Thursday, December 30, 2004

An exquisite pain

Last night, just before I fell asleep, I felt such a sense of dread, as I thought of my children being adults. Oh, how I want them to treasure their childhood! I keep trying to instill just the right balance of protection, preparation, and unconditional love. Times seven. Every day. Yikes! I don't want them to have to deal with all the crap. I feel this way when a friend of mine is pregnant for the first time, and they want me to tell them what it all is like. Or if someone is newly engaged, and wants to know what marriage is like. It is so difficult for me to wax poetic about these truly wonderful parts of life, when I know intimately what sacrafices are required. When I know the slow, painful process of purification that at times feels like a martyrdom. Dying to self is so difficult and painful, and good, and right. How to raise these precious creatures to understand this, to really get them to soak it up, then to stand by and watch them be pulvarized, like wheat being ground to flour. Knowing full well that they need to be purified like gold, and knowing full well how much discomfort they will undergo in the process HURTS MY HEART!! "And a sword shall pierce your heart." Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners!!

Friday, December 24, 2004

No painful death for me

Thanks for the challenge, Philothea Rose. Here goes

Three names you go by

Three Screen names you have
Mary Poppins NOT

Three things you like about yourself
I am creative
I am empathetic
I have a high pain tolerance

Three things I hate/dislike about myself
I don't stand up for myself well
I get frustrated easily
I am not organized

Three parts of your heritage
bluegrass music
the importance of doing the right thing
puttering in the yard

Three things that scare you
car accidents

Three of your everyday essentials
something to read

Three things you are wearing right now
my watch
a sweater
no shoes

Three of your favorite bands/artists
Allision Krause and Union Station
Mindy Smith

Three of your Favorite songs at the present
Come to Jesus (Mindy Smith)
Mannheim Steamroller Christmas music (any song)
Jewels in His Crown (Allison Krause with the Cox Family)

Three things you want to try in the next 12 months
Begin a walking program
paint an icon of the Annunciation
losing the baby weight from the last two babies

Three things you want in a relationship (love is a given)
to have a soft place to fall
to feel safe
emotional intimacy that is steady

Two truths and a lie
I don't color my hair
I have size 10 shoes
I have easy pregnancies and deliveries, that's why I have 7 kids

Three physical things about the opposite sex that appeals to you
dark hair
good posture
easy, honest smile

Three things you just can't do
keep my desk clean
develope and follow a realistic budget

Three of your favorite hobbies
paint icons

Three things you really want to do right now
wake up my husband, who is napping AGAIN
have a smoke
wiggle my nose and have my house be in perfect order

three careers you are considering
physical therapist (my previous profession, before children)

Three place you want to go on vacation
tell everyone I am going out of town, then stay home and not be bothered
anyplace quiet
the Holy Land, if I could wiggle my nose and magically be there.

Three kids names
Lily Rose (what I wanted to name one of my daughters, but hubby said no)
Helene Marie (what I wish I would have named my lovely daughter Elena Marie)
Leo Augustine or Theodore something, what we'll name our next son, if there is one.

Three things you want to do before you die
be forgiven
be truly happy

Three people who have to take this quiz now or die a painful death
Sorry, I am new here, don't know anyone. Maybe Nevermore?

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

So Cute!!!

Today my two tear old ds is just so cute, I can hardly stand it!! He is wearing a Santa t-shirt, denim overalls, and a khaki baseball hat. He has chubby cheeks, dimpled elbows, a wide, easy smile, and is just learning to talk. "How are you, I'm fine," he says, all in one phrase. I could just eat him up.

I think I am all finished with Chistmas purchasing. It is quite a challenge getting seven children gifts that are not just "stuff to wrap", quality items that I want to have in my house. I can not believe how much junk is out there. I also feel sorry for all the parents I have seen shopping with lists, saying to their spouse, " I don't know what (insert toy name) does, just get it, it's on her list." They have carts full of stuff they don't even know about or want, but are buying out of obligation. I have been earnestly trying to avoid this, and I think I have succeeded. I concentrated on 2 personal gifts each, and lots of group gifts, with a few odds and ends in the stocking. I am boycotting candy canes this year, I just can't stand how sticky everything gets from those. We are having Clementines, buttermints, small craft items and one small toy each. Except the baby, who is getting a pair of cute white tights, with a rose on each ankle. I bought my own gift this year, too, as I hate having my husband spend too much out of desperation on Christmas Eve. He is grateful, and a little sheepish, but if anything, I am eminantly practical.

I bought some more Christmas music today. This is quite possibly me worst weakness this season. I just can't have enough of it. Today's addition is a "Classic " collection with many of the songs and artists I remember listening to when I was little. The Lettermen, Nat King Cole, Perry Como, Englebert Humperdink (my kids thought I TOTALLY made that one up, and I had to prove it to them that is his real name. As fans of "Princess Bride", they all said with enthusiasm, "HUMPERDINK, HUMPERDINK, HIMPERDINK).

Today has been relaxed and pleasant, and I am starting to understand it takes me about a week off of school to relax. I have stopped thinking of all the things I want to change next semester and am just enjoying the kids, the house, and the season. God Bless Us, everyone!!

Saturday, December 18, 2004

We're Getting There

Well, my husband and I went to a little appetizer dinner last night, the first non-stressful preparation so far this year. It was quite refreshing. We got the tree decorated last night, and after years of wishing my husband would be part of it, he was! He was much more quick and efficiant than I, almost assembly line style, and I didn't get to go over the story of each ornament, but, it's done and wasn't too chaotic. So far kiddo #6, the two year old, has only broken 2 ornaments, and they are fixable. The cat hasn't gone near the tree yet. St. Francis, please keep her out of the tree. My dear daughters helped me decorate outside, for the first time. They are 10 and 8, and a real help. Great ideas!! Littlies, 6,4,and 2, played outside, and the baby slept. 10 year old ds and dh at a movie. Now we are having hot chocolate with whipped cream on top. Doesn't whipped cream make hot chocolate extra delectable?! Any way, I have still much to do, but feel much more in the spirit of the season. Prayers are answered.

My latest angst (I seem to always have one) is getting the right Christmas present for the kids. I know I am dead on for 2 children, 2 don't really care, and 2 I am pretty sure about. BUT, that last one, I feel I am guessing. They all say they don't care, they don't really NEED anything, and so anything would be fun. Why am I so worried?? Maybe I was jealous and petty as a child and am transferring that to my own children.

I also think of the abject poor in the world and wish there was something we could really do. I do pray (not enough), and make biannual donations to Food for the Poor, but, what else? I got the top 4 kiddo's gifts, by husband's gift, and a family movie, 150 or so dollars. Went to Target to get a few other presents, niece and nephew birthday gifts ( we have 7 this week), and stocking stuffers, 200 dollars. Yikes, it adds up so fast, and we try to keep it small and simple. 2 gifts per kid and a mildly full stocking. Should I feel guilty, because our kids get a warm, safe happy day, while others in the world have cold, fear, hunger? Is it okay to feel grateful, knowing others are really suffering? It almost seems like I am grateful at the suffering poor's expense. This really weighs on my mind. My husband used to donate time at the homeless shelter, and take the kids to bring gifts to the children there. Lately he has been too busy with work and another apostolate, one that isn't aimed at the poor. What can I do?

Friday, December 17, 2004

Off to a better start today

So far, so good. Kids are up, dressed, no tremendous mess. Baby fed, happy. I showered, actually blow dried my hair, put shoes on. This must not happen often enough, as everyone asked me where I was going! Washer repairman is on his way. Book shelf painted, cookies made, tree up, though not decorated. Still need to finish cards and photos, put 2 boxes in the mail, and lay out all the gifts for all 7 kids and make sure they are even. I need to go light my candle in front of my icon wall, and implore mother and Son to help me get a glimmer of peace in what should be a peaceful season. I "wrote" the icon of "Tender Kissing" 2 years ago, and I have spent many hours in weary prayer, "Help me be satisfied with reality, help me have peace." I can tell from the last few days posts I need to go visit them, once again. Peace.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Entropy Happens

By the time I get up in the morning, there is already a mess in the kitchen. In the living room, and in the den. Some of the kids have been up for an hour, and tried to get breakfast. There are two poopy diapers to change, sugar on the floor, milk on the chairs, in all the nooks and crannies. My almost finished Christmas decorating is scattered, and the Christmas tree is blinking, which isn't the way I left it. I just can not stand days that start this way. And it is this way most days. I have tried getting up earlier, but even then, once everyone is up, the sh*t hits the fan, and the place degenerates into chaos, and I don't get enough sleep. Only if I supervise every living breathing thing every moment of the day to things run smoothly. And I am too out-numbered to do that. I have to be more satisfied with poorly cleaned up milk, sugar still on the floor (even though it was swept twice). The thing with the sugar is I put it up, out of reach. There is the guilty chair in front of the cabinet, but Nobody did it. Then just a little thing, like a picture hanger, with its nail, was on the counter. 6 year old was fiddling with it. "Leave it alone, please." Down it does. I come back 10 minutes later, (after changing a poop expolsion, changing the clothes and the sheets in the babies room, and feeding her), the nail is missing. Nobody moved it. So now I have a worthless picture hanger, and a renegade nail floating around a house with two children (a two year old and a 7 mo old) that would put it in their mouths. All halt to find the nail. Now what was I doing? Can't remember. BUT, the washing machine is broken, and I have poopy clothes to wash, 3 people complaining they can't find socks (I DID wash them and ask them to put them away. Some how they mysteriously disappeared), and the 8 year old's only good pants pretreating from supposedly washable markers. I AM LOSING MY SENSE OF HUMOR, if indeed, I ever really even had one.

I just got a Christmas photo with a family of 5, all dressed in Khaki and white, perfectly groomed, posed, the perfect smiles on their faces. Is that what I want? Don't think so, because my initial reaction was "Yeah right, that's real." My Christmas photo has my seven up in a tree, in clothes that do not coordinate in any way. They are cute, and look sincerely happy. That shoud be enough. All I really need is a nanny or a maid, just another adult. Oh yeah, there is another adult in this family, but none of the things I need help with are in his job description. Know any nannies?

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

What is wrong?

Here we are again, approaching Christmas with the mom (me) squarely not in the mood for the inconvenience of it all. The mess, the unpacking and repacking, the constant vigilance to keep the two year old and the cat out of the tree. Gone is the warm fuzzy feeling I got as a child. How does one translate the simplicity and excitement for Christmas as a child to the work and burden of Christmas as an adult? Where is baby Jesus?? How do I find Him amongst the worldly duties in celebrating Christmas? In a way this all seems self-inflicted, as it is I that choose to participate in Christmas cards, presents, decorating, etc. But what kind of Christmas will my children have, if, in the interest of self-preservation, I simplify this season and diminish their joy? Or am I just setting them up for a flat Christmas experience when they are the parents?

Am I just dreaming??

Today four of my seven children are going to a (saintly) friends house to play. (First interruption). I have so many things I want to do with all that free time, with only 3 children here. When I had three children, I couldn't get anything done. Now that's a light load. (second interruption). Well, 2 of the older kids were just fighting, so now I get my house dusted. Okay, back to what I was saying. I want to start decorating for Christmas today. I want to paint a bookshelf today. I want to address my cards, I want to bake oatmeal cherry cookies. I want to go get more coffe, (can you believe I am out?? I am trying not to panic). I want to vacuum well, not the usual best-the-kids-can-do job. You know, don't move anything, don't vaccum under anything, stay at least a foot away from the wall (third interruption) and (fourth interruption). Oh nevermind, I can't get two thoughts together today. I'll try again later.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Here I go!!

Well, in all the craziness of my life, I have been feeling a tremendous call to write again. I never was very good, but I enjoyed it immensly. Does this have spell check, I hope. By homeschooling my kids, I am getting to be a better speller, but I am not perfect. I hope I will have at least a little quiet time to collect my thoughts, and put them down. Stay tuned!

Let me introduce myself

Okay, the kiddos are all occupied, husband is busy and dinner is made, so I can spend a few minutes writing about myself. Gosh, this is harder than I thought. How do I describe myself? Immediately labels like "Catholic", "wife" "homeschooling mom" and "SHE" come to mind, but is that really me? I am a thirty-something woman, who is compatibly married, who has given birth to seven children in 10 years, and is throwing herself at God's feet, begging mercy and strength. I really have a terrific life, but sometimes all I can think of is what I don't get done, what I can't do, and all the things I should do. I feel at times my life and all its wonder is slipping away, lost under the weight of my own mental "to-do" list. All I want is perfection, is that too much to ask? My biggest task at hand is to try my best, but don't get too upset by life's inevitable mishaps. Oops, movie is over, rest of the family is home, and my quiet time is over!!