Monday, June 27, 2011

St. Paul

We have always told our children they can be whatever they want to be when they grow up.  My five year old has a wide variety of interests and some days he wants to go to Africa and save the Cheetahs and other days he wants to clean other people's homes, and still other days he wants to teach music at night while working as a vet during the day.  I sigh every time my son says a long list of things he would like to be or do when he grows up and my husband throws in, "You can also be a priest." Now don't get me wrong. I have a lot of respect for our clergy and for the men and women who choose to be priests, brothers, or nuns. But every time my husband says, "You can also be a priest" my mind fast forwards 20 years and I see my son serving the church without a wife or family of his own. I just don't want my son to miss out on the joys of having a family. But whether or not he has a family is not my choice, but his own. And who am I to disagree with God's calling?

Just the other day my son had the following conversation with my husband:
 B: "When I grow up I want to be a priest, but I don't want to be a priest like Monsignor Paul" (our current priest at our parish).
Hubby: "Why's that?"
B: "I want to be a priest like St. Paul. I want to travel around the world and tell people about God."

Again, who am I to disagree with God's calling?  I am often in awe of the things my son says. For him to   distinguish the difference between a parish priest and a missionary priest is just amazing to me. And then to determine which one he would like to emulate. Oh, and not to mention that he is even aware of St. Paul? It.Blows.My.Mind!

I think my dear Boogie Monster is a sensitive soul and a bit of a philosopher and soon to be theologian.  He loves the Narnia series and has finally listened to the last of the books on CD. His response to the last book? "I think that Earth is a shadow of what Heaven is like."

I look forward to hearing the other ideas that Boogie has to share with us. I must remember to still my own thoughts and to truly listen to this great little philosopher. He has so much to share and I'll miss it if I move too fast.

As a dear friend said to me the other day as I shared Boogie's thoughts of being a missionary priest, "The World will be his Church." Amen.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Packer Clad Father's Day

I used this picture to make a Father's Day for my husband
My husband is a huge Green Bay Packer fan. So much so that he seriously considered naming our youngest Aaron Rodgers or Aaron Raji (after two of the players) if he was born after the Packers won the Superbowl.  Fortunately for baby (or maybe me) the baby was given a name that honored Hubby's father and my mother :)

Since the Packers did win the Superbowl, I thought a Packer Father's Day would be the best present. I bought "Superbowl Champions" t-shirts for the big kids and a "champion" bib for the baby. Hubby was happy and the kids sported their support for Daddy's favorite team all day.

Hubby with his favorite little Packer fans.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

"I No Nap"

When she fell asleep next to me while I was nursing the baby
My little ladybug is trying not to nap on a daily basis. She definitely still needs one, but  she doesn't want to nap.  If I do put her to bed she wants her big brother to nap also, especially since they share a room. It's been difficult to keep her in her room because she'll get up while I'm nursing the baby and I can't correct her immediately. (The baby has dropped in weight and now that he is nursing longer I'm trying to allow him to do that...hence I don't want to stop him in the middle and multiple times.)  Once, her big brother put her to bed for me and she actually stayed. Amazing.

Since Bug still needs naps, but doesn't want them, I've been finding her all around the house asleep. Sometimes she'll snuggle up next to me while I'm nursing the baby and she'll fall asleep next to me.  Or I'll rest on one end of the couch and she'll fall asleep on the other end.  She often falls asleep in my bed while I'm folding laundry in my room. Most recently I found her on the floor of the the front hall fast asleep with her tights on (she put them on herself) and one frilly sock while wrapped in her favorite blue blankie.

Happily in our big green chair in the family room

Yes, that is the floor. She feel asleep in the front hall.

Notice the tights and one frilly sock.
She has a bed, she really does...but you wouldn't know it by these pictures :)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Was That Fear I Saw?

Now that Boogie is out of school going on errands requires a little more endurance, preparation, and patience.  I have to take all three kids with me. Some days I look at my beautiful children who are in various states of crying and say, "Nope, not today." Other days, I dig deep and say with gusto, "Let's do this!"

Earlier this week I made a run to Target. I love that they have a cart with an attachment for two seats in the front. On this particular day I was able to strap the two big kids in the cart and the baby was strapped to me via front carrier. As I mosied up and down the aisles I saw many mommies, some of them with what looked like their first kid in the cart while pregnant with another. Whenever we came across these mommies, I swear I saw fear in their eyes and the following spinning in their brain, "Ack! That might be me some day!"

I chuckled to myself. My kids happened to be on their best behavior and were doing really well. I ran into another mommy who was shopping sans kids and she said, "Oh, yeah I do that often. But my kids are in Summer camp right now." We both agreed that her ability to go shopping without her clan was a luxury.

At first I was apprehensive about how I was going to get errands done with three little ones. But my five year old is a huge help. Bug needs a little more guidance. (Yes that was her running around the grocery store without her shoes last week. Gross!...She took them off in and sat them in the cart.). And Mr. Bananas loves being strapped in the front carrier as long as I'm moving. He often falls asleep quite contentedly.

The world does not stop when you have more children, you just have to figure out how to adapt your resources to still get things accomplished :) I'm still chuckling...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Sane(r) Saturday

So I told you about my frenzied Friday a couple of weeks ago. I have to follow up and say that the next day was better.  It was still busy, but Hubby and I had found our rhythm and did a better juggling act.

The morning started off with Hubby, Boogie, and Buggy going to the Church for the monthly church cleaning. Mr. Bananas and I met them a little later. I picked up where Hubby left off. He took Boogie to his last t-ball game and I stayed at the church with Buggy and Mr. B. Afterwards the littles and I went to the t-ball field. We missed the game, but still met Hubby and Boogs.  Hubby took the boys home and I stayed back a few minutes with Bug to chat with some friends. She and I headed home and I got her ready for her recital by curling her hair.

We made it to the recital and for a two year old, I thought she did pretty well. I was able to get her dressed and ready to go. I did not have to walk her on stage, instead she followed directions and did what she was supposed to do.  Poor thing was exhausted and I caught her yawning through her tap piece.  But she looked beautiful and did a great job. The only snafu of the day was that I forgot my camera. Fortunately, my next door neighbor was at the recital because her girls were also performing. She graciously took pictures for me and sent them to me. Whew! Crisis averted.

We came home and indulged in Greek food for dinner and my parents came over to spend some time with the kids. While the day was incredibly busy and we were on the move constantly, juggling was a lot easier.  It could be that I had fallen asleep at 8:30 the night before. Maybe it was because my husband was available to give me a hand. Or maybe the kids were just more compliant. For whatever reason, it was pretty much smooth sailing, despite forgetting my camera for the recital.

Since then t-ball and dance have finished for the season. I'm taking a breather until Boogs starts swim team tomorrow and then off we go again!

Shy Buggy before her first performance

I think she's a little nervous here.

Buggy with Baby Stinky for Brahm's Lullaby

My favorite picture of the day.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Happy 4 Months!

Mr. Bananas is officially 4 months old as of yesterday.  He is able to hold up his head and he's rolled over twice. Once back to front and on another day, back to front.  He keeps sticking his fingers in his mouth and it makes me wonder if he's teething. Boogs started teething around 4 months, so it's a possibility.

In the last month he entered the Church when he was baptized by Deacon Grandpa on Memorial Day weekend, witnessed by family and friends. All 16 of his cousins attended this joyous occasion. Pretty cool.

At his 4 month checkup all looks well, though he did drop into the 30th percentile for weight. I think it has a lot to do with the reflux.  My SIL noticed that he wasn't nursing for very long and he was spitting up a lot. She was right, Mr. Bananas wasn't getting any of the hind milk when I nursed and that's where all the fatty goodness is located.  So he dropped in weight. But now he is on reflux medicine and he isn't screaming when he nurses and he isn't spitting near as often. We now have a very happy baby who isn't in pain anymore. Hallelujah!

His favorite person in the world is his sister. He loves when we sing to him. His siblings can be found singing at the top of their lungs next to him and he thinks it's great. Mr. Bananas actually giggles when we tickle him (I don't think I actually tried to tickle the other two when they were babies. I don't know why).  He has found his toes and loves to grab them.  If he is in the swing when Daddy comes home he cries because he can't wait to get out and be held by him. He is starting to talk...we can't understand him yet, but he has an opinion on some things. His favorite toy is a monkey blanket that his Godfather gave him. He loves to chew it's face. The other day we were on an hour long car ride. He cried for the first 30 minutes and when I gave him his monkey blanket he calmed down and fell asleep.  He loves the water and I look forward to playing in the pool with him.

He has always been a delight, however, it made us sad when he would cry in pain due to the reflux. Now that he is on medicine and no longer in pain, it's like we have a completely different child who is happy 99% of the time. (The other 1% is when I try to put him to bed and he's not having it.) He continues to brighten our lives by his presence. I can't imagine not having him a part of our family. The big kids LOVE their baby brother and he is often referred to as our Mr. Bananas.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Frenzied Friday

Before the dance recital rehearsal there had been no nap for the little ones, dance tights found in the hamper dirty and grass-stained instead of clean and in the dance bag. During the rehearsal:  infant poop on the front of my shirt and shorts, portable DVD player not working, wearing a screaming baby while trying to wrangle a wriggly two year old to do costume changes for her dance recital rehearsal, and ordering my 5 year old around as my personal "go-fer."  Yeah, that was my Friday. It made me seriously reconsider why I thought it would be a good idea to put my two year old in a dance recital. When I signed her up months and months ago, all I thought was, "Oooooh, it will be sooooo cute." I was definitely not thinking that on Friday night.

That night I was hot, sweaty, frustrated, and in a terrible mood. I kept waiting for my husband to show up to help me out. Unbeknownst to me he had texted several times and left several messages on my phone. I never heard my phone signal that I had messages. It might have had something to do with me running around the auditorium like a crazy lady trying to keep track of all my kids, trying to figure out why the DVD player wouldn't work so my son could sit contentedly during his sister's dress rehearsal, and (later) the screaming baby I was wearing. Some of the moms helped out and held the baby while I ran around to retrieve items and change Bug in her costumes and I'm grateful. Boogs was really, really good considering I didn't have anything to entertain him. He kept himself busy by making new friends with the brothers of the other dancers and looking over their shoulders while they played games on their handheld gaming systems. He ended up being my right hand as we carted stuff from the van to the auditorium and back again.  By the time I had loaded the kids in the van for the ride home, I was exhausted and starving and just plain mad.

Hubby had been home waiting for us because I had never called him back. I did call on the way home to send him to pick up food for the kids for dinner. I couldn't stop on the way home because the two year old had to use the potty and I didn't think I would make it in time if I had to stop for food.  When I pulled up I saw that he had been enjoying a cold beverage, reading a book on the front steps, and (dare I say it?), relaxing! Gah!!!!  It was the last straw for me. Here he was enjoying the gorgeous weather and I was again, beyond exhausted. I was so angry I almost threw his bottle across the street. I tried really, really, really hard to not jump down his throat when he walked in the house. Before he walked in the door with dinner, my exhausted two year old had been screaming at me for 10 minutes and I.was.done.

When he walked in I walked myself up to our room and nursed the baby while I could mercifully zone out in front of the television. When he brought up the kids for baths, I walked downstairs. I needed some "me" time desperately. But that's when it happened. It slipped out. As I walked down the stairs I made some snarky remark over my shoulder and he tried to be patient. But I jabbed again and again until he had no choice but to lose his temper and make a snarky remark back to me. And then I started to cry. It's actually what I needed. I needed to vent in some way and his remark made me cry and that led to me falling asleep on the couch while he put the kids to bed. A sleep I so desperately needed. By the time he woke me and I headed up to bed, I was better, while at the same time remorseful and embarrassed.

I hate fighting. I hate how I acted. The simple solution would have been to eat something during the recital or on the ride home. It didn't even cross my mind that my blood sugar must have been dipping and that I was hungry.  Low blood sugar makes me stupid.  Once I had eaten something it seemed ridiculous how upset I had been.

I apologized, he apologized and we're better.  I'm fortunate that I have an understanding husband (and sister in law. I snarked at her too, through facebook. At that point someone should have slapped me). In speaking with another one of my SILs this afternoon she pointed out that my husband (her brother) is usually very helpful and not to have his help that day was hard for me. She was and is right.  It's the curse of the helpful husband. You're so used to his faithful help, that when it fails to come, you find life just a bit harder.

Even though Saturday was just as busy, it was not as frenzied. Hubby and I found our rhythm and the hand off for the various activities went pretty smoothly for a saner Saturday. I'll share that in my next post. Bug's recital was fun and I loved watching her on the stage. And yes, I'd do the recital again. Pictures to come.

Friday, June 3, 2011

True Middle

I had posted last year about "middle child" syndrome (if there is such a thing).  I recently saw a friend of mine at a grad school mini reunion dinner. We had gone to the same undergrad, too, and majored in human development.  For her senior seminar paper she had written about birth order.

When she met my kids the other week she said that I had the "perfect" birth order. A girl between two boys. My girl will never be a true middle child because she will be the princess between the two boys. She said as long as I don't change anything, I'll have the perfect situation.

I found this very interesting, especially as Buggy has been exhibiting some issues of belonging. She loves being a "big kid" with her older brother. She can be found running around after him. She loves doing the things that he's doing.  On the other hand, sometimes I'll find her in the baby swing or curled up asleep in Mr. Bananas' rumble seat. She'll even loudly proclaim, "I want to be the baby."  She's definitely trying to find out where she belongs.  She is also very territorial. One of my SILs noted it that the last time she visited with some of the kids' cousins. Bug could be found saying, "No that's mine!" Part of it is being 2 1/2 years old, but I think another part is realizing that not all of her toys are hers. She has to share them with her brothers.  But that's true of any kid. Sharing is a part of life.

So is she a true middle child? I don't know. I'd like to think that she is wonderfully her own person, no matter the birth order. I think even if we have another child that she will still be the helpful "little mama" that she's been with Mr. Bananas. I love her passion, her silliness, her love for her brothers, and her sincerity. I look forward to growing with her.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Almost Wordless Wednesday--Rainbows for Boogs

 For Boogie's birthday in March he asked that I crochet a blanket just for him. For the past year I had been crocheting baby blankets for various friends who have had babies, for Buggy, and for Mr. Bananas.  Boogie asked if I would make him one that had all the colors of the rainbow. It's still a work in progress, but I'm almost done. Hopefully by the end of the week.

Boogie chose all of the colors for his blanket. It is bold, colorful, whimsical, and loud...just like my beloved son!