Friday, January 31, 2020

7 Quick Takes - 5th children, Charleston, Polka Dots

Linking up with Kelly ... first quick takes of 2020 and fourth post of January


Last week Lee, me and J went to Charleston for a work trip for me. It was a quick trip but a nice little getaway. We got bumped up to the concierge floor and the She-crab soup that was available on Monday afternoon was insane. INSANE

G&G and Jibbe held down the fort with kids so couldn't have done it without them!


Before Charleston was the second (and last) home swim meet of the season 

It was a pretty wild day that involved running 10 miles, going to the swim meet and doing a drive-by at the house to get Papa and the non-swimmers to go to church. Busy times. But the girls had fun at the meet and we won't be going to another one until March so it was definitely worth it. J was a good little 'running' companion as we worked the meet. 


This week was Catholic Schools Week

We love our school and it was probably 5 years ago that there was so much anxiety over schooling decisions and I really do believe we are in the best place for our family - which is the most important thing for every family. This day was polka dot day and E and M go do-a-dotted and R opted for a polka dot bow. 


Preschool mornings...

A, M and J and me have a strange window between big school drop off and preschool start. During the warmer weather we usually run later(ish) because I'm usually talking but during the winter that's not much of an option sooooo... we have more time to kill and the most optimal parking spots at preschool are taken (after nine years I still don't have my own assigned parking spot - this week marks our family's nine year anniversary! - all the gasps!!!!!!!) so we started going to the (retention) pond just to get out and stretch our legs and put on coats and collect flowers and scream at the school buses passing. It reminds me of things I would do with fewer kids so I'm glad we are being afforded the (cold) opportunities now. The kids look forward to 'seeing the water' every day!


Last Friday the big girls and J and me went to Uncle Kev and Nicole's engagement party

It was loads of fun with lots of food and a huge Jenga game. September or bust


J's still enjoying the tree and the lights. 


I took all the ornaments off it last week so now it is just tree and lights which is a personal favorite of mine. I guess we'll take the tree down this weekend because it is Candlemas and February. The tree has had a great run and I can still smell it at times. Definitely ready for a break from it though and ready for all the Christmas boxes to get back into storage. 

Speaking of storage, we had plans drawn up for 'want' plans to our house. Turns out the 'want' plans are more than we paid for our house so we are bummed. But there's nothing wrong with not getting exactly what you want. Lee convinced me to just go see what is out there even though I have no intention of moving. Last week we walked through two houses, one I would definitely move for but the price is in the clouds expensive and the other house was a mess. There were at least 7-10 different surface types/colors on the floors and countertops. We were basically dared to put in an offer on the house I'd move for so we'll see if we can just get the door slammed in our faces on that and put an end to it. 


Sweet baby J!

I love him so so so much. He's four months old and quite the chatter and sleeper. He hates having any form of blanket on his legs at night which does not work well for me because I'm usually cold. His siblings adore him. 

And speaking of siblings... how about kid number five. Talked to two moms today who said their kid number five is a firecracker and wild card and pushes all the parenting buttons we aren't used to. Definitely glad I'm not the only one who is kept on my toes with their fifth kid and definitely appreciate the preschool village of moms who can commiserate relate. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

2019 Thoughts...

Nearly a month into 2020, I've had some time to reflect on last year and it highs and lows and many, many happenings in between.

2019 started with a shoulda been surprise trip to Costa Rica for the kids except some of them knew about it which only slightly annoyed me. They still talk about going while it was an insane amount of work to make it happen hearing them talk about it definitely validates the effort.

Home for less than 10 days from CR, I went to Chile for 10 days for work-ish trip. That was amazingly great and amazingly hard leaving the kids for that long.

February kicked off my Valentine's Day gifts to the kids which was a TRUE surprise outing with me. My pick on everything - though I did have to tell E we were going skiing because she hurt her arm at school and I needed to know just how serious it was. I loved the one-on-one time with them and picking something fun I knew they'd love. A is desperate to go back to Monster Jam but I am not so we'll see who wins out.

March started with Lee getting the flu and a canceled trip to China and huge PRAISE that Lee was the one and only flu victim in the house by God's grace. The girls went on an overnight AHG trip and Lee cooked up a storm for the St Patrick's Day dance at school.

April was a mix of Pascha, school, soccer, swimming and began what has been the longest pool season (aka Papa working Monday-Saturday) to date. M swam with the other big girls at the Y which proved to give her a great start for summer season.

May is month I don't complain about. It is hands down crazy and I have just given into the end-of-year everythings plus soccer plus Lee's crazy hours for work. I surrender to the crazy and choose to find the joys in it instead of wish the whole month would hurry up and be over.

We transitioned to summer in June with Nash Rec opening and school being OUT. There were camps, and swimming and lots of popsicles at the pool.

July brought the beach trip with my family, the fourth of July spent here with the fireworks getting RAINED out which was the whole point of us leaving the beach when we did. There was lots more swimming and a sleep-away camp for E and lice - which was awful and to top that off I a work trip so I left our (amazing) summer sitter and (an insanely) great friend to nit pick the girls hair while I was gone. That was just crazy. To top everything off when I got back the lawn guys dinged a rock into a van window and we had a rental (non-church-van) for two weeks. #foreverchurchvan

August started out rough and tough - with the never-ending pool season and all the lice and window drama, it was nice to know the routine of the school year was near as was the birth of baby #6. We survived the summer pregnant and I knew once we'd need to get into our groove before baby came. I think someone got a tooth pulled this month, several cavities were filled and that just added to the NEVER ending weekly doctor and dentist and OB visits that seemed to be taking over my life but little did I know...

September came with swimming and soccer and choir for E and people settling into school life. All was well until A had the abscess on his leg which tallied up 6 days straight at medical facilities - including the abscess drainage which drainage is a total misnomer and was more like let's cut open your leg and squeeze a really big pimple. Fun times at 39 weeks and 6 days pregnant. J's arrival was such a welcome ending to the crazy of the month. Honestly the birth was easy compared to the week leading up to it.

October. October was like July deja-vu in some ways for a few reasons. Lice and broken windows. In the third week of J's life I found lice in C's hair and then all hell broke loose when someone found lice in my hair. Did you know there are professional nitpickers? Because there are and they will come to your house and nitpick your hair - for a fee of course - but it was definitely worth the thousands of pennies I paid. Everyone in the house was oiled, combed and showered and hair dried over the course of 3 weeks because C and I had it. It was one of the most arduous things I have done. But I really tried to remember parents that I know/knew of who had or were in the process of their kids going through cancer treatments and how they most certainly would have loved to have been nitpicking their child's hair rather than watching in fall out. #perspective

November actually brought the broken window when I had to take J to get his tongue lasered in Chapel Hill. His posterior tongue tie was causing an insane amount of pain when he nursed - maybe if I hadn't done this before I wouldn't have known better but I also probably would have quit nursing because it was stupid painful. The whole diagnosis and getting that organized was an act of congress and then I had to put my mama foot down and say - this is how we are doing it because you aren't taking my 4 week old into the OR to fix his tongue tie. I had that conversation on the day the lice appeared so I was probably in a more elevated emotional state than normal. Anyhow, the lasering was great, easy and quick - it just took an 1.5 hr long ride there AND back to get it done and on the way back a big old rock dinged windshield of the van - so broken might be an overstatement but there is a very noticeable ding in the windshield despite Safelite filling it. Thy guy who came was like, there is a less than 5% chance that this could make your whole windshield crack and I told him with the summer I had had, I would probably bank on an explosion - which it didn't : )

December brought Advent and Christmas and all their respective glories. We had a good Advent. I think some of the action/Advent giving back activities were not as defined or well thought out as I would have liked as they had been in years past but I guess having a baby around changes things. After Christmas we hunkered down with A and M and their lack of tonsils which was a barrel of monkeys but not as terrible as it could have been.

Honestly, 2019 was a tough but fun year. There were some so many happy times - welcoming another baby boy, Costa Rica, Chile, V-day trips, coaching a ton of soccer games, spending hours at Nash Rec and nearly conquering a full day there - all so great. But I would be remiss to say there were some pretty low lows - I could do a post on how lice is a modern day plague. The good times will always outshine the tough times and thank the Lord for family and friends to see us through.

Friday, January 10, 2020

7QTs - First Full Week of 2020

Linking up with Kelly ... the first week back


Everyone seems to have survived the first week back at school without much ado. I really did like the schedule we had going over break... me go into work early, come home for lunch, Lee go out and do stuff, quiet-ish nights at home. That's all gone to pot with school starting back but ce la vi. 


The Wizard of Oz showed up in pajama form... 

Not be confused with this same crowd

Swapping the Wicked Witch for the Great and Powerful Oz and you basically have the same crew. 

There was numerous questions as to what and why J was... the tin man for Halloween. I mean clearly Dorothy and her crew would be absolutely incomplete without the tin man and he even has a tin man-ish hat on. 


Work has been super busy and after 10.5 years I'm finally moving on up to my own office - which is weird on a ton of levels but probably first and foremost that I have been working for a company for that long. Decorating updates to follow... maybe, maybe - I've got a bunch of soccer plaques that are in my current space plus my diploma is collecting dust at the house so thinking about getting that up in the office? 


Speaking of decor, Lee graciously hung/rehung pics in the family room (maybe because he got tired of me asking or maybe he wanted to get the new frame off the kitchen counter- either way it got done). I wish I had a before and after of tonight but here is the original before and after.... 

We had been in our house for five years before any pics were hung on this wall and the MAIN reason behind hanging photos was we hosted a Christmas party (for a small handful of adults) #adulting ... nothing like a deadline to make you get stuff done 

A decorator helped put my vision of the photo wall/collage into action because I cannot think outside the box and while I love a photo wall my OCD couldn't get past the different size frames and stuff. The wall has served us well over the last two years as I try to change out the big frames with a winter/summer individual pic of the kids and the smaller frames get freshened up about once a year. Well along came another Kibbe baby so we HAD to get another big frame up and filled. 

I'll see about snapping a pic of the new layout when I can get some natural light. 


I've got high hopes for putting up a few pics in the master bedroom using some bigger frames we got as wedding gifts and never survived the move and getting rehung in our house - which was nearly 8 years ago. I need one more non-photo piece to go with them so maybe once Christmas credit card bill shock is over then I'll snag what I'm eyeing. Also, I'm on the look out for lamps for the master bedroom. I got two lamps for the entry way a few years ago at a winter sale locally and I ADORE the lamps. So weird, I never knew I could like lamps that much. #iamold


On tap for the weekend is skipping a swim meet - but don't worry there's one next weekend. J is getting baptized/chrismated/communicated. Yay Chrism! A has been asking when J is going to 'get blessed' so it is finally here. I've got to get a 10 mile run in as on a 12/31/19 whim I decided to run in a 1/2 marathon at the end of February. A whim might be a bit of a lie but a 2020 price increase helped my cause. I'd been looking for a 1/2 marathon to run that was close and convenient time wise and this Raleigh 1/2 marathon literally came into my inbox on 12/31 and I had worked up to 7.5 mile runs in December so I just ran with it... more on that I'm sure. 


E insisted that we stay up until midnight on New Years and of course the big girls were all in on it too.

There was some intense train matches that coupled with tired siblings turned into tearful train matches. We made it down to the double fours before we called it quits. E wanted to watch the ball drop in NYC but I think the acorn in Raleigh would have been better - the local coverage of the acorn was better so maybe we'll do split screen next year? 

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Christmas 2019

It wouldn't be Christmas without the annual Christmas card... 

The outtakes are usually wildly hilarious to me. The threats of doing retakes until mom is happy are legit. 

But generally produce at least one pic that is worthy of being sent. This year we rushed and did them one warm-ish afternoon. Fear not J's feet aren't cold. I got their dresses last year after Christmas and I actually just pulled the trigger on next year's (later this year's) dress this morning. It is probably one of the better deals I've gotten on 'the next year's Christmas dress'. 

Other Christmas-ish things involved shopping. The kids exchanged names for secret sibling - which is always a HUGE hit (and helps keep gifts semi-under control). E was gunning for J big time and she drew his name and I promise I didn't rig it that way. E went shopping with me for other stuff - like the laundry basket (that contained Chika Boom Boom) for C. She looked at me like I had 2 heads when I told her that's what she was getting but then she got on board and decided this white one was 'cute' - that made my day. I mean what else does a 2 year out with 3 older sisters possibly need? A basket to tote around and sit and if it breaks mom doesn't care. 

Then there was the tree. We always make it interesting by going to the farmer's market the weekend before Christmas. Lee proclaimed it one of his least favorite activities but the kids and I adore it. It is a hunt and a challenge to find the BEST tree and not pay a zillion million dollars. 

We went to one of the three places still open and they were selling all the tree for $35 except for the three big ones that were left. So we walked out with this 12 ft tree which was cut down to 7.5 ft and has been thristily taking up water ever since and not dropping many needles. 

It was one of our better finds for sure and it smells great!

I think I put lights on it (with A's help) on 12/23. I wish we could just only put lights on but alas the kids love the ornaments and we decorated the tree the morning of 12/26 before Christmas with the Kibbes. I do love waking up and turning on the tree and sitting in its glow. 

At swim practice Santa was pulled by her reindeer which was wildly funny to watch

Then we made it to Divine Liturgy on 12/24 and behavior was shockingly great. One of the dads helped corral C for me by stepping in her way every time she'd bolt for the back. After church we went to cousins house for some food and fun - so so great. Then we settled in at Grammy and Grandpa Joe's for the night. Packing up for eight is no joke but it was very much worth it. 

Somehow we held off the presents until almost 8. Then it was a pretty frenzied opening session so maybe we can work on that next year

We had to recreate waiting on the stairs because J wasn't up when we opened presents - which was perfectly fine for me. But they don't actually have to wait upstairs anyways 

Since that meant a quiet breakfast - which was the usual casseroles and mimosas - except I forgot the cranberry juice this year. Dinner was Lee's homemade lasagna - always a treat. 

Grandpa Joe and A and J matching before our walk. 

And I have just about zero pictures from Christmas with Lee's side of the fam because there was so much fun and people and playing going on. Though the highlights were playing with Wayne the dog and the ever famous mushroom and blue cheese sauce for the AMAZING beef that was cooked.