Sunday, April 23, 2017

So This Is Saturday Mornings in the Spring

Yesterday was wildly crazy normal. Papa had to work because my prayers to St. Joseph are proving to be quite effective. Work is busy for him. So, so, so busy. I think last year he was able to not work a Saturday until May but this year is different. Usually things get a bit more manageable right after Memorial Day but I'm betting on 4th of July but with seasonal work is feast or famine and there is some serious feasting we need to be thankful for.

Soooooooooo...... that means me and the kids holding down the fort with the usual Saturday laundry situation (we got a jump start Friday night) plus all this:


E was reading to everyone while I bustled around for the final leave-the-house-countdown because

We were heading to the pediatrician...

A had a fever on Pascha and was kind of irritable all week but not feverish so we got his ears checked because last time he had an ear infection and I had no idea

We rolled into the walk in clinic and were the first ones seen and one Rx later, whatever was in his ear should be taken care of - could have been the start of an ear infection or the end of one. 

Then we jetted off from there to R's 9:30 tee ball game...

Which we were surprisingly early for #winning. I had been helping with the batting order but I think I might have to gracefully retire from that if Lee cannot make the games because A was a WRECK the last 1.5 innings (oh and there are only 3 innings). He was literally - LITERALLY - laid out on the grass screaming. He didn't want snack, water, passie, anything. Nothing. He was still screaming when we got to the van. Mysteries abound. Nerves shot. 

Next stop Sam's...


We made it through in decent time and we didn't forget A's Rx. #winning . 


Vans without trunks are confusing... We made it home with approximately 23 minutes to unload and eat lunch and go potty and get out the door in time for E's soccer game. We literally left with food on the table and thank goodness the field is 3 minutes from our house because well you know how we roll. 

E played goalie and scored a goal. Her team looked like rockstars compared to the last game. R and M collected rocks and A crushed up Cheetz. 

This is what I walked into around 1:45. I was thankful Lee wasn't home yet because there were dinner, breakfast and lunch dishes that all needed to be contended with. 

Plus some nonperishable groceries. A napped and the girls stayed out because it was either outside or rest. It was hot so I told them they could turn on the sprinkler when Papa got home. 

5 gallons of milk and a few other thinks later... 

Papa finally got home after I was asked about a million times so he cut the grass and the sprinkler was turned on for the 1st time this year

A was not terribly happy about it

But inquisitive minds will be blasted with ice cold sprinkler water


And that was one successful Spring Saturday for the books.... We shall see what is in store for us over the next several weekends : ) 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Thoughts on Kindergarten - Round Two

Tis the season of end of year madness with all things school and preschool.

But I cannot hope but reflect on how we were in a similar boat two years ago and how different things feel. 

Two years I was a pregnant, emotional, tear-filled, wreck over sending E off to Kindergarten. The decision felt so big and so heavy and so permanent. We waffled between homeschooling and Catholic school to the point that there wasn't anything else to say about it. It always ended with weighing the pros and cons of both and never really feeling at peace. 

When we did finally comes to terms with Catholic school (it more like me coming to terms with it and Lee being like - OKAY WE ARE DONE TALKING ABOUT THIS, RIGHT) I felt much better about the decision knowing:

We were taking it year-to-year; we weren't committing our lives to this decision and if after a year we didn't think it was a good fit or the right choice we would take a step back and reevaluate our schooling decision 

The decision felt like it was a forever decision but really we weren't getting married to our option. We were always in the driver seat and could get out anytime if we didn't think it were right. I think that is my best advice for anyone struggling over schooling options. It is not a lifelong decision. Yes it feels massive. Of course you want the best for your kid so that's why it feels so MASSIVE. But really if you find out the school - homeschool, public school, parochial school - isn't the best place for your family then guess what, you can change. I would say at least give your choice a year, a fair shake, time - then reassess as needed. 

I would argue that no school is perfect. Between the kids, parents, teachers, administrators, rules, policies everything - there's bound to be a small handful of things that you wish you could change (and you probably cannot so you either learn to live with them or you reassess your school choice)

Evidence #1 - E was written up for wearing non-black PE shoes the first week of school. Like the blue, yellow and pink ones she has just picked out. Let me tell you, not the thing I want to see come home during a super stressful and emotional rollercoaster of a week BUT the uniform policy is the uniform policy and that's what WE signed up for when we enrolled her so black PE shoes it was. And you know what, the policy has since been relaxed so the kids CAN wear colorful shoes on PE days only. 

Evidence #2 - Homework. Now this would come up in public or parochial school so I get that. Do I think that my 5 or 6 yr old should have to come home and do a page of homework each night? Do I like having to sit there and facilitate and make sure it is being done with some level of effort. Heck to the NO. I think it is absolutely insane. I think kids need to be able to play outside or with friends or do Legos or whatever (except be in front of a freakin' screen) when they get home from school. BUT would I EVER tell my kids that. NEVER. NEVER EVER. I may not agree with homework but I know I'm not going to change the policy (and I'm okay with that). I may not agree with homework but it is given at the school that WE chose so therefore it is dutifully done each day. 

All this being said R starts K in four short months and I can tell you everything feels much different. I am pregnant again but the emotional ball of nerves that would send me to tears isn't here - at least over the Kindergarten decision. Having been in the school for almost 2 years there aren't nearly the unknowns and the angst and the 'is this the right place for our family?' That question has been answered time and time again, yes. We are exactly where we need to be. R will be fine and she will do great because there is an awesome core of teachers and parents who love the school and it's students. 

Sure there will be bumps in the road and things that are conference worthy and stuff but having tried out what we believed our best option was two years ago, we are confidently heading into year three. 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Pascha 2017 and other thoughts on Holy Week

Well we made it to Easter/Pascha... as did everyone else. So... Christ is Risen! We made it through Holy Week and all the services that go along with it without too much ado.

Palm Sunday involved lots of distractions at church with palm and pussywillow branches. We took Monday and Tuesday off from PSL. Wednesday we did go to Presanctified Liturgy and everyone received the Anointing of the Sick (in eastern Catholic churches it is completely normal to receive this sacramental anointing once a year whereas in the western (Latin) Catholic church a person has to be in substantially bad physical health - I digress).

Holy Thursday we stuck around Rocky Mount for evening Mass and procession (Lee likes to keep his feet in both east and west church doors as much as humanly possible - which is totally fine and it saves us from driving 2 hours that day). E has her hopes set on hanging out in the choir loft but she settled for the third row pew. R, M and A and me hung out in the Narthex for the greater part of church. I told R she needed to step up her church game and she said she's 'really good at Stations' so I told her she needed to be really good at Mass too - that worked wonders. Highlight of the evening was M talking to one of the older Knights of Columbus (who was very understanding) and announcing to him that he was fat. Need I say more? NOPE.

On to Good Friday.

The girls and I went to Stations at noon (very grateful for the day off from work). We still managed to be a hair late but at least Papa and the boy stayed home so it was the most prayerful, prayer-filled Stations of the year. I'm halfway convinced R and M could learn to behave better if I didn't have tend to A's antics. We finished up our last decade of the rosary on the way back (we do a decade a day during the week) despite E freaking out that she 'couldn't' because she had broken her rosary the day before - everyone got a new rosary in their Easter basket so solved that problem.

In other Easter basket random news, E informed me she hoped she would get a veil in her basket this year - which would have been helpful to know about 6 weeks before. The girls had been (trying) to wear veils during PSL this year for whatever reason and I got a new veil from here that I knew was A-proof and future baby proof.

Anyhow, Lee went to Good Friday service in here and then we all miraculously made it to our Entombment Vespers in Raleigh on time. There was surprisingly very little grumbling about making the hour long drive for the second time in 3 nights and everyone did surprisingly well.

Saturday was filled with lots of cooking on Lee's part - Pascha bread, Pascha cheese, Russian salad, City Chicken and pork. E insisted that she wanted to go to the Easter vi-du-al- that's vigil kid, with Papa. The Easter Vigil is when all the people who are coming into the Church get baptized and receive confirmation and Holy Communion - and its really, really really long. Like to the tune of 3 hours long and it's really, really, really late. As in it starts at sundown so the Paschal fire can be lit and seen. So despite the 5 am departure the next morning, Lee nor I could come up with a reasonable reason to bar her from going to church with him so off they went.


Because when your 6 yr old says she wants to go to a 3 hr church service, you cannot refuse?

Upon their 7 pm departure the others were tossed in bed and I had some things to knock off my list. 

$5 for 12 muffins at Harris Teeter or nearly free pumpkin muffins from home? Breakfast was served. 

Pascha outfits cleaned and pressed

I was fading so very fast that night. The laundry was done and extra clothes had been ironed and I barely had the energy to dig the Easter baskets out of the upstairs closet. I had their rosaries, bathing suits, books and cereal for the baskets because we are super lame and don't put candy in their baskets. I knew everything we needed was on the table just not organized (included those flowers which were supposed to come to Raleigh with us but didn't make it : (

That's what everything on the table amounted to when it was packed up in the 4 o'clock hour on Sunday morning. Lee and E had rolled in the door at 11:50 so the 4 am wake up call was more trying for him. 

We loaded up the Transitasaurs and were on our way. I noticed A was warm when I tossed him in the carseat and from the time we got out of the van at 6:29 dressed and ready to go to 9:20 he did not leave my arms. Which in hindsight was way better than wrangling him for 2.5 hours but he was kind of pitiful and exhausted and wouldn't let me sit down until about 2 hours into church. He did cut me a break when all the food was served and peacefully ate some bread in his stroller

Pascha 2017
Pascha 2016 - best pics with 4 little kids
Pascha 2015 - pregnant and announcing
Pascha 2014 - no hair M
Pascha 2013 - pregnant but not telling
Pascha 2012 - tiny R
Pascha 2011- not possible


Lots of meat and sweets were consumed

LOTS

The sneaky one 

A perked up for a few minutes after some Tylenol 

The girls were entertained trying to find their Easter baskets at Grammys 

Uncle Kev hid one up in a tree and will probably remember that next year he needs to hid E's in a tough spot. 

The basket from the tree

Of course she sat down and read some of it before continuing the search 

She found hers in the first spot she looked! 

Then it was rest time followed by an A+ dinner at Grammy and Grandpa Joes plus a plethora of desserts that no one had room for. 

Wishing everyone a Blessed and Happy Pascha/Easter 

Thursday, April 6, 2017

So we got a church van... Thoughts on the Transitasaurs

We/I waffled back and forth for a while on the whole big van thing. First yes. Then no we would figure out the mini and then finally yes we needed to pull the trigger on the big, white van. I had my eye on Craigslist for a while and Carmax but nothing really jumped out at me until I came across one 45 minutes away. I scheduled a test drive on this particular day...

The day I like least in my kitchen... The day the sausage makers from church and invade with raw pork and casings... Seriously, okay, it's Lent and for a good cause so I digress. It was also a day that one of the sausage makers brought two of his kids so what do we do? Head up to teeball practice as if it is totally normal to show up with five kids ages, 5,4,3,2 and 1 plus one in utero. COMPLETELY NORMAL.

Anyhow, we all had to squeeze in the mini (fortunately E wasn't with us otherwise she'd have been in the front for the 1.5 mile ride). R was wedged in between the two seats and if it had not been for the novelty of her friends flanking her, she probably would have been way more irritated. However, it was validating for me because I had to squeeze past M to help people buckle in carseats - which is what I would have been doing several times daily to help M in and out of her carseat because she would have been in the back with the big girls (somehow). Let me tell you, doing that upon leaving home, arriving at the field, leaving the field and arriving home was enough for me.



Can you spot my five under five? 


Later that afternoon R and M and I traipsed up to do the test drive (in between sausage making and Lee having to leave for deacon duties at Mass that evening) I had about 1.15 hours to make it happen. I was tight on time but there was literally no other time in the week. 

When I got there the guy ask if I wanted the Transit with the dividing glass/shield thing in between the front and the back and I looked at him and I looked around and I wanted to say - do you think I'm here to test out a commercial cargo van?!?!?!  Instead, I told him I didn't think they made those dividers in the passenger versions of the Transit but if they did I wanted to get one. So we got straight on passenger vs. cargo, I loaded two of the carseats in and we were off. 

M was in the first row and chatted it up with the sales guy. R was in the third row and had a screaming fit about how her shirt was itching her for a solid 1/3 of the test drive. She was so far back that it wasn't even worth trying to yell over her screams and all I could do was laugh as my life was transpiring in front of this random guy. 

I really really really wanted Lee to see/drive/look over the van before signing my life away to it (I bought a car without cruise control once so he hasn't let me live that down). But it was Lent and we were still in transition to spring sports and its pool season and... Finally, we were halfway worried that the dealer would take it back to the auction because it has been on their lot for 3 months or someone else would come in and snap it up because it was it was a darn good deal for a van that only had 6K miles on it. Soooo....


The van-less garage


Obviously the front tag was saved : ) 

The guy came at late-o-clock one night and I signed over to the Transit. I may have shed a tear when I signed the last paper. I told Lee that the man was driving my 'normal' away. Minivans are normal. 

Minibuses... well, they aren't 


Meet the Ford Transit. Or the Transitasaurs. Or the KibbeKab. Or whatever. I'm taking suggestions for good license plate names and I've already nixed Joanne's Ark (sorry Uncle Kev). 

The minibus / big van whatever is great. We are certainly blessed to be in a position to have one. It looks like a beast to drive but its really not. The gas mileage is terrible but we don't talk about that part. For the time being each kid has their own row to themselves and they've been strategically placed throughout the rows based on neediness and volume. (The chatterbox has been assigned to the 3rd row). I can stand up in the van (its the mid-roof height) - which is A+. The floor is vinyl or plastic of sorts - A+. There is a fantastic aisle in the 2nd and 3rd row due to the single jump seat on one side and the double seats on the other. Probably the only things that wasn't considered was the stroller. There is about /                                                           / 
much space between the fourth row and the double doors sooooo... no room for the stroller - since we were getting used we couldn't just add the extended back feature. We've gotten it to fit in between the passenger and front row but it is not a permanent fixture like it was in the mini trunk (its already been forgotten once). 

Other first world issues with the van include: 


It doesn't fit in the garage so rain 


and monsoons are something to be contended with 


I have to worry about what I can fit under. 
Lee's not understanding why I want to park the van where he formally parked his truck. 
No power sliding door. 
Teeny Tiny backup camera - but it does have back up sensors which the mini did not have.
 Not being able to park like a normal person - it takes two or three times to get it straight unless its a straight shot or a pull through spot. 

But I mean, come on, seriously


We really don't have anything that we should be complaining about. 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Thoughts on Lent - In Three Parts

A. Moi:

Lent is always a special and difficult liturgical season. Special because it was the first Friday of Lent 2005 that Lee and I set eyes on each other (and it wasn't love it for sight) and now we get to share the church service - Presanctified Liturgy - with our kids - cra-zeee. Special because we are preparing our minds, hearts and souls for the Death and Resurrection of our Lord. Difficult because we have three days a week at church, with 4 ex-utero children, 2 services in the evening - RIGHT at dinner/bedtime so dicey is an excellent description of how Lenten PSL and Stations of the Cross goes. Difficult because we are juggling (what seems like) a million 'other things' that church takes precedence over - which is fine but stripping ourselves (our family) of worldly cares/commitments is no easy task.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Advent is easier for us with the kids. One weekly activity. One daily Jesse Tree reading. It is more visible. Lent is hard because to small children it just seems like we are in church ALL THE TIME. Not that they are super whiny about it (A is a mess though - but nothing more can be expected of a 17-month-old). There is usually food involved so there maybe griping and some 8-o'clock homework doing but we have a Lenten groove. It is just a matter of pushing the 'other stuff' aside and buckling down and committing to sacrificing our time (and sanity) so that we can allow ourselves to be changed.

This part of PSL has really spoken to me this year:

Priest: Let my prayer ascend to You like incense, and the lifting up of my hands like an evening sacrifice.
People: Let my prayer ascend to You like incense, and the lifting up of my hands like an evening sacrifice.
Priest: 0 Lord, I have cried to You, now hear me; listen to my voice when I call upon You.
People: Let my prayer ascend to You like incense, and the lifting up of my hands like an evening sacrifice.
Priest: 0 Lord, set a guard before my mouth, and set a seal on the door of my lips. 
People: Let my prayer ascend to You like incense, and the lifting up of my hands like an evening sacrifice.
Priest: Let not my heart be inclined to evil, nor make excuse for the sins I commit. 
People: Let my prayer ascend to You like incense, and the lifting up of my hands like an evening sacrifice.
Priest: Let my prayer ascend to You like incense:
People: And the lifting up of my hands like an evening sacrifice.

This is a back and forth prayer between the priest and the people. As my hands tend to be quite full during church I'm trying to focus my prayer on the work of my hands - the work of raising children to be Godly men and women (adulthood is a long way off but we like to start them early). I've blogged about my hands taking a break in church here

But I mean how great is the rest of this prayer (taken from the Psalms) - Set a guard before my mouth - staying away from gossip? Yep that is always necessary. Nor make excuse for the sins I commit - nothing else needs to be said in that department. 

So in the heat of dealing with a screaming A or a distracted M or whatever - this Lent I chose my actions to be my sacrifice and with that in mind it is (slightly) easier to be more patient and compassionate with them since our Lord is fully of patience and compassion for us.

B. E

E has always been a little wise beyond her years so when we had this conversation I wasn't surprised but was definitely cause for reflection. 

My all time favorite prayer is this:

Lord and Master of my life spare me from the spirit of indifference, despair, lust for power and idle chatter

Instead bestow on me your servant the spirit of integrity, humility, patience and love

Yes O Lord and King, let me see my own sins and not judge my brothers and sisters for you are blessed unto ages of ages. Amen

Obviously it can be said any time of the year but it is recited during PSL and we add it to our nightly family prayers during Lent. 

So E and I were having a chat about humility and what that means and how if we pray for humility we need to try and remember that and put it into action. 

Me - So if you saying this prayer and asking God for help, it is important to practice what you are praying.

E - So is this prayer helping you? 

Way to turn the tables there on me E. I hope this prayer is especially helping me with idle chatter and patience (and compassion - because I find P&C to be necessary and hard to come by parts of parenting)

C. R & M's conversation

This is way more light than the first two and not necessarily Lenten but it happened during Lent and I think it is hilarious and try and highlights a 5 yr old perspective

While discussing the merits of moving into different classes for the next school year:

R - Well I'm going to go to Kindergarten
M - Well I want to stay in Mrs. Debbie's class
R - Don't you want to learn.
M - No!
R - Don't you want to learn about Jesus?
M - NO!
R - Well, you'll go right to hell then.

I was dying laughing in the front seat listening to this transpire. Hopefully you will enjoy the truth and humor. Happy Wednesday!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

7QTs - Busy, Busier, Busiest

Linking up with Kelly for a full week recap

---1---

Whelp.... we made it through the week. The week that involved two soccer practices, tee ball practice, two swim practices, Presanctified Liturgy, Stations of the Cross, AHG, Bible Study, math club, school meeting, the 3-hr glucose test, and the normal 7-4 school schedule. The transition between winter and spring sports, I have heard, isn't too bad because it lasts about 2 weeks (this is the case for us) but when you sprinkle the Lenten church services into the mix that's when it gets ehem.... complicated? complex? crazy?

Was it a crazy week? Yes. But doable with dinner planning and extra sleep. Fortunately this week is the last week of swimming culminating with a swim meet next weekend and E is swimming the 50 Fly and I'm hoping her 6 yr old self can power through to the end because if you haven't tried doing butterfly then you have no idea what I'm talking about. She's swimming 8 and under and there's 8 other swimmers and they are all 8 years old - I don't think I'll be filling her in on that small detail. I'm just hoping for her to A. finish and B. not DQ - I'm remaining optimistic but that stroke requires a good bit of strength and when you get tired your form can get wacky so anyways... We shall see. 

Next off the chopping block is Papa's Bible Study which is wrapping up Holy Week? I want to say. Three weeks of Lent left is kind of hard for me to believe because it seems like it just started but that's probably because the first week I was in China and the second week we didn't go to PSL or SoC. 

Then it will be tee ball and soccer and AHG which we've done that before. I'm happily not coaching E's team. She likes her coach and she rolled in from practice the other night and announced she had an excellent time - now if we could just practice at 4:30 or 5 or 5:30 or 6 or 6:30 that would be even more excellent but ce la vi. 

---2---

These squirrels bring lots of joy and entertainment and discussion to our family...



So we try and feed them to show our gratitude. Some of our neighbors dogs (hey Stella and Bruno) have discovered our squirrel feeding zone so they've been thrown in the mix :  )

---3---

M had her first soccer practice of the season


Thank goodness because everytime soccer has been uttered in the last month she thinks that it is soccer practice day. She was super disappointed to find out there would NOT be snacks after practice but rest assured games will start soon and I'm sure the Ducks will have plenty of post-game food. We survived the end-of-practice-shuffle when Papa (he still has Bible Study, remember?) brings the other kids to be field for all of 10 minutes and then we head back home. It is so, so, so, so much easier that E is look out for A and walk/chase him around. A is in ball-heaven at the soccer field so he's not too ornery. Then we hustle home for showers and homework (because E went to swim practice a la taxi de neighbors). We all said our prayer and then I put the kids down one-by-one. M first, then R and then E. I actually prefer this bedtime methodology (because there is one, right?) because I get to spend time with each kid. M got to pick her book. R got through one chapter of the reading book (that she struggled with 2 times prior because she's a word-guesser not a word-sounder-outer : ) plus she got a story, then E wrapped up her HW and requested a story - which since she's been reading shorter chapter books she hasn't been as interested in bedtime story time : ( 

So I deemed the night a success. I really do enjoy coaching that little age group and the joy/satisfaction/happiness I get from it cannot be replaced so all the work that surrounds it makes it worth it. And if I'm in bed at 8:45 and don't get up until 6:15 then you know why. 


---4---

Tuesday was started off crazy because it was my glucose test day. My doctor left me speed ahead right to the 3 hr because I guess after failing the 1 hr four times before the fifth time isn't going to be a charm. Having pregnant women fast is dumb. I came home and I ate pizza, cereal and a cheesestick and I took a nap. Thankfully I passed.... Praise the Lord!

This is how the evening ended: 


R really does enjoy tee ball. It is her thing and no one else does it. I don't love it but I'll love it for her sake. 


I had some kiddos in tow so I'm considering how to rework Tuesdays a little bit. It might require leaning on some people but asking for help is the hardest part of getting help. 

---5---

Just to make the week really interesting.... 


Any guesses? 

Can you name that pest? 

It is a.... 

TERMITE

We had a termite swarm at Swimworld this week. The people who own the building are going to have to remediate it and after about 6 hours the swarm stopped but still it was insanely gross while it happened.

---6---

We ended the week yesterday with some play time before Fish Fry and Stations


E was at swim but I took the kids early to play because it was awesome weather. A did several nose dives down the slides and thought it was the best thing ever. I was blocking the several open sides of the playset that lead to the rockwall and fire pole and monkey bars soooo... A ended up on the mulchy side of things because he is not cautious or afraid. 

To reflect on church activities for the week, I really want to do a Lent post because some part of PSL always strikes a cord with me it's from the Psalms but part of it is - And the lifting up of my hands, like an evening sacrifice. More on that later? 

The girls did great on Wednesday. A didn't. It is literally a tough time for him. But dinner was great and the girls happily ate bean and cheese tacos. Friday E was ALL about 'getting there early' (its a walk across the parking lot!) so she could sing in the choir loft. I mentioned to the music director last week I thought she might could use E's voice up there and E was SOLD. E's been happily in a pew by  herself for SoC since she was probably 4, maybe 3 (but not as trustworthy at 3 of course). R is just getting to the point where I can trust her for the duration of SoC which is good because yesterday I had to. A did AWESOME at Stations last week but this week was a different story so to the narthex went M and A and me. Again its a tough time of night for A and our normal bedtime hour has been and will be pushed back until Lent is over to account for all aforementioned activities soooooo.... what can I do except pray louder than his shouts. 

---7---

A and I had a special shopping trip last weekend that involved getting a few last minute things for the St. Patrick's Day dance - which everyone raved about Lee's cooking and my mom's sugar cookies. Now you know why I don't cook or bake because I'm surrounded by people who are really, really good at it. 



Looking for spicy mustard which I could have told you we didn't need because spicy mustard on Reuben's? I may not know a lot about food but I know that and fortunately I got that clarified before the chef left the house. 


Goodness he is cute!

Oh and one more thing for good measure, I haven't had any super great pregnancy questions recently but I got one this week. Ready? 

Lady - who I see about once or twice a year and generally can strike up a normal conversation with. She commented that the last time she saw me I was pregnant - not true, but I just went with it and said it was highly likely. Haha, laugh laugh. Then we got to, how old is our oldest? 6 - almost 7. Then question:

Did you mean to have that many kids? 

Yes. I guess. I mean we know what we're doing and they keep coming and we've good with that. 

Maybe it was because it wasn't quite 9 o'clock and the caffeine wasn't flowing yet. But seriously let's get some better word choice people. 

Happy weekend!



Saturday, March 18, 2017

7QTs - Green, Traps, & Irish Food

Linking up with Kelly and adding the necessary amount of green..

---1---

Hopefully you celebrated yesterday with lots of green!

I cannot believe it - a decent 4-kid-pic!

The girls weren't thrilled about their green milk at breakfast or the green mac and cheese at lunch BUT its St. Patricks Day and I always add a bit of green to food as a reminder. So they will just have to get over it : ) 


---2---

The week started off with a bang and A throwing up (we think it was too much milk at once and not a continuation of the funk he had in the wee hours of Saturday morning - while Papa was in OH on this pierogi mission)



Because after a morning power nap he was pretty much fine the rest of the day.

But that wasn't the only illness of the week, I took E to the dr on Thursday because she had been nonacid off complaining of her ear hurting and school called and said she had a fever so off to the doctor to put this to bed. After one inflamed ear canal (close to the start of swimmer's ear) later and a small bottle of $$ eye drops - she's fine. 

---3---

This post is going to sound like an ode to E but it's been a pretty slow week... Any ways, E's been working on a leprechaun trap for a few weeks. 



We craft in stages... 


She first started off with attracting the leprechauns with candy but after reading a Magic Tree House fact checker about Irish folklore we learned that leprechauns are after gold coins - not candy. We talked about her design plans and how the leprechauns might see the coins in the shoebox and etc etc... enter the trap door and the windows. I really wanted to see how/where she'd run with it so I had her draw the cut outs because I'm still not good with handing over a pair of boxcutters to a 6 yr old - though she did make the windows bigger - which she thought was excellent. 


Deep in golden ladder making


While she did that, I tested my Saran wrap and glue gun theory - which is totally doable. I wouldn't recommend trying to do it in tight shoebox corners but it worked. E trimmed the excess wrap and I was pretty sure she was going to punch a hole in the Saran before she turned it in 

A sign and a gold path were the finishing touches 


The finished product. Unfortunately, none of the traps caught any leprechauns yesterday at school. The leprechauns ate the chocolate coins E had in her trap and busted out one of the windows.... 


---4---

E hit a big milestone in AR points and I told her she could either go out for ice cream or order a new set of fairy books... I thought she was going to be sold on the ice cream and we all lost out when she chose the fairy books.


She's downed these 7 books in less than 2 days!

---5---

Lee's been cooking like crazy for a big school fundraiser... 


Veggie lasagne, Guinness beef stew, Shepherd's pie, corned beef and cabbage, and roasted potatoes. The kitchen has been overflowing with food and great smells. Next weekend it's sausage making weekend for our parish fundraiser which is icky and gross to me so the kids and I will have to evacuate because I can't stand it. 

---6---

Wednesday we survived our first pre sanctified Liturgy of Lent (I know scandalous given this was the 3rd week)... with China the first week and Lee giving a Lenten retreat at the parish here the second week - it just wasn't in the cards. 


The kids - even A - did mostly well. E was in a micro-managing mood so I got reports on who was doing what. 

We also hit the Fish Fry and Stations of the Cross here last night (for the first time). E sat in her own pew in the front - and always does a million times better when she's by herself and not distracted. R did awesome too - which I've kind of been waiting for to step up her behavior game. Still wouldn't trust to make through all of Mass but with the standing and kneeling and moving for Stations I think it makes it easier. M and A weren't terrible so props to them. A destroyed a Stations booklet so we have that to tape up and use next week. He found the Holy Water so between that and the prayer cards that he went up and down the pews taking out of the holders, he was actually pretty quiet. Thank goodness we didn't have to go outside because it was FREEZING.

I'm learning that parenting is so much about patience and I am trying to embrace the need to be more patient but it is hard. Maybe adding another baby will slow things down some and cause me to stretch and add a little more. patience

---7---

But until then... We will par the course and carry on with the crazy like always


Spring sports is starting up - there's only a few weeks over lap with the end of swim season. Thank goodness the practices are 5 minutes away because everyone is on a different schedule. I'm not coaching E's team this year which is new but good. I think its good for her to learn from someone else plus I couldn't do a good job if I wanted to given the fact I might have some or all kids in tow because spring pool season is upon us and St. Joseph seems to be taking care of Lee in the lots of work department. R's doing tee ball again but the wacky cold and rainy weather has canceled the first week of practice. M starts her soccer next week. She's decided to be the purple Ducks. I'm coaching her little team because I enjoy it and I feel pretty good about Lee being there most days and E and R are pretty self-contained and A cannot wander too far because he is super into every single ball there is in sight so he'll probably stick right with me. 

I'm actually kind of excited about the spring season of activities because they really force me (and Lee) to stay on dinner schedule and have a plan and stick to it. Yes, there are some late showers and meltdowns but everyone learns a little bit of sacrifice for another person.