Thursday, April 24, 2014

More on the Wildcard

Drew is very different from the rest of our family.  Hannah is stubborn, but not nearly as feisty as this guy.  Where did he come from?  I told the girls that he is a lot like Napoleon.  We were reading a story about Napoleon where he walked back into France after his exile to the island of Elba and told everyone he was the emperor again and so they better not shoot him.  They all put down their weapons and started a parade for him.  What?!  That's exactly what Drew does.  Describes him to a tee.

Drew is really into sliding and, much to my dismay, somersaulting off the couches.
Today Drew was in trouble all morning long and lost his privilege to watch a TV show before lunch.  He earns that privilege by having room time for 40 minutes to an hour depending on the needs of the day.  But he had to have lunch and go take a nap instead since he was just past all other punishments.  Most days he is doing so much better, but he still has his days when things just don't go well.  He was very upset about not getting to watch Fraggle Rock.

I caught him telling yelling at some neighborhood kids the other day, "You 'member that?  I'm superhero!" as he stomped off.  He is a piece of work!

He goes up to Genna while she is working and eating dry Lucky Charms.  He says in about the sweetest voice, "Genna, can I have just one?"  He even held up one tiny finger.  He suckered her for sure.  She's an easy one too.  Later he finished her bowl when she left it unattended and no one was looking.  He fessed up though when accused.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Happy Easter!

The weekend was kicked off with a morning off for me.  My cousins had planned a morning of mani-pedis, chocolates, and lunch.  Then I headed back home for the neighborhood Easter egg hunt.






I never get to be in pictures.  I spent most of my young life avoiding being in photographs because I was self-conscious, and now i just want to be in a few to prove one day that I really did exist.  I actually raised these beautiful children.  As for the self consciousness, I think having children has helped me see the beauty in everyone.
 Easter morning I tried desperately to have everybody in coordinating outfits, hair done, and all that for Mass at 9am.  Plus, we had to be early to get our regular pew, or a pew at all for that matter.  We still had to park at the grocery store and walk, but we got in our general area that we usually sit.  Drewy was good enough to not have to be removed from Mass the whole time.  I am hoping for a repeat for Genna's First Communion Mass.

I wanted a picture of them all standing, but alas, Judah is too heavy and too wiggly for even Hannah to hold standing up for more than a minute.  I couldn't even get the camera turned on  before she was hollering that she couldn't do it after all.  So even though we have coordinating outfits, you really can't tell in these pictures of the kids.


Of course, the sun ruined many of these pictures since it made Hannah cry.  I remember smiling in the sun until it felt like my eyes were going to bleed for my mom.  I don't think I complained.  Why can't my kids do the same for me?



Beauty

Pretty

Velcro tie + baby feet = adorable

Squeezable.  Love the hands in the pockets!  He does his jaw like his daddy always did before he had surgery.




Growing up too fast and handsome

The sun strikes again.

Bloopers!  I love it.  This is real.  Baby grabs hair right as we are taking pictures.



Guess I forgot I had sunglasses on...oops! 
Easter basket time.  The girls and Isaac got a St. Ignatius Press Vision book about a saint. Drew got the second set of the Catholic Treasure Box books.  He loves the "Wupsy" stories and it is hard to find stuff he likes that doesn't have superheroes in it.  They all got Chocolate bunnies too.  I threw in a little extra something for each of them, but i went light this year on the Easter baskets since the books weren't cheap.  I got them an egg dying kit and another book about many saints for them to all share.  Since Judah literally has no idea what is going on, his little gift is still in the mail.  His godparents got him some really cute stuff though!



Upon request by Hannah we did another  mini egg hunt with the eggs I was going to put in their basket.  The reason I chose to do this extra egg hunt is that in the past we have hidden a few larger plastic eggs with a piece of paper promising something special for the finder.  This was why Hannah wanted our own egg hunt.







 Hannah got a bike ride with Daddy.  Genevieve got a craft with Mommy.  Isaac got a date with Mommy.  Drew got a picnic with Daddy.  I made a rule that everyone could only get one of the big eggs.  Plus, I put two even bigger eggs with money in them.  Isaac found both of those.



Monday, April 21, 2014

I love this age!

Judah is 8 months old.  About a week and a half ago, I was telling my friend that he's not close to crawling and seems younger than he is.  The next day, after having set him down at my feet while I helped the kids with something I look down to see he had pulled up using a handle on our bench.  He was stiff as can be and a little unsteady, but he was holding on with all his might.  He since has been trying to pull up on everything, but he's had on socks now since the weather turned chilly again.  This makes it very hard to keep his feet underneath him.  The day or so after that happened I caught twice up on his hands and knees.  He's getting better at this slowly, but again with those socks.  He does better upstairs on the carpet.


My least favorite baby phases are the 0-2 weeks and the 4-6 month periods.  The 0-2 weeks is mainly because I am an emotional wreck, although this time was better than in the past.  The 4-6 month phase is when the babies are so much more alert and awake, but they can't physically entertain themselves much.  They want to go places and sit up and do stuff, but they can't so they are fussier.  After they learn to sit up things look a little brighter.  You can leave them sitting next to a basket of toys or an open Tupperware drawer to empty and they are happy for a while.  Even though they can't crawl they can effectively scoot, roll, and reach for things.  This is where Judah is now.  He is a delight lately.  I love his face so very much!

Smiley guy!
 He is sleeping much better too which never hurts!  He takes two one and a half hour naps with a forty-five minute evening nap.  He is going to bed between 7:15 and 7:30pm.  If he wakes up before 6:30am, he falls back asleep with me and his "Bubba" (AKA pacifier in my bed until 6:30am.  He wakes up happy and plays in his bed for a little bit sometimes too.
His eyes are mesmerizing.
 Speaking of his bed, he is in the pack-N-play which I lowered just a week before he pulled up for the first time.  I only did it because I  noticed he could reach up and grab the edge while on his tummy.  Good instincts or his guardian angel.

He's a beautiful baby, in my not-so-humble opinion.
Lastly, I just moved him into a size 5 diaper and he doesn't fit in most of his 12 month clothes anymore.  The 18 month pants are a bit snug in the belly too, but he really can't go any higher because of the length.  My chubby baby! Love the chub!  (If I was a hash-tagger, I would've used them there and here.  Fighting the misused hash tag craze! I'll stick with exclamation points.)

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Field Trip: Restocking the Lake

 Genna, Isaac, and Drewy went with their dad one morning this week to restock the lake.  Hannah decided she'd rather not go.  She was funny because she came up to me three times before they left and said, "Are you sure Dad won't be upset with me if I don't go?"  I insisted that if she didn't want to go, it was fine.  I don't know why she was worrying.  She loves to please her dad, but at the same time she is not one for getting dirty or dealing with small animals of any kind.  She is the only one not excited about us getting chickens.  (This is in process, but may not happen.  There are details to be worked out still.)  Anyway, Judah, Hannah, and I had a quiet morning at home while the other three had fun.


Of course, the first thing I hear when they get home is how Genna made a new friend.  Surprise.  Surprise.

Genna said that her friend really liked fish!




Oh, my precious boys!


Friday, April 18, 2014

Holy Thursday: Why we go at bedtime with little ones

Holy Thursday Mass is my absolute favorite Mass of the year.  It was the first Mass I ever attended, back when I was an extremely wary of the Catholic Church and generally uninformed Protestant.  Even then, I saw the beauty in it, the reverence, and that it was the re-enactment of the Last Supper.  I wouldn't say that was the beginning of my journey to the Church because many things had happened before that got me to the place where I wanted to go see what a Mass was like.  However, it captured me, nonetheless, and put the wheels in motion to research what the Church was all about, and that got me to where I am today.

Pictures are completed unrelated to this post!

All this is to say how much I love Holy Thursday Mass.  If you know me then you know that schedules and babies going to sleep on time is very important to me.  This is THE Mass that I take toddlers and babies to even though it starts at their bedtime, the only Mass.  Yes, this makes the Mass somewhat not as enjoyable for me since I often have one or two tired little ones both wanting mommy due to their exhaustion.


A couple of years ago we found this church that is about 15 minutes away from our house.  It is small, quaint, and not modern which we love.  The church that we go to regularly is only 3 minutes from our house and therefore much more practical for our family and for daily Mass.  BUT on Holy Thursday we make the trip. (Ha! 15 minutes is hardly a trip, but it seems like one at bedtime with little ones!)  I feel badly for those sweet, faithful parishioners whose Holy Thursday Mass we destroy liven up.  Last night I wondered to myself if they now remember and dread our attendance.  I am going to go with, "Hopefully, not!" since all too often I am a bit egocentric.  Our kids are normally pretty well behaved in Mass (minus the wildcard Drew,) but at this time of night they are a little wigglier and whinier.

You always need pictures in a post, right?

This year it was two little ones both wanting mommy.  Judah was quiet but SUPER wiggly, trying to dive for the back of the pew so he could chew on it when we were standing.  Naturally I was trying to stop him.  He is really strong, by the way.  Then he went to sleep in the Ergo right after Communion...at the end, of course.   Drew wanted me.  Brian spent the whole Mass trying to keep him quiet and ended up taking him out to the foyer for the last half.  The foyer at this church is the size of a closet and not sound proof.  Twice he had to step outside to quiet him.  Isaac decided to abandon his pursuit of holiness about the time Brian took Drew into the foyer which left me to bounce Judah in the Ergo while correcting Isaac for not kneeling or facing the front.  All the while I was trying my darnedest to absorb as much of the beauty as possible.  Did I mention there were three other children all in different families and at least four years old.  We kinda stuck out like a sore thumb even though we've became a back pew family.  We have Drew to thank for that.

Then came the procession.  I explained at the back of the procession to Isaac how important it was to me for him to just be respectful while we went to pray before our Lord for five minutes.  FIVE.  I reminded him that he was trying to be holy.  We walk into the room they have prepared in the parish center.  Isaac loudly flops down on the floor with a look of utter despair and says, "I'm bored," thankfully, not too loudly.  We pray while Drew is in Brian's arms trying to get my attention so he can beg me to rescue him.  (He's such a Daddy's boy when it isn't bedtime or Mass-time.)  We leave and I try to get Judah into his car seat without too much waking and crying while I try my best to let go of my disappointment.   I too am a sinner.  They are just kids.  God loves us no matter what.  He is pleased with our efforts even if I wasn't able to focus most of the Mass.  So, no I don't regret going.  I regretted it for only a moment at 2:30am when my normally sleeping through the night almost 8 month old woke up possibly due to a disrupted schedule.

P.S.  Drew and Genna got their feet washed.  Drew was super excited about that part and talked (loudly) about it all the way up until the time to do it.

Mental note: Do more preparation of what to actually expect at the Holy Thursday Mass next year with the kids that can understand.  I assumed they would remember and behave like usual.  Assumptions!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Five Favorites

So, I am going to give this Five Favorites thing a try.  Since I have five beautiful kids and I love them, I should start there.

Pajama Day is Monday for our family.  this Monday got kinda chilly again, and so I ventured to start a fire to avoid turning on the heat again.  They all snuggled in after school work was done.


1.  Hannah
Hannah is one of my stubborn kids and she is picky to the ends of the earth, but this week she hugged her sister when she was sad (Huge for Hannah since she is really not a hugger!), chose to wear something she knew I wanted her to wear, and

Those glasses are supposedly sunglasses, but they are clear so she wears them inside.

2.  Genevieve
Genevieve is  my happy go lucky kid.  She makes us laugh constantly.  She is my movie quoter and my poetry memorizer (just for fun!).  This week it is all Olaf quotes and his "summer" song.  I've got to get it on video.  Super cute!  When she laughs, it reminds me of a bell tinkling.

3.  Isaac
Isaac is in a good place right now.  After a good long streak of disobedience, he is now trying hard to improve.  He wants to be a priest and a saint one day like St. John Bosco.  That is who he wants to be for All Saint's Day next year.  He has been praying on his own a ton and asking to go to daily Mass more often.  Hooray for seeking holiness, my love!

Someone gave us a bunch of suits.  Isaac insisted on wearing one to daily Mass and on Sunday Mass too.

4.  Drew
Drew is still quite the stinker, but he is extremely well loved by all.  He can say mean things to somebody's face and they say, "Oh, I just love Drew!  He has such a cute personality!"  I wrinkle my face and think to myself/say out loud, "You know he just said that he didn't ever want to come back to your house, right?"  Even though I wrinkle my face, I totally get it.  He suckers me too.  I have to restrain myself from stealing kisses as I carry him to the bathroom for a spanking or to his well-worn time-out chair.  I'd say 95% of the time I am not the slightest bit mad at him when I have to discipline him.

Drew hides in the pantry and eats Cheerios when I won't give him a snack.  Cracks me up, even though I know it shouldn't.

5.  Judah
Judah hasn't been the easiest baby, but he hasn't been that bad either.  He has been sleeping better since turning onto his tummy.  He wakes up happier and will play with his feet or pacifier before crying sometimes.  He started out really not liking food, but he is making great progress now.  He even ate all of his peas the other day after completely refusing them a few weeks before.  He is also happier when he is awake on the floor now that he can sit up.  His rash is improving.  His sweet big blue eyes and his soft, milky chub are the best ever!