Thursday, March 31, 2016

Homeschool Gym Day

Wednesday afternoons at the worst possible time, a 40 minute drive away, we have been going to gym day.  Normally, this would have not been something I would do during nap time and so far away, but we are new here and we have to meet some homeschoolers and actively make friends.  The kids love it!  We've met some great families through it.

One of the great things about it is the whole family gets to exercise and participate.  Bobby sits on the sidelines usually with other babies or rides in the Ergo on me. We do circuits, running, obstacle courses, and games for an hour to an hour and a half.

Sadly, the lady running it is moving and can't do it anymore.  I'm considering taking it on, but I want to move the location closer to me if possible.  Sounds crazy for me to take on another thing, but we have a limited number of Catholic homeschooling families, and  the best way to better get to know them better is to plan activities.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Bubbly Brothers

 We are working on the relationship between these two right now.  When there is a two year old and a four year old in the house, we always have this problem.  It just takes some time and work to get over this hump.  Two year olds are bad at sharing, and four year olds are bad at being tolerant of not sharing well.  The four year old also likes to boss around the two year old.  Drew idolizes Isaac right now and seems to be on a power trip when it comes to Judah.  It's good to see them playing so happily like this.  No bossing or fighting over toys.  Just smiles and laughter.

Here's to more moments like this!

See, his hair is growing out nicely!

Bubble Beard

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Maybe we'll take a break from buying breakfast corny dogs for a while.

My kids like the sausage biscuit sandwiches that you buy in the freezer section.  However, here they come in giant boxes in packs of only four!  We have one tiny freezer for the time being, and to be sure I will not buy a pack of four of anything anyway.  This is what led me to buy the pancake and sausage on a stick.  I can get twenty of those in one box.  They are basically breakfast corny dogs, so that is what we call them.

(There is a whole ongoing debate between myself and my husband about "corn dog" verses "corny dog" because you know we have problems agreeing on what to call things or even tiny people we co-create.  I don't know what side you are on, but here, I'm calling them corny dogs.)

In the past two weeks, we've had two close calls with these dumb corny dogs, so I am taking it as a sign from God that I need to stop buying them for a while.  Maybe we'll make and freeze a bunch of homemade sausage sandwiches instead.

The last and not quite as scary thing that happened was that it nearly caught the microwave on fire when Drew, who has been making his own for a while in the microwave, accidentally slipped an extra zero on the end of the '1:00' he was supposed put on there.  It's a dial that you turn up to the time you want.  Normally that makes it hard to put an extra zero on the end because you'd have to keep turning that dial past a lot of numbers.  Drew managed to do it though.  Thankfully, Brian caught it three minutes in and that was enough to really burn the thing and smoke up the microwave pretty good.  I am still trying to get the smell out.  Vinegar, baking soda, and now lemon later we are finally on the fainter side of it until you turn it on.

The super scary thing that happened a couple of weeks ago was that Judah choked on the pancake part of it.  (I know everyone thinks the sausage is the dangerous part, right?)  I mean it was real, turn-your-face-colors, can't talk, choking.  Thanks be to God that I was sitting right there and saw him!  I am rarely sitting with him when he is eating breakfast.  Bobby, Drew, and him were the only ones up on that Saturday morning, and I was feeding Bobby his babyfood.  His face was so scared.  I picked him up and started to turn him upside down to do the baby version of the Heimlich maneuver.  He started fighting me and grabbing on to the bench.  I moved away from the furniture and turned him over n my knee.  I hit his back repeatedly and then checked him.  He still couldn't talk or breathe, so I did it some more and was just about to send Drew up to get Hannah to call the emergency number when he said, "Mommy, I  threw it up."  Sure enough, there it was on the floor, a about 2.5 inches long and about the diameter of a dime.  I just sat down on the floor and hugged my baby boy telling him and God how happy I was that he threw it up.  He told me he didn't want to eat that corny dog anymore.  Can't blame him!  I am just so thankful that I was able to get it out and that I was there.  Thank you, God and all our guardian angels!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Happy Easter!

 Mass.  Easter baskets.  Pictures.  Friends over for dinner and an egg hunt.  Being far from family, that's how we usually do Easter.  This year we invited two other families that are relatively new to the area as well.

Books and candy in their Easter baskets just like always, but I did throw in a couple things for the whole family to enjoy.

 We had such a peaceful evening with friends.  There were so many kids, but they were all so sweet and got along so nicely.  The kids spent a lot of time jumping on the trampoline and playing Foosball.

Loving our table that can fit a supersized group

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

8 Months Old

Most days we are just embracing the double crown cowlicks with a mohawk.

Bobby is doing much better with his digestion issues as long as we keep a little prunes in every meal.  He's still just doing breakfast and dinner with solids, and he is nursing 5-6 times/24 hours.  He gags on Cheerios even if I quarter them and on mashed potatoes if I don't water them way down.  Sometimes he'll throw up a little with his gag.  Not fun!

He is still not napping well, but he remains a happy baby until he gets too exhausted at least.  He's sleeping from his dreamfeed at 10:30pm until at least 4:30am, but many times he makes it until 5:45/6am in which case we start the day.  On the days he wakes up between 4:30 and 5:45am I will nurse him for less than 10 minutes and put him back down until 6:30/7am.  It's not ideal, but with all our travels and activities.  I am thinking it is the best we can expect for now.  So many days he has to nap in the van or in the Ergo because of activities the kids have or trips.  So many times we are traveling and he has to sleep in a different bed in close quarters which does not lend itself to sleeping through the night all the way.  Flexibility has to take preference for the time being over sleeping through the night or having a good stable schedule.  I'm still learning on baby #6.  Flexibility is not my strong suit.

He finally learned to roll over from his back to his tummy, but he's using it sparingly.  I have actually not seen him do it.  I've only seen the results when I go to get him out of bed and he is on his tummy.  He still isn't letting me get away with not swaddling him yet, but we are working to make that transition.  The minute I swaddle him up, he relaxes and closes his eyes so we are having a hard time dropping that part of the routine.  One-armed sleep sack, here we come.  We've tried it and failed, but it's going to work one of these days.

He started doing a weird eye lid flutter/blinky thing recently.  It is so strange.  Must be a new discovery for him or something.

My Bobby is saying "Mama" and "Dada" now too.  He's been doing the babbling of those sounds for a while, but he can mostly say them alone as words.  However, I am not convinced he knows what they mean yet.  He says, "Mama" when he is starting to get tired of something and wants to be rescued.  It goes more like, "Mmmmama."

He got his second tooth on the bottom front in about a week before turning eight months old.

Bobby has no particular affinity to any toy or type of toy, but he really likes to have something in his hands almost all the time, even when I'm holding him.  He seems to prefer the big touch and feel books for the moment.  I only have four or so of the big kind so we rotate through those over and over again with slipping in other ones randomly to see if he likes them.  Fun fact:  He does have a thing for analog clocks.  He loves the cuckoo clock, but he will really stare at any analog clock.

And we started putting him in his little tub sitting up now.

Splashing has opened up a whole new world.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Isaac's First Reconciliation

Isaac had his First Reconciliation on Paml Sunday!  His godfather was here and got to hear his confession.  Isaac got to pick out a tub of ice cream to share with the family afterwards.  He was nervous, but he said he felt so much better afterwards.  We are so happy for him and proud of him.  Next up, First Communion in Italy!  It is still in the works, but we are trying to set it up in Florence at San Miniato.  Hopefully, that works out.  It would be so perfect since seven and a half years ago, our favorite monk called us on the phone saying he had been praying for us and the upcoming birth of our son, Isaac.  Turns out we were at the hospital still in the delivery room holding our newborn baby boy when he called.  He's now an abbot at San Miniato.

They don't have palms here, just these holly branches or something.

Isaac and his godfather 

And just because we were dressed up and he's a cutie of Bobby and me.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Brugges with Six Kids

This is my third time in Brugges.  I've seen the sites, minus the Flemish art museum.  This was a very short trip mainly with a specific purpose for Godfather Brian.  He needed to see an original manuscript.  I was hoping to get time for the museum, but we just didn't have enough time to make the museum worth the money.  All this is to say that all we did in Brugges, Belgium was walk around, drink beer (but not the kids!), eat waffles, french fries, and mussels (but not me!)  And since it is Lent, we bought chocolate (but didn't eat it) to take home for Easter.

At a fried food place.  Everything was behind glass and you pick what you want fried.  They also had a myriad of sauces for dipping your fries.  We chose mayo and dill pickle sauce.

Behind me is the "Wall of Beer," and I am holding a coconut shell cup with a coconut beer that seriously tasted like a pina colada.  I am wearing Brian's hat because I did not anticipate it being quite so crazy freezing with some serious winds.  My ears were aching.  It was cold.

Next to the "Wall of Beer" was this store full of beers, teas, chocolate, and a lot of Tin Tin stuff.  We took this picture of Isaac in front of it for a friend of his back in the states.

Our lovely travel companion, Hannah and Isaac's godfather.

This is how my Judah rides on these trips.  He looks so funny in it!  He is an angel, and rarely asks to get down.  He'll rid all day with breaks pretty much only for sit down meals.

The canals with swans

Getting my nursing swagger on.

Bell tower in the main square

We tried to eat at this particular restaurant called Bistro De Pompe.  This was the second day and it was warmer out.  We started to sit down at one of the outside tables that were all set up for service with blankets hanging on the chairs and everything.  A waiter came and told us they weren't serving outside today and put 'reserved' signs on all three tables.  When we tried to follow him in, he turned to us and said he was all booked up.  I looked inside where not a single patron was sitting.  All the tables were empty.  I figured what was going on was this guy didn't want our six children in his restaurant or even at the outside tables.  But I figured I'd give him the benefit of the doubt here and we'd go find another restaurant.  I had to start putting Bobby back in the Ergo as the rest of the group started moving on.  Right then a small group of people walked up and started perusing the posted menu and discussing whether or not to eat there.  I decided to take my time and see what happened.  Sure enough, they decided to go in and were immediately seated by the same waiter at one of the many empty tables.  Caught you red handed, Buster!  And I left a terrible review on TripAdvisor for you too.  We ended up at a very friendly restaurant called Poules Moules.  And I left them a good review.

I let the kids play in the square outside Poules Moules while the guys waited on the food.  We were in for a long drive after that, and the weather was so sunny.  I took some pictures of them.

Look at my fat, beautiful baby!  I love him so much!

Extremely Kissable

Being that we didn't make it to see Jan Van Eyck's artwork in the museum, we at least got a picture of his statue.

I even got a new tea cup which I will forever remember came from one of my most favorite cities in the world.