Adventures With Ellie

Christmas in July and 5 other Annoying Things I've Heard Lately

This little post came to me while I was opening my email to see yet another email title of "Christmas in July" as if this title would make me RUN and open it up and actually want to click and spend money. SURPRISE... NOPE it wouldn't actually it will make me delete such emails without even opening it.

Here are other things I've heard lately :

 Back To School Sale 

I know that some kids are actually going back to school very soon. Like next week soon BUT NOT IN NEW YORK!!! We still more then a month to go. So why are these "sales" up already because we all know we shall be shopping 3 days before school starts because THIS is when the REAL hustle of sales and getting that last item on your kids list happens!

WOW you've got your Hands Full

Since it's Summer  people of course have been seen walking with all 15, I mean excuse me 4 children. Why did I mention "15" well that's the reaction I get for my 4 kids.

Mind you my children are basically grown!!! I have 2 teens boys (is that what they mean that my hands are full?!?! Cause only one has given me a few extra greys as of late..) and then my girls... WHY is it that when people see you have more then basically 1 child it's as you will perish and welter away?!?!

Do I not look capable of taking care of my children? Sure I am tired but I'll be dammed if I let them win,but seriously thanks for the concern but I'm doing pretty well thank you.

Since we are on the topic of kids how about this one:

 Are All Them Yours?

I maybe "maybe" might understand (for a Milli second) being my children are mixed BUT if you hear my kids call out to me and say MOM well then..... your reason for this question is......  Many a times I've had such a smart response but I take a deep breath and smile and say why yes ...yes they are ALL mine. Which of course brings up the previous mentioned annoying thing.

Can't wait till School Starts

Maybe I'm a weird one, but I'll actually miss having my kids at home. I've seen some interesting posts of parents saying how the will have a parade and celebration and countdowns and I'm feeling like I should become Kermit the Frog and drink some Tea on the side or something. For me especially at the stage I am of parenthood my kids are actually growing way too fast. I know this is part of life but it feels as if I blinked and I have a college freshman, another son who is in his last year before heading to HS, an amazing just about pre teen daughter and a not so tiny toddler. I just keep saying WHEN did this all happen. For me I'm wanting to squeeze in as much time as possible with them because they are only little for so long.

Now for the most annoying thing I've heard and seen as of late :

Game of Thrones will be back Next Summer

I don't think I need to say any more about this one right here. I mean it's just so annoying and cruel if you ask me.

Well I hope these made you giggle a little today. I'm off to enjoy the day with my 15 kids!

Mama I got to Pee and other things I hear in the Middle of the Gospel

First off I must thank Rosalie from Contrite Catholic for inspiring this post. She had posted how "interesting" it can get to get kids up and ready early on Sunday AM oh and how I agree.

It's almost an Olympic event to get ready to go to church. It all depends on my youngest right about now.
We either will catch the Saturday evening Mass if my youngest hasn't napped. That way by the time we are getting there she is sleepy and will fall asleep (if I am lucky before the 2nd reading is done.)  If not we go first thing Sunday morning and hope for the same to happen.

OK let's just pause right there. THIS will only happen 2 out of 10 times nowadays.  That's why today I thought I'd share what has helped thus far and perhaps one of my tips will be helpful for you and your little ones.

Routine is Key 

I try to go at least 3 times during the week to morning mass. It's short and sweet but it's been helping my youngest to get use to what is happening. Especially with it being Summer right now we get to go with her siblings and she watches them and will imitate their actions.

Sweet Little Treat

I have a stash of goodies in my bag at all times.  I make sure what I carry when I head to church isn't messy and quiet for her to be entertained.
 I usually will have a baggie of frozen grapes. My youngest loves them. Cutting them in halves is the trick to making them bring last the whole service.

Non Noisy Toys Are My BFF

Cardboard books and barbies are in my bag as well. My daughter also loves my rosary bracelet I wear and will ask to wear it during mass. I would say if your little one has a lovely they could bring that along as well.

They are little for only so Long 

If all else fails "yay" for the crying room. I'm pretty sure they named that room for what the parents what to do not the kids. I have to keep reminding myself. They (well she in my case) will only be small for a little bit longer as with each day she is getting bigger sigh.

I want my husband and I to be a witnesses to her and her siblings as they see the importance of going to mass each week and how beautiful it is to be able to spend time with our Lord especially all together it' truly is an amazing blessing.

 Sure my face has turned bright red at times when I've heard in a loud enough little voice  "Mama I have to Pee"  just as the Gospel is about to begin, but it's worth it.

So don't despair and think OH I can't go because well my kids act up or whatever other reason you might have. Our Lord knows our hearts and intentions for being there. So get those little baggies of goodies and tell me how it goes for you.

Oh and if you have any other tips I'd love to hear them!

40 Things I'm Surprised To Still Be Doing at 40

When I was just a new mom at 22 I actually had an imaginary list in my head of what I thought I wouldn't be doing/needing to do as a mom by the time I would have turned 40 because hello by then my kid would be grown and know how to fend for themselves.

Reality snapped me back into the real world pretty quickly especially since I've had more babies since my oldest was born, but not before I had a list that has grown over the years that looks something like this :

  • Timing my showers to be 8 minutes because that's all I get before a child has to ask me a question even though their father is right in front of them.
  • Speaking of bathrooms. I've forgotten the last time I've been alone in one.
  • Not have to watch over and over episodes of Wonder Pets or Teletubbies.(WHO invented these shows. I'd REALLY like to meet them)
  • Not have to call out to one of my kids more then 40 times in a day.
  • Not Mix up their names when calling them (this gets fun when you have more then 2 you can ask my kids they will tell you.)
  • Make funny noises in order to get your kid to eat
  • Taste food you don't even like and fake it so your kid will like it. "YUM look mommy loves Brussels sprouts" (no,no I don't yuck!) 
  • Give your kids the "Look" in public places, and remember how your mom had the same look and NOW totally understand it's power
  • Ask your older children (boys) did you remember to put deodorant on today. 
  • Explain WHY showers are an important daily routine.
  • The need of Coffee becomes essential for the survival of your start in the morning.
  • Telling your kids it's NOT good to lick walls
  • Quiet time really is meant for you not your kids.
  • Making believe you didn't hear your kids screaming MOOOOOOMMMM for the hundredth time just to hear them say one of their siblings is looking at them.
  • Telling one of your kids not to put things up their nose as it's dangerous and scares the daylights out of Mom (used that one just last week)
  • Wore the same outfit more then once in a week
  • Have bought toys over a new shirt so you can change out of the one you wore already 3x this week.
  • Did the biggest happy dance when all kids go down for bed, because that means some me time.
  • Making sure the kids are all in bed when it's #TGIT (Nobody messes time w/me and Olivia) 
  • Making sure when packing lunches they each have their sandwich cut as they like it because you know it will make them smile
  • Checking on them while they sleep and smile and want to cry not because of how tired you are (ok a little) but because you love them so much
  • Get excited of mastering potty time and thereafter doing a dance every time they do.
  • Being the one who has a secret stash of band aids for that tiny little microscopic scratch that only your child can see.
  • Not staying up past midnight expect on New Year's and then your in bed by 12:30 am
  • Dry Shampoo Sprays have become one of your favorite things ever
  •  You always carry more tissue then you need in your purse even if you are just going to the corner store.
  • Scoring supermarket sales on Juicy Juice AND Pop tarts the same week make you feel like you won the lotto
  • Buying your own stash of Juicy Juice and Pop Target to hide for yourself.
  • Getting to go to the store alone becomes winning the Lotto!
  • Finding yourself asking your older child what happened on her kid show cause you missed it putting their younger sibling to sleep. (Am I the only one who loves watching Stuck in the Middle?)
  • Starting sentences with "Back in my day we didn't have and so we had to so and so" (Then gasping because you just had a flashback of your parent saying it!
  • Get the warmest of feels when your kids loves that movie just as much as you did as a kid as you did (The Labyrinth did it for me at my house) and reciting the lines of the movie word for word together.
  • Buying the same cup in different colors and using a sharpie to write each of the kids name on it so the fighting can stop over cups
  • Realizing that getting the kids special at the movies for yourself is something you should had done even before having kids (The snacks and toys you get are pretty cool..hey just saying) 
  • Getting just as excited about kid movies as your kids. Can't wait to finally get a chance to see Finding Dory
  •  When they came out with gel nail polish manicures you thought it had to be created by a mom because how else could you explain it's awesomeness!
  • You never thought you'd be so excited to try new cleaning products.
  • You find yourself humming kid songs even without having any of the kids around.
  •  Loving all day pajama days more then you did as a kid.
  • Even though you are so tired, wanting to just hide and eat your whole stash of hidden treats by the end of the day there is nothing like seeing a smile, receiving a hug/kiss and hearing I love you mom that makes it worth it and gives you the strength to enjoy the madness and beauty that is parenthood the next day.

Once Upon a Time in the World of Parenting

This is a tale that actually is true. It's the one where I  sat in the mist of what seemed to be two different worlds. Sit and and enjoy the tale of potty training and of my HS graduate. 

My oldest son who is now a High school graduate and ready to face the new world once a time ago (ok a couple of months ago) had the important real life task that would be presented before him as he was to  embark in the endless world of paperwork and quests of finishing high school. In his new adventures he had the luck of having his mother who had ventured these same waters many years ago. As the both entered these waters to his mom's surprise things to this same journey she had taken was a totally new world now oh how times truly had changed.  This became a new adventure for them both.

Just as they thought the ruff waters of these adventures were finally turning into calm waters a twist came about and entered a baby girl who needed to be potty trained.
As sweet and cute as this little one seemed she was by far the most feisty littlest one mom had encountered. When mentioning of potty training the little one just giggled  I'm pretty sure she had it in mind "Hey I have diapers and you" who needs this Potty training business. No matter how many riches as stickers,cheers and lots promised treats the answer was still NO. 

How would Mom break this little one.. Ahhh then she felt the wisdom as how to deal with this... Walk away and leave her her alone for now.

As we returned to the adventures of College bound land I felt every drop of agony that came with the waiting.  Those evil yet exciting envelopes from the different colleges he had applied to. All were Congrats but yet we were waiting on THE one to arrive that felt as if it took forever in the mist of that I'd walk by the potty and say "Look baby girl, you want to go?" All I'd get was a grin and a pull of the "reward" wand that would just cheer.  As to say Mama I'll just cheer for you for still trying.

Suddenly it was as if the stars started to align. Graduation was in our reach. Acknowledgements of all the paper work needed was received and acceptance to his college of choice were here.
I started to relearn the lingo of what Financial Aid was. Amazing how it totally had changed when I was in school. I  started to panic and remembered to call my mom and say oh my goodness no wonder you had gray hair.

In the mist of that world wind I heard the words I had been yearning to hear " Mama I have to Pee" and off she went and sat and YAY!  Without pressure, no stickers, no promises of anything. I  instead got the reward of the biggest smile and heard "I did it mama!"
As if that wasn't exciting enough the moment I had waited for what seemed forever had arrived. I got to see my oldest pride and joy wear his graduation cap and turn his tassel. 
We had done it. I could now breathe, but wait you mean there is more?  Now we have to deal with new adventures and new tales that are to be told very soon.

Did I mention I also have two other awesome kids who will be entering 4th and 8th grade.

This means this coming school year there will be more paperwork, special exams and all that other fun to come as I will have a high school freshman come end of the next school year.

If I have learned anything this past school year is to step back. We can't do it all for our kids No matter how much we want to at times.  We have to actually let them fly and remind them no matter what we are right behind them and they will always have  the biggest of cheerleaders there to support them.

Do you have an interesting parenting tale that has happened to you so far?

Top 5 Summer Things Around Here

Summer is in full swing. The weather is getting hotter by the minute. (friendly reminder: Drink that water!!)

Summer fun doesn't mean spending lots money or even having to go far.   Here are some of our favorites we are enjoying that  you can do as well that wouldn't break the bank.

Library Time :

 Check your local library as during the Summer they have loads of activities for kids for all ages. We love to check the schedule and see what the kids can do. Our library has a newsletter that you can sign up to receive news as to what's going on. Our local library has movie night, crafts, even a cooking day. PLUS free air conditioner and wifi so mama can work while the kids have fun. I call that a win- win!

Free Ice Cream Day:

We found out that Baskin-Robbins and Carvel  have days during the week that are buy one get one free. Baskin-Robbin is Tuesday's get a free scoop when you buy one. Carvel is on Wednesday's Buy one Sundae and get one free. Being its usually the younger 3 that go on our little walking adventures it works out everyone gets a treat. Check your locations to see what they offer and what days they have them.
I also made sure to sign up for their newsletters because you get some good coupons and deals for both and get free birthday goodies.

Farmers Market:

We try to go at least every two weeks and I like to give the Littles their own money ( usually like $5) and that way they can go around the market and pick something they want to enjoy. Plus there are always samples that's actually my 13 year old son's favorite part! It's a chance for them to taste new things and see what farmers bring and grow. Plus you are supporting small business which is a super bonus.

Water Playgrounds:

Need I say more. What can be more fun then water fun? What we did was look online and searched best water playgrounds in Long Island (you can put your county to find yours) and you become an instant parent rock star! I love to discover new parks to visit. We are looking forward to going to one that the kids picked in the coming weeks. Another FREE fun activity.

Time Together

We love Summer since we don't have a set schedule. We aren't rushing to make sure lunches are made and out to catch the bus on time. No deadlines no alarms. Just time to enjoy. These 2 1/2 months FLY by. This is the time to recharge and enjoy each other. I love being able to read together or play board games. Make meals together and just enjoying it all. Time flies by way to quickly and they grow even faster. So even though some at this point are saying Oh man when does school start stop and just deep breathes and enough it. YUP even the mess that is staring at you while you type on your blog...wait that's me,but seriously enjoy every minute of it.


Getting your Kids to Help You Clean and Giveaway

Hope your having a wonderful week. We just are getting back into the swing of things as our weeks are not as they use to be because at the moment Hubby's days off are during the week and this week it just happened to be Tuesday and Wednesday but Tuesday he had his own things to take care of so that meant Wednesday was our day to spend all together it was FULL and fun.

Now that our fun is behind us that means today is actually my Monday. Sigh and if it's Monday around here it's time to clean up after the "weekend".

Usually I'll get sighs and oh man, but as of late I've got me a special helper that my girls actually fight over to get help me clean! 

I love this product because it doesn't use any harsh chemicals or anything as a matter of fact it just needs some water! They are called E-Cloth and here are some of the info I got from their site that really made me even more excited to try it.

  • True Chemical Free Cleaning - Kitchen cloth fibers attract and trap dirt, grease, grime and proven to remove over 99% of bacteria from hard surfaces with just water
  • Glass and Polishing Cloth used dry on water dampened surfaces brings a smear-free, lint-free finish to windows, mirrors, stainless steel, chrome, granite, marble, and all other shiny surfaces 

 My 9 year old was actually excited to give it a try. I told her it was a "magic" cloth that all she had to do was use water. She loves dress up and of course needs mirrors in order to see her amazing outifits she puts together so she was game to help me out. 

 I really loved that I was able to trust her to help me without being nervous about using anything dangerous as all she used was some water and the cloth!Plus our mirrors were so shiny and now she's asking me daily can she clean Ha! 

Today I'm happy to say I have a giveaway from E-Cloth so you can try at home as well. If your interested in trying them out just enter below. I'm loving these products and can't wait to purchase a couple of other things I'd love to try.

Prayers,Plans and Potty Runs

Yup that's what my life is looking like right now.

I actually have been writing more in my journal and spending time in prayer. I've been writing what I want to achieve with the next 5 1/2 months left of the year. OK did you guys read half of the year is OVER!

Funny I use the word "Achieve" as that is my one little word for this year and confession I really don't feel as I've given my all to use that word this year.. So I have 5 1/2 months to really put it to work.

I have been pulling at ALL the straws at the same time. Of course that will cause me to achieve NOTHING.

Since I'm always on the go and doing something I found an awesome site that gives me just enough in the AM that it helps me center myself.  It's called  Pray As You Go. It gives you the daily reading and a little reflection and it's never longer then 10-15 mins.

Everyone has that bit to give to focus right? They even have an app so you could be cleaning up something and listen.  It really has been awesome to do daily and love being able to have that first thing in the AM.

I also have been learning that I need to tackle one thing at a time. Right now I have a list of Goals that I have broken up into even smaller goals.

First and foremost is working with a true budget. What I have been learning is how to differentiate the "wanting" and really needing. It can be hard and you just want to pout but when your put in the corner you just have to take a deep breath and learn.

I know you can't work with the "Oh if I do so and so I've this to work with. " NO the truth of the matter that is "make believe money" if it's not for certain you will have it then you don't have it and cannot plan with it because it will only lead you to trouble and more debt by planning with uncertainty. 

One person who I have been loving is Jessi Fearon her blog is beyond awesome. I have learned so much from her. Such as what having a true budget is suppose to look like and what I need to make my credit score get better and anything to do w/living in a good balance.

Right now she is offering her course which is free (she has loads of resources on her site as well which are free) Which is called "Debt Free Christmas Challenge " I signed up. Last year I didn't really find it in time to plan and really get it done BUT this year I am all in.

So if you want to give it a go please do and let me know you are doing so and we can support each other!

Now I left the most fun for last. Potty Training. Actually what I learned from my little Potty Rock Star is when they are ready they will let you know and man did she.  If you follow me on Instagram you saw it took her less then 2 weeks and she was done. I was/am impressed.

Although the only thing is y'all she will NOT for the life of her go in a public bathroom. I bring her bathroom cover and all and she just will not!  So yup I carry her portable potty in the car but hey at least no diapers!

Here are some things that we are loving that really helped.

The First Years Disney Baby Minnie Soft Potty Seat  Isy really has loved her seat. I'm actually glad too because she only uses the portable potty if we go out.  Pretty undies is so very important or at least with my girls. Isy is using these Handcraft Little Girls' Frozen 7 Pack Panty, Multi-color, 2/3T they are so cute. OK maybe it's cause they are so tiny! For overnight we use PULL-UPS Learning Designs Training Pants for Girls, 2t-3t, 25 Count although I must say it's for just in case because she actually does pretty good We have only bought 3 packs so far!

 Plus stickers and happy cheers each and every time. It is kind of fun to see her light up and give a big smile. Ahhh the adventures of potty training. 

So that's whats been up in my house right now. What's going on in your world. Well it's time to do something water coloring that's another thing I have been enjoying that I'll be sharing soon. I actually use it in my journals and bible. Stay tuned for that!