Friday, March 30, 2012

Spring Break 2012!

 Spring Break 2012!  We used the first half of the week to speed down I5 and spend some time with Tia Lina and Uncle Mark in Orange County. We got some awesome quality time with cousin Muira. She and Serin are only 6 days apart. Practically twinsies.

Caught red-handed eating Cheerios from Muira's car seat.

We made a quick stop through Santa Ana to see my great Aunt.
And the most epic part of our trip was...the Happiest Place on Earth!
Finn and Selah were Disneyland rookies! And they were sooooo excited! 
Holding their tickets. They're energy was almost electric as we waited in line!
Finn looked like this most of the day - glued to the map.  He was a great guide.

That super high pony tail on top of Selah's head was by design. We weren't sure if she was tall enough to go on some of the same rides as Finn. We needed to give her a little edge. ;-)  It worked! We are so sneaky.

We met Ariel pretty early on. The kids were sort of awe-struck They sort of didn't know what to do with themselves. They just stood there staring.  It was funny.

We almost didn't venture over to the...I don't remember what it was called. There was a big stage and lots of flowers and greenery...looked like Sherwood Forest or something. Anyway, we almost didn't go in, but on our way out of the park I suggested that we check it out because we hadn't done very many princessy things for Selah's sake. As we entered the arena there were only a few kids and parents there and lots of space to run and dance around. Then I saw this purple princess-type character (I still don't recognize her from anything.....Gosh I hope she actually worked for Disney!)  just standing in the corner alone watching the kids. She caught Selah's eye. Selah started to tiptoe dancing her way over...a little unsure. Then the princess opened her arms up for a big hug invitation. It was the cutest little interaction. Then, determined to be more congenial with THIS princess, Selah ran over, stopped half way, and demonstrated a little full turn dance move for the purple lady. Trying to show the princess a thing or two I guess. Maybe she was auditioning to be a cast member. They chatted, compared sparkles and did a twinsie photo. It totally made Selah's day.

Speaking of princesses, at the end of the day we scooped up this little one who greeted us with this cute smile. She was with Tia Lina all day - the longest I had ever left her! (THANK YOU LINA!!). Disneyland would have been a whole different experience with a baby in tow.
This is Selah 3 minutes after getting in the car. Not kidding.

After our goodbyes to Mark and Lina we hopped right on the I5 for a long drive home, straight from Disneyland. We don't mind the night drives, we even look forward to it. Our secret is the always weird and pretty entertaining AM radio show Coast to Coast with George Nory. If you like hearing about crop circles, vampires and conspiracy theories, (or at least like to laugh at the crazy callers who talk about them) then tune in from 9pm-2am. It gets us through all those long drives to SB.

I'll end this post with a little clip of Selahbob enjoying some drumming entertainment at DL. Keep watching and you'll see her in all her dancing glory.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Full house

I have a new job! Sort of.  It's my same mom-job, plus 3 more kids! I always knew I'd like being a mom, but I never expected to be doing this much childcare, and enjoying it! My sister just started doing some accounting part time, and she hired ME as her childcare. So twice a week now, my house is super full. And when I drive anywhere with all 6 kids I just look like a crazy person.

We have a good time. On the days that I have all the kids, I find that I'm more organized, believe it or not. I may not get as many things crossed off my own to do list, but I'm way more intentional with the kids. I have organized snack times and play times and craft times and clean-up times and nap and movie times. I'm kind of a better mom on those days. ;-)  It's all about damage-control really.

The two little ones are starting to interact with each other more now. Taylor and Serin are 3 1/2 months apart.
bell bottoms baby.
 Taylor is so stinkin cute. And she has BIG personality! I really enjoy having her.

Finn's at school most of the day, so that leaves Selah to play with Eli and Wyatt. They do well together. They like to play outside a lot together, and they also all like some art time, so I've been trying to be more creative in that department. The other day we made my favorite new super easy "spy binoculars"craft from old paper-towel rolls. There wasn't much art involved in this, but it was a nice day outside, so they got to explore outside with them. They spied on our neighbors.

When Finn gets dropped off in the afternoon everyone usually gets a second wind. This typically involves indoor wrestling, jumping on the tramp or leaping over furniture.

I need to remind myself that this time is so precious, with most of these kids not in school yet. I hope they always remember how much fun they have with each other. Nate often talks about growing up so close with his cousins. I'm glad my kids have that too. And I'm glad I'm there to enjoy it with them.

Whoa! Gotta catch up.

I know. It's been a while. Nate and I were just talking about how lame I've been about updating this blog. (He didn't call me lame. I did.) I just put the pieces together on why I seem to never have time anymore. I used to be such a night owl, and that's my blog time (as well as my Hulu time) However, shortly after Finn's birthday I joined a swim challenge at the gym which had me getting up before 5am a few days a week with some friends to do laps. I know. It sounds nuts. I'm not even a swimmer really. I take that back. I am now! And then that ended and was replaced with a team challenge with 4 other friends to swim, bike, run, row, do group ex classes, etc. We're mostly all moms, so squeezing in time in the middle of the day is hard. So we get out there and work out before our husbands head to work. Nate leaves at 6:30's an early morning. And I dream feed the baby at 4:45 so she won't be a burden to Nate in the morning. Then my mama-friends and I head to the gym around 5am, work out and check off little boxes on a chart that say how badass we are. ;-) We're called the Ms. Fits. (aren't we clever?) Yes, it's flippin early. But I find that on those days, my head is clear, my body feels good and I'm more prepared for my busy day. The problem lies when I want to stay up past 9 that night. I turn into a pumpkin.

Anyhoo.... That's why the ol' family blog still thinks it's in January. But today I'm determined to fix that. So here's a quick catch-up of some stuff I meant to post since then but didn't. The Cliff's Notes version.

100th day of school.
All the kids dress up like old people.

Valentine's Day!
Selah and I made a special paella dinner for the boys. And Nate and Finn sang us girls a song (Love you Forever by the Beatles.) It was absolutely adorable. Finn took it so seriously. I'll never forget how he stood there next to Nate and his guitar, hands to his side, singing in his sweet perfectly in-tune falsetto voice "who knows how long I've loved know I always will....." I wish I had recorded it, but sometimes you just have to be present in the moment and put the camera down. Oh, and Serin didn't do anything for anybody. So selfish. ;-)

This is supposed to be a heart. It was their idea, but I tried to help with the execution. 

St. Patty's Day
Some of the Monley clan came over for some corn beef and cabbage, some Irish Whiskey and a decent rendition of "Oh Danny Boy". 

Serin and the trips.

With the twins and the triplets and Serin there were 6 Irish babies. We failed to get one big green baby picture this time. But it was so fun having so many little ones lying/crawling/walking around.

The fighting Irish!

Ok. Now we're currant. Whew.