Thursday, December 31, 2009

Top 10 of 2009

the best and the worst... here we go!

top 10 worst things of 09

10. gaining 50 lbs... again. why can't i be one of those cute little preggo women who complain about the additional 25 lbs they are carrying?

9. the cars broken into... again. we should be used to it by now i suppose. but we did get a AAA membership for christmas! so at least next time we won't have to pay for the window!

8. illness, illness and more illness. if it's contagious, we've had it. but praise the Lord we escaped the swine flu!

7. the loss of childhood icons. my kids growing up in a world without micheal jackson? crazy..

6. another year spent with a family of seven in a two bedroom house. but in this economy, i am thankful for a roof over our heads.

5. a cancelled vacation... again. although if i'm gonna miss vacation, i'm glad it's for a baby!

4. i'm not gonna comment on our political situation. let's just say it's not on my best list.

3. seeing some of my family members struggle with things so much bigger than they are. my prayer is that 2010's list will have a praise of seeing victory and breakthrough in those areas.

2. losing hannah in the spring. her life touched ours in so many ways. she will never be forgotten.

1. losing both of my grandmothers this summer. going through those losses, three months apart, while pregnant was tough. in some way's i'm glad this long year is over!

Top 10 ten BEST things of 09!

10. another year of God providing the resources for our children to attend a wonderful christian school. that school continues to bless our family in many, many ways!

9. 2009 will forever go down in the books as the year we discovered twilight. ahhh... where was my life before edward cullen? thank you stephenie meyer!

8. another year of theMr having this wonderful career. in an economy that is shaky, at best, we are blessed that he has the job he has and he loves it.

7. a year of overall health. we may have shared every little virus to run through the school but in a world of cancers, surgeries and worse... we are thankful for health.

6. the wonderful christmas news that we will have a new niece or nephew this coming year!! i love new babies! especially when i'm not the one who has to be pregnant :)

5. another year of the basics, that we often take for granted... food, clothing, housing, utilities, cars that run, insurance and health.

4. celebrating our ninth year of marriage, our twelfth year together. as many around us divorce, i am so thankful that our marriage is strong. i couldn't make it through this life alone.

3. five kids who are healthy, strong, smart, funny and wonderful! i didn't know one family could hold so much blessing~

2.the addition of our favorite little person, miss esme! she's the best surprise i've had in a long time :) who knew our family was not yet complete?

1. last, but certainly not least, if i've learned one thing this year it is how short life can be. in the blink of an eye everything can change. i am thankful to end 2009 with each member of my family healthy and happy. without them none of the rest would matter.

Happy New Year from our family to yours!!

Monday, December 28, 2009

10 things i never thought would come out of my mouth...

10. "sure honey, but can we be done by 10? i have a show coming on."

9. "how many times do i have to say NO PUTTING PEANUT BUTTER ALL OVER THE DOG?"

8. "please do not put your penis on your sister's head."

7. "if i see you put your hands on anyone in anger one more time i am going to spank you!"

6. "can we just get through one day without calling poison control??"

5. "shut your mouth when you're talking to me!"

4. "i can't meet you for coffee tonight, i have to wash my hair. i can't remember how long it's been since i did it."


2. "if i have to get off this couch someone is gonna pay"

1. "i'm only gonna tell you one more time, don't jump out of your bedroom window!"

**for the record, although this is intended to make you laugh, i have actually said every one of these things. welcome to my crazy life!**

Monday, December 21, 2009

it's a wonderful life....

christmas break has officially begun! there is snow on the ground and the big day is only four days away! can you see it now? a fire in the hearth, the children in their footed jammies, cookies baking in the oven.. putting on hats and gloves and snowsuits to go sledding... gifts piled under the tree. do you smell the evergreen and cookies baking? can you hear the christmas music playing softly in the background?

well get with the program cause that is not reality! try laundry piled everywhere, kids fighting, hot pockets warming in the microwave, sounds of whining and complaining (MOMMY!! i'm booorreedddd....) roads turning to black slush as people drive like maniacs because they put off their shopping until the last minute... did i mention putting hats, gloves, snowsuits, boots and layers of socks on four kids for them to spend a grand total of three minutes outside?

happy holidays!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

our 2009 christmas letter!

my my my how things can change in a year! i believe i insisted last year that i would put out a real christmas letter this year, in an envelope and everything! little did i know i'd be sleep deprived and loopy from having our fifth baby! last year i purchased new stockings and holders since we were done having children.. yet here we are! needless to say, 2009 has been an eventful year for us, both in gains and losses. we started the year with one of the biggest surprises of our lives (since, ahem, the one we had ten years ago ;) finding out we were expecting a baby in october. we found out shortly before my 31st birthday, knocking out my life long vow that i would never have children after 30. theMr turned 30 in may. he made me promise not to have a party for him and i actually listened. lucky for him i was still too sick to function! i did, however, surprise him by having his best friend come for the weekend from michigan. they played golf and we all had dinner and went to a movie. i think that was probably his favorite way to spend the momentous day! may turned to june and zaza turned 7. what a cool guy he is! so much like his dad, which is probably why i like him so much :) he has grown and matured so much in the last few years. he is currently in first grade and thriving. he is joining the wrestling team and can finally take all that energy and put it to good use. he still loves to run, climb, jump and build things. he is a boy, through and through. at the same time, my grandmother, june, was coming to the end of her life. i had the honor of caring for her in last months and day. while it was hard to let her go, we were relieved to see her suffering ended. she passed on june 16th. i was able to write and deliver her eulogy, which was fitting as she was one who always encouraged my writing. i mourn that she never had the chance to meet esme, although she would have had a fit about her name! the princess turned 5 in july. what a character she is! she is in transitional kindergarten this year and doing great. she's already developed quite a reputation for being funny and clever. she's a typical middle child, entertaining and finding attention wherever she can! her best friend, kaitlyn, is in her class and they are navigating the world of school together. i'm told they are often seen walking the halls holding hands. the bean turned 10 in august. she gets smarter and more beautiful every year. she is kind and compassionate and joyful, i'm not sure how we got such a great kid! she's an excellent student and has many friends. she is a huge help with her baby sister! i lost my other grandmother, nanny, in september. she also had been failing for some time. although it was hard to see her go also, we enjoyed having our family from all over the country in town for a few days. my cousin and his family stayed with us for several days and it was great! we rarely see that side of the family due to the distance. it also motivated us to get many projects finished that we were completing before the baby was born! and then she was here! on october 7th, at 9:44 pm, Esme Grace entered the world at 7'5 lbs and 21 inches! i had another very fast labor attended by both of my sisters in law. all went well and she is adorable:) she looks so much like the princess it's uncanny. she manages to convey her wants and needs quite loudly and makes sure you hop to it! usually this translates to being held by mommy and mommy only! while that tends to make it difficult to get anything done, i am savoring and enjoying my last newborn. all of the other kids are wonderful with her, even the little guy. he turned three in november and still manages to be the child who constantly keeps us on our toes. whether he's dumping an entire container of cream of tarter on the stove top or smearing peanut butter on his head, he's a busy guy. i may be counting the days until this one starts school! he's funny and charming and affectionate (when he wants to be). he loves to watch mickey mouse and spend time with his best buddy, jonah (my nephew). he proved to be the hardest to potty train and may even take the award for most stubborn, quite an accomplishment in this house! but he's cute and funny and hard not to love! we look forward to an exciting christmas and a new year, hopefully without any of the surprises of last year !! we have been blessed beyond measure and we are so thankful. the Lord continues to be so good to us, despite ourselves. He teaches us new things every day and gives us so much more than we could ever deserve. we look forward to serving Him this year and watching our family continue to grow (figuratively... not in numbers!!) may this letter find each of you blessed and ready for a new year!

Monday, December 14, 2009

murphy's law of mothering!

while there are few certainties in life, raising five kids makes you realize there are a few. i call them the Murphy's laws of mothering:

~if you have your carpets cleaned for the first time in five years- someone will vomit, urinate or spill chocolate milk on it within 48 hours.

~ if you mop the kitchen floor, someone will throw their plate on it.

~ if you tell people, firmly, that you are not having any more children- you will be pregnant within six months.

~if the baby is sleeping, the toddler is having a tantrum. if the toddler is sleeping, the baby is crying.

~if you are actually in the mood for some "lovin"- your baby is teething and will wake up to cry every six minutes.

~if you have a baby and a toddler, you can accomplish "lovin" in six minutes.

~if you dress your children in adorable, coordinating christmas outfits- the baby will blow up in her diaper, the toddler will slide down the wet and muddy hill and the school age children will somehow also get dirty by the time you get to the car.

~if you finally manage to fit into your pre-baby skinny jeans- they will get spit up on.

~if you plan a long, romantic evening with your husband- you will either have a sick child or get in a fight on the way to the restaurant.

and last but certainly not least...

~if you have children, they will
do all the things you swore your kids wouldn't do before you had children. and you will still think they are the cutest, smartest, most well behaved children you've ever met!

and this is why i'm crazy

what you see here is a lovely concoction of juice plus nutritional supplements, cream of tartar, oregano, multicolored sprinkles and salt. tasty,huh? this is what my little man can do with two minutes of unattended time. literally, two minutes! the worst part was that he put three different types of juice plus pills in there, which are very expensive. so the theMr had to separate them and clean them off. just another day in my life...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

top ten christmas movies!!

before i begin this top ten list, i have to offer a disclaimer. there are several "classic" christmas movies i've never seen, such as miracle on 34th street and it's a wonderful life. so before anyone comments or removes me from their blog list for not having them on here, remember that. i'm sure they're great, i've just never seen them! on to the list!

10.a muppet christmas carol- i love anything with muppets. they crack me up. my kids love them, theMr loves them. it's just good, clean stuff.

9. the charlie brown christmas- this is a classic! my kids are not so crazy about this one (as the bean recently told theMr "dad, we know that classic just means it's old"). but anyone over the age of 25 grew up watching this show every year. and since we grew up without dvd's and dvr's and the like we had to wait all year to see it!

8. the grinch who stole christmas- both the old animated one and the newer one are great. what a good moral for kids and adults both. while it's easy to get stressed by the season it really is good to remember what a joy it is to give.

7. the santa clause movies- my kids love these movies and i have to admit they are pretty funny. my favorite part is the first one, watching tim allen slowly turn into santa physically. the belly, the beard, all of it.

6.four christmases- i've only seen this once but when i did i found it hilarious. theMr and i were on a date and had a horrible argument on the way to the movie. ( i know, you're shocked! we do occasionally fight! but i would like to point out that the main issue was that i was right and he just took forever realizing it. back to the list...)even being so upset when we got there i laughed so hard i was afraid i was going to pee in my pants. (of course i was pregnant!)

5.home alone- this is such a great movie. i'm not a fan of the subsequent ones but the first is awesome. who can't practically recite the whole movie? my kids love this one too. i love when they like movies from my childhood. i'm cheesy like that.

4. gremlins- what? you don't think gremlins is a christmas movie? hello?!? he got the mogwai for a christmas gift! then he broke all the rules (don't you hate it when your kids don't take care of their gifts and then the gift multiplies and goes on a killing spree?) they had to stop the gremlins to save christmas! how cheerful!

3. national lampoon's christmas vacation- i just watched this the other day and it still never fails to crack me up. i probably relate to this one the most! from the crazy elderly relatives ( i have a grandparent who wraps odd things from their house as gifts) to the family members we'd really rather not see, everyone understands the griswolds! i'm a sucker for traditions and for creating new ones, so i tend to fall into the trap of expecting a norman rockwell christmas and getting a griswold one. but all those things that go wrong are what make the memories so funny!

2. a christmas story- everyone loves a good movie about a young child who wants a gun for christmas! one where the parents think a gun in inappropriate but are thrilled with a scantily clad leg lamp! and who didn't have an aunt or a grandma who loves to send homemade gifts that your mother always made you put on for a picture? ah, the holidays...

1. Elf- this is my all time favorite. i can watch it every year and never stop laughing! we took our kids to our city's holiday festival recently and when we got to see santa our oldest said "you sit on a throne of lies!". we laughed so hard we about cried. this movie just makes me smile. i love smiling, smiling's my favorite!

Monday, December 7, 2009

birthdays, school plays and funny kids

whew... so much to say, so little time! i had to post a few pics from the little guy's birthday! we took him and his buddy, micah, to chuck e cheeses. we went in the morning and were the only people there, which was great! we had his cake on thanksgiving day, mickey mouse, of course.

and then there was the school christmas play... leave it to my kids to keep things interesting! the princess spent the majority of the program elbowing the girls on either side of her to try and be the one in the front. oh and singing directly into the microphone. can't imagine where she gets that lack of stage fright :) zaza decided it would be more fun to play air piano as opposed to doing the hand motions. they were a riot, for sure. i had to snap some pics of them dressed up for the program. doesn't happen often! the bean's program is this week. will most likely be a little more tame than the younger kids!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


tomorrow morning i have to take the two youngest children for checkups. one for her two month checkup and the other for his three year. seems simple enough, yes? only to someone who has never done such a thing. especially someone who has never done so with the craziest three year old in toddler history and the cutest baby who screams any time she's in her carseat! are you catching on to the fun yet? stay with me here. first of all, we see a family practitioner, not a pediatrician. so the office is normally filled with not so happy elderly people and magazines for those people. not a toy or children's book in sight. and they are always running behind. never fails. you can count on spending at least thirty minutes, minimum, in that waiting area. so imagine that you are doing so with a baby who insists on either nursing or crying, a toddler who is rearranging the chairs, and twenty old people who are either glaring or telling you what you should do about it. cause there is truly nothing more appreciated in those moments of pure parenting hell than having a person who 97 years old inform you that they have a better way of raising your children than what you are doing. thank you so much for sharing, stranger.then you get into that tiny room (which is an improvement because at least now the before mentioned crazy toddler is contained in a smaller area) where you wait another thirty minutes, only this time with a cold baby since they have asked you to strip her down to her diaper. by this point, the toddler is starting to really freak out as he hates being weighed, having his temp taken or basically being touched in any way by the doctor. i'm not sure what this extreme aversion is about because our doctor truly is the nicest, gentlest man ever. but either way, he hates it. so now everyone is crying. our only ray of light by this point is that when it's over they'll give him a sticker and a sucker which will keep him quiet on the ride home. at least he doesn't have to come back for another year. we'll be back with the baby in two months!
p.s. the pic above is to illustrate the craziness of this little man. he was literally unattended for two minutes when he managed to get the peanut butter out of an upper cabinet (which requires climbing the stove), get a large spoon and hide in his siblings bedroom to eat it. he's in their "fort".

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Happy belated thanksgiving!

i know i'm a few days late, seems to be my norm lately. i'm just so busy! who knew that raising five kids could be so time consuming? anyway, we made it through another thanksgiving. we are blessed to have both of our families in town so we get to see them all. it's a long and tiring day but it's a good one! this year was really relaxed and wonderful. we usually eat our main meal with my in laws earlier in the day. this year we also had a cake for the little guy. the food was plentiful and fantastic. my mother and father in law are excellent cooks. we ate (way too much) and then all settled down to watch home videos and UP. i love seeing theMr as a little boy... reminds me so much of another little boy i know. there's nothing like seeing the man you adore as a sweet child. ornery, but sweet. just like his sons :) we then headed over to my parents for dessert. it was a little smaller this year since we lost both of our grandmothers this year. sad but still good. it's a good reminder to appreciate every moment. none of us knew last year that it would be the last with them both. we also didn't know we'd have a new little addition. how life can change in the blink of an eye. hope your holiday was filled with food, family and love. i'll post pics soon!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

happy birthday to my little guy!!

oh my word.. please don't judge me! i forgot to do a post on tuesday for the little guy's third birthday. i know, i'm a terrible mother. he can tell it to his therapist when he's older! i can't believe my baby boy is three. some days it seems to have flown by, other's i'm surprised i haven't strangled him by now :) but there is no one who loves that little man more than i do. his enthusiasm, his joy, his excitement and the fact that he always has a kiss for me. i love you buddy!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

the sacrifices of motherhood

today is the opening of new moon. not only that, but our local theater is playing twilight at 10pm and new moon at midnight. will i be there? me? one of the biggest twilight fans in my area code? (self-appointed, of course) no. i will not. because there is no one in their right mind who wants to babysit five kids in the middle of the night. even though they're sleeping. i have to sacrifice seeing my favorite movies on the big screen together to be home with my sleeping children. i know, you are all feeling so sorry for me right now.

Monday, November 16, 2009

out of the mouths of babes!

i just have to share a few stories from the weekend. my kids never cease to crack me up! we had a conference this weekend at our church with a guest minister. on friday, i took the kids and went while theMr was working. we were sitting in the second row. after the sermon, the guest minister sat in front of us. my oldest son, who's seven, leans forward, taps him on the shoulder and says "you did a good job!". the minister smiled, thanked him and shook his hand. we both had a hard time keeping a straight face, he was so serious! then on sunday, i took the kids to regular church by myself since theMr wasn't feeling well. as you can imagine, getting everyone ready and there on time was a little hectic. as we sat down in our seats, i looked over to see that the princess not only had two different shoes on but they were both right shoes! I asked her why and she said she enjoys mixing and matching. fabulous...
and finally, the little guy. we've been potty training him for some time now. he is truly the most stubborn two year old you have ever met. seriously. so tonight, while i'm feeding the baby, i see him taking his underwear off. i tell him not to, which he ignores as he sees i'm nursing the baby, therefore not able to stop him. he then goes to where we keep diapers, gets one out, and holds it over himself in an attempt to pee in it. i yelled for him to stop and he did. he went to his potty chair and went there. if you are able to remove your clothes, go get yourself a diaper and pee in it, you are fully capable of not wearing diapers anymore.

Friday, November 13, 2009

so very tired...

we have my nephew over night. were heading off to an event at church tonight and they both wanted to wear hats :)

sleepy baby

her first "punkin"

who wouldn't love those cheeks?

too tired to write a coherent post but had to share a few pics.. such a sweet baby :) of course the quality isn't so good as these are all from my cell phone. who has time to find the camera? we're just trying to get through the day!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Indian summer...

it's not often we get a 70 degree weather day in november in the midwest! we took full advantage!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

top ten things you forget each time you have a baby

oh ladies.... theMr sent me an email today telling me i'm slacking on my blog. so very sorry. this is the man that has to send me an email cause we don't have time to have a conversation! i'm too tired for a detailed post. it's been awhile since we've had a top ten though! without further ado...

top ten things you forget each time you have a baby!

10. your belly is still really big and nothing fits. not your old clothes and not your maternity clothes. sadly, after baby #4 i threw away all my "transition" clothes after i lost the weight, cause you know, i wasn't having anymore kids.

9. babies eat alot. and frequently. enough said.

8. babies poop alot. and frequently.

7. when you're nursing, you are still as hungry as you were when you were pregnant. only you're not pregnant so it is no longer acceptable to eat a hot fudge sundae every night before bed.

6. your husband becomes quite, um, amorous now that you're not pregnant. and you'd just trade your left leg for a nap. you do the math.

5. when people ask if there's anything they can do for you it is not appropriate to say "can you perform a vasectomy?"

4. when those same people ask if you want any more kids it is also not appropriate to say you're trying to get rid of the ones you already have.

3. on those days when you think you just can't take any more remember that "this too shall pass".

2. babies grow so fast, too fast entirely.

1. there is nothing sweeter, cuter, better smelling or more wonderful than having a new baby. no matter how tired you are.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

pride cometh before a fall...

truer words have never been spoken... yesterday was theMr's first day back at work. i had been somewhat nervous as to how it would go. he works 12-9 so i was especially concerned with how bedtime would go with five children. then, to my surprise, the day went very smoothly! i was able to get all my normal things done, dinner made by a decent hour, homework completed and lunches packed and everyone in bed on time. i even baked cupcakes! after they were down i got the baby settled and took a relaxing, hot bath. i actually had the nerve to think to myself "five kids is no big deal, i can handle this!". well, there was my first mistake. during the night, the princess got sick. by morning, the three school age children were all sick. two with pink eye and one with "my-tummy-hurts-i-think-i'm-gonna-puke". so i was already starting the day with a few points against me. add to the three sick kids a terror of a two year old and a newborn and you have yourself a day of chaos. of course, we had to venture out to pick up prescriptions (thank goodness for a doctor who knows me well enough to not require us to have an appointment and will take my word for it that we have pink eye!). this little excursion consisted of a screaming baby (who was fed, changed and should have been fine but she hates her carseat!) and a toddler who thought it would be fun to pinch his sister the entire time. he's lucky he's in the very back seat of the van or he may have found me pinching him back. a friend was supposed to come over and bring dinner and see the baby but i cancelled because i honestly couldn't handle someone coming over at that point. not even for a free dinner. the real miracle is that by the time theMr got home the kids were in bed, the house was clean and there was dinner for him to eat. but i will never again think to myself "five kids is no big deal!". lesson learned.

Friday, October 16, 2009

update on themrs!

first of all, thank you to all of you who have commented or emailed asking how we're doing! it means so much to me to have support, even from "strangers"! we're doing as well as can be expected with baby #5! i'm at that point where it feels like all i do is nurse the baby and attempt to sleep :) although i'm very tired, i'm enjoying these days with my last baby. with others, i think i was anxious to get to the "easier" stage of more sleep and less feeding. but knowing this is my last, i'm trying to savor these moments that i know go by so quickly. i find myself holding her more than i should (that is, knowing i'll regret it next week when theMr is back at work and miss esme refuses to be put down:) but i just want to cherish those moments of holding a new baby on my chest while she sleeps. she's made it clear that she wants to sleep in mommy's arms or mommy's bed. normally i'm a stickler for not allowing the baby in the bed but i have to admit i've been lax with her. i see now how the youngest becomes spoiled! thankfully, all the kids adore her. they come home from school and fight over who gets to hold her. the princess has become the hand sanitizer nazi for us. anyone who comes in the door is informed immediately that they must sanitize their hands before touching the baby. it works out well as people tend to think it's cute coming from her. i've officially updated the blog to change my younger son's name to "the little guy" and add the baby. it only took me a week, not too bad, huh? hope you're all staying warm and enjoying this beautiful season. the leaves are in full change here and although it's cold, it's gorgeous. one of the benefits of the midwest is the spectacular fall. it amazes me every year. happy fall!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

all photos by emily's photography... check her out at!

Monday, October 12, 2009

pretty baby :)

we're still getting settled around here. trying to get some sleep and some kind of routine established. i'm a big schedule person so it always throws me off when i have to make a new one. once things are somewhat calmer i'll do a longer post about her birth and whatnot. but until then, pictures!

checkin everything out!

daddy's girl


the whole gang

first bath

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

she's here!

esme grace was born this evening at 9:44pm. she is 7'5 lbs and beautiful! we're all doing well, more later!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

well, i'm going out with theMR tonight. nothing brings on labor like getting a sitter and paying for a movie, right? i figure my water will break as soon as the opening credits are finished. a girl can hope!

Friday, October 2, 2009

BabyG? Mommy is asking nicely... GET OUT!

Monday, September 28, 2009

holy swine flu!

what would be on your list of worst possible scenarios when you're due to have a baby? how about a swine flu outbreak in your first grader's class? yep, you read that right. seven kids out today, four so confirmed so far as H1N1. thankfully, my weekly OB appt was today. in order to be proactive, they have decided to take a multi- step approach to protect myself and the baby from getting it. me and the kids will all begin tamiflu today as a precaution and i have been advised to pull my son out of school for a few days. not only is it extremely dangerous for me to be exposed but for someone in the house to have it when the baby is born. sheesh... cause what i really want to worry about this week is the freakin swine flu. are you kidding me?

Sunday, September 27, 2009