Thursday, February 15, 2018

Ruthie goes to Summerville/Disney on Ice

Last weekend Ruthie got to have a special weekend all by herself with Gigi and Papa in Summerville. She was SO excited about her trip! She got to visit some of Gigi and Papa's friends, went on a bird scavenger hunt in downtown Summerville, got a shark's tooth (she was very excited to show her sisters!), went to the children's museum, and went to a park.

It is always so strange around our house when one of the kids isn't there. We all missed Ruthie. Ellie asked to facetime with her on Saturday afternoon, all the kids asked about her multiple times a day, and Ruthie got some REALLY big hugs when we picked her up Sunday!

For Christmas my parents gave us tickets to Disney on Ice. We have already seen the Frozen show and we knew we wanted to do a show that wasn't all princesses so I've been watching the Disney on Ice schedule to find a show close to us that met our requirements. Last week I realized there was one in Charleston on Sunday and it was one we wanted to see. It worked out really well because Sunday was when Paul's parents were planning to bring Ruthie home so instead we met them in North Charleston for lunch and then they came to Disney on Ice with us! We saw The Wonderful World of Disney on Ice show and it was really good! Among other things it had lots of princesses, Nemo, Buzz, and best of all it had Lion King (JP's current obsession). All of us had a great time!

I was thrilled with how great our seats were! When I selected them online they definitely didn't look that close!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Valentine's Day

We had a wonderful Valentine's Day today!
Paul had left gorgeous roses and chocolate for me this morning and he also left each of the kids a rose and a little bowl of Hershey kisses. We all loved our surprises! (And I failed to take pictures)

The big girls took valentines to school today for their friends. We can't send candy so Emmie took applesauce that had an "I think you're awesomesauce" label on it and Ellie took teddy grahams with a "bear hugs" label. Ruthie has her party tomorrow and I melted down old crayons into a heart shaped silicone mold to make her valentines.

This evening we gave the kids their valentines present. I tried to come up with things that they really wanted and that would be very special for them.

Emmie got new matching pajamas for her and mousie. She had recently told me she wanted new matching pajamas since she has outgrown the last set.

Ellie got this fun sequined pillow and a sequined keychain. She has been obsessing over these pillows for weeks!

Ruthie was my hard one. I could NOT come up with anything. Then the other day she very sadly told me she had outgrown her slippers. DONE. So she got some new Minnie mouse slippers. They are super padded on the bottom and she thought it was so funny that she couldn't feel the floor.

JP got a stuffed Simba and a Lion King book. He is currently OBSESSED with Lion King and goes around telling everyone "me Simba!".

The kids were all thrilled with their gifts!

For those of you who follow me on facebook you might remember that a few weeks ago Emmie counted up all her money and told me that she had picked something out of the Kroger ad that she wanted to get for Paul for Valentine's Day. So I took her to the store and let her get her daddy a present. She picked out the Hershey's bar, paid for it at the cash register (and was thrilled that she got money back!), and tonight she was so excited to give it to Paul! She made sure to tell him that she bought it with her own money so he'd know just how special it was. :)
(The other kids gave Paul a bag of M&Ms)

After everyone went to bed Paul and I had a nice dinner of cheese fondue and Korean beef. It's always nice to have a (mostly) adult dinner!

Friday, February 2, 2018

Ruthie Grows Up

Ruthie had her 4yr old well visit today. You may remember that we have really struggled with keeping her weight up ever since she had pneumonia 2 years ago. At one point in the last 2 years she even fell off of the growth chart. Also, I had a major battle with the insurance company last April because they didn't want to approve her tonsillectomy but she kept losing weight because she wouldn't eat because her throat hurt. Well I'd really like to call them back and say "I told you so!". My little bit weighed in today at 31lb 10oz!! AND is in the 19th percentile! She has almost always been under the 10th percentile! The doctor and I were both quite excited! It makes me so happy that she finally feels well enough to eat whatever she wants.
She even got a smiley face from the pediatrician!

She also got her 4 year old shots today. She knew they were coming and she was pretty nervous. Let me tell you, little girl did AWESOME. She flinched a little when they did the first shot but she didn't cry a bit...until she sat up and saw the nurse putting the bandaid on. THEN she freaked out. Funny girl. But man is she tough! We went and got Krispy Kreme to ease the pain and suffering. :)

Ruthie has also been busy doing lots of other fun things.

She just finished up soccer at the Y. This was the first time any of my kids had played soccer and it was the perfect setup. Indoors, practice right before the game, perfect. Ruthie went back and forth throughout the season about whether she really enjoyed it but I think overall she did. She was pretty funny to watch play and she really liked her coach and she had a little girl from her preschool class on her team. Paul and Emmie went with her to her last game this past Saturday and Ruthie was SO excited when she got home because she got a trophy! She is so proud of her trophy and couldn't wait to put it on the bookshelf beside Emmie's dance trophy.

Ruthie was very adamant at the beginning of the school year that she needed a lunchbox. Since she got the lunchbox she hasn't said anything about wanting to stay for extended care and the whole idea makes me nervous because extended care is not peanut free. Well last week she finally told me that she wanted to take her lunch to school. So this past Thursday she stayed for extended care. She stayed until the very end so that I could just pick her up on the way to get the big girls from school. She had SO much fun! She loved having a lunchbox and she loved all the extra playground time she got. She told me 3 times in the first 5 minutes after I picked her up that she couldn't wait to do it again! She loves anything that makes her feel like one of the big girls and taking her lunch to school and staying all day like they do just made her week!
So happy when I picked her up from school!

Monday, January 22, 2018


It has been a big week around our house! Last Wednesday we started potty training JP. At our house we do the 3 day method where you go straight to underwear all the time and stay at home for 3 days and work really hard on going potty. The first 3 days this time were AWFUL. I was so ready to give up but figured we'd give it through the weekend. JP was always more willing to cooperate for daddy so I put Paul in charge of him over the weekend. By Sunday JP was doing MUCH better and today he did AWESOME. He has gotten really good at telling us when he needs to go potty and he has stayed dry almost every day through nap time. I am SO proud of him...the first few days were really tough but we powered through and now our house is DIAPER FREE! Currently he is only wearing a pull up at bedtime. (We were doing naps too but today he refused to put it on.) We're still working on the pooping but making progress. Since we're diaper free our nasty, stinky diaper pail is going in the trash truck in the morning and we are all celebrating!

After 8 years and 1 month of having someone in diapers (minus about 2mo between Ellie and Ruthie) we are DONE!

Ruthie has been rear facing in her carseat her whole life. She was 2 1/2 before she was consistently over 20lb and then she was just so tiny that I felt like she was safer being rear facing. Plus the newest recommendations were rear facing until 4. When she was close to turning 4 I told her she could turn around when she wanted to. She has always been happy being rear facing because she and JP sit in the middle row and the big girls sit in the back so because Ruthie was rear facing she could see the big girls. She finally decided yesterday that she was ready to turn around. So far she LOVES it and she definitely feels very grown up getting to sit like the big girls!
We've also started working hard on getting her to stop sucking on her fingers. She currently only sucks on them at night and in the car. She has pretty much stopped in the car but bed is hard. She's been sleeping with socks on her hands this past week. It is a long, slow, painful process for sure but we're making progress. It helps that our dentist has bribed her with a bunch of toys!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018


My kids LOVE our local trampoline park, HiWire. They beg me to go a LOT. Sadly for them there mom is a peds nurse at the hospital and sees all the broken bones that come in from HiWire. So they don't get to go very often. Plus it's ridiculously expensive to take 4 kids for an hour.
All fall they have been wanting to go so at the beginning of December I told them I would take them but they had to do extra chores to earn the money to pay for it. So I made them a list of chores and how much money each of those chores would earn them. It included things like cleaning their bathroom, picking up the yard, picking up the playroom, setting the table, washing the dishes and loading the dishwasher, and dusting. These kids worked SO hard and even JP would help out! 
By the time Christmas rolled around they had all earned the money for their trip so I was planning to take them between Christmas and going back to school but then everybody got sick so that didn't happen. I ended up taking them while we were off of school for MLK day. They were SO, SO excited! Two of Emmie's friends, Evelyn and Ainsley, joined us and one of Ellie's friends was supposed to but her brother woke up that morning with the flu (we were all really glad he came down with the flu before the playdate and not after!).
The kids had SO much fun! JP especially had a great time. He was barely old enough to play last time we went so this was the first time we went that he could really jump well on the trampoline. 

JP was like a little monkey climbing up the wall and sliding back down! This boy is STRONG.

JP had a great time swinging on this rope into the foam pit.

Ellie was worn out by the end!

And the best part of the trip was no broken bones!

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Celebrating Ruthie

In our house your actual birthday is a BIG deal. With 4 kids it's pretty rare that life is revolving around just one child so we try to make sure that when it's their birthday the kids feel like they are the center of the world for that one day. When it's their birthday the kids get to pick pretty much everything we do that day. They spend all  year planning and looking forward to their special day!
For her birthday Ruthie chose to go to the Children's Museum. We decided to go in the afternoon as it's generally less crowded then and we got lucky that Paul was able to join us! At the museum Ruthie got to lead the way the whole time which thrilled her!
First stop: the grocery store! 

JP was very excited to drive the fire truck.

Ruthie got to drive the car first since it was her birthday! 

Edventure has a new Boeing exhibit that is SO good! The kids loved flying the plane and being passengers.

Hanging out in our seats on the plane.

Ready for takeoff!

JP and I had to double back to the firetruck while the girls played in Big Eddie.
In one of the rooms you can build a creation and then stick it in the air tube and see if it flies! JP was obsessed with watching a piece of paper fly out of a tube and Emmie did a great job building her own flying creation. She was so proud of herself! Ruthie loved making her creation as well!

We were at the museum until they closed. Ruthie had such a great time!

After the museum we went to dinner at Chick fil A and then went and got frozen yogurt.

When we got home we let Ruthie open up her presents. She got a giraffe Beanie Boo from her siblings and a baby alive doll from the Novak's. And she had cards from Gran and Grandaddy, GiGi and PaPa and Uncle Ben and Aunt Ruth to open.  She also appreciated all her birthday phone calls so thank you to everyone who made her day extra special!

At the end of their special day the kids get to stay up late and play games and spend time with Paul and me. We love this time we get to totally focus on just one child! While playing games with Ruthie we decided she *might* be a bit of a cheater when it comes to Candy Land! We had so much fun laughing with Ruthie and making her feel special!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Santa Train/Emmie's birthday weekend

The weekend of Emmie's birthday we took the kids to Winnsboro to ride the Santa Train. We tried to go last year but tickets sold out within hours of going on sale so this year I grabbed our tickets as soon as they went on sale!
I always let the kids pick what activity we do on their birthday so Emmie got to do hers a day early...Santa train! She's been looking forward to it for a whole year!
the conductor!
The first half of the trip we were in the dining car where we had hot chocolate and cookies and we listened to some stories. There was also a fun interactive story that the kids (and adults) loved!

Emmie and I sat across from the nicest couple in the dining car. They were there with their children and grandchildren and Emmie and their granddaughter were the same age. And since neither Emmie nor I have ever met a stranger we quickly became friends with their family. The kids all wanted to sit together when we moved to the Santa car and JP was happy to find a granddad to hang out with!
When we moved to the other car Santa came to visit all the kids and gave them all a jingle bell. It was great because he sat and chatted with everyone. Even JP was happy to see Santa! After seeing Santa we sang some Christmas carols.

JP can spot a grandparent from a mile away!

On Sunday we took Emmie to Moe's for lunch and then later we took her to get frozen yogurt. That night she got to stay up late and play games with Paul and I.

waiting to get her present from her siblings