Saturday, May 16, 2015

Learning Notes XXVII

Sunday, May 10th, Mother's Day
 I slept in with Thomas until 7:30 and when I cam downstairs, Felicity had taped up homemade streamers around the dining room and the living room. It was so cute. She and Cecilia both ran to me with homemade cards and pictures and Elizabeth warned me not to look at the picture she was still finishing.
Mass was bit more chaotic than usual in that Brigid was especially sensitive and kept screaming over everything and sometimes nothing. James tried to take Teresa and Brigid into the back but Brigid just began melting down so James took them both to the car and I stayed with the oldest three and Thomas through the rest of Mass. I've decided Cecilia and Felicity are too old to bring any book to Mass that isn't about the Mass. It drove me bonkers that the homily was in such simple language that both could understand and he touched upon topics relevant to both girls and yet their noses were in books. Cecilia and I had been discussing just a few days prior about how all grace comes from God and that every Saint was a sinner and every sinner can be a Saint and that is exactly what he spoke about and then segued into the universal call to holiness. And then a few minutes later he touched on the First Communicants and how the Eucharist is the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ. So I've told them both they cannot bring any book to Mass except their Mass or a prayer book.
We picked up McDonalds for the kids on the way home (a treat for them as they got nuggets, fries and a toy each, and a treat for us as we didn't have to do anything special to feed them :)) and then, after we got home, James cooked a special meal for me and him consisting of a perfectly cooked steak filet with homemade Bernaise sauce, fresh mashed potatoes and green beans. Felicity had declared her Happy Meal yesterday the "best lunch ever", which kind of depressed me, but James and I couldn't help but recount her comment during our lunch. So, so good!
James gave me a beautiful card and each of the kids (as able) had signed a card. And then I opened my presents. I got Rosamund Hodge's new book, which I'm really looking forward to reading, a new book light as mine has been relegated as a reading light for Brigid at bedtime, Roger's and Hammerstein's Cinderella with Lesley Ann Warren, and my own Fitbit! My in-laws also sent me a card and a check, which I put toward the purchase of a nicely discounted treadmill from Walmart, which should be here in a week or so. I definitely felt quite spoiled!
 Later we had a moist and chewy cookie cake and the girls and I played a round of Monopoly Jr. while watching my new DVD. Then, as if Mother's Day couldn't get any better...

Monday, May 11th

Thomas slept 9 1/2 hours!!! Quite the gift from my little guy! Wouldn't it be nice if he could start doing that every night! Don't fret, I shan't hope too hard.

Cecilia did her geography, english and a math lesson and put on a magic show for her sisters. She loves performing magic tricks. Absolutely loves it! And she totally does not get that from me.
Cecilia tries to mind read what color on the cube Teresa picked.
After lunch and some Little Ponys on Netflix (it was pouring rain and thundering, which I relish, but can't send the kids outside in), we sat down to do religion. We went over the Trinity and each of the three persons and where they all appear together in Scripture. We also went a bit deeper into who the Holy Spirit is and briefly touched on his 7 gifts and 12 fruits. We then reviewed the 8 questions Felicity will be asked at her interview to receive her First Holy Communion, which basically focus on who the Trinity is, what the conditions for a good confession are, what is necessary to receive Holy Communion, and what the 10 commandments are.
Thomas surveying the playroom.
Afterwards, Cecilia cleaned up her room, the dining room, the hallway and the books in the playroom for an hour or so playing Minecraft while Felicity and Elizabeth played My Little Pony all over the house. Brigid begged to go outside despite the rain but otherwise played with Thomas. Teresa bounced around from watching The Incredibles to playing with monkeys to nagging Cecilia for the iPad.

Tuesday, May 12th
Thomas did not repeat his stellar night. In fact, using my new Fitbit, my night looked more like this:
One of the earlier light blue bands in the threesome, is when I got up to get Thomas out of the swing. The thick red part is when I got up to put Thomas back in the swing because he was nursing that entire dark blue section between the two! The last light blue line was when James' alarm went off. While I generally only put Thomas back in the swing when he just won't stop nursing and I'm exhausted, this is fairly typical for me in terms of sleep, waking between 11:30 and 1:30 for Thomas and then again between 3 and 5:30 and getting up around 6:30. Being a natural night owl and losing sleep, it can take me a bit to get going in the morning.
But we did manage to get some work done. Felicity did her english and some more math. Cecilia did another math lesson and Elizabeth finished her math for the week and did her spelling.
Thomas is getting better and better at pulling himself up standing.
After lunch and Thomas was down for a nap, I went outside and secured two more sections of fence and moved about 5 buckets of small rocks. Then we went to swimming lessons. Rather than just sitting and waiting for Teresa's and Elizabeth's lesson (while Felicity and Cecilia were having theirs), I brought my swimsuit and took them in for some free swim time before their lesson and then had free swim with the older two when their lesson was done. I can't watch their lessons that way, but at least the little ones aren't bored out of their minds for 40 minutes and it is better exercise for me than just sitting or standing there.

Wednesday, May 13th, Our Lady of Fatima
I got even less sleep than the night before - getting Thomas to sleep in his crib at night is climbing the priority ladder.
My mom bought this little piano for Cecilia for her 1st birthday. It is over 9 years old and is on its 6th baby.

Elizabeth did her English and Cecilia did her spelling and Felicity a page of math before we all went outside for a break. We moved the paving stones that were too close to the house, caving into a ditch, and didn't reach from the patio to the back door anyway over to the fence gate.
I will still need a few more to finish the path from the gate to the patio, but it is better. We also removed the mulch bed that was underneath it.
Then we came in and Elizabeth did her handwriting to finish her bookwork for the week. Cecilia did another math lesson and Felicity did all but 2 pages of her math.
After lunch, the girls helped me work outside some more. I secured 3 more sections of fence and we continued moving all the little white stones from around the patio to the corner along the house.

Thursday, May 14th, St. Matthais, Teresa's Baptism Anniversary
Cecilia and Felicity finished their math for the week and then we went to the zoo. I didn't actually plan the zoo as part of a way to celebrate Teresa's Baptism anniversary, but it worked out well that way as she is definitely a girl who loves the zoo. We met two other families there so we were a party of 3 moms and 13 kids.
An alligator eyes Teresa. Don't worry. I'm pretty sure she could take him even if the glass wasn't there. 
One of the moms is a friend of mine who we see every week for swim lessons. Her 3 year old daughter is Teresa's best friend (an awesome addition to the anniversary celebration!) and Cecilia and Felicity are both friends with her 7 year old daughter. But we also got to spend some time with another mom I'd only met once before and meet 3 of her 8 kids. Elizabeth especially adored her 4 year old daughter but they all had a good time. We walked through the primate house, then the reptile and amphibian house and then down to the giraffes and finally finishing at the farm playground.

Afterwards, my crew and I met James for dinner at the girls' favorite restaurant, Red Robin. Thomas even got to try some mozzarella cheese stick and macaroni and cheese, both of which he quite liked (but who wouldn't?). Then we came home to putting away laundry and a bit of video games before bed.

Friday, May 15th, St. Isidore the Farmer
It had been 4 days since I had a good night's sleep. Thursday night looked like this:

Now, my memory said I got about a 4 hour solid stretch from about 1 until 4:30 but my Fitbit helps me get a sense of why it doesn't feel like I got even that much.
So, while I had thought we might get to the library this morning, it just wasn't happening. 4 less than stellar nights of sleep in a row meant I was quite tired.
So we took it pretty easy on Friday. Emails, picking up the house. Playing.
Then, my new treadmill arrived, so I spent some time putting it together and testing it out. It isn't anything special, but for $200 it will do the trick and being rather small works to the advantage that I can keep it in my office upstairs rather than needing to go downstairs to use it.
It has been tricky to keep the kids from playing too rough on it though... we will see how it goes.

Saturday, May 16th, St. Simon Stock
My sleep last night was even worse than the previous four. Or maybe it is just catching up with me. I bear some blame in that I made James watch the season finale of S.H.I.E.L.D. with me and didn't go to bed until after 11pm but I'm sure the fact Teresa came to our bed multiple times and Thomas was in our bed most of the night had something to do with it as well.
 Despite being very tired, the girls have been begging to dye eggs since Easter and, with only 3 kids who eat eggs at all, I finally had enough hollowed out for all of us to dye some eggs and thought it was as good a day as any. It was only enough for each to dye 5 eggs, but that was all I really had patience and sanity for anyway. It has been a few years since we dyed any eggs at all, so they had fun regardless.
 It was Brigid's first time dying eggs and she liked dying the eggs as much as dying her fingers.
It will be fun to see how green they are tomorrow for church.
 I picked up 5 of the Paas sets at Target after Easter for 50 cents a piece. Maybe next year we will do things a little differently and try to get some more colors or variance but this was a good first time experience considering how long it had been since we did it.
My 3 eggs (I had a few extra on hand just in case) are on the left and working clockwise, Teresa's, Felicity's (with one multi-color egg I did but she desperately wanted), Cecilia's, Brigid's and Elizabeth's.


  1. I've never heard of hollowing out do you do that? The homemade gifts are the best from kids!

  2. Kathryn, I don't know how you are still on your feet! That is very little sleep!

  3. Kari, no one in our house eats hard boiled eggs, but we do have a few who eat scrambled, so what I do is I use a sharp knife to make two fairly small holes in the egg, one at each end. You can then use a skewer or long stirrer to work the insides out or, like I do, you can fairly quickly blow them out into a cup. I collect the yolks and whites and make scrambled eggs. The empty shells dry and then can be dyed. The other nice thing about this method is that you can keep the dyed eggs indefinitely. :)

  4. Liz, generally one night like that won't be a bit deal. Several in a row though definitely add up. Yesterday dying eggs was just about the only thing I did. I rested some in the afternoon and worked some at my computer but otherwise, it was a lazy kind of day. Fortunately last night was definitely better. Not great, but better. That 3 solid hours before Thomas woke up was positively heavenly! And the two hour and half spans after he got up weren't bad either. :)