Mommy Guilt

Okay maybe I should have titled this blog post “The Curse of the Cavity” (you will understand if you just keep reading). I swear my kids can never catch a break with health issues. Yes, I am sooooo thankful that it is small issues. I know that it could be much worse. Trust me, I pray every night that their issues are minor and not life threatening. But man poor Ben. How come one kid gets so much thrown on him? And why does it all have to happen to the kid that can’t handle anything medical?

Ben was born with speckled lentigenous nevis (what??). Basically it’s a cluster of moles/freckles that form within one large mole. Well his large mole just happens to take up 80% of his right arm. So instead of all of those moles forming in one small mole, they now form all over his arm. He’s great about it and never complains, it’s just a part of him.  Right now it is all cosmetic but he has to get it checked yearly (oh wait now its every 6 months at his new doctor) to make sure nothing turns cancerous because you know it runs in the family (he can thank me for that one).

Here’s a picture. You can see how right above his hand the arm is darker all of the way up to slightly above his elbow. What you can’t see is that there’s about 100 freckles/moles in that space.

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The kid also has a small cataract and vision issues and needs glasses. I was so worried about them but he looks so damn cute in glasses and I love them. He hates sports goggles but we are working on it. It’s been a process but I can’t imagine him without those cute specs on his face

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Photo Credit: Photography by Jen Davis

Oh and did I mention that the kid also has epilepsy? Yeah throw that one in there too.

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The poor kid just can’t catch a break.

We have been going to the dentist for years but he has never cooperated enough for a real cleaning. So after switching dentists last year I knew that if they didn’t change we would have to consider laughing gas just for a regular cleaning. Thankfully last year he did great and I thought that we were over the hump. I was wrong. Very, very wrong.  I knew going to the dentist today was going to be rough. I noticed one of his molars was turning a shade of gray.  Which is never a good sign.

Both boys had appointments today but I wasn’t worried about Sean. He has great teeth, but I guess that I should have been worried. Ben doesn’t do medical stuff so it was a struggle just to get through the cleaning and the sealants on the molars. I had to stay with him the entire time calming him down. Thankfully Sean didn’t need me and breezed right through the appointment. Once both boys were done and I finally talked to the dentist, I thought that I was about to pass out from the final report. 6 cavities between the two of them. Sean had 4 and Ben had 2. What the hell????? I’m the one that brushes their teeth so I feel like I’ve let them down and failed them. I never let them do it on their own because they are young and I don’t trust their brushing. Well one of them is horrible at it and the other isn’t too bad. Well I guess that I am bad at brushing their teeth too. Or it could be the candy? Or that they refuse to floss? But I feel like I need to take the blame this time around. Mom guilt 100%

So now I have to figure out how to get Ben into that dentist chair next week for his fillings. Mommy and Daddy are definitely spending the extra dough for some laughing gas for that one.

Oh and Sean with 4?? What? He has the cutest, tiniest and whitest teeth on earth. He’s a great brusher and he has so much space in between his teeth that I never expected cavities. But I guess those pesky new molars are collecting all of his food. Which is surprising to me since he barely eats because of his ADHD meds.

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What a day. Thank goodness I have some wine left and my mom was here to help and to buy us all Chick-Fil-A after that bad report. After the appointments I just couldn’t concentrate because I felt horrible for them. Especially Ben because it’s just one more trauma that I have to put this kid through.

But like I said in the beginning it could be much worse and I am so thankful that it’s only a few cavities but man can the kid just catch a break please!!!!! Oh and because of our dental plan it’s going to cost a small fortune for these cavities. Add in the laughing gas and whew it’s overwhelming. I wonder if I can pay to get some of that gas too!!!??? Back when I was a kid I never had gas to get through cavities. I dealt with the needle.  These kids have the life! Laughing gas and simple flouride treatments. They don’t even have to suffer through the duck mask of the fluoride treatments. It’s so much simpler these days.

So I guess that our future will be filled with floss, brushing 20 times a day and less sweets!!! Oh and I wonder what the dentist will have to say about this kids teeth next month. I’m afraid to find out. He’s the one with the sweet tooth.

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The Constant Struggle

So let’s talk about ADHD otherwise known as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It is a very common thing these days and I’m sure they everyone knows someone that has it. Whether it’s your friends child, your child or even an adult friend. It may seem like something that is just another common thing but when you are in the midst of it, it can be scary, dangerous and very difficult to understand.

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Well, I am here to say that we are a family that is in the midst of it all. Many parents choose to medicate and many choose not too. It is definitely a huge struggle as a parent on what to do. And with all of the mommy/parent shaming going on these days I have really held back about our struggle with Sean. I really wanted to share our story but dear God, I didn’t want the judgement and shaming from “friends” if we chose the medication route? Well I finally decided to say screw it and to share our story. I’m not ashamed of anything that we have done. We have done what works for our family and I could care less what anyone thinks. I have often held back on the blog because I was ripped to shreds last year for taking my kids into a family friendly brewery by a family member of mine. But I decided that I can’t hold back anymore. My life, my blog, my story. I want to share my stories with everyone. We all go through it. Whether we share it or not. This is my life. Whether you like it or not.

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So here it goes….

From the moment Sean was born we knew that he was going to be an interesting and fun but difficult kid. He had some minor breathing issues when he was born that put him in the NICU for a few hours and then he had a bad case of jaundice for a few weeks. He was also a screamer and from the moment that he was born we used to joke that he was he a pterodactyl because he was so loud.

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To this day the kid cannot talk without screaming. I think that’s how our family got to be so loud. We were never ones to yell or scream but once Sean came along our decibel levels greatly increased {sorry to our neighbors}. And after spending a week on vacation with him, I apologize to all of those sleeping in the hotel rooms surrounding us! At least he is cute.

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When he started preschool, we knew that something was a little different. I tried not to compare kids, but Ben always understood things, potty trained like a champ and never gave us any trouble {boy times have changed with him}. Sean was the kid that would dart into traffic, open the front door to the house and go outside at any random moment. He would run away from us, destroy everything in the house and no matter how much I watched him, he found trouble. So we of course we alarmed all our doors, locked our cabinets and I kept that kid in a stroller as long as possible {oh crap, I just realized that Owen is even worse}. But we brushed things off. He was 3, this is what kids did. He wasn’t too much trouble in school but he still had some problems. But hey, it’s preschool what can you expect from a 3-4 year old. He was just different than what we were used too. Finally around 4, I had him tested to see if he qualified for any special classes through our school district. Nope, he was just a typical child but did show signs of ADHD, but at this age, you do nothing. You can’t tell at this age whether the kid had any real issues or if he was just being a kid. Deep down I knew something else was going on. But again, he’s just 4 years old. What can you do?

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These past 3 years were challenging. Especially when you know that something is going on, but your child is so young there’s really nothing that you can do about it but survive and work with him the best that you can. You try to understand and not explode but it is so hard when you have a kid that can’t focus on one task for more than 30 seconds. When that child can’t even remember why he went upstairs, or what he walked 3 feet away to get from the kitchen. It was just continuing to build and build. We knew that he was struggling and therefore, we were struggling.  We tried to understand because we have all been that way and shit the kid was only 3, then 4, and then 5. When he was in kindergarten I had him tested for ADHD and of course he showed signs of it again {just like in preschool} But since his teacher said that he was still doing well and he was only 5 we didn’t do anything, I prayed that maybe he was still just trying to come into his own. We just went into survival mode and at that time we weren’t ready to medicate him {plus he was still too young}. I asked his teacher if he should repeat kindergarten. He was almost 9 months to a year younger than his classmates. She said no.

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He was having a great year in kindergarten but some safety issues started to appear at home — unsafe bike riding, running through parking lots, wandering off and a ton of other issues that are too nerve wracking to mention. So again we just dealt with it all the best that we could and wouldn’t let him out of our sight.

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Then we knew……. safety issues were beginning to rear it’s ugly head, a busted eye for not paying attention on the ice, a busted lip for smacking into some kids head on the playground and then the broken wrist…. which is still too traumatic for me to talk about.

Here are a few pics of our traumas, busted eye, busted lip, broken wrist….. this were the major issues.

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Well this year in 1st grade, his school work started to suffer. He kept getting in trouble for acting up and not paying attention. He struggled with reading and math. I knew it was time to test him again. He was off the charts for ADHD. And since he was so far behind in school and the safety issues were a huge concern, my husband and I made the difficult decision to use medication. We spent a long time talking to his doctor about various medications and side effects. We decided that for him to succeed in school and for his own safety that we would start him on Adderall. It was a capsule and I thought that he would swallow the pill, but he wouldn’t.  We tried every which way to get him to take the capsule.  I thought of all of my kids this would be the one that could handle the pill.  NOPE.  No biggie, we could sprinkle on applesauce. Yeah, that didn’t work well either. We tried chocolate icing, jello, pudding, smoothies, anything that the damn kid liked I tried to sprinkle in the medicine.  It didn’t work one bit.  It was a 45 minute fight every morning trying to get his medicine in him.

I cried a lot because I felt like it wasn’t worth the pain and suffering. What was I doing to my child? Why was I fighting to get this drug in him. I felt like a horrible mom. Should I risk the bad behavior in school and the running in traffic at home or should I fight him to get his medicine in him each morning. I chose the medicine of course. The safety issues were just too frightening for me.

But we fought every morning and somehow, someway we got him to take his medicine. And you know what? He started to excel in school. He became a new kid. Reading and writing finally clicked, he was paying attention and when his teacher came back from maternity leave, she barely recognized him. He was doing so well. I kept telling myself that the struggle each morning was worth it. The kicking and yelling, the screaming and crying was all worth it, but one day Joey and I decided that it wasn’t worth it. We needed something new.  I couldn’t spend 45 minutes to an hour fighting him to take this medicine. I had two other kids that I had to feed and take care of. I just hated fighting with him to get this drug into his body.  Yes, I knew that it was working but at what cost???  So we had to come up with a new plan.

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So at his latest weight check appointment we decided to switch meds. It was a tough decision because I know that the first one worked and we found the correct dosage so quickly {which can be very difficult with ADHD kids}. How do I know that this new one will work? But on day one he begged to try it and loved it. Day two, same thing. It was amazing. We finally found one that he enjoyed taking but it still isn’t working as well. We still need to play around with the dosage because I don’t think it’s enough yet but we will get there {hopefully}. It’s hard now that he’s not in school and I don’t have feedback on his behavior from his teacher. But I know it’s going to be okay. I know that Sean is going to be okay. It’s all going to be okay.

I talk so much about how difficult Sean can be but let me tell you this…..Sean is one of the sweetest, cheerful, thoughtful and emotional kids on earth. He will cry over the smallest thing but he will take care of you whenever you need him too. I would do anything for him. I never thought that I would medicate him but honestly it’s been the best for him. I love him so much and I see now that this has helped him out so much. I love that kid to the moon and back. I would give my life for his {as I would for any of my kids}. It’s just a struggle as parents on what you need to do. You constantly second guess every decision, every fight, every doctors appointment.

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In the long run I know that this is what’s best for Sean. He is finally reading like a champ — and loves it. He’s no longer crying over reading. Just the other night I sent him to his room for bed. He was bored and not tired. 45 minutes later he walked downstairs and told me that he read 5 books and that they were awesome. That right there showed me that my husband and I made the right decision!

I have talked to so many parents who have medicated their children.  It shouldn’t be something that we have to hide in a secret moms club. Just like all of the parent shaming going on these days, we have to stick together.  Each of us would die for our kids to have a better, safer, healthier life. So if medication is something that is going to keep my son learning, excelling and staying safe then I sure as hell am going to give it a try!  Don’t judge, just pat my husband and I on the back and say ” you are doing great with your kids”.  That’s all any parent ever wants to hear. Trust me, no one wants to hear “oh your kids on ADHD meds”.  We struggle enough we don’t need any backlash from anyone.

Feel free to share your stories with me on my FB page or here in the comments section.  We are new {only 7 months in with the medicine route} and could use all of your suggestions, stories, etc.

Thanks for letting me share this with you all.

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Complete Denial

I am 100% in complete denial that summer break starts tomorrow at 1:30pm. I don’t think that there is enough wine in New Jersey to get me through this summer. This will probably be the hardest summer home with the boys yet.  I really do want to be that mom that enjoys having my kids around all summer, I miss them when they are at school but when all three of them are home together, it’s a nightmare. I have 3 little minions who can entertain me and show me all of the joys of summertime that I have long forgotten but unfortunately, that’s not what happens in our house. I love them all to death, I would give my life for theirs, but man, summer is hard!  But we are going to try our best to have one awesome summer….just as long as the boys cooperate!

Sidenote…. now that school is ending, everything that my kids could possibly hoard at school has been sent home in their backpacks over the past week.   I have this endless pile of papers to go through. Time to reduce and recycle their gorgeous math worksheets. I have been pretty good about trashing things this year but they just quadrupled my pile of papers.  This is my project for the first week of summer vacation.

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The past few weeks have really been rough for us.  Joey has been dealing with a serious leg injury preventing him from doing a lot of things.  He has been resting that leg as much as possible.  The boys have also been giving us a hard time, we are at our breaking point with the oldest boys and I have never had so much anxiety about spending a summer with all three of them.  I really want to be able to do fun and exciting things with the kids but when all they do is act up, I refuse to reward them.  I attempt one or two things and if they misbehave then I just want to skip out on the rest of the fun.  It’s a nightmare.  Why should we even bother.  One of these days I hope that they realize all of the fun things that we could have been doing if they just stopped fighting and acting up.  One on one they are awesome and fun.  But put them together and it’s mayhem. I mean these boys got into a huge fight at the local Veterans Cemetery minutes before they placed flags on all of the graves.  Yes ladies and gentlemen, those are my kids.  It’s embarrassing and I can’t control them so that’s why I struggle taking all of the boys somewhere by myself.  It’s hard even when Joey is with us, I can’t imagine all by myself.  I give so much credit to those parents that venture out with all of their kids.  It takes a village but some days even the village throws up the white flag.

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Even tonight at Ben’s basketball evaluations, it was nonstop fighting.  The car ride over was a nightmare, then it rained and we were moved to another court, more fighting.  Then when we finally get there they are fighting and punching and kicking right up until Ben got called onto the court.  It’s NEVERENDING!!!!!!!

Now Owen, let’s talk about that little minion.  He’s cute but don’t be fooled by that adorable face and his cute, kind words.

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We will all be sitting outside on the deck or playing basketball and Owen will catch my eye, give me a smirk and then take off. And when he takes of he doesn’t stop or look.  This kid is going to give me a heart attack.  Everyone always laughs that I still keep him in his stroller, but I have a valid reason for it.  It’s not to make my life easier, it’s to keep him safe. But every time I chase after him, the other boys freak out.  Just last week, Owen took off up the sidewalk.  He was on his big wheel so I caught him only 2 houses away.  Well I ended up running into a neighbor and started chatting.  10 minutes later I walk back and Ben and Sean were in tears.  They thought that I got kidnapped.  So not only does Owen give me heart palpitations but he is causing his brothers to stress out as well.

I did finally sit down and book some camps for them {THANK GOD}. See my pile of medical forms, pickup authorizations, emergency contact forms, etc….

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They both will go to cub scout camp and a local summer camp for a few weeks. Sean will also do two weeks of basketball camp and Ben is going to play in a nighttime basketball league {which I mentioned started tonight}. Oh and Sean needs a little help with math so he is doing the school’s summer math program. I am glad that he will be getting some extra help, he’s not as excited about that camp as I am.  So Sean will be booked up pretty much the entire summer.  Ben, not so much. I am also hoping and praying that since Sean will be gone a lot, that the fighting will be minimal but I also need a ton of new ideas to entertain Ben when he isn’t at camp.  He really thinks that he is going to spend his entire summer on the iPad.  NOPE, NOT HAPPENING!!!!   He is not the easiest child on the planet so it will be a struggle but I plan on helping him with his handwriting, some math skills and some good old fashioned fun. Ben will regret not wanting to do more camps! But we do have a fun vacation planned, and I will squeeze in some bowling, slip and slides, swimming, play dates and sleepovers and some other fun activities. It won’t all be camps and work!

Mommy and daddy even have some fun plans this summer. We just saw Dave Matthew’s last week and are headed back again this weekend. I can’t wait to spend an evening out with Joey, our cousin and our friends. It should be a fun weekend.  We also are going to see Coldplay in August.  We saw them a long time ago at MSG in NYC and I absolutely loved their live show. I just hope that they are still as good as they were 12 or so years ago!

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So tell me guys, what are your plans for your kids this summer.  Tell me that I am not alone with my anxiety? I really do want to have fun with them, but they make it soooooo difficult????  The only thing that makes me super excited about summertime is that Big Brother starts tomorrow night!! WOO HOO!!!!

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Cub Scouts: Pinewood Derby Day

Over the past few months I have been deep into the world of Cub Scouts. Both Sean and Ben are now scouts.  Sean is a Tiger and Ben is a Wolf. I have also become a den leader for Sean’s den. I work with two other moms to prepare the schedule of achievements, activities and meetings. We have been meeting once a month as a den and then monthly all of the dens get together for awards and events.

It’s been a fun year so far. I really do enjoy all of the work that we’ve put into it.  It’s been exciting and fun. We have learned about fire safety, healthy eating, working together as a team, playing games and just having fun.  In the coming months we will be exploring a lot more outdoor stuff, plus rock climbing, banquets and a sleep in at the Liberty Science Center. It’s going to be great!

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The one Cub Scout activity that did make me a bit nervous was the Pinewood Derby.

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I knew very little about the Pinewood Derby and I didn’t have time to really research everything that goes into creating the right car. So I just tried to ignore it for as long as possible. It all seemed too overwhelming for me. I was going to pass this project along to Joey. In the end it was fun, very tiring, but it was also a great learning experience. We were amateurs going into it and now I think that we know what needs to be done for next year to be in competition for speed!

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The boys decided on car designs {Minecraft of course}. Then Joey took the wood blocks to a car cutting day that our pack provides.  We helped the boys paint and design their cars. It wasn’t easy and there were tears but they were finished in time for derby day! The wheels became our downfall as well as some weight issues, but both of the cars made it to the finish line. Even if they both were last place cars in each of their heats.

Here’s a pic of Sean’s Minecraft Creeper Car

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During the the trophy ceremony both boys felt defeated and wanted to go home. I explained to them that even though they weren’t getting 1st place trophies they should still support their friends. Well Ben was very happy that we stayed. The kid walked away with a best in show trophy for his Wolf Den. It was for 3rd place but he didn’t care. He still won a trophy!

Here’s Ben holding up his Minecraft Steve car along with his trophy 

 

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Next year I feel that we will be better prepared with design, weights, themes, etc. Bring it on!

Remember to enter my IllumiBowl giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Review & Giveaway: Illumibowl

A few weeks ago I was given an opportunity to test out this fun new product. Since I am a mom to three boys, I jumped on this one very quickly when I was approached.

One of my kids, who will remain nameless, still cannot figure out how to lift a toilet seat, aim or flush (which seems to be a common trait among boys/men). This child is finally getting up at night and using the bathroom. He never turns on the light and the night light isn’t close to the potty. So you can imagine what I walk into every morning. I am always Clorox wiping that bathroom! Well what if there was a cool product that would illuminate the toilet the moment that there’s any motion or movement nearby.

Well you are in luck. There is. It’s called the IlluiBowl  and it’s awesome. The color that I have it set to is red but you can change it. The boys love the red … It reminds them of the Star Wars Dark Side! Like I said I live with all boys. Everything is Star Wars!

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This gadget is awesome. You attach it over the side of the toilet and the moment that someone walks in the bathroom it illuminates. It’s even scared me a few times. I forgot that it was on there one night when I ran it to put towels away. But it works and even though I still have to clean the bathroom quite often, it definitely  hasn’t been as horrific.  Overall this is a pretty awesome product that I would recommend.  The only issue that I have had is the inside suction cup doesn’t always attach but it has had no effect on the use of the product.

IllumiBowl is:

  • Motion Activated
  • Easy to Clean
  • Splashproof

You can set your IllumiBowl to any single color or color-rotate (Red, Orange, Green, Teal, Blue, Purple, Pink, White). Your IllumiBowl color changing night light will make your toilet bowl glow every time you walk into your bathroom at night.

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Head on over here to order your very own IllumiBowl for just $19.99 or you can enter the contest below to win your very own IllumiBowl

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I did not receive any compensation for my review. Everything in my review above is based on my own opinions. I was given a free product to test but zero compensation.

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Christmas with the Callaways

This post is only 2 months late, oops!  I thought that I posted it back on New Years!

Even though we have an extremely hectic life we still have found some time to squeeze in some fun this holiday season. It’s not always ideal and there may be fights, kicking, hitting and throwing of iPads (note… by the kids not me LOL).

I am so thankful that we had Owen, for a variety of reason.  One of the perks of having another boy is that we were able to experience the live experience of Thomas the Tank Engine.  I really did miss going to Strasburg, PA to see Thomas.  It’s always a wonderful day, we have been there so many times and each time has been a great experience for the boys.  This year was Owen’s first time.  He loved it.  And the older boys had an awesome time as well. I think that they forgot how much that they really enjoyed riding the train, and the gift shop. Of course, they loved the gift shop.  The kids haven’t played with the trains since they discovered the iPad but this year they HAD to buy stuff.  Of course, we gave in.

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We also had a great day picking out our tree. The first few years we used an artificial tree but I really wanted the tradition of going to a tree farm and chopping down a tree. I love it. Joey may disagree since he has to do the dirty work.

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After decorating the house for Christmas, we had a wonderful night celebrating with Ben and the second grade class during their Snowflake Spectacular.  They did an awesome job singing holiday songs!

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One night, my friend Wendi and I took the kids over to Shadybrook Farms in PA to see their awesome Christmas lights display!  Considering that we have 5 WILD and CRAZY kids in the car they did behave pretty well.  Wendi and I came prepared.  She brought presents and treats and I had a scavenger hunt for light displays.  It was an awesome night.

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In the midst of it all I had my 20th High School Reunion.  The St. Mark’s Class off 1995 ROCKS!  An awesome night with great friends!  It really was a wonderful night.

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Finally, on the 24th we had time to go and visit with the best Santa Claus in the world.  He is so sweet and kind and caring.  We have been to him every year for the past  7 years (even though I have a year or two without pictures)

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The kids had a wonderful Christmas.  We got to spend time with our families and it was great.  Despite some minor fights, they did have a great holiday. I just love seeing the smiles on their faces on Christmas morning.  Worth all of the stress and hassle.

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New Year’s Eve

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The only one who could hang with me until midnight!!!!

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 I hope that everyone had a nice and safe Christmas and New Years {and now a happy Groundhogs Day, Valentine’s Day, President’s Day and all of the other holidays that have passed since I originally typed out this email}!

Oh and Ben also celebrated his 8th Birthday recently… I will try and get a post up about that one shortly {hopefully before we hit Memorial Day}. I also have some posts coming on our blizzard, Cub Scouts Pinewood Derby Day, and a few other small ones coming soon. So keep on reading and check in often. I am trying to get all caught up!

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Merry Christmas!

I wanted to wish all of my readers a very Merry Christmas this year.

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Thank you for sticking by my side even though I took a bit of a hiatus in 2015. I hope to be back in 2016 with even more crazy posts.  In the meantime take a look at these awesome pictures that my friend Jen (Photography by Jen Davis) took for me in our backyard.  I don’t know how she manages to capture these awesome pictures. Oh wait, it’s called talent (and my cute, but uncooperative kids).  Thanks again Jen.

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Life: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly….

The main reason that I started writing my blog was to share all of the fun and crazy times that we have with the kids. I wanted to share with my friends and family all of our silly pictures and stories since they aren’t aren’t always here to witness it all.  Plus no one would really believe half the stuff that happens with these boys if I didn’t take pictures and write about it. The blog has grown a little bigger then I ever imagined and I started to fall behind on posts. But I miss it so much. I miss sharing everyday stories with you guys. I have always promised myself that I wouldn’t hide behind the perfect Facebook pictures or Blog posts. I always wanted to be honest and share the good, the bad and the ugly. And when you have three boys … Trust me there’s a lot of ugly. That’s why I haven’t had time to blog as much as I normally do. Despite the craziness of LIFE, these boys are the light of my life and I couldn’t get through it all without them and the hubby.

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It’s been an emotional and crazy few weeks in our house. The kids have been super busy with school, Cub Scouts, CCD and now basketball season has started. I have been running around like a chicken with my head cut off most days. I used to be an extremely organized person.  But lately it feels like I’m walking around in a haze (and that’s not from the wine). Between the new house, school, Christmas shopping, remembering to move the elf, feeding kids, taking the boys everywhere and entertaining the little 2 year old, I’ve lost all of my organization skills. I need help finding them, but I know that they are just buried under a pile of papers on my desk. That’s one of my goals for 2016 — better organization.  My house is a mess and my mind is even messier.  I don’t know if having the third kid has finally caught up with me or what. But I’m struggling to keep up.  Just like most parents, I am trying to find a balance between it all.  That’s why this blog post will be all over the place as well.  MY BRAIN IS A JUMBLED MESS.

So here’s the latest happenings…

A few times a month we have Cub Scout events and since I am one of the co-leaders of Sean’s den, I have a little bit more on my plate. But that I can handle. It’s been a lot of fun working with a few of the other moms teaching our group of boys. Don’t get me wrong it’s a lot of work but it’s all worth it. I work so much on his den that I forget that Ben has projects too. In the next few weeks we will experience our very first pinewood derby race. The boys are designing Minecraft derby cars — obviously. So hopefully the boys will love working on their cars over the next 2 weeks. I just need the hubby to help them out a bit. I’m not very creative, so I rely on Joey for that.

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Basketball started a few weeks ago and I love going to watch them play.  Practices are now over and games start in early January. Ben and Sean are on the same team so that makes the schedule a lot easier.   There’s something about watching 1st and 2nd graders play ball. You have some kids that can’t dribble and then there are the few that are dunking the ball. I love every minute of it and so do they.

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CCD has been pretty hectic this year. I decided not to home school them this year, so I send them weekly to class. Ben makes two sacraments this year so I thought the in class instruction would be better for him. I am dying to see him make his first reconciliation. What is he going to tell the priest??

Homework and school have been pretty easy for Ben so far. He doesn’t put up a fight. He does his math, his words and we read together each night. He seems to have the school thing down. He loves his teachers and he always tries to be the teachers pet. He is my little brown-noser and I love it. We just need to work on that kids handwriting.

Sean on the other hand has been struggling.

He struggles with attention, reading, math and his behavior. Joey and I hate seeing him struggle so much. It just makes me so sad that school doesn’t come as easy for him as it does for Ben. Now riding a bike … that’s easy! Sean is pretty much the youngest kid in his class. He is a whole year younger than most of the other 1st graders. That’s what happens when you have an August birthday. So we know that his maturity level is still a little off from the other kids. He started off school just fine but after a few weeks I could see him starting to struggle.

We have been working with the school and now he attends a daily one-on-one reading class. He also gets extra math help a few times a week. His reading has improved tremendously. But something was still off with him. He cannot focus or sit still in class. His attention span is basically at an all time low and it was causing issues in class.  We knew that we had to do something before things got worse. So we had him tested for ADHD. I knew years ago that he had it. Mothers intuition. But now I have it on paper. After tons of long conversations, my husband and I decided to start him on medication. I know that this doesn’t work for all kids and parents but this was the best decision for us.

He just started it a few days ago. So we are still in the early stages. It’s been a struggle each morning getting him to swallow the pill but it does seem to be helping him. Even after just 3 days we have noticed a change. I’m curious to see what his teachers think.

I am really hoping that this helps him out. I get so emotional and cry when I see him get so worked up over a simple addition problem. First graders should not be shedding tears at homework time. Not when the problem is 2+3. He knows the answer. He just can’t figure out how to settle in his chair and write it down. We will do anything to help him out.

Have any of you other moms experienced this? Did you Medicate? Did it help? Please share your experiences with me! I know that we are doing the right thing for him but it’s not always easy.  As long as my Sean keeps the same sweet, crazy, funny, and goofy personality than we will be happy.  I just want him to enjoy life and school just a little bit more!

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Oh and in the middle of all of this my little guy turned 2 and the old man turned 40. I can’t forget about those two important milestone days! I will post a few pictures from their special days soon.

Christmas is almost here and I can’t wait to see the boys reactions on Christmas morning.  I will also be happy that I don’t have to move that darn elf anymore.  I was pretty good this year. I didn’t forget to move him once!

Talk to you all soon! Thanks for letting me share with you. Look toward to another post tomorrow. I have a Nuby bath toy review coming up!

 

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Kwik Stix Paint Sticks Review & Giveaway

Painting is one of the things that my kids ask to do but I almost always try to come up with some excuse to get out of it. “Oh we don’t have time, we need to finish homework and baths”, “Ummmm, mommy just cleaned today, can we please paint another day?” or my favorite one “We are all out of paint brushes”.  I pray that they will forget all about it for a few weeks and then I can find a new set of excuses.  It’s such a hassle for me and not worth it some days. If they do get to paint it means that I am in a really good mood or I just picked up a new box of wine that day!  Next to Play-Dough, painting is pretty much the only craft that I despise pulling out of our craft closet.  I hate the brushes, the drops of wet paint everywhere and the constant dipping of brushes into water or God forbid into another color.  Why on earth would a kid think it was a good idea to mix colors! Okay that’s just my  neurotic self talking. I know they are just being creative.  But for the past few  years I have left the painting to their teachers at school.

But there has to be an easier way, I have tried all sorts of painting products. I like the paint with water books but the kids do not enjoy them as much as I do.

But then I was approached by The Pencil Grip, Inc. to review one of their products – Kwik Stix.

I have never heard of Kwik Stix until they reached out to me.  But let me tell you that I absolutely LOVE THEM.  I wasn’t sure if the kids would like it as much as their mommy, but they did.  Sean and Ben both had a blast painting.  They kept drawing pictures of me for some odd reason.  Maybe they were just so happy that I let them paint for once in 2015.

Kwik Stix are awesome, clean and there’s virtually NO CLEANUP!  They look like the size and shape of a standard glue stick but its paint in there and there’s NO MESS.  Did you hear me, no dripping water or paint onto clothes or my floors.  You don’t even need a brush, a smock or a bowl of clean water. You just take off the cap then twist it up from the bottom. It’s a very soft texture but it’s not runny or drippy.

The kids had a blast drawing pictures and painting them in. It is also a fast drying paint and has the finish of real paint.  They said that it would dry within 90 seconds and that was pretty accurate. The one small bit of paint that Sean got on the counters wiped off easily 1/2 hour later when I finally noticed it.   The only downside was that they were a little thick. Sean was working on a project and couldn’t stay in the lines.  So it would be great if maybe they had another version with a smaller tip for smaller projects. But other than that they worked great!

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I have already let Sean use them twice this week! That’s shocking for me, painting before school on a Tuesday morning. WHAT?  I figured why not, there’s no clean-up for me.  He just puts the cap back on and viola we are done and I have some pretty cute pictures to hang up.

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I would definitely recommend these for kids of all ages. It’s the perfect Christmas gift or stocking stuffer this year.  You can find them over at Amazon in a variety of packs.  It’s better than a crayon since it works on all types of materials.  Sean painted a canvas bag and it even works on wood, cardboard or canvas.  I might try a pumpkin later on and see if it sticks onto there!  That would save a lot of carving and mess next Halloween!  Heck, I even let Owen do some painting with them.  He tried to eat them at first but then he got the hang of it after I showed him how they worked.

I would definitely recommend these for kids of all ages!

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The Pencil Grip, Inc. have offered to do a giveaway for my awesome readers. If you win, you will recieve a 6 pack of their Kwik Stix just in time for the holidays!!!!
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The Pencil Grip, Inc. also offers a variety of pen/pencil grips for writing.

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*** Please note that I did not receive compensation for the above review but I was given free samples of the above products by The Pencil Grip, Inc. All of the opinions posted above are my own ***

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Cavity Free Callaways

For the past few years I have been taking the boys to a fun pediatric dentist. They have monkeys and a treehouse and tons of goody bags. Well my insurance company was not too fond of this place and once they turned 6 they stopped covering the kids. It was considered a specialty dentist since its focus was pediatrics. My only other option was my dentist. I wasn’t a huge fan of the office. It felt more like a deli counter where I was just known as ticket number 42. No connection at all with the hygienist or the dentist. Not that I need to bond over coffee and scones but I like to feel comfortable when someone is sticking needles inside my gums and pulling teeth.

Well the time came that I had to start taking the boys there.  Ben has been going to the dentist for 4 years now but he has never let them clean/brush his teeth. He can’t stand it. He would let them do X-rays and count or check for cavities but never a real cleaning. Today was the day that he put on his big boy pants and got it done.  He was so brave. The X-rays were smooth and the cleaning and plague pick went well. He didn’t like the fluoride treatment but I reminded him that when I was a kid I had to hold a duck shapes piece in my mouth. Now they just brush it on with a toothbrush. Kids have it sooo easy these days. I’m just so glad that the kid got over his fear.  It also helped that mom mom bribed him with $10 and a new chapter book. Money talks with this kid. He told me that he is saving up for his own iPhone. He wants to own one so he can charge it by his bed. Since he doesn’t “own” his iPad I won’t let him charge his iPad in his room for obvious reasons (i.e. He will be up all night on the darn thing watching Minecraft videos). So he’s on a mission. I’m sure he will get to $30 and buy a Pokemon box or a Lego set. Kid can’t save at all.

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But anyway back to the dentist. I was so proud of him and Sean too. Sean who is always a pro at the dentist was not as easy but he did great too. He kept telling the hygienist fibs. He told her that Ben was his twin brother, that he was 7 not 6 and that everything hurt even when she wasn’t touching his teeth. Little stinker. Again he hated the fluoride treatment but he got through it. $10 and a book were at stake if he didn’t get it done.

The hygienists were awesome and listened to the boys talk endless about Minecraft. The dentist himself was ok. He reminded me of the New Orleans Saints DC Rob Ryan. He was interesting. But he told the boys that their teeth were healthy and that they were both cavity free! Such happy news!

My only complaint was the front desk. When she asked if they were new patients I said yes. She gave a loud sign and was acting rude. I said is there something wrong. She said yes now I have to do work. Ummmm listen lady it’s called a freaking job. Yes you have to do work. It’s called typing the 17 pages of questions into a computer. You’ll live!!! I had to fill out about 50 forms (not even sure what half of them were) but I probably signed over my third kid to their practice for experimental reasons. Sorry Owen!

So thankfully for the first time in over 4 years we had an awesome visit.  I really hope that we are over the hump with the dentist fears (well at least until someone has a cavity)

Until next time!!!! Have a great weekend.

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