Thursday, February 26, 2009

Small Successes - 6

1) I rounded up my surplus of over-the-counter medications and vitamins that I've been getting for free or nearly free through deals at Walgreens, along with a glucose meter that I picked up for free with a coupon. I took a sack full to the Guadalupe Clinic, a medical clinic for people who don't have insurance, which is run by the Wichita Diocese.

2) I got the kids dressed (I should say, re-dressed), fed them their dinner, got them into the mini-van, and made it on time to meet Dan for the 5:30pm Ash Wednesday Mass.

3) I sorted through the medication cabinet. (Now I just need to tackle the pantry!)

Now go read some more Small Successes at Faith and Family Live!

You Know You Have a Bunch of Little Ones, #13

You know you have a bunch of little ones when you take them to Wal-Mart to return an item, get all the way to the front of the line at customer service, and only then realize you left your purse in the car.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Just In Time

Thank you to the young Girl Scout who brought us our cookies in time for consumption on Fat Tuesday. Oh yeah! It seems like I usually get them after Lent starts and then they sit in the freezer until after Easter. And you know the temptation every time the freezer door is opened!

And that reminds me of a funny story. On Sunday late afternoon, Dan and the kids were outside and I was busy in the kitchen. I heard:

Ding Dong!

I immediately dismissed it as one of the kids and didn't think any more about it. About 30 seconds later, I heard:

Ding Dong!

Then it clicked and I realized, if that was one of the kids, I would have heard:

Ding Dong! Ding Dong! Ding Dong! Ding Dong! Ding Dong! Ding Dong! Ding Dong!

So I rushed to the door and there was the Girl Scout and her mom, waiting to give me our cookies. Oops.

Monday, February 23, 2009

So What Did We Do On Our Anniversary?

Has this ever happened to you other married couples?

A few weeks ago we came up with these grandiose plans to go somewhere for our anniversary. As in, without kids. Dan had a 3 day weekend and it seemed like a great idea. We quickly ruled out driving because nothing close was appealing and so we started looking for somewhere warm and fun to fly to for the weekend. Florida, South Carolina, California, the Texas coast. Dan was checking out airfare and hotels. It was all quite exciting.

Then, reality set in and we realized that our little trip would be expensive, and we didn't actually have to go far to "get away" for the weekend. (Especially when you just bought a house and are trying to replenish your savings!) We could still go out and do a few things we can't do with all the kids (like eat at a nice restaurant, go to a movie or some kind of show) and stay at a hotel "in town."

Then, we started having trouble figuring out babysitting for the kids and our weekend away got cut down to dinner and a movie on Saturday night, the eve of our anniversary.

Then, it got cut down to dinner out on Sunday, early evening.

Then, last week, we got hit with a wave of sickness, and we were dealing with croup, fevers, ear infections, vomiting, crabby kids, etc. Not to mention lack of sleep. So we cancelled the babysitters, assuming we would still be dealing with sick kids yesterday. The sickness seemed to clear, thanks to some antibiotics, and we probably could have called someone at the last minute to watch the kids, but Sunday just seems like it should be a family day, so we all spent it together and it was a nice day.

So, what did we do on our anniversary weekend, instead of an exciting, romantic getaway?

On Saturday afternoon and late evening, we got our taxes ready to file, except for one 1099 form we are waiting for. Actually I should say, Dan got them ready with the help of Turbo Tax, I just reviewed them. Saturday late afternoon, we went to confession and then it was off to a family dinner at KFC! By this time the kids seemed mostly better. That night I only got up one time with Joseph, so we got more sleep. Yay!

Sunday morning started with anniversary cards and Mass together as a family. We had a lazy afternoon, and then some outside time. For dinner, Dan deep fried some chicken, french fries, and apple rings. For dessert, I made Dan's favorite, Creme Brulee. So we had a nice family weekend. And we got a good laugh out of where our plans ended up after that grandiose beginning!

And don't worry, we are going to plan a date night soon!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Six Years!

Happy Anniversary, Dan!

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Our house is again being taken over by sickness. It started last Friday when Joseph came down with the croup. Poor little guy with his seal barking cough. So we had a few sleep deprived nights there. He finally seemed to be getting better except for a bad cough, when on Tuesday afternoon, Catherine started complaining that her ear hurt and so she didn't sleep well that night.

Then, yesterday, Catherine woke up and began puking every 30-60 minutes for half the day and her earache moved to the other ear. Last night, Joseph got really fussy during the night and today is pulling on his ear and saying, "Ouch!" And he puked once this morning.

Then when I got the otoscope out to check Catherine's ears today, I discovered one of her eardrums (the second one affected) had ruptured. Wow, that happened in less than a day's time. And, when I finally pinned Joseph down to check his ears, one of them is infected. So, yup, Dan gets to stop at the pharmacy on his way home from work today.

On the bright side, Catherine is no longer puking and has eaten some Cheerios. Joseph has not puked anymore and is taking a nap is his own bed. Anne and Dominic have runny noses, but otherwise seem fine. For the moment, anyway. At least those two have been playing together very nicely today. For quite a while, they were happily playing "Bob the Builder," which is a favorite game where Dominic gets out his toolbox and they sit on the stairs "fixing" things.

Now the big question is: WHO'S NEXT?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Pope Is Her Shepherd Too

Pope Benedict strongly rebukes Pelosi over abortion

House speaker Nancy Pelosi’s photo-op with Pope Benedict XVI turned sour when the Pontiff used the 15-minute meeting to reaffirm the teachings of the Catholic Church on the right to life and the duty to protect the unborn.

No photo of Nancy Pelosi and the Pope will be forthcoming, since the meeting was closed to reporters and photographers. The two met in a small room in the Vatican just after the Pope's weekly public audience.

Immediately after the meeting, the Holy See’s press office released a statement saying, "following the general audience the Holy Father briefly greeted Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, together with her entourage."

"His Holiness took the opportunity to speak of the requirements of the natural moral law and the Church's consistent teaching on the dignity of human life from conception to natural death which enjoin all Catholics, and especially legislators, jurists and those responsible for the common good of society, to work in co-operation with all men and women of good will in creating a just system of laws capable of protecting human life at all stages of its development."

Go here to read the full article.

Now we all have to remember to pray for Nancy Pelosi, that the words she heard will sink in and affect her heart and more importantly, her soul.

I am glad she won't get a picture.

Thanks to Cottage Blessings for the story.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Time to Climb!

See that window up there? That is my kitchen window, which is over the sink. The window I often use to check on the kids if I run in to check on dinner, or just look out at the sunrise. Well, when we moved in last August, you could barely see out of this window because of this tree someone planted so close to the house. Maybe the first owners wanted to keep out the sun, but I want to see out of the window! So last fall, Dan chopped a lot of the tree down and it was an amazing change. And the twins have discovered that they like to climb this tree. Every time they go outside now, that is part of their routine.
Dominic's turn:
This one is little bit big for them:
It won't be long though:
Many of the trees on our property are not good climbing trees. Either they are evergreen trees or they are thorny trees. The ones that would be good for climbing are rather small, which is good, I guess. They'll grow with the kids. One less thing for me to worry about!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Pointy Bones

One day, Catherine and I were folding laundry and we could hear Anne singing in the girls' room.

Mommy: That Anne sure likes to sing.

Catherine: She might have pointy bones, but she sure can sing!

For the record, Anne does have "pointy bones." If you try to cuddle with Anne, watch out for the sharp elbows, and sharp knees, and sharp shoulders...

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy St. Valentine's Day!

A few days ago I decided to make some sugar cookies with the kids. I didn't get any pictures of us doing the mixing, rolling, and cutting out of cookies, but here are some pics of the frosting and decorating. Here is our kitchen (don't look at the mess!) and each kid has his or her own chair. Yup, some fight prevention going on there. :)Mommy mixed up the frosting and put it on the cookies, then passed them to the kids and they got to decorate with sprinkles and candy hearts, yippee!
The boys are concentrating hard, while Catherine says, hey mom, quit taking pictures. I need another cookie to decorate!
Oh, we are having fun. See that pink dish Dominic is reaching for? That contained the candy hearts. Those were very popular. :)
As you can see, sometimes the sprinkles didn't make it onto Joseph's cookies. And none of the candy hearts made it past him. Catherine was the most creative with hers.Here are some of our wildly decorated Valentine cookies. Hearts, flowers, and butterflies. The ones with every millimeter covered with every kind of sprinkle/candy we had were done by the twins. Yup, those were the ones that if you picked them up and tipped them sideways, half of the stuff would fall off.
We had great fun decorating our cookies (and eating the toppings!). We wish you all a very happy St. Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Small Successes - 4

1) I took all 4 kids to the car place and waited for THREE HOURS while they fixed the mini-van and didn't go crazy or yell at anyone.

2) I flagged down our mail carrier and bought stamps from her and she took our valentine cards. So they should get there in time for St. Valentine's Day!

3) I finally got out the next size clothes for Joseph. His section of the boys' closet was getting a bit bare as I little by little removed items when he grew out of them. So yeah, he won't be wearing clothes that are obviously too small for him. At least not for a while. :)

Go to Faith and Family Live to read some more Small Successes!

Say What?

This morning I went into the girls' room to get clothes out for them. Anne and Dominic were in there playing, just chattering away. Not really listening, all of a sudden I thought I heard my name. Not Mommy. Janet.

Mommy: What did you say?

Dominic: Can you fix this for me, Janet?

Mommy: What! You need to call me Mommy!

Dominic: I'm talking to Anne.

Anne: Yeah, we're playing Mommy and Daddy, and I'm Mommy.


Friday, February 6, 2009

Miscarriage Resources, Part 2

I am doing pretty well these days, getting back into the swing of things, at least for the most part. I'm finding that I keep forgetting things I need to do, so I am trying to write everything down. As long as my list doesn't disappear...

It is mostly things out of the blue now that seem to trigger the sadness. Like the day I got a prayer request email about a woman with 3 little kids who was planning to abort her twin pregnancy. Or the day I called in to the local Catholic radio station phone-a-thon to make a pledge in honor of Mary Joseph. Or the other day when I held a little baby for the first time since the miscarriage. But, that felt good, too. Sad and good at the same time. Or when an acquaintance asked how we were doing, you know in that trivial way that doesn't invite a real response, and I didn't say anything about the miscarriage.

The first time we went to Mass after the miscarriage, I was startled to find myself trying not to cry. I suppose it was because I felt closer to her there, which makes sense, since the Mass is celebrated by all the angels and saints in heaven. That of course also brings me much comfort.
I think about our little baby every day and I frequently ask her for prayers. Her memory brings me joy as well as sadness. I do wish I at least had a sono picture of her.

Which brings me to my reason for this post. I wanted to share some of the links that I have found helpful. The first one is called the Morning Light Ministry. It is a "Catholic ministry for bereaved mothers and bereaved fathers who have experienced the death of their baby through ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, stillbirth or infant death up to one year old." They offer email and phone support run by bereaved parents. They also offer free of charge to bereaved parents, prayer cards and blessed religious mementos of your baby, which can include a rosary, medals, and a crocheted cross. They have a special email just for bereaved parents where you can request these things, which I have done. I have a pretty little box started where I plan to keep all the things relating to Mary Joseph. They also offer a book called Morning Light: Miscarriage, Stillbirth and Early Infant Death From a Catholic Perspective by Bernadette Zambri, as well as various brochures. You can download an order form from the website. I haven't seen the book yet, but I'm planning to order it. Maybe I'll have to do a review later.

Next is Elizabeth Ministry International. "Elizabeth Ministry is an international movement designed to support women and their families during the joys, trials and sorrows of the childbearing years. Elizabeth Ministry’s mission is to cherish children, encourage families and build community. There are nearly 700 chapters in churches around the world. Elizabeth Ministry chapters connect women for prayer, affirmation and encouragement." I don't know of any chapters in my area but this could be a great resource for others. The website says they will soon have an online database of all the chapters. They have an online store with many items, including a miscarriage delivery package, burial vessels, baby afghans, prayer cards, figurine of an angel holding a baby, necklace of little baby held in God's hands, etc.

Then there is Share - Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support, which is not specifically Catholic. You can request an info packet, which they will email or snail mail you. This contains a lot of good information (nothing contrary to Catholic teaching that I could find). They also offer multiple online message boards and two chat rooms, none of which I have investigated. Also, included in the info packet is a list of pregnancy loss support groups in your state.

I found a yahoo group which is specifically for Catholic women who have lost a baby from conception to 3 years of age. It is called Babies With God.

I also found a email discussion group at for traditional, orthodox Roman Catholic mothers. While not specific to miscarriage, as soon as I mentioned our miscarriage, I got many messages of support and condolence. It seems like a neat group. Here is the link to sign up.

Okay, I think that is all for now. I'll probably remember some more later.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The First One

(click on pics for close-ups)

Last Thursday night, as usual, the kids were playing before bedtime, and getting a little crazy, when Joseph took a flying leap into the fireplace hearth. Luckily, the hearth has rounded edges or we probably would have been making a trip to the ER for stitches. As it was, he was left with a nice shiner. Here he is, a bit more subdued, being comforted by his new friend, Froggy, and his sisters: Don't you love those sleepers with the feet in them?

The next morning he was all smiles despite the nice swelling and discoloration (he looks better than Catherine back there!):
On Sunday, we all "watched" the Superbowl. The TV even got carried upstairs for the occasion. There were snacks galore and as much chaos at our house as at the stadium. I guess Joseph was rooting for the Cardinals. This is what he thought of those Steelers:
No Superbowl halftime watching for us. We've got some books to read!
One more closeup of that eye. Boy, Joseph, you look like you've been in a fight! Or playing some football.

And yeah, this is probably the first of many.