Thursday, November 18, 2010

Annie speaks out...

It's obvious by the look on her face, that she's got something serious to discuss here.

She bent my ear last night (in her throaty little gurgles and deep sighs) about a very meaty topic, Nature vs. Nurture with regards to the love/hate relationship brothers and sisters share. Are siblings born to argue...or is it something that develops over time...She's sure it's nurture. Or lack of.

You see she liked her brothers to begin with...

those big loving boys in all their sweetness...

Until they pulled a bonehead stunt like this...

"C'mon guys, seriously...static balloons. Give me a break." ~Anne.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

still here...

My mind is swimming with great little stories to share...all the way back to little Anne's arrival (3 weeks ago!!!) Unfortunately the best of intentions along with a buck might get me a cup of coffee, and that's about it.
I find myself celebrating small successes these showering, eating dinner before 7, wearing clothes with zippers & buttons again rather than stretch knit, and of course sleeping. Sleep is a good thing. Fortunately Anne likes her sleep at night too...I won't tell you how much, lest I jinx it. But as much as I'd like to stay up a few minutes later each night and share with you some little snippet of our day...I still choose to fall into bed just behind her, readying for the next early morning feeding.
I've been snapping away with the camera though in preparation for a few spare minutes to tell you things like Anne's first visit to the laundry room (never too young to help sort whites and colors, right?!) or our recent trip to the automatic carwash (simple entertainment, I know.) or even tell you how exciting and panic-inducing it is to see the older kids growing up before my very eyes as they take on more chores, venture out into the world of jobs that babysitting, and dog-walking on the weekends. Oh my. So many changes to embrace and celebrate.

Random side note: (cause my postpartum mind is still struggling to organize thoughts and make sense of a lot of things.)
Just thinking back to mass this past Sunday, and singing one of my favorite hymns..."We Are Called." The refrain gives us such inspiration...for us parents wanting to raise our children up in Christ...simple advice we can all learn from and share with our kids:
"We are called to act with justice.
We are called to love tenderly.
We are called to serve one another, to walk humbly with God."

Friday, November 12, 2010

It's a sunshine day...

...everybody's smilin'. ~the Brady kids.

How gorgeous is this unseasonably warm weather?!

We managed to get out for a walk to the park this morning, and even strolled on over to the Middle School after lunch to visit the older sibs at recess. They've been begging for me to bring Anne in for show-n-tell, but thought the teachers might appreciate an outdoor-playground meeting instead. Charlie, Frank, Rose and Lucy LOVED the attention from the older kids who pushed them on swings or included them in a kickball was great fun for everyone.

Thank you Lord, for this Indian Summer we're having. Wish it could stay just a tiny bit say, till December 18th or so...just in time for a white Chritmas?!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

you say tomato, I say tom"ah"to.

If there's one thing I've learned through the course of writing this blog (and should have anticipated with my last post), it's that when it comes to child-raising, we all have our opinions. Fair enough. I never claimed to be an expert. In fact, something else I've learned over the years is that every child is unique (thank you GOd!), and just when we think we know what to expect, one comes along to break/change all the rules. I bite my tongue and cringe a bit when someone asks for advice, cause truth is...we do what works best for our children, our family, ourselves at any given time. And that changes.
Annie's little pink toes had very little to do with her, and everything to do with a "girls day" together. While the boys busied themselves playing Legos, the older girls and I enjoyed an afternoon of hot rollers and hairdo's, finger nail polish, and other girly things that I'd just not had the energy for in some time. We all had our turns snuggling and bonding with new baby sister, and it just seemed natural to include her in our fun for the afternoon. She wasn't aware of the pinpoint size dabs of color on her nails as she slept, and she certainly can't reach her toes to her mouth yet, so there are no safety concerns.
I'll admit, I would have never considered painting any of the other girls' nails at this age, but then thats the beauty of big family/older siblings in the house...we just roll with the changes and find new ways to include everyone in our special moments.

We thank God here for the gift of Little Anne, as she brings out the best or at least "better" in each of us. All of the kids are responding to her with great love, and the gifts they have to share in building up our family unit have just been amplified. Perhaps the newness will wear at some point, but for now no one seems to mind giving more of themselves as we welcome her in. She is certain proof that love is truly multiplied, not divided!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

our seventh daughter

I don't talk numbers often, so it's easy for me not to really think about having eleven kids...I just don't get caught up in the count. I couldn't help but smile though as I heard John mention several times over the last week how blessed he felt (and perhaps overwhelmed to think about) having "seven daughters." It was sweet, and humbling the way he mentioned it.
I smiled though, and thought to myself "Wow that's a lot of girls " when I caught this picture of him with his girls one of our first evenings home with little Anne...

On the topic of many girls...this was bound to happen sooner or later, right? Big sisters were home from school today, so they gave little Anne a "spa" treatment. Bath, lotion, and pedicure.

Anne's prayer

She's inspiring us already...letting her little Christ-light shine. I'm in LOVE with this little miracle God has blessed us with, and this is just one of a million reasons why:

Monday was our first morning "back in the routine" of daily living. John was up and off to work by 6am, alarms were ringing at 7am for me to get my hiney in gear, and get the kids off to school. I was really nervous about how this was going to work out, and yet I knew I didn't have to go anywhere...just had to see that they dressed, ate breakfast and were out the door on time. Anne was up at 6am to nurse, so we finished just before the alarms was perfect timing. The kids were anxious to get back to school and talk about life with their new baby sister, saving me from my usual Monday morning prodding/nagging. It was all good.
As they finished their breakfast, earlier than usual the kids joined us in the family room to sit and relax...and gaze again at baby Anne who was barely awake on my lap. Her distant gaze and heavy eyelids signaled a little cat-nap was near. She lay there so sweetly across my legs, hands folded as if in prayer, beckoning the others to stand near and just soak her in. Little Charlie commented "Look Mom! Annie's praying." I smiled, and whispered back "Yep, I think she is, and she would love it if you would join her." Without hesitation, several of the younger ones made the sign of the cross, and began their morning offering. (Kleenex anyone?? I could have used on at this point.) The exact moment they finished, her hands relaxed to her sides, heavy eyelids finally caved shut, and she grinned one of those larger-than-life toothless grins...talking to the angels indeed!
Thank you sweet Anne for inspiring us all to a closer relationship with our Lord...and thank you Lord for the perfect miracle of our sweet little Annie!