January 31, 2013

What they said...

Matt: "Most people think you can't dance. Well, I think you dance cute."
Me: "Is that suppose to be a compliment?"
Matt: "Best I could do."

Matt: "Are you still wearing your maternity sweatpants.
Me: "Why, yes. Grrrrrr."

Me talking to Isaiah after he walked in from school.
Me: "Zah, your shorts are on inside out."
Isaiah: "Wow. I didn't notice all day."
Me: Laugh and eye roll.
10 minutes later I noticed that I had my sweater on inside out all day!

Me: "Grace, what kind of smile is that?"
Grace: "I do Barbie smile."
Graces Barbie smile.
Isaiah: "I think you already know this, but you really are my best mom."

Grace, as she is walking out the door with her fake phone: "Bye Momma, I call you in a minute."

Matt, after watching me dance in the car to This Girl is On Fire: "I now know why Sahmy was your friend. Mr. Sahm sat her down and asked her to be really nice to you."

January 30, 2013

My Baby Musts

There are some baby items that I just can't do without. A couple of you have asked...so here we go...Enjoy! 

-The Itzbeen-
I have such a hard time remembering how long it has been since I last nursed my babe. With my boys this didn't matter, because I nursed on demand, meaning they nursed around the clock, like every hour. When Grace was born I knew I needed more of a schedule with her being baby #3 and the boys being so young; so, I began to try and nurse every 3 hours (of course within reason, if Grace was smacking her tiny lips, I always obliged). The problem was I could never remember when I had last nursed. Then a friend introduced me to the itzbeen and since its arrival in its brown box from amazon, it has not left my side/baby bag/bed. It is with me at all times. I can't tend to baby without it. The itzbeen is as essential to my day to day life as my phone and car keys are. And yes, I loose it just as often. (Not shocking to those who know me.) We call it the "timer" and the kids are constantly being asked to get me my timer or find my timer.
Itzbeen Pocket Nanny Baby Care Timer

-Da Binky-
My kiddos, minus Grace, were (boys)/ are (Hope) binky lovers. Right now we have about 20 of these BINKs in our house in designated places, 5 in the baby bag, 2 in the car seat, 5 in the cosleeper or around my bed, and however many in the swing--you get the idea. We are dedicated to keeping this company in business.

Philips Avent BPA Free Soothie Pacifier, 0-3 Months, 2 Pack, Packaging May Vary
I have swaddled all 4 babies. I find that 1. they like it and 2. it prolongs their night time and mid afternoon sleep. In the past 6 years I have acquired many swaddle blankets for baby. I use them all and I'm pretty impartial to a particular one. When my babes come home for the hospital they have all been so small that I just use blankets to swaddle and I love the hospital blankets for this. As they grow, they graduate to swaddle blankets. And then to being wrapped in 2 swaddlers.

-Aden + Anais Blankets-
I fell in love with these blankets at first sight. A mom friend carried one around at all times with her new baby boy. I knew I had to get them. They are the most soft, versitale blanket I have ever had. A must get, worth the $34 and I don't even spend that much on a pair of jeans for myself! (yes, I shop at Marshalls)
Aden and Anais Cotton Swaddle Blanket 4 Pack - Girls and Swirls - Aden and Anais  - Babies"R"Us
-Mini Co-Sleeper-
My mother in law bought me this mini co-sleeper 6 years ago for baby Isaiah. I have used it with all 4 babes. My favorite thing about it is that it butts up right next to the bed and I can just reach over and grab baby to nurse in the middle of the night. It's a must for me.

Arm's Reach® Mini Co-Sleeper® Bassinet - Toffee

-Oodles and oodles of baby wipes-
I know, not very tree huggerish, but I really don't know what did I do before I had bags and bags of  baby wipes around my house. Not only do they clean my babies rears, I use them to clean everything! For the past two years I have been very into the unscented Cosco brand.

Kirkland Signature™ Baby Wipes

Back pack, back pack
These Vera Bradley back packs are so practicable. The perfect fit for baby. I can fit diaper, wipes, wallet, nursing cover and burp cloth in it. Now when my babes are 6 months and younger I do carry their bigger bag (my mom bought me a beautiful one for Christmas :), but once I am done totting around everything possible that a newborn could need, I switch to this smaller, more practical bag. I love that I can just throw them in the washer machine.

-Chuck pads from the hospital-
From my baby vacations (haha) at the hospital I have accumulated 6 of the hospitals chuck pads. I love these things. At all times I have one on my side of the bed. I don't have to worry about baby throwing up on my bed, milk leaking through, or poo ruining our dear temporpediac mattress. And they are so easy to clean and feel just like a sheet.
Hope chillin on one. 
-Baby Bjorn and Slings-
I am a sucker for buying any and every baby carrier. But the two that I can't live without are my baby Bjorn's and the good ol' fashion sling. Enough said.
The sling, holding baby Grace, not sure why she isn't in it. 

Holding baby Isaac in the sling that he lived in his first year of life.
Matt sporting baby bjorn with baby Grace.
-Stroller Frame-
This stroller frame is a new hot item for me with baby Hope. A friend let me borrow hers and I was hooked immediately. It is so light and easy to use and the car seat just plugs right in. The bottom compartment is great too and very accessible!
Product Details
-Tracy Anderson Post Pregnancy Workout-
Tracy Anderson has been my tv guru/workout coach, since baby #2. If you saw me right now, you would probably think: wow, it's really not working for you, Kristin. But it does work, I promise. It is just that I have only done it 2 times (counting today) since I have had Hope. Yes, baby #4 is kicking my butt and making it nearly impossible to get a workout in....but she is worth it and I am sure I could make time, if only I would put my mind to it. Maybe next month... or the next....

I also love this dvd from Tracy. 

-This and this and this also help me to adjust to new baby-

What are your baby musts, please do tell!! 

January 27, 2013

Sanctifying Sundays - Anniversaries

Well, back by popular demand, that is my wife's request. I am writing again...
I love anniversaries! I really do for several reasons. Let me explain.

Celebrating our Anniversary in 2011

This Tuesday is the anniversary of when Kristin and I began dating.  I realize at this point that if there are any male readers that right now they are going to continue reading in disdain.  That is, if they continue to read at all!  I realize that a man of my stature should not publicly admit to such things, and that if a proverbial, huge beer can could fall from the sky and crush me, it would.
Celebrating with baby Grace in 2010
As I get older, I understand more the importance of anniversaries because they force us to stop and remember and recall.  Think of it.  The tide of life is fast and takes whatever is in its path. 

Forgetting is a terrible thing.  When people forget who they are and what they are about, they get lost.  Losing your identity, leads to losing your integrity.  This is usually when my wife reminds me to bring it down and tell some stories to bring it home.

So, 8 years ago Kristin & I confessed our love for one another, amid various circumstances on a beach at Wiggin's Pass in Naples, Florida.  I can remember it as if it was yesterday, the red shirt she was wearing, the perfume she wore and her long, blonde hair slightly curled underneath.  Don't get sick, but, we actually have sand from that spot.  Sappy Sapp Sapp!
The Luv sand sits on our bookshelf

For the record and inscribed and saved for all of eternity in the blog-o-shpere, it was her confession of undying love that led to 4 kids in 7 years of blissful marriage.  Our relationship has been more of a microwave than a crock pot.  We weren't even dating and began dating with a confession of love!  Slow down LUV BIRDS!
So, that's why its great to have anniversaries.  It reminds me of why we are in this terrible, joyful mess. 

Christmas pic 2010

It was our intense love that led to us going to Trader Joes as a family and the spectacle of everyone's attention.  Three kids pushing miniature carts, a dad refereeing between who got to pick and put what in whom's cart, and mom with baby Hope in her Bjorn.  (Is that the right prepositional phrase?)
The end of our night at Trader Joes

It was our intense love that led us to going to Isaiah's first basketball game yesterday!

I'm also reminded that this day of celebration of our love in seminal form is also the celebration of my godmother's life, my Aunt JJ.  I'm afraid to think of how long ago she passed.  Maybe 11 years ago?  It would be easy to forget about her or the pain that it caused my family to lose such a special person, so quickly and so young.  But, I'm more afraid of forgetting her than the pain that it brings to remember her.  I guess the "remembering" is good, even when it hurts. 

J.J. had an unique gift to make everyone feel singularly important even when in a large crowd.  Her hugs were great, and you knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that you were special.  She made things easy and fun and had a great smile.  She's missed- terribly. 

Aunt JJ

Lastly, if you're so inclined, todays readings for Mass are all about remembering, forgetting, identity, and integrity. I won't go into it, but its true. If we forget who we are, what we are about, we can get lost and lose our identity, and ultimately our integrity. I'm thankful for reminders. I'm thankful to remember the gift God has given me in Kristin and my JJ. I'm thankful for anniversaries.

Isaac's 3rd Bday party
Yes, the kids went swimming today :). 

January 25, 2013

Number 7

Maggie, Baby #7
As hundreds of thousands of people March for Life today in Washington D.C., I am reminded of the day my mom told me that she was expecting her 7th baby. I was 17 years old at the time.

One day we all piled into our blue minivan for a Perkins breakfast. It was there that my mom broke to us the big news of another baby growing in her belly. At the time my mom was 41 years young, she had 4 kids in High School and 2 little active boys.  Was her body worn out from carrying so many babies by this point in her life? Maybe. Was it an inconvenient time to be tired for next 9 months? Probably. But, she never mentioned it. It was never even spoken about or thought of. My mom or dad never even alluded to it. The only emotion that was expressed to us was joy, laughter, and anticipation. So, of course my brothers and I exclaimed immediately: "Cool. Another baby!"
Me and baby Mags
I had always prayed for a sister, wanted a sister so badly after having 5 brothers and I thought:
This baby might be the one. I might finally get a sister! All of us were nothing but thrilled. There was no choice, no option to have or not to have this baby. No debate over whether she was or wasn't a person. She was. And we were so excited to meet her.
Maggie was my flower girl.
Majorie Lynette Mazanowski was born on February 22. I was there. I helped deliver her. I cut the umbilical cord. I was the first to hold her. I was completely amazed. It was the best day in my life, until I had my own children. (Which funny enough she was there, watching when I had baby Isaiah!)

My parents are over 55 now and still have a child in High School. Would they like to be completely free of teacher meetings and the normal in and outs/drama of having a child in High School. Maybe? But they never talk about it. It is never even mentioned. Maggie is the best thing that has happened to our family. She is our little miracle. Our baby sister.

On this day, I thank my mom for being courageous and having 7 children. Loving 7 children. And giving me 5 brothers and a last chance sister, who are all my best friends.

January 21, 2013

Not Pregnant....

Things I am reminded of when I am not preggo:

I can be fun, even funny at times.
I like/love food.
Drinking is fun.
I can stay up past 730pm.
Trader Joes is a happy place for me, instead of making me dry heave the entire time I am shopping.
I can make it through an entire movie.
I do like to leave the house.
Nausea is not my constant companion; rather, matt and my kiddos are :).
I am not just a big blob of body mass.
I can answer my phone.
I can call people back.
Post Pardom Bod is blahhhh.
I love my kids.
I love my husband :).
I love having babies.
I want more babies
Life is beautiful.

Wobble. Wobble. Gave birth that night to baby Isaac. What am I wearing??

January 20, 2013

Sanctifying Sunday- "Yes, it is working... For now!"

My first and probably frequent guest...

My wife asked me to write on the "Sanctify Sunday" section, as Guest Booger, I mean Blogger!  (if you're not accustomed to my humor I apologize ahead of time for any offenses now and into eternity!)

This is a weird experience for the following reasons; I don't have Face book, Tweeter, Instantgram, or any of that hytech stuff.  It's for various reasons and maybe for other topics down the road.  It's also weird because when I read my wife's blogs I think they are so real and cute.  I know I'm real, but certainly not cute.  Regardless, here it goes.

My best friend, Fr. Isaac, in the middle of an intense conversation and the middle of a jug of apple juice, told me about Msgr. Albesti's theory on "verbal engineering."  Basically, the thesis of this is that governments and media try to verbal engineer people.  Simply put, say it enough and it becomes reality and truth, whether we agree with it or not or whether it's true or not.
Fr. Isaac with baby Isaac
Well, I thought, "certainly if people are able to 'verbally engineer'" people to the non-truth of life, I can do the opposite.  I can verbally engineer my family to the Truth!"

So, I've decided to be very intentional and deliberate with my use of words in my family.

Today was a great example.

During lunch I asked Isaiah if he remembered the wedding at Canaa.  He quickly responded, "They ran out of wine and Jesus told them to fill jars with water and He turned them into wine."  Sinisterly, I said to myself as I dubiously wrung my hands, "Yes, it is working."
It reminded me of a time on vacation.  A family custom is to go around after dinner sharing a scripture or saint quote that is meaningful to us.  Well, Dza Dza (that's Polish for grandfather and pronounced JaJa in English) referenced an Old Testament story.  Isaiah, at the ripe old age of 4, politely corrected him clarifying that it was Hannah that was barren and God gave her a son, which she named Samuel consecrating him to the Lord and leaving him with Eli...  I'm not fabricating this.  JaJa in his humility and extreme pride was happy to be gently corrected by his first grandson.  Again I snickered, "Yes, it is working..."
Jaja, Grammy, and Isaiah
Another example happened later in the afternoon today with Isaac.  We were fixing his bike; the training wheels needed to be removed and air put into his tires, and he asked me, "Dad, no one is calling you, is it because it is the Lord's Day?"  Another wicked internal rejoice by me, "Yes, it is working."

Sundays are supposed to be different.  That's the way God enginerred them.  That's why I call Sunday the Lord's Day; so my boys and girls know that this day is not ours, but His.

PS. It's a great reminder to me too!

Oh and, I'm really happy about Jesus' first miracle turning water into wine.  My wife and Ann believe that He turned it into San Sebastian.  I, however, think it was a finer vintage.

So, it is working for now.

Peace and Blessings, Matt

For family game night Isaiah wanted to make "sculptures" and have dad judge whose was the best.  He made a good army guy station and bad robber station. :)

January 17, 2013

What they said...

Isaac: "Hope is my favorite sister, because she can't talk. And oh, as long as she doesn't cry."

Grace, while sitting next to me on the couch before bed: "Mudder Mary is my best friend."

Me: "Grace are you speaking spanish, because I can't understand you." 
Grace: "No, I speak barbie."

Grace: "Doggie is a bad girl." *Doggie is her pet name for Isaac, no joke.

While Isaiah and I are out running errands one beautiful, 85 degree sunny morning Isaiah says, "Mom, its kinda cold out. Don't you think?" Well, I guess it is cold for a kid who has grown up in SW Florida.

Isaiah: "Can God take away my nose? I just hate blowing it." I had no answer, complete silence from me.

Me: "Isaac, because you behaved so badly today you have lost your privaledge to watch any shows tomorrow."
Isaac: "I don't care." He's 4, how could he not care already!!

After I had been working on dinner for the last hour, Isaac walks in from school and says, " Eeeww, whats that smell. It smells disgusting!"

January 15, 2013

Clean up, Clean up

Warning-- Some may find this a teeny bit boring. But for those of you who spend your days picking up after your littles, I aim for enlightening (wink).

I would not classify myself as a super clean freak (if you looked in my closet you would immediately know this), but I do like my house clean, picked up, and somewhat clutter free... as clutter free as a 1400 sq. ft home could be with 4 kids, 6 and under. Just clarifying.

Boys room after a major clean. 
Our garage is a constant bomb that needs tending too!
I get uneasy/irritated when our home becomes a complete tornado zone. Go figure. But with time and more kids it has actually gotten easier  for me to work out my systems. For sure, long gone are the days of leaving dirty dishes from the night before in the sink to clean in the morning. Yes, I use to do that nightly when we were first married and beyond... I shall not say when this habit stopped... let's just say when our oldest turned two (give or take and probably give a little more).
Isaiah, our first babe :). One of the happiest days of my life.

But now, the experienced mom that I am (chuckle, and big chuckle), systems are in place and up and running.  First of all, I try always to clean in love. This may sound silly, but I have to constantly remind myself that when I am cleaning the kitchen for the 100th time that week that what I am doing does matter, because I am doing it out of love. Out of love for God, for Matt, for my kiddos.

I  looove what Mother Theresa said: "Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love." Every time I read this new life breathes its way into me as a momma. It so sums up what motherhood is in the day to day, hum drum of life-- dish by dish, diaper by diaper, time out by time out...doing small things with great love....

I have found that I could spend my entire day constantly cleaning up the kitchen and picking up toys, but this is so NOT FUN (even when doing it in love) and not what I want to be doing or truly feel God wants me to be doing when I have 4 lively (whiny) children wanting me. So, my master system-- 2 cleans a day. I clean after lunch (with the boys help of course) - the kitchen, the living room, and the activity room. I/we do this right after the girls go down for naps. The house is put together then and sometimes stays relatively clean through to the night, due to kids napping and taking quiet times. And then we clean (all 6 of us, Hope delegates from her bouncy seat) before bed or an hour before bed, whatever I fancy that night. And walah-- Mom is happy and house stays relatively picked up.

Now, I do put a disclaimer in that I am constantly doing laundry, which usually goes on into the late hours of the evening, and when this mom is too tired a big pile of clean clothes ends up on our couch for the next morning or afternoon, or (ahem) evening. But I am working on it, maybe when I master putting clean clothes away right after I fold them, I will truly become supermom, just maybe.

January 12, 2013

She's SO old

Yes, our Hope Marie is a whopping 3 months and a week old! So of course, we had to do her 3 month sticker photo shoot.

Gracie Girl was not too pleased when I told her that I wanted a photo JUST of baby Hope,

so we did them with her too... of course.

Hope is by far our best, bestest baby ever. She is the first baby to actually sit in a bouncy chair for extended periods of time. Think the baby swing is fun and not a torture device. Fall asleep in her car seat. Fall asleep in the car, rather than scream bloody murder the entire time like her brothers and sister (which they did until they were 2). God knew what we could handle when He gave us our Hope.

All of the Bodakids have struggled in some shape or form with reflux. Not mentioning names (Isaac), but one (Isaac) cried for 10 months straight, because of it. How did we go onto have any other kids after that experience; God truly only knows.

Classic Baby Isaac with his cousin Ziggy
Hope has had her fair share of reflux, for sure, but we chose to put her on Zantac (dun dun dun, duuunnnn...  don't tell our chiropractor). It has made such a huge difference. Oh, the pain she was in. And poor baby Isaac, I wish my Dr. had suggested that when he was a wee babe. Live and learn.

Hope does hold the record for spewing THE most spit up out of all our babes. After every feeding she completely soaks a burp cloth/blanket. All the kids know exactly where the burp blankets are and if I ask for one, they know to RUN immediately to get it in order to catch the onslaught of fluid pouring from her tiny mouth.

Here are some of the names we call our sweet baby girl: Hopie Girl, Hopie- dope- dope-dope, Spit up girl, Happy girl, smiley girl, baby girl. Yeah I know, they are all super original.

She is one special lady though, and when she smiles, she literally lights up the room. My favorite moments are spent just staring at her and saying, "Hiiiii, Hopie Girl" over and over again, which always makes her crack up and makes me sound super weird to the outside world.

At 3 months and one week she has already made her mark in this world with the most blow-out diapers at the most inconvenient time and, more importantly, with capturing each one of our hearts here at team Boda.

What we like most about Hope...

Dad= smiles, laughs and farts
Mom= her skinky toes, tiny hands, strong legs, smiles, snuggles, sweet face
Isaiah= her kicking legs where she looks like she is doing Karate, making her smile
Isaac= holding her, seeing her in clothes other than pajamas and putting shoes on her
Grace= kissing her cheek, playing with her clothes