Monday, December 31, 2007

Last Day of 2007

Was not that exciting at our house. I remember thinking as a kid / teenager that I would always do something cool on New Year's eve.... I would make sure I booked the babysitter early... that we would have a party of something really exciting! (I was always babysitting and making $$$ when I was young!

Ironically after a day of starting to undecorate the multitude of Christmas trees & defrocking the outside (cause it was really warm here today 47-50 degrees). I am looking forward to an evening of watching Sponge Bob Square Pants with Adrian and Colin and Melea and Daddy and bringing in the New Year with one of the weirdest Nickelodeon creations that my children seem to love more than choclate (an I am actually beginning to appreciate Sponge Bob too) as we undecorate the big tree in front of a fire drinking ginger ale and sherbert coolers.

Maybe after 40 I am getting to old to party or I guess I really never had that much fun doing it, or maybe all those cool things really can't compare to an evening at home with my favorite children and the best daddy in the world and knowing that I am bringing in 2008 with the most important people in the world to me!

I hope you all have a wonderful New Year and that this one will bring all of us joy and excitement and pray that we will all be here to watch Sponge Bob next year too~! (Course I am hoping we can graduate to Monty Python soon!)

Sunday, December 30, 2007

the Big Mess!

Some days I love being a mom to all my children (hey that is my favorite soap opera too)! But I have to say that keeping up with all their toys is never one of my favorite activities.

Today after I had been working on catching up on laundry for a few hours and thinking about tackling matching socks..... Melea and Colin cam in from playing outside with Adrian to check on Miranda and Jordan. They were playing in the "baby" room.

This is a toy area... about an 7'x9' closet that I put / filled with all "baby safe / non choking toys and decorated the shelves with all the stuffed animals the kids have as well as all the old / out of batteries talking/singing/dancing Elmo's we have ..... and that is a lot! But is is fun and safe and Miranda and Jordan can crawl and play and do stuff and it is somewhat like a big playpen with a lot of toys....mostly out of reach... but there to be exchanged and moved and to encourage walking and fun!

Well to my chagrin after cleaning and picking up all three the toy room yesterday.... the baby room suddenly looked like there had been a 10.0 earthquake that hit it. I wanted to scream!!!!!!
Colin, Melea, Adrian and Daddy had been playing outside on the rainbow.... boy did they need to waste some energy running around (though apparently it was no where near enough) Eric had come in to go to the restroom and I had decided to change Miss Stinky pants..... so Jordan was alone in the toy room..... next thing I hear is lots of giggling and laughing and Elmo's talking & singing & making unbelievable sounds!
Melea decided to climb up and knock down all of the stuffed animals, then Colin helped her by dumping all the bins out.... (note the photo is from earlier this year when it was warm and the room was not completely decimated!) . In less than the time it took me to change Miranda's diaper, they came in saw that Jordan only had one toy and decided to "help him" pick another .....another from about a thousand! URGH!!!!!!!!!!!!
I guess I can at least say that the did wait till after our guests they can still think I am an overly compulsive neat freak. But is is so infuriating because Eric and I had just cleaned it all up and gotten all the toys back into the correct bins and made sure all the pieces were there for each toy.

Each and every day I am utterly amazed at the amount of damage my six wonderful angelic children can inflict on our toy area in a matter of minutes. I am the queen of organization and I swear that half the sterilite containers produced are in my house..... but I just get so surprised at the simple joy that all my kids get from dumping those containers out!
All of them love it.... Adrian will dump her little dolls furniture everywhere!, Colin and the train parts, and Melea.... Melea just loves to dump it all, throw it all, just make a huge mess.
Today it was so deep with stuffed animals it took me a few minutes to realize which moving pile was Jordan and which was Colin!
I asked her... did she want to help clean it up or sit in the "thinking chair".... well she looked a the floor, looked at me... and hopped down from the bookshelf and kicked about a dozen animals out of her way and walked upstairs to the thinking chair! I don't think I will be asking her that question again!
Colin helped me pick up some of the items, before he decided to go outside and play again and I just sat on the floor and was reminded of a story Sister Virgina told us in 7th grade...about visiting a former student who had a messy house and how she knew all the children there were loved so much....cause mom didn't have time to keep cleaning up after them..... I am sure if she could see my toy room right now Sister would know I really love my children a lot today!
So maybe Melea is trying to tell me something..... what ever the case... I went upstairs after clearing the floor of the big animals and making a safe spot for Miranda and Jordan .
I think I learned a bigger lesson than her anyways. I am never asking that question again!
When I got upstairs. Melea smiled and had a big hug for me, then she asked for "toooooo puprles" and I gave her two Hershey's kisses and she came down and helped me for about three minutes before asking to go outside and play!
Maybe I am a horrible mom or may be a great mom.... not really sure, cause I gave her candy and then let her off the hook.... but she actually verbally asked to play outside and she never would have helped me put silly parts Elmo back in the right box and "anal retentivel" mommy has to have the blocks in the block box, and the roll-arounds in that box, and the pop onz in the barrel, etc, etc, etc ........

Saturday, December 29, 2007

What can $85 get you......

$17.50 for tickets to show,
$13.50 for popcorn and two sodas,
$40 for babysitter (worth every penny and thanks T for filling in!)
and $ 15.00 for drive thru steak and shake cause I was worried about Eliza's wheezing and wanted to get home!

But four hours alone with Eric PRICELESS! (well Johnny Depp was there for 122 minutes of it too)

Christmas break has been pretty much a huge bust! Thank heaven it is short compared to NEXT YEAR"S!!!!!!!! I am starting to plan now for 20 days of seven kids and dad!

I make all these great plans and something always comes up.... one of the children is invariably sick (glad that usually doesn't stop us), I get a horrendous head cold / sinus infection, the extra child wrangler for the holidays sick ....urgh.......e when I got plans to finish calendars, work on the subdivision website, put away all the new toys, and do laundry, return a few gifts and maybe shop for some new clothes for COLIN...he is finally a size 5/6!!!!!! and want to see a grown up movie!

Last night a friend of ours watched the children and Eric and I got to go out to see "Sweeney Todd".

I have been so enamoured with Johnny Depp since his 21 Jump Street Days that the thought of spending the evening with him and Eric was really exciting to this old stay at home mom and Sweeney is one of the plays I love to see and still have on my list of things I want to direct someday.

I am not sure why as a theater production Sweeney is not scary to me and I would take Adrian and Colin (Melea could not sit that long) but I think the others will be 21 before I let them see that movie. But I almost broke Eric's hand at one point and I am happy I was not on the clean up crew for that production!

But all the blood really grossed me out! Now why you would think I would be so delusional to think that a movie based on a musical based on a book about a barber who slits people's throats and a woman who chops up the bodies and serves them to Londeners would be a fun family event .... but Tim Burton brought out more gore and disgust in his grey and sepia tone London than even I thought possible. Eric said he thought there was more blood in Todd than in the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre (another film I don't ever want my children to see...)

Ironically Eric and I really enjoyed it and we both agreed that no one but Tim Burton could have directed it. I also felt that they did a great adaption on screen of that musical (and that is hard production to do well).

I also loved sitting in front of the people we did... they apparently had never seen the stage show and kept asking if that note was off key or do you think they meant for that WEIRD DISCORD. I guess they have never heard an actual Sondheim musical before... lol.... I find all his music really interesting and Sweeney has always been one of my absolute favorites and am really glad I am not trying to sing it!

Actually I really liked it and who knew that Depp could carry a tune and I guess I am getting really old cause I want Alan Richman to play a hot good guy next time he is looking really good as he is getting older! (that or I need to get out of the house more) Sort of an evil Sean Connery thing starting there!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all our friends and family! I want to take this moment to wish you the happiest of all holiday seasons and hope that you and your families are able to enjoy the inner peace and tranquility this holiday can bring!

Or in my case after I have put all my angels into bed and fallen in exhausted heap onto the couch to watch a new DVD...not Sponge Bob.... with Eric only to start snoring and have him cover me up and kiss me goodnight a few minutes later!

We actually had a great holiday and it all went as smoothly as a mom of six (soon to be seven) could wish for.... there were the crayons ground into the floor, the burnt / forgotten rolls, a broken jar of apple butter, a flooded bathroom (two times), trying to find a plunger!, a missing diaper...still looking for it & hope that is not why we needed the plunger, a sugar cookie explosion when Melea decided to put more sprinkles on them, lots of chocolate moustaches and beard from the hershies Kisses, and BELIEVE IT OR NOT..... some spilt milk!

Other than from me there really was not much crying here anyways....cause Santa was really good to all the children. NO COAL! For the Smith Household!

Colin, Melea and Adrian all got dolls that look like them. I thought this was a great idea....cause I got to make clothes and stuff for them and had a blast doing this for several months.... I made a whole lot.... till I realized that as they opened them not only do I have to keep track of all the "real" kids shoes now I got to keep track of all the "doll clothes & shoes" too!

Possibly not the brightest idea I have ever had..... Cause you all know how I occasionally can go overboard on the sewing thing! but they loved them ! Colin's highlight was putting his "Miguel's" glasses on and off and on and off! I can't get him to wear his own that often...but he is always putting on little Miguel's now! AMAZING! I wish remembering where Colin's are and putting them on him were so easy!

Melea also wanted to know if they made "boots" for her doll.... these are the term we give her braces (SMO's)...I told her no..... but I caught her trying to Miranda's on her doll later in the afternoon I asked why and she said "me's oo iggie" translation from Mia speak to plain English as "MINE TOO BIG.... stupid". Maybe Melea's new doll will keep her from dressing and undressing Miranda all the time. She sure loves her Miranda! I am very glad Miranda is so sturdy! And bends like most children with DS!

Miranda and Eliza got matching Inchworms.....I really can not wait to take these outside this spring! Miranda still can't touch the ground and toppled off them the three times she tried to make it work... but it was so much fun watching her and Eliza try them out!

Eliza took a rest in Colin 's new truck! she was really tired and I think she wanted a ride....though it was not long till Colin dumped her on the floor and we had a few tears!

Jordan just seemed to love crawling around in all the paper and just went in his best army crawl from one side of the room to the other...over any present and sibling in the way! He just was so excited and had so much fun that I think he might remember the amazement for a while any ways! I am not sure he really like any of his presents....he was more excited with trying to knock over the poinsettias and to eat the shiny paper! But at least his sisters had fun making him open the presents!

And this year in a marked surprise was the quickest we have ever opened presents....2 1/2 hours~! . Colin actually liked opening them, though he still had a pile left after Adrian had finished hers and helped everyone else...COLIN WANTED NO HELP THIS YEAR!!! He wanted to do it all by himself!

And only Miranda feel asleep in the middle of it!

So about 3 hours after we started all that was left was the clean up! It is amazing what little trash we really had left when Eric, Colin and myself put all the stuff in recycling (cardboard, paper) or into the reuse pile (gift boxes and bows, etc).

Thanks....a whole lot.....Grandpa Leahy, Grampy Leo & Grammy Marage, Grandma (Mama) and all our friends, birth families and friends who sent gifts and presents for the children. With all good intentions I have plans for thank you notes.... but that means crayons! Urgh...oh well there is always nore magic eraser!

Sometimes it really is so hard to remember the reason for the season.... the birth of a little baby and God's promise and all the hope that has brought to humanity..... but as I sit here and remembered that my little children are all napping and snuggled in their beds.

As I recall all the kisses and hugs me and daddy and grandma got today ..... till I think we were bruised....

I remember that I got a glimpse the joy in their eyes that I wish you all could get to see.

I realize how lucky Eric and I are each and every day with our large and wonderfully special family and how much we hope everyone could enjoy that same special feeling of warmth this holiday season!

Merry Christmas to all of our friends, family and we hope that it was a fun filled and glorious holiday for all of you too!!

Friday, December 21, 2007

School Christmas Parties and Holiday Puke!

Today was one of those wonderful days you might like to really forget. It started with bad planning on mom's part.

All of the kid's had dental appointments starting at 7:00 AM (I usually like this cause we can get to school with little missed time since it starts at 8:56), Colin & Melea each had holiday parties at school, and I promised to take Adrian to a special mommy / daughter lunch in between the two parties at her favorite Mexican restaurant.

Well dentist went great (we were only 2 minutes late getting all the kids there after driving the 39 mile trip to get to the office). Course I find out when we are leaving he will no longer be taking three of the six children's insurance and so he can keep seeing three of them... new problem I store in my head for later! Urgh got to solve that quicker.... Need to find someone who will take all of their insurances (3 or 4 different plans....see children with developmental delays and sometimes like to bite and kick! ) Now you can see why I just love the dentist.

But I have to say using those spin brushes is paying off.... we had a few major screams this time and no one got bitten (however no one needed x-rays), no cavities for the Smith family and Melea asked to go to the bathroom and #2 in the potty and cleaned (mostly) all in all the dentist was a big YEAH RAH! And we made it to school in time for the regular start of the day!

I got to take the other children home, get them breakfast, and get them set up with Kayla for watching them while I went back to school and started on the Holiday party junket. (Side note...Thursday I attended Adrian and Eliza's preschool party in the morning and Colin and Melea's resource room party in the afternoon). SO i am getting rather ill of the school party snack, graham cracker house bit.

Basically I still get really depressed when I go to the "regular" room activities. After 7 years of being a mom to a non -typical child... there is nothing that can slap you in the face as a room of 16 happy and excited children who are talking a mile a minute as the enter the room and then seeing someone trying to coax your child out from under the table. (Again just cause we don't like routine changes and parties and fun activities can bring out the worst in us!) And I am not delusional... I really do know what my children can and can not do... but today reality was almost as cold as the windchill.

Melea actually had a great time...she wasn't really sure why I had come... but she went with it... we got to make another grahm cracker house...she liked the tree though and loved eating the licorice and gum drops! She had a great time feeding me the skittles and of course I got to observe how she has all her teachers twisted around her little finger. She "forgets" that she can talk, or blow her own nose of to say please and thank you..... I am really surprised at the lack of participation she has compared to all the things she does for Eric and I at home.

Well Eric calls and tells me he has Adrian at our favorite Mexican restaurant..... I leave school and go there to meet him and Adrian for our special lunch. Adrian asks if Daddy can stay... who am I to say no and it really does sound like I say sure and I will be there in 3 minutes....

I get there in time to order my soda and glance at the menu.... we start the process of ordering... me - caldo de pollo and I start by asking Adrian what she wants and I hear those least favorite words.... "mom I feel...." she never did get the sick out...cause the next thing I know she is projectile vomiting across the table at me. She actually hit the people in the booth behind me!

She gets another one started ....Eric positions her head down... she fills her snow boots..... I grab her out of her boots and someones empty cup from the next table and run to the bathroom with her puking all the way. Now she is crying and our poor waitress is just standing there in shock and disbelief......

Well we take off her clothes and Eric brings me her coat and my slightly puke covered one to wrap her up in as well as my keys and purse... he gets the food to go and then buys the nice couple lunch and leaves a 50% tip (glad we eat there a lot and they already are used to the kids making a mess! .... though never this bad before)

Well I take Adrian home in the van (I have the old car) and get her situated and make her some chicken noodle soup and give her a lot of hugs and then it is off to Colin's party.

9 out of 10 days all I can ever see is all the things my children can do and the things I know they will do..... but after the puke and not getting to diffuse about the first party.... I just seem to see more happy and healthy children who are smiling and talking. The kids are really nice to Colin... but I just feel so out of place.

It is really funny, cause Colin sees this fear or apprehension or whatever in my eyes and then he runs over and with the biggest grin he can get he jumps into my arms and hugs and squeezes (which means he wants a one back). He is so happy I am there! He could care less about the 6 crafts they planed or the "snow ball fight" ... or even the food and candy, his mom is there and that is all that counts!

In that respect he has the same joy that most of his classmates are now enjoying. So I got put in charge of making snow globes and key chains with the children.... Colin of course had his other plans...he wanted me with him at each station... but we slowly worked that out and he really enjoyed the rest of the afternoon with me and his friends.

I brought the children home after helping Colin's teacher clean up from two different kindergarten holiday parties. COlin and Melea seemed like they really enjoyed the expereince.... but I think I can wait another whole year for another day like today (course valentine's parties will be here before I know it)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Happy St. Nick's Day!

St. Nick's was always the start of the holiday season at our home when I was growing up. My grandparents always decorated the Saturday after Christmas and were black Friday shoppers, but my dad waited to start stuff on the evening of the 5th when we all wrote our letters to St. Nick and left them in stockings hoping to get some candy!

We have been having do much fun decorating and getting ready for Christmas! We have actually got all thirteen trees up (I told Eric I needed to buy a new one....cause thirteen was an unlucky number and I know he rolled his eyes...but I think he might actually have been thinking about smacking me.... of course I try not to comment on his five computers but it is so hard).

I figure I will put up a few photos during the holiday season of the kids and the is Adrian in the Laundry room with my newest tree (last year tree and ornaments this year). I always wanted a white one with blue ornaments and it is in our mud / laundry room! Adrian and Eliza and I had the best time decorating it!

We have started cookies and fudge, made two gingerbread houses ...I love those prefab kits!!!!!!... except the kids all keep eating the candy off of them though. And we have eaten our advent calendar candy for the first five days (Thinking of you Grandma Shaw every time we open them). As well as having watched a lot of the Rankin and Bass Christmas specials..... I still love that heat miser and Cold Miser song the best....Melea is even doing the dances to it! She is so looking forward to making a snowman! she keeps talking about a "froooo sty" (it is with a long "Oh" sound ! I love the ABC FAMILY CHANNEL

We have visited Santa several times...and this year everyone has enjoyed it after a time! Actually our favorite Santa is always the one at Walmart. He has a ton of time and the photos are free! And even after I have paid the huge price at the mall.... this one always has time for all of us and the kids....he is great...and was great again last week with Adrian, and I can't wait to take all six of the children this year

But today is my actual favorite tradition....course it got a little warped last night.... first of all Adrian has been writing Santa lists for everyone....and She can write her own name.... but everything else she writes need translation. BUT SHE TOOK IT UPON HERSELF to write Santa Letters for all eight of us ,,,I am sure she was earning brownie points....and she has Colin and Melea helping do everything and keeps reminding them Santa is watching everything.....Oh if I could milk this for the whole year!

By the way! Adrian and Melea want cameras, and dolls, and clothes for them and Colin wants Elmo's and some cars and a lot of clothes and chocolate bars! (As well as about 100 other things that seem like they really belonged on Adrian's list. But she really did give a lot of thought to this....I have the new Harry Potter DVD on my list and a diamond (those deBeers & Kay commercials are so good even my four year old is deluded into thinking her dad should give me a diamond!.....They sure got there money's worth!! ) AND DAD NO DIAMONDS....I would rather have new windows!!!!!!!!!

But I forgot to buy or budget candy into the food budget for this week and with all the home improvements and my rules for when to use and not use a credit card (and CANDY IS NOT ONE OF THEM) so we got a lot of what we had in the house in our stockings.

We got the left over Pinata candy from Colin's birthday, and I bought some kisses on sale last week, a few nuts and some apples (I had them laying around in the kitchen) Eric and I got the oranges....cause no one really likes them but me...and they were a little squishy! I gave the girls some pony tail holders and the barrettes I had been making them and Colin got a rubber snake... which he promptly put into the Nativity scene with the others from his birthday party... he keeps telling me the snakes would be there too!
But the funny thing was it didn't matter to the kids!!!!!!! They had a blast opening and eating their candy downstairs as we waited for the bus this morning... so I sent them to school all loaded up on sugar and bouncing off the walls!

I realize that St. Nick's day is still really cool and I still like it and I think I will go eat my orange with my coffee. Have a great start to your holiday season!!!!!!!

Monday, December 3, 2007

This is the coolest!!

I love finding stuff like this in my Colin's bag!!!!!!!!!

I was so happy to see this!!! I wish I had found it Friday it would have made my whole weekend.... but because of the party and all that crazy business I didn't get through book bags till this morning (and Colin still managed to take his hat and gloves out and hide them after I had packed it......he hates them)

Usually I don't always find such cool stuff....mainly just lots of colored papers with announcements for school and an occasional paper that looks like Colin might have done some of the drawing himself....occasionally he is non cooperative and his aide helps him way too much! But this was a copy of his dry erase board!!!!!! He loves the dry erase boards!!!!!!!! Everyone should have a little set at home and a huge 4 X 8 sheet for the kids!!!!!!!! We get so much use from ours and we have had years of a circle squiggles with stick legs!!!!!!! This was just so exciting!!!!!

It probably doesn't look like something that exciting (BUT THIS IS AWESOME)

it has hair and legs and feet and ears and arms eyes and all that stuff this is such a huge leap developmentally. We have gone from just circles to bodies in less than a year!!!!!!!!

I told you all he had grown up so much..... but I love it when he surprises even me!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Birthday Party Fun!

Last night I stayed up really late making my son’s birthday cake for his party tomorrow! He is having a creepy crawly / snake party!!!! So it is a great big snake!!

Colin turned seven years old almost 14 days ago and he is finally getting a chance to have his big birthday bash!

I can say that birthdays are a big deal for everyone at our house. I was recently reminded that a lot of cultures do not even celebrate them and that maybe we should rethink our customs on this! HA HA it has me LOL because BIRTHDAYS WILL ALWAYS BE BIG HERE!!!

I know there is not one reason why they are important to me….. But they really are!!!

These are a few I have thought of…. I am sure others could be posted…..

First one being
And celebrating them is a way we celebrate the person’s life …. While they are still here with us! I do not mean it is about gifts, but just getting people together to have fun and eat food and enjoy themselves and just make merry! So currently this happens at our house about six times a year!

Second being….
I wasn’t there for all of my children’s births… so subconsciously I have to make a big deal! OK there could be some validity to this…..but that doesn’t explain all of the parties!

Third being…..
I sort of feel it wasn’t a big deal to my family growing up….. so I want it to be and I am the grown up now! Ha Ha!

Fourth being…..
I am a white trash version of Martha Stewart that just makes great spinach dip (every party) and caterpillar & frog finger sandwiches (for Saturday’s creepy crawly & snack party), and awesome fruit arrangement (luau party)…. I really do enjoy this part

Fifth being…..
I really need to clean my house and move the furniture around three hours before everyone arrives and drive Eric insane!

Sixth being……
I get to make a really cool cake and have a lot of fun!!!!!!!!!

But whatever my reason…. I want my children to remember that we love each of them no matter how they came to be a part of our family! That for one day a year (course it does have to correspond with Grandma’s work schedule and Grandpy’s availability) but that we want celebrate their lives and their presence with us and how much our lives are better because of them being in it!!!!!!!!!!!....and maybe I get a chance to dress up like a princess too!