Happy Easter! We had such a wonderful celebration at my parent's house. My whole family was there with the exception of my brother Rudy who was too busy impressing his girlfriend's parents (he was recently engaged) to bother to make it in time. He says he got stuck in traffic so we'll let it go this year, I guess. Here is a picture of all of my parent's grandkids...
In order by age: Amanda(15), Amber(14), Katrina(11), Matthew(8), Analise(5), Alexis(4), Gabriella(3), Anika(2), Niklaus(2), Roman(almost 2), Wyatt(1), Anabella(1), Lucia(7mo), Mariela(7weeks), John(6weeks)
WHEW! It was harder to generate that list than I thought it would be! We had about 5 people taking pictures (and many of them) to find at least one that would be good. Of course, all of the getting into place and screwing around pictures are the funny, good ones! My parents hands were super full and it's a good thing we'll all be taking a bit of a break before the next grandkid comes or they'll run out of spots for group pics! It's so awesome for my parents to have so many grandkids. They always wanted 6 children and that's what they got, but I don't think they ever imagined that we would provide them with so many grandchildren at so young an age and so many at a time! We had a slow start (me doing all the work for so many years! Sheesh!) but just in the last 3 years alone they got 7 new grandbabies and that is so much more than their peers and friends that they can't help but brag! I know it might sound odd to brag about the numbers when it comes to children, but all of these cousins live within 1 hour driving distance and I can see many years of close cousin relationships ahead and because I was (and still am) so close to my cousins this makes me so happy! I hope someday we have a big ol' bunch of grandkids, too and I plan to do my part by having as many children as God wills to increase my odds!
Mariela and I matched (and we didn't even call each other!) with our yellow Easter clothes and my sis thought we looked so cute. She kept saying, "you HAVE to like this one" in reference to this picture and she'll know I do by the fact that I actually posted a picture of myself (does ANYONE like pics of themselves?). Mariela is so tiny compared to my other children. Everyone that meets her says, "OH! She's so TINY!" and that just floors me because each of the other children were so chubby so fast. They all guess that she must have been a preemie or very small at birth and they all look shocked when I tell them she was a week early and 8lbs 5oz. I think she got a slow start and we both had a thrush infection that severely affected our nursing. I actually nursed without pain today for the first time in about 3 weeks so she should be chunking up pretty soon. One other cute thing is my niece, Lexi has been obsessed with her head. She is the big sis of John who was born a week after Mariela and she says (while rubbing Mari's head), "Oh, her head is so tiny and cute! She's got a pretty, little head, MOM! It's so much cuter!". I assume it's because her brother has a normal, chubby baby head and he's a boy which automatically makes him less cute in a 4 year old GIRL'S eyes. Of course, he's just as cute as a button and looks very much like his sisters so I don't agree with her;) When we first got the babies together (the day of the photo below) Mariela was about a pound heavier but now, just weeks later, you can tell that John is a couple of pounds heavier than Mariela! We will go to her 2 month doctor visit on Monday and I will learn how much she weighs and where she falls on the growth chart (I'm starting to get a complex because of the comments! I know everything will be fine, though!) and set my mind at ease about her development. OH, she has started to smile and interact this last week! Her whole face smiles just like her cousin, Lucia and I can't wait for that first belly laugh...you know the one that makes the whole family giggle? Her eyes seem to be staying blue which is so strange because Butch, Me, Trina, and Matty all have green eyes and Weazy and Niklaus have brown. Hmmmm, we'll see. If they stay blue, I'll have to have a boy with blue eyes next to keep the pattern going! I'm so happy we named her Mariela. Everyone loves her name and I'll bet she loves it when she's older. I've tried to name my girls unusual, pretty, princess names because I was "Laura" which is boring as heck when you've got a sister named "Katrina". Whenever we are in public, I call them by their names and people's heads turn and they smile! Although, now Katrina gets some odd looks because of that damned hurricane. I have a feeling that name won't be so popular for a lot of years to come! I'm so happy to be posting again that I'm rambling and not very inspiring. I'll try harder next post but I'm happy to be back and I have enjoyed other's blog's during Lent (can't type with one hand while nursing a baby, but it's easy to use the mouse!). I really missed Amy Caroline and kept checking back in the early weeks of Lent to see if she cheated and just to feel close to her again but Christine kept me hopeful and the many other entertaining bloggers I've gotten to know, too. OH! I've had my wedding gown turned into a baptismal gown for Mariela. She will be baptized on the 13th of May with her cousin John by a deacon of our church in a private ceremony and it will be such a nice thing for our families. I can't wait to see her in the gown and have it for a family keepsake. Matty will be receiving his First Holy Communion on the 30th, please pray for him and his classmates!