Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Scavenger Hunt

Alrighty, I have officially become a full fledged Blogger. This week I decided to partake in a contest that I read about online, on the blog of someone who I have never even met, in the hopes that I will win a prize from said stranger, who will then mail me a basket of goodies. Does this seem a little strange to anyone? Cause it makes perfect sense to me!

So let the photo scavenger hunt begin! To learn the official rules and perhaps even play yourself go HERE.

#1) Something you ate today. Yummmmm, cherry pie, why are you so good?

#2) Something you once lost but have found again. My desire, ability and motivation to go to the gym practically every day (well, ok, at least 5 days a week). It involves packing enough supplies for 3 small children and 1 largish adult, and requires at least an hour of preparation, not to mention the amount of time it takes to get from the parking lot to the actual building, but it's worth it, so, so worth it!

#3) A picture of a picture. When Micah was 2 our next door neighbor, Andy, took a picture of him on the front steps and a few weeks later we found this mounted and framed and leaning against our front door. We debated about the best way to thank him for his kindness, and finally settled on crafting him a custom made case for his harmonica. Sadly, he passed away unexpectedly before the summer's end and we never got a chance to properly thank him, which is something that I will inevitably regret for many years to come.

#4) A happy place in your home. Ok, well this summer the happiest place in our home was actually in the driveway! Since Saoirse was so new and tiny and I was on my own with 8 kids for much of the time (which made hitting the water park rather difficult, not impossible, but difficult nonetheless) we set up our own version of the water park right in our very own backyard so to speak.

Now as the fall brings cool weather, our days of water play are pretty much over, which means that as winter approaches the sunroom will once again become our cozy sanctuary. The twins love this room because it gets toasty warm during even the coldest of days and they can still feel like they are a part of the outside world. We've spent many hours here peering out the gigantic window at the world moving by.

#5) Something "Fall-y". Hahaha, sucking up a bit here, but how about some of those delicious zucchini carrot pineapple muffins? I cranked out a batch during nap time this week and the older kids came home from school to a wonderful surprise. I only wish I could somehow blog the smell of these guys as they are baking!

#6) Your favorite color. This one was too hard, I really don't have one favorite color, I have, like a bunch of favorites, a whole handful. Pink, green, blue and purple, those are mine, my comfort colors.

#7) Something from your "to-do list". This one presented even more of a challenge, as my list is 5 miles long. I could have taken a picture of virtually any room in the house to prove the exact amount of accumulated clutter we are talking about here. Instead I finally decided to narrow it in on a craft project, and my beads have indeed been getting dusty lately......

But when I really started to think about it, to REALLY think about it, I realized that the most important thing on my to-do list is to nurture and comfort and nuzzle and LOVE my children, and to make sure that I take time out of each day, and in between each chore, to share a quiet moment with each of them. They are growing up at an alarmingly fast rate, we've got one preparing for high school and one still in diapers (well 3 still in diapers actually, but that's another thing on the all mighty to-do list) and a whole bunch in between, and it never ceases to amaze me, while simultaneously scaring the living bejeebers out of me, just how FAST these childhoods are racing towards something else. Something scary and exciting and unknown and very very BIG. These babies will be grown before I know it, and so for now, perhaps the number one thing on my list should be to cradle and cuddle them while I still can, while I still can protect them from pretty much anything, because let's face it, there's a whole wide world of important lessons for them to learn out there, valuable HARD lessons that I won't always get to be the teacher of and certainly won't always be able to protect them from. And so, yes, right now, while the world is still relatively small and insulated, these cuddles and hugs and acts of love will do rather nicely.

#8) Something you NEED every single day.
Well that's simple.
My Family.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


It's 12:35pm and so far today.....

I have already woken up to the alarming realization that Saoirse slept through her 4am feeding, in fact when this revelation occurred, it was already 6:22am and she was still sound asleep.

I have already gotten three small children dressed, combed, brushed and styled, replete with 6 miniature socks and 6 tiny shoes.

I have already changed 5 diapers.

I have already gotten all three babes in and out of their car seats 6 times.

I have already been on the treadmill, been in the swimming pool, completed 200 crunches, taken a shower and been to the grocery store.

I have already handled the lunch rush, started a load of laundry, taken 5 photos for a scavenger photo hunt (more to follow about this), charged my camera's battery, emptied the dishwasher, and left the bread dough to rise.

I have already discovered 11 hour old vomit on a blanket, stripped a crib of all it's bedding, noticed someone's booger wiped across a wall (no seriously, have I ever mentioned how gross kids are?) and washed all the kitchen surfaces.

I have already checked my email, my voicemail, my snail mail, my Facebook and Blogger. I have already returned 4 calls and have scheduled a phone conference with a lawyer from Marinette for this Thursday. Also, don't forget about the allergist, who can't see me until the 12th.

I have already uploaded 22 photos to my Photobucket account and they are awaiting some much needed editing.

I have already forgotten something, more than once, and have just about given up on the rest of my to do list for today. Who needs lists anyways? Here it is, early afternoon, the twins have finally murmured themselves to sleep (what were they talking about in there for so long?) and Saoirse is laying on her play mat beside me. I was actually nursing her for the majority of this post while typing one handed. So I guess, my final achievement for now, is that I have already multi-tasked circles around the procrastinator inside of me, she's still there though, just waiting for the perfect time to make her move, maybe not today, but soon!

Sunday, September 27, 2009


"Dance your cares away, worries for another day....."
Here's our little Fraggle, guaranteed to put a smile on just about anyones face!

A few weeks ago she really discovered her fists of glory and I often catch her checking them out with pure amazement and sheer awe, it is truly a sight to behold, as if she is beginning to realize that she quite literally has the world at her fingertips.


On Friday we skipped the gym and took off for the Zoo instead. The babies are such creatures of routine that as I was packing our bags and preparing for the morning they kept questioning my intentions.

"Get ready go gym? Get ready go gym? Go gym? Go gym? Momma come back?
Momma come back." (the momma bit is a particular favorite of Nuala's, and she waivers between asking me and reminding herself).

So they were a little thrown off when I repeatedly told them that we were not going to the gym. "Momma come back?", Nuala asked again, perhaps wondering if I would be leaving them on their own wherever we were going. Once we actually got to the Zoo, they began to fully understand my intentions and I didn't hear one more peep about the gym or my disappearing acts.

I think it's important to note that trips like this are possible because of THIS stroller. The big KAHUNA. The once thorn in the side of my marriage, has blossomed into the magic carpet of parenting, and while I still feel the need to do a thorough and proper review of it at some point in the near future, for now let me just say that life is smooth sailing with this vehicle to guide us.

The twins take turns sitting in the "high seat" and help me to remember who gets it next.

And they usually don't mind sitting in the low seat either, although let's face it, the high seat is in high demand.

After a quick bite on the road (brown bag lunch from home), we checked out the reptile house before piling back into the van. Do you know how long it takes to get three kids into their car seats? Ever wonder what the other 2 do while I buckle in the first, or how long it takes to unpack and fold down the stroller? It's a lot, but I've got a pretty decent system by now. Phew, sometimes I'm tired just thinking about it!

Here's the middle row, still rear facing of course, don't worry, I DID buckle him in before pulling out.

Friday, September 18, 2009


Ok, so I have never been one to take pictures with cell phones, I'm fairly certain the reasons for this are somewhat obvious, but ever since Brendan got me an iPhone for my birthday I've been testing it out with interesting results. It does a pretty good job, all things considered....

So yeah, it's fun to take a few spur of the moment shots with the phone and while I definitely won't be trading in my Canon anytime soon, it is rather convenient to have a "camera" ready at all times. Yet the REAL heart of this story lies in the video......The camera aspect of the iPhone, well let's face it, I could take it or leave it. BUT the video camera has left me speechless.

Yeah, I know this clip isn't exactly the most interesting glimpse of our lives (and really who took that kid to the playground dressed like THAT?) but it's the only video I have taken with the phone so far and I happened upon it today for the first time. Momma's iMPRESSED to say the least!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Rough One

Today has been a rough one, and while I don't really care to go into the details at this moment, instead, let me just say that even on the hardest most challenging days, I still have all of this extraordinary love to guide me through and hope that tomorrow will sing softly once more.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


You may not realize it, since I've been missing in action lately, but I have acquired a new and rather delightful talent.
The older kids have all had an easy start to yet another school year, which of course means that the three little ones and I are on our own during the week days. So here we are well into the second week of trying to figure out our new system and I can proudly say that we have a pretty sweet rhythm to our routine.

I am up with Brendan by 6:30am and while he makes oatmeal for the twins, I nurse Saoirse and collect 5 ounces for storage (not sure why I didn't want to say "pump" there?). Ruari and Micah are roused to begin their morning checklists, you know, standard stuff, all of which they are pretty much able to do on their own with a few strategically timed prompts and reminders. Brendan feeds the twins at which point I am usually done nursing and so I lay Saoirse down to make eyes at her mobile and then pack cold lunches for the day. By 7:15am it's time to get the middle schoolers going, they're already awake, but it's nice to do the morning in "shifts" and I'm sure you can imagine that things move a little quicker whenever you can avoid having 5 kids doing the same things all at the same time. It's nice to have some space once in a while.

Of course the twins are not old enough yet to fly solo, and so there are 2 sets of teeth to brush, two diapers to change, 2 outfits to select and 2 monkeys to get dressed. Phew, I get tired watching Brendan do it all! Then we're scrambling to get 5 kids into the car by 7:30am so that we can get to school on time. I drive Ruari and Micah to school and the three babies come along for the ride and by the time we get home, Finn, Sidhe and Maija have already left for school and Brendan is gone to work. We come home to a very quiet house by 8am.

Now HERE is where the rhythm comes into play, because let's face it what just happened up until this point was rather chaotic and flustered even with the "mini-shift" approach. There's always a last minute rush to find milk money or change shirts or sign a permission slip, stuff like that. BUT when we come home at 8am there is a stillness to the house that 12 weeks of summer vacation has left me unaccustomed to, and I have to tell you that at first I barely even knew what to do with it all, and yet somehow I managed.

By the time we stroll back in, Saoirse is hungry again and needs to be fed. The twins will play in the living room during this time and we'll read books together on the couch or sing songs or even just have some independent play time. Saoirse's meals don't take nearly as long as they used to which is really nice for all of us. I'll nurse her for a bit and then take a break to pack up the diaper bag and prepare us all for the gym, meaning snacks, sippys, pacifiers, blankets, extra diapers, my own water bottle, iPod, etc, and then I'll nurse her again before we head out the door. We hit the gym by 10am and for one solid block of at least 45 minutes I am on my own. Well ok, I am actually in a room SURROUNDED by a bunch of people, strangers really, but with my music cranked up and my heart rate going and my thoughts wandering in any direction I please, well it's about as much privacy as I can hope for these days and it is glorious! The babies have all been very accommodating about spending time in the Kid Care, which I was worried about, but so far so good.

Next up we head to Jacobus Park, I've posted pictures before of this lovely hidden treasure, it's a great hideaway nestled right in the city. We park a ways from the playground and haul out the beastly stroller, which by now I've already gotten out of the trunk twice, once at school and once at the gym, but who's counting right? Another haul is worth it since it allows us to walk the trails winding through the woods on the way to the playground. The twins love to look for chipmunks and squirrels along the way and Saoirse always gazes up at the trees as if she is truly impressed by their grandeur. Once we hit the playground everyone is hungry again and so we all enjoy a picnic lunch before tackling the tunnel slides. I am absolutely IN LOVE with our time at the park, the pace is slow and extremely laid back, getting lunch out of the way is an additional bonus, and the twins are at a great age for exploring nature and polishing up their climber skills.

By the time we get back home, usually around 12pm it is time for all 3 of them to take a nice long nap. Yes, I said ALL THREE. For the past week or so we have been having synchronized nap time in the house when all 3 are sleeping for at least an hour or so. I can hardly believe it, and I hope that this admission has not jinxed me for tomorrow, but I am so excited about this little morsel of incredible luck, I simply had to share it with you. One whole hour may not sound like a lot, but honestly you would be amazed by how much you can get done in that amount of time! Dishes, laundry, a shower, a blog entry, a quick Facebook looky-loo, a fresh manicure, heck maybe even a pedicure to match! One whole hour of actual alone time has left me more energetic, up beat and quite possibly optimistic. One whole hour can refresh your mind and your spirit if you allow it to. Yes, yes, the new rhythm to our routine is quite lovely. I will try to enjoy it to the fullest while it lingers, since I know how quickly it can AND will all change again. There is so much actual detail to fill you in on, but the twins are up from naps now and politely requesting some play time, which I really need to take advantage of since miss Saoirse is still fast asleep. They have been so smooth about transitioning into having a younger sister around that it is super important for us to have some "alone" time for just the three of us....