Thursday, April 30, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!

I moved out of my mid-thirties this week and entered the next phase as I celebrated my 35th birthday on Tuesday. During the day I went up to DC with my Dad who is in town to meet Brad for lunch and look around the Pentagon and the 9/11 memorial. When Brad got home from work we headed out to a Japanese Steak House. As we were heading out of the house the girls remembered the traditional "Family Birthday Hat" and they ran back inside to find it in their closet...darn! I like the tradition much better when I don't have to wear the hat in public.

The girls had seen a show on the Food Network about a Japanese Steak House and they were excited about the hibachi tables. Unfortunately we walked into the restaurant only to be told that their tables were being remodeled and only their Sushi bar was open. Plan B. We got back in the car and headed to another Japanese Steak House. Problem solved. Baileigh and Mckenna loved the "show", especially when they got to catch food in their mouth. Brooke was a little scared by the fire but she ate all her steak! Morgan was cooperative and slept through the entire meal.
After dinner we returned home to have DQ ice cream cake. Everyone thought it was funny (except me) that the number "35" was turned around to read "53".
I got one present for my birthday. One big present...well technically fairly small but relatively big in price. I've been wanting to do more with photography for awhile now and I've pushed my point and shoot as far as I can so my hubby kindly bought me a new Canon SLR. I'm already having fun with it and hopefully you'll start to see improvement in the quality of my pictures on my blog.

Monday, April 27, 2009

How We Handle the Heat

It's in the nineties April! Sorry, but that is too hot for this early in the year. The first day we didn't turn on the AC but it was pretty miserable sleeping this is how Morgan dealt with the high temperatures.

Papa's Visit

My Dad is in town visiting for the week and meeting Morgan. Summer seems to have arrived along with his visit so we've been taking full advantage of it and spending a lot of time outside. Here is a picture of Papa with four of his girls...he has two more in Colorado. Six granddaughters...that is a lot of progesterone in our family!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Another New Look

As you can see I've been playing with the look of my blog again. I was so spoiled with the professional photography I had on my old header thanks to my amazingly talented friend that I now can't find anything I like. I wanted a header that incorporated all four girls but capturing a good photo of them (with my skills) has not been easy. I was able though to get a decent picture of their hands which will have to suffice for now. I attempted some pictures of their feet too but Brooke and Morgan weren't into the concept and not very cooperative.

Life feels "normal" and we seem to have adjusted...yet in contradiction I feel like we're continually settling in to life with four and making small transitions on a daily basis. A lot of that second part has to do with the break in routine from having family frequently visiting, the weather changing, spring time activities, return to exercise, busyness at work for Brad, etc.

Thankfully Morgan has been a very easy going baby. In fact, just today she was fairly fussy for awhile and I was getting frustrated with her. It made me realize just how low maintenance she is for the most part and how grateful I am for a happy baby!

Friday, April 17, 2009

4 Weeks Old

It's hard to believe that only four weeks ago tonight Morgan was just hours old. I think we're already beginning to forget what life was like before she joined our gang. She is a great natured baby...sleeps well, eats well, and is starting to really respond to the voices of her sisters. We love her and I think we'll keep her!

With Her Sister's Help

Baileigh called me outside today..."come see what I taught Brooke, Mom!" I went outside to discover her riding her bike. She hasn't wanted to get on that bike for the longest time, but somehow Baileigh convinced her today and taught her how to pedal. It's not like she taught her how to ride without training wheels...but despite my pleasure in seeing the two girls work together I also felt a little unnecessary! I suppose if mommy or daddy aren't going to get to teach her these things then her big sister is the next best thing.
Right now it's a bike with training wheels...soon it will be thirteen year old Brooke begging her seventeen year old sister to take her to the mall to meet her friends.
Evidence of their hard work...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

My Day In Court

I spent my morning in traffic court. In early March I was stopped by a motorcycle cop for going 37mph in a 25mph zone. He was standing in a turn lane by his bike and shooting a radar gun as I approached. I won't deny my guilt. There are some variables that influenced my speed...such as the fact that I was in a right lane that was merging and I sped up a little so I could move into the left lane without cutting off the person behind me. Also the fact that I was in the midst of reprimanding Mckenna in the backseat who was lying to me about having played with the gel part of a Yankee candle air freshener..."hey look mom at this neat green thing I found that is kinda sticky!" I was fairly preoccupied with verbally disciplining her in my rear view mirror while driving, and merging, and apparently speeding.

Anyway...that is all to explain why I found myself sitting amongst a very colorful crowd this morning as I awaited my name to be called in the docket. My mind was still distracted by the security guard at the entrance informing me that I would need to remove my baby from the carseat so he could look because last week someone tried to sneak a weapon into the courthouse under a baby. Uhhh...what am I doing here with my 3 week old!!! My thoughts were transferred to mental reruns of People's Court as the bailiff asked us to all rise while the honorable judge presiding over today's session entered and swore in the police officers seated in the front row.

After about 45 minutes my name was finally called. Morgan slept through most of the excitement (although she had one loud blowout diaper and a few grunts), like the man who apparently ran from his vehicle when he was pulled over and tried to hide in a dumpster. He told the judge he was going to 7-11 for a coke. When the judge asked him why he was hiding in a dumpster he seriously said..."I got lost?" So my case was boring in comparison. I plead guilty and then asked the judge to consider my perfect driving record and reduce the fine and allow me to do whatever necessary to prevent any points on my record. My fine went from $125 to $62 and I can take an eleven session online course and then a 50 question test at the library down the street. I can also send in my certificate of completion and the case is dismissed and my record is clean again.

So I've learned my lesson. This was a huge hassle. Brad had to go into work late so he could take the girls to school. I have to complete this course. The fine. The ordeal this morning of getting to court, etc. It was a change from my normal morning...but I'm looking forward to normal tomorrow...whatever that looks like!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

I've Met My Match

This blog will be three years old in May. Since it's inception I have been very consistent in blogging and I've never really found it a struggle to ignore more pressing needs such as laundry, my children, dinner etc. in order to post something here for your reading pleasure.

I think I finally met my match.

A newborn and a houseful of family for the past 26 days is apparently the combination necessary to prevent me from consistently blogging. My in-laws left this morning and my Dad is coming to visit on April 25. Don't' get me has been great to have the support of family around and I'm going to miss having someone here to take the girls to school, empty the dishwasher, hold Morgan when she is fussy or needs a bottle and I'm preoccupied. All that said...I'm also looking forward to starting a routine. In fact, I'm craving a routine!

The girls were on spring break this past week and Brad was home a week in March and just took a week off in April for his parent's visit. So not only have we had a baby and been making those adjustments, we haven't had any of our "normal" stuff going on through the transition. The girls have tomorrow off of school too so we'll have a day to get organized and then Tuesday we're back up and running. I'm not sure what that looks like right now but I'm anxious to figure it out. My plans are to get the kids to school and then return home and take Morgan for a 45 minute walk. That is another thing I'm craving, to get back to exercising and start loosing some baby weight. I'm not sure if I'll manage any triathlons this summer, I'm still contemplating it and haven't ruled the idea out. My main issue is finding the time this summer to train adequately with the four kids...that limits me to tying exercise into my time with them and then doing more intentional training in the evenings when my husband is home.

So apparently not posting in a while leads to me rambling on and on about my contemplations. I'll end for now and try to post some photos from our past few weeks. Thanks again for all the "concern" at the lack of my's nice to know someone is reading!

An Non-traditional Easter

Today's Easter looked a little different then our norm.

My in-laws left today and their flight was at 12:30. As a result, attending church this morning and getting them to the airport on time conflicted. I admit there was a 6:30 sunrise service but I didn't envision me getting there with the kids.

We started out by reading the Easter story from the Bible with Baileigh and Mckenna. Once Brooke woke up we read a book about the true meaning of Easter that was geared more towards a preschooler. Afterwards we headed downstairs to see if the Easter bunny had made a visit.
Baileigh had left a note for the Easter bunny and was very excited to see that their was a thank you letter left behind.
Brooke with all her loot. I don't think she remembers Easter from last year, but she was very enthusiastic anyways!
Baileigh had a lot of skeptical questions about the Easter Bunny this we'll see what next year looks like!

Mckenna and her goodies.
The bunny left something small for Morgan...and Baileigh's hand-me-down "1st Easter Bib" came in handy.

Up to this point our Easter morning was pretty traditional. But after our Easter Egg hunt around the house and an early morning sugar buzz we sat down for brunch. I have to admit that my spread of ham, asparagus with hollandaise sauce, fruit salad, hashbrown casserole, and pineapple souffle looked and smelled wonderful! We filled up and then had to head out to the airport around 10:30am.

After we said our good-bye's to my in-laws we decided to stop at a park on the drive home. The temperatures were only around 50 but the wind was the main issue. Very cold! We knew the stop at the park wouldn't last too long due to the weather, but it ended a little faster then expected when Mckenna took a big fall off the swing when Daddy was pushing her. No one is to blame, but I notice that our time outside is always much more exciting (and there is a lot more blood involved) when Daddy is with us. I have a few more posts from this week that include Daddy's adventures with the girls and blood. While it's been great to have him home I also said today that he needs to go back to work before one of the kid's is seriously hurt!

So Mckenna's fall led to a backside covered in mud and wood chips, including a pile of dirt and chips in her underwear and scrapes on her lower back. Since the park was empty we weren't extremely modest in our clean up process...and of course we documented the event. My kids will either be so appreciative of all the pictures I take when they grow up or they'll resent me forever! We healed our wounds with a snack. Since it was so cold and windy we piled in the back of the Suburban. A giant "Happy Easter" cookie isn't anything we traditionally do to celebrate the resurrection of our Christ...but the girl's voted and they think we should eat one every year!
Despite the fact that she slept through the majority of the day, apparently Morgan found all the excitement exhausting!
While I truly missed attending church this morning and taking the time for corporate worship, I also thoroughly enjoyed my day and found myself being more intentional in my thoughts about the day since I wasn't spoon fed anything this morning to celebrate the occasion. I'm looking forward to dressing the girls up again next year and joining together with our church family, but having relatives around is such a rare thing for us that it was also nice to have the chance to celebrate and share the time with our real family.

Thank You!

On Friday our great friends made the drive from NJ to visit us for the day. Unfortunately they hit awful traffic and the 3.5 hour drive became 5 hours! I was praying for an easy trip so they would consider doing it again this summer...guess God missed that prayer!

They were all very excited to meet Morgan. My friend, Melissa holds the record of having been able to visit me twice at the hospital when I have had babies as well as the fact that she went to my ultrasound for Mckenna while Brad was deployed. She now holds the distinction of being my first friend from NJ (or really anywhere outside our new VA friends) to meet one of our girls. Considering we've had 3 out of our 4 babies in different states and two on different coasts that is a pretty impressive record.

Lila has shown more enthusiasm and excitement about the fact that I was going to have a baby then almost anyone else I know. She was one happy little girl to finally meet this baby and get to hold her...until she pooped. Then Lila was ready to hand the baby back!
Emma showed her big sister skills and was a natural with Morgan.
All the girls headed out for a walk with the men...Baileigh returned about 5 minutes later pretty hysterical.

Skipping + flip flops + downhill + excitement + gravel = ripped up hands, skinned knees, big bruises, bloody hip.
I love these pictures...especially the varying heights of the girls...Emma is the oldest, then Baileigh, Mckenna, Lila and Brooke. We've done the math and it would actually be possible for all these girls to be mine! Yikes. Four is enough!
It was awesome to spend the day with friends that know us well and that we have some history with ...that is one of the hardest things about being a military family, always starting over and trying to develop relationships. What is even more challenging is finding a family where the husbands connects, the wives connect, and the kids get along and play well together. We've learned that meeting all that criteria becomes a rarity and that is why we treasure friendships like we have with this family! We're so thankful they care enough about us to make the trip...and hopefully the fact that the drive home only took a little over 3 hours will convince them to try it again sometime!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Still here

Many of you have emailed me recently wondering if I'm still here. I've taken a rather big blogging hiatus for me...not intentionally. If I could learn to nurse and blog simultaneously I would have enough time to write a book!

My mom left town last night and my in-laws arrive tonight. So I should be cleaning right now but thought I would take a second to let you know I haven't had a post partum nervous breakdown, yet. Brad took the girls to the commissary to grocery shop for me and I'm home with Morgan and attempting to clean between blow out diapers and feedings. We're still making adjustments, I feel primarily I'm making adjustments in my time management and schedules.

I'll post more in the next day or two, hopefully, as well as find time to give my blog a new look and update that includes our 4 girls, not just are a few pictures in the meantime.

Our trip to the Cherry Blossom Festival in was a beautiful day weather wise but insanely busy as a result!
Easter Egg hunt at it really a "hunt" when there are 1,000's of eggs sitting in a field?

Brooke continues to be a great big sister. She shares her favorite blankie with Morgan all the time. Our biggest "problem" is her constant petting of Morgan's head..."I pet baby Morgan mommy, she is soft!"

Getting so big so quickly!
Enjoying some ribs daddy smoked for dinner. Brooke is our carnivore out of the group.