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...


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


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!

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"
"Please do not lick your sister's toes"


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


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.