His grace is sufficient for me, for power is made perfect in weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Dear Kelly...

For those of you who know me well know that I do not get tied up into the world of celebrities. These same people who know me well will also tell you that I do have an (unhealthy) obsession with two people who I don't know. Tina Fey and Kelly Ripa. I like to pretend that I am just as funny and witty as these two women, but what I love most is how down to earth and true to themselves these women are. I know this based on what I see on TV...haha! Maybe sometimes I pretend in my head that we are friends...whatever.


I watch Live with Kelly pretty much daily and she announced in December that she was having a Girls Night Out in NYC! I could not wait to apply me (and my 4 friends) for this all inclusive getaway trip with spa treatments, dinners out, Broadway shows, a night out with my BFF Kelly, and an appearance on Live with Kelly (perhaps the closest I could have been to my SNL dream). I had to write a letter and include a picture as to why we deserved the Girls Night Out! Here is my letter:


Between the 5 of us, we have 8 kids…all under the age of 3…with half of them being under the age of 1. Is that reason enough for a NYC getaway?

The 5 of us have not all known each other long, but Mommyhood has brought us all together. Some of us have known each other for years; some of us went to high school together (but didn’t really know each other in high school); some of us recently met within the last 3 years. Our Catholic faith, hubbies, and sweet babies have given us plenty to talk about as we have grown together as friends.

I am a stay at home mom who sells Mary Kay on the side. Lauren is a stay at home mom who has worked hard succeeding with her Tupperware business. Rebecca is a stay at home mom who works the late night shifts at a local grocery store to add to her family income. Michelle and Danielle stay home part time with their girls as they balance a part time job in their careers. We all put everything we have into being the best moms we can be while doing all we can to help our families remain financially stable.

On top of jobs, parenting, husbanding (because they require time and energy, too), and getting things done around the house, we try hard to get together. But let’s be real…with 8 small children running around on a play date there is not much time for girl time. It is always something…keeping the boy toddlers from harming each other as they wrestle on the ground, feeding babies, trying to sooth crying tiny babies, playing protector of the girl toddler who is being picked on by the boys (because gender battles begin at the age 6 months J ), and playing toy referee because none of the children have yet to truly understand what sharing is, and feel that grabbing a toy violently is appropriate social behavior…and the list goes on. Girl time certainly does not happen on play dates.

“Me time.” What is that? Me time has turned into folding laundry, dusting, cleaning, dishes…and maybe we drink a little (or a lot) of wine while doing these tasks. A good day of me time may consist of reading a few pages in a book before falling asleep or catching up on the DVR, but it seems that even these nights are consumed getting other things done.

It would be nice…almost unimaginable…to put on clothes for 5 days in a row without fearing it might be destroyed by projectile spit up, food, snot, etc. It would be nice to put on jewelry without the fear of your toddler strangling you with it as they try to rip it off your head. We love our children dearly, but to sleep in until 8:30 for a few days in a row would be a blessing. Not to mention a few nights out on the town enjoying girl time without worrying about feeding a baby, bed time routine, or waking up at the crack of dawn would make for 5 happy Mommies.

Why no video with my letter? I barely had time to comb my hair and brush my teeth…or use the bathroom by myself today. If you need a video…I will be more than happy to throw a little something together, though! J

For the sanity and the much needed recharge of 5 mommies…choose us!

Alyshia (Rebecca, Lauren, Danielle, and Michelle)

Sadly we were not chosen for this night out. Lame, I know! Her loss! HA! Rebecca, Danielle, Lauren, and Michelle: love you girls, and I promise when I win the lottery we will do Girls Night Out in NYC! :-)

Sunday, January 29, 2012


Snip-its from Maria's BIG day!
We had around 60 people over at our house to celebrate! Most of the guests were kids, and most of them were under the age of 4!
Praise God for wonderful outside weather!
Maria and Heather.
Snack Time! Greg eating with Geoff, Ava, and Jasmine.
Cake time!
She ate like such a lady.
She only ate the icing. Mommy's girl, for sure!
MMMM....GOOD! (So nice out. Naked baby. In January. Outside.)
The cake...after I started pulling it apart.
He is so cute. He was such a good boy at the party and did GREAT sharing all of his fun toys with all of his friends.
Godmommy Kaitlin helping Greg wash his sticky hands!
Present time.
Mommy and Daddy bought her a crib for her babies!
Such a good Mommy!
A wonderfully blessed day celebrating the life of Maria Grace! Thanks to all who could come out and play with us! We love you all!

Monday, January 23, 2012

He's Lucky He's Cute!

This little cutie gives me a run for my money!
Last night, I laid Greg in his room to go to bed. After his normal 15-20 minutes of reading and playing in bed, he began to settle down. He was REALLY restless getting to sleep. Finally at 8:45, nearly 30 minutes past his normal bed time, I hear, "Mommy!" Great. I had just come back from weekend number 2 on retreat and really just wanted to go to bed early. I pretended I was asleep. This tactic usually works. He was persistent. "Mommy, Mom, Elmo, Oh no!"

So down the hall I went to make sure Greg and Elmo were okay, and to tuck them both into bed...again. As I approached his door Greg looked shiny. Oh no? Is he sweating? Fever? Vomit? He held out Elmo who is covered in something...I assume vomit. LOVELY! And then I got closer. Greg and Elmo were covered in A&D ointment. How did this happen? I flashback in my brain, remembering Maria taking it into Greg's room while I got Greg out of the tub. Clearly it was left there and not in a place I would see when walking in and out of his room for bed time. Good job, Mom. An entire just opened tube....EVERYWHERE!

So off we went to the bathroom. It took me three washcloths to get the GREASY ointment off of Greg's hands, face, and hair. I tossed his jammies in the hamper and dressed him in new ones. He told me thanks while I was doing this. I checked Greg's mouth to see if he ate any...well ate a lot because I know he probably had some. I then went to inspect his bed. Elmo was already waiting in the hallway. I also had to take out a pillow pet with a little A&D on him, Maria's Elmo that Greg also has to sleep with, a truck, and some train cars. I laid Greg back down and kissed him goodnight. As I shut the gate, I realized the entire gate was covered in A&D. Gross. (I also have found some on his crib and on Maria's door since the incident) By the time I dropped the toys off in my bathroom, and looked in the monitor he was out.

I talked to GAR on the phone and told her this crazy story. She asked if I called Poison Control. Um, no. I hadn't, but I guess I should. PC told me I had nothing to worry about...just expect some greasy loose stools tomorrow (they were right....Gross!). Maybe I lied to the man, and told him Greg broke into his closet and got it out. Unreliable childproof knobs was my story line...I was in no mood to be judged.
Elmo and company? Well the trains and truck were easy to clean. The pillow pet and both Elmo's were thrown into the washer in pillowcases. They were then scrubbed with dish soap. Pillow pet was saved. Elmos not so much luck! The grease was not coming out. Greg woke up asking for Elmo, and Grammy came to the rescue today with two new Elmos to replace greased Elmos. I cannot get the smell of A&D out of my nose...although my hands have been super soft.

Happy Baptismal Day, Maria Grace!

This little cutie has been rockin' the Catholic faith for 1 year (1/22)!
By now, many of you know that Baptismal Days have been a big deal as I grew up, and are a big deal in our little family! Last October, I decided with Greg's 2nd Baptismal Day to do an update on their spiritual life! :-) So hear it goes!
*Maria (as of late December) goes to the nursery for the first half of Mass. I have mixed feeling with this, but she loves it. The first few times she cried, but she does great now. It makes it a lot easier that she knows Greg will be with her. Many times her great friend Zoe is there to make sure that "ria" is taken care of!
*Maria and Greg both come out of the nursery for Communion. We like having them come down to receive their blessing as we receive Jesus.
*We pray with Maria before bedtime, but she really has no idea what's going on.
*During grace before meals, when we start the sign of the cross she puts out her hands for you to hold. PRECIOUSNESS!

And that pretty much sums up where our sweet 1 year old is in her faith journey! :-)

Friday, January 20, 2012

MIA...true story!

Yep, I have been out of the blogging world for a few weeks! A lot has been going on in the lives of the Koerner Family. Let me get you updated...quickly! :-)

Little Greg:
Our sweet boy is talking, talking, and talking more than ever. He is so funny, and really just tells you like it is. This is such a fun stage as he discovers more words each and every day. He loves music and dancing and playing his guitar and drums. AND...we have signed him up for PRESCHOOL! AHHH! How did this even happen!!?? He will be in the 2/3 program at Prince of Peace Catholic Church this fall! We fell in love with the community, program, and people when we visited a few weeks ago. I can hardly believe that he will be going to school! Although it is only 2 days a week, it will be good for all of us. He will get the social interaction I cannot always provide for him, and Maria and Mommy will get to share some one on one time together! New interests: anything with coloring, play-doh, markers, music, paint, Disney Sing Along DVDs, trains, and trucks!

Miss Maria:
Miss maria has been growing so much! The fact that she thinks she can do anything Greg can do is getting to be problematic...mainly when she is climbing up the ladder to the playroom loft or jumping on the bed or jumping in the tub. She is still not a huge fan of unfamiliar people holding her. She hams it up out in public though and loves to grab the attention of those sitting at other tables or passing by. She is very dramatic and can turn her tears on and off at the drop of a hat. New interests: all things baby (feeding the baby, loving the baby, laying the baby down for naps), her shoes, strollers, playing cars with her brother, climbing up anything she can, and giving lots of kisses and hugs.

Mommy and Daddy:
We have been very busy since Maria's birthday party (I promise pics to come of this soon!). We have been on retreat back to back weekends...as in leaving for the second one in a few hours. We have both continued our running. I have signed up for the Publix Half Marathon on March 18. I am still selling Mary Kay, and God is working wonders in my life with perhaps some new opportunities to serve him in the near future. Greg stays busy with work and hanging out with the kiddos. We are eager for next week to bring some normalcy and routine back into our lives for a short while!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Watch Me Grow...1 year!

Seriously? A year? Where is time going? This little peanut is a pure joy in our lives! Here we go...her last monthly update until 18 months!

*Maria weighs 21 pounds 14 ounces (63rd percentile) and is 30 1/4 inches tall (83rd percentile).
*The doctor said she looks great! Her check up went well...she was a champ with her shots. She cried as it was happening, and tears were gone the second we walked out of the room.
*Maria wears 12 months in clothes, a size 4 diaper, and a size 4 1/2 shoe!
*Maria says mom. dad, bye bye, no, and uh-oh.
*Maria has excellent receptive language. She listens when we tell her no. When we tell her where something is she goes to get it.
*Maria is a climber.
*Maria walks well and even has this waddle run thing when she wants to move fast.
*She has a new obsession with babies (real and fake).
*Maria gives open mouthed kisses that are very wet.
*She will pat your back when she hugs you.
*Maria stared going to the nursery during Mass.
*Maria eats three meals a day and 1-2 snacks. She loves most all food, especially anything with cheese and sweets. She LOVES her fruits and veggies.
*Maria still naps twice a day...sometimes three times!
*Maria sleeps from 8pm-730am.
*She still does not like any type of cuddling for bedtime.
*She loves to read books.
*Maria has 4 teeth with 2 more making an appearance soon.
*Maria plays well with Greg most days. They are getting into more fights over toys though.
*Maria is very dramatic. She can cry at the drop of a hat and turn it off just as quick.
*She likes to get her picture taken.
*She is not so much a fan of bath time anymore. :-(
*Maria waves bye bye.
*She points and cries to things she wants. Like today, we were at the doctor office, and she pointed to the door and kept waving bye bye.
*She has stranger anxiety. She is much better with boys, but is very picky with the women she will let hold her...or look at her.
*She LOVES her shoes, and if they are not on, when she finds them she tries to put them on herself.
*She travels very well in the car.
*When we start to say grace at meal times, she immediately smiles and reaches out her hands for you to hold.

It has been one joy after another watching this sweet girl grow. She certainly did not stay a baby long enough! Maria, we love you to pieces!

More to come on her big birthday party! :-)

Friday, January 6, 2012

It seems like only yesterday...

...that this little peanut came into our lives!

It's been a joy to have her in our lives...and the adventure has only just begun!
Happy 1st Birthday Maria Grace! We love you more than you can imagine!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Never say Never

I have learned many a lesson as a Mommy. Most of these lessons have taught me about the type of Mom I want to be, made me a better Mom, or have allowed for me to appreciate others' views about parenting. However, a valuable lesson for most mothers is when they realize they really knew nothing about being a Mom before becoming one.

Bribing a child in the store with a cookie because he is screaming..."I will NEVER do that when I'm a mom!" Yep, I've done it. Why prolong the tantrum because both of you are stubborn?

"I will NEVER let my child sit in a high chair at a restaurant without a cover....those are so germy and gross." Truth...they are germy and gross. However, they make multi-purpose wipes for a reason. The cover lasts for a while. And then you get mommy brain and can never remember to grab it...and then you realize your child, in fact, did not die, catch a cold, or get herpes from the high chair. A second child? Poor Maria sat in the cover thing twice...it just became something else to remember to grab on top of two children, a diaper bag, sippy cups, and entertainment for children who don't really thing social rules apply in public restaurants.

"When I'm a Mom, I will NEVER allow for my child to act out or scream loudly in public." HAHA...let me know how that one works out for you.

"When I'm a Mom, I will NEVER allow my child to suck his or her thumb." We are mothers not, the child's brain that controls what soothes them. We can fight it, we can force the paci every chance we get, but in reality, they WILL find their thumb again (weird, I know since it is attached to their hand). Greg loved his boopie (paci) and Maria became my thumbsucker...I tried hard to force the paci, and that worked until she realized she could spit the paci out, and control her own hand...so I retreated and let her be her own person. Have you seen a teenager suck his or her thumb in public recently? Me neither. I'm not worried. I'm sure thumb sucking won't hinder her efforts in college, getting a job, or being successful...maybe it will postpone dating? That could be a good thing! HA!

My personal big "I'll NEVER EVER" was regarding my bed. I was not the type of person who wanted to co-sleep with my baby. I needed my space, and I LOVE my snuggle time, but bed time should be in one's own bed. Too many people I knew had toddlers still sleeping with them, and I just could not handle that. Our master bedroom was large enough to accommodate cribs for the first few months of each of my kiddos' lives. So they slept at the foot of my bed. Maria was a champ sleeper...she HATED being rocked and just wanted to be laid down to suck her thumb. Greg was a decent sleeper, but woke up at least once a night wanting to be rocked back to sleep. So I woke up, rocked him, and back to his own bed he went. To this day, neither child has ever slept with me or Greg through the night in our bed. Naps...that's another story...nothing beats a nap with a newborn in your bed with you!

Last week though...my sweet boy would not fall asleep in his room. So I took him into my room, and he passed out in my bed.

I did move him back to his room around 11PM before I went to bed. But it took all I had...I just wanted him to stay and cuddle with me! :-)

And you know what? He did not expect this special treat the next night! :-) Never say never...

Christmas 2011: Christ is Born!

Christmas Day was just a great celebration of the birth of our Savior! We started the morning off at our home with just the four of us! I loved waking up and anxiously awaiting for my sweet babies to wake up! We video taped our whole morning at our house, so I don't have any pictures to share. We then headed over to my parents house to open presents, have breakfast, and hang out a bit. After this, we went over to Greg's parents house to open presents and have dinner. The day was spent with lots of family time, and all of it was just great! Below are some pictures of our Christmas morning at my parents' house courtesy of Papa Mike since we only had the video camera with us!
Santa came!
She was so cute trying to open presents!
Pause for a photo
This might as well have been her gift...she loved the bows!
He was a very serious present opener.
No one knew how to respond to this as present diving is not allowed at Lisa's house. :-)
Checking his gift out!
This was actually Maria's present.
Snowman night light!! WOOHOO!
Unwrapping techniques of a 1 year old.
So excited!
Singing and cooking.
Maria wanted a turn, too!
Mommy and Maria
My little crooner.
Love my lil bro!
My soon to be Sister in Law!
Maria just loved this baby doll...and Jonathan, too!