Wednesday, April 29, 2009

My Mini-Me

Eamon calls this Buzz Lightyear backpack-on-wheels his vaccuum, and takes it out to help me clean the house.
Can't wait until he can handle the real thing :)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


I'm glad I waited to post this after the kids are in bed, because although I have PLENTY to be thankful for today, at the top of the list is what has been happening at bedtime lately.
After we say prayers and the boys get in their beds (the three boys share a room), Maggie goes around to each one and gives them a goodnight kiss. It is so sweet to watch her get up on her tiptoes to reach their lips, and equally as beautiful to see how they let her do it!
There is such a precious bond between siblings, and for this I am grateful!!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Fed up with myself

OK, so vacation week is over and my pants are busting at the seams. There's some serious muffin top going on here. I got on the scale last night after eating a ton of food, and was shocked at how high the number was. Enough is enough!!
What's super frustrating is that I exercise a LOT. I am running about 20 miles a week, walking a few miles on my "day off", and taking 2 kickboxing classes and an abs/toning class every week.
But then I rationalize with myself: "I can eat some dessert, I exercised hard today" or "I'll just run this off in the morning". Another problem is that I wait to eat dinner until after I go to the gym at night, so I eat dinner around 8pm, and then go to bed with a full belly.
I know I am a mom to four kids, and I'm not trying to look like a supermodel or get into a size 4, I want to be realistically healthy. I can't use being a mom as an excuse because I had my fourth baby almost 17 months ago, and I still have not gotten off these last 10 pounds.
So, today is the day!! Phil and I are following a modified Abs diet, and writing down what we eat and how much we exercise in a journal. I am going to watch portion sizes (my biggest downfall) and make healthy choices. We are going to weigh ourselves only once a week, and try to support each other. I need to encourage him to exercise, and he needs to encourage me to eat less.
I'll try to post the results of the weigh-in each week in the Friday HI-LO post. So, fellow bloggers, send some encouraging thoughts our way, we'll take any help we can get :)

Friday, April 24, 2009

Hi Lo

This has been such a great week, so there are definitely more highs than lows!
1) Every morning this week, Andrew (age 4) has woken me up saying "Happy Vacation Day, Mommy"! What a great way to start the day :)
2) Phil and I have been able to exercise a lot this week. I am so proud of him for running and trying to get healthier (he doesn't need to look any better, that's for sure!)
3) All of this family time has been wonderful for the kids. There has been a LOT of tickle fests and wrestling going on, as well as story times and playground visits.
4) Maggie (16 months) now says "Thank You" and "grilled cheese" and "John-Paul". Of course, we may be the only ones who understand her!
5) The firm I work for gave us Monday off this week as a paid holiday. What a super thank you for our tax season work.
6) My niece, Rory Elizabeth, got baptized on Sunday in PA. Even though we weren't able to attend, we are so excited for her, her parents, and her 4 siblings.
7) Last night, we had two wonderful women over for dinner that work at my sons' school. It was so nice to talk to them outside of school, and the food was delicious - Salad, Beef Burgundy, Pound Cake with strawberries and whipped cream. I think I gained 5 pounds.
1) Maggie was on omnicef for a double ear infection that wasn't going away. When my friend Laura asked us about her dosage, we realized we had been giving her one tsp. TWICE daily instead of ONCE daily. Whoops! We called poison control right away who told us not to worry too much. Then I called her doctor and spoke to the nurse who just said to finish the medicine as scheduled. So she finished her 10 day course in 6 days. I hope this doesn't mess up the healing process....she is going back for an ear re-check on Tuesday.
I think that's it for the lows this week - how blessed are we? Now it's your turn to share, I'd love to hear it!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Staycation: Days 3, 4, and 5

and the saga continues...

Day 3 (Monday)
We took the kids to IKEA, which is about 45 minutes away from where we live. Unfortunately, we arrived at 9 am and it didn't open until 10. So, we went to another store to kill time (bought and ate some gummy bears - yummy!) and then went back to IKEA.
John-Paul and Andrew went to the play area for the potty-trained kids. Eamon and Maggie came shopping with us. We picked up the following items:

Day 4 (Tuesday)
We woke up early, packed lunch for everyone and headed to the Boston Museum of Science. We had passes from our local library that allowed us to get in for $20 total instead of the $70 it should have been (and that's with Eamon and Maggie being free!!).
The kids had so much fun, everything was a new discovery, a learning experience. I'll let the pictures tell the rest of the story:

From the museum, we drove to Trader Joe's, which is my favorite grocery store (too bad they are all about an hour's drive away). We bought some Two-Buck-Chuck, Pirate Booty, Sweet and Sour Chicken, and chocolates.

Later that afternoon, I took John-Paul and Andrew to see Monsters vs. Aliens. They had fun (they've only been to the movie theater maybe 4 times), but I would not recommend it. The word "Jerk" was used repeatedly, and the story line wasn't great.
Phil took the little ones to the gym childcare room so they could have fun and he could run on the treadmill - a win/win!

Later that evening, after the kids were sleeping soundly, Phil and I went on a date to a local restaurant and then did some grocery shopping - how romantic ;)

Day 5 (Wednesday)
Sadly, I worked, which means Phil had all 4 of them by himself, and it was a rainy day here. So the big outings were to Wal-Mart and the Library. They were delighted to take home Dr. Suess Books and a DVD of Babar :)

more Staycation days to come...

Monday, April 20, 2009

Staycation: Days 1 &2

Since we did not drive anywhere on vacation, we are trying to do some fun things in our area instead. Here's what's been going on...

Day One (Saturday):

We took the kids to BJ's (they love to go to the store!) and then to a playground. It was about 70 degrees here, so it felt great to be outside. Phil and I both managed to sneak in a run in the morning. He ran 3 miles and I ran 6.

Then Phil spent a good part of the day in our backyard making a play area with a sandbox for the kids. We are trying to work on the house we're living in now because we might buy it!! All the houses we've seen have had some good points, but more negatives (bad area, busy street, needs a lot of work, too small, too old, etc.).

The house we rent now has almost all positives (2000 sq. feet, nice area, good commute for both of us, we wouldn't have to move, etc.) but the only bad part is that it's a two family house, so we always have someone living below us. It's been great so far because my brother and his family lived there for a while, and now our friends live there, but we never know who might move in. We are waiting to see what the price would be to buy it, and are leaning in that direction.

That night, we had a Mexican food and game night at our friend's place. Very yummy and fun!

Day Two (Sunday):

I brought the kids to the gym to play in the childcare room (huge slide and tunnels and toys - they actually beg to go there) and then to my sister's house to play with their cousins.

From there we went to the YMCA for family swim. This particular YMCA has a zero-entry pool, so it's like walking in at the beach, you don't have to jump in. And it has fountains and a water slide!

After swimming, everyone was starving so we went to Red Robin's for dinner, and it did not disappoint! We came home at 6, had the kids in bed by 6:30 and they were out like lights. I think we fell asleep not too much later!

More vacation days to come...


Friday, April 17, 2009

Hi Lo

At dinner each night, our family plays a little game called "Hi Lo". Each person takes a turn telling the rest of us about the best and worst things that happened to them that day. It's a really sweet tradition that gets the kids to reflect on their day, and they always have something interesting to say.

Anyway, I thought I would try to incorporate that game here on the blog, and post about the highs and lows of the past week. So without further ado:


1) Tax season is over!

2) On Wed, I ran 5.5 miles straight which I believe is my longest run to date.

3) I found out that someone I know who has two boys is pregnant with a girl, how exciting!

4) John-Paul and Andrew both learned to swing across a complete row of monkey bars yesterday.

5) Maggie says "Aurora" when she sees Sleeping Beauty's picture anywhere, it's adorable.

6) This morning, Eamon just told me the last names to all of the Wiggles characters - I don't even know how he learned them!

7) Phil got to play Ultimate Frisbee twice this week (his favorite activity), which makes me happy for him!

8) Today we are going to look at a house that we are REALLY excited about. It's in a neighborhood we have always liked, it's on a cul-de-sac, it's big enough for our family, it's only 5 years old, and it's a foreclosure. Please pray that we can make an acceptable offer!


1) We are not going on vacation next week. We were supposed to go to a timeshare with my parents (who generously offered it to us) but my Mom's back has been really bad, and it's not getting any better. Sitting in a car for 6 hours each way, and sleeping on a potentially soft bed are just not going to be good for her. So we will postpone the trip to another time. The kids were barely disappointed as soon as we promised we would do a lot of fun family activities during the week instead.

2) I have been eating nonstop the past few days...Easter candy, pizza, quesadillas, cookies...if I didn't know any better I'd assume Baby #5 was on the way ;-)

3) Maggie's double ear infection did not go away with the 10 days of amoxicillin. So now she is on a stronger antibiotic for 10 more days. Hopefully it goes away or she might end up with tubes like Andrew and Eamon.

That's it for me, who else wants to play???

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


I can't believe it, but today is April 14th.

And the ticker does say only one day of tax season left.

So I am thankful that I made it through.

And I am thankful that my kids have not complained too much.

Most of all, I'm super thankful to go on vacation next week!!
It should be a fun car ride...
The kids are excited to swim,
and to feed deer!

Phil and I are excited to spend family time together, not work, and eat naughty vacation food :)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Tag, I'm it and I'm gonna get ya!

Jen tagged me on this and it looks fun, so why not?

8 Things I am Looking Forward To:
1) The end of tax season!
2) Going on vacation with my family and my parents.
3) Eating sweets whenever I want them (this Lent was tough).
4) Easter!! He is Risen!
5) Getting outside today after work - it is a beautiful sunny day.
6) Getting my paycheck for these 6 days of work this week, it should be a big one.
7) Staying home with the kids next week.
8) My 7th Anniversary next month.

8 Things I Did Yesterday:
1) Worked
2) Ate a yummy dinner that Phil prepared - Chicken Saltonboca, mashed potatoes, and steamed broccoli.
3) Went on a nice walk with my friend Laura
4) Heard about how Eamon (age 2) decided to give his pacifier to the Easter Bunny, and slept through nap time without it!
5) Gave Maggie antibiotics and ibuprofen for her double ear infection
6) Watched a TiVo'd episode of 24
7) Helped my friend Katie with her taxes
8) Went to Mass

8 Things I Wish I Could Do:
1) Go to Disney world with the kids
2) Run a marathon
3) Be more crafty/creative
4) Afford to buy a nice, new, huge house with a gorgeous landscaped yard
5) Lose 10 pounds
6) Get a tummy tuck (just for the extra baby skin)
7) Meet all the people whose blogs I read
8) Spend more time with my family

8 Shows I Watch:
1) 24
2) House
3) Lost
4) Fringe
5) Heroes
6) The New Adventures of Old Christine
7) The Office
8) 30 Rock
(sadly my list could go on and on...)

8 People I Tag:
1) Lerin at Beautiful Chaos
2) Aubrey at Laughing all the Way
3) Laura at Catholic Teacher Musings
4) Laura at Robby's Adventures
5) Rebecca at The Momologue
6) Aussie Therese at Aussie Coffee Shop
7) Sarah at Memories on Clover Lane
8) Modern Mom at How to Survive Life in the Suburbs
(and anyone else who wants to play - I tag you too!)

Thanks Jen, that was fun!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I can see the head!

Taken by my friend, Laura. Looks like her son, Robby, has a future career as a ob/gyn!
And can I also mention that this picture makes me so excited to be a grandma??!!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Including Today...

...there are 10 more days of tax season.
And I will be working for 8 of them.
Forgive me if I'm not around here much.
I can't wait to be done with all of this, and catch up on all your blogs!
Happy Holy Week :)

Friday, April 3, 2009

Who, me?

Here's a thought for today:

Let's just say a certain someone gives up eating sweets for Lent.

Then let's pretend she happens to buy a lot of frozen food at the grocery store.

And imagine that when she comes home to put it all away, she needs to take out the ice cream to make room for the chicken.

So...not wanting to let the ice cream go to waste (that would be a SIN after all), she decides the proper thing to do would be to eat the ice cream, and make her husband eat some too.
(Hmmm, why does this sound a little bit like Adam and Eve?)

There's nothing wrong with this scenario, is there? I think this person should not feel guilty at all. Waste not, want not, I say.

Of course, the sprinkles that the certain someone put on top of her ice cream weren't exactly going to perish....

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Thoughtful Thursday

Today is the 4th Anniversary of Pope John Paul II's death

Okay, so I admit that I might be a little obsessed with Pope John Paul II. I loved (still love) him sooooo much and I miss him. I never met him in person, he doesn't know me from Adam, but I did get to see him three times in my life.

The first time was when he visited New York. I was a junior in high school, and entered a contest to win a trip to NY to see the Pope. I had to answer questions and write an essay, and I actually WON!

There were 16 winners picked from all over the country, they flew us all to NY, and we got treated to a weekend in the City while JPII was visiting. The main event was a Mass he was celebrating in Central Park, and we were all so excited to go...but the day before, myself and another guy were asked to miss out on the Mass in order to be interviewed on tv during that time. I was really bummed out about missing the Mass, and I was so nervous to be on tv, but I couldn't really say no.

We were interviewed, and then because they felt bad we missed seeing the Pope at Mass, they gave us tickets to the Pope's small gathering at St. Patrick's where he was to lead the Rosary. How lucky was that??? Now instead of being in a huge space with a ton of people, we were about 10 pews back from the Pope with only a small group of people.

When Pope John Paul II walked by my pew, I leaned over to touch him, but I couldn't reach. The man next to me ended up shaking the Pope's hand, so I grabbed his hand to get the Pope's cooties :) Anyway, seeing him changed my life. After that, I was much more "into" my faith and decided to go to Franciscan University of Steubenville to get a real Catholic education. Seeing the Pope is AMAZING, you can just feel the holiness and excitement in the air.

The second time I saw the Pope was on Ash Wednesday, 2000 during his Wednesday Audience in Rome. While studying abroad during my junior year of college in Austria, our whole college went to Rome and Assisi for ten days. We all yelled out "JP 2, Steubenville loves you" and were so happy to hear him say he loved us back. Whatta man!

The third time I saw the Pope was at the Easter Vigil a couple months later. My parents and older sister came out to visit and we (including Phil and Annie) were all able to go have Easter Vigil Mass with the Pope. It was sooooo long, but felt like a minute because it was almost supernatural. Can you tell how much I love this man? Actually it was at this time that I decided my first born son would be named after the Pope (it wasn't even up for discussion, good thing Phil approved). That's why I hyphenated John-Paul's name so that nobody would just call him "John", and that's also why I like to dress him up like this:

So, JP II, we all love you and miss you, and as much as you accomplished here on Earth, I'm sure you are accomplishing even more in Heaven by interceding for us. Thank You!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Meet my Friends

I have nothing great to write today, so I thought I would introduce you to four of my "real-life" friends who have blogs.

1) Annie
She was my roommate in college (in Austria and in Steubenville, OH). She probably has a lot of scandalous stories about my past, but I know she won't tell!! Right, Annie? Annie and her hubby have a BEAUTIFUL baby girl named Darby. It took them a while to finally have a baby of their own to hold, and she is well worth it. Check her out at:

2) Emma and Jonah
This couple (who has been together since they were like 16) are actually friends of my little sister and her hubby, but since Emma and I are in the same MOMS Club, and we all went to the same high school, I have gotten to know them as well! They have 2 adorable little boys, Jacob & Caleb. Check them out at:

3) Michelle
Michelle and I met about 4 years ago at the Mommy and Me playgroup in our town. I liked her personality right away, she makes anyone feel like they're an old friend. She comes from a huge family and our kids were about the same age. She loves to scrapbook, and is quite talented at it! Go see her at:

4) Laura
Laura and I met only a few months ago, but it feels like a lot longer than that!! We went to the same college, and she read my little blurb in our alumni magazine and emailed me. They live right down the street from us and her Aunt teaches with my hubby - what a small world! Laura and Peter have the cutest little boy named Robby, and you can find out more about them here: