Friday, January 30, 2015

Glitter, Prunes, & Naughty Children {7 Quick Takes}


The only homeschool-y stuff I've gotten this year was signing John Paul up for this Magic School Bus science club - it comes once a month and is great because he gets a bunch of experiments that he can do with relatively little help, but with fairly satisfying results (if you look it up, DO NOT pay full price - I got it for 50% off on an Amazon Local deal, so it comes out to $10/month.  The deal has been repeated at least twice since I got it over the summer).  

One of the "experiments" we did yesterday was basically just putting glitter in a bottle of water and shaking it up to show kids how the liquid in their inner ear keeps moving when it's shaken, which is why they get dizzy:

And then I remembered seeing quite a few ideas on Pinterest for "calm down bottles" and I've been having John Paul use this for the same purpose and it's actually working somewhat!  

But it's been a day, so take that with a grain of salt...


Speaking of calming that kid down, I've got a whole stack of parenting books to read in order to help find some strategies to make life more pleasant for all of us. But I'm really bad at actually *reading* those parenting books when I have them...  So Shannon suggested doing some sort of online book club/accountability group or something - would anyone be up for that?  Right now I've got:

How to Talk so Kids Will Listen and Listen so Kids Will Talk (which might be #1 on my list)
Parenting With Grace
Have a New Kid by Friday
Love and Logic

And some others on hold at the library...

Have you read any of those?  Did they help you?  Want to read one with me?


Prunes.  Who actually likes them?

John Paul and Cecilia do, and I have no idea why.  Well, probably because they're sweet.  John Paul has taken it upon himself to make snack these days (I was trying to phase it out because then they barely ate lunch, but it was leading to rather cranky kids so as long as he's taking the reins, I'm okay with it), and requested a Costco-sized bag of prunes a few trips ago (when I wasn't with them).  So I have to make sure he does NOT give any to the twins, because I don't want to deal with those diapers.  And he and Cecilia are limited to no more than 5/day.  



Speaking of diapers, we had a lovely incident last week that I considered blogging about but decided not to because, well, I didn't think anybody wanted to read about all that poop.  Suffice it to say, Mary Claire's shirt was cut off her body, and the entire incident was similar to Abbey's girls last year.

Twin naughtiness has been at an all-time high, and the tantrums have been nuts, too.  I finally decided that it MUST be due to sleep deprivation, because they haven't been napping due to Mary Claire climbing out of the crib and into Elizabeth's so that they can play together...  And John Paul and Cecilia were fighting way too much during that same time, so I've implemented a new nap protocol (everybody in separate rooms, basically) that has gone REALLY well the past few days - both twins have slept and John Paul and Cecilia have been quiet and things have been SO much more peaceful during that time in the middle of the day!

Although I'm pretty sure poor Mary Claire ended up asleep on the floor in front of her door today because she was so annoyed that I wouldn't let her out of her room...


Obligatory cute baby shot:

He's just as fascinating as you can imagine a 2-month-old would be - sucks his fists a lot, is just starting to grab toys when they're handed to him, super-smiley during his awake time.  I don't know what it is, because he doesn't *seem* like a remarkable baby, but he makes me so, so happy even though he's rather a lot of work...

And I've really never been a baby person...  I always looked forward to the toddler years & beyond, but goodness I'm enjoying this baby stage!  And, in turn, appreciating & loving the other kids a lot more - is this why people keep having babies in big families?  Does it just keep getting better?


I used PicMonkey to make our Christmas cards and finally mailed them out a couple weeks ago - honestly, it didn't come out to much cheaper than using the card designs they have on different websites, but nobody had a layout that I liked, so I just used the basic version to make our own.

And honestly, that might be the way I go in the future too, just because I spend WAY too long every year searching through every. single. card on Shutterfly, Snapfish, Tiny Prints, etc...


Battery's about to die on the computer, plus I'm tired!  Linking up with Kelly for 7 Quick Takes - go check out more bloggers!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Cecilia, Age 4

Last night Cecilia asked me, "Mom?  When I wake up in the morning will I still look like a regular 3-year-old, even though I'm 4?"  This morning she assured me that yes, she does still just look like a regular 3-year-old.

At the ripe old age of 4, Cecilia...

Still asks me why she's not allowed to marry her brother (picture from about a year ago - look how much she's grown!!!), but has "settled" on a longtime friend who she would like to marry because "He makes REALLY cool Lego creations."

Adores any and all clothing I upcycle for her from old women's clothes...  No matter how atrocious!

Is always wowing us with her amazing dance moves.

Is beautiful.  So, so beautiful.

Is infectiously joyful - she knows exactly how to make us laugh when we're in the middle of reprimanding her...  And she knows when I'm about to snap and just bursts out with, "Mom?  I love you!"

Has the BEST laugh.

Is an amazing big sister - she adores her younger siblings (and "mothers" John Paul a little too much for her own good) and hates it that she doesn't *actually* get to be in charge of them.  She's incredibly helpful, usually of her own volition - I don't even have to ask, she's always choosing new outfits for Peter or fetching diapers, or helping Mary Claire to the bathroom, or getting Elizabeth in and out of her crib.  I don't want to give her too much responsibility, but she really craves it and begs for it!  Thankfully her new baby doll satisfies some of that maternal need.

Can also be so serious - I think she desperately wants to be a mystic, and is sometimes overly dramatic about the fact that SHE hasn't seen any Marian apparitions (those CCC movies - the St. Bernadette one and the Fatima one - convinced her that she should expect Mary to appear to her one of these days).  She's always telling me about Heaven, and asking questions too.  Just yesterday she spouted off, "Mom, will we eat in heaven? WHAT will we eat in heaven? Mom, does heaven have a floor? Where will we SLEEP in heaven? Mom, can I take flowers to heaven? Mom, can skeletons walk?"

John Paul researches questions like this in his books, but Cecilia...  Well, she just HAS to ask everything right as it comes into her head!

She's wonderful.  I hope YOU have a Cecilia someday - I can't even express how sweet and joyful and adorable she is.  To be honest, one reason we thought the timing for Peter would work out so well was that we were expecting at least one of the twins to be like Cecilia, in terms of independence and temperament.  

Well, we were VERY wrong (spitfires, both of them, and naughtiness that I thought I would never see!), which goes to show you that kids are different (DUH) and you can never predict what they'll be like in 9 months (DUH again), but that heck, it's worth taking chances because Peter's pretty awesome so far!

She's really grown up in this past year - she was so accommodating all the time that I was worried she'd be a pushover for the rest of her life...  But no, she has VERY strong opinions, she just knows how to be diplomatic enough to get her way without drama most of the time (gee, wonder where she gets that...).  It's hilarious to see her using the exact same tactics with Mary Claire and Elizabeth that I do with them, right down to calling them Honey and gently convincing them that they really want to give her the toy they're playing with.  Her temper does show every once in a while, and it is TREMENDOUS.  Generally because of something John Paul has done...  Best frenemies, those two.

I sat down with her last month to do the survey I've *tried* to do with the other kids on their birthdays (and John Paul's and the twins' are sitting in draft form because I haven't finished those posts...):

1. What is your favorite color?  Pink and purple and all the colors of the rainbow.
2. What is your favorite toy?  Bitty Baby!
3. What is your favorite fruit?  Grape!
4. What is your favorite television show?  Veggie Tales!
5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch?  What? Peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
6. What is your favorite outfit?  This one!  (Striped dress with pink t-shirt over it)
7. What is your favorite game?  Stratego? (I doubt it)
8. What is your favorite snack?  Crackers, cheerios, and cheese stick, and banana chips.
9. What is your favorite animal?  Zzzzz...  Dogs!  
10. What is your favorite song?  Immaculate Mary!
11. What is your favorite book?  Princess Gabby Girl!
12. Who is your best friend?  Katherine (a much older girl at our old church who she only sees when my sister visits and takes her to Mass there)
13. What is your favorite cereal?  Cheerios and milk.  Mom, Audrey helped me put the tray back when I was done cleaning up the table!  Cuz it was a little hard.
14. What is your favorite thing to do outside?  Play on the swing set.
15. What is your favorite drink?  Milk.
16. What is your favorite holiday?  What's a holiday?  A special day like Christmas, or Easter, or Halloween, or Thanksgiving...  Halloween!
17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night?  Floofy dog.
18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?  Cheerios and milk!
19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday?  Pizza! (She took my suggestion of bacon and eggs, thankfully!)
20. What do you want to be when you grow up?  A nun who works in a hospital. (Despite the fact that she's SO maternal to all the other kids and plays with baby dolls 24/7.  And wants to get married...  Good thing vocations aren't set in stone at the age of 4!)

I wish I had a good picture of her in her birthday glory - I swear I took some this morning but they got erased from the card somehow :(  Here's a blurry instagram shot if you want it:

Edit:  Andrew got a picture!  Here it is:

I made her and her bitty baby matching tutus (tying tulle onto elastic - so easy!), made her the purple cape I promised her months ago (cut the shape of a cape out of fleece and tied it...), and made her a birthday crown that she designed herself (purple and pink).  Oh, and gave her the new hooded towel she picked out (um yes, that was her birthday present...).  I also ordered her clip-on earrings from this etsy shop that should be here soon and she's going to DIE of excitement when she gets to wear them, considering she's been making "earrings" out of hair clips and elastics for at least a year!

Dying for more about Cecilia to waste time?  Here's her 3-year post, her 2-year-post, and her 1-year-post.  Oh, and her birth story, if you're into that sort of thing...

Happy Birthday Cecilia!  We love you!

Monday, January 26, 2015

What I Wore Sunday: Nose-picking Photobomb

I'm not a huge fan of this week's Mass outfit, but I'll show you anyway because that's how I roll!

I just...  5-year-olds, right?  I offer him tissues and he uses them and then goes right back to picking his nose, even in the middle of Mass :/

I like the polka dots and stripes together, but I think the belt placement and proportions kind of make me look...  Squat?  In any case, I love this polka dot shirt because it's nice and flowy and belly-hiding when I employ the half-tuck (and it's button-down, so nursing friendly!) BUT I couldn't do a half-tuck because I was wearing a maternity skirt...

I knooooow, I said I'd put most of my maternity clothes away...  But you really can't tell this is a maternity skirt except the rise is high, which means no tucking.  It might be time to retire it anyway, though!

Outfit details:

Hat: Zulily
Scarf: Forever 21
Shirt: Ann Taylor via Twice
Cardigan: Banana Republic via Twice
Skirt: Motherhood Maternity via ThredUp
Leggings: American Apparel via Twice
Boots: DSW

But more importantly than what I wore, here's what everyone's favorite carrot top wore:

Cutest, I know.  You're welcome ;)

Linking up with Fine Linen & Purple for What I Wore Sunday - check out some other styles!

Friday, January 23, 2015

What They Said, January Edition

Because I'm 99% sure the "funny" part of this blog is solely the stuff my kids say...

John Paul:  Oh!!!  Peter!!!  I have something to tell you!!!
Me:  What?
John Paul:  There are three persons in the Trinity!

John Paul, reading about the reproductive system: How many eggs do you have left?
Me: Um, I don't know... I think girls are born with about 400000?
JP: *puzzlingly* So... There are four of us... So... Maybe... Threeeee.... Threeeee hundred and... Ninety nine thousand... Oh, there are FIVE of us... So maaaaaybe... Three hundred and ninety nine thousand and ninety five?
Me: Could be.
JP: Yeah, I might be right!

JP, dancing around:  Mass in the morning, Mass at noon!  Mass in the evening, fly a balloon!  I made up a poem!!!

Me: John Paul, you're really good at spelling!
John Paul:  Oh, I can only spell short words.  Not long words, like... Metatarsophalangeal.

Yup.  Me neither.

Overheard during naptime...

JP: No, don't call me baby!
Cecilia: What do I call you, then? Bighead?
JP: YEAH!!! Bighead, bighead!!!
Cecilia: 'Cuz you have a big head?
*wild giggling*

John Paul and Cecilia are playing a heads and tails game on the calculator...

JP: Heads!
Cecilia, about to cry: I wanted a tail!!!
JP, reassuring her: You had a tail when you were in Mom's tummy!
Cecilia: *giggles, completely fine now*

Me: Cecilia, why are you dressed in that outfit?
Cecilia: Mom, it's my armor.
Me: And why do you need armor?
Cecilia: Mom, because dere are always wars.
Me: Oh, and you need to fight in them?
Cecilia, sticking a plastic sword down the front of her leggings: Yeah.  And Mom, where's da scabber?
Me: You mean the scabbard?  

Apparently she and John Paul were fighting in World War I and World War II.  With swords.  Wearing armor.  We may need to have a history lesson one of these days...

Undershirt and leggings: Perfect January attire.
Cecilia: Mom, I don't want to live on a farm. I just want to live on a... *dances around wildly for several seconds* FAAAAAAAARM!!!

Um... Okay?

Me: What would you do if you met a dinosaur?
Cecilia: If I met a baby triceratops I would be VERY happy because I have been always looking for a baby triceratops!

Cecilia:  Mom, John Paul's da bravest kid.  But God's braver than him.  God's da bravest grown-up.

Me: Be careful Mary Claire, I don't want you to get hurt!
Elizabeth, cheerfully: I'm hurt!
Me: You are? Where?
Elizabeth, looking down: ... My skin.  But... My yeggings are warm!

Mary Claire, lining up toys on the windowsill: Dat's Elizabeth lion cub, and dat's Mary Claire lion cub, and she wants chocolate. And dat's mom lion and she ate all da chocolate!

Yup.  She's probably right.

Mary Claire, carrying a tower of mega blocks: And here's my fun castle dat I made!
Castle falls
Mary Claire: It fell down! It turned into guacamole!

Of course?

Mary Claire: Iiiiiii'm...
Me: The cutest?
Mary Claire: NO, I'M not the cutest!!!
Me: Then who is?
Mary Claire: LIZABETH is da cutest!


I start singing Rudolph, at Cecilia's request...

Mary Claire, incredibly angry:  NO Mom!!!  Rudolf is from BUSYTOWN!  DAT doesn't even make SENSE!!!

I don't know why even I try.

Monday, January 19, 2015

You Like Me? Really?

I hope this doesn't come across as me being falsely modest, but I was really genuinely surprised when I clicked over to Bonnie's blog today and saw that this little old blog had been nominated for not one, not two, but THREE Sheenazing categories (funniest, lifestyle, and miss congeniality)!

And my sister's right there under "most inspiring!"

Last year I made a push for "most underappreciated" because I thought it was the only one I had a chance for! And after my shocking defeat I realized I really don't *feel* underappreciated. Honestly, I feel just the right amount of appreciated, and maybe a little bit over appreciated (because miss congeniality? Really? I'm so flattered, but I'm pretty sure every single other nominee is probably more deserving than I!)?

I just thought you might like a smoldering baby thrown in here... 
I started this blog to stop inundating Facebook with the constant "my kids are the cutest and most hilarious" status updates, and so I could stop emailing my mom (and sister) 75 times a day with the latest John Paul-isms. (Also I didn't really want to write all these posts on the same old livejournal I used in high school - remember those? Yikes...)

Along the way I discovered the awesome community of Catholic bloggers that's out there, but more importantly I got to connect with you awesome readers.

I know I'm not always the best at responding to comments, but I get so happy and excited to hear what you have to say every time you comment.  If you're a fellow blogger, I love being able to keep up with you and build a friendship that way - I wish we could get together in person to chat! I know I follow a lot of you on Instagram too, and I love seeing those daily glimpses of your lives. So many of you are right here in the trenches with me and I love our camaraderie! Or maybe you're a more experienced parent who has shared your own experiences and offered advice and words of encouragement. Or heck, maybe you're just hoping to start a family of your own one day and you like seeing what you're in for... Thank you!

Thank you for reading, for taking the time to chat, for sharing your life with me and the other wonderful people who are a part of this somewhat nebulous community. Even if you feel like a lurker because you've never commented, that's cool too - I like having you here!

I honestly think that the people who read this blog are the coolest, sweetest people I could possibly know, and I'm thankful that you're willing to spend a little time in this place! I would invite you over to our house, but I might spend the entire visit breaking up fights and nursing the baby... So for the time being, I'd love to chat with you here! Or connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram... Or there's always good old email!

I know many of us are in that season of life that necessitates a lot of time at home and not a lot of social interaction with the "age-of-reason-and-up" crowd, so thank you for providing me with enough adult conversation to maintain my sanity! And thanks for continuing to read even when I write about poop ;)
You're the best - really! Thanks for being here :)

I'm not expecting your votes, or asking for them - I know the bigger blogs have this all wrapped up and that's cool!  I just like taking a moment to reflect sappily on how much I like you!  And you don't even judge me for my overuse of exclamation points!!!



Now off I go to check out all the new-to-me blogs who made the list (like Mary Big Hair, the ONLY "funniest blog" nominee who wasn't already in my feedly, and um...  She's hilarious and I love her.  You should read her blog!)

Seriously, this is how I feel right now!
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