our pad

our pad

Friday, June 24, 2011

Jameson turns 10!













June 16th Jameson celebrated his tenth Birthday and I celebrated a decade as a Mother. It was also the first day of summer vacation, and Jameson had a yummy birthday breakfast and Jim presented him with a Bruins Stanley Cup shirt which he picked up at 5 am that morning after Jameson's favorite team's victory the night before. I took all five kiddos to lunch at the mall to celebrate and then that night we took Jameson and his best buddies to a Japanese Steak House for a fun birthday dinner. I still can't believe my little boy is in the double digits and perhaps that is because he still seems so young and sweet and innocent. My first born is still very much a Mommy's boy who likes to cuddle, hugs me when he walks in from school and is naive to pressures, fads and language of other boys his age. He is, however, well beyond his years in terms of his responsible attitude, taking great care of his school work, his chores, and his younger siblings. They all look up to him and he is so patient and gentle and caring with all of them. He is also looked up to by his teachers and his classmates, so well liked by all the children in his grade- able to play sports and hang with the most athletic popular kids in his grade and also a good friend to the students who need it most. He has a sweet little sense of humor and it quite easy to, in turn. make him laugh. Jameson is very spiritual, always saying his prayers and remembering Jesus in all he does. My boy has a wonderful positive attitude which always brings out the best in everyone around him. I am a better mother because of him and I often wish I could more closely emulate his calm and peaceful manner. Jameson, you have become everything I would have hoped you would be in these past ten years and make me so proud with all of your accomplishments but I am especially proud of the the kind young man you are today. I am inspired by your sweet sincerity and I hope you always know how lucky I feel to be made your Mommy! Happy Birthday to my little Star!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Piano Recital



Jameson and Cam had their spring piano recital earlier this evening. They both did a great job and practiced (somewhat) hard for the big show! It was Cameron's first recital and he performed Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and the beginning of Ode to Joy. Jameson played the Star Spangled Banner and after performing America the Beautiful last year, he said tonight "Patriotic songs are kind of my specialty!"

Cameron seemed a little nervous as he tapped his leg along to the music but did really well for his first ever performance. Jameson's song was also beautiful and completely flawless. Neither video will properly upload but here is the video I ended up with...It is Ella very much enjoying our celebratory dinner after the big performance at a Mexican restaraunt where she fell in love with the salsa.









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Friday, May 27, 2011

Peep..Peep













Cameron's first grade class recently hatched baby chicks. He has been giving us daily updates on the chicks progress and came home the other day excitedly asking if we could take the chicks home when they were ready. I told him I would think about it and then after much relentless begging from Cameron, I said sure, why not, we could take them in (for the weekend I thought, not knowing I had just agreed to give the chicks a more permanent home). Once you make Cameron an agreement or promise he will never let you forget it, so yesterday I went to his class to retrieve our chicks. Junior and Scotty as they were named have settled in nicely here. The girls are excited to see them, feed them and hold them, and Cameron and Jameson enjoy taking them out to run around in the front yard. Of course I am the one to clean the cage, feed and water the chicks, but I am not complaining YET! I see the joy the little feathered creatures bring to my gang and so we will keep them for a little while longer, until I find a nice farm that will take them in...

Monday, May 23, 2011

Weekend fun...




Saturday Jameson pitched in his baseball game for the first time this season and did a great job, it was fun to watch. He also got a great hit, so he is loving baseball for the moment. My neighbor and I took our boys to a battle re-enactment from the revolutionary war in our town after the game and it was really neat to see, and the boys were fascinated and learned a little something too.



We had a fun dinner at friends Saturday night and the girls managed to hold it together till almost 10pm. It was a late night! Tammy came out to go to Church with us on Sunday and then we tried to get some yard work done before we all finished off the weekend with another baseball game. Now we are just hoping for a return of nice spring weather...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

My Sweet Boy

Last night when I went up to bed, several hours after the kiddos had fallen asleep, I was surprised to find Jameson sitting straight up in bed. When I asked him what he was doing, sitting up wide-awake at that hour, he replied, "praying". He explained that he had fallen asleep by accident before he had a chance to say his prayers, so now there he sat, hands folded together on his lap, light from the moon reflecting in his eyes in thoughtful prayer in the middle of the night. My sweet spiritual boy, so full of faith, reminding me once again of God's love.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Rain Rain Go Away...


A week of rain and freezing temperatures can't keep this gang inside. There are baby dolls that need to be walked, puddles that need to be jumped in, mud pies that need to be made, and lots of energy that needs to be expended.....

Jameson wearing Ella's coat!
Pushing the strollers through a puddle



We have gone to the gym twice so far this week and the Playspace once, filling up our mornings then after naps and homework we pull on those rain boots, snap on those slickers and head out on the street for some fun. No I don't enjoy the cold raw rain, but I soak it up (no pun intended) to ensure an early bedtime from all five kiddos!


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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Overheard...

Avery and Ella crack me up with the things they say recently. They talk about thier "Baby Gemmas" constantly. All of their dolls are named "Gemma " after their baby cousin. "My baby Gemma hungry," "My baby Gemma no yike this show," "My baby Gemma want bubba." When they are fighting over one doll in particular it's, "Baby Gemma want her Avie Mommy" or "No, Baby Gemma want her Ella Mommy". They have a little trouble with pronouns these days- Avery said this morning, "Mommy Addie all done nap, he's crying." And they both say "Hold you" when they want to be picked up, and "Change you" when they need a new diaper. Its no wonder as I often ask "Do you want me to hold you?" or "Should I change you?" Their manners are improving tremendously and as soon as I hand them something, usually food related they say, "Thank you Mommy!" and when I don't say "Your welcome" right away they either say "Thank You Mommy" again, more deliberaely or the other one chimes in "You welcome, Mommy."
Ella is quite chatty with other adults. A neighbor came over to say hello to Addison when we were outside yesterday and Ella said, "That my Addison, see her have boogies." She has been reversing some words recently. Instead of carseat, she says "sea cart." She calls Daisy Dog "Daisy God" (which I finally figured out is dog backwards!) Last night she was saying "Mommy, Ella need some pieapple." I was sorry to inform her that we were out of pineapple, and offered her some melon instead. She said "No I need pieapple," then went over to the counter and got the box of apple-pie that her brother had just eaten (pie-apple, apple-pie)! She has also been making up a lot of songs recently and as we drove by the pre-school where she will start in the fall, which I usually point out, she recognized on her own and started singing "There is Ella's school, Ella's School, Ella's school, There is Ella's school, Ella's school right there," to the tune of Mary Had a Little Lamb!
Avery is quite complimentary these days and when I wear something she hasn't seen in awhile says, "ooh I yike you new shirt Mommy." or "Oooh, I yike your pretty nails Mommy." So fun hearing all they have to say....

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Yikes...I have another toddler!

It official, Addison is a toddler! She walks (sort of), talks (kind of), and is busy toddling about and getting into trouble. When the kitchen door is left open she bee lines it toward the stairs. When the back door is open she speeds toward the basement. She loves finding the bathroom door ajar so she can pull herself up next to the toilet, reach her little hands in and splash around! She now grabs at her sisters toys, would much rather crawl then get strapped into her stroller, and today during breakfast I turned around to find her standing on her highchair tray. I miss my sweet little baby and I'm not sure I'm quite ready for another toddler!


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Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day Makes My Monday









I was treated to a wonderful Mothers Day yesterday and that Makes my Monday! I slept in until 8:30 when the kids burst through the door so full of excitement for me to come down and enjoy the delicious breakfast they had been working on. The dining room table was set with our finest china, fresh flowers and a beautiful hand painted banner reading "Happy Mothers Day"! Jim made a delicious baked French Toast Souffle and had a yummy fruit salad and fresh squeezed orange juice to go along with it. There were handmade gifts and cards from the kiddos which I will treasure for years to come. Hubby surprised me with a thoughtful and beautiful silver charm bracelet with each of the kids symbols for charms.
























We then went to church as a family and met up with my mom and siblings for brunch. We had a great day together before Jim took the gang to his parents to see NannyLil for Mother's Day.



I am such a lucky mom to get such love on my special day. I am also lucky to have such great mother figures in my life. My mom, grandmother and mother-in-law are all wonderful examples of everything a mother should be. Each nurturing, caring, full of compassion and giving of their time, and so in love with their grandchildren!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Week Wrap Up













Addison had her one year check-up at the pediatrician this week and took her very first steps today. I think four wobbly steps is the record and she is still pretty cautious but it is so cute and exciting to witness this latest milestone. She is 19 lbs 10.5 oz and 45cm long placing her in about the 25% for weight and 75% for height. She had to get three shots but was so well behaved through the entire exam and the Dr. thought she looked just great.
Jameson had his 4Th Grade musical this past week-a production of Frog and Toad. Despite only having a small role in the "Lizard Chorus" he loved being part of the Drama Club. He thought he he was a star and was honored to receive a special "solo" as he interpreted it, where he walked across the stage holding a sign introducing the next scene. It was so cute and even if drama won't be his thing, I'm glad he gave it his best and had fun along the way. The celebratory icecream after the show made it even more worthwile for him! Both grandmothers were able to make the show on different night while both grandfathers watched the girls at home. Aren't we lucky to have such helpful and involved grandparents?
Today both boys had soccer games, the girls had a birthday party, then we all did some yard work trying to beautify the place before the rain moved in this afternoon. After naps we all went to visit my grandmother to wish her a "Happy (early) Mother's Day" then we went out for Mexican food. Despite an hour wait the kids where really well behaved and all enjoyed the spicy salsa.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Twin Talk

The twins are now two and a half and talking a lot these days. There speech has been somewhat delayed but never enough to qualify them for early Intervention services. Although they are quite chatty, that is not to say I can always understand them. In fact I think its safe to say that most other people would not be able to understand them most of the time. I can usually get the gist of their fragmented sentences but some words I try my hardest to understand but often can not decipher for the life of me, so I'll guess, then say "show me", then play 20 Questions, before I finally resort to asking the other twin what her sister is saying, to which that twin will reply the same word in the same pronunciation while seeming to completely understand, but still leaving me dumbfounded. I guess we do have some twin-talk going on. Both Avery and Ella speak in the third person. I don't know if its because they are constantly trying to distinguish themselves from their sister, but most sentences from Ella begin with "Ella's turn" or "Ella nak" (Ella wants a snack)" or "Ella's baby" and similarly Avery says "Avery have boo-boo" or " Avie go side" (Avery wants to go outside). Avery also pronounces all her "F's" like "P's" and "L's" like "Y's" among other letter reversals. So a sentence she uttered today went: "Avie Mommy's yipstick on pace." (Avery put Mommy's lipstick on her face) or another "Avie want yots pishies" (Avery wants lots of fishes). Ella tends to answer her own sentences: "Here you go, thank you, welcome." or "Sowwy, its Ok!". They both love to answer for each other a lot too. I'll ask Ella if she needs to go Potty, to which she'll reply, "No Avie needs go Potty." Or I'll ask Avery if she's ready for a nap to which she'll always reply "No Eyya ready nap". I've learned to never ask who did something when I find a mess, or the shade in the bedroom pulled down, or a puddle on the floor because always with out fail Ella will say, "Avie did it" and Avery will say with out any hesitation, "Eyya did it!" Here's a sample conversation from earlier in the day in the sandbox, before both girls lied down and completely covered themselves head to toe in sand requiring mid-day tubs...

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Trivia

She might not know her colors, but I think she's pretty smart! Here's miss Ella answering some current event trivia...
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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

True Colors

I have worked with Avery and Ella on identifying their colors since they where babies. We have read and continue to re-read countless books on colors, done puzzles, I even went out and bought flashcards on colors, but despite my best efforts naming the color of every object we encounter throughout the day, my girls remain completely clueless on colors. I'll point to the yellow flowers on the table, and ask what color they are, to which Ella will reply "purple" and Avery will say "green." I will then say, "no the flowers are yellow, aren't the yellow flowers pretty? So what color are the flowers?" And they will often then retort in unison, "yellow." Thinking they might be getting it, I move on, pick up a lemon and ask them what color it is. Ella answers "blue", Avery "red". I was really coming to terms with the fact that maybe they are color blind when they both surprised me with this:


An amazing ability to sort by color without even hesitating. They can clearly recognize the colors and find which ones belong together, but identifying and naming is still an abstract concept for them. I hope they will get it eventually, I guess that is what preschool is for! They do enjoy sorting, and using muffin tins, have fun grouping shells, buttons, pompoms, beads, bells and other odds and ends, by shape, size, texture and yes, even by color! A nice quiet even educational activity which doesn't involve too much clean-up (except when the tins get dumped on the floor,which happens everytime of course)!



Monday, April 25, 2011

Last Day of School Vaction Makes My Monday




Easter Monday is a day that Catholic school children get off from school, an extra day to come down from the sugar high that was Easter! With school vacation last week, and the day off today I will be all set to send the boys off to the bus at 7:45tomorrow morning and that makes my monday! I think the boys enjoyed the break, and it was nice to not have to pack lunches, iron uniforms, and supervise homework! To break up the week I first took the kiddos to Nanny and Papa's beach house for a couple of days. The weather wasn't great but it was a nice change of scenery and we got in some walks and did some sea glass hunting at the beach. Avery didn't quite understand that you can go to the beach and not go swimming and as soon as we got to the sand she took of her shoes and began undressing to go for a dip- despite it being 40 degrees and drizzling! Later in the week my mom and I took just the boys to New York City for the night. Nanny and ampa graciously watched all three girls. It was such a great little break. The weather was beautiful and we enjoyed walking through Central Park and seeing everything in bloom. The boys loved the Museum of Natural History, the Lights of Times Square, staying in a hotel and going out for fun meals at a fancy Italian restaurant, and a diner with singing waitresses. It was a nice week and now we will get back into our routine of school, homework, sports, play practice, and play dates tomorrow!








Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

The kids woke early and all had fun finding their Easter baskets. Cam was the first to find each basket but was good at re hiding when he discovered one wasn't his. They all loved the goodies found inside each basket and had a nice sugar rush just in time for church! We hosted Easter dinner this year and celebrated Addie's first birthday at the same time. We all enjoyed a wonderful meal with the family, grandparents and Aunts and Uncles. I did a bunny theme for the first birthday celebration- made bunny chocolates for party favors, bunny topped cupcakes, a bunny cake and arranged pictures of Addie's first year on the wall and added bunny ears to go with the theme! The sun came out and the kids got to finish the day off with an egg hunt with the neighbors.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy First Birthday Addison!


Dear Addison, You are one year old today! Last year at this time I went to the hospital to be induced as you were a week overdue and you arrived later that evening, a fast and easy birth and what a wonderful surprise you were! You have brought me and the rest of your family nothing but happiness during this past year, and although you are the fifth child, have perfectly rounded out this family. I can't believe how fast this year has gone by and wish I could capture and store away every minute of your life so far. You have been a true blessing and I can not remember one moment ever being frustrated with you- you seemed to understand from the start that your mom was very busy and with four older siblings had a lot on my plate and you decided to make it easy on me- sleeping through the night at three weeks, smiling at anyone that looked in your direction from about two weeks on, falling into great nap patterns but happy to go with the flow, eating anything I served you, and content to entertain yourself, watch your siblings with those big eyes and fill every ones heart that held you with love. You have changed from a beautiful complaisant infant into a playful and curious toddler, so sweet and happy and full of life. I love when I go into your room to get you in the morning or after a nap and you flap your arms in excitement. I love when you clap when I walk in your direction, I love how you reach for your big brother to pick you up, I love how you giggle when brothers play peek-a-boo with you, I love how you shake your head "yes" when I ask you a question, I love how you move on and find something else to play with when your sisters take away your toy, I love how you snuggle on my shoulder with your blankie, I love how you flick your fingers when we sing Twinkle-twinkle little star, I love how you scrunch your nose and pant when I ask you what the doggie says. I love how you say "uh-oh" after you purposely drop something to the ground. I love how you open and close your fingers with your palm facing your face when you wave bye-bye. I love how you bop your head when your hear music. I love when you look in the mirror and say, "Hi Baby". I love you my sweet baby girl and hope you will always be this happy and full of joy know the joy you have brought to your parents, brothers and sisters during this first year of your life. Happy First Birthday Addison Grace!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Easter Projects




Easter is just a few days away and we have been crafting up a storm getting ready for the big day. The girls love their project time, usually in the morning while Addie squeezes in her morning nap. We made bunny ears to wear, little bunnies to pet and play with, a candy Easter egg topiary, bunny puppets, little birds nest filled with eggs, and decorated bags to bring home our loot at the Easter egg hunts we have been invited to this weekend. We will wait to dye actual eggs until the day before Easter, but everyone is looking forward to that!

Bunny Ears:














These we made by cutting a band long enough to fit around the girls head out of a paper bag. I then cut out ears and had the girls glue soft fuzzy pom-poms onto them. They then glued the ears onto poster board so they wouldn't flop over. I then stapled these onto the bands and stapled the bands closed (with staples facing out). It was a very simple project but the girls loved hopping around showing off their new ears.


Birds Nests:











I got a little inspiration for these at FamilyFun.com, but simplified a bit for the two year old crowd. We began by gathering twigs from the yard-killed two birds with one stone (no pun intended): yard clean-up and an engaging project all rolled into one. We brought these inside and then glued them to a brown paper lunch bag which we rolled and squished down to form a nest. The girls then stuffed their nests with grass and arranged plastic and wooden eggs inside.

Egg Topiary:



















This was a project more geared towards the boys as it involved sharp toothpicks. We began by sticking a toothpick (broken in half) into a chocolate wrapped egg, then stuck the other end of the tooth pick into an egg shaped Styrofoam ball covering it almost entirely. The boys left a small bit on the bottom of the egg uncovered to allow room for a stick which we found outside to form the trunk of our topiary. We then stuck the trunk into a pot to stand up straight. We then tied a bow around the base to finish it off and now have it on display. I do have to keep turning the tree to hide the bare spots from little sneaky fingers!



Bunny Sock Friends:





We have so many socks with out matches so it was great to put these to use. The
girls each filled a sock with rice and orzo, then I tied off a head with an
elastic band and tied off ears with some ribbon. I then cut the ears out from
the top of the sock. The girls glued on eyes and a cotton tail and have been
busy playing with their furry friends ever since!

Easter Bags:


We have two Easter Egg Hunts this weekend not including our own,
so I picked the girls up some paper bags and Easter stickers and let them go to
town decorating the bags to put all their plastic eggs in!


Bunny Puppets:


The girls glued ears, a nose, bowtie, and cottontail onto a
brown lunch bag to make these fun bunnies, which have been singing and hopping
around the house all
week!