Wednesday, June 27, 2007

~You can't be serious Dad...

My 5-year Plan

I always make 5 year plans.
1993: I will finish out my 8th grade field hockey season and become a really awesome goalie. Yeah, that's right, awesome. Then I will spend the next 4 years of high school being the Varsity goalie and being adored by numerous fans when our team goes to State and wins. I will make as much money as I can babysitting so that as soon as I get my driver's license I can buy a sweet ride all my own. Then, after completely glamourous high school years, I will head off to an ivy-league college to begin my preparations for a career as a successful and famous prosecutor.
The summer before 9th grade I had the perfect job arranged and was on the path of my 5 year plan. But on the way home from Day #2 as the world's coolest babysitter, I crashed my bike into a guard rail and broke my femur bone. I was on crutches for over 4 months, had no babysitting to do and had to miss the whole field hockey season. The team got a new starting goalie. After saving up for a new car all my own, my mom's car broke down and I had to let her use mine for my whole senior year. I took the bus to school. I made all the preparations for graduating from high school near the top of my class so that I could get into a "good" school. I made my final decision and was all set to go, but then we realized that I couldn't afford to go to the college I wanted to.
When I headed to the college of my parents' dreams, I made a new 5-year plan.
1997: Ignore all the people, make the best of a stinky college situation and just focus on preparing to get into a "good" law school.
Despite my efforts, the second semester of my freshman year I started dating my husband, was enjoying every minute of college (even the people!) and I definitely became a better person in the process. Hmmm...not any closer to going to law school.
When I got married, I gained a partner to help with the 5-year plan.
2001: Both work for a year out of college and save up my whole salary. Apply to law schools, After graduation, get that dream job of becoming a prosecutor. Then the white picket fence, the new cars and kids.
9 months after we got married (and only 7 mos. after I started working), Siddo joined our family.
November 2002: Work full time as social worker. Juggle family life. White Picket Fence. New Cars. Sibling for Sidney.
After 9 months, I got randomly accepted to family friendly law school in our town. (Long story.)
August 2003: Full time to law school. Add sibling for Sidney to our family in June, so I could enjoy the summer at home before starting second year of law school. Arrange classes around being a mom of 2. Graduate law school. Dream job as prosecutor. White picket fence.
June came, and so did July, August, September etc. Law school reopened, no sibling. Juggling staying home with Sidney and law school full time.
May, 2006: Spend the summer studying for the bar exam. Pray that I pass. Accept that a sibling for Sidney doesn't seem to be in the cards. Sidney to school full time. Dream job as prosecutor.
Enter morning sickness. In March, Avery joined our family.
June, 2007: No more 5 year plans.

Friday, June 22, 2007


"She's prettier than a princess, so she must be a queen..." ~Sidney

Thursday, June 21, 2007

We will miss Sr. Speciosa...

...but we will never forget the dancing lessons she gave us!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

There's nothing special about tomorrow...

Last year, Sid's epitome age was 5. Every cool kid in her class was 5. The 5 year olds were called Kindergarteners. When she was 5 she could leave the Pre-K title behind. She would learn how to ride a bike. She would learn how to read. She would learn how to swim. Anything she was afraid of as a 4 year old, she could take on bravely as a 5 year old.
Sid is 5 now. And guess what...Sid's epitome age is 10. She met a girl who is 10, who can do anything Sidney can imagine ever wanting to do. Sid will surely face and beat all her fears by the time she's 10. Life will be so much better at age 10.

I chuckle, but I'm not really any different than my 5 year old. When I was in grade school, junior high was the place to be. When I was in junior high it was high school. High school, it was college. After college, I couldn't wait until I got my first real job. Then it was semester break. Summer. When I met my husband, life was going to be so much better when we got engaged. While we were planning our wedding, I couldn't wait until we were married. When we got married, everything was going to be even better when we had kids. When Sid was born, all we could wait for was when she slept through the night...rolled over... crawled... walked... talked.

Life was always going to be better tomorrow.

So much of our today is spent thinking about tomorrow. Tomorrow is when we grow up, when our kids grow up, when they start school, when we can take vacation, when we retire. But today is where we are right now. Today is what we can control. Today we are here. Today is special. And Tomorrow may never come.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Need any more proof that...

...the greatest gift you can give your child is a sibling?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Something About Mary?

Well, is there? A couple of months ago our Mary statue disappeared from our front garden area a few feet away from our front porch. Now, I know it's silly to be emotionally attached to any tangible item, but I'll admit I went through a range of emotions after Sidney made the discovery one day as we pulled out of our garage. I was surprised, judgmental and angry.
Looking back now, I realize that while it's terrible that our statue is gone, I can learn a valuable lesson from her disappearance.
Have you ever been in a disagreement with a non-fighter? Coming from a large, loud, Irish family from the East coast, I'm a fighter. I always have an opinion, and I am rarely hesitant to let someone know about it...particularly someone who doesn't share my sentiments on the topic. Now, for the most part, I'm married to a non-fighter. Someone who often says nothing in response to my angry and frustrated speeches. I find this incredibly annoying, but even more so when I know I'm wrong. At least if he tried to respond I could trip him up and make him think he's wrong. But instead I just keep talking, get more frustrated at his non-response and reproving glance, and often just want to push him down. I stupid, right?
Then, we have the Blessed Mother--often pictured holding her Son, looking down on him adoringly, or standing looking down on whoever is glancing at her with a loving and sometimes sad expression. The best example of a non-fighter that I know. She's the least confrontational of all the examples of true Catholics, she rarely scolds us for our actions, but continues to love us as our own mothers do, even when we continue to fail miserably. Yet, for some reason, when others see merely a statue of the Blessed Mother, it seems to evoke so much passion, even anger and frustration. Why? Is it because they've realized that they too are arguing a losing issue? Is it because they are simply uncomfortable with themselves when they are in the presence of such a holy woman?
Wouldn't it be awesome to be such a strong witness for your faith that just your presence makes people have second thoughts about their own actions? Wouldn't it be amazing to influence others to be better people, simply because they wouldn't want to disappoint you?
Now, I doubt that our Mary statue disappeared that day because someone felt this incredible love for Our Lady, but I pray that everytime they see another image of Mary, they think of our statue, see the sad, but loving glance of the Blessed Mother and realize that they too are fighting a losing battle against a non-fighter. And I pray too, that in those moments, their hearts are changed.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Please don't tell my doctor...

...that my mom lets me double fist it AND

pass out on my tummy after I've had too much...

Little Girl on the Prowl

Watch out bugs, butterflies, etc. We have a serious hunter here...

Monday, June 4, 2007

Technology advances rock!

Introducing DVR, where you can watch more tv less.
Now I know what you're thinking...DVR/TiVo, etc have been around forever now, at least by technology standard, but it has "improved" my life in so many ways since we got it last fall that I can't stop praising it.
For about $5 more a month than we pay for our regular tv service, my husband thanks me almost everyday and tells me he loves me, simply because I persuaded him to spend the money. He can tape all sporting events, control his own replays and he doesn't even mind if we want to interact with him in the middle of the Superbowl. Pause.
We never have to watch commercials, except at the speed of lightning, I mean fast-forward.
I can watch a one hour show in less than 45 minutes, giving me at least an extra 15 minutes to spend however I want, including watching more tv if I want.
We never have to worry about when a show is coming on and can watch it whenever we want, or take a break if for some reason nap time is a lot shorter than expected. We simply pay attention to shows we might want to watch and then program the DVR to record it.
We can record reruns, only new episodes or both.
So there you have it--Watch more tv less.
If you are a tv watcher who is also busy with everyday life, DVR is for you!

Sunday, June 3, 2007

I have a confession...

So, Avery is almost 3 months old now and I've come to realize that I have no sentimental attachment at all to nursing her. I don't feel like we bond any more than I would with a bottle in one hand, and to be completely honest, I regularly feel like complaining about nursing. I have no desire to do it. I'm purely motivated to continue nursing for health, cost and guilt.

When Avery was born, I feel like I had two major transitions to make before I started to enjoy being a new mom again--first, the adjustment from just having a 5 year old who's pretty independent to sleepless nights, crying, walking the house constantly, sleepless nights...oh wait. But then, when I started getting used to all that, my role in ordinary life returned, so it was back to getting up early to take Sid to school, lunch duty, field trips etc., but now with a baby in tow. And nursing in public became one more anxiety ridden event. It took everything in me not to complain, particularly because I didn't have anyone to complain to. And I still felt tired, old, and out of my routine.

At least that's how I felt until today. I realized that being a mom is sometimes tough. Really tough. We're constantly on the go, often toughing out long nights with baby only to tough out long days as well. Throw in a toddler and we're running ourselves into the ground trying to keep up. We lose touch with friends, especially those single ones who just don't relate anymore. We are excited if we get a shower in every day of the week. Laundry. Ironing. Getting dinner on the table every night. We are just really darn busy!

And then, there's nursing. The only time out of the day that mom HAS to sit down somewhere comfortable and do nothing else but hold your baby. The only time of the day where the moment is all yours, while you are still being completely unselfish in the most beautiful way. I realized that in the last 2 1/2 months, I've done more leisure reading than I've done in the last 6 years of my marriage. I've mastered the art of holding my baby and holding a book at least 8 times a day, for at least 20 minutes at a time. And what was once simply another task on my constantly evolving list of things to do has now become my mandatory break time. I can sit and stare off into space, I can read a magazine, heck, I can even catch up with one of those friends I haven't talked to in a while. And all the while, my baby feels comfort from being closely held by me and not one other person in the world can take those moments from me.