Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Dad vs. Baby

I know what you're going to say. You're seeing through my attempts at procrastination. Three blog posts in one day? Come on! I know. I know. But, I'm almost done packing and my husband won't be home until who knows when tonight. I've got time. Really, I do. So much time, that I've watched this video over at Danielle's twice. You really have to watch it if you haven't already. So funny!

Not Da Grinch

To keep this blog from being voted grinchiest blog of the year from my post below, here are a couple of fun pictures...

Ladybug is trying to become the world's greatest escape artist. Here she is finding the weak spots in my system...

Fritter is a very good big brother. He keeps his sister out of as much trouble as he gets her in.

I couldn't resist a first thing in the morning picture. Excuse the red eye.

It looks like he's helping her decorate the tree here, but actually, he's stopping her from ripping down the ornaments. ;-)

Now, back to that packing...

Clearing Out The Donation Box

I'm sure you are well aware of the many requests for donations that come through the mail this time of year. We get so many that I haven't had to buy address labels in three years! And the rosaries, and spare change, and prayer cards are overwhelming. Each time I get one of these requests in the mail, I read through it, decide if it's a cause I'd like to donate to, and if it is I put it in the donation "box" which is really just a drawer in my desk.

But since I can't donate to all of them, the "box" has been becoming fuller and fuller. There's guilt there too, you know. My conscience tugs at me every time I get another in the mail and it gets relegated to the "box".

NO MORE! I have decided to clear out the "box". I'm not looking twice (except to take a picture). They are getting tossed as well as the guilt. Is this wrong to do three days before Christmas? I don't think so. We donate to what we donate to, and I may or may not ever donate to some of these other causes. Should I keep them around just because they are "worthy"? Again, I don't think so. Goodbye box 'o guilt, goodbye!

Friday, December 18, 2009

2010 Goals

Taking the idea of the five P's from A Mother's Rule of Life, I decided to set my New Years Goals in each of those areas. I plan on also using Michelle's idea of a New Month's Resolution to achieve these goals. And, since I can come back to this post at the end of next year, I am going to mention where I am currently at in each of these areas, so I can see my progress. Here goes...

1st P: Prayer
Attend Daily Mass - currently only attending on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation Ah-hem.  Still here.
Awake at 6am for morning prayer - this happens maybe once a week if I'm lucky Have adapted to saying morning prayer no matter when I get up.  This has made it more realistic for me.
Evening prayer with an examination of conscience - not happening Has become more of an organic thing, instead of what I envisioned.  In many ways, this is actually better.
Daily Rosary - this doesn't happen enough for me to quantify it Really was doing good with this, and so were the kids.  Fell off after Advent came, but has become enough of a habit, it should be easy to start doing again.
Daily Spiritual Reading - I do do this, but I want to make myself a little less flighty with it and maybe make a list of those books and readings I really want to do Who really needs a list?  I'm always reading spiritual books.
Monthly Confession - currently about every other month  Still about every other month.
Daily Family Prayer - not happening Besides meal times, this is still not happening.

2nd P: Person
reduce sugar intake - ummm...this one is really bad Still pretty bad.  I have increased my protein intake though.  ;-)
daily vigorous exercise - sometimes walk in the evenings with the kids  Uh....no.
Monthly Mother's Sabbath - not happening Nope again.
Asleep by 10 - currently asleep by 11 or 12 Usually asleep by 10:30.  I guess this is progress.
assess clothing needs - this one is already in the works, but I had to include it  Done.

3rd P: Partner
Monthly date night out - happens about every other month  Every other month has become realistic.  We spend many evenings at home together.
attend a marriage conference or retreat - we did a marriage encounter when we were first married, and nothing since We attended one at our parish.

4th P: Parent
Make independent play a priority - this mostly happens, but I didn't want to forget about it Can't live without this.
Make mommy and me time a priority - to my shame, this happens less than I'd like Still happens less than I like.
Use raised voice less and action more - sigh  sigh again.
Celebrate Feast Days - not happening  This was a success in many ways.  It's all about planning.

5th P: Provider
Stay within bi-weekly budget - this happens about every other check. I seem to end up borrowing from the next pay.  We have renegotiated the budget, and it's more realistic.
Establish savings goals - not happening  This will happen more after we are debt-free.
Garage sale - oh boy is this needed Done
Come up with a doable cleaning schedule - right now I oscillate between an overachiever and an overwhelmed housewife Mostly found my balance.

Have you come up with your 2010 goals? I'd love to hear them.

If you're interested, I updated my resolution from 2009 with where I'm at with them.

*Updated 1/6/11

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Ramble Bamble

After a morning of standing in line at the post office for an hour, AN HOUR, with a three year old and a one year old, and THEN going to the store for milk and a few other odds and ends (what is it with milk prices lately? I paid $2.50 for a gallon of milk today, and since my gluttonous family drinks a gallon every other day, I'm spending $10 a week on milk (that's $520 a year!)and I only have two kids!!!) I finally got home in time to put the kids down for a later than usual afternoon nap.

I spent my "break time" making the beautiful candies in the post below. Granted, they didn't turn out as pretty as the picture, mostly because I didn't have sweetened condensed milk, so I made my own, but burnt the sugar, and I somehow made the white chocolate turn chunky for the peppermint bark. Hey, it tastes the same, and as long as I don't show my hubby what they are supposed to look like, he might not notice. ;-)

Speaking of my hubby, I got a call from him to tell me he was going to have to work pretty late tonight. How late you ask? Like midnight. Yeah, that's late. Add that to the fact that I very lazily didn't get up this morning and he left at 6:30. That means he didn't eat breakfast, he didn't take a lunch, and I have a very guilty conscience. *sigh* When he called, he did say that he got something from the cafeteria, but still. Why does waking up have to be so hard to do? Does anyone else have this problem?

***Bonus! He just called at 8:30 to say he's on his way home.***

What I'm Making Today

Care to join me for tea later?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Catholic Radio!!!

I have been haunting the website of Immaculate Heart Radio, because I saw in our church bulletin a few months back that we were getting a Catholic radio station. But then I never saw anything else about it. And just tonight, when I thought to check again, there it is! Coming soon to Arizona! Yay!

Ok, I'm done now. Back to your regularly scheduled programming... (impish grin)

Guilt Free Wednesday Fun

I've decided that Wednesdays are going to be our fun days around here. Besides the usual cleanup stuff there will be no real "work". Today I'm planning on taking us to the park, with lunch at Chick-fil-a (we have a gift card). After naps, I think we'll bake some pumpkin bread and then walk around the neighborhood.

I have a real problem with guilt. While my husband is at work, I feel guilty if I'm playing or having fun. It's like if I'm not doing real physical work, I'm slacking. So, I talked to him about it last night.

He told me that he actually deals with a little bit of guilt too. He feels guilty if I make him lunch and breakfast in the mornings, or when I do things for him. It's a societal pressure, he said. Because many families have both parents working, many men can't really ask their wives to do some of these things for them without imposing on them. And even though I stay at home, the guilt is still there for him.

We've decided to enjoy the benefits more of our vocations, and not feel guilty about it. If I have a chance to take a nap while the kids are sleeping, I should do that. They won't be napping forever, so I should take advantage of it. And because my hours are "longer" than his, taking a nap and little breaks here and there are required to make sure I'm not getting run down. If I'm grumpy, everyone is miserable. And if my husband is not eating right during the day, he comes home hungry. Then he's not able to give us his best either.

It's really ok to experience joy in our vocations. Perhaps this is a no-brainer to many of you who stay at home. I'm curious if other families feel this "societal" guilt as well.

Here's to guilt free Wednesday fun!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Christmas Chant

I am not a chant lover. I like it at Mass (when I've heard it there), but to just listen to it at home...not for me. But I know there are those out there who do like to listen to it. I can see why.

Recently, I got an opportunity to review two new Christmas chant albums. "The Glory of Byzantine: Christmas Hymns" is truly beautiful. Granted, I couldn't tell I was listening to Christmas music. This is not Jingle Bells. This is better. The music really put me in mind of the holiness and sacredness of the coming Christmas season.

The second album "Hymns of Mount Athos" by the Choir of Monks from the Monastery of Simonos Petra had the same effect on me. I would say that I enjoyed the "Hymns of Mount Athos" more. I'm not a music expert by any means, but it seemed to have more variation of sound than the first album. Because of this, I was able to distinguish the songs better.

I would recommend both of these albums to anyone who is looking for something different in their Christmas music collection, but I also think that anyone who enjoys chant music would like these as well. You can find "The Glory of Byzantine" here and "Hymns of Mount Athos" here and also listen to tracks as well. You can also find out more about Jade Music here.

*I received a free download of both albums in return for an honest review.*

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Thy Will Be Done

I was running late for a dentist appointment on Saturday. So when I rushed in 10 minutes late and hurried the paperwork along, I was not really thinking straight. One question asked, "Are you pregnant or trying to become pregnant?" Well, I suppose there is always that possibility, so I wrote that on the form.

When the receptionist called me up, she asked if I was pregnant. "Ummm...I don't think so, but there is always a possibility." She looked at me like I had grown three heads right in front of her. So she asked if I already had kids, to which I replied I did have two. "And you want more?" was her sarcastic answer. So I very calmly and politely replied that I will gladly accept as many children as God decides to bless us with. Somehow, this made her tell me her story.

After her third child was born, she "told God I was done" and had her tubes tied and "burnt" (I'm not really sure what all that means or entails, and I don't think I want to). But a few years later, a good friend with four kids passed away and the receptionist took in her children. "So now you have seven kids?" I asked. To which she replied, "I do. I had decided I was done, and God felt otherwise."

God's will be done.