Friday, June 29, 2007
*First we'll head north to visit some law school friends and revel in their good friendship.
*Then we'll head southwest to the mountains and the beautiful townhome respite there for some great Gasperini fun. Along with the usual, M will be trying his first "go" at canoeing with Papa and Uncle Cris. This explains the new lifevest. Please pray for safety and this mama's nerves! :)
I'm sure we'll have ample pictures and highlights to share come Monday, so check back in... In the meantime, here are a few bedtime shots from this evening.
Have a wonderful weekend.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
With even greater emphasis he said, "And if I had all the wine in the world, I'd take it and pour it into the river."
And then finally, shaking his fist in the air, he Said, "And if I had all the whiskey in the world, I'd take it and pour it into the river."
Sermon complete, he sat down. The song leader stood very cautiously and announced with a smile, nearly laughing, "For our closing song, let us sing Hymn #365, "Shall We Gather at the River."
What melts a mother's heart so?
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Joy in a Lifevest
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
The boys were playing "dog"--a fun game of late in Gasperini-Ville. So much so that the other day I found M munching on a dog biscuit! :) Crazy kid.
While enjoying pretending , M has been taking charge of our sweet yellow, Custer, as well. "Sit" and "down" are common commands heard from his highchair. He is always sure to harp on the dog with an extended finger... Poor Custer! More and more real by the day is my parents' affectionate title for M, "The Dictator". haha
I need to give a warm e-hug to my hubby, GG, today for taking the reins of our family carriage this morning and seeing it through to safety! He is amazing and always challenging me to be more positive and less despairing. That's tough to do when the baby wakes at 4:45am and doesn't want to return to sleep. Oh Lord! :) [Disclaimer to all new and especially nursing mothers: I have nothing on you all right now regarding sleeplessness! I am fully aware...] Nonetheless, GG stepped to the plate and then proceeded in pristine fashion to work. I, on the other hand, have soddily gone through the motions today, tired and rather lifeless. Where did he get that energy?! Thanks for loving me in my selfish sleepiness, dear GG. You are clearly my better half. :)
Love to all of you too. God bless you today.
Monday, June 25, 2007
We thought we were so good, having 4 nights of bedded bliss. M slept and woke up in the morning, calling to us to come and welcome him into the day.
the independence has given him a taste of freedom.
And we are never to be the same.
Prayers for your restful night's sleep. At least someone will be getting their quota! :)
Almighty and Family Friendly
In accordance with Minnesota Mom's promotion...
I'll do a little plugging myself.
Maybe not Oscar-worthy, but suredly clean as a whistle!
Worth taking the whole family to...
and showcasing our beloved Mimi, who worked as an extra in the film. Isn't she beyond dynamic?
A blessed Monday
Meanwhile, Saturday in Gasperini-Ville was a wonderful chance for GG and I to spend with a dear friend, J, from college. She is a saintly friend and phenomenal woman. J, I'm so proud of you for all you represent. She's currently kickin' rump in the Pentagon amidst a male-dominated profession, while maintaining humility and godliness and reviving young adult Catholic ministry in Northern VA! Go J! :) We love you so...
I couldn't go another day without sharing some shots of our short time together.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Alpha vs. Slacker
Feel like you're never doing as good a job as the next mom? Yes.
Well, the Today Show has your answers!
In a Friday report, Meredith Vieira described a growing trend in the mommying community to classify mothers as either Alpha or Slacker. "Alpha" moms are "type A" mothers, catering to details and perfection in the raising of their children. "Slacker" moms, on the other hand, are more laid-back, hands-on mothers, who can't find matching socks for their children and really don't care.
My response: Why are we always trying to pin labels on our lapels? Can't I just go one day without having to self-analyze and critique my way of doing things? That's not to mention that I would NEVER EVER place the word "mother" and "slacker" in the same sentence. At its grass roots, motherhood is an all-out marathon race. I never met a marathoner who was a slacker!
Gosh, this whole report unnerved me so... Can't we just mother and not be bothered? Or maybe this just annoys me because it hits on some of my personal mommy vulnerabilities. Remember that perfectionism? Well, despite being over it, I do covet it occasionally.
I took a quiz online to determine what kind of mother I was (falling complete victim to aforementioned labeling) and apparently, I'm "alpha". But I would disagree... I'm more dynamic than that.
No one can label me!
And especially don't ever call me a slacker...
or call any of my mothering friends slackers either!
We work way too hard!!
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Overheard at the Dinner Table
Friday, June 22, 2007
Silence is Golden
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Mac 'n Cheese War
against an unnamed toddler, who has taken to being quite picky at the dinner table. Mama was becoming so limited in her lunch/dinner options that something finally had to give! In the end, Mimi and Papa joined the fight and for the past few nights, the aforementioned toddler has encountered quite a few dinner battles!
I am happy to write, however, the adult contingent has prevailed! Kudos to Mimi and Papa for their efforts (since I was out frolicking at various events!) M sat in his chair last night refusing to eat macaroni and cheese for an hour and a half (yes, an hour and a half) and refused to get down because he desperately wanted dessert! :) Definitely my child. :) Mimi finally came up with the *brilliant* idea of a mac 'n cheese train going into the "tunnel" of M's mouth. Hallelujah! It worked...
And guess who ate up the train and the rest of the mac 'n cheese (along with part of an ice cream sandwich and Popsicle as a reward)? What a stubborn little stinker. Mimi managed to capture the stand-off on film. Here's glimpse of the final moments of battle leading to M's acquiescence...
I hate mac 'n cheese!
Maybe if I hide it in here...
Assembling the train
Reaching for more... Now that's what I'm talkin' about!
I love mac 'n cheese!
But I especially love dessert
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Eyes Wide Shut
morning run... baby to sleep... other one dressed... mama dressed... lunches made... out the door to the art museum for "Artful Toddler" group... reading, coloring, viewing... back in the car to Romp 'n Roll for "Tumble Tunes"... jumping, singing, playing... wonderful lunch with Mimi and Susie... racing home... toddler to bed... infant nursing poorly... infant to bed... mom to bed?
And it's not over... GG and I have another event tonight. "Pardon me, ladies and gentlemen of the firm, while I go and lie down in one of the bedrooms down the hall. Just a little sleepy..." GG would die of humiliation.
Must sleep now. God... bless...
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Behind the iTimes
This is especially apparent when viewing our musical listening devices. Sitting in our living room is an ancient Sony CD player with an nonworking tape deck. We've talked about investing in something more sophisticated, but end up pushing the old thing to its limits. And why not? It's working just fine and suiting our purposes well...
The same goes for my workout music. All year I've been dragging my ancient Sony Walkman to the gym. That's my tape Walkman, mind you! Come on, I've got some great workout mixes that I can't let go of... The worst is that I workout at a university gym, filled with teenyboppers and college co-eds with the latest and greatest in music technology. You can imagine my horror once when the Walkman fell off the treadmill stand, rolled down the treadmill, and spilled out (tape and all!) onto the floor. I know many of you have had the same experience before... just probably years ago! While for the most part I'm proud of still carrying a tape player, I was aghast at this episode. iPod, take me away! :)
So all this to be said, G-Ville is getting a musical face lift. We are (cautiously) venturing into the world of mp3's and iTunes. GG's Father's Day gift included new iPod earphones and upper arm workout carrier. GG has had his iPod since Christmas and has yet to put it to use. Now, this mama is drooling to get started. (Note: Father's Day gifts can benefit both hubby and wife!)
I take the iPlunge tonight. Wish me luck. Before you know it, I'll be once again blending into society, fitting into social norms right and left.
Is it worth it? Yes, I think so, especially if I can avoid tripping over a flailing Walkman while running in the gym. I must have seemed so ancient to the folks around me. Totally 80's, dude!
Hope you are well and technologically savvy yourselves. God bless and have a great day!
Monday, June 18, 2007
Simplicity at its Best
There was just something about it--the relaxed nature to the schedule, the family, the simplicity of country life... something that made it absolutely refreshing. GG and I remarked at our peace while driving back last evening. What a treat, indeed.
One beautiful piece was our all-members-of-the-family-together Mass for Father's Day in Charlottesville. What a blessing that was, seeing as I've had to attend Mass at alternative times for the last month due to T-baby's nap schedule. Instead, we pushed the wee one to his limits and had a wonderful time celebrating Christ as a family. Awesome. Even if we are juggling children throughout the service, it was SO worth it to be there together.
Follow that with a tasty omelet breakfast, jaunt to a nearby lake, Dairy Queen treat, run along trails in the woods (GG, M, and I), and Father's Day dinner (beautifully prepared by Mimi!) and we had one very satisfying weekend. If only they could all be so restful and full of peace.
Now, if we can just beat the heat this week, we'll be yet again facing the promise of another great weekend. At least Monday's done! Hope you all are well. Stay blessed.
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Saturday, June 16, 2007
Off we go again
While I'm gone, Happy Father's Day to all the wonderful dads out there. Maybe I'll have a special GG posting tomorrow, offering insight into the mind of the modern father. We will surely take lots of pictures, so check back in soon to follow our adventures.
As always, I humbly thank you for taking the time to read the blog. It has been such a joy to reconnect and newly convene with so many wonderful folks. God bless you!
Friday, June 15, 2007
Or did I? Was I really a perfectionist?
No sooner did my feet land on the ground in Princeton, New Jersey, than I met oodles of other people just like me, striving for perfectionism in more ways than I thought possible. Folks would study non-stop throughout the day and night. My roommate would brush her teeth for half an hour (no kidding! Yumi, love you!) Girls would workout to scary extremes to attain physical perfection. Football players would read Chemistry while soaking injuries in the whirlpool...
Surrounded by such perfectionist extremes, I rebelled. The rat race of my life halted and I began to see that the endless striving brought nothing and stifled my joy. I stopped coveting perfection. I started seeking happiness . Were they related? Was one the means to the other? Or was that the world's definition of perfectionism? Was that the world trying to encourage me toward some end that brought no happiness at all?
Since then, I've left the idea of perfectionism behind (for the most part!). And I have to say, it's felt really good; really stress-free. And as I've come full-circle, I've started thinking about what the true definition of perfection is. When I think of true perfection, I think of Christ. He was sinless and perfect, the essence of God and man in one.
In my short life, I've also found that Christ represent true happiness. There are no greater or happier times than when Christ is at the center of my day-to-day. There is nothing better than being His child and basking in His love.
Therefore, in this philosophically-challenged brain of mine, I think I've come to a new conclusion. If Christ equals perfection and happiness, then perfectionism = happiness. But don't go getting caught up in the world's definition of perfectionism... Keep it rooted in Christ and all will be aok. As always, everything tempered with a little Jesus is perfect. Or should I avoid using that word!? Oh Lord...
Glad to get that out. Thanks for the catharsis...
Please don't hesitate to share your thoughts as this is still a thought-in-progress.
God bless and have a perfect day.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Now you see him
And now, the outtakes... (if only there was space to include them all!)
God bless you all today!
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Toddler Through and Through
Romp 'n Roll
Peering in to see the fun to come
The left-out little brotherM had his first day today at Romp 'n Roll at the 2-year-old "Toddler Tunes" class. What fun he and I had together playing (it's for the tykes and their parents)! He braved the jungle obstacle course twice and had a blast jumping on the mini trampoline. Later we played musical instruments--shakers, bells, rhythm sticks... And finished the time dancing with bubbles. What a trip! Mimi and T-babe hung out and watched and Mimi later commented, "I bet the parents are going to be more wiped out than the kids."
No joke! I'm bushed... :)
Unfortunately, my pics were only of the pre-class time, but still help to give a sense of the place. It is adorable and will be such a neat way for M to get some good kid interaction. Mom may make a few friends too. Not too shabby for our summer adventures.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Monday, June 11, 2007
1) I walked into Wal-Mart the other day amidst T-baby's fever crisis and was greeted by a cute, old man, who shouted, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!" with a huge smile and belly laugh. It struck me so funny that I lost it, giving in to repeated giggles. Happy Birthday? What a funny old man! :) Though he does make a good point--we should be celebrating the gift of life every day!!
2) Jess, Papa, and I approached Starbucks yesterday to find a man and his wife sitting outside with their two cats. Yes, that's right, I said cats. The fat felines were lounging in the their individual pet strollers while being cooled off by attached fans. Hilarious. Who brings their cats to Starbucks? Had I not looked closely, I would have mistaken the whiskered ones for small, strollered children. I later thought out loud to Jess, "I feel guilty. Maybe I should get fans for the boys on their strollers?" Jess appropriately commented, "Yeah, but your kids aren't covered in fur." Great point. The whole scenario just makes me laugh. God has put some special people on this planet. Glad to be one of them.
Cheers to laughter today and all days! God bless and keep shining!
Sunday, June 10, 2007
Saturday, June 9, 2007
The Jefferson, Dahling
God bless you, dear Jess. Thanks for the visit.
May you all enjoy warm weekends--in temperature and spirit!
Friday, June 8, 2007
A Change Will Do You Good
Ricky Bobby Reincarnated
The whole go-karting experience was really another slice of humble pie for me. Getting a lot of those these days. Good for the character. :) I am a pretty competitive person and psychoanalyze every mistake, etc. GG had to say to me at one point, "B, this is just go-karting." I'm so ridiculous sometimes. :)
All in all, it was a wonderful chance to get to know some of the great folks from the firm. They seem like good people, who represent the firm well. I feel much better having GG work among such amiable, friendly individuals. Good stuff.
Thursday, June 7, 2007
Well, let's just say I over-reacted a little. :) Nothing new for this mama. Tonight I'll be joining GG for go-karting after all. I was officially invited this week. Thank you very much.
Pictures and an evening synopsis to follow...
In the meantime, would you mind offering up a prayer for T-baby (and the rest of the fam) here in G-Ville? We are all still battling illness and this mama is about ready to acquiesce to the bacterial bug. Yuck. Thanks a million. God Bless.
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
The Littlest Announcements
1) Baby "Scott" was born to family friends of ours (they are the grandparents of the little guy). He was 6lbs. 1oz. and the last we heard, was doing famously amidst the love of his family! Congrats!!
2) My friend, Kellie's, nephew was born... safely and soundly, praise God. I asked for prayers for her sister-in-law way back when and she's been on bedrest ever since. Thankfully, the docs were able to keep her blood pressure at bay until a week before her due date. What a precious blessing!!
Have a great evening!
Meme about me
"For this meme, each person lists 8 facts/habits about themselves. The rules of the meme are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed. At the end of the post, the person then tags 8 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.”
1. I was an avid sleepwalker as a child. My poor parents! Once I sleepwalked while our family was on vacation in Maine. I unlocked our motel door, proceeded along the walkway, and hitched a ride on the elevator. I then woke up in the lobby! Can you imagine the fear in my parents' hearts when they heard me crying and knocking outside our room door? My goodness! I remember my sister clinging to me for the rest of the night after the incident... I've thankfully outgrown the habit!
2. I adore chicken fingers, french fries, funnel cakes... and avocados. Basically, if the food has fat in it, I love it. Enough said.
3. I despise peas. Sorry to hit on all the food items right off the bat, but this one defines me as a person. Haha! I just don't like them one bit. When I was 12-years-old, my mom made me eat 12 peas (one for each year). To get the drama out of the way, I shoved the peas on a fork all in my mouth at once and drank them down with milk. 30 seconds later, they were back on my plate after I vomited them up. My mom never made me eat peas again. Thank you, Mom. ;) They happen to be her favorite vegetable.
4. I have a passion for teaching. I say this with all sincerity. There is nothing like the rush of being in front of a classroom, communicating knowledge and passion for a subject, and seeing students respond with excitement and understanding. What amazing times I had as a teacher!!! I taught high school and middle school for four years following college and miss it dearly. While homeschooling my kiddos sounds amazing, I have a feeling I'll be back in the classroom sooner than later! Can't wait.
5. I worry about being a "good" mother and doubt myself often. I know that sounds trite, but I'm a perfectionist and want desperately to be doing a "good" job for the sake of my children. Recently GG and I hosted some dear friends of ours from LA, who were the MOST encouraging to me as a mother of my two boys. They complimented every aspect of my mothering and it felt so good to have that affirmation... especially since one is a child psychologist! I think this is one battle I will just have to offer up to the Lord, knowing that I should use His love as the basis for all of my mothering.
6. I long for a union among Christians. My senior year in college I made the choice to become Catholic. It was an awesome decision and one that is affirmed daily. My choice, though, was very difficult for my family who are devout Evangelicals. I often wish for more opportunities to share with the world my understanding of the beauty of the Church to encourage greater understanding among denominations. Can't we just all get along?
7. (back to lighter things) I wish to run the Boston Marathon someday. I qualified for the race back in the fall of 2003, but never was able to run it. The qualifying time is good for two years of eligibility, but GG returned from his tour in Iraq the first year and Matthew was born the second. I will run it someday. I will.
8. I adore my parents. Some folks don't like their folks. I happen to love mine... all of them. :) My mom and dad are two amazing individuals. They raised my sister and me and did an excellent job (if I do say so!). My mom is beautiful woman with a beautiful, compassionate heart. I like to think my love of animals comes from her because she is very tender and loving. My dad is a gentle and loving man as well. He was extremely active in my life and made every effort to be involved in what I was doing, even serving as our spare player in neighborhood "SPUD" games. They are both wonderful individuals, who I look up to entirely. And now, Mimi/Mom G and Papa/Dad G are additional loves of mine. They are equally as loving, involved, energetic, and encouraging. They are so caring and generous; the best of people. Love ALL my parents. GG and I are so blessed.
And with that, my Meme is complete! I don't have many blogging friends who have yet to be tagged, but how about--Jessica, and "Mom" (from Six and the City). Have fun!
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
Mimi gushed over the grilled cheese I made for M last night. Apparently, un-burnt grilled cheese is a hard thing to come by in VA G-Ville. And while I allowed myself to enjoy the praise for a brief moment...
I then glanced over to her culinary masterpiece unfolding on the kitchen island. Umm, hello? Here Mimi was marvelling at my silly grilled cheese while mastering an incredible pork fried rice in the wok. I own a wok, but have never used it. Too intimidated.
And true to form, M rejected the grilled cheese (as he's been doing with just about any food these days... picky, picky, picky) as we all devoured the pork fried rice. Magnifico!
Thank you, dear Mimi, for humoring my humble culinary accomplishments. I need all the encouragement I can get! :) God bless you all today!!
Monday, June 4, 2007
A Latenight Confession
It has been so fun to track the blog's traffic and know a little bit more about who's visiting.
So far, today has had the most visitors yet: 77!!
How incredible and humbling. THANK YOU for giving me the time of day!
According to Papa, I'm "blogalicious". Love it. :) Have a blessed sleep...
He awakens in the morning talking about Thomas and friends. Then, he races downstairs in order to eat breakfast while listening to 3 Thomas stories on CD (over and over again). I know them by heart and have the accents down pretty good now after listening to them err... 100+ times. I'm not exaggerating. He's obsessed.
After-breakfast play includes bringing Thomas, Annie, "Groubell" (for Clarabel, who is there in spirit because M doesn't own her yet but still talks about her as if she's present), "Spchencher" (for Spencer), Bertie, and "Toobee" (for Toby) down from upstairs for fun. The select engines get to roll around on the downstairs couch, which allows for new adventures, tunnels (the couch pillows), etc. It's all completely fascinating... for a 2-year-old.
Afternoons are full of trains, Thomas stories, Thomas coloring books, Thomas shows, and more Thomas CD tales. Frankly, we are Thomas'd-out by the end of the day.
But not M. He would sleep with the trains in his bed if we let him.
Quite an adorable obsession, if you ask me.
(much better than the Transformers and GI Joe from my era!)
Can anyone guess who the mystery train is in the picture? Only true Thomas buffs will know!