Saturday, December 18, 2010


All from the last few weeks in the life of John Michael:

"I turn on Christmas!  More Christmas, I turn on Christmas!"Yes, that's what he announces when he plugs in the lights for the tree and around the house (no lectures on a 2 and a half year old plugging things in, please!)
And also, we've discovered whenever he spies a Christmas tree somewhere: "They have Christmas!!"

Last Saturday, after spending a few hours at urgent care and JM receiving two breathing treatments and oral steroids (picture him on high speed, non-stop, full throttle!):
"I ready to check out!" and as we are finally walking out the door, I ask him if he wants me to carry him or if he wants to keep walking and "stretch his legs."  To which he responds by taking long, straight strides and announcing "I stretch my legs!" 

And from the back seat of the car on the way home ... (it was just the two of us in the car), a deep voice exclaiming: "Ho, ho, ho, Merrrry Christmas!"

John Michael went to mass with us this morning (Christmas), but he didn't manage to be quiet enough to stay in the church the whole time. So while we were in the back of the church "stretching our legs," we stopped by the cry room (which always has the door open) and he spied the font with the holy water.  He wanted to bless himself, so I thought no problem.  He dipped his fingers (he doesn't have the one finger thing down!) and then proceeded to cross himself (with my help).  And then ... those fingers went right to his mouth!  So he's good, inside and out. 

And later today as we were sitting on the porch swing watching for Aunt C and Mimi, JM called out "I see them, they're coming!"  So I look down the block, don't see anything, look again and then ask him, "Did you really see them?  Are you pretending? Are you teasing??"  Lots of giggles and that cute little grin "I teasing!"  He is quite the joker these days & is always happy if he can make you laugh with his silliness. 

I know I am leaving out many, many funny moments, but these are all my Mommy-memory brain can recall right now. 

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Clara Production - and oldie but goodie

From Summer 2009:
 And here's how the girls looked back then!   Hard to believe they are growing up so fast.  Another post on that tomorrow. 

Friday, December 10, 2010

Makes me laugh!

So today we all decided (at John Michael's suggestion) to have a popsicle on our way to take Clara to school.  As I was buckling JM into his car seat, I could see him eyeing my popsicle. In the past, he has rushed to finish his popsicle so he can then ask for mine (and I usually give it up).  But he must have assessed that he had too much of his pop left for that to work this time, so instead he went with: "I need test yours!"

Gee, I wonder where he learned that phrase? 

Needless to say, he got a lick of my popsicle! 

Thursday, December 9, 2010


There was a dead tree (dead since last year) on the school lawn, so I did the logical thing and volunteered my husband to cut it down.  Thoughtful, eh?  Well, I know he is a man of many talents, so I thought we should put them to use.  Plus, we'll have enough firewood for several years now!! And, they were worried about it falling down and hadn't had any luck roping anyone else into cutting it down. 

And if you are a patient child while your parents work on a crazy project, this is what your reward is (but only since they didn't yet know that JM had an allergy to milk!):

Mother Goose was on the loose ...

at Clara's school about a month and a half ago.  This is their fall program that they do and it's filled with all sorts of Mother Goose nursery rhymes. 

Clara decided she wanted to be a sheep (as in Little Bo Peep has lost her sheep), and one of her good friends, Avery, was Little Bo Peep.  For her sheep costume, we started off by finding an old white t-shirt in Mike's drawer and then we started gluing on cotton balls with the glue gun.  Well, by the time we had used one package of cotton balls and covered only about one third of the t-shirt, I decided maybe this wasn't the way to go.  So we looked in the costume closet at the school (which I had somehow not managed to find out about even though Gracie has spent the last two years doing lots of performances that require costumes!).  And we found a great looking sheep outfit - it was white, fluffy and just the right size.  We popped it on quickly, found a headband to match and I figured we were good to go. 

On the day of the performance, about a half hour before we needed to go, I told Clara we needed to get her into her costume. We got it on and about five minutes later, she was miserable.  The costume was hot and itchy and the headband wouldn't stay on.  Oh, dear - I'm not the world's most creative person, and that was one reason I had been so thrilled to find a costume already made.  But I guess necessity is really the mother of invention, because we whipped together something in about 10 minutes: Clara's own white t-shirt, black leggings, a skirt fashioned out of  the t-shirt that I had ripped the cottonballs off of (it was semi-fuzzy looking), cut the feet off of black socks to use for "legs" (slip onto the arms) and then use the bottom of the socks for ears pinned to a black headband.  Pssshewww .. we made it.  And she looked pretty cute!
Here's her whole class. They had a bunch of spiders, Little Miss Muffet, Little Bo Peep, a couple of sheep and the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker.

Clara did great during the program.  I didn't take any video this time - I tried to snap a few photos, but I decided just to sit back and enjoy the show this time.  I think the whole last minute costume redo had worn me out!  So here's a happy Clara in the middle of one of their songs:
And I couldn't get any pictures of this, but they always do a version of the Itsy, Bitsy Spider at the beginning of the program.  The kids slip on all black shirts and have on white gloves.  Then they use a glow light and it's great fun to watch their fingers as they make the spider crawl up and down and all around!

After the program, the kids have a "carnival" of Mother Goose based games.  Clara had been before with Gracie, but it was still lots of fun.  Here she is doing "Jack & Jill."

John Michael got in on the "action," too.  Well, he's supposed to be doing the cake walk, but once he had that ring pop, he just sat in the chair! Who cares about cake when you've got a ring pop!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Just a few of the things I've missed (blogging about) in the last few months ...

In October, we all got a chance to go down to San Antonio and visit Uncle Scott.  Mike and the girls had been down before, but this was the first chance JM & I had to visit him at the seminary. 

We left on Friday night and broke the trip up by stopping about an hour short of San Antonio.  The kids loved the hotel, especially the pool.  I was a wimp, so Mike was the one that had to endure the chilly water!  And he definitely does not like cold water.  But the real challenge was actually holding on to John Michael.  Two months before he was fussing about getting in a swimming pool, but then at the hotel, he suddenly became convinced that he could swim!  He spent a good portion of the time screaming "let me go!"  But he (Mike, John Michael?) survived.  But it wasn't an easy night - JM didn't all asleep until around 10pm and then woke up at 6am.  I snuck out of the room with him in the morning, hoping the girls and Mike could get a little more sleep (which they did). 

Then we headed down to San Antonio, to meet Uncle Scott and go to the mass for him for the conferral of the ministry of acolyte (one of the steps along the way to becoming a priest). 

 It seemed like it was going to be a really nice mass, but unfortunately, John Michael and I didn't get to find out.  He didn't even make it through the opening hymn before he was fussing and being way too loud.  Once I got him outside, I realized the lack of sleep was doing him in.  So instead of church, he got a nice nap on my lap while I sat on a bench in the sun.  It was a beautiful day, so even though I didn't get to be inside, I was glad Mike and girls were and that we had been able to come down. 

After church we headed to the Riverwalk for a yummy Mexican lunch.  Can you tell Gracie is trying to convince Uncle Scott not to jump in?   I know that's what Mike was telling JM! 
After lunch we scouted around for a pumpkin patch.  The one that had been at the Catholic church the previous year wasn't around this year, so we ended up supporting the Methodists that afternoon at a nice little pumpkin patch. 
Apparently, Clara thought it was important to test the toughness of the pumpkins! 
It was a nice little pumpkin patch until we got the little wagon to pull the pumpkins to the front.  Check out that expression on JM's face.  Clara was sure he needed help pulling/directing the wagon and John Michael was sure he didn't!  And Gracie and I are just standing by watching ... 

Fast forward a few days - pumpkin carving time.  I can only comment on the pictures here.  I definitely don't have the patience or ability for this activity!!!  I love the difference in the expressions on their pumpkins - kind of sums up their personality differences, right?
Fast forward another day or two and it's .... Halloween!
Here's the costume lineup for the year:

Indian Princess

And my favorite (costume, that is) - the "man" in brown! 
My favorite grown-up man was also dressed in brown, but I didn't happen to get a decent picture. 
Any guesses what I was?  I think it fit my personality that week - here's a hint:

Finally, I had to post this picture just because the kids look so cute going up to the house.  And also, to point out that this is what happens when you go too Texas crazy.  Yikes!  Look at all of those stars, longhorns and who knows what else...

So that's how it was most of the night - JM running to catch up.  But let me tell you, once he discovered there was candy involved, he wasn't going to be left behind.  Ironically, all he wanted to eat from the loot over the next few days were the "gummies" (the fruit snacks).

I didn't get any pictures of the girls unloading/sorting/trading the loot, but let me tell you there was a lot!  I think we sent at least 5 pounds with Mike to work and the kids still had more than they could ever eat by Christmas.  I think next year that we really just need to go halfway around the block! (of course, there would be some logistical problems with that plan ...)