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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

It's past my bedtime, but I'm still up, because...

...I have a lot to do before tomorrow. I've got energy left to do it though, because...

...my sweet husband came home from a 12 hour work day and let me walk right past him, out the door to dinner with a dear friend. Our visit left me bubbling with energy, because...

...there's nothing like a good long conversation with someone you've been missing, who understands you better than most anyone. I needed it, because...

...life is hectic and burn-out is in my midst. But I'm going to beat it before it beats me, because...

...my life rocks and I know it. For instance, I just got done baking pastries for a Christmas party tomorrow, and I can type this post guilt free, without waking up to a mess in the kitchen, because...

...at this very moment a machine is washing all my dirty dishes for me! Thank you Mr. Smith, for an awesome early Christmas present, my very first dishwasher ever. Signing off...because...

...it's past my bedtime!!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Visit From St. Nicholas

St. Nicholas came (on December 6th, of course) and left the boys each a new pair of slippers, a gold dollar coin, some tic tacs and a lovely little book, The Christmas Story. Here's a view of our tree:
For now, we have it decorated for Advent. We always cut our tree down ourselves, and we used to go Thanksgiving weekend every year. A few years ago, we decided to try not to jump straight to Christmas so soon, like the rest of the country does, and to work harder on observing Advent. We stopped getting the tree on the weekend of Thanksgiving. The only problem was, the further into December we got, the more hectic and busy life got, and before we knew it we were rushing out the last weekend before Christmas to squeeze in getting the tree. It felt like a chore. So this year we went back to getting it the last weekend in November, and as a compromise, decided not to put the Christmas decorations on it right away, but instead decorate it for Advent first. The boys made a paper chain of purple and pink links. The idea was to have this be our Jesse tree as well, and make wooden ornaments that we can use every year. When the ornaments weren't being made by mid-December, I knew that was off the list for this year. There's always next year...

Thursday, November 26, 2009

In Thanksgiving

For the joy.
The laughter.
The difficulties,
that bring perspective.

The open wounds on my heart,
forever gaping, vulnerable,
as with no other earthly phenomenon.
Seven of them,
forever imprinted on my soul.

For the gratitude,
that would otherwise go unknown,
and instead envelopes my being.

For the humility,
at knowing Who gives.
Not a loss of control,
but a giving away of it.
A release of power, to the One with answers.
A relief,
to my small being, without them.
As I know,
it is His will.

For yesterday,
right now,
and the hope of forever.
And the chance to help forever come,
to those who look to me.
That I might lead them,
and then push them ahead,
far beyond my own faith,
and then follow them.
Forever.

For ever,
for life.
For motherhood.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Change: Explained

Do I have to?
Really?
I'm not enjoying the changes of my childrens' names. It's difficult to write about them when I have to check the sidebar to remember who is who.
It feels like I'm writing about another family. It's weird.
Is it the right thing to?
Probably.
It just might take some getting used to, so I'll try.
I think it'll be worth the effort.


Also, how cute is my new widget? Who knew my baby was the size of a lime?! I would have guessed he was the size of Manhattan, given the havoc he's wreaking on my body. :o)
But so worth it.


And a new house besides? New, as in the actually quite old, inadequately sized for our growing family, temporary but necessary roof we currently have over our heads. The one that's going to allow us to save and plan for our next home (dream home?) to come at some point in the next 12 to 120 months.
Also worth it.


The only constant is change, right? I sure am not bored. Change is good.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Monkey Bread

4 cans refrigerated biscuits, cut into quarters,
rolled in cinnamon and sugar, piled into bundt pan.
1 stick of butter melted with 1 cup brown sugar, poured over top of biscuits.
Baked at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Quickly devoured by wide-eyed children.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Speaking of change...

...life is full of them, isn't it? Too many to blog about sometimes.

For now, here is my afternoon, in a nutshell:

That is a dum dum sucker, and this is approximately 2 hours after a bath.

Friday, September 18, 2009

A Necessary Change

I had a terrible experience this week.
It had to do with my children, and it happened at a park we've been to a hundred times.
It got me thinking.
Since the beginning of this blog, I've considered many times whether or not I'm comfortable displaying my family on the internet. I like keeping this record of our daily lives, and sharing it with those of you who care to check in. I have appreciated the outlet that it has become, as I have missed the writing I once did when my hands weren't so full of babies.
However, the world is unpredictable and evil lurks, and so I have stepped onto the path that so many wise mommy-bloggers before me have taken. I have renamed my family.
And so it is, an odd thing to get used to, but the right thing to do.
May God bless us and keep us, and give us peace.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

What's become of me?

I have a problem. I don't think I'm normal.
It's September. From what I understand, this means new shows on tv, and new seasons of old shows.
I don't care.*
Desperate Housewives offends me. House makes me roll my eyes. I tried to watch an episode of Grey's Anatomy once; I almost threw up. American Idol? Been there, done that, about 6 times too many.
So what am I excited about?
Football.
When I see the promos for the start of the NFL season, I get a tingly feeling in my stomach.
I'm even kind of holding a grudge against someone who suggested the other day that the Lions aren't worth watching anymore.
There's not much I enjoy more than coming home from Mass on Sunday and curling up on the couch with my hubby to watch the games. This year, it will be with the chicken wings we discovered.
How did this happen to me? Was I destined to develop this boy-like quality? Or is this a result of the gender imbalance in my household?
Speaking of Mr. Smith, he says this makes me the coolest wife ever.
I guess maybe it's not such a problem after all.


*I'm certainly not claiming to be one of those good people who don't watch any tv. I do. I even enjoy The Biggest Loser and will be watching that this season, starting tonight. Just please do not ask me what I think about whatever happened on the 307th season of Big Brother last night. I feel yucky just typing the name of that one.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Safety First

I caught Isaac walking around with a pencil in his hand, which everyone in the house knows is not allowed.
Not to worry though. The big boys pointed out that he also had Owen's safety glasses on.
That he did.
Well then, carry on.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Life

Last night, or rather this morning, somewhere near 1:00am, I was awakened by my nursling needing his mama. A normal nightly occurance, except this time with more urgency, as the congestion from his cold had settled in somewhere between his nose and his chest, making breathing and nursing difficult.


As I was pulled out of my peaceful slumber, I felt a pang of pity for myself, knowing this was likely the beginning of a long night.


Then I thought of Colleen. A woman I do not know, but for whom my heart breaks.


I discovered her blog ages ago, when we were both moms to a mere four boys, or so, a piece. Then it was five, and then, for her, six. A "band of brothers", so like the one dear to me.


I scooped up my baby and brought him out to the living room. I wiped his nose, cuddled him, and marveled at the wonder of a baby, so dependent on his mama. Caring for him, at all hours, is a small sacrifice for the reward of being his earthly mother.


As I nursed him, I thought of her again. How she must be producing milk, for a baby she can no longer put to her breast; her body needing to catch up with the stark reality of her loss.


And those brothers... Oh how I ache when I think of those brothers.


But are they not better off for having had him, even for such a short time, and at such a cost of grief?


I cradled my own for hours, without a care for the clock, even as 4:00am approached, intermittantly praying for her, and thanking for me.

A sleepless night, but a blessing, another night together.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Tree Climbing

There's a tree in my mom's front yard. The boys have really taken to climbing it.
Blake's gotten pretty good at it.


Maybe a little too good.


It makes them very happy.

And that makes me happy too.

Parenting Advice

Peyton: (wandering around with one sock in his hand) "Mama, I think you should teach us to be good and to find our socks when we need them."

I wonder if those are of equal importance.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Dance with me

video
video courtesy of Blake
What's cuter?
-The baby trying desperately to shake his little booty like the big boys? Or,
-The pure joy from the big boy watching his baby brother?
Also,
What's more pathetic?
-The fact that their room really was (is?) that messy? Or,
-The fact that I would shamelessly display the mess on my blog?
hmmmmm...

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Identity Crisis

This is Oliver. Today Oliver thinks he is a dog.
A dog named Bruno.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Today I am grateful...

...for my friend who makes me smile
...for precious minutes that flew by WAY too quickly
...for a delightful drink
...for butterflies!
...for the fact that there's never a lull in conversation
...for children, even their unpredictable health happenings
...for t-shirt authorization
...for true confidence
...for Catholic weddings
...that no matter how much time goes by, it just doesn't matter
...for alphabet gardens
...that God blessed me with such a beautiful friendship
...for the rest of the conversation that's yet to come!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

We're driving along...

...and Owen says, "Can we go to Aldi?"
I'm still trying to figure out how to answer, and what's gotten into my 7-year-old who normally dreads the grocery store, when Peyton says, "Can we go to Bed, Bath and Beyond?"
Okay, so now the 5-year-old wants to shop for sheets?
I say, "How come Peyton, do you have something in mind that you want from there?"
To which he replies, "No, I'm just hoping you'll get confused and pull into Chuck E. Cheese."
Which happens to be next door to Bed, Bath and Beyond.
Those little brains never cease to amaze me.

Friday, June 19, 2009

A Birthday Letter

Dear Isaac,
Today, you are one.
A year ago right now, I nursed you and I cried.
I cried at the injustice of the way you came into this world. With mourning, over those hours we couldn't get back. The things I couldn't fix.
I nursed you, with my hand cupped over that bump. Praying, blessing, regretting.
Days went by, and weeks. Not knowing what the result would be, I prayed, and I loved you.
I fell in love with your quiet nature, and I hoped.
Then, one day, it was a little better. And the next, better still. And so on, until I seemed to be the only one who knew it had been there.
Soon there were days that I didn't even cry, but none where I didn't remember.
It wasn't perfect, it wasn't ideal, that first part of your blessed little life. But it was ours.
Yours and mine.
We went through it, and got through it, together.
Now today, I nurse you, and I cry again.
I cry at God's mercy, and His plan. With joy, over His presence in our lives. For He brought us together, He gave us our story, He guides us when we are lost.
And this, I learned through you.
My dear, sweet Isaac.
Thank you.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Fishing

Yesterday was a beautiful day.Lots of sunshine.
Still cool though, sweatshirt and jeans weather, my favorite.
All the boys wanted to do was go fishing.
All Isaac wanted to do was hang out with me.And that's what we did. The end.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A New Chapter

Well, my sister is all married off, and happily sunning herself somewhere tropical.


The shower is planned and executed. The coffee maker is in it's place.


The bachelorette party, behind us.


The rehearsal, in the books.


Rehearsal dinner, digested.


The vows are said. The kiss is kissed.


The rice is thrown. (we didn't really have rice, but that would have been fun.)

The license, signed.

The rug has been cut. Look, here's proof:
The bouquet, thrown. (or so I'm told. I was nursing my nursling.)
It was beautiful. It was memorable. It was truly blessed.
I can't wait to see the video.
It was also...all-consuming.
I woke up the next morning and thought to myself, "Self, what are you going to think about now? You fit into your dress, your speech was acceptable, your children survived. You have to remember what reality was like now."
Then I remembered. Reality is a teething baby.
You can't get more real than that, can you?
Isaac has been a unique teether. They've come in on their own time, but mostly, in a goofy way. More have cut, and as they come in he'll look more...normal. Normal is boring though. Unique? Memorable.
So I wanted to be sure and document the way they are now.
And I'll show you.
If you're ready.
Are you?
Brace yourself...

So it's back to reality. And I'm more than alright with that.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Which is LESS Reasonable?

Spring cleaning has brought to my attention the fact that we have far too many shoes as a family.

Everyday life has brought to my attention the fact that our baby is obnoxiously cute.

Both situations defy reason.

Both leave me wondering how it is that we arrived at this point.

To remedy this:
There's a large garbage bag and a box labeled 'donations'.

What on earth can be done about this?:
Lord, help us.
(and p.s.--thank you)

Friday, April 24, 2009

And then it was Easter

I so wanted to get a picture of our whole family, as we never seem to do that anymore.
So these are it, the only two shots we got. Can you read the disappointment in my voice?I'd just like to take a minute to point out a few things, observations, if you will:
1.) Could Mr. Smith and I not just be copied and pasted from one to the next? Apparently we both felt those were acceptable expressions and postures.
2.) Why wasn't I more concerned with smiling?
3.) Isaac is much cuter awake than asleep.
4.) I really need to practice a photo face with Owen.
5.) Blake is, by far, our most obedient child.
6.) It doesn't matter the circumstances, Oliver is ALWAYS cute.
Last, but not least, the whole reason I even dared to post these pictures, because it makes me laugh every time I look....let's concentrate on Peyton. I distinctly remember Mr. Smith scolding him after the first shot. I couldn't see what he was doing at the time, but now it's clear that he was showing his excitement over finally remembering to bring his holy water bottle to fill from the font. I think he took it hard when he was told to stand still.
So it was not a successful photo shoot, but it was Easter Sunday just the same. The much longed-for Alleluia was as beautiful as ever. The Lord is risen. The desert of Lent has given way to the glory of the Easter season, and we will celebrate all 50 days of it.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

If I had been posting...

...surely it would have been about our Last Supper dinner at Grandma's:

and our Holy Thursday art project:Or our Hot Cross Buns on Good Friday morning:and probably about how Isaac figured out how to empty a cupboard in 3 minutes flat: But alas, rotten apples it was.

I don't get it.

If someone were going to abandon their blog, why would they do so on the rotten apple post?
Kind of leaves a sour taste in the mouth...

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Yummy

Last night Mr. Smith said, "I'm going to the store to get some food for tomorrow."
Maybe it was because I didn't want him to leave. Maybe it was because my pride wished I had gotten groceries so there would be food in the house for my hard-working husband. Whatever the reason, I said, "Oh Honey, there's enough here to get you through the day! We have bologna for a sandwich...you could put these frozen berries in your oatmeal...there's a...you can...we..."...nothing. "Wait! Here's an apple!"

To which he replied, "Is that even still good?"

To which I replied, "Sure! It looks fine."

He looked at me doubtfully, and headed for the store.

Today, I thought of Mr. Smith, with all his fresh fruits and veggies at work, when I grabbed the apple to slice it up for the kids with lunch.

This is what I saw:
Well I couldn't tell that from the outside.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Summer Resolutions

1. Soak up the Vitamin D
2. Wear more skirts
3. Cause a groove in the sidewalk of stroller wheel tracks between here and the park.
Most importantly: Spend lots of time with Mr. Smith.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

What's wrong with this picture?


"Big brother, could I please have my walker back?"

Friday, March 27, 2009

A Quiz




You Are Blooming Flowers



You are an optimistic person by nature. In even the darkest times, you are hopeful about the future.

You feel truly blessed in life and can sometimes be overwhelmed with emotions.



You have an artist's eye. You are always looking for beauty in the mundane.

You have a good sense of aesthetics, especially when it comes to shapes and color.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Super Woman?

I just simultaneously:
  • ate a healthy breakfast
  • gave a fourth grade spelling test
  • directed a first grade spelling worksheet
  • drilled a 5 year old on his addition flash cards
  • encouraged the making of a masterpiece (a picture of a "rocket ship") by a 3 year old
  • remained calm

The key? The baby is napping.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Puffs





...thank you God-Mama.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Look what I can do!

The boys called me into the room, frantic over what Isaac was doing. Trying not to panic, I raced in, to see this:
I think he's quite proud of himself.