Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Perfect Sunday

In the words of Fritter, "Today is a perfect day.  The best day in the whole wide world!"

Mass, adoration, time to myself, fun with our family, and a fire in the backyard with smores to top it off.  I can't agree more.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Angels: Help From On High

Angels was not quite what I thought it was when I chose it as my newest review book.  It did not go as in depth as I would have liked on the topic of angels.  It's a little book, 127 pages in all, with close to half of those being very short personal angel stories from various people and prayers to angels. 

That said, it could be a good place to start if someone was looking for Church teaching on angels.  It pretty much pulls what it can from the Catechism and scripture and lays it out in one place.  Overall though, I can't say I would recommend this book for someone studying the angels.  But if you are looking for a collection of prayers to angels, this may be a good source.

*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 Angels - Help from on High . They are also a great source for a Catechism of the Catholic Church or a Catholic Bible.

Beauty In Simplicity

I am beginning to find that things around here are just too complicated.  The clutter is threatening to overwhelm me.  Closets are packed to capacity and then some.  Piles of paper are stacked in various locations around the house, no matter how often I try to unpile them.  Toys are scattered everywhere, and many of them are broken.  It is time for a good old fashioned purge.  Nothing is safe from my big black garbage bag.

I am a planner by nature, but I find that sometimes I plan myself into a corner.  I have a schedule posted on my fridge.  It's a good schedule when I follow it because it takes into account all the basic needs of the family.  Knowing there is some sort of balance in my day is calming.  BUT, there are times when my idealism gets in the way and I get even more stressed out.  "Hurry up and tie that shoe!  It's almost 10 o'clock, and we're supposed to be outside playing, enjoying each other!  Hurry!  Can't you hurry?!"  This attitude ends up defeating the purpose of a schedule.  I'm not very good at flexibility, and despise wasted time.

This is where the idea of simplicity comes in.  If I have a bag packed in the van with all of our essentials: diapers, a change of clothes for each kid, ect. then I don't even have to think about it when I leave.  Simple.  If we all get dressed first thing in the morning, I don't have to worry about getting children dressed and fed and cleaned in time to get out the door if we have somewhere to go.  Simple.  If my makeup bag contains only one tube of lipstick in the shade that looks good, I don't have to go through six identical tubes wondering which one I want.  Simple.  If my hair is cut in a way that makes styling a no brainer, and I settle on one way to fix it in the morning, I don't have to wonder if today I should wear a braid, a ponytail, a half ponytail, or down and straightened.  Super simple.

Time (and mental exertion) is now saved for the other, more important things.  As for flexibility, I am cutting out non-essentials there too.  In this case, building in more opportunities for flexibility makes things simpler, calmer.  Following a basic morning and evening routine without too much concern for the clock except as a guide, combining certain cleaning routines with other home life routines (like scrubbing the bathroom while a child is in the bathtub), setting aside a block of time each day to just be with the children, and having a certain amount of time to myself each day is essential.  Having these things at approximately the same times is simple because I'm not always wondering what it is I should do now.  It keeps me acting instead of reacting, and takes most of the clock stress away.

Another thing I'm doing (especially for those dreaded paper piles) is canceling the newspaper, magazines we never get a chance to read, and catalogs.  I really only kept the newspaper for the grocery store ads and coupons, but does it really make sense to pay $20 a month to save $5 a month?  And store ads are posted online.  Going through coupons takes lots of time, too.  At my grocery store, I can electronically add coupons to my loyalty card if I want.  Less paper=less piles=simple.

I love it.  The best part is, becoming simple is actually quite simple.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Toothless Grins

And while I'm posting about the other two children, here is what we have been enjoying lately:

Love those dimples!

Portrait Of A Mother

Courtesy of Fritter
I love the wild hair.  It captures me perfectly.  ;-)

What I'm Up Against

Turn my back for two seconds and she gets the ice cream out of the freezer.  At least she had the decency to grab a spoon this time.  Two days ago I caught her digging her fingers into it.  Oh well, can't blame her for trying.

Monday, May 16, 2011

You Say Tomato

Fritter: When I grow up I can say "toilet" but right now I say "tolet".

Saturday, May 14, 2011

To Gym Or Not To Gym

That is the question.  I have the option of joining a gym.  I've talked with my dear hubby about it and he agrees that it's something we could go for.  Summer is coming, and walking or running in 100+ degrees just doesn't sound that thrilling.  There is a Y that is fairly close by with childcare as part of the family package.  They even take babies as young as 6 weeks.  Sunflower is 6 weeks.  And they have classes that could help keep me motivated.  I could use that.  I've never actually worked out before.  Well, except for walking.  And the short amount of time I tried the Couch to 5K (I never finished the program, we got pregnant with Sunflower before I could).  So the motivation could really be a good thing.

But just when I get excited and think I'm going to go for it, the frugal side of me steps in.  We do have a swimming pool in our backyard.  Couldn't I just swim laps when I put the kids down for a nap?  And I do have several different workout videos, including a pretty decent Pilates one.  Shouldn't I use those?  Doing this all at home could save us quite a bit when you consider that a family membership to the Y runs around $80 a month.

Fence sitting is not helping my waist line, and I'm eager to fit into normal clothes again, even if they are just my "fat jeans".  Do you have a gym membership?  Do you like it?  If you don't, what do you do for exercise at home?  How do you stay motivated?  I would love any help you could give a beginner like myself.

Friday, May 13, 2011

My Burden Is Light

Things lately have been...hard. Besides the obvious stuff (lack of sleep, learning how to manage three children instead of two, ect.) little Sunflower is very fussy, or colicky, or whatever. So we're learning how to deal with that. Plus she isn't nursing as well as I'd like. Oh, she's gaining weight just fine (we took her in for a diaper rash that just won't go away and when they weighed her she was just at 11 lbs!) but she's a fussy nurser. I have a very active let down reflex and though I've tried several things, it doesn't change the fact that she can't quite keep up. So we both end up covered in milk and at least one of us (though sometimes both) are also covered in tears. It's frustrating for both of us. I know this will get better, I dealt with it with Ladybug as well, but it still stinks.

Thankfully, potty training Ladybug has been a breeze. It's basically been a non issue, and I can safely say she is pretty much trained. We are still using plastic pants at night, but she's waking up dry so we probably don't even need to do that. As easy as it's been, it's still another log in the fire.

And housework? Ha! Not much of that happening here. Remember that picture I posted about my laundry? It hasn't changed. Those clothes got put away just to have more replace them. It's all I can do to keep up.

Also, dh has been dealing with some pretty high stress at work as well. We are both trying to help each other as much as we can and carry each others burdens, but they are getting heavy and there seems to be no rest in sight.

Most of the time, I have a decent attitude about things. "That's life" has pretty much become my motto. And it's true. And there are many times that I can laugh at the busyness of it all. But there are moments when I just...feel inadequate. Which I am, I suppose.

"I am the vine, you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." -John 15:5

Something I need to keep in mind.

It's hard for me to remember, but I know I just need to count all my wonderful blessings. There are so many of them!  And then pick myself up by my apron strings and keep moving forward, one foot in front of the other, preferably with a smile on my face.

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." - Matthew 11:28-31

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mom's Visit

Two weekends ago, we had the pleasure of receiving a visit from my mom.  She had the pleasure of meeting her third grandbaby. 

Lots of visiting was had, and we used the opportunity to visit the aquarium.  This particular aquarium is attached to a largish mall, so I wasn't sure what to expect.  But, in my humble opinion, it was well worth the money, and the kids really enjoyed themselves.  At least for their age group, it was way better than a visit to the zoo (and close to the same price too).


Fritter full of excitement.

Bubble heads.

We still have a little kid left in us. ;-)

Little boy full of wonder.
It's so fun to watch Fritter and Ladybug as they wonder about the world around them.  It helps me to see things in a whole new light.

It was a great visit.  I can't wait to go home to Wyoming this summer to visit the rest of our family.  It's been so long...

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

State of Affairs

Of our laundry, that is.

These piles took me three days to fold.  Between nursing a newborn and potty training a two year old, I'm not finding much time for anything else.

Now if I can just find the time to put them away.  Any guesses to how long it will take me?

Diapers that need a little extra "sunning" if you know what I mean...

Unfortunately, there's much, much more where that came from, and it's building every day.