Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas to all...

It was a tough transition last night, all of the kids were definitely excited and behavior was off. Ultimately Logan, Addison and Matthew went to bed crying. Riley ended up crying because Matthew was so loud he couldn't sleep. I ended up eating a hershey bar (and I haven't done that in a long time) because of the stress. Then, I put the presents out, wrapped the last couple and filled the stockings. I was in bed by 12:30 and only had 2 people in my bed this morning when I woke up.
...Speaking of waking up...Riley did - at 7:30! - I think a personal late record for him! He came into my room and laid next to me and said,..."know what?...Santa came!" I asked him how he knew and he said...cuz I saw that the cookies were gone. "I asked him to write a note back to me on the cookie note so I want to see if he did" - (score one for the tired Santa cuz I had - at the last minute written a note on the back of the cookie note! - there was no sign of asking for it but I thought it would be cute so, whew!)

...I got up and made them wait till I got dressed before they went downstairs and then, there was a mad dash down the stairs to the living room where the tree and presents were. By the time I got there, the packages were separated into piles and they were waiting patiently for me. ...It took all of about 5 minutes but mostly there was squeals of happiness and excitement. all of the packaging (and you know how hard that is) was undone by about 1 hour after we were up and they were happily playing with new toys...the first broken toy occured at 9:30 and there was some consternation (and squabbling) but again Santa scored by (accidentally) choosing two radio control cars with the same frequency! - so the one whose antenna broke could use his brothers control panel to run his car!!!

...Wendy and Pat arrived around 1:00 just as I was getting the girls down for a nap. And I started finishing the cooking. Dinner (and the girls) were ready by 3:00 and we opened presents from Pat and Wendy...and (score again) the boys got another radio control car and guess what? the one whose first control panel was broken got the one that has the same frequency as his first car! now he can use both cars at the same time?!

...We all sat down to dinner of ham, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, asparagus, mixed vegetables, and these "to die for" pumpkin dinner rolls that I made. Boy I ate about 4 of them and I am stuffed!! The ham was the moistest one I have ever eaten.

...all of the kids ate (first miracle), talked about what was great about their Christmas in turns (second miracle) and thoroughly enjoyed themselves( and so did I).

Merry Christmas to All...I hope your day was good too.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Ready, set, go...

...went to the car repair place and finally found someone who understood why I didn't want to leave the Tahoe...I will have it repaired the week we get back...then the Pathfinder will be big enough! we did some last minute end of the year stuff...delivered 5 more bags of clothes we've outgrown to Goodwill...went to the Library to get some new DVD's and books on CD for the trip...went to Dollar Tree for the kids to buy presents for each other. It was a disaster but I think we have everything... we are doing quiet time and naps and I'll decide if we are going to try to go to Walmart to return a tablecloth I bought there which doesn't fit my table (cause I am mathematically challenged!)...

Merry Christmas to everyone!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Last minute details...

I decided to take today off to complete some last minute details for Christmas.

It all started out well enough...drop kids off at daycare...stop at WaWa and pick up a free coffee (with a coupon that was due to expire on 12/31/08) to Dominion Chevrolet to drop off Tahoe to get speedometer repaired and the 2nd seat seat belt latches replaced since they have been broken for a couple of months... is where the trouble started...waited over an hour for the courtesy van to get back from its first run to drive me home...called Pediatrician and begged to get Matt's meds refilled even though I didn't give 2 day notice...went upstairs and went through all of the presents I've bought ...answer cell's Dominion Chevrolet - did I forget my pocketbook in the courtesy van?...curse!...they will drop it off on the way back from their next drop off...wrapped all of the presents...determined what I still needed to buy and made a list of places I needed to go to...walked outside to the minivan to do some was out of gas!...curse!...curse again...answer cell...Tahoe is done...Good! can they send the van to pick me up?...40 minutes later get back to Dominion and pick up Tahoe and head to a few things...go out to lunch with Debra...get call from Ped office - Rxs are written and I can pick up...head out after lunch to Ped office and pick up Rx's...head back down Broad St and stop at CVS along way cuz I didn't get all I needed...

...get into a fender bender in parking lot leaving...curse!...curse again!! to insurance agency to report it...they want me to bring it tomorrow to be repaired...need it for trip to Disney...promise me they will give me a comparable car to rent (first $600 is on the insurance company)...head to last minute gifts and 2 gallons of to insurance investigator...he also assures me I will get a comparable car (but will it fit the trailer?!!)...

...go to Walgreen's and drop off prescription...go home and read email and order pizza for dinner...go back to Walgreens and pick up prescriptions...pick up Pizza...pick up kids at pizza in Family room in front of television.

I'm tired...anyone else?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Blessings

It has been a rough couple of weeks, but I think I can start to see the light at the end of the tunnel (and am hoping it isn't a TRAIN!)...I do feel blessed this Christmas season despite this and want to take the time to make sure that I comment on them.

First, my Matthew. He has taught me so much about unconditional love and facing adversity. He has grown up a lot in the last year and though he still makes a lot of impulsive, poor choices - I definitely can hear him - on occasion - at least saying the right things. He is a sweet older brother who gets along great with his youngest sister and loves to make her laugh.

Next, there is Riley. I can't believe how much he has struggled and how far he has come this year. He definitely continues to be my sensitive one as evidenced by his struggles with back-to-school and his behavior at times. He worries alot about how people see him and wants to be good. He has become so helpful around the house - last week cleaning his bedroom and "labelling" his drawers for his clothes. This morning he got up with the two girls and played with them for 15 minutes and then took his youngest sister to the potty and got them both dressed for the day. I laid in bed smiling the whole time imagining him as a teenager and hoping that he remains so helpful and wonderful.

Logan continues to be the princess of the family though she is showing signs of an impending Barbie obsession (oh no!). She is silly and mischievious and sweet and outgoing...everything that I am not. I am told almost on a daily basis that she is the life of the party at her daycare class. And even at 3y11m I know that we are in for a lot of "girl drama" as she gets to be a tween. She has the most amazing imagination and tells me stories of her and her frineds every day...of course I don't know which to believe and which to not but that is part of her charm.

Addison has become a Lavoie in record time. She is feisty with a dramatic flair and has more melodrama than the other 3 combined - any booboo is met with tears and screams - that disappear with one word..."fine"...I are fine...she says "fine?" and I say are fine and she is off. She loves music and dancing and being the baby of the family. She is sweet and loves kisses and hugs and taking her shoes off in the car. She also has a mind of her own that gets her into trouble but has a great way of saying "I'm sorry" and you know she means it.

I also am blessed by a career that I continue to love and feel privileged to have. I am blessed to have a wonderful extended family who I don't get to see enough and friends who are there when I need support. I am blessed with good health and the good health of my children, to live in a country where we are free and have amazing plentitude.

Merry Christmas to all who know me and I hope your next year will be full of blessings and wonder.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Buncha stuff going on here...

Not much time (and too emotionally raw) to write about it. But thought I could share some of the pictures we took the other day. Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 1, 2008

trip from...

...well, you know where...
We arrived home at 2:30 pm, nearly 23 hours after we left Denise's house on Sunday. I should have known it was going to be bad when at noon it started hailing in MA as we left for a trip to the mall to see if the kids could run off some of their energy. We actually entered the mall right next to the Santa display and there was one family on his lap so we slipped right in. Matthew asked for a WALL*E toy, Logan - a princess computer, Addison - nothing in particular and Riley asked for a Go-Kart (to which Santa - bless him - said he would think about it!). Addison was not scared in the least and I actually thought she did great.
So, we started out at around 4PM. It was dark and raining pretty hard. First thing I did wrong was\ go the wrong way on the first interstate which took us about 12 miles out of our way. When we finally were appropriately headed South we started going. We made pretty good time considering it was pouring rain until we got into Connecticut. At this point, we started hitting random 10 mile sections of complete gridlock. I had this goal of getting to the NJ Turnpike but the kids started getting anxious and even Matthew started bugging me about eating dinner. Finally around 7 pm we got into NY and we stopped at the first rest area. IT WAS PACKED. The kids were crazy and were trying to run around and (did I mention) it was pouring rain. Okay, the lines for food were like 75 people deep at each of the restaurants so I elected not to eat. There was a lot of grumbling but we got back into the car. So, we continued like that with these random 10-15 mile back ups and then open road through the George Washington Bridge to the NJ Tpk. By now it was really dark and there are few lights and my eyes were dry and tired. We got to around the Newark Airport and I decided to try and stop for the night. I could see about 10 hotels ...but could I get to them? No way...we were driving around random clover leafs and finally I took a wrong turn that was taking me back to NY City and I got off ...oops onto another semi-highway and there was no way to turn around and finally I got off of that and was traveling in this (how shall I say this) less than affluent area of Newark (and I was scared!) for about 45 minutes until I happened to get back onto the semi-highway going south and almost got turned around again but finally found my way back to the NJ Tpk. Now I wasn't going to stop for a while and we went about 1/2 down the Tpk and I got off and we got to a hotel around 10:30. By this time the kids were starving...including Matthew who was very cute but could definitely see that there was no McD's at this hotel. I reached out into the back and grabbed the first bag in the bread that my brother Steve gave me (shout out - you saved the day!!!) and grabbed a bag of bagels. Matthew saw them and said the famous words..."Are those bagels...I want a bagel!!!" (for those of you who know him, know that a bagel is like poison to his mouth! a texture he just doesn't do! so for him to want it was a testimony to how hungry he really was!) a bonus they had apples at the front desk and I took 5 of them and he ate one of those too...and she gave the kids pretzels and he ate two small bags of them too!
Day 2 dawned at around 6:30 for the family and we were up and in the restaurant (with Matthew leading the cry for food!)...and out on the road by 8 am. We made pretty good time in NJ but Delaware, MD and Virginia were all randomly stop-and-go. As we got toward Richmond, we saw some black clouds (and a rainbow!) and I just knew that it would rain on me as I was unpacking and wouldn't you know, we got a huge downpour as we were trying to clean out the stuff out of the seats.
So, all-in-all, it was a good trip, but it will be a long time before I attempt to drive it again.