Thursday, January 31, 2008

Three requests

1. For the repose of the soul of Fr. Marcial Maciel, the Founder of the Legionaries of Christ and the Regnum Christi Movement. He passed away yesterday in the US at age 87. And for all those who mourn his passing. May he rest in peace!
(Whatever your thoughts on the Founder, the Legion, or the R.C. Movement, I'm sure we all agree on the need for prayer!)

2. For my sweet friend K who delivered her first daughter Khloe yesterday. Today they discovered a heart condition which required transfer and a likely surgery. May Khloe's heart problems be healed and her family feel peace and comfort during this time.

3. For my friend C's teenage sister Julianna who deals with a chronic illness and was admitted to the hospital today. May God comfort Julianna in her illness and bring her family peace and trust in God's care.

Thank you for your prayers!

Bumbo!


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Tooth fairy is on her way!



She lost TWO teeth today!!!

Bathtime boy


Daddy (he stayed home today because I'm still pretty sick...fever, cough...no fun! hopefully the antibiotics will kick in fast!) was amazed that today he woke up the baby, gave him a bath, got him out, and dressed him without so much as a whimper! He's a very good baby :)

New workbooks!



Yesterday afternoon we got a Mary Clare's new math (Singapore K2) and phonics (MCP) workbooks. As you can tell she's enjoying them! Already on page 73 of phonics!

Edited to add that now at almost 9pm she's on page 99! I think the book is a little too easy for her...

Monday, January 28, 2008

Home again, home again

Jiggety jig! Here's my retreat partner for the weekend:



Steven Joseph and I went on a silent retreat in San Antonio this weekend. It was a beautiful experience and baby did great. But the change in weather and long drives really did me in...so today I've got a fever and chest cold. Please pray I get over this quickly and no one else (especially baby) gets it! And that I can carry out the wonderful lessons Our Lord taught me and keep trying to be holy!

"Commit your way to the Lord. Trust in him and he will act." Psalm 37:5

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Hannah who?

When Steven asked Mary Clare if she knew who Hannah Montana was:

"Yeah! She's the girl who lives next to Aunt Jill."

I'm sure she'll learn about her soon enough (as she learned about Bratz dolls recently), but hopefully it's more later than sooner :-/

Praise for the Swiffer Wetjet!

If you can blog while your kids mop the kitchen floor, it's a very good product!!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Hoorah for Cloth!



So a few people noticed below that I have ventured back into the world of cloth-diapering! We started using cloth when Mary Clare was about a month old, thanks to the encouragement of Lillian. Steven has always been fascinated with cloth, and I was willing to try it out. We used chinese pre-folds with pins and pull-on covers for Mary Clare. And we got them all as gifts from a baby shower with my teacher friends! She wore them pretty much day and night until she was potty-trained at 2 1/2. So we saved a LOT of money!

With Ellie we used cloth for several months, until she started solid foods, when cloth diapering gets a lot more challenging! I put her in disposables when we left the house, so all-in-all she wasn't in cloth all that much. And yesterday was her first day of no potty accidents, so I think we're just about potty-trained over here! I'm SO glad to only have one in diapers right now!

This time we have the blessing of Lillian's diaper stash that she gave us! So right now he's in a Motherease All-in-One. We have a few of those, a couple snapping Motherease dipes that still use a cover, and then our big stash of prefolds. I'd like to invest in a few more all-in-ones so that I won't have to do the prefolds and pins as much. I think I might be more successful that way. And I likely won't take him out in cloth diapers. It's just too hard to bring all the stuff needed to change him and hold the huge diapers.

Our goal is to once again get to "solid foods" using cloth and we'll feel like we saved a bit of money. We'll see what it does to my sanity though! Feel free to send some encouraging comments my way! What do I save...about a quarter a diaper?

More Pictures

My boys before Sunday Mass


It's tiring being so cute!


Look at those sweet big cheeks and lips!


Ah, comfy sleeping in Grampatti's arms


Kiddos at Grampatti and Bop-Bop's


His first time in a cloth diaper! Yay for Mommy, making the big leap!


FYI--The Christmas tree is finally boxed up!


For Emily's enjoyment...next on the cleaning agenda (before we have a meeting here tomorrow, yikes!)

Monday, January 21, 2008

St. Agnes

Today is the feast of St. Agnes and the day I remember our first miscarried baby, lost in March 2004. May the prayers of little Agnes and Augustine draw our family closer to Christ!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
and an aside: Right now the girls are baptizing dolls in the sink...LOL!

A Meme!

I've been tagged by Lillian! It's been awhile since I've done one of these...should be fun!

1. WERE YOU NAMED FOR ANYONE? Blair came from a little girl my mom babysat. She always liked the name. I think she just liked the middle name Elizabeth.
2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? A little bit ago, every time I read a message board post from my friend Danielle whose son was stillborn last week
3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? Sometimes
4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCHMEAT? I don't like lunchmeat
5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS? Yes, 3 on earth
6. WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? I think so!
7. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? No
8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? Yes, but I've been told they should come out, as should my 2 wisdom teeth!
9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? No way!
10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? I don't care for cereal.
11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? No, but my current tennis shoes have elastic instead of laces
12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? I think so
13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? Cookies and Cream
14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE? If they have kids and their kids' ages
15. RED OR PINK? Red
16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING YOU LIKE ABOUT YOURSELF? I'll have to say my tummy too...after 3 c-section and an already flabby belly, it's pretty gross.
17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? Our friends living in Qatar!
18. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Red fleece pj pants, no shoes
19. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? Popcorn last night
20. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? My baby's breathing, sleeping in my lap :)
21. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? Red
22. FAVORITE SMELLS? Cookie scented candles, the salty ocean, Christmas smells :)
23. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? My mom
24. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? Gymnastics and figure skating
25. HAIR COLOR? Brown
26. EYE COLOR? Blue-grey
27. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? No
28. FAVORITE FOOD? Fajitas
29. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? Happy endings!
30. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? Bourne Ultimatum
31. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING? Yellow
32. SUMMER OR WINTER? Summer :)
33. HUGS OR KISSES? Kiddie kisses, big grown up hugs
34. FAVORITE DESSERT? A good white cake, a Cheesecake from Cheesecake Factory, or a TCBY Oreo shiver...mmmm
35. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? The Vaccine Book by Dr. Sears
36. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? No mouse pad
37. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON TV LAST NIGHT? watched the football game at my in-laws last night
38. FAVORITE SOUNDS? the ocean
39. BEATLES OR ROLLING STONES? (dittoing Lillian) Neither. I wouldn’t know the difference between the two.
40. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME? Rome
41. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? Double jointed fingers, flaring nostrils, and I was a pretty good tap dancer!
42. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Houston, Texas!

I'll tag Veronica, Stephanie, Andrea, and anyone else who wants to play!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

In the news today...

Steven Joseph is ONE MONTH OLD! How did that happen? I feel like he was just born yesterday, but like we've known him forever! He's really starting to wake up these days, he looks around all wide-eyed, and gets a little fussy in the evenings. So much for my non-crying, sleep all day and night baby! Nah, he really is very good...we are blessed.

Ellie is POTTY TRAINING! She's been in underwear since Tuesday (besides naps and nighttime) and has done rather well. We were out and about every day...dance class, mall, etc and she hardly had any accidents (except at NeNe and PaPa's yesterday...at least there was a washing machine there!).

Mary Clare's TWO BOTTOM TEETH ARE FALLING OUT! She was apparently playing tug-of-war with her blanket in her mouth and the teeth are now VERY loose! She's extremely excited about the Tooth Fairy coming soon...but not so excited to pull them out just yet.

I'm GOING ON RETREAT! Next weekend I'm planning to attend a silent retreat with Steven Joseph. I'm so excited! I already feel like (from today's Gospel) John, who "saw Jesus coming toward him and said, 'Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!'" Actually more like I'm finally coming back towards HIM, because I know it will be a beautiful weekend drawing close to Christ and back to prayer.

Well, today we've got mass, a baptism, and hopefully a visit with Steven's sister so she can meet SJ...so I better get hopping! Have a blessed Sunday!

Friday, January 18, 2008

And some more pictures...

My little eskimo man in his carseat


The girls at the mall playland yesterday


MC the monkey!


After bathtime tonight


My snuggly kiddos!

Thank you

for the prayers. Little William Patrick was born still early this morning. The cord was wrapped around his neck several times. Please continue to pray for this grieving family.

On a happier note, our first Goddaughter was born this morning! Cecilia Elizabeth was welcomed as the 5th child of a beautiful Catholic family. Thanks be to God!

It was bittersweet being at the hospital this morning for Cecilia's arrival...thinking of my friend Danielle and remembering Steven Joseph's delivery a month ago. Life and loss...

God bless your Friday!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Please join me

in praying for a sweet online friend from Canada, Danielle. She was expecting her 3rd baby any day and just found out Baby has passed. I am so, so sad for them. May Mary cover the whole family in her loving mantle...

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Performances

Ellie on the way out to the ranch singing her current favorite song, "Go Tell it on the Mountain"
video
(Please forgive me, carseat gurus, I'm usually very particular about her chest clip being in the right spot! Oh, and MC is in her new "Cowmooflage" booster seat!)

Mary Clare performing "Rain"
video
Thanks to Celeste, for posting your son's poem because now MC is motivated!

and "Happy Thought"
video

And the girls dressed as angels playing "Nativity" with baby Jesus (aka SJ)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Weekend fun

Steven Joseph had his first trip to the park yesterday!

Mary Clare, master of the monkey bars!


and duck-chaser


watching the ducks on this gorgeous day


Big Steven holding little Steven in the "daddy hold"


Ellie swinging high!


Mary Clare, rock climber


Baby back at home


Cutie Stevie--He seems to have grown a LOT this week!


Daddy and his kiddos at the ranch today!


Mary Clare giving toys to the baby, such a great big sis!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Finally!

I got a chance to change the pumpkin banner :) And now you get to look at my 3 sweeties!

TGIF! We've spent the afternoon relaxing at my parents' house (i.e. I watch TV and nurse baby, mom and aunt watch the girls). Can't wait to spend the weekend with Steven! We plan to take down the Christmas decor :( and maybe do some more furniture hunting...We're getting close to being able to buy a sofa set for our living room. Don't even ask me how excited I am about this! I think the only item of furniture in our home that was bought new is our mattress!

And a few highlights from the week...

Mary Clare:

~I walk into the backyard a few nights ago and ask why her shirt is all wet. "Oh, I just spilled beer all over it." (Steven had asked her to move a beer bottle)

~In the OB office waiting room with my mom the other day while I was in my appointment. She is talking to a man and his baby. He asks if she goes to school. "Yeah, well I homeschool", she responds. A few minutes later he asks if she goes to daycare. "I just told you...I homeschool!", she says. (we need to work on appropriate tone and respect for adults!)

~Said man from above leaves the office with his wife and baby. Mary Clare turns to my mom and asks, "WELL...Was she pregnant, or not?!?"

Ellie:

~Colored with brown crayon all over the fridge. Colored with brown crayon all over the pantry door. Neither of which have been cleaned off.

~I find her chasing Mary Clare with a plastic knife and jar of peanut butter. She was covered head to toe in peanut butter, MC had it all over her shirt. I keep finding handprints of peanut butter all over the house. Just found handprint of chocolate all over the white curtains in our master bedroom.

~Her latest entertainment relies on finding out how long it will take me to chase her down and dress or diaper her. Needless to say, she spent much of the week wearing dirty clothes and dirty diapers! AHHHH, 2 year-olds!!!

Well, the pizza has arrived. Better go fill my belly :)
Maybe I'll write some about the AP debate going on here a little later. Or maybe not.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Little Boy Blue

Is THREE weeks old!

He loves the swing (even though it has no batteries!)


Loves when Daddy comes home!


Happy Little Steven with Big Steven


Aren't I cute?


Gotta love the bugged-eye burping position!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Recovering

The past 3 weeks have been a whirlwind...a visit to L&D thinking I would deliver, sent home, regular OB visit and hospital registration, a beautiful Healing Mass, an all-night labor marathon, getting to the hospital, finding I was 10cm, taken to the O.R., asked if I wanted to try for a vaginal birth, then told that the doctor didn't want me to try, prepped for a c-section, given my spinal (thank you, super-anesthesiologist!), baby arrives!, Steven says "he's a Junior", doctor comments on the bad shape of my insides, seemingly eternal waiting until the surgery was over, sent to recovery, spend much of the next few days adoring my new baby, on Cloud 9, enjoying visitors and my always-fun "hospital vacation", arrive home on the 23rd, spend all of Christmas Eve preparing for Christmas Day, up late into the night, up early in the morning, enjoy the most precious Christmas morning with my now-family-of-5, Christmas Mass, Christmas Dinner with my family, foggy next few days, Sunday Mass on the Feast of the Holy Family, Monday New Year's Eve baptism, baptism party at my sister-in-law's, Mass on New Year's Day, Mary Clare's 5th birthday, a few more foggy days, Mary Clare's birthday party with 35 people, and finally back to "real life"...

Needless to say, I'm exhausted both physically and emotionally. I tend to spend a lot of time re-living and analyzing my 3 difficult labor and delivery experiences. And now weaning off the pain medications and also dealing with a minor infection in my incision, it's come to the forefront a lot more. But I have a lot to be thankful for. Namely a God who has blessed me with a wonderful husband and three precious, healthy children (and 2 little prayer warriors in Heaven!). I'm truly enjoying watching the girls interact with their baby brother and all the fun ways they're spending this time at home. They are kept busy with their Christmas and birthday surprises, which helps me to be able to rest and care for little Steven. And big Steven has been able to get home earlier these past few weeks, making me a very happy mommy when I hear a doorbell at 4pm!

And then there are the Meal Angels! First of all, my sister-in-law stocked our fridge and freezer with meals while I was in the hospital. Other family members have brought over special meals. And then friends have kept the meals coming...a dear friend from Dallas last week, a friend brought a meal with her to the birthday party on Saturday, and Sunday marked the beginning of my Regnum Christi team's gifts of meals every-other-night! Tonight we were gifted with a wonderful Mexican dinner and the presence of a sweet friend. It means so much because cooking (being one of my least favorite things to do anyway) seems nearly impossible right now! Thank you so much, Meal Angels!

I'm also trying to keep things in perspective. It helps when I hear of stories like this (also beautifully recounted here). Please pray for them, and for all those mamas and papas expecting babies, awaiting babies' arrivals, those with new babies (congrats, Kristen and Jess!), and especially those whose babies went to Heaven a little too early for their liking. Know that my prayers and sufferings are offered for all of you. May 2008 be a year of blessings and joy for all of us! Thanks be to God.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mary Clare!



I can't believe my baby is 5! Where did the time go? Mary Clare enjoyed a wonderful birthday party yesterday with a full house of family and friends. She is such a great big sister and good helper for Mommy. She is a "mini-me" in so many ways...from looks to personality! Five years ago, as we spent our first days home with our New Year's blessing, I couldn't have imagined the joys we have had these first 5 years of parenthood. We are so blessed!

Mary Clare, I pray that your zeal for life and your love for God continue to grow in the coming years. May you always know how precious you are to Daddy and I...our firstborn child born exactly one year after our Papal blessing. We look forward to the years to come as you discover more about this wonderful world, as we delve further into homeschooling, and as we watch you be a "little mommy" for your siblings. You are truly loved, by God and by us.

Happy 5th Birthday, Sweetheart!

Friday, January 04, 2008

This Week

We survived week #2!

My favorite place to hang out...with our new comfy comforter, a jug of ice water, and a warm baby by my side. And I love the co-sleeper!



Mary Clare turned 5 on Wednesday! We celebrated on Tuesday night with our little family. She got her present...a big new bike! Tomorrow is her party.


And Daddy cooked a yummy steak dinner and some ribs...


After some crazy car troubles and a quick trip to the doctor for me...we ventured to THE MALL! The poor girls were wearing shoes a size too small and I took advantage of a big sale at Stride Rite. I was SO happy to find these!


Tonight Steven Joseph had his first "real" bath since he just lost his umbilical stump. He didn't like it very much...




A little mommy milk makes things all better :)

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Baptized in Christ!

With Daddy


I baptize you...


The fam with Fr. Dean


With Mommy


Pretty boy


Cute cake


How the cousins spent the afternoon


3 generations of B boys!
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