Wednesday, February 24, 2010

It's TIME

 
We stocked up for the storm, just in case.  We still cloth diaper, you know 85% of the time...pretty much always when we're home.  BUT with the threat of no power (and no washer and dryer) I thought we had better be prepared...just in case.  That's the kind of person I am.  A just in case kind.  And I'm turning my daughter into one as well.  I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not.  
So since we were so well stocked, and stuck at home the last few weeks, I thought it was time to get SERIOUS about poddy training.
So we bought undies as well, well more undies actually, Santa was sweet enough to bring us some for Christmas.  But this time, I bought "training underwear" (like those would work better)


I didn't however buy baby legs which would seem would be the next things we need to purchase.  His poor little legs have to be cold!  And of course I was afraid to let him wear his Robeez (as we didn't want them soaked in well, pee) so socks it was...
As you can see, he's a mover.


oh my goodness, i love little tushies in undies!  After YEARS of princesses and pink, these crack me up!

 As you can see, he had no idea (or just didn't care) that I was SERIOUS about going on the poddy, he was more interested in playing.  I love this shirt he has on.  Just as of lately is he a hugger and a kisser.  This shirt was perfect for him, he'd love you...but on his terms.  


"hot, hot" he whispers as he turns on the water.  He likes to run in and wash his hands, without using the poddy...


Soccer is, after all, more important, especially when sissy is home to play with him.  
Since we took his poddy downstairs, we decided it may be a good idea to buy a second one to keep in the main bathroom upstairs.  He had been eyeing this one up for a while every time we were at Babies R Us, so I caved. 


So...Fionn...we're READY.  You have TWO potties, underwear, pull ups for naptime, and as of tonight, and understanding of when you "poop".  Bring it on.  Accidents and all.  
ps. I have NO idea on how to train a little boy and welcome all suggestions.  Maggie and I just try to make sure he has his "jiblet"(as she calls it) tucked in when he sits.  Poor boy, daddy isn't home enough to really help out in this area, soooo...like I said, i welcome ALL suggestions!  Maggie was soooooo easy to poddy train, and was pretty much already there by this age.  I at least want to have it started before Cate gets here, with him on the right track.
So that's what has been happening at our house, lol.  Nothing that exciting, but here it's BIG!
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Monday, February 22, 2010

tiny feet, HUGE footprints

Two years ago today I had the pleasure and privilege to help our friends Kristy and Howard welcome their fourth child, Asher Joseph, into this world. Two years ago today, I also joined them as they said good-bye and watched him go home to his heavenly father.
Asher came a little faster than expected, and by the time we made the two hour drive to Erie and made it to the hospital, he had already went to meet our Lord.  His brief 36 minutes on this earth were spend literally SURROUNDED by love.  Not only were his mommy and daddy, big brothers, grandparents, and aunts and uncles there to meet him, but so were a multitude of friends and other family.  Walking into the waiting room of the L&D floor, you would have never known we were all there to say goodbye...because we weren't.
We were there to CELEBRATE his beautiful little life.  No matter how short it was, HE was a part of us, a part of our "family".  For those of you that do not know this story, Asher was not only greeted in Heaven by our Father, but by his big brother, Isaac as well.  It is quite the road our friends have traveled, and if you would like to read more, I urge you to go read their blog to read the story from their persepective.
This story, is from my perspective.  It is about how one little boy can make such a HUGE impact in this world.  I know he and his brother have in mine.  In 2008 I joined Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep in their honor.  It is in their honor that I go, when called, and join other families as they say good-bye as well.  It is in no way easy, I carry a little piece of each child I meet with me.  They effect me, change how I see life, and I could never truly explain the emotions I go through while helping these families.  And if I am having a hard time with a session, I just think about my sweet friend, Kristy, who deals with this grief everyday, and I realize that I have my crazy children to come home to, and it helps me get through.  To remember the grief isn't mine to hold onto.
Every time I walk into a hospital room, I try to think of these parents as I would my friends, I remember the little things that were important to Kristy and Howard, and try to capture the small details for these families as well.  And yes, I think of Asher EVERY time I'm with another family.  I didn't take the pictures of Asher for Howard and Kristy, but I helped them edit them, and put a few things together for them. 
Just for a visualization, let me show you just how big of an impact these Bolte Boys have made in all of our lives.  This was team Isaac in 2007 for Walk America in Erie, Pa. 
 
This was our team picture in 2008, when we became Team Isaac AND Asher.  


and this my friends is our team picture from last year.  There were OTHER Team Isaac and Ashers as well, at other March for Babies across the country.  
These two little boys have left some mighty BIG footprints.  They have helped raise large sums of money for the March of Dimes and in their honor we are getting ready to walk again. 
Today is Asher's 2nd birthday, and if you feel inspired to do so, please help us honor him by donating to the March of Dimes.  Our widget is now up on the sidebar, you can either donate here, or over on Kristy and Howards blog. 
So today we want to wish Asher a sweet 2nd birthday, and thank him for impacting our lives so greatly.


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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Love Day Cookies

I mentioned in my last post that we had friends down two weekends ago, during our HUGE storm (which is STILL causing headaches) and one of the things we did with the kids before the left on Sunday was to make some yummy "love day" Sugar Cookies...
Our dough was pretty sticky (to put it mildly) even though we refrigerated it over night so we had to use LOTS of flour.  Poor Annie, I teased her horribly about just letting the kids have fun while they decorated, but let's not lie...if it had just been Maggie and I, I probably would have been pretty picky about the decorations! uhhhh...I mean, I ALWAYS let my children do whatever they want, LOL...SURE...
 
That's Maggie's concentrating face...


Her first group of cutouts..I tried to ignore all the left over dough though and pretend to be calm about it.  There were more cookies to be made after all...


Ryan was so cute cutting his out.  He was so precise...his momma teaches him well.  
 
You can see Annie in the background helping Ry decorate their hearts...I just let Maggie go to town.  Yeah, I'm brave like that.
Maggie moved on to small hearts...once again, paying CLOSE attention to how she was cutting them out...see...


 
Ry doesn't look that impressed does he?  He was waiting for her to finish up that batch so he could make another one.  I love all the flour on his shirt cuffs in this picture.  It was a dirty job, but he was willing to do it!


Don't worry Ry, she's quick...
 
Aren't they cute?  They had so much together.  Maggie loved having Ry come play... they were hilarious playing Wii together.  They both are pretty strong willed, and have mothers that let them be, sooo, it was funny watching them.

After we made a few batches of hearts we moved on to making some animal cookies.  Of course we had to make elephants, they are our favorite after all...
  We also made snails, hedgehogs, and wolves.  They turned out pretty cute for basic sugar cookies.  

Fionn woke up from his nap (he wasn't feeling so great that weekend) and eyed up the goodies.  As soon as he came downstairs he ran into the kitchen and excitedly yelled "COOKIES"  
Fionn LOVES cookies! 
 
Yummmm!  Who could resist these though?  They did a GREAT job, and it was relatively painless clean up!
I have a lot more to post about, we were busy, busy, busy this past week.  Maggie was off for the entire week last week, and they've yet to have a full day of school since the storm hit TEN days ago.  And it's STILL snowing.  We've gotten 37+ inches since it all started and for Pittsburgh, that is CRAZY!  We hope everyone had a great LOVE day, and we can't wait to share with you the Valentines that Maggie made for her class!!
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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Snow like I've never EVER seen

All last week we heard about this "Super Storm" that was coming...the storm of the season they said...Well we're from Erie County (in PA) and we know about snow, so we weren't worried at all. Friday morning we woke up, kinda laughed about it, and went about getting ready for the day.  I had a hair appt. at 11am, so Fionn and I went and still there was no snow.  As we were getting ready to leave around 1pm, it started.  And boy did it snow...I mean like CHUNKS were falling from the sky, not flakes.  We ran a couple of errands, then headed to meet Maggie's bus.  By the time we got back to the house at 2:30 everything was already covered.  To my AMAZEMENT, there was a big box on the front porch waiting...it was my new D7.  I was so excited when I called Greg he thought I wrecked the truck.  I had just bought it on Wednesday and couldn't believe how fast it got here.  (thank goodness it did, otherwise it may just now have gotten here)  So as the batteries charged up, we watched the snow come down...
This is the post on our front porch, which is under cover.

Like I said, snow doesn't make it nervous. USUALLY.
We had friends driving down from Erie.  I told her she was either brave or crazy...she chose brave.  It's a two hour drive.  It took her 4.5 hours to get here.  And she only made it 98% of the way.  She got stuck down by Maggie's school and Greg had to go get her and her son and she had to leave her car in the parking lot of CVS.  Things were CRAZY here overnight Friday night.  We were lucky enough to only lose power for a couple hours, some people STILL do not have it restored.  
 
This is the neighbors car at 6am.  And that is our road.  yeah.  Not kidding.

 
This is Greg trying to get the Yukon out of our PARKING SPOT.  For the THIRD time.

 
We got out of our parking spot.  We made it ONE house up.  The Yukon was plowing the snow...
We gave up and Greg called work to let them know that there was no way we could even get down our street...they told him to keep trying.  Nice huh.  That's what happens when you work for the Government and you're a nurse.  I went back in the house and tried to get out back to see how much snow we had out there.  I couldn't hardly get the backdoor open, but when I did, this is what I found.  This is the playhouse at 7am.  The snow wasn't finished yet.
 
The dog needed to go for a walk, so we attempted to walk him...Good thing he was on a leash, because he needed help to get through.  he was pretty excited about the tire tracks we made for him that morning though.  They were the ONLY tracks on our street.  This is Greg standing next to our neighbor "L" car.  Yep, that was not a pile of snow, that's how much fell in less than 24 hours.  

 
Greg decided to entertain B&L by diving backwards down their front hill.  It usually is more of a slope, but with all the snow, it made it a hill.  

 
Oh yeah, my husbands crazy, but he cracks us all up!  

 
The poor dog didn't want to try to walk anymore.  We got him and carried him home.  

 
The kids and I (and our guests) all laid down for a nap.  Greg still felt horrible about the people stuck at work, and while we were napping he went out and shoveled THE ROAD so that he could attempt to make it down the street.  One of the neighbors with a big Explorer met him half way and we cleared the street between our houses.  It was enough to give a running start to make it out.  Just our block wasn't plowed(thanks City of Pittsburgh) but then again, it wasn't plowed until Monday afternoon.  Pittsburgh was, and still is, under a State of Emergency, and our kids have been off school all week.  School is even canceled for tomorrow already.
What was plowed is now covered again, and it's still snowing.  It sure is pretty, but wow is it destructive.  Some people STILL do not have power from the first storm that hit on Friday, and this is just like a slap in the face after the first storm.  We're actually under white out conditions now, and things do not look to improve anytime soon.  The weather just predicted more snow by Sunday.  Oh my.  I know we live in Pennsylvania, but here in Pittsburgh, we do NOT get that much snow.  A couple inches here and there, but nothing substantial.  Our city has been crippled by the snow.

 
So when it was all done and over on Saturday, this was our final picture of how much snow we got.  The street started digging out, and is still continuing to do so.  It's still a mess.  We took the kids out Monday evening to play in it, and that lasted all of fifteen minutes.  It was just too cold.  
I'll post more of those pictures later, and NEW snow ones.
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Saturday, February 6, 2010

February Snowstorm

After many attempts for Greg to get off our street to go to work, we had to give up. He then walked the dog and checked on the neighbors. To keep them entertained he dove backwards down the hill. I missed the first one where his legs were straight up in the air, so this one will have to do.
The snow is CRAZY here, we'll post more pictures later today once it finally stops. We hope everyone is keeping warm and safe today. We're just thanking God that we still have power.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Our Crafty Weekend

 
Just a warning, this is a LONG post (and if you do the craft like we did, it will be a LONG craft as well)  Last week I was reading another photographers blog and saw this awesome craft that she did with her kids, and I thought "WOW, that's cool...it can't be hard, let's do it"
I guess maybe I should have emailed her and asked for a little more instruction b/c we WAY overdid this craft.  I mean, really...there are hearts EVERYWHERE in our house, lol.  

So before we get into our hearts, let me just say cheese graters can be dangerous, lol
(the old fashioned ones anyway) so you may want to grate the crayons during naptime or when your children are distracted and NOT begging to help...I won't lie, I grated A LOT of crayons.  We decided that we wanted a rainbow bowl
and a pretty pink and red(and purple) bowl.
 
  
I mean SERIOUSLY, I grated crayons down to nothing.  I wasn't sure how much I would need...
Fionn was willing to help out though.


  
Yep, that is crayon in his mouth, but goodness...look at that smile!  I gave him a couple crayons and a piece of paper, but he chose to color graffiti his high chair and eat the crayons instead.  How could I be angry, he was pretty patient with me while I grated.  He sat there for a good hour and just sang songs and chatted with me while I grated away.  

 
Once we got everything grated, we laid down more towels, more paper towels (things have the ability to get messy at this point) and started cutting pieces of wax paper.  At first we just piled the wax on, but quickly realized that a little goes a LONG way.

And I do mean a LONG way!  If you use too much wax, it will just melt and come out the sides.  {So technical note, we used a waxed paper piece on top and bottom of the shavings.  This doesn't take very much heat either, use your lowest setting, and I found that a lift and press is better than just going over the shavings.  If you melt them straight down, the colors pop up instead of all just blending together.}
 
Once we got ALL the wax done ( I seriously used almost a whole roll of wax paper) we traced hearts on the sheets of wax paper.  We didn't worry about perfect hearts, we tried to look for hearts in our designs and had fun with it.  We then cut them out, and even this step took a while since we made so many!
Poor Fionn
he tried SO hard to stay awake and play with us, but once he got sleepy all it took was "night night" and he didn't care that he was in his high chair still.  He was OUT.
So we kept going...
and going...
 
we punched holes in our hearts(the big ones anyway) to hang them with.  Even this took us a while, lol.  Then we divided up the piles by where we wanted to put them.  We originally just thought we'd do our living room picture window and our set of three windows in our dining room, BUT with so many, we also ended up with enough to decorate a lot more of the house than that, lol.  We're still working on where to put them all!  
We used  a little craft string (Jute) to hang them with and they look GREAT.
  
This is our final product in our upstairs hallway window.  We have these roman blinds on most of our windows and the hearts look beautiful with them behind them.  This was taken late in the afternoon, I'll try for a few daylight shots of the other windows tomorrow!  
So there you have it, our house is now ready for "Love Day"  We have a few more crafts set up for this week and next, and Maggie had a GREAT idea tonight for her class Valentines, so we're off to make those next!  
This week is Catholic Schools week and we have a lot of events planned at Maggie's school.  Today for the first day the first grade classes put on a play.  She worked on her lines for the last couple weeks, and did so well today, we were so proud.  I'll post more about that tomorrow!!
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