Sunday, December 31, 2006
Friday, December 22, 2006
We're celebrating the holiday with my parents and sister tomorrow, and then it's a whirlwind of activity until Tuesday, so I probably won't be blogging until then.
Everyone have a most Blessed Christmas!
Edited Saturday 6 PM: Everything is done and we had a wonderful day with my parents and sister!
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
- The tree is thankfully done! I have pictures, just no time to upload and post yet.
- The housework is pretty well in hand; let's just hope we can keep things clean and neat until Monday. HAH!
- Most of my Christmas cards are mailed. I have I think two or three left to write and about 1/2 dozen to mail. They will go out tomorrow. The packages are long gone, though.
- Three batches of cookies down, one mixed, and one still a dream. This needs to be done by Thursday so I can take a few plates into school on Thursday. Guess I should get busy!
- I think I'm supposed to make eggnog bread for Christmas at my parents' on Saturday. Not sure. It's either that or triple chocolate bread. Must check on that.
- Wrapping for DH and Baby. Again, HAH!
- Cooking. My goal is to have 95% of Christmas dinner made ahead of time. I should start that on Thursday. We decided on a fish soup for Christmas Eve in keeping with Italian tradition, and a melting pot of food for the Twenty-Fifth. Some American (roast turkey), some Czech (potato dumplings and maybe Vanocka), some Italian (Antipasto), and something Scottish TBD.
- That might be it. Don't have the list in front of me, but sounds about right.
I'm taking the baby to the Christmas story hour at the library tomorrow night. Santa is rumored to be making an appearance. Joy.
I'm tired and getting very cranky. Can you tell?
Friday, December 15, 2006
"You are just a sweet person. When a friend needs a shoulder to cry on, you are happy to offer yours with a box of tissues as well. Once in awhile, you wish you could be a little more dramatic but then sensibility sets back in and you know that you are perfect the way you are."
Christmas Eve I'll probably do a crock-pot soup of some kind since we'll be bouncing between two churches and three different services, but Christmas Day? NO IDEA! I wanted to do a Czech or Scottish theme (my heritage) since we always do Italian (DH), but I've gotten caught up in so many other things. My mom picked up a turkey for me that is hibernating in her freezer, so I could start from there, but I really wanted to do some different. Not sure what, but different.
Better start thinking fast!
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Much, much better! Feels much brighter and cleaner!
What we did:
- Replace border
- Replace mirror/medicine cabinet
- Replace cupboard over toilet
- Replace shower curtain rods
- Replace lighting
- New handles on cupboard under the sink & toilet paper roll
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Monday, December 11, 2006
We had a very nice weekend. "Nice" sounds so uninteresting, but really we had a busy and fulfilling, yet relaxing weekend. I left Baby and Dad to bond on Saturday morning while my mom and I ran to JoAnn's. I wasn't intending to buy anything (isn't that always the way?); I just went to accompany her. I ended up finding some very nice brown paper gift bags, though, and a package of kitchen dish towels with a Christmas theme. I love 50% off sales! Nothing to craft or sew, though. No time at the present! The bags are red and green gingham and one says, "Believe." I'm not sure if that's "Believe" as in Santa (and a Polar Express tie-in) , but in our house that means Christ. Oh, and I found one that was a clear plastic with the outline of evergreens on it! It will look striking when packaged with white tissue paper!
Saturday evening DH acted as DJ for a Knights of Columbus Christmas party so my parents came over to have dinner and spend the evening with me. Other than myself, my dad is the first person to really get the baby worked up giggling. It is so cute!
Sunday was Mass, of course, then DH bought our Christmas tree. In the past two years, we've only ever found one local farm that sells TALL trees. Our ceilings are about ten fee high, plus DH is over six feet so a short tree is just not acceptable. I said last year that if it was shorter than him, it wasn't the tree for us! He found a great one, though, and it's been settling out today. We're going to start decorating tonight! The baby loved, loved touching and seeing the tree as it came through the door was set up in the corner. I can't wait to see his expression when it has lights on it!
It seems like I had other things to blog about, but I guess I'm too tired to remember.
Oh, I did get my cookies made this weekend. I did Whole Wheat Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip. Whew! That's a mouthful (haha). I found the recipe on Crystal's site, Biblical Womanhood (8/18/06 post).
Friday, December 8, 2006
Wednesday, December 6, 2006
Monday, December 4, 2006
Sunday, December 3, 2006
Saturday, December 2, 2006
In the meantime, we're heading out for our walk. Baby has decided he doesn't want to take his long nap today!
We have a Graco travel system, but now that the baby has outgrown the infant car seat (AKA baby bucket), I'm not comfortable using it. I don't like him facing away from me and into traffic. This stroller is rear-facing! I wish I'd known this was an option when we were getting ready for the baby. I wish I'd known how fast he would grow and how quickly he'd be in the "regular" part of the stroller. I wish I'd known how much use we were going to get out of it and had considered a more practical stroller. Starting at about one week, my mom and I have been taking him for long walks everyday (weather permitting).
Live and learn!
It came yesterday and we put it together last night. By "we" I mean DH, of course! It was a little tricky to learn to fold and unfold it at first, but otherweise it's great! The Graco is completely one-step, one-handed. Mom, Baby, and I are taking it for its first spin this afternoon!
Christmas shopping is FINITO! Well, I still have one or two things to pick up for DH and stocking stuffers for him and the baby and a stocking for Baby, but the family gifts are done! Now comes the putting of packages together and mailing everything. Not as much fun, but just as satisfying when finished!
To be honest, it wasn't that big of a strain since everyone is getting pictures. (We had family portraits done last month.) The real challenge was finding decent frames in all the right sizes. I spent almost ten hours shopping this week, but I found frames for all, including the pictures we're hanging ourselves. 10x13 is NOT a common size! All 50% off or more too!
Today I'm catching up on the housework/laundry/baking I didn't get done during the week. DH is helping out a friend with some wiring at his house, so I probably won't see him until late tonight.
It's a blustery and cold day, perfect for settling in with some hot chocolate and a good book or movie later while Baby naps.
Thursday, November 30, 2006
One of my housekeeping goals has been to add "Catholic Identity" to our home. It occurred to me that there isn't much in our home that speaks our faith. Of course, living it is what's important, but I also think you should know when you step inside that this is a Catholic Home. Plus, I think it will help our daily practice as well.
Before I took on this challenge, we had a crucifix hanging over our bed and a prayer over the crib (Bless this child, O Lord we pray/And keep him safe by night and day.) Other than that, a small statue of St. Jerome (patron of librarians) on a shelf in the library/office was it! Of course, I do a lot of religious reading, so books on the faith (especially apologetics) abound!
A Christian bookstore/gift shop recently reopened in our town so I stopped in there the other day while we were out walking (actually after Father spoke about making the Sacred Heart of Jesus the center of the home) and found a picture of the Sacred Heart as well as Our Lady of Grace to hang.
Decorating for Advent and Christmas:
We have an Advent wreath this year, so that's good, and I bought a Nativity Advent Calendar.
Last year my mom gave us a Precious Moments nativity for the baby and we have a small one we bought, so those will be out eventually too. I think my mother-in-law wants to get us a Fontanini one as well. We'll have one in every room!
My mom and I also went to a local greenhouse this morning and picked out a wreath for the front door. Other than that and the tree (real), we don't put up anything else. No lights, etc.
Spiritually, we have a lot planned for the season. One new thing for this year is that we're trying to start some family devotions/traditions with the baby. He's young, but we want to keep his and our focus in the right direction during this season from the beginning!
Well, bowling may have to wait. Sounds like nursing time and a nap for someone in this house!
I've been working really hard the past few weeks at getting the house in better order, not only for the holidays but for keeps! The challenge we have is that space is at a premium and there isn't a lot of room for extra "stuff." You know what I mean, the stuff that accumulates during day-to-day life: mail, newspapers...for us, it's mostly mail and little odds 'n' ends like that. Plus, DH doesn't have any space that's his for tools and what not. He stores in the basement, but the ceiling is too low for that to be working space for him (he's 6'4"). As a result, I regularly find a toolbox in the dining room or this week, it's a can of primer, shower rods, and a medicine cabinet since we're renovating the bathroom. So, it's a challenge for me, but I try to be patient and bite my tongue and appreciate all that he does for the baby and I, and not focus on my having a spotless or wonderfully decorated living space. We do a lot of living in this house, that's for sure!
I have instituted a NO PILES rule, and he (and I) are doing better at keeping the counter/breakfast nook clear as well as the dining room table so we can actually eat there! It's a work-in-progress because I'm trying to get my kitchen binder (meal plan rotation, master shopping list, and recipes) organized so those piles are still around. I also have some Christmas presents (pictures for the families) around, but at least the junk mail and week-old papers have disappeared!
Thanks to a recommendation from Mrs. Wilt at The Sparrow's Nest, I ordered some cleaning products from Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day. I'm always after ideas that will make maintaining the house easier, more fun and more feminine, and this also seemed like an opportunity to participate in Emma's Femininity Challenge from a few weeks ago. I ordered Lemon Verbena and I love everything! I haven't had too much of a chance to use them, though, since I'm waiting for the bathroom project to be over. Trying to maintain a perfect environment in there is hopeless right now, and I need to use up my old stuff first anyway. A lady doesn't waste!
We bought the baby a "Johnny Jump Up" or Jumpster as ours is called. Generally, I'm against these sorts of devices for babies, but he loves to stand and bounce so much I just HAD to get one for him. HE LOVES IT!! He's bouncing right now, as I'm typing. I limit the amount of time, of course, but he enjoys it so that I'm always tempted to say, "Okay, one more minute!" The first time he went in it, the smile was from here to Nebraska! If I wasn't so paranoid, I would post a picture.
In related news, he turned five months yesterday and is truly the most beautiful baby people have seen for a long time! :-D (No, I'm not proud at all....) He has two teeth poking through and has mastered rolling. He can sit independently for short periods, but will still topple occasionally. Doesn't seem to faze him, though, he just rolls over and works on crawling!
You can see why I've been away...
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Friday, November 3, 2006
Kat will be happy.
Poor flowers. They were flowering until yesterday. It's all gone now. Guess we'll finally have to clean-up the deck and hard for winter tomorrow. Sigh.
At least I don't have to drive to work in it every day this winter!
By the time I was ten minutes from home I was grooving to Elvis and "Blue Christmas."
It was only a week ago I discovered that Christmas carols ("Silent Night," "Away in a Manger," "O Little Town of Bethlehem") are great for luring the baby to sleep.
Notice I said THAT TIME, rather than THIS TIME:
Wednesday, November 1, 2006
After I posted on Monday, the vaccinations (4 injections, 1 oral) caught up with the baby. He had a bad evening and night and a bad day yesterday too. The fever wasn't too bad (never went above 99.5), but he seemed to be in a fair amount of pain. Oh, the crying! He NEVER cries unless he's very overtired (and then only for a minute or two) so this has been a stressful few days. Last night from 7-9 PM was the worst. My nerves were shredded. I can't imagine life if he was like this all the time.
Woke up early and after a nap (at 7:30 AM!) all was right with the world again. He slept again late morning so I think the worst is behind us. Nary a whimper today; we'll see how bedtime goes.
This would have all taken place whether DH was here or not, so maybe he's lucky to have missed all of this! He would have been at work during the day anyway. I'm blessed, though, to my parents close by and my mom gave me some help. My dad spent a few hours with us last evening with the steady stream of trick-or-treaters. (I had been home alone, I wouldn't have felt comfortable answering the door.) They are coming over for dinner tonight too.
The house is NOT clean and my routines have gone completely out the window. First because of the ordeal with the baby and second because I'm enjoying a break. I AM washing the baby's clothes so he won't have to go naked. :-) I'll flurry around here Friday getting caught up. Things aren't that bad- I'm not a slob- but the house could do with a little straightening and freshening.
Monday night the cats were acting so odd I had to check the basement for an intruder. Otherwise I would have never slept a wink (hardly did anyway, as it turned out). Last night it sounded like there was SOMETHING in the attic and Zuzu kept staring at a corner of the ceiling where the noise was. Nothing appeared, though, so I'm sure just a mouse or squirrel found its way in. These noises are never there when DH is here, of course!
I think we'll make it.
Monday, October 30, 2006
DH left this morning at 4:30 for a work trip to Georgia and won't be back until Friday night. Very sad. It's going to be one looooooooooong week. I'm nervous about being along overnight with the baby. He makes me feel very secure.
At least Nunzio and Zuzu are here to protect me. Don't they look like they could do the job?
He had 5 vaccines, including 4 shots, but he did so well! Even better than two months. He barely cried at all. I'm hoping his reaction (if any) will be as minimal as it was last time. All he had was a low-grade fever for about 36 hours. Long term? Most of me doesn't believe the stores I hear, but there's always a little voice that says, "It's possible." Autism, allergies, asthma...worse. We've gone round and round on the vaccinations, so I'm holding my breath. Who ever knows if it's the right decision. Parenting is not for the weak-hearted!
On to the more fun things though!
19 lbs., 15 oz. (My guess was 20!)
27 1/2 in. (I had measured and had 28; I don't think she managed to get him to straighten his legs all the way!)
Head circumference is 17 1/8 in.
This puts him above the charts for height and weight and 75th or so percentile for his head. I don't put much stock by these percentages; he's growing par for the course for our family's history and his weight and height are proportional so he's not "overweight." (As if a 4 month old could be overweight!)
She told me I could start introducing solids, but I want to wait until 6-7 months minimum. A year would be better, unless he's really, really, REALLY interested. I told my mom she would say I could start cereal, but she didn't believe me. Honestly. At least they didn't say he didn't Vitamin D supplements like some peds say BF babies do.
He talks up a storm (but rarely cries) and figures out a new sound to make nearly every day, sleeps pretty well most nights, plays with everything and puts whatever he can in his mouth, drools non-stop, and is this close to rolling over and sitting up unassisted. I cannot complain one bit. He is so much fun! And so darn cute.
God is GREAT!
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Not sure if this is:
a) Divine Providence,
b) My "magic milk" as my mother calls it, or
c) All of the above.
At any rate, the walk was fun. I got good workout pushing the stroller up the hill, we got out of the house to enjoy the blustery fall day, and some school people who were there got to ooh and ahh over the baby, and he smiled at them!
And he didn't fuss once.
Of course, I'm still sick. :-p
Wait until you hear what we did today!
Thursday, October 12, 2006
I've been feeling kind of blah lately without much motivation. My routines have held up more or less. Well, I haven't been doing everything on the "correct" day, but they're getting done. More or less. Some days less. A lot less. Like today. A very rainy, chilly fall day. Fragments fun. ;-)
Anyway, the baby is making lots of good progress. I guess I'm starting to feel a little trapped in the house. I do NOT want to go back to work really, but I keep thinking it might be a nice change. At least I could guarantee to be showered and dressed at a reasonable hour and out of the house. Sigh.
Any suggestions for the little baby (slightly bored) blues?
I don't find the baby boring (he's great!), I just find my routine trying these days and the cabin fever kicking in. The weather is just going to get colder and wetter. What to do?
Friday, September 29, 2006
My disclaimer is that I'm not the best at pinching pennies, but I'm getting better!
Okay, here's something my mom shared with me:
Cut the feet off of baby sleepers and hem the bottoms to extend the wear of the item! Our baby boy is three months old today and like his dad is very looong with big feet! (Dad is 6'4".) We were prepared for the long feet and as a result I didn't buy too many footed pajamas. People still gifted them to us, though, and in order to keep a fast-growing baby in clothes, cutting off the bottoms is about to become a lifesaver!
This might not be a great tip if a) you really love footed PJs or b) if you're concerned about having feet on clothes for any other babies! I'm so-so about footed outfits, it's the one-piece aspect that is more important to me. (It's also tough to find a variety of sleep and plays without feet!)
My second tip is a no-brainer, especially for cloth diaperers: cloth (especially) flannel baby wipes! They can be washed with the diapers and are so gentle on baby's skin! You can buy fabric of course, or recycle from clothing and other items around the house! I prefer flannel or fleece because I think that the terry in washcloths is a little too abrasive.
Monday, September 25, 2006
Anyone reading have anything exciting to report?
Oh, I thought of one cute, baby-related thing! Yesterday afternoon, the baby was "playing" with his new playmat. We were in the kitchen putting dishes away and when we peeked back in the living room, he was laughing at himself in the mirror! He's obviously both laughed and seen himself in the mirror before, but not at the same time. It was adorable!
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Motherwear, a company that sells nursing-friendly clothes (I love their nursing camisoles!), has started a breastfeeding blog. You can check it out here:
Tuesday, September 5, 2006
Laundry: DH & I
Laundry: DH work clothes
As I mentioned before, I also launder the diapers on an as-needed basis, usually every 2-3 days. Sometimes out of necessity, that means Sunday, but we try to avoid that.
My daily routine includes general pick-up, bathroom and kitchen wipedowns, dishes, etc.
This doesn't include daily meal prep/cleanup. I try to make dinner five nights a week. Wednesday and either Friday or Saturday are leftovers.
Goodbye old floor!
Cutting the pattern in the church auditorium
Isn't it just loverly?
All that's left to do is refinish and reinstall the thresholds! Oh, and of course the appliances are back in place!
Saturday, September 2, 2006
My interest in the institute is mostly for the free courses they offer. They ask you to register, but the courses are work-at-your-own-pace. There are three tracks to help you study various aspects of Scripture. A solid understanding and thorough familiarity with the Bible isabsolutelyy essential for any Catholic, especially as we seek to defend our faith against so-called "Bible-Believing Christians" and other Anti-Catholics.
I'm about to register and begin the Apologetics Foundations Track with Course One, From Genesis to Jesus: A Journey Through Scripture. (http://www.salvationhistory.com/online/Beginner/WalkGen.cfm) I'm ashamed to admit that despite my apologetic bent and fairly thorough knowledge of the Church, I do not read the Bible nearly enough. I'm hoping this course will increase myunderstatingg, interest, and motivation to read God's Word.
I encourage all Catholics to take a look, take the plunge, and sign up for a course! What do you have to lose? No fees, no deadlines, and the supplemental books the course uses you can find at the library. The Bible, your primaryytextbookk, you already own! (Probably several copies!)
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
In the meantime, I wanted to share this video with you. Amelia linked to it on her blog, and I just had to post it too!
Thanks again, Amelia!
Some blogs I read have a feature called "Works for Me Wednesday." A neat idea, and I thought I'd share on my new-found kitchen shortcuts: frozen bags of pre-chopped peppers and onions. Lifesavers! I like fresh first, but frankly this saves so much time (and money)! I couldn't find them for the longest time, but now our grocery has them in stock all the time.
I'm perhaps too excited about this, but really it's so nice to always have pepper and onion of hand for impromptu omelets, and I don't have to worry about fresh ones not getting used in time (which occasionally happens).
What works for you?
Monday, August 28, 2006
Sunday, August 27, 2006
You scored as Dance. You should be a Dance major! Like a lithe ballerina, you dance because you believe there is beauty in expressing the physical form.
What is your Perfect Major? (PLEASE RATE ME!!<3)
created with QuizFarm.com
My major in college? You guessed it-- DANCE!
Thursday, August 24, 2006
I haven't had time to write a real post in a few days, but this morning I'm going to try! I have a few posts rolling around in my head, but at the moment, the only one I can remember is this!
I read a lot of blogs devoted to homemaking (including the one that riled me with its Anti-Catholicism). Most of the writers are Christian women who firmly believe they are called to be "keepers at home." As such, they have many good ideas for running the house and making it a home. Unlike many of those ladies, I don't want to create a by the hour/half-hour/quarter-hour household schedule. I really can't anyway with my ecologically breastfed baby (more about that soon), but I did want to establish a routine for keeping the house in order and the refrigerator stocked. DH thinks I'm an excellent cook, and while I can't quite agree, I do enjoy it. Anyway, I'm posting this to help keep myself accountable:
Liiving room/dining room
Laundry: DH & I
Laundry: DH work clothes
Of course, I also launder the diapers on an as-needed basis, usually every 2-3 days. Sometimes out of necessity, that means Sunday, but we try to avoid that.
My daily routine includes general pick-up, bathroom and kitchen wipedowns, dishes, etc.
This doesn't include daily meal prep/cleanup. I try to make dinner five nights a week. Thursday is leftovers and Friday DH likes to get takeout, if the budget allows.
My goal is to get everything done in the morning, since that it when the baby is in the best mood, and will let me leave him to play in his crib/co-sleeper/pack-n-play. In the afternoons, forget it! I also walk with the baby or go to the gym every morning but Sunday.
When I was working, I struggled to get everything done on the weekends, and it made for a very miserable Saturday-Sunday. Sunday was laundry day. After church, all morning long, up and down the basement steps. Ugh. This will be much better and still leave me plenty of time to devote to the baby (who does not nap at all!).
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
|You Are an Oatmeal Raisin Cookie|
On the surface, you're a little plain - but you have many subtle dimensions to your personality.
Sometimes you're down to earth and crunchy. Other times, you're sweet and a little gooey.
Sunday, August 20, 2006
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Thursday, August 10, 2006
1. Baby was baptized this past weekend. All went beautifully and family party afterwards went surprisingly well.
2. Had my 6-week follow-up appointment yesterday. Am 3 lbs. away from weight when I first discovered I was expecting, and 7 more away from weight at time of wedding. Hooray for breastfeeding!
3. Had a postcard from my favorite SRC professor and friend who has published a book. Postcard arrived very day I was wondering how I was going to get back in touch since she is not the most reliable emailer and I don't have her current home address. God moves!
4. First day back at the gym and leaving baby for more than a few minutes. Problem: said baby is sleeping through when I wanted to feed him in preparation for hour-long absence. We plan; God laughs? Yup.
5. I have half of baby's Christmas shopping done. His Godmother also gave us a basket of 6-9 mo. hand-me-downs from her son, thereby eliminating clothes shopping for a while! Two thumbs up!
6. My birthday is 12 days away. Who thinks the kitchen floor will be replaced by then? Hmm....
Friday, August 4, 2006
The baby can sit facing Mom/Dad while very young then be turned to face out once he/she develops good head control. We also have this sling by Dr. Sears:
Ours is an "up" baby, though, and he doesn't like reclining (unless it's in Mom's arms after nursing). He likes to be able to see all around. (This same principle makes it nearly impossible for him to sleep in his co-sleeper.) Thus, the cradle hold in the sling is not to his liking. When he's older we can use the other positions, so I hope he'll like it better. He loves the front carrier; he can see what I'm doing or sleep against my chest, which is his favorite way to sleep. So you can see why him sleeping on a blanket on the bed was a huge accomplishment. I also should mention he contentedly spent 30 minutes in his swing today while I had lunch. Whoo hoo!
The past week I've been getting back into my household routines. The baby is learning to sit on his own a little more which allows me to get things done. As I'm writing this, he's "airing out" on a blanket next to me on the bed clad only in a yellow FuzziBunz, socks, and mitties since he has rediscovered scratching his face. Not only is he not fussing (a huge accomplishment in itself), but he put himself to sleep. Usually I have to nurse and hold him for that to happen, and he never takes a morning nap! It's typically noon or well after before he thinks about drifting off. I should be scrubbing the shower, vacuuming, or taking a shower, but I don't want to move him!
Yesterday I deep cleaned the bathroom (except the shower-- today's task, I hope along with scrubbing out trashcans), made dinner (with baby in his carrier), and gave some thought to purchasing some houseplants and decorating the blank wall in the living room. In regard to the plants, I had some ideas, but it turns out most are poisonous to cats! I'm having to do some research/rethinking about what I want to add and where so it's out of easy-chewing reach. The wall is much easier. I've decided to do a family picture wall with WallWords in the middle. The fun part is deciding which family/home quote I want, and which pictures to add. Wal-Mart Photo Center is going to get quite the order from me! I also need to print pictures to send to my grandma, gifts for Godparents, and for my albums! I'm so excited that (in theory) I have the time to spend making our home that much more welcoming, not only for guests but for us!
The only obstacle to all this is, of course, Baby (welcome obstacle!) who generally needs to be held constantly, often pinning me in place. Up until this very moment (and this bliss may end any second!), I think I've had to hold him 22.5 hours a day and he's almost a constant nurser some days. I don't mind at all, this time will pass so quickly, but it does make me feel useless as far as running the house sometimes!
Much more to say, but for now I think I'll take this opportunity to read some Jane Eyre for the Eyre-Along! Housework will have to wait for a bit!