Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2014

I have no clue how I can possibly give enough credit to the year 2014. Good things and blessings galore! 

I can also say with total certainty that there has never been another year that has gone by so quickly in all my 32.5 years! AmIright?!?! Good grief, I still feel like it's March!!!! (I'm blaming you, 3 kids in four years!)

I could go back and recap all the major points from each month, but that is SO 2012. 

So I will leave it as simple as I can...

I am thankful to our Father for His numerous blessings. Blessings that didn't always feel like blessings at first- some felt like trials and tribulations and too much for us- but in His all-knowing way, they turned out to be perfect, beautiful blessings. This past year was just how it was supposed to be. I am most thankful for our newest family member and the times spent together with just our little five-some. 

So with a full heart and a head (and blog!) full of memories, I bid 2014 adieu and say BRING IT, 2015- you've got a lot to live up to! 

And what a difference a year makes!!!





Monday, December 22, 2014

Molly is 7 Months!


Sweet little Molly June is 7 MONTHS OLD now! 7 Months?!




She is....
-nursing 5ish times a day- and can go anywhere from 2.5-4 hours depending on what we are doing. God bless solids because that can definitely buy me some time! I have hardly pumped at all because of this!
-loving loving loving solids! She will honestly eat ANYTHING (except pureed baby food- ha!). She can drink out of a straw sometimes- not every single time, but almost! Game changer with both of these!
-nursing 1-2-3 times a night. Basically, she can go almost all night (8-4ish, nurse, then asleep again until 7 or 8) with one feeding, but some nights I'm just too tired to get her back to sleep with effort, so I just plop her in our bed and nurse her back to sleep. Again, I know this is a "bad habit," but honestly, we all get sleep this way and it works for us. No judgements!
-a great napper. Takes a morning nap (about 30 min) and then a long afternoon nap- anywhere from 2-4 hours!!!
-very very early crawling. She will go from sitting to up on all four to taking a few crawls. Then she'll either flop on her tummy or sit herself back up. She doesn't seem to be in any rush and frankly, neither am I!
-attached to me! Seriously, I am not lying when I say she is the happiest baby- as long as she's with momma. She will go to other people and be super happy, but that girl RARELY fusses/cries if she's with me! Since she's so good with me, it's super easy to keep her with me!
-pulling up consistently to a squat and often to standing. She LOVES this new view!
-without teeth!
-in love with babies/kids/herself in the mirror. She absolutely loves to look at babies and "talk" with them.
-vocal! Probably my most vocal kid. She can say tons of consonant sounds and mixes them (ba-goo, etc). She also tries to really hard to mimic our sounds. When we say bye-bye she says buh buh. When we say "Hiiii" she says huuuuh! It's awesome to hear!
-saying ma-ma and da-da consistently and just started the buh buh. It's not often enough to call it a "word" but it's pretty close!
-obsessed with her family! Her brother and sister and daddy are her faves, but any of her cousins, aunties, uncles, grandparents make her so so excited, too! I love the look on her face when she sees "her people!"
-In size 3 diapers and 6-9 month clothes. Some of her 9 month clothes are too short, though! Love my tall girl!
-REALLY good at playing by herself for a while. Usually she just sits and plays with toys or in a jumper or stands up at the coffee table. She will play and watch her older siblings.
-happiest in the bath tub. The minute we walk into the bathroom she is flailing her arms and legs and kicking all around! It's the cutest! Once she's in the water she could stay there for an hour- no joke!
-great at pat-patting everything-especially on command! She will make anything into a drum, and gives kisses when you ask her, gives you noggins (think of Nemo- a little headbutt/forehead to forehead thing), and signs more (!!!!!!!!) occasionally!
-a girl with a great sense of humor! She laughs a TON, and it's hysterical to listen to! She gets tickled by so many things, but mostly her brother and sister and their shenanigans! And I swear to you, she is starting to "joke" with me. When I ask her to give me a noggin, she will once or twice. But after that she will lean her head back and then start laughing- like she's doing it on purpose! Amazing!





I don't know a ton about ol' Molly's personality yet, but from what I can see so far, I am OBSESSED! She is just the happiest, carefree, go-with-the-flow baby! She has been the most perfect addition to our family. There are a lot of times we just all sit around and watch her and laugh with her. Best. Baby. Ever (at least in THIS household!)!

I just love you, Molly girl! I can't even come close to getting enough! You are the little light of our family!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Wednesday Confessions

Last Saturday night we had a Christmas party to go to. Our usual babysitter was unavailable (sad!), so we used a new girl. She came over, I gave her the run down, and we left. After almost two hours of being at the party, Anthony and I were sitting down at the table enjoying our delicious catered dinner. And I got a text from the sitter- "Hi Mrs. Squillante. I don't want to bother you, but Jay is really hungry and was wondering when the pizza was going to get here." OhmygoshIforgottoorderthepizza. I FORGOT to order the PIZZA!!!!!! My kids are home and hungry and with a new sitter and here I am enjoying adult conversation and a yummy catered meal. What kind of a monster am I?!? Whoops!


I worked out really hard tonight so I had four a few cookies when I got home. Dang me for undoing the good! In my defense, they were these, which doesn't make them SO bad, right?!


Molly slept through the night for the first time ever (I'm not talking about "sleeping through the night" like the 6 hours the books talk about. I'm talking about legit sleeping all night long- from night time until morning-time) the other night at almost 7 months old. I remember when Jay and Charley Kate did this, I woke in a panic and thought the monitor was broken, and ran into their rooms to make sure they were still breathing. I may have even poked them to double check. With sweet third-kid-Molly, I just checked the monitor and rolled back over and slept even harder. Sorry, kid. I've learned by now...


We visited Anthony at work the other day and brought him lunch. Jay requested Cane's (fried chicken and french fries). When telling Anthony's coworkers what we brought, I pretended like I was all annoyed that it was Cane's, when in reality I was STOKED.


Each year around Christmas I end up buying new/more decorations. And each year I reason with Anthony that "this will really complete the look." And the following year I buy even more. Can you even have too many Christmas decorations?


Anthony and I just booked a trip (grown ups only!!!) with some friends for the spring. I am so excited! I wish I could say I was feeling guilty or nervous. But I'm not. Sorry kids, I LOOOOVE you, but momma needs a break! We don't even have a sitter lined up, but I'm so desperate to get away and get some sleep that I am consider leaving them with the dog and cat as sitters.


I wore maternity leggings to Thanksgiving meal so that I would have plenty of room for stuffing myself silly. Nothing more needs to be said about that.

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Crash


Does anyone else feel like they've been going 90 miles an hour for weeks months? I don't know what it is about the fall, but there is always something going on, always something about to go on, and always something that just went on. Get my drift?

These past few weeks especially have been nuts. Three grown up Christmas parties in 8 nights- two of which I planned! What was I thinking?! Even this girl who LOOOOVES to plan parties (shout out to my high school girls clubs party chair and my Chi O Social chair days and my teaching Sunshine Committee chair days!) thought it was a little much!

But we had our last two parties (for almost a week anyway!) this past weekend. We hosted Anthony's work team at our home. Even with the months of planning that went into it, the madhouse of prep work these past few weeks, and the crazy setup day on Friday, it turned out SO wonderfully!

The team party last year was at Anthony's partner's house- who lives in the upper crust of the Memorial area and had recently moved into and completely renovated a RIDICULOUS home. It was a really beautiful dinner party in their gorgeous home. Well, this year his partner's wife decided that they just had too much going on to host again, so Anthony volunteered our house! Ha!

Knowing that we couldn't possibly "compete" with his partner's home (and by compete I don't really mean that... I mean we couldn't even come close to putting on the same show as they did- including not enough room inside our house to have a sit down dinner party for 30!), I decided to go a totally different direction!

We had a FUN, relaxed, tacky sweater night complete with a TACO TRUCK. That's right- and it was everything you are imagining. Soooo good and soooo easy!

I won't bore you with the details (anymore than I already have, because that's actually not the point of this post, but whatever). But I am just going to toot my own horn and say that I got every single thing set up and ready ALONE with all three kids home! Yup, how about them apples?! I was so proud of myself- and I may or may not have texted pictures to all of my sisters/parents/best friends/husband that day bragging about it. Ha!

Beginning of the set up



Thank you to my mother for letting me borrow one of her "pretty sweaters" for the party. 
She might get her feelings a little hurt when we call them tacky. 


So the party was great and my parents had the kids at their house (THANK YOU!) and we stayed up until 2:30 (!!!!!!!!!) hanging out and playing Cards Against Humanity (!!!!!). The only casualty was a candle in our guest bathroom that went awry and may or may not have caught fire and then caught something else on fire before I could get it out (water and blowing and trapping it worked!). Unfortunately my hand didn't fare so well...




So between that on Friday night (and by the way, we went and picked up Molly around 12 and brought her home so my parents could go to bed), waking up and grabbing the kids Saturday morning, heading up to church to decorate for the party that night, Anthony's football game (more on that in a sec), getting ready for the party, hosting that party, and coming home to put the big kids down, WE WERE POOPED.

We went to bed and slept hard, but still hadn't really caught up enough. So by Sunday I was pretty grouchy after church (remember the previous week Molly was sick and I got no sleep!). Plus, I'd be "on duty" a lot lately while Anthony had other obligations.

So Sunday afternoon I crashed. I was exhausted and I might be PMS, too. Between those things, I looked at Anthony with tears in my eyes and said, "I need a break. Like, now." So I took a nap (with Molly) and headed out to get a much needed manicure and pedicure. I am pretty sure I sat there for an hour and a half straight without talking or even making eye contact. I drove to the nail place in silence and drove home in silence.

It was JUST what the doctor ordered. By the time I got home I was so energized and felt recharged. It's amazing what a few hours can do for you!!


We had pho for dinner (Molly took down TWO eggrolls!!!!! It's amazing how much that girl can eat without teeth!), played and just hung out as a family- AT HOME. It was perfect.




And now I'm going to excuse myself with some graham crackers and cookie butter and sit on my couch- in silence. :)

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Trimming the Tree


I am all about traditions. I love making memories and keeping things special.

My family had a lot of traditions around Christmas-time growing up. From going to pick out a tree together, to decorating it, baking Christmas cookies, Christmas PJs, looking at Christmas lights, gathering on Christmas Eve, presents together on Christmas morning, etc etc etc etc- seriously, I could go on for days about our traditions!

Once Anthony and I were married and started spending Christmases together, it became really important to both of us to establish traditions of our own with our little family. We love being a part of the traditions of our bigger families, but we also want our kids to have fond memories as they grow up of what Christmas was like for them when they were little.

We've started creating a few of our own (and if you have any you'd like to share, please do! I love to hear about them!). One of them is decorating our tree together. When Anthony and I were first married I would do it alone (wah wah). Then when Jay was a baby I did it "with" him (alone). Tired of decorating alone, I decided to get the kids involved the best I could. So this year was really the first year that Jay (a four year old BOY) and Charley Kate (finally old enough to do it without crashing the tree over!) could do it. Molly was the perfect age because she just sat there watching them!

And oh my, did they get into it! They loved trying to reach high and they loved figuring out how to spread them out. We dressed them in their PJs and I played some Christmas music and we watched them decorate. It really was a perfect little moment to me. They were so happy and having so much fun.  And they were both SO disappointed when the ornaments ran out! Honestly, we've got another whole crate of ornaments, but a lot are breakable or from our childhood, so we have chosen some that we have collected as a family over the years (and few breakable ones!) to use for now. I'm sure we will continue to add others in and have a huge collection as the years go on. But for now, this is perfect for us and the ages that our kids are.






Probably one of my all time favorite pictures. Ever. 





After decorating we ate dinner at home- takeout! We had pho and fried rice and grilled pork and eggrolls. Honestly, I would love to make THAT a tradition- SO yummy!!! :)


It was a sweet little evening with our little family. I can't wait to see how it progresses over the next (twenty!) years!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Family Pictures

Y'all, I have been DYING to share these!

We had some family pictures done the Friday after Thanksgiving. Every single member of the Moriarty family was in town and we couldn't pass up the opportunity for some good group shots. My mom's love in life is her family and she has ALWAYS been a picture queen. This was her wish, and it was easy to grant!


So we all decided blues/whites/grays would be the color and everyone could go with that. We got a photographer that we know from our old church (actually my parents know her inlaws). She was such a doll! If you need pictures in the Houston area, contact Mallory with Simple Moments Photography. She was so great to work with.



Knowing we would be photographing 20 people (10 were children!), we all braced ourselves for the worst. We figured there would be fussy babies, fighting kids, gritching grownups... Isn't that how pictures often are?! We want so badly for them to be perfect, but getting that shot takes the fun out of it sometimes (not that we have EVER had this happen to us! Ha!).

Anyway, for whatever reason, God was looking down on us that moment, because it went perfectly. Seriously. Several different group shots, grandparent with grandkid shots, grandkid only shots, and shots of every single individual family (there are 5 families involved here), plus some fun sisters-only shots ONLY TOOK LESS THAN AN HOUR. Hardly any tears (and it was the two of the youngest babies who were battling through nap time!), no gritching, and nothing major (except for the jerk biker that tried to run the grandkids over on the bridge until my wonderful husband put him in his place!).

Anyway, I am IN LOVE with our little family shots. I have wanted to capture some good pictures of us since Molly has gotten a little older, and this was a great time. The kids were so well behaved and had a lot of fun doing it. Yay!

I love this one!!!
I especially love Jay's little stance!

Be still my heart! Eek!

The one we used for our Christmas card!

Love my guy. So much. 




Stay tuned for the Moriarty Family Pics... They are TO DIE FOR! But my mom is working on her Christmas cards so I don't want to steal her thunder (but I'm obsessed with them!).

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A Week Goes By

Ahhh, it feels like forever since I've blogged. And I guess a week is a long time.

As usual, it's not that we don't have anything going on. On the contrary, we have SO much going on right now (just like all of you!). The holidays bring so much excitement and joy and fun, but they also bring lots and lots of things to do! There is just never enough time (I feel like this is becoming my mantra in life).


So last week, my little sister and her baby boy left us after EIGHT blissful days here. Ahhh I'm sad thinking about them being gone. But it was SO fun having her around! And Clay! What a DOLL! Eek! You know, he reminds me SO much of Jay as a baby. Scrawny (but LONG) and wants to eat all. the. time. God bless Michelle- she does a great job. But I remember those days of nursing around the clock. They were long and thankless. But he's finally getting to that point where he is really starting to "give" back- smiling, cooing, sleeping for longer stretches.



Throughout the last week, Miss Molly has had some big moments. She said her FIRST (deliberate!) word- DA-DA! What?!?!?!?! And it was on his birthday! Lucky duck!!! He was holding her and she just looked at him and started saying da-da-da-da! Maybe a fluke, but every time he would walk by or hold her she would say it! She even said it to my blonde-haired brother in law (who is similar enough to Anthony)! Ha! But don't you worry, the very next day she said ma-ma-ma-ma as I walked by the room and has said all day every day since! Phew!

She's also taken 5 crawls! FIVE! She averages 1-2 right now (Praise the Lord!) but I imagine in the next few weeks we will have an official crawler! I was really hoping she'd wait to do it until after the holidays (and the Christmas tree wasn't up and the presents weren't out!), but homegirl is about ready to GO! Yikes! 

Also, she's pulled herself up to standing twice now. I don't remember my other two doing it this young (but thanks to the blog I looked back and Charley was standing a lot and Jay was pulling up to his knees at this point). My goodness it surprised me! Where is my perfect little stationary baby going!?


This is at the doctor's office. She hasn't been sleeping well (think crying, fidgeting, uncomfortable) for five straight nights. I took her into the doc to get her ears checked and his response was, "They look perfect. As a matter of fact, these are the best ears I've seen all week." Perfect. 
At least she's cute and smiley!! 



And Jay is super into writing and counting right now. He can count to 100 on his own (and I got a video of it but that's the sort of thing only a mother and grandmother want to watch!). He's also really into writing things. I'll tell him a word and he will write it- I spell it out 99% of the time- but I'm so impressed with how much he wants to write! I am loving it!

This is 11, 12, 13, 10

17,18,19, and then I wrote 20- he was over it! :)




And then there is Treasure. She has been hysterical lately (as usual). She is just on the go and really really coming into her own. She talks non-stop and is SUCH a little momma. She honestly loves taking care of things around the house (helping to cook, cleaning, picking up toys, bossing everyone) and loves taking care of her siblings. She bathes Molly, feeds her, plays with her, and then keeps Jay in line and does all kinds of stuff for him. I think he's figuring this out and is totally using this to his advantage- "Hey Charley Kate, will you get me a juice box?" "Treasure, bring me my toys!" Yikes! She loves to do it, though. A mother in the making for sure!


Girlfriend is into accessories these days. At least she has the layering necklace thing down!

Everyone says she is my mini-me. 
I must be training her up right...
A latte and Target shopping! Perfect! 


So sad this is blurry!!!!





And Anthony and I had a date night and went to the first (of what feels like a JILLION!) Christmas parties! It was his company party this round, and it was a 20's theme. I'm not gonna lie- I freaking loved it and feel like I was born in the wrong decade!!!!! One word- FRINGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yup- it's a bathroom selfie. But I was trying to get my headband and feathers to show my sis.
And I'm kind of obsessed with the "look" of it with the pearls! 

Have we talked about how Anthony hates dressing up?!
This is his "costume"







Can't wait to see what the next week holds! Hopefully I'll blog again before the week is up (maybe unlikely because Jay just popped up with a 102 fever and sore throat! Praying it's not strep!!!!!). 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Big Guy

I would say my kids definitely get the whole Santa concept this year. They talk about him, they know about him, they understand the whole naughty/lump of coal thing (which by the way has been working so stinking well with Miss "Treasure"!). 

Anyway, they knew that we were going to see Santa this year, and though CK was a bit skeptical, there were no tears (I think she was afraid she was going to get a lump of coal if she cried- and who am I to argue with SANTA?!)! 

So our first picture with three kids was a HUGE success! A Christmas Miracle I tell you!!! 



And the years past... While it's not perfect smiles, I freaking love the hysterical crying!!!






Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Treasure

I posted this on Instagram, but I HAVE to document it here, too!


Ohhhh my Charley Kate. Yesterday this sweet little diva renamed herself "Treasure." All day we had to call her Treasure. I asked her if she meant "Patricia," the name of our housekeeper. She kept shaking her head no saying, "No, mommy! It's Tweashuh!!"

I am admittedly worried about her future...




Monday, December 1, 2014

Thankful Thanksgiving

I don't know if it was Anthony's recent trip to Haiti, or just our overall outlook, but we are feeling more thankful and blessed than normal this Thanksgiving.

I mean, look at where we are compared to this...





Between a humbling trip and the wonderful life with which we've been blessed, Thanksgiving 2014 left us more thankful than we could have dreamed.

As always, one of the things we are most thankful for is our family. Our little 5-man clan is just more than I could have ever imagined. I could write 1,000,000 posts about my little family and how much they mean to me, but hopefully all of you know that by now. Needless to say, I am so so thankful for these guys...





I am also so thankful that we got to see every single one of our (immediate) family members this week. Every last one of them! If that isn't something, then I don't know what is!

Anthony and I have both been blessed with wonderful, loving families. Families who have accepted each of us as one of their own. Families who would go to the end of the earth for us without hesitation. We also have been blessed with FUN families! There is never a lack of laughter or shenanigans (or chaos!) with our families. We are truly thankful for the fun family time we were able to have this past week!






And now for a recap of the week in pictures... because you KNEW that was coming!


Jay busted out with this little gem in Dallas- other than his name it's his first official word to write! That's right! (Yes, I was sitting there but it counts!)

Thanksgiving with Anthony's fam!

I just had to include this. This was a daddy diaper job. You would think by our third kid Anthony might be better at getting a diaper on the baby. No poop was inside the diaper. All in her jeans, but none in the diaper. Awesome. 

Kids Table

Cousins matching in their new shirts

These girls are going to get into trouble together one day.... Sigh...

Back in Houston....
6 month well check and flu shots

He's so good. Seriously. Just sits and plays and chats. 

Big boy cousins. They are SO good to the babies!!!!! 

Hunter and Molly- 3.5 weeks apart!

The four youngest girl cousins!

Getting to snuggle baby CLAY!!! His first trip to Houston!!!

This is how Molly takes bottles and nurses... Ha!

We celebrated this handsome guy's birthday! 33!

Morning breakfast and parade watching for the birthday boy!

I found these super cute painting cookies for the kids for a Thanksgiving activity! 
It was a hit!


Moriarty Family Thanksgiving. 
My 13 year old nephew took this and got all the kids to look and smile.
Hiring him.

Naps with Grandeb and her kitty, Cher

Family dinner. Molly watching the big boys play football!

Zoo Lights and a ride on the carousel!

Night time double pogo-swinging at my sister's house!

Clay's first Bible class... All three of the youngest cousins in Sunday School together! Love!!

One of Grandeb's favorite things to do!

Love these two... So so much. 

And this girl, too!

And this boy. 
Perfect way to end a crazy week- passed out on the couch! 



Hope your Thanksgiving was as wonderful as ours. Now bring on Christmas!!!!