Friday, July 29, 2011

My Newest Obsession

I have a new obsession - in one word I'm obsessed with:


I LOVE Pinterest.  I spend so much time finding amazing things that

- I want to do once we move into the new house
- I want to do with the kids
- I want to make for gifts
- I want to share with my friends
- I want to eat
- I want to take pictures of
- I want to remember . . . there are tons and tons of awesome quotes

I have 13 different boards I pin stuff to on Pinterest.

1. Favorite Places and Spaces
2. Books Worth Reading
3. My Style Pinboard
4. For the Home
5. Inspiring Food
6. Words
7. Fun Stuff
8. Ideas for the Kids
9. Cool Stuff (not to be confused with Fun Stuff?  Hmmm...)
10.  Elf Ideas
11. Gifts to Make
12. Photography Coolness
13. Holiday Fun

I may need to rethink a few of those . . .

Anyway, you can view all of my pins here:  JKrajci on Pinterest

Need an invite?  Let me know!  Already on Pinterest?  Let me know!  I'd love to see what fun things you have pinned on your boards!

Now . . . off to paint my bathroom.

I'm hoping to have before and after pics by Monday!



Thursday, July 28, 2011

Speaking of giving up sleep . . .

I didn't sleep well last night.  I was tired.  I was REALLY tired.  I tossed and turned all night, though.  Then . . . at about 1 o'clock in the morning, I woke Jerry up because I needed a hug and someone to tell me everything was going to be okay.  I went into Nate and Danika's room to check on them . . . and started crying.  It's going to be a long month.

I think all that happened for a few reasons.  First of all, last night's blog post.  It was overly mushy about how much I love my kids.  It was true and I love the post but it made me feel a little vulnerable about the ages they are right now and the changes coming up.  Then, there is the recent news stories. . . 

I don't watch the news.  It's too depressing.  It usually isn't very inspiring and almost always makes me feel anxious about something.  I have, however, been using a new app on my iPhone (SkyGrid) to keep somewhat current.  I don't read too many articles in depth - just the headlines.  I have been reading a lot about the Norway shootings.  I read an article last night about a mother sitting at home receiving text messages from her daughter who was pleading for her to send the police because their was a maniac shooting people.  Her daughter even told her that she knows she misbehaves sometimes . . . but she loves her.  

The thing that probably pushed me over the edge, though . . . the thing that I'm sure was the main reason I didn't get any sleep last night . . . Nate's Kindergarten registration came in on Tuesday.  It came with his room assignment, his teacher's name (he has Mr. D!!  I'm really excited that he'll have a male teacher - I think it will be great for him!) and this 6 digit number that I have to help him memorize.  He has to be at school at 8:50 am and will be done at 3:10 pm.  Which means, he will be gone all day.  He will be on his own.  Not really . . . but kinda.  

I know that he is ready.  I know that this will be great for him and that he will do wonderful.  I also know I'm going to be a basket case.  I'm pretty sure that I'm not going to handle it as well as I thought I would.  I was thinking that I would be excited about him learning new things and that I would be excited to help him because I love school.  The truth is, though, that right now I am more worried about the fact that I won't be there if he needs me.  I think that (or hope that) once I meet his teacher and know his bus schedule and see his classroom, I will feel better.  I taught Kindergarten for a year.  I know that the kids need a lot of help but I also know that they were all fine.  He will be fine, too.  I'm just not sure how much sleep I'm going to lose over it . . . or how fine I will be that first time I drive away from the school and leave him in the care of someone else. 





Wednesday, July 27, 2011

10 Day You Challenge ~ {Picture}


Today has not been a good day.  Babies have been crying and their older siblings have been fighting.  I tried and tried to get something accomplished but it just didn't work out.  I couldn't even get my grocery list and coupons organized to try to get my butt to the store for an early morning shopping trip.  (I'm holding out hope that I might still be able to get it together tonight, though.)

I'm tired from painting yesterday and I'm not even done.  I have this weird "weight of the world" feeling on my shoulders and the base of my neck.  Try as I may it just won't go away.

All these things considered . . . I'm not feeling very photogenic.  So, you can forget about what I was going to do...which is snap a pic today and just share that with you all.

I wanted to post a blog post, though.  I wanted to finish this challenge and I wanted to move on to being able to write about other things (I actually have a list started of topics I'm going to write about!).

So, I started thinking about what picture to use.

I thought about this one:


Because I really really look like Danika (or Danika really looks like me) in this picture.

So, it got me thinking.

You wanna see me?  Here . . . have a look.


Here I am . . . in the face of my daughter (picture taken by my good friend, Cathy).

And here I am again . . .

It' a hit!!!

In this concentrated look of my son - I make this face a lot.

And here . . .

Dean on the beach

In the brown eyes of the most Italian of my 4 children . . . he gets that from me.

And here . . .

David Jerome

In the crooked smile and squinty eye of my youngest son.

I am in all of them...and they are my life.

I read an article yesterday about a woman who posted on her facebook page that an article she had written about not wanting to have children was going to be published or aired on TV or something like that (I can't for the life of me find the article now . . . or I would share it!).  She was harshly criticized by some of her facebook pals from someone saying something along the lines of, "Why would anyone be interested in your choice not to have children?" to people saying that she will change her mind in 5 years or so.  Then a fight broke out between her friends!  Some saying that she has a right to do what she wants with her body and other saying that she doesn't know what she is missing.

Personally, I don't really care.  It doesn't matter to me if she has children or not.  It doesn't matter to me why she chooses not to have children or if she will change her mind. Now, if she were to criticize me for having 4 children THEN we would get into it but as long as you don't say anything negative about me having 4 kids then I won't say anything at all about you not having kids.

In fact, some days, I will be slightly jealous...other days, I will feel bad that she will never know what it's like to be the world to a little person.  She won't know the power she could have to make things better in a way that only a mommy can...of course, that all comes with a price and I completely get that some people don't want to pay that price or don't think that it is worth it.

I have realized, though, that part of that price really is making an amazingly large sacrifice. . . I have given up so much for my children.  I have given up eating warm meals - half the time I don't even eat a meal, I just pick while doing other things.  I have given up hours and hours of sleep.  I have given up watching TV during the day - if it isn't on Sprout or Noggin, we don't watch it.  I have given up having my own time to do things for me.  I have given up spending time with my friends.  I have lost friends because of my children.  I have given up space in my home - my dining room doubles as a toy room because we just don't have anywhere else for it to go.  I have spent more money than I want to think about and we aren't even close to when they will be most expensive (imagine, if you will, feeding 3 growing boys and one princess when they are ages 14 - 10).  I have given up blankets in the early morning when a little one crawls into my bed and says they are cold and want to snuggle.  I have given up buying myself new clothes.  I have given up peace and quiet.  I have given up sanity and easy days.

That's the price.  Those are all the things I've given up or lost because of my children.  Of course, they are worth it.  They are worth every single sacrifice.  They give me more than I could ever list but just to make sure that you know I count the positive with the negative . . . here are just some things that they give me.

They give me smiles, kisses, hugs and compliments.  It is one of the best feelings in the world to hear your child say that you are beautiful.  They make me laugh - they say the most hysterical things.  They make me proud.  They remind me how simple life can be.  They remind me that life is good and that everyday things are amazing.  They remind me that a kiss really can make things better and they have helped me to see what is most important in life.

I remember life without kids.  It was fun.  It was all about me.  I wish I knew how much time I had back then.  I wish I knew that I was wasting so much of it on things that don't really matter.  I probably would have done a lot of things differently if I knew then that I would be sacrificing so much now.

I almost feel like this is my second life.  The one where it isn't about me but it's about my children.

I remember friends telling me that I have to be careful and not let my children become more important than taking care of myself...it's true but it's also impossible.  Because, as you can see from the pictures, they are me and they are the most important things in the world...along with the other human being who is part of them.  (Love you, Jerry)

Whew.




Tuesday, July 26, 2011

10 Day You Challenge ~ {Songs}

Two songs - I was thinking that maybe I would just put my iPod on random and see what the first two songs that popped up were.  I don't think that would make for a very interesting blog post, though.  So, I decided to write about the two songs that remind me of my Dad every time I hear them.

01.

Everything I Do by Bryan Adams . . . this is the song that was playing when my Dad saw me slow dance with a boy for the first time.  It quickly became "our" song because he swears it would come on the radio when something important was happening with me.  He heard it the day I finally passed my drivers test.  I remember several times in college he would call me and say, "I was just listening to the radio and . . . "

02.

Because You Loved Me by Celine Dion . . . For Father's Day one year I bought my dad a Celine Dion CD.  I know...I know...why would I do that?  Well, I had heard this song and I tried to think of what guy in my life it reminded me of. . . it was my Dad.  I am who I am because he loved me and gave me everything that I needed (and pretty much everything I wanted, too).

This is the song we danced to at my wedding . . . my Dad made it down the aisle without shedding a tear but we both cried as soon as we heard the first few notes of this song.

Gee . . . I think I'm gonna call my Dad now.  Just to say, "Hi" and see how he is.  :)

Stay tuned - next is a picture of me. . . Who knows what that'll be like!

Monday, July 25, 2011

10 Day You Challenge ~ {Films}

Three Films . . . ugh.

I love movies but I'm not really big on having a favorite movie.  I also don't like to watch them over and over again like my husband does.  It's kind of like reading the same book again and again.  There are certain movies that he will watch if he comes across it on TV no matter how many times he's seen it . . . like Caddyshack or Happy Gilmore.

Christmas movies are the exception.  For some reason, I can watch Christmas movies over and over again and not get tired of them.  So, since we are currently watching a Christmas movie in the other room because Nate is once again in love with it (happened last July, too!), I give you, "Janene's Top Three Christmas Movies"

01.  Elf (the one currently being watched in the other room) - We LOVE Elf!!!




02. White Christmas - This one is purely sentimental.  It reminds me of my Nunni and my childhood when Christmas was the most awesome time of year!  :)




03.  Last but not least - Christmas Vacation...it's a tradition and a modern day classic!  hehehe




By the way - 152 days until Christmas!!!


Sunday, July 24, 2011

10 Day You Challenge ~ {Books}

Four books . . . only four?  Wow.  Okay

01.  Two Kisses for Maddy by Matthew Logelin - this is the last book I read and the first nonfiction book I've read probably since High School (or maybe college, I guess).  You can read the review of it I did on my blog here.   If you don't handle sad books very well then you shouldn't read it.  I didn't think that I would read it because I don't handle sad things well . . . but I couldn't help it and I'm glad I decided to try.

02.  The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks - this is the only book I've ever read more than once.  I just can't bring myself to read books twice.  I get bored.  This book, though, I read so fast the first time (it was a really quick read) that I decided to try reading it again . . . and I actually did get through it a second time.  So, I figure I must really like it then, right?

03.  The Help by Kathryn Stockett - This was my favorite book we read at book club.  I LOVED the book!  Such a great story and such awesome characters.  I was a little bummed out that the ending wasn't more . . . exciting but I can't wait to see the movie!


04.  The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley - This is the longest book I've ever started and finished because I wanted to read it.  It was the summer I was working in a little shop in Oakmont.  I passed the time waiting for people to come into the store (it wasn't a really busy store at all) by reading this book.  I LOVED it.  I actually thought about trying to reread it now . . . but I can't.  It's too long and a story I know too well.  It was worth reading the first time, though.  Gave me a totally different perspective on the whole Arthur saga.  :)


Saturday, July 23, 2011

10 Day You Challenge ~ {Food}

I figured out what I wanted to do for five foods this morning.  I figured that I would post 5 of my favorite recipes from Allrecipes.com - so, I went to my Allrecipes recipe box to get started.  I was signed out...which I hate because I have 3 different email addresses and about 5 passwords I use.  So, I began the process of trying to figure out which one I use on Allrecipes.  After getting lost in several stories on Yahoo - the ones about what happened in Norway were horrific, will be saying extra prayers for those families and hugging my little ones closer tonight - I finally figured out my password and user name.  So, here you have my 5 favorite recipes from Allrecipes.com.

01.  Easy Meatloaf - I've been making this for 7 years (I needed a good meatloaf recipe after I got married) and have NEVER had a complaint!


02. Tasty Chicken II - I'm not sure when I first made this . . . but I've made it several times since then.  EVERYONE eats it!  Which I can't say about a lot of other things I make!

03.  World's Best Lasagna - It truly is the world's best but it takes ALL DAY to make.  I've made it twice and both times it was a huge success.  Even my dad told me it was amazing!  It's a great dish for a fall or winter day when it isn't a big deal to have the stove and oven on . . . so, I don't see me whipping this one up anytime soon!


04.  Pumpkin Pancakes - We love pancakes in this house...and I love pumpkin.  :)  They are a perfect fit for us!


05.  Okay - I'm going to cheat a little here...I want to share the recipe for Chocolate Crinkle Cookies that I used for our cookie exchange the past 2 years.  It is SO easy and they come out so yummy!  The kids love them!  So, why is it cheating?  It's not an Allrecipe recipe...guess I could probably find it there but I'm feeling a little lazy this morning and don't feel like looking for it.  After all, I already have it right HERE!  :)


Friday, July 22, 2011

10 Day Challenge ~ (Places)

Six Places I want to take my children someday . . .

01.  New York City and The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade:


02.  Walt Disney World in Orlando Florida:


 (Love, love, love this parade!!!)

03.The Florida Keys - I have had a lot of great times there...really beautiful and I'd love to take my kids someday to see a Sunset Celebration!



http://www.sunsetcelebration.org/index.html

04.  The Renaissance Festival - which I have said we were going to make it to the last 3 years...we are going this year!!!

http://www.pgh-renfest.com/index.html

05. Penn State Main - because it's where Jerry went to school and I think it would be fun for them to see that.  Of course, I'd also like to take them to IUP and Duquesne where I got my degrees from, too.  ;)



06.  Washington D.C. - someday...when they are all old enough...I'd like to take them sight seeing in our nation's capitol.  There is SO much to see and I know we would have a great time!  :)

There you have it.  I can't say it's a super exciting list . . . but hey, I may be able to check one of the places (or maybe even 2 if I can talk Jerry into a State College Road Trip!) off my list this year!


Thursday, July 21, 2011

10 Day You Challenge - {Wants}


Ha!  This one has perfect timing!

Seven Wants:

01.  I want someone to buy my current house so that I can find and move into a bigger house that we fit better in. We have really really run out of room here!  :)

02.  I want a maid service to come in and clean my house before our open house on August 7th!  hehehe

03.  I want about 4 more hours in the day - preferably hours when my beautiful children are nestled snug in their beds so that I can get stuff done.

04.  Of course, I want my husband to get an insanely large raise or for us to hit the lottery.  :)

05.  I want my children to be happy.  I want them to laugh more than they cry and I want them to always know how much they are loved.

06.  I want my family to be healthy.  I would give just about anything to have my sister be able to get out of her wheelchair and do things with me.  MS sucks.  I want there to be some kind of miracle cure so that she can lead a totally normal life.

07.  I want to live every day to the fullest and learn to accept things I can't change and enjoy what I have without worrying about what I don't.  :)

Here are some material wants I have, too...(because I have to add pictures to my post!)
I would love this lens - but it's kinda pricey right now....so....

I would like this tube extension kit for my Nikon....and....

This close up lens set!  ;)
 Here are just some spots I would love to create in my next house - how I want things to look!  :)





So, there you have it...I guess it's more like 14 wants but hey...it's my blog so I'll write as many as I want!  hehehe

Have a great day!  Hope you all get at least one thing you want today!  :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

10 Day You Challenge ~ {Fears}


Eight fears...not as easy as I thought it would be.

01.  Dying -  I'm not sure that it is the actual leaving this world part that scares me or if it's what I'm leaving that makes me afraid of dying...either way, it's a biggie.

02.  Helplessness - I am so afraid of being helpless.  I hate the thought that I can't do something to help my kids if they need it.  I am so afraid of things that are out of my control - I'm not very good at accepting things but I'm working on it.

03.  Giant Bugs - I hate bugs.  I can handle the little ones, though (except fire ants. . . I hate fire ants).  Big ones . . . yeah, I'm more likely to run away screaming than to "take care" of them.

04.  Small Places - I wouldn't say that I am claustrophobic but I defiantly am probably borderline.  The MRI they did of my brain about a year ago was the closest I ever came to having a panic attack.

05.  Being late or unprepared for something - You know how people have dreams where they go to school in their underwear?  Yeah, those kind of nightmares are some of my biggest fears. . . I am always nervous about being late or not having what I need.

06.  Losing my parents (we won't even talk about me losing Jerry) - I know it will happen sooner or later but it's one of my biggest fears. . . how I'm going to "make it" without them.

07.  Driving in snow storms - it wasn't always something I was afraid of but now that I usually have a kid or two with me I hate driving in the snow and actually get a little scared if it's too bad.

08.  Suspicious looking people - it's funny because we were just talking about this last night at my Mommy Group meeting.  I am afraid of people who don't smile back at me when I smile at them.  I try to be overly friendly to strangers because I'm secretly a little afraid of them...I almost always smile or say hello.  When I don't get a smile or nod or something back it makes me nervous...I've probably watched too many movies.  :)

Monday, July 18, 2011

10 Day You Challenge ~ {Loves}

There are so many things that I love that it might be tough to narrow the list down to nine - but I'll try!

01.  My Kids


02.  My Husband


03. The rest of my family and friends.

04.  My iPhone - is it rude to go from people to inanimate objects?  I seriously LOVE my iPhone.  It does everything and then some.  I can't imagine not having it now that I have been using it for a few months.


05. Amazon.com - I LOVE Amazon.  For the past 2 years, I have done all of my Christmas shopping on Amazon and gotten free shipping with my Amazon Prime account!  I have a Kindle for getting books and LOVE the free selection at Amazon's Kindle Store.  I also LOVE that I can pretty much find anything I want and have it delivered straight to me - it's kinda tough for me to leave the house.  I've NEVER (knock on wood) had a problem with Amazon...they are AWESOME!

06.  Xfinity OnDemand and Netflix - What did we ever do before these 2 inventions?  I will add my DVR in this one, too.  I love that I am able to watch what I want when I want to and that I'm able to make sure that my kids are watching TV that I approve of because it's controlled by me!  We have our favorites that we watch over and over (Princess and the Frog, Phineas and Ferb, Little Bear) and on occasion will try something new.  The nice thing is that it doesn't cost us extra if we don't like what we are watching - we can just stop watching.

07.  Coupon websites - I use to do The Grocery Game.  It was super easy and I loved it.  I didn't stick with it, though.  Recently, I started up again...here's a post about it.  Now I visit three coupon sites a week:  ourcouponhome.com - coupondivas.com - couponmom.com  - They have helped me plan my grocery lists and menus and save a bunch of money in June ($476.64 - to be exact).  Love saving money!

08.  My Keurig...I'm not going to elaborate much but it is another thing, like OnDemand and my iPhone, that I don't know what I did before I had it!



09.  My Nikon D5100 and Picnik.com - I LOVE these two together.  I love that I take the kind of pictures I've always wanted to with my Nikon and that Picnik.com helps me tweak them so that I love them even more!  You can check some of them out in my Flickr photostream, if you are interested.  :)




Sunday, July 17, 2011

10 Day You Challenge ~ {Secrets}



So...I found this from Krystal...who found it from Ang...who found it from Kim...and if you want to see where she found it - knock yourself out!

I do think I'm going to give it a shot.  I really enjoyed doing the 30 Days of Truth in November so I thought this would be fun to do, too.

Of course, they have to start with the toughest one...ten secrets.  Who wants to tell their own secrets?  Really?

Well...here it goes -

01.  I read US magazine to unwind.  I'm not sure why I get a subscription to this magazine, but when it comes in the mail I put my feet up and go through each page catching up on my celebrity gossip.


02.  I don't take a shower every day.  There...I said it.  It's something that bugs me sometimes but I will often wait 2 days to take a shower.  I would like to blame it on limited time and having the RIGHT priorities.  After all, taking care of the kiddos is way more important than showering.  It's getting better because I can kind of trust my bigger kids to not hurt themselves while I'm in the shower...plus, now that we have the security alarm I know they aren't leaving the house and wandering the streets.  So, if the babies are napping and I've gotten all my morning "chores" done then I can sometimes sneak a shower in while the "big kids" watch a movie.  :)

03.  I sometimes secretly wish we had stopped at 2 kids because 4 makes things really hectic.  Usually, it's when I'm out with Nate and Danika without Dean and David.  It is so much easier to be out with just the two older ones.  When I have to take all 4 . . . well, I usually don't go.  I love going out with just the two "big kids".  Then I come home and get attacked by 2 of the cutest babies in the world...and I feel guilty that I ever even secretly thought my life would be better without them - it wouldn't.


04.  I go days without drinking a glass of water.  I'm horrible about it.  I don't like water.  I never did like it.  I make sure that my kids drink a lot and they like it.  I do this on purpose because I want them to, "Do as I say not as I do."

05.  I love to color.  It's a stress reliever for me and I love when I get a new box of 64 Crayolas and a new coloring book!

06.  It only takes me 3 or 4 days to eat an entire package of Double Stuf Oreos.  I may have mentioned my Oreo problem before . . . it isn't any better.  I actually hide them from my children and get mad if I forget to put them away before they wake up the next morning and they snag some.



07.  I make my children watch The Princess and the Frog with me usually once a day (it's our pj and breakfast movie) ...they like the music and I LOVE the movie.



08.  I've lost a lot of friends in the past 5 years - most of them I miss but some of them I don't.

09.  I can't sleep with socks on.  I love wearing socks when I'm walking around - I hate walking barefoot but when I get into bed they have to come off...

10.  When something funny happens in my life - or something sad, frustrating, exciting - I always think about the most clever way to turn it into a blog post or facebook status...I guess I like sharing my life through social media!

Stay tuned for nine loves coming up next!


Friday, July 15, 2011

I'm not the only one . . .

Having 4 kids is exhausting.  I swear I am lucky I make it through most days let alone actually accomplish something.  I try to check off at least 3 things on my "to-do" list every day . . . but it doesn't always happen.  Today, I'm going to hopefully work on the bedrooms and the bathroom.  I have to declutter and get the bathroom ready to paint.  If all goes well...we will be priming the bathroom tonight.  :)

After all, I'm doing all the things I've wanted to do for the last 4 years to make the house look better so we can sell it!  hehehe  (Don't worry - I'll still want to move.  We just don't have enough room here.)

Okay, focus Janene...back to the point.

Yesterday, I was at my MIL's house hanging out with my SIL and her 4 kids.  That's 8 little ones (her oldest is 10, I think - I'm a horrible Aunt not knowing for sure) and it is actually a lot less crazy when they are all together than you would think.  They are leaving for their beach vacation this weekend and my SIL still had to pack.  I'll admit, I didn't envy her one bit...but man it did make me feel good to hear her say that she was probably going to wait until today (they are leaving tonight) to do it because she was tired - I just love her!!!  It was almost like someone said, "See...you aren't the only one."

I know I procrastinate.

I know that I make plans that I don't always follow through with.

I know that I should do so much more than I do but I am more often than not just too tired.

If I'm not tired, then one of my babies is preventing me from getting anything done.

Let me use another example from yesterday.  I was trying to make dinner and clean up the kitchen and I actually had a baby stuck to my leg screaming.  David is the first of my babies to actually latch onto my leg and not let go when I walk around.  Yes, think of the ones you see on TV that can't be pried off of their mothers...it is JUST like that.

So, I have a screaming David and am trying to get something done.  My poor husband gets home from getting a CT scan (he whacked his head off our deck...everything is fine) and tells me he will finish up what I'm doing.  "Go sit down and take a load off for a while." he jokes, pointing at David attached to my leg.

The thing is . . . I didn't WANT to take a load off.  I wanted him to take David so I could finish.  I needed a break but didn't want to stop being productive.  So - I took David outside and let him play in the sandbox while I watered the new grass...

Our new lot's grass growing.

 At least I can honestly say now that I'm not the only one this happens to, though.  At least I know that I am not the only one who gets too tired to do the things I should be doing.  I'm sure it will get a little bit easier.  I'm sure that it will also get a lot crazier.  Today is one of those days where I feel like I'm looking for something to grab a hold of because things are moving faster than they should be.

Crazy random post...sorry....I'll end it with 2 really funny things my kiddos said yesterday.

Danika:  Daddy...you have to wait to get the babies.  Mommy's getting dressed and has to put her boobs on.  (she meant my bra)

Nate:  Mommy . . . why does Loch only eat the Pizza Skin?  (about my nephew who was just eating the cheese of his pizza) - it was funny until my SIL told Nate that the bubbles of the pizza by the crust were blisters.  Then I got a little queasy and thought of Pizza the Hut.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Truly beautiful

When I was little, I always knew that I would get married in my church.  I would actually sit and "pretend" to listen to homilies while I was really imaging myself walking down the aisle in a big, beautiful, white wedding gown.  I'll admit, my vision of the guy standing at the end changed a few times (I needed to practice a little before I got it right - when it was Brad Pitt I was pretty close) but when I did it for real I definitely knew I had the right guy waiting for me as my Dad did his best not to cry while walking me down.

  
All that being said, if I had it to do all over again I would seriously consider thinking "outside-the-box" for what my dream wedding would be.  I never would have thought I'd want to get married on a beach at 10 am.  I never would have thought that I would want to have a steel drum play my wedding march or have everyone go barefoot and wear shorts and Hawaiian shirts.  

However, that is what my cousin did (it was the MAIN reason we went to Wildwood, NJ for vacation...her wedding in Cape May, NJ) and it was perfect!  I didn't get to see some of it because I was busy chasing the twins around and trying to keep them from running into the surf and getting soaking wet but what I did see was absolutely beautiful.  



Maybe I'll start planning a renewal of vows for our 25 Anniversary or something.  :)

I wish my cousin and her new hubby many, many years of joy and happiness!  I'm a little jealous because they are touring Europe for their honeymoon right now.  Think I can pull off a second honeymoon for my 25th, too?  hehehe

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I'm just not a kid anymore

I love kids.  I love playing with kids and acting like a kid.  I work with kids and I have 4 kids of my own.  I am usually surrounded by kids.  I even like playing with the kids at big family functions.  When I started dating Jerry he had a niece and nephew (now we have 4 nephews and 3 nieces).  I LOVED playing with those kids...they are 17 and 14 (I think) now.  I LOVE playing with all of my nieces and nephews and my own kids and the kids at work.  I think that part of it is because I'm a BIG kid at heart...the rest of my body, however, is aging a little faster.

Yesterday, Jerry and I took the kids to Giggles and Smiles at the Pittsburgh Mills Mall.  The best part about that place is that the twins can kind of run free and not get into anything.  We have been to a few birthday parties there and I am usually the crazy adult running around with the kids up in the tubes and climbing the rope ladders and sliding down the slides.  I like hanging out in the ball pit with my kiddos and "burying" them so they can scare each other.

I was playing with all 4 of them in the ball pit yesterday while Jerry watched from outside.  Then I followed David as he climbed up to the top and decided that he wanted to go down the tube slide.  I couldn't let him do it himself.  He's too little and Jerry was chasing Dean, so there was no one there to catch him when he got to the bottom.  So, I'm a big kid, I went down with him.

BIG MISTAKE!

I swear, they have to wax those slides at night or something.  I've never gone down a slide that was so fast.  I was trying really hard to protect David as we shot out of the bottom.  In doing so I landed with my feet underneath me.  I twisted my ankle and then slammed my head backwards and whacked it off the bottom of the slide.  It was AWFUL!  I seriously thought I was going to pass out and that my ankle was going to swell up and I wouldn't be able to walk on it.

None of that happened, though.  I will admit that my head still hurts where I hit it...but my ankle is fine.  I have a nice little brush burn on my elbow from trying to slow down but all in all it could have been a lot worse.

I guess it's time for me to start being a little bit of a less adventurous BIG kid and start remembering that I am not as flexible as I use to be.  It won't stop me from playing just maybe going down sliding boards....

Friday, July 8, 2011

Terrible Twos Times Two

We have hit the terrible twos...no, they aren't technically two yet but it was the same with Nate and Danika, too.  I'm convinced that kids actually start the terrible twos somewhere around 18-22 months.

For us, the terrible twos have always been associated with a lot of screaming and crying and getting into things.  With my boys (these 2 and Nate), it also involves making my heart jump up into my throat at least twice a week by being overly adventurous and doing something that "could" have turned out way worse than it did.  For example, today Dean decided to help me unload the dishwasher when I ran into the living room to see why David was crying.  Of course, he wanted to put the knives away...I swear I'm just not on top of things enough some days.  Everyone was fine, though.  All fingers and toes accounted for and still attached.  I'm lucky that these little weekly heart stopping events have always (with the exception of the olive can incident) been without injury.  The screaming and crying, though, that is something that I just don't know how to deal with some days.

It isn't too hard to understand why they seem to scream and cry ALL the time.  The poor guys just can't communicate what they want and that is super frustrating!  Think about it. If you knew that you wanted something, couldn't get it yourself and had NO real way of telling someone, what would you do?  I'm working on paying more attention to what they are trying to tell me but they are both just inconsolable once they get started.  They also have VERY different ways of dealing with their disappointment and frustration.

Dean throws fits.  He actually banged his forehead off of a sidewalk once during one of his fits.  I don't think he will do it again . . . at least not on the sidewalk.  I always have to be extra careful to lay him down somewhere soft (like a carpeted area) when he is flailing around like a mad man.

David cries.  He cries this loud, long, heartbreaking cry.  The worst part about the cry is that it seems to last forever.  I'm convinced that he forgets why he is crying after about a minute and just cries because he feels like crying.

I know that we will get through this.  I know that these days won't last forever.  What I'm trying to focus on these days are the hugs and kisses.  Over the last 2 or 3 weeks, my boys have become little love bugs, too.  I get the biggest hugs and sloppiest kisses from them when they are happy about things.  I also get big smiles when I walk into their room in the morning.  Jerry has actually been getting a lot of  "Daddy, Daddy, Daddy" from Dean (which makes me a little jealous, I'll admit it).  :)

I'm hoping that, since the Terrible Two stage started early, this will only last another 6 months or so and that by Christmas (yes, Christmas is 6 months away!) we will be all good.  :)

So - since I hate posting blog posts that don't have pictures....here are some totally unrelated pictures of my new yard...just 2 actually.  A before and an after shot...




We are still waiting for some grass to grow...but we can't wait to use the yard and patio for the twins' REALLY turn 2! (There...didn't I tie it all together nice and neatly!  hehehe)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Wonderful to Get Away and Good to be Back

I doubt my brain is capable of writing a really detailed blog post about our vacation.  In fact, I doubt my brain is capable of doing anything detailed right now.  I can't think straight and I have a million things to do.  Unpacking is 1000 times worse than packing!  I'm planning on making a list and getting started after my hour online and cup of coffee.  :)  Now that Jerry is back to work, things can go back to normal around here.  (Don't get me wrong - I love my husband and I love having him home...but we don't have the same priorities or ideas about how to do things all the time.)

I do want to tell you about our vacation, though...so, I'll do a list.  That way I will "feel" like it's organized even though it's just a bunch of random snippets.
  • The drive down was ok.  Not great because Danika got car sick twice before we stopped at a rest stop to get her Dramamine.  Then, we were about an hour early and the kids were VERY anxious and hard to contain.  Once we got in the house, though, things were better.
  • The house was really nice.  About a 2 minute walk to the beach and enough bedrooms for everyone!  The dining area was the most disappointing because it was a little tight when we all tried sitting down.  So, we ended up eating in shifts a lot.
  • The babies slept WONDERFULLY!  Naps didn't go to well the very first time we tried them but after that, no problems!
  • The kids LOVED the ocean.  They LOVED the boardwalk.  They LOVED spending time with their grandparents and Aunt and cousin all week!
  • Jerry and I got to go out on a "date" during vacation, too!  It was great!  We rode the most intense wooden roller coaster (yes, more intense than the Thunderbolt) I've ever been on at the boardwalk.  Then we headed to Cape May and shopped a little at the cutest little stores.  We finished the night with some appetizers and drinks at The Ugly Mug.
  • All the trips to the beach were a ton of fun and tired the kids out!  
  • Oh - btw, New Jersey drivers are CrAzY!!!
  • The wedding picnic at the Cape May Lighthouse park was a lot of fun - the "big" kids even climbed the  steps of the lighthouse the whole way to the top with Jerry.
  • The wedding was BEAUTIFUL!  It was the first beach wedding I'd ever been to and it was the perfect day with the perfect weather!  Danika and Angelina were flower girls and they were both so excited and absolutely adorable.  :)
  • The ride home could have been worse - the hotel stay was okay but the babies were really antsy.  The pool at the hotel was REALLY cold but the food we ordered in was REALLY yummy!
  • When we got home, we got to see our new yard (on the lot we bought next door)!  All we are waiting for now is some grass to grow!  :)
Here's some of my favorite pictures:
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Testing the waters

Angelina in the water

Going on a seashell hunt...