Saturday, August 31, 2013

7 Quick Takes: Inside Me Lives...

This baby is turning me into someone I don't even recognize.  I have some theories as to exactly what kind of person is growing within that is making me all crazy:

A Renaissance Painter
He keeps telling me to lay around all day getting paler and fatter by the minute, just so I can be his muse.

A 40 year old jobless, video-game-playing, living in his parent's basement, good -for-nothing "grown-up".
At least I have a little buddy to keep me company.

He keeps encouraging my lazy behaviors in this first trimester.  
Don't want to clean the house or cook dinner?  Don't worry, Mom Phil will do it for you.

A producer from The Biggest Loser.

Because honestly, all of this non-exercising, no motivation, and junk food craving I've been doing is going to end me up on the show. 

A salt lick.

I am thirsty all the time.  All.the.time.

An anti-blogger.  

Because when I have some free time to possibly write a blog post, pretty much anything else sounds like more fun.  Thank God there are so many of you out there that do it better than I.

A Negative Nancy.

I really really don't like the crabbiness side effect of the pregnancy hormones, so I try to look at this chart when I get whiny:

My baby!

As stupid as it sounds, sometimes I forget that inside of me is a living growing baby girl or boy!  All of this laziness and crankiness and cravings and weight gain is actually happening for an awesome reason.  And I can't wait until the roller coaster of the 1st trimester is over to enjoy the 2nd trimester ride.  

Neither can the rest of my family :)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


One of my favorite movies ever even though Heather Graham is in it.
Ahhhhhh!  Life is so crazy right now.  I was so looking forward to the start of the school year after a pretty nauseating and exhausting summer, but now that it's here, I can barely keep afloat. 

With a new school year comes tons of school meetings (both at work and at my kid's school), the busiest two weeks of work in a long time, the start of soccer season, and the hunt for what-to-do-with-Maggie-while-we-have-to-be-at-work-and-the-boys-start-school-but-Maggie-doesn't-start-until-next-week. Answer-she's with the baby at the nanny's house.  Oh daycare costs for two is so not fun.

So we had uniforms to size and sort (thank God for hand-me-downs and generous siblings and friends), lunches to pack, backpacks to clean or buy, soccer balls and shin pads and cleats to purchase or locate, orientations to attend, book sales to run, huge payrolls to stress over, budgets to plan and execute, CCD talks to write (Phil), grad classes to study (again, Phil), and the rest of life to contend with.  Oh, I also have this little problem where I am dizzy/light-headed/breathless all the time.  And this morning, I awoke to find Maggie hanging over the toilet saying she felt sick.  I asked her to flush what was mellowing in there so she could at least stare at a clean bowl.  Then I went to try and find just one outfit that still fits before I have to pull out the old maternity clothes at 10 weeks. Yes, this is my life.

But I'm not complaining.  Ok, yes I was complaining, but I'm not now.  Because this is my life.  This is our life.  This is the life we signed up for when we got married and vowed to accept children lovingly (not easily! not for kicks and giggles!) and God blessed us with these five, soon to be six, little lovies to care for.  

And this is the life we signed up for when we both decided it was best for our family to have full-time working parents (because, as it turns out, being able to afford a roof over our heads and put food on the table IS best for the family).  

And this is the life we choose every.single.sports.season when I giddily sign up my babies for the sports they so love to play, then later crack under the pressure of 4 games and 3 practices each week! 

This is also the life we choose when we continue to be open to life even though it makes for a sick Momma and exhausted Dad who has to pick up all my slack.  

But, you know what else?

This is the life we hoped for back when we were engaged and would daydream about our future.  

Six kids in 12 years of marriage?  Yes, please!  

A loving marriage where both spouses are loyal to each other and the Church's teachings?  How did we get so lucky?  

A crazy, loud, messy house full of little people who are half me and half Phil and 100% unique and pretty much the best people we know?  Where can we sign up?

And so, we're keeping it together.  Maybe just barely on most days, but it's working.  Because this is our life, these were our dreams that became our reality and you know what?  This is the good life.

Monday, August 26, 2013

1st Day of the Odd Years

Not that my children are odd (questionable) but that these cutie patooties are going into 1st, 3rd, and 5th grades today!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Seven Quick Takes in Which I Realize Jen's Power

Joining Jen and the rest because it's FRIDAY!  And the last Friday before school starts for us!

So back in January, Mrs. Jen Fulwiler herself linked to the Saint Name Generator she created.  Everyone in my family got a saint for the year, and mine was St. Gianna.  I was so excited to get St. Gianna, because she is such an awesome role model of a working mom, and we were going to name Xander Gianna if he had been a she.  But after my initial joy wore off, I realized that getting St. Gianna for 2013 might mean I would get pregnant in 2013, since many women pray to her for help with fertility.  I got scared.  I wasn't ready for another baby yet.  I even wrote in this post that perhaps St. Gianna would just use 2013 to allow my heart to open to the idea of another baby.  Well, Jen F.and St. Gianna are pretty powerful people, and not only did my heart turn from a cold piece of coal to an inviting place for babies, but I also got pregnant.  So if this baby is a girl, I'm thinking the name Jennifer Gianna is in order ;)

My friend Laura sent me this article last night.  It's good to be 34!!  I think the reason women feel the best in the nude at 34 is because they are just tired of caring!

Ben Affleck is cast to be the new Batman.  

I'll still watch it because I love all the superhero movies, but I liked Christian Bale.  

Ben's a hometown boy, and I really like his wife....but I don't know if he's Batman material. 

I've been drinking lots of Chai Tea at home using my Teapot from Adagio.  

You just brew the loose tea in the pot, then sit it on top of your mug and the tea drains right into your cup leaving behind the leaves.  

I make my chai tea with warm milk, and it's delicious!

My baby!
H for Head and B for Body (although that's not what my kids thought!)

Sorry it's so blurry, it's a picture of a picture.  

I wasn't going to get an ultrasound done at my first appointment, but I had a small issue and my midwife wanted to make sure everything looked okay.  I was glad to see there was only ONE baby in there, since I'm not as awesome as you moms of twins!

Go congratulate Simace on their anniversary.  4 years and 3 kids?  That's some good Steubenville lovin' :)  Soon they'll be riding around in the Big Van like the rest of us.
The Donaldson van and the Martin van.

Phew, made it through to number seven.  I think I may just invent Four Quick Takes Friday.  For the lazies like me.  

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Food and my Man

Joining with Cari for her Theme Thursday: Food.

My husband is a little hard to cook for.  I know you're all shocked because I always write about how perfect he is (and he is!) but if there's one thing I could wish was a leetlebeet different, it would be that he wasn't quite so picky.  When it comes to food, that is.  When it comes to wives, I'd like to think he is VERY picky and chose the best ;)

Phil's Food Dislikes:
Any seafood
Meat on the bone (ex. I have to pull all the chicken meat off the roast before serving)
Sour Cream
Any cold salad (pasta salad, potato salad, chicken salad)
Store bought tomato sauce
Coffee creamer
and on and on...

BUT!  He always makes me smile when we go to a soft serve ice cream shop and he orders a vanilla cone with rainbow jimmies.  

Meat on the bone?  Can't handle it.  

Girly sprinkles?  Yup, he's secure enough for that.

What a loveable weirdo.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Comic Relief

I suppose they could be influenced by worse than Calvin & Hobbes???

Monday, August 19, 2013

Let Me Count the Ways...

I've got the bestest husband in the whole world!  For me.  
You may have the bestest husband in the whole world for you, and that makes me so happy!  

Don't you just hate it when spouses don't speak nicely about one another?  Doesn't it sort of stab you in the heart when you hear a wife belittling her husband, or a husband wishing his wife was a better {insert role}?  Love is a choice, people!  Luckily, for me, it's usually accompanied by a syrupy sweet feeling as well, which made that choice pretty much the easiest decision I've ever had.  

The secret reason I am still giddy in love with my super hot husband after 11 years is because he loves me with acts of service that really ahem, do the trick.  Let me give you some examples of the ways he shows his love...

1) He makes me breakfast every single day while I have morning sickness, then serves it to me in bed.  He even takes my order the night before.

2) He put my favorite running songs in my phone so that I didn't have to choose between carrying an iPod or carrying a phone.  Safety first.

3) When my sister told me it was possible to conceive again (twins) in the first ten weeks of pregnancy, I shot him a look that read "Don't come near me" and he just smiled and nodded, even though he thinks twins would be the.coolest.

4) I just went into the kitchen and spotted him in the bathroom, cleaning the bathtub.  With the new sponge he was so excited to try out since we saw it on Shark Tank.

5) Speaking of Shark Tank, we saw an episode last week where these guys made grilled cheese sandwiches on glazed donuts instead of bread.  I was drooling, and Phil said "Do you want me to go pick up some donuts to make that?" and  he was serious, too.

6) Every day I'm at work he does something fun with the kids...parks, bike rides, sports events, beaches, arts and crafts, obstacle courses (they are really into completing his course to become a ninja warrior), basically he does anything and everything.  He's a better parent than I'll ever be.

7)  He never buys anything.  This is so good for my budgeting yet sometimes spending personality.  I never have to worry about finding a big credit card bill because he wanted the latest technology item.  If we have a big credit card bill, it's all my fault.

8) If he's not cooking dinner, he's doing the dishes.  Fact.

9)  A couple of weeks ago, we had a homily where our pastor asked everyone in the parish to increase their tithing by 20%.  The next week as I'm writing the check for Mass, Phil reminds me to increase it by 20% and I said "Ugh, it's not like our incomes went up 20%" and he replied "When has God never provided for us?"  

10) He is completely focused on getting us to Heaven.  I've never seen Phil cry, but the most emotional he gets is when he talks about how he wouldn't be able to be happy if the kids or I don't make it to Heaven.  I joke and tell him that it's his job to get us to Heaven and it's my job to get us through this life.  And he takes that job seriously.

Okay, I could go on and on with my love mushiness, and I'm sure Phil is blushing reading this.  But isn't it nice to lift your spouse up in a world that doesn't seem to encourage it?  So go ahead and tell me the reasons you are happy in love...

Friday, August 16, 2013

7 Quick Takes in Which I Have Way Too Much to Say.

Ahhhh, how is it Friday already??  One good thing about not blogging much during the week is that I have plenty of material for this post!  Mwahahahahaha!

Joining up with Jen and away we gooooooooo...

1) The kids took tennis lessons this summer, despite their non-upper class preppiness.  Our town has a fabulous recreation department where the kids can do sports on the cheap and although they inherited their mother's lack of tennis skills, they still loved playing!  In the past 12 months, they have now played soccer, track, basketball, swimming, karate, and tennis.  Phew!

 Xander was just the cheerleader, suprisingly, they frown on 2 year olds taking lessons.

So Wednesday was the Feast Day of St. Maximillian Kolbe, and I realized I've never written my story about him.  In case you don't know who Fr. Kolbe was, here's a short video about his life:

The man he stepped in and took the place of was named Francis Gajowniczek, and when I was around 12 years old, he came to our church on Cape Cod, to speak about his story.  After he was saved by St. Maximillian Kolbe, he dedicated his life to sharing the story of the saint. He told a priest that "so long as he ... has breath in his lungs, he would consider it his duty to tell people about the heroic act of love by Maximilian Kolbe."

At the time, my mom was instrumental in getting him to come to our church to speak, and being the hostess with the mostess, also offered for him to stay at our house.  He accepted!  So "Mr. G" as we called him, came to stay at our house with his second wife (after he made it through Auschwitz alive, he found out his wife and children had not) who was a hoot, and his interpreter, Peter, who I fell madly in love with as any hormonal boy-crazy 12 year old would for a guy who spoke a foreign language and looked good doing it.  

My mom called up our friend who was 100% polish and owned a restaurant to make some authentic polish dishes to eat for dinner, and Mr. G was so touched.  My parents' bedroom was on the first floor of our house, and because Mr. G was elderly and frail, my parents gave him their bed and slept upstairs in the guest room.  And do you know what my mom did as soon as we had said goodbye to our dear guests?  She pulled those sheets off the bed and saved them as some sort of relic of St. Maximillian Kolbe!

And that's my story.

Today is officially my last day of summer.  I go back to full-time work next week.  I know, shed a tear for me.

I'm actually really blessed to only have to work part-time in the summer, and can stay home while Phil tutors so that our kids are always with one of us.  Then once we're both back to work full-time, the kids are in school (Xander will be in his final year with the nanny) and time will fly by until my vacation maternity leave in March!
Not totally untrue ;)

Speaking of babies (aren't I always?  So annoying.)  I am trying to decide if I want to continue to use my awesome midwife for the birth of this baby.  I've used her for the past two labors and she is incredible, but offers no pain medication.  Or I can choose a doctor who will not offer me the same wonderful prenatal care and support but will actually call the anesthesiologist when I lose my mind and yell out "GIVE ME SOMETHING OR I'M GOING TO DIE!!!!"  Because I always do.

I've made a list of pros and cons to try and help me decide, but it's still unclear:

Laid back approach to prenatal care
No drugs
Catholic and supportive of our NFP, pro-life values
Such a calm labor coach
Completely all-natural approach to pregnancy and birth
Can use jacuzzi during labor
It will be Lent and I can make natural birth my Lenten sacrifice

Doctor: Pros Cons
Gives drugs More intensive prenatal care
Does not have same values
Comes in only to "catch" the baby
More likely to use medical interventions
If getting epidural - no jacuzzi plus the dreaded catheter
I have FAST labors and might not get to hospital in time for epidural

Why is it still unclear? Because it basically it all comes down to the value placed on the goods.  And by goods I mean drugs.  And by drugs I mean sweet, sweet pain relief.  For the record, I've had three epidural deliveries (two good, one bad) and then two natural births (one awesome, one more traumatic). So you all decide for me, mkay?

Phil took the kids to Patriots Training Camp this week, and they got to see Tom Brady and Tim Tebow.  From afar.

From very afar.

Woosh, I'm running out of steam.  How about a video of Alexander saying part of his bedtime prayers?

Could you interpret?  That boy is thee sweetest!

We're headed to the local beach today for what will be one of the last times this summer.
Flashback to Xander's first beach trip ever.  I think he was about 2 weeks old, and camera-shy and hungry!

I hope you all have some fun weekend plans!  See you on the flip side!

Monday, August 12, 2013

He Said, She Said

Maggie: I just cracked my Foot Thumb.
Me: Your what?
Maggie: My Thumb Toe!


Every time we get into the car, Alexander tries to slip out of our death grip and make his way into the front seat, saying "NO! Xander drive!"

And this is why we can't let him drive yet...


Maggie: Dad, lift me up on your soldiers!
Phil: I think you're saying the wrong word.
Maggie: Oh yeah, it's not''s...shouldiers?...solders?....what is it called?
Phil: Sing the song to help you remember.
Maggie: (singing) Head, soldiers, knees and toes.


After I took this picture of Andrew sleeping on the long car ride home, he woke up and said "I couldn't fall asleep at all". 


Eamon (rubbing my belly like he has every morning since he found out the news):
I think it's getting a little bigger!
John-Paul (who is wise to the idea that Mom doesn't really want to acknowledge her bigness quite yet):
No!  She still looks normal!
Maggie: Nope, it's definitely getting waaaaaay bigger.


Phil: So do you think this baby is a girl?
Me: What do you think?
Phil: Well, they say girls steal your beauty, so I can never answer that question without getting in trouble.
Me: You could just tell me it looks like a boy.
Phil: Oh, yeah, it DEFINITELY looks like a boy.