Saturday, March 30, 2013


After doing the Stations of the Cross with the kiddos, (at home)
yesterday, I laid down on the couch. (a very rare occasion)
Sweetie Pie here, came up to me, rubbed my head and said,
"Mama, you dyin?"
"Oooooh, no honey, I'm not dying."
"Good!  I wuv you!"

I love you too honey, I love you too!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Home Photo Shoot--Take 153

 Our home photo shoot, "Retakes" for Jedi
(because it didn't go so hot HERE)
His favorite was this one, and if you are a Star Wars fan,
you'll understand why, he said, "Hey, get this one, upside down,
it's like Luke Skywalker in the Wampa cave!"
I laughed so hard, I had to share it with you!
(and , no, we are not getting this one)
 The smiles were much better this time, 
I  kept talking about the Easter Bunny hopping into his room
using a funny accent
 Hey, it worked!
My sweet teenager, please stop growing up.
How can a mama be so sad and happy at the same time?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

(click on this one! If only she were in the sun, instead of the shade)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Update on Simeon

 Here's some cute toesies for you, and YES,
of course, I will kiss them for you!

 He's doing OK, he had a fussy, fussy week.
He's finally drinking out of his normal cups, 
as of tonite.

The first hardest part right now, 
is the arm bands
(we have blue shark ones too, from the last surgery)
They restrict him from putting anything into his mouth, 
like, oh, toys, crumbs, his fingers!
He's uncomfortable sleeping in them and
 is so happy when I take them off for a short time
but, he's quick, last week, he immediately put his finger in his nose, 
and blood gushed out (not good)
I hope it healed OK
We'll find out Friday (Good Friday)
at his Post Op check up

The second hardest part is the food.
He will be eating baby food type food for another 4 1/2 weeks.
He doesn't like baby food anymore.

(he eats a lot of  yogurt and pureed baked beans
 (I know, yum, huh?)

He wants crackers and cereal and, whole fruit pieces, veggies and bread
you know, real food! 

Thank you again for all your prayers!!

(not sure if I'll be back this week or not)

Have a Blessed Holy Week!  

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Last Year's Mud!

Mud is the theme this week for Clan Donaldson's "Theme Thursday"
 I wanted to join in, because I'm longing for MUD
 You see, these are last year's pictures, 
from March 15th
They give me hope for spring

Mud is very nice to feel
All squishy-squashy between the toes.
I'd rather wade in wiggly mud,
Then smell a yellow rose.
Nobody else but the rosebud knows
How nice mud feels
Between the toes.

(author unknown)

I know there's mud under there somewhere,
 just waiting to brighten a mama's child's day!
(it's 19 degrees today)

Monday, March 18, 2013

Double Standards

I'm tired of double standards.
I think they are my new pet peeve.
Maybe they always have been, but I'm finally writing about it.

I'm talking women stuff.
Things we women should all support each other in.
Raising children
Being open to life
Having more children
Being Catholic and living that faith 
Small decisions
Big decisions

Being a stay at home, Catholic, homeschooling, breastfeeding (pumping) mama to 6 kiddos here are some things that other women have said to me over the years:

I could never stay at home with my kids all day
Breastfeeding that long is too hard
I love my kids, but I could never be with them all day like that
I could be with my kids more, but I have to work part time, I can't be with them that much, my goal might be to work only part time.
You are amazing, I could never do that.  She stays at home and homeschools too.
How are you going to teach math?
Are you going to teach them all the way through high school?
6 kids?  Wow, you are amazing.
How many kids are you going to have?
Are you done having kids yet?
Is this the last one?
I could never do what you do.
I'm selfish, I guess I like my freedom too much.

Now, I'm going to reverse these statements towards these non homeschooling, non stay at home working mamas who say these things to me, I would be looked at as if I were making fun of these women, I would be looked at as if I were being mean.

I could never work and be away from my kids all day
Using formula is too hard.
I love my kids, I could never be away from my kids all day like that
I can't be with my kids less, I can't work, not even part time, my goal is to be there for my kids every day.
You are amazing.  I could never do that.  She works outside the home full time and sends her kids to school. 
How do your kids learn math?
Are you going to send your kids to school all the way through high school?
2 kids?  Wow.  You are amazing.
You are only having 2 kids?
You are done having kids?
This is your last one?  
I could never do what you do.
I'm not selfish, I guess I don't like my freedom much.

Could you imagine if I really said these things?  I tell you what, I'd have no friends.  Yet, other women say these things to us all the time.  Why the double standard?
It hit me this past week while in the hospital, while the umteenth nurse said some of these words to me.  It's kind of insulting.  It is insulting.  Why can't we just lift each other up?  Why do we compare ourselves constantly? Because I'm different than maybe the mainstream mama, does this give you the right to say whatever you want to me?    It's like we make bigger issues out of things like cloth diapering/disposal diapers, breastfeeding/formula feeding, immunizing/not immunizing, homeschooling/not homeschooling, being open to life/not, the list goes on and on, the way we compare and get huffy about little things, because ladies, these are small things.

I have to update with this, this did not all happen at the hospital.  Some of the words were said by a few nurses.  I also must say, all the nurses were wonderful, caring women and we were blessed to have them (well...I did have one kind of bad one, she didn't double check his pain medicine dosage and asked if I wanted to give it to him, I looked at it and knew it was triple the amount he was supposed to have...she checked because I insisted, and I was right--thank God)  Anyway, these words are (and most of you got that) said by women all over, everywhere, in stores, out and about.  These words are not meant to be hurtful, they are just said, without thinking, which is why I wanted to point out the opposite statements.  Sometimes I think women say these things to make themselves feel better about their own decisions, instead of just being proud of the best choices they made for their families.  That's what I believe, we all make the best choices for our families.  And that's why we need to support each other. Lift each other up.  Stay strong in your beliefs, stay strong in your faith.   

(this is a stupid post, it sounds much better in my head)

Saturday, March 16, 2013

7 Quick Takes!

 I'm trying Jen's Quick takes again this week
(hope she doesn't mind it's actually Saturday, my days are goofed up this week)
We have a new pope!  Pope Francis!
I do not know much about him, hoping he's conservative,
loving his humbleness, praying for him.
Not  understanding how some non Catholic friends who have lots of Catholic friends
can post negative things about Catholics getting a new Pope on Facebook.
Things like, "No matter who's pope, Jesus is still King" 
Yep He is.
 it does matter who is pope
The Catholic religion is the only religion that has remained 
100 % pro-life in every way
We have not backed down on abortion, contraceptives, euthanasia.
(and many other moral teachings)
Because we have a physical leader here to make sure, 
who has the Holy Spirit guiding him all the way.
This new pope comes in a long line of popes
click HERE
To see how they all go back to Jesus, Who IS King, and Who 
made Peter the very first Pope.

I would be happy for you if you got a something new at your church.  
Why does it seem to upset you when we do?
We all have the same goal

Here's Simeon on day one
about 5:30 am
He was happy and dancing and talking away, entertaining all the nurses!

 Here he is about 2 pm
It's hard to look at your baby like this and say how things are really going.
Because when you look at your baby like this, things are not going good.
Maybe the surgery has been successful,
 but you still will be up all night and day with a 
hurting, fussy, scared little baby, who you can do nothing for
except pray and be there for him.
(I won't show the close up of his face only, it's too sad to look at)
Day 2 (Wednesday) morning
his face is swollen but there is a slight smile here,
he's playing dice...we play a lot of Farkle and he loves to shake the dice.
This only lasted this one morning, then, 
all toys were thrown out of the crib
every time we tried to give him any

 So by that afternoon, we desperately needed to get out!

 Which was easier with helpers!

Day 3 no I.V.!!
(but it's still attached to his foot)
Here, he's holding the milk cup, but won't take a drink,
I caught him twice starting to take a drink,
 and once it got to his lips
he'd put it down.  Poor baby.
He loved the wagon rides!
(can't wait til summer)
Day 4 (Friday)
 We would walk to the end of the long hallway
to this family type room, I'd close the door, and let him play all around!
The hospital was full of very sick kids,
 so we didn't get to play in the playroom much
(and when we did, I forgot my camera!)
 6. HOME!!!

This is today!
Looking much better, his lip is still swollen a little.
I cringe every time I think of how they must have
 held his top lip up and open for the 
5 1/2 hour surgery.
(He has sores on the corners of his mouth from this)
And I think about how much we complain when we have a little canker sore in our mouths
He's happy when he has Motrin. 

has a new blog name and lots and lots of new posts up!
Yay Christine!

Thank you again for all the prayers!  
God bless you all! 
PS, had to laugh, I only said I needed a nap and a shower,
not that I'd get them!
(I did shower, though)    

Friday, March 15, 2013

We Are Home!

It's Friday, 12:30 pm and we are home! Kind of unbelievable how long it takes to actually get out of the hospital, we've known since 8am we could go home today.

 Simeon is drinking some fluids, (with a spoon) eating lots of yogurt and lots of ice cream, smoothed with breastmilk! (cups just don't feel good on his premaxilla) The doctor said his mouth will be sore for about 10 days.  Poor baby.  He will not keep the arm braces on AT. ALL. So we will watch him very closely so he doesn't put anything in his mouth, including his fingers!

He's happy to be home and playing with his sisters right now.  I need a shower and a nap...but am very happy to be home and for McDonald's drive thru!  (fish sandwiches for everyone!) So good to be with  Tom and all the kiddos!  "Mary Hannah" stayed at the hospital with us. 

Thank you for all your wonderful prayers!!  

I'll try to post pictures later...(shower, first!)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Another Update!

Please pray that Simeon starts drinking fluids.  He drank, by spoon, about 1 3/4 oz orange juice and maybe a couple spoons of forced breastmilk.  That's it.  He ate 2 yogurts today.  They still have him on an IV so he's getting fluids that way, but not liking to drink anything.  The only way I can get him to drink is by spoon.  He was happier and much more alert today and we went for a couple of walks down the hall to see the fish and read books in the family lounge.  We cannot go home til he starts drinking fluids.  He smiled for his surgeon today and was happy when I played the video (many times) we made of the kids for the December surgery. His face is quite swollen and it seems hard to smile.  He is quite spunky, constantly throwing his toys out of the crib and Houdini-ing out of the arm braces constantly!  He also keeps "hitting" us in the face--because we say "No-No!" then, he gets this glimmer in his eye, like "haha what are you going to do about it?"  Little stinker. 

Please pray for his appetite and fluids--we want to go home, but want him to be ready to come home.

There were at least 8 babies born today and 6 yesterday.  (They are very busy)
Every time a baby is born, they play lullabye music on the speakers, kind of fun!

I thank God for a successful surgery and for wonderful people in the world, like you, such prayer warriers! 


Simeon is sleeping now, so I'm updating quick, then I need to try to get some sleep too.
He is in quite a bit of pain.  His surgery lasted over 5  hours. He was in the surgery room from 7am til we were able to see  him in recovery around 1:45pm.    The doctor was able to completely close the "nose layer" and he's very happy with the mouth layer.  The layer in the mouth, was closed almost completely and all the way back, I guess his palate was quite long and the doctor was happy with this that he was able to go all the way back.  (I have no idea what he's talking about either) It's hard to understand, he explained the palate as a double layer, almost hamburger like layered surgery. 

Right now, the goal is to keep him as comfortable as possible. (which means morphine) He is not eating much yet, pretty much forced sips.  This should change during the day Wednesday as he gets his appetite back. 

His face is quite swollen, he looks at the arm braces like "What the heck are these things?" as he's crying. 

We thank you for your prayers, keep them coming!

I'll try to update Wednesday sometime...(it's 3am right now) It's impossible to post while he's awake. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Please Pray for Simeon!

 Begging for prayers again!
Our sweet Sims is going in for his 4th surgery in 14 1/2 months
He's our hero
 Each time is just as hard as the last
We go through the same fears and worries and constant praying
 But this time, it's seeming to be a little harder for both Tom and I.
Little Simeon has a personality now, he's so fun and active, 
walking and getting into things constantly.
 Getting excited every time he sees us (melts a mama's heart every time)
Playing...he loves to play and read books
He loves to be held, if you are standing, no rocking or sitting allowed,
he will point where he wants you to walk to.

 How can you not smile when you say "No No!" when you see this face?
He's so used to everyone around,
  he doesn't even care when his toes are being kissed
while eating!

It feels  harder because we feel even more like we are almost 
betraying him.  Tricking him.  He goes in happy and 
comes out in such pain.
We will have to earn his trust again.
I tear up just typing this.
For the next few weeks, he will be afraid to be put down
He will not trust us.
And it breaks our hearts.
Come on over Google Readers, and see some great baby dancing!
Please ignore my loud voice and the Farkle playing in the background
(see more broken drawers here, covered with cardboard)

This picture shows his teeth good, except now he has a 5th one and is working on more.

Hard to imagine the doctors working in this small space for such a long time.
I get sick to my stomach when I think about it.
They are closing his palate tomorrow.
Surgery starts Tuesday, March 12th, at 7am 
(we need to be there at 5:30am)
The surgery will be minimum of 2 1/2 hours
They will cut 2 circles around the inside top of his mouth
Somehow it all closes...moves into place, all the parts are there, they just need help.

We will be at the hospital for 2 nights, coming home hopefully, Thursday some time.

Prayers are so very much appreciated!
They hold us up.
They help him, he's going to be something great when he grows up
(he already is)

Please pray for the doctors and nurses that will take care of Simeon
and that he heals quickly!
Please pray for our family, it's so hard for everyone in different ways.
My 6 year old has cried several times this past weekend, 
saying "I miss you already mama", breaks my heart.
 She has a stapled together book of blank papers, and every time she misses me,
she's going to color me a picture.
(it's already 1/2 full)

Thank you so much.
I pray for all of you too.
I can do that, our God is BIG
He knows who you all are!


Peanut Butter Pie!

Did you know that "Happy Birthday" has 13 letters in it?
It does.

Just like his father, Jedi loves pie instead of cake.
Peanut Butter Pie to be exact.

Peanut Butter Pie

25 Oreo cookies, crushed to a fine crumb
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup melted butter

1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter (I use Jif  and eyeball it)
1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla 
Small container of Cool Whip
(because it's easier)

Press crust ingredients into a 9 inch pie plate. Bake 375 degrees for 10 minutes
Let cool.
In mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, peanut butter, sugar, butter and vanilla until smooth.
Fold in Cool Whip.  Spoon into crust, garnish with cookie crumbs if you want to.
Refrigerate or freeze
(we freeze it and take it out for like 15 minutes before cutting)

If you have a big family like we do, you will make 2 of these pies
and if you do that, well,  you might not measure those cookies!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

We Have a Teenager!

 Jedi is 13 today!
He's a great kid!
He was born 5 weeks early, and was my tiniest baby
 But he has been the best big brother anyone could ever have!
He's sweet, sensitive and loving always.
He got Legos (of course)
 On our way to Mass, (in which he was supposed to serve)
our van got stuck, in our driveway....slid right into the bank
(see?  Toys all over the's like the Beverly Hill Billies here)
 It downpoured yesterday (yes, rain) and that rain froze on the driveway
and we live on a hill
Thank goodness for evening Mass in our city
(the babes and I are staying home, he's WAY too fussy to bring to a 6pm Mass)
At times like this I always wonder why?
Why did God allow this to happen, we were excited to go to Mass 
on Jedi's birthday, he was excited to serve on his birthday.
Then, I think and tell the kids,
Maybe if we had gone, Simeon would have gotten sick from someone
or something like that, and we need him healthy for his surgery this week.
So God protected Simeon
(those are my thoughts anyway)
 Jedi had a couple friends over yesterday
 and they went out for pizza and bowling afterward
I wanted to make these cakes for his birthday...but he's a no fuss boy 
and wanted PIE....Peanut butter pie to be exact!
(I'll have to post the recipe later)
 These are the only photos I got of the bowling boys
I sent a camera with, but they forgot to take any pictures!!
(I did get some silly face ones too)

2 separate photos
(but 2 cute photos!)
God bless you Jedi, 
I love you so much and am so very proud of you!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Thankful Thursday Piles

 I'm changing things a little today (tonite actually)
I couldn't resist joining Clan Donaldson in her Theme Thursday: Piles
SO, I'm combining her Pile theme with my Thankful Thursday post
I'll start with I'm Thankful for piles of children

 I'm Thankful this is my last pile of bottles
I washed them today and put them in bags and am storing them away.
 Thankful for piles of snow....
 and piles...
 and piles...
 and piles...
(OK, not so thankful, but I am thankful the kiddos love the snow!)
 Thankful for piles of animals for the girls' petstore
(at least the dollhouse is getting used)
 Thankful for Goodwill piles...
(I'm always trying to get rid of stuff)
 Thankful for homeschooling piles...
 Thankful for painting piles...
 Thankful for piles of dishes...
(this was before I washed those bottles)
 Thankful for piles of beans...
 Thankful for piles of boots and coats...
 Thankful for laundry piles...
(my laundry folding pile is even bigger now)
 Thankful for piles of toys...
 The refrigerator pile...
(no, I'm not so thankful for this one...
it's my husband's and he does NOT
want a basket for any of it)
 Thankful for book piles....
and piles...

Thankful again, for kid piles...
And finally, Thankful for baby walking piles! 
(Google Readers, you'll have to come see!)

P.S. Colleen--I got red in almost every picture!! 

Gosh, walking around the house, taking pictures of all some of my piles
I realized I really could clean up some of them...
But, you know, We LIVE HERE!!!


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