Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Over Way Too Fast

Christmas has come and gone in a flash - again. Only this year it went even faster. My brother and Hien are usually here for a few days before and until the day after Christmas and they typically do most of the cooking for Christmas dinner. This year they came for a couple days, but left on the 23rd because they have a new puppy and she is still very needy and hyper, so they decided to have a (semi)quiet Christmas at home by themselves, rather than chase her around the house all day among the 27 other guests in our home on Christmas. So, Cindy and I were on our own and, while everything went off without a hitch - almost - I got to spend a lot less time with our guests than I would have liked, even with all the help plating, serving and cleaning we got from a couple of WONDERFUL women. Thanks Ladies!
Overall, an amazing day, as always.
Olivia finally gets Christmas and she really made out this year; a couple games, some crafts, beads, markers, coloring books, crayons, paints, more glue and pom poms, toys, clothes, a camera, a computer a scooter, annual Collector's Edition Barbie, etc, etc.
Her favorite things: annual snowglobe, underwear with stars on them and a 5 pack of lip gloss.
My favorite: contribution to her college fund.
I think my favorite thing about Olivia and Christmas this year was the sheer pleasure she derived from giving rather than receiving. Makes me proud.
Emma and Jake are completely clueless and I intend to take advantage of that for the next 2 years, but I think they had a blast anyway.
We made cookies on Christmas Eve to leave for Santa, then went to Christmas Eve service, during which Olivia made an appearance as a Traveler and an Angel in the Christmas pageant.
We left the cookies and milk for Santa and carrots for the reindeer. Lo and behold when she woke Christmas morning and ran to the fireplace where we left them, they were gone and she screamed and woke the whole house. FUN!

It only gets better form here.

OG got a dress from my brother and just HAD to put it on immediately. Then they popped bubble wrap together.

My angel at the Christmas Pageant.

Santa did come - and he ate all his cookies.

OG (the lion) and her cousin Alex (the princess - and yes, he's a boy) couldn't wait to get out of their Christmas clothes.

OG was a good big sister - teaching Emma and Jake how to use the toy she gave them.

We FINALLY got a pic of ourselves on Christmas - this never happens.
And me and my girl - this really never happens.

OG thought it would be fun to go in Annabelle's crate (my brother's new puppy).

OG's gift to Emma.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Holiday Show

Olivia and her classmates put on a Holiday Show at schoolyesterday. The lights were off, so the video is a little dark, but you will get the gyst.

The 3 year olds were dresses as Rockstars because the song they did for their big finale was Bruce Spring.steen's version of "Santa Claus is Comin' To Town".











Monday, December 10, 2007

Decisions, Decisions...

We spent yesterday afternoon, during halftime of the 1:00 game, of course, trying to get a picture for our Christmas cards this year. After a half hour of posing, primping, reprimping, fixing dresses, etc. we got a couple shots to choose from. Her are the finalists.

I really wanted to go with the picture of the whole family, but Jake isn't looking at the camera. I could switch his head with another picture where he is looking and smiling, but it feels a little creepy. Besides, what's the fun in that?

And the other is just my angels. They were so good for me. I'll enjoy it while it lasts. i have a feeling that next year will be a nightmare.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Picture With Santa

Merry Christmas!
It's that time of year again. I took the kids to get the annual picture with Santa yesterday. Do you know what it's like to bathe 3 children, dress them up, load them in the car, drive to the mall, unload the monstrous stroller, pack them all in it, get through the entrance doors (where nobody will hold the door for you), take off all that bulky winter outerwear, brush their hair (Emma has none, so that made it easier), wipe the snotty noses, unhook the straps and take them out of the stroller, set them on Santa's lap and get them ALL to smile at the same time? Piece of cake! Well, Emma didn't smile so much, but at least she wasn't crying.
But we did it and here's the finished product.




Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Most Appalling Thing I've Ever Read

No doubt you've all been hearing that Massachusetts is considering a ban on spanking. I am a HUGE opponent of any kind of physical punishment of children, so I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the new research. I Googled "spanking children" it and this website came up...www.smartspanking.com

IF you decide to go to this website, be prepared to be appalled. This will be immediately followed by intense anger and an uncontrollable urge to choke the life out of the F*ING idiot who wrote it AND all the so-called "parents" who contributed to the site by giving suggestions on "how to spank effectively".

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

After you read it, go hug your kids.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Equal Time for OG and Jake

I got more than a few admonishments for only having video of one of my children on my blog yesterday. So...here are Olivia and Jake. Of course, Olivia knew the camera was on, as you will soon see.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Finally!

I have been waiting and waiting and waiting fo my 2 little beans to be able to sit up without help. They try so hard, but usually fall over seconds after I set them up. Emma was a champ today and sat up for a really long time. I, being the blogger I am, was able to get it on video.

PS - Jake was sleeping.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Gingerbread Massacre

Rainy gloomy day here in NJ and we're stuck in the house because Jake and Emma are still very sick - their brains are leaking out through their noses and they are coughing up their lungs. We've had to come up with a lot of things to entertain ourselves today and the house is a disaster area - and SO WHAT!

It's 2pm now and we are all still in our pj's. We have painted - on paper and our bodies, colored, played with every toy, built a Potato Head family and ripped it apart. The most fun by far, though, was the Gingerbread Massacre.


I sold my soul the other day and bought premade, precut gingerbread cookies in the shapes of men, women and Christmas trees. I NEVER thought I'd buy premade dough, but I felt like I would need them one day this week. I heard bad weather was coming and I thought it would be nice for OG and me to bake one day. I was NOT going to bake homemade chocolate chip cookies for fear of eating them ALL before Cindy even made it home from work. She would wonder what smelled so good and then I would have to lie and say it was a candle. So in order to avoid the scenario, I just bought the damn premade gingerbread because I don't like gingerbread and I won't have to be tempted because I WILL NOT gain back the weight I've lost - not for gingerbread cookies! I'm getting off the subject.


The cookies on the package look so pretty - perfectly baked, whole and beautifully decorated.





Olivia and I had an awesome time . She was very patient in pulling them apart and there were only a few casualties - a headless or limbless gingerbread man (or woman - they actually have some of the cutouts in skirts!) here and there. She was meticulous about placing them on the cookie sheet.



Then I did something REALLY stupid. What was I thinking? Can you guess? Take a minute, study the picture...




That's right, I put on the frosting and let Olivia put on her fishie sprinkles on BEFORE I put them in the oven. DUH! I just wasn't thinking. So all the poor little gingerbread people and Christmas trees sizzled and burned. Then the massacre ensued when I tried to scrape them from the cookie sheet.



And my cookie sheet didn't fair too well either - that's gonna be a bitch to clean!




This poor guy got an ulcer from my foolishness. Olivia thought he tasted pretty good, though.



All in all it was a lot of fun - and I only ate 1. and NO, it was NOT worth it. Damn!


Gotta go. Snoopy's about to have an operation and I've been asked to scrub in.


PS - I just really looked at this picture. Could my house be a bigger mess? Again - DON"T CARE!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

"Look, Mama. I'm Beautiful"

"Yes you are, my darling."

This is how I was wakened by my little girl this morning. Apparently, she had entertained herself in my makeup bag for awhile before she decided it was time for me to get up too.
She chose a lovely shade of mauve for her lips/face and Mommy's nighttime face cream slathered in her hair was the perfect way to finish off her look.




It's dreary and wet - AGAIN!
My friend's 7-year old twins are here while their mom went to an appointment. They wanted to play soccer outside and Olivia didn't, so she got really sad. She decided that making jewelry would make her happy, so we whipped out the pipe cleaner and beads. Here's the bracelet she made for Cindy.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Photo Shoot

Not much going on around here. It snowed today, so we went to he mall for 5 hours. And I only spent $14.97. I bought 3 belts (it's my new fashion focus), which were regularly priced at $58, $68 and $78 ($204 total). My price - $4.99 each. The high I felt kept me rolling for hours.

Yesterday was a lazy day. In our quest to continue losing weight, we bought a Stair.master. Another amazing bargain from Craigs.list. We have each lost 10 pounds and have quite a few pounds to go, so we had to keep it interesting. The elliptical is great, but I was getting bored. And I LOVE LOVE LOVE the stepper. We will christen it tonight.

We had a photo shoot yesterday because we really need to get some pictures of the babies up on the walls. Right now they are a shrine to OG and we are feeling a little guilty about it, so...

Jake doesn't have a single bad angle and the camera loves him! Emma always looks surprised and poor baby, her cheeks are chapped. Olivia is getting her poses down. She was crackin' me up. She would strike a pose, then run to me and say, "Let me see it". What would she have done in the age of pictures that needed to be developed? What would I do?! Here they are, just an afternoon of fun and photos.






Friday, November 16, 2007

Passie, Be Gone!

Who needs a freakin' passie anyway? Not Emma. Not Jake. At this early juncture, I'm fairly sure that little thing was better at pacifying me than it was them.

So here's how it went yesterday.
When they woke screaming from their naps, I refrained from immediately shoving the passies in their mouths to quiet them. I sang instead. Because I am completely tone deaf and cannot carry a tune in a bucket, one would think this would make a baby cry more. It did not. Emma was laughing at me though. Hmmmm...
I brought them downstairs and we played. They got a bottle. We played. They ate dinner. We played. They screamed. I put them in the swing and the bouncer. They calmed down. They got restless. We played some more. Last bottle. Bed. 25 minutes of screaming. Silence.
Not bad. We'll see how it goes tonight.
They woke screaming around 2:30. I guess they didn't cry long, because I fell right back to sleep. I woke to them screaming again at 5:30. Bottle. Back to sleep, no screaming.

This morning went fairly smoothly as well. They woke around 8. I packed them up, drove OG to school, came home, fed them breakfast, played a little, gave them a bottle, then put them down for a nap. They cried for about 5 minutes, then off to dreamland.
After nap, we went shopping. Even when they were in their carseats waiting for me to get my bag together and my shoes on, they were quiet. Normally I would have thrown the passies in their mouths to make sure hey stayed quiet. We came home around 3 and I gave them a bottle, played a little, then put them for a nap. They cried up until about 2 minutes ago. So maybe it was about 10 minutes. Now they are sleeping soundly.

I did realize, however, I am playing with them a lot more than I had been to keep them occupied. Shame on me for not playing with them more before and just sticking the passies in their mouths to quiet them. SHAME!

So I guess what I'm saying is that I was scared and avoided this for too long and I am so happy (for now). I guess we'll see if they can keep up the good work.

Thanks to my little beans for being so amazing and making me realize how much I was missing out on when I was doing dishes, vacuuming, cleaning, etc. instead of playing with you. I love you!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Shouldn't I Know?

I feel like I've lost my mind; like I have no idea what I'm doing. Maybe it's because I am sleep deprived for the last week.

All of a sudden, Olivia will NOT eat dinner. Every time I mention the word, her immediate response in the whiniest voice I have ever heard (which, by the way, hardly ever rears its ugly head anymore unless I say "dinner") is...
"I dooooon't liiiiiiiike diiiiiiiinnnnnnnner".
WHAT?!#$%^&*
What do you mean you don't like dinner? What kind of statement is that? It makes NO SENSE! STOP SAYING IT!!!!!
What the hell is going on there?

I began wondering today - are the babies eating enough? enough bottles? enough formula in each bottle? should they be drinking water? juice? should they be eating mashed fruit? veggies?should Jake be able to grab and put his passie in his mouth himself? shouldn't they be sitting up on their own by now? saying more? babbling more?
I feel like a first time mom on speed. I don't feel like I have a handle on anything right now. I have forgotten everything I have ever known about milestones - even when Olivia hit them.


The babies are not sleeping well at all. I am getting up 2 or 3 times a night because they are screaming their heads off - and ALWAYS, it is because they have lost their pacifiers.
I've had enough! I made an executive decision about 20 minutes ago. NO MORE PASSIES!
I know, I know. I'm crazy, right? I can't take it anymore. I will gladly trade a few nights of screaming for a lifetime of self-soothing. Olivia never took a passie and always hummed to soothe herself. She still does it when she's tired and eating. So they can self soothe too.
There! I've drawn my line in the sand. I'll let you know how it goes if I don't jump off a bridge first. (GULP)

I am anxiosuly awaiting suggestions...about anything! Even for a new hair do.

Monday, November 12, 2007

I Love My Wife

*************UPDATE*****************
My turn! Cindy woke a little after midnight last night and was violently ill. She continued to be sick through the rest of the night and called out of work this morning. Poor baby! So now I get to take care of her today, though I have a feeling she will sleep most of the day.

**************************************

I have been a very bad blogger. I haven't had time for a lot of anything but comforting babies. They have had very bad colds for close to 2 weeks and a few days ago it seems they have become respiratory infections. To top it off, I woke up yesterday feeling nauseated, with a headache and dizziness. Cindy stayed home with the babies and I took OG to church anyway and after the service and Sunday school, we stayed for a bit in coffee hour and chatted with our friends. Olivia was sitting in my lap, saying her belly hurt and she had to poop. As we rose to walk to the bathroom, she pulled an exorcist. She puked all over the floor - in a 3-foot radius around her little body. The poor thing was so scared. She's only vomited once before - and she slept through the whole thing, so she had no idea what was happening.
By the time we got home, it was my turn. I started feeling very sick and the headache was torturous, so I lay down. I ended up vomiting as well a little later in the afternoon. Soon after, it was Jake's turn. He vomited carrots all over himself as soon as he was finished eating them. Jake and Emma had such sick-smelling diarrhea all day and their little butts must have been burning. Then Olivia took another turn at puking - ALL OVER THE RUG. So Cindy decided it was time for a "family bath". She bathed them, put them to bed, then I did the same. Cindy slept downstairs in the hopes of avoiding getting sick.

So...the REAL reason for this post is to thank my honey for stepping up. She called her boss last night to tell him she'd be working from home today so she could help take care of everyone. No easy feat for my wife. She NEVER stays home.
She woke early this morning and took care of the babies and Olivia and let me sleep in. She helped out all day long. She fed the babies and Olivia (though all 3 barely ate at all). She changed nasty diapers, soiled pajamas and sheets several times and amused a pent up toddler while trying to check and respond to emails.

So here's to you, honey. THANK YOU! I love you.

Love,
Me

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

How Hot in October?

Oy! Is it hot here! The last few days have raised the mercury to between 77 and 82 degrees - and it's humid. It's October for hell's sake. It's sick. I tried putting away all our spring and summer clothes in bins and storing them in the attack, but I've had to tap into them to dress Olivia and myself for this weather.

The sun was so bright and hot the babies needed sunhats and my fair haired little girl needed long sleeves so she wouldn't burn.
This night, the temperature dropped way down and it was a frigid 65, so I had to break out the long sleeves and hats for the babies.


I as waiting for a cold, rainy day to break out these new paints, but that day may never come, so I dug out an old shirt and my little artist went to work.


It was a hot and humid 80 last night and you know what comes with heat and humidity...mosquitoes. And what one has, the other must have, so...
These gorgeous summer PJ's are from her 2 uncles. They brought them back from Vietnam for her and she wears them to death. I guess it's goodbye to the feeties for now.
Olivia has been trying to perfect her bike-riding skills. Notice the short sleeve tshirt and the jeans rolled up to prevent overheating.
She is a real pro at pedaling, but has yet to master steering and braking.

Monday, October 22, 2007

NOT GOING!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Memory Walk 2007

On Wednesday, the 24th, it will be 7 years that my dad has been gone. We lost him after a long battle with Alzheimer's.


So this year, we decided to participate in the Memory Walk to raise funds for the NYC chapter of the Alzheimer's Association. Not only do they provide money for research to find a cure, but they spend a great deal of the money they raise to provide support for people living with Alzheimer's and their caregivers.
It was a beautiful crisp autumn morning and the sun was shining bright. It wasn't long before the day warmed up and it was a beautiful walk through Riverside Park and along the Hudson River.

Thankyou to my family for walking with me and helping me raise money.
Thankyou to all my friends for your generous donations.
Thankyou to my brother for your HUGE donation and support. I know you would have come if you could have. Wish you were here. Love You!

This is the Memory Wall, where people wrote messages to the loved ones they have lost to the disease. Our message was for "Big Tony".

On your mark, get set, go!The view of the river from the bridge was gorgeous.OG walked a good part of the course and she only tripped over her shirt once! We did it!