Interior Design At It's Best

I couldn't stand hearing, "Mommmmm, GET PATRICK!!! He's wrecking our.....(fill in the blank)......!" anymore, so I constructed an extremely aesthetically pleasing barrier to divide the living room into two spaces. Sometimes sanity is more important than looks.


Total Andrew Gym


The first four minutes of Christmas morning.


Merry Christmas!


Christmas Eve

I love Christmas Eve. Since we've had kids, I have "called" this day to ourselves, and I LOVE that. I love the kids excitement, the anticipation....I want to be at home, with just us, in front of the tree and the fireplace.

We go to 4:00 (crowded) Mass, and then have a smorgasbord afterward. Each kid gets to pick their favorite dish and I make them all. Shrimp for Isaac, feta dip for Abbey, down the line...it's so fun and easy and something they all get excited about planning.

Then they plan out their morning...what time they wake up and whose room they meet in till they are allowed to come down. NO peeking. They usually are in Isaac's room and then at the top of the stairs, calling for us. Remember that feeling of not being able to fall asleep? You felt like you could just flip flop like a fish in your bed all night long? I don't think anyone forgets it!

Hope you have a peaceful, fun Christmas Eve!


Burying Your Head In the Sand (and/or Pine Needles)

As I was vacuuming up around the tree, I saw this little ornament fairy, turned upside down among the branches, just legs sticking out. Apparently she must have fallen off her higher designated branch and caught a couple on the way down. And there she perches. Oblivious to all that goes on, a little red in the face I suppose, but having the time of her life. Envious am I.


Pizza, Dancing and Furry Marshmallows

I agreed to let Abbey host a Christmas party as long as she planned the entire thing. I said, "Give me a list of things to get, and that's all I'm doing." She wrote out the invitations, planned an ornament exchange, a gingerbread "city", games, pizza and dancing. It was fun. And loud. And messy. Pre-teen girls are the best...really. They are all so sensitive to each other, and great friends. And really, still so young, but caught in the middle of all this pressure to grow up fast, which none of them want to do. Anyway, here are some highlights:

And the best for last:

Yes, that is a miniature marshmallow stuck in his fur from scrounging under the table. Look at his humiliated eyes. Embarrassment at it's worse. And in front of all those girls. Poor Sammy.

Something To Be Proud Of

Matt told us he is called the "Candy Cane Master" at school. Because he can suck a candy cane down to the sharpest point better and faster than anyone in his class. Hope this follows him throughout life. It will take him far.

Repercussions of Granola Gloat

What comes around goes around. I was feeling high and mighty every morning eating my homemade granola. And this is what you get for feeling high and mighty, and also for making homemade granola.
And don't you just love the face..."WHAT! What's wrong? What are you looking at? Stop staring!!!"


She's A Natural

Here's Abbey after her dance recital...she danced four numbers and did fabulous. We started her hair and makeup about an hour before she had to leave. I can handle the makeup, but I'm AWFUL at hair. Maybe because I had no Barbies when I was little? Who knows, but it turned out OK, in spite of using 24 or so bobby pins.

Tissues and Cake

Dear Patrick-
Happy Birthday Baby Boy!
This last year has flown.
Well, sometimes.
Sometimes it's gone really slow...lactose intolerance and summer break are a couple words that dragged it down to snail's pace.
Still, you are the most enjoyable creature on God's green earth. With you chubby soft skin, your big, bright blue eyes, the way you store food in your cheeks for hours anticipating famine, and that big boy toughness you have...
I've had constant radiating pain on the left side of my neck since you were born. The same side where you seem to like to sit your chubby little bottom in the crook of my arm and see the world from a higher angle. Coincidence, perhaps? Don't think so. I'll look on the bright side and say that besides that neck-ache, you've also given me some amazing deltoid muscles. Or deltoid muscle, singular. I'll take it either way.
I love the way a little chill of panic goes through your body when I catch you on the stairs. You already know you aren't supposed to be there, but that twinkle in your eye and the way you can't move fast enough, makes me laugh. Easily forgiven you will be, buddy. Take advantage of it...it will get you out of many a quandry.
It amazes me that, in a sea of 20 long-haired, pony-tailed 6th grade girls, you can scan the crowd quickly, like a little scud missile, and click right on your sister Abbey. Your face lights up and your arms start a-flappin'. Love that. Your second mommy. You've both learned a lot from each other.
When you watch the boys and Dad run and wrestle and have heated ping-pong tournaments, I can see the frustration in your eyes that your body won't do what your brain wants. You pick up that paddle and see great things happening. But they don't! What gives? A couple years and you'll be there too.
But let's not talk about that. I'm going to enjoy your second year as much as you are. Let's take it slow.
I love you, Paddy.


Favorite Thing Friday

No. 1 On Our Family Bestseller List:


Ode to Uncle Joe (Captain Uncle Joe that is)

To Uncle Joe from Matthew.
A little hero worship never hurts, right?


The Grass Is Always Greener

Waiting for the kids to come home from school.
Or just contemplating the easiest escape strategy.


St. Nick's Day Tomorrow!

My FAVORITE Christmas tradition. Putting out shoes by the door for St. Nick to come. Tonight...don't forget!
(And who doesn't want that friendly looking guy stopping by in the middle of the night anyways!)


My Favorite Baby Skill

Forget pincher grip, first steps, waving bye-bye, saying mama.
My favorite milestone..
He finally learned to turn around and come down the stairs backwards.
Sigh of relief!
(Of course, he still sits precariously on the edge of the top step, or attempts numerous other tricks, now that he believes he is the master of all staircases.)


Cute Fish

Andrew and Abbey made that fish themselves. I didn't even know they were busy with the popsicle sticks one Saturday afternoon. Andrew had the idea and Abbey just filled in some of the outline.
They kept calling me and saying, "Come look!" but I was busy with laundry.

I was thrilled!
I have been looking forever for the perfect piece of art to hang above the beds in their rooms and who knew it would be created right under my nose, after a $4.99 purchase at the craft store.


First Snow!

It snows before Thanksgiving and on Easter, but can't remember when we had a white Christmas last!


The Crawl Perfected

Why this is just the cutest picture ever to me...
Look how worn out his little slippers are already...like he's been walking miles.
And his big old blue bottom...love it!
And mostly because his head is down.
This is the serious, tuck in the chin, look at the floor, concentrate on the arms, and get there fast crawl.
Cracks me up.
Sometimes it backfires and he goes head over heels. Or heels over head I should say. But he's mastered it pretty well.
He usually only uses it to get to something really good, meaning -dangerous-...stairs, Lego pieces, fallen food scraps, doors open to outside...you get the picture.


Cooking School

Andrew has an August birthday and goes to Pre-K 1/2 day. He would love to go all day if he could...next year! We need to fill our afternoons with SOMETHING. And SOMETHING can be hard to think of. Our fall-back plan is baking...mostly cookies.



Raking Leaves


Nothing Like Setting Goals

Patrick has been eyeing Sammy's food and water dishes forever.
Finally go to them!


Opposites Attract

The boy who calls his Dad his TWIN.
He is so sweet.


The Cutest Ankle Weight


Come Follow Me...

Darn...all that work and the lid is on!


A Favorite Book

I love this book. It's not a best seller or an Oprah pick. Far from it. It's just this little book I came upon in the library one day. It's a perfect read for this political month of November, which also should invoke a feeling of gratitude and appreciation for all we have.


Mom Prom 2008

Thanks for taking me buddy!

Bad Boy Juice

Pop (or 'soda' depending on what part of the country you live in), has always been evil to me.

Everybody has their ONE thing, and this is mine. If anything is wrong with the world, I blame it all on pop. Overweight kids, acne, hair loss, wrinkles, plummeting stock market...it's because of this chemical, sugar-laden disaster. Really, I do think it has to be just about the WORST thing for you. Anyways....

Obviously I don't have it in my house. Occasionally, I will buy it as a special treat on pizza night. Sprite or root beer ONLY. No caffeine. We don't need extra energy here.

When my brother Andy was state-side recently he introduced us to a new term we LOVE.

Bad boy juice.

That's what he has called pop when, as a teenager, he overheard a mother saying to her child in the supermarket, "No, honey, we don't drink THAT! That's BAD BOY JUICE!"

Finally, someone who thinks like I do!
Disclaimer: I realize that quite a large portion of mothers across the country are addicted to Diet Bad Boy Juice. I will not judge and/or criticize your addiction....sometimes I think, in your cases, it might be called "Good Mommy Juice"? Sort of like my chocolate addiction, but in a drinkable format.