Monday, May 20, 2013
As we headed toward our destination store, there was a temporary kiosk set-up for Barbizon. They were looking for models (I suppose!) and handing out bracelets to the kids. Of course, my four older kids went right up to the man offering blue bracelets!
After we said thank you, we all started to walk away. The man touched my shoulder. He said that he would really like me to talk to his supervisor about some of my children. He could sense my hesitation, so he handed me a brochure and told me to please call to set up an appointment for their upcoming model search.
The word "some" stuck with me. "Some" does not work in my family. If one child gets something, they all think they should have one. There is no such thing as giving one child anything...without all the others finding out and tears. Case in point...Cecilia and Lucy were the only ones home with me briefly the other night. I let them each have the last two Popsicles. Lucy is too young to talk, but (even though I told her not to!) Cecilia shared the news as soon as the others walked in the door. You know the rest...
So, having "some" of my children model just wouldn't work! How would I ever in a million years explain to the others that only one or two of them are beautiful enough to be in a magazine (or whatever!!)?
Mind you, I'm not saying that I think my children are model material. I think they are beautiful children (what mother doesn't think her children are beautiful!?)...most of all because they are made in the image and likeness of God.
My next thought, as I tossed the brochure in the nearest trash can, was how I would never want to expose my children to modeling. It might start off very innocent...cute photographs of children having fun in modest outfits. But, how quickly they grow up...and they would have to be good enough (thin enough, tall enough, etc.) to continue.
I never, ever want my children to confuse their worth with their appearance. Because of our toxic culture, I know that they will. I am struggling with gaining weight (again!) even though it is obviously in the best interest of this baby inside of me!!!
I want my children to take care of their bodies by eating right and exercising. And, to take great pride in their appearance (appreciating their God-given natural beauty...simply because they are alive). They are already starting to develop their own sense of fashion (well, Cecilia is!). But, I think we'll hold off on modeling. Unless it's for my crazy, candid pictures like the pajama shot above :).
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Joseph graduated from preschool on Tuesday night. He has a lot of emotions about it (but probably not as many as I do!). He is asking a lot of questions about kindergarten, and he wants confirmation that most of his life will remain the same. I assured him that he can still sleep with his Pooh Bear even if he is a big kindergartener (sniff, sniff!). I was SO ready for Gianna to go to kindergarten (she was 6, confident, and just...ready!)...it will be much harder to put Joseph on that bus in August.
Gianna's accomplishment is tying her shoes...competently, that is! She's been practicing for months...and she could do it if she (and I!) had enough time and patience. But, today was the first time that she tied both of her shoes when she was getting ready for school. I am relieved. This was the hardest thing that I have taught her (so far)...and it made me 100% certain that I could never homeschool my children :).
Just something special to share...as I'm sitting here typing this, I am feeling this new baby move inside of me for the first time (the first time that I am sure that it is not gas, that is...ha!). May has truly been an amazing month.
Thank you God for allowing us to participate in and enjoy all these special moments!
Monday, May 13, 2013
As I forced myself out of bed, my thoughts were not very "motherly." The first one was, "Is it bad that all I want for Mother's Day is a day away from my children!?"
The second one came as my husband wished me a Happy Mother's Day as he reluctantly crawled out of bed too. It was this: "I'm constantly told that I'm going to miss these days...but, honestly...I'm not so sure that I will!"
My attitude stayed for a bit...until my coffee kicked in and I opened my adorable Mother's Day gifts from my three oldest children. My husband also offered some free time later that day (although not too much free time because there was a soccer game at 3:30!).
My thoughts quickly turned to what I could do with an hour of free time! Not too many possibilities as I couldn't go very far, but just the idea of having my husband take over for some of the afternoon was a wonderful feeling! Maybe a hike, or a browse through a bookstore with some coffee, or Adoration...or...
That is...until I remembered that Joseph is going to "graduate" from preschool on Tuesday night, and he is growing so very fast that he has no dress pants that fit. I refuse to have him go on stage in "floods!" Oh well...
So, I spent my free time at Children's Place (at least I had a good coupon!). And, I did stop for some ice cream on the way home.
As I drove, I reflected on the homily from Mass. Father shared some beautiful stories about mothers. And, he stressed that EVERY sacrifice matters. This made me feel good about spending my free time shopping for my children (I ended up buying a ton of summer stuff for Gianna too...again, good coupon!).
After bedtime, I wanted to take a shower and curl up on the couch. But, Lucy was having trouble sleeping. I knew she was exhausted, so I made my room dark and crawled into my bed with her. She curled up on top of me and peacefully fell asleep within minutes. I could've put her down much sooner than I did. But, I thought this was the perfect way to end my Mother's Day.
In my head, I kept hearing an expression that I read on a bib at a yard sale years ago:
"Dishes be quiet. Dust go to sleep. I'm rocking my baby,
cause baby's don't keep."
Now that I have five kids to take care of, I don't often "rock" Lucy. I'm usually anxious for her to go to bed so that I can finally sit down! But, on Mother's Day, it seemed perfect. And, my thoughts from earlier were long gone. I was glad that I had spent (most) of Mother's Day with my kids; and in fact, I do think that I will miss these days when they are gone!
Hope you had a blessed Mother's Day too!
Thursday, May 9, 2013
It rained on Tuesday morning. This meant that we couldn't go to our playground playdate. I was more bummed than the kids. The kids would've have fun...no doubt...but, the playdate was really for me!
I find that time with my girlfriends each day really energizes me and helps me to feel less lonely in the afternoon (until my husband gets home...then I'm fine again). On days when it is just the kids and I...all day...I often start to feel very isolated and overwhelmed. I know from conversations with others that I am not alone! Connecting with others (even if I just meet a new acquaintance briefly at the playground or elsewhere) really makes a huge difference in my day.
Anyway, since our playdate was cancelled, my husband suggested that I go to the mall and look at some curtains that were on sale. Now that summer is approaching, and the sun gets up around 5:45 a.m., we really need some room-darkening curtains to get a *little* extra sleep!
I didn't have anything better to do, so off we went to the mall. I don't go to the mall often anymore. I used to...especially as a new stay-at-home mom without a lot of activities planned...but, not so much anymore (it helps that there are not really many good stores for me to shop at!).
It turned out to be a really nice little morning! Cecilia and Justin entertained themselves by playing hide-and-seek (in every store!), and Lucy was exceptionally happy in her stroller. I treated the kids to an Auntie Anne's pretzel, and we set off to the food court to get Mommy a coffee.
It was at the food court that I "filled up my companionship quota" for the day. It wasn't my girlfriends who provided the fellowship, but rather a lovely group of senior citizens who had gathered for their weekly coffee date.
Three tables strong, they saw us approaching (there weren't many other people at the mall that morning). I guess we kind of stood out...the 2-year-old chasing the 3-year-old and the Mommy running behind them with the stroller!!! And, all of us (well, the children that is!) very blond (I like to pretend I'm a blond when I get my hair highlighted...very infrequently these days!).
With big smiles, the seniors spoke to us. The ladies grabbed my hand to tell me how blessed I was, and the children were enjoying a chorus of, "You're so beautiful!" Cecilia looked like she was on a runway. She was loving all the attention as she walked up and down the aisle between the tables. She asked me if they were all having a playdate.
Justin showed them all his "Big Brother" shirt, and Lucy did her part by waving at them (from the safety of her stroller).
It was a nice couple of minutes. We don't have any local grandparents, so my children don't have doting senior citizens in their lives. And, because we are most often out with groups of adorable children, I don't see mine getting any special treatment or attention (not that they should, mind you). So, it was nice to hear my children admired...and for an unexpected reminder of how incredibly blessed I am (even to just go to the mall with my healthy children on a random Tuesday!).
It turned out to be a great day. We had a playdate that afternoon, and there were 18 children (including my 5) playing at our house. It was a bit crazy, but they were all having a great time...and the rain even held out for them to play in the backyard (it started pouring again as the last car pulled away!).
Another plus...I bought curtains! They are not hung yet, mind you, but I have them!
I hope you find unexpected blessings in your day...thanks for reading.
Monday, May 6, 2013
I do love this child (and all the others!). But, Gianna started preschool on her 3rd birthday, and we are all used to (and quite like!) the school year routine. I think we are all at our best when there is not "too much togetherness," and Mommy doesn't feel pressure to entertain/meet everyone's needs...all day/every day.
At 6-1/2, Gianna likes to be busy with structured activities (much to my dismay, she's not very good at down time on her own). I do my best to get her (and everyone) out and stimulated everyday, but I cannot provide the variety of activities that kindergarten offers :).
So, I'm trying to be at peace about the summer...and all the unplanned hours! I just read something helpful in a magazine. It said that, "Uncertainty is often much worse than real life."
I do know that this is true. I always dread the uncertainty of summer, and then...it happens. And, I rather enjoy it! I just need to keep a grateful and peaceful attitude remembering that I am so blessed to be a stay-at-home mom and to have my beautiful, healthy treasures with me all day long...because, this too shall pass quickly!
I am very strict when it comes to my daily routine (another reason why I dread summer...everything that has worked for nine months must go out the window!). It is a survival tool for me raising five young children.
But, I was reminded recently how good it is to switch-it-up! Even something as simple as driving a new route home (I'm constantly driving back and forth to preschool...this will happen when you have one child in the morning and one child in the afternoon!) can put a little bit more spring in my step.
We read bedtime stories in the baby's room/office last night instead of the usual place...just because we were in there. It was different...and nice...I even let Daddy read an extra book (but not a long one!). I'll have to remember that even little switch-ups can make such a difference. Gotta love the little things in life :).
Friday, May 3, 2013
It's been a sad couple of days for the Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg, PA. Our Bishop, Joseph McFadden, died suddenly yesterday morning. He was only 65 and in relatively good health. It was totally unexpected and shocking. He was a holy man and a respected, well-liked leader.
I had just been looking at his schedule yesterday morning over breakfast (they post the Bishop's schedule in the diocesan newspaper). I was remembering my own Confirmation a hundred years ago as I looked at all the upcoming Confirmation's that the Bishop was to celebrate this week and next.
Then, a few hours later after dropping my son off at preschool, my husband called me on my cell phone to say that the Bishop died. What!?!
I didn't know him personally (although my husband had many occasions to be with him over the last few years as he (my husband) works at the Diocese). Still, I feel a great sense of loss and sadness.
The calming thought is that, please God, he is now in heaven. He has earned his great reward. He (Bishop) is not sad that he has died! Rest in peace, Bishop McFadden. Thank you for serving us so well.
On a happier note, we are just having glorious weather...the kind of weather that just makes you so happy to be alive! Here is Cecilia outside walking her baby doll...it just screams happy childhood moment to me :). And, then there's Lucy's baby piggy toes (the cutest darn things!) flying in the gentle breeze. Bliss!
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
It felt so good to share the news! My husband told me that I didn't waste any time, but I told him that it feels like I waited forever to say that...
We are expecting again! Praise God for a wonderful OB appointment yesterday where I heard the strong heartbeat of this little one due the end of October.
I carefully worded my facebook post. I know that my close friends and family are very happy for us. In fact, most of my close friends already knew the news (it was hard to see them day after day and not say anything when I was feeling so gross!). I was so touched by the heartfelt congrats and well wishes. I am extremely blessed with wonderful people in my life!
I started off my post by saying that I know that our hands are full. And that, my husband and I have accepted the fact that there will NEVER be enough (time, money, patience, room in our house, etc.!).
BUT, despite this, God has blessed us beyond our wildest imaginations, and we are choosing to trust Him to provide for this family that He is creating. So much of everything is out of our hands...but, this wild ride is our path to heaven...and even the bumps provide tremendous gifts, consolations, and joy.
What stood out the most (and perhaps this is just my human nature) weren't the many "likes" and congrats comments on my facebook page (although I sure was grateful for the support). But rather, the "likes" and comments that did NOT appear (from family mostly...cousins that I don't see that often...and friends from the past) from people who I assume must have seen it (because they were posting and liking things at the same time that I shared my news).
It is not surprising, but it does sting a little. It reminds me of what a good friend of mine told me when his dad died. He said that he will forgot who came to the funeral (including tons of unexpected people), but he will never forget who DIDN'T come.
Just a bit of reflection! I know that expecting my 6th baby in less than 7 years is counter-cultural and maybe even crazy (I joked that I'm only sane on most days!), BUT, I meant it when I said that we are joyfully awaiting this baby...what an awesome gift! :)