How can a mother be angry at her early-waking baby when he's this smiley and sweet?
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
*he started waving on Sunday and is so sweet when he flaps his little chub hand. Yesterday as I was leaving the kitchen to grab something in the garage, he initiated a wave while seated on the kitchen floor. My heart melted... absolutely.
*he took two tentative crawl "steps" yesterday. Some of our friends' children have been crawling for months, but we're still proud of our little T. Just remember Leo and my kids' tendencies to do things on their own time. Way to go, little man!
*he can now maneuver from tummy or back to the sitting position. I found him sitting in his crib following yesterday's nap. Check that one off the list!
*his left front tooth *finally* surfaced yesterday. T is now officially part of the "I have 3 teeth" club. Both young, old, and those with poor hygiene are current members. :)
Kudos to my T-baby! More milestones coming...
(At the beach with Mimi)
Thanks to Mimi, I braved my first practice with the St. Mary's Bell Choir last night. They were in need of new ringers for the summer months and were rather desperate, which explains my invitation. Ha ha! :) (Just kidding, Mimi would die to read this! She invited me because she's a sweetheart and wanted to get me involved!) I must admit, though, it's been years since I've read music and played bells. I'm talkin' the last time I touched a bell was in 4th grade for a church Christmas number. I played piano through 8th grade, but remember very little of the scales, counts, etc.
SO, all this being said, I walked into the rehearsal last night and was so warmly met by the group of ladies there. They embraced me and made me feel loved, despite my apparent lack of musical prowess. I ended up taking the base C and D bells, which are played infrequently (thank God) and managed alright. One song I was doing so horribly, I sat the bells down and listened. Of course it was the song with the booming base cleft and my absent C and D! Oops... I surely ate a large helping of humble pie. Thankfully, I started getting a better feel for it toward the latter half of the practice and felt relatively good when we left. Mimi has offered to help reacquaint me to the different counts and musical rhythms. There is nothing I can't conquer without a little sweat.
Therefore, you can now call me "bell ringer" or "she who rings bells". Perhaps "cacophonous one" would suit you? The Psalms talk all about making a joyful noise unto the Lord. I've got that covered. :)
One last social item to mention--this morning I also attended my first yoga class. Can I say awesome?! It was wonderful and I ate up every minute of the hour-long meditation and stretching. Once again I have Mimi to thank for broadening my horizons. I can already tell I have better posture and am more calm/centered today. I totally recommend it. My favorite pose: the downward dog (not because of the position, but because of the name! Where do they come up with this stuff?) Too funny.
Hope this finds you busy as well... and happy too. God Bless.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
While most of G-Ville was continuing to suffer through the sniffles, we rallied to have great fun, eat well, and laugh a lot. Always good for the soul. GG and I enjoyed a run together on Mem. Day, which felt great. It was one of those runs I wished would have gone on forever--fresh legs, good pace, good company! We later kayaked with Papa and managed to stay relatively dry. GG gave me a good scare with a fake shark sighting... What a turkey! :) T-baby slept, ate, and smiled as usual, but did it with extra flair. M played in the surf, "flew" a kite, and built a sandcastle with Papa. Good stuff. Hope you all enjoyed a good one too. God bless.
Monday, May 28, 2007
We are thrilled about this. While we still have no definitive answer on his appeal, at least we have more days together. We were especially hopeful for this postponement so that GG might enjoy more time at his internship this summer! Now he can!! Yahoo!!
We celebrated the news with a great visit to Virginia Beach and this afternoon at a picnic here in G-Ville. God is teaching us to give thanks at every breath of life together.
Isn't that the way we should always be living? Nothing like a few bumps in the road to remind us to do so.
Pics of our beach adventures are on the docket for tomorrow. God bless you.
Sunday, May 27, 2007
We are celebrating Memorial Day weekend by heading out today for beautiful Virginia Beach and a friend's oceanfront beach house there! What a treat for all of us...
Rather than pack, shower, and handle the million other details it takes to get out the door, I find it humorous that I am instead here, worrying about the blog and getting a post up before leaving. Priorities? (Real quick aside: isn't it amazing how much a mother takes on in order to send her family traveling? I was marveling at this reality while nursing T this morning. This mama will not only pack for herself, the kids, and the dog, but she will also assist GG with his preparedness! While I embrace this role, I just thought I'd give mothers another hefty shout out of appreciation. Thanks, Mom, for all the years of getting us out the door on our own family adventures!)
Meanwhile, T-baby is to thank for my early rising. Praise God for little alarm clocks that have no snooze button. I would desperately love one if I could have it, but God regrettably left that out. T is on an interesting schedule these days--waking between 5:30 and 6a.m.(who needs sleep anyway?), taking one solid two-hour nap in the a.m., and then dueling me during an afternoon sleep-0ff, where T lays in his bed and I hover outside the room for approx. 2 hours with each trying to lure the other to his domain. Slight craziness...
Maybe it's this dog-gone viral cold that has taken G-Ville by storm. We left a trail of sniffles in our wake in Ohio and brought the awful thing here to Virginia. Now, Mimi and Papa are of questionable health, but resounding spirit. We'll see how long Uncle Cris can hold out.
The bags are empty, the family is asleep, the coffee pot is on, the wagon is idle, but the spirits are high this morning in Gasperini-Ville. Enjoy your Memorial Day celebrations and cheers to time with family and friends. God bless you.
Friday, May 25, 2007
I know... so dorky, but SAFE! I can recall reading a Reader's Digest article around the age of 12 and learning of the risks associated with helmet-less neighborhood bicycling. I didn't take the issue lightly then, and especially don't now that I have children!
Cheers to summer, sunshine, and bicycle trips with helmets! God bless!!
Thursday, May 24, 2007
I ask for your continued prayer for the little guy as he's not yet breathing well on his own. While he's avoided the ventilator up to this point, he has a nasal cannula and is under an oxygen hood. Poor, sweet baby! He's been moaning and grunting with each breath, which is a sign of respiratory distress, so the doc is keeping an eye on him to see if he can work things out on his own. Time will tell whether or not he'll need a ventilator.
Dear Amy has only been able to hold him for less than a minute(!) following his birth, but recently was able to visit him in the nursery. Can you imagine? How stressful for a first-time mother! Please pray for her and Rob's emotional state as they weather the early arrival and all the craziness that comes with it. My little M came at 36 weeks by induction due to my skyrocketing blood pressure. The whole process was rather overwhelming, especially dealing with some of the issues little guys face (jaundice, etc.) I feel such compassion for what they must be enduring... yet praise God for Robby's apparent health and stature.
He's a slightly littler blessing than expected, but an amazing blessing nonetheless.
Thank you for your prayers. Have a blessed evening.
My heart aches knowing I can do NOTHING to help, but pray. I guess, though, this is the mightiest way I can assist, soliciting the Creator of the Universe to interceed for my dear friend and her wee babe. Thank you for joining me in my petitions.
God bless you.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
I already eat up all of the M and T interactions of late. They are very sweet together. T was crying yesterday and we asked M to give him a hug to make him feel better. No sooner had M bowed his head (his version of a hug) and brought it toward the baby, but T stopped crying. "Look, you made him feel better, " I said. M was such a proud big brother in response.
Yes, they are very sweet together... most of the time.
T-baby was later lying on the floor near where M was playing, kicking his feet to interact with M's legs. M was not too pleased about this arrangement, but was unwilling to move his play spot. I found myself faced for the first time with "disciplining" the baby. "No, T, we mustn't kick," I chortled, feeling slightly ridiculous. I did it more for M, so that he could see that rules are universal. I'm already trying to play fair in the world of my children.
All in all, though, they are very sweet together.
Must run... M just pushed over a sweetly sitting T-man. Ha ha! Lord help me! :)
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
You may remember my mentioning of a woman, named Heather, and the "Praying for Heather" icon on the left of my bar (now under "Prayer Requests"). She is a stranger, but one for whom I've been praying and very taken by her situation. She is a mother of three with brain cancer. Her posting yesterday was such great news and testament to God's work through prayer. Thanks to the Internet and her blog, she has hundreds of prayer warriors battling through this illness with her. How awesome.
I am praising God today for her change in diagnosis and just had to share.
Thanks for delighting in my small joys. God bless.
He returned home with a synopsis of the day, the other interns, and a hefty little calendar, relaying all of the amazing things he'll be doing with the firm this summer. Already he's committed to two dinners out this week; happy hours, a soccer game, more dinners, go-karting, and a two-day trip to Chicago(!) are just a few of the "perks" of being wooed by a big firm. I kept asking him to which event I was invited. Apparently, we have dinner planned at a partner's home next week. One dinner? I want to go go-karting and to Chicago! Mimi and I joked that we would set up our own summer calendar, which would include all of the same events. We would "run into" GG and then marvel at the coincidence. We thought we were so funny and cracked up...
But really, I want to be a part of it all. GG will have his experience at work, feeling like a lawyer and putting in hours for the firm, but then I want me/our family to be involved in the rest. Thankfully this firm is known nationally for its more laid-back, family friendly approach. We'll see. I'm not impressed yet.
Oh, I'm not too bummed about it. I write rather tongue-in-cheek, knowing that the real "slaughter" will happen once GG is a first-year associate. Friends in the biz tell me the hours are brutal. Yikes! I guess I should let GG enjoy his go-karting and be quiet about it.
Quiet? Never. :) There's always a good reason to chatter.
Have a blessed day and God Bless YOU!
Monday, May 21, 2007
After praying for the day twice at breakfast (M's request), we said farewell to Daddy and snapped some cheesy photos of him before he hopped in the car. What a sport! :) Here's a shot of the handsome lawyer-to-be.
In other news, M has been serenading the family with versions of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" and "I'm a Little Teapot". They are really good and his words are so close to the actual song. His singing is a hopeful sign of return to health here in G-Ville. Mom is surely sick of wiping noses!!
And lastly, sweet T is now scooting (mostly backward) and appears to be close to crawling. Can't rely on the adorable one being immobile for much longer. I've also been loving his recent pointing and baby babble --he's always got a good story for the listening ear. Oh no! Another garrulous G in the works.
We would have expected nothing less.
God bless you today! Have a wonderful Monday...
Sunday, May 20, 2007
Friday, May 18, 2007
This verse has been resonating in my head today as we began to unpack all of the "stuff" from our move. Endless piles, numerous containers, shirt after shirt... Our possessions seem to go on and on.
Are we addicted to things? Absolutely. Are our hearts directed toward these things rather than toward Christ? Probably often.
I am then left with the question--how do I break this material addiction? How do I wean myself of the pleasurable sensation I get from buying/owning/possessing? I don't know if that's completely possible.
Instead I should question--how am I storing up treasures in heaven? Maybe by shifting focus from my earthly hiccups to my heavenly gestures, I can have greater success in the here and now. More prayer, more time in the Word, greater meditation on Christ and his Saints... these "things" would be heavenly addictions I'd love to foster.
And in the meantime, the G's will be taking fewer trips to the store!
Thursday, May 17, 2007
We couldn't have asked for a happier or more loving welcome from Mimi and Papa when we rolled in last night. It was dark by the time we arrived... what a trip! We left at 9am and didn't arrive until 10:30pm. That would be 13.5 hours. Whoa baby, what a drive!
Granted, we didn't begin right away, but went on somewhat of a wild goose chase to find an open and properly staffed pharmacy (one pharmacist had a flat tire on the way to work and hadn't yet arrived... we hoped this wasn't a sign of bad things to come in our day!) GG and M both awoke yesterday with sinus infections. Poor boys!
GG was really a superstar, driving the entire way with the U-Haul hitch and never complaining. I had a few low moments in the Jetta with screaming children and no pacifiers to quell... but all in all, we made it!
Here are a few highlights:
-chatting with a sweet grandmother at one of the rest stops while she oohed and aahed over T-baby. Who wouldn't warm to a woman adoring one of her children? She was a doll.
-watching GG, M and Custer (our loveable yellow lab) frolic in some fields during a break. There just happened to be a beautiful park there to enjoy. Who would have known we'd find such a place in the middle of nowhere Pennsylvania?
-nursing T-man at the same rest area on a picnic bench... What a sweet baby and a sweet scene.
-seeing the glorious sign: "gas station 10 miles" at the apex of a steep hill climb when GG was almost out of gas. His gas light had gone on many miles before and he had radioed with worry. Hallelujah. Thank you, dear Lord, for your Provision. Why are the G's always running into this trouble?
-the *beautiful* grassy hills of Maryland, welcoming us east. How breathtaking 70S was! Leave me here and never take me away!
-not feeling sleepy throughout the entire drive. I am such a sleepy driver and this was a miracle! Praise God.
-the warm hugs of Mimi and Papa upon our arrival; and with them, the knowledge that our mega trip was done. Thanks be to God for getting us here safely and without too much drama. Hallelujah, hallelujah.
Reporting live from the gorgeous land of the Virginias... God Bless You!
Monday, May 14, 2007
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Today I've been reflecting on how quickly my home turns to "ruin" despite all my motherly efforts at keeping it clean. Last night the G's (GG and I) enjoyed a relaxed evening, taking in dinner and a bottle of champagne graciously given to us for our anniversary. We "drank" in the peacefulness of the evening and lounged, easing up on the tight rein we had on the home...
Only to awake this morning to the *nightmare* that was our kitchen, living room, etc. All the mothers out there know what I'm talking about. I commented to GG how amazing it is that for the 100% of time invested to maintain the home, it takes only a tenth of that for it to return to chaos. That means for every half hour I clean, the kids and family can have my home undone in 3 minutes. 3 minutes! What a differential!! And to think this is an ongoing battle...
So, yes, today is a day to celebrate all the mothers of the world, who battle daily the clean home differential; who strive to keep dishes washed, floors sparkling (or at least, swept!), clothes clean, children kempt, husbands fed, and homes blessed. God bless you!!
We are pretty amazing, don't you think?!
Saturday, May 12, 2007
That was until fielding some phone calls about crazy T-man, who had awoken at 9pm and wouldn't stop crying. Poor, teething baby! Thankfully, we were almost done with our affairs and headed home to get GG some much-needed, post-exam rest.
Friday, May 11, 2007
I can just feel it.
Maybe it was getting our recycling out to the curb the very second the truck drove up. Maybe it was the golden brown pancakes I made for breakfast this morning; my best yet. Maybe it was dropping GG off right on time for his exam and making every green light on the drive there.
Or perhaps today was good from the start because it was just meant to be. It was in the cards from the beginning. Things were just supposed to be good, as they have been for the last five years. Today is our fifth wedding anniversary.
While I don't have the patience to relay a long synopsis of our love story, I will give you it in bulleted form (very 21st century-esque!) My brain can handle lists of things so much better than prose...
*GG and I met our freshman year at Princeton at an Athletes in Action Bible study. GG prayed for "his friend's salvation" while we were all in the midst of midterms second semester and my interest was immediately piqued. What a sound and steady Christian! What a heart for God and for his friend! How handsome and well-spoken! My crush had begun...
*... and another unhealthy relationship I was in ended within a month. GG and I ran into one another at our student center and exchanged words about his summer at camp and the possibility of me being a counselor there (which never materialized.) We later realized how nervous we both were at the time to speak to one another. Pretty cute.
* Summer passed and we met up again the next fall on campus. My crush intensified and I did everything in my power to run into GG on campus, in the sports training room, etc. The stories are pretty pathetic, so I'll spare myself the embarrassment. Let's just say I was smitten with the most handsome, most Godly, and most honorable guy I had ever met.
*The fall dragged on and GG became more and more aware of my crush (due to my large mouth telling any soul about it who wished to hear!) Yet no response came from his end. I was beginning to get frustrated... Long story short--he finally asked me to our sophomore formal in late November of that year. Imagine my angst! GG took his time and the rest of the world (yes, the world) suffered.
*The formal was a ball of fun... We danced up a storm and enjoyed time with one another. Our second date was a surprise trip to NYC to see Rockefeller Center and the Christmas tree (what a follow-up!) I was being swept off my feet!
*We formally began dating by the end of January, had our "first kiss" Valentine's Day, and proceeded to date for the next 2 and 1/2 years (with a few bumps along the way, but mostly smooth sailing.) GG proposed on graduation day--June 5th, 2001 at the Princeton battlefield. I accepted and we set the date for May 11, 2002. After being apart for the year leading up to the wedding (I was teaching in NJ and GG was at his Officer Basic Course in KY), we joyfully committed to one another in the sacrament of matrimony that May! What a blissful day.
I awoke this morning feeling butterflies reminiscent of the ones I felt our wedding day five years ago. Who knew from there that an Iraq deployment, a dog, two babies, and law school later, we'd be where we are. I wouldn't trade these years for the world. GG, you are the love of my life. Thank you for a wonderful marriage. Thank you for your greatest gift to me--our boys. Your love isn't so bad either. Love you!
Hope you all have a fantastic May 11th!! It's a good one!
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
Hard to believe another academic year is coming to a close. I bid farewell to many of the fellow mothers this morning at our last moms' group. How sad! While I'm itching to get to GG parents' place and begin our summer adventures, so much of me worries I won't be seeing this amazing community again. In fact, it's somewhat likely we won't be returning in the fall. How sad to miss the kids reunited, delighting in how much they've grown and matured. How sad to miss feeling the promise of August and the last year of law school. Very very sad, indeed.
But before I get ahead of myself, there is a small glimmer of possibility that we will return. And should GG have to fulfill his Army obligations, I did promise our friends a visit in the fall when we're out with my folks in Ohio. We'll see. So hard to plan for so many different future contingencies!
In the meantime, our moving pile in the breezeway grows by the day. I'm off to fill out online forwarding services for our mail. Is it really here already? Pinch me, I'm so excited.
The countdown begins today: T-6 days until take-off! Woohoo! Summer, here we come! :)
Tuesday, May 8, 2007
PS: No word yet on the Army appeal. All we know is it's still in the hands of HRC in St. Louis, which means it hasn't been denied (yet). We're hoping this means he'll at least have an extension on the June 3rd report date.
Sunday, May 6, 2007
I am such a night owl and have the hardest time getting in bed before 11pm. I hate it! How much I would love to cure my awful bed procrastination. Whether it be washing dishes, finishing a TV show, hammering out a project, doing laundry, or even shining my sink (yes, I've done this before bed), I am always doing everything but going to sleep! GG is often on my case to "get to bed" seeing as there's nothing preventing me from turning in early. Daytime mommydom would probably be much less stressful and dramatic if I would just get some sleep! Ahh!
So here it is, Sunday night, the most important night of sleep (according to my mom), and rather than getting ready for bed, I'm blogging. Bad, bad girl. Stopping now. Heading upstairs. Not going to worry about that last load of laundry... or the dog... or the dishes... or... zzzzzzzzzz.
Wait! Forgot about the photos...
M, steppin' out
Saturday, May 5, 2007
Friday, May 4, 2007
*M and I played "ball" this morning with an empty butter container (his creative choice). He chose the game and we spent a few minutes tossing the container in the air to the "moon" and "tree" as he would say. I delighted hearing him bring together strung-along words--"to tree Mommy". Awesome.
*T-man gave a huge sigh and gasp when I retrieved him from his morning nap. His smile seemed to say "I'm so thrilled to see you, Mom!" What a welcome! :)
*M began reciting A Very Hungry Caterpillar adding some new spoken words to his vocab. At first I didn't realize what he was talking about... "Sat-day, cake, i-ceam" referring to the passage "On Saturday, the caterpillar ate one piece of chocolate cake, one ice cream cone..." Very cute.
*I reveled yesterday in the celebration of my parents' 38th wedding anniversary. They called from the airport on their way to the Caribbean to attend a wedding and go on a cruise afterward. Cheers! What fun to stop and think about GG and I and the next 33 years we have together until we reach 38!
*GG and I have been asked to be godparents to our dear friends' precious babe (who I mentioned recently). What a blessing it will be to us to follow the spiritual journey of one of God's newest cherubs. Hallelujah.
Alrighty, off to indulge in a screaming T-man. What a blessing he is, tears and all.
Thursday, May 3, 2007
Wednesday, May 2, 2007
These are brief opportunities for me to look back and see His fingerprints all over my past. Maybe I didn't see Him working then or appreciate Him for all the work he was doing, but He went right on, blessing me immeasurably.
I had one of these moments today while driving home from a friend's baby shower. I began to see little pockets of God's hand-chosen friends, my provision, through life. While it's not the first time I've stopped to appreciate these women, it surely was a chance to sit back and take in all of the WONDER God has offered me through my sisters in Christ.
There were Libby, Kati, Amy, and Amy, who God placed in my life at a very young age. Libby and I started preschool together. Amy M. and I latched onto one another in kindergarten, picking up Kati in 1st grade and the other Amy in 3rd. How blessed I was (and still am) by their examples, humor, resounding faith, athleticism, families... and sheer sisterhood. They know the pitch of my laugh, the idiosyncrasies of my personality, and the rawness of my soul. They are truly family.
Then there were Kellie, Jaime, Ashley, Katherine, Jess, and Linley, who worked God's will during our college years. It was Kel who shared with me her growing passion for the Catholic Church and Jaime, who fanned my flame through her steadfast spiritual devotion and prayer. Katherine and Ashley added grace mixed with fun during a very low and stressful time in my life. I thank God for allowing our friendships to blossom when I needed them most. Jess and Linley were originally my spiritual "pupils", who then grew to be my confidants and bosom friends. Each of these girls possesses such purpose and offers so much to the world around her. My life has been so enhanced by these wonderful women...
Then there were "my girls" from Colorado. These ones stood by me as we supported each other during our hubbies' deployments. Sarah, Sally, Rachel, Lana, Melissa, Kerri-Lynn, Emma, and Maureen, you were my rock of encouragement and love when I couldn't find it in GG while he was away. You were my shoulder for tears, my heart for overwhelming emotion, my understanding during times of loss, my laughter and cheer as we delighted in our "children" (the dogs!)... I could really go on. I know God placed these precious ones in my life to be steadfast and true during a time when I might have otherwise faltered. I didn't because of their abiding friendships.
And, finally, my Notre Dame girls. God has, once again, surrounded me with love and support, this time bolstering my Catholic faith with women whose hearts are on fire for Christ and His Church at the same time! Hallelujah! Catherine, Julie, Leah, Grace, Sue, Amy, and Erika have spurred me on while also loving me through my mothering woes. How often I am blessed (today, for example) by merely meeting with these Godly women and sharing our hearts as mothers, wives, and women of faith. God has so richly blessed me through them.
So there they are, God's fingerprints, evident as friends throughout my life. I do believe He hand-selected these women and placed them right where they needed to be--at the right time and place to encourage my maximum spiritual growth. He knew I couldn't do it alone, which is why He's always been sure to provide enough support along the way.
If any of you are reading this, just know how much I love and cherish you. You are the amazing result of God's provision in my life. God bless you.
Tuesday, May 1, 2007
*he maneuvers (without crawling) toward a rope dog toy across the room and proceeds to pick off rope and eat it. Later, he vomits a rope wad and cries because he's lost his meal.
*he manages to reach, grab, and eat grass and dirt while in the middle of a blanket outside on the lawn. He later produces an acorn that has been swishing around in his mouth for an unknown period of time.
*he consumes more than his brother (18-mos older) at dinner.