Friday, January 31, 2014

Where has the time gone?

Well, I'm realizing I've not been a stellar blogger in January.  So much for starting the New Year off right! haha :)  That's ok.  I'm not being hard on myself.  It's truly been an odd month...of weird home more than normal, more than normal bday celebrations...and most definitely a busier-than-normal baby :)  But, honestly...I cannot believe January is done today.  With this in mind, I am realizing that tomorrow, Feb. 1, starts my "overhaul of the house".  I am not as ready for this as I thought I would be.  I got a tad bit discouraged this week looking at all the mess of this house.  It's very overwhelming and hard to think about starting small and trying to do this all on our own. I really honestly think it's an impossible task with a very busy baby who is into everything.  And I do mean everything.  I tried to just do laundry tonight and he decided to start dropping anything he could find in his diaper pail.  Then he decided to take everything out of his drawers and throw it with great glee :)  I am not upset about this, but just realizing that any expectation I have of getting things organized while Kev is not around (and no grandparents to help babysit!), is near impossible.  I need to really lower the expectations or I will find myself mightily disappointed by summer time.  So, my question to myself is, "where do I start?"  This week we cleaned up our room. It was a very quick event of throwing stuff here and a pre-clean cover-up for the cleaning lady.  It served its purpose though and now our room is much less cluttered and much more enjoyable to sit in (which is where I am now typing :)).  I even got a, "you keep a very picked-up house" comment from the cleaning lady.  That made me feel good :)  So, now I gear up for the Steg spring clean-up (which I guess starts in winter :)).  I need to start by praying for a miracle :) :)....and then some patience...and grace for myself.  Wish me luck! 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

My Big Boy is 8!

 A lil' trip down honor of the big 8th bday today!  I still remember the day my 1st boy was born.  I was in shock...I actually had a boy.  We didn't find out the gender with our Baby Stegs #3 and honestly assumed we were destined for all girls!  Then out HE came...a bouncing BIG baby boy! 
 His two big sisters were instantly smitten with him :)
 It's hard to believe he was ever this small...
 Then a year went by....
 And two....I had very few pics from this bday b/c we had just found out the week before about the surprising news of Baby Stegs #4 (Ash!)...and I was sooooooooo sick.  Even making a cake was more than I could handle with the pukes :(
 Year number 3 was all about Bob and Larry :)
 Year 4 was a first attempt at a cupcake cake :)
 Year 5 was racecars!
 6 was Angry Birds!
 Last year (7!) was a pukey/sick bday with a newborn baby brother...
 We made a cake...but never ate it...
 My favorite thing in the last 13 months is how sweet my big boy is to his little brother...he loves him so, so much.
 And the little bro looks up to him so, so much! 
Words cannot say how blessed we have felt for 8 years by the life God gave us in our 1st son.  There are too many things to mention about why I love this boy so, so much.  He is best described as a boy who loves life, loves school, loves to laugh and is just a laid back, happy-go-lucky guy.  God knew we needed a go-with-the-flow guy in the midst of girl drama and all the craziness.  This boy of ours just blesses our lives every day with his smiles, goofiness and big, big heart.  Dylan James...I could not have picked a better first son.  God truly blessed us on Jan. 30th, 2006.

The bday boy spent pretty much his whole day on the go. I think it was our first official real day back at school in like 2 weeks.  Go figure it'd happen on his bday when we probably would have loved to have him home for an extra hour or two.  But, he jumped at the chance to spend the day at school. He loves school, loves learning and LOVED celebrating with his friends. He said the highlight of the day was eating donuts (his bday treat of choice!) with his class.  We did get to see him for lunch too...and then we grabbed a very quick hour with him after school (with his meal of choice--pizza hut!) and presents and lego man cake!  Then it was off to our busiest night of activities (ballet, ice-skating and bball). We gave him the choice of skipping bball for his bday, but he said "no way!" and by 9pm when I asked him what the fav. part of his bday was he said "basketball!"  I love his enthusiasm.  That's just how he is.  Such a happy guy who loves just about everything.  So blessed by this boy and so thankful for his 8 years of life!  More pics to come soon....I promise!! :)

Monday, January 27, 2014

How fast they grow...

Awww...I'm am looking for a few pics tonight to print at Sam's and came across these from before and after Logan's baby shower exactly a year ago.  Oh me oh my was he the cutest baby or what?!  I had forgotten how sweet and small he was...and how he's changed into Mr. Mischief :)  I guess he was sorta Mr. Mischief here....I think as I was taking the first pic above he was doing a huge blowout in the new outfit I got for him to wear to the needless to say he didn't wear it!  LOL on him and his big bro being "babies" together.  Now my oldest boy is almost 8 and my youngest boy is 13 months.  Time MUST slow down!

Where have I been?

Did you worry I had turned into a popcicle in this arctic land of Indiana?!

haha....I just realized how long it's been since I blogged!  That's not like me these days unless I'm on vacation, which sadly I have not been!'s been crazy busy around here and we just can't get into a solid routine with all this weird weather and school delays.  This is how things have gone:

*Last week we didn't have one full day of school yet again.  Don't get me wrong...we are loving the sleeping in thing, but I worry a bit how we'll be later this week once we are back at normal school days.  We might be falling asleep by noontime since we're used to lazier mornings.  I did sorta have to laugh though b/c this weekend it was a balmy 45 degrees and felt like summer, but then somehow overnight the temps plummeted to the negatives. It's almost like someone doesn't want us to go to school for full days, but is ok with us enjoying nice "warm" weekends :)  At any rate, we are plugging away trying to wait it out til spring.  I am not a big weather complainer, but I will say that that temps like this will make me appreciate summer, heat and sweating all the more!  Bring on the pool time fun!  Interesting factoid:  It's been so cold that I had a bottle of water in the van last week, and in the 1.5 hours that I was at the mall it somehow froze?  Is that possible? I don't know, but it sure tells me it's too cold if my van can be a freezer for that short of time :(

*The weather even messed with the ice rink last Thurs.  They had to open the rink up to the outside air so it would stay frozen.  Here I was actually looking forward to the "warmth" of the rink and instead it was insanely cold.  Go figure.  Both Shelb and Ash are loving their lessons and are doing awesome!

*Hailey is back to the ballet routine.  I think this is good for her.  She loves that crazy routine and has missed the exercise over her winter break. 

*Ash is back at IU for ballet.  She loved it in her new creative movement 3 class on Saturday and especially loves being in class with her best lil' bud, Annika.  It's another large class of 18 girls, but it didn't seem to bother her. 

*Love getting bargains.  Last week it was Children's Place. I don't usually go in there, but hats and gloves were 75 cents and coats were $7...dresses were $4.  I got Ash a new purple coat and you'd thought it was Christmas morning.  She has not wanted to take it off the last 24 hours.  She is so used to hand me downs and she has a big black coat from Gap that was Shelby's, but she just didn't like the length of it.  It reminded me that sometimes it's good to get the "hand me down" kid something new.  She was so proud to wear it to preschool this morning :)  Love her excitement/appreciation over small things. She has thanked me profusely for the coat today :)

*I have decided Shelby takes after both her Ninas. She loves to shop.  She and I went by ourselves yesterday to the mall and if she had money to spend she would have spent it.  She was on the look out for Paris stuff and new pj's and a ski shirt at Gymboree.  I was firm with her though and since she had no money to spend, she is making a big bday list now (which I'm sure will change by May :)).  She was happy with her 75 cent earmuffs for ice skating...but boy can she try to wheel and deal ya' to buy her something!

*Had the most fun ever having yet ANOTHER bday party for Logan!  This time it was a shared double 1st bday party with his best girl, Sophie (who turned 1 right before Thanksgiving).  Shelb planned most of the party (games and theme and cakes...Hungry Caterpillar!) and we made it very simple.  Hays did most of the cake thankful for that!  It was a smashing good time and just made us realize how much we miss our friends!  The babies were so funny smashing their little caterpillar cakes.  Logan was "Mr. Scream" and went nuts a few times (this was his 5th cake smash after all...he is an ol' pro now!) :)  And Sophia tried to give all her cupcakes away to her family. It was very sweet.  Just love our Besties and cannot believe our two babies are so big already :( :( :( 

*I am scheduled to have a cleaning lady come out on Wed.  Wish me luck...and also pray that I don't go crazy cleaning before she comes. I have been known to do a preclean and really need to NOT do this.  So grateful for this gift from friends.  It can't believe that a year ago today was my baby shower....time has flown by!  My baby is 13 months today!

* We officially started looking for houses yesterday. We've had friends/family on the look for us and decided to drive by a few.  We didn't see anything we liked enough to go inside, but it was fun starting to think about the process again and thinking about what area of town we might like to live on.  I am thinking we want the same area.  The new I-69 is going to mess with moving on certain parts of town...and living anywhere too far from IU will be no good since it's like our 2nd home with ballet and violin.  It's definitely harder to find the perfect place to live when you are thinking about the logistics of 5 kids and schools and activities.  I wish I could just transport a bigger house onto our current lot.  We'll see if any of this house searching can motivate us to clean up our own place for selling!

*Last night we had a fun evening meeting neighbors.  The sweetest neighbor of ours has had such a spiritual leading lately to gather all the church attenders from our neighborhood community. I guess there are 45 homes in our neighborhood that are members of our church and probably more who aren't official members.  Last night we got to meet a few new faces at church and got to enjoy some good food and conversation.  I really do love this neighborhood and hate to think about moving sometimes.  We've been so blessed being where we've been for almost 12 years.

*I became a hairdresser this weekend :)  I am getting cheap and decided to take a stab at cutting the younger girls hair after church.  They were both ok with this so I decided "why not".  The worst that could happen is we need to have it fixed at Greatclips :)  I did ok!  Ash wanted hers super short like her best bud, Ellie's, but I just couldn't go that short.  It's cute though. Shelby just needed a trim.  I thought she might cry when she first looked at it.  I could hardly tell it was cut, but she kept saying "it's ok, it's ok"  Now she likes it :)  Phew!  And now they can both get combs through their hair again.  I saved us about $25 too.  Nice.  Tomorrow D needs his cut. I will not attempt that.  Last time I did it I got razzed at school about how bad it was :)  I am apparently not a barber...and I am ok with that.  My gifts lie elsewhere.

*It's bday week for my big boy.  Wow....8 years ago I had no idea I'd be blessed with a son.  And now look at him. So confident, so smart, so laid back and so tall!  He has been such a blessing to our family.  I am in planning mode now for his bday.  Every part of me wants to go all out for his lego party, but last night he told me he wants laser lite (laser tag).  Sigh.  I might have to give in and have a party somewhere else and not even make a cake.  For now I am just worrying about his real bday and the cake he wants (lego man!) and the treat he's bringing to school (donuts!) :)  Thankfully by Thursday our weather looks to be warmer :)

*Poor boy had his first bball game canceled this weekend due to snow :(  He was bummed, but on a happy note he got to clean the bathroom for me instead :) haha :)

*Ash is doing fabulously at speech at our school.  I love that she can go there every week and it's a good transition with her going to Kindergarten there next year.  She's actually been doing her speech homework by herself at home and working really hard on her "f"s now :)

*Dylan and Kev are in pinewood derby mode for cub scouts!  They had their first planning meeting for D's car yesterday. It's looking pretty good. The race is set for Friday the 7th!  Go Dylan!

*Sooooo thankful girl scout cookie sales are done!  Shelb was a trooper and did all the selling herself and even went door to door in the subzero weather.  I was very proud of her.  She didn't even sell to many family this year (I didn't want to ship cookies) and I was not a mom who facebooked about cookies.  I made her do all the work. She is a trooper and did great.  I am glad that part is over though. I really don't get how the girl scout people think winter is a good time to sell these things door to door.  The cub scouts get to do their popcorn in the fall.  Much better weather! we begin cookie booth sales.  Just another thing to do!

*Logan has found his blood curdling scream.  He found his voice long ago and actually found his scream long ago...but this NEW scream is ridiculous.  People who hear it can't believe a 1 year old can be that loud.  It's definitely not something we've experienced.  It's getting hard to take him places b/c he really likes to do it when it's at school, the dentist, doc's appts, while I'm on the phone or talking to someone in public.  I am not sure how to nip this in the bud :(

*Lil guy is almost walking. He stands all the time by himself and has taken a step or two...and he loves to fall into my arms.  I am going to be a little sad when he's upright and mobile.   

*He is also showing us signs of texture issues like his bro before him.  Sigh.  He is refusing to eat baby food that's been in the garage (i.e. freezing cold).  I can't blame him there.  He still won't eat solid food or drink whole milk.  I feel I'm nursing like crazy especially in the wee hours of the night/morning.  He has got to get the hang of this "real eating" thing!

Well, that's the jest of what's been going on lately.  It's been super busy seeing friends, trying to survive this crazy weather, and attempting to clean our house up.  I am hoping Kev can look at our photo situation tonight as it's our first night home in weeks.  I can't seem to find pics so posting them is near impossible.  You know how I don't love picture-less posts.  Hopefully I'll have more interesting post after today :)  Bear with me!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Yet another...

...snow delay tomorrow.


Don't get me wrong. I do love the lazier mornings and love my kiddos being home.  But the snow and the cold have got to go :(  I am just too much of a FL girl at heart to deal with this much longer.  It's seriously too gloomy out for me...and taking the kids out in this (especially those who don't like jackets and bundling up...Logan!) is making them/me grumpier.  There is a time and place for enjoying the snow and being inside a warm house while it's arctic outside...but those days are done for me.  Please, Lord, send some sun and warmth soon! 

I am also beginning to wonder how much education my kids are getting with this many 2 hour delays.  I feel we've almost had more delays than normal days!  So much so that I am making the kids read more at home and also practice writing and math.  I feel almost like a homeschool mom (which is not at all my calling in life!).  Anyway....I don't mean for this post to be a big weather complaint...but goodness....whoever predicted "very little snow" this year was dead wrong!  It's the pits!

On a happy front it was a busy day of friends today.  I love days like that...but I am not sure my baby does.  He was out of sorts tonight after his feeding/sleeping sched. was all messed up.  It was late start day for school today even w/o a delay...but we had to get up bright and early and rush off for dental appts for D and S.  No biggee expect both kids have done poorly on the tooth-brushing front and both had cavities.  Dylan seemed to care less. Shelby was mortified.  The worst part of the whole thing was our schedule is so busy for Feb. that I could hardly find a time to get them back in for fillings.  This is a stressor every day.  I rarely have enough time to add things to the calendar.  It makes things challenging.  And now we will have to start a "check the teeth" routine in the evenings.  Just another thing to do.  I did thankfully get the kids to school on time and then raced off to see my bestie at the mall for shopping, chatting and eating. We had a good time and we got some bargains! (LOVE Children's Place right the girls and boys Easter outfits already...$5 for dresses and and $1 for ties.  I just need to get Hays something and I'm done!  3 months early!  YAY!  Sometimes shopping works in my favor. I also found a black sweater for me so now I no longer have to borrow Hailey's.  YAY for me and her! :)  Loved hanging with my long-lost-bestie whom I haven't seen in ages.  Logster and Sophster had fun chatting too :)  Can't wait to celebrate the baby's 1st bdays together on Saturday!  Then raced off to get Ash at preschool and to pick up pizza for lunch and over to a friend's house for more hangout time.  Great fun to hang out with 3 moms and Ashley's 3 friends and 2 babies Logan's age.  I love how God brings people together who have similar lives/interests.  It was a lot of fun for us all.  Then raced off to get Hay's from school.  I think Logan's first real meal wasn't til 3:30.  No wonder he was cranky pants today.  The middle kids got off the bus about 30 mins after that and it was off to violin and shoe the midst of more snow.  I think Kev and I were both crank pants by the time we got home from all this...b/c he and I were both snapping at the kids.  Honestly the weather makes me snappy!  Now I'm attempting to plan something for Dylan's  Lego movie?  No idea.  Just realized he'll be 8 next week. And trying to plan a Hungry Caterpillar bday for Logan and best lil' bud, Sophie for Sat...and realizing how crazy busy tomorrow is going to be...4 activities in the evening...head spinning.  Need rest.  I am off to bed, but had to put this all down on paper so maybe it will be released from my crazy brain and I can rest tonight....

More pics tomorrow hopefully....too tired to go to cold basement now :)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Warm thoughts...

It's another arctic day here in southern Indiana...and I am tired of it!  Spring/summer could not get her soon enough.  So in honor of "needing warmth", I am reverting to sunny thoughts of the beach in Ft. Laud., FL just a few weeks ago (12/30)!  My baby has seen the sand many times since his birth, but this time I think he loved it the MOST since he was mobile!  He was just all smiles :)
Checking out the surf with biggest sis :)
Good ol' Duck Dylan and his newly grown beak!
My sweet sandy Shelby :)
My sand castle building Ash!
Really the only reason Hailey goes to the beach is to lay there on the sand and gather what sun she can to tan her white lil' body :) this :)  Good ol' Nina came down right after work and got all sandy in her scrubs just so she could have fun with all her grandkids :)
Have I mentioned the little man loved the beach...and even the chilly water (he must be like his daddy!) :)
Squeals of joy! lol :)  Yay for being able to write his name and age in the sand, rather than the cold white stuff we are used to!
He had no qualms about digging into the dirt, trying to bury himself in it and even eat it!  He might be our first kid to not be afraid of being dirty!
Nina and her 7 "grands" :)  Wish we had Pops in this pic, but he left early...

Many more pics to come, but forgive me for easing into the picture sorting.  There are so many to go through and so little time! :)

We had yet another delay today due to snow/cold/wind.  My thought on that lovely as it is to not have the phone in our room, it also means we somehow missed the delay call from the school system. So instead of sleeping in 2 more hours, we got up and ready and it was only when I peeked out the door and noticed the neighbors houses were all still dark that I checked the school website.  Poor Hays. She could have slept 2 more hours.  I love lazier mornings.  The most fav. part of my morning was cuddling with my baby in bed.  He was such a trooper and snuggled up next to me and went back to sleep.  Love mornings like that when it's cold outside and we can just stay indoors and be warm under the covers.  I am guessing we'll have a few more mornings like this too....even colder temps are on the way.  I fear winter will never end!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Our Lovely Long Weekend :)

This will be another non-exciting, picture-less post...

But, just had to put in writing what a lovely weekend we had...doing some cleaning and then lots of nothing :)  I've decided nothing days (or even hours) are much more needed in our crazy Steg lives :)

A couple things we did...

1.  Took all the Christmas stuff down. I know I already mentioned this in the previous post, but I realized yesterday once it all went back to storage, how much I love NOT having Christmas up.  I think this the Christmas clutter is one reason why I don't like Christmas. And this year it was also a bit crazy having it up just b/c Logan broke/tried to eat just about everything at one point. Having it down is making our lives much less cluttered and easier.

2.  In place of the Christmas tree is now Logan's new play area (in our living room).  He LOVES it!  I moved our big chest over by the window and filled it with all his stuff and parked all his walkers right by it. He is in heaven just playing with everything.  It's heavenly for us too b/c he is no longer into my tupperware or DVD's or much trouble!  LOVE!

3.  We had a "at-home bday party" for the Logster today.  I know, I am a crazy partier, but I realized I had bought these cute plates at Hobby Lobby many months ago in prep for his bday and I never used them.  I know you're thinking...just use them for his 2nd bday, but I could not. They, of course, had a big 1 on them.  So, I threw together a quick little cut-apart cake and the kids all made cupcakes yesterday.  We were in need of some sweet treats anyway so it was time well spent :)  It was quick and easy (aside from me somehow messing up the frosting recipe so it was like goo).  And I forgot I had all these gifts to give him since we didn't lug anything to he had to open those too, of course!  So, he had a little "rocket" party today.  It was fun and he LOVED his cake. After 3 trial runs of cake he is getting the hang of this bday stuff! :) haha :)

4. We started the big 1-year-old on whole milk yesterday.  Didn't go well.  He was not at all interested.  He thought he was chugging water out of his cup like usual and when he realized to his dismay it was not the clear stuff, he let out a big scream and threw the thing halfway across the dining room.  He continued to do this every time he was given the "white stuff".  This whole weaning thing might be a challenge for our "loves to nurse" boy. I hope I'm not one of those moms who is still nursing her kid in Kindergarten :) J/K!  I will not be!

5.  We had our first food vomit tonight (for Lil' Log).  I felt bad. I didn't really meant to make him vomit, but the boy refuses to eat table food.  I don't get this b/c he eats just about anything off the floor.  We joked that maybe if we threw his food under the table, he'd probably eat it later.  I wouldn't be surprised.  But, if we put it on his tray he will throw it.  So I tried to mix some egg into his cereal tonight thinking it'd just slide down with the rest of the mush.  Nope!  Up it came along with lots of vomit.  I think my hand still smells like vomit from cleaning it up. That'll teach me. Please pray the little man is not like his big bro before him. I don't think he has texture issues like Dylan, but ya' never know.  Even Dylan gagged getting down his fried rice tonight.  Some things never change! :)

6.  It's tough work decluttering.  I spent a couple hours doing it today. I cleared out an overflowing laundry basket from our van that had lots of misc. junk in it.  Most of it I just tossed!  I also had somehow filled Logan's portocrib with piles of junk and it had been sitting in our dining room for all to view. I am embarrassed to say he hasn't used it since it not only had three different holiday's worth of junk it in, but it had Ashley's bday stuff in it.  I am realizing I need to take more time to put things back in their proper places even though I am so tired at the end of the day.

7.  Since the ol' portocrib got cleaned out, it was Logan's turn to use it.  He spent his first naptime in his new room (Big Bro's room).  He didn't care for it.  He carried on for quite some time and finally gave up after daddy went up and talked to him.  He is not officially sharing a room with brother yet, but hopefully by Spring Break he will be :)  I think the transition will be harder on me than anyone.  I love his sweet little face peering over the crib rails at me in the mornings.  I can't usually even see him b/c I don't have my glasses on, but I can see him wave at me and hear him giggle and it's the cutest thing :)

8.  Wish we'd had lots more free time.  I could have done w/o Shelby having to leave the house today to go to violin and girl scouts.  Though I am grateful to Kev for taking the day off so I didn't have to be mama's taxi service.  I had high hopes of just sitting with my feet up for hours these last few days and that really didn't happen.  I have realized there is never enough time in the day to rest and get everything done. You either need to do one or the other.  On a side note, it's lovely eating breakfast, lunch and dinner together as a family.  We rarely get to do one of these a day so to do all three for pretty much 3 days was great! :)

9.   Shelby got to finally see Frozen with her best bud, Sydne today.  She was so excited and had a great time.  I have heard it's a very good movie...even from adults.  All the girls have now seen it with friends.  Kev was bummed he missed out. He's our movie guy :)

10.  D and A cleaned our basement today.  It is nowhere near done, but they made some progress. I am proud of them!  It's scary down there! :)  Hays was our launderer.  If ballet doesn't pan out she'd make a good living laundering :)  J/K, Hays!

11.  We played outside today. This is blog worthy b/c it has not really been this warm out in quite some time (and not sure to stay this way either...negative temps coming again!). D practiced bball on his hoop out front (first time he's really used it) and Ash rode her new princess scooter.  Logan even took a drive in his new car w/o any socks on (it was that warm!) :)  It was lovely to get some sunshine and 40 degree heat!  I'll take it over gloom and arctic!

And now the long weekend is over.  I just said to Kev that I wished it was Friday again.  It was lovely to be home so much this weekend and have no big activities and also get some stuff done.  This was officially our last weekend til Spring Break where we have nothing major going on....tomorrow the craziness all begins again.  Wish us luck keeping the sanity :)  We'll need it! 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Love days like this :)

I didn't even leave the house today....well, except to get the mail and look for something in the van :) 

I love days like that.  I really do think I could be a hermit in my older years :)

This is probably our last Saturday til Spring Break where we will have very little to do.

Kev ran all the errands today (D to bball practice, the post office and Kroger).  I was grateful to him for doing most of the things I normally do.  He knows I am need of more down time--more "me" time.  He even let me sleep in a bit.  He took the rascally busy boy downstairs so I could have some quiet.  Very grateful.  I am a much happier person when I get more sleep (and don't have to get up early) and when I don't have to get ready in the morning or go anywhere.  I know this cannot be the norm on a regular basis, but boy is it nice every once in awhile.  It refreshes me.  We didn't have a lazy day thanks to Christmas decorations that called our name...but we did get all that done and that felt good (though I think Logan was sad to see his fav toys (ornaments!) go).  And tomorrow is our "do nothing day"...just church and Kev has a scout leader meeting.  Not only that, but we get Monday off so we don't have to gear up for the week til then.  Love, love, love days/weekends at home, not doing much, staying in pj's most of the day.  I wish there were more days like this.... 

Friday, January 17, 2014

My Birthday Boy :)

 I couldn't find pics of my baby on his bday earlier in the week and was a little worried.  I just came across them hidden on the computer...phew :)  These are just a few of the many. I am glad I got a few.  I was truly worried I didn't take many.  I was so tired that day and honestly don't remember most of it (remember, we arrived to FL around 4:30am).  Here's a few "snaps" of the bday boy.  LOL about his bday "hat" and matching onesie from Walmart. I bought this when he was only a few months old...not knowing he'd have the head size of a 5 year old!  The hat looked more like a dunce cap and I had to basically tuck it under this double chins for a second to velcro it and get a pic.  Needless to say he never wore it again, but at least I got one pic. He almost looks like a princess in it too :)  Sorry, buddy!  What your mom won't do for a pic! :)  But, what Dec. 27 baby from Indiana can say he got to sit by the pool in a onesie on his 1st bday! Not many!
 Love!  Eating his bday sweet potato lunch :)
 All ready for his FL party!  He's still not officially standing much on his own (though he does surprise himself and do it sometimes!) daddy had to help him here....though dad's strong grip was mostly so he wouldn't get in trouble and eat/knock over the cake :)
He was a bit somber on his bday as you can tell here.  He was probably just as tired as us from that 23 hour drive!  I tried to be artistic with some bday pics, but he was just not amused :)  More pics to come. Just had to post a few b/c I get tired of a picture-less blog :)

The Brick Wall

Well, I feel I have hit a brick wall with any kind of progress around here.  I know I need to give myself a little grace with Kev working most nights this week and me running solo with the 5 kiddos, but I still think I should at least be able to get something done like dishes or laundry.  I find myself wandering around between the first and second floors of the house feeling very overwhelmed at the tasks at hand.  Not only am I overwhelmed, but I am just plain tired.  I think both together are making me completely useless.  Kev and I are in the process of trying to figure out why I am not sleeping (is it late nights/early mornings, is it him snoring, is it Logan whimpering through the night in the crib next to us, is it me worrying about the next day nor not shutting down my brain from the current to-do list, or is it possibly all of the above). Trying to figure it out is the pits.  I have been a walking mom-bomb this week. Getting back into the routine of early mornings, homework and activities had made me quite irritable.  "Quite" is an understatement (as vouched for by Kev and the kids).  Let's just give a run down of yesterday so that I can show you how grumpy I am....

1.  Ash and I have dental appts.  No big deal, right.  Well, turns out my root canal from a few months ago didn't work.  I knew this already.  I am one of a minority in which this happens.  Go figure.  So now I am wearing down the teeth on my right side of my mouth b/c I still cannot chew on my left.  I am really, really trying to not get angry about the reason behind this (a terrible woman dentist in town!), but it's really hard.  This has truly been a situation that has taken so much time and money and brainpower``....

2.  Logan is really a trooper at the dentist especially since it's naptime.  I forgot though that the last time I took him I promised myself I would not take him again (he had to sit with me on the reclined dental chair while I got my teeth cleaned...and he was not quiet or still :)).  This time he was even worse.  His new "fun" thing to do it scream at the top of his lungs (and, yes, it is very loud!).  I am honestly so used to this that it doesn't phase me, but when I cannot speak to him or respond to him (due dental restraints), it is a bit difficult :)

3.  I have to finish up my post Christmas big deal...except it decides to get very slick out with a mini-snow-dusting.  I am slipping and sliding all over the road.  The stroller is not the ideal sled in these conditions.  I get everything done and head home...

4. Only to find I lost $30 of my bday money (probably in the snow pushing the heavy stroller).  I am so disheartened. I spend probably an hour tearing apart the kitchen and dining room looking for the lost money that was I saving for myself....hoping I somehow dropped it in the house :( :(  Never found it.  I home some deserving person found it in the parking lot.

5. I call Kev in hopes he has found my money.  Nope.  I argue with him over why it's easier for men to keep track of their money than women (due to wallets being able to fit in their back pockets). I know I made no sense.

6.  I got off the phone and cried.  I hate losing things.  I lose things every day.  It's frustrating.  I know $30 is really nothing...but to a cheap person like me, it's like $300.  This is why I don't carry cash.  I am almost as irresponsible with cash as I am with my cell phone :( :( :(

7.  I try to make a quick smash cake for Logan's 1 year photos (which were today).  I have made the big cupcake cake before.  Easy peasy.  I really thought it would be brainless and quick.  I should have known.  I must have used the wrong melting chocolate to make the bottom mold and after 7 attempts and way too many minutes/hours of time wasted, I gave up.  Kev came home and tried one thing and it came out perfect.  It was just not my day.  In my span of wasted hours I made an even bigger mess of the kitchen (envision dark chocolate all over the counters)...also envision me hacking away at my good pan with a knife...chocolate flying in all directions.  I was that frustrated :(

8.  I stressed a bit over Hailey's high school schedule (which was due today). Yes, I said high school.  How is it possible that she is old enough to be in high school? And how is that I am old enough to have a high schooler?  Seriously.  Time needs to slooooooooooooow down!  Anyway...we thankfully have Kev's aunt to consult on all this since she is in the business of helping kids get into college and get scholarships.  So grateful for her expertise and grateful she took the time to talk to me yesterday.  But, I still pray we made the right decisions as far as classes (honors or regular,  teachers, electives, etc....yikes, high school!) :)

9.  I tried to get last minute advice from some mom friends about high school....then realized we had ice skating and we were late to that.  Not only that, but we got there and realized Ash didn't wear socks (she hates socks).  I am pretty sure it's recommended to wear socks for ice skating. Brrrr....cold feet.  She somehow survived as I glared at her going out onto the ice. 

10.  I was in such a fowl mood by the time Kev made it to the rink, that he sent me home.  Rightfully so...

11.  I had to stop and get more chocolate for melting (for smash cake) at the grocery store.  No big deal, but it's completely frigid out and the cold puts me in a worse mood especially when I have to stand out in it to pump gas.

12.  Just stepping into my cluttered house is stressful.  Why can't the clutter fairy clean it while I am gone :(  I don't think that's asking too much!

13.  We end the night talking about the high school schedule again.  Not only that, but we talk about Hailey trying a sport this semester.  Are we crazy?  Maybe.  She has always loved diving and wants to try it.  It's not ideal timing for her very busy schedule.  She'd have practice every day from 3-4:45 at the high school (only pool near us), go straight to ballet and then start homework every night at 9pm.  She'd miss 5 ballet classes total.  We are ok letting her do this.  It might be her last chance to try a sport (high school sports are very competitive).  We go up and talk to her as she's trying to go to sleep (this is how many of our important conversations go :)).  She makes the executive decision to not wear herself out for the good of the dive.  I agree this is a good decision.  No one wants to be starting homework at 9pm every night and doing 5 hours of activity after school. 

14.  I am supposed to go bed shortly after this, but realize I never looked at any of the kid's homework.  Have I mentioned it's hard for me to shut my brain down lately??  No wonder I don't get enough sleep.

And the cycle continued today with similar mishaps.  I truly think this weather is affecting my capacity to be rational and think correctly.  I am also getting nervous b/c I know this time last year is when I had my major issues (Seasonal Affective Disorder?).  I am praying I don't spiral in that direction.  But, right now I am feeling so scattered and so stinky as a mom, wife, housekeeper, etc.  I am hoping a weekend of non-activity and cleaning will help....praying for bright/warmer days ahead...

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Life in the New Year

Life in the New Year for the Stegs is....well I'm gonna go out on a limb and say it's busier than the "Old Year".  The only reason I say this is toddlerhood. I had forgotten how crazy busy little toddling babies can be.  And honestly I think Logan is our busiest toddler.  I have heard from numerous Steg family members that Logan is obviously the spawn of his father and is taking after his busy footsteps.  I'm not sure if this is encouraging or discouraging....except to say that his daddy turned out pretty good so there is hope :)  But, my sweet boy....he is a bundle of boy energy and into everything.  I can hardly sit down w/o having to get right back up and chase Logan, grab something out of his mouth, keep him from going up/down the steps, take something breakable or chokeable away from him.  I am constantly cleaning up his messes. I will get the living room (my one clean place!) all cleaned up and within about 5 minutes "tornado Logan" will blow through and 50 DVD's will be out, along with 10 ornaments off the tree and all his toys (he has a lot of toys thanks to Christmas and bday!).  I am not sure why I even bother picking up except at least I can say I did it even if you can't tell.  Last week, Logan successfully ate part of a bush in our dining room (the memorial lily we had from Kev's grandpa's funeral).  It was actually up high, but his high chair was a little too close and he choked down a green snack while he was sitting there one day :)  He has also fallen down the stairs again (this time it was the upstairs one).  It left a mark :(  We have not found a good solution for the gate issues we have...between our other kids not being able to get over them and our old kitties...there is no good solution.  He got stuck head first in a box the other day reaching for something he wanted.  He shredded his big brother's preschool Christmas tree that had all handmade ornaments on it :)  Sigh.  He has just about taking my whole porcelain village down by pulling on the cords.  It is barricaded now by our dining room chairs.  He always has something in his mouth.  I am looking at him now and he has a rubber duck in his mouth.  Most times it's paper or fuzz or lately it's my fake snow from my porcelin village...he likes to shred it and eat it like cotton candy :)  And just like our living room, I will clean up our kitchen and within 5 minutes he'll have all the tupperware out and scattered about. I tripped over it this morning and knocked Logan down in the process.  If making a mess could be a superhero trait, he would be MessMan and could win all mess wars :)  There is just not enough space in this house for a busy boy like this! haha :)  Honestly, I am not complaining at all. I love this busy boy and wouldn't change a thing about him.  He adds such spunk to our home.  And he has been good for my perfectionism b/c I have really learned to let a lot of things go with him in the house.  (Well, maybe this is bad?)  But, I don't fret over things like I used to. People show up at our house and it's a mess and it's ok.  So maybe Logan is good therapy for me :)  I'm choosing to think so.  He is definitely making me think outside my normal parenting box.  But, I really didn't mean for this post to be about him.  He just makes things busier than last January...well, mostly b/c he is mobile now and last year this time, he was a newborn just sleeping away.  Those days are gone. I don't necessarily miss them, but I am wondering how in the world we are going to try to clean up this house and pack to try to move this summer with a busy boy finding trouble wherever he goes.  I am grateful for a slow start to our New Year in some respects.  The snow closings last week were a good transition back to the schedule. I have realized this week that early mornings really are a huge obstacle for me.  I am not a morning person and have had a tough time getting back at it this week.  I know I have been a grump and have had a hard time being motivated to clean/organized, etc.  Kev's been working evenings too so that's also exhausting for me as a mom.  I am still trying to take down Christmas stuff, still trying to find stuff from FL b/c we never properly unpacked, still trying to clean up this house from the holidays.  I made a first step today and called a cleaning lady.  Shocking, I know. A year ago I got the gift of housecleaning from two sweet friends at my baby shower.  I never used it for many reasons (mostly embarrassment over my dirty house...yes, it's that bad that I don't want a cleaning lady here :))....but I know I need some help now.  Now that Logan's bday is over, I can officially start on the house revamping.  It is going to be a huge process and a difficult one, but has to be done for us to function better.  It will mean a lot of reprioritizing for me which is going to be a challenge (less time spent volunteering at schools and less fancy bday parties, less friend get togethers, etc). I know this will be hard for me, but if my sanity is going to stay intact, the house needs to get in better order. I truly believe a cluttered house can make for a cluttered brain and we are past the clutter aspect at this point.'s to a different 2014.  One where we buckle down and try to get some stuff done around our house.  One where we take very few vacations (just NYCx2 at this point and maybe me going with the kids to MI if time/the house permit).  Please be praying we can make progress on all this b/c I really think my mental stability will depend on how much we accomplish in the next 6-9 months.  

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Few Fav. FL "snaps" :)

 Here's a lil' post for Nina and cheer them up.  Those of you who don't know, there was this freak rainstorm over my grandparent's condo (that my parents and Aunt now own)...and it completely flooded the place in a matter of hours and they are now having to deal with gutting the place and selling it as is.  Very, very sad.  Makes me sick to think of it and I haven't actually seen it and had to deal with it like my parents are having to do.  I wish there was something I could do to help them even from afar.  All I could think of was to post some of my fav. "snaps" from our FL trip...of all the smiles and laughs.  When I am sad, memories of the good times and the happiness of life bring my spirit up. Love you, Mom and Dad...hang in there :) 

Above is probably the funniest part of our FL trip...New Year's Eve...when Nina unknowingly broke her blender making us fruity drinks :)  It was pretty funny how it all went down and how Pops handled the devastating news :)
 I love this bath shot of my 1 year old on his bday night....after all the cake fun was said and done...and he was chilling in the tub letting the chocolate and frosting flow off his body :)  Love this crazy baby so much!
 LOL!  If ever I am middle girl's funny faces can always bring me a smirk :)  She did like the larakeets at Butterfly World....I think she was just really concentrating on them here :)
 Logan's fav. part of the pool....playing with the big basketball!  Can you tell what word he's saying over and over again!? :)
 Love!  Logan looks like he's the one reading to Great-Grandma and Aunt Mary :)
 Drain fishing.  Don't knock it until you've tried it :)
 Marshmallow bow and arrow.  Big hit!
 Love!  The boys had lots of giggles :)
 Ash adored my cousin, Celyn :)
 Pops the ol' softie....Logan really took to him :) :) :)
 Pops and his oldest granddaughter...they have a special bond :)
 Ash adored Aunt Sue too...they were like old buds even though they had never met before this trip :)
And above is the little girls having a ball in the pool. They are best buds as well.

Love that we could spend so much time like this with our family. It's what makes vacations so special...the time spent with loved ones and the memories made.  It warms my heart and brings smiles to face to think of how blessed we are!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Some cute pics :)

A very random assortment of pics, but this was all I could do for the day.  Our pics are in disarray on the computer for some reason...and Kev, D and the two older girls are in Paoli skiing with D's cub scout troop.  So I am flying solo with the two little ones.'s a few smiles for the day.  First is Logan in all his glory after digging into his 1st bday cake in FL.  He loved it...or at least loved dropping it on his lap :)  You can imagine how nice that bathtub was after his bath :)  What fun it was to celebrate with our Gritz fam and some friends.  I thought I'd be bummed to be away from home on his big day, but my parents and Aunt Sue and the rest of our fam and friends went all out to make the day so special and fun.  Cannot thank them all enough! 
1 year cuteness in the backyard at Nina and Pops!  Sad to say I have no more plastic ties to put on my growing boy.  He tore this one to shreds, so I think he's glad to be done with them! :)
Fun with cousins in the pool!
Great times at Butterfly World with the fam!
Hard to believe this was us a week ago in the snow....and now it's almost 50 degrees with no trace of the white stuff!  lol...check out Logan's enthusiasm!
And above is me and my baby right before leaving for his second 1st bday party with the Stegs yesterday.  I cannot tell you how much fun we had at his party with all the Steg family.  Kev's parents outdid theirselves with hospitality and the family all made the trip there to see us and celebrate...we felt very loved.  It was just such a good time.  He really got into opening his gifts this time...and even really dug into his finger-full at a time. Then he threw the whole thing on the floor! lol :)  It was a hoot.  More pics to come when I have recovered from the mess of this house...