Monday, March 31, 2008

Reminded me

of this post on Danielle Bean's blog.

And we should wemember to pway for Jesus because he be died and went to Heaven.

My current favorite Ellie-isms:
"I got fwocs (crocs) from Easter"
"When we'll go to Easter again?" (referring to egg hunts!)
"We going to a party for my but-date?" (I just love the way she says birthday!)
"Mommy, when it be my 'cital?" (recital)
"It doesn't work" or "Maybe my potty's working!" in the bathroom
and always in true 2 year-old fashion..."IIIIII do it!"
She also does a hop-step on one foot while walking when she's excited about where she's going. It's so cute!

Her first braided pigtails

Her first drawing of people!

And the first time to write her name! I love all the extra lines on the Es!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

It's past my bedtime...

...but this was so cute I had to post tonight!

Prayer request!!!

I've been checking this blog daily hoping for this update:
Confessions of a CF Husband
Tricia could be getting new lungs tomorrow morning! This young couple's story really seemed to tug at the heartstrings of all in the blog world several months ago when little Gwyneth was delivered at 24 weeks gestation so her mommy could live. Now her mommy could have the opportunity to watch her little girl grow up! Big time prayers for their whole family, and for the donor's family!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Tomorrow and Zoo

Tomorrow morning is the baptism of our sweet Goddaughter, Cecilia! I'm so excited and honored to have my first godchild, and I have been in my artsy mode creating a special gift for her! The girls have been making things too ;) Please offer a little prayer for the new Christian!

FIVE hours at the zoo makes one tired mommy! When we finally got back in the car the gas light came on, right in a dangerous area near downtown. I was tempted to just jump on the HOV lane and hope I made it, but hubby admonished me over the phone for even thinking of that. So I drove out of downtown and found a nice gas station. But then I made a bad decision not to take the baby out to nurse hoping he'd calm down once we got on the highway. WRONG. The poor guy was screaming for 20 minutes (probably the longest he's ever cried), and I was trying to put various pacifiers in his mouth to somehow calm him down. Didn't work and there was nowhere for me to stop on that HOV lane. FINALLY I let him suck on my finger and he fell asleep. Poor baby. The girls were crashed though. Now I'm ready to crash...

zoo photos:

me and the kids

with the boys!

finding nemo

newest zoo baby

hangin on a hippo

bald eagle


sleeping porcupine

sleeping stevie

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Spring is Sprouting!

photo credit: Mary Clare

Today I really felt like jumping into the swimming pool as we were taking a walk to the park! Spring is here! Above is our garden with veggies sprouting. Steven and Mary Clare are in charge, so honestly I don't know what all they are growing.

We've had an uneventful week at home. But tomorrow is a big zoo field trip, so we're very much looking forward to that! And thanks to St. Anthony, we actually found our camera which had been missing for several days. I'm still trying to organize and spring-clean. Once I get a few more of the deep cleaning things done I'll be ready for some more painting, oh boy!

Better get some little monkeys to bed!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

MC Aha moments

(Mary Clare is fussing about something)
Steven: Mary Clare, have you ever gotten what you want by crying?
Steven: When?
MC: When I was a baby!

(Mary Clare in a sour mood on Holy Saturday evening because we kept her from going to the checkout with me...I had Easter goodies)
MC: I wish it was Easter already! It's not fair! It's already Easter for Veronica and Enrique in Qatar! I want to switch places with them!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter

from our family to yours!
May you feel the joy of the Risen Christ!

Our family after Mass

Easter baskets

Easter cousins

Egg pinata!

grabbing the goods

Hope your day was truly blessed!

Saturday, March 22, 2008


by the Cross!

Redeemed as a mommy at our parish Easter Egg Hunt, after missing out on our neighborhood egg hunt last weekend. We made it early this time!

They had carnival games and a coloring booth...Here's MC coloring a bunny:

Ellie had so much fun finding eggs! There were so many that the baskets couldn't be filled!

Happy girl with her eggs

Mary Clare made out pretty well

SJ slept through much of the festivities. But he had fun watching Mommy cook lunch from his bumbo seat!

May you all have a blessed Easter! He is (almost) risen! Alleluia!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Recounts of a GOOD Friday

I'm recounting the afternoon because although there were some big bumps in the road, we survived the "drive" and had a beautiful experience. I am sad that we weren't able to participate in the Holy Week Missions this year, like in 2006 and 2007. But I am praying for their success in other cities around the world, and offering these days with my family for the souls of those who will be touched by missionaries this Holy Week. My own experience of the "passion" of Good Friday according to Blair...

2:00 pm--Start preparing kids for church. Let MC choose her dress, choose a similar dress for Ellie. Miraculously dress them and fix their hair without too much fuss (well, they were watching a DVD). Get in the car by 2:35! Yay!

2:52 pm--Arrive on the street of our church. There is a LONG line of cars at the stop sign near the church. Oh, no. It's going to be a crowded one. We park in the farthest area of the lot, on the other side of the school. Mary Clare is asleep. I wake her up and try to get her out of the car. She gets out of her seat and falls to the floor, asleep. Thankfully a family rode up on their bikes, which gave her enough interest to step out of the car. We walk the long sidewalk around the school to the church, trying to go as fast as possible with a sleepy 5 year-old, a 2 year-old holding 2 of her blankies, a 3 month-old in a sling, and his burp rag, blanket, and diaper bag over my shoulder. I'm already exhausted.

2:57 pm--Make a smart decision to go to the right side of the church where there are still a handful of spots available in our huge T-shaped church. I go up to the 4th row and ask politely if the spots are available next to a young mom with her little boy laying in her lap and 2 girls on the other side of her. She grins. Deep breath. We found our spot just as the side isles fill up with standing parishioners, and the Good Friday service begins.

3:00 pm--A drum beats loudly every 5 seconds as the 75 or so altar servers followed by the priests and deacons follow slowly into the sanctuary. Mary Clare starts crying because she is scared of the drum sound. Ellie says loudly, "I have to go poo poo! I have to go poo poo!" I feel the baby go poo poo in his diaper. Those around me start to smile. The lady next to me offers for her older daughter to take Ellie to the restroom. "I have to change his diaper too, but thanks we'll be right back," I whisper. I wonder if we should just leave; am I crazy for trying this alone? We walk past the standing families, out the side door, back around to the front of the church, and into the bathroom.

3:05 pm--Ellie goes in the restroom stall. "It doesn't work," she responds about her bowels. Mary Clare thankfully decides to use the restroom now, so maybe we'll avoid another trip back here. I change the baby's diaper and clothes (the 3-6mos outfit I had put on him earlier was way too small). We venture back into our spot in the church as quietly as possible. There are children at this service, but it's a somber, reflective one. Another deep breath. We listen to the readings, the psalm "Father, I put my life in your hands," and the long Gospel of the Passion according to John. Antiphons are sung throughout, "O Sacred head surrounded by crown of piercing thorn. O bleeding head so wounded, reviled and put to scorn." Ellie starts again, "I have to go potty."

3:20 pm--Take the long walk back to the restroom. Ellie goes into the stall alone and locks the door. "It works!" she joyfully responds. Then she scooches over to get the toilet paper and the bottom of her dress falls into the toilet. She's wet but doesn't complain too much. I have another dress for her but it's in the bag in the pew. Oh well. I try to dry Ellie off a little with some paper towels. We start walking out the restroom door when she says, "I have to wash my hands!!!" A lady offers to lift her; I tell her she's wet. "Oh, that's okay," she says. We make it out of the restroom.

3:40 pm--Before entering back into the church I decide that maybe we should stay outside during the homily. The girls are yelling and fighting over who gets to open the door. I know the baby is hungry, so I find a shady spot on the concrete to sit and nurse him. The girls run around and play in the grass and sandy spots digging with sticks, looking for bugs. People standing in the back of the church can see them and are glaring, but I don't mind. A lady with a baby walks out and says, "Sometimes as mothers our vocation keeps us outside of the church!" "Yep, you do what you gotta do," I respond.

4:00 pm--I notice that they've moved into the intercessions, during which there is kneeling after each petition. I decide we'll go in after that's over. We arrive at the door and Ellie yells, "Sand in my shoes!" We take off her sandals and I attempt to put them back on (buckles!) while leaning over and finally plop back on the sidewalk, scooching over for our insurance agent and his baby boy to pass by.

4:20 pm--They carry the big wooden cross up to the empty altar. The girls stand in the isle to see it. The Veneration of the Cross begins. We sing, "Behold, behold the wood of the Cross, on which is hung our salvation." I ask Ellie if she wants to go kiss the cross. We follow the procession up to the altar. Ellie leans down as I do to kiss the cross. Hail O Cross, our only hope! As I start to walk away, she kneels down again to kiss the cross a second time. So sweet. I somehow make it down the steps of the altar without asleep in sling, and Ellie veering in other directions. We sing the verse they learned at First Friday class this month, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." Ellie loves it and sings loudly. Mary Clare reflects, "Ellie loves Jesus twice as much because she kissed the cross twice!" I respond, "Well, you can still love Jesus very much even if you don't want to kiss the cross (she didn't). You can even kiss him in your heart! Or kiss the crucifix on my necklace (she does)."

4:45 pm--Communion begins. Ellie now has her sandals off. I try to put them back on. "I would really like it if you put your shoes on to walk back up for communion," I state. She refuses. (Note that the girls were quiet but very antsy during all of the service) We follow up to communion. Deacon blesses all the children and I receive Our Lord in the Eucharist. Hail Our Savior's glorious Body! We start walking back to our pew but Ellie wants to stand in the front and watch others receive. I grab her hand, I try to pull her off. She falls to the floor and yells. I let go and start to walk off, hoping she'll follow. She does. Deep breath. Everyone is smiling at me and thankfully our friend is right behind us; I'm sure we were backing up the communion line.

5:00 pm--The service ends. We made it through! The sweet mom next to me raves about how well behaved they were and how brave I was to go with all three of them. I ask if she has 2 girls and a boy. "Yes," she responds. She knows what it's like. I smile and we gather our things. Ellie keeps mentioning wanting to find those boys with wack (black) hair. I realize later she was talking about the big family behind us...the boys were making faces at her when she was lying down on the pew. We make it out to the plaza where I find a bench to nurse SJ again while the girls run around and I watch all the families talking.

5:15 pm--A familiar face walks up. This older lady had talked to the girls and I before, though I've never met her. She asks about the baby's name and how he's doing, raves about the girls, and is just so excited to see us again. We see some friends and visit for awhile. Then Ellie has a head-on facial collision with a friend's little girl while playing in the fountain (there was no water in it!).

5:20 pm--Another lady walks up with a Latin accent. "Oh, where you get this (my sling)? And I saw you with another one and I watched you putting it on (she mimics me wrapping my Moby around, I remember her staring at me at Palm Sunday Mass). Oh, this is a great thing. Babies love being with their mom, they were in you 9 months. I have 5 kids. Now they all grown. Ah, I know it's so hard right now when they little. But I tried to make things fun. You remember, they don't care if the clothes have name brands. They don't need the fancy toys. They play with all the silly things most. They don't need a beautiful house. You know my daughter turns 24 tomorrow. She called me last night and reminded me how I used to make special pancakes for Easter, and heart ones for Valentine's. They weren't perfect, didn't look like hearts. But that's what they remember. They don't remember the dirty floor. You remember, don't worry about a clean house!" Just what I needed to hear.

5:40 pm--I finally convince the girls to go back to the car. We make our way slowly around the school and back into the hot minivan. We made it through. God is good.


If it hadn't been for reading that beautiful post, I'm not sure I could've done this without losing my cool. Melissa linked another page that discusses these parenting philosophies and has an audio talk at the bottom which I'm trying to listen to as I type. I'm feeling better about my natural way of parenting and more hopeful that I can continue to see each interaction and each challenge as a way to connect with my children and a way to show them how to handle things and how to show them the love of God. I am so thankful for this special time I am privileged to share with my I'm getting to know myself and them, and figuring out how to best parent them and school them according to God's design for our own family. May I hear that still small voice leading me, and trust in his love for me and his will for the good of my family.

Good Friday

Today I will take the kids to the 3:00 Good Friday service. I'm praying that it goes well...I've heard it's a rather moving and dramatic experience.

Thank you for the compliments on the portraits!

Here are some links for today:

A wonderful discussion on discipline, unschooling...and great comments, but prepare for a long read!

Some Holy Week/Easter crafts and ideas

Easter basket ideas

Have a blessed Triduum and very Happy Easter!!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


We had their pictures taken yesterday at Portrait Innovations. I really recommend this studio. They always offer a HUGE package for only $9.95, although it's very hard to leave with only the one-pose-package!

I thought they turned out great! We had no blow-out diapers, no big criers, and Mary Clare's big bump on her forehead from the night before was hidden by her hair wispies. I'd say it was a successful day! Thanks to NeNe for this wonderful we have the CD with all of the pictures to share :) Here are some of my favorites. Bear with me, the gloating mama!

And we have DOZENS of pictures, so please if anyone wants some let me know!

Back to the cleaning...

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Organizing update

NEW BOOK: I started reading "Confessions of an Organized Housewife" today. It's good so far and has lots of helpful hints. I'll update more once I get past chapter two.

NEW BLOG: Something I found tonight, which got me "sucked in" like many internet sites, was a blog called the Nesting Place. I love her "window mistreatments", and am totally wanting to run out to the fabric store...well, more like to the $1 fabric section at Wal-Mart! I thought I had no hope at making window treatments or throw pillows until I got a sewing machine and learned how to use it, but now I have new inspiration! Fabric, a glue gun, upholstery tacks, and some fringe...and I'll be having fun!

NEW SHOES: One lesson I've learned over the past few years is that (usually, especially with new items) you get what you pay for. Sometimes spending more initially helps you save more in the long run. Take our sofas for example. Several years back we couldn't imagine spending hundreds on furniture. But now I'm so glad we waited to get this leather set! It should save us money and headache! So back to the shoes. Almost every time I buy cheap shoes I regret it. So tonight I went out to buy some Stride Rite sandals for the girls. I'm hoping they'll last all summer...we'll see! But I decided to check out Payless first and what did Mary Clare want to try on? First a pair of tennis shoes with Bratz dolls on them, a pair of fancy flip flops with heels, then these that I snapped a picture of:

Haha! Glad I am still choosing her clothes and shoes or else she would look like a 21 year-old! Here's what we bought instead:

SCHEDULE: I've been doing so bad the past few days! It's 2:06 am and I'm still awake! What am I doing? I'm really going to try to get back on track this week and STAY OFF THE INTERNET. I'm going to limit myself for Holy Week. Not sure exactly how, but maybe I'll just turn off the computer. If you don't see me this week, give me a big congratulations for Easter. I'm not sure I can do it though. This is my recreation. Maybe I'll stay away from forums and other blogs and just check email and my own blog. I'll have to pray about this more...

CLEANING: The house has been staying somewhat clean. And Mary Clare has been really good at helping me out, especially with the playroom and schoolroom, which get the messiest. Tonight I had a revelation. Certain parts of the kitchen really gross me out. The baseboards are one of them. I look at them thinking, "there's no way I can ever get the grime off of those. No use trying." But I need to take BABY STEPS. I cleaned one wall of baseboards tonight with a rag and toothbrush. The flooring leaves a space at the bottom, and in other places the baseboards are coming off, but I can still at least TRY to clean them!



AND LASTLY, DIAPERS! I've been trying to get back into the swing of cloth diapering but haven't had much motivation. But then came the issues with the nighttime leaks, and then my sweet friend Megan loaned me some covers. That has really helped. Something about the velcro covers as opposed to the pull-on pants really makes a difference for me. Maybe it's just the newness factor. But anyway, today I found a great internet deal and bit the bullet and ordered some Proraps covers! And I've even left the house several times with him in cloth. I'm not sure I even did that with Ellie. Yay me! (trying to keep up the motivation here!)

Okay, I've GOT to go to bed. We're trying to make 9:00am Palm Sunday Mass! That's in 6 1/2 hours! Nite Nite.

How to feel like a bad mommy

Miss the big Easter egg hunt by 2 minutes! We got there at 11:05 and ran up just as the kids were all walking back from the field with their goodies. Ellie didn't understand but Mary Clare was sobbing. We had gone to confession and then I made a quick run into the house for water, a bag for a dirty cloth diaper, and a cereal bar. That made us miss it.

Some very sweet little boys came up and started putting eggs in the girls' baskets. So sweet! And they had a wonderful afternoon with NeNe and PaPa! I'll have to redeem myself at the parish egg hunt next weekend.

Girls with their baskets afterwards. They got over the disappointment when they started opening the eggs!

So happy at the park!

My mom and dad

Me and my mommy :)

Playing at the house afterwards

Friday, March 14, 2008

Another week gone by...

It seems like the weeks are flying by! I can't believe we are entering into Holy Week already! My little boy is almost 3 months! We've been keeping busy with our weekly activities and trying to keep up with housework. I've had a hard time staying on my schedule after the time change. I just couldn't seem to wake up early this week! But I'll have new motivation with Holy Week. Tomorrow is a neighborhood Easter Egg Hunt, and although I don't like the idea of celebrating Easter while we're starting Holy Week, we'll probably make the exception for this. We'll also need to get busy on our garden, and I'm continually brainstorming about how I want to finish up the living room.

Last night we had a curriculum share for our homeschool group. It was nice to get to look through a lot of the books I had been thinking about using. For the most part I'm happy with my choices for this year, but I found a few things I might like to try next year: Real Science 4 Kids, The Image of God Religion series Who Am I?, the CHC Little Stories books, and although I like Singapore Math for the Earlybird series I'm considering switching to Math U See next year. I was outside the church visiting with other moms until after 11pm. I'm ready for an early night tonight! I'm hoping we can attend a Catholic homeschool conference here in a few weeks and I can finalize what I'd like to order for next year.

Here are some pics from the week...

The B boys hanging out on the new loveseat

The girls and their friends at Nature Club today. It was in the mid-80s!!!

I loved this one of Ellie at the park

MC loves to hold her brother

Sweet siblings!
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