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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Crazy Christmas Season

 This has been the most stressful, eventful and short Christmas season we have had. Where to begin....

Well, for the past 2 months, we have all been fighting cold after cold. The kids caught the first one nearly two months ago. It was a mild cold, not too bad. The kids were all well for about a week, then they went outside to play with the little delinquents next door. They had some nasty bug and of course gave it to our kids. This is the worst cold we have had in a long
time. Ear aches, stuffed up nose, sore throat, horrible cough, vomiting and fevers. Lots of sleepless nights for all. Fionn and I got hit the worst. He inherited Seans horrible gag reflex and vomits from coughing.  Poor kid has been so miserable. We are finally starting to recover, so I have banned the kids from going outside or playing with any of the neighbor kids. I do not want a repeat of the 2007 Chirstmas stomach bug.

Sean has had his share of stress and uncertainty this holiday season. I mentioned in a past post that he is miserable with his current job. So much so, that he started looking for a new job. He spoke with an old associate from his Microsoft days and she put him in contact with a recruiter from her company. He interviewed and they loved him. We are currently waiting for the background check results so he can start on the 30th of this month (weird start date, I know). He will be recruiting for the company and hopefully it will put him in a good position to get a job in the web development department once he graduates next December.

His intention was to stay with his
current job until he got his final ok to start, however this past week threw a wrench in that plan. His boss, the lady he worked for at T-mobile and brought him to this company, has been on FMLA for nearly 2 months. The company doesn't like her and was making her life a living hell. So her DR put her on leave for health reasons. Well, that put this other guy in charge until her return. It just so happens he and Sean go way back, and they have NEVER liked each other. Well, this past Tuesday, Sean had to go do a presentation with the guy in front
of a few hundred T-mobile employees. Just before Sean had to present, the guy tells him, "I hate to be the barrer of bad news, but you have to work on Christmas Eve from 12 to 8pm at a Walmart. We want you to set up a table in front of the electronics department and sell as many devices as possible. Its out of my hands, the order comes from Korea. They are trying a new program this Christmas season and your store is one of 50 in the counrty to participate. I know you had the day off, but this takes priority."

Of course Sean was livid. He did a half assed persentation and walked out. He called me in tears. He was going to miss our entire Christmas Eve plans. Baking cookies for Santa, watching A Christmas Story, reading The Night Before Christmas to the kids and putting out the cookies and carrots for Santa and the reindeer. He was sick to his stomach with anger and decided to go talk to his boss about it. The guy was a total jerk and said, "If you don't want to work Christmas Eve than maybe this company isn't for you. No one is forcing you to stay." The
guy then asked him if he was going to work, Sean said no, and walked away. He went to HR to talk to them, and they said, "You are a salaried employee and are expected to be on call when needed. We understand that family is important to you, but you are commited to a company that requires certain sacrifices. If you choose to not show up, it will be considered a no-call no-show and that is grounds for termination." He said "Ok, then I'm done. I want my final check." He walked out and came home. This of course, was unexpected and puts a bit of a damper on our Christmas, but at least he is away from that horrible company and can lower his stress level.

As if things weren't stressful enough, my washing machine broke a couple months ago and has gotten nearly unusable. We cannot afford to get it fixed, much less buy a new one. So my Mom bought us a brand new washer for Christmas that was delivered yesterday! It's one of those He washers without the spinny thing that washes the clothes. Its much bigger and can wash far more clothes at once. It's kind of noisy and makes the dogs bark when its washing, but it does a great job!

I just finished my Advanced
HTML and CSS course. Waiting for my final grade, which should be an A! Sean on the other hand, waited until the last 3 weeks to cram 3 months worth of work. He is taking a programming course, which he hates, but is required for his degree, Visual Studios and HTML/CSS, the same class I took. All three class finals were due on Saturday, but his VS professor extended the due date through the weekend, which is good since Sean is totally stuck on something called a "string". The entire program is written, but can't be run because something is wrong with his string. So needless to say, the kids and I have not seen him in about 3 weeks. I cannot wait for the month off of school. I actually will not start my next class until the end of March. I will be taking Beginning Dreamweaver.

On an exciting note, I went for my 34 week check up on Friday. Baby sounds great and we now have an official due date! I will be induced on Jan. 23rd if I go that long. It's going to be a bit tricky with Sean just starting a new job. He won't be able to take much time off, and my Mom can only stay for a week or so. So I am praying this last delivery will go smoothly. No c-section please!!!! My next appointment is on the 6th. I will be having an ultrasound and Group B Strep test done....joy.

Other than all that, everything
has been peachy around here. We are of course, no where near ready for Santa to come. Still so much to buy on a tight budget. I look forward to a fun Christmas with the kids and Sean. I want to wish all of you a Merry Christmas, and if I don't have time to blog before the new year, Happy New Year's to you all.






Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Just checking in....yes we're still alive!

I know, I know, I haven't blogged in months. Life has been so crazy around here. I don't have a lot of time to write this post, so I'll do a quick rundown....(gotta get back to school work).

Ok, since my last post, we've had two birthdays, Declan and Lizzie. Declan is now 11 going on 15. That boy is going to put me in an early grave. Sean and I have been trying to find new ways to deal with his attitude problem and smart mouth. Anyone have any suggestions? Sean had to laugh the other day because he said, "Do you know who he reminds me of.....my sister!" He is very outgoing, self-confident, and strong-willed....a little too much. Don't get me wrong, he's an amazing kid. I would not be able to function on a day to day basis if it wasn't for him, but at the same time, he DRIVES ME INSANE!!

Elizabeth turned 4 in October and she has become just the cutest little thing. She is a total "Daddy's girl" and he knows it. She does this really cute little thing with him. She puts her hands on either side of his face to turn his head to her. She clinches her teeth together and says "I love you Daddy, you're so cute". He loves it when she does that and thought he was special...until he saw her do the exact same thing to the dog....lol. I almost peed my pants laughing so hard. (Sean HATES the dogs, for those who didn't know.) Currently, we are in the process of potty training Lizzie. Today was the first day she actually told us she needed to "go potty". No accidents either!!! I am determined to have her potty trained before the new baby is born.

We've had two colds rip through the house since my last post. Currently battling the second. Sean is in the process of looking for a new job. He HATES his current company and needs to get out before he looses his mind. He has an interview on Friday with a recruiter in the IT recruiting field. This would be perfect for him since his major is Network Development. He is currently working full-time and going to school full-time (online) as well. He had hoped to graduate next December, but he found out today the AP exams he took in HS are no longer valid. For some reason, the tests are outdated and can no longer be used for college credit. This is a HUGE setback for his graduation, as he now has to go back and take more History, German, and English classes to get his BA. He won't graduate now for 2 years.

I am currently 30 weeks pregnant and wishing it was OVER!!! I have gained so much weight with this pregnancy, the most of any. I feel like Jessica Simpson looked...lol. I cannot wait to go back on Weight Watchers!!!! I have also developed Arthritis in my right knee and the flare-ups are unbearable. They usually last a week and make it impossible to walk. Apparently the extra weight from the pregnancy has triggered it and until I lose the weight, any day could be a flare-up.

I changed my major and am currently in school for Web Design. I am learning HTML and CSS and I love it! I'm in no rush to earn my degree, so I am only taking 1 class at a time. With the new baby arriving the end of January and the kids starting school back up just after the baby is born, I will not have much time for my own schooling, so one class is all I can handle.

Not too much else to report. Looking forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas! We will be decorating the house this weekend!!!! I cannot wait to put up all the Christmas decorations. This won't be a huge Christmas, but we are determined to buy quality, not quantity this year. One big gift and several small gifts. Every other Christmas has been far too overwhelming for both the kids and Sean and I. Plus we just don't have the extra funds this year.

Well, I hope you are all doing well. I will try to check in more often. Have a great week everyone!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Baby Update

I had my 17 week appointment last Friday. It was a long one, over 2 hours. My doctor had to go deliver a baby, so they decided to do an ultrasound while we waited. The little one looks great, right on track with growth.  I have a big, hour long ultrasound at my next appointment in September. Since I am getting older and have had 8 babies, they want to do a more detailed ultrasound, keeping an eye on my bladder.

Almost an hour of my appointment was them trying to get 12 viles of blood out of me. Yes, you read that correctly...12! It took 5 pricks and 3 different blood drawers to get the job done. Needless to say, I was a bit sick to my stomach and very light headed. They decided I was a good candidate for a new test for Down Syndrome. It required a lot of blood, but at least I won't have to get that giant needle inserted into my stomach. (I would refuse anyway) I really liked this new doctor too. She is funny and down to earth, and a bit older. At least she is not a "he"...lol. I will keep you posted with any new complications and whatnot's.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

17 weeks....sigh

I am 17 weeks today. I have an appointment with a new dr on Friday afternoon. (I'm picky) I have to admit, I haven't been too happy with the pregnancy. I can't really explain why, other than it just feels different. I tried to explain my feelings to Sean last night, but failed and seemed to have caused more concern than anything. This pregnancy, being our last, was suppose to be "special". We wanted everything to be fun and exciting. I have actually felt the opposite. I don't want to say that I feel like something is wrong, but.....I don't know how else to describe it. I have been having pains I have never felt before (in my lower right side and middle) I have also been feeling a sharp pinching like pain just under my left breast, which comes and goes. I just haven't felt "good" this pregnancy. I know they say the magic number is 35, and then it becomes harder (I just turned 36 on Monday.) but I had no idea what that meant. I guess this is it. It doesn't help that I am still having problems with my urethra. (Inflammation of the Urethra) As this baby gets bigger, more pressure will be put on it, which causes more discomfort. I cannot eat or drink anything acidic, which is pretty much EVERYTHING. No fruits, most veggies, sauces, spicy food, soda, coffee, tea and so many others. If I do, it feels like I'm urinating razor blades. There is nothing my specialist can do for me during pregnancy. (The treatment is saline rinses and Probiotics, which require a catheter and approval from an obgyn, mine said NO, which is why I am looking for a new Dr.) 

Okay, I'll stop complaining now. Pregnancy is a blessing, no matter how you look at it. I should be thankful I can have children when so many families cannot. Still, I am fearful for my next appointment....

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


It's official, we have wrapped up yet another school year! The kids finished their CAT tests today and they are free for the summer. Well, sort of. They will have a month completely off, but then I will be working with Declan, Cian and Fionn on Math and Reading for two or three days per week. It was brought to our attention during the reading part of the CAT test that Cian is WAY BEHIND. He couldn't even read the short sentences or paragraphs required to answer the questions. I knew he was slow at reading, but I had no idea just how behind he really was. I'm really upset about it. I feel like I have failed as a parent and a teacher, but in reality I know he has a learning disability and requires more work than the others. So I will be spending tuns of time with him this summer. Declan had a hard time with Math in terms 3 and 4. He actually got a D+ for term three, which was completely unacceptable, so he has been grounded from TV and video games for the entire term. He did much better on his final this term, getting an A on the final and an A- for the term. Amazing what a little extra work can do.

Just as the kids are done with school, Sean and I start our fall semester classes on the 19th, my birthday. Woopie! Sean changed his major to coding, or programming or whatever it's called. He's taking 12 credits this term and talked me into taking a class with him. I got approved for my BOG waiver this morning, so I can go to school for free this school year! Pretty awesome! I am registered for a US History class as well, but may drop it. I have no idea what I want to major in. So I guess I'll just get the basics out of the way first.

I have my 16 week Dr. app. on the 23rd. Sean and I decided not to find out the sex of the baby before it's born. Since this will be our last baby, we want everything to be a surprise. Mom is coming out for a short visit in October, so we will all have a chance to go to Disney and see the Halloween decorations. Mom has never been to Disney outside of the summer time, so this will be a real treat for her. Nice cool weather, you don't see much of that in AZ. It will also give Sean and I a night or two out together, ALONE for the first time since before Sam was born. (He's now two in case you were trying to do the math) We are hoping to stay at a hotel near Disney and spend the whole evening at Cali Adventure/Disney. You have no idea how excited we are!!

Anyway, I hope everyone is having a wonderful last week of summer. School started back up for the kids around here yesterday. Have a great rest of the week and weekend!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Homeschooling Moms, we need your help...

Okay ladies, I need your help. My husband is in school learning to code. He needs to write an app for his first project and asked me for some ideas. My first thought was homeschooling. We use Android and there isn't a good app for creating a lesson plan. Lets face it, who has the time to sit and fill out those lesson planners provided by our home school. (Setons, etc.) I have 7+ children and every hour of my day accounted for. I want a simple app that a can quickly fill in the subjects by day/week, time and a short overview of what the class will entail for that day. That's it, nothing fancy, just efficient. Here's where your help is needed. Since everyone does their home school differently, we want to know what you would like in a lesson plan app.

If you would be so kind as to respond in the replies..

1. Would you like/use a mobile lesson planner?
2. What features would you want to see? details please
3. Would you want to be able to customize it yourself?

Below is a poll for your mobile browser. Don't worry, we have no idea who you are or what you're using. Sean just wants to see how many people use each operating system, so he can decide which systems to make the app for.
Thank you in advance for your input! This will really give him a head start and an advantage in his class!


What mobile web browser do you use?
Android
IOS
Windows
Blackberry
www.poll-maker.com





Thursday, July 25, 2013

I know, it's been awhile....

I know, it's been a really long time since I last posted, but with everything that has been going on, I just haven't felt like blogging. That sounds really bad, but its true. I don't even know where to begin..

I guess I'll back up to my last post, which was.....Memorial Day....wow. We were going through some really rough times with Sean and his job. He was ALWAYS on edge and grumpy due to the amount of stress he is under. Not to mention he wasn't sleeping more than 2-3 hours per night. The 80+ mile commute to and from work wasn't helping either. It was all really taking a toll on him, so he decided to see a Dr. His blood pressure was a bit high, which was a red flag. The dr. asked him a bunch of questions regarding work, health and family. The Dr. determined he is suffering from work induced anxiety and insomnia. He wanted to put him on one of three different prescription drugs. One is a highly addictive "happy pill". The second is a very strong sleeping pill, that would knock him out for 8-10 hours. However if he didn't get at least 10 hours of sleep on the pills, it would make him very groggy. Since he has to drive 1.5 hours to and from work, that's not an option. The third drug is completely out of the question, however is the most mild of the three. Sean turned down all three options. The doctor said he was being silly in not even considering the third option. It would help to relax him and allow him to sleep. The Dr. told him he needed to do something before he ends up having a heart attack.

Sean did get a bit of good news a couple weeks ago. One of the guys he works with quit, so his territory was open. They hired someone new for the area but another coworker just moved to Sean's area and requested to switch with him. Her area happens to be our old neighborhood, about half the distance from where he's working now. So instead of taking 1.5 hours to get to work (on a good day) it will only take him 35-45 minutes. The added bonus, he gained a bunch of T-Mobile locations. He's good friends with all the managers and employees, which will help his quota's immensely. It pays to be in the wireless family!

We had a birthday. Sam turned 2 on June 18th. It was Superman themed since the movie was about to come out. He had a lot of fun. He actually understood the present opening process this year so it was really cute. I took some video too but can't figure out how to post it. Will get back to you with that.

Sam chomping at the bit.

Mary introducing Sams presents

SuperSam! He's wearing a cape too!

Waiting for cake!
 
We did have a bit of a scare the day before Sam's birthday. Long story short, Lizzie was playing with Bear, our big dog, in the kitchen. She trapped him behind my desk chair and somehow hurt him. He yelped and bit her face, pretty badly. She had blood gushing into her eye, it was a mess. It looked pretty deep too and wouldn't stop bleeding. I was pretty freaked and Sean was ready to kill Bear. I put a band aide on her but she ended up with and allergic reaction to the adhesive, which made it look much worse. It's pretty much healed now, but she has a scar.


On June 20th, Sean and I celebrated our 9th Wedding Anniversary. As I've said in past posts, it's not a fond memory for us, but I guess we're obligated to celebrate it? This year I replaced the chaplain glasses the movers broke from my Mother with new engraved glasses. I even replaced the cute bride and groom flute decorations too. Sean bought me 2 dozen beautiful pink roses. We celebrated with putting the kids all to bed really early (candy bribery) and having a romantic dinner then watching This is 40 (great movie btw). 


The 4th was a lot of fun! It was sooooo cool here. In the low 70's. We sat out on the back patio all day and had a bbq. The kids played and we got to relax. I wasn't feeling that great, so eating was a challenge for me.

Now to the present....we are in the last TWO WEEKS of our homeschool year THANK GOODNESS!! I tried to draw our year out because I am changing our school year around next year. Instead of Sept-May, we are doing Jan-Sept. We would rather have all our favorite holidays off and start school with the "actual" year start. I know it seems weird, but with homeschooling, we have that flexibility!

Last but not least, the REAL reason I haven't been blogging....I haven't been well. Don't worry, it's now passed, but for about 8 weeks, I was pretty miserable. The reason....we're expecting our 8th baby the end of January! I know, we're crazy but this is the last one.

I hope you all have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Memorial Day Beauty

 

Alyssa and the bubble.
Memorial Day is all about remembering our brave soldiers who lost their lives for our country. To some its about barbequing and the unofficial start to summer, but I thought I would change it up a bit and make it about life and beauty. So this is our Memorial Day weekend.....


The kids and I went on a nature walk...


We saw Bougainvillea...


Pretty orange and red flowers....

white flowers....
 
unusual purple flowers...
 
striking red flowers...
 
yellow flowers...
more yellow flowers...
We watched humming birds from our patio...


and more purple flowers.







 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Mother's Day 2013


 I have been so overwhelmed these past few months, I just can't seem to catch up on anything. Take Mother's day for instance, here it is almost a week later and I'm just now posting about it. I actually had a wonderful Mother's Day this year. Sean didn't have to work, none of the kids were sick, and Sean wasn't suffering from a stomach bug, so the day was actually about "ME"!

Saturday night, Sean decided to make a French toast casserole for breakfast. He has never had luck with recipes he's found online, so he decided to make it up as he went. Raisin Cinnamon bread, (the red bag you find in all the grocery stores) bacon, breakfast sausage, eggs of course, heavy cream and pecans, chopped. He let it sit, covered overnight in the fridge so it would be ready for the morning. He also gave me my first gift that evening as well. Half  a dozen chocolate covered strawberries from Costco. THEY ARE THE BEST!!! I cannot express my love affair with chocolate covered strawberries. I would seriously take them over sex any day...lol.

Sunday morning, Mother's Day, for once it wasn't the kids that woke us up at the crack of dawn. Instead it was the freakin dogs barking their fool heads off at someone out front. Declan came to our bedroom door saying someone has a delivery for me and it needed to be signed for. So of course I had to get up and carry my half asleep ass butt downstairs to see what it was. Declan had actually brought in half the package, a giant fruit basket and balloons from Edible Arrangements. The delivery guy outside had another small red box which I had to sign for. Inside was 12 chocolate covered strawberries....LOL. It was from Mom and Dad! I LOVE Edible Arrangements. Their fruit is always fresh and so sweet. Perfect for the kids as well. Since Mom and Dad had started the "junk food festivities" Sean decided to give me another gift as well....a 2 lb. box of See's Candy, nut assortment! YUMMY!!! I am going to be SOOOOO FFFAAAATTT once this weekend is over.

Since we were already up, Sean had a few more errands to run, so I got up and took a shower with Sammy. By time we came downstairs, Sean had all the kids work together to clean up their rooms, the upstairs hallway and the entire downstairs, including the pit of a kitchen Sean left for me to clean up the night before. The day was off to a great start!



While Sean was gone, I cleaned up our bedroom (I know, I shouldn't be doing housework on Mother's Day) and had Declan serve the little ones the fruit from Grandma to tide them over while Sean was out. Of course that didn't go over well, so I had him give them cereal to calm their hems.

When Sean got home, he was very excited to give me another gift, from the kids. The girls brought over a pretty blue bag with a white swan on the front. Anyone who knows anything about crystal knows what that white swan is...Swarovski! Inside was a little blue box with a beautiful necklace. Nine hearts in a row all made of Swarovski Crystal. What more could a girl want! I love it!! The card even had three crystals on it as well. All the kids signed it.

Sean took a few minutes to put the French toast in the oven and dragged me out to our back porch.
He had me close my eyes.....this is what my next gift was! Ok, it actually wasn't in this condition when I got it. I had to put the table together, but that only took 15 minutes and he originally bought two chairs, but went back a couple hours later to get the last two. I LOVE IT!! We have never had a patio set. We have a beautiful patio that we can never enjoy, until now! The pretty red roses on the table were from these sweet little girls our kids play with, I'll get to that in a few....

Along with the patio set was my final gift, a beautiful rose bush for the patio. I am so not a plant person, plants come to my house to die...lol. So Sean took a chance and bought Miracle Grow rose bush food to help. It looks so pretty sitting in the planter next to the patio set.

Now for the twist in Sean's Mother's Day plans...While I was on the porch putting together the table, here comes Iama to our back gate. She is the 4-year old little girl Mary plays with. (Declan has a crush on her older sister Hanna, but that's a story for another day.) Of course Mary freaks out and just has to go out and play with her little friend. Meanwhile, the casserole is almost finished and half the kids decide to go out and play with the girls. (Keep in mind, it's about 11am at this point...) The kids completely ignore breakfast, Sean is somewhat annoyed because he had this whole time line of events planned, involving food. Iama and Mary are running in and out of the house. Sean feels bad because we are eating and we can't offer any food to Hanna because she is lactose intolerant. So Sean gives all the kids a box of candy instead....lol. Now I have never in my life met two more polite children. Hanna goes out of her way to thank us for anything we do for them. She even asks if there is anything she can help with. AND SHE'S ONLY 11!!!! Her manors are stellar.

While The kids spent the better part of the day playing with the girls, we sat on the porch watching the Red Sox game on Sean's tablet and the Bruins game on his S4, at the same time. We are such tech nerds...lol. It was a little warm out, but our patio is covered so it wasn't too bad. The kids were hot from running all over like mad men so Sean gave them all 100% fruit popsicles. By 4pm, Hanna and Iama had to go home. Iama insisted on hugs from everyone and even wanted one from Sean. It was very cute. In the end, we thought it was odd that they didn't spend Mother's Day with their own Mother.....


Iama with the flowers we sent her Mother.
For the rest of the evening, we sat on the porch, had a yummy barbeque with marinated tri-tip, potato salad, corn on the cob and baked mac and cheese. For dessert, homemade strawberry short cake. It was one of the best Mother's Days I've ever had. I am blessed to have 7 beautiful, healthy children (and two adopted girls) and a wonderful husband that went out of his way to make my day special. I love my "little" family.






Monday, May 6, 2013

Stress and Birthdays

I have just not had a moment to breath these past few weeks. Life around here has been full of stress, school, work and everything in between. Where to start....

Sean had been working two weeks straight without a day off. The Galaxy S4 launched last weekend and he has been doing nothing but store visits and presentations. He's been pulling 12-14 hour days with school, meetings and computer worked in the mix. He has not had time to breath and had been under enormous pressure to impress the big wigs and make a name for himself. This weekend is looking pretty good for some much needed R&R.

On top of all that, we had a bit of a scare with the landlord. Around two months ago when Sean first started this job, we weren't sure if the commute would work out. We live about an hour and a half from his territory. He contacted our landlord, since our lease is up in June, to see if she would let us stay another year. Neither of us wanted to move again and the area we would have to move to is pretty ghetto. She was totally cool and willing to work with us. Sean told her he wanted to try out the commute and would get back to her in about a month. Well, last Monday, we decided the commute would be alright and Sean gave her a call to renew the lease. She never called him back. He waited a couple of days and sent her a text. Still no response. He was starting to think maybe she was mad at us for some reason. So he called her again. Still she didn't respond. He finally left her one last text Thursday night, which she of course didn't respond to. By Friday morning, Sean was totally stressed out with not only the phone launch, but now we though we were going to have to find a new place to live in ONE MONTH....ugh!!!! I was starting to panic and frantically started searching Realtor.com. Later that morning, Sean called me saying the landlord left him a text saying we were good to go, and we could sign a new lease for another year. Of course she gave no reason as to why it took her so long to respond, but in the end it doesn't really matter. There was one huge stress off our shoulders.

In the middle of all the craziness, Fionn celebrated his 6th birthday. His party was this past Saturday. We had a fun day of Xbox and movies. I made cupcakes and Sean barbequed. Below is a video of him blowing out his candles, pretty funny stuff!



Fionny and the Sonic Screwdriver. (Doctor Who)
Toy Story 3 Xbox game.
Stupid Iron Man...lol.

Fionny and the Talking Dalik. (Doctor Who)
Fionny buried in gifts!
 





Friday, April 12, 2013

There are no words......

Sometimes we become so absorbed in our own daily lives that we forget one of God's most important rules, "Help those who cannot help themselves."

Sean was in a rush this morning to get out the door. He had to meet his boss in Pasadena, which is an hour and a half from our house, by 10:30am. But before he headed out, he had to stop at the grocery store to pick up milk, eggs, bananas and cereal for the kids. Right at the light entering Albertson's was a man who clearly didn't belong standing on the side of that crazy road. People are driving 60 + MPH down that highway, all hours of the day. Sean said this mad wasn't right. He was standing next to one of those AT&T call boxes, the brownish-green, tall boxes for emergencies. He was patting and stroking the thing, and just moving very weirdly. Sean thought he might be mentally ill or on drugs. At one point, he made eye contact with Sean and that's when he knew something was not right. Immediately, he thought to call 911 because he was afraid for the mans life. The light turned green and he turned into the Albertson's parking lot, searching for a parking spot. He looked at the clock and saw it was nearly 9am and rushed into the store to get what he needed....forgetting about the man.

As Sean was waiting in the check out line, there were two firemen in front of him, getting snacks for the day, when they got a call. They immediately took off, leaving their snacks behind. Sean was pulling out of the store when he saw where the firemen had gone, directly across the street. He looked to see what had happened, and there lying in the street, barely moving his legs, was the man he saw on the opposite side of the street. He had somehow almost made it across, but was struck by a white SUV just before getting to the other side. Sean came home minutes later and said to me, "I just witnessed something awful." As he told the story, he broke into tears and said, "If I had just taken the time to call 911 right then, he might have been alright."

Today is our 12 anniversary. Instead of remembering this day as a celebration of our love, we will both remember it as the day "our lives" were more important than saving someone else's....kinda makes me feel sick.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Easter 2013 and other random catch ups....

Since life has been so crazy around here with illness and Sean starting a new job, I have found little time to blog. In fact, I started this post on Easter Sunday, it's now a week later and by time it's finished another week will have go by.....sigh. Where to start.....

Sean's new job is a Mon-Fri gig, so I have had to rearrange my entire school schedules. (Both the kids and mine.) We were on a Fri-Tues schedule, so over spring break I was able to get things a little more organized. We are well into the third term and doing much better. Having weekends off does have its disadvantages though. Sean has found it annoying to do the Costco runs. It's so much more crowded on Sat and Sun. Plus our Disney passes aren't good on Fri or Sat, which leaves only Sunday and its always so much more crowded on the weekends. No that we have been able to go for over a month with all our illnesses.

The kids have finally gotten better. No more stomach bugs or chicken pox. However Cian has developed a staff infection. He has this painful boil on his left arm, right in the joint and another huge one on the back of his neck. Both he and Lizzie are susceptible to them and we don't know why. The poor guy is in so much pain and he can't even go out to play.

On to Easter....it was a crazy one, as always. The kids had us up at the crack of dawn. We took Sam and Lizzie down first to get their reaction to the baskets and egg hunt before the heard could steal everything. Sam caught on to the egg hunt very quickly. Nothing gets past that little guy. Lizzie had no interest in finding eggs. She just sat on the couch eating candy. The video below is the kids stomping down the stairs to find their baskets. Please excuse Sean's attire. As you can see, it's early and we didn't have time to really "dress" for the occasion.


After the basket raiding, it was on to the egg hunt. The Easter Bunny only bought 3 dozen plastic eggs this year, so the older kids had to take it easy on the egg seeking, which of course didn't go over well with Declan. He complained about it the entire time. The Easter Bunny tried to hide some eggs in harder to find areas, but there isn't many places like that in this house. It was pretty much a free for all. They were just going crazy. I just couldn't get Lizzie to participate though. She just sat on the couch. I don't think she was quite herself yet from the illness.

All the eggs were filled with Jelly Bellies and these hard almond candies. I thought they were Robin Eggs, so I had to confiscate them from the little ones. Of course that didn't go over well. They were eating the candy out of the eggs as fast as they were finding them. I was afraid we would end up with vomiting kids again, so I put a stop to the candy eating until later in the day. This next video is the frantic search and uncontrolled chaos. Please excuse my screaming children. There's no controlling them when it comes to egg hunts and candy...lol


To be honest, I can't remember what we did after the egg hunt. The day was such a blur. We did have a wonderful glazed ham for dinner with sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and whole wheat dinner rolls. It wasn't a perfect Easter Sunday, but we were healthy and blessed to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord.


 

Monday, April 1, 2013

One Awful Month

I haven't been able to blog lately. It's been a terrible month for us. It all started on the 10th of March with what we thought was Sean having food poising. He hadn't felt well and left work early. By mid afternoon, he was projectile vomiting. We soon realized it wasn't food poising. Around 1am on the 13th, (which was also Seans' birthday) both Mary and Declan woke up vomiting. Fionn soon followed an hour or so later. So we had three kids laying on the hallway floor, vomiting every 30-60 minutes. This bug was bad too, laying them up for a full day or two. Now let me also mention, Sammy and Declan both had full on chicken pox and the others were in the fever stage of the illness. By mid afternoon on the 15th Sammy caught the bug. He only vomited once and was pretty much better the next morning.

Lizzie woke up at 5am on the 16th with the bug and vomited for about 8 hours straight. She couldn't even eat toast or water that evening. I should also mention, she was suffering with the worst case of chicken pox I had ever seen. She had band aids on her inner thighs from a rash. We didn't know she was allergic to the adhesive on band aids and it caused a horrible inflammation which became a magnet for the chicken pox virus. Her inner thighs had more chicken pox then Sam's entire body, and he had A LOT! She was in a lot of pain with a fever for days. She would vomit every night for three days straight. Just when we thought the vomiting was over, she was at it again the morning of the 19th. That's when we put her on the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, apple sauce and white toast). She has been eating nothing but those items and plain cheeiros for nearly a week without anymore vomiting.

Sam woke up the morning of the 17th not feeling well again. He was as pale as a ghost and just laid in his crib like a slug. He didn't vomit again, but wouldn't let me put him down all day.

Cian made it through his 9th birthday (the 16th) without catching the bug, but the next morning he and Liam were the last to catch it. Liam only vomited once and was pretty much feeling better right away, but Cian felt like crap for most of the day. I finally caught the bug the Cian's birthday. I never actually vomited, but I sure felt like it all day. I was unable to really eat anything for several days. I was just awful.

This was suppose to be a fun week for us. Sean had all week off between jobs. We were going to have two fun birthday parties with barbeque's and even a trip to Disney. Instead we caught off chicken pox and stomach bugs. It doesn't happen often, so I suppose I should count my blessings, but still...

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter

He Is Risen!
I just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Easter. From my family to yours, God Bless on this joyous day. I hope you all find peace and love with your families.
 
He is Risen!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Good Friday...


                                             God Bless is Easter Weekend

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Good bye Surface

Since today is Sean's last day with Microsoft, he found out this morning that he has to return our Surface Tablet. Apparently it was ours to keep so long as he was working with the company. So this is my last post on the Surface. I'm very upset. This has been my personal computer since we got it in December. I even put a Red Sox skin on it the other day, and now I have to give it back. I know, there are a million other things I should be more concerned with, but sometimes it's the little things that make our lives a little bit brighter.

Anyway, it's been a rough couple of days. Sean left work early on Sunday because he wasn't feeling well. By mid afternoon he was projectile vomiting. I can't remember the last time I had seen him so ill. he couldn't even move. Turns out it was food poisoning. His insides are really sore and he may have been urinating blood from the violent force of dry heaving. He was able to get a few hours sleep Sunday night, but had to be up at 5am to go open the store. He did get to leave as soon as another manager came in around 10am. So he stayed in bed the rest of the day yesterday and was feeling much better after a good nights sleep.

In the few minutes I have been writing this post, Sean sent me a text from work saying the staff just threw him a huge party. They all brought in food from home, (which makes him really uncomfortable, since he just got over food poisoning) music and the whole works. They are all really sad he is leaving. Apparently he is the only manager they like, which makes him even more upset. He found out too, since he is leaving another manager has decided to leave as well. Of course this made him feel even worse because there are only 4 managers to begin with. He is leaving them short staffed and now another manager is leaving as well. That really puts a lot of stress on the guy in charge. This staff has been wonderful and he is really going to miss them. At the same time, he has to remember that he was miserable doing the job and it really wasn't paying the bills. He has a brighter future with the new company and more freedom. He is leaving with a great reputation and needs to just leave it at that.

UPDATE: This picture was taken at 2:30pm. Notice the Microsoft screens in the background. Very cool, they are not making it easy for him to leave. He is really sad.

Well, every good thing must come to an end. With that said, good bye Surface, you will be truly missed,,,,,

 

Friday, March 8, 2013

New Job and Deposition

I've been holding off on mentioning this for over a month now, but since it's official I suppose it's ok to blog about it.....SEAN GOT A NEW JOB!!!! It's been in the works for over a month. His old boss from T-Mobile called him out of the blue one day and offered him a position as an Area Sales Manager at her new job. For those who don't remember, his department was laid off, along with thousands of other unsuspecting employees nation wide after the huge AT&T merger fell through. His boss took her time finding a new job and ended up with a huge electronics manufacturing company. She is doing the same thing she was a T-Mobile, a District Manager for the cellphone division of the company. That is where Sean comes in. His job is basically the same thing he was doing at T-Mobile. He will have 50+ stores under him and it's his job to visit each one monthly. He's basically their babysitter. Making sure they are up to speed on all the products, answering questions and boosting sales. His area is pretty far from our home, over an hour drive to the closest location, so we may have to move in three months after all. This could not have come at a better time for us. He has been really down lately, hating his current job and feeling like his career path is going nowhere. With this job, they are opening tuns of new divisions and advancement is a definite option for him. On the down side, he has to buy a whole new wardrobe. Since he has lost so much weight on Weight Watcher's, he doesn't fit into most of his old dress clothes. We don't really have a tun of money for him to go out and by new clothes. Any suggestions on where to get dress pants and oxford shirts cheap? As an added bonus, he gets lots of new cellphones and tablets FREE! But that means going back to Android...BOOOO...lol. We are both very excited and look forward to his last day at Microsoft, which is on the 14th of this month. He starts his new job on the 19th and has to fly to Texas for a day on the 25th. (Declan bugged when he told him he had to go somewhere overnight....lol.)

Not more than 15 minutes after Sean found out he got the new job, a woman shows up on our back porch. (We have the front gate locked for safety) She was asking for Sean, I told her he lived here but she was quite rude and said "I need Sean", she wouldn't even talk to me. (I should have let the dog bite her) Of course he was not dressed, eating his breakfast in his underwear in the kitchen. So he had to put on a shirt. All she did was give him a stack of papers, turned around and left, without another word. Long story short, back when Sean was a store manager in Nevada with T-Mobile, a women fell in front of the store outside. Sean didn't actually see it happen, but because he was the GM, he had to write an incident report. Three years later, a lawyer has been trying to contact him in representation of the outdoor shopping center and T-Mobile. They wanted a statement from him, but he doesn't remember any of the details. So now he has been ordered to submit a deposition. He doesn't have to actually fly to Nevada for it, but he does have to go to another town here and be sworn in on April 3rd. A lawyer for T-Mobile contacted Sean yesterday and said the judge was actually ready to dismiss the case, but he allowed the defense (the outdoor mall) to bring in ONE last key witness. The outdoor mall is trying to put blame on T-Mobile for not reporting a problem with the curb in front of the store. Sean is the key witness because he worked at the store for several months and would have known if more than one person had fallen. So he is going to be drilled for several hours by 1 or 2 lawyers representing the women that did fall. They basically want to get him to say several people did fall, but he doesn't remember if anyone else did. Fortunately, the lawyer representing T-Mobile will be with Sean to make sure they don't bully him. It's a pretty intense case and thousands off dollars are resting on whatever Sean says. He's pissed that he was dragged into this. Now he has to miss an entire day of a new job because of this stupid lawsuit.

So that's our crazy week in a nutshell. Sammy and the "sicken pops" are doing well. We're just waiting for the rest of the clan to catch them. About a week and a half until it's full lockdown around here. I am so not looking forward to it. Sam did really well though. He only had one day of being uncomfortable and then he was back to his playful self. They're all pretty much healing scabs now. I can't wait until they're all gone. I want my handsome baby boy back. Have a great weekend everyone!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sammy has Chicken Pox

And it begins....I was so hoping we would get away without any of the kids getting "sicken pox" (Mary can't pronounce chicken) but Sam ended up with it. Declan brought him down yesterday morning with spots on his face, neck, chest and back. Today, they are all over him, with little to none on his arms and legs. It's only day two though. He seems to be doing just find. He's his normal self, just with little spots and blisters all over him. The other kids are totally grossed out by him and won't even go near him. Poor little guy doesn't understand why no one will play with him.

My friend Jamie Jo suggested I have a "sucker party" letting them all share suckers, but non of them want any part of that. They see Sam and DO NOT want to catch the little red bumps. I tried to explain to them that it was inevitable, but they were having none of it. I would prefer we just get this over with. It's already been a month with Sean and the shingles. Now we have to be quarantined for yet another month, waiting for them to all catch it. Oh, and lets not forget the two weeks they actually have it, so that means being locked in this house for another month and a half. Shoot me now!!!!

His back
 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Applied Psychology 140

Holland's Hexagon
This week has been exceptionally challenging for me. I'm taking one class online at our local community college. It's called Applied Psychology 140 and it's basically an introduction to college. The first six weeks were very easy, so I thought I would breeze through the class with no problem. Until week seven came along. This is the single biggest assignment all term. It's worth 130 points and is very intense.

The first half of the assignment is a series of self-assessment tests. The first test is the Holland Code Quiz.  We had to take two different quizzes from two separate sites. For those like me who flunked out of Intro to Psychology, here's a brief description:

John Holland made it his life's work to look at people and work environments and come up with a classification system that described 1) individual differences and similarities, and 2) a classification of work environments to describe and explain differences and similarities among positions and occupations.
  1. PEOPLE
    How closely do you resemble these theoretical personality types? Distinctive preferences, outlooks, competencies, and self-perceptions characterize each type. See the chart on the next page for descriptions of each type.
  2. WORK ENVIRONMENTS
    Each personality type has a parallel Work Environment. If you think a personality type (partially) describes you, it might also be helpful to look at the environment description. IF you think a personality description (partially)fits you, then you might look for the corresponding work environment. You can also go to the Web sites cited below for descriptions, exercises, and information about college majors and careers that correspond with particular personality type.
My Holland Code results indicated I am an ACS (Artistic, Conventional and Social). I found this to be very interesting. Artistic was marked as my strongest category, which I agree with completely. An Artistic person is expressive and creative. They work best with the arts, acting/drama, photography and creative writing. I love to write, blogging about life, education, crafting, photography and baking/cooking. I enjoy crafting with my children and decorating my home. I love to photograph people and scenery. Conventional was my second category. Conventional people work well with numbers, records or machines in an orderly fashion. They tend to avoid ambiguous and unstructured activities. They do however work well with a set plan in motion. After some thought and discussion with my husband, I found myself to actually fit in this category. I need to have explicit directions, like following a recipe or putting a toy together, step by step. I do tend to accomplish more with a set plan, like a check list, marking off things completed. I like to have things organized, like a bookshelf or my food pantry. I need to have my home school lesson plans color coded and organized by subject. I'm not sure if this fits into the Conventional category or just a sign of OCD, but I do believe it has some merit. My third category was Social, which was no surprise. Social, being those who like to help others, are friendly, trustworthy and helpful. I am all of those things. I love to teach my children, which is why I chose to home school. I enjoy listening to others in need and being supportive.

The second assessment test we were required to take was the Jung Typology Test.
Carl Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist who believed that various personalities had different ways to perceive the world. He hypothesized that there were three important channels through which people experienced the world and that for each channel their was two ways that a person could you this channel. These three dichotomies were; Introversion-Extroversion, Sensing-Intuition and Thinking-Feeling. He published a book on the subject in 1921.

During World War II, Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Briggs Myers began working on a system which they hoped would help women find the right jobs for them. They based their system on Jung's theory of personality types and added another dimension, the Judging-Perception
dichotomy.

"My results indicated that I am a ISFJ (Introverted, Sensing, Feeling and Judging) The first letter, I (Introverted) indicates that I like to do things alone or with one or two close friends. I tend to draw my strength from the pictures, memories and ideas inside my head. Sometimes trapping myself in my own little world and forgetting to interact with the outside world. The second letter, S (Sensing) indicates that I am more concerned with actual facts. That is, what I can see, hear and touch rather than relying of faith. I remember details that are important to me, like pictures in my mind. I learn by hands on experience and working out problems, step by step. My third letter, F (Feeling) indicates that I take careful consideration for the feelings and wishes of others. I am considered to be very caring and tactful. I prefer there to be little to no conflict and will do whatever I can to bring harmony to all. My fourth and final letter is J (Judging) and indicates that I like a structured life. I prefer having decisions made for me. I work well with check lists and prefer completing tasks in an organized, timely manner.

From what I've gathered, ISJF types tend to be quiet, friendly, responsible, and conscientious. They live to serve others and rarely ask for anything in return. They take any task very seriously and strive to be painstakingly perfect. They are very loyal and considerate of others, remembering the smallest specifics about people close to them. They are very well organized in both home and work, following specific guidelines and checklists. Their drawbacks, they tend to shy away from decision making and rely on others for guidance. They dislike confrontation and are quick to run from it. They are not good at articulating any distress and tend to be mistaken for "sulking". They tend to see only the facts and don't allow room for "what could be". Overall I found this assessment to be fairly accurate. I do see myself as being very standoffish. I am not one to take action and I tend to hide from tough decisions. However I am very protective of my family and will go to any lengths for any one of my children. I am very detail oriented, needing everything to be done precisely my way. I run by the motto, "If you want something done right, do it yourself." However, in doing everything myself, I tend to feel overworked and underappreciated. Given what has been said, I would fit well in the secretarial, executive assistant and interior design fields." -Clip from part of my report.

Now that I have been labeled as a co-dependent control freak, I feel so much better about myself. The second part of the assignment was to pick a series of careers that would fit well with my personality and values. We had to take a Work Importance Profiler. This would give us a list of the best career options based on our personality, values, skills and interests. Of course after taking the assessment, it spits out a list of suggestions based on my test results. We are to pick 3-4 from this list thet might interest us. The first list suggested careers in the Arts, like Interior Design, Writer/Author and Photographer. Those are all things I love or would consider doing. However the second list suggested careers in Engineering, Teaching and the Health Industry. Other than homeschooling my our children, I would not have the patience to teach other children. I am completely grossed out by the health care industry and I am by no means smart enough in Math to be an Engineer.

The last part of the assignment was a Career Reality Check Assessment. We had to type in all our bills and miscellaneous expenses. Then it adds on taxes and tells you how much all of it will cost annually. It tells you how much you need to make to pay for all your expenses and gives a list of career options in your interest area. If nothing pays that amount, than you either need to cut spending or find a new career that pays more. Of course my career choices were no where near the amount of money we need to make annually, but fortunately, Sean's job does. All in all, this was a long and stressful assignment that I am thankful is finished. I hope to never have to do it again. Poor Sean has yet to start his......hahahahaha.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Shingles and Colds

Well, this has been one awful week and a half. Last Sunday, Sean started getting a weird rash on his left shoulder. A few days prior, he was experiencing pain in the same area. He thought it was ringworm, though he had no idea where he would have contracted it. Looking at pictures on the internet, the rash didn't really look like ringworm, but then the next morning Lizzie broke out in a ring shaped rash all over her body. I thought for sure she had ringworm and bought a can of Lotrimin. The rash disappeared in a day. That turned out to be an allergic reaction to something she wore or ate, not sure which of the two.

After a couple days of his rash spreading to his chest and back, he decided to go see a dermatologist. The nurse took one look at him and said, "You have Shingles." He was blown away and asked her if she was sure. She said the Dr would confirm, and he did. The doctor asked him if he was under any stress or had been recently ill, because he is a bit young to have developed Shingles. He gave him an antiviral prescription along with some steroid cream, which he only used once or twice. The bad news, it's highly contagious to anyone who hasn't had chicken pox, which is ALL of my children. However, they would have to touch the sores or have contact with clothing, towels or anything that came in contact with him. So Sean his been in lock down in our bedroom for the last week. It's killing him to not have contact with the kids. They can't understand why they can't hug or play with Daddy. Declan, on the other hand, is completely grossed out by him. He does not want Chicken Pox...lol.

We've read all the horror stories about Shingles online. How painful they are, how they last for weeks or months, and how they are so hard to get rid of. Sean has been in minimal pain, if at all. The red splotches are fading away fast, some are gone completely. He thinks the people online are a bunch of babies. He said this has not been bad at all. Well, maybe he should be suffering through the cold from Hell, like the rest of us.

A day or so after Sean came down with Shingles, the kids started coming down with fevers, stuffed up, runny noses and a nasty cough. First was Cian, then Declan and Fionn, Mary, Lizzie, Liam, Sam and finally me. This is not your average cold. This is pure agony. Poor Fionny gets these coughing fits to a point where he vomits, Lizzie as well. Never ending runny nose and a general feeling of your head about to explode. I haven't slept in days for more than 2 or 3 hours. Between kids coughing and crying all night to just not being able to breath. Since Sean is on the antiviral meds. he has not contracted the cold. I almost wish I had his shingles, I want that antiviral medication. At least with it, he didn't feel like crap and could actually function. Poor Sam has been clinging to me like the plague. I can't put him down for one minute without him screaming bloody murder. Meanwhile the laundry is piling up as are the dishes and dust mites.

On a more pleasant note, Valentine's Day wasn't a complete bust. I had planned this really nice evening for Sean and I, but of course that didn't work out, since I wasn't aloud to really touch him. Instead, we ordered Chinese food from one of the best restaurants in SoCal and had a nice candle light dinner. Sean bought me a dozen beautiful red roses, chocolate covered strawberries, two other boxes of chocolates and a big container of Jelly Bellies. Hello....diet....how soon he forgets. I'm sure I gained a few pounds this week.

I had been scouring Pinterest for weeks, trying to find the perfect cupcake recipe. I can't remember the last time I made cupcakes, but I know they are Sean's weakness and the kids love them, so I thought it would be a nice Valentine's treat. I found these really cute heart wrappers and sprinkles on Amazon. I made everything from scratch, including the cake flour and frosting. The frosting I did find on Pinterest, and it was amazing. (I used both vanilla and chocolate buttercream) but the vanilla cupcakes were from Food Network. I cooked them a little too long and they came out hard. I wasn't thrilled with their flavor either. Sean said they were great, but he was just being nice. Mary flat out said they were "awful". Leave it to a 4 year old to tell you what she's really thinking. At least they turned out cute.

This year we didn't have the money to go all out on gifts, but I wanted to get Sean a gift that meant something. Nearly 12 years ago, back when Sean and I were dating in Arizona, Sean made a promise to his Mother and Sister to return to Mass. That of course meant leaving me in AZ. It was the end of May and our two month courting was coming to an end. He was headed back to Boston the next morning. I wanted to give him something to remember me by, (that didn't end up in Heaven) so I bought him a necklace with a key on it. The key went to a heart pendant that said "He who holds the key can unlock my heart". Yes, it's one of those tacky 80's charms, but it was the best thing I could find at the last minute. He loved it and hung it on his rear view mirror. To this day, it still hangs on the mirror, just two vehicles later. I wore the heart pendant around my neck for 11 years, until the tiny hook snapped off the heart. I was so upset. I NEVER took the necklace off. It was like Sean became a part of me and was always with me, even when he wasn't. Well, when it broke, I didn't handle it well. And when we found out it couldn't be repaired, that really upset me. So, I decided to try and replace it. Of course they don't make the pendant anymore, so I found a site that makes personalized gifts. I chose a sterling silver broken heart key chain that could be engraved with our names and date of choice. So, I had each half engraved with our names and the date of our first date. He loved it. I think he felt bad that he didn't buy me an actual gift, but it wasn't about the gift. It was about our bond. I wanted something that represented how much our relationship meant to me.


Well, that was our Valentine's Day and horrible week in a nut shell. I hope everyone else had a better holiday. I'm off to go watch the season finale of Downton Abbey and do my homework. Happy President's Day!


                                    Sammy eating his cupcake. I don't think he liked it either.


               Sammy says "Dads at work". Sean just had to play this for all the ladies at work.