Monday, November 11, 2013


My lovely husband could sense that I was in desperate need of a break and booked me into a non-refundable (meaning I couldn't back out) hotel on Friday night. We all went out to dinner and then he took the three kids home and I headed off for some sorely needed time on my own. It was exactly what I needed. I watched a little TV, read a magazine and went to bed at 9 pm. Although I woke up several times throughout the night, each and every time I appreciated the luxury of going straight back to sleep knowing I wasn't responsible for anyone else. I came home feeling so refreshed. Naturally one night doesn't make up for the whole sleep deficit, but to have that time to myself was invaluable. Plus Archer had to make peace with his daddy and doesn't scream now every time I hand him over.

It was good timing since we had the Epic Party of Poor Judgment on Saturday night (more about that tomorrow). I came home and made cupcakes, checked the guest list and got the last minute details sorted out, and even had the energy and inspiration to do a little mini photo shoot with the kids. I don't have too many good quality photos of the three of them yet, and the year in which we move and have a baby isn't one where the budget accommodates a pricey professional photographer (much as I would love it to). Anyway, I got a shot deemed worthy of our holiday card (which is ordered now, wahoo) and the picture below, which is my new favorite shot of the two big kids. It absolutely captured the two of them perfectly and I couldn't love it more.

Here's to mini-breaks and finding some of that lost mojo.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Party On

Man, yesterday was an awesome day. I love for my kids to feel special and this was the first year I think Pacey really *got* that it was his special day. There were lots of happenings at school, including a visit from me and the other two kids to read a story to Pacey's class. Parents are invited to eat lunch with their birthday kids too, but I didn't want to tackle that with Mr. Unpredictable Baby. A book came home with Pacey that was made by the kids in his class; they all wrote something they like about him, something he is good at and the gift they would buy him if they could. The results were incredibly cute and entertaining.

SO, on to the next event: the Class Party. We decided to bite the bullet and invite Pacey's whole class for a birthday party. We figured it was the best way to get to know the kids and their parents, since we are new to the area. We are, therefore, hosting approximately twenty kids for bowling on Saturday (eep!)

Party venues make it pretty easy on parents these days, provided you're willing to shell out the dough. Which I am, to a point, if it means not having twenty kids in my house. The part that always gets me, though, is the party favors. I kinda hate them. Even if you buy several crappy toys plus a treat or something, it comes out to at least $5 per kid. That ends up being a lot at a big party like the one we are hosting. I'm pretty proud of the solution I found this year:

For something like $10 or $12 I found an etsy seller who made these customized party bag toppers with cellophane treat bags. They come separately, so you can fill the bags with whatever you would like and staple them shut. M&Ms purchased in bulk and about 20 minutes of measuring and stapling and voila. Consumable party favors that thank the guests for coming (the point of the favor, IMO) and won't clutter up their houses with junk. I normally try to stay away from candy seeing as his birthday is only six days after Halloween, but this year I decided not to make that my problem.

Pretty cool, huh? Now, to figure out how I'm going to make it through two hours with 20 first-graders all hopped up on birthday party excitement!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Portrait of a Seven-Year-Old

Aw man, my first baby is seven today. It seems like just yesterday and also several lifetimes ago that he entered this world in a confounding whirlwind of mystery and surprise. I'm so grateful this kid is in my life. He is constantly surprising me and I so look forward to what the next seven years of his life hold.

Today, my Pacey:

Weighs 42 pounds and is 42 inches tall. We joke that he's "square." He's kept up this pattern of gaining a pound for every inch he grows (we should all be so lucky) and this explains why his legs look so long and skinny all of a sudden. Just for interest, this puts him in the 50th percentile for weight and height on a growth curve for children with Ds. He's 10th% for weight and nowhere near the curve for height on a typical curve :)

Has lost four teeth and has another one loose. Very unusually, he has lost the four middle teeth on top first.

Has a long list of sight words he knows and has learned to tie his shoes.

Can operate pretty much any gadget you hand him.

Is just the best brother ever. He's started to push back against Brighton - appropriately - when she's pushing his buttons, but in general they are still thick as thieves. He is so incredibly gentle and loving with Archer. He is truly helpful in keeping the baby happy and occupied when I need to do something else. I'm so glad they all have each other.

LOVES superheroes, cars, Lego Ninjago (the show, I haven't crossed over into the dark side of proper Legos yet) and Angry Birds. He'll still play with anything though and remains better at occupying himself than any child I have met ever.

Is still very social but has learned a lot about boundaries over the last year. He's less likely to be physically affectionate with people he doesn't know, but will introduce himself and his siblings to anyone he meets. "Hi, what's your name? My name is Pacey. This is my sister, Sister." (kills me every time).

Continues to be a real daddy's boy. It makes my heart happy.

Loves, loves, LOVES sports of any kind. He's rocking the court in basketball just as he did in baseball. Many people who have met him this year have commented on his athletic abilities. Only another year until he can get involved with Special Olympics (!!!)

Happy birthday, Peanut.

(I hope this video works. Perhaps if you can watch it you'd be kind enough to comment and let me know?)

EDITED: Working on video. How do I not know how to do this yet?

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Fun: We've Had Some.

Halleluiah, the baby slept last night. Never fails to amaze me quite how much some decent sleep can change your whole outlook on life. Here are some fall fun photos to celebrate. I posted many of these on Facebook/Instagram so they may be repeats for some of you...

Three little skeletons

This showcases my youngest child's most excellent
pouty face

Best big brother ever. Look at that cheesy jack-o-lantern

My little baller. He's doing iCan Hoops, similar to
Miracle League baseball. I'm just as impressed with
this program, if not more so.

Selfie x 4

Impromptu trip to the apple orchard

PLEASE no comparisons to Miley Cyrus ;)

I still see a lot of resemblance between these two

We need THREE pumpkins, mom

Underwhelmed by the pumpkin patch

Annual trip to the Landscape Arboretum for the scarecrow displays

Didder and Doodoo

I have yet to capture a really good photo of the three together

Apple orchard

Atop hay mountain

B and her friend K. They were most annoyed that the keys to the tractor
weren't available.

Monday, November 4, 2013


On November 1st I decided to participate in National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo), which requires one to post every day during the month.

On November 2nd I neglected to write a post and gave up.

I'm missing my mojo. This is typically my favorite time of year. I love the change of season, the celebrations of Chris's birthday, Halloween and Pacey's birthday in the space of a couple of weeks, and the official start to The Holidays. This year I just can't seem to get excited. The thought of putting together a card is overwhelming. I feel totally bogged down in STUFF that I can't seem to organize and manage so the thought of adding more stuff is just not appealing. I'm still not able to find time to exercise and I'm suffering mentally for it. It'll be winter soon which means more time indoors, trying to fill hours without going insane at the mercy of a chatty four-year-old.

It was around this time last year I found out I was pregnant and so it's been a full calendar year since things last felt stable.

The baby is having (I think) a growth spurt and may be starting to teethe. He's fussy and clingy during the day and where he was sleeping about 11 hours with just one wake-up to quickly eat, the past two nights he's been up multiple times. The unpredictability is the worst. Well, that and the fact I need some physical SPACE TO MYSELF and I just can't get it right now.

Pacey's still not 100%. It takes time to get over pneumonia, especially when you've been fighting it off for several weeks. But it means more time off school, and more time we are stuck at home. The way I'm a good SAHM is to NOT be at home too much. It's so isolating and I just don't have the mental energy to keep up the steady stream of stimulation the kids need. Although he's making progress and responded to treatment really well, there is still the low level underlying anxiety I get when he gets a bad respiratory illness. I feel so darn helpless against his compromised lungs and immune system. Plus, you know, I feel bad that he feels bad.

Brighton has taken her picky eating to a whole new level. I've written before about how I choose not to fight the food battles with her, in large part because I get it. I'm picky too. But now things that she has happily eaten for months are becoming suspect and, therefore, refused. Dried cranberries are "too black" or "too red." Apple juice (you know, just plain old apple juice) "smells not good." I have reached my limit with it and if she rejects something she has asked for and eaten happily in the past, I'm not offering alternatives. I know as well as the next person that you cannot force a child to eat, it's my job to put the food in front of her and her job to eat it, etc, but man, I feel like a crappy mom when she's not eating.

Jeesh, I guess it's good I'm not writing my own personal Guide to a Pity Party on here every day. That would get old pretty quick.

I am going to try to come back and write about some of the good this fall. The fun things we have done, the neat changes I've seen in the kids. Just need to work on an attitude adjustment first. Any suggestions?

Friday, November 1, 2013

Trick's On Me

I should know better than to write out in black and white how well one of my kids is doing health-wise. Since my last post, Pacey suffered a low level sinus infection/cold that managed to turn into pneumonia this week. Poor kid. He missed the Halloween festivities at school, including the annual parade through the town the school sits on the edge of. We did let him go out last night for awhile. It was unusually mild and we dosed him up with meds and bundled him up. He did fine and I'm glad he didn't have to miss out entirely. Another great Halloween...they get better every year the kids get older.

Just because his smile is cute :)

Directly after I took this picture he rolled over for the
first time. Milestones are just as cool the third time

Two pirates and their parrot

This little parrot was remarkably chill through the
whole Halloween experience

She wasn't tired at all, nope, not a bit.