Monday, February 28, 2011

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday

I was on fire yesterday. Sunday seemed to be my day to accomplish everything I needed/wanted to get done. It also happened to be nasty weather outside. Snow and Rain made its way to Rhode Island and I really had no desire to go out and run errands. Instead though, I started off at 8:30am with overhauling my kitchen. I tackled every single drawer, cabinet, food item, cooking item I could find. I threw out bottles and sippy's that didn't have a mate, packed those that did for possibly the next baby or eventually, to donate. I tossed expired food, moved kitchen items around, you name it, I did it. One of my biggest reasons for this was 1) I was tired of the kids getting into the food. So I did the next best thing, I put it up high. And 2)I was tired of the lingering mess. No place for anything. And it was driving me nuts. 3)Because on a given day, I never knew what was in my cabinets and what wasn't. So here Is what I did. I first took out all the food, cleaned the cabinets and place items based on canned goods/rice and noodles/baking items. And then school food/snacks. After everything that was thrown out and all the items were marked, I finally put everything in its place and did this:

Kids Snacks/Kids lunch and Supper items

Kids Snacks/Kids lunch and Supper items labeled on the inside of the cabinet door. This way I know what I have, and how much of each. When I add something new, I will simply write it down. This way I can always keep track of what I purchase a lot of and what seems to not be a favorite and lingers. This can be used for grocery shopping too. So I am super excited and hope this new idea of mine works.

Canned goods/Dried food/Baking Items

Again....The list of items that are in my cabinet, how much of each.

I am really hoping this new system works. These are literally the *ONLY TWO* cabinets that have food items in them. The rest of my kitchen is taken over by everyday wear, cooking wear, and junk. Despite our efforts when remodeling the kitchen and adding in 7 new cabinets, we are still in need of a good size pantry.

So tell me, how do you organize your kitchen?

Oliver 6 Months

Half a year has gone by already little man. I can't believe how quickly you are growing up. You are finding ways everyday to engage your awake time with your big sisters and big brother and love every second of attention they give you. You are probably the most loved baby in the world right now. There is not a moment that goes by that you are not kissed, hugged, carrying around on a given day. Even though you have been feeding yourself your bottle since your were 4 months old, that does not stop Ezme or Emma-James from wanting to "feed" you, burp you, or coddle you in some way, shape or form. Now that your well on your way to eating solid foods with a spoon, watch out, because you most likely will have someone trying to feed you anything they can get their hands. Of course, mommy and daddy will be close by watching to make sure this doesn't happen.

At 6 months of age you can easily roll from back to front and then front to back again. So well in fact that we will put you down on the living room rug only to find you in the dining room. You are FAST!! Your also getting pretty strong in your ability to sit up on your own. A few more weeks and you will be a pro. This new found ability will give you better ease when playing with your toys and will really give you a better opportunity to interact and play with your siblings. Just wait, once you start crawling, your in for some heavy duty fun!

You now weigh close to 18 pounds! Well over 4 pounds more then the other kiddos at this age. You are a *VERY BIG BOY* and mommy can feel it when holding or carrying you. You are huge!! I even put you up close to a friend of mine's little girl who is a month older to the day. And you towered over her. Such a big little man.

At 6 months old we have now introduced you to a sippy cup. You seem to be enjoying this and my hope is to get you off the bottle within the next month. Gosh, in just a few short weeks you will be leaving the nest of mommy's room and joining the ranks of the "big kid" room. I am sure to miss you, but I hear there are fun parties and late night talks and books read to you by the minute. So fear not little one, you will have to much fun to miss me.

Your favorite thing to do is babble, blow raspberries and kisses and try very hard with your sheepish little smile to get anyone's attention. You surely will be the talk of the girls someday little man.

6 months ago I welcomed you into the world. Never knowing if you were even a possibility. I am so glad that you chose to come when you did, because little man, mommy loves you to bits and pieces.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Big Girl Bed Day 6

Shocked to say the least. I was half expecting Owen and Ezme to be up at all hours of the night. Talking, playing, running around crazy. But alas, they threw me for a loop and did fantastically. They settled right in after taking a nice hot bath/shower. I didn't even have to speak once to them about staying in bed or settling down. Of course the older girls were a different story. So I am happy to say that after a full week today, we have successfully moved. The crib is ready to go and Oliver will be joining the ranks within the next few weeks. Naps will be first. As soon as he can successfully sleep an entire week through the night he will be moving on. So sad.

Here is a happy picture of little Ezme enjoying her sisters boots while they were gone. She is such a cutie I tell you.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Under One Roof

All the kiddos are home from their week away in Maine visiting family. They had a blast. Mommy and Daddy were able to accomplish a lot in a short time. We will be working hard again tomorrow baking for the week, cleaning and organizing.

The best part though....we are all together again. Safe and Happy!! Its nice to see everyone in their beds at night. Even Ezme went to bed without any problem. Love It!! Tired mommy = Happy Mommy.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Big Girl Bed Day 5

I was kicked out last night for both nap time and bedtime. Can you believe that?? Literally. Ezme crawled into bed, covered herself up, and shooed me away! Me...her mommy. Shooed. So sad. Though in a way, I am happy that she has settled in nicely. Even when daddy raised the crib for Oliver and she saw me get it ready, she said without hesitation "ollie night" I am thinking that she is excited for Ollie to be sharing her room, and doesn't seem to even think twice about the crib being her "bed" Sad to see her growing up so fast, but its nice to remember how much fun this stage is. We head to Maine in the morning to pick up the big kiddos. I pray that we will be able to settle everyone down, and still manage to get Ezme asleep without much trouble. This will be the true test! Sharing a room with big brother and still going to sleep without playing all hours of the night.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Big Girl Bed Day 4

Success! Even after sleeping a better part of the day away, she still managed to sleep in her bed all night without issue. She woke up a few times, but she was giggling and happy. I went in their to check on her, thinking she was going to start crying for me to stay, but she would giggle and play peek-a-boo. When she was done she would grab her favorite blanket from me, cover her face up and say "ni ni" (night night). So I knew she was settled for the night and happy as a clam.

I think that I can say that we successfully without issue moved from crib to her big girl bed. Daddy will be getting the crib ready to start the transition for Mr. Oliver sometime today. He will start off with naps and such and then move into the room as soon as he can successfully sleep through the night. He can cry pretty loudly and I don't want him to wake up Owen and Ezme. They are great sleepers, lets keep it that way. :-)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Big Girl Bed Day 3

Last night was EXCELLENT. Nap time was terrific, she slept for a good 3 hours. And bedtime was even better, falling right asleep without a single wake up at all from 7pm until 8am this morning. She is really loving this new found freedom. I find her every morning sitting on her bed quietly reading books, playing with her baby, and snuggling in bed just talking to herself. So cute. Of course I wonder what she will be like when Owen arrives and they wake up together. I am sure its going to be lots of giggles, playing, and having fun. I am hoping that the transition of the older kiddos being home will work out for Ezme. Its not so much moving to a big girl bed that worried me. I knew she could do it. It is the fact that 3 older kiddos tend to make her over excited that who would want to go to bed. Here are a few pictures I was able to capture of Miss Ezme and her new big girl bed. Complete with Fancy Nancy bedding mommy made for her!

Ezme's name with her very own coat hanger

Up close picture of her name. I am proud of myself. Think it came out pretty darn cute.

Picture of her Fancy Nancy Bed Set

Up close. Notice its a Fancy Nancy silk print on one side, and a fluffy cream colored material on the other side. Complete with a Fancy Nancy pillow done in a soft baby pink material.

Ezme (17 months) really loves her new big girl bed. I find her in there all the time. Just reading to her babies, or talking to her friends. So cute.

Weekly Weigh In

It's Wednesday. Which means......weekly weigh in time. Doing a bit better. Exercise is still a little on the slow side. But then again, I have been working my butt off scrubbing, cleaning, organizing, running around, laundry, dishes, etc. since Monday, so I am hoping that all of that extra elbow grease has paid off.

This week I am down one pound from last week which brings me to 182. Only 12 more pounds to go by April 1st. Woot.

Stats are 205/182/160

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Forgiveness Part 1

Have you ever walked this road? Forgiveness that is. Forgiving that someone for something they might have done to hurt you. Emotionally, mentally, physically even spiritually? Maybe its a group of people? This road seems to be toughest for me lately. When do I let go. Move on. Stop hurting myself over and over again by something that happened weeks, months, years ago? Its a tough line for sure. Finding deep down in myself ways to heal the pain. To stop beating myself up. Wondering the what if's of life. These things seem to take up my thoughts. Especially when its quiet.

In the last few weeks, I have found that one particular thing keeps coming up. Its always the same really. Forgiving my Father-in-Law. The hurt and pain from years past has really been something I focus on day in and day out. The hurt he caused my husband, his son. The hurt he caused to our children. How does one let that go? I vowed in my heart never to allow him to see the kids again. To see me again. To make me feel the way I did that cold night in January. The many things he did to make the pain of things that happened sting to the core. I wont go into details. God knows what he has done. Family and close friends know too. The issue now is processing, healing and forgiving. You know, the 5 steps of grief. I think I am in the healing and forgiving phase of this journey.

I finally got the courage to see him again last June. After 3 years of no contact. A family function that we were invited too. I had to make sure this was okie not only for me, but for Olivia. She remembers so much, and I wanted to make sure she felt safe, comfortable, okie with the idea. She did great. She told him in her own words how she felt. He not understanding how she could remember so much at such a young age (she was 4 at the time) but she did. And she let him know how upset she was by it. I think it was then he realized what he lost. His grandchildren. They didn't know him. Want to play with him, talk to him. Jason and I didn't force the issue. We enjoyed the day, and worried less about how he felt about us being there. I was pregnant with Oliver at the time. I am sure he was going to have something to say about that, but we didn't care. We were happy, blessed, excited.

Fast forward to Christmas. We saw him again. He didn't know this time we were going to be there. Heck, it was even a last minute venture for us too. We were so happy to go. The kids had a great time. Family was happy to see them. It was great. I think a little bit of him was sad again too. The kids said hi, and then scurried off to do other things. They didn't want to play, talk, or hang out with him. They don't know him. It makes me sad really. The relationship he gave up with his eldest son. The relationship he gave up with his grandchildren. What will he tell them when they are older? I have made it a point not to talk in vein about him around the kids. I want them to decide how they feel about him and their relationship with him all on there own. Its not my place to make him look worse. Of course I am jealous of the relationship he will have with future grandchildren when Jason's brother has kids. It will always sting. Our kiddos came first. And this is where the forgiveness comes in.

I have forgiven him. My heart has finally said "let go." I often hear that little voice at night whispering softly in my ear. God telling me its okie to forgive. I will always talk about and analyze the things that were said or the way he acts when we do see him. That's human nature. My heart though has forgiven him for the things that he has done in the past. I can't change the outcome. But I can pray for a new one. Work hard to achieve those goals that Jason and I have set for ourselves. For our kids. Both of us work hard. In different ways yes. But we are a team. A team that cannot be broken. Someday we will look back at the things we accomplished and remember though it was hard, we came out better in the end.

Joe, if you read this, and I am not sure you ever will, but if you do. Know that I forgive you. And love you. You are still the only father Jason will ever have and grandfather to our children. Remember this.

As I bring this to a close, I will someday look back on this post. I feel lighter just writing this and happier to know that someday....someday, things will be better. I have the most powerful thing their is. PRAYER.

Big Girl Bed Day 2

Nap went fantastically yesterday. She must have been either super tired, or super excited. Either way, it worked out for me! Both kiddos slept from 11:30 until 3pm when I finally woke them up. I had to run a bunch of errands and I didn't want to be out past their bedtimes.

Bedtime though was a big more rough. She did great when we got home. Pajamas and a story were the first on our agenda. She crawled right into bed and fell asleep within a few minutes around 6:30pm. Sadly though, about an hour later something woke her up. I think it was the big truck that came barreling down our street like a crazy person. Argh, I hate that they drive like crazy people up and down this street. But that is for another day. Anyways, to get back on track. When she woke up, she pretty much decided that sleeping in her bed was for the birds. I would walk in, give her hugs, cover her up, and then leave the room. She would immediately follow. I finally decided to shut the door tight, and see how she did. Within a few minutes, she had crawled back in bed, covered herself up and fell back asleep. Around 12:30am she had woken up from a nightmare and wiggled herself back to the door. I think she was still half asleep, because when I went to retrieve her to put her back in her bed, she had fallen asleep before I even left the room. So I would say that last night was a pretty good success for her. Day 2 and 3 are always the hardest. So I am expecting another rough night. Hopefully by tomorrow she will be all settled in and before the kids get back this weekend she will be an old pro. Let's just hope that is the case. Pictures to come later of the bedding I made for her. So cute.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Big Girl Bed day 1 + Update

It seems weird that we are gearing up once again to transition another one of our kiddos from crib to toddler bed. I am so sad that the "baby" stage is over. Ezme grew up way to fast and for me, it was much quicker then normal. I am thinking because Oliver came along so soon.

I tend to move them a little sooner then this, just as I find that doing it just before they start walking makes transition time that much easier. They are too afraid to get out of their beds. So by the time they are truly mobile, they don't really seem to know the difference from crib to bed. I missed the opportunity with Ezme as she walked sooner then the others, plus I really didn't want to move her during the holidays.

Daddy managed to get her bed put together before he headed off to work for the evening. She did great really. I was expecting a little meltdown, but she climbed right in and fell asleep within 5 minutes. Though she just woke up disoriented, I still managed to get her calm and right back to sleep. A few tears of course.

I decided with the kiddos gone for the week, it really is the perfect time to get her use to it. I just hope when Owen comes home, things will still be just as good. He tends to get her going and them two can play for HOURS together instead of sleeping. Thinking I might have to stagger their bedtimes at 6pm for Ezme and 6:30pm for Emma-James and Owen.

The next big move is Oliver which will happen in another 2 months. He will go from our room to Owen and Ezme's room. ugh. Weird that this might be the last little one that sleeps in our room. I am still trying to process that as a possibility. But that is for another day and another blog. Until then, I will keep you posted tomorrow on how the rest of the night went. Say a little prayer.

******Day 1 Update******

Day 1 was a success! She only got up once and was a little disoriented but I managed to get her back to sleep with only a few tears. She was up and ready to go this morning at 7:30 on the dot. I am hoping for a great outcome for nap time and bedtime tonight.

If all goes well over the next week, I will be getting the crib ready for Oliver. He will be spending the next couple of weeks getting use to sleeping in his new room for naps, and then before I know it, it will be for bedtime. My bedroom will look so empty. From the time Ezme moved out, to Oliver arriving, I only had about 3 months without a baby in my room. Though the crib was still up. I never took it down. Day 2 begins with nap time and then bedtime tonight. Hoping for another successful day.

Friday, February 18, 2011

What does one do....?

In 62 degree weather in February you ask? Well by george, she cleans her car. Yup, today I decided since I had to run (well hubby went and ran) to get all the cookie orders in the van, I should take the opportunity to get the car cleaned out. Hubby did most of the dirty work. Clearing it out takes a lot of time when you have trash, toys and clothes piled up since November (the last time the car was cleaned). But I am happy to say, its done, and looks great. I will be washing all the kids car seats tonight and putting them back in the car in the morning. We are heading tomorrow to Maine to take the older kiddos up. They are spending their vacation week with Nana and Papa.

My plans while they are gone you ask. Visit with a few friends and their little kiddos, spring clean the house (yes, its February, but its the best time for me to do it) work on my business. Do some girl scout organization and planning. Maybe go out with hubby one evening. A week goes by pretty fast when they are gone. I will miss them terribly, but they are going to have so much fun.

Well, I am off for now. House still needs picking up, kids need supper, packing needs to get accomplished, showers for all, and sometime in between all that bedtime must happen.

Are you a Blog Follower? And Give-Away

Do you follow the daily comings and goings of THE COURAGEOUS SEVEN? If you do, I would love if you would become a "follower" on my blog. Its simple really. Just sign in on the right hand side of the screen. Scroll down until you see "Followers" The best part, you can have emails send directly to you for when I do update. This way you don't have to keep checking back. Though I do love the visits. So, are you a follower?

I am giving my first web GIVE-AWAY!! All you have to do is simply post a comment on this particular blog post. Everyone is invited to participate. Just tell me something about yourself that I might not know. Where you live, your favorite color, your favorite food, anything. Simple really. Deadline is still March 1st so don't wait. Names will be randomly put in a hat. When the winner has been selected I will announce you on the site. If you have a blog, I will even do a little post about you. Information on how to send you the books can be send to my email address. So post away!!







Thursday, February 17, 2011

Proud Leader

These are my Girl Scout Brownie and Daisy troops. We were finally able to have a meeting day that didn't involve snow, sleet or rain. We celebrated our last meeting with a Valentine's Day Party. Pizza, cookies, brownies and chocolate covered strawberries were on the menu. I think the girls had a fantastic time. And I got the best present ever. A group shot of all my girls. They are so wonderful and add to it a great group of parents, I am blessed.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Weekly Weigh In

No real change from last week. I have fluctuated between 182 and 183 on and off this past week. It seems my biggest struggle right now is getting the pounds off. I had a goal of 180 by February 15th. I should be proud of myself that I still managed to loose 14 pounds since my last goal, but still. I am thinking a new routine is in order? I have noticed that I tend to "snack" more around peak times. Usually just before my period and then about 2-3 days afterwords. Then the same just before and after I ovulate (or am suppose to ovulate) so I am thinking maybe I need to stock my house with more protein sourced foods that will fill me up, but without the added calories.

My new goal now is to be 170 by April 1st. That gives me 6 weeks. I know I can do it. Motivation is the key. Not to mention to remember the goal I gave myself for June. I am hoping with the warmer weather I can get out more with the kids and start walking. If only I could get hubby to work with me. In due time I guess.

This week stats are 205/183/160

Friday, February 11, 2011

Prayers Please

If you are a follower, reader, or just happen to find us randomly, I would so very much appreciate a prayer for our family. Without going into details, things here are at their peak of stress for both Jason and myself. We have been praying and working hard for an answer to our situation and hoping that we will find a solution and fast.

Thank you to everyone who has thought of us. I appreciate it very much. Hugs.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Weekly Weigh In

I believe its been at least 2 weeks since I posted my weigh in for the week. After some struggles with weight gain over the last two weeks despite my food choices being the same, and my exercise routine being about the same, I still managed to gain 3 pounds. I am not sure if I chalk it up to hormones, PMS, ovulation cycle, full moon, weather. A million reasons.

The good part is I worked extra hard, with a high protein low carb. menu I managed to loose the extra 3 pounds and another 2 pounds on top of that. My new weight this week is:

183!! So my current stats are now 205/183/160 If you are wondering, the first number is where I started, second number is where I am currently, third number is my goal weight. So right now, I only have 23 pounds to go! WOOT! Keep on trucking for sure. I am hoping with the start of the warmer weather I am able to really get out and start moving my bum on the ground. It will be nice to get fresh air at the same time for sure.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Cough, Cough....Sniffle, Sniffle

That seems to be the going thing around our house these days. The phlemy cough that doesn't seem to be much of an issue during the day, until you lay your head down to go to sleep. And BAM! It comes out of no where and drive you to the point of madness.

It has finally cycled through the house. Starting with Olivia a few weeks ago, then myself, now the three little ones. They are all doing great during the day, but come the evening, its pretty much a cough, puke fest. The kids cough so hard, they end up throwing up all the thick mucus (I know, TMI, but hey, I have kiddos, nothing is always sunshine and roses *smiles*) which is a good thing, because they are getting it out of their chests. But it still doesn't make my mommy heart feel better. Poor Ezme is the worse, I think she has gotten all of 3 hours of sleep in the last week. But the good news, is we went to see our terrific Dr. today and on top of the nasty cough, she has a bad ear infection. Tis the season. And this year, its a bad one!!

We haven't really done much at all since our weekend away for Olivia's Birthday. With the nasty weather, cancellations, school days off. We really haven't been up to leaving the house.

I will say this though, I much rather do the yucky coughing, then having kiddos sick with the stomach flu. Because man, that is even worse. Especially when you have one bathroom! So far, knock on wood, it hasn't come to this house. And frankly, I hope it doesn't!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Mommy's Girls

This is one of the cutest pictures of the girls all together. Gosh I just love them. It would only make this picture even more special if Anabelle was in it too. Though I am sure she is in some ways. Hugs to my girls. All very different, but all loved equally. Hugs.