Our Family

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

Monday, December 05, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 01, 2011


She crawls quickly and quietly. She can stand and pull herself up and over almost anything. She can charm anyone she smiles at, and now, apparently, she can climb stairs. Who knew that could happen before walking and running? Makes we wonder what other little tricks sha has been hiding from us.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Happy First Birthday Sarah!

One year ago today, our sweet little Sarah came into this world so fast that if it weren't for the fact that it was labor we would have wondered where she came from. One moment I was pregnant, in pain, and uncomfortable beyond words, and the next I was holding my precious little girl. Nothing compares to the first time you look into those beautiful little eyes and say "Hello my sweet baby, it's so nice to finally meet you!" Now, here we are and I'm caught up again in the speed of things. No physical pain this time, unless you count my heart. For the first time, I'm sad that my little one is growing up. Where did the time go? I can't quite put my finger on why this birthday is so bittersweet for me. Sarah is growing up so fast and hitting milestones like she knew what she was doing the whole time. She is weaning herself and nurses only 2-4 times a day now, and will only eat food she can stuff into her little mouth...no more baby food. She wants to be right in the thick of the chaos and craziness that is the Ouellette household, and even though she gets stepped on, knocked over, and overlooked, she is loved so intensely by every single person in this house. Nothing compares to the love her older sister has for her. That's why Bekah is in the picture, she wants to do everything Sarah does and go everywhere Sarah goes...you know, just the girls. It's awesome!

Happy Birthday my little one. We look forward to more smiles, laughter, and joy you have brought to our family. We love you!

Monday, August 01, 2011

Twin Time

It's pretty tough to tell them apart even when they aren't dressed alike, so don't worry. Caleb is on the left and Elijah is on the right. They have slightly different smiles, and their eyes both sparkle differently. Caleb often wears his hat crooked and low, while Eli will wear it crooked but high. It's in the details. And being their mom who sees them every single day, I tend to pick up on it without even noticing. I don't dress them exactly the same often. As a matter of fact, I tend to dress them similarly, but not the same. So, if one is wearing a green striped shirt the other one will be wearing the same thing, but in blue. They know which clothes are theirs based on the color...Elijah will wear anything with green in it and Caleb will wear anything with blue. If there isn't a green item and only a blue item, then Eli takes whatever isn't blue. It's very funny how they know their colors.

For this particular day, it was requested that they be dressed the same. Brittany and her boyfriend Dan asked to take the twins out to Charmingfare Farm for the day. So, I chose red so they'd be easy to spot. They wore these shirts for the 4th of July, so I figured I'd get some more use out of them.

The boys were thrilled to be going not only to the farm, but to be going there with Brittany. They have known her since they were 4 months old, and pretty much consider her a part of our family. They LOVE her, and get very excited when they know she is coming over. In addition, they were getting the chance to ride in her truck...a very big deal!

The twins recognize a lot of animals, and love to make the noises they know. But they tend to enjoy them better from a distance. Their curiosity gets the better of them, and they will slowly make their way closer, but I think they are each waiting for the other one to "go first". Sometimes Caleb is the brave one, and other times it's Eli. I never know which one will be the one to do it first, but generally if you can get one to do it, the other one will follow.

Not the case here. Brittany couldn't get either one of them to touch the baby groundhog. You can tell they really wanted to...each picture shows them getting closer and closer, but neither one of them could muster the courage to do it. Finally they decided it was time to move on.

And that brings them right to snack time. Eli is such a clown, Caleb being much more reserved. They switch rolls...often. It's hard to keep up. If you had one pegged as the outgoing and the other one as the more reserved...chances are pretty good they've switched rolls by the time you see them again.

After snack time, they were walking up the path when Dan spotted a very tiny, itty-bitty, brown frog. (At least I think it was Dan, I'm trying to remember everything Brit told me!) In any case, Dan caught it to show the boys. Eli was apparently very interested in the little frog and even dared to hold it in his hand for sometime. He tried to convince his brother that it was okay to hold it, but Caleb wasn't buying it this time and wanted nothing to do with touching the frog. You can see how very tiny it was, as it looks like a little blotch in the middle of his hand.

I didn't hear any stories about this play set area, but seeing the pictures tell me the boys enjoyed themselves. This was their first adventure out without any of their siblings OR mom and dad. So, I'm sure they loved the freedom that came with being the "only ones" to do everything. No getting pushed around, or waiting. For them, having the twin their to wait for isn't the same thing as having another sibling. So, they could figure things out themselves and help each other without a well-meaning, but overbearing sibling doing it for them.

THE tractor ride. It's all my kids have talked about since they went on it last year. This is our third year for the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) at Charmingfare Farm and last year they gave the kids free tractor rides. Naturally, it's all the kids ask about every Wednesday when we go to pick up our veggies. They haven't done it yet this year, and I think it's because it's been too hot. Anyway, part of the admission to the farm covers the tractor ride. Caleb was less than thrilled about riding on the tractor and had to sit with Brit for a bit to settle into it.

Eli on the other hand...no problem. Bring it on. He was all about sitting on the seat like a "big boy" all by himself. Eventually, Caleb decided it would be okay to sit with his brother, but you can see that he still wasn't all that comfortable with it. I believe he eventually warmed up to it and was fine, but that's usually how Caleb operates.

They left our house around 10:30am and didn't return until 3pm. As you can see they had such a good time, they fell asleep within moments of leaving the farm.

We can't thank Brit and Dan enough for taking the time to make this memory with the twins. It was so great for them to have special time without their other siblings around. But, it was also nice for us to have several hours of only four kids to take care of. The twins were numbers four and five for us, so we've never had just 4 kids...it was very quiet! :)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Happy 6th Birthday Joshua!

Oddly enough, today was Joshua's actual due date. Yes, he came two weeks early, with a bang! A 4th of July baby is very exciting and we continue to tell him that the fireworks are for him every year on his birthday. However, the downfall to a big holiday birthday is the party planning. It is very difficult to find a time to have a party when everyone has holiday plans. Fortunately, Mike's cousin throws a 4th of July party every year up at their cottage on lake Winnipesaukee in Gilford, NH. The funny thing is that Joshua thinks the party is for him! So, for the past two years, we've brought cake and he is able to celebrate his birthday with Mike's side of the family at the lake. He LOVES it and thinks it's just about the most special thing he could do for his birthday. He's already making plans and talking about next years event.

Then, to celebrate with my side of the family, and some of his friends, we have a second party. This one wasn't planned as well, (all my fault), so none of his friends were able to make it. But he had the rest of his cousins there, (Ian and Emma were at the lake) and it ended up being a beautiful day. The kids has a blast running around outside getting absolutely filthy covered in bubbles, watermelon and cake! It's so much fun to be 6 years old!

So, Happy Birthday little man! It's been a great six years and we look forward to watching you grow and mature into a seven year old! We love you!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I know, I know...

Okay, so I was planning on blogging at least once a day, then decided that I would do it once a week. Then I decided I would blog when something fun and interesting happened. Needless to say, here we are and no updates. It's not like we've been sitting around twiddling our thumbs. I have many adventures to share...but it seems that finding the time after the adventure to document these things has been pretty tough to find.

No worries, I will be sure to catch up on things such as Joshua's 6th birthday, our trip to the lake, a trip to the playground (including kite flying) and another birthday party for Joshua that we had here. Until then...

Friday, July 01, 2011

Fire Dept. Field Trip

We took a field trip to the Manchester Fire Dept. on Merrimack Street this past Wednesday. By we I mean Mike, Brittany and myself. I couldn't have done it alone. The boys get far too excited and overstimulated by these huge trucks and all the blinking lights and noises.

Last year, I (with Brittany) happened to stop at a station out of the blue asking if it would be alright to show my (at the time only 5) kids around. I explained that I have one with Asperger and one with many other issues related to sensory and anxiety and wanted to have them see up close and personal what firemen and firetrucks are all about. Those men were so welcoming and so great with the kids that when it was time to leave they told the kids that they could come back anytime. Well, in the world of Aspie's that means...tomorrow or the next day! So, for the last year, every time we've driven past a fire station the kids have begged for me to stop so we can visit again.

Fast forward to Wednesday. I didn't tell the kids about it until the last moment and even then it was difficult for them to contain themselves. Especially since we struck out twice. The first station we went too didn't have any trucks available, and the second station we went to had it's doors all locked. So that left us trying the "big" station. Immediately the kids were in awe at the sheer size of this station. It had not one big truck or even two big trucks but several big trucks to choose from.

Before I brought the kids in, I went inside to find one of the firemen and asked if it would be a good time to bring my 6 kids in to see the trucks and the men. He said it wasn't a problem and they would love to show the kids around. As I was returning with the kids to the station, they were pulling out one of the water trucks and unrolling a hose. They greeted the kids, introduced themselves and went about lifting kids up into the truck and letting them "drive" the big rig. Then one of the men volunteered to go through the steps of putting all of his gear on...right down to actually turning his oxygen on...so they could hear what his voice would sound like with all the additional noises and what his face would look like with the mask on. Mind you, it was kind of hot on Wednesday, but he didn't complain once about doing it. He took the time to make sure they were comfortable and could ask questions. This was great for Josh who was very concerned about the noises. He stood by me the whole time, very rigid but ready to bolt if he got scared. He stuttered through his questions, but managed to ask the fireman why he needed to do all of that, and what all of the tubes for. (They do look kind of scary from a kids point of view) He answered the questions through the mask so that Josh could hear it and hopefully get comfortable with the sound.

Then the fun really began...they "played" with the hose. They put it on the lowest pressure and all five kids got the chance to turn the water on and squirt the water everywhere. After they all had their chance, the men put the pressure up and showed them the true force of the water and how it takes more than one man to control it. Naturally, everyone got wet...and why not? Where's the fun in staying dry on a really warm day when your playing with water. Even Sarah got "rained" on sitting in her stroller watching everyone run around having a great time.

We stayed for about an hour and the firemen were so patient with the kids. Again, they told them they could come back anytime, but this time it was Josh who said, "so, we can come back tomorrow and the next day?" They told him that whenever we were in the area, to stop in again and make sure they bring their fire hats.

We hope to go back again in August and this time the kids want to climb all over the ladder truck too. Thank you to the Manchester Fire Dept. for taking time out of your busy days to educate, and play with my kids.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Johnny the Fish

We have a new addition to our family...no not Brit, although we'd love it if she could move in! :) Nope, I'm talking about the little bright red beta swimming around in the tank behind Brit.

His name, (finally...it only took all night for Josh to choose a name) is Johnny the Fish and he is Joshua's birthday present from Brit. Josh will be 6 years old on July 4th and she thought a fish would be the perfect gift for our on-the-go guy. It is! He even said a prayer for his fish tonight as he went to bed. He is very concerned that Johnny didn't eat his fishy supper this evening, so I'm sure first thing in the morning we will be taking care of dear Johnny's needs before anyone else.

Why a week early? Well, we are going to a family party this coming weekend and were afraid that Josh would be more upset leaving his newly acquired fish if he received it the day before we go away. Now, he'll have a whole week with him and hopefully, we won't have any problems with Josh being overly concerned about the welfare of his fish.

Thanks Brit. Joshua was truly surprised and so excited to take care of his new little friend!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

I'm A Big Kid Now!

Our Rebekah has achieved another milestone. She is very excited because for the past 7 nights she has kept her diaper dry through the night. So, tonight she gets to wear her panties to bed.

Potty training, in this house, has been one of the biggest hurdles for every one of the kids. As a matter of fact, if I had to choose only one thing about parenting that I detest more than anything, it would have to be potty training. Out of the three that have been or are going through the process of training...Rebekah was probably the easiest, but it was definitely a case of her deciding it was time to use the potty, not me. I have read, and tried almost every trick, and taken every ones advice, using the most outrageous ideas only to have them fail miserably. I do think it is a matter of the child themselves being ready, not only physically but mentally AND emotionally.

Take Joshua for instance: tonight is the very first time he has successfully pooped on the potty. He will be 6 years old in a week. He has, just within this last week, finally potty trained at home throughout the day for pee, but poop has been a struggle for a very long time. It would be very exciting to have 3 of the 6 out of diapers...and the twins are showing some interest too. Yippeee!

Friday, June 24, 2011

What's In A Name?

Hubby and I were chatting, and have come to the conclusion that neither one of us feel that the title of our blog really suites our family anymore. We most definitely have Celiac, and it does affect our lives every single day, but it's not as life altering as it once was. Eating gluten free is like breathing...we don't even think twice about it. Don't get me wrong, we have our moments, (especially when we leave the comfort of our home), when we wish we could just be free of our dietary constraints. For the most part though, we've learned how to cope in those moments and move on. We have a lot more resources at our finger tips than we did five years ago when we started on this journey. Besides, we've come to a place in our diet where even if we were told we could go back to eating gluten, we wouldn't. Simply because we've found that most of the gluten foods really aren't that great for us to begin with!

So, for those of you who know us well enough...we are looking for suggestions. :) We'd like to continue our journey, it's just taking a new direction.

This Is What 5 Minutes in the Bathroom Can Lead To...

Yes, it's a heck of way to get back into bloggin', but I think it shows you the reason why I simply haven't had the time. My 6 little monkeys keep me more than busy. And they are always finding new ways to surprise me.

Take a guess at which two little troublemakers decided to take a black sharpie to the computer desk, floor, and carpet...

Any suggestions on how to remove permanent black ink?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Coming Soon...

...all new posts with pix and stories of wild adventures in the lives of the Ouellette family. Stay tuned...