Car Trouble

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This week has been defined by car trouble.  First it was a leaking fuel pump. Then a broken gas gauge.  And now a dead battery! I came to weigh in at weight watchers (down 1 lb for a total of 14, woo hoo!). I was planning on going to Panera for coffee and breakfast after but instead I’m sitting here blogging about it from my phone while AAA changes my battery.  Since Phillip refuses to turn his phone ringer on, ever, he has no idea what is happening right now. I’m surprised he hasn’t noticed I’ve been gone this long.

Did I mention its our anniversary today? 11 years, baby. We’re going out to dinner tonight but PJ will be joining us since I don’t have any milk pumped. The girls will be with a sitter.

Well that’s all for now. My car is fixed again, yay! Time to resume my day. Thank God for AAA!!

All About PJ

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(Todavia no tuve tiempo de traducir, disculpenme!! Lo voy a intentar esta semana! Esto es a cerca de PJ.)

This post is an update on PJ! This is what he looked like when he was born:

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And this is what he looks like now:

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Clearly, he is still snazzy as the day he was born.

He is 5 months old now and has been a lot more grabby lately. He basically will try to grab anything and everything that crosses his path. The other day he kept grabbing my glasses off my face, and Ivy thought that was the absolute funniest thing she had ever seen. She laughed really, really hard. Which if you know Ivy, a real gut laugh is not something you often hear from her. She is more of a dainty giggler than a belly laugher. Here are Ivy and PJ together, with his fauxhawk slicked down for church.

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He likes to play with his feet and toes, and he has a little firefly toy with that noisy “baby paper” in the wings. He grabs and releases the wings over and over as he puts a razor sharp focus on it, staring intently at it. My most favorite thing about PJ, though, is his morning smile. First thing when he wakes up and lays eyes on me his entire face lights up and he gives me the most joyous smile you can ever imagine!! It makes the pain of waking up a lot more worth it. I feel so special when he smiles at me like that!

This is not the morning smile, but its a morning face:

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Last week he was teething and had a cold so night time was horrible. Lots of waking and crying, and not all the tears were from PJ. But its gotten a lot better now and only wakes up once around 4am and then for the day around 6:30am. The killer part, of course, is that Rose wakes up at 6am and comes straight to my room and wakes me and PJ up. Between 4 and 7am is when I get my best sleep, so that is pretty hard. Since she is 2, she doesn’t really care that I have asked her repeatedly to quietly look at books in the living room until I wake up! So I really need that morning smile from him to set me straight!

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He likes to sit in his Bumbo seat, but the drawback is that the girls always scooch him around the house in it, so I might turn my back for a minute to pour myself some coffee and he’ll be gone. Then I have to hunt him down. Often, its Rose who has taken him. If she is eating breakfast or lunch she will scoot him right next to her chair. But most often, I find her in some dark corner, hoarding PJ. She gets defensive and angry when I try to take him back. She reminds me of a giant spider who has dragged a poor little fly into her lair. Sometimes it takes me a while to find them because she is purposefully hiding him so I won’t take him back.

Other times, its Violet or Ivy to take him. But they don’t keep him stationary unless they want to pretend he is their doll. Mostly they slide him back and forth between the kitchen and the living room like they are driving a car! It’s pretty funny and he really does love it.

That’s all on PJ for now! He is my little sweetheart!!

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Social Activities

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(Traduccion abajo)

As the school year goes on it seems like we are picking up steam – there seems to be more and more to do every day – more places to go, more things to do, more stuff to get done. As it is I do not know how we get it all done. We are now 3 weeks into the school year but it already seems like 3 months with all the work we have been completing. Maybe it just feels that way to me, since I am the one driving this bus.

Before PJ got sick and Rose got an ear infection last week, we went to a local water park called Cowabunga Bay. That was loads of fun, and the girls had a blast. PJ and Phillip stayed home together for some quality father-son bonding time.

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Now that school is back in session we have resumed our school year social activities. The girls belong to two girls’ clubs, one is called Little Flowers and is based on learning to live out the virtues of our faith. They earn badges for the different virtues they learn after they have completed a set of tasks related to the virtue, kind of like Girl Scouts for the soul. In this group all the girls are homeschooled and go to church with us and each other, so Ivy and Violet have a lot in common with them and see them several times a week apart from the club activities.

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Little Flowers

The other club they belong to is the Opus Dei Girls’ Club. They meet once a month, also to discuss a certain virtue but in a much more informal way, and to do fun activities together. So this month they did a formal dinner party and discussed etiquette. They loved it, and spent a lot of time laughing and talking with the other girls. I like that the girls in this club are all from different backgrounds and are different ages, so Ivy and Violet are able to interact and get comfortable with different kinds of people. It takes a special skill set to be able to make polite dinner conversation with someone you’ve never met before!

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Ivy’s table

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Violet’s table

So that’s the update on Ivy and Violet.

But let’s not forget PJ and Rose! Sure, their social activities mainly revolve around me, but that still counts, right?? PJ has been killing me slowly with some middle of the night episodes of crying inconsolably. He is teething. He is lucky he is so cute.

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As the school year goes on it seems like we are picking up steam – there seems to be more and more to do every day – more places to go, more things to do, more stuff to get done. As it is I do not know how we get it all done. We are now 3 weeks into the school year but it already seems like 3 months with all the work we have been completing. Maybe it just feels that way to me, since I am the one driving this bus.

Before PJ got sick and Rose got an ear infection last week, we went to a local water park called Cowabunga Bay. That was loads of fun, and the girls had a blast. PJ and Phillip stayed home together for some quality father-son bonding time.

20140901_163153(0)20140901_163202

Now that school is back in session we have resumed our school year social activities. The girls belong to two girls’ clubs, one is called Little Flowers and is based on learning to live out the virtues of our faith. They earn badges for the different virtues they learn after they have completed a set of tasks related to the virtue, kind of like Girl Scouts for the soul. In this group all the girls are homeschooled and go to church with us and each other, so Ivy and Violet have a lot in common with them and see them several times a week apart from the club activities.

20140912_145807
Little Flowers

The other club they belong to is the Opus Dei Girls’ Club. They meet once a month, also to discuss a certain virtue but in a much more informal way, and to do fun activities together. So this month they did a formal dinner party and discussed etiquette. They loved it, and spent a lot of time laughing and talking with the other girls. I like that the girls in this club are all from different backgrounds and are different ages, so Ivy and Violet are able to interact and get comfortable with different kinds of people. It takes a special skill set to be able to make polite dinner conversation with someone you’ve never met before!

IMG_4926
Ivy’s table

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Violet’s table

So that’s the update on Ivy and Violet.

But let’s not forget PJ and Rose! Sure, their social activities mainly revolve around me, but that still counts, right?? PJ has been killing me slowly with some middle of the night episodes of crying inconsolably. He is teething. He is lucky he is so cute.

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Oops

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Sorry I didn’t post on Saturday, the kids have been sick and I’ve been busy taking care of them! Also, a few people have told me that the subscribed but haven’t been receiving any notice of new blog posts. I’m looking into it.

Discuplen que no escribi nada el sabado, los chicos estuvieron enfermos y los estuve cuidando! Varias personas me dijeron que se subscribieron pero no estan recibiendo noticia de que hay algo nuevo escrito. Lo estoy investigando.

God and Coffee

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(Traduccion mas abajo)

“God and Coffee” are the two words that sum up my first week of the school year.

I was pretty nervous about handling things, what with the four children and all. But I did at least two things right each day this week.

#1 – I prayed. A lot.

#2 – I drank. A lot. Coffee, silly!

I am the sort of person that messes up a lot, but all the same I am able to realize how much I depend on God to help me muddle through. So that was my strategy this week. We started each day off with a “Pleeeeaaaase, God, HELP ME!!!!!”, as well as taking time to express our gratitude for the blessings we have already been bestowed with. We read about the saint of the day, and then we did the Mass readings. While we prayed I was guzzling copious amounts of black gold, natch.

And by the time we were done, I actually felt a little bit normal. I could almost see us getting through the day and being ok! So then, feeling ready to face the day, I put on some music and we all danced together! Wooohoooo! Let’s get our groove on!

I read about study that found that kids were nicer to people they had danced with. I figured that I really needed them to be nice to me during school hours. But lo and behold, I actually found that I myself was also being nicer to them! Hoist by my own petard. But totally in a good way. Like, if my petard were actually made of something neat (instead of explosives), let’s say….. red velvet cupcakes…..then being hoist by that would be BRILLIANT. I’d be covered in ooey gooey red velvet deliciousness. That is basically how it went down with the dancing.

The rest of our days this week were very busy, but a lot of advance planning with our daily schedule helped us stay on track and be realistic about what we could accomplish. And any time I felt myself tempted to whimper and wave the white flag, I would bolster myself with another cup of java, another internal prayer for Divine Assistance, and forge ahead with the day.

One of the other things that helped us stay on track was a game that we made up for the girls. It is called “The Great Yeti Escape” and it basically consists of a Yeti that chases the girls up a mountain. The only way for them to move their game pieces is to finish all their assigned tasks for the day. The Yeti moves once a week based on the roll of a die. It’s actually more involved that that and includes things like snow shoes, Yeti bait, and Yeti dollars, but this post is starting to get too lengthy to get into all that.

See their game pieces at the bottom? There’s the Yeti, poised to enter the game this Sunday (they got a head start this week).

So that, in a nutshell was our week. I expect more God and Coffee next week. Lots of both. I am also feeling very hopeful about the rest of the year. As long as I keep our priorities straight I kinda think we might not only get through it, but actually enjoy it! Scroll down past the translation for a few more pictures of our week.

TRADUCCION

“Dios y Cafe” son las dos palabras que contienen el total de mi primera semana del anyo escolar.

(Traduccion de la foto: Bebe super avanzado/Si, estan descalzas pero por lo menos no estan en pijamas!/Cafe)

Me estaba sintiendo bastante nerviosa de como hiba a controlar todo, con los cuatro chicos. Pero yo hize dos cosas bien esta semana.

#1 – Rece. Mucho.

#2 – Tome. Mucho. Cafe, malpensados!

Soy una persona que se equivoca mucho, pero aun me doy cuenta cuanto necesito a Dios para ayudarme a superar. Asi que esa fue mi estrategia esta semana. Empezamos cada dia con una oracion: “Por favoooooor, Dios, AUXILIO!!!!!” Tambien expresamos nuestro agradecimiento por las bendiciones que ya hems recibido. Leimos a cerca del santo festejado de cada dia, y tambien leimos las lecturas y Evangelio de la Misa de cada dia. Mientras que hiciamos eso, yo estaba tragando grandes cantidades de oro negro (cafe).

Y ya para cuando terminamos, me sentia mas bien normal. Entonces, sintiendo me lista para empezar el dia, puse musica y bailamos todas juntas! A mover el esqueleto, como decia mi Abuelita Magdalena!

Mi mama me habia mandado un articulo sobre chicos, que cuando bailan con alguien son mas buenos y agradables con esa persona. Decidi que yo necesitaba que ellos sean mas agradables con me durante las horas de escuela. Pero, que sorpresa me di! Termino siendo que descubri que yo misma estaba mas agradable con las chicas!  Fue una linda sorpresa.

El resto de la semana estuvimos muy ocupadas, pero con mucho planeamento en avance hizo que nos pudieramos mantener bien con las lecciones y saber bien cuanto podiamos terminar cada dia. Y cuando yo me empezaba a sentir tirada, me fortalizaba con otro cafe, otra oracion para asistencia Divina, y continue con el dia.

Una de las cosas que nos ayudo mantenernos bien con el orario de lecciones fue un juego que nos inventamos para las chicas. Se llama “El gran escape del yeti” y basicamente hay un yeti que esta persiguiendo a las chicas. Solo puede mover su ficha si terminan todas las lecciones y trabajo del dia.El yeti se mueve una vez a la semana, tiramos un dado para ver cuantos espacios se debe mover el yeti.

Ven las fichas abajo? Ahi esta el yeti, listo para empezar el juego (le dimos una semana a las chicas para avanzar antes de soltar al yeti)

Y eso, basicamente, fue nuestra semana. Espero mas Dios y Cafe la semana que viene. Bastante de cada uno. Me siento bien con todo y tengo la esperanza de que el resto del anyo nos va a ir bien. Con tal que mantenga las prioridades correctas creo que no solo lo vamos a sobrevivir, pero tambien lo vamos a disfrutar!

Aqui hay unas fotos mas de nuestra semana.

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Doesn’t Rose look like Gretyl from Sound of Music with her hair like that??
No se parece Rosa a la menor hija en la Novicia Rebelde con el pelo asi??

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Violet ready for ballet class
Violeta lista para clase de ballet

 

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Ivy and Violet in formal uniforms, Rose in Violet’s casual uniform from last year
Ivy y Violeta en sus uniformes formales, Rosa en el uniforme informal de Violeta del anyo pasado

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Ivy working on her Astronomy lesson
Ivy haciendo la leccion de astronomia

 

 

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Voila! My children DO have shoes!
Voila! Mis hijas SI tienen zapatos!

And lest we forget little P.J., here he is.

Y para que no se olviden del menor, aqui esta P.J. (le decimos P.J. por Phillip Junior – se traduce a “Felipe el menor”, aunque en realidad su nombre completo es Felipe Samuel…un poco complicado, no?)

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Fascinated by a toy
Fascinado por un juguete

 

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Gussied up for church
Bien vestido para Misa