Friday, June 27, 2014

7 QT on the Last Friday in June

We went to Great Wolf Lodge for a 24 hour getaway and it was so much fun!  Phil loves surprising the kids, and so they knew we were going on a Very Fun Trip, but they had no clue where.  

That big funnel shaped thing above, the Howlin' Tornado, looks like this inside:

And it's about 80% awesome and 20% scary. 

The place was so nice and clean and spread out so that it didn't feel too busy, except that some of the rides had long lines in the afternoon.  They had a ride called the Wolf Tail that was a water slide but you start out in an enclosed space and then the floor drops out from under you, and you fall down/slide down the water slide and end up sliding into a little pool of water 8 seconds later.

The model is all calm and happy here....

And then, "WHAT WAS I THINKING???"
 Yeah that ride was 20% awesome and 80% scary.  I stood up out of the water at the end, clutching my heart, yelling at Phil that he lied (he told me it wasn't scary) and my hands were shaking for a few minutes.  Total adrenaline rush.  

We were only there for one night, but played for 2 days, and took a break from all the water fun to climb some ropes:

Phil and I couldn't do the ropes course because we were wearing flip flops (d'oh!) but the kids thought it was great.  

Side note: how do you instill fear into fearless kids? Even Maggie, at 6 years old, went on every ride!

On the way home, we researched an ice cream place that I went to a few times as a kid, and found one that was really close to the water park.  They have delicious homemade ice cream and serve HUGE portions.  We got kiddie sizes for everyone!

Declan was so very good the whole trip, barely making a peep.  We were able to switch off between the three adults (Phil, myself, and our adopted daughter/babysitter) so that someone was with Declan, someone was with Xander, and someone was playing with the big kids (who were allowed to roam freely).

Best 24 hour getaway we've had.  Maybe Great Wolf will hire me as an annual reviewer and we can make this a tradition.

The neverending swimming lessons are underway.  When my kids complain about having to take lessons, I remind them it's their job to swim well enough to save their land-loving mother.

Declan @ 12 weeks, though he prefers 11 weeks, 7 days.



John-Paul (just trust me)
Haley, the cutie patootie from the Great Wolf Lodge pictures above, has nicknamed Alexander "Wrecking Ball" for his affinity to get into and destroy everything.  Well, on Wednesday evening, as he was getting into the bath tub, he slipped and split his chin open.  There was blood everywhere, Andrew who was getting out of the tub when it happened, started freaking out, Maggie started bawling, Xander was screaming.  It was chaos.  What I discovered was that I am really calm and level headed in these emergency situations, and Phil is not so much.  In everyday things, I can freak out and he is the sane one, so we are complete opposites of each other.  As Maggie says "You guys are a good team.  Team Phil and Colleen."  So I bandaged Xander up as best I could while Phil got him dressed and headed out to the urgent care clinic.  They were able to fix him up without stitches as Xander reported,"I got glued back together."
Wrecking Ball, indeed.

In earth-shattering news, my 76 year old mother sent me this Wednesday night:

Have a great last Friday of June everybody!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Boogie Baby

Not much to see here, just a baby getting his groove on at swimming lessons.

(linking up with Theme Thursday: Swim)

Friday, June 20, 2014

7QT on a Gorgeous Summer Day

Joining not Jen.


Declan is 11 Weeks!!!

He's just started laughing, which is the cutest thing ever, and we'll try anything to get him to do it.  So far, Daddy gets the best ones when he tickles his feet.


So I've been running jogging again!  It finally doesn't feel like my body is going to collapse when I do it.  I try to do run/walk intervals, and increase my running time vs. my walking time each week.  To help me along, I got a pair of new sneaks: 

Cute, oui?

And I got Phil a pair for Father's Day:

We're Brooks fans.  They were both from Running Warehouse, where I buy most of our sneakers because they have great liquidation sales.  I used the code: runblog10 to get 10% off my order, and ended up with these two pairs of sneakers for less than $110.00!


While we're on the running theme, here's a fun summer playlist to work out to.


The kids are done with school for the year!

So now there will be lots of enjoyable, peace-filled summer moments.


They are already driving us crazy :)


We just told the kids that they are switching schools for next year.  We love, love, loved the school they have been in, but have been considering a switch to our parish school for the past 2 years.  It just makes sense to have our kids in the parish school where we know a lot of the families and teachers/administrators.  It will be a good time for them all to switch over as JP will be starting middle school, Andrew will be starting 4th grade (which is when they can join the CYO team), Eamon will be in 2nd grade and receiving First Communion, Maggie starts 1st grade and Xander will be going to preschool!  They are excited but will miss their friends, and some have already written letters to their friends to let them know they wont be back next year :(

On a funny note, when we sat them down to tell them we had some big news, they all thought they were getting another sibling.  #happensoftenenough


Today is Phil's last day of school!!!  

Now he just has to take care of our 6 kids all day long :)

But they do LOVE their little brother!


And starting next week, I will have Fridays off for the summer!  That means I will be rejoining my book club with their latest read, Momnipotent by Danielle Bean.  

Danielle was the first Catholic Mom blogger that I followed and she's such an inspiration to me and so many others.  I can't wait to dive into her latest book!

Have a beautiful schools-out-for-the-summer kind of weekend!

Monday, June 16, 2014

A Beautiful Weekend

Some weekends, you just have the perfect amount of events, family time, good weather and great food that by Sunday night you collapse into bed with a smile on your face.  This past weekend was one of those.

On Friday night, we went out to dinner to a restaurant at which Mr. JT himself has dined.  The food was delicioso, as Dora would say.  The kids got to spend time with their favorite babysitter/big sister who is home from Franciscan for the summer.

On Saturday we woke up and I made some banana pancakes, followed by a family walk.  Our family walks consist of Declan in a stroller (pushed by me), Xander in a stroller (pushed by Phil), and the other four kids all on scooters.  After we completed our 3.5 mile loop, we got in the car and headed out for strawberry picking.  We got sidetracked on the way there by our parish's car wash - how could we say no to smiling kids from the youth group begging us to pull in?  We had The Beast, so Phil gave an extra donation to compensate for all the extra surface area.  Then it was off to the strawberry field:

"Mom, take my picture."

The hard workers.

More lookin' than pickin'

Summer Perfection.

My sweet strawberry picker.

Proof: Declan was there too.

Say strawberries and cheese!

It was lunch time when we were done picking and the strawberries hadn't filled their tummies, so we went to their favorite ice cream spot (it's their favorite because they give HUGE servings) and had ice cream for lunch!  We drove by a house for sale on the way home that was built for a family of 11 (8 girls 1 boy!!) just to covet it from afar, as it is listed for $464,000!  I need to move somewhere that has cheap houses. Oy vey.

We went home for showers/baths and rest time, after I had cut Phil and Xander's hair, then to Mass at 4:00 where JP and Andrew served.  Xander narrated his way through Mass and said hi to the people he knew on the way up to Communion.  After Mass we went grocery shopping with everyone in tow, because that's how we do.  We first swung by the prepared foods area and got some chicken tenders for the kids to eat.  I took Xander, JP and Andrew with me and headed to the produce.  Phil took Declan, Eamon and Maggie and headed towards the dairy.  We met up somewhere amongst the baking ingredients as I was picking up the goodies to make Phil's favorite pie for Father's Day.  

On Sunday, after Declan had 10 hours of uninterrupted sleep (!!) I fed him, then went for an early  and loooong bike ride where I spotted 7 rabbits on the bike path (yes, I counted so I could report to Xander).  When I got home, Phil was making eggs and hashbrowns for everyone on Father's Day, just another reason I love him so much.  We ate, and he left with Andrew and Eamon to head to the 5k race they were running.  I finished up wrapping his presents, did some laundry and then headed out with the other kids to go cheer them on.  We completely missed Andrew, who had run ahead, but were able to spot Phil and Eamon!!

Phil is the handsome specimen looking at the camera and Eamon is next to him giving a big WOO-HOO.

Eamon was so cute, and started sprinting after we yelled his name.  We just got the official times this morning, and Eamon ran his first 5k (at age 7) in 30:16, 9:46 minute miles, and Andrew ran his second 5k (at age 9) in 24:48, 8:01 minute miles.  They did uh-maz-ing.  Before they all took turns jumping in the shower, I made them come back outside for a photo:

Phil: Don't worry guys, Mom will crop out our feet.
We met up with my parents for brunch, and treated my Dad and my Baby Daddy to a yummy breakfast.
Waiting outside so they could set up a table for TEN!
After brunch, we went home for nap/rest time and then back out to celebrate Father's Day with a cookout at my parent's house.  One of my sisters and one of my brothers were able to come with their families and all the cousins had a basketball game vs. the adults.  I made strawberry shortcakes a la Pioneer Woman from all the fresh strawberries we had picked and they were soooo good.  Try them.  Before I knew it, it was the kid's bedtime and we rushed back home for baths and bed to end a wonderful weekend.  If I could toast to this weekend, I would say "To many more!"

Friday, June 13, 2014

7 QT on Friday the 13th

If there was a contest for wiggliest dancing babies, I would enter him for sure.

Have you all tried the Chobani Flip yogurt?  I discovered them while pregnant with Declan, and they were my healthy splurge, if that makes any sense.  Some of them taste like dessert but still deliver 12 grams or so of protein!  My favorites are the Key Lime Crumble and the Almond Coco Loco.


I took the kids through a car wash last weekend, something I do maybe once a year, and the kids just loved it.  I don't know when things like a car wash, a trip to the playground, or a family walk/bike ride won't be fun anymore, but for now, everyone from my 11 year old and down are still into this kind of stuff.
Oh my goodness, here it COMES!!

Andrew and Xander freaking out! 

Too loud for X!

Last night, Maggie graduated from Kindergarten!  


They sang the cutest song for their finale, "First Grade, First Grade" to the tune of "New York, New York".  If I could have died from cuteness, I would have!


Declan has been sleeping from 8:30 pm until 5:30 am the past couple of nights (a trend I want to continue!) and after I feed him, Phil and I have been getting up to do two rounds of the 7 Minute Workout I posted earlier this week:

Let me tell ya, I am always sore the next day, and I can't even do #11 for the whole 30 seconds yet.


Xander is still my crazy wild child.  Some Xanderisms lately:

At the playground...
Xander: What's your name?
Boy: Daniel.
Xander: Oh, I know you!  You're Daniel Tiger!

All the big school kids were chasing him, and he stopped, put his hand out and said, "Hey, hey, hey, stop it!  I'm just a little guy!

My Dad tried to get him to walk with him to the car, and he said "No, I'm not your boy."

After I declared that Declan smelled like the nanny's cooking...
Andrew: Xander, does Ba's house (the nanny) smell?
Xander: It smells better than me!

Every time he needs to go #2 in the potty, he declares "I'm going to make you so happy!"

After Phil asked him to pick up his socks, he whined "Why do I always have to do everything?"

And when you give him something delicious to eat he says "You're the best cooka eva!"

Have a see-a-rainbow kind of weekend everyone!