Tuesday, February 23, 2016

New Carseats Anyone?

Ho Okey.... I heard from the insurance adjuster about the good ole van... nearly $4500 later hopefully we will be reunited by the end of next week. A bunch of stuff had to be replaced like the hood and the grill and some super expensive sensor thingy.

Any other questions?

Yes, what about the 4 carseats that were in the car?

Oh you can go ahead and replace them with something comparable and just bring me the old seats and the receipt and I'll get the reimbursement going.


You know I have $800-$1000 worth of carseats?


Two Britaxes and a 7 week old Diono plus the Baby Trend infant carrier.

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For Christmas we got M a carseat because really she didn't need anything toy related so we splurged on a PURPLE Diono carseat for her because she kinda legit needed a new seat. I got the Diono Radian because they are touted as seats that can fit 3 across the third row.

There's a bunch of blogs/sites that have done 3 carseats cross posts - google it for yourself.

However with the two Britaxes in the third row - which are great seats and the click-tights are super easy to install - getting the Diono back there just wasn't happening - but I also didn't really give it a fair shake either. Apparently installing with the seatbelt as opposed to LATCH will spare a few precious inches.

I've been toying with the idea of putting the girls in the back so that will free up a spot in the van for carrying one person around. But I'm hesitant because that's a lot of energy in one row.

My thought is to get 3 Diono seats so that I'll at least have the option. I think I can get either the Radian or the Rainer carseats and be safe. There is this awesome orange Pacifica that R liked but the color got bad reviews and the Pacifica didn't get good booster reviews so no orange carseat for now. Also E FREAKED when I told her we'd have to replace her carseat but then she announced she wants a blue one. I'm thinking I can get away with Radians or Rainers - even though the Radians are the only ones depicted as 3 across (Rainers are 'space savers').

Also, Dionos have an insanely long lifetime.

I need to get another bucket infant carrier for A. I have always loved the Baby Trend for the triangular handle - which is nice for lugging it around. I'll probably end up with another Baby Trend because we have the stroller.

I shall keep you posted

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Monday, February 22, 2016

7 Quick Takes - Late Marti Gras, St. Valentines, Van Crashes

This week has been an interesting week to say the least!

--- 1 ---

So Lent started and then we had Marti Gras... 

Better late than never but you can blame the Superbowl on that schedule conflict

King Cake anyone? 

E has been talking about the baby in the King Cake for awhile because a couple years ago she got it and thought it was awesome. (If you get the baby you have to bring the cake to next year's party)

Cupcakes, oranges and milk

The girls got to pick which color they wanted their slice of cake out of. I think E picked yellow and R wanted green. They dug through their pieces to see if the baby was in their piece

I was eating my piece and realized I ended up with the baby!

Overheard and announced for many to hear...

R - Mama got the baby because there's a baby in her tummy?


Lee was sick so he didn't come which meant I didn't have loads of free hands to hold A so he got sent to bed early

Taking pics with them is comical


After Fat Saturday I went running...

In the freezing freezing cold. I was running 5-7 miles on Sundays to get ready for the half marathon in April but the previous Sunday it was raining and cold so I passed. I only ran 3 miles and it was a cold 3 miles. I think today its supposed to be in the 60s so I am hopeful... I have got to run at least 10 miles once to make sure I'm up for the 13.1 - Maybe even 12.5 if A is behaving. Which makes me remember I've got to get him using a sip cup or bottle before April!

NB - I did go 7.5 miles plus practiced for the Rocket Mile with E and R (E called R a cheater because she didn't go all the way up the hill and let me tell you how that went over). Plus E informed me that it looked like I had another baby in my tummy - sooooo I hope I cleared up for her that she really ought not point that out unless she KNOWS there's actually baby because that might just motivate me (and anyone else she's told) to do a hundred million sit ups a day!


Homemade Valentines are the best

Then we celebrated (st) valentines day on Sunday. With all the sugary mess that was consumed and came home from the school parties we steered clear of giving candy and since we have an EXCESSIVE amount of stuffed animals and baby dolls here we didn't 'do' those either. We gave them a trip out with each of us (parents). Lee is taking E to a ballet and R to a baseball game and M out somewhere - probably dinner or lunch. I'm taking them to get donuts or something simple but fun they can cash in on : ) 

How do you read with more than 2 kids?

I like reading on the couch or in bed with the kids but seriously having three who want to look at the pics makes for a juggling act of who is sitting where and I-can't-see and lobbying for more space and My-books-first. I need some sort of 180 degree chair that has a drop in seat for me and seating above so everyone can see and have a spot
The big girls moved last week... 

Bed and all

Upstairs... Free from M's nightly chatter. Though I am quite convinced M and E together was the issue. Anyhow, R upgraded bed and their room got a fresh coat of paints. I LOVE these colors because the room is so them - the bedding doesn't 100% match but I really don't care. I've got this neat Dr. Seuss puzzle we are going to put together, glue and frame for the room. Other than the bed - which was my best snag on Craigslist to date - there is very little up there. Their Legos are right down the hall and really they don't need to drag a bunch of their stuff up there only to junk up another room. Even books have been kept to a minimum... Plus I still have dibs on their closet for kids clothes which is probably a good thing because the closet in M's room drives me nuts because there's animals and babies and books and Legos and MagnaTiles everywhere and as soon as I semi-organize the books they are back down on the floor. 


When Lee moved the bed upstairs he unearthed a mountain of treasures from behind the bed...

Including E's prized pink calculator from a few years ago that M is trying to make her own by snatching it from the counter and hiding it where no one can find it


Ahhh... and the craziest part of the week...

Someone running a stop sign and getting in a wreck with me/us. PEOPLE GET OFF YOUR BLEEPING PHONES. (Myself included) This girl just had the phone to her ear (I saw the wreck coming - honking and slamming on brakes made things way not as bad) and I pretty much never want to touch my phone again in the car if I'm driving. Side note - I someone emailing (or texting) while driving in terrible rush hour traffic in Raleigh-wood. WHAT A FOOL.

Anyways, R, M and A were with me because Lee had taken E to school since he was serving a Mass. Thank goodness E wasn't in the car because she probably would have LOST IT. I don't think the girls understood what happened. A trooper pulled up to the accident before I even got through on 911. R was crying about being late for school. M was laughing about how she just pee-peed in her pull-up (on the FIRST DAY I sent her to school in undies) but she was lying so it was okay. A was screaming because he was tired. The cop asks me if there is anyone who is going to come and help me with the kids and I tell him 'Nope'. Because when you're in an accident at 7:55 and Mass starts at 8 you probably won't hear from you husband for at least another hour


The other driver was super nice an apologetic. There were several people - neighbors, preschool moms etc etc - who stopped to see if we needed help (hello small town). But really it wasn't terrible - it could have been way worse.

But my seatbelt was locked up and the airbag sensors were blinking so let's play the game of - can you find a rental minivan? Yeah not so easy in a smaller town and no, nice Rental Company lady I don't need a SUV with a third row that will 'just get me up and going' because moving 4 carseats around is super annoying and I'm only doing it once

Four kids treasure is one mama's trash! Gracious the van was totally trashed. I found socks and shoes and stickers and enough crumbs to feed an entire ant colony. 

Can you spot all 5 carseats? - The booster (for Lee's car) M's purple is hidden under that, R's pink, A's infant bucket base, and E's mammoth zebra print that likely weighs more than her

So praise the Lord no one was hurt because moving four carseats is way easier than visiting four kids in the hospital. Now we watch and wait for the van to be put back together again and see if the insurance company will be replacing all four of these carseats - I'll keep you posted because replacing these things will be in the $800-$1000 range - easy. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

7QTs - Valentines Day, Lentem Grumblings, and Parties

Good 'ole  Lent... 


--- 1 ---

Its Lent and I'm not on Facebook and I didn't tell anyone I'd not be logging on so hopefully nothing terribly pressing is on there. I have been on Lee's account just to catch a glimpse of some happenings (new babies etc etc) but honestly I can say I don't miss the TIME SUCKING aspect of FB. So maybe FB and I will break up permanently.

Also, the first week of Lent came with lots of grumbling from the masses (hey kids, you are Catholic so you to we say - OFFER IT UP!) - Papa and E has Ash Wednesday Mass(es), then Presanctified Liturgy for everyone on Thursday (which is a true test of my sanity - OFFER IT UP MOM!) and then Fish Fry and Stations on Friday (but we skipped that this week because it was Valentines Day) BUT the grumbling has already begun regarding PSL and SotC  - TWO NIGHTS IN A ROW plus church on Sunday. Way more to church than just Sundays I tell you.

Anyhow we shall see how things shake out this Lent regarding weekday services - honestly I am trembling at the thought of them but one day it will all be worth it. 


So Lee and I went out for Valentines Day:

Except not...

Our third wheel was along for the ride. Fortunately he behaved and slept the entire time. Yes I'd love to get him started back on a bottle or even a sippy cup but 1. its too easy to just nurse him and 2. pumping is for the birds and I really don't want to start that back again

Well enough about A. Because I went to dinner with this guy. Actually we weren't just celebrating (St.) Valentines Day. It was the 11th anniversary of us meeting for the first time - to the liturgical day (#catholicnerds) - the first Friday of Lent. The food was great. The service was terrible - almost to the point of it being comical - utensils are generally useful upon serving food. 


These moments...

E trying to teach A how to roll over. These are moments I live for. 

Oh also, this guy turned 4 months old?!?!

So what's the life of this boy like? Eating. Smelling like a stinky boy. Sleeping pretty great at night. Napping pretty hit-or-miss during the day which makes taking him to work tough at times. I think he is way interested in eating real food but I'm going to keep on holding out on that. He may or may not have reflux or something that I eat makes him spit up profusely - I think it might be dairy but I hope it isn't dairy. 

This girl had a party filled week... 

Girl and her birthday flowers!

At her Valentines Day party... That didn't get snowed out. There was a snow day (FOR NO REASON IN THE WORLD) on Friday for the school system here but fortunately E's school set its own schedule so.... she still had her party which she insisted Papa AND Jibbe come to. 


M is definitely in the cra-zay two year old mode...

She is insanely cute and super mischievous 

And into everything


Speaking of crazy...

No video embedded. But this freaking bird is insane. Actually there are at least two or three. They fly to the window and peck on the glass. And sit there and tap, tap, tap the glass. All the windows in the back. Starting to get a little weird and the birds have left their marks. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Let's Party Like It's Lent

Actually Lent started Sunday night around these (Eastern Catholic) parts but since today kicks off Lent (hi, Ash Wednesday) BUT it was R's actual birthday so we celebrated : )

One year away from a full hand of years!

Waffles for breakfast... because that's what she wanted

It is way better than last year's debacle involving baking SODA. Though I did call Lee to find out why the waffle iron was oozing with butter... SO. MUCH. BUTTER. Thank you recipe that calls for anywhere between a half stick and two sticks?!?!?!

 Well the waffles were darn good so whatever. 

The sisters... 

Picture taking has never been more difficult


R has been asking about turning four for weeks. Every time we would talk about her birthday and tell her it was a few weeks away she'd always follow it with - It my birthday tomorrow? and then get very upset and cry when we told her it was not in fact tomorrow. 

She took some popcorn, cookies and juice boxes for snack at school and then we had round 2 of cake and presents after dinner (we had her birthday party on Saturday with friends and family). 

She really appreciated her cards and presents and was quite excited by them. 

Her expression in this one sums up the night

I had to include this picture because E made R 2 cards and one envelope (it looks like a mailbox) and E used all her Hello Kitty stickers in the process : ) 

Happy Birthday sweet R. 

You are such a caring and happy girl. You are stuck in the middle of two sisters who you love and you can easily swing playing big things with E or playing little things with M. You LOVE LOVE LOVE to play with Legos (yes the little ones). You spend many afternoons playing house or holding court with all your little people. Books and Legos were the only thing you asked for your birthday (and you made out like a bandit). You are very observant - you woke up this morning and saw A laying on the floor and said, "mama, he is so beautiful." You love looking at books. You can be very reserved until EVERYTHING comes tumbling out in an emotional whirlwind. You like to sing especially songs from Frozen. Anna and Elsa are your favorites. You usually get stuck being Anna when E is around but you don't mind (Anna is the hero in the story, right?). My favorite memory from this year was you finishing the Rocket Mile. I signed up you just so you'd have a number and shirt like E but my hopes for you finishing were next to nothing. You proved me wrong. So wrong. When you crossed that finish line after we chatted it up almost 19 minutes, I could not have been prouder of you. You are such a joy my not-so-little R and we cannot wait to see what you have up your sleeve this year!

Friday, February 5, 2016

7QTs - Turtle Shells, Pinkalicious, Baby A

Things, things, things... 


--- 1 ---

Last week at school there was dress like your favorite book character day. First E wanted to be Elsa but I totally pulled the mom-veto-card because Elsa was in a movie first and then had 501 books written about her so....

So Pinkalicious it was. 

Almost too easy.. Pink dress, pink sweater, pink pigtails. 

But she really does like Pinkalicious. Proof - last night she was reading Cupcake Calamity for AR (because she wanted to read 2 AR books) and she was so tired and it was pain staking I tell you. She would not put the book down and give in to being exhausted. After 30 minutes, she succeeded in making it through the one book which I applaud her but man, reading with a determined, tired person is tough. 

R refused to be in the pic


Later that evening we had family reading night which was the culmination celebration of the schools Read-A-Thon program...

There was lots of this going on...

Papa has come into his own as a reader as adult - maybe making up for his not-so-love for reading as a kid. So he read ALOT with the girls. He read them Paddle to the Sea in one sitting - 75 minutes later I cannot say I'd recommend that long of a book for 3 and 5 yr olds. 

A's outfit for reading night

Side note, the kids who won the read-a-thon in the fourth or fifth grade read for over 1600 minutes! That's over 24 hours of reading in a week!!!


Also, Family Reading Night just happened to take place during the week of the book fair and occurred in the same place where the book fair was set up... Coincidental? 

Anyhow, after hearing about how we needed the nail wraps???? (hello BOOK FAIR, not beauty salon) and Play-Doh - yeah we only have 30 cans of that at home, we browsed the BOOK fair. We got Aqualicious (because Pinkalicious) and a Fancy Nancy book plus this book 'The Day the Crayons Came Home' - honestly I'm not a fan. Maybe I was in the wrong mood reading it because it just seemed totally random and bizarre.

Also, while I'm in the children's book critiquing mode - How is it that the Pinkalicious I Can Read Books are Level One and the Easy Readers Disney Princesses are Level Two and the princess books have way fewer words per page (see #1 as to why I might be at all frustrated).

Also, all these Easy Readers and I Can Read Books don't do justice to the really good children's books that are out there like the NORMAL Berenstain Bears books, Francis, Corduroy, Dr. Seuss. Anyways I digress.  

In totally random news, I need to know how to preserve a turtle shell...

Because Uncle Kev dug up the one he found last year and brought it by our casa. When I was in Guatemala I remember seeing a guy who had one in tact and well preserved. This one is missing the bottom part and is already funkified a bit decayed but I have high hopes of keeping it.


This boy... 

Not taking a bottle but sure is darn cute!


We had some random nice weather which meant the roller skates were coming out. 

E is so determined to skate. I have GOT to get her some wrist guards. R had a fun time with them but wasn't so sure about going in the street. 


I happened to think this is scary and hilarious at the same time:

E is sorting her sight words into piles by list (just to be sure they are still there). She finished her sight words for the year a few weeks ago (praise the Lord because sight words + spelling words = no thanks). Hilarious? because that's what she chose to do after school one day during her free time. Scary? because I would have done the EXACT same thing and I totally wanted to organize them with her but I resisted and let her figure out the piles and matching them up by the color coded list number