Friday, April 30, 2010

It has arrived!

Welcome to our brand new...


Oh how I've been waiting for this moment! No more three-day-old piles of dishes on the counter. Now after dinner, I can simply rinse, load, shut the door and have a clean kitchen.

Well, I guess I'm speaking a little prematurely. It's not exactly installed yet... but my super handyman husband is well on his way! Our house has never had a dishwasher before, so he's actually adding the plumbing, hooking up the electric, the whole nine yards. He's so good for me- When I say "call a professional!" he says "Oh I'll just do it myself" and 99% of the time he's right. I think he gets it from his dad.

I'll let you know when I've completed my first load of dishes in our brand new Whirlpool GU2300XTVQ.


There's a cool t-shirt that I've seen around with the slogan "Not all habits are bad", in reference to the habits worn by religious sisters. Today I was thinking about the difference between good and bad habits. Have you noticed that we talk all the time about "falling into" bad habits, but it's more of an uphill climb to create the good ones?

We've been trying for almost a year to get Max to stop using his bottle at naptime and bedtime, but every time we get close, something seems to happen that throws him back into his old habit. Last time we really cracked down, we were SO close... and then he got a fever... and then he threw up...and then he got a cold... and then I got a cold... and all of the hard work went down the drain. We are trying again, this time with a positive reward system. For each nap or night that he doesn't use his bottle, he gets a sticker. When he gets 10 stickers, he'll get an awesome reward!

The first time I tried it, he thought about it for a minute and decided he still wanted his bottle. But the next day for his nap, he went to sleep without his bottle! When he woke up, I made a big deal about the sticker we were putting on his chart, and he was very proud. That night, as he was going to bed, he asked for his bottle. I said, "Do you want your bottle, or do you want a sticker in the morning?" He decided on a sticker! Praise the Lord! Oh, but wait. Three minutes later, a very sad Max wandered into the computer room with his paci and Fox in Sox stuffed animal. "Snuggle with Mommy!" he said. So I went to lie down with him for a minute, and as I was leaving, he repeated his request for a bottle. Again, I asked, "Do you want your bottle, or a really cool sticker?" Again, he wanted the sticker! So I left, but I had barely shut the door when he was standing there with a forlorn look on his face. I laid him down one more time and asked him if he still wanted a sticker in the morning. This time he was quiet for a minute, deep in thought. Finally he said, "Want my bottle." The look on his face was heartbreaking, as if I had just asked him to choose whether he loved Mommy or Daddy more.

The next day, when nap time came around, there was no deliberation. He had made the hard decision last night and the time for inner debate was over.

"I want my bottle"

And so it had been every night since then. So much for my genius sticker idea.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Words I'll never hear again

If only I could hear this again in six years, I'd have it made!

Who's Who?

Here's a little game for you:
Below are five pictures. Can you guess which are Max and which are Lucian? People say they look so much alike, do you know who's who?






You can email me your guesses or leave a comment. Let's see how you do!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


If I could have one wish, it would be that all of our family and friends lived in one state, preferably one county, so that our kids could grow up spending equal amounts of time with all of their amazing grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. While I like to hold out hope that this could happen someday, I really need to stop kidding myself and just enjoy every moment we do get to spend together. It's probably not realistic to hope that Grandpa Yantes will open a coffee shop in St. Paul and hire Monica, Kelley and Megan to work there. I doubt that Al Trask will buy a farm in Farmington. I still have hopes for Tony and Catherine, but that's a few years off yet.

On our latest trip to Rapid City, we got to see Patrick perform in a high school production of Fiddler on the Roof. He played Mendel, the Rabbi's son, and did a phenomenal job! While watching the play, I couldn't help but empathize with the characters who had to leave their home and loved ones. While I feel just as much at home in Minnesota as I did in Rapid City, we did have to leave behind people that we love dearly.

This got me thinking about how glad I am that our boys have Patrick for an uncle. "Uncle Peej" is the so great with his nephews; Max just beams when he talks about him! We've only been gone a year, but he has grown so much since we left. I would say that I barely recognized him, but he's the spitting image of Paul a few years ago. In our house, we're rooting for him to follow in his brother's footsteps and come to school in Winona... hint, hint!

Patrick, thanks for a great show, and thanks for being a great uncle!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Go Fish

O God, we earnestly ask you
to bless this archdiocese with many priests, Brothers and Sisters
who will love You with their whole strength
and gladly spend their entire lives to serve your Church
and to make You known and loved.

Bless our families, bless our children.
Choose from our homes those needed for your work.

Mary, Queen of the Clergy, pray for us,
pray for our priests, Religious, and deacons.
Obtain for us many more. Amen.

A few nights ago, we had our parish Priest over for dinner and to bless our house. Max really likes "Father Cookin" and was very excited that he was coming over. When Fr. Creagan sat down to dinner, Max broke out into his new favorite song, "Peace Like a River". I'm so glad he chose that instead of one of his other favorites, the Bumblebee song. This one includes such lyrics as "I'm squishing up my baby bumblebee. Won't my mommy be so proud of me?"... not quite as endearing.

When dinner was over, Father began the house blessing and asked Max to hold the bottle of holy water. Talk about a way to win points with our little guy! Max was very proud to be given such an important job. As Fr. Creagan was leaving, he asked if Max wanted to keep the holy water. Did he ever! He quickly disappeared upstairs with the bottle while Paul and I cleaned up. After a few too many minutes of no noise from upstairs, we went to check on him and found a puddle of holy water on his bed. What was he doing?

"Making it holy."

Max seems to have an innate love of holy things. He always points out pictures of Jesus and Mary. He loves to hold my rosary and kiss the crucifix. He has already told me he wants to "carry Jesus" in the procession at Mass. The other morning, we were lying in bed chatting before getting up to get dressed. I asked him if he'd had any dreams last night, which I've never done before. He thought for a minute and said "...Yeah." so I asked him what his dream was about. His answer? "A playground!"

Was there anyone at the playground that he knew? "Jesus."

What did Jesus say to him? "Go fish!"

Such simple words, how could he know how Biblical they were? Could this really be a message from Jesus to my 2 year old? Or was the message meant for me? Maybe since it's the Year of the Priest, God is calling His future shepherds a little earlier than usual...who knows?

Whether or not I just got a divine announcement about my son's future vocation, we'll keep praying hard for vocations, and for holy priests.

He said to them, "Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men" -Matthew 4:19

Monday, April 26, 2010

Learning the language

Today, Max decided to try hitting Lucian. I stopped him and reminded him that we don't hit people, and if he continued to try to hit his brother, he would have to go to his crib without his "paci" (pacifier). He responded, "No! Go to crib within my paci!"

Later, he approached Lucian as if to hit him and then stopped, saying "We don't hit people. Lucian's a people."

Well said.

Why am I starting a blog?

That's the question I asked myself as I sat down to set up my profile. Do I really want my family's daily adventures out there for all of cyberspace to see? Do I actually have anything to say? The answer to both questions, I decided, is a resounding "I'm not sure..." But I've been thinking and talking about it for so long that I decided it's now or never.

The main reason that I want to blog is to keep our family, scattered across the country (and world), close to the goings-on in our house. Every day I have at least one story I want to call and tell to each of you- usually involving Max's antics. This way I can actually keep you all informed and, hopefully, entertained.

Speaking of Max's antics, you're probably wondering about the title of this blog. While I may have to change it someday when we (God willing) have a daughter, for now this sums up our little family perfectly! Max is currently memorizing the poem "The Jabberwocky" by Lewis Carroll. I hope to soon have a video performance to share with you, but for now just go and read the poem here and replace all of the r's with w's... that will give you a rough idea.

So in conclusion, I would like to dedicate this blog to Paul & Maureen, Tony & Catherine, Monica & Glen, Kelley, Megan, Patrick and Liam. We wish you were here!