Thursday, March 31, 2011

Yeah, I'm Famous!

In honor of Matt's birthday, I want to share this story of his love for me.

Not many people know I have a needle named after me.

Yes, I am famous.

At least, I am at Biomet Biologics.

Matt was blessed with a job at Biomet right after finishing up his Ph.D. at Notre Dame two years ago. One of his first tasks was to design a new needle that will extract bone marrow for a procedure during hip & knee replacements.

Long story short, his design is amazing (not that I'm proud of him or anything) and he has been working with the pattent lawyer at work to get the design pattented. It's been really exciting!

When his boss and the VP of the company were talking to Matt about beginnging this process, they asked what Matt wanted to name the needle.

Most engineers use their last names. Matt lovingly replied, "The Jessica."

His bosses gagged and gave him heck for naming it after his wife. He quickly said, "NO! See, the needle extracts bone marrow, right? Well, the tag line will go right after the name!"

The bosses now LOVE the name of the needle. It looks like this:

The Jessica: It Sucks the Life Out of You.

It's All in a Name

Last evening, Matt asked Henry how school was going. The conversation went like this:

MATT: How's school, Henry?

HENRY: Good. Mrs. Gall wasn't there. It was just Miss Lanette (the assistant-teacher).

MATT: Oh, just Miss Lanette?

HENRY: No, Mrs. Black, too.

MATT: Oh! Who is Mrs. Black?

HENRY: I don't really know, but she's HILARIOUS! Because, her name is Black, but today she was blue! Like, in her shirt! Her name should be Mrs. Blue! I wonder what her name will be tomorrow...

**SIDE NOTE: Happiest of birthdays to my husband and best friend! I love you, Matt!!**

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

One of Those Days

I'm starting to realize I use the phrase "It's just one of those days!" quite often.

However, I'm also realizing that it's becomming all-too-often that I use that phrase.

In reality, it's just a day. It's just that my life is CRA-ZAY.

Take today, for example.

Matt was up with Will from 1-3am. (I married a gem!)

We've been battling ear infections and pink eye in our house, so we were worried that our 4 month old wonder-baby had caught the dreaded ear junkies. Thankfully, we've been blessed with two amazing pediatricians in our family, one of whom is the kids' doctor, so after a quick call we were scheduled to come in at 11:30.

Henry has to be at school at 11:30.

It's a good thing I can bi-locate. No biggie.

JOKING! I called my mom to see if she could take Henry to school, but unfortunately she couldn't help out today. So, I dropped Henry off early with my mom (who happens to be the music teacher at our school, AMAZING) and buzzed off with the three youngers to the doc's office.

It turns out our little Will, indeed, as caught the ear yuckies. Sad day.

So, we ran to McDonald's for lunch (thanks, Dad!), got gas for the van (the light came on in the drive-through at MickeyD's), dropped off books and movies at the library (due today), swung by Bama & Bampa's to pick up some beef (we get fresh from my brother-in-law's parent's rocks) and then went to the drive-through pharmacy at CVS for another vat of amoxicillin.

I wish it came in vats. Or at least family packs. Either one would ROCK.

By the time we did all of that, unpacked kids, changed sheets from over-night accidents and laid down for naps, it was almost 2pm.

I celebrated the end of the insanity with some Mommy Time: feeding Will on the couch, by myself, watching Real Housewives. With a Diet Coke. Ahhhh.....

Yes, it was just a regular day in the life of Mama Landrigan. I'm guessing it will only get busier and busier...and I will have to pump up my cardio to keep up!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Slugs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails

So, there is a blog I read almost everyday called "Testosterhome."

It is written by a Catholic mom named Rachel Balducci, and she is the mother of 5 boys...and one girl. Her daughter was born almost a year ago.

She had the most awesome entry recently, about having a daughter after having so many boys. I thought I'd share that today.

I LOVE having all boys, and it's especially fun -- and ironic -- that I came from a family of all girls. This life that God blessed me with is SO different than anything I'd ever imagined for myself...and, yet, is SO wonderful that I'm in awe of how well God knows me, and knows what I need.

Growing up, I never realized how much fun I could have spending a morning building the "biggest tracks in the city," like this morning, for Thomas & Percy to shunt trucks and pull freight all over our living room...or how, as I'm writing this, John Paul is literally ROARING at me to help him in the bathroom.

It's insane.

It's wonderful.

People ask Matt and I all the time if we will "keep trying for a girl." If, someday, we have a girl, fantastic! If not, we can live vicariously through friends and family with girls. But, right now, I feel so incredibly blessed by our boys I couldn't be happier. <-- Check out the latest posting, "Thoughts on Having a Daughter"

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Boys Must Be Born Gross

Actual conversation from the dinner table this evening:

ME: John Paul, please get a Kleenex. You have snot running to your lip.

HENRY: I think that's way cool!

ME: I think that's way gross.



Saturday, March 26, 2011

So Blessed

JOHN PAUL: Mama, I love you so much!

ME: Oh, John Paul! I love you so much!

JOHN PAUL: Aww...thank you, Mama! I love you, too!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Poor Little Guy...

The last couple of days have been sad.

Henry and John Paul were, today, diagnosed with double ear infections and eye infections requiring "pink swallow meds" and eye drops...that, unfortuantely, envoke the pain of 1,000 suns mixed with glass shards in one's eyeball. Or, at least, we assume that's what John Paul meant when he screamed for 45 minutes after dropping the meds in said eye.

Poor Little Guy...

This is after two nights ago, when he came into our room at midnight. He hadn't fallen asleep yet. He said his nose hurt. We got him to sleep, only to see his sad face again at 1:43am because he had an accident.

After a wardrobe change, he finished the night as the "cream filling" in our bed.

Until 6am.

Poor Little Guy...

He finally fell asleep yesterday afternoon for about an hour, when he then got up due to another accident. After a shower, a new set of pj's and a make-shift bed on the loveseat (so he could watch TV), he fell asleep.

But not before Nana dropped Henry off from school with a candy for John Paul & Jake.

JP fell asleep...with the candy in his hand....unbeknownst to Mom.

We had Fr. Drew, our parish Associate Pastor, over for dinner last evening. After the meal, I hear a small voice asking me to take off his clothes. Upon assessment, I notice we are now at accident #3.

I also assess the chocolate, all over the couch and all over the back of his footie jammies.

I told him I love him, asked him to come with me to change again, and then asked if he only went #1.

He said, "I fink so..." and then scratched his back, getting his hand in the chocolate.

His eyes POPPED open, he held out his hand and said, "Uh-oh...I guess I went #2!"

Poor Little Guy...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Gospel According to John....Wayne

Growing up, both Matt and I had a restricted vocabulary.

I thought it was nothing short of tyrany at the time, but looking back, I'm so very grateful that both my parents and my in-laws taught Matt and I to value the gift of speech, and to carefully discern the words we use in order to present and express ourselves in the best way possible.

This, by way of lucky chance of being our children, is why our kids also have a restricted vocabulary. One of the words on the Do Not Say List is 'butt.' Instead, we say 'bottom.' It's been working out just fine.

Until recently. We have talked with the older boys, especially, about how other kids may say words on our Do Not Say List, but Dad and I are not their parents and other families have their own rules. We have ours.

It just gets very sticky when Henry's friends "all say that word," so most days Henry comes home from preschool saying it over and over again because he's been saying it at school with his friends all afternoon. Obviously, John Paul now gets the green light to talk that way because Henry is using that word, and if Henry does it, it's the law.

So yesterday afternoon, I sat the boys down to have a little talk about the words we've been choosing to use lately. I explained that Dad and I don't like it, talking that way makes you not sound like a nice boy, and that God hears you speak that way. He wants you to listen to Mom and Dad, so it makes Him sad when you sin.

HENRY: Wait...what is a sin again?

ME: Well, it's when you know something is bad, but you do it anyway.

JOHN PAUL: Oh! Like bad guys!

HENRY: Yeah! Like, when the bad guys rob a bank or steal a woman!

ME: Well...sort of...

HENRY: So, that makes God like John Wayne?

ME: Um...well...I guess...

HENRY: Okay. If the Sheriff says don't do it, I won't. I don't want to go to jail.


I'm not sure why I didn't put the concept of sin into the perameters of a Western. It seems so simple now. I think my spiritual life would probably be in better shape if I thought of it from the perspective of a 4 year old boy.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Why, yes! I speak Toddler...

Right now, I feel like part of my job description is Full Time Translator for my toddlers.

Jake has been speaking more & more often, but he's 19 months & just beginning to talk...which is actually an improvement from his older two brothers, who didn't really speak until they were about 10. Or, at least, it felt that way. Actually, they are only 3 & 4.

John Paul, who was a later talker, just turned 3. And, while I can totally understand what he's trying to say, I do need to offer assistance to most people. Even people like my husband, who is around him quite often. John Paul gets very excited, and when he talks quickly, it is difficult to understand.

Case in point: Last evening, John Paul got some spontaneous "only child" time with Nana, Pops & Aunt Jamie. My sister turns 21 on Friday, so she needed to get a new license (WAY exciting!!) and my parents needed to run some errands in Huntington, so JP got to go with them.

This morning I asked him about the trip. His response was:

"Vell, ve vent to da diver pace and ven ve vent to Mit Donod's and den ve vent to Val-Maut and I dot a TWAIN! EMOWEE! A DURL! And den ve vent bat to NanaPop's and ve ate dinnuh. I had chitten and dip and pop dat wad diet and Nana dave me TANDY! TANDY, MAMA! TAN YOU BEWEEVE IT??"

TRANSLATION: We went to the DMV, Mc Donald's and Wal-Mart. There I got a train! Emily! A girl! Then we went back to Nana & Pop's where we ate dinner. I had chicken nuggets with ranch dressing, Diet Coke and Nana gave me candy for dessert. Can you believe it?

It's situations like these that I count my lucky stars I can stay home with the boys. There are days when I want to scream & run away, under the covers of my bed where maybe they won't find me for a while...or at least until they're hungry again, or they need me to put another episode of Bear Grylls on Netflix!

But, in reality, if I weren't here with John Paul everyday, I might not be his resident translator. And I wouldn't trade that for the world.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Starring Mom as Wonder Woman!

Henry just saw this picture and asked if I could buy that outfit.
"That way, you could always save the day!"
Of course. I wonder if it's machine washable?

Friday, March 11, 2011

In Like a Lion...

This week has really tested my limits as a parent.

Last weekend, Jake & John Paul started to get sick. It was full-on by Monday evening, complete with "spitting up" and mega-disgusting blow-outs.

Tuesday morning, Matt left for Boston. It was Mom vs. The Sick Boys.

During the time Matt was gone, I changed sheets four times, changed countless way-yucky diapers and tried desperately to soothe four whiny, sick-o boys.

Tuesday evening, while washing said sheets, we left to go grab some Subway for dinner. (The thought of preparing another meal, eating another meal and cleaning another meal on my own sort of made ME want to throw up a little.) Upon returning home, we were greeted by water in our kitchen. The source of the new Lake Landrigan: the washing machine.

In tears, I called Matt, to which he responded we could get a new washer & dryer when he got home Wednesday evening. After going to Ash Wednesday Mass as a family. With four sick boys. And one stressed out Mama.

Wednesday afternoon, after more sickness (you're getting the hint, I'll spare the details) I get a text from Matt. His plane is running late, and he only has a 30 minute lay-over to make it from one flight to his final flight home. Pray for some "make-up" time in the air. I then get a phone call...not good. If it were good, he would text. This is a full-out phone call.

Silver Lining: the same plane he just rode from Providence, RI will continue to Fort Wayne, so the delay wasn't a big deal!

Bad News: maintenance repairs were causing an even BIGGER delay. happy were we to know Matt just flew in a plane that needed over an hour of repairs upon arriving in Detroit!

So long, Ash Wednesday Mass. There was no way Matt could make it home in time, and there was NO WAY I was going to try to get through Mass by myself with everyone in my house running to and from the bathroom like they were Olympic sprinters.

Here comes Thursday...Matt is now home, and so things should be easy, right? Well, not quite. After school, Henry gets a headache. And by headache, I mean "the worst migraine in the history of man." Bless his heart, he kept screaming, "MY HEAD IS GOING TO CRACK OPEN!" We had no medicine in the house to help him out.

John Paul still has the runs.

Jake & Will are now smiling. This is a step in the right direction.

Now, it is Friday. At almost 9am, Henry & Jake are still sleeping, and John Paul & Will are chilling out on the couch and swing, respectively.

Like they say of the month of March, this week came in like a lion. I am praying it goes out like a lamb.

Perhaps, when looking for blessings amidst all the stress, I should instead be thankful. I was by myself for much of the craziness this week. I know, I could still talk to Matt and I always have my family and the Landrigan's to turn to (I cannot thank them enough for this security!), but I only had God to turn to to keep it together and take care of my kids. I couldn't -- and didn't want to -- drop them off somewhere, and I couldn't ask my husband for help. I had to keep calm, get the job done and not gag, even though I wanted to...very badly at times.

All in all, not a bad way to start Lent. What better way to realize that I need to be better at coming to Him for help?

And, this weekend, I get a new washer & dryer. Hello, Silver Lining!