Tuesday, July 30, 2013

We get that a lot

So, we know this has been hashed out many times by many blogging parents. That's ok. We're always pretty happy to throw in our two cents about the strangeness of strangers. As the parents of young children, here is what we don't want to hear again.

1. Are they twins?
          NO. No. no. The big one. The one that's 5 inches taller than the littler one. She's older. Another clue: she doesn't put everything in her mouth anymore. This is the most forgivable because the two oldest do look alike especially when sitting next to each other in the cart at Kroger. What we actually say with a smile, "Nope. 11 months apart. Irish twins. So you're close!"

2. These days go by so quickly. Cherish them.
          Actually it is our prayer that some of these hours/days will go by quickly - some are just harder than others. And if you want to cherish them, we'll loan you our little cherubs for five minutes in a public place. How about, say, in line at an ice cream shop? Or trying to cross the street to get to the library? Or in Walmart with a cart full of groceries, ready to check out, when the two year old has to go potty? We love them, but parenting has it's moments. What we actually say is nothing. Just smile. With clenched teeth.

3. Just wait until they're teenagers.
          Yes, we are. We're waiting for the time we can have an actual conversation and we don't hear the word "why" 75 times. Said it before, saying it again - at least when they are teens they will be able to feed themselves, go to the bathroom on their own, avoid smearing the jalapenos in the garden all over their faces, etc. What we actually say, "Yup. We'll have three teenage girls in the house at once." Stating the obvious and walking away is effective.

4. When are you going to stop nursing?
          She's not even four months old. No one is counting the days more than Mommy. So can we get a little nursing support, peeps? What we actually say, "Oh, we'll start solids around six months."

5. Three? Wow. So...you're done having kids, then?
          SIGH. So much we'd like to say about this. To begin with isn't the question a little personal?!?! We have been shopping in the same store for a total of ten minutes and now you want to have a discussion that we reserve for our closest family and friends. Odd. Furthermore, is three children REALLY that many? Really? Really? Historically, no. Yes, we know as well as anyone how much work they are and how much money they "cost" and the sacrifices they require and all of that. But if God's giving out the gifts and trying to get us to heaven there are worse things He could hand out than children, no? Some people He gifted with martyrdom. We'll take the kids. What we actually say, "Well, we've always said at least five, but we'll just see." Then, before they pass out, more of the walking away.

Are we missing any?

Sorry...no pictures today, just rants. Thanks for listening.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

For the Sake of Being Real

A bedtime story before we shovel them into bed.
Having three kids (three and under) is hard. Maybe it gets easier when they are older?? Sometimes we do not know how people with more children do it. Actually, we're not exactly sure how we're doing it. We've started calling this "Survival Mode". We're doing what we have to to keep it together. Mowing the lawn the minimum number of times to not be the "bad neighbors". Sweeping the floor of food but rarely scrubbing it...occasionally Swiffering. Our meals aren't what you'd call gourmet or often even yummy. Most come out of a crockpot and taste similar. Exciting. Should we admit that perhaps the living room has only been seriously vacuumed two or three times since Felicity was born? And now that she can scoot off her blanket, we're going to have to be better about that. We spend more time in the cry room and bathroom during Mass than actually praying. Oh yeah, we're here and breathing and this blog makes it look like we're having all kinds of good fun.

Felicity's first swim...she really did love it!
But for the sake of Being Real...know that there are days we're ready to throw in the towel and say, "We're done. Three is all we can take."

But for the sake of Being Real...know that we're in "Survival Mode". And hopefully one day these parents will get a real, one-on-one, 2 hour (at least!?!?) date again.

But for the sake of Being Real...know that we're eating way more hot dogs and cold meat sandwiches than the American Academy of Pediatrics would approve of.

But for the sake of Being Real...know that Felicity is being breastfed only by sheer willpower. Cause this Mom doesn't like it at all.

But for the sake of Being Real...know that Tim works late many, many nights and truly wishes he had more time eating family dinners and being with his girls.

But for the sake of Being Real...know that we went to bed last night before 10 PM. Probably before Tim's grandparents.

But for the sake of Being Real...know that we have some serious sibling rivalry/catfighting happening in this house. And that's understating the situation by A LOT.

But for the sake of Being Real...know that we're giving credit where credit is due. God is the ONLY one getting us through these challenges and keeping us from losing it.

Despite her parents failings, turns out Miriam is having a happy childhood.
Frequently we marvel over how difficult we thought that first one was. Seemed we were barely surviving. Doubtless the first is a shock to the old system. But now...now we laugh at how much free time we must have had then that we didn't appreciate.

Vivian enjoys some fruit snacks - all nutrition, all the time.
So what we really want to say is: Cheers to three little girls who we love to death. Who make our life chaos. But who are absolutely worth it.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


In honor of the Hot Air Balloon Festival last week, we had Balloon Week. A few highlights - Using this worksheet, we practiced our shapes. Mommy was pretty impressed with both girls' ability to do the activity independently (except for the cutting, that's something we need to work on eventually).

And they loved adding "clouds" to their hot air balloon scenes.

We also talked about the letter "Bb". Bonus: being allowed to use a highlighter!

Mommy filled balloons up with different materials and the girls had to guess what was inside. They LOVED these balloons...played with them for hours during the week.

The blue balloons had water, yellow was dirt, green was tiny alphabet pasta, and red...

...no, you can't hear the ocean in the red balloon. It's just flour. With no prompting, they started sorting their balloons and making patterns! 

Of course, balloon week wouldn't be compete without water balloons. The heat certainly called for it!

Finally, we made ice gems. Easy fun: few drops of food coloring (or a lot if you're like us) into a balloon. Fill with water and tie. Freeze for at least 24 hours. 

Peel the balloon off and enjoy! 

Both girls carried the ice gems around the yard like their babies. 

But in the heat, these babies didn't last long. Hope you were able to stay cool, too!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

We've got ourselves a Roller.

As narrated by Felicity:

"Hi, Mom! It's me...your cutest, sweetest child. I'm about to do a trick. You'd better get the camera. I'll just suck my thumb while you do that."

"Are you ready now? Ok, great! No, that wasn't the trick. Keep watching."

"I'm pretty sure I can do this one with my thumb in my mouth."

"Oh shoot, my arm's stuck."


"Now wait...how do I get off my tummy?!?!?"

14.5 weeks old and rolling. Overachiever already.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Come Fly Away With Me

We were inspired this weekend

In a town half an hour north

Our friends Mike and Chris with their oldest daughter, Maria
By a gathering of hot air and fabric.

Grandpa and Miriam
No, it wasn't a quilting shop, but a hot air balloon festival. 

Mommy and sleeping Felicity
We're going to overwhelm you with pictures...and this is a very parred down selection. But really we loved it! They were all beautiful. And who sews something that big? Where is it done and how?

Miriam, Vivian, and Aunt Nichole...the girls loved the Sugar Bear balloon
We got to hang out with friends and family. Including our friends Mike and Chris. Their oldest daughter is a couple months younger than Vivian and then they have TWIN girls who are a few months older than Felicity. (So you can imagine how busy these parents are every day.) When all our girls are older they will have SO much fun together! Until then, we really admire how patient, generous, and joyful they are! 

Chris' mom with one of their twins
It was a beautiful day.

Miriam and "little" Maria play Ring Around the Rosy
It's on our bucket list to take a hot air balloon ride, so maybe this brought us one step closer?

There was a really good announcer at the event who had been a hot air balloon pilot in the past. He explained the winds and the competitions. This was the one we saw: Each pilot had a bean bag with him or her. They flew their balloons from any spot they choose in town back to the festival at the small county airport. When they returned, the pilots had to lower their balloons, toss the bean bag out to hit a mark, then rise back up and sail away to a safe landing place. The pilots whose bean bag was the closest to the mark won. Really fun to watch and cheer on the pilots as they lowered themselves to almost scrape the ground and then glide away again.

Hot air balloons are pretty temperamental creatures. Too much wind from the wrong direction makes for a cranky balloon. Saturday wasn't too bad for them.

The pilots name their balloons. Mommy really likes naming, so that made her smile.

Aunt Maria and Aunt Bridget
Plus, some of them look like giant quilts.

While the day was too windy for these big, unbalanced guys to fly, the pilots did blow them up and the girls thought they were fabulous!

Betty Jean the Butterfly
 Loved seeing these two in their wide-brimmed hats. 

Grandpa and Felicity
 At the end of the night, the pilots set up their balloons in the airfield...

...and put on a light show for the crowd.

Bet you can guess the theme this week in our house. 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Can You See Me Now?

About a month ago, our theme for the week was "Finding". We did lots of fun activities including a Nature Scavenger Hunt and played Hide and Seek. But the most exciting part of the week?

Magnifying glasses!

The girls thought they had become little scientists. They were out to discover!

Every little ant was followed. Plants inspected. Flower petals counted. Even the mulch was combed over.

Then we came upon an ever growing problem: a rabbit was trying to burrow and nest in our yard. Not good. Fun for little girls. Not fun for Mom and Dad. Luckily we happen to have the world's best neighbors. They took care of the hole and bunny while we were gone on vacation and the girls never missed it.

However, we were ALL surprised by our ever growing garden when we returned with its monster sized zucchini and crazy tall sunflowers.

Sherlock and Holmes were out the door to inspect the garden with their magnifying glasses the moment we returned home.

***We got the magnifying glasses on Amazon. They're Melissa and Doug brand and are holding up really well!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Felicity: 3 Months

Felicity turned three months old on the 6th and had a check up at the doctor today.

24" and 12 lbs 12 oz. That's pretty much right at the 50th percentile. An average, healthy little baby. That's how we grow 'em around here. She's so alert and talkative that several ladies at the doctor's office guessed she was six months old! Most people who see her comment about how much she looks like her Daddy.

Her favorite things: cooing as her parents sing to her, being held in a standing position, eating, and sucking her thumb. Neither of her older sisters were thumb suckers, but we think it is adorable and we never have to worry about carrying a pacifier around. Plus, when it's time to sleep, Felicity generally just pops that thumb in her mouth and drifts off. No Sandman needed. She still spits up quite a bit. Her sisters love her (to the point that Felicity is a little afraid when they come around with their enthusiastic hugs and kisses). She hasn't been a great night sleeper the past few weeks, but with our vacation we kind of expected that. Hopefully she'll be back on track soon! The past few days she's been attempting to roll over and can go from her back to her side, but gets stuck there. Maybe we'll have that exciting development any day.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

How We Met

A blog we follow is hosting a link up for all the love stories. And you know how we are about love stories...

Note: Every picture in this post is from 2007, the year we met. And the reason we look so very young.

Mostly, we're doing this for posterity. Perhaps someday our children will care how their Daddy and Mommy met. So here's the rest of the story.


Turns out, Sarah met Tim before they actually met. Sarah was helping to start up a youth group at her parish after graduating from college. Tim was helping lead a very large youth group on the other side of town. So Sarah and the other youth leaders went to check out the program at the other parish. That night, Tim acted like Lewis Black. Which is to say he jumped around and yelled a lot. Interesting first impression.


Back at the new youth group a few months later: Sarah asked a friend, Nate, to come help out with an evening program. At the end of the night, Nate asked Sarah and her friend Elizabeth if they wanted to go to a party. "Sure, but I've got another friend, Evan, in town tonight, too. Can he come?" Yes. Directions to the party were given. Friends meet up, drive to party. 

On the way, Evan asks, "So how do we know these people?" 

"Um, well, actually we don't reallllllly." But Sarah promises that if there isn't beer at the party, they'd leave.

Knock on the door.

"Hello...I'm Tim. You must be Nate's friends. Do you want a beer?"

And that, children, is how you find love. It was a housewarming party for the home that Tim had just purchased. We stayed until 2 in the AM. And if you know your mother at all, you know that this was remarkable.  The morning after the party, Tim was ecstatic to find Sarah on Facebook - just a wee bit of recon occurred.

This was followed by messages exchanged on Facebook and hanging out with the church's young adult group. Your parents each thought the other was smart, witty, charming, not bad to look at...it was time.


Did you know there is such a thing as a "pre-date"? Yes, children, it does exist. Just as Nessie and Leprechauns are real, so too is the pre-date.

At the beginning of May 2007, via those Facebook messages, your parents met for dinner after work on a Tuesday. Mom thinking it was a date. Dad certain this was a pre-date. An interview, of sorts. But he ended up picking up the bill. So we know who won that one...

Back to the story. They met for dinner. And talked for hours. Literally talked and laughed until they were the last ones left in the place. The manager finally came up to the booth, "We're not kicking you out, but we planned on moving this booth around tonight after closing. If you guys wouldn't mind moving over to that booth, we'll bring out a free dessert." Deal. We moved and ate the MOST FABULOUS bread pudding that has ever been created. And we don't like bread pudding and won't eat it anywhere else.

First Date

Tim asked Sarah on a real first date. Let the record show, he's a good date planner. Cinco de Mayo 2007. She was living with her parents (in their basement, to complete the cliche) and he came to pick her up. Luckily no one was home at the time so he wasn't subjected to the game 10 Million Questions for a Potential Suitor

He didn't like country music, but had the only "country" CD he owned playing in the car. Garth Brooks as Chris Gaines. Sarah didn't actually know any of the music. But was very impressed by the effort. Off to the Mall. Where Tim bought Sarah a cowgirl hat to memorialize her love of country music and wear to the RASCAL FLATTS concert he was taking her to in the near future! They took a little ride on the two story carousel in the food court. Ate Mexican food and drank margaritas to celebrate Mexican independence, of course. Then Sarah needed to get back home because she had made plans with the girls from work for the rest of the night.

But, ah (Tim says now "AAAAHAHHAHAH!!!!!"), when Tim dropped her off at home, family members were home. And despite her warnings that they were a bit...much...overwhelming...crazy...he insisted on coming in to meet everyone. That's probably the moment she fell in love with him. 

The 10 Million Question game was played. And just when Sarah thought things were going pretty well after all, Aunt Bridget came racing into the kitchen.

"SEVEN. Just remember seven," Aunt Bridget yelled. Sarah almost died. She had told her sisters just a few months earlier that she was a size seven on her left ring finger (which ironically is not correct). And if ever a boy should want to know, they would have that tidbit handy.

Tim was informed (after prodding a very reluctant-to-tell-what-it-meant Sarah) and found it all very, very funny. Sarah's family liked him. Signed, sealed, delivered, I'm yours.

Well, that about explains it. We won't go into anymore details about first kisses and first "I love you's" and proposal/engagement. Because this is really supposed to be about how we met, right? Plus, if you're our children-in-the-future, you're already grossed out by this much detail. Just know that they lived happily ever after.