Sunday, March 24, 2013

What I Wore Sunday, vol8

Linking up again with the ladies at Fine Linen and Purple. I got to go to evening Mass by myself, which is sometimes a nice treat. Ok, who am I kidding. The opportunity is always a nice treat. I sit way up front, hear all the prayers, respond to all the prayers and am able to enter in much more fully. Our chaplain gave the homily and it was beautiful. At one point, he spread open his arms like Jesus on the cross and said, "When Jesus hung there for three hours, he knew each one of our names. He knew each one of our names." And Fr. just paused and held his arms there and kept the silence for a few more moments. It gave me goosebumps and needless to say, after that, when it was time for the Consecration and later for communion, my heart was beyond moved. I prefer to go to church in the morning on Sundays, but after our busy day at the circus (so much fun), it was the perfect way to end the day.

rocking my first pair of color pop skinny jeans

this necklace was a Christmas gift and this was the first time I wore it.

isn't she too much? 

Oh and is that what it looks like? That area in my middle section that my shirt is clinging to? Why yes, yes it is :) I didn't know if this would be the week I spill the beans finally on the blog, but after looking at the pictures, I thought it was too obvious. We are expecting! I'm 13 weeks along and we are so very excited. Please keep me and baby in your prayers!

Circus and Haircuts

The campus we serve at as Focus missionaries is in a very small rural town, BUT the circus came today! It was the Piccadilly circus, and they actually held it in the gym of the rec center. We had no idea what to expect, how elaborate or how small it would be. And I could have sworn I heard there would at least be elephants and monkeys. (Luke is reminding me at this very moment that he's not sure even the big circus has monkeys). They were what Hailey was most excited to see and talked about it all morning. So we walked in, and no one took our tickets, ummm, people could have just walked in without paying! Obviously we would never do that, but still. Made you feel stupid that you DID pay for it. It was bizarre.

But in we went and I immediately panicked. All I saw was a huge inflatable slide, a face painting station, people walking around selling cotton candy, a petting zoo and a pony ride. I thought we came to the circus, not the zoo!! And all that stuff that I just listed cost extra money. You could look at the animals at the petting zoo, which we did plenty of, but you had to pay to feed them. I eventually saw towards the back of the gym that there was the main circus ring, with a big curtain hung behind it, so I felt a little bit better....there would be more. When it began, the kids didn't know what to think, there was loud music, bright lights, and horses, people riding horses and doing tricks on them! There were acrobats, a clown, a contortionist, bicyclists in a round cage....Hailey ended up loving it all, and Casey warmed up towards the end, signified by him climbing down from my lap and clapping his hands. But, half way through, that smart little daughter of mine turns to me and makes the sounds for elephant and monkey, asking me, "where are they?" I didn't know what to say, so I fumbled and made up a tiny story. I said, they couldn't come today, they were sick and had to stay home. I hope that's not terrible! I knew she was confused, which was all my fault in the first place, and so I felt I needed to give her a reasonable explanation! Poor Hailey, she will go through so many mommy "firsts" with me. But like I said, she had so much fun. She would imitate the performers by doing what they were doing with their arms and hands, saluting to the crowd (similar to the way gymnasts do). And all evening she has been playing circus by dancing around and saluting.

It was such a wonderful Sunday family outing and it was right down the road, which made it so easy and convenient. I'm so glad we went and would definitely do it again next year if they come back! We got home right around dinner time and had a hodgepodge of leftovers. After dinner, it was time for haircuts and baths. I held Casey for Luke, and he was amazing, never squirmed or fussed. And Hailey was already in the bathtub, but even that didn't make him mad. He is so easy going. Unfortunately I didn't get a picture of him, but darn is he cute. I can't wait to see how handsome he looks in his new Easter 3-piece suit with his spiffy hair and all! It was his second haircut, but was her first. She is 2 and half and I have never cut her hair. Her baby fine curls were still at the tips but they were beginning to look quite straggly compared to the rest of her hair and would get knots so easily. So it was time. I had to leave to go to 7pm mass, (we had to split up for Mass today because Luke was actually attending a retreat till noon today), and I thought he would wait till I got back.

Nope. This is what I came home to....

I'm a little sad I wasn't there for it, but it might have been for the best. I probably would have gotten choked up.

So thankful for a blessed day with my family!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Hailey Talking

It has been such a joy to hear Hailey talk. I feel like I have waited forever, when really, looking at the big picture, she was not really that behind. She qualified back in the fall for the Infants and Toddler Early Intervention program and a speech therapist has been coming to our house every other week for a 45min session for the last couple months. Hailey has really grown to love her teacher and has been making such amazing strides. Here are some of my current favorites:

The instant she wakes up in the morning, or from a nap, "I awake!"

The other day, it was 4pm and she was asking for dessert. I told her she had to wait til after dinner. Her response, "I not hungry." haha, not dinner time yet sweetie...

She knows we are going on a plane in a couple days so we are hearing over and over all day long, "we're gonna FLY!!! up high!!!" You should see her face, eyes so big, she's glowing and ready to burst. I love witnessing the authentic joy and wonder of little children.

Every day when Luke leaves for work, nodding her head to the side like an adult, "Daddy go work, he'll come home."

Hearing Casey cry, "Tasey, why cry? Mommy, oowie, Tasey oowies." She knows he's teething.

Wanting to share food with Casey. "Tasey. Tasey! Come here! Bite!"

And today, she melted my heart. Casey woke up first from his nap so he was downstairs with me playing. I had put the gate up on the stairs to keep him from going up. When Hailey woke up, Casey heard her coming down the stairs and went to stand at the gate on the bottom step to greet her. When she got to the gate, she was groggy but very softly and sweetly looked down at him and said, "Hi Tasey, you awake too?"

Friday, March 22, 2013

Visit from Grandma

The shopping went well today, but I purposely left everything in the car because I didn't want to show the kids everything at once. Luke is working this weekend, so my brilliant plan is to gradually show them things over the weekend. Heck I might even drag it out over the next couple of weeks. They will enjoy the new things longer and then stay out of my hair! Here's hoping.

So instead, tonight I'm uploading a few pictures of my mom's visit with us this week and I thought I'd document what a great time we had!

My mother truly is amazing. For the Feast of St. Joseph she wanted to put on a nice St. Joseph's table for us and the team. It's a traditional meal honoring St. Joseph and we did it a few times growing up. She brought a statue, fake white flowers to represent purity, she brought with her homemade lentil soup, homemade bread, homemade spaghetti sauce and meatballs....she did so much prep at home! Then she also made pasta and fish. It was a feast. Oh and how could I forget the cake.

Hailey loves baking and she waited so patiently all day to have a piece!

Playing grocery shopping and making

This guy loves to bring you a book for you to read to him. 

In the meantime, Hailey was trying to build herself a slide. I think her baby doll ended up being more successful going down.

Everyone was sad to see Grandma go today, Hailey will be talking about her visit for a while around here!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Tot Swap

No, we are not exchanging children with any neighbors, relatives or friends. It is the name of the mega consignment event of all things infant and toddler related, that I am going to tomorrow morning. I'm pretty excited for several reasons: I'm going without the kids, aka, I get to take my time, enjoy myself, I'm going on a Friday morning - in the past I've gotten there on Saturday afternoon and things are already picked over, and my mom is in town and is coming with me!

I have high hopes to find everything on my list but we shall see. Some of it includes a toddler step stool for the bathroom, a life jacket for Casey, puppets, animal magnets for the refrigerator, a toddler bed (which I'm trying really hard not to get too hopeful about, but I would so love to bring one home for Hailey tomorrow.) She has been sleeping on the floor on a folded up sleeping bag that's topped with blankets, and has a sheet tucked around it for the last several months. She kinda freaked out when I tried to transition her our of her crib into a twin bed with a toddler railing and I have since learned the little lady wants something her size. After all, even Goldilocks chose to sleep in the smallest bear's bed, not the biggest one. Anyway, it's time to get her off the floor and into a bed.

So stay tuned and see the loot I find. 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

What I Wore Sunday, vol 7

Happy St. Patrick's Day! 

I love celebrating this feast day. It was always a big tradition growing up, we'd go to the parade downtown, then go watch some of our close friends who were Irish dancers perform at a restaurant or local Knights of Columbus, then in the evening go to grandma's for an Irish feast that was to die for, with her authentic Celtic music playing away in the background. Now I have the great joy to pass on these traditions in my own little family! There was sadly no local parade, or Irish dancers, but I was in the kitchen all day, and if I do say so myself, it all tasted just as good as my mom or grandma's. Which naturally made me feel a bit homesick. 

We went to the vigil mass again this weekend, because Luke and the team had an event with the student leaders this morning. Afterwards we went over to the seminary for a St. Patrick's day party, with pizza! Honestly, I didn't care, it was perfect for the kids. There were a few other little girls there that Hailey had a ball playing with. When we had to leave, she said to me, "where dey go? hug?"

Someone wanted to join me, love her.

this scarf was a gift from Luke that he got in Assisi back in October. It was the perfect accessory to this outfit making it St. Patrick and Pope Francis celebratory. 

Speaking of Luke, he worked close to 70 hours this past week and let's just say, by yesterday afternoon, I was really feeling it. It was a crazy busy week, and I tried to remind myself (as did he) that these weeks don't happen often, but I had already hit that point where seeing the bright side of things wasn't really going to happen. Hopefully, this week will be less chaotic. I'm trying not to think about the fact that he has to work this upcoming weekend too. We do have a break for Easter, which will be much needed, but we are traveling, spending the holiday with in-laws, so the kids will be out of sync....yes, I'm being a little pessimistic at the moment, it will pass.

Of you go now to greener pastures. :)

Friday, March 15, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday, vol 2

Linking up with Jen and her followers over at Conversion Diary, you should too. I was about to do a post highlighting a few things from our week and then I remembered it was Friday!

1) All week I have been playing catch up. Whenever we do something fun over the weekend, I seem to spend the next several days trying to do all the things I would have spent my Saturday doing. Laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping...really makes me realize how productive my Saturdays normally are. Which maybe means I should spread stuff out more so when I miss a Saturday I'm not as overwhelmed the next week. But it doesn't happen that often, so I think I'll stick with it.

2) How exciting was Wednesday?!? I've spent the past few days reading article after article learning about our new Holy Father. Along with everyone else, I am immensely touched by his simplicity and humility. If you haven't come across this or this yet, I highly recommend reading them.

3) Latest favorite quote from Hailey was sparked by this week's excitement. Wednesday afternoon I said to her, "Hailey, say 'Habemus Papem!'" "Hop, Pop!"

4) Today I have been having a baking marathon of irish soda bread. Thankfully, the student I'm mentoring came over to help, she was a lifesaver!

5) Love spontaneous date nights in with the husband. Last night we watched Premium Rush, and it was pretty good. A little slow at times, but ok.

6) I'm considering signing Hailey up for swim classes. It is going to take some shifting things around, as it falls on Wednesday evening, right during the bible study I lead on campus, but I have been kind of wanting to switch our bible study meeting time anyway. And she would LOVE it.

7) I'm running out of ideas here....teething update? Why not. Casey is getting 5 teeth I think at the same time right now. It's hitting the toomanytocount, his whole mouth is in pain stage. Poor baby. Sometimes even Popsicles don't help, it's too cold and makes him cry. Teething tablets, oral gel and lots of snuggles seem to be his best remedy.

Hope you and yours have a blessed weekend! :)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

What I Wore Sunday, vol 6

One of these weeks, I'm going to do a proper photo shoot. Enough is enough of this, my sincere apologies.

This weekend we went to vigil mass, which was kind of a nice change of pace. The whole weekend was great in that sense. The weather was gorgeous, so Saturday after the kids naps we went to the park, then went right to mass. The sunshine must have really gotten to our heads because we suddenly both had to have burgers for dinner. They were amazing. Luke grilled them perfectly. 

Anyway, the reason we went to vigil was because this morning we were heading over to Baltimore to meet up with some friends for lunch. Casey got to see his godmother and only behaved for the 10 minutes he spent eating french fries and then for the time he was outside running around, throwing rocks with Hailey. Afterwards, we stopped in at a kids thrift store, maybe you've heard of it since it's a chain, Once Upon a Child. I was mostly looking for a toddler bed for Hailey, but sadly they only had two, neither of which I liked. Instead, we came away with Easter outfits for the little rascals and a swim trunks/swim shirt set for Casey that I am in love with. It looks totally brand new and was only $7. 

I don't know about you, but the halfway point of Lent is always when the going seems to get a little more rough for me. I know it is good though, and I pray for the grace to not let the opportunities to grow in holiness slip by me everyday, but to make the most of them. St. Therese once said, "The Lord gives us 1000 opportunities a day to become saints!" 

Holding you in prayer these last few weeks of Lent! :) Now, go take a look at the other holy women at Fine Linen and Purple

Friday, March 8, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday, vol 2

I can hardly believe it's already Friday, what did I do this week? Anyway, let's see what quick takes I can type out while listening to Barney pandora station in the backround.....

1) So I just thought about it for 5 seconds and yep, did a whole lot of nothing this week. We took naps, didn't go to storytime at the library or playgroup, ordered pizza for dinner, soothed the cranky teething boy, and soothed again. And that about sums it up.

2) I had two big prayer intentions answered this week and have been standing in awe of God's goodness and mercy ever since. Saying many prayers of thanksgiving, He is so good. 

3) The circus is coming in a few weeks and I CAN'T WAIT! The kids might still be kinda young, but I don't care. And I think they are still going to love it. They love animals! Seeing elephants and monkeys up close, they won't know what to do with themselves. 

4) This Sunday a good friend will be in Baltimore so we are going to meet up with her for lunch, which will be super fun, and then I've convinced a certain husband that we really should stop in at the Once Upon a Child nearby. His favorite type of outing. 

5) Please tell me spring weather is right around the corner, these kids and I need to get outside. And I know I just complained about how whimpy we are after visiting our family in Canada....but in my defense, it's been SUPER windy. We tired going out the other day and the kids just walked back into the house. 

6) When I make a batch of choc chip cookies, I freeze two tubes of the dough. It's great to only make a dozen at a time, and then when a craving hits, there it is, ready and waiting to pop in the oven. My grandma taught me this trick. Well, I'm thinking about the dough left in the freezer and it's enough for about 6. What? I may or may not eat frozen cookie dough on a particularly bad day with the kids. Anyway, I think those 6 need to get in the oven, stat. 

7) Oh and will I be cooking fish for dinner tonight? Nope, I promised Hailey pancakes and I am a mother of my word. Have you seen the McDonalds fish commercials? Somehow I find them annoying. 

Well, that's quite enough randomness for one day. Go see Jen and her gang for more.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

An Obsession with lotion

Hailey, that is. Not me. She is ridiculous. Granted she has very dry skin during the winter to the point that we actually limit the number of times she takes a bath each week (she would take one every night if we let her), and we completely slather her with thick thick cream afterwards. When I need to get extra aggressive I put the stuff on her every morning too. If she feels dry, she itches, and if her nails are long, she scratches herself, and then those oowies hurt and need more lotion.....and on and on it goes. I'm doing my best here, few baths, short nails, lots of lotion, and still she deems it not enough.

Two weeks ago, I peak in at naptime because I heard some noise and she had gotten a container of aquaphor off the top of the changing table. This stuff is basically Vaseline.

It was everywhere. She tried to put it on her hands and feet and in the process got it all over her shirt and pants, and bed. After getting her cleaned up, scolding her quite extensively to get the point across, I took a good look at her clothes. And walked away. I didn't know where to begin. Petroleum jelly didn't exactly seem like the type of stuff that was going to come out easily.

I think I put it through the wash on cold right way, but with other clothes too. Stupid. Thankfully it didn't get on anything else. But I didn't come out of her clothes either. At that point, I did the smart thing and ran to google.

Rubbing alcohol. I scoffed and walked away again. The technique was complicated -scrap off excess lotion, pour over area and pat with clean white cloth- ok so maybe I was just feeling lazy and I just didn't want to deal with it. I was also feeling like I had already messed the whole thing off because I had thrown it into the wash without scraping, etc, there is no way it will work mentality.

Yesterday I thought I should finally do something about it and gave it a go. There was no excess stuff to scrap off so I just doused it with the rubbing alcohol and let it sit. I didn't have any clean white cloths laying around to pat with.

Then I put it in the wash again, on cold.

This morning I am in shock. Not a trace. Obviously I'm so excited that I came here to tell you all about it.

And guess what? Last night Hailey was supposed to be falling asleep and she comes in to my room where I'm reading my Real Simple magazine (ironic, just the sort of magazine to give tips about stains) and she is COVERED in desitin.

Googling again to see if it's same solution.

I'm coming for you Butt Paste.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Oh Canada

I wanted to post about Canada sooner, so here I am just getting around to it now. We didn't know what we were going to do over our spring break and when I google mapped how far it was to my sister's house, I was shocked to find it was only 8 hours! She and I got married the same summer, and both had babies in 2010 and 2011. Our kids have so much fun together since they are so close in age, and we had never been up to visit them, so we packed our snow gear, found our passports and up to great north we went.

They were having a "mild front" passing through and it was so funny cuz they kept saying how nice it was, and we were still so cold! haha. 30 degrees feels cold to us after 50 in Maryland. It was really neat though to see that people don't stop their normal activities just because there is 3 feet of snow on the ground. People ice skate, ride bikes, push their kids in their strollers, and even jog on the frozen canal, and when we drove past a school, it must have been recess and all the kids were outside playing on the playground. Everyone is constantly in snowpants, boots, hats, gloves. (oh waterproof gloves. Hailey was highly unprepared and we ended up borrowing an extra pair from her cousin) We even took the kids to go sledding on a small hill one day that happened to be at a playground and there were two moms there all suited up along with their kids, playing on the playground. Like it was any other day of the year. I was super impressed. We are such whimps!

And boy did we eat well at my sister's house. I didn't want to leave! She had these choc chip coffee creamer scones, made a delicious venision pot roast with carrots and potatoes, the most amazing pulled pork sandwiches with sauteed peppers, and colby jack cheese....I tired to duplicate them this past weekend and they weren't nearly as good. She just like threw together her own bbq sauce and everything! And when she made enchiladas, she served them with a side of rice and a side of corn. Um, why don't I do that? Luke ate it like it was the first time he had enchiladas. He and Adam just kinda made a pile of it all on their plate and didn't say a word. Oh and Casey ate broccoli.

But enough of my rambling, here are some pics...

such good friends

 this way Hailey!

 lots of dance parties


 we bonded, this gal and I. I love her.

 beaver tail! Yum

 feeding the birds.....eager anticipation....

 the pro

 the novice

 Hailey got hot dancing, and wanted to take her shirt off. It started a chain reaction. They were hilarious dancing around in just their pants.

My sister is amazing, she put together this rice activity for the kids. They loved it! We are definitely doing it this summer on our deck.

I hope you all don't hate me, there were too many good pictures to hold back! 

Hailey and Max

This girl could not get enough of baby Max this past weekend. She was so sweet and gentle with him, it just melted my heart. 

Our friend Anne came up to visit for the day on Sunday, it was so great to see her. We all go way back.

No one told her how to do this! She wasn't pushing it in, just holding it there so it wouldn't fall out.

I got this Mom.

Monday, March 4, 2013

What I Wore Monday

Yesterday morning I did not get the chance to snap a pic, AND it was an outfit I have wore already in the last month, so would have been totally boring, so to make up for it all, I bring to you What I Wore Monday. A first and last edition. 

I was on my way to daily Mass, so I figured why not take a few and bring you these....

are you tired you of bathroom shots yet?

I'm kind of in love with this shirt/tunic. It's a new fav from Forever XXI.

 Our friends are here visiting from Kanas so we were heading over to show them campus, go to Mass and ended up getting lunch in the caf too. They are also focus missionaries and have been on staff as long as we have. It is always a ton of fun when we get together. Our husbands went to Benedictine College together and that is where they are currently serving. I still can't believe they came to visit us for the weekend, and with their 7 week old baby too! They are the best.

We are heading down to main street for wings soon, and I have a child who won't stop melting at the moment. Here's hoping and wishing and praying they behave at the restaurant!