Mi Familia!!

Mi Familia!!
Roscoe, Sophia, & Emily(across top) and then I think you can figure out the rest!

Friday, March 27, 2009

blog post attempt # 347

ok, maybe I haven't tried to do 346 previous blog posts... but it feels like it.
things have been decidedly hectic at the Fey household this week!
yes, I know you are probably getting bored with posts about how my life overwhelms me... but imagine being the overwhelmed one all the time!! : P

list of top however many things spinning through my brain at a torrential rate...

I am getting my surgery in just a few days.
This makes me simultaneously happy and scared.
I know logically that I will be fine.
Nothing will go wrong and I will be going home a few short hours from the time that they put me under....
BUT... I have only been put under two other times in my life, first during a routine removal of my wisdom teeth, where I woke up in the middle, with the first sound being one of my teeth being shattered.. hence throwing me into a panic(from the confusion of waking up that way) and having to be gassed... waking up with bruises all over my arms, apparently from trying to pull out the tubes when I was originally waking in the middle of surgery... and confusing memories of the whole thing.. not exactly the most pleasant experience of my life. Of course the other time went just fine. I had to have an emergency appendectomy. Unfortunately, when I woke up the next day I puked and puked.. still not sure if it was from the anesthesia or what... either way the whole thing leaves me a little uneasy.

ok that's one of the things taking turns on my inner merry-go-round.
another is that my boy has been acting wacky for about a week and a half. Is it that he is picking up on my own anxiety? Does he know something that I don't know? Is he teething like a crazy man? Is he going through his own completely unrelated issues, tripping out because he is getting so much more independent that it scares him at times?
no clue... but I do know that I am having a harder time being patient with him, since it is going on over a week of him being velcro boy, who cries every time I put him down... do you remember that sharpie commercial (I think) where the baby cries the second his toe touches the floor, but is fine when he is being held by his mom? Well, that is my boy..and his almost 30 pound butt is hard to carry around right now.. because of this darn hernia...

another thing going on is that my amazing daughter, Emily, has decided that now would be an interesting time to have a few completely age appropriate, yet no less frustrating, teenage growing pains of her own right now... for those of you with little ones... it doesn't get any easier when they need to test their boundaries when they get older...trust me!

and a deep dark secret from a part of my head where I don't go often, has been thrown in every once in awhile, too... if something were to go horribly wrong... my babies wouldn't even remember me, Emily would but the babies are too little to have much more than people tell them later. I know that nothing tragic is going to happen. It is much more likely that if something went wrong, I would poo in a bag for the rest of my life(oh yeah, that's another unpleasant thought making a cameo in my head...because let's face it... that would suck!), and not that I wouldn't make it through... it is a very standard non-complicated procedure... but honestly, I haven't even had my last two babies in a hospital(I had them both in the same bed, with amazing midwives, and the same nurse at a free standing birth center... I'll tell you about it sometime... they are both good stories! : ) I know that even giving these thoughts a second glance gives them more energy, but it's hard to keep them from making an appearance every once in awhile anyway...

Well, there's a glimpse into my crazy right now.. I really am ok.. and I KNOW that everything will be fine. I just have to try and slow down the race going around in my head.
Oh I forgot to mention that a frantic woman called me YESTERDAY about the fact that I need to have a two hour pre-op appointment on Monday.. no other day... well my hubby has to take 4 days off for me to do this and that is a kind of big deal around here... we need him to work every day that he can.... so... blah blah blah.. it's worked out... but I do wish they had told me about that when I called and asked them about it almost a month ago...sigh.. whatever... it will be ok. I am just ready for it to be over soon!

On a completely different front... we tried to go to the zoo today, but ended up taking an amazing adventure on the search for proof of spring at the park today. We found all different sorts of seeds, and have officially adopted two trees. We are going to watch them through the season to see what happens. We played in a big puddle for almost 30 minutes... and they still didn't want to leave.
Thank you bringing new life and beauty into the world. What a glorious time of year!! : )

Today I am thankful that I am able to get this surgery done very soon and start a new healthier life.

I am glad that we were able to salvage a pretty rough morning with some sunshine and dirt! : )

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Blogs, blogs, everywhere!

One of my bloggy friends at This Stop Willoughby put out a challenge last week I think (ok, I had to look it up to link you to the post and it was 2 weeks ago...so what...I'm slow... I've been busy!), asking her readers for new blogs that we might read, that fall outside of the small circle of us who migrated from Allrecipes, which if you don't know is a pretty great place to find a recipe and possibly some good advice or help on a cooking query through their recipe exchange.
I wanted to share three blogs that I follow.
Two, I found when I first started blogging myself, and one I found tonight.

The first one, Jen, at Buried with Children is a mom of four, triplets and an older boy.
She is funny, and witty, and real.

The second one, BlueViolet, at A Nut in a Nutshell is a mom with two older kids.
She is funny, and quirky, and fun to read.

The third one, Keri, at Forever Folding Laundry, I don't know much about yet.
I just found it tonight, but something about the way she writes made me feel like I would want to read more!

I hope that some of you check out these blogs and find some new interesting reading!

On another note, I am going to be starting a new blog as well. Something that has been taking up quite a bit of my blogging time lately (perish the thought) is my new desire to have a more focused learning environment for my kids... sooo I am going to have a new blog about my preschool curriculum, showing fun ideas for themed activities, songs, crafts and anything else I can think of. I think it will also be a good way to keep myself organized and not repeat myself too much. Plus, I think that it would be great to bounce creative ideas around with all my bloggy friends out there! : )
I don't think that all of you will be interested in it, since some of you have much older kids, and I also don't want to have this gratitude blog get taken over... because it has become such a helpful tool in keeping a better perspective on things.

I'm working on getting things together for that one and will certainly let you all know when I get the first blog up and running! I already have my first post taped(entitled story time, which will be an at least weekly feature) and ready once I write an intro post! ; )

{alright the intro post is now up! my new blog is The Fey FamilyABCs and 123s . It is getting stupid late, so more new posts will go up on the new blog tomorrow!}

Tonight I am grateful to have some peace and quiet to write this out tonight!
(it's been busy around here lately! I had 8 teenage girls in the house overnight, and the hubby works weekends so that was 11 kids for breakfast! I felt like a short order cook!)
I am thankful that I found blogging, it has so many benefits for me.
( I know I say it all the time, but it's so so so true!)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Surgery Scheduled!!

So, as most of you know, I have an umbilical hernia that has been becoming more and more of an issue for me. I have been waiting for the doctor to have a space for my surgery, and I got a call yesterday.
The woman who I've been speaking with, a very nice lady btw, called me yesterday and said...
"You know Ruth, I know that you were hoping to get this done before the Dr goes on vacation, and we have an opening, but I don't know if you will want it."
me: "ok, when is it?"
"well, it's soon... it's April 1rst"
me:" oh, ok sure, I'm all in...set it up!"
"are you sure?"
me:"yup, it's soon, but I'm ready"
blah blah blah, I have my appointment.
So, of course, I call my husband to tell him, we need to request time off for him to be home with the babies that day and also for a few days after, to make sure that I am ok, and that the kids are taken care of ...
Well, he freaked out!
How about I am so un-superstitious that I didn't even think about it once until he pointed it out to me. Whoops! : )
I am still getting it done, I don't give any energy to that kind of silly negative thinking. I am ready and it is just another day really..I mean what's gonna happen?
Do you think I'll wake up from surgery and the Dr will say -hey Ruth you're bleeding out and everything's going down the toilet... (dramatic pause)JUST KIDDING... everything went great, you'll be headed home in a few hours... no ... the operation room is no place for practical jokes, so I don't think I have too much to worry about! : )
I am a little nervous because I don't like hospitals, but I am surprised at the amount of relief that I feel. I have been worried about the surgery for months and months now, and NOW that I actually have definite date ... well I feel good about it!
I am so ready to be healthy and strong again. Do you know how much it sucks to have to have someone else...carry the vacuum up and down the stairs.. not be able to get the laundry up from the basement.. the list goes on and on...
For years I did yoga everyday. I haven't been able to practice, or even stretch for months because even something as simple and seemingly "easy" as a child's pose would pop this thing out and start a whole domino effect of badness.
So, I will be getting back on track with this surgery and I CAN NOT wait!
I know that abdominal surgery is no picnic.. but at least that pain will have a foreseeable end.... and at the end of that tunnel is the opening to a much healthier & happier me.

Today I am thankful for my new perspective on this surgery.
I am grateful to have a husband who will be able to take a few days off to help me, and the kids.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Emily's 14th Birthday

yes I know.. I have been a very bad little monkey! AGAIN!!
I have had several things going on recently. The best of which was that my oldest, Emily, had her "special" birthday. She turned 14 on the 14th of March. I had built this thing up to enormous proportions in my head, and she had as well, so being the crazy person that I am, I ended up feeling a little overwhelmed and slightly wacky for a little while... which leads into one of the other things going on here... hernia BADNESS!!

It was really ok until the day of Emily's birthday, at which point my body told me in no uncertain terms...CHILL OUT WOMAN!! I'm convinced that one of the reasons I have this thing is because I sometimes need a very dramatic reminder that I need to breathe, and relax, and not try to control the entire universe! : )
I know, of course, that in reality I have no control whatsoever, but that doesn't make it any easier to stop and just let things happen sometimes!

So, I was able to push through and ignore that I was in pain for her day... and it ended up being the best day ever for her(and so also for me)! HOORAY! I would do it all over again to see the look of joy on her face throughout.the.entire.day. She is very good at not needing huge amounts of attention... with two younger siblings, but that one day was ALL about her..and honestly who doesn't want(and need) that every once in awhile? : )
So, I will say one more thing about my bad, bad hernia... it stinks! A LOT!! The day after Emily's birthday I went down hard, for two days. I just couldn't push through it for another minute it felt like. I know that stress effects me physically very hard, especially as far as GI stuff goes, so it wasn't a big shock. Annoying, yes, but shocking, no.

It is frustrating beyond my comprehension (and I don't think people get it, unless they themselves have had to deal with it) when my body refuses to do what it is told and takes matters into it's own hands. It is like when I have been put on bed rest during my pregnancies... everyone jokes and says how great it must be to NOT HAVE to do anything, but anyone who has experienced the frustration of not being ALLOWED to do anything knows... it's just not fun. Plus, I am the one who runs this household, and much to the amazement of my own husband, who just can't understand why things are so messy and out of control when I am down and out... I do a heck of a lot around here... every single day... shoot pretty much every minute, and often late into the night... It is a never ending chore to keep a house running smoothly! I know that some of you know what I am talking about! I sometimes think my hernia is the universe's way of reminding my dear hubby how good he's got it when I'm on top of my game. He is always flabbergasted(to my deep frustration as well) how much more he has to do when I am down... (to which I try NOT to respond with..um yeah, DUH!! how exactly did you think things were being done.. magic? no dear it is hard work... constant, hard, fairly unappreciated, and sometimes tedious work. sprinkled with LOTS of patience and a good amount of humor, the more self-deprecating the better! not one of my hubby's strong suits, by the way!)
Anyway, I am waiting for my surgery to be scheduled, as we speak... wouldn't you know it as soon as I decide enough is enough, I need to get it done.. well there are several emergency surgeries through out the week , and now the doctor is going on vacation. bummer. I don't begrudge the man a vacation, I'm sure he earns and deserves them... just a little funny to me how things work out generally for me in my life! : )

So with all that info out of my head... back to Emily!
Her birthday went really well, because it was mostly mellow. We had a chill day together the kids and I and then we all went out to dinner and met my sister and family there. We went to a teppan yaki place where they cook the food in front of you. We had gone there a few times before usually for her birthday. It was ok, but at one point I got pretty grumpy, because we had forgotten about the St Patrick's Day parade which here is a big stinking deal.... if one more drunk person knocked into me without saying excuse me or sorry...I was going to scream... but Emily had fun and that is all that mattered! I do NOT think that I will go to this particular place again, because I made the reservation 2 weeks in advance but we were in an awful part right near the bar and they knew that we were having high chairs...so maybe they could 've put us in the back away from the ruckus... but instead they put more drunk people there and spread the crazy all over the place. I did speak to the manager about it.. but it was too busy for him to care..which is why I was a little tense.. but all in all if the kid had fun... it's all good... I guess. Atleast there is no smoking in restaurants here.. that would have been the final straw.
After that we went home for ice cream cake and finally presents( poor girl had to wait all day!). She got a bunch of new clothes from her aunt and a few things from us. When I gave her the book, she got a little teary eyed...and just said..wow, I didn't know that many people cared about me. To which I replied with a smile...yeah I knwo that was kind of the point! : )
I ended up getting responses from all but one relative(who truth be told I didn't want to participate anyway, but was trying to be cool about it... I guess she doesn't like me either... it all worked out!) And then 15 out of 22 friends. It turned out lovely, and she loves it and that made all the late nights totally worth it! : )
Then everyone left, the babies and Al went to bed, and Emily and I designed two henna designs together, and I put it on her hands, while we watched a movie together and talked. It came out beautifully and it turned out to be a great day for everyone involved.
I have some shots of the days activities and my sweet (not so little) girl.
Happy birthday kid! : )

the fam at dinner, BIL,sister, the kid, and her cousin.

she got a sparkler in her ice cream... fun way to end the evening! : )

me and my sister

the birthday girl. mid-present opening

the little girl cousins

Uncle Tim and ROscoe, there was a lot of hugging that day!: )

the book : )

the henna, when it was still wet

the henna has to dry on your hands for at least 6 hours... so after it dried she put gloves over her hands and went to bed. we flaked it off the next morning.

this was what it looked like right after we got it all off.

the next day it was MUCH darker.

this is what she did when I said let me see your hands for a picture to show how dark it is... you wonder why she is interested in theatre! she is a natural born drama queen! : )

Today I am thankful that my daughter enjoyed her special day!

I am grateful that she felt special and joyous... HAPPY BIRTHDAY BABY!!


Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Zoo

The weather has broken a little bit... and we are feeling the spring fever around these parts like CRAZY!!!
So as soon as it hits the 50's we get outside!

One of the best investments that we make every year is getting memberships to the zoo and the amazing museums that we are lucky enough to have here in the Burgh. The initial cost is SO worth feeling like you can go to the zoo for an hour and a half, instead of feeling like we need to get a full $30 of fun out of every single visit. During the nice parts of the year we go to the zoo at least once a week. The kids LOVE the animals..and even though it may seem silly, they love the little play area too. So yesterday when I saw that the rest of the week was going to be kind of chilly still... highs in the 30's AGAIN.. well we packed up our tea party and hit the road!

This is the second time we visited the zoo in less than a week so I am throwing up some pictures from both visits. : )

these little blooms where starting to pop up everywhere... like little gifts of sunshine, reminding me that spring is right around the corner! : )

We LOVE the sea lions.. they were ready for spring too, if you know what I mean... and were very "frisky" while we were there. They are so active and fun and I swear they like the interaction with people because it seems like they play with us in the window. We spent a lot of time hanging out with them. fun stuff!

my cheater version of taking a picture of myself (and Roscoe in the wagon!) when I'm out in the world! : )

Roscoe LOVES the fishes... a lot... I won't tell him that they would probably love to eat him...

look at those things...BIG!!

Roscoe looking at a polar bear up top, while Sophia checked out the guy in the water.

tea party at the zoo...super fun climbing tubes in the background.

Roscoe had fun climbing on a big alligator type thing... this is his stinker puss! : )

...the static cling hair is cracking me up here!

Sophia wanted to kiss the sheep.

the sheep wanted to eat her little plummy, peanut buttery fingers.

Mama said "no" to both parties!

It was a good time and I am SO excited to be able to get outside and run around!!

I have been working on lesson plans to help me get a little more organized in teaching Sophia. She is only 3 so it is just pre-school stuff, but she is very receptive to it.. so I am looking forward to this new part of our relationship. I am looking forward to using a lot of experiences in the zoo to "learn" from. It will have a wealth of inspiration!

I am off to finish up Emily's book. Her birthday is in two days... TIME.IS.RUNNING.OUT!!!

Tonight I am thankful to live in a city with an excellent zoo, as well as a fantastic park system. It is a big reason why I LOVE my city. My very favorite time of year is almost here... giddyup!!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Tea, for three!

Spring is on its way here to our house... but sometimes the weather doesn't cooperate as much as we'd like. The other day it was "supposed" to be a nice day out... it rained all day and I think we spiked at about 29 degrees that afternoon.
So it the midst of a rather dreary, and frustratingly housebound day... we decided what we needed was to have a tea party picnic!

I felt very clever about having this idea, because before I made the decision to have a fun activity, the kids and I both were kind of grumping around. The house was mess from playing all morning and I was looking at eating up a good 45 minutes of my (much needed) quiet time as clean-up time instead, after having a disappointing lunch of PB&J, and no going to the park.... : /

as I was making sandwiches.. it hit me...
Let's have a tea party picnic!

So, I changed my attitude around and got very excited as I told the kids what we were going to do. They picked up on the excitement right away, and got very into the idea.
Here's the tray of prepped food all ready to lay out for the munchkins.

Instead of me having to do all the clean-up (like I often do, just to make things easier and faster for myself) we decided that if we all put everything away really quickly, we could lay out a blanket in the middle of the floor for our party. Sophia and Roscoe both cleaned up faster than I have ever seen them do before!

While I made the lunchtime goodies, they tidied up their toys and started bringing me the plates, cups, bowls, serving dishes, and teapot. I washed them up really quickly, and Sophia was very excited about getting to dry them for the food. I love these play dishes we have because they are made in the USA, from old milk jugs... and they are fun colors that make food a little more interesting than the "adult" dishes.
Plus, to up the FUN factor I made everything into small bite sized pieces. We had good old PB&J, but they were cut into small squares, which made them MUCH more fun to pop in your mouth! We also had small squares of plum, cherry tomatoes, avocado cubes, grapes, and a grapefruit(ok not small but the pieces I pull out for them to eat are... in the end! : )...)

We had tea (water) in little teacups. Both of the kids drank a lot more water with lunch than usual... turns out if you want your kids to drink water.. you just have to play Tea Party.. who knew? : )

Although I feel I should mention that if your little people are under the age of two or maybe even three... this is most likely what will occur eventually during the meal... but of course it IS just water, so if you go into it knowing it will happen... it doesn't need to be a huge deal! The change of clothes before nap time was well worth it to me!

We all ended up having a great time of it. I hope to do it often now, as Sophia asks me if we can do it again everyday. I am thinking once a week will make it still fun and not turn it into something drone... but we'll see.

Just thought that I'd share a fun way to spend some time inside your own house..even if that's the last place you wanted to be! : )

the bear got some food too!

Today I am grateful that we can have fun, even though our plans don't always end up going the way we thought they would! : )

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Simple Family Fun with Food!

Tonight we made pizzas for dinner.
I know that this is nothing new.. but it always turns out so good, so I thought I'd share.
We only ever do this when the Boboli crust is on sale. I know it's not homemade, but yeast scares me, so we must all learn to deal. BUT Boboli crust WAS on sale, so we picked up a two pack of little crusts, one for each of the little ones, and Al, Emily, and I had a big one. Emily likes the original crust, Al gets the thin, and I get the whole wheat, which is really good.. if not a little sweet.
We all get to make our own pizza exactly the way that we want it... which in a family of five is nice, because of course we all have our favorites!
Al's is always lots of pepperoni, and maybe a few onions and hot peppers.
Emily went with a heavy cheese and pepperoni, today.
Sophia had onions, pepperoni, and sweet peppers. She made it all by herself... which made her very proud!
Roscoe had barely a smidge of cheese, lots of cherry tomatoes, and some caramelized onions. He ate more of the toppings before they got cooked than after! : )
Everyone's was different , but they all came out so pretty, and yummy! I somehow forgot to take pictures of mine and Al's, I think it was because we had to wait for the second round in the oven, and by the time we ate...we were hungry!!
but I took this one right before I ate mine.
Half white sauce(that Al put together...SOOO good!) with halved tomatoes, sweet peppers, and caramelized onions. and half cheese, a few pepperoni, and hot pickled peppers.
Man, that was SO good! it is a fun interactive way for us to make dinner and we all get it just the way we like it, plus the kids and I have a pre-made lunch for Al's first day back to work. Nice!!
Try it sometime... it's fun , and if you choose the right toppings..well it could be worse for you, anyway!

Pizza makes the kids happy, and between us all we ate a pint or more of cherry tomatoes, and about 6 mini sweet peppers(red, orange, and yellow). They were so fresh and made me feel like, yes, one day the winter will end and springtime is getting near.. HOORAY! we can't wait here that's for sure!

and yes it's dinner with Sophia in her jammies.. it was in the single digits most of the day here and they keep her warm... so she wears them all day some days! : )
Today I am thankful for fun family times, even if it is as simple as homemade(sort of) pizza nights! : )


Just a qickie post for now because it is late, and I have been working on Emily's book.
I am so anal retentive that everything that I make takes at least three times as long as I need it too..
I had the BEST.TIME.EVER!! with my husband last night.

I wanted very much to write a big long post... but I can't right now.. just throwing out there that this is something we need to do more often... it was exactly what we needed!

We walked down to a nice restaurant, which turned out to be the nicest place I've ever been. I give it five out of five stars. SOOO good! They took our picture and gave it to us in a frame with some free dessert because it was our anniversary. A gimmick maybe, but it was awesome. We had fun, and that was entirely the point! The dessert was a lemon basil sorbet (so very refreshing and tasty!) and vanilla ice cream over strawberries with a Grand Marnier sauce... yum!

We spent the night at the nicest place I have ever stayed.. the bed was so comfy... like sleeping in a cloud. The hotel that we ended up getting was actually one where I worked for 6 years. I worked in the daycare inside the hotel..and I had always wanted to stay there.. because all kinds of famous people stayed there, and it was so fancy...anyway... it was as nice as I thought it would be and so much more!

This is me at about 7:00 in the morning, after we had checked on everything at home and knew we didn't need to hurry too much. I really enjoyed this time with my husband! This was the first time we ever spent the night away from the kids since we got married (don't forget we had an instant "family" because I already had my beautiful Emily), so I think that it was a long overdue treat!
I can't tell you how nice it was to re-connect with the man that I adore. We work hard in our lives and we MUST remember to make each other a higher priority!
We are coming away from this with a greater appreciation for each other and a commitment to do this again ( maybe even every 6 months or so!... as long as there are no new babies added to the mix!)
So thanks to all who wished me well. I really do appreciate it!
Today I am thankful for a little break from reality, which helped me remember why it is that I love my everyday reality as much as I do!! : )