Monday, July 14, 2014

Dear Maria, week 5

Week 5! That means we are halfway through summer. Boy, I really thought I would have gotten more done by now. Sigh. Well, let's see...this week...
Saturday, July 5th...
Well, after a busy end of the week last week, the kids all slept in. haha! Of course not! But, Dad was off this weekend and we did have a pretty quiet weekend at home. I got some groceries in the house, and that was the most exciting thing that happened all day.

Sunday, July 6th...
We went to Latin mass, but didn't stay for the potluck. I felt all socialized out still, and so we just came home and had pancakes. I started decrapping the playroom. Soooo slow going. Since Mary and I are sleeping in there on these hot summer nights, I can't ever get in there when she is asleep. The other kids don't help much either. Tess keeps arguing with me about organization...she doesn't want this play food with her other playfood because it is byoodibull princess food and she wants it with her dolls...that sort of thing. And Henry gets very excited and digs through my piles of stuff I'm picking up. Dad took them to the splash park for a while this afternoon, so that gave me a bit of uninterrupted time, but just enough to make a dent. That room is atrocious and has been a dumping ground for months.

Monday, July 7th...
Tess and Jack started swimming lessons today, yay! Tess was very excited. Dad stayed with Jack and Mary Claire while I took them to their lessons. As soon as we got there, Tess got an attack of "I'm shy" and kept hiding behind me, and so I wondered if it was going to work at all. But in the end she went with the other two kids in her group and seemed to do just fine...mostly they practiced swimming with the pool noodle. Jack's class is after Tess'. This year is his first year in a group class. All the private lessons were taken when we registered, so I decided to give it a shot. He did fair. He was pretty distracted when the instructor wasn't working directly with him, kept grabbing at the kickboards and things at the edge of the pool, wandering off, etc. But his instructor is patient and sweet, and I think it will work out ok.

Here's Tess waiting for Jack to finish his lesson. This swimsuit is too big and kinda stretched out for her, but she insisted on wearing it today for some reason.

The rest of the day we were home. It was the hottest day so far I think, 93 I think? So we were inside pretty much. Jack is still finishing up his math and cursive, so we did that, and we made more book snacks....

These are from Tess' new phonics program.

Impromptu couch wrestling match I got caught in the middle of...

Mary started it...

Didn't take much time for everyone to pile on though...

Still trying to work on the's pretty ugly.

Tuesday, July 8
You called today! Um..swim lessons happened...oh! We went bowling, That's what else. No pictures because dad had my phone. But we went bowling with some homeschooling friends, and then went to the park afterwards. The kids had a good time. Jack just loves to go bowling. The park, not so much. He gets bored quickly and then wants to go. But Tess and Henry had a ball. I need to bring something to the park for Jack, something to keep him busy.

Wednesday, July 9
Swiiiimmmm lesssooonnnsss,,again! Dad was off. I worked on the playroom some more. I had my last health class. The End. Some days there's just not much to tell!

Thursday, July 10
Library day! We went to a magic show, and did the usual library stuff...except that I dropped $54 on damaged books. I just feel like I could buy a lot of books for what we pay in fines. Sigh. OH, and also..swim lessons. I do have a funny poop story to tell that I posted on facebook though!
Mary Claire is in the bathtub. I was clearing the dinner table (I can see the bathroom very well from the dining room(. She started screaming like she was scared to death. I ran into the bathroom to find her trying desperately to climb out of the tub. What was she so terrified of? her own poop! haha! I guess it's been a while since she pooped in the tub and it freaked her out. Then she watched on with fascination as I drained, cleaned, and refilled the tub, and now she is playing happily again. I took great pains to keep Jack from finding out though. Last time that happened he wouldn't use that tub for months.
I'm going to end this letter here, with poop. Next Thursday is when we leave for St. Louis. So I think I will stop here and mail my next letter on our way out of town.

Sending this with some little goodies. We love and miss you, of course! August is nearly here!!!

Mom and the gang

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Dear Maria, week 4

Is everyone surviving these loooong weekly posts? Just a few more!
Dear Maria,

Helloooo! By the time you get this, it will be about one month until we finally see you again! You are about halfway through the summer now. It's hard to believe, yes? Next week I will send a care package with some special halfway done if there is anything you would like, or anything you are running low on...

So, this week....I was not good about keeping up with this letter daily, so this is from memory, with the help of facebook...

Saturday, June 28th...Oh, the drama! The angst! Henry fell and split his chin.

No wound pictures, sorry.
It is tiny, yes, but surprisingly deep and the edges were gaping. He had pulled a pillowcase down over his body and was running around, you see, so when he fell he couldn't catch himself. This all went down while I was at the store grocery shopping. Dad texted me at the store and said, "Hey, where do we keep the gauze?" haha! So, here I am at walmart and Dad is sending me pictures of Henry's chin and we are trying to decide what to do about it. Dad had to work that evening, and I desperately had to finish getting groceries. I had put it off for a couple of days and we were desperately out of everything.So...long story short, he ended up being a bit late for work. I finished shopping, went home, we bathed Henry because we knew he wouldn't be able to have a bath for several days once he was fixed up...can't get stitches wet...and I took Henry to the ER. They ended up just gluing and steristripping him, and he handled it very well. I promised him a candy bar from the vending machines afterwards, and he was very impressed with that.

Sunday, June 29th...Our birdies survived a big rainstorm, but their home wasn't looking so good. Today was the feast of Sts. peter and paul, so that's what we named them! They got so big so quickly, every day they looked noticeably bigger. Here is one of them looking ready to try and fledge again! Nothing much else today. Mass, of course, and Dad worked. pray for Dad. They are short staffed and he has been working himself to death. I hope they get some help soon.

Monday, June 3th...Our hottest day, in the 90's, and So. Very. Humid. Our birdies fledged! First one, and soon after the other. Here one is in the yard...the Mom was nearby scolding me from the fence. I didn't see them after this. Goodbye, peter and paul!

In other news, we stayed cool with icecream....

fudgsicle face...

And board games inside....

And goofy themed snacks...

Tuesday, July 1st...the big news of the day...I talked Dad into watching Dr. Who! He loves it! It's very slow going, because we can only watch it twice a week while he is off, but it's been fun. Today was also movie day, and I took Jack, Tess, and Henry to see Kung Fu panda 2.

Wednesday, July 2nd...Just a day at home. Jack had therapy, and I had my health class that evening. No one hacked up anything this time. Instead, they all (except Jack( fell asleep on the couch and had a nice catnap before bedtime. So. Long, long evening for me.

Thursday, July 3rd...Well, this day was so beautiful, weather wise...we had a cold front! The high was around 80, and it was loooovely. I had the brilliant idea to take advantage of it and go berry picking, but because of our bad night we weren't even all awake until 9.30, and if you don't get out there early they are sold out. So, we ended up meeting some St. Gabe friends at Gully park. It was a lot of fun. When we were heading out, Jack talked me into playing in the gully, and they loooved it... fun, trying to catch waterbugs, throwing rocks. What is it about kids and throwing rocks into water?

Friday, July 4th...Of course, this was a big day! Here's a Jack quote, first off...

Me.."The Fourth of July is America's birthday."
Jack.."Does that make the other countries cry?"
Me..." would they cry?"
Jack..."Because it's not their birthday."

Meme and papa came over and we had breaded and skillet fried tilapia, veggies, deviled eggs, potato salad, baked beans, fruit kabobs that the littles made....

No meat. Ice cream cones, like last year, remember these?

And a sugar cookie flag instead of a flag cake...

We all commented about how scandalized you would be that I used red grapes instead of strawberries. Well, there's a good reason. I had plans to get some strawberries at the store after we went to the park on Thursday, but they kids got all wet and muddy. So, we came home, cleaned up and such, then went back out to the store...and they were SOLD OUT. I was crushed. But there was NO WAY I was going to another store, ha! So, red grapes it was.

The kids wore their painted tshirts to fireworks and the girls got a lot of attention for their little matching outfits. They were very sweet.

We missed you a lot. Meme kept saying how weird it was that you weren't there. She brought the puppy and the kids were just in orbit over him. And, well...I'm thinking again about getting another dog. I know it's crazy, I know I'll regret it, but Jesse had so much fun with another dog around. He was just grinning from ear to ear.

We were wondering how your 4th was. It was the last day of the 2nd fest, right? That means you are off this week, enjoy! We love and miss you a bunch and can't wait for August! I hear that Mary Claire is awake, so I'd better wrap this up and mail it off while I can.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Dear Maria, week 3

Friday, 6/20...
Well, today was our last day of VBS. We survived another year. I got some hysterical video of Jack dancing. Krystina lead the music, and did a nice job!, and during parts of the songs she would tell the kids to use their favorite dance moves...well, Jack took her very seriously and developed this kind of charging move. Here's some pictures, but they don't do it justice...

It was crazy hair/shoe/hat day. I'm afraid I didn't do it justice,,,usually you are in charge of that. I ran out of time. Shocking, I know. So, we settled for wearing our slippers, see??

All except for Henry. One of his slippers was missing. So he wore a helmet from the dress up trunk instead.

I am WORN OUT. But it was a fun week. I had some good help in our group, and all the kids had fun. Even Mary had fun in the nursery. Here she is with a car,,she says, "Vroom! Vroom, honk!" really loudly!lol

Saturday, 6/21...
Just a Saturday at home...some cleaning, but never enough. Grocery shopping...I took Tess and Henry along and we got happy hour afterwards. Long overdue baths. pizza and movie night...we are watching How To Train Your Dragon, because that's the movie we missed last Tuesday. I forgot to tell you, we got your letter yesterday! It was so good to hear from you! I will try to remember to include Meme's address too. Her birthday is July 13th, if you get a chance to write her. How are your meds holding up? Spending money? It will be time to send your allowance when I mail this letter. Let me know if you need anything!

Mary Claire is talking more and more! She is very negative, which is all very two-ish. She says, "No,I not...Don't...uh-uh...stop..." lol. She copies everything she sees and hears from the older kids. Yesterday they all went running out to the backyard pool, and Jack said, "Last one there's a rotten egg!", and Mary jumped up and went running after them yelling, "EGG, EGG, EGG!"

Tess loved your little note for her. She was mad at me a little for ripping the envelope when I opened it though. So I told her that I would open your next letter very carefully so I could give her a nicer envelope to keep her note in.

Oh! Meme has a new puppy! I will tell her to write to you and send a picture so you can see him while he is still tiny. I still haven't seen him in person yet. We have been trying to go to the lake with them since Father's Day, but first we were sick, and now they are sick...

Sunday, 6/22...We went to Latin mass today. jack was in rare form. His mass behavior is just getting worse and worse, no matter which mass we go to. It was the feast of Corpus Christi, so there was a procession after, and don't you know he was just THRILLED about THAT! We packed our bathing suits and food and such and drove out to the lake right after mass. It was a great day, but very crowded. I won't go on a weekend again!

The high note was when we were loading up. It was so crowded, and we were trying to load up and keep eyes on all the kids and Jack said he just Absolutely Had to Go to the Bathroom. Right Now. Well, dad was down on the beach gathering stuff and keeping and eye on Tess and Henry who were still swimming.And I was putting stuff in the van and needed to stay with Mary who was already in her car seat. I could just barely see the bathrooms from the van. So I did something I rarely do.I let him go to the bathroom alone. I was very uncomfortable about it, I worry about his safety in public bathrooms, so I was watching anxiously when I caught site of him walking down the hill to the van...with no swim trunks on. Uh huh. Well, he had a rash guard on, thank God, which kinda sorta covered almost everything, but it was pretty obvious he had nothing on underneath. And I just laid my head on the van and sighed. cuz what are you gonna do? He had his trunks in his hand. They had gotten twisted up and he couldn't get them straight. Goodness.

Monday, 6/23...mostly a day at home working on STUFF. Tess had dance, her last class of the year. I almost didn't go. It was a struggle getting out the door for many reasons, not the least of which was that Henry and Mary had fallen asleep, and it was pouring buckets. There was an accident on the highway, and we got there seriously late. Like, stupidly late. But it was her last class,so I wanted her to be able to go and say goodbye and all. Well, she fell asleep in the van on the way and got all weird when I woke her up to go in, and she wouldn't dance or anything, just sat on the chair sucking her fingers. So. That was the last day. And that's when I decided we aren't going back until she really wants to do it, you know?

Tuesday, 6/24...The day I lost my mind. I'm not even kidding. The kids have been pretty much having a free for all since we finished schedule or anything, and as usual it starts getting a little Lord of the Flies around here. Have you read that yet? Remind me to put it on your list, you will love it. Anyway, I took them to see Kung Fu panda at the movie theater,

and then after that they literally spent the entire day running around making each other scream on purpose all day long. Just, feral children, really. So, I got ticked off and realized I needed to take some control back. I sat down with some postits and made a little schedule...kinda like our school schedule, but much looser, no times or anything...more like an order of events, really. I gave them time twice a day to help mom with chores, time for crafts, read alouds, some fun stuff, little screen time, etc. And it is working fabulously! Big difference. Of course, many days we have something fun to go and do and so we don't do everything on the board, but at least there is plenty there for when we are home. Jack calls it the "slavery board". ha!

Wednesday, 6/25...We were at home all day and tried out the new schedule, and it was lovely. I did have an evening class. Me! I sat in your room and had an adobe class! It was a parent's version of the health class you will be taking in the fall...great stuff. To take this two hour class while dad was at work, I fed them dinner early, set them up with a movie, and hoped for the best. I had to come out a couple of times, but it wasn't too bad. Well, afterwards I found out that Jack had hacked up the edge of the counter with a butter knife. A butter knife!Also, he cut the clothes off of Tess's Boo doll. Enter next destructo phase.

Thursday, 6/26...Today we went to the library. I haven't told you about the library shows, you know those Thursday afternoon shows they do? The first week was a juggling show..and today's show was a Didgeridoo show. It was pretty good. They were getting pretty distracted at times, and it felt like the guy was trying to teach them about everything, you know? Like, save the planet, don't be a bully, and eat fruits and vegetables...dude, it's an hour long show, pick a topic already! But the music was cool, and overall it was very fun.

Friday,6/27...I'm supposed to mail this today! But you called last night and needed some things, so I will send it tomorrow after I go to the store. We have been taking it easy today. Dad has been working horribly long hours,,,he is really fried. They have hired some more help, so once they are trained and working hopefully that will get better. Oh! Dad found two little robin fledgelings in the yard, right under the bathroom window near the air conditioner. There was a third dead one nearby, and so of course we were worried about Jesse or the cats finding them. So, dad nailed that birdhouse onto the pine tree by the bathroom window for them. Well, it was too small. We left the front open and kind of put them in there, but they are very active and they fell out. So,then we got a small box and duct taped it to the tree, see?

See the birdie there in the corner? He's in front of the duct tape so he is kinda hard to see. The other guy is in there too. You can see them from the bathroom window. The mom has been coming by to feed them. So far they haven't gotten out. Eventually they will I guess, and we will just have to hope they learn to fly quickly. They are very cute, and very LOUD. Henry loves them. He also is really into collecting bugs lately...

Henry's bug house.

Well, that's it for this week! We managed to get Tess back into another swim lesson, and this time it is paid for too, and it is the same session that Jack is in. So, it actually worked out well. It will be a lot easier to have them go on the same mornings. Next week, more of the same, but also the Fourth of July on Friday already! A meatless fourth of July? Yikes! I'm curious to know if ya'll stay meatless on the fourth, lol. We will be. We debated doing another penance, but you know, I really like to save that for when I have no choice, like when we are eating with other people or something. It doesn't seem like much of a penance when you ditch it when it gets hard! Still...the Fourth with no ribs...seems unAmerican...

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Dear Maria, week 2...sort of...

Hello! I am writing week 2 but I haven't mailed week 1 yet! haha! Well, see, I sent a letter a week ago with your shoes and stuff, and then also I never managed to get the week 1 letter printed off! I am out of colored ink and wanted to just print it at the library. We are going to the library this afternoon,so I can print it then. And I figure it works out well to mail it on a Thursday...we will be leaving for familyland ourselves on a Friday morning, so this way we can just mail our last letter right before we leave.

So, week 2...well, we managed to get Jack mostly well again. He is still coughing a lot, especially when he is running around, but that is to be expected for a while. Sunday was Father's Day...I was hoping you might have gotten to call home. Dad had to work, but we had brunch and all before he left. We gave him concert tickets and the kids colored cards and such, and we packed him some goodies in his lunch bag.

Mary was so cute...she worked for a long time on her picture!

I had a major Mom Fail on Monday. I took Tess for her swimming lessons and she was not on the list. She was on a waiting list, remember, and they called and said they could get her in the session that started on Monday. I didn't realize that that wasn't . confirmed until I paid for the class...I thought I could just pay on the first day, not that I had to make another trip to the rec center to drop off a check. So, she didn't get to start after all. It was very disappointing. She is still on the waiting list, and hopefully she gets in another session.

Tuesday we were supposed to go the Malco movie again...but we didn't make that either. Dad had worked very late and I just didn't have the heart to wake him up. The kids didn't really realize they were missing out on anything. We just filled up the giant wading pool instead and they have been happily playing in that.

And also, popsicles. Lots of them.

Wednesday, yesterday, VBS started! I am Jack's group leader of course. We have a big group of kids this year, twenty kids in Jack's group alone. Tess is with the kindergarten group, and Henry with the preschoolers. Mary Claire is in the nursery. Here's a couple of pictures!

Like Tess' braids? She loves them. She was annoyed that she got a green tshirt though, because green is not a girl's color, she says. I told her no one got pink shirts, and all the kindergarteners have to wear green...I don't think she really believed me until she got there. The theme this year is Weird Animals.

Henry had an unexpected attack of shyness when we arrived and didn't want to stay with his group. He spent the opening songs curled up in a ball on the floor. But once things got underway he was ok. He is excited about going back tonight. Tess of course had a lot of fun. Mary even handled the nursery ok. Jack, however, is having a hard time. He gets very weepy and upset during the opening and closing songs, he gets irritated whenever we have to wait for anything, and he keeps doing things that annoy the other kids,,,getting in their space or showing know the drill.

Jack being annoyed.
Today is Thursday...we are going to the library for a family performance...jugglers! That's at 2. Then we will come briefly back home and go back out for VBS.

Ok, closing up this letter so we can get out of here. We are missing you and hope to hear from you soon! I'm sure this has been a tiring week for you, the first Fest. We love you lots!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Dear Maria, week 1

Dear Maria,

Today is Pentecost Sunday. You called and asked me to send your sneakers as soon as possible because you needed them to work in the stables. There will be a surprise inside. Tess and Henry got to work making you presents today. Henry made you a bracelet and a picture. Actually, he made part of the picture and told me what to draw for the rest. Tess wrote you a letter and made you a Valentine. In June. I asked her what her letter said, and she started singing the words to the My Little pony theme song,,,so make of that what you will. Tess was still running a fever, so I went to Pentecost mass all by myself. Dad went to LifeTeen mass with Jack. He said that they did the intentions in several different languages, read by different poeple of course, and Ms. Krystina read one in Swahili. Msgr. did one in Latin. We agreed that if you had been home you could have done the Latin one! We had a white and red dinner...white chicken with red pepper "tongues of fire", white rice, and 12 fruits fruit salad. Strawberry cake for dessert. The top had a bigger cross on it, but then some little booger got to the cake and picked the berries off. Ahem.

Oh, and we had little white powdered donuts for breakfast. Jack said they were the "best donuts ever."

And, just like that, it's Friday, June 13th. Not so good with the daily writing this week, eh? I've been having trouble getting pictures from phone to blog, most annoying. And also there has been so little to tell you. Everyone has been sick. The End. Jack's asthma started acting up badly this afternoon and so I ended up taking him to the after hours clinic, and he has pneumonia! weekend now involves Trying to Keep Jack out of the Hospital. He has to have nebulizer treatments every four hours around the clock, so dad and I are taking turns getting up tonight. He is on a strong antibiotic, and steroids, which he of course threw up like he does...but the antibiotic stayed down. He got lots of attention at the clinic. First, he was hacking and carrying on like a 70year old chain smoker. Then, he threw up all over the waiting room floor. And when this woman came to clean it up he said, "I'm very sorry I threw up all over the precious floor." haha!He was very chatty with the nurses and kept saying, "Have you ever been to Bangladesh? Do you know why sharks have gills? Do you know what the capital of Ecuador is?" They were cracking up. But it all got very serious when the doctor decided he had pneumonia. We are to go the ER tonight if he gets to breathing too fast and hard. And if he's not a lot better by tomorrow afternoon we are to go back to the clinic.

Oh! And Mary Claire had her shots today, too. Looks to be a looonngg night, lol.

Other than all the excitement at the clinics today, we have had long slow days of trying to get everyone well again. We missed the Tuesday movies and a trip to the lake because someone was always sick. I told you we would pay for our healthy winter! Jack did go to the library for a presentation on Albert Einstein. Dad took him, and said he handled it very well! So that was never know how he will handle things like that. But he does better and better. Even autistic kids grow up.

If I can get my pictures to cooperate, I will mail this tomorrow when I go to the grocery store. I hope you got your package. It was supposed to arrive by today. You got an Ipsy bag today, and your books came in the mail. I will mail them with this letter. I know the first Fest starts tomorrow, right? It's so weird to think of you doing all the Fest stuff there while we are here! Making dance night...the Fatima processions...we are so looking forward to it! The kids keep asking when we are going. They just don't get why you are already there and we are not! We all miss you, and I'll start another letter this weekend. Busy week ahead, if everyone stays well enough...Tess starts swimming lessons, and there is VBS too!

Update before I print and mail...Jack is doing much better. Still sick, but not in danger of going to the ER anymore. Yay!