Sunday, March 29, 2009

The weather...wait a minute and it will change!

Had a baby shower today and this is what I found when I went out to leave. Spring....sort of. I told you a while back that I'd probably be lamenting another snow storm and sure enough here it is but this is just annoying not depressing. Old man winter just needs to get over himself and let spring take over the show. We've seen that spring wants to make an appearance it just can't quite kick winter off the stage yet!
Looks pretty on the bare branches which luckily had not bloomed just yet.
The poor tulips and daffodils were not so lucky :(

Friday, March 27, 2009


The greatest thing about FFF is that it is forcing me to scan my old pre-digital photos into files! As I was sitting here sorting through the boxes, Mari asked me what today's theme was and what was I looking for to post? When I told her it was 'unique' the smart quip I got in response ended up changing my whole perspective! "I'm unique so just put a picture of me." Simple, to the point and one of those 'out of the mouth of babes' moments of enlightenment! We each are unique!!!!!! Boy, oh boy my two ladies are unique. Two more different children could not have been paired as siblings. Yep, one always playing the model while the other mugs it up! Mari is such a girl and Julia is such a tomboy. Julia is even-tempered while Mari is VERY Mari loves to read and Julia...not so much. Julia is everybody's friend while Mari is everybody's boss. Mari cannot wait to grow up while Julia loves being a kid. Not sure if it's a deliberate choice on their part to be so different or if it's coincidental but they are unique!
Mari goes for the pretty birds and prefers to be 'under cover' just in case.....
Julia, the tender hearted, goes for the sad looking bird because no one else was choosing him! No worries about his claws know!
Julia chose fishing in the shade.....
while Mari needs speed for her fun in the sun!!
This would be the last photo EVER of Julia wearing curlers! Curly hair is waaaaay too girly!
While Mari not only loves having her hair done but prefers it done 'with style'! These are her favorite curlers even though Julia calls her the Statue of Liberty when ever they are worn :)
Closet doors mark the entry to a wonderful world of dressing and dress up to Mari! Sadly this was taken just a week after she came home forever and I cannot believe how full it was already.
Julia finds closet doors only serve as a background to pose against....well they are a little cool when painted to look like a barn too. The only clothes found in her closet are the yucky know the ones that require hangers... like dresses!
Just had to close with this other shot of her in her 'horse' room because this IS Julia.....pretending to rear up like a stallion because "maybe God forgot that I wanted to be born a horse?"
When I was younger and so naive as to believe I could mold my children in my own image I envisioned two little dolls that I would dress to the nines. Girly girls who would take dance lessons and love make up. Quiet, mannerly little ladies who would join me for 'ladies lunch' and shopping dates. God knew I had a lot to learn! I'm still learning. I'm learning how wonderful it is to have daughters who are their own person and I am learning how to step back and let them become UNIQUE!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Okay, I just had to break the silence of wordless Wednesday because today is one of those special days!!! Julia is making her First Communion in May so the school had a dedication mass this morning to acknowledge and encourage the Eucharistic candidates in these their final days of preparation. As I walked to church in the cool spring breeze the signs started to jump out at me.... The lilac bush has tiny buds!!!!!!!
The daffodils and tulips have pushed up through the dead leaves!!!!!!!!!!!!
THE FIRST FLOWERS APPEARED TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So for all my southern friends who've been in tank tops for weeks...count your blessings. Is there any wonder why we flock south on spring break when we are just getting the signs of spring at the end of March??? Oh I long for Lido Beach........

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Cobbler's Child!

Turned into a non-stop weekend of play dates and sleepovers! Unfortunately a fantastic photo op was missed when a movie date planned with good friends was swapped out for the grand opening of a new playground due to beautiful weather. I was prepped for a movie so did not have my camera on hand and even though Mariann had her's I'm not counting on getting copies anytime soon! Really, how does someone so much younger than I not 'get' how to load her memory stick into her computer and then e-mail copies???? I'm from the dinosaur generation and it has been a sharp learning curve but the one thing I have learned was to turn to her 11yo daughter and petition her to help Mariann get the task accomplished! It's a wonderfully imaginative playground with equipment that even challenges the 'tweeners who were as reluctant to leave as the 8yo sisters. The impromptu plan for a sleepover was the trick. Mari went home with her BFF while little Mary Kate came home with Julia because neither of us wanted all four at once......and they have two HAIRY dogs which would have put Julia in the emergency room! Turns out Mary Kate was on her inaugural sleepover and after a nervous start she settled right in with the help of a few Hostess cupcakes :) I definitely had the better pair as they were out by 10:30p and slept until 8a while the older sisters burnt the candle until 1:30a and were back up by 7:30a! All of this left me with some quality time in the salt mine! Both girls have stepped up their guilt-trip campaign by pointing out how much has been made for other worked! I squeezed in a Cars themed outfit for Julia..... Denim capris that I cutified were a big thumbs up especially because geriatric old Mom remembered that she wanted Sheriff on her outfit. So now the cobbler's child no more!
The top...not so much! Too feminine and TOO ITCHY was her verdict. I'm going to try and re-work it so that all is not wasted. If all else fails I'll just get a white t-shirt and applique a few characters. Am noticing the hips as I type this and can't even think straight!!!!!! How can I have TWO girls flying towards puberty?!?!?! WHERE HAVE MY BABIES GONE?????
I also finished a casual Easter themed outfit that is listed on eBay. Loved the purple eyelet so had it 'on hand' when I came across the print. Just love the religious themes which are so much more a "reason for the season" than all the bunny and egg prints.
Also did a spring white eyelet version with a cupcake print which is also listed on eBay.
Lastly, I added a siblings version to the autism awareness Disney outfit I showed you before. The Mickey hand holding the puzzle piece is on the side pocket you can't see in this angle.
Start another crazy week with the 'real' job but once ended I have a nice long 'spring break'....just wish we could have been in Sarasota :(

Friday, March 20, 2009

What fun?!?!

I can now officially report that I have 100 new gray hairs. 'Officially' you ask? Well I've been sitting here for the past two hours waiting for a call from the emergency room and now it has come. But seems only right that you know the whole story! In a mysterious move, the school decided to make today an early dismissal. Seeing as how I had some looming sewing deadlines I decided to invite the cousins over for a playdate...aka built in entertainment for my two ladies. Play was indeed the order of the day and I blissfully worked away in the salt mine leaving only to make dinner. As I settled back into my work space I heard a herd of flip-flopped feet make their way into the 'big bathroom' and then heard the water running in the hot tub! I called out to find the purpose of their trip to the tub and was assured it was a simple game of pretending to be at the beach. After a short while they called out asking if I would be so kind as to find swim goggles for them to wear. Once I saw them I just had to snap a photo! The goggles were to provide eye protection from the bubbles which are found at all the best beaches you know!
Hey, we don't get the chance to use our bikinis in March very often and it was good 'clean' fun so why not? After taking the pics I headed back down the hall towards the salt mine where the phone was ringing. I had only just said hello to Vanessa when I heard the first cries for help. My stomach sank and I'm sure I owe Vanessa an apology for the abrupt hang up but I sprinted for the bathroom to cries of "hurry, Deirdre has fallen!!" Visions of a child floating face down were followed by ones of pooling blood on the tile floor and I was actually relieved to hit the doorway and see her sitting on the floor crying while clutching her head. It seems the beach was too crowded and she had climbed onto the side of the tub to make room for Julia to 'swim' and had fallen straight back onto the tile floor using her head as a brake. Now up until a couple of days ago I would have given her an ice pack and watched for concussion symptoms but then Natasha Richardson's case hit the news. What to do....she's got a good knot, is complaining of a one-sided headache and then she starts to shake and tremble...hmmmm. Let's see, she cried hard so is she shaking from adrenalin, relief, or brain trauma?!?! As I'm assessing, the older girls have called Auntarie who decided to come and take her to the emergency room in an abundance of caution.
Here she is with her ice stick on the knot and nurse/sister Mairead comforting the 'patient'. My worry queen was near tears the whole time and the bff/cousin dressed in the belief that she would OF COURSE be accompanying the patient to the hospital. In a futile attempt to get them to sleep I indulged the request to pile every blanket and pillow we own on the living room floor to make a giant nest to bed down on. Finally, the call we were all waiting for arrived!!!!!!!! "Um, Auntie Suz is it too late to come back to the sleepover?"
Yep, two hours of my life gone(well her Mom's too!) never to be had again and hundreds of blanched hair follicles later and she doesn't even have a concussion, let alone brain trauma.....Thank you God!


Busy, busy week! Here it is Friday and I finally found some quiet computer time. This week's Fav Foto Friday's theme is we're talking a theme I can get into! Green is our family's color. It permeates our daily lives. It is with us everywhere we travel whether we are close to home...... with the gang under the lion that guards the Art Institute of Chicago.....
or picking apples at the local orchard. It is there when we travel afar.....
like the balmy tropics.....and even farther a field to the place....
that gave us our favorite Daddy!! Forty shades of green is no hyperbole when talking about Ireland. This is my all time favorite picture of Patrick under an ancient gnarled tree on the lane up to the 'home place'.
The beautiful view from the family farm in Ireland!! From this rise straight across to the Gap of Dunloe you can see most every shade of green.
There was green in another distant destination too!!!
The land of eternal spring is how Guatemala is described and from the lush tropical cane fields on the coast to this view out our hotel room window in Guatemala City we were surrounded by green.
Our holiday brings out the green too!
Julia's first St. Patrick's day as a Tater Tot! My girls happily inform people that they are half Guatemalan and half Irish just to watch the looks on people's faces :)
By her second Paddy's Day she was enjoying the craziness too.
Now it's second nature! Too bad that this year the principal wouldn't relent and the mandatory uniforms had to be worn with the regalia.
We paraded and partied for four straight days and it has taken two full days to try and recover...because I had to work both of those days! I think I'm due a nice long soak in the hot tub.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Midnight Mania....

Well here I sit killing time on the computer waiting for scones to come out of the oven. Just before bed the girls reminded me that tomorrow was the Girl Scout Bake sale right after church...oh well, back to plate spinning again! Thought I'd show you the pics of a couple of items I just listed on eBay: Here's Deirdre modelling the Nemo set I showed you before. She casually mentioned that they would be at the mouse's house for NINE days..hint, hint Auntie Suz. She's very agreeable to modelling anytime there is a new outfit as payment.
Found some Autism Awareness fabric on clearance and it inspired me to make this outfit. Deirdre will be travelling to DisneyWorld with an autistic family member and was really excited when I showed her this set!
I'm kind of proud of this applique I thought up showing the puzzle piece, which is the symbol for autism, on Mickey's iconic hand. Kind of holding my breath because I'm not sure how those in the autism spectrum community will take to this idea.
Mairead got in on the action too! Here she is in a Tinkerbell top I made for the 'tween crowd.
Well time to print out labels for the ziploc bags I'm using for the scones and find their scout uniform pieces..ta!

High Holy Holiday!

Today marked the beginning of 'our' holiday and what a glorious day it was!!! Just read in today's paper that 12% of the residents of Illinois listed Irish on the last census and I'd venture to say that all of them were sitting on a curb somewhere today. It was SUNNY and deliciously warm at 50 of the best possible scenarios for a St. Patrick's Day parade. Auntie Peggy led the trek to stake out a spot in the sun. Our little town has the third largest parade in Illinois!
The cousins were all there with their candy catch bags on the ready.
Here they are together again!
Auntie Jenny usually avoids cameras but just caught her in the corner here as we waited for the parade to begin.
Yep, there were bagpipes!
Of course, what would the day be without step dancers?
Surprise, surprise she found lots of horses here too!
YES, it was warm enough to show skin!!!!!!!! ....well for those who tan. Only the Irish ones had to lather on sunscreen in March in Illinois! Corned beef and cabbage fills many a belly tonight and those of us wise enough to pace ourselves are home resting up for tomorrow's festivities.