Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Random Thoughts

Living without Sleep...

I am amazed these days that I can live on virtually no sleep (less than 5 hours/night most nights). No, the baby isn't up - he's a cherub that sleeps a very, very long time and patiently waits until we rescue him in the morning. Lately it's been Downton Abbey...even one or two episodes a night keeps me up until past midnight. Thankfully this is the end. I just finished Season 2. I look forward to the next.

Tonight will also be late because I was out drinking caffeinated beverages until 8:30 PM with some friends. I will lose much sleep but it was so nice to sit with some old and new friends and catch up. I don't do nearly enough of that these days.

House tattoos...

Have you seen these vinyl transfers that you can put on your walls? They can say all sorts of things. When I asked DH what he wanted for our pending anniversary, he replied he wanted a doormat similar to G's godparents - his favorite scripture quote.

Something about a scripture quote on a doormat gave me pause so I looked for other alternatives. I found this and finally got around to putting it on the wall. I really like it.

I was sitting in the nursing chair, looking at it the other day thinking "this is what people mean when they say, after one tattoo, it's an addiction - you want more." I definitely feel that way about these things.

The oddest thing is, a day or two later, Sil was going to bed and said, "I really like that on the wall. It's like a house tattoo." Hmmm. Sometimes genes are scary.

Coming home...

As you know, we recently returned from a trip to Philadelphia. The last time I was there (I think) was for a "spa weekend" just before Baby #3 arrived in December, 2008. I was staying downtown and walked around the corner for Mass on Saturday night at a lovely little church, St. John the Evangelist. When I walked in I was greeted by the loveliest man, Brother James, who welcomed me and said a beautiful blessing over my unborn child.

When we returned this trip, we were again staying in the city but farther away. I still insisted that we walk the 10+ blocks to the little church where I felt so welcomed. We walked in with our tribe and who was there to greet us but Brother James! After 3+ years, it felt just like coming home.

Of course he made a fuss, requested that we take up the gifts, and stay after to talk and take pictures. It is nice to have a home parish and we are doubly blessed to have another on the other end of the state. God bless Brother James and all those men who choose to serve the Lord.


I am looking SO forward to going on retreat this Friday. It's only two days but it will be time away to think, pray and rest with Baby G. I can't wait. I may even get up at 5 for the Morning Office ;0)


Our basement has been a wetland lately because of all the heavy storms. Still, there isn't much to me that's better than lying in bed and listening to all the booms. Especially knowing we are all safely home. Off to bed I go. I wish you a good night.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Dear London Olympics...

Is it any wonder that geography is such a difficult subject for people these days? You could have allowed my family to witness the pageantry of the Parade of Nations, thus giving us a wonderful opportunity to see the vast diversity of those competing and allowing us to indulge our curiosity about different nations, customs and peoples. Instead, you chose to waste (mostly... the Mr. Bean bit was funny) two+ hours of our time on largely incomprehensible "symbolism" and a plug for Socialized Medicine.

I guess my children and I will be sitting down this week with our Chick Fil A and pouring over a world map and a handbook of world nations. Thank you. I relish the opportunity. (Along with yet another "teachable moment" of why network TV is a waste of time).

Rant over. Good night.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

My love...

in 2003, I slept exactly 15 minutes this night...in a hotel room next to my mom. The following morning I would get up, have my hair done and stop at McDonald's for breakfast with my sister. This all proceeded the most wonderful hour of my life - when I was joined in matrimony to my beloved by our most wonderful priest, Fr. Al.

So many things have changed since then. Babies added, friends and family departed, but in the end, we remain. That is such a blessing to me. The grace and gifts that God has bestowed upon us are beyond my comprehension. I am blessed. Truly.

Even after all the long nights, sicknesses, arguments and trials, I love this man so very much. I am so honored to be his wife.

Happy 9th anniversary :) May we have many, many more.

Monday, July 23, 2012

You say goodbye...but I say hello

The last few weeks have been full of changes around here. Even when the change is a sad one, I feel thankful for the opportunity. I have begun to realize that change helps me to grow.

Goodbye Not-The-Mommy-Car

This year, instead of driving to retreat with the top down, I will most likely be bouncing my way along in the Jeep. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted. The problem with a 10+ year old vehicle is that it needs a personal mechanic. Alas, we are fresh out of those :(

Hello Homeschooling

We've (OK, I've) been agonizing about this for a few years. I think I had some "signs" that I required before actually taking the leap. This was the year that they all fell into place. We are blessed to have a wonderful Catholic homeschooling community in the South Hills and we are all very excited about the process. I feel about as ready as I can be. I think it's a little bit like parenting. You can read all about it but it doesn't become real until your first child arrives.

Officially we began our year on July 16th, the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. I pray that Our Lady can guide me through this process and help me to be a good first teacher for our children. It feels to me like the right decision. It is so important to me to keep this family together for a while longer before society takes up most of their time. I want the base to be a little more well-formed before they begin to build. More on this later.

Field Trip!!!

One of the BEST parts of homeschooling (after no bus/pickup and no goodie bag expectations) is the ability to pickup and follow dad all around the state while we learn civics, geography and history.

First stop - Philadelphia and the Liberty Bell. Granted, 2nd grade and Kindergarten means we're at the very simplest level of understanding. Still, it was exciting to see and discuss and read books and color.

Look - Benjamin Franklin!

Can't wait to find out where we're headed next!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Summer 'do

She did it. She went short. That's a LOT of hair, ladies and gentlemen.

I think she looks cute. Just in time for the second half of the sweltering summer!

Monday, July 9, 2012

#4 turns 2!

Well I, for one, cannot believe that two years ago I was in the hospital cuddling my second little girl. The one that tied everything up. The one about whom big sister said, "finally, finally, finally, I got my little sister!" Yet, here we are, two years later.

A great time was had by Grammy and Auntie and brothers and sisters. I'm starting to like these family parties. No stress, no mess and steak always seems to end up on the menu.

A few shots of the festivities...

Brother trying, and failing, to teach her the party blower technique

 Group shot :)

 Big breath in and blow...


 Oh, look, a doggie with a hat. What does it do?


 Ha. That's pretty cool.

And a ladybug flashlight to match my sleeping bag. Good haul.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Philadelphia Freedom...

Yes, we are a little late (for the 4th) but I am BESIDE MYSELF with excitement because I have just finalized our reservations for a trip to Philly at the end of the month. We are staying on Independence Park and I am SO EXCITED to see the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall and Carpenter's Hall with my little people (and my beloved, of course).

Then there is the FOOD. Ahh. I do love Philadelphia food. So much seafood. So yummy. Italian that is real and homemade. Yum...

I also look forward to sitting on Front Street,  pointing across the water and saying, "look, kids, it's New Jersey!". Wow. I didn't think I missed it. Guess I was mistaken...

Anyway, we're mainly going to see dh's very elderly aunt and uncle so that will be fun too. Having three generations in one room always warms my heart.

Stay tuned. I'm sure it will be well worth a blog or two ;)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Just checking...

to see how many Bartoses read this blog...

You can't make out the face but that is Nino exactly...Goodness. He looks just like one and dresses just like the other ;) (I know, it was the '70's)


A friend invited us out for some blueberry picking this morning. It was very hot and humid but the kids had a great time (see below). Can't wait to taste some of the yummies that come next!

C at the helm. Funny, no one looks frightened.
 He took this way more seriously than I would have imagined

 That's my girl...bill backwards and in a dress

 Lots of yummy berries

 She got almost a whole pint. Precision comes in handy for some things ;)
 Mrs. C pointing out proper picking instruction

Much more time involved than apple picking which, I think, made it more fun!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Hot enough for ya?

I have to say we have been making great use of our back yard these days. DH took the oldest three to the community pool a few days ago but, with the little two, it seems like too much right now. So, for the time being, we're enjoying our "park" and our newest pool (do any of these last for more than 3 uses?).

Stay cool everyone!