Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The kind of Mommy I am

As some other Catholic moms on other Catholic blogs have done, I took this little quiz. And here's what I discovered about my mothering type. Pretty neat. Yet pretty weird when you read about yourself with such accuracy.

Your type is: ESTJ — The “How-To” Mother

“We’re the mothers you like to carpool with. Not only are we on time, we organize the driving schedule for everyone.”

Organized and comfortable being in charge, the ESTJ mother knows “how to” get things done, make things happen, and accomplish much on behalf of her children. Whether she is encouraging them to get involved in organized activities or talking with them about their personal concerns, children of the ESTJ mother learn “how to” succeed in life.
Upbeat and matter-of-fact, the ESTJ mother is intent on her children having the best. She puts her skills and talents to work to this end, from planning trips that supplement their studies to raising funds for new playground equipment. She is happiest when her efforts produce concrete results — children who try out for teams, participate in academic competitions, or are leaders among their peers.
The ESTJ mother runs a tight household. She is apt to have predictable expectations, consistent routines, standard procedures, and well-defined boundaries, all of which help her children feel protected and secure.

The love of reading

I sat joyfully tonight as I watched Jacob and Nicole lovingly pass on to Andrew their love of books and reading. I myself am a book addict and have read to the kids so often. I believe this has played at least some part in their love of books. (As I type Jacob is patiently waiting for me to read with him - well, maybe not so patiently - I hear lots of grunts and heavy sighs from over on the floor.) :)) Last night, everyone was toothbrushed and pajama-ed and Jacob asked if he could read to Andrew. So I said, "NO, child NO!!!!" Hee hee. I promptly readied them all for reading and this is what ensued. How precious are these gifts. They may argue and squabble and push each other on any given day, but even so, love abounds. For that I am immensely thankful this day!

Alphaphonics works...I think ?!?

Since January I've been teaching Jacob to read using the book Alphaphonics. It has been wonderful. He is reading beautifully and has lots of confidence in sounding out words so that he can write. Below is an example of one such writing sample. Jacob came to me wanting to write a story. I sat him down at the computer and he was so excited to type this up.

Wonsaponatime thar was a bloo brd and it was prcht on a tree en then the tree shuck but it was unt a tree it was a tayribl monster.

I love this and I am so proud of him!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Overheard from the den...

while I am in the kitchen. I had just lifted the lid off my crockpot to check on my slowly perfecting pot roast. The savory scent of roast, potatoes, carrots and onions wafted through the air - MMMMMMMMM!!!

Then I hear:

Jacob: What is that bad smell? Oh, yeah. Dinner.


Monday, May 29, 2006

And the adventure continues!

You just never know what is going to happen in a day when you are mom to a 5, a 3 and an almost 1. Today Andrew was enjoying shoving Nicole's pretend grocery cart around. But seeing as its wheels are way too speedy, we opted to resurrect the much loved walker from the nursery closet. And what a hit it was! Andrew knew just what to do. He stood up and moved those little feet. The look on his face was one of enlightement - Oh, the possibilities that open up with this new form of mobility. He worked on his skills throughout the day and I'm sure it won't be long before you will be seeing a post about those long awaited, much anticipated first steps. I love these landmarks on the adventure trail!

and loving it! Posted by Picasa

And he's off......... Posted by Picasa

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Just a few photos to keep you coming back for MORE

Jacob and his fat lip after a very large crash on his bike! Watch out for those trash cans! Posted by Picasa

My happy baby boy with a fresh haircut and a good meal! Posted by Picasa

Caught with your hands in the dollie house! Posted by Picasa

Nicole holding Snowy the bunny that belongs to her aunt and uncle and cousins! Posted by Picasa

My very first haircut - 11.5 months! Posted by Picasa

The last big T-ball game! Batter! Look at that concentration! Posted by Picasa

Sunday, blessed Sunday!

And what a blessed day it was!

It began well. Brian and I had decided last night that we would attempt 7:30am Mass with the kids so that Andrew could be home taking both of his naps today. Usually his first nap is next to nothing when we go to our typical 9:30am Mass. He has been a little sick and his schedule was messed up yesterday, so we thought a couple of good naps would be in store. We got up and got ready in record time - no breakfast (that helps). Mass went beautifully. I lasted all the way to the Consecration (40 min into Mass) without having to get up with Andrew!!!! Usually, we are up and out after 15 min. because he gets tired and restless. We went and got donuts afterwards at our neighborhood Paul's Donuts and enjoyed the morning. I just don't know how to explain it, but Brian and I really enjoyed it! Things weren't rushed. The house wasn't in chaos and mess as we left. The children were well behaved. Breakfast wasn't rushed. The church wasn't crowded (plenty of room to stand and roam about in the back when I finally had to). After years of going to 8:00am Mass growing up, I never thought I would want to go that early! Now we are tempted to try it again. It is entirely possible that the whole thing was a fluke.

The morning was relaxed and after lunch Brian and Jacob went golfing with Pappa. Nicole and Andrew had naps while I worked on Kindergarten lesson plans (I am getting excited!). After naps we trooped over to Gamma and Pappa's house for dinner and playtime. The chicken cordon bleu got rave reviews from both adults and children alike. Now the kids are in bed and I am typing while intermittently snacking.

Points of interest:

** We have been planning our trip to Arkansas. Looks like we will be staying here before heading to the conference.

** I just ordered this lovely guide for use in our homeschooling. It comes highly recommended and looks lovely. I can't wait to get it and will let you know how it turns out!

** One of my closest friends just started her own blog. I am thrilled because I miss her and her family very much. This way I can see pics of their happy faces.

Until next time, I pray you have a wonderful Memorial Day rest and that you may take join in Jesus' Ascension into Heaven!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

No, I am not perfect,

but I am being made perfect in my weaknesses.

"But he (the Lord)said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." 2 Corinthians 12:9

I am weak. Yes I am. And proud of it - why? Because today I realized that God can do wonderful things with my weaknesses. Today had the potential to be a really difficult day. Andrew has had a fever and was cranky off and on. Nicole is over her fever, but extremely disagreeable, argumentative and prone to use screaming for dealing with any and all situations. Jacob, while mainly his cheerful self, had a few emotional outbursts. And Brian is still not in perfect physical shape after our bout with strep. At some point today (maybe late yesterday) I realized that if I did not change ME (not Nicole or anyone else), then I would not survive the day. It had all the ingredients to be one of those days. Upon this realization (divinely inspired, I am sure), I opened up my tightly clenched hands, held them up and offered the contents to God. I gave him the control that I daily try so desperately to hold on to. Control over illness. Control over children and their emotions and attitudes. Control over interruptions to routine. Then we had the following conversation:

God: Remember that blog entry where you said that screaming and yelling never works?

Celeste: Yep!

God: That's right, huh?

Celeste: Yep!

God: Well, then let's pretend. Pretend that you have no control. Pretend that you are bothered by nothing. Pretend you are that calm, cool, collected Mommy you so desire to be. Pretend you can't stop smiling. Pretend that you are the best disciplinarian out there. Pretend you can't yell, even if you tried. Do it for me - just pretend.

Celeste: O.K.

And so I did. I put on my best "Mommy of the Year" costume and began this little experiment. I pretended all day long and by days end, it was sort of coming naturally, with little effort. I fairly and calmly sent Jacob to time out for his offenses. I lightheartedly managed Nicole's screaming fits and endless arguments. I picked up cranky Andrew and held him longer than normal with a thankful heart. I pretended my way through this day and it worked. Like I said, I am not perfect - never will be. But today I was being refined and molded and taught as I turned over my weaknesses to Him. HE did it for me! His grace really was sufficient!

I am amazed how the Lord took a day like today, one that could have been filled with tears and frustration, and turned it all to joy. Dinner time rolled around and I was actually joyful. I told Brian, I actually felt quite liberated by all this pretending! I even joyfully told the "whine" at dinner (or should I say whiners) that everything before them, including their placemats, would be permanently removed for the rest of the meal if the "whine" didn't stop. Wow - amazing Lord!

As a result, I am looking forward to much more pretending tomorrow - with lots of prayer mixed in!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Tonight's activities...

involved Brian mowing the lawn and Andrew watching out the window. Every time he would see his daddy go by he would grin widely and let out screeches and giggles of pure joy! I took photos and Jacob took video.

Out! Out! Posted by Picasa

Golfer in the making!

Andrew spends a lot of time with some sort of golf club in his hands, dragging it around behind him. It's got to be in his blood.

Little golfer Posted by Picasa

Freeze Jacob!

Well, after my very sentimental Mother's Day entry, I decided I needed to do something constructive with all my blubbering and crying last night. I had this idea to freeze time for a moment and remember things about my kids right now. Here it is. I think my friend Andria has done things like this before and it is always fun.

Jacob Posted by Picasa

Things about me at 5 years and 5 months:

Favorite food(s): Cheese and mayonnaise sandwiches, cheeseburgers, carrots (raw), ANYTHING sweet.
Toy(s) I adore: I go through spurts where I play with certain toys a lot. Right now I love my bicycle best of all. Second favorite is always books. I also love my building toys (k'Nex, Tinker Toys, legos), knights and castle, dinosaurs and animals.
What I do with my days: I love to read books and play with Andrew and Nicole. Lately I have had lots of fun being outside and collecting bugs in my different bug catchers. I love to read, look at books and be read to. My day usually involves some sort of drawing or coloring. I don't take naps anymore and I like that a lot.
What I can do: I am learning to read and I'm really good at it. I can do simple addition and subtraction (I love MATH). I am a bicycle addict. Daddy just took off my training wheels and I love it!!!! I am also loving golf with Daddy and Pappa. I help Mommy out a lot and can do different chores around the house.
Things I will want to know someday: I have adored my baby brother, Andrew, from day one. We have a special relationship. I am good at so many things. Mommy says everyday it seems I am learning/trying something new. I really love going to Children's Liturgy at Mass on Sunday.

Freeze Nicole!

Nicole Posted by Picasa

Things about me at 3 years and 3 months:

Favorite food(s): chicken nuggets, hands down! Also, pickles, black olives, relish, hot dogs, lollipops and "popsicables."
Toy(s) I adore: MONKEY!!!! Also, dress up stuff and mommy's jewelry, my new Polly Pockets.
What I do with my days: I love to read books and play with Jacob. He and I can really argue, but I do have lots of fun with him. I am liking to color and draw more now. Of course, I like to play outside.
What I can do: I am learning to write my name. I know my ABCs and numbers and I can count by tens to 100 (I learned the song with Jacob). When I look at books, I really love to "tell the story" in my own words. I have just learned how to pedal my tricycle. I am really well potty trained now and I am good at getting myself dressed.
Things I will want to know someday: I do not like my hair fixed and usually manage to rip out whatever Mommy has done. But I do love jewelry, especially what's in Mommy's box. Sometimes Mommy lets me pick out a bracelet for her to wear someday. I really love playing with other little girls.

Freeze Andrew!

Andrew Posted by Picasa

Things about me at 11 months and 1 week:

Favorite food(s): Cheddar cubes, bread, goldfish, bananas, grapes
Toy(s) I adore: golf clubs and balls (all kinds)
What I can do: stack rings on stacker, pull up, nest cups, play fetch with balls all by myself, climb up ALL the stairs, give kisses, make doggy barking sounds, go from tummy to sitting
What I do with my days: Wake up, eat, play, nap, wake up, eat, play, nap, wake up, play, eat, play some more, go to bed. Follow Mommy wherever she goes.
Things I will want to know someday: I love my brother and sister so much and I giggle when I see them. I still do not crawl on my hands and knees. I can get up on them, but I still prefer the army crawl. I'm pretty efficient at it, so why bother? I drag plastic golf clubs all over, but when I see Daddy or Jacob with a real golf club, I drop mine and come running. I am weally, weally cute and huggable!

Happy Mommy's Day!

Well, it was a happy day, albeit a little less than perfect. It started out lovely - lovely breakfast for mom in bed, lovely gift and a lovely Mass together. Even a lovely hour to myself to work on a quilt that I've been dying to get to. Then at 2pm the rain began and the power went out. Rain? No biggy. Power? I was sure it would just be a short blip in power service and then we'd be back up and running. Not so. The power eventually came back on at 1:30 am. Thankfully, the cloudy, rainy day cooled everything down and it was pretty comfortable. Thankfully, we had planned on grilling steaks and didn't need power for that (even though we did run out of grill gas half way through cooking). But at some point I managed to started to feel a little sorry for myself. Yep, leave it to me. I felt like I was working a little more than I had imagined I would be. (Big wretched sigh from readers) Aaaaaaw! And things were just a little difficult with the power out. Aaaaaaw! And the children still needed me to be a mommy - imagine that! :) At some point, God spoke to my heart and reminded me how good I have it - Mother's Day and everyday. So as I scrubbed a pan in the sink, I made an effort to do a difficult thing. I prayed and offered up my little bit of work and imperfection for all those Mommies who were working MUCH MUCH harder than me and whose lives are far less ideal than mine. Here's to Mommies all over the world!

Later that night, I was crying as I talked with Brian about my day. Sometimes I believe I am just too busy to allow myself to stop and think about the following sorts of things. What made me cry was the great sadness I felt at the realization that I could no longer remember exactly what it felt like to hold the baby bodies of my two older children, Jacob and Nicole. I know now what Andrew feels like as I hold him, but I don't remember those little details now about the others. I want to remember every little thing. I do not wish them back at that age because I am so enjoying them now as they are and watching them grow. But I do wish I had a perfect memory! I guess it makes me want to savor these kinds of things more - more photos, more journaling, more videos.

I am so thankful for my precious children. All I ever wanted to be was a wife and mommy and here I am.

Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Rainy Day Activity

All smiles! Posted by Picasa

It was a rainy morning this past Saturday while I was gone to the giant HPL used booksale. The three of them talked Daddy into getting out the ball pit!!! Jacob always asks me on a rainy day and this one he finally got it! They had so much fun - even Andrw loved it!

Truly an Adventure!

Well, it's 2:30pm, the 2 littler ones are napping, Jacob is reading quietly and I should be napping, but first things first. We have survived another adventure - strep! Yippee! Brian and I had been feeling sickish since Saturday afternoon, but not too horrible. Lumpy throat, fever and for me lots of joint pain. The problem was we couldn't shake this thing and the kids were beginning to wonder what our problem was. Every evening I was having these fevers and was totally debilitated by this hideous joint pain. If I got on the floor, I was never getting up. Finally, yesterday morning I decided to call the doctor - I hate having to do that. I made an appointment for me at 9am and one for Brian at 2pm. I went and come to find out, after that LOVELY stick rammed down your throat rapid strep test, I was actually positive for strep!??! Go figure. I was pretty surprised. I was sure it had to be "just a virus." I mean, isn't it always "just a virus." You spend lots of energy taking ALL the children to the doctor during a given illness just to hear those fated words, "just a virus." While I didn't think I wanted to hear I had strep, I was quite overjoyed at the fact that finally someone had something that could be treated with an antibiotic. I think we mothers always secretly hope it is antibiotic treatable. Anyway, he wrote a prescription for me and one for Brian and said I could cancel Brian's appointment. We should not be contagious any longer, but now I am watching the older two. Hooray. Probably just in time for our 2 birthday parties on Saturday. I pray not, but at least if they do start showing symptoms, I know what it is. :)

Other than the strep thing, life isn't so bad. Thank you Lord that I can say that. I know it is His help that enables me to utter those words - not me on my own. Somehow I am also managing to allow myself to be lazy. That is RARE! Other than a little laundry and maintaining the kitchen, I am trying to take it easy.

Just help me remember that the next time Brian and I both have sore throats, he gets to go first. That way he can have the nurse gag him instead! Awful!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Just wondering...

Why is that the one day you really need your baby to take his "normal" morning nap (not even long, just normal), he wakes up an hour too early?

Who thought up the term "brotherly (sisterly?) love?" What an oxymoron!

Why is it that your 5-year-old knows just how to send you over the edge towards volcanic eruption? (Today it was pulling lots of little, hot pink, wispy feathers out of his sister's dress up fan and scattering them about the den like fairy dust.)

Why is it that the one day when your planned library visit with the kids is just the break you need, they are closed for an employee awards ceremony???

Why is it that no matter how much mommy fusses, rants, raves, scolds and yells (who me?) at her kids, it never EVER makes things better?

Thursday, May 04, 2006

I've been tagged...

also by Andria!

Too cute. Here's mine:

5 Things in Your Fridge: Lots of cheese (slices, blocks, shreds, sticks), lots of bread products, lots of yogurt, lots of apples (impending apple pie for company), and a box of old Velveeta.

5 Things in Your Purse: Loose change, receipts, band-aids, NO cash, and chapstick.

5 Things in Your Closet: A large box of wedding memories, a bag of goodies for playing the guitar that I own but don't know how to play, our old computer, my "preserved" wedding dress, and 15 coathangers that have been bent into bows (as in bow and arrows).

5 Things in Your Car: 3 car seats, a rock and stick collection, a roll of toilet paper (you never know), a dead mosquito stuck to the inside of the windshield, and a case of casette tapes (what are those?) that I haven't listened to in 6 years (but they are holding up my coupon container).

This is really fun. I don't know any other bloggers to tag, but anyone's welcome to join in. :)

I'm back!

Well, it's been quite a few days since I last "blogged." Yes, there have been big goings on here and there to account for this lapse of literary wandering - praparing a friend's baby luncheon, somewhat sicky baby, busy weekend up ahead. But, you know most of all, it is just the little daily things about life as a mom of three wee ones that has kept me away from the keyboard. It's not that I don't turn on the computer or keep up with email, etc., it's just that I need a little more of my brain available to write my award winning prose - hee hee! Oh, well.

Today has been a tired day. Andrew is still not over his little cold symptoms. He's not really too sick, just snotty. Yippee! I am tired for lots of reasons, but still the children keep needing me. Isn't that amazing? And I think I forgot to make my morning coffee. Maybe I'll fix a pot anyway and call it late afternoon coffee. No matter what I term it, I'm sure the pick-me-up would do me good.

Saturday I went to a local quilt show with my mother-in-law and I was once again inspired. I love quilting. It is such a beautiful, pleasing, comforting art. She and I each bought the same thing. A stakc of 52 5" squares in the loveliest fabrics. I began planning, constructing and sewing immediately. I am interested to see what my mother-in-law does with hers. Mine is tuirning out nicely. I shall post progress. I am hoping to work on it tonight, but we shall see. The fabrics are gorgeous and so springy. Gotta love it!