Thursday, September 30, 2010

Normal Boy or Psychopath?

Help me decide if we are raising a normal 7 year old, or he is going to turn out to be a psychopath:

John-Paul (7) and Andrew (almost 6) were in the shower (yes, we make the kids shower in batches, at least while they are young) and as soon as they got out, John-Paul ran over to his piggy bank and started taking out money.

Phil, realizing something was going on, asked him why he was getting out money.  J-P replied that he wanted to give Andrew fifty cents.  When Phil asked him why, it became obvious J-P was trying to cover up something.

So, Phil turned to Andrew and asked him why J-P was giving him money.  Andrew said "I'm not supposed to tell you!" and was looking very guilty as well.  John-Paul finally confessed that he peed on Eamon's shower poof/sponge. 

What?!?!?  He thought it would be a funny prank, but then realized Phil and I wouldn't agree so he tried to pay off Andrew from tattling.  He got in trouble for:
1) Peeing on his brother's stuff 
2) Trying to be sneaky about it, and
3) Involving Andrew in his sneakiness 

So is this a funny, normal boy story or not?  We can laugh about it now, but we were really upset with him.  This seemed so out of character.  Thank goodness he has his First Penance this year :)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Journey to Phil, Part 3

(Part 1 is here, and Part 2 is here)
After a long trip across the Atlantic, I made it safely to Vienna. I then boarded a bus that took all of us students to the Kartause in Gaming, where we would be living until May:
The very first night, we were encouraged to stay awake and socialize in order to get our bodies adjusted to the time difference. My roommate, Annie, and I made it a point to meet new people, and one of those happened to be a student from Hungary named Buddy (his real name was Laszlo, but we called him Buddy). He was such a fun and goofy guy, and he had a girlfriend back home, so that made him the perfect friend!

The following day, Annie and I went to find Buddy to go out dancing at a local "disco". When we knocked on his bedroom door, his two roommates answered, dressed in their pajamas and brushing their teeth. We introduced ourselves, they introduced themselves (Drew and Phil), we all laughed at the fact that they were getting ready for bed, and we were getting ready to go out. We got Buddy and left.

The next morning, Annie and I were eating breakfast before class, and Phil and Drew asked to sit with us. We said sure, and they came back again for lunch and then dinner that same day! They said they were pulling a hat trick, and we were like, "What's a hat trick?" Oh, we must have been good company ;) Actually we thought that Drew had a crush on Annie, since I was already dating someone and I definitely wasn't looking at guys in that way.

But Phil became a very good friend, very fast. I surprised myself when I told Annie that I wanted to marry a guy just like him. Then I realized what I had said, and began to reevaluate the three-year relationship I was in. If I wanted to marry a guy like Phil, then why was I dating a guy unlike Phil?

After more friendly conversations with Phil, I knew I was starting to like him a bit too much, and I had to call my boyfriend back in America and break up with him. Yes, I was that girl. Breaking up with a serious boyfriend on the phone. I'll always feel guilty for that, but what was I supposed to do? He didn't take it well and since he had already bought a ticket to come to Austria, he said he was still coming over to visit me later in the semester. I offered to pay him back for the ticket, but he insisted on coming.

In the meantime, Annie and I attended a safety talk given by the Director of Student Life, and he told us that girls should not travel alone to Eastern Europe...especially girls with blue eyes and blond hair. Annie and I just looked at each other, with our blond hair and blue eyes, and started re-planning our trip to Poland that was to take place that weekend. We knew that Drew and Phil were great people, so we wrote a little note to them asking if they would accompany us to Poland. They wrote back that they would. Very mature of us :)


The day before we were to leave on the train for Poland, there was an announcement made that we would be having a Valentine's Ball on the following Sunday night. Annie really wanted to go, but she wanted a date, so I mentioned to Buddy to ask her (as friends) and when he asked her to go with him, Annie said, "But only if Colleen goes too". I shook my head, because of course I didn't want to be a third wheel, and Phil piped up and said that maybe I could go with him. Swoon! He asked me out :)

On our Poland trip, Phil and I hung out a lot. We sat together on the train, walked arm in arm around Poland, and had coffee while everyone else checked their email at the Internet cafes.

Mercedes Taxi

Pope John Paul's house

On the train ride back to Austria, I ended up falling asleep on his shoulder (accidentally?!?!) and we stayed that way the rest of the trip. Swoon again.

Later that week, we went to the Valentine's Ball together, and we danced Holy-Spirit-style (you know, make sure you leave room for the Holy Ghost!). At one point, it was getting warm inside, so we went out on the cold balcony and danced to Amazing by Lonestar. It was utterly romantic.

So I liked him, and I thought he liked me, but we weren't officially dating yet. All of the other students were teasing us, asking if we were dating, and making me blush. My 21st birthday was coming up, and I had planned to spend it in Paris with Annie and my best friends from home who were all studying in France that same semester. I told Phil about my birthday plans, and he asked me if he could take me out for my birthday a couple days before I left. We went to a restaurant in town and had such a nice dinner, then on the way home he shyly said "So you know I want to ask you out...but I want to make sure you are ready." I said "Yup, I'm ready" (broken hearts heal fast when true love is applied)!! (This is the actual road from the restaurant back to our dorms where he asked me out)

And so, we officially became a couple on February 23, 2000. Things were going great, but that didn't last long....

Monday, September 27, 2010

Are You One?

Are you two?
Are you three?
Are you four?

Yes, you're FOUR!!!!!

Eamon turned four yesterday, and we had an awesome day. We went apple picking and had a party, complete with pizza and a cupcake cake. Eamon had a blast, and at one point he said "This is my favorite birthday ever!".

Mission complete :)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I Blew His Mind

Andrew: Mom, were you born in 2003, like John-Paul?

Me: No.

Andrew: 2002?

Me: No.

Andrew: 2001?

Me: Nope.

Andrew: (all exasperated) Well, then, 2000-what were you born in?


Me: Andrew, this is gonna sound funny, but I was born in 1979.

Andrew: WHAT?!?!?!? Nuh-uh.

Me: Yes-huh.

(He still doesn't believe me)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Journey to Phil, Part 2

(Read Part One here)

So there I was at Franciscan University of Steubenville in August of 1997. 13 hours from home, and all alone. I was missing my high school friends, and most of all my boyfriend whom I had just begun dating 4 months earlier. They were all still in Massachusetts. What was I doing in Ohio? My roommate was just okay, and my classes were a bit of a repeat from high school. I was a biology major because like most of my older siblings, I was going to be a doctor or at least something in the medical field.

My very first biology class was Botany, and the super-hard professor called on me the first class asking me to identify a plant. I had NO idea, I'm still not good with anything that grows green, and I felt really embarrassed. That class was my hardest class, and I eventually dropped it because it made me rethink the whole biology major. If I had someone to turn to for advice, I may not have made that decision, but in the end I am glad I switched. The next semester, I decided to become a double major - Theology and Journalism. Mostly because I had to pick something, and I liked to write and we had the greatest theology professors right on campus (Scott Hahn and Mark Miravalle, just to name a couple).

That major lasted for only one semester (Theology requires deep thinking, and I'm more of a worker bee) and by the beginning of my sophomore year, I switched again, this time to Accounting. I must admit, I picked this without really knowing what it entailed, but I LOVE math and the computerized tests I had taken in high school said I should become an accountant. And who's to argue with a computerized test that picks your career?? ;)

Luckily, accounting and all the business classes came easy to me, and I thoroughly enjoyed them. I think growing up in a family business really helped! I was still missing my old friends, and still dating the boy from back home, who now was going to college in Maine. But, I was also making lots of new friends, most of them from other countries (they used to joke that I was the minority when we all hung out) and joined a volleyball team. I was enjoying the whole college experience, yet still felt I was missing something. I began thinking about when I would go to Austria in our study-abroad program. Part of me didn't want to go and be away from home and my boyfriend for a whole semester, but a bigger part of me knew this was an opportunity I couldn't miss. I worked extra hard that school year, making money by scrubbing toilets in the dorm, working as a secretary on my Christmas break, and taking extra business classes during the summer.

(not me)

By the time January 2000 came along, I was ready to start the second half of my Junior year in Gaming, Austria. After a teary-eyed departure from the Boston airport, I waved goodbye to my parents and boyfriend and began an adventure that would change my life...

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Lines are Divided

Like Mother:
Like Daughter:

Like Father:

Like Sons:

(And we are all staying loyal despite our disappointment in yesterday's performances!!)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Hi Lo: September 17th


1) John-Paul and Andrew started their soccer seasons!! They both had their first game on Saturday and both won. Go teams!

2) School pictures were this week, and for the first time ever, I actually ordered an 8x10 for each kid. They looked so cute when they went to school, but you never know what they looked like in the photo until you get it back...we'll see!

3) I took Maggie to the ear doctor on Wed. because she keeps saying she can feel something in her ear. He said her tubes are slowly making their way into the ear canal, and that is probably what she feels. He didn't want to take them out because they were still in the ear drum and it would have hurt her. The "hi" part of this story is Maggie's behavior. She is such a great, polite, and talkative girl when I bring her somewhere like the doctor. I am always getting the highest compliments about her, and she makes me so proud!

4) I had my first Friday at home with all the kids in school, and it was great! I went to the gym for almost 2 hours, went to the grocery store, cleaned the house and made a nice big dinner. I wish I could be a SAHM every day!

5) This is a bit late, but my friends in real life, Laura and Jess each had their babies!

Here's me with Josh (Laura's second son):

And here's Mary Rose (their first baby!) getting kisses from her mom, Jess and dad, Dan:


1) Our schedule for after-school activities is crazy already. J-P has soccer academy on Mondays, practice on Weds, and games on Sats. He also has choir on Tues and will start violin on Wednesdays. Andrew had soccer practice and games on Saturday. And poor Eamon and Maggie just get dragged around to be the world's best cheerleaders!

2) Phil and I ate a whole bag of these on Wed night:

That's normal, right?

How was your week?