Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Questionaire - a reflection of the good, the bad and the ugly

As we say good bye to 2012, I look back on this year and all the ups and downs.  

2013 will be a better year. I want to accomplish more goals (personal, professional, family oriented), let go of the past failures in all aspects and live life to the fullest. We are only on this earth for a small amount of time. The only way to truly be happy is to live your own life, not worry about the small things and savor the happiest of moments. 

I will be ringing in the New Year with friends. For as many years as I can remember, we have spent it with close friends. We will continue this tradition!
Jen had this cute questionnaire. Go check out her blog, she awesome! Keeping up with the trend, I decided to join the bandwagon and do the list. I will also be posting my year in review too!

1.What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?
Took a family vacation as a family of 5 and with a puppy, or three! We went to the beach with 2 toddlers, 3 dogs and 9 people. It was chaos, fun chaos. Not relaxing but exactly what the kids needed.
Gary and I took a Mega bus trip for the first time with some friends. 36 whole hours of adults only, wheee! It was a fun day in NYC.
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I never really make resolutions because in my mind that meant you were doing things wrong before. I do make goals for myself and I did accomplish some of my goals. (traveling, progress on house remodeling, spending lots of time with family/friends) I did not meet other goals and that is okay. I will just revamp the goals and try this coming year!
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Not this past year. I do know many people who are expecting in 2013 and I cannot wait to see all those tiny little faces!
4. Did anyone close to you die?
There were some deaths this year.
5. What countries did you visit?
We did not travel outside of the good ol’ USA.
6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you didn’t have in 2012?
I would like to distance myself from drama. I have enough of my own stuff to deal with; I do not have time to worry about other people’s crud. Being a family of 5 does not allow for much time for me or my marriage and therefor I cannot be taking on other people’s problems.  I will always be there for family and friends, however, I am choosing to not deal with the drama, whining and jealousy of others. Let me know what you need and if it is in my powers, I will do it.
With that said, I would like to have more me time. I would also like more time to spend just with my husband. Everything we do is for our kids, always. That will not change. It would be nice to remember who I am and who my husband is and why we were married and fell in love in the first place!
7. What dates from 2012 will be etched upon your memory, and why?
January 27th, Dominic turned 10 years old. February 24th, Charlie underwent her first surgery of tubes in her ears. April 24th, Charlie turned a year old. My last baby was no longer, technically, a baby. June 6th, our anniversary.  October 16th, Logan turned 3 years old. November 7th, surgery on my hand and then November 14th when I found out it was not cancer. December 25th, when Tony formally purposed to my sister!
8. What was your biggest achievement of this year?
Making it through the year and still being able to laugh at how much money we have spent on medical bills. The last few years have truly been hard on us with this. I may have cried a few times but in the end, we will be okay. The amount of money that we have spent in the last 4 years is so HIGH and although we know it could have been worse, it was bad enough that it could have crushed some families. BUT we made it! And we know that things could have been way worse and we are thankful that they are not. And we are all pretty healthy!
9. What was your biggest failure?
Not spending enough time with Gary. Our days are chaos, craziness and full of anything and everything that has nothing to do with just us. I will make us a priority next year. In order to maintain a healthy marriage, you have to spend time with your spouse!
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Yes, unfortunately.  My back has seen better days and I fear that I may need surgery again sooner than I would like to admit. I had a tumor in my hand that needed removed. I have some other issues that need medication and hopefully they will be resolved within a few months.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Ooo this is a hard one. We got a King sized bed and it is glorious! But I also got a 50mm lens and am in LOVE with it.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Gary did everything for 2 weeks when I could not use my hand. Dominic has helped watch his brother and sister a bunch so that Gary and I can get chores done. Logan did awesome with potty training. Charlie does not talk our ear off all day long, so YAY!
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Wow, so many and I will not list them. I just hope that they change for the better!
14. Where did most of your money go?
Mortgage and medical bills and it is sad that they are pretty close in amounts too.
15. What did you get really excited about?
My sister being formally engaged!
16. What song will always remind you of 2012?
I really cannot think of one.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?
A: Neither, pretty much the same. B: Heavier (boo!) C: Poorer – see above and those darn medical bills.
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Take more videos of the kids. I take lots of pictures but videos are few.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Yelling. Worry about how other people will react to things that happen to me.
20. How will/did you spend Christmas?
Families houses, we cut back on the places we go and how much running around we do but we still saw both sides.
21. What was your favorite TV program?
I have a few but my top two: Criminal Minds and Dexter
22. What was the best book you read?
Well I have not read a book that did not contain some type of animal or princess…so there is not answer to this.
23. What did you want and get?
I wanted a mother’s necklace and my husband had bought me one for Christmas. However, I got it early in November when I was pretty sad about my surgery and worried about the outcome.
24. What did you want and not get?
I wanted to win the power ball but did not. HA
25. What was your favorite film of 2012?
I am bad with favorite things but I really did like The Dark Knight movie that was filmed in my home town!
26. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 34 in October and it was my normal day off of work and I used that day to go to multiple Dr visits and have an MRI. FUN TIMES. The evening, I spent it with my family. I also did not have to cook dinner.
27. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Trying more new things, I am afraid of change and unpredictable things but maybe a thrill would be fun?!
28. How would you describe your personal fashion concept of 2012?
Since I work from home, comfy is key. But I do like to dress up once in a while.
29. What kept you sane?
This is going to sound funny but my husband and kids keep me sane while simultaneously driving me insane.  My mommy group and twitter friends are always there to lend an ear.
30. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.
You cannot control the thoughts of others. Nor can you change the way people feel about things. I have learned to live my life because from experience it is way too short to not live it up!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Day

We changed up our Christmas this year. With three kids, going to a ton of places on one day was not happening. My kids end up completely miserable and so do Gary and I!

Our kids did not wake up until 8 am. YAY! Dom came into our room and woke us up. By the time we had gotten to the living room, the kids were all lined up on the couch waiting. Ha.  So we started off the day by opening Santa gifts and Mom and Dad presents under the tree! Even Libby got to open some gifts. She was thrilled, can you tell?!

After all the gifts were unwrapped, we had our breakfast of cinnamon rolls. Dough from a tube! You cannot beat that with a stick.

Soon it was time to shower and get read to head over to my Moms. The kids are always thrilled to spend time with their Nana! Especially when there are gifts involved ;)

Speaking of gifts, my Mom asked for a pool boy in our grab bag. What Mom wants, Mom gets!
I am pleased to introduce you to Ken, my Moms new live in pool boy. *kudos to my husband for wanting to make this happen, he is a funny funny man*

We were missing a few family members because of health issues. They were missed.

My sister and her boyfriend had decided they were going to get married awhile ago but on Christmas, he made it official! He asked my Mom for permission and purposed :) So excited for her!

My Mom has been wanting a picture of her with her grand-babies for so long.  But something always happens and we never get a good shot. Until today!

After dinner, we packed up and headed home to unload. Yes I said unload. An entire SUV worth of stuff. My kids are loved!
The kids fell asleep in the car during our trip home. So we decided to drive around and look at all the lights before heading to Gary's Granddads house for dessert and presents. More family was missing from the husbands side as well. So many sickness' going around. *please germs stay away from our house, thanks*

The kids opened their gifts and ran around. Playing with cousins that they only see during the holidays. Logan was a big hit! The perfect age they said. (I am guessing because he is funny, does whatever you tell him and runs around like a nut) We had some dessert and chatted with family but it was time to leave pretty quickly. Everyone was beginning to become tired and we did not want a repeat of meltdown city like last year.

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and have a Happy New YEAR!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas Eve

We always spend Christmas Eve at my Dad's side of the family. Although times have changed the way the night works, we always enjoy our time with family.

We have the pajama tradition in this house. Before we leave for my Aunts, the kids get to open their new Christmas pjs! I love this tradition. The kids love it too.

The kids were all wound up before we left for the party. Logan was trying to grab his other gifts from us to open. No such luck little man! We wait to open gifts until Christmas morning in this house.

Charlie was being a goof and making faces. She is very much into her 'I adore my Daddy' phase of toddler hood. Constantly sitting on his lap!

She also adores watching her big brother play on his Ipod or phone. She loves watching the games or videos. I love it too since it gives me a few minutes of peace.

Logan is forever playing with duplo blocks. He is always on the move, climbing and playing. This kid is all BOY!

When we got to my Aunts, Charlie closed her eyes as to not have anyone see her. She is such a funny little thing. She is pretty shy and quiet, compared to her brothers. Charlie was all about sitting on Nana's lap and watching her family. She takes a bit to warm up but once she does, she is one of the centers of attention. (along with Logan because he is a Ham!)

When the night was coming to end, Logan wound down by playing on my phone while the adults dug into some delicious food. We said our good byes and headed home before midnight. Santa still had to come and we were all pretty tired!

After the kids were fast asleep, Santa arrived and left some wonderful things under the tree. We are truly blessed! Santa was here!!

Ebates helps you buy Christmas gifts

Have you ever signed up for Ebates? I LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!

My husband and I both go through ebates when purchasing just about everything online. If you have never heard of ebates, it is an online site that pays you a % cash back for your purchases made online. I do a TON of online shopping. I buy all year for the holidays and birthdays. Every time I shop, I go to the ebates site and click through to earn my money back.

For example: I bought all the boys Christmas clothes from Old Navy online. I went to and found the Old Navy store and opened a purchase ticket. After the ticket pulls up, ebates takes you to the Old Navy site. I ordered their clothes and received 6% back from my purchase.

In the last year, I have earned over $147.00!! That almost paid for my sons scooter for Christmas. I highly recommend using this site. It is a great way to get extra money for all those expensive gifts that the kids are asking for.

To sign up, use the link below. You will earn 5.00 after your first order as a bonus for signing up through me.

Happy Shopping!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Saturday Top Five Laughs

dentistmelsbbutton Saturday Top Five Laughs  Come Join Our Blog Hop!

Another week down! Hard to believe Christmas is in 3 days and 2013 is just around the corner.

5. Charlie fell and hit her forehead off of a duplo block. It was scary as I saw her deep indent and and split open wound. After she was cleaned up, given Tylenol and an ice pack..she settled down. She gave the tv stand her nastiest look and said "bad! bad!" (she has no clue that it was not the tv stands fault but a block instead, ha)

4. Libby was licking Charlie's face and ended up licking her ear. "Ewwww! Kucky. Ewww Wibby. Eww." I am guessing from her reaction, the girl does not like licked in the ear.

3. A work friend gave me gifts to give the kids. When I picked them up from my Moms, I took the gifts into them to open. They were all very excited to see gifts. The littles dropped what they were doing and ran over to me at the door. Logan ripped through his in a second flat and then tried to open Charlies too. Logan received a sock monkey game and Charlie a tea set. Logan insisted on opening the game to take the monkey out to have a tea party with him and Charlie.

2. We went to a diner in a near by town for dinner. We were trying to do dinner out and then go see Santa. Well it did not quit work out like we hoped. Both littles were misbehaving and yelling before we even ordered our dinner. Gary asked the waitress for our check for the drinks only. You know, the drinks that we never really drank! I am thinking the days of eating out as a family are ending...

1. Dominic was supposed to have his friend sleep over last night. Well, when he called to get the final details, he was told that his Dad was coming here from Switzerland tonight and that he couldn't come over. How awesome that his friend is getting a last minute visit but Dom was a bit bummed. And then Logan heard that he was not coming over. Logan took it hard. Tears. Whining. All for a child that Logan has never met! ha

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Winter Concert

Tonight was Dominic's winter chorus and band concert. It was his first performance on a stage and he ROCKED it! We could not be more proud of him. We are very blessed to have such a well rounded talented kiddo.

Dom is in 5th grade and decided to take up the Saxophone when band sign ups began. To be honest, Gary and I were not really great in the whole musical department in school. Gary can play a bit of guitar but I cannot do anything. I am more of the dancer type than the playing music type.

His teacher talked about how great this 5th grade is. They have come a long way from when they first started. Both his chorus and music teachers gave the entire class praise. Dominic and the other children who were in the solo's got kudos for being very talented. We are over the moon proud!

First up in the line during his performance was the band portion of the show. Then was the entire 5th grade chorus. And the final song was when Dominic got to do a solo. Him and 3 other boys and 4 girls were selected to perform. It was wonderful. He got to introduce himself and he has been so super excited about this performance.

I only have one picture to share because it is hard to get all the other kids blurred out.  And it is not even a great pic, boo!

I hope that Dominic continues with his love of music. He is a very math and science type kid and seeing him explore and succeed in the arts is fabulous!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

When Cookies and Toddlers collide

Sunday afternoon I hosted our toddler Christmas party. The afternoon was jam packed full of adorable toddler girls, ornaments, cookies and books. It was fun, fantastic and exhausting!!

I made a ham, had snacks and asked each Mom to bring a side dish. We feasted while the girls ran around leaving a trail of crumbs behind them. We chatted. We giggled. We took lots of pictures! The girls played, laughed, chased each other and trashed the house!

The girls had a book exchange and the mommy's had an ornament/cookie exchange. I received a wonderful camera ornament and 2 snowmen ornaments. I love them! They are totally me :) There are lots of wonderful cookies in our fridge/freezer. Or, well, maybe not quite as many as there were on Sunday. They were just too yummy to not try out!

The girls got all dressed up for their little party. They looked adorable and watching them interact is my favorite part! Some of them are talking a ton and chat to each other, while others just run around. We decided to try out one of the crafts, a foam snowman. The older kids helped out, it was awesome!

Nearing the end of the party, we attempted to get another group shot of the girls. They have grown so much since last year! I could not get them all in one shot, so I took 2 :)

Charlie and the other girls were not to thrilled with our picture taking, until we gave them all baby candy canes to munch on! 


Photo: Christmas party with friends! @lexieloodylan2 @overmom @afphotobug @cari615

Or, well, I guess they still were not thrilled. BUT they stayed. So there's that.
I love these girls! Their Mama's too! It was a great afternoon. It totally cleaned my clock but was worth it.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Feelings during the season

This time of year always comes with various feelings.....

Feelings of joy when you see the look on your kids faces.

Feelings of sadness when you think of those who are gone.

Feelings of  hopefulness when you help those in need.

Feelings of love when you see family.

Feelings of accomplishment, or lack there of, depending on how the year went.

Feelings of anxiousness as you prepare for the holidays.

Sometimes even feelings of anger as you deal with those who are (insert whatever here). *uncooperative, ungrateful, selfish, uncaring, etc.*

I, myself, find a roller coaster of these emotions. Sometimes daily! I try to prepare myself for anything and everything that the season can bring but some things you are just not able to prep for. Handling the situation is half the battle. I have a hard time with that part of feelings. Handling is hard! I tend to bottle things up, which is never a good thing. I like to vent to Gary, even if he has no idea what I am talking about. I cry. Some days that is all you need, a good cry!

How do you feel during this season? Is there a specific way you handle situations or feelings?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Seasons Greetings

We had our annual Christmas Party with friends yesterday. Each year the kids have a grab bag, we order pizza, do a craft and just chat! We always have a great time.

We mixed it up a bit this year because our little town's light up night was also the same evening. Most years it is freezing and we end up not going. However, yesterday was in the 50s so we decided to start the night off there. We met up with everyone. Watched the parade. Saw the tree light up and then left to go to our friends.

It is a tiny short parade that lasts about 5 minutes. We are pretty small town but I would not change that for anything!  After the parade, the kids played on our towns space ship. Here's Logan trying not to slide off!

After we got to our friend, Ambers, the kids ran off and played. We snacked on all the deliciousness and chatted up a storm. The sweet toddler girls stayed close to the mommys for a bit then branched out and went to our friends. Ahhh free laps ;)

Before our pizza dinner, the kids did their gift exchange. We always go from youngest to oldest. Poor teen and tween have to be patient. (not an easy thing to do when gifts are involved)

We always attempt to get a group shot before the kids run off. It usually fails miserably. I could not even get all the kids in the shot because I was using my new 50mm.

Poor Lily is missing and you can only see Logan's eyes. Ha!

I love the traditions that we have started with our friends. Do you have traditions within your groups?