Saturday, June 28, 2008

You Know You Have a Bunch of Little Ones, #7

You know you have a bunch of little ones when you start cutting Daddy's food up into little pieces.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Bedtime Hair

One night I asked Catherine to brush her hair when she got ready for bed to try to prevent all the tangles the next day. This was the result: Really, Mom, it's all the rage!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

You Know You Have a Bunch of Little Ones, #6

You know you have a bunch of little ones when you are glad you only had to get up twice during the night.

Dominic and His Baby Bwoder

On Sunday we all went to Mass together and before hand we were treated to a running commentary from Dominic.

Dominic: "Dat's my baby bwoder."

Dominic: "I wuv my baby bwoder. He's so cute."

Dominic: "I have to be nice to my baby bwoder."

Smiles all around.

At least he gets quiet (for the most part) when Mass begins.

Monday, June 23, 2008

We Have a Contract!

We have been house hunting for the past 5 months and after a month-long negotiation, we now have a contract on a house! We are moving out to the country. It's only about 10 miles or so from here, to the east. The house is only 9 years old and the layout is very similar to ours. The dining area is bigger (yay!), which was the main thing we didn't like about this house. The best part is it sits on almost 8 acres! About half of it is fenced off (they had horses) in a couple different sections. There is a big machine shed (Dan likes that!). Between our new place and the neighbor's property there is a woodsy, hilly area with a small pond. And as for neighbors, there are really only 2 houses that are within view. It will sure be different.

So, if everything works out, we will be moving soon! Yikes! Packing and moving with 4 little ones will be interesting, to say the least.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Switch Pitcher...

Interesting story about a guy who is a switch PITCHER. He was homeschooled through eighth grade, and went to Creighton.

See original article here

Ambidextrous pitcher's pro debut brings game to standstill

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Baseball has thousands of rules developed over its history to solve most any dilemma, but when a switch-hitter came to the plate to face a switch-pitcher in a minor league contest last night, the game came to a standstill.
In his professional debut, Pat Venditte of the Staten Island Yankees – a natural right-hander whose father taught him to pitch with either arm – played cat-and-mouse in the ninth inning with the Brooklyn Cyclones' Ralph Henriquez as each player tried to gain an advantage, holding up the game for seven minutes.

With a custom-made glove, Venditte switched hands each time Henriquez switched sides of the plate, seeking an edge based on the conventional baseball wisdom that left-handed batters fare better against right-handed pitchers and vice versa.

Video of the faceoff has been posted online.

The teams eventually appealed to the umpires, who decided the batter and pitcher could both change sides one time per at-bat. They ruled the batter must declare first, favoring the pitcher, who could adjust accordingly. Venditte used his right arm to strike out Henriquez, batting right, on four pitches to end the game.
Venditte's scoreless ninth inning sealed a 7-2 win over the Cyclones in the Yankees' Class A Penn League contest.

Venditte's extraordinary skill began developing at the age of 3 when his father, Pat Sr., a life-long ballplayer himself, came up with the idea, according to the Sporting News.
"One day in the batting cage, I just said to myself, 'Why can't someone throw with both arms?'''
Switch-pitcher Pat Venditte in a showdown with switch-hitter Ralph Henriquez in Class A minor league game last night

Pat Sr., a retired Omaha, Neb., schoolteacher, said he never imagined his son would take his game to the professional level – he just wanted to spend time with him.
"You prioritize the things you want to do in a lifetime, and you get those things done," Pat Sr. told the Sporting News. "I think too often we put our kids on the back burner. Fortunately, my wife and I had kids later in life. So we were able to arrange our priorities a little differently."
Father and son began a daily training regimen that continued through high school, 100 throws from the right and 120 from the left. But Pat Jr.'s ambidextrous development was not limited to baseball. He learned to kick and punt a football with both legs, and his mother, who homeschooled him through the eighth grade, taught him to write equally well with either hand.
In high school, the Sporting News said, father and son were at the gym every morning at 6 a.m. to work out.

Venditte, 22, said he still is not sure exactly why his father did it.
"It was all pretty strenuous when I was younger," he said. "He obviously thought it would be an advantage for me. I'm just grateful he did what he did.''
Venditte attracted the Yankees' attention as a walk-on pitcher at Creighton University. He decided to return for his senior season after New York drafted him in the 45th round. The Yankees picked him 20th this year after he posted strong numbers – a 9-3 record with seven saves, a 3.34 ERA and 101 strikeouts in 86 1/3 innings.
The Yankees' director of amateur scouting, Damon Oppenheimer, says the organization views Venditte as strictly a right-handed prospect, "but the idea that he can do this and has shown the ability to get out lefties makes it more exciting."
Venditte says he has more power from the right side, hitting 88 to 90 mph, but still can reach the low- to mid-80s from the left, where he relies more on breaking pitches and changing speeds.

Staten Island manager Pat McMahon told the Sporting News Venditte's ability will test traditional assumptions about how much rest a pitcher needs between outings.
"Pat is very comfortable pitching left and right," McMahon said, "so we'll just have to see after he pitches right if he needs a little time before he can pitch using his left."
The manager is excited about options Venditte gives him when matching up with opponents.
"It really is like having two pitchers in one," he said.
In high school, Venditte regularly started Friday as a lefthander and Monday as a right-hander. During the week, he pitched from both sides as a reliever.
Pat Sr. says his son has never had significant soreness or pain in either arm, pointing to daily long-toss sessions growing up as the secret.
"One day he stood at home plate in Creighton's stadium and threw a ball over the left-field fence right-handed, then turned and threw a ball over the right-field fence left-handed," Pat Sr. told the Sporting News, noting both fences were 335 feet away.
Pat Sr. said he never has had to convince coaches, at any level, to let his son pitch with both arms.

"One coach after another just let him pitch, and the development just started to happen," he said.
Venditte downplays his ambidexterity.
"When you're younger, kids don't realize what's going on," he told the Sporting News. "I didn't even realize it was that big of a deal. To me it's still not. I've been doing it my whole life. It's just what I do, what I have to do to be effective."

(For fear of Janet taking over this blog, I am trying to make an effort to blog about guy things whenever I get a chance!)

Friday, June 20, 2008

The First Real Haircut

Here is Joseph before: Joseph says, hey mom can't you get rid of some of this stuff?
One day Mom picked up the scissors and just started cutting (look at those eyes, don't you just want to eat him up?):
Don't worry, Grandmas, it will grow back!

You Know Mom is Tired, #4

You know mom is tired when she catches herself putting the mayo in the bread drawer after making sandwiches.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

If You Make It, They Will Clap

The other night when I was almost done making dinner, the kids came swarming out to the kitchen acting like they hadn't eaten in a week. When I told them we were having rice noodles (kid lingo for my version of pad thai), loud applause and cheers broke out among them all. How's that for a before dinner pick-me-up?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Is That All You've Got?

Today I took Joseph in for his one year checkup. All the way through the exam, he did fine and he never fussed or fought against anything. When it came time for shots, I held his little hands and waited for the big cry. And waited. And waited. Then I realized the nurses had already given them. He didn't cry! Wow! All the other kids cried when they got shots. I felt his body stiffen, but he looked at the nurses, seeming to say, "No big deal."

Then I had to take him down to the lab to get his little finger poked for the lead screening and I thought, surely he'll cry for this. All he did was a one second little fuss, and then the look on his face said, "Is that all you've got?" He seemed to be fascinated by the blood slowly being squeezed out of his finger. It was weird. I felt like I could have even let go of him and he would have been just fine.

I suppose you are never done being surprised by your kids!

Pool Time!

Over the weekend the kids got to play in our new kiddie pool. They loved it. Even Joseph just crawled right in. Kiddie pools weren't this fancy when I was a kid! Once Dan turned on the hose to spray water out of this "palm tree," Dominic did not want to do anything but hold onto it and aim the direction of the spray. It took him a long time to get wet.
Meanwhile, Joseph wandered off and began picking bark off of one of the trees, which is one of his current favorite things to do.
Anne did not last long in the pool, but the other three got a lot of use out of it. Once we turned the sprayer off, Dominic turned his attention to the hand-pump. Hey, Daddy, maybe next time we can let the kids pump up the pool!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Going Downtown

On Saturday we ventured out, heading downtown to the Old Town area in Wichita. First, we stopped at the Farmer's Market, which (silly me!) I thought would be a bunch of farmers selling fresh fruit and vegetables out of the back of their trucks or behind a little stand. There were big booths all over, selling everything from crafts, clothes, jewelry, jelly, and salsa, to locally grown chicken and buffalo meat. There were tons of fresh flowers for sale, as well as one booth with fresh veggies. They even had a band playing and singing folksy music down at one end. The kids enjoyed just hanging out for a while and looking at everything. Peek a boo!
After that we headed over to the area with the "tricky" fountain. Each row shoots off at different times and then occasionally they all fall silent for a while. Daddy took Joseph for an up close look (and feel!):
Catherine eventually got very enthused about the fountain and got very soaked:
I got wet, too, Mom:

Monday, June 16, 2008

Daddy Dan

We celebrated Father's Day yesterday with grilled steak, corn on the cob, and cherry pie. (Dan grilled the steaks, I made the pie.) It was all good!

At Mass earlier in the day, our parish priest was talking about the importance of fathers being involved with their children. He talked about some study from a few years ago where they asked fathers to keep track of how much time they spent with their children over a couple weeks. The average was 17 minutes a day. Meanwhile, they secretly asked the mothers to keep track of how much time the fathers spent with their children and they reported an average of 1.7 minutes a day. I'm sure the real average was somewhere in the middle, but if they had included Dan in this study, he would have been way off the chart!

Dan makes spending time with his family a priority. He reads to the kids, takes them outside to play all the time, lets them "help" him in the garden, and they love nothing more than to snuggle with Daddy on the couch.
So here's to Daddy Dan, an off the chart kind of daddy!

You Know You Have a Bunch of Little Ones, #5

You know you have a bunch of little ones when you are out and about with all of them, continually counting heads, and all of a sudden you panic, thinking, where is so-n-so, and then you realize oh, he's in my arms.

The Orange Guy

On Saturday Dan was out in the garage frying some chicken and french fries in the Fry Daddy, when the Orange Guy came. His name is actually Bill, but he is the orange guy. A couple of years ago, the doorbell rang and when Dan opened it, there was this guy holding an orange and a grapefruit. Boy, was Dan startled when the guy pulled out a knife! He proceeded to cut pieces off the fruit for a sample, but he about gave Dan a heart attack in the process. A few times a year, Bill drives to California and/or Texas and brings back oranges and grapefruit and sometimes strawberries. Then, he goes door-to-door selling boxes of the fruit. Big boxes. It really doesn't cost much more than buying it at the grocery store and it sure tastes a lot better. We have become repeat customers. So, needless to say, this week we are feasting on oranges and grapefruit!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Trouble is when... have more sick people in the house than well people. That is how we were on Tuesday. Luckily, we are now improving the ratio and I don't know how, but Mommy is still healthy!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

You Know You Have a Bunch of Little Ones, #4

You know you have a bunch of little ones when you finally paint your toenails for the first time in 3 or 4 years.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Homeschooling and Socialization

Read this well-written blog post on homeschooling and socialization here. It is by Melissa Wiley, the author of the "Little House" series about Laura's great-grandmother(Martha) and also the series about Laura's grandmother(Charlotte).

You Know You Have a Bunch of Little Ones, #3

You know you have a bunch of little ones when you start carrying fingernail clippers around in your pocket waiting for a spare moment, because there is always someone who needs his or her nails cut.

Murphy's Law for Moms, #15

You know your 2 year old is sick when, without saying anything to Mommy, she goes to her room, lays down on her bed and falls asleep.

Just Like Mommy

This past Saturday Dan went to the local video store to get a couple movies and what did he come back with?

Da-da-da-da! "Bella"

Hooray! I never got to see it when it came out because of time of year, breastfeeding, etc. It was such a beautiful movie, although I am still haunted by the scene where the little girl gets killed and her poor mother is extremely distraught. That is always one of my big fears as a mother, especially since we live on a busy street.

The movies were one day rentals so we watched both. What was the other one, did you say? Let's see, Dan picked them out and the first one was more of a chick flick. Not hard to guess the type of the other one: the latest Rambo movie. Talk about a total opposite! Suspenseful movies are hard for me to watch. Every so often I just had to get up(usually during the moments of biggest action/suspense!) and wander to the kitchen or our bedroom for a while. Then I could come back and continue watching and pester Dan with questions about what had happened. I do better with those kind of movies if I know what is going to happen. I know, sad, isn't it?

Which brings me to Catherine. She is just like Mommy in this respect. Almost any new movie is like that for her. She comes to find me and says, "Mommy, what's going to happen?" as she paces around the kitchen. Meanwhile the twins are sitting on the couch, calmly watching. After a while, Catherine can watch a little more, just like Mommy. Just for the record, though, I can handle those little kid "suspense" movies, like "Care Bears."

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Murphy's Law for Moms, #14

A crawling/cruising baby can always singlehandedly destroy a room faster than Mom can pick it up.

Friday, June 6, 2008

You Know You Have a Bunch of Little Ones, #2

You know you have a bunch of little ones when complete strangers will come up and ask if you have triplets.

You Know You Have a Bunch of Little Ones, #1

You know you have a bunch of little ones when the number of diaper wearers in the house is equal to or greater than the number of non-diaper wearers.

He Walked!

Hooray! Our Joseph is now a big boy! He walked several steps for the first time today. From Dominic's bed to Mommy. The kids and I got so excited and clapped so much that he had to do it again. And again. And again. He was so proud of himself.

And, speaking of Joseph, did you know a 12 and 1/2 month old can turn the dishwasher on all by himself?

Help, I'm under seige!!!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Murphy's Law for Moms, #13

Double the number of days gone on a trip to find your prep time, but triple the number to find your recovery time.

You Know Mom Is Tired, #3

You know Mom is tired when she takes off a bandaid in the morning and pays no attention to the fact that there is an outline of sticky bandaid stuff on her lower leg until driving home after her goddaughter's baptism.

The Wild and Crazy Weekend

Last Thursday we drove up to Kansas City and took Daddy to the airport. The kids loved watching for the "hairplanes." Nothing got destroyed and Joseph didn't eat anything too bad off of the floor (he did get pretty dirty crawling around though, yuck!). Then I had the fun task of herding the 4 little ones back to the car. Luckily, the "hairport" wasn't very busy. Then it was off to Grandpa and Grandma's house for a few days. I don't have any pictures from there because Daddy took the digital camera to the ordination (see previous post). Joseph didn't sleep very well while we were there (and has a new tooth to show for it!) and Dominic was sick all day Friday, but they all had a good time regardless. On Saturday Daddy came, and then we went to celebrate Grandpa and Grandma's 40th wedding anniversary with Mass and dinner. 40 years! Woo-hoo!! 40 years, 5 kids (4 married, one a priest), and 11 grandchildren with another one in utero (no, not me). Congrats, Mom and Dad, hope you have another 40 just as wonderful!

Then, on Sunday, another special event: the baptism of my new little niece, Emily Therese. Here are Daddy and the kids, playing with fire:
Now it is time to play with water (oh, it is so hard to resist!):
And finally, here is the beautiful newly baptized baby with her proud godmother:

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Bishop James D. Conley

I was honored to be in Denver for the Episcopal Ordination of an old friend on May 30th, 2008, while mommy was with the kids at grandpa's and grandma's house in KC.

With Chaput as Archbishop and Conley as Auxiliary Bishop, expect great things to continue in Denver.