Thursday, July 31, 2008


Where the winds all blew
The churches don't have windows
But the graveyards do
Me and my shadow
Are wrestling again
Look out stranger
There's a dark cloud moving in

But if you could hear
The voice in my heart
It would tell you
I'm afraid I am alone

Won't somebody please
Hold me, release me
Show me the meaning of mercy
Let me loose
Fly, let me fly
Let me fly

Super paranoid
I'm blending, I'm blurring
I'm bleeding
Into the scenery
Loving someone else
Is so much easier
But I hold myself hostage
In the mirror

But if you could hear
The voice in my heart
It would tell you
I'm tired of feeling this way

God, won't you please
Hold me, release me
Show me the meaning of mercy
Let me loose
Let me fly
Let me fly
Let me fly

I won't be held down
I won't be held back
I will lead with my faith

The red light
Has been following me
But don't worry mother
It's no longer my gravity

Hold me, release me
Show me the meaning of mercy
Let me fly
Let me fly
Let me fly


Rosaries and Play Time

Yesterday I went to my mom's group meeting. We learned how to make knot rosaries. Have you ever seen these before? They are so pretty, and really fun to make. The best part, though, is how functional they are. There is something soothing and comforting about praying on the knot rosary. The twine just feels good in your hands. When I pray, my hands tend to fiddle, and with a bead rosary, I'll end up rubbing the beads back and forth in my fingers. That's nice too, but with these ones, you can kind of pull on the knots AND rub them back and forth. (Not that that's really the important part of praying the Rosary.)

We also learned some interesting history behind the Rosary. Originally, it was a Jewish custom for the priests (or rabbi's?) to pray the Psalms using something that resembled a rosary. After the death of Christ, at some point, the lay people saw them doing this, but because most of them could not read, they would just say the Pater Noster (Our Father). It wasn't until St. Dominic that the Rosary was adapted to more like what we pray now. We were told that knot rosaries, like the ones we were making, were popular during the Protestant Reformation, when it became illegal to be seen praying the Rosary. They were easily untied to conceal what they were. I'm not sure if that part is true though. I did a short internet search and couldn't really come up with anything, although I didn't really try that hard.

It's so much fun to learn something new. You can watch a video on how to make these rosaries here. I think I've found a new hobby.

On another note, Fritter is feeling much better. His tantrums have also become less frequent. Part of it was how yucky he felt. I also have been really trying to make sure he gets enough attention from me during the day. Not just attention, but quality attention. I get busy about my day, and while normally I'll stop and read to him, or roll him the ball or whatever, I realized I wasn't pausing enough to just sit with him and get interested in whatever he was doing.

So, I've been making sure that I do stop, and look through his toy box with him, and just let him show me his toys or whatever. He seems to enjoy it when I do this, and truthfully, I do too. It's nice to just be with him. He has such a fun personality already, and everyday he does something new. It's fun to watch him get excited about the things he's learning, and watch him try new things. The whole word is fascinating to him.

I sometimes get so caught up in doing the things that make our home run smoothly, that I don't think about the things that will make our home truly happy. It's these small things that make all the difference. So, I'm learning. Slowly, but at least I'm making progress.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Blog Labels Menu

I'm so excited! I have finally found a way to list my labels for my blog in a drop down menu instead of the cloud or list that you can find most places. They take up so much room that some people don't even list their labels. But I wanted to have the option of looking up things based on a category. Unfortunately, Blogger has not come up with something like this (that I know of anyway). After doing some searching around, I found the Widgets for Free website and used their labels menu. It took some time to replace their links with my own, but it was definitely worth it. If you want one of these (look at my side bar) head over here.

A Floating Day

Fritter is finally all better. No yucky diapers and the rash is completely gone. Woo-hoo! We went swimming today for the first time since I purchased a maternity suit. My hips love the water. I put Fritter in his baby boat and I floated right next to him, enjoying my weightlessness. If only I could live in a pool of water. Like Shamu... ;-)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I'm Still Here

Fritter has been fighting a nasty virus since last Tuesday. It's affected his stomach mostly, he wasn't eating much and was having his fair share of diaper messes. I took him in to the doctor yesterday, because it seemed like it was just lasting for a long time. She noticed a rash around his throat and chest area, that I hadn't seen. But she still said it's just a virus and the only thing we can do is wait it out. I'm not sure if it's because he's not feeling well or what, but he's also been throwing tantrums lately and being extra sensitive and fussy.

On Sunday, DH and I had a breakfast meeting with one of our priests and another couple to go over some of our duties in a new volunteer role we've taken on. Generally Fritter is very well behaved and we didn't really see any reason to find a babysitter for him. We'd taken him with us before and things were fine. This time, however, it was different. Almost as soon as we'd sat down, the waitress brought him a small bowl of Cheerios and an orange slice. Things escalated pretty quickly. Fritter started eating some of the orange, but then started crying and pulling on his mouth like it had hurt him. I tried to coax him into drinking some water to rinse his mouth, but he didn't want anything to do with that. Dh took him out of the restaurant to calm him down.

Once the food arrived, he didn't touch it, except to scatter some eggs across his part of the table. He basically fussed the whole time. I pulled him into my lap, thinking maybe he just wanted to be close to me, and it worked for a while, but then he started climbing on me, and squirming, while still fussing and making lots of noise. Basically, we didn't hear much of the meeting, except what our next objective was, and this was told to us over the ruckus.

I felt like such an awful parent. We left early. The moment Fritter got into the car, he was quiet and peaceful. I'm learning that sometimes leaving is the only thing you can do. *sigh* I'm hoping Father is not questioning his decision to have the couple who can't even control their toddler take this role. Tell me this is just a stage.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Lord Have Mercy

After reading this post by Colleen Hammond this morning (the link to the article is also on my right sidebar), I'm feeling more than a little depressed. I don't really even have words to say how I feel. If you are not Catholic, you may not know that we believe that the Eucharist is truly the body and blood of Jesus Christ. So when I read that someone would deliberately desecrate it, by piercing it with a rusty nail and throwing it in the garbage (a university professor no less), I can't help but cry.

What kind of a world do we live in when someone would do such a thing to something held so sacred to so many people? Why would a person even want to do this?

I don't know what else to say.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Discussion with Doula

We just met our doula!! Can you tell I'm super excited? If I could type any faster, I would. She is a sweet young lady, who is very calming and nice and full of information. My dh likes her too. The thing that really makes me feel good about her is that I asked what happens if she has another birth at the same time I go into labor? (If you know my labor story with Fritter, you know my midwife went out of town the day I went into labor). She said that she has a back-up doula that would be with us until she could be there. The thing that clinched it though, she said that she feels that God really will dictate what births she attends. Maybe reading it doesn't sound as great, but when she said it, it really made me realize that she's right. God will take care of me. We are in His hands, and He knows what we need. So if He wants her at our birth, then she will be there. Eeekkk!! (Me squealing with joy!) Now I'm not going to be able to sleep because of my hips and my exuberance. ;-)

Sore Hips

I dealt with sore hips while pregnant with Fritter. I was able to sleep by using a body pillow. I've told you about this before. This time, my hips are worse. When I lay down to sleep, my right hip, from just below my waist to the middle of my thigh, get tingly and numb. It doesn't matter what side I lay on, it's always my right hip. It makes for an uncomfortable night.

Last night, after trying for two hours to sleep, I pulled out What to Expect When You're Expecting and read up on Sciatica and then did a small amount of internet research. I'm thinking that's what this is. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like there's much I can do about it. The book recommends a heating pad where the pain is the worst, but it's not really pain. It's just numbness. Anybody ever dealt with this before? What's worked for you?

**Updated on Friday to add: I did these stretches several times yesterday and slept great. I don't suppose that had anything to do with staying up until 11 to watch two episodes of Battlestar Galactica?**

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Mosaic Meme

So pretty! I had to try it too!


1. What is your first name? 2. Favorite food? 3. Where did you go to high school? 4. Favorite color? 5. Celebrity crush? 6. Favorite drink? 7. Dream vacation? 8. Favorite dessert? 9. What do you want to be when you grow up? 10. What do you love most in life? 11. One word to describe you? 12. Hobby?

Go ahead and make one of your own. Here's how: a. Type your answer to each of the questions above into Flickr Search. b. Using only the first page, pick an image. c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker. d. Save image to hard drive and post to blogger. e. Copy HTML code for flickr photo credits and paste into blogger at the bottom of the post.

**Please let me know if you play along! I'd love to see your mosaic!

1. Cotton Candice, 2. Chicken Enchiladas with Red Chili Sauce, 3. Winter sunset, 4. Just an Orchid, 5. Antelope Detail, 6. Vanilla Hazelnut Freeze, 7. Christmas in Rome, 8. early Thanksgiving, 9. A Prayer into the XIIIth Century HDR, 10. Church of the Holy Sepuchre - Tomb of Jesus - Jerusalem, Old City - 360°, 11. بــحـط قــلـبـي بــيـن يــديـنـك هــديـه, 12. Embroidery Flosssssss

HT: Matilda and Jessica

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Mom's Group

Today after Mass, I was approached by a woman who invited me to a mom's group meeting that was about to get started. Of course I said I would love to go. If you know me personally, you know that I'm not very good at social things. I'm the one who stands awkwardly around, waiting for someone to first approach me. I'm also not great at holding up my side of the conversation when I'm nervous. So this could have proven to be a large mistake on my part. Me, walk into a group of people completely unprepared? But, I'm in desperate need of a friend. So desperate, in fact, that I would willing venture out of my comfort zone to meet one.

And you know what? It turned out great. The three women who were there were all very nice. And chatty. I love chatty people. It takes the pressure off those of us who never know what to say. And they ask you questions and make you feel comfortable. So enough, I was talking and holding up my side of the conversation, and getting to know some people at my parish. It was great. Then one of the ladies invited us all to Ikea afterwards for lunch and more playtime for the kiddos. Again, I said I would go, however, I was skeptical. Ikea for lunch and playtime? I thought it was a furniture store. Not that I'd ever been in one.

In the children's furniture section, they have everything set out so you can actually let your child play with the items. Fritter had a blast with a swivel chair. They also have a large cafeteria with a play area.

All in all, it turned out well. One of the ladies is about 10 years older than me, but got married and started her family "late" (as she called it). Her daughter is 14 months old. She took my phone number down and is going to call me for a "play date" that she is going to next week sometime. Now, I'm not all into doing play dates and things. I generally think Fritter is fine socially. However, I think this is more about meeting a friend for me. I'm very excited about it. Also, on Friday, they invited us to go to a splash pad with them. Umm...yeah, I think I'll go. :-)

Monday, July 21, 2008


adj. a slang word commonly used to describe items of questionable quality.

As in "Gee, honey. This Farberware knife that is only 3 years old is fake. It broke while cutting watermelon."


After throwing most of his PB&J on the floor, he looked at me and said, "mass?" Yes, son, you made a mass.


Her: Mmmm...sour cream would go great on that.

Him: Sounds good, would you get me some?

Her: Sorry, we don't have any.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


I don't have much to say today. We went to Mass this morning and then we went to waste some time at Barnes & Noble while my apartment was being sprayed for bugs. I splurged and bought a couple of magazines, and when we got home and I lay Fritter down for a nap, I realized how tired I was. I finished up my morning chores and lay down myself. We both woke up for lunch, but I'm still feeling tired. I decided to give myself a break for the rest of the day. Perhaps my body is telling me to slow down a bit.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Grocery Woes

The topic of conversation going on over at Jennie's has been on my mind for awhile now. Our grocery budget has been set at $100 a week since moving to Arizona. In Wyoming, we got by on $85 a week but that was before Fritter started eating solids. I don't think our budget has increased because of his increased appetite though. He eats what we do.

We did Menus 4 Moms for awhile, but it didn't always work out for us. First of all, I never did the whole pantry and freezer stocking thing. I just bought what we needed for the recipes at the time. I didn't have a bread maker, so all those pizza doughs and breads that go along with some of the meals just didn't work for us. Also, although the recipes are very good, I wasn't that great at planning ahead, and I longed for some sort of consistency (there's a new menu every week).

I've since learned to plan ahead more but I still need consistency which is why I have a 3 week menu rotation. I don't have to think about things too much except when I change the menus. Also, in theory, our grocery bill should remain somewhat stable. However, it doesn't. I'm learning all of this by the seat of my pants (so to speak) and still am not sure what constitutes a full pantry. There's a lot of information on the internet about it, but when you don't cook with beans, do you really need a cupboard full of them?

Anyway, lately I have been going over our grocery budget every week. And while we are not entirely strapped for cash, we are trying to pay off a car loan and student loan debt while saving to buy our first house this spring. We plan to have Hubby's student loan paid off by October or November. We want to be frugal, and not waste our money, and still not eat only beans and rice. When I think about the ideal "kitchen" for our family, I want it to be stocked with healthy foods and snacks (fresh fruits and vegetables). I want to serve my family balanced, yummy meals. And I want there to be available, but used in moderation, "treats". The problem is, I don't know how to achieve this without blowing our budget even more.

Many people think shopping places like Sams or Aldi don't really save money. Dh and I did an experiment one day to see if it could help our grocery budget. I wrote down all the things that I normally keep in our kitchen and the ingredients for our menu cycles. Then we walked through Sam's and wrote down the price of the item and the size of the item to get $/oz (or lb or whatever). Most of the items that you can get at Sam's are name brand, and we compared these prices with the off-brand or whatever I would normally get at Walmart. I was pretty surprised to find out that even while buying some items name brand at Sam's, it was cheaper in many cases then Walmart. So I made up a shopping list with all the items and when I go shopping, I take this with me. If I find something cheaper at Walmart, then I will get it, but if not I save it for when I go to Sam's.

We haven't done this long enough to realize any savings yet. Actually, because you spend more on the bigger items, we have been spending more. My dh is convinced that we will start seeing the savings soon. I hope so. Still, I'm looking for even more ways to save at the grocery store. Is it worth my time to look for coupons online? Do I need to change my menus? I'm interested to see how Jennie's experiment will turn out.

Monday, July 14, 2008


I told my cousin Ashleigh that I wouldn't post the whole story of our weekend "camping" trip. She agreed and said that was probably for the best. (Thanks Ashleigh). So instead, I'll tell you that there were bugs, and lots of them. The lizards were everywhere, but I liked them. It was hot, very hot. And while we were camping next to a lake, there was no way to get down to the water. Even if we would have been able to, it was up so high that we would have been swimming on cacti (cactus?).

Yep, instead of that loonnnnggg story, here are some pictures of Fritter enjoying himself as only a toddler can do.

Yes, that is a cloth diaper (we use them for burp-cloths around here) with water on it to keep my boy cool.
He's our little landscaper.
A very messy landscaper.
I hope you all enjoyed your weekend. I, for one, reveled in sleeping in my nice cozy bed.

Congratulations Cheryl!!

Cheryl had her baby on Saturday!! She is so precious. Now I'm really thinking baby.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Prayer For Husband's Work

Lord, I pray that You would bless the work of my husband's hands. May his labor bring not only favor, success, and prosperity, but great fulfillment as well. If the work he is doing is not in line with Your perfect will for his life, reveal it to him. Show him what he should do differently and guide him down the right path. Give him strength, faith, and a vision for the future. Give him the ability to enjoy his success without striving for more. Help him to excel, but free him from the pressure to do so.

I pray that You will be Lord over his work, and may he bring You into every aspect of it. Give him enough confidence in the gifts You've placed in him to be able to seek, find, and do good work. Open up doors of opportunity for him that no man can close. Develop his skills so that they grow more valuable with each passing year. Show me what I can do to encourage him.

I pray that his work will be established, secure, successful, satisfying, and financially rewarding. May he not be "lagging in diligence, [but] fervent in spirit, serving the Lord" (Romans 12:11). Let him be like a tree planted by the stream of Your living water, which brings forth fruit in due season. May he never wither under pressure, but grow strong and prosper (Psalm 1:3)
--Stormie Omartian

St. Joseph, provider and protector of the family, pray for us.

--Picture from Catholic Culture

Thursday, July 10, 2008

It's Finished!!

I've been working on it off and on since August!

Body Pillow

Yesterday afternoon, I dug out my old body pillow. I've been putting it off, telling myself that even though my hips are sore, my belly is swollen, and I'm having a hard time sleeping at night because I can't get comfortable, I'm still not THAT pregnant yet. The truth is, at 19 weeks, I am THAT pregnant, and I just couldn't deny it to myself any longer.

So I dug out the pillow, cleaned it up and threw a pillow case on it. Last night was the best night of sleep that I've had in a few weeks. I only woke up once and was able to snuggle into my pillow and get right back to sleep. This morning, my hips feel so much better. They are still sore, but not nearly as bad as they were. I've been eyeing a new body pillow, but for now, my old beat up one will do just fine.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Boston Tea Party Revisited

In the early morning hours of July 4, this year, our family was preparing to hit the road. Because we were in such a hurry, (and did I mention how early it was?) my brain had not yet started to work. I didn't start the coffee when we woke up, so by the time we realized we wanted some, it was too late to wait for it to brew.

In my brilliance, I suggested my DH turn on the burner under the teapot, as the water warms much faster than our old coffeepot, and we could have some caffeinated tea before we left the house. Rummaging through the tea drawer, my DH asked which ones were caffeinated. "That red box, there, the breakfast tea," I said.

After pouring the hot water on the tea, and watching it steep for a couple of seconds, my husband said, "You know, it's Independence Day. We probably should be drinking coffee instead of tea." Then he looked down at the little tag on the end of his tea bag and said, "Why did you tell me to drink ENGLISH BREAKFAST TEA on the FOURTH OF JULY?!" The tea was dumped and we headed to McDonald's for coffee.

My Sentiments Exactly

Nutmeg has written a post about how the Nuthouse survives summer in Texas. We're in Arizona here, but it's very similar. For all you laying in cool grass this summer, spare a moment to think of those of us stuck inside. Don't gloat though. When you're freezing this winter, we will be the ones playing outdoors. ;-)

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Independence Day

This year we went up into the high country to get out of this awful heat. It's been sitting at around 112 (F) for a month now! The particular town we went to was only supposed to get up to around 95. Anything below 100 sounds like heaven to us right now.

Anyway, so set up at a very nice park, where there was going to be a fireworks display over the lake after dark. That morning we watch a flag raising and listened to a reading of the Declaration of Independence.

Afterwards, we set up Fritter's playpen in the grass. Fritter had been up since we got on the road at 5am, and hadn't taken a nap yet, and I was hopeful he would when we got there. He had other plans.

He never did fall asleep except later in the afternoon when we went for a walk to the downtown area. He was so exhausted he slept through loud car engines, and a couple of live bands we passed on the way. He's a trooper though.

The three of us just enjoyed being outside. We had a great shady spot, where I just sat back with my bare feet.

Hubby and Fritter running down a hill.
Fritter trying to scoot down the hill on his bottom instead.
Around 4 or so, we had a pretty large thunderstorm come through. At first we thought we would be ok. We had an umbrella, and really, how long could it last? Fritter thought we were crazy. (This is before the rain).
We were very, very wrong. Hubby and I both got soaked, but Fritter stayed nice and cozy. I made a sort of tent for him out of his stroller and a blanket over it, and he was bundled warmly inside. When the rain really started coming down, we realized it wasn't stopping anytime soon, and we ran for the car. By 6:30 the rain had mostly stopped, but everything was soggy. We decided that if we left then, we could make it home in time to see the fireworks there instead. We did make it, and by 10 that night we were all exhausted (in a good way).

Thursday, July 3, 2008

God Will Provide

Since getting pregnant, I have been having some anxiety about who will take Fritter when I go into labor. With no family around, and no real friends (just acquaintances) my options are thin. I ran through the small list of people again and again, and still have not really settled on anyone. Many of the women I know already have their hands full with their own busy families. Some of the mothers also work on weekends or evenings, leaving their children with the fathers.

Also, I have this pride issue, and it's very, very hard for me to ask for help. I've tried really hard to become self-sufficient because of necessity in my younger years. But, as you all know, we cannot raise a family all on our own. We need the help of our husbands, and other family, and if that is not available, our community. Things like this were easier many years ago, when community was a big deal.

So I turned to God and His mother for help. I've prayed about it long and hard, and really tried to leave it in their hands as I just didn't know what else to do. I think He was waiting for me to do just that. To trust Him enough to help. He did.

A couple of days ago, I received a call from a women in my church group who was trying to organize our meetings later this fall. After getting my take on the schedule, she asked if I had any family nearby. When I answered no, she began to tell me how, when she first moved to this area, she was pregnant with little ones at home, and became really stressed over what to do when she went into labor. She eventually found someone, but it was a major cross for her to carry. She told me that her and her husband would be glad to take Fritter when I went into labor. They would even pick him up for us. What's more, she wanted to invite all of us over a couple of times so Fritter (and we) could get to know them all better.

This woman has become a God send for me. I feel as though a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. It took everything in me not to weep over the phone to her in gratitude. I did, however, cry on my Dh's shoulders after the call. She is a very busy homeschooling mother of 5, who is not only willing to take my son for us when we need her to, but who also had the foresight to even ask if that was something we needed.

It's taking some time for us to adjust here, but I know that God is working with us. He is helping us through the kindness of our neighbors.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Hello Baby!!

We had our second trimester ultrasound done yesterday. Everything is looking good, including this sweet face.