Sunday, June 29, 2008

Circus Clown

Many times when I go out, I feel like a circus. It seems like that familiar circus music follows me, beckoning people to look at me/us. Some events are more "Barnum and Bailey"ish than others. Like today at the 4 hour swim meet at the University Aquatics Center.

First of all , I may have knocked over 10 people with the bag of necessities that I had to bring for my spectators. There were 10 PB&J sandwiches, some minus the J, some minus the crusts, some cut in half, quarters and not cut at all. (You can see that I am not a short order cook, you eat it the way I make it....uh-huh, sure.) We also have changes of clothes for potty training Sophia, diapers, because we're not quite there yet, water bottles, camera, other snacks that will be spilled, and an umbrella stroller for my little one that likes mom to carry her everywhere.

Then, we shimmied down a very steep staircase to a row with a good view and admittedly this is where we made the mistake. We didn't sit on the end. Don't ask me how we fumbled this up. We always sit on the end because we don't want to bug people. Today I wanted to be able to see my son swim and we were there early, so we scooted in too far.

Apparently the family that did sit on the end, did not see the circus performing in the middle of the row. I say this because when their Grandma got out her cross stitch project and put her bag of extra thread in the tiny walkway between her and the backs of the chairs in front of her, she must have thought that once you are seated, that is it, no moving. She gave me a lot of looks each and every time we had to get up and excuse ourselves and step over her project. She even gave me a look when I made sure to not walk past them because their kid was swimming, a courtesy she did not offer to Omar when he was trying to snap a pic of Josh. Even as we left for the last time and I said "We are out of your hair now, have a nice day," she said, "mm-hmm."

I am very well aware that having a "large" family is a little out of the ordinary. As much as we try, I know that we are going to be in the way sometimes. As much as I don't want to ever impose on anyone, I know that we do. I didn't grow up in a circus, but that was God's plan for my life. So I am learning to just be shot out of the canon and hope that the net catches me.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Makes Sense to Me

Hannah got a kick out of Sophia's logic:

I lub monkey, because, because I got him for Cwistmas!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Did you know? Did you know?

A little Catholic Trivia...
Which 3 people were born without Original Sin?

Oh, I know you are thinking Jesus and Mary. Yes, Jesus is the Lord, got that. Mary, we believe, was conceived without Original Sin to preserve the 1st Tabernacle of the God of the Universe. (Of course she then cooperated with this grace and remained free from sin thereafter.) But St. John the Baptist was the 3rd one born without Original Sin. He was conceived with it, just like us, but he was born without it. He received a sort of Baptism before birth. This teaching comes from the following passage,
"When Elizabeth [John's mom] heard Mary's greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the holy Spirit. 'Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.'" Luke 1:41-45

Saint John the Baptist, pray for us on your Feast Day. Pray that we too may leap for joy in the presence of the Lord here and especially in eternal life.


Mom's Night Out - what a beautiful phrase! It always sounds great ahead of time, and then right before time to leave, this once in a blue moon opportunity sounds like the worst idea possible. There is a lot that goes into a night off, but I am always delighted that I didn't give in to that little mean voice that says "it's just easier to stay home."

Last night I had the joy and privilege of sharing dinner with some of my friends. Between the 5 of us, we have 22 kids born and 1 pre-born. We were celebrating our sweet friend's 6th baby. You would never know that this girl already has 5 kids. She looks like you might dream of looking during a pregnancy, just adorable. And she is just as beautiful on the inside, so you can't even be mad at her for looking so good. She is of "advanced maternal age" though, so we helped her with her cane, helped her remember the names of her other kids, and enjoyed her senior citizen discount. ;)

When I first got married and 11 months later had my first child, I felt a little alone. We were in a new town as a newly married couple, and not many of my old friends had jumped into their vocations quite so early. God heard my cries and He slowly and steadily sent sisters to me that were in the same season to share my journey. He didn't say that the journey would be easy, but I wouldn't have to walk it alone. These sisters encourage me, teach me, guide me, listen to me, and crack me up.

We don't agree on everything, I mean I let Josh and Katie watch Harry Potter and Josh read that Golden Compass book before I got 50,000 emails about how dreadful it was, so I'm already the black sheep! We all entered our vocations at different times in our lives and all had different struggles along the way. Some of us struggled with infertility, and some of us struggled with...not infertility. Some of us home school, some of us go to Catholic School, and some of us go to public school. Some of us used Attachment Parenting and some of us Ferberized our kids. Some of us sometimes give a little swat, some of us don't. Some of us that thought we never would, do now. Some of us celebrate Halloween and Santa, some of us pray for those that do. Yet, we all share a common bond of wanting to raise our kids to be who God wants them to be. We want to protect them, yet give them wings to fly where God wills. We don't know how to handle every situation that comes up, but just having the solidarity with one another, gives us courage and strength to rise to the occasion and seek the Will of God.

I thank God for my MNO friends and I thank God for those MNO friends that couldn't be there last night. I also encourage those of you who are still praying for those MNO gals to keep searching, take a risk and ask that girl you've seen a few times at the library or church, to meet you at the park. You never know, that may be the girl that is laughing and crying with you 12 years later over chips and salsa.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The End of an Era

Omar and I have been married for 14 years this August. Of those 168 months there have only been 16 (non-consecutive) months that we haven't bought diapers. It is almost the end. Excuse me while I bawl my eyes out.

She's Puzzled

Hannah's favorite line while working on this masterpiece...I'm puzzled.
Of course she had to redo the first 100 pieces because one un-named 2 year old decided to help.

Summer Time

So summer is in full swing! As school ended, I couldn't wait for the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer. But in the year 2008, I think we can all agree that there is a lot of CRAZY, but not so much lazy and hazy.

There is so much more chatter during my "off" time, when Sophia is sleeping. Hello, I am trying to blog, interrupt, interrupt. Also, add beach towels and swimming suits into an already unmanageable laundry situation, and people could possibly run out of essential pieces of clothing. Also, at times it looks as if a tornado has plowed through my home. Does their mother not teach them to clean up after themselves? 7 people in one house is too many. I think Omar and I need guest quarters to reside in. And finally, there are so many people shorter than me who have so many needs and so many words to say, and they are underfoot all day to share those needs and words with me.

Oh yeah, but there is also that little thing called, I love them being home! I love that they have more time to rest and do things that they enjoy. I LOVE taking them to the pool. I love that they get to share in the wonderful memories I have of my mom taking my brother and me to the pool for hours at a time. I love being free to see friends and visit with people that we love but that we don't get to see during regular time. I love making them do summer school workbooks because I know it is a big dose of "it is good for you" for their minds. I love that I get so many opportunities to give hugs and be hugged by the neatest people in the world. I love summer.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Deep Thoughts

Josh, the other night at dinner...Why do they call it a "rest room?" You don't really rest in there.

Me, while I'm eating my hamburger...I really don't know.

Josh...They really should call it a pee room.

Thank you for that insight.

CHiPs Anyone?

Ready, Ponch? Ready, John.

There are no Words...

"Mom, Mom, Mom," said Luke, because he can't say my name just once, "Look at this."

"Please wait a second," I said from the bathroom.

When I opened the door after more "Moms" and more knocking, this is what I found...

Friday, June 13, 2008

My Lucky Day

11 years ago, June 13th also fell on a Friday. The nurse asked me if I was worried. I said no, that it was great because it was St. Anthony's Feast Day. Well, that has turned out to be one of the best days of my life.

The day my Katie was born, the world got a little brighter!

Happy Birthday my sweet and precious daughter!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Lessons From Dad

My dad is a country soul. To this day he still wears boots and jeans to work, drives a truck, and can fix anything with “duck” tape. He even has a son named Bubba. He believes in God, country, and hard work. He actually has a deer antler chandelier hanging in his entry way over my step-mom’s Lladro figurines. He has a way of summarizing life’s ups and downs, with interesting one-liners.

For example, as he was chasing us around the house he'd say "I'm after you like a hen on a June bug.”

Or, if we asked, “What for?” He’d say, “Cat fur to make kitten britches, you want a pair.” (OK, I still don't get that one.)

And one of my favorites, “I’ve had worse places in my eye, and never quit winking at the pretty girls."

I don’t think I ever thought of these "dadisms" as annoying. In fact, mostly I just accepted them as the laws of the universe. Only now as a mom, when I find myself repeating these phrases, and my kids tease me, do I realize the whole world doesn’t in fact use such terminology. And yet, I marvel at the wisdom and truth that are summed up in these quirky phrases.

“It’ll feel better when it quits hurtin’.” Yes, yes it will. Some things take longer to quit hurtin', but most things do indeed pass, and you feel better. The sun rises each morning, the world continues to revolve, and we heal.

“You’ll be laughing and scoffing at this later.” Well, I still am not laughing at the semester I wanted to quit school because of an uncharacteristic depression that I fell into. However, years later, I do understand that what may seem insurmountable at one point in time, may just be a hill that needs to be climbed , or a lesson that needs to be learned. In fact, in a wierd way, I am actually grateful for that time because now I can understand a little better when others are suffering.

“A deal today is a deal tomorrow.” Don't ever feel pressured to do anything.

“Another day, another dollar.” Get up, get going, make it happen. Everyday.

“It is easy to stick together during the highs and lows, much harder in the day to day.” So true in marriage. He also told me that some couples get divorced over how to squeeze the toothpaste. The ordinary time is when we really grow in our love for one another, with no drama.

“Paper is cheap!” Show your work! How can you know where you messed up if you don't show your work?

“Be the one.” You make it happen. Take responsiblity and do what needs to be done. Be the one that others can count on.

“Jesus started the Catholic Church.” Any time I questioned why my religion said this or taught that, this phrase would ring in my ears. I would seek out the why's, the reasons. This has benefitted me greatly.

“Check your work.” Find your mistakes and fix them.

“The squeaky wheel gets the grease.” Don't just sit around and wait for life to pass you by. Find the answers, ask the questions, roll up your sleeves up, be heard.

“Wednesday is hump day.” Once you’re over the hump, it is smooth sailing. Look forward to the weekend!

“If I die, and you get my life insurance money, just spend the interest, don’t ever touch the principle.” I'm glad you didn't die, I needed you.

Thank you Dad. Thank you for your wisdom and love.

Happy Father's Day!

I love you!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

How do You Solve a Problem Like Sophia?

I knew she wasn't sleeping. I could hear her stomping upstairs, so I went in to peek at her.
What did I find?
Well, I pretty much expected bare baby.
Please, that is so last week.
This week she raised the bar...

Bare Bed as well!

The Sunshine in My Life

VBS Kids...

Monday, June 9, 2008


Blogging does not help you get your housework done more quickly.

Vacation Bible School

Vacation Bible School started at our Church today! What a wonderful time to come together as a church community to have fun, share fellowship, and celebrate Christ. My older kids get the chance to serve as leaders, and my younger kids get the chance to see that loving God can be cool and fun! Whoever came up with this idea was really smart! I have a feeling it was a Protestant brother or sister in Christ. If it was, I am grateful that we caught on to their idea. There are so many times when I feel as a Catholic that we are missing the personalities and talents of our Protestant brethren. I pray that one day we may be one, as the Father and Son and Holy Spirit are one. (I am sure my good Protestant friends can tell me where that quote is in Scripture.)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

No Warm Fuzzies Tonight

We had a great day! First, we went to the park and to the library. Then I took the girls to a friend's house and picked up one of Josh's friends to hang out here. Sophia even took a great nap. Then the clock struck 4:30...

I thought I'd quickly make a phone call to the insurance company to make sure my timing was right on 2 of the kids' well checks. Of course the computer on the other end of the phone wants me to speak my needs clearly into the receiver. I have a lot of background noise, so I usually hear "I'm sorry I didn't understand, can you repeat that?" Uh, no, I didn't say anything, it was the baby yelling at me because she wanted orange juice, not apple juice. So I keep pushing zero. Of course while I am waiting to hear if we will be covered, I am digging through last year's calendar trying to find what day we had our well check, while figuring out what I'll make for dinner, and starting the water to boil for the spaghetti that I know a couple of my kids don't like. We had to check the garage for skates for Hannah who was going skating for the first time tonight. The doorbell rang and it was Hannah's ride to the skating party. I noticed her hair was a mess, I forgot to brush it. The other mom was sweet and said, "It is windy anyway." I prayed that there were no more separated AC joints.

Then, Omar came home. YEA! We all love when Dad comes home! Very quickly, he really annoyed me, I mean endeared himself to me, while he and the boys started a loud and obnoxious play fight in the kitchen. I realized Sophia had found a pixie stick from Katie's backpack and had emptied it out in the entry way. This was prior to spilling a bowl of yogurt on the floor in the kitchen. Josh watched the little kids outside while I tried to get started on dishes. Josh came in to tell me that a cute bunny was in the yard.


Sophia got hurt coming in the house. I got mad at Luke for a misunderstanding. Omar LEFT for a meeting!?!?! (He is saintly, and very rarely, almost never, does something that he might actually enjoy, so I tried to nicely say, "Have fun," but I don't think I was very convincing.)

Now, all I had to do was finish the kitchen, mop up the yogurt, vacuum up the pixie sugar, bathe a few kids, pray, read a few books, and kiss the kids goodnight.

These are the evenings when I wonder if it is too late to enter the convent? I am not saying that would be an easier life, but I think quieter.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Too Close For Comfort

I saw this in Consumer Reports. I found it to be really funny.

Click on the title of this post to see.

Great Genes

The kids were playing soccer with a 6 year old friend of ours. He is awesome at every sport we've ever seen him attempt. Josh asked him how long he had been playing soccer. I told Josh that he had never played before, but he was one of those kids with pure talent.

Josh said, "How come you and dad weren't born with any of that?"

Monday, June 2, 2008

Light as a Feather

Luke decided to walk home from the pool.

MOTY Award #1

MOTY stands for Mother of the Year. I am being sarcastic of course.

10 days ago Katie hurt her arm at the skating rink. For 10 days I have been watching her, and giving her Motrin, and knowing that it was taking a while to feel better, but sure that it was nothing. There was no swelling, no bruising and she could use it. This weekend it continued to bother her, especially after swimming, so I thought maybe I should have it looked at. Do ya think?

My daughter is so tough. She has an amazingly high threshold for pain. She has an AC joint separation. She needs to wear a sling for 3 weeks from the time of the injury, which was...10 days ago. She will need to wear it for 10 more days.

She sure is cute, even if her mom is a shlep.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

No School Tomorrow!

The girls wanted to have a sleepover. Never mind that they have slept in the same room for 7 years, this alone does not count as a sleepover. They wanted board games, a movie, and lots of chatting time.

In little brother fashion, Luke saw this as a great opportunity to annoy his sisters.

Sophia just assummed she was included. She was not happy when she had to go to bed early. She held up three fingers and asked, "Five more minutes?"

I often wonder, why is happiness so loud?

Luke respecting his sisters' requests to leave them alone. Or is it him trying to sneak into their room through the bathroom?

Word Wise

Yesterday I took some of the kids to our neighborhood pool party. There was a DJ playing music, and we were having fun. One very questionable song came on, and Luke could tell that I wasn't pleased. He asked what was wrong with it. I told him that there were some inappropriate words.

He said oh, like "spiritual?"

Well, not exactly.