Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Five Favorite Antibiotic Alternatives


I'm not anti-medicine.  At all.  But I do think it's overused and I much prefer to try to heal things with the least amount of intervention possible.  When it comes to antibiotics, I of course DO think they are a great tool to use when they are necessary and I wouldn't hesitate to use them if the situation was severe enough.  That said, I'm very very grateful that none of my children have ever been at that point and the last time I took them was eleven years ago (two oral doses in labor.  Wish I hadn't.).  We have gotten over everything from Strep throat to UTIs to ear infections to a MRSA skin infection (yes, the real MRSA) without using them.  

We now know that the overuse of antibiotics is causing real issues in our health as a society and like with so many other things, we've got the 20/20 hindsight going on.  We didn't realize the effects  (also here) until long after they became the go-to for almost any small infection.  Doctors are now much more hesitant to give antibiotics for simple ear infections and the like because their use is often unneeded and creates more complications than it heals.  The growth of "superbugs" and antibiotic resistant strains of illnesses is a big concern as well as individual immune systems not getting the "workout" they need and being weakened by their overuse.  

All that said, here's what we do instead.  And obviously, this is not me playing doctor or telling you that you shouldn't use them if the case warrants it.  I'm just some lady on the internet sharing what's worked for us that maybe could work for you ;)

1.

Silver is a natural germ killer and we've had great success using it for throat issues and a couple UTIs.  In fact, our washing machine has a silver option where it will add colloidal silver to the water to disinfect things.  Colloidal silver is silver particles suspended in water.  Just a few tiny doses when sick seems to have a great effect though I readily admit this is just our experience and pretty much all you'll find pertaining to its efficacy is personal testimony.  But we like it and it's worked for us so there's that.  We're also careful not to use it regularly since it can build up in your system. 

2.
Many people say that local honey is helpful for their seasonal allergies but it also has antibiotic properties.  We use it on sores and skin blemishes (I'm still using it to wash my face!) but we also use it for throat or respiratory issues.  The best place I've found it is at local farmer's markets (much cheaper and local) but in the winter I've bought it at the store and you can find it at Amazon too.  Here's hoping our beehives will be producing it for us soon!

3.


I am not at all an expert on homeopathy but I have friends and Facebook groups who know things.  So I ask them when we're in need of something particular and then I buy just the one and try it.  I have used cantharsis along with the silver to successfully treat UTIs.  Frankincense, tea tree, geranium, basil, lavender, and eucalyptus are just a tiny few of the many many oils that can be used to treat infections such as MRSA, Staph, ear and and have valid scientific study backing them up .

4.
Breastmilk


Breastmilk works as an antimicrobial/antibacterial agent.  Used at the site of an infection or orally it can produce amazing results and can even fight off antibiotic-resistant bacteria.  I've been blessed to never have had a baby with an ear infection but I know mothers and professionals that swear by a few drops in the ear every few hours.  I used breast milk on the compress to help treat a MRSA infection on my son's abdomen as a toddler.  It can help with some types of eye infections (we've done that one, too).  If I'm able (and I remember) I try to have the littler ones have some when they're sick and fighting something to help boost their immune system.  It's so weird and crunchy but when your little person is suffering and you can treat it without heading to the doctor or putting them on something that may have other negative effects, you do what you gotta do. (And maaaybe evade the answer when they take a sip and quizzically ask whether this is the "normal" milk...)

5.
Time

Sometimes it's just a waiting it out game.  Plain old time and letting a strong immune system do its thing is often enough to kick something that many doctors would give you a prescription for.  I love that our new doctor told us that his kids have never been on antibiotics and that he much prefers to have the body naturally fight things off.  Obviously, it's always a benefit/risk analysis but letting the body work the immune system and develop natural antibodies seems the preferable choice for us.  It's hard and sometimes more uncomfortable but my gut says it's worth it.  There have been many times where I'm just about to go in or call the doctor when things take a turn for the better and the boys or I are able to heal by just giving it time.  


(And an honorable mention is awarded to garlic.  While I don't often use it myself (I just never think of it), it does also work well in fighting infections including some types of Strep.)

And again, this little post is no substitute for medical advice.  Just what we do.  I don't idolize alternative medicines or therapies but I am willing to give them a shot if the need arises.

What say you?  Have I gone off the crunchy deep end?  Or have you had success as well with forgoing antibiotics in lieu of something else?

{Oh, and affiliate links enclosed}


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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Some Life 'Round Here…and a Thank You


Well.

I'm pretty sure my cheeks have finally lost the red after yesterday's birthday hijack.  I can't believe he pulled that off and I'm still a bit thrown off by it all and trying not to be incredibly awkward about it all.  But your words were so kind and I thank you so much.  There are many many days I lose my confidence or just the motivation to write and I think about giving up this space here, especially in these last few newborn months of posts written only in my head and never making it to the keyboard.  Life has been so busy.  There's also a whole lot of times when the openness and vulnerability of sharing here gets a little scary.  But I'll keep on plugging along, I guess, and just trust that people assume the best and know how the different seasons of life can throw a lady off.  Your love and words mean so much and it was a wonderful day.  Thank you!!  

So.
Let's share just a few moments from life around here, shall we?  Things have been crazy and wonderful and chaotic and blessed.  I'm looking forward to regaining some sense of rhythm and routine now that the Ben is a whole three months (!!!) and lessons and fall are around the corner.  But I think I can say I've grown a lot in just accepting the crazy goodness of life with five littles.  (ALL grace, by the way.  Still working on the messiness of it all.)  The air has been cooler the last few days and with it comes an eager anticipation of a return to routine and figuring out how to fit in all the things God puts on this little cracked plate.  

{pretty}

We have been blessed with an abundant harvest of pears again!  Last year was sad sad sad with only one pear.  But this year there are thousands.


Just two of these crates were enough to can 40 quarts!  And there's probably dozens of crates' worth left on the trees.

(If you want some of my pear canning tips, click on over here.)

We also crowned Our Lady for the Coronation (or rather, ahem, a day late).  We like to do our crowning for that feast rather than in May.  May is kinda busy and the Coronation sort of makes more sense, doesn't it?  I wonder if May was picked because that's when kids are in school and/or spring is starting?  I mean, I know it's one of her months but the Coronation is the whole celebration of that crowning.  So that's what we do.



{happy}

And, as per the usual the last three months, there's been a lot of Ben adoration.  I can't even put into words how amazing it is to see all of us just go nuts over this little guy.  And it doesn't get old.  And he soaks it up and showers you with smiles and coos and oh my, it is pure joy.

Even Luke has become a softie.

These two are buddies.  Michael gets the squeeze on him and it is so funny.

And I have to share another glimpse (in the daylight) of that cake from yesterday.  I learned that Brian and John Paul worked on this for the last three weeks on the nights when I was at my women's group.  They Youtubed the tutorial and everything.  I can't believe they were able to do it without me knowing a thing.  I know everything around here.  Also, why have I been the one making all the cakes?!?!?


It is huge and rich and we will be nibbling peanut butter chocolate cheesecake for the next seven months, I think.

I'm just trying to picture my husband frosting all of these and it makes me laugh.

I also got treated to birthday dinner at a local pub!

We are that family that gets waters for all the kids and fill them up with snacks before we leave so they can all share a plate of appetizers and the free peanuts come dinner time.  But we tip well ;)

{funny}

Gifts from boys…

Along with all the work making that cake, John Paul gifted me with this :)

From David and Luke.  Because my children know my love for all things neon and plastic ;)  I'm fairly certain part of that gift from Luke of eight whole perler bead creations is the hours he spent quietly making them.  The boy can focus on making those really well!  Michael's gift for me was leading a novena for me with the brothers and Brian the last nine days.  Is that not the sweetest thing you've ever heard or what?  

{real}

This boy is officially three months and has been working hard on finding his hands.  It is hysterical and amazing all at once to watch him figure it all out.  

So now a whole lot of my photos look like this.  Like he's ready to make an obscene gesture, devour them, or fight you.  That middle picture cracks me up.

And today is the feast of St. Monica!  

I love this quote and the confidence it gives us as mothers (spiritual or biological) of the power of our prayers.  They are never ever in vain.

Linking up with Like Mother, Like Daughter for {phfr} again.
Happy Thursday and hey, thank you again.


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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Surprise!!!!!!!!!


This blog has been hijacked today by
Brian, John Paul, Michael, David, Luke, & Benedict,
the men of Better Than Eden

Happy Birthday Mary!!!!!!


For years you have poured yourself out for us and made every birthday uniquely special.  

Now its your turn. 


   
Welcome to your own Virtual Surprise Birthday Party!

So what is a Virtual Surprise Birthday Party you ask? 
I don't really know either but we'll make it up as we go along.
(Disclaimer; I haven't even written a comment on a blog let alone a post. I have no idea what I'm doing. FYI.)

So...surprise Mary! And welcome to everyone else who has shown up for this party! 

The Theme!

Following your lead with completely over the top cake designs, with themes specifically tailored for each of us, we harnessed all our creative energy and tried to come up with a theme that would really speak to your heart.

The boys' Plan A was:

Cleaning!

With two votes for mop cake and two votes for vacuum cake!

        
I think it really says something that this was their first idea :)
While this was a good first thought it just seemed too obvious and somewhat stereotypical.

Plan B was:
Birth!
This also seemed like a good fit but after a brief google search for "realistic baby cakes" (really no image needed here, you're welcome) we decided this theme would be much creepier in reality than it sounds in theory. 

Plan C was:
White!
Seriously, John Paul was pushing for a white on white on white theme.
(These boys really have your number.)
It also would have made this post a lot easier because what could be more purely white than an unspoiled, blank, stark white page.

The winning theme:
Finally the boys unanimously decided on something that embodies your love of beauty and all things natural. And they always love giving them to you....


Flowers!

More specifically your favorite flower
Blackeyed Susans

So go look again at the Happy Birthday Banner at the top...

That's right, they are standing in front of blackeyed susans holding a banner made of blackedeyed susans! Bam! How's that for a unified theme!

But what really makes a birthday special in our home, more than anything else, is the cake. 

(To prove this point to anyone reading this who hasn't seen these before, look at Mary's ridiculously awesome cakes. So as you can see the bar was set pretty high.)


Also, If you've ever been to a birthday party at our house the first thing everyone does is make a bee line for the living room to see what the cake looks like this year. Actually, its normally the boys saying, "you've got to see my cake". We wanted to give you a sense of that for yourself this year. 

They say imitation is the highest form a flattery, so I hope you are flattered by our best imitation of your cake decorating awesomeness!



Pre-dawn Party Photos







Now at this point the whole "virtual" part of this party comes up a little lacking because you cannot smell this cake and I can't reasonably ship slices to our virtual guests. So let me do my best TV chef impersonation.

If you love peanut butter and you love chocolate you must have this cake. This triple layer sour cream chocolate cake with peanut butter cheesecake center is a marriage of the two best paired flavors ever. But it doesn't stop there ! The basket icing weaves together the tangy saltiness of cream cheese peanut butter icing with the bitter sweetness of dark chocolate butter-cream frosting. But there is still more! This decadently rich basket of awesomeness is topped with edible blacked susans, made with buttery sugar cookie petals and iced dark chocolate pirouette stems. You may need a glass of milk after just reading about this cake let alone eating it. 


If after reading that some of you are wanting to make this party a little less "virtual" you can email Mary for our address ;)



Game Time! 


Its time for Name That Baby!


Can you tell who is pictured in each one of these photos.

(I'm sorry, Mary, but I can't tell if any of your genes got into these boys.)


     
A.                                          B.

         
C.                                           D.

         
E.                                          F.


Answers at the bottom.


And Now a Random Cute Picture of Mary!

Seriously, she wears this every time she goes online. Something about protecting her brain from the wi-fi or government thought control or something like that. 

This is When We Sing !!



Presents !!!!

I knew we forgot something :(

If this space is blank it is not because we forgot to get you any presents we just thought you would like to open them before we put pictures up on the blog and ruin it for you.


But I will let you in on a secret:

This post is one of your presents. 

It wouldn't be a surprise party without...that moment where the lights turn on your friends jump out from behind the couch and yell surprise!!


So here is the virtual version of that. Some of your blogger friends would like to say....


Surprise!!!!


Mary,
Happy birthday to my fellow mom-of-five-boys! Your blog is always a breath of fresh air filled with beautiful, clean, white images with lovely lessons on life. One of my favorite posts of yours was about celebrating the small blogger, and it couldn't have been better written! But whenever I think of you, I always think about how encouraging and supportive you were for me during my 6th pregnancy when I was a nervous wreck about labor. You sent me a gift box complete with some nips for go time, and a quote from the Bible that truly strengthened me at the end. I could go on and on, but I'll stop and say happy birthday to a wonderful friend I hope to meet one day!


Mary, 
Happy birthday! Seeing as how my birthday wishes usually come at 11 pm via Facebook, I'm glad to have the chance to wish you one in a more meaningful way. :) You are one of my absolute favorite blog friends, and someone I admire greatly. Your passion for motherhood and your vocation as a wife is inspiring to many, and definitely to me. Your crunchy ways are the icing on the cake. We have so much in common that if we lived closer, you'd probably need to set some firm boundaries or I'd be visiting and your lovely boys way too often. ;) I know God will continue to give you joy in great heaping piles of blessings, in the form of laundry and love.
Happy, happy day, friend, 


Mary,
A very happy birthday to my counter-culture partner in crime. We're showing them all .... one gray hair at a time!
With Love,


Mary,
I'm so thankful for your blog. I love keeping up with your family through your updates - it certainly helps shorten the distance between us a bit. I also really admire how you share your faith, your opinions and your interests in such a gentle, yet thought-provoking way. I hope you have a wonderful birthday and know how much you are loved and appreciated!
Love,
Jill @ Daily Bread


Mary,
Happy Birthday! Thank you so much for writing Better Than Eden. I love reading about your homeschooling adventures and how I can better incorporate learning into the day in way my boy can appreciate. Reading about other boy moms is such a blessing in my life and you are a great mom of boys! Last fall, your blog was a source of encouragement for me as I anticipated giving birth. It was my privilege to pray for you and baby grape (Ben!) during labor as a Sister in Christ. Thank you so much for letting us know you and your beautiful family through your writing. Have a wonderful wonderful birthday! 
Madeline @ A Dash of Snark


Mary,
Your blog is one of my favorites! I look forward to reading each new post. You have a true gift in writing and it always feels more like a conversation with you than just something to read. I also love how much you love your family; it is so evident in your pictures and writing. You have so much love and honesty in your words, that it makes all feel welcomed. Sometimes I have to remind myself I haven't really ever 'met' you. I hope you have a wonderful birthday filled with so many blessings! 
Peace in Christ,


Mary,
Wishing you an brilliantly Happy Birthday, may you have an incredibly special day. I'd love to thank you for sharing yourself and your family with us, your wider community. The love that you have for your husband, your boys and your lifestyle shines through in all you share and it is encouraging and treasured. Whilst you don't paint life as 'all rosy,' you do however let shine forth love, and that my dear friend is precious. 
May God Bless you abundantly this year.
Lots of love from Australia,


Mary,
Happy Birthday! I feel like I'm one of the lucky ones that has been blessed by you through your blog and in real life!! Your generosity, thoughtful wisdom, gentle encouragement, and prayerful support have been pivotal for me on more than one occasion ;) Thank you for sharing so much of yourself (are you sure you're an introvert??) with me through prayer and women's group as well as via your blog and homeschool and family activities. I remember back to before I met you and many of our mutual friends would always say, "You know Mary, don't you??" I'm so happy that I finally get to count you among my friends!! May you have a joy-filled Birthday and a very blessed year! 
Love, 
Theresa @ Ordinary Lovely


Dear Mary, 
The happiest of birthdays to you! When your husband asked for help with this surprise I thought, "What a great guy with such a thoughtful plan!" How could I refuse his request? I love seeing the pictures and your posts about your little men. It is evident in their smiles for you and love for each other that you are raising the kind of young men I hope that my daughters will find someday. The world needs more chivalrous gentlemen and God obviously thinks you are the mama to raise some! I know that they will treat you like a Queen today! Hope you have a wonderful day. 
God bless,
Charlotte @ Waltzing Matilda


Dear Mary,
Happy Birthday! You will always be my favorite birthing blogger, and that probably has something to do with your awesome support as my doula at the birth of my Advent baby, L. I am so glad you started blogging, and have loved keeping up with you since we left New York, seeing your boys grow, and being two weeks behind you with our current babies. It is so great for us moms a few years behind to have a more seasoned mom to learn from and talk to. And now you have all the experience with boys that I will need! Thank you for being that for me through your blog. 
In Christ,


Mary! 
Happiest of birthdays to wonderful and beautiful you! 
I stumbled on your blog when you stumbled on my itty bitty little space back in 2012! Before I even knew writing a blog could come with community and friendship, there you were! Back in February 2012 (I looked up the post ;)) you commented on one of my mommy ramble posts. It made my day! You were my first comment that was from someone that wasn't related to me! And not only did it make my day, it shared with me a new and beautiful site called Better Than Eden - a site that was filled with words and thoughts from a kindred spirit that I could not have been more excited about! 

Dear friend, a whole new world of friendship, fellowship, love, and holiness was opened to me that day. Prior to that, I lurked on a handful of blogs but then after your comment and reading your site I ventured into the beautiful Catholic online blogging community. 

Not enough THANK YOU's can be said. Your life and presence online has been a gift to me. The way you share your beautiful family and your inspiring desire for authentic love and goodness always challenges me in ways I'm so very grateful for. 

Over the years, what I'm most grateful for is how we've become fast friends through emails and continuing to follow each other's lives through our sites. You're friendship truly has been a God-send, and I pray you know this. I have only met a handful of women that have struggled with some similar injuries than I. During these terribly trying times, your prayerful presence, advice, friendship, and more meant more than you'll ever know! Now I just pray that Our Sweet Lord allow us to meet in person! What an amazing gift that would be!!??? 

Well friend, thank you for being you! Thank you for blessing myself, my family, and so many others. Thank you for your fiat in your daily living. Thank you for sharing your heart and passion through your beautiful space. But mostly, Thank you Lord for sharing Mary with the world on this day so many years ago! 

So many hugs friend! So so many hugs and so much love for you! 
Happy Birthday and God bless you today and everyday!

And something extra special:

Dear Mary,
Birthday letters for friends are the hardest to write. All the thoughts and emotions of gratitude and appreciation crammed into a note… not at all easy! I sat for a long time at my keyboard, annoyed at every plain old word that didn’t sound quite good enough. So at the risk of confusing you and looking ridiculous myself, I wrote a poem, But first I consulted with a mutual friend; and after a brief consultation with the great Tolkien (in my imagination, of course), I decided to simply borrow a bit of his style. If he’s in a better place, he won’t mind at all. Tolkien fans, on the other hand, might be a little more disturbed.. So here is my birthday note disclaimer:

I don’t know anything about poetry. So I call this: Tolkien-Inspired-Distracted-Mother-Verse-Written-With-Only-The-Best-Intentions.

It is about Mary’s Garden (aka Better Than Eden) and how I imagine that you found your way here. About the love of your home growing and a small door opening up and you sharing with the world... With humility, with love, with right ordered affection and purpose. I am not putting you on a pedestal - I know you wouldn’t wish it (and it’s really not good for blogging egos anyway) - but when I look at the effect of your presence on your internet “garden,” I see how the Holy Spirit has worked through your faithfulness and gifts. So that is what I wrote in your poem. I am so grateful for the gift of your life and I want you to know how you have blessed me. If that comes through at all, then it is the birthday note I hoped to write.Happy birthday!
With much love and affection, your sister in Christ,
Melody @ Blossoming Joy


Mary’s Garden
She built the wall, she planted seeds,
The blooms grew gently strong and fair;
She watered grace, uprooted weeds
Waking thoughts of a faerie queen.

A crown of daisies in her hair
And carrying Our Lady’s beads
Her childrens’ laughter in the air
Blessing earth, sky, and all between.

The wall held strong through Winter’s wild
And all within grew true and whole,
With eyes set on the Holy Child
Through life and loss and blossoming.

And strengthening her thirsty soul
The sacred song of love beguiled
And every human heart consoled;
Eternal balm to suffering.

There came a breeze one lush Spring day
From over hills outside the stone;
Her fingers set to brush away
The climbing vines which sealed the gate.

She spoke the word for Christ alone
For wind to carry as it may
To living men or their dry bones
She opened up her lush estate.

Mortal whispers in wind fly vain
Unless they ride the Holy Breath,
Who purifies through fiery rain
And enters gardens regally.

With power even over death
Taking flight across moonlit plain,
In her garden He flew with stealth
And found her tending faithfully.

The door now opened, whispers loosed,
The hills carried her song of praise;
Her gift found pleasing, introduced
To the leaves which heard, igniting.

The dancing vale where joy was raised
From tiny sprig to mighty spruce,
Touched by whispered words of days
Spent in the garden watering.

Recalling when I first beheld
The good garden that Mary tends;
Beauty and grace and hearts compelled
To Love while minds are sharpened.

Find truth, be loved, be whole again;
The lie of Eden dispelled,
And true joy in a loving friend
Found in the soil of the garden.



Thank you so much to Mary's blogger friends who helped make this a very special surprise!


Mary, it is now the moment you know I couldn't resist, having hijacked your blog. It is time for the...

The Sappy Ending!
(Although, I don't know why I put this after Melody's poem. That's a tough act to follow.)

Mary,

I am proud to hold my claim to fame as being your first blog reader. I am such a fan of your blog, a fan of your way of seeing things, a fan of the way you strive so hard to find the good, true, and beautiful. Basically I'm a fan of you. I love the life God has given us and the fact that I get to live it with you. You are my favorite person.

I absolutely love that your blog is called Better Than Eden. I sometimes wonder if people take that the wrong way. Like along with your love of white, it is some sort of whitewashing of our life. But to me it means that the Redemption after the Fall brings us to an even better life than before. And for me the redemption God has worked out and is still working out in us and our marriage after our own falls and failings has brought us to a place better than I ever thought possible. But it is really your yes to God, your fiat, that has made this redemption possible. It is you, by the grace of God, that have made this life of ours "Better Than Eden".

And for that I will be eternally grateful.

I hope today you come to know, in a very good way, how loved you are and what a blessing you are to us.

Happy Birthday my Beautiful Bride!!!
With love, Your Husband
Brian


An Invitation

Though I have read every post Mary has written, I've never made a comment here. I've seen the conversations and the way this blogging community has been such a blessing for Mary, both in fostering great friendships with such amazing holy women like all of you, and in giving her a place to share her heart and witness to what God has done and is doing in her life. Thank you also for your blogs and comments and how much they have done for her.

To make this party complete and really make this a gift to Mary, I would like to invite you to leave a message here for her. Whether you want to say something about what her blog has meant to you, some way it helped you, something you really liked that she posted about, something you love about Mary, something that made you laugh or cry, what your favorite post has been, or anything at all.

Whether you have been a frequent commenter or have been a lurker like me please feel free take this opportunity to send Mary a note or just let her know you are here.

Thank You All!
God Bless.


P.S. The baby photos are:


A) Luke
B) Me (Brian) I know that was tricky. Were you trying to figure out where the sixth baby came from?
C) Benedict
D) David
E) John Paul (the most obvious)
F) Michael


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Monday, August 17, 2015

This Month in Boys - August 2015


-a monthly recap of some of the things I just don't want to forget-


John Paul


-finally got to celebrate his birthday with his Lord of the Rings party.
-has been swallowed up into the world of rocketry.  He's been making fuel, doing all sorts of experiments, building the rockets, and poring over King of Random videos to garner new ideas.
-took full advantage of his newfound skills when Grandpa came to camp out overnight.  They made smoke bombs and shot potato guns and launched one of the homemade rockets.
-learned to make pancakes, cobbler, and no-bake cookies.  I'm loving this baking kick!
-directed a very elaborate and dramatic rendition of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe while cousins from Oregon were visiting.
-is losing some eagerness for lessons and says that more than anything he wants to learn more about rockets.

Michael


-is always the first to volunteer to help with Ben.
-finally has those two front teeth growing in!
-thrives and gets super talkative when you get him on his own.
-took total charge of making blueberry muffins for the Assumption.
-has been hatching up schemes to earn some extra spending money.
-along with John Paul surprised Brian and me with a post-Mass anniversary brunch.
-chooses math and reading as the lessons he's most looking forward to this year.

David


-has been praying the Rosary with Michael while they lay in bed in the morning. (Sweetest.)
-is swimming!  Enough laid back time in Grandma's pool and he's figured it out!  His jumps are hysterical.
-loves collecting alll the holy cards he can get away with from the back of church.
-is on lesson 87 in Teach Your Child to Read.  We took a very long post-birth hiatus and have picked up again the last few weeks.  He's almost officially a reader!
-is very very eager to start Latin lessons this year.

Luke


-has had a few very early biking escapades with Papa.  Please, please sleep in, child.
-had a brief but intense favorite shirt phase.  (That's it up there.  I mean, obviously.)
-will bring the stuffed puppy over to Ben and play with it with him.  So sweet.
-is my first food sneaker.
-was very very nervous about the pirates when we went to see Peter Pan.  I loved it when he needed to be assured several times that the good guys win.  He's intense but he's noble ;)
-Me:  Luke what do you want to learn about this year?
L:  Doin' fires and….umm.…doin' snakes.
Mama:  Okay…  But are there any lessons you'd like to do this year?
L:  (thinking)  C'mere, Mama.  (Follow him to the laundry room)  I want to learn to do this. (Points to the curtain in front of the shelf where the cat eats)
M:  You want to learn to feed Maggie?
L:  No!
M:  You want to learn to get the cat hair off the curtain?  (Random chore.)
L:  Yes.
M:  Any other lessons you want to do this year?
L:  No other lessons.
Alrighty then.

Ben


-has grown most of his top hair back.  No more baby tonsure.
-is so so content and happy almost always.  He absolutely LOVES to interact with people and just lights up at eye contact.
-but is very noise sensitive.  He will sometimes startle and get upset at a sudden noise and the frowny face he makes before he cries just about breaks your heart.
-will have a whole conversation with you in his crazy sweet language.
-has kept pretty much the same sleep pattern, waking 2-3 times a night to nurse then going right back to sleep.
-has only spit up about 4 or so times ever.
-hasn't really had a ridiculous nickname stick yet.
-is most looking forward to learning how to sit up, sleep longer stretches, and distract his older brothers and mom from all of their lessons.


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