Tuesday, April 30, 2013


My sweet boy turns 4 years old today!

This boy that I wanted so badly.

2 weeks

1 year old

Life with my boy has not been what I expected.

2 years old

John is grosser, hungrier, funnier, and more accident prone than I anticipated.

3 years olds

I am almost always afraid of what he is going to do next!

4 years old

My life has certainly been crazier since this boy burst on the scene...
but so much sweeter!

Happy Birthday, John!
Can you keep being my baby for just one more year and then I promise I will let you grow up!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The one where everything gets lost

I'm not the world's most organized person.
I'm actually sort of a clutter queen.

I've tried to be more organized.  
I've read books about organization, attended a workshop about organization, even hired a professional organizer to help get the closets under control.
That lasted about two weeks.

But despite my like of obvious organization, I usually know where everything is.    The clutter stops short of being chaos because I know where everything is!

Anyways, last weekend we took a little family vacay to Disney World.  This was our first trip to Disney in two years so we were all a little giddy with excitement.  And giddiness apparently makes me lose things.  Or maybe hunger, because dinner time also seemed to be common factor.

Our first night in Orlando, we went to Downtown Disney and had dinner at the Rainforest Cafe.  A really, really long dinner.  After we put in our order we didn't even see our waitress for half an hour.  By the end of the meal everyone was exhausted and on the verge of a meltdown.  Brad took the kids out to the gift shop while I waited for the bill and then waited some more to sign the receipt and then I hightailed it out of there and to the hotel to put my grumpy kids to bed.  
The next morning I realized that I had failed to retrieve my credit card when I signed that receipt in such a hurry.

No biggie.  I knew where it was so we went on to the Magic Kingdom.  

I love the Magic Kingdom!  
It has everything: princesses, a fabulous castle (that I really want to live in), princesses, fun rides. 
 It really is the happiest place on Earth!  
Unless you are a great big fraidy cat pretending to be a wild man...
John hated all of the rides that I was so excited about him finally being tall enough to ride.  
No Thunder Mountain.  
No Splash Mountain.  
But by golly, we rode People Mover three times in a row!

After a fun, Mickey-filled day, we headed back to Downtown Disney to get my credit card.  Then we went to go get dinner. Sometime between dinner and bedtime, I lost my cell phone.  
Brad and I both searched the car, the hotel room, and we went back to the restaurant and talked to the manager.  
It just disappeared.
Although I actually think it was stolen.

I was pretty bummed, but still managed to have good time at Epcot the next day.  
Our third day at Disney was cut short because Libby lost her lunch, i.e. got sick.
I really don't know why we keep going on vacations!

We returned home, unpacked and Emma Jane promptly lost three of the teeny tiny shoes that went to her Sleeping Beauty "polly pocket" set.
So glad I let her talk me into that souvenir!

I unpacked, and then got Jami ready for bed.  
But when I went to the kitchen to make her a bottle, I couldn't find the formula.
I searched the kitchen and the car.  
I made Brad search the kitchen and the car.
I searched every room in the house and then the car again.
Then I just lost it.
Brad escaped the crying by going to Walgreen's to buy more formula.

Two days later I found the formula.
In the car.
Right where it was supposed to be.

So good news, in addition to losing my marbles I am also going blind!

Friday, April 5, 2013

The 8 hour coma

Sometimes I have trouble sleeping.
Well, not so much with sleeping, but with falling asleep.  
And then staying asleep.

This is not really breaking news considering how many small children I have.
Someone always seems to need me for something really important like a drink of water or just to let me know a potty break is occurring.  
You know, stuff only mommy can handle.
  But honestly, it is not always their fault that I can't sleep.
Mostly it is, but not always.

Sometimes it's daddy's.

Like the other night when my sweet husband jerked out of the depths of REM to tell me that the baby was crying. 
Our 100% bottle fed baby, whom he heard first.
He wanted me to get up and "do something about her."

The next morning, I had to lovingly re-explain that one of the benefits of not breastfeeding is that I don't have to always be on baby duty in the middle of the night.
He keeps forgetting that one.

Anywho, after many consecutive nights of less than 3 consecutive hours and not nearly enough K-cups in my coffee carousel to combat brain fog, I had to take action.

It was time for Valerian root.*
Now the dosing instructions on the bottle say "take 1-2 before bedtime.  Up to 3 may be taken."

I was really exhausted so I took 3.
And fell blissfully to sleep.

The next morning I woke up sweating.
This is not a normal side effect of Valerian root.
But it is a normal side effect of having a small child wedged on either side of you in the bed.
Waking up to find John in my bed is not uncommon.  Although I usually remember him climbing over me in the middle of the night. 

Waking up to find Emma Jane - not so common.
She is generally my best sleeper.
  99% of the time she falls asleep quickly and stays asleep all night.

When I questioned her about it, her response (which she made all in one breath) left me a little speechless:

 "Well I sort of peed in my bed last night and when I tried to wake you up to tell you you just kept ignoring me even though I was rubbing your arm and saying mommy.  I just changed my jammies myself but I didn't know how to change my sheets and I really didn't want to sleep in a wet bed.  Is it okay that I crawled in your bed?"


I think the dosing instructions should be modified to read:
"take 1-2 capsules to enjoy a restful nights sleep with no groggy hangover the next morning.  
Up to 3 capsules may be taken if you would like an 8 hour coma.
 (with no groggy hangover the next morning.)"

Moral of the story:  I should just up my coffee consumption rather than my sleep aid dosage! 

*If you have no idea what Valerian root is, it is an herbal sleep.  Usually very mild and doesn't leave me feeling loopy like Tylenol PM or something.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Strawberry picking

We recently went strawberry picking.

Now when most people think about benefits of living in Florida, things like the beach, sunshine, Disney World are at the top of the list.

Let me put forth another benefit that you may not be aware of...

Florida is home to the world's greatest strawberries!

No really, we have a whole festival devoted to these bad boys.
Pageant queens, country music, the whole shebang.
But I digress.

And seriously, have you ever seen anything so beautiful!

Emma Jane took her job of strawberry picker very seriously.

 She picked six of our twelve pounds by herself!

Jami kept trying to steal the strawberries I picked,
 and John and Libby were pretty much no help at all.

They were more interested in the tire swing!

No worries though, we picked plenty without their help!

And five days later...they're almost gone!
John and Libby have helped with the eating! ;)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Easter Fun

We had a great time celebrating Easter over the weekend and of course, that celebration involved some fun crafts with my kids.

I love making craft projects with my children.  It's the kindergarten teacher in me.
But I have a confession to make:
I don't like dying Easter eggs!
 There.  I feel better now!

And for the past 7 years, I have actually managed to avoid the egg dying.
But the kids begged relentlessly  and Pinterest just made it look so fun!
(FYI: Pinterest lied!)
Not that I actually did any of the cool techniques I pinned.  It was all I could do just to get through the Paas kit!
But the kids had fun and the eggs came out pretty colors. 

We also made chocolate birds' nests (So yummy! But make sure you have friends lined up to take them off your hands because otherwise you will want to eat them all and I am pretty sure they are not calorie-free.)  

The kids watercolored a picture (and discovered a hidden message) as we talked about the Resurrection.

 And then we painted shaving cream eggs.

Ah, the shaving cream eggs.
 They turned out really cute, but I am still traumatized by the process!

Before I tell you about the horror that project turned out to be, let me first clear something up.

If at anytime during the course of this blog, I have ever given the impression that rainbows shine out of my ears or that my children always cooperate or that everything I attempt turns perfectly, I am truly sorry.  

The reason I say this is because at no point in the original blog post that this idea came from did the author give any indication that this project would be a nightmare!  
A horrifically messy nightmare!
In her defense, maybe it wasn't nightmare for her.  It's possible I just royally screwed this up!

Either way, I just want to say up front, that sometimes my ideas bomb.
This is one of those times!

Maybe the key is doing this with only one, school-aged child rather than five!  
Five children, including a set of 5 year old twin boys and my own little Tasmanian Devil!
Maybe doing anything with five children and a squeegee is just a recipe for chaos.

Yup, a squeegee.  
This project required a squeegee.
That probably should have been a clue.

I think in the future, any art project I come across that lists a squeegee as one of the needed materials, I am just going to walk away from slowly.  

Because no matter how adorable the finished project, the stress of trying to corral 5 children, up to their elbows in shaving cream and acrylic paint, is just not worth it!!

Next year, I am just going to stick to coloring the real eggs!  At least that project did not contribute any gray hairs to my head!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Happy Easter!

I don't know why I bother even trying to take family pictures.

Trying to get John four kids to look at the camera

and smile all all at the same time

and in the same direction
without knocking into each other or covering another's face

is an exercise in futility.

You would think I would know this by now!

But they are just so cute, 
I can't help myself!