Sunday, May 30, 2010

cutie pies ready for the summer

Bennet has been cruising for awhile now.  He'll go all around the living room, and he's even so good that when he does fall he lands on his butt 80% of the time, instead of falling flat on his back.  Bennet has also been introduced to the wonderful world of crackers, although most of the time he'll only eat a little bit of table food and then hold out for a bottle.

Lydia is thrilled that her daddy is home every day now, and when she's not requesting to watch Up, she is insisting on helping him.  As she told me yesterday, "You stay here.  I need to go outside and see Daddy and my grandpa." 

Thursday, May 27, 2010

My face, my soul and The Picture of Dorian Gray

I originally posted the following in July of 2007.  I've been thinking about it (the post) a lot lately because, well, with the new heat my face has majorly broken out, and because I seem to be stuck in a sin rut.  I went to confession last week and usually that does the trick - I feel better and am able to do better, at least for a little while.  But lately my patience has been practically non-existent, which means I have been losing my temper a lot lately, which means I've been cussing in front of / at my kids.  I truly believe that this time it comes down to the fact that I am really, really tired.  It might not look like it, but I am.  I want to sleep in, nap, and go to bed at 8.  It's hard for me to motivate myself and I often let the kids watch huge amounts of PBS Kids and movies because I don't have the energy for much else.  Pray for me - this is going to be a long summer.

**********************************************************************************

Sin is a terrible thing. We become comfortable in it and it spreads.



There are people in my life who are very hard to like. I don't like the situations that bring them into my life, nor do I like their behavior within it. It is frustrating to watch people make one bad mistake after another, and it's even worse when they bring down a lot of good people with them.

Suffice it to say I often lack charity and mercy when confronted with these people. My only defense is that I do not know how to love them. This is a true situation where I wish I knew what Jesus would do.


I have finally given myself a firm talking to and then submitted it all to God. I went to confession and feel a good deal better. The challenge, of course, is to continue to submit to God and to be ever mindful of Him. I believe firmly that I will improve in this; I want Heaven too badly not to.

The funny thing is, I did not come to this end in a moment of prayer or while reading my Bible. No, I was looking at my acne in the bathroom mirror and I began to think of Dorian Gray, the man whose life was as horrible as he was beautiful, while all of his ghastly deeds showed themselves only on a portrait of him that hung in secret. "Sin is a thing that writes itself across a man's face," Wilde wrote. And when Dorian shows Basil his portrait he tells Basil, "It is the face of my soul."

As I thought about my outbreak I wondered - stress? cycle? weather? sin? Maybe or maybe not, but it got me to stop worrying about my face and start wondering about my soul.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Jessica's "Daily Affirmation"

I can do anything good!

I should teach my children to do this.

I have a feeling that even when this girl doesn't do something well she tries again or lets it roll off her back and moves on to something she does do well.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Today at a women's group a middle aged woman I had just met asked about my children.
Lydia's 2, Bennet's almost 9 months, and I'm 24 weeks pregnant.  I'm getting used to these questions and now know that what people really want to know is how close in age the 3 will be.

"You're going to have Irish triplets," she informed me.
I am not because none of them were / will be born within 12 months of each other.


A little bit later she asked, "So are you done?"  But it didn't sound like a question.
"No!  I'd love to have more."
"How many more?"
"I'll gladly take as many as God will give me."

"What does your husband do?"
"He's a teacher."

She didn't respond to me after that.


I'm not sure how to interpret that conversation.  Either she disapproves of my family and the choices Travis and I are making, or she was never able to have kids and something about me made her sad.  I'm not quite sure which one is correct, but there was little enthusiasm in her tone, body language and following silence. 

I suppose that wherever her heart is, my response is to pray.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Birds, I warned you...

Long time readers of this blog will remember what happened to the starlings that decided to break into our home.  For those of you who are new, allow me to point out this post, filled with a variety of ways to kill birds.

This spring Travis has decided that birds that get inside are not the only ones that need to die.    If it nests on our house, and poops all over our sidewalks, porches and railings... well it's put itself on the hit list. 

My dear husband has kept this bb gun by the back door so that he can shoot to kill any time he sees fit.  In a very redneck move, he actually shot at one bird through the living room window screen.  What can I say, we've got class.

So far he has killed 7 birds, 4 of them being barely-feathered baby birds sitting in the nest, awaiting their mother. 

Where is his heart, you may ask yourself?  Well, I'm pretty sure the part of his heart reserved for birds died the day he had to clean up massive amounts of apple bird poop all over our house.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Dear Clark Kent

A good friend teaches 6th grade English and Reading.  She gave her students an assignment to write a letter in standard letter writing format.  It could be to anyone.  One of her students chose Clark Kent.  His letter follows, posted here with her permission.  It is hilarious and will hopefully brighten your day a little.

April 8, 2010


Clark Kent
501 Newark St.
Metropolis, MN 73247

Dear Clark Kent,

I don't know if anyone's told you this before, but...uh...well...I know you're Superman. All you do is change clothes, take off your glasses, and twirl your hair. I mean, come on! At least with your powers you could get plastic surgery everytime you go "Super-man!" Just giving you a heads up. Hey, by the way, do you wear Superman PJs or something? 'Cause that would be kind of redundant. I heard that you really wear Chuck Norris PJs.

Your Friend,

----

Monday, May 17, 2010

some random questions I need answered

First, I need to begin potty training Lydia, because in 3 months I will have another baby and I really don't want to have 3 in diapers.  I think she's smart enough to do this, and ready in every way, except that she might be a little lazy.  Do you have any suggestions or tricks of the trade?

Second, does this boy look like his Uncle Karl or what?!

Third, where do you buy modest camis / tanks?  I have some from Target and K-Mart, but while I place them high on my chest when I dress in the morning, in no time they have inched down.  My clevage goes on forever (blessing?  curse?)  and it seems that my only option might be to layer t-shirts.  But I don't want to do that.  So again, any suggestions?

Friday, May 14, 2010

So I started a new blog.  This one is all about food.  It's my effort to collect the recipes I like, to expand my rotation of meals, and to help with meal planning. 

Check it out:  the bonnie dinner table.

7 Quick Takes Friday


1.  Bennet is crawling - like CRAWLING crawling.  This boy is on the move!  I love how he slowly follows his sister and I around the house.  Kids are so awesome.

2.  Thank God for PBS Kids, and more specifically for Super Why!  It makes parenting soooo much easier.  (And blogging!)  I also love how Lydia interacts with it - calling out the Super Letters that show up on the screen. 

3.  Here's our garden.  Besides the fact that we need to hoe it very badly - doesn't it look great?!  Green onions, two rows of lettuce, sugar snap peas and green beans in the back.  We also still have some room to plant some tomatoes, peppers and herbs; the latter two we tried to grow from seeds.  Tried = epic fail. 


4.  How cute is this kid?


5.  My grandmother-in-law called me this morning to let me know that my baby wish list was taken care of, courtesy of a garage sale.  She got us a high chair, exersaucer and car seat.  Coupled with the fact that my friend A is giving me a hand-me-down crib, I would say that the list really is taken care of!  Now if we could just pick out a name...

6.  Speaking of a name, I think we're going to be needing a girl name.  Last night I dreamed of a newborn baby girl, and with Lydia and Bennet every time I had a good dream about a baby, the gender of the babe in the dream was the gender of the babe in my womb.    We've had a couple ideas for girl names, but nothing has stuck so far... but we're not sharing names with anyone this time, so you'll just have to wait til mid-September. 

7.  This morning, while drying Lydia off after her bath she asked me, "Where'd my ass go?"  I had her repeat it because I wasn't sure I heard her correctly the first time, but she did use the word "ass".  I never say that word.  Could she have learned it from Shrek?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The cross of being super fertile

You have to read this post by DoctorGianna at her blog, The Children I Cannot Hold.  She compares people who are infertile with people who are "super-fertile", as she calls them.

I was very moved by what she wrote, and was going to leave a long comment.  Instead I'll just blog my thoughts here.  :)

Trav and I have 4 kids, our first was lost to miscarriage, a 2 yr old, an 8 mo old, and I'm 6 mo preggo.


My husband and I DO practice NFP, just maybe not very "well". (har har)  We were able to use it successfully to achieve our first two pregnancies, and to not achieve pregnancy for awhile after the miscarriage.

After our firstborn I was too tired to chart and conceived our 8 mo old while we were "recklessly having sex", as I jokingly say. The baby I'm carrying now was conceived P-6.  (For those not up on their NFP jargon, that's 6 days before peak day, which is the most likely day of ovulation.  It is technically within the realm of fertile days, but usually sperm only lives 2-3 days in a fertile woman.)

We feel like God is blessing us abundantly, but I also feel very strongly that this is MY path to sanctification. There are a lot of crosses to be carried every day, including the cross of knowing that other women would trade everything to be in my place.  When Lydia whines while Bennet fusses, or when the naps just don't seem to want to happen, or the poopy diaper leaks all over the entire outfit I just put on the freshly bathed child I sometimes want to roar curses.  Afterwards I apologize to God and the kids, and I remind myself that I need God's mercy, and these crosses have been given to me by God, handpicked by Him especially for me.  I need to try to do my best with them.

At the risk of being redundant, I want to be perfectly clear:  my children are enormous blessings.  It is the craziness, physical pain, exhaustion, frustrations, etc. that come with them that are the crosses.

Of course there is a difference in the crosses borne by those who are infertile and those who are super-fertile, but we all should be mindful that God opens and closes the womb as He sees fit.  I have experienced infertility through the loss of Peter; I am currently in a "super-fertile" stage.  Yet I am very aware that while we may have more children, we may not.  Kaitlin at More Like Mary - More Like Me said it beautifully when she wrote that children are ONLY gifts and they are ALWAYS gifts. 

Oh Mother Mary, St. Elizabeth and St. Hannah - pray for us!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

cake ideas needed

In three months I'll be giving birth to our next baby.  There are lots of things to acquire over the summer:  another highchair, another car seat, another crib, an exersaucer, a name...

But what I'm most interested in at this point is finding a cake recipe for the birthday cake. 

As I've mentioned before I like to have a cake baked so that it's ready to eat once I'm a little cleaned up and relaxed, and baby is napping. I then make the cake every year for the birthday party, to celebrate what I did that day - since everything else is about the Birthday Boy or Girl.

Lydia's Birthday Cake is Pineapple Upside Down Cake, sans the cherries and coconut.
Bennet's is Plum Tatin, a la Ina Garten.

I'm thinking about a Strawberry Shortcake this time around, but I'm not convinced.  Do any of you have a cake suggestion?  If you do, please leave the recipe or a link in the comments!  I'm excited to see what I get for options!

I try to do something different and more special than a plain ole chocolate cake with chocolate frosting - which is not my favorite cake but seems to be most people's suggestion.  :)

Picture from Alicia Policia

Monday, May 10, 2010

long overdue pictures of Lydia's 2nd Birthday

Keeping the birthday girl busy pre-party.  She's making a bug.  Clearly.

Keeping Bennet happy pre-party.  Isn't he such a little man?!
Lydia loves owls so I made the invitations with owls ("Whoooo is two?" next to an owl stamp.) and requested an owl cake.  Crafty Katie's mom made the cake, just like she made our wedding cakes.  It took her 3 hours to decorate this and she only wanted $16.
I like to have a photo album for people to look through.  The one on the table was scrapbooked by Crafty Katie as a shower gift.  I also have a tradition of a birthday cake for me.  It's a different cake for each child, and the pre-selected cake is prepared while I'm in labor, or shortly after.  I then make the cake every year for the birthday party in honor of what I did that day.  (Because it was a lot of work!)  Pineapple Upside Down cake is the Lydia Birthday Cake.  yum.
Lydia wearing her new jewels.
So cute reading a card.
Opening gifts.
Pictured with her godparents.
The dinner buffet. 
To make things easier on myself I invited Lydia's grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, and godparents for cake and ice cream.  Then, the day of I invited people to stay for a dinner of homemade pizza.  There was less prep work and not as many mouths to feed.  The menu also included fruit salad, lettuce salad, Cheetos (because I never buy Cheetos) and chips and guac.  yum.
Rob Blagojevich holding my son. 
The day after the party. 
Lydia is wearing a new shirt and drinking tea from her new tea set and dishes. 
She is also not wearing pants or a diaper. 

Sunday, May 9, 2010

an old priest's comment on the pill

We had a visiting priest celebrating Mass for our parish this weekend.  I was unable to go due to a sick toddler but Travis told me about the homily, which was on contraception. 

The priest was ordained in 1963, around the time the pill was first released.  He observed that as the pill became more widespread parents began having 2 children, CCD classes shrunk and, people stopped coming to confession

Isn't that interesting?!  Of course you can't ask forgivenss for a sin you don't intend to stop committing.  But instead of stopping the sin, or seeking out a clear understanding on the Church's teachings on sex, the moment life begins, and contraception along with understanding the science and politics behind the pill, people just stopped receiving God's mercy and following His plan.  Wow. 

Friday, May 7, 2010

7 Quick Takes Friday - the Mother's Day edition

-1-
Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever be as heroically generous as my mom.


I've been sick this week and she' taken care of the kids single-handily, straightened up the house, cleaned up the physical evidence of my sickness (tmi?) and brought me water, fruit pops and toast.

The woman doesn't complain. She doesn't accept apologies for the messiness of my life that she's cleaning up. She never seems to run out of patience or compassion.

She just gives and gives, joyfully and wholeheartedly.

-2-
Last week I was driving, thinking about all the books I'd like to read. I was fantasizing about having the time to sit on my sofa in the middle of the afternoon and pick up a book. I was daydreaming about uninterrupted reading - how glorious! Once again I could get through a book in a week - or less! I could devour one after another, a memoir, a novel, a collection of essays, American lit, poetry, theology...

You see, I don't have much time to read, especially anything too deep. There isn't the time or energy budgeted in my days for such things as novels.

And then I had this very comforting thought: right now I do not have time for such things, and that is okay. In another season of my life, when my kids are older and I have some grey hair, then I will be able to read again. This thought was much more like a promise from God, an acknowledgement of my longing with a glimpse of what is waiting ahead. Knowing this makes it much easier to not read now, as I focus on my kids, husband, home, and friends.

-3-
A woman I barely know offered to help me clean my home for Lydia's birthday party. She is from Northern Ireland and is living in the US until her visa expires in July. She has been able to travel much of Europe and America in her 26 years. While I listened to her talk I felt the pang of remorse that I never studied abroad while in college. I also felt the itch to travel.

And then we talked about my life as a stay at home mom.  I warned her to devour information now, because it seems that with every child a woman pushes out of her body she loses a portion of her knowledge, memory and ability to assemble intelligent, thorough sentences.  (Ya gotta stock pile those things now so you come out even in the end, I figure.)

She talked about her desire for kids, a lot of kids, and to live the life I was living.  She thought the grass was greener on my side of the fence.  And in my heart I agreed.

-4-
When I became pregnant with the baby I am currently carrying I heard several people make acclamations of "I'm glad it's you and not me!" What they said with all honesty, and meant as a reflection of their personal preferences and limits, hurt a little.  It sounded like an insult, or a warning.  Sometimes it sounded like I was being damned, or that I already had been!  Usually it sounded like they weren't happy my newest child is alive and growing in my womb.

But I was sure not to take it personally, because I have said the exact same thing, with the exact same intentions, to mothers of twins.  And so, to the mothers of twins that I know and have made this comment to, I would like to apologize.  Your children are beautiful, wonderful and lovable.  I consider you blessed, and I praise God for the gifts you've been given.

-5- 
A few weeks ago I was feeding Bennet some baby food pears, making silly faces so he'd open his mouth and allow me to put the spoon in.  Lydia stood by our side singing the Alphabet Song.  In the midst of the simplicity and silliness I had a deep sense of knowing that there was no where else I'd rather be and nothing else I'd rather be doing.  It was like getting a blue ribbon from God.

-6-
As I have already mentioned, I've been sick this week and I've had to rely on friends, along with my mom and husband, to help take care of the kids.  Even though they are not moms, they mothered me and my kids at times when things were pretty messy.  There was Liz, who walked into our house as I was "spitting up" (as Lydia calls it) and came to see if I needed my hair held.  She then cared for my kids for the next several hours while I napped.  And there was Katie, who changed a poopy, leaky diaper; rocked a fussy baby to sleep; and was fortunate enough to stick around for my daughter to "spit up" into her bag of books, all over my clothes, her clothes, and on the floor.  Katie salvaged the books, put our clothes in the washing machine, and bathed my daughter.  God bless you both!!!!

-7-
To any women who struggle with infertility and may read my blog:  I want you to know that I think of and pray for you every day.  I pray for your health, your doctors, your wombs, your adoptions, your families, your hearts, your wounds, your sufferings, and your joys.  I want you to know that I honor you this Mother's Day - you are not forgotten!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Bennet

Sorry the video is sideways! One of these days I will remember!

Here's my happy baby boy at his big sister's birthday party. What a cutie!

And here's some news: the little guy, who turned 8 months on the 4th, has also taken his first "steps" of crawling. Yesterday he moved each little knee once and then fell - right, left, boom.

Come on, Bennet! Mommy knows you can do it!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Thoughts about motherhood

Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever be as heroically generous as my mom.


I've been sick this week and she' taken care of the kids single-handedly, straightened up the house, cleaned up the physical evidence of my sickness (tmi?) and brought me water, fruit pops and toast.





The woman doesn't complain. She doesn't accept apologies for the messiness of my life that she's cleaning up. She never seems to run out of patience or compassion.





She just gives and gives, joyfully and wholeheartedly.





*********************************************





Last week I was driving, thinking about all the books I'd like to read. I was fantasizing about having the time to sit on my sofa in the middle of the afternoon and pick up a book. I was daydreaming about uninterrupted reading - how glorious! Once again I could get through a book in a week - or less! I could devour one after another, a memoir, a novel, a collection of essays, American lit, poetry, theology...




You see, I don't have much time to read, especially anything too deep. There isn't the time or energy budgeted in my days for such things as novels.




And then I had this very comforting thought: right now I do not have time for such things, and that is okay. In another season of my life, when my kids are older and I have some grey hair, then I will be able to read again. This thought was much more like a promise from God, an acknowledgement of my longing with a glimpse of what is waiting ahead. Knowing this makes it much easier to not read now, as I focus on my kids, husband, home, and friends.




*******************************************




A woman I barely know offered to help me clean my home for Lydia's birthday party. She is from Northern Ireland and is living in the US until her visa expires in July. She has been able to travel much of Europe and America in her 26 years. While I listened to her talk I felt the pang of remorse that I never studied abroad while in college. I also felt the itch to travel.




It seems that when you marry a teacher and live off his income you don't have the money to travel, especially once kids start coming. But of course my

Monday, May 3, 2010

To Lydia, on her second birthday

My dear Sweetie Pie,

Happy Birthday!  I hope you loved your cake and party, and most importantly I hope you felt loved.

You have a special place in my heart.  I delight in you.  I love you more than I could ever express and sometimes it makes me sad that I cannot show you the fullness of my love for you. 

You bring me great joy.

May you continue to grow in the ways of the Lord.  May He bless you with health and a happy family.  May you always seek God first.  I pray for your future and your vocation.  I pray for the preservation of your innocence and that you will always know your great value and the immense love your father and I have for you. 

You are so precious in our eyes.  You are a blessing in our lives and we are so grateful to have you.

All my love,
Mommy

PS - Here's some things I want you to know about yourself:

You are kind and empathetic.  In a concerned tone you ask me, "What's the matter, Mommy?" when I seem sad or frustrated.  If your baby brother cries you also become upset and urge me to tend to him.

You are funny and cute.  In fact, just the other night while Daddy was snuggling with you before bed you made a sign with your arms, looked up at him and asked, "Am I funny?"  "No," he said.  "Am I cute?" you asked with the sweetest, cutest tone in your voice and smile on your face.  How could he not laugh?

You are smart.  You can sing the alphabet song and identify all the letters.  You can count to ten.  You know all your animals, colors and shapes, and you can even "read" several books.  In fact, you love to read to yourself, telling the story based on the pictures.  You speak in sentences, some of them impressively long for a 2 year old.

You have an interest in God.  Every night you pray your special prayer, "Watch over me, Jesus.  Amen."  You do the Sign of the Cross.  You genuflect towards the Tabernacle and sometimes even say "hello" and "good-bye" while doing so.  When you look at pictures of Christ you frown a little and say, "Jesus got hurt," with much compassion.  You love St. Nicholas.  You think any woman dressed a certain way is Mary.  You ask to pray, pray on your own, and kiss the crucifix on our rosaries without being prompted.

Some of the things you love right now:
- playing outside
- bubbles
- being around other kids
- Super Why!
- Sid the Science Kid
- JJ Heller's song "Your Hands" (which I've heard you singing around the house)
- Jay Sean's song "Down"
- Baby Einstein
- Yo Gabba Gabba (especially the music and dances)
- playing with your baby doll
- playing hide -n- go seek and peek-a-boo
- cottage cheese
- meat
- apples
- the "No David" books
- all books!
- building towers with your blocks
- taking a bath / shower
- folding up your own dirty diaper (which you do really well)
- riding your bike
- putting on make-up with Mommy