Wednesday, May 28, 2014

8 Weeks

Declan is already 8 weeks old today!!  

I know, Tina, I feel the same way.

He's still such a good bebe, loves to smile and coo and stick his tongue out at us.  He eats a lot but is staying fairly skinny and long.  I do love me a chubby baby, so I'm hoping he eventually gets fat, but the doctor isn't worried so me neither.  He sleeps amazingly well.  He gets a bath around 8 and goes to sleep at 8:30 and doesn't wake up until 3 or 4 am, eats and goes back to sleep until 6 am.  The bestest.

I am pumping at work, and able to make a little more than he eats, which is nice.  I know eventually the scales will tip and he'll be eating more than I can pump, so I'm storing up a supply for when that time comes.  I'm also not opposed to giving him formula if and when he needs it.  I just try and do the best I can with pumping for as long as I can (which in the past has not been too long) and keep our family happily functioning.  I used to stress and worry about breastfeeding and pumping so much, and now I'm like:

The kids are all still obsessed with him, although the urge to help throw out a dirty diaper has lost it's charm.  Knew that was coming!  We just had a stomach bug (food poisoning?) pass through the house yesterday, with four kids down and out, so we tried to keep Declan away from them.  So far, he's hanging in there.  Oh, and he even has grown to like not hate the car seat, and will fall asleep in it very quickly, which makes going for walks so nice!

Adding this little one to our crazy house has been such a smooth and easy transition that methinks I'm ready for #7..

...just kidding.

Friday, May 23, 2014

7QT: Too Long with Too Many Photos

DK's Baptism.

On May 17th, Declan joined the Catholic Church!!  

Andrew served both the Mass and Baptism.  Always the philosopher, he asked on the day preceding the Baptism; "If Declan becomes a Child of God tomorrow, then what does that make him today?"

Phil's Dad, a Deacon, came up from Maryland to baptize his newest grandson.  It was awesome.

Deacon Gramps
Andrew kept slowly dropping the book lower and lower as poor Gramps was trying to read.  It's hard to be short, have tired arms, and be easily distracted by all your cousins and friends in the pews, dontchaknow?

Grandpa (my Dad) and Gramps

Gammy (my mom)

Unfortunately, Declan's godparents could not make it up from MD for the Baptism (totally St. Therese's fault, I'll explain later) so we had our "daughter" Haley and John-Paul stand in as godparent proxies, or as I liked to call them, Fairy Godparents.

As soon as Declan was baptized, Phil and I consecrated him to Mary with this prayer.

We've done this consecration with all our babies, but with the middle name Kolbe, this one was a little extra special :)

DK with his parents and both sets of grandparents.

And one with the siblings as well!
So, you may have noticed Declan's Baptism gown.  It's veeeeeeery long and beautiful, and has been worn by almost all of my parent's 21 grandchildren.  The gown was made from my mother's wedding dress, and the lady who made it designed it royal-style, so it's very long and we always feel like the baby is going to get lost in it.  The sentiment behind the gown is so special, and we love to put our babies (even the boys) in it.

We were lucky enough to get permission from our pastor to have the Baptism party at the parish school.  So all 70ish (!!) of us went over for some yummy Italian food, a HUGE cake, music, and fun.

What would a party be without fake mustaches for all the kids to wear while dancing to YMCA?

Marijanna's little boy girl ;)
So I alluded to the fact that Declan's godparents couldn't make it to the Baptism, and it was all St. Therese's fault.  

Watch out, her intercession is powerful!!
It all started back when I was pregnant with Declan and we were trying to plan his Baptism.  We thought it would be really nice to have him baptized at Easter, on April 20th, exactly 11 years to the day John-Paul was baptized (also on Easter).  We knew we wanted Phil's Dad to do the Baptism, and since both he and the godparents lived in MD, and Easter is a busy time for deacons, we decided to go down to MD to have the baby baptized.  After all, naive past Colleen thought, Declan was due 3/23, would obviously be born early, and we could travel down to Maryland with a one month old (or older) baby.  

The only hiccup in our plan was that going down to MD for Easter would mean Phil wouldn't be able to stand up as the confirmation sponsor for one of his students who had asked him.   So he told this student of our plans and she was a little disappointed, but said she would get a proxy for the Confirmation.  I ordered her a rosary bracelet with a medal of St. Therese on it, as her Confirmation name was Therese and thought nothing more of it.

As the due date came and went, and Declan was growing increasingly late, we decided to change our baptism plans and stay home so thy we wouldn't have to travel 8 hours with a what-should-have-been-one-month-old-but-would-now-be-a-stubborn-two-week-old.  So we changed the plans and made new ones, and Phil told his sponsee (is that a word?) that he was now able to be at her Confirmation.  You know what she told him?  She said since the moment she had found out Phil wasn't able to come, she had been praying to St. Therese to find a way to allow him to be there!

St. Therese is so amazing, I have my own rose story with her, but did she really have to make me go TEN DAYS LATE?  Therese, if I ever make it through the golden gates, you got some 'splainin to do :)


OK, enough Baptism talk, even though it was an amazing day!  So I went back to work yesterday.  Boo.  But it was better than I expected and 7 week old Declan did great at the nanny's house with Xander.  He slept 5 hours of the 8 I was away from him!!  What a "good little fella", as Xander always says.

Last weekend, we went to a track meet for the five Catholic elementary schools in our area, and Andrew came in 1st place in the Half Mile race with a time of 3:01.  THREE OH ONE!

Andrew with his track coaches: my sister, her hubby, and Phil.

He's so stinkin' fast and paces himself so well, I am in awe.  He definitely doesn't get that from me, but he is my favorite exercise buddy.

Have a great looooong weekend everyone!!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Can I Just Say...

...that for as naughty as Alexander can be, he is a GREAT big brother!

"I love Declan so much, and he's not even being fuzzy!"

I just thought I should document that.

"Cheese!  Declan isn't saying cheese!"

You know, for the times when I need to be reminded :)

"I'm holding his teeny tiny little hand!"

Declan had his check up for his heart today, and his heart rate was in the 160s.  Yeah!  It's normal and the pediatrician thinks his fast heart rates must have been a result of the colds he had.  

Both me and Declan were like, WOOT WOOT!! 

Raise your hands in the air like you just don't care!

And because we are planning and prepping for his Baptism this Saturday, I wanted to take a minute and say a Happy early Anniversary to my best friend.  We went out to celebrate a few nights ago, and this image perfectly captures how I dreamed our anniversaries would be!  

Why does the baby always need to eat as soon as they bring my food?

We have never had an anniversary without a little one around, and that's exactly how we had hoped our home would be when we married 12 years ago.  Thanks, Phil, for making all my dreams come true!  I love you more now than on our wedding day, and I loved you a LOT on our wedding day :)

Monday, May 12, 2014

A Shift in My Mothering Perspective

When asked what I wanted for Mother's Day a few years ago, I can remember saying something to the effect of "I just want to act like I'm not a mother for one day".  I wanted to go get my nails done, go out to lunch with a friend, go on a dinner date with Phil, and definitely get out of diaper duty, bath time, bed time, cooking and cleaning.

I was young, my kids were all very young and dependent on me, and I wanted a break.  I couldn't see that this was "the time of my life" as older moms would tell me.  I could only see how tired, frazzled, stressed out I was.  I looked at my children and saw all the work they provided.  

I was stupid. But mostly just tired.

Somehow over the years, things changed.  It was a slow and steady shift in both responsibilities and attitude.  The kids got older and more independent, fewer were in diapers, they began sleeping through the night, they started school, and I could finally start seeing all the joy these kids brought to our lives.  

I actually enjoyed being their mom, seeing them grow and develop into little boys and girls, and laughed and laughed everyday, both with them and at them :)  We all have so much fun together!! I finally understood why the Bible refers to children as riches.

Even though we continued having little kids in the house, I never felt as overwhelmed and exhausted as I did during those first five years being a mom.  Now a new baby just means a new person to love, and yes, of course they are a lot of "work" but they give the sweetest paychecks ever, in the form of smiles and coos and kisses.

Having children has also completely changed my relationship with Phil.  There's no way to bond with someone better than over a screaming baby at 3 am ;)  We're a team, and we both need each other to make this all work smoothly.  It's unconditional and sacrificial love at it's finest.

So yesterday, on Mother's Day, I wanted nothing more than to spend the day with my kids.  And they wanted nothing more than to make me happy!  It was a great day, full of time spent together and I even cooked dinner, changed diapers and folded laundry...joyfully.

As Phil replied to the lady at the restaurant who remarked "You sure have your hands full!"...

"Better full than empty!"

Our hearts and hands are full indeed, and we are so thankful for it.