Sunday, August 31, 2008

Summer Reflections: Andrew

This summer has been a hard one for our second child, Andrew. It seemed that no matter what we did, he was always bored or not having any fun. There were some occasions when he would spontaneously announce that this was "the best day ever", so that was nice.

To be fair, Andrew does have a hard roll to play in this family, being the middle of three boys. He wants to do everything that John-Paul does, but he still needs to take daily naps like Eamon. I think he is trying to find his own space.

He is definitely our most cuddly boy, he loves to sit on my lap at Mass, and still sleeps with his blanket and sucks his thumb. Although in these ways he still acts young, he is also probably our bravest boy at the moment, willing to talk to anyone and ask for what he wants. But watch out if he doesn't get what he wants, because he'll readily tell you that he's not going to be friends with you anymore.

I think the way that Andrew has matured the most over this summer is in his speech and his ability to communicate his emotions. He'll tell you when he's feeling frustrated or very happy or wicked excited. And he thinks before he speaks because he prefaces a lot of his sentences with "This is gonna be bad...." or "This is such good news.....".

Andrew, you're going on four years old, you're adorable, we love you and are so proud of you.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Summer Reflections: John-Paul

I thought I would write a little bit about each of my babes to remember how much they've changed over the summer. After all, this is a place for recording my family memories hence the title of this blog! So, we'll start with John-Paul, not only because he is the oldest, but also because he has probably grown the most over this summer.
John-Paul had started reading words just before he turned five, which we were so amazed at. Over the next few months, he began reading books, but it was choppy, it seemed like he was reading the words, but not really understanding the story because he was focusing so much on sounding out each word.

This summer has been a complete change. He now reads books with ease, and only occasionally asks for our help. He LOVES to read, and besides playing outside, it is his number one activity. He even reads to his siblings!

The other day, I "caught" him reading to Andrew, and he knew how to speak loudly when the characters in the book were yelling, and how to pause at the end of each sentence, etc. He has really impressed me with his skills.

The only problem is that I'm afraid he's going to be a book-worm. As a mother, I would never discourage reading, but as a formerly shy child, I really want to encourage his social skills. I'm thinking Kindergarten will be very good for him in that way.

Which brings me to another big change...he's in KINDERGARTEN! Already! What happened to my little boy? He now has to wear a uniform, and even a belt. He looks so big, I now know the saying that "The days go slow, but the years go fast" is sooooo true. I don't feel old enough to have a 5 1/2 year old, I'm still 21, aren't I?

Even though he is enjoying his older-boy-status in our house, he always lets me kiss and cuddle him. He is definitely our best helper around the house, and the best listener. He's my sensitive one, and he still gets scared of bad dreams, and pretty much every tv show he watches (even when it's Veggie Tales, Sesame Street, Word World, etc), which we are working on.

John-Paul, we love you and are so proud of you! XOXO

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Celebrity Collage by MyHeritage

Thanks to this mom for the idea. I was always told I looked like Melissa Joan Hart,
but whatever!

MyHeritage: Family tree - Genealogy - Celebrity - Collage - Morph

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Fridge Update

So, here's an update on our with most things in life, it hasn't been easy.

When our fridge first began breaking (not cooling properly), my Dad had a guy come and look at it, and then come back the next day to replace the thermostat.

We put new food in the fridge, since we had lost all our food :-( and a few days later, I noticed the milk didn't feel cool enough. We bought thermometers and put them in the fridge and freezer, and once again, the fridge was not cooling properly.

So the Fix-It-Guy came and said he could try to put a different thermostat in which should make it cooler. So he replaced it (and we were able to save about half of our food and put it in our friends' fridge) and we waited to see what the temp would be.

Yet again, the fridge wasn't working properly...aaaargh! So, I had enough and decided we were gonna have to get a new one. We searched online and in stores, and finally settled on a nice one.

The delivery guys came yesterday and couldn't bring up our new fridge (we live in a two-family) because it was too wide for the doorways. We had bought the same size fridge as the one we were replacing, but the doors were a different depth, so that once they took the doors off, they could remove our old fridge but not take up our new one. Frustrations ran high, and my awesome sister came over to babysit while I went back to the store to pick out a new fridge.

I had a measuring tape with me, and had to find a fridge that was big enough for our needs, but small enough to fit through the doorways once the door was removed. I finally found this beauty, but it cost $420 extra. Really, at that point, I didn't even care about the price, I was so fed up.

The delivery guys came today to deliver the SECOND new fridge, and were able to bring it up, but couldn't take away the old one because the water was still hooked up to it, and I didn't know how to shut it off. The guy said he would come back tomorrow to take it away.

When I called the company to make an appointment for the haul-away, they told me it wouldn't be for 4 days! I just wouldn't take that for an answer, and so they called the delivery guy directly to ask him to come as soon as possible.

We are now waiting for a phone call from the delivery guys to let us know when they will be coming back to remove the old fridge. Our kitchen is being overtaken by these two refrigerators, but at least we have a properly cooled fridge/freezer to keep our food in.

Aaaahhhh, the drama!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Well, this just says it all


"My friends, we live in the greatest nation in the history of the world. I hope you'll join with me as we try to change it."
- Barack Obama

(Thanks to my MIL for sending me it)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sunday Slump

In the past, on Sundays, I used to get what I call my "Sunday Slump" feeling. It's the feeling that the weekend is coming to a close, and work/business/scheduled appointments/etc are upon us.

It's funny how weekends seem to take me for an emotional roller coaster, and I LOVE roller coasters!! Friday nights are the best...the promise of a fun-filled weekend with everyone at home, date night with my hubby (usually a movie), and dinner is often take-out.

When Saturday morning rolls around, we realize all of the errands and cleaning that needs to take place. We always plan a family outing as well, and at the end of the day feel as though we've accomplished some great things, and given the kids a fun time.

But Sunday morning is a rush to Holy Mass, then CCD for Phil as I bring the kids home myself. The "Sunday Slump" feeling usually rolls around in the afternoon when I suddenly realize how little time we have left of the weekend.

However, we seem to have found a cure for these "Sunday Slumps", at least during football season. Because every Sunday evening, we have friends and priests over to our house for a football party. We try to have different theme nights (Mexican food, Italian, Chinese, barbecue, etc) and everyone brings a dish. It gives us something to look forward to all day, gets the house clean, and is always a great time.

Now if only football season lasted year round...Go PATRIOTS!! (and REDSKINS, for Phil's sake!)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Update on the accident

OK, God is soooooo AWESOME! It turns out that the Franciscan University student that died, had just received a plenary indulgence on Sunday. Also, when they crashed, a priest was was able to run down to the crash site to give Last Rites to her while she was still alive. Wow, it doesn't get much better than that!

As a mother, as much as I can not imagine this horrible loss, I would take great comfort in knowing that my daughter was going straight to Heaven. God does provide, even in the hour of death.

See this article on the crash, and keep all families involved in your prayers!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Urgent Prayer Request

I just received an email from my friend, Justine, informing me that her brother's girlfriend, Rita was in a car accident. Rita and Jonathan go to Franciscan University of Steubenville, and the story gets worse.

Rita was driving the car with her friends in it, and there was a tire in the road that she swerved to miss but ended up flipping over the car, and killing her friend, Kelly.

Rita is in the hospital right now having had surgery, and the other girls appear to be fine.

Please pray for the soul of Kelly, and for recovery and comfort for Rita, who must be feeling really awful.

May the Souls of the Faithful Departed, through the Mercy of God, Rest in Peace!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Night to Remember

The other night, a very generous friend (whom shall remain anonymous because I know she reads this blog) called me and asked if I wanted to go on a date with my hubbie. I didn't have to think twice about that one, and said that I would love to. She then asked me if I liked Celine Dion. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE her voice, although I am not too fond of her personal choices (read more about that here). She then told me she had tickets for us to go see Celine in concert for that night and she had babysitters all lined up. AMAZING!!

We drove to the concert, got stuck in traffic and then parked like a mile away from where we were supposed to be. But when we arrived at the show, it was well worth it. Celine came up on stage, and was soooo emotional to receive all the applause. She sang "I Drove All Night" which got everyone pumped up, and then gave this nice speech about how lucky she was to be doing something she loved (singing), traveling the world (for this tour) and having her mother and son with her everywhere she went. It was actually very heartfelt and touching.

Her voice is so beautiful, she sounds just like she does on her CD's. I heard my three favorite Celine songs; "Because You Loved Me" and "The Power of Love" and "It's All Coming Back to Me Now". "Because You Loved Me" was the song I chose to be played at our wedding while we had the Parent Dance (Phil and I danced with my parents, then switched halfway and danced with his parents) so it has special meaning. The lyrics are printed below, they're oh so wonderful :-)

Because You Loved Me

For all those times you stood by me
For all the truth that you made me see
For all the joy you brought to my life
For all the wrong that you made right
For every dream you made come true
For all the love I found in you
I'll be forever thankful baby
You're the one who held me up
Never let me fall
You're the one who saw me through through it all

You were my strength when I was weak
You were my voice when I couldn't speak
You were my eyes when I couldn't see
You saw the best there was in me
Lifted me up when I couldn't reach
You gave me faith 'coz you believed
I'm everything I am
Because you loved me

You gave me wings and made me fly
You touched my hand I could touch the sky
I lost my faith, you gave it back to me
You said no star was out of reach
You stood by me and I stood tall
I had your love I had it all
I'm grateful for each day you gave me
Maybe I don't know that much
But I know this much is true
I was blessed because I was loved by you

You were my strength when I was weak
You were my voice when I couldn't speak
You were my eyes when I couldn't see
You saw the best there was in me
Lifted me up when I couldn't reach
You gave me faith 'coz you believed
I'm everything I am
Because you loved me

You were always there for me
The tender wind that carried me
A light in the dark shining your love into my life
You've been my inspiration
Through the lies you were the truth
My world is a better place because of you

You were my strength when I was weak
You were my voice when I couldn't speak
You were my eyes when I couldn't see
You saw the best there was in me
Lifted me up when I couldn't reach
You gave me faith 'coz you believed
I'm everything I am
Because you loved me

I'm everything I am
Because you loved me

At one point, Celine had some dancers come on stage, four couples who were doing a Spanish style dance, and one of the couples was either made up of two men or a bald-and-muscular-woman and a man. Hmmmm, we're still undecided about that one. Anyhoo, at about that point we decided to leave a bit early to beat the traffic, but actually got stuck right in the middle of it because the Red Sox game was just ending. Murphy's Law!! All in all, it was a brilliant night and we thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to go to something we never would have been able to afford on our own.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A new Olympic event

This morning I participated in an all-out race against the clock, a sweat-inducing, tiresome struggle that should really be a new Olympic event; nail trimming.

That's right folks, in under 3 minutes I trimmed 40 little fingernails and 40 tiny toe nails, and I brought home the gold.

Now I just need to get Phil in on the action, and we can add Synchronized Nail Cutting as well. Half the time and double the drama!!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Is it just me...

or do these new LZR Speedo swimsuits make it hard to differentiate between the men and women?

Once they have their swim caps and goggles on, I have to look very closely to tell who's who. And it makes it even harder with the female swimmers being as muscular as this (I'm just jealous!):

But I must admit that I loooooove these full-body suits as compared to those low-rider swimpants that Michael Phelps used to wear all the time. A little modesty goes a long way.

Now, if only the women's beach volleyball players would take a hint....

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Maggie's on the Move

Maggie has been rolling around on the floor for months now, but she has finally gotten to the point where she can crawl around the whole bottom floor of the house. Not a normal baby crawl, but more like a military commando crawl. She's very fast, and she likes it! Unless she learns how to correctly crawl, the crawling tally for our family will be: 2 "normal crawlers" (Andrew & Eamon) and 2 "creative movers" (John-Paul never crawled, he scooted on his bum!).

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Target Audience

Today John-Paul came up to me and said, "You know what you need Mom?"

"What's that?", I asked suspiciosly.

"A Swivel Sweeper, because then you can vaccuum under the table without having to move the chairs."

"How do you know about those?"

"The guy on tv told me."

We're gonna be in trouble when this one has money to burn...

Friday, August 8, 2008

Review of "Pocket Guide to the Bible"

After having signed up with The Catholic Company’s Product Reviewer Program, I received Scott Hahn’s Pocket Guide to the Bible.
After having graduated from Franciscan University of Steubenville, where Scott Hahn taught, I was thrilled to be chosen to review a book by this author. I must admit that as a former Scott Hahn student, I knew how insanely brilliant he is, and was a little afraid of this book being too "over-my-head". However, I was pleasantly surprised to find it was just the opposite.

This handy, tiny book (hence why it's called a pocket guide) was just what this sometimes lazy Catholic needed. In the beginning of the book, Scott Hahn explains answers to simple questions about the Bible. I found myself trying to memorize some of these answers as I have been asked the same questions before, and been stuck on how to respond. Where does the Bible come from? Why do we have different books than the Protestant Bible? Who really wrote the Bible? Hahn clearly answers these questions and more.

I must admit though, the best part of the book for me is the last section where Hahn has broken down the Bible according to each book. He then gives a brief explanation of what each book is about, and has a section of where to find specific stories in the Bible. This was and will be so helpful to me as I begin to read the Bible more often.

Although this book is not a page-turning-number-one-best-selling type of book, Scott Hahn and his Pocket Guide to the Bible has inspired me to read God's Word, and what could be better than that?

Warning...this is disgusting

I have a secret to share, but it's really gross and you all might change your opinion of me. It's something that I LOVE to do, and I just need to get it off my chest. OK, here goes...I love to pick my baby's nose. I know, I know, eeewww, gross, etc, but I can't help it. When I can see a little boogie in there, I just NEED to remove it. The other day, she had a little cold and I could hear her doing that whistle-breathing thing, so I went to pull out a boogie, and it was like an inch long, so cool! C'mon people, I know you all like this stuff too, you just won't admit it. Besides, I washed my hands after :-)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Eamon, you rebel

Look at this tough little guy...the slightly sideways skull cap with the tag sticking out, the sunglasses missing the shades and one ear piece, and the best part is that he puts all of this on himself as if it's just normal.

Monday, August 4, 2008

That's it, we're moving.

Wanna hear why Phil and I are exhausted this morning? Nope, not that ;-) Maggie woke up last night around 1am, so Phil went up to give her a bottle, and I promptly fell back asleep.

I awoke to a door slamming and loud banging a little while later. Phil was not back in bed yet, and of course I started assuming the worst; a thief had broken in, a killer was attacking Phil, etc. I ran a couple scenarios through my mind while I was deciding to get out of bed or not. Then, feeling like one of those dumb girls in a scary movie who always seem to walk right into the danger zones, I went and opened the bedroom door.

Phil yelled out "Colleen, Colleen, shut the door, bat" and I thought he was being attacked by someone with a bat, so I screamed "What's going on?" and again he yelled at me to shut the door because THERE WAS A BAT IN THE HOUSE!!!

I turned on all the lights in our bedroom, ran back to bed, and hid under the covers. If there's one thing I hate more than mice, it's bats, and I was freaked out! Five minutes later, I heard Phil yell that he got it, and then he came back to bed (my hero!) and told me what had happened.

When Maggie had cried, and Phil went upstairs to her bedroom, he saw TWO bats flying around in the upstairs hallway. He grabbed a blanket and flipped on the lights and the bats flew downstairs. One actually flew out on our screened-in porch so he shut the door and it was trapped out there (hence the slamming door that woke me up).

The other bat was somewhere downstairs in the house, and he went bat hunting with his trusty tennis racket. He found the second bat hanging upside-down above the doorway to our family room (ugh!). He swung at it and the bat fell to the floor, where he mightily and bravely killed it with his strong tennis racket blows. Then he threw it outside (we still need to find the carcass and discard of it).

Both of us were wide awake for the longest time with all of that adrenaline rushing through our bodies. In the morning, I was scared to even go upstairs to get the kids out of bed. And the first bat is still on our screened-in porch for now.

So if anyone knows of a nice house with cheap rent and none of these guys:
we'd be interested!!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Sneaky Behavior

Just the other night, I saw a little bald spot on the back of Andrew's head.

Me: "What's that?" I asked Phil.

Phil: "You must have done it when you cut his hair."

Me: "But I cut his hair two weeks ago, and I just noticed this bald spot now, something else is going on."

The next day, I noticed Eamon had two bald spots on the top of his head. I asked John-Paul if he knew why Eamon had them, and he started stammering, "Um, well, maybe, ah". I told him to tell me the truth (he's such a horrible liar, which is great for us) because God already saw what had happened, and I needed to know.

Finally, John-Paul told me that he had cut Andrew's hair and then Andrew cut Eamon's hair. But, he didn't understand why I was upset because they used their safety scissors.

I was actually more upset that they hadn't told me what happened than about what actually happened. Besides, I give all the boys crew cuts, so it's not too noticeable, and at least they didn't cut Maggie's hair which is hard to come by as it is!

An important note to this story is that all of this haircutting took place while I was at work, and they were under Phil's watch. Also, when I found out what happened to their hair, I told Phil and let him know that it wasn't my bad-hair-cutting-skills as he had proposed. He has yet to apologize...

(at least they didn't look like this poor kid!)