Thursday, December 31, 2009

Well, hello!

This photo of you is at 8 weeks. My first words were "Well, there you are!" Our first photo of you. Who will you be? Will you be a boy or a girl? Who will you look like? Will you have black hair like Rose, strawberry blond hair like Lillie, or will you be bald like Vianney? It is so fun to think about.
Today, I heard you for the first time. Your heartbeat was 173. I am 11 weeks along and usually don't hear my babies this early. It is a miracle every time. When Dr. McNeely found your little heart, I said "Well, hello!" I can't wait to meet you.

Our true home.

Tonight while driving home:

Lillie: I miss my godparents. (Her godparents are Uncle Matt and his late wife, Megan who died almost 4 years ago.)

Me: Lillie, we saw Uncle Matt all weekend.

Lillie: No, I miss my godmother. The girl Uncle Matt married first.

Me: We all miss her!

Lillie: I can't wait to see her.

Me: When will you see her?

Lillie: When God calls me home.

These conversations are always beautiful. I truly got an instant lump in my throat at her last comment. She said it so plainly, so beautifully. I, too, get a little anxious when they talk this way because I always think, "Are you trying to tell me something?" I must remember that we all will be called home. What confidence she has!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I want to remember this...

John's grandfather, Pete Hart, is truly one of my favorite people. I could listen for hours upon hours to his stories, advice, and spiritual insights. Last night, we were talking and I just need to jot down the random things I remember that he told me.

We started talking about WWII. He remembers where he was when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. He was playing football in a college stadium with some buddies. The patriotism back then was unbelievable. He was the second youngest of seven boys. He remembers crying and begging his father to let him enlist. His father recommended to him to finish college first. He told me that he was glad he did finish college, but at the time didn't see it that way. Six of the boys entered the war, but the one son was a priest, Fr. John Hart. He wanted to enlist, but the army said six sons was enough for one family.

His parents were DEVOUT Irish Catholics. His father went to three masses EVERYDAY. He served the 5:30 mass at a convent then attended two others in town. The mass truly was the focus of his father's life. He said that if you ever needed to find his father you could always find him at the tenth station of the cross praying his rosary. Grandpa said that his father was very fiscally conservative and saw the Great Depression coming so prepared for it. Grandpa doesn't remember much changing in their home during the Depression. He had a wonderful childhood. His brother, Larry, was one of the men who can be seen putting up the flag at Iwo Jima. Fascinating.

Grandpa and his late wife, Izzy have 12 children on earth and three in heaven. They didn't have a car for many years of their early marriage. He said they never thought about the fact that they didn't. His wife came from a very wealthy family in Iowa, but her parents believed that each man should provide for his own. He was glad his father-in-law didn't help them. He said it made them a family and look forward to things. When they finally bought their home, he remembers getting curtains being such a big deal.

He told me his wife made their most difficult children "her favorites." She would say that because they needed her more so they were her favorites. What a beautiful way to look at one's difficult children! You are my favorite! Izzy battled illnesses their whole marriage, but he doesn't remember her ever complaining. She had several back surgeries which caused her extreme and constant pain, but she was always joking about it. She joked about the "electric underwear" she wore for pain relief.

On a side note, he is a fabulous father and grandfather. He writes all his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren several times a year. He always remembers everyone on their birthday with a card, holy card, and gift. He writes a personal note to his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren on Christmas...over 100 people. He always tells them how proud he is of them, how important they are to him, and how much he prays for them. Whenever we call to tell him we are expecting, he knows the exact number this child will be in the family.

I am glad to know him. I pray I remember his insights and keep my focus.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Vianney 9 months old

To my dear Vianney,
You are a love. What a gift you are to our family! We hardly call you Vianney because for some reason everyone calls you John or Johnny and it couldn't be more fitting. You actually are a Johnny. You are my blondest baby. Your father had wild curly blond hair which I've been waiting for someone to produce, but yet have not seen. Maybe it will be you?
You learned this month to cruise around the furniture. You let go and transfer from one couch to the other. You probably are my best "player" at this age. I find you everywhere looking at things passing them from hand to hand, then the mouth, back to each hand. I find your little neck bent over everywhere studying some object or another. I can count on you everyday unplugging the carbon monoxide detector down the hall. Everyday.
One day, your papa and I were watching your fan club entertain you and just smiled at the love and affection your little mind was getting. Every night at dinner we go through the same list of questions, "Where's Zellie? Where's Rose? Where's Lillie? Where's your big brother?" You will look at everyone as their name is called. They cannot believe it every night that you know them.
On the other hand, you are not a good sleeper. I don't mind, really. I wish you took better naps, but it seems the more children I've had the more I just accept that it's you. I think though you might need to move out of our bedroom and into Zellie's room. The other night you decided to host late night clapping in our room. Through the moonlight coming in our room, I see you clapping over and over and over. I picked you up and you would clap. Your grandmother always says that once they learn a new trick, they must practice it over and over. Although, we have been clapping for some time. You decided to clap and smile from 2:00-5:30. I kept waking your papa because it was so cute. Clap, clap, smile. wait. clap. clap. smile. wait. I will pray about your sleeping.
I was a little concerned you were going to be a picky eater, but you came from behind in the fourth quarter to become a great eater. You will eat anything and take your cod liver oil like a champ. Thank you for being so nice. You are like Rose though because your skin is very sensitive. You are soooo dry and I am kind of obsessive about it. We've been to a couple dermatologist and tried every lotion in America. I don't know what to do. The winter is very hard on your skin. I will pray about it.
We found last month that you are going to be a big sister. It makes me laugh and for the first days, I held you tighter. I feel that when I have a baby, I count forward with your age, but when I find out I'm expecting, I start counting backwards (in my head) how much longer you will be my baby. You are still my baby.
Giving you a bath probably is on my top ten list. You are wild and slippery. I love watching you crawl around in the bathtub.
I want to remember at this age how every time I pick you up, you wrap your legs around me, put your head down on my chest, and take a moment just to be. You do it every time and I love it.
I love you, my little girl. Thank you for being in our lives.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Dominic... in a nut shell.

Dominic: "I'm sorry you're sick, mom."
me: "Thanks, honey."
Dominic: "I remember how it felt when I was sick and that was no fun. I sure hope you feel better."

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Dominic's life at 7 years of age...

Dominic turned 7 on March 20th. I want to remember at this age his complete fascination with Legos. He plays all day long with them. He really does build amazing ships with secret compartments that hold little jewels. Every ship has weapons and usually there is a "good guy" and a "bad guy" ship. He still is completely innocent in the ways of the world. He loves a good Winnie the Pooh movie. He watches over and over the very old "Adventures of Robin Hood" movie. He reads the Hardy Boys over and over, read "The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe" in one afternoon, and loves when he gets a Lego magazine in the mail. He loves to check out books from the library and gets excited when we request things to be picked up. I love taking him on errands with me because he is in awe of everything. One day, I took him to Hobby Lobby and Aunt Patty's Attic just so I could watch him enjoy the Christmas decor. His face was unforgettable. He walked up and down each aisle gently touching things to see what they felt like. He would occasionally turn to me and smile, but go back into the trance. I remember when we lived in Tahlequah and he loved to drive by "The Christmas Store." Every conversation we had involved that store. For example, "If you use the bathroom, we will go to the Christmas store." He was so excited to put up lights this year and decorate for Advent.
I have three dates in particular that we went on together that I want to never forget. One year, I took him to Panera and we ordered the huge mugs of hot chocolate. I sat, staring at this person across from me as he went on and on about soldiers, good guys, bad guys, "ancient" things, etc. I vividly remembering tearing up listening and watching him. What a gift! I took him on a date when he was three to a movie. I watched him watch the movie. Little fat hands in popcorn, smiling and laughing at different points...God is so good to me. Last year, we went on another date to see a movie. I watched him again watch the movie. Thank you, Lord for this time you gave for us to have together. He truly makes every outing worth every effort because of his gratitude and awe. At this beautiful point in his life, he is driven and drawn to goodness. He is floored by anyone who wouldn't want to go to heaven. He loves Vianney and asks me to say to her twenty times a day "Where's your big brother?" She will always look at him and then he says every time, "How does she know it's me?"
He loves cooking in the kitchen, loves to eat out, and gets excited every week over doughnuts. What a beautiful heart he has been given! Sometimes, I miss him already and he is always with me. I love you more than you'll every know.