Friday, April 30, 2010

Princess Night

Dear Chic-Fil-A,
I am sure by now you have come to the realization that if you put a flier out with the words "Princess Dress," "Nail Polish," "Face paint," and "Tiara" in it, you will have a turn out like this:
My daughter Emma found the flier in our take out bag 2 weeks before the event, and saved it. She mentally counted down the days, and when the big day arrived, she unfolded the red piece of paper to show me all the details and get her costume ready, all at the crack of dawn. Apparently, my daughter was not alone in her planning.

The special corner just for the tiaras and photo was fit for a princess (of all ages), and the light up tiaras and wands were over the top. The lines were too long for us to actually get to the nail polish and face painting station that had the REAL princess, but my Emma was tickled pink (or yellow, as the case may be as Patrick pointed out) to be part of it all. She would have waited all night to get to the table, and very patiently too. I have to say, I was really impressed with everyone in that crowded restaurant, and we sincerely hope you will do it again.

Thank you for making my daughter feel so special. We had a great time!

The Mommy-who-would-have-loved-to-have-been-in-her-daughter's-shoes-and-dress-up-and-get-a-tiara.

No shirt, no shoes, no(t) swimming.

We have had some crazy weather this "spring" here in Virginia. We have had some really warm weather and then it goes down to the freezing mark the very next day. It's hard to convince a certain child that even though she wore shorts and a t-shirt yesterday, today is the day to have long sleeves and a jacket. Most of the time the kids don't believe me, so my usual line is to "Go look at the little man." One of the most practical gifts from Tommy was a temperature guide for the inside and outside. It's really great for back-up when the weather keeps changing. The only problem is convincing the children not to come outside in these kind of clothes when we are on our way to Mass:

Waiting for Daddy

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Mother's Role

Before I had my first child my sister's threw me a lovely baby shower. Part of it was a memory book full of thoughts/advice from all the guests. I was recently reading all of the wonderful words of wisdom and came across one that was so appropriate for how I was feeling at this time.

"To be Queen Elizabeth within a definite area, deciding sales, banquets, labors, and holidays; to be Whitely within a certain area, providing toys, boots, cakes, and books; to be Aristotle within a certain area, teaching morals, manners, theology, and hygiene; I can understand how this might exhaust the mind, but I cannot imagine how it could narrow it. How can it be a large career to tell other people's children about the Rule of Three, and a small career to tell one's own children about the universe? No, a woman's function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute." - G.K. Chesterton, "What's Wrong With the World" (emphasis is mine)

(this quote came from a childhood friend's mom. Her daughter and I have been close since we were in elementary school.)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

No sticky fingers here

My days are pretty similar. It seems that I do the same things every day so most weeks run into the next. Sometimes I think it's because I don't DO many things differently. I do struggle with the same things every day: get out of bed early, go to bed earlier, encourage kindness in the home, clean up messes, etc. But some things I do so mindlessly that I make the EXACT same mistake every day. For example: William's sippy cup needs a refill. No problem, except that it's sticky, and I have to say I am not one that likes that feeling on my hands (ask my sisters about the year they gave me finger paints for my birthday). So, instinctively, I go to the sink first to rinse it off. Of course, the problem now is that I can't open the sippy cup because it's wet. So standing at the sink is me, straining and struggling to get a grip on the cup. It usually requires some drying, prying, and a holder to help me. But what's even MORE ridiculous is that I am going to rinse out the cup before I put anything else in it. Seriously?? I do the same thing every day. And each time, I think to myself that I need to just open the darn thing while it's sticky. I am so focused on whatever step it is that I just don't think far enough ahead. *shaking head* It's the same when I am going up and down all my townhouse stairs. I could very easily take something up and/or down with me, but I don't think of it until I am at the top/bottom of the stairs. I am a mom of 3, how can I not focus on more than one step at a time????

No wonder my house is comfortably untidy.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

DC Memorable Memorial Trip

Our family took a trip to DC when the weather was just beautiful. I haven't been to DC in years, so it was a really neat trip, and we visited lots of the War memorials and enjoyed the time together.
Korean Memorial. Freedom is Not Free.

Wilson and Patrick.

I know I don't need to tell you, but this is the Washington Monument.

William loved the ducks, but gave me a heart attack every time he went close to the edge.

I think the pool between the monument and the memorial is so neat.

World War II Memorial, which is just beautiful. I am embarrassed to say that I had never seen many of these so the kids weren't the only ones who got a history lesson from Tommy: Mister-map-in-his-head-and-the-man-who-loves-history-especially-American-history. It was especially neat to see the famous quotes on the walls. I loved all the noise of the fountains as it made conversation limited, but made you reflect more as you were reading and admiring.

Patrick took this photo!

Vietnam Memorial. I love this shot. This was so staggering to me, all these names.

Lincoln.....well, you get the idea.

And and attempt at a family photo. Patrick looks a bit pained, but it's not too bad! As we drove by the Pentagon, I asked Patrick how many sides a pentagon, hexagon, etc. has. As he was answering, he asked me "How about a Decepticon? How many sides does that have?"

Big day!

We were so excited when Tommy stayed home most of Friday. While he had a meeting, he sent us to the Clemyjontri Park. He actually plugged in the address on the GPS and we didn't know what it was until we got there. This park is HUGE with so many fun things for the kids to do. I was a wreck because I couldn't see the kids all at the same time. Patrick's favorite was the maze, and Emma's was making friends and anything that would take her out of my sight. I can't wait to go back, but I think I will need to go with fewer kids or more adults.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

His newest accessory around the house.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I just love that newborn smell!

I had the honor of holding 2 newborn babies last week. Isn't that the best feeling EVER?!?! They were so snuggly and sweet, and I just can't wait to hold those little babies again. I visited my sister in the hospital and held her 5th child (I got to go all alone because my kids are too young to visit) and see his eyes open on his second day! The other baby we visited as a family, and I just thought it was adorable how sweet all my kids were with her. Emma was such a little mommy, dying to hold her all the time even when she was crying. Patrick was only interested in being close, not holding, and I remember him being the same with William when he was little. William was excited just seeing the baby, and I was happy that he was playing with the big sister and didn't pull her ears or anything.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Perhaps I need to lower my eggspectations

We had some great traditions growing up, especially around the Triduum. Easter eggs were never just dyed-oh no, we drew religious symbols on them with crayons, always aiming toward being the best and becoming the "Alleluia egg." I remember pouring over books and each year trying to outdo myself and try something a little harder. Egg dying would last for hours, and as we added more family members it would become a big event on Holy Saturday. We have always had company for egg coloring/dying, but this year it was just us. I was so hoping to make it last a long time, and to get the kids involved, but I think it's going to take a few more years.

I almost blinked and missed it, the kids dyed the eggs so fast. Tommy and I only did one egg each from the 14 that I boiled. The kids were so excited initially, and talked non-stop about doing everything in the Paas box, cutting this out, using this, and ohbythewaymommyhaveyoufinishedthedyeyet? Can we start NOW??

The kid who focused the most was William, but that was only because we had the one egg for him to dye (Tommy drew a monkey and a lion: AKA "oo-aah-aah" and "rawr!" by William).
He loved doing it, and I loved his concentration.

I was thinking maybe I should have boiled more eggs, but then I realized we would have to eat them all, and I'm not sure I can eat quite that many eggs. Of course, when I mentioned that we would be cracking and eating the eggs, the kids were in an uproar. "OH NO! We can't EAT the eggs! Don't mess mine up!!!!"
All in all, we had a good time and it was a fun family event. I think I will have to work a little harder for next year.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Cuties

They're so darn cute, aren't they?

He is Risen! Alleluia!

Regina caeli, laetare, alleluia!
Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia!
Resurrexit, sicut dixit, alleluia!
Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia!
This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad. Alleluia!

Friday, April 2, 2010

We adore you, oh Christ, and we praise you.

Because by Your holy cross You have redeemed the world.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Ridin' In Style

Tommy finally got his wish! He can fit in the car comfortably, as well as fit the family. I am so glad he has something nice to commute in, because that tiny Corolla was just too small for him.