Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Good Morning, Friends!

I think I'm finally beginning to see the light at the end of the dreary tunnel through which I've been trudging. Having spent the past four days attempting to comfort three sick children, with little sleep or rest in between, this morning has found us all feeling much better. No fevers, coughing at a minimum, few complaints of sore throats, nobody throwing up...and we all actually slept for most of last night! It was cold when we woke up this morning (28 degrees on our backyard thermometer!) and I was so excited by the change in weather that I brewed a steaming pot of Danielle's delicious hot cocoa to serve with our breakfast biscuits. Yum!

We're still in no rush, though, to get ready this morning. Caitlyn and Meghan are playing in the schoolroom, and Dylan is resting in the semi-permanent "nest" I created on our bedroom sofa a few days ago, reading The Littles and the Great Halloween Scare. And, speaking about Halloween, I read a great article a little while ago regarding the Catholic Christian celebration of All Hallows Eve. If any of you question the appropriateness of celebrating this holiday (which, as you all know, is one of our favorites), I would strongly urge you to read this enlightening article!

I hope to not be so absent from this blog in the coming weeks. I'm feeling well, now, much better than I have been recently. I've so missed you, my online friends, and I sincerely apologize for any seeming lack of indifference I may have inadvertently implied by my infrequent posts and comments. Please know that was never my intention! I hope you've not given up on me. I'm feeling much more social now that morning sickness and exhaustion are not my constant companions. :)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

These slow fall days

I am just so very much enjoying this time of my life right now. My kids, my pregnancy, my husband, my home, are all sources of such joy and wonder that I, for the most part, spend my lazy days just basking in the happiness of it all. Darren went with me to my ten week checkup earlier this week and we were so thrilled to once again hear the strong beat of our baby's heart! I still feel so thankful and amazed to find myself expecting again, especially in light of our recent loss, and I am trying so hard to just enjoy every moment of this pregnancy. I often find myself exhausted and frequently experience at least a bit of morning sickness during the day, so lessons these days most usually consist of me and my kids snuggled up together with a big pile of books on my bed. Dylan reads aloud to me, or I to them, and we even found two math books on our recent trip to the library that Dylan really seems to enjoy. It's cozy. It's comfortable. And it makes me so, so happy.

I am also really embracing the feeling of fall that has permeated our home. The weather has cooled sufficiently to finally seem more autumnal, which means more baking, and more soups! Last night I made the year's first pot of posole...a full month earlier than last year! Darren made a delicious butternut squash soup for dinner a few nights ago, and we even lit a small fire in our fireplace that night before bedtime. We piled blankets and pillows onto the floor and read to the kids until it was time to tuck them into their own beds. I am looking forward to many more evenings of this comforting routine!

And the kids and I have been busy decorating for Halloween and planning a party to rival last year's! We're reviewing recipes and planning menus and thinking about costumes, and we're really looking forward to this year's trip to the pumpkin patch! Our schoolroom has been decorated with some really cute posters that my dad gave us over the summer (from the teacher with whom he had been student teaching), and it looks so cute! We've also added posters of ancient Egypt, so the room is looking quite different than when we first started this school year!

With cooler days, we've been playing outside more, too. Two of my friends came over with their kids yesterday, and it was wild and wonderful and fun! I hope to get together with them more often in the near future, as their company is just so enjoyable. I just love these unrushed days. Not much to do, nowhere special to be, just here, doing the things I enjoy with the people I love. What a blessedly wonderful life!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Four Incredible Years

Our precious princess turned four years old today! In royal fashion, she celebrated her day in her new dress-up princess gown and tiara and delighted in all the fun little surprises we had in store for her: princess bubble blow, a princess castle pinata, her castle cake, princess balloons, and temporary princess tattoos! It was, indeed, a day fit for a princess, made extra special for the beautiful girl who is such a joy and blessing in our lives. Caitlyn, we love you so much! Happy birthday, darling girl!

Friday, October 12, 2007

My sweet son

I am just absolutely loving the age Dylan is right now. Being my firstborn and a real terror as a toddler, there were moments when I seriously feared for my sanity. I have, of course, always loved him and each of my girls with an intensity I never ever imagined possible, but let me just say that there were days when he really tried my patience! (And that, I think, is putting it kindly.)

Lately, though, I am finding him to be such a delightful little companion, and I can't imagine spending my days without him around. He is funny. He is smart. And he is just so, so sweet! Some recent examples:

Just a little while ago, I let each of the kids have one Dum-Dum lollipop, and no sooner had they finished eating them when they were already asking for another. "No," I answered. "You don't need another." Dylan looked at Caitlyn. "Come with me," he said, and off they marched down the hall to their bedroom. Two seconds later I hear drums banging and the sound of Dylan's voice singing loudly, "We need a Dum-Dum, we need a Dum-Dum!" Soon the girls joined in and it was hilarious. I am so glad they couldn't see me laughing!

Just prior to the lollipop incident, we had all been laying together on my bed looking at a baby name book. Dylan was doing a great job of looking up, in alphabetical order, all of our names, and reading out loud the ones that he found to be hilarious. ("Ah, hahahaha, BEBE! Spanish: Baby! We can't name our baby 'baby'!") All the while, I was thinking happily to myself how very cool it was to be looking up baby names as our language lesson for the day. I almost fell over when Mr. Smartypants suddenly looked up at me and said, "Hey, Mom! This is really fun sounding out names! So we don't even need to do language lessons today!" I'm telling you...nothing gets past this kid! He's much too smart to be outsmarted!

Yesterday his sweetness made me want to just cry. I had been having a really rough morning, as that dreaded "morning" sickness has finally decided to rear it's ugly head. I was trying my best to get all of the kids (and myself) ready to drive out to Darren's work for a family day they were holding in the afternoon, but I was just feeling so sick. We were all really looking forward to a fun afternoon with Daddy, but seeing how miserable I was, Dylan came up to hug me and said, "Don't worry, Mommy, we don't have to go until you're feeling better. Because I don't want you to drive while you're not feeling good or else then you'll really feel worse. So we'll just stay here until you feel better!" Faced with such sweetness, what else could I do but pull myself together and feel better?! We made it out the door just in time, but I cautioned the kids that I was pretty nervous about driving all the way to Daddy's work by myself (because I'm a big wimp about highway driving) and asked them to please be good for me on the way there. They were perfect little angels for the entire ride, and as we were approaching the turn off to the Missile Range, Dylan looked up from his book in the backseat and said, "Wow, mom, you're doing a really great job driving up here so far!" Awww...thanks, son!

And just one more example of sweet, smart, and funny, all rolled into one: Dylan has, of late, been quite interested in what Santa might bring him this Christmas and has spent much time planning his wish list. Sometimes, being especially good, he'd tell me, "Mom, I'm being extra good so Santa will bring me lots of presents at Christmas!" "That's good, son," I'd tell him, "but I want you to be good because that's the way Jesus would want you to be." So now, when he's being particularly helpful or cooperative, he'll say to me, "Mom, I'm trying to be really good to honor Jesus. And," he adds, almost as an afterthought, "maybe Santa will bring me lots of presents!" Somehow, I don't think that will be a problem. :)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Oh, boy.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

It's a very good thing...

...that our new kitty is so very, very patient.

Monday, October 08, 2007


I really, really wanted mashed potatoes and gravy for breakfast this morning.

I had to settle for oatmeal, instead.

But it was okay. Really.

Because, would you believe that my sweet Darren went to the trouble of driving to four different places in a valiant attempt to procure those coveted carbohydrates for me?

I'm certain I appreciated his thoughtfulness much more than I possibly could have enjoyed those mashed potatoes.

He may not leave fresh cut roses tucked under the windshield wipers of my car anymore. I'm not likely to find random love notes hidden in my work bag these days. It's been a while since we slow danced in our living room.

But, you know what? It's the little things he does every day, like driving all over town just to satisfy my crazy cravings, that really speak the loudest of the depth of his love for me. It's all I ever need. It's all I'll ever want. Thank you, Darren, for loving me the way you do...

...even when--no, especially when--I'm an absent minded, whim driven, hormonally imbalanced wreck of a wife. I love you!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Grinning from ear to ear

Celeste, you absolutely made my day!

Thank you, thank you, thank you dear friend! I love you!


Yesterday was a big day for us! I had fully intended to write about it before the day was done, but alas, my poor tired body just couldn't keep up with my mind. :)

As I have mentioned before, Dylan has always held a special affection for, (and has seemingly enjoyed a personal relationship with), his guardian angel, so we were all very excited yesterday to celebrate the Feast Day of Guardian Angels! Although it was already the second day of October, I had overlooked changing out our monthly art display on the first, so we did that first thing in the morning, switching our print to feature...angels! We brought our soft Precious Moments angels down from their watch on top of the bookshelf to help celebrate with us, and Dylan carefully copied the guardian angel prayer into his notebook and then illustrated it using examples from his Catholic How-to-Draw. We listened to two angel songs ("Dear Angel" and "Angel of God") from one of our CDs while Dylan drew his pictures and Caitlyn colored an angel picture. We had the opportunity for some snuggle time together on the couch, reading a lovely little story about the comfort and protection of guardian angels in Devotional Stories for Little Folks. We talked about how wonderful it is that we all have our very own angel, given especially to us by God, to watch out over us and help us when we are scared or in trouble. We read Angel in the Waters, and marveled at the fact that even our brand new baby already has his or her very own guardian angel!

It was a very special day, and as a final touch, we made for dessert a delicious angel food cake with apple cinnamon glaze! Mine didn't turn out quite as pretty as the picture...I don't have a tube pan, so I used a bundt instead, and my glaze was much too thin...but we all agreed that despite it's appearances, the taste was still quite heavenly!

And after dinner, having received a very last minute invitation from my brother, Dylan and I dressed up and attended the fall concert of a local high school choir, of which my brother is the Assistant Director. It was so much fun, and I was just so proud to see him up there conducting on stage and to hear the thunderous applause and whistles he received when he was introduced by his best friend and Director!

The best part of our night, though, (at least according to Dylan!) was that he had his very first visit from the Tooth Fairy! We were in the school room yesterday morning when the tooth that had been loose for so long just fell right out of his mouth! And one very happy little boy greeted me this morning with two shiny new quarters, left under his pillow in place of his tooth. But he's since been joined by his later rising sisters, and now they're all asking for cake for breakfast. I think I'll go join them!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Beautiful new life

I had my first appointment at my midwives' office this morning and my dad stayed with the kids so that Darren could go with me. I knew that this first visit would simply be to cover routine paperwork and medical history with the nurse, (a new practice implemented at some point after Meghan was born), so I considered just going by myself. But during all of my pregnancies, Darren has only ever missed one appointment (due to car trouble), and we really hated the thought of him intentionally missing this one. This morning we were so very thankful that we made the decision to go together, as we were able to see and hear our sweet baby's heart beating strongly on the ultrasound they performed to help establish a more accurate due date! It made not one bit of difference to me that we've already experienced this three times in the past with each of our other children; the incredible sight of that tiny new life moving within me brought tears of joy to my eyes and filled my heart with such love and gratitude and wonder and awe. We shared our good news with the kids as soon as we got home and they are absolutely thrilled! Thank you, God, for allowing our family to grow in both number and love!