Monday, August 23, 2010

helpful hint

Hey all you google reader users.  Are you like me and you just read all your blogs in your reader, and almost never go to the actual blog site to read posts?  I love reading everyone's blog posts, but rarely come out of google reader, and therefore rarely comment on blogs unless I really have something useful to say.  Anyway, thanks to Cara over at Me?AMom? for sharing this awesome next bookmarklet info.  Now I can easily read through all the blogs I like to follow and visit their site at the same time.  Sorry if this is old news to everyone but me, but I just thought I'd share in case any of you were still in the dark like me.  :)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Swimming at Grandma's

We took the kids swimming at my mom's quite a bit this summer.  I love going there to swim for several reasons.  1 - It's free, you can't beat that.  2 - I don't have to go out in public in a swimsuit.  3 - Mom always always feeds us something yummy for dinner while we're there.  :)
Anyway a few weeks ago we finally decided the water was warm enough to get Brooklyn in the pool with us.  She snuggled up next to me and fell asleep.  I just laid on a raft with her while she took a nap.  What a great way to spend a hot summer day.

Nathan being a goofball
"Enough with the pictures mom, just hold me!"

First Day of school 2010

The kids went back to school today.  I'm excited about having less little people underfoot during the day, but I'm also bummed because I'm losing both my helpers.  This morning went well despite my fears Emma would be a beast.  Last night at bedtime wasn't pretty, so I thought for sure we'd be in for an awful morning, but I guess she got it all out of her system last night, since she was quite pleasant this morning.  She still said she didn't want to go to school, but at least she didn't throw a fit or make excuses to try to get out of it.  Nathan was super excited and couldn't wait to go.  Such different kids.
I played annoying mom with the camera and got a picture of the kids this morning.  I told the kids I'd be doing this every year on the first day of school, even when they are seniors in high school.  To which Emma said, "Mom, you are sooo annoying!"  lol!  I think secretly she loves it though.
I'm sad the summer is over, but looking forward to fall and dance starting up again for both girls.  I guess we're going to try Megan in dance again and see if she's more interested in participating.  I sure hope so if I'm going to drag a toddler and an infant all the way to the studio. 
Anyway, here is the picture from today

and last years pic to compare

Saturday, August 7, 2010

lunch box battles (and a glimpse of my childhood)

It's August, which means it's back to school shopping time. So last weekend with everyone fed and napped, and presumably happy, we headed out as a family to buy school supplies for Emma and Nathan. We were not int the store for very long when I realized taking the whole family on this shopping trip was a horrible idea. First Megan played the in the cart, out of the cart game, then Jackson started crying to get out since Megan was, which Sean finally gave in to. Then Brooklyn started crying, so Sean ended up holding her. I was busy with Emma and Nathan and my lists I had made; one for each kid. Things were ok on my end briefly, until I started picking up the items on Emma's list that were not on Nathan's.
N: "mom, who's that for?"
Me: "Emma."
N: "no fair!"
Me: "I'm sorry Nathan, but I don't make the lists, and this is what Emma needs for school."
N: "hrumph" and then the pouting face.
We repeated this exchange a few more times until I discovered the store was out of the rest of the supplies we needed. At that point I suggested we go to the next aisle and look for new lunchboxes. The kids need new ones since their old ones had survived 2+ years and were pretty gross from being thrown on the ground at recess. So we pushed the car, and herded the kids over, and that's when the REAL fun began.
Sean and I both agreed on one type of lunchbox that wasn't really cool, but one that would hold their food, keep it cold, and fit nicely in their backpacks. I asked the kids to pick out which color they wanted, and Nathan promptly picked up a blue one, tossed it in the cart, and hopped on the side of the cart ready to go. Emma had other ideas.
While Sean and I had been discussing lunchboxes and corralling kids, Emma had been doing her own shopping, and had found the perfect lunchbox. Unfortunately for all of us, it was not the same one mom and dad had selected. Emma's choice was an adorable purse-like ladybug lunchbox, that she could carry "just like this" she demonstrated throwing it up onto her shoulder. I took a deep breath knowing I was in for a battle over this, and tried to explain that even though I agreed the ladybug one was really cool, we did not need to spend that much on a lunchbox, when the other one was 1/4 the price and would do the job just fine. Instantly met with more resistance than I was prepared to defeat that day, I handed things over to Sean, and took Brooklyn from him, who was really starting to fuss.
As Sean tried reasoning with Emma, first with humor, and when that failed, with the same logic I tried, I began to feel sad. Not because we were that crazy family in Target with crabby kids and one throwing a fit over something she couldn't have, but because I wanted Emma to have that ladybug lunchbox too. The tears started welling up in my eyes, so I took the cart, and all the other kids to start to make my way to the checkout, and I left Sean to deal with Emma.
I know you're all thinking "ok crazy post-partum hormonal lady, get a grip, it's just a lunchbox," but to me, it's much more than that.
When I was a kid, I was teased about all sorts of things. I'm sure everyone got teased in school, but the way it made me feel has really stuck with me. My dad passed away right after I switched to public school, and right when puberty started to hit.  As if switching schools, and dealing with all the pre-pubescent crap wasn't enough, my dad died and I was left with my mom as my only parent.  It's not that my mom is a bad person, she and I have always butted heads about everything for as long as I can remember.  My dad made a nice referee for us, but without him, the only rule-maker in the house, was the one I never got along with, and she was insanely old-fashioned.  Her old-fashioned rules made things very hard for me to fit in at school. No, I didn't have to wear long dresses, and turtlenecks all the time or anything like that, but I definitely had more restrictions than other kids.  And let's be honest in middle school and beyond, the last thing you want to be is different.  It's much easier if you fit in with everyone else.  In addition to being left with my mom's rules, we were also left with less money.  We were not poor by any stretch of the imagination, but we also couldn't afford for me to have all the best of everything, and all the stuff everyone else had.  Now that I'm an adult, I get it, and I know lots of people were like me and didn't have everything all the other kids had, but when I was a kid, I felt like I was the only one missing out, and I hated feeling like I was less than everyone else because of that.
So now that I have kids, I'm having a panic attack that they are going to experience what I went through.  Realistically, even if we had all the money in the world and could afford to buy everything for our kids, we probably wouldn't.  But the reality of our life, and our family of 5 kids, is that we will all have to sacrifice some things we really, really want.  We will always provide our kids with the things they need, but they won't always get the coolest, most expensive item to fill that need.  I'm sad that they may someday have that feeling that they are less than everyone else because they don't have the newest, greatest things all the time.
It's been almost a week, and Emma still isn't happy about her plain pink lunchbox, and to be honest, neither am I.

Friday, August 6, 2010

2 new recipes

In our house, it is a never ending quest to find foods I can cook easily that everyone will actually eat.  There is always at least one complainer in the bunch that doesn't like whatever we're having, unless it's spaghetti or pizza.  I am always on the hunt for new things to try hoping one day I'll find something else we all like.  The last two nights I tried two new recipes, and everyone seemed to like both of them.  Well, everyone but Megan, but she's currently on a "there is nothing I will eat willingly" kick, so she doesn't count.  Seriously, she won't even eat ice cream or cake.  Every once in a while, she'll have a day that she eats anything and everything I put in front of her, but for the most part, she eats a couple bites per meal at best.  I can't wait for this phase to be over.
Anyway, the two new recipes.  Both are on the spicy end, but I'm discovering the kids tend to eat spicy things better than bland things, which is odd because I've frequently read most kids are the opposite and only want bland items.
Last night we tried a Mexican Lasagna from this blog:  I really liked it, and even though with the first few bites I thought it was lacking in the heat department, the more I ate, the hotter my mouth got.  Sean didn't seem to like it as much (though he didn't hate it), but also said he had a late lunch and wasn't super hungry, so maybe I'll try him on it again another day.
Tonight I made Salsa Chicken Rice casserole:  and everyone ate a ton of it, so it must have been good.  It definitely didn't have a lot of heat to it, but was still really tasty. 
Both were pretty easy to make, and if I think it was easy, it is probably ridiculously easy for your average person since I'm no Betty Crocker. 

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Brooklyn's Christening

Brooklyn's Christening was today. We were the only family there for a baptism, which was odd, but also nice since Jackson and Megan were incapable of sitting still through the service. To be fair, they were both really good during mass, and the baptism was after mass, so they were DONE sitting still and being quiet.
Anyway, Brooklyn wore the family gown we have all worn. It's amazing how many people have been baptized in it since it was made. My grandmother and great grandmother made the gown back in 1948 for my Dad's older sister, and since then everyone in the family has been baptized in it. I love that we have this piece of history that we have all shared in.
Brooklyn received two very special gifts today. One, from her Godmother, was a beautiful bracelet that Brooklyn wore today on her ankle, and came with a card with a saying that when she gets married it can be used as a charm on her garter. It is gorgeous and I will definitely have to share a picture of it and the little card that came with it. The other super special gift was from my mom, and it was a little handmade bonnet that you can clip a couple of threads on, and it becomes a handkerchief for her to carry on her wedding day. I absolutely love this gift idea, and it came with the sweetest poem too.
Happy Christening Day Brooklyn!

and a picture of all the monsters.

oh, and at her two month checkup Brooklyn was up to 12 pounds, and is 23 inches long. She gained 1.5 pounds, and grew 2 inches in one month. Keep on growing girl!