Thursday, March 27, 2008

what i do when i have anger issues from snow.....

We have this thing we do after I comb her hair. She stands up, looks in the mirror and I tell her she's pretty. She repeats it about 45 times, and I smile. We do this everyday. We are totally raising a humble child.

Donovan got this little routine on video for all bloggers to enjoy.
In other uneventful news....Indiana is snowing again. Seriously I can bearly type the word. I need spring. I need to be outside. I need it to stop snowing. So I took my anger out in the kitchen today. You want to taste what I baked?? Be the first 3 to leave me a comment.

Monday, March 24, 2008

h a p p y
e a s t e r!

I wanted to get these pictures posted yesterday...but I was very busy eating Easter lunch, and then another Easter dinner.

We started off our Easter celebration with opening Resurrection Eggs everyday over the last week. We've never done this before and I got these neat idea from the librarian at our local Library. It is a great way to intruduce the Easter Story to your young children. You can learn more about them here. I just made up my own set here at home and the kids really loved it. Wednesday we colored Easter eggs, and the kids had great fun splashing egg dye and seeing how many eggs they could color before the other sibblings used them all.

We also did something different this year..... We let the kids open their Easter "buckets" the night before instead of Easter morning with high hopes that we would be ON time to church in the morning.

Well it was a nice try on our part anyway.

We kept it very simple this year. A little candy, some fun colored marbles (except for Suzy..who got a baby, and a book each. They were pretty happy, it doesn't take much.

However trying to get these little people all looking at the camera at the same time with nice smiles is no small task. Which is why our getting to church on time was greatly compromised.

After our Easter service at church we headed to my aunt and uncles house for an Easter egg hunt, and lunch.

Here is my Uncle Paul helping Suzy find eggs.

I know she was having a lot of fun, but not enjoying the attention of people watching her.

And then the fun of empting the eggs and finding treats and dollars. It was so fun to see their excitement.
We then had a really great lunch and stayed the afternoon. Just after the last picture was taken my batteries gave out on my camera. I was so disappointed because I wasn't able to get pictures at our next Easter dinner. We went to Donovan's parents house for a family get together in the evening.
We colored Easter eggs with the family there, hid the eggs and then went to find them. After that we had a nice meal there too. Grandma passed out activity books for all the grandkids. And after things settled down a little I got to go next door to Donovan's brothers house to see Arlene's baby nursery she's been working on. Wow! That women has talent in decorating. It is so cute.
We had a really great day even though busy. I hope you had a meaninful Easter and could spend time with the ones you love.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

you do the hokey pokey and you crash and burn.....

For the last 3 years notes have come home every couple months about skating parties for school...and for the last 3 years someone has been born, nursing, or needy in our family. So we haven't went. Until this last week. I took Jack and Isabella.

The people who send those notes home from school should add a couple of important things to their notes.

Like....... NEVER bring 2 children at once who have never skated before in their life.

And.......Make sure and get their skates one size bigger than the shoe size they actually wear. I found this out after I got the kids skates on. (It only took me 30 mintues to lace up the skates-before I found out the skates pinched Jack's toes) Isabella was kind enough to tell me AFTER we went one round around the rink...then told me she needed a bigger size.

And.....there should be a special note for Mom's over 30..... Never take 3 sweet innocent children on a train ride. (you know where the "most experienced" skater goes in front and then everyone forms a train by holding on to the person in front of them. ) That landed in a crash and burn. I had a landing on the bum and bruising, also knocking out all 3 passenger trains behind me, all under the age of 8.

Although....Had I been taking my little Bella the last 3 years, I would have been experienced in skating etiquette. And she would have been an Olympic skater by now, I am sure. Yep, just like ol' mama who train wrecked all those behind me that night.

Isabella did have fun though, it was so fun to see her excitement in skating for the first time. I had so much fun with her. One of my favorite parts was seeing how many of the old songs I could remember the words to. Seeing if possibly I could embarrass her by singing and trying to dance on skates. She would roll her eyes and keep going, I would laugh, and try to remember to act my age. But now really how much fun would that be?

First time skating......Look - all by herself.

And Jack....well after I laced up his skates, I took them off because they were too small. Then I got the size bigger,laced those up and he decided he was NOT going skating. He was frantic about entering the skating rink. I'm not sure if there were too many kids, or too dark, or too loud???? No way was he going out.

I was seriously not going to pay $16 for us to go skating and Jack never try. So he spotted his teacher and said, "I'll just sit with her." I replied, "No Jack, one time around the rink, You'll like it--I'm sure!" Well one time around and I was willing to let him drive himself back home. Torture! To teach 2 to skate at the same time. What was I thinking?

So this is where Jack spent the next 1 1/2 hours after the ONE TIME AROUND the rink. Because I'm sure his teacher didn't mind taking care of Jack after spending all day with kindergarteners.

See why I love her? She actually looks like she's having fun watching Jack for me.

I was glad there were benches all around the rink, Jack could play with my camera and seemed pretty happy to getting his way and not be skating.

Isabella on the other hand is ready to go back next week.

Friday, March 21, 2008

It works for me..........

One thing I learned about parenting over the last 8 years is that kids need time to themselves just like us adults do. I learned in a parenting class to start young and teach your little ones to play by themselves. I have found that when the 4 are together again it helps that they spent that time apart. So after breakfast they all go to seperate rooms and can listen to CD's and play. But they have to stay in their room. This also helps mama- who needs time for boring things like laundry, and cleaning.

Of course it doesn't really work very well if all of a sudden one day you start them off by sending them to their rooms and saying, "happy room time, I'll be on the couch eating bon bon's." It started when they were young by putting them in a pack and play for just 15 minutes at a time. Then gradually adding a few minutes every week. Now they are all up to one hour. It works for me. It took a lot of time and effort...this is not natural for children to entertain themselves. But now the older ones ask for room time, they enjoy not getting bugged by their younger counterparts.

Here is a video clip of what works pretty well for our family.
Now why don't you drop me a line and tell me works well for your family?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Also.....why can't they have Diet Pepsi Machines at the Doctor's office?

Poor thing. Poor mama. I just want her well. After a rough night again Sunday night....of little sleep and fussy pants Suzy.....I took her into the Dr. again on Monday. (yesterday)
Why of all places am I taking pictures at the Dr. office this time? Hummmmm....let me see maybe to pass the time since I waited over an hour to see the Dr. Don't get me wrong I was thankful to have an appointment. And thankful I had a camera to pass the time since I had finished all the hors'devours and had also watched all the in-room free movies. Oh, I kid.
But these things need to be seriously considered when building a new office building being used for a Dr. office. And just ask me...I have more ideas for the waiting room.
So after seeing the Dr. the report is in. An ear infection, bronchitis, and a urinary tract infection just for fun. How can someone so little have so much wrong?

But it was a relief to me, to know there were real things wrong with her. To explain all the neediness was a relief. I was exhausted from all the fussing. You know you have a sick one on your hands when you have to take your one year old with you and she has to sit on your lap while using the facilities. Either that or hear all the crying, the pitiful crying. You also know she's sick when you try to butter toast with one hand while holding the needy one in the other arm. And if you have someone under 2 in your home you understand me perfectly at this point, do you not?

So later that night, after Donovan's help...a bath and supper I was renewed. Full of sympathy, compassion, and tenderness for the little needy baby.

I'm not sure why these 2 were allowed to get this close to each other without a mask, a sterile gown, and sterile surgical gloves.

But it sure was a nice sound to hear giggling rather than crying.

Friday, March 14, 2008

$25 eye drops with a side of spring fever

We have been dealing with sickness in our home for over a week now. On Monday last week the 3 oldest kids had ear infections. William had a side of pink eye to go with the ear infection. Isabella had a helping of infantigo to go with her ear infection. Jack had fever to go with his ear situation. And Suzy seemed to be o.k. However when we left for our mini vacation- Donovan's mama called to say they were sharing the love and Suzy developed pink eye. She called the Dr. who said, he doesn't pass out Rx's for pink eye. It should clear up in a couple of days.
By yesterday (1 week with pink eye) It still was not better. I called our family Dr. --same response different day. No Rx for pink eye. URGH!!! So we went to my eye Dr. in Sturgis who examined her. And snap!! Suzy is not covered under our eye insurance program...because why would I sign up a 1 year old?? And bummer this appointment would be out of pocket. Gee--Watch the money fly away....Anyways...the only appointment they had yesterday was 1:30. Snap! again~Nap time. But I really wanted this resolved, so we went. The older 2 kids were in school, so that left Suzy and William to take. Look how cute they look waiting at the Dr.
Hey...what else was I supposed to do while waiting 20 minutes to see the Dr. I mean it's totally normal to take pictures of your kids at the eye Dr. waiting room, right??

So come to find may have started as pink eye...but now has turned into inflamation from rubbing it so much. Something was irrating her eye and it wasn't healing. The eye Dr. gave us a Rx and we were on our way.

So we headed over to the super center and dropped a $25 load on the Rx. Man that stinks. Not buying diapers but now eye drops....that is a tiny, tiny bottle of eye drops. So while we waited for the gold to be dispensed this is the kids favorite spot at Wal-mart. Looking at the books. Again, it's totally normal to be taking pictures inside Wal-mart, Right?? But aren't you glad I sweet are they? Even though at times it is so frustrating dealing with toddlers....I want to remember all the things that made them so happy. The simple things like looking at brand new books at Walmart and pressing all the buttons on the noisy books. Hearing them laugh at the potty training book that has a button sounds like a flushing toilet. I love that laughter. It reminds me to slow down and savor this time.

So today Suzy's eye is doing better. But -her and William are running fevers of 102-103. ALL DAY.

But we did go on a walk and got outside a little. Oh how I love spring. We are so ready for warmer weather. It kept climbing today and actually reached 56 degrees!

I love how entertained the kids are playing outdoors. I love not needing to put boots, coats, mittens, and hats on the kids.

I love that the snow is almost melted. I love that William had a little energy despite the fever and the boys worked on sweeping the street.

I love sittin' around....enjoying the outdoors. I love having kids old enough to be photographers. :)

Monday, March 10, 2008

back from.....

We flew from South Bend to Cincinnati and then from Cincinnati to Las Vegas. After a 4 hour delay in Cincinnati, because of mechanical problems we were finally there!

The view from our plane.

Isabella wrote letters for us for each day we were gone. The first day the letter said....."Dear Mom & Dad, What does everything on the ground look like from the plane? I hope you arrive there safely. Thank you for helping me with my homework on Monday Mom. And thank you for bringing me on Monday Dad. That was the first time in second grade that I've been picked up by anyone. Hope you have a nice trip! Love your daughter, Isabella Rose

P.S. The people in the airplane I drew are you two."

What a pumpkin. Each day the letter was just as sweet.

Thursday night Sealed Air put on a dinner for us. It was wonderful!

My favorite part....The dessert bar.

Inside our hotel there were beautiful fresh flower arrangements everywhere. WOW!

More pictures inside the Mirage.

Again inside the hotel. Showing one of the restaurants in the background.

One of the waterfalls inside the lobby.

Our first morning there we started off site seeing with friends Travis and Kristen. This was just leaving our hotel.

more pictures of the town....

....then back to the hotel for swimming. 3 pools, and warm sunshine. I was HAPPY.

Our friends...and I wanted to show you the amazing waterfalls at the pool.

Friday night Sealed Air bought tickets for everyone to go to the Beatles LOVE by Cirque du Soleil. It was the first show we had ever been to. It was absolutely amazing. You can watch the trailer here.

For those of you who have never been to a show in Vegas...Let me explain a little. The Love theater at The Mirage houses 6,341 speakers and 2,013 seats set around a central stage. Each seat is fitted with three speakers, including a pair in the headrest. Video images on two walls above the audience on two sides of the auditorium emphasize elements of the show and provide transitions. High-definition projectors also create enormous images on four translucent screens that can be unfurled to divide the auditorium. (that all came directly from Wikipedia....check here to see more) People were bungie jumping from the ceiling....other people were doing stunts. Everywhere you look people were doing dangerous things in cool costumes. I just can't begin to describe all of it. It was super fun to experience it. And at $130 per ticket I was super glad it was free for us.

Breakfast the next morning at the hotel. The hostess was looking for a larger group so we joined Travis and Kristen and the VP of Sealed Air (18,000 + employees) and his wife. It was fun to get to know Jim and Gail. They were super down to earth and fun to talk to.

After breakfast we started out for more site-seeing on the town, but after about a mile of walking we decided it was much to warm to waste one more minute away from the pool. I'm so glad Kristen is so like-minded with me. We joined another Sealed Air wife....Kelly.

Feeling good to be warm!!

More pictures of our friends, and I wanted to show the cute cabannas in the background. And ahhhh...palm trees.

The last night there Sealed Air transported us downtown Vegas to a Jazz Club. We had a delicious dinner that was topped off with Chocolate Mousse. The hardest part was.... hors'devours started at 7:00 with dinner at 8:00. People...there is a 3 hour difference. That means we didn't eat until dinner until 11:00 our time. I mean I am a night person...but we were flying out the next morning. However when food is involved I can make exceptions to my bed time.

After dinner we realized that we still had not purchased gifts for our kiddos so Kristen, Travis, Donovan and I found this little gift shop. We decided against the hats, but I think Travis got the sunglasses.

Krisen and I. I really think this trip would NOT have been even 1/2 as fun without this couple. I loved being in West Palm Beach with them 2 years ago...and this was even more fun. I love their sense of humor, I love how they break into song at any given moment, and I love their spontenaiety.

Yesterday on our flight home. What a Trip. What alot of pictures!! I couldn't help myself. It is such a different place. Thanks to Kristen who was such a good sport to take so many of them. I wouldn't trade my spot here in the midwest in 100 years. I love home, I love my kids, and I'm so blessed to be back home safe and sound.