John and Dana

and our life with the munchkins!

Wuh Oh

Eesh. I’m doing a crap job blogging. Thankfully we have been taking photos and keeping track of our busy lives…I’ll be going through the next few weeks and making recap posts! Since I wrote on here in 2012, my sister in law got married (i think I posted my iphone shots but we actually got quite a few from the photographer too)! Here are a few shots to keep you wanting to come back and read some moooore 😉 Our first family photo in a while:

family (6 of 6)

family (4 of 6)

 

Lordy do those kids look young! Can’t believe it!

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I Do!

Well wedding season is officially over. Sniffle. My cousin Collette and her husband Jeff got married August 18th and everything went perfectly. She had quite the time planning her wedding, so when the finally arrived we all made sure that everything went as planned ☺

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And for our second family wedding, Johns sister Megan got married September 8th at the Anderson Japanese Gardens in Rockford. John and I were each in the wedding party and the kids were the flower girl and ring bearers! Let’s just say we were exhausted after the weekends events! So happy to have Alex officially be a part of our family! The kids love their Uncle Alex!

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New Photos!

John has always loved photography/cameras/technology and with his job now gets to take photos for the school district for their websites! What a sweet deal right?? So to figure out how the camera works, he’s been taking some pretty cool photos of our kids and other objects! So here are a few really beautiful shots from Wednesday and Thursday!

My Mother’s Day Orchids from John

My Fatty Catty

My OTHER Fatty Catty

This guy has mastered “The Pout”

Smiling for the camera. She said it was like a photo shoot!

John asked them to show him their teeth. What cheezies.

Our rocking new park at South End! Should be ready in time for summer break!!

Can’t you just smell them through your computer screen??

I think at some point the boys asked John to KEEP GOING. I believe his response was NO with a foot stomp.

They finally made it to Maiden Lane park.

Can you believe these are all just practice shots?! I can’t wait to see what other practice photography comes out of this! Good job John!!

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The New Mr. and Mrs. Lamb

While the world was busy getting ready to watch a Royal Wedding, we were getting ready to watch our OWN royal wedding. John and I had the pleasure of being attendants in our close friends wedding and Kaelyn was a flower girl! The whole wedding was amazing. Unfortuantely, we didn’t bring our camera due to a whole bunch of other things we needed to worry about. So here is what we’ve got so far:


Backstory: Katie and John were first friends in early high school and then I leached on and became close to Katie in 2004. She became one of my closest and well trusted friends and I don’t know what I would do with out her in my life. She is also Kaelyn’s godmother so Kaelyn was totally pumped to be flower girl! It was an honor to have Katie stand up in our wedding and I was equally honored to get to stand up in her wedding. Steve and Katie are such wonderful people and I can’t wait to see what marriage brings to their relationship!  Congratulations Katie and Steve!

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Christmas Day 2010

This Christmas morning the kids woke up and giggled all the way down the stairs to find all of their goodies Santa had stashed under the tree. We let them open their stockings while John and I woke up. That took about 2 seconds and they were ready for round 2 of present opening. The one thing the kids all wanted were those godforsaken Pillow Pets. So of course Santa went all out! Kaelyn got her ladybug, Ian got his dolphin (definitely not a comfortable pillow) and Gavin got a dog.  The kids also got other miscellaneous things like more wooden train tracks, puzzles, LuLu the Kitty that doesn’t ever stop meowing, and some board games.

The boys got dinosaurs from Santa in their stockings.

Gavin looking for more.

He was being such a cutie pie Christmas morning!

Kae with her Dolly and Buttercup. The boys also got Mr. Pricklepants, Rex, Trixie, Lotso and Stretch, all from Toy Story 3 of course, in their stockings as well.

Oh man, there she is. 13lb LuLu. That’s all I have to say.

Gavin lovin on LuLu. Thinking that this cat doesn’t run away from me!

Ian got some extension pieces to make his Thomas and Brio wooden railway systems bigger. Little did he know a much bigger railway surprise was waiting for him at Nana and Papas!

After the opening of gifts at home, we headed over to my parents house to opening up stockings, gifts and have John’s special biscuits and gravy breakfast before Baga had to work. The kids got more spoiled with all the attention from Maga, Baga and Uncle Steve and loved seeing what was hidden under all the wrapping paper. By this point, Gavin was kind of over the whole “gift” thing but Kae and Ian had no problems helping opening his gifts.

Ramone, from Cars, was in Ian’s stocking. He has been sleeping with him ever since. He also changes color, totally  just like the REAL THING! Too cute.

Kaelyn with her Selena Gomez and the Scene CD from Uncle Steve. She got this one signed by Uncle Dane today. Kaelyn also got the animals she wanted from the American Girl doll catalog, along with some more accessories and clothing for her dolls.

Gavin with his very own pop-up toy.

My dad got his Griswold Family Christmas shirt from us. It vividly brought back memories of putting our own cut down tree on top of his jeep and having it fly off the top of the car onto Rt.31. Oh the memories. Definitely one Christmas memory I won’t forget. It’s a bit full. Lot of sap. *spits*

I just love how this picture came out. Seabrook Island and Dad, two things that go very well together! Mom ended up getting some awesome new pj’s, perfume, and necklace. Dad got a rocking new esspresso maker and made some for all of us! It was truly a great Christmas morning. (also, his mustache is back…if anyone was wondering 😉 )

After our Cathony celebration, we headed home and  all took naps. We then headed over for round 4 of Christmas! The Rork Christmas! Nana, Papa, Megan, Pat and Al were all around to join in the festivities! Nana and Papa made an awesome roast, with tons of sides and drinks to go around!

Kaelyn opened up her big gift from Nana and Papa and it was her very own American Girl doll, Lanie!

Auntie Megan made Kaelyn and Lanie matching hats for the winter months!

During the BIG reveal! Ian and Gavin got their own Brio table and new track set from Nana and Papa!

The one and only time we will capture on camera the boys behaving so nicely and sharing.

Well Santa got a bit carried away. The boys love Toy Story and so does Mommy, so Santa decided to get them their awesome Buzz and Woody pjs for Christmas this year. He was able to find some Tangled jammies for Ms. Kiki too.

 

I’m almost finished wrapping up the end of the year posts. Just a few more to go and I’ll be all caught up! Next up blog: Downstate Springfield Trip to see Nana Nana and Papa Papa! We had a blast and are still full from all the eating we did down there 😉 Healthier foods and exercise are on our agenda in the new year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Christmas Eve 2010

Christmas Eve this year was quite fun. All the gifts were wrapped prior to the 24th so we spent the day before naptime watching A Muppet Christmas Carol and then The Nightmare Before Christmas. All three kids paid close attention to both, which was amazing of course because John and I actually got to sit down and relax! We napped (Daddy played computer games) and then got ready to go to my aunt and uncles house for our Polish Christmas celebration.

Wigilia (ve-gilia) means Christmas Eve and we start off by breaking our oplatki (kind of like communion waffers only square and thinner) with one another to wish each other a happy and prosperous new year. We then have a wonderful meat-less dinner (I read somewhere that Wigilia without fish would be the equivalent to a Thanksgiving without turkey) with kapusta and mashed potatoes, baked salmon, tilapia, pickled herring in vinegar and oil, salad, pierogi and other yummy items. There is always an extra place setting for the unknown traveler (reminding us of Mary and Joseph). At then end of the meal, my babcia walks around with poppy seed rice pudding (I know I know…interesting…) and you have to spoon yourself out as much as you want. The trick here is that if you take more, you have more luck during the coming year. The stuff is quite different in texture but you’ve gotta mussel it down because this is your only chance to eat some luck 😉 Well, at least until next year. My aunt did a great job hosting and my uncle kept the yummy bubbly stuff flowing. The cousins are great with the kids and they brought out a set of train tracks that kept the kids happy for hours. We had a great time!

Oplatki time!

Train tracks that kept them busy while the adults hung out. This is also as close to a family photo we got of them. Oh well.

Bajkowski Family Ladies

Bajkowski Family Men, notice Ian’s face…This was photo number 210 for this photo shoot 😉

G and Katie, opening presents. Kaelyn loafing on the ottoman.

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Running Behind

I know, I know. I said I would TRY to blog more. ‘Try’ being the key word here. The kids and the squirrels/mice have been keeping me busy! Halloween was so much fun this year. The kids had a bit of a cold and it was chilly outside on the 31st but we still made it around the neighborhood. Kaelyn trick or treated with her friend Marissa (all of those photos are on my MIL camera) and Ian kept up with them!

Monkey Gavin

Monster Ian

Asian Princess Kaelyn

Baga carved pumpkins with the kids. They chose to take home this pumpkin. Look at that detail! Good job Baga!

I carved this one for the kids. I learned from a master carver!

Gavin LOVED hanging with the pumpkin on the window sill.

I’ll update flickr with a lot more from Halloween. Happy Monday everyone!

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Halloween Part 1

On Wednesday the boys got to decorate sugar cookies, decorate cupcakes, eat mummy dogs, Halloween mac n cheese and watch It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown during their special Halloween party with Cameron (and Janine+Babybug Tummyhog).

*Sidenote: I have a strong hatred for homemade sugar cookies. The dough is awful to make, if you don’t work with it the right way it gets angry and breaks, and I generally use all of my patience during the day with the kids so  I bet you know where that is going I don’t have very much left to work with finicky dough. But Betty C. helped me Tuesday night *sound the angels singing* and things went SWIMMINGLY. (I pre-baked the cookies so they’d be ready for Wednesday just in case I decided to have a meltdown. I thought I’d prefer only John to see/hear my wrath if the dough decided it hated me.) John was certainly getting a kick out of it. I screamed/kicked/jumped every time I got a good cookie out of the dough! AND I GOT 32 cookies out of the batch!! WOOO!  At this point in my life it’s the little things that get me through 🙂

So we began icing our cookies first with Janine’s guidance and I worked on making some lopsided cupcakes! I enjoy my cupcakes lopsided, don’t you Convection oven cookers of America?!

Ian enjoyed icing his cookies!

Totally enjoying his cookie, pre-iced by mommy.

Slopping on his icing and grabbing another bottle to decorate THE SAME COOKIE!

Mummy Dogs for Lunch

FYI Make sure you have kitchen scissors to cut the dough, it makes the process MUCH faster when slicing the dough for the mummy wrap. Need the recipe, they are on Pillsbury’s website 🙂

Ian’s Cupcake…which then got gobbled up by Mac. The never-ending saga of my life… At least we got a picture of it!!

Stay tuned for parts 2 and 3 of Halloween fun! Kaelyn’s Halloween parade at school, pumpkin carving, and trick or treating! Woo!

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Apples and Pumpkins and Scarecrows, OH MY!

Lets just say we’ve been a bit busy the past few weeks.  And keeping up with everything has been a bit of a challenge since we were all hit with a lovely fall cold. Bring on flu season, we are prepared!

Last weekend was a bit of a chilly one here in Dundee. So of course we decided to take the sick kids to the apple orchard before all the apple were picked! We don’t let snot noses get in the way of a good old fashioned family fun weekend.  Janine, Ben and Cameron  came along for their first apple orchard adventure too! John drove our butts up to Royal Oak Apple Orchard in Hebron, IL and we got there at a perfect time! The chill was in the air so the sweatshirts/jackets were a must. We forgot our gloves at home but those would have kept our apple juicy hands from freezing off. The kids had a blast and the adults were treated to a lovely Dairy Mart lunch on our way home!

Getting ready to go to the field on their wagon

Ian loving his apple

 

Family photo op

Gavin got his chance to pick an apple

Kids got to ride on the tractor and that was probably their favorite part

Then on Sunday, after our birthday bagel/lox fest with my parents, we bundled up the kids and headed out to Goeberts to get our fall essentials. Essentials being: pumpkins, gourds, kettle corn, apple cider, apple cider doughnuts, indian corn and mums. The kids loved running around the fields and playing on the train, tractor, and other wooden objects.

 

Thing 1 and Thing 2

Thing 3

Snarfing down his kettle corn by the handful, he wouldn’t let me wipe his nose either. Ick.

He loves being with his sister, can you tell?

They (Kaelyn) wanted a photo with the pumpkin. Super Dad to the rescue!

 

This past weekend we headed to St. Charles for the Scarecrow Festival with Nana and Papa and the Flahertys. It was such a lovely weekend and the weather was PERFECT 🙂 Definitely good eating festival food and  looking at scarecrow weather! We didn’t bring our camera but Nana remembered. I’ll share them once we get a few of them from her.

 

Other than busy weekends we all have had some busy weeks too! John has been doing quite a lot at work, I’ve been trying to keep up with the boys/housework/life, Kaelyn is still liking school and has gone up a letter in her reading level (K), Ian has started working on reading/colors/numbers and loves to sit and color, and Gavin has become a monkey with the amount of climbing he does in a day. I won’t be surprised if he finds a way to climb on the ceiling.  Spider Pig anyone?! Not gonna lie, never had climbers before, he’s the worst to keep up with. I was “worried” when he wouldn’t walk. Now I’m worried he’s gonna be running faster than I can.

I also finally signed up Kae for gymnastics at Spring Hill Gymnastics. She couldn’t be more excited! Ian will also be taking his first structured class at SHG ever, and I’m nervous/excited. He doesn’t like to listen to us, but does listen to other people. Should be interesting to watch!

And there you have it. Busy busy busy!

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Oh September

Where did August go?! I’ve been lazy with my blogging and so many things have been going on. Writing is a bit of a release for me, so it’s very nice to be able to do it in a way that I will be able to look back and see all the fun events and memories we’ve had. This family is growing up. We’ve got a 1st grader, an almost 3 year old, and a 16 month old WALKER. Yes finally, those small weasley steps turned into a full-on run. Am I in trouble? Yes. Did I ask for it? Yes.

September is a wonderful month for us. The heat dies down so we can actually enjoy being in our house once again. Although, we won’t be taking the A/C units out just yet, I’m still waiting for one more little heat wave. Wishful thinking? Sigh. In 07′, just as I went to the hospital to have Ian, we got that lovely heat wave. Happy mommy, hot sweaty Ian. Poor guy has been a sweat box ever since. But we’ve got all our fall/winter clothes put in our drawers, with a few summer t’s at the top of our bins. The boys are set with clothes this year, minus a few things Ian will get for his birthday. I saved a boat load of Ian’s stuff when I found out we were having another monkey. And Kaelyn will always have more clothes than the boys. Because it’s a whole lot more fun to shop for her and with her. I have heard though, from miscellaneous sources (Mom), that girls get more difficult when they get older?! How true can that be. *handslapsface* Oh, karma…you are a bitch.

Kids:

Kaelyn is doing well in school.  She has had a bit of trouble following directions and keeping quiet when asked. She has had quite a few card changes from talking when she’s not supposed to. I know she is going to have to learn to keep her mouth zipped but she is so intelligent  and social that sometimes I think it’s hard for her to do. Her mind is working a million miles per second, always taking in everything and processing. It’s going to be a lot of hard work but fun work to keep her focused and interested in school. If anyone  has any suggestions on keeping her motivated, we are all ears! Kae also enjoys coming home to her brothers. It has been a fairly smooth transition for her with being at school all day with no down time to relax or play with her brothers. The boys seem to interact with Kae a lot better now too. I’m gonna keep my fingers crossed that Ian and Gavin have the same relationship with each other. She also lost another tooth 🙂

Ian, Ian, Ian. It has been a battle with EE for a while now. He knows he can say no and he uses it to the best of his ability. If I were grading him right now in his ability to say and use the word NO correctly, he’d be getting an A++ with extra credit points for all the times he makes me put him in his time-out chair. Was it this difficult with Kae? Yes. But it’s been 3+ years of not having to deal with it so I’m starting from scratch with this kid. His vocabulary has grown exponentially since he turned 2. I’m always amazed when he communicates with us at how precisely he says his words. No slurring his v’s, no s’ing his f’s. *sad face* No Ian-isms. No ‘Sive o Sive South Surst Street’ <—Genuine Kaelyn-ism. More on Ian next week for his 3rd birthday update.

Gavinator. Gavi-gav-sinosen. Baby. Lil’ Man. Bitty. Bubba. Tiny one. GG. NO NO BABY! Poor thing won’t ever know his real name. Gavin has been RUNNING throughout the house as of last week. And he’s been getting into a lot of trouble and making a lot of messes. I had to officially bring out “the grey gate” and it is now locking the children out of the rest of the house. The boys only have full rein of the living room and dining room. No kitchen, no den, NO STAIRS, NO BATHROOM. *crazy eye twitch* He says mama, dada, kitty (di), EE, Ki, nana, uh oh, NO, hi, om nom nom.  Gavin LOVES the cats. However, Cooper sees no need in liking Gav and Mac could care less about anything other than food. If Gav has food then Mac is his buddy and will wait under the high chair/table/ottoman for droppings. He’s on a one nap schedule with Ian, and they sleep from 11:30-12 until 2-2:30. That break in the day gives me a bit of a time to rest and recover from the early morning events. Waking up while it’s still dark is hard and I think this winter is going to royally suck for everyone involved.

Stove. Or technically speaking, Frigidaire Gallery 30″ Freestanding Gas Range In Stainless Steel – FGGF3041KF, arrived at 9:36 am on September 11, 2010. Weighing in at a whopping 217lbs, 30 inches wide and she is beautiful. And we will treasure her forever or until the first thing goes wrong and we get her replaced.

Other Happenings:

John and I saw John Mayer. I melted. We celebrated Megan’s 27th birthday at Ravinia last month. We saw Rodrigo y Gabriella under the lovely stars and perfect weather. Loads of cheese, meat, and wine were consumed by all.

Uncle Steve turned 2-0. Happy Birthday Brother/Uncle! We love and miss you! Can’t wait to see you soon! (the following photo is from 09′, perfectly shows what the kids are truly like-screamy, chill, picture perfect )

Ian’s 3 on the 22nd! John’s busy with work and has gotten a few other projects to keep him even more busy at home! I’ve been working newline at Gymbo which has allowed me to get out of the house for a few hours every month.  And that’s all folks! *Looney Tunes exit*

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