Christmas Morning Recap

Well, it was another magical Christmas Morning! This video here is just a short snippet of the morning. Ezrah opens his awesome custom Plan B skateboard. Plan B is the "cool" one. This present we made from me and Big Daddy because he was catching on from the preparation of that present. Madi wanted a real live bunny so much, but Santa brought her a "Fur Real" bunny that is a soft newborn bunny that sniffs and wiggles when you pet it. Being it's a newborn bunny, it came with a "ba ba", the term for bottle coined by my younger brother when he was a baby.

So Christmas Eve was wonderful. For apps we had stuffed shrooms and fresh mozz, basil and tomato brushetta. Uncle Dave came with his GF for apps and brought the shrimp cocktail. He made the cocktail sauce himself and went heavy on the horseradish. Yes!
The Safeway was all out of lobster tails, except for these wild brazilian lobster tails that we $45 a tail. So, needless to say, we omitted lobster tail from the menu. But it wasn't missed as we got King Crab (Jack's fave) and it was delightful! I also did my shrimp scampi over linguini which I nailed! I sauted the shrimp in butter, olive oil and garlic, added some bread crumbs and asasio cheese, then fresh lemon juice. Poured over the linguini and wala! Delish!

Actually now that I'm looking at our photos, I'm totally out of order. Before Christmas eve dinner, we went to our church's candlelight ceremony. At first we were towards the front pew, but Indigo was not sitting still and climbing up on the stage and getting into the instruments. Finally we moved to the back -where we belong with all these crazy kids. Ezrah was happy to lay down across the pews, Jack was able to constantly complain about his hunger, Madi was able to dance in the isle, and Indigo was free to be crazy.  Except we didn't get away unnoticed as pastor Bert was walking up from the back of the isle for part of the ceremony, he tripped over Indigo who was exploring. That's right, my baby tripped the Pastor! He didn't fall or anything, but was definately like "whoa".   Anyway, here's some pics before we left...

And on the way to church...

I was too busy with dinner to take many pictures, but after dinner, the kids got to open their Christmas PJs and open the gifts they gave to eachother.
Jackie got a robe instead of PJs this year. He's been wearing it all day today!

Here's Princess opening her present from Ezrah...

Here's Indigo opening her gift from Ezrah...

Just look at those teeth!

Here's the girls all ready for sleep. The one night of the year Princess actually goes to bed willingly! I asked her if she wanted to sleep in her own room tonight so Santa sees she's a big girl. "Nope -with mama!"

 Santa Really Came! I woke up before the kids got up to get a photo! Isn't our tree beautiful by the way?

It was total madness. Oh just look at the joy on Big Boy's face! It makes going way over the budget all worth it! Hey at least we made a budget this year.

Before Princess woke us up, she took off her PJs and got back into her fancy dress to open presents. That's why we call her Princess!

Here's indigo playing with the glittery ribbon more than the actual present!
So cliche!

Here's Ezrah with his new skateboard! See the video above! Notice the house getting messier and messier...

 Okay, now Indy's playing with it! She's so freakin' cute!!!!

Here's a photo of just the pure madness of Christmas morning with 4 kids...

Santa didn't forget Breezy! 

Just another picture of Pure JOY!

Here's Jack predicting each present before he opens it! "I KNOW this is the Beyblades I wanted"

Madi loving her new Innotab! Looking forward to taking this one on the plane to Disney World. Which by the way, at this point they did not know about yet. That was opened later in the day...
Ezrah gets his Pogo stick!

Dan loves his "Indigo Army" tee shirt I got him. Indigo Army is the name of one of his fantasy teams.


It is 2 days later and I am STILL trying to get this house back together!

So this was our magical Christmas morning! We spent Christmas day at Big Daddy's parent's house and that was where we unveiled the trip to Disney World with a less than enthusiastic reaction from the kids. Jack, in his monotone voice was like, "oh cool, Mickey Mouse dolls."

 Those intangible presents don't go over too well at first I guess. However, Madi is the most excited about the trip and she was wondering how many dresses she needs to pack. She's extremely worried that she doesn't own a Cinderella dress. Grateful child; she only has 5 Disney princess dresses in her wardrobe. What a tragedy! (sarcasm) I'll get that video up soon.

We opened lots of presents from Grandma and Grandpa...
More socks

Ezrah got an AMAZING remote control helicopter from Uncle Dave

And my sweet niece loved her Moxie Girl I got her. It was so cute! It had her exact shade of red hair and little freckles just like her!

Jackie loved his Nerf Gun from Uncle Dave.

And Indy just had a grand time wreaking havoc on the beautiful breakable things at Grandma's house!

 December 26: the most depressing day ever. It's all over. The house is a disaster. There are fancy hand-wash only plates in the sink still waiting for me, ripped wrapping papaer all over the floor, enormous amounts of packaging everywhere, more chokables on the floor than Indigo can put in her mouth and extremely tired Mama with an extra 5lbs on her.
 Big Daddy almost took an overtime shift, but decided against it. Because you know what? Some things are more important than money. I was not ready to get back to the grind. i needed a recovery day. He did too.
My sweet Big Daddy told me to forget the house and take a nap. Then he took us all to Red Robin for dinner. He's my knight in shining armor and always knows when I need rescuing. Indigo was being especially crazy at the restaurant and managed to get a hold of my straw and spoon from my chocolate milkshake. (well I gave it to her because she was screaming for it) Yeah, I needed a chocolate milkshake tonight. No more wine, no more egg nog; just a chocolate milkshake.

Then she found the cold metal cup and went to town. What do I care? Christmas is over. I have nothing left in me to even begin to stop it. I did come prepared with another outfit for her.

Jack got a Pac-Man Tee from Indigo for christmas and was sportin' it at RR.
The kids were being crazy and again, drinking root beer floats, screaming, getting up, going under the table. I just let it happen...

And finally our waitress snapped a photo of us. Dan thought it was super cheesy that I asked her to take our pic, but aren't you glad I did?

Merry Christmas!!!


Does "Kiss" begin with a "K"?

Princess says to me last night, "Mom, a kiss doesn't begin with "K" it begins with a "C". Not sure how to respond to that one, other than she's watching too much TV and that kiss does actually begin with a "K". 

Ok so now it is getting really really close and the excitement is in the air for Christmas! School is out. The snow is falling. The class Christmas parties were great. I did my "rounds" to each class party. Teacher gifts are given, Christmas cards are mailed, Christmas packages are sent, cookies are made, but eaten, so we'll make more today. Christmas is everywhere. Every thought, every TV sitcom, every movie, every commercial reminds us that it's Christmas time. Not that I need any reminders with 4 kids, but it's nice to share in the excitement.

I trying to figure out what to get Big Daddy. I just don't know! I want it to be special for him. He's not a "fix-it" guy, so the regular power tool won't work. I was thinking, okay, what he love. He loves to play basketball. I'd love to get him a gym membership so he can play noon basketball, but his schedule won't allow. He loves his "fantasy" sports, but not sure how I could turn that into a present. My budget is $100. Any ideas?

Uh oh, I hear screaming from the living room between baby and Princess. I better go check it out. The girls woke up ridiculously early today. It's going to be a long day!


Clever Present Wrapping

As you all have figured out, I looooove christmas morning. However I am always so exausted that I can barely enjoy it the past few years. This is because I'm wrapping presents until 4am, only to awaken by 6am with kids jumping on my bed. Today I started getting a head start on wrapping Santa presents. I also showed Big Daddy all the great stuff we got, being he works so hard and I get to reap the shopping rewards. he's okay with it though because he understands that shopping is "my thing."

I have to be very clever with wrapping Santa presents, with my big boys on the cusp on "not" believing. Who knows if they play along with me, I don't even want to know! So presents from Santa get wrapped in foil wrapping and lots of glittery bows that are of course hidden along with the presents.

The name tags are gold that I got at Walgreens and I have to be careful with those. See, my handwriting is pretty familiar, so I am sure to change it carefully. I also worry about the Sharpie I use. So I got a new one, also hidden away with a color they don't think we have. I also even try to wrap differently. Two years ago, I scored some vintage wrapping paper at a thrift store like is no wrapping paper you'll ever ever see in stores today. I still have some...oooo tricky mama! Got to go get all these back in the shed and locked because it;s almost time to get the kids from school. Gotta run!


A Magical Christmas

In exactly 6 days, 19 hours, 41 minutes and 23 seconds (yeah, I bought that Hallmark ornament), our living room floor will be covered in torn wrapping paper, boxes, those wire thingies they put to hold toys in their packages, candy wrappers, and happy children and sleepy parents. It will be another magical Christmas. This year is a big one. With our big boy, who is 11, Jackie, who is 9, Princess,, who is 5, and baby Indy at 1 year old, this is going to be a memorable one, maybe the most important Christmas yet! And yup, Santa will deliver (literally and figuratively) everything my children have dreamed for. We are blessed with the magic and the spirit of how special this morning will be.

I just LOVE Christmas morning. Something is in the air and with 4 young kiddos, I am in all my glory. My children do know what Christmas is all about, not just the presents. They know what we are really celebrating, the birth of Jesus, who showed us how to love. They really do know it. Today, they will also get a glimpse of some Christmas love, as we are delivering to a family in need in our town, loads of Christmas love. In our church, we have "adopted" a family with 3 children and we are giving them lots of goodies, clothes, toys, kitchen stuff, and more to them. Today, we will be ringing their doorbell and surprising them. Not sure if I will just put everything on their doorstep and run or bringing the gifts inside. They speak only Spanish and I would like to convey to them to keep some of the gifts for them to wrap and give to their kids on Christmas morning. And I also would like to say that I hope this lessens the stress of the Holidays just a little. All kids, actually all people, should feel the magic of Christmas morning.

This morning Big Daddy and Big Boy went all the way to Greeley for a basketball tournament and me and the others are home. I feel guilty for not going, but it was just too early and Big Boy didn't care and was excited for it to be just him and Big Daddy.  The kids have just 3 days of school this week and they are getting geared up for class parties and making and wrapping presents for their teachers. I wish that our school district policy would let us bring in homeade goodies, but in this day and age, only store-bought treats are allowed. We will be making some sugar cookies today in the shapes of Christmas trees and stars today and bringing that to our adopted family. 

Christmas Eve will be our traditinal Italian fish dinner. Well it;s not totally traditinal, in that we don't do the "7" fishes, but we do lots of different fish dishes, like lobster tails, shrim scampi and this year, we are giving a try at king crab! My Jackie just looooves king crab. Everything about this year's Christmas will be magical!

I'll update my menu and recipes later in the week. Off to drink some more coffee and get ready to spread some love to a deserving family and maybe some ice skating in Old Town Square!


Surprise Trip to Disney World

My favorite thing in the world is to shop. It really is. It gets my endorphins up and  I probably have a bonafide addiction to shopping. And I'm a savvy shopper too, which I learned from my Mom. Indy's learning too! Just look at her going through my coupons before we head out to shop!

And here's her at the mall playground...

You might thing shopping is kind of selfish, but I like shopping for others. That's my favorite thing in the world. Truly, way down deep in the core of my heart,  I love love love giving the people I love in my life the perfect present. Christmas is my favorite holiday.

This Christmas, my kids aren't going to know what hit them!  I just picked up a custom Plan B skateboard for Big Boy. And I have been blessed with some crazy luck too. At Toys R Us, I got the last pogo stick and at the Evil Empire (Walmart) I got the second to last Monster High 3-pack. Not only are my kids getting all this fun stuff, but on Christmas day, we are surprising them to a trip to Disney World!

No we are in no means rich, but somehow, with the help of my parents and Big Daddy's parents, we are making it happen. My parents have recently moved to Florida and they are just dying for us to come visit us. It is my dad's lifelong dream to take my kids to Disney World. And dreams come true. So cheesy, but it's true. I really want my parents to take my kids to Disney too, as it makes me just as happy to see their joy as it does my kid's.

My parents have been saying, figure out how to get here (FL) and we'll take care of the rest. We cannot pass up this opportunity but how on earth are we going to afford plane tickets from Colorado to Florida for 6 people? Well, Big Daddy's Dad came through. I love Big Daddy's Dad and the other night we were telling him the deal my parents had offered and just like my parents, he wants my children to have the best of everything, including a family trip to Disney World, even though he won't be there to enjoy them enjoying it. He offered us about 75% of the plane fare and we are able to come up the rest. My kids are so blessed with so much love.

My parents are absolutely floored and cannot believe we are actually coming! My Dad especially is so cute; he's got the whole itinerary set and has reserved an incredible villa on Disney's grounds. It is the most amazing resort I have ever seen and I can't believe we are lucky enough to go! I think my Dad may be more excited than my kids will be! Although I pretty darn excited to have breakfast with the Disney princesses.

Growing up in NY, we drove down to FL in the last week in August and went to Disney World. I have so many great memories of it. In fact, they are probably my most vivid, happy memories of my childhood. I can't wait to give this gift to my kids. I hope they remember as they grow up too. My boys, 11 and 9 will definately remember forever, Princess,5, will be in awe at everything and be taking in the experience as it happens, but will probably have just vague, but positive memories as she grows. Baby, 14 months, won't remember a thing, but she too, will enjoy it in the present.

Speaking of presents, you know that commercial where the parents wrap up Mickey dolls and video the whole thing and say to them, "we're leaving on a plane right now and going to Disney World!" We are doing almost the same thing. My parents are sending us Mickey and Minnie dolls and we are going to put the those and the plane tickets in a box and wrap it up. Then say, we are leaving for Disney World in 6 weeks! We will video it too and I will definately have the video up here on my blog. I just can't wait to surprise them!  They will open up the Disney surprise on Christmas Day at Big Daddy's Dad's house.

So after the incredible, magical Christmas morning, just when they thought they couldn't be any happier, they open up a present that will reveal not only our first family vacation, but a vacation to Disney World and to see their favorite grandparents, Grandma Angie and Pop! Oh Gosh, I'm going to burst with happiness, just writing about it. I'll post the video after Christmas.


Curious Toddler

My dog ran away yesterday through a missing board in the fence. maybe she is fed up with being thirsty all the time because my 14-month-old loves to dump her water bowl. At first, she really doesn't dump it. Nah, first she puts her tiny little hands in the water and splashes. Then maybe sucks her wet fingers. I always freak out at that because dog water is well, slimy. Then, she'll grab a toy and stick it in the dog water and do that for a while. When she's bored with that. She lifts, she spills! The floor is wet, the baby is wet and I can't even sit on the couch for 5 seconds without having to tend to my oh so curious little toddler.

Yup, she's a toddler. She started walking about 3 weeks ago and now we're in the toddler stage! She's so darn cute walking around like an old drunk person trying to keep their balance, tripping over her feet and laughing when she falls down.
It's not just the dog water she loves to play in. It's also...well....EVERYTHING!

It's almost time to put up the Christmas tree and I have no idea how we are going to quarantine it since I sold my Supergate on Craigslist last week.  I remember when my older kids were this age, our Christmas tree would not have any ornaments on the bottom half of the tree. We could try that. But Indy is so curious, I have a premonition that she may just pull down the tree! Not safe, not fun. She'll probably just play in the  tree water, not only dehydrating our sweet little black lab, but also the Christmas tree too. Ahhh, toddlerhood. I love it, but it is quite exhausting.


Giving Thanks

Tis the season to be thankful! Big daddy is working on Thanksgiving day and so we are celebrating our Thanksgiving on Friday. A big part of Thanksgiving for me is watching the Macy's Day parade and thanks to the invention of DVR, I can re-create the whole holiday on Friday without a worry. I even recorded the Today show to watch before the parade starts because it just gives you that whole feeling of the holidays. And I swear, it took all of my will power to not watch the Macy's day parade.
I really don't mind much that Big Daddy is working on the real Thanksgiving because this means that he gets to have all of Christmas off both Eve and Day.

 After our Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow, we are going to see the new Muppet movie, so today was lined up with watching all the old muppet movies in preparation. I love those movies and honestly wish that my kids would appreciate them as much as I do. But I grew up with the Muppets and they are thinking that these movies are totally "dated." I feel so old!

To me, one of the greatest music lyrics in the whole world happens to be from the original Muppet Movie. "Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection, the lovers, the dreamers and me...la la la la la la la"
So in preparation for Thanksgiving tomorrow I will be making all the traditional dishes. Mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans, cranberry sauce and of course, turkey. I have a special mashed potato recipe that I only make on Thanksgiving -it's not too much of a secret, but I make regular homemade mashed potatoes and also mix in 2 sweet potatoes in with the Russet potatoes. It comes out so awesome.

Instead of the typical green bean casserole with canned cream of mushroom, I'm doing steamed garlic whole green beans. It much healthier and kids actually like it better! My friend, Megan makes an amazing fresh cranberry sauce. She will be joining us tomorrow and is going to whip that up for us. I will make real turkey gravy from our turkey drippings, which always comes out really good and is really easy to make.


For the Love of God, Be Quiet!

I just don't know why my children cannot listen to the simplest instructions. Mind you, right now, I am crabby and tired so my words might not make any sense. Please don't construe that I don't like having children. But right now, I want some sleep. And that is impossible in this house right now.

"Please close the door to your room," I said as Indy was (emphasis on WAS) sleeping. She was up almost all night nursing and crying with painful gums because a new top tooth is breaking through. Please for the love of God, break through already!

The boys were playing Wii and being loud. I didn't ask them to stop playing, just close the door and be a little more quiet. Dan is watching football in the living room. I set Princess up with her paints and she was (again emphasis on WAS) painting quietly in the kitchen.

Indy took her nap pretty late today becausre we went to church. With the afternoon time, and her playing so hard at the church nursery, I knew she was going to take a long nap. She fell asleep so fast and was gone to the world! Dan encouraged me to lay down with her and I took him up on it thinking he would actually keep the kids quiet. I was wrong.

I hear a deafening scream from Princess. Big Bro was doing something loud and horsing around with her from their bedroom. The door was obviously open. Indy awake, me awake and here I am, blogging and drinking coffee.


Saturday, Sleep & Face Paint

Happy Saturday Mamas! What was that snow dusting we woke up to this morning? Today started out wonderful. Big Daddy was with us in bed last night. For those of you who don't know, he is usually in the guest room due to Indy's constant wakings and night nursings. I know it's not the most romantic thing, but with 4 kids, we happily agree that whatever you can do to maximize sleep in this house is better for everyone. It won't be forever, but right now, in the trenches of babyhood, it works.

Anyway, Big Daddy got to experience first hand what the depths of teething nights are like. Sweet Big Daddy was tired this morning, but took Indy and let me sleep in. What a guy! It was nice. He did go to his buddy's house to watch the Huskers this morning and maybe it was his guilt for leaving us on a Saturday that inspired him to let me sleep, but I'd like to think he experienced what I do go through every night and gave me a break. But nonetheless, I was happy to sleep. He did take the boys with him to watch the game and they had a nice guy's football morning while Princess and I did our nails, watched movies, and folded laundry together. Indy took a long morning nap too, so we got some good Mama-Princess time.

Princess got this idea that she wanted to go to Old Town to have her face painted. I was really into just staying home and chilling out, so we compromised. I dug through the shed for the recently packed away Halloween box and found some face paint. It only had red, green and blue and white, but luckily she wanted a ladybug, so we were in business. I painted a ladybug and stars on her face and she was as happy as could be. Then the excitement wore off and she wanted me to get my face painted. I gave in and let her paint my face! Why not, right? She had such fun and basically painted my entire face while I folded laundry. Then I told her she couldn't go on the couch because I didn't want the face paint to stain the couch. I'm so mean and she had a tantrum. I try.


LEGO Cookies

Today my big boy is in a LEGO Robotics competition and I'm taking this opportunity to make some LEGO treats for his team. A few years ago, he had a lego themed birthday party and I made an awesome Lego cake that looked like a few giant Lego blocks. This time just a little treat will do. The team did awesome and placed 3rd in the competition out of 23 teams! And they won a special award for Strategic and Innovation.

I was kind of pressed for time, so I just used the Betty Crocker pouch sugar cookie mix. To make that mix into rolled cookies to cut out, you just add a little flour to the mix. Have you noticed that you don't see pre-made cookie mix other than Betty Crocker anymore? And you don't see pre-made cookie mix in a box; just the pouches. Just an observation I've made at the food store recently. What happened to the cookie mix that came in the boxes and the other brands? Did Ms. Crocker just buy out the rights to cookie mix or something?

Anyway, I didn't have a rectangle cookie cutter, so I just used a pizza roller and made rectangles. I made my own frosting in 3 small batches using 1 cup of powdered sugar, 1 TBSP of light corn syrup and a splash of milk. I added a lot of food coloring to make the colors pretty bright. I added M&Ms to that, picked to match the frosting using 8 for each cookie. That was a good job for my 5-year-old to pick through the bag to make 3 bowls of red, blue, and yellow M&Ms. I made sure she washed her hands first and didn't eat any until she was all done!

And that's it! East breezy and the kids loved them!


Raising Gentle Men

Raising little boys into peaceful, gentle men is not as easy feat. But I try. Today Uncle Dave took my boys out for their birthday presents. They both had birthdays in October and I am a proud Mama to boys ages 9 and 11. Yup, they are big boys. So Uncle Dave, the cool Uncle that he i,s bought each of my boys, "air soft guns". These are not your Walmart variety of air soft guns either.  In addition to being the "cool" Uncle, Uncle Dave is also a Nebraskan-bred Midwestern style guy and he knows about guns. They went straight to Jax, Fort Collin's local outdoor, camping, hunting gear arena. Jax isn't really like the white bread trendy R.E.I. outdoor store that also has a home here in the Fort. Jax is more..well, I guess you can say carries the top red-neck gear. Not that Uncle Dave is a red-neck, but being from Nebraska and all, he does have some red-neck tendencies.
Actually, I didn't really know what an air soft gun was and I'm not one to shelter my kids from guns. Ahhh, things we'd never say we would do...

As little guys, they learned quickly that they can create a gun out of Legos and blocks and even cooked carrots, so I knew it would be a losing battle. And when you think about, if I was ever completely denied something growing up, I just HAD to have it. When my Mom told me at 16 that I wasn't allowed to have sex and "end of dicussion"( not that there even was a discussion). Well what do you think I did?

So yup, my gentle parenting practices include the use of play guns in my home. Ironic, isn't it? I parent on the philosophy to follow my children's lead and let them be who they are and explore what interests them. The cornerstone of attachment parenting is to listen to our children, let them explore and guide to make good decisions. And it turns out that they like playing with guns and so I teach them safety and remind them that guns hurt people and animals. I hope they are listening too. I learned that I cannot achieve what I want them to be by hardfast rules, like saying, no guns allowed.
So let me just tell you that an air soft gun is nothing like a Nerf gun. These actually look like real guns and I am a bit petrified of an accident.
 I found myself saying "don't shoot your eye out" just a few times knowing full well what I sounded like; a regular mom.


Halloween Puppy, Ketchup, and Sushi

Well I'm down to the last minute on this sushi costume! And baby is not wanting to take her nap today! So as of right now, I have less than 2 hours to finish adding the rice to giant sushi costume. luckily I was able to finish the ketchup bottle costume and the free puppie costume yesterday in time for our church's fall festival. The 11-year-old sushi didn't care to dress up for that, so it was okay, however the school costume parade is starting in 1 hour and 45 minutes. i just cannot use a hot glue gun around my 1-year-old! Not a good idea. Here's where I'm at now...

So to make this costume. I took poster board, cut out a giant circle and duck-taped it to cardboard. I cut out arm and leg holes and stapled 2 pieces of fabric to hold up the circle and be an opening on top for his head. The salmon and avocado are made from felt which I hot glued on and cut in shapes to look like the sushi and avocado and carb meat. Currently I am hot glueing white packing peanuts as the rice. I also got a black tablecloth from Target and will line the cardboard to look like the seaweed wrap.

I must brag that my "free puppy" won first prize at the church fall festival costume contest!!!

To make this costume, I made a puppy costume, got an old box from the garage and duck taped her puppy stuffed animals inside. I'll take the one in the middle!

11/2/2011 Update...
Here's the finished sushi costume!

And here's my 3 little monkeys (we coudn't get the baby to sit still for the picture) just before heading out trick-or-treating! Madi ditched the free puppy box and was worried she might not get as much candy because she wouldn't be "cute" enough. hehe. What do you all think? :) She's got more candy than she knows what to do with!


2 Days to Make 3 Costumes

Halloween is just 2 days away.  I didn't mean to procrastinate on costumes this year, but 3 of my kids have birthdays in October and well, I am just recovering from the emotional, financial, and creative overload.
So the only costume that is storebought is my baby girl 1-year-old. She's going to be a little froggie and I picked up that costume from Once Upon a Child last month. It's an adorable Old Navy costume and she is going to be cutest froggie in the Fort Collins Tiny Tot parade, if not, the world.

My older kids have way more complex costumes. Ezrah wants to be a giant piece of sushi, Jack wants to be a bottle of ketchup and Madi wants to a puppy.

Not just a simple puppy costume
Not just any puppy I might add. It was my overzealous idea for her to be a 'free puppy" coming out of a cardboard box with a bunch of her stuffed animal puppies.
Today I am sewing up that puppy costume. i would have been okay with buying a puppy costume, but the stores are totally sold out of everything and me being a glutton for punishment, part of me wants to sew it anyway!

The sushi costume
The sushi costume needs to be crafted. It will be a giant circle wrapped in a black tablecloth (the seaweed) and I will glue white packing peanuts as the rice. I got salmon colored felt to be in the center, just as you guessed it, the salmon, and light and dark green felt to be the avocado and cucumber.

Human bottle of ketchup
My little ketchup bottle boy is actually pretty easy. I got some awful red vinyl from the clearance section at JoAnn's that is perfect. I can just staple that together and it will just be a simple shift of red with a replica of the Heinz ketchup label. Not too hard, but will still take up some of my precious time.

Easy 11-year-old party
Today my son is going to the movies with his buddies to celebrate his birthday. Luckily he is too "cool" for me to do anything creative for this celebration, so I have time to do these costumes.

Oh yeah, I have a baby!
But wait, I don't really have time to make costumes. I have a clingy 1-year-old who breastfeeds constantly! And if she's not nursing, I have to keep a constant eye on her because she is just the princess of havoc, getting into everything.  So breaking out the sewing machine has to wait until baby is down for nap. This baby is obssessed with wires and anything electronic (and obssessed with ME for that matter) so I cannot do anything that doesn't involve her, let alone using a sewing machine. Let's pray for a long nap today!


This day 11 years ago...

...I became a Mama! Taking a step back from the night weaning chronicles,today is all about my oldest kid. Today is his 11th birthday and my anniversary of becoming a Mama!  So in the life of an 11-year-old, there is a lot going on, between hormones, and the need to "fit in". He's as tall as me now.
He wants to be like his friends, which is normal I know. Last week after one of his buddies came over, I heard some banging around in his room. A lot of banging around. I see him coming out of his room with lots of bags and boxes heading for the trash.
Mama: "Ezrah, what on earth are you doing?"
Ez: "Mom, my room needs to be more age appropriate. I hate my room."
Mama: I mmediatly said, "You are so right Ezrah. let's change it" as I am bathing baby I am thinking,  "How could I let this happen? I've been so wrapped up in baby, I absolutely forgo my pre-teen's son's need to be "cool"?"
This poor kid, has had his friends over. They have cell phones, cool posters and playstations and he's got a Finding Nemo light switch plate and his brother's bedding has firetrucks on it.

So, for his birthday, I am surprising him with a big kid room. He started painting a dark blue stripe across covering the mint green and white nursery-style stripe that was already there. he hates his bunkbeds, so his dad took a hacksaw to it. I got a lot of ideas from ezrah, so he kind of knows that his room will be different when he comes home from school today. His room has been off limits for a day now while I work on it, so he know something's up.
Finally after sweat and tears and shopping, it's done. And it looks awesome.

The Unveiling
When he came home from school, he immedietly ran to play with the gift he opened in the morning...an ipod Touch. That's right. This kid has the coolest piece of electronic equipment out of any person in the household, including me and Dan. He walked into his room, ipod in hand, looked up and was like "ahhh" It was a happy "ahhh".
So his room is now "age appropriate" and he's loving it!!! He's hanging out in his room with his new ipod Touch as I write this. I'm glad he's happy. I'm sad he's growing up. He also has his own cell phone now too that he also got for his birthday. That's right, he's 11 years old and has a cell phone. I didn't get a cell phone until I was 33 and it was on my Mom's family plan. All his friends have cell phones, and now he FINALLY (as he puts it) has one.
He's a good kid. He deserves it. My baby boy is growing up! I'll post the pics soon!

Update 10/27
I just wanted to update that this morning I awoke with Ezrah in my bed! Actually all 4 were sleeping in my room, but the youngest 3 always sleep with me. So, is he growing up? Maybe not as fast as I think. He's still my baby I guess! I'll take whatever I can get!


Adventures in Night weaning -discontinued

Why? because I quit. Just doesn't feel right. And I'll tell you what really doesn't feel right...my right boob! Yup, a plugged duct hit and has turned into full blown mastitis. So I take it as a sign that I'm not ready, baby is not ready and my body is not ready. I am trying a new plan to combat the frequent night wakings of baby. I'm trying the Elizabeth Pantley method which is derived from the No Cry Sleep Solution. It basically has to do with not having baby fall asleep while sucking. It's a lot of work and I have tried that with Madi but I wans't too consistent with it and it didn't really work. So I'm giving it a try again.


Adventures in Night Weaning -Night 2

 I am ready to climb Mt. Everest or at least do the laundry...which, let me tell you, is pretty comparable in size.
So, now I am completely confused! Guess what Indy did last night? That little monkey slept! That's right, she actually slept! Don't get me wrong I am not complaining here. Maybe the Universe doesn't want us to night wean.

She woke up once or twice only. My plan was to continue with the first part of Dr. Jay Gordon's night weaning method. I was to nurse a little, then  let her fall asleep not on the boob. Well, she fell asleep too fast when we nursed. Is it a fluke? Probably.

 I am excited about today as I actually feel well-rested! Maybe I will take the kids on a bike ride! Maybe go to the park! Maybe I can clean the house! Maybe I can get clean socks in my kids' drawers for the week!
The possibilities are endless! I forgot what it is like to feel normal!

So Night 2 on our night weaning adventure is pretty boring, but so thankful that baby Indy and I feel so good today!