Sunday, June 30, 2013

What I Wore Sunday: Sandbox in the House Edition

Last night, in between Patrick's frequent wakings (I have no idea what was going on.  He's usually my little champ.  New tooth maybe?) I rearranged the room that is no longer for dining and set up a sand box.  Then I filled it with 40 lbs of rice and 8 lbs of brown and pinto beans.  This morning Mae found it.  When she saw me she rushed over and kissed me repeatedly.  It was definitely a hit.

I wrangled her into clothes... this is a size 6 outfit... and it's not really all that big... the shoes on the other hand... they aren't quite a perfect fit:

Then it was off to Mass.  We pulled into the parking lot and Paul looked at me and said:  
"We're really early."
Me:  "We are?" Glancing at the clock I realize that 'really early' means around 15 minutes early... however fifteen minutes with our trio can feel much, much longer.  And if Mass is going to be 80 minutes of (hopefully) sitting (but more likely pacing) that means more like 95 minutes of sitting.  "Let's go around the block a few times."  I suggested.
Sadie:  "Where are we going?"
Me:  "We're just driving a little."
Paul:  "Did you not know what time it was when we left?"
Me:  "I thought we were late."
Paul:  "You thought we were late?"
Me:  "We're always late."
Sadie:  "Why is it taking so long to get to Mass?"

We arrived (again) five minutes before Mass and walked in the front door.  Mae went with Paul this time in the backpack (she's decided she likes being up on his back high in the air) and Patrick was with me in a carrier.  Five minutes into Mass Patrick was putting on a rare show (he's usually pretty good... now that I think of it all signs are pointing to new teeth...).  Mae was trying to climb out of the back pack using the frame.  I decided that our seats were so far to the side that I wasn't leaving Sadie there on her own and brought her with me to the back of the church.

Okay, see this picture of Sadie.  She's wearing a hand me down.  That dress was mine.  My parents bought it for me when we visited Williamsburg when I was in fifth grade...  It's a tiny bit big... but not much.  She picked her outfit:

At first it was okay in the back.  It was quiet.  Our priest gave a fantastic homily.  But after the homily more and more parents fled to the hallway and suddenly it felt a bit like social hour with people talking and kids running and screaming.  

I don't mind screaming and crying.  It happens.  Running and talking?  I'm not a fan.  It is still Mass.  But I digress...  

I backed away from the crowd, amazed that Patrick could be falling asleep with all the noise.  Sadie found a prayer card of the Pope:

And I realized I had my camera...

She was smiling until she saw me taking the picture...  serious faces are the new smiles of the moment in our house:

Paul had the toughest job: Wrangling the Bae:

Here's a self portrait of the finally (barely) asleep baby.  His sister grabbed his hand during the sign of peace after we went back inside and woke him up...

And here is my entire outfit.  I'm promising myself right now that it really was more flattering than it appears in this picture... because in this picture my khaki Lands End skirt looks like some kind of bulky long shorts....  The top was on the clearance rack at Old Navy for $2 something during our trip to the mall earlier this week and I finally splurged and bought a new package of cami-secrets since my white ones were entirely worn out, so I'm basking in the new shiny whiteness of it.  The snood is one of my purple paisleys.  The sweater is from Old Navy back in the day... because I'm fairly certain I wore it for my confirmation/first communion back in 2007.

And the shoes.  Oh the shoes.  Okay.  They aren't pretty.  But they don't make me limp and right now that is a big plus.  A huge plus.  Actually... I might love them for that.

The boy wore a t-shirt and khakis.

After Mass we stopped at Walmart and picked up a few more $3 shorts and tops for Patrick, because I don't have many 24 month outfits for him and that's what he's wearing right now (he's my teeny tiny 7 month-er).  I weighed myself holding him and not holding him and the difference was 22 lbs.  He's certainly looking taller to me:

Here he is in his new shirt and shorts.  I'm hoping they don't shrink too much...
And finally, I saved the best for last.  Do you see what this is?

I just went over and turned the temperature up because it was feeling too cool!  How wonderful is that!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Sadie's Saturday Morning Nun Talk: The 8th

In the past few weeks the front of our house has been piled high with packages that I've been steadily bringing in and unpacking.  You see, about two weeks ago I began ordering the homeschool books we plan on using for the upcoming year, and I found most of them used on Amazon.  The books rolled in from around the country and for Sadie it's been like Christmas nearly every day as she waits to see which book is inside each package.

I've been in the love with the idea of a Classical Educational since I first began researching homeschooling.  I've been reading and re-reading The Well-Trained Mind for at least four years.  Last year we bought the reading list for pre-school and kindergarten and worked through it.  This year I purchased most of the first grade books, knowing that next year, at the end of law school, might not be the best time to be going on a book shopping spree, even when many of the books are listed for 1 cent.  I figured we could re-read the kindergarten books again, and begin reading the first grade books slowly, doing some of the fun projects (mummifying a chicken!) and seeing how things go.  

This first year will be very relaxed, since she's basically read most of the kindergarten books, but I don't want to go straight into the first grade stuff, and we're taking reading and writing slowly, and ambling through the many story books that are part of the first grade curriculum for fun.  

Except that Sadie isn't really happy with the idea of "slowly" and gets her school books out each morning and sets herself up and asks for a pencil and works and works and works until I point out that her little hand is looking very tired and that maybe we should do something else and she grudgingly agrees.  

There is a point to all this, however (since this is my Saturday Morning "Nun" post).  You see, the first year books cover ancient times and many of the books that have arrived are story books of Greek myths.  And the book that Sadie loves the most is Pandora by Robert Burleigh.

The book is beautifully written and begins with Pandora obsessing over a jar that she is forbidden to open.

The first time we read it Sadie began to shake her head.  "She's just like Eve, isn't she?"  She said with a sigh.  We were halfway through and I really didn't see the similarities yet (and I only vaguely knew the story... there was a box or something... Pandora opened it... bad things came out...).  Then we read farther.

Pandora was the first woman, the next page said.  Her passion to "know all things" causes her to sneak in and unseal the jar and peek under the lid, unleashing evil into the world.  

Sadie spent the rest of the day talking about how that story book reminded her of Eve in the Garden of Eden, and even had me get out the new Bible that we got for this year so that she could compare Pandora's curiosity and disobedience (for it had been decreed that she not touch the jar) with the story of Adam and Eve and the "Apple" and the Snake.

In other news I caught her kneeling next to Patrick whispering to him about growing up to become a priest. No pressure there, little guy... no pressure at all...

Friday, June 28, 2013

Sadie's Shopping Spree

A week ago today Sadie turned five.  Today, with the bulk of Paul's final papers mostly done, he took a break and watched the little kids while Sadie and I went shopping.  She had a birthday check and birthday gift cards and we'd spent the week talking about what she was thinking of getting.  The entire time she was clear.  No toys.  Clothes.  Maybe shoes.  

When we left this morning, she told me she wanted a black dress with a fluffy skirt.  Great, I thought.  Black dresses are always so easy to find in the girl's section...  But maybe I had a chance.  She's a 7/8 (closer to eight) now and while that means the dresses are seriously less cute (thank goodness I can sew) it also means there was a possibility her dream dress might exist in her size.

Then we walked into Target and she loudly announced that there were no dresses there that she would wear (and I began to fear that no store would have her imagined perfect dress).  There were plenty of cute dresses... but she had this vision in her head of what she was looking for and she wasn't seeing it.  

And then she saw it... the end cap for the ballet section.  Suddenly my arms were full of leotards and tutus, ballet slippers, leg warmers and three pairs of tights and I had a giggling girl at my side.  

After that I gave her a choice again.  Toy section or the mall to look for more clothes.  Five minutes later we were in the car headed to the mall.  

At Old Navy she found two dresses, two bathing suits (on clearance), three tops and a pair of shorts that she promises me she'll wear (since she's refused to wear shorts for years now).  She started calling them her "tea party shorts..."  

Then we stopped by Payless Shoes where she found a pair of tap shoes (be still my heart!  Did you know I was a tap dancer for years and years and love tap?  I do.  And we have a cement floor in the basement just perfect for Sadie and Mommy classes once I reorganize it next week after Paul's finals!).  She also found a pair of ballet slippers since her leather ones are almost too small (the ones she'd insisted on at Target weren't the kind you'd wear to class, they were satiny and slippery and more like house slippers). And she discovered a rainbow hair hair tie (see below) and a princess umbrella so that she and Mae will no longer fight over Mae's Dora umbrella.  

And since I had an awesome coupon that comes around very rarely for our favorite restaurant in the world, we decided to take Sadie there (we picked up Daddy and the babies) on the way as an extra special treat.  She wore her rainbow hair and enjoyed her spaghetti... and now for the photo montage... 

Enjoying lunch after a hard morning of shopping!

100% hand picked by Sadie.

She's ready for dance class now!

Modeling her Old Navy picks... she kept worrying because we weren't buying Mae anything and offering to spend her money on her sister.

And the dancing has begun.  Patrick is very, very interested in her tap shoes...
A special thanks to all my family members who stop by who made Sadie's Super Shopping Spree possible!  She had a blast!  She's such a girl!

Have a great weekend!

7 Quick Takes Friday

Yesterday I gave Sadie a little test.  You see, back when she was three I posted a video on here and got comments about how I needed to send that child to speech therapy ASAP because she should be perfectly understandable at that point.  Instead she and I started reading poems together.  I would say a line and then she would say a line and we worked through some beautiful children's volumes of poetry.

In the beginning there were about thirteen letters she really struggled with.  Recently a book arrived at our house that involved an articulation test and I thought we'd try it again and see how she did.  It listed words with each letter at the beginning, middle and end of the word (and some small groups of letters).  Within fifteen seconds though I was trying not to laugh.  Within a minute we were both hysterically giggling.  The problem was this.

I was supposed to point to a picture and have Sadie say the word.  The pictures were simple black and white drawing.  The following conversation unfolded as she cuddled next to me and we peered at the pictures:

Me:  "Can you tell me what that is?" (pointing to a drawing of a slice of pie)
Sadie:  "It's a sandwich."
Me:  "Hmmm... not quite.  What if I told you that those were berries in the middle?"  (She gives me a funny look.  Apparently I don't make pie very often... and now that I think about it... other than chicken pot pie that falls apart and which we haven't had in a very, very long time, I have never made pie... which explains the confusion.).
Me:  (finally)  "It's supposed to be a piece of pie.  Can you say pie?"
Sadie:  "Pie!"
Me:  "Can you tell me what this one is?" (I point to a picture of a puppy)
Sadie:  "It's a big brown dog!" (remember these pictures are in black and white)
Me: "What's this one called?  The little dog?"
Sadie:  "A little brown dog!"
Me:  "Can you say puppy?"
Sadie:  "Puppy!"
Me:  (Tapping on a picture of a cup) "What's this?"
Sadie:  "It's a glass of water."
Me:  "Can you say cup?"
Sadie: "Cup!"
Me:  "What about this one?" (The book was looking for the word "boy").
Sadie:  "It's a human!"
Me:  "What's another word for this picture?"
Sadie:  "A human person!"

And so it went.  We both laughed a lot as she tried to come up with the most creative answers she could think of.  When we reached the end the only sounds she'd struggled with were "ch" "sh" "th" and "blends" (like star and tree) which were all listed as normal for kids under six or seven to miss.  So it looks like we're on track and the poem reading was, in my mind at least, a success (especially since she could say s, r, t, j, p and l, which we had to work so hard on!)!

Nani and Grumpa took pity on my pathetic posts about air conditioning, humidity and the fact that I've been melting here in Michigan and sent us to Lowe's to pick up a new 10,000 BTU air conditioner that should make the downstairs feel like a dream.  Paul will hopefully get it installed today and then I will no longer feel like I'm living in a big sticky brick oven.

Because this thing can't be felt from three feet away...
And it sounds like it's dying a loud... painful death...

Today is a very exciting day for Sadie (and me).  She received birthday money and gift cards and I promised her we would go shopping, just the two of us.  I told her we could go wherever she wanted and asked what she was thinking of spending her money on.  Toys?  Shoes?  Clothes?  She informed me she was shopping for dresses (which is wonderful because she's growing out of her 6x dresses since she's so tall... they mostly still fit around her shoulders and chest, but they're all too short), and in particular, she wants a black dress with a fluffy skirt with layers.

Okay.  I'm sure that will be easy to find in the Little Girls section...

I am embarrassed to admit that I have seen the dominoes delivery guy far more often than I should have this past week.

You see, you can order Dominoes pizza without cheese online (although you have to go with thin crust, otherwise you'd need to call and tell them to hold the butter).  They also have a gluten free pizza, although these have been ill advised gluten days for us, mainly because you can get a regular pizza for $5.99 and the gluten free pizzas are a bit more pricey (although we have had them and they are good).

But this week and next week have basically been finals weeks for Paul.  Since last Saturday he's left early in the morning and (with the exception of last night when he got home at 9pm) has come home around midnight while working on two papers.  So it's just been me and the babies through lunch, dinner and bedtime... and Patrick has been going through a phase where, if he's not within twelve inches of Mommy all the time he is likely to scream that I've abandoned him and need to come back right this second.

And did I mention that we desperately need to go shopping and were out of any ingredients that might have made for an "easy" meal?

Anyways, Dominoes has pretty much saved me as I've dragged myself through finals week.  I'm amazed that they can make a pizza and get it to my house in about 25 minutes.

I'm ready to get back to healthy meals with the whole family again... just need to survive one more week...

Did I mention that I canceled cable?  I know that will make some people feel better (insert eye roll here).

However, I was disappointed with my "big" savings from this sacrifice.

Paul got home from the Comcast office and I asked how much less it was going to be and... drum roll please... we are saving a grand total of $20 a month.

Ah well... it's something.

In other news I have yet to receive a bill... ever... from Comcast.  I've gone into the office and asked.  My husband has asked.  They assure us that there should be a bill.  They've suggested that the mail man has a problem with us and isn't delivering our bill (yeah... it's funny how it's just the cable bill, right?).  I've explained that there's still no bill, confirmed my address for the umpteenth time and I'm pretty sure they think I'm crazy.  How hard is it?  Just send me a bill, so I can get it and return it with a check.

Apparently, however, there is a glitch somewhere... and I am bill-less.

This picture of Sadie "sharing" her sisters popcicle
seemed appropriate.
Mae has learned a new phrase.  She said (shouted) it, for the first time last night.  Her big sister kept coming over and bear hugging her and it was pretty clear that Mae wasn't in the mood for a bear hug.  And suddenly Mae shouted: "Back off!  Back off!  Back off!"

From the look that accompanied it Sadie's lucky it wasn't accompanied by a good hard swing of her arm.  Some self control was involved.

When I repeated that it looked like Mae didn't want to be touched Sadie countered with:  "But I just want to hug her so much!"  an argument which, despite the sweet sentiment, did not carry the day.

And you guys!!!!  Have you seen the update for the Laundry Room Fundraiser?  It's amazing!  I'm seriously stalking Cari's page for updates (updated totals can be found here) because it makes my day every single time I see it go up!  And if you missed it, this is the laundry room.  See how important this is!  I can't wait to see the pictures when the risk of electrocution is gone and Dwija has a beautiful laundry room!  And please keep praying that her little one keeps growing and is healthy and strong (and for Dwija and her family too!)!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Thursday, June 27, 2013



I love this first picture.  It's probably because no one is making a weird face or hiding from the camera or grimacing in a fake smile.  And that makes it "pretty" in my book:

For today's post I did a little playing with the various editing effects to see how each picture turned out.

This one is antique...

I boosted the color on this shot of Mae day dreaming...


Of course, I had to have my token picture of Patrick and his signature "Patrick Smiles."

He thought that the recycled tennis shoe ground at the playground felt funny:


This might be my favorite picture ever.

I feel like the face Patrick is making is begging to be cropped into a meme:

The next two are experiments in effects too...  Oh Patrick... to be an only brother:

And I know I already showed you this one... but... here it is in Sepia... just ready to hang on a wall...


I'm also learning to tolerate certain messes.  Like this one.  Yesterday Mae made rice/bean/barley/chickpea (or something like chickpeas) angels in a 5 lb mess of rice/bean/barley/chickpeas on the floor.  It made her week.  She loves how it feels.  And sweeping the floor doesn't take too long...

Theme Thursday: "Two" in Black and White

A week from today, on the Fourth of July, my rambunctious whirlwind of a two year old will be three.  Yesterday, while we swatted mosquitoes in the backyard, I got to work snapping away, documenting the last days of "2."  And today's Theme for Theme Thursday seemed a perfect match for these pictures of Mae's last days as a two year old.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

"Do You Remember Pluto?" And Other Sadie Questions

Maggie has been going to bed after her bath and then Sadie and I clean the downstairs and after that she can choose what she wants to do which is pretty much always the same thing.  She sits down and looks at her favorite book

After watching Sadie stare at a pop-up book that has a page of the planets in it for about half an hour:

Me:  "Do you know there names?"
Sadie (pointing): "Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn...."
Me: "Uranus, Neptune."
Sadie:  "Uranus, Neptune.  Uranus, Neptune.  Uranus, Neptune."

A few minutes later after a conversation about Pluto...

Sadie:  "Mommy, you remember Pluto?"
Me:  "Yes."
Sadie:  "It goes around faster than Earth."
Me:  "Why do you say that?"
Sadie:  "Because look at the picture." (I look at the Wikipedia picture we'd been looking at since her book doesn't have picture of Pluto in it and she wanted to know if Pluto was blue a few minutes earlier.).
Me:  "Well all the planets are spinning around fast.  And I don't know if Pluto is going faster.  That's just a picture showing it from all sides, while the Earth picture is just a photo and is still.  The Earth is going fast too.  Let's see if this page about it says it's going faster."
Sadie:  "Pluto is going faster."

A few minutes later.  Again.

Me:  "Oh look!  This is Ceres.  Ceres looks kind of blue.  It looks a little bit like Earth, doesn't it.  It's tiny though.  It says it's about 590 miles through.  But look, it says it has water and ice on it." (Which planets have water had been a question she'd been asking.)  "And these pictures are from the Dawn spacecraft.  Let's look at the Dawn spacecraft."  We open the page.  "See.  It goes through space and takes pictures and sends them back to Earth."
Sadie:  "Do people ride on it?"
Me:  "Nope.  It's too little."
Sadie:  "I think some people do."
Me:  "Some people?"
Sadie:  "Yup.  Like me and Maggie and Patrick."
Me:  "Small people?"
Sadie:  "Yup.  We're going to ride on it."
Me:  "Are you going to wear a space suit?  Like the one in your book?"
Sadie:  "Yeah.  I mean, not like the one in the book.  Mine is going to be different.  It's going to be... It's going to be...." (a long pause as she's lost in daydreams of riding through space).
Me:  "Is it going to have a mask so you can breath?"
Sadie:  "Yes."
Me:  "Is it going to be.... pink?"
Sadie:  "Pink with purple on it.  And I'm going to be able to go out and walk on the wings.  So it's going to have a rope."
Me:  "What do you think Nani is going to say about that?  I think Nani's going to say:  'My Baby!!!'..."
Sadie: hysterical giggling...

And then it was time for bed.  Now for another curious day with lots of questions to be answered.  Thankfully a giant used Space Atlas arrived yesterday to help me with her many, many questions.

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Nani Made Dress

I'm just about to go in and make dinner, but I had to sneak in and post this picture for Nani.

You see, Nani took Sadie to the fabric store and Sadie picked out fabric and Nani sewed Sadie a dress. Today the dress arrived in the mail and was a perfect fit.

And I just had to share... She is very excited about her Nani-Made Dress!

A Prayer Request and A Way to Help

I know that a lot of you probably already read Dwija's blog House Unseen {Life Unscripted}.  She is one of my favorite bloggers and she's had a tough couple of months ("tough" is probably an understatement).  At the beginning of May, Dwija told us that she was pregnant and that she hadn't been blogging as much as she usually did because she'd started bleeding and been diagnosed with subchorionic hematomas... and while there was bleeding, in most cases baby and mom would be okay.  And then, the day before she hit 15 weeks, her water broke.  It's apparently the kind of thing where the doctor suggests aborting so it can "just be over" (or something like that).  She was basically told to go home and wait for the miscarriage to begin.  But it didn't.  And with tons of people praying, Baby Borobia is still staying put and growing, although the fluid keeps leaking. 

This past week Dwija mentioned a problem that mothers around the world can sympathize with (or at least imagine the horror of).  A stomach bug had hit her house and she had poopy and pukey laundry and her washing machine was leaking water into a bucket that has to be emptied several times a cycle (which is definitely not something she should be doing!).

And Cari, over at Clan Donaldson, took action.  I was so incredibly grateful when I saw Cari's post about having a fundraiser for the Borobia's laundry room.  I'm even more excited now that she's posted an update.  How awesome is it when people come together and help in such a wonderful way!

So, if you have an extra five or ten bucks lying around (or more!!!) head over to Cari's page and hit the donate button.  People are also sending gift cards to Cari and she's going to sending a package to the family to use to fix the laundry room up.  And if you can't help monetarily, I know that they appreciate any prayers that you have a moment for!

Thanks to everyone who's donated and prayed!  Every time I see an update from Dwija I race over to read it, and I'm praying for the day that she has a cute, chubby cheeked healthy baby in her arms!

Week Ending: Sadie's Birthday Edition

Our weekend was all about princesses:

She was pretty excited about being 5...

Paul and I got her a ballerina tea set (it has little ballet slippers on it) and five books about tea parties (like Angelina Ballerina and Fancy Nancy).

Mae's been practicing her "prayer" hands... and she likes her googles.

Sadie pretty much had her day planned out well before it arrived.

We woke up and opened presents and had breakfast.
Once everyone was dressed we were off to the playground and the zoo.
At the zoo she rode a camel.
After the zoo we went to Taco Bell (the only place in the world she wanted to go... we let her choose anyplace... anyplace at all...).
Then we went home where she talked to both sets of grandparents on Skype.
She helped me decorate her birthday cake... and we ate it!
Then I made dinner.  She'd requested chicken drumsticks and bacon.  I surprised her by making giant turkey drumsticks too, along with artichokes and a bowl of strawberries, bananas and blueberries.
Then her sister went to bed and she and I read and stayed up until her new bedtime of eight... and then her big girl birthday day was over!

Here she is with her new nun doll!  She named her "Marie."

Tough guy.

Mae, our little monkey, on the monkey bars.

Sadie visits with the lions.

Sadie asked to visit the children's memorial garden at the zoo to "pray for the babies."  I'm always a little amazed that she remembers that it's there.

Riding the camel.

The cake.  She added a lot of sprinkles.

There were cupcakes too... and a lot of leftovers.

Our little daydreamer... 

Poor Patrick... he's definitely a brother with two sisters.

Cuddles with Mae.

This is her favorite "school book."  She asks to look at it every night after Mae goes to bed... and then we have our before bedtime conversation about volcanoes...

Saturday morning she was ready for swim lessons.

Patrick's learned how to stick out his tongue when I take pictures...

And then we lay around under the castle in the yard because there wasn't any shade anywhere else.

Mae was happy...

Until she realized she'd been left out (when I began to focus my camera on her she'd been smiling...)...

She snuggled on my lap until she felt a bit better and then lay down a little ways away from her brother and sister...

But Patrick came to find her and she was thrilled!  He saved the day!

Back inside the big kids had to try out the exersaucer that Nani sent...

Even Sadie got in on the fun...

We hope you had a fun weekend!