Ashton turns 5 years old!

My first-born is 5 years old.  How did that happen?  I’ll tell ya, QUICKLY! 

This weekend was pure chaos.  Fun chaos, but insane.  Friday, after taking Ashton to school, Ethan, Eli, and I ran to the gym where I took another spin class and sweated my booty off.  At 9am I left running to Publix.  A big shopping trip was planned.  Next up, was Target.  I had to pick up Ashton’s birthday cakes…

and

Super cute, huh?  A mummy, eyeball, tombstone, and Frankenstein 😉  Loved them.  Ashton seen them in the Target ad last week and changed his mind from wanting me to make him a bowling ball and pin to these super cute cakes.  I couldn’t say no, they were only $5 EACH!  Terrific deal if you ask me 😉

So after Target we ran home, unloaded the groceries and ran to pick up Ashton at school.  Next up we had an appointment for an oil change.  Thankfully, I brought my laptop and after an hour of playing with the dirty toys at the dealership the boys sat down and watched The Great Pumpkin, Charile Brown.  Such a classic 🙂

When we got home, I started making dinner and moments later Daddy and Grandpa Joe arrived.  Look at how much fun the boys had with Grandpa Joe….

And after Ashton opened up his new remote control jeep, from Grandpa Joe, this is what he did…

Next, Daddy carved our pumpkin, scary Larry #2.  This isn’t the best photo.  For some reason, I have NO photography skills 😦

The next day was ASHTON’s BIRTHDAY!

First up, BASEBALL! 

And Grandpa Joe holding Eli for the first time…

Next was home for super quick showers and then to the BOWLING PARTY!  Not before Mommy insisted we have a photo shoot outside 😉

 

And Mommy wanted one with her birthday boy, but Mr. Jealous squeezed himself in 😉

and

Most of the pictures taken at the bowling alley aren’t worth posting.  They are just a bunch of candid shots of the kids running around like crazies.  Ashton did enjoy himself 3 pieces of pizza and here is one of him stuffing his face.

Ethan liked it just the same…yes, he ate 3 pieces as well.

Look at these two little devils scooping out the cakes….

“Mom, can my friends hurry up and sing to me so I can eat this cake?”

And Ashton had 3 pieces of cake.  He tried to get one of each, but after that, I said ENOUGH!  LOL. 

Next we came home to open presents.  Uncle Joey, Aunt Dana, Howie, and Grandpa Joe were all with us in the mass chaos of present opening.  All in all, it was fun, and we have a house full of zhu zhu pets.  I know you’re jealous, aren’t you?  LOL.

Mommy and Daddy decided on the Leapster Explorer for our sweet little boy, and it was by far, the right decision 😉

The birthday boy had a GREAT day, with lots of amazing gifts.  Thank you to all our friends and family for sharing our special day with our son!  You made it perfect!!!

Ethan especially loved Grandpa Joe…he let’s him do things Mom wouldn’t dare…

Howie also finds Grandpa Joe, pretty cool.

And lastly, I had Aunt Dana take this picture, because lets face it, there isn’t anything more cute than baby heiny 😉

Quick update on Grandpa Joe.  He looked good.  Seemed to be in good spirits.  Doesn’t seem ill from chemo and had a blast with all the kids.  I’ve decided that I will make it a priority to see him as often as time permits.  The boys really enjoy his company, and I would love for them to have more QT with him before he can’t enjoy the kids.  Joey is going to pick him up on Thanksgiving and I’m going to bring him home, this way he is able to celebrate with us.  This is our first year not celebrating with my parents, but thankfully, they are very understanding, and it’s just something I feel like I need to do. 

Dad did go in for more chemo on Tuesday.  I spoke to him that afternoon and he was still a bit tired.  I tried to call him yesterday but didn’t get him.  I’ll try again today.  He sure is lucky to have Rusti in his life, taking good care of him. 

11 days old…time is flying by…

Wow.  What a FANTASTIC, almost, 2 weeks of my life!!!!  I love it.  Busy, is an understatement.  Period.

Thursday, just 6 days out of womb, I took Eli to his very first visit to Target.  It was so nice to be out of this house.  I don’t think I’ve ever stayed in the house this long with any of my children.  But the more you have, the more difficult it becomes to get out.  Friday, Daddy had to return to work.  I was nervous, just a little.  Mainly on how tired I’d be, but I was good, I spoiled myself with Starbucks.  Starbucks takes care of all tiredness 😉

This is how Eli sleeps.  Wrapped super tight.

Daddy brought Ashton to school in the morning and I had pickup duty.  No biggy really.  And, in fact, that helps tremendously!  Taking the 3 boys out of the car for a mere matter of minutes, kinda sucks.  After school, we hit Aunt Bunny’s house.  She didn’t really have much time with Eli yet, and I needed to pick something up at her house.  So the boys played with Uncle Bill for about 2 hours while Eli had some snuggle time with Aunt Bunny and myself.  Once we got home Ethan went straight to nap and my good friend Heather stopped by with some goodies.  Wine and a balloon!  How well she knows us 😉  The wine is yummy and the boys LOVE balloons. 

When it was time for Ms. Heather to go pick up her own 2 sons, I asked her to follow me to Target so I could run in.  She did.  Then we went off to Daddy’s first home football game.  We had dinner at Carrabba’s, “Party of 5 please.”  WOW!  This will take some getting used to.  We were seated right away and dinner was yummy.  The boys were excellent at the football game, Ashton and Ethan were so amazing that we even spoiled them with a little ice cream for the ride home.  I finally made it home at 9:30pm, way past bed time, the older boys went straight to dreamland while Eli and I snuggled for another round of feedings.  I was so proud of all my boys.  They did amazing, considering it was our first day alone together, and I had them going all day long. 

Saturday we woke up and decided to just relax.  Then around 3pm we decided we’d take the kids to the USF tailgate.  We didn’t think the older boys would be much fun for the game, so we thought the tailgate would be perfect.  Time to get out of the house, throw the football around, yell, scream, laugh, just good times.  Well all was perfect until we were told there is no more throwing of footballs at the tailgates.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  No throwing of ANY kind.  What are kids supposed to do?  Not to mention, it was so hot, we were literally soaked in our clothes.  Brutally hot.  But I really wanted to get out of the house, socialize with some friends, and just relax.  Thankfully, Daddy and the boys don’t mind sweating, so it was really just me who we needed to worry about, and well, I was having too much of a good time to worry about sweating a little.  LOL

Sunday morning I woke up and my Mom said she was heading out to Orlando to visit my Uncle and his family for their last day of their Disney vacation.  I wasn’t sure, at first, if we’d be able to make it, again, another challenge with 3 kids, dinner at 5:30pm, and an hour drive each way.  But, we DID it!!!  And I’m so happy we did.  We had a party of 17 people!  It was nice.  I haven’t seen my cousins Megan and Tommy since they were itty bitty.  I was in college doing my internship with Circuit City.  I was 20yrs old.  So 12yrs ago is the last time I seen them both.  Megan was about 5 or 6 and Tommy was 2 or 3.  WOW!  Have they grown up.  Megan is as tall as me, and gorgeous, and Tommy is BIGGER than me and he’s only 14yrs old.  GESH!!!!  How does that happen?  Are our boys going to grow that fast?  Oh dear, I hope not.  Better cherish these moments while I have them.  The boys were absolutely FANTASTIC.  Something we did not expect, but they were.  We were very proud of them.  That’s a long time to be trapped in carseats and dinner. 

Aunt Robin, Uncle Vinnie, Tommy, and Megan

Monday we decided to do nothing.  Well, I mean, no leaving the house.  LOL.  Daddy and the boys pressure washed the porch and outside of the house while Mommy sat and snuggled Eli all morning long.  When Daddy came in, he helped me with cleaning the floors and moving furniture around to clean up crumbs…yuck!  But it’s done.  When we were finished Aunt Dana and Howie arrived and Dana took over the snuggle time with Eli.  Yesterday was a difficult day as he did not want to be put down for a minute.  I thought maybe he was getting GERD and maybe having tummy problems, he still may be, but I’m not 100% sure yet.  Ethan had it, and it was a nightmare until you can give them medicine. 

Eli is now napping in his crib.  Let’s hope yesterdays 24hours need of being held was a fluke and it never happens again.  I love cuddle time, but I’m not that Mom.  I need rest myself and I need my house in order.  And now that Daddy’s back to work, I need my arms from time to time.  LOL.

naptime

And now that we are only about 7-8wks away from my biggest boy turning 5yo, I went ahead and booked his Bowling Alley birthday party today!  OMG.  He is almost 5yo!  I can hardly believe it.  I’ve been telling him for months, “Ashton, you’re almost 5yo’s.  5yo’s don’t do that, or do this, or blah blah blah.”  But now it’s time!  He is really almost 5yo.  YIKES!  So now I’m on the hunt of what to buy an almost 5yo.  It has to be educational.  So if you have a suggestion, let me know.  Until then, we’ll be brainstorming birthday party fun. 

Hope you’ve enjoyed the random photos of Eli.

Happy Birthday….

To my MOMMY!

Dearest Mom,

I know you’d like for me to have this baby today, and I’d give anything to meet his smiling face, but I’m pretty certain it will not be occuring today.  As of this moment at 3:15pm, I’m not laboring.  However, I’ve had the same cramps, backaches, headaches, and occassional contractions, as I’ve had for the past 3-5days. 

I wish I had better news to tell ya.  But I can tell you this, we should all be so lucky to not have to share our special day with someone else.  We each deserve our own day.  A day to call our own.  A day that we should be spoiled rotten.  Today is your day.

Enjoy your first Rays game.  We know how much you’ve taken a liking to baseball.  And that is probably a good thing with 4 grandson’s.  You’re bound to have to watch a few little league games, a time or two 😉

Love Your daughter,

Tara

It’s a birthday party….HORRAY!

Well, that is how a 4 year old is supposed to have a birthday party right? But, this year, it didn’t work out that way.
Ashton was not feeling very well and ended up sleeping most of his birthday party.   He loved that all his friends came to his party, even though he was curled up in his bed, sleeping. He didn’t mind, as long as his friends were having fun.
2 things that I’ll never forget about the day. When Ashton woke up, after the party was over, he said, “Mommy, is at least ONE of my friends still here to play with?” When I told him everyone had left, he said, “Well Auntie is still here right?” Gosh, he sure loves his Auntie Aja, but even she had left, just moments before he awoke.

What a terrible idea it was to go through with the birthday party. But at the same time, it was the best decision we could make for him. He wanted that birthday party, terribly. He just could not understand how we could cancel it. He would have been heartbroken.

When Ashton woke up, it was time to open up presents!!!!

 

AT received so many wonderful gifts. It was great having so many kids in our home. I believe 15 of the 18 showed up 😉 That is amazing!!! I only wish our almost “4” year old, would have been able to enjoy himself just a little bit more.
Happy “almost” Birthday baby boy!!!

Ashton’s 4th Birthday Party….

For those of you that were here, THANK YOU!
What a fantastic turn out. I only wish the birthday boy could remember it 😦 Only Ashton was very much under the weather and crawled right into his bed, moments after we sang Happy Birthday, and he went straight to sleep. While 6, bubbly, happy, loud children played in his room. I think that was his favorite part. Knowing that his friends could have a good time, with his toys, while he took a rest.

Pictures will come soon. I believe I got one of every child there. YIPPIE!!!

Here’s to a better 4th birthday year!

Ethan’s 1st Birthday!!!

So I’m a planner right? Yes, you all know how organized I am. Well, I’ve had this birthday blog done for some time, but for some reason, it really just never seemed “right.” So when Ashton came in my room tonight, all of a sudden it clicked, and I jumped out of bed, and here I sit, blogging to the world, the Birth of my Baby Boy, Ethan!

Ethan, it’s been a year! And a fabulous year at that. You are your own little person. Mommy and Daddy knew you’d be one of a kind the day we first laid our eyes on you.

You were gorgeous. And just different. You were Ethan, and Ashton was Ashton. For some reason, this didn’t register in my little head while I was pregnant. For some reason, I always thought, you’d turn out just like AT and that would be that. Boy, was I wrong.

10 days go by, and my lovely and talented friends, Kristine and Sherilyn from Brinker-Freed Photography (2 of their masterpieces below), came over to do your very first photo shoot. If you are in the greater Tampa Bay Area, and need an onsite photographer, give these ladies a call! They both have twins, they are ultra fab with the kidos, and Sherilyn was the ONLY person that could make Ethan sleep in the 10 days of him being alive 😉 BTW, her girls are TTTS Survivors!

After a beautiful 10 days of being in awe with you, and knowing that you really do sleep, there was proof in the above photos, I knew you were meant to be in our family. Even with all our late nights together. Ethan, you just didn’t sleep for 6wks. Ok, so that had to do with GERD, but oh dear Lord, it was a LONG 6wks. For all of us.

At 6wks old, your Mommy, Daddy, and big brother decided to give back to the world. We walked in The March for Babies. We did this because of you! We did this because of Quinn. We wanted to spread the word on TTTS and we were there to help make that happen. Here you are, passed out, but at least you showed up! By the way, you had lots of supporters! Mommy’s wonderful friends Renea and Dave put this together for YOU. Aunt Dana, Uncle Joey, and Howie all walked for you too. See buddy, you are LOVED!

At 3 months old, I knew this blanket would be in your life forever. Auntie Aja bought this for you before you were even here, in our arms. She knew you needed a pooh bear, just as she has given a SUPER big one to Ashton. At one years old, you are still sleeping with this blanket tucked right up under your nose, and sucking your thumb…no more binkies for this big boy!

At 4mths old, it occurred to me, that Ashton will be your best friend for life. Sure, you’ll have your ups and downs with him, but this picture tells it all. Ashton looks out for you like no other in the world. He has a found a great bond with you that only brothers can share. We were on our first Family of 4, Family Vacation, Myrtle Beach 🙂

And well, this is just a cute picture, so I had to throw it in here…

At 5months old, I thought our lives flipped upside down. I had noticed for sometime that your head was rather flat on the back. You can thank Q for that, but hey, it made you into you 😉 So we went to the doctor, and a month later this is what we came home with! Your helmet was only step one, step two was PT for the next few months to help our neck (which we are still working on).
You wore your helmet for the next 5mths. I have to say, from day one, you were never bothered by it. In fact, I’m not even sure you ever knew it was on you. You wore it with pride, and now, your head is nice and round…just what Mommy and Daddy hoped for!

7mths comes around and you’re still not crawling. I’m not concerned, your brother didn’t crawl until he was 9 1/2 months. But you are starting to eat food, now this is where the fun begins.

At 8mths Popi and Mommy packed you boys up at 6pm one night and headed to PA to visit your Special-Gram, Great Grandma Gracie. This is Popi’s Mom, and boy oh boy did she fall in love with my two favorite boys. Both of you boys did fabulous on the 16hr car ride!

9months brings us to Christmas. Could you have been any cuter? Nah, didn’t think so!

Next is January, 10mths….omg, are you really ALMOST 1yo? Finally, we are making some progress. I think you want to crawl anytime now. So will ya already? This Mommy is getting antsy! No crawling, but we are now mastering our eating skills. All of a sudden, you stopped choking on your food…now that is a GREAT thing! oh, and 6 teeth in 6wks popped up. Honestly, I thought I was going to have to puree your food until you were a grown man.

Let the crawling begin! Ok, so it didn’t start until you were about 11 1/2 mths old, but it started. I knew you had it in you. You just wanted to wait this one out. Not only are you crawling…but in less than a week, you started pulling up. Watch out Mommy….this little boy is going to keep you on your toes for the rest of your life. And no, I have know photos of your new skill.

And because the sandwich shot was such a hit, here it is again 🙂 He is his father’s son!

And now, that brings us to today. Oh, don’t you worry son, the camera is charged and the pictures will be flashing.

Happy Birthday Ethan Michael. I hope you enjoyed this special entry all about you…then and now. Do I dare say, my son is turning into a toddler? Nah, not yet. Let’s hold off till your two ok? One is enough in this household. We love you, and we hope you have the BEST 1st BIRTHDAY, EVER! (ha!!! Think he’ll have another?)

ok, better go get my workout on before the fun begins!!!