Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Parade

Seen today on the sidewalks of St. Bernard:

First come Margaret, age 4, and Anthony, pushing the Cozy Coupe and shouting as loud as they can.

Next comes Vincent, age almost 2, running and waving his arms and shouting as loud as he can.

And I come last, the big pregnant lady trotting to keep up with this little procession.  We were a sight to see, but it was fun!

Monday, February 27, 2012

A Productive Monday

Just take a look at that to-do list:

I cannot remember the last time I actually got my "Monday cleaning" all done on Monday!  We also walked to the library for story time and stayed to play for a little while afterwards, had lots of outside time, and went to the first hour of Patrick Madrid's talk at St. Cecelia's.  I could do some quilting now, but I'm rather tired out by all that productivity!

Thanks for that two-hour nap today, little guy!  It's amazing what I can get done when I can just do it.   A few years down the line, I may look back and think, "I was proud of that?!?  Hah!"  Even now I see that nothing on this list is really a huge accomplishment, but for today just seeing the evidence that I worked hard and took good care of my home and family makes me happy.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Fourth of July

Then Pa began to sing.  All at once everyone was singing,
My country, 'tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing....

Long may our land be bright
With Freedom's holy light.
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God, our King!
The crowd was scattering away then, but Laura stood stock still.  Suddenly she had a completely new thought.  The Declaration and the song came together in her mind, and she thought:  God is America's king.

She thought:  Americans won't obey any king on earth.  Americans are free.  That means they have to obey their own consciences.  No king bosses Pa; he has to boss himself.  Why (she thought), when I am a little older, Pa and Ma will stop telling me what to do, and there isn't anyone else who has a right to give me orders.  I will have to make myself be good.

Her whole mind seemed to be lighted up by that thought.  This is what it means to be free.  It means, you have to be good.  "Our father's God, author of liberty--"  The laws of Nature and of Nature's God endow you with a right to life and liberty.  Then you have to keep the laws of God, for God's law is the only thing that gives you a right to be free.

Excerpted from Little Town on the Prarie by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Little Project

We're still working steadily on our home improvement projects in preparation for the new baby!  We've torn apart the closet that's going to become our "office":

Yikes at some of those holes!  The wood that held the shelves in place was put in with FOUR INCH nails!  Through plaster and masonry.  Ryan's parents are coming this weekend so with any luck his dad will help out a lot with this job.

We're also working on emptying out the current office and finding new homes for all the random stuff that landed there.  This is what I finished today:

I didn't take a before picture, but the wall was a darker green that I regretted as soon as I had painted it before.  Now it matches.  Our wedding photos were there.  They have not yet been rehung, but they'll probably just go on the other side of the hall. The bookcase was in that bedroom, crammed full of miscellaneous books and knick-knacks from Ryan's childhood.  (NB:  I feel that "random" is overused.  Bring back miscellany!)  Now many of them are being given away, some, such as our high school yearbooks, have been unceremoniously dumped in the basement, and the rest of them are still on the shelf, but much much fewer of them and attractively arranged.

The curtain conceals our towels, sheets, and surplus toiletry items, since we have nowhere to store them in the bathroom.  I'm really pleased with how that curtain turned out.  It's made from a sheet that I picked up at Goodwill awhile back just because I liked it.  It was meant to be, because the green of the print matches the paint color exactly.

Total project cost for fabric, lace trim, and tension rod: $15.  And I have enough of the sheet left to make a matching cafe curtain for the stair window!  (The valance was a Goodwill find as well.)

Here's something useful to know:  If you go to, then click "Store Locator" at the bottom of the page, then "More Store Information," for any location, a button to print off a coupon for 40% any regular price item will pop up.  There seems to be no limit to how many times you can print it, but you can only use one coupon per transaction.

A happy Valentine's Day to everyone tomorrow!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real

round button chicken


This year I made Valentines for our families!  They will probably all be surprised to receive these, since the long-promised Christmas cards never came.  We had cleverly decided to buy cards a few days after Christmas last year, but all the ones left were decidedly secularized.  Only one even said "Merry Christmas."  That one had a pretty picture of a Christmas tree, but the inside message was lame.  I said, "Oh, we'll just cover it up with a cute picture of Anthony.  That's what all the aunts want to see anyway."  Well, that proved too difficult to get done before it was embarrassingly late to send cards.  That is, after New Year's.  So Valentines it is.

The level of sitting still required to trace his hand would never have happened if the little guy hadn't been feeling sick and just wanting to sit on my lap. But as it was, he had a good time with Mama's sound effects for going around each finger and getting his finger all gluey to put it together. The idea came from Money Saving Mom.

Breakfast makes me happy.  Especially when there's Nutella.


 I made the bathroom all sparkling clean last night while Ryan took care of Anthony for a little while.

Later, the little boy was in bed, I had a clean bathroom and fresh towels.  Fresh flowers and candles made the ambiance.  It was just like a spa! 

Well, almost. :-)


Poor boy.  Although I must confess, I am enjoying the additional snuggle time.

Friday, February 3, 2012

7 Quick Takes

--- 1 ---

I am so excited to introduce my godson, Vincent Alexander Marie!  I have not met him yet, but he's going to be baptized on Sunday after Mass.  Isn't he adorable?  There are a few more pictures over at his mama's blog, My Song of Joy.  Congratulations, Emily!

--- 2 ---

If you would be so kind, please take a prayer request:  My Aunt Marge, my godmother and great-aunt, died rather suddenly.  She collapsed vomiting in her driveway after clearing snow off of her car.  Thankfully it had snowed, otherwise this may have happened while she was driving!  A neighbor saw it happen and called 911.  They soon found that she was suffering from a massive brain tumor and kidney cancer.  She died a few days later.  My Aunt Marge was a good woman.  I think she was at peace with the manner of her death.  For many years she loving cared for her mentally ill sister, for her mother who lived well into her 90's, and up until now for her husband who has had various health problems.  She would have never called any of them a burden, but she didn't pretend it was easy, either.  Knowing her, she would have been glad her family had been spared the suffering of seeing her suffer a long time.  And I know she was very thankful to have enjoyed good health for 80 years so she could care for her family.

--- 3 ---

I mentioned briefly in my last post that naptime hasn't been happening of late.  All of a sudden about a week ago Anthony has been refusing to go to sleep until he's just so tired he can't stay awake anymore.  It was pretty miserable.  Zero to meltdown in 5 seconds flat. Well, it's naptime now, for the third day in a row!  I was beginning to think we weren't going to have naptime ever again.  I've started laying down with Anthony on my bed for stories and snuggles, as recommended by Auntie Leila, after lunch.  Before I had been unwittingly making it into a battle of wills. I was trying to discipline him into staying in bed because I said to.  He still fights going to bed at night.  I tried taking him to bed with me last night, too and that was better than the waiting in the hall and putting back to bed every two minutes method we had been using.  I still am not sure what caused the sudden change, probably just being almost two.  But I definitely think he's not physically ready to give up the nap yet.  I do like the special quiet time together, and I think that will be especially good for him once the new baby is born.

--- 4 ---

Here is our lettuce two weeks after sprouting:

It's looking kind of leggy.  I think I need to thin it but I hate doing that.  I did give it fertilizer, so I don't think that's the problem.  It didn't need thinning when it was outdoors.  Anyone do indoor lettuce before?

--- 5 ---

French lessons with Rosetta Stone are progressing.  I'm finishing Unit 1, and Ryan is a little ahead.  Ryan is definitely better at it than I am, but it's really fun that we're learning it together.  Last night we were making up songs with our present limited vocabulary:  "Le soleil est jaune et le ciel est bleu.  L'herbe est vert et les fleurs sont rouges.  J'ai un sandwich. La vie est belle."  ("The sun is yellow and the sky is blue.  The grass is green and the flowers are red.  I have a sandwich.  Life is good.")

--- 6 ---

Christine wrote an awesome post about skirt-wearing.  I agree with everything she has to say about the feminity and the increased formality perceived when a woman wears a skirt.  I also appreciate her charitable attitude towards us pantsers.  However, after much internal guilt-tripping about how I agree with the ideal of the beskirted woman, I have decided that finding new clothes yet again is just not how I should be spending my limited energy at the moment.  I will be looking out for cute and practical fuller skirts on future thrifting trips, however!  Seems like it's tough to find not-a-denim-sack ones in my size.  I have been skirts-only before for almost two years, and it became this big overblown horrible thing, partly for reasons I could not control, and partly because I'm stubborn and prideful.  Then I went back to mostly pants and then kind of forgot about the whole affair.  I don't think it would be a problem now, necessarily, but organic change is probably preferable, and certainly more affordable.  Changing sizes constantly is also a concern.  Now that I've overshared,  go read Christine's piece.

--- 7 ---

While we're on the subject of clothes,  I'm excited that I've received a huge binful of maternity clothes from a friend of a friend.  They all fit, and are all in great shape!  I've been wanting skinny jeans to wear with long tops/short dresses and boots, (an indecisive "dress or pants?" outfit haha) and there were THREE pairs in there!  Good things come to she who puts off spending money?

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!