Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving Take 2

So on Friday aka Black Friday, I was preparing to see my family. I was so happy to get to see my mom and step dad! The kids were equally excited too. Even my sister and her family were able to come for the visit. It was really nice to actually get to spend time with them for Thanksgiving, since it almost wasn't.

Anyway, here's a few pics of some of the things I caught the kiddos doing. I was so busy enjoying myself I didn't get that many but these will do.
(As soon as I get the pictures from our visit to Mississippi I'll share those too... Bug!)

building a castle with cousin "G"

The Monkey brothers hanging out on the back porch

Cousin G taking a leap into the pile of leaves off the porch!
Puddin takes his lead... her legs aren't as long and mommy wasn't as quick to get this picture!
I love her reaction though!

Monkey Do gave it a shot too... Poor thing! His legs just aren't long enough! Monkey See wasn't having any part of this little game!

Aunt K helping Monkey Do make his leap into the leaves!

Finally! I get a flying shot!!! Wow!

The landing!

Cousin G making his Karate kick leap! So cool!!!! Check out Puddin's reaction!! Hehe! She has her daddy's competitive spirit! Too bad she's not as big as G!

We had a great day and enjoyed lots of family time! I did miss the rest of my family though. Maybe next year we will all be together for this special holiday!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving that almost wasn't

First, and foremost... just a few of the reasons I am so thankful this year....

I love how they love each other! Monkey Do gives Daisy a kiss here!

Puddin (4), Monkey See (28 months), Bud (8 1/2 months), Monkey Do (28 months), Daisy (81/2 months)

Secondly, I have shared about my best laid plans many, many times before. And because I am apparently a slow learner, He continues to give me those teachable moments! So, before I share our tale of "Thanksgiving"day let me just say that it turned out to be pretty perfect, and truly we were able to really concentrate on what is most precious to us.
And, you read this whole post you may have bleeding retinas before you are through- so here's a little eye candy first!

My sweet "big kids" Monkey See, Pudidn, and Monkey Do.
Baby Daisy and Baby Bud on their 1st Thanksgiving!!

Now, sit back and hear a tale... a tale of a dreadful trip... (ok- enough of Gilligan...hehe... I have no idea where that came from anyway!)

We started Thanksgiving day as we do most days in this house.. in a hustle and whirlwind of packing diaper bags, dressing kids, looking for shoes, changing unexpected poopies and trying, desperately trying, for me to get a shower in. Truthfully, it can be exhausting some days. Add to it the fact that I had my prized corn casserole to finish making , and well, you get CHAOS!

Not to mention the fact that Hubby and I were already a little stressed out from van troubles. For the past several months (since the babies were born) we have had some idling problem that was continuing to be misdiagnosed. As of late, we had taken it to a different shop to have it fixed. In fact, we were on the 3rd week of having the van in and out of the shop... can you see where this is going???

Anyway, we arrived home from Mississippi on Sunday night, took the van in on Monday morning and did not have it back until Wednesday night around 6 pm. (yes, I was at home with all 5 babes for 3 solid days... we missed getting out and about but Thankfully, we were so tired from our Mississippi trip that it was a welcome relief to be at home!)

Now, I'd like to say that our van was returned on Wednesday night all fixed and in great working condition. I'd like to say that, but I'd be lying if I did. I was told by the man who fixed had the van all week, that he had done all that he could do before our trip and he would need it again when we returned (warning #1). Of course I asked it was safe to drive, and was told that yes, it would be fine. We had been driving it around for months without breaking down, it would be fine until we got home. After some more discussion and much deliberation he returned our van to us that evening.

So... back to Thanksgiving morning... Hubby goes out to pull the van into the garage because when it was dropped off the guy from the shop left it in the driveway and brought us our keys. Hubby comes in the house, I sense somethings up, and he tells me the lights were left on all night (warning #2). He is able to get the van to start (yeah for a new battery) and we are so Thankful and happy.

Finally, we get the children dressed and fed, diapers changed, ourselves showered, our diaper bags packed, our corn casserole cooked, diapers changed again, and the van loaded. As hubby was finishing loading the van he asked me if I thought we really needed the stroller... if he took it out we would have much more room. I paused and something came over me- there was no way that stroller was coming out of the van. I told him to leave it, just in case we break down! Not that I'm psychic or anything like that, but seriously, those words had never crossed my mind until then (warning #3).

So we finally, finally leave the house, we drive along, get onto to the interstate, driving along pretty good. We pass Puddin's beloved castle and she dreams and wonders about the princesses that live there. Shortly after that we are pulled over at a remote gas station trying to figure out what to do next.
Puddin and I were dreaming about the castle and the princesses when Monkey Do began to have another screaming fit of terror. He has been doing this lately every time we travel for any distance. It's usually a sign that he is about to have a severe bought of motion sickness. I gave him Dramamine before we left but that doesn't always work for him. So, I was up, out of my seat belt, leaning over the back of my seat, trying to calm Monkey Do and pleading with hubby to be careful and reminding him that if I died he would be solely responsible for all 5 of these little people all by himself. All of that was going on when I heard, and felt, a slight rumble. Then I heard it again, plopped back in my seat, fastened my seat belt, and heard a continuous sound and felt a vibration that was completely new to our van. NOT GOOD.

We took the next exit, found a station and pulled in. Hubby, trying to save Thanksgiving and avoid the inevitable (he's an eternal optimist) got out, filled the tank and calmly said he would take a look under the hood and just try and fix the problem.

Oh my, how I love my husband. There are so many things about him that are endearing. But, fixing a rumbling, vibrating van is not one of them. Bless his heart though- he was trying to keep me (his realist of a wife)calm.

After he got out I started calling the dealership to see if we could pull in, have a quick fix, and get on with our trip. Not possible, of course. It was Thanksgiving day!! No one was working. Hubby got back in the van. Clearly, all optimism gone as he held an unknown clamp in his hand. Apparently, that little guy wasn't reattached to something but who knew what?!

To say we were upset was an understatement. This kept popping into my head but I started having visions of me walking back to Murfreesboro along the interstate pushing my stroller and holding the rest of my brood close to me as flying cars whizzed past- or worse, some crazies trying to pick us up! UGH!! I had to explain to Puddin and the boys that we couldn't go to Nana and Papa's house after all, our van was broken and we had to go home. They were pit.i.ful. Poor things broke out into tears. I called my mom and held back the tears and hubby tried to figure out what to do next. No one could even come and help us with out an hour drive and a caravan. I mean, most vehicles won't hold 5 car seats and 2 adults in addition to the occupants already riding along.

We decided we had no choice but to try and get home. We referred to the manual and found that when a certain engine light came on we were supposed to get to a repair shop asap but if we had to drive then to maintain a slow speed. So we drove 45, with the flashers on, all the way home. It was a long drive. BUT- we were so incredibly thankful to be home and to be safe and warm and all together. We were thankful that we didn't have to walk or that the engine didn't blow on our desperate drive home. Even through our disappointment, we were thankful.

So we unloaded the van, got the children in and warmed up and decided it was a perfect day to eat junk food (a delicacy my children rarely get to indulge in and to decorate the house for Christmas!) Hubby and Monkey Do putting up the Christmas tree. (BTW- he's wearing a top hat... just beacuse he can!) So thankful for my sweet hubby! He keeps me laughing and sane!

We watched my favorite Christmas movie ate lots of Cheetos and drank hot chocolate. For Thanksgiving dinner we had mac n cheese, corn casserole (smile) and peanut butter turkey shaped sandwiches. And it was great! The house was beautiful! By bedtime we had put up and decorated 4 Christmas trees and the halls were decked!
I talked to my mom and she and my step dad were going to bring us Thanksgiving dinner the following day so we could spend time with them too.
It all worked out for the best and it turned out to be a great Thanksgiving day after all.

baby Bud giving Mommy kisses!

Since this post is sooo long already, I will save the details of the van situation for another day.
Let's just say there was a lot more wrong than 1 clamp being left off. We were even more grateful after we got the news, that we made it home safely.

I hope wherever you are you were able to have a wonderful Thanksgiving too!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


This past weekend we took another trip to Mississippi to visit some lots of family! It was one of those trips that was really, really great once we were actually there. The problem was it took us 6 1/2 hours with 5 children under 4, in 1 van to travel 252 miles! That's like traveling 38-39 miles per hour!!!! TORTURE!!!!
But, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I'll save the details for later (when I have my pictures) and just say that we were blessed beyond measure to finally arrive at our lovely hotel and to see so many people we dearly love!
For that, we were truly thankful!

Santa's sewing shop aka, Puddin Pop Designs will be closing for the holidays on Nov. 25th! So, if you have been procrastinating placing your order email or call me asap!!

Monkey See and the mi-mi... Oops, sorry to have left you hanging like that! Yes, he finally overcame his grief of his mi-mi and has moved on to greener pastures. I came very close to a late night walmart run a couple of times but I held off. He no longer swipes Bud or Daisy's and he no longer cried for it. Now, he totes around a football, his new most coveted possession! I'm ok with that and he's happy. The mi-mi thing was hard for a few nights but I stuck with it. Now, if only I could do the same with potty training! ugh!

Big Boy Beds... yes they are in them for going on 2 weeks now. Surprisingly, they have done really, really well! Monkey See, due to his aversion to change, once again had a bit more trouble adjusting. He is my sensitive child. And, he was perfectly happy in his little crib with no desire to climb out. So, his first go round in the bed wasn't very successful... lots of tears. Finally, after a nap and regular bedtime in it he did well the next day. So far, no further issues with it for him.
His brother, sweet, passionate, busy, Monkey Do (also the older of the 2) jumped right in his bed the first day, threw his hands behind his head and hollered, "nite-nite Momma!" Perfectly content and happy to see the crib go bye-bye. He loves the freedom and bounci-ness of his bed too. I have had to remind him a couple of times to stay in his bed at bedtime and that only hotel beds are for jumping on... hehe!

Although the transition has been fairly easy, it has affected our coveted nap time. It seems of late that as soon as my monkeys (1 in particular) begin to stir in their sleepy haze, they immediately think they MUST get up and come find me. This is something Puddin never did, and still does not do. She stays in her bed and calls me or waits until I come to get her. Not my Monkeys. So, this has limited my down time and my time to get house work, sewing and my own occasional napping.
Oh well, it was great while it lasted!
Oh!! I almost forgot!! Design Dazzle, one of my favorite blogs, featured Puddin's "Little Red" party on their site the other day!! So cool!!! I wished I had put more pics/details up but, oh well! It was still a fabulous party and I was just tickled to be featured on their site!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Happy 6months 8 months

A word of caution before I share these pictures... you might want to sit if you aren't already, you may seriously have some heart palpatations! Yes, these are 2 of the 5 cutest babes in the world!!

Be still my beating heart!

Another great day at Oaklands Mansion with my chubby babies, football loving boys, and favorite photgrapher ever! Pretty perfect time, minus hubby and Puddin. He was working and she was in skoog (preschool), cause she's a big girl these days.
Mommy played football with the Monkeys while the babies had their pictures made. We had lots of fun running through the leaves too!
they were both so curious about the leaves! They had never had a chance to experience what we take for granted! This is their 1st fall!!! Beautiful!

We were a little late getting the session in, mostly because I have had a hard time keeping my children well at the same time or at a time that Kate was available. Sickness tends to linger when there are 5 children in the house.

Finally, the day came and Kate was sweet enough to squeeze us in before Hawaii. Yep, Hawaii. And she squeezed us in! I know, she's great!

I just can't beleive how quickly they have grown!! Realizing they are closer to being 1 year olds than newborns was a little hard. So, in case you are wondering, the party brainstorming has begun!

I'm not sure of the theme yet, but we will be celebrating their special day for sure!

What a smile!
this sweet thing was a grumpy girl all morning until she saw Ms. Kate! Amazing the effect she has on my kiddos!

Sweet, sweet babies, I love you so much!!

Happy 6 months8 months!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Chocolate Brownie's Thanksgiving

Tonight at dinner, Puddin started telling me about school today. She was especially excited that they got to watch a movie.
The conversation went something like this...
Puddin: "Momma, I was soo excited today at skoog" (skoog=school)
Me: "Why? What happened Pud?"
Puddin: "We got to watch a movie!"
Me: "Really? What movie did you watch?"
Puddin: "Ummm,, I think it was called, Chocolate Brownie's Thanksgiving."

At first, I was a bit confused. But because I am multilingual and read minds on a daily basis, I quickly deciphered what movie she was referring to.

Me: thinking... LIGHTBULB... "Oh, do you mean, Charlie Brown's Thanksgiving?"
Puddin: "Yeah- I think so! Is he the big boy with no hair?"
Hubby and me.... laughing... "Yes, he's the one."

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Christmas Past

I've got Christmas cards on the brain...

Here is a recap of our Christmas card from last year... notice the dum-dums...
the only way to get all 3 looking at the camera at the same time!

I have to dig around to find the other cards and there just isn't time
right now- but I will do it later.
This is a possibility for this year. I LOVE this photo

I've said it before but I'll say it again... Kate is wonderful!! Hands down the best photographer I have ever had! Amazing- she did this without a dum-dum in sight!!

I haven't decided for sure that this is the card- but right now it's the front runner!

In other news- I think dinner is burning, I better go!

Monday, November 16, 2009


So last week my brood and I met up with my dear friend Renee ( sorry If you don't want me using your name- I forgot to ask- since you love me I know you'll forgive me...*grin*).

Anyway, Renee has 2 little darlings(A1 and A2) that are just precious!! Puddin and A2 are a few months apart in age and have lots of fun together. A1 is an awesome big brother... to all of them when we get together- such a great helper! So, we met up so we could take our sweet bambinos bowling. Yes, you read that right, bowling.

Why, you ask??


I guess at the time it sounded like fun- and I have to say, the kiddos had a ball!! And, now that it's over, I would agree- it was fun.

At the time I was more concerned with one of my children breaking a toe. (Rightly so, considering Puddin kept insisting on doing it herself- even though A1 was there to help, then she would drop the crazy ball, narrowly missing many, many little toes- since her brothers were tugging on the ball wanting to carry it too.)

Have I mentioned my children have a slight obsession with balls?

In fact 3 of them (the big ones already mentioned) are actually sleeping with some now!

I think it's a little strange, hubby thinks it's a sign of a true ballplayer-yeah!

Several other factors contributed to my not such a good idea bowling experience as well...

1. Bud BIG, PUFFY, HEART, LOVES his Momma, so me getting up to help the other children without toting him and his 22 lbs. self was not an option. I finally gave up and strapped him in his snuggly and away we went...huffing and puffing.

2. Poopy diapers- several of them- yuck! NO where to change a baby. I'll spare you the details.

3. Nasty, dirty, grossness! Have you ever looked around a bowling alley from the perspective of a "paranoid of getting sick again" momma of 5??Let me be the first to tell you- IT'S HORRIBLY NASTY!! And when your 2 year old puts his mouth on the outside of the trash can- you will be sure to have a slight coronary. Trust me on this one.

4. Almost losing your debit card in a bowling alley (or anywhere for that matter) is scary.

Now- on the bright side of things...

1. I did get a few minutes of girl talk in my sweet friend and I got to spend time with her adorable children. I love this family so much!

2. Our adventure provided extra entertainment for the senior citizen bowling club a few lanes down.

3. A kind bowling alley worker returned my debit card.

4. Purell- 'nuf said.

5. I got a work out in that day.

6. My kiddos were exhausted from fighting over the giant ball... yay for me- awesome nap time!

7. They all 3 had a blast!!

8. No one broke a toe!

So, all in all, the good far outweighed the bad.

Making memories is so much fun!

We did decide our next adventure would be good, old fashioned, chillin at home. Easy-peasy!

Buds head, almost blocking my shot, as Monkey See makes his 1st roll.

Monkey Do takes his turn with A1's guiding hands!

Puddin's up next- she decided she needed the 10 lb. ball... it was pink (really more of a red, but the closest thing to pink she could get her hands on.) She carefully rolls it...

A2's up next.... Show Puddin how it's done!! You go girl!

Discussing who gets to be the keeper of the balls.

Cooling off- it's such hard work being a girly-girl!

Me and Bud- having a moment... thanks Renee. ;)

So proud!


Sisterly support! His biggest fan (next to momma, of course!)

Precious Puddin!


All tuckered out! Daisy is such an easy going baby!

The whole Gang!!!