Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Do You Ever...

Go to the beach when it's raining? I think it's just as beautiful and calming as when it's sunny and warm. This is why we packed everyone up last year and moved. Man, I love where we live.

Today Griffin was NOT sleeping. Did not take his usual morning nap so I could clean, cook and blog. So instead of fighting it, I threw him in the car with my umbrella, rain boots and camera. We made a little stop at Starbucks and drove here. Griffy sleeps well in the car so I was able to read my book ( C.S. Lewis', Mere Christianity...loving it.) This is my new favorite thing to do when the baby won't nap at home...throw him in the carseat, drive til he falls asleep and head to the beach. I can read, take a nap, think. And, it gets me out of my house.

Maybe it'll rain again tomorrow....

The Rainy Day
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The day is cold, and dark and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
The vine still clings to the moldering wall,
But at every gust the dead leaves fall,
And the day is dark and dreary.

My life is cold and dark and dreary;
It rains and the wind is never weary;
My thoughts still cling to the  Moldering Past,
But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast,
And the days are dark and dreary.

Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Love/hate Target

Sometimes I think we are becoming one big giant Target. Don't get me wrong..I LOVE Target. I spend most of my husbands paycheck there, especially since the new one up the road is not only a Target, it also has a full grocery store in it. Since when does Target carry chicken and strawberries?

When we lived in Europe I loved shopping in the little town with my little wicker basket. I felt so...European. At the time I only had one baby and we'd walk into town every day. We'd stop at the bakery for fresh bread and a treat for Stephen, at the meat market, the produce market...and we'd shop for our dinner that day. I got to know the shop owners. It was a simple way to live and I liked it.

Here everything is so BIG...SUPER SIZED. The stores we shop in, the food we eat out at restaraunts, the cars we drive, the televisions we watch, the houses we live in...the bigger the better right? I get the Target's and the Walmart's...I think they were intended to simplify. And for the most part they do. One stop shopping at it's best.

I like small. Quaint little antique stores, boutiques, cafe's and cottages. But tomorrow I'll be back at just wait.  I need some cleaning supplies, wrapping paper and maybe even strawberries if they look good.

Monday, March 29, 2010


While watching the news the other night there was a piece on Vice President Biden. He apparently dropped the F-bomb on live t.v. I'm sure you've all seen it...they played it over and over and over again. I watched President Obama's face as he heard Biden say it...I don't think he was pleased. I know I wouldn't be. I mean do you really need to say that? I think swearing is gross. Especially that word. I don't like hearing it when a man says it but hearing it come out of a womans mouth is even grosser.  Now, I'm not going to sit here and pretend that I've never sworn...but I will tell you that the word I use most..and it's not pretty crap. I wish I could stop saying it. It doesn't sound nice but I guess it's better than what Biden said.

I remember a friend of mine told me I should have "CRAP" on my liscence plate...I guess I say it that much. I also remember Will when he was little saying..."twap". That's great. Again, I guess it could be worse. I will tell you that I don't say things like..."cut the crap" or "holy crap" or  "he crapped himself"...that's just bad. One time when Stephen was little..around 2 or 3..we were living in Germany. We were traveling and found ourselves in line at a breakfast place behind some other American military family. The father said to the mother..."oh great, the kid just crapped himself". How gross is that? Stephen heard it and for a long time he said it too...

I grew up in a house where we weren't even allowed to say shut up. I still don't say it and tell my kids their not to say it either. There is a nicer way to tell someone to be quiet. The whole bleeping thing doesn't make much sense to me they think we don't know what they're saying behind the bleep? Have you watched the American Music Awards or the Grammy's lately? Some wrapper will be performing and the whole song is bleeped out...stupid I think. That's not music to me..but that's a whole other subject.

We'll be watching a baseball game on television with the kids and if the umpire makes a call that the player doesn't like you can see him swearing. What about the kids that are sitting in the front row of that baseball game and can hear it? We pay these guys MILLIONS of dollars a year to throw a ball around...can't they watch their mouth? Like it or not, they are role models and if I were their coach they'd be fined or suspended or both. Or maybe I'd wash his mouth out with soap. (I've never washed anyones mouth out with soap and I've never had mine either...just sayin.)

"A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger"~ Proverbs 15:1

Friday, March 26, 2010

Babybook Friday-baby names

Griffy just loves the beach. He loves playing with the sand. Oh he is going to be fun this summer on the beach!
Naming babies is the best isn't it? Boys names for me have always been the hardest though...Stephen was named after his dad...Will has his great great Grandfathers name which includes two middle names. When we found out we were having our 3rd boy it took us a while to name him. I love using family we really thought about Jack..after my Dad. There are a MILLION Jacks out there. I love the  name Jack and I think if I were to ever have another baby and it was a boy it would be Jack...(sorry Dad!). Griffin's name came to us as Steve and I were walking on the beach last winter. We were thinking of family names and couldn't come up with anything....Steve asked what my Dad's mother's maiden name was and I stopped short. Griffin! And so it was. Thomas is his middle name...after Steve's grandmothers maiden name.

Now give me a girl and I could go to town naming her. Hannah was named not after a family member but a character in Little Women. Remember Hannah?..she helped take care of Jo, Meg, Beth and Amy. Little Women is one of my favorite books and movie. Oh to live back then when a tangerine was a treat! Anyway, there is a family that was featured a few years back in Child magazine..(remember that magazine?). They were the cutest family. The mom had just given birth to their 7th baby and I LOVED all the kids names..especially the girls. I still have that issue and would look back at it from time to time. Well sure enough in this months issue of Country Living the family is featured again. They live in Nashville and the mom Kayce runs a clothing design business...really cute stuff! Their girls' names are Sophie, Charlotte, Olivia, Clare and Audrey. Oh do I love all those names! Even their dogs  names are cute...Jack and Lily...I love the name Phoebe and Isabel and Eleanor and Lizzie and Jane. Just Jane. Maybe that's why I didn't have any more girls..I could never come up with just one name.  Oh one more baby...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Turkey on my doorstep

Look what arrived on my front step this morning. Not a package from Amazon...just a turkey. He scared the living day lights out of me! These guys just don't show up on our street.  He was really pretty and  calm. He knew I was watching him...he walked all around the yard. I watched him for about an hour..carrying my coffee and camera.   I thought about how I am not an animal person at all but am so glad there are people out there that are. Animals know that I am not an animal person so they seem to latch on to me more than other people...I'm not kidding. I can't stand cats. I'm very allergic to them and I really don't like their attitudes...but whenever I come into contact with one they're all over me. Maybe the turkey and his friends just wanted to freak me out today so they sent one of their guys over to my doorstep.

I have a friend who lives in Colorado and if I could lead a double life..I'd live her life. She lives on a beautiful ranch with gardens and lots of animals...she's like a mini Pioneer Woman minus the homeschooling. She is a great host and entertainer even though I've never been to her house. She's a fabulous cook even though she's never cooked me dinner. Maybe someday. I don't think I could give up my ocean for her mountains though. I love the mountains...but I need the ocean. Anyway, check out her blog  Out of Colorado . I bet she'll have some advice on what I should do about my new turkey friend. He's cute and all but I hope this isn't his daily stop now. I'd rather have an amazon package on my doorstep.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

My Thing

Friday night is family pizza/movie night here. I make the dough during the day and later Steve assembles pizza for us and calzones for the kids. The kids love his calzones. Steve has gotten so many compliments on his pizza and calzones he's threatened to quit his day job. Please don't Steve. I don't think opening up a pizza joint is in the cards for us right now...Stephen is off to college in THREE years.

Food is kind of my thing. The house won't be cleaned for days but you will have a good, healthy meal in your belly. Meal preparation for a family of 6 (ok..Griffy isn't really eating yet)..takes quite a bit of work. After 16 years of marriage, I think I have it down. I'm all about planning. On Sunday, I could tell you what we are having for dinner on Friday...ok, pizza..I just told you that...but you get the idea. I spend the weekend looking through cookbooks, magazines, and online recipes to figure out what we're having for the week. I take into account nights that are busier than Tuesday. Tuesday I drive kids all afternoon...CCD, ballet, that night is usually something in the crockpot or something that I've made in advance. For me, there is no worse feeling than wondering what we're having for dinner at 5:00. Heck, I don't like to feel that at noon.

My meal planning doesn't just stop at dinner. There are 2 other meals plus snacks during the day that I have to consider..I told you this was time consuming. For breakfast I usually feed the kids pancakes, french toast or oatmeal...usually with fruit that has been pre-cut. I will make up the pancake batter the night before. I make Steve's lunch the night before also...yes, I pack his lunch everyday..unless he has a business lunch out. Usually he takes a salad, hummus/veggies, yogurt or leftovers. Stephen buys lunch everyday...Hannah and Will both bring their lunches everyday. Neither one of them has ever bought lunch. Let's stop and do the math here...That's 15 breakfast's and 15 lunches Monday through Friday. That's a lot of food! Hannah usually takes soup, yogurt, hummus/pretzels, salad, or grapefruit...Will has a ham/turkey sub. Now, that's just their lunch...there are also 2 snacks each in there. I don't  do pre-packaged snacks, cookies etc. I do my best to make homemade banana breads, muffins, cookies.

O.k, so they've had breakfast and lunch and they're now home from school. Snack time. Usually it's a smoothie..we make a lot of these. Yogurt, fruit, flax oil, protein powder....I need to mix these up a bit though. Time for a smoothie cookbook! And a new blender..mine is on it's way out.

We hardly ever eat's too much work and too expensive for our whole family to go out. Plus, I'm a bit of a food snob I guess. I get nervous about who is touching my food back in the kitchen....weird I know. So, here we are back to cooking dinner. I try to change up the meals quite a bit. We don't eat a lot of meat...I try and cook fish at least once a week. I could eat it every night but the rest of the family wouldn't be happy. In the winter I do a lot of soups, stews and crockpot cooking. I have a great crockpot cookbook that isn't all that Campbells cream of's all real food...It's called....Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook...I'm too lazy to get up and find the author for you right now. I'm sure you could google it if you're interested or if anyone is even reading this still. Anyway, in the summer we grill..a lot...

So when someone asks me what I do all day long while home with the baby...I'm cooking, planning, shopping, cleaning up after cooking, putting groceries that is a lot of hours put into our meals! But, it's my thing...scrubbing floors is not my thing.

When I get it together I'll post recipes....I LOVE blogs that have their menu for the week on the side. I need to learn how to do that! Computers aren't my thing's amazing I'm even here.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

My Oprah moment

I used to be a HUGE Oprah fan. She was like my BFF for years and she didn't even know it. I would never miss a show. I would plan the kids' naps around her show. I loved her book club and angel network and of course Oprahs favorite things. If Oprah said to jump I was the first one yelling..."How high Oprah??"  Over the past few years I haven't watched her as much, in fact, I can't tell you the last time I watched her show.  Maybe I'm too busy, maybe just not interested in what she's got on...I don't know. Anyway, a few years ago I got to go see Oprah. And  I didn't just get to go sit in the audience either...I was front row, had a microphone on and even got to go "backstage". I swear she looked at my shoes and smiled. Let me tell you, this was right up there with giving birth to my kids.

I still love Oprah, I just think it's time to call it quits. She's had a great run. She's done terrific's just time, I think. I never understood why shows like Seinfeld, Cheers, Friends, all went off the air when they did. Now I do. It's good to go out on top.

Anyway, thanks Missy and Jill for making it happen! It is a time I will never forget! And thanks Lara and Missy for putting my butt on the plane and holding my hand the whole way there while I was hysterical thinking the plane was going to crash and  burn.....Oprah was worth it.

Monday, March 22, 2010


I turned 42 on Saturday. 42. FORTY TWO. I think it sounds worse than it is. I'm telling you...I don't feel 42. What is it supposed to feel like? You want to know how I feel? I feel like I still have time. Time to travel. Time to go back to school (if I wanted to). Time to start a career. Time to have another baby...(not a lot of time..but still time.) Heck, JFK became President at 43. 42 is really not all that bad.

We had a great day on my birthday. Steve and the kids brought me breakfast in bed...I took a nap...we went to the beach and I had my "last supper"..You know, the meal you would have if it were your last. Mine is and always will be...clam chowder, lobster roll and a nice bottle of La Crema white wine...on the beach. It really doesn't get any better than that in my opinion. After that we had the neighborhood come over for cake! Man, I am a blessed woman. Family, friends, good health and time...42 is good. Maybe I'll run for President.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Babybook Friday

This picture was taken 9 months ago...Griffy is now as old as the time it took to me to carry him. Time is going by way too fast for me lately. Does that happen when you get older? When you're younger you can't wait for time to speed up...I have reached that time in ones life when you want it to slow down. There is a song I love and every time I hear it, I cry...100 years by Five for Fighting. What a great song.

So, even though today is a milestone for Griff...9 months old...he's fun, not sleeping great, not eating anything yet, just nursing.....I thought I'd talk about Will. Will sometimes seems to get lost in the mix. Stephen, the oldest, Hannah, the only girl, Griffin, the baby. And then there is Will. Will is probably one of the funniest kids I know. He says things not even really trying to be funny..but he is. The other day he came off the bus not looking real happy. When I asked him what was wrong he said.."I don't like gym anymore". Now, he used to LOVE gym. So when I asked him why he said, "Because I have to square dance with Gracie". I guess they're square dancing in gym classes these days.

No one can make Griffy laugh like Will can either. The rest of us bend over backwards looking like fools to make him laugh...Will just looks at the baby and he's in hysterics. Will loves the weekends because he's allowed to sleep in with Hannah. I love that they love to sleep together still...

On another note.....I've been lost in a book for the past few days. Little Bee is the book and if you haven't read it...READ IT. It's one of those books that will stay with you for a long time. 

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Around the start of the New Year, I was reading a few blogs that talked about their "word". A word that would describe how they wanted to live better maybe. I had thought hard about my word and I've always come back to one word...BALANCE. This is what I strive for in my life. In every aspect of my life I need balance. Family, marriage, me, excercise, diet, money, friends, and now....blogging.

I started this blog after reading someone elses blog post about how she wished that she knew certain things about her own mother while she was raising children. It's probably one of my all time favorite blog posts. Wouldn't you love to know what your mom was thinking about while you were growing up? What were her daily struggles, did she have a close friend to lean on, was she happy? Did the kids drive  her nuts?  I love that I have this blog to write my daily happenings...what's for dinner, how I'm feeling today, what the kids are up to right now, etc.  Maybe someday the kids can look back at it. 

What I don't love is that for a little while there I started to exhibit signs envy. There..I said it. Blogging, for me, will not become about followers, views, and comments. As much as I love a comment after a blog post I just can't have balance in my life if I'm constantly checking my comment box. This is not my job. No one is paying me to sit here and write about my feelings. This is a hobby. My job is to Mother. And I love my job!

This is Griffy at the beach this morning...his first taste of sand!

* The key to keeping your balance is knowing when you've lost it~ Anonymous

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

How to trap a Leprachaun...Will style.

Take a wild guess what this is. I bet you didn't think it was a Leprachaun trap did you? Yup. I've been living with this in my family room for two days now. Will worked really hard on it so I couldn't clean it up. He started with a few overturned stools and books and then it turned into what ever he could get his hands on and basically just threw it on top of everything else. He wants to trap a Leprachaun wicked bad.

When I grew up there was no setting Leprachaun traps, no money in the shoe, no gold coins being left for good little kids. There was Corned beef and cabbage and you were just proud to be Irish. I'm not making Corned beef and cabbage. I hate it and it smells. We're not big meat eaters here anyway...once every few weeks I'll make meatballs or a roast or something. I am going to make beef stew I guess and maybe if I'm feeling energetic, I'll make green eggs in the morning. I don't think I even own one article of green clothing.

I had never even heard of trapping Leprachauns until I met my friend Kathy Z. Apparently at her house the little leprachaun comes the night before St. Patricks day and makes a mess of their house...things like turning over chairs, throwing things on the floor. Listen, I don't need a tiny little green man to come make more of a mess in my house than there already is. But Kathy is a clean freak so this is probably the one time a year her house is a mess. Her kids spend weeks building traps to try and catch the little bugger. And, ever since my kids heard that they had a leprachaun visit..well we now have to have him here too.

So, the shoes are set out by the fireplace tonight waiting for little St. Pat. (I'm assuming that's what his name is..) The kids are sleeping with visions of gold coins dancing in their heads. (the store was all out of them so it's Gummi Bears instead). Happy St. Patricks Day.

* There are good ships, and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea.
    But the best ships are friendships, and may they always be.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

In My Opinion

Steve just returned from a LONG week away on business. Amsterdam, Romania, Turkey...I don't know how he does it. I'd be a wreck on all those planes...although they put him up in first class all the time so maybe it's not all that bad. No, I'd still be a wreck. I HATE flying...the whole time I'm up there I'm thinking about dying. And what will happen to my kids. It's horrible. Don't ever fly with me. Anyway, we're so happy he's home.

So the other day while up shopping with my good friend Kerry...(you met  her yesterday)...the girls wanted to go in to Claire's boutique.  Hannah bought a chair for her cellphone. Yes, you heard me right. Apparently her cellphone is tired and needs to rest. I am not too psyched that she has a cellphone in the first place...Santa brought it for Christmas. Don't look at me.

So, we're in Claire's and I notice a baby (about Griffy's age, maybe a few months younger..6 months or so). She's sitting on her dad's lap and just as I look at her she is getting her little tiny baby ears pierced. It was everything I could do to not run over there and scream at the parents. The baby was crying so hard and I just lost it inside. Why would they intentionally hurt this little baby just to make her look cute? (Personally, I don't think it looks cute)...Anyway, I had to leave because I was so upset that I thought I might really say something.

The whole way home in the car I couldn't stop thinking about this little baby and how hurt her little ears must be feeling. That night, while nursing Griffy to bed...still thinking about this baby. Not understanding why parents pierce little babies ears. I know it's a cultural thing with some hurts them, so why do it? And then I thought of something. I thought that I did the same thing. I had all 3 of my boys circumsised. I didn't have it done for a religious reason.   We just did it. And isn't that kind of the same thing as the parents piercing the little girls ears? I don't know...maybe if I was holding my baby while he was being circumcised I wouldn't have let them do it.

Monday, March 15, 2010

My uniform

So after feeling sorry for myself about having no friends, I called up my good friend Kerry  who lives a few towns over and we met for lunch this weekend. She has a daughter that is Hannah's age and they are great friends too. We met at this outside mall, did some shopping and then had lunch. And can I just say...she is one hip chick that Kerry. It was pouring rain and she and her daughter were decked out in THE cutest raingear..hats, boots, I want to be like her. She could totally be a personal shopper. I could use one right about now actually. I think I dress ok when I'm at my normal's this transitional phase I'm in that's killing me. Boy have I made some bad purchases recently. One day I was so fed up with having absolutely nothing to wear I took myself to the Gap. I spent most of my time there in the dressing room...half dressed, nursing the baby, crying. Pathetic. The girl kept knocking on the door saying.."Ma'am...are you ok?"...First of all..please don't call me ma'am. Please. I know it's polite...but just don't. Call me's close enough to ma'am. Anyway, I left there with a bunch of crap I don't intend to wear and doesn't even fit. 

I just need a uniform. Something I can blindly put on in the morning without having to think about it. Something that is comfortable, stylish, not too expensive and maybe I can get it in a few different know, to mix it up a bit. Maybe I'll even get a nametag.   

Saturday, March 13, 2010

It doesn't get much better than this

Lately I've been thinking about friendships and my girlfriends that I have had. Since we've moved...a lot...I've had to really put myself out there to make friends. It's kind of like dating actually, although I didn't really date much. It's not easy. You meet another mom at a school function or something and start chatting a bit. I'm Will's mom...yes, we're new to town...I have 3 other kids...blah blah blah. Really what I want to say is...Can I plug your number into my cellphone and call you sometime? Do you want to come over for a glass of wine on Friday? The kids can run around and play....See, that's what I just left behind. This group of girls up here.  Friday's after tennis and when the kids got home from school we'd get together and read home decorating magazines, have a glass or two of wine, order pizza for the kids and it was fun. And I miss that.

I know eventually I'll find my place here and find a new group of girls to hang with. But, right now I'm ok just being home with the baby and blogging with my blogger friends.

Miss you girls.

*This is my going away party they threw me. I don't remember the last time I cried that much. They gifted me with a painting of my old house. It doesn't get much better than that....

"Some people go to priests; others to poetry; I to my friends"~ Virginia Woolf

Friday, March 12, 2010

Babybook Friday

We just came from Griffin's 8 month well-baby. I must say I love my pediatrician..not so crazy about the "old school" nurses that work in the office. Why is it that the nurses ask me the same questions every two months? No, I did not buy a gun or start smoking since the last time I was here..2 months ago. And still no pets..although it crossed my mind at one point. The pet...not the gun or smoking.
The nurse that saw us today really ticked me off. At one point I just started lying and told her that yes, he was waving bye-bye and saying momma and dadda, even though he's not. No, he's not sitting up by himself...could you if you had all those rolls to deal with? No, he's not eating "real" food yet..he's pretty content nursing and it doesn't look like he's malnourished does it? Then she showed me his growth chart comparing him to all the other 8 month old babies in the world. Talk about stress. So, his weight obviously is way up there..almost off the charts, but then the nurse gives me a disapproving look when showing me his  height. "Looks like he's slowed down a bit there" she says. Well, maybe you can prescribe him something to speed up his growth. Sheesh.

Believe me, I take all of this with a grain of salt...he's #4. But, I left there thinking of young new moms with their first babies having to deal with these questions. Do they leave the office feeling like their babies aren't performing like the other babies in the world? Why are we constantly comparing our children, ourselves, our husbands, our houses, our everyone elses? Shouldn't we just appreciate our differences rather than feel inadequate for not being like everyone else? I understand tring to teach my 15, 11 and even my 7 yr old these lessons....but my 8month old!?

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." ~ Dr. Seuss

*Since the main reason I started this blog was to record my days at home with my kids, I thought I'd share what's going on in their lives on "Babybook Fridays"....(I have actual babybooks but nothing is written in them) 

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A bit of Spring

So lately I've been just not loving my put it nicely. Every room I go in needs something done...curtains, walls painted, furniture, new cabinets, new appliances...I know, I know, I shouldn't complain. I have much to be thankful for ...and I AM thankful. Every night I thank God for blessing me with a healthy, happy family. It's just that I also selfishly wish He'd bless me with a new kitchen too....

 Recently I let the kids draw/paint on the walls in the dining room turned study. Big mistake.  I had seen a blog where the mom let the kids draw on the walls and thought it was cute. I figured the wallpaper would be coming down at some point anyway.  Well, apparently her kids are all mini Picasso's. My walls look like crap. How many times can you write "Hannah was here"...or write your brother's a butthead? Today I just needed one little space to look Springy. I bought the wheat grass and the little clover plants and the tulips and it instantly made me feel better.

I made a new friend in town. We have a bit in common...we're both new to town, we both have 4 kids..3 boys, 1 girl..and we both used to play tennis. Maybe one of these days I'll get back out there and hit with her. Who am I kidding? My left leg wouldn't fit in those cute skirts right now. Oh, and another thing...I love her house. LOVE.HER.HOUSE.....I picked up Will there the other day after a playdate and she invited me in. It's in town..walk to the cafe, the water, the little shops. It's an old house that's been renovated beautifully. I didn't want to leave. 

I am trying to love my house. I love my neighborhood and my neighbors...the kids always have someone to play with outside.  I really couldn't ask for anything I won't. I'll just be thankful for what I have.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Mother Knows Best

Hannah is home sick there nothing better than homemade chicken soup when you're sick? I think not. I've been making The Barefoot Contessa's for a few years..I love her cookbooks.

Our family was hit hard with sickness this winter. I've been racking my brain trying to figure out why. We are never sick! I have prided myself with the fact that we are a healthy family and I don't think it's just luck. I have always believed that breastfeeding my kids has been a major factor as to why they are healthy. Stephen and Will nursed for a year..Hannah almost two...Griffy at 8 months..still going strong. I also don't medicate my kids at first sight of sickness. I think we are an overmedicated society as it is and if we all just ate better, excercised more and got some fresh air maybe we'd all be a bit  more healthier. If someone comes home from school complaining of a headache...have a glass of water and talk to me in a half an hour.

When the H1N1 vaccine came out, my pediatricain encouraged me to give it to my kids. I was very apprehensive. I'm on the fence when it comes to many of the vaccines out there right now anyway.  Stephen and Hannah both ended up getting the vaccine...leaving the doctors office that day I felt like I had caved.  Will and Griffin did not get the vaccine. Stephen and Hannah both got sick within 2 weeks of receiving the vaccine. Will got sick but not as bad as the other kids. Griffy got VERY sick. One morning this past winter we actually ended up in the ambulance because he was coughing so bad that he stopped breathing for a bit. After hours in the Pediatric ER, he was admitted with RSV, a respiratory virus. A few hours later I asked the oncall doctor to discharge us and she did, knowing that we'd get a better nights sleep at home. Sometimes a Mother just knows best and I feel that night I knew what was best for my baby.

The past few days have been heavenly...the warm sun, blue skies...oh, am I  praying this sickly winter is behind us and healthier days are ahead. After this winter I don't think I'll ever take good health for granted again.

* On another note....I've been sugar-free for 3 weeks so far and I have to say, not only do I feel great, lost about 5 pounds, but it hasn't been terribly hard. I've still been baking cookies and cakes and breads for the kids and I don't even lick the bowl!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Orange polka dots

Don't you just love Before and After posts? This one isn't anything fancy but we thought we'd share...

Back when we were living in KY while Steve was still in the military, I was pretty creative. I was always sewing or painting something. We had NOOOO crappy car that Steve drove to work, and I was home with 2 kids. We lived in this TINY house on the military base and boy did I use up every inch of space. We had a great garden in the back and lots of flowers. I have great memories of that simple little house.

Anyway, my awesome neighbor gave us this dresser and Hannah needed one so we painted it the same colors as her room and she added the orange polka dots. I love how it turned out! And more importantly, so does she. I had every intention of buying her a brand new dresser..probably would have spent a few hundred dollars..but this was fun for her. Had I bought her a nice shiny new dresser I doubt I would have let her paint polka dots on it.

I'm feeling the need to be creative again. I buy stacks and stacks of fabric and I just stare at my sewing machine. I can't seem to turn it on for some reason. I buy craft books, sewing books, knitting books....nothing has been made though. I'll get there. At least I can cross the dresser project off my list.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Oscars Shmoscars

As much as I love Friday's and the weekends...I really love Mondays. By Monday I'm ready for kids to go back to school..husband back to work. I love my quiet time with the baby and to get the house back to order. I always have big plans for the week ahead. This past Friday the kids didn't have school...teacher professional day...don't get me started on that. Anyway, I took the kids to see Alice and Wonderland. I swear to you it cost more for the popcorn and drinks then the actual movie tickets. Of course, within the first 5 min. of the movie showing, the baby started to cry so I had to leave. It wasn't that bad....I spent my hour and a half at the bookstore!

These are the books on my bedside table right now. Don't you just love having a stack of books for you waiting to read? So, the 7 Habits book I've had for a few years. I read it a while back and love it. I go back to it quite a bit. It pretty much just stays on my bedside table.  The other 4 are my new books. I just started Last child in the Woods and I'm loving it too.

The Oscars are on as I write tonight. I really have no interest in them. Maybe it's because I haven't seen any of the movies that are up for an award....I can't tell you the last movie I saw...besides the 5 min. of Alice and Wonderland on Friday. Wait, the last movie Steve and I saw was that one with the girl from Titanic...Kate something. The Reader..that's it. It was good but the best part about it was that Steve and I saw it at this great old movie theatre...we sat up in the balcony. It was really neat.

I'm just not into actors I guess. I think our society cares WAY too much about them. And I think they are paid WAY too much money to do what they do. For crying out loud, you don't even need a college degree to become one. If we paid our teachers and our service men and women HALF of what actors make...

Anyway, I really don't care what Sandra Bullock is wearing...I'd rather read my book.

Friday, March 5, 2010


Stephen will be 15 on Sunday. My first thought can I have a 15 year old? And then I lucky I am to have such a great kid. I love being his mom. I'm not into long birth stories so here is the condensed version....
We were living in Ft. Rucker, Alabama and the night before Stephen was born there was a graduation ball to celebrate the end of flight school for Steve.  I don't think I left the dance floor all night. I was doing the Electric Slide  and a woman said to me..."You better sit down or you're going to have that baby"....I told her that I was not due for another 2 weeks and had nothing to worry about.

We got home late that night and I had the best nights sleep. I woke up around 7:00 AM to my water breaking. I called the nurse and she told me to come in. Not feeling any contractions, I made breakfast for my Father in law and packed my bag. Steve and I left for the hospital around 8:00 and after a few contractions and a couple of pushes Stephen was born, drug free, at 9:30. I remember my doctor asking how I felt and I told him that I felt like I could run a marathon.( I've never run a marathon and really have no desire I don't know why I said that).

While I was in labor, with Steve by my side, his family was at the graduation ceremony receiving for him the highest award in his class. The General  informed the entire audience that Steve could not attend the ceremony because his wife had just delivered a baby boy. This is how is family found out we had a boy.

Since his birth 15 years ago, Stephen has lived in 5 different states and another country. I could not be more proud of this kid. He's a great kid. I think I need to tell him that more. He's funny, smart, kind, and loving to his family. His siblings look up to him more than he knows.

I love you buddy. Happy Birthday!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Age Gap

My kids are spread out in age quite a bit...Stephen will be 15 on Sunday...Griffy is only 8 months old. We have 2 more in between. For a while I was worried about the age difference between my kids..thinking, will they be close? Oh, I do hope so.  When Griffy is 15, Stephen will be 30! And I'll be 57! I do this a lot...figure out how old I'll be when each kid is a certain age. I don't know why I do it..but I do it. It kind of makes me crazy. I wish I could stop.

There was a blog I came across recently of a mom of 8 kids I think...and I loved what she said in her profile. She wrote that each kid met her at a different age. I've thought about that in my own life. Stephen met me when I was just shy of my 27th birthday. Hannah met me at 30, Will at 34 and Griffin at 41. I think about how much I've learned as a parent during these last 15 years...and how much I still have to learn. 

I'll never forget when we told the kids that I was pregnant with Griffin. Stephen, knowing all too well how these things happen, gave us a look of disgust almost. He was not thrilled either when I was 9 months pregnant attending is rowing banquet with all his buddies. Now, watching Stephen with his baby brother makes your heart melt. Hannah is like Griffy's second mother...and Will just makes him laugh like no one else.

So, yes, I'll be writing out college tuition and a preschool check at the same time. Different for most families but for us it works. Now, how old will I be when Griffin graduates college?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

My obsession

Anyone that knows me knows that I'm pretty obsessed with pantries. Oh do I love a well stocked, organized, pretty pantry! After Steve finished the powder room I begged him (again) if he'd paint my pantry. I told him I wanted the walls red and the shelves high gloss black. He really wasn't going for it but he wasn't about to argue with a very pregnant woman.  So, he took the doors off and went to work. I love how it looks. Yes, it takes a bit of time to keep it looking that way..but it's my thing and I don't mind.  When I'm in the mood to organize, this is where I go. We won't eat for two days because Mom has taken everything out of the rearrange.

It's still a work in progress. Something has to be done with the linoleum flooring...I want to paint the bins on the floor...and my quest for everything in glass jars and a label on it is ongoing. Every trip to Target brings me one step closer. I did find a cool thing at Target recently...a cereal when you're at a hotel breakfast buffet!

When I come home from the grocery store I take a lot of our foods out of the packaging and put it either in a bin, glass jar, etc. I can't help think about how much waste there is in packaging. Wouldn't it be cool to just bring your container when it's empty and fill it at the store? I love going to Whole Foods and looking at the miles and miles of containers of nuts, oats, grains. One time when Steve and I were on date night we went to Whole Foods. I'm not kidding. I love it there.

My dream pantry is a walk-in with floor to ceiling shelving and a screen door. I'd probably hide out in there if I had that...."Mom's in the pantry again"....I love the sound of that. I don't need long soaks in a lavender filled bathtub...just let me hang out in my pantry.

~ "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful"~ William Morris

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A lesson in Humility

This is the first house we bought. After 8 years of Steve flying helicopters in the military, and 2 kids later, we decided to get out and buy a house. His first job outside of the Army was working for Boeing, just outside of Philly. With no money in our pockets we somehow managed to buy this baby for $185K. We were pretty darn proud of ourselves because we didn't have to ask anyone for help. We used the money that his new company gave him to relocate as a down payment, and after living in a hotel for 2 months and dealing with the sellers that kept changing their minds, we finally made it into our first home.

This is NOT what the house looked like when we bought it. The house was not was dark brown and ugly. The landscaping hadn't been touched probably since the house was built in the early 20's...weeds and bushes higher than the porch railing. The backyard was the same. The inside was a nightmare. The woman that sold us the house loved wine. She took  every wine label off of every bottle she ever drank and decoupaged them all over the kitchen walls. That was a lot of fun to peel off.

So, as I mentioned above we had 2 kids at the time and shortly after moving into our new home I got pregnant with Will. Now, this house really was a 1 bedroom house. How did we all fit you ask? You are not the only one to ask that question. Everyone we met asked..."How do you all fit in here?" I can now look back and laugh at the whole thing. But, back then,  living in this little house surrounded by McMansions...let's just say I was a tad bit insecure.

Steve and I wanted this house because we knew the schools were the best. Stephen, our oldest, was in 1st grade at the time. Hannah was only 3. The upstairs of the house consisted of the Master Bedroom..if you want to call it that, a SMALL bathroom and a walk-in closet that was in the hallway outside of the bedroom. So, you guessed it, the closet became Stephen's bedroom. It was a good size closet actually. It fit his bunkbed and a shelf. There was also a skylight which helped. Hannah slept in our room...we partitioned it off with a room divider. At the time she was sleeping in a toddler bed and didn't need much anyway.

While living in that house I couldn't wait to move up to a bigger house, a better I could be like my neighbors. I wanted to be like them. I didn't want to live in this tiny house with Stephen sleeping in a closet! Well, here we are living in a bigger  house, a better house I guess..just like my neighbors. So, why is it that my memories of that house are sweet ones?  

Steve worked so hard to fix that house up.  We were only in it for a little over a year...but in that time, not only did we transform the physical appearance of the house, I learned a lot about myself. It's funny how the thing you struggle with most sometimes will in turn teach you the greatest lesson.

"When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom." ~ The Bible

Monday, March 1, 2010

What do you want to be?

We went to the Aquarium over school break. It was a lot of fun because we went with our neighbors and took the ferry into Boston. You know how much I love a ferry! Hannah decided  that she'd like to work with animals when she grows up. That's after she goes to school for fashion design in Paris. Oh to be young and have big plans for yourself.

I really never had any big plans for myself.  I cannot remember a time when I said..."When I grow up I want to be..."   I really just thought I'd get married and have kids. And that's pretty much what I did. You see, I never finished college and for a long time I was embarrased and ashamed that I never got a degree. I'm over it now, but it took me a long time to get there.

During the years that my peers were off at college, I sort of bounced around...trying to find my way. I'm sure my parents were not thrilled but I just didn't know where I was supposed to be. I lived in different places, held different types of jobs..and just sort of waited I guess for my real life to start.

Once my "real life" started..when Steve and I got married...I felt like I finally fit somewhere. It only got better after that when we started having babies. I knew my birth, nursing a baby, making a home for my family. This is what I was supposed to be.