Robynne's Nest

Just a place for this SAHM to record her thoughts, ramblings, and daily occurrences.

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Location: Missouri, United States

I'm a SAHM to SIX children, 3 of each model. The girls are currently ages 15, 12 and 7, and the boys are 9, 6, and 4. I enjoy many crafts, but my main interest is crocheting and knitting. I also enjoy music, both listening to and playing. I'm in the church bell choir, and I've played french horn for over 25 years. I currently play in a couple community concert bands, and I play throughout the year in church. My husband and I were married in the fall of 2004, and we are currently owned by 3 cats and 1 dog.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Caution and Bravery

Today I am going to share a little about my funny little boy Ethan. :) As many of you know, I have 6 kids.  They all of course have their own unique styles and personalities, but my son Ethan, fondly known as "5 of 6" or sometimes, "Bubba", is just a different kind of kid.  He's the most quiet of all 6, for sure, but he's also sweet, and funny, and cute.  He's also the most cautious.  I remember observing him one time as a baby, as he crawl-climbed from the easy chair to the sofa, where there was a small gap.  My oldest son, at that age, would have LEAPED from the arm of the chair to the sofa, not even realizing, or maybe just not caring, that there was this gap and potential fall below him.  Ethan, on the other hand, carefully reached out his hand, patted the arm of the sofa, then shifted weight to that hand, while he carefully moved the second hand over next to it, slowly, and making sure everything was stable and "safe", before carefully pulling first one knee, then the other, over onto the sofa.  That was one of the earliest examples of how different he was from 3 of 5, and 4 of 5 (the female version of 3)
So recently, my sis Heather and I signed some of the kids up for swimming lessons for the first summer session, June 4 through 21, daily lessons except weekends. I only signed up Ethan, because the 4 older ones are in summer school, and Evan is too little. So yesterday was the first day, and I'm having to take Ethan and my 3 nephews by myself this week, because my sis had to go back in to work for a few days to work on new curriculum at the high school. Ethan being such a cautious kid, and a little clingy when we go to the pool as a family, I wasn't sure how he'd do, but I thought he'd be ok, maybe after a little encouragement. Boy was I wrong! He was fine as long as we were sitting on the bleachers waiting for class to start, but as soon as I told him to go sit on the side of the pool with his class, he freaked out. He cried, said no, had a velcro grip on me, I couldn't pry him off my leg! Meanwhile, I had to keep grabbing Evan, who kept pointing to the pool and wandering towards the side...just what I needed, Ethan glued to me, and Evan falling in the pool. lol So the lessons are 50 minutes. I begged, pleaded, bribed, and gently urged Ethan to just try to sit on the side, just put his feet in, etc. it took me 20 minutes to convince him to sit with the class, but he would only sit on the pool deck, not the ledge, and put juuuuust his feet in. That made me nervous because he kept leaning over to feel the water with his hands, and I was afraid he'd topple over! His teacher would get to him (6 kids in his class) for his turn, and say, you want to try one time? Just let me hold you in the water a minute? And Ethan would, no thanks! lol Ethan also told the teacher, ok you go away now. lol The teacher tried to get him to just get in and hang onto the ledge for a few seconds, nope not gonna. "no thanks! you go away now!" lol We finally convinced him to sit on the ledge, and fiiiinally the teacher was able to get him into the water to hold onto the side, and let him cling there for 45 seconds or so, and poor Ethan was just looking at me with accusatory saucer eyes, lol. Ah well. then it was time to jump in from the side and the teacher catches. Ethan did some more "no thanks!" for each of his turns, lol. The school age classes (Ethan is 3, almost 4, and in the preschool class) go to the deep end and get to jump off the diving board for the last 5-10 min. of class, and at the very end, they take any of the preschoolers who want to down there to try the board, too. The first day, 3 of the 6 preschoolers jumped off, 2 chickened out, and Ethan wouldn't even go to the line...BUT...he watched the others then said to me all excited...I wanna do that!! I wanna do that too!!" But then time was up. That was just yesterday, lesson 1. lol So...TODAY...we go for 2nd day, and Ethan and I had a long talk last night, and again this morning, about trying to participate, and trusting his teacher, and that it would be fun...then I got out the big bribe. I told him...I would let him have side if he did his lesson. (side in what Ethan calls nursing, and he asks once or twice a week still, and so this is still a big deal to him) He looked at me with big eyes and said....really?!?!? Yay!!!!! maybe this will work. Same thing as yesterday, fine on the sidelines waiting for start time, and then "No I don't want to" when it was time to start...UNTIL I reminded him he could have side if he did his lesson. And he said....Hm. Ok. lol And he went and sat on the side with his class. AND his teacher got him into the water to kick with the board. He gripped the teacher and board pretty tightly, but was happy to hang onto the side and pull himself up to sit on the ledge on his own. I only had to remind him about his reward twice. ♥ And he LOVED the jumping in from the side part. OH, there was a 2nd teacher, a woman, this time, and Ethan would only trust the boy teacher at first, the one who was also there yesterday. The boy teacher finally got Ethan to accept the girl teacher, lol, but boy he sure wasn't going to at first! These teachers are all high school and college age, kids who have been on swim team and lifeguard trained. was so funny to see how different he was, and mostly because of a bribe to let him nurse. rofl OH! and then at the end, with the diving board, he said he wanted to do it, so he got in line. Then when it was his turn, he got up on the board, a teacher helped him walk towards the end, and then he was like....uuuuhhhh NOOOOOO WAAAAAYYYY!! lol and he got back off. Then said he wanted to try again, but now he has to wait until tomorrow b/c time was up. :D I video'd that, bc I thought he might actually jump off.  SO...funny stuff with my sweetie cautious boy! :D ♥  12 more lessons in this session!  I really am proud of how much he progressed in just one day, though. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Hey they changed my Blogger dashboard!

I am trying to be better about logging in and blogging.  W and I have been talking about transferring my blog over to our own server and link it with our web site.  Oh, yeah, we do have a web site.  It's here: R and W's secret family web page that you all should know about but honestly hasn't been updated in 6 years and is only one welcome page  Yes I needs work.  I'm on it.  Be on the lookout for a NEW and IMPROVED Robynne's Nest sometime this spring/summer.
I also need to get more followers, and get more people reading.  What kinds of things would you all find interesting, all 7 of you who follow me of which I imagine only 3 of you *really* follow me, and only 1 of you may possibly comment on.  ;)  Ok, maybe more of you than that.  I don't really care if I become a "mom blogger" or whatever they call the big wigs in "blogging" these days.  I don't want to do it as a career, I just want to write interesting things, update friends and family, share what life is like for this particular stay at home mom of 6.  I'm missing my opportunity to capture the fun and funny moments while the kids are growing up, and I need to fix that!
So...feel free to comment or send suggestions my way through email ( and let me know what you'd like to see here, and what you think others might find interested to see or read.  Thanks!

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Taking Pictures...

Happy Easter!
I wanted to share a few photos today. Many of you know how challenging it can be to get a decent picture of your kids. As you can imagine, when you have a large family, that challenge is often multiplied! Ward likes to refer to our attempts to get the children all cooperating together as "herding cats", and indeed it often seems like that's what we're doing!
But today, I really wanted that traditional Easter picture of the kids together. Also, my wonderful mother in law made the girls' skirts, and I wanted to get a decent photo of the girls wearing the skirts to send to her.
Our morning started off like every Easter morning; early, busy, joy at finding candy, a frantic search for eggs, an even more frantic assembly line of showers and baths, and then a rush to get to church by 9am. So, as has been the case in more recent years, no pictures before church. So, setting the stage for these pictures....the kids have been up since 7am, they've been hopped up on sugar, and the only other food they've had is a hard boiled egg or two, they spent 3 hours at church in Sunday School and services, and it is now going on 2pm and they're hungry! So it's a PERFECT time to get some photos, before everyone changes clothes. LOL
Here is the first one:
Not too bad, really, especially for a first attempt. But a few issues, and everyone is kind of squished together, so let's try again.
We did a rearrange of the kids. Attempt number 2:

Well, the 2 oldest girls have been through a few family photo shoots over the years, so they are cooperating and smiling for the camera. The younger 4 are still not quite into it yet, and I would like more people looking at the camera...
so let's try one more time:

Um,'re 5 years old now, let's not show off the panties for the picture, ok? (and yes I know the baby has a cup of milk in all these pictures. He was crying until we gave it to him, and wouldn't let us have it back without a fight, so I said he could have a cup in the pictures.) #5 apparently has an itch.
let's try again (this next one is actually my favorite photo of the day. No joke.)

#1 is 13. And she is now frustrated. And complaining about the sun being in her eyes. #5 wants to make sure his belly button gets a fair amount of screen time. #6 is still guzzling his milk. #3 is trying really hard now to give me smiles on command and look at the camera at the same time. At least #4 is trying to not show her panties now. And #2 is such a trooper! Still giving me a "smile" for every photo.
Still hoping for a "nearly perfect" picture...we try once more:
Um, #4? We're not done yet. #4? Why are you getting up? (Don't worry...#1 is about to give her a talking to...that'll straighten her up!) You can see #5, noticing #4 trying to escape and it's looking like a good idea to him, too... Thank you #2 and #3 for still trying to smile for the camera. #6...milk gooooood.
Running out of patience now (not me, I was having fun because I was capturing the moment I wanted to share!)
Here's another try:

Still can't get everyone looking at the same time, but hey, #6 has come up for air from his cup. Don't be fooled by what looks like a possible smile on his face. He was actually getting ready to fuss. Three smiles, three not looking. 50/50. We can do better than that!
Attempt #7

See, I told you we could do better. That's 4 looking, 2 not looking. Not sure what #5 has found in the grass that is so fascinating, but do NOT tell the girls if it has multiple sets of legs.
Ok at this point we've had enough of the group shot, and I want to get the girls and boys shots before I lose them entirely, so...lets try the girls only, so we can share the skirt picture with Grandma:

Now wait a minute. #5...who would not look at the camera for any of the group shots, is now looking directly at the camera for the girls' photo. Too bad he's a boy and wasn't supposed to be in this photo. lol And #4 is trying to "pose" for the camera. Silly girl.
One more time for the girls:

Not bad, although real smiles would have been nice. And let's try to get one without the goofy pose...

Ok then, nice touch #4 with the bent leg. I'm tired of the 13 year old complaining at this point, so good enough for the girls I guess. Lovely #2, my favorite red-headed daughter, smiled for every picture. :)
Now, on to the boys:

Aaaaannd now that we're actually taking pictures of the boys...#5 is back to NOT looking at the camera. And #6 is mad, he thought we were done. At least he still has his cup. #3 wasn't ready, not his fault, I clicked fast trying to capture the others cooperating. Once more boys:

And we're still a bit distracted, but kind of, almost, trying to stand nicely. #6 wants Mommy now, though, and is coming for me. Still has his cup. And I still have no clue what #5 keeps looking at.
Let's try again:

Ok, #5 still looking at who knows what. Maybe I should tell him it's the girls' picture, and he'll look at the camera again. Great job looking at the camera from #3, but he realized at this point he was the oldest kid in the pic and should "be in charge of" the baby, and "help" him stay put and look at the camera. There was some 20 month old screaming complaint involved as soon as this pic was snapped. lol
One more try, after telling #3 to leave the baby alone:

HEY! We got #5 looking at the camera! But ARGH what's up with the belly shot???? lol Awesome pic of #3. Baby's still got that yummy cup...
Ok, I'll try just one last time:

WOOHOO, I got the 2 older boys looking good, and I'm ok with the baby and his beloved cup. (The funniest part is how much he usually HATES his cup and throws it down because he'd rather be nursing...except today, when I wanted pictures, he HAD to have that cup!)

So that's just a small taste of what it's like to try to get snapshots of all the kids together when you have several of them. And honestly, I don't usually feel like 6 is all that many. I have friends with 8, 9, even double digits. I'm not sure how they ever get pictures with everyone cooperating. I'm not sure it's even possible! lol

Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine's Day with boys

So...I guess I am still new to this "mom of boys" thing. Ryan is my oldest boy, he is 6 and in Kindergarten. We are of course making his Valentine box this evening. We had this exchange:
Me: Ryan, how do you want to decorate your box?
Ryan: A Clone Trooper.
Me: What?
Ryan: I want to make it a Clone Trooper.
Me: Don't you want it to have hearts and love things like that?
Ryan: No, I want it to be a Clone Trooper.
Me: I don't know how to make it a Clone Trooper...
Ryan: It's ok Mommy, I know how to do it! I need white paper and a yellow crayon.
Me: ...
Ryan: (collects white paper and scissors and glue and crayon)
Me: ... "WARD! You are in charge of helping THE BOY make his Valentine box!"
Me: (muttering as I walk away, to go help ALLIE make her Piggy Bride Valentine box...with pink and hearts and tissue paper and love stuff...)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A new fall

HA I am so bad at this! But I am persistent, so here we go again. :)
Welcome to Fall 2011. The kids have been in school now for 2 months, so we are definitely back in the swing of things. The weather has *finally* turned cooler again, after a bit of a 2nd summer earlier this month. I'm happy to have a nip in the air again. Halloween is getting closer, and that has been high on the list of conversation for some of the younger kids here. So far it sounds like we will have a Masquerade Ball Partier, a Dead/Zombie Bride (really Allie?), Yoda, Tinkerbell, a Puppy Dog, and a cute little Jack-o-Lantern. I had ideas of a themed costume brigade, but the kids had these other ideas. So far I think our best past theme was our makeshift "ghostbusters" theme from a couple years back. :) I was hoping for "Angry Birds" this year. Oh well!
Allie wanted to decorate this year, and I relented a bit. We put up fake spider webbing on a couple trees in the front yard. Not much, but cheap, and made the kids happy. Mandy says now we need "ghost-es" on the front walls. Hmm. I need to find that white material I had downstairs.
In other news, our run of bad luck with dishwashers continues. Sometime after we moved in to this house 6 years ago, the dishwasher we inherited when we bought the house started leaking, which we didn't discover until it warped and destroyed the wood floor in the kitchen. Which we have never had finances to replace (the floor). We replaced the dishwasher, though. The new dishwasher lasted maybe 2 years, then died. Lovely. We wend several months without one, which only reinforced the necessity of a dishwasher in a house with 8 people! We got a replacement dishwasher last year, and now...we just discovered it is LEAKING also!! How did we discover this? Same way as the first time...the wood floor started warping again. And now there is mold. UGH! So...the floor has become a necessity, as soon as we can figure out how to pay for it. I hate having this wood flooring in the kitchen...terrible idea, in my opinion!
Emily has her first school dance this Friday eve. She is really looking forward to it. The theme is breast cancer awareness, and fundraiser I believe, so everyone is supposed to wear pink. Of course, Emily wants to go shopping. :)
Well it's time to make the trek to the bus stop for the afternoon pickup. Wish me luck on updating more regularly. Wouldn't you all like to get more frequent peeks into the life and times in the nest?? :)

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Yes, I know I haven't been blogging. I have 6 kids. :D
But I wanted to share a link to a post on another blog that has some wonderful information, with idea on what you can use when you can't afford diapers, cloth or disposable! Also good information to have for emergencies. Check out Cottonbabies blog post here:

I'll hopefully be back soon with more sharing from our crazy lives. :)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Winter Armageddon!!

So, we are apparently getting ready for winter armageddon here...last week they were saying 30% chance of light snow, not much to think about...but all weekend they've been changing it, and it has turned into... 1/2 - 3/4 inch of ice, followed by 6-12 inches of snow, maybe more. What?? I think most of you know I'm from Missouri, near St. Louis, and we do have 4 distinct seasons; it's one of the things I like about living here. So we do get snow, at least a handful of inches, not necessarily all at once, almost every winter. Occasionally we get a lot of snow, but it's rarer. We had a good 8-9 inch snowfall when Allie was a baby, I remember putting her in her snowsuit when she was about 9 months old and taking her picture in the snow. :) Sometimes we get ice here, too, and ice stinks, to use a polite term.
If you are from St. Louis, or have ever talked to someone from St. Louis about snow and winter, you probably know about, or have heard about, the big "blizzard" of 1982. I put quotes around "blizzard" because technically, it was not a blizzard...but it is almost universally referred to as "the blizzard of '82" by St. Louisans. There are a few things that make that snowstorm noteworthy. First of all, it was a LOT of snow! Some areas had nearly 24 inches of it by the time those 2 days at the end of January were over. We lived in the same house my parents still live in now, and we were in the area that got somewhere in the range of 20-24 inches. Another thing that made that snow storm memorable to most people, was how badly the weather forecasters missed the mark. I was 11 years old that winter, so I don't recall that part of the event, but according to most people, including the NWS, *no one* predicted anything near what happened. Everyone was saying, light snow showers, and maybe a couple inches of snow. People were snowed in for days, and the National Guard was called in to help out.
I don't remember any of that. I remember snowdrifts as tall as our car in the driveway, and making paths through the nearly 2 feet of snow with a snow shovel, and flopping into the snow to make a snow angel and just sinking down with walls of snow around me (and not being able to move my arms to make the wings!) And I remember things being quiet. And not having school for a week. :)
So back to today. Local forecasters are calling this an historic winter storm, and some are comparing it to that "blizzard" of '82...but combining it with the ice storm of 2006. Greeeeaaaaat! ::sigh:: We lost power for a few days in 2006. I'm hoping very much that won't be the case with this storm. 22 inches of snow when you are 11 years old makes for the most amazing winter *ever* and lots of fun memories to share...but winter armageddon when you're a mom with 6 kids to keep warm and safe and fed is another story altogether. And honestly, I wouldn't mind the snow at all. It's the ice that worries me.
So...what are your favorite winter storm memories? And as a side question...what kinds of things (food, entertainment, or other) do you like to have in the house when you know winter weather is on the way?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Back to the Blog!

Ok, enough laziness! Back to the blog now. :) I've been meaning to get back to it, and kept saying "tomorrow" "later tonight" "next week for sure!" I'm a world class procrastinator!
Then the kids do something cute, or there's something I wish I would remember, and it makes me think of my blog, and then I'm sad because I'm a procrastinator and haven't been keeping up with it.
So no more excuses. Back to blogging!
Just to catch up now...I see my last entry was in MAY. I guess I should mention that I've had a baby since then. :) Evan Daniel arrived a few days late, on August 3rd, at 11am. What was supposed to be an uneventful induction turned into an unexpected last minute c-section. I'll have to share that birth story another time. :)
So, Evan is 5 months old now, and is just a sweet, amazing baby boy. He's already starting to crawl...he's a champion army-crawler, and has been practicing getting up on hands and knees since December. Just last week he started moving hand, knee, hand, knee classic crawling. It always amazes me when one of mine does this so early, and it's very cute. He's a little wobbly and mechanical about it, but he's doing it. He still prefers the army crawl, because it's much faster for him. :)
The other kids are all doing SUPER. Allie and Mandy are both in dance this year, and Emily got first place in her school archery tournament which automatically put her on the school team. They've been practicing, and have had one 3-school practice tournament. There is a district tournament next weekend, and state next month, and she will be participating in both of those.
Ryan is doing wonderfully in preschool, and he's finally learning his letters! He is definitely a boy who needs structure.
Ethan is doing very well also. He is still getting speech and developmental therapy and is talking a lot more, or at least attempting to talk a lot more. :) He will probably continue to get speech therapy through the school district in the fall, but we will know more about that after he has testing.

Monday, May 31, 2010

3 year olds do have their good moments...

I've mentioned before how much 3 year olds and I just don't get along. I've had three other 3 year olds of my own before now, and am now on my 4th 3 year old. Add in my nephews and neice, and that adds another six 3 year olds I've personally dealt with (my neice is still 3 right now.) It's just that one age (so far) that frustrates me the most.
So, my current little 3 year old, while still proving daily why it is that I have issues with this age, has also managed to remind me this weekend why 3 year olds are wonderful, as well.
We spent yesterday with family, having a barbeque and playing with cousins. We set up some sprinklers and the slip-n-slide for the kids to cool off with and enjoy. After our outside fun, as we were drying off and changing, my enthusiastic 3 year old tells me..."Mommy, that was SO. MUCH. FUN!!!" All smiles and excitement, and you just know this is what being a kid is all about. :)
Later in the evening, I finished up a bassinet purse toy I've been working on all week, that she knows I've been making for her. She has been wanting to carry it around and play with it for the past few days, as it has been looking almost finished, but I was finishing up the last stitches and edgings. Finally, last night, I called her over to me, and held out the purse. Her eyes got huge, and she said "OH!!!! OH! Is it FINISHED? Oh, THANK you Mommy! I LOVE it!!" It's hard to express in writing the pure joy and enthusiasm she had in those words. She actually had tears in her eyes, she was so happy. It was worth every second I put into crocheting the thing for her. (This is where we will skip the part when, after that, every time I tried to show her how to make it into a BED for her baby doll, she shrieked at me, because I know it was late, she'd had no nap, and was quite tired...!)
Now more moment of just how awesome and full of joy a 3 year old can be. Mandy has inherited a few of her sister's old dance recital costumes and loves to dress up in them. One she uses a lot had needed to be soaked and cleaned (cats...don't ask...blah) and I'd had to tell her a few times it was still hanging and not dry yet. This morning, she saw it in the bathroom and asked, and yes it's enthusiastic little 3 year old's face lit up with excitement again "Oh, Mommy! Is it dry now? Can I put it on again?!" Yes...and we put it on her...and then I got the BEST response of the week...she looked right at me and said, "Mommy...YOU'RE the BEST!!!" Awwww...sniffle...
Sooooo worth it, and hopefully I'll remember these little things whenever the day is dominated by shrieks and "no" and that belligerent defiance so common with all the 3 year olds I've known.

Monday, May 24, 2010

So where did this kid come from?

I'm still trying to figure out where my 5th child came from. No, no, I understand "how that works" ;) What I wonder at, is how he is so different from my other children, especially the middle two. This morning, for instance... While Ryan (4) and Amanda (3) were sitting and standing on either side of me in the bed this morning, singing and talking loudly while I was desperately trying to get a few more minutes sleep, Ethan (22 months) was still sound asleep in his crib across the room from us. (And when he does wake up, he will often just quietly play with his toys in the crib for a while before climbing out to find me.) While Ryan and Amanda were climbing into my windowsill a little while later and jumping off onto my bed (I was up by then!), Ethan was sitting quietly at the dining table eating Cheerios. While Ryan and Amanda were downstairs loudly watching and arguing over cartoons, Ethan was lying on my bed, blanket over his legs, "reading" a book out loud. I just don't know where he came from...but I'm hoping our new little "Peanut" is a lot like him. :)

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

New experience for this mama today...

So, I had a new experience today with one of my kids. Even having 5, something new crops up from time to time. Ethan somehow managed to get his leg stuck between the slats of his crib when he was supposed to be napping. I've heard from other moms of this happening, but it hadn't happened here until this 5th child, and not until today, at 22 months old. And I'm not talking about him sticking his foot or leg through then pulling it back. No, it was STUCK. Jammed in there real good. I couldn't get it out! He was crying, it was stuck tight, and I wasn't sure what to do next. So...first I ran off to see if Ward could help. Unfortunately, he was on a phone conference for work, so I was on my own. By the time I got back to the crib in my room, he was standing there, crying, but free from his snare. I have no idea how he got it out, it really was stuck tight when I tried to help him. I'm thinking I haven't had this experience before at least in part because none of my other children have been in the crib as often or as long as Ethan. They hated the crib. We've co-slept with all 5 of them, but when we'd put Ethan in for naps and safe play away from his siblings, he kind of liked it there, and would go to sleep with no trouble. So when he started falling asleep in there in the evenings and sleeping for 8 hours or so, who was I to pull him back out of it and put him in my bed? (I love co-sleeping, but also appreciate the perks of a baby who sleeps all night in his own bed!)
So. I'm thinking this is yet another sign of needing to move this boy into a toddler bed in the bigger kids' room. Last month he started climbing out of it, and now he's managed to get himself stuck in it. I was hoping we'd have another month or two before we started to transition him (no rush due to the new baby, I figure he'll be cosleeping with us anyway in the beginning) but I guess we'll be toddler bed shopping this weekend...!

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Preparing for Baby

We don't need much stuff for the new baby. Honestly, we don't "need" anything for the new baby. Having had 5 children already, and three in the past 5 years, means we pretty much have everything we "need", and then some. However, there are always things on the "want" or "would be nice to have" list that can be bought.
This time around, we decided that we probably should replace our infant carseat, since the one we have has gone through 3 babies in 5 years, each using it for at least 10-12 months. It's worn, and 5 years old, and I'd feel better if we got a new one. We had gotten the old one as a stroller/seat combo, and wondered if we should trade the whole thing in and replace it (BabiesRUs/ToysRUs recently had a baby gear trade in program that got us thinking about this) or just get the new carseat. As we thought it over, we thought it would be nice to upgrade our double stroller, as the single hasn't had as much use over the past 5 years. It's not really a "need" because we do have a double stroller. However, the one we have, we got second hand about 6 years ago, when my 2nd daughter was 2, and my nephew was 8 months old. I had just quit my job to stay home again, pre-wedding to Ward, and started babysitting my 2 nephews (8 month old Drew, and 4 year old Raymond who I had babysat before) and had my 5 year old and 2 year old daughters. I thought the double would be useful, but didn't want to pay full price for a new one, since I didn't know HOW useful. :) So...$40 used double, and I have used it to pieces in the past 6 years, with my own children, plus my nephews. It has literally taken a beating, and is still going. However, it has developed a few issues recently. One of the wheels is starting to crack and is a little bent, we've completely lost the trays and bars that make it safe and easy to snap an infant seat into, and it's starting, finally, to get rickety. But I imagine it is at least 8, maybe 10 years old, depending on how long the person who had it before me acutally used it. I know I have gotten my $40 worth out of it, and then some. :)
So...replace the double stroller, replace the old carseat... with that in mind, we decided maybe we could just create our own travel system with double stroller and matching carseat. Over the past few weeks, we've done a little looking, and watching for coupons. Last week we found a good 20% off coupon, and today we took advantage of it. We used a little of our bonus money to get the new double stroller now, as we can get some use out of it with Amanda and Ethan before our new little Peanut arrives, and we will get the matching carseat towards the end of June.
I write all this to dear little Ethan is IN LOVE with this new stroller. We got it all snapped together, and let Mandy and Ethan try it out, and Daddy took them for a short walk in the neighborhood. Ethan refused to get out when they got back, and cried when I took him out. He climbed right back in when we put it in the house, and even figured out that his sippy cup fits perfectly in the little cup holder. He's still sitting in the darn thing right now, just jabbering away and smiling. :) I'm glad he likes it...I hope it gets as much use and love as the last double did, since we paid full price (minus coupon) for this one! :)

I need to get my camera battery charged, and I will share a picture of Ethan in his new double stroller! :)

Friday, April 30, 2010

Pancake Puppies?

So, sometimes you just have to try something. Because you just know you can do it. I was perusing the Denny's online menu, as hubby offered to pick up something for lunch while he was out (and being a pregnant mama, I never turn down the offer of food without having to cook it myself!) I came upon a new menu item they have, called Pancake Puppies. They didn't have much of a description of them on the menu site, so I turned to my good friend...Google. It turns out, Pancake Puppies are just what they sound like. Balls of fried pancake dough, similar to hush puppies.
So a couple thoughts came to mind. First off...OMG those sound awesome! (Definitely preggo talk there...I am NOT a huge fan of pancakes...but yeah, pancake dough fried in oil, yummy! @@) Second thought was...I bet I could make those at home pretty easily! So guess what I did?
First off...back to my good friend Google. I looked up pancake puppy recipes. That led to more links, on beignets, funnel cakes, donuts, elephant ears...basically any kind of dough you could toss in hot oil, cover in powdered sugar, and eat. MMMM. So I got distracted for a good 20 minutes by Google. (he does that to me often...hours can go by because Google keeps training one interesting subject after another...but I digress...) I finally got back to the subject at hand...fried pancake balls.
I got to thinking...what if I just used my favorite pancake recipe, but put in less milk, making a more sticky, firm dough, that I could more easily put into the hot oil? to the kitchen. Quickly whip up a thick, sticky version of my pancakes, and found...that I had *maybe* one cup of oil in the house. Hm. Not much for frying! But I decided to run with it. :)
Do you know...those fried pancake balls turned out FABULOUS? OMG, they were just as tasty as I imagined. (Of course, now I've ruined my lunch, when hubby gets back with my relatively healthy grilled chicken sandwich, but what can ya do, ya know?) They were crispy, and slightly sweet, and soft and fluffy on the inside...just a splash of powdered sugar to make them perfect. ::sigh:: Just what I needed...another true diet buster food! lol!'s the "recipe" I used:

1 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar (just a tad under)
1 Tablespoon baking powder (just a tad under)
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg
2 Tablespoons melted butter
just enough milk to stick it all together and make a sticky, thick batter.
Then...drop by teaspoon up to tablespoon size (depending on what size balls you want...they expand in the oil) into hot oil, flip when browned on one side (although they did seem to want to flip on their own...if I'd had more oil it probably would have worked). Drain on paper towel, and sprinkle with powdered sugar, or dip in syrup! I suggest eating them HOT! :)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Today is Day One

I'm not going to put it off, as I have a tendency to do (as I'm sure others do as well.) Today is Day One of being a better ME. I'm going to take better care of myself and my family. Starting now. :)

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Ha! Well, I know better than to say I'm going to keep up this blog, as I never do. But here's a new entry to add to the list. :)
This time I don't have any "surprise" news to report. Everyone is doing well, and the kids are growing like weeds, as the saying goes. Emily is ten now, and about to start 5th grade. She's growing up so fast, and she's such a great girl, a great helper, and a great big sister. She will be in swimming lessons again this fall, as she has been for the past couple years, and she may be taking piano lessons. She also participates in a running program through her school that started last spring, called Girls on the Run, which she enjoys. She is also in Girl Scouts, but we will have to see if we have time for all those activities!
Allie is 7, and is about to start 2nd grade. She's independent and more outgoing than Emily, and she enjoys doing girly things like makeup, perfume, and nail polish. She's also growing so fast, and she's a great helper and great sister. She wants to go back to dancing this fall, after taking a year off, and she may also do piano if we find a teacher. She will also go back to swimming lessons, which she loves! She's a little fish, a lot like her mama, and it's hard to get her out of the water. :) She has also been in Girl Scouts for the past couple years, and may do it again if time permits.
Ryan is almost four (in a couple weeks) and is as intense as ever! He is full of energy and excitement, and always getting into something! We finally had our first instance of getting stitches, after he fell in our yard last week, and ended up with a cut on his arm which required 5 stitches. I thought it would happen with one of his adventures in jumping from the beds or lofts, or climing the fence, or swinging from my front room curtains, but no...just running in the backyard. He was a very brave boy, and barely cried when they gave him the shot to numb the cut so they could stitch it, and didn't cry at all from the injury. He is going to start preschool 2 afternoons a week with his cousin Patrick, in a few weeks. It should be interesting to see how he does in a classroom setting, although he does fairly well in Sunday School every week.
Amanda is a mini version of Ryan, only in a dress! She's 2 now, and anything brother can do, SHE can do too! Just ask her! :) She talks up a storm, a lot like Allie was in early talking, and it's funny to listen to Mandy and Ryan have an arguemtent, or sing songs together. They're so much fun, even if they do wear me out. She's not going to know what to do with herself when Ryan is at preschool, but at least she has baby brother to "teach" and lead along...!
Ethan just turned one last month, and he's such a joy! He's a very sweet, much more quiet baby than Ryan and Amanda. He's happy to observe and much much more cautious about everything than the other 2. He is 13 months and still is not walking, which is a first for me, as all the others were walking by the time they turned one, with a couple of them walking by 9 or 10 months! He just doesn't show much desire at all to walk, and he has enough people around to carry him he doesn't see the need...yet! We have finally gotten him to take a few very unbalanced unassisted steps over this past week, but he is more interested in practicing "falling"...I guess to make sure he can do it safely before actually trying to walk!
Ward is doing well, he was able to get hired on permanently with Wells Fargo (Wachovia) from the contract job he was doing with them, and now works from home full time, which is wonderful mostly, but frustrating at times. He's a great dad and husband, andis a great help to me around the house. This past weekend his parents were visiting, and he and his dad did several repairs around the house that had been needing done.
And I am also doing well. I still knit and crochet when I have the time, and I love being home with the kids, although I'm also looking forward to school starting in a couple weeks. The girls are just bored at this point, and are ready to get back to their school and friends. I will only have one extra this school year, Patrick, who as I said will be going to preschool two afternoons a week with Ryan. It will seem quiet on those afternoons!
We took a big vacation in late June this summer, to Pennsylvania and surrounding states, and it was a lot of fun. I got to meet some of my longtime March Mommies friends, and we also visited several historic places that at least some of us found quite interesting!
Hopefully I will make it back here again before another year has past!

Friday, October 03, 2008

I'm back!
I'm going to get better about blogging, I promise!
Just a few quick updates. First and most important...Ethan Christopher arrived on July 2, 2008, at 4:55pm. He weighed 8 lbs. 5 oz., and was 20 1/4 inches long. He is now 3 months old (as of yesterday!) and is just growing so fast! I want to tell him to slow down, he's my last baby! But I'm also glad that he's not that teeny tiny newborn anymore, also.
I'm so tired these days! Ryan is 3 now, and just like my first two, he's proving that 3's are worse than "terrible twos". Three year olds and I just don't mesh well! Amanda is 18 months (as of tomorrow!) and with the two of them, plus Ethan, plus my nephew Patrick here every weekday (he's 2 1/2)...and I also have nephew Andrew when he's not in preschool...well, like I said, I'm tired!!
Yesterday was mine and Ward's 4th anniversary. Hard to believe it's been 4 years already. Of course, it's been a hectic 4 years, adding 3 babies, a puppy, a new house, and at least a couple job changes, and it seems like we've been non-stop the whole time.
I have more to share, and as I said, I'm going to work on blogging more again, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I'm so awful! I can't believe I let this blog go for so long!
How about yet another surprising UPDATE??
Yes, we are expecting. Again. Yes, another baby! We'd hardly gotten number 4 settled nicely into the family when we discovered in the fall that number 5 was on the way! He (yes, we found out it is a BOY) is due July 4th, 2008. Amanda just turned ONE on April 4th, so she will be about 15 months old when this little boy arrives. Ryan will be almost 3. Emily turned 9 in March, and Allison is 6 years old TODAY! :)
We've decided to name our new baby Ethan Christopher. It was difficult for me to come up with another boy's name I like as much as Ryan Matthew. Ward had several he liked, but none of them really clicked with me. I have liked the name Ethan in the past, and Christopher has frequently been on my list, and the more I tried those out the more I liked them. It helps that I love the meaning of the names, especially when used together. Ethan means strong or firm, and Christopher is, of course, "Christ bearer" or "One who carries Christ". :)
So here I am, 32 weeks and a few days along. I will say, this pregnancy has been much, much harder on me than any of the other 4 have been. Yes I'm older now, but I think it's more to do with having these last 3 so much closer together, also. Amanda was only about 6 months old when we conceived this new baby. I was barely getting back to "normal" (whatever that is).
We are planning on this being the last addition. :) As I've been saying lately, 3 girls and 2 boys, 3 and 2 makes a "full house", and that's a pretty good hand, and that's where I will stand. :) I'm just a little sad about it being the last baby, especially since it wasn't planned and if I'd have made the choice, I'd have spaced them out more, and maybe have been able to enjoy the last one more assuming I wouldn't have been as tired and sore and frazzled. But who knows. At the same time, though, I know it's time to move on into a new phase of life and parenting. It's not just having my own kids, too...I still have my nephews here daily during the school year as well. And I'm ready to move on to other things. Well, as soon as I get Ryan and Amanda and Ethan past the baby/toddler phase. :)
I'll update more later, and soon. :)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Ryan is finally TALKING

Ryan is finally starting to talk more! For the longest time he has had just a few favorite words, and only used them part time. Now finally this past weekend, he's decided to start talking. Yay! :) The past couple weeks, he's been trying, but this weekend the words are starting to come, and starting to be clearer. He started claiming everything with "mine" a couple weeks ago, and now he's asking for things, and my favorite, he says "I love you" now. "ah wahboo!" at first, but it's getting clearer also. This is all new territory for me, since my older 2 girls were talking by now...Allie most definitely, as she was a very early talker! But anyway, I am very excited about Ryan's expanding vocabulary. Oh, he does sign a little, with his best signs being "more", and now "please", although he does also say both of those words as well.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Summer, and new words

Hello again! We're finally getting into our summer break here. The kids finished up school on the 25th of May, but my sister, who is a teacher and whose children I take care of while she works, didn't finish up until May 31. So this week starts my summer break. Of course, I still have to keep and take care of my own four children! :)
Speaking of my children, they are all doing well. Amanda is 2 months old now, and had her 2 month checkup yesterday. She weighed in at 10 lbs. 14 oz., and is 23 inches long. She looks nice and filled out and chunky to me, but others who have had "real" chunky babies tell her she needs a little more fat on those legs! I think she's perfect. She's growing just like my other 3 did. :)
Ryan is in the midst of a word explosion I think...and finally! He is finally this week starting to put 2 words together. Of course, the words he's chosing to link are MY this and MY that. MY BABY...MY DOG...MY CUP! I'm just happy he's starting to talk more, of course, and it's exciting to see him make the connection between thinking "this is mine" and actually saying it. Not as much fun when the "MY" object is actually his 17 month old cousin's bottle, or cup, or toy...and that cousin is a biter. :/ These 2 are going to be a lot of fun in the fall, when I have Patrick again every day.
Allie is doing great. She had her last dance practice last night, and her recital is next Monday. She gets so excited to dress up in her costume and put on makeup! She tries hard to get through the dance routine, and does as well as a 5 year old can. I hope she wants to continue on in the fall again.
Emily is also doing great. She's playing softball this spring/summer, and has just become excited about the possibility of pitching. I've gone out to work with her and catch for her the past couple days, and I think if she works hard she might do pretty well. She needs to practice a lot, though, and get used to the motion. It's pretty fun to see her get excited about it. She has been a little ambivalent about softball up until this point. We'll see how far she goes with this pitching idea. It helps that Mommy was a softball pitcher back when I was a teen, so I can at least give her some basic pointers.
Not much else going on today. Grandma is coming to town for a visit this coming weekend, so we'll be straightening up the house a bit for her, and planning some fun, like a trip to the zoo, and lunch at The Blue Owl restaurant. We still need to come up with some good ideas for some other summer fun, too. Hopefully it won't be too hot for long this year!
All for now!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Back to Blogging!

Wow, it has been a while since my last entry! I got busy last summer preparing for our vacation, then forgot about my blog entirely. Time to get things going again. And boy do I have some big news to catch up on. :)
We set out in mid-late July on our big 2 week vacation to Arizona. We drove through Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico, camping along the way. We stopped in Phoenix for Ward's graduation, then headed up to the Grand Canyon for a few days. After that, we headed up into Utah and Bryce Canyon, then drove east through Colorado and a stop near Denver for a family visit. Finally more driving east through Kansas and Missouri to home. Whew! It was a wonderful, long, exciting, exhausting, beautiful, wet trip. It rained a lot. Arizona has a monsoon season. Who knew? lol soon as we got back from that vacation, that first weekend in August, I discovered we were expecting again! That was a bit of a shock and surprise. We weren't planning another baby for probably another year. I have this great 3 year plan going, you see...and Ryan's not 3! So, fast forward several months, and we welcomed Amanda Faith into our family on April 4, 2007! She was 8 lb 12 oz, 21.5 inches, and a sweet, quiet baby (unless she's hungry). The older kids love the new baby sister, and Ryan is fascinated with her. At the same time, he's just 20 months old, and still part baby himself. He wants to hug and love on her all the time, and doesn't understand "gentle" yet. It's a challenge! I think they'll eventually grow up to be good friends...or cohorts maybe! But for now, Mandy is quickly learning to scream whenever big brother gets too close!
So baby Amanda is 4 weeks old now. Ryan is almost 21 months. Emily turned 8 years old in March. Allie will be 5 next week.
There's more to share, but I'll save it for the next entry.