Thursday, May 7, 2009


Entry for May 26, 2008
I was so tired after yesterday that I had trouble sleeping.
In the morning we went to Mass. Charlie was extremely giggly and Joe had to take him out. Then, as we were going up for communion, Genevieve had a meltdown and had to dragged, uh, taken out. After Mass, I looked for a woman named Genevieve that I "met" through the homeschool Yahoo Group. In the parking lot I see a woman who fits her description. "Genevieve?" I ask. "Yes! AnnMarie?" We have officially met face-to-face. She says she would like Angelina to meet her daughter of the same age. At the same time, Charlie declares a need to wash his hands and bolts back into church, where a pancake breakfast is taking place, so there are lots of people in there. I tell Bella to follow him and I have Angelina with me, right behind. On the way in, Angelina screams. I look down at her and see blood gushing out of her foot. "My scab!" she yells. She had fallen on concrete several days earlier and had a scab on the top of her foot. It somehow ripped completely off on the way in. I marvel at the volume of blood. We race to the bathroom. I see Charlie coming out and quickly tell Bella to walk him to the car and tell Joe what's going on. Then, I take Angelina into the bathroom and try to stop the flow of blood (did I mention she was wearing her white dress shoes?). I wet some paper towels and sop up what is there, but more keeps coming. I scoop her up into my arms because she is hysterical, and try to hold the papaer towel on, but it isn't working. I decide that, since we live 3 minutes from church, we'd better just get home.
We leave the bathroom and Genevieve comes over and asks how she can help. I tell her that I think it is best we leave. An usher, Vince, comes over. "What happened? he asks, a look of alarm on his face. "A scab got ripped off," I answer, "We are going home to fix her up." The shoe is dangling now, and blood is pooling inside the shoe. "Is that all that happened?" Vince asks, still alarmed. A woman comes running over with a first aid kit and begins to dress Angelina's wound. Genevieve formally introduces me to Vince and he smirks and says, "Yeah, I have seen you and your family at Mass." And heard us, no doubt.
The lady, who I don't remember actually meeting, gets Angelina all wrapped up. Genevieve's daughter comes over and we try to get the girls to talk to distract Angelina. She's having none of it. I apologize and promise we will get together another time, under better conditions. Then we leave and, on the way out, I thought I heard a collective sigh of relief coming from the church hall.
When we get home, I spray Angelina's shoe with some cheapo oxygen cleaner and it works like a charm. Great-- something positive!!!
Then we eat lunch and leave to meet some friends in the church parking lot and follow them to Kauffman Staduim for the Family Rosary Crusade. We get there, surprisingly, with no problem. After we arrive, we lose Noah. We spend time looking for him. We are freaked out. We find him sitting with the friends we came with. It's one of those "I don't know whether to hug you or punish you" moments. Our friends found seats that were in the shade, which was great because it was 90 degrees and very sunny. There was about 45 minutes of praise and worship music, which everyone enjoyed. Then the Bishop came out and gave a talk. Then we said the rosary. They had each prayer represented by a country and the prayer was said in the language of the country. It was pretty awesome to hear the same prayers in all those different languages. But I actually didn't hear all of the prayers, because we had to make 4 trips to the bathroom. Then I had to reprimand a couple of the kids for not behaving reverantly during prayer. I imagined an entire stadium of 25,000 people praying peacefully and there were 7 seats where there was chaos...
Anyway, we prayed for peace in the world and in out families and the Bishop did Benediction and blessed the crowd with the Most Blessed Sacrament**. It was amazing to be at an event like this and we felt very blessed to be able to be there.
After we left, we headed toward a buffet restaurant that Joe and I decided we would go to for dinner. We thought we would surprise the kids. They ask where we are going. Joe tells them to Chez Poisson a fancy French restaurant that serves only fish soup. They all moan and complain. He tells them it took him 3 months to get reservations, mostly because he doesn't speak French. More moaning and complaining. He asks if he mentioned their specialty, a warm salad? "Bleccch!" they all yell. They start lobbying for the buffet restaurant. Joe protests. When we pull into the parking lot Noah asks, "Dad, were you joking?"
We go in and eat and thoroughly enjoy ourselves. It was a good time. Much better than that stuffy Chez Poisson ever could have been ;) So, we had blood, we got lost, we achieved an intimate relationship with a public bathroom, but the day ended well.
**For those of you who are not Catholic and have no idea what I might be talking about, please refer to the New Testament, Gospel of John, Chapter 6. Catholics interpret it literally.

Entry for May 24, 2008
Genevieve's birthday is coming up. She will be 4 in June and she is already plotting and planning for the big event. First came some royal proclamations:
"When I am 4 I will not need help going to the bathroom."
"When I am 4 I will not wear pull-ups at night."
"When I am 4 I will not scream when I get my hair washed."
Big, big plans. She has an ongoing list of presents she wants: a pack of gum ("My own pack of gum."), a box of tic tacs and some gummy worms. She also wants "big scooter." She has a scooter already-- she's not getting another one and has been informed of this.
Then, there's the cake. "I want a lot of cream!" she tells me, shaking with excitement. "And strawberries! Can it be with cream and strawberries? A lot of them?" Yes, I tell her, I can make a strawberry shortcake for her birthday. "Strawberry Shortcake? You will make me a Strawberry Shortcake cake for my birthday? But I wanted Hannah Montana. How about half Strawberry Shortcake and half Hannah Montana?"
Sigh. And I thought I was getting off easy with the gum and candy...

Entry for May 16, 2008
A well-meaning friend sent me an e-mail about the brown recluse spider. Our computer is in the kitchen, right out in the open, and the kids came in the back door just as I was opening the e-mail. Right there in front of us, were disturbing pictures of spider bites. I closed the e-mail quickly, but the kids saw some of the pictures and all kinds of questions get thrown at me. I Google the spider. Turns out the spider is prevalent in Missouri (oh, great). It rarely bites humans, but when it does, if it is not treated quickly enough, the flesh around the bite can rot (oh, really great). I don't let the kids know. I explain to the kids that we need not worry too much about spiders, but just be careful not to play with them or pick them up without asking an adult first. We find a good picture and description of the spider and save it in favorites, so we have a quick way of identifying it. Noah was very interested that it has six eyes and a violin-shaped marking on it's body. The kids are still nervous, though, and Angelina wants to move back to IL. I assure her that every region of the country has some kind of unpleasantness, but she doesn't care. The tiny child is quaking. Being Italian, I assure myself that food will help her get over this. I serve lunch and that distracts her for awhile. Later they go outside to play. Whew!
When Joe comes home the first thing on their minds is the spider. They tell him all about it. I make sure he knows that I didn't sit them down and force them to watch a slide show of graphic pictures of spider bites, just in case he was wondering.
After dinner, Bella and I go food shopping. When we get home, around 8:00, Noah informs Bella that they have started a Backyard Naturalists Club and Dad is the leader. Angelina tells that Daddy found a crab spider and and looked it up online. She was very excited because it is definitely not harmful and it walks just like a crab. Seems she got over her fear of spiders. Bella wants to join. Noah questions her qualifications. Bella announces that she is the one who spotted the skink. She's in.
So, now, instead of a frightened brood of children, we have a club interested in the local wildlife. Obviously there are some things only Dad can handle...

Entry for May 05, 2008
My kids were playing outside today and found a skink on the back deck (if you do not know what a skink is, see above). Sounds like a Dr. Seuss creation. They didn't know it was a skink at the time, but when Joe got home they described it to him and he found out online that it was a five-striped skink. We have also seen wild turkeys in the backyard. Joe says all we need is some wild cranberry sauce and wild potatoes to go with them...
Today is my godson Jonny's birthday. We called him up and sang "Happy Birthday." Angelina did the cha-cha-chas. Afterwards she talked to him on the phone and gave him the news about her tooth coming out. Genevieve, standing next to her, whispers, "Don't forget to tell him Mom pulled it out with lip gloss!"

Entry for May 01, 2008

Charlie got out of bed the other night after everyone was tucked in and came into our room. I asked him what he needed and he told me that in September, he wants to fly to China on a vulture. Then he cracked up. He is such a joker. (Although, with the price of fuel skyrocketing, vulture flight just may become the norm. Maybe Charlie is actually a prophet...)
The next day, at lunch time, Bella was making one of her gourmet sandwiches. She put on some roast beef, provolone, pepperoni, the onions and celery from a container of Sicilian olive salad and some mushroom salad. Angelina was checking out the sandwich and said, "Wow, Bella, you make good crochet sandwiches!" After the shock and confusion wore off, we realized she meant "gourmet."
After lunch, Angelina was complaining that her loose tooth was bugging her. She asked me to help her pull it out. It was really hanging. So, we got some dental floss, wrapped it around the tooth and pulled. It came right out. She looks so cute with her first missing tooth. And she whistles a bit when she makes the "s " sound.
A long time ago I did the same thing with Charlie. He had a loose tooth that hung on for weeks. Every time he smiled it was in a different spot. I took the dental floss and got it out in a jiffy. But after that, he would never let me floss his teeth. The poor kid thought I wanted to take all his teeth out. He got over it, though. He flosses regularly now.

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