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 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!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Judah and the Jets: 7.5 months old

Wow!  Judah really doesn't seem like he is almost 8 months to me.  He's still tipping over and bumping his head from time to time when left sitting.  He is eating only two small meals a day (plus nursing 5 times a day.)  He has babbled some words (mama, baba, and dada) accidentally, but really isn't repeating any enough to count as a first word.  I don't think he is close to crawling.  He's just pushing himself in a circle or backwards.  I keep reminding myself that it is good if he doesn't crawl for a while in terms of homeschooling at least.

The kids all sing "Benny and the Jets" to him.  Hannah and I joke that we are going to sing "Judah and the Jets" instead.  "Ju ju ju Judah and the Jets!"  Hannah and Genna have been vying for their friends to call him what they call him.  Genna calls him Benny like Brian and Hannah calls him Judah like the rest of us.  I remind them constantly that it isn't a competition and everyone can pick what to call him until he picks.  He's a Mama's Boy so I have the advantage though.  :)

Judah's favorite thing to do right now independently is empty a basket of stuff.  He loves to be tickled, sung to, and entertained by Isaac (especially.)  His favorite foods are avocado , banana, hummus, carrots, sweet potatoes, and apple sauce.  He is warming up to plain Cheerios and oatmeal (not the baby powdered kind, the flavored regular kind.)  He wears mostly 12-18 month clothes because of that fatso tummy.  He is moving up to a size 5 diaper because of his tummy and he is leaking out of the size 4's at night and during the day sometimes.  His rashes are improving with the laundry detergent change and the weather change.  He still scratches himself all over if he doesn't have clothes covering his whole body, especially his tummy, even when there is no rash.  He now has 3 lymph nodes that are activated in the back of his neck, but the doctors keep saying he is healthy and fine.  We just need to watch them.  At his last doctor visit he weighed over 20 lbs.  No teeth yet.  He is waving now.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Curious George Teaches a Lesson

I have never been a big Curious George fan because he always gets in trouble and never has consequences because everything seems to coincidentally work out by the last couple of pages in the book.  Drew loves Curious George, of course, possibly for the very reason I don't.  Nonetheless, I am encouraging reading with him and this is what he likes.  We found some Curious George books at the library recently that I had not read before.  He had me read Curious George Goes to the Amusement Park about three times in the first two days home from the library along with many readings of Lovabye Dragon.

We had co-op at our house this past week and Drew was playing with a boy that was about 6-7 months younger than himself.  The little boy swatted at Drew, and Drew, being the impressive tattle-taler that he is, came to tell me.  "He hit me, Mom"  I told him that he is younger and still learning not to hit, that Drew should understand this problem since he still has trouble not hitting at times, and said, "I think you of all people can forgive him of that, right?"  Drew looks at me and in broken English said, "Like man on Curie George.  He say Forget about it."  Exactly!  He forgave George for giving the tickets away for free.  Initially I was super proud of Drew for making that connection, but on further thought I was REALLY impressed with Drew for getting something that I had never taken away from a Curious George book...mercy and forgiveness.  Those are not my strong suites since I am usually so fixated on rules, justice, and fairness.  My little Choleric/Sanguine son just may be merciful and forgive easily even though he may never be a stickler for rules and justice like his mom.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

I was wrong.

I don't like to be wrong, but...

Those were all pictures of a 6 month old Genna and they look an awful lot like Judah.  I did not think he looked like Genna when he was a newborn, but now that he is older he really does.  I thought he looked like Hannah for the longest time, and I thought like Hannah he would grow to fit his big eyes, but I guess not.  All my kids look similar though.  Here they are even posing similarly.

Judah (and precious godson too!)


Sunday, March 23, 2014

I am Drew, hear me roar!

Drew is learning to play Memory here.  He is also working on Uno.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

My Godson

We went to Colonial Williamsburg last week for a few days and my godson and his family were able to come meet us for the main day.  Judah is exactly 2 months older than Ned and a whole lot louder.  :)

They both smiled at the same time the minute I turned off the camera, of course.

A failed attempt at getting a group picture of the kids, but it proves we were there.