Friday, October 13, 2017

7 Quick Takes. Sick kids, cute pic, and sad football stories...

I'm linking up with Kelly at This Ain't The Lyceum   to give you this week's quick takes.  Are you ready?

Oh gosh.
This week has been a hard week of sick.
It's included fevers, an ER trip, and very little sleep for this mama.
Last night I had two kids puking pretty much every hour on the hour.
Isn't that sad?
But wait.
It's gets better. But really better, not like, 'it gets better' said ironically because it gets worse.
Julia is an amazing sleeper.  She sleeps through the night, usually between 9:00 pm- 7:30 am (I KNOW RIGHT!?!?!)/
And when the kids started puking, I brought them into our bed, with lights on, etc... 
There was crying.
There was projectile vomiting.
There was whining.
And sweet baby girl in her bassinet slept through everything.

Those smiles though.

I've done some facebook live-ing about the things I talk about when I do speaking.
I think I am going to start doing more of those.
Because they are fun.
I am going to need to stop being so 'wordy' so says my sister.

In my facebook live video, I said I was 38.
I said this because I thought I was 38.
Turns out, I am 37.
I asked my sister, she said she sometimes forgets how old she is. So at least I am not alone.
At least I thought I was older than I am.

Before the puke-pocolyse of 2017... I was feeling sick.
so I went to bed at 7:30 pm last night.
And that's kind of awesome.
Also, a lifesaver, seeing as though I have been up since midnight thirty.

With so much sickness in our house, my kids have been living on screens.
I'm really not sure what to do with them besides screens when they are this sick.
Currently, in my family room, I have the tv going, along with 2 ipads.
I can feel the twitching from some of you.
Don't worry.
I am twitching as well.
But not enough to change the situation.

Michigan lost last weekend.
To gross Michigan State.
It's 6 days later, and I am still not over it.
It was also a terrible game, low scoring, super boring.
Sometimes being a football fan is hard.

The reading doesn't have to stop here, head on over to http://thisaintthelyceum.org/ to read more quick takes!

Friday, October 6, 2017

7 Quick Takes and a BONUS ONE!

I'm linking up with Kelly at This Ain't The Lyceum   to give you this week's quick takes.  Are you ready?
You ready? Here we go... (the 'here we go' said in the voice of slick rick)

Do not post controversial stuff on SOCIAL media if you are not prepared to maturely handle opposing views.
It's called SOCIAL media.
Er'time you people write, 'I don't want to hear your views on it'
I judge.
I did it once too, but then I deleted the post.
Because I realized if I didn't want to hear opposing views, I shouldn't be posting something I take so personally on the internets.
Get it together people.
That is all.

You know how you get those moments, when you can't believe the life you are living is the life you get to lead?  In the best possible way?
Last Saturday I looked out the window and saw this...
It was one of those moments.
And tears stung my eyes.
My window might need to be clean (does need to be clean).
But looking at the window at my big boys is amazing.

speaking of..
I now feel comfortable letting my two big boys cross the street to go to the park, if I am sitting on the front porch. 
Er'body is growing up in this house.
We tried this summer to let all three boys go to the park across the street.
But our van was partially blocking my view.
And the littlest boy tried to cross the street to come home without his brothers before I noticed.
A car almost hit him.
Then slowed down and the man in the car said, "Do you know who's kids these are?"
And I got REAL sassy and said, "They are MINE and I am SITTING RIGHT HERE LOOKING AT THEM"
(because I didn't know John Paul was in the middle of the street due to my obstructive view)
The man in the car rolled his eyes and drove off. And then out popped John Paul.
It was not a good moment in parenting.

BUT, alas, John Paul wasn't home, so I let the big two go by themselves, because they know not to run into the street.

It's freaking me out..knowing that JuJu might be our last baby.
She sleeps through the night (I KNOW!), so we are thinking it might be time to switch her into Malia's room. 
But then she wouldn't be in ours.
And we might not have a baby in our room ever again?
And that's just too much right now.
So she will stay with us.

Sometimes I take the kids shopping
All of them.
And I am impressed with myself... so I take a picture.

Dude.  When John Paul isn't stepping on his baby sister's stomach, or smooching her head, or making her cry...
He's an AWESOME brother.

It's the Michigan/Michigan State Game tomorrow.
Have I told you guys how much I love college football?
Because it is SO much.
And I really want to watch the game and drink some bud lights.
But I ate 20 animal crackers, 3 cookies, and 2 marshmallows yesterday...
So that might have to count as my cheat day.
Water and Football it is!
(unless I change my mind)

My husband, Aaron sometimes makes the eggs in the morning instead of me...
They are scrambled.
And they are not good.
Don't tell him, but he makes REALLY bad scrambled eggs.
There is a science to this sh@#  and he just simply is not successful.
You guys.
He scrambles them IN THE PAN.

The reading doesn't have to stop here, head on over to http://thisaintthelyceum.org/ to read more quick takes!

Friday, September 29, 2017

7 Quick Takes- Advice NEEDED!!!!

I'm linking up with Kelly at This Ain't The Lyceum   to give you this week's quick takes.  Are you ready?

This week at school, Aaron was made fun for complimenting someone's Moana backpack...
he asked me if he was weird for liking girl things.

Then, Aaron made fun of another kid's parent... but it was truly accidental.
Some other kids heard it and joined in.

A couple kids started talking about their pretend birthday parties, and said Aaron wasn't invited.

It was a week of things like that.  

And I was working to navigate Aaron through them, but feeling kind of bummed out about everything.

A girlfriend reminded me, he is learning lessons.  Through very normal and developmentally appropriate 'issues' we are teaching our son what it means to be kind, good, holy, and how to deal with difficult people with confidence etc...

It doesn't necessarily make it easier, BUT, when I was able to frame it as moments of learning...
I felt better about it.

Speaking of.
You guys know I don't read parenting books.
I look to my friends, family, acquaintances to give me advice that works.
So, I need advice.

I've worked with thousands of teenagers.
And I can always tell the difference between kids who have confidence, and kids who already had confidence stolen from them.

The advice.

How do you help little people take the hits of  the unkind actions of their peers, family members, etc...
still have a sense of confidence?

And  I mean really practically.

What words have you used that work?
What things have you said when your kid is crying because someone hurt their feelings?
How do you teach them to deal with the kids at school who aren't kind?
Tell me exactly what you do. I'm ready to receive it :)

Question- How fun is fall?
Answer- SO.MUCH.FUN.

I like how my parents raised me.
There are two lessons I heard repeatedly growing up I hope to pass on to my children.

1.  Life is not fair.
2.  Some people aren't nice, but we still love them.

I really think if most people were told as often as I was 'Life's not Fair' we'd be in a much better position in these United States.

This is my weight loss map for the first part of my weight loss journey.
I get to color in three more squares today.  Woot woot.  Imma have that bangin' body before you know it :)
Also, weight loss maps are fun.

Thanks for the prayers, the retreats last weekend went really well.  We introduced a new Confirmation Retreat, and it will need some tweaking, but overall I think it's pretty solid. 
This weekend I'll be giving a workshop on the Church's teaching on homosexuality.
And later in the week, a presentation on praying within the family.
Both presentations I am excited for.
One I always get a little nervous about.
I'll let you figure out which one ;)

On tap today is the Cider Mill with one of our favorite cousins...
Followed by an all grade play date at an indoor jungle gym...
AND, if I can rally (which I highly doubt I can) adult drinks with cousins...
I guess you can say it's gonna be a pretty busy day. 
But all good things.
So no complaints.

The reading doesn't have to stop here, head on over to http://thisaintthelyceum.org/ to read more quick takes!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

7 Quick Takes Thursday Night/Early Friday edition

I'm linking up with Kelly at This Ain't The Lyceum   to give you this week's quick takes.  Are you ready?

I am writing these on Thursday, because I have an all day retreat Friday.
I feel like a kid the first day before school.
After taking off a solid 4 months, it's back to Speaking Ministry I go.
Say some prayers for...
...the 7th and 8th graders of The Academy of the Sacred Heart.
...the Confirmation Candidates from the National Shrine of the Little Flower Basillica.
...and high school students at St. Thomas More.

It should be a good weekend!

So, I said this on insta-stories... but in case you haven't heard, we don't do intentional tummy time.
I know.
But basically my parenting style is to not include anything that has become really popular in the last 30 years (the results of recent parenting haven't been that great imo).
For better or worse, that's our style.
We had our well checks this week and my pediatrician was all like
"Wow, her head strength is amazing, good job mom on the tummy time"
So there's that.

I sent my kindergartner and first grader to school twice this week without brushing their teeth.
And I forgot my kindergartner's 'quiet bag' on Monday.
And I forgot to return a book for my first grader this week.

So I guess you can say I am rocking at lyfe this week.

p.s. I just realized 'keepin' it real' on the ol' blog could be a challenge now that I have friends from my kid's school who might read this blog.  So basically, try not to judge :)

We are booking plane tickets for our Disney trip in December in a couple of weeks.
I am SO excited for that trip.
But I am also very nervous one or more of our kids will end up being sick for it.  You know how December is with illness in big families right?
So let's all start praying everyone is healthy.
Because man, six nights at such a magical place with our only job being to love each other is going to be ah-mazing.

Speaking of travel.
Malia is crazy into Moana lately. Which means the whole family is, because we have one tv and I love screen time.
I never really 'watch' kid movies of my kids.  When they are on, I sit in the room and do something else (read, phone, computer, etc...).
But, I decided to pay attention to the song. You know the song, "How Far I'll Go"
It really touched a deep part of my soul, as cheesy as that sounds.
I am a traveler by nature, I have a terrible case of Wanderlust, and I have from a very young age.
That deep feeling in my soul that I NEED to explore the world has always been in my heart.
I responded to it first by attending WYD in Paris, and since then, it hasn't gone away.
It's led me to a dozen and a half countries...
five continents...
on so many adventures, I could make this blog JUST about that.

So, when I was listening to the song, it made me a little sad.
I remember right after I had little Aaron, one night, feeling a deep sense of panic realizing it would probably be years, perhaps decades, before I ever traveled internationally again.
After listening to Moana sing this song... I started thinking about it again.


I thought about why I love travel.
And it's about the experiences of new things, the adventure, the unpredictability of it all- I just SOAK it all up.
 I realized my life now is experience of new things, an adventure and completely unpredictable.
So I'm gonna go ahead and remember that next time I feel that old tug in my soul to travel to far off places...

I'm gonna put this right here. It's a blog called,
I didn't post it on my facebook wall because it's a tough thing to talk about, it's a tough thing to discuss and because 99.9% of people I know use contraception, so it can come off as a little judgy.

But it's not meant to be.

I thought it was a good article and made some really great points, maybe consider if God might be pulling on your heart a bit to read it? It's definitely written for a Catholic audience, as the Catholic understanding of sexuality is so drastically different than every other faith tradition...I love it though (obvi)

Aaron and I use Natural Family Planning.  It hasn't always been easy, and it took awhile to get the hang of it, but I have been reflecting a LOT lately on what a gift it is to our marriage.  I've been reflecting on how God is so good and His plan is so good.  Within my faith tradition, there is a built in system of understanding sexuality that helps us to avoid the temptation to use each other.  I like it. 

To end this week, I leave you with my juju grace.
Gosh I don't mind her one bit.

The reading doesn't have to stop here, head on over to http://thisaintthelyceum.org/ to read more quick takes!

Friday, September 15, 2017

7 Quick two weeks in a row... cause I'm fancy

I'm linking up with Kelly at This Ain't The Lyceum   to give you this week's quick takes.  Are you ready?

I am always looking for new netflix/hulu/amazon prime suggestions, so when Bonnie at A Knotted Life  threw out there that she watches, 'TURN' we decided to give it a shot.
So good.
I am bummed it only has four seasons.
Think Revolutionary War, meets spy thriller, throw in some relationship drama, and you got yourself this show. It's really good. 
But it's also really smart.
I need Aaron's help to figure out what's happening. 
I highly suggest watching
Aaron is not pleased that I have picked yet another series winner... when he has yet to pick one we like :)

If you are a facebook friend or follow me on 'theinstagram' you know we are doing the Whole30. I love it so much, I really do. It feels good to eat good.  BUT, I will say, I am NOT liking black coffee this time around.
I am basically choking it down because I am not a nice mom until I've had coffee.
But it is not enjoyable.
I bought the fancy stuff to see if it would help.
It doesn't.
Black coffee will not be something that sticks around.

I started MOPS yesterday.
A few years ago I attended, but then, after I had Malia and we had the midday pick up from school, it just wasn't worth it. Way too much stress involved with getting there.
But now the two big guys are in school all day, so I thought it would make sense to start again.
The first meeting did not disappoint.
If you have little people, I REALLY suggest it. The community is great, the breakfast is delicious, and it's a solid 2 hour break from the children I love.
YAY breaks.

Ministry starts next week.
I was VERY intentional about taking time for maternity leave again with Julia Grace. It makes such a difference in the postpartum to not have to think about work at all.  It was hard to turn down some really cool opportunities (including Canada, eh!) but necessary.
Alas, now it is time to think about working in the Kingdom.
I will be starting with a bang.  Three days of all day retreats.
On Friday, I will be leading a retreat for 7th and 8th grade students.
On Saturday, I will be working with my ministry partner to facilitate a Confirmation Retreat.
On Sunday, I will be giving a high school retreat.
I am super excited about the ministry year. Lots of new stuff, lots of good stuff.
Starting next weekend, I will pretty much be working every weekend until December.
What a blessing!
If you read this and you are local-ish, or even far away-ish... We/I do have December pretty wide open. We love to speak at Advent Reflections/Advent Teas/Advents by candlelight, etc...
hmu if your parish could use a night like that!

I always feel bad about Malia being in a room by herself, while her three brothers get to share a room.  There has been many nights she cries, arms outstretched towards her brother's room, from her crib.  It's heartbreaking.
So last night, I finally caved.  The boys usually like to share beds anyway, so there was a free bed in their room. When Malia started crying for the boys, I picked her up, grabbed her blanket and carried her into their room, tucked her into the spare bed, and left the room.
Ten minutes later, she came out and asked to go back into her bed.
girls are awesome
and brothers are a LOT to handle.

There's no way to write about what I want to write about next without really upsetting people who might read this blog.
So, I will just just say this.
I watched a couple television shows this week that really disturbed me.
And I am really glad that I belong to a Church who holds to the truth that children have intrinsic rights.  Babies have rights.  They have rights and shouldn't be treated as 'things'.  
I don't think until recently I understood the full impact of that particular teaching.
With each baby we've had, the mystery of these little people becomes more and more defined for me.  And gosh, when you see the rights of the most vulnerable in our society slowly stripped away, even in subtle ways... it's insanely upsetting.  
And that my friends is what we call vague-blogging.

And finally, I know you guys know this but...
FOOTBALL is back.
I love football so much.
I love everything about it, but man, having these sons who watch with us, though annoying at times, is AWESOME.
Go blue!
They wanted to pose like they were doing push ups...

The reading doesn't have to stop here, head on over to http://thisaintthelyceum.org/ to read more quick takes!

Friday, September 8, 2017


I'm linking up with Kelly at This Ain't The Lyceum   to give you this week's quick takes.  Are you ready?

It's been a hot minute. 
Three months, ish? 
Life is finally getting back to order. I got past those rough four last weeks of pregnancy, had a beautiful baby and moved through a REALLY slow recovery.  This is been my first really great week in a really long time. And I slept 7 hours in a row last night, which hasn't happened since last year at this time...
Here's some updates

Julia Grace

 She ain't nothing but amazing.
Her birth was wonderful, so much better than I thought it would be.
She isn't the most low-maintenance baby, but she's getting easier.
I am trying to soak up every last bit of this newborn phase because I am aware it IS going to fly by.
I'd like to write her full birth story one day.  But I'd also like to write Malia's birth story and order Malia's first year babybook, and order our year six picture book (marriage wise) and start a baby book for Julia.
Chances are about 1/2 of that will never happen.
I'm just being honest.
Joey and Aaron started school.
I love our school, so much... but I hate sending my kids to school.
It's bothering me more than ever this year.
No matter what questions I ask to try to see what their days are like...
they only explain so much.
And I just had 2.5 months of knowing what every moment of every day looked like for them.
It is SUCH an act of trust to send one's kids to a school for 8 hours a day.  SUCH an act of trust.
they love school
and we love their teachers
and their school
and a homeschooler I am not.
So I get used to missing them and wondering about them all day long.

Malia and John Paul.

Oh man. These two.
My days are now spent with them and Julia.
I'm trying to be really intentional with our morning time, then 1/2 hour of screen time, books and nap.
I love nap time.
All three are asleep right now.
 I am about to eat some roasted broccoli and salami.

Roasted broccoli and salami you say?
If you follow me on facebook, you know we are doing the Whole 30 again.
I'm so glad we are.  We are five days in and I can already tell a difference.
Plus, it's really fun to do with Aaron.
The plan is to eat Whole 30, then join the gym, and then, after that, use the Weight Watchers App to track food.
Time to get the ol' Bangin' body back.
Ideally, I would like to lose 85 lbs.
EIGHTY FIVE LBS?!?!?! You say.
Well, that's ideally. And I know it might take a really long time.  Like 2-3 years long. But, alas, I am going to work for it slowly.

I pretty much stopped commenting about the world/society/disasters on social media.
I just can't.
There are too many awful things.
I've decided instead to focus on the wonderful things I see every.single.day.
Not in a 'bury my head in the sand' kind of way.
But more in a, 'change the things you can, let go of the things you can't', kind of way.
But so many prayers.  And lots of IRL conversations about our world.  It's hard huh? 

It's hard to find time to blog, but I do miss it. I'm gonna try to do the Quick Takes every week.  Deal?

The reading doesn't have to stop here, head on over to http://thisaintthelyceum.org/ to read more quick takes!

Friday, June 16, 2017

7 QT Fancy galas, adorable kids, and the weirdness of postpartum bodies

I'm linking up with Kelly at This Ain't The Lyceum   to give you this week's quick takes.  Are you ready?

Aaron and I celebrated 7 years on Monday.  
and I still like him a whole heck of a lot. 
Every day I feel blessed to have him, and my resolution and prayer is to be a better wife. 
Tonight, we are going to a fancy Gala the Archdiocese of Detroit hosts as a fundraiser for seminarians.
Then we are spending the night at my favorite local hotel while my parents watch the kids.
It's an anniversary celebration/babymoon/I REALLY need a good night of sleep adventure.
I am excited.

I got my hair did.
I get my hair did about once a year at the same salon.
It's embarrassingly pricey, but such a lovely experience.  It takes 3 hours!  WHAT?!?!?  But that includes a hair wash/scalp massage experience that I live for.
It's the best.
I took off five inches and lightened it.  Enough change to make me feel a bit refreshed, not too much that I get scared of maintaining it.

I will never stop living for little kids in overalls.

This picture kind of freaked me out.
Because he's going to be a teenager before I know it.
Like, a young man.
And then a man.
He's so proud of his muscles.

Wanna know what happened to us on Monday?
We went grocery shopping as a family around lunch time. The kids were kind of well behaved.
We go to this cute little market.
As we were leaving, a woman walked up to our family and gave my husband $20.  She said, 'please take your adorable family to lunch, on me'.

You guys. people say nice things to us and about us all the time.
I've thought about this all week, because a few weeks ago, a relative stranger, in an environment of faith, told me (not asked me) that I should get my tubes tied.
It was a horribly awkward conversation.  Probably the most awkward I've had. And it's rolled around in my head and enraged me ever since.

But comments like that come like MAYBE once or twice a year.

People are saying nice things about my family, complimenting my boys, trying to get my girl with RCF (resting cranky face) to smile, etc...ALL THE TIME.

People are really really awesome in real life aren't they?
I'm learning to let the sting of rare
mean comments fly away, in favor of cherishing the constant comments of affirmation from strangers/family and friends.

Oh gosh.  
Personal Take Warning
I shared this video on facebook. If you didn't watch it, or missed it, you should watch it right now.
(it says bull sh@#$)

When I was telling Aaron about it, I started crying.
The changes to my body after having four c-sections and five pregnancies in such a short time have been really hard for me.
The issues she describes in this video are my exact issues.
The concept of how crazy it is to try to achieve a pre-baby body after one has had babies, was really powerful for me. 
Aaron constantly affirms how attractive he finds me, both in word and action... but I'm finding it challenging to believe it for the first time. 
which is kind of craziness. 
This video has helped me frame some of my feelings about my body lately... and I am grateful for it.

Happy Father's Day to all you good daddies out there (even to the okay-ish ones).
We will be doing some celebrating this weekend.
Aaron's gonna go on a man-date with the three boys to see Cars 3.
I have a couple surprises planned (or at least will by Sunday).
It should be a fantastic weekend!

The reading doesn't have to stop here, head on over to http://thisaintthelyceum.org/ to read more quick takes!

Friday, June 9, 2017

7QT no sleep, hurt feelings and DISNEY edition

I'm linking up with Kelly at This Ain't The Lyceum   to give you this week's quick takes.  Are you ready?

Being a parent is amazing. 
I still cannot believe what has happened to my sleep.
Two nights ago, I slept through the whole night, with the exception of getting up every 1.5 hours to use the restroom (#pregnancyproblems)

It felt like a dream
And I still got up 5 times during the night.

Let's just say the other days this week, in between getting up every 1.5 hours to use the restroom, I was also up pretty much every hour tending to one of my four children.

...I can't find my blanket
...I can't find my pillow
...I wanted to have a midnight party for 2 hours
...I need snuggles
...I had a bad dream, I don't want to talk about it, but I don't want to be in my room.

It has been A WEEK.

Ugh. Gestational Diabetes be workin' my nerves.
And my fingers hurt from all the pokes.  So.many.pokes.
For those of you in the know, I have the trigger on the lowest setting, but it's still kind of really hurting.
I already do it on the side of my fingers.
I even resorted to watching youtube videos to make it less painful.
It's all worth it... but man, four more weeks, four times a day?

(for the record, Jesus just mentally slapped me and reminded me people deal with this much longer than 4 weeks, some, for a life time and I should probably just ut-shay up-hay).

I have a kid who likes to take off her pants and diaper... all the time.
This is becoming a real problem for a lot of reasons (I will leave it to the imagination).
I have already found her without her diaper twice today.

How shall I deal with this?
Besides buying onsies and having her wear one always?

I like to get personal occasionally up in here.

In the last year, I have really been trying to work on my emotional reactions to situations.
(I have a tendency to be WAY too reactive)

a) Locating the correct emotion (i.e. anger is easy, but often a distraction)
b) analyzing where the emotion came from
c) determining what, if anything, I can do about the situation causing the emotion
d) If I can't do anything, wrapping a boundary around the situation until I can properly respond emotionally.

That's what my process has looked like.

I've had my feelings hurt a couple times this week, pretty intensely.
I have worked my system.
It's been good.

That is all.

I had some plans this week.
I've had to cancel them.
Between doctor appointments, being a kick butt summer mom (because, I kind of have been) and exhaustion, I just don't have energy for anything but the daily grind.
I need to remember once I get near full term, the energy I've got is reserved for my kids and pretty much nothing more.  I hate canceling plans, so I need to not make them, or I end up canceling them.
From this point until August, no plans shall be made, as much as I might want to make all the plans.

Scenes of an awesome summer mom

Our favorite Detroit City park

A safety town we got to bring our bikes to!

Joey and Malia at the'fire station'

My adventure crew...we've decided to name our van 'the adventurer' in case you were wondering

And, the best news from this week...
We booked Disney!
Disney at Christmas time, here we come.
Art of Animation.
Six Nights.
And I get to make dining reservations today!!!
Woot woot.

The reading doesn't have to stop here, head on over to http://thisaintthelyceum.org/ to read more quick takes!

Friday, June 2, 2017

7QT- It's summer, ya'll

I'm linking up with Kelly at This Ain't The Lyceum   to give you this week's quick takes.  Are you ready?
Summer is here, summer is here! #PTL (that means Praise the Lord).
We are quickly approaching full term status in this pregnancy, and it's been more and more difficult to manage everything that comes with two kids in school at different times, along with two kids at home.  Not to mention wake ups, quick breakfasts, making lunches, remembering forms (So.many.forms), etc...
I am so excited about the freedom summer brings us.

We made a summer bucket list.  We kept it VERY realistic (ten items and one bonus item).
We would like to go to 3 splash pads.
one family picnic
family movie nights with pizza
sprinkler twice a week
Greenfield village/Henry Ford once every two weeks
And maybe, as a bonus, legoland.

A few other things round out our list, but I do so love how simple my kids wishes are!

My number one list item...
Have a baby.

We also are putting together a chore chart for the oldest two. Keeping it very realistic. My sister Theresa had the best idea.
If the kids do their chore every day without being asked, at the end of the week they get a certain number of American dollars for allowance.
If the kids need to be reminded, they get less.
If the kids complain, they get even less (in our case, if they complain, they won't get the 'sticker' for the chore, so they will get nada, and still have have to do the chore).
Isn't that a cool idea?

I am keeping the chores very realistic.

Little A will have to 'watch' his brothers/sister downstairs for fifteen minutes, twice a day.
Wipe down the table and sweep the floor at the end of the night
#gross job
and something else...

Joey will empty the bathroom garbage in the morning.
Clean the toys that creeped up into the family room at night
and something else

Gosh, Malia has been hard for me lately.
I love her so much.
But two things.
Not only is she clingy, but she is climby.  If you would have told me prior to having kids, how hard it would be to have a kid who needs to climb on you 24/7, I would have said you were CRAZY.
But it's very hard.
And it's very hard when they insist on climbing on your stomach.

She is a sassy little character, and acts so naughty, or 'strong willed'.
Someone reminded me, she needs to be tough to handle all these boys... but omlowercase g, it might end me.

)gushy take to follow
Today is the 8th anniversary of Aaron and I's first date. This day is really important to me because it changed the course of my life.  I sometimes still can't believe where I'm at in life and how God's hand in it all is crystal clear. 
I've told you this before, but I've really married the best.
Two of our nephews and one of our nieces are being Confirmed today.
Aaron and I get to be Confirmation Sponsors for these two fine young men.
And they really are fine young men.
A couple of weeks ago, we got to take them out to dinner.
Frankly, it's so hard to spend time with our older nieces/nephews because we are usually trying to manage our own crew.  It was so nice to spend time with them.
Please say some prayers for Ralph, Warren and Adeline receiving the fullness of the spirit tonight.
It is 9:16 am and no one is dressed. All of my kids are in diapers or underwear. It's time for me to get a move on and bust out of this joint for a bit, so that at 3:16 pm, I don't want to hide in a corner and cry!
Have a great weekend.

The reading doesn't have to stop here, head on over to http://thisaintthelyceum.org/ to read more quick takes!

Friday, May 12, 2017

7 QT Marriage Debate, Clean ups and kid sports...

I'm linking up with Kelly at This Ain't The Lyceum   to give you this week's quick takes.  Are you ready?
Marriage debate...
And I know you guys are going to be on my side.
This morning, I said to Aaron, 'they live in our neighborhood', I was talking about people from the school my son goes to.
He HOTLY debated me.
He says our neighborhood is only our street and MAYBE 1 or 2 streets away from us.

I say our neighborhood is all the houses in a 1 mile square.  So, east to west (1 mile) and north to south (1 mile).  If you're familiar with Redford, we are in one of those very square areas, all the houses are right next to each other, no land in between.  

Who is right?

This is my last week of work until the baby comes, and I am going out in style.
1 Confirmation Evening of Reflection tonight.
2 back to back school retreats next week.
1 Confirmation Retreat next Saturday...
And then... maternity leave.
The break will be nice, I have no talks/retreats or workshops scheduled until September 23rd. Plenty of time for cocooning leading up to the birth, and recovery after the birth :)
And so it begins... Sports.
I gotta tell you moms of older kids, I don't know how you do it. I am so nervous about the addition of sports in our lives.  Not this year (obviously) it's only once, maybe twice a week, for five weeks.  But we had a practice till 7:00 pm on a school night, and I had to bring all the kids because Aaron was at a meeting. And we didn't get home till 7:30 pm, then we needed showers, and everyone was muddy.

I had a moment of almost panic, realizing, if we are going to have our kids in school, this is going to be our lives.
Aaron was excited playing football.  Seeing him so happy, made us so completely happy.  He was 'nervous in my stomach' (his quote) happy.

For mother's day, Aaron is cleaning out and organizing our laundry room.
You would be appalled at the shape it's in.
It's bad.
Real bad.
like, can't even really walk in it bad, cobwebs, spiders and gross stuff bad.
I will do a before and after, you will freak out.
Once the laundry room is done, we will only have one more room (the work room) in our basement to totally clean and our whole house will be whipped into shape.
So Excited.

Speaking of Mother's day.
I went to my first, 'mother's day breakfast' this morning with Little Aaron.
He was quite excited to take me.
They made muffins, sang songs, and made each mom a super thoughtful gift.
I cried because I am pregnant.
Aaron gets really concerned when I am crying.  It makes him cry too, which would be disastrous for this kindergarten young man.
So I quickly wiped my tears away and told him pregnancy does weird thing to you, like make you cry when you are happy..
And we moved on.
set to go to breakfast
love my little guy
The muffins he made and the coffee he promised me :)
All my boys are in big boy beds. John Paul made his official transition last night.
He loves his new bed.
It's crazy how quickly they are growing.
It's also crazy how much bigger a twin bed is than a toddler bed.
Let's just say the boys room is about filled to capacity.

I started Iron Infusions this week.
And I only have one thing to say about that...
GOSH do I love hospital crushed ice.
Nothin' like it. Where can I buy it? Besides Sonic and the Hospital?

The reading doesn't have to stop here, head on over to http://thisaintthelyceum.org/ to read more quick takes!

Friday, May 5, 2017

7 Quick Takes with all the outrage...

...just kidding outrage about dumb stuff is silly and I'm over it.

I'm linking up with Kelly at This Ain't The Lyceum   to give you this week's quick takes.  Are you ready?
 Aaron's sixth birthday was great fun.
I once again went with the semi-homemade cake reality.  I bought a frosted cake and made it into a dinosaur landscape as per the kid's request.  The only problem was some people thought the boulders were dino droppings... what are you gonna do?

I've been thinking a LOT about how the culture of outrage is changing us as a society.
I could give you nine million examples, but you are smart enough to know what I am talking about.
I am very much over the hysterics of headlines and people who play into them.  VERY.MUCH.OVER.IT.
Especially when real issues get ignored.
That is all.

Remember how I was all like, 'this pregnancy has been so awesome, zero problems'.
This pregnancy is awesome.
But I did find out I once again have Gestational Diabetes
and once again, I am severely anemic...
So, it's back to 2-5 appointments a week starting in next week.  This should be fun.
  Good thing we don't have three different school drop offs/pick ups daily to content with when arranging appointments/sitters/etc...

That said, my gosh, I am getting excited for the kid part.  We can't wait to welcome our fifth.
I find myself day dreaming about the quiet hospital stay.
Although it's a bummer to use most of my husband's vacation right out of the gate, I am so excited to have two weeks at home as a family adjusting to a life of seven people.
I can't wait for the bassinet to be right next to my bed, glancing over at a sleeping newborn in the middle of the night.
I find myself day dreaming about all of these things and more.
I'm nervous about going back to the work of a newborn, but gosh, I am excited for those first few weeks.

I've told you about the minimalism challenge right?  This week our family room and the boy's room got the 'deep clean'. I took EIGHT TRASH BAGS TO GOOD WILL.  Can you even imagine how much stuff we had that we don't need? 
While I was cleaning the boys room, deep in the corner of a closet, wrapped in a tube of cardboard I found this.
Our dear friend, and Aaron's godfather, gave us an Apostolic Blessing for our wedding day.  Right after we received the gift, in the chaos of getting married, we lost it.  It's bugged me since, because I want to frame it and hang it above the bed in our room.
For our anniversary this year, I will get it framed and hang it up.  What a blessing this gift is.

If you follow me on any type of social media, you know we had our first kid's first sport's practice this week. Little Aaron is starting flag-football and the whole house is excited for it.
But, just as we were about to leave for the practice and jersey pick up, I realized Aaron took the wrong van, and left me the wrong keys, so I couldn't take his.
We were stranded at home and had to miss the practice and jersey pick up.
Is this the saddest picture ever?
That's the kids, looking out the front door, willing daddy to come back with the van so we could leave, complete with football in hand.

The good news is, we will get his jersey before his first game on Sunday...
... and the practice was canceled apparently
... and it's kindergarten flag football, so it's not like all his dreams are crushed.

Yesterday, was Star Wars day at a local public library.
I thought it was at the Redford Library, because the internets said it was at the Redford Library.
So, being the kick a$$ mom that I am, I dragged all the kids out in the rain and we went to our library.
After running through the rain, soaking wet we entered the library, we realized there was no Star Wars happenings...
I pulled out my phone and realized the event was at a Detroit Public Library, Redford Branch (wth).
Discovering it wasn't that far, the kids and I ran through the rain and drove to the Detroit Public Library (which is VERY hard to find, so I circled around several times) Redford Branch.
Running through the rain to get into the second library, and soaking wet, it appeared this library also had nothing for Star Wars day.
Epic fail.
Right before we left, I thought to ask at the front desk.
She told me Star Wars Day was in a conference room.  Whew, there was something.
Turns out the something was two crafts my kids couldn't do (too complicated)
a bucket of broken crayons and coloring sheets
and a game of tic tac toe.

the library workers (maybe librarians) were awesome and dressed up.
Even though I promised the kids snacks, books, games, and other surprises...
They were totally content with the storm trooper.


The reading doesn't have to stop here, head on over to http://thisaintthelyceum.org/ to read more quick takes!

Friday, April 28, 2017

7QT about lyfe this week

I'm linking up with Kelly at This Ain't The Lyceum   to give you this week's quick takes.  Are you ready?
Tomorrow is Aaron Christopher Wilkerson II's 6th birthday.
I've decided it's all down hill from here.
5 was awesome.  As I told the pre-k teacher yesterday, 'they can wipe their own butts, dress themselves, put on their own shoes, it's awesome'.
But from this point on, he just begins the process of leaving me :/ #dramaticmuch

Why, hello 3rd trimester.
I am officially in the 3rd trimester.  Woot woot.
And, check it out...
...as of today I do not have gestational diabetes.
...for the first pregnancy ever, I do not throw up every day
...I have only gained 7 pounds
I know it's about to get rough, as only the 3rd trimester of pregnancy can, but for right now, I'll take it.
I know you've all been on the edge of your seat wondering what we are going to do for vacation next year.
After the feedback I got from those who read this blog, we decided against Europe. It's just not time yet.  The kids are entirely too young.  Five more years.  I can wait.
We've also decided against the Disney cruise.  It's an incredible amount of money and two of our kids won't even be able to use the pools- we are going to wait a couple years on that too.
It's back to Disney for the Wilkersons.  This time during the Christmas Season.  It's just the perfect place to go when one has five children who will be six and under.  The whole darn place is directed towards children, and right now for us, that's priceless.
We are excited!

Yesterday, Aaron started talking to me about Catholic High Schools and if they are on the table for us.
You guys, it will be such an incredible amount of money $$$$ and all at once, because our kids are so close in age.
But in six years, our little house will be paid for, so, in theory, if we stay here, we could do it.
And so, we will start planning for it now.

I told you a few weeks ago about the Minimalism Game I am a part of.
On day one, you get rid of 1 thing.
On day two, you get rid of 2 things.
On day three, you get rid of 3 things.
It's changing my life.
I have donated bags and bags of stuff to goodwill.  If we haven't used it in a year, we get rid of it.
Wanna see something embarrassing?
Here's the before and after of our bathroom sink drawer.  I seriously don't think I've emptied it since we moved in #gross.
The whole house is being whipped into shape and I love it.

Let me know if you want me to add you to the group on facebook for May. I promise, if your home needs organization, or just has too much 'stuff', you will LOVE it.

 Part of this challenge is helping me deep clean our bedrooms for the first time in a long time.
I leave the rooms to the weekend. Aaron has taken the kids out of the house, and I have busted butt to clean.  I have our room sparkling and Malia's room sparkling.
This weekend, the boys room is on tap.
The boys room is disgusting.
There has been sightings of at least 6 ants.
I hate ants.
But I'm gonna put on my big girl pants and get 'er did.

Malia is old enough to reach into our kitchen drawers.
And do things like empty them.
And take out markers and write all over things.
And run around the house with scissors when I'm not looking.

We've never had to child proof the drawers.  I, intentionally, do very little child proofing in our house, and usually it involves duct tape vs. the fancy gadgets meant to keep kids out.  That said, I might just have to, because it is SO annoying.

That's all I got for this week.
Have a great weekend.

The reading doesn't have to stop here, head on over to http://thisaintthelyceum.org/ to read more quick takes!

Friday, April 21, 2017

7QTakes give me your play advice and travel advice

I'm linking up with Kelly at This Ain't The Lyceum   to give you this week's quick takes.  Are you ready?
The kids have been on break all week.
I seriously can't decide if I am the mom who loves the kids on break, or prefers the kids in school :)
I am somewhere in the middle.  Probably more of the loving the kids on break type though.
Our van is in the shop. Which means we are grounded at home today.  Someone give me some suggestions of fun things to do to pass the day?  Not complicated or messy ones either. k? Thanks!

For some reason, I keep thinking 5 is going to be SO MUCH HARDER than 4 kids.
Not in practicality or our day to day tasks... I think we kind of have life figured out in that way.
But definitely in going places.
I don't know if it will be, but i keep thinking it will be.
And I figured out why.
You know how when someone has three kids, the joke is they are outnumbered?
I realized last night, at five, we will be hand out numbered.  We only have enough hands to hand hold four kids... and we are going to have five.  I think it's going to make travel tricky.

Speaking of travel... I am all starry eye'd thinking about travel in 2018.
To review.
We live in a small house (for 2017 standards) and we do so intentionally.  It allows us to do things we want to do, like travel and send our kids to Catholic schools.
Our travel budget is bigger than most families, but our house is smaller than most families... so don't judge :)
Okay, I feel better writing that.
Back to the starry eye'd planning.
We were saving this year to, in theory, take a 6 days Disney cruise as a family.  It seems like it would be so fun, and almost even relaxing, which is quite impossible with our kid's ages.
But Disney Cruises are CRAZY expensive, because we would need two rooms.
like, crazy expensive.
We realized, we could actually go to Europe for LESS THAN what we would pay for a Disney Cruise.
So then we started thinking, maybe we should bite the bullet and take our first European trip (on the list, Rome, Fatima, Ireland, Spain).
BUT THEN, we were thinking we could also go to Hawaii.
OR, we could do two pretty major USA vacations (several things on the table).

So we are trying to decide what to do. And it's so fun.  What would you do?
Aaron (husband) quote this morning...
"Don't start off cranky, you get one cranky day a week, and that was yesterday, so no cranky today"

We are late the party.  But Designated Survivor????  SO FREAKING GOOD.
It's got me thinking all kinds of 'what would I do?' type of things. HIGHLY recommend.
(by the way, we are only 7 episodes in, so if it ends up being a flop I will be seriously sad).

 This girl. God has been so good to our family.

If you're not familiar with the Rosary, it's a meditative prayer that helps the faithful move through the mysteries of faith using the intercession of the Blessed Mother.  No, it's not praying, 'to her' that would be silly, it's asking her to pray with with you.  And we ask people to pray with us all the time, and I think, sometimes, we specifically ask people of faith to pray with us.  So it makes total sense to ask the Blessed Virgin Mary to pray with us right?!?!  SUCH an amazing prayer.
You guys.
I've believe with my whole heart praying the Rosary is a crazy tool of protection for the family.
I believe it.
I know it.
And yet, the Rosary with my crew?  Um. No
I know some people who do it with little people (shout out Rakhi), but there was just no way I was going to attempt a 15-20 minute memorized prayer experience with my kids.
They'd be bonkers
I'd be yelling.
I just kept waiting for the 'right' time.
My friend Erin created this...
Now, here's the thing.  I've seen the concept before, but never geared towards children.  The 'Easter Bunny' brought one for the kids and this week we completed our first family ROSARY!  AND it was completely painless.  The kids enjoyed praying and moving the beads, and it's something we are easily able to add to our bedtime routine (just a decade, I ain't crazy)!

Check it, you need you to get you one.  Seriously.  First communion gifts, baptism gifts, family gifts... it's perfect. I HIGHLY recommend it and not just because Erin is my friend, but because I can't believe how awesome it was to pray the Rosary with my crew.
Comment on this or in social media if you want Erin to message you info on it!

The reading doesn't have to stop here, head on over to http://thisaintthelyceum.org/ to read more quick takes!