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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Crazy Christmas Season

Wow, Thanksgiving was gone in a flash and now Christmas is almost here. Where did this year go?

I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving. I wish I could say the same for me. Don't get me wrong, the meal was wonderful. However the day before, as I was cleaning out the garage, I got really light headed and felt sick. I went inside and sat down and it only got worse. I went to the bathroom to pee, and then it hit me. Any women knows exactly what I'm talking about....cramping and burning...UGH!!!! I had a UTI. The first one I've had in almost four years. Unfortunately, I had no way of getting to a doctor until Tuesday, so I had to suffer and drink tuns of water and pure cranberry juice for days. Finally, my wonderful next door neighbor Mel came back from vacation and took me to the doctor. Turns out, I waited to long to go and it almost turned into a kidney infection. I had to have a shot in my bum, which was the WORST. (Not the shot, the medicine going into the muscle...OMG that hurt for days!!) He then gave me Ciprofloxacin 500mg twice a day for 5 days. I'm allergic to Amoxicillin, so that was the next best thing. Sean said that stuff is crazy strong and will wipe out the infection in no time. To top it all off, my "monthly bill" reared its ugly head during the same time. (How did women survive without tampons....) Needless to say, I was in terrible pain for Thanksgiving.

This year, Sean bought a tun of new decorations at Costco. He bought matching swags, garland, bulb set for the tree, and a huge wreath for the wall. All red, white and green pine. They look beautiful together. He and the boys went to Costco to buy the tree as well. Unfortunately, not only do they not cut the stump, but they don't tie it to your car either. So, Sean bought a chain saw that he had no idea how to use. He didn't realize it needed an extension cord and oil. So he had to make another trip out to Sears. Instead of buying the oil and cord, he bought a flimsy hack saw, thinking that would cut through a tree stump just fine.....HA!!!!! He didn't get through an inch before the thing broke. So, he gets pissed and swears to never buy a real tree again. Meanwhile, I take a hammer and large flat head screwdriver and start trying to pry off the cut stump. I was using what was left of the hack saw and the hammer and screwdriver. It took almost an hour, but I manager to get most of the stump off. (All but about an inch in the middle) It was enough to let it drink water. Now, getting it into the stand, that was a whole other challenge. The tree is the heaviest we have ever had. So heavy that it kept tipping the stand over. It took three tries to get it to stand up somewhat straight. The end product....it was worth it. The prettiest tree we've ever had!

This year, I was determined to get all 7 kids in a Christmas picture, around the tree. Sigh.......I tried. I took around 100 shots and this was the best I could get. Mary was moody, Lizzie wouldn't sit still. Declan kept putting on a fake smile, Cian wouldn't look at the camera when everyone else was, Sam was tired of being held by Declan and Liam kept trying to inch away with the Christmas present. The only good one was Fionn. He's my little angel! As a gift for Sean, I earned enough Coke Rewards points to get him a sterling silver key chain. I wanted all the kids in the photo, but the picture was too wide for the key chain. So I tried to get a shot of just the girls instead. YA, that didn't work either. Mary was still in a mood and all Lizzie wanted to do was play with her smartphone. Again, this was the best shot I could get. I sure hope he likes it.....sigh.

Lastly, you're going to think this it hilarious, but I do online surveys for fun. Opinion Outpost is the site I use and it pays rather well. For 100 points, you get $10. I got 1000 points in two weeks and was able to get a $100 gift card for Amazon. So, I bought Sean the Blu-ray set of Star Wars. He's been wanting that but not willing to pay the money. I am currently trying to save another 815 points to get him a new smoker and wood chips, and finally made it yesterday. When I went to go purchase the gift card, IT DIDN'T WORK. The option is temporally unavailable. GREAT...now how am I going to get his gift. It's the only money I have. For those of you who don't know, I am a stay at home Mom and our only income is through Sean. He never lets me buy him a gift for his birthday or Christmas, and if he does, I can usually only spend $30 or less on him. So this year, I'll show him...HA!!!! I'LL MAKE MY OWN MONEY AND HE CAN'T SAY S*** ABOUT IT!!!!! HA...I WIN!!!!!LOL. Anywho, I really hope they get that option back up and running before Christmas. I really want to get him that gift.

Here are a few more photos of our Christmas decorations!






Merry Christmas...HAHAHA

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What I'm thankful for....

It's that time of year again....the holidays! Thanksgiving is tomorrow and this is the first year Sean has had the day before off! I finished off the first term of school Sunday, so the boys and I have this week off. The house is decorated for Christmas (minus the tree). Mary is almost potty trained (except for naps and overnight) and the cooking is half complete! (We decided to semi-cook this year)

We have so much to be thankful for this year. Sean works for a wonderful company that treats and pays us very well. We have a roof over our heads and a vehicle to get us from place to place. Our bellies are always full and there is always clothes on our backs. Our children will have a wonderful Christmas and want for nothing. I would tend to say, our life is pretty comfortable. As I think of how good we have it, I can't help but think of a friend who isn't so lucky this year. They are a family of 5 without an income. Her husband is unable to find work, mostly for medical reasons. They cannot pay there bills or even take their children to see a doctor, for lack of proper health insurance. The holidays are looking pretty grim for their children. Without money, Christmas will be slim to none. As if things couldn't get any worse, they are about to lose their vehicle. Even if her husband were hired tomorrow, how would he get to and from work....

I would like to say I can't imagine how that family feels, but I can. Not so long ago, we were in that same position. Unemployed, broke, homeless and almost without a vehicle, all during the holidays. When you're put in that position, the things you do to survive may not be legal or even right, but you do what you have to do, to save your family. Sometimes you have to put pride aside and ask for help. It took being homeless with four hungry children for us to do so, but we did. I am grateful for my amazing, wonderful Mother who bailed us out not once, or twice, but three times. We are forever in her debt and happily return the favor monthly.

I refer to my family so often, but at the same time I feel sad for my husband. My parents and Aunt are his only family, even though his Mother and Sister are somewhere back east. It has been years since we have seen them and it saddens me to know that they have no idea where we are or that she has so many Grandchildren. However, my husband chooses to keep it that way and I have no say in the matter. I would have liked to have had a sister-in-law, since I am an only child. Courtney, his little sister, is a bright, funny women that reminded me so much of Sean. She could make me laugh like no other. It seems like a lifetime ago, and every holiday and birthday I can't help but think of her. As children they were so close. Now....so far apart. They really have no idea what they're missing...

I really hope my friend and her family have someone they can fall back on in their time of need. We are in the season of hope and faithfulness. Family is most important and sometimes much needed. I am grateful to have a strong bond with my parents and Aunt Rene. In our time of need, they were there for us. As we are for them.  I know I said it before, but I am very thankful for my wonderful family, near and far. So with that, from my family to yours...
Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!! God Bless


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Random photos

Busy week for us here. Sean is on a six day stretch so he can be off the day before turkey day. So I am shrinking two weeks into one to finish this first term.
Since I don't have the time to really blog this week, I'll post a few recent pictures of the kids. Hope everyone is having a great week!

Because everyone should learn to potty with a kitten on their lap!
Lizzie strikes a pose

Mary and Sammy



Sammy 5 months old
Fionn, Mary and Cian making an A
Mary, Lizzie, Cian and Fionn making a 5

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thanksgiving Crafts for the Kids

Since Thanksgiving is....OMG...two weeks away (where has this year gone), I thought I'd share a few cute crafts for the kids. This year we decided to semi cook the Thanksgiving meal, so I needed something to keep the kids distracted during cooking and football. Thanks to my new found addiction Pinterest, I found some really cute and easy crafts the kids can all do together!


This first craft is my favorite. Leaf Feather Turkeys


You'll need:


brown construction paper
white construction paper
dried and pressed fallen leaves
large circle stencil
small circle stencil
crayons
glue
scissors
small wiggly eyes (optional)


Use a cereal bowl or something of the same size to outline a circle on a brown piece of construction paper and cut it out. (Great scissor practice for the little ones) Use an empty toilet roll to outline a smaller circle on the same sheet of brown paper. Cut that out as well.


Add eyes to the smaller circle (small wiggly eyes work too) and cut off the tip of a pointy leaf for the beak and a small strip of a leaf for the red waddle. Glue them on.

Finding the perfect leaves are a bit of a challenge for us since our trees don't really change colors. Find a few different sizes, shapes and colors. 8-10 leaves should do the trick.


Glue down the bottom half of the big circle to a white sheet of construction paper. Carefully tuck a couple of the bigger leaves behind the big circle, arranging them however you wish. Glue those down. Add the smaller leaves on top of the bigger leaves, again arranging them however you wish, just make sure to overlap them, and glue those down as well. Glue the top half of the bigger circle to the leaves. Draw some legs and you're done!

What a cute craft to hang on the fridge or a window!


This second craft I realized we can't really do since we don't have large leaves here, but I really like this craft so I'm going to post it anyway.


Colorful Leaf Painting

Supplies:

large leaves (different shapes and sizes)
cookie sheet
acrylic paints (red, orange, green, yellow)
white construction paper
paper towel

Start by squirting different colored acrylic paints onto a baking sheet. Spread around the paint a bit to mix the colors and allow for enough room to press the entire leaf down. Press the leaf into the paint and then carefully place the leaf onto the paper, pressing it some more. Make sure to place the leaf vein-side down. (into the paint)

Children really need to press down all around the leaf...making sure to press all the way to the corners.  It takes a minute or two for small hands to be able to do this.

Carefully lift the leaf off the paper....the results are amazing and each so different, despite using the same leaf over and over again. 


I really want to try this with my children, so I think I'll just bite the bullet and pick a few leaves off the tree in the front your. They're not very big, but they do have a nice shape. Here is another picture I found on the web of the same concept. So pretty and fallish!!

So that's my little craft session for the day! 


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Halloween 2011

I know I'm a few days late posting this, but Sean took Saturday off for extra family time. For some reason, I cannot post pictures from my tablet, so I had to write this post and then go back and post the pictures from the laptop. So, here was our Halloween....

Halloween was a little different for us his year. Since we still don't have a replacement for the van, we couldn't take the kids to the mall for trick or treating. Instead, Sean stayed home with Liam and Sam, and I took Declan, Cian, Fionn, Mary and Lizzie out. I'll get back to that adventure in a few minutes.

Sean spent most of the morning hunting down a pumpkin. For some reason, there was a shortage here this year and every Wal-Mart, Target, Costco and Vons was out of them. He did finally find one, though I'm not sure where. He cut open the top and let the kids go at it cleaning it out. Declan, Cian, Fionn, Mary and actually Liam were all set to get there hands dirty when Declan decided to push Fionn off the bench and he hit his chin on it. So, Declan got to sit on the floor while the others had fun cleaning out the pumpkin. He wasn't too happy. When they finished, Sean attempted to carve a scary face, but it turned out, not so scary...lol. (For some reason, we didn't take a picture of the final product.)

We put the little ones down for an early nap and let the older kids watch The Great Pumpkin before getting ready for Trick or Treating. They had pizza, which Declan complained about. I guess he was annoyed that we had had pizza the year before as well....sigh. (I hate to see what he will be like as a teenager.)

As I had mentioned earlier, I was taking the kids Trick-or-Treating because our van is not drivable. So, I got myself and the girls washed a ready while Sean got Declan, Cian and Fionn ready. This year, Mary wanted to be Snow White. Lizzie was Minnie Mouse. Declan and Cian were Mario...again, and Fionn was Superman. Since I was going out alone with five kids, we though it was best to leave Liam and Sam with Sean. (Sam was a doggy BTW) I had to cut Marys hair because it was in her eyes, so I decided to make it look like Snow Whites hair. I added a little lipstick and blush to her cheeks. She looked sooooo cute!!!!

Lizzie was so cute as Minnie Mouse. The ears the costume originally came with had a red bow, but Liam snapped them in half, so Sean had to order a new pair two days before Halloween. He refused to pay $15 for ears with a red bow, so he went the cheap route and bought the $5 pink bow ears. She looked silly, but I don't think anyone noticed except me.

Fionnys costume has a funny story. A couple years ago, he made up a silly super hero for himself named Super Wookie. (Named after our dog Wookie) Super Wookie was originally a "she" but was actually a boy. (Fionn was having gender confusion) Ever since, he has pretended to be his super hero alter ego. Well, this year he wanted to actually be Super Wookie for Halloween. Since we couldn't make an actual costume for Super Wookie, We told him the Super Man costume was actually Super Wookie....lol. He was happy.

Declan and Cian were Mario again this year since their costumes still fit them from last year. Sean was once again too cheap to buy new costumes for them. They didn't really mind. Its all about getting candy to them. I had Declan strap Lizzie into a stroller, which he pushed for me. Fionn and Mary were holding my hands and Cian was walking behind Declan. He was my biggest challenge. He tends to wonder off and not watch where he's going. I waited until 6:30pm to take them out. It wasn't quite dark yet. I kept looking up and down our street for kids or even people to have their doors open. The only other houses giving out candy were Carol and Mel next door and the family next to them. We literally had to walk to the next block before we saw any kids or houses handing out candy.
Once we did find houses giving out candy, kids came out of no where. There was one group of at least 20 kids. They looked to be between the ages of 5 and 12 and the language coming out of their mouths would put a sailor to shame. Declan kept trying to speed up to them, so I had to keep pulling him back. This was Lizzies first real Halloween and she was having a blast. Declan would roll her up to the door and taught her to say "Trick-or-Treat". He made sure she got a piece of candy in her pumpkin bucket. Every house we left, she would say "Bye-bye Daddy". I'm not sure why she thought every man was Sean...lol. Somewhere along the way, Cian lost a shoe and didn't bother to tell me. He wasn't wearing socks for some reason either and it was chilly. I didn't notice until Fionn started complaining he had to pee. We were several streets away from our house so I had to pick up Mary and hurry them along. By time we reached our street, my back and feet were killing me and I had three fussy kids.

Sean had only three kids the entire time we were gone. He let Liam have a piece of candy and wait for the kids with him. He climbed up on the couch and fell asleep before a single trick-or-treater arrived. The poor dogs were locked outside and were not happy about it. Sean felt bad and let them into the classroom. He opened the window a crack so Bear could stick his nose in. He gave them treats and played with them. He had been watching the Ghost Hunters 6 hour live Halloween special we the kids and I got home. We got them out of their costumes, gave them each a piece of candy and put the four little ones to bed. Declan and Cian got to stay up and watch the rest of Ghost Hunters with us. We only had two other kids come to the door by 9pm. Not a great turn out this year, but this was the first time we've taken them door to door for candy, and despite Cians shoe mishap, it went over pretty well!


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Another legend is gone....

Last night, Andy Rooney 92, passed away due to complications from surgery. He was best know for his 33 years as a commentator on the BEST journalistic show ever 60 Minutes. His little 3-5 minute rants and musings were always entertaining, whether you agreed with them or not.

I remember as a child, I would stay at my grandparents house on the weekends every now and then. Sunday nights Grandpa would park himself in the den and watch 60 Minutes. It was one of his favorite shows and Lord help you if you interrupted him from watching it. As an adult, my husband and I watch it almost every Sunday. It truly is the last reputable journalistic show on TV today. The topics they report are real and important, unlike this eras journalistic ideas (do we really care about Kim Kardashian getting divorced or the Michael Jackson death trial).

 Just a few weeks ago, we watched his last episode and couldn't help but feel a little sad. Is he the first of the last respected journalists to pass on? Lets face it, non of them are getting any younger and I personally don't see any of them being replaced by reputable reporters. The average person watches local news. My husband jokes that if you watched a person watching the local news, you might catch a little drool dripping down their chin. I think that's a bit harsh, but I do see his point. You really do have to be a moron to be interested in anything they report. Here, the Michael Jackson trial and Kim Kardashian divorce takes precedence over the Euro debt crisis and China. Why is that, because the average person got a terrible education and their attention span for real news is 0!!!

I better stop while I'm ahead. I don't mean to offend anyone. I'm just sick and tired of this country not educating our children properly. If the average journalism graduate thinks that celebrity gossip is "real news" I seriously fear for the future of shows like 60 Minutes.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Returning to School and Birthday Fun!

Wow, I can't believe 5 weeks have come and gone!
 We have been super busy with school and birthdays. Declan started 3rd grade and Cian K-1 on September 27th. Declan has a new class this year, vocabulary. They make the lessons fun, so its become one of his favorite classes. He is off to a great start!

Cian is repeating Kindergarten with Setons and doing 1st grade with Time4Learning. We went back and forth on whether to put him in Setons 1st grade curriculum or hold him back. It was clear he wasn't ready for their advanced 1st grade schedule, so we decided to repeat Kindergarten. I incorporated Time4Learning into his lessons and he loves it. Not only is he learning to read, but also learning to use a computer and tablet.

Declan is working on memorizing times tables in Math and is being introduced to pre-algebra. I don't remember starting it in third grade, but he sure is. Its pretty basic, like x+1=3 solve for x. He gets a kick out of it. I just hope it doesn't get too advanced too soon, because I suck at math....lol. I couldn't pass algebra 1. Thank goodness Sean is a math whiz.

We have had three birthdays this past month, Liam, Declan and Lizzie. Liam turned 6 on 9/7 Declan turned 9 on 10/21 and Lizzie turned 2 on 10/13. For the life of me, I can't remember the details from Liams party.....I'm sitting here racking my brain, and I can't remember anything...lol. The pictures are on Seans phone and he's at work, so that doesn't help me out much. I'll have to post them at a later date.

Lizzie had a lovely birthday. She got a new Barbie and pink car, a toy pink microwave, which all the kids LOVED, a Tinkerbell doll with wings that flutter, a new baby doll and stroller. Her favorite toy is the stroller and baby, of course. Sean and the boys went to Costco to pick up her huge princess cake. It was enough to feed 45 people...we have a big family, but that was a bit crazy...lol. She had a great day. I can't believe my baby girl is two. Only one baby left.....sigh.

Declan turned 9 this year. Wow, where has the time gone. I remember when he was born very well. Between walking the halls and Courtney, Sean's sister dropping a tray of food on the floor in the cafeteria, (Sean still gets a good laugh out of that...but we still love her..lol.) it was a wild ride. In the end, we had this perfect baby boy. He was so sweet, now he's 9 and thinks he knows EVERYTHING!!! (You should have seen the temper tantrum he pulled last night. ROTFL!!) In the end, he's a great boy. Helpful, caring, a hard worker and wonderful big brother.

Sean got him his first skateboard, which he loves. A Rubik's cube, Prime Transformer, a puzzle and the show stopper.....an Android device. How many 9 year old kids do you know walking around with a $200 cell phone.....sigh. It doesn't have voice, but he does have unlimited Internet and text. Seans thought behind it was to teach him about technology and reading. I still don't think he should have it, but I was over ruled.

Besides birthdays and school, not a lot has happened. I did get a new free phone. I had the Samsung Galaxy, but Sean won a MyTouch from LG at a distributors convention yesterday. He was hoping for the new Samsung Galaxy S 2, but was the only guy in his group that got the new MyTouch. He was pretty pissed since the MyTouch is a step down from his Sensation. So he gave it to me. It's not too bad. It is 4G, which my phone is not, and has a 1GHz Qualcomm processor, a 5-megapixel camera with 720p HD video capture, a front-facing camera for video calls via Qik, and Netflix support. The screen is 3.8 inches, touch of course. It will be out around Christmas time. (Mine is the one on the left)

The kittens are now 9 weeks old and the sweet black and white fluff ball went to his new home. My neighbor Carol, next door gave him a good home. She named him Figaro (or however you spell it) and bought him a jeweled collar. He eats off her good China...lol. Shadow is staying with his Mama since he is still nursing. For some reason, she can't wean him off. He still can't eat solid food either, so I have been giving him Sams baby cereal, just don't tell Sean....lol. Sean hates him because he chews Sams nipples off the bottles. He's had to buy three new sets in the last month. We are once again down to one. Shadow loves Sam and will lay with him any chance he gets. I took this cute picture of the two of them this morning.

Remember about 8 months ago when I mentioned the neighbors from hell moving out....the new owned fixed up the entire house and flipped it. Well, I met the new couple who were buying it about a month ago. A newlywed couple expecting their first child. Well, they moved in this past weekend. They have had workers working on the house as well. They have two yappie dogs as well, so this is going to be one noisy street. I'm just glad they aren't trashy.

Lastly, here are a few pictures over the last few weeks.....enjoy!



Sam, 4 months in his football jammies

A little tummy time and Patriots!!

Declan and his Optimus Prime

Lizzie eating her birthday cake


Bear and I in class.

Mr. Bear, Sticking out tongue 101.
Declan w/ his new skateboard.
Declan and his new smartphone.
Lizzie and her new baby.














Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sigh.........

When I was a little girl, I loved Barbie. I had every Barbie you could of. My favorite was Day and Night Barbie. I had the office play set as well and I would pretend Barbie was a lawyers secretary. I loved her pretty business skirt suit. When I grew up, I wanted to be that lawyers secretary, wearing the pretty business suit and working in a big fancy office building. I wanted to make lots of money and look it too....

27 years later, not exactly as I had dreamed. Not at all in fact. I never became that beautiful successful women. In fact, the closest I ever came to an office was behind a lobby desk in a hotel, making $12 an hour at most. (I did own a pretty dress suit though, my Grandmother bought it for me one Christmas many years ago.) 

After I graduated high school, I got a job working at Robinsons May in the Petite department at our local mall. It was a part time job, just something for me to do to make a little cash. At that point, I had no desire to return to school. That was one of my biggest mistakes. Instead, I met a scum bag guy that brainwashed me into thinking he hung the moon. I was pregnant by 19. I went through hell, living with his family. When my child was 2 months old, I moved back in with my parents and tried to make something of myself. I went to the local community college and registered for school. I made it through one semester and realized I couldn't hold a full time job, raise my child and study too, so I dropped out. I worked full time at a Marriott Hotel, and for the three years I worked there, I loved it. Life was simple then. Sure I couldn't drive, but I had friends and family I would hang out with. I had a LIFE!

10 years later, I have 8 children. A loving husband that works his butt off to support us. Two dogs with fleas and 3 cats with fleas. I still don't know how to drive and I haven't left the house since I gave birth to my 8th child. The only communication I have with the outside world is my next door neighbor Mel. Now that school has started, my days consist of homeschooling until 3pm, laundry, cleaning and making dinner.

My husband Sean, on the other hand, has a great 9-6 job. Wears nice dress clothes, has a laptop, a smart phone, makes great money and works in a big fancy office building once a week. He travels all over the southern part of our state on a daily basis and meets lots of interesting, professional people. Today, he got to spend the day at a beautiful beach, playing football and having a barbecue with his co-workers. He even got paid to do it. He has the career and social life I wanted.....and I got the barefoot and pregnant housewife job. 

I feel so useless and unimportant. I feel like everything I do is for nothing. Like I'm just here filling space so someone else can live my dream. I'm not saying being a stay at home mom isn't important too, because I know it is. I just feel trapped because I have a paralyzing fear I can't overcome. My life wouldn't be so bad if I could learn to drive. I know a lot of stay at home moms who have it all, because they can cart themselves and their children around. They have hobbies to keep them sane. They have a social life and family to support them. (Sean and I only see my Mother once or twice per year.) We don't have any of that. Sean doesn't like to socialize outside of work. I guess he finds small talk annoying, which is ironic since he gets paid to do just that all day, everyday. He won't let me hire a babysitter because he doesn't trust anyone except my mother with our children. So, here I am, having a pity party blog post for myself. I know, I'm pathetic and need to get a life.......sigh........but thanks for listening anyway!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Funniest Sign Ever!

When I was a little girl, my Grandparents had this sign hanging in there kitchen, to the right of the doorway leading into the dining room. It was a wooden sign, which looked to be from the late 50's or early 60's. I loved the sign because it was so funny. The front of it had three stick figure firemen holding a fire hose. Above them read "In Case of Fire, Raise This Flap....." When you raised the wooden flap, the inside read "Not Now STUPID, In CASE of FIRE!" I use to laugh my butt off at that sign, reading it over and over again. Well, almost 11 years ago my Grandmother passed away and then my Grandfather did as well a year or so later. All the possessions in the house were either taken by the siblings or given to Goodwill. That sign was taken by my Aunt Doreen. I haven't seen it since. I tried to find another one online, but all I could find was this picture of the sign....



If anyone knows where I can find this sign, please let me know. Its a memory from my childhood that means a lot to me.