Friday, July 29, 2011


I just want to say today, "I love my kids!" and I love that 98% of the time when it counts they really pull through. We drove 3 hours last night and 6 today and although we started of rough last night they pulled through! They made the drive with minimal crying, whining, fussing or asking when we will be there. They were troopers. They had a good night at the family reunion. Made some new friends and talked openly with lots of people they didn't know. And tonight the big two are asleep outside in the motor home with great Grammie and the little two are asleep in the house. Now it is bedtime for us. Tomorrow is going to be a long hot day at the campground.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Until now (almost 7 years) we have gotten away without Logan watching many TV commercials. Gotta LOVE the DVR and commercial free Nick Jr. and Disney Jr.! "They" say commercials are one of the biggest influencers of kids. That they can easily catch the "I want that!" bug from commercials. We have caught that bug on occasion, but not from commercials. And my kids had no idea who Ronald McDonald was when they saw him on something not to long ago. Side note-I have to say I am kinda proud of that! Again, "they" say that more kids can recognize Ronald McDonald than Jesus when shown pictures.

Last week Michael found the original G.I. Joe, Transformers, Jem, and a couple other cartoons on HUB. So he has been taping them for Logan and Melina. They are LOVING them, but these are not commercial free shows and since the kids can work the remote and and the DVR by themselves (which is a double edged sword!) they are watching the commercials in these shows. So Logan is coming to tell me about the things he sees on commercials, and has a slight case of the "I want that" bug. (Now, remember this is not a prime channel or even a highly watched cable channel) So here are a few examples of the things he is telling me about.

Call now for your $50,000 life insurance policy...he thinks if I call this number they will send us money and he can buy some new toys.

Add inches to your height instantly! "This isn't how people it?"

"Wow, mom look at those knives! We should get those!! Then look what you can cook." ...Thanks, buddy...are you saying my cooking is not good enough for you?

And he is always on the lookout for VW cars due to the commercials. He asked me very seriously the other day when he saw a VW Bug, " this VW a smart car?"

The one NICE thing that has come out of this is since he now understands the concept of pausing for a commercial break. When he plays action figures and I call him to do something or go somewhere he says he is pausing his game for a commercial break. 
Gets me every time! 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I knew it was too quiet!!!

Taking a time out

I have been naughty today. Very very naughty. So I put myself in a time out. I called a sitter and the salon and left my kiddos for 2 hours. I was feeling rather worn out and moody I was very testy these past few days. I hate when I get like that! I snap faster than normal and just "loose it" when I am pushed. This behavior defiantly deserved a time out. And I took it!

It was soooo nice to head to the salon for a pedicure and some time to sit back, read a magazine and just stare off into space. And I went for the works with the foot massage and paraffin wax dip too! My garage sale money well spent it I do say so myself! I need a little time away every now and then. Michael has gotten back into golfing this year. Which is great for him and I am happy to have him go and enjoy himself, but that just means even more time with just me and the kids. And yes, I love my kids dearly, but they can drive me up a wall sometimes!!!

So now that my battery is recharged I am ready for the next battle. Packing for our trip to the Poconos for the family reunion.  6 people. 7 days. 9 hours in in jammed packed car each way. Sleeping all spread out between RV's and Michael's grandparents house. All in 90 degree weather. Gonna be an adventure for sure!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Teaching Logan to read has been one of the most frustrating yet rewarding experiences. I say this tonight as he read the same book 3 times in a row and struggled on the same words each time. And he REALLY needs to work on his flow. But it is great that he picked up the book and read it cover to cover and sang out, "I am the best reader ever;" when he read a whole page perfect without stropping! So fun, yet so so frustrating at times. And to think we have 3 more to go!

As I was brushing my teeth tonight and thinking about this, I got to thinking about milestones in general and how fast they come and go. Logan is learning to read and I am working with Melina on writing and Meeka will start potty training as soon as we get back from our weekend trip. And she is starting to progress with her talking too! Carson is working on perfecting his walking and starting to climb on everything...and he is even trying to "ride" a bike like his big siblings! It is like a revolving door of milestones and it is moving at light speed! And it is crazy for me to think we have 3 more kids to teach to read, only 2 to ride a two wheeler and none to learn to walk! It excites me, yet saddens me at the same time.


And another school year starts 4 weeks from today and its gonna be a crazy one! And then time will move even faster! Ahhhh....I'm not ready! So I guess I better cherish this last month of waking up and starting our day whenever we please! Cause this house is gonna be NUTS soon!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Budget Cuts Cause Major Meltdowns!

I am taking deep breaths this afternoon and I am probably going to do something I never do in the middle of the day. Just sit and watch bad reality TV.

Today we went to the library to turn in our summer reading passports so the kids could get their prizes. We have been meaning to get there for weeks, but it just has not happened. Not because our schedule is so jammed packed that we don't have any time for the library, but because of the state budget cuts the library has had to cut hours and staff. The library does not open until 12pm now. So that means we either go at lunch / nap time or we go during the unhappy hour right before dinner. Either way is a loose loose situation for me. Today we decided to run some errands and then go to the library straight when it opened at noon. I put the little two in the stroller and we made it about 10 minutes before they were fussing. Carson was just getting tired and hungry and Meeka (who had taken off her shoes in that 10 minutes) just wanted to get out. I let Meeka out. BIG Mistake. She never wanted to get back in and I ended up having to pick her up and hold her sideways around the waist while trying to check out books. Then our bag string got caught around the stroller wheel so I was trying to fix that and Meeka was taking brochures off the table and Melina was trying to climb in the stroller and Carson was fussing the whole time. One lady asked if she could help us get the heck OUTof the library I think! So I pushed the screaming gang one handed while holding Meeka with the other out to the car and got everyone buckled and took some deep breaths before driving home in silence (me....NOT them!) and putting everyone to bed / quiet time. Yikes! This one goes down in the books for one of the biggest public meltdowns! Not a pretty start to my week. But it's bound to get better, right?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Business Plan

On Thursday Logan and Melina each took turns selling lemonade and No Bake Cookies at the garage sale. Last night I was talking to Michael about their stand and how Logan was good at pouring the Lemonade and taking money and making change, but he was shy and didn't talk to many people. Melina on the other hand was a great saleswomen when it was her turn. She went right up to people and asked if they wanted Lemonade or cookies, but she had trouble getting everything for people. I did NOT talk about this with them, just praised them both for a great job selling.

This morning they came down and told me they had a plan! Melina would get customers and bring them to Logan and he would give them Lemonade and cookies and take the money. It amazes me that they worked this out all by themselves! Sounds like a great plan to me. And it did work. Today they approached people and with teamwork they sold a bigger percentage of their product than I did of mine.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Today was the start of our neighborhood garage sale and for me that meant, "Getting rid of the baby items sale." It was Bittersweet. I love organizing, so as much as it stressed me out at times trying to get everything done (and  I know I was anal about it) I very much enjoyed it. If anyone wanted to pay me to organize their stuff for a sale I would gladly do it. Not that I really think I can earn much of a living that way.

I have to say I am ready to get rid of the big bulky baby items lurking in in my house. But yet, I have SAD feelings that I will never have another one to swing in the swing or sit in the bouncy seat out on the patio, and I won't look over while cooking dinner to see a happy baby playing away in the exersaucer. And the clothes. Don't get me started on the clothes. While I am happy to get rid of the countless stacks of bins in the basement, I have so many MEMORIES associated with clothes. (The outfit that my boys wore their first Christmas Eve's, the dress Melina wore in Aunt Shendy's wedding, the cute stripped pants that Melina loved to wear and Meeka's red coat....the list goes on and on). Looking though bin after bin the past couple days I felt like I was putting a price on my memories. I teared up a couple of times and I know I overpriced my memories a bit. But I felt like a sell-out...selling my memories away. But that is not true. I know I can look back at pictures on paper and in my head. The memories are not going any wear, only the material associated with them. And I know that most of the stuff my kids won't want. It will be so outdated by the time they have kids. So for now I have resided to the fact that I can give (or sell) the material associated with my memories and other families can make memories with their kids. It is just passing the love around. At least this is how I am getting through the next couple of days. Thinking positive. If you or someone you know needs any boy or girl clothes to make loving, lasting memories with, come on over. I have the perfect outfit for you!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wading in the water

I am stressed to the gills today. Tomorrow is the BIG garage sale. Yes, I am getting rid of all my baby stuff (another post to follow about how I'm feeling about that!). My brain is running about 1000 mph but I can only move about 100! Ahhhhh! Anyway, as a way to distress and do something with the kids today, since the whole time at home the past couple of days has been working on garage sale stuff we went creeking for craw fish and other creepy crawlies! And boy did they have fun! And so did I! Everyone caught something so the day was a big success. Here are some photo highlights.

Carson rode high up and watched everything!

Hiking down to the river

Turning over rocks to see what they could find

She fell down and was not so sure about her wet hinney.

Did ya catch something?

wading in up to the waist

Look what I caught!

Me too!

Did I get it?

Looking in her net to see if she got anything

Check it out! So proud!

Very brave to pick it up!


I love how kids take things so literally! This morning I told Melina and Logan to get dressed in old clothes because we are going to a Tike Hike called Streamology (you can only imagine how dirty they will be after  looking for creepy crawlies in the stream!). And Melina comes down and says, "I didn't get dressed in old clothes because old clothes don't fit anymore." Made me chuckle!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Watch out....Here we come!

It is amazing what people will say when I take all 4 kids into a store.

-  Of course the habitual, "Wow, you have your hands full"
- "You got the whole gang today"
- "Are they all yours?"
- "What a heavy load" (what is that supposed to mean anyway?)
- "That's a lot of kids"
- "Will you get any shopping done?"
- "You have lots of help today"
- "I don't know how you do it"
- "Hope you only need a couple things"
- "Good luck"
- And numerous other things. But the one I like the most is, "You have such well behaved kids!" (if they only knew what went on at home!) 

Watch out! We're coming to a store near you!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Peach Caprese

Tonight for dinner we threw a twist on our favorite summer menu of tomato, basil and mozzarella. We made Peach Proschuitto Caprese paninis. The flavors were sweet, salty and savory all in one bite. Logan's reaction... This is Awesome!!! I'll share the recipe.

Peach Caprese Panini

Makes 2 panini


1/2 loaf Italian bread (e.g., filone, ciabatta)
2 slices prosciutto
1 ripe peach, pitted and sliced
4 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced
4-6 fresh basil leaves
Olive oil for brushing


Preheat the panini grill to medium-high heat.

Split the bread crosswise into two pieces (I typically make them about 3″ wide). Halve the pieces lengthwise so you have tops and bottoms.

For each sandwich: Lay a slice of prosciutto onto the bottom half of bread. Top with peach slices, fresh mozzarella and basil leaves. Close the sandwich with the other half of bread. Brush a little olive oil on top, if desired.

Grill for 4 to 5 minutes until the cheese is melted and the bread is toasted. Cut in half, serve immediately and enjoy!

How very appropriate!

She proudly wore her stickers ALL day!
I know you can't see exactly what these stickers say, but they say, "$20, $5 and Make Offer". I am getting ready for a BIG garage sale this weekend and she put these stickers on this morning. I have to say they are appropriate for her right now...just make an offer, doesn't have to be much...2 yr old antics included! :)

Best Day Ever...

Breakfast Al Fresco

Then since it was HOT and HUMID already
they headed for the sprinkler and the pool
and had some water fun! And it felt
good...even that early!
By 9am this morning I heard, "This is the Best Day ever!" Here's how it went.

 This morning started with the kids getting up themselves and watching Backyardigans. After it was over they dressed at Harbor Patrol and came to save Carson and I. In return for their hard work and bravery saving us, I told them I would make them a hearty breakfast to regain their energy. I made homemade French toast sticks and made them into houses and we dined outside.

Water fun at 8:30am

Then we headed up to Engelwood to meet up with Aunt Shendy and Sammy Reese. We hiked up to Patty Falls to see the water. It was beautiful (although a bit dangerous at times) and it was cool in the woods and nice hike for the kids to easily walk!
Patty Falls

The hiking path brought us right to the Nature Play area. Where the kids found some caterpillars, played a bit and then headed for the creek.
JoJo's caterpillar

Everyone playing the creek

Carson and Sammy Reese had a blast!

Meeka and Melina

The kept chasing after this butterfly. Of course after they left it alone it landed.

Logan in the creek

Carson got the messiest!

Meeka and Carson playing together in the filed after lunch!

The day has continued with more water fun in the backyard . How can you not when the temp is 93!
And sometimes I need the remember that all it takes to have the "Best Day Ever"  is so unexpected play time at home!

Family PIZZA night!

Today was spent getting ready for the yard sale this week, doing yard work, going to the grocery store, making fresh pizza dough and chores. Until dinner time. Then all the neighborhood kids were sent home and the chores ceased and it was family time! We decided to cook together as a family. We were dying to try out the new granite pizza stone for the grill that we bought Michael for Father's Day. So the kids pulled up a chair (much to Logan's chagrin at first) and started kneading, slicing and grating. As soon as they started helping they were hooked and totally enjoyed themselves! They each made a pizza, with our help, (even Meeka helped a little when she wasn't pulling things from the pantry or trying to eat all the ingredients before they made it on the pizza) and were so proud of their results! And they even cleaned up after themselves (and believe me, the kitchen needed cleaning after we were done!) saying they liked to clean up in the kitchen, just not their toys! The pizza's turned out great!! Now we need to get a pizza peel and we'll be all set. Pizza on the grill is a family favorite!

Sausage, Red Onion and Wild Mushroom Pizza

Traditional half cheese and half pepperoni. 
(The kids started diving into this one before I could get a picture of it whole!)

After a yummy dinner the kids played NICELY together outside! Then had a bowl of ice cream (it was National Ice Cream Day after all!) before bed! What great evening!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Comment of the day

I don't learn any lessons from consequences.  

REALLY? Ahhhhhh......insert frustration here.

Family Day

Today was family day and since it was beautiful outside we decided to explore a park with water. Meeka and Carson and I had been to the Children's Garden at Wegerzyn Gardens 2 times, but Logan and Melina and Michael had never been and I knew they would love it. So we packed up our suits and a picnic lunch and headed out. The kids did love it and they could have stayed much longer (although 3 of the 4 were asleep within 3 minutes of being in the car on the way home). They are already asking to go back. 

Here are some of our highlights. 
                                               A maze sculpture built right outside the garden

                                        Getting ready to head into the woods for a small hike.

                                                                       And their off...

They all enjoyed the waterfall on this HOT day! 

They played with the watering cans and sand for a LONG time. Maybe we should have just packed up and driven to the beach! (I WISH!!!)

I tried 10 times to get this picture and I couldn't get everyone to look at me at the same time. This is the only one where we can see all 4 faces, but as you can see Carson was over it!

This is the smartest plant in the garden. When you try to pick it it curls up and "plays dead" for a bit. The kids were fascinated! (And so was Michael!)

The plant playing dead.

hiding in the background

This morning I heard Logan and Melina go out to the trampoline at 6:40am. I was awake, so I decided to sneak downstairs while they were outside, grab a cup of coffee and my People magazine and sit in the living room where I knew no one would see me. I sat there for 45 minutes enjoying the fact that no one knew I was awake and spending some "me time" without interruption and getting to have my cup of coffee before it was cold. I also enjoyed listening to the kids "sneak" a snack. Logan telling Melina she must eat in the kitchen and wipe before going upstairs. Melina asking if they should bring Meeka and Carson a snack. And then the 2 of them going to get Meeka and Carson and "breaking out" as they called it. They all went outside to play for a bit and then came in and Logan turned on backyardigans for all of them. It was neat to "observe"  without them knowing I was observing. But now that they know I am awake I am hearing chorus of "BREAKFAST...I WANT BREAKFAST!!!"

Friday, July 15, 2011

10 minutes....

Bedtime is absolute chaos in our house at times. Everyone gets a shower or bath, gets jammies on, brushes teeth, goes potty, gets medicine, a bottle, stories, music, journal...well you get the idea. Tonight after everyone was out of the shower the next 10 minutes went somewhat like this:

I go downstairs to get the medicine and bottle. Go Back upstairs. I walk in Meeka and Carson's room and I can see Meeka has something in her hair which she is lathering. I go to the bathroom and see shampoo everywhere on the floor because when I went downstairs for the medicine and bottle (which took me about 1.5 min to get) Logan was not yet out of the shower. In that time he had gotten out and Meeka took the opportunity to get the shampoo knowing it would not be up. (We have learned to put everything up high out of her reach). So I put her head under the sink to rinse out the shampoo and then brush her teeth. She is continuing to brush and I turn around to brush Logan's (I have not moved from next to her, just turned) and I hear Michael walk by and say my name. I turn and she has the tube of toothpaste all over her and the sink. I have not even finished brushing Logan's teeth and she made that much of a mess. So I clean that up and I hear "Carson's in my room." I go 4 steps to the next room and grab him and Meeka is gone. I find her in my bathroom her whole face covered in my lotion which she got by climbing onto the toilet and then onto the half way next to it and getting into my basket on the top shelf. At that point I just put her in her tent....night night!

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Today we had Meeka's official evaluation with the speech therapist in the early intervention program Help Me Grow. She tested her cognitive skills, her speech, her hearing and also did a test for fluid in the ears. Everything was perfect, except for speech.... this is double edged sword. I hate to admit this, but a bit of me was hoping they would say she had fluid in her ears. At least that might be an "easy" fix and we would know what the problem was and move forward. But when the speech therapist left here stumped, I have to say I was a bit disheartened. Basically we are doing all the right things so far she told us. She gave us some tricks to go back to the basics of making sounds and we are going to attend a sign language clinic tomorrow so that maybe we can start to alleviate some of the frustration that is building when she can not communicate. She kept saying I just don't understand...not reassuring. Now, speech is a minor problem compared to the many difficult things families face every day, I know that. But I still want answers. And we only have until she turns 3 until we "age out" of the program. And yes, I know that is 9 months away, but still... I want the best for my child. I want her to communicate and tell us what she wants and needs. Right now she speaks full sentences to us and yet we have not a clue what she is saying. It frustrates her, and us. I guess nothing is ever easy. So here we go on another 
roller coaster ride.  I am sure we are in for many ups and downs and even some loops, but hopefully it will be a good ride!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Although life throws many curveballs at us...and spitballs and poopballs... and well you get the picture, I try to have a little fashion in my life. I figure if I put on a necklace, maybe no one will notice the ketsup and formula stains on my clothes. I don't know if it works, but it makes me feel better about myself. Today I decided to add a pink flower pin to a white tank and jean shorts to dress it up. Made me feel spunky today. (This picture was taken at the Children's Garden this morning)

This morning Melina also sported her version of style. She came downstairs wearing a headband (which she called her pretty flower headband) and then proceeded to take several trips to the mirror to "check how it was looking." She is more my tomboy and the headband as a sweatband with biker shorts and tennis shoes and little bit of sparkle on her butterfly shirt just fit her personality to the T!

And Meeka is more my girly girly. Always sporting the accessories. She has been wearing my heals lately (and walking pretty well in them). I caught her again tonight with my heals, a phone and a water bottle. (looks like her toes need a little work!)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Nature Lovers

My kids are nature lovers. Logan loves hiking and using a compass, Melina loves worms and gardening and Meeka likes ants and spiders. Carson just likes being outside for now. Dayton has an awesome MetroPark system and we have taken advantage of several Tike Hikes, A Stroller Strut and have done some exploring on our own. Here are some pictures of Meeka at this weeks Tike Hike. We went to Hills and Dales and checked out their Nature Play area. A play area where kids are encouraged to get dirty and wet while exploring nature by picking flowers and plants, overturning rocks in the creek, building forts out of sticks and hiking in the poison ivy free area. If you live in the area and have not checked out what the MetroParks have to offer, you should! 

 Seeing what she can find in the creek.
 Using a magnifying glass to explore

She spent about 15 minutes playing with this spider.