Showing posts from December, 2009

And so it begins

Today was the first day that we saw G. and L. trying to play with the same toy. It was so very, very cute. Remind me I said that in 6 months when it is not so cute anymore.

Toy in L.'s possession...G. is thinking she would like to play with it.
L. brings it nearer to G. without realizing the consequences.

G. is successful in taking it away from L...much to L's surprise.

The goods

I can finally share with you what I was so busy sewing before Christmas. Since my children all read this blog, I couldn't show you before hand. First, we have sleeping bags for A. and P.'s American Girl dolls:

Next are two play mats I made for TM and D. TM's is a farm background and D.'s is a forest. To store, they fold into quarters and are secured with a strap and button so they can hang on a hook in the closet. TM and D received some appropriate plastic animals as well.

Finally, I made a set of felt food for K. The set includes bread, donuts, tomatoes, lettuce, bacon, fried eggs, and whole eggs. These were so easy and fun to make; I think I may be making him even more in the future. He could also use some cheese slices, and cookies, and ravioli, and....

And because no post is complete without baby pictures, here are the girls in some cute matching overalls sent by their grammy (G. is on left and L. is on right):

Merry Christmas, part 2

Some scenes from Christmas morning...on to the presents:

I can't stand mess, so it's one person opening a present at a time, followed by cleaning up the wrappings. Only then may we move on to the next gift. It takes a while to get through all the gifts this way.
L. looking at her gifts...

And G. looking at her top. (Grammy is great at parity, both girls received the same toys.)

K. and TM playing with the play mat M. made for K. She made it out of's her own design. K. has played with it a lot.

D. and TM putting together their big Lego sets. This is how they each spent 3 hours on Christmas afternoon. Both boys were able to put together their sets with little help.

Merry Christmas, part 1

We have had a wonderful Christmas and hope all of you have as well. I have a lot of pictures to share, but will break it up into several posts since it takes so long to upload photos to blogger. We'll start with Christmas Eve...

Here is everyone before we left for church and the Christmas pageant.
We always host Christmas Eve dinner after the pageant. We had 23 sitting down, plus the baby girls. J.'s two sisters and their families and a Japanese grad student and his family joined us.

On Christmas morning everyone waits upstairs until things are ready. (Meaning the coffee is made and I have my contacts in so I can see.) Then the children line up youngest to oldest and come downstairs. This is a tradition from J.'s family; I had no stairs in my house growing up. The babies slept horribly that night, so J. and I had been up for several hours already. Everyone else started to wake up at the more reasonable hour of 7:45.

Gifts under the tree being examined.

The first thing we do …

1 1/4 pounds of butter later we have...

Two pans of cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning and three dozen crescent rolls which are a gift for one of our nephews. (Because, you know, it just isn't a holiday if dough isn't involved.) This still leaves with just enough time tonight to bake the gingerbread layer cake which will be Jesus' birthday cake tomorrow night after dinner. The end is in sight! I have finished all my sewing and gift preparation and J. will finish the wrapping while I bake this evening. That gives me tomorrow morning to get the house ready, set the table for dinner, and fuss with people's clothes while J. runs just a couple last errands. Because if it isn't done by 2:25 when we leave for church to start to prepare for the pageant, it isn't getting done. But I think we'll be OK.

On a completely unrelated note...does anyone out there have a sewing machine that also functions as an embroidery machine? Do you use the embroidery function and wonder how you would live with…


So this is what it feels like to be rested. The baby girls slept the whole night. That makes last night's uninterrupted 7 hours the second full night of sleep I've had in a year. I think I might be able to finish Christmas preparations today...I have one more gift to sew. Nothing like a good night's sleep to return one's (possibly misplaced) optimism.

A dose of reality

The discussion about our "white" couch in the comment section of this post makes me realize that perhaps some of you have an unrealistic picture of our life in the big ugly house. In order to disabuse you of the notion that we rival Martha Stewart for loveliness and organization, I will share some glimpses into what life really looks like around here.

I can't think the last time we ate dinner before 7 pm. We used to eat at a more reasonable time, but the babies seem to need to nurse right when I should be preparing dinner. It's hard to eat at six when that's the time preparations are beginning.There are always toys everywhere, mainly due to K. I forgot what chaos-makers three year olds can be. K. is quite willing to help put away the toys, but doesn't quite understand that I don't want them to come out again immediately after picking up. Some evenings we don't get to the last scheduled pick-up time and I briefly think it would serve a robber right when…

Truly Blessed

J. called me on the phone this morning from work, his tone serious. He told me that he received several Christmas cards in his box, as well as... During his pause, my stomach jumped to my throat, while my brain filled-in 'pink slip' to finish his sentence. But, no, a pink slip was not the other item in the mail. Instead, it was another Christmas card, unsigned, but with a note which said that since we do so much for others, the giver of the card wanted to do something for us. Inside the card was a substantial sum of cash. We both feel overwhelmed by it. And perhaps a bit undeserving as well. For while money is tight for us, that's really all that it is. Tight. J. has a job which pays the bills. We own our home; and even if we have to sell it, we will still have the ability to buy a new one. We have 9 wonderful children. That alone seems to put us in the over-abundance of blessings category.

But, still, I find it difficult to focus on what we have and not worry …

Momma Mia!

We are starting to think that when accents were being passed out, K. accidentally got in line with the Italians instead of the Vietnamese or Americans. Recently, he has started to add an 'a' on the end of nearly everything...and to top it off, the infections he puts on words sound very Italian as well. So as well as him calling me 'Mama mia', we hear, 'No napa, Mama, no napa!' or 'Playa me, playa me'. But our favorite. by far, has been, 'Make-a me toast-a, B.-a, make-a me toast-a!" It's been going on for about a week, but we're already seeing it start to fade as he becomes more and more adept at English. We'll all be a bit sad at losing our little Italian. But on the other hand, it is a delight to watch his language skills blossom. He now uses pronouns, regularly creates 4 word sentences, and is beginning to tell us about his feelings ('Dat scary, mama!'). It's been amazing to watch him go from no language or even babbli…

6 months old

I can't believe these girls are 6 months old today. They are such blessings; sometimes I still can't quite believe that they are ours. Everyone in the family is madly in love with them...even when they wake up every hour during the night. Here they are modelling their newest Christmas outfits which their Grammy sent. L. is on the left and G. is on the right.

They love to reach out and touch each other's heads (and eyes and mouths and...)

L. was not quite convinced that she was enjoying the photo session.

Don't these dresses just cry out for cute matching Christmas booties? It's all I can do to force myself not to drop everything and make them some. I find I constantly battle what I call "Class
Auditing Syndrome". It's that phenomena that occurs when you decide to audit a class along with all of the classes you're taking for credit. Even though you aren't being graded (or perhaps because of it), you become consumed with the reading and class…

I guess I didn't win

the writing contest I entered in a national parenting magazine since the winners were to be notified by November 30. I think I'm pretty safe to share my entry with you. The topic was, "What motherhood means to me" and there was to be a photograph included with the 200 (!) word essay. You know I tend to be long-winded, so getting something to just 200 words was the toughest part of writing it. Anyway, here it is:

I flipped through the mail as I balanced my five month old daughter on my hip. There, in among the bills and advertisements, was a postcard; a postcard from Nepal. My best friend from high school, who was now a single, well-paid lawyer, was off on another world adventure. Normally, her postcards didn’t bother me. It was fun receiving real mail from exotic locales, but this time was different. This time I had a baby daughter and the possibilities for world travel seemed a long way off. Looking at the postcard, I realized that in choosing to become a mother, I had a…

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Yes, I found the battery charger...or rather A. did at the bottom of the diaper bag. So instead of depressing posts about toxic chemicals, I can show you pictures of decorating for Christmas at Chez Curry.

Christmas stockings for each of us, compliments of my mother who made all of them. They are displayed on the couch for the picture, since to hang them we must double them up, having only 7 stocking holders. (I thought that was so many when I bought them 5 children ago.) J.


TM and A.


L., held by B.

K. who was a little excited about the creche dolls I made (many years ago).


P. -- in a rare moment of photographic cooperation

And one last bit of baby news...G. and L. had their 6 month check-up today and are doing nicely. They are nearly exactly the same size; 1 ounce difference in weight and 1/8 inch difference in length. And they are little tiny peanuts...healthy and happy...but peanuts all the same.

Not the post I was planning

So, all day I've been planning how I will post pictures of us all decorating our Christmas tree on Sunday. The camera's battery had run down (of course), so I went looking for the charger and extra battery which we had taken with us to Thanksgiving. I know the bag it was in came home because the CD's which were in it are where they are supposed to be, but I can't find the battery and charger anywhere. So I can't turn on the camera and I can't post any pictures.

Instead of doing a happy, cheery post about Christmas and family fun, I find myself needing to write about Vietnam and Agent Orange. (I bet you are all hoping I find that battery charger soon, huh?) Our local paper has been running a series looking at the after affects of Agent Orange on both the Vietnamese people and on Vietnam veterans. I found today's article particularly disturbing because it focused on the Vietnamese children, some living in institutions and some with their parents, who wer…

Tackling Mt. Everest

of laundry, that is. Do you have any idea how much laundry a family of 11 makes in one week? By the time you factor in clothes, towels, cleaning cloths, and sheets, it's a significant amount; we're talking a pile several feet tall. I had avoided the laundry ever since we returned from Thanksgiving, so that has been my project for today. Things were getting desperate...the supply of underwear is not infinite. And just when I think I finally have everything sorted into laundry bins, I go back downstairs to discover someone has thrown a new pile down the laundry chute. This little game has happened three times already today. Where was all this dirty laundry living? Were my children hiding it and keeping it for a surprise? Or does it just, as I have always suspected, multiply all of its own accord? My overly fastidious children aren't helping, either. Just now I went into the younger girls' room to discover A. changing her sheets. I'm all for changing sheets, but consi…

Sisterly love

Yet another picture of G. (on left) and L. (on right). They are getting better at sitting up which provides their older brothers and sisters with more opportunities for baby hilarity. Tonight A. and P. decided to prop the babies together in the boppy pillow. When L. slouched down a bit, her should came a little too close to G. who decided she might as well see if it tasted good. And of course, the first thing A. and P. thought to do was not to rescue L., but to grab the camera instead.

In which I have a brief pity party

This morning I ran out and did a small bit of Christmas shopping. Thanks to a gift card from one friend and a great discount card from another I was able to get a couple of items that I wouldn't otherwise have been able to purchase this year. (I need to be a bit cryptic since all my children read the blog.) As a result I found myself in a department store. A type of place, I might add, that I haven't been in for several years. I was successful in my venture, but then I decided to just look around for a bit since I was there. I had heard that there were some great deals in the children's department, so that's where I headed. This was my mistake. I didn't really need any clothes for my children. Some girls in my family have so many clothes that their dresser drawers sometimes don't shut. (Though this could also be a folding, as opposed to an amount, problem.) But there I was anyway, looking at baby girl clothes. Really cute baby girl clothes. Baby gi…