Friday, September 12, 2014

We Have a Teenager!

Every year on the anniversary of 9/11 we watch some of the documentaries that tell about that day where our world as we knew it was forever changed.  Even now, thirteen years later, that day still seems surreal.  I remember much of what I did that day quite vividly and I suspect part of that is due to the fact that it was also the day I went into labor with our first child.  In the small hours of 9/12 less than eighteen hours after the first plane hit the World Trade Center I was holding a small little baby in my arms and marveling at how amazing it was that Bryan and I actually had a tiny baby girl.  We had no idea what adventures lay ahead of us.

That little baby is no longer little.  She's grown so much and while she may drive us crazy at times, she also amuses us with her antics, her quirky outlook on life and her many quotable comments which those of you who happen to be my friend on FaceBook have no doubt seen.  From "crapple juice" (that's cran-apple to the rest of us) to "ravenous bears" striking poses in populated areas, she always keeps us laughing.

One can only imagine what the upcoming year will have in store for us.  I know she'll be confirmed sometime in the spring and she'll also graduate from 8th grade.  Before her next birthday she will officially begin high school.   I'm sure there will be plenty more Madeline quotes along the way and many more stories to be told.  It's always an adventure!

So happy birthday Madeline!  I hope your first year as a teenager is a fun one!  Try not to drive me least not deliberately.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Where are the voices?

Of all the things in recent modern history, what sticks with me, perplexes me and even haunts me frequently enough when I sleep is the Nazi Holocaust.  From about 6th or 7th grade on up I learned so much about the Holocaust in school.  I went to a college that at the time was one of only a handful in the nation offering a degree in genocide and holocaust studies.  One of the professors, who you would regularly see around campus was a concentration camp survivor.  He was a voice who was well known for making sure the atrocities committed would not be forgotten.  I honestly thought that such atrocities were something we wouldn't see repeated in my lifetime.  But, I was incorrect in my assumptions.

Even people like myself who sort of live under a rock and don't watch the news very often (I do read it online.) are aware of the crimes against humanity being committed over in Iraq and Syria courtesy of ISIS.  For the life of me, I cannot understand why this hate filled group isn't being stopped.  As a mother, I'm sickened when I read stories about children being systematically beheaded.  I try to imagine how anyone can bring themselves to slaughter innocent men, women and children, but the fact is there's no way to rationalize such a crime or the thought process behind it.  It's just flat out evil and those carrying out these acts are monsters.

Please take a moment to  watch the video below hear what Cardinal Wuerl has to say about this genocide.  He raises an important question: Where are the voices?  Watch the video and then be one of the voices.  Don't be silent, silence is as good as condoning these atrocities.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Long Day Two Hours In

Do you ever have days where so much goes wrong so quickly that instantly a day that you thought would be decent enough becomes just the opposite?  I woke up to the alarm this morning and still felt tired, but I wanted to get to Mass because it's St. Augustine's feast day and he's one of my saints, so I knew I had to go.  Not going would be like bailing on your friend's birthday party because you wanted to take a nap.  And while he's not going to give me crap for it, I will.

By all accounts, this should have been a great morning.  Anthony slept through the night, I got to bed a a reasonable time so I had plenty of sleep, even if the alarm clock and I didn't agree on the waking time, and I was right on track for getting everything done in time to get out the door for Mass with one kid, Anthony.

Best laid plans, right?  Obviously something had to go wrong.  You know why?  Because I thought to myself that I had a decent day yesterday all things considered.  I didn't whine and complain to Bryan when he was at the office for about 12 hours and gone for about 14.  I didn't lose it with any of the kids yesterday and I could have several times, but I didn't.  I get some bonus points for being more patient than usual, right God?  If not, that's cool. just make sure You remember I pretty much rocked it yesterday.

So the morning started to unravel right as I got out of the shower,  because I refuse to count getting annoyed that my book was once again missing when I sat down this morning to read it as part of the long two hour day.  Worse things could happen.  So I step out of the shower and almost instantly I hear that the baby is awake and not happy.  He's hungry and I'm rushing as fast as I can to get dried and dressed so I can go feed him.  Once he's cared for I go to wake Katie and discover that she once again has opted to use a pull up for #2 instead of the toilet.   I expressed my displeasure.  And then proceeded to do waste management which included a bath minutes before heading out the door.  Awesome way to start the day!

Ellie was dressed and ready so she was coming along with me and Anthony to Mass.  Just as I'm walking out the door, Katie who just sat down for breakfast started crying because she wanted to come, too.  So I had Madeline grab shoes for her and a granola bar and all four of the kids headed to Mass with me.

We got to Mass on time, so that felt like a success.  Katie was relatively well behaved, although she did have a few moments where she was a bit too loud for my liking.  And then, out of nowhere Anthony got me with a massive spit up that soaked my pants.  It just kept coming and coming.  I honestly don't know how this baby gains as much weight as he does with the amount of spitting up he does.  It doesn't add up.

By the time Mass was over I was exhausted and ready to call it a day.  Not exactly how I want to feel at 8:38am.  I'm hoping the rest of the day is a little less trying.  I know it's going to be a long day just because tonight's a soccer practice night which means the little ones and I will be hanging out while Bryan and the older girls are out of the house for about three hours this evening.  Feeling exhausted with 12 hours to go isn't exactly encouraging.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Theme Thursday: Google Image

Well this was an easy Theme Thursday!  This week's theme is Google Image.  Since my last name is a bit on the more common side I googled myself using my name as I have it up on my personal FaceBook account, even though I go by my married last name and not a hyphenated version of my maiden and married last names.
The first image that shows up is this one of me and Bryan which happens to be my current FaceBook profile picture:

Here's a screen shot of what came up:
First two pictures are of me, followed by my Good Friday FB status the past couple of years and a nice surprised picture of Bryan on the far right.

Go check out Clan Donaldson for more Theme Thursday fun.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Busy, busy, busy!

It seems like there's always something going on around here.  It's like there's never time to sit down and just write a blog post, or I start to write one and suddenly there's a queue of kids asking me what feels like a thousand questions.

Last week I had the hardest time sleeping for a couple of days and after two nights of only four hours of sleep each night I was completely exhausted.  Despite feeling incredibly tired I then found that I just couldn't sleep.  It wasn't until Friday that I started to be able to catch up on sleep.  I'm just now starting to feel like I've had enough sleep to function properly.

I think were now a laundry generating machine.  Anthony spits up so much that I think he creates a load of wash a day all on his own.  He's on Zantac, but it's not helping with the spit up as much as I would like.  This morning at Mass he had such a massive spit up during the Our Father right as we said "Thy will be done" that there was an audible splash and enough dripping off my arm that our friends about seven pews back commented on the dripping spit up after Mass.   Lovely.

That Mass was just a fun-filled 45 minutes of mortification.  Between Katie acting like a two year old, which she is, but she really ramped it up this morning, and Ellie grabbing Katie by the head during a novena to move her out of the way, along with Anthony's excessive spitting up, I was ready to go crawl into a hole and stay there for the rest of the day.

Later in the day the dog decided to get stuck under the shed.  If it were left to me, I would have just let him try to figure out how to get unstuck on his own, but Bryan and the girls are much nicer to him than I am.  It took Bryan a little while but he rescued the dog who then tried to go right back under the shed again.  I imagine there must be something under there that has him very interested.

This Friday the girls will wrap up their third week of school.  We're 1/12 of the way through the school year!  So far it's going well.  They're getting everything done for the most part.  I decided to just have the girls work off the lesson plans that Seton sent us rather than copy them into an excel spreadsheet for the week.  I like it better this way, but Madeline doesn't.  This way makes it harder for her to ignore the details that don't fit on the spreadsheet.

Soccer has one again taken over.  Two nights a week the girls and Bryan go off to soccer practice while I stay home with Katie and Anthony.  Being alone with the two little ones at the end of a long day can be exhausting.  I've seen more Sofia the First, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Cinderella than I care to remember.  I've also read Katie's favorite Tomie DePaola books to the point that even the newer ones we're recently added are almost memorized by me.  I have quite the collection of children's books memorized.  Too bad I can't use that awesome mom skill to remember what we need to buy at Target or the grocery store!

I think it's possible that me eating dairy foods may be making Anthony's reflux worse.  I've been noticing that when I eat a lot of dairy that he spits up a lot more than on the days when I haven't, particularly a day or two after not having much or any diary.  So, of course, after noticing this yesterday I sat down and had Tostitos and sour cream--a lot of sour cream.  Today I spent all day wiping up copious amounts of cheesy spit up.  So I'm going to try going dairy free for a few days to see if there's a change.  I really don't want to have to possibly eliminate dairy, but I'd like him to not be spitting up all the time.  So if I must, I'll stop eating it.  I'll just have to figure out what to eat instead if diary does turn out to be the culprit.

Is it bad that Anthony will be four months old in eleven days and I still haven't ordered birth announcements?  I sent them out for the girls but just never got around to doing them for Anthony.  I feel like it might be silly to send them out now, but at the same time I hate to not have a birth announcement for him when I had one for each of his sisters.

That's pretty much the nickel tour of what's been going on around here.  Nothing spectacular, just regular everyday craziness.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Curriculum for Sale

I'm trying to make sure I don't wind up on an episode of Hoarders some day, so I'm linking up with Jessica's Curriculum Sale Blog Hop and selling some books that have just been taking up space on the bookshelves.  Prices and condition details are listed below the pictures.  If you're interested in any of the books, leave a comment with your email address or email me at  Prices do not include shipping.

Teaching Textbooks Math 7 Brand New (removed from original shrink wrap but never used, CDs are still sealed in their package).  $80 or best offer (I paid $149.90 back in January 13).

Harcourt Trophies Spelling Grade 5 New, has some shelf wear. $5

6th grade basic skills workbook, new has some shelf wear. $4

Harcourt Trophies Reading Text.  I can't recall if this is 2nd or 3rd grade.  It's in fair shape and has some water marks on the bottom of the pages.  $5
Pearson Connected Mathematics 2 Covering and Surrounding (6th grade)  Very good condition, there are a few stray marks inside the book.  $3
Glenco Language Arts Grade 6, Cover is a bit worn but the pages are free of any writing.  Book has a contact paper book cover. $4
Faith and Life Grade 1 Student Text; New I accidentally brought two copies of this book for Ellie three years ago.  Oops!  $6
Scott Foresman Building A Nation 5th Grade Social Studies, Good used condition $6
Scott Foresman Mathematics 3rd Grade, Good used condition $6

Monday, August 4, 2014

Book Review: Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Comic Book

Sometimes if you're looking to pull kids away from the TV during the summer, a comic book might be just the thing to lure them away from the TV and get them reading.  The other day a few new books showed up at our house and both my 9 year old and my 12 year old were instantly drawn to the Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Comic Book.  I saw my opportunity to get each of them away from the TV for a little bit and suggested the each of them read the book.

My nine year old picked up the book first and spent a good forty-five minutes to an hour reading the book and looking at the illustrations.  A few times she came over to show me a part that she really liked or to tell me that  a part of the story that she already knew was in the book.  Once she finished the book she gave me a quick run down on the life of St. Kateri.  So she got away from the TV, she read and she learned a few things about St. Kateri that she didn't already know.  Awesome!

Before handing the book over to my twelve year old, I decided that I'd take a little break and read the book.  After all, I can't review it if I don't read it.  Having just read about St. Kateri in Fearless: Stories of the American Saints, the story was fresh in my mind and I wanted to see how this little comic book stacked up.  I'd have to say that this comic book does her life's story justice.  It doesn't get into all the nitty gritty details, but it does a pretty good job of covering all the important details.  Certainly a great spring board for getting kids acquainted with St. Kateri.  I also really enjoyed the comic book drawings.  It's a fun book to read and I know kids will enjoy reading this story over and over.

My twelve year old liked the book, too.  She breezed through the book quite a bit faster than her younger sister and reported back to me with some of the parts of her life story that she thought stuck out and she also noticed some of the foot notes sprinkled throughout the story.

Both of the girls enjoyed the book and so did I.  I'd like to see more books just like this on other saints.  I think this is a great way to introduce kids to the saints and because of all the comic book illustrations, I think the stories will make more of a lasting impression on young readers.

I was provided with a review copy of Saint Kateri Tekakwith Comic Book by the publisher, Pauline Kids, in exchange for my honest review.  Visit Pauline Media for more information on this title or to order a copy.
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