Thursday, January 29, 2009

We Have A Roller!

I knew our kids were smart, but this is really good. I know it wasn't just a lucky roll either, because I put her back on her stomach to do it again, and sure enough, she rolled!

Update on House Hunting

I just realized that I never told you how house hunting went last Saturday. We only had time to see six houses that day, but it was a good start. Out of the six, we saw two that we were interested in.

House #1 is beautiful inside and out. It's located on a cul-de-sac which is very nice. The master bedroom is giant, with an equally giant master bathroom. It has two walk-in closets, and one is so big that we could make that the baby's room. The three bedrooms are upstairs, with a fourth "den" downstairs. The yard is very big, especially compared to most yards in our area. It does have a pool, but it has a fence around it, and doesn't take up very much of the yard. The realtor said if we decided to, it would not take too much extra to fill in the pool.

There are a few things that we didn't like about it. Obviously the small kitchen is a downside, especially considering the amount of time that I spend in there. The den has a closet that was built into part of the garage, and if you know my husband, that is a VERY big negative. Also, the house is pretty dirty, and would need all new carpeting. But the price is affordable, it's a foreclosure and has been on the market for quite some time, so we'll see.

House #2 is not much on the outside, but the inside is gorgeous. It has four true bedrooms, all upstairs. The kitchen is a good size, with plenty of cabinet space. At the top of the stairs, there is a walk way that overlooks the downstairs. My hubby was impressed with it and this was his favorite house.

Again, there are some negatives. There is not a stitch of carpeting anywhere in the house. It is all ceramic tile, including the stairs. I'm imagining my kiddos taking a fall, and it's not a nice picture. Also, the backyard is small and is completely desert landscaped. Chalk it up to me not being raised in the desert, but I like grass. The front yard is basically the neighbors driveway, because all the houses in this particular area are built very close together. That's a big negative for both of us. We like our privacy.

We are going again this Saturday, and this time we are looking at 10 houses. I've already seen pictures of the houses online, and have two favorites. I think they may be nicer than the two we liked from last week. Hopefully we will find THE house this weekend and can make an offer. Everyday Fritter and I long for a yard more and more.

Praying for Jennie C.

As she waits for the arrival of baby #7. Say a prayer for her too, won't you?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

New Month Resolution

This is the first time I've participated in Michelle's New Month's Resolutions. I've been wanting to, but, well, I'm a little lazy sometimes.

Unlike the pictures of Ladybug below, this time I'm a little early. When you see the next picture I'm posting, you'll understand why. It's a necessity. We are drowning in STUFF. I'm horrible at putting things away when I'm done using them, and my bad habit has rubbed off on my hubby. If we don't nip this in the bud now, it will rub off on Fritter and eventually Ladybug too.

Today, I looked around my home and got overwhelmed. The piles were starting to take over again, and I just didn't know where to start. So I went through the main rooms of the apartment, basically the living room, dining room, and kitchen counters, and put everything that needed to be put away in a laundry basket. Here's what I ended up with:

If you look just at the top of the basket, you will see Ladybug's baptismal candle, certificate, and towel from a week and a half ago that I haven't gotten to yet. The Saints at the Dinner Table that I reviewed is still out. Not to mention the rest of the stuff in the basket.

So, my New Month's Resolution for February, for our entire family, is don't put it down, put it away. If I can do it, the rest of the family can too, right?


2 Months Old

OK, so I'm a couple of days late. But at least I got it posted, right?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Under Construction

I'm playing with a few things, so pardon the mess!

Saints at the Dinner Table

I've had Saints at the Dinner Table for quite some time now, but have not gotten a chance to try it out, let alone review it for obvious reasons. Last weekend after Ladybug's baptism, I thought it would be a good opportunity to try something from the book. However, when I looked through the recipes, I only found one that would fit our budget and that didn't seem to difficult for me to try. I like to cook and try new things, usually, but I'm not willing to go over our grocery budget in order to do it.

The one recipe I did try was St. Margaret's Charity Soup Meal. It was a hit with my family, made a lot of soup, and did not hurt the budget. One thing I really thought would be good with this book was the biographies of the saints. I thought that we would sit down for dinner and go over the life of that particular saint. Unfortunately, our family is young, and while Fritter was doing his Fritterish thing at the table, I was trying to read. My dear husband suggested that perhaps this was too much for our family right now, and I had to agree.

So, I would recommend this book for a family that is willing to experiment with new recipes with their family, AND they have children that are old enough to benefit from the reading. The information in it is good. However, for a young family like mine, I wouldn't recommend it.

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 Saints at the Dinner Table.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

New Feedburner

I'm feeling very motivated today. Actually, you could say I'm feeling very UNmotivated to do housework, but very motivated today to play with my blog. While checking my stats on Feedburner today, I noticed that they are merging with Google, and so the feed would be changing. So I updated my feed, and they say that my subscribers shouldn't notice any difference and should continue to receive my updated posts. I don't entirely believe them, so you might just want to resubscribe by clicking that little link over there on my side-bar.

My Email To Fox News

Dear Fox News,

How is it that even though so many Americans are gathered in Washington DC today to protest abortion, you have not even mentioned it? Instead, in your top stories, you have "more important" stories to report, such as "Rhode Island man fined for abandoning 300 rats", or "300 roosters ordered from man's property". This is a direct insult to those of us who actually care for the voiceless. Even though it is common knowledge that most media is extremly biased, I expected a little different treatment from Fox News. You are supposed to be "Fair and Balanced". Start reporting the news, instead of the junk you are using to avoid an issue.

We'll see if I get a response. I kind of doubt it.

We Found Mustang!

Fritter got this Hot Wheels car for his first birthday. He didn't play with it much, as he was still fairly little. But a few months before Christmas, he found it again, and developed a bond with it. It went with him everywhere, except to bed, and only then because we didn't allow it. So for Christmas, Santa put 4 Matchbox cars in his stocking. Then, his aunt and uncle in Georgia sent him a semi-truck full of cars. He has played and played with the cars. He drives them around and they say, "Hi!" to each other and then drive away. He even makes the sound effects.

Mustang was always his favorite, and he would offer us any car to play with, except Mustang. And then, after Christmas, Mustang was lost. I searched what I thought to be the entire apartment. And still no Mustang. Fritter even acted depressed. He refused to play with any of his cars. He just walked around the apartment, grumpy, and only wanted to be in my lap or arms.

So my dh went out and got him a few other Matchbox cars, when he couldn't find another red Hot Wheels Mustang. Fritter immediatly grabbed a green GT-40 that he played with, but would still ask, " 'ere's Mustang?" Today, I pulled up the cushions of the living room chair while cleaning, and there was Mustang! I really thought I'd looked there about a million times, but I guess not hard enough. When I showed him the car, his face lit up and he took it and gave me GT-40 to play with. I guess we're out of the slump! ;-)

We're Watching...

...are you?

Pray for an end to abortion!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Ladybug's Baptism

Ladybug was baptised yesterday afternoon. We were so excited that my sister-in-law from Georgia, who is her Godmother, was able to come. It was a short trip, she came in on Saturday, and left today, but it was so good to see her. Here she is with Ladybug as we waited for the ceremony to begin.
Ladybug's Godfather was unable to join us. Someone had to stay home with the kids. ;-) So we had a friend of ours stand in as proxy. Here we are as Ladybug is getting marked with the sign of the cross on her forehead.
"I baptise you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."
After the baptism, we came home to watch the Cardinals game. Not only was it a great game, but they actually won! think Ladybug's graces had anything to do with it? ;-)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Separation Anxiety

Fritter has a BAD case of separation anxiety. I didn't think we would have to go through this, because he's always been a very independent, happy kid. However, he has had so many changes in the past few months. From the birth of Ladybug, to Grandma H. visiting, then Grandma Z. visiting, and Christmas, and the end of Christmas, and DH going back to work. He is not the same kid. If I am not giving him my constant, full attention, then he's trying to get it. Or he'll sit quietly and suck his thumb. I'm starting to go a little batty, and I'm getting worried about him. I've put off housework and everything else in order to spend extra time with him. I do understand how hard all of this is for him. But it's getting so hard. I even feel guilty spending time with Ladybug. And she needs me just as much as he does. Has anyone else ever gone through this? Is it a stage? What can I do to make it easier on all of us? Especially since we will be moving into a house soon. Yet another change. *sigh*

Monday, January 12, 2009

Let The House Hunting Begin!

Last week my dh and I were pre-approved for our first home loan. I'm so excited. Not really about owing someone money. But we've paid rent for so long that it will be nice to be getting more out of our money than just living. Our payments will probably be not much more, or even less, than we're paying in rent. Of course, we have to factor in things like home repairs and maintenance and such, but it will still be affordable. I can't believe I'm actually saying that making a mortgage payment will be affordable. I feel like we've entered a new part of our lives.

And maybe we have. We've been couped up in apartments for all of our married lives. First was the very small (400 sq. ft.) one bedroom in Wyoming when we were first married. I look back on that apartment with fond memories now, but it's taken me this long for that to be the case. ;-) In order to get to the bathroom, our visitors had to walk through the bedroom. And when we had Fritter, we had to add in all of the stuff that comes with a new baby. First the crib, then the swing, and eventually the jumparoo, not to mention finding a place to store diapers. We actually used to top of the dishwasher as the changing table in Fritter's early weeks. In the kitchen, the only counter space we had was on that folded down when we weren't using it. To make more room to move around in the kitchen, we moved the refrigerator into the utility closet.

When we first moved into our current apartment, we marveled at how much space we had. Fritter actually had his own bedroom, and it was across the apartment from ours. That was a little hard for me to get used to. I will have fond memories of this apartment, mostly because this is where Fritter has grown to be the very cute toddler that he is. The biggest complaint I've had about this place is the stairs. It was challenging while I was pregnant going up and down three flights of stairs with a 2 year old, but now I'm finding it to be even more challenging with a toddler and a newborn.

But a house! I can't even imagine having our own yard. A place for Fritter and I, and eventually Ladybug, to effortlessly spend time outside. I may even try to turn my brown thumb green. When my hubby asked me the things that I wanted most out of a house, so he could pass it on to the realtor, my answer was grass. Just a patch of grass in the backyard is all we need. Of course, I do have other requests, like 4 bedrooms preferred, 2 bathrooms a must have, the kitchen off of the backyard, ect. But those are all secondary to grass. And because the yards are notoriously small in our area, (not to mention the fact that I don't even want the worry of one with my children), I do not want it taken up by a silly pool. We'll go to the community pool, thank you very much.

So, we are going out looking at houses with our realtor on either Wednesday or Thursday. I'm so excited!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Christmas Card Woes

I'm just taking down the Christmas cards from the walls. This is the hardest time of the year for me. When we receive a Christmas card, I take the time to look at the picture, read the message, and then joyfully hang them on the wall. Then, all through the Christmas season, I look at our walls and think of all the people that thought enough of us to send us cards. I really enjoy receiving them.

On the other hand, after Christmas is over, those cards must come down. And then I struggle with myself about what to do with them. It's the same every year. I put off taking them down, because I know the inevitable is coming. I look at them, reread them, and they almost make it to the trash, but not quite. As of right now, they are sitting on my counter. I'm still in the midst of the struggle.

One side of my brain (the cluttered part) is telling me how much thought was put into the cards. How nice it is that we have such wonderful family and friends. And perhaps I should just put them in that file folder marked scrapbooking that just keeps growing and never empties.

The other side of my brain (the one that's almost clean and orderly) tells me quite simply that I must throw them away. If I keep them, I'm not really going to look at them again, I'm never going to get around to anything remotely resembling scrapbooking, and they are just going to add to the clutter.

That's the side that eventually wins every year, but it's still the same struggle. So what do you do with your Christmas cards after Christmas is over? Do you eventually throw them away, like myself? Or do you actually do something with them?

Friday, January 2, 2009

Looking To Plan

One of my goals as a homemaker is to ensure that my home runs smoothly and efficiently. Adding our sweet little Ladybug to the mix has brought more sweet toothless smiles to our lives (when I get a picture of one, I'll post it). However, my time is in more demand, and I'm feeling a little strapped. So, I used Google's calendar tool to help me plan a general day. I usually write all our appointments and bill due dates on our wall calendar, and this does work for us, but I'm wanting something that I can have with me at all times. So, if I'm at a Familia class and someone asks what I'm doing on such-and-such day, I can actually tell them.

So I am looking to purchase a planner. Something I can fit in my purse, but that has enough space to actually use. I'd like to keep my menu plans in it, along with a perpetual grocery list. I found one planner that really looks like something I'd like and that would work for me, but they seem to be all sold out. Perhaps I should have thought about this a couple of months ago instead of the beginning of January.

Any suggestions? What do you use, if anything? How do you keep track of your appointments and such?