Thursday, August 26, 2010

Madge Pie: Mom, how old will you be next year? (She listens to me tell her my age now and how old I will be next year.) Mom, can you touch the sky?! (I told her I couldn't even though I am getting very big in my age, and Madge told me that Daddy could help lift me to the sky. Keep building those biceps, Caleb!)

I love you, Madge. I remember when Pa-Pa used to carry me and I felt like I was on top of the world and just so big. I love your innocence and the logical deductions you make.

Happy Birthday, Mother Teresa

Please pray for us, that we too will make our home, wherever it will be on this earth, a "little Nazareth."

Mother Teresa's United Nations Prayer
(Mother Teresa composed this prayer for the United Nations International Year of the Family)

Heavenly Father, you have given us a model of life in the Holy Family of Nazareth. Help us, O loving Father to make our family another Nazareth where love, peace and joy reign. May it be deeply contemplative, intensely Eucharistic and vibrant with joy. Help us to stay together in joy and sorrow through family prayer. Teach us to see Jesus in the members of our family especially in their distressing disguise. May the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus make our hearts meek and humble like His and help us to carry out our family duties in a holy way. May we love one another as God loves each one of us more and more each day, and forgive each other's faults as You forgive our sins. Help us, O loving Father to take whatever You give and to give whatever You take with a big smile. Immaculate Heart of Mary, cause of our joy, pray for us. St. Joseph, pray for us. Holy Guardian Angels be always with us, guide and protect us. Amen.

Monday, August 23, 2010

"Pearls Before Swine" at the Library

Some people in my family (wink, wink, Dad: do the librarians still know you on a first name basis? :) ) are known for returning books to the library late. Unfortunately, I am a repeat offender myself. I guess that's why today's strip speaks words of truth.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

NYT Article: Deciding to Homeschool

The NYT Article Deciding to Homeschool offers some reasons why one mom has opted for the homeschooling path. Nice to see that the NYT would actually treat the topic rather decently. The reasons that the mother gives for homeschooling focus more on the parental experience than on the child's, but they're great reasons nonetheless.
I want to be a part of learning with him. I want to have the time and space in our days together to figure out how to connect with my growing boy. I want the temporal freedom to follow his amazing, mischievous, imaginative, whip-smart little mind around and see where the heck it takes us.

I have no rosy illusions. I am sure there will be still be elements of the cattle prod. I imagine we will be amazed at how fast time gets away from us in a day of discovery. I have no doubt that we will all get on each other’s nerves a little with this new “togetherness.”

But I am just as sure this will be miles better than the way things are now. Because I don’t want to go another day in which I realize, after his eyes have closed in sleep, all day long I haven’t actually looked, really looked, into my son’s eyes.

In a word, I believe that our children are our greatest assets and greatest joys. We continually work to treasure them as such! (Nota Bene: I recognize that, due to a variety of factors, homeschooling may not be for everyone.)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Just Peach and I and Baby Cal while you two are off on your date!

Tonight was a double date as Maddy and Daddy went out to see Mary Poppins at the Kennedy Center this evening, and Pita, Baby Cal and I were the trio that hung together. I remember thinking while I was pregnant about this evening and how far off it seemed, and that by the time it comes I will have a new baby in my arms while Pita and I have our time together. That time is now. Seeing how quickly time passes makes me think of this song. We had a very nice evening together. I took Pita out to Chick Fil-A and dinner was nice as Little Cal ate while snuggled in the Moby and Pita took in the surroundings and people-watching. She loved playing afterward in the play area, and wow, she was really climbing and getting around while 5 year-olds and 9 year-olds bustled around her. Afterward we headed to Target to run some errands there, and Pita wore her back pack in to the store. She has been carrying it around all evening-- the one from Pa-Pa. So cute. She even put her dollar and a bit of change in it, and was insistent on paying the Target bill at check out. (What a great date she makes!) I know Daddy and Madge are having a great time too, because Madge called me around 9pm to tell me that she almost fell asleep during the show, that it is snack time, that she is eating licorice, and everything she had to tell me was interspersed with, "Guess what!?" What a handsome looking pair you and Daddy were tonight, Madge. You got your shower and all dressed up to step out and then you put on your bracelet from Uncle Matt and Aunt Sayeda at Easter time. You came downstairs with your peep-toe shoes all stunning and white, ready to go! You quietly sat on the step and waited for your date-- the best in town! I am so glad that you, two, are enjoying this time together. We had a blast here at home too. (Some pre-date pics below)

He is 4 weeks old!

Cheers to our sweet boy Caleb! He is now 4 weeks old and growing like a champ. He is a wonderful eater and sleeper, an all around easy baby-- oh so similar to his big sisters. Thank you, Lord! Caleb, you are loved beyond words and your sisters just cannot hold and kiss you enough (neither can Dad nor I!). This evening, Pita sat on our bed, put a "choo-choo" burp rag over her shoulder and in her tones and words, she asked if she could hold him. So beautiful to see how much love is all around... a real resemblance to God's love that knows no bounds. We love you, Little Cal! Here's to four more healthy weeks and so much more time and happy days ahead.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Pita's Newest Words

Beebee = Baby (Baby Caleb brought this one on)
Mawhhl = Mall (well, we might have been there before...once or twice this week)
Moo'ie = Movie (at least she's not saying Netflix or Hulu yet)
Anduhl = Angel (this is how she asks for us to sing her the Angel of God prayer, typically before bed)
Chu-chu = Choo Choo Train
Oh Yeah = Oh Yeah (I ask her, "Are you ready, Little Petey?" She replies, "oh, yeah".)

Keep the vocab coming, Little Guadalupe. We're understanding more and more as you use more and more real words. (Though, we like your words, too.) We love you!

"Dad, I Stayed in My Bed"

This morning at 5 something, I was in our walk-in bedroom closet picking out a suit and tie for the day, when the closet door opened. There was my Madge-Pie. She had little bags under eyes and puffy eyes. She had a big, blond bed-head. She was standing there in her little undies. With an excited look on her face, she quietly announced to me the good news, "Dad, I stayed in my bed through all the night!" I gave her a pat. "Good job, Madge. Now, let's get back to bed." Off we stumbled through the dark, she to her bed and I to work.

Ahhh: the little victories of parenting.

"Different Strokes for Different Folks"

It's funny what sticks and what doesn't. Over the weekend while we were at the zoo (I forget the exact context now), we used the phrase "different strokes for different folks" in front of Madge. We ended up giving her a brief explanation and mentioned that it's one of her grandpa's (Beeba, my dad) favorite lines. (Believe me: my dad has many, many, many favorite lines! He's the best!)

Anyhow, fast forward 3 days. We're doing our typical after-dinner routine: we put on kids' praise and worship songs on the stereo so the girls can play their musical instruments and dance around while I am washing the dishes. At one point, she comes careening around the corner of the kitchen in one of her small cars and sings (in a deep, gruff voice) "different strokes...for different folks."

It gave us a laugh. Madge, we love you. Thanks for being our girlie!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

NYT Article: Breast Milk Sugars Give Infants a Protective Coat

Interesting article on newly discovered boon of breast milk:
A large part of human milk cannot be digested by babies and seems to have a purpose quite different from infant nutrition — that of influencing the composition of the bacteria in the infant’s gut.
I always marvel at breastfeeding--its dual function of nutrition and bonding is remarkable. (Now, one can argue that it has a triple function!) I feel like Mary's breastfeeding experience has been different for each of our kids since the circumstances have been different. Each time, however, I marvel. I admire her so much for doing it--her devotion, consistency, patience and love.