Monday, March 30, 2009

Home Security System

Move over, fancy-schmancy home security device companies, I have a low-cost solution.

First, leave your door unlocked. It is sure to befuddle the would-be burglar. He will not know that it is merely because you keep forgetting your keys, and instead will raise suspicions. Next, unleash your toddler in the living room for a few hours before leaving the house. When the would-be burglar opens the door he will be certain the house has already been hit, given the state of extreme disarray. This part could potentially backfire should he decide to report you to the health department and they condemn your house presuming it has been abandoned. Lastly, even if the intruder actually intrudes, he is sure to step on a building block or ball, sending him flying in the air to land with a thud, hitting his head on a Little People animal and cursing loudly enough to alert the neighbors better than any alarm system would.

Of course, the other potential downside to this set-up is the more realistic possibility that the "intruder" in question is actually Mama.

Monday, March 23, 2009

If someone wanted to make a lot of money they could write a book called "Waking up and Staying Awake on Monday Morning." Of course, it would have to be humorous, and even more importantly very simply written so that the half-witted, sleep-deprived zombie of a mom walking around our house could read it. In fact, if it were written in 4- part rhyme with bright illustrations of dancing rhinos then I'm sure I could understand it.

Oh let's see, there was Friday night where nobody slept because Bella came down with a cold. After a busy day Saturday of Patrick working on the deck and then a party at my friends' house, Bella's little cold turned into an all-out asthma upper-respiratory nightmare. Nobody slept Saturday night, either. Sunday Patrick worked on the deck all day with Very Good Friend Andrew and Very Good Brother Scott, and Very Nice Neighbor Dave. Anyone who volunteers to help work outside building deserves a title in all capitals. The highlight from my afternoon was getting ready to come home and losing Bella's bottle and my car keys with both girls crying from exhaustion.

As of this morning Bella has had several nebulizer treatments, lots of fights over nose-blowing, and watched 3 TV shows in bed with Mama. Anastasia has done nothing but smile and babble while I'm near her, and scream her head off when I'm out of sight. I'm off to make another pot of coffee, and if the girls actually stay asleep for a few more minutes I might read. But then again, that would require mental power, so I think I'll stick to letting those precious brain cells slip into the abyss of the internet.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Friday's Quick Takes

Back for more quickies, huh? That is all I have time for right now, anyway! There is so much going on in life right now that I would truly love to write about, but it seems that every time I sit down... oh well, the story of a mama.


Anastasia LAUGHED! She has been doing a big-smiled "ha" for a little while, but just the other day she let out a big, multi-syllable "hahaha!" The most precious sound to Mama's ears, for sure. So since then she's been making a liar out of me by not repeating.

This morning as I was getting dressed I heard the usual running commentary from Bella. "Mama's socks. Mama's shirt. Mama's slippers." Then I pulled out my pants - "Dada's pants." Ouch.

A week of Feasts, that's what we've had. Of course St. Patrick's Day is a great opportunity to celebrate, as it's also my hubby's feast day. I had planned to make a shepherd's pie but after the day we had I was thrilled that my mom brought over Cajun Red Beans and Rice instead! Now that's a celebration! We drank Smithwick's in honor of the Irish. Yesterday was one of my favorite feast days, the Solemnity of St. Joseph. Why? For starters, it's also Patrick Joseph's feast day. Also, who can complain about a major Church Solemnity in the middle of Lent? Bring on the brownies! Of course, there was no Gloria at Mass which made me miss FUS a lot, but at least the priest gave a really great homily on our foster father. Lastly, it also is the anniversary of the day that Patrick proposed to me. It's awfully convenient that it's so easy to remember.

I am almost ready to post the next stage of our project! Remember The Project from way back in the spring? No? That's ok, if it weren't for the giant mud hole of a backyard I've had I wouldn't either. The Men-folk have been working hard out there, and I'm SO excited to see it taking shape! Not too long and I'll be serving BBQ in the fresh air!

I must be more disciplined about Anastasia's nighttime feedings. She is becoming worse and worse at sleeping during the night, and I dare say it has something to do with me falling asleep nursing her. Every time. So instead of "eat and back to bed" it's "nurse all night long because the bacon's cooking in the bed."

I adore singing toddlers. Well, really I love toddlers anyway, but there's something about their sweet little singing voices that brings a smile to my face. Bella loves to sing, and has her little song medley repertoire. "Twinkle Twinkle" can easily lead into "No more monkeys" which seems to remind her of "Row Row Row your boat" bringing her to "Frosty the Snowman" or "Bushel and a Peck." She "knows" SO many songs that her singing voice can be heard at any time of the day. Just the other night she sang along with her lullaby. That was a first.

I have a 3rd child. There's Isabella, Anastasia, and Baby Doll. Everywhere we go we cannot forget any one of them. Each has to be kissed, rocked, diaper checked. All need to be tucked into bed. And Bella is quick to remind us of our duty to each should we dare to slack.

And how's your Lent? I am feeling a little spiritually dry these days, which is great for growth and really tough on motivation. Unfortunately I have a tendency to get caught up in the "why" of my sluggishness instead of how to conquer and move on. I am really focusing on my vocation as wife and mother this week, and what that means in terms of detachment from self. Oh, sure, it's a easy concept that motherhood leads to selflessness, but it's another thing to let a whole week go by without an uninterrupted shower or more than 5 minutes to read by yourself, and to be joyful about it. Some weeks are just really rough emotionally, and this seems to the the week that God wants me to work on that, regardless of what I want. But that's the name of this detachment thing, isn't it.

Be sure to visit Jen @ Conversion Diary for more cool Quick Takes.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Today's Lessons: Slow Down

There is such peace that comes from waking up with a sleeping baby resting on my arm. I was too lazy to put her back in bed after her early morning feeding (which happens, ahem, a lot.) I have a tendency to get wrapped up in the "I can't let this last forever" mentality, but the truth is that I love it and I am relishing it. I can already see how fleeting these precious moments are, and I want to bask in them. I hereby pledge to breathe deeply the scent of my freshly-washed baby as she snuggles into my chest. I promise to put my feet up and surrender when she has decided the only place she will nap is on my chest. I will sit down with my glass of water and not look at the mess on the floor when she is on a nursing marathon. I will gaze into her eyes and not the clock when possible, knowing that she is growing so fast and will all-too-soon be chasing her sister around and the desire for total, undivided attention will be reversed.

Sometimes I feel like I need to speed up to catch up with Isabella, my little bundle of energy. I run run run, my mind working overtime to keep up with She Who Is a Toddler. It's very easy to get wrapped up in "the next thing" trying to create a home for learning and growing. She learns and grows with our experiences from day to day. I pledge to open windows and doors to the world, and not get bogged down in structure. I promise to use structure only as it provides rhythm and beauty in the home and in our family. I will give her the time she desires while balancing with the example she will need to grow in confidence and, more importantly, Faith. But most of all, I will not dwell in mistakes and imperfect days. She, too, is growing fast and needs more than anything else, Love. She will learn at her own pace; she will mature and take on the oldest's role in due time.

In the *vast* experience of 27 years I know that Life is precious and short. I know that each day is a gift, and if I spend too much time thinking about tomorrow I will miss the fleeting beauty of today.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Quick Takes (Shorts 6)

I have renamed my "shorts" to keep in sync with Jen @ Conversion Diary's weekly feature of Quick Takes. I love the idea, although I'm not sure I'll make it weekly like all the other cool blogs that are linked at her site. However, for this week, I actually am with the game.

I have decided I need a resident priest. This week we have had out very dear friend from college/best man at our wedding/Anastasia's Godfather, Father Matt visiting from his home in Wichita, KS. There is nothing better than a visit from such a wonderful, holy man who bring his friendship AND the Sacraments. Daily Mass in our home makes for a good week, indeed. I'm considering petitioning his Bishop for co-custody. Or maybe I'll hold him hostage.

I ask you: Do I have "I should be on a diet" written across my forehead? Um, perhaps it is written somewhere else on me, like across the backside... Last week we were walking through Costco for our every-few-months date night (what? Isn't a hot dog and soda for $1.50 your idea of romance?) hovering around the sample carts when the lady says "These are only 2 points on Weight Watchers!" Uh, thanks. Do people on Weight Watchers hover around pastry sample carts?

Same trip, Bella falls and smacks her forehead on the floor. Nothing says Big-Box Store like concrete slab floors, and nothing says Fun Family Outing like a toddler screaming bloody murder with blood pouring out of her mouth from biting her tongue. Yes, sir, that was one fun evening.

Speaking of Weight Watchers, the Fit&Active French Vanilla coffee creamer from Aldi is 0 points for up to 3 tablespoons. "Did you think I'd crumble, did you think I'd lay down and die oh no not I, I will Survive..."

Anastasia is growing like it's her job. Oh wait, it is. She blew past 12 lbs, putting her comfortably in the 75% for weight. Also 75% for height and head circumference. My beautiful little Hippo is doing great, full of lots of smiles during the day and sleeping through the night *most* of the time. She smiles the brightest for Bella, and today she almost laughed during bath time when Bella was talking to her. Bella calls her "Tubby Tubby" which we figure will have to stop before middle school.

Why is modern technology designed as such that I, a semi-intelligent adult with a bachelor's degree, took several months to figure out my cell phone while my young toddler can purposefully unlock it and edit my contact list?

Lent. ugh. I am getting a lot of lessons this lent on humility and detachment. Of course, the learning and spiritual growth never happens the way that I think it will/should. Mother Teresa is quoted as saying "If you want to make God laugh just tell Him your plans." If I were to write a book the chapter on my spiritual journey would be "At Least God Thinks I'm Funny."

There ya go, folks, 7 Quick Takes. For more enjoyable quickies check out Jennifer's Blog. Oh, and while you're at it pray for her - she just had her fourth child, a baby girl, on Monday!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Sisters, Sisters

There were never such devoted sisters...

Monday, March 2, 2009

Indoor Snow Day

We finally got a snowfall worth writing about! We had a slight dusting yesterday, but this morning it was REAL honest-to-goodness snow - you know, the kind that actually covers the grass, where the plows don't get around to your street until 1030? I would guesstimate about 4-6 inches, and it has started up again! YAY!

Unfortunately, it is also VERY windy, which Bella does not like, so we had to stay inside. We played in the snow, anyway!

Bella continues to be obsessed with Frosty, so build we did!I ended up putting a towel under us, but she didn't spill or throw the snow; we tossed snowballs into the pot, built multiple snowmen and a snow-turtle, ate the snow, and over-all just had a great time. 20 minutes of sheer enjoyment with no clean-up, and a snow day that did not involve hats, boots, gloves, and wind. Of course, I am hoping to get her outside after her nap today for a real snow day, to0.