Four videos

Luke and Mary have come a long way since our last update.

Luke now eats three meals a day by mouth, and only takes formula though his tube once a day.  His balance has improved tremendously, and he is happy as can be. He loves Bear in the Big Blue House so much that the mere mention causes laughter through his entire body.

Mary loves Dora. She made up a Dora song, and I catch her singing “we did it” to no end when she thinks nobody is looking. I’m really going to enjoy seeing her grow up. Her silliness is contagious.

Happy National Adoption Day


National Adoption Day – November 17, 2012

On National Adoption Day 2011, held the Saturday before Thanksgiving, a total of 365 events were held across 47 states and the District of Columbia, during which 4,300 children’s adoptions were finalized and an additional 1,030 children’s adoptions were celebrated In total, 40,000 children have been adopted from foster care as part of National Adoption Day.   We’re honored to be a lead founding and funding partner of this coalition, which also includes Freddie Mac Foundation, Children’s Action Network, The Alliance for Children’s Rights and Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.

For more information, visit

Please pray for all adopted children, adoptive parents, birthparents, social workers, lawyers, judges, and anyone else involved in the adoption process.  Thank God for those who have chosen to be forever families and also pray for an increase in families choosing to provide a loving home to those still in foster care.

Mary’s foot

Mary's foot

So Mary dropped a heavy flashlight on her foot today. I tried to make her stay on the couch with foot elevated and ice on it…yeah that worked for maybe 5 minutes. Nothing slows that girl down! I wish I was that resilient!

Happy Birthday, Luke!

I can’t believe it…my little man turned 2 on Friday! Everyone always told me the time would go by so fast but I didn’t really understand how true that was until I got my children. I remember when I first saw Luke’s picture come across my facebook page. He needed a forever family. I do not know what it’s like to find out you’re pregnant but the instant joy I felt upon seeing his precious face I felt as though I was pregnant. Deep down I knew he was meant to be my son. I was expecting! I couldn’t even imagine the emotions that would wash over my soul the first time I got to hold him. I cannot help but thank (with the utmost gratitude) all those who had a part in Luke’s life before we met him. The love that surrounded him was evident in his happy demeanor. I am also forever grateful to all our family and friends who have shown support throughout our adoption process.

To celebrate his first birthday in our family we had a bubble themed party. Bubbles were blowing outside and the kiddie pools were filled with water. The kids played so well together. They had a great time and the adults got to sit and visit and watch the little ones run around. For me it was a perfect way to spend Luke’s bday! Pictures are on their way soon!

SHHH…We’re in the library!

I first thought that when I started staying home I would have some free time.  When I was working it just seemed so chaotic that I just knew when I became a stay-at-home mom  I’d have more time to prepare dinner, clean the house, have some quiet time, etc.   I have no idea where I got this unrealistic image but I have quickly learned it’s not the case.  I am going to try to update this blog at least once a week so I have decided I’m going to MAKE time for it because trying to find time in my day is not working.

Anyways, last week I had, what I consider, my first public embarrassing mommy moment.  Our AC went out and the temperature in our house was slowly climbing. Once it got to 80 I decided I had to get the kiddos out of the house and into a cooler place. 

I decided to take them to the library to play with the puzzles and look at some books.  They did SO great while we were there playing…until it came time to leave.  Mary did not want to go!  So I said we could check out some books to bring home.  She was so cute picking out her books (we’ve been learning about sea creatures for the past couple of weeks so she was so excited to find a book on starfish!)  I am holding Luke on my hip who is being so content and peaceful.  Mary is carrying her books up the the check-out desk.  I was feeling so proud of how well she was behaving.  After she put her books on the desk and I was searching for my library card, everything dramatically changed!  She gives me this very mischievous smile and then bolts down the aisle.  Trying to keep my composure, I calmly start walking after her.  Her momentum and speed keeps building and she begins laughing and giggling as this is quickly turning into a game of cat and mouse.

I was trying to firmly yet calmly call out to her but my voice was swallowed by her laughter.  Students are in there with their tutors, other parents are with their children.  I had no idea how to catch my fast and feisty little red head especially while holding Luke.  So I did the only think I could think of…RUN after her! If I could just be quicker than she was, but she became a mastermind at maneuvering herself in and out of bookshelves.  I could only tell where she was by her laugh.  Poor Luke is hanging on for dear life as I am running up and down the aisles. 

This was NOT working, so I stop and wait for her to emerge from behind the book shelves.  She begins looking for me and I could hear her just around the corner.  I stepped out just a tad too soon and she was barely out of reach…there she goes again running and laughing down the aisles.  I felt as though everyone else in the library was thinking, “this woman really needs to learn to control her kids!” 

Then finally a librarian AKA angel, caught her for me.  With a FIRM grip of her hand, she apologized, we picked up our books and headed to the car. Mary had a blast, poor Luke was bounced so much from my running I bet he was ready for some quiet time and I was exhausted and embarrassed.  After loading the kids in the car I just took some deep breaths and gave myself a little pep talk. I’m sure it won’t be the last time a situation like this arises.  I was frazzled for awhile afterwards but now just smile at the whole debacle!  Oh the experiences having children brings to my life!

Who says she’s not musical?

After Mary’s bath tonight, she led me into Luke’s room, pointed, and said, “guitar”, indicating that she would like me to play. I picked up my guitar and began to sing my rockabilly medley of “Ladybug Picnic” from Sesame Street and the A-B-C song.

Mary interrupted me and pointed to the mandolin in the closet, again repeating “guitar”.  I gave her the mandolin and she walked into the den and began to strum and sing the ABCs.

Happy Birthday to Matt!

Today is Matt’s Birthday!  I thank God everyday for the man he is.  The thing I find most attractive about him is his commitment to God and his faith.  His courage to stand up for his beliefs was something I desired to have myself.  I usually need at last one other person in my corner before I feel like I can make my beliefs known to the world.  Matt can be his own army of one.  His strength and courage are things I will always cherish about him.  I pray his day is filled with blessings as he has filled my life with many blessings.

Surviving or Thriving

Being a parent is exhausting.  Usually at the end of the day, if my sanity is still somewhat intact, my kids basic needs are met and they managed to not kill each other, I would have considered it a success.  However, I have been thinking alot about that.  Is parenthood simply just surviving the day?  I recently heard a talk that inspired me to go from being a surviving mom to a thriving mom (especially in terms of the Faith I wish to pass on to my children). 

I have started to feel as if I’m doing just enough to get by…but I want to do more than that.  I don’t want to be “good enough.”  I want to be “excellent” – in my mothering, in my vocation as a wife and as a disciple of Christ. 

Here are a few things I have decided to work on:

1. Bring my kids to at least 2 daily Masses a week.  The only reason Mary has learned to say “please” is because everyday I make her repeatedly say it if she wants something.  What makes me think she is going to behave on Sunday if she only experiences it once a week?

2. Look for community events where my kids can socially interact with other kids.  Today we went to the library and it was wonderful!  I can never get Mary to color for longer than 5 minutes at home but when she was around others doing the same thing she stayed there for almost 30 minutes making beautiful works of art!  She really impressed me with her behavior and focus!

3. Constantly research activities that will help my children continue to develop in all areas of their lives.  They grow so fast and are hungry for new ways to exert their independence or learn new things.  I need to make sure I foster that growth. 

Sometimes the idea of getting the kids dressed, their bags packed, and loading them in the car to go to a place where timeout is not readily available is daunting.  At times this prevents me from going anywhere. In order to thrive I need to accept that it might be difficult, but to suck it up and let my family explore how we are all growing together.  Worst case scenario – my kids throw a fit at the given venue and we have to leave.  Best case scenario – they learn and have fun experiencing new things! 

I pray this is the beginning of my new surviving to thriving movement.


Below are just some things that have taken place (in no particular order) in the past month:

1. Luke can shift his weight from foot to foot while standing and takes a few steps with assistance!  It is so neat watching him progress so well!

2. Mary started gymnastics.  She loved the trampoline activities.  She had a blast but it is quite exhausting for momma!

3. I need to teach Mary to whisper.  I was at church with my family when Mary started yelling, “I tee-tee. I tee-tee, momma!”  So I rushed her to the back to the bathroom where she refused to sit on the pot.  Potty training has proved to be quite an interesting task.

4. Luke can mimic some actions and sounds.  He can say “ma ma ma ma” and “da da da da.”  When Matt and I go “woo” he throws his hands in the air like he’s riding a roller coaster.  It’s pretty precious.

5. Mary has learned how to take off her diaper…she likes to run around the house naked.  I wish she could be potty trained already because I could see her just poppin a squat anywhere in our house when not wearing a diaper.  She’s my free spirited child!

6. Mary gets SUPER jealous when Luke’s therapist comes over with all her cool toys and gadgets for Luke and he gets most of the attention.  It’ easy to say that Mary likes attention (undivided attention!)

7. Mary has really gotten into singing.  It is the cutest thing when kids start singing and dancing!

8. When we go for walks Mary will tell the other people on the walking trails or sidewalks to “STOP!”  I’m not sure if she thinks the sidewalk belongs to her but it is pretty funny.

Raising kids is like being in a perpetual comedy show.  They bring me such joy!