Sunday, May 31, 2009

It's Here!

We are off to New York City today. But even more important is my dear Joseph Daniel's first communion. I am so excited for him. He has actually been counting down the days. He is the one that we were sure from the day he was born would become a priest. And he hasn't let me down yet. By far my most well behaved child, Joseph at the age of three was asking me questions like, "How does Jesus fit in there?", as he pointed to the tabernacle. And he wanted to know if Jesus was resting in there.

He was talking about angels when most little ones his age are talking about Elmo and Big Bird.

Today is his day. Jesus will be resting in his precious heart.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Luck of the Polish!

So I have a crazy week this week. First I had to get Dave and Jacob ready for Cedar Point. They left today. Now I have to get ready for Joseph's first communion on Sunday, and right after it we leave for our anniversary trip to NYC.

As if this all wasn't insane enough, yesterday my biggest helper, Elizabeth, came down with a really bad sore throat. And I sprained my ankle coming down our stairs. Did I mention to you that tomorrow is my Amelia's 6th birthday? And Tyler has a soccer game. And I am doing this by myself.

This is the first big trip without the kids that Dave and I are taking. My oldest daughter Emily is coming home to run the household. No big deal, she's been the second mom around here since she was 10. Those of you with big families know what I mean. But I have to make sure that everyone has enough clothes, that all the meals are planned, and shopped for. Plus get my own things ready.

Now my husband will look at me like I am a whirling dervish gone mad. "What's the big deal", he will say as he puts a pair of underwear in a paper bag to take with him on the plane. We are only going to be gone for 6 days. No problem. Right?

Husbands can do that. They can walk out the door anytime they want and never look back at the destruction, chaos and potential hazards they are leaving behind. They can put their few essentials in a plastic shopping bag and go off for a week of fun.

Not moms. No, we have to have a plan for absolutely everything that could possibly happen. My kids by the time I leave, will have enough clothes to last them two months, but that is just in case they spill something on themselves 5 times in one day. Never mind that when I am home and they do that they not only wear the messy clothes, they sometimes sleep in them and arrive at the lunch table still dressed in the same thing!

But again, I digress. I don't want to have to worry that they are walking around naked because Emily didn't have time to do a load of laundry! I have gone over the meals with her and had her to the point of saying, "Mother, yes I know how to make macaroni and cheese, you taught me at the age of 8. I am on the dean's list at school, I know how to boil water!". But just in case I am leaving her with at least 20 emergency numbers, the doctor, the dentist, the emergency room number, and the number of the guy who comes to clean our carpets once a year.

I don't know if I will have everything done by Sunday when I get on my plane. There is something I learned early in my motherhood: How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!

And trust in God to get you through it. As I limp along in my house I am saying "Jesus, I trust in You."

And when I do finally sit back in my seat on the plane, as I clutch the armrest, I will breathe a sigh of relief, ask God to send His angels to my house, and go enjoy a restful week with my hubby. After 20 years of this, I deserve it!!!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Positively Postive

I have been thinking about how some people are just such positive people. Like my new friend that I work with. Pam is such a positive person, always optimistic, always looking at the bright side.

I realized this week that it is all in how you choose to look at things. The word "choose" being the important word here. I can go into every situation looking for the bad, waiting for the other shoe to drop, so to speak. And there are people out there like that. The "Debbie Downers". You know them, we all do. They have to find something wrong with everything. They could walk into a beautiful banquet with crystal goblets, bountiful food and drink, carefully dressed tables with amazing roses, and they will see that one napkin that wasn't folded right.

And they will blame someone for it. That is a real trait with Debbie Downer, she finds another human being to blame for everything from the weather, to her hair not turning out right. If you look real close at Miss Downer, you will see an unhappy, bitter, ungrateful person.

I am learning to quench Ms. Downer. I think she lives in all of us, we just have to keep her in check. Not let her come out to play. And how do I do this? By being grateful for everything. And we should be grateful. To God. Because without God we are just a blob of cells, not even able to breathe on our own. He gives us everything and He could take it all away tomorrow.

Every day is a gift from God. we should stop and take a deep breath and thank Him. Every day. In all things. Even when things don't seem so good. We don't know His plan for us. We don't know how He will take something and make it into a good thing. Our fear makes us doubt, our fear can make us angry, bitter and resentful. But why would we? That doesn't even sound like fun to me. I can see in my own life how being like that can put blinders on and then you miss out on all that is good, amazing and wonderful.

I am not giving this lecture today for you. It's for me. Sometimes we preach what we ourselves need to hear.

Go in Peace.

Friday, May 22, 2009

My Hard Workin Hubby

No, my husband is not Bill Cosby. You will find out why I have his picture up in a second. Stay with me and enjoy the ride!!

My hubby Dave and I are going to be celebrating our 20th anniversary by going to NYC for 6 days. Officially our anniversary was April 29th. My husband has been planning this trip for months. I know he has all kinds of tricks and surprises up his sleeve. I may never come back. Well, okay, I have to because of my little ones, but it will be hard.

Yesterday my husband called my to tell me he scored us two tickets to the David Letterman show. I am not a huge fan of Letterman, but hey, we will be in New York and wow, it's the David Letterman show. My darling husband had his choice of two nights and when he found out who David's guests were on Monday, he chose Monday.

I don't know how the man pulled this one off, but the guest is Bill Cosby. Now you have to know something about me. I am an unashamed, total freak over the Cosby Show. This past Christmas I received the complete dvd set of the Cosby Show. I have seen some of the episodes literally hundreds of times. I can repeat the dialogue. I LOVE Bill Cosby. I saw him do his act once here in Buffalo, we sat in the second row, and I had tears in my eyes because we were so close to him. I love how he talks about family and marriage in funny and positive ways. Normal every day happenings. And NOT ONE SWEAR WORD!!! He was so funny that night, Dave and I never stopped laughing.

So when Dave told me over the phone who would be there, I cried. Yes, I did. What a vacation we will have. As if 6 days and nights alone with my hubby, wining and dining in NYC isn't enough, he has so many fun things planned for us. I am so excited!

I tell you, I have the best hubby. I don't know if he slipped the guy at Letterman a $20 or what, but I am thrilled. There will be other posts in the future about our trip, something for my followers to look forward to.

And let's all pray for my blogger friend Lerin, who as we speak is bringing in precious new life in this world. God bless you and the new little one!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Oops, I did it again

Did you ever have one of those days? At first I felt like a bulldozer that left mass destruction behind, but I realized that I wasn't doing that on purpose, so then I thought of myself as a baby elephant.

Stay with me here people. I mean, a baby elephant doesn't trample on things on purpose. It just happens. They are walking around, trying to get to the watering hole, and some poor daisy gets smooshed on the way. The elephant wasn't trying to do that. It just happened. Oops, I did it again.

That was me today. Every time I turned around I realized that I had just made things worse, without really trying. I think I hit every significant person in my life today, with the exception of an aunt and a few cousins. Aaaargh. That is my word to describe today. Aaaargh.

Can I blame it on fatigue? Can I blame it on stress? Can I blame it on menopause? Heck yeah. But the bottom line is, sometimes we all have "one of those days". I should have seen it coming. I have been helping people, and yesterday I went to Adoration, evening prayer and Mass. Even did my chaplet during the three o'clock hour.

As my spiritual mama always says, "No good deed goes unscorned." The devil made me pay, and pay and pay today.

But tomorrow is a new day. Yes, thank You God!! You give us a fresh start every day. The baby elephant will try to step gingerly around the daisies, and roses and petunias.....

My mantra today, "all I need is a good night's sleep".

Wake me up when the Britney Spears song is over.

Monday, May 18, 2009

I've Got New Followers, and Other Ramblings..

I am so excited that I have two new followers who are not related to me or dating one of my daughters!! I feel an obligation to write. Which is a good thing, because I love to write and this gives me the push I sometimes need.

So I checked out the blogs of my two new followers and became so excited about the future of our church. Young women who are really beautiful Catholics! Following the teachings of the Catholic Church.

Okay. So one of them is a young mom with a growing family. I have a huge place in my heart for young moms who want a large family. Things like blogs were just really starting when my older children were very young. I didn't have a computer until my oldest was about 9 or 10. So now I enjoy reading other blogs and I remember the days when my oldest ones were little. I remember the first few times I would have a moment, that moment when I would look at my daughters and realize that they were changing. That moment in every mother and child's life when you realize that your baby isn't a baby anymore. She's a young lady. Or your son has become a young man.

I mean, you know it is going to happen. But for some reason you are still caught by surprise when it does. And no, it doesn't get any easier with each child. As you get older, and you reach the end of baby years, I think it is harder. Because you know, this is it. Your last one is out of diapers, and growing, why can't they stop growing? My poor Teresa is going to have to put up with me babying her until she is at least 16. Good thing she is so good natured. And something tells me she will comply. She is the ultimate mama's girl.

I also have a place in my heart for converts. I became involved with the RCIA program at the mission. We have many people who come to our mission seeking food and shelter, and they find that and God. I love watching people who are on fire not only with love for God, but for the Catholic Church. I learn so much from them because they do not take this for granted. We cradle Catholics just sometimes tow the line and go along without stopping to really study our faith. My most favorite thing is when we take our candidates to the Chrism Mass and just watch their faces as they take it all in. And I take a deep breath and smell the incense, and think about how we as Catholics are rich in history, tradition and faith. This is truly the Church that Jesus began. We have saints and theologians, century after century who have stood up for our beliefs, who did not allow them to be watered down. The truth cannot be watered down. Our converts come, because they have found the truth.

So welcome to my two new followers. Thank you for joining me in my musings. I am not a theologian, just a simple mom who loves her church passionately. I love my God that way too. He is my all, my everything. Glad we have met on our journey back to Him. We need to help each other. We may be strangers in this world, but we are brothers and sisters in the next.

Welcome my sisters in Christ!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A Child in a Cast.......

I am discovering that a child in a cast is like having a newborn in the house. She wants to sit on my lap a lot. Even when I have laundry to do, rides to give, dishes to wash, etc. I feel sorry for her because she is not able to move around and like a newborn needs to be carried from place to place. Except all a newborn wants to do is eat, sleep and poop. She's four. She wants to play.

She is learning how to scoot around on her butt. She has learned how to slide off daddy's comfy chair and land on the ground softly and then slide around on her butt to play with her five year old sister.

She has also turned from being my sweet, happy child to a demanding queen who wants you to do that NOW! Teresa has never been a tantrum thrower. But she has had some doozies lately.

Three more weeks of this. Three more weeks of carrying her to the bathroom. And I ain't getting any younger. I mean, my back, she ain't what she used to be. I carried nine babies in there. Not all at once, but still, I live with pain. My bones ache. Even before this, they ache.

Yes. I do make the older ones help. When they are not hiding in their caves. And I try to just have the girls do it. Fifteen year old brothers want nothing to do with this. And I don't blame him.

It's been interesting to say the least. I took her back to our little three room school house this week. All the kids were excited to see her. She was treated royally, the queen that she thinks she is . It was very sweet. In our classroom we have prek kids through second grade. There are six other children besides Teresa, and they were all so good with her. She went back to coloring, and cutting, which is her favorite thing to do. I mean, what four year old doesn't like scissors!!! I learned that the hard way when my older ones were little and cutting each other's hair.

That was always fun. Coming up from doing laundry to find a child with a missing patch of hair. The boys were easy to repair, the girls, not so much.

But off I went on a tangent. So pray for me that I make it through the next three weeks.

I have to go now, the queen is summoning me for her breakfast. "I want chocolate cereal!!!!!! please."

Monday, May 4, 2009

A Real Role Model

Being a stay at home is a beautiful thing. But I realized one day that I would never win any awards from my old alma mater, Buffalo State College for the things that I do. They give awards to all the fancy shmancy women who put their children in day care and went off to have a career. They became lawyers, educators, doctors who found cures and answers to world problems. While I was busy trying to figure out the best way to get the ground in, smushed up, Trix cereal out of my rug.

But alas. I did not want to lament about myself. I did want to sing the praises of my sister in law. My sister in law Renee is an awesome mom. She has two children, her daughter Corinne is 6, her son Joshua is almost three. My neice Corinne has mild autism, but that will never stop her from having as normal a childhood as possible. Thanks to her mom, Renee.

I gotta tell you, I am so honored that she is my sister in law. I am so proud of her and all that she does for her daughter. She is a supermom! She gets involved in every aspect of her child's development. She sits on boards to fight for the best decisions to be made regarding her daughter's education, but she isn't just fighting for her own daughter, she is helping all those children who will come after Corinne.

And it doesn't stop at school related education. When she realized that children like Corinne could never understand the concepts of our Catholic faith, like confession and receiving communion, she and another mom decided to do something about it. They are developing a program for children with learning disabilities so that they can make their first confession and receive Jesus in the Eucharist like any other kid their age. But it was important to Renee that Corinne know what is going on at her first Holy Communion. She knew if it is not explained right, all it will be to Corinne is a day to wear a fancy white dress and a pretty veil. What a beautiful mom!

I mean really. In this day and age when most people just scoot their kids off to ccd and don't even attend Mass with their kids. Here is someone who actually cares that her daughter understand as best as she can, in her own way, what the meaning is behind it. I am so proud to be her sister in law. Really I am. And kudos to the pastor for being open to their ideas. Thank You God for that beautiful, beautiful priest. Many blessings to him in his vocation. THAT is what a good priest does. He is encouraging these two moms in what they want to do.

Whenever Renee talks to me about the things she is doing, I just swell with love and pride for her. She may never, ever get an award for what she is doing, because after all, she is doing what any good mom would do. Except honestly, nowadays, I think beautiful women like Renee, who is sacrificing everything for her daughter, are few and far between. The most wonderful thing, Renee probably doesn't even look at it as a sacrifice. She just thinks this is what a good mom should do. She does it because she loves her daughter with her whole heart. And you know what, my neice is a bright ray of sunshine who grows in leaps and bounds everyday. Corinne knows that she is LOVED.

And that is what kids need. They need the security of knowing they are loved and wanted. That their mom will go to the ends of the earth and back for them. That mom will sit at a boring town board meeting to speak for two minutes on the importance of giving the best opportunities for ALL children, whether your budget can take it or not!

My sister in law might not win any awards, but this Sunday, on Mother's day, she will get kisses and hugs and homemade cards and drawings from her biggest fans. Corinne and Josh.

And she deserves every sweet moment.