Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Bathing Beauty

Who says you don't get any "firsts" with a seventh child? Here is Natalie having her first real bath, and she is the very first of the Di Silvestri children who did not howl and scream all the way through it. In contrast, she seemed to enjoy it very much!

Couldn't resist posting this photo. She is so very precious.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Happy Birthday Lindsey

I love technology. This is a current photo (I'm talking minutes old, folks) of Lindsey doing what she is still doing right this minute: celebrating her 9th birthday by skiing with her dad. Here she is on the ski lift, where my thoughtful husband was kind enough to not only take a photo of her but to email it to me right away so I could see how their day was going. And now I can share it with all of you while she is still on the slopes. Isn't it great?!

We are fortunate enough to live 45 minutes away from a ski area, and since you get to ski free on your birthday, this was a no-brainer birthday celebration! I'm glad she can spend some daddy-daughter time, too.

Lindsey, happy birthday, my oldest daughter. What a lovely young lady you are. I am proud to be your mother!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

So THAT Explains It!

I am reading a totally fascinating book on Feng Shui. I was looking for some furniture-arranging tips for our family room, which has always felt a little sterile to me. Instead, I believe I have found the answer to the very puzzling question of why we have so many kids.

According to the Feng Shui octagon, our bed is located in the "children" section of our master bedroom.

Mystery solved!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Cinematic Redemption

I had a rare date night with Jay tonight. We went to see Clint Eastwood's Gran Torino. As you may guess, this was Jay's choice. I would have preferred The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, but it is so rare that Jay is adamant about seeing a movie that I easily caved.

In this one film, Jay has redeemed himself from every bad movie he has ever forced me to sit through (Bad Santa, anyone?). This movie was absolutely fantastic. I laughed, I cried (not that it is hard to make me cry, I'll admit, but I would have cried even without the hormones). It is beautifully done, and we both loved it. Really, don't miss this one!

Friday, January 09, 2009

Did You Know...

...that clothes and hats from Build-A-Bear workshop fit newborn babies perfectly?

Well, they do.

Don't ask how I know, I just do.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

What's In A Name?

Isabella is learning to say the names of her brothers and sisters. This morning I was so surprised to hear how well she said Tony's name that I asked her to say everyone's name.

"Can you say Joey?"
"Can you say Lindsey?"
"Can you say Sam?"
"Can you say Natalie?"

Good enough!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Fun With Photos

Our church is doing a picture directory. Many of you have probably participated in something like this before...Olan Mills comes to the church and takes your family portrait, entices you with a free 8x10, a free sitting and a free copy of the directory, and then makes their money selling you additional pictures.

This year I was open to being sold a picture of the kids (normally, we just sit for the directory and that's it). I don't have one with all seven (obviously!) and I happen to have a nice spot on my wall where I would love one. So, it was with high hopes--yet realistic expectations--that we entered for our sitting.

We chose the time slot right before Natalie's baptism so we wouldn't have to dress up twice (good thinking, eh?). I warned the photographer about Isabella (have I mentioned before on this blog that our sweet daughter actually has two personalities and can switch on you at any moment?) and he assured me that he was a professional and that kids like her didn't scare him. I raised my eyebrows at that one, but he was so very confident that he could handle her that I decided to let him.

At first, it went very well. Isabella was happy to sit on my lap and giggled prettily along with the older five children every time his SpongeBob puppet made a tooting noise behind the camera. A classy bunch, my kids.

As soon as Jay and I were removed for my requested "kids only" portrait, however, things went south very quickly. She refused to sit without me, screamed and beat her fists and fell down on the floor in a classic limp noodle move. None of the other kids could hold her and the frustrated photographer finally gave up and started taking photos with just the cooperative six. I let him know pretty quickly that I was not going to purchase as my "big deal" picture a shot that did not include Isabella, so he pulled himself up by his bootstraps and got double busy with SpongeBob. To no avail.

Finally, we had to do exactly what we did in our Christmas photo (see below). Jay had to lay down on the studio floor and hold her up from the bottom while she screamed. The photographer looked as if he really wanted to find himself another job.

But you know what? We got what is sure to be my all time favorite photo of the kids: Isabella is hoisted up by an invisible hand, face contorted into a scream, and every older child is looking at her and laughing. Real belly laughs, not silly "for the camera" grins. I loved it and promptly bought a 20x30 for my wall (to Jay's utter horror, although he, too, loved the picture).

The best part of this whole experience, however, came later. Our friends, who have four children 7 and under, went in for their portrait sitting later that day. Their 1 year old daughter was fussing and they apologized to the photographer who said, "Oh, she's nothing. You should have seen the family that was in here earlier today. Now THAT girl was a piece of work!"

That's my girl!

The Di Silvestri Children, Christmas 2008

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy 2009 to all--may this new year be filled with every kind of blessing!

Well, we're definitely getting older and our New Year celebrations are starting to reflect this undeniable fact (I'm not complaining, by the way, simply reflecting...). As is our custom, we spent our New Year's Eve with dear friends enjoying a fantastic dinner of prime rib, chicken piccatta, shrimp and tiramisu. We all have children the same age and the kids had a ball playing together all evening while the adults visited. We always enjoy this event.

This year, however, reflected a few changes. First of all, we now have so many small children that need our attention that it is nearly impossible for the stars to align such that both Jay and I can sit down to dinner at the same time. Technically, this is not a change, as this as been our state for last decade. The emerging difference is that our sensible friends (who stopped having children long ago) are no longer similarly interrupted, thus making our plight much more noticeable.

Second, the "big moment" isn't what it used to be. In fact, when midnight arrived last night, it found the children enthusiastically counting down with Dick Clark, Jay asleep where he unintentionally stayed after laying down with an injured Tony and a tired Isabella at about 9:30pm, and me doing what I am always doing these days...nursing Natalie. The tide is turning: the children are becoming the revelers and the adults are snoozing in the corner. Scary, but true.

Dick Clark was an eerie reflection of all of this last night. Did you see him? Post stroke, only a shadow of who he was before, but there he was, plugging along nonetheless. I related to him in a strange way. The people around me last night were questioning why he was still there, why he was doing what he was doing in the state he was in, but I understood: he loves it and doesn't want to give it up, even though he is paying a price for it. It's who he is. So it is with having so many kids--they definitely take their toll, but I wouldn't change a thing. So what if we're sleeping/nursing/not celebrating New Year's Eve in a "cool way" at the midnight hour? It's who we are!