Thursday, June 30, 2011

This Morning I Wrestled Yellow Jackets To Save My Babies..... I Am Wonder Woman..

Why do I ever try to do "outdoor house stuff"? It never turns out well. I kill anything I plant, I'm a klutz so I hurt myself easily, much to Billy's amusement. Today I went to open the shorties' window because our flag got caught on the bar and Billy hasn't touched it all week. I raise the window, hit a nest of yellow jackets, they attack me, I run out screaming (I'm sure I was quite the sight!) and slammed the door. Somehow I only got stung once, but I stood in the hallway trying to figure out how I was going to bee-whisper a pack of pissed off bees back outside before nap time. (See, I am no good outside....)

So Aaron and Olivia took Emi and Simon downstairs to occupy them and Kevin and I tried to figure out how I was going to do this. (Did I mention that Kevin is the biggest bee chicken I have ever seen??!? Runs and screams like a girl while his sister just stands there... Yeah, I was really planning well...) So I decide to go in with spray and kill.them.all. Kevin's only job was to open the door to let me out when I yelled. Lucky for me, and I am so lucky, the bees had gone back to their nest, none of them were flying in the room. I emptied the can, slammed the window shut, and ran out. :) Whew.... Not a good start to my day. Then of course, I must relay my death-defying maneuvers to my sitting in his air conditioned quiet office husband...

Me: "Do you have a sec, I need to tell you how awesome I am."

Billy: "Umm, sure..."

Me: "I came home, decided to get the flag down and low and behold, a big bees nest is on the side of the window. Bees are hitting me and I am screaming and running. Olivia and Aaron took the shorties and Kevin and I formed the plan. I mean I need that room for nap, I couldn't lock it until you came home."

Billy: "No, are you ok?"

Me: "Yeah, I mean we were lucky, I thought they'd be all over the room."

Billy: "Have you done anything to the sting?"

Me: "No, I was saving the Ryann clan! (must be dramatic here, I only get so many of these!) While you're all making phone calls and sitting in your downtown office, I am Wonder Woman here."

Billy: "Yes you are. Take care of my wife now."

Umm, that's it? No promise of jewels??? Not even a Bedazzled red cape??? Sigh....  :)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

It's Time For The Boys' Annual Birthmom Letter...

My two oldest boys were adopted through a private agency. One of their requirements is that from 0-12 years of age, the adoptive parents must send a letter and pictures to the agency for the birth parents. I'll never know if they are read, they just hold them if the birth parents do choose to ask for them. When we were going through the adoption process, I was a little hesitant to start the first letter (they were monthly the first year) because I was worried that somehow they would want them back, did I want to share these first steps, words, etc. But then I realized that I did want to share. I wanted them to see how big the boys were getting, how healthy and happy they were. I wanted them to be at peace and if looking at the boys grow up helped, then I was all for it. Let's face it, the hardest decision this birth mom ever had was to give up her babies. She was a single mom with two girls and struggling. She was warm and sweet when we met and we will always be so grateful to her. She is a part of our extended family.....

So I better get moving on the letter, an added bonus is I get to look back at the past year and all that the boys accomplished. Have a good one....

Sunday, June 26, 2011

It's Official, Billy Is Now 40.... And I Am Not... :)

My dear hubby has hit the big 4-0. Alone of course, I am still a young and vibrant 39 year old. I must say, he has taken it rather well, most men do, I think. You know, they're now "distinguished" and we are old, wrinkly, and saggy. Sigh.... I think the day went well. We started it off with the family run. Now, I would NEVER make that a request on my birthday, but different strokes for different folks, right? We did 2.25 miles, which for this group wasn't too shabby. Our next run is the 5K on the 4th of July. Pray for me, I am no runner. Pray for Billy who had the great idea and will be pushing the 100 + pounds of shorties and stroller the entire route.


And after... Look at that sweat!

We hit Pappadeux for lunch, they're very careful with their menu and people coming in needing to stay gluten free. It was delicious as always, and I noticed that Simon and Emi were real little people in the restaurant. No screaming or having food packed in the diaper bag. It was a nice lunch and Billy seemed to enjoy it. Afterwards, Marble Slab (who needs cake?!) and we headed home for presents and the shorties needed a nap.

This morning (Billy's actual birthday) we got up, did a Sunday donut and breakfast taco run and kept it simple.

Simon's first trip inside the Krisy Kreme...
Now it's almost 2pm and Billy is sitting outside in the heat overseeing Olivia's lemonade stand. They're set up across the street from the neighborhood pool. Olivia has been planning this for weeks, keeps a notebook and "hired" the boys to assist. It's really cute to see my sweet capitalist working away. She says she is saving up for an iTouch. We'll see.

I have a mountain of laundry to deal with and two hyper little ones running up and down the stairs. I should get moving....

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Emi Has An Appoinment For A Botox Shot. I Feel Like A Toddler and Tiara Mom...

Well, yesterday Emi had an appointment with a neurologist. Up until now both kiddos have been under a pediatric plastic surgeon for the torticollis and physical therapy. So at 2 1/2, Simon has really improved, his head shape is normal and his head tilt is pretty much nonexistent. But Emi still has this slight head tilt and I just wasn't sure that the PT was doing anything more. I loved the ped neurologist, he had a great bedside manner and was so good with her. I don't know what it is, but in my experience with neurologists, they tend to be so serious and cerebral, they're really crappy to talk to. I like to be able to chat with my doctors. For years I had a great neurologist that would tolerate my crazy. (I have mild epilepsy, basically as long as I am medicated, nothing happens. It doesn't even register on a EEG test.) I would go in and tell him we had to hurry and ween off my meds because my eggs were drying up. :) His retirement was a sad day for me. Needless to say my current one is very nice, but we do not discuss my egg situation. :)

Sorry, that has nothing to do with Emi. So he told me that she has been misdiagnosed with Torticollis, she actually has Laterocollis (different neck muscles basically) and they treat with Botox injections. I kid you not. They inject the strong muscle and "freeze" it so the weaker muscles have to kick in and strengthen. (and yes, I totally asked if the moms get the left overs, waste not, want not. :) So she is scheduled for September, and we will see how freaked out I get by then. I have been told by several doctors about this, the PT too, but I'm not totally cool with injecting a toxin in my 2 year old. Here's a pic where you can see the tilt pretty well. It does tend to show up more when she's tired...

In other news, Billy is turning 40 this weekend. I'm not sure if he dreads it as much as I do. See, when he ages, I follow 2 months later. And I don't do well with age. I know it's silly, but I hate it. I plan on wearing head to toe black on my 40th, if I even admit to the event occurring. But this weekend we are diet free. He wants to eat at Pappadeux and Marble Slab for dessert. No arguments from me. I just need to get on the ball and start wrapping presents.

I haven't worked out in a week. I just can't get out to the gym with everyone home for summer. We did run on Father's Day and of course, we have another family run this weekend (he asks for the STRANGEST things for gifts!!!) So I am exercising, just not the crazy intensity I was during May. I actually miss it. Don't tell anyone....

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Dog Days Of Summer... Seriously, We're Melting Here...

So we're knee deep in summer around here. Regularly hitting 100 degrees and up and it's June. I thought summer was all about slowing down, lounging by the pool, etc. I feel like everything is actually speeding up. So today is kind of nice, we only have physical therapy for the shorties today and beyond that, NOTHING. Ahhhhhh..... The big kids are building some big fort and prepping for their weekend lemonade stand. :) So laundry and soon naptime.

Tomorrow Emi has an appoinment with the ped neurologist. He is going to take a look at her neck and see if any more therapy is going to help her neck tilt. (from the infant torticollis) She has really gotten so much better, I am excited to hear what he thinks. Downside is the 8am appt downtown. All 5 kids in tow. Pray for me. Billy will take my car though and drop us off. That way I don't worry about parking, he just parks in his parking garage and comes to get us when we're done. Lots of perks to his office being downtown. And I can't forget the Starbucks he always returns with.... :)

My sister is coming in from CA today. Sister in the sense that I don't remember life without her around. She met my mom when she was 15 and needed guidance. Here we are decades later and we're still family. :) She is coming to visit my mom in the nursing home, she hasn't seen her there and then a quick visit with my brood, and then she is off again.

I'm going to leave you with a quick video of Emi and Simon singing because they're so cute and I can't help it... (ignore the missing pants, we're STILL potty training...)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day At The Ryann's.....

We started it off like this:

How's that for a wake up??
Then, per the man of honor's annual request, we hit the streets for the annual family run. This year we're actually starting the train for the neighborhood 5K in a few weeks. So we did a mile and a 1/2 and it was HOT. Today we're supposed to hit 103 and I don't doubt it. Now, are we going to be able to run the 5K? I haven't a clue. But Billy did not drop from a heart attack from pushing 100 pounds of toddlers and a stroller, so it was a success. :) Good news for me, it was a pretty easy run. Guess that trainer-abuse is working... :)

After he opened gifts, we got ready to grill and Kevin was in charge. So cute!!!

My dad came over and we ate until we could eat no more. The kids showed their Pawpaw the golf game on the Wii, that's how you play golf when it's 100 degrees outside. :)

I hope your day was spent with family and enjoyed by all.....

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Swim Team Has Come To Its Season's End....

Today was the last swim meet of 2011. I love the way they structure it so they start in May and are done by the end of June. (I know, it's the 18th, but I'm not the organizer.) They don't get burnt out and get a ton of exercise. I wish Aaron liked to swim more, but I am not going to push him where it comes to swimming.

Anyway, Kevin and Olivia had their best meet of the season, perfect way to end it. Olivia placed 1st in butterfly and freestyle, 3rd in backstroke. (in her heat, not the whole division) Kevin placed 1st in breaststroke, 2nd in freestyle and 3rd in freestyle. The look on Olivia's face every time she was handed a ribbon was awesome.

More pics from today's meet:

Tomorrow is Father's Day, I hope you are ready. We're going to grill a late lunch and my dad will join us. So happy he's coming, he gets few breaks from taking care of my mom, I hope he enjoys hanging out with the kiddos and relaxing. Oh, and of course, my insane husband has a Father's Day request. A family jog. I wish I was kidding. Every year that's what he asks for. I will post a pic, it's pretty funny. But hey, if he wants to run a mile and 1/2 pushing 100 pounds, who am I to deny him?? :) Hope I make it, I am no runner.....

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Sometimes You Just Want To Freeze Time And Keep Them 5... Or Anything That Isn't 11...

This has been a hard week for me as a mom to almost eleven year old boys. Billy and I have tried very hard to raise responsible, well behaved, good kids. This week makes me question (while it shouldn't, there will always be slip ups, boys are boys....) whether or not we are doing a good job. It also makes me fear the next few years as they get deeper into teen years and the rest of the mess that goes along with it all.

The past few months have been tough with getting the boys to take on responsibility of things that I feel should no longer be on my plate. Should I have to make sure homework is finished and in the backpack? Do I really need to tell a 10 year old that he needs to make his bed? There has to be a time when I step back and watch. Whether it's to relish in their successes or sadly watch them fall and keep your fingers crossed that they will get themselves back up and right their wrongs. Billy and I felt that this year (5th grade) was the time to loosen the apron strings. Boy, it was bumpy. Aaron had way too many "I forgot my homework", "I didn't see that part of the assignment", etc.... And Kevin, my "I can get away with doing just this much" gave me heartburn. :)

This summer, while it has just begun, has me yelling about personal responsibility (Yes, I yell. Don't judge me. I'm loud in general.), yelling about selfish behavior and being kind. Monday was supposed to be focused on Fathers Day, we had a lot to do. Instead it became all about the gift cards they had received for their birthday and why couldn't we go to Target. Their dad does a lot for them. He works long hours and takes them to countless sporting events. He deserved the attention they weren't willing to give him. Yesterday was more sibling arguments, "he took my game", "he went through my stuff". Typical, but it goes on and on. What happened to that whole twin bond stuff? Aaron and Kevin have never had that. And today was the final straw. Kevin took something that didn't belong to him during swim team practice. He quickly confessed to me, but I am sure it is only because a mom caught him and told him she was calling home. It was just a Coke, but where are his morals? Where did he get the lack of character? It truly breaks my heart. One, because I want him to grow up to be a productive member of society, but also a good person. What did we do wrong? And how do you fix it? Sigh...

He will have punishments. I told him that I was so disappointed, that it not only reflects on him, but on his family. I am probably being more dramatic than I should be. But I worry about the teenager he will be. Maybe we need to excavate for a basement and he can stay there with the rest of them forever. :)

Enough blabbering. I worked out again this morning, that's good. The 2 pounds I somehow gained not eating anything off program, that's bad. :( I mean if I'm going to gain, give me a taco for crying out loud. Is there no justice?!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Well Now This Is More Like It....

So I am happy to report that last week was not a quick pic of the rest of summer. I am pleased to announce that all kids are healthy Kevin is back in the pool and both cars are in working order. (Billy's is still smashed in, but he doesn't seem to be in a rush to fix it...) Simon and Emi have adjusted to their summer program and from what I can tell, the big kids have enjoyed having a few hours a week where we can get some things done toddler-free.

I finally got back to working out after disappearing for a week and a half. Honestly, it is REALLY hard to set aside an hour to work out when the kids are home for summer. But I dragged myself in there and was quickly beaten down. Lord, I couldn't believe how a week and a half had affected me! And I am paying for it this morning. Everything hurts. I knew it would. Good news is that I didn't gain weight during my break. Didn't lose any, but take what you can get, right? So onward I go. I will freeze my membership for the July and August, I just can't get there when the kids are all home and honestly, when the 7 of us are home at night, I want to be home as a family. I'm not that dedicated to fabulous biceps that I miss out on being with this loud group. Billy works a lot and when he gets home at 6:30, I want to hang out with him. :)

Slightly off topic, our neighborhood has a 5K every 4th of July and Billy wants the family to run it. That's right the whole family. Last year Billy, Aaron, and Kevin ran it, no problem. The shorties got in the stroller and Olivia and I took them on the shorter walk version. But this year, my sweet hubby thinks he can push them while running. He has lost his freaking mind. Each kid weighs 39 pounds. (have I mentioned how enormous the shorties are?! They wear 4T and are 2 1/2 yrs old.) So that's 80 ish pounds without the jogging stroller weight. He says we'll start "training" this weekend. Oye. I'm going to take the cell in case I need to call 911. This is the same guy that wants us to run a 1/2 marathon next year. Maybe once he sees how little endurance I have for the 5K, he will see what he has to work with. :)

I better get off of here, we have Father's Day gifts to work on. We decided to just grill in the backyard and have my Dad over. Billy's birthday is the following weekend, so we'll have a bigger celebration then. The big 4-0 is right around the corner. I am so glad he's older than me. ;)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

13 Kids and 16 Hours Later, We Survive A Sleepover... :)

Ahhhhhh, DONE.... I think it was a good time, I mean, I went to bed at 11:30 and slept on and off until 6:30. Billy is the one that took the bullet. He slept outside in the backyard with 8 ten and eleven year old boys. He says they finally gave up around 2 am, so I guess he got 4-5 hours of sleep. I guess we just didn't tire them out enough. :) I'm just going to post pics, I hope the boys had a good birthday party. The pizza went fast, the ice cream bar was a hit, and the movie was cute. The lone hiccup was this morning they were all supposed to be in the front yard and I looked and they were gone. I freaked, Billy was asleep and the little ones needed to be watched, so I woke Billy up and he stormed off tired, barefoot, and in his pjs. Hee, hee.... Anyway, good news is that they were a block over, bad news is that my boys know they aren't supposed to leave the cul-de-sac without permission and they did it anyway. Sigh.. Hopefully their yelling-in-his-pajamas dad embarrassed them into sticking to the rules. Time will tell.
The modern version of the slip-n-slide.
We did let the shorties play before all the big kids came over...
Olivia and her bff, had to have someone for her to hang with...
I rarely post a picture of myself. Don't ask about the hand gestures, I haven't a clue...

Kevin, Aaron, and Kevin's best friend
Mmmm, ice cream sundaes
Time to roast marshmallows
"Is it really only 11:00??"

Friday, June 10, 2011

It's Already Time For A Party, The Six Months of Ryann Birthdays Has Begun!

Funny how it's worked out this way, but starting in June, we all have our birthdays finishing with the shorties in November. It seems nonstop, because then we swing right into Fall and Winter holidays. This weekend we're going to have a sleep over for Aaron and Kevin, but they don't actually turn 11 until July. We bump it up because we have found turn out to be lower midsummer. I guess a lot of people start heading out on vacation. Anyway, it should be pretty easy, they are having 5 friends over to camp out in tents in the backyard. Pizza, cupcakes and an ice cream sundae bar should fill them up. They'll watch a movie outside with the projection screen and then Billy will sleep outside with them and I get to sleep inside. :)

Part of me sees the kids getting older and the big parties have gone. I miss that. They just want a few friends over and pizza. Sigh... I know, I still have Emi and Simon's parties coming, but it is hard to see the older ones grow up. Olivia turns 10 in September, let's see what she wants to do for a party then. :)

So expect lots of pictures in the next few days, I tend to take too many. Here's to hoping it's a fun party and no insanity occurs around 3 a.m. Have a great weekend, I must get to wrapping presents!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

We May Need A Do Over For June, It's Been A Bumpy Start....

Ok, so why are my kids getting sick the first WEEK of summer break?! This is not how it's supposed to go at all. Monday we got Billy's car back from the shop (new alternator, such fun) and had to turn around and take it back due to no air conditioning. It's 100 degrees here already, no one should be without air. Tuesday I had to take Kevin and Simon to the doctor, Kevin has a bad ear infection from swimming and Simon, lucky for me, has a virus that involves BUCKETS of snot. All day. Super ewww.... At least everyone was happy during the appt.

Wednesday I am checking my email while at the doctor's for Aaron (3 down, 2 to go) and I have a message from our insurance company asking for more info on "the collision". Did I have a wreck? I think I'd remember. Billy just didn't want to bring it up while I was rushing to the doctor. Ummm, thanks I think. He was going maybe 10 mph in bumper to bumper traffic and rear ended the Beemer in front of him. What's a little more car trouble?! When I saw the damage I was shocked. He said they barely bumped. Ok, so I now hate Jettas. (forget the fact that I already have issues with that devil car with a manual transmission. Cars that don't let you drink coffee while driving are all sorts of wrong....) This is why you drive an SUV... (that and regular sized cars do not fit 5 kids. :) Oh and in case you're wondering, the husband did not appreciate my picture taking of the damage.... How else can I share??

So here we are, barely into June and I want a do over. I expect the sibling fighting, the kitchen in constant disarray, and "I'm bored already!". I wasn't expecting illness and car issues left and right. Needless to say, I haven't worked out in a week, and I am maybe half way ready for Aaron and Kevin's slumber party on Saturday. Sigh.... Ok, whining over. I just needed to get that out and now we put on our big girl panties and move on. :) And as the kids realized, everything gets better after a cul de sac water gun fight. :)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Summer Break Has Begun, We Managed a Road Trip Without Car Trouble...

We just got back home from a quick weekend trip to visit Billly's grandma. It's a long road trip, 6 hours with the kids is never a party, but I must admit, they were pretty good this time around. And I hate to jinx it, but Emi and Simon went hardcore on the potty training and stayed dry on the road trip! I barely stayed dry on the trip! :)

There isn't a lot to do in Grand Saline, population, maybe 2900. But we really just go to see family and hang out. Except there is one thing we do every year, no matter what. The Salt Palace.

It's covered in salt (glue, duct tape, I don't know how) and my kids always go and lick it. Yes, it's disgusting and they always do it and we always take pictures. :) This was Emi and Simon's first lick and I thought I'd share the moment.

Kids will do anything...

The kids hit the pool and for some reason became crazed with building houses of cards. I mean for HOURS... I think living in a small town would kill them. :) And Simon got really good at destroying them...

Simon is just waiting for the perfect moment...

We took walks...

And before we knew it, it was time to pack up and say goodbye. I'm so glad I got this picture of Billy with his grandma. I just love it.

And so summer has officially begun! Now we have to get ready for the boys' birthday party next weekend and we have a swim meet tomorrow evening. Slow, sleepy summer, I don't think so... Did I mention that it was 100 degrees today?? August is gonna kill us....

Sunday, June 5, 2011

My Boys Graduated Fifth Grade.... Sigh.... I made it, no crying!!

Just a few quick pictures of the boys graduating. They aren't the best pictures, either the lighting in the cafeteria was bad or Kevin refused to work with me.... And I survived to post about it. :)

I think Kevin is getting sick of me at this point. :)

They look positively thrilled to be standing with their teacher and the principal, don't they?? That teacher is a SAINT. She took on both boys in the same class for the spring semester after we had to have Kevin moved from a negative classroom situation. He thrived after the move and she couldn't have done a better job. We LOVE Ms. Hammons....
The boys, Ms. Hammons, and Kevin's best friend, Colin.

Did I mention that the ceremony was almost over, the principal was reading the final closing poem and my sweet Simon belts out, "Emi POOPED!" I died. The two rows in front of me were cracking up, but I was mortified. To be fair, the ceremony was long and he was pretty good at entertaining himself up to that point...

God bless the principal. Afterwards she told me that the teary-eyed parents probably needed the levity. :) Oh and one last thing. We got home and guess what? Emi was clean. He was just yelling out inappropriate things for fun.....