John and Dana

and our life with the munchkins!

Easter Weekend 2011

We had a fairly eventful weekend starting with a day off on Good Friday! John was home and the kids absolutely loved it! I’m boring, he’s not….I’m the mean one, he’s not….I see a pattern forming. Womp womp. Such is life. So the kiddos played games, played on the iPad (John got one from work the other week, the kids LOVE it), and watched a few tv shows on netflix in the morning. Then they went with Nana, Papa and Uncle Pat to the Rainforest Cafe and to get new shoes (for their Easter present).



iPad time for Gavin

Game time for Kae and Ian. He LOVED playing this with his big sister. She was fairly patient with him.

Mac had a relaxing day on Kaelyn’s American Girl Doll bed. Kit and Martha (her dolls) were not pleased.

Holy Saturday was a bit of a blur. The kids went with my mom and brother to my Babcia and Dziadzias house in Niles to color easter eggs and go to the easter basket blessing. They had a blast and were completely exhausted by the time they came home. John and I spent the day shopping for our Easter dinner and cleaning for our guests! This was my first official hosting of a holiday and it honestly couldn’t have gone any smoother. I pre-made a bunch of stuff so that I would have more time to spend with family on Easter morning.

Easter table. It was fun to put together!

Easter Egg hunt at Babcia and Dziadzias Easter morning

Not really in focus but he was focused on getting his eggs. Uncle Steve helped him and cousin Matt helped Ian out.

Ian having a blast

Bunny Katie (my cousin) and Bunny Kaelyn

Dziadzia loves the easter egg hunt! He’s very helpful too! I just love this photo so much.

All done with the hunt so now it’s time to chow down on all the goodies.

Drippy nose, drippy chocolate= Gavin

Of course, can’t put the candy down at all. Must keep it near him at all times. The kids are finally coming down off of their sugar high. Finally.

We came home after breakfast and tried to get the kids to rest but that didn’t happen. So then began our second event of the day, Easter dinner with the Rorks and Cathonys. It was very nice to be home and with family. The kids got their hunt on AGAIN while I got dinner set on the table.

Papa was helping get the hard to reach eggs for the older 2.

He ran all over the yard.

Kae filled her basket (14 for each kid max) so she was helping Ian find his eggs. He was so excited!

AMeat Trifecta- Ham, Turkey AND Polish Sausage (fresh and smoked).

Because 1 9lb ham isn’t enough, we needed to make a whole turkey and 2 links of sausage. I blame my mother for my feeding people skills. The leftovers have been quite tasty. 😉

Now I’m sure you are wondering why I put this picture up. Other than it being hilarious and blurry (sorry…). My cousin Collette (up front) and my lovely friend Katie (trying to grab the bouquet out from under Collette) both have/had things happen to them this weekend/week. Collette got ENGAGED on Saturday to the love of her life Jeff. And Katie is getting married this weekend to the love of her life Steve! I love them both dearly and am so happy for both of them! Can’t wait to celebrate with Katie/Steve this weekend and with Collette/Jeff AND another special couple whom want to remain incognito until all family is notified in the next year! Woo!

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I know…I know…

Sigh. Can you say un-motivated?!

Plenty of things to update, not enough hours in the day. Well I’ve had my gallon of coffee this morning so my fingers are a bit jumpy and ready to type away furiously.

When we left off, Kaelyn just turned 7. Big girl, I know. She has been excelling in school, jumping reading levels in her reading group. She is reading at a high 2nd grade level and she is loving all the work that goes along with it. She really enjoys riding on her razor scooter and it’s been helping her balance A LOT. We will be riding our bike without training wheels in NO TIME. I know I know…we haven’t been the greatest teachers in the bike riding aspect but HEY she can read at nearly a 3rd grade level, BOOYA. They are also working on a money/coins unit in school so I think John and I will be starting chores and allowance with her. She will learn how to manage her time and money and get to buy fun things if she does what she needs to get done! Exciting! School is almost over (6 weeks…WHO’S COUNTING……….) and then we will be doing swimming lessons and possibly a summer camp or 2. Kaelyn has been getting a bit more emotional, not certain if it’s just her personality or the fact that she has been exhausted and still waking up at the butt crack of dawn to read. In any case, she’s been a bit snarky and moody (like her mama) and hasn’t been playing well with the boys (although Ian knows how to get under peoples skin…more on that LATER). So it’s been a bit of a struggle these past few days but having the kids playing outside has done wonderful things to their moods.

Now onto Ian. Ian Ian Ian. He’s a very cautious yet stubborn child these days. Terrific Threes anyone?! Geez, I forgot all about that (maybe pushed it out of my brain once Kaelyn passed this level). He is such a good natured kid but damn it, when he doesn’t get his way, he’s P-I-S-S-E-D. Which then results in a screaming match and a nice long time out. Sorry to anyone who walks by our house when there is a time out in process, I’m not strangling cats, it’s just Ian. Using his lungs to their full and wonderful potential. He usually gives up after 2 minutes and then sits quietly til his 3rd minute is over. He loves trucks and cars and things that move. He is a splitting image of his Uncle Pat (John’s brother). Only, thankfully, Pat has gotten over his temper tantrums 😉 He’s 17. THERE IS HOPE! Ian will be starting preschool in the fall and I think he is completely ready for it. We will be getting him signed up for a preschool camp this summer as well as swimming lessons. Wish us luck!

And last, but not least, Gavin. Gavie, GG, G$. He’s got quite a few nicknames that we all call him when we need him. GG is probably my favorite and G$ is just silly. He is mischievous and is also the biggest button pusher we know. He bothers his siblings to no end and when you least expect it, he does it again!! He takes toys, he steals food, he does just about everything and anything to bother them. Yet they still let him play and hopefully G will learn from them (and us) what is right and what is wrong. But for an almost 2 year old, he is pretty sharp. His talking is getting a lot better, he is starting to string together 2 words, like Bye Truck, Hi Cat, Hi *insert sibling*. He loves to play outside and chase his siblings. They love running away so it’s a great compromise. He is terrible in the sandbox, loves to whip sand and dump it in the grass. Hopefully by the end of this summer he will understand that if he continues to dump it, there won’t be any sand to play with!

And no. I don’t have ANY new photos. Seriously. Depressing. *slap on the hand*

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Oh Goodness

Far too many things have happened and I haven’t blogged them (shame on me):

Groundhogs Day Blizzard– yeah…that happened. John got 2 days off from work and Kiki got 2 days off from school. The boys, well, they just hung out like any other day!

Our House-during our big dig out

The kids in front of the neighbors 5 ft fence, I guess the snow drift was close to 4 feet here at the bottom of the driveway.

Goofball, on top of snow mountain. (I love her jack-o-lantern smile)

Always Helping

Our Snowmound


Next: Kaelyn’s 7th Birthday! Chicka turned 7 on March 10th and she didn’t let ANYONE forget 🙂 Her family party was on the 6th and it was American Girl themed. Kaelyn is very much into American Girl right now, she currently has Lanie and Kit which were gifts from Nana/Papa and Maga/Baga, along with a bunch of their accessories including pets. She also has my Girl of Today, Samantha and Kirstin. So basically, we can say she is ALL SET. Now for future gifts, we plan to purchase clothing and accessories.

Kaelyn’s Samantha Cake

Lanie on one of her birthday cards, I love her face. This is just so KAELYN. 🙂

Gavin in the best seat of the house, on Papa’s shoulders of course.

Too Sweet to not post, she was so excited!

For her actual birthday Kaelyn requested a ‘White cake with pink frosting with white piping and writing on it saying Happy 7th Birthday Kaelyn‘. I improvised.

She didn’t seem to mind.

Ian enjoying cake.

Gavin without a care in the world, all he needs and wants is CAKE.

Kaelyn got a nightgown from Mom and Dad, and Kit got a matching one. She also got a fold out trundle bed that sleeps 2-3 dolls. Perfect for Kaelyn’s dolls 🙂

Last: IT’S MID-MARCH!! Which means we are super-d-duper busy here in the Rork household!

We are…

Spending time in time-outs…

Dressing our dolls…

Licking our plates clean…


Dressing our cats in miniature leprechaun hats!!



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To Great-Grandmothers House We Go!

Well, we really call them Nana Nana and Papa Papa but I thought that was a cute title! Gotta keep it creative here people! Just kidding. So we recovered from our busy Christmas weekend by driving down to Springfield to see John’s grandparents. We hadn’t seen them since July 09′ so it was well over due, and it worked out perfectly with everyone being free to join! We left around nap time for the boys and got there 4 hours later, definitely not a tough trip for us (South Carolina is 19+hrs) road warriors. It was so nice to see them and Nana Nana made tons of food and Papa Papa showed Ian and Gavin his tractors! They were in heaven!

We were bad about taking photos this round. We enjoyed everyone’s company so much that I think we just forgot to whip out the camera.

Reading a book and keeping himself busy.

Listening to Daddy talking.

Megan and  Aunt Mari

She was going to steal his blanket…and he loved it. Nana and Nana Nana

We brought down the box Brio tracks (they come with a Tupperware snap n go lid…ROCKIN) and the kids played for hours.

Ian with one of Papa Papa’s small tractors.

We don’t travel light. We had our pack n play, everyone’s blankets, a suitcase and a duffel bag. Along with Pillow Pets and Lanie, we needed to roll our crap up and down through the hotel. Gavin just decided he had enough so he hopped on.
John and I also got the chance to visit the new Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. That man was one amazing guy and the artifacts and exhibits were very special to see. The have a trip through his boyhood years and a trip though the presidential years to his assassination. One of Four of his stovepipe hats is there, and a lot of other cool Lincoln artifacts. We are planning a summer trip to see Nana Nana and Papa Papa and all the Lincoln sites! (no camera’s allowed in the exhibits so we decided to leave the camera at home for this trip)

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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Birthday Activities for the Ian-miester

So yesterday we had a bit of a cranky day with the boys, we left the house in the morning to drop off Kaelyn then just hung out inside. I was able to bake a cake for Ian who requested Chocolate Chocolate BIG cake. I tend to make cupcakes just because it is easy to do and to serve to the little ones. But birthday boy REQUESTED a BIG CAKE and I had time to make it.

For dinner we made homemade pizza crusts and the kids (and John and I) made our own pizzas!

Snarfing down some pepperoni before he decided to put it on his pizza

Watching what K was doing

Ian’s Creation

K’s creation with that crazy smile

Birthday boy blowing out his candle on his BIG CAKE

Thumbs up! Birthday was a success!

Next is his party! Can’t wait to see his face when he see’s his REALLY BIG CAKE 🙂

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Today is Ian Michael’s 3rd birthday! He woke up at the crack of dawn and has been going going GOING (“napping” wasn’t in the birthday boy’s agenda) all day! He may fall asleep in his cake tonight. Oh well, it’s all for fun!

Update: Can’t seem to find actual birthday pictures, hoping to find some and post sooner or later!

September 22, 2007 – Ian Michael Rork 7lbs 4oz, 19in @ 4:14pm (4 is his lucky number!)

October 4, 2007- a few weeks old

October 11, 2008- Before we took binky away his teeth came in super high, and he preferred one side than the other.

September 24, 2009- Who do you think he looks like?! Rork or Cathony?

September 19, 2010

Happy Birthday to one of the smartest, sweetest, kind-hearted kids I know. Ian sure is a handful a lot of the time but who could blame him!? He’s gotta keep up with Kaelyn and make sure Gavin doesn’t steal his thunder. 🙂 He loves his trucks, trains, planes, t.v. time, sleeping at night, and wrestling with daddy! We head to the Dr. on Friday to find out his stats!

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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.


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*