Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Valentines Day 2017

I try and do a little something for Valentines Day and here is how it worked out:



Last minute run to get cards and flowers for the girls the morning of ended in a stop for - of course - heart shaped donuts. We've done heart shaped muffins and toast and maybe next year I'll remember the EXCESSIVE amount of sugar in take for the day and nix the donuts but they were fun anyway

M took the raspberry and chocolate one much to E and R's disappointment because then they weren't all matching 


I gave the girls each a cup with a flower in it because who doesn't like getting flowers (and a week later they are still going strong) plus everyone got a card with a DD and CFA invite with either me or Papa. They have to redeem them though - I don't think many were redeemed last year so maybe we can do a little better reminding them ; ) 


I had to stuff donut in A's mouth because he didn't know what he was missing out on

R wanted me to come to her party at school so I did... then I went over to M's which was much more just 2 and 3 yr olds eating than a party they understood

M come home with a good stash of stuff from her party which she organized and put in her cup

Your brain on sugar overload!

I kind of expected the amount of stuff R brought home to be less than M - but that was not the case. She sorted through her envelope and organized everything for dessert purposes.

I assumed E would have the least amount of stuff coming home because there was no formal party - that I knew of - though they did have a secret Valentine they had to write a note for and pick up a few things they liked. Well I was wrong. This girl came home with the MOST stuff!

E had AHG later that night so Papa was on double duty for cooking over the weekend - which I didn't get any pictures of - which is kind of a scandal. He cooked me (and the girls) my all time favorite thing he makes - veal scallopini - it's the second time he's made it ever. It sure beats paying $65 a plate at a restaurant when your husband can make it at home PLUS PLUS PLUS you get seconds! Then Sunday night (which was also MeatFare - aka Papa's not cooking any more meat until Pascha/Easter) he cooked the world famous Pine Nut Chicken - crowd PLEASER. Again no pics but we definitely ended Valentine's Day week on a high note with that food!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

7QTs - Hair Ties, Goggles, CSW

Linking up with Kelly and the usuals...

---1---

Sometimes I have little reminders of my kids...


I am a mom to several girls with long hair and finding hair ties is either really easy or super difficult. On this day it was easy. There are already murmurs of cutting our hair. I am still advocating for a pre-school hair cut like we did 2 years ago and I'm not quite sure if M will be able to get in on the action! 8 inches is a tall order for a 3 yr old who has never had her hair cut and whose hair doesn't seem to grow quickly at all but she is the one who is pushing the hair cut the most!

---2---

The swimmer does homework:


E had to get a new pair of goggles because the band on one of her pairs (she has to have 2) broke on both sides in less than 24 hours? Kind of weird because I thought the one side breaking was just a fluke. Anyhow, she wanted yellow and the brand she had before didn't have only yellow so we branched out to these and she HAD to try them out immediately. 

---3---

R and M are taking swim lessons during E's swim practice #winning


It is super convenient and A stays home with Papa - love you A - so I get a break. 


I love that R gets to be the big sister and be 'more advanced' if you will. She LIVES in E's shadow so much it's good for her to be the biggest. These girls are both hoping to swim 6 and under this summer. M doesn't really realize what that entails I am quite sure. R can do it if she wants to and she's eyeing a new bathing suit. Standing offer is if you swim 6 and under you get to pick out a (blue) racing bathing suit and I told E she could get one to match (because she kind of needs one) but also she will help cheer R on to 6 and under glory : ) 


---4---

The quilt!


So it is not backed or quilted in this pic - nor did I do any of the sewing to speak of - okay maybe a square or two. A HUGE gracias to the lady who has less time than I who got this done in no time. The quilt is en-route to my case and I cannot wait to see it. Hoping this will be a big bidding auction item in a month!


---5---

E was working on her World Heritage badge for AHG


She picked Japan, Israel and Kenya to learn about. Part of the badge is cooking food from those countries. Papa of course stepped up to the plate and made the cooking side of the badge happen #teamwork

We had beef stir fry from Japan, beans, corn and potatoes from Kenya and Jewish bread. I think my favorite was the Kenyan recipes and that will be added to the roles of Lenten recipes!

---6---

Catholic schools week was ages ago but here's to it anyway...


Crazy hair day!

There was one boy who painted his hair blue and put fish in it - I thought that was the most creative


Career day dentist!


In Spanish the week before they drew and wrote what that wanted to be but I didn't get a clue in time so Amazon Prime to the rescue for the scrubs and white coat. By the end of the day E said she wanted to be a hygienist except she kept on saying - high-GENE-est and I was DYING. 


---7---

Also, the book fair was during Catholic School Week... 


E had a more than great report card so she had some funds to burn. Of course she picked a needle arts book. Let it be known I am not crafty and I really don't have a lot of patience for crafts especially new ones that don't go according to plan. E and I sat in bed for FOREVER trying to get this bracelet started. It really doesn't help our joint cause that she's let handed and I am not. So we are doing things backwards from each other. E isn't the most patient person either (ehem... where did that come from). Anyway, she left more than disappointed. She has still emerged for the heights of the upstairs with her bracelet she is working on. Sometimes you just have to figure it out on your own. 



Sunday, February 12, 2017

3 Things I Learned After Going to Mass by Myself

Last weekend we weren't sure what M's tummy was up to so I hit Saturday evening Mass by myself. It was probably the first time in what seems like forever (though I honestly couldn't tell you) that I have been to Mass without kids. E is going on seven in May so let's just say close to 7 years and roll with it.

1. I have no idea what to do with my hands

When you take a child to Mass there's tons to do with your hands. I have very busy hands on Sundays. Whether it is nursing a baby or dragging a toddler away from the altar or correcting a 2 yr old or helping a 3 yr old go potty or thumbing through the book to get to the right page for a 4 yr old or pointing at a 5 yr old to shape up or giving a thumbs up to a 6 yr old who is behaving and singing along. See? That's a lot of things for my hands to do and at any given moment I probably wish I had at least one if not two extra hands.

So on Saturday once Mass had begun and the hymnal was closed and the Sign of the Cross had been made I was trying to find a comfortable, reverent resting place for my hands. I couldn't find one. It was awkward. I've had busy hands (and feet and mind) for so long I had to think about what to do with my hands. Petty I know. I did find a good spot for them eventually but it felt far from normal but was also a welcomed break

2. I miss my husband

As I looked around the pews there were families and widows and married couples all round - nothing new. I don't know if it was because the kids weren't with me and I just had time to soak it in but it dawned on me the last time that Lee and I sat next to each other in church. Again I honestly couldn't tell you - it has been years and when it was it was at a wedding when there was a child or two under foot. Memory flashback - Not true, not true, not true. It was actually in August when we were all visiting a church he was speaking about Catholic schools after Mass - but seriously not the norm and after wrangling the crew in the pew - I think he'll stick to his work at the altar.

This isn't meant to be a whining observation but I miss him being with me (and the crew) on Sundays. He has fully embraced and dare I say, flourished as a deacon. I tell people, if you only knew the 'good fight' - if you will - he (and I) went through before his ordination. He is not, HE IS NOT the same man he used to be. I digress.

Now he is a deacon and now he works at the altar on Sunday instead of in the pews with me. I lament not having that partnership in the pews but I have found solidarity with other clergy wives who are kind and helpful and understanding because they know having a husband who works on Sundays is different. It is hard and it is a sacrifice. A worthy sacrifice that is easy to get frustrated over (thanks to the devil himself)

3. I need to go to Mass by myself more often

I need the silence. I need the peace. I need the time to pray and think clearly in the presence of our Lord. I need to go to Mass by myself more often. It is so crazy to think I used to have all this time to think and pray and be at church and no one else needed me to do this and that and the other thing.

It is okay for me to have busy hands and to solo wrangle kids - that is my current stage of motherhood and I happen to be totally good and fine and grateful for it.

But after last weekend, I might just call a mama needs a break and head to Mass sans ex-utero kids. I got some gentle kicks in my stomach that there's another Kibbe baby coming so my hands won't be without nursing child for much longer so best to carpe diem while I can

Friday, February 10, 2017

Today R is 5!



Happiest of birthdays R!

Today you are five. I still remember five years ago - it was a Friday also - dropping your big sister off at school knowing that this was the day. I remember rushing to finish what I was working on at work and skating into the Dr's office right before noon. I had strict orders to head straight to the hospital and there I waited (for what seemed like FOR-EV-ER) for your Papa to get there. Though you weren't born until after 6 so I guess it wasn't as huge of a rush as I thought. 

Life is clearly much different than it was on that Friday. Now you are a big sister and have had five years of living life your way. You are quiet, shy-at-times, and kind and generally go with the flow; you can be a lose cannon and very hardheaded occasionally when you are tired and don't get your way; a probable result of not articulating what you really want in the first place (you've got to speak up around here!) I've conjured up new parenting tricks to meet you in the middle - like walking home if you continuing screaming at the top of the lungs in the car; I think the fresh air does you well. 

You are the middle girl. You want to do big things like E and not baby things with M but you can mostly go either way. Sometimes I forget though that you aren't as big as E so I should remember to cut you a break more often because I'd like to lump you two together as twins. 

You took to tee-ball last fall and had a great time with playing with your BFF from way back (y'all were 9 months old). You had the most pitiful, tearful fit in the car the other day when I told you that you and he would be at different schools next year. But I'm sure there will be lots of playdates and more tee-ball seasons in y'alls future since you are adamantly NOT playing soccer. You are excited about swimming this summer and your biggest fan (besides me and Papa) is probably E who will probably cheer so hard and will you to swim with the 6 and unders. She can get under your skin but she LOVES you. Though I'm quite sure if you don't want to do it - it ain't going to happen. You know how to dig your heels in sometimes. 

Last week you told me you didn't want a birthday and you didn't want to be five. I couldn't get any birthday cake or birthday snack ideas out of you. Well a few days later, come to find out you don't want to turn five because you don't want to leave pre-K. Sometimes we have to piece things together with you. Well heck, I don't blame you. We got some reassurance that you won't be kicked into Kindergarten today - you were good with turning 5. I think you mostly like school. You don't have too much to say about it most days. You do love being the line leader and bringing your show and tell. 

To try and explain your general outlook on things I close with this. Yesterday we were running around after praying with the timers going off and rushing to get out the door. I told you to 1. get socks on and 2. turn off the light in your room. Everyone else was downstairs getting closer to the threshold of the garage door and I hadn't seen you yet. I shout up the upstairs and you are leisurely coming down like it's no big deal. You get your hair brushed and shoes on and still manage to beat the resident morning foot-dragger and complainer out the door - which is normal. As we were leaving Papa said he found you sitting on your bed deep in a book - the socks and light weren't on your radar screen. Basically you do what you want, when you want (and that happens to get you in trouble sometimes) but you love a good book. You could look at books for hours. We have started the reading book but you aren't tossing it in my lap every night so it often gets over looked BUT when you learn to read I think you are going to soak up every book you get your hands on. 

Don't change your carefree, do-it-on-my-watch ways R. I may not always understand the things you do and why but we'll love you just the same. 


Monday, January 30, 2017

7QTs - better late than never

Linking up with Kelly and the usuals...


---1---

Sometimes my kids show me flashes on my childhood... 


I had a ski hat phase and M has a few days of needing to wear her new BB-8 hat around with the tag on (of course). Crazy the things that flow through your DNA and the crazy things we pass onto our kids!

---2---

E documenting A's every move... 


She was freaking out as in - hurry up we have to get a pic of A standing by himself (even though he's kind of been doing it for awhile now). He can take a few steps on his own earning him the rank of earliest walker at 15 months but he doesn't seem terribly motivated to do anything more than a few steps occasionally sooooo.... walker but for all intensive purposes, not-walker. 

---3---

E had a swim meet this weekend and my phone has just about zero space for pics plus I never get a good pic in that pool so...


Here is how you survive your big sister's swim meet... Lots of snack and a little distraction from Jibbe - who actually had the crew camp out at her house Sunday during that part of the meet. We hit Saturday evening Mass and I had high hopes for R to behave like she needed to (trying not to compare with E at almost 5 but having a really hard time). R made it to the Gospel and then was back in the narthex with me and A who was a WRECK. Like we had to stand outside the church because he was screaming SO LOUD. Maybe he needs an extra exorcism or something because the child is not a fan of being at church (both of the ones we go to). 


---4---

A is basically like this all the time when I'm around... 


He's usually okay in the tub and thought it was funny when I had the goggles on but when the tables were turned it was not so funny. I promise I love him but he is not the most pleasant baby to be around for reasons that I will never understand. Lee will vouch that  he does great if I am not home but if I am its a totally different ballgame. 

---5---

Lee's new name for M is 'M is the ascetic'...


Some nights she readily eats dinner and other nights she looks at what we are having and announces she's not eating it or she's not hungry and goes and puts on her pajamas... Its no wonder that some mornings she's up well before 6 but who's up for arguing over food with a 3 yr old? 

---6---

R had wacky Wednesday brought to you by the letter W... 


She wasn't so sure about it and didn't want to wear her dress backwards or do anything more to her hair so this is what we got. 


I might have had to throw her socks and shoes and coat out the door because she was little unnerved about wearing 4 different footwear items.


---7---

R, M and A and I were walking the track during E's swim practice... 


And an older lady said as we scooted by her, "you are a good woman" and I have been thinking about that. Though I smiled and said thank you, I couldn't help but think about Jesus asking - "Why do you call me good?". Why was this woman calling me good? Because I was walking around the track with my three small children? There's nothing inherently good about that. I mean would she have said that if she knew I had to halfway argue my 6 yr old into swim practice which put us up on the track to kill some time? Would she have said that if she saw us loading up 40 minutes later and me shouting so the people halfway across the parking lot could hear me - SIT DOWN AND BUCKLE UP? Because there was a couple who witnessed that moment of greatness. 

I've just had an increased awareness and subsequent pondering of people's reaction/interaction/thoughts about our family as it grows. As we get lumped into the 'y'all must be busy' and 'you have how many kids' mold people form opinions of large families base on what they see. There's assumptions that we are crazy (I stand by that), there's assumptions that we have it all together (I really don't, I just have an excellent game face), there's assumptions that we are 'good' (I fall short daily). I just wonder the different opinions those two sets of people had based on my actions - walking around a track and yelling at my kids. Makes me think twice about how my actions are effect others ideas/opinions whether I like it or not.














Monday, January 16, 2017

Living La Vida Sno-ca

Last week the weather (folks) were talking about snow, snow snow. Possibly to the tune of 6-9 inches. Well boundaries and sleet lines were all over the place and we ended up with ice and snow but we were snowed in from Saturday to Tuesday... I didn't hear a final snow total but I would guess to the tune of 2ish inches on top of ice. 


A was the last to get dressed and he almost seemed to know he was getting left out of the fun!

Hurry up mama!

The ice has switched to snow when we ventured out after lunch on Saturday (the snow eventually covered up the grass)

Trying to recreate a pic from ages ago with a phone camera

A was super impressed!

First sled ride! He thought it was great!

M was not as impressed and her fingers were FREEZING because someone forgot there were only 2 pairs of waterproof ski gloves (that has since been remedied) 

I found 2 pairs of snow boots at a consignment shop at the end of last season and they were an excellent buy and the girls had warm, dry feet!

Obligatory friend pic... I promise they are friends : ) 

R had a big time and wasn't a huge sledding fan

I had on three layers plus a baby bump and I was still FREEZING! 

We rode together down the hill on a sled I got for Christmas ages ago!

Lee wasn't going to make snow cream but who knows if we'll see snow again this year!

It was a little on the icy side but still a hit

Then there's all the behind the scenes work of snow days that you don't experience as a kid...

everything has to be taken from the icy, cold pile in the garage and warmed and dried and made ready for the next day of play

I wo-manned the laundry and Lee manned the kitchen. He cooked a pot of chili on Saturday and a bunch of spaghetti sauce the next. 

Me and M on day #2

See they are friends!

The hill from Saturday was already patchy from the sun so the sledding crowd changed locations

M was content with just lounging in the snow and ice

Papa also made oatmeal and oatmeal raisin cookies for everyone to go with hot chocolate... which was awesome! 

There was a third day of snowness but the sledding was far from good and I was on day 3 of undiagnosed strep throat so my level of wanting to be outside was pretty low. 

We only suited up the kids once each day. If you are out you are out, if you are in you are in. No potty breaks, snack breaks or anything. If you are cold go inside. The first day I made 3 trips back and forth from the neighbors taking cold little girls home (E snuck into the neighbors house so she lasted way longer than the others on the first day). A didn't go out day 2 or 3. M stayed out way longer than I would have expected on day 2 and appreciated the 2nd pair of cotton gloves I had for her on day three. 

Overall, A+ snow experience. Next time I could go for more snow but only if it is 75 degrees 5 days later - like it was this time!