A Worthy Cause

Who gets to decide what is content worth posting? Content worth engaging?

Increasingly on, social media, it’s an algorithm. A computer program that matches your particular likes and follows with others who have similar likes and follows. But even more than that, it’s based on how much content you create. If you don’t feed the social media monster on a regular basis, it refuses to regurgitate what you post for others to see.

Normally, that wouldn’t bother me.

I’ve been increasingly silent on most platforms, uploading less photos, posting less words as I try to decide what my digital footprint should be. As I decide what the online legacy of my children should be.

But it bothers me today.

Because I have a worthy cause to share.

So, here I am. Again. Dusting off the ol’ blog to talk directly to you. My people that I can reach, un-filtered and un-sorted.

Hi. How are you? How have you been?

Can I tell you about this thing my sister Jessie and I are doing? Do you have a minute to listen? If not, not worries. I’ll catch you at a different time, with a different message. I respect that your time is valuable.

If you’re still here, read on. This is the message I’m trying to share. The content that, apparently, isn’t important enough to be seen by others…according to a computer.

What can we do in the face of tragedy, destruction, and suffering? If you’re my sister Jessie, contemplating the 2020 wildfire season, you draw. She found images that moved her to action, images that moved a nation, and she prayed her way through their re-creation in pastel.

Then she asked, she prayed: how can this help? How can this bring tangible good and healing?

And she got a response.

Not from herself.

Not from an organization.

From a friend.

The Slater fire destroyed more than 150 homes in Happy Camp, CA. It destroyed the All Saints Mission church. Residents are STILL reeling and rebuilding and recovering almost 6 months later.

“My mom can house a Happy Camp resident, we just need to make her RV livable again,” said this friend.

Well, Jessie and I aren’t restoration workers.

We’re not firefighters.

Our gifts don’t show up in counseling skills or as CA food bank volunteers.

But, we do have art.
And we do have $5.
And we do have friends.
And that, my friends, my helpers, is enough.

So, here’s the plan, dear ones:

Our goal: $600 to cover the cost of an RV repair

Purpose: Provide housing for one of the residents of Happy Camp, CA.

Instructions: Send a donation, of any amount, via paypal (catholiccurio (at) gmail.com) or Venmo (@ CaitElder). If you want to donate, but not through paypal or venmo, shoot me an email (caitlinelder25 (at) gmail.com) and we’ll work something else out.
Every $5 increment earns you a chance to own one of the 6 pastel firefighter portraits that Jessie made in response to the 2020 fire season.
The first 3 donations of $200 or more automatically receive the portrait of his or her choice!

Stretch Goal: The All Saints Mission church in Happy Camp was destroyed. So all donations beyond $600 will be sent to the Sacred Heart Parish in Fort Jones to help with recovery.

Timeline: February 29th- March 7th. New details on each portrait daily.

We’ve already raised $265! We’re on our way.

Updates and more info will be posted to Instagram on my account @catholiccurio if you want to keep up with our goal progress or like/share the content.

On a personal note: I’ve seen the overwhelming generosity of this small online community.

I can’t wait to see it again.

Some people have asked, why firefighters and why this particular fire?

The first question has to do with our family culture growing up. We were raised to love and respect these brave men and women. Mom would say, “Wave at the heroes” every time we drove by past a fire station. We’d pause whatever we were doing to pray the Guardian Angel prayer whenever we heard their sirens- asking protection over the fire fighters and to whomever they were headed. We also brought cookies to our local station on Christmas Eve. These are all traditions Jessie and I have both continued with our own families as well.

Tiny Dominic! This is 2017. The firefighters gave us a tour of the station on Christmas Even when we dropped off cinnamon rolls. They got dressed in their gear, showed the kids how to run an EKG, let them sit in the firetruck, and then as we were leaving got called away. It was so fun, engaging and dramatic. I welled up several times, unable to express my thanks for such generosity without my voice cracking.

The second question was really a prompting of the Holy Spirit.

Jessie said- I have created this art. Jessie asked- How can it help someone? When she put this out into the world, a friend responded. This friend had been looking for some way to help her Mom, a Happy Camp resident, repair an RV as a place to house a neighbor.

Match made.

If you can help, great. Thank you. Truly, thank you.

This is a worthy cause.

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Summer Evenings

DSC_6227DSC_6304DSC_6198The light in our backyard during summer evenings is just plain dreamy. In a season (summer) and a location (the desert) where the sun usually beats down relentlessly, most photos are flat and whitewashed. But, add trees, slanted light and a sprinkler, and I’m almost getting that fall-golden hour vibe.

DSC_6260We love our yard. In the middle of the sage brush, we’re covered in trees and lush green. It’s decent sized for houses around here, about a third of an acre, but as I watched the kids run yesterday, I realize that, to them, it must feel like it goes on forever. Their long legs reach out and pump at full speed until they are tired. Back and forth. Round and round. Over and over again.

When I visit some of my past homes, of which I have many, I always leave with a slightly melancholy feeling that they are smaller than I remember (I submit that everyone does this, right? Occasionally knocks on a familiar door just to take a peak inside. Strolls slowly around a nostalgic yard, creating a Memory Lane… Andy says absolutely not. But I certainly have…many times!)

And my own children are showing me why I’m left with that shrunken feeling- it was I, not the places, that was small. But those houses, those yards… they made giant memories.

DSC_6294DSC_6361DSC_6356So, I love to watch them run, to use and explore every inch. To spend hours catching rolly pollys, dumping water on each other, laying in a clover patch studying the clouds.

Especially in this time, when we can’t go many other places, I’m giving thanks for our own backyard.


DSC_6253Our oasis.

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Mother’s Day 2020

DSC_4814…is certainly set to an interesting backdrop: Pandemic.

We made our way down to the river to take our annual Mother’s Day Photos and the kids did (mostly) great. There were only a few utterances of  “IF YOU THROW ONE MORE ROCK INSTEAD OF SMILING, I’M THROWING YOU INTO THE RIVER!!” Mostly everyone smiled and Andy handled the camera (while holding Teo so that he didn’t just jump into the river) like a pro.

Before you start wondering how we get decent photos will all these kids, please keep in mind this is a highly curated selection of approximately 7,000 photos taken over the course of about 15 minutes. We moved very fast, there were many, many outtakes and we were all covered in mud and river water by the time we got back to the van (and don’t forget the aforementioned threats).

DSC_4788DSC_4877I thought this would be a good time for a little kiddo update as well. This blog is long neglected, but we’re kind of back in a place where blogging might be a good way for loved ones to keep up with our family.

Monica is 9, almost 10.
Her favorite thing right now: reading, being outside reading, being inside reading and reading to her siblings.
My favorite thing about her right now: she is always seeking me, my eyes for approval, my waist for a hug, my ear for her latest interesting fact- she’s always been observant, but there’s been a shift recently so that her observations lead to actions.

Lucia is 7, almost 8. (Those ALMOSTS are important to them!)
Her favorite thing right now: tracing, baking, and helping.
My favorite thing about her right now: she has recently started changing Teo’s diapers without be asked (what?!), and she’s truly excellent at consoling anyone in the family. She will often bring me small chocolates, hug me for no reason or just hold my hand.

DSC_4884Dominic is 6.
His favorite thing right now: magnatiles, building things in general, and drawing.
My favorite thing about him right now: he narrates while he draws. By the end of this drawing it’s covered in scribbles and explosions, and unless you were listening, you’d have no idea there’s an entire story etched into the page. Also, he loves math which earns him all the heart eyes from me.

Genevieve is 3 1/2.
Her favorite thing right now: sneaking Mommy’s phone and taking pictures, doing schoolwork next to her siblings (aka watching their video lessons).
My favorite thing about her right now: she loves to brush my hair at night and she describes anything that happened in the past as “years ago”.
“Genevieve, when did you hide Monica’s bracelet under your pillow?” “Oh, I did that years ago!”

Mateo is almost 2.
His favorite thing right now: chickens. Hands down.
My favorite thing about him right now: he’ll tuck his head into my neck and his arms between our bodies if I ask him for a hug, and the way he yells “BACAWK!” when he sees/wants to visit/thinks about chickens. Also every day when I rock him to sleep for his nap he waits for me to ask “Do you want me to sing you a song” Yes! he nods with his binki in his mouth. “Do you want me to sing You are my Sunshine?” Yes! he nods again and snuggles into me and his blankie.

DSC_4806I’ve not experienced anything more humbling than motherhood. Every single day I mess up and have to ask for forgiveness, and every single day these children quench my shame with an unending well of grace and mercy. It is both terrifying and marvelous to be this person, to be their Mom.

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Rainy Morning

The sun was shining
as the drops came down.
We searched for rainbows,
but none were found.DSC_0492DSC_0493DSC_0499DSC_0501DSC_0505DSC_0506DSC_0508DSC_0509DSC_0514DSC_0515DSC_0518DSC_0522DSC_0528

Lots of flowers, smiles, laughs, and shrieks though. All before 7AM.

Sorry neighbors.

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Did you have a hard day?

Dear Man-Who-Yelled-at-Me-in-His-Parking-Lot,

I’m sorry.

I’m sorry I didn’t follow your posted rules.

I’m sorry it is hot today.

I’m sorry you have to spend this whole weekend standing in your parking lot telling people, No! You can’t park here!

I know I said “I’m sorry” to you out loud, but the words I wish you heard are these: for just a second, you had the chance to pause and show a little mercy, to extend a little grace, and to make someone’s day a little easier.

My day.

My son Dominic works hard (sometimes!) and earns money for working hard (sometimes!), so when he arrived at Art in the Park today, he had his money to spend. He saw that truck-shaped beeswax candle from a mile away, and obsessed over it until we went back and his money was spent. Then he carried it, sacred-like with two hands, or flew it, or drove it, or smelled it for the rest of our morning.

As dedicated and cute as he is, however, he is also only 5. So when we waited to cross the busiest street in town, he set the truck down, and it was because I said “wait, we need sunscreen, arms out, now hold on to our stroller, don’t let go, this is a busy street, yes, you may push the crosswalk button, now come right back here and hold on, watch for cars, look for all the ways you can get bumped“. Then it was time to cross, and his truck was left behind.

But that was just the beginning.

As we crossed a different street, further down the road, we came within feet of actually being hit. I say watch for cars so we don’t get bumped! to the kids all the time. But what I mean is- please, dear God, watch over my babies because “bumped by a car” is a euphemism for “lost to me forever”.

A driver, not paying attention, or driving too fast or whatever (I couldn’t see because she was turning left from behind us), failed to notice that every other car that had stopped so our family (with SO MANY CHILDREN and a giant orange stroller) could cross the street, and she screeched to within feet of my children.

And then she drove away.

No mouthed, Sorry! through the windshield. No wave or shock or stop or…anything. Just an annoyed look and a zoom away.

We finished crossing and there were many deep breaths and a few hugs, but then we discovered the truck candle was gone.

I imagined it melting by that crosswalk as my Dominic melted down in front of me.

We’ll go get it! I promise. I can stop right by the crosswalk, and if it’s there, I’ll hop right out and get it! Let’s just keep going and we’ll pray it’s still there! and we rallied. We decided milkshakes in the hundred degree heat would calm nerves and fortify our walk.

And, you know what, Man-Who-Yelled-at-Me?

Not a single person held that restaurant door as I negotiated our double stroller in and out. In fact, three grown men wiggled their way around me as I was backing out- propping one side open with my back, Dominic holding the other side for me.

Good thing my kids are helpful.

Can you see, Man-Who-Yelled-at-Me, how by the time I got to you, my faith in people was a little shaken. A little fragile, maybe?

So, after my (five) kids were finally loaded up, hot, sweaty, sticky, but mostly calm and happy-thoughts of dangerous cars and rude people mostly gone- we drove around the block, to the intersection, and: there it was! His truck! Still sitting just where Dominic had left it 30 mins before. No one took it. It hadn’t melted.

Faith in humanity restored!

All I had to do was find a place to pause, jump out, snag it and be on our merry way. But I had to do it alone.

Did you notice I was the only adult in the car? There was no way you could know, but my husband was at that very moment on a plane heading to see his grandma who’s on hospice. Another layer of hardness and sadness in my day.

So, I saw your parking lot, and (miraculously!) an open space close to the road so I could keep an eye on the kids, and I pulled in. I left the car running (I know, I know. I shouldn’t leave my kids in the car unattended-that’s a different discussion), and took off at a jog. I was going to be gone for 30 seconds, tops.

Except, then you stopped me.

I hoped after I explained what I was doing you would stop threatening to tow my van. I hoped if you could see the tears welling in my eyes, you would listen to my words, and you would understand- I wasn’t there to park for hours and block business, I was there to reclaim a precious, lost thing. I hoped that my offer to purchase something from your store, so I could be a customer, would work. I even mentioned my kids were in the car, hoping to add credence to my claim that I would “just be a second!” I hoped my calm, even tone would deflate your insistent yelling. 

But mostly, I hoped you would see the five little faces peering at you through the tinted windows. And then, after I got back into the van, obviously upset, I wished you could hear their voices, Why are you sad Mommy? Why was he yelling at you? Why is he angry? 

Where is my truck candle?

I realized, in that moment, that I wasn’t just upset about being yelled at. I was upset that you couldn’t see my pain. You couldn’t read my mind and know why my tears were already so close to the surface. I took my sunglasses off, and you still couldn’t see the burdens I was carrying… all the reasons that my soul was crying for some leniency, some grace, some love.

And you know what?

In that moment, I couldn’t see yours either.

So tell me, Man-Who-Yelled-at-Me, why were you so angry? What kept you to the hard line you drew? What kept you from really hearing me?

Who destroyed your faith in people today? Or yesterday or ten years ago?

Because, I’m afraid one of them was me – a gal who just wouldn’t listen to the posted signs, who wouldn’t listen to the rules, who couldn’t just move her car.

And I’m sorry.

Please know, when we finally left and I rolled down my window to say, “I hope you have a good day,” that wasn’t sarcasm.

It was a prayer.

Thank you to the other random guy who happened to be walking by. When I tearfully asked you for help from the drivers seat, you calmly walked around the corner, picked up Dominic’s treasure and delivered a little bit of hope back through my window. You made his day.

I’m also grateful for my children, who continued to show me love the whole way home. And especially to Lucia, who piped up from the way-back, “Maybe he’s just having a really hard day”.

Yeah, Baby Girl, maybe he was.

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Mama’s Day 2019

DSC_8836There may not have been may posts since my last Mother’s Day photo shoot, but a whole year really has gone by… crazy how that happens.

Continuing with tradition, Andy snagged my “good camera” and snapped shots of me with each of my kids

and all my kids together.DSC_8887DSC_8891

This year he surprised me up on the trail with this t-shirt from the comic Nathan Pyle, which was more fitting than I’m sure he imagined.

I woke up bright and early Saturday morning (let’s be real- the KIDS woke us up bright and early) and I said, “Let’s go hiking for my kiddo pictures!”

DSC_8900I can just imagine Andy giving himself a mental high-five as he snuck his well timed purchase into the bottom of our stroller.

I do love a good hike. And if it’s a little bit perilous, even better.

But just a little bit.

DSC_8908The “big girls” (I have BIG GIRLS now!) hiked the rest of the way up Badger Mountain with me. Andy greeted us back at the bottom an hour later with the three “Littles” and a box of Popsicles. The kids bombarded every hiker after that with offers of extra popsicles, and it was magic to watch their faces light up when someone accepted.

DSC_8912DSC_8913What a great morning.

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Dear Future Caitlin,

SIssy in Blanket.jpgMy mind is often consumed by the future. I love talking to parents who are 5, 10, 20 years ahead of me. I soak up what they think they did right and what they wish they could do over again. My kids are not their kids. I am not them. I know that. But I like to find patterns; I think there’s truth hidden in the commonalities.

Many people, women especially, worry that they didn’t enjoy this time enough. The time when the kids were so little. I don’t even have to poll my friends to figure that out; I just walk through the grocery store with a kid (or 5) and the advice just falls out of passing mouths: “Enjoy every minute!” “The days are long but the years are short” “They’re so cute and so easy right now! Enjoy it!” “You think it’s hard now, just wait till you have teenagers!”

In those moments I start to wonder- what is the separation that is coming that makes my situation today, clingy and sticky and whiny as it is, seem so nostalgic?

I don’t actually need to know the details of the hardness. I think I can imagine some of the angst, the disagreements, the physical distance that is coming. And I know it will hurt. My heart has been pierced by goodbyes before.

When I picture myself as that older grocery store woman staring at the supermarket family, I imagine having a layer of wisdom from all the years I will have spent parenting, and there’s kind of a melancholy lens. Maybe even some guilt? Knowing myself, I will wonder if I enjoyed my Babies enough. I will have passed through many more seasons of Hard, and I will wonder if I loved them enough. I will wonder, and I will worry.

So, here’s a letter to my future self -written today in the “trenches of motherhood” as it is sometimes called (although I’m not convinced this is my hardest season, or that a war analogy is even a good one…).

Dear Future Caitlin,

I write this to you in the midst of the season of tantrums, boogers, diapers, sleepless nights, and isolation- a season without accolades and consumed by the total giving of oneself to those who need physically and need emotionally and need spiritually and need and need and need… This is written with the backdrop of yelling and screaming and fighting and tears and anger, some of that even coming from the kids.

But I’m not writing it to confirm your worst fears: that the above was the sum of your days parenting Littles. Yes, that hardness exists. Yes it is sometimes consuming. Yes, there are nights when reviewing the day you struggle to find one decent thing you said to or did for your kids- besides keep them alive.

But that is not all that exists in this season, and I know it. I believe it.



In the hardness now, I know (as best I can) that my kids are blessings, that they are little, and that time is fleeting.

Please don’t worry. You did enjoy your children. You do. There are moments right now that take your breath away with their poignancy and beauty. There are sun-dappled afternoon snuggles. Audible gasps during read aloud plot twists. So much twirly dress spinning. Big, hard questions asked with curiosity and a sense of discovery. You can see the synapses connect in their tiny, awesome brains, and it is miraculous.

Some moments you are privileged to witness and some moments you actually experience: like belly raspberries resulting in delicious giggles. You love these kids so much, you could almost eat them. Especially those baby cheeks. This is an absolute gift of Eucharisteo- love transformed into pure thanksgiving.

Some days you can’t hug hard enough or long enough because you can literally feel them getting bigger and pulling away quicker. Every inch they grow is a physical reminder that time is passing.

I try to send you time-traveling telepathic snapshots of the good moments. I try to etch them into my own neurons, revisiting the memories often in the hopes that they are as clear and beautiful when I am you as they are now. But I also take a lot of pictures, because I also know that sleep deprivation is a thief who steals all my good memories and leaves all the bad.

Maybe all you remember is the hardness. I hope that’s not the case because there is also love. So much love.

So, let go of the guilt. Let go of the worries. I’m here, today, to tell you (be you future Caitlin of 4 years, 14 years or 40 years) that Caitlin with All The Littles, Caitlin of 2019, does enjoy the moments. I try to send up a silent prayer of thanks for the goodness and holiness I get to witness. I fail. I fail a lot. But not as much as you might remember.

When you see that mom in the supermarket- with her dozen children hanging off the cart like monkeys- and your heart both leaps and drops because those crazy, snot-nosed kids remind you of four year old Dom, or two year old Sissy, or six year old LuluBell, or eight year old Mo or Baby Teo, (who by your time are no longer diminutives and most definitely Monica, Lucia, Dominic, Genevieve and Mateo), look at that Mama. See her bleary eyes, frazzled hair, desperate attempt to distract the screaming baby with her phone (or whatever weird tech thing exists in the future) and see her and smile at her. Give her a high five if it seems right. Tell her, “The nights are long” but don’t end it with “but it’s so worth it”, instead- stage whisper “and you’re doing a great job.

You can say that with confidence. Without a shred of that desperate guilt that comes out by way of advice- Don’t make the same mistakes I did. ENJOY IT! ENJOY those babies!

Because you did enjoy it.

I am enjoying it.


Teo Smile.jpgLove, love, love you. I’m still working on loving me, but I’m sure you’ve got that figured out by now, right?

Also, will Dom ever stop licking the church pews? Does Lucia become a nurse? Does Monica still feel and care so desperately? Is Sissy a prima ballerina or a roller derby pro (I could see her going either way)? Does Teo’s big smile still split his whole face in half? These are things I can’t wait to find out, so I’m a little jealous that you already know. If you figure out how to time travel, let me know, k?


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Big Deal-Not Big Deal

Her nails were cracked, peeled back from the edges. She had been picking again, unable to keep her fingers still as she listened for instructions at school. She’s a good listener, but if something is sticking out where it shouldn’t, poking something else, rough to the touch, it has to go.

I know the feeling; I’m a picker too.

“Honey, you have to STOP doing this!” I grab her fingers, a little too firmly, trimming the edges clean. “You are going to hurt your fingers!”

“I’m trying Mommy, but I just can’t” she whines.

I see the future, I know where picking leads. Scars, infections, doctors appointments and medications. So, I persist.

“Just STOP! Just STOP doing it!” I grab the broom, sweeping up little broken crescents. She stays seated, looking defeated. I sit back down. She stands up, trying to walk away.

“Baby, I used to do the same thing. Except, I bit my nails. And I would bite them till they bled. So you know what I did? I sat on my hands. I sat on them while I listened to the teacher. My Mommy suggested that to me, and it worked.”

She looks down at me, big blue eyes wide with a question, “Did she get mad at you, too?”


“Your Mommy. Was she mad at you?”


My heart leaps and my stomach drops. Tears spring to my eyes, and my cheeks blush hot embarrassment.

“No. My love.” I whisper “She was not mad at me.”

I gather her in my arms, and for the millionth time, ask her forgiveness. Over and over and over I fail at this parenting thing. Over and over I lose my temper over teeny, tiny things because, in my mind, they become big, giant things.

Ripped finger nails lead to infection leads to medication leads to another doctor appointment leads to finding someone to watch my other kids leads to….on and on and on. Until I’ve lost sight of the truth.

A tiny, ripped fingernail. Now clipped. Now swept. Now gone.

I am a big person. I see the big picture (realistic or not). She is a little person. Her picture is so, so little. And I want it to be that way for a while yet.

So now, in our house, we’ve established a new rule. There are “big deals” and there are “not big deals”. Spilled milk- small deal. Sissy running with scissors- big deal. One requires yelling and immediate reaction. The other requires calm and a response.

The kids are pretty good at recognizing one from another.

Surprise, surprise: I am not.

There are lots of excuses for reacting badly to little things: no sleep, hunger, answered 10,000,000 questions already today, worried about other people, worried about medical stuff, about the world, about the future… My brain is a flurry of worry. Excuses they are, but not good excuses. Those are big people problems that take up space in my brain and wear my patience thin. To expand my big-people-problem-world into their little-people-problem-world is to ask them to grow up already.

I must let the little things be little so that my little people can stay little… For as long as they can.

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Humbled by the Chaos

So, we recently added another kiddo to the mix:

DSC_6092Hi Mateo!

And he’s been on the outside for 2ish weeks now. This was Andy’s first week back at work, read: Cait’s first week WITH ALL THE CHILDREN.

Now, going from 4 to 5 is, admittedly not as difficult as some transitions we’ve done. I submit that (for me!) going from 1 to 2 kids was the hardest. However, considering how good I feel, and how well I thought I was doing, I should have known to have my guard up.

Mothering a pack this size gives me a certain spidey-sense. There’s an undercurrent, hum even, of activity in the house. I, for the most part, know exactly where everyone is and what everyone is doing, that way my spidey-sense, maybe we’ll call it Mom-dar (tink, tink, tink), knows from where to expect silence and where to expect chaos.

My Mom-dar was on point the last few days, allowing me to quickly dispel arguments, suggest activities, and know when Sissy was digging through the trash can or sitting in the dishwasher without even needing to be in the kitchen.

Then…there was tonight.

DSC_5977Let the record show, if I ever become prideful in my not-so-super Momming, this blog post will act as a reminder of how quickly everything can descend into chaos and provide a necessary dose of humility.

In a span of 2 minutes (even with Andy home!):

-The kids were caught jumping off a window sill onto a pile of pillows in the playroom (including Sissy). And while Andy worked on an acceptable punishment (trying to also suppress his astonishment and the gutsy-ness of that move)…
-Mateo destroyed his diaper (and onesie), literally filling it until we reached max capacity, overflowed and spread up his back, all while I was holding him. And I just watched as that classic baby-poop-yellow started to seep out of his clothes. Because…
-Lucia stood up from reading in a chair and declared she was covered in ants. Because she was- inside our house, in our living room- covered in the tiniest black ants I’ve ever seen. She’s a pretty cool cat, so there wasn’t any screaming, but there was extremely quick clothing removal and a good heebie-jeebie dance. Just in time for…
-Sissy to come running around the corner carrying my extremely full, open water bottle, which she had probably already back-washed into.

DSC_5959I pride myself in being able to assess a situation and prioritize. I think it’s one of my biggest selling points on the resume I’ll write some day explaining how I qualify for nearly any job based on my training as a parent. But this particular cluster left me a little befuddled and giggling at the absurdity.

Ultimately Andy took diaper dooty (that’s a joke for you Jessie), and I brushed the ants out of Lucia’s hair. Sissy, with a little coaxing, actually put the water bottle down all by herself,  but then quickly found Mateo’s “baba” (binki) and sucked on it until we were all a little less distracted and snatched it away. After the kids were down, we moved some furniture in the playroom so that hopefully there’s no more high-dives off the window sill.

And…phew. We’ll see what tomorrow brings. Hopefully my Mom-dar and prioritizing abilities won’t be quite so tested…

But, who am I kidding. Five kids is a lot of kids. Welcome to your new normal Caitlin.

DSC_5932And welcome, everyone else, to Elder- Party of Seven. I’m sure there will be many more tales to come…


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Mother’s Day 2018

Continuing a Mother’s Day tradition, I try to step in front of the camera on Mother’s Day and get some photos with each of my kiddos.

Genevieve (18 months)

Dominic (4 years)

Lucia (5 years)

Monica (7 years)

I know, even now, that I want to remember being a part of their childhood. I want to have photos not just of my kids, but with my kids. And, even if we’re not all smiling, we were all there.

With patchy shade and grumpy teethers, it gets harder every year to get a “good” shot with everyone together, but that’s motherhood right? It’s messy and distracted and beautiful and dappled with more love than I thought possible.

And for those same exact reasons, it’s worth remembering.

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