Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Busy, lazy, sick????

Maybe a little of all of the above.Those would be the reasons for not blogging like I used to.  I really have tried to simplify our life, but the results certainly don't show it!  To elaborate on the busy part, I've decided to touch on some of the things that we have been doing here. 

October 2008 - Emma celebrated her 6th birthday by taking 6 of her friends to see High School Musical 3 at the theater.  Wow! What a hit that was. Everyone had a ball. 

Will hit the camping mother lode! The whole family joined him on a Cub Scout camping weekend and then he and Dad went camping in the mountains with his friend, Andrew and Andrew's dad. It was a COLD weekend and Will learned that he can react quickly in an emergent situation, but a ton of fun was had by all! 

Chris and Sonya (and their little guy, Max) came to visit just in time for Halloween. During their visit, we visited Pilot Mountain which is just north of Winston. It was a great day to go hiking and we all had a great time.  One lesson learned was to double check picnic supplies before leaving. 

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Bottom Braces

Are the PITS!  OK. I have to admit, I wanted to type in some different words.  However, being a family blog, I am refraining from using a potty mouth.  

So here's the deal. I went to get my bottom braces today. My bottom teeth (the whole reason for getting braces) were so crooked that they couldn't even put brackets on two of my teeth.  I now have a GIANT spring right in the front of my mouth, connecting the two sections of teeth that DO have brackets.  Aside from feeling like I have dip in my mouth, my bite doesn't match up.  To prevent biting off my brackets, I have rubber things on two of my bottom brackets.  In lay people's language - it feels like I am biting down on a gummy bear all of the time.  Another way to put it is - this just SUCKS.  Sorry, I just had to say it!  Yeah, and to top it all off, I can't even talk right.  So, I look like a geek and I talk like one too!  

Gosh, I just can't wait to turn 40 in a few weeks.  That will just be the icing on the cake!  Good thing I have a sense of humor and love life.  :(I)  That's a computer image of my brace-face smile! 

I may post a photo later.  And as promised, I will fill in on recent FUN activities happening at the WEJ home. 


Monday, November 3, 2008

Halloween 2008

Halloween was a blast this year! The kids had the day off of school, so we had lots of time to goof off and get ready for the big event, trick-or-treating!

As you can see, Will decided to be a vampire. This was by far the easiest costume I have ever made. It took basically one day to complete and he was thrilled with the outcome. I think he was really hoping to scare people. That didn't happen, but he still had fun waving his cape around. 

Emma had to be Hannah Montana.  This was decided back in the summer, I believe. She is infatuated with Hannah Montana and wants to be a singer herself when she grows up. I picked out the fabric for her costume, without Emma's consultation. I hit it right on, thank goodness.  She couldn't wait to get the dress and wig on that night. In fact, she woke up Friday morning with a smile, announcing that it was finally Halloween! She played the part well, tossing her hair and dancing around. Maybe voice lessons are in her future..... 

Jack decided to go as the Chicka-chicka boom-boom tree.  If you have a toddler in your home, you certainly know what this is. If not, it is a book about the alphabet.  In the book, all of the letters climb to the top of a coconut tree, only fall out.  It was a huge hit at preschool, to say the least. And he was SO proud of his costume.  Having "little" ones is great! You can be creative with their costumes and they love it.  
Of course, Allan had to get in on the action of dressing up. He decided to go as Billy Ray Cyrus.  For this special occasion, he had to grow a goatee.  It was a rough couple of weeks dealing with the "splinters" as Jack called them.  No one liked getting poked when being kissed and Allan just couldn't stop rubbing and scratching at it. In the end, he got LOTS of compliments from lady friends and has decided to keep it for a little while. He certainly looks different, but I am still up in the air about liking it or not. 

After the kids were done hitting the neighborhood, we had a bonfire in the backyard for neighbors who wanted to enjoy a fire, cocktails, and roasted hot dogs and marshmallows with us.  Chris, Sonya and Max came up from Ft. Bragg to join in the fun too!  We had a ball.  I believe it was midnight when we (including the three kids) finally hit the beds. Anyone who knows us, knows that that is WAY past bedtime.  We just really enjoyed the great company and conversation. 

More updates to come......

Thursday, August 28, 2008

My New Hobby

As if I don't have enough projects and things to do, I decided to learn how to do something new. OK, I have to be honest. I don't have anymore time now than I did five years ago, but I am not going to delve into that. The fact of the matter is that I have decided to make time to do things that I enjoy. And I enjoy creating. Creating three children was fun, but I am ready to try something else. :)

I found a fun little shop in Winston that has classes to learn how to smock. I have been wanting to learn how to do this since Emma was born, but never found a place that taught it.

I spent two nights in this shop learning to smock. I think it is cutest on dresses for little girls, but have seen lots of adorable smocking for little boys as well.

I wouldn't say that I am good at it, but I can say without a doubt that I LOVE doing it. The three hours each night of class just flew by. And the big bonus is that I can take this with me while I wait at the doctor's office, carpool line or wherever I find myself sitting.

The pictures are what I learned in class and the "pieces" can be placed in a dress or made into a pillow (I was thinking tooth fairy pillow for Emma?). Anyway, I need to go back to the shop to pick out my first project. I will keep everyone posted on my new hobby progress as it develops!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Emma + Kindergarten = Tears

It came, and thank goodness it went. But not without a tear - or two, or three.....I have been dreading Emma's first day of Kindergarten for quite awhile now. I'm still not sure why. I am generally not an emotional person. I like to view the glass as half full. I enjoy seeing my children grow and learn and become independent. But, for some reason, Emma going to school yesterday just tugged at my heart.

She woke up early, before the boys, and came padding into our bathroom. The image will be with me forever. She was wearing her satin princess gown, her eyes were still puffy and sleepy-looking and the back of her hair looked like a lion's mane having a bad day. It's a sight that I see every morning. But this morning it hit me that in just a blink of an eye my little princess would be a moody teenager that no one would want to be around.

I want to soak up every bit of her littleness that I can, while I can. The reality of it though is that my time with her is now limited. I just hope and pray that everything that Allan and I have tried to instill upon her up to this point, will continue to stay with her.

And so began my day, with these thoughts and many more that I simply do not have time to type right now. I had to explain to Allan why I was being such a moody, nasty person. This of course, started the first of many tears. I dried them up and put on a happy face to start the first day of school. Emma and Will enjoyed our traditional First Day breakfast of Green Eggs and Ham. When we got upstairs to wake Jack and finish getting ready, I was welcomed with a "good morning, Mommy. I'm wet all over." Urghhhhhhhhhhh! This was not in my morning plans, but I put on a smile and took care of the mess and quickly bathed Jack so we could take our FDOS pictures. The pictures went well and we were off to the school. I decided I wouldn't walk Emma in. Thank goodness! I was crying (again) as I pulled away and watched Will holding Emma's hand, walking into that suddenly unfriendly looking school. Then, I saw Emma's best friend and her mom walking through the parking lot. I stopped to say hello and actually only managed a wave before more tears started flowing.

I called Allan as soon as I got home and cried again. Then, I called Nana, and cried again. What the heck?! I decided to get a grip and get down to business of stopping this blubbering. Jack and I ran to the fabric store to buy thread and ended up with more project supplies to keep me busy (like I really have a problem staying busy!). We got an oil change and then it was time to see Will and Emma get off the bus. FINALLY!

Both kids got off grinning from ear to ear, full of happy stories from their first day back. I felt a tear coming on, but I just smiled and told myself that everyone is going to be just fine. And we are.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Emma's New Dress

While picking up fabric to make my new bag, I found this incredibly cute pink and brown fabric. As I already had several projects set aside for myself, I decided to make a dress for Emma out of it. I made it this morning while the kids were playing Webkins, if that tells you how easy it was! I think it is just too cute and best of all, Emma LOVES it. As she grows, I can let the hem out or she can wear leggings underneath. Now, we just have to find the perfect pair of shoes to go with it......

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

My Bag!

Yeah for me! I finally finished another sewing project - and I did it in 1 (ONE) day! Another yeah for me because it turned out great and I love it!

My mom had the sewing machine out while she was here to make a dress for Emma. Rather than put it away, I just decided to get busy and work on my purse project that I had been wanting to work on since springtime. It really took less than a day because I also fit in games with the kids, cleaning and school time (among all of the other daily things that I do!)

I have to say that it was really easy and lots of fun to make. I just wish that I had enough of the lining material that I could have made the whole purse out of that instead of the flowers. Regardless, I still like the purse and I will certainly use it. Next, I plan to make an apron for myself. That should be REALLY easy. Stay tuned, because I might just be on a roll and get my other 3 projects completed that have been waiting for me inside my closet!

FYI - for those of you who haven't heard, I got braces the day before Will's tonsillectomy. You can see them in the recent pictures. I highly recommend them for anyone wanting to lose weight. I am hoping that they are also good for straightening teeth!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Girl Day

After talking about it for what seems like an eternity, Emma and I finally got to have a "girl day". While spending time in Ohio, we shipped the boys off to Aunt Debbie's and caught a ride with Aunt Sharon and Nana to Columbus. The main mission of the day was to find a flower girl dress for Emma as she is going to be one in Danielle's wedding. The wedding is set for November 28th and so we really needed to get busy picking out a dress.

After having a yummy macaroni and cheese lunch at Noodles & Co., we headed off to David's Bridal. Emma wanted to try on EVERY dress available in her size. It didn't matter if she liked it or not. We catered to her whim and thus started the fashion show! She had so much fun trying them on and testing the "mushroom factor". This is whether or not the dress poufs up when she sits down. She tried on lots of cute dresses and we found one that suited both Danielle and Emma. Danielle even bought Emma's headpiece that she will be wearing. It is ADORABLE! We jotted down all of the information on the dress and headed off to another store to try on more!

The next store didn't have as many to try on, but we found one that we really liked. Emma didn't seem so fond of it because it was in lime green and fuchsia, but we tried to explain that HER dress would be in those colors. Hard concept for such a little girl! By the time those dresses were all tried on, Miss Emma was getting a little tired. So, we headed off to meet cousin, Sarah at Easton. Emma was so worn out that she fell asleep on the way there. I let her sleep in the car for awhile while everyone else did a little shopping.

When Emma woke up, Sarah was there and we were off to find a good place to eat dinner. On the way to the restaurant, we stopped at Libby Lu's and Emma had her picture taken with one of her favorite movie stars - Ashely Tisdale, aka Sharpay!

Dinner was great, but a little late for Miss Emma. All in all, I have to say that we had a fabulous girl day. It was wonderful seeing everyone that we so rarely get to see.

On a side note, I have to commend Danielle for her speedy hand-off and Sarah for her quick delivery. The details of this comment are too lengthy to post here!

Friday, July 25, 2008

No More Tonsils!

Well, everyone, the tonsils are gone. And so are the adenoids! Will bravely went to the hospital first thing, Wednesday morning to have his tonsils removed. He was in great spirits the whole time. We waited for a short time before going to pre-op where they gave all of us id bracelets and asked lots of questions. All of the prep work took about an hour. He was finally visited by a couple of nurses from anesthesia. They asked Will if he had any questions. Of course, he did! He wanted to know if he could see his tonsils after they were out. The nurse said that she had never had this request, but would certainly show them to him before they were carried off to pathology. She then explained that they would be taking him to the operating room where there were all kinds of cool equipment, like a machine that squeezed his muscles. Without missing a beat, Will asked her if she had tickets. Needless to say, she was quite confused by this question. She just replied "no, to what?". Will said, "to the gun show!" and flexed his muscles for her. That created quite a bit of laughter from everyone. Leave it to Will to get everyone laughing before surgery!
After that, they wheeled him away and Allan and I went to get some coffee. We had no sooner sat back down in the waiting room and turned on the computer when we were paged to the consultation room. Will was done! Talk about quick! The doctor came and told us that he had taken out both the tonsils and the adenoids due to their size. Will was doing well and would be transported to a room shortly.
The rest was pretty uneventful. When Will got up to his room they had him drink a cup of apple juice and asked that he go to the bathroom. He was rather concerned with the IV in his wrist and kept asking when it could come out. He also was not fond of the oxygen monitor that they had clipped to his toe. :) It didn't take long and Will fell asleep. To pass the time, Allan and I watched "Seven Years in Tibet" on Netflix via the hospital's WiFi. Pretty nice!
For some reason, the nurse just didn't want Will to go home. Rather than staying for the recommended 90 minutes, she had us there for 5 hours after the surgery! We were getting a little restless and impatient at that point - not to mention hungry! She finally did release us and we went home to some very concerned siblings. To our dismay, Will never did ask for pain medication his first day home and even ate an egg for dinner.
Since Wednesday, he has not slept much, but has had some pain. We've had to give him some codeine, but he really hasn't complained much. I have to say, he really isn't Will yet. He isn't eating anything and he talks as little as possible. I didn't think there was ANYTHING that would stop Will from talking. I guess this is it!
We are now hopeful that Will's sleeping and breathing problems are over. So far, so good. We are SO proud of Will and his brave attitude. He is an incredible little guy.
Will chillin' out after the surgery
Will enjoying his first cup of ice cream after surgery. Notice, his friend, Bananas beside him.
Mom gives lots of love before the surgery. I had to wear Will's sweatshirt because it was so cold in the hospital!
Will gives his wink of braveness before the surgery. As always, he was calm and happy.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Many Faces of Jack

While in Florida on spring break, I was sitting across the pool from Jack. He was eating applesauce and I was playing with the camera's zoom feature. I took these pictures without him knowing that I was doing so. No one was near him and no one was talking to him. This is what I mean when I say that he has a million faces........
who knew that eating applesauce could evoke so many emotions?

Our little man is THREE!

Sticking with tradition, we celebrated Jack's birthday twice. Once, when we were with family and secondly, on his actual birthday. Yeah for Jack!

We snuck in a little party at the Outerbanks while most of the family was together. Being that Jack loves pirates and wanted a pirate birthday, it was the perfect place to celebrate! Jack and his cousins sported pirate tattoos (or too toos as Jack calls them) that his cousin, Megan bought for him. Keith was the "special" big cousin who was chosen to wear the last tattoo in the pack.

The kids each got a special birthday cupcake because I was too lazy to make Jack's pirate hat cake while on vacation. There was lots of singing and dancing, balloons and even some presents - does it get any better?
For his REAL birthday this week, we went swimming in the morning and then came home and played games. I made the promised pirate hat cake and we had everyone's favorite dinner - spaghetti and meatballs!

Will and Emma really had fun preparing for the birthday. Will made Jack a comic and Emma made him a very loving card.

At Jack's well check, he weighed in at 31.4 pounds and measured up to 38.5 inches. The nurse told me that his height is in the 75th percentile, but I just don't believe her. I am sure she isn't intentionally lying to me, but I do believe math isn't her strong suit.

It is hard to believe that Jack is three already. It seems like just yesterday that I was trying to induce labor with a disgusting concoction of orange juice and cod liver oil! I am sure most parents say this, but I really can't imagine life without Jack. He frustrates me daily with his strong will and independence. On the flip side, I want to squeeze him all day long because I love him so. Those cheeks are oh so kissable and his many faces make me laugh every time. I truly believe that he is an old man in a little guy's body. Some of the things he says just aren't commonly found to be coming out of a three-year-old's mouth!
Happy Birthday, Jack! We love you so!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Goodbye Pampers!

And hello more money in the pocket! For the first time in 7 1/2 years, we are no longer purchasing diapers. Well, there was a brief time before Jack was born, but it was so brief that it really didn't count.

I feel that I can safely announce to the entire world that Jack is potty trained! Wahoo!!!
It all happened on May 27th. There were issues that I won't go into and I simply told Jack that the only way to resolve the issue was to pee in the toilet. He had woken up dry that morning and I decided to keep putting him on the toilet whenever I thought about it. I really had no big expectations. In fact, we went to the outlet mall in Concord that morning, which is about 50 minutes away. That really wasn't the ideal situation to potty train, but then, I really wasn't planning to! He wore a diaper (from the previous day) and kept it dry into the evening. Logic told me that if he could stay dry for 12+ hours, this child was ready to wear underwear. So, the next day he wore his little boxers just like his big brother and the rest is history! I never put another diaper on him. I am guessing that he has had less than 5 pee accidents since then, but poo is another story. He did well at first and then changed his mind around the time that we were going on vacation. Thank goodness we had a washer and dryer at the vacation house! But, since returning home, he has decided that it much better to skip the middle man and just put it right in the toilet. Again, wahoo!!!!
We've been doing pull ups at night only, but he has only wet in them twice since May 27th. So, tonight is the big leap into wearing underwear at night. Stay tuned for that outcome!
I know it is easier said than done, but seriously, kids will potty train when they decide they are ready. I knew I was pushing Will, but I just couldn't stop myself. Let this be a lesson to all of you who have yet to potty train a child. Don't worry about when YOU think they should be trained. Let it up to them and it will be a stress-free, positive experience for everyone involved.
Hmm.....that line should be in a commercial.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Swimming, swimming...just keep swimming.....

Yep. I have the Dory song running (or would it be swimming?) through my head. We've been doing pretty much nothing but swimming for the past week and a half. We left for vacation at the Outerbanks on June 8th and swam everyday for 7 days. Upon our return, we've been to the pool twice daily. Normally, we would only be there in the morning for swim team practice. However, Will is also going to Cub Scout camp this week and can't make the morning session. This forces us back to the pool in the evening so he can get practice in.

Today, we were at the pool in the morning for Emma's team practice and stayed longer so Jack could get in a swim lesson. As soon as we got home from picking up Will from camp in the afternoon, we packed up again and headed to our first swim meet. We were there from 5:15 - 8:00. Normally, we would have been there until after 9:00, but I requested that the kids swim early due to camp starting at 8:15 the next morning. Whew! Did you catch all of that?!

Thank goodness everyone LOVES to swim! The kids did GREAT at the meet tonight. All of the practice has paid off because neither Will nor Emma had to stop to make it to the other end of the pool. We weren't the fastest, but we weren't the slowest either!!!! HOORAY!!!! This may not seem like a big deal, but just last year at this time, Emma couldn't even swim!

Words cannot express how much pride I felt tonight. To give you a good idea, Emma told me after Will was done that I had hurt her ear from screaming too loud!

Now, I am going to make my dinner since I was too nervous at the meet to eat. I am going to dine on hot, out-of-the-oven chocolate chip cookies. MMMMM......... I promise to post pictures and details of our Outerbanks trip soon.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Too Busy!

I can't even believe that I haven't had time to blog everything that has been going on here in the past month. I knew we have been busy, but when I look back at the calendar, I realize just HOW busy! Since the last blog, we spent Spring Break in Orland with our awesome friends from Detroit, we got a surprise visit Allan's sister, Debbie and brother, Dennis, we were visited by Allan's nephew, Chris, his wife, Jill and their incredibly cute little guy, Wyatt, Nana made it down for Emma's preschool graduation, Allan and I celebrated our 10-year anniversary, I enjoyed a wonderful Mother's Day with my awesome children, I painted the family room and half bath, Will has had two baseball games and one practice each week, Will and Emma joined the swim team at a nearby pool, we've had end-of-the-year parties for Emma and Jack, we traveled to Ft. Bragg to visit Chris and Sonya and had a ton of fun at the All American festivities.........hmmmm.....I am sure I missed something, but who knows what?!
I would love to write about all of these events and activities, but it would seriously take me over a month to catch up. So, I am going to post a few pictures with the intention of creating a space on the blog to view them all and maybe someday write more detail about everything that happened.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Talk Fest '08

Trying to catch up on blogging, I am going to start back at the first weekend in April. My friend since grade school, who I never get to talk, was actually able to get away for a weekend to visit us! She and her daughter, Claire arrived on Friday afternoon. Believe it or not, we had a lot to catch up on, so we got down to the business of talking right away! It should also come as no surprise that Emma and Claire hit it off right away. They were in their own little girl world and we hardly knew they were here.
Saturday morning we woke up to the news that Skybus had folded and there would be no return flight for Amy and Claire. I think both Amy and I thought Allan was playing a seriously bad joke on us. Luckily, we got busy finding alternate ways to travel back to Ohio and they had a rental car booked that morning. I think we all were thanking God that we don't live any farther than 7 hours away!
We continued our "talk fest" as Allan termed it throughout the rest of the weekend. We also managed to fit in a little shopping at the outlets (girls only!). I'm not sure if it was due to our talking or what, but for some reason, we only made it into three stores at the mall before returning home to the guys.
Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate and we weren't able to take in some of my outdoor ideas. Fortunately, we still had lots to talk about, so we drank a little wine, relaxed and talked!
Even though the flight situation was a huge bummer, we had a great weekend. It was so nice to catch up with an "old" friend who has been like a sister to me for an unmentionable number of years. We definitely need to do it more often.