I'm sure that most of you are shocked, but I am still alive and kicking - just not bloggin'!
I do have some pretty good excuses though. First, I was busy working, then our computer crashed due to an awful virus (that I accidentally downloaded from Facebook). The clincher is that I used to NEVER download anything for this very reason AND I am not even that into facebook. Bummer for me, but mostly the hubby. He was so amazing in fixing this for me. It took him many, many hours and days to get rid of this virus. After trying everything (and keep in mind, he's really good with electronics), he had to wipe out EVERYTHING and reload all our files, programs, applications, etc. He also went out and bought an external hardrive for my pictures. It's 1 TB in size - which he tells me will last for the rest of my life. So, anyway, it looks like I am back in business. I was in the process of trying to download some pics from Halloween when our virus starting acting up. So, I might still put some out there.
I have to also share a conversation that I had with Michael this morning as he was getting ready for daddy to take him to school. It went like this:
Michael - "Where's daddy going?"
Me - "He's going out to pull the car up for ya."
Michael - "Daddy no do that."
Me - "Why?"
Michael - "Car too big for daddy pull." (While he's saying this he is motioning as if he's pulling his wagon.)
Me - "Oh, you're right. I meant that he's driving it up to get ya."
Michael - "Up?" (As he's pointing up...)
Me - "No, I guess that doesn't make sense either. He is driving the car over to us." (I then grabbed him and his bags, quickly brought him downstairs and passed him off to Frank as I was laughing.)
I guess having kids really makes you think about what you say. They take everything so literally.
Sometimes it makes me wonder...am I really qualified for this parenting thing?
I'm sure that most of you are shocked, but I am still alive and kicking - just not bloggin'!
A few weeks ago, Michael's preschool class took a field trip to Northern Star Farm. It's the only working dairy farm in our area. The kids had so much fun touring the farm and seeing the animals. Michael was thrilled when he was able to pet a cow, a goat, a donkey, a horse and some sheep. I was completely amazed at how fearless he was when he walked up to each of them and started petting them.
After touring the milking area and visiting the other animals, we headed out to a corn maze. We were with a group from preschool and it was so funny when no none could find their way out of the maze. I have to admit that it was a bit of a challenge considering that we were in the middle of a corn field and I was trying to push AJ in the stroller. Yikes! Michael continued walking until we backtracked our way out again, but he didn't enjoy that experience much at all.
We were then taken back inside so that we could enjoy some fresh apple cider, juice boxes and cookies. AJ was thrilled to be out of the stroller and munching on some snacks. It was the first time he was out of the stroller all morning and he was absolutely angelic.
After the field trip was over and I had loaded them into the car, I took note of the "extras" we were taking home with us: some dirty, SMELLY shoes on Michael, a class sign (but not ours) that AJ somehow got his hands on and a beautifully decorated pumpkin.
What a wonderful, fun day we had!
Yup. Unfortunately, Michael is sick again. The poor thing is on SIX meds per day and is to be getting meds via nebulizer three times a day. My poor baby. I hate giving him Albuterol because it really affects his personality. He goes from a normal angelic state to completely out of control. After just two doses yesterday, he started throwing toys and pushing his little brother around. He would just go right up to AJ, look at him and push until he fell down. AJ would then throw a temper tantrum out of frustration - kicking and screaming while trying to find Michael so he could bite him. Michael would then start crying because AJ was going after him like a shark. Eventually, we'd get them both calmed down and put Michael in a timeout (which normally works great for him, but not yesterday). This happened over and over and over again. Luckily, Frank was off yesterday. I'm sure the poor guy couldn't wait to get to work today! Hope Michael gets better soon so I can get him off of these awful meds - for both his sake and mine!
It's been one of those days...
The house looks like a tornado hit it, the boys were fighting all morning and I'm just exhausted from Michael getting up at least once (if not three times) EVERY night.
So, I decided to get them out of the house today - especially since it's so beautiful (64 degrees!) We went on a simple shopping trip to Walmart (which we haven't been to in months) to see if we could find some jammies for AJ and to get some baskets for a project for work (which I am not allowed to talk about or name online). Anyway, we didn't find any pajamas I liked, but we did find some cute (most importantly - inexpensive!) baskets that will work perfectly. The boys were so pleased just to be out and about.
On the way home, I decided to grab some fast food for Michael and I so that I could feed them quickly and then get them down for a nap. Oh, I'm so looking forward to a few minutes of quiet mommy time this afternoon! I absolutely adore my boys, but I do have these type of days once in a while. Anyway, I pulled into Wendy's to grab a hamburger and fries for us. As soon as we turned in Michael said, "Wendy's!" I didn't think he would know that - it's not like I go there that often. I know he's a very smart boy, but obviously I don't give him nearly enough credit. It's probably because of the fact that, until recently, he wasn't very verbal. In the last month, he has had such a burst in his overall speech. It's been an amazing thing to see. God's really done incredible things with this little boy. His largest delay was speech and he's finally making some huge progress now!
So, we got home with our food and I was sitting there in between the boys at the table feeding AJ and talking with Michael as he was eating his hamburger and fries. I asked him if he liked it and he said, "M-hm." I then asked him if he preferred McDonald's or Chic-Fil-A. He thought about it for a few minutes and then looked at me and said, "I don't know." I couldn't believe my ears. I know this doesn't sound like a big deal at all, but for anyone who knows Michael and what we've been through - this is a huge thing. He has NEVER said that before. Obviously, he's now starting to talk in full sentences! Yae!!!!!
I really needed something exciting like that, especially on a day like today.
You have to click on the link below and pop over to my hubby's page and watch the video he posted from the service on Sunday. It's hilarious!
We have been so busy lately, I haven't had time to put any pictures on flickr or blog our happenings. As you can see, I'm tryin' to catch up!
Last week, we were making Halloween cookies for Michael's party at school. Auntie Krisi was out visiting that day and wanted to let Michael help us out. He had a blast! He is a very detail oriented child and caught on very quickly to the process of forming the dough into a ball, rolling it out, cutting out the shapes and then putting them onto the cookies sheet. He couldn't wait to bring the cookies to school.
Last weekend we went to Highland Orchard to do some apple picking. This has been a tradition of ours since we moved out here almost ten years ago. We always go to the same location - Highland Orchard. It's a great place with lots of stuff to do - especially for the kids. They have a cute little playground, some goats (which we ALWAYS have to feed), a wonderful little store (with a great bakery!) and a deli. They drive you out to whatever orchard you want, based on the type of fruits you want to pick. We usually have some of our friends go with us. This year, our friends John and Cyndy (along with their daughter Ashleigh) and Mandy joined us.
We packed our apples up and headed out to catch a ride back to the store so we could get a few specialty items. Their apple cider donuts were unbelievable! I wish I had gotten more - one was not nearly enough. After we finished shopping, we stopped at Ludwig's Corner to buy some mums, hay, and pumpkins to decorate the entrance of our houses. Last, we headed to Isaac's for some lunch.
I had one goal for the day....to find Michael a Halloween costume. And we succeeded! We had such a fun day. It actually started last night. Frank was in NY for a retreat and was scheduled to come home today, but surprised us by coming home last night! I was so happy to see him! He went to work a little late this morning so that he could spend some time with us. The boys really enjoyed that! After he left, we got ready to go and headed out to shop.
Yesterday, the baby and I shopped while Michael was in preschool. We went to Kohl's, Children's Place, Gymboree, Boscov's, The Halloween Store, Sears - basically everywhere we could think of in Coventry Mall. We had a lot of fun, even taking a break to play with the toys outside of the toy store and stopping for lunch before heading back to pick up Michael. But, we were totally unsuccessful in our main purpose for the outing - a Halloween costume for Michael. When we went to pick up Michael, I ran into our friend Amy and asked if she had any suggestions. She recommended Target. So, that was our first stop for today.
I was so surprised when we got to the Halloween section. They had a TON of costumes. Every other store had a few picked over leftovers or nothing at all. I was so excited to find such an assortment - especially his size! We went up and down the aisle shopping for just the right costume. Michael kept shaking his head or telling me "No mama!" every time I held up a costume until the very end when I held up the SPIDERMAN costume! He hesitated a bit (and I figured that this may be my last opportunity to save myself from a bunch of grief), so I instantly showed him how Spiderman shoots a web from his hands. He watched me demonstrate for a few minutes (Ya - at this point I didn't even care if anyone was watching me!!) and shook his head confirming to me that this was THE costume! I could have done a special dance right there in the Halloween aisle at that moment! I had succeeded in finding my 3 year old a costume that he actually wanted! This was really important to me considering that if he helped choose the costume, I was hoping that it might mean that he might cooperate when we try to get him into the costume!
I was beside myself with excitement and contentment for the remainder of our shopping experience! I guess that's maybe why we ended up with a few extra items (i.e. candycorn, Halloween Reese's Pieces, a cookie sheet with Halloween shapes, etc.)
Once we checked out, I figured that since it was lunchtime, we might as well continue our fun. So, we headed over to the eating area and got Michael a healthy lunch of hot dog and cherry icy. Oh, I guess I should mention the healthy part - a mini drinkable yogurt! :-) AJ enjoyed a large jar of bananas and some graham crackers. He had been snacking a bit earlier.
I couldn't believe how lucky I was to find exactly what we were looking for on our second trip out. Oh, in case you are all wondering...this was all about Michael because I had already found the perfect costume for AJ - NEMO! It's the absolute cutest thing I have ever seen. It's made by Disney and is gonna be hilarious when it's on. I can't wait to get their pics taken. I will definitely post them so you can see how cute the boys are in their costumes!
The boys and I had such a great day that we decided to make daddy's day extra special too. We're making him a special roast with veggies and potatoes along with homemade Italian bread (which he absolutely LOVES!)
Posted by Shelli at 2:43 PM
I mentioned my new job in a post a few weeks ago. Well, since then I found out that I am not allowed to mention this new job on the internet or put a link on my page so I have taken down the previous post. At that time, I was experiencing a few issues with my webpage and the ordering process, both of which have been fixed. So, if any of you are interested in ordering any of our products (unfortunately I cannot mention by name) please e-mail me at email@example.com and I will send you a direct link to my webpage! Sorry about having to be so vague, but I certainly don't want to break any company rules. If any of you don't know what I'm talking about, please e-mail me and I can give you the details. Thanks!
Posted by Shelli at 7:00 AM
Michael is back in school (for a few weeks actually) and he loves it! He is in Miss Joy and Miss Sue's classroom this year and they are wonderful with him. They have a pet wolf named Lollipop in their room. Michael loves to talk about Lollipop. He loves to hug Lollipop, get candy from her, make howling noises just like her and anything else he can think of. It's absolutely adorable!
He has made huge progress in his speech in the last six weeks. He loves to come home and tell us about his day. His best friends are Jack and Gigi. He has to remind us that Jack sleeps during class. This will be forever in his memory since the first day of school when Jack was adjusting to the class full of new kids and chose to stay in the corner of the room and lay on the floor and take it all in quietly. Michael saw him and thought he was sleeping during class!
Today, I got a note from his teacher complimenting his behavior. All of the kids were in the auditorium playing when Michael noticed that Tyler was no longer in the room and just so happened to see him walking out (but didn't see his mother right in front of him). He immediately knew this wasn't right, so he ran to find one of this teachers and tell them that Tyler "ran away"! He will definitely be a big help to the teachers in keeping tabs on all the kids.
Posted by Shelli at 5:30 PM
I have to admit that I am addicted to reading blogs. I don't feel bad about this since it was actually my husband who got me started (and he's MUCH worse than I am). So that makes it ok, right? Anyway, I usually try to read new ones and I came upon this one today. I couldn't help but laugh as I was reading this since Frank and I didn't start having children until we were in our 30's, whereas our parents were much younger when they had us. Below is an excerpt from the post. You can go here to see it in its entirety.
I’m not making fun of you 40-something parents, believe me. I’m one of you. I feel your pain…literally. It’s usually in my back, but sometimes I feel a little tightness in my hamstrings and pectorals. Sure, we could take drastic measures and consider something like getting into shape, but who has the time? If these kids aren’t getting us into shape, a whole year with Richard Simmons isn’t going to help.
That’s why I’ve developed a series of energy-saving activities that will allow you to make it through a day without first aid treatment, while still providing your children with delightful fun and exercise. Feel free to replicate these in your own home. There’s no charge.
*Hide - You’ve probably played more than a few games of hide and seek in your time, but have you ever tried playing “Hide”? In this game, you volunteer to do the hiding, and your rambunctious little one has to “Seek.” There are at least a few places in your home where your child won’t look, and let’s face it…they aren’t that great at seeking. Take a magazine with you, don’t make a sound, and relax. I’ve been known to get fifteen-to-twenty minutes of resting time with this technique, and my kids love it. They think I have magical powers.
*Teeter - You’ve probably gone on the teeter-totter in the park with your kids, but have you ever used the device as it was intended to be used? Put the little one on one side, sit down on the other….and then don’t move. Your child will remain teetering in the air, unable to escape, for as long as you need to rest. Listen to them squeal with delight as they stare danger in the face and survive.
*Time trials - A stop watch costs a few bucks, but it’s worth every penny. When the kid’s energy level is making him or her bounce off the walls, it’s time to head outside and do time trials. Fix yourself a nice cool (or hot) drink, grab a chair, pick a starting line and you’re all set. The key to this game is insisting on a circular path. I always make the boys run around the house. The house always remains the same size, and they can chart the improvement in their times.(Note: If you don’t want to buy a stopwatch, you can always count the seconds out loud. This makes them run even faster—and tends to tire them out.)
*Big Helper - After chasing Junior around the house all day, household chores become even more chore-like. But wait! You’ll never have to fetch another thing as long as your “Big Helper” is in the house. Phrasing the request correctly is essential. I recommend the following: “Do you think you’re a big enough boy to go fetch the garbage can upstairs?” That usually works. If it doesn’t, don’t forget the stopwatch. “I bet you can’t get the garbage can upstairs and bring it down here in thirty seconds. Ready? Go!”
The funny thing is - Frank is great with the boys at this time, but I could TOTALLY see him doing some of these things as he gets a bit older! Sorry honey! :-)
Papa helping Michael with his first taco.
Can you even believe that my babies are three and one? I can't! August was an emotional month for me.
First, Michael turned three on August 5th. What a day for my big boy! This is one day that his doctors could not predict. I have been waiting for the day he would turn three - ever since his specialists told us that he may not make it to his third birthday. There is nothing more heartbreaking to a mother than to hear those words. It was absolutely devastating and yet I have always known that God has really special plans for my little boy. Even when science and medicine would indicate otherwise. He truly is our little miracle! I thank God for him every night when I tuck him in and feel so blessed that God chose me to be his mother.
Michael - 3 weeks old
Michael - 1 year old
Michael - 2 years old
Next, AJ turned one on August 31st. It was another emotional day for me - thinking that my baby was no longer a baby. When he was born, I was so happy. I now had my two sons and our family was complete. Because he was my second, I was no longer nervous and I could truly enjoy him from the very beginning. He's always been such a happy baby. He has a smile on his face whenever anyone looks at him. He has been a true joy for me this last year, but I am so sad to think that each one of his firsts is also one of my lasts.
AJ - 4 weeks old
AJ - one year old
I am so thankful for both of my boys. They have brought us so much joy and we have learned so much from them. I try to enjoy every single minute with them - knowing that time goes by so quickly.
I can't believe that Frank and I have been married for 13 years now! The time has gone by so fast. We've lived in many different locations (seven to be exact!), made incredible friends along the way, experienced some of the most amazing times and most important of all had two sons together.
I am so thankful for my wonderful husband. He is truly an amazing, Godly man. He is my rock and has always been there for me. We've had some of the most challenging experiences I could ever imagine in the last four years and he has supported me and the boys through every one of them. He is the best father ever and we are all three blessed to have him in our lives.
I love you!
On the first visit out to my dad's house, he showed Michael some of his old childhood trucks. Michael immediately fell in love with them and couldn't wait for Papa to take them down from the shelf so that he could play with them. He had so much fun. I hadn't seen those trucks in years and I had forgotten how beautifully they were made. My dad had always taken excellent care of them when he was young and I can't believe the perfect condition considering that they are over 50 years old!
AJ could see how much fun Michael and Papa were having playing with the trucks, so he had to join in! He's a big boy now!
It's been forever since my last blog. We went to Montana for two weeks to visit family and attend my dad's wedding (or actually participate in it I should say!)
We had a great time and the kids were amazing throughout the trip and during the LONG 10-hour travel days, but I don't think we'll be going on any more long trips in the near future.
I will post details and pics of our trip very soon. Unfortunately, I only have one picture at the moment. The rest are on Frank's laptop and we didn't take the time to download them last night when we got home.
Below is a picture of ATVs on the main highway in Great Falls, MT. Some of the locals are starting to drive these in order to save money in gas. What a strange site!
I'll post again as soon as I get our pictures downloaded!
I just don't get it....
My husband is a wonderful man, but ever since I've know him (almost 14 years now), he has always refused to share his food with me. When we were dating, I would ask for a bite of his donut and he would tell me no and that I should I get my own. At first, I thought he was kidding, then I realized that he was totally serious. No matter what he was eating, it was always that same response. Initially, I kept trying to talk him into sharing "just a little bite" with me, in hopes that I would succeed - not because I wanted it, but it was more to make a point. After this many years, I have just resigned myself to the fact that this is the way it will always be...or so I thought.
But then recently, my husband started sharing. No, it's not even with me...it's with our son! Every time one of us is eating something, our three year old comes begging. He loves to be a part of everything we do, including eating what we are eating (even if that means having two dinners!) I can't even believe how it is that I can't get anything out of Frank, but yet Michael can just look up at him, give him a little smile, simply ask for a bite and is immediately given whatever he wants. (Ok, I guess I have to admit - I really can't tell him no either. If you had those big browns looking up at you, you probably couldn't deny him!)
Anyway, it's really not a big deal. I just found it very interesting how kids bring a whole new dynamic to the relationship. I love my hubby and he does so many wonderful things for me that I can easily overlook his lack of sharing! :-)
I would hope that you would notice those aren't my legs. Mine may be hairy - but not THAT hairy! :-)
I thought I would keep the above individuals' identity a secret for now...I may need some appropriate blackmail material for later!
Sidenote - although I really liked both shoes, we opted for the white ones.
I try to rotate the boys' toys regularly so that they don't get bored. I happened to bring this wagon upstairs a few weeks ago thinking that Michael would love to put stuff in it and push/pull it around. It didn't take long before I realized what the "stuff" would end up being. Sure enough...Michael soon told me that he wanted to put AJ inside and AJ was more than happy to comply. So, I figured that it wouldn't hurt, as long as I was there to supervise.
As you can see from the pics, both boys were thrilled with the new arrangement. That is - until AJ decided that he had enough and wanted to get out. Michael wasn't quite done with him yet! At that point, I had to save AJ (thus no pics).
I know it's been forever since I've posted anything. Time seems to have gotten away from us. Frank has been crazy busy trying to keep up with his TWO full time jobs, especially since he was responsible for two events for the youth and helping out at Kids Camp in his usual capacity (games). He did an amazing job with all of them. Over 200 kids attended Stretch (the junior high event that he organized). It was awesome! Kids Camp Big Top (circus theme) followed Stretch and was also a huge success. We had approx 959 children this year. It was unbelievable! Three days later, Frank headed away to Escape (the high school retreat). He took approximately 50 students this year. Another great event - especially when one of the students was baptized at the end of the retreat! You can see videos of all three events if you go here.
Posted by Shelli at 9:19 AM