Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Ahhh! Relaxation!

Do these shoulders look relaxed to you?!?!

Remember my Valentine's Day present from Jeff? Well this is what happens when you have 3 kids...I was supposed to make the appointment for my massage the week after Valentine's Day...well tonight I made it in! And it was so worth the wait! I may or may not have added a waxing appointment right before the massage.

I almost didn't make it...the kids aren't feeling well...but Jeff insisted! I am so glad he did.

That woman made her money! I cannot describe the knots she worked out of my shoulders!

Thank you honey!

Monday, March 28, 2011

4 Minus 2 Equals 2!

On Sunday we were at a loss as to what we could do as a family. A typical dilemma we face with a high schooler, pre-schooler, and toddler. What to do...that everyone will enjoy...

So I suggested that we pack up the boys' bikes and head to the big open parking lot at the local junior college. But first...something had to be done about these beat up training wheels...literally almost nothing is left of them!

So Jeff took them off Connor's bike and we headed out.

Connor was a little nervous about only riding on 2 wheels...

But it only took...maybe 10 minutes (at most)...before Connor was off on his own!

And I do have to say...that having Dominic bring his bike was pretty genius! We sat back and relaxed with Emma Kate while the boys rode around this huge parking lot. (The same parking lot in which we plan to take Dominic out driving in a few months!)

Dominic really enjoyed being able to take a special part in this event and Connor felt so proud that he could ride like a Big Boy with his Big Brother. Once in a while Connor would fall. Dominic would get off his bike, get Connor rolling again, and then catch up to him. It was a proud moment for all!

I LOVE this next picture!

Here he comes!

Emma Kate crawled around on the ground while she waited...

for her turn...not really...but she did get to sit up there for a minute. OK, 10 seconds.

The proud Daddy and 4-year-old!

Congratulations Connor!

No I didn't cry this time.

But I was beaming with pride!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

13 Months

Well, honey, I didn't make it for your 12 month...so here we are ...1 month later. Sorry. How do I begin? How do I express the happiness you bring to my life every day? There are no words that could accurately convey the love your mommy has for you.

You are a very busy girl these days. You are crawling EVERYWHERE! You took your first steps about a week ago, but you're not convinced that you are ready for this walking business. This past week you have taken a few steps here and there, but have discovered you can walk on your knees. You really like this! You can wave "bye, bye" and "hello." You blow kisses with you hand up to your mouth and fingers all spread apart. You give big, open-mouthed kisses! You sign, "more," "finished," and sometimes "please." You say,"Dada"...and I'd like to think you are saying "Momma," but it sounds more like "Meh-meh" and I think you are referring to food.


Lately, you have also been stopping what you're doing, looking around, and calling, "Dah!" I don't know if you are calling Dominic or dog.

You like most foods, except carrots. No matter how I give them to you, you spit them out. You LOVE bread, just like me! Sorry...it's more of a curse than a blessing. Oh and you love your milk! We tried switching you from formula (because you stopped breast-feeding at 9 1/2 months-my first rejection) to milk at 12 months, but you did NOT like the taste of whole milk in your bottle or sippy. So I had to trick you by slowly incorporating milk in with your formula and gradually cutting back on the formula. As of last week, you are solely on milk...however still in a bottle. That's the next trick...to get you to drink it out of a sippy and be done with the bottle. I know...the "rule" is, "No bottle after 12 months old." Oh well...here's a little secret...(don't tell ANYONE)...Mommy isn't perfect.

Sleeping...oh sleeping...how Mommy covets a good night sleep! You were sleeping through the night for a while...until those molers started coming in. You are still getting up usually once a night...sometimes twice. All you want is a bottle, a kiss, and back to sleep. You go down between 6:30 and 7:00 in the evening and you are up for good between 6 and 7:00 in the morning. The sleep wouldn't be such an issue if Connor slept through the night:( I can tell if you're ready to greet the day when you wake up happy. If you're crying, I know that you need more sleep.

My absolute favorite time of the day is when I go in your room to get you and you greet me with that huge smile of yours! You take 1-2 naps a day...very erratic...nothing dependable as of right now.

You still don't have much hair...you have your 8 front teeth, and molers movin' on in. You are in the 98th percentile in height and 56th in weight. And your smile...oh that smile melts Mommy's heart! When you smile, your big blue eyes sparkle and your whole face lights up.

You are so easy going and easy to please. You love people.




and Dirt.

And I love you!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Stuffed Peppers

One thing I love about following other blogs is getting new recipes. I think most moms can relate when I say that I don't mind the act of cooking. It's the thinking of what to cook that gets really old. And so do some of my recipes.
My good friend, Kim, recently posted about a Stuffed Pepper Recipe that she often cooks.
So recently when I was trying to think of something to cook for my brother, his wife, and my family, I decided to give it a try.
EVERYONE loved it (including Connor and Emma Kate!
And it was SUPER easy!
OK so mine aren't very pretty, but what the heck...you don't look at them very long...
unless of course, you take a picture!

So here's what boggles my mind...I have a couple of friends who continuously blow me away by the recipes they post...a couple of friends whom I would have never guessed 5 years ago would be cooking anything fancy.

Don't get me wrong, fancy is not a word that is often used in my kitchen.

Kim, for example has come a long way from her Turkey Stroganoff Recipe that she gave me at my bridal shower back in 2003. (Each girl was asked to bring a recipe and "scrap" it to get me started on my newlywed cooking. I love this book and these recipes!) I still add to it...especially with the recipes that my friends post on their blogs. Everytime I make that particular recipe, I think of that special person in my life:)

Thank you Kim, for both of these treasures! I will keep them forever!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


My buddy has been very "into" puzzles lately....no not Jeff;)
Yes, this would be great if he was interested in the 24-piece puzzles that we have stacked in the entertainment cabinet. But he is LOVING the 1000-piece puzzles that my mom has stacked in her closets. Some of these have been making their way to my house...and onto my dining room table for several days at a time.
Don't get me wrong...I think it's amazing that he is doing these. I just have to resign myself to the idea that I will have some sort of a puzzle in process on my dining room table indefinitely.

Of course his favorites have a train somewhere on them. He is pretty amazing...I'll be looking all over for a particular piece. He'll say, "Mommy, what are you looking for?" I'll show him the area that I'm working on, and a minute later he'll find just what I need!

He had some money from Valentine's Day and asked me to take him to JoAnne's to buy a puzzle. He found a few train puzzles and I was able to talk him in to purchasing a 500-piece instead of the 1000-piece.

I'm not going to lie...sometimes after he's in bed I work on it a little bit...I like to say that it's because it makes the process go a little faster, but I actually find some calming affects from working on a puzzle.

When Connor gets up in the morning he is very excited to see that someone has worked on it.

Even Jeff and sometimes, Dominic, put a couple of pieces in when they have some extra time.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

GNO: Birthday Edition

Monday night was GNO with my small group from church. 4 of us girls got together almost 2 years ago and have formed some very special friendships. Often times we get together to watch the Batchelor or Batchelorette. But monthly we get together for our GNO, actually most of the time it's GNI! And I spend Tuesday exhausted from staying out too late...we definitely have the gift of gab!
2 of us have birthdays in March and 2 of us have birthdays in June...so we center our GNO's those 2 months around our birthdays.

This month we celebrated Andrea and my birthdays by going to BJ's. (Last year I missed our birthday celebration because I was in the emergency room for Dominic's worst coughing attack. He has come so far this last year!) So I was really excited about this one! The birthday celebration was complete with wine, dessert, and presents!

I know I've mentioned it before. Get used to it:) I'll say it over and over again...

I am so blessed to have such amazing girlfriends in my life...some entered my life long, long ago. And some more recently.

Some live close and some...very far away.

I cherish each and every one of you.

Monday, March 21, 2011

First Steps

It's been about 6 weeks since Emma Kate started walking while holding onto something.

She loves her shopping cart. (So does baby.)

Yesterday, March 20, at about 5:45 pm my baby girl took her first steps unassisted, right in front of me sitting on the floor! Daddy, Uncle Scott, and Aunt Shawna were witnesses to this exciting milestone.
Let me tell you, I am not typically a weepy person...I didn't cry at my wedding, when Dominic started Kindergarten, or when Connor started Pre-School.
I didn't cry when Dominic or Connor started to walk.
Yesterday...I cried.
I don't mean teary-eyed. I CRIED.
I know I don't need to justify why I cried over this, but it DID catch me by surprise, so I started thinking about it...
One. I was the proudest momma ever at that moment.
Two. My last baby took her first steps. I will never experience that moment ever again.
I am 100% confident in our decision to not have anymore children. That being said...I cherish these young years with the kids so much. I loved being pregnant...ok for the most part. I loved the newborn stages, though difficult they definitely were! And I LOVE experiencing all of these "firsts" with the kids.
I find that in this past year (and it continues) as I watch Emma Kate, whether she is sleeping, playing, eating...whatever...I close my eyes and try to embed that image in my mind forever. I find that I am trying to grasp hold onto time and stop it. I don't ever want to forget these moments and the time goes so quickly.
For so long I had wondered what my purpose is in life, what I want to "be when I grow up." If I can love the Lord, be a good wife, and love these kids with my whole heart and soul...nothing else matters. Nothing else in this world...
Everything else goes away when I see those first steps.
Or when Connor looks at me and says, "You are the best Mom in the whole world!"
Or when Dominic comes downstairs in his Track Suit with that look of pride that says, "I would never admit this outloud, but I feel like I am changing and I am proud of who I am becoming."
If those kids grow up knowing nothing else, I pray that they know their mother's endless love for them.
Congratulations Emma Kate. Mommy is so, so proud.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Meet Daisie

If you don't know this already...we are a huge dog family. Jeff's parents have always had dogs and I grew up with dogs in the house as well. Jeff's parents' dog, Allie, passed away a couple of months ago. Dominic was just a toddler when Allie joined the family as a puppy. We were all very sad to lose Allie, except for Libby, our dog. (Allie was always kind of a bully to her. So after Allie was gone, Libby was like, "Woohoo! The old Grandma is gone!" ) Bailey, Jeff's sister's dog, mourned the loss of Allie...seriously...vomiting and all. He's a sensitive guy!

Everyone needed a "pick me up" so it only took a few weeks for my In Law's to find a new puppy.

Meet Daisie.
(Spelled with an "ie" just like all of their other dogs who's names have ended with the "ey" sound.)

She is so soft and fluffy, and is all black with one little white spot on her chest.
Libby is very excited and LOVES to play with the new puppy! I would have gotten a picture of them together, but they don't stay still for longer than a second, to capture them together.
Bailey continues to mourn and does not want anything to do with the new pup.

The kids are very excited as well.

Welcome to the family Daisie! We love you already.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Mother's Tea

Monday morning Connor's Pre-School invited all of the mother's for a "Mother's Tea." I took the morning off so I could attend.
Oh My Goodness! They should have called it "The Mother's Tear Fest." It started with a blessing of the mothers, which was followed by a slideshow. It showed a baby picture as well as a current picture of each child. They had it all put to music and it was entitled, "How Fast They Grow." There wasn't a dry eye in the room. Then the children came in and performed for us. I wish I had Connor on video as he walked in, scanning the group furiously to find where I was sitting! He was so cute!

After the performance we went across to the parish hall for our tea party. All of us moms had brought our own tea cups...the teachers provided the cookies and tea...everything was decorated and the kids were all dressed up...Connor was so excited!

Each of the children had written a poem that was on the back of these cards:
Mine read:

Funny: Pretty
I like to build Duplos with her.
I love you this much!


I love that face...even if it looks as though it has been through a war zone! I think he has 3 scrapes and a bruise right now!

We had such a fun time together that morning. It's not very often that he gets me all to himself anymore...or should I say...that I get him to myself! And that slideshow really made me stop and reflect on how fast the time does go by. It really does seem like yesterday that he was my little butterball baby boy. And now this Fall he's off to Kindergarten! It makes me both happy and sad at the same time. I'm going to miss our Tuesday/Thursday activities together:(
We get so caught up in the business of the every day stuff. I need to remind myself to stop, slow down, and enjoy these years.

On a side note: The other day Connor was asking me what year Daddy and I got married...
After I replied, "2003." He asked me, "Was that during the Bible Times?"
I almost spit out my tea! I LOVE THAT KID!

A Weekend of Babies

I can't believe it's already Wednesday! I wanted to get this post up Sunday night...Ha! Better late than never. I probably should have done Emma Kate's 12 month update already as well...it is quickly nearing a 13 month update instead.

Anyway the weekend started with a quiet Saturday morning. Dominic had his first Invitational with Track so he was gone all day. He got 1st place in one of his Heats! By the way, if anyone wants to see him in his Track suit, please post comments...so far, he is not letting me get a picture for my blog :(
Jeff had to go in to work very early Sat morning for a couple of hours to get some guys started on a project so he took Connor to work with him. Connor was very excited about going to see all of Daddy's trains! Overall, it was a great "Family Day," as Connor would call it (minus 1.)

Then came Sunday!!! Jeff was gone all day...but I wasn't too worried about it because it was the day that little Anna Banana was going to be baptized! Anna is the daughter of my practically-life-long-friend-Rose. I met Rose in pre-school...it is hard to believe that we are having daughters of our own! I got to meet Anna for the first time last week. What a sweetie! I can't get enough of that little girl!
After church I ran over to help Heidi with a little of the set-up for the luncheon that was to follow the baptism. That woman knows how to put on a "shindig!"
I ran home, gathered the kids, and took off to brave a church gathering with all 3 of my kids by myself. OK Dom is self-sufficient...but still. Thank God Connor found a new buddy...Matt...to sit with during the ceremony. Connor is still asking for a playdate with Matt. I tried to explain to him that we only have playdates with kids...Matt is a grown man.

Here is the sweet little Angel...Anna that is!

Notice the black spot that has arrived in all of my pictures...I need to start a fundraiser for the new camera that I am trying to convince my hubby that I need! Yes, I tried to wipe off my lense...not the answer :(

The flowers and the cupcakes...always my favorite parts of a party!!

OK...but there wasn't any wine!

This new Little Man was the other highlight of my day! I finally got to meet Baby G, born in February to another long time friend of mine. We snuggled and talked about life for a little while;)

...that is...until Emma Kate got jealous.

I cannot say how much joy it brings me to witness my closest friends having and raising babies of their own. Back when Dominic was a baby, I had no friends who were moms to share all of the joys and pitfalls of motherhood with...it was very isolating in many ways. It is such an amazing gift to have other women, whom I love so much, to share this time of my life with. I also thank God every day that these babies are healthy and loved so much.

Although it was a really great day, I was super exhausted...time change and all. So I got Connor to make dinner for us! He had a great time and was very proud of the pizza he made.

P.S. I think I am having a harder time adjusting to this time change than the kids are!