Sunday, April 26, 2009

Happy 6th Birthday Jack!!

Today Jack turned 6!! 
"Jack.... born to rock!... and he loves to "head bang" to hard rock music!"

Amazing to think how much as a family we have gone through since he rushed into the world.... literally did rush right into the world. Labor was less than an hour, and our friend Marj rushed over to take care of Alexandra & Michael. John drove like a bat out of hell to get to the hospital. By then I could not stand up straight if you had offered me a million dollars. Nice nurse came out with a wheel chair, and took me for a leisurely stroll through the hospital. Had I been able to sit up straight I would have had a true face to face with her to explain the situation. Suffice to say by the time I got into the room and the "checked" me they realized I was not faking. The doctor came in and Jack rushed into the world 9 minutes after John raced into the hospital parking lot on two wheels. Jack.... our little man with elf ears and a constant twinkle in his eyes. And, now, he's 6. His ears are a little less elfish, but his twinkle has become a full fledged mischievous young boy. Jack has yet to discover his inside voice, can't sit still for more than a second and lives life with a passion most don't learn in a lifetime. It is inspiring and draining all at the same time! His "drama" is exhausting, and a times discouraging.... but his laughter truly comes from his gut and is contagious. His smile lights up a room, and the twinkle in his eye when he is truly enjoying something is so innocent and so wonderful. He loves life, and enjoys staying busy. He can marvel at the smallest bug in the yard, or the biggest animal at the zoo. Deep down inside he loves us all - but we can most see it when he plays imaginary world with Tommy. When our sofa cushions (or what is left of them) become spaceships, or mountains, or castles, or race cars, or pirate ships or volcanoes. When he can create a world of words that sucks Tommy in and they go on wild adventures. And then when he tries to explain the world with Peter so that he won't melt in the lava, be eaten my sharks or kidnapped by pirates..... of course Peter is just Peter and smiles and laughs but does all the wrong moves.... leading Jack the best he can to carry Peter from danger and give him a good "talking to" as Peter smiles and laughs. Now the three of them share a room and no doubt there will be many more times after the lights are out when Jack will again say goodnight to the dinosaurs under the bed or the angels that watch over them when they sleep. He's a cool kid!  

Today Jack had a Spiderman birthday party at home. As we planned it out, he actually wanted a Star Wars party - know why? because it is what we did last year and he loved it so much he wanted this year to be exactly the same! I did talk him into changing the theme, but all else was pretty close..... his friends arrived around 2pm and played outside. We then did races, obstacle course and water balloon toss/catch (instead of eggs that ended up all over the yard last year). Alexandra did a "guess what is in the gym bag" team game, and Michael egged everyone on for the pinata. By then the cold front started to come in, so the kids came in and tried the "pin the web on Spiderman" - last year we did "pin the light saber on Luke Skywalker". The kids then had a lot of frosting with cake (my cake crumbled and I kept it together with a lot, lot, lot, lot of frosting). The cake was one layer yellow, one layer chocolate and had a Spiderman action figure on the top. Jack loved it!! I used little candy letters to spell out "Happy 6 Birthday Jack" on the cake..... so of course he wanted a slice big enough to get all the letters in his name. And he can spell..... so there was no getting away with it. Thank goodness he only has 4 letters in his name! Then they moved on to present opening - as each kid took turns sitting in the big chair with Jack as he opened the gift they brought. Jack loved all of them - and I was so proud of my other kids for not getting the little green bug of jealousy like sometimes happens. They all were genuinely excited for Jack and wanted the party to turn our great. Well, all but Peter who slept through the whole event. Kids left around 4. I got a paper plates, cups, napkins, and table cloth. So, in about 15 seconds it was all picked up and thrown out (sorry mother earth) and we could just enjoy.  

Cake time!! 

Michael and Jack snuck upstairs with a Bionicle that Jack got as a gift, and now he sits on the book shelf in Jack's room watching over their fantasy world. Right now John is getting the kids through the showers, and we are headed down for a family Wii championship..... the one we have been talking about since Christmas! No doubt John and I will be sore and will need to ice up about every part of our bodies tomorrow. But, until then we will enjoy the rest of the day that we celebrate Jack and another year loving him.  

Love, catherine

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

Where have the last two months gone?? My goodness.... sorry I have been so delinquent. My new job is keeping me very busy - but challenged and very happy! Thank you God!! Kids schedules have been a bit crazy too.  

Alexandra is in 8th grade, and doing soccer for the last time at Corpus Christi. She also has youth group, confirmation and is in the school melodrama. We are very excited that she got accepted into the college prep HS in town - St. Mary's.  

Michael is doing wrestling again this year after some back and forth thought. The first match he lost by quite a few points, so he was not too happy. He came back with a vengeance and has lost only one match since. All others he has won by pinning his opponent in the first period. He's developed this technique that has really boosted his confidence, and clearly works. Since I stress out watching boys wrestle, I appreciate the swiftness of his matches now. His record was finishing the match in 13 seconds - way to go Michael!  

Jack's little heart was broken. His "long term girlfriend" Elizabeth has moved on to someone else.... Jack was devastated. He went through ups and downs expected of teenage crushes - but has come to the conclusion that she will come to her senses one day and come back - he just needs to wait. Oh goodness!!  

Tommy... finally potty trained!! Jack was a nightmare, but Tommy just didn't care. All the best bribing did nothing to curve his lack of interest. When I asked him what he was going to do when it was time to go to college he would say "Take diapers with me!". But then one day he woke up and decided he wanted to wear underwear and has ever since then. It just clicked..... no trial and error, it was just done. Oh thank goodness! Our budget appreciates only having to buy diapers for one.  

Peter.... well, little man is still bear walking about everywhere. He's cut down on wanting to walk now that he is getting faster and faster. But, he pulls to stand on everything, is cruising around on furniture, walls and cabinets. He is still a total peanut (maybe 22lbs) and short.... but tall enough to open drawers and dump them out. Tall enough to reach up on the kitchen counter and pull off bowls and send them flying. His technique should lend itself well to discus throwing, but the bowl shattering on the floor is not a pretty sight. Then again, I was almost brought to tears when he reached over his high chair to the kitchen table and sent flying the ceramic bowl I had hand painted. That deserved angry eyes from me.... but I wasn't able to keep them long as he charmed me with his angel eyes.  

This weekend was a big move!! Peter moved out..... that is, last night was the first time since Peter came home that John and I haven't had a roommate!! The crib, changing table and all his clothes moved down the hall and in with Tommy and Jack. So the three little boys are sharing a room. It's a bit crowded, but with Peter's second birthday right around the corner we felt ready to let him graduate. I think he is glad to have a new space to hang, and hopefully it will allow us to get him into a routine closer to the other boys. Peter is a bit of a night owl often up till 11pm or so. Fingers crossed going into longer days he can still start going down a little earlier. John and I need some couple time!!  

Think that gets us somewhat caught up.


Gingerbread bunny house - by Alexandra

Egg decorating with Tio Greg & Tia Brenda.... thank you for organizing it!!