Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween 2011

Halloween this year was up in the air. We usually spend it with some friends in Lincoln but planned changed this year as they decided to hang out with some local friends from school.

I decided that it was a good year to kind of break our yearly tradition of going out trick-or-treating. The kids aren't big candy eaters and it being in the house would only give me the chance to gain 5 pounds by eating it all myself. I really didn't want that.

So all week long leading up to Halloween, including Halloween day. I told the kids we weren't going to go out. I wasn't really feeling the trick-or-treating this year. We really don't have a neighborhood to trick-or-treat in. Thankfully we were invited to some friends house in Smithfield to join them if we changed our minds.

At 6pm. After telling the kids since they game home from school that we weren't going. I decided at the last minute to find whatever I could for costumes, pack the kids up and head to Jason's old neighborhood. This was for a few reasons (more on this later) and I am so glad we did. The kids had a great time. We met some wonderful people who still remembered Jason growing up there. We were in and out and finished in less then 20 minutes. We pulled into our house at 8pm and the kids were settled and in bed by 8:30pm. Talk about a pretty easy no hassle evening. The kids each took turns knocking on doors and ringing bells. In the time we were their we were offered two cats, a dog and a turtle. As much as we would have loved the extra animals in our house, we graciously turned them down. I guess when you have 5 kiddos, people just think you need a few extra pets as well. :-)

I didn't get many photos but here are a few of the small kiddos all dressed up. Olivia was a Pumpkin princess, Emma-James was a dinosaur, Owen was a dragon, Ezme was a giraffe and Oliver was a Kangaroo. Total cost in costumes this year..............$0!!!!! Love it!!!

Ezme the Giraffe (2 years old)

Oliver the Kanagroo (14 months old)

For fun I also made these "MUMMY DOGS" for the kids for lunch. There just hotdogs wrapped in dough. They loved them!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Owen Turns 4!!

My little man isn't so little anymore. I cannot believe my first little guy to come into our family is already 4 years old. It amazes me everyday how much he fit right into this family. After a flurry of pinks and purples, baby dolls and tea sets. I was ready to have a boy. Being a tomboy myself, I never did think I could live up to all the frilly things girls tend to gravitate too.

Owen has been a true blessing to our family. He is easy to please, easy going, laid back kind of boy. Much like his daddy. We always call him the "old man of the family" Owen is not afraid to speak his mind. Especially to his very loud, very opinionated big sisters (and little sister too). He will clearly tell them "I want my peace and quiet!!" while we are in the car or at the house doing things. He is set in his ways. Supper at 6pm. Bedtime at 7pm. He is almost always the first dressed, teeth brushed, and ready in bed waiting for his "kissy and huggy" before falling asleep. We finally found trough trial and error that my little man had some sleep apnea going on. Despite him going to bed fairly early and sleeping through the night, he was still waking up grouchy and tired. After one night of going in to check up on him, I noticed he stopped breathing for a good 30 seconds, would sit up, cough uncontrollably and then fall back asleep. He did this for weeks on end. I finally made an appointment to see our doctor. And I am really glad we did. We discovered he had large adenoids and tonsils and was put on nasal spray. I swear, the first night we used it was the best nights sleep he had gotten in over a year. I didn't want to believe it would work that fast. So we continued using it. And within a month he was a whole entirely new kid. We decided to take a month off, and it was the worse thing we could have done. We wanted to see if his change in behavior was really the medicine or just a change in life. Within a week, it was clear to us that it was the medicine (or lack of). We had to put him back on it. And I am so glad we did. He is breathing better. No more coughing or choking at night. No more periods of not breathing. I can sleep better knowing he is ok.

We went for a follow-up and 4 year well check at our doctors office and I was amazed to see that my little guy grew not only 4 inches but gained over 6 pounds in just 4 months!!!!! Talk about a major growth spurt. We also figured out a lot of his behavior was due to a major change in his body and lack of quality sleep. Owen has accomplished a few big milestones. The biggest being him potty training himself!! Even at night too! Owen can also:

*Pump to swing
*Ride a bike
*recognizes almost all his letters
*Can write his name
*draws most shapes (circle, square, triangle)
*draws a self portrait with 7 recognizable body parts (including a belly button)

I am just amazed how how much my little man has changed over the last 4 years. Here is a look back to my little boy growing up.

Owen just minutes old

Daddy holding Owen for the first time. My handsome men!!

Mommy holding her first little guy for the first time. I was really excited to finally have a little boy. It was getting kind of dreary with all the pink

Owen at the Roger Williams Zoo hanging out with the other kiddos for Spooky Weekend

Owen 1 month old

Owen 3 months old

Owen 6 months old and crawling. He started moving at 5 months old. I think it was because he wanted to keep up with his big sisters

Owen's 1st Birthday

Owen 18 months old. Enjoying the 4th of July Parade at my parents house. He had to bring "baby" with him to watch too

Owen 2 years old

Handsome little man Owen at 2 1/2 hanging out watching the "BIG TRUCKS" dig a whole in front of our house. He had the best seat around. On top of my washer/dryer

Owen 3 years old. And still such a handsome little man.

Owen 3 1/2 with his favorite friend Ducky

Owen 4 years old. Such a handsome man!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


House Pictures Part 1

House Pictures Part 2

House Pictures Part 3

Our bathroom and master bedroom is missing along with a front picture of my home and a backyard picture. Maybe I will try to get those on sometime this week. Enjoy!

Today's Weigh In

Its been a week since I started back on my "Healthy Living" Diet and weight loss. I have to say, I rocked this week!!! My agenda was to get myself on a good schedule and I think I did pretty good. I didn't' get a chance to walk everyday, but I made sure if I wasn't able to walk, that I was doing some sort of physical activity that would get me moving. Raking leaves, working on the backyard cleaning up for the winter. Trust me, I managed to work up a good sweat!!

Stats so Far:

August 23rd-194.8

September 26th-185.8

October 10th-182.4

Goal Weight by October 31st(HALLOWEEN)-175

In one weeks time I lost 3.4 pounds and an inch on my waist. I currently have a size 10 pair of pants that fit me but I ended up shrinking to a size 8. Which wasn't fun because I loved these particular pair of pants. So my goal right now is to fit into them by Halloween.

The biggest changes that I had to make again was "Stress Eating" "Snacking at night" and "MILK" all three of those things were pretty hard.

Currently I am taking my stress out on my sewing. Which keeps my fingers busy and tired by the end of the day. Since I am too tired at night to "snack" I just end up going to bed at a reasonable time. Usually between 9pm and 10pm. My job helps with that too since I have to get up early and walk before the kiddos come in the morning. Last is Milk. I gave up my 2% for Skim milk. Which helps too with how much milk we drink in the house. Which is A LOT. Currently I am drinking 8oz at breakfast and 8oz before bed. Milk is usually my liquid of choice so I am trying harder to drink water the rest of the day.

I am happy so far with how things are going. This month is turning out to be a stressful one, so if you have a moment, keep my encouragement up. Its going to be tough not to hit the chocolate on the hard days.

Selling our home Part 3

Did some number crunching. And as far as I can see I don't know how my husband who makes the amount he does with my current income and the only thing we can afford housing wise is anything that is below $70,000. HOW??? I wish I could look at our monthly bills and say "oh, we don't need that gym membership anymore" or "the kids can take a year off from swimming lessons" Basically, all of our current bills are non negotiable. WHICH SUCKS! I am frustrated that no matter how hard we try, we wont be leaving this home.

My only option and I am seriously thinking of this, is to put an offer on the house, with the stipulation it would be "rent to own" this would get us into the house we want without worrying right away about how we can come up with the money. I doubt the homeowners will go for this. But seeing how they are just moving into there parents home, it might be worth to try.

Feeling stuck is just not a fun thing.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Selling our home Part 2

We are currently looking for a private home inspector and appraiser. We don't want to get caught of guard by anything when and if we put the house on the market. It might be out of pocket expenses that we cannot really afford right now, but if it means a quick sale and things that we could fix now before a buyer comes along, its worth the money. Plus, with a appraiser we can find out what our home is really worth and see if its even possible to sell right now.

If you know of anyone in the Rhode Island area, please let me know.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Advice on Selling Your Home

Have you recently sold a house in the last year? Do you have some great advice on Do's and Don'ts of selling your home. You have come to the right place. I am all ears.

We would like to make a decision within the next week weather or not to put our house on the market now, or wait until spring. If we were to put our house on the market now, it will require a little extra work on our part to get the house ready for showings. Nothing major as I did most of it this summer. Just the cellar and odds and ends would need to be taken care of right away.

So if you have some great advice. Send it this way!!

Saturday, October 8, 2011


This weekend is a busy one. Not only do I have my normal stuff to do. Dishes, Laundry, vacuuming. I need to make a trip to the Apple Store in Providence to see if I can get my ipod to work again. If not, then I guess I will be purchasing a new one instead of saving to get an ipad. I need something right away to keep track of day to day stuff, so its not something I can sit and wait on.

Jason and I also want to make an "Open House" in Cumberland. A house near his job is for sale. And when I say near, its about a 2 minute drive in a very desirable neighborhood. Can we afford it? Probably not. But this house was our first choice the first time it went up for sale six years ago, so we want to check it out again. Doesn't hurt too look.

I also have some major sewing to get done as well. My first Venders show is a week from today and I have NOTHING ready. Its horrible. I am feeling a little worried that I am going to have very little made and ready to go. Jason made a fantastic suggestion to bring some swatches of fabric with me and take orders on the spot. So I am feeling a little less stressed knowing I can do this.

Lots to do. Crazy weekend. Thank heavens for Monday off. Going to be a long week, but I think a great one too.

What are your plans for the upcoming long weekend?

Friday, October 7, 2011


The family is saving up for a pretty BIG adventure that will happen next Christmas!!

*Scroll down to see!*


We are all pretty excited. Emma-James is over the moon to finally meet MICKEY MOUSE. Though she technically already met him when she was 6 weeks old. This time though, she will actually remember him!! Though Jason isn't a big "DISNEY WORLD" kind of guy, he does enjoy seeing the kids have so much fun. The last time we went was when Olivia was 3 years old and Emma-James was just 6 weeks old. So its been a LONG time. Give or take 5 years and three new babies later.

Next year will be a great time to go. The kids will all be a year older. With Ezme a little over 3 and Oliver a little over 2. Owen will just have turned 5 in October and still not yet in school. Plus the girls will be turning 7 and 10 in January and Jason and I will be turning 32 and 33. What more could you ask for! Christmas and Birthdays in Disney World. Ummm, yes please.

Our goal is to pitch in as much as we can each week. I am hoping to contribute $25 dollars of my paycheck a week and I am hoping Jason will match that. The kids plan on doing chores around the house and pitching in some of their allowance money. Jason said he would put a few extra dollars in the jar anytime he had a side job and I said I would do the same for anything I sell at Anabelle's Attic. As of right now, we need to save up for the following:

*Gas to go down
*Gas to come home
*Hotel stay for two nights we are driving down
*Half of the rental price of the house we are renting with my parents
*Gas while we are in Florida
*Food (we plan on renting a house so we can cook more and eat out less)
*Park Hop Tickets for 4 kids (Oliver is free) and 2 adults
*Restaurant and take-out money for when we drive down and come home
*Sitter or Boarding Place for the Dog and Cats

As of today, my budget is $5,000 dollars for the entire time we are down there. The tickets currently for us for Disney World are $2,100 so that right there takes up a HUGE chunk of our budget. I have joined Triple AAA hoping to get some good deals. I will be shopping around for deals on gas cards, hotel stays, and park tickets. Plus I am hoping we can get our neighbor to watch the cats and only have to worry about Chloe while we are gone. Its a pretty big project, but I am up to the challenge. Not to mention I have more then a year to plan and save. I am pretty excited. I know the kids are too!! Next time you come into our house, add a few pennies to our jar. Even a few cents will go a long way *Smiles*

At 2 Ezme Can....


Still trying to wrap my head around the fact that Ezme is now 2. The last 2 years with her have flown by. She went from being a newborn to a big girl faster then all the others before her. I am so proud of her. She is a bright, affectionate, loving little girl that will put a smile on the saddest of faces. I am proud of the things she is doing right now and wanted to share. At two years old, Ezme is able to:

*Sings her ABC's
*Counts from 1-12
*Knows the shapes Circle, Square, Triangle, Heart
*Knows the colors purple, yellow and blue
*Loves to tell knock knock jokes
*Loves to sing "I'm a little teapot" and "Itsy Bitsy Spider" with hand motions
*Can put on her own socks and shoes
*Can put on and pull down her own pants
*Loves to try the potty. Despite her desire, I am not quiet their yet
*If you ask her name she can tell you "Ezme"
*If you ask how old she is she will tell you 2
*Figured out that if she moves the step stool to the fridge, she could get all her favorite foods out
*Washes her hands ALL THE TIME. Obsessed with water
*Speaks in full sentences. My favorite to date is a conversation she had with Emma

Ezme-Emma, Emma
Emma-What Ezme?
Ezme-You go to bed now. Mommy says so
Emma-Mommy said I could stay up
Ezme-No she not. Mommy says bedtime.
Emma-Nope, I am staying up forever.
Ezme-Mommy, Emma not going night night. She being naughty. I time out her now?



Despite not being able to make it to Target the last two days to get some better walking/running shoes. I still forced my butt to get out of the house and walk the past two days! And let me tell you, ITS COLD OUTSIDE!!!! I don't think I am going to be able to keep this outdoor walking up much longer. Especially since the morning temperatures are usually in the 40's and windy. I don't really care much for the cold. In fact, my body temperature is already about 2-3 degrees cooler then the average 98.6. So add walking in 40 degree weather, I am freezing by the time I come home! The other night it took two hot showers and jumping in my tub just to get warm up. Looks like I will be looking into getting myself a treadmill to get me through the winter. Or maybe a membership to a gym. If only I lived closer to one :-(

I am proud to say I have lost a pound since Monday. I think a few things have factored into not seeing results sooner. My friend "IRMA" will be making a visit soon. So I am sure that is adding to the extra 1-2 pounds. Plus extra fluid in general. So I am not completely discouraged yet. I would love to see myself at my goal weight of 155-160 by my 32nd Birthday. That is 25 pounds from now until January 2nd. Sometimes its hard not to have a "buddy" to keep me motivated, so I am relaying on my blogging friends to keep me going.

I think I might even put together a weight loss Blog that we can all join and keep everyone motivated through the winter. Anyone with me? I can just attach it to this blog and we can just let each other know what we are doing for exercise. Our goals, recipes we can share. Etc. Might be fun!!

Our Chore List

As a family of seven I have finally found the secret of our success. The biggest and most important thing that keeps our family going everyday is A SCHEDULE. Not just any schedule, but a schedule that makes sure everyone has a part. Even the most mundane of tasks. We all pitch in to make the work load less. Here is what we do everyday:


(Jason) Does the dishes

(Jason) Cooks

(Jason) Cleans counter tops before bed

(Jason) Cleans bathroom every Tuesday (including scrubbing everything down)

*You may think Jason doesn't pitch in much. But these three things are GOLDEN to me. I don't mind cooking, but he enjoys it more. Once in awhile I will prepare something during the day (especially on girl scout nights) so we can just pop it in the oven to warm up. I really hate doing dishes. I am not a fan of food in the sink. Though I will help out. The bathroom I would love to clean, and we usually take turns, but its just easier for him to get it done while the house is sleeping.

(Kiley) Sweeps after every meal

(Kiley)or(Jason) Washes floors

(Kiley) Wash, fold and put away laundry

(Kiley) Wash windows (sometimes I let the older kiddos do this, but well. lets just say I end up having to redo them, so its easier if I just do them myself)

(Kiley) Dust

(Kiley)Makes lunch for Oliva and puts together snack for Emma

(Kiley) Bath days are Sunday and Wednesday night (or when needed)


Olivia, Emma, Owen and Ezme-Clean plates off table after every meal, scrape and put them in the sink

Olivia-Wipes down table

Emma-Cleans the floors after every meal

Owen-Takes out recyclables

Ezme-picks up toys before bed

Olivia and Emma-strip beds on Friday mornings (including blankets and comforters)

Emma and Owen-take trash to front of house. Including recyclables on Tuesday night

Olivia, Emma, Owen and Ezme-5 minute clean up before school and before bed. This includes backpacks, books, toys and anything that is on the floors

Emma-Feeds the pets

Olivia, Emma, Owen and Ezme-Make sure toys are picked up outside and put away. All trash is thrown out. Dishes and cups are brought inside. EVERYDAY

I purchased a cubicle to put next to our door. It has 8 individual cubicles that help to keep our shoe problem under control. Each kiddo now has their own colored box where they keep there shoes, hats and mittens in. Its a huge help and I love it so much more then the community box we have had for the last few years. Its even nice too, because the little guys I nanny for even have their own spot. So when they come in the morning with their toys, books and blankets, they know they have a spot for it.

I have to say our "CHORE LIST" works out pretty well. Its not perfect in the slightest but we are working on it. The kids are earning an "allowance" which they can do with what they wish. We are hoping to save up for a big trip to Florida next year so they have their eye set on saving up for that. I am sure we will work on tweaking things as the kids get older. But for now, I am not feeling so overwhelmed all the time that I am the only one cleaning.

If you come from a large family (or even a small family), how do you keep your house running? Especially if you live in a small house like us. I would love to get some fresh ideas for sure.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Family Closet

I want a family closet. You know, one LARGE organized, labeled put together closet where all of our clothes can hang out with each another. One large space that we can all go too for shirts and socks, pants and dresses. Where I can store all of the off season items together in one cohesive spot. This closet idea isn't anything new to me. I have been dreaming up this idea after having Owen. The the kids, including Jason and I, are in desperate need of new dressers. And frankly, I don't want to purchase another large set of something we have absolutely no room for. Lets face it, our house is too small, there are seven of us, and not enough room. I told hubby the best and most creative solution to this problem is to get a family closet made so I can put EVERYTHING in it. He agreed. But isn't keen on the fact we have no space for said closet. Grumbles. Currently, all the laundry gets piled on top of the washer and dryer. Where it gets folded, laid in organized piles. It makes sense to me. Kids get dressed downstairs. Our bathroom is downstairs. The washing machine and dryer is downstairs. Why shouldn't our clothes, socks, and under garments be downstairs as well. The only do I make this work for us.

I know one thing for sure. Next house we move into. I will be designed a space for said "FAMILY CLOSET"

So far....

I am doing pretty good waking up in the morning, getting ready and hitting the pavement before the rest of the house even wakes up. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to go today. The shoes I was wearing to walk/run in are not at all made for such an adventure so I decided today not to try it. My feet and legs are killing me as well as my back and with my recent neck injury I didn't want to take the chance. So today's agenda is to go to Target and get some good walking/running shoes that will do the job. And in the end, not try to kill me at the end of the day.

I am still getting in a good "workout" so to speak these days though. Keeping up with 7 kiddos everyday is the easiest way to burn off the calories. Between going up and down the stairs, running after kiddos outdoors, sweeping the downstairs floors what seems to be ALL DAY LONG its enough to make anyone loose a few pounds a day. Unfortunately, I am noticing I am not having much luck. Despite my change in eating habits months ago, working out, and trying hard not to eat or snack after 7pm I am still struggling with loosing any more weight. I seem to have been at a stand still for a lot longer then I was hoping for. Unfortunately, I do not have the option of going to the gym. We currently don't have one that is close by. Not to mention, my time wouldn't allow me to be gone for a good hour to work out. Evenings don't work well for me at all. Between homework, supper and bedtime. I hate leaving the house after the kiddos are settled in for the night. Plus its my only time to spend with hubby and get things done around the house. Cleaning, sewing, etc.

I am up to any ideas on how to keep my self motivated despite the fact the weight loss part is just not happening. I have put myself on a 20 pounds in 30 days goal for the month of October. Seeing how its day 5 and I am not seeing any real difference, its not encouraging me to say the least. I wouldn't mind getting a fitness trainer or doing a 6 week boot camp program. But money is tight right now and I would like to see if I could do this on my own. Suggestions are welcome.

Until then. I am working out and having fun! The 45 minutes I am able to spend walking and listening to music really gives me a time to think about things that are going on in my life. Free the mind of clutter and craziness. And let me tell you. There is PLENTY of that going around in my life for sure!

Monday, October 3, 2011

All By Myself

This morning I did 2.4 miles in 40 minutes. Outdoors. FELT SOOOOO GOOD!! My hours at worked have changed starting today which allows me to get up at 7am and walk before Jason has to leave for work at 7:45. This week will be dedicated too keeping the miles but working on time. Next week I hope to increase it to 3 miles, though its hard where I live as there isn't any good walking routes I can take that are safe and would still get me home in a quick manner if Jason needs me. This is what I did this morning, what did you do?