Tuesday, October 11, 2011

October already, jiggidy jig!

Wow! The time is really flying lately. There are so many things I want to remember, so many feelings and smells and sounds. The way the kids look each night when we go to tuck them in:Olivia, usually spread eagle, never any covers, mouth sweetly closed and head cocked to the side. The boys: usually off their pillows, blankets either unused or crunched up at the bottom of their heads...their room smelling strongly of "boy". Claire, all cuddled up in her crib, a very light sleeper that wakes almost every time the door is opened and reaches up for "mommom".
Sam lost his first top front tooth two nights ago. He has been hanging onto that tooth forever, it seems, to the point that it was hanging sideways for at least a week before he finally pulled it while he was in bed the other night. the tooth fairy brought pokecards, so he was over the moon about that. Ahe is excelling in kindergarten, as we knew he would, and I have loved having the opportunity to volunteer in his class twice already. Jack's class will be starting small group next week, so I am really looking forward to getting to know his classmates too. Last week when I went in to plant pansies, Jack's teacher told me a cute story. One of their spelling words last week was "dam" and she said she had stressed all week that it was the kind of dam that holds water. She asked the students to write a sentence using each of their words, and one of the girls wrote, "Damn, that's good!". Hilarious!
Claire has been so much easier lately. All the kids were remarkably good on our drive down to Florida last month, and enjoyed their time at Disney. Olivia met the princesses at Cinderella's Royal Table, and Jack got his fill of roller coasters. We both loved the Bigfoot roller coaster at Animal Kingdom, and alot of the shows were really cute. Nemo at Epcot was a favorite again, because of it's aquarium at the end.
But back to Claire...constant kissy noises, lots of sweet hugs, much better listening, and general pleasantness has made her a joy to be with lately. She has actually stayed in her seat in the cart two times in a row at the store, which is a new record, and she sits at the table like such a big girl! I know she can be challenging, but when I realize how hard it is becoming for me to carry the big kids, I know how fleeting this time is. I want to soak up every moment...the joys, the frustrations, the love and snuggles...all of it!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Summer is ending...

The end of summer is rapidly approaching and I cannot believe it! We have done so many fun things and yet it feels like we JUST finished the last school year! I am filled with such mixed emotions about it all. This year, Jackson will be in First grade, and Sam will join him at the elementary school in KINDERGARTEN! that means, 5 days a week, both my boys will be gone for 7 hours. I will enjoy grocery shopping with fewer kids, and running errands/ feeding and cleaning up lunch will certainly be easier, but spending so much time away from my boys sounds terrible! Not to mention the race of getting the boys out the door, getting Olivia to preschool, running around, volunteering, soccer, karate, ballet and tap! Whew, I am getting tired just thinking about it all! Routine is nice, and the kiddos have been getting to bed so late this summer, it will be nice to have evenings back to spend with my hubs, but getting up at 7 instead of 9 is not going to be fun! MAYBE I will start more regular blogging again. they have said and done lots of cute things, and Claire is really just starting to talk, so I want to record these moments. If only I could type better on my iPad and/or figure our how to upload pics from the iPad to the blog....

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Summer 2011 (or man, my kids are spoiled!)

So far, even though summer has only been going for two weeks, we have managed to do quite a bit! Olivia's fourth birthday was last Sunday, and she had a great time at her ice cream themed party! My sister Jen and her kids stayed on from Monday to Wednesday, so on Monday we met Shell and her kids at Chuck E Cheese for lunch, then grilled out burgers and hot dogs while the cousins played outside in the hose and slip n slide. Tuesday we took all the kids to Busch Gardens, but got rained out before the fireworks. Jen's kids haven't been to an amusement park in ages, so they had a ball! Wednesday we caught the dollar movie (Megamind) before the cousins headed for home. Thursday I took the day to clean up the house, and it was Olivia's actual birthday so the kiddos spent the whole day outside playing in the hose and slip n slide, making water bottle tornados, eating Popsicles and drawing with sidewalk chalk. We got dressed and hit Chick fil a for dinner ( birthday girl's choice) and came home pretty worn out after letting the kids play in the funky smelling play area! Friday Ryan was off, so we hit Busch Gardens again. The fireworks were great, but we didn't get home until 12:40, and had the kids in bed after 1!!! Saturday we took it easy, but Connor and Caden came over to play outside with the kids and then it was our first edition of Kids in the kitchen! Jackson helped make eggplant parmesan, slicing the eggplants, breading them and dropping them in the pan. He also helped pick the basil, and chopped it up with scissors, and added the salad dressing ingredients and shook then up. Sam was in charge of brownies and did everything himself, including putting them in the oven. Olivia made the pasta, salting the water, and adding the pasta, and stirring it, of course! it went much more smoothly then I anticipated, and the kids were very proud of all their contributions to the meal. Today, we went to church and then spent a lazy afternoon playing outside and on the wii. Ryan made hot wing and fries for dinner (or chicken on the bone as the kids call it!) and we roasted marshmallows for s'mores on the fire pit. We pulled put glowsticks and flashlights and the kids played beside the tent we (Ryan) set up in the backyard. they showered and got Jammies on outside which was declared SO MUCH FUN! And settled into the tent with daddy to play chess and read stories. All in all, it has been a fun filled summer and it has only begun!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Conversation with Sam:
Me: Sam, Mrs. Ray told me you have a big part in your end of year program.
Sam: Oh, yeah. It's a leadership position. ( quite serious)

Claire said "night night" clear as a bell today. Maybe she'll talk one day after all!

Olivia had her ballet recital about 10 days ago and still talks about it nonstop. She was mimicking some of the older girls the other day and shaking her hips from side to side while pushing her hair back on both sides and saying " dontcha think I'm adorable!". She also told me the other day that she wants an Alice in Wonderland birthday again. But don't worry Mom, I'll just invite different people!

Jack came home today with a recommendation from the school art teacher for a summer art program, which doesn't surprise me a bit. He loves to draw and I have seen marked improvement all year. maybe we have a budding architect on our hands?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Lots of cuteness

The school year is winding down and I am so excited to spend time with the kids without the pressures of our crazy schedule. We ended up making a last minute trip to Florida last week as Ryan's grandmother is sick, and the kids were amazing despite spending about 30 hours in the car in a 4 day period. There was quite a bit of "are we there yet? How bout now? How.many.minutes.? That's a palm tree so we must be there NOW!". But overall they were incredible little travelers! Our schedule is so crazy that in order to be gone for 4days, we missed karate graduation, 2tball games (including being responsible for snack), 2 karate classes, 2 birthday parties, a field trip, and collecting for a teacher birthday!
Sam was so sweet yesterday at a birthday party as they blindfolded Olivia for a game and he whispered to the mom "make it kinda easy for her because she IS only 3 and a half."
I am seeing glimpses of the future like that from all of them. Yesterday after Jackson got off the bus, I was changing Claire's diaper when the phone rang. I asked him to bring it to me, and though I didn't recognize the number, I answered to hear "Is Jackson there?".
"Yes, he is. May I ask who's calling?".
"I wanted to talk to Jackson."
"Okay, who is this?"

Jack positively beamed from ear to ear when I told him the phone was for him and he wandered off talking to his friend from kindergarten. After about a minute and a half he came back and handed me the phone, shrugging. I took the phone and when I listened I could still hear someone on the other end. "Hello?"...."Easton?".
"Are you done talking to Jackson?
"Okay, well I am going to hang up now."
"okay. Bye."

I asked Jackson what they talked a out and he said, " I don't know. We just talked for a while about some stuff."
My little teenager!

The kids played outside today with the neighbors and when it was time to come in, Olivia came cruising up in a kids jeep saying, "mama, Mason is driving me home!" while giggling and tossing her hair back. Terrifying!

On our way home from karate, Olivia asked for some of my lip gloss. Claire watched intently as Olivia pooched out her lips and carefully applied just the right amount. As she finished, Claire thrust her hand out for Olivia to give her the lip gloss, and with a serious look, tried to unscrew the lid while pooching out her own lips like Olivia and trying to apply the lip gloss! 14 months old today and going on 14 years!

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Conversation at dinner last night:
Jack-we had p.e. outside today
Sam- No fair! You get to PEE OUTSIDE at kindergarten?
Me: No, no, no, NO! PE stands for Physical Education or gym class. Do not, I repeat, do NOT pee outside at kindergarten!!!!

I am so glad we had this conversation now before he dropped trou on the playground.

Sam registered for kindergarten today and the teacher said, "wow! He is just a WOW! The teachers are all fighting over who gets him next year already!".
I"m so proud of him. He reads very well, adds and subtracts, and knows so many things far beyond his years! I am quite sure he was the only child at kindergarten registration who, as he was reading a worksheet where you match the word with the picture on another part of the page, said "Well, I will draw a line from here to here, but it should actually say hatS instead os hat. because there are two of them!"

The teachers adored you Sam, but not as much as me. I'm so proud of you every day.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Soaking wet!

I'm not sure if the chaos has become so normal that it doesn't seem worth documenting, or if there is genuinely less hilarity around here, but it seems there just aren't quite as many funny stories to tell now that the three "big" kids are growing up. Tonight, however, I had one of those shocking, hilarious, only-when-you-have kids kind of moments. I had put Claire in the tub and begun scrubbing her hair when Olivia wandered in, having decided she would rather take a bath with Claire than a shower with the boys. She sat down on the potty and said " I forgot to be good today," with a pouty expression and downcast eyes. I looked away from Claire to focus my attention on Olivia, assuring her that despite her time outs, she was still a good girl and had been good much of the day. As Olivia and I Nuzzled and rubbed noses, I was shocked to attention by a sudden deluge of water flowing onto my lap. I yelled and looked up to see Claire grinning mischievously from the tub with a bucket in her hand. I was soaked all the way through my panties! And it made me and all three big kids laugh heartily at our rotten little miss Claire!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Silly kids

Ryan was out of town for FIVE days at a conference in Las Vegas and spending time with his dad and brother, so the kiddos and I hunkered down here at home and made the best of our time together. Roger sent me a picture of Ryan and his brother in front of their hotel called the LUXOR and as Sammy walked by and saw the picture, he said "WHOA! Dad's in EGYPT?!" He kills me!

The other day after Jackson came home from school, Sammy started chanting "Jack's got Bieber Fever," over and over, trying to get a rise out of his brother. I don't think any of them actually know who Justin Bieber IS, so instead of getting upset, Olivia started saying "Oh no, Mommy, Look at Claire...I think she's got the fever too!!!!"

When Ryan arrived home from his trip, he went in to check on the kids, and Sammy woke up as Ryan rearranged his covers. He looked up at Ryan, then wrapped his arms around his neck in a big hug and said "Welcome Home, Dad." Meltingly cute.

One of our survival nights while Ryan was gone, I took the kids through the Chick-Fil-A drive-thru after karate to pick up free kids meals (with coupons!) for dinner. As we waited in line, Olivia began singing, to the tune of America the beautiful, "O Chick....fil......A, O Chick.....fil......A!"
At least she has loyalties, right?!

Today in the car as the kids were watching the NEW Peter Pan movie, Olivia said something about "Jinkerbelle" and Jackson scolded her with "It's not JINKerbelle, it's TINKerbelle, OLIVIA!" and Sam jumped to her defense saying "She knows what it is Jack, she just can't say it because she's still little and we're older than her." Cute, defending his little sister!

Claire is ONE!

It happened. She really did turn one on Thursday. I just cannot believe she's really one, and yet as I see her personality emerging, I am so excited to know the person she is becoming. She clasps her hands together and chants along while we sing our "God our Father" grace song at meals, and claps for herself and her siblings! As the kids sang "Happy Birthday" to her on her special day, she swung her head from side to side, clapped her hands, and waited with wide-eyes and a cocked head for them to start over again when they were done!
I turned her seat around on the big day, and she has been much happier getting in the car. It's so strange to see FOUR little faces peering back at me from the back of the van!
The other night Olivia was taking a bath with Claire and began pretending that Claire was a baby wolf and I was the Momma wolf, and she was the sister wolf and we howled at the moon. Claire would get very serious, then tilt her head upwards, purse her lips together, and make a soft MMMMMMM noise. SOOOO cute! Her birthday party, just for family, the Wilsons and the Moores will be on Sunday with a PINK ladybug theme. It's pretty much a photo op for me, so I intend to douse the kitchen with pink and take LOTS of pictures of my adorable Claire!
She is not quite walking yet, although she has taken a step or two on her own, and is definitely capable, just not confident enough. She said "Mama," "Dada," "Uh-oh," and "Hi!" and I THINK has said a few other things, but nothing else consistent.
Happy Birthday to my sweet girl, even if you have been keeping me up at night for days on end! I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world! XOXO

Saturday, February 26, 2011

February 2011

So much has happened in the past month:
Olivia stopped using her pacifier. She just decided one night that she didn't need it anymore and that has been the end of it! SUCH a change from the traumatic taking away of the boys' pacis! I hope Claire's will go so easily! She has also worn her first french braids! Yay for her hair finally growing!
Claire's first birthday is in 5 days and I simply cannot believe she is about to be 1! She is doing so many adorable things right now, and more every day. I wish I had a camcorder with me every time I am with her so I can remember them all in detail! For some time now whenever she wants to get your attention, she cocks her head to the side and gets RIGHT up in your face, smiling all the way! It is certainly effective, and it makes her laugh and do it all over again! She is into ev.er.yth.ing! The other kids were deterred by the gate at the bottom of the stairs, but eventually figured out how to crawl under it and head up the steps. I think it took them a few MONTHS to figure that out. Claire took about 5 minutes. We started putting stools at the base of the stairs to block the opening under the gate, but she started moving those and heading up anyhow. She climbs into the kids' rocking chairs in the playroom so she can get into the toys on the table (all carefully placed there to keep them OUT of her reach, of course!) and is an unstoppable force when there's something she wants. I can't BELIEVE that she can lift my Le Crueset cast iron/porcelain cookware out of the cabinets, and yet she does it nearly every night while I make dinner. At this point, I worry more for the hardwood floors than anything else! She says "Mama" and "Dada" and "Uh-Oh" and just recently stood up to a balanced standing position on the back deck, spread her arms, beamed, and said "TAAADAAAAA!" She yells at the kids and bangs on the door if they are misbehaving and have to be reprimanded, and she loves to say "Numnumnumnumnum" to either indicate that she wants to eat or is thoroughly enjoying something she is already eating! She has taken a step by herself, and is perfectly capable of walking (doing it with toys, etc.) but just isn't quite ready to take that leap of faith. Her birthday party is going to be a pink ladybug theme, and I am so excited to get started, even if it is the last of its kind. Boohoo! I can't wait to turn her seat around in the car, though, and I think it will make her much happier to get into her seat. She is so happy, adventurous, and pleasant, loving to be spun, tossed in the air, or hung upside down, and if we could only get her to sleep all night, she would be the perfect little sweetheart!
Sammy had his Nursery Rhyme day at school, and man is that kid growing up fast and right before my eyes. When I mentioned it to him at first, he said "NO. I'm not doing it. Nursery Rhymes are for BABIES!" I informed him that it was homework, and therefore he WOULD be doing it, and after he turned down all my other ideas, he finally agreed to let me make him a stenciled 3 Blind Mice t-shirt, but only if he didn't actually have to dress up as anything. Later that day when he asked me for a drink of milk, I absentmindedly handed him a cup and he said "Even though it's pink, I'm just dealin' with it!" He's way too manyly for pink, you know. He was introduced to the hilarity that is "Winter Wipeout" at his friend's house and now requests that all the time, and fell in love with Angry Birds on the same friends' dad's "Smarty phone!" He is easily reading 1st grade books now and takes so much pride in his accomplishment. I hope his enthusiasm for reading and learning continues well into the future. He is a Senior Green belt now in karate and will test for his red belt in March. T-ball for the boys starts next week, and our evenings are going to be crazy once that all begins!
Jackson continues to do so well in school. He is well-liked by his teacher and classmates, and excels in his reading, easily reading Dr. Seuss and other 2nd grade books. He has said he doesn't want to play sports anymore, but I figured we would let him try t-ball again and if he truly doesn't like it, he can quit to pursue his interests in art. He and Sam are at the same level in karate and I just can't believe they've been at it for more than a year and a half now. His second report card came home, and he improved in the few areas that required work, and amazes me every day.
I'm sure there are so many more things to record, but after the night I had last night, I am fading fast and just needed to jot down a few things before they are forgotten forever.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The things Sammy says...

So this week was my "campout" in my car night at the preschool to secure a spot for Olivia next year. It was my FIFTH consecutive year, so I have it down to a science and it's really not a big deal to me. The kids thought it was crazy/funny that I was leaving after dinner to go sleep in my car, and I think they were a little concerned! After I had said goodbye and was heading out to the van, Sammy followed me to the garage door and began his interrogation:
S: "Mom, flashlight, check?"
Me: "Yep!"
S:" Sleeping bag, check?"
Me: "Check."
S: "Snack and drink, check?"
Me: "Check."
S: "Purse, check?"
Me: "Yep, check!"
Sam: "Alright then mom, see you in the morning!"
Is he really barely five?!
He had a playdate yesterday at his friend Gabe's house, who has a stay-at-home dad. Before we left he said, "I'm going to Gabe's house to have BOY privacy. Because his mom has to go to work, and his dad stays home, and since it's just me and Gabe and Mr. S, we have BOY privacy."
I love that kid!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

New Year, New Resolutions

It's time to buckle down. The baby is now 10 months old and not only sleeping through the night but on a regular nap schedule, so it's time to get back to my blog! Hopefully, this year I will do a better job of recording all the sweet (and not so sweet) nuances of the day-to-day life I share with my great husband and 4 adorable kiddos. Accepting how quickly time is passing is very difficult for me, but at least if I write it all down, it will be easier to revisit once my babies are grown. I was nearly brought to tears on Sunday when, during a family trip to the mall, I discovered the boys are now too tall for the play area. Granted, it is a nasty, germ-infested cespool and I should be grateful they can no longer beg for 15 minutes of running over the younger kids, but it is another marker that their toddlerhoods are behind them. We spent many hours when they were younger passing the morning at the mall, eating Chick-fil-A biscuits for breakfast, browsing Gymboree, and bribing them with the promise of 15 minutes of play area time at the end.
Speaking of time passing, we have had a busy coupla months! The time from Halloween until mid January is always a whirlwind for me, but this year in particular it was hopping! Halloween and its many festivities give way straight into Jackson's birthday (and the ensuing party at home, treats for the school, etc.), followed by Thanksgiving, Holiday shopping and decorating, Christmas (including teacher gifts for being the room mom for 2 of the classes, Christmas cards, baking, packing, etc.), and then coming home in time to take down Christmas and plan Sam's party in ONE week. I'm exhausted just listing all that! Toss in karate lessons twice a week, ballet once a week, doctor's appointments, elementary and preschool drop-off and pick-ups, and volunteering at the schools, and you have one crammed schedule!
Jackson chose a Star War Lego theme for his party this year, and after making his personalized invitations and creating/cutting out 25 character masks, I designed and made the mashmallow fondant cake, complete with chocolate legos and fondant light sabers, bought lightsabers for all, and designed tags for the bags full of sweet tart lego candy we send home with each child. Food included "Vader Potater Chips," "Yoda Soda," "Wookie Cookies," and "Hoth Chocolate." The kids and adults all had a great time, and I was forced to face the fact that my eldest is now 6 years old. Jackson continues to love school and excel, being selected as the highest reader in his class and chosen for an advanced reading program. His teacher has declared him to be sweet, consciencious and compassionate, although a bit too meticulous at times. He runs into my arms each day at the bus stop, and I love sweeping him up for a huge hug and kiss. It won't be long until he will be far too embarrassed to allow such a thing, so I am doing my best to enjoy it all now! Legos can occupy him for long periods of time, and he continues to be a fabulous big brother to Sam, Olivia, and Claire. He lost his first two teeth in December, and man, the tooth fairy had her work cut out for her. I can't even IMAGINE how hard it was for her to sneak in his room at night and pull out the envelope with the tooth without waking Jack OR Sam, and it must've been NEARLY impossible to put the crinkly bag of legos and dollar bill BACK under his sleeping head. I know that when I went in to check and see if she had visited, he was VERY quick to pop up and search for his goods. I think it took 4 tries and about 2 hours. Needless to say, it was a late night.
Christmas was filled with activities, like a family outing to see the James Center Grand Illumination, a gingerbread decorating party at the Rife's, a karaoke party for adults at the Borchert's, a night of popcorn and hot chocolate in pajamas as we took in as many of the tacky lights as we could stand, and a visit to the Children's Museum to see the Legendary Santa. We trekked to Williamsburg to spend a quiet weekend with Aunt Leah, Uncle Anthony, and Kinzie, and spent 9 days at Mimi's and our cousin's in Roanoke. We have had several good snows, and even missed a few days of school when we have blissfully hunkered down, lit the gas fireplace, and watched movies. Our elf on the shelf came back the night we were at the Grand Illumination and we found him on our Christmas tree when we got home that night. We found him each morning in all kinds of silly places, except a couple of times when it was either too windy for him to fly, or he decided to stay because we had been so bad he was giving us a second chance and wanted to be able to give Santa a GOOD report. *Snicker*
Sam has now turned 5 and his party was a Mad Scientist theme. I had ONE WEEK to pull it all together when we got home from Roanoke and it was a desperate dash to collect 14 white men's dress shirts and get them sewn in to little lab coats for all the guests. Ordering the science supplies from Amazon was easy, and Lowes was kind enough to donate 18 pairs of kid sized goggles so we could wear authentic scientist outfits. We made homemade lava lamps, played with instant snow, made water gel and a tornado, a yeast/peroxide volcano, and a diet coke/mentos geyser. We predicted and tested sinking versus floating, and the cake was an active volcano, complete with dry ice to create smoke coming out the top and sparklers for the fire. By the way, I had NO IDEA dry ice was such a pain in the toosh to store. When I picked it up on Friday for the party on Saturday, I was told it might dissipate before the party even started. I had to purchase 10 pounds of pellets, and store it in two coolers, tucked with towels and newspaper! The food included "Lime Slime Jell-o," "molecular structure cheese ball station," and "acid and base salsa and chips." The kids were sent home with their lava lamps, lab coats, goggles, and Pop Rocks. For once, they were actually engrossed in an activity the whole time, and it wasn't a free-for-all of wild kids running around my house! The Deeter cousins spent the night and the kids were in heaven! He now has his first loose tooth, which I CANNOT believe, and is starting to amaze me with his ability to read and do math. The doctor and nurse were very impressed at his 5 year checkup, not only because he continues to be in the 95- off the chart percentiles for height and weight, but because he knows far more than the average 5 year old. We figured out today, he'll be a karate Black Belt at 8! Crazy!
Olivia is a bundle of energy and so very loud! We have decided her only volumes are ridiculously loud and asleep! I'm not sure if it's just her personality (from her father's side of course!) or a conditioning from no one listening to her most of the time, but man it can make you crazy. Good thing she's so stinkin' cute so we haven't had to lock her outside in the cold...YET! We discovered last week, after months of her SWEARING there was a little girl in her ballet class named "Kikkidy" (and my proclamations that there is NO ONE NAMED KIKKIDY!) that there is a girl named "Kennedy" and she was confused! She also continues to love school and cheer for the days when she goes (just Tuesdays and Thursdays). She can now write her name and is starting to pick up way more street smarts than we are ready for!
Sweet Claire is now clapping, waving, and saying "Mama," "Dada," Nana" (banana), and "Nighnigh," (for night - night). She eats all sorts of things, preferring to feed herself to anything spoonfed, and is crawling military style and on all fours. She pulls up, cruises, and has just begun pulling things out of cabinets, baskets, and tabletops as quickly as she can get there! She still loves peek-a-boo, and nothing more than spending time with her 3 adoring siblings!
So there you have it! Can't wait to see what 2011 has to bring for our family!

Olivia, tonight, when served her dinner of soup and side of "Pirate's Booty" popcorn, said "Daddy, I didn't want any PIRATE HEINIE!" Haha!

And Sam, asking for "Eye of the Tiger" to be played on the Ipod said, "I need to work out my arms a little bit!" He also told me (as I tried on clothes to clean out my closet), "Oh, yeah, that's a keeper! You should wear that on a date!" Way beyond his years!