Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tiny Treasures Tuesday volume 2

William Christopher--this little boy weighs 12 lbs 2 oz. He has gained almost 5 full pounds since birth with the help of Mommy's high octane breastmilk (as my ob calls it!). He is giving us real smiles when he sees our faces (including the kids!) and hears our voices. He is cooing and sleeping longer intervals (after another growth spurt!) and more often in his crib. I don't mind the co-sleeping, but he has problems nursing while lying down and usually prefers I sit up, which is hard for me. We are figuring it out though!

Joseph Patrick-- Mr Joey is working on keeping his hands to himself. We are trying to encourage "loving hands" which he uses very well with Will but not so well with Shelby. He is so sweet wanting to hold Will and kiss him and then he turns around and hits Shelby and pulls her hair! He does make every day an adventure though.

I blogged before about Joey seeing pictures of his father with hair and shaking his head no and saying "Not Daddy." Well, we have been working on this and I finally got him to say Daddy when seeing Jeff's high school senior picture, but then he went on to point to pictures of girls and say "Daddy." I think I am giving this up for now...

Shelby Clare--Shelby had her speech evaluation last week. She was, unfortunately, uncooperative, but the speech/language pathologist completed a questionaire with me to try and get a better picture of Shelby's abilities. In going through the list, I was surprised to notice some of the gains Shelby has made that I hadn' t thought about. It made me feel really good about her progress. I have accepted that there is the possibility that Shelby might not ever speak, but her achievements do give me reason to celebrate! And my big girl will be 3 next Monday!!!! I cannot believe it has been three years already since we rushed to the hospital in the middle of the night when my water broke for an emergency c-section. Who would have thought that 3 years later, she would have 2 little brothers and be getting ready for pre-k. God has truly blessed us.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Baby Names

Baby names are a favorite topic of mine, my husbands and at least one friend. We discuss names we like and dislike irrespective of if we are expecting, planning, trying or not for a new baby. I have to admit, I breathed a sigh of relief when they told me that Will was a boy because we already had a name picked out and we did not have any idea what girl name to choose.

Our first two children were not named until their births. With our daughter that was partly because we did not know the sex of the baby and with our first son, well, my husband was having a lot of difficulty coming to a name. We are asked constantly why we have chosen the names we have. I know that I have discussed Will's name on the blog before, but not Shelby and Joey's.

Shelby Clare--the name Shelby did, in fact, come from the movie Steel Magnolias. My husband loved the movie and the name fit. I had wanted a saint name for her middle name and we agreed we liked the name Clare and named her after Clare of Assisi, a saint we also loved.

Joseph Patrick--the name Joseph means "God will add another child" so it fit for a second child and of course we named him as well after the foster father of our savior. Patrick, first of all fit with Joseph, but is also the patron saint of Ireland, the homeland of Joey's Godmother.

I like naming my children after saints, however, I don't make it a pre-requisite and like to cover it in either a first or middle name. I am married to a non-Catholic who is very generous in naming requirements. That being said, he has opinions too. If I like a name I think he might not go for, I have to come up with my argument as to why he should like it. A good example is the name "Helena" which I love because of St Helena, mother of the Emporer Constantine. So, I appealed to his sense of family. His father's aunt's name was Helen.

So, have we discussed names since Will was born? You better believe it.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Fruitful Fridays

***in which we reflect each week on one of the fruits of the holy spirit***

In contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such there is no law.
~Galatians 5:22-23

This week I am focusing on generosity. It has been shown to me in so many ways over the past week. I have wonderful, amazing friends who were willing to patiently listen to me and gave of their time to do so. I have one friend who created a Mr. Linky to help drive traffic over to my blog. She has many followers and was generous enough to share!

I also have been thinking of the death of Farrah Fawcett and how in her final days she was so generous with the public in letting them see her through the ups and downs and trials of cancer. It taught so many about suffering and dying.

In the death of Michael Jackson I have seen the tragedy of his life but also the generosity he showed in sharing his music and talent with the world.

Mostly, though, I have been focused on the generosity of my husband. We don't often remember that our spouses are incredibly generous in the fact that they are willing to share their lives with us. Their families. Their careers. Their hopes and their dreams. My husband is working toward becoming a teacher and has been generous in the burden of attaining that dream. I know, that kind of sounds like an insult but it's not. You see, my husband is a fiercely independent man. He likes acheivement and he likes to say he did it alone. So when he started on this journey to teach just over 3 years ago, I offered to help and he was initially quick to say thanks, but no thanks. That started to change slowly once he started into his course work. To me, his coming to me and saying, I can't do this alone, I need your help was generous because I needed to be needed in that way, although I didn't realize it all at once. It allowed me to share some of my strengths with him and feel appreciated for them. I know he doesn't realize it as generosity, but I do and I think that makes a difference in our marriage.

So, what about you? Has anyone been generous to you in a memorable way?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Okay, stealing again from Violinmama this time! Here are five things I am very thankful for this week. Now, the rules don't state they have to be profound, so not everything is!

1) Will is getting a more normal nighttime sleep routine. Which is awesome because it means we get to walk before it gets too hot and I have more energy both from sleep and walking to keep up with the toddlers!

2) After some personal drama last week, I have found out not only that I married a man who loves me, but respects me, my feelings and our kids. And much more than I could ever have known. I cannot put a value on that and know it was a gift from God.

3) I have found time to start blogging more regularly again. I don't know how or why, and I don't ask! I'm just grateful!

4) I had one super-productive cleaning day out of this week. I know, it was just one, but man did it feel good!

5) I (unlike some others in my family who shall remain nameless) did not forget Father's Day. We didn't do cards this year. We shared a day together and fun meals at home with the exception of running out to McDonald's for a quick Father's Day lunch (I know, we're vying for a spot on the most posh family list). Part of the Father's Day gift this year was letting Daddy know that about his Father's Day/Birthday present for next year here! Hopefully he will have as much fun with our kids as he did as a kid there.


Small Successes

1) Walking is now a daily activity at least once, sometimes twice! And that's with a record June heatwave!

2) Our garden is blooming! Despite some unfortunate incidences with wilt, mold and pests (among those being the 19 month old who enjoys pulling veggies LONG before they are ready) we have had delicious snap peas, green beans, tomatoes, peppers, and LOTS of cucumbers!

3) Praise God Shelby's evaluations are complete and her IEP meeting set for a week from now. Despite all the worry and hair pulling, she will start EC Pre-K this fall!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Word-FULL Wednesday

In the world that brought us a reality show-cum-marriage destroying show of Jon & Kate Plus 8, last night I found comfort in Michelle Duggar.

I have some "Duggar issues" but Michelle has always been my favorite and earned a special place in my heart. Sweet, genuine and devoted are words that come to mind. And it helps that she's the one without a "J." She has truly taken to heart the idea of "judge not, lest though be judged" as witnessed by her refusals to denigrate octo-mom or Kate Gosselin and I can tell by her countenance when she speaks of them she is praying for all in the families involved. Soft-spoken, but firm and loving...what a mother should be regardless of family size and what I strive for.

What warmed my heart last night was Michelle and her family visiting a local public school. They were sharing their love of reading and authors with the students. Michelle shook the hand of each student ambassador and thanked them for inviting her family to the school. There was one awkward moment when the students, at their morning assembly, danced which the Baptist Duggars do not do. When asked about this, Michelle responded that it got the children moving and helped them to focus and concentrate and it was a strategy just like some she used to help her children. She didn't say anything pro-or anti dancing. It was what it was. When she described the children, she used the word, obedient which I liked as it was a mother's word, not an educator's (such as compliant) and indicated a motherly nature toward this large group of children. But what really set my heart right was when she described why their family homeschooled but then added she was not anti-public school and felt there was a well-warranted need for public education and some wonderful things happening because of it and wonderful teachers working with children. Wow, here was the woman many hold up as the home-school icon saying basically, "Do what works for your family." Jim-Bob corroborated this idea by discussing that some of his daughters wanted to become mid-wives and would need further education which he supported and that he had to trust that they had given these girls a solid foundation so that when faced with secular trials, they were ready.

What Michelle did in this episode was to empower parents with the knowledge, that as long as they were doing the best they could by their children, and that the best would be defined differently by each family, it was enough. And that at some point, you have to send your children off into the world and know what you taught them was right and let them stand on their own feet. She illustrated this by telling how when Josh and Anna was married it was "leave and cleave" and that together, Josh and Anna had to make their own way with the foundation that was laid by their families.

It warmed my heart to see someone of such high profile and strong moral conviction speak with common-sense.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tiny Treasures Tuesday

So, I'm stealing from Lerin here!

William---my big boy! He is getting so long I can barely wear him in the snugli now or any other baby wearing contraption. Unfortunately he is suffering from colic as well whenever we give him a bottle of breastmilk. I purchased some Playtex nurser bottles as a last resort. We hope they work!

Joseph--is a friend to the animals. We have some birds that made a nest in a small tree in our backyard and now have babies. Joey chases our bird dog Charlie away from the tree. Charlie is not going after the nest, but he makes the mama a nervous wreck!

Shelby--our big girl has a speech evaluation with the school system tomorrow for her to start Pre-K and sadly, her current speech therapist is moving across the country so in the mean time we will start with a new one!

Very short today, but I'm excited to get to post SOMETHING!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Small Successes


1)Ok, it was two Saturdays ago now, but I missed last week, we got baby Will christened. He was one of eight at the service and did well considering!

2)Jeff and I have started a daily fitness routine. Ok, it's walking, nothing special, but we are feeling the burn!

3)I have been helping Jeff with his class reunion plans. The two guys who are heading up the reunion committee have never planned anything more elaborate than byob barbecues and are overwhelmed, so Jeff, with his chef and event background has stepped in to help which means I am helping too mostly with emailing locations and checking with people who know they want to attend to see when next year is good for them to travel. This goes against all my class reunion feelings, but it makes my husband happy, so I'm trying!

4) (I'm on a roll here) We are trying new recipes and new meals! We still have our standbys but are loving a few new things we have been emboldened to try!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

And on this Feast of the Most Holy Trinity...

we welcome a new Catholic Christian, William Christopher Herrett. Here he is being held by Father Bob with his Godparents, Matt and Gina and Mommy and Daddy. I'm holding Gina's daughter Jayla who was standing in in this picture for Shelby and Joey who were about to spontaneously combust after this "mass" baptism (8!) service.

"Go...and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."

~Matthew 28:19 from today's Gospel

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Small Successes


1)Today we have a four week old! His last day as a newborn. He already has gained more than a pound over his birth weight and grown at least one inch longer. As I held him and his 20-month-old brother on my lap yesterday, I wished I could keep both of them just as they are now. But each day brings new growth and new gifts. And I am so thankful for that!

2)This Saturday, Will will be baptized! We are so excited to have our third child become part of the Church! I actually had some preparations made almost a month before he was born, which is major on my part. Today we start to finish getting the house ready!

3) We are having good progress with Shelby's speech therapy using computer games. They are helping increase her attention span and also she is also practicing pointing to the pictures. Another important step to speech.