Thursday, April 30, 2009

Blooming Beauties

Of all our children, Meghan is, I think, the one most appreciative of our garden. She loves to go out with me every day to check our flowers and vegetables and, more than anything else, our caterpillars! Kristen joined us today for our afternoon inspection, and I just had to bring the camera out with us, too. She is getting so big! As some of you noticed in a recent post, she's definitely more toddler now than baby! And I just love my Meggie in these photos. They so perfectly capture her personality!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Playing for Change

(From their website: "Playing for Change is a multimedia movement created to inspire, connect, and bring peace to the world through music.")

I don't know much about the organization itself, but what a neat idea!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

She's been trying this trick for days...

...and finally succeeded today:

(Why yes, thank you very much, that gigantic tub of blocks has, in fact, been sitting on my bedroom floor for days!)

She was so cute. After finally figuring out how to get up, she had no idea how to get down! Of course I left her there long enough to get a picture (or two, or three dozen...) before "rescuing" her. (Don't worry. The camera was sitting right on top of that dresser. It's never far from reach!) And, I wasn't planning to share this next one, but I think it's just so cute:

Caitlyn quickly joined the fun with her trademark theatrics, crying "Oh no! She's stuck!" as she swooped in to save the day. Although by this time, as you can clearly see in the photo above, poor Kristen had pretty much resigned herself to the drama! It's a skill with which she's well rehearsed...because around here, there's always drama. :)


I just love Dylan's use of language. I think that his love of reading probably has much to do with his mastery of words, but regardless, he frequently brings a smile to my face with the things he says. A few examples from this morning (which also demonstrate his sweet, agreeable nature!):

Having forgone chocolate chips in our pancakes for the duration of Lent, I've not yet replenished our pantry supply and so, when Meghan asked for them this morning, I had to tell her that we didn't have any. Dylan immediately chimed in with, "That's okay, Mommy, I've grown verrry fond of pancakes without chocolate chips!" :)

A little while later, as I was chatting with Darren on the phone while the children ate their breakfast, Dylan came to me and enthusiastically instructed, "Oh! Mommy! Be sure to tell Daddy about your best mistake ever because when you accidentally sprinkled nutmeg in the batter instead of cinnamon it made these pancakes taste delicious!"

And finally, referring to Caitlyn's chosen attire this morning, "Hey, the buttons on Cait's dress look vintage! They're beautiful!"

See what I mean? :)

The parts in bold are the ones I find particularly endearing. And we speak a lot in italics around here. Have you noticed? :)

I love my boy!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Oh my gosh!

Look what Darren did while I was sleeping!

Guys, that's my linen closet! It was a beast! Even if I had one, I'd be too embarrassed to show you a before picture! (Mom? Jenn? You've seen it in real life, right?!)

If there was a husband of the year award, Darren would win it for sure. I think Jill's right: "Saint Darren" sounds just about right to me. :)

Love you, sweetie! You're awesome!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

If I'd only known then...

My grandma called while I was sleeping yesterday afternoon to invite us to a birthday lunch being held for my grandpa today. But, having worked all night last night, and knowing I was scheduled to work again all night tonight, we regretfully missed the festivities because I was sleeping all day today.

Little did I know, though, that I would end up getting to stay home (on-call) from work tonight! Now I'm sad that we didn't attend. I would have really enjoyed seeing my family, and I know my children would have, too!

Happy birthday, grandpa. We're so sorry to have missed your party!

Friday, April 24, 2009

This guy could teach me a thing or two about time management.

And I thought men couldn't multitask. ;)

Happy Little Helper

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Meghan helped me make cupcakes this morning to share with her lovely speech therapist, who visited today for what we thought would be the last time. (Although it turns out we will get to see her again at the beginning of May! Yay!) We had a sweet little party near the completion of her session today, though, complete with some really cute Dora plates, cups, and napkins that Darren had picked us for us a few days ago.

And, since we had so many cupcakes, we decorated the rest this afternoon with a St. George theme! Last year we made our own version of Charlotte's amazing dragon cake, but I knew I just wouldn't have time this year and besides, I just didn't think I would be emotionally up to the task. I say that with a wink and a smile, but really, it's true! I was crying to Darren at the dinner table a few nights ago that I couldn't believe it was already nearly a year since the last St. George's Day. (It's a very good thing that my dear, sweet husband is, by now, so accustomed to my moods.) But I was remembering how my mom had recently arrived in town then and what a big help she was that day and how awesome it was having her here for those two months! I miss you, mom!

Anyway, we improvised...and I'm so glad we did! Some super simple cupcakes (white frosting with red crosses) were enhanced with a cute little display configured from Dylan's Lego and Playmobil sets! Brave St. George with his sword, shield, and flag, a couple of horses, and one of Cait's Polly Pockets even made an appearance as Princess Una, from the beautiful book St. George and the Dragon! (We just love that story!) :)

Hope you all had a great day, too!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Further proof...

...that I am married to the most incredible husband in the world:

Within moments of simultaneously walking through the front door (he from work, me from picking up Dylan from catechism with the girls), he stands with me in the kitchen surveying the mess on the counters and spilling embarrassingly from both sinks. The mixing bowls and muffin pans are still sitting there from breakfast this morning, as well as pots and skillets from lunch, not to mention the tens of hundreds of cups and bowls and plates left there throughout the day.

With a sigh, I set the diaper bag on the counter but before I can even say anything in my own defense, he lights up and says, "Hey! I have an idea!" Taking my face in his hands, he leans in close and whispers in my ear, "Why don't you go play on the computer for a while, while I take care of all this? You deserve a break!"

Really?! Are you kidding me?! I totally don't deserve this.

(But I'm enjoying it, anyway!)

Thank you, sweetie. I love you!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

My grandpa's birthday

My grandpa's 90th birthday is coming up this weekend, but we celebrated a couple of weeks ago while two of my uncles and an aunt were in town with their families for Spring Break. Most of my other relatives who live in town were also able to attend the dinner we held in his honor, and we just about filled the entire length of the restaurant! My children so enjoy occasions on which they are able to visit with their whole family, and I am more than happy to provide them with plenty of opportunities! Unfortunately, my mom was unable to be here for the event, but I promised her I'd post plenty of pictures. Of course I wish I'd taken more, but I'm very happy with these!

That last one was my attempt at a good group shot of the kids while Dylan's hair was still really long. We hadn't intended to let it grow that much, but postponed a haircut for so long that eventually I started to really like it that way! I thought we'd shorten it up just a teeny tiny bit before Easter, but since someone didn't trust my capabilities, I sent that same certain someone to a local haircutting establishment with him to get just the littlest bit of hair up out of his eyes. Oh my goodness, like two inches were chopped off and it looked just awful! I cried, I couldn't help it. The very next day I took him to a different place, and have to say that I still really love his hair short, too. (Which is how he's always worn it.)

I think he's perfectly handsome either way, though. See? :)

(And his sisters are awfully cute, too.) :)


Finally, some Easter pictures! It used to bother me when I didn't post promptly about holidays or major events, but I'm slowly learning to just let it go. We've been much too busy celebrating the season to blog about it, and that's really the way I'd prefer it, anyway!

Easter was so fun this year because my older brother's family decided to come down for a visit! His two children were born within months of Caitlyn and Meghan, and they all get along so well together. I am so happy the cousins were able to celebrate together! We colored eggs on Saturday (both hard boiled and confetti filled shells) and it was so cute to watch their creativity! My younger brother joined us around lunch time, and we all spent the rest of that afternoon playing games at home, then all went out to dinner together! It was such an awesome day.

Easter morning dawned bright and early, and the children were so thrilled to find that the Easter Bunny had brought them a new Veggie Tales Pirates Who Don't Do Anything play ship! (One of their Lenten sacrifices had been to watch no regular TV programming, choosing instead from religious themed videos or DVDs, and a large part of our collection includes Veggie Tales!) Kristen was so cute; we set her right in the middle of the dining room table and she was so happy to discover the bunny and soft book in her basket! She was only six days old last Easter, and being baptized in the NICU, so to celebrate this Easter with her was such a special joy! My brothers had attended an early Mass, and came over after for brunch with us. We were attending a later Mass, the one we usually go to because we so enjoy the parishioners, and then we all met at my dad's house for a delicious lunch.

It had gotten pretty cold and windy by the afternoon, but we were still able to hunt for the Easter eggs that Darren and my brother had hidden throughout our backyard. We do the cascarones every year (confetti filled egg shells that we break over each other's heads) and Dylan thought Caitlyn was cheating because she insisted on wearing the hood of her jacket. I thought she was pretty clever, myself. :)

Recognizing that Easter is, after all, a season and not just a day, we've been slowly transitioning to a new spring routine with regards to chores and school. Lent was pretty intense for us as a family this year, and we are all so filled with joy to have arrived at Easter. There are some projects and school work that I want to finish up before summer, trips I want to plan and curricula I want to peruse, garden work I dream of accomplishing this spring, but I don't really feel anxious or rushed, which is unusual for me. I am very much enjoying this time in my life right now!