Sunday, December 26, 2010

Mag's Christmas Performance...

Here's a video of Maggie's first Orff performance at church. She is in this music/choir class every Monday at church and she is learning so much! The teachers are amazing...can you imagine teaching all these 2-5 graders how to play something from scratch! I'm really proud of them and so glad she loves it so much...
videoAnd here's a sweet sweet video of me, Mom and Zoe surprising Tori at her school on Pajama/Polar Express/Happy Meal day. So cute how she takes off running when she spots her Gammy!
video

Christmas Programs...

Here's Zo Zo singing "Go Tell it on the Mountain." They sang aout 7 other songs too but this is the one she sang over and over and over all Fall. Cute!
video

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Um yeah...

I'm typing this post on my new iPad! Yes, I have the best husband ever. And yes, we will be eating peanut butter sandwiches for the next few weeks, but hey, it's Christmas. More blogging to come!! Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Just Dance 2

So we got a Wii from my parentals for Christmas and it is a BLAST! Literally every single one of us loves it and it's so fun. My sis in law, Leslie, posted a clip of her dancing to a song from Just Dance 2 and I'm not trying to say anything except that my 3 1/2 year old kicks her booty. Here's Little T dancing to "I Could Be Your Girlfriend"...


video


And here's ZoZo...she only wants to dance to Brittany Spears' "Toxic". I'm not sure how I feel about that. Actually I'm pretty sure I don't feel great about it, but it makes me laugh so here goes...
video

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Maggie's ghostwriting...



This Halloween we all dressed up as something different. Amelia was a vampire, Elizabeth was a deviled egg, Tori was Dorothy, Zoe was Tinkerbell, I was Raggedy Ann, and JP was a cricket player. Ethan and Alex were football players, and Camille was a Goth Fairy.


We all went Trick or Treating after dinner. We went all the way down to the cul-de-sac and back. We went a little farther from my house to go Trick or Treating. Something cool that I saw was on one house there were spider webs on two posts and you had to crawl under them to get the treats.



My Dad dressed up as my friends' Dad, and he dressed up as my Dad. But Mr. Jasi didn't know that Dad was going to dress like him. Mr. Jasi is from India so Mrs. Marty snuck over some of his clothes. Then my mom snuck over a Tarheel hat and a bowtie. My mom was a hippie for Halloween.

The air outside was cold. It was dark but there were lanterns out. Last Halloween there was a dog that I saw that was dressed like a pirate. His name is Chewy and he has a sister now named Ewok. This year they were both dressed as pirates.

I got a LOT of candy! I got a BIG Milky Way. I think I got over 100 pieces of candy. I ate two candies that night. My mom or dad didn't go Trick Or Treating.

It was a spooktacular night!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

I'm back...for now

I figured out what gets me blogging...lack of sleep. It's probably the frustration caused by repeated interruptions throughout the night that get my creative juices flowing. And they say to journal your frustrations, right? (Spoken like the good phychologist's daughter that I am)



Let me see...where to start. About five weeks ago we determined that it was time to get the twins' tonsils and adnoids out. Along with ear tubes for Tori and a tongue tie snip for Zoe. So the week before surgery I had to keep them home from everything so they wouldn't get sick. Fun for mom? Um, not really. They weren't sleeping well, fought a lot, and were pretty much super cranky because I had to start them on their breathing treatments before the surgery.



Let's just stop right here before I go any further to acknowledge the fact that I love my kids. I truly love them...every inch (no matter how many or how few) of their little selves.



That said, sometimes I really wonder if I was cut out for the small children stage of life. Not that I have any say in the matter, but I just like it so much better when they are over the age of four. I know there are challenges with any age, and I haven't had a teenager yet (unless a seven year old diva counts), but I am just not good at this maintenance stage of life. I get so frustrated with them, with myself, and then I feel guilty and then I feel sad and then I feel hungry and then fat and then like a slobby housewife. That's a little dramatic, but on bad days it can snowball like that. I come from a long line of snowballers and we are really good at it.



Stop the maddness! Ok, so they had the surgery, the recovery was HELL, but once again Gammy and Nonnie to the rescue. Thank the Lord. You may be saying to yourself, "You had their surgeries on the same day?", and the answer is "Yes, but the grandmas told me to." (I also come from a long line of "pass the buck-ers"...thanks Eve).



Aaaaanyway, so recovery was AWFUL, and I really am not being a dramatic snowball pass the bucker here. Up every 3 hourse giving meds, screaming every time they woke up, trying to force liquids down a three year olds' throats, and the pain. It's really bad to see your kids in pain and so droopy. They were pitiful, but about day 10 they got better. And I know what you're thinking..."10 days, that's all! Buffy, you had TWINS for goodness sake! You didn't sleep a full night for TWO YEARS!". And I would say that yes, that's true and that's what I kept telling myself through it all. But sleep doesn't work like that. It's not like you can flip a sleep memory switch and all of a sudden be used to getting woken up to the sound of a fire alarm 5-9 times a night. (Waaaaa, waaaaa - I know! And I"m not even the one who was in pain!)



Now we're four weeks post surgery and I am so glad we did it. At least in Zoe's case. She is a new child, and I'm not exaggerating a BIT! She is so easy going, loveable, snuggly, helpful. Seriously???? Yes. I think she hasn't slept a full night's sleep n two years - maybe sleep apnea and we never knew! I can't stress this enough...she really is a different girl. More like herself. I saw glimpses of it before, but they were always masked by fits, screaming, anger, and overall crankiness.



Tori, on the other hand, has had another switch flipped. She is just acting like she's three, which she is, and that's fine. I can handle that. What I can't handle is the fact that she is STILL waking up numerous times a night, coming out of her room, crying, saying she has to go potty, needing her paci, whatever. Ugh. It's REEEEEALLLY getting old. And there's the extra fun of trying to figure out whether she's just being three or if she has something going on in her little genetic material that makes her body and mind unable to remain at rest. So we are off to find another solution to the Smith Sleep Debacle. She wakes up everyone every night. And to top it off, it was really cold here last night so I turned on the heat at around 4 AM and it set off the smoke detectors. Fun.



Pray for us - for our little T to sleep, for her parents' sanity, for their marriage, and for their patience! It's hard to be filled with the fruit of the Spirit at 4 AM. Full of other things, yes, but not the Spirit.

Sidenote...today is our neighborhood garage sale so I gotta hit the streets. Later, blogland. Hopefully it won't take me so long to post next time. And if my crankiness is any indication of my blogging frequency, then I'll probably be back on here after these messages...

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Potty Book

Hello, my name is Hannah. I have lots of fun each day.
But first I need my diaper changed so I can go and play
I can eat my breakfast by myself, I can brush my teeth at the sink.
I can choose the clothes I want to wear - I really love hot pink.

Mommy has a big big box, she says it's just for me.
Daddy helps me open in, whatever can it be?
Is it a new rocking chair? Is it a bed for Teddy?
Mom says it's my very own potty to use when I am ready.

I look down at my diaper, it seems to fit just right.
My diaper's where I pee and poop morning, noon, and night.
I sit on my very own potty, my Teddy sits with me.
Off goes my diaper when I want to poop or pee.

Sometimes I hurry to the potty...whoops! I am too late!
Sometime I sit and sing a song, or read a book as I wait.
Uh-oh I had an accident! My pants are very wet.
Mom and Dad say, "That's ok, Hannah! Don't you give up yet!"

Then one morning I wake up and whisper to my Teddy,
"I'm off to the potty. I think this time I'm ready!".
I sit on my very own potty, Teddy sits on my lap,
I wait a bit...I look inside...then I laugh and clap.

"Hooray!" I say, "I did it!". I"m really glad I tried.
Mom and Dad are happy and I feel great inside.
"Bye bye, pee! Bye bye poop!", I say with a wave and a cheer.
Dad says, "Let's call Grandma, this is news she'll want to hear."

Mommy takes me to the store to buy new underwear.
Can you guess who gets to choose that very special pair?
Wanna know a secret? You can do it too!
Just march off to the potty like me and Teddy do.
I'm a big girl now. I can run and jump and play.
I don't want a wet diaper to get in my way.
I'm off to the potty, no more diapers for me!
And I feel great, I am proud of me.



In case you're wondering, Tori is potty training (semi) and since she is my third child undergoing this endeavor we have read this book about a million times.

And I just quoted it to you completely from memory. Thank you very much. Mom and Dad, aren't you glad you spent gazillions of dollars sending me to college?!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Happy Father's Day/Bday


So yesterday was Ian's birthday and, as you know, Father's Day. We had a great day - church, which was awesome, then cooking all day, then cookout with Sandy and the Kibbe fam. I gotta say, my Nana had to be smiling down on our meal last night. I made fried squash (Papa's Favorite), onion rings, cucumbers in vinegar, corn on the cob, and we grilled burgers. Then Maggie and I made Nana's chocolate cake for dessert. Yumm! You know how you try to make recipes like your grandmother and they just never turn out right? Well, somehow the Nana-feelins were with me yesterday because it was good...I mean Yummarific. The chocolate icing was thick and really chocolatey. I think the secret is in excessive amounts of cocoa, and an awesome pink Kitchen-Aid mixer. Not to toot my own horn, but...toot toot toot!!

So the awesome sermon yesterday was about doing good and not needing recognition...I think I may need to listen to that again after all my gluttonous gloating.

Happy Birthday Honey!! What a great Daddy/Man/Hubby you are. Love you so much.
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Friday, June 18, 2010

And another one.

This video is from our trip to Disney a couple weeks ago. Someone gave them this high school musical microphone key chain that plays a song from the movie. Tori really really loved it...
video

Monday, March 15, 2010

M-I-C...See ya real soon...K-E-Y...Why, because we like you...




Z and T slurping Mickey Mouse Ice Cream...yummmm








Cinderella's evil stepmother. Please look at her face. Then look at Zoe's.

I absolutely love Disney. We all had a blast, but the best time of the whole trip for me is watching the kids watch the parade. Please look at their little faces! So sweet. I especially love that Maggie, who is seven, is still yelling at all the characters and trying to get them to wave to her. So sweet. Take a look...






video

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Dress up, Disney, and Dad

So February is always a hoppin month around the Smith household because it's not only Valentine's Day on February 14th, it's Princess Pearl's Birthday. In case you're wondering, we found out that Maggie's real name (Sarah Margaret) means Princess Pearl. This news thrilled her, and her Aunt Mary Lane, to no end. This year for Maggie's birthday we decided to go to Disney. The twins have never been and, well, they get in free until they trun 3 in May, so we decided to hit the road. Before that, though, we celebrated at home with my Mom and Dad, Sandy, and a couple of family friends. But before even that, I had the privilege of escorting Princess Pearl and her two best buddies, Amelia and Elizabeth, to a High School Musical play at a dinner theater in town. And get this, I actually WON the tickets! Seriously, I thought no one really won those contests...but I did! So, the four of us got all gussied up and went to see Pseudo-Troy and Gabriella do their thing at the Alhambra Dinner Theater in Jacksonville. The girls were THRILLED! They kept saying, "This is SO FANCY! Thank you Miss Buffy! This is the best thing EVER!". So cute. Here are a few pics:

























The next day we had Maggie's little family party and the pics are just too cute. She wanted to wear the Princess and The Frog crown and shoes she go from her Grandparents, and I guess she thought my program outfit would look best with her accessories...










Seriously, this is too much to post about, so I'll skip to the most important, which is what's going on with my Dad. Last week he called and told me that they found some cancer cells when he had his colonoscopy. He went into the hospital to have some of his colon taken out on Wednesday. He came through the surgery well and the results look really good. We are waiting to see if he will need to have any chemo or anything. It's been really scary for all of us, but we are so grateful that it was caught so early. Dad, of course, has been his typical jovial self. He asked me if I had seen Katie Couric's colonoscopy on the Today Show and that he had been able to see the inside of his colon during his colonoscopy. Then he told me that he looks a lot like Katie Couric on the inside. Classic Mark.
I'll write about Disney later. The twins are in here literally screaming at me right now...














Tuesday, February 23, 2010

This is so adorable and amazing...

Don 't know if you've seen this, but it's a clip from the Bonnie Hunt show about a sweet little girl who calls 911 for her dad. It's classic and so so sweet.

http://www.wimp.com/calmcall/

Friday, February 5, 2010

It's a rainy Friday night in Jacksonville...

and the bewitching hour is upon me. For once I have dinner in the oven and the girls "set the table." I've instigated the "get out of the kitchen until dinnertime" rule, but it's kinda lost on the fact that every house in Florida (including mine) has an uber-open floor plan. Man, would I love a bonus room.

Today I had these wonderful ladies come and deep clean my house. You know, stuff you (I hope, like me!) never get to do like baseboards, windowsills, floors, bathrooms, and changing bed sheets. (Did I just say that out loud?). Just joking - I do all those except the baseboards and windowsills. The others are on an "I can't stand the filth anymore" basis. Ian's mom and his Aunt Susan really have their work cut out for them in getting me up to speed on house cleaning and care. It's just not in my genes (no offense, Mom and Dad). My mom always says that we may not be good cleaners or pet owners, but we can people alive really well. First things first, right?!

Anyway, I was totally worried about offending the cleaning ladies by the state of my house. It's ridiculous. And every time someone comes to clean (like twice a year) I find myself apologizing profusely and giving them the rundown of how hard it is to keep a house with little kids. Blah blah blah. Really I just want them to tell me, "Oh gosh, your house doesn't look bad! Believe me, I've seen WAAAAAAY worse." Then they would go on to tell me that all the other houses they've cleaned in the neighborhood are rat holes.

Comparison may be the thief of joy, but just once I think it might make me feel a lot better.

Friday, January 29, 2010

No use crying over spilled milk

I always thought that was something grown ups said to kids who spill their milk. Now I know the truth. That saying if for the mommies who have to clean up the spilled milk. I was just repeating that line to myself yesterday after Zoe spilled her milk on the floor of our virus-infested casa. Then two minutes later Tori did the same thing. Tears just sprung to my eyes. I mean, milk really does go everywhere when it spills. And if someone has to take care of three young kids while they are screaming, strep-throating, puking, and fevering then she by golly has every right to cry over spilled milk...or for any other reason she wants.

Waaaaa-waaaaa. I know.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Feeling much better...

...as is evidenced by these questions of the day:

1. When is the last time you made toast on white bread with a lot of butter? That junk is slammin. It takes me back to my days when my Nana and Papa would take me for my "special turn" to their favorite restaurant called "Cogburn's". Holy white bread, Batman, it was good. They had the best buttery toast that would rotate through that toaster machine. Anyway, I found myself with a loaf of Sunbeam this week and made some "for the kids" this morning. Slammin. Ladies get off your whole wheat horse long enough to give it a whirl this week. It will make your mornin.

2. When is last time you sat down with a bag of Double Stuf Oreos after a week of the strep throat/stomach bug ravaging your household? It's a good time. Yesterday half of my daily Weight Watchers points were oreos.

Update... 4 out of 5 Smiths are on antibiotic for strep throat (or what we thought was strep). I am better, Ian is better, Z and T seem ok. Maggie got a fever last night, threw up today in the car line at preschool, and is sleeping in my (oh so sweet smelling) bedroom. Zoe and Tori are the only two who could possibly get this virus now. We're more than halfway through the family so I got that going for me!


Maggie, post-car line, sleeping with my sunglasses on.
Hey, at least she looks good, right?


p.s. Tori cracks me up in the background. Nice bang-cutting job by me. Poor kid
p.p.s. MAJOR shout outs and thank yous to the sweet ladies in the pick up line who helped me today. Maria, you are a saint! Thank you for staying with the twins at the throw up van while I went inside to clean Maggie up! Only a fellow mommy would do that!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Just one stomach flu away from my goal weight...

Possibly my favorite line from a movie ever. Stomach bugs and sickness are really no fun. Especially for moms. I really don't think it's right for moms to get sick because not only do we get feel terrible physically, but we also pile on a good dose of guilt about all the things we can't do when we're up and at-em. Ian was in Boston from Saturday night until (allegedly) Sunday night. Sunday morning I woke up feeling really rough...then rougher and rougher as the day progressed. It would have been a miracle if I didn't get sick because all three girls had strep throat this week and I wipe and clean every possible bodily excrement on a daily basis. Have you ever had to get a urine sample from your toddler in one of those urine bags that you put on them and they wear in their diaper? Let's just say that some of it made it into the cup, while the rest made it onto my toddler, my hands, and my bathroom floor. Fun.

Sooooo...Sandy came over to save me on Sunday and ended up spending the whole day here because I had to go to the CVS minute clinic and get some antibiotics, which I promptly threw up a couple hours later. Fever, chills, anxiety, pooping...not a good combination. Sandy took care of the kids (and the laundry and the dishes) while I tried not to lose my mind. She is so great to jump in like that. What a blessing to have her living here!

Enter my mom and my sister. When you're sick like that you just want your mom. It's just the way it is. So, I was on the phone with her and with Jeannie a good bit yesterday. Mainly for mental support. You see, when I get sick I need someone to continually reassure me that I am not going to be like that forever. I will get well. It's just strep throat. I am not a bad mother. Maggie will survive if I have to miss her Drama performance on Monday. Mom and Jeannie did that from miles away yesterday - and they didn't even make fun of me. I feel like such a weenie that I'm like that, but I am. Thanks you two!

The village continued to be in full effect, though, because Sandy had to go home last night around 9:00 and Keri Pound came over. What a sweet friend to come and sleep at my house, wake up with the three crazies, fix them breakfast and help get them out the door. I'm pretty sure she'll be getting her tubes tied sometime soon. At 8:00 a.m. my sweet friend Marty came to pick up Mag for school. She also took Z and T with her and let them play at her house for a couple hours.

Marty...she lives five houses up the street from me and it's glorious. It's like having my sister down the street. Do you know those friends who just KNOW when you're going to lose it and you need some help? That's Marty. Not just today, but last week she walked outside, saw Zoe lying flat on the sidewalk throwing a fit, and proceeded to take her for the rest of the afternoon. Marty has three kids of her own - Amelia and Elizabeth (6 y.o. twins and BFFs with Maggie), and JP (totally cute as a button one year old who we are hoping will continue his love affair with Tori for years to come). I tell you all that because not only did Marty and Jasi bought a house in our neighborhood and are moving this week. Yep, moving. So there's stuff everywhere between her old and new houses. She is running trips back and forth like a mad woman, filling up her SUV numerous times so she can get started with unpacking. Her husband is out of town this week on business, her uncle is visiting so that he can help, and she takes my two girls for the morning. Seriously? AND, when I called her to tell her that the girls could come home I heard her talking to Tyler, another little boy that she was watching for a couple ours while his mom was in school. What a saint. I mean it.

So where was Ian this whole time? Well, Sunday he was in Boston on business and spent most of that time feeling pretty sick himself. Because of the weather, he and his coworkers got stuck in Boston and didn't get out and back to Atlanta until 1 a.m. He called me at 3:45 a.m. when he finally got to the hotel. He was back at the airport a couple hours later in order to fly home and be here by 10:30. Ugh. He slept all day and is trying to force down some food. It ain't lookin good for my man.

So here's to you all you sweet sweet women in my life who help me out so much. I really don't know what I would do without you...when I'm sick and when I'm well. I love you all so much!

I am feeling much better. I was able to get to Maggie's drama performance, which was a trip. I'll post some of it soon. She is quite the enunciator.

OK, I'm off to eat some saltines...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Spanking...

I don't really want to hear how bad of a parent I am so if you're inclined to comment with alternative methods of discipline, please don't. I have tried them all. And I'm not necessarily a "spankin machine"...I can threaten, revoke privileges, and send to time out with the best of them. As a matter of fact, this week, for the first time in my children's lives, I used the phrase, "if you do that again I am going to bring you back into this bathroom and wear your bottom out." Stellar moment for me.

Not as stellar as last night's mother-of-the-year performance.

Tori has been kinda struggling all week. She threw up once on Monday, but I thought it was from some meds I gave her that upset her stomach. She has seemed out of sorts, but no fever at all. Just cranky and not too much of an appetite. Still, she was playing and running and being her adorable self yesterday. So when she woke up crying last night we thought it was her bi-weekly "I think I can get out of here and sit with mom and dad for a while because they'll feel sorry for me because I'm small" trick she pulls. She woke up over and over and after many attempts to calm her and give her milk I finally started the threatening..."Tori, if you don't stop crying you are going to get a spanking."

I mean, I gotta follow through.

So, I did. I have to add here that I my spankings are a measly excuse for a spanking. Still, Tori is a lot like me and it really doesn't take much for her to get the message. I spanked her. She kept crying. I went in and told her that if she didn't stop and go to sleep that I was sending in the big guns (aka Daddy). Daddy came and went. She would be quiet long enough for us to fall asleep and then start again.

We gave in. She came and slept with me and Ian got kicked to the red couch curb.

Tori slept pretty well the rest of the night. She woke up fussy, though, so in my infinite wisdom I decided to take her to the doctor. (I need to add here that I was NOT super excited about it because the twins were scheduled to be at Mother's Morning Out this morning and I needed an eyebrow wax something fierce). The long and short of it is...Tori has strep throat.

Awesome.

How'm I doing? Spanking a child who has strep throat. I'm feeling pretty good about myself .

Tori's had two lollipops and numerous cookies today. Not necessarily great for her health, but definitely good for my peace of mind.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Almost Heaven...

Zoe and Tori dancing around Ian's Christmas present - the Smokey Mountain Cooker


Ian's newfound love affair with smoking meats




My girlies on Christmas morning, wearing their "Santas"

Christmas was a blast. Aside from the fact that my sweet Papa was in the hospital, which caused him (and us) much pain, it was a great Christmas. I don't think I've shared this on here, but Papa fell a few weeks ago and broke his neck. Once he got to the hospital they found out that he also had pneumonia. It's been quite a road for him and for my parents, aunts and uncles as they all try to determine what's next for Papa. He is such an amazing man and he's sharp as a tack. He's definitely a guy's guy with a tender heart...especially for his three girls and slew of grandkids. Ian and I went and sat with him for a few hours one morning while we were home. He was in a LOT of pain and was not excited for me to see him hurting, but as soon as he felt good enough to catch his breath he started talking smack with Ian. He LOVES to talk smack with the guys in the family. They talked about the two Carolinas, job stuff, and always always money. Papa loves to talk/joke about money - how much he doesn't have and how much his sons-in-law have and need to give him. My whole life I don't think I've ever spent time with Papa where he didn't grab the butt/wallet of the men in the family and talk trash to them about how much they make. It's a trip. So, at the hospital that morning, while he was in major pain, we spent a good bit of the time looking up and calculating what he made in 1974 and (with interests) what that would be today. Hilarious. Papa was trying to say Ian made so much more than he did, when in reality Papa was raking it in. Hand over fist. He was a salesman and he was really really good. I wish you could know him. He's incredible.

Now for the rest of Christmas. It can probably be summed up in two words: bouncy house. My parents rented one for about four days and the kids had a blast. It was pretty darn freezing outside, but they all just shed their shoes and hopped right in. There are nine grandkids in our family now, ranging in age from 1 to 7. It's like a big party. My parents had a blast too. They just were beaming with pride the entire time...well, when they weren't flipping exhausted from filling sippie cups and wiping hineys. We all went to church on Chrismas Eve and it just so happened that my parents were singing a duet (Von Trapp-esque). They have never done that before and they were really good. Anyway, it was sooooo funny sitting there, taking up the first three rows with our huge clan dressed in Gammy-given outfits. After church we closed it down by trying in vain to get a good picture of the kids and Gammy and Doc.

That night we went back to Mom and Dad's and all the kids opened new Christmas jammies and bounced around the Christmas tree. My Dad pulled out his guitar and we sang carols, interwoven by a couple performances by Nate and Maggie of their Christmas songs they performed at school and church.

As I type this I need to say that I fully and completely realize how amazing this is. It was a slice of heaven, really. I almost feel guilty for loving my family so much and enjoying being with them. It's not always perfect, but it just feels like a great picture of the way the Lord loves me and all of us. Fully and completely, warts and all, knowing the good and the bad. I am so grateful and only hope to love my own kids and husband as well so that one day we will be singing around our tree too...only we'll probably be singing around the Smokey Mountain Cooker.