Spring break kina snuck up on me. I planned Disney too soon. So I had to look for fun things for us to do while both girls were out of school. My mom's Birthday was Monday. I needed a break after the weekend so I dropped the girls at Kids Park and took my mom to a nice lunch at Blue Fish. Perfect! The day got better and better with a nap then book club to discuss the Book of Mormon. Tuesday I hosted a huge St. Patty's Day playdate. We even did a gold nugget hunt for the kids and had green mimosas! We met Amanda at the park that afternoon. Wednesday was coffee club to discuss the upcoming city elections. We all ended up agreeing...we need more conservatives in cc! The girls had gymnastics but no religion that evening. We had a nice family dinner on the porch. The painters are finishing up our house. The Kerkezi boys came over for a bit. I snuck out and got an amazing post-natal massage from my doula. Thursday we met the Mitchells and some friends at the zoo. Friday we did the beach- of course it was foggy and chilly that morning. We swung by the Nixons for an afternoon play date. We got a sitter and took Voss to the Vogts potluck that night. I think that was the last time he comes out with us, babysitter time, Voss! Saturday morning I left the house at 7am and drove to Delray beach for my sorority sister, Sam's bachelorette party. My first day apart from Voss. I did some serious pumping! We started with brunch at Vic and Angelo's: bottomless bloody marys, then took a limo bar hopping to Ft. Lauderdale. Lots of amazing women in this crowd! Then we took a catamaran sunset boat cruise. I was planning to start the trek home after this but things got hairy. My ride back didn't happen for another 3 hours meaning I didn't get home until 4am this morning! Crazy, I know. I'd like to thank my little brother, Erik for chatting with me from Daytona to Jax to keep me awake! Today has surprisingly been okay so tomorrow may be rough. Phil made a great breakfast this morning. We had a MOPS photo fundraiser at the Freemans and went to lunch with the Stevensons. We did the contemporary mass again and then dinner at the Freemans- pizza out back. Perfect start to the week and closure to spring break!
Another beautiful week, we crammed it with fun...maybe even a little too much fun! Is there such a thing? MOPS was Monday so it was nice to get a break. Voss likes my undivided attention. It's quite flattering to be able to quiet him but it can also be exhausting. So when I get him quiet, I know I have a limited time to do what I can with 2 hands. Sometimes it's just enough time to go to the bathroom, maybe even brush my teeth. Other times I need to make lunches, clean up from breakfast (the day before), dole out a potty treat, sanitize a spill, etc. I was lucky enough to get some time in advance to print off all the nursery stuff and get it organized so I was actually prepared and ready for MOPS. It was nice. The speaker was something about doing community service with your kids. I sorta thought this was all already community service and didn't connect. So, I sat in the back and ate all the yummy breakfast casseroles while nursing. Marly's Birthday party kept going on Tuesday, we brought cupcakes for her class. I tried to make it back in time to be there for them to sing to her but I'm embarrassed to say I was stuck in Walmart buying Disney shirts. Luckily, her school is great about taking pictures. We brought the leftover cupcakes to the park for a pm play date with her bestie, KK. So, she was happy. We hosted a super play date on Wednesday. Early release days are killer because nap time becomes obsolete. We remedied this with a morning power hour. It was nice to toast with my ole pal, Tracy. It had been too long. Meanwhile the kids ran wild and had a blast. We are in the middle of having our house repainted. Every time I sit down to nurse, upstairs or downstairs- a painting man appears in the window. It's been fun. I'm sure they enjoyed the ph, too. Thursday was a whirlwind of a day. The Yacht Club is starting this toddler time so we checked it out. Lots of messy art with a fun story. Abigail liked it. I ran around like a crazy person for the rest of the afternoon packing up. Then we picked up Ellie early from school and Phil from work and headed to downtown Disney for the girls Bippity Boppity Boutique appointment. Last month while I was planning the girls carnival combo Birthday party, Phil asked them if they'd rather have a party or go to Disney. What kid would say, have a party? So, this is how it all happened. I should have stopped the snow ball right there. After their Birthdays last year, now they think a Birthday in Disney is all the bells and whistles. And this mom has a hard time saying "no"- especially overhearing Ellie tell Marly all about how cool the boutique is when they turn you into a princess with the magic fairy dust (AKA 5 cups of glitter). Phil's parents and Michelle and Georgette met us down there. Then, Phil's parents spent the weekend with us. Ellie seemed overtired on the drive down, eventually taking a nap right before we arrived. So I thought she was just tired for her appointment but then I noticed she was hot at the hotel that night. We got her some meds and she was okay on Friday morning. We hit Magic Kingdom first thing and she was good in the beginning. One of my plans is to get there first thing and knock out Fantasy Land before it gets crowded. Around 11 she faded again and it made me melt: to be sick in Disney World for your Birthday party! Awww! She slept in the stroller for a few hours. Luckily, the others were good to go. I think Voss enjoyed his first time in Disney, even if he slept through most of it. Ellie rallied later over some ice cream and did a great job powering through. I'm glad roller coasters invigorate her, too. She said Splash Mountain was her favorite. And now Marly is tall enough to ride everything so the 4 of us had a great time coaster hopping! We had a late dinner reservation in the Grand Floridian and got to meet Cinderella and her step family. That was a special treat! Saturday we got up early to make our next dining reservation at the Polynesian with Lilo, Stitch, Mickey and Pluto! That was my favorite. The morning started a little rocky because I forgot Marly's ticket in the hotel room and then lost Voss's pacifier on the Nemo ride in Epcot. Things got worse when Phil got stuck on the Soaring ride. We tried to make it better with the World Showcase and it worked for a little bit. It got hot and everyone was tired so we headed back to the hotel around 4. Phil and I never made it back out. The girls went swimming in the awesome hotel pool. We did a quick dinner in the food court and everyone went to bed early. Amazingly we all slept in and had a nice breakfast then more swimming. It was a long, trafficy drive home. We made it in time for 5:30 mass. A fantastic dinner was dropped off for us. Now we're just adjusting back. I'm taking turns putting Abigail's diaper back on and putting her back in bed and putting Voss's pacifier back in his mouth. What a work out! Glad to be home, though!
Good thing mother nature reads my blog! This week mostly was beautiful, spring weather! We spent lots of time outside! Parks, the zoo, our porch- it's been so nice! Abby had a play date with her pal, Alice while I had my 6 week check up with the birth center. So now I'm all healed and back to normal...whatever that is! I even went back and read this blog from 2 years ago to re-learn how I handle the newborn phase at this point in life. Do we cry it out yet? Move to the swing or the crib? Oh, the miracle swaddler! Blog saves me again! Aunt Katie went back to DC, but we got in some good visits with her this week before she left. Including a farewell brunch at metro diner. The one crummy day was Friday, but we hit up story time and loaded up on library books so we didn't notice. Marly spent the day with her Godmother for a Birthday treat so I had an easy afternoon with just 2 kids. We did a movie night at Ellie's school that night- Super Hero 6, I think it was called. Saturday was Marly's Birthday! We went to Dunkin Donuts for breakfast. Then, Phil, Voss and I went to the CEE Discerment while Kayla the babysitter took the girls to the park. Phil and I are the new local coordinators for CEE so get ready for some shake ups! We picked up the girls and met the Freemans at e-street for a biergarten lunch. Then we headed to the carnival. We're really celebrating Ellie and Marly's Birthday next week in Disney World but riding rides, face painting and playing games is a great way to celebrate your Birthday! Marly was a happy girl! We even ended the day with her favorite dinner- "TeenaWanna Flats"! Phil and I continued the celebration with sneaking out after bedtime to crash a dinner at FYC then heading to Lillians for power hour! This morning was a little rough, especially with the springing ahead. We took it easy, Phil made a nice breakfast. I went on my first run in a long time! Phil played tennis. Abigail, Voss and I took a nap. We went to the contemporary 5pm mass with our church friends then did a chaotic Puerto Plata dinner afterwards. Maybe a little much for a Sunday night- Voss is still going strong. Whew!
I know spring hasn't technically begun. But I'm going to go ahead and call it over. I'm not packing up the jeans, I know it'll still be chilly. But this was the last week of February. Phil was mostly out of town. It was cold and rainy. Hey, we live in Florida. I'm over this. I did have a few flecks of sunshine. Aunt Del was in town this week while my cousins were in Disney World. Mom took us all to lunch at the Yacht Club one day. We had lunch with Ellie at school another day. I got a sewing lesson from Aunt Del one afternoon. Friday was the best- lunch at Café Nola with my mom and sisters (Katie flew in Friday). The girls spent a lot of time at Kids Park this week. We turned a cold, rainy Saturday into super fun with a beerfest and night out with the Bentons at Pele's then Bold City. (I don't think Voss likes beer, though). Phil is keeping very active- tennis Thursday, the Ortega River Run on Saturday and more tennis today. Lots of coffee and hot chocolate was drank to keep us warm. Awesome meals- chicken pot pie again- perfect! So farewell winter! We are looking forward to spring!
Monday was President's Day, a day off for some. In a weak moment Phil asked to play golf and I said yes before thinking. So that's what he did Monday morning while I braved it on my first play date with all 4 kids. And of course I picked something zany, like a park downtown, riding the skyway and a candy shop...because the story time down the street would be too easy! So thankful I had a team of MOPS pals helping me. And yes there was a second when I almost lost Abigail on the sky way. Ellie said it was a super fun day and that was worth it. Book club was that night at Sarah's to discuss The Light Between Oceans. Voss came to his first book club meeting, I think he liked it. Fat Tuesday was a super busy day for me. Somehow I got put in charge of Shrove Tuesday, the MOPS fundraiser pancake dinner at St. Marks (it was because I complained about it last year). Aside from a rainy day lunch at Simply Sarah's with some gal pals, the day was very stressful. We raised lots of money so that's what's important but I have got to learn to bow out of some things! Wednesday I sorta spent the morning hiding, I didn't plan anything. I needed my strength for the afternoon activities. The older girls had gymnastics then we met friends for the Fish Fry at church then Ash Wednesday mass. I was ecstatic to see Phil walk in the cry room to join us at mass- my day of flying solo was tapped out. Thursday morning I had a follow up at the birth center. It was so nice to see Shea, my midwife again. That afternoon and evening we spent time with Aunt Susan, my mom's sister. She came in town for Voss's Baptism. I'm sure Aunt Susan was wiped out after spending a few hours with us at the worst time of day- she even got peed on! (Although I was so happy to have her!) She even came with us Friday morning to Marly's circus performance at school! That night we got a sitter and went to a welcome reception at TCC for all recent new members. Voss came with us, too. We ended up having dinner after with some new friends- the McClures and Duntons. That was fun! Saturday, Ellie, Voss and I went to Charlotte's cupcake Birthday party while Phil took the middles to story time downtown and the candy shop (again). That afternoon the family began to arrive. Phil's parents arrived then the Reinsteins delivering a dresser for Voss's room. That night we brought Voss to my parents to meet his Godmother. They also arrived from Mississippi (via Pensacola) that evening. After a big breakfast thanks to my in-laws, we went to St. Matthews for mass and the baptism. Voss did so well, pretty much slept the whole time. I'm so proud of my new little Catholic man! We had a reception here afterwards for the family and a few church friends. I finally got smart, after 3 of these things and got it catered! Yay, me! That meant I was able to relax and enjoy it...and the morning of was nice, too. Good thing, because Phil left during the reception for a work trip to SC for the week. Not cool, Ameris! I'm in the trenches here...solo. Phil's family left today while I was at MOPS. We had Shannon Miller speak to us! Very cool! Then we did a play date at the Freemans, since nap time wasn't happening. Potty training in their backyard was way more productive! After girl scouts tonight we're all back. I have a nice sized glass of wine and the girls are asleep. Voss is thinking about it.
We currently have three different types of diapers being used in our house- it's nagging at me! I'd like to say Abigail is 50% potty trained. That's half as many diapers (in one child) I need to change- I'll take it! It was a tough week...there were a few times I felt totally overwhelmed. Getting a break is tough! So here was our week: Monday was an awesome meeting with Tabitha Johnson at MOPS. We had to take Ellie to girl scouts so it was a crazy night. Tuesday's morning activity was an oil change for the minivan (we are officially living on the edge!) That afternoon we did a park play date with the Hinkles and Browns. The mentor moms brought over a fantastic dinner from Zoe's complete with wine, brownies and ice cream. Wow! Wednesday we went to the Stevensons for a play date. It was early release (smack in the middle of nap time so that didn't happen). We met the Thakkars and Freemans at the park after school. We did the gymnastics- religion class shuffle again- my energy levels waning. Lots of temper tantrums (it feels like they just take turns sometimes...someone is always crying!) Thursday I met Tracy for coffee then had a park play date with Abby's pal, Landon. That afternoon we did another play date at another park. Dad joined us for dinner that night. Molly made an amazing chicken pot pie! Friday we made it to story time (it's been a little while). That evening Phil took the big girls to a father daughter dance at TCC. They had an awesome time. I tried to spend some TLC with Abigail. Voss has been pretty time consuming, too. Saturday we took it easy. I feel like I go room to room cleaning and putting stuff away, an endless circle! We picked up Ellie's girl scout cookies and went to lunch at M Shack. We had an afternoon play date at the Stevensons then went to visit my dad. He watched the girls while Phil, Voss and I went on a dinner date at TCC for Valentine's Day. This morning we a rough start for mass (the nights have been tough, no one seems to be sleeping). We came home so Abigail could nap (much needed). Later we did lunch at Mellow Mushroom then played at the park. We did dinner at the Applegates for a Mardi Gras party. There was gumbo and king cake and lots of beads. The girls are finally in bed on time (although Abby is crying it out) so maybe we are back to normal...a new normal? Whew! We're trucking right along here.
We've hit the ground running! Monday was Voss's due date! It was also Phil's first day back and my first day with all FOUR kids! I was saved by a MOPS Leadership meeting...because of course it was cold and raining! We had lunch at CFA so it was a fun morning. My friend Renee brought dinner and hung out for a bit so we caught up during naptime. Tuesday was coffee club at Katherine's to discuss the legalization of gay marriage. That afternoon we met the Browns and Hinkle's at the park. Ali had made us dinner that night, which saved me again. I wasn't feeling well and was asleep by 7pm. Wednesday the Leens had us over for a super play date, complete with smoked pulled pork for lunch! Melissa came over for a visit during naptime- I used to babysit for her when she was a little older than Voss. Crazy! We did the gymnastics- religion class shuffle that evening. I realized I had some mastitis, which explains the early bedtime the night before. Of course by the time I realized it, it was almost over! Thursday, Voss had his 2 week check-up and Abigail had her 2-year check up. Voss is back up to his birth weight, and then some with 9.2 and Abigail weighs 28lbs and looking great. It was a good appointment. We came home and did some potty training. That afternoon we went to Phil's office to sell girl scout cookies and visit with the cousins. Simmons brought us dinner that night. I'm loving all the dinners and getting to taste new recipes and not have to worry about it. It's been really great! Friday was pretty lame- a whole day of potty training. You know I was ready for a night out after that! Abigail has been doing great, though. Phil, Voss and I went to the TCC first Friday happy hour then met up with some pals for the MOPS & POPS Valentines Day party. Such a fun night! Phil made a yummy breakfast on Saturday morning. We took our time getting up and going then went to the park for World Thinking Day to support the Girl Scouts. Later, Phil took Ellie to a Birthday party while I tried to make nap time happen. It's been tough with the middles lately! That night we had the Nixons over and got Thai take-out. This morning we went to mass then went to the Freemans for a party to celebrate Carl signing with JOI. We took the boat and picked up the Applegates. The way home was pretty dramatic with Phil falling in the water! Cold! We made it home in time for the Lochrie's dinner arrival. I set up for MOPS tomorrow, should be a good one. Now I'm ready for bed! We're getting into a groove- each day seems easier (maybe I shouldn't say that in case I jinx it!).
We had a good week. Phil took the week off and I must say, I'm blown away with how hands on, "Mr. Mom" he's been! I told him he's changed more diapers this week then he has all year! No joke. He's been a HUGE help! I'm nervous for tomorrow when he goes back to work. Monday, Ellie had an awards ceremony at school and got a ribbon for all S's, which I think means all A's? The whole family went to cheer her on (including the crying baby and running toddler and tired mom, clapping from the courtyard window). I then took the middle girls and Voss to his first MOPS meeting. We arrived just in time to hear Kerri give an awesome talk on eating healthy (perfect timing!). On Tuesday, we met Ellie for lunch at school and then she showed her brother for show & tell. It was the sweetest thing! Wednesday, Phil took the middle girls to Pump it Up, while I slept, nursed and watched the Today Show. I've been working through the nursing. It's been painful so I took a day off and pumped all day to give myself a break. That helped a lot. Thursday was Abigail's Birthday! We threw a glorified play date for her party. About 10 2 year olds came over and brought their favorite riding toy. The Sanibel Speedway made another appearance. The party was perfect for Abigail. I'm pretty sure she loved eating cake the most!
Suzanne and the boys came over to celebrate later that afternoon. Her big sisters helped her open all her gifts. Lots more cake was eaten. A MOPS friend came to bring us a delicious dinner. And then, because we didn't have enough excitement that day, Ellie lost her first tooth! So, the tooth fairy came to visit our home for the first time! She gave Ellie a dollar for her tooth! Friday, I went to visit the lactation consultant, just to make sure I'm getting it right. She spent an hour and a half with me and was very helpful. You'd think by the 4th child, I'd have it down...not so much! Meanwhile, Phil took the middle girls to story time downtown. We met for lunch at Lola's. It was tough staying in on a Friday night (for Phil mostly). I'm eager to climb into bed at night! Saturday morning we took it easy. Then, I took the younger 3 to Marly's pal's Birthday. Elsa and Olaf showed up and serenaded us and led games outside. Phil took Ellie to her pal's bounce house play date. We all took naps (except Abigail who climbed out of the crib- her last resort- then colored all over herself in pen). We were so grateful to get a dinner invite from the Freemans. Not sure we'll get many of those anymore! Stephanie made an amazing chicken parmesan and we had a bottle of champagne. Such a fun night! This morning we made it to 8:30 mass, had donuts with our pals then met Jenny at the park to take our picture. After a late lunch at TCC the entire family is now sleeping. I know what I should be doing...but when else can I enjoy a quiet home?! After nap, we'll head to my parents house to watch the Super Bowl!
It's a good thing I did some prep because look who came early!
The week began busy. I brought breakfast and said farewell to the Judernatz family, moving to NJ then flew over to the OPS open house to check it out for Marly for VPK next year. We did a park play date with the Browns and Cowers that afternoon. Wednesday we did a super play date with the bounce house and Leens, Suters and Stevensons. We did our gymnastics, CCD, pizza routine that night. Thursday morning I woke up early with contractions. No way! This baby was supposed to be born in Feb! I have a Birthday party to plan (for Abigail) and a baby shower (of my own) to go to that night. So, I tried to just do my usual and maybe the contractions will go away. (That happened with Abigail, btw). But these contractions were hard...where I had to breathe through them when they came. They started out coming every 30min-ish. So, I took the girls to school and Abigail and I went to WD. I was supposed to go to a birth center appointment but was bumped. I told them to have the midwife rest up, just in case! The contractions got harder and closer together as the day progressed. By 5pm the girls were driving me nuts, I'm trying to make dinner (it's a tough time of day anyway!). I told Phil to get home. That's when things picked up. I started timing the contractions and they were 4min apart. Phil brought the girls to my parents house, then came back to get me and we headed to the birth center. Shea was the midwife on call. When she checked me I was 8cm! It went fast, yet super painful. The pushing was intense. Even with the 4th child, no one was "falling out"...this was tough! My voice was hoarse from the screaming, just saying. But then he was born, and it was all good! The birth center experience was amazing. I loved it! It was such a calming, peaceful environment. We're all hanging out and joking afterwards. Phil went out and got me a BLT, I took a shower. We were back at my parents house around 12:30. We all spent the night there that night, which wasn't ideal. I didn't sleep much due to the girls waking up, Voss slept through the night. The cute part is that I got a great video of the girls coming into my room at 4am to meet their brother. Friday morning Phil took the girls to school. Marly had a PJ party at school that he took she and Abigail to. I spent the day napping, nursing and relaxing. It was nice. It was cold and rainy- great day to snuggle my newborn inside. Saturday was a bit more busy. A lactation consultant came to visit that morning- great perk of the birth center! Apparently I've been doing a few things wrong this whole time. So, I've been working on breaking some bad habits. It's still pretty painful- engorgement and contractions, ugh. Then, I had to jump in the car and drive to a pediatrician appointment. That was pretty annoying- she did the same thing the midwife did right after his birth. I came back to my parents house, had lunch and took a nice nap. Then, I packed up and came home...it was time. We all went out to my cousins house for a little family reunion and to celebrate my cousin's engagement. Voss has been a great eater, so that's what we did most of last night. This morning we took it easy. Phil made breakfast. We went to the later mass. This afternoon, Voss and I went with Marly to Kinley's amazing princess Birthday party. Wow! Check out this party! The link to the pictures is HERE. We put the girls to bed then my parents came to babysit and had set up a really nice candlelit steak dinner for Phil and I. It was very sweet. So now we are a family of 6! I'm still letting that sink in!
With the circus in town this week, we clowned around with them as much as we could. At MOPS, I gave away a 4-pack of tickets. Rebecca won and we decided to go together. It was a relaxed meeting- the white elephant gift exchange- the cat book makes me laugh so hard! Willow came over to play on Tuesday morning. She and Abby are so cute together! That afternoon we had a park play date with the Browns. So nice to catch up with them. Wednesday we went to the Suter's for a play date, another nice catch up session. The Leens and Stevensons came, too. We left from there to listen to the Ringmaster read a story at story time downtown. Then, we got to have lunch with him! My favorite part was learning that before this, he was on Vampire Diaries! We did the gymnastics/religion/Wednesday routine again, which is so nice! You are going to get tired of me posting gymnast pics. Thursday my mom picked up Marly for me so Abby and I could go downtown and have lunch with the elephants. This site never gets old- watching them devour loaves of bread and other yummy treats in one gulp. It was super cold but Abigail and I didn't mind! Friday Ellie was off of school so we planned a play date with one of her school friends (and MOPS pal) who lives on the water on the north side. That was a fun way to spend the morning, then headed to the birth center for a check up then to St. Marks for a MOPS fundraiser. Emily came to babysit while we prepared dinner for a speaker series with Becca Stevens. What a powerful series! I got home much later than I thought but Phil and I were able to finish watching a movie we borrowed from mom, 3 Days to Kill. Saturday I slept in and Phil made breakfast, which was so nice. The girls and I walked up the street so Ellie could sell girl scout cookies. We drove around to check out paint colors since we need to re-paint our house and had lunch at Pinewood deli. After nap time we headed to the circus. I think Marly liked it the most, especially since she's already pals with the Ringmaster. Ellie and Abby seemed way more into the lolly pops and cotton candy. Abigail was done after the first half. It was still a fun, family activity and we got to spend time with the Cowers. We went to the Nixons for dinner afterwards. A fun night with our church friends- the Applegates and Freemans, too...although none of them were at mass the next morning. I guess that means we stayed too late! We picked oranges and grapefruits after mass. The sun finally came out this weekend after a dark week- ah, the beauty of Florida! The Boozers had us over for pizza that night. Lots of belly laughs with them and the girls enjoyed Sam's play house. Today is MLK day so we had another fun day to play. Phil played golf while the girls and I met up with the Mitchell's to watch the MLK parade. Then, we headed to lunch at Sweet Pete's and then upstairs to get some candy. Super fun morning! A family walk this evening had us chatting with neighbors. Ellie had girl scouts and the rest of us went to European Street. I just returned from a massage with my amazing doula, Sherry. Great way to start off a week! I did more nesting this week- finally went through all the baby girl clothes! It took me a few nights, but I got through it. The car seat is installed. Bag is packed. Clothes are ready to go at my parents house. Things are about to really become a circus!