One of those crazy weeks. I had some actual down time and just didn't use it wisely. That happens a lot. I get a block of free time and I'm so overwhelmed with how to spend it, that I end up eating chips and salsa and looking at FB for an hour. The days just flew by and were packed with fun. Not a great sleeping week, some social stress (I mean, really?!) We had a family dentist appointment then visited our old pal, Elizabeth and met her new baby, Abby. April and I actually "green-lighted" her. I love that! This week was also pretty nuts because summer activies have already begun and spring activities haven't quite finished. It was the last week of ballet for the older girls, which culminated in a recital tonight. And they sure beef up on the practicing the week before. Then swim team started every afternoon (at the hardest part of the day for me- so hey, let's go to the pool when it usually rains and kids are usually melting- GREAT idea!) I had 2 nights out this week. Book club on Monday to work out my issues with Luckiest Girl Alive. I felt pretty lucky getting a ride to book club after literally running from a play date and getting my neighbor to read books to the girls so I could catch my ride and Phil could be late getting home! Whew! And that was only Monday!! We had a MOPS Leadership dinner to kick off next year. It was a night of belly laughs- you know, like the Santa type. Nights like that get me through the crummy parts. Really. Throwing my head back-laughing is my fuel. Abigail joined the Friday ballet class since the Wed class was getting slim. Voss and Marly enjoyed participating in that one, too. The Freemans came with us to have lunch at school with Ellie. It was supposed to be the picnic but was rained out. We got to eat in her classroom. We had a CEE Gathering and Enrichment that evening. Of course the sky opened up for swim so I had to race to pick up the dinner and open the church. It was a great meeting, though! Lots of newbies. Fr. Joseph even showed up! Saturday was super relaxing. We rode bikes to the pool for a family day. There's something about riding your bike in your bathing suit. Reminds me of being a kid. I just love it. That night we went to a wine dinner at the Freemans. Gorgeous weather and a fun night! The next morning, I took the kids to mass. Nickels were awarded on the ride home for our Holy Trinity discussion. I'm so proud! Phil took the younger two to a Birthday party. The older girls and I went on a run, out to lunch then to their dress rehearsal downtown. I enjoyed spending the day with them! We met the other half of the family for dinner at a backyard BBQ farewell party for our dear friends, the Hinkles. They are moving to my birth town next week. Today was another speedy day. We had a MOPS play date at the Amelia Island beach club. Oh wow, what a treat! It's heavenly out there! Everyone had an awesome time! Voss had a play date with his pal, Lola and we took the girls downtown for the recital. Mimi, Papa, Suzanne and the boys all sat with us. It was so special! I'm so proud of my dancing princesses! It's a crazy time but I am still smiling!
We had our last MOPS meeting this week. Heartfelt tears as everyone talked about how much the group means to them. Then a fun game with lots of laughter. We celebrated Phil's Birthday!
We had lunch with Phil and later the whole family went out for a seafood dinner. The girls loved celebrating him. We love this guy! Life just flies by. I've been walking a bunch this week. I walked with Stevenson one day and Heather 2 days. I did a work out play date with Tiffany and ran with the older girls on Saturday- our girls run- run in the sun and walk in the shade. Today we biked to TCC and then to Mimi & Papa's. Good stuff! I made a bunch of dinners for moms in need this week. That always feels good. I even did well and doubled it to make dinner for our family, too- shrimp & grits! I watched Lola one morning (even brought her to a pool play date) and an afternoon with Pierce. That one included lunch with the Stanelle's which is a treat. We had lots of low key afternoons. No play dates, just to get us grounded a bit. We needed a week off. We did have Suzanne and the boys over for dinner one night- venison tortellini! A party weekend for sure! We had the Tomahawk party at TCC after an afternoon at FYC's pool. Saturday was relaxing- boat to the pool. We wore the kids out and put them to bed early then hosted the MOPS End of the Year party. Super fun! It was a great weekend.
I spent today with my mom and sister- boating, swimming, brunching and booze- it was a great day. The kids made sweet gifts- cards, bath salts, self-portraits. I still did all my regular mom-duties, I wouldn't say it was a break. And the big girls were bad in church. But, man, I am so blessed, like I said- it was a great day. I couldn't help thinking of all the people who don't like Mother's Day. The people without a mom, or have a crummy one. The infertile. Moms who are overwhelmed and underappreciated, sick or lonely. I've been thinking of them. I wish there was a way I could support them. I bring meals and watch extra kids- but what about all those people who don't have a support network or good village? Ugh. Makes my stomach hurt. Cheers to them tonight.
The weather got freaky-cool this week. We actually wore pants and sweaters! We did a last minute zoo play date and saw the new dino exhibit. We even stopped for ice cream on the way home. The day got even better with a girls night out with dinner at Black Sheep for the MOPS Leadership dinner. Fun team of moms and that yummy Heavens Gate drink! My mom watched the littles on Tuesday morning so I could go to Muffins with Mom at Ellie's school. I also got playground time with just Marly before school, which was neat. Muffins with Ellie was sweet, too. It made me realize how I need to plan more one on one time with the kids. We did a few quiet morning with no plans at home. I watched some extra kids and updated my babysitting list. I celebrated cinco de mayo with Tracy and Ali at La Nap. Too much fun. It's taken me a few days to recover. We had my sister and her boys for dinner one night. April came over for a play date. We went out Friday to celebrate Phil's Birthday. We didn't win the first Friday pot. We met up with some friends at Mellow. It was a pretty quiet weekend. We did a family Costco run on Saturday. That made me miserable. I'm reading our book club book and it's putting me in an awful mood. We went swimming at TCC then did a family movie night. It was super sweet. It was good for all of us to take it easy. We needed it!
With the gorgeous spring weather and much to be thankful for, I decided to host a bunch of fun stuff this week. After an awesome MOPS meeting with Maria Chrissovergis, I prepped for book club to discuss The Boys in the Boat. It was set to be the perfect night, and it was pretty close. The conversation was okay. My neighbor came over to watch the kids while Phil took us on a boat ride (to go with the theme). We came back for a bit to drop off some folks who had to leave early- and then we noticed the lift was broken. Phil had left it down. Yuck! That stressed Phil out all week ($$$$). I hosted a fun brunch just to celebrate spring, nothing special. Just an excuse to drink champagne at breakfast. It was a nice morning. I was brave and went to a tennis clinic one night. Stepping out of my comfort zone and trying something new (the things I will do to get out of bath and bed!) It was my big sister's Birthday this week. We had hibachi to celebrate her. The kids loved it! SQ is having a tough week, please keep her in your prayers. It was early release this week. Ellie's pal, MB and her mom came to lunch with us at school to check it out. It was neat to have a guest. I've been doing pretty good working out- running with Amanda on Thursday mornings, my fitness challenge from Kim, walking during golf and trying to sneak in work outs where I can. We went walking with the Stevensons then had a play date. Ellie was out of school on Friday so we hit the beach. Perfect day in Amelia Island! We did the pool with the Hollands that night. Saturday we slept in and had a lazy morning. Phil took Marly to Emma's Birthday party (planting for spring!) Ellie and I went for a run while pushing the younger two. We went to a Star Wars Birthday party that night. The kids playing in the pool. We stayed super late and attempted putting the kids down (watching a movie). So today was a rough start. We went to mass then prepped for our Progressive Dinner via river. So much fun partying in the farms! We have 2 babysitters at our house with all the kids. This gives new meaning to Sunday Funday! What a great week celebrating spring!
Don't worry guys, Marly got into the magnet program. Thank you for all the concerned follow up texts- glad to know we have a readership!I spent Monday morning in the magnet office and the afternoon on the phone- of course Phil's call was the one that sealed the deal. We got the for real letter on Saturday. Phew! Turns out it was an issue on THEIR end. (Phew!). I think the 'sibling preference' is really what saved us. So happy to move on from that ordeal! Another week just flew by! I broke out in this nasty rash on my lips and face from I think some lipgloss I was allergic to? So I sported this nasty rash all week and I'm happy to report it looks somewhat normal today. I totally confident person would have taken a pic, but that is not me. We watched extra kids this week. We had Alice on Tuesday and Wednesday- walking on Tuesday through Ortega and then ballet and swimming on Wednesday. We had Lola on Thursday. Those worked out as easy play dates for me. We did a pm play date at the Harmons on Wednesday. We tried to do a pm playdate at the pool on Friday after school but the sky opened up. I've been so wiped out in the evenings due to my benadryl (for the rash). Voss had his 15 month appointment on Wednesday. He's now 23 pounds and 30.5 inches tall- a big guy! Marly had a family picnic at school on Thursday. We kept the party going at the pool. On Friday we rode bikes/I ran with the double stroller to school, then coffee club. We had a decent discussion on GMO's. Friday night we went to John's Birthday party- an old school house party with flip cup and beer pong- super fun! Saturday morning was nice and low key. Phil made breakfast. I took the older girls on a fun run. We went to Steve Harmon's Birthday back yard BBQ with the kids. A quick babysitter snafu then we came back without the kids to Kerri's 40th Birthday party. Day of fun! This morning we went to mass then breakfast at TCC. A few errands then Sunday Funday began. We took the boat to TCC for swim team sign ups. Finally all our FYC friends came over to our pool. It's going to be busy for us. Don't expect lots of pictures at the pool this year. I'm chasing Voss all over the place, while keeping an eye on the other 3. Matching bathing suits is going to be the only way to do it this year. I have to keep track of these people! We stayed for dinner then took the boat back. Everyone is asleep. Sign of a good time!
Sometimes I do things half-assed. You know what I mean? Like, I don't clean Voss's high chair all the way- especially if I don't get around to cleaning it until right before the next meal. I also half-assed Marly's magnet application. I did it online back in January. When I submitted it, it had the screen "print this page for your records". But our printer is not wireless and I didn't feel like going upstairs, finding paper and dealing with all that. So, I just figured I'd get an email. Well, I never did. I think I did think to call the office and check to see that it was received. But then life happened and the thought disappeared. And in my mind, the 'fill out Marly's magnet app' box was clicked. Fast-forward to this week. We went to the Freeman's for a pm playdate and there was lots of fanfare because Jack got into Stockton! Lots of texting and it turns out, everyone we know got in! Lots of great news! So then I got nervous when we didn't get a letter. A didn't sleep well and called the office first thing in the morning. They said to call back if we didn't get anything by Wednesday. Still no letter on Friday so Phil (who is way more confrontational) called and confirmed by biggest fear- they never received an app from us! Blahhhhhh! Of course this conversation happened on Friday afternoon, after most everyone had gone home. So I've been sitting on this all weekend and get to take a trip to the magnet office on Monday to ??- beg? fight? cry? get Marly into the magnet program! Yes, total mom fail on my part. If only I would have called to follow up. If only I would have filled out a paper application! (Seems like I'm the only one who did the alleged online app!) Blah! Blah! Blah! Well, I'm optimistic. So, we'll see how this shakes out. Catholic school is not a shabby worst case scenario. Kicking it back to Monday- it was the wisdom panel at MOPS, always a good meeting. My group did breakfast and I was proud of the way they rallied. My take away was a good piece of advice on how to maintain close relationships and the suggestion was one-on-one dates. I've thought about it, but just haven't really done it. You know, that whole life thing getting in the way. So maybe if I type it here, I'll think to plan something. My parents spent time with Abby, which worked out well because the big girls had picture day for ballet. The password is vd2016. I had my parents over for lunch to celebrate their 41st wedding anniversary. Yummy Thai chicken salad for lunch! I've been doing pretty well on the dinner front. I also made a great Greek chicken salad this week. We went to Rosemary's baby doll Birthday on Friday morning. And Natty's 1st Birthday party on a farm today. My sister Katie was in town this weekend. We loved spending time with her! We even did a sisters night out- super fun! (Paid the price on Saturday, though!) We rode bikes to the Ellie's school picnic yesterday afternoon. Gorgeous spring weather! Please send some prayers and PMA my way tomorrow morning!
The week started out pretty rough. Abigail and I and maybe Voss had a bit of a stomach bug. It made me grateful for health by the end of the week. The good news is that it didn't last long. But it sure made me weak. I had my follow up appointment at FABEN and I don't have PCOS. So, that's good. Voss got his stitches out. The doctor complimented the ER doctor's work. Now we just have to make sure the scar stays out of the sun. Marly went on a field trip to Diamond D ranch. I hosted a last minute play date. I went on a girls night that didn't really count as a girls night. We made freezer meals. It was more like me making dinner for the week. Great idea, though. Tonight's sweet & sour meatballs were amazing! Ellie's pal came to play after school on Thursday. They didn't have school on Friday. We went to a benefit for the Girl Scouts that night. It was fun to take a night out during the week! I loved hearing all the speeches from the women being honored- so empowering! Friday we did a pool day while my parents took Ellie on a Birthday lunch and shopping spree. It's a little cold for me to swim but the kids loved it. That night we did dinner on the back patio of TCC. This spring weather is perfect! The girls got gift cards from our neighbors to Build a Bear so we did that on Saturday morning. Then we rode bikes to Pierce's Birthday party. It was a mini golf course party. Super cute! That night we went to an auction and dinner for Bishop Kinney then met up with friends to celebrate Meghan's Birthday. This morning was a little rough. We went to mass then to Jenny's for a MOPS photo fundraiser. We met the Harmons at E-street for lunch. We had a nice relaxing afternoon- naps, reading and TV. We did a floatila with our river pals this evening. We are enjoying the spring!
We spent our 12th wedding anniversary after a fun Easter, watching the Walking Dead. Such romance! Monday Ellie was off of school still. We had a MOPS craft meeting so she was able to help in the baby nursery and loved it. What a win! We went fishing that afternoon on a whim. Ellie caught 3 fish and Marly caught one! The first fish caught from our dock! I was so proud! I ran to book club that night at Regan's. We had a great discussion on Carry on Warrior- honesty, spirituality, alcohol and drug abuse, caring for aged parents, abortion, lots to talk about! We did a few story times this week. One with Mr. Josh then Ms. Elizabeth's last one. We met our German friends for dinner at Mellow. It was awesome catching up with them after 5 years! I went walking Wednesday morning with Stevenson and Lauren (she kicked our butts!) then I went walking again while the girls were in golf. Tiffany came over for a last minute play date. All was fine until Voss stood up in a chair and fell onto the edge of the screened in porch. I texted my ER doc, pal, Kim. Voss and I headed to the ER downtown. 7 stitches later, he was good as new. Not my favorite night of the week, that's for sure! We did some shopping to prep for Ellie's big Birthday party. We went swimming at FYC. Chasing Voss with stitches around the pool is nuts. Even without stitches, this boy is all over the place. So now you know, we probably won't have a chance to talk this summer. I'll be chasing my son. Whew! For Ellie's Birthday we began at Krispy Kreme. We brought oreos for snack at her school. We went back for more swimming then picked her up. We played with Willow that afternoon. Playing at Mrs. Mann's old house was sureal for me. We met up with the Applegates and Nixons and did fried chicken on the boat for Ellie's Birthday dinner. Kina stressful but Ellie loved it.
Saturday was her Birthday party. It rained all night and got a bit chilly but luckily it didn't rain much for the party. Ellie had 6 friends and her cousins come over for a mermaid party. They made nautical jewelry and hairbands. We decorated the house in an underwater theme. It was a sweet, quiet party. After cake and opening gifts, the kids played shark and minnow outside. All of a sudden, two mermaids swam up and sang Happy Birthday. Super cool ending! We did a Latin House Grill family dinner. Today we kept on partying with Sophia's candy land Birthday. After mass and breakfast we rode bikes down the street. We stayed ALL day at the Freemans. I'm not kidding, we even ordered dinner. Sunday Funday! I posted this on Facebook and think it's a good ending for tonight- As we celebrate another Bravo Birthday (Ellie is SEVEN!!) I have to thank our village. The priests who hear our confessions, the many babysitters who give us a break, the countless friends who still invite us over and refuel our souls, the play dates, the teachers and story time tellers, the doctor and nurse pals who respond to crazy texts, the family who puts up and prays for us, the many friends who have not blocked the Bravo newsfeed, MOPS and our generous neighbors. It really is taking a village to raise these beautiful children. My oh my, we are blessed! 💕🎉👊
We actually had a spring break plan this year. We changed our plan last minute though due to weather. Turns out we didn't check the weather throughout Florida as it turned out to be chilly all the way down to Miami. We still had a great visit. We hit up Ikea first (it was between there and the Children's Museum, we won that vote). It's always nice to stroll through the show room while 3 kids are in the kids zone and one is asleep on your chest. Great start to a vacation! We went to an Argentinian place for lunch then to the Key Biscayne Nature Center. It was kina cold but the kids loved wading in the water. We saw a sting ray and jelly fish in the first few minutes! We got a great tour in the nature center, too. The next day we went to a private beach near Phil's parent's house. It's so peaceful with coconut trees in a cove. I ended up getting sunburned on my back pretty badly. It was chilly so I didn't think about it for myself- ack! We went to a fun park afterwards and then later the Falls for Vanessa's Birthday dinner. Such a nice night! The next morning we got up really early and drove to Sea World in Orlando. I forgot that was a long drive. We didn't get into the park until almost 1! There was a line to park! We waited an hour in line to get our tickets! Spring Break! Once we were in, it was fine though. There's a great little kid area in Sea World with roller coasters and things. Abigail loved that part. It was nice that when our phones died, I could run out to the car to get our chargers. We had dinner with the sharks. Phil's Godmother's daughter, Georgette met up with us and showed us the cool stuff to do that we had missed. Ellie and Marly LOVED the Journey to Atlantis ride! We stayed super late until the park closed at 9:30! Our hotel was walking distance and really nice. We slept in and went to the pool in the morning. It was heated, yet still chilly. We drove home afterwards. On Good Friday we went to the Stations of the Cross for kids at Marywood. It was kina raining so we didn't stay for the picnic. We went out for cheese pizza instead. I am really proud of Ellie- she read two of the stations for the group! The Bentons came over for a funday that afternoon. We ended up going out to Puerta Plata for dinner. Saturday was the Easter Egg hunt at TCC. The party was fun- pictures with the bunny, crafts, cookie decorating and breakfast- but we were bummed that the rain ruined the hunt. That afternoon we got a babysitter and went to the Mad Hatter party at FYC. That was super fun! We stayed for dinner with the Stanelles and Bentons. As I was walking the babysitter out, I noticed some powder sugar bunny prints and a nest of candy eggs! A bit later, the "Easter Bunny" combo appeared and we had a great chat. Easter morning was fun when the girls noticed all that! The Easter Bunny also brought the older girls mermaid tails and sun gear. Abigail got a neat bubble gun and Voss got fruit pouches. We went to mass, whew! Sitting in the aisle with the little kids in tow- was intense! We went to my parent's house. The weather finally got sunny for a bit. We did an egg hunt with the cousins then had a nice ham lunch. The girls even were able to try out their tails! Later we had dinner at the Nixons and did another egg hunt, but this time in the rain! It was a really nice Easter with family and friends.
Part of the MOPS theme this year is to celebrate lavishly. I don't struggle with that part of the theme. At our MOPS meeting on Monday, one of our golden gals, Kim was the speaker on child safety. She did a great job! We went to the Thakkars for a pm play date. I brought a few of the Applegate kids with me. Meghan had an allergic reaction to an antibiotic and needed a quiet afternoon to recover. I was the cool one bringing SIX kids to the play date. It was one of those perfect spring afternoons. Laurie made an amazing chicken soup. I did a night run, still my Monday 5. The next morning, my pal Jessica saved me and kept the younger two while I spent the morning doing a glucose resistance test. Another step in my possibly PCOS diagnosis (picking up from pre-Voss tests). We had a ballet afternoon, more gorgeous park weather. Wednesday was a marathon of a day. Marly had a sweet Easter chapel at school. After Abby's ballet class, we went swimming and celebrated a ballet friend's Birthday. I shopped at JnJ and found the final dress for coordinating Easter outfits. I cleaned out closets last week and filled bags to give away and for the first time, items to consign. While Ellie and Tug went to religion class, I took the younger 3 to the Penance Service. Bringing a bunch of kids allows you to get in and out of a Penance Service. Everyone was so nice! Voss came in with me- his first time in confession! Early Thursday morning I went running with Amanda- working on my speed! For St. Patty's Day Tracy and I had lunch at O Brothers. She convinced me to make cornbeef and cabbage for dinner. Jamie came over for a pm play date. Sitting on the porch listening to the rain while the kids worked on a leprechaun trap. The kids were all psyked- Ellie had play day and Marly had an Easter egg hunt and party. Spring break has begun! With no school on Friday, we picked up Lola and went to coffee club (showing up at play dates with extra kids, I'm going to get a reputation!) We had a decent conversation at Vanessa's about entitlement. We went to the Freeman's to celebrate Jessica's Birthday. Shrimp caesar salad and oreo cake! Happy Birthday, dear pal! That night we headed out for an easy pizza dinner and it happened. A parent fail. We left Voss at home! People joke about this sort of thing in big families. I've heard it a lot. I figured it would happen at some point...not to our one year old! It was simple- usual chaos trying to leave the house. Phil thought I put him in the car and I thought he did. We arrive at pizza hut, just a mile away and realized the horror. We fly back home and Voss is peacefully playing with my SEWING NEEDLES! Just enjoying the quiet house and my forbidden sewing drawer. It was a very quiet night after that, thank God! Saturday was a slow day. We slept in. I took the older girls with me on a run. A trip to Lowes to work on upgrading fixtures upstairs. The Nixons met us for lunch at Pinewood. We jazzed up the afternoon with a brief boat floatila. We got a last minute babysitter and went to the rooftop of Blacksheep for a much needed date night. Perfect weather! Awesome food! We should have come home then. But in typical Bravo fashion we kept going. We ran into a few CEE couples, did some bar hopping. Ended the night at Krystals. Geeze. This morning we started slow again. Went to TCC for breakfast and decided to switch up our spring break plan. We went to Palm Sunday mass to kick off Holy Week. Then did another floatila with the Nixons before packing up and heading out. Let the Spring Break begin!