Our Family

Our Family
"These are the children God has graciously given to me. (us)" - Genesis 33:5

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Happy 7th (Wow) Birthday Ethan!!

Seven years old. That magic age...the age of reason. It's where they aren't young enough to be your baby anymore, and they still aren't old enough to be away from you for too long. We can't believe we have a 7 year old!
Ethan, you have become an amazing person to us. Your ability to love beyond all reason, to accept so much on faith, and take everything in stride is a gift. We can't imagine you any other way. Sure, you've had your ups and downs...some of those downs have been quite difficult. But, the ups...well those have simply been delightful. We love you more and more each day...and after 7 years of loving you we look forward to the next 7 knowing full well how much more our love for you will grow. We love you with all of our heart and soul my love, and hope you had a splendid birthday this year!

Ethan decided he wanted to try his hand at bowling this year for his birthday! We went up the street to King's Bowling Lanes because it has candle pin bowling. Ethan, Joshua, Rebekah and Jack had a blast rolling those balls down the alley! What a sight to see. Ethan was beside himself with excitement and enjoyment!

Friday, December 04, 2009

Santa Picture

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It only took a couple of bribes to get everyone to look up. It took many more bribes to get Joshua to even show his face!

Just A Few Minutes...

...is all it takes to get this!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I Know...

I promised pictures, updates etc...and I haven't really done it. In my defense...to say I'm busy would be a serious understatement! It would take me several moments to type up the list of things I've been responsible for lately...and I really don't have the time. So, at the very least...I attempted to make some changes to the blog and have at least updated some pictures. I'm not even sure I have that many followers anymore. I know it's been tough for me to follow my list of blogs...and I used to be quite the "blog stalker". So, to those of you who have been checking in to see if there are any new updates, I'm sorry to disappoint. For those of you who are gluten free and have been looking for new information...I have included a widget for a gluten free search engine down on the right hand side of the blog. You can type in any kind of product and it will pull up a list of gluten free choices for you. It's pretty handy for just about anyone...even those of us who have been doing this for awhile now!

So, please check back again. I don't know when I'll be able to update with more pictures, but I will do my best! If I don't get on again soon...have a very Happy Thanksgiving!!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Does a Heart Good

We do a monthly trip to Trader Joes in Tyngsboro once a month to stalk up on many non perishables as well as fruits and vegetables. Feeding nine people, five of them children, can cost a lot of money, but with their prices we usually manage to walk out of there with lots of food to last about a month, for little money...(when I say little I mean anywhere between $300-$400).

On this trip, my parents followed me and my crew done to Tyngsboro. All of the kiddos were asleep except for Ethan, so my Dad stayed in the van with them while Ethan, my Mom and myself went in to do the shopping. Ethan, as some of you know, can be quite chatty. Most of the people we come in contact with end up learning more about our family than necessary. In any case, the employees loved him and thought he was very smart, funny and cute. While we were checking out, (our two overloaded carriages), Ethan was talking about all of the people that live in our house. When the cashier was done ringing everything up he excused himself and said he would be back in a moment so Ethan continued talking to the gentleman who was bagging our food. The cashier came back with a bouquet of flowers for me telling me lots of nice things that made me feel all warm and fuzzy, and Ethan was very excited about the flowers. So, I asked him what we should do with them when we got home, and here is how the conversation went:

Ethan: We need to put them in a vase because flowers like to eat water and soil.
Me: Well, once they are cut they only need water. When they are growing, then they need both water and soil.
Ethan: Okay Mommy. Will they last forever?
Me: Honey, does anything last forever?
Ethan: No Mommy.......Well, except for God's love!

How great is that?? My heart just about exploded out of my chest. I was so proud of him and told him so. The cashier and bagger were speechless with eyes and mouths wide open. Then the bagger leaned down and said to Ethan, "We could all learn a lesson from you!" Ethan just smiled. What a great moment!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

John Deere Expo Pix

These pictures were from the John Deere Expo in Kensington NH. It is held every year in August, and we have made it there the past 3 years. The kids LOVE it. They don't have a ton of stuff to do, but what they do have is just enough for our kids!

The twins had a great time riding around in the double stroller!

Yes, I color coordinated for the occasion.

He looks comfy doesn't he? It's been taken under consideration as a new bed for him!

She is just so darn cute and little!

This was by far their favorite part. Yes, that is Bekah driving! She did an incredible job, and Josh was nice enough to give her a turn. They switched off and on. Ethan on the other hand, was perfectly happy doing his own thing!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

We Are Still Here!

So, it's been about a month since I last posted. A lot has happened that has not only kept me away from the blog, but just kept me so busy, that finding the time to type something out is near impossible.

Here are some of the things that have kept us so busy: a John Deere Expo, a gluten free BBQ with our ROCK support group, my parents moving in, a birthday party for the twins, apple picking, the Deerfield Fair, day trips up north to see the foliage, plus many hours of driving to and from various therapies and doctors appointments for Ethan and Joshua, as well as teaching Ethan first grade! Yup, we've been busy. With the volumes of pictures I have it would be impossible for me to pick out a few to post here to show you where we've been and what we've done. That and the fact that I just don't have time to wait around for blogger to download the darn things!! :)

When I can, I promise to post some pictures...hey maybe tonight...we'll see. In any case, we are still here and going...just busier than ever.

Saturday, September 05, 2009


Well, my babies will be turning one in just a few days...time has certainly gone by way too fast. I suppose it was bound to happen, it's just one of those things. But, unlike my other children, I've been having a tough time with some of the milestones the twins have been hitting. One of which is the infamous haircut. My oldest two boys had a lot of hair, especially Joshua. He needed a haircut at 9 mos. because it was getting into his eyes! Poor Rebekah still doesn't have enough hair to truly cut, but even she has now had two haircuts. So, it was only a matter of time before the twins would be receiving their very first as well.

I think I've put it off because I knew that once they had those little baby hairs clipped, they would look like "big boys" or toddlers and I wasn't sure I was ready to let go of my "babies" just yet. But, they are growing up, and I can't resist those cute little boy faces anymore than the cute little baby faces...so clip-clip!

I am very fortunate to have such an awesome hairstylist. Donna has been cutting my hair since my wedding day! I say fortunate, because she was willing to come to my house yesterday to cut my hair, so that's why we figured we'd take advantage and have her do the twins and Bekah as well.

Caleb before his trim...

Caleb after his trim...he wasn't too happy with the whole experience. I think he wanted to be the one using the scissors!!

Elijah before his trim...

Elijah after his trim...very happy little guy. He had no problem with the haircut. As a matter of fact he continued to eat his veggie bootie during the whole process!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009


We received Ethan's CAT results at the end of last week. It was a pretty quick turnaround. We are proud to say that our big guy did awesome. He scored average to above average all the way around. His lowest score was a 5 (on a 1-9 scale; 1-3 below average, 4-6 average, and 7-9 above average) and that was on comprehension. We weren't surprised because comprehension can be a difficult task for children with Asperger. The problem with comprehension is that if the topic doesn't interest them, they simply tune it out. If the stories on the tests were about John Deere or Thomas, I'm sure he would have paid closer attention to the story, but still may have struggled with the concepts the story was presenting. Since the story's were about cats outside and breakfast foods cooking in the kitchen, he didn't even hear the stories much less be able to answer a question about it.

In any case, he did so well and we are so proud of him. When we told him his results he smiled and said, "I'm so proud of myself!" We had told him that when he finished Kindergarten we would celebrate with a cake of his choice. So, he chose chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting. I figured it would be a perfect opportunity to check out the new gluten free mixes from Betty Crocker. They have four mixes out; Devil's Food Cake, Yellow Cake, Cookie Mix, and Brownie Mix. We had already had the brownie mix due to Ethan's OT using that as a cooking activity during one of his sessions...they were yummy! Well, let me tell you...the Devil's Food Cake was pretty awesome as well. That topped with my homemade gluten free, dairy free vanilla frosting and the kids were all pretty excited as they inhaled not one but two cupcakes each! We even let the babies try some...ya, ya I know they haven't had their first birthday yet...but some rules are made to be broken right?? :)

Anyway, we are now looking forward to his first grade books coming in the mail tomorrow and have the school room all set up and ready to go. Mike and I organized each child's activity/school basket so that it's easy enough to know where each child's work is. We will be doing preschool for Joshua and Rebekah as well. It should be an interesting year, and I'm looking forward to watching my children grow in their learning!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Just A Swim

Walking into the bathroom yesterday I noticed the sink was a quarter of the way filled with water. Floating in the water were two bath toys...an orange fish and a duck decorated with the British Flag colors (courtesy of our relatives in Ireland). Knowing who had been in the bathroom prior to myself, I began calling for Joshua.

When he came to the bathroom door, I pointed to the sink and asked him if he did it. "Yes, Momma" was his reply. I asked him why and quite seriously he said to me, "They just wanted to take a swim Momma!" ...and then he smiled!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

It Is Done...

Hooray! Today is the day that Ethan finished his CAT Exam for Kindergarten! It was a pleasant experience to watch my little guy answer questions that I thought might be tough for him. It was also reassuring that everything I've been able to do...or not do...over the course of the last two years helped him accomplish this goal. Even more so, the curriculum through Seton for Kindergarten far surpassed the questions that were within the 6 tests he had to complete. Again reassuring me that we've made the right decision for him.

Now, we just wait for the results and order the materials he needs for 1st Grade!! WOW! I have a first grader...very exciting. He has asked for chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting to celebrate...no problem...we'll just mix up a batch and throw them in the van...with this heat I'm sure it's just as hot as the oven in there!!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Awesome Parents!

You know how you can look back on something and whatever it was that struck you as odd finally makes sense to you??

Well...as most of you know Ethan is tiny for his age. He will be 7 years old in December, but his body size measures at around a 4 1/2 to 5 year old. In any case, the child really has no waist, and if it weren't for the fact that he needs the length in his pants, he could easily walk around in a size 2T to 3T without fear of them being too tight. As a matter of fact, we have been able to put him in his brothers 3T shorts this summer when his two pairs of size 5 have been dirty. (They are the ones with the adjustable waist which is the only reason why they fit him!)

It just dawned on me, as I was hanging up some of the wet laundry to dry, what was wrong with Ethan's outfit on Sunday. I had mentioned to Mike that Ethan's pants looked a little weird, but it was usually when I was in the middle of something and I never got around to checking out why. He wore them all day, never complained once about how they fit, I just thought they looked weird...maybe too small. I didn't think anything of it...until just now...when I hung up a pair of 6-9 MONTH PANTS, that it all became so clear...

You guessed it...no wonder he looked weird...he was wearing 6-9 month pants as shorts!! And we didn't even realize it until 5 days later...that's AWESOME!! :)

Monday, August 03, 2009

Who Are The Animals In Your Neighborhood...

Well, for being on the West Side of Manchvegas we've seen our fair share of wildlife this summer.

First we have evidence of a rather large moose taking a leisurely stroll through our backyard and over our fence. Our neighbor actually saw the moose, but we had hoof prints and moose hair all over the yard and stuck to the fence.

Second we've had a woodchuck sitting around on the rock wall now for the past several mornings. We think he took a liking to Mike's Jeep mats that have been airing out back there.

And now...a baby skunk.

Isn't he cute???
(I was using Mike's camera which has an awesome zoom control...because I was about 15 feet away!)

And then he spotted me!!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Live Fee Or Die

Nope...it's not a typo. I really meant to spell Free as Fee. Why? Well, let's just say that the great state of New Hampshire doesn't seem to be living up to its state motto these days.

In the news today, was an announcement that anyone who needed to register their vehicles in the next four months had better hurry up and do it TODAY, as TOMORROW the new fees would be implemented. Hun? I didn't see that headline this morning on WMUR, and yet there it was this afternoon when I checked the news. Maybe I just missed it because I was just in to check the weather real quick. But, if you read the article, the information was only just posted...today.

For those of you, who like me, didn't know of this change coming so soon you can click on the WMUR link above for the news article...which by the way was a little blurb on the side of the screen. It seems to me they had far more "warnings" for the impending change over to digital television than they did for this little diddy!

Anyway, suffice it to say...this will be the last time you will see the VANOKDS license plate on our vehicle. Due to the new fees that our lovely state government has decided to place on everyone in the state, such things as a vanity plate have become a far to expensive way to show our state just how "free" we are. Not only did the fee go up for a vanity plate...$40 vs. the $25 initial cost...but you will now be charged the $40 ANNUALLY!! Ummm, last time I registered my car, I don't remember receiving a new plate with my stickers...hmmm.

Plus, in addition to your regular state and local fees for registering your vehicle, you will have a minimum $30 charge depending on the weight of your vehicle. All total, that's an extra $140 we have to come up with for our two vehicles. (Hubby's car has a vanity plate too.) Thank God my kids don't weigh much!! :)

I absolutely refuse to give my irresponsible state $40 of my husbands hard earned cash for the "privilege" of having a vanity plate every single year. I'd rather make them shell out their own money to make me a boring one. I strongly urge anyone out there who has a vanity plate, to consider doing the same. It's time to stand up and hold those responsible for the state our state is in...accountable!!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Sevin Stitches

A friend of mine has just opened a new Etsy shop. To celebrate she is giving away one of her Monk's Bags . Please follow the link below for your chance to enter the contest as well as to see some of the great things she is making!!


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

He Did It!

Everyday it's a battle. Everyday, Mike and I try to figure out the best way to deal with the many issues that Ethan presents us with. One of the longest battles we've had is in potty training. We officially welcomed him into the world of underpants and toilet use in February of 2008! In general he uses the toilet pretty regularly. We have found that the reasons for his wet accidents are the usual...he's too preoccupied, doesn't want to stop doing what he's doing, or is just plain lazy! However, it's been a battle to get him fully trained in doing a BM without accidents. We are constantly faced with the questions "is it autism, sensory, or 6 1/2 yr. old behavior??" Then we try to come up with an answer and a solution. Needless to say we have tried everything! And in Ethan's defense he is still on a laxative, (he's been on one since he was 18 months old!), so if it's been a couple of days since his last BM, we'll "up" his meds. to encourage his body to go. This sometimes results in a "got there a little too late" accident which is obviously beyond his control.

Well, yesterday I had had it! It's enough that I still have four other children in diapers, (another post for another day) so it's not hard to imagine that I find myself losing my patience so much quicker when my oldest just can't seem to keep his underpants clean. So, I came up with yet another plan. Ethan wears a pull up to bed at night because he absolutely cannot stay dry that long yet. In the morning, he is supposed to come down, use the toilet and change out of his pull up into a pair of underpants. Last night I told him that from now on, when he comes downstairs he is to change from his overnight pull up into a new pull up for the day. He really didn't like that idea, but I told him that he would be allowed to put underpants on as soon as he did his "stinky" on the toilet.

He did it! He got down from the breakfast table this morning, declaring that he had to "go", and in he went. No accidents. He is now happily sporting his favorite underpants. So, we'll do it again tomorrow, and the day after that and the day after that. It's too early to determine whether it was autism, sensory or 6 1/2 yr. old behavior...but if I were to make a determination based on just today...I would tend towards the latter! :)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Rebekah or Emma...Who's Who??

It is incredible how much these two look alike...they could be sisters! In the top picture is Emma...I believe she was around 20 months old. We thought she had very little hair, and compared to others she most definitely did, but if you look closely her mom was able to put enough together to make her trademark "whalespout" hairdo.

Then we have Rebekah...who's tiny amount of hair can't even hold the tiniest barrette, never mind a "whalespout"! But their smiles are very similar as are most of their mannerisms. Mike and I are often amazed at how much she reminds of our niece.

Even Rebekah was confused by the picture saying, "look, look it's Bekah, I sitting". I then told her that it was actually Emma in the picture and she said, "it's Emma...wearing Bekah's clothes!" :)

Friday, July 10, 2009

They Are Getting Soooo Big!

It's hard to believe that these "little" guys are 10 months old today!! Yipes, where did all those sleepless nights go?? These two monkeys are both growing nicely as their 9 month check up revealed.
Caleb (baby on the right), is weighing in at 17 lbs. 5.5 oz and 27 1/2" long while his brother, Eli (obviously...other baby), is weighing in at 17 lbs. 7 oz and 27" long. They both have their two lower central incisors...and they know how to use them. As a matter of fact Eli has been nicknamed "Zombie Baby" by his father, because every time Mike goes near him, Eli attaches himself to Mike's arm and begins to chomp! Those little teeth hurt!
Of the two, Caleb is much more adventurous, while Eli is content just staying put. Caleb has developed this breast stroke, land style to get around. I wonder if we put him in water if he would actually swim! Needless to say he gets faster every day...which has forced me to sweep even more than the 3 times a day I was already doing...as well as...you know...wash the floor...every now and then.
As for Eli, he just started to venture out into the kitchen. Up until now, he's been pretty content just sitting in their toy room watching, or playing with whatever is around him. He has a pretty controlled fall, so if he needs to he'll just kind of fall over, and then with a combination of rolling and pushing forward with his feet, can get to where he needs to go.
They continue to amaze us as they become more and more interactive with each other. And although they aren't holding hands as much as before, it seems to be that much sweeter now when they do.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy 4th Birthday Joshua!

Every year the 4th of July brings about cookouts, celebrations and time spent with family and friends. For the past 4 years we have been blessed to have another reason to celebrate. Our little guy, Joshua. He was born on this day, 4 years ago and has continued to be our spirited little firecracker ever since. His dependent independence his given us a glimmer into how strong he will be as he gets older...once he lets us out of his sight. His smile is a window into his soul which is pure and bright and wonderful. His hugs and kisses are a never ending sign of just how much he truly loves us with his whole being. And even though at times, he makes the worlds loudest and most obnoxious noises, his gentler, quieter voice when he says, "I love you too, Mommy", brings happy tears to my eyes.

Your Father and I wish you only the best Joshua, as you continue to light up our days with your very own special kind of fireworks!

We love you!

Happy Birthday!

Friday, June 12, 2009

FINALLY...GF, DF, SF Yogurt!!

Okay, so the title may or may not give it away...but it would have been too long to write it all out! For those of you who have read the blog...you know that time isn't always something I have!

So, here it is...the search is finally over. I've found a yogurt that accomplishes all I needed it to and more. Joshua used to be a BIG yogurt connoisseur...he would eat almost any flavor, and wouldn't stop at just a measly 6 oz container. Since he went gluten free and now (mostly) dairy free, it has been impossible to find a suitable replacement for him. We've tried everything out there...and I have to agree with him...most of them are pretty...yucky! Either too thick, or too watery...or the taste is just horrible!

Until now. We've been enjoying ice cream for the past year from this very same company, and I remember saying to Mike how great it would be if they could also do a milk and yogurt! Well, they now have both.

We recently discovered So Delicious not only has the best dairy free, gluten free ice cream, they have also come out with milk and yogurt...and it's all made using coconut milk!! So Delicious Yogurt, and So Delicious Coconut Milk. Plus, it's soy free too! You simply must try it. Whether you just recentely went dairy free, or have been for awhile now...I believe you will be pleasantly surprised at how truly delicious these products are.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

9 Months Old And On The Move

My "little" guys are 9 months old today! Can you believe it?? Time is really flying by. We can't believe how much they've grown and changed. Their 9 month checkup is next Friday, so I will have updates on just how much they have grown in the last couple of months. We're thinking they will be the first of the Ouellette children to have hit 20 lbs by their first birthday!

They each have their own little personalities, and as you will see in the video below...are just a few days away from really living up to the name of "Double Trouble"! Enjoy...

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Bunny-Bunny Love

Miss Rebekah absolutely LOVES this blanky/doll. Her godparents, Dennis and Cheryl gave it to her for her Baptism and it really hasn't left her side since. It used to be a lovely light pink with a white satiny border, and the bunny had nice soft white fur. When you hold it up, the bunny in the middle is actually holding on to the blanket, and there is a prayer around the border.
Now the string that attached the bunny's arm around the blanket, has long since been detached. The fur has been rubbed thin, and both the fur and the satiny border have become a worn gray color. The pink is more like white with a hint of pink, and even the tag has been worn down to tiny fibers. I can't say for sure, but I believe the words are still around the border.
The love that blanket has in it can't possibly be measured. It is my hope that long after she has abandoned her need for her bunny-bunny, there will still be something left of it to put away for her in a memory box to have when she is much older.

Smile Please






Joshua's new joke

josh: knock knock

me: who's there?

josh: cow in the water

me: cow in the water who?

josh: pig in the mud.

i must have laughed for a good minute - of course josh thought it was the best joke EVER!

(apparently it's all in the delivery)


Thursday, June 04, 2009

Ethan's Question...and Answer

Me: Finish up your snack because we're going to do some schoolwork next.

Ethan: Why do I need to do schoolwork?

Me: So you can finish up Kindergarten and go on to the 1st Grade.

Ethan: Do I have to go to school then?

Me: No. We will still be doing school at home.


Ethan: Mommy, why do you homeschool me?

...and before I could get my answer out...

Ethan: It's because Joshua would miss me, isn't it?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I Strongly Dislike Rainy Days

Why would some one dislike rainy days so much as to use the words "strongly dislike" in the sentence? Well, there are a couple of reasons.

The first reason has to do with the wording. We have encountered an over use of the word "hate" in our house and I've had enough. It's one of those things where I never realized how much I said that word, until I started to hear it coming out of Ethan's mouth. And when I hear him say the word "hate" I feel myself cringe at the sound of it. I'm not sure why. Is it really any better than the words "strongly dislike" or "loathe"? No, I guess not. I think it's more about what it really represents. It's like saying "shut up" instead of "be quiet". They both mean the same thing no matter what tone they are said in...but some how "shut up" seems much more powerful and mean. Which is where I stand with the word "hate". It just sounds mean. See how many times a day you throw that word around. Mike and I have been caught several times now by the "hate" police...namely Ethan...with an "Exxxcuuuuuse me? We don't say that word!" from him. He's much better at enforcing the rules rather than following them...aren't they all? :)

As for the dislike of the rainy day...is it me or do all children go bonkers on rainy days??? Oh my goodness. Couple that with various sensory issues, serious lack of space in ever shrinking house, and two very cranky, noisy babies...and I'm afraid I'm going to crack! It has been so crazy here, that not only did they lose their quiet time movie of choice...Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, but they also lost ALL of the toys in their playroom!! Mostly because they decided to have a "pick a corner and lets see how many toys we can chuck at each other until someone cries" game. Good times...and for the record it was about 10 legos and Rebekah was the one who went down. AHHHHHHHH!!!

So, how is it I got this much "free" time to type the post? Well, Bekah is sleeping off the "lego war", Josh has taken up his nap time post at the table, Ethan has been banished to the couch until I deem quiet time is officially over, and the babies are yelling at me from their respective bumper jumpers! Yup, it's a "beautiful day in this neighborhood...won't you be my neighbor?" :)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Ya, ya I know...

Okay, so I haven't posted in a little while. So here are my excu...er, reasons. :)

1. We've had a nasty little virus in the main computer where all of my pix are stored. Mike has had to clean out the entire computer and start over to get rid of it. All though this is something he can do in several hours, it has taken him about a month to do it. (Insert here the story of the shoemakers kids...blah, blah, blah.)

2. Fortunately we not only recently backed up all of our pictures prior to the nasty virus taking over, we also had a secondary machine set up for the kids, that we have been able to use. Unfortunately, the back up drive I mentioned earlier lives at Mike's work, so I am unable to access it and put up some absolutely adorable pix.

3. Because the computer hasn't been working well, I have well over 150 pictures sitting on my cameras memory card just waiting to be downloaded. I don't even remember half of what's on there!

4. Any free time I am able to sneak away with has been used to check emails...maybe reply, check out the latest in the news...which seems to be depressing lately, or go onto Facebook and live vicariously through my alter ego on Mafia Wars where I am know as Big Mama.

5. This last excus...er, reason...just encompasses the rest of my life which revolves around 5, wonderful, loving, incredibly active children. I have never been soooo busy in my life!! My house is more than just messy, I have to sniff clothes to determine whether the basket on my bedroom floor is full of clean clothes or dirty, and no matter how hard I try I can't for the life of me keep my dishes in the cabinets. Somehow they either live in the sink or the dishwasher, sometimes on the table! I am continuously amazed at how quickly a picked up room becomes disheveled, and how many times a day I can step on the same toy that I could swear I had just put away 5 minutes ago. I am tired of the sound of my own voice saying things like; "Joshua get off your sisters head", and "Rebekah you can't lay ON the babies", or "Ethan, is it ever a good idea to drive your tucks onto or into anyone??". But at the end of the day, we can all still hug and kiss, and say our "good nights" and "I love yous", knowing that we get to start all over again tomorrow. It's at that moment, when everyone is in bed...not necessarily asleep mind you...that I get those few moments to get everything done before I can actually relax before bed.

So, sorry for the lack of posting. I won't promise that I'll be better now...cause that will just be impossible for me to keep. Just know that, if you keep checking up on us here, eventually you will see some updates!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

What Are These...My Arms??

I don't know about the rest of you, but I love dressing my kids in their summer clothes on these first few warm days. By summer clothes I mean short sleeved shirts and shorts. It's like watching a baby when he first notices his fingers and toes. They look at their arms and legs in awe...and then try to pull everything down!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Mad Boy

We recently purchased a backup drive to save all of the pictures from our hard drive should something ever happen to our computer. We found this picture from Rebekah's Baptism. Josh had slept through it, and at the end wasn't happy to be awakened. I believe we have Cheryl to thank for this picture! It makes us laugh every time we look at it. It's just so Joshua!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Baby Cereal...Not Just for Babies

We have found this awesome baby cereal for the twins that is one of the only cereals I've found claiming it has not only probiotics but is free of gluten as well. After the amount of antibiotics my little guys have had to be on, I figured it would be a great addition to their diet in keeping their intestines healthy. It is called Happy Bellies and so far the twins love it. I originally found it at Natural Choice Market in Hooksett, but later found that the Babies R Us in Nashua carries it as well, (for $2 less). Because I have twins, we have been going through cereal like it's water, so I've been cutting it with Earth's Best Organic Whole Grain Rice Cereal. They don't seem to notice.

So, why did I say it's not just for babies? Well, Ethan and Joshua had their 3 month check up with Dr. Hofley and had their yearly blood work updated. All the results came back normal except they both showed iron deficiency's as well as Vitamin A deficiency for Josh. So, I met with Ethan's pediatric nutritionist, Trish Murray, and we discussed the many ways we can try sneaking iron into Ethan's diet. He has some oral sensory issues, as well as visual sensory issues that make it impossible to add anything new into his foods. However, he has been showing a great deal of interest in the twins baby food. Trish suggested we take a Tbsp. of the Happy Bellies cereal and mix it with our whole raw milk and have him eat that once a day. So far it's worked. He's not all that thrilled about it after the first 2-3 bites, but thankfully a Tbsp. only gives you about 4-5 bites!

In any case, for those of you who are looking to either supplement some iron in, or find a good healthy, probitotic enriched, gluten free cereal for your babes...I highly recommend Happy Bellies.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Red Envelope Update

I had been wondering whether or not the Red Envelope Project had made headlines anywhere, when a friend of mine sent me a link saying it indeed had. Thanks Cheryl!

As it stands right now, the White House has received over 2.25 million red envelopes, with most of those being received just after the 31st. You can read the article here at World Net Daily.

I can only hope it's something that will help to change our Presidents heart!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Night Time Diapering

As some of you know, we've been using cloth diapers for almost a year now. It was a decision we made prior to our knowledge that we were expecting twins. We figured that with Josh and Bekah still in diapers, and number 4 on the way, it would save us a lot of money in the long run by making the switch. Needless to say, we were even happier about our decision when we found out about the twins.

Since the diapers we use, bumGenius come in several colors, we decided it would work out great for the twins since we "color coded" them blue and green. The diapers come in blue, green, yellow, white and pink, (or whatever fancier names they use). Bekah uses pink and white, naturally. In any case, the diapers have worked well in helping others figure out who is who.

At night, it's a little trickier. In the dark, the blue and green look alike...especially when we are tired. It has happened, a few times, that we've changed the twins during the night, only to find in the morning that we mixed it up. Well, Mike took it one step further. Not only did he put the wrong color, Elijah's green diapers, on Caleb...he put Elijah's green dirty diaper on Caleb...wipe and all! Now that's tired!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Red Envelope Day March 31st

Do you have your Red Envelope ready?
Focus On The Family as well as many local Catholic communities plan on participating in this event to help show how we feel about some of the decisions our President has made recently with regards to abortion and embryonic stem cell research.
You can follow the link above or read on for more information on how you can participate.
When: March 31, 2009
Get a red envelope. On the front, address it to:
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington , D.C. 20500
On the back, write the following message.
This envelope represents one child who died because of an abortion. It is empty because the life that was taken is now unable to be a part of our world. Responsibility begins with conception.
We will mail the envelopes out March 31st, 2009. Put it in the mail, and send it. Then forward this event to every one of your friends who you think would send one too. I wish we could send 50 million red envelopes, one for every child who died [in the U.S.] before having a chance to live.It may seem that those who believe abortion is wrong are in a minority. It may seem like we have no voice and it's shameful to even bring it up. Let us show our President and the world that the voices of those of us who do not believe abortion is acceptable are not silent and must be heard. Together we can change the heart of The President and save the lives of millions of children.
Thank you.
Barack Obama spoke at a Planned Parenthood Action Fund event, uttering the now infamous line, "Well, the first thing I'd do as president is, sign the Freedom of Choice Act. [Applause.] That's the first thing that I'd do." An empty red envelope will send a message to President Barack Obama that there is moral outrage in this country over this issue [The Freedom of Choice Act, which will essentially "undo" every law currently in place to limit abortion in the U.S. (i.e., parental consent laws, parental notification,waiting periods, prohibition of transporting a minor girl across state lines to obtain an abortion, etc.)]. It will be quiet, but clear. Please read more about The Freedom of Choice Act here:

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Sometimes it's just soooo sweet...

Monday, March 23, 2009

Crazy Hair Girl...Is This Just the Beginning?

As most of you know, Rebekah has had very little to no hair since birth. The poor thing has been considered one of the boys so many times...regardless of how much pink she is wearing...that it's a good thing she's too little to get a complex! She has had one hair cut and that was in August of last year. I'm beginning to think she may be due for another to help tame the "wildness" of her hair. She reminds me of a certain cousin of hers who started out much the same way. Emma had about the same amount, or lack there of, hair that Bekah has. Lori had a heck of a time trying to get it into the tiniest little whale spout on the top of her head. Now, look out...that girl has hair! Emma has quite the head of beautiful, thick, curly, out-of-control hair!! Is this the beginning of the same hair style for Bekah???

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Update and Pictures

I believe it was my cousin Lori who called these contraptions "baby salad bars". They do look a lot like a salad buffet bar minus the cage like feature! In any case these are a lot bigger than the ones they were in up in the NICU. All four of our boys have been on the pedi floor of the Elliot. Ethan was in about 3 years ago for a bacterial infection in his cheek, and Josh was actually there for five days, two years ago this month for his asthma attack. So this trip was neither our first, (Ethan) nor our scariest (Josh), but still not fun all the same. One of the only changes is in the Kindergard system they use. They've tried to improve it, and needless to say have a few kinks to work out. Now it is so super sensitive that we couldn't even leave the floor to go get the babies chest x-rays without setting the darn thing off. At least we were reassured the system works by having 4 big burly security men come bolting upstairs each and every time the alarms went off.

We were able to come home on Thursday, around lunch time. As always it's nice to return home, but you always worry about how well it's going to go without the careful eye of the nursing staff watching over them. Needless to say, poor Eli went downhill Thursday night with a fever of 102.9 that wouldn't respond to Tylenol. We were on the phone with one of the awesome pediatricians from our pedi office most of the night trying to prevent us from having to go back in to the office. Sure enough we got his fever to go down after some medi. calculations by the doc, we got some infant Motrin into him and his fever immediately began to drop down. Along with it his respirations, which was making the doctor nervous. Eli slept well that night, but has since then still been fighting a fever.

They had their checkup on Friday morning to see how their lungs are doing, and it is believed that the flu has passed through their system and that what we are still dealing with is the RSV. We can continue to see fevers through the weekend, as well as lots and lots of mucous...yummy! Calebs fevers being really low and Eli's being a little higher around 101. The boys and I are sleeping downstairs in that little room off the kitchen so we can keep a vaporizer going, and the other kiddos away from them. We don't want any secondary infections right now, so we can't allow anyone else near them until their fevers subside, and their lungs clear.

We are missing out on Cana Couples tonight, and haven't really had a break from everything for about two weeks now. I never would have imagined how truly difficult it is to care for 5 sick children, especially when I was sick at the same time. It has been one of the most difficult things I've had to do so far...even more difficult than breast feeding the twins! I'm looking forward to spring more than you can imagine...but even more I'm looking forward to cleaning and disinfecting this cesspool of viral bugs to get my house ready for the coming week...we have to some how get back into the swing of things! :)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Pajama Week

Okay, so our pajama day which acutally started last Monday, due to the snowstorm we got, has lasted right up until yesterday evening...well unless Mike left the kids in their jammies today...I wouldn't know as I am currently at the hospital with the twins!

So, let me back up a few steps...we have all been very sick for about 8 days now. When I say very, I mean that in different degrees and on diffrerent days. We've all had fevers varying from the lower 100's all the way up to the 104's. We've all had coughs and runny noses, typical symptoms of head colds, or upper respiratory infections. The twins had just finished getting over ear infections, so I figured they were out of the woods...uh...no...foolish mommy.

We had visited the doctors office on Saturday for Caleb and Joshua as they seemed to be the worst affected by whatever had us. The doc. said that although Josh had a little fluid in his right ear since the left one was fine, she wouldn't treat him just continue to monitor. If he still had a fever by Sunday night, Monday morning, then he should be seen again. Caleb looked fantastic...his ears looked "beautiful", his lungs sounded "clear", it was just another cold that had a hold of him and unless he exhibited any other symptoms come Monday, he would just be monitored as well. Come Sunday, everthing began to fall apart.

First there was Joshua. His fever had definitely come back, and he just wasn't looking or doing well. I called the docs. and they decided they wanted to see him at 11am the following morning. So, we checked everyone else's temps. and they were mild, gave medications and got them to bed. Then I started back up with a horrible fever, (that I thought I had already been rid of as I was feeling a little better...ahhh the calm before the storm), and I have to tell you I thought for sure that I was going to chatter the teeth right out of my head. I couldn't stop shaking and shivering...for over an hour! Once it calmed down I went to bed where I began with the night sweats, and then the shivers again. Finally around 5:30am, I ended up vomiting and calling it quits. I laid down on the bed and stayed there all day. Thank goodness my husband stayed home. He took care of the other kiddos and brought Josh and Ethan to the doctors...where Josh was diagnosed with a double ear infection...hun! Ethan was checked over and given the clean bill of health and we finished up the day with some absolutely delicious homemade chicken soup that my husband made for us.

As I was feeling slightly better, (not vomiting anymore), Mike went to work on Tuesday (yesterday) while I maintained the troops at home as best I could. Caleb started the morning off with a low fever, 100.8 degrees so I gave him some Tylenol as I could tell he just wasn't feeling well. Both Caleb and Eli have already had slight fevers the week before with cough, and congestion. The fevers had gone away, but the cough and congestion hadn't. So, when Caleb's fever started again, I checked Eli's and it was fine. Exactly 4 hours later, again and again, Caleb's fever continued to rise, to the point where I checked him 2 hours after a Tylenol dose and it had jumped up another degree since the dose. I called the docs. explained the whole sordid story...again...and they decided it didn't sound good and wanted to see him at 7:30 last night. In the meantime, Eli decided to start exhibiting an elevated fever, so by the time we brought them in they both weren't doing well. Their respiration was very fast, their fevers were moderate and they were moaning. After checking O2 stats, temps, ear, listening to their chests, and doing a RSV test that came back negative, the doc. decided to admit them to the hospital for overnight evaluation. Well, thank goodness he did.

They did a chest x-ray on both of them with some blood work. We're still waiting on the official results but so far Caleb's x-ray shows possible pneumonia. Not sure on Eli's. The doc. that came by this morning decided to repeat the RSV test and do a Flu test as well and both came back positive. One of Caleb's ears are infected while the other now shows fluid building up. Eli's ears appear okay for now. Caleb is definitely the sicker of the two, but as of now, they are both here at the hospital for another night...at least.

What a trip! I'm still trying to recover from my, what now looks to be was a case of the flu, while Mike is home trying to help take care of the other three. Rebekah now has a moderate-high temp with a runny nose...she had it last week too...so we have at least one more to go through. She's a pretty tough cookie though, I think she'll fight through it okay.

Well, that's where we are at for now. One of my babes is waking and I need to get him to eat. I'll post pictures at some point later, but for now just pray that this is the worst of it, and that we will all be home and on the way to health soon!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Pajama Days

We LOVE Pajama Days!! For many reasons...the obvious being it's just so comfy to stay in your jammies. But the other reason is because we are the house of ill right now. Between fevers, boogie noses (as Josh and Bekah call them), asthma attacks, various bathroom issues, and exhaustion...it's soooo much easier to have on those footy p.j.'s!

As you can see, when they are exhausted they will sleep anywhere...except their beds!! Of course I could as well, but I'd prefer to be in my bed! :)

Friday, February 27, 2009

Li'l Dragons

For as long as I can remember I've loved martial arts. I have to admit that I don't know much about it, but I find myself mesmerized by the way they can move their bodies to do those seemingly impossible moves. (Especially impossible for those of us who have had a few babies!)

Well, I will now have the opportunity to learn a whole lot more...without ever having to throw a punch or do a kick! (Eventually I would love to participate in a program myself, but not until my youngest chitlins are a little bit older!) We decided to sign up Ethan and Joshua for the Li'l Dragons program here in Manchester at Steve White's Manchester Karate Studio. This place came highly recommended to us as one of our babysitters, Nicole, currently attends classes there.

To say the boys are excited about this opportunity would be an understatement...just look at their faces. They were so proud to come marching out in their uniforms at the end of their orientation, I could feel my own heart beat with pride...and they hadn't even done anything yet! We look forward to the next year in this program as we watch our little boys become confident, and strong with better focus and coordination in all areas of their lives.

For anyone who has an Asperger child, this type of program is an excellent way to have them participate in something with other children yet still have the structure and one-on-one time they need to achieve their goals. For some Aspy kids, competitive sports...at this young age...may not work out well as it can be difficult for them to adhere to the rules of the game. This is definitely one of Ethan's weaknesses, so instead of exposing him to a sport that relies on team effort to accomplish a goal, we decided to introduce him to an activity where the outcome directly relies on his...and only his...ability to follow direction and improve himself one step at a time. Once he learns some self-control, reaction skills, and respect for himself and others, then he may be ready to take on a group sport if he is interested. So far, I believe he will really enjoy this program...at least for the next year. As for Joshua...he just loves to do whatever it is his brother is doing and even though he is technically a little young for the class, he showed that he could grasp some of the basic concepts during orientation. It may take him a little longer, but once he gets it, he should go quite well. Besides, that kid has a mean kick and a deadly accurate punch...those kick bags won't know what's coming!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Rug Race

It is amazing how much fun can be found in the simple replacement of a rug!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

What a Handful!

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A moment with their grandkids!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Gluten Free and Growing

These two are just too cute...don't you think? Every chance they get...which is pretty often...they reach out to each other and hold hands. I can't tell you how many pictures I have of them doing this. It is just so amazing to watch them interact. They've begun to really notice each other. When they make eye contact they actually smile and sometimes grunt or coo at each other. I think I'm beginning to see just how much mischief they will be causing! :) Developmentally they are right on target if not ahead of the game in most areas. Considering they were 4 weeks early, we are extremely happy about their progress. The picture above was recent...within the past week. The one at the bottom is from last month...see how well they are holding up their holds?

As for how they are growing...amazing. Here are their stats from their 4 month check up, (yes they are 5 months old now...see previous post!): Caleb is 12 lbs. 12.5 oz and is 24 1/4". Elijah is 12 lbs. 14 oz and 24 3/4". WOW! Some of you may read those stats and think it's not that big of deal, but let me tell you why it is. First of all they were 4 weeks early so being twins they tend to have some catching up to do. Having said that, they not only caught up, but have passed their siblings. At 4 months old Ethan was 11 lbs. 9 oz and 24", Joshua was 11 lbs. 15 oz and 24", and Rebekah (who you can't really compare because she is a girl, but just for FYI) was 11 lbs. 7.8 oz and 23 1/4".

Why are they doing so well? It's because I'm gluten free! This is truly the healthiest I've ever been in my entire life. And I still have a long way to go to continue achieving better health. But, being gluten free has introduced me and my family to a whole new world of "good for you" foods that we may not have tried had we not been gluten free. It's made me read labels a little more carefully and eliminate useless ingredients that cause more harm than benefit to our bodies. Some people, I'm sure, have scoffed at me on more than one occasion for what they've seen in my cabinets and fridge...but as they say...the "proof is in the pudding"!

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Where Are They??

Howdy all! Happy New Year! Yes, we know it's February...but somehow January came and went while we went about trying to get into the swing of this new year. I'll do my best to be brief, but hey I do have a whole month to catch up on!! :)

In any case...we are all doing just dandy. It has been a whole three years since we started our gluten free journey, and yet we feel like we've been doing it our whole lives. It has become so much a part of us, that I can't imagine ever eating any differently. Our diet, for the most part, has become even healthier than I thought could be possible. Even Mike has commented that he never would have pictured himself eating and drinking the things we do. From gluten free, to casein free, and from gogi berries to amaranth grains, and from multivitamins to DHA fish oils...we are doing our very best to ensure not only the health of our children, but ourselves as well.

My goal this year is to try to incorporate more about our gluten free lives than I have in the past. I think it's important for other families to realize that if (or when) you find yourself having to switch to a gluten free lifestyle, you see that not only can it be done, that it can be done well. We enjoy what we eat. As I mentioned it's quite a bit healthier, but gluten free foods have come a long way even since we started three years ago! We now have restaurants we can eat at, take out food available, and almost every grocery store you walk into now has a gluten free section!

Now, don't think you won't get to see some great pictures of the kiddos, as well as some very funny video clips...you should see the stock pile I have! I know that most people probably click on here just to see the pix of the kids...and why not...they are pretty darn cute if I do say so myself!! It's more that I want others who visit this blog, who are gluten free, get a sense of security in knowing that others have walked the path they are now on and have survived it. Trust me, there are far worse foods out there as you know, that people can die from if they eat them...that gluten, to me, is a walk in the park! As with any kind of change, it can be difficult, scary, and intimidating not knowing where to start or how dedicated to it you have to be...but it's always nice to know someone else who has gone through it, and come out on the other side alright...a little banged up...but alright! :)

As for the other issues in our family...Asperger, SI Dysfunction, and Stuttering/Speech Delay and Developmental Delays...I'm sure I'll be getting into more of that to. It has become so much a part of our lives, that a lot of times I just forget it's even there. Ethan is Ethan...Aspy or not. But the roads he has led us down have taught Mike and I some valuable lessons. We are not the same people we were 6 years ago when we brought that little babe home. Which can be said for any parents out there. Our path is just a little different. I think I've steered away from talking about some of it simply because I didn't want to "deal" with what others would think, or how they would respond. I've had my fair share of cruel comment posts, and I'll admit it has made me a little gun shy with regards to some of the stuff I'm willing to write. I'm hoping that now I have a thicker skin and am able to shake off or take on whatever comes my way. (Something Ethan has taught me.) Tomorrow is another day...one with a whole new beginning.

Having said all that...now that we have been able to get a whole month of therapy for the boys under our belts, I find our weeks a little more predictable. I'm hoping to get here to post more pictures and stories of our days about therapy, homeschooling, activities, and the general goofiness and chaos of having 5 children under the age of 6! Not every day is a great day, but it's still a day that we have together, and I truly can't imagine any other way to be.