Friday, April 29, 2011

Links and weekend plans

Here are a few of the best things I've read online recently.

Hilarious: Lindsay's post

Challenging and convicting: Dana's post

Thought provoking: Jim's post


Today Madeline is turning one month old - and I'm at a loss for how I want to set up her monthly pictures! But I will definitely be taking them and hope to squeeze in a little baby photo shoot as well today before she gets any bigger.

We are also anticipating a fun visit from some of our best friends this afternoon who will be meeting Maddie for the first time.

Lots of good blogging material! Which I have not had this week. The older 2 have been waking up in the morning and from naps very crabby, and the sentiment continues on throughout their day. Not a very fun way to spend these rainy days (maybe that's the reason they've been crabby?), since it means I don't feel like I can trust them to behave if I take them someplace. And if you have young kids, you know that errands and fun trips out in public have to be timed just right or they are not at all worth the effort. So we have been hanging out at home, mostly. Playing trains and watching The Incredibles and of course a little Caillou here and there.

This weekend we feel like we need to start the process of sleeping Robbie and Ellie in the same room, so that we can begin to transition Madeline into the nursery. She has been sleeping in our room and we are ready to reclaim it! I have no idea what to expect with this transition, but I have a feeling it's going to be comical if not disastrous trying to get a 3 yr old and almost 2 yr old to actually sleep close together.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Fundraiser for Misericordia!

I wanted to let you know about a fundraiser that is going on right now for Misericordia. If you are not familiar with what Misericordia is, I took this explanation from the homepage of their website (which can be found by clicking HERE):

"Misericordia offers a community of care that maximizes potential for persons with mild to profound developmental disabilities, many of whom are also physically challenged. By serving society’s most vulnerable citizens, Misericordia also serves the families who want the best for them, yet cannot provide it at home.

Through a spectrum of residential options on its 31-acre Chicago campus and in the community, and with a wide variety of programs, Misericordia currently serves more than 600 children and adults from diverse racial, religious and socio-economic backgrounds. Twenty percent of our residents either come from poverty families or have no families and are wards of the State."

One of Rob's coworkers has a son, Andrew, who is a new resident. We wanted to help get the word out about this fundraising effort, especially since there is a family that has agreed to match all texted donations through this coming Saturday, April 30th. Please consider what you might be able to give to Misericordia.

From Andrew's father:

"Andrew's new home, Misericordia, is holding its annual fundraiser: “Candy Days” April 29-30.

The goal of this fundraiser is to collect as much as we can to help cover the $12 million annual deficit.

We collect change for two days, in and around Chicago, and give out “Jelly Belly” candy as a token of appreciation.

About us :

Please use your email lists, Facebook page, social media/ contacts…. to spread the word on Misericordia's new text donation feature which is operable now."

Text a 2011 Candy Days Donation!

TEXT 25383
, and enter keyword MIS
to make a $5 Candy Day donation!
*You can do this up to six time per month!

The Lauren Rafferty Family will match 100% of all texted donations through Saturday, April 30th!


Ask Mike Ditka:

Ask Kate Couric:

But … we need to find new supporters worldwide.

Please send this email and these links, and especially this request:

TEXT 25383, and enter keyword MIS to make a $5 Candy Day donation!

Thank you for your consideration.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Ellie's first mani/pedi!

I'm not going to lie - I am a girly girl in some ways (ok, most). If you know me, you already know this. I try to be adventurous and tough but at the end of the day, I like to play in makeup and try new hair and body products and a good pampering session is so refreshing to me. In this season of life, I have found that it's important for me to carve out time each day to take a hot shower and spend a little time getting myself ready for the day. It makes me feel so much better, and the small amount of alone time also recharges me.

I have been observing Ellie lately, hoping for the chance to paint her nails for the first time. I tested out her ability to sit still after her bath last night by clipping her nails - and she did so well that I decided to try and give her her very first manicure and pedicure.

Essie's vibrant shade of hot pink, called "Fiesta", seemed perfect for my spunky little girl's fingers and toes. After all, life is one big party for Ellie.

Paying close attention, and unable to resist touching the wet polish just once.

A rite of passage for every little girl. And just as fun for this momma - I have dreamed about this moment for a very long time! I love doing girly things with my daughter.

The expression on her sweet face! Such patience and quiet attentiveness. Absorbing the attention and feeling special.

Showing me her pretty nails!

Is there anything cuter than these toes!?

So much fun. I can't wait for her to help me introduce the wide world of nailpolish to Madeline one day! But not too soon...

Madeline takes the plunge

My precious, fresh from God newborn baby smelled a little ripe when I nuzzled her head on Sunday morning. I guess 3 weeks without a bath will do that. So I decided that it was time to stop talking about giving her a first bath and actually get down to business. We put the older two in the tub with bubbles and toys, and I filled the sink while Rob grabbed the camera.

Madeline's first (sink) bath...

She continues to be a dream baby - not a single cry or squeal the entire time!

(Excuse the Christmas decals on the walls and mirror. Robbie and Ellie are quite attached.)

Thanks to Mima, Madeline stayed warm with her little ducky towel overlay thing!

Still looking tiny, even in the small sink.

I thought these little milestones would find me less sentimental the third time around.
But the complete opposite is true - all of these little firsts are going to fly by and I just want to slow time down and enjoy every moment!

Ignore my kinky post-Sunday-nap hair.

Fresh and clean, swaddled and ready for bed.

Baby girl found her thumb! Although the jury is still out - today she sucked on a pacifier for a while. I can't tell which she will prefer yet.

Fresh Air

Playing outside in the front yard on Sunday evening...

Easter Sunday

We went to church on Sunday morning and sat with my family - I'm glad we all go to the same church! Well, I nursed Maddie in the cry room for all but the last 7 minutes of the service (little stinker!), but thankfully they have a live feed in there so I didn't have to miss the worship or message. It was so good.

I thought we were doing well, to have dressed all the kids and made it to church before the service started! Sadly, I didn't get a single picture of Madeline in her sweet dress all day - she fell asleep before we left the church building and didn't wake up until late afternoon. And although Ellie spent the majority of the holiday naked, this first picture is evidence that I did in fact put her in clothes for Easter Sunday.

After church we went to my parents' house for lunch, and they had made a delicious meal and had eggs to hide and baskets for the kids to find. My mom had made a great carrot cake (I'm not typically a fan but this was GOOD!), and the kids were sufficiently sugared up by the time we left.

My mom brought grandma Jessie out to the house for the afternoon!

Watering the seeds my mom planted with them last week.

Then they thought they should use the fans from their baskets to dry what they had just watered. Robbie ended up entertaining grandma Jessie with his fan by blowing it right in her face. She is such a sport, and played along.

Waiting patiently for grandpa to open her egg (she took all of them to him, knowing he'd open them and let her eat their contents every time!). LOVE the hands behind her back as she patiently waits for her "smar-nees!" (Smarties).

Trying out her new bath towel. This one makes my heart melt!

As always, Aunt Kels entertained and listened to the kids endlessly. They love her so much!

Egg hunt

Saturday morning, the kids woke up to bunny paw prints in the hallway leading from their bedrooms to the stairs (thanks for the creative idea, Amy!). The Easter Bunny had visited our house and laid eggs, mostly in plain sight. Next year the Easter Bunny will be smarter about what goes inside the eggs - more Cheerios, less (and by less, I mean ZERO) sour patch kids and smarties, or other things children should not be eating before breakfast. Lesson learned.

The kids both loved hunting for eggs, although Robbie was quicker and grasped the concept of getting as many eggs into his basket as possible, while Ellie would find one and play with it for 10 minutes.

After all the eggs were found, cracked open, and the kids' begging to eat their weight in sugar subsided, I turned on Charlie Brown's Easter episode. Does any holiday feel complete without watching Charlie Brown? I sort of feel like the answer is no. I love nostalgia.

Ellie asked to "Hold it!?" (referring to Maddie) and I love to say yes.
I was happy to get this first picture of the 3 kids, although maybe one day I'll get one of them all with smiles and clothes on!? Probably wishful thinking.

Right after I snapped this picture quickly (I'm learning!), she pulled her arm out from behind Maddie and said "All done!".

A closer look - you know, because the screen is so small.

After that, it was upstairs for baskets and family breakfast - pancakes and eggs.

I don't want to forget this sweet memory: when I put Robbie in his crib on Friday night and asked him if he remembered what I had already told him we would be doing the next morning, he said no. I reminded him that Daddy doesn't go to work on Saturdays, and that the Easter Bunny was going to hide eggs for all of us to find that morning. He looked up at me, as if this wasn't a huge deal, and smiled and said "Yeah... and FAMILY BREAKFAST tomorrow morning!". It totally melted my heart - family breakfast was a bigger deal to him than the Easter Bunny coming.