Wednesday, April 30, 2008

"Cat Day"

I spent some time last night catching up on the blog of a very dear friend, a woman I've never met but greatly admire nonetheless. It is just so evident that, in addition to being a faithful Catholic, wonderful friend, devoted wife to her darling husband, and fearless world explorer, she is also an incredible mom to her precious brood of lively and imaginative children! I am always so impressed with the things they think of to do together! I laughed out loud as I read of their most recent activities, and then had Darren read the particularly endearing posts relating tales of adventure and creativity. "I've become such a boring mom," I lamented. "I want to be just like Jill."

And so, when Dylan announced first thing this morning that he was declaring today "Cat Day" and that we needed to mark it on our calendar, I rose to the challenge and encouraged him as he gathered all his books about cats and made cat cards, banners, books, and activity pages. Plans to launder all the bed sheets were put aside as I brainstormed ways to assist in the festivities. I remembered we still had an extra box of cake mix leftover from the feast of St. George, and so, feeling inspired by the success of our dragon cake, I searched the internet for a cat cake that I could make with the children. We saw lots of cute ones here, and sort of adapted a couple of our favorites to resemble our beloved tabby. What a fun day! Dylan was so excited, and was such a big help in the kitchen, gathering supplies and offering suggestions as we decorated our cake. We called my mom and invited her over for dinner (Tuna Helper, because everybody knows that cats love fish!) and dessert.

The most amazing part of the day for me, though, was when Darren walked in as we were putting the finishing touches on our cake and deposited on the kitchen counter a package that had just been delivered...from Jill!!! I couldn't believe it. Almost as if by magic, it seemed as though my thinking of her had brought a small bit of her into existence in my very own home.

Jill, thank you. My children were thrilled with the package you sent! And the timing of it's delivery could not have been more perfect. It makes me smile to think of you thinking of me! I am so blessed to have you as a friend. I wish I could invite you and your sweet kids over for some cake!

A Photo Post

Because a severe lack of sleep has robbed me of the ability to string more than two sentences together in a coherent manner, I'm simply posting some photos I took yesterday while my mom was supervising the children's outside play time. I hope to have something more substantial to say sometime in the near future. Happy Wednesday!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Seven Random Things

When Muddy Mama tagged me for this meme several days ago, I remarked to Darren that I thought it would be hilarious if he responded on my behalf by posting "7 non-important things/habits/quirks" about me. He looked at me as though I had suddenly sprouted a second head and said, "Are you crazy? There is no way that any self respecting husband would do that to himself. I am not putting myself in that position."

"Oh, but c'mon," I wheedled. "It'll be fun! Here's your chance to say anything you want to about me! I'll even let you talk about my pathetically short, stubby toes. Or my abysmal navigational skills. Or the time you caught me unabashedly tap dancing in the bathroom of our first apartment." (In my defense on that one, which he still brings up on an embarrassingly regular basis, I just have to say that I was wearing at the time the most incredible pair of "clicky" heeled loafers, and our bathroom boasted not only a full length mirror but also amazing acoustics.)

Anyway, since he still, after six days, refuses to play along, I guess it's up to me to come up with some random facts about myself. But first, here are the rules of the meme:

1. When tagged, place the name and URL on your blog.
2. Post rules on your blog.
3. Write 7 non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.
4. Name 7 of your favorite blogs.
5. Send an email/comment on their blog letting them know they have been tagged.

So let's see:

1. I am slightly paranoid when it comes to my children's safety, with car seats being one of my biggest concerns (second only, I think, to SIDS; I still have to check each of my children for breathing at least once a night for my own peace of mind. Hello! Dylan is six! Will I ever outgrow this habit? I fear not. I joke that when he's thirty, I'll still be sneaking in through his bedroom window, just like in Love You Forever.)

2. Books, songs, and/or movies about children growing up make me bawl like a baby. (The above mentioned book is a prime example, as is this music video. Or this one.)

3. I worry daily that I am ruining my children forever, that a significant portion of their adulthood will be spent in therapy on account of me.

4. Have you guessed yet? I'm sort of neurotic.

5. I like Tabasco on everything. This really confounds my foodie husband.

6. Singing is one of my very favorite things to do. I can apply a song to just about any given situation, and if I can't, I make one up...but only at home, because guess what?

7. In addition to being neurotic, I'm also very, very shy.

So there you have it--more, I'm sure, than you ever wanted to know about me! And now I'd like to learn a little more about a few of my newer blog friends, plus some that I'd just like to know better: Jamie, Andrea, Frances, Stephanie, Jen, Laura,'re "it"!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Happy Feast of St. George!

I wish I could take full credit for the spectacular centerpiece of our day today, but the truth of the matter is that I actually "borrowed" the idea for this fanciful fellow from the ever-so-clever . I've been waiting all year for today, as this is not a feast day I've ever actually celebrated before! After seeing 's post last year, though, I knew we'd have to remember it this year. My mom was here today, and was a tremendous help in the production and assembly of our cake. My kids colored pictures that I printed from a fun website, and we read Saint George and the Dragon. (We loved it. And, want to know how silly I am? I found a used copy of this book early last summer and actually waited until today to read it for the first time with my children! The anticipation of reading it together on the actual feast day of St. George was almost as enjoyable as the story itself!)

Saturday, April 19, 2008


Dear far away friend,

I have no words to express how deeply touched, humbled, astounded, and delighted I was to receive your beautiful gift in the mail today.

"A package for Kristen!" I exclaimed as Darren brought it in to me. (And then, with a gasp, "Oh, my goodness, and look who it's from!!!")

What a wonderful surprise! Kristen is so lucky that her mommy has found in you a very real, and very beautiful friend. "I can't believe it!" I said to Darren as the wrappings fell away to reveal the exquisiteness of your handiwork. "This makes me want to cry!"

"Well, go ahead!" he replied with a laugh.

And so it was with happy tears in my eyes that I gently placed Kristen on her very lovely, very "girlie" new quilt. These photos are as treasured to me as our friendship, and I wanted to share them here with you, too. Thank you so much, friend, for your selflessness and love, for your generosity, for the friendship I value far beyond measure. You are such a blessing in my life. I love you!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

One Month...

...or, "Pretty in Pink":

Saturday, April 12, 2008


Look who's sleeping in a big girl bed! Kristen was moved out of her incubator into a regular bassinet yesterday afternoon and is doing a splendid job of maintaining her temperature. And, notice any other significant changes in her appearance? (Aside from that self-inflicted scratch on her left eye?) She pulled out her feeding tube yesterday morning! But since she was doing so well with her feedings, her pediatrician changed her orders accordingly, allowing every feed to be taken from breast and/or bottle! We are so proud of her, and are so hopeful that we may be bringing her home sooner than we expected. Darren and I were able to visit her for a long while yesterday afternoon, providing ample opportunities for photos. :) I couldn't decide which of these were my favorite, so I decided to just post them all. (The last three were actually taken today.) Enjoy!

Friday, April 11, 2008


I did tremendously enjoy my little haiku yesterday, but I didn't mean to leave anyone guessing as to Kristen's status, which is: she is doing AWESOME! The temperature setting on her isolette has been turned down so low that the next step will be moving her out to room temperature, which will likely happen either later today or tomorrow. The doctor has ordered every third feeding to be taken through her NG tube, allowing two consecutive feedings to be taken from the bottle. She has done a remarkable job with her feedings, so while I was up there yesterday enjoying some skin to skin snuggle time with her, her nurse suggested that I go ahead and try putting her to breast at her next scheduled feeding. It was so incredible to see her latch on right away! This was the first time she had actually nursed, as she was too lethargic during earlier attempts in the first day or two after the birth. What a happy, happy day! Her weight yesterday was hovering so close to 5 lbs, so I can't wait to see what she weighs today. This is Darren's Friday off, but my mom offered to stay with the children anyway so that he and I can go up and visit Kristen together. We haven't had a chance to do that since Easter! I'm so excited! Two more of my favorite pictures from yesterday:

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Delicate beauty
suckles sleepily at breast;
glad heart rejoices.

Meghan's First French Braids

Please let it be known that I feel like quite the awful Mommy for not having posted these sooner. These beautiful braids were actually fashioned and photographed on March 5, when I was feeling wonderfully inspired by Jamie's sweet little girls (and by Jamie herself...don't you just love her?). Unfortunately, due to a reconfiguration of our computer setup, I was unable to upload my photos at the time, and then, as you all well know, things around here just got crazy: stomach bugs, a broken leg, a new baby! But I came across these again last night as I was browsing through stored photos on the computer, and I just had to share them. I think Meghan is just impossibly cute in her little braids...and her face! So angelic! I'll come look at these again later in the day when she's being an absolute terror. :)