Friday, August 31, 2007

something silly

DH is always joking about these stickers on the back of car windows. I just might get him one for Christmas this year :)

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Yoplait Fizzix Review

My kids like yogurt. They also like to eat things without utensils, so tubes of yogurt are good. I try to buy organic usually (like Stonyfield Farms), but I can't always find that brand in the store.

When I saw the Yoplait Fizzix, I was with my sister. "Hmmmm," I said "fizzy yogurt? Do you think it's like mixing pop rocks with the yogurt? That might be good." My sister and I both love pop rocks. I figured it was worth a few bucks to try something new that the boys might think was fun. My sister didn't want to try any because she was allergic to the flavoring.

The boys gamely tried it during morning snack time the next day. And promptly spit it back out and threw the tubes in the trash. Even N, who eats pretty much anything, told me it was "very, very bad in his mouth."

Of course, I had to try it myself! And while it wasn't horrible, it was definitely strange. The carbonation isn't as strong as if pop rocks were mixed in, but you can definitely feel the carbonation on your tongue. Mixed with creamy yogurt it was very odd. Odd enough that I pitched the entire box into the trash. I might have eaten more, just to get my money's worth out of the purchase, but the yogurt itself was way too sweet.

Hopefully I'll help you save a few bucks in case you were curious like I was. Spend it on chocolate instead! I wish I had.

Monday, August 27, 2007

L's Baptism

We baptized L yesterday in the Catholic Church. It was a very nice ceremony, attended by some wonderful friends from our parish.

She did beautifully! Our parish does the baptisms after mass once a month. I fed her during mass, and she was content throughout the brief ceremony. DH's dear friend came from Milwaukee with his wife to be godfather, and one of my dear friends from my old working days is her godmother. We put together a luncheon afterwards at our home, and ended up with over 30 people enjoying my greek chicken salad and lots of other goodies. She received some beautiful gifts that will be treasured. One friend tied the gift with raffia and a large seashell, which I thought was so beautiful and appropriate! (Our church uses a large seashell to pour the holy water as well.) There are more pictures up at my picture blog. The picture at left was her morning nap as I was running around making sure everything was ready when we returned home.

There is such a peace and feeling of grace now that all my babes are baptized. I admit I was stressed when getting ready for yesterday, but it all came off beautifully.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


We started our homeschooling year! I'll try to blog better this year about it at Sunshine Academy.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

she rolls!

Because I keep this blog more for me than anything . . .

L rolled from her back to her front today for the first time. She did it for the first time this afternoon, after trying to do so for a few days now. She's been good about using her feet to scootch her all around on her back for a few weeks now, and I'm sure she's excited about adding rolling to her abilities. After the first time, she's done it every time I've laid her down.

It has been fun to watch the progression from reaching, to rolling onto her side, and finally from back to front. I'm sure it's just a matter of days before she masters the front to back roll.

And, yes, I realize that this is exciting only to me, my boys (who were whooping it up for her when they saw her do it), and maybe my DH.

Friday, August 17, 2007

August 2007 Interview with Kids

N – age 5 1/4

What's your favorite color? blue

What do you want to be when you grow up? Cop

How many children do you want to have? 50

Where is your favorite place to go? Milwaukee Zoo

Where's your favorite place to eat? Pasta Pomodoro

What's your favorite food? bread with pesto

What do you like to play? cop games

What's your favorite thing to do with your brother? stay with him

C – age 6 3/4

What's your favorite color? pink

What do you want to be when you grow up? cop

How many children do you want to have? 61

Where is your favorite place to go? Wisconsin Dells

Where's your favorite place to eat? Chuck E Cheese

What's your favorite food? italian sausage

What do you like to play? air hockey

What's your favorite thing to do with your brother? play

back from vacation

We took a family vacation to WI for 8 days and survived!

My parents have been planning a party for their 40th anniversary for over a year, and it happened to work out that they planned it for mid-August which also celebrated our 10th anniversary and my brother returning from Kuwait.

We arrived late Sunday evening and stayed at my parents' home for the beginning of the week. We went to the zoo Monday, got together with a group of DH's friends from his National Guard days Monday night, did something on Tuesday, helped my parents get ready for their party on Wednesday, got together with DH's dad, girlfriend and DH's cousins Wednesday night, took a trip to the Wisconsin Dells Thursday and Friday with my brother and SIL. Friday night we checked into a hotel, but had to check back out Saturday because they had no non-smoking rooms. We checked into another hotel, celebrated my parent's 40th on Saturday with family that came in from NY, CA, NV, NJ, FL, WA and AZ, enjoyed a BBQ at my parents on Sunday with all that out-of-town family, had lunch with FIL on Monday, visited the parents of DH's best friend from high school, visited the Marian Shrine in West Allis and my favorite Catholic store . . . and flew home. On a plane that was delayed over 3 hours (during which we sat IN the plane on the runway . . . UGH) which got us back to our house at 3AM.


The kids all did amazing. I felt judged more than once about many of my decisions, but whatever. I only see most of these people once a decade or so. I realized that I'm grateful to be far away from many of them so that the decisions I've made haven't been scrutinized to my face over the years because I realize they would have been harder to make - if that makes sense? I was questioned/judged about our decision to homeschool, breastfeed, carry my child most of the time, stay at home, etc. etc.

It was an exhausting week, but I'm very glad we went. Putting aside the judgmental comments, I was thrilled to see many of the family and friends we saw. My 81 year old great-uncle made it, and we have a picture of him with L -- the oldest & youngest in the family at the moment. I also felt quite a bit of love and caring.

I have about 800 pictures to go through and share. I'll share some on my picture blog, and make a few shutterfly books for my parents and ourselves. I'm glad I bought a 2G card for my camera, since I used that and about 1/2 of my 1G card.

The boys started their enrichment program on Wednesday as well as t-ball and coach pitch. We'll start homeschooling next week. L is being baptized on the 26th - and her godfather and wife are coming in on the 25th from WI. I need to clean out the boys room and hope they don't mind sleeping on twin beds for the weekend. I also need to plan a lunch for some family and friends that day (and invite some family and friends!)

Lots to do in the next few days!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

clean sheets

Falling into a made bed, with clean sheets, was heaven Tuesday morning, especially after being gone for 8 days! The plane home was delayed almost 3 hours, which meant we arrived at our home around 3AM.

DH laughed at me when I changed the sheets the morning we left, but I didn't hear him laughing when he hit the sheets at 3:15! LOL!

It was also nice to walk into a fairly clean house. If only I had thought more about having food available that was easy to eat and wouldn't have spoiled! We did finish up the milk before we left home, but that meant we had none when we got home. The boys were starving when we got home and I scrambled to find them a snack. They were happy with popcorn and fruit cups.

3rd child

In the past week or so, L has learned to belly laugh, reach out and grasp things, is struggling to sit up, and is enjoying a few toys.

Watching my third child master these milestones is just as exciting as watching my first two. It may even be a bit more fun, as I don't worry as much as I did with my first. My worrying definitely lessened with my second (but I did do a lot of comparing between him and his brother), but this time I just feel joy when she accomplishes something new and I'm not wondering when she'll do the next new thing, and I'm definitely not comparing her to her brothers! I can see at 5 & 6 that they are both fine -- even if one did walk at 9 months and the other at 13. In fact, my late walker is a much faster runner now.

I remember that I kept a detailed Excel spreadsheet with C -- tracking when he ate, when he slept, when I changed his diapers and what kind of diaper!! Then I would average out the information for daily and weekly numbers and check it against developmental charts to see if he was sleeping enough, etc. It makes me laugh to remember those days now!! I definitely had more time then, but I know L will be just fine without all the obsessive tracking. I feed her when she appears hungry, change her when necessary, lay her down for sleep when she needs it. I couldn't tell you how many times I feed her in a day, or how many diapers I change -- but I look at her and see that she is thriving all the same.

On a sleep note - she is consistently sleeping from 10PM to 5AM, and then usually sleeps from 6AM to 9AM or so daily. Hopefully putting this into writing won't jinx us!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Mother Talk Review: Maximum Ride 3

Nursing an infant means I have more time for reading, so I was excited to have the opportunity to review Maximum Ride 3 by James Patterson. My husband has read some of his other novels, but not this series.

As I started the novel, I immediately thought of my younger brother. This is the type of book I know he would read, and when my younger sister saw the book on the table, she told me that she had recently read (and enjoyed) it as well. Our father loves science fiction, and passed that interest along to his kids.

I admit I haven't read much science fiction in the last decade or so, and I wasn't sure if I was going to enjoy this book. It grabbed me in the first few chapters, and it was a very fun read. The story was extremely well written. Even though I hadn't read the first 2 books in this series, I was able to catch up and understand the story.

The action is fast and furious, and definitely caught my interest. It was an easy read, something that felt perfect for a summer book. The story is about saving the world - and you believe these characters can do it! Patterson has a wonderful respect for the strength and tenacity of young people that was wonderful to read.

Even though the concept is odd (the main characters have giant wings and can fly, since evil scientists combined their DNA with birds), I was drawn into their story and wanted to know what happened to them - both in the past and in future chapters. In fact, I liked the characters so much that I ordered the 2 previous books in the series.

The main characters were well developed and likable. I especially liked the fact that the leader of the group was a female, but it didn't feel contrived. She would appeal to both male and female readers. The characters are well-written and you believe they are young children and teenagers, but they are also heroes based on their actions. There is sufficient teenage angst, but not too much.

It is marketed as a young adult novel, but the writing is not dumbed down as is sometimes found in young adult novels. The chapters are very short, which I think would be great for a reluctant reader. When a chapter ended, I was definitely drawn to reading "just one more," until suddenly the book was over.

My boys are a bit too young for the story (being only 5 and 6), but I would be happy with them reading it in their pre-teen years. I plan to pass the book along to a teenage friend of the family, as I think he would enjoy it.

Friday, August 03, 2007


This week is World Breastfeeding Week.

Nursing an infant means that I have lots of time to sit and think, but not much time to put many of my thoughts into action. I haven't mastered the art of nursing hands-free, and it actually takes both my hands to nurse most of the time. So, while I nurse -- I read, watch TV, listen to music or podcasts on my ipod, talk to my boys, or think about all the things I'm not doing. Sometimes I feel frustrated by having to slow down my life so much, but other times I'm grateful for the break that nursing gives me.

I realize that breastfeeding my child is an extremely important thing to do. It obviously provides her nourishment. We bond as we cuddle together at all times of the day and night. It's supposed to provide her with numerous health benefits, and even protect me against breast cancer.

My boys are young lactivists. They are insulted when anyone mentions that we might use bottles and proudly tell them that "mama milk is best!" They are patient when our outings are slowed down by my need to feed L. When she cries, my youngest son often will often order me to "put her on the boob!!" I don't feel that I have done much proselytizing about the subject, but if you listen to my boys, there's no doubt they believe that breastmilk is best for babies.

Breastfeeding is natural, but I think many women are mistaken and think natural means easy. For some women, establishing a nursing relationship is easy, but I think it is difficult (at least initially) for many more women.

With my first, I thought I was a failure. He didn't gain weight quickly, and my supply was immediately questioned (and questioned and questioned until I finally switched to formula full-time). I consulted a lactation consultant and began pumping and using fenugreek and oatmeal in an attempt to produce more milk. My husband tried to help me out and let me sleep by giving him bottles of formula (provided by the hospital) when he was still very young. Then, I returned to work and struggled to pump when he was 3 months old. By 7 months, I decided I was a failure and I cried when he struggled at the breast. We switched to formula and bottles full-time until he was a year and weaned to cow's milk.

I learned more by the time I had my 2nd and I was determined to make it work this time. He was small, and had a lousy latch. I once again consulted lactation consultants. He was re-admitted to the hospital when only a few days old for jaundice, but I pumped and also put him to the breast as much as possible. He was probably 5 or 6 months old before we finally had a good latch. We struggled through thrush for months. I would nurse him and clench my toes and tears would flow down my face because it hurt so much. He gained weight slowly, but steadily. I am stubborn, though, and decided I would do whatever was necessary to nurse him for a year. Thankfully, it did get better around 6 months, and he weaned close to 18 months. He had maybe 3 or 4 bottles in his life.

L and I struggled with her latch the first few weeks. We haven't had thrush (knock on wood!) We haven't used bottles. At her first doctor's appointment, she hadn't yet regained her birth weight. The doctor questioned my supply and wanted me to come in for multiple weight checks. I declined and told her that my sons were the same way and they grew just fine. We still struggle with latch when we fall asleep together and I wake up sore. It's nothing like the pain I had with N, and I am confident we'll nurse until we're ready to wean sometime after a year. While it's still early, she's been the easiest of my 3.

Breastfeeding has felt right for my children. Through the struggles, I'm glad I gave them this part of me and that I made the effort. I'm proud of myself for what I've done. I do also believe, however, that it is a choice. It was the choice I made for my children, yet I understand that it's not the choice all moms make. I don't think it makes me a better mom than a mom who doesn't breastfeed, or only breastfeeds a few weeks or months. We're all moms, who love and nourish their children.

I grin when my boys tell people that "mama milk is the only milk my sister gets for now." I love how protective my oldest gets of me when I feed my youngest out in public. I can't help but smile back when I look down at the milky grin of my 3 month old. And I can just keep making the choices that I feel right for my family.

In honor of World Breastfeeding Week, support a mom you know who's trying to breastfeed. Give her encouragement! Help her make sure she drinks enough and eats enough and gets enough rest. Let her know that it's not always easy, but it's definitely possible.
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