May 28, 2013

20 months apart

Isaiah, our 6 1/2 year old, prompted this post when the other night after prayers he said to me: "Mom, can you tell Isaac he is the best brother in the world." Isaac was only 4 feet underneath him on the bottom bunk, but for some reason Isaiah was overcome with this sentiment and I was the messenger of his love.

My boys are 20 months apart and will be just a grade apart in school. Although their names may seem to some almost identical, these two couldn't be any more different. One is shy the other could talk your ear off, one wakes up in a good mood the other not so much, one loves new and bright clothes/toys/anything, the other will only wear a specific set of shorts, socks and shoes, which I buy in bulk so as to prevent melt downs when a set is dirty. The list goes on and on. But it is these differences that makes them quite the pair, perfect playmates, and bestest brothers.

One of my most distinct memories after bringing Isaiah into the world was I can't wait to have another baby and give him a sibling. I knew it was the best gift that I would be able to give my precious little baby boy, who after 48 hours of hard core, traumatizing labor was finally snuggled in my arms nursing away.

Isaiah loved his little brother from the start. 
Back in 2008 when our team went from 1 to 2 kids it was the hardest transition that I have made in my mommy world. Maybe, just maybe, it was because our Isaac cried for 10 months straight (this is no exaggeration just ask my mom), but it was also because I went from having time to myself (you know, time as when Isaiah took his 2 1/2 hour nap every day and then of course he was sleeping through the night) to absolutely NO, NONE, NADA time to myself. Crying baby, NO me time, post pardom depression-- talk about fun times, and poor Matt who got the brunt of it all.

But with all that said, I wouldn't change it for the world. Yes, we (barely) made it through that rough patch, but we did make it and with 2 little, adorable boys in tow. And it is no exaggeration to say that since these 2 have been able to play together they have been inseparable. They don't know life without the other and most days seem to walk and play in sinc with one another.

Everyday is a new adventure for them, whether they are super heros, scooter pals, fishing and swimming buddies, legos builders, and much much more!

When I am out and 'bout with all 4 kiddos I do hear a lot from random people (as I know lots of you do too who have your littles even closer in age!) say: "Wow you have your hands full" or "Wow they are so close in age, how do you do it."

Honesty, sometimes I don't know how we do it, how does anyone do it really? But I can only chalk it up to mucho grace from our sweet Lord. Raising little ones, though, isn't always pretty, like last night when all 4 were CRYING REALLY REALLY LOUD on the way home from a party and I sat in the passenger seat with my head in my lap and fingers plugging my ears just so I wouldn't completely flip out on them.

But really our little people are God's greatest gift to us and to each other.
And it is these sweet moments that erase all the hard away.

One thing that I have learned is that it doesn't matter if you have 1 child, 2 or 4, it is all EQUALLY hard, challenging, life-changing, and simply amazing.

May 22, 2013

5 favorites!

Joining the Hallie at Moxie Wife for another round at 5 favorites. Hope you enjoy!

1. SkinnyGirl Cosmo, mmm mmm good!

I would hate to disappoint, so I must start with my magic potion of choice for this week. I know I have raved about my Skinnygirl margarita find, but my mom told me that I must try the Skinnygirl cosmo concoction, so I did and I let me say:  I am hooked. It is perfectly sweet, yet not too sweet. The only problem is that it goes down the pipes just a teeny bit too easy and half of a bottle (or bottle whateves) is gone in no time.
To my Naples peeps, come over after 8 pm when my kids are down and I will pour you a drink, where we can then talk, laugh and let the wind blow our hair, or something to that affect. I will be waiting for you!

2. Exfoliating Gloves

My mom gifted these light green shower gloves to me this weekend and after only one use I am a believer. My skin feels revived, renewed, and fresh. I could even hear it (my skin) say a quiet "thank you for finally taking care of me".

3. Covergirl's Clump Crusher Mascara

I am always on the search for a smooth/non-clumpy, long lasting, thick mascara and right now I am lovin' this one. And really how could you go wrong with mascara that has Crusher in its name!

4. Dis Maxi Dress
I bought this maxi dress from good ol' Target and have gotten multiple compliments from Matt and my mom. I always know an article of clothing meets their approval when they both say every single time that I put it on: "You really should get that dress in every color."
Mossimo Supply Co. Juniors Hi Lo Maxi Dress - Assorted Colors  f
5. Ergo Baby Carrier

This is old news for most, but I am just now hearing with baby #4 that the Baby Bjorn isn't the best way to hold your babe and that it can actually hurt their hips. Sorry to my first 3 babes, for you lived in the Bjorn, hopefully you won't be scarred for life! So...I bought this Ergo carrier after I had Isaac, but I was slow in using it. Like I said, I was really attached to my Bjorn and the fact that my babes always seemed to like facing out. With Hope and my new found knowledge of hurting babies hips, I gave my Ergo another try and I have to say I have fallen in LOVE with it. Why you ask? Well, because it is 100 times more comfy than the Bjorn and does not hurt my shoulders or back at ALL.
Lately, Hopie girl has loved riding around on my back and I equally love being hands free (yes, that is a Skinnygirl in my hand), yet having her so close.

Now feel free to go see some other (probably WAY more stimulating) 5 fav's over at Moxie Wife

May 17, 2013

CrossFit Update

Well what can I say, I am officially a part of the gang. And by "a part" I mean I am now out of the so-called-learning-stage and doing the same warm up and workouts as the entire group. Do not be deceived, though. Saying that I am doing the same workout as everyone else, actually means that although I am doing the same moves, they are completely modified for the weak and way out of shape person that I am. As I am huffing away squatting my 35 pounds (this number is including the weight of the bar) while someone else is squatting a mere 200 pounds, I still finish dead last. As in everyone else is in their car driving home and I am still on my last rep of set of 12 summo dead lifts.

But with all that being said, I really, really am liking this whole CrossFit thing! It has pushed me beyond myself. Not just physically, but mentally and I dare say emotionally (for lack of a better word at this exact moment).  It has been completely intimidating for me to walk into the gym each day knowing that the workout is going to push me harder than I have been pushed since becoming pregnant with my first babe almost 7 years ago. I am humbled to show my lack of strength and endurance. (I am also humbled/embarrassed by my oh so not cool workout clothes that kinda make me stick out like a sore thumb, but I think you call that vanity or maybe more appropriate to call it just-go-to-the-store-and-get-some-up-to-date-workout-attire. Anywho that is neither here nor there.)

I know that no one is actually focusing on me or saying to themselves, wow look at that woman who is super slow. I know that they don't even care about what I am doing, because they have bigger and better things to worry about-- uh, like themselves and their own workouts, duh! But even though I know this, it is still so hard to be the one in the kiddie pool barely treading water while wearing an inner tube and floaties, while the others around me are swimming in the deep end like sharks and jumping off the high dive in perfect acrobatic form.

Alas though, pushing beyond myself and coming out of comfort zone are two grand things that CrossFit has done for me in only 2 weeks time. And although walking through the doors knowing that I am low man on the totum pole, walking out those same doors after a hard fought sweaty workout is worth it all.

Ps. Tomorrow's WOD (work out of the day) is a 3.1 mile run. Do I think I will finish, heck yes! But considering I haven't run over a mile in 6 years, it may be pretty ugly. You should be glad you don't have to witness it.

May 13, 2013

What They Said....

Grace: I love Uncle Katrin.
Me: You mean Aunt Katrin?
Grace: Yes, Uncle Katrin.

While Matt and I were looking at Hope and examining her cute chunky thighs.
Matt: I guess we know she has your legs.
Me: Thanks Babe. Thanks a lot.
Hope with her chunky thighs!

When Matt and I had the night "off" while our biggers were sleeping over at Aunt Katrin's and Uncle Nate's.
Matt: Do you want to call and check on our kids to pretend that we care?
Me: Babe, I already spoke to them twice. (Yes, I get the better parent award for this one.)

During Mass the day of Grace's birthday our Priest was talking about sanctifying grace.
Isaac: Is he talking about Grace because, it's her birthday weekend?
Me: Yes, you're right, now shhhhhhhh!
Grace: Momma, when you were a little baby you drink my milk?
Me: No. I drank my Mommy's milk.
Grace: NOOOO! You drink my milk.
Whatever you say girlfriend!

Isaac: Mom, don't forget to put Probiotics in my water this morning.
Just a little Loboda morning talk

May 11, 2013

7 Quick Takers

Linking up with Jen at Conversion Diary and all the other 7 quick takers again!

CrossFit day 3 done. 
I'm still walking, a good sign. 
This mamma is happily sore and now knows what a burpee is, which should be renamed as the move that will kill you (literally) if you do 30 in a row.
Like usual, my husband has been amazing this week. He watched the kids 3 mornings in a row while I was sweating away at the gym. Thank you my dear Matthew for being committed to getting my abs back. They (my abs) will never forget your kindness as they are being tortured to and fro.
It's our nephew Ziggy's 5th birthday weekend. Check out this cutie patootie. Nate and Katrin generously watched our 3 biggers last night so that they were able to celebrate today at his party. This meant that Matt I were home alone with just baby Hope and oh the fun we had! 
But I do have to say that it is nice to have all 4 home and snug in their beds tonight.
Ziggy and Isaac are 2 peas in a pod. 
We celebrated Gracie girl's birthday this past weekend, so of course a photo shoot was due for our little diva. Here's to hoping that by her 4th birthday she will be fully potty trained.

Hopie girl is 7 months old. She is almost into a full blown crawl, but still trying to master her sitting up skills. We just can't get enough of this little girly. I am sure you can see why! 

I am slowly unfolding the Instagram App. I started a profile under Teamboda. Let me know if you think I should start posting to it. It looks like a lot of fun, but a teeny bit addicting.

I am bound and determined to learn how to french braid my girls hair. This was my first attempt on the Gracie girl. I need a LOT of practice, but she thought it was "cute Momma".

Love and prayers to you all!!

May 9, 2013

CrossFit for the Old

"I have had enough!!" I screamed.

The above sentence is my flare for the dramatic. Did you find it dramatic? Yes, I thought so.

I have had enough of being the MOST out of shape person in the whole wide world. So... I started CrossFit at a gym right around the corner from my house. 

Here is the low down.

Day 1:
Within seconds of shaking hands with my 24 year old young muscle mania trainer, I rattled off in one breath: "Hi my name Kristin I have 4 kids and haven't done anything in a gym for like 6 years but please think of me as the athlete that I was back in the day even though I won't look like one to you. Oh and please don't push me to the point of not being able to walk or pick up my kids. Muchos gracias. " He then pipes in, extremely enthusiastically at that: "4 kids! You look great!" Bam. Exactly what I wanted to hear. Now I can go home completely satisfied and eat some more WW chocolate bars on my couch.  

He then continues with some CrossFit jiberish talk *eye roll* with a curse word punctuating the end of his sentence, which while still basking in the glow of "you look great" I heard nothing of the cross fit philosophy just the word that I would die (laughing and then be in total horror) if/when my kids ever utter. So I blurted out: "Did you just say Sh*T??" Which he responded: "Yeah" with the expression that screamed Wow you are really an old woman. All of which totally hit my funny bone, leaving me in awkward laughter. 

SO, as you can see, within minutes of my first attempt to get back in shape I was on stable ground with my trainer, who thought I was an old fashion OLD mom. 

With all that said, how did day numero uno go? Well, I will let my abs do the talkin', all of which are still pulsating to the beat of the jam box that was playing over head. 

Success I tell ya'.

This is Grace doing her exercises. She shows us this move at least 20 times a day. 
Day 2: 
New trainer and new attempt to make myself look not so out of place. Deep breath. "Hi, my name is Kristin, I have 4 kids six and under, hence all of my flabbiness, but I use to play college basketball, I promise I am not making that up and I am ready to work hard, just please don't make me cry in pain when I get home or my husband will never let me come back." 

Persona fit trainer responds: "Yeah, big deal 4 kids. We have 4 kids too, the youngest of whom is 2 months and my wife is already back to a size 2." Thank you for sharing Mr. Trainer guy, thank you so much, because I will never be a size 2 even if I were training for the olympics and had zero kids. So, as you can see, once again off to another great start. 

I ended the workout with 12 cow bells (there has to be another spelling for that in the cross fit world), 12 pull ups (with straps and and box to help me get my multi-chin a centemiter past the bar) and a 400 hundred meter run. All x 3. 

The three 400's (not even equalling a mile!) did me in. I think it looked like I was walking, but really I was running as hard as my little "I think I can I think I can" engine could take me, wondering the whole time how to get my hands on a light and sweet coffee from the Dunkin' Donuts of which the building I ran past 6 times in my back and forth marathon.

The verdict. 
I finished 2 days of crossfit. Probably very badly for the average person 34 years and up. 
But amazingly for this mom of 4 who didn't even know what a cow bell was, hasn't attempted a pull up since 7th grade gym class (which I couldn't even do then) and who hasn't sprinted in lets say 7 years. 

Success I tell ya'.

Post workout with my Crossfit gang symbol, meaning peace out. 

May 6, 2013

Happy Birthday, Gracie Girl

Our Gracie Ann is 3 today. Hip hip horray!

We celebrated yesterday with lots of princesses, makeup, dress up and dolls - all per Gracie girl's request.

Before I tell you all how much we love and adore our Grace, I must make a slight interlude.

It is a simple fact that Matt and I love throwing parties. For us there is nothing better than having friends and family over with good food, good booze, and good company. But most times when we are cleaning, cooking, and trying to corral our 4 kiddos in the hours pre-party, we feel like we have gone and shot ourselves in the foot (literally, we are both in pain) for planning such a big shindig and if we were mic'd you would most likely hear many a unpleasant words under our breath. This angst always goes away as soon as our guests arrive, which then we experience true party bliss, lasting until everyone goes home and we throw the kids in bed. Even our 2 hour clean up seems to be done happily (tiredly, but happy none the less). So what I am trying to say is that our party bliss/high covers a multiple of sins from our pre-game, which seems to make it all worth it, hence how we continue to throw the big digs over and over again. (And for some reason my typing fingers just had to let you into this interlude of thought.)

But this time for Grace's party we kept it to family. And let me tell you it was the same type of bliss without the pre-game pain! We had so much fun just chillin' with our family and were SO blessed that they made the trip down.

We started the morning off with Grace in her bday crown while having a tea party and pancakes.

Later in the day my family made the 2 1/2 hour trip for the parTAY. Grace was tickled pink to have Mia, Ziggy, Aunt Mag, Grammy, Jaja, Emily and Uncle Michael here.

My dad playing football with all the kids! 

It is a crazy thing to see your kids get bigger. I can't tell you how many times a month I hear from every stranger and friend alike: "This time with your little ones will go by quickly, so make sure you enjoy them while they are young." And yes, I totally get what they are saying, because it seems like just yesterday I had Grace right next to me in the co-sleeper nursing all night long, but in the same breath it really does feel like 3 years have gone by. And I am so glad that I have experienced the beautiful gift of HER everyday.

Grace is our little girl who is so full of life that she shines. She keeps us laughing and dancing day and night and she loves her brothers and sister to the ends of the earth. God has blessed us with the gift of her life and we are so thankful to call her our daughter.

Gracie girl, we pray that you always stay close to Jesus and Mother Mary and that your life continues to bring joy to all who are around you.  We love you baby girl.
Do you think they look alike?

May 2, 2013

How we do school

This year with the birth of our sweet baby Hope the dynamics and intricacies of our team life have changed, of course all for the way-better, but equally for the way-crazier. One thing that has stayed the same and consistent for my two big boys is their school time routine. For the last 2 years Matt and I have chosen to put the boys in a Montessori school. Before I go on to explain how much I love the Montessori approach, it must be said that in my heart of hearts I am a homeschooling mom wannabe. But when being completely honest with myself, I am just not wired for being full time teacher as well as mom at this point in my mommy-hood. Babies= no sleep + toddlers= headaches and tantrums + homeschooling= no can do.  With that being said, the next best option (or better option however you want to look at it) for my boys has been the Montessori approach for their preschool and kindergarten age levels. In my humble opinion it has given them a huge love of learning and sense of community within their classroom and school as a whole.

One of the reasons we chose their specific Montessori school is because the principal has allowed us to send the boys 3 days a week, which I absolutely love (well in the spirit of honesty, I should say most days I love, because some of those non school days you can find me hiding in my closet with a bag of M&M's pulling my hair out wondering why the heck they aren't at school everyday).

But really, it has given us the best of both worlds. Tuesdays and Thursdays are full of "home school" and play at the parks, museum and zoo with all 4 kids in tow. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday the boys are off to school out of my hair learning away, while the girls and I take time to play girly princess tea parties, grocery store shopping, and bible story time.

Grace teaching Hope how to be a princess warrior. 
One of the reasons that I especially love having my kindergartner Isaiah home more days of the week than not, is because it has given him and Isaac this unbreakable bond. On the days that they don't have school from the moment they wake til they go to bed they are playing. Yes, sometimes there are tears involved in their play, but I feel so blessed that God has given them each other as built in playmates. They often times walk, run, and play in sinc, which is so fun to witness. I mean how can you play football by yourself and isn't it always more fun to have a bike riding partner. Gracie girl just seems to tag along always a couple of feet behind with her purse and baby doll in tow. And Hope always gets plenty of undivided lovin' for all her siblings throughout the day.

The Montessori approach to schooling has affected our entire way of life and play at home. We turned our dinning room into to a school room, where the boys can pick out their activities and learning tools for the day. At times I will leave new random lessons (this weekend puzzles) and I will let them discover them for themselves so that their work is self initiated.
Puzzles have taken over our school room for this week. 
Grace was in on the action too. 
Next year will change, as each new year will, but hopefully my kiddos will always know how much I truly love spending time with them. Of course I also hope they will forget the times they catch me hiding in the closet with a half eaten bag of M&M's rocking back and forth.
Isaac and I start most of our mornings off  with a friendly game of checkers. 
Isaac doing his work of choice.
Isaiah with his "work" of choice. 
Park fun 
Isaac working on his letters at school. 
Another Montessori lesson.  
Isaiah showing me a lesson about biomes. And yes, I could not remember ever learning what a biome was before he told me. I felt extremely smart.  
Some sort of marble, building lesson.