Monday, April 28, 2008

Bright Monday

We are home today! Brian and I both took a personal day so we can fully enjoy the Paschal celebration. The kids did so well this weekend. We woke them up around 11:30 pm to go to Liturgy. The first thing Elijah noticed when we went inside was the bells. During Great Lent we don't use any bells on the censer. The deacon was censing the church and the bells were jingling. The church is totally dark until about 11:55 and then the Priest comes out with a large candle. He chants, "Come ye, receive the light from the unwaining light. Come receive Christ who is risen from the dead," and passes the light from his candle to the faithful who are all holding candles. Within about 10 seconds the church is filled with the light of candles. Then we watch as they bring out the Gospel book. The priest and deacon process with it outside and we all follow with our candles. So, it is now around 12:10 in the morning and there are 150 people standing outside with candles listening to the gospel reading and singing "Christ is risen from the dead..." When we return to the church the lights are on and the church is filled with flowers. When all is said and done the service is done around 2 am, but the fun is just getting going. Everyone has brought their baskets filled with candy, cheese, eggs, meats, and all the yummy treats we haven't been eating for the last 50 days. The priest blesses the baskets and then everyone stays to eat, drink and be merry. We got home around 3 am and the kids slept until around 9 am. This is the first year that they didn't wake up around 6:30 am. We ate candy for breakfast, had an egg hunt, and took naps soon after. Last night we had some friends over and we had another egg hunt for the kids (outside this time) and had a campfire. Today we will rest, clean the house, and get ready to start the week.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

today is the big day

Tonight is the Paschal fest. We will go to church at 11:30 and the liturgy will start around midnight. It is the most fantastic service, although it is super crowded. It will be so nice when our new church is built. We realized today that we had family baptisms as bookends to Great and Holy Lent. Little Emily's baptism was just before Lent started and today was Laura's. She will take her first communion at the service tonight. We spent the afternoon buying food for our Easter baskets, dyeing eggs, making jello eggs, and Brian made a country ham. I am going to stuff and hide plastic eggs once the kids are down for the night. Here are a few highlights from today.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

It's the elusive "cute baby" shot

I keep trying...I think it is so hard to capture personality on, well, I was about to say on film. I guess, on pixels???

Here are some things Emily is enjoying right now:

She has discovered her hands and specifically her thumb and will suck it if she gets it in her mouth. She also knows how to take her pacifier in and out of her mouth and seems to think it is fun to do so when she is trying to go to bed.

She loves grabbing for toys and has this very determined look when she is reaching. She is also getting very squirmy. I haven't seen much evidence that she will roll soon, but my mom swears that she was arching her back and tilting her head way over.

She is very smiley and has a fantastic laugh.
Because I know you were all dying to know...Elijah has strep throat again. It has been going around the Catholic school system, and many of the families at our daycare are employed there or have siblings who attend there. So, many of the kids at daycare in turn have been exposed to strep or have had it. Apparently by the time you finish your antibiotic from the first round, someone new has been exposed to the bacteria and then passes it along back to you.

Yesterday was a rough day. Elijah was miserable. He cried a lot. He slept a lot though too. After 3 doses of the new antibiotic, he is definitely turning the corner today. It also helps that Mary went to the sitter today (by her request). So he gets more of my attention.

The weather is fantastic. I mowed the lawn this morning and have plans to maybe work some more in the garden this afternoon. I guess there has to be a plus side to being home with sickies!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

4:47 a.m.

This is the time I left my bed this morning to drive to school and write sub plans. I was already awake (thankfully--ha ha) and nursing the baby when Elijah came in crying that his stomach hurt and had a headache. Yesterday was the last day of his antibiotic for strep. He is now back to sleep, so I guess I will assess the damage when he wakes up for the day. I am determined to not feel sorry for myself even though I am not getting any kind of regular sleep. Our neighbor passed away at his house on Saturday morning after battling cancer for the last 5 months. His poor wife is a wreck. She had been taking care of him and watching him waste away to nothing because he wouldn't eat and the cancer kept spreading. Brian and I went to his viewing last night. While I was looking up his obituary yesterday I found another one that broke my heart. A little girl, 5 days younger than Elijah, battled leukemia and died last week. Her dad is a teacher and baseball coach at Harrison. Brian knows him. How absolutely awful. So, I won't complain about having to get up every few hours at night. It won't be forever. At least we all have each other.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

random musings on the grocery store and other rambling

First of all, tomorrow is Palm Sunday for us!! Hooray!! We will be very excited to complete Great and Holy Lent next week. Lots of services to look forward to and the best part this year is that Brian's sister, Laura, is being baptized and chrismated into the Orthodox faith!! Brian and I took a personal day on the Monday following Easter so that we can fully enjoy the LONG Saturday night Paschal services and celebrations and not worry on Sunday about trying to get rested to go back to work on Monday. We have learned from experience that this is probably a good idea.

This morning I went to the grocery store with the girls at 7 am. It was so much better than going in the middle of the day. Not crowded in the least. It was almost like going during the week. Sigh...Plus, I was home with a re-stocked kitchen by 8:30 am. Here is a question. We eat quite a bit of fruit. Especially in the winter, when fresh produce is expensive and not very delicious, we buy canned fruit. Why are the big cans of fruit only available in heavy syrup? I like that Del Monte now has fruit in 100% juice, but we go through the small cans quickly. It especially troubles me that the large cans are probably mostly consumed by kids in daycare or other group settings--don't they deserve fruit that isn't coated in sugar? Don't you think that I need something else to worry about??

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

swimming around in my head

There are a lot of issues out there right now that make me wonder about life. Two of those in particular are the organic/non-organic debate and also recently artificial sweeteners. I go back and forth between "it's no big deal" and "it's a big deal." I am getting ready to delve into two books right now: Real Food and The Untold Story of Milk. I'm sure I'll have some more "food for thought" after I finish these. One of the interesting things about blogs is reading comments of people who have strong opinions about these issues. Unlike me at this point, who can't get on one side of the fence or the other on most things.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

updating our week

One of the hardest parts of working is having my kids get sick. On Thursday Brian stayed home with Mary because she had a fever and Friday I was going to stay with her. Then Thursday evening Elijah started going downhill FAST. When he gets sick it is obvious. He just lays around and is really quiet. By Thursday night I was really glad I had prepared sub plans for Friday. He felt terrible and had a high fever. I remembered that earlier this week there was a girl at the sitter who had been out with strep throat. With that information I made him a doctor's appointment Friday morning and sure enough he had strep throat too. Come to find out there had been several daycare families who have had it. Since we were already there I made Mary an appointment too, even though she seemed to be feeling better. She has an ear infection. Both kids are on antibiotic and though they are a little crabby, they are significantly better than a couple days ago.

Emily had her 4 month check up this week (a couple weeks late) and her stats are:

17 lbs (yes, she is gigantic)--95th percentile, but in her defense she has been on that projectile since she was born.
28 inches long (off the chart for height)

She actually has a mild ear infection as well, but I don't think she seems too bad so I am waiting on giving her antibiotics unless they are really necessary. We're going to wait to start rice cereal for at least another month.

Today we went to Menards for a couple of things and ended up buying our seeds for our garden. I am getting antsy to start planting things. We got spinach, lettuce, green beans, peas, watermelon, basil, and mint. We will definitely be getting a few more things, but some will be plants and others we just hadn't decided on yet. But at least it's a good start. We're expanding our garden this year because we had such good luck with it last summer and it was so enjoyable.

Monday, April 07, 2008

lentil soup

This weekend I made some yummy lentil soup. Today after school the kids and I were walking home from the park, collecting things for daddy. Elijah asked what we would have for dinner and I suggested Boca burgers or leftover lentil soup. Mary... sweet, imaginative, Mary, was collecting leaves to make her own soup when we got home. She loves to pretend and often gets caught up in one of her games of make believe. When we got home I was busy for about 10 minutes as I caught up with Brian, got the mail, etc. I went into the kitchen Mary had taken a bowl of (delicious) Thai noodle salad out and was "cooking her lentil soup". Well, I wanted to taste the salad to see how the cabbage held up after 24 hours in the refrigerator. What did I find after I took a big bite of salad? Leaves. Oh, yes. She mixed the leaves from our walk into the "soup".

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Where do the days go?

I swear I blinked and it was Sunday. This weekend was kind of a wash, but kind of good too. Friday night we went out to Seeger to watch the staff talent show that Brian coordinated. It was fun, except that after our first week back into the germ pool, all the kids were sick and tired, and we didn't get home until almost midnight. Poor little congested Emily screamed all night until Brian took her to the couch and held her from 3 am-6am. So, Saturday, the first nice day of the year, we spent sleeping and trying to recover. Thankfully, we all got lots of rest and today was a much better day of playing outside and visiting with his parents. The laundry is caught up, meals are made for the week and I am feeling like all the balls I am juggling are currently staying in the air.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

I am still alive

I've been a little busy lately, hence my disappearance from blog land. My first week back has been busy, but enjoyable. I am in the process of changing my expectations for a clean house and clean laundry. I am so thankful we have wonderful caregivers to take care of our children. I can go to work and not even worry a little about what my kids are doing during the day. I had still been contemplating staying home next year, but I think we have pretty much decided that I won't unless God makes it really clear that I will. What I want is to stay home and keep the standard of living that we currently have. But the reality is that if I stay home, I would either have to get a part-time job or Brian will have to get a second job. I would not see him very often and our weekends will include one of us being gone. SO, instead I think I am going to be thankful that I have a career that affords me 3 months off every summer, 10 days at Christmas, a week in spring, and various other holidays, as well as very decent hours and pays better than part-time. Oh yeah, and I really like what I do. I guess that is important too.