Monday, April 30, 2012

Easter: Last But Not Least

We had our final Easter celebration at my Dad and Janet's this weekend. We had delicious food (I Love Italian food!), we had an awesome egg hunt, the kids played non-stop and the company was (of course) wonderful. Our clan is so big these days and though it's always a full house, the kids are playing better together and they just have so much fun. Everyone was pooped by the end of the day!
This guy told me "gooooo" while we were there and went and did #2 on the potty! He is on a roll. Potty Training is quickly approaching.

Oh, Reese! She played charades for everyone and did about every Disney character she knows.

Chase was serious about the hunt. He loved to shake the eggs for the money.

I didn't get many pictures of the adults besides this one. The kids all started chanting "tent tent tent" so Papa and I put the tents together for the kids. It was so cool.

And here they all are. Faces are forward and I think all 20 eyes are open!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

All about me.

It's not often I write much about myself, but hey, if this is going to be part of a keepsake for our kids, maybe I should mention a big change in our life that has to do with me. I have made a career change... so let's start back from the beginning.

In 2002, I graduated from University of Wisconsin-Green Bay with a degree in Mathematics and a minor in business. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do, but quickly found an assistant director job at a Huntington Learning Center. I got the opportunity to tutor math and help with marketing, running the business, and working with parents. I worked Monday-Thursday from 9am-8pm. It was long days, but worked out perfectly because at the time, Ryan and I were dating and he lived in Milwaukee while I was in the Chicago burbs. It gave us long weekends to visit each other and I am pretty sure we were at one place or the other every weekend.

A year later in July 2003, I started my next job with McDougal. I worked in the Marketing department with Math text books. (This is where I met Toni, my brother-in-law Dave's mom. I loved working with her and this connection helped to make Carissa and Dave a couple.) I still was involved with math and loved the job, but I was in Evanston and the drive was an hour each way. I liked the company, and after some research, I changed jobs within the company.

So, in August 2004, I started my job at Riverside Publishing in Itasca. The drive went from 60 minutes each way to 20 minutes. I first worked as a coordinator for the department and then moved into Contracts and Invoicing and finally the Contacts and Permissions role. After Reese was born, when I went back to work after maternity leave, I went back part time. I worked 22+ hours per week. I have been with Riverside and most of my co-workers for 8 and a half years! I was pretty sure that I was NEVER going to leave. I loved the people I worked with, I enjoyed what I was doing, and I had flexibility...

But an opportunity came up that I couldn't pass up. I am officially now part of the family company, SportsInCollege. I will work the same part time hours and focus on marketing. My goal is to help the company continue to grow and expand. I have truly enjoyed the path that has brought me to this point and believe that this will be a great experience and is the best move for me and my family.

I continue to work "full time" though. Years ago, before any munchkins came around, Sabrina and I spoke of our plan to work part time and watch each others kids. It started back in 2006 and continues to work for us, and now Carissa too. With the help of family (the husbands, Jen, and our parents), we make it work even when we think that it is way too tough. Two kids seemed like too much back in the day, but now we push through with 8 and try our hardest to do it with a smile. I love that I get to be with my kids but also have the opportunity to work. It's hard... but it's also hard being a stay at home mom or a full time working mom. They all come with different challenges and there isn't one that is easier or harder than the next. We all just try our hardest to make our own situations work and maintain a happy life.

So, onto new adventures...all with a smile on my face.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Blaker Doodle Update

Poor little Blake is suffering from “I have 2 talkative older siblings and have no reason to talk” syndrome. Reese started talking around a year and Chase around 18 months. As 19 months came and went for Blake, he still wasn’t talking much and any mom or dad start to worry. He had the standard mom, dad, dog but other than that, he was pretty much just whiny and quiet. So, after talking to some family and friends, in March we called to have his speech evaluated. We were hoping that it would be just what we all need—help for him and us and to know exactly where he stands.
After talking to someone on the phone and in person, Blake finally had his evaluation on April 10th. Two ladies came to the house and I took Reese and Chase out while Ryan sat with Blake. My hope was to get back and hear what they had to say, but what we were told would be 2 hours, was less than an hour. Ryan called and informed me that he didn’t qualify. A month ago I would have really been worried, but over the last month or so, he has really picked up his pace. They said that he was at a 15-18 month level for speech and his cognitive level was that of a 2 year old. (He is just about 21 months). Since he isn’t 6 months behind, he didn’t qualify and we can test again in 3 months if we wish. Ryan said he did great and listened well. He sorted little colored monkey. You never know what your kid can do because you don’t try all these things out all the time. As much as I was a little disappointed that he isn’t going to get any extra help, I am glad we had him evaluated. It relieved a bit of stress. Now, we keep on working with him.
Here are some words he is working on.
Bubble (Because he LOVES the show Bubble Guppies)
Noah (woah wa) - And if asked, he will try all his cousins name and even his own.
Water (Wow-wee)
Please (which is mainly a hum)
Yogurt (this one cracks me up)
Bye (Have to remind him to do the B sound at the beginning)
Tickle Tickle
I think there are many more I can add, but they are not coming to mind at the moment.

Sleeping as been odd with him lately. He keeps waking up around 5am. Last night it was 3am and he was WIDE awake. We were not so it was super annoying. Hopefully he cuts this out soon or he will be getting his crib back.

Lastly, this crazy kid today came up to me and said "go" and went to the bathroom. He tried to stand to pee, then turned around, sat and pooped on the potty. I am thinking his training is going to be mostly done on his own. I think as soon as summer hits and we give potty training a go, he will by easiest to potty train. (I can only hope!)

At this point, he is still a bit of a bully. I want to blame it on trying to keep up with the big kids... we are working on being more gentle.

He's a lover and a friendly guy just like his siblings.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

More Easter Fun.

Our Easter celebration at my Mom's was full of family, food, and fun. The kids had a great time at the park and playing in the yard. They bounced away in the bounce house, hunted for eggs, and played with the group of 10 kids! They really are lucky to have so many cousins to act crazy with!

Blake sporting his pink.

Brayden rocked the tie.

I wanted a group shot. As you can see... it didn't happen.

There are a lot of monkeys in there!


For now, there are only 2 little ladies, but late July there will finally be another girl from Jonathan and Jen! It would be fun if Carissa and Dave had a girl too so I can snap pictures of those two being best buds too. BUT, Carissa, if it's a boy, he will still be awesome and fit right in to the boy filled group!

The tremendous ten.

Finding some eggs.

I think Blake found like 3.

Poor Blake. He was full of pink, but he didn't care!

... and Uncle Jonathan was rocking the pink too!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Happy Easter Morning.

For days Chase has been so excited for the Easter Bunny to come. Easter morning, Reese was the first one to come join us in bed at 6am. (Blake has been the one getting up before 6 lately and getting the entire house up and moving bright and early). Anyway, Reese laid with us and asked every five minutes when the boys were going to be up. Finally, by 6:30 we let her get things going. Chase was woken but when we reminded him it was Easter morning, he hopped out of bed with so much excitement. I got them to sit for a quick pictures, and then they were very quickly off on a mission to find all the treats that were hidden around the house. Reese was quick and just threw everything she could see in her basket, while Chase was just so pumped to find things and had to tell Reese all the cool things he found. Blake took a couple seconds to get into in, but then he worked on filling his basket too. They had so much fun which made for a great start to our day. We later went over to my Mom's (next post). 

We are very blessed and thankful for our family today and every day.

Looking a little sleepy, but our only real Easter picture of the three kids.

Smiling so they can get started.

Pausing for a quick picture.

He's moving fast.

Helping each other out.

This is kind of fun!

The kids got kites so we took them out! Reese and Chase loved it.

I think Ryan loved it more.

Happy Blake.

Chase Buddy.

Princess Reese.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Staniak and Hirsch Easter

We had Ryan's family to our house for our first holiday celebration in our new place. The weather was so nice to we got to enjoy the outside and our family. Grandpops, Uncle Jason, Grandma Jill, and Grandpa John all spoiled the kids! They had so much fun playing with the Easter treats and decorating cookies and cupcakes. The kids all had to hop in the bath when it was time to come in. They got dirty and loved every second of it. Happy Easter!
Grandma Jill and Reese making some fun treats.

Reese and her godfather, Uncle Jason.

Looking guilty as always. Blake is so sweet but our little bully. I think he is just trying to keep up with the big kids :). Don't mess with Blake.

He really was that happy and having that much fun.

So many fun things- painting, bubbles, kites, shovels, bug catchers...

Digging for bugs. We pulled out a pine tree and grass won't go there until we treat it. Maybe it just stays dirt?
It made for hours of fun.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Egg Time

We were all off on Good Friday and had some quality family time. We tried out the Kool Aid egg dying this year. I think it is about the same as using the store packages, but it was just cool to use Kool Aid. We surprisingly didn't make too big of a mess. Blake really liked the yellow which was great because he would have been a pretty big disaster.
We were prepped and ready for Easter celebrations to begin on Saturday.

Reese made sure her eggs were very colorful.


Chase was very serious about his work.

They did a great job sharing.

Of course we had to throw in some glitter.

Trying to save his clothes.

Sunday, April 08, 2012


We celebrated Ryan's birthday a couple weekends ago. We had some friends over and had a nice time!

The kids of course loved to do the singing.
 Noah and Ryan share a birthday so they both got in on the action.
 What? Again? You are never too old for trick candles!

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

A Day in the Life...

We took a trip to Hobby Lobby and when we hit the party supply section, I lost control! The kids were having so much fun and I was just dying laughing and taking pictures with my phone. I am sure the people that walked by thought I was nuts, but let's be honest... they were happy and I didn't care.
I just went with it. I let them be silly and enjoyed every second of it!

Silly Blake.

Pirate and the Blue Hat

Old Zone Team.

Mardi Gras anyone?

A total pose.



Chase Buddy.