Monday, October 31, 2011

Harvest Party!

Once again we had a Harvest Party to celebrate the fall season and had our own version of Halloween fun... and it was a blast! Because Atty can't have any candy {as well as lots of other foods most people can have} we've had to get pretty creative to make it an over all fun experience for everyone. My dearest friend came over with her girls again and my mom and sister showed up. Always more fun with loved ones there!All dressed up and ready for the festivities to start! First up... Hay rides! Haha, it was a silly little thing but the kids thought it was lots of fun! Get a red wagon, a wheelbarrow, and some straw and you've got yourself a funny Harvest party hay ride parade!

I got the giggles thinking about what the neighbors must have been thinking watching our strange little spectacle...

I wasn't the only one with the giggles though, there were giggles all around, it's fun to get silly!

The kiddos seemed to have the most fun playing in the straw afterwards though... go figure. Kind of like the box is more fun the the present at Christmas time, haha!

Even grown ups got in on the fun... I wasn't about to because I hate being itchy! So I did what I do best, took lots of pictures!

No one else seemed to care much about getting itchy though... :)

After all the hay fun we went inside to do a craft, fall themed stick puppets. It was a lot of fun, but I don't have any pictures of that as it took every adult there to keep down on the chaos and lend a helping hand.

Then after a little bit of free play to get their wiggles out we moved onto... Pumpkin Play dough! I made my first batch of pumpkin play dough, and it was a hit!!! It smells super yummy and it was the perfect texture, the kids had a blast with it using fall cookie cutters to create with.

They played with the play dough for quite a while before moving on to the next thing...

And while they were doing that some of us grown ups were whipping up some yummy treats in the kitchen!

But before we started in our our harvest feast we just had to have a treasure hunt!

The kids loved it just as much this year and they did last year... maybe even more. I added more clues and made them a little harder and they still did amazingly well! They all worked together to find their gift bags full of harvest treasure. This year I did add a couple chocolate/peanut butter balls for the kids and just left one bag without and clearly labeled for Atty... Then I got Atty his chocolate freezer "candies" and it worked out really well. I just made sure to get the chocolate for the other kids out of the bulk section so that it wasn't wrapped, that way it doesn't look too different from his "candy". They all ended up with a treat and everyone was happy. :)

Spiders! The kids loved this... and it was super easy. We also had chili and cornbread, little sausages, an apple tasting tray, Atty's bread, and sausages Atty could have as well as some yummy fresh apple cider.


Getting ready to feed some hungry kids.

After dinner we had to read our "spooky" book, in the dark, by flashlight of course! What Was I So Afraid Of? by Dr. Suess, love that glow in the dark book.

Love their faces!

After the book we all ate yummy pumpkin cookies over vanilla ice cream. Atty had his own almond flour cookies over homemade coconut milk ice cream

It was a lot of fun and we even got to follow it up with a movie and sleep over! I was planning on going a little bigger with the party this year, but none of the other people I invited ended up being able to come... you know what I realized though, it's actually a lot nicer keeping it little and I'm thankful it stayed that way. Of course we would have been happy to see any one of our other friends show up, but I'm thinking from now on I will continue to keep it little with just Iva and I getting together with our kiddos. {and Neenee and Auntie are always welcome as well!} It just makes it more relaxed and gives us {meaning Iva and I} more of a chance to enjoy ourselves instead of rushing around trying to keep everything fun and on time and everything else involved in a bigger party... Anyway another successful Harvest party, and I'm so glad my kids could have some fun, they've been such troopers about not trick-or-treating any more {because of Atty's diet}. Tonight we will be handing out candy free treats, little trinkets, to any trick-or-treaters that show up at our door and I think we will get dressed up as well to do that... maybe have some popcorn and a movie and enjoy this Halloween {candy free} at home together. :)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Picking pumpkins over the years...

When I was posting the pictures of our pumpkin picking adventure this year I started thinking about pumpkin outings of the past. So we are going to go down a memory trail of the last six years... hold onto your hats!

Even though Bubu was born right before pumpkin season in 2005 I don't think we went to a patch with him, and even if we did it would be in a photo album somewhere and not on the computer, and well that's just to much work... so we are starting in...


This is the pumpkin field we use to go to before we moved, fun but actually sort of expensive as well, didn't really notice it with only one kid though...

Little baby Bubu, back when it was just the three of us.

~2007~Three rapidly expanded into five and by the time the next pumpkin season rolled around we weren't a little family any more!
We went back to Stocker Farms that year, but realized that soon we wouldn't be able to afford it. We never ended up looking for another one around there though because we moved...

My little baby pumpkin, Spike! He had {has} melt your heart big blue eyes!

This picture cracks me up, looks as if they are both working hard on filling those diapers! Or maybe they were just working on their tough guy stares, haha!

The big brother, he has been a great big brother from the very beginning, and he had a crash course in big brother!


Babies getting bigger!

We tried out a new pumpkin field after we moved and it was fun, but expensive...

Actually got J to sit for a picture as well! These were the days when it was five boys in the house... and me. Crazy!

Poor Atty wasn't feeling well on this day... but I still love this first family pumpkin picture, finally one with all of us in it!


Baby girl! Yes there is a baby inside that wrap, it was cold and she was newly born and so I wanted to keep her snugly. :)
Once again the family grows!

This was a yet another "pumpkin patch" we tried out after our move... not a hit with us, it was at a nursery and they just had pumpkins sitting around to pick out, we like the pumpkin field experience ourselves, so we never went back. The search for the perfect {and not to expensive} pumpkin patch continues...


And we found it! Stoney Ridge Farms is the place to go! Love this family picture of us all again.
Amazing how fast the kids grow!

Baby Lala exploring the pumpkin field, so cute!


This year was the first year my hubby couldn't come with us, sadness. I still love this group shot though, really shows how much the kids have grown! Do I really have that many kids!?! How could that be possible I'm still in my early twenties right?

Looking forward to many more pumpkin patch pictures!

Still our favorite pumpkin patch!

We went to Stoney Ridge Farms again this year and I just love that place! It's clean and crafty and not to expensive. There always lots to do, like looking at the animal, playing on the play equipment, going in the corn maze, picking out apples to eat, and of course finding the perfect pumpkin! Holding his sister's hand, so sweet!

This picture cracks me up, two serious faces and two goofy faces, haha!

Showing me their favorite picture. I love all the art work and crafty ideas here. So much eye candy... ;)

My little pumpkins...

Wow they have grown!

It's amazing how much a kid can grow in a year!!!

The animals are always a favorite with my kids. This pony was so sweet.

Even though we have chickens at home the kids spent a ridiculous amount of time gazing at these cluckers... silly kids.

I have a picture of Lala last year next to this same wagon... and she was sooooo much tinier. Sigh.

Do I really have this many kids? Ryder had to work, so he is sadly missing from our family pumpkin picking photos. :( My hard working man.

Lala got the flower head band for her birthday, I love it on her but the only way she will wear it for any amount of time is if I tell her it's a hat... which doesn't work inside of course. Bummer.

My brother Ben and his family showed up and hung out with us. It worked out perfect because my mom met us there and then when she left they showed up so I didn't end up being on my own with the kids. Which is always less stressful, and a happy mommy makes for a better time for all. :)

The boys had a blast going through the corn maze with their uncle Ben, they love that guy! Lala and her girly cousin had fun too, at a much slower pace.

Spike spotted a perfect pumpkin...

Girls just had to have a wagon ride. These two play so well together, I'm glad Lala has a cousin so close in age and they live near enough that the girls can hang out together often. Lala needs that being the only girl and all.

Bubu was determined to find the biggest and best pumpkin of them all!

Such a funny picture, I love it! Uncle Ben was being quite silly and in doing so managed to get all the kiddos looking his way! Awesome.

Even though I'm super sad that our annual fall pumpkin patch picture is missing a huge part of us I'm still glad we got one. And we had a really great time. Plus we found some great pumpkins, and brought home some of the best apples I have ever tasted!

We will be back next year Stoney Ridge!

Saturday, October 22, 2011


Life has been busy. Which is good, but sometimes I want to slow down. I have a feeling that with four kids there won't be any slowing down for a very long time.

Yesterday I spent some time rearranging the kids rooms. We are going to have Spike and Lala share a room for a while instead of having all three boys in one room as before. Then eventually {if we are still in this house, which it looks like we will be now... not the original plan} then we will give the boys our bigger bedroom and move into the smaller one. Lala will be old enough then that she will need her own room. I still haven't found a bunk bed for Spike and Lala in our price range but it had to be done regardless. So he's sleeping on the floor {on a mattress} in his new bedroom with the promise of a bunk bed soon... I moved big heavy dressers by myself yesterday and I'm feeling it today. I get so impatient to get things done that I don't use common sense some times. I know that my back goes out easily now a days, but I just wanted it done. Hopefully it won't get too bad, last time around I was on the floor crying, with my back out, begging my sister on the phone to come help me.
Anyways, one of the main reasons for the switch is because I want Lala to have a regular bedtime with her brothers and go to sleep on her own with out someone laying down with her. The boys have each other and I am pretty sure Lala would not want to sleep alone in her room. We once tried having Spike sleep alone in his own room to see if it would be a better sleeping arrangement and he feel apart, it was horrible... We tried for a week or so and he screamed and cried every night until I switched him back. It wasn't worth it. I don't want to start out that way with Lala. All of my children have been slowly transitioned into sleeping on their own. I've nursed and laid with my children until they feel asleep until around two years old and then slowly taught them how to go to sleep on their own. Slowly... as in the first night I sat by their bed until they feel asleep, then a few nights later the middle of the floor and then once they were okay with that the door and slowly leaving the doorway earlier and earlier before they were asleep. Sometimes going back to sitting in the hallway if they weren't going to sleep {Atty has a really hard time going to sleep sometimes and after his seizures would come out of his room over and over again. It took some serious camping out in the hallway and repeatedly putting him back in bed with out talking before he finally figured out he would be required to stay in his bed... there were moments I didn't think it would ever happen. He is the only one that still gives me night time trouble.} The first night all the boys went to sleep on their own after hugs and kisses and walking out of the room I wanted to throw a party. But that of course had the potential to wake them up again... so we just watched a movie together and marveled and the novelty. :) Now the boys are all really great sleepers, they don't fight bedtime, aren't afraid to go to sleep, and for the most part go right to bed {except again, Atty}. We read, tuck them in, hugs/kisses and prayers and I walk out. Now it's time to make that the norm for Lala. Last night you could have scooped my jaw up off the floor. After nursing her for just a moment I told her she was going to go lay down in the bedroom and that Spike was in there now too. I carried her in there, laid her down, gave her hugs and kisses and she marveled at how Spike was in there, I told her he was sleeping and she started whispering, it was so cute. Because I've already been tucking her in and then laying at the end of her bed for a while now until she feel asleep I decided to say night-night and walked out... I'll admit I was cringing. Expecting tears or footsteps in the hallway. I stood in the kitchen waiting... and waiting... and waiting. Not a noise. For the first time in a long time every kiddos in the house went to bed, just like that. It was unbelievable. I'm not going to even hope that it's going to be that easy with her, but wouldn't that be cool! I think it helped that Spike was already asleep, which I won't be able to count on every time as I'm going to start laying her down at the same time as him soon... but still it was beautiful and there is a light at the end of the tunnel! Even though I am excited about this new transition, it's bitter sweet at the same time because it just means yet again that they are all growing up so fast. For me it truly signals the end of the baby/toddler years. No longer will any of them need me to snuggle them to sleep {well maybe occasionally, a girl can hope right}. Their pudgy little arms wrapped around my neck as they drift off to dream land. I have this tendency to get busy, busy, busy and with nursing or snuggling the kiddos to sleep it's always forced me to slow down and be in that moment with them, be physically close to them and just breath in that bond. It's also always gave me a good excuse to kick up my feet and read a book, haha! Oh well, guess I just need to figure out a good snuggle time and schedule that into our day so that it's never pushed to the side or forgotten. Not that I don't hug and snuggle and express love to my children every day... but I think any mom, especially one with many children can understand how the day can fly by and before you can come to terms with it your kids are in bed and you realize you didn't get enough quality snuggle time in. Projects, house cleaning, school, work, etc... got in the way and you forgot to pause and really snuggle up those kids. Always before I had bed time to make up for that, guaranteed snuggles as they drifted off. Now I'll just have to figure out something else that works for us. Maybe each night I'll lay down and snuggle a different kiddos for a moment, a little special time with mommy. Life with children is a constant readjustment.
Interested to see how it goes tonight, and really anxious to find a bunk bed! I also want to paint the kids bedrooms, maybe this spring, and get some more shelves in there so they can start keeping some of their special toys in their bedrooms instead of the playroom. Especially Bubu because he's starting to like the "bigger boy" toys like Lego's and we can't have those in the daycare playroom with the little kids. I also want to sew some curtains for their rooms for the closets and windows. Haven't don't that in a long time! The kids actually have really boring rooms, we've focused most of the fun in the playroom, so I'd really like to do some room make overs in there in the next year. :)
Well I've ran out of rambling time, so off I go running, busy, busy day ahead!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Where's the oobie fairy?

I think my little girl is going to be hard to wean...

I've never made it this far with any of the boys, I always got pregnant again and it was uncomfortable to nurse them and made me feel super grumpy so for both of our sakes I always weaned them to a bottle. Then at two the bottle fairy always came and took the bottles, left a treat, and that was the end of that. Not happening that way this time and I am at a loss. Part of me wants to wean her and another part of me doesn't really care just yet. She hardly nurses, just once before nap time and once before bed. I tried cutting out the nap time one today because she just turned two and I figure I should start in that direction. But she started crying and saying "sorry mommy, sorry mommy" and it killed me. Seriously, I'm tearing up just thinking about it. I kept telling her there wasn't anything to be sorry about, that she didn't do anything I just wanted her to take a bottle and we would snuggle, but she was heart broken. I teetered on the edge of being hard hearted about it and firming my resolve, but I just don't care enough yet to do that. So I nursed her and she was so sweet and happy and then fell blissfully to sleep. Which is so much better then what would have happened if I had continued to insist on a bottle. There is a huge part of me that feels guilty nursing Lala longer then I did her brothers. If I wean her now then it's not too much different then it was with them, but if I take a more relaxed approach {Which is what I was planning on doing with all of them before the whole pregnant while breast feeding thing got factored in.} I feel like they didn't get a fair deal and it makes me feel bad. Not that the reasoning really makes any since or should be a consideration for her... but there it is in my mind none the less... What's a girl to do? She's my last baby and I just don't feel as rushed with her as I did with the boys. With them, in retrospect, I was so rushed and strict about what happened when... keeping them all on the same schedule, doing it all the same. But with Lala it's all been different, some in little ways, others in big ways. I don't know if it's because she's a girl, or she's the last, or I'm just tired and more lazy. I'm definitely way more tired... and old. I guess I've just relaxed more on some things and don't feel so uptight about it all any more. Either way, she is not going to be an easy one to wean, because she plays me like a fiddle, and because I just don't really feel this big push to wean her this time around... Not saying I'm going to nurse her until she's five or anything, I guess today is just not the day. And neither is tomorrow...

I'd have to say that the bottle fairy makes things a whole lots easier!

Where's the oobie fairy when you need her?

{Oobie is what all my kiddos have called nursing.}

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Birthday party madness!

I'm thinking these pictures shout it loud and clear...
Cute little birthday girl!

Reading her card from her brother, so sweet...

Lala made this face over all of her presents this year, really adorable!

Make a wish my little strawberry shortcake...

To the moon! {or where ever super cuties go...}

Awesome dress up birthday party with friends!

Love these girls, the girl in pink I started watching her when she was three months old! Wow time flies!!!

Birthday present aftermath.... ahhhhhh!

Such sweet gifts, and such wonderful friends!

Happy birthday and a fruit pizza to you!

The big two year old sporting her new red shoes! She's lucky to have an Auntie that always keeps her stylin' ;)

Lala even got to end all this birthday party madness with a sleep over with her bestest friend... I'm thinking that was the best part.

My little two year old had one amazing birthday!

{Well actually two celebrations...}