Saturday, December 27, 2014

Picture Day at Target

  I had to wait a bit before I could most thing because I wanted to use the new pictures we got from Target.

I belong to a group of high order multiple (HOM) moms.  We do a Christmas card exchange.  I LOVE the participating!  I have NEVER gotten SO many Christmas cards at one time! Ever!  Plus it so fun to see all the other families with multiples.

With members overseas we have to get the Christmas pictures done early.  We went and got some pictures done at the end of October.  It was still too hot in Phoenix and the pictures did not feel like Christmas pictures to me.

As I was checking my inbox I found a coupon for pictures at Target for the kids birthday. It was the week of Christmas so I made the appointment with the studio the day after Christmas.

We went to the portrait studio and the kids were in a good mood.  Just to show you how long I hold on to things... the sweater that Joseph is wearing is was Jerrin's, my oldest son who is now 22, and the blue velvet dress Margaret is wearing was Caitlin's (20 years old). I remember when they wore those pieces of clothing.  It brought back so many memories for me. I remember, in particular, the sweater and fitting it over Jerrin's hear when he was four.  The sweater is a 4T but when I put it on Joseph (who is 7 now) it fit great.   Jerrin had a large head at 4 and I remember having to pull the sweater over his head.  It was so tight he hated wearing it but he looked so nice!

The pictures, overall, came out so nice!  Margaret was a bit apprehensive at first but quickly warmed up.

 Sadly, I had showed her some pictures we had done at Portrait Innovations when she was three.  I showed her these pictures.  I asked her if she looked happy or sad.  She said sad.  So I asked her what was wrong.  I did not expect an answer.  This was four years ago at this point and I was not sure she remembered.  She told me that there were too many people.  Wow!  I was floored!  There were a TON of  people there and I looking back in retrospect I know she was experiencing a sensory meltdown.  I mean she was SCREAMING, pulling her hair, pinching and just in overall disarray.  I did not know why at the time.  I just thought she was tired.  Little did I know it was because there were too many people and noise.  I know now Margaret is very sensitive to noise and she can be pushed over the line with too much noise.

Here are our pictures from Target....

Friday, December 26, 2014

Moldy, Musty Day after Christmas!

The day after Christmas turned out to not be so much fun for mom and dad. I washed some clothes the day before Christmas Eve and went to put them in my drier and found it was not working. I bought the drier used about two years ago and it never seemed like a good drier but I was in need. I don't think this drier is repairable. We will need to get another drier. For right now I can wash clothes and John has been running to them to the laundry mat. It really helps to keep the cost down. Then the day after Christmas I went into the storage closet in the playroom to tidy stuff up and clean out some boxes.

The first thing I noticed was the door to the storage closet was stuck. When I wedged it open a moldy, musty smell hit my nose. I knew this was going to be bad. :( After opening the door all the way I could see mold growing on some of the items in the room. It was AWFUL! That storage room not only had a bunch of things in there including clothes I was storing for Joseph, baby items, some of the children's toys, and the kids costumes. There were about 30 plastic bins in there along with a bunch of cardboard boxes full of things. I filled up our trash can throwing things out. It made me said. I will admit I do have hoarding tendencies. I come by it honestly since my mother and her mother have major hoarding tendencies too. I got rid of several bags of children's clothes along with a lot of other things I have been hanging around. It's good to pare down though. It's just hard on me.

On the upside I found a box of some of the small children's clothes from my older children. This included a beautiful blue velvet dress with tulle and lovely sliver stitching that was Caitlin's when she was little. I also found a cute, soft sweater that Jerrin used to wear that was mostly red and looked very Christmas-like. I had set another appointment to get more photos taken for Christmas. We took some pictures early to put on Christmas cards. We participated in the Christmas card exchange for a high order multiple mom group. We had over 50 cards arrive with such lovely families. It is fun to see the cards! So I hired an amateur photographer to take our pictures. We got a few nice pictures from that but I wanted something that looked more Christmas like so I booked an appointment at Target on the Saturday after Christmas. I can't wait to get the pictures done!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas 2014

The Christmas holidays were a lot of fun. Santa was so good to the children this year. Santa's gifts were in special blue paper, with special tags, and had a jingle bell on them. Santa's gifts were awesome! Christmas was a group effort. With the presents John and I got along with money from my in-laws, my parents, a friend who brought over gifts, and the help of MOST (a group of high order multiple moms) the children had the best Christmas they have had in YEARS! Santa was very good and on target with the gifts he brought. One of the best gifts was an iPad mini. I am excited to get apps to help with therapy stuff for the children.

James was happy to get some great gifts including Snap Circuits and a furby. He is having fun with those. He is also enjoying the games he got from Santa like Life and Clue Jr. Margaret got several gifts that she loves including a furby, new bedspread, a pop-up playhouse, balance board and clothes. Joseph got several gifts he loves too. He got a piano that he is having a blast playing! He got a bubble timer. Visually Joseph is having a blast with it! He also loves his new backpack. It fits his little frame just right.

John and I did not get anything for ourselves. We figured we could get something later with tax refund money.  ALL money went to buying new toys and toys to be used for
therapy for the children. The poor kids were so starved for new toys and more age/developmental appropriate toys that the children kept forgetting to open their Christmas presents to open Christmas morning. It took us TWO hours for them to open all their gifts! They would open a gift and then they would get excited about the toy and would ask for us to open it. We would open the present and then they would start playing with it. I would have to remind them to come back to open another present. James and Margaret would literally say, "Oh yea, I forgot!" LOL It was VERY cute!

Christmas day and the next few days after that was nice because no one asked me for my phone. They were too busy to playing with their new toys. :)

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Happy 7th Birthday My Babies!

On Saturday my pumpkin s celebrated their 7th birthday.  I wanted to celebrate their birthday in a big way this year.  At least that was my intent.  Life has another way of working things out though.

I ordered a bouncy house for the children this year as a  surprise.  I had ordered the bouncy house right before Joseph broke his clavicle.  I thought I would be okay because his shoulder should heal right before their birthday.  Then, of course, poor Joseph falls again and hurts his should more on Thanksgiving Day but I was still holding out hope he would be okay for his birthday.

Two weeks before their birthday I placed an open invitation to people to attend the children;s birthday party.  This is a HUGE deal for me since I am always worried about Joseph catching some sort of respiratory illness and getting extremely ill.  I wanted the children to have a birthday they would remember this year.

I had several people tell me that they would come over.  The day before there was talk of a lot of rain.  I cancelled the bouncy house.  I reminded people online about the party the next day.  I was planning to make homemade play dough and we made two cakes to make sure we would have enough.  We made a chocolate cake for the children.  It was what they requested.  We also make a spice cake to make sure plenty of cake was on hand.

I started to get people saying they would not be able to come.  They had plans that changed, their kids were sick (which I did appreciate they did not come over!), and some never got back to me.  On the day of their birthday no one showed up.  We had the respite worker come over.  She brought her son.  They has a nice time playing with her son.  John and I decided to leave and head to a Goodwill across town where they are suppose to have nice clothes.

We took off and one of the moms asked about coming over but we had left the house all ready.  We ran into a HUGE storm heading to the Goodwill.  While there we found clothes to be on sale.  They did have nice clothes.  Not much in the way of pants but I found shirts for James, shirts, leggings and dresses for Margaret and Joseph did not really need anything since he wears James's hand-me-downs.  We also got some board games and books.  We used the clothes, books, and games as a new tradition this year.  Normally they get stuff for wither their birthday or Christmas since they are so close together.  This year we decided to give them each a small present every night between their birthday to Christmas.  They either got some clothes, a book or a game.  The kids are loving the new tradition of our version of the 12 days of Christmas!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Kidisms and a Christmas Craft

My children are often a source of amusement for me.  Margaret is particularly funny because of how she interprets things. A few examples are...
Croutons she calls toast bites,
A comb has teeth and therefore bites the knots in her hair when I comb it,
and her stuffed animals become real things that need help, care and comfort.

Margaret lines up her Hello Kitties and tells me they are having a party....LOL! 

Joseph complains to me his Spiderman WON'T stop working! ROFL. We told him, "Then stop pressing the buttons!"

James came over and asked use my bathroom to go poop since John had just cleaned the hall bathroom. When we asked him why he said he did not want to mess up the toilet. LOL. At least he was trying to be courteous!

James went into my bathroom today because someone was in the hall bathroom.  He comes back out and exclaimed in a puzzled voice, "Your bathroom smells like pickles!"  LOL   Little did he know I had sprayed my bathroom down earlier with white vinegar to combat the hard water stains in my shower.  ROFL

Then Margaret grabs Spiderman and uses him to save Hello Kitty. At least she is flexible in her play! LOL

Today we did our weekend craft.  It was fun!  We did Ribbon Paper Trees.  I cut out some tree forms from cardboard.  It would have been too hard for the children to do that.  They all have poor hand strength.  MY hand was hurting after a bit.  I couldn't have imagined them doing it!  I had to enlist John to help me cut out tree forms.

We had some scrapbook paper all ready on hand.  I picked out come color coordinating paper in mostly green and blues.  John used a paint stick, since we had on hand, as a straight edge to draw lines across the scrapbook paper.  I initially thought the kids could cut the paper into strips but that proved to be too hard.  James was able to cut half a sheet before he was complaining his hand was hurting.  No problem, John and I cut the paper into strips.

All the different colored strips of paper were placed in separate piles.  I poured a thin layer of glue on the cardboard tree form and then asked the children what colors/order they wanted the paper strips.  I placed them on the form.  That part of the craft went quick and it made the children happy.  Any paper hanging off the sides of the form I trimmed off with scissors as soon as the glue had set some.  I think these came out quite cute.  Some of the trees have tree trunks.  I'm not sure which way I like better.  Picture of the finished craft is above.  Give it a try!  : )