Well, that went quick

 

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Walking to school for the last time this year *sniff sniff*

So, the school year is done. Over. Complete. One of the many many things I love about our school is their traditions; I went to the annual end of year flag lowering and school-wide picnic today.  We now have a 1st grader and kindergartener, and one very anxious 2.5 yr old who insists on wearing a backpack with her extra underwear in it. I can’t believe another year has passed!

My big kids had an AMAZING year at school. They learned and grew so much! They loved their teachers and I never heard complaints about going to school. We had an awesome experience and great communication, and they had such good times!  We couldn’t have asked for a better fit this year.

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Making slime during the last week of school!

Lucy graduated from preschool last night.  She was so excited and had been counting for days.  They sang songs, got a special book that their teachers will write in every year, got a diploma, and of course there were snacks. Her final portfolio was very impressive, she’s a smart cookie, that’s for sure.  I didn’t cry, so that was a win.😉

Gabriel came home from his last day of kindergarten and while the girls were napping, raked up half of the neighbor’s grass clippings from their yard and put them in cans so he can ‘burn them later’.  Yeah, we are going to need to keep him busy this summer!!!

On to summer!

 

 

The ultrasound reveal

So we had our 20 week ultrasound today.  I talked to my brother Mitch way over on the other side of the world today, and I told him we had our ultrasound this afternoon, and that I was excited for it. His response?  ‘Sounds fun. You’re probably getting used to these things by now.’😉  I guess you could say that.  But really, getting a glimpse of your baby inside your womb is one amazing experience.  All the aches, pains, poor sleep and weight gain are worth it to see that tiny being kicking and punching away in there!

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‘Ninja’, as the kids call him/her

So the big reveal? There wasn’t one! HA! We’ve never found out the gender and of course didn’t want to for this baby either.  :) After all, getting the surprise of your baby’s gender after labor and delivery is so WORTH THE WAIT! (In my opinion anyways!)

 

The 3 kiddos, J, and Nana were along for the ultrasound. Nana and G predict a boy, and Nana tells me her predictions have been right with all 3 of our kids. L and A predict a girl. J has no idea, but was hoping for twins. I change my mind daily.  Gabriel thought the baby looked like a frog. Lucy thought it was a butterfly. The kids were bewildered by the fact that the gel was warm.  They weren’t sure what to think of the facial pictures that looked like something from Halloween.  We saw 10 fingers and 10 toes and a heart, kidneys, feet and hands, spine, long bones, etc. So neat! G thought the baby’s head was huge. If only he would have seen his own head at birth! Oh my….

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Of course they want another sister! Dresses for dayssssss

So, on we go into the 2nd half of this pregnancy. Hopefully it’s smooth sailing and my pelvis can keep it together (literally). And now I can reassure a few of my patients that it is indeed, only ONE baby, not triplets😉

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I didn’t ruin Mudder’s Day

Most moms I know still do all of their motherly ‘duties’ on the holiday that is set aside just for them. No one really just puts their feet up all day, although that’s what a lot of us would like to do! Most holidays I still am the 1st or 2nd one up (G sometimes beats me), and go about making breakfast, getting everyone ready, prepping food, yada yada yada. However, numerous times over the past year, I have been reminded by a certain middle daughter that I ‘ruined Mudder’s Day’ last year and every year before, because I didn’t stay in bed so she could bring me breakfast in bed, just like they do in the Berenstain Bears book. Oooookkkk. Point taken.  This year, the certain middle daughter crept into our room just after 6am and loudly whispered to J that it was ‘TIME TO MAKE BREAKFAST FOR MOM’, then promptly left for the kitchen.  I pretended to sleep for the next hour and was then greeted in bed with blueberry pancakes and a mug of orange juice to go along with my favorites, handmade cards by my kids! That is my absolute favorite!!!!

We spent the day with family and ended up with 3 very tired and cranky kiddos. Forcing a screaming 2.5 yr old through the shower at the end of a busy day is far from enjoyable.  Lucy also somehow got syrup in her hair, I had to trim Gabriel’s toenails because they were curling they were so long, and realized I didn’t have Gabriel’s 1950’s outfit ready for his music concert tomorrow night. Oye.

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Nana’s rhodedendrons!  Amelia was pouting…..  

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Someone’s tired!

And the most exhausting and gratifying Mother’s Day weekend project—this little gal is pretty much potty trained! Wahooooo!  The 3 day method rocks!  I guess the incentive of 32 pairs of underwear (where did they all come from?!) and an M&M for every effort the first day worked well. She’s doing so great and I’m incredibly proud of her! Yayyyy Amelia!!!! And yayyy no more diapers (for awhile anyways).  PS- I have a stack of well-loved cloth Bumgeinus 4.0’s for sale if anyone’s interested!😉

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She loves planting flowers

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you awesome moms out there! I’ve learned so much from so many moms, young and old, and one of those things is to take care of yourself. You all deserve love and appreciation, and a nap!

Rock on, moms.

 

 

A very wet birthday

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We had a few cupcakes. Kids were in charge of sprinkles, as you can see:)

We celebrated Lucy’s 5th birthday with a party *a bit* larger than I had anticipated. Being pregnant and all, I had thought about just having a few people over to celebrate and taking the simple way out. But Lucy is hardly a simple person, ya know.  Lucy really wanted this person, that person, that family, this class, etc., and we ended up with quite the crowd! It was a lot of fun and she exclaimed that night ‘This was the best birthday EVER!!’.

The original idea was to have a Pocahontas themed party with all kinds of nature/outdoorsy activities for all her little friends and cousins, ie nature scavenger hunt, outdoor pinata, outdoor games, etc. I made some cute invites on Canva and had them printed, which cost me less than $9 total. WIN.

Then, it RAINED. A lot. All. Day. Long. Monsoon-style rain.

I ended up scrambling for indoor games on the morning of the party that could be contained in the amount of space that we had in the enclosed shelter. So we did balloon games, a toilet paper outfit game, and, my pride and joy project for the last week, a giant PINATA!!!  I filled it with a ton of candy and was happy when allll the kids got at least 2 swings apiece before it was shredded. Some of those kids were strong! Pinata win!!!

I did just snack foods, and a whole lotta cupcakes.  Mini corndog muffins, make your own fruit/marshmallow kebabs, fruit salad, chips, lemonade.  20160430_135009.jpg

The front tassel garland was a tutorial I found online made from tissue paper and twine (way more time consuming than I thought but super cute!) and I made these cute little arrows for the skewers.  It’s amazing what a little hot glue and construction paper does!!!

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I’m not one to spend a lot of money on a birthday party, and this one was done quite frugally, which I was thrilled with.   The dollar tree, Aldi, and my time was the supplier to this shindig. I think it turned out great!  I’m getting to really enjoy planning kids’ birthday parties (see Lucy’s 4th and Gabriel’s 6th party posts).  Next up; G’s 7th…at 6 months pregnant…Oiy!

HAPPY 5TH BIRTHDAY LUCY!

 

 

To Lucy, on your 5th birthday

Girl, you’ve got IT. You’ve ALWAYS had it. You were BORN with it. No one really knows where you get it. But we LOVE it, and we LOVE you!

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Age 3, first winter at the new house

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9 months old, going swimming for the first time!

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Age 3, Vacation bible school

5 whole years have went by since you made your dramatic and 3 week-early surprise appearance into this world.  When you were born you looked exactly like I thought you would, and 100% opposite from Gabriel. You have been a fighter from the first hour you were born, but that’s another whole post. No one’s been the same since.😉

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A few days old, at home

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1 year old!

I hope you always know what a ray of light you are in our world, and how precious you are. Not a day goes by when you don’t make me laugh. You are smart, witty, creative, intuitive, artistic, friendly, social, animated, girly, and cool. You are so fun!

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Age 2, watching canoers

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Age 3, leading a calf at the fair

You get upset when someone won’t be your friend. You sing. ALOT. You are not the quickest person to get ready in the morning. One of your favorite jobs is to run the steam mop. You don’t like to know what kind of meat you are eating, because you are ‘friends with all the animals’.  You put on shows and performances all the time. You are not so good at catching a ball.  You can sound out words and write books.  If you hear something, you remember it, and often times repeat it.

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Baptism day, 2 weeks-ish old

You have many people wrapped around your finger, but we won’t mention names…..

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Park stop on a road trip, age 3

You could sit and color, draw, make books and signs alllll dayyyy.  You LOVE school and can’t wait to be a kindergartener next year because then you get to go to school ALL day. You want to learn to play the piano. Sidewalk chalk is your thing. The murals never stop!  You can be very particular about how you want something done. You love accessories and jewelry and Jamberrys and lip gloss and *bling*.

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The accessories never stop…..age 3

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Age 4, new haircut

I hope you never lose IT. The self confidence with everything you do and say. The perseverance. The contentment. The ability to rock glasses at the age of 2, with style. The thirst for knowledge and questioning. The compassion you show to people and things. The bravery and gumption to do things that are scary and new. The love of learning. The love of your body and looks.  The satisfaction with life and what you have. The assertiveness that gets you what you want, and sometimes gets you in trouble. The ability to rationalize. The ability to remember events and facts spoken months ago that most other people don’t remember.  The creativity. The complete uniqueness that is YOU.  The smile that lights up a room!

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One of my FAVORITE pictures of Lucy; 5 or so months old, at a cross country meet, obviously.

You have a younger sister who looks up to you, and is starting to want to be just like you. You have another younger sibling on the way, and I have no doubt you will love that baby with all your heart. You have an older brother who admires your confidence and bravery, but sometimes wants to whack you around with a light saber, or smear mud all over your face. Don’t worry, he still loves you😉 You have a family full of people who love the heck out of you and love watching you grow up!

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4th birthday party

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Age 4, covered in pink frosting at a steak fry

Lucy girl, happy 5th birthday. Keep rockin’ IT!

-Your Mom!:)

 

 

 

16 weeks and 10 inches less

My pregnancy app tells me that I have 23 weeks and 4 days left in this pregnancy, so that means I am 16 weeks and 3 days along. Wow, this is going fast!  We tried to get a pic of my baby belly today because I was feeling like I looked somewhat put together and the bump is for sure growing!  It took several tries….

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But we eventually got a decent one…

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In other news, Lucy went from THIS every morning:

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to this much shorter, sassier, and more easily manageable hairstyle today:

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She cut 10 INCHES off to donate to Pantene’s Beautiful Lengths campaign which provides free wigs for cancer patients.  I did some research and talked to some people who have done it and we decided this is the organization to go with.  We have been talking for a few months about doing this and she agreed to it. I think she did comprehend the magnitude and kindness of donating hair to someone who has lost theirs and was excited to get it cut!  My mornings just got a heck of a lot easier and she LOVES it!  No more (or hopefully less) hair in her food, in other people’s food, her mouth, caught in toys, slammed in the door, or my least favorite; hair IN HER FACE AND EYES.  I think this new style fits her perfectly!!!!

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She’s thrilled!

Other fun pics from our week:

I caught a quite interesting looking creature in the basement on Thursday night. After researching, I realized it was a peculiar looking house centipede and sent it in a secure jar to school on Friday. Apparently, it was a hit.  Although it died by lunchtime, L’s class got a good look at it, and G’s class did a whole science lesson based on it!  I’m just hoping it didn’t have any young’ins while it was dwelling it our basement. *SHIVER*

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G with the centipede on the Zoomiez

Amelia is getting to be quite the cyclist.  She rides her trike and 2 and 4 wheeled scooters outside like nobody’s business, and some mornings gets to ride her trike around the basement when I’m also biking. It’s quite the entertainment😉

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And lastly, because I’m sure he will thank me for this someday……Gabriel didn’t want to feel left out of the girly nail salon we had going this afternoon, so he set up his own station to paint his sister’s and cousin’s nails.  He does refuse to have his own nails painted, which is completely fine, but I did snap this pic before he could protest because I think it’s a little bit cute:)  He is quite the artist, after all.

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-The Costello’s

Why Easter is great

First and foremost, Easter is amazing for what it is. Christ died on the cross for our sins. He died so that we may live! That is AMAZING. We heard the reading of the Passion at Mass on Friday, and then came home and watched ‘The Passion of the Christ’ on Good Friday. That is a heart-wrenching film. You can hear the story, read the words, but seeing it put into life is yet another thing.  If anyone believes that Easter is solely about bunnies and eggs, they need to watch this film. You will never be the same, or think of Easter the same way.

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Gabriel wanted to draw the other day. This is what he ended up with. I was pretty awe-struck as he did this all without guidance or suggestion. Both angels are ‘the Angel Gabriel’, his favorite, of course!

That being said, we do still give the kids Easter baskets and do some egg hunts, but just try to keep the focus a bit deeper. This year I took the easy route and ordered their gifts online. No candy (umm, that’s Mommy’s bag of Cadburys…), but they were stoked nonetheless. And honestly, I was kind of surprised when they got up this morning and didn’t say a thing about the Easter bunny for a good while until one of them must have stumbled over the Easter bags😉

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Simple Easter bags and checkers game. G is a checkers prodigy!

2. FAMILY. Easter family get togethers are great! After a long winter, it’s so nice to get together and see everyone, and eat a TON of good food (happy to be wearing stretchy pants today, ahem…).  We had a get together last weekend and today. The kids absolutely ADORE several of their older cousins, uncles, aunts, and it is so fun and heartwarming to see.

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3. Easter means it is *almost* spring! Yayy! Saying that, I froze in the dress I wore this morning and the high was in the 40’s and raining. Brrrrr.  However, the kids have been making the rounds on their bikes, the neighborhood kid gang has returned to the treehouse, they’ve been playing outside more (hooray!!!), and enjoying the longer days. They also have enjoyed a lot of soapy water:

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HAPPY EASTER!!!!

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-The Costellos

 

My favorite time of the week

Who doesn’t love Fridays? Friday night is probably my favorite times of the whole week. Our Friday nights have definitely changed, even from a year ago!

Awhile ago I read a blog by one of my favorite bloggers, Catholic All Year, about creating and building your own unique family culture.  That, combined with starting a ‘Pray for Cameron’ group on facebook to support Uncle C in his seminarian quest, and we decided months ago to start praying a weekly family rosary.  Friday is the day.  The kids were all ‘What’s a rosary?’, ‘Can we just watch the movie instead?’, ‘What are all these beads for?’

But guess what? 6, 4, and 2 year olds have a very hard time sitting through an entire rosary. So we decided to modify it and just try a decade a week.

IT WORKED!!!!

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The kids actually *look forward* to rosary time on Fridays! We eat dinner, clear the table, and then sit down together for the rosary.  The decade takes about 10 minutes, and everyone actually follows along pretty well, especially G and L, which makes my heart happy.  :) J has an app on his phone that leads us through it too, which the kids like.  This has been a great way to help our kids learn different prayers, and a habit of family prayer, something we had struggled to get started for some time.

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J, S, G, L, A

Each person has their own rosary, many of which were gifts and the one on the left (J’s) is handmade! Amelia even has her own!!

After this we always have family movie night on Friday nights. The kids somehow always snuggle up on the big couch togther, and J and I are stuck on the loveseat.  Tonight we are watching ‘Daddy Day Care’. I try to pick something that isn’t terribly boring for J and I and appropriate for kiddos. Sometimes….that’s a challenge!

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Movie time!

If you are Catholic, or even if you’re not, setting a regular time to pray the rosary with your kids is amazing!  I highly recommend it.  It has really worked for us.

Back to the movie and ice cream now….:)

-The Costellos

 

Another week in the books

Well, it’s March, in Iowa, with a mama who’s pregnant, and there’s end of winter germs EVERYWHERE. Add that up and what do you get? Kids passing around stomach flu in the Costello house, apparently! How fun! *note extreme sarcasm* (Disclaimer: at least we haven’t gotten what else is going around area schools lately — strep, mono, pneumonia, Flu A, etc etc…..knock on wood)

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Can we just be done with this yet?! 

My last week has went something like this: Amelia sick Wednesday, absolutely FINE on Thursday, sick Friday (at least she lined it up with days that I’m home anyways…). Lucy sick Saturday early morning, which meant her and I had to stay home while the rest of the crew enjoyed the annual St Patrick’s Day parade Costello float and dinner without us. Waaaa! She was sobbing because she couldn’t go; I was sad too! I knew G and A would have so much fun, and was sad not to be there to watch them enjoy it, because really, that’s the best part. But here’s some cute pics my husband was kind enough to send me:

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On the good news side of things, my nausea and food aversions finally seem to be letting up. I’m back to cooking (some things) and have even had a few servings of meatloaf and hamburger! Can’t look at pizza quite yet though… My appetite is returning and so is my tolerance of vegetables. Although I can never get enough of this, ever. Just ask my coworkers:    ;)   There’s one in the work fridge at all times!

2% Low Fat Cottage Cheese (22 oz.)

Eat ALL the cottage cheese!

My friend Ally’s recipe for green smoothies has also been a hit for me lately. No it doesn’t make any sense that I can down this and not other things. Yes, it is good.

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Sunday I got a nice reprieve from kid sickness and dirty laundry (although everyone was better by then) and after church/Sunday school got to go kid clothes shopping (Lucy replies ‘I am NOT a fan of that dress.’  Well then…..), book club (Lucy in tow, of course. She’s a book club fanatic), along with a *kid-free* trip to Aldi (Thanks Aunt Mel!!). This is a treat, folks! But honestly, I felt kind of lonely at the store! No one to talk to or tell to grab this-or-that for me off the shelf. Lucy had a much better time doing what she does best with Aunt Mel:

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Shopping!

Had another midwife appointment today. 12.5 weeks. You know you’re a frequent flier when the midwife knows your work schedule and can almost read your mind as far as consent for tests. No thanks, quad screen.😉 Heartbeat 150’s, I have no idea how that compares to my other babies, but he/she was moving all around in there! And my belly’s already quite visible (or just too many prunes?):

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Excuse my expression and closet mess. This photo was originally intended for a message my sister for an outfit opinion…

Yesterday was Lucy’s kindergarten round up. Honestly, feel like we just did this! I can’t believe it has been a whole year since G entered kindergarten, and now it’s Lucy’s turn. Lucy is more than ready and had been counting the days for a whole week prior.  G is looking forward to being a first grader, and is starting to enjoy reading! HOORAY!!!!!!!

Adios!

-The Costellos

 

Good and Bad

It all started last week when Lucy had yet another appointment with her orthopedist.  They had let us go without seeing them for 9 months prior to this appointment, a luxury, as for awhile it had been every month.  We have been dealing this this bone cyst in her left humerus for ALMOST 2 YEARS. In short, here’s how it all began and here’s a link to her surgery story.  We’re at the appointment, and I’m filling out an updated health history and keeping an eye on Amelia, and Lucy goes alone for xrays with the tech. I hardly batted an eye; ORA is huge, but Lucy has been there so many times I think she could probably take an xray herself.  We wait for awhile, then Dr Pyevich comes in. He gets right to the point, “I have good and bad news. Which do you want first?”.  My heart kind of dropped.  Turns out, they were both good news!!! Good: the bone looks AWESOME and the cyst has remained completely filled for the past several visits. The chance that it could return is almost nothing.  Bad: Dr Pyevich doesn’t get to see Lucy anymore!  He high-fived her and we were outta there.  I told Lucy hopefully that was *the last* time she would ever have to frequent ORA in her lifetime.  But she doesn’t think it’s so bad, as she gets stickers at each visit and doesn’t see me shell out the $35 copay at each visit!  I pretty much skipped to the car:)

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We also ventured to the dentist last week for kids’ 6 month checkups. Good: Via the exam, Lucy’s teeth looked great and Gabriel’s did too.  Bad: Via the xray, Lucy’s teeth looked great and Gabriel had a cavity😦  First one, between the back 2 teeth, so good thing they did the xray.  Scheduled a followup to fill the cavity for a week later (today).  We went today and G was a champ!  He was most upset about having to leave school early. Apparently library is one of his favorite things! He was a bit concerned about the numb feeling in his face, but once he realized it was wearing off, he was much less worrisome. Oddly, Lucy enjoys the dentist. She spent the last several minutes of her appointment viewing the hygienists’ wedding gown and bridesmaids dresses on her iPhone. Sheesh.

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Just making ourselves at home at the dentist…

Good: my belly is growing (quite quickly it seems) and I’ve given in to the comfort of wearing maternity pants, yoga pants, and stretchy skirts for the rest of this pregnancy. I scored a few shirts for 44 cents each the other day (yes you read that right!) that should carry me through until I have to wear all maternity, all the time. Bad: see above😉

Bad: Amelia and I were up from midnight to 2:30 last night with her hugging a bucket. I didn’t get enough sleep, and neither did she.  Changing sheets in the middle of the night is a bear anyways, but when they are covered in you-know-what, and you’re trying not to wake the other 2 sleeping kiddos in the room, it’s a beast. Keeping her home this morning meant my grocery run was cancelled, and this mama is HUNGRY. Good: the bug/bad food/whatever *seems* to be short lived. She’s been pretty good today and is sleeping now.  Hopefully this will be one of those things that are here and gone quickly. In the meantime, I’ve got sheets to wash…

Bad: Lucy and Gabriel have each gotten a love note home from school this year. Gabriel’s was in February from a girl he plays with and walks partially home with, and he brought it home all folded up in his pocket like a real man, acting like he was secretly proud of it. Lucy’s was from a little boy in her class and she showed it to me first thing when she got home today. It read ‘Lucy so cool’ and I’m pretty sure I saw ‘love you’ amongst the letters.  I’m not sure how to feel about this whole idea. Good (?): my kids are likeable and have friends(?!)

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Good: my school kids had awesome spring pictures!!!! Bad: WHERE DID MY LITTLE KIDS GO? Especially, who is that MAN in the picture?!

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-The Costello’s