Our Five Ring Circus: February 2015

Friday, February 27, 2015

It's Destiny

I don't know about you, but I'm so glad February is nearing an end.  It was the shortest month, but it felt like the longest month ever, thanks to the bitter cold and all those snow days!  I'm not quite sure if I would have survived (or at least kept my sanity) without Netflix!

This month, the Netflix StreamTeam is focusing on destiny.  The new original special Ever After High: Spring Unsprung, which focuses on the fact that you have the power to create your own destiny, premiered this month.  Lexie and Lily LOVE Ever After High, and they are super excited about their upcoming Ever After High: Spring Unsprung viewing party! It has been difficult keeping them from watching it until the party!  Keep an eye out for our upcoming party post!


As a parent, I fully believe in allowing my children to create their own destinies.  With gentle guidance, of course.  My parents allowed me to create my own destiny.  If they hadn't, I would have never met Grant, and I would never have my four beautiful children.  I'm sure it was very difficult for them to watch me go down a path they hadn't expected, but they are very happy with the end result! I am thrilled with the destiny I created for myself!


Grant and I definitely have hopes and dreams for all of our children.  Grant and I try to guide them in the right direction, but we know we have to let them be themselves and make some choices, too.  We believe in follow through once a commitment is made, but we understand that the things they like to do can change.

Dylan is a 10 year old boy, and he is starting to express his own ideas and opinions.  We let him do so, within reason.  We had our hearts set on him playing baseball all through his school years.  He played for 4 years, then decided to take a break for a year.  Instead of returning to baseball, like we hoped, he really wants to play basketball.  So we're going to let him.  We don't believe in forcing him to do something that he really doesn't enjoy as much anymore. Obviously, playing baseball was not the path he was meant to be on, and it's time for him to start a new journey.


Lexie had a similar choice.  She wanted to try gymnastics, so we signed her up.  She completed the year, but we could tell it really wasn't her thing.  She liked it, but didn't love it.  So now she's focusing on art and music.  She loves to draw and paint, and loves musical theater.  In the Fall, she wants to take hip-hop. She has a very pretty voice, so I really hope she joins chorus and performs in musicals and plays, too!

Even though we'll allow her to make choices, I will honestly be surprised if she doesn't work with children and have a family of her own one day.  My mom always said that even though I didn't take the path she expected, she always knew I would end up with a big family.  She was right.  It was my destiny!  I can't wait to see what the future holds for my girl!


Lily is still so young, but we are going to allow her to make choices, too. Lily has a huge personality and is so charismatic.  We are allowing her to choose an activity in the Fall. We gave her two choices: Gymnastics or Dance.  She changes her mind often, but right now, ballet seems to be the winner!  No matter the choice, she will shine, because she puts her all into everything she does!


Finally, my sweet Liam.  Liam has Down Syndrome, which will present some challenges as he grows, but we have the same expectations for him, too! These days, people who have Down Syndrome are doing so much more than ever before. (Want proof?  Check out American Horror Story or Glee on Netflix. Both feature actresses who are blessed with that extra chromosome!)  I have so much hope for him, and know he's going to make us so proud.  He already does.  He is going to do great things with that smile of his!


The future is bright for all four of my children.  We will love them, nurture them, and set expectations, but we will also allow them the freedom to make some choices.  I can't wait to see the destinies that they create for themselves!

Speaking of destiny, Frank Underwood is certainly one character who created his own destiny! This month, I am most excited about the return of House of Cards!   Season 3 is on Netflix.  Today.  If you haven't watched it yet, please do yourself a favor and watch it!  It is easily one of my favorite shows.  As my husband puts it, "President Underwood is a diabolical evil genius."  I'm currently trying to plot out my plan of action.  Binge watching it is unlikely.  Hello?  I have 4 kids!  I think the best method is to s-t-r-e-t-c-h out the viewing process as long as possible so the one year wait between seasons won't seem as long! Either way, I can't wait to see what this season holds!!!

House of Cards

Here are a few more things to watch on Netflix that revolve around the "Create Your Own Destiny" theme:

Create Your Own Destiny

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1. Ever After High (2/6)
2. Mako Mermaids (2/13)
3. Richie Rich (2/20)

Someday, I will...

For your little kids:
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1. Build and fix things: Handy Manny
2. Make a discovery: Sid the Science Kid
3. Walk on the moon: Justin Time: Blast off!: S1E13
4. Explore the ocean: Octonauts
For your big kids:
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1. Make sweet treats: Cupcake Wars
2. Get into show biz: Fame High
3. Represent Team USA: The Gabby Douglas Story
4. Master the kitchen: Chopped
And for teens and parents:
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1. Get the corner office: Undercover Boss
2. Travel the world: Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
3. Walk the red carpet: Liz & Dick
4. Run my own restaurant: Wahlburgers

Happy viewing!!!  

What is your favorite show to watch on Netflix?

*I'm a member of the Netflix StreamTeam.  I was given a free year of Netflix Streaming and promotional items in exchange for my monthly review.

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!  I don't know about you, but I'm really looking forward to a relaxing weekend after weeks (Months? Years?!?) of craziness!

To kick off the weekend, here are a few of my favorites:


I have a new favorite picture of Liam.  He just makes me smile SO big.  Liam and I are on a mission to spread Down Syndrome Love one smile at a time, and show the world that Down Syndrome is nothing to fear!


I was super excited to see this picture featured on several Instagram accounts today! I love Instagram so much! You can find me, @lexieloodylan2, here.


Lexie turned 8 on Sunday!  She's my FAVORITE 8 year old! 


She looked like a princess at her birthday party!

Lexie's first birthday party of the day was a success, despite the snowstorm! Gearing up for round two!!!


I got a new phone, and I'm in LOVE!

I made the switch to this phone today, and so far, I love it! Got a $150 Costco Cash Card, too, which is a great added bonus!


My favorite pup.  We had to say goodbye to her one week ago, and we're heartbroken.  There is a huge void in our lives right now.  I just miss her so much!

*Once upon a time there was a dog who was loved very much. As that dog grew and grew, her family grew and grew. They spent countless hours racing around the backyard together. One million kisses and cuddles later, an entire decade had passed. They knew it


We resumed our Thursday playdates yesterday, after a much too long break.  It was so nice to get out of the house and spend time with friends!

We resumed our Thursday Playdates today. Oh, how I missed them! Love these kids!


My favorite 10 year old did a great job at his Science Fair last night! I can't believe how grown up he is!

Elementary School Science Fair. 1 hour in and every kid in the gym is going crazy!!!


I spend a LOT of time running errands, grocery shopping, driving kids to activities, picking kids up from activities, and maintaining their social lives. It can be stressful, and leaving the house requires a lot of stuff, but I am so grateful for their companionship.  I know that one day, way too soon, I'm really going to miss having them with me.

On our way to a playdate...lots of bags in tow. #TravelingCircus
In the car, waiting for Dylan's chorus practice to end. They're entertaining themselves with lipstick and gum. #girls #sisters

That being said, running errands and shopping with one kid is EASY.  Almost like a vacation.  I swear.

Running errands with one kid is EASY. #motherhood


My favorite 3 year old.  I wish I was as cool as her.

It's a frigid day in Pittsburgh, and there isn't any time to grieve. My dad just picked up my older three, and Liam and I have some birthday/party shopping (for Lexie) to do. My day also includes about 8 loads of laundry. And off we go! #reallife #momlife
I'll be safe today! Lily woke up as batgirl!


I love love LOVE my new vanity!  I can't wait to finish the rest of the bathroom.  I'm buying paint tomorrow, painting next week, and then comes the flooring and wainscoting!

On Valentine's Day, Grant and I went out to dinner, then stopped at Lowe's for one thing. We ended up leaving with a new vanity, came home, and gutted our bathroom. Today's project? Buying paint and painting. We may not have floors for a month, but at lea


I love being a mom.  So much.  There is nothing in the world I would rather do!

I held this boy extra close today. I am so thankful that he's healthy and happy. The biggest change to accept is the very real possibility that he will live with us, or in very close proximity to us, forever. But I will get the chance to see that joyful s


My favorite baby boy turned 18 months old last week.  I absolutely adore him!  I wish I could go back to when I was a sobbing mess in the delivery room and tell myself that it would all be okay, and that he was actually a blessing, not a burden.  I am so so so lucky.

None of us got enough sleep last night, so we attempted a nap. Liam rarely sleeps in our bed, but he fell asleep in my arms. He woke up, sat up, and smiled at his dad. Grant turned away for a few seconds, and while his back was turned, Liam decided to go
It's 5:50 PM and this is his way of telling me he wants to go to bed. Hoping he can hold off until after dinner!
This little dude is so happy that his daddy took a vacation day from work today! #theluckyfew #nothingdownaboutit #downrightperfect


Current favorite toy?  Playdoh.  She will play for it for hours every single day. She even vacuumed it up off the floor yesterday.  I'm calling it a win!

Playdoh and Princesses. All day, every day. #Liliana #3YearsOld #three #playmatters



House of Cards

I just might be sitting on my couch all weekend. #StreamTeam

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I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!!! It's going to be our first Saturday with NO plans in months! All I'm doing is hanging out with my husband and my four favorite kids!!!


I'm linking up with Andrea, Narci, and Erika for Friday Favorites!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

January Leftovers

January is always a blah month for me.  The excitement of the holiday season is over, and we're faced with the long, cold winter ahead.  This January, however, was extremely busy.  It was fun, and it flew by!

We kicked it off with a fun New Year's Eve/New Year's Day celebration, we celebrated many birthdays and went to a lot of birthday parties, Liam got really sick and ended up in the ER, we played in the snow, and I had a special night out with Lexie and Lily!  Other than the sickness, January wasn't so bad!

There were a lot of exciting moments that made the cut for things to blog about, but there were just as many awesome everyday moments!

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We cheered the Steelers on in the playoffs, but unfortunately, they lost.

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Lexie wrote and directed a play starring her siblings.

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We hung out together.


We snacked and warmed ourselves by the fire.

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SOMEONE learned how to reach the top of the dining room table and swipe food, which resulted in a huge mess! Good thing he's so cute!

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Elsa escaped the house and enjoyed the snow.


We had a dance party with our friends.


We got our beauty rest and played a lot!

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Someone decided that she has to make a funny face every time I pull out the camera!

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We learned new ways to hold our cups.

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We were silly.


We were cuddly.


The wee dude turned 17 months old!

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Cinderella became a new obsession.

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He made us smile...every single day!

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We did homework and practiced sign language.

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They tested our patience, but always quickly reverted back to their sweet selves.

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Lily traded in her Elsa braid for some Anna braids.


Bristle Blocks became the new favorite toy!  The entire family loves them!

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We lived, we loved, we rested...

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I have to say, the everyday moments are my favorite!

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