Sunday, January 31, 2010

Bits and Buggers

Ah yesterday was lovely and joyous. The snow fell, I made homemade hamburger buns and cinnamon rolls. The kids were fairly well behaved and the hubby stayed home from work.

Last night the baby had a rough night, she was up a lot and restless. She is gearing up to cut some teeth, so that may have been her issue, or it could have been the ginormous poop she needed to take and did at 7 am exploding everywhere. My wonderful, and well rested, husband took her, changed her and kept all the kids so I could sleep until almost 10 am! That is an amazing gift to a mother of four!

On the agenda today. Laundry and lots of it, and cleaning the upstairs. Kids have already done their portion, I have to straighten the master bedroom and we have a lot of laundry to fold and put away. The kids want to play in the snow, and I need to do some work. Hopefully we will have a nice quiet and peaceful Sunday.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

More of the white stuff

Seems our area is getting hit with a nice little storm and I couldn't be happier. The kids are home, we have firewood waiting by the door and my plan for the day includes some work, a little cleaning, a little laundry and possibly some baking. I love looking outside, seeing the falling snow and the white is a perfect day to stay holed up.

The only negative is that the hubby has to work tonight. I am hoping he will get to stay home, either working or just hanging out, so we can all have a nice, peaceful Sunday tomorrow.

Off to get the bulk of my work done so I can spend the day snuggled with my kiddos, this was a much needed day off!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

When did my baby become a fashionista?

My oldest girl has become very interested in her clothing and hair and has started putting together outfits. I hate to admit it, but she does a really good job pulling together a cute, and almost always age appropriate, look for herself. I love watching her express herself and seeing the budding young woman that is growing inside my little girl.

Gone are the days of sundresses and matching outfits with Brittan. Now it is all about accessories and mixing and matching. I miss my baby. I miss that little girl with the yellow blond hair pulled into wispy pigtails. I miss her chubby bare feet. I miss the toddler in a white dress standing in the kitchen. I miss that little girl, but I am also amazed at the journey we have taken with Haven, the hard times we have faced, the concerns and worries over her health, and the place we are now. The changes came so fast and furious. This year she will turn 10 and we will enter a whole new world of parenting.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

OK fine

Happy Birthday to one who comments secretly on here.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

And then there was light...

Feeling better today...told you my depressions are short lived. I cried a lot yesterday and planned and talked and then cried some more. I let the frustration go and focused on the positive. The changes we have put into motion WILL be good and they WILL be positive in the next few years. It sucks now, it is hard now, but it will pay off in the long run.

Today is a quiet day. Got the new changing table washed and put in it's new home and it is perfect! Moved the Pack and Play into the Living Room and now the baby has a place to nap. Some housework needs to get done, a little work and then I am forcing myself to bed early to relax and snuggle with the hubby.

Much better today.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Hey you to pull me out of this hole?

OK, I have made a rapid descent into a mini depression. Don't worry folks, they only last a day or two with me, because, lets face it, I simply don't have time to be depressed.

Here is what is troubling me. I work. I work hard, really hard, every day and I don't feel like I am getting anywhere. On top of that, I am watching life run past and don't get to enjoy it. I don't get days off, and I am not even talking about from mom and wife duties, and I don't feel like I get any down time. This has to change, I can't live my life doing for everyone, working and not enjoying life.

So here is what I am thinking. I am going to schedule...yes schedule...two days a month for fun. One will be a family day, one will be a date day with my husband. In addition, I am opening another checking account at a different bank with a separate bank card and I am paying that account each week. I plan to give that card to my husband so I cannot use the money for practical things, and I will use it only for our fun stuff. I feel like i have to force this stuff, but I am always the first to give to everyone else and do for everyone else, I need to make time to make myself happy too. I need to experience this life I have worked so hard to build, and while I am really happy that the husband and kids get to live it up...I think I deserve a little fun too.

Let's hope I stick to it!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

I don't roll with it

Oh man I am anxious.

I hate feeling unsettled and while I know that we are in control right now and that there was even news that the hubby's job is more secure than we thought...we are not trusting that. We are still on course to begin a major job search, and not knowing where we are headed is enough to make my head spin.

I am not someone who can roll with things. I cannot wait to see what happens. I need to research and over analyze everything. I have researched houses all over Long Island and Upstate New York. We have looked at jobs at hubby's current job but at a different location. We have therefore, looked at houses in West Virginia and my sister's neck of the woods. There is a HUGE difference in these!

So I am going a little nutty and probably will be until Ryan gets a new job. Then we can begin trying to figure out where we are going to live!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

2010-the year of purge

Being that we are in flux and not sure where we are headed, I realized that I should work on getting the house ready to be sold. Now I don't anticipate putting it on the market any sooner than a full year from now, but upon looking around, I realized I may NEED that year to get ready!

Our house is a good size, and we have been here six and a half years and added two kids to the mix during that time. To say that we have many "Monica's Closets" would be an understatement.

So I have dubbed 2010 the year of the purge. First in line, the playroom. It was on the schedule to be redone next month, and with that will come a huge purge. My goal is to have minimal toys left for the big kids, and a play area for Teagan. New coat of paint, new curtains and new carpet will round things out.

Next in line, the master bedroom. We need better storage, so new dressers are on the plan. I also need to clean out the closet.

Then the Master Bath which will be painted and get a new shower and new floor.

The rest of the house will get decluttered, anything that is extra or not in use will be packed in boxes and moved to the garage...which also needs a good cleaning. My hope is that we get the house prepped and ready to be sold, small repairs made and a few bigger jobs done so we can maximize the amount we will make.

Wish me luck, I am fighting against the current on this one...four kids make organization seem impossible!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Ask and ye shall receive

My oldest girl has food allergies, and this morning she told me she had a dream that all the food at the bakery was trying to get her. See, she loves pastry, but she can almost never have it since most bakeries use nuts. So she asked me to please make her a huge, delicious cinnamon roll, and like a good mama, I obliged.

After dropping the kids are school, the baby and I came home, did a few things and right before leaving to run to the food store and to get Gray, I made a batch of Challah dough. Lately I make it with 2 cups of whole wheat flour, and the rest white, and it works well for sandwich and hamburger rolls and loaves of bread, but I wasn't sure about cinnamon rolls. Left the dough to rise and ran to the store, and while there, I made sure to grab cream cheese.

After getting Gray and a friend, coming home and feeding them and the baby, I decided to shape the cinnamon rolls. They came out great, although next time I will add more cinnamon and sugar inside, and I threw the rest of the dough in a loaf pan for sandwiches. After baking, the cinnamon rolls looked fantastic, so I decided to make a special frosting. Using cream cheese, butter, confectioners sugar and maple syrup, I made a maple cream cheese icing. The only thing that would make this better would be to add walnuts...but alas, then we would be back to Haven not getting any.

So now they are sitting there, tempting me, and I am trying to resist until my girls get home from school :)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Yesterday was good and bad

Yesterday started off rough but got progressively better. Today I have plans to stay home ALL DAY and get lots done, including some forced down time.

The morning is off to a good start, the kids were pleasant this morning and the girls got off to school easily. I have already vacuumed and had some coffee, and I answered a bunch of emails that I had pending. I have some more work work to do, but nothing too heavy, and I hope to spend the majority of my day doing laundry, mopping floors, snuggling with kids, baking muffins, and roasting a chicken. I need a homey day filled with cooking and cleaning and PJs all day long. I may even sneak a batch of cookies in there if I have the time!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


We are back from our little trip...actually we got back around dinnertime on Monday. We went to Great Wolf Lodge and had a great time. The kids really enjoyed the waterpark and we had a really cool log cabin room. Even the baby had a good time and she didn't mind getting splashed at all!

Now we are home and back to reality :(

I start back to teaching tonight, and it looks like it will be a quick night tonight since my room I was assigned has no technology and I haven't reserved we will be in an out. The baby had a well check yesterday and marched in at 49% for height and 45% for weight...she is a peanut for our family. We also noted to the ped that her feet keep going really purple when held upright and Teagan happily provided a demonstration while we were there. Given her cardiac history, the ped was alarmed and we made an appt for the cardiologist for today. Went to see our fave cardiologist who assured us that her purple feet were due to an immature circulatory system and it was not cardiac related, and then following her echo, he told her that as long as her murmur is gone by a year old, she is cleared as a patient...Hooray!

I am a wreck due to having too much to do and too little time, and I think the hubby and I have decided to make moving back home a reality if possible. I am not sure we will end up ON Long Island, we may in fact end up somewhere upstate, but we need to make a change and I miss being near people we know. So in a fit of tears this morning, I admitted I wanted to just go "home"

OK, off to prep dinner and for work...wish me luck :)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Leaving on a Jet Plane

or a car :)

We live for our mini-vacation today. It will be quick, and I will share where we went when we return (safety first) and will like to make any would be robbers aware that:

1. We have nothing of value besides the car we will be driving, our laptops which will be with us and one of them kinda sucks anyway, and the kids.
2. Our enormous dog will be here...and I mean enormous, look back some posts and you will see our Newfie.
3. Our dog sitter will be here.
4. I have four kids, the chances of us coming home early or not even making it to the destination is great.
5. Seriously, we have nothing of value, we even have old tube TVs...damn kids cost too much money...hence they are our only valuables.

That said, I am trying not to worry too much about what the future holds and I am going to try to just enjoy the trip. Now off to bath the stinky baby, no stinky kids allowed in my car.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

And I was just thinking how lately I have nothing to say

that will change now I am sure.

My husband came home and told me that his division is being outsourced to India sometime in the next year....but lets face it, once they tell you, it is sooner rather than later. Blindsided is not strong enough of a word.

Right now I am very anxious, but also know that we have time on our side. Hopefully it will be a few months before layoffs and then we know that there is a decent severance package, but one we hope not to need. We are in flux, especially since we had just laid out our plan for the next four years and a layoff was not in the cplan. I could go and look for more traditional full time work and make enough to support us, but that would mean daycare for the kids, and me being gone and everything we worked for would go up in no dice except as a last resort.

Right now we are just breathing. Tomorrow we will go away as a family and have fun and Tuesday we will dust off Ry's resume and get it ready to go. He will look internally for jobs and for positions here in our area....but he will also look for jobs wherever we have family he can stay with, which includes NY. We understand that he may get a job up there and that he would need to be there during the week and only home on weekends, and that this may last a year before we can sell the house here and buy something up there. I really have no desire to move back to LI, but at least I know what I am getting there and we are comfortable with the area. We have family there, but that is more of a negative than a positive, and the idea of moving in the next two years was not in the cards.

Guess I will have loads to post as we navigate this one. I know that this may be a good thing and that regardless, we are fortunate that we have work and time...but still, I JUST made a plan!

I think we may make it

We are supposed to go out of town for one night tomorrow. This trip was rescheduled from Christmastime when the baby had pneumonia, and I THINK we may be well enough to leave tomorrow. I am excited since the place we are headed is super kid friendly and not far away.

We had one very small vacation last year to the lake house my parents rented, and by very short, I mean we were there two days and I was 3 weeks post partum. We have already booked the beach house for this summer with the Fallons and it is half paid for! We are also going back to the lake house this summer and I am hoping to get a camping trip planned for July. Now I am not a huge fan of tent camping, but Ry and the kids want to go, and there is no cash this year to buy an tent camping it is :)

Off to clean, pack and work.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

How do you throw a life jacket

when you are drowning?

Seriously I have been stressed and overwhelmed and on edge BUT I know how good I have it. I am thankful for the stress because it means I have a job and income. I am overwhelmed by my house and kids, but heck, I have them! Most importantly, I have my health, my husband's health, the kids (relative)health and our families health.

A dear friend of mine has been sliding through a really crappy patch. Right now the very nature of what we all are thankful for when push comes to shove, health, is what her family is fighting against. Her children are healthy, thank goodness, and her husband, and she has been ill on and off, but so far nothing too serious. Her extended family, however, has multiple members fighting the cancer battle, and I see how much stress, pain and sadness this is causing her.

While there is nothing more I can do except be her friend, and really nothing more she can do except provide those family members with love and support, I still wish I could fix it. It puts it all in perspective when you watch a friend navigate through this maze, and while we all have high hopes that the family members will battle and be OK, it is so hard to watch my friend deal with all of this stress. So....since i know you read this....we love you and we are here for you, and you are doing a great job!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

What to say

We have been busy adjusting to Ryan's new work schedule and me starting back after winter break. Still trying to dig out from all the junk that was pushed to the side during the holidays and the illnesses that we had.

Right now I just want to get through the week since we have a mini vacation planned next weekend....and I really, really need it!

Friday, January 8, 2010

A constant work in progress

We are a constant work in progress. My house never has sparkling clean counters except at midnight. All spaces are filled with projects. There is always something baking, cooking, rising or being eaten. There are art projects, house projects, cleaning projects, sewing projects and work projects. There are things being broken, made and planned. There are children growing up, a family growing together and many levels of love.

Our world is full of constant movement and flow. Our family is one that does for itself, makes for itself, and tries to live simply within the chaos of our surroundings. We choose this life, embrace it and believe it to be best for us.

I long for sparkling clean lines, a clutter free and quiet home, but it will not happen until my children are grown and gone and then I will still be baking four loaves of bread a week longing for craziness and noise and missing them like crazy.

This is my life, my home, my family and I am thankful for it all.

Happy Decade

Happy Anniversary to my husband, today we have been legally joined at the hip for ten years!

We had a rough start, I make no bones about the fact that I even thought we may not make it, but then we grew up, made good choices and here we are.

Today I believe we have a strong and healthy marriage. I enjoy spending time with my husband, and while our interests differ, we have come to a point where we are on the same page with all of the important things. I never worry about the kids when they are with him, and so many other woman don't enjoy the luxury of knowing that the kids are happy, well cared for, and probably having more fun, when they are with their dad. He is an amazing father and partner, and I am so happy to share my life with him.

We have found peace in our marriage and years ago when we chose to stay married, we took divorce off the table. This was the best choice we ever made, as we know that no matter what, we are there for one another. It has made us fight less, yes we disagree, but we rarely have BIG arguments, amazing what happens when you can't pull the big guns out.

Happy ten years Ry, thanks for sticking it out, sharing the good times and bad, helping create four amazing kids and letting me shine my forehead on your shirt. I cannot wait to see what the next ten years bring!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

It is so sad when a high chair is the highlight of your day

but today it is.

Teagan needed a high chair, and having had many of these in the past, I knew what I did and did not want.

I liked the chair I had for my older girls, it was big and comfy and had a nice tray with an easy release. The problem was that it was BIG and the comfy part was a big, bunchy, cotton seat that held every bit and scrap and drip of food. It needed to be washed almost every day and it was really annoying. So while they were happy and comfy, we could only use it for dinner time since the cover was always being washed.

With Gray I started with a similar style chair and then moved to an all plastic model ala Ikea. It was nice since the whole thing could be easily wiped down and I liked that it had a smaller footprint.

For Teagan, I knew I wanted something with a small footprint that was easy to clean but comfy. I looked at the kind of seats that strap onto a chair, but our chairs are super bulky and I didn't want to drag it around. I looked at the regular high chairs, but they were so big. Then I found the new Evenflo Baby Go Chair and I ordered it.

It is perfect for us for now. It is lightweight and I can move it around the house as needed. It fits her nicely and it seems easy to clean. It folds up so we can take it with us on trips. It is about the same height as the table, so she can convert to sitting at the table. We may need to upgrade to a bigger chair if she wants to sit in her chair past the age of 18 months, but none of the other kids have, so I am anticipating pulling this up to the table or moving her into a regular chair.

Here is the cutie testing the new chair out

Monday, January 4, 2010

My couch has a definite warm spot

Since I am under the weather, I have been warming "my" spot on the couch today. Not to worry the fellow workaholics out there, the laptop and blackberry are strategically placed and I have worked a bunch today including a nice little chat with the boss and the folks in India. Housework has been pushed aside again, although I did trick the hubby into agreeing to do the dishes and he offered to take the older kids with him to the far away grocery store when they get home from school!

I'm sitting here bouncing the babe with my foot while she sleeps, and have been able to begin planning two major projects that are looming. The first is the kid's playroom, the other, the annual garden plan.

The playroom is located right off of our family room and I have been struggling to figure out a way to redo the room so that the older kids are happy, and the baby is safe. I think I have found a way to create a simple divider that can be moved when the kids have friends over. I found carpet tiles that I will be using in that room and I have a color scheme planned. I am going to go to the fabric store in the next few weeks to see if I can find something fun to make into curtains and I want to make some oversized floor pillows to try and deter them from throwing couch cushions on the floor. There are some fun wall decals that we will put up and I am creating centers for the kids. I want it to be fun and comfortable for the big kids, but also a good place for Teagan to play, that is a tough balance.

The other big project is the garden. We have just begun the seed planning and are pouring over the catalogs. I am leaning towards heritage seeds this year, we always try to avoid hybrids and have worked with organics, but the heritage catalog I have is so exciting and interesting, it might be the way to go. I am also planning to purchase a small greenhouse this year, nothing fancy, but enough to extend our season...any suggestions?

A mom's immune system

I know, I know, the kids are sick and you are sick of hearing about it. Well, this time I am going to talk about how I am different right?

Anywho....when the kids are sick, I can often feel the illness waiting in the wings like the second string dancers just itching to get out and ruin my performance. I feel the congestion, the sniffles sneak up sometimes and my throat feels a little raw. Somehow the adreneline needed to manage three or four sick kids, the coffee buzz needed to offset the lack of sleep and the general lack of focus means that while I know it is there, I am not actually sick.

Then it happens....they get well. The kids start to get better due in no small part to their loving mama, and I start to decline. Last night I could feel it, I felt worse than I have in days and when I went to bed, I was really under the weather. As I woke ten thousands times last night to feed the baby, I felt worse and worse, and then this morning, I awoke to the tell tale raging headache and nasty cough. The positive to all this is that I completed the briefs for the courses I am writing last night, the hubby is off today and was able to present me with cough meds and tea first thing, the girls are off to school (HOORAY) and I have very little I NEED to do. The negative is that I want to get my house back in order following the two full weeks of having my entire family here, trapped inside, sick. I also must undecorate the house, I am tired of looking at it and want to get moving towards the cheery hearts and reds of Valentines Day.

Damn immune system, can't you let me be sick when they are so I can get it over with?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Like drunk Frat Boys after a big party

is how we sleep.

I noticed this last night as I was settling down to go to sleep. Since the hubby works four nights a week, my bed has always been a place for kids to come for whatever reason. I have no problem sharing and as long as I get my small spot, I am pretty happy. Last night, as I started to settle to go to sleep, I noticed the arrangement in my bed. Teagan had fallen asleep next to me, but sort of in the middle of the bed sleeping across the bed (yes we cosleep, it means I don't actually have to wake up to nurse). Grayson had also come in due to leg pain and he was sleeping towards the foot of the bed, wrapped in Ryan's blankets with his feet hanging off, sort of on a diagonal. I lay on my side of the bed, also on a slight angle due to Grayson's position and then realized how silly it must look from above. Add to that that some nights one of the girls will show up, either in the bed or on the floor, and they just throw blankets on and pass out. We must look like we just fell asleep where we fell. :)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

You can still visit me

even if you don't post that you do to my entry below :)

So, new year and most people make resolutions right? I hate that idea because there are so many things I resolve to do at various times during the year, loading it all in at one time seems unbalanced.

Here are some of my "goals" for 2010...and they were set awhile ago :)

I want to be a more patient parent, especially with Haven. It has been a rough year and she has been pushing a few limits lately, ones that will be bad if she pushes then when older (sneakiness, lying, etc) so we are trying to bring her back in now. She is a good kid, sweet and kind and caring when she chooses, and I need to see that in her more and try to work with her to change some bad habits.

I want to make more at home. Things are very busy right now for me with the kids home from school, the sickness that has run through, the courses I am writing and work in general. However, that doesn't mean that I can't make more at home. Summer is so busy with the garden and canning etc, winter needs to be productive too. I am resolving to find an extra few hours a week to work on sewing or other projects around the house.

I need to plan the garden, but I need the hubby in on this one. I need to find two new areas to grow in, our lot is so shady, it makes it hard to find proper places to set up small growing areas. At present, I think we will put in two more growing areas in spring, plant two apple trees and two fig trees this year, take down one large oak tree to allow the fruit trees room to grow and use the farmers market this year in place of the CSA.

That is about it for now. What are your goals?