Thursday, September 29, 2011


After dropping the kids off at school this morning, the girls began to share their favorite memories of summer.  It was really fun to listen to, as the accuracy of some of their stories is questionable.  Cucumber said, "I remember when Auntie and Cousin took me to the lake and Cousin touched a boobie."  I was shocked and seeing as my nephew is in his twenties and in college, I was also disturbed.  Here's how the conversation played out:

Me:  What did you just say?
Cucumber:  I said Cousin touched a boobie.
Me:  Cucumber, I need you to tell me exactly what happened.
Cucumber:  Cousin went in the water and swam to the boobie and touched it.
Me:  Oh my darling, darling girl.  He swam out to the BUOY and touched it.
Cucumber:  Yeah, that's what I said.

Praise Jesus.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mundane Day

Monkey Toes was quick to point out that my last post really wasn't irony in its truest form.  Correct he is and for those of you who are literary scholars, I apologize for the misuse of the term.  Now, onto other things. . .

Today was a day filled with mundane tasks.  I had a long list of things that should be done.  It was difficult, as the weather was amazing  - the sun was bright, the temperature was around 76 degrees, and the kids were itching to get outdoors.  None the less, I knew I had to get a few things accomplished.  First off was freezing sweet corn that our dear friend Donna dropped off to us last night.  The girls were a huge help in husking the corn.  They dressed for the occasion.

Next on the agenda was to clean out the fridge - not just go through our leftovers, but to actually scrub the entire refrigerator.  I probably would have saved this job for a rainy or very cold day, but one of the drawers was a bit sticky from a mystery substance. 
It is a tad bare, which grocery shopping is on the to-do list Friday.  Until then, we will get by with what's in our cupboards and freezer.

Finally, I had to make laundry soap.  Both my liquid and powder detergents were completely gone.  I'm thankful that Sweet Potato likes to help me. 
Grating the bar soap

I still have a few things on my list (laundry and the skeleton of a fall craft project that I have been promising the kiddos for the last week) that will just have to be put off until another day.  It is challenging for me to let things go.  In my crazy mind, completed projects and a tidy house equate peacefulness.  However, today I was able to experience some truly joyful moments, because I let some projects slide.

The first joyful moment came right before lunch.  I was pushing the girls on the swings and they were telling jokes. 
Cucumber:  How do you make a tissue dance?  You blow a little boogie in it. (Yes, another booger joke).
Sweet Pea:  Knock Knock (who's there?) Banana (banana who?)  I took the banana for a walk to the park (laughter erupts from her sisters).
Pumpkin:  Naw naw (knock knock) (who's there?)  orange (orange who?) Orange on the swings (again, belly laughter which could hardly be contained).

I love pure silliness from my kids on days like this.  It comes from such an untainted and honest place.  I may not have laughed has hard as my girls, but I certainly had a smile on my face and embraced the moment.

The second joyful moment was this evening.  Monkey Toes returned from a business trip to Chicago and the kids were really excited to see him.  As he laid down on the sofa to rest a little, some of the kids crawled on him and Cucumber begged him to read a story.  He read A Fairy Ballet and used different voices for the characters.  The kids laughter was contagious.  It really was a very precious gesture.
On days like this I try to remember that it's the little things that can make the biggest impact.  Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta wrote, "It is not the magnitude of our actions but the amount of love that is put into them that matters."  
So whether I'm working on laundry, mopping the floor, cleaning the bathroom, or pushing my kids on the swings, my attitude towards these things is what really matters.  Do I go about my day grumbling at what needs to be done, or do I offer my entire day to my Father in Heaven?  I may not always be successful in doing so, but I strive for the latter.

I am not capable of doing big things, but I want to do everything, even the smallest things, for the greater glory of God.
- Saint Dominic Savio

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


The universe is full of irony and today, I experienced a little piece of it.  Honey Bunches, whom I recently referred to as "a man of few words," got in trouble at school for talking too much.  I actually had to re-read the note sent home from his teacher at least three times to make sure I was understanding it correctly.  Well, if nothing else, my kids keep me on my toes. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Boogers & Broccoli

Our household had such a lovely day on Sunday.  I was up before anyone else and snuck off to early Mass.  I had this awesome experience at Mass, where everything just really came together.  It is difficult to find the words to describe it, but after receiving the Eucharist, I went back to my pew, knelt down, closed my eyes and felt this overwhelming sense of peace.  Even the communion song tied in to my experience (although I can't tell you today what song it was!)  So I left church feeling re-energized.  When I returned home, the kids shouted "surprise!"  They had set out breakfast, even pouring me a bowl of cereal (they didn't wait for me to get home before adding the milk.  My cereal was a tad soggy, but the thoughtfulness of the gesture was grand).  They also made coffee, which they have greatly improved.  Then Monkey Toes took ALL the kids to late Mass.  I told him to leave the younger ones with me, but he said I could have a little more time to myself.  So I was able to have another cup of coffee, get lunch made, load the dishwasher, and play on my computer. 

The weather was absolutely perfect, so after lunch, Monkey took the boys golfing and the girls and I took a long walk around town.  We ended up at a park, where the girls ran themselves exhausted.  So home we came, took naps, watched some football, and had spaghetti for supper.  During our meal time, Gummi said she had a joke to tell us.  "What's the difference between boogers and broccoli?  Kids don't eat broccoli."  I know - yuck, however, it is funny.  (By the way, this joke is courtesy of the Okie Dokie Brothers Kids music CD). 

After the kids went to bed, my nephew stopped by and we visited for a long time, just catching up.  We also cut into an apple pie I made, which hadn't been ready to eat after supper.  It was a nice way to end our weekend.  The weather was beautiful, I had fun with the kids, and I was able to relax.  It was another weekend I wish I could bottle up and keep on my shelf as a reminder of my many blessings.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

My Tender Hearted Boy

Honey Bunches is sick.  He has laid on the sofa all day, curled up in a ball, sipping water, nibbling on saltines and sleeping on and off.  He looks so frail and my heart aches for him.  I wish I could make things all better. I would gladly take his sickness if it would mean good health for him.

Honey Bunches is a great kid, but not in the obvious sense.  He is a man of few words and tends to go about his day quietly.  Last year, his teacher asked Monkey Toes and I if Honey was enjoying school, because she couldn't read him, he was very quiet and didn't display much emotion one way or the other.  The truth is, he likes school, does well academically, and loves playing with his friends.  He doesn't like homework and tends to do just enough to get by, but I too was guilty of that a time or two growing up.  As a mom, what speaks volumes to me are his actions.

This past week, I caught him doing such good and kind things.  One morning, as everyone was getting ready for school and I was running around frantically, he helped his baby sister by pouring her cereal, getting her a cup of milk and then pushing her chair in for her.  That same morning, he got down on the floor with Sweet Pea and helped her put her shoes on the correct feet.  Yesterday, my mom came over and was helping with laundry.  She brought some clothes into his room and he asked if he could help her.  A few days ago, Pumpkin had climbed onto the top bunk in the girls room and couldn't get down.  He went into their room to help and I heard him say, "It's o.k.  Just climb down slow and I'll catch you if you fall." 

What has touched me the most about his gestures is that he did all of these things without being asked.  He recognized a need and just pitched in to help.  I often think that is a true sign of genuineness - when a person can do good, whether or not others are watching. 

I've always considered Honey to be my tender-hearted boy.  Others may see him as apathetic, but deep down, he has an enormous heart, full of love and passion for life.  And hopefully, very soon, he'll be up and running around, back to his old self.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Flu is for the Birds

Each year I take my kids to get flu shots, and each year I vow that I will never take them again.  I will gladly turn the reigns over to Monkey Toes to get this job done.  However, each year I see the little ad in the paper and I schedule all of us to get our shots right after I pick the kiddos up from school.  This year I even saved some mileage by taking the family to our in-town clinic.  So yesterday was all about mentally preparing for this feat.  I'm sure that sounds a bit over-the-top, but past experience has taught me that children are unpredictable in situations that involve shots.  I can never overly prepare.

When I scheduled the appointments, the receptionist asked if we wanted the shot or the mist.  I said we all would like the mist.  We showed up at 3:30, along with my mom (I needed her for back-up).  While the kids sat in the waiting room, I began to fill out the paperwork - all 14 pages.  Yes, you read that correctly.  I had to complete, sign and date 2 pages for each person.  Personally, I think the process could be a bit more efficient, but really, who am I to say?  So after the 14th signature, I met up with my family and soon we were all called back into an examination room.  There, lying on the counter, were 7 needles.  The nurse asked, "you requested the shots, right?"  I replied, "no, I asked for the mist."  By the look on her face, I gathered that switching over to the mist would cause a time delay.  So I told her not to worry about it.  We would take the shots instead.  Immediately following my reply, children began to cry - not just tears, but cries of agony in the anticipation of what was about to take place.  The nurse asked, "Who is going to be first?", in which every child pointed to someone else.  Honey Bunches scrunched down on the floor between the chairs, Cucumber's body was convulsing with sobs, and Gummi Bear was crying, "NO, NO, NO."  The two babies were looking around, not knowing what was happening.  I looked at Sweet Potato and told him to be first.  Reluctantly, he sat on the table.  Next was Pumpkin, who said (not cried), "ouch."  Then there was Sweet Pea, who looked a little worried, but never shed a tear.  Next I looked at Gummi Bear who planted her feet firmly on the ground and wouldn't budge.  I had to pick her up (not an easy task), while she kicked and screamed.  At this point, sweat began to run down my back.  I have no doubt that my face was red.  Gummi shared a piercing scream that made even the nurses flinch.  I then called upon Honey Bunches who insisted that I promised him that he could go last.  Lastly was Cucumber, who I think truly believed that I was torturing her.  Even after the shot, and after we were back in the van and buckled in, her sobs continued.  She claimed that her arm was hurt and she would never be able to use it again.

While in the exam room, I had hoped that the walls were sound proof, but as we exited, I could tell that those in the waiting room heard it all.  Our neighbor was standing there, a big smile on her face, confirming that every scream, cry and holler were clearly detected.  So with my pride in tow, we left the building.  I felt like I had just run a marathon.

Once again, I have vowed that I will never do this again.  We'll see if I remember this promise one year from now.  Oh, and an update on Cucumber.  Her arm is working splendidly today.  So well, that she was capable of slugging her little sister for the remote control before lunch.  And so it goes that our life, as usual, continues.

Monday, September 19, 2011

One of My Favorite Days

Yesterday was our Parish Fall Festival.  It is one of my favorite days of the year.  I look forward to spending a day with my family and supporting our church.

Our festival is nothing outrageously spectacular.  We don't have a carnival or a concert series.  It is a typical rural parish gathering.  We have a roast beef dinner with homemade pie, a country store, cake walk, silent auction, kids games, quilt show, a raffle, and of course BINGO.  It is a place where my kids feel safe and Monkey and I feel safe in letting our kids run.  I love how our parish pulls together at this time of year.  We work along side one another, volunteering to work shifts, baking pies and cakes, and donating items from our harvest.  Rain or shine, it is always a fun day.

I consider my parish family exactly that;  an extension of my family.  I've met many through worship, befriended  many through councils I've served and through volunteering, and I genuinely care and love so many who have shown kindness and care to my own family.  As much as I love the Church, I also love my parish.  It is a place I consider part of my home.  On the third Saturday of September each year, we gather to celebrate all together and to give thanks to God for all of our abundant blessings.  Yes, we are truly blessed!

Friday, September 16, 2011

It's Just Hair

I recently had my hair cut and it's causing some interesting responses from folks.  Many have told me that they like it (thank you to all - you're very kind!).  However, some have also expressed shock.  Two people have asked me, "What does Monkey Toes think of it?" and one gentleman volunteered his opinion that, "I really prefer long hair on women."  I have also been asked if I changed my hair to correspond with the change in seasons.  My favorite one yet is, "are you going through some sort of crisis?"  O.k.  Here it is - the honest scoop. 

A few days before our family vacation, I went to the salon to get a couple of inches cut off.  My hair was beginning to feel really heavy, and I wanted it lighter for our trip.  As I was sitting in the chair, the stylist mentioned that I would probably have enough to donate to Locks of Love.  Without a second thought, I told her I would love to make a donation.  Out came the ruler (you need at least 10 inches to donate) and 11 inches later, I had a short do.  There was no crisis involved and I didn't need Monkey's permission.  His reaction, if you're wondering, was, "nice haircut", upon his return home from work that evening.  Yes, the seasons are changing, but I am waaaaay too busy to coordinate styles with seasons nor anything else.  I have had long hair for 5 years, so I welcomed this change.  It feels great and it has been no more or no less work than my longer style.  To me - it's just hair.  It is my crown, but certainly not my glory!

Meditations Of A Stay At Home Mom: Take Up Your Cross

This is a blog that I follow from time to time.  I enjoy reading Colleen's thoughts, because her life seems to reflect my own in so many ways.  Her post today is simply brilliant.  I wanted to share it here, because I needed to read this as much as I need to practice it.

Meditations Of A Stay At Home Mom: Take Up Your Cross: When he throws a book in anger because he doesn’t understand or because he simply doesn’t want to work and I so badly desire to just react to his poor behavior and tell him what I really think of him, I must remember the invitation:

“If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross every day and follow me.”

When the toddler is on a rampage, turning over pint-sized chairs and pulling books from the shelves because we’ve been too long in the learning room and I feel my blood begin to boil, I must remember the invitation:

“If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross every day and follow me.”

When I enter the kitchen and I see what they’ve left—the uneaten food, the spilled milk, the uncleared plates and crumbs—and I want to bark at them to ‘CLEAN IT UP ALREADY!’, I must remember the invitation:

“If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross every day and follow me.”

When it’s quiet time and I’ve doled out instructions to keep silent so the little ones can rest and so I might have a moment of peace myself and still they carry on with games too loud or interrupt me 1001 times, I must remember the invitation:

“If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross every day and follow me.”

When the baby is screaming that annoying scream while someone continuously bangs on the table and another runs in crying with hurt feelings, I must remember the invitation:

“If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross every day and follow me.”

When the laundry has over run me –again—and I can’t decipher the clean from the dirty pile and I have no clue exactly when it will all get folded and put away, I must remember the invitation:

“If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross every day and follow me.”

When it’s dinner time and five cranky, hungry people crowd my personal space, asking me questions about what we’re eating and when it will be ready and I so desperately want to call it quits and escape into a hot bath, I must remember the invitation:

“If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross every day and follow me.”

When it’s time for bath and books and prayers and bed and someone wanders down the stairs with just one more request, I must remember the invitation:

“If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross every day and follow me.”

And when day has faded into night and I feel the tiredness in my bones and I drag my sluggish body up the stairs, I must not skip prayers and visiting with John but I must remember the invitation:

“If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross every day and follow me.”

I will not die the death of a martyr, hung upside down on a cross for all to see.  But if I accept his invitation, I will most certainly die from a cross.  My death will be from thousands of little crosses hand carved daily just for me, invitations to nail myself—my pride and my vanity, my haughtiness and impatience, my selfishness and my ego, my dreams and hopes, my comfort and my plans to a piece of wood and drag them to the altar for Him. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Vacation Recap

I have attempted to write this post a handful of times.  I'm not sure what the difficulty seems to be, other than our family vacation was truly amazing and I don't think I can simply sum it up.  But here it goes.

16 of us (9 of which were children ages 2-8) traveled together from Minnesota to California.  The primary reason for this trip was a family reunion on Monkey Toe's side and a Novena for the five year anniversary of his Grandfather's passing.  Over a year ago, it was decided that we would take a little side vacation to Disneyland.  We kept this a secret from the kids until the first morning we traveled to Disney.  The plan was to make the announcement after breakfast, to which we expected lots of squeals, hugs, and smiles.  The kids were all gathered and I said, "yesterday was a pretty tough day of travel.  Because we had some behavioral issues, we will not be going swimming today.  Instead, we will be going to DISNEYLAND!"  Three of the nine children began to cry, because they really wanted to go swimming.  We soon discovered that the kids had no idea what Disneyland is.  They soon learned what it was and forgot about swimming for the 3 days we spent there.  My Disney highlights included going on the ride, It's a Small World, with all of my girls.  They absolutely loved it and their enthusiasm brought a huge smile to my face and a tear to my eye.  The final day I spent with my boys and we rode Splash Mountain.  Afterwards, we found a shady spot in New Orleans Square and shared Frozen Lemonades and Churros, while listening to a jazz band.  It was a perfect ending to our time at Disney.

The remainder of our vacation was spent in the San Juaquin Valley with family.  I met some of Monkey's relatives for the first time, who had traveled from Guam.  We all gathered at Monkey's Grandmother's house, and each evening we prayed the Rosary, followed by dinner.  This time that was spent with family, especially Grandma, was absolutely precious.  Tears flowed as we said goodbye.  One of the most emotional parts for me is the tradition of driving by Grandma's house (after we've said goodbye), with all of the family in the front yard waving as we drive past.  This is my family through marriage and I can only imagine how Monkey was feeling as we drove away.

Unlike most vacations, or even long weekends away, I wasn't ready to come home.  I wanted to stay longer, as did the kids.  I think it was a combination of relishing in the gift of time granted with family and also knowing that this was our last hurrah for the summer; that upon our return home, the kids would be back in school, Monkey would be back at work, and our lives would be back to their routines.  We had nine days of family focused time and it was marvelous.

I am grateful for the gift that this trip afforded us - a memorable and fun family vacation.  I am humbled by those who helped to make this trip possible.  I am grateful that my kids experienced another part of family.  Above all, I am blessed that my heart grew in love and thanksgiving.

23 of us at Disney and no one got lost!

Sweet Pea and Pumpkin at the end of the day

The first time the kids dipped their toes in the ocean

Monday, September 12, 2011

Life's Theme Song

Have you ever thought of your life in terms of a theme song?  Lately, there have been two songs playing on Christian radio that my kids have declared are mine and Monkey Toe's Songs.  This morning as I was driving the kids to school and the radio was on, Sweet Potato said, "here's your song Mom."  So let me introduce you to my Theme Song:  Do Everything by Steven Curtis Chapman
Your picking up toys on the living room floor for the 15th time today
Matching up socks
Sweeping up lost cheerios that got away

You put a baby on your hip

Color on your lips and head out the door

While I may not know you,

I bet I know you
Wonder sometimes, does it matter at all?

Well let me remind you, it all matters just as long

As you do everything you do to the glory of the One who made you,
Cause he made you,
To do
Every little thing that you do
To bring a smile to His face
Tell the story of grace
With every move that you make
And every little thing you do

Maybe your that guy with the suit and tie
Maybe your shirt says your name

You may be hooking up mergers

Cooking up burgers
But at the end of the day

Little stuff

Big stuff
In between stuff
God sees it all the same

While I may not know you

I bet I know you
Wonder sometimes, does it matter at all?
Well let me remind you, it all matters just as long
As you do everything you do to the glory of the One who made you,
Cause he made you
To do
Every little thing that you do
To bring a smile to His face
Tell the story of grace
With every move that you make
And every thing you do

Maybe your sitting in math class

Or maybe on a mission in the Congo
Or maybe your working at the office
Singing along with the radio

Maybe your dining at a 5-star

Or feeding orphans in the...
Anywhere and everywhere that you are

Whatever you do

It all matters
So do what you do
Don't ever forget

As you do everything you do to the glory of the One who made you,

Cause he made you
To do
Every little thing that you do
To bring a smile to His face
And tell the story of grace
With every move that you make
And every little thing you do

In every little thing you do

In every little thing you do

Here is the song the kids have deemed as Dad's Song:  This Is The Stuff by Francesca Battistelli
I lost my keys in the great unknown
And call me please 'Cuz I can't find my phone

This is the stuff that drives me crazy

This is the stuff that's getting to me lately
In the middle of my little mess
I forget how big I'm blessed
This is the stuff that gets under my skin
But I gotta trust You know exactly what You're doing
It might not be what I would choose
But this is the stuff You use

45 in a 35

Sirens and fines while I'm running behind

This is the stuff that drives me crazy

This is the stuff that's getting to me lately
In the middle of my little mess
I forget how big I'm blessed
This is the stuff that gets under my skin
But I gotta trust You know exactly what You're doing
It might not be what I would choose
But this is the stuff You use

So break me of impatience

Conquer my frustrations
I've got a new appreciation
It's not the end of the world
Oh Oh Oh

This is the stuff that drives me crazy

This is the stuff
Someone save me
In the middle of my little mess
I forget how big I'm blessed
This is the stuff that gets under my skin
And I've gotta trust You know exactly what You're doing
It might not be what I would choose
But this is the stuff You use

Oh Oh Oh Oh

This is the stuff You use
 I think it's pretty creative that the kids see our lives in terms of a song. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Happy Birthday to our Blessed Mother!

Today is the day that Christians traditionally celebrate Mary's birthday.  It actually is a tradition that dates back almost 15 centuries.  This evening we had a birthday party for our Spiritual Mother.  After dinner, we had birthday cake (white cake with blue frosting - white symbolizes purity and blue is the color associated with Mary).  We sang Happy Birthday and each of the kids blew out a candle (I had to light a couple of them twice!). 
We then headed outside to our Mary Garden and each of the kids presented her with their gift.  The boys and the two younger girls gave her flowers, Cucumber drew her a picture of flowers, and Gummi Bear made a craft using leaves and twigs.
We ended our celebration by praying the Rosary.  Afterwards, I explained to the kids that each time we pray a Hail Mary we present a rose to Mary.  The Rosary is like a whole bouquet of roses for our Blessed Mother.  Cucumber responded, "then I think we should give her some more."  She then went back to the garden and prayed another Hail Mary. 

As a daughter, a wife and a mother, I find great support in my relationship to Mary.  She is someone who I frequently am asking for prayers.  Since she too was a daughter, wife and mother, I know she can present my concerns and my requests with great compassion and understanding to her Son.  I find comfort in knowing that I have a Spiritual Mother who will intercede for me throughout this life.  Mary will always lead us to Jesus.  God gave us a beautiful gift when he gave us Mary. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Sweet Potato Turns 9

My oldest child is nine years old today.  I can't quite wrap my head around that.  He is a great kid and he makes me proud everyday.

I found out I was pregnant for the first time after experiencing a gall bladder attack.  The earliest I could have surgery was two months out - due to the surgeon's schedule.  Everyday I felt horrible and sick.  One day my sister said enough was enough.  She was taking me to Urgent Care to see if my surgery could be moved up at all.  After a few tests, the doctor came back and said she had good news and bad news.  The bad news was that my surgery would have to wait quite awhile, because of the good news.  I was pregnant.  I was a bit stunned.  We of course were open to the gift of life, but the reality of actually having a baby seemed surreal.

I couldn't wait to tell Monkey Toes.  We were living in a small, one bedroom apartment at the time.  We had one, very small window that looked out at the parking lot.  I stood by that window for what seemed liked hours, watching for when Monkey would pull into the lot.  Wouldn't you know, he was running late that night, and when he did get home, he had a pair of hockey skates draped around his neck.  He walked in the door and I asked, "what are those for?"  He said, "I've decided we should take up skating."  Ha!  I waited until he was eating supper and then gave him a card about being a dad.  He read it, looked at me, then looked back at the card and then smiled.  Then we got on the phone and started calling EVERYONE.

I was sick for my first trimester - as I have been for each of my pregnancies.  I also began to retain water very early on, forcing me to remove my wedding band and wear flip-flops.  Preparing for our first baby consumed our lives.  We bought a house, prepared the nursery, and did everything "by the book" (that would be the book, What to Expect When Your Expecting).  Two weeks leading up to the actual delivery, I was contracting every night, causing sleep deprivation for both me and Monkey.  Then every morning - in the early hours - my contractions would subside and we would go on with our day.  September 6th is a day that changed our lives forever.

I had been sleeping on the sofa, because I could no longer get comfortable in our bed.  I woke up with a sharp pain.  I told Monkey that I thought this was it and we should go.  We drove to the hospital, only to be sent back home.  I was devastated.  Physically and emotionally I was drained and I cried most of the way home.  Monkey ran a bath for me and as I sat in the tub, I began having contractions, very close together.  I called for Monkey to time them and he said they were about 3 minutes apart.  I told him we were not going to the hospital until we were certain I was in labor.  I didn't think I could handle being sent home again.  Being a little nervous, Monkey called my sister who is a nurse and she happened to be working in town that day.  She came over and said she was making the decision for us.  It was time to go to the hospital NOW. 

We arrived at the birthing center and our room was awaiting us.  There was little time to spare as my contractions were now on top of each other.  The doctor came and said it was time to meet this little person.  My sister and Monkey Toes were in the room with me.  When Sweet Potato was born, my sister yelled out, "It's a boy!", before the doctor could announce it.  We were ecstatic.

For me, it was love at first sight.  I couldn't take my eyes off of him.  The first evening we were home, Monkey Toes sat in the nursery all night, watching Sweet Potato sleep.  That of course wore off by the third night, but none the less, it is a memory I hold very dear.

Today, Sweet Potato is a bright and enthusiastic kid.  He loves sports (especially statistics), game shows, desserts, family get-togethers, and what I sometimes refer to as "useless" knowledge.  He is compassionate towards others hurts and likes going to Mass and yes, even confession.  This young lad of mine, who often worries like I do, stole my heart 9 years ago today.  I don't ever want it back!  I love you Sweet Potato - always and forever!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Open Mouth, Insert Foot

Our neighbors moved in next door a little over a year ago.  We see them often outdoors in the yard during the summer and then not so often in the winter.  They recently had a baby and last night I brought them supper.  This morning, I saw the dad outside and gave him a gift for the new baby.  He graciously accepted it and then said, "I think I should tell you that my wife's name is This and not That."  I have been calling her the wrong name all this time and I'm pretty sure I called her by name at least 3 or 4 times during my visit last evening.  I am extremely embarrassed.  Each time I give a thought to this, my face turns red.  The husband actually had a really great sense of humor about the situation.  I told Monkey Toes about it and he said it sounds about right that I would do such a thing.  I guess a little humble pie is good for us all from time to time.  I just wish I didn't serve it up so often!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Young Scholars

We are back from vacation and settling back into "real life" pretty well.  I'll be posting about our trip very soon, however, this morning I had two conversations that I want to record less I forget.

Me and Sweet Potato. . .

Me:  Would you like to participate in Community Education's Flag Football?
Sweet Potato:  Hmmm.  I'm intrigued.  Flag football fascinates me and I would like to learn more about it.

Me and Cucumber. . .

Me:  Should we go grocery shopping today?
Cucumber:  Yes.  Shall we go before or after we pick the children up from school?

We return home from vacation and my children have become young scholars.  Some days I feel so inadequate!