January 27, 2011

A Sissy Bear Update

As promised, here is an update on our sweet Mary Ellen . . .
- She is on the road to being potty-trained.  She is so ready.  Just not completely there yet on account of her overwhelmed mama.  She totally gets it and can go tee-tee in the potty when I remember to take her.  However, we are still working on the business of #2, but I think with some effort and consistency on my part, we will be a house of only one child in diapers in no time.  YES!
- She is quite the character.  I liken Mary Ellen's personality to the taste of one of my all time favorite candies - sour patch kids.  This little girl is both sweet and sour and oh so delicious.  Sean and I both agree that at 2.5 years old, Mary Ellen has reached her cuteness prime.  We can't imagine her being any cuter.  She loves affection and is the first in line for kisses and hugs.  Her dance routines she performs nightly for us are hilarious.  She loves to help and even loves to share most of the time.  But man, if she gets worked up about something, there is no turning back.  Her tantrums make two year old Hattie's tantrums look like minor complaining.  Mary Ellen knows what she wants, and if she doesn't get what she wants, like RIGHT NOW, everyone within a two mile radius will hear about it.  This is especially lovely during Ben's naps.
- Mary Ellen's favorite book at the moment:
We must read this book atleast twice a day - naptime and bedtime.  She is obsessed with being the Heart Princess in the book.  I think it's cute.  Sean wants to burn the book.  Reading it often leads to arguments between Mary Ellen and Hattie about who, in fact, is the Heart Princess.  Because, keeping with true form of sibling rivalry, if one wants it, the other must have it.

- Mary Ellen is in the midst of her language boom.  She is talking up a storm and often surprises me with what she says.  I can understand most of what she says, too, and what I can't understand, Hattie can usually translate.  Her all time favorite phrase at the moment is: I want different kind.  She says this ALOT.  Like when you put a dress on her, and she doesn't like it: I want different kind.  Or you give her cereal for breakfast when she really had a hankerin' for a waffle: I want different kind.  Or, even though you plan on staying home all day, because getting out with 3 kids is still mostly undoable, she insists on putting shoes on.  You finally comply and put shoes on her feet.  She lets you get them all on and buckled or zipped up.  You start to get up off the floor with your aching back and have a sense of mission complete.  Then, and only when you are fully up, she whines, I want different kind.  It's true, she has a mind of her own........... and she likes to play with mine occasionally.

- She spent the entire month of December saying No likey Santa.  Before Christmas, we took the girls to have breakfast with Santa one morning.  And for Mary Ellen it was hate at first sight.  She wouldn't sit with him or talk to him.  She wouldn't look at him unless she was in the comfort of her daddy's arms.
Man, I look tired in that picture.  I had a four week old, so I'm pretty sure I was.  Don't much remember. The months of November and December are one big blur.

So after that day, any time Mary Ellen sees a man with a white beard, she freaks out and screams, No likey Santa!  I'm kinda glad Christmas is over for this reason.  Any other time of the year, white bearded men don't really cross our paths, thank goodness.  I know this is a common issue with two year olds.  Hopefully by next year she'll connect the dots between Santa and presents.  Surely by the time she's four, her pretty blue eyes will quickly turn to greedy green when she sees the white bearded man.  I guess I have a sort of love/hate relationship with the guy, too.

January 26, 2011

A Hattie Update

got her first real haircut.  I have trimmed her hair in the past, like when I was in labor with Ben ......... but refused to believe I was in labor with Ben ............ so I trimmed her hair to take my mind off of the contractions, which weren't real contractions because I wasn't in labor ............ but it didn't really work.  They just kept on comin'.  And then I realized what I was feeling were real contractions and I was, in fact, in labor and needed to go to the hospital pronto, but now I had to finish cutting Hattie's hair before I could go because I had already started the job.......... not the best idea I ever had.

So, like I said, I recently took her for a real haircut.  To a cheap place close-by.
The haircut was $11 which was awesome, but then I had to spend 20 minutes improving upon the $11 crooked haircut with my own haircutting skills, which aren't really that skillful.  Moral of the story: splurge for a better haircut or recruit Aunt Laurel, who is the official hair-cutter in our family, for future haircuts.

- will be starting kindergarten in the fall.  We are in the midst of deciding where she's going to go.  Public school is an option, as long as she gets into a good program.  In my heart of hearts I want her to go to Catholic school, but that can be expensive.  Luckily there is scholarship money and financial aide out there for middle class people like us.  We are in the midst of all of the paper work and testing and interviews and application fees - oy!  Who knew starting kindergarten would be so much work?!?  We should know something by March or April.

 I can't believe we are already at this point.  She will be a young 5 when she starts kindergarten, and I know it's popular to hold summer babies back, but even at the beginning of this school year, her teachers, who have been working with her since she was 2, so they really know her abilities, have assured us that Hattie is ready for kindergarten.  So we are going to trust their judgment and our own and send her next year.  We'll have to go through this in another 2 years with Mary Ellen who is also a summer baby.  Luckily Ben is a no-brainer fall baby.

- has her first real crush.  His name is Gabriel.  He's in her class at school.  The first time she ever described him to me, she said he had brown beautiful skin and I'm going to marry him, Mama.  One of the Catholic schools we are currently looking into, is an all-girls school.
- is learning to ride a bike.  Santa brought her a princess bike for Christmas, and weather permitting, she enjoys riding it down the street with Mom or Dad.

- says her brother is a boy because he has a hangy ornament on his bottom.  There's your anatomy lesson for the day =).

- is a perfectionist like me.  She needs things to go her way precisely, or she crumbles.  If she can't do something perfectly, she immediately gives up or doesn't try it at all.  I am displeased that she inherited this trait from me.  She's got a loooong, hard, imperfect road ahead of her.  I know.  I done been down it and still struggle down that road.

- is social and makes friends easily.  She will go up and talk to anyone.  Whether she really knows the person or not.  This is both good and scary.

Stay tuned for a Mary Ellen update.  Because, contrary to how it may seem, I am not trying to deepen her middle child complex.

January 25, 2011

I Can't Promise......

I can't promise that I'm ready to be a regular blogger again.  I have high hopes; I know you have all missed my posts :).  But  I've been a bit busy.  Really busy, actually.  Adding a 3rd bambino has nothing short of ROCKED MY WORLD.  This whole being outnumbered thing isn't for the faint-hearted.   I have loved becoming a mother to a son, a son who has truly and completely captured my heart.  Managing 3, however, ages 4 and under, has been quite the challenge, quite the chaotic challenge.  As we close in on 3 months of Ben's life and me being a mother of 3, though, I feel like things are starting to fall into place, and I CAN DO THIS.

I thought before I delved any further into blogging again, I should introduce my small little blogging world to the other man in my life.  
Meet Benjamin Patrick:
Isn't he just scrumptious?  

I can't get enough of him, and he can't get enough of me.  Or rather, he can't get enough of the body parts that God gave women to feed their babies with - i.e. the boy loves to nurse.  And he would truly do it all day long if I would let him.  Many other moms of both boys and girls have assured me that their boys loved to nurse more than their daughters ever did, too.  True dat!

Have I mentioned how much this boy loves to flirt?!
This boy loves to flirt.  We are in big trouble.  He is a cooing, googly eye makin' maniac.  And not only does he carry his daddy's good-looking genes, but he also inherited his mama's dimples.  I haven't been able to capture them on camera yet though.

Ben is cooing and smiling like crazy.  He still cries a lot, too, though.  He loves to be held, and thank goodness he loves his swing, but he has to be in the mood for it.  That means most of the time, if he isn't sleeping, he's in my arms. 
Next to nursing, Ben loves his sisters.  It's amazing how he lights up when he hears them.  He loves to watch them play and dance.  He loves when they give him attention.  Both Hattie and Mary Ellen are genuinely nice to their baby brother.  They are both little mamas to him, Hattie more so of course, but Mary Ellen has her maternal moments, too.  Just yesterday I was in the bathroom, and Ben was screaming in the other room.  I heard Mary Ellen tell him, It's -kay.  Mommy be here soon, Benny. =)
Sean of course is the proudest papa ever.  He and Ben have already spent hours watching the Aggies have their best season in a long time.  I am so blessed to have married a man who is truly involved in parenting beyond bringing home the bacon.  Now, don't get me wrong; that's a BIG job in and of itself, but he also helps fry that bacon, AND he occasionally cleans up the kitchen afterwards, too.  I am one blessed gal.

Like I said, I hope to be more diligent with blogging.  Ben deserves the same blog attention that the girls got.  It's just been crazy.  Crazy hard.  And when things get crazy hard, some things have to go on the back-burner.  You know how it is.  But here is my first attempt at making room at the front of an already very crowded stove for the blog........... stay tuned.......... 

Wisdom From the Pope

“The inalienable dignity of every human being and the rights which flow from that dignity - in the first place the right to life and the defense of life - are at the heart of the church's message." Pope John Paul ended his address, saying: "In spite of divisions among Christians, 'all those justified by faith through baptism are incorporated into Christ...brothers and sisters in the Lord.'" Pope John Paul 2