Saturday, July 31, 2010

La Cantera, San Antonio

All these guys came on our trip


Smile Contest

Scary child who is over taking pictures

Watching the magic show, the boys loved it!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Pink Blues

I think I have the baby blues regarding the explosion of pink that is about to become my home. The more people get excited, the more annoyed I am getting. I can't explain it. I am sure it has to do with me being defensive about having all boys. You have no idea how tired I get of people "feeling sorry for me for having four boys", asking "will you just die if you have another boy". It drives me insane. I love my boys and think they are almost perfect. Basically, I have become the person I was worried Lance would be if we had another boy. And I kind of feel bad, not much, but a little. I mean, how sweet was it today when I ran to the gym to tell the caretakers about the baby and they all asked if they could hug me and one had tears in her eyes. And then there is my doctor who everyone knows I adore, who also started crying.

The reality is that having more than the "normal" amount of children is special to begin with, but to have four children all the same gender is really special and different and I liked it. Come December, I won't be part of that club anymore. I am sure I'll be ready for the little girl that will join our family, but a part of me will feel bittersweet to leave this club I've been fortunate to be a part of for the last several years.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


I am not a fan of change. Lance just got a new phone for me and after checking it out, both he and Chelsea determined I wouldn't like it because it's too different from my old phone. And there is nothing like a kid to bring about more change. We have four kids and come this Christmas we'll add another to the mix!

Let's just get the rude questions out of the way that even some of my best friends have asked. Mainly, "how did you get Lance to agree to another baby?" What I want to say is either I stopped taking the pill or I cut a hole in the condom, except pretty much everyone knows we practice NFP so that couldn't be the case. So, yes everybody, Lance is on board with the baby. How are you going to afford five kids? Don't worry people we're not asking for your help. We've got it under control. And yes, there is enough love in our hearts and home for another baby. Will this change things, most definitely. Will I be taking a huge family vacation every year? Not unless 1560 gives us a huge raise or Lance gets the national recognition he deserves. Were you trying for a girl? No, we weren't. To be clear, Lance wants a girl, while I am leaning towards another boy. But mainly we just want a baby. And not to be the center of everyone's jokes about having so many kids because, really, five kids isn't that many and this is our life and family.

Tomorrow I will be exactly 18 weeks pregnant. Today we had an ultrasound, and it appears I'm in for an even bigger change than I anticipated. We're having a girl! God help me. One day she will read this and know I was leaning towards a boy, and she will never let me forget it. But that is fine. I'm sure this will be least of my problems with a girl. I'm excited thinking about a perfect Christmas this year with a baby girl in a smocked outfit. The kind of outfits that Lance has never let me buy before now. Lance, my love, I have saved you money on clothing until now, but all bets are off. I want smocked, Janie and Jack and boutique clothes for your little girl. You have been warned.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Is There Such A Thing As Too Cheap?

This morning, I gave the Baby Hulk some milk, and I heard him tell Squirt that it tasted yucky. Being the good mom I am, I poured Squirt a small glass and asked him to taste it for me. (I hate milk and never drink any except a small amount in my cereal, so I wouldn't know good milk anyway.) Squirt confirmed the milk was indeed bad so I put it aside. It's a gallon of milk that has an expiration date of August 1, 2010. This milk should have lasted through the weekend, but for four sons who love to drink milk.

Lance came home and saw the almost empty gallon of milk on the counter and asked why I hadn't poured it down the drain yet. I am taking the almost empty gallon back to the store for a refund. Lance is horrified. He keeps telling me how we are almost done with the milk, but I don't care. I had to pour out three cups this morning, plus the milk from my cereal. PLUS, this is the second time this is happened in two weeks. I won't put up with it. I can promise that I will get my refund on this milk. And I will spend my $3.50 how I choose.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Note To Self

I am forty years old. I don't remember much about my parents turning forty except my dad giving my mom a bouquet that had a black balloon in it. Little did their generation know that my generation would have none of that! No "Over the Kill" crap for us. Please, we're still having kids in my generation. So here I am: FORTY. And mostly, I feel great. My life isn't perfect, but it's more than I ever dreamed it would be. I am married to an amazing man who loves me more than anyone ever could, who loves to spend time with me over any friends, who has given me four wonderful boys and is open to more, who prays with me, goes to church, and is always trying to find ways to make me smile. That alone is reason to be happy, but I have even more reasons to love my life. Especially in the four smiles I see daily. Each child freely tells me how much they love me! I have smart, opinionated, handsome boys who bring me so much happiness. I have great parents who love me dearly, and mostly, keep their opinions to themselves about my choices in life. I have a wonderful brother who always listens when I need it. And I have several really good friends. Next week we are taking a trip with our best friends to celebrate this milestone for three out of four of us. Life doesn't get much better than this. I hope I always remember and appreciate all I have.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Making Mom Mad

What do you do when someone makes your kid cry? And that someone is a teacher? The Baby Hulk earned his nickname due to his explosive temper. He isn't as bad as he used to be, but he can still throw a fit in seconds flat, scream-cry at the top of his lungs for seemingly no reason and be an all round pain. But he is my pain and basically just like nobody can talk about my parents, nobody can talk bad about the Baby Hulk.

He has been taking swim lessons since mid-September and in my opinion is pretty decent. The swim teacher disagrees. He is on his ass like BH is training for the three year old Olympics. We had a bad week at the beginning of the summer, but seemed to really improve after that one week. This week he has been bending his knees way too much when he kicks, a new habit, and the teacher is trying to make him stop. Here is the problem: you tell BH to do something, you literally have to ask him three to four times before he responds. Do I like it? Not one bit. It usually results in raised voices, times outs and sometimes crying on his part. Clearly swim coach wasn't in the mood for that this week so Baby Hulk wasn't allowed to go on the slide and tower at the end of class on Thursday. Then he started wailing. There had already been some questionable moves at his Wednesday class so I was livid to see my baby crying.

I threw the other kids in the car so I could rescue the BH from his teacher, then proceeded to let him know how pissed I was. I didn't yell or anything, but I did stop him from starting his next class on time and lecture him on my child. He thinks the BH can do the work and isn't trying. I was ready to move him to another class or stop lessons for a bit, but BH doesn't want to change teachers. And this kid will tell you the truth. He has no problems telling us which babysitters he likes and doesn't like.

I talked to Lance who reminded me how long it takes for us to get BH to clean up or look for his toys. He wasn't mad about BH not getting to go down the slide. He doesn't want someone badgering our kid, but he doesn't mind a reasonable consequence. And quite frankly, BH cries quite a bit so how was this any different besides someone else making him cry.

I was so upset that I didn't realize what had made me so mad about the entire incident. It was the singling out in front of others. They used to do that shit to Squirt in elementary school during lunch. He has ADHD and wasn't able to control some of his behavior so he was always in trouble. Plus, he had a teacher I hated who always had him sitting at a table by himself. Once my mom went for grandparents day, and they had to sit alone to eat lunch. BUT that still didn't count for his lunch detention.

I hate the kind of shit that only serves to make a kid feel like a loser in front of other kids. Some parents don't care about that stuff and some kids aren't affected by it. I do. I have no problem (mostly) with anyone giving a reasonable consequence to my kids, but this I won't allow. My kids may drive me batty at times, and I am so very far from being the mother they deserve, BUT, I can promise that I will never allow someone to eff with them. EVER.

Cry Baby

What is more annoying me: me asking how much my foot massage costs at a resort or Kobra crying at least a third of the day? Kobra wins. Especially since I have spent the majority of the time here with him. He has a day and a half left to straighten up his act. Otherwise, when we go to Lost Pines in September, he will be staying with Mimi.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Corpse Flower

This bitch flower had better bloom before we leave tomorrow. It's been over a week since Lois the Corpse Flower at Houston's Museum of Natural Science was set to bloom. They say there is a definite stench in the air and that the flower should bloom within twenty-four hours. It needs to be much faster than that. I have no problem hitting the museum in the middle of the night or super early tomorrow morning, but I want it to be worth my time. How about a birthday present Lois? Get blooming already!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Better and Better

I started celebrating my birthday today,and it was perfect. First, I went to lunch with Marivi. We never go to lunch without our children so today was a huge treat for us. I love having the kids around, but it was so nice to be able to sit and talk without interruption. Marivi gave me a beautiful memory book highlighting our friendship over the past twenty years. I always thought my hair got frizzy after having kids. After looking at some of the pictures, it appears I've always had this problem. I also got some awesome Snoopy stuff, which makes me smile every time I look at it. And then there is the cake. She made a perfect birthday cake for me. I can't say there is much left of it!

Chelsea came over this afternoon bearing sunflowers for me! The family went to Sushi, where the boys mostly behaved. It was fun visiting and discussing her current dating situation. It's pretty cute watching the boys with her and Kobra actually told her he loved her and gave her a hug.

And lastly, my mother's day painting from Lance arrived in the mail today. It is a beautiful piece of art with tons of symbolism. I love it and am amazed that my husband had someone create a piece of art just for me. The artist took the time to get to know who I am and then created this piece. Thank you, baby for my gift. You are the best, Lance.

The Biggest Insult

This morning I told the boys that Chelsea was coming over and then reminded them where she goes to school. Alabama. The Baby Hulk shuddered and Goose threw out the biggest insult he could think of: Chelsea likes Rachel Ray. I don't think it gets any worse than liking RR in this house!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Daybook~ In Which I Turn 40

For Today...July 19, 2010

Outside my's overcast. I hope the sun comes out soon.

I am workout clothes. I have yet to make it to the gym. I have already missed two chances at class today. Here's hoping I can get there for the evening classes!

I am so excited...about my upcoming trips. Paul and Brian have taken the lead on our trip, and our plans sound great, especially the fire every night so we can just talk together. Goose decided he would rather return to a hotel than have a birthday party, so we're heading to La Cantera to celebrate his birthday (again) on my birthday!

I so love...watching my boys play together. This summer has been great. Despite not taking a big vacation, the heavy rains, and the eye problem, the boys have had a great summer. There have been fights, but there has been more love than anything else. After March Madness, they have all been into basketball, and now with World Cup they got back into soccer. They are outside almost daily playing a game.

I am thankful amazing family. I love my parents and my kids so much. And of course, I love my wonderful husband who brings me so much happiness each and every day.

I can't wait...until Sunday night. MAD MEN returns. I have been watching reruns and am so psyched about this next season.

I am praying babies and for a great last month before school starts.

From the plans yet except I want chicken Parmesan for my home cooked birthday meal. I need some light ideas since I am going to lunch tomorrow and we'll be eating out most of the weekend. Cookies also sound really good for the road trip.

On keeping home...I am so ready for another deep clean. I still can't figure out how to organize all the learning toys. Maybe once the kids return to school, I can figure out a new system.

I am trying...really hard to stay away from Amazon this week. I have money for my birthday already coming in, but I need new bookshelves. There are at least five new books the boys need though.

One of my favorite birthday. Yes, even at almost 40, I still love my birthday. It is my special day. Mine all mine. I still expect calls, presents and cake. And always remember those who forget.

Noticing that...I always have a black rubber band around my wrist. Not really the look I am going for.

Living the liturgical year at home...we just haven't been able to get Super Saints going this summer. I finally spoke with a friend and we have plans for two sessions before school starts, then a kickoff for the school year. Personally, I think that's how it should be, but the boys have really missed their friends. We have been studying the different saints at home though and the boys continue to amaze me.

A few plans for the rest of the week...lunch with Marivi, Sushi with Chelsea (are you available?), La Cantera and celebrate the BIG 40!

A picture thought I am sharing...

Sharing with the food bully

Snow Cones Rock!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Under Pressure

I am the calm one in the family, especially during an emergency. Lance is much more emotional or passionate than I am so if something happens to one of the kids, he freaks out. When I was bleeding excessively, he cancelled the babysitter we had that morning because he didn't know what else to do except maybe watch me bleed out at home. By nature I am slightly cold, not a crier and can hold it together no matter what is happening to me or my kids. Until Tuesday...

I had to take Kobra to the doctor. I was so happy to be alone with him because I usually have at least two extra kids along for any doctor visit. We were even on time, getting in the elevator with four minutes to spare. On time, not early. I pushed number 3, the other couple pushed 4 and we were off. For a much different ride than I expected. We went up and down without stopping. I realized pretty fast what was happening and immediately my heart started racing. I checked out my cell phone which had no service and then pushed the alarm button nonstop for the next four minutes. I totally lost it. I had us stuck in an elevator for several hours with nobody noticing. (Because despite a sign that said we would be contacted in the event the alarm was set off, nobody ever spoke to us.) Finally, the damn elevator opened on the basement level. The other couple went to another elevator while I found the stairs and walked my 28 pound baby up what was now four flights of stairs. And the thing is nobody cared at all when I told them their elevator was whacked out.

Monday, July 12, 2010

My Daybook~ No More Cake

For Today...July 12, 2010

Outside my's dark and peaceful. I'm ready for bed. It's been a long weekend and we've got lots of errands tomorrow.

I am pj's.

I am listening to...the Dandy Warhols, thinking I wish I could see them in concert, then feeling really silly because we just saw them last year!

I am thankful two birthday boys. We had a great time celebrating their birthdays this weekend with best friends on Friday and my parents and brother on Saturday. Sunday it was just family, my favorite.

Is there anything better than...the smile on a child's face? Goose loved his presents, his new favorite is this damn pillow pet. This thing better not take Snoopy's place. And he loved his new books. When I asked him which one he wanted to read first, he said he wanted to go in order. My true OCD child.

Goose's blueberry cake

I am still praying for...Goose's eye. My pediatrician has recommended a second opinion. I am so ready for my little boy to be back to normal.

I am grateful insurance. Despite how shitty it is, I don't know what I would have done the past two weeks without it. I feel so bad for people who don't have the same options I have. Since June 27, I have spent $350 on doctors and medicine for Goose. During this time I also spent another $100 on me and Squirt. And...tomorrow, we have two yearly visits for the birthday boys and one more dermatology appointment for Kobra, so another $100. Then Squirt has a cranial scan (which I was just informed should cost $688) and an allergy shot to finish out the week. And this is why I won't be having a birthday party for myself. But hey, at least, my kids get to see a doctor while others don't. Because you know, health care shouldn't be a basic human right.

I am thinking...of creating new house rules for myself. No more phone time or computer time when the kids are around. Except the morning call with Marivi and a quick email check while I down my cereal, there is no way I can handle starting my day without that call! I love the phone, but I've been pretty good about not talking as much as I would like when the kids are around. I have to think more on this.

Around the house...there are new toys to play with and old ones to donate. I went through toys again on Saturday and barely made a dent. I am trying to reorganize closets, games, books, learning tools, early readers, etc. I am really lost on how I want to organize everything.

From the more sweets! Do sugar free popsicles count? I haven't planned my menu for this week, so hopefully that won't hurt me.

Making Kobra's cupcakes, the boys did the first step and Squirt frosted

One of my favorite things...being a mom and remembering the days my children were born. What a special gift this is; I don't want to waste one second I have with them.

A few plans for the rest of the week...besides the doctor visits and a return to swim lessons after a week off, we have nothing else planned. I want to take it easy.

A picture thought I am pj's!

Sunday, July 11, 2010


My little Kobra...what a year this has been. I can't believe we're watching soccer because everyone knows that Lance came up with your name after watching Germany. He knew I wouldn't allow Bastian as a name so he managed to come up with your name and threw in the fact that it was a saint name! I was immediately sold. Just like I was with you the first time I held you in my arms.

At two years old, you already have your own opinion about everything. And you are quite vocal about it. You will not be told what to do, when to smile or be nice. You can be more than a little demanding at feeding time. I call it feeding time because that is how you act. You want your food and Lord help anyone who makes you wait or who won't share with you. You are the same way with books, often throwing them at us if we don't read fast enough or enough books to you.

A year ago, you were still crawling and now you are all over everything. Climbing on tables, walking into the pool without anyone, and basically, doing whatever you want. I love how you follow your brothers these days. It is so cute how you want to play with them all the time and sad that there are times when they close the door on you. You love your biggest brother and have become the third brother's boy in this house.

But let's be clear, you are still a momma's boy through and through. And I love it. I love the smile on your face when you see me, I love when you come running to tattle on someone for hitting you and I love listening to you talk. My favorite words from you are "thank you" and "sorry". Best of all, I love holding you in my arms.

This year starts the year of you taking over as cutest in the house, because let's face it, two to four is where it's at as far as Dad and I are concerned. I can't wait to live through this next phase with you and experience the wonder of being two again through your eyes. I love you with all my heart my sweet little boy. Happy Birthday! May God Bless you always. Saint Benedict, pray for my baby boy today and always!

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Goose- I tucked you into bed tonight saying, "goodnight five-year old boy." Your face was so cute because you know that tomorrow I can't call you that. Tomorrow, you will be six. I talked with you about July 8, 2004: how my water broke and that it was time, but that you weren't quite ready to come. Not until the next day. That's how I feel now. I want to keep holding on to today.

What a year five has been for you. Of course, the biggest thing to happen this year was going to public school. And what a success you were. Even though you had never been to daycare beyond the gym, preschool or day camp, you shined at school. And how I missed you. There wasn't a day that passed that I didn't want you home with me, learning with me, reading with me. And it wasn't just me that missed you. Your baby brothers wanted you around as well which is why we had lunch together so often. I am already getting manic thinking about you returning to school.

People always laugh at me because I never sent you to preschool and you're not in camps all summer long. I just wonder how they can stand to be separated from their kids willingly in the summer. Nothing has made me smile more than watching you play with the Baby Hulk lately. Despite being stuck inside due to illness and rain, you two have had a blast and without the TV, I might add! While it's not always fun and games, I love the bond I see you two developing and hope you will always have his back the way he has your back.

Five marked the year that you first cried over a sporting event. You have no idea how proud that made both me and your father. I can't wait to see how you are during football season!

At five, you still LOVE to read. When we go to bookstores, I catch you reading two books at a time. You love story time regardless of what I'm reading. I have enjoyed going through all the Magic Tree House books this year and am excited to find a new series to read together.

Your love for Super Saints is what keeps me going when I want to call it quits. We have learned so much together through Super Saints, and I hate the look on your face when we've had to cancel our meetings. I hope you always love the Saints the way you do now and look to them for inspiration and intercession.

Goose, you are my baby, the child that is most like me. I'm not sure that is a good thing, but it does make me understand you better than any child in this house. You have made me happier than I thought possible. The fact that you kept every lunch note all year long is the sweetest thing in the world and possibly a little OCD. Your love for Snoopy has not waivered this year, and I hate the thought that one day you won't care where he is. For now, I will enjoy that you throw a fit if he gets left behind. I will always be here for you. I love you more than you can ever know. May God continue to bless you and keep you safe. Happy Birthday, my dear, sweet, six-year old boy.

Words Fail Me

Try selling this house once the owner dies:

I love how she thinks keeping two corpses in her home is just fine.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Quote of the Week

Goose: "Mom, guess what the best thing in my world is?"
Me: "What?"
Goose: "You! And TV is my second best thing."

WHAT??? I guess I should be happy that I came in first over TV. It amazes me the hold television can have over people. Here is a kid who wasn't allowed to watch television until he turned three years old, and he was only allowed one 30 minute show at the time. Even now, he can only watch for an hour per day.

After careful consideration and a reminder from Aunt Stacy, Goose has amended his statement. TV is third, Snoopy is second. I am safe for now.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Is there anything worse than not being able to sleep? I know there is, but right now with my entire house sleeping, I could not be more uneasy. It's early for me and Lance to be thinking about sleep, but lately one of us has been passing out by 10:30 pm. A sign maybe that we are wearing ourselves out a bit. My body is tired and my mind is racing nonstop. Thinking about Goose's upcoming birthday, the past year and being depressed, school, and then the other stuff that just creeps in and keeps me awake. It was this week last year that I called Paul while he was in France to talk about all the things racing in my head because I knew he would understand and calm me down. He did, as usual. How I wish it wasn't too late to call right now!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Daybook~ Birthdays

For Today...July 4, 2010

Outside my's dark and quiet. Any second I should hear fireworks. I stayed home with the baby and let Lance take the other three boys. Part of me is bummed, then I remember the downpours we've had all week and am happy not to be in soggy, wet grass.

I am listening to...Liz Phair. Part of me wants to just enjoy the silence that I haven't had all day, but Liz won out.

I am thankful...that Goose's eye is finally on the mend. He actually took his glasses off for most of the day. He is full of energy and was quite the spazz today. We created this flag today in honor of the 4th. I realize it's not quite accurate, but our platter wasn't big enough to make it perfect.

I am thinking...about this quote: "the fruit of silence is prayer." I think I need more silence in my life.

I am wondering...if I should have the birthday party I have been planning for myself. It's just girlfriends at the house, nothing big like I did for Lance's birthday. It's a great idea, I think, but here's the problem: we already have big plans with Paul and Brian, which means I am already spending money on my birthday. I don't know that I can really justify spending more money on myself. Don't get me wrong, I love having money spent on me, just not from my bank account. Decisions, decisions...

Around the curtains arrived and I've been wondering for a week if they can be ironed. My sister-in-law took the time to look at the tag and let me know that I need to get them dry cleaned. I need to get an iron rod, then find someone to install them because we don't do things like that around here.

From the kitchen...I found some great recipes to try for the summer, and I'm excited about having new food. I have to stick with a menu or we just don't eat well. I had the best strawberries today. Now if only I could buy a good watermelon. I have taken so many back to the stores because they sucked. Yes, I am one of those women.

One of my favorite boys running around and having a blast. Most days they are so much fun. I can just see their faces at the fireworks right now. Our neighbor gave them glow sticks for tonight and they were so excited about them. Even Squirt.

I am praying babies, especially Goose's eye and Squirt's nose.

I am grateful, bbq's, summer fruit, friends that listen when I'm manic and a clean house

Towards Rhythm and Beauty...I love the season our family is in right now. I feel a real happiness in our life these days and am not looking forward to any changes.

A few plans for the's time to plan for the birthday boys. We have three birthdays to celebrate this week!

A picture thought I am sharing...

My 4th of July boys. I didn't make Squirt match the boys this year.