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Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

One great thing about living on Main Street is getting to watch the town parade from your front steps!!































Thank You to all the brave men and women who have fought and died for our freedom!


Friday, May 28, 2010

Hi Lo: May 28th

HI's:
1) My Uncle Tom & Aunt Peggy came to visit my parents this week, and stopped by to see the kids. They are two of my favorite aunts and uncles (I have around 20?? and haven't met a lot of them, since my Dad came from Ireland).Uncle Tom with John-Paul


Don't ya just love when half the people in the picture close their eyes?



Brothers: My Dad and Uncle Tom

~

2) J-P & Andrew had their first t-ball game of the season. They both did very well - Andrew needs a little more power behind his swing and J-P needs to learn how to not throw his bat after he swings. They're so cute!

~
3) This morning, we will be going to a Walk-a-Thon to support the boys' school. We walk around a local park and then they have all sorts of games and relay races, followed by a pizza party. It's a great time.

~

4) Daris got voted into the Top 3 on the Biggest Loser. Yay! And he has a girlfriend for the fist time...double yay!



LO's:



1) Mike won The Biggest Loser. I mean, duh, he was 526 pounds and had the most weight to lose ever. Why the other contestants didn't vote off the biggest threat is beyond me.
He does look awesome, though!


~

2) I've really been thinking about running the marathon in October, and we might just run the half-marathon instead. I want to run the whole thing, but every time I run my normal 5 miles, I get so discouraged about adding 21 more miles. How do people commit to running a marathon? And how do you train through the summer?

~


3) Found out some sad news regarding the priestly assignments in my Diocese. I can't say what I know, but sometimes I wonder where the Bishop gets his inspiration from.

~

What were your highs and lows this week?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Limiting Screen Time

I think Phil and I are strict parents when it comes to a couple things.






One is sleep. Our friends and family are amazed and shocked to see us putting our kids to bed at 6:30, and even more surprised that they willingly go to bed at that time. No fights, no stalling, we have worn them out and they are ready to sleep. Sure, sometimes they ask for a glass of milk or talk for a couple minutes in bed, but it's hard being perfect ;)






The other hard and fast rule we have around here is limiting screen time. Screen time is the combination of all things involving a screen - tv, movies, computers, video games. And we limit their screen time to an hour a day. Every once in a great while we'll put an old Disney movie on for them to watch (and if I'm in the throes of morning sickness, they get a little extra tv time), but on most days, they only get a half hour to an hour of screen time. There are plenty of summer days that they get no screen time at all because we're having too much fun outside.

I'm not sure why we limit them so much in this area. Maybe it's because Phil and I watch more tv than we'd care to admit, and don't want them falling into the same habits. Perhaps it's because I want to make sure they are being engaged and my kids tend to zone out while watching tv. Or it could be that I see parents who leave their tv's on all day and end up having kids who don't know how to interact socially, or who have nightmares from what they see on the news and other adult shows. Many studies have been done to show the harmful affects of too much screen time, as this article points out.






I would like to raise kids that can be creative and imaginative. Kids that want to figure things out for themselves, and learn by trial and error, instead of watching other people do it. I also want them to be active kids. Childhood obesity is such a problem, and although I struggle to get them to eat veggies, I know they'll gladly run around all day if I let them, so why not let them?






I know that the older they get, the more time they'll need on the computer to complete their school work, and of course we don't have a problem with that. I also realize that the only shows we let them watch are "educational" in nature and do teach them plenty. (I swear that Sesame Street taught my kids how to count and read very early!) But there are also shows that do not.
(I could never undertand the appeal of the Teletubbies)




But for now, they are all so little, and I want to make sure that they are not seeing too much of a world they don't quite understand. We'll take it one small step at a time, and hope it's in the right direction.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Lost without LOST

I can't believe it's over. And tonight I will have to watch my TiVo'd series finale of 24. What is happening with the world? Where are all the good shows going? Just like Billy Joel sings, "Only the Good Die Young". I am happy that these shows are coming to a conclusion though, as many shows I start watching just get pulled off the air without any finality.
But as for Lost's conclusion, it was a bit confusing, which I think was a great thing. Because that's what Lost has always been. It's always forced us to try and figure things out for ourselves, to interpret characters and their actions in our own way. Although it's a tad frustrating that there's no clear & concise ending, whenever I watch a movie or read a book with a "cutesy" perfect ending, I always feel disappointed, and Lost did not disappoint.
I thought it was wonderful that a show about discovering the true purpose of life ends with Heaven, our ultimate purpose. There are so many shows with such shallow and materialistic themes and goals, and Lost always left me pondering about my life, my purpose, my goals. Awesome!
I loved how the characters weren't ready for Heaven until they had found peace and sacrificed themselves in Purgatory. Did Ben ever make it to Heaven? I can't recall - I know he wasn't ready to leave the island. And Jack (swoon!) who was the most scientific/realistic had the hardest time letting go and having faith, but his ending was just beautiful. And I liked that we didn't have to watch them all die - that would have been too gory and dramatic. But the best part was watching all the couples reunite and be with their loved ones. I had forgotten how many romances had been had on the Island, and it was so nice seeing all the old characters return.
The only thing I didn't like was that Aaron (Claire's baby) was so young in Heaven. Because we had seen him as a little boy, and I thought that's how he should have appeared in Heaven. But Phil thinks they may have kept him a baby so that we (the viewers) would know who he was. I guess it really doesn't matter because, as Christian said, there is no time in Heaven anyway.
So, what did you think? Here's what Melanie thought, and she links to some other Lost reviews in her post as well.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Don't Talk to Me...

...at least about LOST, okay?



We TiVo'd it and will watch it tonight. I wasn't thinking this morning, and turned on the radio to my favorite morning talk show and heard something major about the ending. Uurgh, I hate it when that happens.






I think in this digital/techie world we live in, if a show as big as Lost has a series finale, not just a season finale, and it's 2.5 hours long and doesn't end until 11:30, people should realize that a lot of fans didn't stay up that late and chose to record it instead. How's that for a run-on sentence?





So talk to me about something else today - and here's a warning...I'm sure I will be writing about Lost tomorrow, so watch it tonight, okay??


Gosh, I love that show - sigh.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Hi Lo: May 21st


HI's:




1) I lost my American Express credit card, prayed to St. Anthony ("Tony, Tony, come around...something's lost that can't be found"), and was getting ready to call and cancel the card when I found it! Right behind my license in my wallet - just one spot over from where it should have been - phew! And thanks Tony!








2) One of my bestest friends ever just got engaged!!! Congrats Sarah & Bill, we can't wait to hear the whole romantic story :)








3) The kids had an Ed. Fair at their school last night. They put on a show with hand bells, dancing and singing. My kids were too little to be involved, but it's so nice to see what they'll be like in a few years. We got to see all the hard work they have been doing in the classrooms. They are so disciplined and get so much accomplished academically, it's amazing! I love our Catholic school!!








LO'S:




1) Our anniversary was a dud. I don't know why I expect some miracle to happen - like maybe we'll be whisked away to Hawaii while someone watches our kids - because it never does. I need to get over myself and just realize that being happily married with 4 children is the best gift I can get!








How was your week? Any ups or downs?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

New Goal???

Do you all watch The Biggest Loser?



I am addicted to it, it's the only reality show I watch (oh, wait, I also watch So You Think You Can Dance). I love seeing overweight, lazy, unhealthy people with so much emotional baggage morph into fit, energetic, healthy people who are confident and happy. And they do it all in about 5 months, it's crazy!!

Well, this season, I have been particularly fond of Daris, because he seems like such a sweetheart who has never had a girlfriend, and is looking for love. Look at his transformation:

He has become known as the big runner on the show. He's run a 5k (3.1 miles) in less than 21 minutes, he has run on the treadmill at level 10, incline 10 for 2 minutes, and this past week on the show, he completed a marathon. And he didn't just finish the marathon...he smoked it!! He ran it in about 4 hours 2 minutes. Awesome!

Then, yesterday, I was driving behind a car that had a 26.2 sticker on it - and I told John-Paul that the sticker meant that person had run a marathon. And he asked me when I am going to run a whole marathon (he must think I'm wimpy for only running half of one!) And I asked him if he thought I could do it, to which he replied "Of course!" He is my biggest supporter :)

So it got me thinking, and seriously considering, running a marathon. I would want to run it when it's cool weather out, and relatively soon because I don't want to train forever. I found one in Newport, RI in October and I found an 18 week training schedule that looks reasonable and would start on June 13th. Phil wants to do it with me if I am ready.



Part of me realizes that this is a huge time commitment, would be an added stress on my to-do list, and is crazy (sorry to you real runners out there - but running for 4-5 hours straight IS crazy!).


But the other part of me thinks about how great it would be to complete a marathon, how limited my time is to do something like this (I'm getting older by the second, and could get pregnant at any time), and seriously - if those formerly obese people on The Biggest Loser can train for and complete a marathon in 5 months, then I can do it too.

Yes, I'm competitive, and yes, I'm goal-driven, and yes, I think I want to do it.



Just don't hold me to it yet, I have a lot of weeks of training to go before I decide if I'm ready :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Activia Spokeswoman

Maggie is auditioning to be the new Activia Spokeswoman ;)

"Mmmmmm! Mom, Activia Yogurt tastes so good and is good for you!"



"And it really does regulate my digestive system!"



You know what they say...the proof is in the diaper :)

Monday, May 17, 2010

8 is Great

Happy 8th Anniversary to the man who stole my heart over 10 years ago:


You are my bestest friend ever, my rock, my spiritual director, my handsome prince, and a wonderful dad.
You make my life full of happiness and sweetness.
You are thoughtful, clever, witty, and loving.
You are constantly committing acts of service to show your love for me, and I am spoiled rotten because of it.
When I met you, I knew I was going to marry you or someone just like you because I had never met anybody so perfect.
You still make me melt with a kiss and act like a nervous school girl when we go out on a date.
I don't know why you picked me, but I feel extremely lucky to be with you on this journey together, and I pray we have many, many more years together.




P.S. Thanks for
and
and for the card that compared me to coffee - which is the ultimate compliment for a coffee addict like me :)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Hi Lo: May 14th



HI's:





1) Borders is giving away a free book to kids under 12 who read 10 books this summer. I'm going to get John-Paul and Andrew to do this, what a great idea! (My mom used to make me read 100 books every summer for $10....kids have it so much easier these days!)



2) Maggie was going for her nap today and said her baby doll was crying because she needed milk. I told her to go get her baby bottle and bring it upstairs, but she said "No, she doesn't want milk in a bottle...she wants milk from my belly"! And then she "nursed" her baby doll from her belly for a little while before they fell asleep together :)


3) Phil and my Dad took apart my leaky bathroom faucet and figured out the problem. Phil picked up the parts and fixed it himself. How do guys do that? I wouldn't even know where to start. Love it!

4) Happy Anniversary to my Mum & Dad who are celebrating 44 years together - so cute!



LO's:

1) I'm considering leaving one of my clients. It's a stressful situation due to their lack of finances, and I get so anxious when I'm there. Plus, it is taking me away from the family a little too much, I'm missing t-ball games and Phil is missing church meetings, and it's far away from my house. But the people are very nice, and they appreciate my help, so I don't know how to quit on a good note.

2) J-P and Drew's first t-ball game of the season got rained out, and then rescheduled but the other team forfeited. We want a real game, people! Well, as real as t-ball can be ;)

What were your highs and lows from the week?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

It's Almost Bathing Suit Season...


...and I need your HELP!


We live close to the beach and go a couple times a week in the summer.


But beach = bathing suit.


And bathing suit = need to lose some Mommy pudge.


Any advice?


Just keep in mind, I don't really need exercise advice (unless there is some exercise that tones your belly like no other). What I really need is diet advice.


What do you eat to slim down? What keeps you feeling full?


What do you cut out?


Do you count calories, reduce carbs, lower fat intake, or what?


Have you tried any diet pills or supplements?


Any advice is appreciated. Thanks!


My fellow beach-go-ers will thank you too :)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Sweet Spot


As far as children's ages go, I feel like we have reached a sweet spot.



Our oldest is 7 and our youngest is 2. They can all walk, talk, feed themselves and sleep through the night.

They are all young enough to still have that childlike innocence and wonder but old enough to be a little independent. They are all small enough to still fit in car seats, but big enough to buckle themselves in. They are old enough to keep themselves entertained with the toys we have, but naive enough not to realize what "stuff" they're missing.



They all go to bed between 6:30 and 7:00 each night and sleep until 6:00 or 6:30 every morning. They are big enough to get themselves dressed and young enough to still let me pick out their outfits each night. They don't need their meals spoon-fed to them or chopped into little pieces, but they also don't eat us out of house and home (yet!).



They feel secure enough to be away from us, yet still choose to be with us whenever possible. They know how to talk, but haven't mastered the art of talking back. They love to play with their friends, but we can still control who those friends are. We know exactly where they are at all times, what they eat, and even how their digestive systems are working (yuck!).

I know the days are coming when they will grow up and become independent young adults, and I will try to see the positive side of that when I get there.

But for now, I am so content with these little souls I have been blessed with that I wish I could freeze them at this stage forever :)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Funny Mother's Day Video

This was sent to me from my friend, Kim. Thanks for the shout-out!
To watch it, click here :)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day Tea


Hanging from the back of my chair

The place setting





A cute card (with tea bag inside)




The spread...mmmmm!





The setting (like any good Catholic school, this is the gymnasium/auditorium/gathering room)



Walking out to the stage





Singing "You Are My Sunshine"






The Crowning of Mary




Andrew (middle) with Nick and Chase




Andrew with his girlfriend, Abby



Andrew with his cousin, Katie




Singing a song about how they are only small for a little while...I cried through the whole thing!






One of the many art projects Andrew made for me








Andrew with 2 of his 4 teachers, Miss Melanie & Mrs. Quinn




Andrew with the Principal, Ms. Felix

It was a beautiful event, and I hope you all get to celebrate Mother's Day in high style as well :)