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Friday, December 21, 2012

Testing....

Xmas tree 2012
So, Sean got his new free Microsoft Surface from work yesterday and I'm testing it out to see if I can use it for blogging. So far, the touch pad is weird but very cool. You would think it wouldn't work well, since the keys aren't buttons, but it actually works great, once you get the hang of it. It's a little weird using both the touch screen and touch pad at the same time, but very cool too. Lets try posting a picture...It works!

Now that I know I can use the Surface, on with my post! I know this is a little late, since we actually put up our decorations before Thanksgiving, but here are a few photos of the finished product! They're not great, you try taking pictures of my kids while they're moving...lol. I do like how the garland turned out around the front window. Sean bought an extra set from Costco for the railing. Not the same set, but still very pretty. These are the only pictures I could get off my phone. All the good ones are either on Sean's phone or my SkyDrive account. I can't figure out how to get them from that account to Blogger yet.

décor with the lights off.

Train in the kitchen from Costco.

Liam decorating the tree.

Cian decorating the tree.

Our little Charlie Brown tree.

Sammy decorating too.

And Lizzie.

The new angel that the dogs almost chewed up.

Mary decorating.

The new garland.

Sean's favorite cookies.

Décor with lights on.

Sorry for the sideways photo.

 
 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Here's a way to help...

Monsignor Weiss & Fr. Luke Suarez
Sitting at home, watching the tragedy in Newtown is heartbreaking. I feel so helpless, yet have an overpowering desire to help. There is nothing worse than the feeling that you can do NOTHING. We have donated money to the families, but it just doesn't feel like enough. Today, thanks to my wonderful home schooling family circle, I have found a way to express my thoughts and prayers to both the families and these two Catholic Priests.

Ten of the twenty people killed were from their parish, St. Rose of Lima. (Here is an article about Monsignor Weiss and the families.) Fr. Suarez's sister, a Catholic Homeschool mother, wrote a message on her Facebook page asking for prayers for her brother and the families. If you don't have a Facebook account, (neither do I) you can read her message at Totus Tuus Family & Catholic Homeschooling blog. She has given those of us who live on the opposite end of the map a way to help, personally.

I know how hard it is to even think about what those families are going through, let alone read another tear-jerking article about the tragedy, but they do need all the love, prayer and support they can get. So for those of you who choose not to read the message, a have placed the addresses below to send a family Christmas card or a personal message to both the families and St. Rose of Lima Parish. Fr. Weiss's sister stated, "All he asks for is prayers." A simple holiday card letting them know you are praying for them, gives them more strength to support the grieving families in their time of need. They have both expressed how much the prayers have kept them strong. Here are the addresses....

The United States Postal Service has opened a PO Box for those who wish to send their regards to the families.

Messages of Condolence for Newtown
PO Box 3700
Newtown, CT 06470

St. Rose of Lima Parish
C/O Father Luke Suarez
46 Church Hill Rd.
Newtown, CT 06470

If you wish to donate money via check or Money Order-

'My Sandy Hook Family Fund'
c/o Wells Fargo Bank
26 Church Hill Road
Newtown, CT 06470

 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Sorrow

I'm sitting on my bedroom floor. I just finished wrapping my last three Christmas presents for the kids. In the background, Sean has Christmas music playing on his tablet for Sam as he drifts off to sleep. The song that just played is one of my favorite Christmas songs, "Christmas Canon" by Trans-Siberian Orchestra. The voices of those beautiful children singing brought tears to my eyes. Here I am, wrapping presents for my children, who are all safe in there beds, but I can't help but feel guilty. I keep thinking, did the parents of the 20 children in CT get a chance to buy presents for their little angels? Did they even get a chance to wrap them? For the families who did buy toys, what will they do with the toys? I thought to myself, would I be able to return them to the store? Would I want to donate them to some other children who won't be getting presents otherwise? As the song played on, all I could think about were the words, "tiny caskets" uttered by some news caster from CNN yesterday. That's what those parents are getting for Christmas. I thought about President Obama's speech during the Patriots game on Sunday night. Sean and I were standing in our kitchen, silently listening to him talk about change and faith, but when he started to read the names of those children, We both broke down, sobbing uncontrollably, while holding each other. We actually drove through that town once, leaving New England to head West. It really is a beautiful, upper middle class town. Nice people, good food, and clean hotels. Just like thousands of other towns in America. In fact, we live in one ourselves. The schools are suppose to be some of the best in the state. I wouldn't know, since we home school. I thank the Lord everyday that we made the decision to home school our children 5 years ago. All the doubt and second guessing ourselves has now been washed from our minds. Never will we choose to put a single one of our children in public or private school. No matter how nice the town is, or how safe the school seems to be, it will never be safe enough for us. I could not imagine what those poor families are going through right now. I do know that it has made us hold our children a little closer these days and pray a little more. It makes us wonder if the weird 18 year old boy who likes to swing everyday, is safe for our children to talk to (long story). I know this post is the last thing anyone wants to read, with all the depressing new reports. However, I really had nowhere else to express my feelings. I can't talk to Sean about it, he doesn't want to hear about it anymore, nor does my Mother. I, however cannot stop thinking about it. Its all that has been on my mind for days. I feel like I should have to morn as well, because my children ARE alive and safe. They will be visited by Santa this year and enjoy the family fun. When its all over, we will get to tuck our babies into their beds, with their new toys sprawled out all over the floor for us to step on. I can't help but feel awful because the parents of those 20 little angels won't get to experience any of that. I know some of the parents had other children, but how could they even think about Christmas after such a loss? Again, this is all the things that are going through my head, all day every day. It won't stop. I'm so sad for those people and I don't even know them.....

Friday, December 14, 2012

Declan has been hospitilized

It's been a rough few days for us here. Our eldest son, Declan is currently in the hospital with an unknown infection in his head. It started out a few days ago with what looked like a zit on the bridge of his nose, right next to his right eye. Yesterday morning he woke up with his eye swollen shut and the "zit" three times the size it was. Sean thought it was a stye. I thought otherwise, so I called the pediatrician and described it to a nurse. She said it didn't sound like a stye because it wasn't on an eyelid and the eye wouldn't swell shut with a stye. She said we needed to bring him in ASAP. Of course Sean couldn't leave work early, so she told me to have Sean take him to a pediatric urgent care as soon as he got off work. So, 6pm they entered the urgent care. By 6:30pm, an IV with antibiotics was being swiftly pumped into his body. They took his blood for testing and scheduled a CAT scan for his head to see how deep the infection was.
 
They started him off with two rounds of antibiotics, and hour long each. He was then taken to radiology for a CAT scan. The results of that were clear, thank goodness. However they had decided to transport him to the children's' hospital for overnight observation and more antibiotics. He had two more rounds overnight and another round this morning at 7am. It is a very aggressive infection they think to be a form of Staff, but do not know for certain. They also found a piece of blue plastic wedged in his ear. Declan has no idea who put it there or when it even happened. Because it is in an uncomfortable place, he will have to see an ear and throat specialist to have it sucked out of his ear tomorrow. The doctors didn't seemed concerned about it and actually said it happens all the time. They thought it was funny. As a mother, I don't find a strange piece of plastic wedged in my child's ear "funny". (Did I mention how much I despise hospital's and doctors.)
 
Despite being in the hospital, Declan is in high spirits. He was "hamming it up" with the doctors and nurses both in the urgent care and hospital. They were all amazed how well he was taking it and how good he was. They even laughed at his jokes. Sean was convinced he was loving all the extra attention. This morning they brought in a PlayStation for him to play. Spiderman, of course. Looking at the picture, you can see his eye is MUCH BETTER this morning. Still a little swelling, but he can see out of it now.
 
Currently, he is being seen by an Ophthalmologist. They just dilated his eyes and are looking for infection in the eyes. He may also lance the boil on his nose to get ride of the infection faster. I am waiting for Sean to update me. If all goes well, he will get to come home tonight with more antibiotics. If not, he is scheduled for another round of IV antibiotics at 5pm.

UPDATE: Declan just saw the Ophthalmologist and they gave him the all clear. There were two of them looking at his eyes and they both agreed the antibiotics may have already killed the infection. It did not need to be lanced. We just need to keep a ward compress in it to begin the draining process. They are also giving him a cream to put on it to keep the infection from spreading into his eyes. He will need to see a pediatric ophthalmologist in a few days to determine if there will be any scaring. They should be home in a couple hours!
 
On a more depressing note, my heart goes out to the families of the children and staff who were killed at an elementary school shooting in CT this morning. Last night I was feeling sorry for myself thinking my child and husband were in a stupid hospital and not home with me. I didn't want to sleep alone. I didn't like strange people poking and prodding at my child either. They both will get to come home today or tomorrow. The families who lost their little children will not get to have their babies come home. Instead, they will have to bury them and say their good byes. Never see their beautiful smiles or hear their laughter again. Suddenly, I feel guilty for being so selfish. I can hug my child and husband when they get home. Those families don't get to experience that ever again. Something to think about next time you feel the world is unfair, when life isn't always perfect.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

First Disney Trip for the Holidays

Last Wednesday we took a trip to Disney. The kids have been cooped up in the house from all the rain, so this was a much needed outage for all of us. This is the best time of the year to go because the park is so empty. All the kids are in school and it's cold...at least the locals think so. So this was perfect for us.

I finally got to go on the Haunted Mansion ride. It's still decked out from Halloween with The Nightmare Before Christmas. I had really been looking forward to seeing it. We tried just before Halloween. Waited in line for over 30 minutes and finally got up to the house when they closed the attraction for some stupid reason. This time, there was no wait at all, we went right in. I took Liam, Declan, Fionn and Mary. As soon as we got into the elevator, Liam started SCREAMING and didn't stop until we got off the ride. I didn't get to enjoy it at all.

This female duck was a greedy little s***. Her mate is standing next to her.
After that lovely fiasco, Sean wasn't about to take him on Pirates, so he took Declan, Cian and Mary. Came back a few minutes later because Cian chickened out, as usual. So Cian, Fionn, Lizzie, Liam and Sammy stayed behind to feed some ducks. These were the funniest ducks too. The kids were feeding them Goldfish. A couple of them even took the fish right out of my fingers. They have these little teeth that feel funny. They don't actually hurt when they bite you, its just weird. This lady that worked at the park was standing next to us watching them as well. (She actually lives right in out neighborhood.) She was telling me about the ducks and how they have been there for generations. They don't actually feed them but they do protect the eggs. She also told me about the cats. The park is riddled with them. There were even roomers that there were cat houses right in the park, but that isn't true. They don't actually feed the cats so they keep all the rats and mice out of the park. There are hundreds of them roaming around and at night they do sleep in the attractions. The staff even take the new kittens home from time to time.

After feeding the ducks, we were headed to Toontown when we saw Sleeping Beauty. Mary and Lizzie were so excited, but once it was our turn for a picture, Lizzie wanted nothing to do with her. Mary however, just loved her. Toontown wasn't too busy so the kids got to run around and play on the attractions. They loved the little trolly, jumping on it, laying all over the benches and pretending to steer it. Sean even got me on the thing with Sam. All Sam wanted to do was run around on it, but he didn't have any shoes on, so that wasn't going to happen. Sean took Sam, Declan and Mary on the Roger Rabbit ride. Sammy wasn't to thrilled with it, but at least he didn't scream his head off like Liam did. He just sat next to Sean and whimpered. It was too loud for him. Not one of Sean's brighter ideas....lol.

While Sean took Declan, Mary and Sam on Roger Rabbit, I had to find ways to entertain Liam and Fionn. The two of them together are wild. Liam will bolt and Fionn gets so excited, he forgets to stay with me. (He got lost on our first trip to Disney.) They found a funny mailbox that talked when you tried to open it. Fionn had a blast with that. Liam did too. The sun was so bright, poor Fionny couldn't keep his eyes open in the pictures.

They also had fun in the jail, but there were too many kids inside to get a good picture. Liam was too scared to go in. He didn't like the loud noise it made.

We saw Goofy and Daisy Duck over by the fountain. Fionn and Liam were very excited about the water. They were playing in it and at one point, Liam almost fell in. (The picture below is what I was talking about.)

We saw a cute set of Christmas trees that I tried to get a picture of, but the sun was in their eyes and they wanted no part of pictures taken. By this time, I was running out of ways to entertain them. Liam just wanted to run wild and I still had to keep an eye on Lizzie, who was sleeping in the stroller. Finally, Sean and the others returned. It was on to lunch.

Let me just tell you, the place we ate at, (I can't remember the name) had the WORST food ever. Sean ordered all the kids burgers and fries. The burgers were cold, (had been cooked and sitting for some time) and really greasy. I couldn't finish mine. I was afraid of getting food poisoning. Sean of course sent an email to Disney and was given free meal passes. Next time we go, we'll stick to our usual deli or the corn dog trucks.

After lunch we headed to Tomorrow Land. Not my favorite area of the park. I personally think its stupid, but Sean and Declan wanted to go on the Star Wars ride. They got a fast pass and went on the Buzz ride to kill some time. By time they got off, Liam, Sam and Lizzie were all in a bad mood and wanted no part of waiting for them to go on another ride. So we skipped Star Wars and headed to Downtown Disney. We stopped at a few shops and headed out. It was starting to rain, so we decided to duck into the Disney Store and look around. I saw a lot of the toy sets we got the kids for Christmas, only doubled in price. Crazy how expensive that store is. After leaving the store, we stopped at the best candy store ever, Marceline's Confectionary. Now, if you've never been to this store, you're missing out. They have everything you could think of, dipped in the BEST chocolate. we told the kids to go pick out one candy each. I thought for sure they would go for the chocolaty stuff in the cases, instead they ALL (except Declan) picked those nasty swirly lollipops. My kids are weird. Declan picked a chocolate covered pineapple slice, (which was amazing) took one bite of it, and said it was too sweet. WOW, my kids are really weird. Sean go me a chocolate and caramel dipped marshmallow. So yummy!!!!

We were all starving by time we left the park, so when we got home, Sean made the kids PB&J sandwiches with corn. (Totally ghetto I know, but he wanted to make something quick and easy so they could go to bed.) Once the kids were all done, we ate something, I just can't remember what.

The next morning, Cian and Fionn were puking and the others started catching a cold. In fact, I now have it and it really sucks. Fever, sore throat, cough, stuffed up head and nose. Now, I think Fionn has the beginning of an ear infection as well. The price you pay for taking the kids to Disney during cold season....sigh. I'll leave you with a few more pictures!

Lizzie sleeping in the stroller.

Mommy and Sam in the trolly.

Lizzie and Sam snacking.

Love her beautiful blue eyes!

Sean taking pictures of the kids.

Great shot Sean got in the Small World boat.

Poinsettias at Disney 

Disney Castle decorated for Christmas.

Horrible shot of me and Sam

Liam on the trolly.


Mary on the Merry go round.

Fionny

Cian

Lets not forget Declan.





 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

For the first time in a really long time, I can't think of anything to write about. It's been pretty busy around here with school and Sean working crazy hours. (He's got a change out tonight and won't be home until 11pm or so.) It seems like I blinked my eyes and Thanksgiving was here. I'm afraid to blink again, Christmas may be the next day.

Since tomorrow is Thursday and it happens to be Thanksgiving...lol, I thought I'd do a quick Thankful Thursday.

I'm thankful Sean found a job that keeps a roof over our heads and food on our table. I'm thankful for excited children ready to stuff their little faces with turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole and tuns of pie. I'm thankful for my Mom and Dad, for their love and support. I'm thankful for memories of Thanksgivings past, with my Grandparents and Aunt Rene. I'm thankful for traditions passed down, like hot chocolate with Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and Christmas music with dinner. I'm thankful for new traditions like watching A Christmas Story after dinner and having the house entirely decorated by Thanksgiving for Christmas. (Minus the tree) I could go on for hours, but I've already been typing this post for hours, so I better quit while I'm ahead.

I hope everyone has a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving. To all of our family, we love you and wish we could all be together. To friends and blogging family, we love you as well and hope you are all as blessed this Thanksgiving as we are. Enjoy your families and yummy turkeys!

God Bless!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Halloween 2012

I hope everyone had a safe Halloween. We had a lot of fun this year. Sean actually had the day off. (Between work and school, we don't see him much.) The day it self was pretty crazy. The kids were bouncing off walls. You would have thought they had already eaten 50 pounds of candy. We did have a little trouble with Declan in the morning. He managed to get himself grounded for the day for carving "Your Friendly Neighborhood Spiderman" in the back gate. Since we are renters, we will have to pay for the damage. He got a good lesson in vandalism from Sean and had to sand out his handy work the best he could. (It looks a little better, but you can still tell something was written there.) He had to stay in his room for most of the day while the others got to play Xbox and watch Halloween movies. Sean did let him out to carve the pumpkin though.

By 5pm, it was pretty dark, so I got Mary, Lizzie and Liam dressed and ready to go on the first round. I took those three with me for an hour around the community. I could not believe how much candy the people around here were handing out. It was INSANE! They were all super friendly and loved the girls. This was actually Liams' first trick-or-treating experience. I think he had a good time. He got the hang of it pretty quickly. Mary was the leader. She was making her way from house to house, knocking on the doors and happily shouting "Twick or Tweet". She was so stinking cute. She made such a pretty Snow White. Lizzie was a bit shy at first, but she was super polite, always saying please and thank you. She always had to look in her bag to see what she got after each house.

Once we got back, Sean and the other boys went out for about 30 minutes. Again, they got so much candy. The people around here were handing out the good stuff too, not those crappy tootsie rolls and jolly ranchers. Full size Butterfingers and Snickers. One lady gave out Play-doh. She had all different colors. Fionn asked for brown, came home and made "dog poop" out of it. He thought it would be hilarious to plant it on the floor, right in front of the front door. (I was out front with the dogs.) Sean swore Fionn had that all planned out when he saw her color selection. He was so proud of him.....sigh. (My husband is such a pig sometimes.)

Sean had bought a huge bag of candy from Costco, but because Declan didn't clean up the dog poop in the front walk way, we decided against inviting kids to our front door this year. That of course, gave Sean a reason to dig into the candy. We had so much to begin with. It took three big bowls and then some to store all of it. What's even crazier, the candy is almost gone already. After all was done, we got the kids ready for bed and I read "Goodnight Goon" one last time. We were more than ready to head to bed ourselves. All in all, it was a successful Halloween. Here's the only pictures we were able to take. Sorry for the poor quality. Lizzie wouldn't stand still.

Super Liam

Lizzie Mouse

Mary White

Super Cian


 
 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

I was watching the Today Show this morning and saw the coverage of Hurricane Sandy. My heart and prayers go out to all of you on the East Coast who are in the direct path of this crazy storm. It's been years since we've lived in New England, but my husbands heart and family still live there, as do mine.
Please be safe and stay out of harms way.

God Bless!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Happy 10th Birthday Declan!


Today is my eldest son Declans' 10th birthday. I can't believe 10 years have come and gone in, what seemed like the blink of an eye. We were truly blessed with this amazing boy. He is very smart, helpful, talented and funny. He does everything we ask of him without a fuss. (most of the time) He helps out so much with his little brothers and sisters. He has a vivid imagination and a talent for bringing it to life. He's a great student and a breeze to teach. He's very close to Sean and enjoys watching Boston sports with him any chance he gets.

Here's a few little interesting things about Declan-


  • Was born in Weymouth, MA on October 21, 2002. (Was conceived the night the Patriots and Tom Brady won their first Super Bowl together.)
  • I went into labor with him around 5am and didn't deliver until almost 6pm. (I had the most amazing mid-wife named Debra.)
  • He was born PERFECTLY CLEAN! Not a scratch or icky goop on him.
  • During those late night feedings, Sean loved to feed him with a beer and watch King of the Hill. It was their special bonding time. (I had to stop breast feeding due to a horrible case of Mastitis.)
  • Declan was sleeping through the night by two months, crawling by 5 and walking by almost 1.
  • His nickname is "The Big Dooga" because as a baby, he would run around yelling "Dooga dooga daaaa". 
  • His favorite meal is chicken pot pie.
  • His favorite color is green.
  • He has been home schooled his entire life.
  • He loves to swing and play baseball with his brothers.
  • His favorite movie is Spiderman.
  • His favorite TV show is Doctor who.
  • His favorite subject in school is Science.
  • He loves to read
  • He loves to draw.

 I am so proud of my son and all he has accomplished so far in his life. He is an amazing boy and I can't wait to see what he will do in the next 10 years. Happy Birthday Declan, we love you!!!

Thankful Thursday...Lizzie Addition!


Yesterday we celebrated Lizzie's 3rd Birthday, and what better reason to be thankful than for this beautiful little girl. She is our 6th child and 2nd daughter. She was born on October 13th at 3:13pm and weighed 7lbs 15oz.

I am so thankful for her sassy personality. She knows what she wants and won't stop until she gets it. (Or just screams at the top of her lungs until one of us caves.) She knows she's cute and will use that to her advantage.

I'm thankful for her waking us up in the morning, climbing into our bed to lay with me. (She never wants to lay with Daddy.) She will cuddle under the covers and close her eyes for about 30 minutes. We'll miss that when she out grows it.


I'm thankful for her bedtime routine. Both her and Mary love Disney Princesses. They have all 6 main princesses on their walls,  one giant castle and one tiny castle. Every night they won't go to bed until I pick each girl up and walk to each princess and say "This is Sleeping Beauty, princess 1. This is Belle, princess 2. This is Snow White, princess 3. This is Ariel, princess 4. This is Tiana, princess 5. This is Cinderella, princess 6. I then have to say "one big castle and one little castle." I then proceed to "drop" them into their beds...lol. There are some nights when I don't feel like going through the whole routine, but then I remember, in as little as a few months, they won't want to do that anymore, I'll wish I had those few times of laziness back.


I'm thankful for her mannerisms. She puts her little hand over her nose and one eye when she's tired or shy. She'll put her head down and look up only with her eyes, when she knows she did something wrong. It's so hard to stay mad at her for more than two seconds.

I'm thankful for her little voice. She loves to sing and loves Doc McStuffins. She knows the theme song by heart and will sing right along to the show. The last time my Mom came to visit, she sat her on her lap and sang some cheesy song from the 40's. (I don't know why....I love you like I do....something, something) That was over a year ago and to this day, Lizzie sings. "I don't no why, I don't know why" over and over again. I'm so thankful that, though Mom can't be here often, Lizzie learned something from her and Mom is so tickled that she remembered it.

I'm so thankful for the bond she has with her sister. She loves Mary and looks up to her. Though they fight like cats and dogs, they are always together and would be lost without each other.

I'm thankful for her beautiful blue eyes and curly blond hair. She is our only child with curly hair and I LOVE it so much. I love the way it forms ringlets when it dries and falls so sweetly down her back. I love her giant blue eyes, so full of wonder. I love her big, beautiful smile and funny little laugh. It warms my heart.

I'm thankful for our routine together. She sits on my lap on the couch, facing me and sways back and forth yelling "I love you" in all different silly voices, and I repeat the same, trying to match her voice. We do this for at least 30 minutes and it never gets old. Again, in 5 or 10 years, we won't remember these little things, and if we did, we would wish we could bring them back.

I'm grateful for her independent personality. She's very strong willed and doesn't put up with anything from anyone. She's very smart too. She can aruge with the best of them. Sometimes we have to remember she's the child and we're the adults...lol.

Although she is quite girly. she can get down and dirty with her big brothers any day. She loves to roll around on the floor wrestling with Declan, Cian and Fionn. She'll sit through Doctor Who and Phineas and Ferb all day, so long as her brothers are watching them.

I'm so thankful for my beautiful little angel. She was a blessing from the moment we realized I was expecting. Life for us has been so much better with her beautiful little face and sassy attitude. I thank God everyday for my little angel.

Here are a few more pictures from her birthday.