Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Holidays!

Down to the last final days and I am rushing around like a mad woman (as usual). While, the kids gifts are pretty much packaged and ready to be ripped apart I still have so much more gift shopping to do. I am one of those crazies that is out shopping on Christmas Eve. However, I work Christmas Eve night so I am on a even tighter schedule this year! Really, I need to get my butt in gear!!

Our Christmas cards were sent and have been received...WHEW!! That was a toughy to get all the kids in a good mood long enough to get a pic...LOL...kinda--sorta. Haven't seen too much of the sun the last few weeks so the lighting was BA-HAD! It was just an all around BAD time by all. So, next year I vow to do everything different and I think it will make us all happy! I am just glad I was able to get them out this year. It has been hit or miss the past few years! I have gotten so many beautiful cards this year! I am so grateful to all who have sent us Holiday wishes!

We are having dinner here. I enjoy cooking and having my family gather at my home. It is something I look forward to every year! So, my house is all decorated (see our tree up there?!) and ready to go. JUST have some tidying up to with natural disasters (aka the kids) makes it a little hard to keep a clean home at all times!

Just some pics of the kiddies by the Christmas Tree...

Hope everyone has a lovely Holiday and Happy New Year! Are you ready? It will be here and then be gone before we know it. ENJOY it!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Let's talk trash!

Trash Ties that is! "The coolest new hair thingie" by Heather Bailey. I have several boxes on order (for gifts and for myself)--can't wait to try them out! My hair is seriously annoying! It is super fine and just doesn't do anything I want it to do! I was ready to chop it off until I read that Heather Bailey FINALLY released her long awaited Trash Ties! They come in 2 sizes and multiple colors! Endless styling possibilities!! Check out the website...and even better check out Heather's blog for some creative inspiration! :) (her link is also available in my "it's stalkerific" files...LOL!!).

Check them out!! If you try them please let me know how you like them!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Gearing up for the holidays...

I attempted some pics today for our family Christmas card (which is quickly approaching and I am moving at a snail pace these days!). It was a challenge...the sun was nearly down so I had very little lighting. The room is crowded because we have the tree up, so we were squished. It wasn't planned very well. SOOO...gonna attempt one more before I make a final decision. But I really liked this one...because. O.M.G. They were all looking in the same directions...LOL!!

As I mentioned previously, our tree is up! Most of the decorations are up! We had a beautiful day today so hubby finished up the yard (the leaves are finally gone). SOO, the outside decorations should be up by the weekend. The kids are so excited! Despite the yucky cold weather, this is definitely a cheerful time of year!!

I am hoping to get all my shopping done early this year. HOPING. I am not a big crowd person, so shoppping for me this time of year is a BIG CHORE!! I might just utilize the internet this year. That sounds soo nice!


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

YAY Team Helio!!

Don't watch much TV but I am a loyal fan of Dancing with the Stars. I look forward to it every week! I am so excited to see that Helio has advanced to the FINALS!! YAY. He has been my favorite to win since the very beginning. He is just so much fun to watch and is honest to goodness an all around great person!--to see him win would be so wonderful! He is the only one that doesn't have ANY performing experience what-so-ever. He has overcome that and IMHO has excelled beautifully!

Congrats Helio and Julianne for making the finals. You deserve it :) I can't wait for next week (though I will be working--my DVR is SET).

Monday, November 19, 2007

Proud Momma!!

Alison's first marking period has ended for Kindergarten! We had our first parent-teacher meeting on Friday. I have to say that I am so proud at my little Kindergarten-er! She received quite a few *G*s (good) and the rest were *S*s (satisfactory). I was most impressed at her reading level! Her teacher said she in the highest reading level in the class (along with 3 other kids) and is about ready to move up to level 3! WoW!! All those days/nights of reading and reading books with her is certainly paying off!!

Her teacher said she is a "teacher's dream student". Well, if that doesn't make a momma proud!! Teacher says she is very attentive, she comprehends very quickly and is able to follow directions. Her reading journal is soo awesome! It was so neat to see the things she writes. Everything Alison wrote in her journal was phonetically-spelled correctly. Alison is always asking how to spell things and asking what this and that spells. I alway try to get her to sound it out before I help her. She is also BIG into syllables. LOL. We pretty much play that game everyday! I could probably take some lessons from her. LOL.

She also won the Star Student of the Month award for October. Her award was Responsibility which was for: "taking her daily routines seriously and doing her work neatly, and doing tasks without too many reminders".

I am just so proud of her! YAY ALI!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Rest In Peace

After 5 years of use and surving 3--almost 4 children, my breast pump has finally laid down to rest. I actually think it was more user error then machine error...

I think some milk got into the actual motor. My one breast if a lot more forceful then the other. I was pumping at work the other night and it was actually foaming in shield (it always does, but this time it was extra frothy). I noticed it backed up a little bit in the tubing--It made it inside the pump before I realized it. SO, I am gonna take it apart and see if I can maybe clean it out as a last effort. I really don't want to have to buy a new one. They are expensive--and well with the holidays coming up... BUT, I need one so we have to try to work something out. I am going to see if I can rent one...or maybe find a nice used one. Or maybe even see if my insurance will cover the rental. We will see...fingers crossed. If not, I will always have my hand pump--it will just take a little longer.

It will be missed.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

2 Month Check up...

Charlotte had her 2 month check up today. She is growing like a weed!!

Stats: 2 months and 6 days.
12lbs, 5oz
24 inches long

She gained 2lbs, 1 oz and grew 1.5 inches since her last check up. Grow baby Grow!!

She has been steady at the 90 percentile, so she is growing perfectly and proportionally!!

Charlotte is such a happy happy baby (I don't think I can say that enough). And so vocal, I can *converse* with her all day long...LOL. She has started to notice she can use her hands--and batting at her toys. It is the coolest thing--watching her discover her little world!! I LOVE IT!!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Some more of the hawk...

I actually got a chance to sit down and looked at the pics I took of this big guy!! Here are a few more just for a photography add :)

Getting ready to take off!

Happy Baby!!

Just wanted to share a cute picture of Miss Charlotte. She is such a pleasant baby. She is always smiling! I LOVE IT! She really melts my heart. <3

Best Shot Monday! Nov. 12th

I am behind! I am trying to get back into my blogging groove...that includes the best shot Monday participation and Menu Planning Monday (which I have yet to think about!).--I am trying :)

This is a late post but I wanted to post it. Just to give you an idea of the amount of excitement around here. HA HA!! There was a HUGE Hawk perched on our swing set early today. It actually let me get about 5 feet away (I have one lens and it isn't very big soo I had to get as close as humanly possible) before it decided it's safety zone was violated. The wingspan was huge...I only wish I was quick enough to catch him flying away.

The leaves are finally changing as you can see...although there are several trees still pretty green. A very slow fall process this year!!

Post your own Best Shot Monday photograph and dont' forget to visit Tracey over at Picture This to see what everyone else is up to!!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Bloggy giveaway--Natural Cleaning Product!

Do you hate using harsh chemicals in your home? Do you clean your house and then have to actually leave the area because the fumes are so over-powering? Would you like to give natural cleaning products a try but are frightened by the amount of money you will spend? Amy over at Crunchy Domestic Goddess is giving away a natural cleaning product to one lucky blogger! head on over and see what it is all about!!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

WTF!! Is going on!!??

I apologize for the harsh words but seriously...WTF is going on in the toy industry? I was at the gym yesterday and was watching Fox news. They were talking about a possible toy recall--the toy, when ingested converts to the DATE RAPE DRUG!! (OMG) WTF!!!! It was just a preliminary recall and the news station said they were double checking and would report as soon as they found more information. Sure enough this morning while watching the news it was confirmed to me--Aqua Dots are being pulled from toy shelves everywhere and are being recalled. This is a toy Ali and Holly have been begging for for months. I was thinking about buying it for Christmas. WOW there goes that idea!

Now, I am not an expert or anything BUT the events from the last few months can not be good for the toy industry! With less then 2 months until Christmas, parents everywhere must be going out of their minds!! My husband and I have already told our children that they won't be getting many toys this year. Santa promised them 1 big toy and the rest will be clothing and things they really need. We thought about maybe buying a few more little toys but I am seriously not even tempted to buy ANY toys! This is insane!

I am going to be doing some research. Christmas shopping might be a longer process this year!

I don't know...MAYBE this will be everyone's chance to actually show children, the real meaning of Christmas instead of the commercialized version of Christmas! Hmmmm...

Didn't get to see Rachael :(

We attempted to see Rachael Ray's cooking demonstration yesterday. Unfortunately, the line was way too long and it was way too cold to sit out there with 4 little ones. So, sadly we missed out! Alison was so upset. She loves watching the Food Network with me and Rachael's 30-minute Meals is one of our faves! WE DID however get to see her up-close. We were trying to leave the mall when a few *VIP-looking* people walked by us. I wasn't paying attention and felt someone bump into me. Not really bothered considering the crowd, I looked over and saw the back of her (Rachael Ray). My sister says "She touched your butt!!". AHAHAH. OMG Rachael Ray was the one who bumped into me! AHAHAH..>I was so out of it, it took me a second to realize. Ahh well. I got to see her show last year (first row baby) and I just might have to take another trip to see her again! I am disappointed, I know it was probably a great event, next time, I know to be there extra extra early!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Rachael Ray is coming to town!!

YAY YAY!! Rachael Ray will be making an appearance in the Philadelphia area tomorrow! As part of a local holiday drive, Rachael Ray will be hosting"Cooking for a cause with Rachael Ray". An event in which she will be having a cooking demonstration emphasizing on kid-friendly, healthy meal ideas! Awesome! Raffles will be held for some YUMMY Rachael Ray prizes with a food donation! UM YAY, who would not want to attend!!?? I am actually bringing all 4 kids with me, along with my sister. This is going to be FUN!! I hope I can snap some pictures. I am soo freakin excited---I hope I can sleep tonight!! AHAHA...YAY!!!

Back to work and getting in shape!

WHEW, I am sore, tired but otherwise feeling GREAT! My first night back to work was Sunday...and was I ever totally out of the loop! Mommy brain has taken over BIG TIME! I cried for hours and hours...seriously, I was not ready to go back and still am not ready to be back. Unfortunately, I need to be back. It wasn't bad though and I actually managed to stay awake and active the whole night. (Unfortunately, i wasn't able to sleep to well when I got home).

Found this nice comfy room that locks. So I can pump without any interruptions (I have had my share of walk-ins...LOL--of course the walk-in was more embarrassed then I was). The worst part was when I went to pump and I realized I forgot my wire to my PUMP! It has a battery back up which would have been nice if Chase hadn't gotten a hold of it and removed the battery. LOL! AHHH...luckily, the maternity ward nurses were able to supply me with a hand pump. Which, wasn't bad, however it didn't do as good of a job as my electric pump and I could only pump one breast at a time.

The kids did great, they know the routine by now. Charlotte was the one I was worried about the most. I was hoping that with the time change I could get her to bed before I left for work so hubby wouldn't have to worry about getting all 4 kiddies to bed. It almost worked until her big brother decided to come in and run amok. So there was that idea. So, I left her in the hands of Daddy. She didnt' fall asleep until almost 11pm and woke up a few times throughout the night, but she did well. I just feel so terrible having to leave them.

The Gym:

Saturday was my first day at the gym. It felt great to be back into the workout scene! I forgot how good it makes you feel. I love it! I just did a 15 minutes on the treadmill, 10 on the elliptical machine and then 20 on the bike. Then Sunday, I did a 10 minute warm up on the bike and then I did an hour-long step class. WOW what a workout!! I will definitely be doing a step class at least once a week. It is a total body workout!! The greatest part is I have already lost 2lbs! I am feeling the burn still today..LOL..but it is a great feeling!! I hope I can keep this up and continue to be dedicated. I am determined!! Thinking about buying a home step workout program for days that I can't make it to the gym! Seeing results and feeling results can't be more rewarding! I am excited.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Gym Membership!

FINALLY! I have been meaning to get a gym membership for the last few weeks now and today I finally took the plunge! I am so extremely excited! Lately, I have been feeling so drained and just BLAH! Really, I feel so out of shape! This is my push! I want this, I need this! Not just to get my body looking somewhat nice again, but for my health and well being. My first day will be tomorrow. Gonna take it slow of course and see what my body can handle at this point. Then, once I get kicking again, I am going to take some spinning courses. I have always wanted to do this. I have 20 free sessions so I am going to definitely take advantage of it!

I took a picture of myself today. For reference and for encouragement! I am going to try to take a new pic every month and see if I can tell a difference. In a few months, MAYBE if I am looking a little better, I will post a before and after. AHHA. I still have 25lbs to lose to get to my pre-pregnancy weight. I am nursing so I KNOW I will probably retain at least 5 of that so I am putting 20lbs as my goal weight! So, no more excuses! I have the means, I have the pictures to show I NEED this. I can do this!!

I am soo pumped! WAHOO.

Happy November!

Monday, October 29, 2007

UPDATE already!!

LOL! I have had a blog entry saved for a good week now. I keep trying to finish it :)

So will just continue on with a new one.

Not too much is going on. I go back to work in just 5 short days. BOOOOO! I just can't believe how quickly the time has gone. It has been 4 months since I went out on disability and I have to say I have loved every minute of it! I can only wish I was able to stay home for good. Unfortunately, life isn't always that simple! BUT I am fortunate to have a good paying job and one that is very rewarding. It can be very challenging both physically, emotionally and mentally, but at the end of the night (or morning) if I know I have helped someone, I have done my job, right?

The kids are getting excited about Halloween!! The weatherman says it will be nice and mild so I am happy about that! Miss Ali has a Halloween parade at school. Can't wait! We are most likely going to my hometown to T&T! Jason has to work so it will just be me with the kiddies. We will be walking the town with my sister, my mom, my aunt and my cousin (and her son) so it will be tons of fun! Here they are in their costumes...

Charlotte is doing wonderfully. Growing like a weed! She is starting to be more cognizant of her little world! She LOVES her big sis' and brother. She just smiles so big when she sees them. I LOVE IT! It really just brightens my day! Chase still has his moments with her but we are working on that!

Weight-loss is very slow but steady. Hopefully, once I get back to work I can get a workout schedule going. I was suppose to get a gym membership this weekend but hubby worked nights the whole weekend sooo, I wasn't able to make it. I still intend to m ake my goal that I proposed oh so many months ago. I just need a little bit more time!

Recently, I have come to notice that I am a lot more negative then I use to be. Maybe I am setting myself up for disappointment by creating too many goals that can't be reached in the time frame I am allowing!? I need to start creating goals that are more realistic and giving myself the time I need to achieve them. Good things come to those who wait! That will be my motto from now on! I think I try to rush things and then I get discourage and then they all trickle down. SO, I am going to try to make it a point to be more positive about things. I need a mind makeover! And this is where I begin. Everyday, either it be here or on paper, I am going to write at least one positive thing about my day. Then, I am going to take something that I consider to be a negative and find the positive in it.

It is getting late, so I guess I am going to head to bed. I have been trying to stay up a little later at night to prime myself for the long nights I have ahead of me at work.

A gentle reminder:

Don't forget in an effort to conserve energy, most of the United States will be setting our clocks back to standard time this Sunday (instead of the last Sunday in October). I almost changed mine then remembered that this year was the start of the new schedule. ALSO, PLEASE do not forget to change and test the batteries in your smoke detectors!

Have a great week!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Halloween, Halloween...Trick-or-Treat!

"Our costumes can't be beat!". To quote a little cartoon 5 year old--the one and only Dora the Explorer. LOL. Anyways. We finally have all the kids costumes! I am so excited about Halloween: one of my favorite holidays. Gonna try to get some pics today...

Alison: Cheerleader (I cant' believe she STILL wants to be a cheerleader after all this time!).

Holly: Belle from Beauty and the Beast. (Got a great deal at the Disney store--costumes are 40% off...and they had TONS...yeah!).

Chase: Donald Duck (my most favorite cartoon character EVER..OMG it is soo stinkin cute!! OH and another good deal!!).

Charlotte: Ladybug

I bought a costume yesterday but have to return it because...*blush* doesnt' fit. EEK. SO need to start working on getting this body back in shape. WHEW! Hopefully, I can return it. I was going to be Corpse Bride. IT is such an awesome costume. Unfortunately, it is a "one size fits MOST adults" LOL. So, they dont have a bigger size. I feel so not average right about now. LOL!!

Have a great day! and weekend!


Monday, October 15, 2007

Joy Of Cooking!

Last December my sisters and I were VERY fortunate to grab up some tickets to The Rachael Ray Show in New York.--So much fun, my favorite city and one of my favorite cooking celebrities! You can't beat it! The show was filmed during the holiday season so of course "Ray Ray" was giving away numerous items. We were lucky enough to be there when she gave away the latest edition of the Joy of Cooking cookbook. This thing is awesome! I put it away over the Summer and completely forgot about it til yesterday. I whipped it out and have found some awesome recipes that I would like to try!!

I haven't made up my menu for this week yet. I am behind. I haven't been feeling so great. I am waiting for the doc to call in the abx rx and hopefully they got the message that I am nursing...UGH, I would hate to take something that isn't safe! So, I plan on stocking up on lots of yogurt! OY!

The girls have a dentist appt today. Gonna be fun with all 4 kiddies. I just hope today is a good behaving day...LOL ;)

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Doctors visit for 2!

Chase and Charley both had their check-ups today! They are doing wonderfully and it was pretty uneventful.

Charley (at 1 month) weights 10lbs, 4oz and is 22.5 inches long. She was 8lbs, 4oz when we left the hospital--1 month ago today. (her birth stats: 8lbs, 15oz and 21 inches)

Chase (at 18months) is 25lbs, 10oz and 32.5 inches tall. I actually thought he weighed more then scale was way off!! He weighs more then Holly (who is 3 years old) and is very close in height. He is a nice size chunk...LOL!!

My biggest challenge today is What is for dinner? I have some chicken thawing...just don't know what to do with it. I hope I can get back to doing my menu planning next week. UGH the money we have been spending on take out is horrendous. I dislike thinking about it. I can't wait to get back into keeping an organized menu and budget! :)

Have a great night!!

Monday, October 8, 2007

1 month old!

Charley turned 1 month yesterday! So hard to believe it has been 1 month already. I resent how quickly time is passing! I took this picture on Saturday. She wasn't exactly 1 month yet, but I didn't take any yesterday.
Charley is starting to get use to being on her belly, though she will only last a few minutes. She actually managed to roll over onto her side the other day. She was much happier there. LOL. Holding her head up pretty well also. ( I love seeing baby's faces when they hold up their heads and start looking around. They just get the cutest expression--like they are completely in awe of the world they get so see from that angle). She is smiling quite a bit more now (I swear she smiled at me from just a few days old...she has been so consistent with it).

I am feeling great! I have healed up nicely (after a scare the other day--that is another story). And I feel energetic. Which is so surprising! Nighttime has been good. She actually slept for 8 hours last night and 6 the last few nights before that. It is nice to have a good chunk of sleep. We will see how long this lasts :) I know things will change once I go back to work. That is the only BAD thing about working nights. It throws everyone out of whack!

Alison is off school today. Another hot day is for casted (I love Falls like this). I was thinking of going to the park today but we will see.

Have a great week :)

Friday, October 5, 2007

Changing Blogs AGAIN..

I am all over the web these days. But I have finally settled down into a new blog. I hate to start new but it was for the best. :)

So things are going well with the new addition to our family. Charley is 4 weeks old today. Time is just going too fast. She has her 1 month check up on Tuesday. Anxious to see how much she has grown. She is so super long none of her newborn clothes fit anymore. So she is wearing 0-3 months now and they fit her perfectly lengthwise.

We are starting to get adjusted to a whole new routine and things are less chaotic. Charley is starting to cluster feed before she settles down for the night. Which is great because she is starting to sleep a little longer before waking in the middle of the night. I am just dreading the nights when hubby goes back to shift work. Trying to put Charley to bed while 3 other kids run amok in the house....OY! it won't be pretty :) I think the little man is going to be the hardest to settle down...we will see how long I can go before I pull my hair out! LOL!! My plan is to put Mr. Man to sleep first. I might have to utilize the swing for Charley for a few minutes while I get him settled in...we will see.

I will soon be heading back to work--makes me sad just thinking about it. I know I will be in tears the day I go back. I gathered all my pump stuff today and it is now ready for *active duty*...LOL. Have to start preparing a stock of pumped milk for when I go back. The greatest thing about working nights is that I won't need to pump as often during my shift.

So, nothing too exciting going on in our little part of the world. Getting excited for Halloween. Miss A is going to be a cheerleader. H isn't sure yet, but has a few ideas (yeh I know...we have to get crackin). I am thinking Mr. Man might be a football player. Still undecided about Charley also. I will most likely just get her a little Pea bunting or something. I might wait to see the possible weather scenario before deciding. We have a couple of Halloween parties to attend. They are my favorite! There is just something exciting about getting dressed up and gathering together with other *disguisers*--Even as an adult I can enjoy it :) I will have to post some pics once we have all of our costumes decided on.

Wednesday is my post-partum check up. Hopefully, I get the clearance to start exercising. I want to get started on the goal I set for myself a while ago. Which is to train for a 5k race and be ready by September of next year (2008). Don't know yet how I am gonna work it around the kiddies and work and hubby's work-I am just hopeful I can work something out.