Tuesday, January 31, 2012


It seems like 2012 has been burdened with uncertainty for many of my friends. Uncertainty about what the future holds and how they will be able to handle it.

First, friends of ours have been dealing with their 23-month old's brain injury.  This little one was involved in a violent incident.  Her recovery is amazing thus far. She was brought home just this past Friday, but will still be undergoing extensive outpatient speech, physical, and occupational therapy.  Her parents are facing uncertainty about her future because it's still not clear how extensive her injuries may be. Their faith is amazing and they are so very strong.  They (and we!) continue to rejoice in her recovery as she progresses step by step.

Second, another friend just found out she has colon cancer. As I type this, she is in surgery. She has two little ones, 3 1/2 and 1 1/2.  She started blogging about her unexpected journey and her faith is strong.  She is relying on our great Physician as she prays for healing and strength.

Third, another friend is facing possible single parenting in the near future as her husband faces several assault and attempted murder charges on another.  Most likely he'll go to jail.  We've known this couple for several years and I'm still in shock and don't know quite how to process this information. All of it. There is so much to the backstory that I can't even fathom what the entire (immediate and extended) family is going through.  I'm sure their family doesn't either. This woman and her family are facing uncertainty.

Fourth, my neighbor just told me today that one of her daughters (4 yrs. old) may lose hearing in both ears.  It could happen in a year it could take several years. She is facing uncertainty.

I, too, am facing uncertainty. But mine is temporary and seems so petty compared to the ones my friends' are facing. Me? I'm wondering how I will have the grace and patience to temporarily single-parent when Hubby leaves next week for his big project. I just found out today that he is leaving a day earlier than expected.

As I contemplate all of this uncertainty that seems to surround my friends I go back to this verse:

"Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning,
for I am trusting you.
Show me where to walk 
for I give myself to you" (Psalm 143:8)

And I just found this one and I'll share it with my friends who are facing uncertainty:

"We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need.  May you be filled with joy."  (Colossians 1:11)

For those of you facing uncertainty: May you be filled with God's grace. May you find strength in His unfailing love. Peace.

Monday, January 30, 2012

"Fwo-Up" Buckets

Bug with her fwo-up bucket
The stomach came and did its damage in 5 days. It hit all 5 of us and I.am.done.  Ugh!  The baby and I got it first. I think he might have been the carrier and if he was then he picked it up in childcare. I'm sure he was sucking on some toy from some other kid who was carrying the virus. Ugh, ugh, ugh!  Childcare in the gym in pretty good and they try to disinfect everything, but it's hard.

I had it on Thursday and by Saturday I was probably at 80% and feeling 100% by Sunday.  The baby was at 90% on Sunday and is 100% today. Thank goodness!  He's had issues with weight gain and I was really worried when he didn't want to eat for a few days. Fortunately, I am still nursing and that was enough for him while he was sick.  He's back to eating solids and I'm really happy about that.

However, my poor Boogie woke up around 4am and started throwing up. I heard him run to the bathroom. Then he started crying and yelling, "Help, help!" Of course I was nursing the baby and Hubby got up to take care of him.  He gave him a "fwo-up" bucket (a wash basin) and Boogs put it to good use over the next several hours. Poor guy. Every time he finished he would yell, "Help, help!" At one point Bugs woke up and saw him. "Daddy, Daddy, my Boogie is fwoing up, help him!"  She was distraught that her best friend was so sick. She was happy that she was able to share her fwo-up bucket with him.

That's right, my daughter has her own personal "fwo-up" bucket.  She got it when she had the stomach flu over a year ago.  She became so attached to it that she's kept it by her bedside for over a year. Yes, we did disinfect it many times over.  After numerous months, it finally made it's way to underneath her bed. I tried for months to return it to the basement with the other basins, but she'd always pull it back out. So underneath her bed it stays.

Boogie stayed in bed most of Sunday. He never stays in bed so he was definitely sick.  He got up for a little while in the afternoon, but after a dinner of dry toast, he went straight into bed forgoing a bath.  I'll remedy that today. He was so tired and sick he didn't want his usual bedtime story and just wanted to sleep.  Even though he hasn't thrown up since 8am yesterday, Hubby and I thought we should play it safe and keep him home from school today. Especially since he hasn't really eaten anything in 24 hours.  However, he is up fussing at his sister, listening to audio books, and now playing MarioKart on the Wii. I'd say he's better.

When Hubby came home from Church I went to the gym. By the time I came back I noticed Bug had a fwo-up bucket next to her. I looked at Hubby and he said, "Yup, she has one, now." She had thrown up while I was gone. I was only gone 1 1/2 hours.  I had stopped on the way home to pick up something from my parents. In that short time, she became sick.  Gross. But now, she had her own bucket and she carried it everywhere. It's like a pet!

By dinner time, Hubby looked at me and said, "I don't feel well." He had given the kids toast for dinner and skipped dinner. After Bug's bath she emptied the contents of her stomach in her fwo-up bucket and we had to change her into another set of clean pajamas.

By the time we had gotten both kids into bed, Hubby went straight to bed himself. By that time all 3 of them had "fwo-up" buckets next to them.

My poor family. Five people down in 5 days. That's got to be some type of record. Fortunately, this stomach bug is quick and the actual time being sick and gross is about 24 hours.  It takes another day to feel better and to have most if not all of your strength back.

Today, I will be spending my day doing laundry and disinfecting the house. Wish me luck! Even thought it's only 30 degrees outside, is it bad that I want open my windows? I really want to get rid of these germs!

Stay healthy!

Sunday, January 29, 2012


I used to be the queen of procrastination.  I would wait until the last minute to do just about anything. It's not that I did not want to do whatever task was at hand...I just always had something else that I thought needed my time and attention.

I am notorious for my to-do lists. Just ask my husband. I have paper lists, I have an app for lists. I have lists everywhere! Except my lists keep getting longer, and my time keeps getting shorter.  I have found what works best for me is to just slog through "the List." I stay focused, I stay on task, and I actually accomplish more than I had hoped.  Staying focused is not my strong suit.

Around Christmas time and into the new year, instead of hitting my to-do list regularly, I ignored it, almost entirely and enjoyed the time my husband was home on vacation. We played with the kids, we visited with friends, and we relaxed.  I am now paying for it, in the sense that I am out of practice of sticking with my tasks for the day.  In the last week, I hit it with renewed vigor and I am once again getting tasks accomplished.

I have found that having kids makes me more organized. Nothing brings on heart palpitations like trying to find your keys, loading up the car with snacks, etc that you forgot to prepare for the next outing, and being sidelined by 3 kids who all had to poop at the same time. Yeah, the last part happened to me once. It took us forever to get out of the house, which made us 15 minutes late for a class.

I now find myself creating my daily to-do list the night before. I have my gym bag packed for the next day along with snacks for the little kids while they are in childcare.  I have in my head what needs to be done and where I need to go for my errands.  I create my route for the day in order to be most efficient in getting out of the house, hit as many errands as possible in order to get the kids home before they collapse into a hot mess before lunch/nap time.  I am even going so far as to prep dinner during nap time so that at 5pm all I have to do is pop it into the oven instead of trying to prep while the baby falls apart because he is done for the day.

I am also fed up with the way my house looks and I am spending 30 minutes a day just trying to maintain the front hall, the family room, and the kitchen. Forget about everything else. I'll just have to tackle them on my cleaning days. But at least when Hubby or an unexpected guest walks in the door I no longer feel as embarrassed by the craziness of coats, boots, toys, and whatnot that they would have had to slog through in order to walk in.

I am not the most organized and of all the talents my mom possesses, I wish I had inherited her gene for getting things clean, organized, and done! My mom is a whirlwind and can make a house look sparkling in what appears to be minutes, while I find it very laborious and overwhelming and can take hours. Well, maybe someday I'll master her talent.

How do you keep on top of the housework? How do you stay motivated to accomplish your tasks? For me, this will always be my quest ;)

Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today.

Benjamin Franklin
US author, diplomat, inventor, physicist, politician, & printer (1706 - 1790)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Meltdown City

Ever have one of those days when the kids just completely melt?  I'm sure I could have avoided this, but in other ways not so much. Let me give you the backstory.

I had a stomach bug on Thursday. I was not at full capacity on Friday, but feeling well enough to take care of the kids on my own. I was still a little weak and fatigued, but well enough to walk Boogs to school.  Having accomplished nothing the day before, my type-A personality kicked into high gear and I tried to accomplish the tasks and errands that I couldn't do the day before. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

After walking Boogs to school, I took the two younger kids to the grocery store. I usually go to the store on Monday or Tuesday, and I because of one thing or another didn't go and desperately needed to go by Friday.  Done. Little kids were pretty good. I was still feeling a little tired, but task accomplished.

I had to exchange some shirts for Hubby. I also had planned to do that on Monday, but couldn't. I thought I could get it done on Friday because Boogs was supposed to start a Spanish class that would last an hour and give me an extra hour before I had to pick him up from school. Having him in that class may help me accomplish getting at least one more errand done after the little kids wake up from naps and before I had to pick up Boogs from school.

But due to some miscommunication between the school and the PTA coordinator for the classes, the classes did not begin yesterday but are to start next week. I'm glad I listened to my spidey sense and double checked with both the coordinator and the school. And despite being told the class would start yesterday, I decided to make sure that he would really be in class and not just hanging around after school by himself. And oh, what do you know?  He would have been left hanging around because the school was told the class was starting yesterday because the coordinator forgot to tell them that class was actually starting next week. Yes, I was that mom that had to point out the mistake. I did it as nicely as possible and even offered to walk the kids who were hanging around outside the class back up to the office.

I walked my kids home and decided, "What the hay? Let's exchange Daddy's shirts at the mall." I even tried to bribe them with a yummy pretzel if they were good. Well one thing led to another and it took longer than I expected. I wanted to zip in and out and have pretzels in hand within 15 minutes of entering the store. But no. Wasn't in the cards.  And this was the result (warning to those with a soft heart...ahem Lolo and Lola...lots of crying and melting going on)...To all watching, no judging please ;) But I will accept shipments of chocolate and empathy :)

This last video may be the absolute saddest. After Mr. Bananas has climbed the stairs repeatedly and faster with every attempt, I thought it best to put up a gate at the bottom of the stairs. I did it for his safety and so that I could finish making dinner :) Otherwise, I was running up and down the stairs every few minutes to get the baby.  Here is the result of my decision. Kinda breaks your heart, doesn't it? Especially as he signs, "All Done, All done." I think he meant he was all done with the gate...

Friday, January 27, 2012


Yesterday, I woke up with a stomach bug.  I woke up and realized that I did not feel well. I had a slight fever and my stomach was making all sorts of weird gurgling sounds. Knowing that Hubby has been working late and working really hard on his current project, I knew that I wouldn't be able to ask him to stay home to be with the kids. However, he did offer to call my aunt and ask her to come over to watch the kids while I stayed in bed to rest as best as I was able.

He ended up speaking to my mom who was able to take a day off from work and came over to take care of me and the kids.  Hubby went in late to get the kids ready for school and to prepare them for the hand off to Mom. Mom took over breakfast and walking Boogs to school. She spent the rest of the day playing games with Bugs and looking after the baby. Unfortunately, we realized later that the baby had the same yucky stomach bug I had. Ugh.

Mom was a trooper taking care of mealtimes, naptimes, homework, and baths.  I was able to spend most of the day in bed/bathroom.  I was too weak to help out and the smell of food was nauseating.  She really stepped up and the kids LOVED the extra time they had with her.  As an added bonus my dad came over after work. He brought dinner and helped to take care of the kids. He even brought over milk when Mom looked in the fridge and realized I was running low.  Grocery shopping had been on my list of things to do yesterday, but that obviously didn't happen.

While Mom bathed the kids, Dad took care of the kitty cats, and took out my garbage and diaper pail.  After baths, Dad took over bedtime routines.  This was a huge blessing to me, especially since Hubby had to stay late at work and didn't come home until after 1am.

I hate being sick and I especially hate asking for help. But with my parents, there was an even flow and they stepped in when I had to take a step back. I didn't have to tell them what to do. They naturally fit into the everyday movement of my family.  I feel very blessed by their help and support. It also reminds me that I am not alone and that I have help if and when I need it, I only have to ask.  It also makes next month look less daunting as Hubby's project takes him out of town for nearly 3 weeks.

Thanks, Mom and Dad. Thank you for being there for me and my family! I love you!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Almost Wordless Wednesday: My Girl

It's so different having a girl. With my firstborn I learned a lot about trains (especially the Thomas and Friends series), dinosaurs, dragons, and cheetahs.  Having a girl as a second born was a bit of an adjustment. She loves pink and purple. She loves to try on my shoes. She critiques my clothing choices and usually says, "You look beautiful, Mama!"  She loves dresses that twirl and will spin and spin just so that she can see her pretty dresses twirl.  I knew that when I had a girl I would want her to try dance classes. I thought she would love it and she does.

Here is my little girl on one lazy Saturday morning. She had dressed herself in her dress up clothes over her pajamas and dances for me.  I think wearing her sunglasses upside down is my favorite part of her outfit! This one is for you Ms. Chi!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Mr Bananas is 11 months old! (Belated)

My monkey stopped and smiled for me when he saw the camera
Our Mr. Bananas turned 11 months old.  I can't believe that he will be a year old next month.  The time sure does fly!  I am amazed not only how quickly time passes by, but what is accomplished in that amount of time.

Mr. Bananas now has six teeth. His tops finally busted through and so have ones on either side of his front top teeth.  He has been cruising around the furniture and he has been attempting to stand without holding onto anything. He's accomplished the standing alone once or twice!  He can crawl very quickly and is often off like a shot after his brother and sister.  It's a good thing that they are so good with him.  He adores them.  He sleeps better through the night. Every now and again he'll wake up, but I'm going to attribute that to teething as it is not a consistent night waking.  Just 3 or 4 nights at a time and then he sleeps through the night for weeks at a time.

I think he needs more sleep because he is often rubbing his eyes around dinner time at 6:30pm. I think that I'll need to feed him earlier than everyone else and put him to bed earlier.  Though if I do that, Hubby won't have a chance to spend any time with him. We'll see how things go.

He signs and can ask for "more", tell me he's "all done", "hello," and "goodbye" and point to things that he wants.  His spoken verbal isn't too bad either. He can say "more," "Mama," "bye-bye," and "da" (daddy). Most recently he signed and said, "Mah, Mama" (More, Mama)!

He loves to flirt with the ladies who sit behind us in church. He's constantly smiling and then hiding from them.  He also likes to crawl around the pew and will often crawl on the floor from one end to the other.
Enjoying some Daddy time

Mr. B. is very comfortable in the childcare at the gym and loves playing with the toys and meeting new kids. One time they put him in baby jail  the exersaucer so he'd stay in one place for a minute and they told me he just looked defeated. He looked at Miss Tracy for a long time and then put his face down on the tray kind of pathetically. They quickly took him out and he was a happy monkey again.  Most recently they had to do it again because some of the bigger kids were playing a little more roughly and they put him in to keep him safe. Instead of being defeated, he enjoyed watching the big kids play.

Mommy has become 2nd best once daddy is home. When Mr. B. hears the garage door open, and especially when he hears Daddy's voice, he will either go towards the sound or if I'm holding him, push away from me and look around for Daddy.

Mr. B. is still my most demanding child. Not because he is the baby, but because he screams for attention. He's pretty good while we are out, but if he's hungry and we're home. Forget about it! He is demanding and inconsolable.  I also think he likes to hear the sound of his own voice!

His big sister and brother are really good about taking care of him and allowing him to play around them.  They don't fuss too much when they are playing together and he wants to join in.  They change what they are doing and remove any small pieces to make it baby friendly. It's nice that they do that without having to be told.
I love the way he finds the perfect place in our necks to nuzzle.

I still can't believe my last baby will soon be a toddler.  I am trying to cherish all the good times and remember (and take pictures) of all the cute moments. Like how he squinches his nose and lifts his face up and his eyes disappear in his smile. They way he stops to pose for the camera when he sees me pull it out to take a picture. They way he nuzzles into my neck. They way he sings and pounds the chair and makes his own beat to a music only he can hear.  The way his baby butt wiggles as he crawls away quickly to something new and interesting.  And the "who, me?" face he gives me when I say, "no" as he's about to push all the buttons on our DVD player.

I love him, and I can't imagine our family without him.  Happy 11 months, Mr. Bananas!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Happy Birthday Hubby!

It's my Hubby's birthday today. Unfortunately, he is traveling again and we won't get to celebrate with him today. But we made the most of this weekend and celebrated all the way through.  Our celebration started on Friday night when my parents graciously offered to watch the kids so that we could have a date night.

Hubby and I did something we haven't done in forever and we went bowling!  Wow, bowling has changed a lot since I was a good. Everything is computerized. The place we went to had waiters with earpieces taking orders and serving our food. No more greasy diner at the back of the alley.  They served more than just beer. Now you can fancy martinis while you bowled.  No more going up and down the alley looking for the ball that was "just right."  Now it's small, medium, and large and everything is color coded and is handed to you when you order your shoes.  I don't know if all bowling alleys are like this now, but the one we went to was definitely fancy.  The groups next to us were enjoying a buffet dinner complete with fruit and cheese platter.  Huh, no kidding.  Oh, and if you use bumpers, you could program the alley to put them up and take them down as needed for each player.  Fancy!

Hubby and I decided to have dinner while we bowled. We indulged and bowled. We're both terrible at bowling, but enjoyed one another's company knowing that the kids were in good hands and we didn't have to worry about them.

We were greeted on Saturday morning with some snow covered in a layer of ice. We had a leisurely morning and decided to have Daddy's birthday breakfast a few days early.  We let Daddy sleep in while I made breakfast and the kids bounced around the house waiting for him to wake up.  We spent the rest of the day hanging out with friends and enjoying a friend's 3 year old birthday party.  

On Sunday, I made Hubby a peanut butter cake. Not sure what I did wrong, but it came out dryer than expected and I should have waited a little longer for the homemade frosting to cool before pouring it over the cake. I'll have to work on this. We had an early dinner, opened presents, and ate cake all before Hubby headed out for another business trip.  

The kids and I are so grateful for Hubby/Daddy. He is the best thing that has happened to us and we miss him when he travels and celebrate when he is home. Happy Birthday, Baby. We love you!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Cooperative Play

The big kids are doing so well together. It makes so much easier with Hubby's travel schedule.  For Christmas break I bought the big kids a gingerbread house to make and decorate.  We never got around to it during break and I've been looking for a time in our schedule to make it.  A week ago Hubby had to travel and I wasn't expecting him home for dinner. I decided we would have an early dinner and the kids could get to it.  Hubby surprised us by being able to get an earlier flight home.  It was nice having him home and having a relaxing night with the kids.

I "glued" the house together with the icing, split up the decorative candy and let the kids have at it. I decided that I would let them do what they wanted with the house. If they asked for help, I'd give it, but I wouldn't dictate how the house "should" look.  It made for a low-key, no stress project.  They did a great job working together and creating a beautiful gingerbread house. It was so nice to see them working together, encouraging one another, and having fun.  I love that they are playing well together and are including Mr. Bananas when they play. I'm one happy Mama.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

LOVE: a cool picture display

Repainted wall with LOVE
Coming up with a good gift for either set of parents is a tough feat.  One year my husband and I put a collage of photos in frames in my parents' kitchen. The center photo is a family photo when all of us, including my brother, took a trip to Maui. It's the 7 of us in front of the helicopter from when we took a helicopter ride around the island (actually the 8 of us. Unbeknownst to all of us I was pregnant with Mr. B. in the photo!).  Surrounding the central photo are pictures of my parents with my kids, my kids together, and various family photos. They loved it. Over the years we have exchanged and updated the pictures.

This year after looking on Pinterest I found a really, really cute idea of having the kids pose with letters and spell out the word, "LOVE."  Click here on LOVE to see where I got my neat idea.

When my husband and I bought our house a few years ago, we had to peel a lot of wall paper and repaint our house.  My mom caught the redecorating bug and peeled the wall paper off one of the walls in her living room and that is as far as she got.  I decided this year that my gift to them would be to repaint that wall for them and then hang "LOVE" in pictures featuring their grandkids.  I loved the ending result and so did they.

It turned out better than I expected!

Friday, January 20, 2012

This is Leadership?

About a month or so ago, my kindergarten son came home with a brand new homework folder indicating that he was in a new small group in his classroom. Not only was he in a new group, but he was made "captain" of his group.  He was so excited and I saw in his bright smile and shining eyes a younger me.  One who was (and still is) eager to please and excited to be given this great honor of "leading" a group.

He chattered all the way home about it and asked me if I was proud of him.  It seems like mother, like son, my son's love language is affirmation.  He was so proud and he wanted me to join in his happiness and honor.

A few days later I asked him how it was going:

B: "Well, Mommy...I have to do a lot of work."
DM: "Oh, yeah, Baby? What do you have to do?"
B: "Well I have to hand out all the papers to the group. I have to clean up after the group. I have to put their chairs on the table at the end of the day. I don't know if I like this."
DM: "Have you asked your tablemates to help you?"
B: "Yeah, Mommy. But I don't know if they heard me or just didn't want to help me. I did it all by myself."

A part of me snickered internally and wanted to say, "Welcome to leadership, Baby." Well, maybe I did say it...under my breath, a little more loudly than I should have ;)

I encouraged him to ask for help when he needed it (something I wish I had done when I was in those positions as an adult) and to continue to always do his best.  He hasn't complained since and I am so proud of him for taking his responsibilities seriously and for doing it with a happy heart.

A part of me is irritated for my initial negative reaction to being a leader, but I think it was because his "promotion" into leadership is coming at a time when I, personally, don't want to take a lead on anything that is not directly related to my family. But I am happy for my little man and if he can learn to take his responsibilities with a grain of salt, a happy heart, and to ask for help when he needs it, then he is doing a much better job than I did in his position.

Rock on, Boogs! Rock on! I am proud of you. Love, Mama

Colossians 3:23
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” (NIV)

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Well the general consensus is that now is not my time to be on these committees.  Pretty much I have "sucker" written on my forehead.

Seriously, just last week I  put in my notice that I would not be returning to my Publicity Team Leader position next year. And probably within days I was sent the e-mail about starting a Mom's group with my parish. When Hubby heard about my e-mail he just laughed.  "Maybe God is testing you to make sure you stay with your New Year's Resolution of just saying no."  He asked if I had committed to it in a prior conversation. The answer is no(ish). I remember being told about it. I remember having a conversation about adding my two cents, but I don't remember being flat asked to help with the groundwork.  I'm sure that I gave some general answer of, "yeah, yeah, sure, sure. I can tell you how we currently organize my MOPS group." I'm sure that answer sealed my fate of being on the ground floor. *sigh*

However, I have not committed to it and I will find a way to say, "Not right now." I just haven't done it yet. So not a complete fail...but not a pass either.  A friend wrote that failing at saying no is what makes me the sucker. Yup, pretty much. Another also said for every one I say no to 10 more will pop up. Yes, very true. Just because I say no in this season of my life, does not mean that I will always say no or that good opportunities will pass me by.  Good to remember. Oh, and I already have 4 gifts. Yes, they are my most precious gifts.

So I have to keep all of that in mind.

Oh by the way...I just asked if I can volunteer in my son's kindergarten classroom.  Doh! But I have always wanted to do this since I've been a stay at home mom.  Fortunately, there isn't any pressure to do so and the teacher is kind of "whatever" about it in a good way. He did ask how I would have the time as he looked pointedly at my two other children.  I think it was his nice way of saying, "Don't worry about it, we're good. But if you can do it, yes, we'll use you." I just want to do it at least once while he's in kindergarten :)

Thanks for all the input. You all are the best!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Is This a Test?

I'm feeling a little bit like Jonah right now. I am asked to be on leadership/planning/organizing teams on a regular basis. I either have "sucker" written on my forehead or this is really where God wants me to be.  I'm not sure which. But nonetheless I keep trying to run from decline these invitations but they seem to seek me out.

I decided last year after I had agreed to be the volunteer coordinator for our Church's Bible camp that I would not volunteer for anything while I was pregnant or nursing a baby.  Of course in that time I also agreed to be the Publicity Team Leader for our MOPS group.  Since then I have also been asked to teach/coordinate a Biblio Bebe Class while the teachers were on Maternity leave, consider being a co-Flipper representative (Swim team), and now just the other day I was sent an e-mail about being part of a planning committee for a new Mom's group starting at my parish. ARGHGHGHGHGHGH!!!!!

I said no to the Biblio Bebe Class. With Hubby leaving next month for about 3 weeks I just didn't think that I would have the energy to plan a bilingual lesson twice a week every week for 8 weeks.  I didn't outright decline being the Flipper rep, but gave my reservations up front.  As for the new Mom's group at our parish, I totally would love to be a part of that, especially since it would be at and through our Church, but I don't want to be on the ground floor of that. Now right now anyway. Again with Hubby working late for the next few weeks and being gone next month, I won't have a lot of free time and what free time I have I want to be able to spend it with my Hubby when he is home. So, no thank you.

So what do you think? Sucker or God's calling? I'm leaning towards sucker...but here's food for thought:

  Exodus 35:10
“All who are skilled among you are to come and make everything the Lord has commanded.” (NIV)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Mr. Bananas at 10 Months (belated)!

Two posts in two days?!? Yes, I am really trying to make an effort to get back into my writing. What better way than to do an update on Mr. Bananas.

I have been asked by several people...Why Mr. Bananas?  I chose the nickname because he received a lot of cute monkey outfits right after he was born. Everything I put him in had a monkey(s) or had some cute saying about being "bananas over mommy" and every time I would set him on the changing table and talk to him I would say in an obnoxious and nasaly voice that he loved, "Hello, Mr. Bananas." His giggles cemented the nickname.

Mr. Bananas at 10 months
At 10 months, Mr. B. was pulling himself up a ton all over the house. He loved that he could do it and now would rather be standing somewhere that sitting.  We keep a wicker basket of baby toys in the family room and when we want to deter him from heading for the tv I would put the basket in the middle of the floor. He enjoyed sitting down and going through the box as if it was a new present every time.  With 10 months came his first Christmas celebration. He sat patiently on Santa's lap while Hubby took pictures. He seemed nonchalant about the whole Santa thing.  By 10 months, if he wasn't pulling himself to a stand he was busy crawling all over the house. It took a few non-injury tumbles down the one step into our library before he became adept at turning his body over at the last second to slide down onto his tummy.  Now it's second nature to him to ease himself into the family room from the kitchen.  He met his  uncle (my brother) for the first time right before Christmas. As with all kids, Uncle Bing was a hit and Mr. B. loved getting extra attention.

Mr. Bananas in his Santa outfit
The week before Christmas we delivered gifts for the convent where we have "adopted" a nun for Christmas for the past two years.  Mr. B. was a big hit with the Sisters, most of whom were in their seventies. They enjoyed holding his hand and getting a smile. We also made a stop into the infirmary and his presence brought a smile to those who could not make it down for the celebration.  The week after Christmas we also made a stop at a local nursing home and went caroling around the corridors.  This was the nursing home where my husband's beloved Great Aunt Mickey spent her last days almost 6 years ago.  They had taken wonderful care of Aunt Mickey and it was nice to give back to the other residents with some singing and good cheer. Mr. B. dressed in an adorable Santa suit (a gift from his Filipino relatives) was carried around by Hubby and visited many rooms. Again, he was a big hit.

His favorite person continues to be his big sister and I don't think that will change anytime soon.  His big brother adores him and loves to try to play with him. Between the big kids, I know that Mr. B. is in good hands.

Hubby and Santa's helper

Monday, January 16, 2012

New Year's Resolutions 2012

I feel like time keeps flying past me and I'm barely able to keep up. Hubby mentioned that I haven't blogged very much and he's absolutely right. However, I have a ton of posts in my head, but nothing on paper. I need to get on that.

I've been thinking of New Year's Resolutions and I needed to think of things that would better my life and things that I can accomplish. So here we go:

1) Spend more time with the kiddos.
    This sounds like a no-brainer since I am a stay-at-home mom, however, I feel like I never have enough time to enjoy them because I'm doing one thing or another.  I'm usually over committed and I need to take some things off my plate and enjoy my time with my family. For the last two weeks Hubby and I have incorporated Family Game Night. My kids are loving it and so are we. Pictureka anyone?

2)  Just Say NO!
     This goes with number one.  I've decided to start taking some things off my plate.  Most recently I gave in my resignation for "Publicity Team Leader" for MOPs.  I will finish out the year and then say goodbye to my position. I think I will continue attending MOPs meetings next year, but I just needed to be able to spend time with my family and not worried about deadlines.  With Hubby traveling so much I wanted to be able to spend time with him when he was home and not be worried about getting the newsletter out.  By the same token, I didn't want to have to worry about "one more thing" while he was away. If I can lighten my load, it will make the time without him a little easier.

     I miss writing everyday and I want to get back to it. I need to work in the time. It's been good for me to write down everything and I feel less discombobulated when I do so.  Lately, I've been feeling terribly discombobulated and I need to write so that I can everything out. Once I've cleared my head then I can keep moving forward.

4)  Time with God
     Just as my writing time went out the window, so did my time with God. I used to be able to get up early in the morning and have my devotional before the kids were up for the day. Since Mr. Bananas' birth, I haven't been able to accomplish that. Now that he is sleeping through the night (most nights) I am getting more sleep also.  I need to put my devotional time back in my schedule. I find that when I take the time to pray for my friends & family and take the time to reflect on scripture my days go more smoothly.  So here I go again.  Are you there God? I'm ready, again.

I'm sure there are more, but I think these four will keep me going this year.  So here's to more time with my fabulous family, time for myself, and time for God...not necessarily in that order.

Wishing you all the best in the new year!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy New Year!

Gah, where has the time gone?!? I cannot believe that it is 2012 and that it has been almost a month since my last post!  I have so much to share and not enough time to post.  Ah, so be it. I will share what I can in the few minutes I have while the baby is napping and before I pickup the kindergartner.

Um, where to begin?  First off, Happy New Year!  It is officially 2012.  I try to take it slow every Advent to really appreciate and prepare for the celebration for our Savior's birth.  However, with a SAHM's demanding schedule, it is not always possible.  But we do what we can. One of the things that I really, really enjoy doing during Advent is putting up our Nativity sets. It is a nice reminder for us what we are really celebrating: the birth of our Lord and Savior.  I love that we keep our sets up through Ephiphany.  During Advent we also light a candle on our Advent wreath, adding a new candle each week until Christmas.  I love hearing the kids respond to our "Jesus is the Light of the World"as we light the candle with "Come Lord Jesus!"

I felt pretty good about how far ahead I was on my Christmas shopping. I wasn't stressed by that, but my to do kept getting longer and longer. I was missing my much needed workouts at the gym, running errands well into the evening, and feeling pretty exhausted.  My husband kept telling me to slow down, but I felt that I couldn't, which is so incredibly stupid.  There is no reason that I couldn't have taken the time to slow down, but once I'm in that mode, it's really hard for me to think rationally about what I think needs to be done. If I could articulate how I'll reorganize my thoughts and priorities, then that would be my New Year's Resolution.  But I can't so it will drive me crazy until then.

Christmas Eve finally made me feel that it was Christmas. Every year we go to my SIL's house where we are joined by all of my husband's siblings & their families,  his parents, and a few extended relatives. I love spending time with all of them and just sitting and enjoying good conversations and good food.  I love seeing the nieces and nephews open their gifts to one another.  I love what has become our annual tradition of a Yankee Gift exchange and laughing so hard tears stream down my face over some of the ridiculous gifts we throw into the mix.  In the past my immediate family has gone to the family Mass at my husband's childhood church where we listen to many of our nieces and nephews sing in the children's choir led by Hubby's eldest sister.  This year we celebrated Mass at our church with my Filipino relatives. A different experience, but one that I enjoyed.

As I do every year I watched A Christmas Story while Hubby and I wrapped gifts. We spent time together talking about the day and preparing for Christmas morning.  Christmas morning was pretty awesome and the expressions on my kids' faces was priceless. I have to hand it to my big kids, they wanted for an hour very patiently as they waited for their baby brother to wake up so that they could open presents together.

I'll stop here for now to post some pictures from Christmas. I'll add more because I still have to post about Mr. Bananas turning 10 months, kidisms from my silly kids, new year's resolutions, and pictures from our week together.

As we enter this new year I pray for God's blessings to cover you.  May this be a year of health, prosperity, and happiness.  May you be surprised by what you are able to do. May you grant kindness to others. May you always feel loved. Peace be with you as begin a new year!

Mr. Bananas and Buggy visiting with Santa

Boogie visiting with Santa

All the girl cousins
That is the look of pure joy from Boogs when he received a "How to Train your Dragon" playset from his cousin R.