Friday, February 29, 2008

New Patron Saint

My baby woke up early this morning. Very Early. Many people know I am not a natural morning person, so when my dear husband kissed me good-bye this morning I had plans of rolling right back over. mmmmm, pillow... Isabella heard us talking, unfortunately, and decided that it must be time to play. "No my dear, this was not a 3-person conversation, please go back to sleep. Please?" I heard myself whispering to myself. In case Myself was awake enough to listen, because I certainly wasn't. It was 6am, after all.

"BBAAAAAAAAAA" You know how babies can talk well before they can actually talk? I distinctly heard "COME AND GET ME MAMA!" ... "NOW!" *sigh* Well, at least she sounds happy.

And happy she was! She grinned from ear to ear as I changed her diaper and kissed her belly. She babbled and cooed as I scooped her up and stumbled my way downstairs. She squealed with delight at her play table while I fired up the coffee pot. Who can be disappointed at this? Even if I did have to turn the light on because it was still too dark to play! She was playing so sweetly, crawling around, climbing to the sofa to grab at my phone, and giggling as she lunged for my glasses. Oh I love my Baby, even when it's barely light outside.
The real positive of the insane wake-up hour is that I was showered, fed, and caffinated in time to get to Mass. I have not been too motivated for that lately with her bad sleeping habits. This morning, however, it was pretty easy!

Some pray for roses from St. Therese of Liseux; I want a St. Caffeine of Java who fills my coffee pot.

Costco: Danger Ahead

Costco - it does a family good?

Originally, I had to be convinced that making my own baby food was the way to go, but ever since I started I have to agree - I really enjoy it, actually. However, after my last 2 batches I decided that I wasn't saving myself much by having to make it every weekend, and instead I needed to make bigger batches. Yes folks, that's 10 pounds of carrots and 5 pounds of green beans.

I would offer a word of caution that blending green beans into smithereens is NOT for the weak-stomached. How can something so mild smell SO bad? Anyway.

May I present the final product, stuffed into my freezer so tightly that I must beware every time I open the freezer door.

We went to Costco to get 2 new tires and a pizza for dinner. The (gigantic, of course) ready-to-bake pizzas are $10, who could argue with that? "Oh, but let's pick up some veggies to make baby food." "Great idea, let's make in quantity so I'm not doing it every weekend." "Also, we need flour with all the pizza and pretzel making we've been doing." "Oh yeah, let's get the medium-huge bag and see how quickly we use that up." "Ok." "Oh Honey, do we really need that much cereal?" "No, you're right, but let's get more pasta."

And $100 later...

Man, that was expensive baby food.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Mostly Pictures

Lest anyone be confused and think I am starting to write with actual thought, here are just some fun pictures of us lately.
Horsey rides, a classic. If you look closely at Bella you will see a large hand holding her - a hand much to big to be Sara's. Now you can stop worrying.

Don't the 2 little girls look like they're working hard together?
Rachael was propped up here, and she was very intrigued! Bella did not seem to mind sharing. We'll see how long that lasts! Rachael is working hard to catch up in size to Bella; in fact, I think she's already longer! My short and squat kid will forever envy her tall lean cousin. But that's ok; all they have to do is look at their mothers.

More sleeping pictures! Isabella was SO tired she was happy to fall asleep on my mom. You know, I still remember my mom singing lullabies to me, so it's very special to hear those same songs that I loved as she sings to my daughter. Bella seems to like our sleepy routine of singing, which is fine by me! She's too young to be a critic. :)

And now: my little 7-month-old shorty with a walker. AUGH! She is using this to help her walk across the floor, and is VERY happy about it!
She has been pulling herself up for a couple of weeks, and each day gets a little stronger at inching her way along the sofa, play table, Daddy, anything! Just a few days ago she shocked the heck out of me by walking across the floor with this. It's funny to see her, though, since she's so short. Most walking toys are too tall for her! In fact, it's her height (or lack there of) that is my saving grace - otherwise she'd be up the stairs, too!
Dear Lord, keep my joints limber and my movements swift!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Thirsting at the Well

Today was "water Sunday" of Lent... or at least the gospel was the story of the Samaritan women at the well. We had an awesome homily by the fantastic Fr. Francis Martin, a world renouned biblical scholar. He gave a great homily, about the historical aspects of the gospel, the liturgical rotation we're in this year, and the social conontations of this exchange; however, the point that really struck me was the spiritual aspect - Father talked about the THIRSTING that was going on. There are 2 people thirsting in this gospel - Jesus and the woman. Both were at the well for water, but both experienced a much deeper thirst. Jesus thirsts for this woman's heart, just as He thirsts so longingly for each of our souls! This woman thirsts for love, which is manifested in her seeking the attentions of her "5 husbands, and the one now is not currently your husband."

Biologically speaking, thirst is a survival mechanism; by the time we experience the feeling of being thirsty our body is telling us we are dehydrated and need replenishing. The feeling of thirst is often uncomfortable, but it is also manifested in other ways. Did you know that often when you feel a little hungry or munchy that it's really that you need more fluids? Stay with me, I'm going somewhere...

We all thirst for something, something that will replenish us, and it manifests in our lives as different "wants," but these wants do not satisfy by themselves. Our physical beings may long for food, for affection, for recognition, achievement. If we look deeper, we will see a thirst - we are seeking after the LOVE that will replenish us, and that is to thirst after the Heart of Jesus.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Persistence and Determination

My Adventurer spotted my camera on the chair, where I had tossed it after snapping photos of her climbing onto my lap. She did not miss a beat, she simply headed after it, eager to attain the coveted chew toy.

I’ve had the box pushed up against the chair for a few days now, to give it stability for her to pull herself up to standing, something that is the highlight of her day. Today, however, she was not interested in standing next to the chair; rather, she was interested in getting ON the chair. After-all, the camera was ON the chair, therefore she must be ON the chair. I watched with interest as she repeatedly pulled her knees up and fell over, the box rolling as she shifted her weight onto it. This did not slow her down; she had her eyes fixed on that camera! Eventually, (with Mama holding the box with her foot) Bella achieved her goal of standing ON the box and was able to grasp that coveted camera!!! She was so happy – right up until I tried to substitute for another option, but that’s beside the point.

I was watching this process with great interest – here is my 7 ½ month old daughter, who spent a good 10 minutes working hard, determined to achieve her goal. This stepping block she was using became a stumbling block at times, and yet she did not give up. She pressed on with determination.

Are we that determined to achieve our goals in life? Specifically, are we that determined to reach the Ultimate Goal, the Pearl of Great Price? 10 minutes is a long time for an infant to work that hard at anything, and yet in her little mind that camera was worth it. Is our relationship with our Lord worth it to us? Worth it enough to press on with the same determination for as long as it takes?
Too often I find myself giving in to the stumbling blocks, certain that I don’t have time to be that persistent. But God is not an easy Pearl to reach; it takes persistence and determination to reach Him.

It was also interesting to me that the same box that was helping Bella up flipped and caused her to fall; still, she did not tire of the pursuit. We have lots of boxes in our spiritual journey, don’t we? The things that when used wisely help us up, our stepping stones, can turn into stumbling blocks when used incorrectly. We can be climbing up that stepping stone, but if we turn our eyes we lose our balance and that stone becomes a stumbling block. If we fail to use a God-given talent in humility, and instead give into the pride of glory, then that talent impairs our journey to Him. God blesses us with lots of gifts and opportunities that can be either stepping stones or stumbling blocks; it’s up to us to make the distinction.

Then, with His grace, it’s up to us to keep that persistence and determination that we need in seeking our Lord.

A Snowy Evening

Last night was one of those perfect winter nights, when the flurries of the afternoon turned into a beautiful snowfall, illuminated by the brilliant light of the moon. I sat in my living room so content with the world, gazing through my front window and watching my Angel play happily on the floor in front of me. I fixed myself a nice cup of coffee to sip on while I read in this perfect Norman Rockwell scene. *content sigh*

I walked back into the living room from the kitchen with my cup of coffee to see my Angel... standing by the chair, pulling on the computer cords. Oh. I hurriedly set my hot coffee down (I never seem to drink hot coffee anymore anyways) to intervene and redirect. Oh mischievous little Babe, my silly Bella. After tickling and kissing, I put her over by her play table and turn back to hide the cords and recreate the barrier in hopes of slowing her down just a few extra seconds next time. As I turn back I hear "thump" - and I have coffee all over the rug and a little girl with a confused look on her face. "How did that happen, Mama?" (Thankfully it had sat there long enough not to be hot anymore.) Oh my dear Isabella Marie; time to play with Daddy. I bring her down to my husband and let him know that he will have company while he fulfills his Lenten sacrifice. We both have smiles, but I think his is brighter than mine.

I'm sure there is scientific research that confirms exactly how long it takes for a stain to set, but coffee is always immediate. I'm just lucky, I guess. Dinner is cooking and Patrick has a meeting to make shortly, and Bella is going to be hungry soon, too. I rush to grab the carpet cleaner and a rag - no rag, just paper towels. Because they are SO great for scrubbing carpets right? The carpet cleaner is conveniently located under the sink - unfortunately, Patrick jut installed magnetized baby locks and I can't get the ^%#$* door open. ..., ...., ...., Oh, there we go, finally.

My hands are covered in carpet cleaner when I hear the water on the stove boiling over, but that can wait. However, the oven timer cannot. Wash hands, take meatloaf out and turn burner down. Finish scrubbing the carpet. Patrick is laughing at Bella, who is fascinated with him doing push-ups. Look, no stain on the carpet - at least none that you can see in the dim evening light, which counts enough for me. I seize an opportunity and mash the potatoes, heat the green beans, and verify that the carpet is dry enough for an infant. Dinner was great, Patrick gave Bella her bath and made it to his meeting on time, and I fed her cereal and carrots. Life is good.

"Tonight, Lord, I am thankful for my mischievous little Angel, multicolored carpets and Spot-Shot, and microwaves to reheat the food. Amen."

As I'm falling into bed Patrick calls me over to the window to see the Lunar Eclipse. All I can think about, for that brief second, is God's Majesty. There is something indescribable about the moon and stars shining on the snow, and the hush of a winter's night, while wrapped in my husband's arms, knowing my baby is tucked warmly in bed. Welcome back, Norman.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Seeking Higher Ground

Isabella is looking heaven-ward. Her eyes are lifting up and she is eager to journey to the skies. That is to say, she is starting to CLIMB. WHAT??? Who is this child?

She has been putting one knee up on her box, the step (yikes!), whatever she can find. Today she actually got BOTH knees up on the lower shelf of our endtable. She then turned to look at us as if to say "Hey, this is cool, look at me!" *sigh* Everytime Mama thinks she is one step ahead, she is proven wrong. Terrible, terribly wrong. And it's so much fun!
Don't you love how the parents are sitting there watching her do this, and that our second response (after the "holy cow!") is to grab the camera? This led to the discussion on baby gates, and how we have on for the top of the basement steps that is climbing-proof, even as she gets older. We strongly suspect that a web-pattern one won't do us a darn bit of good.

Character Quizzes

As Prince Caspian you are a noble, goodhearted but mischievous scallywag! Fun loving, you are admired for your easy going nature.

As Cedric, you are good looking, cool and popular. You are a natural born leader, and are talented and resourceful.

Patrick was Prince Rilian in Narnia, and Lord Voldemort for Harry Potter. Before you worry that the theologian is the dark lord, you should know he answered the questions specifically to be Voldemort. Crazy guy.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Weekend Sum-Up

I love weekends. I have mentioned this before, and I'm sure I will have cause to mention it again in the future. I really like weekends. Obviously in my school days I loved weekends because I did not have classes. What better reason was needed? In the professional world I guarded my weekends, as I was required to work every 3rd, which I hated; so I fiercely guarded my coveted weekends off, making sure that I made the most of them with friends and family and sleep.
As a mom weekends continue to stand out, as my darling husband is home and I have a glimmer of hope that I will get something accomplished AND get to spend much needed quality time with him. You know, that man who needs to know that he is and will always be the solid Number 2 in my life?! Which reminds me of the need to spend more time with the Man who's the solid Number 1... but that's for another post. Anyways, I digress. of course.

Friday evening Patrick got a much-deserved night out with friends/coworkers at a happy hour. To his credit, he did invite Isabella and I; to my credit, we declined in favor of just letting him hang out without the possibility of Fussy Baby Hot Potato. However, this did mean that by the time he came home I really missed him. In fact, I missed him so much I waited a whole 15 minutes before falling asleep in the middle of him talking. What greater love...

Saturday my Dearest took the Little Dearest to Mass to let Mama sleep. Oh! The excitement! In fact, I was so excited about being able to sleep that I fixed coffee, clipped coupons, and read blogs. Oh, whoops. I had just crawled back into bed when up the stairs he came with my coffee and a donut. Yes, I am shamelessly bragging.

Isabella continues to amaze me. She is getting REALLY FAST at pulling herself up, and yesterday had BOTH knees up on a box. Uh-OH. She also eyed-up the steps when cousin Sara was up them. I do think we have some time before she figures those out, but it does mean that she suddenly realized that they were there, and that they led to somewhere desireable. darn. Also, she has a walker that we all really love. She just thinks she's special for getting to walk around, and I have found something that will keep her happy long enough to empty and load the dishwasher - what a Godsend! Today she pulled herself up on that, which has... wheels. She managed to keep up with it for 5 whole steps before falling onto her face. I am so impressed. Yes, again, I am shamelessly bragging.
Today after Mass was the church's breakfast, for which Bella stayed awake the entire time, about 1.5 hours past her naptime. Patrick put her in the seat right at the door and we walked out and she was asleep - that fast. It was so cute.

iz anyone els havng truble with spelchek on blogger? it dusn't seeem to wurk.

Today I spoke with a friend who is 17 weeks pregnant with her first baby, and we shared the indescribable joy that comes from knowing that God has allowed you to participate in His creation of a person. That concept, the experience of that gift will never get old or boring. There is nothing run-of-the-mill about that heartbeat that is a whole new, individual life. And then in just 8 short months (that 9th is the longest ever) you meet that little person who will forever amaze you, and will take your breath away. And then she, too, will join the ranks of the shameless braggarts.

Friday, February 15, 2008


To all my friends with little ones, espcially in the preschool age group -

Check out

Barbara is a mother of 12 children, 4 with Down Syndrome (1 biological, 3 adopted). She's a trained Montessori teacher, also, and a published author of several books on teaching kids. I LOVE her blog; she is thoughtful and insightful, very spiritual and motivated and a strong advocate for kids with disabilities. She spoke this year at the Pro-Life rally before the March for Life. She gives suggestions for toys, kids' art, music, literature, everything. She has a whole section on Montessori in the Home, and is right now writing a 4-part series on it.

Her site is very complete, with lots of links and categories and photo albums. (Keep scrolling down the sidebars.) She is also journeying from Evangelicalism to Catholicism and writes about that sometimes; I find her insight very interesting and refreshing.

So there's my plug. I am so thankful that Angela introduced me, and I'm now so addicted! Most of all, though, I want other moms to know where to find good advice and direction for teaching toddlers and pre-schoolers as that's the boat I know many of you are in! I'll be turning to her suggestions soon, myself!

Baby Shark, bum- bum- bum

Does that post title make anyone else think about summer camp? okay, never mind.

Isabella has her first tooth! Fact: Babies and puppies have the darn sharpest little teeth! Aunt Angela found it the other day, after a few days of it being right on the verge. As teeth are apt to do. Oh, bottom left as is typical.
Bella is pulling herself up on everything!!! Her eye-span is growing, too, and she looks at things much higher up or farther away as potential standing opportunities. She gets very happy, and has started letting go with one hand. Then she lets go with both hands and gets mad that someone made her fall.

I walked into her room the other day after her nap to find her like this, and very proud of herself. A first, and certainly not a last. :)
Speaking of naps (great idea!), yesterday I heard Bella start to wake up and then change her mind; I poked my head around the corner to see that she had fallen back asleep. Gee, don't you find yourself falling asleep in positions like totally bent over forward at the waist? No? You mean you'd break in half like I would? I snuck into her room to take the pic and she didn't even stir. How was this comfortable? I made it big so you could see her little foot in front of her face.

Bath time is her favorite time of the day. Isabella is such a little water baby, she sits SO happy splashing and kicking and biting the toys for as long as I let her. The only sad part is having to get out. She doesn't even mind the hair washing/rinsing, as long as it buys more time in the water. A few days ago she was laying with the towel wrapped around her happy and smiling, but wouldn't you know it - I didn't have my camera. So yesterday I brought my camera with us, and she was unhappy for the photo op. I took them anyways, maybe better luck some other time. We'll see. Rachael is, most days, Bella's favorite play toy. Um, I mean cousin. We were geting ready to leave my folks' house and both babies were whining, until Bella crawled over and pulled herself up on Rachael's carseat. Suddenly both babies were intrigued with one another. 2 funny poses, neither of which were caught on film were: Bella leaning down in a "hug" pose against Rachael's fuzzy seat liner, and Rachael grabbing Bella's hands and putting them in her mouth. I am amazed at my daughter. I look at her playing and exploring and I think about how fast babies learn and grow and change. Just a minute ago wasn't she just a tiny little newborn who didn't do anything but cry and eat? Didn't she just lay still yesterday? I think about how little I change from day to day, how long it takes us adults to learn things, and then how retrieving a toy off the ground but once teaches her Mama-fetch. How difficult is it for us to remember more/new vocabulary words or a whole new language, and yet she will learn words (eventually) at a staggering pace. We "brainstorm" and "think outside the box" to find solutions to our problems; if something is too big for her to pick up on her first try with one hand she uses both (whatever it takes to get something to her mouth!).
Sure, some people brush this off as "intuition" and "natural instinct", but if so then how awesome is natural instinct! Babies are amazing.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Sheep and Goats

No, I'm not talking about my plans for a farm.... HA!

I was thinking about the gospel last night at Mass, the separation of the sheep from the goats in Matthew 25. 2 thoughts crossed my mind.
First, does this strike anyone else as painfully long? I have always wondered why Jesus didn't just "sum-up" the point. To the sheep, "When you saw me hungry you gave me food, when you saw me naked you clothed me" etc. To the goats, "You failed to do those things." That would have made for much easier listening. However, when I pointed this out to my husband he was quick to remind me that Jesus did not speak for the sake of listening to His own voice, but rather to drive a point home. We need the repetition to really get it sometimes. Ok, he's right, but I still think it's a long gospel.

Secondly was the actual content of the reading. In this translation, Jesus called the sheep JUST. Now the definition of Justice is giving someone what is due to them. Jesus was using the example of being JUST as being "blessed by my Father." I thought that was interesting - we don't know anything else about His sheep, who are contemplative nuns, who are missionaries, who are parents, priests, theologians; who donated their time and talent to the Church, who ran a soup kitchen, who taught others about Christ. Only that the ones He called sheep give others that which is endowed by our Creator.
So I left thinking "how am I doing?" which is a good result of the gospel.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Kate's Traffic Report

Traffic reports annoy me. I used to be a commuter, and faithfully listened to the reports to figure out which of the 3 routes into downtown Baltimore I would be taking that day. Yes, knowing where tie-ups and accidents are is an important part of a commuter’s life. HOWEVER, I find them very, well, vague. What I want are honest traffic reports that tell it like it really is.

What they say: We already have slowing southbound 270,
What’s really going on: S 270 has an inconsiderate blockhead riding in the left lane going too slow to allow passing.

What they say: N 270 blocked all the way through to Germantown.
What's really going on: Some moron is blocking the HOV lane, traveling the same slow speed as everyone else stuck on the highway. Let’s hope that jerk in the Prius moves over soon.

What they say: The inner-loop of the beltway is slow from….
What’s really going on: The same 9,000 people who were there yesterday are back on the road this morning, same as EVERY day. Get used to it.

What they say: There are 2 lanes closed on the outer-loop at the 395 exchange.
What’s really going on: Construction is a permanent condition around the 395 interchange, so expect the same ridiculous slowing and stop honking your horns.

What they say: 66 east and west stopped.
What they mean: DUH.

What they say: 29N is really slow this afternoon.
What’s going on: The traffic lights are out of sync and Granny in the sedan and the weaving Smart-Aleck in the sports car are managing to tie up both lanes, be careful.

What they say: 70 heading west out of Frederick there’s an accident off on the shoulder. All lanes open, but it’s slow through there. Also, Eastbound 70 is slow in that same area.
What’s really going on: There’s an accident off on the shoulder – JUST an accident, nothing to see there, and if the idiots on eastbound 70 weren’t so nosy then there wouldn’t be the slow-down on that side!

What they say: Eastbound 70 is tied-up as you approach 40
What’s really going on: There are 2 ignorant tractor trailers riding right beside each other, completely blocking the flow of traffic. Someone call that number on their bumper sticker.

What they say: There is a power-outage in downtown.
What’s really going on: Some drunkard hit a traffic light pole last night causing a power-outage in that area. Be careful, try to find another route, and for crying out loud don’t drink and drive.

What they say: Major stop-and-go on the 270 spur.
What’s really going on: Yes, it’s busy trying to get on and off the beltway, just like every day. Why do you people insist on gunning the gas just to slam on the brakes in 10 feet?

On Saturday I was listening to the report, and was struck by the length of a SATURDAY report. For those of us on the road it’s wonderful to have “traffic on the 8s”, thank you WTOP! However, why list all the open roads? Correct me if I’m wrong, but with the exception of rt. 66 (in the DC area) aren’t most roads open on a Saturday? I mean, not that it’s a consolation for those who have to be commuting as opposed to sitting drinking coffee in their slippers, but there are far less cars on the road. So, instead of “this road open, that road open” how about “29, 270, 355 all up to speed, enjoy!” Or what about “270 is the best route south today, as we’re all moving the speed we want to be!”

Really, just one day I’d love to hear them tell it like it is. Just once. That would make my day.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Little Epicure

Isabella has moved into the world of solids, much to my nose's disappointment. She seems pretty happy with it, and although she does not eat a whole lot, she is doing really well. There is one little problem, though, other than the diapers. She finds cereal boring. WHAT??? What do babies know about the world of flavor??? The love breastmilk! But seriously, ever since we introduced sweet potatoes she just is not content with rice cereal. She purses her lips together and turns her head if you give her too many bites of plain cereal. I don't care if I mix the 2 together, it really isn't a big deal. I just think it's hysterical that a 7 month-old, who has had solids for 1 month already has a strong preference.

We have also tried avacado, while we were in California, but that was a total reject. In fact, I tried it again back home (there were on sale!) and she made a purposeful gagging noise after 1 bite. So no more avacado for a while; we'll just have to make guacamole for Patrick and I instead. Darn.

I am making her food fresh, and although she had to get used to the texture change (after one container of store-bought, which is very smoothly pureed) I really like having it fresh. I know this isn't a big deal to most people, but I am happy with it. Today I will freeze a whole supply of several veggies for convenience.

Tagged: the Meme

I was tagged by Muddy Mama for this, so here it goes:

1) Were you named for anyone? Kate - my mom dreamed about a little girl when she was pregnant with her second child, a little dark haired, dark eyed, olive-skinned little girl named Katie. Her second child was born looking exactly like her dream except for one, small detail. They decided to name him Eric, instead. 11 years later I came along, and the name Katie seemed to fit a little better :) She chose to name me Kathryn so I could go by whatever I wanted as I grew up. My middle name was my grandmother's (mom's mom), Yvonne.

2) When was the last time you cried? Hm, maybe 2 weeks ago? I'm not sure, but I am pretty sure it was me being over-emotional related to sleep deprivation.

3) Do you like your handwriting? When I take the time to bother writing well, then yes. However, I have not written nicely in a long time, so I'm not sure if I even remember it correctly.

4) What is your favorite lunchmeat? What kind of questions are these? I would say real turkey with provolone ( yea Muddy Mama!)

5) Do you have kids? 1 kid, the Marvelous Isabella Marie! Hopefully more will follow.

6) Would you be friends with you? I would hope so! I like blunt honesty and have worked hard at more tact, and continue to try to be more kind.

7) Do you use sarcasm a lot? No, never. (can you hear the sarcasm?) Yes, whether good or bad, I do. However, I so try to stay away from mean or cutting remarks. mostly.

8) Do you still have your tonsils? yes. and appendix in case you're interested.

9) Would you bungee jump? this ranks up there with "would you jump off a 40 foot cliff into water?" So... YEAH! Sure! Although I would much rather parachute than bungee jump. That sounds like more fun.

10)What is your favorite cereal? Special K Cinnamon Pecan. new obsession, isn't that sad? Also Special K fruit-n-yogurt, and Captian Crunch peanut Butter. yum. Although I don't buy that last one, just wait for vacation when my brother brings it along.

11)11. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? nope

12. Do you think you are strong? sure. especially when it comes to wills, opinion, ideals. But not coffee. :) Note: anyone who carries a baby carrier (with a baby) and groceries in the large quantities it takes to raise a family is strong.

13. What is your favorite ice cream? yes. specifically, Mint Chocolate Chip.

14. What is the first thing you notice about people? eyes, facial expression. (my husband would like to insert gender as his answer.)

15. Red or pink? red for me, pink for Isabella

16. What is the least favorite thing you like about yourself? I am a disorganized procrastinator.

17. Who do you miss the most? my best friend from college who lives in Kentucky.

18. What color pants and shoes are you wearing? green scrub pants and no shoes, just socks. I love lazy weekend mornings.

19.what was the last thing you ate? a glass of milk. preceeded by a chocolate cupcake. hehehe.

20. What are you listening to right now? Bella playing with a "water mat" thing. the water is all contained so nobody gets wet, but it makes a funny squishy sound.

21. If you were a crayon what color would you be? Red. or maybe one with a weird, funny name, like "purple mountain's magesty" or "puse"

22. Favorite smells? Summer rain, winter snow, men's cologne, gingerbread, anything baking

23. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone? my mom. what a surprise.

24. Favorite sports to watch? football! what a great excuse to sit and drink beer for a little while.

25. Hair color? brown. kinda like mud, only darker.

26. Eye color? brown. see above. you wear contacts? yup, every day.

28. Favorite foods? italian, mexican, creole/cajun, chocolate, berries, whiskey, red wine

29. Scary movies or happy ending? how about both? scary with a happy ending, or just happy ending. But never scary without the happy ending.

30. Last movie you watched? Chicago, I love that movie!

31. What color shirt are you wearing? grey Brew Thru t-shirt that I slept in. see #18

32. Summer or winter? both, I love my seasons. But winters need to have more snow.

33. Hugs or kisses? both, and lots of them

34. Favorite dessert? yes

35. What are you reading now? "Stolen Lives: 20 years in a Desert Jail", "Outsmarting the Female Fat Cell After Pregnancy",

36. What is on your mouse pad? I'm using a laptop.

37. What did you watch on tv last night? Kids By The Dozen, and CSI:Miami. I think that might be the only TV I've watched all week... nope, I watched a "Good Eats" earlier in the week, too.

38. Favorite sounds? Baby/Kid laughter. motorcycles.

39. Beatles or rolling stones? neither, thanks. but lots of other music!

40. What is the farthest you have been from home? Italy!

41. Do you have a special talent? sometimes I write.

42. Where were you born? Washington D.C., Sibley Memorial Hospital.

Whew, that is the longest "meme" I've done since high school. If you're still reading, ....why?

Friday, February 8, 2008

She Sleeps!

Yes, last night Isabella SLEPT!

After falling asleep in the car at 9:00 PM she slept straight through until 2 AM, at which time I fed her. (I am still nursing her the first time per night that she wakes up. For Now.)
Then Patrick took over as we had prearranged for me to get a full night's sleep, and whaddyaknow, she SLEEPS! She woke up (as is part of a normal sleep cycle anyways) and put herselt back to sleep before Patrick even had to go in to her! (Which is the whole idea anyways!)

So we have success for night 1.

Lucky 7

Presenting: Isabella, my 7 - month-old Angel! The joys of motherhood only grow with each month - what an amazing phenomenon! When I fall into bed each night, aside from being exhausted, I am full - of graces, of joys, of concerns, of pride in my daughter and in my life. Not always necessarily deliriously happy, but still full of the joy that comes with knowing God's blessings in my life. And each morning, as I stumble out of bed, and I amazed that all of those feelings can grow with each passing day. Truly, "My Cup Overflows."

So, now my Bella at 7 months:

Stats: 14lbs, 11 ozs. 25 1/2 inches longs. This puts her in the 10th %, but she's growing on the same curve she has been, and as the doc says "she'll never be a big kid." She is the chubbiest little lightweight I've seen... (my mom would call it "hollow fat")

Activites: crawling, a little faster each day! Pulling herself up on anything she can reach! She loves getting to her feet, and then breaks into a big smile and usually "bops" up and down out of excitement. Silly girl. The other day she "walked" with the box on which she had pulled herself up for like 5 feet across the floor, although she wasn't sure how exactly that worked. Rolling, sitting, chasing toys, and still loves being snuggled, but only when she's tired!

Interests: Anything and everything that looks good enough to chew on. Also, dancing and singing and watching her cousins play. She's fascinated by watching older kids, especially toddlers. She is Sara's biggest fan.

Vocal: Bella LOVES to babble! She says a few different sounds, and makes silly noises, too. Like growling!, raspberries, gurgles, all that cute baby stuff. Her favorite lately is the "ba" sound, which she does with her upper lip tucked over her bottom lip, looking like an old man without his dentures.

2 Funny Facts: Isabella growls. Patrick used to growl at her all the time to make her smile, and now it's part of her normal vocal repertoire. She does it mostly when she's happy, as just another fun sound to make.
Also, I love how she handles her pacifier. We do not give it to her, we HAND it to her. Since she uses it either at bed or in the car only, we just hand it to her, and she either chews on the back end or sucks on the front. Her choice, and she changes it around as she deems necessary! I think that's hysterical! Who knew that a pacifier would be the best multi-tasker in our house?!

<- This is Mardi Gras - she loved the beads! Especially to chew on, of course.

She's Such a multi-tasker, look at her go! I'm not surprised at how much she likes the walker. ->

She just got this activity table the other day, and it has opened up yet another world - the one of standing and playing, which she loves!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

What is this feeling? unfamiliar, so new, so exciting? is it.... could it be... ??? Yes, I think... it's a.... THOUGHT!!!???

Isabella slept for 6 hours straight last night!!! AND went 8 hours without eating!!! Other than the obvious discomfort of a nursing mother (so this is what implants feel like the morning after!) I felt great this morning!

Of course by 1:30 this afternoon I got to the grocery store and had gotten Bella out of the carseat only to discover that I had left my bank card at home. Well, I knew it couldn't last, but this sleep thing was great!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Daily Joy

Reading Jen's blog today prompted me to refer back to this quote from Elizabeth Elliot, read via another of my daily blogs.

Joy is not a word we use much nowadays. We think of it poetically as the
opposite of sorrow, another word that does not often come into conversation.
Both words represent experiences one does not normally have every day.

But I think we are mistaken. I think joy is meant to be an everyday
experience, and as such it is the exact opposite of boredom, which seems to be
the everyday experience (am I being overly pessimistic?) of most Americans. I
get the impression that everybody is always hoping for a chance to get away from
it all, relax, unwind, get out of these four walls, find somewhere, somehow,
some action or excitement. Advertising, of course, has done a splendid job of
creating in us greed for things we would never have thought of wanting, and
thereby convincing us that whatever we have is intolerably boring. Attributing
human wants to animals, we easily swallow the TV commercials that tell us that
Morris the cat doesn't want tuna fish every day, he wants eight different

"Godliness with contentment is great gain.'' Those words were written a
long time ago to a young man by an older man who had experienced almost the
gamut of human suffering, including being chained day and night to a prison
guard. Contentment is another word which has fallen into disuse. We think of it,
perhaps, in connection with cows--the best milk comes from contented ones,
doesn't it?--but it doesn't take much to content a cow. Peace and fodder are
probably all it asks. We are not cows. What does it take to content us? How
could Paul, after what he had been through, write as he did to Timothy?

C. S. Lewis, one of the most godly and civilized men I have ever heard
of, exemplified what Paul was getting at. Lewis wrote that he was never bored by
routine. In fact, he said, he liked it. He had what his anthologist Clyde S.
Kilby called "a mind awake." Why should routine spoil it? Pictures of him show a
joyful man. But he was not a man unacquainted with poverty, hard work, and
suffering any more than Paul was. He knew them, but he knew, too, what lay
beyond. "All joy," he wrote to a friend, "(as distinct from mere pleasure, still
more amusement) emphasizes our pilgrim status; always reminds, beckons, awakens desire. Our best havings are wantings. "Those wantings lie in the deepest
places of our being, and they are for the kind of joy that, according to Lewis,
is "the serious business of heaven." So we waste our time, our money, and our
energies when we pursue so frantically the pleasures which we hope will bring us
relief from boredom. We end up bored with everything and everybody. Work which
can be joyful if accepted as a part of the eternal order and a means to serve,
becomes only drudgery. Our pettiest difficulties, not to mention our big ones,
are cause for nothing but complaint and self-pity. All circumstances not
deliberately arranged by us look like obstacles to be rid of. We consume much
and produce little; we get depressed, and depression is actually dangerous and

But there is another way. Paul made it perfectly clear that his
contentment had nothing to do with how desirable his circumstances were. "I am
content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions and calamities." It is
no list of amusements. How, then, did it work? It worked by a mysterious
transforming power, something that reversed things like weakness and hardship,
making them into strength and joy. Is there any chance that it will work for us?
Is there for us, too, an antidote for boredom? The promise of Christ was not for
Paul alone. "My grace is sufficient for you." It's a gift to be accepted. If we
refuse it, nothing will be enough and boredom will be the story of our

Isn't that an incredible reflection? What more could I say?

I couldn't have said it better...

"You want to lose ten pounds but you don't have a personal trainer like the
celebrities do? Well, you will just have to rely on willpower. And of course you
don't HAVE any willpower. If you did, you'd be doing stomach crunches right now,
instead of reading this. But there you sit, lump-like, while the millions of fat
cells in your thighs mate furiously and give birth to gigantic litters." ~Dave Barry, world's funniest writer.

I laughed so hard reading this! Here I am, on a "weight loss mission" to beat the post-partum pudge as well as the pre-pregnancy-pounds and what am I doing? Reading blogs, which are, to the best of my knowledge, not known for their Calorie-burning potential.

I will thank Alexis for her recommendation of "Outsmarting the Female Fat Cell After Pregnancy." Now, if only carrying the book around from room to room in the house counted as weight-bearing exercise... Seriously, for those of us whose fat cells are quite happy as they are, it's a great and realistic mode of attack. I have noticed a difference in myself - a little on the scale, and even more with my health and body-image. It may sound silly, but I'm pleased with the results thus far. Maybe in a few months I'll have more visable results. In the meantime, here I sit reading blogs providing that breeding-ground for those mating fat cells. :)

Friday, February 1, 2008

A Blogger's Curse

... an excess of blog material and a total lack of creative genius. I think the creativity center in your brain is linked directly to the sleep center. I don't need scientific proof; I'm living it!
However, this weekend begins the "Ferberizing" of Isabella. We'll see if it's worth the hype and delivers what it promises - A whole night's sleep after only 1 week. I'm not holding my breath, but it's worth the try!
Despite my sleep deprivation and lack of writer's creativity, I continue to write. See, that's what happens when you know you have the cutest little baby ever. :) Just ask any mom, right?

Yesterday we introduced her to a walker AND a sippy cup. The cup was just for playing and chewing purposes to keep her occupied; I don't think she's ready for actual usage. However, the walker was serious business - it holds to potential for more hands free mind-at-ease time for Mama! Today I started (finally) folding the clothes from our trip. Now they've been washed since Monday, but it's high time they made it to the drawers. All thanks to the walker! Isabella happily played in that, moving and standing to her heart's delight, while I folded... well, ok, about 1/3 of the Mount Clothesmore. More later.

The Dawn of a New Era

The end of the peaceful regime as we know it. A time when I realize I did not know the meaning of busy. This Era brings more lasting change to my life than the Industrial Age.

...... Isabella is CRAWLING! A true-blue, cross-pattern, strong crawl with direction. She sees what she wants, crawls over and gets it. It's so cute to watch! She thinks the mobile life is great!

It started for real in California. Before that she was doing this big push-off with her legs and faceplanting in a forward motion. That was not crawling, "that's falling with style!" But then it happened - she up and crawled across the floor! Geez Kid, easy there! Relax and enjoy the nice colorful toys I have placed around you. Nope, not anymore - now she's ready to search out other things, which she does happily. Especially things like shoes, cellphones, lint, books, coffee mugs, and anything else that does not resemble something specifically engineered for babies.

One would think that was plenty in the Big Milestones department. Isabella is not that One. She also began pulling herself up to standing! She gets up on her feet and walks herself forward until she is standing upright, and then breaks into a HUGE smile and coos and raspberries, all proud of herself. What a funny kid.
So this weekend has been dubbed "Baby Proofing Weekend" and we need to have a baby gate up. Soon.