Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Pumpkins to you, too!

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Pumpkin Lovers

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Also…Pumpkin Lover

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Thomas continues lovin’ on his pumpkin

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Poor innocent, unspoiled Thomas. Doesn’t know that his beloved will be rotten and covered with fruit flies by the end of the week. But for now, a few glorious days he will bask in the glow of pumpkin love.

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Paci-Hoarder

“Hello, I’m Thomas. And I’m a paci-aholic.”
Now that we don’t let Thomas just wander around all day with a paci he has taken to squirrelling them away. Where to - I don’t know. What I do know is that there have been a couple of times when I’ve spent 10 minutes before bedtime scouring the place for a pacifier finally finding one left in a toy bin or in the backyard or sometimes going out to buy a new one. Then he’ll come puttering downstairs in the morning with his mouth and hands full of pacifiers. But I looked in his room, in his crib, under it, everywhere. I swear – I really don’t know where he is keeping them!

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The other neurotic paci-related behavior that he’s developed is truly weird. If he gets upset during the day and doesn’t have a paci readily available he will lick whatever is closest. Most often the ground. Tonight it was the sour crème. So someone will take a toy away from him, he’ll screech and then some observer will report to me, “Um. Your son is licking the sidewalk.”
To which I like to casually respond, ”Yeah, that’s what we do when we’re upset.” Today he licked a pile of mulched leaves and then the sour crème. Just weird. Kids can be so weird.
Anyway, I suppose that by letting him get so attached to his pacifier I am just doing my part to provide Marlboro one more faithful consumer. Anything to do my part.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Demographics is Power


6 years ago none of these children were here. Thank GOD for the Catholic perspective on being open to life and for blessing us and our friends with such an abundance of examples of God’s love for the world. Each of these little bodies carrying Christ’s message of hope and love and peace to a world wounded by sin and division. Each little soul carries God’s life within in it to the world. Any one of these babes would be a message from God that he loves the world but…WOW he must really love us.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Canning Season

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The picture above is about as much canning as I’ve done in the last couple years (aside from a quantity of freezer jam). October2010 376

I had my canning season rescued by the visit of a couple dear friends from HOME. They came down, we canned applesauce and apple butter and I realized why it is that I don’t enjoy canning down here in the south. I don’t like thinking. Canning is such a multi-tasking endeavor and so I like to do it but only when someone else is keeping all the plates spinning. Enter, Maureen.October2010 377

So, we “put up” close to 30 quarts of applesauce in a few hours, got to visit and even made a trip to the local antique mall and I walked away with a STEAL of a deal on an antique quilt. All while the husbands took the band of 6 youngins to visit a couple of the Smithsonian’s best offering. Easy cheesy, right? I think that they only lost 1 of the kids for a little while.

So next year I just need them to visit in May for the strawberries, June for the blueberries, July for raspberries, August for peaches, September for tomatoes and October for apples. You just get on top of that, please. Thank you very much.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Joey’s Doing Well!

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And we couldn’t be happier! Visit here for more info.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Our Joseph

Joey has another big surgery tomorrow to close up the hole in his heart, the last of his 3 heart defects. Apparently it's as open as open-heart surgery gets. Please keep the whole family in your prayers. Especially ask God to allow this surgery, hospital stay and post-surgical care at home to be complication-free. Joey has a penchant for taking simple things and complicating them beyond anyone's expectations. We are hoping that since this is complicated already then maybe he'll just travel the shortest route to health. A to B. Not A to L to R back to M and finally to B. Just a simple A to B would be good for all. Especially since this A to B is flippin complicated just by itself.
He is going into this surgery healthy and ready to go. He's getting so chubby and plump that I think he could live off of his cheeks for a week in he needed to. His Gram is in town to take care of the girls, his mommy is ready for a campout in the hospital with her i-touch and projects. Daddy is in a good flexible position with work so he can be around.
But, all this said - they have a 4-month old having his 3rd major heart surgery. Please offer up your own sufferings over the next couple of weeks for them. It's the best way to help. Thanks, all.
This picture was 2 surgeries ago - I can't find my camera to load up a new picture of his fabulous cheeks but I'll keep looking for it.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Poop Chronicles, vol. 5

Subtitled: the last crappy 12 hours.

You know how all toddlers WILL, at SOME point, take off their diaper and spread it around their crib? This is just something to be borne. At this point I expect it and generally take it in stride. But yesterday Cecilia did it. She is 9 months old. In fact, it seems she really had it in for us because she didn't poo and then take of the diaper, she took off the diaper and THEN pooed in the crib. And then cried. Yeah, well, what do you expect, dear? It's not a nice feeling to poop directly on the surface that you sleep in. Even dogs don't do that. She may have missed some evolutionary step that is critical to my peace and happiness.

Next - bath time. I put the girls in the tub and was just reveling in a boy-free bathtime (I love them but a bath with just the girls is so calm and peaceful) and thinking about how I had already washed them and the water was still relatively clean dirty are those boys? - when Anthony came running up the stairs raising the alarm for a plunger. Eek. That is never good. "Hurry, Mommy! I'm sure it's overflowing now!!!"
So I ran up to the attic to search out the plunger that is hiding among the construction zone. When I came down Thomas was sitting in the tub with the girls. With all of his clothes on. And the water was suddenly a dark tan. Sheesh. I knew that he was dirty but how could one 24 lb kid effect such a change?
I pulled him out, undressed him and put him back it. Then I saw the poop floating around in the tub. That explained the tan. Really nasty. Actually, it was too gross for my blood so I called in reinforcements.
Later on in the night said reinforcement spent from midnight - 3 am having his own issues in that arena. But thankfully for me he can wipe his own rear.
Then bright and early - 6:15ish - I hear fighting coming from the bathroom and all three "older" kids are in there. Rosie was taking a morning visit to the La Toilette and I am pleased to say that all was normal and as it should be. BUT, there was Anthony yelling at her because she had "taken so long that I pooped my pants."
Ahhhh. Parenthood. Ironically I need to run a quick spellcheck on this post and go change a poopy diaper before my nose hairs burn up. I Hope that this gets your morning off to a good start. It sure got mine off to a...start. Can't wait to see what the rest of the day brings.

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Growing Up of a Mama's Boy...Sigh.

We had a big day today. First day of our home school co-op. First day of our new Little Saints Club. And first camping trip for Anthony tonight and tomorrow. It was good and exhausting and I am now feeling a little bit emotional about it. My little kids sat in a classroom and had a teacher other then me. Weird. I tried not to hover and tried to make myself scarce at various points so that they would have a chance to realize that they don't NEED me to interact with other people, that they are their own people. Actually, this is what I wished for Anthony. I was just hoping that Rosie wouldn't pee her pants and that Thomas wouldn't injure anyone in the nursery. We are actually 3 for 3! Everything went really well.

On the way home Anthony was telling me some of the things in the classes and he seemed to have genuinely enjoyed them so I gingerly asked, "did you feel sad or mad or scared when I didn't come back into the room for your second class?" (Rosie had decided that I needed to be with her and like I said, I was trying to put some distance to see if he could acclimate on his own better). His response was, "Well, at first I wasn't used to it but then I just...did what I needed to do. And it didn't take me long to get used to it at all!"
It almost bought tears to my eyes (if I were a crier it would have. Sometimes I wish I was more of a crier - then I wouldn't look like such a clod of a woman). I simultaneously want to push him out of the nest and see what kind of person he will be while also wanting to keep him my little satellite. My extension. My pal. But he "did what he needed to do." He is growing up and my response seems to be, "But...Without me?"

Of course without me! That is the whole point! He has to do it without me or then he's not doing it. If I had stayed in the class with him he wouldn't have participated at all, he would have nudged me to answer any question that was asked of him; he wouldn't have asked the teacher what he was supposed to do next, he would have asked me; he wouldn't have talked to his class partner, I would have talked to his class partner. Instead he "did what he had to do."

And now he's on a guys camp out with his dad, listening to talks by the dads about what makes a good man, looking at Jupiter through his telescope and going fishing for the first time. He and his dad will start their bonding in earnest and I'll fade more into the background. I won't be his all-in-all. And this is as it should be.

I remember thinking when I was pregnant with him that as soon as they cut the umbilical cord that this was the beginning of a long and painful process of letting him go. I was forwarned. But that bond with the first-born is fearfully strong and the idea of him not needing me at every turn makes me ache.

A little part of me died when he traipsed off so happy and excited (and brave) for his camping trip. But I'm so happy for him. Happy that he's becoming more comfortable in his own skin. Happy that other people are getting a chance to see what a great kid he is. Happy that he and his dad have a chance to forge a strong bond. Happy that I won't be his all-in-all forever because I am very well-aware of how short I come up as an all-in-all. He needs to look Elsewhere for that and needs to let go of me in order to start the search. He needs to grow up. And today we took another step down this road that we started down 5 years, 11 months and 3 days ago when his daddy cut the cord. I love that kid. I'm going to miss these early years with him. Things will be good and exciting and in many ways better but man, I'm going to miss how it's been.

Anthony on the first day of school this year. This is his "cool clothes pose". He is not exactly a demonstrative person but he can't seem to help himself when he thinks his clothes are cool. It just slips out.

7 Quick Takes or....

I have no single unifying thought whatsoever but I'm trying to blog more so...
1. Rosie came downstairs a couple days ago complaining that she had "very bad breath". Well, I could have told her that. It turns out that she meant she had a sore throat. Very cute.
2. This week has been one of great yelling. I don't mean "great" as a description of it's worthiness, just of the large amount. In fact, I have bad breath from all the yelling. Take that how you will.
I reached a point on Monday of looking around me, and upon viewing the disrespect being shown by each member of the family for each member of the family, and thinking, "Where the H#%l are the parents?! What is going on here?!" And I haven't stopped yelling since. I HAVE HHHHHHAAAAADDDD IT!!!!!!!
I am aware that there must be a better way of handling this, in fact I even have several ideas but I also feel the need to impart to my children my astonishment at the state of the behavior. Some things are NOT acceptable - the are, in fact, shocking. When one is shocked, one yells.
Justify much?
3. John and Anthony are going on a camping trip this weekend. I can't help feeling that I'm a horrible nurturer for sending them out, overnight, in this chilly fall weather. But they are going with a large contingent of sons/dads from our home school group so I guess there are other bad nurturers too.
4. Thomas has been climbing out of his crib several times a night, in the middle of the night and puttering the halls looking for his pacifier. At 2 am. At 3 am. At 4 am. "You must be tired", you say. Well, John the night-time martyr is tired but I'm doing OK.
5. We have peeps from home coming to visit us in our East Coast outpost next week. I'm so excited! It's also a great reason to really push through and get more of the attic done. I spent a lot of yesterday morning up there with John hanging drywall and it's a very satisfying experience. What was not so satisfying was the state of the house when we came down. But I can be pretty confident that I accomplished something less transitory then my usual fare of laundry, math, vacuuming, changing a diaper, feeding the masses, etc. It's nice to know that the drywall will continue being hung now that I did it. It's not going to end up in a heap on the floor at the end of the day or be thrown down on the floor because it doesn't have the right kind of red sauce.
6. I've started some very early Christmas shopping. Mainly it's things that I'm trying to justify buying because I like them and they're a smokin' deal.
7. If you are thinking about becoming a vegetarian but need a little nudge then just buy 40 lbs of chicken, bring it home and spend 2 hours with your hands covered in chicken fluid getting it prepped to freeze individually. The sticky, slimy feeling on your hands and the meaty smell will surely put you over the edge. If you would like to continue eating meat though, I don't really suggest it.
Jen is host of the quick takes so visit her for more and better thoughts.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Dedicated to James Logan - puttin' in his time with the Hos. You rock, bro.

"I am just a poor boy, though my story's seldom told.
I have squandered my resistence,
For a pocketful of mumbles, such are promises.
All lies and jest.
Still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.When I left my home and my family I was no more than a boy,
In the company of strangers,
In the quiet of the railway station, runnin' scared.
Laying low, seeking out the poorer quarters,
Where the ragged people go.
Looking' for the places, only they would know.

Asking only workman's wages I come lookin' for a job,
But I get no offers,
Just a come-on from the whores on Seventh Avenue.
I do declare there were times when I was so lonesome,
I took some comfort there.
La, la, la, la, la, la, la. And I'm laying out my winter clothes, and wishing I was gone, goin' home
Where the new york city winters aren't bleedin' me, leadin' me goin' home.
In the clearing stands a boxer and a fighter by his trade,
And he carries the reminders of every glove that laid him down,
Or cut him 'til he cried out in his anger and his shame,
"I am leaving, I am leaving."
But the fighter still remains.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Messy Party

Do you see that glint in her eye? She was NOT to be messed with. "What are these adults THINKING?!" [Note the chocolate pudding being hurled through the air by Anthony in the background.

And the man who inspired it all...

The Aftermath
If you are thinking that I should now have a picture entitled the "Afterbath" then you are right. But John deleted it before I got to make that clever blog-move.

For those of you who know Thomas "Gus Gus" Lovelette our choice of revelry for his 2nd birthday will not be a surprise to you. He entertains all comers with his remarkably coordinated abundance of energy, joy and mischievousness. He moves like a flash. He is also endearing. He is an extrovert who is easily bored. When bored (or tired, or hungry) he will start throwing himself at people or things or just throwing people or things.
He makes doing school...hmmm...impossible. Simply impossible. He needs to be directly in the center of the activity. Not just holding his own marker and drawing but holding YOUR marker and drawing on YOUR math book, or YOU if you get in his way. When you are reading he prefers to not simply sit next to you, or on your lap but directly on your book.

He moves through the house at a cyclone's pace grabbing and dumping things as he goes. He climbs onto all of the counter tops and can reach the top of the refrigerator and recently has discovered how to gain freedom from his crib. He is quickly angered, quickly crushed. But he is quick to recover too.

As he has neared the age of two I have twice witnessed him lining things up, not just destroying all order. He has started to sit in the reading corner and turn pages of books, not just rip them out. So...I don't ever count chickens but he may be turning a corner.

As a way to honor and commemorate Thomas' Epic 2nd year of life we decided to host a "Messy Party". We provided the supplies. Bins of: chocolate pudding, powdered sugar, ice, oats, marshmallows, cornflakes, and 8 lbs or cooked spaghetti and bottles of whipped creme and chocolate syrup. And we just let them at it. What a blast. It was a relief to not have to chase them around telling them to leave this or that alone. I was more relaxed at this party then I have been at a party since having kids. And the clean up was not so bad. We started cleaning at 6:30 and we were done, with the kids bathed and in bed by 8. No worse then a normal party. Here are a few pictures but you can't really KNOW the level of awesomeness unless you happened to have attended and stepped - barefoot - on a pile of cooked spaghetti covered in chocolate pudding and marshmallows. That is where it's at. C'mon - you know you're jealous.