Friday, August 27, 2010

About Time

All of sudden, Titus is deciding to try words. I love it! He is repeating them after us with a great big smile. While they aren't always clear, he's making a good effort! While we were adding maybe a few words a week, now we are adding a few words a day. We still have to remind him to use the words but it's progress. He is so funny - not sure what has changed his mind on the talking front but I'm glad. I wasn't too worried but nevertheless I feel some relief. :)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Changing It Up!

You know this continual goal I have of getting organized? Well, we are slowly making progress. I'm thrilled. My desire is to have a place for everything and everything in it's place. :) Granted with kids that is a tall order. But I want to continue to train them to pick after themselves, take care of the things we have been blessed with, and to be vigilant in helping to maintain order.

We've debated various ways to help our home to more effectively function and I think we've come up with some good ideas. I'm anxious to see how it will all play out. We built this house as our starter home 6 1/2 years ago and intended to stay for 5-7 years but we've decided to stay put for now. We love many things about our home and we really like the for now, we are committed to making it work. I'm sure we will begin the search for a new house in a few years and I think that will be a bittersweet day. I just love that it's our first house and that we've brought all of our kiddos home here!

Anyway, I digress... We've (well, mostly me) been really pondering the play area and trying to figure out how to best organize the toys. We finally decided to do a modular unit and I think it will not only be functional but it will look nice. On a side note, do any of you find that toys seem to multiply while you sleep? It seems little junky toys are the worst know, the ones I throw away all.the.time. Ugh. So tonight we are putting together the units to get ready for the great toy move. The move (in which not all toys will make the cut) will be a welcome change. We are also changing locations for the play area and moving it back to our loft. A big hooray from this need-to-be-organized-but-never-seem-to-manage-momma.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Quick Chicago Trip

I think a post and pictures of our great trip to Louisville will be coming! I somehow managed to forget my nice cameras and so we had to rely on Andrew's iphone camera which takes suprisingly nice pictures but just isn't quite the same. Not sure where my head was... :)

In the mean time, we had a trip to Chicago today for Calvin's ENT & Audiology follow-up appointment. I took all three boys and my mom to help out. They were good travelers overall. It was a long day since it's a bit of a hike up there but the news was great! Calvin's ears look good so far - the tubes are out but there is no fluid build-up and he is hearing fine! So...we are going to now blame selective hearing for the, "huhs?," "whats?," and "I didn't hear yous?" :) We will return in another three months for a re-check to make sure the ears are remaining clear.

I asked about Calvin's tonsils - his left one is nearly always bigger than his right. And when he gets sick, his tonsils are the first to respond. He also had a couple of rounds of srep this year. The ENT is not worried at this point since Calvin doesn't snore. We will keep an eye on them.

It was a good day and a really good report! Calvin continues to be a trooper about his appointments and speech therapy. I was so impressed with his ability to perform the hearing test today. And we are incredibly blessed by the hospital and staff. They know Calvin (he is a bit of a "celebrity" since they asked to feature his story in their brochure - we agreed - it's the least we can do for all the wonderful things they have done for us!) and are always happy to see him. His ENT has done both sets of tubes and the audiologist has performed all but maybe one of his many hearing tests. :) It's a drive but we are so thankful for the care they provide.

We had a chance to stop and see my grandparents on the way home which was wonderful. More on that another time... I'm exhausted and headed for bed. Work tomorrow but first the making of a coffee cake which will be featured on the cooking blog tomorrow...

Monday, August 23, 2010

Just A Small Note...

...The irony of the little girl beauty pageants (aka Toddler & Tiara style) being hosted at the hotel that we met our friends at this weekend...our friends who also have three boys...which made the total number of boys five and under to be six...was not lost on me. Oh yes, we saw some poses and some attitude and some hair and some frilly things. The boys were unimpressed.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Thoughts as the Fall Draws Near

September is quickly approaching and with it, a new school year and a new work schedule. We have decided to be more purposeful and structured with our days while still leaving room for spontaneity and flexibility. It is time for our boys to have increased responsibility and with that will come more privileges. I'm ready to embark on this journey of kindergarten. I want to be deliberate in our activities and I want to seize the teachable moments.

Titus will have bins with special things to occupy him for each day - hopefully keeping him interested. I think it will be a challenge to have two with very different learning styles and personalities along with a two-year-old but I imagine we will eventually find a good balance. :)

We are working on goals for each child - educational, personal, and spiritual. We want to note the growth and development and to come alongside our sons and encourage them as they mature, as they learn, and as they make new friends and spend time with old friends. These are not goals just for school but for life and for us as a family. And Andrew and I will be making goals for ourselves, too.

Yes, bring on the fall...but give us a little bit more time. We have things to get ready!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Day in Numbers

5:11 a.m. - wake-up for at least the third time and realize that I, quite strangely, left my contacts in overnight
5:45 a.m. - rise, shower & shine after an interrupted and sleepless night
6:25 a.m. - depart for work
2 cups of coffee
7:00 a.m. - arrive at work and prep for the busy day
7:30 a.m. - morning meeting
1 cup of coffee
1 carton of yogurt
1 busy morning
12:00 p.m. - soup for lunch
1 tall glass of iced coffee
1 busy and a little bit strange afternoon
5:10 p.m. - finally depart work 1 hour 40 minutes later than normal
3 slow lanes of traffic
6:00 p.m. - arrive home & start dinner prep
1 incredibly thankful momma for having picked up Trader's Joe's fresh pizza dough yesterday
6:15 p.m. - Andrew & boys arrive home
1 happy-to-see-her-4-guys-momma
3 sons bursting with stories of the day
1 husband grateful for home
7:00 p.m. - dinner is ready
1 pizza
100+ blueberries
1 boy eats too many (that will be fun tomorrow)
1 momma playing with her youngest outside
2 new words - go & bump
1 daddy and 2 boys enjoying a movie
8:30 p.m. - singing, prayers, & bedtime
1 blog post still to write
1 workout that will possibly be skipped
5 people to pack for a very fun trip
3 baskets of laundry to fold
1 kitchen to clean
1 dog sitter to find (oops, forgot)
1 bed calling my name

Total coffee consumed=too much and not enough.
Glad to see this day coming to an end.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Birthday Fun

Titus is SO proud of being 2. We talked about his special day and he would get very excited and give a great big smile! He had a wonderful day - we decided not to do a party and just to keep it simple. He didn't care at all and had a wonderful day! I let him choose his cake flavor and decoration - he definitely chose chocolate and wanted the goldfish cupcakes from the wonderful book, "Hello, Cupcake." (You may recall that I used this book last year to decorate his cupcakes for his big 1st birthday party!)

He was thrilled with his gifts, his birthday meal, and most of all that the attention was all on him. :) His brothers carefully chose the presents they gave and he loved them - it was so sweet. Here are a few pictures from our 2-year-olds birthday!

Monday, August 16, 2010


So hard to believe Titus turned 2 - it seems forever and yesterday all at the same time since he joined our family. I constantly marvel at how everything fell into place from the start to finish. I'm not sure I've ever felt so many emotions in a 4 month period. 

Dear Titus,

How can you possibly be 2? I remember so clearly the day we met you in the hospital - so tiny and helpless in the incubator. Your entrance into this world was a little rough and unexpected but very much welcomed! I was so nervous to hold you - afraid you would break. Looking into your sweet face, I instantly fell in love. We spent some emotional and scary days wondering if you would truly be ours - wishing and hoping and praying. And then we took you home.

What a sweet boy you are! You have stolen the hearts of everyone in our family with your happy-go-lucky, funny, and affectionate personality. You try to be old beyond your years and you are a complete daredevil - making me one extra watchful mommy. While you crawled and walked early, you have taken your time on talking but that has not stopped you from communicating! You have about 35 words now which you use when you feel like it. :) You are adept at animal sounds, identifying body parts, and singing. I love the way you hold up one finger and tell us you are, "Two!" when asked your age.

You are a little foodie - amazing me with your palate and willingness to try new things. You often go to the silverware drawer, pull out a spoon, and bring it to me to sample whatever I am making on the stove. Usually a declaration of "yum" follows. You also enjoy talking on the phone and having conversations with varous members of the family. You think my cell phone is your personal phone as you pick it up and say, "Hewwo" or sometimes "Hello" depending on your mood. And you have mastered the word "no" as most two-year-olds have.

Life is an adventure to you and you embrace each day with gusto. You love life, you love your brothers, and you love Pippi. You can't wait until Daddy gets home - squealing and running to give him a great big hug. I love the moments you spend cuddling with me. You are often my little shadow and I love it.

I think of your first mom almost every day and feel so thankful to her for giving you life and for choosing us to be your forever family. It was a tough decision for her but she truly wanted what was best for you and we will always love and honor her for that. 

What a sweet and wonderful son you are. It's a joy watching you grow and develop - to see your ideas, opinions, and personality emerge. I'm incredibly thankful and privileged to be your mom. I thank God for you daily and as I look into your beautiful eyes, am the recipient of your sweet hugs and affectionate kisses, I fall even more in love you, little man. I love you forever, always, and unconditionally, Titus. Happy Birthday, baby boy.

Love forever,

Friday, August 13, 2010

Sometimes I'm Ditzy

Our Jeep has been in the shop this week.
I took Andrew to pick it up this morning.
And decided to run errands.
I completely forgot that Calvin's speech therapist was coming for a session.
She called when I was checking out at Kohls.
Thankfully, she was awesome about it.
We made it home in about 10 minutes.
I left while he had his session...
To take my brother coffee.
(He had his wisdom teeth out on Wednesday).
And to pick up the gift my parents forgot for a wedding.
I was at Kohls to buy a gift for the same wedding tomorrow.
The wedding is about 3 1/2 hours away.
Andrew is staying home to get things done...
Both work and home things.
Like using our new mower since our old one finally died.
My sister, Margaret, and her husband are riding with the boys and me.
We will return home late tomorrow night...
To get ready for a big 2 year-olds birthday on Sunday.
He has chosen chocolate cupcakes made into fishbowls
They are super cute but I'm not sure when I will get them done. :)
We decided not to have a party this year.
I am SO glad.

Whew, hopefully no more ditzy moments. I'm tired just thinking about the weekend. :) And I can't believe my baby is turning 2. I'm feeling a little mushy, emotional.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Calvin is hilarious. The kid has an impressive imagination and an inquisitive, very deep side. Recently, he offered to tell me a story. I agreed that I would certainly love to hear a story and thus began THE STORY. It was long and involved and so funny. It included, "once upon a time," "over a bridge and through the forest," lots of "ginormous" things, and characters named Calvin, Patrick, Titus, Alaina, and Daddy F as well as an old man. Those characters were not any of us but rather different people. The setting of the story was during the time of dinosaurs and a T. Rex had an important role however the daddy was ginormous - bigger than the T. Rex. There were also 3 pigs and 3 foxes ("Do you know what colors, Mom? Black, dark blue, and brown."

What a tale it was and included a conversation with God. I was entertained and amazed at the detail. All of this came from my son who has a goal of, "tearing down all the big buildings and building one great big one up to heaven." (Yes, we've discussed the tower of Babel and what a mistake that was.) He keeps us laughing for sure!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Walk for Kaz

We are working hard to have a successful 1st Annual 5K Walk for Kaz! I'm so honored to be planning it with three amazing ladies. We have been busily working to promote and fundraise for it.

It's a cause that is so important to our family. Spending time in orphanages and with the sweet kiddos in Kazkhstan has forever changed our perspective on the world and challenged us to make a difference! I'm excited to play this role in event-planning and fundraising to provide for more of the needs of these children. 100% of the proceeds will go to Two Hearts for Hope to continue their work and I have seen first-hand that the funds go directly to bringing hope and providing basic necessities for the children of Kazakhstan.

Our family would love to have you come out and join us September 25 at 8:30 a.m. for a day of family fun, walking for a cause, and giving back. We have hotel information on the website if you live out of state and want to participate. If you can't walk but would like to be a sponsor, there are opportunities for that as well. You can sponsor a specific need for the walk, give a general donation, or sponsor our family or other walkers. Early registration ends this week on August 15!

Please check out our website! It's going to be a great time!

Monday, August 09, 2010

The Camping Trip

What a fun weekend!

We enjoyed:
- Yummy food cooked over the fire.
- Swimming.
- A 2-mile hike - yep, all 5 of us - with some stream stomping!
- The Nature Center.
- Lots of great family time.

Here are some photos from the weekend (side note: Patrick was not into having his photo taken therefore there are not very many of him. :)):

Friday, August 06, 2010


We are going camping this weekend! I can't wait...we haven't been in a couple of years and I've missed it! I grew up camping - it was our annual vacation. The boys are THRILLED. They simply cannot wait and I'm excited for them.

Calvin is sad that Pippi will be remaining at home with the dog sitter (aka my brother) but he is looking forward to zipping the tent. Patrick couldn't contain his smile and beam as we discussed our weekend. (We didn't tell the boys until tonight.)

It will be such a relaxing weekend. We decided on the primitive section of the campground - more shade and less people. There is a pool at the campground, hiking, and the all-important campfire. :) It will be wonderful to be away with all of my boys!

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Workout Buddies

My kids are morning so much. :) So, I typically do my workout after they are up which is interesting. Two of them (the oldest and youngest) peel off their shirts to workout with me and the middle one critiques them. The oldest makes fun of the workout host while giggling and the youngest has to be stopped from jumping on me when I'm on the ground. Yesterday, the car alarm was set off and two of the doors were opened while I was working out (from the key fab). Yes...interesting... However, they are very motivational in that they are excited about it every morning, so there's a plus. :)

The first week of my new health/fitness plan is going great! I'm doing a combo of high impact (30-day Shred) and lower impact (pilates). I have found in the past that doing straight high impact is too hard on my previously (and sadly, permanently) injured back and neck, so I alternate days. I'm feeling the workouts which is precisely the point.

I'm eating lower carb, lower fat, and lots of fresh - not a diet just consistently healthier choices. My daily breakfast, which I'm eating regularly (a good thing in and of itself), has been nonfat plain yogurt, blueberries, and flax seed. It's delicious and includes some of the dairy I need to be including in my diet (I'm not a milk drinker).

All in all, successful so far. Hoping for continued success and motivation! While we generally eat fairly healthy and lead at least a somewhat active lifestyle (we have three boys after all :)), it was important to me to be more deliberate about health and fitness. I would like to be in better shape and just chasing the kids wasn't enough!  So, there you have it - that's the report from week 1. :)

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

4 Years Have Brought Change

If you've been following my blog since the beginning, you may remember this post and this post. But one day I woke up and realized that my previous posts were no longer true. Sushi is amazing. And that is that. I have joined the world of sushi lovers.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Random & Question

- Today is day 1 of my new workout plan - yay!
- Everyone seems to be healthier after a couple of the boys were sick last week.
- We are making some great progress towards continuing on our organization quest.
- School starts in one month.
- Teething seems to be in full force with Ty - upper molars.
- Getting excited for the Walk! Really hoping for a good Indy turn out - please consider walking or volunteering! It's a great family event!
- We are completely cutting our dish (we've gone to the very basic package but really don't need it) and joining basic netflix instead.

And finally, any ideas on keeping toys more organized? We have done bins and we try to weed out toys fairly regularly but it doesn't seem entirely successful. Any shelving units (inexpensive) you would recommend for the play area?