Friday, April 29, 2011

Slightly overdue

But, I finally got the Easter photos off of my camera and on to the computer.On Sunday morning the kids woke up at 7:22am, ran to our bedroom and proceeded to shake B and I while yelling "the Easter bunny cam, the Easter bunny came". Luckily for us, that Easter bunny is pretty smart and put the filled baskets out of reach to the little hands. Otherwise, I know they would have dove right in without us!
 Much like his Mama as a child, Bubba carefully lays everything out to survey what he got!
 Peanut and Pooks however, dive right in to eating chocolate
 Sissy was a bit surprised, not sure what to do! But luckily, Peanut helped her out!
"She got spoons?"

Happy baby girl!

After baskets, I started on lunch while the boys watched there new movies {Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar and Madagascar 2). While the ham was in the oven, we had an Easter egg hunt with our friends from next door. They daughter, A, is Peanuts age and has been carrying her basket around for over a week!
Bubba was ''leaving the easy ones for the yittle kids"
However, being a yittle kid himself, Peanut still found the trickier ones.
Pooks so excited that he was doing his ''one legged dance''...will have to post video soon!
Overall the kids had a blast. Maybe next year I'll actually have the courage to let them try to dye eggs?! Then again...maybe not!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!!

Well, it's 1:30am on Easter Sunday and I just finished taking the last pan of rolls out of the oven. The creamed corn in prepped and ready to start in the crockpot tomorrow morning. The ingredients for green bean casserole are on the counter and Mr. Cottontail has already visited our house. Baskets are full and waiting for the kiddos :)

I am about to go to bed but thought that I would share a quick picture first. This morning we walked down to our subdivisions playground to meet the Easter Bunny and also for a quick egg hunt. Surprisingly, NONE of the kids were scared of the Easter bunny! First.time.ever. So far, so good!

I hope you and your family have a Wonderful Easter as well!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

these "Terrible Two's" are terrifying me

Peanut. Sweet Squishable Peanut. The littlest boy in our group of brothers, the sweet one who loves to flirt and hug and cuddle. Who knows and uses his "please" and "thank yous" with out being reminded or asking...
Where did he go? 

Who replaced my sweet loveable Peanut with this crazy hyper, demanding, yelling, pushing & hitting, two year old? The two year old who this morning didn't like the cup I had gave him so he poured his juice out all over the floor? The two year old who will walk up to his brothers and whack them in the back of a head with a diecast metal car and WHILE hitting them shouts ''Sorry!" with a smile on his face? This little boy who thinks it's a good time to let go of my hand (or his dad's hand) in the middle of a parking lot and take off running while LAUGHING hysterically.

Now I know you may be thinking ''Shannon, you're not exactly new to this. You knew it was coming." Well, yes, I did. But honestly I didn't think that Peanut could be any worse than Pooks was

I was horribly wrong. What I wouldn't give for some cart crawling and clothing hiding.

When I take Peanut to the store {lately} he will still sit in the cart. But every.single.item I pick up he says ''I want it''. So if it's a bag of apples, jar of peanut butter, box of cereal, he can hold it. I don't mind. When it's a package of ground beef, a glass jar of pickles or a carton of eggs, I remind him ''No, you can't have this, it's breakable/yucky...hold this instead.'' He shouts "I WANT IT!!" So I again say, "Well you can help mommy by holding this, you cannot have that". "BUT I WANT IT!!" he shouts in response. And again, he still doesn't get it so he proceeds to violently kick about the cart while screaming/crying/shouting. I've tried ignoring him. I've tried rationally explaining it to him. I've tried giving him something else. I'm not proud to admit it but I've even tried bribing him with something else. Nothing works. This behavior continues while I try to hurriedly finish my grocery shopping. Usually he all the sudden just stops. It may take 45 seconds, it may take 3 minutes but like a flipping a light-switch, he just stops.

Today when he did it, I stopped right there in the aisle. I stopped talking, stopped pushing and just stood there. When Pooks asked me why we stopped I calmly responded ''I can't shop until Connor stops screaming and being mean and sits nicely." Surprisingly this did cut down on the duration of the tantrum but we had to stop 6 times while at the store today. 

That's a trip to the store.

At home, it's a whole 'nother story. He is snatching toys that aren't his, trying to get things off of the counters, and insists that he do everything. He turns on the TV. He lets the dog out. He opens the fridge. He gets to chose his diaper. And if myself, B or one of the other kids happens to let the dog out, well be prepared for the insanity. It's a whirlwind of screaming, followed by him either actually hitting his brothers or just batting his hands at us.

Time-outs generally don't work because he screams so loudly while in timeout that he upsets Sweetcheeks and she starts crying. Then I have him in timeout screaming, her crying, Bubba ''helping'' me try to calm her down and Pooks yelling to tell me that Peanut is yelling too loud. Swatting his bottom doesn't work, he just hits back. Ignoring him doesn't work, he'll just continue hitting/snatching toys until someone intervenes. Sending him to his room is a disaster because he either a)stands at the doorway screaming which leads to the above scenario or b)starts making his room a mess by pulling everything off of his bed, throwing diapers around, etc. Not that I can't clean it up afterward (i do) but I'm afraid that he is going to hurt himself.

I am at a total loss.

And I should clarify he isn't bad every.single.second of the day. I'd say he's well behaved 65% of the time and awful about 35% of it. And it wouldn't be so horrible if his bad behavior wasn't SO bad. But, sadly, it is. *MOST* of the time when he acts out, I know it's because he's tired. The problem is that he has been waking at 6:30am and it turns out, that is too early for him to be nice. I have put up darkening shades in his room, I have a white noise machine going, I've turned down the AC at night so he's a bit cooler but nothing works, he still wakes up early. I tried letting him lay in my bed but he doesn't go back to sleep. He tosses and turns and talks to loud and is 'hungry' or wants to watch TV, or wants a toy, etc. And I know it's not us waking him because usually he wakes before B. It isn't his sister because lately {due to his screaming and protesting at bedtime} she's been sleeping most of the night in our room. {Typically I lay her in her crib around 9:30pm after he's asleep and then end up coming and bringing her to our room when he starts shouting at 6am}.

So again I ask What do I do? About the tantrums, the acting out, the waking early. Any advice on any of it. Or all of it.
I just want my sweet boy back again. When he is nice, he is really really nice. He loves giving kisses, helping his Sissy, cuddling up in my lap, and giving great big hugs. It's just that those moments have come so few and far between now.

This little piggy

I have four kids whom I absolutely love dearly, with my whole heart. Even when I don't like them {or their behavior, to be more specific} I love them. I love the sloppy kisses, the big bear hugs. I like singing little nursery rhymes and the classic kiddie songs, seeing how excited they get when you reach the tickling part of  "Pat-a-cake" or "This little piggy". The squeal of surprise they let out when you uncover your face and say ''Peekaboo". Up until now, I've always enjoyed playing these little games with my three sons. All three have their daddy's feet. "Monkey feet" is what we call them. They all have thick fat feet with long knobby toes and jagged little toe nails.

But not our baby girl. 

She has petite little feet with tiny little sausage link toes. Definitely not long and knobby. Her nails are teeny tiny. Since she was born 6.5months ago we have never even had to cut her toenails. They are still teeny tiny but the fun part? They're now pink. *SQUEE!*
Now I realize that some people *cough*like B*cough* may think that painting a babies toe nails is a bit over the top. And I'll give you that, it is. I can admit it. It didn't stop me from doing it though, so HA! {or having a friend do it}. Just like the hairbows, the bracelet and sparkly shoes, it isn't permanent and it's just for fun. 9 times out of 10 she doesn't wear shoes so it's just a cuteness factor. And she loves them. She grabs her feet and just stares at those tiny sparkly nails. (By the way, we used a completely baby/kid safe, non-toxic polish that you can find here:
And the super best part? Every single time I see those tiny pink toe nails, I am reminded of my Grandma Virginia.She passed away 6 years ago this month, but she was a total girly-girl and also, a bit over the top. . In fact, my Grandma used to paint the tiny little toe nails of her dachshund, Jazzy. And, get this, usually her nails matched my Grandma's. So I know that she is smiling down on Sissy and her polished piggies and that is a good enough justification for me.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Big Kahuna...

Well we're back in the Great state of Texas. We spent 10 days in Kansas and the primary reason for our visit was celebrated on the 9th day. Yep on Saturday we celebrated Grandma B's 100th Birthday!! Can you even imagine being 100 years old? It just amazes me when I see her holding Sweetcheeks and think "Gosh, she is holding her kid's kids', grandkid." I mean it literally just makes me stop in awe. She was born in 1911. She has lived through so many things in her life! Not just era's but all that comes with them, the good and the bad. And she is still in pretty good health! She gets around with a walker and a bit of help, her eye sight is great, her mind is all there and if you yell pretty loud, she can still hear you :)

Needless to say, we had family come from EVERYWHERE to celebrate. Michigan, Texas, Germany, Ohio, Illinois...we were all there. It was a wonderful day. I mean that; there was no family drama or bickering, the little kids all behaved awesome {with no naps, I might add!}, the weather was was just a really nice day.
The Birthday Girl

 We started with an "Open House" Birthday Party at the Church, then headed back to Grandma's house so Great Grandma could rest, then finished out the evening at a big buffet restaurant that could accommodate all of us.
Maggie with her Great-Great {i think! it's my grandmas sister} Aunt Sue and Great Grandma Phyllis

Getting snuggles from Aunt Nathalie {my great aunt}

My Dad and Papa
5 Generations of Girls! {the boys would not stop playing for photos}

Case in point: playing Duck, Duck, Goose with cousin Isabelle

Maggie, myself and Her Great-Grandpa Barry (aka Papa)
My cousins, Stephanie (from Ohio) and Cassandra (stationed in Germany) flew home for a visit

 And at the dinner we got this sequence of photos...
Grandma with her {surviving} kids
Grandma with her grandkids
Grandma with her great grandkids

Grandma with her great-great grandkids
I am so glad that we were able to make the trip up and share the special day with her. I love knowing that my kids will have such fond memories of her!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Five going on Twenty-five...

Please someone tell me it's not just my five year old who suddenly thinks that because he is FIVE he can suddenly break all the rules, back talk and generally do whatever his little heart desires?

Please. Anyone?

I mean seriously. It started right before his birthday. It was bedtime and I told him to go brush his teeth and get ready for bed. His response: "Mom, I'm almost five now and I don't want to go to bed so I'm not."

For reals.

Today he was eating Chex snack mix when I told him that he didn't need a snack, we were leaving for Pizza Hut in half an hour and to put it down. He told me ''NO" and pulled the snack cup in closer. I pried the snack cup from his hand, put it high up on the counter and told him that he needed to listen to mommy. He promptly told yelled ''No'' again, while batting his hands at me and telling me that he WANTED his snacks.

Yeah, that earned him a big fat timeout.

The thing is {and I know this is why I'm taking to so personal/hard} Bubba has never been a defiant child. He's usually a people pleaser, a natural rule follower, happy to help, first to tattle and seems much more mature than his peers for his age. I barely recognize this little boy who is back-talking, ignoring my requests, intentionally doing things he knows he shouldn't, etc. And I should clarify, it's not every moment of the day; it's fairly random but man oh man is it annoying nonetheless.

I know it's a stage. My recent ''Big Kid E-mail'' from even had an article on defiance. I know that he's at that awkward age where he's no longer a baby but he's not quite a ''big kid'' yet. He can do most things on his own but still doesn't get complete freedom to do as he wants. He's testing boundaries. He's trying to get attention, positive or negative. One minute he dresses himself completely, even remembering to put his dirty clothes in the hamper without being asked and the next moment he's using baby talk to ask me to watch Netflix. I keep telling myself ''This too shall pass".

But onto his stats, Tuesday at Dr. S' office Bubba weighed in at 35.5 lbs and was 40.25 inches. This puts him into the 7th percentile for weight and the 4th percentile for height. He's a petite little thing but healthy and still staying right on his own little growth curve. At his 5 year well child appointment he had his blood pressure checked for the first time:
He thought it was pretty funny:
He passed his eye exam {reading from the letter chart, not the shapes}
Developmentally, he is right on track. He knows his alphabet (upper and lower, he recognizes them and writes them), knows his colors, he can hop on one foot, identify and draw basic shapes and define basic words. The resident that was helping Dr. S asked him to define the word "Lake", Bubba responded "Like a's water" and looked at the guy like "Duh". There is nothing we need to keep an eye on or look out for, just keep doing what we're doing. He did have to get 3 shots and while I'd love to say ''He did awesome, barely shed a tear'' that would be a lie. A huge, big, fat lie. He was screaming "No, no, no'' the moment Donna walked in the room. He intertwined his arms across his body and refused to take off his shirt. He cried, then bawled, then got to the point where he was almost gagging and this was BEFORE he even had the shots! But we managed to get them done and we were good to go. My oldest baby is officially ready for Kindergarten......

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Getting prepared....

Tomorrow at this time our family of six will be loaded up in the Swaggerwagon and on our way back home. *WooHoo!* But as fun as our destination is, the trip is just over twelve hours. We are planning on leaving right after lunch tomorrow and driving straight through to the in-laws house in one day, stopping only for gas, dinner and potty breaks/diaper changes.

12 hours in a minivan with 4 kids under the age of 5 and one dog.

Doesn't that sound FUN?

Honestly, it wasn't too bad the previous two times back in November. But Sweetcheeks was only 8 weeks old and being a newborn, she slept a lot. Now she is a pretty active 6 month old. She likes to crawl and roll and make noise and giggle and laugh and she loves to be held and showered with affection. Obviously it's pretty hard to do all those things while in a car seat. It's one of those situations where you are hoping for the best but planning for the worst. Today is my ''get everything ready day" so we went and gassed up the van, went to the grocery store and stocked up on snacks.

Packing snacks for 6 people isn't exactly easy. Especially when you don't want to bring anything that is very messy or a choking hazard and nothing that requires utensils or napkins. {Napkins have a funny way of being dropped the second that Mommy is back in the passenger seat after climbing three rows back to hand them out}. We have a vast array of snacks so that we will not be blowing money at every gas station between here and Oklahoma on food. I'm talking bunny shaped crackers (both cheddar and graham), fruit snacks, pretzels, squeezable applesauce , bananas, beef jerky, string cheese, green grapes (cut in half), M&M's {in case things start getting out of control and I need to bribe} and to drink: gatorade, milk, bottled water, apple juice and Dr. Pepper (not for the kids). Whew!

It sounds like a lot but realistically we are going to be driving 10 hours in one day. Then staying 2 nights with the inlaws. Then getting back in the car on Monday to drive 1.5 hours, stopping to visit the grandmas, then driving the last hour to Nanaw & Papa's house. There isn't really anything else to do in the van and when kids are bored they usually become hungry. I am packing I-Spy bags, Magna Doodles, a few of their toys Cars, and they are each getting a pad of paper with their crayon roll ups. While we are against DVD players in the car, I did load up free episodes of Chuggington, Scooby Doo, Word World and Curious George just in case. Typically the older kids keep themselves entertained and don't whine too much. We also have 2 CD's of kids music, so I think that helps tremendously.

And now, I have to start packing clothes and tolietries...ugh!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

6 Month Stats

Well little Miss had her check up today. At six months she is tipping the scales (ha!) at 15lbs 10oz, she's 26 inches tall and is right in the 50th-60th percentile. Her brothers were all 16lbs+ by now but she is much more active than they were and apparently, a petite little girl :) She is perfectly healthy, had her immunizations and handled them like a trooper. Doc said we need to introduce solid food so she can get the extra iron so I guess that's our goal for now. {Especially since I am quite tired from waking up at night again, girlfriend needs her calories but I need sleep!}.