Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Because I Know You All Are Curious...

Me.  At 6 months.

I Love You So Much!

There's a lot of love going around our home right now.  When Ladybug wakes up in the morning, we are greeted with, "I love you so much!" Over and over, until we come and rescue her from her crib.  If I happen to be in another room and she is looking for me, she'll say, "Mama?  I love you so much?" Over and over, until she finds me.  I've taken to hiding from her just so I can hear her do it.

Driving anywhere, from the back of the van, her sweet little voice will pipe out, "I love you!" And when we return it with "I love you too!", she'll return with, "I love you so much!"

Fritter thinks this is the funniest thing.  Sometimes her "I love you so much" 's sound more like "I love you too much" 's.  So Fritter will mimic and say, "I love you" and when we respond, he'll say "I love you too much!"

Fritter also has rules about saying I love you.  To him it makes perfect sense that in the daytime we say "I love you" and at night we say "I love you too".  So if he says "I love you" and we say "I love you too", well we must just be mixed up parents because that is not the correct response.

This "I love you" business is getting to be complicated. 

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Card Photos

Yesterday we finally got around to taking pictures for our Christmas cards.  At least they'll make it out by Epiphany.

This is the first year we've taken our own Christmas pictures, and the results tended more towards the hilarious rather than the perfection I had imagined.  After about 50 tries, we found a couple that would work with a little red eye removal and cropping.

Fritter thought the whole process was the funnest thing he had experienced, and by the end was purposely shutting his eyes and trying to wiggle out of his daddy's arms. 

Ladybug is at that strange two year old stage where she is afraid of little things, all of a sudden.  Like the flash on the camera for instance.  She developed that fear at a birthday party we went to on Saturday.  I think yesterday may have cured her of that one, but for the first dozen pictures, it was a chore to get her to uncover her eyes and even look towards the camera.

So, for the first half of the pictures we have a fussing Ladybug, and the second half we have a goofy Fritter.  The practice shots are even more telling.  My dear husband calls my serious-not-really-doing-anything-regular-face, my mad face.  There are several pictures where that may or may not have snuck in.  There are also photos of a couple of people half in and half out of the pictures.  But there are some really cute ones of the kids individually as well.

After I unveil our picture on Christmas here, another day, I will show a few of the "mistakes".  But you have to promise you won't laugh.  Too much anyway.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Soon

O Wisdom,
who came from the mouth of the Most High,
reaching from end to end and ordering all things mightily and sweetly:
come, and teach us the way of prudence.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

What I'm Reading Today

My anti-commercialism cannot remain satisfied in its anti-ism. It has to find its purpose in an embrace of finer things. Hence, for my joy to be authentic, for it to work in suppressing my anger, my faith must be something that I am always doing rather than something I am always seeking to feel. I want my children to receive that joy for Christmas, the joy of an active, practicing faith. And I want them to keep it through their entire lives.


Head over to Faith & Family and read the rest.  You'll be glad you did!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Great 2010 Declutter - Part 1

I'm going to give you a quick peek into my cluttered home.  We have an entire list of decluttering projects that need to be tackled, along with an entire list of home improvement projects.  My dear husband has been heroically scratching items off the improvement list, while I have been checking items off the decluttering list. 

I came to my hubby with my list and asked him which areas were driving him the most crazy, so I could do those first.  His order for the first three to dos was the office, art closets, and master bedroom closet.  The office, I can happily report is done, although I do not have pictures for you.  Nor would I show you them if I did.  It was more than a little embarrassing.

But last weekend, I decluttered both the closets dh recommended, and am so very proud of them.  Today I'll show you the art closets.

These giant closets are actually in the dining room.  We call them the art closets, but really they have become the catch-alls.  This first side is where all of our preschool stuff is, along with board games and art supplies.  It was so bad that anytime I reached for something, something else would fall out with it, usually on my head.

                                             Before                                                               After


So much better!  At least I think so.

The other side of the closet was previously used for fiction books, and anything else that happened to find it's way there, including paper plates and napkins (on the top shelf by the diaper boxes). 

                                     Before                                                               After


 This side is by far the best.  Who doesn't dream of having empty closet space?  I'm already considering what to stuff it with.  Kidding.  Maybe I'll put a little chair there and that can be my quiet reading spot when I want to hide from the kids spend some time alone.

Next time I'll post about the master bedroom closet declutter.  Oh!  The excitement!


Monday, December 13, 2010

On The Feast Of St. Lucy

We are feasting on St. Lucy bread for breakfast (St. Lucy is my patron saint). Doesn't it look wonderful? It really is. Come over and have a cup of coffee and I'll share some with you.

In other news, it's also my birthday today. It's my last year of my 20's and I'm not sure how I feel about it. Honestly, 29 kind of snuck up on me. I've been telling everyone (and believing myself) that I was turning 28. And then a few weeks ago I did the math (I know! Me, a math major.) and realized I had in fact been fooling myself and everyone else.

My husband surprised me with a very thoughtful gift last night. Besides the Macy's gift card (that I had asked for) he also got me the sweetest angel ever for our tree.

The picture is a little blurry, but this little angel has fallen asleep reading his book.  My dear, wonderful husband saw it and said it made him think of me.  ;-)
 
And tonight we are planning on dinner out at Olive Garden.  Yum!  I love feast days.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Balance and Rewards

Things have been so busy lately that I have (by the advice of a good friend) been trying to pay more attention to the balance of my time.  This particular conversation was brought on by the admission to her that I completely redid my entire kitchen.  In one day.  In one four hour period.  In which I (being almost six months pregnant) did not sit down once.  Which meant at the end of the day I was more exhausted than usual, and more than just a little snappy with my family.

So as busy as I've been today at yet another project, I've also really tried to make time to sit and drink water, read with the kids, ect.  And the results have been apparent.

After lunch we sat down to read a few stories.  Halfway through the third book, Ladybug's head was heavy on my chest.  She was sound asleep.  After finishing the story, I sent Fritter off to get in his bed while I stole a few more minutes with my littlest angel before putting her in bed. 

It is definitely worth it to slow down a little and enjoy the fleeting sweetness of my children.

Monday, December 6, 2010

On This Feast Of St. Nicholas


What we're doing:
The kids woke up this morning to gifts of chocolate in their shoes they had set by the door last night.  It seems St. Nicholas was out of chocolate coins and gave us all regular and dark chocolate kisses.  Nobody seemed to mind.  We also plan on coloring one of these pictures of St. Nicholas today.

What we're watching:
We are lucky enough to already own Nicholas - The Boy Who Became Santa.  So we'll be enjoying that today.

What we're baking:
A version of like this St. Nicholas Pfeffernusse.  Ours comes from the back section of my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook.  (I'm also catching up on some other cookie baking I didn't get to last week.  Namely Raspberry Pinwheels and Russian Tea Cakes.)

What we're reading:
Last night we started the mood off with Country Angel Christmas.  Tomie DePaola is fast becoming my favorite children's author.

Happy Feast of St. Nicholas!


Friday, December 3, 2010

Insatiable Need

I'm assuming it's the pregnancy hormones.  I put on a video of Frosty the Snowman a few days ago for the kids, and got teary eyed.  It seemed so amazing to think that my children would now enjoy the same video I loved as a child.  I had to turn away before I got too dusty. 

Hallmark commercial?  I'm staying as far away from those as I can.  I'm not sure I could pull myself together if I saw one.

I am pulling my family close to me and really don't want to let go.  All the stuff that happens outside these four walls?  I'm not all that interested, truth be told, and want to just stay put.  If I had my way, I'd snuggle on the couch for hours with my children, reading books, and telling stories.

But, alas, there are other people in this house who have very real needs/wants of their own.  The children want to run and play, and they only have so much time to spare on their sentimental mother.  And I can only squeeze so much out of my dear husband, who lately has been giving every bit of himself to our family.  He needs his own time too.

And though my dear ones have really stepped up and are trying to provide this sentimental bag of mush with what they can offer, I seem to want more.  My thirst is insatiable.

So while I'm still feeling needy, and what my human family cannot possibly give me, I am looking elsewhere.  I am looking to the One who is always willing to give.  Who gave his entire self for me.  Who wants nothing more than to love me and for me to love him back. 

And though my home isn't ready, and the presents aren't ready, and nobody else really seems ready, I can't wait to behold the Word made Flesh.

O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan's tyranny
From depths of Hell Thy people save
And give them victory o'er the grave
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death's dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, O come, Thou Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes, on Sinai's height,
In ancient times did'st give the Law,
In cloud, and majesty and awe.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tree Gazing

My Fritter has been in heaven since we put up our Christmas tree on Sunday.  That day we only added lights, but that was all he needed to understand that something wonderful was happening.  Yesterday we added the garland, and he is convinced (and has almost convinced us) that it is ice and snow hanging on the tree.  He's also taken to wearing his hat and gloves inside while watching a movie, and he pretends our white tile is snow covering the floor of our house.  I can see it with him.  I don't know how to break it to him that it just doesn't snow where we live.  ;-)  Then again, maybe I don't have to.  His imagination has made it almost real for him, and what we can't and the weather won't provide, he is able to make possible.

Though we won't be home for Christmas this year, and though it will be hard being away from family, I think we are going to have a wonderful one all the same.  We are baking, and decorating in little bits, and reading Christmas stories, and retelling THE Christmas story over and over again.  The wonder of the season has taken its hold on us, and I'm unwilling to break us free.

Every morning, while it's still dark, I turn the Christmas tree lights on.  Sitting next to it with my prayer book and a hot cup of coffee I speak to the One whom Christmas is all about.  It's never long before the pitter patter of Fritter's feet join me, and while I pray, he gazes at the tree and snuggles close to me.  These are the days I will cherish forever.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Waiting and Searching

I've been at my computer most of the day.  Oh, I've gotten up to feed the children, clean the kitchen, shower, ect.  But, I've mostly sat here.  Waiting.  And searching.

Waiting for the Famous Footwear site to come back up, because they have one amazing deal today (and 18% cash back with Ebates) and a certain someone is going to benefit (hopefully) from my labor today.

While waiting, I've done some searching.  Searching for gifts for the kiddos, checking prices, making lists, and these will wait (more waiting) for my hubby to get home and give the final A-OK.

I could have posted the three reviews I have waiting in the queue, while I sat here waiting, but I was too busy searching.

This little game I've played today of waiting and searching reminds me of what a special time Advent is.  It's a time of waiting for the Christ child.  A time for preparing our hearts and our homes to receive him.  And a time for searching for him in others, and ourselves as well.  I love Advent.  It seems to be a time just on the verge of magical.  Waiting for the mystery to be revealed is almost as wonderful as beholding it.

Have you begun searching and waiting and preparing yet?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Planning

I mentioned before that I am going back to basics on just about everything.  Today I decided I needed to do a little planning for Fritter's homeschooling (which we are very behind on).  I planned for the next 6 weeks and wrote down the books needed at the library on Wednesday. 

And then?  I veered from the basics.  As long as it's planned well though, I should be able to do it. Right?  ;-)

Since Thursday is Thanksgiving I already have baking to do, so I planned a lot more.  I love baking cookies and candies and treats during Advent (and how fun is it to tell my family hands off until Christmas?), so I planned out all the sweets to bake until Christmas, and what days I plan on baking them.  Included in this list are St. Nicholas Pfeffernuesse, Russian Tea Cakes (a family favorite), and Snickerdoodles, to name a few.  It looks like our mom's group is having a cookie swap in December as well, so I'll have to bake extra.

Also, I was inspired by Elizabeth Foss' article in the new issue of Faith & Family about Advent books.  So I decided we are going to add to our collection of Christmas books this year and every year hereafter.  I took her list as a starting point and plan to pick them up on Wednesday, along with Ladybug's birthday gift and another for a birthday party.

I planned the feast days we are going to celebrate, and how, and when I need to do what so it actually happens.  Follow through is one of my biggest problems.  This will be the first year we celebrate the feast of St. Nicholas, we'll go to Mass on the Immaculate Conception (remember, it's a holy day of obligation), we can't forget my patron St. Lucy (which happens to fall on my birthday), and of course Christmas and the feast of Mary, the Mother of God. 

I did a small amount of research to learn about the O Antiphons, and we'll pray those as we light our Advent wreath at dinner.

It's a lot to do, but it's all written and organized in my calendar, and I think I'll manage.  I am so excited about the start of Advent this year!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Back to Basics

I am not a great cook.  In fact, I'm not even really a good cook.  And for that reason I should have started cooking basic things right? 

When I was first married, I imagined I was going to be the perfect Donna Reed wife and make everything from scratch and alter recipes to my hearts content and my family would eat so wonderfully.  And then reality hit (about six months ago) and I realized that though I was making most of my food from scratch, and though we were eating really healthy, not much of the food I prepared ever really turned out right.  The meat would be burned and dry, the potatoes or pasta or rice undercooked, and I always seemed to forget to add salt and pepper.

So I have decided that in this area (and many others) I need to go back to basics.  I need to perfect (or at least as close as I can come) a few good meals that my family enjoys, before I can move on to anything else.  Why did it take me five years to figure this out?  I'm a slow learner, I guess.

I have always made a weekly meal plan, and managed to keep a decent food budget (usually).  And since Friday has become my shopping day, I do my meal planning that morning.  My next step is to think about our coming week.  Our busy days, our not so busy days, ect.

Today is Friday, and Friday has always been pizza night since finding Jennie's recipe.  It's one thing I make that turns out and my family loves it.  But we are going to a party for my hubby's work tonight, so I don't have to cook.  (Yay!).  We could have pizza Saturday, however, I have leftover cabbage rolls in the fridge, so we'd better eat those.  Sunday is usually leftover or sandwich night, but again, we are going to a barbecue, so I don't have to cook again (but I do need to bring something.  I'm thinking a dessert.  I AM good at baking!).

So the real work begins on Monday.  On a beginner's cooking website (can't remember where), they mentioned baked chicken and veggies is a good easy place to start.  That will be Monday's dinner.  Tuesday is usually tacos of some sort, and last week we had fajitas, so we'll have regular tacos this week.  Wednesday...we should do something pasta.  I have leftover spaghetti sauce in the freezer from a few weeks ago, and Wednesday might be a good day to bake, so we could have fresh bread and a salad as well.  Thursday is Thanksgiving, and we are going to a friends house.

Hmmm...looks like I didn't have to cook much at all this week.  Bonus!

Back to basics meal planning is done!  Thanks for your help, oh great blog!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Moving Forward

As of yesterday I have turned comments back on.  I'm hoping that time will have been the cure for that issue, but I'll still be leaving comments moderated.  I thought of leaving comments off forever, but I love hearing from you all.  So we'll see how it goes.

I've been feeling lately like there needs to be a change here.  It took some time though for me to decide what those changes should be.  Since I started using facebook and twitter, I've noticed that all my creative energy (the little I have combined with actual time on the computer) was used up in the small updates there.  And my blog was being left all alone.  I agree with Jennie on many of her points, and though I was thinking many of the same things before her post, it is that post that has helped catapult me into making a decision.

So one of those changes is going to be how I use my computer time.  If I have something to say, I plan on saying it here, not there.  This little space helps me to process things in a way I cannot do on facebook.  And really, how much writing practice and how creative can I get on facebook?  Not much.

However, I do still plan on checking into facebook maybe on a weekly basis or so.  It seems to be one of the few places I can stay up to date with friends and family I rarely see.  Hopefully my lack of time spent on there will allow me a small amount of time to spend here.

I am also reevaluating what purpose I want for my blog.  Is this just a place to update about my little family?  Do I share some of my random deep thoughts with you all?  As little as I write about Catholic stuff anymore, should I still be called Catholic Wife and Mother?  Who is my audience?  Am I writing to family and friends I know?  Or to a general audience that I hope to share things with and perhaps in my small way encourage?  These are all thoughts that I have considered in the last few months.

And the answers I have come up with (for now at least) is that my audience originally was a general audience that I hoped to share and connect with, encourage and also be encouraged.  Originally I wrote about my little family, and also my random deep thoughts.  But over time my blog has drifted to just be a family update site.  I want to go back to my original plan.  It's what has kept this blog alive for the past 3 or more years.

As in most things I have encountered lately, I am realizing that I am at a point in my life where I have to refocus and in many things get back to basics.  Only with a firm foundation can I hope to improve and continue forward.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Walking Contradiction

My almost two-year-old has become...almost a two-year-old. What else am I to say? Ladybug is a handful, but she is also incredibly sweet.


Case in point: after lunch Fritter ran inside to tell me that Ladybug had gotten in the fenced off area. The fenced off area where our newly planted grass is cultivating despite my not-so-green thumb. The fenced off area that I had just turned the sprinkler on. The fenced off area that by now would be wet and muddy. Yeah, that fenced off area.


But watching her soaked self climb out of the fenced off area was super cute. And she seemed so proud of herself, so I had to take a couple pictures. I'm hoping I didn't just reinforce a bad habit. *sigh* Two-year-olds are walking contradictions.




Monday, November 15, 2010

Meet Me In March!

What could be more amazing than seeing baby's profile for the first time? Umm...besides actually meeting baby for the first time. ;-)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Halloween!

I don't have much time to actually write about our Halloween adventures today. Just know we had so much fun, and you'll have to settle for the story in pictures.

Our trip out to a friend's house for a hayride.


Everyone's favorite person (and Ladybug).

Daddy helping Ladybug with her costume.

Daddy and Ladybug being a...ladybug!

Fritter as Thomas the train.

Side-view of Thomas

We had such a wonderful Halloween. And I cannot tell you how happy we all are to have daddy home. Fritter and Ladybug have barely let him out of their sight, and sending him off to work this morning was not easy on any of us. Thankfully, he's only working a few hours before he comes back home to us.
.
At Mass yesterday I looked at my two children between my husband and I, and felt the little one in my belly and could think nothing but, "My cup runneth over." And I'm truly grateful.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

All Saints Day

The RE program at our parish had an All Saints Parade yesterday evening. So Fritter was St. Francis again. It was a very fun, and super cute evening.

In this video, Fritter's class is practicing marching in a line. They're preschoolers. They need all the practice they can get. The preschoolers led the real march, and it took all six adults in the class to keep them in line. Ever hear of herding cats? Yeah. It was like that.



video


Once in the parish hall, some of the "saints" were called on to tell about their saints. Fritter wanted so bad to go up, and we had practiced a little at home, so I thought it would be fine. Once up, this is what he said (he's not shy at all):



video

(If you can't hear him, the DRE asked him who he was and he told her Alexander (not his saint name), she then said, "Oh, Alexander the Great?" He said yes and then told her that he likes movies. So she said, "You must be the patron saint of movies!" He agreed. ;-) He is so proud of himself as he's walking back, and that's probably the cutest part of this video.

Overall, it was a very fun night. Here's a token picture of my little saint and another with him and his sister (I think she's jealous of his costume).


Happy Birthday From Far Away

My husband has been out of town for his last two birthdays. It's never fun. On a day when I want to wake him with kisses and snuggles and a loud rendition of the Happy Birthday Song, I have to settle for a phone call at 5am his time and a slightly more annoying version of the song. When my home should be smelling of homemade chocolate cake and he should be opening homemade cards from Fritter and Maggie...well, it doesn't and he's not. *sigh*


When my dear, wonderful husband should be being reminded of how much we love him and how very special he is to us, he's working over there, and we are over here.


And no matter what I tell myself, celebrating his birthday when he comes home just won't be the same. But, I'll settle for it. Because he IS coming home. On Saturday night. And I can't wait to give him enough kisses to make up for six weeks of none.


Happy Birthday, Nee. I love you.

Not That I'm Counting Or Anything

3 days, 8 hours, 33 minutes=time until my dear husband arrives home

We've got dinner with a friend tonight, a playdate tomorrow morning, a prayer group tomorrow night, babysitter's day on Friday morning, a doula's appointment Friday afternoon, and a birthday party Saturday between now and then.

I think I can, I think I can...

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Kid Cuteness

Fritter has started testing out what it's like to call me "Mom". Not "Mama", not "Mommy" but "Mom". I don't like it much, and I keep hoping that he'll forget all about this and go back to "Mama". He watches my face to see how I'll react every time he says it. Thankfully, when he's not practicing being a little man, he reverts back to "Mama".

~~~

Yesterday I asked Fritter to pick up the toys in the playroom. He said, "But Mom! It's just too much!" I told him to do one thing at a time, and directed him to the Mr. Potato Head stuff. He then held up both hands and said, "No, I can do two things at once. I have two hands!"

~~~

Ladybug has become quite the little zealot. At Mass a few weeks ago, after Father said, "Let us pray", she (very loudly) started, "Haiw Mawy full o gwace da Lord is wif de."

Monday, October 18, 2010

Soothing the Beast

I'm used to temper tantrums. My soon to be four year old has had many, many tantrums. My soon to be two year old has already started and is well on her way to matching her brother in the Tantrum Hall of Fame. So yes, I'm used to dealing with them.

Except my own.

The past few days have been hard. I miss my dear husband terribly, and though there is only two weeks before he comes home, it feels like eternity. And today? Today was...topped off by my very own 28 year old version of a temper tantrum.

Today after lunch was great. We had a visit from a good friend, and it seemed like the time just flew by.

But this afternoon was not so much fun. Ladybug has decided it's great fun to get into everything, and Fritter has decided he must defend his toys to the nth degree whenever she is around. And though I really tried to fight it, I couldn't stop from being frustrated.

Tonight we sat down to pray our rosary after dinner (which was brought by another great friend, and I'm so thankful because I don't think I would have managed it tonight), and the kids started fighting over the rosaries, and then Ladybug was having a marvelous time tossing hers in the air, and then the rosary box spilled, and I did what any three year old would do in this situation. I cried. I sent the kids to the playroom and I cried. And then I stopped and remembered how old I was and that I was the mother, not the child. And I decided to pray instead. And when I gathered my wits about me, I called the children back in, apologized for sending them away so abruptly, and we calmly settled back in to pray.

Do you know what mystery we are supposed to reflect on today? The joyful mysteries. That's right. Joyful. And half way through the first joyful mystery (the Annunciation) I was truly calmed. And reveling in the smoothness of my children's arms next to me, and feeling our new child move inside me. By the second mystery (the Visitation) I could be joyful myself, thankful for the wonderful friends who have stepped up to help us while my husband is gone. I could smile again. I remembered how much I love my children, how much I love being home with them, and teaching them, and just how funny they really are. And I could hear my son keeping pace with the Hail Mary's with me, and I marveled in the gift of faith that God has given us.

I didn't come away with any great revelation after putting my children to bed. But I was able to finish the evening with them on a positive note; snuggles, a story, prayers, and kisses goodnight. And that's probably more important.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Changes

I have decided to turn comments for this blog off for a time. Worryiing about them makes me not want to write so much. Thus the frequent crickets heard here. And I do so have a need to write. However, I would love to receive emails from you, see the sidebar link. This may be temporary. Or it may not. We'll see how it goes. Thanks in advance for understanding.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Indulgence

I am going to sit down in front of the computer and catch up on blogs while eating the last piece of apple pie. It is 9pm, and I am tired. But I'm always tired. And I don't always have time to sit down and catch up on blogs and eat apple pie. I should go to bed and read something that is written in a book, but blog reading is valuable too. In it's own way. And I have to wait up to answer my dear husband's phone call when he gets off work, so I'd be up anyway. And I might as well do something I want to do. Not that I don't like to read books. I do. But I haven't caught up on blogs in so, so long. And I miss them. Besides, the kids are sleeping and I did sweep the kitchen floor tonight. Oh! I'd better go. It's time to indulge myself.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Laughing Ladybug

This is some game that Fritter plays with Ladybug, and tonight she picked it up. But she couldn't get through it without laughing.

video

Monday, October 4, 2010

Playpen Sheets

Tired of not having sheets that fit our playpen (which is what Ladybug is sleeping in currently) I decided to make some. These are inspired by my sister-in-law's playpen sheets that were given to her by a friend. Basically it is a giant pillowcase that fits over the mattress. I just sewed some receiving blankets together and walla! Cozy playpen sheets.

One side.

And the other.

Seriously? I need to return my friends sewing machine!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Ladybug

My not so morning snuggle-buggle.

Portrayal of innocence.

Smiley girl.

"Yes, I'm cute!"



Finished product.

Not so finished.

Fritter

My morning snuggle-buggle.

Hard at work.

"Dragon"

Guess where he is?

My hero's.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

This And That

As of tomorrow morning, week 1 without my husband will be officially over. Only 5 more left.

This last week has gone well, mostly because I was kept so busy. Between RE, playdates, dinners, and a morning to myself, I didn't have much time to think. Yesterday though, I allowed myself to dwell on how much longer I had left before I get to snuggle into my husband. It feels like forever to me, and yet I know there are women who must go so much longer without them. This next week promises to be just as busy as last week, so hopefully it will go fast as well.

Fritter and Ladybug are doing good so far with their daddy being gone. It seems harder on Fritter, who is really becoming very attached to his dad. And I'm having to be more creative in finding ways to get his energy out since he can't wrestle with his pregnant mom. Overall, he's done well, and his behaviour hasn't diminished as I thought it would (yet).

If I find some time this next week, I'll post pictures of the kids. I haven't done that for awhile, and I'm amazed at how big they are getting. Especially Ladybug, who is talking up a storm, and becoming more of a stinker and a lover all at once. ;-)

Oh, and my pregnancy sickness seems to have settled down a bit. I still don't have much of an appetite and I've had a couple rough days this last week. But I think within a week it will be totally gone. (Yay!)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Overwhelmed By Kindness

It's been a day and a half since my dear husband left for his extra-super-long work trip. And already our little family has been overwhelmed by the kindness of our friends. From offers to hang out with friends, playdates, meals being brought to us, offers to come over for dinner, and wonderful offers to babysit my children so I can have time to myself. God is so good to provide us with such a wonderful support group. I almost went crazy last year, but I think we are going to do just fine this year. Please know, my wonderful friends, that part of our family Rosary will be offered up for you each night.

God bless you all, and thank you so much!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Not Gone, But Already Missing

Have I mentioned to you that my dear hubby is leaving on Sunday? For five weeks? 5 WEEKS! And this time we don't get to go visit him. I guess I haven't mentioned it because I've been in denial about how soon he's leaving. But last night, it really sunk in. My husband is leaving for five weeks and I'm really going to miss him.

Thankfully, we have wonderful friends who are stepping in to provide comfort and support. And most of all, distraction.

Tonight we should get in from Netflix the last two DVD's of Lost Season 6. Seriously? How did anyone manage to watch this show on network television, one week at a time? When we watch, we generally watch two or three episodes a night, and we go crazy until the next disc comes in. And it's nice that we get to finish it before my wonderful husband leaves.

I really, really don't want him to go. It's going to be a long five weeks. I think it's time to load up my Netflix queue with Little House on the Prairie again.

Could you spare some prayers for my husband for safe travel?

Monday, September 6, 2010

You Can Lead A Tot to Bed...

Well, we did it. After years (I mean years) of fighting to keep Fritter in his bed during nap and bedtime, we have finally caved. First, though, to be fair, he has recently decided that staying in bed at night is a good thing, since the punishment to getting up is no fun. And he's usually tired anyway.

But naptime has been difficult. He feels that he doesn't need naps anymore, but I know better. But really, instead of a nap, we've just been struggling with each other almost every afternoon. And then he falls asleep at what would usually be the end of naptime. And at night he has recently started waking up about 3am and wandering around. One night he got into toothpaste and spread it all over his dresser. What to do?

Yesterday, my dear husband and I finally broke. We bought this after much deliberation. You see, Fritter has been in a "big boy bed" since around 16 months because he was a climber and would bail out of his crib. He wasn't ready for a big bed though, and we've really struggled with boundaries with him since. And we've known that putting him back in the crib was the thing to do. But keeping him in there? Ha! And as time went by, it just seemed like he was too big for a crib. He's a very big three year old.

But, as I've already said, we buckled. We put him back in the crib last night with the tent over it. He loves camping, and so we made it an adventure for him so he didn't feel like a baby sleeping in a crib. Once he was in, we realized that he wasn't as big as we thought he was. He can stand up just fine with the tent on, and he has room in the crib to stretch out while he sleeps.

And guess what? He slept great last night, woke up this morning and called to me to use the facilities, and went right back in his tent with no problem. The real test will be naptime, but I'm planning on giving him a stack of books to read, and at worst, he'll just get a nice rest/reading time.

We don't plan on using this forever. In fact, we're hoping we only need to use it for a couple of months to teach the idea of boundaries and self-control before transitioning him back into his big bed. And I'm hopeful. And we've learned so much. You can bet Ladybug has a long time left in the crib before going to a bed.

It seems to me that moving to a big bed is a right of passage. And so far, Fritter has been cheated out of that. This time, we plan on making it a big deal.

*Please note that I understand that there are differing opinions on the whole idea of kids and sleep. I am not saying that this is a one size fits all solution. It's one (I hope) will work for us.*

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Recap

I feel like things are going 100 miles per hour lately. Really, they aren't. But it feels that way to this slow moving, queasy, sleepy mama. This is what the voices in my head have been saying recently...

Voice 1: Ah! Kids are in bed. How 'bout that shower?

Voice 2 (winner): Nah. It's 7:30. Time for bed.

Voice 1: Stomach meter looks a little empty. Chocolate cake, anyone?

Voice 2: No way. Don't want to get sick.

Voice 1: Cereal then.

Voice 2: Ewwww.

Voice 1: Ummm....crackers?

Voice 2: Running to the bathroom now!

And so on. You get the picture. Lots of fun.

On another note, my guys are home from camping and had a wonderful time. Of course there were no pictures, because we are just not that good. Unfortunately. But Fritter came home with his share of cuts, bruises, and stories to tell, so all in all I'd say it was a success.

Today we had our first ultrasound for Little Cub. I am always amazed at life. Really! Little Cub is chugging along at only 10 weeks right now and I was able to watch him (or her) on the screen dancing around already. It's amazing! And so beautiful. Fritter and Ladybug were on their very best behaviour during the ultrasound, and Fritter told his dad over and over about the heartbeat he heard.

So really, that's about all I have for now. Not much else has been happening. Until next time...same bat time, same bat channel.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Growing Pains

I am officially experiencing my first night without my boy. (Except the night I spent in the hospital when Ladybug was born. But, that's a whole different experience.) My dear, wonderful husband took him up camping with a few other families for the weekend. I originally planned on going, but would rather throw up at my own home than...well, you know.

So they left this evening. And besides the normal worry I have for my son being away from me, I miss him. They've been gone for all of an hour and I already miss him. All day, I've been preparing him to go, packing the camping gear and his little bag, and thinking how nice it will be to take a shower this evening. And how much I'm looking forward to those two wonderful naps that Ladybug still takes in the daytime, and that I just might take two wonderful naps myself. And how much fun Fritter will have with his dad, and what a wonderful opportunity for some "bonding". And now I can only think about how I miss him. I tucked Ladybug into her bed, and just to make myself feel better tucked Fritter's animals in bed too. *sigh*

Actually, two naps tomorrow does sound good, and since Ladybug is already in bed, I think I'm off for a nice bath, a cup of tea, and a good book. How's that for hormonal?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: The Mr. Potato Head Edition


Beloved and Blessed

I actually finished reading Beloved and Blessed: Biblical Wisdom for Family Life by Kimberly Hahn months ago. And I finished it quick because it was that good. And I haven't reviewed it yet because I'm...not. ;-)

To be perfectly honest, I wasn't really prepared for what I was going to read in Hahn newest addition to her study on the woman of Proverbs 31. The entire first portion of the book is pretty frank Theology of the Body stuff. Which I loved. Reading this book was like sitting down with a wiser friend to tea and having their wisdom on married life poured out.

Kimberly Hahn also touches on such subjects as responsible parenthood, family finances, child rearing and discipline, and finally (one of the hardest sections for me to read) trusting God when parenting hurts. Some of that last section is reminiscent of one of Hahn's previous books Life Giving Love.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book, and gained great insight. I look forward to the next in this series. I would highly recommend it to any married woman.

This review was written as part of the Catholic book reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Beloved and Blessed.

*I received this book from the Catholic Company in exchange for an honest review.*

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

So That Was A Little Negative

My last post that is. Really, I'm not going that crazy, but I do get worried. Funny thing, the morning after I wrote that post, I woke up feeling just awful. Really, really awful. I'm settling into a rhythm of feeling bad and feeling not so bad now though, and that's doable. I'm taking advice given, and taking those moments that are free from yuckiness, and doing those things that need to be done. Like making sure the house doesn't smell like old macaroni and cheese (really, I don't know why it did. We don't eat macaroni and cheese....)

On another note, we started our home/preschool yesterday and things went pretty well. I was able to see where I planned too much, what works and what just isn't going to. One such thing, I thought it would be nice to include Ladybug in the beginning part of our school. It's mostly reading, some praying, a song or two, that sort of stuff, and then we'd do the crafty stuff while she napped. But she wasn't interested in sitting and listening to books that are a little over her head, and getting Fritter to concentrate is difficult when his sister is tickling his toes. ;-) So, for now anyway, Ladybug is going to be excluded from all but the more active school stuff (like the songs and finger plays). It's good though, she gets a whole half hour to herself with me every afternoon.

So anyway, things are good, and my mood is looking up. Thanks for all the prayers!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Going Crazy, Pray For Me

We had a wonderful night last night. We ate at the Outback and then went and saw Inception.

And I felt great. And I was nervous the whole time that I was going to miscarry, because I felt great. And then we got home, and as I laid in bed, I felt sick again, and was happy about it.

This morning, I woke up full of energy. The house smelled like old macaroni and cheese (enough to make anyone's stomach churn), and since I felt so good, I decided to deep clean it. All of it. And then the vacuum dropped on my foot and my dear husband made me sit down and I cried.

The doorbell rang right then, so I wiped my tears away and answered it. Three very cute, bible toting women were standing at my door. They read me a verse from Psalms that promises peace. I didn't buy whatever they were selling, but I took the peace they brought and locked it in my heart. For a little while at least.

I took a nap with the kids this afternoon, and when I woke I felt just awful. I knew I needed to eat, but I also knew that if I tried, I would give it all back. That was a good feeling.

And right now, it's 10:30 at night, I don't feel sick, and I've been Googling all those worries. Google offers no support, though, and only manages to make me more crazy.

So far, I've managed to stay sane with a simple, "Jesus, I trust in you". But right now, it's not really abating my fears. So if you would, say a little prayer for me and Little Cub. Because I think I might just loose my mind this pregnancy.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Happy Anniversary, Nee!

I love you more now than I ever thought possible when we were first married. Everyday you give so much of yourself for our family. "You complete me." ;-)

I don't get many things right the first time
In fact, I am told that a lot
Now I know all the wrong turns, the stumbles and falls
Brought me here

And where was I before the day
That I first saw your lovely face?
Now I see it everyday
And I know

That I am
I am
I am
The luckiest

What if I'd been born fifty years before you
In a house on a street where you lived?
Maybe I'd be outside as you passed on your bike
Would I know?

And in a white sea of eyes
I see one pair that I recognize
And I know

That I am
I am
I am
The luckiest

I love you more than I have ever found a way to say to you

Next door there's an old man who lived to his nineties
And one day passed away in his sleep
And his wife; she stayed for a couple of days
And passed away

I'm sorry, I know that's a strange way to tell you that I know we belong
That I know

That I am
I am
I am
The luckiest
(Ben Folds - The Luckiest)

Monday, August 2, 2010

A Pregnant Woman's Ramblings

My prayers have been answered. I officially am...sick. Very sick. My dear husband and I had a long talk last night about how we are going to get through the next six weeks or so. It pretty much boils down to this: minute by minute. Day by day. Joyous as I am about having morning sickness, thinking about feeling this way for six weeks or more is a little overwhelming. My dear (dear super dear) husband volunteered to do the grocery shopping for me this evening. I'm taking the minutes I don't feel too bad to put something in the washer, or unload the dishwasher, or play with the kids. I'm reading Little Town on the Prairie right now, and I'm so glad I don't have to do all that work while in the midst of pregnancy sickness. Yuck!

On a lighter note, our 5th anniversary is Friday. My only obligation is to find a babysitter. We're going to dinner and a movie. Classic. And totally enjoyable. Somehow, I need to manage to get out of the house to pick up my husband's gift. It's our 5th anniversary. That's a big deal. ;-) I can't tell you what it is in the off chance that he will read my blog and the surprise would be spoiled. Although, he probably already knows what it is. He's good like that.

And next week, we're starting home/preschool with Fritter. I'm ready. I think. And in a few more weeks, Familia starts up again and I need to somehow manage to make sure everyone in our class is registered in time to get their books.

And the clock is ticking down for my husband to leave again for 5 1/2 weeks for work. And this time we don't get to go see him. I've hired someone to come once a week so I can get out and keep my sanity. I'm not looking forward to him leaving. At all. Atallatallatall.

Well, if you've managed to get this far in my ramblings, thanks for reading. I'm off to provide a nutritious snack for the 3 year old. (And his mother.)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

My Big Kid


...just got his first big boy bike. No matter the heat, humidity, or sun, he has been riding his bike as much as he can. He comes in all sweaty under his helmet. Cools off, drinks some water, and goes right back outside. He's adorable.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Grand Family Summer Adventure - Part 3

Part 1 can be found here.
Part 2 can be found here.

After visiting with the B family for about a week, we spent some time in Louisiana with one of my husband's brothers and his family. We had gotten a little teasing visit in on our trip out to Georgia, and now we really got to spend time with them.

One of the days we were there, they took us to the Alexandria zoo. If you are ever in the area, check it out. It was only $5 per person and another $1.50 for a train ride. And for a smaller city, it really is a great zoo. Most of the time you see the animals up close. We were so close, in fact, that the alligator snapping turtles thought the little ones were lunch.



To visit the lions, you walk inside a dark cave area. Because it's bright outside, it really takes your eyes a few minutes to adjust. As I walked in with Fritter and Ladybug, I heard my husband yell, "Grab Fritter!" And then a loud roar. With heart pounding, my eyes adjusted, and this is what I saw:


He was not a happy lion. And in fact took swipes at most everyone that came inside the "cave". It took some time for my heart to slow its rhythm to normal. I don't believe humans were meant to be that close to such an animal.

Fritter and JG enjoyed driving the jeep on a safari.



And all the kids loved feeding the fish with Aunt L.



We then rode the train, which took us around the zoo. It's a short ride, but worth the $1.50.





Another day we filled up the baby pool for the kids. Ladybug was not happy with the state of things. And Fritter was a bit hesitant at first. But soon he was happily splashing his dad and consequently being dunked by said father.





Mostly we spent our time just enjoying J and L and getting to know little JG. It was equally as hard leaving them, and hopefully we'll see them around Christmas time (hint, hint). ;-)

Just because I can't get enough of those big brown eyes.


One our way home, we stopped again in San Antonio and this time got to explore the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Little Flower. It really was worth the stop, as it was such a gorgeous church.




There is a painting there of St. Therese done by one of her sister's. We were told this painting was carried in the procession during St. Therese's canonization.


We also drove by the Alamo, and were impressed by San Antonio's downtown area. So much history! One day DH and I are going to visit without the kids and with more time so we can really explore it.


We stayed in a hotel in Ft. Stockton that night, because it had been raining and all the tent sites were soaked. I have decided that I prefer RV parks to hotels. We got home mid afternoon the next day and were so happy to be home (and take showers).

Thus concludes our Grand Family Summer Adventure 2010. Thanks for reading!