Monday, June 30, 2008
Butterfly is four months old! Sometimes it feels like she has always been here, and other times it seems as though she just arrived. She weighs in at 11 pounds, 14 ounces and is 24 inches long. She is smaller than a lot of babies this age, but normal for her. So cute. She has started to find her voice, which so far is squeaky and loud! She loves to lay on the floor and just kick her legs and "talk" to us. She smiles a lot and, as seen in the picture above, chews on her fingers a lot. The kids fight to hold her, then five seconds later want to put her down. She has finally acquiesced to the bottle, sometimes. She still sleeps in the car seat, but we are working on that too. I plan to get her sleeping in the crib for naps first, then working on the nights. She did sleep for five hours last night!
Adjusting to life with five has had its ups and downs. Butterfly is very different from the other kids as babies, or at least from what I remember about them. Every time it seems we might be getting into a routine, things change. She is a baby that does not soothe eaily when tired, which makes getting out challenging. We like to eat out after Mass and that might have to be put on hold for a while, until she can eat and then be happy for a time. I know having children requires sacrifice and reordering of priorities, but it is still hard. Despite her being my fifth I feel like I have started over in some ways.
She is a joy to have around, even with the challenges. It has been such a blessing watching my older kids enjoy her and love her. We are all so glad we are a family of seven.
Friday, June 27, 2008
Husband and I got engaged in August 2000, on my 21st birthday. It was a great day. We planned a wedding for September of 2001. I would have graduated from college by then, and he would be almost done. We had been dating for two years. From our first date we both knew this was a long-term deal (he was telling people he was going to marry me before we even had our first real date!). We both said we wanted to wait until marriage to be intimate. However, the temptation proved more difficult than expected. We were in denial about what we were doing. In January of 2001 I took my first pregnancy test. It was positive. You'll note that January 2001 was before our planned wedding date of September 21 (or 22nd, I can't remember now), 2001.
As expected, our reaction was one of sorrow, fear, confusion, etc. We knew we had to tell our parents and that they would be disappointed. Before we told them, though, we told our priest. We went to the Catholic Campus Center at UNT and talked to the great Fr. Bob. The first thing he said when we told him was "Praise God." What a gift for two very anxious people. We then also talked to Fr. Gene, who was leading a Bible Study but finished while we were still there. Since he was the priest who was going to officiate at our wedding, we wanted to talk to him about what to do. He immediately counseled us to get married at a J.P. so that our child would come home to her parents united in marriage. So, we got married for the first time on February 16, 2001.
I had already bought my beautiful white dress and veil. I had the perfect shoes. We had made plans. What would happen to my church wedding? More important than the dress and all that was our desire to be married in the Catholic church. Fr. Gene assured us we could do that, after the baby was born. Knowing this was a great relief to us both, and our parents (I think). Normally we would have to wait at least a year after the birth of the child, but Fr. Gene made an exception for us. I guess since we were engaged when I got pregnant he knew we were not marrying just for the sake of the child. It just so happened that our first wedding was on a Friday. So, the next year we could get married on the same date, but on a Saturday. So we did. We got to have our traditional Catholic wedding Mass on February 16, 2002. It was a beautiful day and I'm so glad we got to do it.
We count from 2001, of course. Someday we will have to face our children and discuss the choices we made. I worry about explaining how important it is to wait, when we did not. I don't want Princess to ever feel like we regret having had her. But I do want them all to know what God intends for us, and how doing things in the right order would have been better and easier. I don't look forward to the challenge, but I will approach it with honesty and lots of prayer. So, just in case you thought I was perfect (ha ha), now you know the truth. We just celebrated our 7th anniversary this year and are blessed to be able to say each day has been better than the last. We can make mistakes and know that our loving Father is waiting for us to turn to Him in contrition so that he can shower us in His grace and mercy.
There's the story of the two weddings. Was it what you expected?
Thursday, June 26, 2008
**I added translations/definitions to the words on 'R.' **
**I retrieved 'W' and added my answer.**
A. Attached or Single? Attached to Travis. Yea for marriage.
B. Best Friend? Travis (awww, so sappy).
C. Cake or pie? Warm apple pie with the perfect crispy crust. And please keep the ice cream far, far away. There is no touching between the pie and the ice cream on my plate.
D. Day of choice? Friday. The weekend is upon us, full of potential.
E. Essential item? iPod I think. I know my workouts would be endless without it. And I love turning it on when it is late afternoon and the TV needs to be off and the house needs to be straightened up before Travis comes home.
F. Favorite color? purple
G. Gummy bears or worms? No thanks.
H. Home town? Grew up in Longview, TX.
I. Favorite indulgence? Black Tie Mousse Cake from Olive Garden. I don't share.
J. January or July? July, even in TX. I do not do winter very well.
K. Kids? Five so far.
L. Life isn’t complete without? Faith, humor, baseball.
M. Marriage date? I have two! 2/16/01 and 2/16/02. There's a story for another post.
N. Number of brothers and sisters? One of each, I'm in the middle.
O. Oranges or Apples? Apples all the way. I have to be in just the right mood for oranges.
P. Phobias? Heights.
Q. Quotes? "Don't tell God how big your storm is. Instead, tell the storm how big your God is." I don't know who said it; it is the signature on my email too.
R. Reasons to smile? Baseball season. Words like "hawkohopter (helicopter according to Buddy)," "hiddle (the area to the left or right of the middle, as defined by my kids)," and "hun onedred (one hundred, also by Buddy)." 5 small people reasons, 1 adult person reason, and lots more.
S. Season of choice? Summer.
T. Tag 5 people: The Miss-Elaine-ous Life, Beth, Queen of My Domain, El-e-e, No Longer at the Kids Table(if you feel so inclined - it's summer, do whatever you like!)
U. Unknown fact about me? I spent two weeks working at a call center soliciting donations for the GOP.
V. Vegetable? Fried zucchini!
W. Worst habit? Laziness. I'm too lazy sometimes.
X. Xray or Ultrasound? Ultrasounds – most of mine have been for happy reasons!
Y. Your favorite food? Pizza, french fries, chocolate, chips and salsa. It is a wonder I don't weigh 800 pounds.
Z. Zodiac sign? Virgo.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
Now the days of summer stretch out before us, full of promise and potential. In my head are visions of happy outings to the library, where the girls learn what it means to have their own library card and to take of their books themselves (never mind that we already have overdue videos). Perhaps I'll be feeling generous and will take them to the bounce house place one day. Surely I will find the motivation I've been lacking to finally get organized and spend some time doing light school work with each child.
Reality? The girls are rediscovering what it means to be home together all day, every day. They have to negotiate who chooses what they play and how they play. So far it is going well, but it has consequences for all of us. Buddy now finds himself without his usual playmate. During school, he and IndieGirl could spend hours playing together. Now he has to fend for himself. Monster has always been more independent when it comes to play. What that means for me is lots of squealing and fighting to diffuse, as Buddy torments his younger brother. I'll definitely have to come up with some structured activity for the boys or we will all be going crazy.
As for me, my main tasks will remain going to the gym and keeping the house running. But for this week, we are taking it somewhat easy. We're still recovering from last week's craziness.
Friday, June 20, 2008
- VBS is done for this year!
- My friend who volunteers every year. We do the opening and closing programs, so we can sing and dance and look silly together.
- Today is the last day of swim lessons too.
- Church babies. What is a church baby? A kid who will happily let just about anyone hold her. Due to our varied levels of involvement in church ministries over the years, all of our kids have been church babies.
- All of the friends we have that are more than willing to hold my kids and let them be church babies.
- All of the friends that are expecting children--I'm so excited for all of them and so excited that I'm not one of them!
- All of my kids. 5 is great.
- The weekend!
Y'all have a good one!
Monday, June 16, 2008
Thursday, June 12, 2008
You can check out our progress in the family weight loss challenge here.
Now, an abrupt subject change. Well, that would imply there was a subject to begin with. I don't really think there was. Anyway, we watched a movie last night! That is shocking, watching a movie on a week night. The Other Boleyn Girl arrived from Netflix and I was so excited I couldn't wait until the weekend to watch it. But of course, the movie did not live up to the book. I really enjoyed reading the book--it was full of debauchery and backstabbing and intrigue and it was so fun to read. It was like a soap opera taking place in the 1500s that may have been somewhat true. So I was eager to watch the movie. I guess time constraints just limited character development and plot progression. It seemed like watching a series of vignettes on one subject, but not necessarily connected. If I had not read the book I would have been a little confused. Rarely does a movie live up to a book, but I was expecting more out of this one. It was entertaining, but not great. For such a rich story I was disappointed. Next up is Thank You for Smoking.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
But my big weakness? Baby clothes of course. I had no idea I would be such a sucker for the baby clothes. I have had four children before Butterfly, surely I could contain myself. Oh how I wish it was true. But I haven't had a baby girl for a long time. And those baby girl clothes are so cute. Plus, my big girls find cute things for the baby and show them to me. What's a mom to do? So today I bought another outfit. And now I will not go back to that store, at least not tomorrow.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Look, Husband grew something!
Butterfly must have been inspired by her surroundings, when choosing her church clothes.
The Bumbo is the best invention ever.
An artist does not worry about the mess.
And we have a future rock star on our hands, I just know it.
Monday, June 09, 2008
Sunday was a much better day. I just decided to be a grownup. I wasn't going to let the little things bother me. I focused on what I needed to get done. I spoke calmly to my children, even when they were misbehaving. We listened to some good music while we all did our various things. I also cleaned my room, which made a huge difference. Getting rid of the clutter and coming in and seeing a peaceful, kid-free place was so nice. Life is good and I have no reason to act otherwise.
Today we went to Target, and there is little that can't be cured by that place. I bought Butterfly the cutest sleeper on the planet, and I will take a picture of it when I stop being lazy. This trip was extra great because I found a gift card in a bag from the hospital (see what I mean about clutter!) that we had not used. So it was free shopping at Target. Woohoo!
Saturday, June 07, 2008
We're having a bad day today. Husband is having a man day, golfing at the UNT Lettermen Tournament and then going to the IRL race at the Speedway. I'm actually very glad for him that he is going. I can't complain that he is spending time with other Christian men, having fun, and getting a break so he can refuel to live life at home.
It is really me that is causing most of the problems today I think. I'm just grouchy. And a grouchy, tired mom is not fun for anyone. By now I could have changed my attitude. I did take the kids to the library, where the girls got their own library cards. Of course, Butterfly started screaming while I was filling out the forms and checking out the books. Buddy disappeared in the stacks at the same time. He had to leave his He-man video at the library for that transgression. It was just one of those outings that leave you wondering why you ever leave your house. We also went to the bank, where I could not deposit our rebate check because Husband has to sign it too. Went to Wal-Mart and couldn't find the stuff I wanted. We ran a couple more quick errands and came home. Eventually everyone took naps, except me, because Butterfly was on a totally different schedule than everyone else. I know it is normal, but the every two hours nursing schedule is about to push me over the edge. She will take a bottle now, so maybe tomorrow I will run away for a little while. Now the kids are supposed to be cleaning their rooms, but it sounds like they are mostly playing. Bedtime may come at 8:00 tonight, for all of us.
I know tomorrow is a chance to start over. Tonight, when we pray, I will apologize for my short temper. I will try to do better. I will pray for patience, and the ability to surrender more readily and willingly. There is too much good in my life for me to be acting like this.
Friday, June 06, 2008
Summer is upon us. We live in a neighborhood with a community pool. We are paying HOA fees for a pool we rarely visit. You see, with five children aged six and under, swimming is a challenge for our family. One of my greatest fears as a parent is one of my children drowning. We have had a scare with Buddy in the past. We cough up lots of cash for swimming lessons. My kids love to go to the pool. I enjoy the tan I get. I like that going swimming wears everyone out and makes us all tired. But there is only one of me and five of them. Butterfly of course doesn't swim, but she does require the occasional nursing session (every two hours in fact). So if I'm nursing, I can't be in the water with my kids. Even when she was not here I rarely took my kids swimming. I just can't keep a careful eye on all of them when alone. So our swimming outings are limited to weekends with Dad and grandparents or swim dates with friends who have fewer kids that are better swimmers. I hope that my kids will not be resentful of these summers when they are young and I can't do all that they would like to do. I can't wait for the days when we can go to the pool and I can relax and enjoy myself, instead of being nervous the entire time. Until then, the sprinkler and splash pool in the backyard will have to suffice.
Thursday, June 05, 2008
- The fundraisers seem to never end.
- There is no Christmas, Halloween, or Easter but there is a Fall Festival, Winter Celebration and Egg Hunt. And Valentine's Day of course.
- I will buy books at every opportunity, and there are lots of opportunities when you have a child in school.
- Some friends are more desirable than others, but I can't choose them for my children.
- When the teacher calls to talk about something minor you still feel like a failure somehow.
- A child grows up a lot in a school year.
- Field trips to the zoo with kindergarteners are like three hour sprints.
- Kindergarten teachers should all be candidates for sainthood.
- Kindergarten now is not what it was when I was a kid.
- Hot lunches at school are expensive!
I think I was more excited about the end of the year than Princess. She really loved going to school and I'm so glad. I can't believe that I'll have two in school in August. Why do they have to grow up?
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
When I was a young, skinny college girl I drove a Pontiac Bonneville. I loved it. It was huge and lots of friends could ride in it. Most important, it was paid for and my parents paid my insurance (spoiled, I know). It was white. I sometimes called it Moby. It was an early to mid '90s model. I drove it from the summer of '98 until the summer of 2002.
When I inherited Moby, the power windows in the front did not work. They would go down about an inch, but not go back up. I managed to get them up and keep them that way only by yelling at every passenger "DON'T TOUCH THE WINDOWS" as soon as they opened the door. One of the rear windows got off track, and would do down and then rattle around. Eventually it also had to stay closed at all times. All of this information regarding windows is important.
I went to college about 160 miles from home. I was driving home one hot day when it seemed my A/C was not working very well. I cranked it up but still did not get cool. I still had a ways to go, so I made the difficult decision to roll down what windows I could. Upon arrival in my hometown, but not home yet, I heard the most horrible grinding noise when I approached a stoplight. I was convinced my engine had fallen out of my car and was dragging on the ground. How this could be possible and the car still running was immaterial to me. I managed to get to a gas station, where I immediately called my dad. I told him there was no way I was driving that car one more inch. I did not know what was wrong and was sure it would blow up or something.
So my dear, patient dad drove to the gas station to get the car and let me drive his car the rest of the way home. When he gets there he notices I have a flat tire. I don't know how I didn't notice that, but there you go. So he puts air in the tire and pops the hood. Surprisingly (at least to me), the engine was right where it belonged. But the compressor for the A/C was definitely not in the right place. We decide I will follow him to the shop where all our cars go for service. I follow him there and he decides to change the tire while we wait for the mechanic to meet us there (the shop was closed, but Dad's guy would come open the gate so the car would be locked up). Dad jacks the car up and removes the tire. He pulls the spare out of the back and realizes it is flat too! So he loads it into his car and goes back to the gas station to put air in the spare. So I'm sitting with my car in front of the shop with the hood open, the trunk open, the car up on a jack, with a flat tire on the ground. I clearly looked like a damsel in distress, because at least three cars pulled over to offer assistance. One person even turned around and came back to help. Chivalry was not dead, at least not in East Texas.
Eventually my dad returned, replaced the tire, and closed everything up. The A/C was shot and I continued to drive the car with broken windows and A/C through one summer pregnancy and part of another. I still loved my car, even after it let me down. All of my window issues made me seriously contemplate never getting power windows on another car, but I put my faith in the car gods and have succumbed to power everything. Do you have a car story to share?
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
A commenter asked about the process. First, I've been reading Jo-Lynne's blog since I started blogging many moons ago (or October of 2006). Her love of shopping drew me in, as I could definitely relate to her. She started designing blogs recently and I had been wanting a new look for some time. I was happy to give her my business. She had me browse iStock for images that I might want to use on the blog. I sent her many links and asked her to look at them, because as I said, I'm indecisive. She helped me narrow down my choices and I finally picked one. From there she did all the magic that you see on the page. She rocks. If you want a new design go to her. She will work with you and patiently answer all of your questions. I have been thrilled with the process.
Here is the yogurt shelf in my fridge. Yes, we have a whole shelf devoted to yogurt. The amount you see in the photo will last 10 days if I carefully ration it.
I'll come back later and post a picture of the kids in the car, which is quite a sight.