Monday, December 31, 2007

2008 a time for New Beginnings

I was pregnant for the first time in end of November of 1998 (almost 10 years ago). We were only married for 6 months! We never expected to get pregnant that quickly. Like first try quickly.
Our first born Cameron arrived early in the beginning of August 1999. Cameron's first New Years 1999 was a major one, as the next day was the Y2K aka 2000. Cliff and I still in our 20's decided that we wanted to go celebrate at the big Hyatt party. So, we got Cameron onto a bottle and pretty much weaned him so we could go and party if you can believe that?! I couldn't even IMAGINE doing that today!
Cameron slept over at my parents house so we could go down town and celebrate with family and friends. As you can see in the photo above, Cameron's bottle was on ice (well not really, but it sure looks like it ;D )
My parents took these photos for us when we were gone!
Here is my dear son, almost 5 months old celebrating the New Millennium with Nanny and Pappa at their place.
PS: (If you wonder what is under his left eye? That would be his huge hemangioma that started growing when he was about 6 weeks old) That hemangioma taught me that not all people were very kind especially to a younger looking Mom, and I often got dirty looks from other moms etc, and stares because of the birth mark otherwise know as a strawberry. Did you know I had one too, under my right eye?! Yup I did. But, thankfully it disappeared on its own.

And yes, he was Y2K compliant, as was the rest of the world!


Flash forward 10 years. The last day of 2007. Less than a day from now. I will leave 2007 behind. And, there is a bit of sadness. As, this will be the last year that I was ever pregnant. Courtney was a big surprise to us when we found out we were pregnant in March 2007. But as she arrived in November 2007 of this year. Life changed as we had known AGAIN. But in a good way. So, as the clock strikes 12 midnight. I leave behind practically a decade of pregnancies and birth. 2008 will be all about new beginnings.

Yes, new beginnings. I basically started the new millennium as a new Mom. In that span of time of I have birthed 6 kids, and lost 1. I have spent a majority of that time span breastfeeding. And, I will spend the majority of 2008 breastfeeding. And then, I will be finished breastfeeding. Never to do that again. Our baby Courtney will grow ever so quickly. Just as the other five have done!

Time to let go of the past, let go of my childbearing years. And MOVE on. Scary words for me. MOVE on. Move on to what? What does that mean? What will I do?

2008 will be a year of new beginnings for myself and for our family. Next year at this time our 'baby' Courtney will have had her first birthday, her second Christmas (and this time she will have Christmas dinner in a high chair, taste her first turkey and cranberry sauce, and most likely will be walking already!) It is hard to imagine that, because today all I need to do is breastfeed her, and change her diaper. But in 365 days so much can change. Today I saw a little smile, and she is 6 weeks old. Working her way QUICKLY to 7 weeks old. Next year life will be different again. She will be smiling and making us laugh. I know it will be good. But I know there will be no more babies for us.

In 2008, I will no longer sit on the sidelines on the couch breastfeeding or being tired and pregnant, and I will be able to spend more time becoming active with the family, and enjoying watching the kids all grow up. I have so much to look forward to in the coming year (s)!

I do have pangs and twangs of deep sadness thinking that when the clock chimes 12 midnight tonight, that I will leave behind my birthing years. I will leave behind that last year I gave birth to our last child. 2007 will have been the last time I was pregnant. I will never forget that year.

A full year of surprises that have truly filled my life with such joy! And as I type this I do not have any regrets of our choice to have a large family. In fact my heart is filled to the brim with complete and utter love and joy for the seven other people in my family. Including the world's best husband. For without him, none of this would be possible. If you asked me 11 years ago how many kids we would have? I would have said 2 maybe 3. But, to me. We are now a complete family. The mantel with the six stockings hanging at Christmas looked perfect, the van is full. We have an even number of EIGHT. There are 8 of us in '08. Eight of us! Six healthy and lovely children.

I will enjoy the year ahead. I will take the time to enjoy and remember what Cliff and I accomplished in the last 10 years! I will take the time to appreciate all of the blessings that have been given to me in abundance! I will take the time to be grateful for the gift of life itself. I will take the time to cherish all that I have. This coming year Cliff and I will celebrate 10 years of marriage! What a huge milestone.

I wish you all a have and joyful 2008! May all of your dreams come true.

Make it your best year yet!


Sunday, December 30, 2007

Oh, the good old New Years parties!

(White Trash New Years Party)
The year we were getting married!
Now, this is us 10 years AGO!!

1999/2000 Millenium Party (almost 5 months postpartum with Cameron)

Of New Years Past...

Age 21 -Welcome in 1992

Age 24 - Welcome in 1995

Age 25 - Welcome in 1996

This is us over 10 years ago now!! (Cliff and my first New Years together)

Oh how life changes so quickly!

Age 26 - Welcome in 1997

Christmas is outa here...

The tree is down, the ornaments are boxed away, the lights are off of the house, the candy cane scented candles have burned away and it looks back to normal in here. The garage even got a clean up today which was great. And, the big girls FINALLY got their vanity in their room and are VERY pleased with it. I enjoyed watching them both sit together on the stool and do their hair. Too cute. I will have to take a photo when I can.

I cannot believe that New Years Eve is so close! I am so excited for 2008. Not to say 2007 wasn't any good. But, the future looks bright!

As for resolutions for the new year?

  • Weight loss, eating right and getting fit for both Cliff and myself
  • Work on doing more fitness together as a family
  • Have more fun together as a family

Can't wait. As for New Years Eve plans? Do the same thing we do every year, eat some nachos and watch a video of some sort. We may splurge on some wine this year, and perhaps a video game? Who knows.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Notice something?

Claire had her sister Carly wiggle her tooth out (well ALMOST out) I had to finish the job! The tooth fairy comes tonight for Claire! Yay Claire!

Boxing Day at our place

Courtney and her first boxing day!

A few of the kids enjoying the appies

Catie, who was really under the weather for most of Christmas and boxing day...

Cousin Abby

Aunty Amy and Caroline Mae

Baby's First Christmas...

Here is Courtney all bundled up and ready to head to my parents for Dinner

Courtney and her stocking

Courtney could fit into her stocking if we she is with her presents

She is seriously always this peaceful!! She is a gift!

And, Courtney with her gifts...

Our Six Pack on Christmas Eve

OK, there is ALWAYS one (or sometimes 6 lol) that will not cooperate for a photo. We have found six to be way more of a challenge than five? Why? We have no idea. Anyways, this year was Catie's turn not to cooperate. But hey, I got them all in the same frame (pretty good eh J!! lol) but here are the six kids all wearing their new pj's!

Come on Catie, just sit between Carly and Caroline for ONE picture!! Just one picture...

Catie, come take a look at Courtney under the tree...nope. There is Catie running away from Cliff who is BEHIND the tree lol. Oh, and notice we did not decorate the tree this year!! Maybe next year!

Oh, there is Courtney who was just around 5 weeks old looking at the tree lights...she certainly was the best Christmas present EVER!

A last picture of Christmas in our place...

And the new stockings were hung by the chimney with care...

A new clock for the family room! Thanks Mom and Dad (in-law) I LOVE it!

And, a couple of floral arrangements I made up for Boxing Day (those are fresh cranberries in the bottom)

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

My Christmas Poem

Christmas is nice

Christmas is fun

But even on Christmas morning

There is laundry to be done

(yes, and this is the day after I did 10 loads!!)

Monday, December 24, 2007

Bowie Meets Crosby

Merry Christmas and Peace on Earth!

Crackling Christmas Season Fire in Fireplace

I hope you take the time to sit and relax and enjoy the season with your family and friends!


From the Eight of Us...

Merry Christmas and a Happy 2008 to all of you!
Cathy, Cliff
Cameron, Claire, Carly, Catie, Caroline and Courtney
(We had enough Advent chocolates left over to create our above family!)
(The kids liked that idea!)

Christmas Crazies!!

Only one sleep left until Christmas Day! (why the photos are pink? my only guess is because there is so much estrogen in the house?! lol) I have enjoyed doing this advent tree, and I have also enjoyed the additions of the children's artwork added daily! I am going to do that again next year for sure!

The 5 big kids were patiently waiting for lunch! They got to have chicken sandwiches, fresh orange juice (to help their colds and coughs) and some potato chips! A special Christmas Eve treat!

And, Coco peacefully sleeping...this is her first Christmas season! We are so glad she is here!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Singing for Starbucks!

Cliff and I headed out to go do boxing day brunch shopping tonight, and we decided to drive-thru Starbucks and pick up some peppermint mochas (well decaf for me and Mom in Law) and she said how would you like to have free your order free tonight? And we said of course, how? Well you need to sing Jingle Bells and your order is free. So, we sang! And we got our order free!

What a nice surprise! What a nice treat! Then we came home, watched half of Amazing Race and got the groceries put away. And, I did 2 more loads of laundry...yup. And there is already a pile waiting for tomorrow!

Well, sweet dreams!

It's the weekend...

Well, it has been a busy weekend, but when is it not lol. We got the very last of the stuffers for the stockings this weekend. I was peeking at the piles and some looked pretty low. So, we decided to bulk up the stocking piles. They will look a lot more full now lol. We made our list for food shopping for Boxing Day and will go out late tonight when the stores are WAY more quiet. We did that last night, and we had NO troubles finding parking or finding open tills that way. I highly recommend it.

Today is a day of doing laundry, and I mean LOTS of laundry. I am up to 8 loads today because today is bed washing day. Lots of bed and cribs mean lots of laundry. The good thing is that all of us have fresh sheets to sleep under tonight. I always appreciate that smell and feel of a nice clean bed.

We have sickos in the house. All of the big kids have coughs and some with runny noses. Our three little girls Caroline, Catie and Courtney are all sick with bad colds, stuffy noses, and some with fevers. Poor Courtney is already experiencing her first big cold at 5 weeks and a few days old. She is so stuffed up that she is having troubles breathing and spits up ALL of her milk and then we change her completely (and me too sometimes lol) I feel badly for her.

I just hope the lot of them feel better for Christmas.

Claire has her first wiggly tooth, and her adult tooth is growing in behind. She says she wants it to fall out Christmas Eve (just like her Mom who yanked her two front teeth out on Christmas Eve from not even wiggly. Mom (aka Cathy) just wanted to sing All I Want for Christmas are my Two Front Teeth...and did I ever! I had the determination, and so does Claire!)

We weighed almost all of the kids today on our new scale as I was curious to see what they weighed. Cameron is 68 lbs, Claire and Carly are 52 and 56 lbs respectively. Catie is 27 lbs and Caroline was 26 lbs. We didn't weigh Courtney.

The three big kids were off to church this morning with Nannie and Pappa to light the Advent candle today, and then off to visit their GG (my Gran). They are still not home and I am sure they are having a lovely visit!

Well, I need to go flip a load of laundry, and start a new load. And the beds are calling me to make them!!

Two more sleeps until Christmas! Then the crazies are over!!

Friday, December 21, 2007

First Ever Bill Swerski's Super Fans

This is for my family! Especially my sisters! Go bears...

Sarah McLachlan -River

This is a beautiful song sung by Sarah. It is so lovely.

sarah mclachlan - wintersong

I really love this song too! A nice change from the traditional Christmas carols. Sarah's songs are so touching to the very core and she sings so beautifully.

Clash of the Choirs (HD) Day 3 Team Lachey

I found this to BEEEEE amazing! So cool! Glad their team won! Go Team Lachey!

Patti Labelle's Choir - LIVE on CLASH OF THE CHOIRS

Man oh Man did anybody watch this series this week? I loved this song, but glad Team Lachey won!!

Happy Friday!

Well my little Coco bean is 5 weeks old today. The time is flying by so quickly. I was looking back in my blog around the time when Caroline was around this age and found this and I had to share it AGAIN!

This is for all the hard working Moms! Click here to read!

Does your house have the Christmas Crazies?? Mine sure does!

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Here is Courtney wearing a 3 month sleeper that belonged to her big sis Caroline...isn't she a vision in dark pink?! I love the darker pinks on her.

This is CAROLINE wearing the same sleepers when she was about the same age!!

6 days until Christmas

We only have six bags left on our advent tree...

Here is our Christmas tree with only lights, and one paper decoration made by Carly. The other decorations, well who knows if we will even put them up? We think it looks nice just like this and the kids have left it ALONE!! It is a real tree btw.

And, here is a little gift under our Christmas tree!

Is it warm in here? or is it just me?

Well, it is a Wednesday. Life has been busy as a mom to six. Courtney has been doing well, and giving me already in the last week a few nights where she has slept for 5-6 hours. That has been nice. This baby girl does not require a lot, and remains happy and content with what is all going on around her. I am looking forward to seeing a first smile. That should be on its way soon I would think. That would make a nice Christmas gift :D

The kids have been busy with school, and of course last week was the big Christmas Concert. That was delightful to see three of my kids up on stage, and fun and you can read and see photos up on my Mom's blog! Thank Heavens for Nannies and Grandparents.

This weekend past we took the kids out after dinner for a drive to look at all of the beautiful Christmas lights. Most of the kids ended up falling asleep on us, but not Cameron and Claire! They held out to the very end. And, on Sunday I had my dear friend Cynthia over to wrap presents for me. She gave that gift to me, and I was so thankful and that allowed me to write some cards, write on the tags and just chat and have fun with her. That night we ordered in Chinese food with the in-laws that was fun, and I headed out to buy me some new pants, a couple of blouses and two stretch wash blazers.

I also did something I felt really good and that was to get rid of all of my maternity clothing. I felt good because they went to a friend, and sad because I knew those are the clothes that housed my beautiful belly. That was hard, and has always been hard. But, that is it for us. No more kids. So, off they went. I know they will be put to good use.

And, I also baked banana loaves that afternoon for the parents at school that have been giving me a hand with dropping off kids to my house. I have a hard time accepting help, but I have been because they make me lol. The generosity and support has been amazing. I am blessed by good friends (and family!!) So, I made the loaves which needed to cool before wrapping. Well, my little Caroline attacked the banana bread and ate the tops off, so Cliff had to make 2 more loaves for me lol!

Of course I had my trip to the big city early Monday morning to deal with my varicose veins, and you can read all about those in my other blog. I am wearing compression hose on a daily basis. And they keep me VERY WARM.

And, then just the usual stuff this week. School stuff, and of course laundry, and home stuff. And poopy undies lol, and the seemingly never ending bum wiping task. And of course the never ending battle of trying to keep a clean home. And watching lots of Christmas movies with the kids. That has been fun too. That is the fun part of having kids! The shows and the fun that is for sure. I am so glad that I finished all of my shopping before Courtney was born. We did a lot of online shopping, and the stuff we needed we bought WAY before the Christmas rush. So, now all we do is enjoy! That is a good feeling.

Cliff came home with a cold yesterday. Poor guy. He has been under the weather. But he still managed to make a great stir fry for dinner for us all. Thank goodness for a man that can cook! And the fact that he ENJOYS that is a bonus for us all.

Friday, December 14, 2007

4 weeks today

Say good bye to the newborn size diaper. In the background is a diaper that Caroline wears. There is a big size difference, that is for sure. Courtney has graduated to size 1's.

Notice that Courtney is always in this sleeper?! Because seriously, I love it on her and I think next week it will be too small. So, I am enjoying her in it!

Here is her on her fave position on the couch today and notice how long she is getting and how her face is filling out! She really looks like one of ours now!


And our Courtney is now 4 weeks old. The weeks have just seemed to fly by. Courtney is a sweet, quiet, and content baby. She is officially out of her newborn diapers, and moved into size 1. And, her sweet, sweet little newborn sleepers are starting to become to small. I notice her snaps pop open now, and her feet are starting to point downward because there is no room to grow in her tiny newborn sleepers. I knew this would happen, but it is happening all too fast. My little baby is growing up. I know it has to happen but it shocks me all at the same time. I guess it is time to wash up the next size sleeper, and pack away the small items.

Also, her gooey eye is pretty much gone. We are enjoying watching her open her eyes fully now! We love to watch her look around a bit more. She is really becoming more alert.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Housekeeping...need links!

Hi, what do you think of my new Blog look?! Thanks to my friend Amber!! Yay! Thanks! I love it!

I have the new Blogger format, and in the process I have lost some blog links...could you please submit your blog links if you notice you are missing from the list. Please submit your link to the comment section and I can add you all back in! If you would like to be included, please let me know!

Thanks so much!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Just like a peach

Today, I had a great day! The kids were pretty good, we got out of the door on time. We had relatively no problems. All good.

The best part of my day, would have been just after lunch. The house was quiet. Caroline was in her bed napping. The two big kids were at school. And after I fed Courtney, and burped her and placed her on my chest all wrapped up in cozy blanket to keep her warm (Carly sat with me, and Catie who fell asleep on my shoulder all cozy under the Christmas blanket...) The nice thing about that time this afternoon was I could rub my cheek on her soft face and her soft little head. And, I could kiss her and stare at her and not get bugged by the others! It was wonderful. I just kept doing that for as long as I could. It was so nice just to enjoy our little baby. Her little head is soft as a little peach. Maybe more like velvet. I cannot decide. All I know is that she is a wonderful little addition to our family.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Oh happy day!

This morning we had the lovely Jill over to do our photos of the six kids together...and of course take some photos of our baby Courtney...

Jillian has put some of the photos up on her blog...take a look here!! I think they are marvelous!

The hardest part was trying to get ALL of the kids ALL at the same time to cooperate and take a sibling shot...I LOVE the outcome lol!

Thanks Jillian! You are the best!!

Friday, December 07, 2007

School Photos (FINALLY) 2007

Cameron, Grade 3

Claire, Grade 1

Carly, Kindergarten

Courtney is 3 weeks old today

Happy 3 weeks Courtney Elizabeth!
This photo was taken today, she is in that seat a lot during the week when school is going on! But, she doesn't seem to mind it. She doesn't seem to mind much of anything. Courtney continues to be a happy, quiet and peaceful baby who really is SO good. I think she is going through a bit of a growth spurt as she has been eating a bit more than normal. But, I seriously have the best baby in the world! She really doesn't cry a lot, only to have a diaper change or a feed. She has a goopy eye still (right) but we think it is a plugged tear duct. It should correct itself eventually. So, we just wipe the goop out when she needs it.
She has fit very nicely into our family. I cannot believe that three weeks have flown by so quickly. It is going by too fast. Cliff thought she was ready for size 1 diapers, but I didn't think so. Nope. Why, because she kept leaking out of her diapers. Major blowouts!! Too much clean up, and too much laundry. So, she is now back in newborns...but not for long...
Anyways, that is my Friday update! We have Jillian coming over this weekend to do the kids' photos and some newborn photos of Courtney! Yay!

Courtney on her due date - December 1st 2007

Thanks for the nice photo hunny ha ha...

Here is Courtney 2 weeks and 1 day old

Courtney in her sling

These photos are from our first day back to school walking with all six kids. She really liked the sling. It is a sling. I am very happy with it so far, and Courtney loves it. It was a lovely gift from my Mom-in-Law! I have been so thankful for the great weather, and for my parents help during the week, and for my in-laws taking the kids to gymnastics. I LOVED walking to school again. I missed it, but it is also great to have that extra help with the kids.

Catie is now walking to school, and we are working really hard at hand holding, and crossing the street etc. She is doing very well. Sometimes I take the old Graco double stroller with Courtney in the infant seat, and then Caroline in the other seat. So far, so good!