Monday, June 30, 2014

When You Are Sick of Big T-shirts

You make cute night shirts out of them!

My girls are perpetually in daddy's big comfy shirts.  Not just at bedtime, but all the time!  I'm sick of them.  Really.  Really.  Sick.  So I made them cuter without making them less comfy.  I just took the sleeves off and moved them up.  Then I trimmed the shirts down A-line style and sewed them back up.

I really wanted to add elastic to the sleeves and collar, but who knows what kind of effect that would have had on the comfort factor for my Princess and the Pea!  So I did a quick machine applique with fleece or minky fabric sewed on the inside of the shirt just in case they could feel the stitches.  Yes, they are that picky!  Mainly it is Hannah, but recently, in her quest to become like Hannah, Genna is doing it too.

So much better!

I also took some pajama pants of mine and refashioned them to fit the girls since I am tired of their rotating two pairs of pajama pants as well.  Hannah has been refusing to admit that the reason she is hot and asking for me to turn the A/C down is that she has been wearing fleece pants all summer.  I picked some super soft, but thinner, old pants of mine for her.  I didn't hem them because I wanted to make sure they fit and see what length they wanted, but I couldn't pry them off their bodies to finish hemming them, so I'll do it when they get washed.  If they will ever take them off to wash them, that is.  Apparently, the pants "feel like a cloud."

Hannah's not a hugger.  Can you tell?

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Two year olds are just plain funny.

Drew, Drew, Drew.  He's a mess.  He's been my hardest toddler, but, boy, is he charming.  Just the other night Brian called to talk to all the kids.  While Drew was waiting for his turn, he says, "I not know where I'm am."
That's not a typo.  He really talks that way.
I told him he was silly because he is obviously sitting on the couch.  He corrects himself and asks what he was really meaning to ask the first time, "I not know where Daddy is."  Then he gets on the phone and says, "Are you at home, Dad?"  Then he says, "Are you in the phone?"  (Brian must have told him he was at work.  He takes the phone away from his ear, and looks at it all confused.  "How'd you get same phone at work dad?"

Later I tried to explain about the phone.  "Drew, did you think Daddy was in the phone?"
He said that he did.
"Then you probably think Mimi lives in the phone too, huh?"  I asked.
Yes, he did.
I explained about how phones work and everyone has a different phone, yada yada.  His response, "Oh."  (pause) "My band-aid is wader poof.  Hannah toed me dat."
Again, not a typo.  That's my boy.

He's been calling Judah, Babe.  Super cute.  And one of my favorites is when he says, "To the Batcave!" when heading to the bathroom or to his room.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

I wear my goggles at night

I can't get him to take them off.

We've been at the pool everyday this week since it is the first week it is open during the day and Isaac has pre-team 4 days a week until the end of July unless he gets kicked out and made to take swim lessons again.  He's doing much better than he was on the first day, but he couldn't quite pass the swim test on the first day so he is in the group that might get kicked out at the end of this week.  His whole problem is his confidence level stinks in just about every aspect of his life, except reading and golf.  I don't know why, but he is so hard on himself.  I was super proud of him for trying so hard for the swim test, but he came to me and burst into tears as I am asking for a fist bump.  I don't get it.  I told him that I was so sure that he could swim that if we had a private pool I would just throw him into the middle of the deep and prove it to him.

Drew is loving the pool and swims all over with his "puddle jumper" on.  He could learn to swim if they would take him in the swim lessons without me having to go in with him or if I had a free hand to help him learn.  I've just got my hands full with Judah right now.  He loves the goggles and wears them on his head most of the day.  Now if I can just get him to obey me when it is time to leave and let the girls help him then we'd be golden.

Judah is loving the water, but he hasn't quite figured out that he can't just crawl and keep going on the bottom of the pool.  It's a zero entry level pool.

The girls disappear with their friends the moment we get there and I barely interact with them the whole time.

Everyone is pink and exhausted every afternoon.  I love summer!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Strawberry Picking

Strawberry picking was fun, especially since our friends came with us!  The kids are not nearly as good at strawberry picking as they are at apple or blackberry picking since you have to get down and look harder for the good strawberries that haven't been nibbled by the animals.  So that means that our stash of strawberries was gone in just three days without me getting to use them in any recipes at all.  They were deliciously sweet while they lasted!

I washed them really good in vinegar since there was a lot of animal poop around on the ground.  Speaking of poop, Drew had to go to the bathroom only minutes after we arrived.  I spent most of the time trying to both have a conversation with a dear friend I don't get to see much and bending down and help pick strawberries while wearing Judah on my front (should have put him in the back) and with Drew following me around whining that he had to "poooooop."  The best part was when we finally get him to a port-a-potty and I suck it up to set him on the thing, he can't go.  Just an everyday field trip for our family.

Trying to distract the boy by letting him carry the bucket of strawberries.

Answer Me This: Father's Day

I'm linking up with Catholic All Year again this week!

1. What’s something you intended to do today, but didn't?
I really wanted to plant my tomato plants, but it won't! stop! raining!  The summer's going to be over before I get these things in the ground.

* Since writing this post, it did actually stop raining, but somehow I still haven't planted anything.

2. What's your favorite grilling recipe?
It doesn't really have a name or a link to the best of my knowledge and Goggle's as far as my search terms held up, but my sister-in-law told me about this one.  You stuff a whole cabbage with a mixture containing ground beef, ground sausage, bacon, and some of the chopped cabbage that you dug out of the center with some onions all cooked in a skillet.  Add in BBQ sauce before you stuff the cabbage.  Wrap it in foil and grill it for 45 mins or something like that.  Really good, but not for the faint of heart because it is meaty and fatty!

3. What movie did you see most recently?
I can't remember the last movie I saw.  Brian and I have been watching TV series stuff lately and not bothered with a movie in a long time.  Hmm, let me think...yes, I remember now.  The Book Thief.  I read the book and got in on Netflix one night when Brian was out.  He didn't want to watch it with me.  I liked it, but as always, the book was better.  There was too much in the book and some had to be cut for it to be a movie and not a mini-series, obviously.  Come to think of it, they should have made a series out of it.

4. Would you say your tendency is to over or under react to medical situations?
Medical situations, I feel like I don't overreact anymore, but I used to when Hannah was a baby.  I would panic and run to the doctor every time she got a temp of 104 which was every other week for a while once I stopped nursing.  I figured out how they got her temperature down and started just doing it at home.  It seemed like it was always a virus and nothing we could do but keep her as comfortable as possible.
Over the years, I have learned to trust my gut.  When Genna (at 18 months) fell out of the stroller and would not stop crying...ever, my gut told me this wasn't normal for her and something must be wrong.  Right.  Broken arm.
When Isaac suddenly stopped sleeping through the night and refused to take naps anymore, I took him to the doctor based on a gut feeling, but kind of thinking they are going to laugh me out of the office.  Lots of babies stop sleeping through the night and refuse naps, but it turned out it was the first of many many ear infections for him.  He just didn't present any other symptoms, like fever or ear pulling.
When Drew had a high fever and I noticed a big red lump on his knee, I knew I was going to the ER and again I was right to go.  He had a bad infection inside his knee and needed a needle aspiration and antibiotics.
And most recently, when Judah's cough turned into the worst sound I've ever heard over night I knew we were headed to the doctor then too.  He had pneumonia and needed antibiotics.
It's not a perfect system, my gut instinct, but it's been working for the big stuff.  However, I am the worst over-reactor to certain things that involve loud noises sounding like children falling down the stairs or other really dangerous things happening to my kids, especially when I can't see it.  I hate that and I am really working on that reaction since my house now daily sounds like someone is falling down the stairs, and I can't have eyes on everyone all the time.  I am working on letting it go.  (Great!  Now the Frozen song will be in my head all night.)

5. Do you squeeze the toothpaste tube or roll it?
I am a little bit lazy about the "clean up as you go" business.  I don't do things the easy way.  I feel like in my mind is a running ever-growing to do list.  My husband sent me this article.  All the parts where she is distracted by thoughts of new things she needs to do is just like me.  I can't manage to take the extra time to do something like hang up my clothes the moment I take them off or something as proactive as roll the toothpaste tube because of my inner dialogue of all the things that must be done right this minute.  That confession makes me sound a little bit nutty, huh?

6. What are you doing for Father's Day?
We are did our Father's Day stuff on Saturday because of an untimely work trip.  Our 13th anniversary is the next day and I have no idea when we'll get to celebrate that.  But I already got my presents!  Yay, eShakti dresses!  I am going to look very Lucille Ball in one of them while vacuuming.  Picture this:  Lucy vacuuming with one hand up poised and idle in the air and one hand on the vacuum with her perfect hair up with Little Ricky playing quietly on the floor.  Now change Lucy to me.  Keep the hand positions and the vacuum.  Keep the cute up-do, minus the curls.  Replace Little Ricky with one baby crawling around holding onto my leg, one toddler following me and whining that he is hungry or wants to watch Batman for the 4th time this week with his shoulders drooping, one five year old jumping on the couch...AGAIN, and two girls trying to tell me some story or show me their newest rainbow loom creation.  And there you have it!  Domestic bliss.

Here's one of my new dresses!  I wore it to Mass on Sunday.  No time for updo since we went to the 7:30am Mass because of Judah's nap during our normal time.  Plus, I braided both girls' hair so no time for mine.

I love that these dresses are stylish, modest, and button down (nursing accessible).  The last one is a big one since I am going on my 61st month of nursing if you add it all up in the last nine and a half years.

Domestic Exhaustion
Oh, yeah, Father's Day, we went to a brew pub for dinner and the kids made him some cute crafts and cards.  I got him two t-shirts with "Come and Take it" in Greek on one and "Don't Tread on Me" on the other.  Plus, I made my Primal husband some of his favorite flour-less brownies (secret ingredient = black beans).  We spent some good family time together this weekend.  Brian finally got to take the kids to the Lego brick store.
Father's Day Dinner

We got a late start heading to the restaurant on Saturday night due to the busy schedule of the day and Judah had us all a little worried on the drive up there since he wouldn't sleep and was exhausted from being awake since 2pm.  He never did sleep until we got home around 8:30pm and could put him properly in his bed.  However, he was a stellar patron of the brew house eating his weight in Cheerios, avocados, and sweet potatoes and everything else I could find to give him.  "Just keep feeding me, Mom, and everything will be O.K.  I won't cause an uprising with food in my mouth."

Monday, June 9, 2014

Interview with Superman

This was supposed to be an impromptu interview with Drew, but ended up being an interview with Superman.  His personality is God's gift to us since he can be very exhausting at times.  What a gift it is!

A common punishment for the oldest three children is to have then "write sentences" which means that they copy either a rule they broke or, more often, a Bible verse (or verses) relating to the offense.  They all hate to write and they all need extra practice writing so it does double duty.  I also sometimes have them write loving letters to each other if they were involved in a quarrel.  Anyway, the other day Drew was trying to get Isaac to play something with him.  Isaac was reading (as usual) and didn't want to play right then.  Drew came up to me in the kitchen.  He whined, "Mooom, can you mate Isaat write sentencezzzzz."  He still makes all his k's sound like t's.  I thought that was pretty funny that he thought because Isaac wouldn't play with him, he should be punished.  What a stinker!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Funny Eating

Judah recently started eating his baby food in this funny dramatic way.

Sometimes I feel like I am slacking on the picture taking and the recording for him, but I think it is less because he is number 5 and more because he is just 23 months younger than Drew.  Drew, being the incredible handful that he is, requires a lot of time from me.  The big kids help me a ton with him, but the discipline part is all me (and Brian when he's home) and that seems to be Drew's main requirement.  Ha!

Spider Monkey Judah

So Judah is pulling up on everything now and is much sturdier.  He doesn't fall very often anymore.  


He is doing the normal crawl sometimes, but his army crawl is so fast that it is his go-to crawl when he needs to move faster.  He looks like Spider-man crawling up the side of the building or something.

Bath tub is still leaking so kitchen bath pictures abound.

Mischievous, right?

Don't eat the apple, Snow White!

See!  It wasn't even a poisonous one, Mom.

Come to think of it, I do feel a little bit sleepy.

Judah is eating almost half real food now.  He still will eat most kinds of mushed or pureed food, so we do that some too.  Things he seems to enjoy especially are watermelon, bananas, pears, chicken, green beans, all beans, and even broccoli.  He LOVES hummus and seems to even recognize the container it comes in.  He eats a few Cheerios at eat meal while I am preparing his food, but he hasn't been enjoying oatmeal as much lately so I am taking a break from that to see if he likes it again in a week or so.  Much to my other children's dismay, I have been doing more soups lately because it is easy to pull out stuff for him to eat and everything is soft.  I do have to pull his part out before adding dairy though.  I tried again to see if he is still reacting to the dairy.  I pulled out the green beans and black beans from our left over soup that had milk added to it and just the tiny bit of sauce left on them caused his whole chin to be red and splotchy.

Putting that mean pincher grasper to work for the good this time.  Pick up watermelon to eat, not Nerds and stink bugs!

For the record this guys has been a really good sleeper since around 6 1/2 months.  He always goes to bed awake and without a fuss.  However, in the last three days he has been randomly crying when I put him to bed.  It's not long, and I am pretty sure that it has something to do with the fact that he know is pulling up and standing in his crib (pack-n-play.)  Also, some of this could be an after effect of him being sick and having a whole night of me holding him.  Initially, it didn't seem to effect him because he was just so exhausted and catching up on his sleep, but once he got caught up is when it seemed to hit.  Hope it's a short phase because I have been so thankful that he is sleeping better than that whole period between 4 and 6 months.  I am thinking he is also pretty ready to drop the evening cat nap.  The hardest two things about that will be that 1. that's when I cook dinner, and 2. that means we have to be home for his other two naps because there are no do overs in the evening if he gets a short nap on the go.  Normally, we are home, but somethings can't be avoided with the older kids in activities and such.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Answer Me This: Smart phones, dinner, and baths

This is my first attempt at joining in Catholic All Year's Answer Me This.  

1. Do you have a smart phone?
Yes, as a matter of fact, I just got one in May.  A better question would be Do I know how to use it yet?  Answer:  Mostly, but there is so much I don't know yet.  I resisted getting one for so long thinking it was more a toy than useful tool.  Then I saw all these people doing crazy things like looking up the Amazon price before making a purchase at a store or looking up a restaurant, spur of the moment, without having to drive home first to look it up on the computer.  Now a month later I can't imagine my life without Google at my finger tips.  I am trying my best to keep it a tool and not a toy though.
2. Which is your favorite meal of the day?
Dinner.  It's the only meal I am guaranteed to have and to sit down for.  Plus, my whole family is there usually to scream through it enjoy it with me.  I usually put a good amount of thought into my dinners as well.  I don't typically make it for dinner if I don't like it.  That's the benefit to being the chef of the house.  The downside, of course, is that I do most of the work.

This week, among other things, we have enchilada soup, minestrone (with sausage for hubby's benefit,) and brisket (a kid favorite) with a new carrot salad on the menu.

3. Shower or bath?
I currently do not have the master bathroom of my dreams and it only has a shower, If you've never seen it, here it is.  BUT if I did it would have both a shower and a separate bath so that I could take baths whenever I have time.  Don't know when that would be, but I'd like to think it would be at least once a week when I don't have to do some crazy shower circus act, juggling babies and toddlers like Jenny at Mama Needs Coffee.
I can dream, right?

4. Think of a person you love. How many days have you been in love with that person? 
The obvious person here is my husband.  I have loved him for 5,831 days as of June 1, 2014.  I used the date calculator here and the start date being the day I told him that I loved him.  So the math is fuzzy since who knows when I actually started loving him.  I am certain it was before this date, but since I know this date this is what I am going with today.  

This is the earliest picture of us dating that wasn't completely humiliating.  We must have been at his best friend's place at t.u. because he was the one in love with Audrey Hepburn.

And just for fun these were our engagement pictures.

My husband looks soooo young!  When did we get old?

5. What's the best church you've ever been inside?
Well, that is a loaded question since we went to so many beautiful churches all over Europe.  The obvious answer would have to be St. Peter's because, well, besides it being in the Vatican and amazing, Pope Benedict XVI was there and he blessed my oldest three children (the last two weren't born yet.)  It was an amazing moment is all I can say and we have the picture of the top of the my head and Hannah's head head to prove it.

6. Happy Feast of the Visitation! Has anyone ever come to help YOU?
So.  Many.  People.  

The person who has helped me the most often would be my mom.  She has come to help me after almost every baby was born.  She is a wonderful and supportive mother and I am blessed to be her daughter.

There have been two times when I have been in the hospital (for other reasons than a planned childbirth kind of thing,) living far from family as usual, and really needing someone to help with my children.  Once when Brian and I both got a crazy stomach flu at the exact same time.  Hannah had just turned a year and I was pregnant with Genevieve.  Overnight I became super dehydrated and the next morning drug myself to the OB with Hannah while Brian went to the doctor too.  Brian got a bag of fluids pushed and came and got Hannah from me because they admitted me overnight to re-hydrate me.  We didn't want Hannah to get sick and a friend of ours, Sherry, came and took care of Hannah and even tucked her into bed that night for us.  Brian felt better the next morning and was able to take over, but I was so grateful, especially since we hadn't lived in New York very long and didn't know very many people.

The second time was when Brian was gone for a year and I had surgery.  My friend, Jill, whose husband was gone with my husband, was so very supportive the whole year.  When I was putting off surgery until Brian got back, she gave me the push I needed to go ahead and have it done with before the men returned.  She promised to take care of my sweet children while I was in the hospital and recovered.  She is so great with little kids that I never once worried about my babies.

That was fun!  I might just try this again.

Monday, June 2, 2014

AHG Award Ceremony

Before the ceremony
 This year Hannah earned the following badges:  Aviation, Native American, Textile Arts, Sign Language, Book Adventurer, Cooking, Fishing, Music Performance, Sewing, and Golf.  Genevieve earned all of those except golf.  they both earned two service stars for their 10 hours of community service.  Plus, Hannah bridged to the next level and earned her Sacagawea level award, so she will be an Explorer next year (or I guess, is officially one now!)  Genna cries every time we talk about AHG because Hannah and a couple of their friends all bridged and she has another year.  She totally has good friends still in with her as a Tenderheart, but she has a hard time when Hannah has to be in a separate group than her.  They are in SO much together, same piano, same German school class, same golf even this year.  Hannah does basketball without Genna, but Genna doesn't do anything without Hannah.  It'll be a good experience for them.  She'll get over it...I hope!

Hanging out with their friends after the ceremony.  The leis have the badges pinned to them.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Hannah's Drawing of a Patriot

This is from the Draw and Write Through History series.  It is a step by step drawing book that they can do on their own while I read the Story of the World history text to them when there is no coloring sheet.  I was super impressed with this particular drawing.  She tends to not enjoy following the directions and going through all the steps, but when she does it turns out amazing.  I hope I can get her to do more of this type of drawing.