Thursday, October 30, 2008

Kids Say....

My little Bophie has a cold. Last night she had a hard time getting to sleep. Today she has alternated between really grumpy and unbelievably clingy. I don't know if it is her rapidly growing vocabulary or feeling under the weather, but she has said some of the funniest things.

Last night she very sweetly asked her dad, "I lay down with you guys?" as we were watching a little tv. When we let her, she even more sweetly turned to both of us and said, "I love you more." She even patted our cheeks for effect. I think she was buttering me up for the night she had in store for me, she was up and down all night. Nevertheless, those few little words melted my heart.

Then this morning I caught her jumping on my bed. When I sternly told her to stop, she looked at me and said "I telling Dad you talk to me like that." She has been using the phrase "talk to me like that" quite a bit lately. I wonder where she picked that up? She is constantly telling me about one of her sisters "talking" to her. In fact last week she told her dad "Don't kalk a mom like that, Dad." She said it at dinner when he said something sarcastically to me (I know you are all shocked there would be any sarcasm at our dinner table). Since then I think we have all provoked her a little to hear her say it again. It is cute now when she is 2. I am sure I won't feel the same when she is 8.

Later in the day was my favorite. I again caught her jumping, this time on my couch. I again gave her a pretty stern warning about jumping on the furniture. Her two-year-old response, "I not playing with you, Mom." Now there's a real threat... Imagine, I might actually have 5 minutes to drink that cup of coffee I had already reheated 3 times.

Monday, October 27, 2008

My Weekend

I've posted before about how wonderfully DH's company has treated us. This weekend, we won tickets to a tailgate party across the street from the shoe (OSU Stadium). While I knew it was crazy to do this on an already busy weekend, I couldn't pass up the chance to watch a big game in style!

I come from a long line of Buckeye fans. My grandmother's buckeye necklace is one of my most treasured possessions. My two year old can sing the fight song. The first station plugged into my radio dial in the car is The Fan Sports Radio. Thankfully, I have been blessed with a dear friend who can understand my football obsession.

We are probably the only two women I know who can immediately recognize and name all three men on that bus -- the only exceptions being my mom and Aunt Rose! For those who are sports deprived, it's the ESPN Game Day crew who were set up next to the company tent.

Before the game we watched the players pass right by the tent as they walked into St. John's Arena for the Skull Session. There was a jumbo-tron set up outside the tent to watch the game and several big screen tv's inside. It was a college football fan's paradise.

Whenever DH goes to one of these parties, he's immediately drawn to all the s.w.a.g. (stuff we all get not sista with a gun) and we inevitably leave with all kinds of goodies. His biggest reason for going to these parties is the free food and all the loot. He wasn't disappointed! We came home with picnic blankets, camp chairs, gift certificates, and a signed Tressell football! He was like a kid in a candy store with all the give-aways.

UPDATE: We also joked about the photographer taking pictures of the event. It felt like we were lurking in the background of half his pictures. Here are a few he took. One of us is each of these pictures, see if you can find us.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Vocabulary Lessons

When the kids were younger, I took them to Mass everyday. I had many people comment on how well they behaved. I always attributed part of that good behavior to practice. I found that the more we went to Mass, the better they behaved. Now that school takes more time, we only make it to daily Mass once or twice a week. I always try to make Friday.

Today, I have a bit of a headache and I am tired. I also feel like there is so much for me to get done that it would be humanly impossible to finish it all. These are the times I need Mass the most. Unfortunately, the girls can sense this mood in their mom and they hone in on it. The youngest two did not behave in Mass. I suspect this is largely due to how tired they are as well. Here's the conversation that ensues as I load them up:

Bophie: Donut, we get a donut?
Me: Are you kidding? You and Bear behaved atrociously, there is no way you're getting a donut.
Banana: What does atrocious mean?
Me: Terrible, horrible, awful.
Banana: Basically it means deplorable, right?

So, my 8 year old wasn't sure what atrocious meant. Apparently, deplorable is more her speed.

Fifth Sentence Fun

I was tagged by my dear friend Kim for this post.

I am to grab the closest book. I am in the kitchen, so I went to the small bookshelf between my living room and kitchen. The shelf holds mostly dh's books. He has a serious obsession with books. I picked up one of his newest, "Collected Works of G.K. Chesterton, Volume XXXI".

I am to turn to page 56 and locate the 5th sentence:

"The very fact that the process was slow, and that therefore the real line was almost stationary, made it easier to turn the eye away from it, for such digressions were at least diversions from the dull horror of protracted war."

For extra credit, I am to relate this sentence to my life. Without reading the sentence in the context of the article (which I may do later), what came to mind when I read about a slow process was our adoption wait. The adoption seems to be on my mind alot as we near our referral, which we hope will come next week, so I guess it is not surprising I would relate a random sentence to it. Certainly since it has taken so long I have allowed myself to have many digressions and diversions, especially when it came to thinking about how I would handle 2 weeks away from my girls. Now, with referrals coming closer, the details of our trip have begun to stress me out a little. None of this has anything to do with a "protracted war" but at least I was able to relate to most of the sentence.

Now I have to tag others. This is when I really wish I had more blogging friends. All of you lurkers out there should start a blog so I have people to tag! I will go with what I have and tag Shelly and Charlotte. Then I am going to challenge those lurking here to go grab their books and post your results in my comments.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

My little angels

I have the world's best kids. I do. Today, I really do. I can't help but be thankful for them.

As a stay at home mom (sahm), you would think it would be easy to make appointments. Whether they were for the doctor, dentist, hair dresser, whatever. That is not at all the case. Business hours for most of these places are often during times it is most dificult to find a babysitter. So, a sahm has a few options: try to coerce dh into getting out of work and home in time to allow her to make the appointment (this rarely works for me), or schlep all the kids to the appointment with her. You can only imagine the fun times had by all when the latter option is exercised.

I had a dentist appointment today. A dentist appointment I thought was on Thursday when dh could watch the little ones. I knew it would take an hour or so, and I had pushed it last week when I took the whole gang (including myself) in for cleanings. Bophie made it through the all of the appointments then without fussing, but I was with her for the most part.

My appointment today was to replace an old filling so I knew it would be longer than just a cleaning. Dh had too many meetings, so I was really brave and took all the girls with me. It turned out that the patient before me was really late so my 9:15 appointment turned into a 10:00 appointment. We waited in the waiting room for almost an hour before I was called back. My girls quietly read, ignored the television which even at 9 AM was playing commercials completely inappropriate for young eyes. They played with Bophie quietly. I was nervous as I went to the exam room, but I never heard a peep from them.

The dentist's office is really small. I would definitely have heard any arguments over toys, or complaining about time, or fussing from a two year old. I seriously never heard one little noise from them. Thankfully the cups at the water jug were gone so I didn't even have to worry about 8 cups of water being spilled. The dentist and the receptionists were so amazed by the girls behavior they let them come back and pick from the treasure chest. I was so impressed I took them to Panera and let them pick whatever they wanted. There's nothing like cinnamon rolls and bear claws for brunch on a Tuesday.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Somewhere in China

Today, we got our fingerprints for the adoption done. For the third time we schlepped everyone downtown, battled traffic and parking meters, and went to have our fingers scanned at the Dept. of Homeland security. If it sounds like I am a little perturbed by this, it's because I am. Have my fingerprints changed in the last 3 years? No. So why do they need another set? The reasoning is beyond me, except that each trip is a whopping $80/person. So, in total, we have paid $480 so the U.S. Government can have three copies of our fingerprints.

We are getting very close now. The rumor mill says that TA's (travel approvals) for the last batch of matches have begun arriving. This is usually a sign that the new matches are about a week away. So right now, in a small room in China, there is a pile of folders, one with our name on it. There is another pile of files of beautiful babies who need a home. Most likely, sometime this week, someone I will never meet is making a decision that will forever change the lives of everyone in my family. Within two weeks we should know the name of the newest member of our family. Amazing, isn't it?

Friday, October 17, 2008

This is why I should not attempt homemade

This is what happens when you are baking cookies with a 2 year-old. When I turned around, she turned the oven from 350 to 550. There was still 4 minutes left on the timer when the girls started asking what was that smell? "Why is there smoke pouring out of the oven, Mommy?"

This would be fine if we weren't supposed to be taking these cookies to a hayride in an hour. Thank goodness dh passes a supermarket on the way home from work. Tonight, we will be making smores.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


One of my favorite priests at a daily Mass said, "Life is like a roll of toilet paper, the closer it gets to the end the faster it rolls out." I thought that was pretty clever. Remember how slow time moved as a kid? There were interminable days of summer where I wondered if I would ever not be bored. I can remember years when I was certain Christmas would never arrive. I had the paper chain that never seemed to get any shorter. And I spent many days as a teenager convinced I would never be old enough to do whatever whim I was desperately clinging to that week.

Fast forward a few years (ok, more years than I want to admit) and I have to wonder where the time went. Today I got my first email message reminding me the holidays are around the corner and I need to start preparing. Heck, Target has had their Christmas stuff out for almost a month now. Any look at my oldest daughter is a stark reminder of how quickly time passes.

Tonight, my little Bophie fell asleep in my arms. She had a long day. Banana and Bear have classes on Thursday, so I have a little time with just Bophie. Today we went to run errands. We got coffees and dashed here and there and she didn't get her nap. Then we went to pick up the girls and she fell in the pool in her clothes. Luckily Mom was there to pull her out! It was an eventful day for her. She was so worn out that tonight during prayers she curled up in my arms and fell asleep-- fast asleep. I was at first thankful that tonight I wouldn't have to deal with her bedtime blues. Then, I was even more thankful for this time. She isn't a baby anymore, and pretty soon she won't crawl into my lap to be rocked to sleep. It was a moment of wanting that roll to unravel more slowly.

On the other hand, knowing we are next for matches (God-willing) has made the time since the last referrals seem ridiculously slow. I check much too often to see if there are new rumors about when the matches will arrive. I find myself wanting the end of the month to get here so we can see our little girl. We have been waiting almost three years and I am ready to finally get off this slow boat to China.

So I guess I am fickle and can't make up my mind. Speed up? Slow down? I'll take both :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

My morning offering

I received this snippet of a forum question from I am sorry I don't have the full link as it came as part of a message from an email loop I belong to.

In fact the highest calling is strict adherence to the moral law without admittance of compromise, even in the face of worldly futility. It is a mark of humility to recognize ones own powerlessness as opposed to that of idolatry.

I needed to hear this yesterday. I needed to be reminded that no matter what the world throws my way, I need to humbly pick up my cross-- no matter how futile it seems sometimes. We have reached the mid-point of 40 Days for Life. I know my sacrifices have been minimal and my prayers could use more fervor and devotion.

To use a sport's analogy (imagine that during college football season), I need to fight with the veracity of the underdog. I need to keep alive the drive, to understand that even if no one thinks pro-lifers can win I must continue to do my part. It is the higher calling.

Each month we join a group from our parish to pray in front of an abortion clinic in our area. I take my girls because I know they will have to continue this battle someday. Last month, they got together with a friend and decided to bring their baby dolls so that the people going in would know how nice babies were. Dear Banana also made a wonderful sign. It read Life is Pro-Life. I chuckled a little, but I am so impressed with her young sense of justice. She also added "pray you can see for yourself."

Today, I am going to take up that prayer. I am going to pray our nation can truly see the effects this has on our society. I am going to pray for all those walking into a clinic today to kill their unborn children. I am going to pray they see what they are doing for what it is. I am going to pray for an end to abortion in our country and around the world.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

My rant about girls clothes

I am expecting a package tomorrow. I love Internet shopping. How nice is it to get something new come to the house? I like clicking to find the size I want, knowing instantly if it is available instead of sorting through rack after rack. It is also nice not to have to manage the mall with my three girls. My girls are fairly well-behaved (they have certainly had their moments, but for the most part are pretty good), and it can be fun to take them out and look through stores, get a frou-frou cup of coffee from Starbucks. It makes a perfect girl outing.

The problem? Have you seen the mall lately? I get tired of trying to strategize and come up with circuitous routes around the growing number of stores that market clothing for hookers and streetwalkers to my children. I cringe at the language of passer-bys. Then I get sticker shock from the few items of appropriate clothing I can find.

I never knew clothes shopping for an 8 year old girl could be so difficult or expensive. Once Banana hit a size 7, our choices became infinitely smaller and the prices for those options jumped exponentially. Why is it that clothes for a girls' size 7 look like they were made for 16 year olds? Some of the clothes would even be inappropriate for 16 year olds. I am stuck shopping at places I never dreamed I would shop because I find the prices unbelievable. Our package has jeans that were originally priced higher than I would pay for a pair of jeans for myself! Luckily, they were on sale and I had a coupon. But in order to get decent clothes at a decent price, I feel as though I have to constantly be shopping.

Why do these clothing designers market this stuff to kids? Can't an 8 year old be content to look like she is 8? Why encourage them to jump into teenage stuff? Looking back, are there many people who feel the teen years were the best in their life? Why not relish the few precious years of being a kid? I even hate the term tween. Why can't they just be kids?

I don't feel my girls should have to sacrifice nice clothes in order to be modest. I also don't understand why nice, fairly stylish, modest girls clothing has to cost an arm and a leg. I need my arms and legs to pay for gas and groceries.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


I was reading an amazing post today written by a woman who lives in my alternate universe--she has three boys. I can't imagine how different life with boys would be :)

Here is her post

She rather elegantly put into words some of how I feel about the little ones I have lost through miscarriage. In some ways it is easier for me to have her say what is on my heart because it is so difficult to say it myself.

We named our last miscarried little girl Mary Guadalupe. She was due on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. From the beginning she was an answer to our prayers. My sweet dear girls had prayed especially to Our Lady of Guadalupe asking for a new sibling. It was no coincidence this was her due date, she was meant to be forever tied to that title of Our Blessed Mother. I have experienced no greater sorrow than I did at her loss and the loss of the others I have miscarried and yet I rejoice at her entrance into heaven. I relish her intercessions. I know she is watching over our family. I know she is praying for our adoption and somehow watching over a little one who is a world away from us right now.

More than that I know she is praying for our country and for an end to abortion. I feel she is right there with the Protectress of the Unborn, praying for this holocaust to stop. I feel privileged to unite my pain to that. I have, and am, offering up my moments of sadness and grief for all those who have no one to mourn their loss here on earth.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, we turn to you who are the protectress of unborn children and ask that you intercede for us, so that we may more firmly resolve to join you in protecting all human life. Let our prayers be united to your perpetual motherly intercession on behalf of those whose lives are threatened, be they in the womb of their mother, on the bed of infirmity, or in the latter years of their life. May our prayers also be coupled with peaceful action, which witnesses to the goodness and dignity of all human life, so that our firmness of purpose may give courage to those who are fearful and bring light to those who are blinded by sin. Encourage those who will be involved in the March for Life; help them to walk closely with God and to give voice to the cry of the oppressed, in order to remind our nation of its commitment to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all people. O Virgin Mother of God, present our petitions to your Son and ask Him to bless us with abundant life. Amen.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Sleeping Beauty

I know I am too into this blogging thing when I post a picture in order to comment.

I came across this post. I couldn't help but comment as I have a quilt made by a dear, dear friend for Bophie from the same fabric. I wanted to show her a picture, but couldn't figure out how to put it in the comment, so here it is.


My girls have always loved shopping at Trader Joe's. When we first moved here, we had corporate housing right across the street and we would go to that store almost daily. The girls love pushing the little carts, the cookie samples, and getting a fruit leather. Then one day they saw a sign that said if you find Finnigan (a stuffed dolphin) you can get a prize (an organic lollipop). Every time we are in that store, which is not often enough now that we don't live as close, my girls scour the shelves looking for Finnigan so they can get a prize.

I kind of enjoy this as it keeps them busy and not hounding me to buy more things. I love TJ's, but I always end up leaving there with way too many snack foods. I am lulled into thinking that because it is healthier, it is healthy. The distraction of the dolphin allows me to get what I need rather than constantly saying no, no, no.

The girls may have taken the reward thing too far though. Dh is amazing and gets up everyday to go to the early Mass-- really early Mass. Once a week he takes the girls with him and then takes them for breakfast. Last week they came home talking about the reward McDonalds has now.

Girls: "Mom, we could win $100 if we find the cat in McDonalds and it is much smaller than Trader Joes."

Me: "$100 for what?"

Girls: "We have to find the cat at McDonalds. There was a sign that said $100 reward for whoever finds the lost cat in the picture."

I chuckled at this. It was just too cute and I was busy at the time and didn't have time to explain what was really going on. This morning, I got up and we went as a family to Mass, then I took the girls to McD's as dh had to get to work. This is what I hear in the backseat.

Bear: "Darn, we didn't win the $100 for finding the cat."

Banana: "I really could've used that $100. That's a lot better than a lollipop."

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Don't tell dh

Dh is away on a business trip. The past few business trips have had him going to warmer climates (Hilton Head and Portugal) while I deal with major snowstorms. You remember the crazy one in late Feb this year? I was stuck shovelling the driveway for hours with kids crying the whole time. He is in Florida now so I figured I was in for an October storm. Luckily that hasn't happened.

I thought I would take the opportunity while he was away to tackle a few projects, one being potty training Bophie. Having struggled with so much infertility and miscarriages, I would love to have two in diapers, but I guess God knows I am not up for the challenge. With the adoption growing ever closer, I am trying to get Bophie trained before we leave. Two in diapers doesn't count if you just neglect to train someone perfectly capable of using the toilet :)

The girls have been working with her for a week or so. We got her pull-ups and she is excited to get candy for going in the potty. Sometimes she is so excited she goes 3 or 4 times in a row. I think she saves a little so she can go back. Today was a new milestone. She is going on her own. She put the step stool in the bathroom and manages all by herself. I thought this was ok till I found her this afternoon...

I really wanted to take a picture of this, but modesty prevents me from doing so. The little one put both feet in one leg hole and then hiked the thing up to her waist. She was like that for hours. I just don't think that could be comfortable. Thankfully I caught it before any major incidents, but she has done it twice since so I will have to be more on top of her trips to the bathroom.

I say don't tell dh because he would be mortified to know just how long dear Bophie walked around with her bare bottom before I realized she had the pull-up on wrong!

Monday, October 6, 2008

My Favorite Fall Food

Squash Soup! I had a request for the recipe, so I thought I would try to post it. We wait and wait for the squash to go on sale. The minute it is in the produce section, my girls are carrying over 2 or 3 to put in the cart. Something about the sweet and spicy and the creamy texture makes this the ultimate fall comfort food in our house. I often make it for Friday dinners in October and November as we try to observe Friday abstinence all year round.

I am typically one of those follow a recipe to a t person. The chemist in me (believe it or not that is what my degree is) requires that I measure everything. That does well for baking, but not cooking in general. This is probably my one recipe that has little to no measurements.

Butternut Squash Soup

2 large butternut squash
Ground red cayenne pepper, cracked black pepper, kosher salt (all to taste)
1 onion
1 stick butter
1 ½ large cans of broth (I typically use chicken)
2 8oz packages of cream cheese

Cut squash in half, remove seeds. Lightly sprinkle with red cayenne pepper, cracked black pepper, kosher salt (all to taste). Place squash in a shallow baking dish that has about an inch of water in the bottom. Roast for about half an hour at 350 degrees. Remove from oven and let it cool. When it is cool enough to handle, remove the peeling and cut into pieces. I make my pieces about the size I use when making mashed potatoes.

In a soup pan over medium high heat melt butter. Add onions and allow to caramelize. Then add the broth and squash pieces. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes.

Using a blender, puree the squash and broth mixture with the cream cheese. Put the soup back in the pan to heat, but do not allow to boil. I taste it here to decide if I would like to add more spice as we tend to like it fairly spicy here. Serve warm

Here is a recipe similar to mine:

Want to share your favorite fall recipe?

Sunday, October 5, 2008

A Future Vocation?

Bear once told a boy (a son of dear friends) she might be a nun when she gets older. This little 4-year old has quite a little crush on her. He wanted to buy her a weal wedding wing from a gumball machine once when our families were together at a pizza joint. After Bear's declaration that Jesus might want her to be a nun he responds, "I don't like nuns."

Saturday we were driving to a pig roast at our parish. Banana asks a question about highways and what type of roads were there before them. Dh answers her by telling her about a road that runs parallel to the highway that he has taken when traffic was bad. He says it was very scenic and if he remembers correctly, there is an old convent on the road.

Bear responds, "If there is a convent there, and Jesus calls me to be a nun when I get old, I think I'll go to that convent so that I can still be close to you guys." My heart melts and I am hoping she will always want to be so close to us. Then she follows up with, "But I really want a convent where they will let me pray in the chapel a lot." I think my heart skipped a beat.

It is amazing how much joy a 5-year old can bring her parents.

Saturday, October 4, 2008


Before we got to another Wednesday picture, I thought this little gem was worth sharing. This is Banana when she was about Bophie's age. I think all my girls have gone through the everything can be turned into chapstick phase.

In other news, we got a call from our agency this week letting us know we are officially next. Barring any complications, we will receive our match in early November. This call really made us feel like this is going to happen-- and soon. We will be spending October making sure all our ducks are in a row. I am sure I will spend a fair amount of time at the rumor site too. Please continue to pray for our little one. I was thankful for this week's Feast of the Guardian Angels. During our family prayers that evening we asked our angels to watch over her.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Feast of St. Therese

The Internet has revolutionized the way we celebrate Feast Days here. There are literally bazillions of ideas out there. I have a little of a craft handicap. I am not totally devoid of craftiness, but I am not particularly talented either. I need easy-to-follow directions with few complicated steps. Here are two we used yesterday:

St. Therese Sacrifice Beads: these were surprisingly easy and I had everything on hand.

St. Therese Coloring Pages: this site had amazing saint pages to color. I was a day late on the archangels, but the girls enjoyed the St. Therese pages.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Growing in Virtue

The purpose of my blog was/is to keep some sort of record of day-to-day life with my children. I set this up as my specific goal because I was a little intimidated by the countless other blogs out there. So many are funny, witty, intelligent, inspirational, etc. I knew if I tried to do anymore than keep a "journal" of life here, the results would pale to what is out there in the blogosphere. My main goal is to have a sort of scrapbook that someday my kids might enjoy reading. I am not a crafty person, so you won't find any other scrapbooks in this house.

However this is an article by Mark Shea I read yesterday and really enjoyed. While it is not really a story about my girls, I still thought it was blog worthy.

Here is a little excerpt:

The moment we go from framing the question in terms of trying to bargain our way out of damnation and instead put it in terms of seeking virtue, all the fog disappears. We no longer have to wonder just how close we can tiptoe up to adultery without committing it. We don't have to endure puzzlement about how near to hypothermia we can push our victim without it being torture. We don't have to microscopically parse the question, "How near to personhood should our victim be before it's wrong to burn him alive or tear him apart in his mother's womb?"

When you are working to be virtuous and not merely trying to get away with something, you don't do that kind of thing. The discussion begins on a different footing. You ask things like, "How can I love, honor, and cherish my wife and avoid the near occasion of sin?" You seek to interrogate prisoners in a framework of humane treatment and discover that people more readily divulge accurate information to people they trust than to people they hate and fear. You seek to care for women and their children without making it a kill-or-be-killed scenario.

You trust, in short, that Jesus knows what He's talking about when He tells us, "Seek first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added to you as well."

It reminded me to take this approach as a mother. I may not have email conversations with Bill Clinton, but everyday I deal with little ones who are trying to "bargain their way out of damnation."I am daily bombarded with some little one giving me some excuse for pinching, poor schoolwork, or the mess in their room. I also am confronted with difficult questions like: "She gets to have 6 jellybeans, why do I only get 5 and a half?" There are also those impossible situations of one child teasing and the other finally having enough of the taunting, says something terribly hurtful.

In these situations, I need to not split hairs about blame, but rather encourage growth in virtue. Instead of sorting through who did what and how that fits on the scale of wrondoings, I need to remind my dear children we are called to kindness and sacrifice.

Not Quite Wordless Wednesday

It isn't even chapped lips season and already she has worked her way through all the chapsticks. Since she couldn't find one, she moved to my cover-up. Thing is, I've had that tube since dh brought it back from a business trip to a drugstore chain in 2002.