Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

from our happy brood.

Friday, October 30, 2009

This little piggy

The great swine flu of 2009 is still underway here at the Kelley household.

Here are the stats as they stand today:

Mom/Me-disgusting cough, but finally feeling less like I have been run over by a train, no fever since Tuesday.

Haven-All Tamiflu-ed, still coughing, but bouncing around, annoying her siblings and rolling her eyes...basically back to normal.

Brittan-had a fever for one night, coughed a few times, decided she was done with that and went back to school the next day. She just likes to make the rest of us look weak.

Grayson-got super excited about his Halloween party today, especially since it is his first week of preschool(his wise mother kept him out until now for fear of swine flu...seriously) and he missed the party last year due to a stomach bug. At 3 am he woke up, spiked a fever and vomited. Poor kid had to miss the party again and he is feeling pretty bad today.

Teagan-has had a low fever on and off for a week and a small cough. We are hoping she somehow escapes this.

Dad/Ryan-so far, so swineless.

Hopefully the big kids will feel well enough to enjoy Halloween tomorrow and if Gray's fever breaks, we will all be heading to the Fall Festival. I am so over this illness, it can move on now.

Monday, October 26, 2009


I am excited for Halloween this Saturday, and usually I am not a fan of the day. Being it is on a Saturday is a good start. In the morning we are attending the kid's Fall Festival at school and they are super excited. Then we will come home, carve pumpkins and I will prepare our spooky dinner. This year the kids have requested witches fingers (scraggly chicken tenders), mummy dogs (hot dogs wrapped in puff pastry), frog guts (round pasta with peas and a creamy sauce)and carrot eyeballs (slices of carrot topped with herbed cheese and an olive slice). Then Ryan will take the three big kids out trick or treating while I man the door with the baby. Once they are home we sort the candy and trade out anything Haven is allergic too, then they will have dessert (alien cupcakes) and we will watch a Halloween movie. Then bed. It should be a fun night!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Oh swine flu

how we hate thee....

You have been teasing and tormenting us for weeks. First my big girls and pneumonia for Haven...and prednisone, the crazy-making drug.

Now Teagan...her little tushie red from the many poopy diapers, her screaming from 9 pm-2 am probably from a sore throat made worse by her screams. Me, with the sore throat and now terrible chesty cough. Grayson...runny nose and bad attitude that drown out my normally sweet and kind boy.

Swine flu, you have hit us all and made us sick, but we will prevail....we now have natural immunity and don't need shots :)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

This is the life I have chosen

and I couldn't be happier.

Nine poopy diapers due to swine flu, and I wouldn't trade it.

Arguing children, they fill the silence with silly disputes.

A house that is never quite clean enough or organized enough or finished being fixed and updated, but where my children will spend their childhood. A home where we have brought babies home, shared birthdays, holidays, disagreements and resolutions.

This life that I have chosen, while unconventional to many, is what is right. I love my house full of craziness and noise. I welcome the chubby baby thighs, loose teeth, first plays and new experiences. I also welcome my career and education, which many would not have tried to take on while filling their home with little feet and loud voices.

Some days it is hard to see through the moment, to see past the dishes that need to be done, the laundry folded, the baths given and the diapers changed. It can be hard to see that in five years, this life that I have chosen will be so different when it is shared with a 14 year old, a 12 year old, a 10 year old and a 5 year old, if no more join unexpectedly, and then I will miss the days when they were all so small.

This is the life I have chosen, and while it is not for everyone, it is the best life for me.

Busy Busy Watch me go!

Wow, long time no blog. I actually have a draft saved, but decided that I didn't want to finish it and started new.

The week was a long and interesting one. Got lots done around the house including laundry and cleaning and work. Made yummy food for the family, they seemed happy with the meals overall. Planned and executed family fun night Friday, complete with preservative laden appetizers for dinner (and a salad on the side), homemade blue cheese dressing and caramel apples for dessert made the old fashioned way with the pot of molten caramel. The kids were extra happy that they got to consume all these goodies in front of a movie in the family room...good times for all.

The bad part of the week is that the flu ran through here again. Just as shots became available, although in limited numbers, the second half of the family got sick including myself, Grayson and Teagan. Grayson had a very mild case, low fever and some coughing and a runny nose. Teagan had a fever, cough, some extra spitting up, some fun baby choking episodes and she was extra fussy. I ended with a fever and a sore throat and general exhaustion. Seems the worst of it is over and all in all, out of the six of us, only Haven was hard hit when she had the pneumonia (we believe it was H1N1 even with the negative test).

In other news, I am really working hard to let things go, to get through tough days or tough times with a different approach. To try to find a new way to look at things, and to see the good things through the bad.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Can someone dig me out?

Overwhelmed. That is how I would describe how I am feeling. My days have been really hectic and finding time to focus on one task for any length of time is near impossible. I know it is a phase, and that it all will get done, but I really need a day of doing nothing but hanging out on the couch under a blanket.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Snuggles and cuddles

We have had an early taste of winter this week forcing us to turn on the heat and bundle up. My husband and I are huge fans of winter, the fires in the fireplace, the dark evenings, the warm blankets and snuggles are comfort and home for us. I was probably one of the few folks who enjoyed the gray skies this week and the crisp air, but winter evokes this homey feeling for me and makes me want to hunker down with those I love.

The downside to this early taste is my sweet Teagan did not have many warm clothes. For around the house we had some things for her including sleepers and leggings and the like, but to go out in we needed some warmer items. I purchased her some winter wear before she was born assuming she would be similar in size as my other children, but she has turned out to be quite the little peanut. At 3 months old, she is just barely into size 3-6 months clothing, much of which are still too large. I had purchased mostly 6-9 month winter wear assuming it wouldn't be needed until November and that she would be long like the other I would guess she will wear that size in January or February. Needless to say, the little girl needed some clothes so I went and grabbed her a few things the last few days including a new fleece snowsuit. We are planning to pick apples tomorrow, and pumpkin picking is on the horizon, so she needed something to be snuggled up in, and the snowsuit is a necessary evil.

Now Teagan is ready to be snuggled, the firewood is waiting outside and the winter blankets are washed and waiting on the couch. Bring on the cold, we are all ready to snuggle.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


As much as I complain about my house and how much I want to move, sometimes it just takes some perspective to see things differently. Usually I only see what we need to do, what we don't have and the things I don't like. Today, while walking around the house holding Teagan, I tried to see the other side of things.

We are lucky to have a large home that is comfortable, in a nice neighborhood, in a good school district. The house has plenty of room for our brood and we have a nice lot, just under an acre and the front looks a bit like a park. We have so very much that I often forget to see. Would I like a different kitchen...YES. Bathroom..YES. Flat backyard...HELL YES! But we do have room to spread out and enjoy our life as a family, and should we decide to stay here long term, we also have options to expand and upgrade the house. Today we talked about the option to take off the garage and build a new one with a new master bedroom above it. This would create a huge space for Ryan and I (our garage is a 2 1/2 car garage) including office space and a new master bath. If we added a hallway through the old master bedroom, the resulting room would be a great room for the older two girls and they would have their own bathroom to share, and Gray and Teagan would have their own rooms with a bathroom to share, plus a guest room. See.....options come from a change in perspective.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Poor neglected blog

We have just been so busy, and what we have been doing is mundane, that I haven't really been blogging much.

Today the girls had a half day, and somehow I managed to get the husband moving early enough for he, Grayson, Teagan and I to head out to run errands. First stop was the dreaded W-Mart. We had to pick up Haven's meds, they were the only shop in town that had it in stock, so off we went. They were having trouble with our insurance, seems there was an error in the system, but I must say that the woman working in the pharmacy was wonderful and patient and got everything resolved for me. We also scored a few deals for the baby. I have been searching for a decent hooded sweater or sweatshirt for her but have only been able to find crazy striped or colored ones in Teagan's size. It was getting desperate since it will be very cold here next week, and the little one needs something warm, and as a last resort I headed back to the baby section. They had two sweatshirts for her, both with hoods and while they aren't may favorite style, they are simple and clean looking, and will work to keep her warm. Best part...they were 3 bucks each!

After that store, we then headed to our favorite store on earth...Wegman's. Ryan and I walked in, grabbed a tea and coffee and treated the little boy to a gelato. We then had a great time getting everything we needed and even ran into the Fallon's while there. We love Wegman's not only for the clean environment and huge amount of choices, but also because we walked out of there with a cart full of food for 60 bucks. When you have a family of six, that is a dream come true.

Tonight we are all relaxing. Dinner is BBQ Beef sandwiches taht slow cooked all day and homemade coleslaw. The girls and I made a banana cream pie for dessert and I already did all my work for the day. Looking forward to family snuggles and fun.

Monday, October 5, 2009

It is a losing battle

I have this idea of what I want my house to look like, the order it should be in, and the general feeling of everything having a place. What I have had to come to accept is that in a house with five other people, it just won't ever be what I want or what I have in my head. I try, trust me, to get everything just perfect, but it just never lasts. I can clean all day and night, and it is undone in a matter of minutes because we live here and someone is always home. For example, I like a neat and clean kitchen, and that is one area I am rarely willing to waiver on since I do the cooking in there. With the dishwasher out of commission, I have had to give over some of my limited counter space to the dish drain, but somehow we have made it work. The living room is another area I try to keep as neat and clean as possible, since it is the room I escape to when I need a break, but right now the stroller is in there and there is some clutter in the corner that needs to be addressed, but I never have the time to attack it. Just keeping up with general upkeep, vacuuming 12 times a day due to dog hair, kids, leaves, etc. Dishes. Laundry. Picking up whatever is strewn about. Bathrooms which go from spotless to trashed with one kid's visit. The bigger tasks, the mud room that needs reorganizing, the garage, the room under the stairs, the front hall closet and my closet, always get tossed to the side. Once I get a chance to do one of these and move on, the first is trashed again. Alas, it is a losing battle, so instead of making myself crazy, I just keep trying, and cleaning, and putting away in the vicious cycle knowing it will never all be done, but that the mess is worth it.


It has been a rough year thus far, but I see the light at the end of the tunnel and I believe that all of the hard times we faced will be well worth it. This year has taught me not to take anything for granted, and that the health of my family is the most important thing. I have learned that while I will always stress over little, petty things, it will be okay in the end, and I need to let some of it go and just enjoy the good things. I found that I am so very blessed to have four children and a loving husband. Our marriage, while imperfect, is strong and I have leaned on Ryan more this year than ever before and found that he is always there to hold me up.

This year, while incredibly difficult at times, has taught me patience and joy in the small things in life. I only need to look at the faces of my children to see that patience is the key to our success, when I have it, everything seems easier. As we head into the holidays, I am excited to share our traditions with Teagan and to see how she impacts our family. I am constantly looking to see the positives in my relationship with Haven and to find better ways to deal with her "issues" and to simply enjoy who she is and what she brings to our lives. I want to take more time with Brittan, to see the person she is becoming and celebrate it, and Grayson is a constant joy in my life with the unique perspective that a boy brings to the mix. I am a lucky mama, and I need to let the stress go more, and be thankful for what I have right here snuggled up at home.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

On the mend

Whew, it was a long week having Haven home sick and all medicated and crazy! I took her to the doctor for a lung check on Friday and she was still wheezing, so it will be a month of treatments for her to keep her lungs clear. Seems what no one mentioned was that she had viral pneumonia....ah well that explains it.

So far, Britt seems OK, just a lingering cough. Gray is a little under the weather, but also just a little cough. Teagan has a runny nose and is crabby and sneezy, but no fever or real cough so we are hopeful she escaped unscathed.

My classes took an exam last week, and this week they are off so I am going to enjoy hanging close to home and trying to get some things accomplished. I also have new classes starting at FT school, so that will keep me busy, and I have a class starting the end of this month which means lots of paper writing again. On the positive, I found out that I am able to write two classes and that means some much wanted and needed extra cash coming in. It will be nice to have a padded bank account and for Christmas to be fun and not stressful this year. I even have a plan to try to get a trip for the kids for Christmas, we are looking at one of the resorts with an indoor water park :)

The BEST part about having some extra cash is that we can book our beach vacation with the Fallons! I cannot wait until we are sitting on the beach next summer, by far it is one of my favorite things and I love getting away and enjoying time with family and friends. I am also looking to see if my parents can secure us a week in Hilton Head too, and for that trip it will probably only be the moms and kids which could be an adventure! Two moms and seven kids 10 and under, it could go either way, but I am guessing it will be crazy, loud, silly and most of all FUN!