Snow Day!

Oh how I remember the joy when my mom would tell me that school was canceled for a snow day. It seems like we had a lot more snow days when I was a kid. I guess I am getting old and it was snowing and I had to walk up hill both ways to school or something like that. The girls are living up their snow day and played outside building snow men, snow caves, and making snow angles.When we woke up there was a light dusting on the grass and the pavement was just wet. I thought the schools had gotten pretty relaxed on their snow day requirements. What are we? A bunch of Californians or what? Well, here is how much snow we got by 10:30 a.m. The weather man is saying it will continue to snow until Friday morning with a total accumulation of between 18-20 inches. Hopefully Max won't have to spend the night a work!While poor dad is off working, we are having a fun day of hot coco, pancakes for lunch, board games, watching movies and hopefully a fire tonight. I must admit I am hoping school will be canceled tomorrow too. Maybe Max can get snowed in with us tomorrow!

11 Months

Babies grow up so fast. This time last year Hank was still growing inside my belly, now he is almost walking. He is so proud of his recent accomplishments. He pulls up to stand on any and everything. He has stood for a second or two alone and has just started transferring. He has taken plenty of tumbles as seen by the green bruise on his forehead. Hank still crawls as his primary mode of transportation but he is so eager to walk. I suspect by his first birthday he will be a walker. He had better. All his sisters were walking by one! Hank also learned to clap and wave this month. When he gets excited he starts hollering and clapping.He is finally sleeping better. He had Strep throat and an ear infection. All the congestion has made it hard for him to breath. He only gets up once or twice a night now. He is still powering down the baby food but recently finally gave in and learned if he was going to survive in this house he had better start eating beans. He is also fond of doughnuts (thanks to daddy) and yogurt. But his most important accomplishment is that he started to say "mama", especially when he is tired or wants to nurse. :)
We discovered Hank is allergic to strawberries and possibly certain types of dogs. The girls have no allergies yet, so this is new territory for Max and me. Packing benadryl along with all the other baby items and being vigilant about allergic responses has made me sympathetic to those with life threatening allergies. I never understood how all encompassing it is. I had grabbed a yogurt melt in berry flavor and didn't look closely. They have a strawberry one and this one had big pictures of blueberries on it and I gave him some. In a matter of minutes his face became red and started to swell. I couldn't believe how careless I had been. I tell ya, Mr. Hank is trying to turn me completely grey by 35!
Hank has been such a delight to have in our house. His goofy grin is infectious and he give the best bear hugs.

Spring Is In The Air

With the first day of spring we welcomed back our house bunny. She lives under the front of the house and yesterday was the first time we have seen her out since last year. She was busily gathering grass and straw. I wonder if we won't be seeing a baby bunnies soon.
Our Daffodils have also announced that spring is on the way. Usually by Easter the front of our house is blooming with Daffodils, Tulips and Hyacinths. I am always so happy to see the vibrant colors after a long, bleak and colorless winter.
Maybe I was craving some color or perhaps I just fell off the wagon. It is really all my Aunt Kathleen's fault. I would have been fine but she had to call and tell me that Crocs was having their spring warehouse sale where they start at $5.00. Well, you put sale and Crocs in the same sentence and that is like offering a heroine addict a free hit. So I made the 45 minute car journey with my sister and R.J., stood in line where police were directing traffic and being line monitors, changed a poopy Hank in line, took 3 little girls to potty in port-a-potties, and then riffled through hundreds of pairs of shoes with about 300 hundred other crazed women to bring home this loot! At $10/pair and the jibbitz were 4 for $1 and the Croc-a-doodles (markers to color on your cocs) were also $1, I lost all control. Luckily I had four kids with me that were hungry and tired or we might be swimming in Crocs.

Hanaha Montana Birthday

Karlie has always been one of those cling on kids. She is always into something rather it be Care Bears, Tinker Bell or now Hannah Montana. We don't get the Disney channel so I have never seen Hannah Montana. Karlie has seen it over at her best buddies house once or twice, but you would think she was the world's biggest fan. If she sees anything Hannah Montana, she wants it. Disney has done a fabulous job marketing her. Karlie can't even sing one of her songs, but she want all things Hannah Montana. She wanted nothing more than a Hannah Montana birthday party and we tired to do our best.

We made her invitation a Hannah Montana concert ticket with all the pertinent information. Max is a power point genius and was able to create this fun invite. We put them in purple envelopes and waited for all the rock stars to arrive.To decorate we had quite a bit of St. Patrick's day decorations up so we added some large purple stars to hang from the ceiling. Of course we had all the paper products to help too. Luckily Hannah's colors are green and purple. We created an electric purple guitar with cream cheese frosting. Karlie was delighted with the finished product.

We also had green and purple grapes for snacks and Hannah Montana fruit rolls. For drinks we had grape Kool-Aid (keeping with the purple theme) in green cups. The party bags had Hannah Montana lip gloss and compacts(for the girls), glitter hair gel, and parachute men and whoopee cushions for the boys and glitter pencils for both. We made Rock Star Play-doh (thanks for the idea Heather) using grape cool-aid.

Our two youngest rock-stars were hamming it up.
Karlie with all her adoring fans watching as she blew out her candles.

We played pass the microphone. As each child got out, they went to the rock star make-over station and got to pick out temporary tattoos. This was by far the hit. Kids just love putting these everywhere. Pin the microphone on Hannah was next and then they all got to take a swing at the pinata. When we weren't doing something the kids were all rocking out in Scott and Chrysti's bounce house.
I took a picture of each guest with Hannah and Karlie to send as the postcard thank you note.

Karlie was quite pleased and is already talking about what next year's theme will be. One down, three more birthdays to go!

Happy Birthday Karlie!

Happy birthday my sweet and spirited Karlie.  If ever someone could be Irish by birth, it is you.  You have green eyes while your siblings all have hazel.  You have blonde hair while they have brown.  Sometimes you act like an ornery leprechaun and sometimes your charm is so mesmerizing I am sure you could send the snakes out of Ireland.  Your smile and giggle are contagious and you have a gentle spirit.  You are tough as nails (notice the green goose egg that she acquired with no tears).  We love you so much and hope you are lucky and blessed your whole life.

24

OK, so I am not saving the nation from a terrorist but I am being terrorized and trying to stay alive for the next 24 hours. Here is my 24.

12:00 a.m.-4:45 Fitfully sleeping because I have so much pain in my throat. I went to the doctor Monday and the rapid Strep was negative. The only time I have ever had this type of pain is with Strep. It is now Thursday and I am able to not take pain medicine around the clock but after doing this for 4 days while Max was in Boston, I am feeling wiped out and that maybe it is all in my head. What could possibly hurt this bad for so long and NOT be Strep? Anyway. Hank is up once in this time frame. He seems to be getting my imagined throat bug.

4:45 a.m.- Hank wakes up. He slimes me with snot as I pick him up. It is all over my cheek, hair, and shirt. I am too tired to care. I take him back to bed and try to nurse him back to sleep. He can't breath so its a bit like underwater nursing. Suck, suck, suck, pull off, gasp for air, suck, suck, suck, breath.... You can imagine the fabulous milk mess this makes all over me and the bed. Great, now I have to change the sheets today.

5:15 a.m.-Stop pretending that I will get to go back to sleep and get up with Hank. Make coffee and start making lunches.

6:00 a.m.- Wake-up the girls to start getting ready for school and quiz Hailey one final time on her spelling and map test.

7:00a.m.- Frantically trying to feed everyone and get coats and backpacks together. There have been numerous butt wipings durning this time. It is astonishing how much butt wiping I do in 24 hours. I am still in my snot streaked and milk drenched P.J.s and look like zombie. We have to leave in 30 min. I guess I should brush my hair and teeth but feel more like crawling in bed in the fetal position.

8:00 a.m.- Got Hailey off to school and head home. Get home and put Hank to sleep and try to grab something to eat myself. Soup for breakfast? Gross. As I am getting in the shower Hank wakes up.

9:00 a.m.- Take a shower with Hank, Karlie, and Kaitlin. Wow, that was so relaxing. Not to mention my shower is a stall, so 4 is definitely a crowd. Get everyone out and dressed-again. Quickly grab the library card and look-up what books are due. Run around the house half naked searching for books and movies and trying to get the monkeys ready for library class.

10:00 a.m.- Make it to the library just in time. We have 5 minutes to get from the car to the class. Getting the stroller out will take too much time. I assess my load and decide to take Hank out of the carrier, leave the diaper bag (please don't have a blow-out Hank) and throw my wallet in the library bag. We make a choo-choo train as we walk/run into the library and drop off the books and movies. While the girls are in class I pick out some more books and go to check out. Rats! The library card is still by the computer at home. Rifle through my wallet to find Hailey's library card. It won't let me self check out. Strange, I haven't' used it since Hank was born. I take it to the seemingly nice librarian where she informs me that I had a book that was due in May but has since been returned and I owe them $5.00. Gasp. I try to tell her how my son almost died and the library book must have slipped my mind. She stared down at me through her glasses that were low on her nose as if she were a cop hearing a story about why I was speeding. I decided she wasn't going to budge on the fine and forked over my card and checked out the books. Library class is over and we are now rushing to get home in time for Kaitlin's speech therapist.

11:00 a.m.- Therapist calls and says she is running behind. I make a quick lunch because if they don't eat now then it won't be until 12:30 which will throw naps and everything else off for the afternoon. Speech therapist arrives, we have a great session.

12:30 p.m- Put Kaitlin down for a nap and make a cup of tea for my imagined sore throat. Karlie asks to watch Gumbie that we just checked out from the library. I grab the library bag from the car (which still has my wallet in it) and get her set-up with Gumbie. Hank is trying to walk so I am following him around making sure he doesn't crack his head open. He is fussy and clingy. I can't wait for him to take a nap so I can have a few minutes to nurse my imagined sickness. A pile of dishes, clean laundry waiting to be folded, dirty laundry waiting to be washed, sheets needing to be changed, and toys all over the house await their daily attention. I am too exhausted. It will have to wait.

1:30 p.m.- Hank is finally ready for a nap. Repeat of of underwater nursing. After almost 30 minutes he is asleep. Poor guy. That imaginary bug is really a doozy. Ahhh. The couch and I meet.

2:00 p.m.- Phone rings. The doctor's office calls to tell me that the culture grew out positive. I DO have Strep! I say hallelujah! Now I can have some drugs!! Light bulb goes on that Hank must have the same bug. I wait on the phone for 10 minutes to make an appoint for him at the pediatricians. They squeeze us in for right after I pick-up Hailey. (For any of you who are no longer in the kid era, if you wait for 10 minutes to talk to someone, you know they are really busy. Especially if it is not 8:00 a.m. when you are calling. Second, if they are "squeezing you in" - that means double booking = very long wait once you get there. I mentally prepare myself for waiting at the germ infected doctors office with four kids.)

2:30 p.m.- Wake up Kaitlin and Hank to get ready to go pick-up Hailey. Snacks, shoes, coats, baby dolls, potty, car seats and we are off.

3:30 p.m.- Arrive at Dr.'s office and see the large, bold face type sign that says INSURANCE CARDS MUST BE PRESENTED AT EVERY VISIT! With panic I realize I left my wallet at home in the stinking library bag! We enter into what looks like a flu triage zone. There are kids of all ages coughing, sneezing, looking fever ridden laying on their moms, many still in P.J.s I had a stern talk with the girls on the way and said absolutely no playing with the toys in the waiting room. They were instructed to find a seat as far away from other kids and not move while I check in. Hailey and Karlie, who know this drill, were perfect. Kaitlin on the other hand makes a B-line for the toys and books. What is a mom to do? Scream and make a scene about germs? Or just play it off and feel like I am going to vomit because I know of the contamination that is taking place and how I will soon be paying for it. I decide to try and put all my energy into charming the severe looking receptionist. I have no insurance card and no way to pay. For once looking disheveled and desperate paid off. Maybe she saw the horror in my eyes as I watched Kaitlin becoming infected with anything from the flu to a GI bug. Or maybe God sent a little angle to help me. Regardless, a miracle of events took place. Hank had just been in a week ago for an ear infection, so she said she could use the copy of the card from then. Thank you Lord. Then she looked at the sheet and said I had a credit that she could apply for the co-payment! We are eventually taken back to the patient room where we sat and waited and waited.

4:25 p.m.- Run out of the Dr.'s office after finding out that Hank is indeed positive for Strep and having Karlie tested since she had some signs of it too. The doctor will call me for her results because I had to leave to try and be across town for parent/teacher conferences at 4:45 p.m. I swing by my mom's house and drop all four kids off. While speeding to the girls' school for conferences I remember I don't have my wallet. So, if I get pulled over, I don't have a licence, our insurance cards,or even any screaming kids to vouch that I am an absent minded mother, not thief. I decide I had better not try my luck and slow down. I make it and am only a minute late. Another miracle.

5:30 p.m.- Leave conferences. The girls got excellent reports. The doctor calls and says Karlie's rapid is negative but she will call my in two days if the culture is positive. I arrive at my mom's and eat a piece of pizza before loading the herd up and heading to the pharmacy to drop of Hank's prescription and then home. My mom is such a major blessing. She fed the kids and sent me home with some pizza for Max too. No dinner to make or dishes to clean-up.

6:30 p.m.- Max is home so I can go pick-up the prescriptions.

7:30 p.m.- All sick people have been dosed with antibiotics and pain medicine. Brush teeth, jamies, potty, prayers, and bed.

8:30 p.m.- Fall into bed. The house looks like Hiroshima exploded and I never did change the sheets, but that is what tomorrow is for. Phone rings. Walgreens pharmacist calls to notify me that I left my insurance card there. Awesome.

11:10 p.m.- Get up to help Kaitlin go potty.

4:00 a.m. Kaitlin thinks it is time to get-up. Put her back to bed.

4:45 a.m. Hank wakes up. Isn't today Friday the 13th? I think I would like to change places with Jack Bauer for 24 hours.

Things That Make You Go Hmm?

Me-"How was school today?"

Hailey- "Good, Johnny and I are buddies again."

Me- "Oh, were you having problems?"

Hailey- "Yeah. Some days we are like the devils to each other and the next day we are best buddies. It is so weird."

Karlie- "So some days you hate each other?! I thought you liked Johnny."

Hailey- "No, sometime we just like each other but don't play together and then other days we love each other like we like each other."

Me- "I see."

I Have a Problem...

My name is Katie, I am a shoe-oholic. I have been on the wagon for 30 days. I didn't even fall off with Payeless' BOGO sale. I haven't searched ebay for shoes in weeks and I haven't bought any adorable shoes for the girls from Gymboree in 30 days. It is still a daily battle, but I am wining.



I am going to need a lot of support as spring is coming, but with your love and support, I can just say no to shoes.

Working On Her Sales Pitch

Girls Scout Cookie season is coming to a close. Thank you to all our family and friends who helped Hailey meet her goal of 200 cookies. She sold the second most out of a Troop of 17 girls! When she was making calls to see if family members wanted to order any cookies she had a great line about the new cookie this year, the Dulce de Leche. It is a Latin inspired cookie with caramel chips and drizzled caramel on the top. Sounds good. After the customer told Hailey their order she would often ask them if they didn't want to try the new cookie. I think she boosted her sales quite a bit with this technique. When the cookies came in, the first thing we did was open our box of Dulce de Letches. We couldn't wait to try them out. After all, last years new cookie, the Lemon Chalet Cream was fabulous! Boy were we disappointed. I didn't even finish my cookie and I will eat just about anything, especially if it is in the cookie category. The girls were equally unimpressed. The box sits in our cupboard with just 5 cookies missing. I should throw the box away but that goes against my grain so much it will probably sit there until it is unsafe to eat and then I will be forced to toss it.

Max and Hailey were at the booth in front of the grocery store when a lady said she wanted to buy a box of Dulce de Leches. Hailey promptly turned to her fellow scout and said, "My mom thinks those taste gross!" I am not sure if the lady bought the cookies anyway. Then tonight I was attempting to pawn the cookies off on the kids and tried to hand them out for desert. Hailey replied, "I don't want the Dulce de Poopies. I want a Tagalong." I guess she has changed her tune a bit.

Happy Birthday Max!

Happy Birthday my love! I am enjoying the ride of life with you as we go round and round, week to week, up and down. The smiles, the giggles, the hugs. All I have is because of you. I hope your day is full of things that make you smile.