Monday, November 28, 2011

Crazy Skunk Lady

My neighbor is a crazy skunk lady... ok, she's probably not crazy. She's pretty cool actually.. BUT skunks love her... or hate her... hmm... I guess they probably hate her since they keep spraying her family.

Several times since moving here we've been gagged by the smell of skunk. Last week or so her dog was sprayed and before I moved here, her younger son was. Tonight, a skunk has sprayed the front yards (We are in townhouses and we live in a section of 4 units. She's 2 doors down from me) TWICE. We've never had skunks bother us, so it must be her, right? ;). Tony and I are generally pretty unlucky people. Apparently my neighbor is also unlucky, or at least she is when it comes to skunks! I wonder what kind of disasters we'll all have with all of this unlucky business going on? :)

So I have great neighbors (thank fricking goodness, after some of the horrid ones we've had!) and one of them is a crazy skunk lady.

Anyone have some tips on keeping skunks away?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

My 3 year old is way cooler than I am

My 3 year old is way cooler than I am. Really. He is pretty much the coolest kid I know (you know, next to his siblings and all).

Here is why my 3 year old is way cooler than I am. Tonight my parents took us all to Edaville Railroad in Massachusetts. Right from first entering Edaville he was determined he would go on the Ferris wheel. After riding the train and the carousel, he waited in line with Daddy, Grandpa and 2 of his older brothers for an HOUR (lets not even talk about that!) to ride the Ferris wheel. He was excited the entire wait. They finally got on and my husband expected him to be scared once they started moving. Not a chance! That boy thought it was the most awesome ride. When they got all the way to the top, he was excited and loved every second of it! For me, I am terrified of Ferris wheels because I am scared of heights. The top of the Ferris wheel in that wobbly, I'll tip over any moment bucket seat, is horrifying to me. Instead of loving the view being up so high, I feel like I'm going to pass out and die (or something like that). My 7 year old shares that with me, poor kid.

My 3 year old is way cooler than me. He is an adventure seeker.... and he rocks the poo out of the Ferris wheel. I am a giant wimpy pants.

Friday, November 25, 2011

It Happened...

Yes, it happened... My husband went out to stand in line for a Black Friday, Midnight opening at Target.

In all of the years my husband and I have been together, we have never done the Black Friday, out at midnight craziness. We always said it just wasn't worth the hassle and the potential of being trampled to death. We watched all of the crazy stories on the news over the years and were always like "WHY do people do it???". But, this year, it was different.

We hyped up putting up the Christmas tree after Thanksgiving here with Grandma and Grandpa, to the kids. They were so excited and looking forward to it. Tony digs out the huge Rubbermaid bin, with a hole cut into it to accommodate our Christmas tree, that we've had for around 6 years now and some of the boxes of ornaments from the garage. We put the tree together and begin to fix the branches (that are already in poor condition from being old and being moved so many times). We plug it in to ensure it still works. One of the lines of lights pretty much blew up. They didn't just burn out, no. They practically melted. Another set of the lights flickered if you moved a branch. Between that and the overall condition of the tree, Tony and I determined it needed to go. I was a bit annoyed because I had wanted to take the tree out a few days ago when we would have actually been able to go buy a new one and the kids were disappointed. I figured we would be spending this weekend fighting crowds finding a new tree. Tony felt bad seeing the kids disappointed.

Super-Tony to the rescue! He left while I was tending to the baby and not paying attention around 11pm. The stores had all been closed because of Thanksgiving of course, so he decided he would go stand in line for the midnight, Black Friday opening. The line was almost circling the entire store, but he stood in it regardless. When the store opened and he finally made it in, he walked straight back to the Christmas trees and stood there debating with himself which tree he wanted to get. A Target employee asked if he was looking for the $30 Black Friday special tree and he simply said "no". He wanted a 7.5 foot tree like we had and that was only a 6.5. She looked puzzled, but carried on. He decided on the tree and then walked right to the register with it. The cashier was looking around for the rest of his purchase and asked in a confused tone "Is this it?" to which the answer was yes. The tree was all he was there for. A regular sale priced tree and not some Black Friday steal.

He proudly walked in around 12:40am with that artificial pre-lit Christmas Tree. He could have waited, but he wanted to make sure that tree was here for us to decorate together in the morning. Annoyed wife and disappointed child, free.

My husband's very first "Black Friday experience" was not even to buy an awesome Black Friday deal. He just wanted a tree and he couldn't buy it when he wanted to earlier, because the stores were closed for the holiday. It was an uneventful first for him also. There were no fist fights, no one knocking someone else over for the last Elmo. Nothing. All he had happen to him, was people look at him like he was crazy because he wasn't buying one single Black Friday deal item.

Him and I put the tree together quickly before bed. The kids will be so excited to see it here in the morning, waiting for us to decorate it.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I *think* karma is out to get me...

What I just experienced was traumatizing. Perhaps because I have failed at posting what I am thankful for daily (I need to make up for that!) so it's a little slap of karma?

Oh Em Gee... The dirty diaper I just changed was the worst smelling I've ever had to deal with in my diaper changing career, I do believe. How is it possible for the smell to nearly kill you when you're HOLDING YOUR BREATH!? I'm traumatized. I'm terrified to change another poo diaper! I've always said dirty diapers didn't bother me... but that one did!!! Where was my husband when I needed him!?

I don't ever want to experience that again. I might have to take that child outside and use a high pressure washer to just blow that diaper right off, if this ever happens again.

One comment can change a lot

Sometimes I step back and wonder if sharing as much of my life as I do publicly, is a poor decision. Most people say it is. Maybe they are right. They probably are. But I continue to share the good, the bad, the silly... the gross. Why? I'm not really sure. Maybe it's because I really love my family and everything in my life is about them. I want to share that happiness.

I probably question my open-ness on a weekly basis. This morning I received a message on twitter that really touched me. It was a simple message, but it meant more to me than the person who sent it could have realized. 
"I need to thank you, wifey just told me we are preggers w/#3 (unplanned) & I didnt freak, your family has inspired me, shown whats possible."
That simple short little message changed how I thought about all that I share. When I post my blogs or tweet about things in my life, I don't put much thought into people actually reading them. That message made me realize that we have had a positive impact on his life in some small way. That is incredibly humbling. If he is the only person who walked away with something good out of what I share, it's all worth it. If others do... that is amazing. Someone else commented on my facebook in response to mentioning this, that we have also inspired her. That really means so much to me. 

To every one of you who I/we have met online or in person, all of my/our friends and acquaintances, all of my/our family who care about us.... I appreciate all of you. You inspire me. Thank you. Thank you for caring about us. It means more to us than you know.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Our 2011 Christmas Card

This morning I took a quick shot of the kids so I could get our Christmas cards ordered. It would have been better with the tree, but I didn't want to wait any longer. So... here we have it. Not too bad considering I did it myself while Tony was at work!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Timberdoodle Review - Bloco Construction Sets - Birds of Prey

Another Timberdoodle Review! The older boys reviewed the Bloco - Birds of Prey Construction Set for Timberdoodle recently. We have a good age range, so that really helps us see if the age recommendation on items like this are accurate in our opinion.

First, I'll talk about the item and packaging itself. The construction set is made up of a fairly sturdy high density foam. The parts that you use to hold the foam together are plastic. When you open the box you find several cut out sheets of the different shaped parts that you just need to pop out of the sheets, a bag with the plastic connectors and the instructions for building the birds of course. It took my older 3 boys roughly 15 minutes to to pop all of the pieces out of the sheets.

The instructions picture each step, so it is easy to understand and does not require your child to be able to read. My 5 and 6 year old boys just needed a little assistance with getting the joints in really well so that the model was sturdy, but otherwise could do it themselves. My 9 year old had no issues at all. Depending on the model, this could be a good 20 - 30 minute project (maybe even longer for some) between finding the right pieces and constructing it. Long enough to make them think and use their motor skills, but not so long that they become bored. My 3 year old did also build his own little model he thought up on his own :).

I would say that the age recommendation is pretty accurate. Younger children with good motor skills can enjoy this as well. My only gripe about these particular models is that they don't stay standing up well. My boys built the Eagle together first and they wanted to keep it on their shelf in the school room to show daddy when he visited on the weekend (He's away doing Navy junk and has been visiting on the weekends until he's done). I can't tell you how many time that thing has fallen over! Otherwise, it's a pretty neat set and my boys, who love to build, have been enjoying it. It's a great filler that wont turn their brains to mush. If your child doesn't care to build things, this probably isn't for them.

Timberdoodle has several different Bloco Construction Sets to choose from. They would make great stocking stuffers for the animal lover or builder in your life! If you're interested in seeing the large selection of educational toysgames and curriculum they offer, head on over and fan them on Facebook, check out their site and/or request their Catalog. We love them here!

As a member of Timberdoodle's Blogger Review Team, I received Bloco Construction Set, Birds of Prey for free, in exchange for a frank and unbiased review.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

30 days - What I'm thankful for - Day 10

Day - 10
Today I am thankful for my children's health.  Alex has HGH deficiency and Cameron has severe food allergies, but those are small things in comparison to what they could have wrong with them. I am so very lucky to have such beautiful, healthy children.

Yes, that DID just happen

This was an actual conversation tonight with my husband. You probably don't want to read it.

He called me tonight for a little bit before he went to bed (He's at a Navy school right now.) The conversation we had was very typical of us... That is the sad part.

T - So, while I was in school today I was like "man, my belly hurts. I need to go to the bathroom." It was just a little small bathroom because of the area of the building I was in.

Me - ... and you took a huge dump, right?

T - Well, no. I had so much gas! I let out this LONG fart, it just kept going *insert fart imitating noises here*. When I stopped farting, almost immediately the automatic air freshener triggered. It was the funniest thing. Perfect timing.

Me - ... and you totally laughed out loud, all by yourself in the bathroom didn't you?

T - Yes, yes I did.

Me - I knew it!

This is why we couldn't be married to anyone but each other.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

30 days - What I'm thankful for - Day 9

Day - 9
Today I am thankful for my camera. With that camera I am able to capture moments in time that will always remind me of the good memories that were made in that moment. I am so thankful for the thousands of pictures I can go back and look at and the thousands more I will capture.

When I look at this photo, I'll always remember 4 1/2 month old Declan making growl sounds while he gnawed on Sophie the Giraffe's head... :)

Alexander - "I'm thankful that you homeschool me."

Cameron - "I'm thankful for my bed. It's comfortable."

Wyatt - "I'm thankful for the big van!"

Zayne - "I'm fankful for my monkey PJ's."

I'm pretty sure Annabella and Declan were thankful for the lubies they got in the mail tonight from one of the deal sites I stalk frequent.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

30 days - What I'm thankful for - Day 8

Day - 8
Today I am thankful for the patience I have gained over the past several years. Today was a very trying day over all. I have not been feeling well, the children were acting up a bit and my husband isn't here. I was able to keep my cool and deal with them appropriately despite the frustration of the day.

Alexander - "I'm thankful for chapstick. My lips are chapped."

Cameron - "I'm thankful for milk. It makes me big and stroooong." said in a long drawn out growl accompanied by muscle flexing

Wyatt - "I'm thankful for cups. It would be hard to drink stuff without cups. Right?" lol

Zayne - "I'm fankful for Owange Juice."

I love those kids. They sure do keep me on my toes.

Monday, November 7, 2011

30 days - What I'm thankful for - Day 7

Day - 7
Today I am thankful for my right and ability to homeschool our children. My husband financially supporting us enables me to be able to stay home to raise our children and in turn homeschool them as we have chosen to do. Watching them grew physically and intellectually right in front of me each and every day fills me with joy and pride. Watching them thrive in our homeschool environment confirms to me that homeschooling is the right thing for us right now.

Alexander - "I'm thankful for my family being great."

Cameron - "I'm thankful I get to share a bedroom with Alex."

Wyatt - "I'm thankful we live somewhere that it gets cold now."

Zayne - "I'm fankful I have toys!"

Sunday, November 6, 2011

30 days - What I'm thankful for - Day 6

Day - 6
Today I am thankful for the very few people in my life who truly and genuinely love and care for me. This has particularly stuck with me today because of hearing about hurtful things family members have been saying about me. Some fabricated, most skewed and all entirely unprovoked. I appreciate those in my life who love me the way that I am and would never think of being hateful toward or about me. Over the years I have realized this is rare and something to never take for granted.

Sometimes that word doesn't mean a whole lot...

Alexander - "I'm thankful for the medicine that is supposed to help me grow." (He is Human Growth Hormone Deficient and receives injections 6 days a week)

Cameron - "I'm thankful for my bed."

Wyatt - "I'm thankful for a mom that works so hard."

Zayne - "I'm fankful for Annabella's little kitchen!" (He has been playing with her birthday gift non stop lol)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

30 days - What I'm thankful for - Day 5

Day - 5
Today I am thankful that my husband was able to come home to be here for our daughter's 2nd birthday. He has to leave again tomorrow, but it was wonderful to have him here to see her excited about her gifts and make a huge mess with her cake!

When I asked the kids what they were thankful for... They all answered the same thing. They are all happy Daddy was here.

Annabella with Daddy while everyone sang Happy Birthday.

Friday, November 4, 2011

30 days - What I'm thankful for - day 4

Day - 4
Today I am thankful for the heat in my house. It's pretty cold out tonight and I am baking my daughters birthday cake. I was starting to gripe about it being hot in here and it made me feel kind of bad thinking about the people who don't have a home at all or can't afford to have the heat on. Looking at it that way makes it being a little too hot in the house and having to open the back door, a lot less of a problem.

Alexander - "I'm thankful we're not homeless." (What is this kid a mind reader or something?)

Cameron - "I'm thankful for my DSi."

Wyatt - "I am thankful for Super Mario 64."

Zayne - "I am fankful for my dog." (His stuffed dog)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

30 days - What I'm thankful for - Day 3

Day 3
Today I am thankful for my Keurig! I know it's silly, but I LOVE that thing and I'm very thankful I am able to own it. My husband and I purchased it as a gift to each other during the holidays last year and we have both thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm a bit of a coffee addict!

The mug says it all!

Alexander - "I'm thankful that we live in Connecticut now. Now we can see family."

Cameron - "I'm thankful for the food that you find that I'm not allergic to." (This one kind of made me sad. I feel so bad for him.)

Wyatt - "I'm thankful for my brothers and sister!"

Zayne - "I'm fankful for my awesome shoes!" (lol)

The 2 little ones have had a bit of a rough say. I think they hate everything today... lol.

Why are your hands there??? No Really, Why are your hands in your pants again!?

I am the mother of 5 boys (For now anyway. I'll probably end up with more BOYS lol)... WHY must at least one of them have their hands down their pants at any given moment of the day!? I suppose Declan doesn't really count yet, he doesn't even know where his pants are...
(I'll clarify for any of the pains in the behind, beforehand... They know not to stick their hands in their pants in public and they DO have manners despite the depiction of this entry :P)

Oh the things my daughter will have to endure. The endless sight of pulling, tugging and adjusting. The amusement of bodily functions. The urine on the toilet seat, The urine on the damn toilet seat!!! The poor darling. But really... being the only girl, she's a tad bit spoiled too! And lets not talk about the fact that her brothers have her thinking that farts are the funniest thing eva!

The hands in the pants... The answers I hear when I ask the pointless question of "WHY are your hands in your pants again!" usually range from "I don't know" to "My balls were stuck to my leg.". Yet, I still ask. Those type of answers don't even phase me. Overhearing conversations of the size of their latest poo or how loud their burp or fart just was, doesn't either. I think the combination of having several boys, being married to a Submariner and just not being a prude, has made me pretty easy going in that respect. When they are being exceptionally gross I'll tell them to cut it out, but a little excitement over the size of a poop, I can deal with. They know not to talk about that stuff in public, around other people or at the dinner table... so I can live with that!

Boys are kind of gross, really. But they are awesome!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

30 days - What I'm thankful for - Day 2

Day - 2
I am thankful for my children. I am so beyond fortunate to have each of them. They are my whole world and every single day I think about how very lucky I am to be their mom. They are beautiful and challenging (In a good way!). I can't imagine life without each of them in it. I love them with everything I have.

Alexander - "I'm thankful for all of the nice things I have. I know I'm lucky to have them."

Cameron - "I'm thankful for the food Grandma and Grandpa brought for dinner."

Wyatt - "I'm thankful for my warm blanky." (His RockerByeBaby blanket)

Zayne - "I'm fankful for my baby!" (He has a new BOY "doll")

Annabella would likely say M&M's... she got those after she peed in the potty today! :)

I'm pretty sure Declan would probably still say boobies... or maybe fingers... he's really digging those lately.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

30 days - What I'm thankful for - Day 1

I'm going to do the 30 days of what I am thankful for and blog what I am thankful for each day this month. With the holidays coming up, I think it's nice to focus on the good things! I'm going to try to include the older 4 boys in this as well :).

Day -1
I am so thankful for my husband. He has given me our amazing kids and he loves us endlessly. He's not here right now (booo Navy) and I am painfully aware of how much better life is with him around. I love him. He's the best Daddy, an amazing husband and even though he drives me crazy sometimes, I can't imagine life without him. We met this time of year, years ago, so that makes the holidays just that much more special.

This silly candid shot shows the REAL us... That raw happiness we still have, only better now! We have 6 children to share and multiply it with.

Alexander (9) - "I am thankful for my big family."

Cameron (6) - "I'm thankful for Wizard 101!"

Wyatt (5) - "I'm thankful for you and Daddy."

Zayne (3) - "I'm fankful for my pirate book!"

Ohhh Cameron... LoL.

I bet if Declan was capable of verbalizing what he is thankful for, he'd say "Boobies"...

Annabella would probably say "Emmie"... she's been squishing that poor dog with love all day lol.

A little catching up with some photos!

Last night was Halloween, so I figure I better catch up before fall is gone!

As a lot of my readers know, every year we do the pumpkin patch thing. Since my husband is not deployed, but was away, we had to fit it in during the short time he was home. We always do these things as a family if it's possible. It's really important to us. He couldn't be here for Halloween, but he WAS here for the pumpkin patch :).

Waiting for Daddy to come home so we can go!

The Pumpkin Patch :)

Annabella walking with Daddy <3.

Looking for a good Pumpkin.







All of my loves <3.

I thought this was really neat to photograph :).

 Here were the kids on Halloween!