Love Overflowing

Sharing a birthday

Zachary was born on his cousin Cameron’s first birthday. We decided that we would hold a joint party in Centralia this year. We thought it would be easier and that it would eliminate the issue of travel and weather for my family to travel to our house. What we didn’t plan on was sickness. Emily missed three days of school due to bronchitis and a bad ear infection. Zachary still had an ear infection and started to develop bronchitis as well. Luckily, he wasn’t contagious since he had been on antibiotics and wasn’t running a fever. Poor Emily was devastated when she was told that she couldn’t go because she woke up with a fever. She really wanted to go play with her cousins. I did promise cake though so that helped ease the sting of staying home.

Zachary and I made the drive to Centralia by ourselves. It was our first solo road trip and I must say that he did very well in the car entertaining himself. He didn’t have his sister to play with or a dvd to watch. I was hoping that he would take a nap but should have known better. He did good with his books and trucks. He was ready to get out of the car when we arrived though.

Poor Chloe was outnumbered during the party. You see, there are 7 grandkids. 5 are boys and 2 are girls. We were missing Emily and Timothy. Chloe was still outnumbered 4 to 1. She held her own though like only a 4-year-old can. The kids played, the adults chatted and then we had cake and opened presents. It was a pretty short and to the point party. Zachary was starting to cough and run a low-grade fever so I decided to high tail it out of there so no one else could get sick and blame me.

It was a good party though. We had a good visit and both boys were spoiled, as usual. I am happy to announce that, from what I am aware of, only one person got sick- Timothy and he wasn’t at the party so it wasn’t from us.

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It’s coming…….

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Emily turned 5 on a Monday this year. She woke up to find her bedroom floor covered in pink and purple balloons. I blew up 29 balloons the night before so she would have a surprise in the morning. We knew when she woke up when we heard the squeals of surprise. She LOVED all the balloons.

The balloon blowing was done in between cleaning up vomit and changing sheets. Poor Zachary had some 24 hour stomach bug. He started vomiting shortly after going to bed. He was so tired but couldn’t get to sleep because his blankets were in the washer. We tried using a different blanket and Emily even let him borrow one of her blankets but there weren’t the same. Even though Emily and Zachary’s blankets are identical except for color. Luckily, he was able to get some sleep that night. We weren’t sure how Emily’s actual birthday was going to pan out with him being sick.

After everyone got up, Stephen and Emily headed to Dierbergs for birthday balloons and donuts. Breakfast as requested by the newly 5-year-old.  After breakfast we decided the weather was beautiful and it was ok for Emily to play hookey so that we could go to the zoo as a family since Daddy had the day off. Zachary hadn’t gotten sick any more and was able to keep some water and cereal down so we headed out to enjoy the wonderful day.

We got to see so many animals, ride the carousel and the train. It was a wonderful trip to the zoo. The first one of the year for Daddy! Emily really got a kick out of wearing her “Birthday Girl” crown and getting asked how old she was. She really enjoyed seeing the baby elephant, Kenzi.

After the zoo, we headed over to The Hill for lunch. We stopped at Amighettis for some yummy sandwiches, cookies and a pickle. Zachary hadn’t been sick and was holding what little he ate down so we thought we were in the clear. Note to self: Do not give milk so soon after children being sick. He made it home, but barely.

After dinner, Grandma, Papa, Nina and Mike came over for cake and ice cream. Emily had more presents to open! This is one spoiled little girl! One of the coolest gifts she received was being a zoo parent for a year. She is officially a “mommy” to Kenzi. Which is super cool because she got to see Kenzi that day so it really made sense to her. She even got a stuffed elephant to commemorate her parenthood. Pretty cool!

I think Emily had a great day. There’s not much more a 5-year-old can ask for! I still can’t believe that she is 5. How did that happen so quickly?

What a day!


The inside of Emily's cake

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Birthday Party Uno

Better late than never….I keep adding things to my to-do list….

Emily celebrated her 5th birthday with her friends at the bowling alley. What a super fun party! They dimmed the lights, turned on the disco ball and had the fog machine going. The kids were rocking it! Even Zachary got in on the bowling action!

The party really was a lot of fun. The kids were able to bowl and have fun. There was pizza, cake and video games. Really what more could a bunch of kids ask for?

For me, the party was easy! All we had to do was bring the cake, the marshmallow pops that I made and show up. They did all the rest! Emily was super excited that she got to bring home a bowling pin shaped water bottle and a bowling pin that her friends signed. I’d say the party was a success!

I was kind of an idiot and forgot to charge my camera battery so of course it died! I didn’t get any pictures of Emily blowing out her cake or the kids playing in the game room. Luckily, my friend Julie took some for me. I’ll just have to get them.

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Got me thinking…

My last post made me think about our visits to Pumpkin Land. I had to go back and look at photos from past years…….







God is GOOD!


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Irish Days 2011

Irish Days…. Brings back so many memories of growing up. The little town in Illinois where my aunt lives has a festival every June called “Irish Days”.  I honestly don’t know how long it’s been going on. A long time. I do have very fond memories of going every year as a kid and spending the weekend at Aunt Di’s. Much of our family went. Grandma, grandpa, aunts, uncles and cousins. It was a time to come together and have fun. The adults got to visit and the kids got to have fun. There  was tractor pulls and bike races. Poker games. Carnival rides. Lots and lots of eating and laughter. Not much sleep was to be had.

Farmersville was and still is small town America. Everyone knows everyone and everyone watches out for everyone. I am not sure how true that is now but I know growing up that we couldn’t do anything wrong without our parents knowing about it. It was the type of town where you could stay out late without worries. Nobody locked their doors. It was safe. I have very, very fond memories of spending time with my cousins there.

Last year, we decided that we needed to revive this tradition in our family. Start taking our families to Irish Days so they can experience some of the stuff we did as a kid. Unfortunately, my family was not able to go. I still had a broken foot and couldn’t handle the car ride or being on my feet for that long. This year, not only were we going for Irish Days but we were also going to celebrate some milestone birthdays. My Aunt Mary Beth was turning 50. And that’s a big thing in our family. We have this little “ceremony” and she is inducted into the Red Hat club. That tradition started back about 9 years ago with my Aunt Julie and has been going strong ever since. My Aunt Di is also turning 60. There was much to celebrate.

The kids all had a wonderful time. Irish Days isn’t Irish Days without a parade. And tons of candy. It was so much fun watching the kids really enjoy themselves. It also makes me feel old. It doesn’t seem like all that long ago that we were the kids getting into trouble, not being the parent and having to watch for the kids. It is amazing though to see the next generation come along. There are so many kids already! I have to think it was like this when we were little. All the cousins getting together. The six sisters visiting and having a good time. Now it’s the cousin’s kids getting together and making their own memories. I hope they make some very lasting ones. I hope they can look back and recall all the fun that they had as much as I can.

I think we are definitely keeping this tradition going.


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When no one is watching

The kids went outside to play today while I was cleaning up lunch. This is what I saw:


They do love each other! It’s sweet moments like these that make my heart swell with love. She is feeding him jello by the way.

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Last Day

Today was Emily’s last day of her first year of preschool. It was truly a bittersweet day for her. She was so excited to be going to school, as she loves her classmates and teachers, but she was also very sad that it was her last day. She actually thought it was last week and started crying while she was talking to my sister-in-law’s boyfriend about it. She’s a very sensitive girl. Can’t imagine where she gets it from.

She was bouncing off the walls this morning before we left. I have never seen her jet out of the car so quick when the teachers came to get her. Zachary and I went off and did our thing while she spent her last day at school until the fall. I didn’t really give it another thought. Until I came to pick her up. I can’t believe it. I wasn’t expecting it. I got all choked up and teary when I saw the teachers taking the kids to their cars. They hugged each and every one of them. I almost lost it when I saw Emily hug her two teachers. I cannot, for the life of me, explain the overwhelming emotions. I guess it has something to do with the fact that this was Emily’s first year in preschool. She really enjoyed it and thrived. She loved her friends and her teachers and was truly sad to leave for the summer.

I hope she continues to love school throughout her many years. Next year is another adventure- pre-k! She misses the cut-off for kindergarten by several months.

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Rainy day parade

Emily’s preschool has a tradition of having a parade and picnic on the last day of school. This year, due to making up snow days, it wasn’t actually on the last day of school. Unfortunately, it rained. All morning long. They had to move the parade and picnic inside. The kids were pretty good sports about it though. They had made special shirts and hats just for the occasion. The original plan was to march around the front drive of school. The kids were going to play instruments and the teachers were going to throw candy. They we would have a picnic on the grassy area next to the building. Needless to say, everyone had to improvise. The kids marched through the sanctuary several times, making music. They were still very excited even though they had to be indoors. After the parade, we moved into the fellowship hall and sat on blankets and had lunch. Despite being in cramped quarters, everyone had a great time. It was a lot of fun being able to talk with the teachers and other parents. It’s hard to believe that Emily’s first year of preschool is almost over. Two more classes and that’s it!

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Boys are definitely different creatures. We are learning and doing things much differently with Zachary. Emily was “eh” about the bottle so she was finished with it at 13 months. We figured it would take Zachary a little bit longer, as he loved his baba. We started off slowly, trying to find a cup that he would drink milk out of. Success. Then we dropped the morning bottle, then the afternoon bottle. The bedtime bottle was the one that we were afraid of. The kid was always ready for a bottle. He got his pjs and sleep sack and then settled in for a baba and books. I think we were more scared than anything.

February 24 was the final evening bottle. We decided to drop it on a Friday in case the sleep was disturbed. That Friday, he got his pjs and sleep sack. Stephen read him his bedtime books and put him to bed. He was a bit confused but went to sleep without a fuss. And has never looked back. We totally underestimated the boy. Now we are working on the binkie. Hopefully, it will be just as easy……Not holding my breath though. The binkie is another beast with a whole other set of problems. Big sister being one of them…….

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