Thursday, September 30, 2010

Rainy Days Are Good Days...

to paint!

to paint!

"Dad, I'm Serious!"

Yesterday when I arrived home from work, Mary greeted me at the door alone. I was surprised since this is not our ordinary routine. She went on to tell me that the kids were hiding and that they wanted me to find them. Little Caleb was easiest to find...sitting in his bouncy chair in the kitchen. The girlies were down in the basement, hiding behind couches. After hugs and kisses, I settled down in a reclining chair in the basement. Madge, who was wearing nothing but a pair of shorts and a necklace, brought her doctor's kit over to examine me. She asked me why I had a cold. I told her that I have a cold (make-believe, mind you) because I fell into the well and the old man with the ladder took a long while to fetch me out. (One of Maddy's favorite books--as was mine as a child--is Tikki Tikki Tembo.) She quickly realized that I was speaking from the book. "Dad!" she exclaimed. "You have to be serious. I'm serious." I looked at my 4-year old with a funny blond ponytail, only a necklace and shorts on--oh, with her toy stethoscope on now, too. Seriously. Hah. I had to laugh. "Madge, how can you be serious at a moment like this!" We both had a good laugh about being so serious. Then she went on to examine me. Fortunately, the prognosis is good: I should feel better after five days of bedrest in the hospital. Oh, phew. Then I can go back to being silly.

Friday, September 24, 2010

My Thoughtful Princess

Dear Madgie,

Good morning, my darling girl! Thanks for being our girlie, such a wonderful girlie. You're a wonderful big sister and a thoughtful little girl. The other night, I was downstairs trying to settle baby Caleb. You were in your bed and Mom was putting Pita to bed. You must have heard that baby Caleb was fussing because you went into our bedroom, found Caleb's pacifier in his crib and brought it downstairs to me. The pacifier did the trick. I never even had to ask and you were already on it. Such a sweet and thoughtful girl! I'm proud of you and I love you.

Earlier that same day, I had arrived home from work slightly before you awoke from your nap. You came down the stairs as I was sitting on the couch. You came directly to me and cuddled down on my lap. You had a big bed-head and you were wearing nothing but your underwear (the weather is still 90+ degrees plus....come on, Mother Nature, fall has begun!). It was so nice to hold you and snuggle you in my arms as your limp body woke up from it's restful slumber.

I love you, Madge. Have a wonderful day. I love you more than words can ever say.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Contemplating Littlle Beautiful Faces

To My Sweet and Dear Guadalupe,

The other night when we were at the Kennedy Center, you were contentedly sitting on my lap for almost the entire performance. Since you were getting sleepy, you were not your normal energy-ball self. As such, I had the opportunity to simply stare and watch your beautiful face as you took in the concert. There's nothing like watching you and your sister and brother. I could stare at you for hours--as I do sometimes. You're so sweet, so beautiful, so innocent. I hold you and try to refrain from showering you with kisses. An almost impossible task. You have cute monster teeth. Your hair has been growing longer (it's still short, mind you!). While you've been thinning out as your movement continues to increase, you still have cute, quasi-pudgy cheeks...cheeks I love to kiss. Fortunately, a beautiful demeanor and personality accompany your beautiful looks. Thanks for being my girl. I am proud to be your dad. I look forward to spending the days and years we're granted to be together. I love you.

Love and prayers,

PS. I wish I could be staring at your little face now!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Wonderful Family Date

Last night, on Sept. 21, we had a wonderful family date night. Mary brought the kids into the city at the end of the day. We picked up some dinner from Potbelly's and headed over to the Kennedy Center. Thank God, we found a perfect parking spot for the Suburban--ever the challenge downtown. After our picnic dinner in front of the Kennedy Center, we headed inside for a performance. It was a band called Nayas. Not quite Spinal Tap, but they were enjoyable. They had a touch of Mana. At first we were sitting as a family in the very front. However, the music was so loud we ended up going to the back. Madge, however, was enthralled with the music and the performance--as she always is--and ended up sitting in the very front for the entire performance. It was cute to see her up there all on her own enjoying the music, clapping and jiving.

The cooler temperature and setting sun made our time in the city quite delightful. It was a wonderful evening family date. I can't wait to the next one!

Baby Pumpkin Painting

On Sunday, we went to Cox Farms. It was a blast! Hopefully more photos to come soon on that adventure. We did get baby pumpkins on our way out the door. We were able to paint them a couple nights ago.

May All Things Be Done in Love

A neat internet prayer:

Prayer To St. Isidore of Seville
Patron Saint of the Internet
Almighty and eternal God
who has created us in Thy image
and hast bidden us to seek after
all that is good, true and beautiful,
especially in the divine person of
Thy only-begotten Son,
our Lord Jesus Christ,
grant we beseech Thee that,
through the intercession of
Saint Isidore, bishop and doctor,
during our journeys through the internet
we will direct our hands and eyes
only to that which is pleasing to Thee
and treat with charity and patience
all those souls whom we encounter.
Through our Jesus Christ our Lord.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Happy 2 Months!

We love you so much, Handsome Boy! You are a true delight to our lives. Every day is a great treat just getting to kiss your little face and milk neck. We so enjoy your huge smiles and gurgles. Keep growing well. We get to see how big you've grown (so far) later today at your check up. Can't wait!

Zoo Time

Saturday's weather was beautiful so we headed to one of our favorite Smithsonians... The National Zoo! The day was gorgeous, the company was fun (we went with friends who also recently welcomed a new little life to their family a week and a half before Little Caleb arrived. :) What a relaxing day we enjoyed together. You , girls, were so excited to go. You really love the zoo. My favorite memory from one of our last trips to the zoo was of Maddy and Pita eating animal crackers there... while Madge was eating hers and talking to the Emu she said, "Mr. Emu, I'm eating you!" I love ya, Madge!

Beautiful Girl


There are so many little conversations we have during the day or just before you go to bed. So many things are on your mind just before lying your gold curls down on your pillow. I have jotted some down on paper so that I wouldn't miss these moments to record for your eyes later on to read. I love you, Sweets. You are a real joy, so motherly with your little sister and little brother. A true gem in our family. I thank God for you. your humor silliness, holiness and just plain pleasantness. Here are some of your words to remember:

Madge: Why did Daddy pick you up?

Mommy: Because he has big muscles.

Madge: Why?

Mommy: Because, when you work out you get big muscles.

Madge: Do you have big muscles?

Mommy: (I show Madge my "flex"). I'm trying.

Madge: Because you want to pick Daddy up?

Mommy: Sure :).

The other day, Madge, you showed me a little vile that goes with the doctor's kit that you and Pita play with. You noticed that it had a cross on it. Here's what you said:

Madge: (Holding the little bottle). This is the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus.

Mommy: Madge, get some sleep (telling you after just putting you down for bed) so that you can get rest before gymnastics tomorrow.

Madge: Mom, it'll be my first gymnastics! Just like my first field trip!

On Blessed Mama's birthday, September 8, 2010, you and Pita and I sat around our dining room table and prayed some of the Rosary for the morning celebration. Here is what you said then:

Madge: When is Jesus going to call us to heaven?

Mommy: I don't know, Madge.

Madge: (To Jesus) Please help me (get there), thank you. :)

In a similar vein, you told me the other day this:

Madge: Mom, one night I was in bed and I was saying to Jesus, 'Thank you, thank you, for letting me stay home!'

Mommy: What do you mean?

Madge: He hasn't taken me (to heaven) yet.

You asked again last night when He is going to call us, since He hasn't already. This time I was telling you that we must still have some work to do. Thank you for blessing my life with such happy work. I love you!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

6 years

September 15, 2004. National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception's Bell Tower. 4 pm "tour." You and I. Beautiful view. Handsome guy on one knee. Yes! Happy Engagement Anniversary, Caleb. Thank you for making that day possible. Thank you for committing the rest of your life to our marriage. I love you.

Thank you for the beautiful crepe breakfast you surprised us all with this morning, marking our engagement anniversary, on the beautiful feast of Our Lady of Sorrows and Grandpa Young's death anniversary. Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord.I will always treasure this day and the beautiful memories we have together from September 14, 2004.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Eternal Rest Grant unto Them, O Lord

A sobering tribute to the men and women killed 9.11.01

I WILL NEVER FORGET YOU (Isaiah 49: 14-16)

I will never forget you,
My people
I have carved you
on the palm of My hand
I will never forget you
I will not leave you orphan
I will never forget My own

Does a mother forget her baby,
or a woman the child
within her womb?
Yet even if these forget,
yes even if these forget,
I will never forget My own

I will never forget you,
My people
I have carved you
on the palm of My hand
I will never forget you
I will not leave you orphan
I will never forget you,
My people
I have carved you
on the palm of My hand
I will never forget you
I will not leave you orphan
I will never forget My own

maria sudibyo

Friday, September 10, 2010

My Snuggle Puppies


...are asleep. I love you! I just rocked Peach to sleep, nursed Baby Caleb, and headed to Madge's room to put her to bed, but everyone is sleeping soundly. (To hear the Snuggle Puppy song, check out the Philadelphia Chickens CD, or Sandra Boynton's newest hit, Blue Moo.)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The School Year Begins

Today, Madge hits the books. Kindergarten. Hoorah! Mary's been doing a fabulous job of preparing for the year. She has loads of books, lesson plans, projects, and ideas. Madge and Peach are going to have a fabulous school year, no doubt. Pita has a special section of the basement carved out for her. Madge's classroom is all set up.

Madge has been so excited to begin school again. For the last week, she has been doing the countdown. "Two more days to when I start school!" She has this adorable look of incredible joy as she bubbles about school with "Teacher Mommy."

Madge: welcome to the 2010-2011 school year! Good luck! Learn lots! Have fun. Be a good listener. By the way, you've got the best teacher (and best-looking teacher) ever!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sunday Tranquility.

Cooler weather. Sunshine. Paints. Music. Outdoors. Our family. Tranquility. Hello, Sunday afternoon.

~Oh, how well I know that happiness is not found in the things around us. It is found in the secrecy of the soul.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Madge and the DMC (ie Divine Mercy Chaplet)

The other day as we were walking home from the park, Madge asked if we could pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet. It was so cute to hear the initiative coming from her. She chanted all the prayers like a pro. Not only that, but half way through, she decided that we should sing it as a family. Needless to say, I no longer had to lead since she wanted to lead the rest of it.

We love you, Madge. Keep up the good work in your prayers. Here's one of their favorite renditions.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Ian: Welcome to the Family!

This past Monday, August 30, 2010, Ian officially became part of the family! Congratulations, Miriam and Nathan! Welcome, Ian (aka Kevin)! My sister Miriam and her husband Nathan have been fostering Ian ever since he was born, almost two years ago now. He's been with them for so long that was easy to take for granted that he would always be theirs. Unfortunately, such is not frequently the case with foster care. Fortunately for Miriam and Nathan, the long wait is over and they have finished jumping the endless line of bureaucratic hoops. Not an easy path to navigate. My admiration for making it through to the finish line.

Ian, you've got the most contagious smile and full-bodied laugh! We love you, Little Boy.

Belated Photos: Family Vacation in Holland, MI

The second week of August, we were fortunate enough to join my family for a vacation on the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan. This is our fourth year to join my family in Holland, though I think they've been making this trip for close to a decade now. The house we rent is right across the street from the general store/ice cream store. Dangerous scenario!

We had a lovely time. Every day at the beach. Campfires. Mares and I went running. Family aerobics. Family talent show. Swimming. Sand castles. Special bonding moments. Lots of delicious food. Visiting with relatives. Cousin-times. Grandparent times. The list goes on and on. In addition to my immediate family, my Uncle Brian, Grandma Gertie, Uncle Glenn and Aunt Jane joined us. (Before Holland, we were able to visit with my Uncle Dan and Aunt Helen, as well!) For a few days, Mary Theresa's friend Adam joined us and so did Micah's girlfriend Suzanne.

Baby Caleb: What's going on in there?

Baby Caleb thinking:

Baby Caleb almost lets a smile escape:

My Favorite Mother-in-Law

A much belated post to my favorite mother-in-law. She selflessly stayed with us for two weeks right before and through the birth. Her help was incredible: she took care of the girls and helped in so many ways around the house. (Why doesn't Mares iron my underclothes like my mother-in-law! Just kidding.) Truly, though, it was a great help and so much fun. The girls loved spending time with Grandma Mimi. So many fun times and memories.

Here are some photos from our time together. Thanks, Mom, for coming to visit us. We love you and miss you.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My Little Guy

It's been weird and wonderful to have another man in the house. Since Baby Caleb is still so little (and unconscious most of the time--he still sleeps 90% of the day), I have to keep pinching myself to wake up to the reality that I have a little boy! It's a wonderful thing. I look forward to doing so much with him in the future as he grows. However, I also enjoy my every moment with him right now. It brings such satisfaction and joy to hold him in my arms and put him to sleep. Just last night, he fell asleep in my arms as I swayed to and fro. He's a little cutie and he has quite a fan club at our home. The real problem is keeping his groupies (Maddy and Pita) at arm's length while he's asleep. They want to cover him with kisses--something hard not to do, I confess--at all moments of the day.

We love you, Baby Caleb. You're already 6 weeks old. You've changed our lives for ever and it feels like you've always been a part of our family. Keep growing and keep on smiling.

Bike Riding

A week or so ago, we took the girls to ride their bikes at Belmont Bay. In general, we've been more a running family versus a biking family. We take family runs/walks a lot but don't do family bike rides. (Maybe something to come in the future.) Either way, it was fun to watch the girls on their bikes. Madge had her two-wheeler with training wheels and Guadalupe had her tricycle. Guadi's legs are not quite long enough to reach the pedals on her trike, so I ended up pushing her most of the time. Madge was cruising like a pro. I'm proud of my girls and I love you!