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


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.