Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Outcome

Classic brother shot

Good snow, but we were just getting started!

Bundled up for the cold!!

We ended up getting over 10 inches yesterday and last night! Whoa mama! It's too bad temps now are in the teens and no one wants to be outside!!

**Update: Reports from GG, while shoveling the driveway, and the local news say we got 13 inches! Wowsa!!

Hope you and yours are safe and warm,

Friday, January 29, 2010

Okay, Who's Pregnant?

While most people were flocking to the grocery store today to stock up on essentials before the "BIG" storm hit, this is what I purchased in a flurry:

*Doritos
*Fudge Rounds (what???)
*Cheese-Its
*Oreos
*Golden Grahams
and *Cinnamon Toast Crunch

Yep, definitely pregnant.
Happy Friday all!

1) Gasperini-Ville is off to a great start this morning. We awoke to freezing temps. so my first order of business was to put the liners back in the kids' coats. Brrr! Later in the day, the weatherman is calling for snow and potentially a lot of it! We could get anywhere from 6-12", though I'm predicting 3" to avoid disappointment. Whatever comes, it will be exciting and the boys are so eager! Stoke the fires, it's going to be cozy in Gasperini-ville!

2) In true Virginia fashion, we've been preparing for the above snow prediction all week. Mimi was kind enough to hunt for new boots for M and also bought us a shovel to clear our driveway. Call me crazy, but we used to have two when living in South Bend, IN and I made the decision to leave them there because "Virginia doesn't get snow!" You could say I'm eating my words. Thanks Mimi!

3) Bigger snow pants for M are also en route from Ama.zon and cost more to get them here than the actual pants! Oh well! I scrounged during our last snowfall and missed the earlier rush. Alas, all the stores are sold out. What's a frugal mother to do? --Pay double later on in a frantic flurry! :) This proves to me that money spent on necessary items is worth paying when you need the stuff!! Lesson learned.

4) Sadly, J has been battling a weirdo virus all week that gave him a rash on his throat, mouth, and bottom (not HFM Disease or Strep, though!). He's had an accompanying fever and runny nose. Poor guy! We've been rather homebound this week as a result though will venture out this morning to buy some last-minute boy mittens. Hopefully the little man is on the mend. I'm ready to have my happy boy back!! Quick Take aside: One new word he's been saying lately is "Foo" for food, which I find so cute. It's the little things.

5) Because of J's virus, he's been rejecting pacifiers all week. I'm wondering if we should go with this and just rid them from the house before he becomes more attached (he's been pretty dependent so far). It might be a whole lot easier to do it now before 18 mos. than go through the h*** we endured weaning our T from binkys after 2. That whole experience was most definitely an attributing factor to my mono last spring! Any thoughts from cyberspace?

6) We also haven't been able to make it to the gym at all this week due to J's illness (which is probably where he picked it up!) Mama's been missing it! I realize what a great motivator it is for me to go somewhere to workout. I am much more consistent when I do it there rather than fitting it in on our elliptical here at home.

J, Custer, and I did go wogging (walking + jogging) yesterday and I will say, it felt FANTASTIC! I had little aches and pains here and there, but for the most part, the endorphin rush was worth it!! I've never run this late into the pregnancy before, but the workout yesterday showed me I might be able to maintain some sort of running form further along into the pregnancy. This only bodes well for my recovery from childbirth and getting back into it later on. One thing's for sure: I LOVE RUNNING. It does me good. Period.

7) We are getting more and more anticipatory for our ultrasound on Thursday!! Last night GG saw the baby kick when we were sitting on the couch. Pretty cool. I'm hoping that means his/her legs are moving well, which bodes well for the spinal cord. We are always nervous about spina bifida because of my aunt who had it. Just one of the many reasons I'm a worrying mama!! Lord Jesus, I give you my fears today and ask for the strength to journey whatever path you have set for us!! Sweet baby, we can't wait to know more about you and call you by name!!!!!

Have an awesome Friday everyone!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Fruits of Catechesis


...are Mary's crazy hair, belly buttons, Daddy's beard, and Mom with two transparent children (bottom middle right--can you make out baby J and baby #4 on top of me?? ;) lol. Love it!

Magnifico!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Humbled

The happy couple on their honeymoon in Costa Rica

We attended a beautiful wedding in Tarrytown, NY just a few weeks ago. Such happiness and hope was present. Most importantly, Christ was exalted. The groom is a friend of ours from Princeton and his bride, Sarah-Charlotte, a dear woman whom we love.

Days after returning from their 2-week honeymoon, Sarah-Charlotte learned her cancer is back. She battled breast cancer successfully in her mid twenties and now, after a lengthy time of remission, is battling again. We are so deeply saddened by this news and are on our knees for this awesome couple...

Please pray with us.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Monday, Monday

We had a great day today, but not without paying for all our activity.
My prego body has been holding up pretty well so far, but I fear second trimester energy is beginning to wane and my desire to nap mid-afternoon is beginning to win over. Why fight it?!
The couch was looking ever-so-comfortable!

We started off the day with an adventure to the children's museum and a bit of morning fun. Mom got free Starbucks, so who can complain, right? :) My biggest issue with heading there is keeping the kids corralled and not losing anyone! T ran off two different times and I quickly found him. But golly, way to give mom a heart attack!!! We quickly put the kibosh on that one--time outs at the children's museum are NO fun! ;)
Dino brother hatchlings

My little man!

Playing on his own in the water exhibit. SO BIG!

Brother Racers--fast and furious!

Afterward, we headed home for bounce house jumping, lunch, some computer time, J's nap (Mom's nap!), more bounce house, riding bikes (what a beautiful day it was), eating an early dinner, and bedtime!! Tonight while reading stories, M read the top easy line on each page of our train story and I read the more developed lines below. He did GREAT! I was amazed even to see his improvement from beginning to end of story. That kid doesn't miss a beat. He quickly used new words he encountered at the beginning of the story to read more fluidly at the end. Pretty cool... Before I know it, he's going to have his nose in a book. Can't wait!!

So I'm off to... elliptical. I know, I know. It's 8:45pm and I'm going to exercise, but what's a mama to do when she already used her earlier workout time to nap?! Let's get it done!
Prayers,

Friday, January 22, 2010

New Laundry Goal

I'm writing it here so you all can hold me to it. For some reason I've never thought about assigning a day of the week to different people's laundry. Brilliant! So I think... :)

Monday: off
Tuesday: J's laundry--usually one load
Wednesday: GG and B-mama's laundry--one light, one dark
Thursday: big boy laundry start
Friday: big boy laundry finish
Saturday and Sunday: sheets, towels, etc.

I am just dumbfounded, in general, how simple the schedule looks!! I think the real secret to greater laundry clarity has been moving the boys' laundry to a new hamper in their bathroom. Before, we just threw it all directly in the laundry room, which made me feel like I never got out from under the pile!! Somehow by compartmentalizing, my brain feels a lot more put together!! Now that's something to celebrate...

Cheers to a great weekend,

Thursday, January 21, 2010

T'isms

At bedtime last night...

Daddy: Okay, T, where do you put your dirty clothes?

T: In the hampster.


Quite smitten,

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Room Status Update

It's hard to believe today is already Tuesday. MLK Jr. Day totally threw my brain for a loop. You can't give a prego lady a weekday holiday and assume her brain can handle it.

Overall, it's not a bad thing--it means next weekend will be here sooner than I think. Though if you and I have made plans for the next couple of days, you may want to call and confirm just to make sure my mind is onboard! lol

GG and I worked our tails off this weekend well into Monday. It was such a gift having him home for three days--pinch all of us!! He and I even stayed up until 1am on Sunday night watching episodes from Season Three of Lost for old time's sake just because we could! It was a nice treat after all of the organizing we've done...

Baby J's new room is coming along. GG came up with a new configuration, which I'm loving. You can see the back corner here. The crib has yet to come down from the attic, but we're slowly getting there. :)
The boys' new closet was a huge undertaking on Saturday and Sunday. GG put together the new drawers and cubbies. I'm so happy with the outcome, which offers a lot more storage space than their previous one! Now for just a few more hangers...

Finally, another of my projects was to organize the other closet in their room. It is multipurpose with storage for games, wrapping items, sewing things, and our pack 'n play and sleeping bags! Here is the final look. I *wish* I had done before and after shots. It is a HUGE improvement over what was there before--one can now actually walk in it!!
We are still busy bees over here, but are starting to see the light. What would we do without 3-day weekends to turn the house upside down?!

Blessings,

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Change Is a Good Thing

We're doing a little Gasperini-Ville shake-up this weekend. That's what happens when you have 5 Gasperinis in a house with no weekend plans. Mommy and Daddy get thinking and then, voila!, major changes occur in a few hours time!

GG and I got talking yesterday, figuring a room change was going to be necessary in the next few months due to the new baby coming in June. Whatever changes we did make would need to be in place at least by April so that the boys are calm and settled before all the craziness accompanying the arrival of a new little one. The real question was--did we move J in with his brothers OR move the boys to a bigger room and put J in their old one?? Decisions, decisions...

We eventually made a choice and away we went. M and T moved down the hall to our old playroom and J moved into M and T's old room (hopefully to be joined one day by his little sibling). We thought this was the best choice because J is a light sleeper and needs a little more time by himself to sleep well! The new baby will be in his/her nursery for the first year or so and then we'll go from there. (FYI, we find out girl or boy on Feb. 4th!! So exciting!!)

Another big change in this process was the move to bunk beds for M and T. SCARY! As the daughter and sister of physical therapists, I am well aware of the spinal cord dangers posed by bunking beds... Trust me, I've agonized internally over this one for some time. The bottom line, though, is that this arrangement is really the best for us space-wise. To top it off, the boys are excited about it! T started off on the top bunk last night and M will have a turn starting next week. Depending on how things go, we'll switch off weekly and the boys seem pretty cool with that plan. We've also set up some clear parameters as to bunk bed behavior which will hopefully add to safety-- Rule #1: Bunk beds are for sleeping only, Rule #2: Boys may climb into bunk beds when Mom and Dad are around, Rule #3: Baby J is NOT allowed on the top bunk!! Enough said. lol.
A shot of the new room--old playroom TV will be out soon! I am a HUGE adversary to technical devices in children's rooms. Just a personal beef of mine.

The new reading corner. Also, new labels on the bins are making Mom oh-so-happy! Let's hope they lead to better organization for boys.

Also, here are two shots of J's new/old room and then the nursery. Both are still a work-in-progress... The other crib, in fact, still needs to descend from the attic. We're getting there!! Today my goal is to set up the closets in each room, which is why you see an abundance of toys in the first pic!! You can also bet those blue valences will be changing to pink if, perhaps, we find out we'll be welcoming a little sweetheart come June! Can't wait, either way. :)
Happy Lord's Day,

Friday, January 15, 2010

Haiti

While Mom was out last night wining and dining with friends (still cashing in on her birthday), my boys were home being cuter than ever.

Daddy took a few minutes to teach M and T about earthquakes and the calamity in Haiti. They were attentive pupils and seemed to be greatly moved by the destruction. When GG asked if they were willing to give money to help the people, both boys quickly and readily handed over all of their piggy bank contents to send to the people there. (Melt me!) M also wanted to create a picture to include with the money.

The blue represents the ocean "since Haiti is an island". The black is the earthquake and the horizontal lines are the wind. We presume squares and rectangles represent buildings; and the circles amidst are people's faces.

I am overwhelmed at how much their little minds and hearts were moved to understanding and compassion for this situation! How I pray for them to grow up to be selfless, godly men, always thinking of others. It is a prayer we, as parents, need to be praying all the time!!

Blessings this Friday,

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Little Helpers

What does a mother do when her children enthusiastically beg to properly set the table?

She lets them and then takes a picture to prove it.

They are wonderful!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

31 years young

I am officially a "thirty something" today.

WAY back in time when I was watching 90210 there was a show "Thirty Something" on TV that was really popular, but was totally uninteresting to me at the time. Now I fit the bill and I'm trying not to be depressed about it! lol. Such a show would undoubtedly be at the top of my list if it were playing today... Scary!

We went out to celebrate tonight at the very kid-friendly Red Robin, where I love their french fries dipped in ranch dressing. The boys are overwhelmed by all the distractions there (a good thing), including the zillion TVs they have playing sports. One could also talk at the top of his lungs without being noticed. It is an excellent place for Gasperinis.

We had fun and I received some really great gifts from everyone. Among my favorites are a children's music compilation of piano sheet music with everything from "Bob, The Builder" to "Gary Indiana". It should bring fun times to our home. Another was a copy of the movie Twilight, which GG knows I adore. He is so good to humor me! ;) You don't have to tell me, I know I'm pathetic.

The last gift, though, was quite unexpected and one I didn't receive until we arrived home. Anyone without kids, you can stop reading here because a) you probably won't get why I'm so excited and b) you will be totally grossed out! You've had your warning! Out of nowhere while the kids were brushing their teeth in the bathroom, T announced, "I need to do this" and sprung into action. He grabbed the child's toilet seat and handed me the potty book, commanding me to "Read this." Then he bounded up onto the potty and proceeded to go #2 with ease. Hallelujah! What a birthday gift for his mama!!!!! GG and I have been laying low on the potty front, not wanting to ruin the little guy's self-esteem (very fragile these days.) I figured I'd probably be wiping butts until college. Well, apparently not. What a birthday gift!! :) I'm so tickled.

In other news, the dawn of year 32 has brought about a more noticeable baby bump. I'm no longer on "bump watch". Pregnancy confirmed.

Hope you all are enjoying a blessed weekend.
xo and prayers,

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Source of Joy

I have been grinning ear to ear today following the adoption tale of a local blogger friend.
AYWH and her husband, Ryan, have been struggling with infertility for five years and have been on adoption lists for over a year. Today they get to meet their new daughter... What joy this has brought to my day. Thought you might like to share in it too!

Emerging

Nothing like a stomach virus to make one appreciate health again!

We have awoken a new family. The coffee smells fresher. The children play more joyfully.
Even the laundry pile in the hallway holds a special wonder (is that even possible?)

We are alive and well.
Thank you, Lord!
And thank you for your prayers!!

GG headed back to work this morning, crackers in hand. He got the bug last of the bunch and seemed to deal with the most extreme bout of all. The little boys are taking one more day of preschool hiatus to stay here and play (though Mom is wondering whether I can contain their mounting energy!) M has created a box train, T is amidst crafts, and baby J is toddling around with (unopened) markers and feeling like the king of the world.

I have coffee in hand (pretending to be totally back to normal though its doubtful whether I'll finish half a cup). In a moment, I plan to tickle the ivories with a little "Jingle Bell" boy serenade. I was playing the other day and a dumbstruck T walked around the corner in disbelief that it was his mommy who was playing! Perhaps mom has a few hidden tricks up her sleeve after all?! :) We are so grateful to have live music filling our home. I cannot WAIT to force the boys into lessons in the coming years. haha They'll thank me down the road, for sure! :)

Before I sign off, I wanted to include two pics from our weekend past--GG and I traveled up to Tarrytown, NY for the beautiful wedding of our PU friend, Justin. I think it might have been one of the most breathtaking weddings I've ever been to. It was held in a castle, we ate like kings and queens, and the overall feel of the surroundings was so rich. We were definitely rich in friendship, surrounded by many of our dearest pals from college. What a heartwarming time!

Cheers to a new day! God bless!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Ugly, The Bad, The (Somewhat) Good

THE UGLY:
All of Gasperini-Ville (including our beloved Mimi and Papa) has been taken by a virulent stomach bug. Ugh! We are a pretty pathetic sight, all of us. :(

THE BAD:
T has been stricken since last Wed. J fell on Sunday. M yesterday. Papa, Mimi and me last night, followed by our GG early this morning. Did I mention we're pathetic?

THE (TRYING TO BE OPTIMISTIC) GOOD:
The two older boys have mastered vomiting in a basin, which makes everything just a little cleaner and more manageable. We're trying to look on the bright side here!! haha

My last meal was Chipotle. Why do I do this to myself? No more Burrito bowl for some time. I can barely type it it grosses me out so!!! Off to veg on the couch... Would love your prayers!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Thanks Santa!

You could say Santa was good to us this year (and so were his elves, Mimi and Papa!) THANK YOU!!
Their gift was delivered today...

This pic is for my mother, who delighted in forcing piano lessons on us for many years. THANK YOU, Mom! I'm indebted!!! (Don't mind my hair!)

Amidst music,

You Got That Right

M: "Hey Mom, do you know who the boss is way up in the sky?"

B-mama: "No, who?"

M: "God's the boss. (hands outstretched) He's the BIG BOSS over everything!"


lol. We're off to a great start!

May The Big Boss bless you today ;),