Thanksgiving 2010

 All dressed in her pretty pink dress and bow for her debut:)

 Uncle Chris snatcked her right up! her big cousin, Jackson getting a peek

 My sweet Grandma meeting her newest granddaughter;)

 Attempts at a family pictures…Zakkai was feeling quite rebellious (A Shocker, I know..) and refused to sit by me and smile

 We will have to try again….

 My beautiful sister and I!!

 Black Friday Breakfasting at Panera:) Auntie K enjoyed holding Eliana for the first time…until she spit up all over her!! Sorry, K!!

 Sweet cheeks:)

 My friend Sarah and her son, Luca, meeting our girl!

 The boys and their buddy and all in green!

 Patient Uncle Tim catering to Zakkai’s renewed light obsession…

 Our little Buckeye girl at her first (and our first!) Buckeye party getting some Mugga-love

 Go Bucks!

Sucking her fingers for the first time when Grandma held her!! Maybe she will follow in the footsteps of her brothers? We shall see…
Miss E was an absolute angel for all that we put her through these past 4-5 days! Our 6 hour trip on Wednesday turned into almost 9 hours due to weather and traffic. Yuck. She did absolutely perfectly for about 7 hours and then decided enough was enough! We were all glad to make it to Mugga and Papa’s house.

Our sweet Little Miss was pronounced beautiful and perfect about a million times!! It was really fun to introduce her to our favorite people in the whole world. I am so impressed with how she handled meeting so many new people, having sleep get crazy, traveling, shopping…it could’ve been a lot worse!

She really started changing while we were in Ohio, smiling so much more at us and talking to us. There were a couple of times that she spent several minutes talking to my mom and Ben and just melted our hearts completely! As if they weren’t already melted….

The boys were so good. They weren’t thrilled with the hours and hours of driving and only asked about 1020 times when we were going to get there but over all did well! They were so good at our families houses and really enjoyed all the love they get when we are home. Zakkai renewed his light obsession and about drove everyone crazy flipping light switching on and off and having mugga and papa change lightbulbs on every burnt out light:) He had a good time! They are counting down the hours til we go back!!

And driving in the new van was AWESOME!! It was so smooth and so spacious! I can’t imagine how we ever got along without it! Ben actually enjoyed packing up the car (ha!) and driving. He even didn’t really mind driving through the sleet on Wednesday because he felt so safe in the van. So thankful!

Well, I am off to get some sleep while E is sleeping (we began sleep-training tonight…more on that tomorrow!). Videos coming soon!

Home Again!

Although I enjoyed having a break from checking email/FB and blogging, I am glad to get back to business! (Not to be mistaken for busyness!)

Will be back tomorrow to share about Thanksgiving 2010/The Introduction of Eliana/We’re rebelling against traveling!


One Month

Dear Sweet Girl,
You are one month old already! I can hardly believe the time has gone so fast. You have changed from a teeny 6 lb baby we brought home from the hospital to a soft, chubby 9 lb baby in one short month! We feel like our life is complete now that you joined our family. You were definitely made for us!
 All four of us fall more in love with you as each day passes. Your brothers delight in your tiny fingers grasping their own. They want to dress you and talk to you, kiss your feet and hug you. In the past few days, Samuel, your very biggest brother, has been passing up playtime just to be near you and watch you.
Your daddy and I make fools of ourselves trying to get you to smile at us, which you are starting to do a little bit more! You have the most beautiful smile, especially when we see your dimple!

 You are more alert now and seek out our faces, following our movements with your eyes and even your body. Today you were watching me make dinner and I walked past you only to turn around and see your head twisted so you could watch me:) We love to talk to you and tell you how very wonderful you are!

The weight of your warm body resting on us as you sleep is the sweetest feeling and one that we are soaking in, as these days will pass all too quickly. Know that you are very much loved, Little One. Your chubby cheeks get kissed at least a hundred times a day. We stroke your silky hair and inspect your dainty ears and stare into your deep blue eyes until we have every aspect of your face memorized.

Happy One Month, Sweet Girl. We love you.

Our Weekend

Picture proof that we have survived without daddy so far….1 more day!!

The boys’ great grandma (ben’s grandma) sent them a little money and we bought a game! It has been a big hit with the boys!

 Making their pizzas on Friday night! Samuel was so excited to put pepperoni on his only to pick it ALL off (including the cheese) when it came time to eat it. My picky eater!

 Our gingerbread house making supplies:) Graham crackers, icing and lots of candy and sprinkles! So thankful for the free candy I squirreled away from Halloween:)

 Working hard on his masterpiece.

 Decorating in between eating all his icing..

 A little sampling, eh?

 “I love sugar!!”

 My masterpiece:)

 Samuel’s masterpiece!

 And Zakkai’s work of art:)

A sweet moment this morning when the boys helped dress Eliana and then wanted to talk to her:)

 Making gingerbread boy cookies! I really should cook with the boys more often (because I have so much free time!) because they enjoy it SO much!

 Zakkai and his icing again:)

 Samuel saying, “Zakkai, I will never eat those!”

 The result of Z’s handiwork

And Samuel’s;)

I am so thankful we made some good memories this weekend but I am also so glad it is almost over!

The randomness that is me today..

Sometimes there is so much going on that it is hard for me to make my words flow and connect the dots. Only fragmented bits and pieces come to mind or maybe my mind is just fragmented! Here are a few bits and a few pieces, too of our last two days:)
*Yesterday was a really tough day. Realized that it isn’t just the boys who have had to adjust to life as a family of 5 but Ben and I, too. It isn’t so easy to get things done or balance time and at certain times of the day (hello, dinnertime) is very overwhelming. On top of that, Eliana came down with her first cold and was SO miserable and fussy:( She was coughing and congested. She is doing a little better today but still incredibly congested. Poor baby.
*Tried to catch up on things before Ben left like grocery shopping and laundry and small errands that aren’t easy when you have to buckle/unbuckle 3 kids into the car!
*I wasn’t home today from 7:45am-2:00pm. After taking the boys to school, E and I joined Zakkai on a “walking field trip” to the new nearby library. Then we rushed home to help Ben pack and drove him to the airport. After saying goodbye, we drove to Target for a couple last minute purchases and immediately drove to pick up Samuel from school. He begged and begged to play after school with his best friend Peter but I had to put my foot down and plead exhaustion!!
*Speaking of “best friends”…Zakkai told me out of the blue yesterday that I am his best friend:) He has been so affectionate with me lately and came up to me yesterday and said, “Can I give you a hug, Mommy?” I gladly accepted and told him I needed it!!
*Speaking of Zakkai…I always check on him and Samuel before bed each night and lately have found him either half-clothed or naked. He gets really warm when he sleeps yet can’t resist wearing snuggly footsie jammies. One night, I found him with his jammies stripped down to his ankles. I removed them and put a shirt on him and in the morning he questioned me accusingly as to why his jammies were off! He wanted his jammies on his feet! He’s naked tonight…
*Making gingerbread houses with my boys tomorrow. They are SO excited. I am cheating and using graham crackers but we are making gingerbread cookies later. I am glad to make a memory with them and give them something fun to look forward to this weekend! And I need something to look forward to:)
*Tonight the boys made their own pizzas and then we watched “Benji” while we ate! They really enjoyed the movie. Samuel swore he wasn’t going to like it but was totally in to it. They both asked about 204 questions during the movie:)
*I got birth announcements finally! I almost got some online and then waited because it was too expensive, only to check a few days later and the website was offering 2 free boxes! I got the free ones and then the rest I got from one of their least expensive options. When I went to check-out, the price dropped if I chose store pick-up and when I went to get them today, the lady gave me a $3 coupon discount, bringing my total for 40 birth announcements to just over $8!! The price would normally have been at least $40. I was really happy!
*And last but not least in my pickled, fried brain…I miss my husband. I am so glad that he gets to go and present his paper and market himself but I am selfishly very sad to have him go, too. I feel safe when he is around and not to mention, 3 kids is easier to handle with 2 loving parents!!
*1/2 a day down, 3 more to go…


I’m going to keep it short and sweet tonight as I have a nasty headache and am congested. I need all the sleep I can get!!

~Took the baby to the dr’s for her check-up today and she weighs in at a whopping 8lbs 14.5oz! She gained 1 lb 10oz in two weeks! She also grew an inch. Needless to say, the dr isn’t worried about her at all:) Our little porker..

~The boys both had conferences at school for report card day. Zakkai got to show us different things in his classroom. He hemmed and hawed for awhile but finally sang a song for us, showed us how he does his job as a “light helper” and a few other things. We even got to peek in his journal at his drawings and stories. He doesn’t usually draw pictures for us~just scribbles so it was fun to see that he is developing that skill! Of course 90 % of his drawings were about ghosts….what an imagination…what a  kid!

~Samuel’s teacher is SO pleased with how he is doing! She said he has really opened up and is mature and taking initiative to help his classmates. She said they even pick him most days to read about the weather and calendar! It was really fun to hear about his progress. He has been working hard! He read “Goodnight Moon” the other night to Zakkai, Eliana and I and is incredibly proud, as he should be!

~Went grocery shopping with the Little Birdie today during naptime. She slept the entire time out….until about 5 minutes from home when she started screaming because she was desperately hungry. Let me tell you that it is a pretty horrible feeling to not be able to comfort your baby while she/he is crying so hard. When I finally got home and climbed back to get her (we didn’t make it inside before I had to feed her!), her eyes were wet and red-rimmed. I got all teary and started apologizing to her. Hey, what’s a mama supposed to do?! I really don’t like moments like that.

~Getting nervous about my solo-parenting adventure this weekend! I hope it goes by quickly and I really hope the boys are well-behaved!

~7 more days til we leave for Ohio!!

I fought the Cold and the…

Cold Won.
Darn cold.
Missing kissing my boys and my sweet girl and my hubby.
Ah, the things we sacrifice in the name of love;)
Speaking of Love:
Sometimes I look at this little person and I think, “She’s really here!” It feels like I was just ginormously pregnant and then..poof! Here she is, almost 4 weeks old. It really did take me several days to stop feeling pregnant. In the hospital I would have these random brief moments of panic where I would think, “Oh no! I haven’t felt the baby move in awhile!” And then I would look over and see this little bundle of joy and breathe a sigh of joyful relief.
Where did the last 4 weeks go?! My little birdie is getting so chubby, which makes her even more kissable, of course! Ben and I are so amazed at how much she loves to be around us and be talked to. Sometimes she will wake up from a nap (one of her many, many naps) and squawk at us (because she squawks more than she really cries) and when we pick her up and start talking to her, she will get so still and just stare and stare at us.
AND she really is starting to smile a little bit!! A few times I have been able to get a smile out of her and it is SO sweet! I can’t wait until she really starts smiling. Oh, the pictures I will take. Are you tired of pictures of her yet? I can’t help myself!
Poor Samuel has been banned from kissing his sister until his cold goes away. He told me tonight that he misses kissing her:) I do, too! Although there are still sweet little feet and a soft, warm belly to kiss!
And totally random: I made my mom’s Pasta Fagioli soup tonight (SO good) and this bread in the bread machine that was one of the best loaves of bread I’ve ever made!! It was a strange recipe and I was really skeptical of how it was going to turn out but it was so good! The perfect compliment to soup:) Here’s the recipe in case you love your home smelling like fresh bread as much as I do!!
Best Bread Machine Bread (I didn’t make that title up:)
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 TB sugar
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (or one .25oz pkg)
4 cups bread flour (I used all-purpose and prob will do half white/half wheat next time)
1/4 cup canola oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
1. Add water, sugar and yeast to bread machine pan and let dissove and foam for 10 minutes. (no need to stir!)
2. Add flour, oil and salt and set bread machine to white bread cycle and press start! (I do my rapid rise cycle~2 hrs 15 min~ and 2 lb loaf)
Add water or flour as necessary after 5 minutes of kneading.
3. Enjoy!!