Thursday, March 28, 2013

Thankful Thursday

It's Thursday again! I can't believe this week is almost gone...

This week has been interesting... Crazy busy with the kids, Jay working day tours & me not being off, me not feeling 100% like myself... but luckily there has been some silver lining.

I am thankful for the extra time we were able to spend with the boys. Although it is always a challenge juggling all 5 of them, I love the fullness my house has when we are all together.

I am thankful that the sun has finally decided to come out and the temperature has stayed above 40 degrees for more than 2 days straight. I am dying for spring to stay!!!!

I am thankful for baseball, which officially starts in 4 days!!!! Let's go YANKEES!!!!

I am thankful that my job affords me the ability to be close to my home and family. The day certainly goes by more quickly when I can go home and squeeze everyone at lunch time.

Starting my day off thinking of all the good things that happened this week really puts a positive spin on the day. I hope you all have just as much to be thankful for this week, especially with Easter right around the corner.

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Spring Break = No Break

We have been waiting for Spring break since Christmas break was over. Seriously.
Every person I know in the education field has been counting down the days, especially since President's day. Every. SIngle. One. When they canceled our February break due to Sandy, we knew Spring break would become the mother of all vacations. The kids - my kids, needed it desperately, as did the staff in my building and I'm sure every other school in our area.
I don't even want to think about the 8 week stretch we have coming after this long awaited "break".
Of course, I'm not off this week - but I think in this case it may be good and bad.

It's bad because I'm exhausted, and I miss my kids. It's easier to go to work every day when I know they are also busy at school. Not so easy when I could be home snuggling up with them. It's bad because the dumb ass who's in charge of my husband's precinct keeps switching his unit to day tours, and of course he has to pick this week - HELLO???? You have kids, obviously you know there is no school!!!
Can we say "Holy daycare expense, Batman?!?!" It's really NG (not good)!!!
It's also bad because these kids are eating me out of house and home, and it's only day 4!!! 
If the weather was better, it wouldn't be quite so bad - but spring hasn't sprung here yet.
 It was snowing yesterday for goodness sake!!!!  I mean c'mon already!
There are only so many movies you can watch in a week.

It's good because when I say they wanted needed this break, I was. not. kidding.
They have so much pent up energy, it's ridic. They are literally bouncing of the walls.
So - good for them that they are home blowing off steam,
and good for me that I am at work & don't have to deal with them all day by myself!
I know that sounds terrible, but lets be honest here... 5 kids all day with no other adult in sight is a lot of work. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my kiddos; but man, they are a handful!
Luckily, since Jay is on days most of the week we will have a bunch of family time all together,
you all know how little of that we get. 
 Fortunately for me, there will only be one night where I will be alone with the whole crew.
If you don't hear from me for Thankful Thursday, send out a search party!!!

 
So hard to be away from these cuties all day, but then I think of the mess they are most likely making at home and I am happy to be at work & blissfully unaware :)


It's also good because being at work in the peace and quiet has given me some time to think. I've been seeing bucket lists on some of my favorite blogs and I'm thinking, "why not me?" So, I'm working on my 40 in 40 list... Keep your eyes peeled for that one. In fact, I already started working on one of those goals today. I completed my first C25K (Couch to 5K) workout!!! I did it! I actually ran for 8 minutes, which I never thought I could do. I feel so much more confident already,
I can't wait to do my next workout. Maybe I can do this whole running thing after all!!!

Maybe...

We'll see how I feel after workout #2 ;) 


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Friday, March 22, 2013

Friday's Letters

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I really enjoyed linking up with Ashley at The Sweet Season last week, so I'm back again with more
Friday's Letters....

Dear Friday - THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for finally getting here! We all know you are not just any ordinary Friday, you are the Friday before Spring Break... the Friday we have all been dreaming about since January 2! Sandy was a real b*tch for taking our February break; the kids really want need this time. Even better, we get to spend a whole week with the boys, so again I say THANK YOU!!!
So gald you are here :)

Dear DisneyWorld - Get ready, we are coming for you!!! SO unbelievably excited to have officially booked our summer vacation, thanks only to our amazing parents (mine & Jay's both!). I swear, my kids really have the most fantastic grandparents. EVER. THE END.

Dear Mall - I'm coming for you, too! Cannot wait to spend tomorrow walking your halls, browsing your beautiful retail spaces with nothing but my best friend and cup of hot chocolate. I'm really looking forward to the kid-free girl time & some much needed retail therapy. Momma's gonna grab a few things. Hey, I deserve a reward for keeping this baby weight off for 6 months, don't I???

Dear Jay - You. Are. Amazing. I know I don't tell you enough. I love you, and I love how hard you work for us. I can't imagine how hard it is for you to juggle working so much and hardly sleeping, but you somehow manage to keep it all together, and I wan't you to know how very grateful I am that you do.

Dear Spring - I know I wrote you last week, but where the heck are you??? I want to retire my down jacket! I want to get a pedi and break out my flip flops!! I want to start running outside!!!
Hurry. Up. PLEASE!!!!





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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

I Can't Believe...


I'm linking up with Robin at the The Sunshine Diary today, one of my new favorite blogs... You should really check it out if you haven't already. It's good stuff.



I Can't Believe - That my DVR was not working last night!!! Kids were actually in bed on time and stayed asleep, a perfect opportunity to catch up on my shows... but NO! Not in the cards for me. Cablevision, get your sh*t together!!!

I Can't Believe - That baby M still has a black eye since last Friday... She tripped and fell into her brother's bed, and banged her face. It definitely looks better, but she still has a major boo boo.
I miss her pretty, bruise free face.




I Can't Believe - That I get to spend the entire day on Saturday shopping with my bestie, SANS KIDS!!! What will we do with a whole day to ourselves with no kiddos??? I am daydreaming of the possibilities... My husband rocks for taking off from work so I can have a day to myself.
Which leads me to the last my last unbelievable thought....

I Can't Believe - That I snagged this HOTTIE!!!



Sometimes I still can't believe how unbelievably lucky I am to have met my hubby. He is (obviously, as you can see) a total hottie. He is strong, sensitive, and loving... and maybe most important to me, an AMAZING daddy! Oh, did I mention he can cook? and bake??
He is the complete package ladies & gents, and I am lucky enough to call him mine!


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Monday, March 18, 2013

Face Lift!!!!

I'm sure by now you've noticed that this little ol' blog has gotten a BIG ol' face lift!

It was in desperate need.

I want need to give a HUGE thank you to Erin at Love, Fun and Football for giving my blog a fresh new look. It is so much more beautiful then I ever could have imagined!

Erin makes blog design a very straight-forward process. She is SO easy to work with, and FAST! She kept at it until it was exactly what I wanted, and did not seem even slightly irritated by my incessant emails. I kid you not, I emailed her at least 3x a day. I am a little bit of a perfectionist, which can get annoying. I'm not sure how she out up with me!!! I am so grateful to her for creating such a beautiful space for me to ramble on in.

If you're in need of bloggy make over, head on over to Love, Fun and Football for more info and check out some examples of her amazing work!!!

I hope you all enjoy the new look as much as I do :)


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Friday, March 15, 2013

TGIF!

I've been dying to try a link-up, so here goes...

I'm linking up with The Sweet Season for Friday's Letters.

Dear Daylight Savings Time - You really kicked my ass this week, but I am SO glad you are here! Extra daylight = extra playtime outside, which also = extra sleepy kids!!!

Dear Spring - Please hurry up and get here quick!!! My boys are dying to start baseball and I can't wait to start my outdoor training for my new fitness goal - running a 5K. I mean it. Actually running... No, I am NOT kidding.  I'm also looking forward to taking baby M out for more walks, so please speed it up!

Dear Diet Dr. Pepper - I miss you so! Only 2 more weeks and then I can have you multiple times a day, EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

Dear Home ImprovementsWHY are you taking so long??? It's been almost 5 months since Hurricane Sandy, and quite frankly, I'm sick of looking at the mess. I need my basement back! Plus, a locking bedroom door would be nice ;)

Dear Baby M - Please stop that shriek you make whenever you want to get our attention. How does such a BIG scream come from such a tiny little person? I know you only have a few words, but any of them would be sufficient to get our attention. You are SO adorable 99.9% of the time, so can we please quit it with the ear piercing shriek and just make it a solid 100%? Thanks!

Dear Weekend - Please go by very s-l-o-w-l-y. I desperately want need to catch up on sleep, and I love having family time together with all 5 kiddos and the hubs - we DO NOT get enough of that!



Happy weekend everyone!!!


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Bloglovin' Here We Come!



I heard they are shutting down Google Reader as of 7/1/13... so I'm jumping on the bloglovin' train. I don't want to get left behind ;)

Come check it out!!! Follow my blog on Bloglovin'!


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Thankful Thursday - For My Momma

So... I don't want to be a Debbie Downer here, but I've really been missing my mom a lot lately.
I don't know why, but the grief still comes and goes, even after all these years.
Some times I can go on with my daily life with only passing happy thoughts,
and some times I miss her so much it is physically debilitating.

For those of you who don't know, we lost my mom back in 1998, after a 7 month battle with pancreatic cancer. It was a difficult and chaotic time for my family, utterly devastating for my dad, sister & I; Losing my mother just 2 weeks after my 20th birthday has truly shaped the adult I have become. I'm not sure if it's for better or for worse, maybe a little of both. I guess that all depends on the day.

Anywho... since I have been missing her A TON lately, I would like to dedicate this week's Thankful Thursday to my beautiful mother. Here are few of the reasons I am thankful my mom was my mom :)

Her strength - Of course the obvious would be her strength in staring cancer in the face and fighting it head on, but it was so much more than that. She had strong character, strong morals and physical strength. She taught me how to take care of myself, and to always stand up for what I believe in, even if I may be going against the grain. It's cliche to say "when life gives you lemons, make lemonade", but it was always something like that with my mom. Life isn't always easy, but you have to keep moving forward. She had a tough life, but she kept on pushing until she made her way to a better place. She taught me how to find the strength to go on,
even when you feel like all the cards are stacked against you.

Her Acceptance - Don't get me wrong, my mom was one of the most opinionated people I have EVER known. If she didn't agree with you, she let you know; but that didn't mean she wouldn't accept what you were saying. She let me live my life, even though she didn't always agree with every decision I made.

Her Laughter - I think I'm a little too tense at times... a little too serious... but I also have a funny, goofy side - this I most definitely get from my mom. Some of my happiest childhood memories involve dancing around my living room with my mom - Singing "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" at the top of our lungs, or doing "Sweatin' to the Oldies" in our pj's. She could let loose and "get the sillies out" (as Yo Gabba Gabba would say) at the spur of the moment.
She taught me that spontaneous laughter is so good for the soul.

Last, but certainly not least...

Her Love - I was a difficult child. The kind of kid that followed up every statement with but why? I was constantly pushing the envelope and testing her patience, but I always felt the love. Mom and I butted heads big time during my high school years. I said some terrible, awful things to her that I wish to God I could take back now; but no matter how much we fought, I never doubted her love. Even though I thought she was trying to ruin my life back then, the love was always there. I knew by the way she smiled when she mentioned me to her friends, by the way she fought for me at school when she felt they were treating my unfairly, by the way she would wait up for me
EVERY TIME I went out with my friends...
I really would give anything to come home and find her sitting up in my bed just one more time.

So, when I am missing her so badly and feeling down... Instead of focusing on all of the things we missed out on, I have to remind myself of why I am thankful she was my mother.







Monday, March 11, 2013

Spring Ahead...

We finally had some beautiful weather here this weekend, and my kids were taking full advantage! As soon as Jay got back with the boys on Saturday morning, they all ran outside to play baseball. They couldn't wait to get out there! R started indoor practice 2 weeks ago so he is fully in baseball mode, and B & A will
finally be playing on a team by their mom's house, so they were very anxious to start practicing.

We also brought baby M into the backyard to play for the very first time! She loved it! She played a little catch with her brothers and ran around the yard in circles. We even let her sit on the trampoline for a bit. She didn't last on there too long, because her brothers can't keep themselves from jumping and I was just too nervous, but she had a blast. She had so much fun, she didn't want to come in! She was screaming like crazy on our way back into the house. I hope she always loves being outside this much... so much better than the alternative of being glued to the TV set.





I was even able to read a book and get out for a walk by myself. Who knew?

Perfect ending to Saturday = breakfast for dinner! Home made plain, blueberry and chocolate chip waffles (of course they can't all like the same kind!!!) with scrambled eggs. Such a simple thing to do, but it really makes them so happy. My waffles are AMAZEballs, btw... 
I should double the recipe, they are always looking for more.

Everyone was dragging on Sunday due to the time change, and it didn't help that Jay worked until 7 am! We were all so tired exhausted. For the boys there was lots more outdoor fun, for Jay there was lots of laying around on the couch. Baby M and I got out for a walk, she just loves being outside.
Then we made home made stuffed shells (low fat, of course!) for dinner with grandpa.

Another perfect ending to another beautiful day... home made dinner cooked together with my love, and sharing a delicious meal with all the people I love most. All in all, another great weekend at our house.

Did you get outside this weekend?

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Thankful Thursday

Luckily I don't think I will ever run out of things to be thankful for. So here goes for this week...

My babysitter - She is amazing! M just loves her to pieces, and she is great with the boys too. She is always available when we need her, which has been a lot lately. With Jay constantly getting switched to random day tours, it makes it much less stressful knowing
we have someone we can trust and count on to watch the girl while we are at work.

She even brought M this bag since she is currently OBSESSED with pocketbooks. 
 Isn't she the sweetest???



This is a good segue into #2 ---->  

No daycare. As much as I can't stand having to be away from my hubs most of the week, I feel it is a blessing that our daughter gets to be with her parents all day every almost every day. I love knowing where she is and what she's doing at all times, and that when I'm working I can always go home for lunch and smush her little face!


How could you not want to smush this face???



Milano cookies. Double chocolate. I know, I know... Weight Watchers, healthy living... I know! Don't worry, I'm not off the wagon. I just like to end my day with something sweet, namely chocolate. Of the dark variety. Usually with nuts. However, this double chocolate Milano cookie is like heaven, and it is definitely my new obsession.
Two cookies before bed = PERFECTION. 



Last but not least...
Baseball. Even though my beloved NY Yankees starting line-up seems to be dropping like flies, I am super stoked that baseball season is finally upon us. Spring training means the warm weather is on it's way, and good times watching America's favorite past time with my boys are on the horizon.
Baseball = summer, and that is most definitely my favorite time of year.


What are you thankful for today???

  

Monday, March 4, 2013

Weekend Fun

The kids and I were very fortunate to have another full weekend with the hubs this past weekend.
I have been spoiled having him around for the past two Saturday nights.
We had a fun and productive weekend!

FRIDAY: Since we don't eat meat on Fridays during lent, Friday night is Sushi night in our house. I LOVE sushi! We found a great local place that is delish, reasonable, and delivers in a timely fashion..
you can't beat that, especially on a Friday night.
After the kids went to sleep we caught up on the DVR and had lots of much needed snuggle time.
My one complaint about life right now is that my hubby and I
do not get to spend nearly enough time together.

SATURDAY: Lazy day! We hung around the house, and the kids played outside on the trampoline. They were SO excited. It had been dismantled since Hurricane Sandy, and Jay finally put it back together for them on Saturday. Hours of out door fun, exercise for them
and quiet inside the house for mom = a win! win!
 Jay & B primed the area of the basement that was damaged by our dear friend Sandy. Four months later and it is finally starting to come together. Hopefully next week we will have floor tiles down!
 Yay! Who ever thought I'd be so excited by floor tiles?
Is this what it's supposed to be like when you hit your mid-thirties???
Moving on... Saturday night Jay and I had dinner with my bestie and her husband to celebrate her birthday. We hardly ever never get together sans kiddos -
(they have a 3 year old and our girls are 2 months apart) - 
so I really enjoyed our grown-up time together.
Dinner was super yum, and afterwards we hit up a local cafe for dessert.
 Cannolis... need I say more?

SUNDAY: Jay and B painted the basement, and I took baby M out for a few hours to run errands. She got all dressed up and we put pigtails in her hair for the very first time. Yay!  Apparently the other three boys were not very good BAD while I was out, so I came home to a house full of sad, punished boys.
Daddy was peeved!!! He never yells at them, so it must've been real ugly.
We spent the later half of the day celebrating our niece's 13th birthday. Wow. 13. How does that happen? These kids are all growing up too quickly...
Anywho, all five of our kids love birthday parties at their aunt's house. They don't get to see their cousins all that often, so they absolutely LOVE hanging out with them. Of course B is too cool to hang out with the younger kids or the girls, so he stays with us;
 but the little guys hang together, and the girls oohh and aahh over baby M.
She adores the attention & I get to have a glass (or two) of wine, so again, a win! win!!! 

Only downside to the weekend - driving the boys back to their mom's house. It is in Guam ridiculously far from where we live, so it takes almost 2 hours round trip... 
plus, all the kids are always miserable when it's time to go.
To top it all off, last night we had a major detour because a major
accident closed the main road by their mom's house.

All in all a good weekend, but it's always punctuated by sadness - the only minus of the blended family, having to say goodbye every week :(


Baby M's first pigtails :)

Enjoying a birthday cupcake :)

 
Anyone do anything super fun or exciting this weekend? Can I live vicariously through you???

Friday, March 1, 2013

1 Year Ago Today...

1 year ago today - March 1, 2012 - I received the phone call that every cop's wife dreads. Thankfully, it wasn't as bad as it could've been - my hubs was actually able to make the call himself. I will tell you this though, you never want to hear the words "don't panic, but" when your spouse has to put on a bullet proof vest to go to work every day. There is always panic. I live in a perpetual state of panic for 9 hours a day, 5 days a week.

"I'm on my way to the hospital" was the line that followed. NOT helping the panic situation any!!! During a routine drug stop, the perpetrator decided to make a run for it, assaulting both my husband and his partner in the process. He told me he was pretty sure his ankle was broken, and he would need me to come to the hospital and pick him up.

So, I called my sister to come and stay with the kids while I went to retrieve my broken spouse. I couldn't believe it when I walked into that ER and saw him. He looked so, scared.  It was really difficult to see him there, half in uniform and half in a hospital gown, in pain and looking so small in that hospital bed. I couldn't wait to gather him up and take him home. I just wanted to hold him.

When the Orthopedic Resident came in to apprise us of the situation,  I was definitely not prepared for what I heard next. I was not going to get to gather my husband up and take him home. He was not going anywhere. All three bones in his ankle were broken, and it was severely dislocated. The ER doc tried unsuccessfully to reset the dislocation for the next 3 hours. Jay was going to need surgery, ASAP.

Surgery? I couldn't believe it. We had so many questions and so many things to work out. Who was going to watch the kids? What was I going to do about work? What happened next was a series of things that would stretch out into the l-o-n-g-e-s-t two weeks of my life. Surgery was scheduled for the next day. During that operation they reset the dislocation and attached a piece of hardware to the outside of his leg to keep the ankle in place. Literally screwed it right through the skin into his shin - it was awful. A second surgery would be scheduled to repair the actual breaks in the bones as soon as the swelling from the dislocation went down. That ended up taking five very long days. In the interim, Jay had to attempt to walk (with a walker) with this giant contraption literally screwed into his leg, and he had a terrible reaction to both the anesthesia and the pain medications. He was vomiting for days, 12 days to be exact.

During his two week stay at the hospital, we received A TON of support from his colleagues and those in charge at his command. There were officers there with him most of the time, which was a great comfort to me since I had to go back and forth with the kids and couldn't be there as much as I wanted to be.  My in-laws were wonderful. Jay's dad sat with him all day, every day. They helped out with baby M a lot. The first week he was there,  the kids didn't see him at all. After the second surgery he was put on an orthopedic floor, so I was able to bring them up. It was so difficult for Jay, because the boys couldn't handle seeing him that way and only came up to visit once. Luckily, I was able to bring M up daily for short visits. I think the hardest part for him was being away from the two things he loves the most. His family and his job.

It was a very hard time for me. This was the longest we had ever been apart since we started living together three years earlier. He had never been away from baby M. I was juggling trying to find sitters, driving back and forth to the hospital twice a day, trying to be there for him and still take care of my kids. It was exhausting. I missed my partner.

I also had to make a plan for our family for the next four months. That's right folks, recovery time was count 'em...1,2,3,4 months! There was no walking at all for the first six weeks, then six weeks in a walking boot, and that was followed by about a month of learning how to walk again in a regular sneaker. He was unable to drive until the walking boot came off, so I had to drive him back and forth to physical therapy three times per week. In the beginning I had to help him shower and get dressed. He wasn't able to carry M, or do any household chores, so all of the things he used to help out with became solely my responsibility. I never realized how much he did for me around the house until he was physically unable to do it - I really took that for granted before. I had to take a leave of absence from work, and I had just gotten back from maternity leave! The worry from how we were going to survive financially was almost enough to kill me!

Fast forward to today - March 1, 2013. Somehow we made it through. We survived being separated for two weeks. We survived being on top of each other for four months. We survived the financial setbacks that came as a result. We learned a lot about the people in our lives, and who we can count on when the going gets tough. We were surprised by a lot of people, some in a good way, some bad. It sucked to be disappointed by some of the people we thought should be there for us, but it was also great to know that there were still so many people who had our backs. Jay has most of the function back in his ankle as of today. He was able to return to work full duty five months after the assault. He is able to use the stairs again, run (I use this term very loosly), and play baseball with the boys just like before.

Life is back to "normal" so to speak. With that being said, I think our state of normalcy has been altered. Before the assault, I hardly ever thought twice about the dangers involved with my husbands work. Now it's all I think about most of the every time he leaves the house, and every time I hear a negative comment about a cop it makes my blood boil. Thankfully, Jay's injury wasn't something permanently disabling - it could have been so much worse. Far too many officers have paid the ultimate sacrifice. We are truly lucky to have such brave men and women who fight to protect and serve our communities, and I am PROUD AS HELL to call one of those brave men my husband.



Top 2 pics are one of M's many visits with daddy during his hospital stay. The bottom is the day he came home. She was so happy, this picture does NOT do her grin justice :)