Sunday, December 13, 2009

FIRE! FIRE! FIRE!

Yesterday we had a blast taking Ben and Zack to Fire Station #3 (Thanks to Uncle Jake for setting this up for us!) as part of Ben's birthday celebration!! Although Ben was a bit nervous at first, by the end of the time spent there, he was running around and climbing on trucks like he owned the place! Zack V took to the place immediately and was letting the firemen (who were SO friendly and patient) help him in and out of the trucks, pushing every button he could, and opening and shutting the truck doors. He even got to put on the jacket and Fireman's Hat! We tried to get Ben to put it on, but he was still nervous at that point! Their little friend Ava Grace joined them at the fire station and they all had such a great time. The adults had fun too :)
Then we came back to the house for cake and pizza and the opening of presents. So much fun! I will post pictures in just a little while.... I'm going to go sneak a run in before the kids get up from naptime, while Zack is home. Wish me luck! I will be starting Week Two of training for my 5K!!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

I'm Back!!

I have really missed blogging so much, and have intended to start back several times here lately, but I stay so busy with these three little ones and running a household that I just....haven't. So here I am. Sooo much has changed since my last post wayyyy back in March! To begin with, we have a new family member! Mary Ellen Azar was born on September 23, 2009 at 1:16 PM, weighing in at a whopping 9 lbs 10 oz, and no, I did not have a c-section. I did however, have as many drugs as they would allow me to have pumped into my body, which ended up being a really good thing, as it took two doctors to manually turn her before she could be delivered. Yeah. THINK about that. I felt like a car getting my spark plugs checked. But she is very healthy, and so sweet, and has a HEADFULL of dark hair. SERIOUSLY..... a HEAD-FULL. And it sticks out at all crazy angles. So I have been cloth diapering, mei-taing and feeding this little girl her Alimentum formula and a rice cereal (to help with the reflux) on top of what I was already doing everyday!!!! She has been such a blessing, and I am finding out exactly how different little girls are from little boys. She takes a nap with me in the afternoon (which is about to have to cease, due to her now weighing 14 pounds.... my chest cant handle it) and is in bed by 7 every night, only taking one bottle at 10:00 PM before waking in the morning at 6:30 AM. I want one more little one but Zack says he is done having kids, so in my mind, we will re-evaluate the situation in a year or so :)

Ben and Zack (now 2 and 3, respectively) are learning new things at a frightening pace, and I am able to have "real conversations" with little Zack now. He actually asks me how my day has been when I pick him up from Mother's Morning out, and makes hilarious observations on everything... Ben is not too far behind him. Zack and Ben both know their letters, numbers through 10 and most colors/ shapes.... thanks PBS! Ben thinks he is as old as Zack so when he physically can't do something that his big brother is doing (i.e. using scissors at art time) he becomes infuriated. They are in love with Dora, Diego, Max and Ruby, and Mickey Mouse. Oh yes, and the Baby Jesus movie..... which is what they call the Nativity cartoon movie I have loaded into the van's DVD player. Ben will say "More Jesus, please!". Cracks me up.

We let the kids help decorate the Christmas Tree and I let Zack pick out all of the "indestructible" ornaments at Michaels. The tree lacks the flair of my Radko and Lenox ornaments, but they love it and one day I will miss our foam and plastic ornaments. And watching them decorate it was so much fun! I also got them a Little People (Fisher Price) Nativity Set that they can play with.... they have been learning so much about the birth of Jesus this year!

I have found that in being a SAHM, I constantly have to challenge myself to learn and do new things. This keeps me interesting as a person (at least I feel like it does!) and keeps me interesting to myself. When I get bored with myself as a person, I get blue, and when I get blue, everyone suffers, so the busier I am, the better! ! So far I have made a few scarves and attempted a hat, and I'm liking what I see! Reading (when I have a spare minute... hahah) is always high on my list, and lately I have enjoyed the Sookie Stackhouse series and books on Marian apparitions. Balancing religious stuff with pleasure stuff. Keeps me spiritually fed and also entertained! In saying this, I have started Knitting (thanks to my friend, Jocelyn) and am really enjoying it. I also completed Week One of my training to run a 5K today. Yes, it is a very cold time of year to start this, but my weight loss post-Mary Ellen has plateaued and I needed to start something new exercise-wise. So I am attempting to learn to run..... hopefully at the end of this training program (it's nine weeks long) I will be able to run 3 miles in 30 minutes (at least that's my goal). So now I can add Runner and Knitter to my list.

As always, I continue to coupon and save us as much money as possible.... It's more than a hobby .... it's like a way of life for me! Our grocery bill budget is under $200 per month now, which I feels awesome about! In cutting corners and stockpiling food when it is on sale, we usually spend between 30 and 50 a week at the grocery store. Loving it! Also, thanks to Dave Ramsey's plan, Zack and I are now debt-free, minus our House, a little bit on my car, and a little bit on his student loans. No credit card debt, and we don't use them anymore at all! It is a very liberating feeling knowing that we don't owe anyone more than we are bringing in (save the aforementioned) and that we are teaching our kids the value of a dollar in showing them that not everything has to be new, and that they can share things (not bad skills for life either). I have found that I am actually happier with less STUFF (still trying to get rid of stuff at my house that seems to be cluttering) and because I'm no longer preoccupied with getting more stuff, my thoughts are soul are focused on other things that mean much, much more.

I have also reconnected with my long-lost best friend, Amber. We are on the phone and Facebook all of the time, and still are just alike in so many ways, and yes, we still even share the same birthday. Our hubbies and kids have now all become inseparable as well, so we all hang out together at least once a week. Good times for the soul, I tell you.... life is no fun without a best friend...at least my Best Friend, anyways.

We are seriously looking into homeschooling the kids, so I have been going to Holy Spirit's Home school meeting group and have met some incredible people who are incredibly helpful!! If you're interested in hearing why we are looking so heavily into Homeschooling, I will go into that in another post when I have some time.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Okay Okay Okay

Forgive me! It has been FOREVER since I last posted, and I only have early pregnancy exhaustion and my loopy depression situation ( had to go off my meds when I found out I was pg) to blame!!! Thankfully I am starting to feel better, Praise God for this!!! I have also realized that there are things I can do daily to help myself feel better and not get quite as down.... like taking a shower and getting fixed up for the day before the boys even get up from their beds.... and making myself eat breakfast. May sound like small things, but trust me, when you feel that cruddy, even those things are a struggle! I have given up steak (again) for Lent so of course, my pregnancy cravings are making me want steak....and chocolate pudding.....but not together!! The boys are doing magnificently except for the massive cold they both picked up at the YMCA childwatch (why is it that when I'm trying to do something good for myself, my children have to suffer!) but they are in good spirits even though they're both hacking like lifelong smokers. Ben, who is about to be 15 months old, which is just so crazy to me, now RUNS all over the place and instigates wrestling matches as well as hugging wars with Little Zack, who I must say, is incredibly patient with his little brother. Ben reminds me of Elmyra off of the cartoon Tiny Toons who would "love her animals to death" .... he latches on to Zack and won't let go....but his little face is so peaceful and happy you know he means well. Zack is now talking up a storm (finally) and repeating things I shouldn't say.... I have to get better about what I say!!! I'm in the process of learning to knit, thanks to my fabulous friend Jocelyn, who is a Queen Knitter. I am finishing my 2nd child's scarf and about to embark on the journey of hat making for the boys. I also need to get fabric for the boy's Easter outfits!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Random Thoughts...

Okay... as a Mom I have these random thoughts that I know other moms with small kids must have....namely, why isn't there a show with JUST ELMO in it? My kids care NOTHING about the rest of Sesame Street, and they complain until Elmo comes on, then get mad when his segment is over. Come on PBS, Viewers Like Us pay good money to make our kids happy and educate them simultaneously.... if Elmo were on the whole hour, they would learn more because they wouldn't be complaining.
Oh, and Little Zack broke our Nintendo Wii.... I thought my husband would explode but he stayed very calm and collected.... I am proud of him. Thankfully, the Wii is still under warranty and Nintendo will fix it, even if it does take 2 weeks, which I know will be painful for my husband.
Ben has been taking more steps!! I am so proud of him.... I will try to post a video of him later!
It amazes me how fixated kids can get on certain things.... we had a light go out in the den yesterday, and little Zack worried about it all day, and like to have driven me to the insane asylum (where I probably should be by all rights anyways). He dragged me over to point at it all afternoon yesterday, daying "Broke...light....Daddy Fix.... Broke light...LIGHT LIGHT LIGHT." I about went nuts. Finally, Dadoo came over last night and replaced the bulb while he was here, and now little Zack, who was amazed by the ladder and light replacing process, keeps pointing at the light and saying Dadoo LIGHT! I hear those words more than any other.

Monday, December 29, 2008

It's Been a Long Long TIME




WOW. I am so sorry I haven't posted in so long!!! We have been so incredibly busy that I've forgotten or haven't had time to write it all down!!! Let me start back at the beginning of December. Benjamin Bunny turned One on the 9th!!!! What a huge milestone and reality check THAT was for all of us... I cannot believe my baby that I just had what seems like two weeks ago has turned a year old. He is a happy, healthy little angel and I cannot imagine life without him! We had planned the cutest little birthday party for him .... it had a racing theme and we told all of his little friends to bring their ride on toys! Well, we had to cancel the main party because little Zack got sick. So we just had the family over, which was still tons of fun!! Dadoo made Spaghetti, and everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves. The best part was when Ben got his very own birthday cake... he DUG IN! He even buried his face in it at one point. I have never had so much fun watching a kid eat. He and little Zack opened the presents and of course, Little Zack took over some of them. The price you pay with a brother around. It was wonderful. We have really enjoyed the Christmas season and took the kids to see Christmas lights one night....we even got to see a live Nativity scene! We had little Zack's window rolled down so he could see better, but he started yelling COLD! COLD!, so we rolled up the window and moved along.
Christmas was fabulous. We took the boys to church on Christmas Eve, with the help of Sity and Dadoo, and they behaved so well! I was very proud. Then we came home and put them in their Christmas PJ's. After Ben went to bed, we made the mistake of letting him open his Godfather's present, which happened to be a little air gun thing that shoots out foam discs. THANKS CHARLIE~! haha No seriously, I thought Zack wouldn't even know what to do with it....I was wrong...way wrong. He immediatly took hold of it and started loading the discs into it. Noone even showed him how. Then he figured out how to work the trigger. Let's just say that I had to let him take it to bed, or it would have been World War III. The next morning, the boys woke up to Santa's bounty and little Zack ran around crazy like a winner on the Price is Right. Sity Dadoo and Aunt Mandy came over to play Christmas morning, then after naps, we went to Mamaw's and Mimi's. I will write more later, but I hear someone waking up from their nap!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Ben can Bust a Move

Oh my goodness...my baby boy LOVES to DANCE!!! He will hold on to a piece of furniture and bounce and swivel his hips and tap his toes.... ADORABLE! The great thing is, and I have said this since he was younger, he FEELS the beat... he's always in time with the music! I will upload a video of him dancing, for your enjoyment!
videoToday went pretty well, except for Zack's meltdown in Hancock Fabrics... I take partial responsibility for it because I took them there about an hour before nap time and it was packed so it took awhile. I bought two patterns of flannel with the intention of making the boys' matching Christmas PJ's (the flannel is of Santa's clothes all hanging on a clothesline) and just another fun pair of PJ's for little Zack.... and I couldn't help myself so I went ahead and made the sock monkey pattern pj's tonight. Here is what they look like:
And I also sewed Benjamin two new cloth diapers today, in stunning lime green:



I am loving domesticity. It agrees with me. I get joy from hanging clothes on the line and sewing clothes and cooking meals for my family. I am so grateful to God for putting me in the position I am in.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Whirlwind Week!

Wow! This week has flown by, but then again, they all seem to do that these days!! Zack was home from work on Monday, so it was nice to get to spend some extra time with him and it was good for the boys to get to have him "all to themselves" for an extra day! We viewed Zack's two year old portraits this week, and they were so BEAUTIFUL... it showed his personality perfectly! We splurged and got something called a "Jump Panel" as part of Zack's and my Christmas to one another ... they took a series of pictures of Zack jumping up and down, swinging his arms all crazy like he does, and the jump panel consists of one picture where he appears to be jumping upward, two of him in the air or mid-flight, and one of him landing. Priceless. He wore the pale blue Jon-Jon that sewed for him, with a white A monogrammed on it, courtesy of Mark and Azar's Uniforms. I get such joy from making things for my boys! We went to the Zoo on Friday with Jocelyn and Danielle and all of their kids, and it was a blast! Our little crew looked like some crazy daycare group! Zack had a blast growling back at the Jaguar and Ben enjoyed talking to Ben Castanza! I have been really busy with Spa stuff this week too! I had two Spas! The first one was at Lacey's house, and it was fun and successful, then the second one was at Margaret Crimi's house and 3 girls decided to be spa girls like me!!! That is a huge accomplishment for me, because it puts me one recruit away from being promoted to Unit Vip! and I will earn a free IPod from BeautiControl...pretty cool! I feel so blessed to have this in my life, and I have even contacted a couple of schools about coming to pamper their teachers, and those are looking promising! Go me! I would love to do a spa for you and some of your friends, or even just a one on one spa! I promise you it will be the most relaxing thing you have done for yourself in awhile! Also, I have been working on my Natural and Thrifty blog, Running on Empty is Okay! (http://runningonemptyisokay.blogspot.com) Go check it out, you may learn something, and I would love to hear all of y'all's suggestions and ways to be thrifty! We all need it with the way the economy is!