Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Cabin Fever

Because we just had to get out a little today and stretch our legs... we headed with our docent Mimi to the art museum to take in an awesome glass art exhibit by Chihuli.  I told the kids beforehand--if there was ever a show to enjoy, this would be it--and I was right!  They loved it!  I'm also happy to say, we did not knock over any of the pieces--whew! ;)

We started off viewing a video of how Chihuli makes each of his creations.  It was amazing to watch and see the skill and technique among the glass artisans.  They boys especially loved that Chihuli wears an eye patch, making him look very tough and pirate-y.  Seeing his work in person was pretty incredible.

This room was a perfect one for kids--all the art was ABOVE us behind glass, so all we had to do was look up!  

Amazing!  It looked like a coral reef (but on the ceiling:).

M loved the display behind us.  Each of the kids took turns listening to the audio tour and this was his favorite.

T's favorite was the piece with neon lights.
My fave were these huge glass bowls with the most brilliant colors (pictures are so fuzzy thanks to a no-flash policy!)

Afterward, we enjoyed a nice lunch by the waterfalls-- isn't our museum beautiful?
We were so fortunate to dodge most of Hurricane Sandy--we had rain and wind, but nothing like what our northern friends endured.   We send our love and prayers to you all!!

With love from Virginia,

Monday, October 29, 2012

Top of the morning

It is wet and ominous-looking outside right now.  We are still waiting for Hurricane Sandy to show up on our doorstep.  She has offered a few alarming gusts, but as of right now there is nothing more to report.  Predictions say today at 4pm will be when our real fun begins...

The kids are off school today and are loving it.  M is going around our home right now with the video camera, making a home video of everything from the fridge contents to the glitter on the counter to his sweet baby sister and her lovie.  lol  My parents will recall a video produced by yours truly back in the day when I showed the audience our silverware drawer. ;)  Like mother, like son.

Our hard-working, faithful GG headed into work this morning, despite having the excuse of staying home.  It is for the best--he can concentrate there and get some things done before returning later to our happy (loud and eventful) home. :)
Nothing like starting the day off right with a light saber battle. 
The boys did a family room camp-out last night and *loved* lying there, giggling, and trying out their new flashlights.  Didn't I tell you we have trouble keeping those things in working order?  We get so excited about them during uneventful times that they're tapped when emergency hits! ;)  They awoke this morning full of life, immediately engaging in a Star Wars battle.  If only to have their energy!  Baby G did sleep a full night last night, though, so I am at least well rested and ready to take on the exuberance.

Yesterday was a fun, relaxing day indoors.  GG was pumpkin carver extraordinaire, setting up our tarp in the family room and getting to work...  Who knows what Halloween will look like on Wednesday, but at least have we have carved pumpkins!

Yes, those are Easter eggs in the background.   We are holiday-challenged around here. :)

I will report back in with more updates as we have them... and as we are able.  Prayers for all of our friends and loved ones up the east coast, especially our NJ peeps!

Signing off,

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Time Warp

Then: Baby G woke up around 11pm with a horrible sounding cough and difficulty breathing.  Off to the ER we went--I felt completely overwhelmed managing the situation at home.  I was also not going to be taking any chances since she had RSV at 1 month.  We needed help!  Thankfully she tested negative for RSV, was irrigated and suctioned with a fancy machine that got out all the goop in her nose, and was given a steroid to open her airways.  We were in and out in under 2 hours and she was back home and sleeping restfully soon after.  By her feeding at 4am, she was breathing SO much better.  I'm so glad we went.  Thank you, Lord.

Now: M, GG, and I returned a little while ago from his morning First Reconciliation retreat at our church.  It was very nice, but the parents didn't spend much time with the kids which I found to be a bummer.  M gave it a thumbs-up and recited the story of The Prodigal Son on our way home.  Good stuff!  The girls were here all morning with a sitter and baby G officially doesn't take a bottle.  Good to know.  J and T both had soccer games, shuttled around by Papa.  We are now getting projects done outside to be ready for the storm.  I did a slew of raking and pruning yesterday and GG and I just bagged all the debris--4 huge bags worth.  Feels good!  We are gassing up the cars and finishing mowing the lawn...  Lots of prep work!

Tomorrow: We'll see how this storm plays out.  Right now our plan is to head to Mass at 9am and see where things take us after that.  We have nothing else on the schedule, so hopefully we won't go stir crazy and can have some nice family time... until the power goes out. ;)  I bought us new flashlights last night, so at least we won't be in the dark!  haha

God bless,

Friday, October 26, 2012

Snuggling Up

I am writing this during our pizza and movie night... shhh, don't tell them I'm here! ;)

The latest in our world is that the impending "Frankenstorm" is starting to become more and more of a legitimate threat to us.  It's not that the meteorologists have changed their tune, but we've just started taking them more seriously!  I am off to the store tonight to buy groceries (how is it that I shop every week and we run out of food so expeditiously?!), flashlights (anyone with small children have trouble keep these things up and running like we do??), and D batteries (for our two camping lanterns).  They are saying this is going to be the most destructive storm in 20+ years.  Ahh!  Time to get prepared...

Tonight we've had a little drama-- T lost his balance and fell and crashed into our child's piano.  After he was lying on the floor and crying, but then got up and began walking toward me while holding his head.   At one point, he removed his hand and saw a good bit of blood!  "I'm going to die," were the first words out of his mouth, poor thing. :)  We cleaned things up and he has a 2cm cut (thank goodness it was so small) that stopped bleeding immediately.  We are going to keep an eye on it and are hoping to avoid stitches.

To add to the drama, in the midst of all of this a certain child of mine... ahem... who knows better... ahem... began whining about our pending movie and dinner and his personal hunger... ahem... and that's when I lost it.  This was such a bummer because we all handled the bloody drama so well, just not the personal drama.  I called GG to warn him that he was about to walk into a war zone--a child crying and bloody, another crying and in time-out for selfishness, a baby crying and needing to be put to bed.

Thankfully, I'm glad to report that the wound has been tended to, the time-out accomplished, and the baby is currently in bed.  She has a horrendous cold, so in the recesses of my brain I'm already thinking of our nebulizer and how it runs on power and how we might lose power due to the storm...  This is how the mind of a worry wart works!  From one thing to the next.  Breathe... peace... breathe.  I'm hoping she can rest well tonight and begin healing.

Just keepin' it real tonight over here in G-Ville...  :)
Snuggle up and have a blessed one.
God bless,

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Laundry Lovin'

I sat outside the big boys' room tonight folding the two loads of laundry that lay scattered in the hall.  It was the last thing I wanted to be doing with my time, especially with a lengthy to-do list and dinner dishes still in disarray.  I was in no better mood when M peeked his head out the bedroom door.  "Hi Mommy.  I'm sorry you have to do all this work.  Someday I'm going to be able to really help you with it.  Will you help me fold the socks?"  Blessed child with brilliant bedtime stalling tactics.  I was delightfully lured by his sweetness.

 Soon T emerged and sat down with us.  "Mommy, help me learn to fold shirts."  I instructed the boys how to pick up the shirt by the shoulders, fold it in half, gather the sleeves, fold them in, and finish with a half fold.  T went right to work--"Mommy, folding laundry is fun."  He is like his brother--genius bedtime procrastinator--but you know I loved every minute of it.

 The three of us sat folding for a little bit before I gently reminded them it was important for them to rest.  I then got two of the sweetest hugs and "I love you's" before they scampered off to bed.

 Love in a laundry pile.  God makes even the mundane something beautiful.  Thank you, Lord.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Golden Shoe: Part II

Today M's school day started off with a bang--racing for the Golden Shoe at 8:05am during gym class!  Here they were getting instructions and then warming up.  M seemed relaxed and at ease amidst his classmates.  Mimi commented the other day about how happy he has seemed lately.  I can't help but think his awesome teacher and great class have something to do with that...  It is a nice bunch of kids and we hear wonderful wonderful things about his teacher.  She is very warm and loving, which is perfect for our big man!
 Before we knew it, they were off!  M started out much slower than in past years--I think he was taking my pacing advice to heart. ;)  I hate being "that mom" when it comes to running, but I have to really fight against all intuition!  It is difficult to suppress!  Here he is finishing lap 2...
 And then lap 3 below--you can see how spread out the group became.  I was so proud of the way M kept muscling through each lap and didn't slow his pace.  It is interesting to note that this year in comparison to others he was not super competitive, which came as a complete surprise to me.  Usually it doesn't take much to get those juices flowing for him, but then again, maybe this is the sign of maturity on that front.  He's chilling out a bit, perhaps??

I do love his zest and enthusiasm.  I hope he never loses it.  But I also hope time and experience help him learn how to channel that spirit.  Right now it seems the best motivation for M to compete hard is to put a soccer ball in front of his feet!
 And here is our happy man after the race, all smiles thanks to a great job.  He was the fifth boy in his class... and completed 5 laps.  Wonderful job, buddy!

We watched and cheered our big man and then high-tailed it home to head to MG's last music class.  These were the free classes I mentioned before and *boy* were we lucky to have this experience.  Suffice it to say, she had a total ball and took to the music and responses right away.  I think we're going to sign up for a Christmas class coming up...  How could I deny her such fun?
Later on the homefront, I decided to make a batch of my mom's homemade chicken noodle soup...

And thankfully, I had some sweet little helpers.  Butter knives do wonders with celery--who knew?!  It is a Montessori teaching gem and perfect for little hands...

Don't you love the football on the butcher block?  Minutes later, this was the scene...
Gotta love boys!
To wrap up our crazy, fun-filled day, the stars aligned perfectly to allow us to head to my moms' club annual Trunk or Treat event.  The kids had a great time and enjoyed the early reveal of their costumes.  MG's is changing thanks to a last-minute request she made yesterday.  We were going to go with an all-family Star Wars theme, but the little miss asked to be a butterfly.  It was too cute to resist!  Thanks to eBay, she and little lady-bug sister will be decked out as an adorable duo.  Today she succumbed to an old bee costume...
Here she is with sweet friend, D.  MG talks about D incessantly-- everything is "like D".
Here's Obi Wan... I mean, J, showing us his cool treat bag!  We're definitely going to need a bigger one for "the big day".
My cute crew:
In addition to trick-or-treating around to people's car trunks, the kids had other yummy treats, drinks, fruit, and a host of fun activities.  The boys even paused for a moment to create macaroni necklaces.  Such a fun time...

And with that, I leave you and am off to go make sense of my house!  Somehow clothes have exploded in piles everywhere (how is it that I seem to be in this predicament every week?)  My mom says I need a laundress and I'm starting to believe her! ;)

God bless,

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

In Pursuit of the Golden Shoe...

It is "Success Week" at the boys' elementary school this week, which really means one thing in G-Ville: the coveted Golden Shoe Award is up for grabs.  Every year, each class runs for 6 minutes to see who can log the highest average yards.  Each grade level then awards the class Golden Shoe prize (a spray-painted old running shoe trophy--lol).  The parents also have a chance to get involved by pledging x # of canned goods for every lap their child runs.  The school collects the cans and gives a sizable donation to a local charity.  Pretty neat.

Today it was T's kindergarten class' turn to make a go at 6 minutes.  T was very thoughtful about it all beforehand, proclaiming several times that he wasn't going to race.  I could tell he was getting a little "heady" about it all, so we kept reassuring him that it was just for fun.  This morning during breakfast, he asked to talk with me privately and said, "Mom, I haven't seen the Golden Shoe award.  What happens to people who come in last?"  We talked more about the prize and how it was awarded to the highest class not individual.  I reassured him they don't even mention last place.  Within seconds his demeanor changed and I could tell he felt better.  So much so, upon leaving the room he said, "I'm going to win."  Nice change from not running at all, lol. :)

So later this morning, the girls and I ventured down to school to help out and cheer on the kids running.  T's class ended up racing with another kindergarten group, so there were a slew of kids on the track.  I brought my camera, but was so caught up in the event, I forgot to take photos!  Bummer!!  It would have been nice to capture our T out there, trying so hard and leading from the start.  He fended off another boy the entire race, let the boy pass him with 30 seconds to go, and then sprinted past as the final bell sounded.  Success!!  It was a proud mommy moment, but I'll tell you, watching him and the other boy congratulate each other and talk about how they both won, that made me even prouder.

All the kids did so well and not one walked--pretty impressive for little kindergartners!  We stuck around afterward to enjoy lunch with T and a friend.  So sweet and so innocent, they are.  In the scope of our G-Ville world, T is one of our "big" boys, but looking at him with the backdrop of school, I am reminded how truly little he is.  We still have a lot of growing to do...  One step at a time.

Tomorrow is M's class' turn at the Golden Shoe.
We'll be back with a full report and pictures (I hope).

God bless,

Monday, October 22, 2012

Welcome to the Crazy House

Yesterday afternoon, the doorbell rang twice and so we assumed it was one of the neighbor kids coming to play.  The family butler, J, went running and we allowed him to answer the door while we sat chatting in the living room out of sight.  A few minutes later, GG stood up and noticed the front door was still open.  There on the porch stood our roofing guy, who had come to do a house repair and had been standing there awkwardly for several minutes, waiting for someone to help him.  J was off playing upstairs.


The roofing guy did his work and later returned to give GG the bill and collect his check.  This time T answered the door dressed as Darth Vader (his Halloween costume) with a naked J hiding in the room beside.  Thankfully GG was nearby to take over, but had to stifle laughter in the process.


Welcome to the crazy house, Mr. Roofer. :)
This is a day's work you won't forget.

God bless,

Sunday, October 21, 2012

What's Cookin'?

If you're a resident in G-Ville, tonight's dinner is a yummy one as a Sunday dinner should be.  I have visions of future of Sunday dinners here having great meaning.   I hope it will be a way to bring together our family, nourish our bodies and souls with good food, and start our weeks right.

I got my inspiration from this wonderful book...

It is truly a heartfelt cookbook masterpiece, put together by dear friends of ours from Notre Dame.  I cook from it often and every time I am reminded of the incredible community we had while GG was in law school and the wonderful, wonderful friends we made during our time there.  Thanks Lobato Clan!

On tonight's menu is delicious chicken marsala.  Just looking at it makes me salivate... :)

We'll serve it over the noodles with a spinach salad on the side.  Yum!  Even the kids enjoy it!

And speaking of cherubs, cooking dinner is made immensely more fun with company...

Especially when her sweet smiles are handed out so generously.  Thanks, sweet one. :)

God bless you and yours on this Lord's Day.
Be well,

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Off to a great start...

1 pepperoni pizza
1 bag of kettle corn (Costco-sized and we still ate it all!)
1 Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie for Friday night movie night (GG and I cracked up the whole time--M hid for a lot bc of the the pretty girl, lol! ;)
1 lazy Saturday morning
3 soccer games and 8 goals later (5 for J, 2 for T, and 1 for M--woo hoo!)
1 awesome Skype session with our Uncle C and his girl
1 complete mowed yard (props to GG)
1 Notre Dame win over BYU (Go Irish!!!)
umpteen living room football games between the boys
1 yummy dinner together as a family
3 ice cream sundaes for the boys with Daddy
2 baby girls bathed, jammied, and snuggled
2 boy haircuts (1 to go tomorrow)
3 boy showers
3 boys (finally) in bed
a wonderful weekend start
and 2 tired parents, who will be lucky to make it to 10pm without zonking!

It's been a wonderful day, thanks be to God.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Morning Glory

If you were to stop by G-Ville on any given morning, you'd probably see a sight like this...

Every morning when J leaves for preschool with Papa, MG and I head out to the front porch to wave goodbye and holler good-day farewells.  It is a little ritual we've fashioned over the years, with different children on the stoop.  Before MG it was J and me and before that, T and me.  In between, we've had various combinations of T, J, and MG, with an occasional appearance by Baby G if she's heading in for a later morning nap.  It is sweet and simple and we love it.

And don't forget this guy.  We always prop open the door, so he can breathe the fresh morning air and be part of the fun.  He's such a good boy and never bolts, just stands there and sniffs and smiles (so we like to say).  Good boy.

This morning is a more peaceful one around here after what has felt like a slammin' week.  I am grateful for the chance to pause and breathe, myself.  We've already had some special graces this morning-- GG found his lost wallet!  I hadn't told you, but its been missing since Tuesday.  After putting holds on everything and calling various places where the wallet might have been, we looked at each other this morning and decided we were going to scour the car, one last time.  Not even 3 minutes in, he called out triumphantly, raising the wallet into the air.  Found!  Praise God!  It must have slid out of a bag, across the seat, and fallen in the cranny between the seat and the side of the car.  All we know is its here and we'll have no more wallet shenanigans!!

Other blessings this morning include an early morning thunderstorm, kids waking in good spirits, ready to conquer the Friday... also, the fact that its Friday.  We rejoice in the thought of a calmer weekend ahead--we are learning that downtime is even more important these days.  This weekend promises lots of it.  Thanks be to God.

Blessings to you on this TGIF,

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Late Night Musings

It is past midnight here in G-Ville and I am up.  Or shall I say, I've already been to bed and now am up.  Top of the morning to ya! ;)

On an occasional night, GG and I will snuggle with the boys at bedtime.  Tonight I did 2 minutes with M and 2 minutes with T.  Three hours later, I emerged to find that GG had laid down with J and never woke up either!  Aren't we a pair? :)  If there's one thing that's true these days, it's that mom and dad are BUSHED by bedtime.  Every last bit of energy has been used up and we are tired, folks.  We even had hopes of doing some prayer tonight and watching the debate after, but I guess sleep was more important!!

At midnight the baby woke up (she's been keeping some unusual hours lately--teething? growing?) and I fed her.  Afterward, I couldn't deny my kitchen any longer.  It was a total wreck.  Dishes were still to be done from two nights ago to more accurately describe our predicament.  No matter what I did today, I just never got around to the kitchen sink.  But tonight I did.  I shuffled down there and got to work and now you should see it--it is sparkling and there is hope of our survival tomorrow!  Whew!

Besides that, I don't have anything terribly thoughtful or cute to write at this hour, so I will instead entertain you for one last minute with some pictures I took last week of our minivan, Big Blue.  It was overdue for a cleaning...
I wish I could say my children don't eat in the car, but they do all the time.
It saves us on many occasions, but here is the consequence!!

A dustpan and hand broom did an amazingly excellent job at removing the filth.  Sigh... nothing like a clean vehicle to make a mama feel a little more put together.

So there you have it, friends.
Sleep tight and God bless!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Pumpkin Patch 2012

We had a grand time at our traditional pumpkin patch run yesterday. We always meet up with one of GG's high school buddies and his family, which makes pumpkin day all the more special!  And every year we swear we're going to get together more... we hope that's true this year!  They're a great family!
It was a bright, sunny day, temps in the upper 60's.  Perfect! 
We started at the water pumps, where the kids race floating ducks.

Then we headed over to the corn bins, perfect for even the smallest of G's!
The boys began with a master plan to cover themselves with corn and surprise our friends when they arrived...
J just wanted to play!
MG found special "blue ones".
The outcome was pretty funny.  M stayed like this for several minutes, trying not to move.
Son and Daddy mastermind!
Here's the annual family pumpkin shot--fussy baby, squinty eyes, forbidden binky in mouth, and all!

Our friends' photo turned out much better!  Don't they look great?!
We finally made it to the field.
And chose our favorites...

And more.  Thankfully we were able to pare down the choices to 5 pumpkins--1 per kid!  T had a hard time leaving some behind--"Mom, they're all so cute."  

And when all was said and done, we were bushed!

Lilypie First Birthday tickers