Friday, December 30, 2016

51/52: Christmas Finest

I'm pretty bad about getting pictures of holidays and big events - I'll chalk that up to being a good parent who tries to enjoy the moment without being behind the camera (some people do it well, but it just distracts me and all of us!). So the Christmas pictures are few.

We got home from Mass in the afternoon and still hadn't opened presents - I was totally fine with this, but apparently the other grown-ups were pretty antsy! The stockings had plenty to keep the kids occupied, but maybe we'll change the strategy next year...

Edith pooped all over her outfit shortly after I took this pictures. Classic baby.

The kids went to work moving all the presents from the piano to under the tree. We couldn't keep them under the tree because... Peter. And also we didn't wrap anything until Christmas Eve anyway, so it's not like it mattered!

John Paul was very excited to give presents to me and Andrew - a knife sharpener for me, a tire gauge for Andrew. Both procured at the Dollar Tree.

Elizabeth, shockingly, wore her coat for much of the day. Just like every day.

And Peter was in his element with extra adults to ooh and ah over his cuteness. In this picture he was making my younger brother put on the hoodie he had found, zip it, wear the hood, and tie the strings. Little dictator...

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The Expert Scoop on Pregnancy Tests: From Moms Who've Been There (and a giveaway!)

6 kids into this parenting gig, and I thought I was an expert on all things related to pregnancy tests! But when I asked some fellow moms for their tips, I learned so much: Blue dye vs. pink dye, when during your cycle you can start to test, how *not* to sneak buying tests in the store past your kids... And what exactly is the best pregnancy test to use?

Sunday, December 25, 2016

My Sunday Best, Vol. 34: Merry Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas!!!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

50/52: Time to Bake!

Have you ever made those super-easy pretzel+candy+M&M treats? They're really great for kids to help with because who wants to unwrap a trillion Rolos or Hershey kisses??? 

Answer: Every single child ever.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Living the Twelve Days

Fun Fact: The 12 Days of Christmas are actually the days *after* Christmas (well, beginning with Christmas Day itself). Does it drive you nuts to see the crazy buildup to Christmas just... die on December 26? I hate it! We build up slowly and really try to live it up during the Octave of Christmas and the full twelve days. We do our "big" family presents on Epiphany (January 6) and I like to plan one special thing for each day until then. A lot of the time this ends up being me flying by the seat of my pants and making things up as we go, but it works for us!

Want to try to make your 12 Days of Christmas special? Here are some things we've done to encourage spending time together as a family:

49/52: Craft Time!

(I know her grip is off - we're working on it ;) )

Advent tends to be our most craft-ish time of year, and this year is no exception! Between the pre-assembled craft kits I get, prayer cards/tracings/stencils/lacing they bring home from Atrium, and the steady stream of drawings & "birthday cards" the girls produce every day, we'd be drowning in paper and stickers if I didn't so ruthlessly purge everything at the end of each day.

This has resulted in many tears from Mary Claire, who has suddenly gotten the hang of drawing people (and writing, apparently?), and expects me to KEEP the 12 birthday cards she makes for Edith every day. I really just need to find her a folder to keep all these treasures in...

Sunday, December 18, 2016

My Sunday Best, Vol. 33: Fourth Sunday of Advent!

I bet you're pretty pleased that I caught a picture of Edith mid-poop, right?

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Monday, December 12, 2016

Sunday, December 11, 2016

My Sunday Best, Vol. 32: Gaudete Style!

I'm not quite two weeks post partum, and while I'm attempting to rock the girdle Lisa recommended, my bones totally haven't shifted back enough to accommodate any of my pink clothing for Gaudete Sunday...

On the plus side, my scale says I've lost all my pregnancy weight!

On the minus side, later in the day my scale also told me I weigh 80 pounds.

I think my scale might be broken...

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

46/52: Math? Or something...

I chose our math curriculum partially because I knew that if nothing else, the kids would love the manipulatives! And they do, even though we almost never use them for actual math...

Monday, December 5, 2016

My Sneaky Mom Secret (for getting kids to bed early!)

We just added baby #6 to the family. And while the kids adore her, by about 4 pm I'm ready for a nap. Or bed. Or at least ready to eat ice cream or drink hot chocolate without the kids knowing!

A few years ago we stumbled upon a genius solution to getting kids to bed crazy-early. It only works a few times a year (once a month, max), but if you plan it right? Oh man, it's gold. 

The secret? New toothpaste.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

My Sunday Best, Vol. 31: Hey! Baby!

Hey, remember how I was so uncomfortable last week?

Well now I get to be uncomfortable in a completely different way! But with velvety baby hair to stroke and a sweet little bundle to snuggle :)

Friday, December 2, 2016

45/52: Meet Edith!

I think I can go ahead and firmly declare that the kids are all enchanted with their new baby sister!

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