Saturday, December 31, 2005

Yay! A digital camera for Christmas!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

This boy's name is used in English. Its source is Alasdair, a Gaelic name meaning "Protector of men."

Its been a wonderful, extremely blessed Christmas for my 2 boyz. I stop & think often about their brother who`s not here, there`s an empty 3 year old size space missing from every table and gathering. I love that his name means "protector of men", I have to admit, we picked it because it sounded cool, not because of what it meant. Now that I know what it means, its so fitting, because I`m sure he watches over and protects his brothers, just like my sister watched over me when I was a kid. I feel bad because for the first time I didn`t make an ornament for him and we are not big on going to the grave because he`s just not there. So, I`ll just mention him here, because I can.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,
The little Lord Jesus laid down His sweet head.
The stars in the sky looked down where He lay,
The little Lord Jesus, asleep on the hay.

That is just a heartbreaking image of this precious newborn starting out life so humbly.

Friday, December 16, 2005

On Grey`s Anatomy the other night there were 2 doctors who are dating and the guy is very spiritual and also an extremely talented heart surgeon. The woman is an intern and doesn`t believe in God. The two of them were very worried about a little boy who had just had his second heart transplant and didn`t seem to be tolerating the new heart very well. The woman was freaking out and questioning everything. The guy said to her, " You know that powerlessness you feel right now? That`s why I believe in a higher power, because without God all of this (hospital life and death) would eat me up inside."

That has stuck with me all week. I continue to trust God and its a challenge, but I`ve had more experiences in my life proving there is a bigger plan than the opposite. If this life was it, how much would that suck?

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

You never know when you will find a good moment in an otherwise typical day. Driving to my friend`s house the other night I heard the most random U2 song in the world (thank you XM radio, thank you husband for XM radio!) Walk to the Water. It was just a perfect moment, the boyz were buckled in and happily quiet, the music was loud and after 20 years I finally see what all the fuss is about Bono. What an awesome voice because its exactly like another instrument in that song and it just proves that you can`t replace the most important instrument (IMO), the voice. INXS, dudes, what are you thinking? Michael is gone, you can`t have a new singer, you need a whole new name and everything. If Bono died, would U2 have a show to try and replace him?

Driving with the kids contained and music playing is why I love going to wineries so much, its not just the wine. Its a nice long drive and I was blessed with kids who love not-too-long car trips. Then, you get there and you find yourself in a beautiful piece of the country, a place you`d never normally see unless you have fancy Middleburg friends or something. Or you are fancy yourself. Anyway, the kids run free and we relax and eat and drink and meet new people who are also glad to have a beautiful day in the outdoors. I love it.

I sat down here with the intention to bitch about the challenges of my week, but all this positive stuff came out instead.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Its 10 o clock, do you know where the Creature is? Of course he`s awake and sitting with mama!

Monday, December 05, 2005

He`s almost 6 now, but this is my first boy and how he used to get around town with me.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Chile, so lovely. One day I hope my husband finally takes me there!

Friday, December 02, 2005

for my mom

Thursday, December 01, 2005

October and November are cool, December doesn`t like me

I`m supposed to be blogging about all the fun a stay at home mama can have and it hasn`t turned out that way exactly. Yes, I still have wonderful moments of perfect joy and freedom out with the kids or just sitting and watching them play at home. I am thrilled to be with them. I can nap and I can read when I want. (But just not nap when I want) My house is cleaner than its ever been as I realize my goal of being truly domesticated. Some things are alright.

Here it is though, another Christmas with a huge challenge. I don`t even want to talk about what it is, it just sucks. Its like a flashback to 2 years ago. Everything was looking so good and now its all changed. Nobody`s sick, but I am just so sad about the latest raw deal. I hope I can look at things more positively soon.

Everything is basically out of our hands, all the time. God knows I am a simpleton, so I get extra reminders. This is why when life is good and you feel like celebrating, do it, because that record will spin the other way soon and you won`t want to party then.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Absolutely nothing exciting or new to say right now. I`m just wasting time here on the net while schoolboy is at school and Papi & the Creature are sleeping. The little wild Muffin is really challenging me lately, all of my patience and calmness are being tested. Unfortunately they failed. I am not smacking the little animal or anything, but I am not being too cool and I am trying to get back to a happy place with the small boy. He can`t help being 2, it must suck, but does he have to freak out about every single thing all day long? I am going to work on getting him out in the world every day, that`s what worked with his schooly brother.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Spanking children fuels aggression, anxiety

this is news? this is common sense. If parenting is teaching through modeling, then at the very least spanking teaches bullying. A big person hitting a small person is just wrong.

By Megan Rauscher
2 hours, 23 minutes ago

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Children who are spanked when they misbehave are more likely to be anxious and aggressive than children who are disciplined in nonphysical ways, research shows. This is true even if spanking is the "cultural norm."

Whether parents should spank their children or use other forms of physical discipline is controversial. Some experts argue that children should not be spanked when they act out citing evidence that it leads to more, rather than fewer, behavior problems and it could escalate into physical abuse. There are data to support this argument.
Other experts, however, argue that the effects of spanking and physical discipline might depend on the characteristics of the child and family and the circumstances in which it is used.

To investigate the latter theory, researchers from questioned 336 mothers and their children in China, India, Italy, Kenya, the Philippines, and Thailand about cultural norms surrounding use of physical discipline and how it affected their children's behavior.

Jennifer Lansford, a research scientist from the Center for Child and Family Policy at Duke University spearheaded the survey. She told Reuters Health that "across the six countries studied, children who were physically disciplined more frequently were more aggressive and anxious than were children who were physically disciplined less frequently."

"However, in countries where the use of physical discipline was more common, being physically disciplined more frequently was not related as strongly to aggression and anxiety as it was in countries where physical discipline was less frequently used," she said.

Not surprisingly, in Thailand, a country where peace-promoting Buddhist teachings predominant, moms were least likely to spank their children or use other forms of physical discipline.

In Kenya, on the other hand, where use of physical discipline is common and considered normal for the most part, moms were most likely to spank or engage in similar disciplinary tactics. In a study conducted in Kenya in 2003, 57 percent of grandmothers reported caning, pinching, slapping, tying with a rope, hitting, beating, and kicking as forms of discipline they had used on their grandchildren.

One question the findings raise, according to Lansford, is whether being physically disciplined more frequently causes an increase in aggression and anxiety or whether children who are already aggressive and anxious are simply physically disciplined more often. "On the basis of other work conducted in the United States, the answer is probably some of each," Lansford said.

"Another question is whether physical discipline is appropriate in this day and age, regardless of how accepted it may be," she added.

SOURCE: Child Development, November/December 2005.

Friday, November 18, 2005

My son with Barney, his class bear. He had Barney here for a week and had to write about him, draw him, and take him on adventures.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Went to the Botanical Gardens today with a mama I like very much and her darling 3 year old girl. Of course the Creature was in full effect and conversely his schoolboy brother was perfectly behaved. Anyway, we got lucky with a parking space right around the corner and went in to see all the plants and breathe all the oxygen.

This first picture is the biggest flower in the world, its literally like 4 feet tall. It is beginning to bloom right now and should be done by Thanksgiving. It only blooms every couple of years and supposedly it smells like rotten trash and gnarly meat. Today it didn`t smell like much, but the second picture is how it will look next week. I love life when it has weird stuff like this in it.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Monday, November 14, 2005

I have to give the credit to this photo to Xsquiggy at ADVrider. He took it, I`ve never met him, I just randomly found it, but it shows exactly how beautiful Virginia is. We had the best day at Farfelu Winery this weekend, 70 degrees and sunny in November, with close friends, eating, drinking wine and listening to 70`s tunes sung by a Jackson Browne clone. Not everybody liked the music as much as me, I love the Eagles so much!

It was the kind of day I needed to get through the next week. Both the husband and I found out we have permanent sinus infections that won`t leave, so we need mad antibiotics for a long, long, long , long time. I have to lead the breastfeeding meeting tomorrow and help the ladies and stay very alert for a long long time. Then on Saturday, more of my favorite, public speaking to strangers. Can't wait!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Everybody has new haircuts!
It`s a brisk day around here and the Creature and I went to the kindergarten and helped serve Thanksgiving dinner to a million 5 year olds. It was a lot of fun. more later....

Saturday, November 05, 2005

This should give you some idea of how cocktail hour(s) was last night. Its all a blur! Actually, noone was intoxicated, it was just very fun.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Yay! Friday.

Yes, life has improved. Now nobody is sick and its a beautiful day. I spent my kindergarten morning time shopping with the Creature. I went to Old Navy, as usual I found it to be a diappointing and bland place. Why do I bother? Oh because I must have seen the commercial for "boy cut" jeans over 600 times last night as I watched that damn ER again. Anyway, the jeans are the biggest waste of denim, they are $10 more than the price the TV said and they are not cut for boys unless the boy is a plumber who really lives up to the plumber stereotype. Everything looks messy in Old Navy, all of it looks like crappy versions of something nicer you`ve seen somewhere else.And nobody helps you. OK, enough ranting about that store. Back to the good things,
like our neighborhood cocktail hour! I must clean and get ready for socializing and kids all over the place. Secret photos of the friendly neighbors later...

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

It`s not all fun & games

Last night was another fabulous Halloween. 4 boys trick or treated in a close friend`s cozy U shaped neighborhood. The Creature didn`t want to walk so his mama carried him from house to house. The boys had so much fun and they all looked fabulous. Grandparents were there too, it was the best! My friend had her house looking beautifully Halloweeny and very welcoming. She`s one of the proud few in our generation that loves to entertain and have fun at any time.

Now today on the other hand really SUCKS!! I woke up with a hideous sinus infection that turned my eyes a nice shade of blood red. Really cute. So I broke down and took an antibiotic that made me so sick to my stomach. I know I`m trying to keep it positive, but I'm barely alive right now. Hopefully tomorrow will be back to life as we know it in the Shire.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Back to positivity! Time to clean up, organize and get the kids ready for their favorite night all year. Its a beautiful, warm, fall colored day.

Friday, October 28, 2005


OK, since
  • My friendly neighbor
  • is drinking a little HATE-orade, I `ll join her for a minute.

    Pet Peeves:

    1. People who don`t hold babies.
    The baby weighs like 10 pounds and yet he is being carried in a car seat that now ups his weight to like 25 pounds. It is bonking the hell out of the mother`s kneecap and the baby is screaming and nobody is holding him. PICK up the baby! He used to live in your body very recently, so remind him of his home and comfort him, is it so hard?

    2. Metal Forks and spoons. I hate the metal feeling, I know thats weird.

    3. Toothbrush commercials while I`m eating. That`s hideous

    4. Bad parenting. I`ll keep it simple, just treat your kids like you`d want to be treated!
    Toothy toddler and mama.
    Today was not too shabby, something I prayed about happened the exact way I hoped it would. I found a skeleton costume for Chicken Little and his brother who-won`t-be-photographed is going to be the Grim Reaper. Such positive costumes. Husband is getting better and we`re off to Richmond to visit friends in the am.
    I`m not usually big on writing about dreams bc I think it might be boring. But, last night I dreamed I was a baby blue whale. Once I realized I was a whale and would have to live in the ocean I was pretty freaked out, I hate the way the ocean just goes on & on in every direction. So creepy. So I told my blue whale mom I was scared and she was like. "I don`t know why, you`re going to be the biggest thing in here!" Oh, good point.

    Thursday, October 27, 2005

    Now we`ve reached a new low. Or a new high from the Creature`s POV. Bananas and whipped cream at 10:30 pm. Its bananas! How huge is that fork? Its all part of the plan of getting Muffin Madness to sleep without waking up hungry.

    Husband is sick and all of my domestication is falling away. The house needs help, the boys have gone wild and I seriously need a break, so this is it, me and this little one up late eating.

    You`re in the jungle baybee!!!

    Tropical wonderland is officially over and the plants had to come in. I love them so much, some are getting older and have grown a lot.

    Tuesday, October 25, 2005

    Another Rock Star

    Its cool Uncle Mike! As all my friends say when I tell them my brother is a sports anchor, "We`re glad somebody is out there living their dream!"

    Many moods of muffin, part 2

    From smugness to sheer joy with a little drama mixed in.

    Friday, October 21, 2005

    A lovely rainy day here in the Shire. We have one sleeping husband and one 5 year old who gets to bring the snack and be the star today. That leaves the muffin and me. We have to go shop for a weekend that involves no public speaking, thank God.

    Wednesday, October 19, 2005

    Wouldn`t you like it here right now? I`m on an escape kick lately.

    Thursday, October 13, 2005

    My beautiful and smart cousin and me, at a family birthday party 3 weeks ago. We are going to her for Thanksgiving and I can`t wait.
    since its my blog & nobody reads it except for the mad spammers, here is another shameless photo of mama & baybee. He`s still little, but not for long.

    Wednesday, October 12, 2005

    There is the man of the house with his Creature.
    If you loved Napoleon Dynamite then take the quiz in the bottom of the linx. I`m not too adept yet at putting a link in the middle of a post, but I`ll try & if it works, there`s no stopping me Y`all!

    You are LaFawnduh.

    Which Napoleon Dynamite character are you?

    Yay it worked! I`m so happy I`m LaFawnduh, she is awesome.

    you by

    Tuesday, October 11, 2005

    AAP, you are stupid.

    The American Academy of Pediatricans just sent out their newest statement on SIDS. It is so ridiculous because it totally opposes their most recent breastfeeding statement.

    For thousands of years humans have slept with their babies, nursing throughout the night. There have been studies done with rats that show that baby rats will die when separated from their mother. ALL MAMMALS breastfeed their babies and stay close day and night, yet the AAP has decided to put a ban on cosleeping, saying if it stopped, fewer babies would die of SIDS.

    It points out that a baby should be in their own crib with a pacifier because so many babies were found not breathing after falling between the bed and the wall, having a bigger sibling roll over on top of them, and other horrifying and unsafe sleeping situations. None of this is SIDS though, its suffocation! SIDS is when you have no obvious reason why a baby died. Safe cosleeping is the easiest and safest way for a mom to avoid sleep deprivation, establish a good supply, and keep her fertility away. Also, breastfeeding is a huge risk reducer for SIDS, yet it is totally undermined by recommending pacifiers. This is just crazy talk. A baby who sleeps safely next to mom hears her breathing and the two of them go through the same sleep cycles, which helps the baby remember to breathe. The baby product industry and the pediatricians love each other too much.

    Monday, October 10, 2005

    Creature! Its almost 10 pm, please go to bed, please!

    It was a long day of driving in the country after a long doctors appointment. Then we took the boyz to a pumpkin patch and that was such a great October thing to do. Now I just want to sleep but this little one has so much energy.

    Thursday, October 06, 2005

    Now why couldn`t we have seen this in New Hampshire this summer? We had 2 weeks there in August and I looked every day and never saw a wall of fur walk out of the forest, darn!
    Vienna calling! I`ll be right there. ..I wish! I love Austria and damn it I should be there right now. My kids would love it there so much.

    Wednesday, October 05, 2005

    About Me

    My photo
    I'm just a mom in the world. A crunchy Catholic mama of 6 trying to make sense of it all and stay positive. 5 boys here & 1 in heaven. One awesome man who I get to grow old with. I help new moms breastfeed. I`m happy. I don`t go to shows or dance clubs every night but I would if I could. Where`s the nanny? When I see her she`s SO fired! One of my boys is super sweet and sensitive, another one is a holy terror. I learn a ton from all of them daily. Like Nigella says, as any parent of small children knows,there comes a point in the day where you can`t go any further without a drink! I love cocktail hour. I`d like nothing more than to be with my family and some good friends surrounded by tropical plants drinking a margarita listening to the Eagles. I don`t care about trendy, I like that grungy 70`s vibe.