Death by Children

So Andrew, who is the FIRST one that needs to be at school is the LAST one (trying to compete with his sister) to get down the stairs in the morning.  Five minutes before we need to leave, I’m shoving him into his pants and squirting a Go-gurt down his throat, hoping he doesn’t choke.

Maria comes down claiming she doesn’t have to wear her uniform shirt under her redwhiteandblue shirt today, which I know damn well is INCORRECT.  As she argues, I offer to show her the email that states the spirit wear must go OVER her uniform.  “It doesn’t say ENTIRE uniform,” she claims.  I tell her she can skip the spirit wear if she doesn’t do what I tell her.  Fine, but she is the ONLY ONE IN THE WHOLE SCHOOL who has a mother that enforces this.

Sam meanwhile has taken his assignment of coming up with a Christmas list very seriously. And feels the need to tell me about every. single. thing. he is putting on said list. Now.  As we’re getting ready for school.

Because everyone is taking SO LONG, I’ve got to shove Andrew out the door and drive him to school first.  Sam jumps in front of him, claiming he wants to go now, too, so he can be the first one in his class in line.  We are standing on the threshold of the door (literally) and Andrew stops in his tracks and says, “I really feel the need for my blue underwear.”  I promise I am not making this up.  My response was to push him toward the car.  Sam, who’s butt had almost touched the upholstry in the van then decides he needs a sweatshirt and runs back into the house.  If Andrew didn’t take so long with his seatbelt, I would have left him, but he made it back to the van just in time.  Which was lucky for me, because he wanted to have a discussion about why Andrew’s booster seat had to be in the middle row where it makes it hard for everyone to get in.  REALLY?  I told him to zip it or walk.  I pulled up to school and shoved them out at the curb.

I came home to Maria SCREAMING at Jack in the kitchen because Jack stole one of her pencils.  (Which, I might add, is like a person freaking out because someone took a toothpick out of their 1,000 pack.)  Jack is claiming he can’t find it, despite having just taken it a few minutes ago.  Luke chimes in that he KNOWS Jack took it because Jack told him he did.  (Jack very may well have taken it, but also very may well have not, and is just enjoying the collective rising of the blood pressure in everyone.)

I told Maria to grab her things and start walking or I would confiscate every bit of her hoarded school supplies and leave her with just two old-fashioned embarrassing #2 wooden pencils to get her through the rest of her school career.

Jack disappeared to find his backpack.  Despite being the first up, he is the last to get out the door.  But, then, he’s busy stealing pencils so you can’t really blame him.

Luke. My Luke. A little shyly (and rightly so) tells me as he’s leaving the kitchen, that he and his dad forgot to get his skates sharpened last week and could I possibly get them sharpened before his first evaluation… TONIGHT?  Hahahahahahahaha.  He goes on to tell me they need to go to one particular place because the other place will do a horrible job and just mess them up.  As if.

Have I mentioned that we have no food in the house (seriously, thank goodness today was hot lunch day), I have to watch someone else’s kid, and I have to get Dan from the airport? Last-minute skate sharpening?!?  I can easily fit that in!  No problemo!  He got shoved out the door, too.

You might have noticed that I haven’t mentioned Faith in all this.  Where has she been?  On the kitchen table in her bouncy seat in the middle of it all.  Happily playing with her newest toy.  Thank you, God, for this wonderful baby who loves the chaos and smiles through it all and then, when they’re all out the door, snuggles with her momma and falls asleep.  IMG_3312

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God Bless Faith!

As we pulled away from the church, I assured my children that I love them all very much and that each of their baptisms were beautiful.  But… that Faith’s baptism was the best.

It is definitely the sacrament that holds the importance, but the whole thing was so lovely on Saturday.

First of all, Father Burke Masters accepted my request to come to Visitation to give Faith the sacrament of baptism.  As vocation director for the Diocese of Joliet, Chaplain to the Cubs, and a host of other things, I know he is very busy.  But, he came.

Jessica (Faith’s Godmother) and I both got to know Father Burke initially through our respective Cursillo retreat weekends.  This made having him perform the baptism extra special for all of us.

He delighted the kids by explaining things throughout the ceremony and having them participate as much as possible.  And the chaos of being surrounded by 10 children didn’t phase him a bit.  He even dared to join us for some lunch afterward!

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Put ‘er Down

You shouldn’t hold her all the time.  You should put her down.  Don’t you ever set her down?

Yes.  Sometimes.

I know.  She’s my sixth child.  I shouldn’t hold her all the time.

But, if I didn’t…

I wouldn’t see all the funny faces she makes while she’s sleeping.

I wouldn’t get to feel her warm weight on my chest as she sleeps.

I’d miss out on the uh-uh-uh-ahhhhhh sighs she makes.

I wouldn’t get to smell the soft top of her head.

Or hear the sucking noises she makes sometimes.

Or feel her wiggle around to get comfy.

Or get to play with her long fingers.

Or watch as her eyes start to droop. Then open wide. Then droop…

Or just sit and stare at her in my arms, and wonder what she’ll do one day.  What she’ll be like.

The thing is, I know all the should and shouldn’ts.  I know I can’t get quite as much done with a baby in my arms.  It’s slow going typing with one hand.  And my neck cramps when talking on the phone.  And folding laundry is definitely a challenge.

But I also know that it all goes SUPER fast.  That tomorrow she’ll push me away and won’t want to sleep in my arms. That in a blink she’ll be in kindergarten. And then finishing kindergarten. And then finishing grade school.

I know because yesterday I was a new mom holding my son.

Picture_0011_edited-1And now he’s starting his last year of grade school.


Thankfully, he still lets me kiss him. And hug him.  (Although now he has to bend down a little for me to be able to do so.)  And my other kids still give and receive affection well.  (When they’re not being cool.)  But they are all in different stages of growing up – and it is going at lightning speed.

So forgive me if I don’t set my baby down.  If I don’t offer her up, but make you ask to hold her.  Because I enjoy her.  I like holding her and loving on her and watching her.  Even when she’s fussy.

And especially when she’s not.


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School Yearbook

The years are flying by!


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The Hilarity That Is Motherhood

Yesterday morning, I met with some other moms about starting a preschool moms group at our parish.  Our fearless leader is a veteran mom with kids in high school and up.  The other two were young moms of young children.  And then there was me.  A mixture.  Honestly, I was only there because I’ve been in a similar group before and the hope is that I might provide some guidance.  Haha.

I have to say, that the meeting was like a time travel experience for me.  A look at the past and a glimpse into the future.

As our children played on the playground and the baby sat beside me in her carseat, we moms tried to get organized.  Before a note could be taken, however, one of the children came running over with her pants down.  Her startled mother asked what in the heck the child was doing.  The child’s response, “I went poop.”  The mom didn’t believe it.  There was no evidence on the child’s butt, but at the insistence of the child, the mom went to investigate.  And returned to our table in search of clean up supplies.

On the busy playground, the child had used the privacy of one of the play structures to do her business.  The mom was mortified.  Me?  I thought it was a bonus that the child didn’t do it in her pants.  We spent a few minutes exchanging poop stories.

After the cleanup, we got into the details of our meeting.  The kids ran between us and the playground and the water fountain.  (Because every child needs a bath while playing.)

As we were wrapping up, a mother pushing a double stroller came over and asked us if the two boys near the water fountain belonged to one of us.  The other young mom in the group claimed ownership and began to get up.  The woman informed her that another mom was threatening to call the police, as she had just seen the children “in the street.”

The mom went to investigate.  It turns out the boys had gotten in and out their car, which had been parked along the street when the Angry Mom saw them.  After some ugly stares and comments, Angry Mom offered to get a babysitter for our mom, as apparently she needed it.  Wowzer.

I won’t even go there… but let me reassure you that the situation was blown WAY out of proportion by Angry Mom.  We then spent a few minutes exchanging Angry/Intrusive Mom stories.

After we wrapped up and I gathered my preschooler kindergartener (!) and baby, I drove home thinking about all I’ve been through with my older kids and the things to come with Faith.  It sucks being old, but on the other hand, my experience has made many things funny that might no seem so to a newer, more stressed momma.

(Remind me of this post when Faith is of potty training/running into the street age).

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SHE’S Here!

I had one dream in 9 months that it was a girl, but dismissed it. Maria, too, had a “girl” dream, just the other day.

But, we didn’t have our hopes up. Not in our boy-heavy world.

Boy or girl, we all already loved and couldn’t wait to meet this baby! But… I really wanted Maria to have a sister. Brothers are awesome. But every girl that has a sister is better off for having one. Or two! (Or more.)

And, here is Maria’s!


Welcome me to the world, Faith Danielle.



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It won’t be long now before we get to meet the newest H.  I thought for sure that he or she would have made an appearance by now.  I think, though, that maybe the kids have scared this one into staying inside as long as possible!

We have had a few glances along the way.  Here is a pic from just a few weeks ago.


What do you think?  Boy or girl?

Here’s an outside view:


Either way, we’re ready.



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Life Changing Event


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Fabulous 5!

I just realized, pathetically, that I haven’t posted anything since JANUARY!  And, it’s not like there’s nothing going on around here!

Most importantly, our current baby, Andrew, has just turned 5!  It’s unbelievable how fast time flies.  His birthday was yesterday, but the year he was born it fell on Divine Mercy Sunday, which is today.  I remember, thinking what a divine mercy it was that he was finally being born!

He used to look like this:DSCN6974And, although he’s grown, he still sleeps like this!


Birthday started a bit early with dinner out on Friday night:

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Then, on Saturday, we had the real deal with a Batman cake and presents at lunch time!


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Even Cheerio got into the act:


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Big Game

Finally!  (Yes, that applies to me posting, but also to Luke’s Blackhawk’s game!)20150120_184656

If you’ll remember, Gran and Maddog sent Blackhawk tickets to Luke for his 10th birthday back in December.

He was SO EXCITED!!!

Well, the day finally came.  Dan took off work early and took Luke to dinner in the city before they headed to the game.


The Hawks CREAMED to Coyotes, 6-1.

To top it all off, it turned out to be Bobble Head Night!

Unfortunately, not being experienced game-goers, Dan and Luke didn’t know where or how to get a Bobble Head.  Thankfully, though, as they were leaving the game, an older woman noticed that Luke didn’t have one and gave him hers!



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