Intentional Summer

By | Posted July 18, 2012

Posted in Baby Hulk, homeschooling, school, Summer | No Comments »

Well, I just got the punch to my stomach.  The whole I love my birthday…well, that’s done.  Baby Hulk is off the wait list at Rogers.  I completed the paperwork this afternoon with a very heavy heart.  I’m not happy.  My mind had accepted that he was home, and the year was set.  Now it’s not, and I immediately had the same feelings I had when Goose left home.  (Anyone not remember?  I have only two regrets in life…not doing study abroad and not homeschooling.)

The discussion was short.  It didn’t go my way, despite the “new” reasons I have to keep Baby Hulk home.  I felt them compelling.  Not compelling enough.

So now, I’m feeling more than a bit frantic.  Instead of using it for evil, I’ll be positive and push myself towards finishing the summer intentionally.  I had been planning to look over ideas, but it’s been busy since we came home.  Now I’m forced to do it because I want every second to count.  Not to be full of activities, but to count.  With that thought, I would like to…

  • spend an afternoon doing puzzles
  • play soccer outside
  • make stepping stones for my birthday
  • make blueberry cake with BH
  • make peach cobbler
  • plan the drive to Colorado so that we take advantage of what we can see on the way
  • plan vacation
  • read books with each child.  Every day.
  • go to the beach, yes Galveston
  • see The Lion King with Goose and Baby Hulk
  • go to the YAC
  • swim
  • go bowling
  • see friends we haven’t seen in forever
  • go back to Austin for a quick trip
  • get snowballs
  • finish reading 4 books before summer ends
  • go back to daily mass, there is a noon mass
  • adoration would be nice too
  • celebrate a couple of feast days
  • finish one house project
  • organize all of the kids clothes, simplify everything
  • do a few arts and crafts projects
  • buy new shoes for each child
  • have a girls night for fun and for crafting

I’m sure there are other things I could think of, but for now this is it.  I just want to enjoy my time with my kids.  Soon enough someone else will spend more time with them than me, then I will get the joy of doing useless homework, anxiously waiting for the weekend.  Sigh.

Comment on Intentional Summer »

What I Love About Summer

By | Posted July 17, 2012

Posted in Happiness, Random, the boys | No Comments »

Our favorite poet, Douglass Florian, has a book for each season.  It is taking all my strength not to buy each book for our nature collection, which is mighty small, but proving to be a huge interest in this house.

One of our favorite poems is titled: What I Love About Summer.  It’s a great poem, bringing back memories and making me wishful that one day we will gain some new traditions/memories, (read: live in a different climate).

I had each boy write their poem.  They weren’t required to rhyme.  I thought I would do the same as well.

What I Love About Summer
N. Zierlein

Late mornings
Long breakfasts
Playing outside in pj’s
Reading in the middle of the day
Miller’s Outdoor Theatre
Afternoons at the library
Long weekends
Family vacations
MY birthday
Afternoons at the library
Play dates with friends
Evening workouts
Ice Cream
Peaches and Plums
Evening rainstorms
Fun pedicures
My anniversary
Time with my family

Baby Hulk


Comment on What I Love About Summer »

Daybook~ The Second Half

By | Posted July 15, 2012

Posted in Daybook | 2 Comments »

For Today…Sunday, July 15, 2012

Outside my window…the sun is shining.  Two hours ago, my street was flooding.  We will not complain about the rain.  We will not.

I am listening to…three little boys play ball outside, one of Goose’s games.

I am wearing…my pj’s.  That’s how long it’s taken to get this post going.

Moments of grace…playing with the baby, boys fighting over who gets to sit next to me during mass, (although it doesn’t always seem like a grace filled moment), catching up with a friend I haven’t seen in far too long, making plans with friends, learning about humility in my life.

I am praying for…a special intention, my children, my parents, my aunt, that I get over this bug, and that I remain calm and peaceful for the second half of summer.

I am reading…I am reading!!!  Still taking notes on Raising Lifelong Learners; just started Gone Girl.  Great read so far.  I had to buy the book because I wanted to read it that badly and the library had one copy with 94 holds on it.

On eating healthy…a few weeks ago, I was mocked for being happy that my kids didn’t like sliced processed cheese.  It turned into a thing about me not liking processed foods.  Actually, I’m not a fan of processed foods, they’re processed not real.  What’s weird about that?  Plus, hasn’t anybody heard?   There is a huge problem with kids, their weight and eating the right foods.  If my kids live their lives without entering McDonald’s, I’m really okay with it.  Regardless, of my feelings on processed foods and what others feed their kids, I have to admit two things: 1 my kids love Velveeta and shells (processed food if there ever was one) (a fact that was stated out loud but ignored when the need to mock me came up) and 2 I can’t always afford organic food.  That said, I will do whatever it takes to feed my kids healthy food, including fresh fruits and vegetables, and those foods are more often than not organic.  My kids already eat loads of fruits and about 6 vegetables without complaining, but have now started eating spinach.  How about that?!  Goose ate plain spinach, without fussing.  And Baby Hulk ate more sauteed spinach than even Squirt.  Soon we’ll be able to join a vegetable coop because we will be eating whatever is in season, and I won’t have to worry about it going bad because nobody will eat it.  We also changed to Greek yogurt, a big hit with Goose and Snax.  I am by no means an example when it comes to feeding children.  But personally, I’m happy to try and make some healthy changes now before they develop poor eating habits.

Towards being fit and happy…My body still thinks we’re on vacation.  I must have gained the weight I never lost before the vacation while on vacation.  Then I got sidelined with a virus so I’ve yet to make it back to the gym.  This week we’re back to normal.

From the kitchen…I came up with 4 meals, Marivi came up with 3 and the week is set. Fish, Jenn’s chicken dish, Italian sausage roasted peppers and orzo, fajitas, pasta, veggie night and chicken Parmesan.  Excited about each dish.

Baby Hulk…July is a hard month when two brothers have birthdays so close together. But he took it in stride and didn’t pout.  Just made me promise that he could have a party in September.

To live the liturgy…July is actually a big month of feast days to celebrate…Blessed Kateri who will be canonized in October, (we missed making anything so I think we’ll do something anyway and have it ready for October), Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Mary Magdalene, (a personal favorite), and Saint Anne, a namesake.  No specific plans for anything, but would like something special for Saint Anne.  Starting a novena tonight.

On Rhythm and Balance…The last few weeks have been a bit out of balance for us.  We left town and immediately returned to three birthdays.  The birthdays were wonderful, but so far we’ve only had family celebrations, but soon…we need a party.  I  want to balance things out and just live.  Celebrate the day for what it is, just a regular old day.  That said, I loved the birthdays, I’m just tired.  Really tired!

On birthdays…I LOVE BIRTHDAYS.  LOVE THEM.  You will never hear me moan about becoming a year older.  EVER.  You will hear me tell you who has forgotten my birthday.  My birthday is this month, as are most of my favorite people.  Of course, there are my sons and brother, but then there are Nikki, Laura, Denise and Shea.  July really rocks for birthdays.

Random fact…I’ve had an iphone 3 since the 4 came out.  I got Lance’s old phone.  About 15 months ago, I cracked the face on my phone.  I never got it fixed, and it’s just become worse.  But it still worked.  Mostly.  I finally got a new phone.  And I hear the next version is coming out this fall.  Figures.

Around the house…we made this flag.  The stripes are courtesy of one very loud, screaming little girl.  She hated every single second.  And despite my best efforts, she got paint on her shorts.  Stars are the boys’ fingerprints.  It’s on canvas so we can bring it out each year.

Loving the moments…when I get to spend some time with just Baby Z.  I hate to even admit this because many people have the opinion that having several kids means less attention for each child.  I disagree.  My life is not busier than my friends with one or two kids.  Now shower time might be more chaotic.   Anyway, it’s just so sweet watching her play, listen to books, get bored with books, and her toys.  She has a slight temper.  Today she tossed a toy clear across the room.  I managed to calmly tell her to find it and bring it to me.  She did.  Guess there’s something to be said about keeping my cool.

Little one…had a rough night.  Had no desire to sleep in her room, finally after failing to calm her down, I had to take her out.  Then she refused to look at me.  She’s an interesting sleeper, she’s been sleeping through the night since 3.5 months, but she definitely has evenings every month where she just wants me.  And I guess that’s okay.

Plans for the week…a week of play dates.  There are lots of friends we haven’t seen in awhile and this is the week.  I am pretty happy to spend time with these friends, mainly because I really like the parents of said friends.

A picture to share…

My 8 year old was having a birthday party for one of the Snoopys.  His idea.

Comment on Daybook~ The Second Half »

Old School Birthday

By | Posted July 15, 2012

Posted in birthday, pictures, Snax | No Comments »

Those women pinning party boards have nothing on me.

Snax wanted a chocolate cake with white frosting.  And sprinkles.  And strawberries.  He was very clear.  Nothing else would do.

He also wanted hats.  So he got hats.

I do have aspirations that someday I will have a party worthy of Pinterest, (yes, I am one of those women that have several party boards) but for now, I’ll settle for these smiles.

Comment on Old School Birthday »

Vacation Pictures, The Uncensored Version

By | Posted July 14, 2012

Posted in Brian, Lance, Paul, pictures, travel | No Comments »

I love pictures.  A lot.  They make me happy.  I took quite a large amount of pictures over the vacation.  Paul asked me what I did with all my pictures.  I’ve known Paul since high school, he’s made all the photo albums.  He should know better.  I look at them.  What did he think I did with them?!

Seriously, though, I look through old pictures more than most people.  And not because I’m yearning for old times, but because I love the people in my pictures and they make me smile.

Without any apologies, but a word of warning, here are the vacation pictures that make my heart happy.  It took a lot of condensing, but here are my favorites.  All 36 of them.



Comment on Vacation Pictures, The Uncensored Version »

Five For Friday~ Best of Vacation Pics

By | Posted July 13, 2012

Posted in Five For Friday, pictures, travel, vacations | 2 Comments »

Last night, I started going through the pictures from Key West.  I love them all.  They bring back such great memories.  First off, it was me and Lance away for 6 days without our children.  That’s not really something I go for normally, but this trip was special.  It was for our ten year anniversary.  He wanted it, I was dragging, then Paul and Brian took over and reservations were made.

We had a blast.  Once I got past the damn plane.  When we made reservations, nobody mentioned the small/tiny plane I would be required to board to get to Key West.  The conversations prior to the flight and during the flights were tense.  But I made it there, completely and utterly drugged up, but I made it.  And let’s be real, it wasn’t my first round with Xanax so I was good to go once we landed.  I vaguely remember telling everyone we needed matching tattoos around 2 am.  (There is nothing to show, the guys all refused.)

Sure, it was hot.  Very hot,  And humid.  But honestly, I was with my favorite people in the world so I was fine.  Plus, we had a pool at our cottage.  We would just run home and take a swim.

The week was wonderful: we ate a lot, drank a lot, swam in our pool, stayed up late talking, walked all over, went snorkeling, took a sunset cruise, had someone take the four of us out on a boat to fish and snorkel, saw dolphins.  We really enjoyed our time.

We stayed on Love Lane.  How fitting for an anniversary trip.

My honey, who makes everything amazing.

Comment on Five For Friday~ Best of Vacation Pics »

One More July Birthday

By | Posted July 11, 2012

Posted in birthday | No Comments »

Two of my favorite people share the same birthday: Goose and my brother.  Kind of cool, right?!  My brother is a great guy.  Although we’re five years apart in age, we’ve always been close.  When cell phones used to be expensive, he was a huge part of my bill.  He’s always been there for me, and I really admire him.  It’s fitting that Goose shares a birthday with him.  Happy Birthday to the best brother in the world.  I hope my boys and girl are just like you and me and remain close to each other throughout their lives.  Age really doesn’t matter, just love.

Comment on One More July Birthday »

When I Grow Up

By | Posted July 11, 2012

Posted in Snax | No Comments »

Squirt has aspirations to be in the UFC.  I am so not kidding.

Goose aspires to be a doctor, much to Paul’s dismay.

Snax…when he is 20, he is going to be a dragon.

Lance said, “you can be a clown or a priest, which one?”  Snax replied with some frustration as he thought this was clear, “I’m going to be a dragon.”  Lance wanted to know “what are you going to do afterwards”.  Snax-“fly”.  WTF did you think was running through his mind.  I am positive of that.

Comment on When I Grow Up »

I’m Four

By | Posted July 11, 2012

Posted in birthday, Snax | 2 Comments »

Happy Birthday, Snax!  You are now four years old.

Kid, you are hilarious.  You are cuddly.  You are sweet.  You love your sister so much.  You have the cutest voice ever.  You ask me if I’m happy.  You fully live life.  Every second of the day.

You light up a room when you come running in…your lopsided run with the huge arms.  You talk nonstop.  And you won’t stop talking until you are acknowledged.  You have truly taught me how to be present to your children.

Last night we asked if you wanted to sleep with us or your brothers.  You chose your brothers.  Really, anything your brothers want, you want.  And while it’s sweet, it makes me feel as if you’ve missed being three years old.  You are too young to want Pokemon cards, but you want them because BH and Goose have them.  And that’s my only complaint about you.  I want you to just be you, the 3 year old, well 4 year old.  You have all the time in the world to be older.

You also copy the boys, if they have a tummy ache, you have a tummy ache.  Sometimes copying works for you, and sometimes it works against you.  Remember the time we were in Target and you wanted some toy insects?  Baby Hulk decided he didn’t like them so you didn’t either.  Except you really did like them!  And now we have to check the dollar spot for big plastic bugs every time we go to Target.

Seriously kid, you crack me up.  You make everyone laugh.  The amount of time you spend thinking about your tummy is a bit much.  In the middle of breakfast, you ask about dinner.  “What’s for dinner, mom?”  And if it’s chicken, you immediately fall to the ground and wail, “chicken, not chicken.”  Before you fall asleep at night, you tell me exactly what you want for breakfast.  It’s pretty obnoxious, but it’s you.  Cute and sweet.

Sometimes it’s as if your tummy has a mind of it’s own.  Not only does your tummy want a snack, it also wants to watch a funny show, not learning shows.

Your nickname has really taken off this past year.  It’s not just a family nickname.  People who don’t know you call you Snax.  It’s all over Twitter.  Because of dad, people feel like they know you.  They want to hear stories about you.

At three you developed a love of Star Wars.  You have an unusual amount of Star Wars t-shirts, but the ones you love the most are the ones with Darth Vadar.  You are in love with the Dark Side.  Which hopefully, means you are sneaky.  It would make me so proud.

Snax, you are so sweet.  You love Baby Z so much.  You share your food with her, give her toys and try and carry her.  Thankfully, you have learned how to carry her without choking her.  You love all of your grandparents.  You say grandpa so adorably, and distinguish between the two by calling one the big grandpa and the other the little grandpa.  You’re smart like that.  You love on me daily and it makes my heart melt.

You’re pretty smart too.  In a much different way than your older brothers.  You are what they call street smart.  You are somewhat of a challenge for me as far as teaching goes, but that’s fine.  I know just what to do with you and that’s to have as much fun learning as possible.

Snax, you’re sitting in my arms right now.  Napping after a nasty spill.  I love that you run to me, snuggle me and talk in that adorable voice.  I have a chocolate cake with white frosting, sprinkles and strawberries, plus ice cream.  It’s quite a cake you asked for, but anything for you on your special day.

Happy Birthday, my boy.  I look forward to next year, but hope I never forget one minute of this last year.  I love you!  God bless you.  Even if you don’t like the long church!

Comment on I’m Four »


By | Posted July 9, 2012

Posted in birthday, Goose | 7 Comments »

Here we are again.  Dear boy, this year has passed by so very fast.  Too fast, but we have enjoyed it.  I am not regretting a thing right now.  I am enjoying the gift that you are.

And you are a gift.  A real gift to me and our family.

I watched you in mass yesterday and just marveled.  You are one of the sweetest boys with little kids.  The family of five that sat in front of us~  You were playing with the 2 year old in the pews.  (You don’t even know this family by name.)  And the love you have for your sister.  I know, she’s one of your favorite people.  And you treat her as such.  Your love for little children makes me so proud.

It’s been quite a year for you, my boy.  A good year.  You have excelled this year and have been so happy.

When I think of the past year, your First Communion immediately comes to mind.  Even now, you can tell me just how many times you’ve received Christ in the Eucharist.    Five times.  Your ease with Confession is inspiring to me.  I hope you always keep that love for Christ in your heart.

You also had a wonderful school year.  Straight A’s, kid.  You set a goal and made it come true.  Remember the time you couldn’t understand why you had a certain grade on an assignment?  The grade was pretty low, and you knew it could affect your straight A’s.  I told you to deal with it, and you did.  You went straight to your teacher and asked her why points had been removed.  You took control of your grades.  This one act says so much about what kind of person you are.  I hope you always set goals, take charge and make your dreams come true.

You’ve always been my speller.  And this year you were selected to represent your class in the spelling bee.  Actually you weren’t selected, you earned your way into the school bee.  I predict this won’t be your only school spelling bee.

You still read all the time.  You take a flashlight to bed, you take books in the car and still like to cuddle and read with me.  You love sports.  And you’re pretty good at basketball and baseball.  I never thought I would like watching little league, but I love it.  Seeing you on the basketball court gives me such pride.  And to see you and Baby Hulk on a team together is even better.  I watch the two of you together, and you are the best of buddies.  I hope you always have your brother’s back like he does with you.

At eight years old, you’re a pretty well rounded kid.  Just like your dad.  Generally, I think of you as being just like me, and you most definitely are when it comes to your personality, but I love how much I see your dad in you.  You are now the encyclopedia when it comes to football.  You watch shortcuts of NFL games and knew all the bowl games this year.  Your dad is proud of you for many reasons, but he has the biggest twinkle in his eye when you want to stay up to watch a sporting event.

You’ve grown so much this year, but you are still a little boy.  I catch you skipping, and it makes my heart swell.  It’s my favorite move.  You love Snoopy more than anything, possibly even me and Baby Z.  When I asked what you wanted for your birthday, you said you wanted some Snoopy figures.  I searched everywhere to make sure you got your birthday wish.  With help from dad, there were three on your cake today.  I will do that for you.  Anything to keep you young.  Because while I say I’ve embraced this year, I can admit just how fast it’s gone.  And I don’t like it.  I want time to stop.  I want things to stand still.

But they won’t, I know it.  I will continue to watch you grow.  I know how blessed I am to be your mom.  I thank God for you every day.  I remember every detail from the day you were born and so many other details from your life.  You are such a sweet little boy, a bit bossy, as smart as I always knew you were and you love your family.

One of my favorite memories of you this year was your disgust upon reading about a kid who didn’t want another sibling.  You just didn’t get that kind of thinking.  In fact, you expect to have another siblings in a year.  For me, that says we’re doing something right.  Even though you kind of expect to be top dog a lot of the time, you love family.  Whether it’s listening to music with your big brother, watching silly videos or playing soccer out back, you love them.

Next year, you start third grade.  I wonder if you will still want me to walk you into school.  I hope so, but realize that you might not and that’s okay.  I can watch you grow because you make me so proud.  I love who you are and who you are becoming.

Happy Birthday, my sweet boy.  I love you dearly.  This past year was remarkable, and I know next year will be even better.  May God bless you always, and Mary and the Saints continue to pray for you.

Comment on Eight »