Weekend Visitors

Patrick's godparents, my brother Andy and sister-in-law, Rosemarie, stayed with us for the weekend, visiting from Ireland.

We had so much fun.

Every time they come I get the case of "I want to live a simpler life and runaway to another country" blues.

You can read about them here and see what they do here.


Now Hiring

Jobs I've had: (in no particular order):
  1. Pie Baker (oh, the burns I endured!)
  2. Strawberry U-Pick Worker
  3. Donut Counter Girl (the picky people! i could hardly stand it!)
  4. Cashier at Kroger's and Value City (only for a short time...awful!)
  5. Babysitter (tons)
  6. Nanny (full-time, part-time and live-in...and I have lots of stories to show for it!)
  7. Hostess at TGIFridays (yuck big-time!)
  8. Candy Counter Girl (FUN...and I met Jeff!)
  9. Dishwasher in cafeteria (met some scary, weird people)
  10. Busser at diner
  11. Merchandiser for Nestle
  12. Gap worker
  13. Victoria's Secret factory worker (misery!)
  14. Icecream scooper (FUN)
  15. Candy striper at nursing home (awful and sad)
  16. Beer/hotdog girl at golf course (too much fun!)
  17. Spyer (that's what I called it...it was to see if people are doing their job right.)
  18. Secretary at insurance company (SOOOO boring!)
  19. Day care worker (eye-opening and heart-breaking)
  20. Summer camp counselor (FUN)
  21. Owner of faux-painting business (FUN, but lots of stress)
  22. Regional manager for water testing company (first "real" job after college)

Almost all but 2 or 3 before I was 24 years old!

They all taught me something....even if it was just, "I will NEVER, EVER do THIS again."

The ones I'm most grateful for are the nanny/day-care worker jobs and the nursing home job. Those taught me a lot about the importance of taking care of your own...babies, kids, parents. They were really, really hard for lots of different reasons...but I wonder if I would have the knowledge I have now, without knowing firsthand....that's what I'm grateful for.
I see quite a pattern of working around sugar. Donuts, pies, ice cream, candy....hmmmm.


Lost and Found

If I find shoes around the house, they are bound to be Isaac's.

If I find notebooks around the house, they are bound to be Abbey's.

If I find nature around the house, it is bound to be Matthew's.

If I find socks around the house, they are bound to be Andrew's.

If I find spit-up around the house, it is bound to be Patrick's.

If I find anything half chewed around the house, it is bound to be Sammy's.

If I find old, useless newspapers around the house, they are bound to be Jeff's.


Baby Basting

Someone Is Happy


I have tried to put my thumb on what it is that makes me miss those times when my kids were all young so much. It was the "control" factor...the ability to keep the outside world OUT and my own family in a sweet little cocoon. Things were so much less complicated. My children were MINE and no one else's...I need not share them with school, friends, sports, etc... I had complete control over where they went, what they ate, when they went to bed. I miss those times so much, but remind myself often that at the age my older children are, my role as a parent has changed, and not so much in that "fun" way, but the really important way. Teaching them to make their OWN decisions about life, letting go of the control...that's the hard part but really the most essential obligation I have to these kids. I have entered into the "down and dirty" part of parenting. And at the same time, trying to savor the "sweet" part with the little ones. Is that maybe why I feel constantly weary in my brain and body?


A Living Room


Ol' Blue Eyes


Hurricane Ike + Cross Country Meet = A Long, Wet Saturday Morning

Abbey and Matt both finished 15th overall, 1rst for their teams (the same again!) in their separate races, and Andrew finished 147th in his (and really gave it his all-so cute!) The meet was at the hardest course in the schedule so they all did great.
It POURED the entire 4 hours. We were all soaked to our underwears! Thank God Jeff decided to stay home with the baby.


Already Knows His Place


My friend Jane made this beautiful sweater for Patrick. I have attempted to knit on a couple occasion's and have decided it's just impossible for me. I don't have what it takes. I'm short on patience, concentration and time. I'm all about quick results when I do a project and knitting is just too long term for me.
So that makes this gift all the more special.


Puppy Paws


8 (or 159) Is Our Lucky Number

Cross Country Results:

Our first meet of the year.

Abbey and Matt both finished first for their team, 8th overall. Which is excellent, because there is about 150 + kids running in their groups. I know Abbey had a mile time of about 6 minutes 20 seconds. I'm not sure of Matt's.

Andrew....now that's a whole different story. During practices, Jeff and I noticed that he was almost always in the back of his group, walking!, yapping away, with some of the older "helper" girls. We didn't have much hope that he'd even RUN the entire course come meet time.

Oh, he ran! Maybe I should call it a slow jog. OK, that's even pushing it.

Along the way, he made many new friends. His main intent and purpose, it seemed, was to recognize faces in the crowd, wave, and give high-5's to as many bystanders as he could. He had a blast, without really knowing why all these other kids were working up a sweat, trying so hard to beat each other.

A politician or famous Hollywood star.

Not a future long distance Olympian.

He came in 159th, out of about 163 or so, acquired a new fan base, and made lots of people laugh.

A goal worth running for.


Back-breaking Work

We got out the scale this morning and weighed Isaac's back pack. 30 pounds!!! More than 1/3 of his weight!


Happy Birthday Abbey!

I remember the day you were born...it was so hot outside. I spent the summer sitting in the pool with little Isaac playing by my side. You were the best pregnancy ever...I only gained about 20 pounds and felt terrific the whole time and most importantly, afterwards. I craved powdered donuts and grapes...isn't that weird?

I love you so much and don't know what I would do without you. I always thought that after Isaac was born that I just wanted boys. I never pictured myself being the mother of a girl. In the delivery room, the minute they yelled out, "It's a girl!" I cried and said, "I always wanted a girl so bad!" Your Dad looked at me like I was psycho.

You were the sweetest baby. I could tell in your eyes you were so smart and just wanted to jump out of that little baby skin and do everything your brain was telling you to do.

And now you are almost a teenager. And you are still smart and wonderful and I'm so glad you were born. You are the perfect daughter. I can't wait to see what you kind of incredible woman you become...actually, I can wait, because it's already gone so fast. I don't really have expectations of what paths you will choose in life. I trust your judgement so much already, I just want to sit back and watch. You are so talented at so many things and do everything with such precision and thoughtfulness, you have opportunities I can't even imagine.
I am really so proud of you Abbey. You are an inspiration to me with the way you love and forgive and draw and dance and care and have so much patience with all of us.