Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Apostles

When I first picked Pope Benedict's book, The Apostles, to review, I did so because it looked like the type of book that every Catholic family should have on their bookshelf. I was not mistaken. This book looks at Jesus' Apostles and gives a short biography on each one.

The lessons we can all learn from this incredible group of men are endless. These were ordinary men, some who initially led not-so-holy lives. From tax-collectors to fishermen, they were called to witness Christ's life and build His Church.

The Pope writes in such clear language that it does not take a scholar to read this book. Indeed, I read it a few pages (sometimes a few paragraphs) at a time before bed.

The Apostles is enhanced with beautiful illustrations throughout from artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and many others. I can easily see this book being used to supplement a homeschool or religious education program. It would also make a great gift for First Communion and Confirmation. Or, like me, to be used for personal study and to add to the family bookshelf. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the lives of Christ's Apostles.

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 The Apostles Illustrated Edition .

Picture Page

Do you remember Picture Page? Well this is nothing like it, but it was a good title. ;-) This last weekend (before Fritter's nice case of croup set in) was busy. So I'll let the picture's tell the story.

While we worked, Fritter worked harder. See the patch of dirt behind Fritter? This is what we (read DH) turned it into....

Fritter loves his new sandbox, and about 20 times a day I hear, "Momma, go pay wif a sandbox?"

Fritter helped me out by watering the flowers. I'm thinking he might have a green thumb.

Meanwhile, Ladybug was learning how to sit-up. She can actually do it by herself for a few seconds before she falls over. She's rapidly turning into a busy little girl.

On Saturday, while the boards for the sandbox were curing, we decided to go to the park. Fritter loved the carousel.
But he loved the train ride more. Oh, he may look stoic in the picture, but when he got off, all he could talk about was the Thomas train. (Gee, the girls in back don't look all that excited.)
And last, but not least, a sweet picture of Ladybug. Right before....
...she tried to crawl! Seriously, I have it on video! I'm guessing she'll cease staying put within a month. That's right, she just turned 5 months old, and she's already decided that she needs to keep up with her brother. *sigh* They grow up so fast!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Bumble Bomber

Here in Arizona, we don't have your normal bumblebee. Ours are black, the size of hummingbirds, and very scary. I don't like anything with more than four legs anyway, but these things are pretty bad.

Today, my dh and I were sitting on our back porch watching Fritter play in his new sandbox that his dad built for him. One of those ugly things flew right towards me. (I swear, they know I'm afraid of them). I screamed, jumped out of my chair, and suddenly found myself lying face down on the concrete. My dear husband helped me limp inside (my pride was limping worse). After seeing my bleeding knee, but knowing I was no worse off, he said, "I'll bet that hurt worse than a bee sting." Very funny.

He's probably right, but the thought of one of those landing on me, or crawling on me, or worse, getting stuck in my hair...I think I'll take the bruises.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Positive Things In Life

Yesterday evening, I told my husband about reading a certain story online. After patiently hearing me complain and lamenting the woes of today, he very gently said, "I'm going to tell you something, and I don't want you to take this the wrong way." Great, I'm thinking, already taking it the wrong way (isn't it funny how we do that!) He went on to tell me that perhaps I read too much about the negative things that are happening (they are all over the place, how could I miss them?) and that maybe I should skip over that stuff and just focus on the reason I read blogs in the first place: for support, for learning more about my faith and taking care of my family, for encouragement. And you know, he's right.

I can be greatly affected by some of these outside influences. And the constant jolt of negativity sends me on a downward spiral of moroseness. Before long, I start to see more negative things than positive in my day. And that's not the way it should be. As Christians, we are a joyful people. We have the Good News!

I've mentioned before that the past few months have been rough on me, and I'm curious as to how much of that has to do with my perception of things. If I'm always seeing the negative, than I'm missing all the wonderful positives around me.

There are some people who seem to emanate joy. When you are around them, you can't help but smile. The world seems to be a more pleasant place. And then there are those whom a dark cloud seems to follow, like Schleprock. I want to be a joyful person.

Now, I'm not saying that we should all just ignore those things that are negative, just because they bring us down. There are definite evils out there that should not be ignored, abortion, euthanasia, and the downfall of the family, just to name a few. We must speak out against these things. But, our everyday lives should be so filled with joy that the evils can't touch us, can't bring us down.

That said, I am taking my husbands advice, and staying away from some of the more negative stories that seem to permeate a select area of the blogosphere. The great thing about this is, really I won't have to cut out much. My favorite blogs are the more positive ones anyway. I feel lighter already! ;-)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Small Successes


The biggest success I had today was starting AND completely finishing cleaning our apartment from top to bottom. I started at 8:30 and finished at 1:30, and here's the kicker, with both kids with me! We turn the keys in tomorrow, and won't look back.

After working very hard today, I'm exhausted and fairly short tempered. What's the success there, you ask? Well, I'll tell you. I have not raised my voice once this afternoon to Fritter, and I very humbly and mildly informed my dear, patient husband, that today would not be a good day to talk about anything of consequence. He understood, and as long as I make it until lights out tonight continuing to keep my cool, things will be good. That's a big success in my book.

This post can be considered a success today, can't it? Or perhaps the fact that I'm multitasking while writing it. Fritter is in the bath, so every few minutes I am getting up to check on him. The office is right across the hall from his bathroom, so I can hear him splashing and laughing, so don't worry, I'm not neglecting my duties or anything. Well, it'll have to do, because my brain is starting to shut down, and I can't think of any other success right now.

Go visit Faith & Family Live for more Small Successes.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Lenten Recap in Pictures

We had a busy Lent. We closed on our new house and moved in, and this week, I'm finally going over to our apartment to finish cleaning and turn in the keys. There just hasn't been the time to do it before, and we have to be out by Friday. More cleaning, just what I wanted to do. ;-)

Anyway, here are a few pictures of us enjoying our new home.

Fritter finger painting.

Fritter and Dad enjoying the nice weather in our backyard. That's right! We have a yard! (Can you hear the squeals of joy?!)

I'm not sure how he got wet, but hey, he's happy!

Reading time. Shhh!

Ladybug's first time in her bouncer. Do you think she looks worried? It's because her brother wanted to show her how to bounce.

Now she's got it!

Our kitten, Boojum. What's a boojum? It's a tree, silly!

Watching the rain. Doesn't he look snuggly?

There, now we're all caught up. What? It doesn't look like we did much this Lent? You should have seen the house. There is still cleaning to catch up on. We were eager to move in as soon as we closed, so I've just had to add the extra cleaning in with my other chores. You know, like eating bon-bons and drinking sweet tea. Yeah, those chores. ;-)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Zombie Mommy

Let me start off by saying how much I appreciated your kind words and prayers the other day. All the changes in the past few months had finally caught up to me (along with a severe lack of sleep), and I was feeling overwhelmed. Once I was able to express it here, I almost immediately felt better.

On to the lack of sleep story. For months now, Fritter has been waking up in the middle of the night, around 2am, crying. Ok, not just any crying, but crying like his world was coming to an end, but without tears, and he'd stop the moment that he saw us. There have been a few nights here and there where he actually slept all the way through the night, but usually I could almost set a watch by him. I'm in zombie mode in the middle of the night, so I'd get up half-asleep, check to see everything was ok, soothe him, and put him back to bed. And for a few months, that worked fine.

The week before last, though, it got worse. Much worse. He would wake at 2, I'd go in and do my zombie mommy thing, and go back to bed. Just when I'd get back to sleep, he'd be out of bed, crying again. (We use a baby gate in front of his door). So I'd do my zombie mommy thing again...and again........and again.

About the 4th time around, I'd actually be somewhat awake and begin to think logically. Was he having nightmares? Maybe he needed a diaper. Maybe he was thirsty. Maybe he was hungry. Maybe he'd go to sleep if I put him in bed with us. You name it, I tried it. When I did bring him in bed with us, he'd squirm and poke at our faces and just be awake. So back to his own bed he'd go. Every night for a week we did this from 2am to 4. I was completely exhausted, I'm also nursing a four month old, mind you, and I don't do very well with little sleep.

I'd try napping in the afternoons. I would lay Fritter down for his nap, finish whatever I was doing, lay myself on the couch and close my eyes, and Ladybug would wake up.

DH and I talked it over and decided that since nothing else was working, we were going to let him try to work it out himself. Our plan was that the first time he woke up, I'd go in, make sure everything was ok, change his diaper, give him water, give him snuggles and tuck him back in bed. If he got out of bed after that, we were going to just let him fuss it out for 10 minutes, before we went back in to settle him back down and put him back to bed. I expected this to last for hours, and wasn't very confident that it would work, but we had tried everything else, and we all needed sleep.

The first night we tried, it was a Friday, and after 40 minutes of our plan, he did eventually go to sleep. He actually put himself back in bed. The next night, Saturday, my dear, dear husband said he would do our plan himself, so I could get some much needed rest. Fritter didn't even wake up. Sunday, Fritter woke up the first time at 2, I checked on him and soothed him. He woke up one more time, and after I let him cry and put him back in bed, he didn't get out. Since then, it's been like a dream.

There's not a fight anymore putting him to bed at bedtime. If he does wake up in the middle of the night, it's once and that's the end of it. He's sleeping! His attitude is much better in the day, and so is mine. The house has peace once again! And my beautiful happy boy is back to his normal self. Things are looking up.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

He Is Risen...

...He Is Risen Indeed!

Happy Easter everyone! Here are a few pictures of the kiddos for you from this morning.

Ladybug still stays put, so getting pictures of her is easy.

But, it's a different story entirely with Fritter. After many pictures that look like this...

...we had to settle for this picture. I'm so glad we have a digital camera. What did they ever do without them?

God bless all of you and your family's. I look forward to posting soon.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I'm Breaking My Fast

...again. I read a few posts today, and am posting here. I needed to. I need the connection today. Since moving, I have become so overwhelmed that I'm starting to feel a little depressed. It seems there is so much to do, so little time, and so many bodies that need me. Did I mention we got a kitten from the shelter? I don't know what I was thinking, but we did. And she's cute and sweet and very tolerate of Fritter (who follows her around all day), but she is SO needy. Today, if it wasn't a feverish toddler needing my attention, it was the hungry baby. If it wasn't the baby that wanted snuggled, it was the toddler getting into something he shouldn't. And when they were both sleeping, (which happens for like a half-hour at the same time) it was the cat mewing and pawing for some love. Today has been one of those hard days. So I broke my fast to read along with some of you mothers who do what I do. Give. All day. Of yourself. It's you, my friends, that reassure me that I can get through today, and tomorrow may be just as hard, but it's worth it. It really is, although, in the midst of it all, it's sometimes hard to remember that. If you are looking for someone to pray for, I wouldn't mind if you decided to pray for me. I could use it.