Saturday, October 31, 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Halloween Eve!

A few pictures from our busy day yesterday...

...and a video of Caroline in her first ever school Halloween parade!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Mom's digging the new 'do's!

The boys' locks were getting a little long, so I convinced them to go back to a shorter hairstyle. I do like them in shorter hair, and it is ever so much easier to manage. :) I laughed at this picture...I'm not sure what Evan is up to in the corner there.

Speaking of Evan, he is doing MUCH better on the big boy bed front. Thank God! Tonight he left the room only 6 times in the space of 20 minutes. I much prefer that to the first night's 85 times in one hour, or last night's 2 hour marathon. I do believe we are making progress.

Monday, October 26, 2009

A Special Thank You from Caroline... her favorite Godmother, Aunt Karen!!! She loves, loves, loves the Barbies, clothes and accessories that you gave her! She played with them all of the way home today, and pretty much every spare minute she had today.
I am so glad that Robbie liked the books and toys! It made me so happy to see him playing with them. :)

It only took 85 times... get Evan to bed tonight.

Zero return trips to bed last night. 85 tonight. 85. I kept tallies. Seriously.

Would you say that our "big boy bed boy" is testing the limits? That would be saying it nicely.

Whose brilliant idea was it to put him in a big boy bed?!

Before I put him in bed, he had a drink of water, went to the bathroom, etc. Yet that did not stop him from requesting a drink and a potty break 10 minutes later. I think it was during his 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th time out of bed. I think.

He also jumped from his bed, turned on and off his lights, hid in his closet, threw his blanket over his head and pretended to be a ghost, and told me about 154 times that he was not going to bed.

Supernanny would have been proud of me. After a couple of times where I said, "Good night!" and gave him a kiss, I just silently kept returning him to bed.

And, HALLELUJAH, it worked! The last two times, he actually said, "I need to go to bed." You think so, Evan?! ;) I had to stop myself from laughing out loud.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Just before I put Evan to bed tonight, I noticed that the bottom rail that holds the side slats was loose. Dave and I theorized that it came loose because of how he gets out of his crib...he uses it as kind of a step. Once I saw this, I knew that he couldn't safely sleep in the crib until we fix it. And we simply didn't have the time to fix it because he was about to go to bed.

I had been contemplating moving Evan to a toddler bed. I knew that he was probably ready, but I wasn't so sure that I was. I love our crib. I love how it looks in Evan's room. I love the little cowboy decal on the side. I wanted a picture of the room when we finished decorating it, and we haven't quite gotten there yet. And besides all of that, and most importantly, he's our last child in a crib. **Sigh**

I knew he would be excited, and so proud of being a big boy in a big bed. I've been so anxious to share that moment with him. I knew that his big brothers and big sister would be so excited for him too.

This is a very bittersweet milestone.

I guess that I could have pulled out Evan's pack-n-play when I noticed the broken crib. However, I just went with my gut feeling that said that it was time. And it was.

With Evan's "help," Dave brought the toddler bed up from the basement. We switched the mattress from the crib into the bed. I spread out his new cowboy comforter and attached his music box. And then Evan tried out his new bed.

He loved it!

We rocked in his chair for a few more minutes talking about this exciting event, how he is big enough to sleep in a big bed now, just like Henry, Seth and Caroline. We talked about how once we put him in his bed, he stays there and goes to sleep. If he wakes up, and its still dark outside, he should just close his eyes and go back to sleep. But if he wakes up, and its light outside, he can come and wake us up to tell us, "It's morning time!" He agreed that this was a good idea.

I have to admit that I was thinking, "Hmm, I wonder how this is going to go..."

However, and I still can't believe it, Evan did NOT get out of bed even once! Dave and I were floored. Fifteen minutes later, all was still quiet in his room, so I went in to check on him. This is what I saw...

He's a big boy! I am so proud of him! :)

And here's our empty crib. **Sigh**

Photo Shoot

We have a fabulous forest preserve just about 5 minutes from our house. We've had picnics there, as well as scout camp outs, hiking with friends, and sledding. It's also one of my favorite places to take pictures of the kids.

Considering the cost of professional pictures, we've been trying to go a less expensive route. Of course, I have about a billion candids of the kids, but I've been trying to take some more "formal" portrait-type shots of them too. I've been pleasantly surprised by the results. While I make a lot of stupid mistakes (like forgetting the flash in the following two pictures),

I am capturing a lot more genuine smiles than I have ever gotten at a portrait studio. I'd like to think that's because they are smiling at their mom rather than a photographer they just met. (Or maybe they are just smiling at their brothers and sister goofing off in the background!)

There are just so many sweet little moments to capture, like this one where Evan was supposed to be smiling at me, but instead was distracted by a bird. (I might not have gotten that cute profile and expression had it not been for that bird!)

I can take many, many pictures, some good, others ok, but I'm learning through each picture I take.

But so far, so good.

And it's ever so much cheaper than Picture People!

Hopefully after school tomorrow, depending on the weather, we'll be able to go back and shoot some pictures of the big boys.

After the photo shoot, we went on a hike in the woods. It was drizzling and misting pretty steadily, but we still had an excellent adventure. Doesn't the rain in this picture look like snow?!
Seth wanted me to take a picture of him jumping off of this turned out kind of fun! :)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Cheap Entertainment

After yesterday's decluttering of the house, today was the big day to kick out all of the germs that have been hanging out around here for about a week. We washed everything. I am hoping that means that we at least won't cycle through this particular flu bug again.

After all of that hard work, we went out to celebrate. And fortunately my kids are cheap dates. :) I let them choose a restaurant to go to, and their decision was unanimous...McDonald's. Then it was on to the Dollar Store, where the kids got to spend a little of the Halloween fun money that their Great-Grandma sent to them. They were thrilled with the treasures that they found. And to top it all off, on the way home we toured the neighborhood's Halloween decorations. Good cheap fun.

Are you wondering why they were taking a picture in the laundry room? Well, that would be because its one of the darkest rooms in the house, and they had cool glow sticks and other toys with lights to check out.

What do you think, Grandpa Nosek? Should Henry have his teeth checked? (Henry found these fake teeth and immediately thought of his dentist-grandpa.)
Because one child playing a recorder apparently isn't enough. ;) I guess that's why I let Caroline buy this purple recorder tonight. (WHAT WAS I THINKING?!!!) She wanted to accompany Henry on the songs that he's learning for his 4th grade recorder unit. All I'm going to say is that my ears are still ringing.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Just what the doctor ordered...

Due to this bout of flu, we've been stuck inside for most of this week. We were hopelessly behind on laundry and clutter. It was REALLY dragging us all down, especially me.

I guess that really got me going tonight. After days of not being able to get ANYTHING done, I was in the mood to accomplish. Wow, did it feel good! Laundry is going. The house is decluttered so that we can clean tomorrow. I pulled 3 bags of toys from the playroom and 4 boxes from our bedroom to donate, and then organized what I want to take to Goodwill tomorrow.

I am inspired.

Tonight was just what the doctor ordered.

And on a completely unrelated note...
Here's Seth's school picture (his best one ever!). Henry and Caroline are going to retake theirs. They were cute pictures, but for some reason, they weren't looking at the camera.

Here's Dave and Caroline's soccer pictures. Dave has been coaching Caroline's first soccer team.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sickie Update

Caroline is still running a fever. However, she was more energetic today, playing and doing a little make-up school work. She might have caught Dave's cold though as she seems to be coughing a bit and complained of a little sore throat. My doctor's office tells me that she doesn't have swine flu because her sickness started off with no respiratory symptoms.

Seth was the next one down. He ran a fever all day today, and tonight his headache got progressively worse, venturing into migraine territory. He was very sensitive to light and noise, and he was in such pain that his stomach started to hurt him. Motrin helped him a lot tonight, and he is now sleeping peacefully.

Henry has not been as bad as the other two, although his fever and slight headache has persisted through the day.

My thinking is that we'll be keeping the kids home from school for the rest of the week. Even if their fevers disappeared tomorrow morning, I wouldn't want to send them back to school with their immune systems low.

Evan is still healthy, knock on wood. Dave is slightly better. And I got a nap this afternoon, which I desperately needed as we've had a lot of late night visits from the kids this week. So I'm definitely feeling better.

So there you go. More than you probably wanted to know about Nosek family health. I promise more pictures and stories soon. :)

The last one standing... Evan.

Dave's had a terrible cold all week. Caroline is on her third day of a headache and 101 degree fever. Seth came down with the same thing yesterday, and Henry just did last night. I have been fending off bad headaches, but fortunately with no fever.

Evan, on the other hand, feels great. He's running around, talking and playing non-stop, trying to get the kids to play with him while we try to distract him from that. Fun. OK, I admit, I'm being sarcastic. I think this situation could be considered a form of torture. Thank God for DVDs.

Well, at least it's temporary. And at least we're getting done with this particular flu bug in quick order. So there is a bright side to this gloomy post. ;)

Monday, October 19, 2009

You could say this about my daughter...

She has impeccable timing.

Especially when she is about to get sick.

1. A couple of years ago, we were 5 minutes from getting in our car to leave for a camping trip. Thank God she got sick when she did, or it might have happened in the car. Yuck! And I can only imagine the horrors of being sick on a camping trip.
2. Last year, as I was putting the last pig tail into her hair before we left for preschool, she got sick again. Again, I was thankful it didn't happen in the car, or at preschool for that matter.
3. Today, Caroline's kindergarten teacher walked her out of the building. I could see immediately from her pale face and teary eyes that she didn't feel good. She told me that she had a very bad headache. As we were driving the 2 minutes it takes to get home, I asked her if anything else hurt. She told me that her stomach did too, and that she might throw up. Unbelievably, she made it home without throwing up. THANK GOD! Bless her heart, as soon as we arrived, she got out of the car and threw up on our front lawn. She then told me that she didn't think that she should go to her first Daisy Scout meeting. ((((Sweetheart))))

In each of those cases, we averted disaster by about 5 minutes. Thank you for that, Caroline.

I called her doctor's office, and they assured me that she probably had gastroenteritis rather than swine flu. I knew that her symptoms were mostly different than swine flu's, but, of course, I was still worrying. Of course.

Whatever she has, it really knocked her off her feet. She's been sleeping pretty steadily since she got home from school, and has been running a slight fever. Poor thing. :(

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Birthday Eve

Tomorrow is my birthday...the big 3-9. With a cub scout den meeting and homework and general Monday busy-ness, we decided to celebrate today with a big night out at Portillo's. I love that's family friendly and the food is delicious...

Caroline and I are big fans of the chopped salad. We split one tonight, and she was one happy camper. Go figure, huh? There's hot dogs, chicken, french fries, and other kid-friendly cuisine, and Caroline chooses a chopped salad. She takes after her mother. Apparently, my favorite food as a child was broccoli. I wish that was the case now. ;)

Evan, on the other hand, was all about his hot dog. He polished this one off in under 5 minutes.
On the way home, Henry taught the other kids his favorite (very brief) birthday song. Henry was a little upset with Evan's lack of birthday song singing focus, but quickly forgave him because Evan was so darn cute saying "CHEESE!"
(Words to the song if you'd like to sing along...This is your birthday song. It isn't very long. The end.)

Of course, Evan had his own version of a birthday song that he insisted on singing for the camera. The poor child. I am not sure if he will ever be able to sing the traditional song, what with all of the different versions we sing around here...

When I was putting him to bed tonight, I was talking to him about how his birthday was coming up. I told him about how he would be turning three, and that we would make him a birthday cake, and we would sing...
Happy birthday to you!
You live in a zoo! (Evan: giggle, giggle, "Not a zoo, Mommy!")
You smell like a monkey. (Evan: More giggles. "I'm not a monkey!")
And you look like one too! (Evan: Giggle, giggle, giggle.)

He then promptly told me that I elephant. ;) Yeah...not quite the zoo animal that I would want to identify with, but funny nonetheless!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Living Room Campout

Henry, Seth and Caroline (and Dave!) were supposed to camp out at the local forest preserve tonight with cub scouts. Because the temperature is supposed to drop below freezing tonight, their overprotective mother convinced them to camp out in their living room where the temperature is considerably warmer. They agreed as long as they could go to the cub scout activities in the evening, and Dave is even going to take them to the breakfast in the morning.

Here's our three (warm!) living room campers...

Friday, October 16, 2009

Celebrating Seth

It was a crazy night at the Nosek house...10 boys under one roof, celebrating Seth's 8th birthday...

Look at all of these crazy 7 and 8 year olds!

They sing a very unique version of "Happy Birthday." It's poetry, sheer poetry. Here's the words if you'd like to sing along, OR if you'd like to sing this version at YOUR next birthday party.
Happy birthday to you! CHA CHA CHA!
Happy birthday to you! CHA CHA CHA!
Happy birthday, dear Seth, CHA CHA CHA!
Happy birthday to you!

Seth is fortunate to have good friends...

We topped off the night by taking the kids to see Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs in 3D. Look at these young men in their 3D stylish!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Technical Difficulties...

Our computers have not been cooperating with me for the past couple of days. Grrrrr...they are soooooo slow. Dave says that it might have something to do with the fact that I have 5 billion pictures and videos stored in the computers' memories. :) He might be right about that. I tend to take about 10 of the same shot, clicking until I get just the one that I want. And given the fact that I take pictures EVERY DAY, I guess that it is no surprise that our computers have had enough.

I guess it's time that I delete some pictures...ugh. That is a tough job. I find it so hard to make decisions about which ones I should keep, and to stay focused on deleting rather than taking a walk down memory lane. Ah, well, such is life. I better get down to business. :(

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Caroline and Evan's Monster Mash!

I think Caroline and Evan must have watched the Jib Jab Halloween clip we made about 433 times this morning. :) These two can dance! (To see what they were watching, just click HERE.)

Giraffe-Feeding and Camel-Riding

Henry and his good friend, Grant, went to a local pumpkin farm yesterday. Check out what they did!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Peace and Quiet

I take them when I can get them. :)

With all 4 kids at home for a long weekend, the noise level in our house is quite a bit different than, say, if 3 of them are at school. Generally, that is OK. Noisy, but OK. However, its not so conducive to a quiet nap time. So, to ensure that Evan would have a good nap Saturday afternoon, I suggested that the kids could watch a movie or play something quietly in our master bedroom or family room. When I left Evan's room, everything was so quiet that I thought for sure the kids must be watching a movie.

I was completely surprised when I found them all playing with the train set. Quietly. Together. The three of them! For about an hour!! It was crazy! I sat down and had a cup of tea and reveled in the peace. :)

This weekend must have worn them out, because late this afternoon I found three of them in the living room trying to join Evan in a nap. Ahhhh, peace and quiet... :)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Tattoo Twins


A few days ago, Dave took Henry, Seth and Caroline to their swimming lessons. That gave Dave a chance to see the kids swim, and me a chance to just hang out with Evan for the evening. I wound up taking him to a spaghetti dinner fundraiser at our school. It was perfect because Evan LOVES spaghetti, and I didn't have to cook!

Afterward some of the teachers had a story time in the library, which was so sweet. At one point, the head librarian read a story dressed up like a witch. At first, Evan was a little taken aback. I had to explain that the witch was pretend, that she was just a woman dressed in a costume, just like he sometimes wears his "Mr. Incredible" costume. He seemed to understand that, and then was just fascinated by her. She left when her book was done, and the principal started reading a story. Evan wanted nothing to do with that. He wanted to go look for the witch! As soon as he got home, he ran off and came back a minute later with his costume, of course, in hand.

If I let him choose, I think that Batman/Mr. Incredible is his preferred look for Halloween. We'll see. I'm trying to persuade him to be a cowboy, and so far, he wants none of that. This boy is all superheroes all the time.