Thursday, December 6, 2012

Frustrated and Need to Vent

I'm frustrated and really need to vent about Makayla's option of classmates.  I must start out by saying that there are good kids in her grade and if you know me and you are reading this, it is highly unlikely that I am talking about your child.  My problem is not with the entire school as a whole, there are wonderful teachers and leaders within the school that I have great respect for.  With that being goes nothing!

While I know that our children are not perfect, I have worked very hard to shape them into respectful, polite and hardworking little girls.  Makayla has been dealt a class full of over the top, horrible behaving children.  Obviously this starts at home and its unfair that my child has to suffer from lack of parenting/discipline/attention or whatever the problem is.

I believe part of the problem could be class size, 22/23 kids does not have to be too many unless the kids are out of control.  A quote that my child came home with last year from her PE teacher was "this is the worst kindergarten class I have seen in 19 years!"  I have also heard on several occasions, though much more tactfully, that it is a very difficult class. 

Makayla has complained about having to miss recess because kids would not settle down and do what they were supposed to.  There have been problems with library times because kids were out of control.  One little girl was throwing tantrums daily in another class and was moved to which class?  My daughters class of course!  She has given reports of a little girl throwing a tantrum during a spelling test (and she is not autistic as far as I know.)  One little boy hit the teacher because his spelling test was taken away because he was cheating.  This is absurd for even a kindergarten class, but for 1st grade?  The list goes on and on, I'll save that for another vent session when my daughter is giving reports of her day that continue to frustrate me.

Makayla comes home on a daily basis with stories of having to sit out of PE class because the kids are not behaving.  Today, all the girls had to practice lining up and sitting down the entire time because a few girls, that continually cause problems, do not know how to behave.  So why not keep those kids out and deal with them separately.  Last week the entire class had to sit out because some of the kids would not stop talking.  When they were given the opportunity to jog instead, that only lasted 2 laps because one boy was talking.  Excuse me!  Once again, deal with the kids causing problems.  Maybe an adult needs to sit back and think "Hmmmmm, not allowing kids burn energy is not working, maybe we should give them the physical education that is mandated by the state of Illinois." 

This was a continual problem last year.  I addressed it with administration and said that if my child would have to sit the entire class, I need a phone call so that I can pull her from school and get her the activity that her little growing body needed.  PE classes continued this way and I never received a call after I was told that I would.

Physical Education is mandated, or required, by the state of Illinois.  A specified time is not listed but I have a feeling that practicing sitting down and lining up does not qualify as physical activity.  No wonder these same trouble children go to class and cannot focus!  If combining 3 classes for one activity period is too much, then something needs to change! 

I could go on and on about this.  I have tried to convince Greg on homeschooling, he is against it and I honestly do not know that I could pull it off.  It is to the point that we are considering moving school districts so our daughter does not have to suffer for the next 10 years with a few students that cause problems for everyone.  I know there are problems everywhere but Hannah does not come home with the same stories.  Her grade gets to have their PE, has kids that listen and she is not punished for other kids poor behavior.

If you read this all the way through, thanks for listening to my rant!  And once again, it probably isn't your kid that I'm venting about!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Our Romance Night

The girls decided after dinner that they were going to make a romantic night for their daddy and me.  It was sweet....and pretty funny.  While I was doing dishes, Makayla and Hannah coached Greg to give me compliments and talk romantically.

They had us sit at the table and gave us a place setting.  The centerpiece was a cup of flower pens and a plaque from Olivia's funeral.  Definitely falls into the "it's the thought that counts" category, haha!  Notice the half eaten banana in the background.
"Greg" also provided snacks for us and gave me a love note that says "Your Pretty" written in pink glitter glue.  An apple was added later but did not make the photo
"I" then gave Greg his romance snack and love picture (?)  He also was given an apple later.
Also, each time we were instructed to kiss, they tore up paper and threw it at us like confetti.  What a romantic night.  The whole time Claire was just inches away covered in her own yogurt and laughing randomly.  I love these girls :)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Supermodel Syndrome

Let me tell you a little story about a thing called supermodel syndrome.  I'm not sure that this is an actual term but in my world, it totally is!  Supermodel syndrome (by my definition) is the feeling of feeling just amazing, fabulous and confident with who you are.

I experience supermodel syndrome in different situations.  My favorite is right after I have a baby.  Those girls came out of me and whoa!  I thought I was back to "normal" size in my mind.  I don't have a huge belly anymore, my boobs are all huge and swollen from being engorged and my happy hormones are going through the roof.  I feel like a whole new person, an even better "me."  This tends to linger for me for about 2 weeks, then I have a reality check in the mirror.  I see that my stomach is loose and all that extra weight gained that didn't go away.

My other key time for supermodel syndrome is when I am exercising.  I started working out with Beachbody Programs a couple of years ago but got really serious about them again just a few months ago.  I recently started Chalean Extreme, Shakeology and also ordered TurboFire.  I am in love love love with it all and best of all....supermodel syndrome is back!  Haha, I know that my size has not changed too much but those endorphins do a brain some good :)  I love the feeling of a stronger/confident me.  My supermodel syndrome has faded in the last few days so I need to tweak something to get it back and I will!

So, according to my theory, in order to have this phenomenon happen to you one of 2 things are needed.  You can either have a baby or get to exercising!  I will add that I do not think I am the prettiest, skinniest, fittest person in the world but I do what I need to do to feel fabulous with who I am :)  Tell me what gives you your own "supermodel syndrome"

Friday, November 2, 2012

Yep, this happened to me

It has been a strange week of reminders that we did actually lose a baby.  I do not know how to say it clearly but there are times that I just sit back and think "wow, that really did happen to our family!"

Makayla has been learning math sentences and writing out math problems from a story at school.  One day this week she was saying different scenarios and adding them together and they went something like this:
          "If Mommy had one baby and then had another baby then she had two babies."
          "If Mommy had two babies then had another baby and that baby died, then she still has 2 babies.....right mommy?"
And this is the reality for my sweet little 6 year old.  She has really tried since she was 3 to wrap her head around this reality we are all forced to deal with.

I found myself looking at a picture of a family with 4 kids and thought of how great it looked.  Anyone who knows me well knows that I have an issue with an odd number of children.  I know that in my heart I have 4 children, I have carried 4 babies and held them all in my arms.  I can hardly look at pictures of our family of 5.  I have a picture on our wall of the 5 of us from when Claire was just a couple of months old and have probably looked at it a handful of times.  In fact, I only look at it when I am pointing out to people how fat I look in it.  Anyway, got off subject a little bit!  I so badly want another baby to "even up" our family, Greg is not against this but he says that even with another baby we will always feel like one is missing.  I know that and I'm not thinking of a "replacement baby" but I cry every time I think about Claire growing up without her sister that is close in age :(

My other reminder was tonight.  I was reading a story about a baby that had died shortly after she was born.  I was looking at the pictures of this beautiful little girl with no sign of defect to be seen.  I had the same feeling of disconnect that I had to these situations before Olivia's diagnosis.  I was reading and thinking that it would be horrible to have a baby, hold her and then just have her gone one day.  Then suddenly a hard lump that I just couldn't swallow popped up in my throat.  My disconnection from it all was gone and once again I was feeling compassion.  I also am that mother that knows the pain of saying goodbye too soon. 

Although I am typing this about specifics, I do think of her everyday pretty much continually.  I can't explain it but I know my fellow BLM's understand.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Cheap Date Night...Success!!

I've been blogger MIA lately, mostly because last time I tried to post a blog I was unable to post pics :(  Apparently I have posted too many, I'm confused but have no time/interest to try to figure it out!

Greg and I had a much needed date night last night.  Since we were planning a family trip this weekend, it needed to be cheap-o :)   We took the girlies to grandma and grandpa's to spend the night and headed off to Effingham. 

We were not sure what the plan was but on the way to Effingham we decided $5 Little Ceasar's pizza sounded delish.  We went to Wal-Mart and bought chips and no bake cookies (dessert).  Then went to Motomart for $.69 big fountain sodas before picking up our pizza.  We took it to the dam by the lake and ate in the dark by the water. 

It was a little cold but who cares?!?!?  It was dark, quiet and we had no kids with us!!  We did get a call from the girls and when Hannah asked what we were doing I told her I was kissing Daddy under the moon.  She thought it was hilarious! 

Since we are so scandalous these days, our date ended early and we were [happily] home before 9:30!  Sometimes it is so hard to find time to get out without the girls with our busy schedules but it is so worth it everytime we do.  We WILL be having more fun date nights in the future, maybe one day Wal-Mart will not be on the agenda, haha!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Claire's Rainbow Birthday

Tomorrow is the big day! Claire will be 1 and we will be celebrating her birthday rainbow style!

There is a quote on the Rainbow Baby group that says "everybody wants sunshine, nobody wants pain, but you can't have a rainbow without a little rain." I love it and my super reader Makayla loves to say it over and over when she reads it :)

I have been asked many times what the term "rainbow baby" means. The definition that best describes it initially is this....
"Rainbow Babies" is the understanding that the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravages of the storm. When a rainbow appears, it doesn't mean the storm never happened or that the family is not still dealing with its aftermath. What it means is that something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of the darkness and clouds. Storm clouds may still hover but the rainbow provides a counterbalance of color, energy and hope."

It's very simple to label Claire as our rainbow baby and snatch up every rainbow item we see in the store for her (and I do!) but it encompasses so much more than that. If 2 1/2 years ago I would have been given the option to walk the road that was ahead of us, I would have turned and ran the other way. I would have never agreed to a fatal diagnosis, carrying my child to term and have her die in my arms....NEVER! I would have spared our family, our marriage and our children the pain and sorrow. Through my naive eyes, I would have turned and never considered ever trying to get pregnant again.

"For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope" Jeremiah 29:11.
I know my plans are so much different that what God has in store for my life and someday it will all make so much sense. If I had been able to determine my own path, we would have been robbed of so much joy to our family. I would have never known how strengthened we could be by allowing God to carry us through our toughest times. AND we would have missed out on our rainbow baby Claire!! I'm not thinking Claire should the responsibility of our family's happiness, I am just so thankful and grateful that she is here and we have been given the opportunity to raise her in a Godly way!

A year ago today I had such high anxiety and fear that something would go wrong before I made it to the hospital to be induced. A year later I sit in awe of how beautiful, silly and amazing this little girl is and I cannot believe she is already 1!!!

This is pretty rambly but that's just how it's going to be today! I don't know that all of my thoughts were put into words the right way but I need to shut the computer and get busy on party preparations!!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Claire's Big Poo Catastrophe

It's always something in our house when we are already pressed for time or while we are out trying to get somewhere. Things just seem to happen in our day to day life, I am often wondering if this crazy stuff happens to anyone else like it does our family.
This morning was already rushed, Makayla needed to be at church at 7:20 am to practice singing on stage with Tehelliah. (I'll blog about what that is later!)
We had been in Peoria yesterday so we all had a late bedtime, usually the girls go to bed at 8:00 and bedtime last night became 10:30. Since I was nowhere near ready, Greg headed to Effingham with Makayla and I was following with the other girlies to go to the 8:15 service. It was rushed, I was not being the most pleasant Mommy around but I managed to get myself ready and kids fed. All I needed to do was get Claire out of the highchair, change her clothes and we would get to church right on time.
That's when it all came crashing down. I lift my content little baby up out of the chair, put her up against my dress and hear a splat. I look down, there is poop all over the high chair, all over my dress, splattered on the floor and all over my sweet little baby's legs. I wish I could say I handled it with grace but I did not. I started crying. I was shouting at Hannah to get the wipes, she was flustered by my reaction and could not focus to grab the wipes that were out in the open. Claire started crying when I laid her on the floor to strip her down and probably confused as to why her Mommy was a complete basketcase. Greg called in the middle of the chaos and got an ear full before I hung up and tossed my phone to the living room (away from the poo!) I wiped some of the poo off the floor and left it all. The diaper and outfit stayed on the floor along with the rest of the disaster. Since I had decided I was still going to make it to church, I had to get moving with people cleanup!
Claire was given a 2 minute bath and was happy as can be about it. I am so glad I had caught up on laundry this week and actually put it away so I didn't have to dig for something to wear. We managed to get out the door as church would have been starting and got there as the last song was being played. I did not miss it though, the kids sang for all 3 services so I was able to see it during 2nd service.
I feel kindof guilty, as I am typing this my lovely hubster is cleaning up what was left behind. Greg has the weakest stomach when it comes to the kids bodily excretions so this makes him a superhero this afternoon. Although he is grouchy about far I have not heard him gagging!

So does anyone else seem to have this crazy stuff happen to them on a regular basis like this???

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Jesus Freak Alert!

It's been awhile since I have gotten all Jesus-y on my blogs, either one of them, but today I'm am just bursting with a renewed feeling. To say that I have been in a dark cloud for awhile now would be an understatement and to have this feeling again, why wouldn't I want to share it!! I do not often talk so openly about it but I have no problem writing it all out and putting it out there :)

I had never felt more filled with God's presence than while I was pregnant with Olivia and a few months after her birth. In those moments I had such a hunger for God and I knew with all my heart that I could not face that journey on my own. I did not want to rely on my own strength and would call on God to carry me ever step of the way and He absolutely delivered. It was still difficult but I had such a peace through it all.

As my life began moving forward, I became busy, started working again and became distracted. My bible reading began slipping, I was so focused on trying to conceive again and caught up with other things around me. It did not happen overnight but fear and worry began to creep in and I really had to push to keep my mind focused toward God. I stopped asking for Him to guide my life, I began relying on my own strength.

Throughout the last year and a half, I have had glimpses of that same hope but it has not been the same. I gave fear/worry/doubt/anxiety full control of my life and emotions and entered a period of darkness. I know that dealing with grief has no timeline and that darkness will still try to creep in. Our family has taken a few hard blows over the last 2.5 years and I was just overwhelmed. Right now, and for the month, I have just felt renewed and have the hunger once again to be fully in God's presence.

I ordered a book to do a bible study with other women a few months ago and I am excited to finally start it again. I tried and only got through one paragraph and just could not do it, I was exhausted and beat down emotionally and just closed the book. It's Breaking Free by Beth Moore and I am glad to know that there are others who have done it before me so if I am stuck or need encouragement, I do plan on calling or messaging them!!

I know that God has some AMAZING plans for our family in the near future and I cannot wait to find out what they are.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Kentucky Part 2, Kentucky Down Under

......Continued from Kentucky Weekend.....

We arrived safely at Kentucky Down Under and received a map and a time for the cave tour. We looked up prices before going and thought it was more than we would want to spend but everything is all inclusive. There are no extra fees for anything except food, drinks and souvenirs.

The first stop for us was the birds. Once inside, we were each given a little cup of seeds and the birds would come down and eat from you.

They stayed pretty close to the top but would come down for food and climb on hands.

We all loved it but Hannah was just not a fan of the idea of birds touching her hands so she opted out of this one.

Our next stop was the cave tour. It was really neat, they showed us the original opening for the cave. The tour guide was very detailed in explaining all the different elements of the cave. I even learned that caves are still growing, I honestly had never thought about the process of making a natural formation. Within minutes inside the cave, Hannah had to go potty. If you know Hannah at all, when Hannah has to go, Hannah HAS TO GO! I'm just happy it happened while we were still at the front or she would have been majorly out of luck!

Since we had to wait until the next tour, the girls had their free taste of fudge in one of the gift shops. We walked over to more birds. There was a cage with dog looking animals on the way. We thought it seemed really random and realized later that they were dingos!
The birds had the best photo ops since you could get right up to the cages and they were not going anywhere.

Once we had finished with the birds it was time to head back for the second try of our cave tour. We learned that the cave was discovered by an 8 year old girl who walked by and felt a draft. Her brothers lowered her into the cave on a rope to check it out. I cannot imagine being brave enough at 8 years old to be lowered into God knows what in complete darkness but this little lady was! Hannah was the "line leader" for the tour and you could just see how proud she was of it.

Makayla was not a fan and stayed glued to Greg the whole time, I'm just glad they made it through without falling. The cave was cool and water continuously drips through it and she was not making it easy for him to walk.
We were able to get a family picture in the cave. We asked one lady to take a picture and it was just horrible. Then we asked another couple to take another one, the guy just looked at us and the lady just looked at him soooooo....I just put the camera in her hand and this is what we got, haha! It was super awkward but glad we have the picture.

We took our lunch and after the cave tour went to the picnic area. Hannah found an arrowhead, "special rock." She was so proud of it but accidently threw it away with her lunchable. Greg is such a trooper, he was going to dig it out of the trash then waited because crowds of people kept walking by. Unfortunately he was unable to get it but it was a great photo-op anyway.

Next we headed to the Land of the Lories where we had the opportunity to feed some rainbow lorikeets.

By the time we got to the kangaroos, we were all worn out and tired but we were not leaving Kentucky without seeing some kangaroos!!! The tour included the explanation of different kinds of kangaroos, how the pouch works and the babies grow and even petting the kangaroos and an emu! The girls would not even get close to petting one but Claire couldn't fight me. She grunted at the kangaroo and it just laid there.

There were other things that we would have been able to see and do but it was a full day, we were ready to hop into the hotel pool and just hang out for awhile.

Sunday morning we got up, ate breakfast and headed on our long journey home. We made a few stops along the way to make the trip more bearable for the little ones. By the end of the trip, it was so nice to be home but I cannot wait for the next family adventure!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Kentucky Weekend, Part 1

This weekend we had a little family getaway to Kentucky. I had posted on Facebook asking for suggestions within 5 hours and had alot of great response. Someone suggested a place called Kentucky Down Under, so we looked it up and decided to check it out. (Thanks Terwrin!!!)

Let me start out by saying that I am not the most.....laidback....person when it comes to planning and preparing an outing. I am anal, I get stressed and usually have a breakdown beforehand because I think that each and every detail needs to be perfect before taking this grand adventure. Soooo, in true Cynthia fashion, I was stressing about packing, I wanted to be able to walk right out the door as soon as Greg came in from work. I called my grandma in for backup to hold and entertain Claire so that my emotions would not completely errupt.

The trip down was pretty uneventful, thankfully! We did do a pit stop along the way for Cynthiana IN, the kids thought we were nuts but whatevs, this is their life :)

One perk of this trip was the free hotel stay, that's right, I said free! Greg's last job required ALOT of travel so he stayed in the same hotels to rack up points. We stayed at the Sleep Inn in Cave City, KY. The girls were very happy to get there, we rolled in around 11. We did stop at an Old Navy on the way down for the girls to get a new sundress. Makayla is in LOVE with Old Navy and I think it's the manican commercials that have her sold on this.
Happy to be there!

The next morning we ate breakfast at the hotel, stopped at Wal-Mart for a stroller (we forgot ours) and followed the GPS to Kentucky Down Under. The GPS took us the scenic route. It was absolutely beautiful but we were not sure we were on the right track. We stopped and asked a farmer if we were close....and we were only half a mile away, haha!!

To be continued......(when my baby isn't waking up from a nap!!)

Monday, April 30, 2012

April showers bring......

April Showers bring.....May babies in the Sidwell house! I love May, I really do, but we are about to embark in the craziest month of our year. I'm not complaining at all, just breathing in the calm before the storm! Here is a basic breakdown of our month....

May 3rd-Makayla's b-day party at school
May 4th-Makayla's birthday and meeting kindergarten for lunch during the field trip
May 5th-Girls cheer competition

May 11th-Hannah's kindergarten
May 12th- Olivia's 2nd birthday and girls State cheer meet
May 13th-Mother's day
May 15th-Field trip with Makayla's class to Decatur Zoo

May 16th-Last day of school for Makayla
May 19th-Bean Day! (annual family gathering)
May 20th-Big girls b-day party

May 23rd-Hannah's B-day, Hannah's last day of preschool + school party + school picnic
May 27th-Hannah's Frog Pond graduation
May 28th-probably a parade in there somewhere

.......AND this is why I may not be the best at answering calls/texts/emails for the next month AND if I do not see you after looking right at you in the store (this happens on occassion!) you will know why!! I'm sure I am leaving something out and this is in addition to our normal routine.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Claire 6-9 Months!

If I had one word to describe little Claire, it would be DIVA! I used to hate when moms referred to their little girls as divas.....then I had a Claire! Wowser, this sweet little happy girl can go from smiley to meltdown in .00001 seconds. I've never seen a baby so...colorful....she's fitting right into that rainbow role :) To say I am behind on Claire's updates would be an understatement but I will try to fill in the last 3 months. Claire at 7 months (with Hannah)
What is she doing??? *She is eating lots of foods. Pretty much anything we eat, she will eat in smaller pieces. She loves pancakes, tomatoes, carrot chunks, olives and cheerios. *We are working on a sippy cup but have a long way to go on that one. If her drink is not coming directly from my chest, she has little to no interest in it. *She can sit up completely unassisted, move onto belly comfortably, get on hands and knees, rock back and forth but no crawling yet. She will pull up to her knees and slowly walk if we are holding her up. *She has added baba, dada and gobbob to her vocabulary (she said mummom first months ago!) *She sleeps in her own room now (tear!) but it's so nice to have our room 90% back (we occassionally wake up to others that have snuck in!) Claire at 8 months, in big girl PJs
What she loves?? *Peek a Boo *Swinging at the park *Other babies, I have to watch her because she wants to eat them *Eating grass, flowers and any other part of nature she can get in her mouth What she doesn't love??? *Bounceroo *Strollers without a snack or toy *Mommy and Daddy stopping her from grabbing things she shouldn't have Claire 9 months after getting ahold of a marker
Other updates??? *Claire is still 100% a cloth baby, I am amazed at the fact I even like doing it and it's always a great conversation starter. Now that we have moved into One Size, I do not have to buy all! *Breastfeeding is going great, I have stopped the extra pumping for no reason other than I was tired of it. When I do pump however, it's like a dam breaking and the milk is flowing! *We have moved into mostly 12 month clothes, I'm ready for the nice weather to stay for good so she can wear her cute summer gear *At the 9 month checkup she is 27 inches (24%) and 19lbs 11oz (73%) I do not think she will stay such a shorty but we will see. Greg and I are both tall and her big sisters are tall for their age, I guess we will see if she pulls the short genes from my family tree! I have a ton of pictures that are on our camera, just not uploaded. Hopefully I will be on top of that before the next post! That's all for this month, I'm sure I will think of other facts later but this is good for now :)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


I do not know if there is a more humbling topic for me to teach our girls than forgiveness. This all came about tonight when Makayla and Hannah were taking a bath, somehow Hannah was splashed in the eyes with soapy water.
In no time came the tears, accusations, whining on both sides....drama drama drama!!! I hear Makayla say "I'm sorry!" and Hannah "aauuuahhhaaahhhhhhhhh," followed by Makayla's long, loud whine....."IsaidI'msorryandwhatkindofsisterdoesntsayitsokaywhenIsayI'msoooorrrrry!!!" Yes, it sounded like this!

Since I am a sucker for teachable moments I was thrilled to have a topic for the night time bible study. It was also encouraging that forgiveness has been a topic at MOPs the last 2 meetings. I initially thought about grabbing a study bible and looking up verses that talk about forgiveness. Instead, I tried the easy way out and googled something like "teaching forgiveness to children" and have a whole lesson plan ready for me to read to them. I had pages of psychological studies pop up about whether forgiveness is natural, whether we need to teach it to our children or if it was inborn and my favorite....teach your child to punch a pillow and take their aggression out there. I am not saying a good pillow boxing session isn't therapeutic but I have no interest in teaching them to be violent (anywhere) and I do not care whether it is inborn or natural. Forgiveness is biblical, it is commanded of us and absolutely necessary to obtain happiness on this earth.

I decided to close my computer and open up my bible. What a concept, I knew I should have done that in the first place. I looked up forgiveness verses and read a couple that I thought were most relevant for their situation and easily explained to a 4 and 5 year old. One of the moms at MOPs (shout out to Martha!) talked about teaching your kids to say "I forgive you." After we talked about the verses and why forgiveness is so important, Hannah asked if she could tell Makayla that she forgives her. They just melt my heart and I was humbled at how ready Hannah was to show forgiveness to her sister.

I am grateful for these teachable moments, I know how important of a role I have in shaping the hearts of my children. I love that through teaching them, I can be reminded of these things for myself. Most of all, I love that we have a God that is so willing to forgive our sins, no matter how big or small. I pray that I will be as willing as my children to forgive those who have asked for my forgiveness and not let my human nature bring it back to the surface over and over again.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Big girls, flowers and balloons

This is a picture of the big girls after the cheer meet Sunday. Hannah can be a super grouch about pictures and since I was taking the picture on my phone, I was a super grouch trying to have them not move keep the picture from being blurry. Someday soon, I will blog about the adventures in this new world of cheer we have entered. It is so exciting, the girls are loving cheering, the medals and treat bags and they are so cute in the process!

I am typically not a fan of posting pictures of gifts and surprises but oh well, I'm selling myself out and posting our surprise today! Greg sent flowers for me and a balloon for each of the bigger girls. They (we)were so excited, I cannot tell you how much I love the "just because" flowers. Both girls wanted pictures with the flowers and balloons so here they are :)

Hannah came out of Frog Pond today with a ribbon that says "ME." When I asked her what it was for she said "Because I'm proud to be ME!" I LOVE it

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


I had 6 bananas that needed to be used for baking or thrown in the trash. Yesterday I tried Banana Oatmeal Muffins. I generally consider myself pretty decent with my baking skills but the new recipes failed miserably. Greg came home and was excited about the muffins....they look pretty but taste.....wellll....only Hannah will eat them! Greg's words "they're not bad.....they're just...." Me: "Not good?" Haha, I was ok with it until today.

Today I thought I would make some Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies, notice the healthy theme here? I have only made bad cookies 2 or 3 times so I thought I had this recipe in the bag! Wrong, see for yourself. This should have been a dozen medium cookies.....
They are HUGE! And not cooked all the way through. Hannah was brave enough to try them and liked these too but I'm watching a little girl that refuses to even try them!

I am trying to focus on eating healthy and getting back in shape, maybe I did myself a favor! Oh well, maybe next recipe will be a success :)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Perfect Snow Day

This might be the only time I ever, and I mean EVER, say that there is a perfect snow day! But today is wonderful for it. It's sunny and 30(ish) degrees, the roads are clear but plenty of snow on the grass to play in and Makayla has no school! Thank you Casimir Pulaski for whatever you did, I am enjoying this "holiday" and having my girlie Makayla home with us today :)

The girls were begging to play in the snow and I almost did not do it since Claire has been so sick. Lucky for them, they are big enough to bundle themselves up, it's easier to say yes when the load is lighter for me! I bundled up Claire and threw on a jacket, gloves and scarf and headed outside. I'm glad I had my phone handy or I would have missed pictures of the fun.

The girls making snowballs to throw at eachother

Snow angels

The gift Hannah made for me :) If you have ever heard me complain about the train tracks by our house, this is why!! It's literally in our yard!

Makayla, right before she threw this at Hannah

Hannah looking cute

Claire, right before she fell asleep. She had been laughing at the big girls but tuckered out very quickly

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

V-Day Scrooge

I hate to admit this, but I am kindof a Valentine's Day Scrooge. I have not always been this way but each year I get a little less blown away by this "holiday." Don't get me wrong, when my hubby brings home flowers, candy, a card, gift....whatever it is, I will melt. I love getting "stuff" and get giddy when I do.

That is why I am so torn by this day, I'm kindof a hypocrite on my feelings toward it. In the craziness of life it is so nice to have one day set aside to just appreciate and show love to one another. On the other hand, I do not really love that I am getting "stuff" because the rest of the world (or America) is doing it too. I prefer flowers and love notes "just because," that makes me feel so much more special than on Valentine's or birthdays.

I don't think I will ever be one of those people that just hates the day. I want to tell those people that feel this way and that are in a relationship, get over yourself and show some love, even if it is a Hallmark holiday. Try handmade gifts and then you won't be spending money and buying into the "hype."

To my single friends, go buy yourself some chocolate and go out and have fun. Love yourself and enjoy a gift to yourself, why not??

I'm not totally sure what my rant is about or if this even makes sense. I need to get off of here and put on some date-ish clothes and go on a hot date with the hubster. Ha, feelings on today are so inconsistent!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Serious case of Mommy Brain!!

I have been suffering from Mommy Brain alot lately but today it hit an all time high, or low depending on how you look at it. I don't even know where to start with this but here we go.....

After washing my hair last night I thought I had forgotten to rinse my conditioner out of my hair so I did a quick rerinse then hopped out of the tub. I pulled my hair up and headed straight to bed so I could blowdry it in the morning.

This morning I actually woke up with my second alarm, usually I do not hear any and my kids wake me up late. So up I go and thought, yay, I have time to read a little from my bible before getting busy. That was quickly interrupted when Claire woke up so I put in on the back of the toilet (no idea why!) and got her out of bed.

As the morning progressed, I started blowdrying my hair only to have it not fully dry. It felt weird and my attempt to straighten it made it look a littly greasy so I assumed I did not get all the conditioner out last night.

This morning was a rush rush kind of morning, I had to get Makayla to school and head straight to Effingham for Claire's 6 month checkup. Makayla could not find her glasses, she swore she had put them on the back of the toilet. After getting a lecture about being responsible for her things (Mommy cannot keep track of everything....blah blah blah) she went to school with no glasses on.

The two little girls and I head straight to the doctor where my brain could not focus to fill out the 6 month questionnaire. I had to reread every question at least 2 times. I finally got through it and had a great appointment except the shots :(

We continued on with the day, Hannah did not stop talking from before Makayla went to school until after lunch. She paused briefly to eat the yogurt parfait I bought on the way to the doctor office. After giving myself several pep talks that sound like this: "I am lucky to have a kid that wants to talk to me," "I am grateful that my child is capable of talking, "I am blessed, I am blessed, I am blessed!!!!" I decided we needed to eat lunch out so I could physically see that there are other adults out there. I saw several people we knew and sat close to a woman that loves to chat and left me thinking "aaahhhhh, an adult!!"

We went home to rest, the big girls are past the napping stage so I let Hannah pick out a movie. She continued to talk throughout the movie, even after I threatened to put her in her bed! Claire refused to be put down, I'm guessing it had something to do with shots earlier in the day. At some point I ended up back in the bathroom, picked up my bible and realized that Makayla's glasses were in there! I had used them as a bookmark and completely forgot!

Before picking Makayla up for school I had to put my hair up. It was feeling gross, heavy and my scalp was starting to itch like crazy. Before long it was time to head to the school. We load up the car, I start it, realize the garage door is closed so I shut it back off right away. Open the door, restart my car which sputtered out of the garage, my car does not typically do this. (lovely, mommy brain=flooded engine! Thanks for the heads up Rachel!) I shut it off, restart and it was still sputtering bad. I had to steal the right-of-way at a stop sign so the car wouldn't die but I made it to the school. Afraid I wouldn't make it back home I had another mommy on standby to rescue us. The 10 minute break helped my poor car recover and we made it home safely and smoothly. I apologized to Makayla for blaming her for losing the glasses and put them back on her face.

Since the girls had a cheer performance, we had to take baths early tonight. I went to grab shampoo only to find that I had bought THREE bottles of conditioner, no shampoo. My head was going crazy all day because I had not washed my hair at all the night before, I conditioned on top of conditioner! Now my hair and head is scrubbed, feeling fresh and I am beyond ready for bed!!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Weekend Refresher

I'm starting out this week feeling renewed and refreshed, by the end of last week I was ready to run away. I would have come back of course but had I had the extra money in our budget, I would have gotten a plane ticket and disappeared for the weekend! This had nothing to do inparticular with my kids or husband, I was just worn out and run down.

I was determined on Friday morning to revamp myself but continued through my day drained and whiney. Friday evening our MOPs group was having a BUNCO night, Greg and I had the opportunity for a date night but I decided I needed to refresh myself before anything else. I am so glad I got out with other ladies! We played BUNCO, then some of us went to El Rancherito and 4 of us went to see One for the Money. It was a good movie and I kept thinking about how familiar it seemed, talking to my mother in law, I have read several of the books and completely forgot!

Saturday I woke up feeling like a new person. My uncle came down and we enjoyed visiting with him. After he left I tackled Claire's disaster of a room, I have most of it cleaned up but now have a pile of stuff I need to find storage for.

That night Greg and I had some alone time out of the house. I would love to call it a date but it was just running around Effingham getting things our family needed with NO kids! It was wonderful....did I mention we were alone???

Sunday we had a lunch for Greg's parents 40th wedding anniversary. There anniversary is actually Tuesday but we are all so busy that night so we had them over early. My grandma came over for lunch also and after his parents left, she offered to let us take a nap and she would play with the girls. Silly me almost said no but thought again really quick and Greg and I disappeared. I crashed hard and could have probably slept until Monday morning. Unfortunately, my grandma has a life and that did not work out for us, haha! (just kidding!)

Sunday night, Greg and I watched Courageous together. That was such a good movie but nobody warned me that it would make me cry! I think Greg really enjoyed it too.

It was a much needed weekend and I no longer feel like running away! I am ready to enjoy this week and tackle our house that never seems to get all the way clean!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

6 months....already!

This post is almost a week late but I have had zero time and/or energy to get it done. Claire turned 6 months on Saturday and once again, she has changed so much! Her looks have not changed much but he has grown and developed. Next week she will have her checkup and shots so I will know her height and weight then.

It has been a BUSY last month. We have had Christmas, New Years and tons of activities in the mix!

As far as feedings go, I think she is starving.....can you tell? ;)

She has been nursing wonderfully still. She also moved into the wheat cereals. Last night she tried sweet potatoes for the first time. This girl is ready for FOOD! She watches everything that goes into our mouths, if I am holding a cup or drink, she is trying to get it in her mouth. I would not be surprised if baby food jars are short lived for this little nugget, she will go quickly into table food.

In the last month of sickness, she has needed antibiotics but stayed pretty healthy over all. She has an appointment tomorrow, she has been having fevers up and down the last week but now she is getting fussier and pulling her ears.

How much has she grown? I'm not really sure but I do know she is 17 lbs (at least). Her small diapers are just not going to work much longer. I found a good deal on a few mediums and one sized diapers. If we have more kids, we are set on for girly diapers, a poor little boy would be lost in the sea of pink!
Claire is officially in 6-9 months cloths :( Her room is a mess! I had just organized her 3-6 months cloths in the dresser and still have the newborn and 0-3 month cloths heaping over a bucket. I have moved her 3-6 mo cloths into a basket, and the right size is in her dresser for now. Oh well....I will get them organized....sometime!

Teething? Who knows!?!?! Makayla and Hannah were both 10 months for their first teeth.

New sounds and noises? Not sure if it counts but when she is upset and wants me she will say "MamamaMUUUMMM!" I am counting it as saying "mama" first!

Movement? She rolls all over! If she wants to get somewhere, she figures out how. She has tried to push up on her hands and knees but falls pretty quickly. One morning she was scooting backward but I think we are still a month or two from crawling. It would be neat if she proves me wrong!
She will also stand up to things if we put her there and stay close to catch her when she goes off balance....check her out!
After looking at this picture again, you cannot tell but they are standing up to my grandma's coffee table. And Aiden isn't really that mad, he wanted to walk around her but was blocked in :)

If I missed anything, I will update when I post her measurements next week!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Cardinal Caravan

I am far behind on this blog and managed to skip Christmas and New Year's all together! But that's ok!

After church today Greg and I were able to take the girls to the Cardinal Caravan in Mattoon. For those of you who don't know what that is, I'll try my best to explain it. A few Cardinal players, both rookie and retired and an announcer, travel around and sign autographs in the off season. The big names stay in St. Louis for the big Winter Warmup (I think!)

I was not sure we were even going when we left our house this morning and did not even think of wearing Cardinal gear. I seriously think we were the only people, and entire family, with NO Cardinal clothes on. Claire had some red when we left the house but an overflowing diaper left her in a sleeper :) We stopped at Dollar General on the way up there for little pink girly notebooks to have the autographs signed in, we were slacking on the fan favors for this trip!

Let me tell you the attention having all little girls brings! After waiting in line for awhile and seeing tons of little boys go through the line, they were quite a hit at the autograph table!

Here are some pictures of who they got autographs from.....
Tony Cruz, if you can see it, check out his diamond baseball bracelet....BLING!!!

Matt Carpenter and Zack Cox, they would not stop talking to eachother when signing, shame on them!

Jordan Swagerty (SP?), so nice to pose with Claire even though could care less who she was sitting with!

Rex Hudler was next and here is where it was fun. He saw Hannah first and asked "Who owns you?" I told him "I do!" He started talking about how cute she was and looked up, saw me holding Claire and said "Oh WOW, you have another one!" Then looked over and saw Makayla and asked "Is she yours too?!?" Of course I proudly said yes and he and the Andy Benes were really excited about so many girls. Then looked at Greg and told him congrats on all the girls and "way to go Dad!" and then Rex gave Greg a fist bump for having such cute girls.

Andy Benes is next and Claire once again could care less, she was knocking water bottles over that were sitting on the table. The guy to the right is Dan Mclaughlin, TV broadcaster for the Cardinals. He kept talking about our beautiful girls, even as we were walking away.

All in all, it was a great day for the Sidwells! I'm sure other kids were told they were cute today but this proud Mommy just soaks it all in anyway! Unfortunately the biggest celebrity of all for the girls was gone before we got through the line, Fredbird!!! That's fine though, we will catch him at a game this year!!!!