CHRONICLING THE DAILY LIVES OF FOUR CUTE BOYS, THEIR FATHER, AND A MOTHER TRYING TO SURVIVE IT ALL WITH A LITTLE BIT OF SANITY LEFT.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Manic Monday

Let's see...
Aiden had a fever last night and this morning. We had to skip the gym and cancel our play plans.
My car was broken into over night, and so was Jude's. They only took two pair of factory wireless headphones out of my car, as far as I can tell. The sheriff's office came out and did reports (some neighbors had the same issues) and crime scene cops did fingerprinting.
Then, we took all three boys grocery shopping together.
Surprisingly, that last part isn't that bad. Jude and I have found a way to grocery shop together, with all three boys, and not go insane. I write my grocery list on Monday, and then when Jude gets home around 5 pm, we load everyone up, tear the list down the middle, and do "teams". We race through the store and whomever finishes first is the winner. (No prizes, just bragging rights.) I usually take Aiden and have him pick up the things I tell him I need that I point to and he puts them in the cart. He has no time to whine, look for things he wants, etc. and he enjoys being my helper. Roman gives Jude hell about wanting out the buggy so he feeds him most of the time to keep him quiet, and at some point, Cullen usually gets mad at me for telling him he can't have everything in the store and follows Jude around the second half of the time. I shop fast, Jude gets to shop too (he likes the grocery) and the boys are content. It's like a family outing. lol
Aiden had a fever again tonight after our yummy dinner. I'm not sure what is going on with that.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Over the river and thru the woods, to grandmother's house we go

This morning, Aiden, Roman, and I went to church together for a little praise and worship. Jude had to work. There, they have a child's church they attend and the rule is, if they are good and get a smiley face report, we stop at the gas station and they get to pick out whatever candy they like for a special treat. One time not too long ago, Roman got a sad face and just dropped to the floor after he saw it when we were picking him up from class. He had to watch his brother's enjoy their snacks that day. Since then, they have all had good reports. Once we got home, we were going to take off to the Northshore to visit MiMi and Nanny. Well, the skies opened up and it poured and poured. After about an hour, I decided to brave it and off we went. Roman and Aiden got their fill of love and attention from grandma and great-grandma the few hours we were there, and then we returned home in time to have dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant with Jude. It was a lovely day.
Roman and Aiden with MiMi

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Little people, BIG attitudes

All day the boys have been in rare form and I couldn't wait to get them to bed. Of course, things didn't change there. Aiden asked me to read them a book and I agreed. They get a book read to them six out of seven nights. He got a new paper back Transformer book today and as I started to read it, I found it was pretty easy to skip pages without them realizing. (I mean, I am exhausted from all the 'tude today.) Well, I thought no one realized. I got to the very last page and Aiden says, "You skipped a page, and you skipped a few pages here, here, here...". I said, "Then I can just reread it to you tomorrow night with all the new parts. I didn't realize I missed pages." How did he know with it being a brand new book?!
I came and sat on the recliner in the peace and quiet and I can hear them giggling, talking, arguing, and so on. Then, Aiden starts crying. It was an attention cry so I didn't bother getting up. (You can tell the difference in cries.)
He kept on and on with the whining, then he says "Mom! Roman poked me in the eye!".
I said "Aiden, I don't care. You need to go to sleep. Now!! I am tired of the games at night and I specifically told you two I didn't want to hear a peep."
Aiden yells back "You don't care if I die?! I could die. He poked me in the eye!".
Then, I hear Aiden say in a lower voice "Roman, I am going to poke YOU in the eye!".
Before I could respond, I hear Roman crying.
I fuss at Aiden to stop it and to go to sleep. I threaten to punish him from his Lego game on the computer and he starts all kind of back talking. I punish him for one day. I hear in a low voice "Mom is stupid. She doesn't care. She says I am punished from my game and I didn't do anything. Hmmfph!".
Myself, saying loudly "That's it. Two days off the computer."
The reply from Aiden is "I didn't say anything!".
I said "I heard you call me stupid, Aiden."
He says, "I called myself stupid, not you! I said that I'm stupid."
We must have argued for what seemed like an hour with him getting himself in more and more trouble. I think by the time he finally went to sleep, we were at two weeks with no computer games. (Jude is working tonight.)
Roman had his moments all day, too. I think he got fussed more today than he has in his entire three years of life.
Sometimes, Jude and I just don't know WHAT to do. It feels like our kids rule us at times. Especially at dinner time. Definitely at bed time. We read parenting books, we have stacks, and the advice always sounds nice until you are in the moment and things aren't going "text book" ways. It is so hard being a parent, yet so rewarding at the same time. Some days, I look at Jude and ask "Why? Why did we do this to ourselves?". Other days, I look at him and say "Could you imagine how boring and empty our lives would be without our children?". Parenting is a catch-22! All I know is that I am aging FAST.

Happy 5th birthday, Isabel!

Aiden has been counting down the days till he could attend his friend's birthday party from school, Isabel. We had to wake him up early this morning for his last T-Ball game of the season. Then, he went and shopped for Isabel's gift with his daddy and came home to take a nap. After he got all of that out of the way, it was time to go. He was so excited coloring her wrapping paper on the way there. He did a fantastic job!

When we got to her house, there were way more girls there then there were boys and he got beat. It was a water party and they had lots of water fun. The girls were pulling his arms, beating him with floaties, pouring water on him, and so on. He loved every minute of it! He was in childhood heaven playing with his friends from school. I like to watch him interact with his peers because he is so much better behaved than when he plays with his brothers at home. He's a different child. I got to visit with some of the moms and sno balls were served, which were quite yummy. There was the biggest pinata I have ever seen, too.


It was a great party!

I hope these two get to play together some over the summer and we will definitely see them next year for Kindergarten Spanish Immersion. Just look at that smile on the way home...

Friday, May 28, 2010

Just ONE date, please

Jude was off Thursday and Friday this week, which is different. Thursday we had a ton of to do's and didn't get to spend a lot of time together. But today (Friday) we made up for it.
We woke up late and went to the gym with two of the little monkeys. When we got home, I was sitting here thinking it has been forever since we have had a date. So, Jude called his parents and they agreed to babysit for a few hours. We dropped all three boys off and went to lunch at Copeland's. We had tickets to go see Sex and the City 2

and were enjoying our nice relaxing adult (child free) time when Cullen's dad called me and asked if we could bring Cullen to a baseball tournament game on the WB at 8:00pm. Ughh, children! Of course, I said yes. We went to the movies and I loved it. Our only issue was there were these obnoxious women at the very top we were sitting near who were so loud and ridiculous, that we actually moved many seats down (after people behind us cursing them out). Odd, adults don't know how to act. We were running very short on time; we rushed to Jude's parents to get Cullen, rushed to our house to get his glove, rushed to Eddie's mom's house to get his uniform and bat and then rushed to the field, only to arrive just minutes before the game started. We missed warm up. It was sweet to watch Cullen pitching, as his dad has pretty much taken over the sport of baseball with him, near his home.

Jude tried to take a few pics, but the lights and camera didn't mix well together.
After, we brought Cullen to sleep at his Maw Maws' and had a very late dinner of McDonald's, then went to bed. It was a long day, with just a touch of relaxation in it, that must get me through the next few weeks of summer until we can sneak away again.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

School is out for summer

Today was Cullen's last official day at school and ALL three children will now be home ALL day on a some what regular basis till the middle of August. (Please pray for my sanity!) When I picked Cullen up from school, he and I went to the store to pick him up a new bike for having all A's and B's all year in academics (not conduct). He did so good on his LEAP tests, too. He really tried this year, you could see his efforts, and it was a brand new school that he had to adjust to on top of it all. He has made us proud and I felt he needed a little reward to encourage him for the next school year. He is now entering the fifth grade. Wow! I told Jude that it really makes me feel old because I can remember the fifth grade like it was yesterday. Now, I am the mother of a fifth grader. *Looking in the mirror for wrinkles.*
Also, I picked up Aiden's report card today from school and he had all 3's (equals proficient) for his final grades, which is the highest you can get. My little Pre-K'er did so well! He also got all green smiley faces in conduct ALL year long except ONE yellow face ONE DAY (for looking under a bathroom door, lol). That is a big change from what I experienced with Cullen in his younger days. I was the parent always in the parent/teacher conferences, trying to explain his behaviors with reasons and trying to find solutions. That boy put me through some sh*t. Aiden's conduct IN SCHOOL is very refreshing!
After, Jude and I took the three boys to see Shrek 4 and it was cute. Cullen thanked us over and over, telling us he had such a great day today, and you know what, I did too:)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The name game

Naming your first born child is hard. Naming your fourth born child is even harder. Jude and I throw names at each other every once in awhile, but nothing catches. Well, Saturday night, Jude found a few he liked and wrote them down for me. I actually really liked one of the names. So, Sunday, while we were in church, I picked the perfect middle name: Rene, after my friend Brandi, who passed. It was her middle name, and conveniently, it is a unisex name. So I passed a note to Jude in church, and he just kinda nods to acknowledge me. I was teary eyed from excitement. When we got out of Sunday's service, he said Rene was a girl name and he has never heard of any guys named that. Well, I know a few and went on a Facebook mission to get others to back me up, asking if it was unisex or not. The responses were great and the final outcome was, YES, it is unisex. So Sunday when he got home from work in the evening, I showed him the FB thread. After I learned the meaning of the name, I was done. "Reborn" is the french definition. No negotiating. Jude wasn't happy with me at this point and we dropped it, after me nagging just a little bit. I mean, our last two boys have his family names as middle names. I want ONE. When he went to bed that night, there was a lack of attention for him:) The next morning, Monday, there was a note on the chalkboard for me. I love him so, so much.

*The first name is blocked out because I don't want to confuse anyone, in case we change our minds.
The last name is blocked out because, hello, this is a public blog.
(He did misspell Rene with an extra E, but I am not taking any points off for that.)
I wrote him a note back at the bottom.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Slide, rinse, repeat

This morning I woke before Aiden and Roman, which is extremely rare. When I went in their room to check on them, they were cuddling. I had to sneak a pic.

Then, we all got ready and headed to the gym. I hadn't been there in a very long time (months) and I was happy to be there, exercising. When Amy and I were done, we walked into the gym daycare and all three boys were coloring pictures at a table. Adorable.

After, we went home (Xan came with)

and I cleaned the house while the boys played so well together. In no time, everyone was back in the pool having a blast.

Slide, rinse, repeat...for hours.
video

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Summer is among us

The baby pool was put up yesterday evening in anticipation of today. After church this morning, Aiden, Roman and I put on our swim suits and took a dip in the warm water. It wasn't long before I was chased out with splashing and craziness, but I did get to cool off from the hot sun every once in awhile. We called our best friends and asked them to come play with us, too. Pool, water sprinkler+slide, toys, snacks, and pizza equaled a fun Sunday afternoon.




Saturday, May 22, 2010

Happy 3rd Birthday, Nathan!

Today we went to one of our fave bounce houses to celebrate cousin Nathan's birthday, who is just a few weeks younger than Roman. It was great to see Jude's family and our two little monkeys played like crazy. Every time Roman would lose Aiden, he would walk up and ask "Where's Aiden?" and vice versa. They were so cute chumming around together.
Here are a few photos:
The birthday boy, Nathan




Friday, May 21, 2010

Chuck E Cheese, please

Last night Cullen slept at his dad's house, so this morning the boys and I slept in, past nine. (Aiden's last day of school was yesterday and Cullen's is next Thursday.) As I was laying in bed with pissy thoughts about Leo checking out of the slammer today with the bond bomb, Amy called me and was ready to start some summer fun. Her and the kids came over and then we headed to Chuck E Cheese, where many other parents and children were today. The boys had tons of fun, and didn't even complain when it was time to go. Next, we stopped to say hello to my friend Stacey, went to Walmart, picked Cullen up from school, and the two little ones took naps while Cullen and I cleaned the house. I paid him five dollars and he did half my load of work. It was sweet! After, he took off to his dad's for the weekend and I made a homemade lasagna and a molten chocolate surprise for dessert. It was a very busy day. One that I am thankful for because it took my mind off of some terrible things for many hours. I am so glad summer is here. I can't wait to spend some quality time with my little herd; that is, until they drive me crazy. lol
Ro-man, who didn't want his picture taken

Aiden, with his new Nerf gun obsession

Aiden and Roman are both ALL about sunglasses and nerf guns at the moment.
Picture at their request.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Aiden's Pre-K 4 End of the Year Program

Aiden's last day of school was today and he was looking (and feeling) sharp.

They were to be dressed in their Sunday best. Aiden kept looking in the full length mirror and smiling while getting ready this morning.
Jude and I enjoyed the performance the kids put on, thoroughly. In fact, I cried a little too. It is sad to see our little baby complete his first chapter of school.

Iguana's

Diva Isabel in the blue dress

Aiden, with his teacher, getting his Pre-K certificate

Aiden with Ms Crystal (asst teacher) and Ms Beatriz (teacher)

Isabel and Aiden

Mom, Dad, and Aiden (thanks, Paw Paw)

Aiden with Nanny and Paw Paw (Jude's parents)

Maria and me (Isabel's mommy)

His 'Tooty Ta' performance

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Leap Test

Cullen changed schools this year from Catholic to Public and has been doing really good academically, socially, and even in physical education. They actually play sports at this school during P.E. and his little football team even won an award, competing against other classmates. He is playing there instead of just hanging out like at his old school, which is helping him is his after school sports tremendously.
So anyway, he took the LA Leap Test a few weeks ago and his results came in today.
The results fall into these categories on Leap Tests:
advanced, mastery, basic, approaching basic and unsatisfactory.
Cullen's results were as follows=
English Language Arts-Mastery
Mathematics-Advanced
Science-Mastery
Social Studies-Advanced

He was so excited to get in the car from school and tell me the results and I am so very proud of him.

Dear Cullen,
You are a very smart young man and you never cease to amaze me. At times, you have no faith in yourself, but mommy has enough for the both of us. You make me very proud and one day I hope you see your own potential, grab it, and run with it.
I love you with all my heart.
Mom

Now, if we could just get him to stop talking in class...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The annual picnic

This morning we woke to a terrible storm happening outside. It was pouring down rain and church was in an hour. We also had Jude's annual work picnic to attend later on. I decided we were going to both, no matter what. We have missed the last few weeks of church and the cycle was going to stop today. We all dressed, put on our rain boots, and as the boys and I walked out the door, it stopped raining. Thank you, God. *wink, wink* After a nice Sunday service, we went to the WB to meet daddy and eat some yummy crawfish.
(Jude's pot is always the best.)

The boys had a blast, playing in mud puddles and helping Jude boil.
They made crafts,

ate a ton of sweets, and kept busy the entire time. I got to visit with Jessica, whom I see three times a year at the work events, which was nice. After eating way too much, the boys and I decided to leave before they did some pie throwing contest, where all the employees there were able to smash a pie in the face of a manager that they wanted to for $2. Now, with Jude being the boss, I totally think this is a terrible thing to do and to some point, a little disrespectful. There is always some idiot who will put a little too much force behind that pie. I personally didn't care to witness it and knew it would be happening soon, so the boys and I left. We're home now, the boys are napping, and I am right behind them. All in all, it turned out to be a great day.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Baseball player #2

Aiden started playing "baseball" at the local YMCA recently, and he loves it. He is following in his big brother's foot steps.


Cullen is playing baseball again this year by his dad's local park and he is the pitcher for the team. He's a terrific player!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Rocking chairs

Roman and I headed over to Amy's this morning to hang out with our friends. When I saw Delaney and Roman sitting in the rocking chairs in the playroom, I had to take a pic. Who knows?! Maybe one day, in seventy years or so, they will be doing the same thing on their front porch together.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I failed.

Aiden had a field trip to the local park this morning near the school that I had signed up to chaperon a couple weeks back. Let me just state for the record that no where on the paper was it written that we would be walking to this park or that we would be outside for four hours, including a walk there and back. Yesterday, I received another paper stating these facts and a reminder to pack a lunch. I immediately wanted to cancel when I read that but the field trip was the next morning, and I didn't want to put anyone out or have a couple children left without a chaperon. So, I woke up this morning and very slowly got myself ready, begrudgingly. I mean, I'm five months pregnant, it was 88 degrees outside with a humidity level of 68% in the middle the day. When I finally made it to the school this morning, Aiden was happy to see me and I told myself I had to do this. That was the talk I gave myself on the sofa before I left the house, "Andrea, you have to do this. It is your job as a parent to chaperon these events and you must follow through." Really, I had this talk in my head. So I did my best to hang in there, from 9:30 to 1:30. Well, noon came and that was it. I had drank all my water, I was HOT, and Aiden wanted to leave thirty minutes into being there.

Another hour and a half seemed like pure torture and I couldn't bare the thought of it. I asked the one teacher who drove if I could leave, and if she would drive me back to the school. My stomach was crampy and I was done. She agreed and I bid Aiden farewell. He couldn't leave with me and I think he was fine with that. I did promise to check him out as soon as they all arrived back at school. I got home and drank like a fish. I was so happy to be back in the a/c and my thoughts were with those still stuck out there. Today, I officially failed in my parental role as a field trip chaperon. But, as another mom said, Maria, it was more like a field trip to the sun than a day at the park.
Aiden, please forgive mommy.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Feelings on a fourth boy

When I was pregnant with my first child, Cullen, I only wanted a boy. I was scared to death of having a girl. I swore I would send the baby back if it was anything but. I was so excited to learn he was a boy during the ultrasound. I got what I wanted and loved it!
When I became pregnant with Aiden, again, I wanted a boy. I was remarried and I wanted my husband to have a son of his own, to carry on the last name of the family. I was ecstatic to discover that my fetus had a penis. Again, I got what I wanted. Super happy!
When it was time for my third child, I wanted a girl so badly. I already had two boys. When we did the ultrasound with Roman, I poured my eyes out in the waiting room after we saw he was a boy. I was devastated, instead of happy and joyful. I should have been celebrating that he was healthy and active, appearing on the screen right before my eyes. I had built myself up for a girl and was at a complete loss. Emotionally distraught.
When January of 2009 came around, Jude and I started talking about having another child. We knew we wanted another baby then, but weren't ready at that moment. We were going through a rough spot together and wanted to make sure we were making the right decision. We agreed we would try in May. Well May came around and we still weren't ready. Things were great between us, but we felt our hands were full. Aiden hadn't started school yet and I was feeling overwhelmed with Aiden and Roman both at home all day. As the months passed by, we still entertained the idea, but weren't ready to start trying. We said we would discuss it again in September. Finally, we sat down and looked at the Chinese Birth Chart to try and figure out when were the "girl months". Of course, we both wanted a girl. We already had three boys. There were times I can remember coming home from play dates and crying to Jude about how bad I wanted a girl, as if I couldn't conceive at all. About the time we were ready to try again a few months back, Jude and I had started going to church on a regular basis and were seeing positive changes in ourselves, and were having a wonderful relationship with our almighty God. One day after a Sunday morning service, around November 2009, I felt this emotional breakthrough happen and I turned to Jude, tears streaming fast, and told him that I was so ready to add to our family again. I didn't care if it was a boy or a girl, I just wanted another child. I felt ashamed that I had yearned for a girl so badly in the past, when I was so very fortunate that we could so easily conceive big, healthy babies. I started thinking how great it would be to have another boy, and was ready for either or, just a fourth healthy child. We started trying immediately, and I became pregnant on January 1, 2010. All along in the pregnancy, I've heard the same question over and over "So, you all are trying for that girl?", and it isn't something I like to hear. The reason is different than what you would think. It is a constant reminder to me of how terrible I was during those years yearning for something that I didn't have, focusing on the negative, idolizing something other than God. Thinking I knew what was better for me than what God had in store for me. When we did the ultrasound with for our fourth baby a couple of weeks ago, I was happy to see our cute little baby bouncing around. When I spotted the penis, I was happy to know what I was having. Cullen and Jude were in the room with me, and I could feel they were both a tad disappointed. I started to feel sad, like I was going to let so many more people down. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, so many people that were cheering us on for a girl the past four months. But inside me, I was happy. Happy that God had blessed us with another healthy baby. A boy is definitely easier at this point, considering I have a clue in to what I am doing with them, I have the space for another boy at home, and hand-me-downs will still be going strong. Brothers!
So will we have another one? Will we "try again for that girl"? I am not sure at this point. If I had to make a definite decision today, I would say we are done. BUT, we thought we were done after Roman, even as going as far as getting a doctor set to perform a surgery to help out with that. I changed my mind when we left the doctor's office. I wasn't sure we were done yet and Roman was just a few months old. In a few years, we may change our minds and want to add on. But if we did, it wouldn't be to have a girl...it would just be to add another loving soul to this great, big, happy family that God has blessed us with.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day 2010

I enjoyed my 11th Mother's Day today! Jude and I spent the day with all three boys, doing normal stuff, like lunch, playing ball, and eating snoballs. I did get breakfast in bed, served by all four of the most important men in my life. The weather was beautiful and the day was relaxing. I am twenty weeks pregnant today, which means I am halfway there to adding our fourth boy. Happy Mother's Day to all my friends and family who read this blog!
Here are a few pics from the day...
My pink flowers from Aiden that he made at school

My card this morning that Aiden made

My card from Cullen (my little comedian!)

Flowers from all my men
Me and my three boys (after snoballs)