachers had them waiting for me with backpacks on as they saw me in carline. They all ran to Marley and I and gave us big hugs and everyone started talking about their day at once. Jack's highlight was playing with his buddy Declan, Makayla's was coloring with her teacher and Marissa's was building blocks. They were all VERY excited and couldn't wait until the next day to go back. It's a tough thing as a mom- to watch your kids grow up in what feels like the blink of an eye. It doesn't seem possible that it's been three years since they came into our world and they are now in the world of Preschool. It doesn't seem possible that my Marley is 6 (birthday post coming soon) and I can close my eyes and remember so many details about her as a baby and can't believe it's been so long since that was actually happening. I do love watching them grow and seeing the little people they've become, but it is hard to let go of the past when it comes to your babies. I look forward to seeing what 1st Grade and PK3 brings and watching all 4 of my babies thrive.

Marissa ready to go!

Jack wondering why the heck am I up so early but excited nonetheless

Makayla being cute as usual

Group shot....the little girls were yelling, "PRESCHOOL!!"

Marley is ready...smiling on cue isn't always successful ;)

Caught a picture of them being more "them"

Hugging sissy bye

My 1st Grader ready to learn...

Sunday, July 6, 2014

4th of July

    We had a really fun 4th of July this year. We decided to take the kids to the local parade for the first time. It was a blast! We met some of our friends and their kids there and everyone really enjoyed it. We did pick up a few pointers on what to do next year- bring a canopy and cooler and wear shoes instead of flip flops. It was raining in the distance and there were dark clouds around us so we were worried it may rain it out but luckily the rain and thunder stayed at a distance. It was hot but people in the parade were passing out ice pops which the kids ate up. The kids all collected a ton of beads and candy and just really enjoyed watching all of the festivities. After the parade we met my Grandma and Aunt for lunch and then went home to relax for a little while. In the evening Mike's mom came over and then we all went outside for our annual tradition of lighting off fireworks with my brother and the boys. Marissa and Makayla lasted about 5 minutes outside. The fireworks were too loud for them and they just wanted to go inside. Marley always loves being out there and Jack really liked it this year too and stayed outside for several hours. My friend Jenn and her baby girl Niya came over for a little while and the little girls enjoyed playing with her. Marley stayed outside with her cousins until after midnight. She would have stayed longer if there were more fireworks. I know a lot of people complain about fireworks after 10pm but as the mother of young children myself, I say one night celebrating past bedtime isn't going to hurt anyone. Plus it doesn't even get dark until 9pm. They only did fountains in the last hour which don't make noise and they were seeing how many they could have going at once. They got up to 20 before they ran out! Marley slept in until about 10:30 the next morning so I would say she had a great 4th of July! The triplets all woke up ready for another parade and more fireworks. It was really a fun day had by us all.

Standing in front of their fountains

Waiting on the parade to start

M&M are ready!

The roads were closed off

They had their own parade

The moment Jack saw Spiderman

Spiderman coming over to say hi

Marley & Bre

Marissa & Makayla

Beads galore

They were so happy to see Niya

Jack had so much fun with sparklers

Trying to make a record out of the most fountains lit at once

Ending the night with some cookies

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Irish & Alten

    When I was 8 years old, we moved to a new house that shared a fence line with a big pasture where girls would ride their horses every day. I would sit out there for hours every single day and watch these girls ride. Sometimes they would walk over and let me pet their horses and talk a little. We found out one of my friends from school had her pony there and sometimes she would let me ride behind her saddle and I would just hold on no matter what she did and I thought it was the greatest thing ever. My parents decided to let me start taking lessons at a local barn and my love of horses instantly began. I have met many, many lifelong friends on this journey and have owned two horses of my own. Irish was my first horse. She was an off the track Thoroughbred who was very tall (17.1 hands) and very wild. When we bought her she was several hundred pounds underweight so her true "spirit" did not quite shine yet. I look back and think this is a good thing because if it had my parents may have never bought her for me. She was a horse that taught me a whole lot and often times we were advised to sell her as she was just a handful but I loved her dearly and wouldn't have sold her for all of the money in the world. At horseshows we would clear the practice rings as she ran sideways, backwards, up and down and forward at two or three times the speed of any other horse there. People would see my mom watching and ask her if she was sure we would be okay. But one thing about Irish, it didn't matter what she was doing, when she saw that jump she charged to it without a second thought. She was born to run and jump. I don't think we ever had one stop at any stadium or cross country jump. The mare would jump a car if you put it in front of her. (We won't talk about our Dressage Tests though!) The day she died (very sudden and unexpected) I was heartbroken and I still think about her all of the time.

The second horse that I called my own is Alten. He is a big, grey, mischievous teddy bear. He couldn't be any different than Irish in most ways. Much more laid back, very steady and a personality that makes him the favorite of many barns. He is very handsome and photogenic and attracts a lot of attention at shows because of it. He is a very talented jumper and also does well in Dressage. He had a reputation as a Houdini because he could usually get himself out of any stall and he was a bit intimidating to some people because he is a horse who will test you and if you don't quickly let him know you are in charge he takes total advantage of it. He has mellowed out in his older age (he just turned 16) but for a long time he was quite the trouble maker. He is a grey horse (his coat is actually white but white horses are called grey) and grey horses have a tough time living in Florida and often develop cancerous tumors. Alten has had a few for a couple of years but they did not seem to really give him problems until the last year or so. Since the triplets were born I obviously have not had the time to devote to my horses so Alten has been living with my former trainer/current friend Cat for many years. She knows him very well and loves him like her own and takes the very best care of him. She started noticing he was getting more tumors and some of them seemed to start bothering him. He started having episodes where he felt really bad and he needed medicine to help him, but it was always a quick bout and then he got better for several months. It wasn't anything major and he was still being ridden and even going to shows with Cat and her students. Two weeks ago Cat called me and said Alten was feeling really bad. She gave him medicine and it was not helping him so she called the vet out. The vet felt inside of him and felt a tumor about the size of a grapefruit at the end of his intestines pressing against his hip. He had been having some recent issues going in that direction while being ridden, so this explained it. The vet told her if he felt that one immediately, he was certain there were more further in. He gave her some strong medicine and said if that didn't help there was not much more that could be done. She stayed with him for several hours and watched him to see if he seemed to be in worse pain as we had decided if she gave him the medicine and it did not help and he was truly suffering, we would not let him continue that way. It was so hard not being able to drive down there (he is about two hours away) but I knew taking the kids would not be the best decision and if Alten needed to be put down it was not something I wanted any of them, especially Marley, to see. After she gave him the final dose of medicine that would basically be our deciding factor, he seemed to slowly improve. Within a few hours he was up walking around grazing and continued that way thru the night and into the next day. Since then he has been acting fine and feeling good, but it's something I know could happen again at any time. His cancer is too far progressed to try to treat it.

I knew I wanted to go down and see him as soon as I could. Yesterday Marley and I drove down to see him and spend the day with him and we had so much fun. She even got to ride him! It was so fun seeing Cat and her family as well and the day flew by way too quickly. Alten looks good though he has a lot more tumors than he did the last time I saw him. We watched Cat teach some lessons in the morning, grabbed some lunch and then came back and let Marley ride Alten and give him a bath. She had been so excited that she would get to ride my horse and she loved it. She hurt her knee playing with Cat's son a few hours before she got to ride, but once she was on him she did fine. Cat led her around at a walk for about 15 minutes but it was so hot out there we took him in and let Marley cool him off with the water hose. Cat has a brand new beautiful facility down in Ft. Myers and I wish we could have stayed longer! I am hoping to move Alten closer in the next few weeks to another friend's barn. This way we will be able to see him a lot more and when the cancer does get to the end and a decision needs to be made, I can say my final good-bye to him and bury him next to Irish.

The love of a horse is not something that can be explained. It is a much deeper and stronger bond than with any other pet. Unless you have experienced it, it can't be understood. But I know that my love of horses runs deep in my soul and I hope they are always a part of my life.

Marley riding Alten

Alten and Cat

Alten eventing years ago

Irish and me in one of our first shows!

Such a personality

My dad talking to me

Irish jumping the ducks

He's such a photogenic horse

She thought she was hot stuff riding Mom's horse :)

Sunday, June 22, 2014

2014 Summer Bucket List

  I am joining the blogging trend of creating a Summer Bucket List of things that I want us to do before the end of summer. I am mainly writing it down for my own benefit so that I will remember everything I want us to do before Preschool and 1st Grade begin!

1. Go to Dinosaur World
2. Go to some of the programs offered by the Library
3. Ice cream and water fun at the Fishhawk Fountains
4. Plant some vegetable seeds
5. Ruskin Drive-in
6. Evenings at the beach
7. Busch Gardens Summer Nights (if we get passes!)
8. Get a bike for myself and take Marley on the trail
9. Have one-on-one day out with each kid
10. Get my hair cut!
11. Take them on the Ybor City cable car
12. Make a water blob for the kids
13. Try out the $1 movies
14. Picnic and nature walk at a local park
15. Long weekend at the beach with family (this will probably be the most challenging one)

I think this is a fairy doable list of things we can squeeze in before August 19th. Anybody who wants to join us on any of these let me know so we can plan. Happy Summer to everyone!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Three Three Year Olds!!

   Another big thing that happened in my lapse of updating this blog is that the triplets turned three! May 16th was their big day and they are all so excited to be three. We spent their actual birthday with pizza at the pool and then the following day we had a birthday party for them at a local play place they enjoy. Almost all of their friends got to come celebrate their day. Three (six including their moms and grandma) friends came from pretty far away and happened to be another set of triplets! They are less than 3 weeks apart in age from my triplets so we lovingly refer to them as our triplet bff's. It was really a fun party and the best part is it was air conditioned as summer hit Florida early this year. Oh wait, it always does. I still refer to them as "the babies" because "the kids" just doesn't sound right. I often wonder when they are teenagers if I will still call them babies. They are all doing really well and I will give a few details on each of them.

Jack is still the happiest and silliest kid I know. He will do anything for a laugh and really just enjoys life. He is very rough and tough and all boy. He is lucky he has Marley here to play with because she enjoys getting knocked down, stepped and jumped on, ridden like a horse, rammed into at top speed and whatever other shenanigans this boy can think of. He really loves swimming and he is fearless in the water and swimming unassisted in the small pool at home. He also enjoys running and flipping into the pool and doing any crazy stunts his sisters suggest he do. He can be quite timid in new situations and really relies on Marley to help him at times. Luckily for him, she is happy to do so and she takes very good care of her little brother. If you can convince him to do something he is scared of once, he usually realizes he likes it and then does it over and over again. He is still a very picky eater, but he has gained 5 pounds since he had his adenoids removed in February! At his 3 year check he was 29 lbs and almost 39 inches. Really high in length and low in weight, but now he looks a lot healthier than he did at the beginning of the year. He is still thin, but not bony how he was a few months ago. I just love that little boy and he truly brings a lot of happiness and laughter into our home.

Makayla has become the outgoing child of the group. She will talk to anybody. She is so smart and I am usually amazed by what comes out of her mouth. She is really a thinker and a very quick learner. She can be very sassy and often puts her hands on her hips or sighs really loudly if she doesn't like what she is hearing. She requires the least amount of sleep and would really like if she could sleep next to me every night, but of course that's not happening! She is brave in new situations and usually goes in with little or no hesitation. She makes friends very easily and is very social. She is still the smallest of the bunch, at her 3 year check she was 37" and 24 pounds. She is growing just not too quickly. She is very sweet and likes to go around giving everyone tons of kisses and hugs. She is still a little spitfire and at times can be very challenging, but she always makes up for it with her sweetness.

Marissa is really a funny child. Not in the sense like Jack who is just a clown, but she  will say things to me because she knows it is funny and I will laugh. She also likes to make silly faces when she say things to make me laugh too. She will question things so she can learn about them and always remembers. She is also very smart and a quick learner. She is pretty outgoing though not as much as Makayla. She is a bit more selective in who she talks to now. She is also very good at making friends. She really loves playing in the sandbox and will spend over an hour just building things and playing pretend. She is very similar in size to Makayla- about 1/4" taller and half a pound heavier. She is very sweet and really enjoys doing things that she thinks the bigger kids do. She often tells me, "This is only for the big girls like me." She can still be a bit dramatic and sassy, but she has really become a sweet and caring person.

Together they are still so much fun. They are usually really good kids and are often complimented on their good behavior in public. It has really gotten a lot easier to do things with them and Marley and she is still such a big help. They really love their big sister and love spending time with her. She has a very nurturing soul and is a very good role model for them. She has taught them so much and they insist they are starting Kindergarten soon. They all play very good together most of the time. At times they can fight like cats and dogs, but nobody holds a grudge and they quickly go back to being nice to each other. It is hard to believe they are three years old already but I look forward to all this year of their lives has to bring.

The party animals!

Marissa & Bre
Triplet Bff's!

Happy 3rd Birthday!

The cakes they each chose

My boy in his new glasses

Sister kisses

Hanging out at Field Day



Makayla & Marissa

Just watching tv

Marley <3

Birthday muffins