Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Terrible 6s???

Everyone always talks about the terrible 2s! It's everywhere. And it's to the point where most parents are afraid of what demons will be possessing their sweet little babe. For me, the 2s in any of the girls were not bad. Yeah, there were those stages where they were climbing everything, frustrated verbally, and just exerting a little bit of independence.

But what I want to know is why the hell are people not talking about the Terrible 6s??? No, seriously, I want to know, because this one is hitting me like a ton of bricks. And I am praying that my daughter isn't the only one who is making me sweat profusely on most days.

And do you know what??? I hope she reads this when she is older. I hope I hear the phrase "I never acted like that when I was 6......" and then I can show her this post. In all seriousness, I can run circles around newborns.....infants.....toddlers, but this attitude crap is scaring the hell out of me. No, really, I am scared. The kid hasn't even been in school yet, and she is striking the diva attitude pretty impressively.

I'd like to think these personality changes are occurring because of our move, or because of daddy working in Virginia, but the truth is, they started back in April, but I just need to know what the heck is going on. Over the past few months, the attitude has just gotten out of control. We've tried all sorts of different ways to teach her to use her words, but no matter what I do, I feel as though it just isn't working. When she isn't striking an attitude, she's spitting, or more like blowing raspberries in my face or her sisters face, or she's whining, screaming, yelling, stomping her feet......please, someone tell me my daughter isn't the only 6 year old acting like this! Please.....

I've taken more things away or cancelled special trips, events, activities and playdates, than I have ever had to before. It breaks my heart. I don't want to.....and I have even praised all the good she does, by late nights up with me, trips to a water park, sleepovers with friends, but sometimes I feel as though no matter what I do for her, it just isn't good enough. I just want my easygoing, happy-go-lucky girl back! I hate having to send her to her room, or taking things away, but she has to realize she isn't the boss.

Today was a tough day for her. She woke up whining, and right then, knew it would be a tough day, not to mention, she woke up about an hour earlier than usual. Great. Before 9am, she was already in time out in her room. She came down, and had a good remainder of the morning. When it was time for her and the girls to pick up from having a friend here this morning, she started throwing an attitude. I gave her several chances, and then took away her American Girl doll. We ran to Trader Joe's for a quick grocery order, the girls did well, but by the time we came home, and it was time to pick up the toy room, the attitude started soaring after about 10 minutes. She then screamed "I hate picking up! I am going to my room!"all while Clara and Lilah stayed and helped me finish. So, I put a movie on for them, then of course, Mairead came downstairs, but I told her she wasn't done. She came into the kitchen with me, emptied the dishwasher, washed windows, cabinets, tables and chairs, then we headed out to run errands. She once again pulled herself to together, but by our 2nd stop, she was becoming defiant and egging the other girls on. By the time we were back in the car, she was spitting at Lilah, kicking her, and screaming. She went immediately to her room until dinner once we got home. She came down for dinner, and went back to her room afterwards. Once she realized her sisters were watching a show in my bed, she lost it. I went into her room and read to her. I bought the American Girl book "Feelings" hoping that this might help her understand what may be going on in that pretty little head of hers....I am at a loss.

Once I got the other kids to bed, she continued to cry. I'd go in every few minutes, reassure her, tell her I love her and tell her that tomorrow is a new day to try again, and to learn from her bad choices today. It was a really tough mommy day, finishing the day completely defeated and deflated. I know my sweet, fun, funny, caring, loving baby girl is in there, I just have to find a way to show her that it is more fun to make good choices, and not so much fun to make bad ones...Ugh.

I just hope I am doing her right...Being a parent sucks sometimes!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Lazy Mammas Dinner - in less than 25 minutes!

Having midweek dinners apart from Kevin makes meal planning a little more difficult. I tend to save the "better" meals for when daddy is home. Since we are not a family that eats fast food (our children have never had McDonalds) and eating out at a restaurant frequently midweek is impractical and not to mention, expensive, I've come up with one fall back meal that I try to always have available for those nights where I just don't feel like cooking.

Here in Maine, we are very lucky to have a Trader Joe's very close to our house, about 10 minutes. I don't know about you, but I love me some Trader Joe's! One of our family favorites is their Mandarin Orange chicken. It is SO yummy. And the best part?! The kids are obsessed! So, I decided to make one of their favorite things into a dinner, and do you know what is even better? You can have this dinner ready in under 25 minutes while you are pretty much sitting pretty, swigging sipping a glass of wine, or breaking up some fights. 

How the heck you are saying, right? It's pretty difficult, so pay attention.....

What do you need?

1. One package of Trader Joe's Mandarin Orange Chicken.
2. One package of Trader Joe's Organic Jasmine Rice
3. One package of vegetables - we like cauliflower and broccoli mix
How do you do it? 

1. Dump the chicken on a cookie sheet. Follow the directions. Takes about 18 minutes to cook at 400.
2. When the chicken is close to being done, microwave the package of rice for 3 minutes. Yes, 3 minutes.
3. When the rice is done, steam the veggies in the microwave for 3-4 minutes. 
4. Mix the orange sauce in the chicken.

DONE. It is SO GOOD!!! AND SO EASY! I love that the only thing I have to do is literally dump chicken on a pan, and prepare the plates for my kids. That is it my friends! 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Better late than never!

4 months after I set out to run a 5 mile race, I finally conquered it!

I had intended to run the Washington DC St. Patricks Day 8K in March, but unfortunately, my body had other plans!

Well, now that I have things under control and I finally feel as though I am on a better track to success with my running! Since I have been back in Maine, I've slowly been upping my mileage. I have joined a friend of mines running group. I figured this will help keep me running, limit the amount of times I can keep putting off a run I know I need to accomplish! Even though they meet at 7am on Saturday mornings, I've been making an honest effort to wake up early and join them! I've been very proud of myself!

So last week, I decided to join a few ladies from the running group and run my very first 5 mile race. The weather looked good. I had been feeling good. It was time! I had two really good runs in the week, and had been able to keep my pace under 10 minutes/mile. Pretty good for me when I usually average about 10-11+/mile.

I made the mistake of telling my girlfriend that I'd love to run it in under 50 minutes. I started the race off slow, and increased my pace slowly. I was feeling great and avoiding the morning side stitches, but by mile 4, I was really starting to feel it in my quads and just overall tiredness, OK, I won't lie...I wanted to die.....but, my kick ass friend kept kicking my ass, doing a little yelling, and keeping me on track....without her help, there is no way I would have been able to achieve my goal of 5 miles in under 50 minutes! I finished with a 9:48min/mile pace! Yeah!

Do you know I have planned next!? I have officially signed up for my VERY FIRST half marathon! That's right! On September 30th, I will be running in the Maine Half Marathon!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Making time for me...

With Kevin being gone, and having to be with the four kiddos proves to be quite tough on somedays - some are surely worse than others. I wake up with them, and put them to bed. Sometimes days run into each other and by the time the kids go to bed, I am fried. It's easy to get caught up in the kids 24/7 and leave my needs unattended to, but there is only so long one can go on that way before truly being miserable. Though, I have to say, I am quite thankful for those in my life who help me stay sane!

Since having Callum, I've tried getting back into running. Every few months, I'd hit some sort of road block, like moving...or extreme heat & humidity in Virginia and then fall came, and running in the evening was impossible because it was dark so early. So, I stopped running. Then again in February, I started up again, I signed up for a 5 mile St. Patricks Day race and ended up having some pretty significant IT band issues, and had to forfeit the race and not run. It was several weeks before I was up and running without pain again. It was a long, frustrating road. Then, we headed off to Mexico for a week and ended up getting a foreign object stuck in my foot.

This was immediately after coming home from the food doctor.
He had tried digging
the object out of my foot without any luck...
Believe me, it did NOT look like that when I walked
into his office - it was MUCH less impressive! 
--about "that" foreign object - I never blogged about or even mentioned it, but I guess I'll have to share all the fun I went through during the last few weeks of our time in Virginia. You may want to close your eyes in a few! So, anyways, our last full day in Mexico and Lilah wants to run down to the beach. So we RUN...and all of a sudden I feel something impale my foot. I wanted to scream. I looked down and it was a small puncture wound. I would have bet a million dollars that my foot was sliced open, but no, a small measly puncture wound. I hobble into the water with Lilah trying to ignore the pain, but I couldn't ignore it any longer. I hopped out of the water, sat down, and looked at my foot. There was surely something black embedded inside of my foot. Fast forward a few days - we couldn't get the object out in Mexico, so I ended up in the ER in Virginia. I had a foot doc try to dig the object out of my foot, but every time he tried, the piece of what we think was roof thatching would break off. It was then decided that if I didn't have pain, I should see if the wound will heal on its own. By the time we left for Maine, it still hadn't healed, but it was healing very slowly. Soon enough, I tried running and didn't experience any IT Band pain or foot pain, so I continued. At that point, you could still see black in my foot, but after several days at the beach and salt water, it appears as though the object has escaped my foot! It was a long road, but I finally feel as though my foot is truly healing! Who says the beach isn't healing!?
This was about 10 days or so after the procedure. After days and days of
soaks, it never came out...

This is when we decided to let it heal and see what happens. It didn't heal
too much after that until daily trips to the beach helped expel the object!
By mid-July you can almost not even tell where the area was! It took FOREVER!
 So, after that whole foot ordeal, I was just ready to run. Once the pain subsided, I started running a little at a time. I was afraid to start too fast after my IT Band issue, so I took it slow. Real slow. I joined a running group that a friend of mine had started, and signed up for my first half Marathon! On September 30th, I will be running in the Maine Half Marathon. I have never run more than 7 miles at one time, and have only done that once in my life.

Why you ask? I need to do it for me. It will force me to make time for me. While I don't love running, I love how it makes me feel when I am done. I love that I have a group of friends I can run with weekly, and I love that we can help each other out to run.

I guess I should start blogging on my muffin top blog again!? (

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Learn something new everyday...

I've always meant to bring in our van to have our car seat installation checked by a professional. Never got to it. Guess I should have. 

We've had our Toyota Sienna (7 passenger) since February 2007. And we started using our rear seat in September 2009 after Clara was born. 

Since then, Kevin and I have complained about the location of the "car seat tethers" for the rear seat. They got in the way of our cargo space, and made it difficult to store certain items. We really started complaining once we had two of the kids sitting in the rear of the van. 

In the last few weeks, Kevin and I have been discussing new car seats. Callum and Clara both need them, and ideally, we'd love the option to place three across the back in the rear. I did some research and came to find out that our car seats were tethered in the wrong location. We were using the cargo holds to attach our car seats, not the car seat tethers. When I learned this, I was in disbelief. After all this time, we had though our car seats were safely installed. We guessed wrong. I am so thankful that nothing happened and we were never in any sort of car accident during this time. 

The Cargo hold latch that I thought was the car seat tether
The first thing I did yesterday was fix the car seats. I had to install Mairead and Lilah's car seat right next to each other - which should really bode well for being able to annoy the hell out of one another. I don't understand why Toyota didn't install three LATCH or Tethers in the rear, or put the two LATCH on either ends, not one right next to the other! It makes for a very difficult installation, and a lot of potential headaches for the adults having to listen to the fighting! 

Current installation with the correct tethers - see the flap!? 
I definitely wanted to share this information for you because the tethers on this Toyota Sienna were NOT in an obvious spot. You have to lift a flap up and even then, the anchors are not obvious unless you are looking for it. So, don't be like me, take your car seats to get checked - many police stations or fire stations will do it. 

Shame on Toyota for making this family swagger so difficult for installing car seats, especially for larger families!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Special Times

One of the (many) difficult things of having four children, and having them close in age, is making sure I spend time with each one of them alone - without their siblings. Just us together.

Now that Kevin is gone mid-week I've been trying to plan special nights for the girls. Two weeks ago, I put the girls to bed, but told Mairead she could come downstairs with me. The others had no clue. Mairead came down with me and saw what it was like to have mamma time. We watched a movie together and she got to have a special mamma ice cream. She even got to stay up as late as I did, and basically, did everything I did. She loved it. I loved watching her get so excited about it!

Last Friday, I had planned on taking just the two big girls to splashtown, a local waterpark here in Maine, but because not-so-good behavior got in the way, I had to pull the plug on of the few things I had to cancel last week because of behavior issues.

Thankfully this week seems to be a little bit of a different story. Their behavior hasn't been 100%, but I try to be realistic, and see the improvements. Last night, Mairead had her very first sleepover at a friends. She had been looking forward to this for weeks, and it finally came! I dropped her off at 4pm, she had dinner, ice cream sundaes and rode bikes with her friends, and even stayed up way too late! BUT the best part - no late night phone calls, no middle of the night troubles, and a happy, excited kid returned in the morning!

While Mairead had her special night, I let Lilah have hers. Right before bed, I told Lilah she'd be able to have a mommy night with me. If I could have had her reaction on video - it was priceless! She jumped up with the biggest smile and literally jumped on me with a great, big hug. Talk about making me feel good. Once again, we watched a movie and she got to have a special mamma ice cream - but Lilah can't hang as well as Mairead can at night. She requires a lot of sleep! By 915pm she was asking when we were going to bed, and she proceeded to ask that question every 10 minutes after that. By 945 she was walking into the other room to crawl up on the couch. I love it! Once we went up to bed, we brushed our teeth, she crawled into bed, and no joke, she was asleep within a minute??? Maybe two!

Today we had even more fun! I scheduled a sitter to watch Clara and Callum and I took the big girls to meet some friends at Splashtown - this is what we were supposed to do last week! We had so much fun together, and rode all sorts of waterslides together! We had fun with our friends, too!

I can't wait to continue these little "traditions" with our kids! It makes for some really special times and I just love seeing them so happy and excited!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Summer nights

I won't lie, this week has sucked. We've had some behavior issues with a certain 6 year old and I am just finished dealing with it. I've tried everything and it comes down to one thing. She just doesn't care. She feels like she is entitled to do, say and act however she sees fit.

This week we had a lot of fun things planned but because unwanted behavior got in the way, we had to cancel some things. I hate doing that, especially when the other kids are behaving well, but, sometimes you just gotta be the bad guy. I always hope it makes an impact on the kid getting in trouble, but I also hope the other kiddos take note that mamma means business and I mean what I say.

After our morning activity was cancelled yesterday due to nasty behavior, Mairead straightened herself out for the afternoon. You see, when I was forced into cancelling our morning date to Mackworth Island and out to lunch, I felt bad. So, I called our high school sitter to have her come over to sit with Mairead while I took the others out for ice cream. Had to drive that punishment just far enough to make it really hurt., she recovered and had a fantastic afternoon. I was glad because I had planned a pretty fun evening for her all her (and Lilah's) little girlfriends.

In true Ferrie fashion nothing bodes very easy sometimes, so just as I was preparing an early dinner before our friends arrived, I hear blood curdling screams. It was Clara. She was sitting by our screen door screaming. I run over and her pinky finger was lodged in the inside of the door. I quickly brought her over to the sink and ran cold water over it. It wasn't until I stopped the water that I realized her finger was heavily bleeding. It looked bad. She continued to scream. I am putting pressure on her finger and the chicken in the oven is beeping finished. I am across the room. I was trying to tell Mairead which button to press, praying dinner wasn't ruined. Finally she got it. I then call my neighbor and ask her to come over. I needed someone to take dinner out of the oven, and do a little damage control. At that point, I wasn't sure if her finger needed some stitching. I felt so horrible.

Thankfully my neighbor came right over and saved dinner! She helped me get back into control and get a closer look at Clara's finger. Thankfully, it wasn't gushing anymore, and looked as though it didn't need any stitches. So, I decided to watch it. And decided that our plans for our girls night would still go on!
Here's Miss Attitude
Within 45 minutes, our friends arrived. Four mammas and their girls. 9 girls. 1 boy. Poor Callum. The kids ran around, and I attempted to start a fire. With a little help from my mamma friend, we had a roaring fire and the kids roasted s'mores! They had a blast and it was the most beautiful summer night. We also had our waterslide up, so the kids were in and out of that, too! Once dark set in, we came inside, the kids watched a movie and the mammas enjoyed a few drinks and chatted away. The kids would run in and out looking for fireflys. It was a fantastic night that lasted until close to 1030!

While the day was pretty shitty, the evening ended up on a pretty sweet note!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Throwing in the towel!

Some days I put the kids to bed so fast because my fuse is about to burst. I feel bad that I read their stories so fast they can barely keep up, but today, was just one of those days I couldn't wait to end.

Our bed is pretty high up, and Callum was on it this morning, and I turned my back for one second....and BANG! There he was...on the floor. Hell, I spend more time telling my kids to be careful with him on our bed because they might push him off, and who is responsible for the first fall? ME. The MOM. Quick, someone yell at me. I need a time out.

This morning was a swim school day for the girls. The big girls go at 9am, then we come home for an hour (thankfully swim school is just a short walk from our house) and go back for Clara. This morning there was another mom watching. I chatted with her for a while, and then Lilah came walking over to her and started talking.

Lilah: "Are you a boy?"
The mom kind of had a blank stare like she wasn't quite sure what Lilah asked...I think she knew, but, well, you know... 
Lilah: "Are YOU a BOY?" 
Mom: "No, I am a girl, just like you"
Lilah: "Well your hair is short just like a boys"
Mom: "Yeah, I do have short hair"

I butt in and say that some girls have short hair, just like some boys have long hair. Trying to get her to SHUT IT.

Lilah: "Well you talk like a boy"

I seriously wanted to crawl in a hole and die. I was so embarrassed. In Lilah's defense, the women was not very feminine, but thankfully she was very nice about it! Kids hold nothing back and I mean NOTHING. 

Then this evening, we met a friend and her two kiddos at Friendly's for dinner. It was Kids eat free night, so we joined them! Clara and Callum were a bit wild, and we didn't have a high chair for Callum. He bounced and acted crazy in the booth until the food came. He ate, and as soon as he was done, he wanted out. I tried to clear the table from as many of the "weapons" as possible, except for one thing. The ketchup bottle and the glasses of water. All of a sudden, Callum picked up the ketchup, and chucked it toward Cindy, it hit the glasses of water, and spilled on her. It was HILARIOUS! And I am so glad she thought it was too. Callum just stood there with this look of "Did I JUST DO THAT!?"

Yeah, Buddy. Ya Did. 

As if that wasn't bad enough, we almost left the restaurant without Clara. Well, where was she you ask?  She was locked in the bathroom stall POOPING. 

On our way home, I had to stop by Target. We have a family friend here who is 13 hanging with us for the week, so she stayed in the car with the kiddos while I ran in. I jumped in the car and Lilah said she had to go potty. Knowing she had gone not to long ago, I ask if she could wait until we got home - 10 minutes? She hesitantly said yeah. Home we go...

Several times on the way home, she complains how bad she has to go. I tell her to squeeze her butt cheeks. We're almost home! 

I pull into the driveway, and she's practically halfway out of the car...she bolts into the house so fast. Then Mairead comes out of the house saying Lilah pooped her pants. Didn't quite make it....thankfully it was just a little squirt! Lilah says "My belly hurts, I guess that's what happens when we don't eat very healthy" - she knows! 

You think that's it?? NOPE. Well, the big girls are sharing a room with our house guest and tonight was Lilah's turn to sleep next to Lily. Mairead was pissed. She wanted to sleep next to her. Again. Of course, that's not how it goes. Mairead has a fit. Yells. Cries. Screams. 


Oh kid...good luck with that. And so folks, I ended my night on that note. I am so glad this crazy ass day is OVER. 

Saturday, July 7, 2012


One of the best parts about living in Maine is the fact that I feel as though I am on vacation a lot of the time. There is just so many cool things to do, and each year, I feel as though we get to do more and more as our kids get older. Maine is a massive state, and one can go from ocean to lakes to mountains in a matter of just a short drive. It's just beautiful. Coastal Maine is so very different than inland, rural Maine. It really is mind boggling that we all live in the same state!

Dirty camping feet

Mairead enjoying the Sunset on Lake Mooselookmeguntic

Lake Mooselookmeguntic, Rangeley - try saying that one 10 times fast! 

Last Thursday, Kevin flew home and would be home for 10 glorious days! We survived our first month of our crazy plan, and hope the 2nd month goes as smooth as the first one. That weekend, we drove up to Lake Sebago with some other friends and spent the day at the lake! Once nap time came, Kevin left with Clara and Callum, and I stayed with the other moms and camped out! This is the first time that I have ever left my kids for something "fun". The big girls had never gone camping before, so they were super excited! I didn't know what it would be like not having Callum or Clara around for 18 hours, but, I will admit, life was pretty easy with just two kids! Our campsite was beautiful, and surrounded by water on three sides! The frogs kept us up at night, but that's okay, it was just for one night!
Daddy & Callum enjoying Lake Sebago

Mmmm! Sand

Mairead and one of her besties! 

Silly little Lilah Loo!

The next morning, Kevin came to pick us up (his car is in Virginia) and Callum was so excited to see his mamma. For the remainder of the day, his hand was down my shirt begging to nurse. No, seriously. I think he thought because I left him for 18 hours that he could just nurse for 18 hours. Straight. :)
My sweet little Patriots! 
The next few days of our staycation were filled with dinners with friends, beach time, and just relaxing together! Included in our staycation was the 4th of July. I even made the girls their dresses! I forgot I had bought the fabric, so I was making them the night before the 4th! We celebrated with my parents and some friends, but unfortunately, there were pretty bad thunderstorms and Portland had to cancel their fireworks. I was just as disappointed as the kiddos were because it is one of my favorite Maine summertime events! It's just gorgeous overlooking Casco Bay.....Oh well!

The day after the 4th, we headed up to Rangeley, Maine where my brother and his family were staying in a lakehouse. They invited us up, so we drove up for a few days and spent some time with them! The house was so cute, and lake Mooselookmeguntic was just gorgeous! The kids and their cousins had a lot of fun together. On Friday we rented a Pontoon boat and spent the day cruising, fishing, swimming, and drinking beer. The adults - not the kids!
Lilah (and the other girls) had so much fun doting on their little cousin, Olivia! 

Phoebe & Emmie spent the entire first day in the water! Poor Phoebe suffers from chronic ear infections, so I thought
up of a way to dry out her ears :) - she didn't seem to mind too much! 

Everyone had a blast exploring on the lake. Callum enjoyed picking up rocks, Clara enjoyed the water,
Emmie enjoyed the water and fetching balls, and of course, Daddy enjoyed some beer :)

Clara was all ready for a day out on the boat! 

Lilah wasn't too excited :)

and either was Mairead! :)

Me and Clara enjoying the morning!

Daddy and Lilah 

My brother - Uncle Joe - in the water with the girls! They were having fun jumping off the boat!

Captain Steph!

The crew!

Daddy & Callum! Callum enjoyed the boat. He is all about the cheesy smile right now and I cannot
get enough of it! Ugh! LOVE HIM!

Me and Kevin enjoying our time together!

Lake Mooselookmeguntic from above

Overall, the last week has been absolutely crazy with fun and games! I am tired, but I am just loving it! I am looking forward to many more fun days at the beach! We have some fun things planned for the rest of the summer before we kick off our first official "school year"