Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Da Da Da

Little Man has actually spoken his first word: Da da. He did this two weeks ago tomorrow, but I'm just now blogging about it. Yes, I am the stay-at-home parent, but he didn't say ma ma first. He added ba ba this weekend to his new vocabulary. We're so excited for our little buy. He chants da da da all the time now. I'm just glad he can get a word in edgewise around here.

What God said

A few nights ago I had given Isabella a bath all by herself (we usually bathe the girls all together), and she had the best time. We just played with her bath toys and had fun chatting as girls do. Well, the fun finally had to come to an end...and I asked her to get out of the bath. She looked at me with that determined face of hers, and I knew she wasn't budging. I asked her again. No response. So I gently pulled her out of the bath, wrapped her in her towel, and asked her, "Isabella, what does God say about ...?" That was as far as I got. She immediately responded, "God says 'Get out of the bath.'" I was going for "Children, obey your parents in the Lord." But I think I got the point across anyway.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Woo Hoo!

I weighed TWICE at the gym tonight to make sure my eyes weren't deceiving me, and I've lost FIVE pounds since my initial weigh-in on Monday morning. I have been so diligent with my eating and my exercise. Now, I know it's only been four days....but it's been so long since I've really tried my hardest. I was thrilled to see some results, and I can't wait for the team weigh-in next Monday. I'm shooting for 7 or 8 pounds of weight loss in week 1. That would be so awesome. I feel really good about this because this is my one area that I can't seem to have success in...I pretty much can do a good job in most things I put my hand to, but I just struggle so much with my eating. So I'm pumped that I've been able to do it so far, and I've actually felt good. It's getting easier each day.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

I'm Jumping In!

I've decided that since I can't go away for several months to get skinny like they do on The Biggest Loser, I'm going to join the Biggest Loser competition at my gym. They've done it the past two Januarys to capitalize on all those New Years Resolutions, but I have been pregnant both times. Now that I'm not pregnant this January, I'm jumping on board. I have been saying for a while now that it's okay to have a little extra weight since I just had four kids in four years...but now that Grant is 7 months old....that excuse is getting old! It's time to get serious. So I think that having the team accountability and having to weigh in and measure for a trainer will help motivate me to shed some pounds. My goal? To lose 30 by the time I turn 30 in May! Now I'm putting it in writing to remind me and to "make it real." Oatmeal Creme Pies, goodbye!

Happy Birthday, Ali Kate!


Only six days ago we wished our baby girl a Happy 2nd Birthday. I still can't believe almost a week later that Ali Kate is actually two years old. Didn't I have her yesterday? Matt and I were reflecting on her birthday, and we remember every detail of that day. She was delivered by a scheduled C-section, and that was the first time that any of our children had a scheduled birthday. His parents came to keep the girls while we went to the hospital. I remember fixing breakfast for the girls, not being able to eat or drink anything since I was having a baby that afternoon. All day I was so nervous knowing that I was having surgery in a few hours. I can remember the red sweater that I wore, and taking our last picture as a family of four before we headed for the hospital. We ran two errands on the way to the hospital, and I was nervous we'd be late for her birth....crazy, isn't it? As it turned out, Dr.Lynn got detained in another surgery and was 2 1/2 hours late...so we had plenty of time to wait. I remember being so hungry by 3:30 that afternoon (I hadn't had anything to eat or drink since 10:30 the night before) that I told Matt that I was leaving the hospital if they didn't take the baby in the next few minutes. I never do the prep room well. They put you in a room to wait before they whisk you off to the operating room, and that room always unnerves me...every time.

Anyway, we've had a great two years with Ali Kate. She has grown so much in those 2 years...and she is the brightest girl I've ever seen. She has been talking in complete sentences since 18 months, and she can count to 20. She converses like a 3 year old (and better than some). She is extremely obedient, and she even sits in time out until she is dismissed. I wish I could teach her sisters that! Ali Kate is a mommy's girl to a fault. She wants me to hold her and take care of her constantly. She is a cuddle bug for sure. Ali Kate adores her big sisters, and she always wants to keep up with them. She's a fast learner and an enthusiastic kiddo. She has defied the odds in terms of her physical development. I'll never forget that neurologist telling me that she may never walk...but let me tell you...she can walk, run, jump, climb, hop, race....she's our miracle kid. We were given a very bad diagnosis with her hypotonia, but she has responded incredibly to her weekly physical therapy. In fact, she is about to be discharged, and I'm so proud of her. She's an awesome girl, and we are glad we've gotten two great years with her.

As for her birthday, we celebrated with just our family last Sunday. We let her have a cupcake for breakfast. She looked at it and at me several times to see if I was really going to let her have it. What a treat! Then we went to church. When we came home, she tore into her gifts with great enthusiasm and lots of help from you know who (Isabella). She got a new dollhouse that's got fewer piece and chubbier people than our other one. She also got a new tricycle and a My Little Pony that has a "get well" kit. She's obsessed with My Little Pony although she's never seen the show or movie. She loved her gifts, and the girls honestly played with the new toys for hours that afternoon. We had lots of time as a whole family, and it was so nice. Ali Kate will have her birthday party this coming Saturday, so she'll get one more chance to celebrate and eat cupcakes! After all, according to her, she "needs a cupcake, Mama." Happy Birthday, Al!

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Pen and paper

I just have to brag on Isabella. The other day she made a map all by herself. She used circles, squiggles, swirls, and other types of lines to make her map. She drew alot of circles to make the beach. I was so impressed. All of a sudden in the last two weeks, she's figured out how to draw different types of curves and circles. So to extrapolate that and make a map to Crystal Beach (where we vacationed a few months ago) is incredible to me. Way to go, Bella!

On the pen and paper topic, Abby was copying something the other day (I don't remember what since she copies words and sentences almost daily for fun...yes, she is very much like her mommmy...a nerd at heart) when she kept writing her capital G backwards. When we were looking over the paper, I showed her how to correct her G. Well, she informed me that she wouldn't be changing her G because my G wasn't cute. And of course, you can't write ugly letters!

Oh, we're in over our heads!

Here's what we've been doing....getting clothes ready to sell...and Ebaying!

Today we spent what could have been a very lazy Saturday sifting through and sorting through boxes upon boxes of clothes. Let me just say that our children have owned way too many clothes! We had 13 boxes from preemie to 4T absolutely packed to the brim! Why did we do this? Well, we've decided that our family is full and that it's time to sell all these adorable clothes. I actually spent time Friday reading the ins and outs on Ebay of how to become a seller. And my non-tech-savvy self is actually an Ebay seller....can you believe it? I need to pinch myself. This is not my realm at all. I have never purchased anything on Ebay, and I am not familiar at all with the system....yes, I'm behind about 15 years. That's why being married to Matt balances me since he is Mr. Tech. So we'll see how all the selling goes. I think I'm going to have an "Open House" for friends and acquaintances to shop the best pieces before offering them in a garage sale in March. So if you've ever admired any of the Stine girls' clothes, feel free to ask me to see pictures of what we're selling or to come over to see them. We're selling preemie through 2T in girls and newborn through 9 months in boys. We hope all this work will help us clear out our packed garage so that we can park in it again!

Thursday, January 1, 2009



December 20th found us throwing a surprise party for Matt's 30th birthday. I can hardly believe today that he's already 30. We first met and began dating when we were 18 years old, so 12 years have flown by! Matt's parents worked with me to create a Shutterfly memory book that went from Matt's birth until just a few weeks ago. The book captures his whole life in a few snapshots. We also planned a day of fun for Matt. They came at 1:00 to babysit which was a total surprise to Matt. We made a big deal out of their babysitting so that he thought that the date was his big surprise. We went to Logans to have appetizers and then to a movie. Boy was that fun! We rarely get to go on dates, so this was a huge treat for us. We then scrambled home to get the house ready for the party. Matt and his dad went to Target to "shop for Christmas" (at least that's what Matt thought they were doing). We then sent them to pick up pasta from Pizza Hut (a good excuse to get them back home and a good way to round out the food I'd prepared). This is Matt when he walked through the front door and saw everyone yelling "surprise." I love this picture! We had a wonderful night of visiting with friends and playing a Matt trivia game (30 questions about Matt's 30 years).
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Another Creative Christmas Item


I had so much fun making these cute candy jars. I made several of these for neighbors, teachers, and friends. My scrapbook lovin' self enjoyed the paper element of this project. And my sweet tooth self loved baking all the goodies to go inside. We made peanut butter balls, Oreo bark, Oreo balls, Butterfinger bark, and a few more yummy goodies. The entire family went door to door on Christmas Eve singing "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" to our neighbors and handing out our homemade goodies. I hope the neighbors enjoyed the treats as much as they enjoyed the caroling. Everyone was tickled that the girls were singing at their door. That was perhaps the best part of this creative venture.
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Ornament Shirts Part 2

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My story about my shirts would not be complete without this picture. All that effort in making Isabella an adorable shirt ended like this about seven hours after she first put on the new shirt. Someone at preschool gave her an ornament that was made by shaking blue paint inside the glass ball....cute idea but it had repercussions. The shirt looked like this, and my hardwood floors looked like the Smurfs had paid us a visit. Thankfully, I saw it on the floors only minutes after it happened, so they cleaned up nicely. As for the shirt, even the Clorox Bleach Pen didn't do the trick. So now it has...what's that word? Character. (That's what Matt and I coin anything that's gotten a bit messed up at our house.)
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Ornament Shirts


I never posted this picture before Christmas, but I just spotted it in my Picasa folders. This is a photo of the cute little ornament shirts that I made for Isabella and Abby. They are obviously very homemade, but I hope to get some lessons from a friend to make these ventures more polished in the months to come. You should have seen me trying to figure out how to use my new sewing machine. That was priceless! Although the stitching looks like my kids could have done it, the overall feel of the shirts was too fun!
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