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!
This beautiful girl is FIVE!
We've been celebrating her for two weeks now. Birthday parties are a huge topic in our house these days! Marly uses it as a bullying tactic, "If you don't play my way, you can't come to my Birthday party." I told her it was too late- invites were out, RSVPs in, heck, I already monogrammed the aprons! I let her choose which friends to invite. It's a big thing- lessons learned all over the place. I was wiped out before the party even began! The Bravos came in town for her party, driven by the Reinsteins. So, we had a sweet family weekend. For the party the kids made their own pizzas. Michelle and Gloria rocked the pizza cooking! Phil was a wonderful game coordinator- duck, duck, goose, hot potatoe and tag! We even played pin the toppings on the pizza! They loved the cupcake decorating! Pink and purple frosting everywhere! It was a marathon of a day. After the party and presents and cleaning up, we had a CEE District party in Deerwood. Off to pick up BBQ and head to the other side of town! Mass in the living room! Then, a pretty good community gathering and even enrichment. I snuck out the next morning for a wedding shower for one of my mom's friend's daughters. Nice! Then, we did a girls trip to see The Little Mermaid at BJS. Whew! For Marly's actual Birthday we had a mini MOPS meeting then rode the skyway to the candy shop- a new Birthday tradition starting here. My five year old has gotten so awesome at riding her two-wheeler! We've done a few short runs- and I'm really having to sprint! Lots of fun play dates this past week! Freemans one afternoon, Harmons another and then morning at the Stevensons. Lots of neck vain popping political conversations this week! Even a great book club meeting discussing Black Out. Marly had Birthday chapel, too- where her whole school sang, Happy Birthday and she shared M&M (Marlyn Maria) cookies with her class. Lots of partying! This weekend we did a night out with the Vogts and Nixons on Friday and then we hosted wine club last night. We compared the Italian and California Barbera regions. Pretty painful today with the time change! My Aunt Susan was here this weekend. We spent time with them, which is always fun. She tested the girls for speech and language. I'm so proud of my smart children! We had a fun 3-yr old Birthday party yesterday. Bubbles and bounce house fun! Today is a slow day. We went to the later mass, lunch at e-street. Phil is playing golf with the older two. I'm enjoying a quiet afternoon!
The week began with MOPS. It was a game meeting, which was pretty hoaky at first- but ended up making us laugh and relax. So, that was a win! We did a pm park play date after school. Lots of running laps. Our first date of the week was for Marly's parent-teacher conference. Abby and Voss went to play at Alice's house. Marly is ready for kindergarten her teacher says. A bit of girl drama, but she is good. We went out for a Starbucks after. We had lots of fun nights this week. Tuesday was spirit night at Sonny's. Then, we went by the Freemans for a drink and recap of Carl's visit to Phil's Rotary Club. Wednesday we had a date night. We had dinner at V Pizza then went to the Florida Theater for O.A.R. It was a great concert! We went to dos gatos for an after drink. Thursday I hosted a play date- it had been a while with the local crew. It was nice to catch up. Friday, Suzanne took Marly for the day- to spoil her for her upcoming Birthday. I took it easy with the younger two. We did story time. That night we went to the Rattigans for pizza and a bounce house. Saturday morning we got a sitter and Phil and I ran in the Ortega River Run. A morning date! He left and played in a tennis match: TCC vs FYC. And they won! I took the kids up to watch, great match! The kids and I cleaned out our neighbor's grapefruit and lemon trees. We juiced a bunch and even froze some. We had a new babysitter come last night for another date night! We met some tennis friends at Or'Say for a drink then headed to the Valent's open house party. The night ended strangely when Anna fell and broke her nose! This morning we went to mass then breakfast at TCC. We had a relaxing day. Dinner with the Bentons and Stanelles at High Tide for kids night. It's been a good week!
A little sore but I tried to keep the healthy living going this week with counting calories, yoga, youtube cardio and short runs. We had a low key week. Abigail didn't want to go to story time so I let her stay home and watch Daniel Tiger instead. It was nice. Phil had a corporate meeting all week so was late coming home each night. We did a play date with the Applegates and Freemans on Wednesday then I had to do the whole religion class run. I hadn't done that in a while. Thursday was OPS spirit night at CFA so we did that. The weather has been so nice! Lots of outside play time! We watched Abby's pal Alice on Thursday morning. Friday was science day at Stockton. Super hero experiments all day! I volunteered for a few hours and did the Iron Man station where we made magnetic slime with water, glue, zinc oxide and starch. Super cool! I came home, relieved the babysitter then took the kids strawberry picking with a MOPS play date. That was really neat! And the berries are truly amazing! Phil and I left that afternoon to work an Engaged Encounter weekend in Marywood. We had 15 couples and an awesome team! It was nice to take a break and meet all the couples. Father Donal was a fun guy, too. We got a frantic call from our neighbor late Friday night. The babysitter locked herself out on our balcony! So that was pretty scary/funny! She did a great job with the kids! Taking them to a play date, playing soccer and in the bounce house. Fun for the whole family! Today we got back, Phil went to play tennis. I took the kids on a run. Then we went to a friend's street party for Sunday Funday. Loving this FL Feb weather!
I must admit, I enjoyed my "break" on Monday and Tuesday with no husband and 3rd child. I'm happy to report, Phil's mom is recovering well. I think they all had a nice visit. My pal, Kerri came to talk with us at MOPS about incorporating super foods into our diet. I texted her today and told her I put cayenne pepper in our eggs and flax seed in our pancakes. That's me trying! I also started counting calories on My Fitness Pal after realizing I've been training for this race and haven't lost much weight at all. (It used to work with the older girls to loose weight between babies. I can feel my metabolism slowing with the younger, two). It was a cold week! I enjoyed hybernating as much as possible. We had Shrove Tuesday to kick off Lent with MOPS. I took the middle two to Ash Wednesday with me. We had a seafood dinner with the Bentons that night. I'm going to try this 40 bags for 40 days thing. So far, so good! The older girls had Valentines parties at school. They made all their Valentines and ate TONS of candy! It was also Teacher Appreciation Week so there were more things for me to remember to do each day. This week was definitely one of those where one day I was super productive and then the next I seemed to get nothing done. No play dates means I have plenty of time for laundry and yoga to the stations of the cross. But when I go to sleep early, that means no kid-less time at night to monogram or plan for the next day. I took Abby in for her 3-year check up and Voss in for his 1-year. They are both doing well! Voss jumped back on the chart weighing in at 21 pounds! Marly had a fun mock-sleepover Birthday party. I took her pal home from school and her mom picked up from the party. My pal, Steph had surgery this week so I took her kids for the day on Friday. We had an awesome coffee club discussing water quality in Flint and here in town. We stayed at the Hill's until 2:30pm! It warmed up and turned into a gorgeous afternoon! We had the MOPS Valentine's Day party at Cool Moose! Super fun dinner! I spent Saturday laying low and hydrating! Sunday morning was the half marathon. I think I did pretty well! I beat my time in this race from the last 2 times! Phil brought the kids out to cheer me on, that was really cool seeing them right before the finish line. It was sad to be running without Monica cheering me on, but neat to read who all everyone was running for- and all the survivors. We went to a Choice Wine program, perfect for Valentine's Day! I took the kids to the contemporary mass. The night ended with the newest Walking Dead and thai food! How loving! Today is President's Day so we went on a family trip to the zoo. Late lunch at e-street now we're just sorta hanging out. Just busy living life!