Birthday party!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Per Cecilia's request, I made a pink cake.  And added purple, because all-pink was too boring to me.  Do you see my fancy Ziploc bag piping skills?  Have I ever told you I'm not a perfectionist?  Because, as you can see, I'm not :P

John Paul was REALLY excited because he knew that Cecilia was going to let him play with her presents.

Cecilia was very pleased with her ballerina dress, her first present.

Michael, Andrew, and Mary Claire were not impressed.

Cecilia opening one of her most exciting presents... 
And Elizabeth nursing in the background...

A doll stroller!  And a Minnie Mouse doll!  She has slept with that doll every nap and night since her party on Sunday.

Blowing the candles out (with John Paul's help).
Yet another low-key family birthday celebration.  I think we might try to go big for John Paul's birthday, since we'll have a big old backyard for festivities.  But it's nice having most of the family members around and not having to worry about any activities beyond watching kids open presents!

On Blogging

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Once upon a time I started this blog because I realized that:

a. I was posting things about the kids on facebook multiple times a day
b. Whenever I felt like I had already posted too much, I'd email my mom and sister about all the crazy things the kids had done
c. My mom STILL wanted more!

I considered installing a webcam so that we could stream our days to my mom.  Then I realized that would be creepy.  And expensive.

So I started a blog for her, and also so I could document our lives and not feel quite so bad about completely neglecting the baby books I had for the big kids (I didn't even get any for the twins, I knew I wouldn't use them...).  She was ECSTATIC!

Now here's the thing about my mom:  She has a lot of internet friends.  And my sister and I have always made fun of her for that, because she talks about them like their her *real* friends.  But then around Christmas I discovered (via my sister's suggestions) the world of Catholic mom blogging.  Holy cow, there are a LOT of Catholic mom blogs out there! 

Because like, 3 years ago when I started adding blogs to my Google reader, I searched for "Catholic moms" and like, one blog came up.  So I thought that was pretty much all that was out there...

But then I discovered a lot of awesome blogs from Catholic moms who have kids the same age as mine and are super-funny, like Jamie and Ana and Brooke and even though they all live far away (although Jamie's close enough that one day we will totally have a playdate and maybe John Paul and Ava will fall in love, just saying...) we are totally becoming internet friends.  So I'm turning into my mom.  I have internet friends.  But it's awesome, because after having twins I'm almost completely homebound and can't visit a lot with my real-life friends but I can visit a trillion mom blogs and somehow that fulfills some of my social needs!

Because I see that someone else's kids narrate their bowel movements like Cecilia, or can't get through the day without tv, just like John Paul.  Or their kids make me laugh out loud with their creepy doll antics (seriously this one is SO funny). 

And so many of these moms are NFP-practicing, homeschooling, *actually* Catholic moms raising Catholic kids and I love it!  Who knew the blogging world was so diverse & homogeneous (did you know this is NOT the same as homogenous?  Because I didn't) at the same time?

So now I'm prepared if I need to read a story about Superman costumes at Mass (scroll down a bit) or a miracle baby (seriously AMAZING) or life with 3-under-3 (EVERYTHING she writes is pretty hilarious).  And when Andrew and I contemplate selling everything and moving to the country and starting a farm?  We're reminded that it's not all sunshine and rainbows!

Anyway, ALL these blogs were nominated for Catholic Blogger awards, which means you should go read them.  And check out a bunch of other Catholic blogs here.  And you can vote for all the "Sheenazing" nominees (like MY SISTER!!!  Because not only is she super-cool, she's also super-inspirational and basically catechized me...  Vote for Pierced Hands!) over at Bonnie's blog until Thursday at 6 pm central. 

(PS I was also nominated, but I don't expect to win anything with my grand total of 9 followers :P  Just vote for my sister!)

Cecilia is 2!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Can you believe she's 2 already?

The little girl who made us a family of four...

And couldn't help but look adorable whether awake...

Or asleep...

The toothless grin...

The loving sister...

The nose scruncher...

And baby model...

The gleeful one-year-old...

And protesting daughter...

Sometimes happy to be accessorized...

And sometimes scowling...

Still with chubby cheeks...

And now as a big sister...

Is TWO today!

It's hard not to compare Cecilia to John Paul at 2, but kind of fun to look back at how different they are.  Cecilia is nowhere near where John Paul was academically (he was almost reading at this point) but she talks SO much more and so much better.  I always laugh at those "your baby" updates I get in my email - apparently she should be saying 2-4 word sentences by now.  We get sentences like, "When you gwow up you will wide a pink bicycle!" or "I'm widing a horsey horse to wide to my nap!" or "I heared a helicopter when I'm in John Paul's bed!"  Yeah, the grammar isn't there, but it's pretty remarkable to us!

She is relishing her new role as big sister, and spends long periods of time singing "Immaculate Mary" to a sleeping baby in her somewhat-tuneful voice, or jumping up and down saying, "She wike dat!  She wuvs you and wuvs you!"

We're transitioning to a big girl bed (mattress on the floor) and putting the high chair away for a few months once we move.  She's SO excited about her booster seat, and seems to be ridiculously excited about what a "big dirl" she's becoming.

We had her birthday party with family yesterday, so today we'll celebrate with sausage for dinner (her request for a "special birthday dinner") and leftover pink cake for dessert.

Happy birthday to my beautiful girl!

What We Wore Sunday, vol. 2

Sunday, January 27, 2013

What I Wore Sunday linkup
Here we go again, linking up with Fine Linen & Purple to check out what everyone else wore to Mass today!

We started this Sunday off with several tantrums before we even got to Mass! 

1.  Cecilia wanted her bears that were upstairs
2.  Cecilia wanted to sit in a booster chair instead of a big chair
3.  Cecilia couldn't find her bellybutton (try to find yours when you're wearing a onesie and too-big tights!)
4.  John Paul didn't want to wear socks
5.  Cecilia couldn't find the raisins in her bagel
6.  John Paul wasn't allowed to bring a Tin Tin book to Mass

But their Mass behavior wasn't appallingly bad - neither of the big kids had to leave the pew during Mass at all!  My favorite quotes:

Cecilia, in the first few minutes, "Mary is the QUEEN!!!"

Cecilia, whacking Elizabeth in the butt, "You TWIT!  You TWIT!"

Cecilia, hugging and kissing Elizabeth's head, "Hi sweetie pie!!!"

And of course, John Paul very loudly intoned the cantor's part of the psalm.

Here you see 2/3 of the family:

Andrew's clothes come from somewhere, I don't know where...

Onesie - Baby Gap via consignment store
Jumper - Gymboree via consignment store

John Paul:
Polo - Old Navy or Children's Place
Sweater - Gap Kids (super clearance!)
Pants - Gymboree via consignment store

Turtleneck (which you can't see, I just realized) - Carter's
Sweater (because she refused to wear a coat in 25-degree weather and it has a heart on the zipper) - Children's place via consignment store
Jumper - Target via consignment store
Tights - Costco
Pink boots - consignment store

Mary Claire (who slept 8 hours straight without nursing last night, so obviously she was EXHAUSTED by 8:30 AM!):
Onesie - Carter's via consignment store
Jumper - Old Navy via consignment store (can you see that I believe in spending a LOT of money on children's clothes? :P)

Me (don't ask me why there are no shoes and 6 feet above my head...):
Nursing tank - Target
Wrap dress - Banana Republic outlet a million years ago
Boots - same as last week
Scarf - Forever 21 (yes, I'm 26 years old and I still shop there...  But only online, the actual store makes me claustrophobic)

And of course, a little bit of acrobatics before Mass.  Also, the zipper broke off her jumper when I was zipping it up.  Like, not just the sticky-outy pull-uppy part, almost the entire pull-uppy part.  I might have to cut her out of this thing tonight...
And now, off to make pink buttercream for a pink & purple cake.  Well, kind of pink & purple...  Remind me to get white cake mix instead of yellow cake mix next time she requests a pink cake for her birthday! 


Saturday, January 26, 2013

JP:  OH I want to go on a safari!
C:  I want to doh on safawi!
M:  Ok, let's go on a safari!  What animals should we find?
C:  Horses!!!
JP:  I want to hunt!
M:  Ok, what should we hunt?
JP:  Turtles and horses and zebras and elephants and hippos and LIONS!!!
This face brought to you by PB&J
C:  Da wions will be NICE.  And dey will NOT roar!
C:  I am going to take my BOOK ON SAFAWI!!!
C:  I need my wed wed hat! 
What's wrong with this picture?
Do you see?  I am not holding a single child and no one is crying!!!
It's a miracle.

7 Quick Takes Friday

Friday, January 25, 2013

7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 204)
Linking up with Jen at Conversion Diary for an excuse to compile all my random thoughts in one place!

March for Life today!  Hope all that are able are there - in this weather, there's just no way to get 4 kids under 4 there with adequate (and warm enough) time to nurse...  And it's the Conversion of St. Paul - see if you can blind anyone with your light :)

A couple of good links in that area - one on New Feminism and one on when life begins. 


I'm going back to work on Monday. I have mixed feelings on the matter...  I love my job - I teach choir & a music lab to 7th and 8th graders and it's way fun.  And it's awesome to have a little "grown-up time" where I can go to the bathroom by myself, sit down, listen to music in the car that ISN'T a kids' CD, eat whatever I want without having to share with the kids, etc. 

But I'm going to miss the kids.  A lot.  Thank goodness for the summer!  I'll be gone for 5-6 hours a day, so it could definitely be worse.  We need the benefits, so it's really non-negotiable whether I go back or not.  The house is also going to be a lot messier when I don't have those naptime hours to get stuff done...

I'm also REALLY not going to miss the kids.  Working part-time is a really nice balance for me.  And honestly, I'm a better mom when I have some time away from the kids - I appreciate them so much more when I come home, and I'm just a much saner person.


We're closing on a house soon!  Assuming all goes well, we'll be mostly moved by the 3rd weekend in February (want to help and do some heavy lifting?  Or sit with me and chat while I nurse the babies?).  This means Andrew will be about 5 minutes from work, we're changing parishes (from a good parish to another good parish!), we'll have a HUGE beautiful backyard with room for a swingset and a garden and a deck and a patio, I'll be able to cook on a gas stove again, and we'll need to buy window treatments that are fancier than the blackout curtains we currently use in our bedrooms...

John Paul whines SO. MUCH.  Every time he hears the word "No" or I ask him to do something, he lets out an ear-piercing, "NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!"  Usually it wakes up a baby.  I am at my wit's end - what do I do to stop this???  We had our terrible twos, that's for sure.  But this feels way worse because I know he's doing it specifically to push our buttons. 

Is this a face you want to see ever?

At least he's funny sometimes to make up for the whining and screaming...
(playing with some coins he found) "Oh! Another penny! It was on the wipe, good joke! I want to put it in my bank?"
"What bank?"
"Oh, the Wells Fargo bank?"
"What Wells Fargo bank? We don't have any Wells Fargo bank!"
"Oh, the BRICK one!"

(in a robotic voice) "Honest to God I didn't take it." (now in a normal voice) "Oh, honest to God I didn't take the syringe from Cecilia!"
"John Paul what movie is that from???"
"Oh! The ten commandments!"

His ten commandments book has an example of taking the Lord's name in vain. Another reason not to teach your child to read...
Elizabeth gained an adequate amount of weight for the 3rd week in a row!  Almost up to Cecilia's birthweight, pitiful as that is...  Mary Claire is continuing to chunk up, tipping the scales at 10 lbs yesterday (after sleeping 9 hours without nursing!  But don't worry, Elizabeth was up every 2 to make up for it :)
This picture is a few weeks old and exaggerates the difference but yeah, Mary Claire is definitely 2+ pounds heavier...
In anticipation of moving her to a "big girl" bed (mattress on the floor) when we move, I've been letting Cecilia sleep in John Paul's bed (mattress on the floor) for naptime and she LOVES it.  But she has started sleeping with a blanket completely over her head, so she wakes up with the most incredible sweaty bedhead:

Now check out more quick takes at Conversion Diary!

Life these days

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Capturing the elusive smile
I can't decide which baby I think is cuter.  That's probably a good thing...

Some rare tummy time

A loving brother
My favorite time of day

Calm awake time is cool, too

Showing a baby to her babies

The house isn't clean, I'm rarely wearing much more than sweatpants and a nursing tank, and dinner is NEVER ready when it should be.  But if we get through the day and everyone is still alive, anything more is a bonus!

Knock knock jokes

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Cecilia and John Paul, both being approximately the same emotional age, are learning about knock knock jokes, but they don't quite get the point...

John Paul: OH I want to tell a knock knock joke!
Me: Okay...
John Paul: Knock knock!
Me: Who's there?
John Paul: Interrupting Cow!
Me: Interrupting Cow who?
John Paul: ... MOO!

Cecilia: Knock Knock!
Me: Who's there?
Cecilia: Interrupting Cat!
Me: Interrupting Cat who?
Cecilia: Uh... Mawwy Cwaire! KNOCK KNOCK!
Me: Who's there?
Cecilia: Interrupting Dog!
Me: Interrupting Dog who?
Cecilia: EWIZABEFF!!!

John Paul: I want to do interrupting mouse!
Me: Okay...
John Paul: Knock knock!
Me: Who's there?
John Paul: Interrupting mouse!
Me: Interrupting mouse who?

One of these days they'll get it... But they still think it's pretty funny!

I felt like a really good mom this morning, letting the kids do a "science experiment" while the babies napped. 

Baking soda + vinegar - how exciting!

Even though John Paul soon decided just to dump his whole bowl of vinegar into the pan...

Next time I'll try food coloring added to the vinegar, and separate containers for both kids (which I should have done to begin with!).

What I Wore Sunday

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Volume 1:  The tantrum edition
What I Wore Sunday linkup
Joining the ladies at Fine Linen and Purple for something kind of fun this week...
This is what our Mass looked like today.  Cecilia wore a clearance rack Carter's outfit, which she insisted on accessorizing with a flower hat (not shown), Old Navy heart tights (below), and consignment store pink faux-Uggs (not shown).  And she cried and misbehaved for most of Mass.  Shocker.  The twins did pretty well, as did John Paul (despite his constant whispering of, "She DOESN'T need to nurse!" directed at whichever twin was nursing at the moment.  He actually said the priest's parts in a softer voice than usual this week, so I'll consider that a success).

And here's Cecilia tantruming on the couch.  I wore a black tummy-sucking-in skirt from Target (I'm only 2 months post-partum, you better believe I still need help sucking it in!), brown boots that were my Christmas present last year, a Shade blouse and an Ann Taylor Loft cardigan.  I would have belted it, but then I wouldn't have been able to pull up the blouse to nurse (for the entirety of Mass.  This is my life.).
In the background you can see our potty, because we don't have a bathroom on the main floor.  Worst. Floor plan. Ever.  Also a twin nursing pillow in stylish denim, which hides spit up like nobody's business!

Don't you feel bad for her?  She wanted to put on her sweater by herself and then it was inside out and backwards and she couldn't find the floor and Dad insisted on helping but only MOM was the one who SHOULD help and EVERYTHING IS SO BAD!!!

Then she found a booger.

And examined it while Andrew changed both babies.
Do you see that little bit of knee poking out?  I actually SHAVED my knees in anticipation of wearing a skirt.

And I took it away from her.
Seriously, maybe the worst the kids have ever behaved during Mass.  Mostly because of Cecilia, who insisted on yelling, "I WANT TO BE A BAD GIRL!" during the 2nd reading.
It gets better, right?
And now I'm writing this in (maternity) yoga pants and a nursing tank - I consider it a success if I don't get spat up on until *after* Mass, and it took 30 minutes after we got home for that to happen.  Win!
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