Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Bath time

Kate's cord fell off last night (yay! that's always a happy moment for me), so she had her first bath this morning. She was in need of a real bath and I was ready to give her one whether her cord was on or off, so I was happier than usual :-) Kate on the other hand wasn't sure about the bath experience...

until it was over...then she smiled...well she's not frowning anyway.

I participated in Dr. Laura's first Webinar this afternoon, which basically was a conference call with Dr. Laura. She talked about marriage and answered questions from other participants who wrote her questions from their computers. I could have submitted a question as well, but I was content to listen. Here are 3 things Dr. Laura advises you to do for your marriage...

1) Treat your spouse as if you loved them with your last breath--no matter how contrary to that you might feel at any one moment.

2) Think hard every day about how you can make their life worth living.

3) Be the kind of person you would want to love, hug, come home to, and sacrifice for.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Eleanor was holding Kate this afternoon when Kate loudly pooped in her diaper. Eleanor looks at me and asks, "Do I need to say excuse me?"


My Life Monday...on Tuesday. The topic last week that I missed was to share a growing experience in your life. I can think of two things I am currently going through...getting out of debt and having a baby.
Deciding to get rid of our credit cards and live only on Matt's income was a good decision, but it has required many sacrifices and it hasn't been easy. It forces us to focus on our needs and many times we have to choose between needs. We are learning to live without things we want, including datenight at Pizzeria Uno every Friday night. I find myself more aware of being wasteful when the lack of money to replace things is present. I am learning how to make and do things cheaper. I look for fun things to do that cost little or no money. I appreciate gifts and service more. I appreciate everything we have more. This has definitely been a growing experience and it continues to be. I hope that I remember these lessons learned when we have more financial freedom.

A new baby at home is always an adjustment. My schedule and cleaner house are no longer. I think with each child I accept this change better, but it is still hard to be surrounded by chaos. Time needs to be used more wisely and priorities set in place because the window of opportunity for productivity is limited. But the joy of holding a newborn is worth the change. Our little ones are precious and they grow too quickly. As I keep reminding myself, my house will still be here needing a cleaning when my children are gone...which leads me to the thought of a very clean...empty house, compared to my now very messy...full house.

Kate is 3 weeks old today!

Sunday, February 25, 2007


It's hard to decide what to do when Kate is asleep in her I take a nap, do some cleaning, blog, prepare for Primary, or do something fun??? Right now I am choosing to blog.

We had a fun stay at the Holiday Inn Thursday night. The kids enjoyed their surprise, especially the swimming. It's hard to swim with 2 children who don't know how to swim yet and a newborn, so we only went to the pool once all together. Zoe and Emily were able to swim 3 different times though. Eleanor is very excited to take swimming lessons this summer and she loves going to our local pool, but she does not seem to like deep water, which to her that is all there was at the hotel pool. She didn't want to sit on the steps of the ladder in the pool, she didn't like sitting on the edge of the pool to put her feet in the water, and when I would hold her in the pool she had a death grip around my neck! But she did enjoy the water when I was holding her and she felt secure in the fact that she wasn't going to end up in the water by herself.
Zach loved the water and would have stayed in forever, but the water was quite cool and he got cold quickly. The hotel staff had lowered the pool temperature by 5 degrees to conserve energy. It was not pleasant to stand around in that water with little children!
It was fun being together as a family at the hotel, and it was nice not having to drive a long way before arriving at the hotel (although all of our children fell asleep during the 30 minute drive to and from the hotel!). I'm glad I spent my money on this mini getaway for our family. It made me smile when Emily exclaimed Thursday night, "This is the best day ever!".

My sister, her husband, and 2 of her 4 children came to Maine for a visit this weekend, so the kids and I have been visiting/playing with them and my parents since Friday afternoon. It has been fun! It will be sad to say goodbye to them tomorrow (when Zoe and Emily are in school :-), but we will look forward to seeing them in June.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Vacation from vacation

I love surprising the kids, and Matt and I have a surprise for them this afternoon. I used most of the Christmas money I received to reserve two hotel rooms at a local Holiday Inn that has a pool and a hot tub. We are going to swim and relax all evening and tomorrow morning and I am looking forward to it! Zoe is trying to figure out what we're doing. She's a little stumped since I told her she could bring a movie. She mentioned going to a museum, but then she said you don't take movies to a museum.
Some reasons I like to keep fun things a surprise is so I'm not tempted to use the activity as a threat to get them to behave and if the activity doesn't happen it's not a big deal because they didn't know about it in the first place. Plus, surprises are just plain fun!

Zoe and Emily have been doing the breakfast and lunch dishes during this vacation which has been very nice. Emily washed the dishes this morning. Zach wanted some cereal after she washed the dishes and Emily said, "Mom! Give him a paper plate!" We gain a new perspective when we're the ones doing the work!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Day 7 of Vacation

Kate is 2 weeks old today. Time goes by a lot faster after a baby is born! She had her first doctor's visit today and she is growing. She weighs 9lbs 15 oz. She is a healthy little girl.

Emily had a dentist appointment this afternoon. I think she was worried that she was going to have a cavity since she asked questions about cavities all the way to the dentist's office. I think I'm the one to blame for this since I express my concern about her brushing her teeth too fast and not being thorough enough. We were both happy to hear that she has no cavities and she is doing a good job at brushing her teeth. Zoe came with us and everyone in the office had to take a look at her tooth that was glued back together. You can't tell that she broke it and everyone said that.

We went over to Toys r Us after Emily's appointment to spend the gift cards the kids received for Christmas. I figured it would be something fun to do that wouldn't cost us money and the kids would have something new to play with...and we now have more toys laying around the house. Oh well, they did have fun shopping.

My Mom and I went to Enrichment meeting at church this evening. We talked a lot about staying healthy...and then we had a cookie swap...and then Mom and I went to Friendly's for dinner. Maybe we'll think about being healthy tomorrow :-)

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Day 5 of Vacation

Sunday is always a busy church day and then we go over to my parents' house for an early dinner. Not long after church started this morning Kate pooped and she pooped all over her cute outfit I had picked out for church. I knew when I put a Huggies diaper on her that she would have a blowout, but I put it on her anyway. Pampers work for us, Pampers hold the poop in.
Zach went into nursery without a fuss today which surprised me because his regular teacher wasn't there. But the regular assistant teacher was there and I guess that was enough familiarity for him. The last 2 hours of church go much smoother when Zach goes to nursery.
My parents are keeping Zoe, Emily, and Eleanor overnight tonight :-) They wanted to give me a break...they are so wonderful!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Day 4 of vacation

The kids and I had something to look forward to yesterday...datenight!, so it made the day go by faster. Matt and I were able to go to our usual datenight spot~Pizzeria Uno thanks to the gift cards we received from his work...Kate came too of course, her first datenight. I was worried that she would want to eat all evening since that is what she did all afternoon, but all that eating knocked her out when we got to Pizzeria Uno :-) She cried most of the way there which also had me worried, but after a big burp when Matt got her out of the carseat, she was out cold :-)
The kids had a great time with their Grammie, watching movies and eating treats. Everyone was happy.

Zoe and Emily had their last Saturday basketball practice this morning.
Here are a few videos from last week's practice/game.
Emily is in the pink pants playing with her friend. I'm glad she is enjoying herself. From what I hear, Emily is a good defensive player with her arms up all the time.

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Zoe misses a shot, runs faster than the girl dribbling down the court, gets the rebound, and dribbles beautifully.

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Matt took them to their practice this morning and then they went to the church building so Matt could shovel the walkways for church tomorrow. The girls played in the gym while Matt worked.

Zach has taken a nap the past 2 days :-) Usually he'll only take a nap if he falls asleep in the car or crashes in the early evening. But the last 2 days he has wanted his binky after lunch and he has laid down in his bed with a book. And both times he has fallen asleep, yay!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

12 Days of Vacation

Tomorrow was supposed to be the start of a long school vacation for Zoe and Emily. But because of a snowstorm, their vacation started on Wednesday with a snow day. This morning when I checked to see if school had been cancelled again, our school system wasn't on the closed list, so I announced that there would be school today. I looked forward to a breather day before the real vacation began, and Zoe & Emily were excited to exchange Valentine's at school and have their parties. I was getting everyone chocolate milk when I happened to glance at the computer again and noticed that our school was now on the closed list. Drat. Let vacation begin!
These past two days haven't been too bad. Zoe and Emily played outside a lot yesterday in the snow. They tried to keep their sled trail packed down, so everytime they came inside to warm up, they would notice that the snow was covering their trail and they would head back outside. The frustrating part of this was getting Eleanor all bundled up to go outside with them...for five minutes and then she would come back inside.
It snowed throughout the night and it was snowing a tiny bit this morning, but by mid-morning the sun was out and it was a beautiful clear day. I think a school delay would have been more appropriate than closing for the entire day, but what do I know? I did talk with someone this evening that works in a different school system and she said the roads were terrible this morning...but that was around 8:30am I bet the roads were better... anyway. The kids played well together today overall. I think the key to my survival during this vacation is to keep them busy with new activities and things. This morning I brought Zach's box into the living room and they played with his toys for a long time.
I know Zoe would like to go places and do things. Part of me wants the same thing, but then part of me just wants to stay home. I guess we'll take it day by day.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

To My Valentines

I missed the My Life Monday topic this week about Somebody I love, so I will do it today.

To Matt ~ The man I met 10 years ago and married not long after we met. It was the best decision I have made. My life started going the way I had envisioned it to be after we met. To the man who left for work this morning concerned for my well being on this Valentine snow day. Who wrote up a work/play schedule for the kids before he left. Who inspired my blog name because he is always joking that we have "too many kids". To the man I enjoy spending time with, especially on Friday nights at Pizzeria Uno or at my parents' home watching a movie. Who keeps me smiling with his sense of humor. Who gives baths in the evening and gets the kids ready for bed. To the man who inspires me to be productive and to try new things. I am happy to be your eternal companion :-)

To Zoe ~ For making my dream of becoming a mother come true on March 18, 1999. The baby girl who changed my mind quickly about no binkies!...we have bought many of them since then. Who has made it possible for me to experience unconditional love. To my little toddler who refused to do anything without me who now has no problem being by herself or playing with her siblings. Who is very competitive, which makes her a great student, but hard to get along with at times. Who shows her love through her artwork.

Who still enjoys having me around at school. Who will hold my hand and give me a hug in public. Who I know loves me even when I tell her that I'm not taking her and Emily ice skating today and when I ask her why she thinks that is she replies, "Because you're lazy."

To Emily ~ Who allowed me the experience of becoming a mother of 2 on May 3, 2001. Who Matt remembers as being a very good baby...because I held her all the time. To the girl who looks up to her big sister and tries to be like her. Who is quiet, sweet, and helpful. Who loves to watch movies and gets very excited when she talks about a movie she has seen. Who is nervous and hesitant in new situations. Who makes friends easily wherever she is. Who would rather be home or at her grandparents' house than anywhere else. To my kindergartener who is starting to read. It is a delight to listen to you read words you know and sound out the words you don't.

To Eleanor ~ My little girl who was the one to outnumber Matt and I on May 15, 2003. Who has been easy going and mellow from the start. Who has a personality that makes everyone smile. Who loves babies and has been a great sister to Kate already. Who is the big sister during the day and the little sister during the evening. Who is starting to have more tantrums. To my little girl who loves to play games on the computer. Who is starting to write her letters and wants to go to school. Who loves to dress up like a princess or ballerina and have tea parties.

To Zachary ~ For giving me the opportunity to raise a son on March 7, 2005. Who is surrounded by sisters. Who plays with girl toys a lot. Who copies his sisters. Who loves to say "bye" and wave. Who loves to watch "Diego" and "Dora" and doesn't mind me leaving when they are on. Who loves to eat cheese. Who wants to walk by himself when we go outside to the car. To my little boy who is starting to talk a lot now that he doesn't have a binky during the day. Who has discovered the fun of sharpening pencils with the electric sharpener. Who is very good at picking up his toys. Who loves to be read to. Who picks the same book to read over and over again.

To Kate ~ For bringing pink back into the house on February 6, 2007. Who doesn't have a schedule yet. Who wants to be held some days and will sleep in her carseat other days. Who likes to be held throughout the night. Who tolerates her binky. Who loves to eat and nurses very well. To my baby girl who smells so sweet and is fun to cuddle with.

I LOVE YOU ALL VERY MUCH! Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The phone call

I was planning on a low-key afternoon today. I was getting ready to sit down with Eleanor and Zach to feast on some oreos when...the phone rings. A phone call can change your plans and life in an instant. It was the school nurse, never a good sign. Zoe has fallen in gym class.she's okay.but she broke her tooth.she should see her dentist today. The nurse was very sweet knowing I had just had a baby, she wondered if someone else could pick Zoe up, like my father since the nurse knows him. My dad was already at work and I really didn't mind picking Zoe up and taking her myself. Yes it would result in getting 3 kids ages 3 and under out the door on a moment's notice, but like I said to the nurse ~that's what happens when you have a lot of kids. As I was on the phone I gave Eleanor and Zach a cookie and hoped that would satisfy them until later, and it did. Kate had been sleeping for the past few hours in her carseat and was due to wake up at any time, that was not good timing. Zach refused to put his coat on so I picked him up and headed out the door~1 kid in the car, then I came back in and Eleanor was determined to wear mittens so I waited for her to put them on along with her coat and put her in the car~2 kids in the car, as I was walking back into the house I could hear Kate crying...I'm not surprised. I change her diaper, she has a blowout, I grab a new outfit and change her, then I feed her hoping that a little bit of milk is better than works, she is quiet on the way to pick up Zoe. Zach fell asleep in the car while he was waiting for me to get Kate ready. Eleanor patiently waited for me and was happy to listen to our Barbie CD on the way to get Zoe. I pick up Zoe and head to the dentist, which is about 45 minutes away. I have had the same dentist since I was a kid and I have no desire to switch, but the ride seems like FOREVER when you want to be there NOW. Matt met me at the dentist office and took Zach with him to come home and then pick Emily up from basketball practice. That worked out very well, I'm glad he was available to help. Zoe had found the piece of her tooth that had broken off so the dentist glued the tooth back on...a temporary fix. It was a little wierd to have the son of my dentist (a kid a few years younger than me that I had grown up with at church) work on Zoe's tooth. I had no doubt that he was as skillful as his father though and he did a great job. A root canal was mentioned as a possible solution in the future, but they'll keep an eye on it and see what needs to be done. Zoe said it didn't hurt when she fell (they were playing tag in gym class and a boy knocked her down and she hit her mouth on the floor). She didn't realize her tooth was broken until she felt the hole with her tongue a few minutes later.
You can go to Matt's blog to see a before and after picture of Zoe's tooth.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Home again

Our water stopped working yesterday afternoon. Matt investigated the problem, then called around to see if someone could come and determine what the problem was. Only one guy was available for weekend service and he couldn't come over until this morning. So the kids and I packed up and stayed overnight at my parents' home. It is not easy packing up 5 kids, especially when one is a newborn! And when I was tired and sore from overdoing it in the morning (I know, I know, I'm supposed to take it easy, but I watched a decluttering episode of Oprah when I was in the hospital and I was motivated!)...We took all of the toys that were in the kids' room that hadn't already been assigned to a box and brought them out into the living room. There were a lot of toys! The rule was all the toys we kept had to fit in a big green storage container and a basket that we have. At first, the kids were trying to stuff EVERYTHING back into the two containers, but the containers were soon overflowing and there were still toys on the floor. We took the toys that were on the floor and put them in a bag and then emptied the two containers again and had the kids take turns picking out what they wanted to keep. By the end of the decluttering, the kids were happy with what they kept and we are giving away a big garbage bag full of toys :-)...Anyway, I lifted a box full of toys in this process and I am recovering from that. I had a challenging evening with the kids last night, but I'm glad we were able to stay with my parents where there was water to use.
My mom brought the girls to church with her today (and pretty much ran Primary...thanks again mom!)while I stayed at my parents' home with Zach and Kate. Matt stayed home to be here when the guy came to look at our water problem. The mystery was solved when a break in a wire in the well was discovered. The guy fixed it, we have water again, and our family is back home again :-)

Friday, February 09, 2007


Kate and I came home yesterday. The first day home is always a rough one, but I think overall it went well. Eleanor went around telling us to be quiet when Kate was sleeping. When Kate was crying Eleanor tried to quiet her by saying, "shhh" and then exclaimed to me, "She's not listening to me!"...welcome to my world Eleanor.
Kate had a blowout right after we got home. Eleanor observed quite accurately that there was poop everywhere!
Zach did better than I expected. He slept most of the afternoon. He got upset when I sat down to feed Kate in the evening, but it wasn't long before he went back to playing with the dollhouse with Eleanor. Matt showed him pictures of Kate the other night, so I think that has helped. This morning he has been pointing to Kate and saying, "baby Kate" and "baby Kate's binky".
Kate slept a lot through the night at the hospital, but she was up a lot last night. Of course now she is sleeping! Zoe woke up very tired this morning and it showed when she tried to tell me how long her hair is getting, but it came out as, "See how hair my long is!"
I am doing well. I'm recovering quickly. The cramping when I nurse is more painful than any contractions I had during labor, so that is annoying, and the area around my right knee feels numb when I touch it (from the epidural), but it feels better today so I think it will be back to normal soon.
Matt is back to work, Zoe and Emily are at school, and Eleanor, Zach, Kate, and I are going to have a low-key day at home.

More pictures...

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Kate Mackenzie Erickson

I was wondering what I could do to celebrate my one year blog aniversary. I decided it would be cool to give birth to my fifth child, seeing as up till now my blog "5 too many" was actually false advertising.

I did great. Kate weighs 8 lbs 14 oz, has reddish brown hair, she is 21 inches long and she was born at 11:06 am at EMMC in Bangor. She is much cuter than she looks in these pictures.

Everyone is happy that she is here,

except for Zach.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Could this be it?

We're thinking so. We're packing up, my mom is on her way over to be with the kids, and Matt and I will be heading over to a friend's house near the hospital. I just hope I get to the hospital in time for an epidural!!!

Pet Peeves

Well, my number one pet peeve right now is having a body that doesn't want to give up this baby! I am 10 days late. Zach was born 10 days late, but it was at 2:31am, so we are past that now. This baby has the new record for lateness!
I just got a call from my doctor's office and my appointment that I was going to have tomorrow got rescheduled for today with a different doctor since my doctor had a death in the family. As the receptionist was talking, I was wondering if my doctor was going to be available to induce me on selfish of me to be thinking of me instead of him, but I must admit I was relieved when she said he would be back on Wednesday. I still would rather go into labor on my own, even if another doctor delivers the baby. Time will tell.

A few other pet peeves...

When instead of the time being shown on a microwave, numbers left from a cook time are shown ex.(:19). That annoys me for some reason and I have to change it back to the clock.

Water dripping down my arm when I'm doing dishes or my sleeves on my shirt getting wet.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Still waiting

We all went to basketball practice this morning to watch Zoe and Emily. We thought it was their last practice, which is the practice where they actually play a game, but it ended up being just a practice. Next Saturday is the "big game" as Zoe puts it. And then they have one more practice the Saturday after that. I think this basketball program is going longer than usual, but that is okay because it means we're getting a good deal on the little bit of money we spent.

Eleanor wanted her hair put up this morning, which is very rare for her. It lasted until we got home from basketball.

Here is Zoe practicing her dribbling. She is getting very good at looking around while she dribbles instead of looking at the ball.

Here is Zoe taking a shot. It went in!

I'll try to get some good shots of Emily next week. I took one of her dribbling, but she has red eyes and looks evil. Not an attractive picture for her.
Eleanor made a friend at the practice. They rolled a basketball to each other for awhile and then they played with baby dolls that the other girl had brought to the practice. Matt noticed that they put their basketball to bed. Cute.

On the way to practice, Eleanor sneezed and then proudly announced, "I wiped my nose with my coat so it wouldn't get on my pants!" Great.

Today is the day I predicted I would have this baby. No signs of labor yet. I had a stress test yesterday and the baby is still doing well. She doesn't cooperate very well during the test, she is very active when normally she is pretty quiet. It's hard for the nurse to see a baseline heartbeat when the baby is moving around a lot. After an hour and a half of being tested, I was finally able to go home. Matt thinks the baby can hear her heartbeat and it freaks her out...or it could be the munchkins I ate before the test. That brings up another good reason to be overdue...I don't have to think about losing weight yet :-)

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Think positive

The positive side of being overdue...

1. I'm still able to be productive during the day at home
2. I get more sleep at night
3. I'm not sore from nursing yet
4. I can carry the baby around and still have the use of my arms and hands
5. I have an excuse to sit and relax
6. All of our kids go to bed at the same time and sleep through the night
7. I have the evenings to do what I want
8. I'm not tripping over baby equipment yet or figuring out where to put it
9. I'm not being spit-up or pooped on
10. Matt and I can go out on datenight alone
11. I don't have 4 children demanding something from me while I'm nursing
12. My laundry load hasn't increased yet
13. I'm still having fun wondering when this baby is going to be born!