Monday, September 16, 2013

Kate is 1, Caroline kicks the pacifier, School is off to a great start!

Kate celebrated her first Birthday with family, a beautiful cake made by Aunt Jennifer, and too many presents!  The Birthday girl was not too impressed with getting messy while eating cake, but she did look cute even through the tears!
We were dreading taking the pacifier away from Caroline because of her serious attachment to it while sleeping.  We held off and held off and we decided when the boys went back to school it was time to get rid of it. I laid Caroline down in her crib one night, tucked her in, and simply told her we had to throw the pacifier away.  BAM.  That's all it took.  Why were we so worried?  She is waking up routinely at 4:45 a.m. and it takes a little coaxing on my part to get her to fall back asleep, but she usually dozes off for another hour or so. I call this a semi-success...

The 2013-2014 school year is off to a great start!  The boys love their teachers and have so many sweet things to say about the kids they have already met.  Thomas' teacher told me he knows his letters quite well!  You can probably imagine the surprised look on my face when I was given this information at the end of a school day last week!  So, some things are sticking?  Excellent!  Jack has already worked so hard on all things encompassing the letter 'a' and he is not as upset about being asked to write as he was two weeks ago.  Baby steps!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Where does the time go?

I feel like summer was over before it even got started.  In May, we were playing in the sprinklers almost daily and running up the water bill like crazy.  All of a sudden it's August and we are buying backpacks and lunch boxes for another school year!

This summer was full of outside fun, popsicles, swim lessons, movie dates, a few Birthdays, potty training, and of course... some chaos.

Jack will be in a TK classroom this year, which will allow him to have one last year of preschool under his belt before he takes on kindergarten.  We are hoping that because we have decided to hold him back, he will benefit from being one of the oldest kids in his class.  He loves his current school and he can't wait to get back into his routine!  He is excited to share his school with his little brother and maybe a little worried too.  Our neighbor told us that Jack said he is going to have to sit by the door in school so he can look after Thomas to make sure he is not getting into trouble.  Oh, my!!!

Thomas will be starting preschool this year in the same building with Jack.  I'm not even sure where to start with how I feel about Thomas going to school.  Not true, I am thrilled and a little anxious about him going to school!  I think Thomas will be happy being out from under my wing and learning the ropes from someone else besides good old mom.  Thomas' teacher called this week and introduced herself.  She was just as sweet as sweet can be.  She seemed to have a kind, fun-loving personality and she said she likes the ornery ones!  Thank God!  I feel like Thomas is in the right place. 

 Despite the fact that she would really like to go to school with the boys, Caroline will not be starting school this year.  Instead, she is really looking forward to the gymnastics class that she is signed up for this Fall.  She potty trained herself in the beginning of July and I am just blown away at how easy it has been to transition from diapers to princess underpants!  She never ceases to amaze me!  Caroline did take a tumble while playing in the basement, which did land her in the ER with four stitches right in the center of her forehead.  She handled the entire event like a champ.  I on the other hand, did not.  All I can say is, it is a huge blessing to have healthy children.

Kate will be one next week and that is why I titled this entry with, "Where does the time go?".  Our sweet Kate has been such an easy-going baby.  She hardly ever fusses.  She laughs at the kids all of the time, she constantly smiles,  and she just melts our hearts.  She has three teeth and the Chiclet on top is one for the record books!  We took family pictures last night that captured that smile perfectly, I'm sure!  She is starting to pull herself up on anything and everything and I know it will be just a few short months before she is running after the other kids.  To end this post on a very positive note, after next week, we will never have to buy formula again! Wooowhooo!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

On the Move, Purses, A Potty Mouth, and Such a Great Helper

Kate is almost eight months old now and it seems like yesterday we were taking her home from the hospital. She truly is the sweetest, happiest baby. She hardly makes a fuss about anything and she just smiles at the drop of a hat! She just recently started loving baby food and table food! She has shown signs of wanting to sit up on her own and she has made some efforts to get up on all fours. I have been perfectly content with her lack of interest in crawling because it's just too nice to hold her, but I know it's time and I guess I don't have to like it, but I can accept it.

Our sweet Caroline is now two and has dived right into being a girly girl. For quite some time I wasn't sure if she would ever put down the cars to pick up a Barbie, and now, I can't get her to put her purses down long enough to eat breakfast in the morning. Literally her first words after she wakes up in the morning are, "where are my purses"? She carries around a Hello Kitty wristlet and a purse decorated with peace signs and hearts from the moment she wakes up until we tare them off her for bedtime. It's actually pretty funny because she never even looks inside the purses to play with the cell phones, keys, lipsticks, necklaces, bracelets, and random toys she has stolen from the boys. My mom was worried about Caroline carrying around so much weight on her arm so she actually emptied out the contents of her purses one day last week. It took Caroline over 24 hrs. to even realize that they had been emptied!

My good friend Tom, and by that, I mean my adorable son with a potty mouth at the moment, is giving me gray hair these days. He has been testing the waters with words that really aren't 'bad' words, but are words I don't want my three year old saying.   I am open to helpful suggestions/solutions if you have any!!!

Jack has become the best helper!   He offers to clear the table after meals, he helps Caroline with her toys, he shares willingly with Thomas, and he even helps feed Kate when I need an extra set of hands! Corey and I look at Jack daily and just smile whole- heartedly at the sweet, kind, young man he has become.  I find myself thinking...there is hope for the rest of them, right?

Monday, March 4, 2013

Princess CarolineTurns Two!

   Our sweet Caroline turned two yesterday!  The day was full of fun and surprises! She woke up to pretty balloons and some delicious pancakes made by dad!  She received her first Barbie, Cinderella of course!  She wore a beautiful Cinderella dress given to her from Nana and Grandpa at her princess party and she was spoiled rotten with too many presents!  She definitely had her cake and ate it too!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

New glasses, talks with teachers, and Flu Shots

   Corey is traveling a lot more often for work which is definitely hard on both of us.  He hates leaving those four sweet faces and mine too of course!  It's so hard not having him home at 5:30 every evening to help me with the craziness of dinner, clean up, baths, and the bedtime routine.  On days when he is in town, I often count down the hours until he gets home.  I'm sure other moms do that too, right?   It's just so comforting to have your spouse home and to forge through the evening chaos together. 
   So last week while Corey was out of town for work, I had to take all four little ones to the optical shop to get Thomas' new glasses.  There is always a little bit of anxiety about taking all of the kids to a place where so many things are so breakable...but this was an errand that could not wait.  In the car I gave the kids a talk about appropriate behavior while Thomas was getting fitted for his new glasses and I promised them a treat if they could come through for me.  Bribery is probably not the best parenting tool out there, but in some circumstances it seems to be the best option. 
   Needless to say, the kids were very well behaved.  No one broke anything.  They sat in chairs and waited patiently for Thomas to get his glasses and no one made a scene!  I was a happy momma!  Chocolate shakes all around!  Well, not for Kate!

   My in-laws are kind enough to take and pick up Jack from preschool for me.  This is a huge blessing considering Jack's school requires that all students are to be walked into the classroom and picked up from the classroom.  This probably seems like no big deal, but it is a huge pain for a mom with multiple small children. At the beginning of the school year I was dragging in the double stroller for the girls and I had Thomas and Jack on foot close by.   We were dodging parents and kids all the way into the school and we barely made it in the classroom without me yelling at Thomas to stay with me.  Something that should have been a simple task was an event that made me sweat. 
    Now that Mike and Lisa have offered to help with this routine part of our day, a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders.  Unfortunately for Lisa last week, Jack's teacher had to let her know that there was an issue that needed to be addressed.  Jack has been struggling with the personal space of his classmates.  He has not been keeping his hands to himself and this behavior needs to be corrected. 
   Corey and I each had a talk with Jack about respecting other people's personal space and about keeping his hands to himself.  During my talk, Jack couldn't help himself, he was rubbing the side of baby Kate's face and completely not realizing that my talk about not touching other people could also mean not touching his siblings.  AHHHH.  We have so much to work on! 
   I am planning on taking the little guy to school tomorrow so I can get the scoop from his teacher about what I can do to help at home.  I am sure this is the first of many talks with one of my child's teachers.

   Flu shot or not to get the flu shot?  Well that is the question I have bounced off several close friends this winter.  Corey and I did not get the kids vaccinated this flu season and not because we were completely against the idea, but more like we simply forgot to do so.  How does that happen?  I'm not really sure.  I actually thought the kids had been vaccinated until I asked Corey about it and he confirmed that he had not taken the kids in for the shot. Ohhhhh shoooooot. 
   Well, flu season is half way over and we have still not gotten the flu shot.  I am sure there are plenty of parents who could not imagine not getting their kids the shot and would condemn us for not doing so.  I also know there are plenty of parents out there who think the shot is not a guarantee to ward off the flu and therefor not necessary.
   Unfortunately, our kids have had colds most of January and we are battling another round of colds this February.  I guess the flu shot Gods are laughing at us right now.  I am guessing that next year we will be on top of this issue and everyone will get the vaccination as soon as it is available. 
   *Parenting failure number 'too many to count.'

Thursday, January 24, 2013

It's never too late for pumpkins and candy!

 So, in a frantic attempt to update the blog I left out Halloween.  Who does that?  This past year the boys were dressed up as their favorite superhero, Spiderman of course. Due to Caroline's intense love for Beyonce's music, I wanted to dress her up in the "single ladies" costume from Beyonce's video.  Unfortunately, it was pretty cold this past Halloween, so there was a last minute costume change to a monkey.  It was Kate's first Halloween and she wore an adorable Mud Pie outfit and slept through most of the festivities!

 Carving Pumpkins...some were fond of the activity, others not so much.

Our first attempt to produce something a little more difficult than the average jack o' lantern.

Jack and Thomas

Kate and Jack

Best friends!

The whole gang...just eight for now!

Grandpa and Caroline

Nana and Caroline

Trunk Or Treat

Love this one of Jack...

Every one's favorite superhero x2!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Nancy our Elf on the Shelf

The Christmas season was glorious this year!  We enjoyed preparing for Christmas by making cookies, making ornaments, decorating the house, placing a few tacky blow ups in front of our house etc.  We also introduced  Nancy, our  Elf on the Shelf to the kids this year. Above is a picture of the kids finding her for the first time. She was motivation for good behavior when we needed her to be, she was a distraction when we needed her to be, and she was just plain fun for the kids to find as she hid throughout the house. 
My sister-in-law commented on how tan our elf looked and I didn't think anything of it until I saw online that there are elves with light and dark skin tones. Apparently I bought the elf with the dark skin tone. Hey, we don't discriminate in this house!

Jack started preschool last Fall

We knew Jack was more than ready for preschool this past Fall.  He was so excited on his first day of school.  His first day was bittersweet for us, but mostly sweet!
First Day! So handsome!

  Thomas was so excited about Jack's first day of school.  He was a little disappointed that he didn't get to spend the day with his big brother.  At least he got to take a sack lunch to "Bubby School" (Grandma Lisa's house).

What I have failed to mention about Jack starting school is this...
Last summer I received a phone call from Jack's sweet teacher letting me know when "Meet the Teacher" day was going to take place and when parents were supposed to go to "Back to School Night" to get the scoop.  When I took the phone call I was two weeks away from having a baby, it was dinner time, Corey was not home yet, two kids were yelling and someone needed me to wipe their poopy bottom.  So of course I played it off like all was well and things were under control while I'm sure the teacher noticed the chaos over the phone.  I might have mixed up the dates she gave me and I might have royally messed up Jack's first introduction to school.  What I am trying to say is, Jack missed the "Meet the Teacher" day at his new school and Corey went to the wrong "Back to School Night."  Bam.  I failed.  Clearly I will not be nominated for "Mother of the Year" anytime soon.

Thomas is 3!

The big Birthday boy woke up and said, "Let's get this Birthday started!"
 It must be genetic!  He has inherited my 'party favor' genes!
Tom woke up to  "Happy 3rd  Birthday Thomas" on the driveway!

Despite the Birthday party cancellation due to sickness,
 the Birthday boy still enjoyed his ice cream cake!

Baby Kate

 Okay, I know I have neglected to blog since the end of August and it's time to get caught up.  Since my last post the most important update is the arrival of our fourth child, Katherine Anne!  She is everything a parent could ask for, healthy, beautiful, a really happy baby and a good sleeper! 
Kate's Baptism
Aunt Kristie and Uncle Kevan are Kate's proud Godparents!
Hilarious first family picture...all six of us.
The picture pretty much speaks for itself.  We obviously have things 100% under control!