Thursday, February 6, 2014

Part II - Now 2013 is gone, and so is Jan. 2014. Over one year with Maximilian and Philip. 2013 overview.

Catherine continues working as a lead therapist at an agency that works with children with special needs--and she definitely has a very special place in her heart for special kids. She is also completing her dissertation for her Psy.D. . Yet, she spends on her younger brothers time and funds she definitely does not have for her own goals.

Gerard and Warren just finished the fall semester of their sophomore year at U.R.I. (University of Rhode Island). They turned 17 in December 2013. Yet, the extraordinary, unique, unparalleled dedication that Catherine and the twins show for their younger brothers every single day of their lives is much more impressive than any other achievement of any kind.

Can love, dedication, devotion, caring be pictured in any better way?

In early February 2013, shortly after Maximilian and Philip's homecoming, we had added Motor, a very nice tabby cat, to our family. We were devastated when due to kidney failure on December 2nd Motor passed away at a veterinary hospital.

Motor will always remain in our memories. You cannot just replace one pet with another. Yet, in the first half of December 2013, I added two new kittens to our family: George and Zorro. Both are super-cuddly and super-nice to each other and to others.

On Christmas Day I made the big mistake of surprising my children with a wonderful thirteen-month old German shepherd / Labrador mix. She was (and is) a really nice and friendly dog--but Philip can be trying on anyone's patience . . . and one single bite from a large dog has the potential of being fatal. Catherine was the first one to start noticing every time that the dog seemed to start getting tired of Philip's inability to stop when he was the only one who wanted to keep on playing. I really think that the dog was good for everyone, including Philip--but Catherine began telling me about statistics around the number of children killed by bites from family dogs, and made me agree to let her go. Aida now has a new home in MA--and we have a new puppy. Her name is Stella. She's half jack Russell, one quarter Daschund, and one quarter chihuahua, and very cute. Being so small and so friendly, with one of those little coats that Catherine had bought for her, at her first vet's visit Stella made a stellar debut in public.
This pic and the one below were taken on 01/11/14 when waiting for Stella's first appointment with the vet, George and Zorro would be seen as well. There is something I must say--something that on one hand makes me feel terribly ashamed, but on the other should make me feel proud beyond words. I was not the one paying for the veterinary appointments: Gerard was--and he was beaming with joy because not only he but also Catherine and Warren wanted to do it. I must confess I didn't have the money, and all three of them wanted to pay from their own funds--which, ultimately all three of them deem to be not just for themselves, but family funds after all. They had left it up to chance, and Gerard was thrilled to have been the one. Certainly my story does not follow the common "from rags to riches" pattern, but on the contrary it goes from riches to rags. I don't have a Midas' touch at all. The practice of law has never been profitable for me at all. Year after year family funds have been used to make up for the income I didn't make--until they ran out. Yet, should I be ashamed because of the monies that now I don't have, or should I be proud for the children I have?

Everyone is in good health. Thanks God, all test results for all of them came back within normal ranges. There are lots of medical appointments, though, and still more to come. Maximilian is scheduled for minor surgery to take place on March 6, 2014.

Still in so many months since we moved to Middletown we were unable to decide in which Catholic Parish to register out of three that we attend: St. Lucy's in Middletown, St. Barnabas in Portsmouth, and Jesus Savior in Newport. Talking both about the priests and the congregations, all three of them were so very kind and so very welcoming despite Philip's behavior that we cannot select one over the other two. Well, that is actually a very nice, uplifting dilemma to have, one that is highly eloquent about how at all those three Parishes Jesus' legacy lives on in the kindness that everyone always showed, and shows, to us, even when Philip makes it difficult for them to concentrate on the Mass.

I'd like to say much more---but will allow the photos to say the rest. Thank you all for your interest in this post.

The following are all Christmas 2013 pics.
Guess what this is: A view of the guest room right after present wrapping and before the presents were taken to the tree--but those were not all the presents. Those were only the ones that Catherine had bought for all the family, including the red rocking chair at the front to the left, which she had thought would be excellent for Maximilian's back while being amusing at the same time. Those were the presents that could mean her inability to complete her dissertation because she may not have the funds for the last two months' tuition she needs to pay. Those were the presents I myself had expressly asked, told, and advised not to buy, but which she had bought all the same. Now, one marginal thought: there couldn't be any best present for everyone for next Christmas than the eventual conversion of the present studio / guest room into a new child's room. Will that ever happen again?

Catherine, Warren, and Gerard look not just happy, but also proud of their younger brothers--and overjoyed with love

Warren (left) and Gerard (right) also had presents for everyone, for which they had used their own funds.

Look at the expressions in Gerard and Maximilian's faces, and at the big kiss Maximilian is getting!


What does Maximilian have on his head? A military combat hat.

In addition to the tons of educational and fun presents she bought for her brothers, Catherine went out of her way to find for each one of them the costumes they wanted . . . at a time of year when stores typically don't carry costumes at all. See the Batman's mask on Nicholas' face? Stephen was a Red Power Ranger. I didn't want them to wear their full costumes at that moment because I didn't want our Christmas pics to look like Halloween ones.


Warren really wanted an Argentine World Cup jersey.

Kittens coming out of the box!!! Not all of them knew about George and Zorro until Christmas Day.

Aida (German shepherd /Lab mix) wouldn't be able to stay with us (please refer to narration), but still some pix are worth showing.

Look at the "puppy" who got himself inside the crate!

Is Thomas petting a "puppy"???

Thank you all for following our story.

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