Sunday, November 15, 2009

When we grow up...

... we want to be just like you daddy.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Happy 2nd Birthday Carter Boo!

It's really hard for me to believe that 2 years ago I was waiting for a little baby to come along. Now you spend your time monkeying around at My Gym with your daddy.

Two years ago, this was the only little boy in our life, and we weren't sure if our hearts or our home was big enough. Turns out it is.... and this little boy ♥ you more than the world (well, come to think of it, so do your daddy and I!)

In fact, lots of people love you...

... more than you may ever realize.

There are a few moments in your life when "it's all about you," like the moment when I held my breath after delivering you wondering if you would breathe on your own, if you were healthy, if... and then the doctor hands me a 6-week premature, healthy, and beautiful little boy.

Our wishes for your life are huge, and endless.

We will always be there to hold your hand when you need it,

but we may let you fall sometimes also. Please know, falling is a part of growing up. We will always pray that your fall will be very soft (and we do our best to cushion the blow)...

On your second birthday, may your life have as much happiness as there are bubbles. May your dreams be big, and your wishes come true. May you always love life, and know that we always love you the most. Happy Birthday Boo!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Pumpkin Patch Take One

So today was our first visit to the Pumpkin Patch for the year. I just love when this day comes around. I can't wait to go out in the chilly fall air and trek out to a muddy field to find the "Great Pumpkin". We started our pumpkin patching this year by going with Cole's preschool class to Applejack Pumpkin Patch. This is the "baby bus" aka: my van loaded with 5 of Cole's classmates ready to head to the patch...

I love occasionally getting to spend some alone time with each of the boys. Today was a great day to do that with Cole.

He was ready to go...

Cole and mommy on the hay rack ride heading out to the field.

Some of his classmates heading out on the hay rack ride.

I told each kiddo I was in charge of to pick their very favorite pumpkin to take home with them. Cole was insistent upon taking home this green one. Who am I to say it isn't beautiful? I hope Cole can continue to see we're all the same on the inside...

Who doesn't love a ride on the zip line. He rode this numerous times!
This is the airplane teeter totter. It holds seven kiddos, and they all loved riding on it.

The tricycle races (kind of reminded me of pig races)

You just have to ♥ a fun fall day with friends!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Need to vent

You want it... here it is. This is not really a frilly or happy post. I need to vent. If you don't want to hear it, click the X button at the top and don't read it. I still need to vent.

It started two Fridays ago. Brian came home and said Do you want to the good news or the best news?" Shoot... "Every one's yards are mowed, and I have the weekend off." This is bliss for our busy family. Having a daddy that mows 4 different yards biweekly and works weekends can be daunting, for him and us. I thought we were off to start the perfect weekend... then W's dad showed up early to pick him up from daycare. I told him, "you are early", and he said, "yeah, about that, we need to talk." Long story made short, he had taken a job promotion that meant they no longer required care for W, and I was out of a job, effective immediately (thankfully I put a two week clause in my contract, so they wrote me two weeks worth of pay out). Blissful weekend down the tubes and in it's place worry and dread appear...

I started posting fliers, and answering calls to no avail. Last Monday I find a flier requesting immediate care for her 5 year old. Sweet. We arrange a time to meet, and after dragging the boys out to meet her, spending the money to buy them lunch at said meeting place, and waiting 50 minutes, she no shows me.

Wednesday, I answer a phone call on the way out the door to preschool. The boys had already stepped into the garage, so I am assuming they are riding trikes while I take a 2 minute phone call. I step into the garage to discover all three of them hammering my SUV with real hammers. I have close to 40 hammer nicks on the side of my car.

Thursday we head to a play date, and I decide to stop at the store and grab some milk. I get out of the car, hit the unlock button, and shut the door to realize I've actually hit the lock button and locked all three boys in the minivan. After a few minutes of coaxing Cole, he got out of his car seat on his own, and unlocked the car for me. Thank God that is a skill he has been practicing...

While all of this has been going on the boys have been terribly ill. Finally Sunday we spent the money to take them to urgent care, and Cole was prescribed antibiotics for a sinus infection. He is already much better.

AND, as if it couldn't get any better, yesterday, I slammed Cole's finger in the minivan door. My sister, Erin, called to talk to me, so I was distracted trying to load the car (not blaming you sis), and I didn't look down before shutting the door. As the door was almost shut, I saw his thumb in the door and screamed... then he screamed louder. I ran him inside to get a cold pack, looked down at him, and there was blood everywhere. He had a huge cut on the underside of his thumb. I couldn't get it to stop, so I bandaged him up and rushed him to the doctor to pay another copay (that I don't have the money for). After an exam and x-rays, she gave us $25 band aid, and that's only the cost of the band aid before the other bills arrive.

I just can't cut a break. I am tired. Tired of worrying about money, tired of robbing Peter to pay Paul. Tired of looking for daycare kids, and wondering what the future makeup of our household will be. Why can't it ever just fall into place like I picture it in my head. Would it just be easier to go back to work? Is the stress it brings on worth me staying at home? Ugh. Like I said sorry it wasn't bubble gum and cupcakes, but I feel a little better.

Monday, September 14, 2009

"You Guys Really Have Something Special Here"

So we took the kiddos for an after-preschool lunch trip to BK this afternoon with my moms group. It's something we've done many times, and will do many more. I had noticed an older lady in the corner with her little boy (whom I thought at the time was her grandson). She was just eating lunch quietly with him and observing our group of mommies and masses of kids. I assumed she was probably rolling her eyes (on the inside of course) at the chaos we were all enduring.

I went to throw away my loads of trash when she stopped me and said "you guys really have something special here"... I was taken back. She proceeded to tell me that it wasn't everyday that you see a group of moms helping and coming along side each other the way that we were. She continued to talk to me for about 10 minutes about how she had a baby post-menopause, and at the age of 51, she felt very lonely with a toddler in tow. (FYI-I offered her info to join our group and she declined.) She then asked one final question that made me think all of the way home... "how did this group change your life?" Let me tell you...

I know this awesome group of girls that just get it. They understand why I am always 10 minutes late and a little disheveled. They get why some days my clothes are some days too big, some days too small, and occasionally they fit! They know why my hair is dirty, or not straightened. They understand why we use coupons for EVERYTHING, and instead of turning their noses when I admit to having a whopping .19 cents in our bank account (before deposit), they say at least it wasn't negative.

They are a great group of girls that will hold your baby, feed your toddler, and sometimes even change your kids diaper like they are their own. They bring you meals when you have a baby... or a hubby that just got laid off. They help you track down bargains at Target, and they make sure you ALWAYS get the best deal! They help hold hands, buckle car seats, clean up spills, load cars, watch kids, corral kids... whatever.

This group of girls will chat with you on a bad day or a good one. They offer advice on sleep habits, temper tantrums, poop, pregnancy, preschool, you name it. They will carpool with you to make the ride more bearable, or will sit in the backyard when you're stuck at home just to make the day more tolerable. They guarantee that I will get 2 hot meals a month (girls night out, and the organizational meeting) and a little time to recoup my mind, body, and soul.

And that's what it's really all about, our souls. They make my soul feel good. Some call us clickish, or like a sorority, but really at the end of the day, this moms group has gotten my soul through some really great, and some really tough times. We have something really special here, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Boys, Boo-boos, and "Buy me a bike"

I know it's been forever since I posted. I wish I was one of those mommies that could post once or twice a day, but I can't, don't, and won't. I have to be honest that this program runs so slow on my computer that it usually takes me at least an hour to create a post, and that time just usually isn't in my day... so here's a recap of the past couple of weeks.

First of all, here is a new pic of the boys together. It is rare that we get one of these...

Cole has been such a walking disaster waiting to happen the past couple of weeks poor baby. I think I may soon need some of my close friends to bear witness that I don't beat my children as he seems to have a new bump, bruise, or scrape every day. Wednesday night he stuck a toy tennis racket on his head. It got REALLY stuck. Brian tried tugging, and lotioning his head to get it off, but it would not come off. When Brian finally just pulled it off, all of the skin of his forehead came with it. Here is a pic of the walking wounded...

I know, the bandage is a little dramatic, but he really loved it, and he has used up all of my band aids this week. To top it off, this morning, he fell in the kitchen, and now has a huge bruise on his right cheek. Good Lord!

Finally we had a big boy moment this week. Cole bought a bike! Thursday morning we had a birthday party to attend at a park. We all decided we would bring bikes for the kiddo to ride, so I loaded the car with the bikes that we already owned... three beautiful tricycles. At the park, Cole jumped on his trike and took off, quickly to discover that most of the kids his age were riding real bikes. (Please understand his pride wasn't hurt, he just realized that there was something better out there.) So the kids rode their bikes, and Cole would sneak in short moments of riding the big bikes when his friends would walk away from their bikes. Bless his heart, he even skipped eating treats because he knew his friends would be occupied and this would be a perfect time for him to ride. So by the end of our time at the park, I knew where we were heading. Cole has been saving (out of our pockets) change for about a year now. When he gets little bits of money, we throw it in the piggy bank, and then occasionally, we take it to the bank for a deposit. We've kind of just been saving their money for a rainy day. I figured we would know when the time was right to offer spending it. This felt like the time. So, after Brian and I talked, we offered it to Cole that he could use his savings to buy a bike. He quickly accepted.

So he put on his bicycle helmet (he insisted upon wearing it), and we headed to the bank.

I wrote out his withdrawal slip, and he signed his name.

Then we went and chose a bike. We decided Walmart would be the most reasonably priced, and he found a great bike right in his price range... then the wheeling and dealing began. Carter obviously did not need a bike, but he was really missing that he did not have a helmet like the big boys, so we decided we would buy Carter a new bike helmet... Cole decided that he would give Carter his Sesame Street helmet, and he would get a big boy helmet. Honestly, it probably worked out for the best since the Sesame Street helmet had only been worn a couple of times, and it was much more age appropriate for Carter. So we allowed the transaction to occur. Carter was perfectly happy with his new helmet.

He even paid the cashier his "monies". He just couldn't wait to pay for that bike.

Cole has been so responsible with his bike. When he is done riding, he parks his bike and hangs his helmet from the handlebars.

Here are my two sweet babies on their bike getting ready to go for their first ride... fun times! We have spent the rest of the weekend park hopping so that they can ride around and try out their new wheels. They are growing up so fast!

Monday, August 31, 2009

First Day of Preschool!

It finally came, Cole started preschool today. After 6 months of waiting, visiting, enrolling, paying, talking about it, visiting again, and waiting some more, it is here! Our little baby made his very public entrance today!
I have to admit I was a little nervous last night. I spent a couple of hours cleaning and organizing the house, aka, nesting!
So here are some pics to enjoy...

Cole walking into his school.

This may be my favorite picture of him ever... doesn't he look like a big boy!

Family pic.

Getting ready to go into his classroom.

Daddy kissing Cole goodbye

Mommy kissin' Cole goodbye... at this point his good friend "J" had discovered Cole's presence.

The line of mommies and daddies eagerly awaiting to hear about the first day... Carter was SCREAMING in the back.

Cole waiting on mommy for pickup, Mrs. Brennan (his teacher) is the one in black and white.

Here's my boy after his big day... his first words, "Good morning mommy, we had snack with JOOCE (juice)!!!!!"

We are looking forward to a fun year at preschool!

Monday, August 24, 2009

One Year Ago Today

One year ago today...

  • I decided I was going to change for myself and my family.
  • I put two feet on the ARC trainer and lasted ten minutes before wanting to DIE!
  • I ate 2547 calories.
  • I HATED Diet drinks, diet foods (well, I call them diet... AKA, healthy) ;)
  • I weighed 259 pounds.
  • I wore a size 24-26... Online shopping and Lane Bryant were the only choice.
  • My kids had never heard the word exercise, much less understood it.
  • I was not sure this would last, I just had to hope.
  • I was not proud of my body.

Here are the embarrassing pics of the OLD ME:

  • I am still changing each day... I have a long way to go.
  • I work out 5-6 days a week for at least an hour.
  • I have run a 4 and a 5 mile race. (And I didn't come in last!)
  • I usually eat about 1500- 1600 calories.
  • I ONLY drink diet pop, I also love vegetables, fiber bars, and many other things I used to loathe!
  • I have lost 67 pounds! (48 pounds left)
  • I just bought a pair of jeans from the GAP, size 14! (Had to return the 16's, they kept falling down!!!)
  • When my kids see the sneakers, they know it's time to go to the Y. Cole says the East Y is his favorite.
  • I know this will last, but the battle faces me each day as I chose to eat well and go to the gym. Getting there is the hardest part.
  • I am proud of my still very imperfect body that can do more than I ever dreamed it could. I thank God for legs that can run, arm that can lift weights, a flabby tummy that has carried two babies, stretch marks, and lovely curves.

So lift your Diet Coke with me, and lets say "Cheers to a year of change!"

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

New Floors

So I know I have been out of commission for a couple of weeks, but I do have lots of fun things that I need to update everyone on.

I am going to start with the kitchen/laundry room/entryway re-tiling project.

Since I have kiddos that I keep during the school year, the time had come to get the project done, or we were going to have to wait for another time when kiddos wouldn't be in the way
in danger.
We started by tearing the floor up... this didn't take much since most of the tiles were coming up on their own. I think we finished that part of the project in less than an hour.

The next step was to lay new sub floor. Uncle Don came over to help Brian with that project. In the mean time, our friend Ed came over to tear out the cork floor in the entryway, and I sorted through each tile to make sure there were no imperfections or broken tiles. I had to go and exchange 7 out of 27 boxes of tile... (pretty bad stats if you ask me)... or I'm really picky.

Saturday morning our friend Larry came over to start laying the tile. He would lay tile while I stood behind him handing him the next one I wanted put down (I'm not a control freak... stop thinking that!)

Sunday was finishing the edges and small cuts of tile... then the real fun began... GROUTING! WHAT A MESS...

After the grout dried, we had to put a coat of seal on the tiles. As I was doing this, I realized that the grout color was not evening out, and it was drying about 10 shades lighter than I expected, so I ended up hand staining the grout.... each and every line of it... ugh!

FYI... after this was complete someone mentioned to us that this is not the first time that Lowe's has had trouble with their dry mix colored grout... AVOID IT ALL COSTS.

Here is a pic of the tile before the sealant, and after the sealant. Big difference.

One last coat of seal, and voila, new floors! What a joy to be homeowners.

Here is a pic of the new entryway.

These are the new curtains that I made for the kitchen windows. I have been looking for a pattern that I like for about a year now.

Finally, a special thanks to: Larry, Don, Ed, Karen, Melissa, Nick, Jenn, Jeff, Nana, and Bradley. (and if I forgot someone I am so sorry, I have been inhaling fumes to get this job done, ha!) You all helped us so much to finish this task whether it was giving us the emergency spot at Lowes, feeding us, watching our kids, moving furniture, or getting in there to actually get dirty. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for being such a wonderful support system to our family. We love you all.