Wednesday, August 8, 2012

And then there were six of us...

Jami Catharine Snellings
arrived unexpectedly on
July 27, 2012.



I wasn't quite ready for her but I really couldn't have asked for a sweeter birthday present!
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, May 31, 2012

24 hours

With all of my kids, age three has definitely been the most challenging.
So I was not at all surprised when John started showing signs of defiance right around three.  I wasn't surprised when he began to demand to dress himself, even refusing my help to find that stubborn arm hold that so often alludes him.  He is too independent right now to accept help from Mommy and for the most part, I am happy to let him work it out himself.

But nothing in my previous experience of raising little girls prepared me for the outrageous amount of destruction that one precocious, determined little three year old boy was capable of creating in just one day!

(When Emma Jane was this age, I used to always say that God made her so cute just so that I wouldn't kill her.  Well, John clearly is so cute and funny and gives the best kisses, because the cute only is definitely not enough to save this child!)

And just in case you think I am exaggerating, let me take you through a recent 24 hours in our house.

It started with oatmeal.  Not breakfast, but rather a 42 oz. container of dry oatmeal that my precious son used to "decorate" the family room.
This picture truly does not do the mess justice.  In addition to the trail of oatmeal from the pantry across the tile, there was oatmeal in the chair, on the couch, under the couch, on the counter behind the couch, ALL over the rug...

And the worst part, is that I tried to vacuum it up. 
 Have you ever tried to vacuum up a large pile of oatmeal? 
Well, let me be the one to warn you, that it will probably make your vacuum cleaner really mad.  And instead of actually vacuuming it might just end up spraying the oatmeal every which way.  Yeah, I learned the hard way, you have to sweep the oatmeal up and then save the wimpy vacuum for the remnant left in the grout lines of your tile.

I managed to keep mostly calm when I discovered this chaos by reminding myself that 3 year olds are foolish and he wasn't being defiant or disobedient with this act.  So while I didn't spank him, I did make it clear that this was not okay and that mommy was not happy.

And he gave me one of his best kisses, asked me to forgive him and then promptly forgot the entire incident.

How do I know he forgot?
I later discovered that he had taken it upon himself to glue several pages of one of my teacher's manuals together.  I will admit, I lost it a little bit over this one.  You see, this wasn't just any old teacher's manual, it was one of my brand new, just bought it last week at homeschool convention manuals.   I may have cried.  Which ma have made John also cry.  But thankfully, I managed to unstick the pages and he managed to weasel his way back into my good graces with his sweet little voice and super charming smile.

And I just thanked God that it was nap time and that he would be in his room with his box of nap-time-only toys to keep him occupied for at least an hour.  Surely he couldn't get into too much trouble during nap time!?

Yeah, right!

About 30 minutes into naptime,  I discovered the 1/4 inch of standing water all over his bathroom floor and the abandoned basket that he had clearly been trying to fill up and carry to his room.  As I cleaned up yet another mess, I all I could do was wonder how many times he tried to fill up that basket before he realized that it was futile and just thank God yet again that he didn't have a bucket!  Because who knows what his ultimate scheme for that water really was!

At this point, I finally realized that John can no longer be allowed to go unsupervised for even a moment.  (I know, it took me long enough!)  So I scooped him up, carried him to my office with me, and set him on the floor while I jumped on facebook to lament his previous antics.

In that 30 seconds, and while standing only 18 inches from me, he managed to grab my good orange-handled scissors off the counter and cut a chunk out of his own hair. 

Seriously!?  I give up!

Luckily, Brad came home shortly there after and I breathed a sign of relief at the sight of back up.

But wait...
the best/worst is yet to come!

I breathed too soon. 

Within 5 minutes, of Brad coming home, John managed to break his own toe.

That's right, he broke.his.toe!


We have this bookcase in the playroom that holds all of the board games and such.  It is one of those cheap, Walmart bookcases with adjustable shelves.  He managed to pull one of the shelves (and all of the board games) out of the bookcase and on to his big toe.

As I spent to rest of the evening holding and comforting him as he cried, I couldn't help but be ever so slightly relieved. 

*gasp*

How could a loving mother be so heartless to be glad for her child suffering?!?!


Well to be honest, because a little boy that can't walk, really can't get into anymore trouble!

Give me your best shot at Better in BulkPhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and Lolli



P.S. And just so you don't think that I truly am heartless, another 24 hours has passed and John is feeling much better and even starting to walk on the side of his foot a little bit.  He is being waited on hand and foot by his mommy and sisters and should be back to wreaking havoc in no time! :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Belles of the Ball

Last Saturday, Libby and Emma Jane got to go on their first date!

Their prince picked them up at the front door,


gave each of them a corsage
 and then whisked them away for a night of dinner and dancing.

John really wanted to go too, but he had to settle for an evening of the usual routine with mommy instead. 

They had a wonderful time and talked my ear off for a full 30 minutes with all the details when they arrived home.  Emma Jane's only complaint was that "it wasn't much like a ball" because "they didn't play the right music."  She wanted to twirl and spin with Daddy but the DJ was playing nothing but hip hop.  Luckily, her prince came to rescue by politely asking the DJ to maybe play some more kid-appropriate music at the Daddy/Daughter Dance. 

A novel idea, no doubt, but one that saved the Ball for his Belles! (And probably a few other princesses as well!)


Friday, February 17, 2012

Evel KnEmma Jane

The weather in Florida is usually pretty fabulous in January and Febuary, so we have been spending most afternoons riding bikes and scooters in the driveway.  On one of these occasions not too long ago, Emma Jane decided she was done with training wheels and ready to give the two-wheeler a try.

It took her about 20 minutes to get the hang of it. 

 She was not at all pleased with that amount of time.  She seemed to think 20 seconds should have been an adequate learning curve and had more than one overly dramatic meltdown about her lack of two-wheeling perfection during that 20 minutes!  It was really hard to not roll my eyes at her.

This is a short video of her riding the bike.
  It is the only one I got that is drama free and I love that John is being her cheerleader!  He was much more sympathetic to her frustrations than mommy!


She has been a bike riding maniac since then!  And by maniac, I mean she is seriously never getting a driver's license!  Her current favorite trick is to pedal as fast as she possibly can and then put her feet up on the handle bars!  There is no video of that because I just can't watch!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Baby Fat

Pregnancy has a lot of givens.
The most obvious, of course, being that you will get fat.
But that is okay because: a) pregnancy fat is cute and usually accompanied by lots of smiles from strangers and b) um, hello, you get a cute baby in the end and more smiles from strangers!
(Sadly, the fat immediately ceases to be cute as soon as the baby comes out and unfortunately tends to stick around!)

Another given, at least for me, is the amount of fat I will gain.  Over the course of three pregnancies, the only thing that was the same about all of them was the number of pounds I gained. 
(Disclaimer: I had pre-eclampsia with Libby and I am not counting the 20 lbs of water that I retained during my last month of pregnancy with her.)

So, three pregnancies. 
Different eating and exercising habits each time. 
 Same weight. 
 Which, btw, was well over the recommended 30-35 lbs each time. 

But despite that similarity, that weight never looked the same.
With Libby, I just looked terrible and really don't have many pictures documenting that.

With Emma Jane, I looked like I was pregnant for the first time not the second. 
Here I am with her at 17 weeks:



I am still in regular clothes and didn't really look pregnant with EJ until into my sixth month.

With John, being a third baby and all, the belly popped out sooner.
Here I am at 16 weeks with him and sporting a definite baby bump:




And then came baby #4.  A baby that I have already determined is definitely flying solo in there.

Here I am, still a few days shy of a second trimester:




What the hey!? 
My belly should not be bigger than my boobs already!

Brad, my sweet husband, said to me last night, "Wow! You are really starting to show!"

I stuck my tongue out at him.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Big Boy, Big Bed, and a BIG pregnancy brain moment

John recently made the transition out of the crib, thanks to one of our babysitters. 

For the longest time (at least a year), there has been a full sized bed in John's room along with his crib.  There wasn't really room for both beds, but we didn't have any where else to put it and I hated to get rid of it since John would eventually need a big bed anyways.

So anyways, on dates when Brad and I are out late, this babysitter had a habit of just falling asleep in the extra bed in John's room until we got home.  On this particular night, I went to go wake her up and found that John was also sound asleep in the big bed.  So I left him there and the next night he wanted to sleep in the big bed again. 

And we pretty much never looked back.  Easiest transition to a regular bed ever!

Well, after I found out I was pregnant and it became clear that we were not getting rid of the crib any time soon, we decided that 3-4 more years of  hitting our shins on the end of that stupid bed a cramped bedroom was just not going to work.

So we bought John a bunk bed.  We figured if baby #4 is a boy they will share a room anyways, and if not, well boys just like bunk beds.

Now, if you have ever purchased large furniture items, you know that you go to the store, pick out what you want, pay for it and then go home and wait for it to be delivered.  Over the years, Brad and I have bought lots of furniture so I was familiar with this process.  There were about 10 days between purchasing the bed and our scheduled delivery date.

Plenty of time for someone to, I don't know, buy twin sized sheets for the new bed?

Yeah.
That probably would have been smart.

But, never fear.  In the absence of forethought, you can always just do what I did: you take the sheet off of the full bed and just wrap in around the twin mattress.

And then leave it there for another week and a half before you actually go buy the poor boy some sheets that fit!
(Totally blaming this on baby#4!)


Here is my big boy after his first night in his bunk bed:


I tried to sneak a picture of him still sleeping, but he woke up as soon as I opened the door.


He was really upset about the sheets!
(Or the unannounced photo session.  Either one.)

Monday, January 23, 2012

12 weeks

I got my first peek at my little peanut last Friday.  There is something relieving about seeing concrete proof that I am in fact, pregnant and not just going crazy.  (At least, not going crazy for no reason.)


This little baby is quite a mover and a shaker.  He (and I mean that in a completely generic sense) had hiccups the whole time, which was just hilarious!  Every once in a while the hiccup would be so big that it turned into a full body stretch/flip.  And he kicked constantly.

Not that I could feel any of this action.  It was so surreal, seeing all of this going on inside of me but not being able to feel any of it!

I spent the rest of the day just smiling.  I already love this little cutie to pieces!

Friday, January 20, 2012

John and his Johnny

The other day the girls and I went on a field trip to see the Florida Orchestra in concert and John got to stay with a babysitter.

This particular babysitter is a favorite of ours.
  In fact the girls, upon hearing who John would be playing with while we were away, actually told me that it would be fine for me to go to see the orchestra myself and they would just stay with Miss Lauren.  Needless to say, that did not happen.

John got spent some quality one on one time with Miss Lauren, and since Miss Lauren loves my son so much that she would rather spend money than make money while babysitting, they spent that quality time at Build-A-Bear! 

He came home from his date with a new alligator friend, whom he cleverly named Johnny.

When they got home, of course, Mommy wanted to hear the details of their outing so Miss Lauren preceded to tell me about how much fun John had at Build-A-Bear: he picked out his own animal, helped stuff it and then picked out the outfit and helped to dress his alligator. 
Now in my experience, when a babysitter is giving me the play by play of her time with my children there will inevitably come a point in the story that makes me close my eyes and shake my head.  This portion of the story usually involves nudity of some sort.  Today's story did not disappoint.
As John was dressing Johnny, he caught a glimpse of Johnny's backside and exclaimed: 
"Oh look!  He has a penis!"



I can just imagine how painful choking down the laughter must have been for Lauren as she explained the difference between a tail and a penis to my son.
After talking it over for several minutes, John (clearly unconvinced) turned to the Build-A-Bear employee who was checking them out and said quite proudly, "My alligator has a penis."


So for any of you moms of boys out there, wondering if your son would enjoy a trip to Build-A-Bear, I think the verdict is a definite thumbs up.

Just be sure he can differentiate between a tail and his penis beforehand!


Give me your best shot at Better in BulkPhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and Lolli

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Some 2011 highlights

So it has been like 6 weeks since my last post.  I really have been meaning to sit at my computer and catch up.  There has just been so much going on.  But before I get into any of that, let's take a look back at 2011.

We started the year off right...loving on our New Hampshire cousins!

We had a skiing adventure,


let Aunt Catie torture John with a pair of scissors,

and visited with our best friends!

This little cutie turned 4 in March

and my baby turned 2 in April.


Libby was baptized!

We spent some more quality time with our Atlanta friends

and celebrated another birthday in June.


I got to go back to college and reminisce the "good ole days" with these hotties!  (I think we totally still pass for co-eds.)

We rode horses,

started a new school year,

and celebrated with my cousin, Sarah Jane, as she ended her school career.


We climbed mountains.


We watched (and won) some football.

We had a pretty fabulous year! 
We even saved the best last.

In December, we told this little guy that he would be getting a "big" promotion in the new year!

He is still in shock.

Here is to 2012*.
I think this just might be the best year yet!


(*picture me raising an imaginary glass*)