Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Surely not the model parent

I am surely not the poster parent for safe sleeping.

Here is Callum sleeping like a baby in his crib.

Yes. There is a crib bumper. And yes, I've heard the memo.

Yes. There is a blanket. Yep, heard about that memo, too.

And Yes. His face is planted firmly into his 'lil pup. Never wake a sleeping baby, right?

Please. Don't report me. And I may or may not be the person to ask for sleeping advice :)

Monday, January 30, 2012

Adult Decisions...

Sometimes being an adult isn't that much fun. And sometimes making adult decisions isn't any fun either. And sometimes no matter which decision you make it won't be the right one. And I hate having to choose between which crappy decision is best.

If you remember back to my posts last spring and summer,  Kevin and I went through a period where we considered staying in Maine while Kevin worked in DC. But after everything we went through with Callum and then the ease of renting out our home, we thought we should be together and move. And so we did.

We've been here in Virginia for six months and I have to say we regret our decision to move to Virginia. Kevin and I are both unhappy. We miss our home. We miss our life there. It's just not the same. We feel as though we are not truly enjoying life here in Virginia, and no matter how busy we are, no matter what we are doing, it just isn't good enough. And to all my Virginia friends who may read this, we love you, and appreciate all that you have and continue to do for us. We love spending time with you, but we miss our home.

When we moved to Maine in 2008 we didn't realize what living there would do for us. Kevin and I found ourselves there. We found a place we believed in for our family - it defined us. We were incredibly happy there in all aspects of our life and our children thrived happily there and so did we. We were welcomed by the community with open arms and we felt so lucky to have stumbled upon such amazing people.

Waking up to the smell of the ocean or hearing seagulls in our very own backyard reminded us frequently that we lived in vacationland. In the final six months that we lived in Maine, we could rarely go anywhere without running into someone we knew - a friend, a co-worker, a teacher, the doctor who help save Callum, the respiratory therapist who worked on Callum. I miss going to the store and running into a friend, or chatting with the grocery cashier who remembers my kids names (and she actually cared to know our children). I miss having to drag my kids inside because they have to eat, instead, I am dragging them outside because the "backyard is boring" and they don't like to be outside anymore. They want to ride their bikes outside, but are afraid of the hills, or I am afraid of the cars that fly around the corner, and suddenly helping my kids learn to ride their bikes isn't fun anymore because I am worried about one of our children or dogs being hit by a car.

So, where do we go from here? We've made the decision to be together, but we are both unhappy. Do we continue living an unhappy lifestyle or do we move back home hoping living in a place that has made us all so incredibly happy and fulfilled the better of the two crappy choices? We made the right decision and came together, we know that. We've tried to put our life together here, but it continues to leave us wanting more. Our schedules are filled with fun things and play dates and get togethers...but for some reason it just isn't good enough. I've thoroughly enjoyed homeschooling the big girls and we've met many amazing people!

On a larger, more important scale, The icing on the cake came around Christmas when Kevin received a phone call saying he'd be going (no choice in the matter, but a great opportunity career wise) into a Commander position (still in DC) and would be working/traveling a ton more than he is now. Another huge reason to move home. The thought of us being here without family is daunting, I'd much rather Kevin be traveling while I have to support of family close by and friends. This was the moment when we looked at each other and said something has to change...all the other reasons were dreams of a life we had, but when this additional life change came to be, we put the entire picture together and made a very difficult decision for us. To move home.

The thought of living in Maine while Kevin works here in DC makes me incredibly sad. But the thought of us all being happy in a place we love speaks loudly, too. The times we would be together on the weekends could be spent feeling happy - quality over quantity as Kevin puts it. Kevin can focus on his job more and focus on family when he is home.

There have been events leading up to these thoughts that make Kevin and I think this decision is the best one we could make for our family. Sacrificing a little to be in a happier place. We'd have our home back. The girls would have their friends back. The girls would attend school. We know the grass is greener on the other side because we have been living that life for the last three years. Although the new Maine life would be a little different, we feel that all the positives outweigh living here in Virginia.

It's times like these I could use a little crystal ball to look at our life a year from now to see if we were happier or sad.

And what's the worst that will happen? We move back to Virginia.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Practice is tiring!

About a week ago, Callum figured out how to pull up on the furniture! He is certainly moving right along in that department.

Kevin put down his crib. And the next day, he was pulling himself up in there, too.

For the last few days, his afternoon naps have not been stellar. I am not going to complain though. And here is why...

When the girls all learned to stand up in their crib, they couldn't get down, but instead of practicing during nap or during the day for that matter, they all felt the need to practice in the middle of the night. I remember many nights with all three girls who were determined to stand up in their crib. The problem? They didn't know how to get down!

With Callum, he doesn't practice during the night (yet) but practices during naps. He will sleep for 30 minutes then want to stand up to play. The best thing about Callum is that he doesn't care about falling, and he has figured out how to sit down pretty quickly.

I guess he got so tired practicing pulling himself up over and over again (how do I know? I watch him on our video monitor) that he fell asleep just like this? I guess he was too tired to lay back down! :)

........and I guess I am a bad mamma for having the crib bumper in there!

Monday, January 23, 2012

A little snow goes a long way...

Living in Virginia, snow either happens or it doesn't. The last few years living in Maine, the girls had been spoiled with having somewhat "real" winters, but this year, we aren't as lucky.

The last few years in Virginia have been record setting winters, but definitely not this year (and not in Maine either!).

Last weekend, we finally got some snow....about an inch. Nothing to write home about, but it was sure enough to get the girls excited!

In the morning, we headed to skate lessons and as soon as we got home, the girls went immediately outside. No questions asked. Honestly, this was one of the first times since moving to Virginia that the kids had been excited about going outside. Clara was a bit weary, and it took some tears to get her snowsuit on, but once she realized how much fun it was, she was all smiles!

The girls played on the deck together pretending they were at the beach. They were building "snow-castles" and having lots of fun together. Later that afternoon, our friends came over and everyone went back outside - two times in one day!?! Another record, maybe ;)

First thing Sunday morning, Clara was begging to put her snowsuit on. Yep.  You guessed it! Another record. I felt like we were back in Maine again with our kids begging to go outside by 9am! Kevin and I were so happy to see the kids so excited about playing outside.

Who knew an inch of snow would have provided so much excitement and smiles!

I just hope there is a LOT more snow to come than this! I am ready to get buried here in Virginia...I love seeing all the southerners squeal about a little snow fall...

Friday, January 20, 2012

The breakdown of a "Fairy" sleepover

Earlier in the week, the girls asked if they could all have a sleepover together. We said that on Friday they could have a sleepover, as long as they had good behavior for the week.

So. Today is Friday. And the girls did not forget. A sleepover it is...

Mairead and Lilah have had "sleepovers" before, and they generally do very well together...but tonight, we were adding Clara into the mix. This would be her very first "sleepover" with her big sisters. 

The fun started at about 7:50pm - the excitement was building here in the Ferrie household. This mamma had to whip out her phone to snap a few shots of the happiness going on.

Of course, Clara had to have a little "before bed" snack...

Mairead had to snuggle with Clara before they headed to their own beds. 

Then I tried to snap a shot of all three of them together. 
Clara was less than cooperative. And Lilah was just plain fed up. You see, when Lilah doesn't nap, she is ready to go to bed NOW.  Can you say attitude??? 

Then, Clara had to cover her face, Mairead thought it was funny, and Lilah thought...hey, if Clara doesn't have to look, then why should I smile - let's be funny! 

8:00pm - good night kisses and lights out......

I head downstairs and start to stuff some cloth diapers

8:04pm - Lilah comes downstairs to tattle on Clara not being quiet.

8:07pm - Lilah comes back downstairs to tattle on Clara not staying in her bed.

8:10pm - Lilah comes downstairs again to tell me that Clara hit her. I then tell her that if she comes down again, everyone is going back in their rooms.

8:15pm - no sign of any tattling going on. Did my threat work?

8:24pm - I hear Clara yelling at Mairead. I think I'll ignore that. 

8:35pm - I sneak upstairs. I hear Clara chatting away. I sneak my head in and Mairead says "Mom, can you tell Clara to BE QUIET!!!???" Clara is having a grand old time! 

8:57pm - Three little "fairies" fast asleep...I'd say a successful sleepover! 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Little swimmers

In addition to skating lessons, the girls have been in swim lessons at Claude Moore. Mairead and Lilah have been in swim lessons for close to 2.5 years consecutively. They love to swim and this mamma (and daddy) couldn't be prouder!

This is the first session that Lilah has been in the swim team pool alongside of Mairead. She couldn't be any more excited. Lilah is in a class of kids who are (not including Mairead) 6-10 year olds. Even Mairead looks incredibly small in their class, but they both swim just as good as the other.

Mairead has been working hard on her elementary backstroke. She can make it clear across the pool (25yds) without stopping and she can do a pretty good freestyle across the pool, too! She is getting stronger and stronger. Lilah can make it to the first flag and back to the side all by herself - it isn't always pretty, but she can do it, which is amazing!

The thing about Lilah is that her mind is way far ahead of her little body. She weighs 29lbs soaking wet, so the strength just isn't there for her - yet. She has the effort, determination and technique - her teacher calls her a "laser beam".

Mairead and Lilah are both fabulous swimmers (if I must say so myself ) - but the coolest thing about them is how they each master swimming so differently! Mairead perfects every step before going to the next, so she is a very pretty swimmer. Lilah...not so much. She just goes for the gusto. She jumps right in and tries to be fast, just wanting to get from point A to point B, not caring too much just how pretty she looks...so she doesn't quite perfect each step, but at the end of the day, they both master the technique. And it is just so awesome to watch!

The last two weeks, I've had various parents come to me and ask how old our girls are - because they are visibly younger and smaller than the other kids in class. When I tell them how old Lilah is, they ask me again because they are in disbelief with her ability to swim.

While we aren't sure where swimming will take our girls - if anywhere, we are just so proud that they are so comfortable in the water. Kevin and I are water lovers and we couldn't be happier that we are raising some mini-me's :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


I said it. And I'll say it again. NAKED.

I am tired of seeing people searching for the word naked. So, in the last day or so, I've gone back through my blog to remove that word...that way any dirt bag searching for Naked whatever won't get sent to this blog. YUK YUK YUK.

So, if you ARE that dirt bag, here is a post that has nothing to do with being NAKED. Made ya look! ;0

Monday, January 16, 2012


One life saving thing about living here in Virginia is that we are not here alone. Luckily, our good Coast Guard friends from Maine were transferred last summer to VA Beach. We've been able to see them a few times since we've both moved and each time we get together, we leave feeling refreshed. 

This weekend we headed to VA Beach to visit them! We arrived Saturday after a 3 hour drive - which seems easy in comparison to a road trip to New England! The kids were so excited to see each other, and us adults were excited to see familiar faces, too. We ordered Thai food, had some wine and just enjoyed each others company. They have a cute house with a great backyard that I am jealous of - and I enjoyed watching the kids play outside with big smiles on their faces! So happy they were! 

On Sunday, we had a great breakfast together and let the kids play while Callum napped. After lunch we headed to Williamsburg for the afternoon. We had originally planned to go to the beach but because it wasn't even 40 degrees, we thought that may not be the best choice, so off to Williamsburg we went! I had never been there before, so it was a cool experience to walk around. It had such a great atmosphere! We didn't pay to go into all the houses, but walking around was just as fun, and since Kevin and I aren't really history buffs, we didn't mind at all! 

After exploring Williamsburg, we stopped a local to ask where we should take the kids to eat before we headed back to our house. The man recommended a place by William & Mary called The Green Leafe Cafe. The atmosphere was just like a pub located right across the street from the stadium. Their menu selection was fair. The kids ordered pizza and chicken fingers and the adults ordered an array of burgers. The service was good until we got our chicken fingers. Kevin cut into the middle of a chicken finger to split between Clara and Callum, and it was RAW. COLD. UNCOOKED. Thank GOD we cut it and didn't just give it to the kids who would have almost certainly bit into raw chicken. 

We told the waitress who apologized and ended up bringing us gross chicken nuggets. No compensation, no nothing. I called to speak with the manager today and he was so rude. Needless to say we will not be going back there again! 

Overall, we had a fantastic weekend! FANTASTIC! I so wish we lived closer to our friends...three hours is just entirely too far away, but thankfully we all don't mind making the drive! 


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Joining THAT club

You know. The kids who cut each others hair club.

Ahhh. This mamma was more than glad she was already sipping on some good wine when this occurred.

Kevin and I were chatting in our kitchen about life possibilities. Rather deep conversation. Until...

Lilah's new "do"
Mairead comes running into the kitchen yelling Clara was cutting Lilah's hair. We go running into the school room. And what do you know...

They were playing hairdresser. Clara cut Lilah's hair (giving her a form of a mullet) . Lilah cut Clara's hair - quite miserably, actually. 

Then, the truth came out. Kevin said Lilah came to him saying her "hair was too long" 

And what did the daddy of the year reply with?

"Well, go get a haircut!"

And that's what she did...... 

Butcher job...
My attempt to fix - thankfully she has waves to hide all the "layers"
No fixin' this one...all I could do was cut her hair shorter.... 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The 4th

You always hear about people who tell you that when you have more than 3 or 4 kids that you become a bit more relaxed than other moms.

And you don't really believe it because You'll never really be "that" mom.

Until this happens.

We were out to lunch with the family and a good friend of ours. We get into a large booth and as we get settled, I lay Callum down on the bench for a second. I turn around, and he's gone.

I look over to my right and the couple sitting across from me says "Your baby is on the floor."

"HUH!" I look down at my feet and there is the cutest little boy starting right at me with a smile.

OOPS! I bend down and pick him up and say "He's okay! He IS number four"

Yeah. I couldn't imagine myself to have been that cool, calm and collected with Mairead or even Lilah, but with Callum, I just wasn't surprised to have seen my kid on the floor after falling off the bench.

He didn't even cry. He was just hoping that someone would notice him down there. And sure enough, that someone wasn't me. Or his daddy. Or one of his sisters. But the random couple sitting across from our table.

Yep. Just as I thought. Another mother of the year award!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Throw me a bone?

This is probably going to be one of those posts where you either leave shaking your head laughing and totally get it, or stop halfway through because you just don't need to read it...

I am talking about $ex drive or lack there of. And this is your cue to leave if you don't want to continue any further.

Kevin and I clearly are very lucky when it comes to procreating. It doesn't take a whole lot of planning, if any, for me to get pregnant. And to clarify, we are not trying to have another. [After four high risk pregnancies, a critically ill newborn, and thankfully four healthy children, we are done.]

Breastfeeding gives me absolutely no $ex drive and coupled with a bit of lacking sleep, is not a good combination for Kevin. I feel bad. He wants it and I just don't. By the end of the day when I crawl into bed, I just want to relax and zone out. But last night, we did it. And after the fact, I am glad. It feels great to reconnect and be close.

So, today is my first day at home with all four kids without help. We've had a revolving door of visitors since Thanksgiving. I am sure after Kevin got a going back to work gift last night, I thought he'd throw me a bone, too???

I guess not... 

I wipe a few asses, let a few dogs out to go to the bathroom, get the kids their milks and see the stupid red light on the dishwasher indicating CLEAN.....Grrrrrrr! He didn't empty the dishwasher for me - one of my #1 hated household duties ever?!?

WHAT!?! He gets lucky (in love) last night and cannot even empty the dishwasher before he leaves for work to express his gratitude and thankfulness for it? Jerk!

Great, thanks, dude! I thought the whole part of having s.e.x with your husband was that he was in a good mood for a few days trying to make you happy so you'll happily oblige again?!? Right....

I called him to give him crap about it - he chuckled and so did I....I am so glad we can joke about things like these together. When I told him to throw me a bone, his response:

"I DID! I threw you one last night!" 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Our trip 'home'

The day after Christmas, we loaded up the car and drove north to my parents house. We spent our days with my parents, my brother's family and our friends. It was great to catch up with everyone. Unfortunately, mother nature has decided we don't need winter this year, so there was no snow, and actually, hardly any cold temperatures at all. We really had been hoping to hit the slopes a time or two while we were home, but there just wasn't any snow to justify the cost of going. We were pretty disappointed, but we have hopes of going at some point this winter!

Maine friends! 
In October, my brother, Joe and his wife, Carley, welcomed their second child into their family, Olivia. I couldn't wait to get my hands on her! What a little cutie pie, and their little boy, Landon had a blast playing with our girls! It is so cute to see them all playing together. I took some photographs of her and Landon, too!

Since we didn't see my parents or brother this year for Christmas, we celebrated a little late! We exchanged our presents together, and that was fun! The girls were psyched to get new clothes for their dolls!

We spent about three days total visiting friends in Maine. The kids (and us) had a really great time catching up with friends. It definitely made us miss Maine even more. We are just so lucky to have such amazing friends there - we miss them!

Callum's 1st New Years! 

On New Years Eve we spent the evening in Portsmouth with my parents and my brothers family. We had pizza at the Gas Light Company and walked around downtown before the fireworks went off. The girls had a blast, and thankfully, it wasn't too cold. My dad had originally wanted to head into Boston, but with six kids who are 5 and under (with two of them being under a year and two of them being 2 and under) we thought this year may not be "the" year - maybe next year, dad!

Other than that, we had a great time being home.

Here are some more photos:

Meeting their new cousin, Olivia

Auntie Steph (me) and Olivia

Mairead getting some baby lovin' in too!

Callum opening some gifts

Nana lovin' on the girls after she opens her gifts

For Christmas, I told my sister in law that I would take photographs of her with the kiddos. I love practicing, especially on babies, so any chance I get to take photographs, I do it -- so here are a few!