Wednesday, April 27, 2011

My final class...

I haven't blogged in several days. Not much to talk about over here. I feel like I'm constantly coming and going, with a million things to do, but yet nothing ever gets done. I hate that feeling! Tonight I had my fourth, and final, cake decorating class for level one. We worked a little on roses, then we decorated a cake using different techniques that we learned from all four classes. We could do whatever we wanted. Mine definitely has room for improvement, lol. But it was my first time doing the roses, so I'll give myself a break, I guess.

The next picture is a closer up of the roses. I definitely should have made one more and wedged it in there, because I came up with a weird space in there, that I tried to fill with a leaf, lol. They are made from buttercream frosting, so it's really hard to transfer them on to the cake without smashing them (at least for me it was!). So I tried not to put them too close, but ended up with the space.

I wanted to join the next level that starts next week, but with a husband who travels and parents who had the nerve to go on vacation ;o), I think it's not going to happen. Maybe the next one!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Random thoughts...

  • Really? I should know better. This picture is what happens when you leave your two year old alone (or rather with his 8 year old brother, so he might as well be alone with a pack of matches) while you go get your 4 year old dressed for bed. It is also what happens when you leave said two year old with the pantry door open and a box of chocolate donuts in his reach. If you need to know anything about Michael it's that donuts are just about his favorite thing. And of course this would only happen 2 minutes out of the bath. You can't really see it here, but his little hands were COVERED in chocolate.

  • I think it's really interesting how our kids today are with technology. I have several adult friends and relatives who can't work their iPhones (or regular cell phones for that matter). I myself have crashed my own iPhone about 700 times only to freak out and make my husband somehow fix it. Yet my two year old knows how to turn it on, unlock the screen, flip through the pages, find the bigfoot app, and choose from the menu which game he wants to play on bigfoot. No, I'm not bragging. I'm not saying I have a child prodigy. Just thinking how funny these kids are today with technology, and can't imagine what it will be like when they are older (Geez, could I sound more like an 80 year old??)

  • I found over 100 pictures on my phone of the wall, an eye, the carpet, Michael's feet. He also figured out how to find the camera and take pictures. I should also mention that this evening he showed me how to use the zoom on the camera on my iPhone. Yes, it has been 1.5 years and I had no idea that I even had a zoom on my camera. Yes, I'm hanging my head in shame that my two year old had to show me how to do it.

  • Matthew was telling me how he's learning to use different words with the same meaning in his writing to make it sound better (think Joey on Friends when he figures out how to use a thesaurus....). So he's giving me an example. Sentence 1: I'm looking at you. Sentence 2:I'm gazing at you. Sentence 3: I'm exploring you with my eyes. Somehow sentence three sounded really wrong coming from my 8 year old.

  • Today while giving Ryan a haircut he asked if I would give him a mohawk. When I said no he asked if I would give him a reverse mohawk. I told him a reverse mohawk would basically be a balding man. He told me "well, at least I'd look a little like Grandpa."

Monday, April 18, 2011

Who you gonna call?

And the logical answer in our house, GHOSTBUSTERS! Matthew just LOVES the Ghostbusters movies. Matthew also just LOVES to make things with cardboard and tape. Ryan just LOVES Matthew, and LOVES all the things Matthew does. So what happens when you combine all those things?
To think, all it took was two Portillo's boxes, a roll of brown tape from Uncle Chris, and two straws. They also made some accessories from Ghostbusters (not sure what they were), and apparently some modifications and repairs are being made tomorrow. But otherwise, it will keep these two entertained for hours!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Fine Arts Festival

Sunday we went to the Kaneland fine arts festival. Alex made a clay sculpture (a rat) in art class that was being displayed there. We walked around looking at the art for a while when they announced that a performance of School Rock House was starting. The boys decided they wanted to watch it. It was very interesting and I can't really say if the kids enjoyed it or not, lol. But we did learn about nouns, adjectives, interjections, the solar system, and of course, conjunction junction (plus more that I may or may not have blocked from my memory)! While they were singing about adjectives they came out into the audience to had out cards with adjectives on them to a few kids. Ryan got the card that said "wacky". We all thought that was very fitting, lol. After School House Rock we went and got balloon art (4 swords and a giraffe). Then we finished out the festival with going to the cafeteria and getting pizza (had you any doubt that Tom and Alex wouldn't find a way to eat, even at an art fair?). When we got home the boys took out the sprinkler and super soakers and enjoyed the 85 degrees out!
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Definitely NOT the cake boss

Some of you probably know that for years I have been talking about taking a cake decorating class. It is something I wish I knew how to do well, and I currently stink at decorating cakes! So I finally bit the bullet (with much encouragement from my husband) and signed up for Wilton's Cake Decorating Basics. It meets every Wed. evening for the month of April. Last night I had my second class. It's been a lot of fun, and very enlightening. I have come to realize I will NEVER be a cake boss, lol. I have learned some new techniques for baking, frosting, and decorating. Hopefully it will help to improve my cakes so people don't think my two year old decorated them! The cake with a heart on it was for Tom's birthday, made after my first class. The cake with the cupcake on it was made during my second class last night. Buddy Valastro eat your heart out, hahaha.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Happy Birthday to my girl!

Today is my little girl's 10th birthday! I CAN'T believe that Princess is 10 already. It almost is harder for me to deal with than my kids, because even though it's hard to watch my kids grow up, she is getting OLD. And that makes me very sad. She has really been aging lately, mainly because of her leg problems (she had an ACL repair in November). I know some people (think Tom, or non-dog people) don't get my attachment to her, being that she is just a dog. But I truly get the whole "man's best friend thing" since having her. When we got her she was just a four pound little ball of fur. I ignored everyone (my mom and Tom) who said we should not be getting a dog, that it wasn't the right time in our lives. She was just too adorable to not buy. It only took a few days for me to realize what they were talking about. Man, she was a ton of work. She got into everything. Alex was 14 months at the time, and I think she chewed up just about every toy we had. All of the arms were chewed off of all of the little people we had. (I like to think it taught Alex acceptance, even for people without arms ;o) ) She would screech and cry all night long because she hated her cage. If Tom so much as turned over in bed, she'd jump up and start crying. At which point, I would want to kill him. I would lay completely still the entire night, hoping to not wake her. She would spend the entire day running. Running up the hall, down the hall, through the family room, through the kitchen, and start all over again. I would take her for walks twice a day, for a couple of miles, but it still wouldn't put a dent in her energy. I would be walking through the house and she would be biting at my pants while I walked. I still say she was more work than my kids were as babies. But somewhere along the line she calmed down (somewhat, lol) and she turned into one of the best things in my life. I can say that nobody is more excited to see me when I come home. She is definitely a mama's girl, and one of my favorite things in the whole world. Sometimes I think I should have had five dogs instead, heehee. She has turned into an old lady, who has horrible arthritis and doesn't like kids, but she'll always be my baby.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

10 Years

So yesterday was our 10th wedding anniversary. When we talked about it, it always seemed so far off. The past 10 years have gone by so fast, but so much has changed. I can't possibly be married for 10 years already, right? Because I can't possibly be old enough to be married for 10 years, right? :o) It sure snuck up on us...Tom used to talk about how at our 10 year he and I were going to Hawaii. I guess he didn't realize we'd have five little kids, and still no money to go to Hawaii, heehee. In 10 years we've had 4 kids (yes, for those of you doing the math, Alex is 11, lol), two stays in the NICU, one horrible experience in the burn ICU at Loyola (worst experience of my life!) I've had three cars, two house, bought two dogs, we've had at least 11 surgeries (that's all I can think of off the top of my head), TONS of illnesses, gone on tons of vacations, lost a lot of loved ones, made lots of great friends, gained 1 nephew and 3.5 nieces (very excited about the debut of number 4 in July!!) and had a lot of really good times. It has definitely been a wild ride for us. Those of you close to us can definitely agree with that. (just ask my mom, she's always complaining that things never "settle down" for us, lol). Through all the ups and downs, good and bad, I wouldn't change a thing. Because it has brought us to where we are today, and made us who we are. I can't wait to see where we are in another 10. Maybe we'll celebrate our 20th in Hawaii ;o)! (and I know I'm not supposed to say it, but I think we had the cutest ring bearer in all of history!)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Out of the mouths of babes

Things I have overheard my kids say today: 1. Matthew was playing in the jumper with Michael and told him "go suck an egg Michael". (I definitely plead the fifth on where he heard that expression.) Michael then proceeded to walk around saying "suck egg, suck egg, suck egg". What a proud mommy moment. 2. Matthew and Ryan were playing in the jumper. Matthew was being super wild with Ryan so I told him not to be so rough. After I walked away I heard Ryan say "don't worry Matthew, I like it rough. I like it really rough." 3. At the grocery store today Ryan wanted to buy rawhides for Cubby and Princess. I told him that Cubby gets sick from rawhides and Princess is too fat. Ryan said "geez, she's already old and fat, you should at least let her be happy." Pretty logical, I guess. 4. At the vet today we say a little yellow lab puppy. Ryan told the owner "he looks just like Marley." The owner said "he acts just like Marley too." Connor told her, "well, if he's being bad you could always whip him with a wet noodle. That's what we do to our dog." I don't think the lady believed me when I said we actually do NOT whip our dog with noodles. 5. At the mention that it was our 10th anniversary today Ryan said to Matthew, "how did dad get mom to marry him??" at which Matthew replied, "I guess it was his lucky day or something, I can't figure it out either Ryan." 6. At the vet Michael spent the entire 10 minutes sticking his hand in the face of a dog, saying "lick, kisses, lick, kisses" (like he does to Cubby) trying to get it to lick his hand. I guess he can't tell the difference between a real dog and a cement statue of a dog. This is just a little taste of my day, this was all before 10am ;o)

Sunday, April 3, 2011


I just had to share this picture. Matthew is so funny. He's always making these crazy costumes to go with his crazy games. He has such a wild and fun imagination that the other boys are always trying to play with him, because they know he'll come up with something fun. He came upstairs, all ready to go play outside in the backyard, dressed like this. I have tons of pictures of

him throughout the years wearing some wacky costumes. (I should pull those out, that could be a whole seperate blog post!) Shortly after he went out I saw him and Connor (who has a crazy imagination just like Matthew) sitting in the middle of the backyard on foam mats for a boat, using sticks as oars. I love to see them use their imaginations and have a great time together!

Michael braves the "bumper".

We have one of those Little Tykes jumpers that inflates with a blower. Michael calls it the "bumper", and up until today Michael has been very afraid of the "bumper". Yesterday afternoon Tom took the jumper out for the boys. As you can imagine they spent quite a bit of time jumping in it. But they also spent quite a bit of time coaxing Michael into the jumper. They got him in there once, but when Connor started jumping he freaked out. Somehow, today, Alex got him to not only go in the jumper, but enjoy it. It was so funny watching him try to jump in the"bumper", since he has enough problems jumping on solid ground. They boys were so excited that they were cheering and clapping for him. It's so cute how they think everything Michael does is the greatest. I hope it doesn't give him a complex :o). After they jumped for a while they started bringing blankets and pillows in there and pretending they were sleeping. Talk about an awesome game!! Even while Michael is fake sleeping he's making his fake "cheese" face, lol. I love it!

Saturday, April 2, 2011


Last night Alex had his "friend party" for his birthday. The boys are so obsessed with having sleepovers. So Tom and I took Alex, four of his friends, and Ryan and Connor to see the movie "Hop" then can back to our house for a sleepover. (Michael stayed home with my parents and Matthew slept over at his friend Will's house). We got to the movie a half hour early and got the last tickets to the show. They had areas roped off for the lines for Hop...who would have thought a movie about the soon to be Easter Bunny wanting to be a professional drummer would be so crowded? We ended up having to sit in the second row of the theater. Which made my already horrible headache worse, and gave me a touch of motion sickness, lol. The boys thought it was fine though (I guess it sucks to be old, huh?). They all said they liked the movie and they were really well behaved. (Tom and I thought it was a really dull movie, and I even fell asleep at the end, lol). We came back to our house had pizza, cookie cake, opened presents, and the boys played. There was tons of dsi's out, and even more nerf guns, and one retainer mishap (which involved a late night orthodontist visit for my friend Julie :o( ). Unfortunately Alex's friend Grant had to leave early and I didn't get a group shot of the boys before he left. It was lights out at 12:30 but they were up talking till 1am. Although they did sleep in until almost 9am, which is totally unheard of in our house!

We are so fortunate that our boys have always chosen friends that are very nice, well behaved boys. It's so nice to not have to deal with disrespectful kids, or really wild kids, or mean kids. I can have four or five of their friends over at a time and it's like they aren't even here. All in all it was a great party and I think all the boys had a great time.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Trip to McDonald's

My sister Donna and brother in law Chris kept the older three for a sleepover last night. They had a blast. I guess Chris even felt brave and walked all the kids to Dairy Queen. That left me with just Michael and Connor. Why is it that when I just had Alex and Matthew, at 2 and 4, it was so hard. Now that I have an 11, 8, 6, 4, and 2 year old, just having the 2 and 4 year old seems like a breeze. (I can't figure out why I thought it was so hard, lol.) And they were loving all the extra attention. The three of us went to Noodles and Company for dinner, then we went to Target and bought Tangled. Then this morning, Connor convinced me to take them to McDonald's for breakfast. I could see how having just the two of them could be very dangerous, financially. Our house was so quiet last night and this morning, I almost didn't know what to do with myself! We picked up the boys this morning and now we are getting ready for Alex's sleepover party tomorrow night (rather, I am blogging, thinking about getting ready and Alex, Matthew, and Ryan are playing with friends. No wonder we never get anything accomplished!!) Connor was not cooperating with a nice smile. But Michael sure was, don't you just love his fake smile in every picture he takes, lol?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Woodfield Mall

So I wanted to take the little boys to Build-a-Bear. I thought I just might have the courage to brave Fox Valley. My husband had the brilliant idea to go to Woodfield. I had a momentary lapse in judgement, and I agreed with him. I haven't been there in years. I now remember why. Take five kids, one double stroller, a huge diaper bag, seven winter coats, and a husband who hates spending money to a crowded mall on a Sunday afternoon. Not to mention the insane sales taxes, it was so crowded we could barely walk. As a result of that, stressed Tom out to no end, and he spent the entire time making the kids walk single file behind the double stroller (probably afraid for their lives, with all the insane shoppers.) So we walked through the mall, me pushing the double stroller with my little ducklings, single file, following behind. With the drill Sargent pulling up the rear. We wandered around for a while. We even found the Easter Bunny! (you can see the picture at the top of the blog, Doesn't Michael look like Popeye, lol?) Then we finally made our way to Build-a-Bear. Connor was in heaven! So the little three picked out their animals, got to stuff them, bath and brush them, and Daddy even let Connor and Ryan pick out clothes for their animals. Michael got a lamb named Wooly (although, he couldn't care less, but Mommy thought it was so cute.), Connor got a bunny named Hopper, and Ryan got a bear named Hop. The older boys decided to take a pass at getting stuffed animals and got new Lego sets at the Lego store instead. After all that fun and excitement, we decided to leave the mall and went and invaded my brother and sister-in-law's apartment. Uncle Jimmy even cooked dinner for all of us! Although it was fun, and the boys had a great time, I probably won't be going back to Woodfield for a LONG time.

Let's try this again....

So I have proven that I am probably the world's worst blogger. I definitely need to take some tips from my friend Sarah (who blogs almost everyday!). So I'm giving this whole blog thing another try. As most of you know, my boys give me tons of material to blog about, I just never seem to find the time to do it. I often will put a sentence or two on facebook about something they say or do, but never find the time to sit down and create a blog post. Just like I am always taking tons of pictures of the boys and would love to share them, I just never make the time. So I am going to try to fit in blogging into all my free time :o). I guess that will leave even less time for laundry!