Thursday, November 30, 2006

Preparing for Advent

Okay, one more quick post then I'm needed for some Penguin Bowling!

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!

What I've been "up to"

Getting ready for Advent and the Christmas season!

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!

New Blog

For those of you who read (anyone out there?), Chrissy has a new blog, Winterpast. Everyone should stop over. It's a sweet place and already one of my favorite places to perch!

Excuse me while I boast...

I've been neglecting this little blog again. Things have been hopping (literally) over here!

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

The Divine Lamp

One of the parishoners at my parish has started this blog. Scroll down for a picture of our altar.

More posts coming soon!

Friday, November 3, 2006

One more thing

DH sent a text about 30 minutes ago that he's back on the ground and on his way home. Just in time because I just discovered the washer overflowed (rinse and spin cycles didn't do either!) and about 1/3 of the basement is wet. I'm glad this happened today instead and Monday.

Along the same theme...

This was the view when I woke up this morning!

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!

It Has Begun

I was driving to JC Penney yesterday to pick up our Christmas pictures and run some other mall errands (about 30 minutes away) and channel-surfing for good sing-a-long tunes. I pressed "5" for Sunny 102 (my favorite stations are in numerical order) and discovered that it's THAT TIME. Apparently it's THAT TIME as of November 1 these days.

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

2.5 More Days!

Thanks for dropping in to check on me, Chrissy! We are doing better today, but this has been a long week.

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.