Saturday, January 31, 2009

Life's Contemplations...

As Doug and I were out to dinner this evening by ourselves (something that doesn't happen too often with 5 kids), I started thinking about how I didn't do such a great job at keeping track of my friends from High School when I graduated or even College for that matter! I know that many people that I knew from high school (the ones that are still in town) like to hang out at a certain bar in town and I've contemplated on going the next time I know that they will be there (because it would be fun to see everyone again and catch up)...but doing that kind of thing is hard for me. Those who know me will tell you I'm on the shy side (really I am), I have a hard time putting myself out there and get really nervous talking to people...even if I know them! I have to force myself to do these things because I know it's the right thing to do and that the more I do it the more comfortable with it I'll get and I know that I (or my kids) miss out on things when I don't.

But anyways, back to my contemplations...I was telling Doug all of this and I basically said that I didn't think I have really accomplished anything with my life. Doug disagreed (asked me if I was going through a mid-life crisis since the big 31 is coming up) and said that I have done many things, we moved to TN for his job with the FBI and then got moved again to Philly (where we lived in NJ), I help out in the kids' classes, make sure everyone is where they are supposed to be, etc... I responded back with that I wasn't the one who got into the FBI it was him who had accomplished that nor have I done really anything work related since I became a stay at home mom when our first child was born (though I do know being a stay at home mom is an accomplishment in itself and there are many who couldn't do it). I guess I was just feeling down on myself...I really want to take my photography up to the next level and start my own business but it's just seems to always be on the backburner and it's also a little scary to go off on your own. You wonder if people are going to like your work or if you are going to be able to do a good enough job capturing people's lives (I'm very critical of my work and I worry about what others might thing...probably too much).

It's times like these that it's nice having a husband who speaks his mind. He told me that I probably have accomplished more in my life than many of the friends' that I have lost touch with over the years. I didn't particularly agree with that since I know many of them have done alot of traveling and have some very interesting jobs and what not. But he continued on with this and basically told me that I was the glue that kept this family together and without me in his life he never would of gotten the courage himself to apply for the FBI because he wouldn't of wanted to up and move somewhere by himself and it was my support and knowing that I was there that helped him make that decision. Doug's pretty good at saying the right things at the right time and I have to admit it felt good to know that I am so important (well in my family's life atleast!) Every once in a while it's just good to hear those things, especially the times when you feel like you haven't accomplished anything in your life and are feeling like a total loser (you know the feeling, the one you got when you were in school and you weren't in the "popular crowd").

Anyways, I'm not really sure where I'm going with this post...guess I'm just trying to say how thankful I am to have my family and while he says that I'm the glue that keeps our family together I would have to say the same for him...because I wouldn't be able to do the things that I do if he weren't there for me as well (and he has been really supportive of me with my photography and also with anything else I want to do.) So I guess we are both the glue that keeps this family together, which you know what that means...we're stuck together (sorry for the bad pun!)

Doogie's Most Eggscellent Egg Drop

Doogie has been enjoying The Most Eggscellent Science Club in this past month of January. Every Thursday of January he would attend an hour long club after school and learn all sorts of interesting things about (if you hadn't guessed by now from the title) eggs and of course they snuck in some science! This last Thursday was his last day and it was also when their egg contraption was due. They were challenged to build something that would keep their egg safe from breaking when it was dropped (or in this case thrown) off the roof! Now it isn't as simple as it sounds since there were some guidelines that they had to follow:

1. Design cannot involve liquids, helium, other lighter than air gasses or glass
2. Weight cannot exceed one pound
3. Egg "compartment cannot exceed one foot in length or width (winged designs need to fall within this dimension)
4. You must place your egg into your container just prior to your drop.
5. Use of parachutes is allowed, but the chute must deploy itself after the container is dropped (Dropping with an open parachute will most certainly result in successful landing.)

As you can see the pictures speak for themselves! :) I think he was pretty darn pleased with himself and I thought it was really sweet that he let his sister be there next to him when it all happened (the rest of the kids were home with Grammy!) He had so much pride in his voice (and still does) when he told people that his egg was a survivor!

I was surprised with how many of the eggs actually survived and also with some of the interesting contraptions some of the kids came up with (I think they had alot of help from their parents with those ones)! Needless to say though, there were alot of pretty proud 2nd and 3rd graders that day! It was alot of fun to watch all of the contraptions get tested out and to hear all the kids chanting "throw it, throw it, etc..." Their very own principal and janitor were up on the roof tossing their contraptions for them. It's great to have a principal that is so involved in the school. At the beginning he told the kids to yell "Science" and than the adults had to yell "Rocks"! So we had a "Science Rocks" chant going for a while, which was alot of fun and it's was great to see all the kids so pumped up. It's things like this that help kids to stay interested in school. We are looking forward to another Most Eggscellent Science Class next year where both Jayde and Doogie can be in it together, so I hope they do it again!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Just Some Random Information...

See I'm doing better with my blog...I've been posting more and adding pictures (we'll see if I can keep it up!)

Calvin has discovered a new friend. His name is Sulley Monster...from the movie Monster's Inc. We've had this stuffed toy for years (since Doogie was a little guy) but nobody really paid too much attention to it until now. CJ sleeps with Sulley, watches Monster's Inc. with Sulley (which is really cute to watch, by the way!) and also plays with him throughout the day. It is really sweet to watch him play with him and carry him around the house. I love to watch him while he is holding Sulley on the couch and watching Monster's Inc....he even giggles and laughs at all the right spots! What a great sense of humor this boy has!

Jaxon has decided that his favorite things are ducks! Now I don't know if it's because Joe on Blue's Clues favorite stuffed toy was a duck or if he decided it on his own...but we have a few stuffed ducks that he will carry around the house with him and like CJ he has to sleep with them as well. Yes, Jaxon loves his ducks! I think once the weather warms up again we'll have to take him back down to the duck pond so he can feed the ducks again! You can see in one of the pictures his famous squint and tilt! He was trying to watch TV (we were watching Monster's Inc.) He then had to move so he could get a better look at the show. I'm really looking forward to him getting his glasses, it will just be really cool to watch his reaction to being able to see things better! I think a whole 'nother world is going to open up to him with his new glasses.

Doogie has his last day of his Most Eggscellent Science Club today. I'm glad that he had the opportunity to do this, he's had such a fun time in there. As you can probably tell by the title it has to do with eggs and he has learned so much about eggs and also about other things. Today is the Most Eggscellent Egg Drop. They had to make a contraption to keep their eggs safe from breaking when thrown off the school roof (and yes, they are really going to be dropped from the roof today...the eggs not the kids!) I told Doogie I would be there to watch his contraption get tried out (which is a box that has batting and a piece of foam inside to wrap up the egg in). So I will try to get some pictures of that and let you know how his contraption did.

Then this evening I have to head back to the school to take pictures of their Talent Show (no, my kids are not going to be in it this year). But since I'm the yearbook editor this year (though I just learned yesterday that I will be getting some help with it! Yippee!) I need to be there to get some (hopefully good) pictures of everyone in the Talent Show. It should be fun watching the kids perform too and see what things they come up with. I'm debating about taking Doogie and Jayde with me to watch since it is their school, but need to figure out if I can keep an eye on them and take pictures at the same we'll see!

Anyways, nothing else really exciting to report. The weather has warmed up some so we have been able to get outside a bit more, which has been really nice since the kids were getting a bit stir crazy! I spent all afternoon yesterday cleaning up the backyard (the puppy had gotten into the garage and pulled stuff out and chewed on it! Grrrr...) so it was good to get it all picked up, took me three garbage bags! Ryann was pretty proud of herself though since she helped me by putting the toys away. We also worked on training Blue (and let me tell you she needs alot of training!) I have been feeling bad since I haven't had a lot of time lately to work with her, so I decided to try and do it when CJ was taking his naps. So right now we are just trying to get her used to having a leash on her (and of course the potty training is non-stop...she hasn't been the greatest in that area!). She does know how to sit and lie down...though she isn't good at staying! I've also been showing the kids how to train her as well, since I figure she needs to learn to obey them as well and realize that she is on the bottom of the food chain here! This also gives the kids more confidence in dealing with her (she can be a little spazzy when she first see's someone and jump all over them, which means she knocks the kids down and then nibbles and licks them to death while they are on the ground). So we really got to break her of that!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Okay, as's Ryann and her new bangs! Jayde actually did a pretty decent job (not that I'll ever admit that to her though!) Think I need to even it out a bit on one side...but all in all she didn't do a bad job and atleast she didn't cut a ton of hair or in a funny spot! Or even worse...cut off one of her pony tails! Hmmmm...I wonder if Jayde has a future in being a hairstylist....and I gotta admit that Ryann does look pretty darn cute with bangs!

Monday, January 26, 2009


It always seems to be one thing or another at our house. A month or so ago Doug mentioned the fact that Jaxon will squint and tip his head to one side (the right) when he is looking at something at times. I had been so used to seeing him do it, that I didn't even think about it until Doug had said something. So it of course made me take a closer look...and I had to agree with Doug that something was going on there. So when we took Jaxon and CJ in for their check-ups on Friday (which by the way they are both looking great and I'll write more about that later...) I mentioned to our doctor that we were concerned about his vision. So he referred us to another doctor since they didn't have the equipment to really tell if something was going on or not. This morning we headed over for Jaxon's appointment, he did a great job cooperating and doing what he was supposed to do (as well as any 3 year old could do...actually better than a 3 year old! Let's just say he did awesome!) They had him looking into machine's that would "read" his eyes and tell them what his eye prescription was. The machine came back with the results of him being farsighted, now they just had to figure out how bad it was so that they could give him the correct prescrition for his glasses. So they had to put some eye drops in to dialate his eyes so that they would "relax" and let them get a more accurate reading. He wasn't too happy about getting those drops (they sting) but he settled back down pretty quickly. We had to wait about a half hour for the drops to really take effect so they let us wander about the office and Jaxon and I checked out all of the different glasses. They than redid all of the tests that they had done before and his results came back a little big higher than the last readings (you want to get a 0 and Jaxon's final results came back with a +7.25 in one eye and the other eye wasn't far behind). The doctor went ahead and ordered his prescription, he actually prescribed it a little bit under what his test came back as. The doctor explained that if they give the full prescription strength right off the bat that his eyes would reject it (he would also get some nasty headaches), so we will work our way up slowly. Now we have been doing all of this for about an hour and we still had to go and pick out the frames and get fitted! I know Jaxon was really ready to leave (he had been asking me to go for the past half hour!) but I decided it would be best to get it all done now instead of having to come back later. So I asked him if he wanted to go pick out a pair of glasses and that seemed to perk him back up again. The "fitter" was waiting for us and had grabbed a few pairs to try on him and see how they fit, the very first one was the winner! It also had some great features, the bridge was bendable which meant that if Jaxon or one of the other kids got a hold of them and went crazy it would just pop back into place! We also got the shatterproof lenses, 100% UV protection, scratch resistant and a few other things. So hopefully these will hold up well for a 3 year old with 4 siblings! Anyways, we should be getting them in a week or two. They will give us a call when they arrive and we will go and pick them up and make sure they fit right. Then we will have to go back in a month or so for a recheck and see how Jaxon is adjusting.

I've added a picture of Jaxon taken this afternoon and if you look closely at his eyes you can see that they are still dialated from the eye drops. The doctor said it could take 6-12 hours and sometimes longer depending on the child for his eyes to go back to normal!

Now for Jaxon and CJ's check up...Jaxon was looking good. I have been worried about the fact that he is getting so skinny and drinking so much (Ryann did that with her diabetes) so he told us just to keep an eye on him and that we know the signs to look for! He weighed in at 39 lbs (he's only gained 2 lbs in a year) and they said he was 40 inches tall (but I think that might be off since he was really wriggling around while they were measuring him). CJ is getting big! He had to get 5 shots, which he wasn't very happy about but these guys are all pretty good about settling down after things. He weighed in at 32.6 lbs and 33 1/2 inches, so he really isn't too far behind Jaxon! But they both looked great and Jaxon's lungs were nice and clear.

Hmmmm....Jayde decided to give Ryann a haircut, she now has some bangs! Now I won't ever admit this to Jayde...but she actually did a pretty darn good job! I had noticed a couple days ago that the hair in front was a little bit shorter, so I asked Ryann if she had cut it and she of course told me no. I then got distracted by something (or someone) and forgot about it until this morning when I was doing her hair. I just kept telling myself that it just didn't look I asked her again and this time she replied "No, but Jayde did!" When I asked Jayde why she cut her sister's hair she replied "I don't know" UGH! I don't have a picture of Ryann's new cut yet, but I'll try to get one up soon. Instead I will leave you with this picture of CJ cuddling with Balder (a very common occurence in this house by all of the kids...he just makes a good pillow!)

I think that is all of the exciting news for now in our house. Thanks for checking in on us! I will try to get some more pictures up later! :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Should just have our own personal room....

I had mentioned in the post before this one that Jaxon was getting sick. We had been giving him breathing treatments at home in an attempt to keep us from making a trip to the ER. Unfortunately this virus was just too big for us and after giving him a breathing treatment every hour until 11:30 in the evening (for a total of 5 breathing treatments that night) I decided that I would not be able to get any sleep doing this and worrying about him. So around 1 am Wednesday morning I took him to the ER, once again we got in pretty quickly. His blood oxygen level was a 94 which was at the very low end of normal for him, so it was a good thing I brought him in. They started us off with another breathing treatment, but with something a bit different than our usual stuff. This particular breathing treatment took an hour to complete! Thank goodness Jaxon is pretty good about getting treatments, not to mention he was really tired (obviously since it was after 1 in the morning!) so he slept through most of it. They got us back into x-ray around 3:00ish in the morning, and the doctor came back in to talk with us around 3:30 and told me that Jaxon's x-rays came back showing them that he had pneumonia in his right lung. He was trying to decide if it was bad enough that they would admit us or if we could go home...but since Jaxon was having difficulty breathing, his heart rate was a bit on the high side (mainly because of all of the breathing treatments), and his blood oxygen was on the low side he felt it would be better to admit us. So around 5 in the morning we finally got up to room and I got a little shut eye before the next round began. They decided that instead of giving him an IV (since around 3:30 he decided he was going to be wide awake and was bouncing around everywhere and they thought it would be a big pain to get one in) that they were going to give him two shots. Now these shots were huge and they took around 10-15 seconds to administer...but atleast after that it was done and he wasn't going to be hooked up to anything. He had another breathing treatment not to long after that (a normal one) and they gave him his first dose of antibiotics (he had already recieved some steriods in the ER when he was having his hour long breathing treatment). Since he was acting like he was feeling alot better and was responding well to the meds they finally allowed us to come home around after 12 hours in the hospital we are now home.

And now I have some grumpy kids to deal with so I will update some more a bit later!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Some pictures

Not to many interesting things to report. We had yesterday off for Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday and today we are having a sick day. Jaxon was up alot last night having coughing fits and we finally just ended up sticking him in bed with us and giving him a breathing treatment. Than this morning Jayde woke up crying, her stomach and head were bugging her. She ended up throwing up an hour or so later which meant she would be staying home from school today. So I decided it would just be easier to keep everyone home (even though Doogie isn't sick) so that I wouldn't have to haul the sick kids around!

Believe it or not, the pictures are just from last night. Wouldn't think that a couple of those kids are sick now! Jayde is already acting like she is feeling alot better so as long as she doesn't have any more throwing up episodes she will more than likely be going to school tomorrow and I really hope that nobody else catches it! I've been keeping her back in my room in an attempt to keep her from spreading it around. And since I don't usually let the kids play in my room, it's been a little treat for her and she hasn't been complaining!

For some reason whenever I shoot inside I seem to like the black and white look alot better. Probably because there is just too many other colors and clutter inside that can detract from what I really want people to see! So anyways, enjoy the pictures...and see I'm trying to take more pictures!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

My New Year's Resolutions

Yes, I know I'm a little late with these...but better late than never! Of course the biggest resolution will be to keep all of my other resolutions! These are in no particular order, just putting them down as I think of them!

1. Have more patience. With 5 kids this is a big one! I have to admit that there are days I have reached my breaking point and I'm ready to throw in the towel. So yes, having more patience with the kids (okay, and Doug too!) is a big one.

2. Stop procratinating. I do this alot (and I highly doubt that this will be a resolution that I will keep very well!) You see I'm procratinating right now...I should really be cleaning my house and doing laundry but I decided to put that off so I could write all of this instead!

3. More family time. Sometimes I get so busy doing all of the many things that need to be done that I forget to just take it easy and spend it with Doug and the kids.

4. Take more pictures. I haven't been getting my camera out too much, I think it's because I like to use the natural light and not a flash. So with the weather being cold it's harder to get outside with the kids and get pictures of them playing. So the other half of this resolution would than be...don't forget to post the pictures for everyone to see!

5. Get more serious about my photography. Since I really would like to turn my love of photography into a career, I really need to pick up my camera more and just get to know it. Than I need to bug all of my family and friends and have them let me take their pictures!

6. Exercise. I know this one is pretty generic, but I think everyone can say this. And I really do need to start exercising again.

7. Start going to church again. This one I think I will have help with since my Mother-In-Law wants to do this as well. In fact we went a couple weeks ago and had a good time. I hadn't been to that church in so long that they had gotten a new preacher in that time. I really liked his sermons though and it felt really good to be going back.

8. Do a better job at keeping in touch with people. This is hard for me. It's not that I don't want to keep in touch with people, it's just that I hate calling people! I'm a shy person...don't tell me you didn't notice that! Not to mention every time I even pick the phone up someone starts screaming! Being on Facebook and Myspace though has helped some with this, I have gotten back in touch with lots of friends from highschool and many still live in the area. Now I just need to actually meet up with them!

9. Get off the computer. Ooops, never mind...I really shouldn't even put this one down because there's just no way this one is going to happen! I should revise it to, spend less time on the computer...I might be able to do that...

10. Start getting crafty again. I used to scrapbook alot, but since moving and all of my stuff being packed up it's been tough getting back into it again. Though I do miss it! I need to get down there (to my scrapbook/computer room) and finishing unpacking and organizing my things so I can get busy!

Okay, well those are all that I can think of at the moment (though I'm sure there are more resolutions I could and should make!) Maybe I'll start adding them as I think of them! Oh wait, here's one!

11. Update my blog more often with an update and pictures! I know that sometimes I can go weeks without updating and I need o get better at doing that. Not only so that you can see what we are up to but it is also a great way for me to remember what happened when if I write it down! And I do need to start posting more pictures (think I had that in one of my other resolutions!)

So I could promise you that the next time I update my blog I will post pictures...but I would hate to break my promise. Sometimes I just don't have any good pictures to share...either because the kids weren't cooperating for the camera or I just hadn't been taking any pictures. Of course if I stick to my resolutions than I suppose that problem will go away!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Meet Blue...

Sounds like it should be an intro to Blue's Clues, the show that Jaxon loves so much! But actually it is the name of our new puppy! Sunday night one of my dear friend's called me up and asked me if I wanted a puppy! LOL! I hemmed and hawed for a while, taken off guard by the question. Did we want another puppy? Well, Doug and I had been talking about getting a puppy eventually for the kids and also so Balder would have a friend. So my friend started to describe her to me...she's a black lab/bloodhound mix, she's really sweet and just a good dog. My friend was desperately trying to find a home for her, they had only had her a couple of days and had gotten her from someone else who they were trying to help out...but they just weren't "big" dog people (my dear friend loves pugs!) She then informed me that they were out driving around right now with her and they could stop by and show her to me...okay, I'm in trouble! So I said to go ahead and come over and I'll take a look. I think I fell for her as soon as I saw her and she gave me a kiss on the nose. She's a very loving dog and has been great with the kids. She is still in that puppy chewing stage (she's about 4 months old) and she thinks all the toys are hers! I'm constantly catching her with the kids' stuff toys, but so far she hasn't chewed them up (could be because I catch her with them soon enough...) but she does slime them pretty good! LOL! She thinks she is a couch/lap dog and I find her on the couch very frequently, but she sure makes it hard on you to discipline her when she looks at you with those brown eyes! One of her other favorite things to do is take CJ bottle from him and carry it around the house...CJ on the other hand does not find that very amusing! Anyways, even though we have only had her for a couple days she has already fit in and become a part of our family. Now we just need to teach her some manners!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Riding around in my automobile...err I mean tractor!

Yep, that's right a tractor. This was Jaxon's big birthday present this year and boy did he love it! A big thanks to everyone who chipped in on it! You can see him pouting in a few of them and this is because he wasn't very happy that everyone was running after him telling him to watch out for the tree (which he did miss all on his own). However as soon as he passed the tree he stopped the tractor and sat there and pouted! He wouldn't go again until Doug went over to his tractor (which by the way looks exactly like Jaxon's) and started it up. Then a huge smile lit up on Jaxon's face and he started driving around the back yard again. I have a feeling that once the weather warms up Jaxon will be outside all day long riding his tractor and helping his daddy with the yard work!

Here's the story behind the whole tractor business if you didn't know it already. All spring, summer and fall when Doug would be out working in the backyard he would let Jaxon ride on the tractor with him. So Jaxon would begin asking Doug as soon as he would walk in the door from coming home after work to ride on the tractor...he loves the tractor! So after Christmas when Doug was running some errands for me at the store he came across the tractor at Walmart and saw that it looked exactly like his (trailer and all!) When he came home he told me he had found Jaxon's birthday present, he showed me what it looked like online and I knew that Jaxon would love it. So Doug went back to the store and bought it and we hid it in the garage until the big day. On Jaxon's birthday while he was sleeping (he had crashed on the couch downstair watching Blue's Clues) Doug brought it in and put it all together. When Jaxon woke up we had him come upstairs and as soon as he saw it a huge smile came on his face. Unfortunately he couldn't actually ride on it yet since the battery had to charge, but he had a blast just sitting on it and filling up the wagon with toys. Then the next afternoon we took it outside and let Jaxon go! The only downside with the tractor so far (besides the fact the apparently the directions for putting it together sucked!) is that every time he is done riding it you have to take the battery out and put in on the charger. But otherwise it runs pretty well, even in the snow, grass and mud!

I've also added some pictures of the other kids (and poor old Balder with a bow on his head) running around the backyard, the snow had finally melted (for the most part) and they were having fun trudging through the sloppy yard. It then snowed again last night (Doug even had a two hour delay from work this morning) but now most of the snow is melted again. So please just ignore my very sloppy, messy yard I haven't been out there to clean it up in weeks with all of the snow!

Oh and as for the potty training (which I still haven't officially started doing with him yet) it is actually going pretty well. He uses the potty for me a few times a day and so far he is the one that tells me that he has to go! So I have a feeling once I get serious about it (which I'm planning on doing this coming week once everyone is back on their schedules) that he will catch on pretty quickly and hopefully be completely potty trained soon. Then I will just have one kid in diapers (and a few at night) but them being in diapers at night doesn't bug me.

So anyways, I'm flooding the blog with lots of pictures for you to enjoy! We hope that everyone had a wonderful Holiday and a great New Year! I know us Crowe's are hoping for an awesome 2009!