Thursday, October 9, 2014

Zoo & wild animals

We recently joined our local zoo & we took OUR wild animals!

It's a great zoo, small enough for a half day adventure and parenting to go often!

Friday, September 19, 2014

7 quick takes: Costco

A friend once said, "Costco is proof God loves big families"
Sorry, it's blurry, but I was mobile, yo
And ya know, I can't find any flaw in this logic.

Can you?

Plus, we can find a LOT of what we need to follow our plan of eating real and whole foods.

Here are my seven, a love letter, if you will, to Costco.

1) Costco's membership with benefits! We have the executive membership with the AmEx, so we get money back (to spend at costco, duh)

I'm trying to get Daddy to kick the diet soda habit, no idea if this will work.

2) The office supply isle.
Sigh. I must. control. myself.
So delicious, so office supply-y.
Just breathe in the beauty, and don't BUY ANYTHING.. much.. maybe some sharpies..

3) COFFEE, seriously, we have found some amazing coffee at Costco, and then.. I found this!
Are you kidding me?
Oh yes.. yes, I did.

this thing of beauty was under $8!

4) Diapers, yeah, I know.. I can get them cheaper somewhere else, but that takes a lot of time and effort, that I don't have to spend right now.. so I'll pay for diapers (and ps, kirkland wipes are the BEST!! I love them)

5) SAMPLES, really? I mean if you time your trip just right... you don't even need to feed your family REAL FOOD!! Amazing..

6) The cafe... I know, it's all crap.. but it's soooo good!! The pizza is the best $10 you'll ever spend! And the Fro Yo! Seriously.  Good stuff, even if no one feels good in my house after.. stupid gluten.

7) The people.. I have shopped at a lot of places, and there are exceptions, but Costco hires nice people, y'all. They are so helpful, kind, and friendly!! 
I might be a little over excited, but for 2 years I lived where there was no Costco, and we had to drive over a half an hour for a Sam's Club.. and they do NOT compare, I'm sorry, Sam Walton, it's just not.

Sadly, I'll be back and do it again in less than 2 weeks

Join Jen, at Conversion Diary, for more fun quick takes!!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

WIWS: oh, hey!

oh, hey!

It's been a goodly long while since I have written a what I wore Sunday entry, and I found a cute skirt while thrifting, and I thought.. Oh, hey! 

So here I am!

how we roll

Life here at the Clone Haus has gotten SUPER crazy busy, so busy in fact, that I haven't folded laundry in TWO WEEKS!! Do you have ANY idea how much folding that is?? (actually, when you have kids that wear stuff for days in a row.. I'm looking at YOU's not as much as you would think! Only, Daddy makes up for that with wearing three outfits a day. So, yeah.. never mind)

I have selfie issues

It seems to me, that no matter what Mass we attend, we always seem to be franticly rushing around attempting to find shoes, or something and by the hair on my chinny chin chin, we make it on time.. or pretty close anyway.

my friend's daughter made these earrings as a fundraiser for a mission trip

We were taken aback by autumnal weather today, it's been quite hot and humid, so some of my children were dressed for.. the south in summer, not today's cool and rainy weather. Sadly, I have looked ahead in the forecast, and it isn't sticking around for long.. I'll be home, drinking all the toasty warm coffee today!

the Saint on the top is who is praying for me today! (St. Joseph and Daddy)
Daddy had to leave today for some training, and the clones just don't handle it the way they once did.. the deployment really did a number on their security in him leaving. He's only going to be on for a few days this week, and a few days next week, but there were a LOT of tears.

I hope they learn that he comes home, and it's not always months at a time we are saying goodbye.

OK, now to the OUTFIT!

I wore make up AND accessories today.. Really, I do try to get pulled together for Mass every week, some weeks, though, life doesn't cooperate!

Daddy took my picture, so I hope you can see it..

The cardigan is from target, the tank top from Old Navy, skirt I thrifted this week, and my shoes are birkenstocks (oh yes, I am full on hippie)

a close up of the skirt, it's WAY cuter than it looks

For more fun and inspiration go check out the other #WIWS at Fine Linen and Purple!!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Latin Mass, with kids.. a sample

Let me start this post with the fact that WE LOVE OUR NEW PARISH, and Daddy and I firmly believe that The Lord has placed us in the right parish, each and every assignment!

(also, this post won't have photos, sadly, as I can not take photos of the utter insanity that happens in Mass)

We have to pack a 50lb bag (possibly a slight exaggeration) of stuff to bring this lot to Mass as a starter. We aren't food bringers, however, we must have a bottle because Pooski is often sleepy. We have 2 weighted lap pads made by a dear Air Force wife friend.. we have Mass books, coloring books (yet we forget crayons?) of the mysteries of the rosary, coloring books and picture books.. and about 6 months of previous bulletins and MagnifiKids.. (even though they're not terribly helpful during the Extraordinary Form Mass.)

Again, I'll remind you how much we LOVE our new Parish, it's always a little scary and you never know how children will be received in a new Parish, and at a Latin Mass?? Well.. THEY ARE MOST WELCOME at our new church!!

Pooski almost immediately needs Miggy to take her out because she has discovered that if she screams at the tippy top of her lungs, she gets to leave. sigh.

BamBam finds at least one veil to wear, while lifting anything and everything he can OVER HIS HEAD. Today he was wearing my brown veil and Bean's white veil. Simultaneously.

Bubs was LAYING DOWN with his face in strangers bums. So Ameilia's logic fails here. But I'm SURE it would work for anyone else.

Bean was making water drop sounds and...erm... flatulent sounds..

Now, we receive Holy Communion at a communion rail.. my heart, it is aflutter.

That is a different circus show.. someone is ALWAYS going to fight with someone about who is kneeling next to Daddy, or me. Mostly Daddy.
Then Pooski is making a break for the Holy Mother, shouting "MARE MARE!!", so either Daddy, Miggy, or I have to wrestle her back over..

Shortly after returning to the pew, Pooski stands on the seat, shouting "necklace", however.. it totally sounds.. um.. not at all like necklace, but rather like she's talking about a part of the body all humans have, or.. a VERY, VERY bad word.

By the time we get to the end of Mass prayers.. we are all in need of a breather! ;)
Lucky for us there is a gaggle of children to run around with after.
Daddy and I get to chat and make friends too!

Have I mentioned that I love our new parish?? Because I DO!!

**oh, and Miggy will be confirmed this year, and I am VERY thankful that our parish wants the kids to be ACTIVE Catholics!!


open book

Good afternoon, friends!!

I am coming to you today for advice!!
What would you like to see me blog about?

nothing cuter than a baby in sunglasses
how they do swim practice

I know you all thrive on my photos of the kids.. but what more can I do for you??

boy selfie!

naps, they're not always pretty

Please comment and let me know!

he needs a haircut, but won't allow it

her silly face

Happy Labor Day, y'all!
Let's play some ball!

well, we TRIED to play ball, but lightning made them call the game.


Thursday, August 28, 2014


Pooski is twenty-two months old today, (well, the day I've begun writing this blog post..) and we're still nursing!!!

Some of you might find what I have to say controversial, but I'm OK with that

Let me tell you why I'm celebrating this. I have never made enough milk for any of my children. I have tried ALL the ways, some pretty far fetched, to increase my milk supply. There is not a thing you can say to me that will be new, or surprising!

Let's start with her birth, she was my first 100% NATURAL birth, everything happened in accordance with nature, and it was AMAZING!! After five inductions, the last one ending in an emergency c-section, I was over the moon. This birth brought with it the hope that if THAT part of me worked, than MAYBE my breasts will follow suit. I was wrong.

little squishy Pooski

We started life with low supply, and to make up for that I took medicine, herbs, and potions.. then, when I finally maxed out on what my body was willing or capable of.. we added in supplements.
I used the lact-aid nursing trainer to feed her at the breast with formula or donor milk. Yes, I used donor milk, from other mama's! 

I was SURE that at 5 months she would self wean, like BamBam did, it was SO ROUGH going.

We soldiered on.

I thought, once we introduce solids... she would surely be finished with me.

She craved my comfort all the more.
there is no better feeling than the love I see in her eyes

I also used bottles, and in order to keep our nursing relationship alive, I stayed on a newborn nipple.. actually we still use the newborn nipple on bottles! Gotta make her WORK for it!

For us, "nursing" doesn't always mean "breastfeeding"

I've used formula and donor milk, and I would choose donor milk, EVERY TIME if I have to do it again. Pooski has thrived on the efforts of other mama's. It hasn't been easy, and often donors were not local, so it was a family effort. For that I will be thankful for.. well, forever! I am thankful to the many, many mamas that helped us get through the first 15 or so months until it was no longer needed. I am thankful for my family being open to the road trips, and the defrosting, warming bottles of still frozen milk.. everything!

to look into her eyes.. brings such joy
I never expected nearly 2 years of this, I always hope for a year, and for my boys I didn't reach that goal. So to exceed it with Pooski is something that thrills me to no end. (except when she's picking at my moles, then I'm pretty miserable)


If you are having trouble with breastfeeding, seek a la leche league or a lactation consultant for help!
Make sure you surround yourself with supportive people, and if your people aren't supportive, you'll need some distance.

If you need donor milk, or have milk stored up that you'd like to donate, PLEASE DO!!
Bless another family.. We went through "Human Milk 4 Human Babies", and have met some amazing women!

Breastfeeding is VERY important to me, important to the health of mama and baby, but I will NEVER EVER shame a mama for feeding her child, as long as she and baby are happy and being fed.. bonding happens no matter the method.


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

the tooth shall set us free!!

With five teeth behind us, in Bubs mouth alone, one would lean to the idea that he might understand the process of losing baby teeth.

One would be so. very. wrong.

Each and every new wiggly tooth is like the first, only, somehow.. each time it escalates in meltdowns.

Bubs does totally fine while his teeth are in the first days of movement. The troubles begin when they start to wiggle when he's eating or talking. The past five teeth have caused one or 2 days of heartbreak... this sixth tooth (I totally typed sith, and maybe I should have stuck with that!) was in a class of terror reigning like no other.

He wanted a picture, and I needed a smile from him. We both won.

Poor Bubs, and I do admit it is VERY hard to remember that all of this "drama" is real to him, has been convinced for several days that not only could he not eat, and was going to die, but that he could also NOT BREATHE, so HE IS GOING TO DIE!

See, we are still new to learning the ins and outs of his brand of autism, and honestly, when you're winging it on your own, with nothing at all to understand. You lose patience, and now that it's a real thing he struggles with, I am trying to be a better mama to him, more kind, more patient. It's HARD! I have to relearn so much about parenting.. and not just with Bubs! I'm not as gentle as I'd like to be, with any of the kids.. and the way Bubs reacts to my voice.. ALL THE TIME, I need to be more gentle with him.

Last night, after he was having another meltdown, close to bedtime, and having only eaten a little yogurt and rice all day, Daddy looked at Bubs tooth. IT WAS TIME!! Daddy had to hold him while I was standing over him holding his arms with my hands. The kid screaming "I'm dying!" in between clamping his mouth shut.. I finally was able to get him to admit he does trust Daddy.. and daddy was able to grab hold  of it with a small paper towel.. and boom!
Now, he did start to panic and gurgle, and I worried he might choke!!

He did NOT, and there was not even all that much blood!

Until the next wiggly tooth...