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.


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 😉


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.


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:




-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.



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.


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!


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)


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:


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.


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:



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?):


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!!!!!!!


-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 🙂


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.


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(?!)



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


-The Costello’s




So I realized that other than my most recent post, I had not blogged since mid-January. Whoops.Guess I’ve got some catching up to do!


Caught her reading to her baby. Does it get any more precious than this?!

I’ve been MIA because I have felt like complete junk for the past 7 weeks. Apparently even though this is our 4th, things don’t always get easier. The ‘morning sickness’ AKA ‘all day and nighttime too sickness’ plagued me HARD from weeks 4 though 9.5. Harder than I ever recall with the other 3.  I pretty much lived off of bananas, protein bars, yogurt and chicken for quite some time. I made it through work days, and days at home, busy with the kids, but it was no walk in the park.  Then, suddenly I didn’t feel like death every morning and I wasn’t waking at 2am every night with a stomachache. I can look at red meat again (let’s not go so far as to eat it yet though) and I am able to go into a restaurant and not have to breathe through my mouth.  So at least that’s better.


I finally started feeling better last week, so thought it was appropriate to make a Friday Lenten meal of spinach salad, sweet potato fries, parmesan brown rice, and  soy-brown sugar salmon. I may have overdone things a bit….

We took the kids to the first actual midwife appointment so that they could be in on the first ultrasound. I had warned them that the baby wouldn’t look like a ‘baby’ yet, and our midwife explained that he/she would probably look like a gummy bear. I thought that was pretty accurate 🙂  We could see the tiny heart fluttering and I measured within 2 days of what I suspected. The miracle of life is completely AMAZING and awe-inspiring.  It never gets old seeing that baby on the screen, no matter how many kids you have had!


G and L have suggested some very interesting names for #4. My favorites include ‘Ninja of the night’, Blaster, Flash, Jet Boy, Sissy, Crystal, Jesta. Don’t ask me where this comes from.  Gabriel is pretty adamant that it’s a boy, however, because he would prefer a brother at this point. Lucy is just ecstatic that we are going to have another little one for her to mother and nurture. Amelia loves talking about ‘new baby’ but prefers the 30 baby dolls that she sleeps with at the moment.  I’m sure she’ll come around 😉


Fun at the farm show

We have gotten a lot of fun things in lately, despite my feeling less than stellar.  We checked out the Farm Show back in January, the kids loved it!  We spent a weekend away at Lake Wapello State Park (dubbed Iowa’s country club) in a 2 bedroom modern cabin.  No TV, no radio, lots of snow. It was fabulous. We went hiking, sledding, made a campfire in the snow, and explored the park. We were the ONLY people there. Kind of nice, kind of creepy.  On the day that it snowed 6 inches, we took in a movie and visited a new church. Great times!!!


We ventured out ice fishing one weekend with 5 kids and 4 adults. That was an adventure. We didn’t catch anything, probably because the fish were scared out of their minds by the 2 four year olds chopping at the ice with shovels, or due to the fact that there is now 1 spade floating under the ice somewhere at Bennett Park due to someone’s (ahem, Uncle C) slippery hands.  I spent most of the adventure like this due to the fact that it was naptime and someone wasn’t having it:


Hoping to get into a routine of blogging weekly or every other week with our family adventures this spring, 4th pregnancy musings, and my ever growing belly (which also, by the way, apparently grows quicker with each pregnancy and I have no shame saying I’ve already busted out the stretchy pants!)


‘Mom. I mix?’  Her favorite job in the kitchen!

-The {feeling a bit better} Costellos