Friday, May 16, 2014

T-ball and Parenting the Almost-Five-Year-Old

Lily started playing t-ball in the middle of March. I think she really enjoys the games, however she doesn't really enjoy the practices very much. I think there is more opportunity to misbehave (throwing dirt, picking grass, stomping on bugs, putting her glove on her head, throwing her hat, playing with her friend instead of listening to coach, you name it, she's done it) than there is at games, and we end of having a "little talk" after every single practice and after some games as well.

 Despite my frustrations with having to have a "little talk" with her after almost every practice and game I know she is learning lifelong lessons in self control, teamwork, persistence, and commitment. All of which will serve her well when she starts kindergarten in the fall.

 Her team finally won a game last weekend and she was so stoked. I think she finally got to see the effects of all the hard work and practice the team had put in so far. I hope it made an impression on her.
These kids are adorable. The league is affiliated with the Archdiocese and very Catholic. Rosaries for everyone!
 We only have a few weeks left. Her last games are the first weekend in June. After that we have the whole summer ahead of us! 

Even with the smallest uniform available it is a little big on her. My girl is tiny!
I'm a little nervous about summer and a little excited. Lily is going through an interesting developmental period right now. She is learning a lot about obedience and self control, lets put it that way. I've been a parent long enough now (five years, oh my goodness) that I know this is a phase that will pass, and overall she is an EXCELLENT kid, and I really can't complain...but quite honestly I am not looking forward to a whole summer of her current behavior pattern. On the other hand I know this is just the first summer vacation of many. And I only have her for 13 more years. I'm resolved to make the most of it and just enjoy her as much as possible. I'm sure this summer will involve a lot of personal growth for the both of us.

She is so tiny that the helmet doesn't fit her and she has to hold on to it when she runs. This is exactly as hilarious to watch as it sounds.
"So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God."
1 Corinthians 10:31

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Happy Easter 2014

We had a wonderful Easter this year. One of my favorite things about this Easter was that Joe received the sacraments of Confirmation and First Eucharist at the Easter vigil after going to over six months of RCIA classes. Unfortunately I have zero pictures of it since I was the only one there with him and since we were sitting at the very front I didn't want to be snapping cell phone pictures during mass. Anyway. We are all sacramentalized in our family now, and that feels good.

About a week before Easter Joe's Dad Jack took some pictures of the kids in the bluebonnets. That is one Texas spring tradition that I love, and the bluebonnets were really gorgeous this year.

Love this one of Lily with her Grammy

Daniel was less than thrilled with the bluebonnet expedition. I'm not sure why. My best guess is allergies...

The day of Easter we were able to relax in the morning since we'd been to church the night before for the Easter Vigil. We went to my Mom's for Easter lunch and we had a great time visiting with my grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins. The kids were absolutely overloaded with sugar and had a blast hunting for Easter eggs. My mom and Jeff did a great job hosting the Easter festivities as usual!

We have so enjoyed having our children living close to most of their grandparents and extended family. Of course my brother Ryan and my Dad are missed every day, but I am grateful for the family that we do have close. My dad is planning to visit this year for Daniel's birthday party and Father's Day, which we are very much looking forward to!


So, as you may have noticed, it has been a year since I updated this blog. After a lot of thought, I have decided to gradually stop updating about the kids on Facebook and eventually make this blog members only. What that means is that you will have to be an approved subscriber of this blog to view it. I will probably be completed with this process by the end of the summer, so you have lots of time to make a blogger account and become a subscriber. I will also be removing most pictures of the kids from Facebook, so if you have any favorites, save them now! It has been on my heart lately to be more private about my children's lives on the internet. I want to strke a balance between updating family and friends and letting people I barely know (or don't know at all) have an insight into our family life. Please understand if you are not eventually asked to be a subscribing member of the blog. If I know you in person the chances are overwhelming that you will be. :-)


"Do not be afraid! I know that you are seeking Jesus the crucified. He is not here, for he has been raised just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ Behold, I have told you.” 
Matthew 28:5-7

Monday, April 1, 2013

A Happy Easter

We had a wonderful Easter Sunday yesterday! We started the day out with some gluten free pancakes. Daniel even ate one all by himself...without syrup, but still, his appetite continues to surprise me.

After that, we headed to church. Both kids were surprisingly good. Daniel slept most of the time so I don't have any pictures from church since we were pretty busy doing church stuff and wrangling kids. :-)

Then we went to my mom's house for our traditional annual child and adult egg hunts. The Conroys made out really well this year!! I think Lily got almost $20 in cash from her eggs as well as some candy and a few little treats. My mom and Jeff make every Easter so wonderful and we love going there. Lily has been talking about the egg hunt since January. We had a great time. Lily especially loved following her cousin Kelsie around like a little duckling. :-)

Finally we met Joe's family at a restaurant for dinner. It was so good to see them and I wish we could have spent more time with them on such a special day. Both of the kids love all of their grandparents and aunts and uncles and it was such a treat for them to see so many loved ones in one day.

Of course there were a few people we dearly missed..if you think you may be one of them, you probably are. Please enjoy these photos of our Easter 2013!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

9 months

So it has been a while since I last blogged! I plead busy-ness! In the past three months a lot has happened. I've attended two more births as a doula and gotten more involved in the birth community. I'm about ready to submit my certification paperwork to DONA.

Daniel and Lily have both started to do many new things! If you follow me on Facebook you are probably kept in the loop for the most part.

Daniel turned 9 months old on the tenth. He is doing just awesomely. Both his developmental pediatrician and his regular pediatrician are just thrilled with his progress so far.

Stuff Daniel is doing since the last blog:
- sitting unassisted
- getting into sitting unassisted
- army crawling
- feeding himself...the latest...last night he fed himself some thinly sliced cheese. He loved it!
- drinking from a straw cup
- we are about 80% sure he is saying "Dada" to refer to Joe. I am about ready to write it in his baby book as his first word.
- sitting up for baths in the bathtub (due to the slippery-ness this is a harder feat than sitting on land!)
- has sprouted his first tooth (one of the bottom middles)
- Signing "milk"--he has not done any other signs yet.
- Giving kisses!

So yes, he is doing great. :-)

Stuff Lily is doing since the last blog:
- Starting to read!! We give her a sticker every night for every word she sounds out by herself.
- Related, she writes letters. She can make most letters herself and can write her name.
- She can also do some simple math in her head (addition and subtraction in units smaller than 10). We haven't worked with her as much on this so this is mostly her...she seems math inclined.
- Still doing ballet. Recital is coming up soon!
- She is just the best big sister ever!! We really have zero jealousy issues with the kids. I know it might not last but I am just so enjoying their sibling relationship right now.
- (this is a big one) Has started to spit her toothpaste out after brushing her teeth! I thought this one would never happen.
- She is the one who reminds us to pray before meals. It is really cute. She knows all the words to several prayers: Our Father, Hail Mary, Guardian Angel Prayer, and the Prayer Before Meals. I'm thinking about working with her on memorizing some poetry because her memory is so good.

Tangent, but related: when we were watching the election of Pope Francis, and he came out on the balcony and asked everyone to say an Our Father, Hail Mary, etc., Lily objected to his choice of those prayers. She wanted to say the Meal Prayer (Bless us O Lord...) instead. It was pretty funny.

I really do want to keep up on this blog, but it is hard to find time to sit down to do it. I am going to try harder because I do like having this connection to those of you who don't live close to us!! Hope to blog again soon.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

6 Months

Daniel was six months old on Monday!!!

We had a 6 month well baby visit this morning and he is weighing in at 17 lbs 12 oz. His weight gain finally seems to be slowing down a bit, and honestly I am a bit relieved!

I was a little worried about him getting exceptionally large when we start solids (next week!!!!) especially since we will be starting with delicious fatty foods like avocado to support brain growth. Although Daniel is not sitting up unassisted yet he is definitely showing other signs of being ready for solid grabbing a banana out of my hand and sticking it in his mouth!! I doubt he ingested much, but he definitely got a taste! He also likes to watch us eat and will follow a fork or spoon with his eyes from the plate to our mouths. I hope these are all good signs that he will love eating.

A little blurry, but a good example of how Daniel is able to sit these days.
Daniel is still mostly on track with his baby milestones. The biggest difference I see (compared to Lily as a baby) in him right now is his muscle tone in his trunk. He is very unsteady and I think it will probably be several months until he sits unassisted. Lily was sitting as Daniel is sitting currently (and doing it better) at around 5 months of age. I have pictures of her from her first Christmas sitting just like this!

At the doctor we also decided to get a CBC drawn and a thyroid panel. Children with Ds have an increased chance of thyroid problems so it is good to get it checked out. After this we will get that panel run at a year and then yearly thereafter. We should know by the end of the week if all is well.

Daniel was not so thrilled with getting his blood drawn. We did find out that he has better veins in his right arm, just like Mommy! It brought back a lot of memories of vials and vials of blood being drawn from him when he was just a newborn. I got much more emotional over it than I thought I would. He was quite upset, and stayed upset for about an hour afterward.

Lily still cannot smile like a normal person. I have no idea what she thinks she was doing!
These pictures were actually taken before Daniel could catch a nap after the blood draw experience, and you can totally tell how tired and subdued he is just by these pictures!! As opposed to...

Nakie time!
...this picture from last night! He has such a personality. Everyone who knows him agrees that when he smiles, he smiles with his whole body.

Daniel and I met another milestone together today. He has now been exclusively breastfed for six months. I am so grateful that we were able to breastfeed. I have no doubts that this will benefit him long term and it has been so good for our mama/baby bond, especially in those early days when we felt like our world had been turned upside down! His OT has already seen some awesome benefits of breastfeeding when she was evaluating him in preparation for beginning solid foods next week. As of right now, she sees no difference in him orally from a typical baby. This is AWESOME and pretty much attributable to breastfeeding entirely. :-)

Daniel's mouth being evaluated by our beloved OT, Miss Susie.
As far as the future health concerns go, we are still working on getting his hearing checked again by the end of the year. I am also planning on pushing hard to get speech therapy for him starting at the beginning of the year. Although Daniel is vocalizing in an age appropriate way and we have no current concerns, I really want to focus on speech with him. I am honestly not too worried about the age he is when he learns to sit up/crawl/walk. I know he will do those things eventually. What I really want is to communicate with him. So we're going to be starting next year with that goal in mind.

These past few months have been a little crazy and I haven't really had the time (or the desire when I did have a few minutes of free time) to sit in front of the computer and make updates. There are still a few things I wanted to update everyone on, so maybe I will try to play catch up with the blog as soon as Joe has his winter break, starting the 21rst. My schedule starts to slow WAY down at that point!!! Love to you all!

Although Daniel isn't looking at the camera, I couldn't leave you without a good picture of Miss Lily!! Only genuine smile I got today for the camera.

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8: 38-9

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Harvest Festival!

Some pictures from our weekend so far. Hopefully we will do more fun things tonight! Daniel is still very croupy so we are trying to keep it relaxed around here.

We took the kids to a Harvest Festival hosted by a nearby church.

Lily enjoyed a train ride!

Love her face!

Looking around!

The aftermath.

Hope you all have an awesome weekend!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

So what is that Doula thing you're doing?

If you didn't know, I attended a four-day DONA workshop over this past weekend as part of my training and requirements to become a certified birth doula. It was amazing. Being in a room for four days surrounded by such a diverse, inspiring group of women is something I will never forget. Every single woman in the room in some way or another humbled me by their knowledge or their spirit or their kindness. We had so much to learn from one another and we were all so hungry for more information. We shared a passion for one thing: supporting and serving mothers and fathers in their quest to have the birth experience that they desire. I will hold this experience in my heart for a long time, and I am still running on a high!

Please watch the following video to find out more about what a doula does (and doesn't) do!

My very first client is due soon, so I'm diving in head first! I am very excited to transition to this new career and way of life, and so thankful for the support of my family and friends as I follow my dreams.


"There is a secret in our culture, and it’s not that birth is painful. It’s that women are strong.”        -Laura Stavoe Harm