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I’m not sure I’ve ever had a kid SO excited to have a birthday.

Lucy got 4 day stretch of birthday celebrating, and I think she enjoyed it thoroughly. She had only been talking about her 6th birthday for 364 days, so one can imagine how overjoyed she was when it finally came into fruition.

Wednesday was her actual birthday. She literally woke up with a smile on her face. She had a great day at school and EVERYONE knew it was her birthday. The little girls and I delivered birthday treats at the end of the day. We made rice krispie bars, cut them in squares, dipped in chocolate and sprinkles, then stuck a stick in them. The quickest birthday treat ever! They were quite a hit!

On Friday G and L, along with many other kids, were featured at an area college’s art show. L was super stoked about this, because she has declared she will be an artist when she grows up. Love it! As of last week she was going to be a police gal/veternarian combo, which is also good 😉 They also had 3-act kids play after the art show that was really cute. And there were cookies. Win-win. We had to have a lengthy discussion about college, what it is and who goes there, and why Daddy’s face was pictured on the wall from some 14 years earlier when he was a student there.

Saturday was another big day for Ms L. Dance pictures in the morning, and I do have to say I was quite proud of my mad double french braiding skills! She’s in dance and tap, and one of their songs is a version of Yankee Doodle, hence the red/white/blue costume. Her long awaited birthday party was in the afternoon and it was cold and raining! Seems that her birthday is destined for this, as we had the same problem last year at her party…..you can read that HERE. We had planned for a ‘treehouse party’, but ended up just doing games in the treehouse and the rest indoors. It was SO COLD (for April). She had requested a chocolate cake and pink frosting, and I tried to fancy up the sides a little bit, and that technique has now become requested by G for his 8th birthday. My kids are easily impressed I guess……Can I say that edible gold glitter makes anything appear extra fancy as well?! She got many nice gifts, but her favorite? A recordable tweeting bird that she carries around CONSTANTLY. Her name is Bonnie. HA!

If you want a good read, hop over and read Lucy’s birth story. Gets me teary. every. time.

Lucy is currently up sleeping off her birthday, with Bonnie keeping watch over her on her vanity, LOL. 6 year olds still need naps, you know. We’ve got another busy week (last week was a doozy!) of everything from baseball games to (yet another) eye doctor trip, dance lessons and a long overdue date night (wahoo!!!) Have a great week!

 


Easter is Awesome {2017 Version}

He is Risen!

 

 

Another Easter is in the books.  We pulled into the driveway tonight and Lucy sighs and says, “Well this was a great Easter day!” Yes, yes it was!

Not really the most important point of the day, but I did get the Easter outfits finished in time {whew}, so I thought I’d share! I cannot take any credit for the dress idea, it came from HERE. I wish I could do sewing like this more than once a year, I do enjoy making them stuff!

I got Mr. Gabriel to wear this tie by using the ‘mom guilt’. It goes something like this: ‘This Mom really wants a NICE pic of her 4 kids at Easter in the outfits she worked SO HARD to make them. So you WILL wear this tie to church. Mmmkk?’ This works on him, so I believe I still have a soft spot in his heart.

His tie was made from a tutorial I found HERE that I modified quite a bit. Shirt and pants: Children’s Place.  Shoes: Target.  Handsome devilish grin: his father. 😉

Lucy’s dress was the first I made of the group and turned out probably the best of the 3 dresses.  She’s a size 6 now and tall, so I’m learning I have to make things longer for her and actually didn’t get the skirt as long as I wanted, but I think it still looked nice. There were two new-to-me elements in these dresses: french seams and pleats, yeah I’m a novice. Shoes: Walmart (they are way too big so she stuffed a sock in the toes–shhh). Glasses: Rayban (what else?!) 😉

Pleats, pleats, pleats!!

Did a smile ever look so forced? What a clown. Amelia got to pick out the colors for the dresses this time around and she was REALLY looking forward to wearing her Easter dress.  Her shoes are hand me down from Lucy, and the brand name is wore off :-\ Her bracelet is a souvenir gift from California 😉

And the munchkin.  The first version of the dress I made her I could not even get over her head! Grrr. Back to the drawing board. I ended up basically making her an elasticized skirt that looked similar to the big girls’ pleated dresses and a little sash too.  Worked much better as I could just slide it up over her onesie. I cannot believe how darn cute she is!!! And everything else she’s wearing is hand me downs haha!

I found this site to be quite precious!

This is my new FAVORITE PICTURE OF ALL TIME.

And these are the bunny baskets made by my very talented Dad! I literally showed him a pic of something similar 2 weeks ago and these were 100% done on Thursday! Are they not just the cutest thing ever?! He’s taking orders for next year!!! (And I’m totally serious on that one!) My plan is to get their names on each one using vinyl and a Cricut or something by next year, but for now I just used some yarn and a piece of paper.

HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE!

 

How We Do: Making it to Mass

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Truer words were never spoken.

Anyone who has many young kids will commiserate relate to this post. I should add a disclaimer that we really value and usually enjoy taking our kids to Mass. It’s just that it is a HUGE effort many days. But well worth it in the end we hope!

There is some kind of phenomenon that goes on at our house on Sunday mornings. There are days during the week that J leaves for work at 6am and I’m out the door with 4 kids dressed, fed, and ready for school by 7:40am, and I make it to work on time too! (Of course there are those other days….) But then Sunday rolls around. Sometime getting out the door by 8am is a serious feat. Sometimes I do the girls’ hair at church. Sometimes I get a shower. Sometimes I’m not sure why everyone has such issues/meltdowns/mellowdrama/wardrobe malfunctions on Sunday mornings.

Here’s how we attempt to do Sundays. Key word: attempt.

Saturday nights sets the stage, we have a kind of routine. You know, the ‘ol everyone gets a bath on Saturday night routine. Yeah, we embrace it.  All the kids take showers, simultaneously in both bathrooms. The girls are downstairs and G is upstairs alone, lest anyone see him in a towel *shriek*.  J is usually doing dinner cleanup or cooking or prep, depending on how crazy our Saturday was. I get the girls in the shower and then start Ruth’s bath in her baby tub on the counter. I turn that water off and jump back over to the shower to wash, rinse, condition, and rinse hair again… x2 while Ruth chews on the shower curtain. I give Ruth her bath while the other girls head upstairs to get jammies on. I head after them with a wet oily baby.

Once jammies are on, we pick out tomorrow’s clothes. This is something I’ve done for several years now, almost daily.  During the week, I lay out the kid’s clothes and that’s that. On Sundays they always seem to have an opinion or want to match, so we discuss, then set them out. I pick out Lucy and Amelia’s clothes (almost always dresses) and lay out tights or whatever goes with it, lay out Ruth’s outfit, and then usually pick out what I’m going to wear. I used to always lay out Gabriel’s clothes, especially on Sundays, but he’s to the point where he can do this himself. All we ask is that he wear a collared shirt and his church shoes. It usually matches 80% of the time, so he’s doing well 😉 This makes the morning SO much better as the kids immediately get dressed when they wake up. However, Amelia always has a meltdown. Usually a zipper she can’t reach or the fact that she can’t get her lip balm open (because that’s a Sunday necessity…for her), or she can’t reach her shoes in the window seat. *sigh* It’s ALWAYS something.

I always set my alarm for earlier on Sundays, with a vision of a restful night’s sleep, waking to prepare a hearty delicious breakfast for my family, then gracefully donning a cute outfit and skipping off to church with 4 squeaky clean and smiling kiddos. *Ahem* This DOES NOT HAPPEN.

Instead of actually getting up at 6:30 when my alarm goes off, it’s usually closer to 7:00 or 7:15 because my brain just never turns on on Sundays. ‘SLEEP!’ it says. This is almost always the only day of the week that Ruth will actually sleep this late. It’s like Murphy’s Law of Sundays. I don’t get it. Even if we do get up on time it still looks something like this:

So I dart out of bed and go to the kid’s rooms and turn on light, hollering ‘good morning’ and ‘time to get up for church!’. They do usually get up and get dressed pretty quickly. I rush around in the bathroom, alternating holding a fussing baby with J. Did you know that it IS possible to put on makeup and brush teeth all while holding a baby? But it is NOT possible to put on socks, put up hair, or put in contacts while holding said baby? Yes, moms do have their limits.

We send the kids downstairs to snag some breakfast while we finishing getting ready and it’s like WWIII. Why are we out of butter? Gabriel won’t get me a bowl! The door shut on my finger! My hair is in the syrup! Mom, I think my tights are on backwards! Sheesh. I’m telling you, Sundays only.

I finally get myself and Ruth dressed and J goes downstairs to corral the troops. Usually they’ve fought long enough that they each get 2 bites of some form of food. We tell them they can have a donut after church, just get in the car. Usually around this time Ruth will spit up all over me or I realize that she spit up sometime in the last 20 minutes. Again, Murphy’s law. G goes out to start the car while the girls get ready to go out the door. J is announcing ‘we have 5 mins until we need to leave!’ as if a time countdown is going to help. We’re going to leave when we’re going to leave. I don’t think there’s any helping this situation. We put Ruth into her carrier and she immediately starts screaming. She’s hungry. She probably last ate at 5, so it’s about time to eat again. Paci to the rescue.

We get everyone into the car and the bigs buckle themselves in the back while we buckle Amelia and put Ruth’s carrier in. Off we go. I multitask and pump while J drives and eat a protein bar. It saves a lot of time, people. Don’t ever look too closely into others’ cars. Just sayin’.

The kids whine for the 13 miles about being hungry. Luckily I usually grab a few ziploc bags of cereal on my way out the door so I toss them in the back. This makes them happy and I think they secretly put on the WWIII show in order to just eat dry cereal in the car and a donut after Mass. It’s all a ploy…. Ruth usually cries halfway there, then falls asleep.

We get to church, on time. I always breathe a sigh of relief right about here. We get in, take a seat. Then Ruth wakes up. J or I give her the bottle that I thoughtfully packed ahead (AHA! moment a few months ago when I finally figured this out–it only took me 4 kids to realize that if I didn’t want to leave Mass every. single. week to find a distraction-free place to nurse, that I should just bring a bottle of pumped milk. A lot easier than messing with siblings bumping her head or distracting her or messing with a cover.

Our kids are usually pretty good in Mass. But it’s taken a loooooonng time to get to this place and it surely wasn’t always like this, and we definitely still have our days. I took all 4 kids ONCE by myself and I gave out more side-eyes and ‘sshhhhh!!’ than I can count. Taking kids alone is not for the faint of heart!

Jeremiah says it’s not all that bad on Sundays. Maybe I just have too high of expectations. Either way we always make it, so that’s good! Just hoping others can relate to the Sunday morning craze. #thestruggleisreal

 

Friday Five: 3/31/17

1) Baby in B’gosh bibs; it just doesn’t get much cuter than this! How can you look at this picture and not smile?!!? This beefcake is on the grow lately. She’s been waking at night to eat again (not my favorite) but is packing on the pounds and she’s not short on appetite. She’s up 2 lbs from about 3 weeks ago (closing in on 18lbs!!!), and she’s eating everything in sight. But who could say no to THAT FACE?!

2) Latest masterpiece from our resident artist came home yesterday. I thought J was going to burst at the seams as he was so enamored by this little paragraph. But check out Ruth’s RED hair, J’s facial hair and our coordinating outfits. Can I just say that I love that Lucy always always always draws herself in glasses. 🙂

3) This book:

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I’ve read a lot of parenting books. I finished this this week, and it is now one of my favorites. A lot of practical, real world relatable information. The premise of the book as you might gather from the cover, is getting kids to be grateful for what they have, to learn to work hard to get to where they want in life, learn that they are not entitled to anything, teaching absolute truths, creating a Christ-centered home, and living counter-culturally, which we are fond of in the Costello house. I should be getting paid for this rave review, but alas, it’s just my opinion 😉

4) So I bought my son baseball cleats today. SIZE 4.5. What the what?! Why is he so big? His is the black shoe, mine is the blue. We can practically share socks. (perk??)

5) The day has finally come. I registered our 3rd-born for preschool today. She is insanely excited to go to school. We’ve been working on writing her name, shapes, etc….the usual preschool stuff. She’s all about it. She still doesn’t grasp that she has another 5 months until she actually gets to GO to school, and the suspense is killing her! 😉

One of these days I’ll get around to writing about something other than Friday Fives…..but for now, that’s all I got.

Have a great weekend!

 

 

Pics, ‘yo

I’m not a gangsta, so the title to this blog post seems inappropriate. But I couldn’t come up with anything more clever than ‘A week in pictures’. Blah.

I took a lot of pictures this week. Here’s some to look at. If you’re bored. 😉

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Ruth still sleeps swaddled. Or she did until Wednesday. I took this picture Sunday prior. Baby is growing up *gulp*

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Lucy is has a future in Hallmark cards. She writes us these notes. I keep them all and they’re taped around our bathroom mirror because they make me happy. This one reads “The love in you makes me laugh with joy”. Note her name written in cursive.

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Mel sends me a parody about wearing ‘activewear’ at times other than exercising. Like shopping, cooking, getting coffee. I send her this shot back. Eating chips and salsa while wearing ‘activewear’. Although I did run this day, so it’s ok right?

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The Easter Dress sneak peak. EEEEKKKK!!!! They’re totally twirlable. I just have Ruth’s to finish and have to make G a tie.

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Amelia enjoys feeding Ruth. It’s stinking adorable.

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Eye doctor visit #251 (or so it seems) for Lucy. She clocked 20/20 vision in BOTH EYES (with glasses)! We celebrate. She’s cleared to only patch 2 hrs once a week. YAHOO!!! Back in another 6 weeks….

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Amelia likes to make sure that Ruth has any and ALL toys on her lap at once. She thinks this is hilarious.

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Another Hallmark card appears. “You are like the ocean that is blue”. This kills me.

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Early Thursday morning at my clinic before the crazy begins. It was a busy one and business is good!  I do love being a PT!

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Gabriel got a PERFECT SCORE on his spelling test!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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We met Abby Brown from IPTV PBS kids!!! She’s super nice and the kids loved meeting a ‘celebrity’. I think G secretly has a crush on her 😉

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Giant camping chair at Bennett’s Family Literacy Night. Our school is the best, there’s no doubt about it!

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Jeremiah made 12 lbs of corned beef, 10 lbs of potatoes, 2 heads of cabbage, 3 bags of carrots, and 2 onions for his coworkers at school for Saint Patrick’s Day. Go big or go home.

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I feel like spring is here. Kids are outside a lot more. Gabriel’s friend’s bikes keep appearing in our yard. Sometimes for days. Sometimes overnight. Sometimes lots of Nerf guns too.  The door is always for him. It’s cool. We like friends.

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One more piece of art, by miss L herself, to celebrate the day. I think the leprechaun has a goatee?!

That’s all for now. We’re gearing up to be in the annual fun fest that is the St Patrick’s Day Grand Parade tomorrow!

 

Friday Five: 3/10/17

 

20170309_192547.jpg1) We’ve approached some weird realm of infanthood titled ‘sleep regression’.  Regressing in anything isn’t a good thing, but regressing in sleep SUCKS. Ruth has slept through the night since about 6 weeks and now is waking 1 or sometimes TWO times a night. I know, feel bitterly sorry for me. It’s just that I was getting quite used sleeping! You know, like actually sleeping ALL NIGHT. But would ya look at that face?! There’s a reason God makes babies so dang cute. As you can see, she continues to thoroughly enjoy any and all foods that she can get into her mouth and mash up with her 2 half-teeth poking through. There are no ‘bad days’ when you have a Ruth 🙂

 

2) Our Friday Lent food this year has been OFF THE CHAIN. Last week we had tuna pizza. I know, it sounds weird, but it was delicious! GF crust, some cream cheese, tuna, celery, onions, cheese, herbs and spices and it was devoured. Even J, who is a self-proclaimed non-seafood-eater, loved this. We will make this again. Tonight we had meatless southwest twice baked stuffed sweet potato. The longer the name, the better the food, right? It was SO GOOD. The kicker was the cracked egg in the middle *psych*

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3) Every year, around this time, I get somewhat obsessed with the Easter Dress. The unnecessary stress of crafting a dress(es) is completely brought on by yours truly. It’s a real deal around here. For heaven’s sake, we now have THREE girls in a row, how can I give up this opportunity for MATCHING DRESSES?! (G gets a matching tie that he couldn’t care less about! HA!) I can’t count the amount of eye rolls I get from J for the amount of time I spend Pinterest-ing, browsing fabrics, and fussing over making the Easter Dress.  It’s quite an ordeal. As if I need another project to occupy myself with (besides the others that are started and *cough* not finished).  Last year there was no matching Easter Dress because I was tired and pregnant. But this year the Easter Dress will return. So the other day Amelia and I picked out the fabric for the Easter Dress. Surprise, surprise, it’s blue. Amelia knows no other color. Lucy obliged to blue, but wanted to pick out the pattern/style of the dress, but then was demoted when she repeatedly picked some pageant style frilly thing with 18 layers and 119 steps. Ugh, I don’t really have time to sew in the first place, yet alone sew something with 18 layers. Silly child. Stay tuned to see if I actually get the dresses done by Easter morning. If I do they sure will be cute!

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4) On the book front–what is up with The Shack?! I cannot get through this book. I’ve heard all these mixed reviews, and I cannot bring myself to read past chapter 5. The whole story so far is kind of disturbing; you know the whole idea of a little girl being abducted is not quite my bag. I know how the story ends, but I’m just so unmotivated to finish it.  I’ve renewed the book no less than 4 times and still haven’t gotten through it. I’m not sure I’ll ever see the movie. I’m not even sure I’ll ever get to chapter 6.

5) My bro-in-law/seminarian Cameron made a BLOG! If you’d like to follow his journey through seminary, you can find his blog here.  He’s currently sitting at our dining room table talking about how the egg in his sweet potato is a ‘grace egg’. He’s deep and very thought provoking. He’s going to be an AWESOME priest!!!!!

 

How We Do: Lent {this year}

Most years Lent goes something like this:

We’re sitting in the pew wrangling our kids at Mass at their bedtime on Ash Wednesday and it dawns on me that I have given very little thought to Lent, except for what I hear in church weekly. {Side note–church at 7pm on a weeknight is very very very difficult with young children, but we try. That’s another whole blog post for a later date} Then I feel really bad about that whole idea of no-thought-giving, as Lent is a very important and reflective season. I quickly decide that I’ll ‘give up’ something popular for the next 40 days, usually chocolate, dessert, or something like Facebook. (I once decided we wouldn’t eat out or buy food anywhere other than the grocery store for Lent–that was….interesting.) We leave church and I feel a little better about things and we continue on through Lent.

I wanted to do better this year. I wanted to actually go through Lent and be reflective on the actual meaning. I wanted to think a little ahead. I wanted to do something that made a difference and that showed others God’s love. I didn’t want to ‘give up’ chocolate, because, well….there’s gotta be something else I can do!! I follow some awesome Catholic mommy bloggers (my idols, if we must be real), and they do an amazing job with preparing during Lent and getting their families involved in the season. Inspiration….

So last Sunday we talked as a family what we wanted to do for Lent. We thought it would be good to get the kids involved. We first had to decipher between ADVent and Lent. Similar sounds, I see now. G thought we should pray before AND after dinner. Good thought. I like where you’re going with this. L thought we should read out of the Bible every day. She suggested one of the kid’s Bibles. Wow! They actually listen sometimes! A thought we should stop talking and go home and eat hot dogs. Well…… J thought we should pray a decade of the rosary every day and completely give up television. A good idea, but I don’t see it happening…because…well…4 children…..and family movie night! I thought we should, um, give up chocolate?! JK

So we decided to ‘do good’ for Lent. I found this awesome chart of ideas  and we’re going to try to cross of at least 4-5+ each week. Ok, I’ll be happy if we get 2 or 3 a week, realistically. They range from not complaining to watching a religious movie as a family to visiting a shut-in to praying for different people.   I feel like the kids ‘get’ this and will happily take an active role in most of these things. We’ll see how it goes. I’m kind of excited to ‘make hot cross buns’. 😉

40 Lenten Activities for Catholic Families and Kids {Free Printable Available in Both Color and Black and White!}

We’re going to continue to do a decade of the Rosary on Friday nights. This is a tradition we started with the kids about 18 months ago that has stuck. I wrote once about that here and it’s been a great thing.

I personally am not going to ‘scroll Facebook’ during Lent. This is such a huge time suck and I find that it sometimes just brings. me. down. I always tell my patients at work that they shouldn’t compare. Don’t need that during Lent…or ever, really! I am still going to use it for certain things, such as this blog and events that are coordinated through Facebook, but I’m hoping that’s it.

We’re going to not eat meat on Fridays. Well, we’re Catholic, and Jesus ate fish, and he died on the cross for us, so we’re going to eat fish, and that’s an easy thing for kids to understand!

Jeremiah has declared he’s going to do more spiritual reading. It’s actually something he really enjoys, but doesn’t always make time for. He’s currently working his way through The Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius. I know, sounds super exciting, but he likes it. He’s also committed to taking a 6 1/2 min shower in the morning. Seem odd? Well, he’s known around here to take 20-30+ min showers. He actually set a timer for himself in the shower this morning and got to school a whole 30 mins earlier than usual. He declared today to me, via text, that a shorter shower was ‘life changing’ in that he had ‘so much more time’. Seriously. I don’t make this stuff up…..

So that’s how we are doing Lent this year. Hopefully we hold ourselves accountable. And I’ll still be eating chocolate, just not on Fridays. 😉