Friday, October 30, 2015

7QTs - Cotton Fields, Stitch, and Pumpkins

Bridging the gap between last week and this week... 

--- 1 ---

Last week... Papa went to a clergy conference in Chicago. Yes A was 8 days old. Yes we survived with the help of Grammy providing double-team coverage... 

After we survived soccer practice - A was not too unhappy with me for coaching - Grammy and E and R wanted to feel some on-the-stalk cotton. #countrylife

Papa surprised us by coming back a few hours early from his trip on Thursday which was awesome! When he called and said "I have a surprise for you" I replied with "Are you in the driveway?" - because I'm that kind of surprise-r. He wasn't in the driveway but en route.

--- 2 ---

Then Papa and E turned around and went to South Bend for a wedding - E's godfathers. I think I have discussed ad nauseam how disappointed I am that I could not go. So I'll stop complaining...  

And of course on Friday E shows up with the class pet. So Fidget was in for the longhaul. I was alittle nervous about Fidget getting lost or left (I left a stuffed animal at KFC when I was small - another story, another day) SO I decided to outfit Fidget with his own luggage tag in the off chance he was misplaced. #iamworrier

So Fidget and E and Papa had a grande time at the wedding and on the trip. E had a mountain of things to write about in Fidget's journal - which I did NOT write, If she had 100 pictures I am quite sure she would have written a hundred sentences - fortunately Papa only printed 4. I think I might get her a notebook to 'journal' in because she really enjoyed writing and then reading the sentences she wrote. 

--- 3 ---
There were more fall crafts to be completed... 

Yes M is INSANE - I know!

Pink and purple pumpkin anyone?

She didn't want to make a face on it so she drew lines like the grooves on the punpkin

Everyone wants in 

The finished product : ) 

--- 4 ---

The weather hasn't made up it's mind about being warm or cold so some days we play outside

I was asked by a wise uncle what to get M for her birthday - because really she doesn't need anything... and my answer was chalk and bubbles. 


That's what happens when they leave the chalk in the rain and out in the driveway... 

--- 5 ---

Funny story... 

Awhile back M took to this Christmas Stitch that Jibbe got R for Christmas a few years ago. Why? We don't know. But she loved it. Alot. She carried him around. Called him 'Stit-h'. The part she loved most about Stitch was his tags. She'd sit there forever and suck her thumb and twiddle with his tags. Well after a few months the tags got curled up and not terribly clean looking. 

One day Stitch was left at Jibbe's. Jibbe -being the well-meaning grandma cleaned Stitch up a bit. Well she cut off Stitch's tags. M got Stitch back and started totally ignoring him. She wouldn't carry him around. Didn't want him during rest or anything. If you asked her what happened to Stitch she'd say 'Jibbe broke it'. 

So Jibbe of course tried to replace Stitch with someone similar - Sully from Monsters Inc. He was blue, had a little tail, and two tags. Totally fit the bill. 

M wasn't buying it. 

THEN Jibbe came back with the real Stitch. Except the new Stitch did not have a sweater and was a bit bigger. M was super confused and not happy when she saw them side by side. We thought she was going to pass Stitch onto A. 

Let's just say... She's warmed up to the new Stitch quite well

--- 6 ---

I'm finally getting around to writing thank you notes to all the people who have helped us/given us things since A was born.

The list is growing so we feel quite blessed to have such great family and friends!

--- 7 ---

I'll probably do a post on my laundering success from the weekend just because I want to

A and I are back to a semi-normal work schedule... 

He's generally pretty happy about it but makes this face when I tell him I forgot his bouncy seat. 

Sunday, October 25, 2015

More about A

These little feet took a big adventurous journey into the wide world of the kindergarten class on Friday - for show and tell. E didn't know we were coming because really... I don't want to commit to anything much above the bare minimum. So she was speechless - literally - when we walked in the door after Mass. She saw us at Mass but definitely wasn't expecting us to show up for show and tell. It was actually kind of funny to watch her teachers try and coax answers out of her... 

Teacher - How much did he weigh when he was born?
E - (without missing a beat) 30 lbs

Cue memories of being 65 at the Mother's Day preschool party in the spring. 

A wrapped thing up when I let the kids touch his feet. Yes I took off my germa-phob hat for 2 minutes and let them do that. 

It was a good morning. Rewind a minute... A and I went to Mass - that would be me plus one (super easy) kid at church. It was heavenly. No wondering what M is doing. No trying to convince R to stand up. No asking E to stop fidgeting with her dress/bow/shoes/coat/book. It was also refreshing to be back in church after labor - knowing the why behind the pains of childbirth. 

After Mass, the priest - he is fantastic - gave A a blessing and something that he said stuck me - "bless his parents who cooperated with Your Will".

A is very into eating, sleeping, and making lots of gas. One difference between him and the girls would be in that department. His Papa will vouch for me on that. 

See that little bitty red spot on his eye. That's all part of the bruising from his birth. I don't have a super interesting birth story by any means but I suppose I'll type one out just to bore you. 

Okay... His name. Everyone wants to know what's the deal with his name. So from E's perspective... 

Neighbor (who we don't know super well but was bringing us dinner? - neighborhood love) - So why did you Mommy and Daddy pick the name Andrew? 
E - (super as-a-matter-of-factly) He was a saint 

Honestly, when we were tossing around boy names last year we could have opted to use name #1 or #2 but we figured we'd change it up. I told Lee I really liked Andrew but I wasn't sure if he'd like the middle name I liked. 

Athanasius? he asked.


Sold. Done. Andrew Athanasius was in the books and really didn't think we'd use it. 

Now, Athanasius who the heck is he? 

St. Athanasius and St. Nicholas (yeah the guy who is mistaken as Santa Claus) were two bishops in the 300s who stood firmly against the Arian heresy that was plaguing the Church. In fact the majority of Christians believe Arius and his false teaching. Little bit of early Church history to find about that name choice... 

Saturday, October 24, 2015

7QTs - Life with Four Kids Five and Under

Just playing catch up!

--- 1 ---

Okay where to pick up after little A entered our world... I think I left a cliffhanger for R's scarecrow homework... 

She glued some straw on the hands and feet and declared him Scaredycrow and that was that. Knocked that out just in time for A's arrival!

--- 2 ---

E's Saint costume is in. The dress has been here for a week and she doesn't know it and it is KILLING her but really... I cannot have her obsessing and needed to try the dress on for days and days and days but I did let her open this: 

If I haven't already said.. this is a perfect clue for who she's going to be. 

--- 3 ---

Grammy and Grandpa Joe brought a cake for A!

It was so good and tasty and gave me a headache each time I ate but that didn't stop me from going back for more. 

--- 4 ---

The first week he was home I tried my hand at getting to school with all four!

Score one for me. Lee basically handled breakfast and packing up and I handled A. It was a good primer for the second week (this week) A was home because Lee was in Chicago for a few days. Grammy was here helping hold down the fort. Getting to school fed, dressed, and on-time is NO JOKE. (amongst other things) 

--- 5 ---

The Best EVER trail mix for post-pardum moms is:

1. Reese's Pieces
2. Peanuts
3. Craisins 
4. Chocolate Chips

All in equal parts

My sister-in-law brought me a bunch of packs... they are especially helpful when packed in baggies because you can grab-and-go. See the trail mix with the library books that we returned... on time!

--- 6 ---

A lived in yellow and green for several days...

But his drawers are filling up with blue and red thanks to some great family and friends - THANK YOU!!!

--- 7 ---

Otherwise it's been the usual shenanigans...

Random dance parties... 


Highly opinionated almost-2-yr-olds!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Sprinkling some blue in our lives

Mr. Andrew Athanasius came into this world on Monday just after lunch. - More on his name later : ) 

He screamed for the first 2 hours of his life.... Seriously a nurse would come in and try and talk and she'd have to stand right next to me because he was screaming!

Big sisters are happy/excited/and at times in different

He descended into the birth canal super fast and for that reason is super bruised in the face but no worse for the wear. - more on a birth story later too. 

We jetset from the hospital on Tuesday and are getting used to being at home with the hustle and bustle of 3 big sisters. 

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Keeping it Crafty... With Preschool Homework : )

Well it's that time of the year in the 3 yr old room for some fun fall themed homework. Which means Scarecrow Homework.

We read our two really great books about scarecrows to get some ideas and R and I were off to the races. E was BEGGING to help and M was crawling on the table but M was forced upstairs with Papa (and somehow ended up tattooed with some fresh pen marks). As for E, I tried to keep and her opinions at bay because she's already done this (side note - she looks so little to me in this pic).

We had just enough time to get a good chunk of this done in between our soccer game - go Cobras! and the family reunion. Please note the growing amount of crafting supplies. 

R really wanted to model her scarecrow after Scaredycrow. So I let her run with it because she can lose interest in something really quick so focusing on that was really helpful. 

Very satisfied with the gluing job - and no I did not let her cut out the hat. 

She picked out the shirt and pants and overall glitter glue and pom-poms. The glitter glue was NOT dry when we got home from the reunion. Totally rookie mistake on my part because that stuff takes overnight to dry when it is all blobbed up like that. - which was a problem more than once when R was gluing and sticking on the corn : ( 

Anyhow the homework is done but I'll wait until R brings it to school to do the reveal as she (or the scarecrow) may have something extra up their sleeves! Yes it did take a bit of extra effort on my part but it was fun and great to see R 'own' this and not let E talk her into stuff. I remember doing this homework with E and thinking to myself how I really want to give each of child the time and the space to do stuff like this since I've done it with the first and second, I want to do it with the third and fourth (gasp!). 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Thoughts on the day...

What a day! I wasn't quite sure how everything was going to shake out nor can I explain why I have this overwhelming sense of feeling like I had conquered the day but here goes...

Nothing terribly particular happened this morning other than getting out of the house:

1. On time

2. With homework completed (that morning which I always promise myself not to let E do but yesterday afternoon was super nice so homework and all its glory {ehem... stress/erasing/encouraging} was put off for the morning... I PROMISE I'm never letting her do it again!)

3. With library book

Went to work. Halfway thought about calling Lee and telling him to head to the hospital - but then I thought better of it.

Let the kids eat lunch outside - thank you GLORIOUS weather.

More work. More playing outside...

Then soccer. The one thing that makes me not ready to have the baby. If we can only make it through this first game I kept telling myself this morning...

E's been up and down on soccer and R is pretty indifferent about participating. There's a standing E needs to score 2 goals in one season (5-6 games) and R needs to score a goal in order to earn a celebratory ice cream trip. We haven't been to ice cream since Spring 2014 when E scored her first goal and after last season's effort/performance we thought we might NEVER (her word, not mine) get ice cream AGAIN. 

Enter this season when the league was broken up boys teams and girls teams. I wasn't a fan until all the girls on the team lit up once the first whistle blew at the game tonight. I was really surprised that girls who last season might not have chased after the ball or kicked the ball in a pack were actually doing it. 

Well since you cannot really have too my strategy when playing with 4 and 5 yr olds we got scored on more than several times because of a really fast break. Overall the girls weren't thrilled but still happily giving it their best and smiling and high-fiving and that kind of thing. Except E who was visibly mad about being scored on even though she (and R) were playing way better than we'd ever seen. Then E was running with the ball and somehow kicked her hand and I thought she was done for the day - but she wasn't! She came back and scored a goal! and IMMEDIATELY R breaks into all-out, screaming tears because, well, I'll assume she wanted to score the goal. It was the happiest most hilarious moment of the night. 

One sister scores a goal and the other one in tears over it. 

Then right before the whistle blew E and another girl were down at the goal and a goal was scored. Who ultimately kicked it in they'd say they both did so it was off to ice cream because well I'm not going to argue over it...


Goal scoring treat!

Little sis loving the reward!

So what's up next? E thinks she needs to score 3 goals to get ice cream again. I think that might require some revisiting. I think E could legit try and help R (and hopefully her teammates) score some goals. While we were driving to the shoppe I was sitting there thinking about how satisfied I was with our team and how E and R did and how glad I was that baby hadn't come yet. We have some younger players who did great and with only one sub I was shocked we kept 4 players on the field for the entire game. It was just an overall great time!

Well we got home (late-ish) and it was to the showers but not without the grass clippings that sprinkled the laundry room floor - hello memories of littering my parents house with soccer grass and how my mom BEGGED us to PLEASE go straight to the laundry room to take off our cleats!

Oh the smell of sweaty soccer gear... It was very present tonight

Such a familiar spot for soccer cleats I cannot even begin to tell you. 

I even ran the uniforms through the wash (and hung them up!) in prep for Saturday's game. Will baby hold out until then? I have no idea but we are ready one way or the other : ) 

All Saints Day 2015

E goes to Catholic School so there are certain things that are super fun about being Catholic that the school she goes to embraces.

Yesterday for example all the pets - real and not as real - got blessed. We'll tip our hats to St. Francis for that.

Pink bunny for the blessing

Oh the skepticism over live animals

Well then there's All Saints Day - the day after Halloween. Nothing scary just celebrating good Christian people - martyrs, defenders of the Faith, wonderful role models and examples - that we can and should learn more about so that we can follow in their footsteps living Christ-centered lives.

So the project/assignment is this... Dress up as a saint or biblical figure.

Easy right? Yeah!

Except E loves to push the envelope a little further and make it interesting - which I wouldn't want it any other way BUT with bebe #4 and general craziness in the last part of the month (more on that once it happens) a break from the crazy would be awesome.

We talked about it and you could be Mary (Jesus' mama) or Queen Esther or St. Elizabeth - John the Baptist's mama or St. Helen (helped find the true Cross) or St. Mary of Egypt (we have her icon in the chapel) - fantastic conversion story - or Mother Teresa or anyone? Thats' a decent options list, no?

No. Of course not. I told her we'd look at costume ideas online (the visual decision maker) - since this is not something I'm throwing together the night before - because that would be stressful and terrible.

Catholic Icing has great ideas but not enough pics for the 5 yr old.

Catholic All Year was perfect because there's a hundred million saint costume ideas all on one page.

So we scroll through once and we talk about them and the saints a little but I don't know them all because, there's about 1000001 saints right?

Well one of them catches her eye. Why? I have no idea. But ever since she saw this costume - which I am no seamstress - I cannot recreate a plaid queen dress and Amazon doesn't have homemade dresses like that. She wants to be....

St. Margaret of Scotland.

Saint who of where?

If this icon happens to be brought by St. Nicholas in a few months it wouldn't surprise me : ) 

Yeah. I definitely had to look her up.

ANYHOW... after I got a little background and knew that trying to persuade her out of it was nearly impossible we are rolling with it. Probably just as random as the Saint Generator. We are embracing St. Margaret of Scotland for this All Saints Day and I'm actually kind of glad I get to learn a thing or two about a saint I've never heard of.

Now if I could only find a medal of St. Margaret of Scotland (that I like and is not INSANELY expensive) so that E can remember this All Saints Day I'd be golden but I'm still working on it.

The costume is NOTHING like the one E saw from the website which is fine with me and her because $20 later on Amazon I think we can rock out turn-of-the-millennia queen pretty well plus I did get one accessory so there will be NO QUESTION where she hails from. Is it over the top? Maybe. But is it great? I think so. What does Papa think? He might need some convincing : ) Shoes might be an issue but I'll probably call - wear your regular school shoes and then put this baby to bed.

Pics to come when it is the day to dress up because I won't want to spoil the surprise!

PS - All Saints Day is November 1st - which is on a Sunday this year so they are celebrating it at school early. Plus November 1st happens to be a certain anniversary of some certain people. Seven years??? Here's to 7x70 more!

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