Saturday, March 31, 2012

Catch-up!


Hey, ho, we're still alive over here! We're back to the busy schedule of Thurs-Sat where we barely see each other because Ben is working so much. So the kiddos and I have been staying busy at home the last few days of this spring break. Samuel is already begging to go back to school! I'm not sure if I should be happy that he loves school so much or offended that he's tired of us.....:)

Eliana has been as grumpy as can be for the past 3 days. She will play happily for about 5 minutes and then come hang on my leg, crying, snot everywhere, saying "Uh? Uh?" (UP). I sure hope she feels better soon!

Some new things we've learned over the past week are:

Samuel learned to swing! We tried so hard to teach him last summer but he just couldn't get the hand of the coordinated pumping and body leans. He was so frustrated! But at the end of last week, Ben took the boys to the park and Samuel picked it up 1-2-3! I got to watch him in action a couple of days ago!

Eliana learned how to say her biggest brother's name! She started a few days ago, saying "Mamyule, Mamyule" in the very same, sweet, high-pitched voice that she uses to call our names. He just loves it! She knows who Zakkai is but hasn't attempted his name yet, or at least that we can tell. I thought she was saying his name a few months ago but turns out she was saying something else and it was a coincidence:) She also tries to say "Budder" (Brother) which is too cute!

Zakkai has learned how to scoot SO fast on his scooter! It took him a little while to get used to the 2 wheeled scooter but now we see him zipping around outside with all the other neighborhood kids:) We counted the number of bruises on his body today and he was impressed to learn that he has 20 bruises. What a BOY.

Take a look at the picture below and see if you notice anything funny:) I'm sure you can guess who did it!!




Now I am off to await the return of my long-lost husband and to watch the big basketball game! Go Bucks!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Potty Mouth

 Wow, what a long day! It could be since I've been up for about 13 hours now and on my own caring for our 3 bambinos. What a busy crew!

Poor Little Miss has a cold:( She started out with one while I was sick earlier in the week, got better for a couple days and got worse last night. She's a snotty, sniffling, sneezy mess! Lots of extra cuddles for this one.

And poor baby fell today into the front door and has a huge red/purple arch over her eyebrow.....in the exact shape as her glasses. I think it actually could've been a lot worse if she hadn't had glasses on.

Zakkai and Samuel played outside for hours today, despite it being 40 something degrees! They even ate lunch outside:) We are the hotspot for neighborhood kids these days. They are banging on our back sliding door at all hours during the day, pressing their faces to the glass, hoping for a glimpse of the boys.

A couple new boys (as in, new to us) have been coming around and they are bad news. Let me tell you, I like kids and think they're awfully cute. It's hard for me to say I don't like a child but after watching this one boy repeatedly tell lies to my boys (that I have to refute 16 times a day), say mean things to Eliana when he thinks no one is around, and say mean spiteful things to the boys (esp Samuel)to hurt their feelings, it's pretty hard for me to like him.

And to top it off, to my complete horror, when the boys came in for dinner tonight, Samuel said, "Mommy, ____ (the neighbor boy) and this other kid were telling us secrets and saying bad words."

Zakkai piped up with, "Yeah, they were saying shut up and hate." I was a little relieved to hear that the "bad words" were standard words that we don't use until Samuel said, "Yeah and they were saying S--- AND F---."

My children just heard some seriously bad words for the first time in their lives and it was such a shock to hear them come out of Samuel's mouth. I immediately told them how bad those words were and that I never wanted to hear them out of their mouths again.

And then I tucked my innocent babies in bed and marched (or limped) straight over to their houses to tell the parents of these 5 year old kindergartners that their little boys have potty mouths.

Except I tried to be as nice as possible:)


I made my first craft project since before surgery today! I've been wanting to make a dress for Eliana using some of my leftover quilt material and here it is! I think she'll look so pretty in it:)

Please ignore this bad picture but Eliana got ahold of some stickers and put them all over her. I thought it was pretty funny:)

Off to recover from this day.....!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Revelation.

I had a revelation today. It happens occasionally:) I have a problem with anxiety and fear. (No, that's not the revelation!) It's something that goes way back and even runs in my family. I am trying very hard to battle it with prayer and bible verses because I do NOT want it to rule my life.

Lately, we've seen evidence that Samuel is following along in my footsteps. That absolutely crushed me. If I had to pick one fault of mine (and there are MANY!) that I do not want to pass on to my children, it's my tendency to worry. As soon as I came face to face with this in my son, I started acting because I have a lot of life to live.

So this morning, the boys were happily playing outside, racing around on their scooters. Suddenly Samuel burst through the door with his scooter and declared that he was done playing because there was a BEE outside. Zakkai came tumbling in after him but I could tell, in typical Z-man fashion, that he really didn't care as much as Samuel did and was only following him as a dutiful younger brother would do. He quickly got over his brief bee-scare and was back outside within a minute or two, calling for Samuel to join him.

No amount of convincing on my part could get Samuel to step foot outside for many, long minutes. "But what if it stings me?"
 "What if it chases me?"
"What if it flies inside my mouth?"
"What if it stings my mouth?"
"It's going to HURT!"
 "I CAN'T go outside!!:
"What if it thinks I'm a flower?"
 "My sweatshirt is wet. What if the bee thinks it's pollen on my sweatshirt and stings me?"

All of these are almost verbatim from Samuel's overworked brain. Now, granted, Samuel was stung by a bee last summer at my mom's house so he knows that it hurts.. He was treated immediately and hardly seemed fazed by it.

But.

While I was trying to reason with him, trying to make him think logically ("Samuel, the bee knows the difference between a boy and a flower. Trust me, he does not think you are pollen!") trying everything I could to get him to stop with the "What ifs", it struck me.

That's exactly what I do. I have spent so much of my time being so afraid of the "What ifs" in life that I miss the real, pulsing, wonderful, hectic life right in front of me. I have been stung before by life. And it hurts. But every time God gives me the grace I need to handle it and I grow from it.

Why should that stop me from living my life FREE? I can't stand by and watched my little boy miss out on a beautiful, sunny day and the chance to ride around on his scooter and be free just because of a fear of something that might happen.

It was a big moment for me. To literally see myself in my child. I can picture so many times Ben or my mom saying "But, Heidi, that hasn't even happened. You have no reason to believe that could happen. You need to trust God. You need to stop worrying. etc" And I fight so hard because that fear is so tangible to me, so real. But I saw with such clarity today that I'm the little child, huddled inside on a beautiful sunny day with life going on around me, afraid because something bad might happen.

Chances are, I might just miss out on some really good things while I'm so busy taking my burdens back from a God who says He'll carry them for me.

Revelation.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Happy Tuesday

I want to say thank you SO much for all of your kind comments here, by phone or on FB about Eliana and her glasses. It is a sensitive subject with us, one that is equally bitter and equally sweet. There is a fear there, that people will look at her and think something is "wrong" with her. A fear that she will be judged or liked less. There has already been one hurtful comment made by someone who should've known better.

So thank you from the bottom of my heart for being kind and encouraging to us and our sweet girl! It really means a lot.

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Tonight after storytime, I was giving each of the boys in turn their hugs and kisses. I had Zakkai squeezed tightly in my arms and I whispered in his ear, "I love you, Zakkai Nathaniel Thomas." He squeezed me and leaned back and fixed his bright blue eyes on me. After a pause he said, "I always think you're pretty, Mommy." I thanked him and then a minute later he said, "Mommy, I've loved you as long as you've been alive."

I love this kid!!!


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After a few months of beating their shoes to a pulp, it is once more time to re-shoe my boys. It's happening more and more frequently as they get older. I could swear I just bought them shoes a few weeks ago but they dutifully bring me their shoes with holes and missing chunks, worn away soles and dirty like they were thrown into a mud pit with a herd of pigs. (Do pigs live in herds??)

I got a little over-zealous today and decided to make a trip to Kohl's, armed with my 30% off coupon and 3 children and get the boys some much-needed shoes, underwear and a pair of jammies for Samuel, who has lately been coming down outfitted in pj's up to his mid-calves! (Do they ever stop growing???)

First of all, wasn't it me last night who said I wasn't ready to go traipsing around a store? I could've sworn it was me.....

We marched (or limped) straight over to the shoe section and after 15 minutes of trying to find the right sizes, right boxes and right prices, I was d.o.n.e. I realized how very stupid I was for attempting such a monumental outing so soon.

But somehow, I girded up my loins and we doggedly finished our mini shopping trip. The boys are happily outfitted in new running shoes, guaranteed by in-store demonstrations to make them run faster, jump higher and play harder. These are some happy little boys!

I'm kind of glad warm weather will soon be here to stay because hopefully a lot less holes will be worn into their pants:) Not sure the bank account can take it!!


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Eliana is already master at breaking her daddy's heart. You've heard me say it many a time and he will not deny it! Lately, she has fallen to pieces if he gets his coat on or even touches the door knob without giving her indication that he is taking her with him. She got so used to him taking her everywhere with him when he was actively Mr Mom and now she can't stand to think that he is going out into the beautiful, exciting world without her!

He can't even take out the trash without her crying for him. He had to drive away to work on Monday with her sad face being the last thing he saw:( Whoever said the way to a man's heart is through his stomach never had a little girl!

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Monday, March 26, 2012

Warning: Long post!!

 Lots of progress is being made over here! First of all, I am really happy to say I think I've finally turned the corner after 5 miserable days. Yuck. I don't remember the last time I've had the flu but let me say for the record that the flu shot is probably a good idea!

Especially if you have a few germ-carrying children living with you!

Also, I am......ready for this? WALKING!!! I have made it through 2 days crutch-free now! I am not ready to be traipsing all over the neighborhood or anything but definitely can get around the house. It feels SO good to be able to do things again: helping prepare meals, washing dishes and carrying my sweet girl!

I am so looking forward to gaining strength so I can do normal things like walking through a store or to the park or even standing for longer periods of time, which is kind of painful. At the orders of my crazy-doc, I had to buy some Crocs to wear so I could have a looser, more comfortable shoe to wear. Even if they are ugly.

So I am the proud new owner of some Raspberry and Gray colored Crocs. Please don't judge me. I know I'm not cool. But they are helping me as I re-learn how to walk without the pirate-peg-leg-gait. Definitely not cool.


Missy Darlin' is 17 months old now! She is picking up new words like "Dint" (Drink) and "Peez" (please), "Doo-doo" (Choo-Choo) and "Doddie" (Doggie). She loooooves to tell us about every train that goes by.....which is a lot when you live right next to a train track:) But her little train sign and "Doo-doo!" never gets old:)

She is getting VERY picky with her food. I was in a really happy place called Denial, thinking that the picky stage would skip right over her. Right. She turns up her nose at old favorites, making it very hard to figure out what to feed her. Some staples that we know she will always eat are cheese, oranges, strawberries, blueberries, broccoli and most meat. Little stinker!

She is getting so tall and loving walking around everywhere. I just realized the other day that I haven't seen her crawl lately. For awhile after she learned to walk, she would crawl a few times a day. But it's gradually stopped over the past week or so. (wiping tear away).

She is doing great with her glasses! She barely put up a fight today and seems to actually like them. We are noticing instant correction with her eye, which makes us SO happy!

I got to put my sweet angel to bed tonight, all the way through with no "help" needed. It was wonderful. To give her a bath, get her all cozy, rock her and read her a story. I am so thankful.

 This kiddo is maturing so fast! He has calmed down so much, not throwing as many ridiculous tantrums (although they still burst out from time to time!). He is more sensitive to things like being left-out by his brother and neighborhood friends and fairness. He is riding the line between wanting to be little boy and play in the bathtub and race cars and wanting to be like big brother, who doesn't want to play the same things much anymore. It makes me feel sad for him because I don't want him to stop being a little boy yet.

Cute story: He came home from preschool a couple weeks ago with a sticker on his shirt. I noticed it and asked about it. He said, "I got this sticker from playing Salom at school." I said "Salom? What is that?" He explained that "Salom" was something they played during free time and his teacher, Ms Dredsen, gave out some stickers.

I was totally thinking it was some cultural thing they were playing since they celebrate a lot of different cultures/holidays. So I was surprised (and amused) upon further questioning to find out that "Salom" is a place where girls go to get their hair fixed but boys can't go there.

I still haven't figured out why he's getting Salom stickers if boys don't go there but I didn't ask. He got two Salom stickers that week:)

His little boy-ness that I want to remember: He still gets "psketti" face after he eats spaghetti, he loves to come sit in my lap, he loves to play in the bathtub for long periods of time, he talks to himself while he plays, he loves to pick out all his own clothes (very proudly) and regularly mismatches or puts shirts on backwards (so cute:), he announces almost every time that he has to go potty, he's sweet and tender, developing his self-confidence, wants to be loved and included, screams and laughs the loudest and has the most beautiful blue eyes ever!


My Samuel is such BIG kid now. To the point where we are adjusting disciplining/rewards to fit now. (ex. being sent to his room instead of time-outs or losing privileges instead of toys) He's maturing so fast and while it is a good, normal, happy thing, it also makes me sad!! How is this kiddo already 6 1/2??

He doesn't like to take baths anymore, just wants to wash himself and get right out (much to the sadness of Z). We've offered to teach him how to take a shower so he can be quick but he's not too sure about all the water running over his face:) He doesn't play with Thomas the Train anymore, his love since he was 2 1/2! He constantly complains of being "bored" even though he has tons of toys. The thing that really tugged at my sensitive mommy-heart was when I noticed over the past months, that while giraffees still hold a place of honor in his bed, he doesn't always notice if they fall out right away. He's quick to pick them up and tuck them up by his pillow if you tell him but he's such a big kid now. (of course, today he brought giraffees in for inspection, showing me holes and various things to perform mommy-surgery on:)

He rolls is eyes at our humor and says "Oh, brother!" He sneaks up on us, hoping to overhear secret adult conversation, convinced we are having all the fun without them.

But he still loves hugs, he giggles and belly-laughs when you tickle him, he feels things so deeply and cries easily (like his mama!) because of that beautiful, sensitive heart. He's still that same sweet boy we welcomed into our life 6 1/2 years ago......he's just bigger. And more mature. And that takes some getting used to.

I just love these kiddos and all the joy and noise they bring to our life!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Day 1!!

We are having a MUCH more successful day with the glasses here!! We gave up yesterday after the trauma to give her some rest. This morning just after she woke up we got 10 good minutes in (a HUGE change from 5 seconds) before she ripped them off in defiance and disgust.

We gave her a break for breakfast and then as soon as she was involved in play, we snuck those hateful glasses right on her cute face. It's hard because we have to hold down her hands and she cries and cries but as soon as we got her involved back in her toy, she forgot about them!

And here we are 2 hrs and 15 minutes later....still going strong!


So little, so sweet.
 Even smiles!!
Such a precious girl!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

New Eyes!

Today was a big day for our Biscuit. She got her glasses. Her initial try-on was everything we thought it would be.

Screaming, crying, ripping them off, having her hands held down, miserable. There was one brief moment where she stopped and looked around, almost like she was thinking, "Whoa. I can see!" And then she fogged them up with crocodile tears and ripped them off.

According to the Dr, she will love them but it isn't hopeful at this point.

We tried to get her to try them after her nap today. But she staunchly resists any and all attempts to put them on her head. So for now we are leaving it with trying the glasses on her stuffed animals, putting them on faces in books and trying to make them "okay" and not scary.

This is the best shot I could get in the 3.4 seconds she kept them on this afternoon, crocodile tears and all. Ben said he could see her eyes straighten almost immediately in the few glimpses we got of her in them. Hope this means it'll work! That is, if we can ever get her to keep them on....

She's a cutie, alright:)




Friday, March 23, 2012

Strike.

One out of Five of us did not get the flu shot.

One out of Five of us has the flu.

One out of Five of us is as sick as a dog.

It is me.

See you tomorrow. If I make it...

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Grueling Grace.

I can't believe I'm even alive enough to blog tonight. It was such a grueling day. I think it all started to go downhill when I developed a cold in the space of 5 minutes this afternoon. Then Ben was supposed to get home around 430-5pm. When the phone rang at 5:05 and it was him, I knew it couldn't be good news. He took the wrong train for the first time ever and had to turn around and didn't get home until 6:15!!

I had 2 boys in time-outs for screaming at each other over privacy and coloring and something very dramatic. I had a little girl hanging on my leg (the bad one:) crying for dinner and I was trying desperately to throw something together for them to eat now that my "Help" wasn't going to be there in time.

There was a lot of Grace today, that's all I can say.

When I dropped Zakkai off today, for the first time in 6 weeks, I got a cheer from several of the parents. Sweet and embarassing! And when I went to pick him up, a very sweet mom ran up to my car and told me not to get out, that she would run in and get Z for me. I almost kissed her feet! Not really but you get the idea;)

And then when we went to pick up S from school, it starting pouring (one of those quick heavy rains) literally less than a minute from school. I knew there was no way on earth I could park a distance away, carry E and use one crutch with no umbrella in pouring rain. Right. So I prayed.

There was a spot open in front of the school (there is a spot for parents to pick-up/drop-off quickly) and I parked and sent Zakkai running up to get Samuel, with instructions not to stop or talk to anybody!! And 2 minutes later, the boys came running through the rain, holding hands:)

And the rain stopped just as we arrived back home. I'll take those small (but large) blessings!!


Zakkai on his new scooter! He's into these really cheesy grins for pictures now, kind of like he's half scared, half constipated. Seriously, you should see this one his school sent home of  him today!

 Still can't believe how big he is getting! He's already talking about his preschool graduation coming up and what songs they are singing:) I told him we'll be there or be square!

 I break up fights between these 2 all morning long. It's really fun. Eliana screams at Zakkai because she wants to do EVERYTHING he is doing. Zakkai gets too rough with her when he tries to make her leave or hides his toy.  Never thought I'd be playing referee with a 1 year old and 5 year old!

Biscuit thought it was pretty fun when I turned the stool over and climbed inside immediately. Z and I decided it was baby jail:)

I have some funny/cute stories to share of the boys soon!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Hump Day.

It was 87 degrees here today!! Crazy! I am wondering what this means for the spring and summer. Hopefully it won't be 100 by June!

I told the boys a few weeks ago that some people call Wednesdays "Hump Day" because it's the middle of the week. They thought that was the funniest thing and take pleasure in remind me of it every Wednesday:) So....Happy Hump Day!

We have colds starting to circulate around here. Samuel has a cough that keeps him up at night and Z is starting the never-ending runny nose. He pretty much runs almost non-stop from October thru April:)

Eliana is such a busy bee, getting into any unknown fun-looking object left out by any of us! Example below:)

We've had to work with Zakkai a lot this week to not be so aggressive with Missy. He wrestles her like she's another 5 year old! I like that he wants to play with her and be around her......just wish he didn't have to tackle her:)

Ben is slowly starting to pick up more work while I am slowly starting to take over more household chores. I have days where I feel really encouraged by my progress or I should say, times of the day. Mornings are best for me! I can practice walking with no crutches~I kind of walk like a pirate with a peg leg at the moment:) But then I feel discouraged by the night because I wear down by the afternoons and am forced to sit down and rest my foot a lot. And I still get tired enough to take brief naps after a busy day!

I never knew this would take so much out of me for so long. I just keep trying to look at the positive sides of this. One, I am really glad that I didn't have this done in the summer time or I would've missed out on all the beautiful weather and taking walks etc. I'm planning on taking full advantage of that this year!!

Two, Ben has a whole new appreciation for family life and running a household. As a matter of fact, he's thinking of offering free courses in how to be Mr Mom, if anyone's interested.....:) All husbands of busy wives who work, take care of the house and/or have children should apply!!

I really love seeing him more comfortable in the role of taking care of the chicklets, cooking, packing lunches, doing laundry, etc. He looks pretty good with an apron on;)

Tomorrow is a big day for us. Ben is going to work for almost a full day (630-430) so I will be responsible for the first time for dropping off/picking up and everything in between. I am really overwhelmed but praying God gives me the strength I need to do it. I miss being my old, busy self!!

Now I need to get to bed early to get some energy!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Crazy Eyes!


Today the Hubster and I took our two littlest chicks and headed off for our very own eye appointments. Don't we lead an exciting life?!

I probably should be embarrassed to admit that we were excited about going but....I'm not:) I haven't been in 2 1/2 years and have shamelessly stretched my 1 year contact supply that long:) Oops. My poor hubby hasn't been to the eye Dr in FIVE years! He can barely see a thing and that's not usually good when you're reading small text. In different languages.

His eyes have worsened quite a bit and now we are trying to figure out where to get glasses. The problem is that he was hoping to keep his frames but just get new lenses and in order to do that he would have to either send his glasses away for 8 days or pay over double the price to get them done in an hour. Hopefully we'll figure out what to do!

We both got our eyes dilated and have been commiserating over our newfound blindness since:) So weird to not be able to see anything close to you (hello, future far-sightedness!) and to be blinded by the sunlight.

We looked sort of like this.....but not as cute:)



 We also got some super cool paper sunglasses to wear around. We rock.

This kiddo has been having a bit of a rough time lately. We think he is processing through the effects of the family upheavel since last month. It always takes him awhile to work through things and it always catches me by surprise when we start seeing signs of it after the fact!

Last night he had a spring concert for school and his class got to sing. We didn't realize this until yesterday afternoon. Of course. I had already picked up the boys from school yesterday for the first time since my surgery and had been practicing taking some steps in the morning so I was completely shot by the late afternoon. With everything in me I wanted to go hear him sing but I just couldn't.

He was crushed and cried and cried and refused to go. I felt like my heart was breaking, knowing I was letting him down. Again. I finally convinced him to go and sing and be brave for me.

Please say a prayer for him as we work through things. He is showing a lot of signs of anxiety and we want to help him through this and help him know that he is safe and loved.


We can't get over how long Missy's hair is getting! It is starting to get wavy, especially when it's humid or warm outside. It's so fun to put it up, especially since her brief bow-ripping-out phase seems to be over. For now:) It's just fun because we've never had a baby with this long of hair. We always cut the boys, once they started to get mullet-ish. Now we don't have to!!

Off to rest my crazy eyes!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Outdoors

Wow, I can't remember the last whole weekend that I went without posting:) I was too tired on Saturday and last night Ben and I went on a DATE!

Yeah, that's right. Our first date since (I am embarassed to say) last spring! We just don't have a good or easy support system close by so sadly, that part of our relationship gets neglected;( Thankfully, I was able to snag a very good friend of ours a month ago to book her up for this weekend so we could actually celebrate our anniversary outside in the real world!

A big double considering we never get to go out and I've been extra cooped up since the surgery:) We got some ice cream and saw a movie! Like regular people! 


This cute patootie looked as cute as a sugar plum fairy this weekend:) It's so fun putting her in dresses now that she can walk and they don't get all caught up around her knees. Plus they are cool and comfy for this 80 degree weather!

 Just hanging' out:)

 Miss E and Z formed a new bond over their 2 weeks together in OH. Once we really started working on Z with sharing with her and not screaming NO everytime she takes one of his toys, things improved. She doesn't scream "NO" once she gets within 2 feet of him quite as often anymore:) Now she likes to lay near him or sit on him!

That's good improvement, I would say.


 Since Zakkai got his new scooter, we let Samuel spent a little of his hard-earned money to buy a little toy. Sadly, gone are the days of Thomas the train! Now he's into "boy toys" like dart guns. He's having a lot of fun with this one!

 We all sat on the porch yesterday afternoon and enjoyed watching all 3 of our chickies play together:)

 This past fall, when my Gma and mom came to visit, they found a Cozy Coupe in pink and purple for E! We pulled it out for the first time yesterday and she LOVED it! She climbed in and out and just sat in there turning the key and pushing buttons.

I didn't have the heart to warn her that she won't be driving for at least another 20 years...
She also discovered airplanes yesterday! She started doing the sign for them and everytime she heard one, pointing and saying "Yook!" It's a whole new world for a toddler and fun to experience through their eyes!

Now I'm off to enjoy a little peace and quiet while the baby monster is sleeping and the other 2 are off at school......Ciao!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Friday's List

* Another beautiful sunny day here! Z was begging to play outside by 830am:)

*Made it through solo half day #3 this week! One big solo day to come tomorrow....I'm nervous!

*Eliana is finally forgiving me for my lack of mommy-ness for a few weeks. She is loving being around me, calling me "Mama" and snuggling lots!

*I have a love/hate relationship with March Madness. I've never ever cared for basketball until I joined the annual family brackets for the first time last year. And here it is again and I remember now why I love and hate it! I get too emotionally invested:) Darn upsets!!

*We surprised Z this afternoon by using a little bit of his birthday money to buy him a scooter, since he didn't get much for his bday. He was SOOOO happy! It has red handles and light up wheels:)

*Missy looked like a beautiful cornflower today in her blue dress and flower hair clip:) She got lots of compliments when we were out today.

*She also threw a toddler tantrum in the store when she had to be picked up b/c it was time to go. It didn't last but a minute. Love that she's at the age where distraction is so easy!!

*Samuel came home from school today and said, "Mommy, guess what?! At school today our room was a mess! A leprechaun snuck into our room and leprechaun's a really messy. There was even a footprint on my desk! It left a piece of gold for all of us. But it's not real gold, see? (holds up green fake gold piece). Mommy, are leprechaun's real?"

*Tried to put my baby to bed for the first time in 5 weeks. I ended up in tears while rocking and reading to her because it's so frustrating to not be able to do what I want and need to do. It takes so long to do everything and B had to come help get her dressed because let's just say that things started to fall apart.

I never would've guessed I would be at this point over a month after surgery. This week I felt so hopeful that I was finally going down to one crutch and feeling like I'd be walking next week. I ended up back on 2 crutches last night and part of today because I overdid things and paid for it. I know I am making lots of progress but...

I'll never taking walking for granted again.

*We seriously make the best homemade pizza ev.er. I'm not boasting, it's true! Okay, I'm boasting. It is AWESOME. We've come up with a new secret ingredient that just puts the pizza, which we've been perfecting for a few years, over the edge. Wow. Come on over and try it!

*One of the highlights of today? Buying.....Girl Scout Cookies!!! Mmmm! It's been years and years since I have had some and I looked it up last week and realized they were selling some at a local store this afternoon so we stopped by on our way home. The girl scout was THE cutest little girl and she had pink glasses:) Her mom said she just loves her glasses and has since she was a baby. Girl Scout won me over by saying, "Are you going to buy cookies?? You're pretty!!" Charming:)

*Happy Friday!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Day of Love.

March 15, 2003


*9 years

*3 states

*7 apartments

*3 children

*3 educational degrees

*2 archaeological digs

*2 vacations

*3200+ days

And countless moments of laughter, inside jokes, tears, pain, hugging, holding hands, praying, dreaming, hoping, waiting, learning, forgiving....

A lifetime of commitment. A lifetime of Love.

I love you, Benjamin Thomas!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Summer-like Glory!

 I'm really confused when I realize that it's 81degrees....and only the middle of March! I admit, I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. Will it snow next week??


It was so hot here that Little Miss got to run around in her diaper! She loved every single minute of nakedness, as you can see! Love that chubby little body!

 Zakkai was thrilled to pieces that he was able to talk Daddy into getting his bike out of the storage closet! He rode his bike for hours today, talking about when he'll learn to ride without training wheels this summer! Woohoo!

Samuel was the first to break out the shorts this afternoon! He and Z were hot, sweaty boys by the time dinner time rolled around. They thoroughly enjoyed a cool bath:) This is the sort of picture I get from my 6 going-on-35 year old! He's a chatterbox these days:)

Here's a little video of our toddlin' walker in all her glory:)

video

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Her Eyes.

Two weeks ago, while we were in Ohio, Eliana woke cross-eyed. It came out of nowhere, with no warnings. Completely blind-sided me (no pun intended!) and freaked me o.u.t.

Of course, it doesn't take much to freak me out but still. Waking up one sunny morning to find that your toddler can't focus on you well is really disconcerting. To say the least.

I had some really anxious days that week. Thankfully, my aunt, who is a nurse, was able to watch her and relieve my fears that it was a neurological problem but I went ahead and made an appointment with a pediatric ophthalmologist for a.s.a.p.

We have been watching E closely over the past 2 weeks, noting when she struggles the most and what she is looking at when it occurs,etc. It is mostly her left eye that turns in and struggles but a little in the right, too.

Today was her "long-awaited" appointment. She got a fantastic doctor, an answer to prayer. Turns out she was the chief pediatric eye dr! She was able to get as much info as she needed, despite Missy's screaming and crying every time she even looked in her direction. That's our girl!

Turns out our little Sweetiana is extremely far-sighted. When I say extremely, I mean extremely! the guidelines for the refractive error for esotropia (what E has~esotropia hyperopia) is 0-2 mild, 2-4 moderate, 4-6 severe and 6+ extreme.

E's numbers were at least 6! Wow. Apparently farsightedness is hereditary so we are still trying to trace the family lines and figure out who started this thing! :) It's something that usually strikes kids when they are 2-3 and not quite so severe.

So our Little Miss will be getting glasses. Sniff. Little pink ones. It looks like she will have glasses (or contacts) for the rest of her life. We are so thankful that nothing else is going on; that it is something that is correctable and that she'll get help soon.

I admit, I am a little sad that I won't be able to look at her sweet face without glasses for much longer. It is such a beautiful little face! Don't get me wrong, I think she'll look adorable in them and I have nothing against glasses. B and I both have them! But it's just a little weird to get used to the idea that her look will change forever pretty soon.

According to the dr, most little people (surprisingly) love their glasses! We're hoping this will be the case with E:)

She and Z (who also had an appt) had their eyes dialated and it was kind of funny to look at them the rest of the day with their huge pupils! They both had to stay inside with the blinds closed because it was SO sunny today. Poor kiddos! They should be back to normal tomorrow morning and will hopefully get to enjoy the nice weather.


(Don't tell Mama but I'm gonna take off those silly glasses every chance I get! I might like them but I'll never tell. Gotta make her life exciting! ~E)

Monday, March 12, 2012

The light!

 Wow, it was another beautiful day today! It started out a bit gloomy and rainy but ended up sunny and warm enough for the boys to throw their bookbags on their hooks and run outside to play:)

Even Little Miss is in the spring spirit. She begs to go outside! She had these weird random tantrums at the end of last week and we couldn't connect the dots right away until she realized we weren't so bright and started bringing her coat to one of us to put on and standing by the stroller. On Friday morning, she was ready to walk Samuel to school before everyone else; coated and strapped into her stroller HAPPILY for at least 10 minutes or so!

She also finds her shoes and tries to put them on (or throws them in our laps!) and just hangs off of Ben whining and letting him know in no uncertain terms that she is ready for fresh air! It's pretty cute and she has the best time ever when she's allowed out of prison to roam the backyard!


"I'm such a big girl now!!"

Yelling directions to her brothers while they played outside yesterday:) She's quite the boss these days!!

Today I had my very first partial solo day. It was tough and tiring but I did it! Ben helped me prepare as much as we could last night (making lunches,etc). The hardest parts for me were getting around in the kitchen to get E a snack before nap and getting her upstairs for nap.

It involved both of us crawling up the stairs, me trying to guide her into her room instead of into her exciting brothers' room, and trying to figure out how to get her into her crib on one leg while snatching the back of her skirt to prevent escape #2!

Finally, we figured it out and she slept peacefully so I got a good break while Z was at school.

Hardest day down!

I went down to one crutch this afternoon to see how it would go and I think I can do it if I am careful. Or at least for half of the day anyways. There's a light at the end of this long tunnel!!

And I'm running towards it! (in my mind anyways.....:)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sunshine Baby!

Hi, there! Well, it's the end of 4 weeks of being babied for me. Back to (modified) reality tomorrow. Ben goes back to work and we are working on plans to help me survive!

Ben has been a champion these past weeks, especially this last one. He threw himself into the role of Daddy-Mommy with gusto and pretty much burned himself out by yesterday. He swung from dreading going back to work because he really did enjoy spending so much time with us to this morning looking forward to going back because he is TIRED!

I said "Welcome to my world!!" With appreciation and love, of course;)

It is nice, though, to have him wear my shoes for awhile and see that it's not as easy as it may sometimes look. I'm not usually sitting on the couch eating bon-bons and having the children fan me with palm leaves.

It's a good thought though.....:)

I am a little nervous stepping back into some of my roles again. I get tired much more easily and there are many things I can't do yet. But I suppose I should take my own advice from this New Year's and take it one day at a time, one small goal at a time.

Did you notice that the font is bigger?? (I heard you, Grandma!) I have worried at times that the typing is too small or too fancy for you to read so please speak up if you have trouble. I aim to please:)

Ready for something cute? I thought so!!


One of the happiest little critters around!! This girl is just brimming with life, joy and spunk!!

 "I very busy, Mama. Taking my baby for a walk!"

The boys got some "new" clothes from their Grandma and have SO enjoyed picking out new shirts to wear each day. They love being able to wear short sleeves now that it's 60 degrees every day!!

video
(once again, B is talking the whole time in the backround:) I couldn't erase this video though because I love to hear that sweet "Mama!")
And Missy, if she hadn't already, completely mushed me up into a sugary puddle this weekend by FINALLY, consistently calling me "MAMA." Not "Dada."  Not "Mada." (a combo!) Just "Mama!" And I think it'll stick this time instead of lasting for a day and having me go back to "Dada."

All weekend she has been saying "Mama" in the sweetest voice you ever heard, just to get my attention and make sure I'm watching her!

This girl has some charm and she knows how to use it!!

Happy Sunday!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Tickle Torture

Our home is often a very noisy place, which is to be expected with 3 rascals running around. Eliana has even learned the tricks to being as loud as possible, thanks to her brothers.

And her daddy.

You see, HE is probably the main cause of the noisiness in the house. He LOVES to torture the boys with all sorts of tickling. He makes up outrageous names as he goes. For instance, today he tickled Zakkai with "Pocket Mousy" which was his hand inside Z's shirt pocket.

You should hear the screaming! It often drives me up the wall and overwhelms my senses! But I can't complain because at least it's happy noise, right?!

I never grew up with boys so you'll have to forgive me. All this noise and stinkiness is a new thing for me!

But I wouldn't trade any of it:)

Enjoy!
video

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Chicken Breath.

 Well, as you may be able to tell, I was hard at work on ye ole blog today! You may notice the brand-new header up at the top. I admit, I'm pretty proud of myself for doing that! That wasn't easy for a non-computer savvy person.

Also, at the top, over to the left hand side, you will notice 3 pages you can click on: "Home" "Projects" and "Recipes." I am still working on these and will be adding more but I am pleased with what's done so far! You can now click on Recipes and all the recipes I have shared are alphabetized for you! Just click on one (if you want:) and it will take you to the page where I posted it. Easy!

Hey, this makes me feel like I can do a little something with my life at the moment, however unimportant:)

Here are a few pics from yesterday's lovely afternoon!

Missy sitting in the Big Bird chair (that used to be her daddy's!) She thought she was big stuff:)


 But sitting still is not in the make-up of toddlers, so she had to do a lot of climbing, too. See that happy face?!

 And then she had a little exercise and took Dani for a walk! Too fast for a pic!

 She takes constant supervision; she kept right on going into the parking lot until the Daddy-Boss stepped in and saved her life. Several times!

 Look at that joy!! She loved every second of being outside like a big girl. Last summer, she just sat in her walker and watched her brothers or yelled at them through the screen door and here she is, finally joining them. Bliss!

 Oh look, I captured another one! I have to be sneaky with this one.

 But then he turned around, propped up his foot and said, "It's okay. You can take a picture, Mommy." He has been an ANGEL this week!

 Love this guy! He's a regular Mr Mom these days and doing a great job! Today he made pumpkin bread and roasted a chicken in the oven. Wow! I just may never walk again....(wink, wink!)

Samuel and I have been working hard on homework together this week. He likes to come be close to me and seems to need a little extra TLC as he's adjusting back to crazy family life again. It's been a hard few weeks on everyone!

So there you have it in a nutshell. I need to think up some more projects to stay busy!

Here's a good recipe to leave you with that we tried for the first time last night. Very good and received 2 thumbs up from everyone!

Honey Garlic Chicken in the Crockpot!

1 1/2-2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thigh or breasts (we used breasts)
3 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 cup reduced-sod soy sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1/3 cup honey

Preparation:
1) Put chicken in crockpot (we have 6 qt). Place other ingredients in a small bowl and combine. Pour evenly over the top of the chicken.

2) Cook 3-4 hours on High or 5 hours on Low (if using a 4 qt~ 3-4 on High and 6 on Low). Enjoy!

*Just watch your crockpot time to make sure you don't dry out chicken.
*It was so good and we ate it with roasted veggies~yum!

OH and funny story~ Ben was telling me he was going to make me eat tons of chicken and I said, from my perch on the couch, "I don't want to eat a whole chicken breast!"

Samuel burst out laughing and Zakkai said, "What?!" Samuel said, "Mommy said she's not going to eat the Chicken Breath!"

Zakkai said, "Not uh! She said the Chicken Press!" Which then led to a mini argument over whether I was going to eat the Chicken Breath or Chicken Press:)

I finally interjected after I stopped laughing and told them it was the chicken breast! Too funny!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Changes.

Now I know that a lot of people don't like changes. A lot of times I don't either! Especially when it has to do with new places or new people or well....new food (isn't that a surprise?!)

But I DO like making changes to my home and my blog. It's my very own personal space and nobody can tell me what to do!! What, am I 5??

Hopefully you weren't checking in this evening too much, otherwise you would've seen a big, ole, bloggy mess! I made a few changes and HATED them.

But here are a few things I did and a few things I am going to do soon. As in tomorrow. Because I have a lot of time on my hands right now. Wink.

I did change my backround because I just wasn't feelin' the winter backround. Especially considering it was 60 degrees today! So goodbye, Snowman!

I did add a new Blog Header personalized with the kiddos' pictures. I worked SO hard on it (you don't even want to know) but I really don't like how it turned out. So we'll see if I can fix it or you'll see a new one up soon. Sorry!

And I am learning how to do something I've been wanting to do for awhile now: add new tabs/pages. Wondering what that is? Well, I would have a few different tabs for you to click on up at the top (under the header) such as Blog, Recipes, Crafts or something like that. I think it would be much easier to have all the recipes listed under one page in alphabetical order, rather than you clicking on the "Recipes label" (on the right hand side, currently!) and having to hunt through for something you saw 2 years ago that you want to try tonight!

So, all this to say...please put up with me as I'm under construction! Hopefully the changes will be good. If you don't like 'em, feel free to tell me!

Nicely, of course. I'm pretty sensitive and all that;)

p.s. Everyone's doing well, pics tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Daily News.

Can't believe we've been home for 3 days already! It's been so busy as Ben is adjusting to being "Mr Mom." He even put on an apron today....just to amuse me:)

Seriously, this hubby of mine has learned to do things that he's never done before! Or not much anyways. I think he's feeling awfully proud of himself with his new domestic skills.

Today Zakkai had picture day at school. He had to get a bath before school to clean the marker off his head and hands (a common sight) and who knows what else. You should've heard the battle between Daddy and the Z-monster over bath scrubbings and getting dressed in nice clothes.

Zakkai was sure that no other boy would be in a sweater vest. We assured him that all the other boys would look nice, too, and that lots of little boys have worn sweater vests before.

And then there was another battle over wearing a jacket (it was warm today!). He left for school crying and screaming that it wasn't a jacket he was wearing! Because 5 year olds know everything.

Then he had a dentist appointment this afternoon and B and I were a little worried that there would be yet another battle. Thankfully, there was not! And he joins the ranks of the cavity-free in our family. Thank goodness for good genes!

The boys' long lost buddy, Mikey, came over this afternoon. He hasn't been around in over a month, after an incident with a scary/creepy neighbor:( The boys were beyond overjoyed to see him again and they all soaked up the last minutes of the warm, setting sun.

I finally got my stitches out yesterday. It was so painful. I was wishing for my dear Dr friend, Ms E! I now have the go ahead to progress to putting weight on my foot slowly. First light steps with both crutches, then more weight and eventually to one crutch and then to none! I tried my first light steps today and see that it will not happen as fast as I'd like, as it's pretty painful and swollen in there. I will keep trying and hoping for quick healing, as B goes back to full-time work next week!

Yikes.

I am trying to do little things to help out and earn my keep. Doing homework with S, watching Missy~as much as I can. (She has a definite advantage over me with her walking right now! ha.) And other small things. One day I will become queen of my castle again.

But until then, I am trying to enjoy some down-time and loving TLC from the King-turned-Mr Mom:)

And last but certainly not least, Little Miss is raising her ranks in the household to princess with a capital P. Also known as a little Hellion.

She is 100% toddler. Well, she thinks so anyways! We don't tell her that she's still our baby because she's probably say, "No, no, NO!" Which are her new favorite words.

She screams for food. She screams at Zakkai. She even threw a cup at his face today while yelling "Mo!" She rips her bows out of her hair and after she's done putting them in cups and containers, hides them in secret places.

But mostly she cracks us up with her new, toddling walk and the loops she makes around and around the house, showing off her new skill. She's getting pretty fast already!

She is full of personality, spunk and a lot of sweetness and cuddliness. We have to figure out how to tame this tiny firecracker!

Still working her Daddy-magic!

And here's a little clip of her walking~the best that I could do yesterday. Ben didn't realize I was video taping and was blabbing on and on and then he realized I was and started being silly. He likes to do that!


Enjoy:)
video
 And, while I did devote a whole post to my mom who carried the majority of the load over the past few weeks, I certainly do NOT want to forget the other special people who helped out.

My other "babysitters." Haha!

Grandma (B's mama), who came over several times to help chase after an increasingly busy little girl, listen to me blab on endlessly about things (hey, it gets lonely being all couped up!!!), and give extra-special attention to a little boy, who soaked up every second of it. Thank you for making Z feel so special. He could barely concentrate on anything else but his sacred Fridays with his loving Grandma! (And I know you enjoyed it, too!)

And thank you for driving us halfway home and helping to reunite our family again. You were a huge help over the past couple of weeks and we thank you!

And a big thank you to my Aunts (Aunt J and Aunt M), who also took babysitting duties! I loved the quiet times with each of you to talk (something that's hard to do with 20 relatives around!) and also it filled my heart to see you love on my little boys, too.

So thankful for family!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Mugga Love.

I am not even sure how to begin expressing our appreciation and love for the help we recieved from family over the past 3 weeks, most especially my mom.

Also known as: Mugga:)

She rearranged her schedule, packed up and drove here for THE most hectic week ever (sick, screaming baby, daughter having surgery, cleaning, cooking, school-runs, chaos, chaos and MORE chaos).

And then, when things weren't looking as hopeful as we all thought they would, she packed up once again. This time with 3 more of us in tow. And she drove us back home to Ohio where she cared for us day and night. Literally.

From packing snacks and lunches to running up and down the stairs a hundred times a day bringing things to me. From cooking home-cooked, nutritious meals to giving the baby her daily bath. From taking the night time wakings for a baby who was seriously off from all the changes to getting up at 6:30 the next morning (every morning) with the same little rascal.

Taking me to drs appointments, listening to my worries, playing with my non-stop chatterbox son, washing endless loads of laundry, getting us out of the house when we were all cagey, changing diapers, tucking children in bed, helping me get everything set up to shower each morning (putting a chair in the bathtub/making soaps and shampoos accessible).

You did an amazing job becoming a mommy substitute to my little ones and couldn't have cared for them ANY better. You protected them like they were your own. You loved them, cared for them and never once did you complain about it.

That's what I call love.
We miss being with you everyday. I miss watching E lift her arms up to you so trustingly. (I was only jealous for a little while!) I miss watching Z follow you around the house, asking endless questions and soaking up your gentle love. I miss sitting with you watching "Say Yes to the Dress" and drinking tea. I miss your wonderful care and selfless love that you poured out on us for 3 weeks straight.

You deserve a gold medal! Or a free vacation. Maybe a lifetime supply of brownies?

If I could give you any of that, I would. But for now, I just want to say "Thank you."

Love,
Me

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Home.

We survived our first day home together! Poor Ben is running around like crazy managing everything but I can't say that I dislike his new penance for cleanliness!!!

Here are a few leftover pictures from our stay in OH:

Missy just loves her Papa! Everyday when he would come in the door from work, she would stop whatever she was doing if she was nearby and just start babbling to him, telling him all about her day (just like in the talking video I posted of her recently). Yesterday before we left, she was calling for her Papa up the stairs:)

 Papa also spent some good time playing army men with Z! He sets up some very nice battle scenes; I'm sure he's picked up some good tips from all the civil war documentaries he's watched!
This silly girl is soaking up her time with her Dada! She is showing off her walking, playing with all of her old/new toys, demanding food all day (she has quite an appetite!) and testing to see if she can still work her wiles on her daddy.

She can!

Unfortunately, she is on OH time and will probably wake up bright and early again tomorrow.....actually, make that dark and early:)

Good night!

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