Pumpkin Patch

Thursday, October 29, 2015
The kids and I went to the pumpkin patch last Friday. We went to the same farm last year and the girls remembered it when we drove up. I love that they're getting old enough to remember our little family traditions. 

Along with a pumpkin patch, the farm has a few animals, a playground and tractor hayrides. We would have stayed longer, but if you can't tell from the pictures, it was freezing. I left little Olivia sleeping in the car. We brought home a giant pumpkin.  We're calling it our "one ton pumpkin" (a curious George reference). We plan to carve it within the next couple days. I can't believe Halloween is this weekend already.

Hannah was so confused by this height chart. "But I'm 5 years old, not almost 4."

Naturally, Lucas would not stand still.

Ago Quod Agis

Wednesday, October 28, 2015
Some days I feel like I have this mom-of-four thing down and other days I feel like I'm just failing at everything. Most days, it's a struggle to keep it all together. I'm a big lover of to-do lists, for better or for worse, and usually, the lists help keep me organized, but lately even the lists have been stressing me out. So much to do!
The other night I was reading through the book Momnipotent (I would definitely recommend it, I read through it in one night!), and I came upon a phrase in Latin: Ago Quod Agis. It means "do what you are doing." It's a simple sentiment, focus on the task at hand, keep your hand to the plow. I also interpreted as "don't try to do too much at once." 

When I am tempted to try to multi-task like crazy- nurse the baby, check my email, make a phone call, look up recipes, I repeat Ago Quod Agis to myself. It helps to center me. I close my computer, hang up my phone and simply focus on and enjoy nursing my sweet little one. This simple little approach to do one thing at a time has given me great peace. 

Sometimes I think, as mothers, we are tempted to do all the things at once. Women are really good at multi-tasking and I think sometimes we (me especially) can let this ability run rampant. Doing is so much easier than being. But I am learning to just be, to enjoy this time while my children are little. I keep telling myself, this time is fleeting, they will be grown before I know it, enjoy their littleness. The to-do lists can wait.

Apple Picking

Saturday, October 24, 2015
One thing I really wanted to make sure we did this fall was to go pick apples. I've tried to keep my fall activity list short and reasonable considering we have a brand new baby. I figured apple picking would be doable with our crew.

We picked a warm day and ventured out to our favorite you-pick- Sweet Berry Farm in Rhode Island. It's just outside Newport, so if you live near there or are ever in the area, I strongly recommend checking it out. 

The girls love picking fruit. Abby makes up a song each time we go. "Strawberry pickin'" was her first single and "apple pickin'" was eerily similar. Although, she has a great time picking the fruit, we can never actually convince Abby to try eating it. Hannah and Lucas love fruit, so they enjoyed the apples. Lucas loved the running room and took off exploring the orchard. 

The weather was so nice, we ended up at the Newport beach and played there for a while. The kids loved it and it was one of those days where all is right in the world. 

I just love this picture of Lucas.

My little family.

Lucas at Two

Thursday, October 22, 2015
Way back when, before I had a son, I had heard and read about all the differences between boys and girls. In a theoretical sense, I knew the inherent differences between the sexes. Not until Lucas was born did I really learn first hand just how different boys and girls are. They just come out different.
Some of these are old pictures. Look how long his hair was, yikes.
Lucas is all boy. I have to admit, I love that about him. He loves cars and balls and legos. He will throw anything he is able to- rocks, balls, spaghetti noodles. At first, this seemingly boyish trait to throw anything and everything caught me off guard. Why was he throwing things all the time? Was he mad? Frustrated? Slowly I realized he was throwing things simply because he could throw things. Boy lesson number one, sometimes there isn't an in-depth reason why boys do things, they do simply because they can.

He spends most of his days playing with his cars. He will crawl on all fours, or lie on the ground and push his little cars around. If he can't find a car, he will push anything that rolls. 

 He loves books and loves to be read to, especially if I use funny voices. I really need to read to him more often.

 Fortunately, he is a lot like Hannah and a pretty good eater. He will try anything. He loves green smoothies, almost all types of fruit, pancakes, croissants, pizza, chicken, fish, rice pilaf, pumpkin pie and his new favorite drink, apple cider. (Juice is kind of a treat in our house.)
Another chicken cacciatore lover.
Strawberry Picking this past summer.

A few years back, I read a post by Sarah at Clover Lane on toddler boys. One thing she said stuck with me, which was that little boys are like puppies. They need to be exercised and "run" every day. Lucas loves a good run and enjoys nothing more than to be taken to an open space, a beach, a field, a mall and to run. Unfortunately, he doesn't often turn around or check to make sure anyone is following him, which can lead to awkward chases, especially when one is 9 months pregnant.

He is a horrible sleeper. From what I've heard from other boy moms, this is not entirely unusual. He wakes up between 4:30-5am every morning. Every morning. If he sleeps until 6am, we consider it sleeping in. We've tried everything to fix this problem and so far nothing has really worked. We joke we'll get our payback when he's a teenager and go into his room to wake him up before dawn every now and then, just for kicks.
He is as stubborn as heck, or "willful" as Matthew likes to say. "Willful" sounds a lot nicer than stubborn. He simply knows what he wants, period. This can be a good thing. He's determined and passionate and those virtues can be harnessed for the good. The parenting challenge is in figuring out how to actually harness them. 

At the age of almost two, he barely speaks any words. I'm not all that concerned. All our kids just seem to be late talkers. Abby didn't really start speaking until she was three. 

He will say, "good" if he's eating something he really likes. He can also say "hot" and "cold" and "thank you," but only if he feels like it.  Usually he just whines and throw a fit in attempt to communicate, so that's fun. 

He can be such a rough and tumble boy most of the time, but he still loves to cuddle, especially with me. He does love his mama. I wouldn't have it any other way. 

Sometimes I have mini-panic attacks when I think of trying to raise this boy-child of mine into a man. How the heck can we raise a man in this culture which is so hostile to boys and men? I pray we are up to the task and that he grows into a good and holy man, one after God's own heart. 

St. Luke, pray for us. St. Francis de Sales*, pray for us. 

*(When we named Lucas after my grandfather (Francis) we just figured one of  his patron saints would be St. Francis of Assisi, but the more I read of St. Francis de Sales, the more I love him.)

So, It's Been A While

Tuesday, October 20, 2015
So, it's been a while since I've blogged, and for good reason. 

Miss Olivia Rose was born at the end of August. She is such a little love and we are all smitten with her.

Oh gosh, is she cute or what?
Olivia has blended into our family seamlessly. She is such a good baby, easy going and calm, except if she's hungry or has gas. This past year has been a busy one for us, so when we were considering baby names, I really wanted one that meant "peace." Olivia lives up to her name. She has brought so much peace and joy into our home. 

Her siblings are crazy about her. Well, I suppose I should say her sisters are crazy about her, especially Abby (who asks me every morning how Olivia slept the night before). Lucas is mostly indifferent towards her, but sometimes he will give her a little pat/smush on the head. I'll take it since he has no animosity towards her and doesn't seem to see her as a threat in any way. I hope in a few months (or years) he and she will become best buddies. Until then, he is way more interested in his trucks. 

I do intend to blog more often (said every blogger everywhere), if only to keep my sisters and Mom happy with pictures of the kids. Wish me luck.
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