"I have told you this so that my joy might be in you and your joy might be complete." John 15:11

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Philip Funnies

Here are some of the things Philip has said and done recently that made us laugh. Hope you enjoy them too!

He takes what we say quite literally.  A phone message Andy received recently:

Me (whispering): Say hi Daddy.
Philip (whispering): Hi Daddy.
Me (still whispering): Louder
Philip: Louder!

The other night as some friends were leaving our house Andy and Philip were at the door seeing them off.
Andy: Say "Bye Addison," really loud.
Philip: Bye Addison really loud!


The other week I made us a smoothie.  Looking in his glass, Philip asked, "What is this?" I told him it was an Orange Julius.  "An orange Julia?" Philip asked.

Orange Julia

Randomly throughout the day Philip will call out "Oh dragons!"

If something is hard for him he will tell us, "It is kinda tricky." Now he is adding for emphasis, "It is kinda kinda tricky."

If Julia reaches out to touch him, Philip will pull away and say, "This is me."

One day last month I kept hearing him say "six months old" (Julia's age at the time). We had been out a lot that day so I guess he heard me say that a few times. Later that day I asked, "Philip, what is your last name?" He replied, "Six months old."

He has started to differentiate sizes and abilities, but sometimes he gets things backwards.  For example, Julia is too big for his toys and Andy is too little to play with certain trains.  And did you know that the Pope is too little to play with Legos?

He also started learning possessive vocabulary.  He will often ask, "Where is my Daddy?" "Where is my Herbie?"

Anytime we tell him he needs to do something that he doesn't want to, he will tell us, "Maybe Sunday." I'm pretty sure he means someday, but it always comes out sounding just like Sunday.  "Philip, it's time to change your diaper." "Maybe Sunday."

One afternoon he kept asking me for more and I had no idea what he wanted more of.  After repeatedly asking him what he wanted, he responded, "I want more more! Oh, more more - total toddler!

When we go out and about if he drops a piece of a snack on the ground and we are outside I tell him that the birds or squirrels will come and eat it.  We went grocery shopping one week and he apparently dropped a snack on the ground.  I looked around and didn't see anything, so I moved on.  He said, "Birdies, squirrels eat it?" I assured him they would.  A few minutes later I was putting the groceries on the belt when I looked up to see Philip throwing his snacks on the ground and calling out, "Birds!"

One morning, I came downstairs where Philip and Andy were playing. "Whew, what a day!" said Philip.  I'm guessing he got that one from his Daddy!


He has the cute toddler grammatical errors going on right now.  "Me no like it!" "I drink it all gone."

One day he had a dirty diaper so I asked him to lay down on the changing pad.  He laid in the middle of the floor instead.  I asked, "You aren't listening are you?" He replied, "No, I no listen!" Ain't that the truth!

His version of the Bob the Builder song (Bob the Builder, can he fix it? Bob the Builder, yes he can!). "Hmmmmm hmm hmmm hmm, Yes I do!"

Monday, March 25, 2013

7 Months

Julia is 7 months old!
She started sitting up well on her own last month which means we have officially entered my favorite baby stage - when the baby can sit up but can't crawl yet!
Habemus Papam!
She started babbling and can say "Dada" and "Gaga."
She seems to be a natural night owl and would still take an evening nap and then stay up late if we let her.  Instead we just have to power through those fussy early evening hours and get her to bed around 8:00.  A couple days a week she still ends up taking a quick nap and then staying up late, but overall we are winning the bedtime battle.
We started her on solid foods and she is doing quite well with them.  She insists on feeding herself and we go through quite a few spoons at each meal as she drops one to grab another.  She screams if I take a spoon away from her to refill.  Andy says we are starting to see a bit of her personality come out now that she is eating.
Judging from this picture you might think she liked her first meal, but she actually thought it was pretty gross.  She has warmed up to food now.
Double-fisting it!
She's learned that she can pull her signature bow out of her hair, so she usually only wears it when we are out and about.  But her hair is getting pretty long on top, so we'll have to figure out something for her.
Her cousin loved seeing Julia in February and set her up with a little baby friend
Julia says, "Have a fun month, I will!"

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Pope According to Philip

Yesterday after lunch I turned on the TV to start watching for smoke from the Sistine Chapel. 

Philip came into the room, pointed at this image and said,

"Look, the Pope!  That is the new Pope!"
When the station cut to a commercial he asked, "Where is the Pope?"
Luckily the keys to the church were not handed down to a bird sitting on top of a chimney.
Habemus Papam!
Three things I am loving about Pope Francis:
1. He asked for the people to pray that God would bless him in his ministry before bestowing his first blessing.
2. Hearing about how he lives in a simple apartment, cooks his own meals, and takes the bus to work. 
3. Taking the name Francis.
God bless our Holy Father!  Please pray for him!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Adopt a Cardinal

This is an exciting week for the church.  With the conclave starting Tuesday, we could have a new pope by this time next week!  (Did you know the longest conclave in history lasted over two years - hopefully the Holy Spirit will work a little faster this time!) If you would like to do something for the church, consider adopting a cardinal.  They have a huge weight on their shoulders, and I for one am glad that I will never be put in the position to have to decide on the next pope!  The website www.adoptacardinal.org will randomly select a cardinal for you to pray and offer sacrifices for as they enter the conclave. 

I registered this afternoon, and amazingly the cardinal assigned to me was Cardinal Dolan! Wow - awesome and also a bit of a heavy assignment as he is considered to be papable!

Here he is speaking at Andy's graduation in May

Since I never got a chance to share my thoughts on Pope Benedict's abdication, now is a good time to do so.  I was saddened and shocked by the news that Pope Benedict would be stepping down at the end of February.  Philip and I watched as his helicopter touched down in Castel Gandolfo, heard his address to the people in the square and received his final blessing.  We also watched a couple hours later as they closed the gates and the Swiss Guard turned over their duties to the Italian police. 

Andy and I were blessed to attend a papal audience in 2007 when we visited Italy.  When we went to North American College to pick up our tickets we were offered a tour.  I remember our guide walking us down the hall and stopping at a statue of Pope John Paul II. He said, "People came to Rome to see Pope John Paul II; they come to hear Pope Benedict XVI." 

Andy managed to catch this picture on our little
 point and shoot camera during the Wednesday audience
Andy has had a few brush-ins with the Pope emeritus.  In college, he was part of a small group of students that had an audience with then-Cardinal Ratzinger.  Then when the Pope came to the U.S., Andy was able to shake hands with him when he arrived at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception to address the U.S. bishops.  He said what many others who met the Pope during that time said. He looked me directly in the eye, his look was warm and loving.  He really took the time to take in each person that he met.  At the time of his visit, we were morning the loss of our second baby, Gabriel.  After Andy shook the pope's hand, it was like he was healed from the pain.  He was on Cloud 9 and I have to say I was quite jealous of that! 
It was very emotional to see the Pope depart from public life at the end of February. I was sad to see such a humble, gentle servant of God leave our midst. However, I do believe that he came to his decision with much prayer and I know he felt confident that he was doing what God was asking of him at this time, so I trust.
Please pray for our cardinals.  That they may be "docile to the Holy Spirit," as Pope emeritus Benedict said.  And pray for the man who will be elected, whoever he may be. He has a big job in store for him!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

One Thousand Gifts

Last winter a friend of mine coordinated a study of the book One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.

The basic message of the book is the need to speak our thankfulness to God which will lead to finding joy and contentment with where we are right now. As a practice, the author recommends writing down three things each day that you are thankful for. In one year's time, you have documented one thousand gifts. 

While not a style of writing that I am attracted to (very poetic, at times meandering) I found the book full of depth and inspiration. Ann hashes out some very difficult things that have happened in her life and it can be hard to read - especially getting through the first couple chapters. However, there are many beautiful insights that I gained from the book. Here are a handful of passages I highlighted.

"I look down at the pen, this pen I keep wielding, one writing her way all the way to one thousand. This pen: this is nothing less than the driving of nails. Nails driving out my habits of discontent and driving in my habit of eucharisteo (thankfulness)."

"Joy is the realest reality, the fullest life, and joy is always given, never grasped. God gives gifts and I give thanks and I unwrap the gift given: joy."

"And I see it now for what this really is, this dare to write down one thousand things I love. It really is a dare to name all the ways that God loves me."

I keep a notebook beside my bed and each night during prayer I write down three things I am thankful for from that day.  Some days I would write down more than three gifts, and on a handful of days I found it really hard to come up with a third gift - but I always found something.

This January, at least a month ahead of schedule, I reached my thousandth gift.  I found that this practice helped me take in so many little moments of joy in my life. When I was experiencing something joyful, I would think, "I want to put this on my list" and try to really take in the moment.  Sometimes in the evening I couldn't remember exactly what that moment was, but I had taken the time to give thanks in the present. It is neat to have an encapsulation of my year in this notebook. I can look back and remember so many little moments in time that would have otherwise slipped away. I remember where I was, who I was with, what time of year it was, without having to take the time to write a page in a journal or a blog post about it.

Here is a peek at some of my first thousand gifts.

65. Our first weekend without work and school.
80.  A baby girl!
115. A solo grocery run.
278. A full moon over the ocean.
313. An afternoon chat on the front porch.
345. Hearing Philip say "I love you."
475. A full night's sleep.
579. Going to Mass and appreciating the gift I held in my arms.
664. Being taken aback by our children's beauty.
703. How our community has provided for us.
854. Hearing joy.
924. Phone calls with family.
1000. Small acts of kindness.

Thanks Katie for helping me appreciate all of these wonderful ordinary and extraordinary moments in my life!

Monday, March 4, 2013

6 Month Sweetie

It has already been a half a year since Julia made her grand entrance into our lives! 
She is such a cutie sweetie!

Last month she learned to sit up.  I still have to spot her, but she is getting more balanced every day.  She also started rolling over from back-to-front very consistently. I couldn't keep her on her back in bed or at play. This meant that we had to train her to sleep without her arms swaddled.  The first couple days were hard, and it took her about a month to totally adjust, but now she is doing great!  She rolled over from front-to-back a couple times, but very consistently.

Julia had a serious case of peacock hair this month. 

She had a little tuft in the back that stood straight up all the time. By the end of the month it had gotten longer and apparently heavy enough to stay down.  Her hair also thinned out a lot on the sides giving the same Mohawk type effect that Philip had at this age. 


Julia - amazing how much more hair she has on the top!

We are still awaiting her first tooth.  Always a mystery on when they will come in!  For now we are enjoying her cute gummy smile!

Friday, March 1, 2013

{this moment} Storytime

{this moment} A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
Visit Soulemama to share your "moment."