Happy Birthday CoCo!!

CoCo's birthday was on January 4th. Yes, I am very far behind. In my defense, there has been something wrong with the computer. It has been working very, very slowly and loading pictures has been a nightmare. And, seriously, does anyone really READ this blog?? It's all about the pictures.

Anyway, CoCo has been planning for her birthday since September (when Ginger had her birthday). Somehow, I managed to promise CoCo a mermaid cake. I'm not the most creative person in this house, but I was determined to throw something together.

The night before the big day, we all made the mermaid cake together.

Some of the children did more candy eating than cake decorating, but they had fun.

I think we are on to something here --- Fruit Roll up clothes!! I'd like something in sour apple, please!

The next morning, CoCo got her ears pierced before the party (see earlier posts). Then, Aunt Jenn helped with the fingernail preparations!! (Can't be a birthday princess without pretty finger nails!!).

All the usual guests came to the party (Pap, Nana, Mrs. Amanda) AND we were so lucky to have Aunt Jenn, Uncle Matt and Kayla this year!

But, the guest of honor was......

Moses!!! Or Gingey. Whatever. All I can say is that even the grown ups fought over her.

Anyway, there was lots of presents, lots of blowing out candles, lots of cake that never got eaten (too sweet for kids who aren't used to eating cake), and lots of fun.

My baby is 4!!! Happy birthday, sweet child!

Overheard, while the girls where brushing their teeth in the bathroom.

CoCo says "Ginger. You annoy me. I annoy you. That's just the way it's supposed to be."

They just crack me up!!

Happy New Year!!!

Again, it's taking me a VERY long time to catch up!!

New Year's Eve at our house is a relatively calm event, and not much different than any other day. But, the kids love it and look forward to it every year.

We always start the night off with the traditional Polish New Year's dinner of hot dogs and sour kraut. I always make the kraut, although I'm never sure if anyone actually eats it, and I end up going to great lengths to not touch it. Actually, I think it's pretty gross. But, it's a tradition.

My children should be thankful that I skip the pickled herring that my mother used to make us eat. The experience was much like those awful food challenges on Survivor - pinch your nose, drop it in your mouth, chew as little as possible, and swallow quickly!!!

Anyway, after the amazing hot dog extravaganza, we have family game night. Now, for most of you, this is probably not a big deal. But for me? I don't much like to play games. This is the one chance the kids get to play game after game after game. The children get to pick ONE game each, and then Mom gets to pick the rest.

This year, we played a lot of twister.

We also played a new game that is a twist on the old "Guess Who" game. Rather than using little cards and flip up faces, each person becomes his or her own face. Everyone can see your face, except for you, and you have to guess who you are.

Sounds like some experiment from on of my graduate psychology class.

We also spent some time playing a High School Musical dancing game on the Playstation. It was pretty funny to watch.

Long before midnight, I decide I cannot play games for one more second, and I declare it to be midnight. This year, midnight was at around 9:30. No worries - only a couple of the kids can tell time. We all go outside and shoot off confetti poppers, blow whistles and shout "Happy New Year."

Maddie, being the only child in the family who is appropriately afraid of fire, doesn't necessarily enjoy this part of the evening, but she is a good sport.

Ginger doesn't want to mess up her hair or break a nail, so she usually just stands back and watches.

The other two are happy to have this one day every year to make as much noise as they want!!!

So long, 2009. Looking forward to 2010!!!

Gotta love Christmas!!

The kids are always so excited on Christmas morning. It's almost as if they forget the whole 'Santa brings lots and lots of presents' thing from one year to the next. This year, they were totally surprised by the sheer volume of presents.

And, I was THRILLED to get a picture of Maddie actually hugging her brother!! Merry Christmas to ME!

Christmas Eve

It's Christmas in Carolina! We're chillin in our underwear!!!

Okay - not really. But, we do enjoy dancing to that song.

No white Christmas here, but is sure was a beautiful day!!!

Cookie Day!!!!

I am soooooo far behind on this blog, I almost can't stand it.

I'm winding back to Christmas Eve. Christmas Eve at our house is all about cookies! We spend the day being lazy in every way EXCEPT making cookies. Each child chooses a cookie recipe, and then takes a turn with mom to make the cookies. This way, each child gets a little one on one time with Mom during an otherwise hectic and busy week AND Mom doesn't have a nervous breakdown trying to coordinate the cookie-making activities of 4 kids at once.

Maddie was first (for obvious reasons). That child has my sense of humor, and made sugar ghosts and chocolate bats for Santa. Our very own nightmare before christmas!! :) These days, she needs very little help from me. Mostly, I'm just there for clean up. It's so much fun having a 9 year old!!!

Owen was second. He was so quick that I didn't even get to snap a picture!! Funny boy. I guess baking isn't his thing. He was mainly concerned with the licking of bowls and spoons.

Ginger chose russian tea balls - one of the few cookies that I can remember my mother making. She took her job very seriously, and made sure that each ball was the exact same size and had the exact same amount of sugar on it.

And, after waiting ever so patiently, CoCo was last. She picked rudolph noses (not exactly cookies, but definitely a good choice for an almost 4 year old). Her favorite part was sorting the candy and unwrapping the rollos.

What a fun day!

The Birthday Princess Gets Her Ears Pierced

CoCo's birthday is tomorrow (I'll save all of my sappy sentiments until later). For weeks, I've been promising her that she can get her ears pierced for her birthday. She specifically asked me if she could get her ears pierced - like Ginger - and I specifically warned her that it is moderately painful. Kinda like getting a shot - it hurts, but it's over quickly. CoCo has been very excited about her birthday this year, and thinking about getting her ears pierced has added tremendously to that excitement. To make things even MORE exciting, Aunt Jenn, Uncle Matt, and Cousin Kayla are visiting this weekend and accompanied us to the mall for the grand ear piercing adventure.

I thought I'd be smart and get to the mall the minute it opened. Unfortunately, I'm never quite as smart as I think I am, and even though we arrived about 3 seconds after the mall opened, there were already 2 people in front of us.

No worries - the girls all enjoyed poking around Claire's and trying on jewelry, sunglasses, hats, and whatever else they could find.

Finally, it was CoCo's turn. She was still SOOOOO excited.

She enjoyed charming the ear piercing technician (associate? clerk? What do you call those people, anyway??).

The first earring went in with no problem. If you look real close, you can see the pretty little pink sparkly daisy that CoCo picked.

She was an absolute CHAMP for that first piercing. Not even a whimper from my brave baby!!

But, once was enough for CoCo. As soon as the technician started getting ready to work on the second ear, CoCo became a little skeptical!

Before the second earring even went in, sweet little CoCo lost her nerve.

But, it was nothing that a lollipop and a tiara couldn't fix!!!