Monday, January 30, 2012

A big week

I do not want to admit this...but my baby IS turning ONE in just a few short days.  It just doesn't seem possible.  I can picture exactly where I was and what I was doing one year ago this week when I got THE phone call that made us a family of 5.  I knew in my heart...way before I met him...that special little baby was meant for us.... He was the one we had prayed for and waited for.  It was all part of His greater plan.

We will celebrate the gift this sweet boy is to us this weekend....we are already singing Happy Birthday to him.  And I LOVE how he smiles that big smile when he hears us sing his name!

So...just a few pictures of my BIG kids from last week....lots of hanging around the house time last week...since poor J had strep!  But still lots going on...never a dull moment.

Chocolate chip cookie always "lick the beater good!"

Mr. Sammy is getting his 7th and 8th teeth already... and just can't chew on enough things!

This grown-up girl....loves to do her school work....She is getting ready to prepare for her First Holy Communion, and has decided she will be a Fashion Designer when she grows up..... She spent much of the weekend....cutting old Barbie/Princess outfits and re-designing them into different fancy gowns...strapless gowns...she said it was hard to get those strapless gowns to stay up over those "bumps"  Ha, ha!!!

And I guess he thinks my new toy is pretty fun too!

Willie sometimes gets stuck behind all of the gates/closed doors...They are a necessity these days to keep Mr. Sammy from escaping and running for the stairs...which he thinks is pretty funny!

These two... are quite the pair! (And....yes...I did clean the glass on this door after I took these pics.....ahhh the joys of having kids...the fingerprints...the lips pressing on the glass....someday....maybe in 10 or 15 years... I might be able to keep this clean for more than 5 minutes!!!)

See... I told you he was quick!

Have a great week!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Four-Year Well Check

We had J's 4-year well check yesterday!  Even though we have been to the doctor numerous times this past year....( and by numerous... I mean weekly especially these past few months), it seems like J's 3-year well check was just joke.  I can picture what he was wearing....but sometime in the last 12 months...this little guy grew a little taller...gained a new little brother....and grew even sweeter (if that is even possible).  I've said before...Joseph is a small little guy with a HUGE heart....and though a lot has changed in this past year...that still remains true.  Sure... we have our battles.....

he is rough....he is CRAZY....he.can.not.sit.still and sometimes he makes me want to plain pull my hair out...but in the end, after all of the tears... there is ALWAYS that "I love you mommy" that makes my heart melt.

Last night... I asked him to sit down and brush his teeth (instead of running around with a toothbrush hanging out of his mouth)  and of course he did not comply....he was acting his crazy little self when Daddy accidentally shut the bathroom door on his poor big toe (We have to keep doors closed for certain little boys named Sammy...who try to climb in the bathtub before it is his turn!!)  OH Poor J!  His big toe nail turned black and blue immediately....I cried with him.....and I told him now we could both have broken toes together!  (Although I don't think his actual toe is broken).  We told J once he had calmed down that  that is why we asked him not to act so crazy.  And though we always question whether or not our lecturing even comes close to sinking in....sure enough....he came downstairs after we tucked him into bed and told Daddy not to worry about shutting the door on his toe....he said he should have been listening like we asked.  So.Sweet.

Our doctor visit went well....and the doctor didn't seemed too concerned that J has barely gained one pound in the last year....(we may have some formal allergy testing done) but other than that...we are thankful for another clean bill of health.  We are so fortunate...

Here are the stats!
Weight.... 33 lbs  25% (up almost a pound from last year)
Height.....38 1/2 inches 10% (up about 2 inches from last year)

And a few final pictures of my newly turned four-year old doing some serious work.

This little man is the king of hidden picture games.  He loves to search and find.  So we made our own "I spy" game with some rice and some little tiny figures I found in my button jar.  Easy peasy.  I laid all the items on a piece of paper and snapped a picture of them before I placed them in the jar.  So when he is bored...we get a cup of his favorite snack and each time he finds a figure in the jar...he marks it off on the paper with one of his snacks.

It's the little things...

that make him smile...and that's what I love about my "middle" man.  

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Sound the Alarm....

Run out the door.....
Guess who just turned FOUR???

The last few months have been a whirlwind to me....  Did we really already have Christmas and celebrate New Year's?  Wow.  Where did the time go....and now....tis the season for birthdays.    Last week when we were making party decorations....Joseph asked me to take his picture with the number 4.  He remembered doing this same exact thing last year with the number 3.  I am always happy to can I not with this adorable face??

We had his party a few days early on the weekend so most of our family could be there.  Joseph was excited for weeks prior.  He started asking every morning about 2 weeks in advance "Is today my party day?"

He chose a fire truck theme.... I was pretty shocked that he didn't ask for a CARS party.....Fire trucks....such a perfect theme for a little boy.

I really wanted to keep his cake a I had to work on it at night so he didn't see it.  Kind of hard when little ones keep coming downstairs to ask to have help blowing their noses.    Needless to say... I kinda rushed....and the home-made frosting didn't look as pretty as the canned frosting the recipe used...but I think it tasted better in the end:)

I saw the idea for the cookies on Etsy....and once I realized I already had the cutter.... I decided they were a must to make!

A few of the sweet treats... (had to include some chocolate cookies for my chocolate loving little guy).

And at the last minute J requested strawberry cupcakes.  I have always wanted to make a home made strawberry I found a recipe and modified it for cupcakes.....S and J LOVED them:)

The favor table and invites from Dimple Prints on Etsy....they were fabulous!

I arranged for the party guests to have a tour of our nearby fire station.   Joseph was so excited to see where the fire fighters slept and to see the big trucks.

I had actually done this with Sophia and Joseph when J was a baby.....but of course J was too little to remember.

And of course Papa Rick always gets the giggles out of him!

Unfortunately... after we had finished the inside tour of the station.....and just before J and his friends got to get in the trucks.... the fire fighters got called to a REAL emergency!  It was exciting for Joseph to see the trucks leave...but sad that we didn't get to see inside of them.  We will definitely plan a trip back!

S and J had some fun running with his buddies before we left!

Then back to our house for presents and cake.  I loved how excited J was to wear his hat and how he wanted his buddy Will to help him open....and even Sammy got in on the action.....I guess he got some good practice for his birthday that is just right around the corner...

Make a wish!

I was so glad my sweet friend came along with her sweet children and took some wonderful pictures!  Her pictures really captured the party!  Thanks so much Nance!

The guests at the fire station...

Will and Joseph peeking in after the fire trucks left.


And then...big sister wheeled in the BIG surprise....  a NEW bike!  We were worried it would be too big for our little J....but the size seems to be working and J can ride it like a pro!

LOVE this picture....

I can't believe he is already this many...

Hope all of his wishes come true!

Now it's time to switch gears and get ready for a FIRST birthday party in a few weeks.  Haven't even begun thinking about Sammy's BIG day....but I'd better get busy!  I have big plans every day of accomplishing so much....but in the end much of my day involves playing prison guard to keep Sammy from escaping the gates, and from picking up any glass objects.  Today he found my m & m stash and dumped every last one on the kitchen floor.  I scurried to pick them up (okay...hobbled...still trying to move around on this annoying broken toe) before Willie got them.  

And then my "plan"changes to....okay... I will get some of "my" work done when the kids go to bed.....But yet again....those plans are thwarted by 7-year olds who can't go to sleep because they are scared of time bombs in the Nancy Drew series, and crying babies on the verge of another ear infection, and last but not least,  newly turned four-year olds calling for kleenex.  The colds have returned...and I am one tired mama.  I guess the pantry organization will have to wait yet another day:)  

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Firetrucks and Four

Just a few pics I took before our festivities began today for J's FOURTH birthday.  He chose a fire truck theme......and has been excited for weeks about his party.  I love this little guy for so many reasons.....his sweetness, his " I love you, Mommy's " and his enthusiasm for all name just a few.   Today, I couldn't stop thinking about how fortunate I am to get to be his Mommy... how fortunate I am that he is here with me every day....  I am grateful beyond words.  The joy that he brings each and everyone who meets him is immeasurable.  I love you little J....

Many more pics to share soon!!! Happy Weekend!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


make this little guy smile!

And I just can't get enough of him!  He has finally started mumbling "mama" and on... of course... and I couldn't be happier.  I love his how he raises that one eyebrow....loves how he smiles that "toothy" smile.   We used to think that Joseph kept us on our toes...till Sammy came along!

I kid you not when I tell you that this 11 month old is IN TO EVERYTHING....including
-Willie's water bowls
-the dishwasher
-the refrigerator
-the (gasp) POTTY!
-the newspaper basket
-the bottle of Itsy Bitsy Spiral Moisturizer for his hair (it actually ended up poured all over J's carpet last week)

And I guess the "NO Samuel!" just hasn't sunk in yet... Last week he picked up a new vase and just threw it as hard as he could to the wood floor.....thankfully I am a bargain shopper and the vase was only 9.99 and even more one was injured!!!

We rang in the New Year with our traditional Greek dime cake.  It's always pretty stressful trying to cut the pieces and trying to pick the "best" piece.  Brett always does such a precise job cutting... and I of course do the baking.

Sophia was nervous about which piece to choose...

And J said..."hmmm....let me put my thinking cap on first...."  (This little the way is celebrating a big birthday this weekend.... I can't believe it has been FOUR years..... I will never forget how he just cuddled with me and smiled at me during those FRIGID Iowa days.    He was soooo tiny....but so full of love....even then!!!

But in the end.... I was the lucky duck!!!!!
(not too thrilled with this pic of me....but's all about that lucky dime!!!)

Showing curious J....

Someone was not too thrilled with the results...

Others accused me of "cheating" since I baked the cake.....But I assure you...I  closed my eyes tight as I kneaded the dough and pressed it into the pan.  Cross my heart:)

So here is to a happy and healthy 2012!