Thursday, January 31, 2013

Almost Wordless Wednesday--Aloha

It's January. It's windy and cold. Too cold. I miss warm weather. Sigh.  Here is a picture from warmer days. This is the view off the ocean front balcony from my parents' condo in Maui. Gorgeous isn't it?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


My almost 2 year old and I cuggling

The other day as I stretched out on the couch to read (I know! Amazing! Who has time to read?), my youngest grabbed his favorite blanket and walked up to me and said, "Mami! Up!"  I picked him up and he immediately said, "Cuggle, Mami, Cuggle!" I asked him, "Do you want to cuddle and snuggle?" "YES!"  And so we did.  Cuggles are the best!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Kidisms: Aftershocks

Warning...this next post is on the bathroom humor side, because, well, I have kids and apparently bathroom humor is just a part of having kids.

Boogie:  Mama, do you know what aftershocks are?

DM: Yes. It's the little earthquakes that can happen after an earthquake when things are still settling.

Boogie: You're right!  Mama? I have after poops.

DM: Um, excuse me, what?

Boogie: You know, after poops. Sometimes it doesn't all come out in the first session and I have to go a couple of more times to get it all out. You know, after poops. (Then bounds out of the room).

Me...huh. Impressed he knew the definition of aftershocks and could apply it to other areas in his life. On the other hand, something I didn't need to know. TMI, Boogie Man! ;)

Thursday, January 10, 2013


Last Sunday was Epiphany. Epiphany is when the Magi present their gifts to baby Jesus.  The definition of epiphany also means to make an illuminating realization or disclosure.

This Sunday at Church our priest spoke about gaining an epiphany when we speak less and listen more. It's in those moments that we reveal our true selves. This thought really struck me and reminded me of the scene in the waiting room after my niece's birth.  I wish I had an epiphany then, instead, I let my horrible and angry self show through. I, along with my four other sisters-in-law, were invited to attend the birth of our newest niece.  Hubby could not get home any earlier than usual, but as soon as came home I jetted happily to the hospital sure that my sister-in-law would give birth before I got there. She hadn't and I was so excited to be a part of this event.  I have never been invited to any of my SILs births, though they had all been there at one point or another when each of them gave birth. In the 20 births in our family I had only attended the ones in which I was giving birth. I was so excited to be included in this celebration.

So imagine my disappointment after all four of us (the sisters) were kicked out of the by the doctor to find out that 10 minutes later my sister-in-law gave birth and the other sisters had been there to witness it.  Two of us had initially gone out to the waiting room to keep company with our nieces who were anxiously awaiting the arrival of their newest sister.  The other two hung around the door hoping to get back in.  While waiting for word the one sister-in-law who was with me went back to room to give something from one of the children to my laboring sister-in-law. Within minutes my sister-in-law had given birth and

When my two of my sisters-in-law had come into the waiting room excitedly to tell me the good news I wish I had shut my mouth and waited to speak. I wish I had experienced the epiphany the priest had spoken about last Sunday. But no. I didn't. I yelled at my excited sisters-in-law. As my friend's husband said the other day when hearing me retell the story, "Keepin' classy, H." And he was right. His words stung because they were so true.  I was not classy at all and I was hurtful.  My anger stemmed from a deep hurt. I thought I had finally been included into the family only to feel left out and still not quite part of the family. Even as I write this I have tears because I'm afraid it's true. I'm afraid that as much as I want to be a part of the family, I'm not quite there. I'm an in-law and not blood related.  It's taken me two months to even write about it because the possibility that I may not fully accepted as family still hurts and I am very ashamed of my reaction.  You have no idea.

I was hurt because when we first thought my SIL was going to give birth my other sisters-in-law and thought to call in the fourth SIL who was in the waiting room. And when we were all there the doctor asked us to leave. I was okay with that because we were all asked to leave. At the time my SIL was only 5cm dilated. I thought we had a little more time than 10 minutes. Granted, when she delivered it was quick. The doctor missed the birth, the nurse delivered Pumpkin. It was so quick the bed wasn't even pulled apart.

My newest niece
Here is how I wish I had reacted right away:  JOY! Joy at the birth of my new niece. Joy that my SIL and her baby were well. Joy that I was able to serve my SIL where she needed me and that was with her daughters who were also waiting just as anxiously for their new sister.  After expressing my joy, I wish I had kept quiet and reveled in silence.  Because my true self is not vindictive (gee, I really hope not!) or angry. My true self is joyful at the news of niece. I wish that through this joy, reflection, observation, and listening I would have had my epiphany. The epiphany that my true service was being there for my SIL by sitting and waiting with my nieces. I wish I had seen it then, but I see it now.

I am not comfortable with my initial reaction and so, so, so wish I could take it back. It still takes me to a completely vulnerable place. The place where I don't feel entirely accepted, that I'm still on the outskirts. You know, the last kid picked on the team kind of feeling.  Admitting it here is still as painful as when I felt it in November.  I have since apologized, but of course I'm still bothered by it. I really need to let it go and be done with it.

This year I am going to work on listening more and speaking less. A hard thing to do from someone who is very opinionated. But maybe, just maybe, I will find my epiphany.  I pray that you will find your epiphany this year. Peace be with you as continue your journey through 2013.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,  casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you (1 Peter 5:6-7)

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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Almost Wordless Wednesday--Advent and Christmas 2012

So much happens during Advent and Christmas.  We celebrated a family member's wedding, celebrated a baptism, spent time with friends, visited with family, and spent time with my brother who was able to come home for Christmas.  So much happens and I try to document it all. Here it is in pictures.

The big kids with their present for Mr. Bananas

Family picture at Hubby's uncle's wedding

Hubby and the kids picking out our Christmas tree

Hubby hauling our Christmas picture

I love this picture.
Boogie decorating our tree

Another favorite picture.
Buggy hanging her ornaments 


The kids hanging with Santa

Celebrating this precious one's baptism

Baby Pumpkin's sister who did the reading for her baptism.

My nieces ready for their sister's baptism.
Yes, that is Buggy photobombing.

Three sisters getting ready for their sister's baptism.

My niece explaining The Last Supper

Mother and daughter

Our Mini Claus

My favorite Christmas decorations

A Christmas visit from the Epitos.

My Mom playing Headbanz.
I love this picture of her because she is clearly laughing and having a good time

My brother trying to figure out he is a duck.


Boogie, Lolo, & Lola

The big kids making cookies for our neighbors

Who doesn't love a little boy in a bow tie.
Getting ready for Christmas Eve at my SIL's house.

Boogie's turn to open his gift from the cousin exchange.

A picture with my brother.

Goodbye Uncle Bing

Bing, my mom, and the big kids

Boogie and Bing

Bug and Bing

Bananas and Bing

Friday, January 4, 2013

New Year's Resolutions 2013

I've decided to look back over last year's resolutions and see if I've stuck to any of them and to decide what I want to work on in the new year. I think it's important to set goals, reflect, and adjust as needed.

Last year's resolutions included 1) spending more time with my kiddos, 2)  saying no to volunteering in leadership positions, 3) write, write, write, 4) spending more time with God through devotions.

So how did I do?

My priorities
I think I have spent more time with my kids. Again, I know it sounds silly that I posted I wanted to spend more time with my kiddos since I am a stay at home and don't I already spend a ton of time with them?  Well sort of, but usually they are playing around me while I clean the house or accompanying me on errands. Not exactly quality time.  I think I am doing better. I think I need to alter that and say I want to be present:  not on my phone, not on the computer, not letting the kids play around me as I clean and take care of chores, but actually be present. Play a game with them, have conversations, read stories, and be with them.  This year when we had family movie night I put away my crochet project and watched the movie with the kids...that is when I didn't fall asleep from sheer exhaustion ;)   The little kids and I spent a lot of time reading stories before nap time and that has been fun.  Boogie and I bonded over swim team meets and staying up late to meet the team at McDonald's to retrieve his ribbons while the little kids went home with Daddy and went to bed.

I'm happy to say that I said no to volunteer leadership positions. I was not on the planning committee for Summer religion camp but was happily a preschool teacher for a week.  I think teaching is my true calling and I was happy to do it. I was also happy that it was only a week.  I prefer teaching older kids, but those preschoolers sure are cute!  I dropped the leadership position in MOPS and that has made things so much easier.  I'm still in MOPS but I'm debating in dropping it for the Spring Semester to spend more time with Hubby when he is off from work on his flex Fridays. I still volunteer by crocheting baby blankets for the knitting/crocheting ministry and for friends, teach infant baptism classes, and participating in Summer Religion Camp.

Write, write, write. Oh, I wish I had the time to write more often.  I still don't get to write as often as I would like, and I think I've actually written less this year. Huh. I need to get on that.

I have been able to spend more time in devotions and found a great devotional blog at Proverbs 31 Ministries.  It's been a part of my morning routine and I found that when I found the time for God, my days goes more smoothly. It's a time of daily reflections and for focusing my day.  This is now a daily routine and I don't have to add it as a resolution because it's just a part of my day. Awesome!

In addition to what I have written above I want to add/extend the following to this year's resolutions:

Accomplish Tasks with a Happy Heart
Lately I have found that I am grumbling throughout my day when I have to accomplish tasks or have to help someone.  It's not a good attitude to have and makes daily tasks and acts of service much less fun.  If I can approach my chores or times I have to help someone with a happy heart, I might find the service more rewarding.  Just the other day I was getting a few things done to help me get the kids out the door when my daughter helped my youngest son by wiping his face and hands after breakfast and lifting him out of his booster seat. With a cheerful, "I cleaned up Mr. Bananas, Mommy" he was done.  I love her servant heart and I want to act in the same way.  She continues to be a shining example of the kind of person I would like to be.

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, have the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.  Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.  Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also the interests of others.  Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,... (Philippians 2:1-423 ESV)  

My new favorite shoes,
a pair of Bikila LS
Run a Half-Marathon in 2013
I could just as easily write, lose weight, be healthier, run more. But I figure I can accomplish all of those tasks if I train and run a half-marathon this year.  In late September I really got back into running. Running no longer became a "have-to" and a dreaded activity, it became a "How can I get through the day without my daily run? I can't."  My running life changed after reading Born to Run By Chris McDougall.  It was a recommendation given to me by my husband's sister and brother-in-law.  I switched from wearing stability running shoes to my beloved Vibram 5 Fingers.  When I ran I found that I lost weight without actively trying and I felt great.  I find that I am in a better mood when I run at least 2 1/2 miles a day.  Due to injuries and strains over the last few months I have not been able to run as I would like.  Fortunately, in the last week I have been able to get back into it. It's been tough and I have to build my base again, but every day is a little easier.  Right now I'm eyeing an iron girl half-marathon that will take place in April...we'll see if I can make it!

But you, take courage!  Do not let your hand be weak, for your work shall be rewarded. 
(2 Chronicles 15:7 ESV)

Write, Write, Write
This one goes back on the list because I haven't accomplished it.  All of my 2012 goals were accomplished except for this one. I still write, but definitely not as often as I have in the past.  It's been put on the back burner because of time. But this is my goal not only for right now, but for after my kids are in school full-time and I may have a little more time on my hands (I said "may." I realize that my time is quickly replaced when one thing moves off my plate.)  But after 2 years it's still on my mind daily so I'm not quick to write this one off ;)

As each has received a gift, use it to serve on another, as good stewards of God's varied grace:  whoever speaks , as one who speaks oracles of God;  whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.  (1 Peter 4:10-11 ESV)

As for the new year, I wish all of you peace, love, and hope.  I pray that you will be given peace when worries and anxieties creep in to your life.  I pray that you receive love and give love. Love and kindness make this world a better place and what better place to start than with you.  I pray that you find hope when prospects look dismal. The glass is not half-empty, it's half-full.  May you have a wonderful year of blessings. Peace be with you.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2012 In Pictures

Happy New Year! Happy 2013!  I'm sure I'll write a blog post about reminiscing about 2012, checking my resolutions, writing new ones for 2013, and do a little self reflection. But before I do that here is a bit of 2012 in pictures in no particular order. Enjoy!

My dad and the big kids at the caverns on a day out with my parents

One of my favorite shirts for Mr. Bananas

Three of the best things in my life.

Enjoying fresh strawberries from our garden in pie form for breakfast

Mr. Bananas enjoying a fresh spring day with a few of his cousins

Mr. Bananas enjoying his new ride, a birthday gift from dear friends.

Getting pedis with my best girl is one of my favorite pastimes.

Buggy collecting eggs at our Church's annual Easter egg hunt after Easter mass.

Boogie modeling his "Wild Kratt" shirt I made for is birthday party.

My first craft project with my mom's sewing machine.
"Wild Kratt" t-shirts as party favors.

Playing a platypus egg game for Boogie's birthday.

My mom and Mr. Bananas

The greatest gifts from God, the three Loves of my life.

There are so many more picture to share and so many wonderful memories from 2012, but this is a good start.  Happy 2013 everyone!