Thursday, December 30, 2010

Ho Ho Ho Ho! Christmas Fun-- and the storm that followed...

Everything seems to go faster as you get older... throw some kids in the mix and it just flies right by. I am sure this is how our parents feel and so many others. As we put away the Christmas decorations today, it really felt like it was yesterday that we were putting them up. Our holiday was great, busy, and a great time. It was Blake's first Christmas and I think he enjoyed himself. :) We were all spoiled with too many gifts, but more importantly with lots of love and way too much food.

We also ended the festivities with a house full of sick-o's. It's going around the entire family, so it seems to be the gift that keeps on giving around here. We headed to the doctor last night after too many days of coughing from Blake, and then Chase and Reese were getting worse. The loss of appetite was also a major red flag over here. Anyway, Reese and Chase have bronchitis and were given penicillin. Since Blake is so young and he was wheezing a bit, he was given two breathing treatments, a chest x-ray to check for pneumonia, and a test for RSV. After all of that, purchasing a ventilator of our own, and a follow-up appointment, we found out he just has baby bronchitis (Much better outcome that the pneumonia and RSV). Blake continues the inhalation treatments of Albuterol every 4-5 hours until he is doing better, and he is on an oral steroid for four days. It's been a while since we have to get up during the night! Blake is surprisingly still as happy as ever. All of their coughs are sad to hear, but they are pushing through. Now Ryan is getting hit with it and me too. The amount of kleenex we are going through is awesome!

Now... back to the exciting stuff. Christmas!!

We started the 23rd at Ryan's Mom's. We celebrated with Mom Jill, John, Jason, Aunt Joann, Rob, Robin, and Sara. It was great spending time with everyone. We got too much stuff. We came home with Alphie the Robot, jewelry, candle tools, clothes, Toy Story Hot Wheels track, bibs, Despicable Me, Toy Story 1 & 2, pjs, cupcake maker, shoes, dvd player, battery, Leapster games... just to name a few. The food and company were great. We hung out until 9pm and then headed to Ryan's dad's to sleep. It took a couple hours to get the kids to bed, but we eventually all camped out and got some sleep.

Blake B'Jolly

Uncle Jason and Chase doing some playdoh. Grandma Jill and her three cuties.
Reese and Me.
We woke up Christmas Eve morning and Ryan's Dad's around 8am (pretty impressive). The kids hung out for a while and then wanted in on the gifts. They were really patient, but every once in a while, they did ask... we were working on it though. Again, spoiled... new blankets for all their beds, playdoh, Leapster Explorer, games, tool bench, jumparoo... We had a delicious pork tenderloin lunch after some movies and headed back to Illinois for the next adventure.

Lovin' the jumparoo Uncle Jason and Blake.
A quick picture before diving in.
Grandpop's and his 3 amigos.
Next stop... Church and my Mom's house for Christmas with the Stawicki's and the Connelly's. We left with cars, costumes, movies and more. We enjoyed some Lou Malnati's and good company.

Chase really loved taking pictures (Just like his Daddy). Oh yeah, Chase is totally feeling it.
Best Buds. These two have to stick together. 2 girls out of 9 or 10 as of May.
They can be the sister they never had!
Just taking it all in.
Making some cookies for everyone-- and Santa!
So, we got home around 8:30pm, got the kids in bed, got everything set for the morning, made a list to remember everything for the next day, and got in bed. Reese came in around 7am and wanted to see what Santa brought. We made her wait for Chase, and close to 7:30, we just woke him up. Once we were all ready, we went downstairs and the kids were pumped to rip open all their presents. In fact, that's all they wanted to do... tear through the paper. I am unsure if they knew what they were opening, but they got excited a few times. They got some games, clothes, costumes, shoes, boots, socks, toy story dolls, Thomas stuff, notepads... We went pretty quick and then were out the door by 8:45 to get to my mom's.

Reese sporting her new Mulan costume with her Mulan barbie.

Blake just watching. Chase and one of his favorite gifts... chap stick!
Off to my Mom's. We met up with my siblings and my mom and had our traditional Christmas breakfast. I LOVE this meal. I think that maybe because it's different and I am a breakfast food lover-- but it also reminds me of being a kid. With 7 kids and 9 adults, it's chaos but full of fun. The kids are just so pumped to see what is under the tree and to see what everyone got. If I can think of a few things we left with-- tons of stocking stuffers, ornaments, Barbie case and some Barbie's, Tiana costume, Thomas stuff, play doh set, clothes, Pretty Pretty Princess game, backpacks, nail polish, pjs, ipod case, water bottle, a shooter, lotion, glow worm, personalized book, learning games made by Jen and Jonathan, gift cards, Lego's... More great gifts! I was amazed that everywhere we went, the gifts were thoughtful, practical and fun!

Reese checking the name tags for her name.
Jonathan, Mark, Jen, and Carissa checking their stockings.Blake helping me with my stocking.
Chase and his shooter. Thanks to Auntie Jen and Uncle Jonathan, his Christmas wish came true.
All the kids-
Avery, Jackson, Chase, Nate, Noah, Reese, and Blake.
3 more on the couch next Christmas!

Final stop- My Dad's. We celebrated Christmas with my dad and his side of the family on the afternoon/evening of Christmas Day. My Dad and Janet got the kids a kitchen and accessories (not to mention other smaller items). Ryan spent a couple hours putting it together the next day, and it's awesome! It's got so much storage space, it's big and it's sturdy. It's a hit. We got a dvd player and some pillows covers. It will be nice to have a dvd player in our family room and basement again. This time, the kids will not be helping up the dvds on. The Puccini's are always in for Christmas and it's great to spend time with them. The kids are getting old so fast! :) I can't believe they will be in college next year. The evening ended with a stealing game grab bag where Ryan and I left with a Starbucks gift card and a Netflix gift certificate. Not bad!

Woo hoo! A kitchen. "Can we put it together now?" Reese and her baby bro!
Aunt Judi and Chase.

Whew! That was long. It was busy, crazy, and non-stop... but we enjoyed it all and wouldn't have it any other way!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

3rd Annual Holiday Cookie Decorating Party

The Puccini's (my Aunt, Uncle, and cousins from Colorado) come in every year at Christmas time. We love to see them and are always looking for something fun to do. Well, a few years back, we started our cookie decorating party. It's always fun to decorate and get in the holiday spirit... doing it with family and friends makes it that much more fun.

We prepped the day before and made a ton of sugar cookies, and some peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies too. Ryan got a little help with the cookie cutters from Reese, but mainly, we did it all ourselves. Reese and Chase were excited for about 15 minutes, but then moved on to other things.

Reese and Daddy getting into the holiday spirit!
Coloring some ornaments.
Watching Daddy hard at work.
Blake's participation in all of the fun.
Yes, we cheat here, but we LOVE these cookies. Just add an egg and butter and they are the most delicious cookies around. Thanks to Betty Crocker.

What would a decorating party be without a contest! Jonathan and Alex were the winners, picked by judges Reese and Noah. (Avery picked too, but she picked her own, so she was disqualified!)
Noah picked Alex and her present cookie.
Reese picked Jonathan and his mini me cookie... or maybe it's Jackson.
Chase Buddy and Mommy having some fun.
Nate and Uncle Bob.
A SPECIAL thanks goes to Uncle Bob who put up a back splash in our kitchen with Ryan's help. It looks amazing. I love it!
Blake and Jessica.
The elves hard at work.
Carissa, Sabrina, and Sammy. Poor Sabrina and Sammy were under the weather.
Happy 5 month old Blake.


Blake is sitting better and better every day. He still falls a ton, but he's getting stronger and is so happy to see the world at a new level.
Chase thought he would be nice and give Blake ALL the baby toys!
Chase smiling at the camera... it doesn't happen often.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

5 Months

Blake turned 5 months yesterday.
  • He is working on sitting up. He does a great job for a few minutes and then falls over eventually.
  • He is sleeping in his crib still. Usually he get up between 5-7am and goes in his crib around 9pm (after Chase falls asleep).
  • He rolls all over the place, reaches for things, and puts everything in his mouth.
  • He has his two bottom middle teeth and I think he is working on the other two on the bottom.
  • He gets breastmilk 4-5 times a day, and has cereal once a day... or every other day. He really likes it.
  • He loves to watch Reese and Chase sing to him or talk to him.
  • He is awake a ton more lately, but still takes some great naps. (Soon, we should have a nap schedule).
  • He has a great smile and you just want to eat him up!
  • He is a good baby. I still think he looks so much like Reese a baby.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

More Pearly Whites in the House.

On Saturday, Blake got his first tooth! Bottom Right. Can't totally get a good picture of it yet, but I can feel it. Crazy! Today, I think his bottom left has popped through too. Two teeth already!! Reese had her first tooth around 6 months, Chase at 5 months, now Blake at 4.5 months... at this rate, if I had like 7 kids, the 7th would come out with a tooth!
Isn't that the face of a happy child? He is really struggling with smiling AT the camera... it made getting Christmas card pictures a challenge. Chase has been loving the ipod lately and taking in more and more information every day. We are finally getting better with colors and shapes, he still needs work but we are improving. Chase loves that he can get his undies on himself and his pants. Last night was funny... we put the kids to bed around 8pm, and Chase just kept talking in his room and signing. At 9pm we found him with drawers emptied and him just hanging out quietly with a smile on his face. I don't think he went to bed until 10pm! I guess he just wasn't that sleepy. The worst part of the entire thing was that Ryan and I were SO tired and just wanted to go to bed but I had to wait for Chase to fall asleep.

I just asked Reese if she could have one thing for Christmas, what would it be. She, of course, said "a little purse, with fake lipstick, fake gum, pictures... you know, of me, Chase, and Blake... a comb, a wallet... hmm... what else do you have in your purse? Necklaces. Bracelets." (I do not have all of this in my purse, though my purse is a disaster.) She is so silly. I think she has more purses than I do. She is so dramatic these days-- I think she should be an actress! She has been running all the time in a ballet outfit or costume. (She should be freezing, but I swear she is always warm).

Christmas is coming so soon. We have the Christmas cards ordered and will mail them out as soon as we can. Ovo, our Christmas elf, has been hiding around the house and keeping an eye on the kids. We are ready to make cookies, sing more Christmas songs, and just celebrate such a fun time of year. I hope you are all happy and celebrating the reason for the season! :)

Wednesday, December 08, 2010


These two just crack us up.

I was making some brownies the other day. I just had to add water to the mix. Reese comes over as I am stirring and says, “Mom, are there eggs in there?” I say, “No.” Reese says, “Well then, can I have a taste?!” I mean, how silly that she knew she couldn’t eat if it there were raw eggs!

Reese says to Ryan, “Daddy, you need to put money in your REGI CASHTERS” (aka Cash Register) Funny how she switched that one around.

In the car we were talking about names for Carissa and Dave’s baby and I mentioned two that they like. One happens to contain the “em” sound. I ask Reese which name they should pick, and Chase says, “Mommy, I like Edamame.” (Carissa, how is that for a name for your baby?)

Ryan was putting Reese to bed and asked her what her favorite book was and she said "I don't know, it's like... random." Really? Random?

While Ryan was putting Reese to bed, she put her hand on his greasy forehead... "Daddy, what is that? You got lotion on your forehead?"

Chase singing in his bed..."Yankee Doodle went to town, riding on a horsey!" I told him it was a pony, but he insisted it had to be a horsey!

Ryan says, "I have something for your blog." Chase continues to say "blog it Mommy, blog it!"

Mark drives the kids home from school sometimes and always gets good stories from Reese. My favorite is when Sabrina asked me if I was taking ballet class because Reese told Mark that I really was. Can you see me in a tutu??

Blake can't talk, so his funny comes in the form of a picture. (Sorry if you are easily grossed out). It had been days since Blake pooped so we knew when it was time, it was going to be a blow out. Well, I went upstairs to get him some new clothes while he happily played in the exersaucer. I came down and he was more happy than he was before, squishing his feet in some fresh #2! It must have felt nice or something because he was so excited. I couldn't stop laughing!

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Photo Recap

Pictures seem to be coming up, so we are in business. Here are some of my favorites since we have been able to get them up...

This shirt was Nate's or Jackson's. It was worn by the boy cousins at Chase's first birthday. Now, Blake can sport this shirt... he is for sure going to be "Chase's Wingman".
Chase has been wearing pull-ups to bed, but we know he just pees in them because he knows he can. So, he picked out some jelly beans at the store, slept in some undies, and if he wakes up dry he gets one. We are 3 for 4 nights so far. He gets so excited that he can do it!
Reese enjoys playing with her Polly Pockets.
Blake tried his first taste of cereal. As you can tell... he loved it. Ha. We will keep working on it.
Blake is happy in his carseat.
Thanksgiving with Grandma Jill.
Brothers. Thanksgiving at Papa and Grandma Janet's.
Papa and Blake.
This year's 7 cousins and the awesome turkey cake balls made by Auntie Jen.
Thanksgiving with Grandma Kathy.