Carpool gang

I drive a friend’s girls to school most mornings. They arrive about 20 minutes before we leave for school, and as soon as they get here, all my little kids flood into the playroom and the all play together quietly. It’s kind of a miracle, really. There is rarely any fighting.


Simple moments

Tired kids in the pick up line- it’s kind of nice to have them in one place, tied down, where the messes are minimal for even a few moments a day.


Then this next one… A parent’s delight. I walked, or rather tried to walk, into the living room to find that 6 of
The kids had spontaneously started a game together. And not just any game, mind you; it was a game about grammar! To keep me from being altogether mind blown with joy, they were playing this game in a prime walkway of the house, and I has to keep stepping over them to make dinner. You win some, you lose some. It’s a terrible picture, but I love it nonetheless.


7 Quick Takes: Summer


7 Elements of Summer!

1. Dinosaur chicken nuggets and other simple Costco meals. This is made more difficult with our new dietary restraints, but I find ways to make cooking as simple as possible. Having to cook and clean up after the whole crew for both lunch and dinner can get tiresome, so we rely a lot more on paper plates. This year we have even indulged in paper cups! Whee!

2. Swimming
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And as a corollary: lots and lots of wet towels, you really don’t need a picture of that.

3. Bare feet, and therefore there are shoes and socks all over the house. People wear their shoes outside and then can’t bear to have them on for even ONE MORE SECOND. Strangely, with all these shoes lying around, no one can find their own pair. (Or at least Lily can’t.)

4. Watermelon, Ice cream, and Popsicles. With the occasional trip to Sonic or Zoyo thrown in for good measure. My kitchen table is ALWAYS sticky.

5. Being stuck inside results in lots of tents and blanket forts.

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6. Field trips to Cabela’s: Gus was afraid of the lion, but he couldn’t wait to see the bear!
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and Ikea:
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7. And I’d be lying if I didn’t list plenty of screen time. Video games, movies, kindle apps, Starfall or Lego games on the computer. We do even read on occasion. It’s nice that they often watch together.
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The hours of Summer are so long, but the weeks are short! It will all be over in the blink of an eye and we will be back to the structure of the school year, happy to be moving on but missing our freedom.

July Daybook

A daybook style post from the whole family:

Outside my window… the pool needs more water, the grass is dead, and the pool towels need to be washed.

I am thinking…  Max is thinking about how to make an interesting Lego space ship.

I am thankful… for this chaos.

In the kitchen… someone will eventually have to load the dishwasher. Who will it be?

I am wearing… Molly is wearing one of Tessa’s shirts that she has turned into a dress for the third day in a row.

I am creating… there is a lot of coloring going on here these days. The picture below was colored by Lily (left picture) and Molly (right picture) at the same time with no fighting!

I am going… a little crazy with cabin fever. I long for the ability to take a walk after dinner, or take the kids to the park to run off some steam.

I am wondering… Tessa is wondering why her ear wasn’t hurting earlier last night. (She woke up with swimmer’s ear.) She is also wondering when she can have a friend over.

I am reading… The Wizard of Oz aloud to the kids. They are loving it and begging for more chapters every night. Ben just finished the Hunger Games Trilogy, and Tessa is reading Ender’s Game. Have to get ready for the movies this fall!

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I am hoping… for a miracle with a particular school waiting list.

I am looking forward to… Jay coming home from work.

I am learning… Molly is learning more letters almost every day. She is also trying to teach Gus how to spell her name, even though he can’t even say his own.

Around the house… Ben is playing a video game that the kids probably shouldn’t watch. Gus is playing with Fisher Price Little People, Lily and Molly, when asked what they were doing, replied, “Um, … stuff.” (It looks like it involves scissors.) Oh my, now they have a stapler too…

I am pondering… Jay is pondering the business, as we transition over to a different set up, he is under a lot of stress.

I am praying for… Posy, who is in South Africa building a home on a mission trip.

A favorite quote for today… from Ben: “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” -Dr. Seuss

One of my favorite things… my morning coffee while doing my bible study. I wish I could stay in that moment all day long.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Deal with the overdue library books, take the kids swimming every day, school supply shopping, take Ben to get his driving permit, find some cheap (and cool) ways to get the kids out of the house.

A peek into my day… before breakfast:



One of those “What I’ve Been Up To While I Ignored My Blog” kind of posts

In list format, because I’m lazy.
1. When I last posted, we were sick and had lice. I am happy to say that neither of those are true any more. Good thing too, because that post was  4 months ago!

2. Lent and Easter are always a super busy time for us. Since Jay is part of the Schola (professional choir) and also a cantor at our parish, he has a lot of extra work to do. For me, being on the RCIA team (rite of Christian initiation of adults), there is extra work as well. The Easter vigil is the high point of the year for both of us in both joy and intensity of our work. But I forget sometimes that the whole world isn’t stressed out joyfully working hard and hyper focused on the liturgical seasons. This became apparent when the parent of one of Max’s friends suggested some activity and I responded with an astonished, “But it’s LENT!” And they responded by looking at me as if I had sprouted another head. So I guess for some people, life goes on as normal, even when there are extra masses.

3. Baseball season! The kids played baseball as usual, and Molly joined in the fun as well. She didn’t look like she was having fun, but she kept asking for more games, so I guess she enjoyed it.

Max and Lily played too, and we all enjoyed being forced out of the house to socialize and be outside. Homebodies like us sometimes need to be dragged from our walls, whining and complaining the whole time. But secretly we love it.

4. Dietary changes. So I started this diet. I’m really not very good at it – I’m all two steps forward, two steps back about it. But part of that was reducing and eventually eliminating grain from my diet. So after a couple weeks, when I was sort of getting the hang of it. Jay went off gluten too, and he saw immediate results in how he felt. We took Molly off as well, and now she won’t touch anything with gluten at all, her constant bloating is much reduced. So now I have one who doesn’t want to eat milk products (except when she does), one who can’t/won’t eat gluten (Molly) and one who can’t eat gluten or eggs. And I ask you this: how in the holy heck am I supposed to cook for this crew?
Thank goodness for summer grilling.

5. Switching schools. I won’t go into a whole lot of detail here, but we are very excited about our new schools and there was a lot of work to get all the paperwork done, buy new uniforms, and much more. But I’m really appreciating summer because my daily drive will be much longer when school starts.

And then there is just the daily life of lots of people in a small house… that is more than enough to keep me hopping.

Flu and Bugs

What a week it has been.

The downward spiral began on Sunday night. Jay was at mass and I was at home with the little ones. I managed to pull dinner together and then right when he got home I just went and crawled into bed, exhausted. I was achy and had a horrible headache, but I figured I was just very, very tired.

The next day I was tired and achy but functional, and Lily was the one who was actually sick. She ran a high fever all day and the next day too. Wednesday she was up and ready to go back to school when Max told me his head was itchy. Sure enough. Lice. I’ve been a parent for 23 years now and this is our first bout of the little buggers. So Lily went to school and Max stayed home. Then Lily popped a fever at school and had to come home early. All day Wednesday I felt like I was moving through molasses. It wasn’t until that evening when I took my temperature that I figured out that I was actually sick too.

Wednesday and Thursday are a blur of fever for me and trying to figure out the best way to deal with the lice. I was too tired to even be very grossed out by the whole thing. Paisley was a huge help and took charge of the bulk of the nit removal. Thursday Nana came over with lunch for the little ones and some tools for our pest problem: a Robi comb and some fabric spray. Then she watched the kids while I just rested for a while. Thursday was also the day that Max and Molly came down with the illness – high fevers, headache, coughing. I’m not sure if it is the same thing my nephew spent 4 days in the ICU for, but with Molly’s asthma we weren’t going to take any chances. We went into high alert and started her on every 4 hours round the clock albuterol.

Today was Friday, when I woke up this morning and came into the living room I found Molly sleeping propped up on one couch, Jay on the floor next to her, Lily in the middle of the floor and Max on the other couch. Lily went back to school, I felt about 60% better, and Max and Molly were still sick. Gus was super fussy, but he hasn’t run a fever yet so I’m just assuming he’s jealous of Molly for all the holding she has needed.

Molly is not one to suffer in silence. At least once an hour she would call out to me, “Mommy! Mommy, I’m siiiiiick!” On Thursday night when she tried to eat dinner, she left the table to go to the bathroom. After just a minute we heard a shriek and then she was crying like a fire engine, wailing and sobbing. A few of us ran to her thinking that she had to have really hurt herself. When I asked her what was wrong she just said, “I’m tired!” Ok, then.

Posy and Paisley have already had this particular scourge, so that means more then half of us are done with it. Next week could be long and exhausting as well.

And for those of you who will inevitably be grossed out to be around us, know that lice are not that easily spread, and we are doing what appears to be the most effective way of battling them – manual removal at least once a day, plus a buzzed head for Max and braids for the girls. Covering them with oil is supposed to help, although some sources say that doesn’t actually kill them, it just puts them in a kind of suspended animation. That’s okay, that means they aren’t laying eggs and we can catch them when we painstakingly go over scalps every darn day. Oh, and washing and vacuuming everything. And now – I’m going to bed because I am still very tired and achy.

And one more sweet picture of sacked out sickies: