Friday, February 27, 2009

End of the Week

This has been quite a busy end of the week - I haven't had time to blog and haven't had time to read/comment on blogs much. I have put off the planning of a dinner we are hosting tomorrow night so that has been my project tonight. I think I've made 5 lists for tomorrow - cleaning, shopping, food etc. We will have around 18 people here, so I probably should get with it. :) Oh well. It will be fun even if it's not exactly what I initially had in mind. And I'm so glad everyone is bringing a dish to share!

Next week, Andrew and I are off for our weekend away - I'm counting down the days! I'll miss the kiddos but after being up much of the night last night (and several nights of late), I'm ready for some rest. :) We've been in a bad sleep cycle for the past week or two. I'm very hopeful that we will soon be into a better one. Work has also been busy and I'm ready for some time off - yes, I'm fully aware that I don't even work that many hours. It's just been challenging adding the extra hours this month but I'm so thankful for God's provision of the income.

The boys and I met Andrew downtown for dinner tonight. The restaurant we went to had a deal this month that kids ate for $1 with the purchase of an adult meal. It saved us $10 and we had a great time. I enjoyed not cooking and since Andrew needed to work late, it allowed us some time with him.

That's about it from here...terribly boring, I know. I'll work on something more interesting! :) Oh and I've been feeling rather nostalgic lately so...the picture above was taken within a couple months of our oldest sons coming home to be forever ours.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

On Mothering Boys

Seriously, sometimes I marvel that I am the mom of three boys. I wasn't really a tom-boy - I played with baby dolls, pretended all the time, and mothered my younger siblings. So, this boy thing is a new experience.

I'm shocked that even at 6 months, Titus would much rather play with his brothers' cars than the cute, bright colored baby toys. And I'm a little tired of having to remind my big boys about what we say and don't in regards to bathrooming and the like...you get the idea. Their idea of fun is wrestling and making loud noises. They note every car, truck, train, or plane of interest on the road (or in the sky) and pour over the newspaper and magazines to let us know what cars they like. And they love to dress in suit coats like Daddy and strut their stuff.

Perhaps what has amazed me the absolute most is their protectiveness. At 3 1/2, my boys want to take care of me. If Calvin sees a car coming, he will put his arm in front of me and tell me to wait. If they see me in pain, I'm showered with kisses and offered band-aids. They assure me that they will stay with me forever - especially Patrick. And they eagerly help with things around the house (unless that happens to be cleaning up their toys :)).

I am so blessed by their eagerness and their unconditional love and I know that some day they will make most excellent boyfriends and husbands - you know, not that I'm biased or anything. Until then, I'm going to hang on to the hope that they really will stay with me forever because I like it that way. And I'm really not ready for them to grow up - good thing they're only 3. :)



By the way...can anyone explain why my oldest son put on 5 pairs of underwear this morning? I think he wanted to make me laugh...he succeeded. :)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Honest Scrap

Delightful Journey...Just being Mommy honored me with the Honest Scrap award! Thank you so much - that was so sweet!

Here are the rules provided :):
1) Choose a minimum of 7 blogs that you find brilliant in content or design.
2) Show the 7 winners names and links on your blog, and leave a comment informing them that they were prized with "Honest Scrap." Well, there's no prize, but they can keep the nifty icon.
3) List at least 10 honest things about yourself.



My 10 Honest Things:
- I LOVE cheese - any kind...yes, even "fake" cheese like Velveeta.
- I enjoy reality tv as my guilty pleasure. :)
- My husband is awesome and I'm so happy to be married to him.
- My children amaze me every single day and I adore them.
- I've been a hygienist for nearly 8 years.
- I enjoy a NF caramel macchiato or NF peppermint mocha on occasion.
- I dream of opening a restaurant - the entire process excites me!
- I like eating salad but I do not like making it at all. I'm not sure why...
- I have baked, assembled, and decorated several wedding cakes.
- My big family is pretty much the best ever.
- I prefer my hair short.

I pass this award on to the following blogs:
Children of My Heart, Where God Leads Us (p), Heart Gone Walking, The World of Jenna, Convergent Paths, Shine Again, & Kathryn's Korner

Each of you has made me laugh or touched me in some way. So many of you make your honesty hilarious and I love it!

Monday, February 23, 2009

In Which the Frying Pan Met My Toe

Saturday, I went to make a pot of coffee to have with my late morning breakfast of a bagel. As I went to put the coffee grinder on the counter, I moved my electric skillet to the sink for washing. In the process of moving it, it bumped the largest, heaviest frying pan/skillet I own that was drying on a towel next to the sink. In a horrible, slow-motion, turn-of-events, the electric skillet and frying pan crashed to the floor. I felt immediate, intense pain and realized that the heavy fry pan had fallen on my big toe - my toe had been crushed between the cement floor and the frying pan. As I screamed in pain and slid to the floor, I could barely breath. For the first time in my life, I was hyperventilating - after breathing in a brown bag for a minute or so, I calmed down a little. Then I started shivering - yes, the pain was that bad. Andrew helped me get up to bed and there I remained for the rest of the day. After several Ibuprofen, ice, and elevation, I was feeling better by the evening. Amazingly, on Sunday I was able to function though by the evening, I was in a lot of pain again. I'm not sure if it's broken - I think it's just severly bruised. It doesn't look very good. :)

The lovely fashion statement for the day - crocs to church. It's the only thing I could really get on my foot. I was glad to have them, though mortified to wear them for anything other than running errands or working. Oh well. Today, I'm in pain but I think that if I take it easy, I will be okay. I'm off to put dinner in the crock pot. Something chicken...

That was the low of my weekend. :) The high was getting to see Kim, Josh, Gretchen and Serik! The stopped on their way home from visiting in the northern part of the state - it was so great to see all of them! And I so appreciated them taking the time to see us!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Back Home

Left at 3:45 a.m.
Arrived in Chicago at 6 a.m. (their time).
Calvin admitted as an in-patient.
Went to his room.
He got a new fleece blanket and a build-a-bear.
We rested between nurses and aides coming in to take history and vitals.
Calvin taken to pre-op around 8.
He made us laugh on the "sleepy juice."
Taken back to surgery around 8:45.
Dr. came out around 9:25 with good report.
Calvin woke up and we saw him around 10.
He was mad because he wanted a drink and his ears hurt.
All is well after Tylenol and OJ.
Lunch.
Left hospital at noon.
Arrived home at 4:30 (our time).
Andrew sick the whole day.
Everyone tired.
Calvin is great!
Thank you for praying and thinking of us.
The End.
Goodnight.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Calvin Surgery Tomorrow

What an eventful week. Not in a bad way, just in a tired way. :) Yesterday, we received a call from the Shriner's Hospital that they had a cancellation. So...Calvin will be having surgery tomorrow morning to have the ear tubes placed. We will be leaving our house very, very early in the morning and we hope to be home by 5p.m. tomorrow night. We agreed to this surgery when they told us the next opening is in May. We really want him to be able to hear more clearly before then. We are so thankful that they are allowing us to come tomorrow - originally they wanted us there today at 10 a.m. and he would spend the night. We would have made it work but it would have been difficult. Anyway, you can pray for safety as we travel and for Calvin's surgery and recovery. He did really great last time and we hope tomorrow will be no different.

Needless to say, it has changed the end of our week significantly. Never a dull moment around here.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Venturing Out

Today we ventured out to the Children's Museum. I completely forgot my camera which disappointed me. Oh well. We had a great time anyway! :) It's been awhile since I have attempted on outing like that with all three kids by myself. While it had it's challenging moments, they were all very well behaved. Titus enjoyed his first carousel ride - all three rode on giraffes.

I love it when "fun mommy" appears. :) It was worth the hour long hassle of packing a lunch and getting out the door. We spent about 4 hours there and then headed home - now they are all napping. I feel so overwhelmed with love for my sons and I'm so glad we got to spend the day having a wonderful time together!

On another kind of exciting note...Titus' official birth certificate arrived today! We weren't expecting it, so it was a great surprise in the mail. I remember how awesome it was to see the translation of the older boys' birth certificates with our names and it felt the same with Ty's. The finality, "official-ness"and beauty of seeing our names together still makes me smile with incredible joy.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Pain Again

I'm currently experiencing a significant increase in pain and swelling in my wrist and arm. It's concerning to me that I've had two major flare-ups within less than a year after going several years without one. The swelling and muscle pain is exacerbated by things like typing. :) So...if my posts are brief or mainly consist of pictures, you'll understand why. I'm seeking care and hoping that it responds quickly and well - if not, I'm off to a hand specialist. It's quite discouraging for me - surgery has been discussed and I'd like to not go that route if at all possible. If you think about it, you can pray that it will improve. It really effects my ability to do simple, daily tasks like holding my kids, opening and closing things, etc.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Caption Winner!

After all the voting...Barbara D. is the winner! Congrats! I'll get the giftcard in the mail for you!

Titus - 6 Months!


Some Milestones (since this is about as much baby book as I do :)):
- Rolling everywhere.
- Sitting for a short time by himself.
- Scooting across the floor - slow army crawl style.
- Eating.
- Holding his own bottle sometimes.
- Putting his knees under him and rocking.
- Playing with toys.
- Reaching for anything and everything.
- Still smiling and laughing all the time.
- Reaching for the person he wants.
- Sitting in the highchair.
- Jumping, jumping, jumping.

Food Likes:
- Cereal
- Applesauce
- Sweet Potatoes
- Green Beans
- Carrots
- Peas

Food Dislikes:
- Yet to be discovered - he eats everything!

Calvin & Patrick


We are in the "cheesy smile" stage. :) These were some of the most natural ones. And I know there is some shadowing - sometimes you just take what you can get. :)

Six Months

Six months ago yesterday, Titus joined our family. So hard to believe it's been that long. He is such a joy and we feel so incredibly blessed. You can see more of his six-month photo shoot :) here as well as pictures of all the boys.

Brothers!


We couldn't resist these cute matching shirts on clearance! It's seriously hard to get the big brothers looking at the camera - they would much rather watch their baby brother!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Another One!

So...last night, my baby sister got engaged! I can hardly believe it - there is no way she is old enough for this! :) I'm so happy for her and her fiancee, Philip. And I think that means another wedding for our family - bringing the count for a 12 month period to three. :) This is the last girl in our family to get married - after four daughters, I think my dad might be a little relieved. :)


Congratulations Margaret & Philip!!!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

On Hold

Our dinner plans were put on hold when we were awakend at 7:30 this morning by a sick child - on our bed. Lovely. He says it was a "big hiccup" and other things not fit for blog writing. :) We have yet to have any other "big hiccups" or anyone else get sick but who wants to risk a romantic dinner being interrupted by sickness. Um yeah, we can wait. While we always try to do something nice for Valentine's Day, we are pretty low-key about it, so next week will be fine. :) Hope you are all having a wonderful day with your loved ones.

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentine's Plan

We decided to stay in this year for Valentine's Day and my gift to Andrew is a gourmet meal. So here's the menu for my sweet guy (who surprised me at work today with beautiful mixed rosebuds):

Starter:
Salad w/cranberries, brie, and pears
Paisano Bread w/dipping Oil & Vinegar

Main:
Filet Mignon
Garlic Mashed Potatoes (red skin potatoes)
Maple & Honey Glazed Carrots
Sauteed Pea Pods

Dessert:
Creme Brulee
Butter Rum Coffee

We will enjoy our romantic dinner for two after the kids are in bed. Perhaps we'll build a fire and eat by firelight and candlelight. We love eating out but in the interest of saving and because I love to cook, it's really nice to stay at home. I'm really looking forward to spending some quality time together.

In other news, we booked our flights for a trip to Dallas in March (of note, this is the first time we've flown together since returning home from Kaz with the boys almost 2 1/2 years ago :)). It will just be the two of us - I'll miss the boys like crazy but can't wait to get away for a weekend with Andrew. We will be attending a wedding of friends, visiting several other friends and celebrating our anniversary - 7 years! I'm sure I'll be calling home frequently but I know the kids will do great and they will be well cared for by family!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Report

We left at 5:15 a.m. and made it home around 8:30 p.m. We are SO tired. Good news - Calvin is doing well with the repair and making good progress on his speech. Bad news - he needs tubes. This is no surprise but I hoped that his ears were better. He does not have trouble with ear infections so it's hard for us to know what's going on. He will probably get the tubes in the next month or two - as soon as they give us the surgery date. We are hopeful that it will help with his speech development. Other than that, unless there are problems with speech down the road, he won't have plastic surgery again until he is somewhere in the 7-10 years range. We will have another team evaluation in 8-9 months.

Have we mentioned how incredibly thankful we are for the Shriner's hospital?! They have amazing staff and have just done a great job with Calvin. They treat the kids like royalty - giving them gifts and stickers and showing so much interest in them as individuals. It's really fantastic! We have been so blessed.

So that's the report here. Calvin kept talking about a lot of doctors and wanting to find more - he saw 8-10 different professionals. :) Well, I'm off to crash for the night and spend some time with my youngest son who is still awake. We have another early morning tomorrow. It's been a busy week and I'll admit that the weekend can't come soon enough. :)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Lazy Day

Today is pajama day at our house. We slept in (well, they hung out in our room while I rested :)), ate late, and have just had a lazy day. I'm super tired today and even the kids were asking for naps - maybe it has to do with the rainy, overcast day.

I did make some brownies which I will cut into hearts so the we can frost and decorate them. That is, if I don't eat them all first! Just kidding...kind of. :) We will also be working on Valentine cards for all of the boys' school friends. We made up little goodie bags and Patrick will write Cars cards and Calvin will write Batman cards.

Patrick will be going to school tomorrow and they will be having a Valentine's Party - Calvin, unfortunately, has an appointment in Chicago. We don't get much choice on dates and I didn't realize the conflict since it's been scheduled since Dec. Oh well, he'll get to spend the day with Mommy and Daddy. :) It's a routine appointment - I don't think any surgery (other than maybe tubes) for this year. Our speech therapist is a bit concerned that he still sounds pretty nasal and has some air escaping. We will certainly discuss that with the doctors. He does have a small hole still present towards the front of the repair - we knew that after surgery.

Well, not much else from here. Soup is in the crock pot for tonight and I'm going to rest for a few minutes before my entire brood is finished napping - yes, they are all down at once. It's awesome when that happens!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Let the Voting Begin!

You all have a chance to win - well that is, if you you entered! :) The answers are listed in the order received! I will leave the voting open until Feb. 16! Please vote to the right.

The winner will receive a $5 giftcard to Starbucks! Thanks to all of you who entered!


And here are a couple of outtakes :) -

Monday, February 09, 2009

Untitled

Will organization ever fully come?
Or will I go crazy first?
Can we stop the papers and junk mail?
Perhaps it would help?
Can we do with less?
Is it possible for everything to have a place?
And everything in it's place?
Is this all too much to ask?
Perhaps.
But towards this end I will work:
Simplify, simplify.
Organize, organize.
Clean, clean.
Ah, one step closer.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Saturday, February 07, 2009

For Tim...er...I Mean...Anonymous :)

Hope you feel better! Next time they're in town - we'll all have to get together and I promise a French Silk Pie. :)

Friday, February 06, 2009

Thankful

Today I'm thankful for... (in no particular order):
- 3 boys and a husband to love.
- Laughter shared with my boys, family, friends, co-workers, strangers...it's a universal language.
- Patients who make me always remember why I do what I do (even if it's not much at all anymore).
- Brothers & sisters (as in mine, NOT the tv show :)).
- Night's Out.
- Flowers that still look beautiful 10 days later.
- The yummy donut holes Andrew surprised me with today.
- A wonderful speech therapist.
- Macaroni & Cheese for a quick kid-friendly dinner.

It's been a long week and I find myself feeling a little impatient and a lot weary. So, I thought it would do me some good to jot down a few things for which I'm grateful. :)

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Boys & Their Ideas

I gave the boys the large box to play with while I was assembling the interactive 2-1 learning kitchen for Titus (thanks to after-Christmas toy sales!). I was concentrating on the directions - this project required my handy-dandy flowered screw driver - when all of the sudden I heard the sound of a 100 train pieces being dumped out of the box and down the stairs. I must say it was better than the original idea of sliding down the stairs in the box (yes, I quickly put a stop to that before it could even be started!).

I'm not sure I'll ever understand boys and their dare-devil, destructive, gravity-defying ways but I sure do love them! :) One thing is certain, every day is an adventure!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Decisions - Can We Start Over?

The baby decided on a series of cat naps interrupted by crying ALL night long.
The boys decided to get up first at 5:41a.m.
The parents decided they needed to go back to bed.
Mommy decided to look past the above and plan some fun things for today.
The boys decided to disregard long standing, often reminded rules.
The boys decided to totally ruin the laptop keyboard when tired Mommy wasn't looking.
The boys decided to hide the evidence the best two 3-year-olds can.
Mommy decided to check e-mail and found the horrific, unrepairable mess of keys.
Mommy decided that taking away some fun things today needed to be part of the consequence.

Mommy is NOT happy.
Mommy is NOT popular.
Mommy is wanting the day to start over...is it bedtime, yet? :)

Monday, February 02, 2009

Fresh Air Fund


The Fresh Air Fund has contacted me a couple of times about their organization and I would love for you all to take a look at it! Here is some info in their own words:

THE FRESH AIR FUND, an independent, not-for-profit agency, has provided free summer vacations to more than 1.7 million New York City children from low-income communities since 1877. Nearly 10,000 New York City children enjoy free Fresh Air Fund programs annually. In 2008, close to 5,000 children visited volunteer host families in suburbs and small town communities across 13 states from Virginia to Maine and Canada. 3,000 children also attended five Fresh Air camps on a 2,300-acre site in Fishkill, New York. The Fund’s year-round camping program serves an additional 2,000 young people each year.

How awesome to enable an underprivileged child from the inner city to enjoy time away! This an organization that has been around for many years and has a passion for brightening the lives of many kids! If you are interested in hosting a child or donating to help this non-profit organization, please click on the picture.

It's Time & Blog Business

After some consideration and in light of my increasing hours at work for the next month or so, I have decided to discontinue Keeping Creative Kitchens at least for the time being. Life is busy and I think it's time.

Thank you to all of you that participated over the last few months - it's been great reading your ideas and recipes, and seeing your pictures! And there are a few of you that have joined in regularly - you have no idea how much that meant to me - a special thanks to you! I'm sure I'll still occasionally post about what's going on in my kitchen and I hope you will, too.

Check out the boys' blog for some new pictures!

A $5 Starbucks gift card is up for grabs in my caption contest - go enter!

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Thank You and Passing It On!


Lemonade award! It is for people that have a positive attitude, show gratitude, and are upbeat about situations and when given lemons, make lemonade.

My friend Jennifer of Convergent Paths graciously gave me this award last week! I am so humbled - thank you!

Jennifer and her husband are currently in process for #2 and #3 through the miracle of adoption! It's a joy to read the progress on that front (never an easy process) as well as news from home. She has encouraged me in so many ways!

The rules for this award are that you post the graphic for it, write a post that links back to the giver, and then pass it on to up to ten others. Leave a comment on the blogs that get the award, so they know what's happened.

It's so hard to choose who to pass this on to! There are so many of you that encourage with your blogs - I watch the situations that come along and the grace, sometimes humor, and the honesty with which you deal with them. So here are four bloggers that I want to pass this on to:

Jennie of Autism the Road Less Travelled - Life is not easy for this mom of 5 but she is seriously one of the most positive, upbeat people I have ever met. She educates others about autism as she and her husband work to help their children heal. She is my real life friend and I have been so blessed through her writing and her life. She is an awesome mom AND friend!

Katrina of To God My Only Joy, I Will Praise You - This girl is also a real life friend although I've probably gotten to know her better through blogging. She inspires me with her love for others and her grace through loss. She is witty and sweet!

Jean of A Testimony of God's Providence - Jean and I have so many mutual friends, I can't believe we haven't met, yet! Her blog is so positive as she loves on her husband and kids and seeks to honor God through her work and calling. It's a blessing to read!

Gretchen of Journey Far, Journey Near - Also a mom of three boys, we have have a lot in common...like, little sleep, constant noise, and continual whirlwinds of energy (not our own). :) Her blog is down to earth, her love for her family is so genuine and she's just an all round awesome person as she mothers three very young boys!

Thank you, Jennifer, and thank you to each of you for inspiring me with your lives and blogs! Pass it on to as many or as few as you would like!

Caption Contest!


You give the caption and we'll choose our favorite (or let you vote on it)! The winner will receive a $5 giftcard to Starbucks! Entries accepted through Friday, Feb. 6!

Winners!

Congrats to commenter #47 - Alibi (winner of the cookbook assortment) & #91 AmeliaB (winner of the scrapbook assortment)! Send me your addresses via e-mail and I will get the prizes out to you next week!

Thanks to ALL of you

for stopping by and entering!