Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Due to check in...

I have some dear friends not on Facebook that are still checking the blog, so I figured it was about time to check in again and write something.

No real news to report though. We are still paying two mortgages which really sucks and I am now listing the old house as a rental via craigslist. I have had a few hits, but nothing has worked out. I know I need to be picky about tenants so as to make sure they can really handle the rent and will take care of the place, but the temptation to lower my standards and just get someone in there is strong and hard to resist. Then again -- I will really regret it is we end up with an eviction snafu and a trashed house to deal with down the road, so I will stick to my guns.

So financially I am feeling really poor because I didn't really budget for this many months of double mortgage payments. I have now signed up to work an extra shift each week which has me basically working full time hours again for the next two months. I am hoping that will be enough to pay the extra mortgage, but until we sell or rent the other house, it won't be enough to dig ourselves out of the hole we are currently in due to buying stuff for the house and paying both mortgages. I should have probably upped myself to full time 2 months ago, but with soccer and school and all the stuff going on, it didn't even occur to me to do that.

Sorry to be such a downer.

One a happier note, Teagan is such a doll lately. He is at that magical age where he really does understand lots of what you are saying but hasn't yet learned to talk back ;) He is signing more and will follow simple instructions well like: "bring me your pajamas" "go get your shoes" "Where is your bear?" It is totally cute! He does not yet throw tantrums or get too worked up about much of anything unless he is totally exhausted and being picked up and held still fixes everything about 99.9% of the time.

I think I am enjoying him more than I did the other 3 boys because I know the ages and stages to come and know how fun this one is in comparison and how quickly it goes by. The older boys are fun too and it is nice to see them play together and help out and work out squabbles amongst themselves in a civilized way... they are definitely growing up!

Anyway, I am watching my niece today and she and Teagan are napping but it seems like they should be up at any minute, so I will sign off for now. :)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

First Haircut

So Teagan's first hair cut involved a bit of drama. He aws not thrilled with it all but got to be OK by then end. The pics tell the whole story.

I was thinking of waiting until after his 1st birthday to do it but got tired of cleaning food out of his hair!









Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Advantages of Twins

So 5 years ago when the twins were 7 months old I don't think I would have been able to foresee a time when having twins would ever feel easy. We were still in the midst of frequent night-wakings and I had just returned to work and was finding life to be exhausting. They weren't walking yet of course but were moving around enough that you couldn't simply put them down and expect them to stay put. Connor would scream with frustration because Quinn could crawl away and he could not yet. Every meal time was dreaded by me because of the need to clean up two high chairs. I found myself trying to come up with meals that were the least messy to deal with but then felt bad because nutritionally, they were sometimes lacking.

This year has been interesting because with the twins starting school, there are a whole new set of twin-like challenges. Strangely enough for the past couple of years I haven't felt like a mom of twins, just a mom of 3 boys (and recently of 4). Because Connor and Quinn are so different and have such different interests and because in general people don't spot that they are twins and just assume they are close in age. But now with them attending Kindergarten together, they seem very much like twins again. When I get the update in the afternoon about their day, one will start out explaining something they did and the other will finish the story.

They will look to each other about things like what the name of one of their friends is or what exactly it was they had for hot lunch. They sit and do their homework together, partly because I have them do it that way but mostly because if one is working on something for school, generally the other one wants to also (not always though ;))

I find the whole duplicate school folders/papers/announcements bit to be annoying and feel like there out to be a way to consolidate and conserve paper. I also find helping two non-reading kids work through their homework to be an all consuming task, which wouldn't be a big deal except that I often have an 11-month old pulling at my leg and a 9 year old asking for help with his homework as well.

But.. as the title promises... there are advantages as well. They are upstairs happily playing Legos at the moment. In general, they always have a built in buddy whether it be to walk with to a friends house when one of them is feeling too shy to go it alone, or to sit with on the school bus, or to play with in the house on a rainy day like today when their aren't any neighbor kids home to play with. At this age, Andrew was a bit lonelier and wanted to be out with neighbors all the time -- but most of the neighbor kids we had then were older and we didn't always let me hang out with them.

I went to let them know that Teagan was napping and I would be going downstairs and Quinn was literally trying to shoo me out of the room "Okay okay mom -- bye!" because they were so wrapped up in their make believe game. They had tried to include me earlier but I was opposed to the need for my Lego characters to have weapons (one of those things about boys that I don't get) so they decided I didn't need to play.

Ahhh... all good things must come to an end, Quinn is down here saying he is "bored" already... what a bummer!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Due for an update

So we are a lot more moved in. I still need to paint the boys' bathroom someday and the downstairs entry way / stair well, etc. I have paint for the bathroom but not the other. The boys are enjoying school. Teagan gets a bit sad when they leave but enjoys the trip out to the bus. He took a major fall 2 weeks ago when we were all heading to the bus and he decided to try and step off the front porch step on his own. I have pics from that day but should have gotten a good pic the next day when everything was scabbing over and looked much more grusome.

Here are the day of injury photos:



We celebrated my niece's 1st birthday. We had a mini celebration at mom & dad's house and then Mary had a big party with Angela's side of the family and more friends the next day.

She really didn't know waht to think of the cupcake mom made:
I love that she knows what to do with dollies -- so cute! She will also feed them bottles which seems funny for a kid who has never taken a bottle herself.

Teagan's 1st birthday is now right around the corner... I can't believe how fast this year has gone. I am already feeling sad to see him get big so quickly. But he is at the most delightful age, it is hard not to just enjoy it all.

I have more pics on facebook for those who are signed on. It is way easier to upload on that site, so check it out! :)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Computer still broken, lots left to unpack

So I am still needing to use Joe's laptop for my computer needs. Mine has been back and forth to the Geek Squad (at Best Buy) 3 times now! (Needless to say, I don't recommend using them). This last time I said, I really think it is a virus, which is what I thought the first time, and they came back after running a scan saying "oh yeah, it really is quite infected" well duh! They said it was the video card the first time and I spent $70 on a new video card. The 2nd time it came on for them so they said "it is working fine" and did nothing but at home it still kept re-booting incessantly. I am so frustrated by it all but hopefully the 3rd time is a charm.

On the positive side, Joe has been working hard getting the last bits of things over from the old house. I think the garage is still a big disaster, but hopefully we get rid of most of that stuff. The kitchen is functional and we are getting reacquainted with gas cooking. The kids bedrooms (except for Teagan's) are a giant mess - partly due to not unpacking everything appropriately and partly because they all just keep discovering old toys, games, cards, etc. that they want to play with and then get distracted.

I should be unpacking right now but I am just feeling lazy and exhausted lately (last few days). It took a bit to get Teagan settled for a nap today because he managed a cat nap in the car this morning but then didn't stay asleep but it was enough to give him energy to fight off a real nap. Now he is down for a bit so I ought to get working on stuff. My bedroom is quite the disaster as well. I can't quite figure out where I want things to go in the new closet and bathroom and so I have been procrastinating a bit. We had a bunch of stuff that was in a hall linen closet at the old house and now we don't really have a space like that but we have lots of storage in the 2 upstairs bathrooms so we just need to redistribute items.

You'd think with a really big house, unpacking would be easy -- but the reality is we are lacking shelves and furniture items to really work in the rooms we have so there is a lot of stuff that doesn't have a home. We are also trying to keep it so both cars can be parked in the garage but previously we had all storage in the garage so that is a lot odd stuff that needs a home as well -- and a lot of stuff to get rid of also.

I have become addicted to HGTV -- I really like watching all the makeovers and such. Watching TV is not helping me get anything done nor is it helping my new plan to exercise more.

Still no pics to share since this is Joe's laptop and not my PC. Back to school routines are starting to gel a bit more -- though with the twins going only every other day it is a bit confusing at times. Yesterday I went to pick up Andrew and he starts wandering off and I yell "hey - where ya going?" and he says "to get the boys" and I say, "they are right here in the van, they didn't have school today" and he grins sheepishly. I called about buses and we do have one here but you have to cross a busy road to get to it. I am still tempted to try it out and just walk the kids over there. I figure it still saves gas and if Teagan was napping in the afternoon I wouldn't have a problem leaving him in his crib while I walk across the street to get them. Today Connor was fussing about not wanting to try the bus though and I didn't feel like arguing so I drove.

Anyway... enough rambling for now. Oh -- as far as milestones, Teagan now has 3 teeth. One on top and two on the bottom and he can run, get to standing from the floor quickly and easily and dribble a soccer ball (seriously! it is really cute) and oh yes, he is now 10 month old!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

First Day of School

So Andrew, Connor & Quinn are off for their first day of school. I didn't go in with them because the parking situation was madness. Andrew was going to walk the twins to their classroom. We all went to the back to school night last night and dropped off supplies and picked desks and met teachers -- so I feel fine about just dropping them off. Heck, if we had bus service out here I would have just put them on the bus! Since we opted to transfer within district to South Ridge in order to keep Andrew at the same school and to stay where we are familiar with teachers and such - we aren't guaranteed bus service. BUT... we may get a bus if there are enough kids in this area opting to transfer that way. We'll see. I think it will depend on last minute registrations and such and we won't know for a few weeks.

So the kids were all up EARLY today. We didn't have to leave the house until 8:45ish and they were all dressed and ready to go by 7:15. I hope they all have a good day. As we are driving there is starts to rain and now I see it is raining more and I didn't send them with jackets because I had no idea it was going to rain today so now I feel badly about that.

I took pics but don't have a good way to share them. My computer is in the shop and I am using Joe's laptop for the time being. I am sure I could upload to here but I don't think he'd want me putting too much stuff on his machine.

Oh no -- Teagan is up after only being down a very short time! Argh! Gotta go.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Moving Day!

Technically it was 2 days ago (on Friday) but since I am at work and haven't gone to sleep yet, I am going to still think of it as YESTERDAY.
So we managed to pick the hottest day of the year to move. We are talking 17 year record breaking hot... it was over 105 degrees. Lovely... ugh!

Thank goodness for movers. We hired movers paid by the hour to come (truck, dolly, blankets, & supplies included). The funny thing was they were late getting there and Joe was annoyed and then they finally arrive (after having to call 3 times for directions) and they show up and Joe walks in the house and says "they sent us an old man and a woman!" and I think "great, we already had an old man and a woman -- I wanted young college guys with muscles!"

But they were actually quite good, very effcient, never really took a break even in the heat and got everything there in one piece. Well... everything we packed and had ready to go. We still have a lot of garage stuff to deal with and the fridge and pantry too and a lot of the kitchen stuff as well. We just didn't get all the breakable stuff packed and then seeing how they were packing that truck, I wasn't sure I wanted them moving that stuff.

So we survived it and spent last night in the new house with the kids still sleeping on mattresses on the floor and boxes everywhere and very little stuff in the kitchen to eat. IF I ever do this again, I will move the kitchen stuff over myself the day before or the morning of and I will pack a box labeled "OPEN FIRST" where I can pack all the kids PJs, toothbrushes, clothes for the next day, bedding, etc. We spent a lot of time searching for stuff that first night when everyone was tired and hot and cranky.

So I will post pics when I get a chance also. I should try to post pics of the kids' painted bedrooms also -- not sure how well the colors will show up in photos.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Beach pictures!

For those of you not on facebook... here are some pics :)







Saturday, August 9, 2008

Oh but WAIT -- big Teagan news!

I am such a dork. Write a long rambling post about the dumb house and forget to mention that Teagan is walking now -- at 9.5 months! So he is officially the youngest walker of the bunch. Quinn was almost 11 months old and Connor and Andrew were just a week or so shy of their 1st birthdays. So, nine month old walkers are really precarious and dangerous and accident prone! More so than 11 month old walkers for sure.

But he is really proud of himself and has tried fancy tricks like changing directions and carrying things around with him and eating snacks while walking (things he finds on the floor). He still gets down and crawls if he is in a big hurry to get somewhere or has fallen too many times and is tired of it. He also got his first tooth right at 9 months (on the 25th) and the second one looks like it is about to pop any minute.

Love Hate Relationship with painting

So I love the idea of painted bedrooms -- I really can't stand all white walls. And I moderately enjoy picking out paint colors (I always worry about picking out something that will look awful). And then I like when you first start putting the color on the walls and get to see how it looks. But then it gets a bit tedious. All the hand/arm breaking trim work and trying to not get paint on the ceilings and trim and such. And then all the clean up! That is possibly the worst part -- trying to get the darn paint out of all the rollers and brushes.

For the new house I now have Connor & Quinn's room done (I like it but it came out darker than I expected -- two walls are green, two are blue), Andrew's room is done (a nice blue color -- he will then add Nintendo wall decals to decorate) and the utility room (a color called "sand" that I thought was pretty neutral but it is a bit more color than I expected) and now today - Teagan's room which my parents painted for me (because I think they were feeling sorry for me at this point after days of painting and very little help -- I LOVE that they are the type of parents who offer to come paint rooms for you or show up in the evening when I still have a room to finish painting and all the boys are tired, cranky and melting down). Teagan's room is a gold color that I haven't seen yet but mom says it looks OK. I think that means it is too bright/dark/something but she isn't going to tell me.

Then today I spent $1900 ordering window coverings. I went with honeycomb style blinds this time because Andrew really wanted "the kind of blinds you can open and close without a cord" so I decided that cordless was a good idea for all the boys. I did room darkening only in Teagan's room which I hope I won't regret later. I figured the other guys probably like a little light at times. I think I went with roman shade things for the great room -- those are room darkening too so for TV watching we can get rid of glare. We'll see how it all goes. For the master bedroom I had to get a big roller shade because the window is so wide that just about anything else has to be split on the headrail which sort of defeats the whole purpose of blocking light out while I sleep during the day.

Anyway -- enough rambling about the house. We are planning to get EVERYTHING moved in on Thursday and Friday (the 14th & 15th). We'll see how it goes :)

I have pics posted on facebook from our beach trip. When I am back home, I can try to post some here.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Two homes

So we are now the proud owners of 2 homes... ack!
Or more precisely we are the proud lendees (is that a word?) of two mortgages.

So I am panicking a bit about what to do about the old house while panicking a bit more about the big move to the new house and how much work is involved given I have 4 kids, a job, a husband with a full time job, and not enough free time to do all the little things I want to do (like paint bedrooms!)

But currently I am at my oasis called work so I can clear my head and just be a bit... (BTW work is not always like this - last weekend was mad crazy, but it is still nice to be with friends/co-workers and be away from fussing kids, messy houses and a darling baby who doesn't let me get a darn thing done these days).

So we have had two showings on the house in about a month. No real interest from either. I have not yet listed it as a possible rental because I am trying to wrap my head around what becoming a landlord actually entails and I don't want to take the idea too lightly. On the one hand, it makes sense in this market to just rent it out and wait for the housing stuff to adjust a bit and then try to sell. But apparently, I have to sell it within 3 years to avoid paying capital gains taxes on the proceeds from the house -- so a clock is started once we move out and I just have no idea when the market will really recover from all this.

There is also the very real worry of having renters who either don't pay on time, trash the house, or cause other legal problems for us. And of course, we have to make time to be available for maintenance problems/house calls /etc. like good landlords.

So there is lots to think about. We are also in the midst of shopping for things for the new house which is stressful when I am not sure how much money we will need to set aside for upcoming double mortgages. We need a new refrigerator for the new house (our current one won't fit in the spot even if we wanted to move it with us -- which we don't because it really won't match!) and we sort of need something to put the TV on as it sits in a built in space in our current house and there is no such space at the new house. Beyond that -- I would LIKE to have a new couch, new bedroom furniture, new bookshelves for the family room... but I need to pace myself.

Anyway, hopefully in a post in the near future, I will have a plan!

Oh and today is our 11th wedding anniversary... which makes 13 years together - wow! Sometimes it feels like no time at all and sometimes it feels like I can't remember what life was even like before Joe. We bought a new mattress Friday, to be delivered today (one of those "I want" items I could have waited on) so I am going to call that an anniversary present to us both. Can't wait to try it out but it is going to the new house that we aren't yet moved into and I have no King size bedding yet either.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Busy Summer

So the part of my last post that got eaten was the part about what we are all up to this summer. Yesterday was the first evening of swim lessons. The 3 older boys are going twice a week for 4 weeks. I picked evening times so they could still fit in day camps here and there.

This week Andrew is doing a soccer camp in the mornings. He agreed to it all in the first place but was grumbling today about it. It is a lot more physical activity than he has had to do in awhile. I think it is good for him :) If Quinn were old enough to attend he would be loving it.

Next week we have no camps scheduled but will attend the Ridgefield parade and park festivities for the July 4th weekend.

The following week we are expecting a visit from Thomas, my best friend's 9 year old son. He is flying out here with his Dad from St. Louis and the plan is to have him here for a couple of days so he and Andrew can visit. I only wish Ashlea was coming along as well but she is staying back with her younger two kiddos.

The week after that all three boys have all day camp for the week. That may coincide with us closing on the new house and moving... we'll see. If not, it will be the week of July 21st for sure as that is the latest date option for closing per our sales offer agreement. I just was hoping to get moving soon as we leave for the coast July 25th.

After the trip to the coast the boys have another 1/2 day camp and then a week off and another full day camp... I think that is how it goes. By then soccer practices will be starting and school will start at the end of August.

I will wait until fall to sign up for a mom and tot swimming class for Teagan and I. I have a feeling I will be busy enough this summer dealing with running everyone around and moving into the new house. We really hope this house well get sold somewhere in there as well, but if not we will look into getting renters some time in the fall.

We have a house!

So I promised pics of the bamboo floors - so here they are:


And we have a new house picked out! The offer was accepted, we are in the process of getting all the stuff done that we need to for closing. Our house is now on the market.

So the link to our new house is here (it is new contruction from 2006 that has been sitting empty... the price of the house has dropped about $135,000 for the original listing price.... good for us, bad for the builder/seller). On the other hand, we are listing our house for about $35,000 less than the assessed value as well. Weird housing market.

So here is the link to the new house:

http://www.tavernerridge.com/1712.html

Here is the link to our current house for sale:


http://www.equitygroup.com/listings/detail.php?lid=26653662&limit=0&offset=0&aid=004602114&oid=004600011&temp=1197&aname=CHRISSY+DEFIBAUGH&aimg=1&agent_hasfeat=6&&posc=6&post=6&cfq=feat%3D1%26aid%3D004602114%26oid%3D004600011%26temp%3D1197%26aname%3DCHRISSY%2BDEFIBAUGH%26aimg%3D1%26agent_hasfeat%3D6%26SRSearchDate%3D1214349402%26SRRecordCount%3D6%26SRPage%3D1%26SRPageCount%3D1%26SRPageLinks%3D6


If that doesn't work, the MLS number is: 8062411

I lost the rest of this post and Teagan is protesting... so I will have to get back to it later and hope blogger doesn't eat it again!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

June!

OK... so somehow it is now June and in fact almost 1/2 thru the month at that! Andrew is done with 3rd grade. The twins had kindergarten assessments done today that will help determine their class placement for the fall... unfortunately they both cried about being pulled out for the testing (they were in a classroom setting with other kids doing projects and then a few kids at a time were pulled out for one on one assessments). They are at such a tough age in some ways -- really wanting to be big but still having trouble always adjusting well. If things go like they did for Andrew, next year will be great for them. The whole process of meeting friends and learning to read, write letters and numbers, create, etc. and getting used to the school routine and such is good for them.

Teagan was in such a good mood this evening... chuckling and chasing everyone around. He can crawl FAST. He is also very competent at cruising the furniture.

We have new bamboo floors in the family room. My brother and SIL's brother installed them for us. They look great. I need to get after pics (we got some pics of the room with the carpet all pulled up too).

The house hunt continues. We still haven't put ours on the market. I am seriously considering renting it out so we can hang on to the property until this housing slump readjusts a bit. We don't seem to need the equity in this house to qualify for a new loan and I think we can swing the new heftier mortgage just fine. The only problem is finding the right house! We found one we both loved but in the end that RR tracks behind it were too much for me to deal with. I just kept imagining the boys going down to play around there and it scared me too much.

Anyway -- enough of an update for now. Next up I will reveal our crazy summer schedule... for now we have all next week with nothing really planned -- just me and the boys home everyday. I figure we will go on a few outings but haven't decided where and when yet.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Nothing much to report

Feels like it has been a lot of days since I posted, so I thought I would sign in and say something. Teagan is going to be 7 months old tomorrow. He is still determined to stand and is crawling very fast now. He is fun to watch and is getting better at not falling or bonking his head quite so much.

The twins are done with daycare and I am about to start working weekends all the time -- which I have been practically doing anyhow, but now it is more official. So that makes me the stay at home parent during the week... I feel like I need to get more organized and creative in order to make that work well -- especially when I have all FOUR boys home every day all summer. We will indeed be signing up for summer camps, but not for everyone every week -- there will be a lot of down time. Generally I am a big fan of not over scheduling the kids and letting them just play, but at the same time there is only so much "I'm bored..." whining that I can take.

We are still house hunting. We have found a few options that would work OK -- but nothing where we feel like "yes this is it, we should make an offer." The up side to looking at houses in this market is that nothing is moving very quickly, so we don't really have to worry about something we like getting sold before we make a move. It is hard to pick out a house which we hope is our 'forever' house (meaning we would like to stay put for the next 15-20 years or so) because it is really hard not to be picky about it. I keep thinking maybe we just need to find something for the next 5 years or so and then possibly trade up again at that time. The problem is, the boys are at an age NOW where we want land and space to roam and they need a play room and all that -- whereas 5 years from now we are likely to need less room as they will be busier with school activities and sports and such that doesn't require as much play space at home. So I feel like we need the big house and big yard now... sigh.

Anyway... that is about it for now. I work the next 2 nights and then we are having a little BBQ at my parents' on Memorial day.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Growing up TOO FAST!

So Teagan went from crawling, to getting to sit up on his own all in one day! He was very proud of himself and now has moved on to pulling up to stand and trying to cruise. I have tried explaining to him that he is my baby, my last child, my joy and delight (because he is not my first and not a twin and life has been grand with him! -- boy, I did NOT mean for that to rhyme...) Anyway, these first 6 months with him have just gone by in a whirlwind and I am sad to see babyhood going so fast.

I am also concerned that a 6 month old who thinks he can walk could be big trouble down the line. I mean he is clearly a bright boy (of course ;)) but even bright 6 month olds have still only been on the planet for 6 MONTHS! What do they know about gravity and sharp, hard table edges and tippy chairs and boxes that aren't meant for standing against. He just has no caution and no sense of what is safe to climb up on. He is also rather top heavy still -- I mean I think about 25% of his weight is in his head, can you imagine trying to walk if that were the case for you?!

He is so determined also. It is like he has this internal voice urging him on: "YOU MUST STAND, TRY TO WALK, CATCH UP WITH THOSE BIG BROTHERS!" It is kinds cute to see him excitedly crawl at warp speed over to the open door (main door open, storm door closed) and pull up to stand against the storm door and watch all the big kids go running back and forth out in the front yard. He so wants to be in on all of that.

So we are loving this stage but mourning the fact that it is passing quickly. The older kids, esp Andrew, are at a particularly challenging age, so I am happy to have the entertainment factor from Teagan to make me smile on tough days with Andrew. I am learning lots about myself from these kids... parenting truly must be the toughest most wonderful job out there.

Here are some pics of the crew and the wonder baby too :)




Monday, April 28, 2008

More milestones!

So the little guy is crawling in his own way. He gets up on his hands and knees and moves his hands and moves his legs and gets going forward -- but it isn't very coordinated yet and he often lunges forward to get something and then gets back up on his knees again later. Nothing is safe from him now though -- he gets all around the downstairs now. He seems to like getting caught up under the baby swing, something I seem to recall one of the other boys doing too.

I rearranged the living room and plan to donate the baby swing away. I need to go find our box of childproofing stuff as I need more outlet covers and such. He hasn't discovered the stairs yet, but I assume it won't be long, so we need to think about a gate as well.

The other really cool new trick he learned today (and he is just pleased as punch with himself about it) is he can get himself back into the sitting position. So if he is lying on the ground in any format he can roll over, get on his hand and knees and then push back into a sit. Pretty cool. He was just grinning at me today about it and it took me a moment to realize what he did because I didn't see it the first time and though one of the boys had helped him up.

Anyway, it is only 7pm and he just zonked out. I will assume it is a power nap because I put him in his crib with just the diaper on. But he has been busy today, so we'll see. May have to go sneak some PJs on him. I need to get better about real nap times -- but we run around so much of the day, it is hard to fit them in between snoozes in the car and such.

Ta ta for now. :)

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Survived TV Turn Off week!

So it isn't like my kids watch much TV anyhow these days. But we opted to go without all screens -- which includes Nintendo DS, the computer, TV, movies, and even the Leapsters. They did really well -- only asking about computer games every once in awhile and having no trouble finding other things to do. BUT -- for me it was hard to deal with all the wrestling, playing, screeching, etc. that goes along with playing games that don't inovlve screens! It was hard to get Teagan to nap with all the noise and hard to get them to remain outside when they wanted to be loud (lots of coming in and out and slamming doors and all that).
I also missed the idea of just plugging a movie in and cuddling up with the twins and having some zone out time. Oh well. So the lesson learned is that mommy is more dependent on the screens than the rest of the household.

I also missed my computer. I did make the arrangement (with Andrew the dictator of TV TURN OFF WEEK) to check e-mail once per day just so I could keep up in case there was some pressing news and more realistically, just so I wouldn't have 500 messages when I turned it back on. But I did my part and avoided playing computer games or replying to e-mail or blogging. I did sneak in some Tivo watching on Thursday when they were all at school/daycare and I was home with Teagan all day.

The weather is lovely today and we had a nice playdate at the park with a friend of mine and her son. I am ready for Spring weather without the weird hail storms and crazy rain we have been getting.

Anyway... enough for now. I still need to get professional photos some day of the kids and really all of us. Ugh. I am not really excited about the idea of trying to pull it all off.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

General update & Spring Break pics

So I feel like I need to write because it has been a couple of weeks. We went to Cannon Beach for Spring Break like we have done the past two springs and this year it turned out to be a bit chilly. The week before was weird weather week with snow and hail and rain storms at all elevations all over WA and OR. So we fared better than the Oregon schools in terms of weather. But, it wasn't really great 'play in the sand' weather.
On the up side, Teagan is now the proud owner of a new really cute hat (and so is cousin Mary, though I have no pic of hers):

Here is Connor playing at the park -- turned out to be a really nice snapshot.
And here is what the kids spent a lot of the time doing in the hotel room at the beach (playing Nintendo DS):
At least I got all 4 of them in 1 picture!


We so need to go get formal family photos. Today I was going to look for some nice coordinating outfits for kids at Kohl's (just thought it may have some stuff even though I don't really shop there often and more importantly it is near Panera which I where I wanted to go for lunch). But Teagan was fussy and the twins' kept asking for stuff and it just wasn't working out. Instead I end up coming home with toys, new water type sandals for the twins' and a shirt & socks for Teagan. Hmmm.


In other news my brother and his wife and baby are going to rent out their house and will be moving into an RV they bought. I think this means we will see them even more often at my parents house and such and I will invite them over also because Mary will want to have room to crawl and move about. The RV is being parked at Angela's brothers house I think.



Andrew is doing WASL testing this week and next. So far he says "it is easy." I think he kind of likes standardized testing. Personally I can't help but think it is a waste of time for the kids and the teachers who spend so much effort "prepping" for it.


We have Kindergarten Round Up next week and I am really looking forward to it. We get to meet the teachers for next year and see the classrooms and Connor and Quinn get to come along also. It feels like a bigger deal than when Andrew started for some reason. I think just the idea of have 3 kids in school feels like a big change. I am planning to try out working every Sat-Sun and then being home all week and therefore dropping the kids out of daycare entirely. I think I'll start the schedule in the summer. I need to run it by my supervisor first.
Sounds like Teagan is waking up -- gotta go!


Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Adventures in Dining

So I am trying the whole "baby led weaning" concept. This is not the idea of letting the baby cue you when he is ready to stop breastfeeding (if this were the case Andrew and Quinn may still be breastfed to this day I fear) - but it is a way of introducing solids. I think the concept comes over from the UK so they phrase it differently than we would here.

So Teagan has tried bread in various forms (pizza crusts, bagels, sourdough bread bowl tops, etc.) and he has tried clementines and broccoli. I am trying to stick with only one really new food at a time, but it is hard to sometimes limit things. So the new food of the day was bananas. Now -- the back story on this is that as a kid I really did not like bananas and even today as an adult I really don't like them once they are over ripe. I really don't like the idea of mushing up a banana and spoon feeding it to my kids as baby food though I sucked it up and did so with the other guys.

So with the baby led weaning concept - I get to just hand him a banana. But I know already this won't go well and there will be a big mess. I had read on another blog (see here) that I could leave the peel on and then he could grab that and work on it. She also suggested trimming the peel a bit and giving only half the banana. All great suggestions -- and it went fairly well... up until he had already knocked off two big chunks of it and was madly trying to suck down anything left in the peel to the point where all that was left was the peel...

Well, here - you've got to see it for yourselves:


So here he is happily enjoying the banana (with a crazed death grip on it by the way)















Next I have yanked the peel away from him because he was trying to eat just that. He is so hysterical about it that he doesn't notice the banana pieces in front of him that I have rescued from the high chair.















Now he sees them and is happier -- but not for long because they go flying out of his hands and he gets mad again right way (I can't grab the camera again this time because I had to clean my hands again after the rescue).















Ahhh... but them mom saves the day and I tossed the pieces into this baby food holder thing that we had from when the twins were babies. Of course, the downside it is a horrendous device to clean after banana has been mashed through it. But he was very happy with it until he had mashed it to liquid and had nothing left in it and I was not ready for a second round so he got scooped up and taken upstairs for bath time.















So I am expecting strange diapers in the near future because I am pretty darn sure he actually ingested some of this. Most of his "eating" so far has been purely recreational. Our way of saying "see little man, you get food just like the big people" as a way of appeasing him during mealtimes. But apparently, he really likes this stuff and thinks we have been holding back. I assume he may be more demanding about it now. We'll see. Of course an added bonus was that the whole thing totally grossed out the older boys which I found funny as they generally are the ones trying to gross ME out.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

"Mom, have you ever held a slug in your hands?"

says Quinn moments ago...

"Hmmm... not sure." "Well, I just did!" (big grin that looks more like a smirk). "Fabulous... now go wash your hands." "I already did!"

Well, at least he knows good hygiene, right? And I had a quiet house for about 30 minutes. Now they are wrestling on the stairs and they woke the baby up and all is loud again.

Nothing else new to report. The house hunting is at a stand still as we looked at the one house and it needs tons of work -- in particular, the whole water system is a mess. Probably needs a new well, for sure a new septic system , possibly the pipes and such to and from the house -- and all the cosmetic stuff we already knew about. There isn't really anything else on the market that meets our picky criteria.

I'm not sure what to do next.

Baby crying again -- gotta go!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Pictures!

Teagan can sit! (as of about 5 days ago)
Love those dimples!
From today (I found the camera cord!) He is such a content little guy these days. I suppose that will change now that I typed it up.

Fun baby

Hmmm... I can't find the cable that connects my camera to the computer. I wanted to share pictures again. Bummer. I'll have to ask Joe about it when he gets home. He is the king of finding lost things.

So Teagan is pretty cute today. He grins his head off everytime he sees me. It is like he has just figured out that I come and go and he is so pleased about it all. He is also finally really getting better at floor time. He tend to scoot himself backwards (away from what he is trying to get!) and gets a bit irked about it -- but it is still cute. I have also now witnessed rolling in both ditrections. I was really impressed about the back to tummy roll yesterday because he was very smooth about it. But, he didn't repeat the performance -- it still seems to be pretty sporadtic. Also, if he has recently nursed or nursed for too long last time -- tummy time is still a sure fire way for him to vomit. Poor guy.

We also played a game in the kitchen with stacking cups. He sits up with me behind him in case he gets wobbly and he knocks around the stacking cups. I kept grabbing them and setting them back up. He was very intent about it. That cute little "must grab this, must knock this down" mentality that babies get. I would have liked to see his face during it but since I was helping keep him from bonking his head, I didn't get to. The kitchen floor was a nice twist because the cups make great sounds when you knock them and they spin and roll away better too.

I am so impressed that he sits up at 4.5 months of age. I will have to look up when the other guys were sitting because I don't think it was this early.

Today I have a meeting at work... then we go see a house for sale that I have already walked through one time but Joe hasn't. The plan is to have Nick and my parents come take a peek too. we are all trying to assess what work really needs done on this house (great property, great neighborhood -- house is really a mess needing lots of updates). I need to call about meeting with a bank too about financing.

Andrew has a 1/2 day and should be walking in the door pretty soon. His room is a disaster so we will tackle that until it is time for the meeting.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Too much information...

So maybe I shouldn't discuss my job when the kids are in earshot. At lunch today out of no where Quinn asks me "how does a baby die when it is inside a mommy's tummy?" Whoa. So I say "how do you know about that?" and he says that I told him one time (which I don't recall doing). So I basically said they might become sick or something may have happened with the cord that goes to the belly button. He was fine with that info.

Then he proceeds to talk about babies: "So when I was 4 we didn't have any babies... then we got a baby. He didn't come from your butt they had to slice your tummy open. You needed a big bandaid -- bigger than the small ones... what would happen if I needed a bandaid that big... it is good we have a baby now, we needed a baby in our house."

Shortly after this I grab fussy Teagan and to entertain him I let him play with my cup of water and he tries to take a sip and dribbles it all back out of his mouth. I mention that Teagan just doesn't know how to swallow quite yet. Quinn pipes up again, "if he doesn't know how to swallow, how does he drink breastmilk?" So I say, "yes you are right, he CAN swallow but only when he is sucking, he can't swallow from a cup yet." Then Quinn says, "what about his baby cup?" and I point to the sippy trainer cup and he says "no the other one" and I realize he means the bottles Joe uses when I am at work... so I explain that those are bottles and have nipples on them that babies can suck. Quinn is perplexed by this for some reason. I explain that some babies get all their milk from bottles. That seems weird to him too. Funny to me that bottle-feeding is so foreign to him!

Anyway... it was an interesting lunch!

Now on to house cleaning. We have a realtor coming this afternoon to talk with us and look at the house -- argh! It is such a mess around here!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Trying again to upload video to blogger...

If this works you will gets to see Teagan laughing. Andrew can get him laughing like no one else. The angle is weird because I was sort of holding the camera out in front of him without really seeing what I was getting.
video

Hey maybe it worked! Here goes nothing :)

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

"He wasn't talking about you mom, he was talking to his PRETEND stupid mom!"

(overheard conversation between Quinn and Connor in the car)
So apparently, I am not the stupid mom. There is a pretend one though. Hmmm. Not even sure what this really means!

So I am tired and the baby is vomiting every time he nurses and the twins are full of energy. Nothing new.

We are officially house hunting now. We found a fixer upper that has a really great location/neighborhood but really does need quite a bit of work. I am overwhelmed by the idea of trying to get this house presentable so we could sell it and deal with getting a loan to buy a new house and then deal with fixing it up... BUT I am also so tired of feeling so crammed in this house and want more space desperately.

At the moment we haven't been to see the house on the inside but have peeked around at in from the outside as it is vacant. It seems to us they are asking too much for it given the current housing market conditions and the fact that it needs so much work. So the plan is to find a realtor to show it to us, talk to a bank at some point and possibly make an offer... OR just keeping looking. SIGH.

Crying 5 year old alert -- gotta go!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Spring weather

(Yesterday's post - was trying to add video but couldn't get it to work)

So we have been having some nicer weather lately. The twins got industrious today with moving sand out of the sand box in the back yard.

They didn't like the idea of putting the sand back in the sand box as much as they liked getting it out. Lesson learned: sand should probably stay in the sand box unless you are up for working hard later!

We also let Teagan try out the baby swing on the swing set. He seemed pretty mellow about it but liked it I think.

All 3 older boys had dentist appts this morning. Good reports all around. Sorry for the poor grammar -- I am typing 1 handed w/ my left hand while the little one nurses to sleep. Speaking of which the little guy is 4 months old now -- had his well visit yesterday. Weighs 14 # 15 oz. and is 25.5 inches long.

Ah, I have both hands now. Teagan's doctor brought up the idea of reflux meds again but I declined. I just don't like the idea of medicating a baby. I just don't see how acid blockers really help when the problem really appears to be mechanical (the flap that closes at the end of the esophagus isn't very tight and he should out-grow it). He does not appear to be upset about the vomiting -- if it were very sour and acidy and bothersome to him, then I would consider meds.

As it is I have been having trouble with the whole vaccine concept too lately -- I bought the book The Vaccine Book by Robert Sears hoping it would help me pick and choose what we needed and avoid anything that was a problem or give good backup data for things that need to be given. Well -- it basically says they all could be skipped if you are willing to risk the diseases and lists how bad the diseases can get -- which is all good info. Yet it also talks about all the weird stuff that goes into vaccines and how rare most of the diseases are now. So it is hard to feel good about them either way (giving them or not). So far we have opted out of Hep B and Polio with plans to add them back in later as he is at no risk for those at this time.

ta ta for now!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Queasy morning and King of Naps

So I have two subjects, but didn't feel like creating 2 posts. First off, poor Connor felt yucky this morning and even though Joe anticipated it and put out a bucket and towel and all that, Connor threw up all over the couch instead -- UGH! I managed to get the tail end of it in the bucket and when he went for round two a bit later, he grabbed the bucket also.

My poor couch is in such a sad state already (13 years old!) that it is sort of pathetic trying to revive it from the latest insult. Joe was looking over my shoulder at the banking stuff last night and pondered why I had over $1000 set aside in my "furniture" fund... I said "hello -- we need a new couch! new couches are expensive!"

My goal was to take out the yucky carpeting and replace it with hardwood and at that time I would also get rid of the couch because it would be in the way for that process. Then we could buy a new one and have someone deliver it. I think I may get rid of the lazy boy chair also -- it is ouchy pokey things coming out of the leg rest lately. Any suggestiong on where to go furniture shopping are appreciated!

Topic #2 -- I am glad Teagan is a good napper! I am not sure how I would manage anything around here (like said vomiting episode) if he wasn't. He went down at about 9:20 and it is noon and I think he is starting to stir a bit. He had a rough night last night with spitting up/vomiting so this is a bit earlier in the day than usual for him to nap. I will probably manage to get another 2ish hour nap from him in the late afternoon.

Later!

Twins' are now 5!

Happy Birthday to Connor & Quinn! Their birthday was yesterday the 18th; we were too busy with festivities to post to the blog.

They had a great birthday I think. We have been counting down the days with them using paper chains we made a few weeks back. We overdid it a bit as usual with too many gifts. Some items were needed (new helmets to go with the new scooter and kid car) and some were just bonus (like the Star Wars set I won on E-bay unexpectedly that has over 1200 pieces and really isn't suited for 5 year olds - it will go up in their closet for awhile).

The theme was generally... LEGOS! But I did mix it up by making the main gifts from us (Joe and I) non-Lego. Quinn got a new Razor scooter and Connor got a Plasma car.

My brother Jeff was in town -- he was due for a visit and it just worked out that he was able to be here for their birthday as well. He showed off his new dog Vargus to us. A cute rescue dog that is only about a year old. The boys seem to consider him the "cool" Uncle so they always look forward to seeing him. I was informed though that Nick is "cool also" so that is nice for him as well :) I love my brothers -- so blessed to have such great Uncles for my kids and such great brothers when I end up with a bunch of boys that I hardly understand at times! It gives me high hopes that my boys will turn out great also.

Anyway -- sorry for the ramble. Back to the birthday party. We got some good pics of the boys with Jeff and the boys blowing out candles. No pics of cutie cousin Mary (nor her parents, Nick and Ang)! Bummer... I'll have to grab the camera next time and take some myself. Joe was camera man yesterday.

Here are the self explanatory pictures:





Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Way better week so far

While I am still over-tired in general (due to working nights and getting my sleep all screwed up and then staying up too late on nights I am home and nursing a baby about 3 times a night...) this week has been pretty good.

Quinn at gymnastics went much better than last week! We had a nice evening and dinner over at my parents last night. Today the twins played well together and while Teagan still seems to spit up after every feeding, it is not really huge quantities and he is napping well again.

Here are some pics to share! (since I figure that is what most of you come for anyhow :))

Teagan's new move in the baby seat is to just sit up! I can't believe how strong he is. Even though this is boy #4 and they all went through this stage, it is still fascinating. If he wasn't buckled in, he would be able to climb right out of the seat (and probably land on his face!)













Joe took a cute pic of Connor and Teagan tonight. Actually he took a few, I just like this one best.


















A pic Joe took a few nights back. Used Adobe Photoshop to "fix" it and it came out a bit bright. Wondering how it will look in the web.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Bad Mommy!

Clearly I suck at single-parenthood. No, I am not actually a single mom, I just play one on Mondays and Tuesdays when Joe works 10 hour days and gets home late. And clearly, I am not good at it.

The morning started with Quinn being wishy washy as to whether he would like to go to gymnastics class. I am fine either way because while normally I like to encourage my kids to attend things that I am paying for, I was dead tired and in no mood to haul two boys and a baby out the door for class. He decides he does want to go. I mention that he will need to change out of his jeans when we get there. This is a break in the routine for him as he normally wears his gym clothes there. (Should have been my first clue... actually, my second -- his not wanting to go should have been my first because as a rule, he loves gymnastics).

Anyhow, we get there and for the first time head for the changing area. He doesn't like the idea of changing in front of so many girls. Luck would have it, no boys there at this particular time even though technically there are 3 boys in his class. So he is pouting and refusing to change and to make a long embarassing story short, I had to man handle him to get him dressed and he missed half his class while sitting on the gym floor trying to decide if he would like to participate or not. Fabulous fun! (not.)

So then I end up taking a nap with the baby in the afternoon and leaving the twins to their own devices -- luckily they did not take the house apart or manage to burn it down, so that went OK. But I still feel guilty doing it. Then this evening my plan for supper fell through due to missing ingredients (and there is no way I am taking 4 kids to the grocery store right before dinner time by myself!) So I opt for tortellini for Quinn and Andrew and pancakes for Connor and I (I am still trying to be mostly no dairy and Connor doesn't like tortellini much). These are new whole wheat pankcakes so I wanted to try them.

Well... somehow I managed to totally burn the pancake skillet. To the point that the fire alarm went off and it was just the shortening burning that set it off. The noise scared the baby whom Andrew was looking after a bit... so it felt like total chaos -- alarm going, me trying to turn everything off or down while yelling at people to open windows and doors and then trying not to overcook or burn the tortellini, and baby screaming while Andrew is getting upset about holding said screaming baby. SIGH...

Joe will be very unhappy with the state of what is essentially his pan. There is a reason I never cook the pancakes.

But for the moment, the baby is happy, the boys all got fed (I used I different skillet -- the no stick kind!) and I thought I'd better write it all down to remind myself that there are days like this and it is manageable in the end.

Monday, February 4, 2008

First time swimming

Boy I wish I had pictures to share with you all! But alas, my camera is not waterproof (and not mine; it is Joe's) and I don't trust it at the pool. We (my mom and I) took Connor, Quinn and Teagan swimming. This is the youngest I have taken a baby swimming. I think Andrew was about 7 months old and honestly I don't know when I managed it with the twins for the first time. They may have been closer to a year old.

So Teagan is 3.5 months old and he really did great. He grinned enthusiastically when I first put him in the water. We also met up with Angela and Mary. Mary is 4.5 months old and she has been swimming a number of times now. Angela and I also had fun taking turns taking the twins down the water slide.

When Teagan started to look a bit cold and tired (after almost 2 hours in the pool!) my mom took him out and he feel almost instantly asleep in her arms. Of course we roused him a bit later when we had to get him dressed.

Alas, he is fussing at the moment so I can't write anymore for now. It was a nice outing. I am ready to try to fit it in the schedule more often.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Taxes done!

I know many won't agree with me, but I really love Turbotax. Just makes my life easier. We actually get a refund this year - woo hoo! I wasn't sure if we would or not even with the new baby. I try to make out our exemptions on our W-2s in an effort to keep most of our money; and in the end, my goal is to not owe taxes or get a refund. If I ever hit it right on the money, I'd be impressed. But, if it is going to swing one way or the other, I'll take a refund over a payment.

I caught the @!*&% cold that everyone around me (at work, home, etc.) has had. As if getting up to nurse a baby at night wasn't enough. Now I have the joys of post nasal drip, sore throat and stuffiness that make it hard to sleep as well! Ugh.

Teagan has a bit of runny nose as well. Luckily he is sleeping really well still -- except for possibly getting up a bit more in the wee hours. He makes up for it by napping more during the day. He really sleeps/naps more than any of the other boys ever did which is nice :)

Andrew finally got a haircut also, but since Joe took him I didn't manage to get pictures. It is not like I ususally take haircut pics of the boys anyhow -- it had just gotten so LONG for all of them, that I thought it would be fun this time around.

Anyway... gotta go check on the kiddos. The little one is napping behind me (crib in computer room) but the big kids are down stairs watching Saturday morning cartoons and I am not sure who has managed to get breakfast already. Joe works today -- start of his 4 Saturdays in a row.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

This and that

OK, so I am more daring these days. After dragging the three youngest boys to Quinn's gymnastics, I took the twins to get haircuts and then we all went out to eat at the Old Spaghetti Factory. They were begging to go. This, I believe, is because they were 'starving' after refusing to eat any stew at Nonni's house last night. I used it as a motivator with the behavior for haircuts as Connor likes to be difficult if he thinks he can get away with it. Quinn, on the other hand, seems to actually really enjoy getting his haircut.

Connor did try to be difficult and I simply said that if I had to come help the barber again, we would not be going out to lunch and that was the end of it. He did pout a few times and make faces which I wish I had caught on camera, but he did what was asked.

A customer walked into the barber shop and said "wow, these boys are so well behaved - they are not squirming or making a fuss at all... how nice" and the barber says "Well they have been coming here for a very long time in their short lives." Which is totally true. I was trying to roughly calculate in my head how many haircuts they have had their (all of their haircuts have been there) but got tired of the effort.

Here is the hair cut pics. I really wanted a true before and after but I forgot to grab the before shots (their hair was really getting long!) so you get a during and after:

Connor (above), Quinn (below)

Lunch went OK. Teagan fussed a bit and there was the whole issue of needing to take Teagan to get his spit up clothes changed but the boys wanting to stay at the table and me worrying that someone would call child protective services for leaving them there for a moment... and then of course they decided they needed to use the bathroom when I returned to the table after I had already asked them about 3 minutes prior! No other major mishaps though.

It was challenging to drive home after lunch... I was SO TIRED. All my passengers had the luxury of getting to sleep! When we got to our house, I just parked the car and napped a bit myself since everyone was asleep.

Teagan did well on all the adventures. He has spit up / vomited a decent amount after every feeding so far today... sigh. Part of it is the car seat use - that always seems to bring it up, but some was at home also.

Today is day 8, I think, of the no dairy diet for me. I am totally craving cheese! I have no idea if it is even helping. Everything I read says I need to wait 2-3 weeks to see. Plus there are other possible food sensitivities -- like apparently, babes with a problem with dairy may also have trouble with beef. Eggs are a very common allergen also as is soy and wheat. There is a total elimination diet (TED) that you can follow so that you cut out all the major allergens at once and then add things back one at a time. I just couldn't bear the idea of having such limited food choices. Wish I knew for sure if it would work. If someone said "Hey, he definitely has an allergy, you need to do the TED thing and find out what it is" then I would do it -- but trying it just to see when I am not even sure it will help is hard.

Oh... I almost forgot to mention -- Teagan totally belly laughed today! I tried to grab the camera and do the video thing but the batteries were dying and he also had to stop doing it to stare at the camera... it was really cute though. :)

That's all for now... I don't think he will nicely coo at the mobile in the crib behind me for much longer.

Snow Day!

Andrew up on the play set and Connor climbing up the ladder... Connor and Andrew
Quinn

Actually, we are the only school district that went with a 2 hour delay instead of the day off. Worked out fine, everything was basically melted by noon!
This was all yesterday -- I just didn't download pictures in time to post it then.



Sunday, January 27, 2008

Today's pictures...


Finally Joe got a smiling picture for us. Andrew worked hard at it too and got some cute ones like the one here with Teagan's dimples.










Also shown here is Andrew's completed MTT - a LEGO Star Wars set with over 1000 pieces. He got the set in November and just now got it done (though admittedly his Nintendo DS and school and chess club and other such things have kept him busy and away from LEGOs at times).

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Our weekend... general rambling

So last night I went out to 80's night at the Crystal Ballroom with a group of friends from work. This is only the second time I have gone -- last time I was about 20-something weeks pregnant :)

We had a really good time. Stayed until they closed the place down at 2am. I had moments of feeling like I shouldn't be out dancing when I have a husband and 4 kids back at home... but then I decided the exercise and social time with friends was well worth it. I don't really feel 'old' per se, just no longer really young. My aching knees today also reminded me that I am not so young anymore. But given it has been at least 9 months since I have done much of any physical activity other than just walking, I think I fared pretty well.

Today Andrew competed in his second ever chess tournament. He won 2 out of his 5 games which is what happened last time as well. I think he needed to win at least 3 games to qualify for the state tournament. He was frustrated by it a bit. I think it is really good for him to deal with losing though. As an oldest child, he tends to think pretty highly of himself because he can beat his brothers at games and knows more school/general knowledge stuff than they do. He needs to learn to be a bit more humble.

Joe seems to really enjoy attending the tournaments and chatting with other parents and getting to know the other kids in chess club. I feel a bit left out of all of it. I am the mom with the new baby who stays at home during these events. But I am also terrible about making small talk and meeting new people and all that, so even if I did attend, I would not be very involved. Joe really shines at that sort of thing.

I was thinking today about what a really great dad he is. He is so invested in the kids and honestly pays attention to all their ramblings about video games and Lego creations and all that. I hate to admit it, but I tend to start tuning some of that out after the first 10 minutes or so. I blame it on having all boys and just not being able to really "get" them. But I am pretty sure their are moms out there who make more of an effort than I do with their boys. I think the ages we have right now combined with the fact that I am very distracted by and tuned into my new baby make it hard for me. I simply have no interest in computer game levels or watching Scooby Doo for the zillionth time!

I love them all to death of course, but I do get sad and frustrated when I realize that I am just not very interested in the things that really excite and interest them these days. We were at the bookstore the other day with my brother and SIL and my brother was pouring over graphic novels / comic books with them and they were all so excited about the characters and my thought was that I just have no interest in comic book heroes! SIGH...

I still have LOTS of moments where I am still wishing for a daughter. I can't sleep some nights because I am day dreaming about it and can't get it out of my head.

Anyway... I think that is has personal as I want to get at the moment.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Pictures!




So here is the little man again (still can't catch that smile on camera!)
And another try at the smile with the camera and a mirror... sort of worked.
Next is my new infant carrier. A Mei Tei that my mom made using a pattern from http://haveaballbaby.com/. It takes a moment to get it tied on, but is MUCH better on my back than other carriers I have tried. I still like my sling for quick trips -- but for any long walks, this new one is the way to go.