Monday, June 30, 2008

Mr. H’s Big Day

We had Mr. H baptized over the weekend. I was worried when we first arrived at church because he was a little fussy. We had to wake him to leave and I don’t think he was quite ready for the big event. Luckily he fell asleep in his godfather’s arms, and stayed asleep even through the water being poured on his head.

As with several of my kids, Mr. H shared his Baptism with his cousin. My sister-in-law also had a baby boy just about a month after I did. The boys looked so peaceful sleeping through the ceremony together.

My niece was only 4 months old when Mr. H was born. Then he was the youngest grandchild for exactly 32 days before #21 arrived. That’s right. There are twenty-one grandchildren on my husband’s side of the family…aged 13 and under. We were actually able to get a picture of all of them together at church on Saturday (with a daddy and a couple of uncles too).

I have written here before about how absolutely wonderful I think it is that my kids all have cousins to grow up with. I look forward watching this next group of kiddos and all the adventures they will have together.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Follow Up

I was able to spend the whole morning at the Power Lab VBS yesterday. I shot roughly 200 pictures of the kids and the fun activities. Now I have the difficult task of narrowing them down for the slideshow. We can’t have a 20 minute slideshow! I can’t write much since I have to weed through pictures, but you can click here to see a sample.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Power

It’s VBS week at our church again. This year’s theme is “Power Lab”. Think mad science laboratory. I am leading the music again this year, but that’s pretty much all I volunteered to do. The music portion of the program is only the first 20 minutes of the day, and then I can take the baby and go home. I was planning to have Banana with me as well, but she was recruited into the preschool class and is having a ball. It has been slightly unreal for me to have just one child for several hours during the day. I have to admit that I enjoy the quiet time, especially knowing that the kids are doing something that’s good for both their bodies and their souls.

Just like we learned at Vacation Bible School yesterday, I am thankful that I was able to volunteer again this year. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to handle it with the new baby. But the fact that my part is small made it possible (not to mention that Mr. H is such an angel). Our director was hoping that I would be able to put together a slideshow of the week to show to the kids on Friday. Since the Banana is now a student at the Power Lab VBS, I’m thinking I can spend some time snapping pictures tomorrow morning. In which case, I will likely have some pictures from VBS to post by the end of the week.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A Day in the Life

Dana from mamalogues had the wonderful idea to post pictures from various moments throughout her day. She issued an invitation for others to join in the fun, so I thought I take a few of my own photos. Some of them capture things I see or do on a daily basis, but that I pay little attention to as I go about my day. Take my disorganized organizer, for instance.

Like most moms, I ask the kids on a daily basis to pick up their things and put them where they belong. Most of the items they wish to keep “sacred” (i.e. away from their siblings) are put into their baskets on the shelf of this entryway organizer. I walk by this area everyday but remain in denial of its haphazard appearance. Whenever I do become aware of how overstuffed this fixture has become I tell myself, “The kids need to clean out their baskets!” However, like most of my Summer To-Do List, it just hasn’t happened yet.

Some of the photos represent peaceful moments to me. There is one of the cat relaxing in the afternoon sun that makes me want to take a nap. Though I can’t exactly explain why, this one of my kitchen windowsill is unusually soothing as well.

Other photos illustrate things or places that are all MINE. Not to sound selfish or anything, but it is sometimes difficult to claim a space as your own in a house with six other people. I can currently claim the lovely green La-Z-Boy as part of my “Nursing Nook”. I have the incontrovertible right to kick anyone out of this chair if Mr. H is hungry. Another photo shows my laptop where I occasionally spend my “free time” throughout the day. And another shows the hanging flower baskets we have in the backyard. I hung them in April and they are still looking surprisingly good! It’s amazing what a little drink of water every day will do for a plant.

Enjoy the whole set by clicking here.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Day Camp

While Miss M was getting ready for Girl Scout Day Camp this morning I was feeling a little downhearted. I was really wishing I could be a part of it again this year. I was able to help out in her unit last year, and it was such a wonderful mother-daughter experience. My other kids were a part of the “Nursery Unit” at camp, but it was really just me and Miss M from 9:00 until 2:00 every day for a week. One-on-one time is hard to come by at our house lately, and camp would have been a good opportunity for just that.

Thankfully Miss M doesn’t seem discouraged by the fact that I won’t be at camp this year. She knows all of the leaders in her unit – one is her aunt and the other two are good family friends. It’s her fourth year going so she knows what to expect and how much fun it is at camp. We had everything ready to go this morning at least an hour before she was supposed to get picked up. I was excited for her, even if I was feeling bummed for myself. I watched her leave with a sigh.

Now it’s 85º outside and I’m sweating. I was only out there for a short time pushing Banana on the swing and watering the flowers, but I’m sweating. I have been trying to convince myself that 85º isn’t bad. It could easily be 95º, and it has been 95º at camp before. 85º should feel pleasant, but I’m still sweating. And, oddly enough, I don’t feel so downhearted anymore.

Friday, June 13, 2008

A Relaxing Summer?

“Have a relaxing summer!” said the kids’ teachers on the last day of school. I chuckled at the thought, knowing that relaxing just isn’t the way I would describe my summers. I purposefully signed the kids up for fewer things than last year, knowing that it would be difficult to get them back and forth with a tiny baby in tow. I had every intention of taking it easy this summer. However, the kids won’t have it that way. When Miss M went to sleep before the first day of summer vacation, she asked, “So, what are we doing tomorrow?” I responded, “Nothing…and that’s alright with me.” Unfortunately it wasn’t alright with her.

Did you know that my kids actually expect me to have something entertaining for them to do each and every day of the summer? They don’t realize the kind of pressure that puts on a mom. I agree that summer should be a fun time for the kids, but not at the expense of my sanity. I have been trying to come up with something, even something small, to satisfy them each day. And if you ask me, we’ve had a fun and eventful couple of weeks so far. Mostly our activities have been spontaneous things, like going to the park or going to a friend’s house. But starting this weekend there are loads of pre-planned activities on our calendar.

To illustrate…
Miss M has a softball game at 9:00. Big D and C.B. have a game at 10:45 nowhere near Miss M’s game. My husband coaches on both of these teams, so he will have to count on the other coaches to get the boys’ game started. We will be home with enough time to eat lunch before I have to leave for a singing gig with the band at 2:00. My other half has been asked to videotape our transferring pastor’s last Mass and farewell reception at our church starting at 3:45. The whole family will attend the farewell reception around 5:45 and we’ll probably get home just in time for bed. And that, my friends is tomorrow.

Next week Miss M has Girl Scout Day Camp, while Big D is signed up for Basketball Camp. The following week is Vacation Bible School for the three oldest kids, and I am one of the station leaders. We have a camping trip planned over the Fourth of July weekend, and another Vacation Bible School (at which I will not be working) the week after that. Miss M has a variety of Girl Scout Larks (day trips) scheduled during the month of July, and we have another camping trip planned for the first week in August. We will then have about two weeks to get our school supplies and our acts together for the first day of school on August 18.

When I put the summer into paragraph form, it seems impossible that we will be able to fit in a trip to the Zoo, the Botanical Gardens, the water park, or a weekend at the “Country House”. What about the programs at the Library or the free movies on weekday mornings at the theatre? Don’t forget about things like Father’s Day, ballgames and practices that will continue through the end of July, and a joint Baptism for Mr. H and my new nephew. Then we’ll need time for visiting with my brother-in-law who has just come back to the states from Iraq, and with my grandma from Texas who will also be here for a couple of weeks.

I’m fairly confident that we’ll fit it all in somehow. It won’t always be easy, but I am sure we’ll be able to look back in August and say we had a great summer. Relaxing? Maybe not. But it should be fun.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Memoir Mixup

My husband informed me that in my last post I wrote a six word description of myself, but not a memoir. I suppose I should have done some research before hitting that “publish” button. This, my friends, is why I am not a writer. Apparently a memoir is like an autobiography, which is even more difficult to sum up in six words than a personal description. A description can change with mood swings or the weather. It may or may not have been obvious that I wrote my original description in the midst of a typically busy day. An autobiography, on the other hand, should encompass my entire life. A life which is still in the making, I might add. However, since I don’t want to break any more rules than I already have, here goes…

Mother blessed by God with family.

These are my visual aids:

Memoir Meme

About a month ago, Monkey's Momma tagged me with a memoir meme. I am finally getting around to it. The rules are...

1. Write a six word memoir
2. Post it on your blog with a visual if you like
3. Link to the person who tagged you
4. Tag at least five more blogs with links
5. Leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play

I may be breaking the rules by using hyphenated words, but here's what I came up with for my six word memior:

Care-giving, Kid-driving, House-cleaning,
Lunch-making, Nap-taking Zookeeper

I am also breaking the rules by not tagging five more people (am I a rebel or what?) I feel like I have already seen this meme on many of the blogs I read. However, if you feel like participating, please consider yourself tagged!!

Eight Weeks Later

I can’t believe Mr. H is eight weeks old already! The time sure goes by quickly, but his increasing size is proof that he is not a tiny newborn anymore. He is starting to smile a lot more and make lots of sweet noises. He is taking notice of the toys that hang over his bed and will even grab things when they come close enough to his chubby little hands. Miss M became aware of this fact when he took hold of her hair this morning and wouldn’t let go.

Since my posts have been few and far between it must seem like I skipped six weeks of the baby’s life. I do have pictures of him, folks, it’s just that I don’t have them all on the computer like they should be. I am still behind on a lot of things like that, and I hope to remedy that soon. But I did want to get a shot of him at 8 weeks, trying to pose him like his big sister more than 10 years ago.

I thought this would be a fun comparison since so many people ask me if he looks like Miss M. What do you think?