Sunday, February 28, 2010

Happy baby shower, Joann

Joann's baby shower was today and Amy and I went together. There's nothing like a baby shower to get you pumped for your own upcoming bundle of joy. Joann received so many cute things that I was in awe. I sat there thinking, "Oooh, I want that...and that too...and that's interesting...". Such adorable little itty bitty baby items. The girls did an amazing job putting it all together. The food was yummy and the cake (from Zoe's) was to die for. Her baby boy, David Allen, is due this month and it will be her and her husband's first. I think she is going to be such an awesome mom. I can't wait to see this fun loving school teacher with a baby of her own. I just love babies!

(photo by:Andrea Savoie)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Happy birthday Granny, you 83 year old, you!

Today we celebrated Granny's (aka Nanny) 83rd birthday and it was lovely. I am so thankful to still have my grandma in my life, and my Mom. Those are two of the most amazing, important women to me and I consider myself blessed to still have them both around. They live an hour away, which at times seems just way too far to me, but in reality, they live close. Granny is healthy (definitely for her age) and still ventures out in her car at times, though it's a thought I don't like to think about. She is feisty, funny, and is very caring and giving. I look forward to the many many more years to come with mom and grandma as role models in my life, and my children's!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Student of the Month x2 with a lil' ADHD

Last month, I was very proud to hear that Aiden was January's Student of the Month for his Pre-K class. Each month (in nine months of school) they pick one student from each class to be the Student of the Month. It was a proud mommy moment for me. My first child to get recognized for something like this at a school. Cullen was saddened by this news, and really gave himself a hard time, saying to us "Well at least you have one smart/good kid". Cullen has had a hard time in school since he started preschool with keeping his mouth closed and staying seated during class. It has been a long journey trying to control his mild case of ADHD, with many years sitting in doctor's offices talking it all out, trying to come up with a plan not involving medication. When a child has ADHD, they can show symptoms very early on. As they grow, and get older, you start to expect more out of them (in the behaviour department with listening, etc) that they just can't provide. I am fine with a child who doesn't "listen" to mommy and daddy, as honestly, none of my children really do. lol It's when it starts affecting his quality of life that I really started to consider giving him medication, around the middle of third grade. He was constantly in trouble, being fussed, and not a favorite among the teachers when it came to conduct. Don't get me wrong, he is polite, respectful, and sweet as can be. It's the listening and following directions that he struggles with. His conduct has kept him off the honor roll, not his good grades. It's sad to see him struggle in school and I have had more parent/teacher conferences concerning his talkativeness then I would like to admit. So we started him on medication last year and there were a few instant minor improvements, but nothing miraculous. We were still trying to figure out the right dosage recently, as I am always very hesitant to increase it. This last dosage adjustment last month seems to be the magical number. It has taken a year of trying to find the right formula, but I think we've got it. I can see big improvements in him, like a little miracle, yet he is still my same Cullen.
Well, a few days ago, Cullen came home and stated he was Student of the Month this month for his fourth grade class. I couldn't believe it. I was so excited, and yet a tad hesitant to get worked up without the paperwork in front of me. That sounds terrible, I know, but I was in disbelief. Like, it was too good to be true. Today, the school had an award ceremony for the January/February students (thank you God for combining them) and Cullen sure enough got the certificate as PROOF. He has really shaped up this past month and has even improved some of his grades (not that they weren't perfect to mommy already). I am so super duper proud of my little man! Both of them!
Maybe I'm not that bad of a parent after all...
Aiden receiving his award

Cullen receiving his award

Roman learning from his two big bro's

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Some months back, my fun friend Amy had the wonderful idea to take a trip to the mountains

with our six (total) young children for one week. I, at the moment, thought, why not?! We (Amy, Amanda, Andrea) put our money down and looked forward to February 2010with excitement. It would be the week of Mardi Gras. Well, as the months passed by, I got a little more worried as the date got closer. What in the hell had I signed myself up for?!
Mandy and Amy

are used to pretending to be single moms as their husbands travel all year long. (I say that loosely because I was once a single mom and it's still much easier when you are being supported by a spouse, I know.) I, on the other hand, depend on Jude a lot for help with the kids. He is always there when I need him and pretty much takes over the parenting most evenings. The thought of doing the "parent thing" alone scared me silly. What in the world had I signed myself up for? Ten hours in the car with Amy and four kids, ages five, four, two and one. I wanted to run in the other direction, but I being the adventure seeker that I am, went.
Sunday, February 14th came and we loaded the VW Routan up and left the state of sanity, I mean, Louisiana. The trip up there wasn't that bad, actually. In fact, the entire trip was more fun than I expected. The cabin Amy booked was spectacular!

My only big problem of the week long event was Roman didn't sleep but every other night. The heater was hot and he didn't have a humidifier to help, which he has at home. One night he would toss and turn all night, sitting up and crying, always coughing, then the next night he would pass out from lack of total sleep. I was definitely grouchy on the nights he didn't sleep because my pregnant butt ONLY wants to sleep these days. We did do some fun things on the trip.
We went to downtown Gatlinburg and suckered ourselves into some dumb Mirror Maze for way too much money.

We took the kids swimming at the cool on site indoor water park.

Swimming inside, snowing outside.

Amy and Mandy both at some point took the kids outside to play in the real snow (vs. our fake south snow).

We went to Ober Gatlinburg

and did a bunch of fun things there, including animal viewing and ice skating (not me).

We played at the park on the grounds,

and at times the kids watched lots of television while we cooked and cleaned.
It was always an experience every where we went with the six kids and three adults. I reminded myself a few times that this trip was ALL about the kids.

One of the last days, we did manage to hit up the Serenity Spa and get massages, taking turns on who goes and who babysits. We also visited the Tanger Outlet Mall and I was able to purchase a few things that I wanted.
I was surprised at how well behaved Aiden was the entire trip. I guess he was in kid-heaven

and didn't have much to complain about. I think we only butted heads once, maybe twice, the entire week. Roman tried his best at being good and I give him a B for Behavior.
I did learn something from this trip. I learned a few things, actually. I love Amy and Mandy lots and lots. Those are two great girlfriends that I am so happy to have. I learned we all face different challenges in our parenting lives and we all do the BEST that we can:) I learned that girls are a lot more challenging than boys, and require a lot more mentally raising them. Girls are sassy, and probably more than I can handle at this point in my life with three boys already. That being said...I'll take another boy, please, God. Maybe I am truly not meant to have a girl. Growing up, I was a daddy's girl. My mom and I didn't develop an awesome relationship till I started having children of my own. I then realized how wonderful of a person she was. It's all adding up. lol
The trip was a success and on the drive home I was thinking, I could do this again, no problem. Thanks Amy and Mandy for the beautiful memories! Now, I need a vacation!!

In order, from oldest to youngest:






*Cullen stayed with his dad this week, as he was a tad too old for this crowd and he visited here in November with his dad and went to Disney in January.