Friday, May 27, 2011

Our Anniversary Date

Our 9th Anniversary was May 17, and my gift to Phil was this book he's been waiting for:

He got me tickets to go see "A Conversation with Steve Martin".  I was so excited because Steve is the male comedian whom I think is hysterical (my top female comedienne is Kristen Wiig).  Anyway, he set up a babysitter and we met after work and drove to The Cheesecake Factory to have dinner: 

Then we headed over to see the show:

And ate our shared slice of cheesecake while we waited:

Baby Bump Alert:

 Once we were seated for the show, I tried to snap a picture of the stage, but got in trouble by an elderly employee who informed me there were no cameras allowed.  Busted!

When Steve Martin came out, we all gave him a standing ovation and were so excited to see him.  What I didn't realize was that this wasn't going to be a stand-up routine with some of his banjo bits thrown in for good measure.  Nope this was basically an interview of him on stage.  And the man interviewing him was terrible.  He kept interrupting Steve and bringing up irrelevant points.  A couple of times Steve told him to "let me finish" was awkward. 

The interview was a reflection on his career, and after an hour and a half, they had only discussed topics up until 1973.  Ugh!  I didn't get half of the references made, because I wasn't even born!  At this point I had to stand up to stretch and so we walked to the back of the auditorium to stand, and then just walked out. 

Unfortunately it seemed a few people had the same idea, and once outside they expressed their frustrations with the show.  I was upset that this event was such a special gift from Phil and it panned out poorly.  But, we were thankful for the nice meal and a date - no matter what!  Next time we will do a little more research before buying tickets :) 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Child Abuse?


He, she or it? Family keeps baby's gender a secret

The first question people ask after hearing of a new arrival is usually, “Boy or girl?”
Friends and family of one Canadian couple are getting no answer to this simple inquiry. Kathy Witterick and her husband David Stocker have decided to keep baby Storm's gender a secret.

Steve Russell / TORONTO STAR
Boy or girl? They're not telling. Baby Storm, in red, gets a cuddle from brother Jazz.

(Did you catch that?  That's a BOY giving the baby a kiss)

“We've decided not to share Storm's sex for now — a tribute to freedom and choice in place of limitation, a stand up to what the world could become in Storm's lifetime (a more progressive place?),” the couple wrote in an email to friends and family after Storm’s birth, according to the Toronto Star.

Other than Storm’s parents, the only other people to know Storm’s gender are the couple’s two sons, Jazz, 5, and Kio, 2, the midwives who delivered the baby and a close family friend. They got the idea to raise a genderless child from a book they found in the library, and told the paper the secrecy is about giving their children freedom.

“What we noticed is that parents make so many choices for their children. It’s obnoxious,” Stocker told the paper. He and his wife allow Jazz and Kio to choose their clothing from both the boys' and girls' departments – including pink dresses - and how they want to wear their hair.

Although many parents rebel against traditional pink and blue clothing for their babies, and give dolls to their boys and trucks to their girls, Storm’s parents’ decision seems to have touched a nerve, sparking discussion on news outlets and blogs around the world. Comments on the original story accuse the parents of being “irresponsible,” confusing their children, and setting up Storm for “future damage.”

“Reading the story I thought about Storm’s brothers,” writes Lisa Belkin in the New York Times blog Motherlode. “What message is being sent to them, telling them that their sibling’s sex is an unspillable secret. Doesn’t that in itself give gender the all-defining importance that these parents are trying to avoid?”

What do you think of this couple’s decision to keep Storm’s gender a secret?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


WWYD: What Would You Do?

I need advice on two topics.

1) As you all know, we are having our 5th child this summer.  We have two minivans - a 1995 Dodge Caravan with no car payment but over 100,000 miles and needs brakes, and a 2010 VW Routan that has a car payment. 

The Dodge Caravan can fit 5 carseats, but the VW Routan can not.  Technically, John-Paul will not be required to be in a booster seat, but it's recommended and of course, we want to be safe.  Besides, in order to fit him in the VW, he has to squish himself between the two carseats in the back bench and he tends to get car sick back there.

So, we are trying to figure out what to do with our car situation once baby arrives.  I think we should keep the VW Routan and trade the Dodge Caravan in for a *real* van. 

That way, we'll have two cars that are reliable and can fit all the kids, but one will be for short trips (like to school) and the other will be for longer trips.  However, then we will have two car payments and a van so big that I don't think I'll be able to drive it.  Is there another solution that I can't see clearly?

2) OK, this one is more fun.

Next week, I have a week off.  I'll explain why later.  Phil will be at work, and the kids will be in school, so I'll have FREEDOM to do whatever I want. 

 For now the only things on my agenda are: daily Mass, daily walks, get pro-life license plates, and I have one meeting scheduled.  The rest of the time is up for grabs.  So, what would you do if you had a few hours to yourself each day?  This is so exciting!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Play Ball!

You can learn a lot from playing baseball. 

1) Patience.  There's nothing like trying to wait your turn in the dugout.  It requires a lot of patience for these little guys:

2) Being Alert.  John-Paul stands ready for action...just in case a ball actually makes it to first base:

3) Hand-Eye Coordination.  A great catch, just a little too late:

4) Patience again:

5) Reliance on Others.  If they get a run!

6) Overcoming Nerves.  When all eyes are on you to "bring it home":

7) How not to crash into an opposing teammate.  Especially if she's a girl:

8) What happens when you DON"T keep your eye on the ball...

...a swing and a miss.

9) What happens when you DO keep your eye on the ball...

Base Hit!

10) And of course, you learn cool chants like "John-Paul, John-Paul, Swing that Bat!  Give That Ball a Heart Attack!"

And I hope one day, they learn an appreciation for their parents who bring them out to all their practices and games, and for the little siblings who get dragged along yet are still their biggest cheerleaders :)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Jr. Choir's Big Show

Last night, John-Paul's Junior Choir performed a show for the school, called "Rock and Roll Forever".  It was awesome! 

There was comedy....

A cousin who shared the stage...

 A swing number featuring my big guy...

Lots and lots of choreographed dance numbers and singing.....

Songs from The Beach Boys, Elvis, The Beatles, and Little Richie....

And then it was finished much too soon.  He was relieved it was over, and promptly informed me that although it was so much fun, he doesn't want to do it again next year.  I think he's more of a jock :) 

Then we went to the classrooms to see all the hard work the kids have been doing.  The preschool and Kindergarten classes were a bit chaotic with all the little kids pointing to their handiwork and all the adoring parents and grandparents ooohing and awwing. 

The second grade classroom was a bit more serene, so I was able to get a couple pics of John-Paul's report on the Paul Revere House.  We had taken him to Boston a couple weeks ago to snap some pictures of him in front of the actual house.  It's pretty cool to live near such a historical city!

His report:

It was such a great night!  I love our Catholic Elementary school.  They learn so much, and are being molded into such good Christians.  And they have FUN doing it!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Proof That She Really IS a Princess!

*Note: The babysitter gave Maggie her phone to play with, and Maggie figured out how to do this all by herself.  Not only a princess, but a tech genius as well!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Happy Anniversary!!

(This is a post written by Colleen's husband after I broke into her blog account...This is what happens when you tell me everything, including all your passwords)

9 Years Ago Today...

You woke up early and spent your day decorating the church and reception hall and putting the final touches on the amazing wedding you planned.  I also woke up early, but it was for a tee-time, a round of golf, and a nice lunch with my groomsmen. 

Over the past 9 years, I have continued to rely on you to make sure everything gets done.  Our wedding day was just a small example of what a great wife and mother you would be.  While I am off at work, you get all of our kids up, dressed, fed, and out the door to school on time.  You budget our money, take care of the banking, pay all our bills, taxes, and insurance.  The only reason you can pay all these bills is because you also work incredibly hard at your many jobs. 

As a mother, you also have to do most of the work.  Like our wedding day, I just needed to show up while you have gone through the many months of pregnancy and its many changes and challenges.  You do so much to take care of me and the kids.

And just like 9 years ago, I am still amazed that you chose me and that you look as amazing as you do (especially when pregnant). 

And just like 9 years ago, I promise to keep showing up!!

Happy Anniversary!!


Monday, May 16, 2011

Ode to My Pregnant Body

Dear Hugenormous Body of Mine,
I've been giving you a lot of disrespect lately.  I see you in the mirror and think "Eeew.  Where has my human body gone and what is this alien replacement doing here?"  But amongst my rude comments, you still keep plugging away each day to do exactly what I need, and for that I wish to thank you.
To the feet that I can no longer see: Thank you for allowing me to go for walks each day and pretty pink toenails that make me smile when I can actually catch a glimpse.  Even though you hurt like heck at the end of each day, you give my husband something to rub while we watch tv, and for that I'm sure he thanks you too.
To my legs: Thank you for not complaining that I don't keep you as smooth as normal.  And although I can no longer count on you to hold me in a squatting position over the toilet, you haven't *yet* given me cankles or varicose veins.  Thank you so much for that!
To my poor stretched belly: Thank you for being so generous in giving your all when it comes to expanding for Baby Boo.  You could have stayed small and cute, but you sacrificed to let this baby have all the room (s)he wants in there.  And thank you for those stretch marks that could teach an abstinence class all by themselves.  You know how I hate speaking in front of a crowd, so I'm glad you can get the word out for me.
To my arms that get chunkier with each passing day: Thank you for not caring about tank-top and bathing suit season coming up.  Some limbs can be so superficial, but not you.  You are building layers upon layers to help me one day hold what has to be the biggest baby ever.  Arnold Swartzenegger - watch out!
To my face and neck: Thank you for reminding me daily that I need to eat a healthier diet.  Without seeing your swollen, puffy, and chubby additions, I might not be able to stop myself from eating one.more.bowl of ice cream.  You are so helpful!
To my hair: Thank you for sticking in there with me.  I know once baby is born, you will shed and clog my shower drain, but until then, at least you can make me feel somewhat feminine.

And so, my maternal body,  I vow to be a little more respectful when I talk to you, a little more enthusiastic about all the changes you are making, and a little more appreciative of all that you do for me and this baby of ours.  If you can help me through the labor, I promise to get you back in tip-top shape...eventually.


Friday, May 13, 2011

A Nutty Tale

Andrew's Kindergarten teacher put a peanut on his desk, and had him write a story.  This is what my cutie came up with:
In case you can't read it, here's EXACTLY what he wrote:

I am Mr. Penaut I started as a seed. I went on an Adventure. on my Adventure. I saw a Lion. The Lion was big. Then I went to a house. I chanegd my pants.

(Ummmm, I think if i saw a lion, I would have to change my pants too!!)

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Baby Boo Guesses

After work today I get to go to my midwife and get my gestational diabetes test done.  To say I am nervous would be a huge understatement.  I don't care about the blood draw - I give blood as much as I can when I'm not preggers, but I'm nervous that I'll have gestational diabetes.  I failed the test with Andrew, but then passed the 4 hour test.  With Maggie, I failed the first test, and was one point off from failing each of the four-hour tests.  My midwife said we should treat it as though I had gestational diabetes, and try to control it through diet alone.  I did VERY well with my diet, and ended up not needing to be on insulin.  I only gained 20 pounds total with her pregnancy because of my healthy eating.  That was a nice perk :)  We'll see how it goes this time around...

Anyway, I want to start taking guesses for Baby Boo's arrival!  Our official due date is July 31st, but I have never reached my due date before.  I've been between 5 and 10 days early (naturally) and John-Paul was induced 5 weeks early.  The baby weights in the past were 6 lbs 5 oz (that was the preterm babe), 8 lbs 4 oz, 7 lbs 3 oz, 7 lbs 6 oz.  For the past two months, I have been measuring 3 weeks ahead, if you want to take my hugeness into consideration.  And we all think it's a boy, but you're welcome to guess girl too!  So go ahead and leave a guess (due date, weight, gender) in the comments, and you just might win yourself a little somethin' somethin' :) 

Good luck!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

My Mother's Day Loot

From Maggie:

From John-Paul:

From Eamon:

From Andrew:

From Phil (and Baby Boo):

I had a wonderful Mother's Day.  Phil let me sleep in until about 8:00, when he had to leave to get the CCd kids checked in.  Then he came back and we all went out for a quick breakfast before he had to return for CCD classes.  The kids were so sweet all day long, telling me how much they loved me :)  I had lunch with my sisters and mother and one of my sisters-in-law, which was lovely.  Then we took the kids to a playground and out to dinner.  It was a day full of relaxation and food ~ the perfect day!  I am so thankful for the gift of my children and the ability to be a mom.  It's been my lifelong dream to be a wife and mother, and I am so lucky!