John and Dana

and our life with the munchkins!

Summer: Part 1

I left off with a post about birthdays and swim lessons. A few other things have happened but nothing of major substance for me to blog about. I recently took back my old position at Gymboree (one that I had back when I didn’t know I’d be a mom to 3 kiddlets). It’s been great getting out of the house, and doing something that I really do love. Yes, I admit it. I love retail. Roll your eyes πŸ™‚ And yes, there are times when I’ll complain about it but the flexibility it gives me to stay at home with the kids during the day is fantastic. Plus the clothes rock and so does my discount. So…I’ve been working 20-25 hours every week for the past 4-5 weeks and it’s been a huge adjustment. Hence my limited blogging/picture taking.

John has been a huge help to me by making dinner, getting kids to and from camp/swim lessons, and keeping the house tidy. With out that help, I’d be sunk. So, fair warning to anyone wanting to ‘drop by’. My house is a pit even with husband cleaning service, the laundry is about 3 loads behind most days, and sometimes dinner is just a frozen za because I can’t get off my tired rump to figure out a decent meal. I guess we’ll see how long it takes for me to adjust, I’m just glad I’ve got John here every step of the way. Funny how far 5 years of marriage have taken us.

The kids finished up swim lessons a few weeks ago. Gavin-major fail, Ian-minor fail, Kae-SO CLOSE to next level. And honestly, they just loved being in the water and mostly listened to their teachers instructions! That’s all I cared about. Not looking for 2012 Olympic swimmers in this household. I just want my kids to be kind and respectful to ANYONE who is teaching them something. The older two have that down. G-man needs some help but thankfully preschool will be starting and his teachers are wonderful yet don’t take crap from small people! Wahoo!

They then jumped into summer camps! Ian went Monday/Wednesday/Fridays (9am-11am) for 3 weeks, and Kae went for 2 whole weeks (9am-3pm). Both kids LOVED being in their structured environment, and it was super nice not hearing the whining of them both-IM BOOOOORRRREEEEDDDD. Gavin hung with me on the days when Ian and Kae were both in their camps, and we mostly shopped for groceries and got Jamba Juice. He loves his one on one time with us, but really did miss his siblings.

Currently we are knee deep in wedding season, so showers/bachelorette parties are upon us this week and next. I’ll try to get some posts with pictures up but I honestly don’t want to fish for the camera cable. Mamma is LAZY.

So that’s part 1. Part 2 will come at a later date. When…no promises πŸ˜‰

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Weekend Fun

We had a pretty busy weekend so far! Fun fair on Friday night at Dundee highlands was a blast! The kids ended up playing games, bouncing in the 3 bounce houses, and eating cotton candy/ice cream! All before dinner even. Lucky ducks. (photos to come, on dead ass camera…win)

Then Saturday Kae went to a friends birthday party and John and the boys and I hung at home for a bit. While we were making lunch, Gavin and I decided to do a bit of swinging on the swings.

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Then we all headed over to Nana and Papas house for a birthday celebration for Papa!

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And today John and I have been getting our yard ready for summer! We finally cleaned out the sandbox and the boys are SO excited to play in it once they wake up from their naps!

Happy Weekend everyone!

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Congratulations to the Newlyweds!

After a bit of a stressful week with the kids, John, Myself, Mom and Dad, were invited to share in witnessing the marriage of my childhood friend, Pam , to an amazing guy Rick. Pam’s parents went to elementary school with my parents, and have stayed close with a small group of friends ever since! The ceremony was beautiful, mother of the bride and mother of the groom both looked amazing, and Pam looked stunning walking down the aisle with her dad. I couldn’t help myself, the blubbery cry came out, but I couldn’t control myself. *Blubbering as we speak*

The beautiful bride and her dad!

My mom and dad enjoying themselves during the anniversary dance.

You are the Dancing Queen, young and sweet, only seventeen!

We had so much fun celebrating with the newlyweds last night, John and I didn’t even get a photo together. We tend to forget about things like that. Especially when we are all gussied up in our finest πŸ™‚

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South Carolina 2010

This year we went to Seabrook Island, South Carolina for a week-long relaxing and rejuvenating beach vacation. We tend to go there fairly often because we love it so very much. The island is private, and there are no major hotels or hot spots so it’s a very quiet and calm place to be. My parents are owners of some land on the island so we go and rent a home for a week, dreaming of what life will be like when they build or buy! Dreams do come true, people! We’ve got proof πŸ˜‰

We left Friday at 5:30am, and were in S.C. by Saturday. There was a minor glitch though, the kids (after riding in the car for 13 hours) decided they didn’t really want to sleep in the hotel. Sorta crappy, we mostly felt bad for the people around us who had to listen to insane-o shrieking from the G-Man. But we got up BRIGHT AND EARLY, and got back into the car for day 2 of driving. Once we got to Seabrook, some genius plowed into the generator and knocked out power to the whole island. Well at that time, we had 2 cars full of groceries from Costco, 3 gangry and antsy kids, and 4 hot adults having to move loads upon loads of luggage from the car to the hot-house. Did I mention that South Carolina gets hot but in a muggy, suck the air right out of you, way? Oh well, there. It does. And we love it. And we go back almost every year! So we bitched but dealt with it. Cause WE WERE ON VACATION DAMN-IT!

All the kids: Josh,Me, Kae, Zach, Ian and Steve.

My parent’s long-time friends, Jim and Marsha Blake and their 2 kids Zach and Josh, also joined us on the vacation. And they brought with them the A/C, cause the second my parents and the Blakes came in with 100lbs of ice to keep the food chilled, the electricity came back on. So it goes. So it goes.

Jim, Marsha, Dad and Mom- Jim and my dad have been friends since Elementary school.

We drank. We ate way too much food. We crispified our bodies on the beach, then we tanned. We swam. We ate. We drank. And drank some more. Did I mention the drinks there are always better than back home? Yes? Oh ok. Well they are! We also rented bikes. John pulled Kae on the tag-a-long(she has no sense of balance so this was hard!!), and I pulled Ian and Gavin in the Burley Trailer. Let me just say once that I enjoyed every minute of pulling what seemed like 800lbs of bricks on a no-gear bike, on the beach, into the wind, barefoot, uphill, and in the snow. Nevermind. It seriously was so much fun! The kids loved every minute of every single day. Zach and Josh were like built-in buddies, who each took a kid and played with them until they were completely exhausted. Ian became so attached that all he could ask when we were coming back home was, “Where is Mr. Zach? Where is Mr. Josh? Where are Jim and Marsha?”

Gavin enjoying some Sticky Fingers. I have never seen a more spotless rib bone. He’s a pro.

Kaelyn with her Baga.

Ian pointing at something. (Helicopter, Fighter Jets, Boats, Bridge?! Could have been any or a combo of those.) Charleston Air Force Base Β practice a lot, and we get to watch!

We also had another vacationer with us. Steve flew in on Sunday night! He had to work the weekend but then was able to get a few days off to enjoy the S.C. sun and of course golf courses. The kids were absolutely devastated when he left Thursday, but knowing he’s at home for a few more weeks made it all better. (Steven goes to Eastern Kentucky University, and is in the PGM program…aka…GOLF GOLF and MORE GOLF are in his agenda at all times.)





Baked French Toast!

Did I mention anything about food yet? Oh I guess I’ll do that. So Jim/Marsha/Mom/Dad are foodies. We ate something amazing for breakfast almost every day. French Toast, Bacon, Biscuits and Gravy, Fruit Salad, Blueberry Pancakes, Ham and Egg bake, Bagels, and Eggs. Dinner’s consisted of Burger Night, Mexican Night, Italian Night, and then Sticky Fingers BBQ and Seafood at the Crab Shack on Folly Beach! Other nights were left-overs and John and I even got out to Charleston to eat at the Noisy Oyster!


On our last day , Friday, everyone went on a bike ride then headed to the beach for some crabbing. Not cranky crabbing. CRABBING CRABBING. Standing in knee-deep water with twine and chicken necks on a crabbing hook in one hand and net in the other, CRABBING. Very relaxing and infuriating at the same time. Right Dad?! *crazy gleam in his eye*

Mmm, we’re gonna eat you now. *Crabby wouldn’t let go of the tongs, I think she was a bit pissed*

And that was it. We packed up Friday night, cleaned out the fridge, loaded the cars and were out the door Saturday morning by 9am! John drove the whole way home and we got back by 4:30am on Sunday! The last few hours through Indiana made us go a little crazy and I think my dad wanted to shoot us. But staying in a hotel sucks for us. The kids slept in the car and I was co-pilot/flight attendant. We drank a lot of coffee πŸ™‚ And talked about a lot of useless things. But we had fun. And that’s all that matters. Happy Vacation!

This week is going to be all about getting re-acclimated to our house, getting the cat’s back into a normal routine (they were P-I-S-S-E-D when we came home), and we have a wedding to go to on Friday for my childhood friend Pam!

*The photos I have up on the blog are from round 2 of uploading, round 1 is on John’s laptop. Once I figure out how to get those onto the family comp, I’ll upload um to Flickr*

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Oops…I Did It Again

Yeah, I know. *Bad Dana* slaps hand. Things have been fairly busy around here.

Fourth of July was a nice 4 day weekend for John, so we had a smallish BBQ with friends and neighbors. We then headed to Sleepy Hollow fireworks with Dane and Alex. (MyΒ Our camera’s batteries are rechargeable, and yes…the charger is missing…) It’s time to go out and buy one because I will not miss out on cute family moments in South Carolina next week.

Yup, S.C. Can’t WAIT! The kids have been asking every day this week if we were leaving in the morning. We’ve got a house-sitter lined up so our kitty meows don’t get lonely. It will keep Auntie Meg happy too πŸ™‚

Potty Training is stinking. The boy-child feels no need to go since he can go in his pull-up. I think we’ll let it be this next 2 weeks then jump back in full force on August 1st. Check back soon, I may update. #justkidding

I’m hoping to avoid the internets this vacation and focus on family and fun. I might get a bit of blogging in there, but I’m not sure if John will share his laptop with his big huge project going on. πŸ™‚ Maybe we’ll forget the laptop completely! Oh who am I kidding. We both have iPhones that are attached to our palms at all times. Ha.

Hmm…what else am I forgetting. Oh well. When I figure it out, maybe I’ll blog.

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Good Morning, America! Live from…

WEST DUNDEE! Yup, that’s right, Folks. Our block (S. 2nd Street) was chosen by Good Morning America to be the host/winner of “The Best Block in America” contest. We had to be down on 2nd Street by 5:30am, since taping began at 6am sharp! There were tons of things going on, like the Cotton Candy, and Popcorn machine which makes its appearance at every ANNUAL block party, hosted by Liberty Street. There was also the donut on a string game, bike parade, and water balloon toss which eventually turned into a water balloon fight πŸ™‚

Just chilling on the block πŸ™‚ Dane and Kara, fellow West Dundee-ian’s, joined us for the festivities. And the Foley’s came too! Bella and Coda, “the girls”, were so well-behaved. I think they knew they could be on t.v.

Mr. G-Man was just relaxing and enjoying his early morning t.v. appearance.

Cameron Matheson, Mr. Hottie McHotpants, starting off the bike parade with a few of the mom’s from the ‘hood.

Grrr πŸ™‚ Sorry, John.

Kae and John trying to get a good view of Rocco Dispirito cooking.

Donut on a string game. Cameron lost. Kid in Red shirt-Win.

Ian enjoying his early morning cotton candy fix. That also ended up in Kaelyn’s ponytail. That was an experience I never want to go through again πŸ˜›

Water Balloon Toss!

Ian clearly trying to pop the water balloon and Kaelyn patiently waiting for him to toss it.

What a fun way to start off the day! Kaelyn went to camp following the block party and the boys were hyper-active creatures. It really was fun πŸ™‚ You can click http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/SummerConcert/west-dundee-illinois-wins-good-morning-america-best/story?id=11055542 on this to view one of the interviews.

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Sorry All

Woah, it’s been 1 full week since I posted anything about my weasel children and hubs. Lets see, oh there it is…Bullet List Option…NOW

  • Monday- We rested up from a somewhat eventful weekend (John and I saw Billy Elliot on Saturday and Jackson’s 1st Birthday party on Sunday) and headed over for some leftovers at the Foleys, yum yum!
  • Tuesday- Kaelyn started swim lessons! She’s a natural! Just trying to get out of level 2 and into level 3!
  • Wednesday- Uneventful
  • Thursday- Swim lessons again AND Kaelyn lost her top front tooth! She’ll be a jack-o-lantern in October for sure!
  • Friday- Was John first official Friday off, thanks to the awesomeness of his job. We hung out all day, he went grocery shopping and got stuck in the freakishly windy downpour. Scott and Katie German came over to relax and chat.
  • Saturday- The kids went to the Liberty Street Block party with Nana and Papa, and completely had a blast! Gavinator was with me out shopping so he missed all the fun. There is always next year on the “Best Block in America”. http://www.dailyherald.com/story/?id=389270 (daily herald article about the contest winners…it doesn’t surprise me that they won, just knowing all the parents I have come in contact with in the past year, they all rock!)
  • Sunday– Fathers Day! John took his dad and bro out for breakfast and then we went to Babcia and Dziadzia’s for dinner! Very nice and very relaxing. Also we watched our friend Dane (short story: so Dane went to school in L.A., graduated, has an awesome job playing keyboards for Selena Gomez in her band The Scene, and had to travel to Budapest to shoot a music video in one day. Insane right?!)in Selena Gomez and The Scenes new music video “Round and Round”. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfcvO2t8Ntg (he’s in the car in the beginning, the waiter, maybe running too, and of course on the keys)Too proud of him, too excited for him, and he’s a humble guy too.
  • Yesterday- Gavin broke out into a crazy rash, Ian is a full-blown terrible 2 mess, and Kaelyn was a bit of a meanie. We all have those days. I forgive them. I also went to bed early.
  • Today- Hung around the house, went to the park with Jen and Jackson, sweated to death at the park with J and J, then came home to unwind with some freeze pops. Freeze pops make everything better πŸ™‚

And one more thing, Ian is in full-blown potty training mode! He loves going, seeing himself pee (sorry if that TMI), and getting his treat after he goes! Its only been a week, but he’s definitely catching on. I think it may be time to bring the toddler bed over from Maga and Baga’s! Woo hoo! Go Ian!

I honestly don’t have any pictures from the past week. Bad Mom *slaps hand*, I’ll try to do better this week.

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All grown up…sorta

We have never met a more awesome bunch of people, THE FOLEYS! (for those who don’t know them, they are our neighbors across the street) Mr. Jackson was born June 1st Β 2009 and has become one of the kids favorite little guys to play with! Yesterday we went to Jackson’s 1st Birthday party with a sweet firefighter theme! All the kids were given a firefighter hat, and they had an awesome bounce house to keep the kids happy πŸ™‚

In the bouncy house! Gavin had NO interest in getting in the crazy bounce house, but Jackson was clearly having a blast!

Jackson’s sweet smash cake!

Blowing out his candle with Mom and Dad.

Yummy red icing!

All of us parents didn’t expect this but ALL THE KIDS KEPT STILL! Woo for cute group photos! All of Jackson’s friends and cousins!

Also in other news, we have started potty training with Ian! And he is doing great! They (experts, random people on the street…) say that potty training boys is much worse than potty training girls. We have already gotten over a fear of pooping on the pot, that a boy πŸ™‚ I have yet to catch a photo of him sitting in the bathroom but I’ll be sure to post asap!

Things we having going on this week:

  • Kaelyn is starting swim lessons again at Sleepy Hollow Pool.
  • Toy Story 3 comes out on Friday, which will be Ian’s first movie in a theatre.
  • Fathers Day (possible bbq?!)

Not too much but enough to make things interesting, right?!

And here they are this morning, “sharing”. Gavin has learned how to climb onto the couch from the floor or the bench…then he just flounders around on top of us. It’s fun. Ian is very tolerant.

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Boys Will Be Boys

Hmm…I never truly understood that statement until Ian was born. Kaelyn was always a sweet, calm and very independent little girl. She has since grown out of the calm stage but has gained so much more maturity in these past 6 years. I mean, come on, she’s going be a FIRST GRADER next year! Woo Hoo!

Now Ian, lets just say he’s testing my patience. He’s a very loud, rough and tumble sort of kid. We always joke that he will be the first to have a broken bone (knock on wood PLEASE) or join wrestling in middle school just to pummel kids down. But seriously, he loves to test his limits and tries to get away with anything he wants to. Well today we had our friend Jackson over to play for a bit, and Ian decided that eating sand wasn’t enough…He needed to throw it up in the air to try and catch it in his mouth?! I say it like that because SERIOUSLY?! He’s gonna send me to the crazy house. I can’t wrap my mind around the insanity coming out of his little brain. Oh well… Here’s some pictures. And hopefully a nap for the boys will cure them of all their crazy thoughts.

Also, 1-year-olds love climbing large slides that are taller than their mothers. And usually get stuck near the top hoping for a rescue. Geesh. (no pictures of that today…next time I’ll keep the camera around my neck)

Getting each of their own toys in their own corners. Sharing is a rare happening these days, at least for my boys. Jackson was very generous in his sharing today.

Ian, after whipping his sister in the face with a shovel full of sand. It never fails to have a camera ready to capture such precious moments in life… smoke coming out of my nostrils and snarls out of my mouth

Kaelyn has mastered the monkey bars at home AND at the park! “Mom! Take a picture!”

Mr. Jackson was hanging out watching everyone and everything. What a cutie pie πŸ™‚

Ah, the sand munchers. I’m pretty certain I said “NO, DONT EAT THE SAND” to both boys about 2o times. Ah, Boys will be boys. (but very cute boys indeed)

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Lions and Tigers and Monkeys and Snakes…

Yesterday was Gavinators 1st Birthday party! Our family and friends helped us throw him a wonderful birthday party! This blog will mostly be pictures…I’m very sleeeeeepy today.

Ian, Cameron, and Jackson all hung out together in the sandbox! Making sandcastles, and filling buckets kept them busy for hours!

Mom, Dad, Dziadzia, Nana Jean, Aunt Gail, Uncle John and Matt hanging out watching G-$ open his gifts. Uncle John was the only one who got the picture memo.

Gavin got lots of fun toys and fun clothes to wear! Here he is modeling his Toy Story shirt.

He had everyone sing Happy Birthday and Sto Lat (Polish version of Happy Birthday). He was very happy afterwards!

His birthday theme was animals, so the cake had a Lion (just like his invitation), Alligator, Tiger, Snake, Elephant and Giraffe all on a big number 1!!

He got a few nice handfuls of icing including the elephant and a green balloon! Mmmm! He wiped a lot of it on himself though, then realized the yum factor of icing!

Yum-o!!

He got to eat off most of the icing from his legs and hands.

And that was Kaelyn’s piece of cake!

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