As the Family Goes

JP II Quote

"As the family goes, so goes the nation, and so goes the whole world in which we live." John Paul II

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

April 2, 2013 - Snapshot

When did April get here?  I can't even wrap my head around how fast this year is going.  We had a great Easter weekend, and have been really loving the nice, springy weather. Here's a glimpse into our life over the past week and a half:

Timothy lost his first tooth!  It was on a roll-up-the-rim cup, of all things.  It didn't actually come out, but he sure got things started when he tried to pry the rim up with his teeth.  He was a little unnerved at first I think, because his mouth started bleeding really bad.  But when I convinced him that this was in fact a good thing, he said, "I need to get Grandaddy to put me in a headlock!"  (My oldest son completely babied his first loose tooth, wouldn't even wiggle it.  Then one evening at my parents' camp the boys were wrestling with my Dad, he put Joseph in a headlock, and the tooth just popped right out!)  Next morning, it was out, all on its own.

We live within walking distance of a small beach.  It always makes me so thankful for where we live.  It's a bit of a drive from the city (and the ferry can be a pain) but man, it's worth it for days like this.  Nothing breaks up a long day like a few minutes near the water.  I bring the dog, strap the babies in the stroller, and head on down.  We're pining for spring around here, and I was perhaps a bit too stubborn to admit that it maybe is still a little cool for the beach?  If I had any doubts, the kids confirmed them when they announced, full of glee, "look Mom, an iceberg on the beach!"  Coupled with the impossible rule to keep of "don't get your feet wet" (they got them soaked) and this Mom has learned her lesson.  Beaches are best when weather is warm.  We did have a blast though :)

This baby is rolling around like nobody's business.  Which means that I don't have much time until the baby gates have to go back up.  I have enjoyed having an open stairway (something that comes around once about every year-and-a-half for us) but with the way this girl is moving, I'm certain she'll make her way in that direction in no time.  Whenever I put a blanket down, she rolls over and over and over, off the blanket within seconds.  And she's starting to scoot herself forward on her belly, so close to crawling! What a joy it is to see new life growing and learning each day.

I took the baby outside with the kids in the yard for the first time today.  It was more for the sake of my two-year-old.  The weather was so beautiful, and he looked so sad watching his brothers and sister run around outside, but he's still too young (and far too bold!) to leave outside unattended.  So I dressed myself and the baby, and we took to the outdoors.  That's how we ended up down at the beach - I got bored of wandering the yard, and couldn't find any work that could easily be done with a baby strapped to my chest.  We even picked up a neighbor's boy along the way, and I, my six kids, dog, and neighbor hit the road.  We were only gone for a few minutes, but it was worth it.  A nice break in the day, and a perfect first day outside for the baby.

These kids make my life.  We seriously pared down our Easter haul this year.  My husband did the shopping, and when he put everything out I had a secret fear the kids would be disappointed.  Especially the big boys, because the things they got (a card game each) were so much smaller than the big coloring pads and crayons the three younger kids got.  I knew they were the same value, but to a kid looking at his sibling's  pile that was probably six times larger than his, I was worried it would seem like they didn't get as much.  And we only hid eggs in fifteen places, two eggs each.  Which, if you do the math, amounts to about twelve eggs each.  They were done the hunt in two minutes flat.  But they were just as happy as every other year, when they got so much more.  Their faces were so full of joy all morning, and I realized (as I have many times before) that it is us who put the huge burden of expectations on ourselves, not them. The day is special because of what we celebrate - Christ's Resurrection - and the treats are meant to help us celebrate that, not to take over.  I think they get that.  I'm the one that needs to learn.

I don't know if I've posted a picture of Aaron and his blanket, but man - he loves that thing!  We have to take it away until bedtime, or it causes some serious problems.  But as soon as that thing comes out, it's instant comfort.  He's getting good at giving it to us at breakfast time to be put up until bedtime, and I don't try to hide it or sneak it away from him (because I think that can make it worse).  And when he wraps himself up in it, and makes that little face, it just melts my heart!

This is a little girl being loved up by her big brother.  You can't tell of course, because he's not in the picture. But she loves to be made a fuss over. And she was just beside herself with all of the Easter celebrations, and treats, and special things that were just for her.  In her Disney Princess coloring pad, there was a cutout to make a keepsake box, and my oldest son decided to put it together for her.  It's just paper, but she treated that thing like it was made of gold.  She doesn't realize just how lucky she is to have brothers who dote on her the way they do, but it makes me so happy to see the boys so caring to her.  I know they learn how to treat women well by the way they love their sister, and that makes my heart so happy.

And this.  I know that babies love their Da's, but every time I see a new baby with him I imagine that no other baby ever looked at him the way they do (in fact, they all did).  It's just like I'm seeing it for the first time, watching the drama unfold before my eyes, this deep love story between a father and his baby girl where she knows that no matter what, where he is, she's safe.  Maybe I'm reading too much into it.  Or maybe I'm just thinking of the way my dad makes me feel.  Either way, I love these moments.  Because I know what that little girl is feeling.  And it's awesome!

Cheers :)

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