Thursday, December 31, 2009

I'm looking back...

And feeling so blessed. I have a husband who loves me unconditionally and will back me up no matter what. He's the best father any child could have. I have 4 healthy kids. That in and of itself I thank God for every day. I have a Mom who will listen to me complain and be a sounding board no matter what. I have a Dad who will drop what he's doing to help fix a car or find a bat in the basement when Matt is working. I have a sister who is there when I need her and a vault of useful, and sometimes not useful, information. I have a Mother in-Law that feels more like a friend and a Father in-Law that would do anything for his family. I have friends that I can count on no matter what. TJ and Molly have been there for us many times this year. Most recently was the day after Christmas when Matt was in the accident and I called to ask him to go check on Matt. He dropped everything and went to see if everything was ok. He stayed with Matt standing out in the cold rain and bringing him home once his Jeep was at the garage. That meant so much! We have Grandparents on both sides that love us and their Great Grandkids so much, always providing support and hugs! I have brother in-laws that are always good for a laugh and a sister in-law that loves her nieces and nephew so much ~ She always picks such thoughtful gifts for them, like Grace's purse at Christmas with lip gloss! Grace was in heaven!
I could go on forever...

Reflections

Where did the time go???My munchkins grew into this: And this...

Not to forget this silly guy...

From this :











In the last 12 fun-filled, sleep-deprived, exciting, exhausting, loving, wouldn't-change-one-single-moment months we've been through a lot as a family. And are all the stronger for it. We were just getting adjusted to being a family of 6 at the beginning of 2009 and now it's crazy controlled chaos. How do some many changes happen in one short year? We've seen Grandma battle and beat cancer like the strong woman we all knew she was, I think the cancer proved to her that she is. Mom Mom fought like crazy to get back to being independent after a scary hospital stay. She's one strong willed, opinionated woman - and we love her for it. My Grandparents have shown me a different side of them this year. My Grandmother is just as active as always. I truly don't know how she does it. She has helped me out more than ever this year. My Grandfather has turned into an old softy, talking baby talk and letting Madeline and Leah crawl all over him while he lays on the floor. Evan has turned into Gramps little buddy, it's precious. I've changed a lot this year. Things that I never thought I would be, I am. I'm a self assured Mother, learning how to parent is hard and I'm not sure anyone ever truly 'gets it' since your role as a parent is constantly changing but I'm giving it everything I have. We've gone through small changes also. We cloth diaper now. Evan is potty training. Grace is in ballet. Both Grace and Evan ride 'big kid bikes'. Madeline and Leah are walking and running machines with 2 very different personalities. Grace started wearing glasses this year. Evan has gone from a follower, just doing everything that Grace does - to developing a mind of his own and letting his voice be heard! Evan sleeping in a big boy bed and Grace has her very own new princess room. We went to the beach twice and had a blast! We watched Chris and Hannah get married on the beach and start the next chapter of their lives. Hollie welcomed a little baby boy. Laura announced that she's having a baby girl next year. Greg is going to be a Daddy again in April. And Mike and Elaine will have their first baby next year also! Colleen is going to have Aiden any day now - she still has time to have him this year! The end of this year has been just as eventful as the rest of the year. Matt and Rob have gotten promotions, my Mom has survived another year with Tony (her boss) and watched one of her coworkers get the ax (she deserved it!). Our best friends bought their first house this year and we couldn't have been more excited for them! I've met new friends and reconnected with old ones. I'm sure I've forgotten many things. I just can't believe that another year has come to a close. We're looking forward to a great 2010! Happy New Year!



Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Pictures

Bryan (in the black hat), Doug (in red), Hannah, and Chris at Devon's on Christmas night.Megan, Greg, Matt, Madeline and Leah at Devon's
Madeline and Leah on Christmas night
Leah with Matt
Grace at my parents on Christmas Day

Grace on Christmas morning!
Madeline stylin' in her new sunglasses from Santa
The best picture I could get of all of the kids on Christmas morning


We had an amazing Christmas this year! Grace and Evan were both so excited on Christmas morning! Madeline and Leah were excited and crawling all over boxes, throwing wrapping paper and just loving the excitement! This year was extra special because Matt was home with us!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Where's my manual?

Grace has been particularly challenging lately. The back talk, tantrums, and anger are getting so bad I just don't know what to do. We tried ignoring her all the time when she throws a tantrum or whines and only responding to her when she calms down and talks like a 'big girl'. It just doesn't seem to be working. I'm hoping that things are going to get worse before they get better. I'm hoping that we're going to enter the upswing of this really really soon. I want to think that she is just pushing even harder to get a reaction out of Matt and I hence the worsening behavior and that she will soon realize that she needs to behave to get attention and get more of 'her way'. Why can't these kids come with a manual? Seriously though, my car had a light come on on the dash so I got out the manual, read what the light meant and how to fix it. Boom, done. If only it were that easy. Motherhood, the hardest job I'll ever have and love.

Snow storm?

We could possibly get up to 12" of snow depending on the track of a storm coming up the coast. If I can make a plea to this storm it woule be to please just give us a dusting of snow. I have SO much to accomplish this afternoon and tomorrow that a snow storm would seriously ruin my game plan since Matt only has off this afternoon and tomorrow, and then starts day shift Sunday through Thursday. That means that he has will have worked 11 of the last 14 days, all 12 hour shifts. I could see it in his face this morning that he's just beat. But we're both trying to keep in mind that Christmas day starts a week off for him, and the first Christmas together as a family of 6 since he worked last Christmas Day.
I couldn't ask for a better husband. One example happened this morning. Matt usually gets home at 6am from night shift. I was supposed to go to Walmart yesterday but just didn't make it. Too many unforseen kid things that it just wasn't happening. Matt knew how jammed Walmart would be today because of Christmas coming and now because of snow arriving around midnight tonight so he went total grocery shopping on his way home. He walked in the door around 7am and just got in bed at 7:30. That means that he's been awake since yesterday afternoon at 1pm, drove and hour and fifteen minutes to work, worked a 12 hour shift, drove an hour and a half to Walmart, shopped, and finally came home. And he did it so I didn't have to brave the cold and crowds with the kids today.
Now on to cleaning.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Hiding

I have ordered things from Amazon, as I mentioned in the previous post. (And we got the Credit card issue fixed. I was indeed the suspicious activity! lol) If you have ever ordered from Amazon you know that they send you your shipment when it becomes available piece by friggin' piece. I am now hiding from Bob from UPS because they will continue to deliver here every day until Christmas. Today I received two boxes each with one book inside. A little ridiculous if you ask me.

I am nearing completion as far as shopping goes. I just need one more roll of wrapping paper, batteries that I'm going to BJ's for and two gift cards that are local stops. I'm a little disappointed that the kids beanbag chairs won't arrive in time for Christmas but they'll get a good surprise in January after the hoopla of Christmas dies down.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Gift giving

I went shopping online again last night and what I thought was a productive end to my holiday spending turned out to be a real pain in the *ss that had kind of put me in the total opposite of holiday spirit. I made a few *small* orders last night to finish up the shopping or so I thought. Well apparently our credit card was declined due to 'suspicious activity'. (I'm pretty sure that the suspicious activity was me!) So I have to wait until Matt wakes up for him to call since he is the primary card holder to figure everything out. Since the orders didn't go through I have now missed the guaranteed by Christmas ship date on a few orders. SO back to square one and with less enthusiasm...


I went on to read HDYDI today and stumbled upon this great limit on holiday shopping and spending for the kids :


Something they want

Something they need

Something to wear

Something to read


I have exceeded that this Christmas so far with stocking stuffers and what not but it's definitely going to stick in my mind for next year! The BEST gift the kids and I are getting this year is that Matt is going to be home for Christmas for the first time in years! I'm so thankful and excited that I'm almost in tears every time I think about it.


In other news, Grace had dress-up day for her ballet class yesterday and it was adorable! She was a ballerina fairy. All of the girls looked so cute!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sunday Confessions

I have a confession to make. None of my children have ever had their picture taken with Santa with the exception of Grace when she was 2 weeks old and my brother in-law was playing Santa. It's not for lack of trying, they just don't want to. Grace says she can just mail him her list, no problem. Madeline and Leah are in the "strange" phase and want no parts of pretty much anyone but Matt and I. We are going to try one last time tomorrow but I'm not optimistic. Wish us luck!

My next confession is that I just can't seem to stick to my diet for the last week and I've definitely gained. I'm pretty upset about it since I just bought size 4"skinny" jeans and felt really good in them. Damn those holiday cookies. I just need to get up at 5:30am and work out for half an hour before the kids get up. The reason that I haven't been sticking to that is simple. I want more sleep.

The last confession is that I'm no where near finished with Christmas shopping. Matt has worked overtime and we've been sick and it's just not getting done. I've been trying to get a good picture of the kids for our Christmas cards and that's a joke! It's not easy getting 4 kids to look in the same direction let alone have a half decent look on their face! I may just send out a "blooper" picture this year.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

"Say It Ain't So" Saturday

This is my own made up blog carnival thingy. I just needed something to be able to tell my tales of things that have happened so far today and it's not even 2pm!

Madeline pooped in the tub. I wish I could say it ain't so!

Evan peed on his sprint to the potty all the way across the kitchen floor and through the laundry room.

I spilled my entire bag of flour on the kitchen floor. So much for cookie making today.

Grace's fish might be dead. I wish I could say it ain't so. He's not floating but he's in a shell in the bottom not moving...

Ok - I'm finished with that portion of my post and on to GOOD news!!

Matt's cousin Hollie had her baby boy today! His name is Anthony and he weighed a little over 6lbs! I can't wait to see pictures!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Personal Message from Santa!!

I just made this video for Grace and she was so excited and in awe that she couldn't sit still!! I made one for Evan also - he was more shocked than anything! I HIGHLY recommend it!


http://portablenorthpole.tv/watch/31ef72ce8d82264c2b52dfe2584622c6

Thursday, December 10, 2009

My cuties!








My wonderful husband bought me a wonderful new camera for Christmas! It's a Nikon D3000 D-SLR and I am so in love with it! I am not sure how it works yet and have a lot to learn but I took some pictures with it last night...Madeline wasn't in a very good mood so I only took pictures of Grace, Leah and Evan.




Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Only 3,459 more...

...noses to wipe. Everyone has a runny nose in this house and the snot wiping is really tiresome. Yes, I know that there are worse things than having to chase after 4 little people with runny noses but geez - every time I turn around there is snot running down someones face! 3 of the 4 had fevers last night but so far none this morning. It's 7:25am and Evan is still sleeping which is highly unusual for him. Hopefully he will wake up feeling much better than last night.

Matt was supposed to be off from work today however yesterday when he woke up from night shift at noon he told me that he had to go into work today. I am SO not happy. I NEED these days to get everything finished up for Christmas and to get our house clean! So now I have to try to figure out how to fit everything in tomorrow in addition to the 2 appointments we have to go to tomorrow. I have been desperately trying to finish up my Christmas shopping for weeks now but am just still unsure of what to get for a few people. To be honest, I really want to go out today and splurge on myself. However I feel like I have been spending way too much money on myself lately. I have lost weight and am now wearing a size 4 Gap long and lean jean! I have no clothes to wear so I ordered myself a few things so I can have more than one pair of jeans and one sweater to wear on days that I leave the house, and over sized dumpy sweatpants on days that I stay home. I haven't had a nice wardrobe in years because I was either pregnant or losing weight from being pregnant.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Truthful Tuesdays

Confessions from a Working Mom



My truths...



Evan did not want to get out of the bathtub last night so he threw a royal tantrum. As soon as he was out of the bathroom and standing on the carpeted landing at the top of the stairs next to a pile of clean laundry - he looked at me with a grin and purposefully peed on it.



Grace made me so proud today at ballet! The girls were all in a line and Miss Tara was getting the bin of instruments for them to use. All of the other girls ran over to take something but my Grace stayed put. We have been talking about, "You get what you get and you don't get upset." and she waited for Miss Tara to hand her an instrument. It's the small things that make me so proud.



Madeline and Leah are now saying "Up", "Out", and "N-n-n-n-ooo" (just like I do).



Now on to the question from Truthful Tuesday's:

What do you really want for Christmas that money can't buy?

I can think of SO many things.
In no order:

1. More patience
2. More energy
3. A great PET scan report for Grandma on Thursday
4. Overall good health for the family
5. More time
6. A mild winter with only one good snowstorm
To Be Continued...

Monday, December 7, 2009

"Not Me" Monday


I am trying to get back to blogging regularly and decided to join in a blog carnival called "not me" Monday. It's a list of things that you would never have done over the past week; No, Not me!


I would never have allowed the kids to destroy their rooms just so I could have 5 minutes of peace downstairs. And I never, ever would have allowed them to stay that way until this very day. No, not me!


I don't ever let the kids stay in their PJ's all day. No, not me!


I do not allow the kids to eat McDonalds on our way to ballet simply because I was too lazy to make them lunch before we left. Nope not me either!


I would never allow Evan to eat PB&J sandwiches for every meal for 2 days straight. No, Not me!


You would never have heard me say these things in the past week:
To Evan:
"Stop tugging on it, you're going to rip it off!"
"Santa will not bring you any toys if he sees you kicking Grace!"
"Do not put my underwear on your head like a mask!"
"My underwear are NOT broken!"
"If you don't move your finger, you're going to pee on it."
To Grace:
"Do not tell ME to BE QUIET, YOU be quiet!"
To Madeline and Leah:
"I'm pretty sure you're going to need therapy when you're older. I'm apologizing now"
and
"Please do not lick your sister's toes"




Ideas

I have some of my Christmas shopping done but am out of ideas for a few people. I have 4 people that have me totally stumped. As far as the kids go, I'm pretty set with them except for a few stocking stuffers.
Madeline and Leah slept straight through the night Saturday night from 6pm - 6:30am. It was glorious. Last night, I was lucky if I got an hour in a row. I'm not sure what the issue is. They either sleep wonderfully or not at all. I know that they're getting more teeth right now so I'm hoping that is what the problem is.
Grace had her first sleepover at my parents house on Saturday night with Nana, Pop and Ellie. My Mom said they were good but stayed up until 11 because Grace wouldn't stop talking. She said she wasn't being bad, she just wouldn't quiet down. I think she was just so excited! Ellie does sleepovers all the time with both sets of her Grandparents so it's not that special to her, Grace never does it so it was new and exciting. Grace slept like a rock last night! The only time that Grace has done a sleepover without Matt and I was when I was in the hospital having babies.
To Be Continued...

Saturday, December 5, 2009

5th?

Is it December 5th? As in 20 more days until Christmas? As in less than 3 weeks? How did it happen? I know, people say that ALL the time, but I think this is the very first time in my entire life that I actually don't know where the last year went. I cannot believe that Grace is 4. She's FOUR! 4 years and 5 days to be exact. I now have a 4 year old, a 2yr8month old and 2 one year olds. And I'm still alive. And I'm happy. If you would have told me 5 years ago that this is what my life would be like I would seriously think you needed to be committed. And there were times over these last 5 years that I thought that I would have to be committed. However here we are approach the end of another year and I'm thankful. Very thankful. I have a marriage that has never been stronger. I love Matthew more every day. Grace is 4 and so incredibly smart. She remembers everything, and I do mean everything. She can write now. My little Grace can write her own name. And others with a little assistance. She can draw people that actually look like people, and cut out shapes from paper holding scissors the right way. And they're actual shapes not just random cuts. She really wants to learn to read and I'm so excited for her to get her Tag Reader for Christmas, I think she's going to love it! Grace is helpful. She will get diapers, comfort Madeline and Leah, distract them in the car, help clean up messes and she picks out her own clothes. She dresses herself most of the time. I can't believe it. She's amazing.
Evan. Evan is Mr. Independent. He has more than realized that he has a voice and is able to form his own opinions. He has a great imagination and loves being outside more than any other kid I know. He loves trains, planes, trucks, tractors and pretty much everything else that moves. He is his Daddy. And boy does he look up to Matt. It's precious. Matt just got new wheels and tires on his Jeep and Evan couldn't wait to see the big Jeep when he got home. Evan loves to build, and destroy, things.
Madeline. She is now proficient enough at walking that she has moved on to running. She walks like she owns the place and everyone should look out because she's coming through. Maddie isn't very good at sharing, especially with Leah. If Leah has something that she find interesting, you can be sure that a wrestling match will ensue for the desired object - followed by shrieks of delight from the winner and anger/sadness from the loser. Leah has recently discovered that since Madeline has moved on to running that she better get to walking because Madeline can now beat her. Leah used to be quicker crawling than Madeline was walking, not anymore. So one day Leah just decided she was ready and off she went. There's no looking back now. Leah is our climber. She loves to climb onto a heaping warm load of laundry and sit on it like she just climbed Mt. Everest. If there are stairs, she will do everything in her power to get to them. She has even started to climb up onto the couch. Bath time is a favorite for everyone, however we're still working on making sure everyone remains seated! Madeline and Leah still take 2 naps a day however I think that it's coming to an end, which I'm happy and sad about but that's a post for another time.
As for now, Madeline and Leah just woke up and are calling for me.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Mother.Of.The.Year.


Grace and I were practicing the Sign Language alphabet. This is Grace's version of the letter "R". Priceless.

$100

I took the kids with me today to the Carter's Outlet near us, and the place was deserted. I was surprised. I know it's not Black Friday but with 50% off the entire store plus coupons for 20% off of that AND $10 off $50 or more I couldn't pass up the chance to get the last of the winter PJ's for the kids and some sweat pants for Evan. We left spending $100 on only things we needed and saved a BUNDLE! I could see the traffic volume increasing though when we left compared to when we got there, I feel bad for those travelling home from work during the evening rush, Matt and Mom being 2 of those unlucky people.

I'm trying not to be bummed about Matt not being home with us on Thanksgiving but it's just not the same. And no matter how you look at it, it sucks. I know it's the sacrifice we make to allow me to stay at home with the kids but it doesn't make it any easier when the Holiday comes and he's not here. At least this year we *hope* that he's home for Christmas. He has worked the past 2 Christmas' so it will be wonderful to have him home.

I'm still not looking forward to him going hunting since I have so much to do and need some help to get it done. However - I'll do the best that I can. Part of me wishes that I had a "hunting trip" to go on and just hang out and relax for a few days. But I don't, and won't since I cannot leave the kids with Matt because quite frankly I think he would crumble under the pressure. He's an amazing Father and does great with the kids but being alone with everyone demanding everything from him for more than a few hours at a time...I'm not so sure that's his cup of tea. And since I know how hard it can be, if I did leave I would spend the entire time feeling guilty so it probably wouldn't be fun anyway. Sad, I know.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Birthday Party!

Evan taking a spin in one of the Bumble Bees! Matt holding Madeline and Me holding Leah while they destroy their cakes!

Grace with her princess cake!! I can't believe she's 4!

Madeline (L) and Leah taking a spin in their Bumble Bees from Nana and Pop!






We had a birthday party for all 3 girls on Saturday at my parents house. Everyone had a blast! Once again everyone was more than generous and we came home with 2 car loads of gifts! I'm not sure where we're going to put Christmas presents this year. I guess we need a bigger house! Grace had an amazing princess cake that she just loved! Madeline and Leah had an ice cream cake and two small cakes for them to destroy! I can't wait for Christmas - we are going to have a blast this year!!! I keep praying that Matt will have Christmas off so he can be with us for the first time on Christmas in 2 years.
Madeline is walking around like she's been doing it forever now, and Leah will walk if you really encourage her to but she would still much rather crawl. I cannot believe that Grace will turn 4 on the 30th. I'm sad that Matt won't be home since he will be hunting but we will just have to deal with it. I'm so torn about him going away. I really want him to since he hasn't been hunting in so long and I would love for him to have the time away to just relax and be with the other guys on the mountain. But I'm selfish. I look so forward to his week off every month for family time AND for a sanity saver for me. It's hard to go day in and day out with 4 kids and not really talk to any other adults since most other people we know live normal lives working M-F and spending time with their families on the weekend. And especially this week off I could use to shop and try to get ready for Christmas since he won't have another long stretch off until the day after Christmas. Also, his company is supposed to be bringing down some units (or all units depending on who you ask) and he could get forced to work overtime during December. It's really hard to go shopping for Christmas presents from Santa with 4 kids in tow.
Matt's first step in the interview process for another job went really well on Saturday. There are approximately 600-700 people applying for 10 positions. We will just have to wait and see if he is chosen to move on to the next phase of interviewing. Valero closed down permanently the refinery in Delaware City last week. I feel just awful for the 500 men and women who are now unemployed. They showed up for work and the Delaware State Police were there blocking the entrance to the refinery. It's just awful. Luckily between the severance packages offered and the amount of unemployment available now it isn't as bad as it could be - but try telling that to the guys who are out of a job right before Christmas.



Thursday, November 12, 2009

Pictures!




Looming

I feel like I want to really slow down time right now. I am really struggling with Madeline and Leah turning one this weekend. I know I'm going to be a mess. I just really and truly cannot believe that an entire year has gone by already. I cannot believe that my last 2 babies are turning 1. And that I can't call them babies anymore. I am beyond proud that Matt and I have gone from survival mode, just trying to make it through each day to actually enjoying the kids and being able to do normal family stuff. I take all 4 kids shopping alone, to Target, grocery shopping, to the mall, to the railroad for the afternoon to check out the trains and the doctor just to name a few! I rewarded myself today for making it through an entire year with 4 kids under age 4 by getting a haircut and highlights! I have never had highlights before. I haven't ever really had hair long enough to have them.
Grace's Dermabond on her cut came off tonight. And I'm happy with how it's healing for the most part. I don't like seeing it there but it's still new and I'm sure it will continue to fade and heal. It's dramatically smaller than it was when it first happened so I can be thankful for that!
Madeline is walking now!!! She gets better each day and is so proud of herself! Leah has zero interest. She stands up alone for long periods of time and can balance herself to stoop down and then stand back up over and over but just has no desire to walk. She even stomps her feet but won't take that first step! Maybe she'll do it on her birthday!
Matt has the first round of testing for a possible new job on the day we're having the girls birthday party. He should be back in plenty of time, fingers crossed. If he does well on the test he will then have a one on one interview. If he gets the job offer he has A LOT of thinking to do.

Friday, November 6, 2009

DIY Diaper Sprayer

Just in case there are any other cloth-diapering Mama's that read my blog and are interested, my husband made me a diaper sprayer that cost around $10 and was super easy to install. If you're interested, message me and I can send you the info on how to do it!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

She Converted

I started cloth diapering a while ago and started with gDiapers since I researched and they seemed to be the easiest and most effective. I have now converted. Thank goodness I got an awesome deal on the gDiapers since if I paid a small fortune I would just continue to use them but hate them at the same time. I am in love with Thirsties and Swaddlebees covers with regular old prefolds inside. (Bummis Super Whisper Wraps are good too but not my favorite!) I use Blueberry wool covers at night and double up on the absorption. I can see how cloth diapering can be addictive though - there are SO many cute covers and options!! But I want to keep with the money savings vs. disposables so I won't buy more than I need! I do still need 2-3 more covers but then I think we should be set! And no more formula to buy either!!! Yippie!!!

As for tomorrow, I think I might go to Linvilla Orchard and let the kids run around!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tuesday

We finally made it to ballet today. Thank goodness. We missed all but one class in the last 4 weeks. Matt is supposed to be off tomorrow and Thursday still but he is picking up some overtime which I'm happy and sad about. It's hard when he's on nights since he's only awake and at home for about 2 hours a day. And now he's going to be on nights for 6 in a row. Bummer! My Grandmother gave Grace a new Snow White dress today after ballet since she had to throw out her other one when she got blood all over it during the "forehead incident". I am gathering a huge car load of stuff to take over to the church for their thrift shop. I'm just glad to get it out of my house!
I'm a little upset that Madeline and Leah aren't walking yet. Grace walked at 9 months and Evan walked at 11 months, and Maddie and Leah just seem content to just crawl all over the place at lightning speed. I was hoping that they would be walking by their 1st birthday's but I don't think that's going to happen.
I had Maddie and Leah in their stroller at the grocery store yesterday and wow does my wrist hurt from steering their stroller with one had and pulling the cart with the other. I hate my Combi stroller and am lucky enough to have picked up (yet another) used stroller today from Donna, a Mom of another ballerina in Grace's class. I am selling my BOB jogging double stroller since I never ever get to use it anymore. It's just taking up space unfortunately. I'm excited though since I'm fairly certain that I can get my money back for it since I got such a great deal on it when I bought it from REI.
Matt and I are thinking of remodeling the back bathroom before we try to sell the house. We don't really want to take on the project, because it's a doosey, but we think it will really help us unload this place. I hope we can get back to looking at houses after the whole layoff thing at Matt's work blows over and he feels secure again. Time will tell.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Vacations, Weddings, ER Visits, and Halloween!







I obviously have taken a break from blogging. I guess I just haven't felt the urge to write for a while. I really want to get back into it though since it really helps me keep my sanity!






We were on vacation in North Carolina from the 18-24th. We really had a great time! We went to my brother in-law's wedding on Monday the 19th out on the beach and wow was it beautiful! The weather was perfect - the ocean was amazing and the ceremony was very nice. The rest of the vacation was spent just hanging out and relaxing. We walked to the beach, played in the edge of the ocean, and built sandcastles and mermaids in the sand. We took the ferry over to Ocracoke for lunch and some shopping. Matt and I really enjoyed our nights alone after the kids were in bed sitting and relaxing in the hot tub listening to the ocean.



Since we've been back from vacation things have been a little...stressful. Madeline started a low grade fever on Saturday afternoon that I thought may have just been teething since she's finally cutting 4 teeth that have been bulging for weeks now. However it turned into a slightly runny nose and a little higher fever on Sunday and Monday. I still wasn't too alarmed but was watching her closely and took her to the doctor on Monday afternoon. It turns out that she has a double ear infection that is pretty nasty. We were given antibiotics and went on our way.Monday night is when things went horribly wrong. She started vomiting up everything including her medicine and her fever just kept going up, finally hitting 105 on Tuesday morning. She was lethargic and wouldn't sit up, was hard to wake up so I took her to the Emergency Room. She was dehydrated so they gave her 2 bags of fluid and IV Zofran for the nausea. Her oxygen level was a little low so they also did a chest x-ray just to be sure, and it checked out fine. They gave her a big dose of Tylenol to bring her fever down and a dose of antibiotics. The Zofran worked like a charm and she didn't throw any of it up. She has been steadily returning to her normal self ever since!






When we got up Wednesday morning I was feeling so relieved. Maddie was back to playing and walking around pushing her toys all over. I was looking forward to a normal day and getting some things done since I still hadn't unpacked everything from vacation. However about 10am things went downhill pretty fast, I was folding laundry with my back to Grace and Evan when I heard a loud thump and then silence. I turned around and saw Evan staring wide eyed at Grace who had her back to me. I walked around to look at her and she had her mouth wide open screaming so hard that no sound was coming out and there was blood gushing from her forehead. After I calmed her down and got a good look at her forehead I knew we needed to go to the hospital for stitches or Dermabond. Thankfully my Mom came to the rescue, again, and watched Evan, Maddie and Leah while I took Grace to the ER. After a really long wait we were finally seen and were sooo lucky that she was able to have the cut Dermabond-ed back together!! I was elated that there would be NO stitches!






Today we are off to a follow up doctors appointment for Madeline to make sure that her ears are getting better and then I *hope* we will spend the rest of the day at home regrouping.






Tomorrow night is Trick-Or-Treat here so we will be getting ready for that big event! We will carve our pumpkins either tonight or tomorrow and get ready for the sugar high that will take over the next few days!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Just In Case...

...You are any of the people wondering these things out loud in public...Yes, they're all mine. Nope, I'm not crazy. Not yet anyway. Yes they're twins. I have noticed they look alike. Yup, both are girls last time I checked. I am fully aware that I have my hands full, thank you for pointing that out with that look of utter disgust on your face. Yes, I know how babies are made. And yes, I do have other hobbies. No, no fertility drugs here, as if that is any of your business anyway. I'm glad that they aren't yours also. Just in case you were wondering.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Answers

It's been a long time since I've blogged. I guess that getting back to reality after vacation is 4 times as hard when you have 4 kids! This past week has been trying to say the least. The culmination being the scene we made at Hannah's shower, which I'm still beyond mortified by. Late this afternoon we had a family party with my Mom's family at my aunts house. It was just the usual chit-chat except for getting the news that my cousin Laura is pregnant! I'm really happy for her and her husband Mike. We have also recently heard that Matt's brother is expecting to be a Daddy again sometime next spring. Add these two little ones to Hollie's little man due in November and Colleen's little man due in January and we have babies coming all over the place over the next several months (and for once they're not ours! ;o)

Grace started dance class last Tuesday and seems to have enjoyed it. She goes every Tuesday for 45 minutes. There are 6 girls in her class and they're just the cutest little things! Madeline and Leah are getting much closer to walking every day! I'm actually really looking forward to them being able to walk on their own!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Footsteps?

Evan loves his guitar! I wonder if he's going to follow in the footsteps of his PopPop, Uncle Doug, Uncle Chris, and Uncle Keith?!! He has music in him through and through with the guitar players and then my Dad's piano skills, not to mention that his Mommy and Daddy met at band camp in high school! (We were such dorks!)

Monday, August 31, 2009

Just can't wait that long...

I have been looking forward to vacation since we booked the house in February. We are supposed to arrive at our McMansion on Sunday however we decided that we just can't wait that long!!! So we rented this tiny little beach "cottage" for Friday and Saturday nights! It's not much but it's literally a few steps to the beach and has a nice enclosed porch. I am nervous but excited to be away for a little while! I'm nervous about taking 4 kids under 4 on vacation 9 hours from home on a tiny barrier island but I really think we are going to have a blast as long as we just "roll with it", the good and the bad. So for the next 3 days I'm going into overdrive more so than usual to get ready to leave in the wee hours of the morning Friday morning!!! Yippie!!!

Lunchin' It


We went to a restuarant for lunch yesterday. It was only the second time we attempted it as a family of 6, and it went really well! The kids were so well behaved and loved getting to eat outside at the restaurant.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Half of a Dozen

I watched TJ & Molly's little cuties today for a little while and here are a few pictures from our afternoon:

Cutie Colin!! Emily, Colin, and Grace doing ColorWonder markers.

The whole gang, (l-r Leah, Evan, Emily, Colin, Grace and Madeline sitting on the floor)


Nice glasses Colin!


Craft time!! (Please excuse the pile of Beach stuff at the end of the table!)



We had fun! I was surprised that it was a little easier than I had imagined. I guess it's true what they say; that after having 2 kids adding more is a breeze!
:)


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

"No"

It worries me a little that Maddie and Leah have already mastered "No"...Pretty sure it will be their first word too besides Mama and Dada.

video

Dreaming ~

This is a picture of the top floor living area of the house we are staying in for vacation! I look at pictures of it everyday just to give me a little "boost"! I cannot wait to see how much fun Grace and Evan are going to have on the beach and in the pool! The only thing I'm a little concerned about is Madeline and Leah crawling on the marble floors. I think I'm going to get them BabyLegs to help cushion their little knees. Living in luxury for a week is just what I need, a little break from the monotony. I think it's going to be a challenge to keep Madeline and Leah from eating their weight in sand but we will manage. I know it will be here before I know it but it still seems to far away when I think of September 6th. I cannot believe that kids are heading back to school already. And that my baby girls will be turning ONE in a few short months. Wow. It really does make me sad, but that's another post all together.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Outside in our undies!

Leah and Madeline hanging out in the grass, and eating a little of it too! Notice they're sporting a little muffin top! ;) ( Leah is on the left, Madeline on the right) Miss Maddie skinny dipping in the pool and loving every minute of it!

They're always going in two different directions! (Leah is on the left, Madeline on the right)



Sunday, August 23, 2009

Baby Jail


"Hey - Let us out of here!"

Multiply




The mess in this house just keeps multiplying! We now have every single toy that the kids own out in the toy room. I took this picture this morning and, oh my word, I cannot wait to pack up some of the toys that they no longer play with for the yard sale on Saturday. I really hope a lot of things sell, but am trying not to get my hopes up.


Why is it that the kids all seem to gravitate towards one another? They always seem to be literally on top of each other.

Nice Rack

Matt's schedule is separated by 'racks'. The rack he is on now is my least favorite all month. He worked Friday, Saturday and Today, then has off tomorrow and goes right into night shift Tues, Wed, and Thursday night. It's hard on us and especially hard on him to switch from getting up at 3am for day shift to sleeping all day and leaving for work at 3pm for night shift. The week off every month is worth it though, and that in reality he only works 15 days out of every month. I just have to keep reminding myself of that.

I'm not sure what the kids and I are going to get into today. Since my parents are away we might go over and check on their house and play in their yard for a little while since it's sooo much bigger than ours. Speaking of ours, Matt and I are talking again about moving. We may even go look at a house within the next two weeks. Just to take a look and then talk long and hard about what a move would mean to us right now. Speaking of moving, our friends TJ and Molly are in the process of buying a house and we're thrilled for them! It will be such a good change for them, and they sure have worked hard enough for it!

I'm trying to resist the urge to do a little Internet shopping today. I have been comparison shopping for weeks now for a new car seat for Evan and I think I found one on sale since my order at Amazon got cancelled b/c the promo code I used was an error. I knew it was too good to be true but thought I would give it a try anyway. I also need to order one more diaper cover but just don't want to pay shipping on just one cover, but think that I'll have to since I cannot find a store locally that carries them. I want another Bummis Super Whisper Wrap.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Must.Unload.Now.

I haven't blogged in a while and for good reason, I have no time!! The only way that I keep up with Facebook is thanks to my iPhone. Madeline and Leah are crawling up a storm and pulling themselves up to standing - plus cruising the furniture and playing dare-devil by letting go of things to see how long they can stand up. I guess an added benefit of cloth diapers is the extra padding for all of those falls! Evan has been really good with Maddie and Leah lately. He will play gently with them and let them touch his toys. It's so cute to watch! Grace is 50-50 with playing well. She's strong willed. Wonder where she gets that from?! Evan's nemesis has been eating. He makes it into a power struggle even though he's starving. Tonight I put him in one of the highchairs and wouldn't let him get down until he ate something. He sat there for one whole hour before he finally gave in and DEVOURED his dinner. Then asked for a yogurt and an apple.

We are more than looking forward to vacation - I hope that the weather is nice. My parents and sister are down there now and Hurricane Bill is messing up the first several says of their stay. The only road down the island is flooded in several places around high tide so it made the end of their 9 hour trip down a little dicey. I hope they have a good time and the weather gets better.

I have so much shopping to do and so little money to do it with. Thankfully the hospital bills that we still have from Madeline and Leah's births and my hospital stays are almost paid off. We're trying to get Matt to pick up some overtime but it's scarce.

Matt and I have started talking about a huge possible change we may end up making and I'm so scared yet excited at the same time. I know that's teasing but I don't want to say anything until we're more sure of what's happening.

I have been getting ready for a yard sale that's coming up on the 29th and am already sick of the piles of yard sale things piling up in my house, it's mostly piled in the foyer and kitchen and the piles just keep growing. I have so much to get rid of. Whatever doesn't sell will not come back into the house unless it's a "high-dollar" item like a bouncy seat that I may be able to sell on Craigslist or at a consignment shop. Everything else will most likely go to the church for sale in their consignment shop.

I cannot believe it but I'm starting to think about Madeline and Leah's first birthday party, and Grace's 4th birthday party. Holy crap - where did the time go?? I am trying to think of a theme and how big of a party we are going to have. I'm leaning towards quite small. We will see. One good thing about the twins turning one is that we will no longer need to buy them formula!!! So diapers and formula purchases every month will be a thing of the past with the exception of a few new cloth diapers here and there! I'm stoked about that!

We are hoping to get up to the mountains for a short visit next weekend - leaving after the yard sale hopefully around 1pm. We all miss Debbi, Rob, and Grandma, not to mention that we need a little change of scenery. Matt is finishing up day works tomorrow, then has Monday off but starts night shift again on Tuesday - Thursday with the following weekend off.

Matt and I have been trying to decide what to do about sending Grace to preschool in the fall. We have her enrolled but are having second thoughts. It's more expensive than I thought it was going to be since they raised the prices from last year, not to mention that Grace would be in preschool this year and next year and then start Kindergarten. Grace has a November birthday so she will be one of the older kids in her Kindergarten class. Plus, we are going to miss orientation and her first day since we will be away. We planned the vacation and reserved the house way before we enrolled her in preschool. So I just don't know what to think. If we don't send her to preschool I want to enroll her in some classes at the Y, like gymnastics and ballet. On a selfish level, I'm not sure I am ready to start the whole "school schedule" just yet. Madeline and Leah aren't walking so I would need to take the double stroller out to drop her off and pick her up. Needing to be somewhere by 9am isn't always an easy task with 4 kids under age 4 so that has me a little worried also.

Monday, August 17, 2009

At least my living room is clean...

Because the toy room sure isn't!!