Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Most Important Day of the Year

"Mommy, tomorrow is the most important day of the year," my 5 year old told me on Saturday night as Hubby and I were moving around the house cleaning and preparing for Sunday. "Why's that, Honey?" I asked distractedly as I continued to work on whatever chore had been on my list. "Because tomorrow is when Mr. Bananas will be baptized and become a Christian." Wow, isn't that enough to make you stop what you are doing and fully comprehend what Boogie just said?

I did just that. I stopped and I listened and we talked about the importance of Sunday's big event.  We had been planing Mr. Bananas' (aka known as Bam Bam...but Mr. Bananas is what I've been calling him) baptism for some time. Our faith doesn't perform baptisms during the Lenten season, so we waited until after Lent and after our nephew's first communion to celebrate Mr. Bananas baptism.

I was a little bit in awe that my five year old understood how important this step was in our faith. It is more than a party and a step in our faith. It is a time that Hubby and I promise to raise our children in the faith and to promise to be his first teachers and to guide him on his path.  We chose Hubby's sister L. and her husband J. to become Mr. Bananas' godparents. L. was there when Mr. B. entered the world now she and her husband will be there to guide him through life.  I was touched that Boogs seemed to understand how important this day is to us and that it was more than the party we would have back at the house.  Truth be told I told Hubby that I was more nervous about the Mass than I was about having the house ready when we got home.

It was Memorial Day weekend and while many of our friends could not make it to the celebration, I was touched by the promises of prayer that would be said for Mr. Bananas on Sunday. I was also touched by those who were able to celebrate with us in person. Many coming from at least an hour away or further (thanks, C! I think you came from the greatest distance).  All of my husband's siblings joined us and Mr. Bananas was supported by his aunts and uncles and all 16 of his cousins.  My parents joined us too.

My father-in-law being a deacon in the Catholic Church, was able to perform the baptism. He has now baptized all 19 of his grandchildren. What an honor and blessing to have Deacon Grandpa perform this sacrament.  During the introductions we are asked what we ask of God and of the Church for our son.  At this time, my dear Husband choked up and I could see the intense emotion that he held for this important time in our son's life. My father-in-law was quite emotional too and it was so beautiful to see their emotions plainly on this day. Both my husband and his father can be on the reserved side. To see their emotions, is to know how greatly they held this day in their hearts.

After the baptism we were able to come home and celebrate with our family and friends. What a beautiful day and what an honor it was to celebrate this important event with those we love. Thank you!

Welcome to your faith, Mr. Bananas. We promise to guide you and to be there for you as you begin your journey. We love you!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Preschool Graduation

Boogie with his preschool teacher
Yesterday was Boogie's graduation from preschool. I had been sentimental all week as I prepared for it.  I finally convinced Hubby that he should leave work early to come to the last sing of the year and for the graduation ceremony. I know he is a busy man, but I think that sometimes you have to take a time out from your work life and be there for some of the milestones. (He absolutely does try, but his boss is crazy and freaks out when he takes some time off...like when I have a baby.)

The last sing of the year was sweet and the kids did a wonderful job singing. Thanks to my handy dandy birthday present from Hubby, I was able to record everything on my new Flip cam. Love it!  I looked a little crazy with the baby strapped in his carrier on the front of me,  my camera bag hanging across my body, while Buggy sat half asleep (no nap) with her thumb in her mouth, and me trying to capture every word on my Flip. But it was golden and once again I reveled in the fact that I was able to do this and be there for my son for this milestone. And what a treat it was to have Hubby show up in the middle and surprise Boogs.

After the sing, we all trooped back from the auditorium to the classroom where the teacher presented graduation certificates and special certificates with biblical character traits.  Boogie was given a certificate showing that he demonstrated the traits of Daniel and the gift of insight.  I loved hearing how each child demonstrated a specific trait. What a neat idea!

After graduation, Hubby and I took the kids for ice cream and then for dinner. I know, backwards, but we wouldn't have gotten them to sleep the other way around :)

I am so appreciative to the preschool teachers Boogs has had over the last three years.  They are kind people and have a passion for teaching children.  I look forward to Bug having some of the same teachers when she starts school in another year. I am so looking forward to kindergarten because I just know that Boogie is going to absolutely love it. But I'm going to miss him and I'm going to realize just how quickly time flies once he's in school full-time.  I wonder if I will have appreciated him enough when he was home full-time. We'll find out.

Congratulations to my sweet Boogs. I love you. You make me so proud!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

My Boys

Tomorrow is my first son's last day of preschool. We've already been through kindergarten orientation. In a few short months he will be entering kindergarten. When did my first baby get to be a big boy?

At the same time, I feel like I'm reliving how it was to have Boogie as a newborn. Even though Bam Bam has his own personality, I feel like I'm looking at Boogie as a baby all over again. It might have to do with the fact that they look a lot alike except for Bam Bam's darker features.

So as one is making fledgling steps outside the nest, I'm starting over with our newest addition. It's bittersweet. Especially today.  Today Boogie came up to me and said, "I'm going to give Bam Bam all of my stuffed animals. I don't need them anymore."

I sat there not knowing what to say. On one hand, it made me incredibly sad to hear my eldest tell me his done with his stuffed animals (except for his beloved Chester). On the other hand, my heart swelled with so much love for him because he was giving of himself and sharing with his brother.  Today, he brought down toy after toy to amuse his younger brother.

And so, I'm watching my "baby" grow up...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Froggy Boots

Who can resist a little girl in pigtails and froggy boots? I can't :) Her new-to-her froggy boots are my daughter's favorite fashion statement.

Doing a little dance

Pigtails and froggy boots=LOVE!

Monday, May 23, 2011

My Kids are My Gig

After posting last week about all the volunteering I'm doing, received some good advice. You can read the comments from my friend J. on the previous post. My friend A. told me to tell anybody asking if I can volunteer that I have to consult her and then she'll yell at me. HA!  Actually, I've asked her to remind me and tell me NO when I call her and tell her I feel guilty that I will not be volunteering the week of camp. She'll remind me that I'm doing my volunteering now!

I spoke to my husband about it this weekend and he reminded me that I volunteer for two other ministries at church. How can I forget? It's because I have too many!

So here's the breakdown:
--St. Martin Ministry (cleaning the church)--to be honest I have not done this as much since I was put on bedrest in September.  With t-ball and still only being 14 weeks postpartum, I haven't gotten into the swing of things with this ministry. But my husband still does it faithfully and brings the older children. We like this one because we can serve as a family.

--Respect Life Committee--This one I'm passionate about and will hang on to it.

--Summer Bible Camp--This year I'm the volunteer coordinator, next year I plan on taking a smaller role if my children are enrolled.

--MOPs publicity--Write the newsletter and look over the fliers for distribution. I'm looking forward to it, but I have been duly warned that I may have bit off more than I can chew. My source being someone who wrote the monthly newsletter for her MOMs group.

--Swim Team--gotta do it. It's required

Is there another one? I'm sure there is.

But I have to remember that volunteering isn't my job. My kids are my job and the reason I am home with them. I love the volunteer opportunities and I love serving. I know that I wouldn't be able to do it if I worked outside of the home. But my kids are my priority and I have to remember that. I love them and I'm blessed to be home with them.

So as someone else wrote on her blog about something similar, I have to get over myself ;)

Friday, May 20, 2011

What Was I Thinking?

When I decided to become a SAHM I knew that I wanted to be available to volunteer for my kids' activities. No question. I wanted to (and still want to) be involved.  However, with that being said, I also knew that I didn't want any leadership positions. After spending 4 years in leadership where I worked, I knew that I was burnt out and wanted a break. So what have I done?

I have recently:
--Volunteered to be the volunteer coordinator (leadership team) for our church's Summer Bible Camp.
--Volunteered my husband and I (with his permission) to lead baptism classes for those who want their children baptized in our parish
--Volunteered to be the publicity coordinator (Steering team/leadership team) for our MOPs group.

It seems like I can't help myself and have volunteered for various things.  Why?

I volunteered to coordinate the volunteers for Summer camp because I feel that our Summer Camp is a wonderful experience and I think that Boogie benefits from it.  It could also have something to do with the fact that I was two weeks post-partum when I got the e-mail and I thought July was sooooo far away. Um, it didn't occur to me that I needed to get the volunteers before July. Yeah, I blame the new mommy fog for that decision.

Why volunteer to lead baptism classes? Hubby and I have discussed it for years and the opportunity became available. We think it's an important program and it was something we could do together. They will also provide childcare for us so that's a bonus. It's also only twice a year , with each session being 3 Saturdays. So a total of 6 Saturdays a year.  I'm looking forward to serving our parish with my husband.

Lastly, I love to write and I thought it would be fun to put together the MOPs monthly newsletter. I just didn't realize it was a leadership position. I'll give it a year and see how it goes.

But as I am looking at a weekend where I need to (wo)man the tables after each Mass to encourage people to volunteer for camp, I'm a bit overwhelmed. What was I thinking?  My husband says that I tend to overextend myself and I do. I really, really need to get over the guilt of saying "no" to volunteer opportunities. I just can't help myself.

With Summer just around the corner, I find myself having to volunteer for Swim Team stuff (it's in the handbook) and I was met with members of the PTA when I registered Boogs for kindergarten.

I really, really need to learn to:
 --say "No, I'm sorry. I can't do it at this time."
--not feel guilty (recognize and repeat)
--choose only those opportunities that I would truly enjoy doing. (Right now, I'm the most concerned about Summer camp. But I am looking forward to the Baptism ministry and MOPs). I think I would have preferred to teach during camp. But I'm only volunteering once this year and being the volunteer coordinator should be enough for right now.

How do you all deal with being asked to volunteer?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Summer by the Pool

I will be spending the majority of my Summer poolside.  It's not as glamorous as it seems at first glance. I have finally decided to register my oldest for our community swim team.  While he is learning how to swim and learn to be a part of a team, I will be busy trying to keep my younger two kids fully occupied so that my daughter will not be tempted to take an impromptu swim.

Start time?  9:30am. The water will be cold and I will have to figure out how to hustle 3 children out of the house on time everyday for a month.

Because I'm making it sound like so much fun you're probably wondering why I'm doing this. I'm doing it because I swam when I was a kid. I was on the community swim team for five years until we moved the Summer before I entered high school. My parents enrolled me so that I would learn how to swim. My dad was a deep sea diver in the Navy and water was a part of his every day life. This was also a way for me to make friends, which was difficult for a shy, unsure wallflower.

I swam and I loved it. I knew that I wasn't the best swimmer and rarely swam in "A" meets. I was a "B" team swimmer. But I still loved it. I was a part of a team. I loved the meets. The excitement, the cheering, the water, knowing that I swam my hardest.

Till this day, swimming is my preferred method of exercise, though at this time I rarely get a chance to do it. I wanted to pass on my love for the water to my children. At this time, Boogie seems to love it the most. He loves swimming, he loves the water, and he'd spend everyday at the pool if he could. He's even asked to have a beach created in the backyard so that he could swim. So here we go.

Swim on, swim hard!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

MOPs Revisited

Last night I went to my last MOPs social event for the year. I remember my apprehension after joining the group in September. Everybody looked so well put together and I had barely made it on time. I had two kids and was pregnant with the third. I had clean hair, but could not find my hair brush and I was dressed very, very casually.

After spending 9 months with these ladies, I am happy to say that I'm glad that I joined the group. I had been looking for a playgroup, Mom's group for quite some time before I was able to join MOPs.  At first I was intimidated by the group because the group looked...well...liked they stepped out of a "perfect mother" billboard.  I barely had it together and they looked relaxed and happy and I felt so discombobulated.

But as time wore on and I went to the meetings, I really enjoyed my time there. I was able to put my kids in childcare and didn't have to worry. I always felt refreshed after listening to a speaker and spending time with the girls in my group.  I was able to relate to them better than I thought I would.  We had a few good laughs and I felt that I could tackle my day so much better. I connected with the ladies on a spiritual level. It was nice to be able to ask for prayer or to offer prayer support for someone else. As this year's director said repeatedly, "This is your time to be loved on." And it was. It was a time where I could have breakfast and conversation with another mom without having to worry if my kids were eating or helping them with their food. It was a time for me to make a craft or just sit and talk to someone. It was a great break in my week.

After Bam Bam's arrival the group coordinated meals to be delivered to our house to help us with the transition. It was a huge help and blessing to us.  My husband couldn't believe that people who didn't even know us were coming over to drop off meals for us so that we didn't have to worry about cooking and we could concentrate on the kids or I could get squeeze in a nap in the afternoon without having to worry about "what's for dinner" when hubby had to go back to work.

I was very blessed to find these ladies.  I know that I didn't meet everyone this year, but I look forward to making some new friendships in the Fall.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Happy 3 Months, Bam Bam!

Bam Bam at 3 months old
Bam Bam turned three months old last week. The time is flying and I marvel at how big he is getting and  his awareness of all the things around him. I delight in his giggles (he started giggling on Thursday, May 5), his smiles and his new found "talking."

Bug is still my biggest helper when it comes to Bam Bam. She is ever ready to provide a diaper or to throw one away. She checks on him and I often find small dolls next to him when he is sleeping. He currently has  a soft one in his co-sleeper that she left for him so that he wouldn't become lonely.

He is definitely the one that looks most like me in coloring with dark hair and dark brown eyes. He is the most Asian looking of my babies (I'm half Filipino). The other two have the light brown hair and light eyes of their daddy. Though, Bug had dark hair and it became blonde/light brown after a few months. I don't know if it will happen with Bam Bam. It hasn't happened yet, so I don't think so.

His favorite people are Mama, Daddy, Boogie, Buggy, and whoever happens to be holding him (though not necessarily in that order). I suspect that Buggy is his favorite person because she is the one that pays attentions to him the most. After I've nursed him and set him down in his seat, she'll bring a blanket over and sit next to him. She talks to him all the time, brings him toys, and summons me when she thinks he needs extra attention (of course, I'm always nearby and he's never alone!). Buggy's name makes him smile and he is happy to have her so close. She is the little Mama that helps him and he loves her so much.

It is confirmed (through my diet) that he has a dairy sensitivity. After giving up dairy for almost two weeks and accidentally having a meal that had dairy in it (who knew bread crumbs had dairy?) which resulted in a very unhappy baby, I've diagnosed him (with my motherhood degree) that he has a dairy sensitivity.

But now that we've discovered the source of his copious amount of spit-up and unhappiness and have rectified the situation we are once again blessed with a happy, happy baby.

Mama has learned to juggle just enough to get Boogs to preschool, dinner on the table, Bug to dance class, and Boogs to t-ball. I'm still learning the art of juggling. Unfortunately some things don't get done, but I'm learning to be okay with it.  Though I think Hubby is starting to notice that I've neglected the house for the last week ;)  He hasn't complained and I doubt he will, but I know that I should have things a little more organized.

But we're happy. Who could ask for more?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

My Parents Call Me...

I took Boogs to his kindergarten orientation last week. I was feeling some trepidation as I was gearing myself up to take him. I made sure that I had all of his paperwork in order and (oh, my!) there is a lot of it.  I was worried how he would do, but I shouldn't have. He was just fine and so was I.

However, I now know that with kindergarten, there means there are no more secrets! The parents were escorted to a kindergarten classroom to wait for our children who were in another room getting to know the teachers.  While I was waiting, one of the staff members calls me over. I knew C. from when I was teacher and we had worked together at another school. She starts laughing and tells me what's going on in the other room.

Teacher:  What is your name?
Boogie:  W.
Teacher: Do you have nickname?
Boogie: My cousins call me "W" but my parents call my Booger
Teacher: Your parents call you Bug? Buggy?
Boogie: No. Booger. They call me Booger.
Teacher: Are you sure?
Boogie: Yes. It's because I had a lot of boogers in my nose when I was a baby.

Teacher: When is your birthday?
B:  March 29th.
Teacher: When is your birthday?
B: I think I already told you that.

When C. told me, I about died!  My face turned red and while I'm laughing with her, I am horrified at the same time. Yes, I call him Boogie. And yes, it's because he had a lot of boogies when he was a baby. But it's not a name that we call him in public anymore, unless you count reading this blog. I think I have to come up with another pseudonym for him.

I'm not thrilled with the way that he answered the second question either. I'm a little worried that my dear soon-to-be kindergartner will be that overly precocious kid. The one that the teachers just sigh at whenever he speaks. Teacher friends, you know the ones I'm talking about!

I'm also pretty sure that I'm already labeled as that parent. You know the pita kind (pain in the a**). I was asked if I was already back at work after having my baby. I said no and that I had just resigned from the county as a teacher. All four kindergarten teachers looked at one another and lifted their eyebrows. All right so now I'm the PITA parent with the precocious kid.

Kindergarten will be just fine...as long as I realize there are no secrets in kindergarten. Doh!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day

My trio--The Reasons I am a Happy Mama
With the help of my hubby I had a pretty fabulous Mother's Day. We celebrated my nephew's first communion on Saturday and having already attended Mass I was able to sleep in on Mother's Day. I was able to snooze a little longer while Hubby took our early-to-rise Bug to the grocery store. While Bug and Hubby were gone, Boogie woke up and snuggled with me.  We listened to a book on CD while we snuggled on the the couch and Bam Bam slept.

We had a yummy dairy free breakfast.  Afterwards, I was able to relax and crochet Boogie's blanket.  This is the first Sunday in four that we have not had an event to attend.  While I relaxed and crocheted, Hubby took the big kids in the backyard with him. While he worked on the garden and the kids played around him, Bam Bam and I hung out together. I did not crochet as much as I wanted to because somebody was hungry and I spent a lot of time nursing. But Bam Bam and I were able to hang out and I enjoyed the relative peace, knowing that my kids were happy and playing and Mama was able to just sit with no agenda.

At one point in the afternoon all three kids took a nap at the same time! I know, amazing!  They napped and I followed suit and napped at the same time. Hubby puttered around the house and made dinner. As they started to get up, I was told to stay upstairs while they worked. I was given my crochet bag so I could crochet and relax.

The weather was gorgeous and Hubby set out our patio furniture so that we could eat al fresco. Just beautiful. I was given my beautiful Mother's Day cards and a gorgeous bracelet to represent Bam Bam. Following the birth of each child, on Mother's Day I have been presented with a piece of jewelry that represents that child's birth. On my first Mother's Day I was given an earring and necklace set with Boogie's birthstone. On the Mother's Day following Buggy's birth I was given opal earrings. This year, a beautiful amethyst bracelet.  I'm one lucky Mama.

Per my request, we left after dinner to attend a rosary and candlelight vigil. Unfortunately, a late-term abortionist was performing abortions on Mother's Day. We stayed to say a prayer for the unborn, for the mothers, and for the doctor.

As I looked at my beautiful family, I realized how truly I have been blessed by the presence of my own children in my life. I am so truly blessed to have my family. A friend wrote on her FB status: "When children are born, you give them life. From that moment on they give you life."   I couldn't have said it better.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Almost Wordless Wednesday: Sleepy Time

Bam Bam spends a lot of time in his baby papasan.  We call it his rumble seat. It actually vibrates and plays music to soothe the baby, but none of my children liked the vibrations or the music.  So its just an expensive seat.  Sometimes he'll take a snooze in it. When he does I put a blanket on top of him. One time when I looked I saw that Buggy had placed her baby, Lorelai, in the seat next to him to keep him company. Sweet love from Mama's little helper.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Back in the Saddle

I went back into the saddle today and took my first spin class since being put on modified rest during my pregnancy.  I dug deep and decided to go for it. I called in last night to reserve my seat. The kids woke up super early this morning at 6am and I figured that there was no excuse to not go. So I did!

I made sure to sign up to take the class with my favorite instructor. I like her teaching style and she knows my abilities and limitations. It makes for an easier class when you're not having to explain that you are not going as fast or as hard as everyone else because you just had a baby.  Because she knows each of her students so well she has been known to yell out modified instructions for those of us who need it.  She wants us to push it, but not overdo it.

Now that Bam Bam is 11 weeks old, I feel like it's time to get it into gear.  I see myself in pictures or in the mirror and I'm like, "Oh, no. That has got to go!" Of course I realize it took me 9 months to gain the weight and it may take me that long to take it off. But at the same time, I need to be more cognizant of what I'm eating. With Boogs, I never lost all of the baby weight. With Bug I lost all of the baby weight, but it took me 19 months to do it.  I am determined to lose baby weight faster.

My husband will a groomsmen in a wedding for his college roommate. My husband will look hot in his suit and I certainly do not want to be the dowdy wife. So I am determined to lose the baby weight. But I will do it healthily. I'll work out and eat healthily. I will definitely not starve myself. I can't. I'm a nursing Mama, and I want Bam Bam to stay healthy.  I've already had to cut out an entire food group because it bothers Bam Bam's tummy. Now I have to look for other alternatives to supplement the loss of the dairy I'm no longer consuming.

But with that said, I was nervous about starting up my workout routines. But now that I have,  I already feel better. Here's to a healthier me in 2011!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Bam Bam is 2 (and a half!) months old

Things have been so busy that I didn't do my monthly update on Bam Bam. He's already 2 1/2 months old.  But this is his actual 2 month birthday picture.

Bam Bam has been a delight. He loves being near his siblings and he loves when they pay attention, smile, and talk to him.   Bam Bam's second month of life was celebrated with a "Welcome Party" by his aunties.  It was nice to show him off to family and ooooh and ahhhh over the sweet gifts he was given.  One of my favorites was a blanket that was made during the party. My sister-in-law chose the fleece and cut out each of the squares.  At the party everyone tied them together to make a beautiful, colorful blanket that he can lay on and grab the fringe created by the knots.

It was during his second month that I was thrown into figuring out how to handle three children on my own while my Hubby was away on business for a week. I had a lot of help, but I will say that if we have any future children, my husband cannot leave on business until after the baby is at least 6 months old!  

Bam Bam has fallen into a schedule. He sleeps for 3-4 hours at a time and is awake more often. He loves his swing and will readily sleep in it. He likes to sleep between the time that we take Boogie to preschool and about the time Boogie comes home. He eats and sits with me and then naps while I make dinner.  In the morning he wakes up when Daddy gets ready for work and likes to spend that extra one-on-one time with Daddy while he can.

I can't believe how quickly he is growing! He smiles everyday and loves when Mama talks to him :)