Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Ladybug, Ladybug

"Eighteen little ladybugs sitting in a box
One found an escape route
And then there were six!

Ladybug, ladybug happy all day.
Ladybug, ladybug fly, fly away!"

Yes, I know it doesn't quite rhyme, but hey! Life is always interesting around here - and I only have three children! Of course after last week (nursing strike, broken bottle of pink nail polish on kitchen tile and brand new Matt Maher CD swallowed by CD player) I thought it couldn't get too much more fun around here! I was wrong.

Yesterday Jacob and I hunted ladybugs on our Silver Maple in the backyard. There were bunches of them. Jacob was really loving catching the critters an stashing them in a little plastic jar I gave him with air holes in the top. By this morning our 15 ladybugs were still alive and well. I decided they would be happier if we transferred them to our other bug box that has more space and more air holes.

While I put Andrew and Nicole down for naps this afternoon, Jacob caught three more and we put them in with the others. Later this afternoon while the kids were watching a little bit of Dora, I decided to check on our buggy buddies. At first glance they all seemed to be hiding in the upper portions of the bug keeper. At second, much more careful glance, I realized that they were not hiding the box. There just weren't many bugs in the box at all. Very slowly my mind began to put together all the clues and I looked cautiously around the room. One brave bug had found an escape route through the green mesh and her friends followed. Now, I like ladybugs, but the thought of 10 or more of them loose in my house just wasn't a happy thought. I began my search. One on the chair. One on the rug. Two in the artificial vine above the door. And quite a few plastered to the windows of the back door leading OUT! As Dora played on, I caught bugs here and there and decided to relocate them outside. I recounted. I think there are still a few MIAs. I think it's time for a new bug box!

Sorting the mail


Yesterday I had some mail to go through. On my kitchen desk since last Monday were 6 different sealed, stamped envelopes. The problem, you say? These SEALED, STAMPED envelopes had no names and addresses on the outside. :) Last Monday, as I was beginning to struggle with Andrew and the beginnings of his nursing strike, Jacob was alone downstairs creating Easter cards. I knew he was doing this because he had come upstairs during my trauma to ask if he had spelled "peep, peep" correctly. So when I descended 45 minutes later, after getting Andrew to sleep, he met me at the bottom of the stairs with envelopes in hand. "Look Mommy! I made Easter cards for all my friends. We need to mail them." I took the blank envelopes from his hands and discovered they were STAMPED and SEALED.

Mommy: Jacob, do you remember who these are for?

Jacob: Well, I know I made ones for ......

Mommy: Do you remember whose is whose?????

Jacob: No, not really. (big smile as he zooms off to the other room)

So, mommy is left with the task of figuring out how best to NOT waste these SEALED STAMPED envelopes. Now that things are a little more quiet around here, I had time yesterday to open each envelope, decipher Jacob's messages, tape the envelopes closed, and address each one. When Jacob woke up, I received a big hug and then he got himself ready to head to the mailbox.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Getting back to normal

Well, it's a lovely, warm Saturday afternoon and things around here are slowly getting pretty normal again. I think we have survived the nursing strike and aren't too worse for the wear. Andrew still shows some signs of residual resistance to nursing, but even so he has not refused to nurse any of the times it's been offered since he began again. It is such a wonderful thing to have my baby back! I missed him so! I know one day we will be done with this part of our mommy-baby relationship, but hopefully that will be a much more gradual and cheerful goodbye. He is also feeling much better and pretty much back to acting like his old self - lots of silly noises and scrunchy smiles. He is working so hard at pulling up and standing - it must wear him out.

I think I am getting over my fears of being rejected and of doing too much for fear something will trigger him back into the nursing strike. It was such a difficult time - I just don't want to go there again any time in the near future. I pray every time I settle down to feed Andrew and then hold by breath, trying to relax. I guess things just take some time.

The children have spent a lot of time outside yesterday and today hunting doodle bugs, worms, slugs and toads with their neighbor friends a couple of doors down. What fun to hear the squeals of delight echoing down the street as they unearth another treasure. I love that they love being outside - it so good for them.

Tomorrow is a special day. My nephew will be making his First Holy Communion. We are all looking forward to it! As I thought about it today, I realized that the next member of our extended family to receive the Sacrament will be my VERY OWN SON!!!!!!! It cannot be that Jacob will be preparing for this special occasion in 2 short years. It just doesn't seem possible. Oh my, how they do grow fast.

Tonight we are grilling hamburgers - yum yum! I even remembered to buy the necessary beef for said hamburgers. Actually I remembered the beef after I got out to the car and unloaded all the rest of the groceries, including a fresh carton of Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla. I am eternally grateful that my Guardian Angel saw fit to come to my aid BEFORE I got in the car and got all the way home. Burgers just aren't quite the same without the BEEF!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


What a guy! Posted by Picasa

As I mentioned, the days following Easter proved to be anything but glorious. Monday morning at 11:15 am, sweet little Andrew decided to go on strike - a nursing strike. Now I have weathered 2 previous strikes, one with Jacob and one with Nicole, but this one has proven to be the most difficult of all. I can say this now as we come out of the dark woods and into the glorious sunshine of nursing again. He finally decided Tuesday afternoon to give in and since then he has nursed each time it has been offered. I can tell it is not all roses yet - the relationship is not quite back to normal, but I see GREAT progress and recovery and I have HOPE! I am not sure what brought it on. He had been feverish off and on since Saturday night, but with no other noticeable symptoms. We even took him to the Dr. on Monday afternoon - no luck! Quite a mystery in some ways and maybe I will never fully understand how it all transpired.

I have had much time to think and worry and I am tired. It is a very distressing thing to not be able to provide the nourishment and comfort your child needs and, despite his obvious rejection, desires. Of the three strikes, this one was the most drastic and his rejections were quite violent. Lots of back arching, head rearing, arm flailing and screaming. He is getting more and more back to normal, but I am still nervous and apprehensive as I sit down to nurse each time. I don't want to do this again. I don't want to chance him being pushed away again. Slowly I am recovering too.

I have always known that I love breastfeeding. It is a wonderful, glorious, beautiful relationship. I have always treasured it and valued it. Even so, you don't know how much you love it till it's gone. With every nursing since the strike has been over, I have been singing praises and thanks to God in my heart. I will treasure it anew! May God bless my efforts and calm Andrew's anxiousness. Bring us a new beginning to this precious time we share. The lyrics to this hymn have been in my head:

"Come back to me with all your heart.
Don't let fear keep us apart.
Long have I waited for your coming home
to me and living deeply our new life."

May it be so.

Today has been much more joyful. Andrew has been really working on his pulling up and standing. As you can see he is doing well and really enjoying his abilities. Maybe this new found independence is partly to blame for his strike. Even so, it is fun to watch him master new things. He has also been throwing ball, Easter eggs, etc. into buckets and baskets - what fun!

We are recovering and life is slowly getting back to normal - if there ever was such a thing! :)

Little Explorer Posted by Picasa

Easter 2006!

Happy Easter! Posted by Picasa

Easter morning was beautiful and even though the day was not without some difficulties, it proved to be a nice one. The weather was perfect and the older two really enjoyed their Easter egg hunts. We even got real seats at Mass (even though it was the hall and not in the Church). Andrew was a little sick, but little did we know that the next days would be as difficult as the turned out to be (more on that above). Nevertheless, Christ has risen and that gives me hope! God bless you as we continue to celebrate this Easter season.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Holy Thursday

Today marks the beginning of the Easter Triduum. This is one of my favorite times of the Liturgical Year. It's solemnity and beauty is without compare. I enjoy the little things that make each liturgy throughout these days so meaningful. I think I said in my post "49 things about me" that I love being Cahtolic. Well, I say it again - it is a beautiful wonderful thing. Someone I spoke with this evening found out that Brian and Jacob were attending Holy Thursday Mass and she asked where I go to Church. I told her the name of my parish and she responded with, "That's really neat. My denomination - we don't have anything. Just Easter." Of course Easter is the high point of these holy days and oh, so wonderful. But I can't help but think that Easter is so much more when I have journeyed with Jesus through His Last Supper and agony in the Garden on Holy Thursday, His Passion and Death on Good Friday, and the quiet time of waiting on Saturday. Then Easter is a great culmination!

Thank you, Jesus, for washing my feet so that I might serve others with that same selflessness.

Thank you, Jesus, for your Precious Body and Blood that I might someday enjoy eternal life.

Thank you, Jesus, for the Holy Priesthood and all the men who so generously answer Your call in their lives.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The Adventure Begins!

Andrew has entered a new realm of babyhood - that of what's above 1 foot off the ground. And oh, how exciting it is! Especially when your big brother and sister tantalize you with glittery princess jewelry and revving toy car engines.

Some have commented, "Oh, things are about to change." Yes they are. Others have mused, "You're in for it now!" I guess I am (as are Jacob and Nicole). But, in truth, I am thrilled and excited by it! It is a wonderful thing to watch this little person accomplish something new and enjoy it with such big toothy grins. I am thoroughly overjoyed to experience this all for a third time! How much fun it is. I am in for it, I guess - lots of fun! And maybe a few gates!

Thiis sooooooo hard, but oh, so worth it! Posted by Picasa

Got it! Posted by Picasa

Who? Me? Posted by Picasa

Wow, cool - a dishwasher thingy. Posted by Picasa

Ooooooh, even higher! Posted by Picasa

Wow - time for a gate I think! Posted by Picasa

Monday, April 10, 2006

Laundry Helpers

Today was a day to accomplish some laundry - so WE did. I had planned to get down earlier than normal for breakfast, but that didn't happen. Anyway, Nicole likes to help, so I set her about the job of putting the dirty towels in the washer. Done. She was so proud of herself. After breakfast I go them both busy putting towels in the dryer. Way too much fun! They had lots of laughs doing this. Jacob stood on a chair and pitched the wet towels out of the washer to Nicole, who then put them in the dryer. As you can imagine towels were landing everywhere. On the floor, on the dryer top, on Nicole's head, but boy were they enjoying it. You see, for me, this is difficult to accept. Much too often I am all business and "get the job done." It is against my natural inclinations to allow this kind of frolicking with wet laundry while there's a job to be done. I squelched this desire to fuss and reorganize their efforts. Along the way, I learned that they had managed to have bunches of fun together (without arguing, I might add) and they got the job done! What a concept! Well, I am feeling good about this. So I think up the next job to be done - sorting laundry! I am beginning to like not doing these things myself. :) I sent the two of them upstairs to sort the dirty clothes into kids vs. parents with permission to toss all the kids' laundry over the upstairs ledge and to the bottom floor. Oh, the excitement! The did a fantastic job. All I had to do was walk between the laundry room and the bottom of the stairs (not too far) to collect and then spray the laundry. Andrew, who was finishing breakfast, was quite amused by the falling laundry, especially when it hit Mommy on the head. What fun - even for me! The kids were eager to finish loading the washer and start it all up! I think I like this!

Lesson learned today: Loosen up mom! And let them do the laundry!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

A little treat at the end. Posted by Picasa

Jacob and Nicole's absolute favorite today - the Wrinkled Hornbill Posted by Picasa

The prarie dogs themselves. Posted by Picasa

This bear was so funny - he just kept scratching his tummy! Posted by Picasa

The brand new baby giraffe, Posted by Picasa

Zoo Day!

Well, the zoo day could not have been more perfect, other than Daddy couldn't be with us. The weather was super! There were lots of school kids there, but it never felt cramped or crowded at all. The children were all happy and cheerful. Andrew did well. We saw much of what we wanted to see.

Brian's parents accompanied us on the excursion and we had lots of fun together. Everyone agrees that Gamma probably had the most fun of all! After all, it's been 25 years since her last visit. :) At the end of our visit I bought the kidos a vanilla ice cream cup to share and then the BIG TREAT .......... Gamma and Pappa took them to the (drum roll, please) the GIFT SHOP!!!!!! What a treat. I am not sure they really understood what was inside those doors, but I believe it all sunk as the passed through the sliding glass doors of this zoo memorabilia mecca. WOW! (You see mean old Mommy and Daddy have never taken them in there.) Special souvenirs were painstakingly chosen, but only after Nicole hugged and loved on most every stuffed animal in the place. She has her mommy's stuffed animal attraction, but she and I prefer to call them friends.

Jacob had a good time reading some things around him and recording the names of some of the animals we saw in his nature notebook. He wrote each name on an outline map of some of the continents that we had attached to his notebook. He really liked that!!

After a day of walking and walking and walking and having more fun than we can stand, we are all a bit tired and our feet are weary. Thank God for all the amazing animals you created and for the opportunity for us to enjoy them close to home.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The Zoo - Literally!!!!

The zoo - literally. Posted by Picasa

Well, we have spent yesterday and today preparing for our trip to the zoo tomorrow. We have read lots of books on the zoo. Created maps of a zoo with Mommy's zoo rubber stamps. Printed off maps to the Houston Zoo and located all the things we want to see. Printed off outline maps of continents for Jacob to do a little geography study tomorrow. And today, we constructed a zoo on the kitchen table (see above). We had to eat lunch elsewhere (and maybe dinner too) since our table is full of zoo. Mommy promised we could keep it up the rest of the day.

It looks like the weather wil stay nice and I pray the children have an enjoyable time.

It's twins!!!!!

#2 Posted by Picasa

It's twins!!!!!

Well, we are happy to announce the newest addition to the Harrington family - our twins, sofa and couch.

They arrived around 1:30 this afternoon, greeted with much joy and excitement by their older brothers and sister, and of course, mom. Dad could not be here. They are very heavy.

They have been examined. Every seam, cushion and tuck have been checked over. They have just had their first vacuuming and are now resting peacefully in their new den. They seem to fit right in.

How happy we are to finally have them here. Here's to many great years together!

They're here! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The Shoe Poll

Well, here it is - my Easter dress! So beautiful. I don't think I've had a new one in years. I bought this one with some Gift Certificates to Coldwater Creek. It is the most striking color of turquoise - I don't think the photo captures it too well. I love it!

The problem is I can be fashion challenged. I have a week and a half to search out the best shoes to go with it. I have no idea which shoes to shop for. I tried to send the link to the website with the photo on it to my sisters and it didn't work. So now you all get a say!

Tell me what to do!!! What color and what type (strappy sandal, pump, etc.)??? If you like, enter your vote as a comment on the blog!

Thanks to you all!

The Easter Dress Posted by Picasa

The Day After

Well, it is back to normal today. Lessons, laundry and leftovers. :) Much of yesterday was spent preparing for a special someone we all know and love's birthday! The kids and I wrapped presents, decorated the house, made cards, made a heart shaped jello mold that didn't turn out quite so heart shaped and took the birthday boy to lunch. We spent the evening playing outside, opening presents and eating! What a day. The children concluded the birthday festivities with a shower (always a big hit) and a sink bath for Andrew. By the way, you know your 10 month old has outgrown the bathroom sink when he goes slippy sliding and sloshes water way out of the sink, on the carpet and into Brian's shoes laying nearby. It was a fun day. NOW - back to the grindstone. Not really! But you know there is a certain sense of comfort and security in normalcy, even if it is laundry and mopping the floor 5 times.

The weather is beautiful so far this week and we are so happy. After a rainy week last week, we are enjoying it! We have a park day with the homeschool group tomorrow which we've missed 2 weeks in a a row due to rain and then on Thursday........the big ZOO DAY! The kids are so excited! We are learning about zoos this week and will make an excursion to the Houston Zoo on Thursday. I'm not sure who's looking forward to it more - me or them!

The children have been busy today - busy coloring, cutting, taping stamping. (Scotch tape is a hot commodity around here, esp. considering the gross amounts used yesterday by the master decorator himself.) I love to watch them be creative! One more reason I am happy to be homeschooling and watch this kind of activity throughout the day!

Thanks to all of you who made Brian's birthday so special!

Having Fun Posted by Picasa

Happy Birthday! Posted by Picasa

Monday, April 03, 2006

50 and 51

I thought of 2 more things about me!

50. I am a master dishwasher loader and refrigerator arranger - inherited from the master herself, my mommy!
51. I am a thrower-awayer. I married a keeper.


Hip Hip Hooray!!

Happy Lemon Pie!!! Posted by Picasa

Well, today is a momentous day in the Harrington household!!!! Harrington #1 (the original), also know as Brian, has a birthday! What a wonderful 33 years and what a blessing he is to all of us as a husband and daddy. We couldn't be happier to be celebrating! We love him so much. May God bless him with many more years of happy, healthy life!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

I gained it all back!!!!!!

Oh, no!!!! I put on 54 pounds!

:) Posted by Picasa

Not a chance - not gonna happen.
Happy April Fools!

I am up way past my bedtime - goodnight!

Beautiful photos

Ooooooh. I finally saw all these on the computer. Brian (is he good at this photography thing or what?) took these last Sunday before lunch. I love these. What perfect photos. What a perfect day!


Beautiful. Posted by Picasa

One happy mommy!

I am one happy mommy! Posted by Picasa

I really am! Sometimes it takes looking at a wonderful photo like this to give me that reminder. This has been one of those odd weeks. I usually hate to make such sweeping general statements as this, but I told Brian this morning that it really has been "one of those weeks." I felt justified in saying so since it was Friday morning and I had 4 days worth of data to back up this statement. Today was no different. Lots of raised voices (from the kids, of course). Lots of time outs. Lots of arguing. Lots of resistance and complaining. All in all, it hasn't been too horrible. After all, I am still alive. ;) I think it has all been due to the weather (when in doubt always blame behavioral problems on the weather or a phase). Truly!!! It has been wet and rainy most of the week and we have been inside more than normal. Everyone is getting a little stir crazy. If weather has been our problem, then we have no excuse for next week. The forecast is great!

I don't know why, but tonight I feel very able to put the difficulties aside and actually look at the successes, the progress made and the little joys. Here they are:

1. Nicole is making real potty training progress!
2. I am managing to stay relatively calm (for the most part) despite the challenges.
3. Andrew is really cute.
4. Jacob is reading well and LOVES his math work.
5. I love reading and reading with the kids all curled up beside me on the sofa.

I look at these photos and I remember how happy I truly am and how much I love the vocation God gave me. He has entrusted me with these little people - to get them to Heaven. I love what I am doing and I want to find joy in the difficulties. If I do not, I know I will miss the little things that give me and my children so much joy. Tomorrow is another day. Next week is another week. Next MONTH I will look back and wonder "Whatever happened to this or that problem?"

Thank you God.