Friday, June 29, 2012

7 quick takes

1 - Originally I was going to put up a video by Weezer.  There's something about warm weather that makes me want to listen to Weezer.  But my duaghter said I needed to play a "girl song" and so heeding the advice of a 4 year old I looked up some Regina Spektor.  She watched the video with me and said, "That lady is making a mess."  True dat.

2 - Last night I decided that I wanted to do a movie night with the kids tonight.  I went to Family Video and got The Road to El Dorado and The Prince of Egypt so the kids could chose.  Then I went to the grocery store and bought snacks to make this edible necklace.  I'm hoping the kids enjoy it all.  I figure we can have some homemade veggie soup for dinner and then pig out a little bit on popcorn and sweets.

3 - Last night Travis and I talked about inviting some friends over to join us in the movie night.  Our kids could make their necklaces together and sit in their pj's, watching a movie and eating while we grown ups sat at the dining room table, playing cards or Scrabble, and having a beer.  We went through all our friends who would maybe want to come over and then I gave a reason why most of them wouldn't want to come and swore off calling any of the other ones.  Because I enjoy hosting things but I'm also an insecure introvert this happens to poor Travis on a fairly frequent basis.  It's a ridulous combination to have in a person.

So unless someone invites themself over we will be watching our movie alone.

4 - So yesterday had some sad news.  I really like Ann Curry.  I read this press release from my Bishop, Daniel R. Jenky, and I wanted to share it here as I think it is a little more positive than some people (myself included) first felt.  You can see the press release here.

Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, Bishop of the Diocese of Peoria, believes that today's Supreme Court ruling will have no impact upon the Catholic Church's legal case regarding being forced to fund abortions, sterilizations, and contraceptives in our religious institutions. The church's pending lawsuits are based upon our First Amendment right to freely practice our religion and to define for ourselves what constitutes a Catholic ministry. Today's Supreme Court ruling addressed other legal issues that are not the direct concern of the Church.
The Catholic Diocese of Peoria is now considering joining other Dioceses and Catholic entities suing the Federal Government. Bishop Jenky calls upon the Catholic faithful to participate in "Fortnight of Freedom" observances and to continue to pray for religious liberty in America. Under no circumstances will the Catholic Church ever abandon its absolute commitment to the Gospel of Life.

5 - In case you didn't hear the super great news let me introduce to you the VENERABLE Fulton J. Sheen!

6 - Big prayer request: A friend of mine's mom is battling cancer.  The cancer is pretty aggressive and there have been some issues with the insurance company wanting to deny treatment.  Please pray for my friend, her mom and doctors, their entire family, and all the insurance issues.  Our Father...

7 - One more prayer request: The feeding therapist and I will be scheduling another swallow study for James.  Our little boy is eating normally now, except for all the things he can't eat because of allergies, but he still isn't drinking normally.  We were given the go-ahead from his feeding therapist to give him little sips of water so he is accustomed to drinking that way in time for the study.  I don't want to expose him to radiation and not even have drink from a cup.  Hopefully we can get rid of the thickened formula and the bottles forever!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Sheen delcared Venerable!

Big News, friends!

Pope Benedict XVI and the Congregation for the Causes of Saints have declared Archbishop Sheen Venerable!  This means that Sheen can now be beatified once an alleged miracle is reviewed and declared a true miracle.  There is a good chance that James' (alleged) healing will be the miracle used!  Of course we'll have to wait to see what the Sheen Foundation does but we're really hopeful over here. 

This is so exciting!  Praise God!  Archbishop Sheen would be a wonderful saint as his works and life have already brought so many to know and love God. 

Right now all I want to say is  YAY!  YAY!  YAY!

And if you don't know what I'm talking about please see the Sheen tab at the top of my page.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


I was pleasantly surprised by this gem in me email inbox this morning.  (Thanks, Jen!)  I laughed out loud at this one.  Funniest part is when they sing about Peter Gabriel.

Random aside, Peter Gabriel's Sledgehammer music video gave me nightmares as a child.  Same with Phil Collins' Land of Confusion.

Disclaimer, we watched MTV without my parents' permission or knowledge.  They were not bad parents, we were sneaky kids.

Friday, June 22, 2012

7 quick takes

1 - My friend Alisha recommended this song to me saying, "I just found your next quick takes song."  She was right. 

2 - People asked how I find the songs I use in my quick takes posts and recommendations from friends is a great way.  My top suggestions for finding "new" music are:
- Friends. Check out the music your friends post on Facebook, listen to in their cars, or are downloading.  I've noticed that my friends who dress and decorate their homes in ways I really like also tend to listen to music I really like.
- Pandora.  I plug in an artist I like and then they play other artists with a similar style.  I take note of the ones I like, write down the names of the bands and songs and look them up on YouTube later.
- YouTube.  When a video ends YouTube suggests other songs by the same or similar artists.  Listen to those songs and see if you can find something new. 
- Watch the music channels.  We don't have cable but our local Fox station has substations, 43-2 and 43-3.  Those stations are how I saw Brooke Fraser and The Lumineers. 

3 - I am so stupid when it comes to Word Press and cannot upload a picture of Teresa Marie for this week's column over at Ignitum Today.  Therefore I am sending people to this blog if they want to see a picture of my baby girl.  Isn't that embarrassing and lame?  I think so.

4 - Speaking of Ignitum Today, here's the post I wrote for this week: Teresa, Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

5 - Congratulations to Dwija and her entire family on the birth of #babyunseen Mary Isabel!  So happy for you all and I can't wait to read the birth story!

6 - I will now confess that knowing that Dwija had a homebirth makes me a little sad that I did not.  I know that it was very, very good that we were at the hospital with Teresa.  I cannot imagine how scary it would have been to deliver such a big baby at home and it would have been terrifying to see them give her oxygen if we were at home.  But I still miss the experience.

7 - It's time to wrap this all up.  I've been at McDonald's, using their free internet for almost 2 hours.  Teresa has been napping, James has been mostly happy, and I'm sure I'm running out of time.  Plus I need to go home and eat lunch before I'm tempted to buy a cheeseburger! 

Have a good week!  Thanks, Jen for hosting!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

"I give to you assurance...

... that the people of the United States will not stand by..."

This is not about whether you think contraception is okay or not.
This is not about whether you know Catholics who use contraception.
This is not about some kind of war on women.
This is not about the economy and needing to take whatever job one can get.
This is not about some imagined right to free birth control.

This is about the federal government, under the Obama administration, undoing what President Thomas Jefferson promised to the Danbury Baptists: a separation between Church and State

This is about the Constitution.

This is about actual rights, protected in the very framework of our government being ignored and disregarded. 

You may not care about my beliefs and the teachings of my Catholic faith but I hope you care about Freedom of Religion because if that can be done away with so can everything else that's protected in our Constitution. 

Today begins the Fortnight For Freedom. I encourage you to join me in prayer and fasting as we continue to defend our Constitutional right for Freedom of Religion.

Hat tip to Brandon Vogt for the video.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

movies to watch

With a new baby we watch a lot of movies.  I thought I'd give you a quick list and simple review of the things I've watched recently that have been good enough for a recommendation.

Netflix watch instantly:
True Grit:  This is the new one which I've watched this over and over again.  Love it.
Thor:  You should especially watch this if you've seen or plan on seeing The Avengers.  Parts that did not take place on Earth were a little more boring but I liked the rest.
Being Elmo:  This was really interesting and very, very sweet.  I have a whole new appreciation for Elmo, which is nice because that puppet can drive me crazy sometimes.
The Conspirator: Based on actual events surrounding Abraham Lincoln's assassination.  I thought the acting, costumes, and story were all good.
The Way: I thought it was a great representation of Catholicism and the people who practice it, each with our own little history, sin, and burden, all looking for forgiveness and peace.

Machine Gun Preacher: The beginning was really tough for me to watch, as were various scenes of violence, but an amazing story overall.
Morning Glory: Cute, funny, light-hearted.  Even Travis liked this chick flick.
Captain America: Thought I wouldn't like it but loved it.  Another must if you're going to watch The Avengers.
Safe House: Didn't think I'd like it one bit because of the violence.  I was wrong.  Also, I totally prefer Ryan Reynolds to Ryan Gosling. Any day.

What about you?  Do you have any movies to suggest?

Friday, June 15, 2012

7 quick takes

1 - This infectious song just got so much better.  The guy on the right, rockin' out on the xylophone on wheels and the one on the left with the kazoo are my faves.  That is, they're my favorites not counting Jimmy Fallon.  I love watching Fallon enjoying himself, it makes me happy seeing him so happy.  I hope this song and video make you smile the way it did for Travis and me. 

2 - Remember when our house looked like this?

 It looks like this now:
With some lovely landscaping that looks like this:
Okay, well you can't see the landscaping so well but believe me, it looks wonderful.

3 - When I was pregnant with Teresa I had no energy what-so-ever.  Getting myself and three kids dressed and out of the house before 9am was a ginormous feat.  And so now, three weeks post partum, I am thrilled to have the energy to actually do things. 
Wednesday's weather was beautiful and while Teresa napped the rest of the family was outside.  Lydia and I planted some flowers and it was a wonderful remedy for how I'd been feeling.

4 - Yesterday Travis did some stuff around the house that needed to be crossed off our to do list.  The first "To Do" was to hang the light fixture over our kitchen sink.

The second thing was to install a spicket on the outside of our house.  He'll hook up the plumbing once the mortar is all set and we'll finally have a hose outside!  This means good things for water fun this long, hot summer.

5 - Last week I said I was getting some short bangs.  My hair dresser / sister-in-law was hesitant and it took me a few days to figure out how to best style them but I think they turned out pretty well. I was hoping for something kinda hip but I may have only gotten nerdy but I still like them.  Oh well.

6 - Now that fair season is upon us I feel like summer is really here.  Our family went to a Turkey Festival in a local town.  Travis and I kept to our diets and didn't eat anything (it was horrible!).  I thought I was being a good mom and bought 6 tickets thinking my two eldest would get to each ride 3 rides.  What an idiot I was!  One ride each for $3 a pop.  Lydia chose the carousel and Bennet the train.  James and Teresa hung out in the stroller and then we left.

7 - Teresa Marie will be baptised this Sunday at our 9am Mass with a celebratory brunch to follow.  I've got some breakfast casseroles to make, fruit salad to prep, and a DQ ice cream cake to buy. 

Have a great weekend, everyone!  Click on over to Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

What's it like to have 4 kids?

"If you want to know what it's like to have a fourth [baby] just imagine you're drowning... and then someone hands you a baby."
- Jim Gaffigan

Saving Money

Good morning!

Today you can find me over at Cynthia's Finding Great Joy.  I am honored to be a part of her Mother to Mother series, this one on living on a budget.  I talk about a few things that work for us and I'd love to hear any tricks you may have as well!

While you're there make sure you check out all the Mother to Mother posts along with signing up to follow her blog.  Cynthia is an old friend and she's someone I admire greatly - I hope you enjoy her companionship as much as I do.


Friday, June 8, 2012

7 quick takes

1 - I haven't really felt like my marriage is "dancing in minefields" but I like the analogy nonetheless.  I think this song is beautiful.

2 - Speaking of marriage - in the five years that I've been hitched to Travis we have both gained a lot of weight.  I won't tell you how much but my awesome cooking and four babies in four years have not been good for our waistlines.  We are finally doing something about it.  Travis bought the Insanity videos and I started Weight Watchers.  I feel stupid even mentioning it but I'm sincerely hoping that by next summer I will look a lot more like this:
Yes, I want to be thin again.  With naturally curly hair again.  Eating a Belgian waffle in Belgium again.

3 - Did you hear the good news about Hallie and Dan Lord?  Dan, whom you may know as Mr. Betty Beguiles, has been named the new editor for Catholic Exchange!  Congratulations are definitely in order, so CONGRATULATIONS!  Bloggers I love such as Patrick Madrid, House Unseen's Dwija, and Clan Donaldson's Cari write at Catholic Exchange, which features all kinds of great content.  I'm super excited for Dan and his family.

Also, right now Catholic Exchange is in the midst of their summer fundraising.  Why not drop by and donate a little bit of money to make sure this great site is able to keep up the good work?

4 - Here is an example of why I do not do ecological breastfeeding:  Last night Teresa slept from 9:30pm until 7:30am.  That means I got to sleep through the night, too.  THANK YOU, JESUS!!!!

5 - Today I will get my hair cut.  And I want my bangs to look like this:

I don't know if this will work on me because of my longer hair but I'm liking the short bang look.  Here's hoping it looks cute!

6 - I am super excited to say that this July my friend Sr. MN will be professing final vows with the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia, aka the Nashville Dominicans.  Sister was my best friend in college and it was a lot of fun to watch her revert to her Catholic faith, fall in love with Christ, discern religious life, and have to learn how to sew.  (She was horrible at sewing but every nun needs to know how to do it I guess.  It's a habit thing, I think.)  I have been a horrible pen pal with her, and each child makes me even worse, but I love her and have such wonderful memories of eating ice cream, singing along to Keith Urban's Blue Jean Song, and watching her play laser tag. 

We're not sure if the whole family can go or not.  I really want her to meet my kids but a seven hour drive and a night in a hotel room followed by good behavior at a long Mass sounds like a disaster for my family of six.  There's also the fact that we really can't afford to pay for any of this.  I tried thinking of ways to raise money for it.  I could bake pies, do a garage sale, clean people's homes, or be really tacky and ask for cash for my birthday.  I could probably whip together a yard sale, right?  And sell some fruit pies at the sale? 

Or we could win the lottery.

7 - Our 12 year old neighbor boy was visiting while the kids and I were playing outside yesterday.  He looked at Teresa and said, "I think she looks like you."
"Oh yeah?  Thanks."
"Yeah; you have the same red dots on your face."
Awesome.  My precious daughter and I look alike because we both have acne.

Here's hoping everyone has a great weekend!  Head over to Jen's for more Quick Takes
Let's all drink a beer.  It's only 5 points. ;)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

an incoherent post by a post partum woman

When I first began blogging I wanted to be honest about things.  Motherhood was tough and I just came right out and said it.  With my fourth baby I will say that motherhood is still tough but the loneliness and sleepless nights are nothing compared to how I feel now.

I always assumed that the older my kids grew the more heartaches I would have.  I did not, however, foresee how short my patience would run, how overwhelmed I would feel, and how I would feel sucked dry by the end of the day.  One of my children loves to chat, to be the center of attention, and to receive heaping amounts of physical affection throughout the day; I like silence and to not touch or be touched.  It is very hard for me to fulfill this child's needs.

Every day I lose my temper.  I say things I shouldn't.  I ignore kids who want me because I really, really don't want to give any more of myself.  Every day I can see how much my kids want my love and approval and at some point every day it is very hard to do that for them.

Recently someone commented that me and my blog are "dumb happy".  I'm not 100% sure what that means, having never heard the expression before, but a Facebook survey amongst my friends says it means "slap happy".  So I guess, at least to one person, I am obnoxiously happy - which is interesting to me because I do not feel that way or even view this blog that way.

I write how I speak.  It may not be very polished and I may frequently end my sentences with prepositions, but I don't care.  This is my voice; this is who I am.

But I no longer feel like I have to be super honest.  I don't want my kids to grow up and have our misbehavior and every feeling of frustration directed at them documented on the internet.  I love, love, love them and I don't want them to ever be embarrassed or hurt by what I type here.  So maybe in the end I come off a little more positive (but I really don't think I do...).  I also think there's great good in representing all the perks of the married life.  Enough people in the world complain about their husbands, put down men, and laugh a little too hard at jokes about drinking hard liquor to get through a day at home with the kids. (Not that there aren't days when I really want a stiff drink.)

I started this blog to share adventures of with friends and family.  Pictures of our cute kids, updates on the house renovation, funny anecdotes from our days would be posted for a smallish group of people who know and love us.  But now there are a couple hundred people who check this blog on a regular basis and I don't know who they are.  I like them (I like you.) and I love it when they comment and email me and share their lives with me, and so now I find myself writing for them, too.  (Jordan on the West Coast, I often write and pray for you.)

For awhile I tried to make this blog something more important than it is.  I thought I should try to grow my readership, write intelligent and insightful things, throw my two cents in along with all the other bloggers.  But now I don't really care about those things.  My pride got the better of me and I became tired trying to be more interesting than I am. 

What am I even saying here?!  Heck if I know.  I guess... just know that
I'm sorry I don't post more often,
I hope you like the dumb songs I post every Friday,
thanks for coming along for the ride,
I hope I really am not obnoxious,
there's nothing wrong with being happy,
this blog isn't important,
honesty is important but so is respecting my family's privacy and showing the good,
I'm probably going to only post 1, 2, or 3 times a week and never on a regular basis except for 7 quick takes,
can you tell that I'm postpartum?

I call this "baby brain".

Saturday, June 2, 2012

7 quick takes

1 - This song is from The Hunger Games, which is a book I haven't read and a movie I haven't seen.  But this song I could listen to forever.

2 - The public demanded more pictures of Teresa, and I will oblige them.  Here she is in her "going home from the hospital" outfit.  she is so big.  HUGE.  I can't believe I gave birth to her!

 3 - We're so tired over here.  And it's her fault.  Lucky for her she's cute and I'm in love.  But she's only nursing on one side and that's causing some problems.  The little booger.

 4 - A friend from college unexpectedly stopped by yesterday with a platter of goods.  Freezer-ready chicken and noodles, homemade rolls, rice krispie treats, and what she jokingly called "a breakfast smoothie" - a margarita mix.  Thanks, Megan!

5 - When we came home from the hospital I gave Bennet a great big hug and noticed that he wasn't wearing a diaper.  The little man, at the age of 2 and 1/2, has potty trained himself.  He only needs a diaper for naps and bedtime and has had very few accidents.  I knew he was ready but because I'd heard people say that toddlers regress when the baby comes I didn't want to stress myself out with potty training just to see it all disappear once we got home from the hospital.  I suppose that could still happen, but he seems to be so proud of himself that I'm hoping it won't. 

6 - We are a family of 6.  I have 4 kids, 4 and under.  I'm only 30 years old and I've only been married for five years.  This boggles my mind.

7 - With Teresa we're doing all kinds of things we didn't do with Lydia because I was told good parents don't do those things.  Now I don't give a darn what good parents do - I want to make sure my kids feel loved and not loose my mind while doing it.  Therefore, for example, Teresa take about half of her naps in the swing.