Sunday, June 28, 2009

Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Pirate's Life for Me!

Ahoy, mateys!

Seamus and his pirate crew had a swashbuckling good time celebratin' his 4th birthday (a little early!)
Some mighty good grub was had by all, custom made by none other than Nanny :-)
Landlubbin' for just a bit!

Shiver me timbers! Is that Poppy or the infamous Davy Jones?

This little lassie sure be enjoyin' her grub!
Captain Seamus says, "Thanks, me hearties, for a jolly fun time!"


Monday, June 22, 2009

Another BIIIG Surprise

What do you do when you have too many blessings to count?

On Saturday we went out to visit Devon’s family for the weekend.  They live about two hours west of us, and going to Grandma and Grandpa’s house is always a special treat for Seamus and Grace.

We had asked a few weeks ago if we could bring out a cake and have a little early birthday celebration for Seamus, since we will be in NYC on his birthday.  My mother-in-law, Terrie, and father-in-law, Wade, thought it was a great idea, and sent invitations and made all the arrangements for the party.

When we got there, I couldn’t believe how beautiful everything looked – the huge garage was set up with long tables and balloons; toy dump trucks filled with homemade candies in the shapes of racecars and motorcycles decorated the tables, and a table full of party favors sat waiting for the kids to dive into them.

The guests started to arrive, and it was wonderful to see so many family members that I had not seen in a long time.  There were also members of our extended family (let me tell you, Devon has a BIG family!) who had not seen Devon since he was a little boy, and I felt like a very proud mom introducing myself and the kids.  I couldn’t believe how many people were there to celebrate our little man’s birthday.

Terrie came up to the front of the room, carrying in her arms a huge blue envelope.  She told Devon and I how she had been working on a big surprise with the rest of the family.  She and Wade had written a letter, telling everyone in our extended family about Seamus, and how we wanted to take him to the LPA convention this year.  They included a copy of Our Story, which details the events leading up to his birth. 

We have some very amazing family members, because what culminated from Terrie and Wade’s hard work was the presentation to us of a fund for Seamus. 

A fund that ensures that we will have an incredible first convention in NYC, and also be able to attend our SECOND convention in Nashville next year!  Something we did not think was going to be possible! 

Needless to say, the tears started flowing, and I couldn’t stop for the rest of the afternoon.  I even cried all over Seamus’ baseball cake as I was trying to slice it and serve it!

Terrie made a scrapbook containing all the details of the surprise, and included many of the cards she received from family.  It was wonderful to read through those cards and know that Seamus is loved and cherished by family members who have never even met him!  And for them to know how much it means to us to be able to take him to the conventions and provide this lifetime support system – my heart is truly full with happiness.

We are so thankful to everyone who contributed to this big surprise.  I never could have dreamed that my life would be so full of blessings.  My children have the most wonderful role models to look up to, and continuous love and support that will guide them through life.  My wish for them is that they will grow up to be as loving and giving as the family that surrounds them.

Terrie, Wade, great-grandmas, great-grandpas, aunts, uncles, great-aunts, great-uncles, cousins, second cousins, third cousins…all of you who helped make this possible…

Thank you, thank you, thank you, from the bottom of our hearts!  We love you!

Friday, June 19, 2009

A Dino Adventure

Thursday night, some very special visitors came to Albany...


Seamus and Poppy got the opportunity to go check out this amazing show, called Walking with Dinosaurs. Seamus was psyched to see some real "live" dinos, and couldn't wait for the show. He was enthralled with most of it, as you can see...
Until the Tyrannosaurus Rex came out. Then things went a little downhill. The show was not meant to be frightening, but my dad said it felt a little like the scene in Jurassic Park where the kids are trapped in the jeep and the T-Rex is just towering over them. Seamus got quite freaked out and the tears started to flow, and I think Poppy might have cried a little too.
All in all, it was a great experience, and Seamus talked happily about seeing the dinosaurs. Here he is on the ride home...I guess being scared half to death will wear you out a little bit.

While Seamus and Poppy had their dino date, Grace and I went to Sacred Heart's 6th grade graduation. Devon has taught 6th grade for 4 years now, yet I have never been able to make it to a graduation, so I was very excited to go. The kids always pick two special songs to sing to their parents, and they were so cute singing and performing their chosen songs.

The first song was called "The Best Day" by Taylor Swift. Oh. my. goodness. I sobbed. Through the whole song. And I don't even have a kid graduating! You must go listen to it - here.

Or don't. Especially if the thought of your little babies growing up makes your heart break into a million pieces. Yeah, in that case, I'd definitely skip it.

Just a few pics of me and my Gigi girl. She loves taking these pictures now - the "arm around the neck pit-chers" as she calls them.

"And I didn't know if you knew, so I'm takin' this chance to say
That I had the best day with you today."

Saturday, June 13, 2009


I'm feeling a little lost lately. Like I can't get my bearings.

Too much to do, and not enough time to do it.

I'm currently working my 5th night shift in a row. I've drank about 200 gallons of coffee, my left eye is twitching, and I'm not really sure what day it is right now.

I've been thinking so much lately about being a working mom. I know it's been said before a million times, but I'll say it again.


Seriously. I had no idea what I was in for.

I really like my career...most days.
I really like these goobers...but I like them every day.

See the difficulty here?

There are so many things that I want...To be an awesome mom. To be successful at my job. Cook (eat?) great dinners. Buy groceries during daylight hours. Go for a run every day. Sew my daughter some dresses. Finally make my son the Superman cape I've been promising him. Have a weekly date night with my husband. Read. Blog. Be crafty. Start a business.

I want to understand the concept of "free time."

I feel like my day cycles around three things: 1. Go to work 2. Spend as much quality time with family as possible 3. Sleep

(#3 is the clear loser in this rat race. I recently read an article that said a mom needs 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night to function effectively. Obviously that author is smoking some crack.)

And it's not a matter of wanting to be a SAHM, because I don't think that's the answer for me. Particularly for the fact that if we had to rely solely on my poor hubby's Catholic-school-teacher salary, we'd be living in a cardboard box downtown next to Famous Lunch. My job can stress me out, but I'm proud of the accomplishments I've made and I know that so much more lies ahead in my chosen field.

So how do you make it all work?

I feel like the answer is out there, hidden amongst the zillions of web articles on organization, menu planning, time-saving techniques, quick workouts, audio books, calendar-sharing, etc. But the answer continues to elude me.

Three weeks from today, our family vacation will officially start. That is what is keeping me focused and positive. Two solid weeks of doing nothing except having a great time - no deadlines, voicemails, pager, meetings, or reports. Can't wait.

But for now, I'm going to refill my coffee cup and plug on through this last night shift. As long as they don't find me with my face on the keyboard in a puddle of drool, I'll consider this night to be a success.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

POLP - Just A Little Somethin'

This evening we took the kids to the little playground around the corner from our house. I started chatting with a woman who was there with her two children.

She motioned to Seamus and said, "He's so cute! How old is he?"

I said, "He's almost 4."

The woman's son, who was probably around 6 years old, said, "Mom, he's so little, he doesn't look like he's going to be 4!"

Here we go! The ongoing dilemma...speak up, or let it go?

The woman started telling her son how people come in all shapes and sizes, which I found very refreshing. But I decided to speak up, and I said, "Actually, he has dwarfism. He'll only grow to be around 4ft tall."

And that mother looked at me without a moment's hesitation and said, "Well, you'll just get to hold him in your arms that much longer. I wish I could be so lucky."

I was so thankful for those words.

It's so easy for us to focus on the potential difficulties associated with being short-statured - the stares, rude comments and inappropriate questions that so many of us have had to deal with. It's wonderful to have support in these blogs when we encounter something like that.

But tonight, a total stranger gave me yet another reason to feel truly blessed as the parent of an LP child. And I couldn't wait to share that with all of you!