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:

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. 😉


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


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.


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?


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


Amelia enjoys feeding Ruth. It’s stinking adorable.


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….


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



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


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!


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


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 😉


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


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.


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.




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*


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!

Image result for the shack

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. 😉

Friday Five: 2/24/17


  1. Would ya look at this new designer piece of furniture we just got delivered? Custom made, hand crafted and hand sanded, impeccable lines and joints, stained to match the kitchen cabinets, and made with love and care….all by MY DAD! How neat is that?! It’s the perfect height and size to sit up to our island. Ruth approves! {Don’t worry, we don’t leave her there;) } THANKS DAD!!!!!

2. What is with this weather? I could have practically worn shorts 3 days ago and today Amelia’s telling me all about the snowman she’s building tomorrow with the snow we’re getting tonight. I give up. We enjoyed a good hike last week, although the kids were sad that we didn’t come upon much wildlife like we usually do, {kids, it’s STILL winter!!} but they were happy to splash in the stream and get mud in places it shouldn’t be. *sigh* And why is it that every time we are in a place without a working restroom {again, it’s STILL winter so bathrooms are locked everywhere!}  ALL of my kids have to go, more than once?! I mean, come on!!!!


3. Lucy lost her first tooth! After letting it hang on for a painfully loooong week, she finally let us me help her pull it and she was more than excited with the result, but a bit concerned with the sight of her own blood (definitely gets that from her dad…). I think she was even more excited to get her name on the ‘Tooth Wall’ at school. Kindergarten is just the best. The tooth fairy brought a whole DOLLAR. She is happily anticipating the arrival of a’big kid tooth’ in it’s place and she may or may not have confiscated the tooth into one of her purses, AKA I have no idea where it went….


4. Well Amelia got her first ear infection. Always a good time. *sarcasm*  Notice the hands on the ears, teary eyes, and the ‘She’s NOT looking in my ears mom!’ meltdown that happened just prior to this picture. She’s napping it off today; it’s amazing what a little amoxicillin and tylenol can do for a kid. I am pretty impressed that she made it over 3 years!


5. And last but definitely not least, this little munchkin turned 5 months yesterday! She could be a baby-model, no? She’s even cuter now that she can sit up on her own, and so self-entertaining!  She’s become an absolute expert hair yanker, hence my permanent ponytail and consideration of a chopped haircut. She eats all the foods….. and some non-foods. Haha! The kids think it’s absolutely hilarious when she chews on paper that THEY give her and then she hands it back slobbery wet. Kids are weird.

Have a great weekend!


Friday Five : 2/10/17

1) The cuteness of this one….I just can’t even!!! She’s cutting her 1st 2 teeth on the bottom and they’re almost through. The drool though….well that’s another story. She’s just the best.


2) I made my first ever from scratch gluten free cake! I combined this recipe and this recipe to make a gluten free black forest deliciousness for someone’s birthday….. we shan’t name names of who is old enough in this house for that. many. candles!.  😉  IT WAS AMAZING!!!!! The only downfall to gluten free sweets is the incredibly expensive replacement flour blend that costs $5 for 4 cups. *welp*  This cake was worth it and might be my new favorite cake ever!!!


3) Well I was planning to do the ever-exciting  dreaded task art of grocery getting today, and then share with my blog readers the ‘how we do’. But instead, I’m homebound for the 2nd time this week with the third sick kid 😦  I know, I feel the pity. Hopefully NO ONE ELSE gets this because I’m sure I could go through all of life without this and be quite content. Tuesday night was the beginning, with 2 girls coming down with in within a few hours of each other, then G picked up the slack last night at 2:45am. Let me just tell you that one of the worst parts of having a sick kids(s) is having to sleep on the couch to keep them company. My sore, aching body this morning was quite a bummer, and I’m apparently quite spoiled by my love of our Tempurpedic mattress. I should have given the 7 year old the ‘short couch’ so I didn’t have to sleep in a complete fetal position all night!!! He’s recovering and enjoying some Netflix and a documentary on airport technology from the couch while I try to get some fluids and crackers in him. *what a life*


4) After almost 2 1/2 years of living in the Maple Street Estate, we FINALLY got curtains in the living and dining rooms.  My first goal was to have them by Christmas a year ago since the first floor was finished by then. Whoops. Then I thought I’d get on them over the summer, when you know, I was hugely pregnant. Great idea. Yeah that didn’t happen. Then I couldn’t decide what I wanted and I was no way going to shell out the 5K for the blinds that I was quoted. So I improvised and did a little sewing and this is the result. I’m going to shorten them by about 10 inches, but that would require me not having sick kids and getting to the store for more thread since I ran out when I was originally sewing them. Yep. Won’t be today, but that’s alright.


5) We went to our first ever Hawkeyes gymnastics meet a few weekends ago and it was AWESOME. By ‘we’ I mean ‘myself and 4 kids under 7’ as J was already busy with a weekend commitment. I was a bit nervous to take them solo to a highly trafficked public sports venue, but actually they did really good.  I’m not sure if I just missed my calling as a gymnast (highly unlikely) or if I just like to live vicariously through those very nimble and at-the-top-of-their-prime 19 year olds (more than likely), but I loved watching it! They have another meet tomorrow that we’ll hopefully be attending. The best part is kids are FREE!!!

Happy Friday!


How We Do: Groceries

This post is going to be rivoting. Mind-boggling good. Blow your socks off. Super boring?….Or maybe actually very interesting for others….I don’t really know!

I got a lot of questions after I posted in passing that I get groceries 2 times a month. So this post is about just that. I like to figure out ‘systems’ for doing things; I guess I’m a creature of habit and it makes life a lot easier. As far as groceries go, I’ve done the once-a-month system, the freezer-meals system, the no-plan lack of system, the I’m-hungry system, the I’m-nauseated-constantly-but-still-have-to-cook system………everything has had a season. HA! I like reading how other families do things and stealing their ideas. 😉 I stalk other bloggers and pinterest in my spare time, AKA after 10pm when I should be sleeping!

Get ready for this wildly exciting ride….


Aldi here we come! (They’re remodeling)

I start usually 1 or 2 days before I get groceries, and I plan dinners for 2 or 3 weeks. Sometimes what I plan actually lasts longer than that. I have a master set of dinner recipes with listed ingredients that I have in a binder in sheet protectors. This way the papers don’t get all nasty when I cook, because when the kids help in the kitchen there’s no hope for neatness. There’s probably 30 of the recipes, I’ve never counted. They are easy recipes that I know we like and are decently healthy and GF. Win-win-win. I don’t like to re-invent the wheel every 2 weeks. I don’t plan for breakfast or lunches because it’s always the same…..we eat eggs or cereal or protein bar for breakfast and leftovers for lunch (G and L eat school lunch). I have the name of each recipe written on a post-it. I keep this all in a binder. So I take my calendar and stick a post it to the days for the next 2 or 3 weeks to designate which meals we’ll have when. I like the post-its as then I can change it up if I want without having to scribble all over the calendar. And yes I recently color coded the post-its because I AM A HUGE ORGANIZING DORK. I blame Mel for that quality. 😉 Blue is soups/stews, green/yellow is stuff to bake or grill, coral/pink is crock pot. And the fighter plane on the right is just for you to wonder about 😉


So then I make a grocery list for all the recipes I’ve stuck to the calendar. This is super quick because all of the recipes have the ingredients listed in the binder! Genius, I know. Too bad it wasn’t my original idea (thanks Pinterest). I have a little magnetic list on the fridge too where we write things when they run out, so I add those to the list as well. I get super nerdy here and organize my list by category – pantry (canned/boxed goods, etc), fridge/freezer, and produce because this makes sense to me and saves me time. I’ve also started buying flats of common canned goods that we go through a ton of. A flat at Aldi cost like $4-5 depending what it is. I get what’s on the list plus quite a bit more because I don’t always write the regular things down (ie bananas or milk) or specials they may have in store that day. This whole planning session takes me maybe 15 mins depending how many times I’m interrupted.


So then it’s time to shop. I seriously have to psyche myself up for this, and sometimes I’ll even tell my coworkers or J that tomorrow I’m getting groceries so I’m trying to prepare myself. This is legit. It’s an undertaking. I pack the diaper bag and put my list in there the night before because it really sucks when you go to all this work then forget your list!

Amelia and Ruth are always my 2 tag-alongs because we go right after we drop the bigs at school in the morning. Ruth goes in my sling and Amelia either walks or sits in the top of the cart. We  go to Walmart first and get the few things that we cannot get at Aldi, then we go to Aldi and get the rest. Amelia does really well grocery shopping if I let her get licorice. You see, the licorice is right by the entrance door to the store. I let her get a licorice, and she sits in the cart the rest of the time coddling and protecting her tiny box of licorice that she’s been told she can have a few of after we’re done, as long as she’s a good helper. She does this through the whole store. I try to cross stuff off as we go, but soon my cart is overflowing and I cannot locate the list because it’s now buried beneath the 6 dozen eggs and 3 loaves of bread…..


Would you believe that on this very day I forgot my BAGS!? Rookie mistake! It was almost a tragedy. I snagged a mountain of produce boxes and we trudged along. Aldi rocks.


So we go to check out. I forgot the salsa…dang it. My kids have been great, Ruth hasn’t even made a peep. I always get a lot of looks at the checkout. I think it’s either pity or the she’s-crazy look, but I can never tell. What???? Doesn’t everyone buy 6 gallons of milk at a time?!?! So some guy named Larry (Amelia wanted to know his name) who’s behind us in line gets tired of waiting on me to unload this heap, so he takes it upon himself to unload half of the cart for me. Bless his heart. I pay for our food and thank him, then it’s onto another huge task, boxing/bagging all that food! I get it all in the boxes, but then it won’t all fit in my cart. I’m mentally assessing the problem when stranger #2, and Aldi worker, takes pity on me and tells me to take an extra cart that she has. So I have TWO CARTS. This is another issue. I have a baby strapped to me, a 3 year old who is darn ready to eat her licorice, and 2 carts to get to the car. I take the gigantic cart first, put girls in the car, unload cart #1, lock the car, run furiously back into the store and grab cart #2, unload it into the car, buckle up kids, lock car, run furiously again to return the cart to the corral, then hop in. Another issue–Ruth needs a diaper change! There is no empty available flat space in the car. I am NOT going back into the store. I change her on my lap.


Cart #1

So we drive home. At home I unload all the groceries into the kitchen….my weightlifting for the day! Talk about multitasking! Amelia is in charge of putting away canned goods into the corner pantry and I put away the rest. If G or L happens to be home on grocery day, they are in charge of putting away produce and upper corner pantry stuff, but today it’s just me and the 3 year old.  4 gallons of milk and 4 dozen eggs go into the overflow fridge in the basement along with anything else I can’t find a home for. 3 loaves of bread go into the deep freeze. The rest goes in the kitchen.


I’m tired. And now it’s time to make lunch. Licorice for lunch, anyone? JK….