Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

One of those moments.....

Have you ever had one of those moments? If you are a parent (especially to small children), one of those moments probably happens on a daily basis. Well it happened here last night. Some background:

It started yesterday morning. I woke up to the sounds of hysterical crying. Hysterical crying usually come from Princess (she is the drama queen in the family!). I was right. Princess was crying. What for? Her FAVORITE box was being thrown out for recycling. Yep her box. We are moving to a smaller place and thus we need to downsize. Perfectly logical - to an adult. But not to a six year old who had just woken up (too early) and was hungry. Not a good combination. So after about 30 minutes of her crying and getting her to eat something, she eventually forgot about the box and went outside to play. Good crisis resolved.

Not exactly. Sweet Pea was having a rough day ALL day. She was clinging, fussy, and wouldn't let me put her down. When I would get her to sleep she would only sleep for about 30 minutes and wake up. 30 minutes is not very long to get ANYTHING done. So I spent most of the day holding a 14 pound infant and walking and bouncing and nursing and consoling. This combination leads to a very tired Mommy.

Fast forward to bath time. I had got Princess into the bath and was now getting Cowgirl.Well she decided that it was now her turn to cause trouble. Instead of getting into the bathtub she screamed cried about how the water was going to hurt her boo-boo. Now this boo-boo happened the day before and had not been giving her any trouble all day, but now it was going to hurt. I tried to explain (to an overly tired 4 year old) that to just try the water and if it hurt I would get her out and put her in the shower fast. That didn't work. She kept crying! That is when it happened. I told her if she didn't stop crying and get in the bath she was going to bed! Oops! (It was only 6pm!) I couldn't go back now. I had to follow through with my consequence. But if I put her to bed at 6pm I risk her waking up at 4 or 5 AM!!!! Oh well I had done it to myself. Speaking before thinking!

I spent most of the night worrying thinking about what time she was going to wake up and how I would handle it - put her back to bed and risk her waking up her sister which would make her tired and cranky the rest of the day and start the cycle all over again, or let her stay up and play the computer, watch a show, etc. Well. God was showing me some grace this morning. She didn't wake up any earlier that I could tell. Everyone was well rested and happy. Hopefully today will be better!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Embracing My Cross

I have been having a difficult time lately with being a wife and mother. I love my children with all my heart and soul, but going from two to three at home has been quite a challenge for me. I know that compared to the trials that other mothers have gone through; my whine fest seems very insignificant. But I am still having a difficult time. Is it because I am trying to do too much too soon? (My baby is just 12 weeks old). Is it because I have a fussy baby? (She does seem to be more difficult than the other two.) Is it because I expect too much out of my children & myself? I don’t have the answer. I wish I did. Maybe then I wouldn’t beat myself up day after day as to why I am feeling the way I am.  I try to read other blogs about women who have more children then I do to gain encouragement, but it just leaves me more discouraged and frustrated. How do they do it? Why do they seem to have it all together? How can they handle six or eight or ten kids and I am drowning with three? Again, I don’t know.

My husband says I am being too hard on myself. That in a couple more months things will seem back to normal. But my response to that is while I am waiting for that magical number my children are getting bigger and I am missing it. I feel that I neglect the older two because all I do is deal with a fussy baby. I am grouchy and crabby most of the time because my baby is grouchy and crabby. Now don’t get me wrong some days are better then others and she is less fussy then she was a month ago, but some days it doesn’t seem like enough.

I am grateful that Princess is so smart. Not because I am bragging about my child, but because if she wasn’t I would have to spend more time with her for school. Time that I do not have. As of right now she is doing most of her schoolwork by herself since she can read the directions. First grade is not that difficult for her. But I think to myself, what if she wasn’t able to do it by herself. What if I do have a child that needs help with first grade and I have a fussy baby on my hip? I know what I would do. I know those are a lot of “what ifs”? But these things cross my mind on a daily basis.

God has given me many graces to be able to take care of three children (all who are demanding in their own way), but I still get exhausted. I want to have my life together. I want to be able to get things done around the house without feeling like something or someone else is getting neglected. I use to be able to get it all done. Or at least I think I did. Maybe I didn’t. Maybe when I was alone with two kids under the age of 3 that I knew I couldn’t do it so I didn’t worry about it so much. I wish I had the answer – all the answers. But then if I knew it all I wouldn’t be relying on God to get me through each day - would I?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

St. Patty's Day Dinner

This year for St. Patrick’s Day I found a recipe in our local newspaper for Stout-Braised Chicken Thighs. I thought this would be an easy (& cheap) alternative to our traditional Corned Beef Brisket.  Thursday was also our church’s Penance service and as a result we didn’t get home in time to make it for St. Patrick’s Day. Instead, I put it aside for Saturday.  I didn’t know how it would turn out or even how it was going to taste. I, personally, am not a fan of stout. My hubby, however, is. I (and the girls) were pleasantly surprised. It turned out VERY good. I served it with smashed potatoes. I know it is a little late, but I thought I should post this recipe so that others could benefit. It really was quite easy.

Stout-Braised Chicken Thighs

Start to finish: 50 min. (30 min. active)

¼ c. plus 3 Tbl all purpose flour, divided
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. ground black pepper
1 ¼ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs.
2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 slice bacon, finely chopped
1 small yellow onion, dices
¾ c. baby carrots
4 oz. button mushrooms, halved
¾ c. stout, such as Guinness
¾ c. chicken broth
¾ c. frozen baby peas

In a shallow dish, combine ¼ c. flour with ½ tsp each of salt and pepper. Dredge chicken thighs in flour mixture to coat completely, set aside on a plate.

In a 12-inch nonstick skillet over med-high, heat the olive oil. Add the chicken thighs and cook until well browned, 3 to 4 minutes a side. Transfer to clean plate and set aside.

Add the bacon to the skillet and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes. Add the onion, carrots and mushrooms and sauté until the veggies begin to brown, about 4 min. Sprinkle the remaining 3 Tbl of four over the veggies and cook, stirring constantly, for another 2 minutes.

Add the stout and broth to the pan and bring to a boil using a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Return the thighs to the pan, nestling them among the veggies. Reduce heat, cover, gently simmer for 15 minutes.

Add the pas and cook, covered, for 5 minutes. Uncover the pan and simmer for 5 more minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Tie Dyed Sacred Heart T-Shirts

This week we had our Little Flowers meeting. It is the second to the last for the year. I can’t believe how fast this year has gone. Princess was in Wreath 1 of Little Flowers last year and when we moved I was hoping to find a new group (mostly so I didn’t have to do it myself!). I was very lucky to have found a group at a near by Catholic School. The only minor problem was that this was their first year and they would be starting with Wreath 1. I didn’t mind that Princess repeated the Wreath since she was just in Kindergarten last year and I don’t know how much she got out of the lessons. She could join this group with other K-1 graders and continue on with them through the next 3 years. She was VERY excited, and didn’t mind one bit that all the girls wanted to look at all her patches on her sash!

This week they learned about St. Francis Xavier Cabrini and the virtue of Industry. It always amazes me how much more Princess understands just from last year. She is now answering questions and remembering what is being talked about during the lessons. (I take Cowgirl with me to the meetings and even paid to have her do the crafts, but other then that she doesn’t have much interest. (She is very shy and I think the other little girls intimidate her.)

This week we tied died Sacred Heart T-shirts. I was VERY impressed. Our leader Ms. Lisa was able to get 30 little girls grades K-3 to tie dye with very little problems. (That is a feat in itself.)  She had half the girls tie off the shirts and then they went outside to dye while the second half tied their shirts. She even had rubber gloves and trash bag smocks for each girl. They ALL had so much fun and the shirts turned out GREAT! I was even able to tie dye a Onesie for Sweet Pea. 

 I was only able to get 1 picture of Cowgirl (and you can't even see her shirt) because she then decided to have a 4 year old melt down and refused to take anymore pictures.
Look at that chin! You can tell she is WELL fed! 

 Ignore the hair! You know I can only do one thing a day and her hair is a project in itself!

Don't you just LOVE those cheeks!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Almighty God,
who in your providence chose your servant Patrick
to be the apostle of the Irish people,
to bring those who were wandering in darkness and error
to the true light and knowledge of you:
Grant us so to walk in that light,
that we may come at last to the light of everlasting life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and ever.

St. Patrick, pray for us!

Monday, March 14, 2011

100 Random Things About Myself......

(I got this idea from my friend Rachel's blog. It looked like fun! Enjoy!)

1. I am the 2nd of 4 kids.
2. I have an older sister and a younger brother and younger sister.
3. I am a typical "middle child" and do not like to "rock the boat."
4. I was born in Canada. We lived in Michigan just across the border and back in 1976 you could come and go as you please.
5. I have duel citizenship. I am a US citizen because both of my parents are US citizens and Canadian citizen by birth.
6. I have green eyes which I hated when I was growing up because my older sister use to call me "green eyed cat," but I like them now. 
7.  I was home schooled.
8. I went to school grade K-3 & 7-9 and was home schooled the rest of the time.
9. I tried going back to school during my senior year and got about 6 weeks before I realized it was a waste of my time.
10. I played soccer and ran track growing up.
11. I played sweeper in soccer.
12. I ran the 440 and 440 hurdles in track.
13. I was coached by an Olympic Gold Medalist for track.
14. With track, I went to the Junior Olympics for the 440 hurdles.
15. I stopped running track because it made me too nervous.
16. I would throw up after every race.
17. I played soccer throughout college.
18. I went to three different colleges.
19. I started off at Covenant College in Georgia...
20. ...then transferred to Bryan College in Tennessee...
21. ...and I ended up graduating from Belhaven College in Mississippi.
22. I have a B.S. in Psychology.
23. I graduated Summa Cum Laude.
24. I have a Masters Degree in Human Services (Marriage and Family Therapy emphasis) from Liberty University.
25. When we went to my graduation I was 7 weeks pregnant and hoping to get through the ceremony without being sick!
26. Glenn Beck was our graduation speaker.
27. He waved to me when he was walking on stage to speak.
28. I waved first.
29. I loved the New Kids on the Block when I was in 8th and 9th grade...
30. ...and I even went to their reunion concert in October of 2008 with my little sister. (Good times!)
31. My favorite New Kid was Jordan
32. My room was COVERED wall to wall with posters (I can't believe my mom allowed it!)
33. I love to travel.
34. I have been to England, Hawaii, & the Caribbean.
35. Hawaii is my favorite place to visit.
36. I have driven cross country three times (all three times I had kids with me; last time I was 13 weeks     pregnant, too).
37. My favorite color is green.
38. My favorite movie is a tie between How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days and Gone With the Wind.
39. I love to sing along to Disney movies with our girls.
40. I was raised Presbyterian.
41. I converted to the Catholic faith in 2001.
42. I love the richness of the Catholic church and realize daily how blessed we are.
43. I met my husband online on a Catholic singles website.
44. He was in California and I was in Tennessee.
45. We married on July 10th.
46. We got married on the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California.
47. We honeymooned in Hawaii, on Oahu and Kauai.
48. Between my husband and I we have 7 children.
49. The ages are 21, 18, 14, 12, 6, 4, & 10 weeks.
50. My sisters are my best friends.
51. I love old movies.
52. I love to read (although I have not been able to read much this year).
53. My favorite genre is biographies.
54. I love history - especially American history.
55. I have a secret crush healthy interest in Thomas Jefferson.
56. We live a very "natural" lifestyle.
57. We eat organic food whenever possible.
58. We practice homeopathy and very rarely (if ever) go to the doctor.
59. I do not immunize my children.
60. I had a home water birth with my last baby (attended by a midwife).
61. I use cloth diapers most of the time. (Sweet Pea doesn't seem to like them. She HATES being wet, even in disposables, but with cloth I am changing her ALL THE TIME!!!)
62. I drive a blue minivan.
63. I used to drive a red convertible (before kids!)
64. I love to cook.
65. I wish I had enough room for a garden (either flower or vegetable).
66. I am NOT an animal person.
67. I only like dogs in pictures.
68. I have allergies to dogs and cats.
69. I do NOT like camping, hiking, fishing, or roughing it in any type of manner. (I tried camping once and went home to my bed when it got dark!)
70. My husband spoils me.
71. I can be a brat.
72. I am stubborn.
73. I have a temper.
74. I come from a long line of strong-willed, opinionated women.
75. It looks like the line will continue with all THREE of my girls :)
76. I have lived in six different states.
77. Growing up we moved every 18 months to 2 years from the time I was 7.
78. My name is a family name.
79. My Aunt, Grandmother, & Great-Grandmother all had the name Roxaline.
80. My favorite candy is Red Vines (UMMMMM - Red Vines!)
81. I wear contact lenses.
82. I am introverted.
83. My favorite class in high school was Chemistry.
84. My favorite class in college was Psychological Testing
85. My favorite class in Graduate school was Group Counseling.
86. I do not like being cold.
87. I HATE snow (except on Christmas!)
88.One place I would like to visit is Fiji
89. Another is Paris
90. I want to learn to speak Italian.
91. I had blond hair when I was little.
92. My childhood pet was named Heidi
93. She was a German Shepherd
94. I wish I was more patient.
95. I wish I had more time in the day to spend with my family.
96. I wish people wouldn't be so mean to each other....
97. ...especially family.
98. I love my life!
99. I think this was the hardest post to write.
100. I must be VERY boring! 

Treasured Moments Part 2

Here is a picture of another one of those moments that I cherish as a mother.

We had gone with Hubby on one of his business trips and were hanging out in the hotel room. Sweet Pea had just woken up and the girls climbed in bed with her. They were talking to her and laughing. It was precious. I hope they become best friends!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Daylight Savings

Who ever came up with the concept of Daylight Savings Time (Ben Franklin) either did not have kids or never had to take care of kids!!! Getting 3 kids to bed (an hour earlier), up (an hour earlier), eat breakfast (on hour earlier), dressed (an hour earlier), and to church on time (on hour earlier) is not an easy task. Not to mention having to do all these things for myself. HELLO Coffee!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Our Lent

Since today is Ash Wednesday, I thought I would write and let you all know what we will be doing for Lent. While there are lots and lots of ideas that I would like to incorporate into our Lenten observances, we have to keep it simple this year because of having a small baby.  I just keep all the ideas in a file folder to hopefully include in the years to come.

First, we are going to start back with family prayers. We had been very good at doing prayers together as a family every night, but some how life got in the way and our prayers fell by the wayside. Well, Josette and her post on the family Rosary inspired me and I decided what better time to start then during Lent.  I don't know how exactly our family Rosary will take form. I am hoping that the girls will be involved as much as possible, but it will be a work in progress and we will make adjustments as needed.

Second, at dinner each night we will be reading Lent and Easter Wisdom From St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi.  This is a great book that we have used the past couple of years and each year we are never disappointed.  (Hubby went to The University of Santa Clara and I love learning about this Saint.) I had wanted to find a book for Princess to read on her own this Lent, but I didn't manage to get around to it.  Oh well, good thing Lent happens again next year. I might keep looking so if anyone has any ideas for a book for an advanced 1st grader - let my know.

I asked the girls what they wanted to give up for Lent this year. Cowgirl said she would make up her bed everyday which I had to remind her that she is already supposed to make up her bed every morning :)
Princess then stated that she would give up juice and only drink milk or water. I thought that was a pretty good idea for a six year old. (Not to mention all the money we will save on juice!!) I am going to let them have juice on Sundays so that it won't seem so long of a month, especially since this is the first year they will be giving up something.

I usually make a calendar for the girls for Lent, but again it was a little too much for me this year. Instead I printed them each off their own calendar that they can color and keep track of the days themselves.

Our church has Stations of the cross each Wednesday followed by Soup & Salad. I am hoping to go to as many of these as we can (especially since I don't have to worry about dinner!)

Well, that is about it in a nutshell. I hope that even though our plans are simple God will still bless our efforts as we draw closer to Him. Have a blessed Lent!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Treasured Moments

As a mother there are moments throughout the day that I am privy to no one else is.  As a mother I interact with my children in ways that nobody else can. As a mother I see my children in a light that is unique and special.  These "treasured moments" are kept in my heart and like Our Lady I will ponder them my whole life.

One of these special moments that I treasure is nursing. This is my third baby to nurse and while I do grow weary of constantly feeding a baby and having to stop what I am doing throughout the day (and night), I would never for once think about NOT nursing. My absolute FAVORITE time when nursing is the middle of the night. While I sometimes wish Sweet Pea will sleep all night, I love the quiet of the night when only her and I are awake. I watch her sleepily sucking and hear her softly breathing and to me the world is at peace.  Every night (two or three times a night) I get the privileged to participate in this peace. This is one of those times that I feel honored as a mother and I secretly love that only I get to experience these moments.

So what are your "treasured moments" as a mom?

Friday, March 4, 2011

What I have been up to.

 On Sunday February 13th, our little Sweet Pea was born into the Catholic Church through the Sacrament of Baptism. I was a little disappointed that this church doesn't perform Baptisms during Mass (instead they do them between the Masses), but Fr. Bertin did such a WONDERFUL job that it made up for the disappointment.  I was not raised Catholic and no body else in my  family is  Catholic so Father Bertin took the extra time to explain what he was doing and why. It was a learning experience for me as well.

 Here are some pictures: (Although she looks so sweet and peaceful in the pictures she cried during most of the ceremony. Father was so sweet he just said "It is her day she can cry all she wants!")

 My younger sister and our oldest son were the Godparents. The dress she wore was a gown that belonged to my Grandmother she would of turned 100 on February 9, 2011. My two older girls also wore the same gown when they were baptized. I make each of them a bonnet out of a vintage handkerchief which they will then be able to carry on their wedding day!

I love the picture below with Fr. Bertin holding her. It is so sweet!

I held a little Reception after the Baptism for my family that were able to attend. The cake turned out BEAUTIFUL and tasted just as wonderful as it looked.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Here I go again.....

Okay, I am going to try again! I started this blog a year and a half ago and got too overwhelmed with life that I felt I needed to stop. Now I feel I want to try again. I guess life isn't so hectic????? (How that can be? I do not know!?) Since my last blog I have found out I was pregnant, dealt with morning sickness, moved cross country (at 13 weeks pregnant and sick), delivered the baby, and adjusted to life with three little ones at home (still adjusting!).  Why then did I decide to blog? Well, I needed to. Moving to a new area, I do not know a lot of people. There have been many ups and downs in the process and the one thing that has remained constant has been the many blogs that I follow. I felt like these people were old friends. Regardless of which side of the country I was on, my friends followed me. (The same for my XM radio! I love, LOVE my XM radio! Never having to search for a station - BRILLIANT!) Sometimes I would comment on these blogs and sometimes I would just read about what was happening in the lives of my "friends." It was a wonderful distraction from the (sometimes) chaos that was my life.  So here I am again. Attempting a second time to blog. The difference between this time and last is that this time I am blogging for ME not for others! I need this outlet. And I hope that along the way I find that my "friends" become friends.