Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Prayer Buddy Reveal

I had the blessing of praying for Rebecca at Shoved To Them this Advent!

I felt especially honored to be able to pray for you, Rebecca, and I hope God used my prayers to bless you this season.

The following was an Advent prayer I found online (it was supposed to be for the first week of Advent, but I used it the entire time!  I thought it was beautiful, and I adapted it just for my prayer buddy by inserting her name for "me". 

Advent Week 1 Prayer

Come, long-expected Jesus.
Excite in me a wonder at the wisdom and power of Your
Father and ours.
Receive my prayer as part of my service of the Lord
who enlists me in God's own work for justice.

Come, long-expected Jesus.
Excite in me a hunger for peace: peace in the world,
peace in my home, peace in myself.

Come, long-expected Jesus.
Excite in me a joy responsive to the Father's joy.
I seek His will so I can serve with gladness, singing and love.

Come, long-expected Jesus.
Excite in me the joy and love and peace
it is right to bring to the manger of my Lord.
Raise in me, too,
sober reverence for the God who acted there,
hearty gratitude for the life begun there,
and spirited resolution to serve the Father and Son.

I pray in the name of Jesus Christ,
whose advent I hail.


Thank you for sharing your blog Rebecca, it is such an inspiration to others!  You are such a blessing!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Friday Quick Takes #10

1.  I LOVE our Christmas tree this year.  For some reason it is not dropping hardly any needles, unlike last year when I was vaccuuming every day!  We have had to devise a contraption to keep the cat from drinking all the tree's water.  Our cat is obsessed with water.  He prefers to drink out of a running faucet, rather than his water bowl.  If he hears water, he comes refilling the Christmas tree makes for an adventure.  Luckily our anti-cat contraption is working and you barely notice it.  It's a piece of dark foam rubber that we cut to fit around the base of the tree and over the top of the water tray.And most importantly, it works!  Our poor cat is just furious over it.

2.  We are battling a long-lasting viral cold in this house.  It started with Isabel, spread to me and I gave it to Ian.  Isabel was doing better, and I was just starting to get it on Saturday when we went to a potluck dinner....I think that was a bad move.  I dosed up on dayquil before we went and felt well enough to make it through the party, but I think we just ended up spreading our germs instead of joy and Christmas cheer. :(  That was last Saturday, and the running noses are continuing....I hate when colds hang on.  Hopefully we will get through it and be well for Christmas week!

3.  Ian is cruising along furniture and starting to let go with one hand, turn around and then just sort of freefall- IF someone is there to catch him.  He doesn't really do it if he knows he's by himself.  I don't know if he expects that he can stand on his own or thinks he's going to take off walking or what!?  (He's definitely not got the balance yet to just stand on his own yet).  He's growing up faster than Isabel did....I swear!  In our house, Ian is a big ham...always smiling, giggling, getting into mischief, but as soon as someone else enters the house he becomes very serious. 

4.  We made salt-dough ornaments this week and they turned out AWESOME!  I used this lady's recipe and I think this will be an annual tradition.  Very frugal, but they turned out much nicer than I expected.  I need to take a picture :)

5.  We watched Nicholas:  The Boy Who Became Santa this week for the Feast of St. Nicholas and the Christians in the show are being persecuted.  Well Isabel asked me, "Why don't they just tell the bad guys that they (the Christians) don't really believe in Jesus so they don't kill them and throw them in jail?"  Ohhhh boy!  Big discussions at 5 years to explain martyrdom as a good thing.  Any ideas?  I was so caught off guard.  I told her that it's always important to show your love for Jesus, even when people are teasing you or want to throw you in jail, etc. and that maybe that you standing up for Jesus will lead to the bad guy changing his heart to love Jesus too!

6.  I don't have a 7th quick take this week, so for my 6th, could you please send up some prayers for Rob's dad?  My FIL had a stroke and is currently in the hospital.  He does not seem to understand what people are saying and is having trouble forming sentences.  :(  His prognosis is very uncertain at this point and we are kind of taking it moment by moment until the doctors give us some more info.  Please pray for our whole family that God will show His will and bring good out of this situation.  Thank you!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Prayer Buddy!

Hey Prayer Buddy!  I've got a request!  I'm really struggling with an issue of overindulgence over here.  And it's not what you think.  I'm actually the one who is trying to keep things simple.  But I'm getting overwhelmed by the overindulgence of others, especially since this time of year is supposed to be about JESUS, preparing for Him, slowing down, reflecting....

...and instead I'm panicking and a little sick to my stomach, because of "too much of a good thing".

I's rather vague.  If you could just pray that God will work all of this out, and that I can leave it up to Him.  That would be great. 

There's something about a simpler life that I am drawn to.  Less materialism.  Less clutter to occupy my house and my mind.  Maybe it's time to move out to the country and raise chickens. 

And on another note, a big Praise God! for so many new pregnancies around me lately!  Praying that these are all blessed and healthy!  Praise God for new life all around. 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Put a Sock In It!

Oh not you!


This is what I've decided to work on during Advent. 

God kind of alerted me to this at Adoration last night.  I went in and knelt down and started rambling. 

Then I got distracted.  Lost my train of thought.  I couldn't focus.  My mind was everywhere.  And I sensed God telling me to slow down and bask in His presence.  I needed to put a sock in the "mouth" of my mind, which was apparently running in overdrive.

And I'm so glad He let me know.  Because I was able to stop.  And let go.  And truly bask in His presence.  I took all of my sin, and all of my worry, and frustration, anxiety, sadness, you name it....and I gave it to Him.
And I felt light.
I thought I might fall over in the pew....I literally felt that weightless.
It was supernatural.

Until I started thinking thoughts like, "what if I really do fall out of my pew and all these people see me?"  And then that "light" feeling started to slip away. 

Trust Me.

Okay Lord.  You know best.  I trust in You. 

I had over an hour of glorious adoration time. 

And my new reminder when my mind starts to think about "too much" at once,  is to put a sock in it.

Here's my little mascot to cheer me on:

Lord, help me to slow down, put a sock in it, and listen to what you would have me hear this Advent.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Welcome Back AF!

What a title!  But my cycle did indeed return....on Thanksgiving Day. 

I told you I ovulated, afterall.  And right before the return of my cycle came the return of the insanity I like to call "me obsessing over whether or not I might be pregnant right before AF returns". 

I WAS that person in the Dollar Tree, the day before Thanksgiving, buying a pregnancy test....

And on top of that, I was dragging Isabel up and down every aisle.  (They moved the tests, you see). 

Meanwhile she is asking what it is that I'm shopping for. 

"I can't tell you."  I reply.

"Oh boy!"  she says....then breaks into a litany of ideas;  "Is it a toy?  Is it a coloring book?  Is it a princess wand?  I really want a princess wand on my Christmas list...."  Uh-oh, now she thinks it's a surprise for her.  Geez...this is not going like I had planned. 

Just walk into the store, discreetly buy a test and get out.

Nope.  Go up to the check-out and ask the lady at the register if they have any tests. 

"Yes."  She says and stares blankly at me.

"O-K....Can you tell me where you keep them?"  I'm trying to prompt her...

"Right here under the counter."  She doesn't make a move.  Still staring blankly at me.

"Okay, I'll take two."  (You always need a back-up!)  She kind of half-smiles at me, but I don't bother to explain to her the necessity of two tests. 

Check out.  "Happy Thanksgiving!"  Leave store.  Get home.  Take test.  It's definitely negative. 

Hmmm....what if it's wrong?

AF shows up the next morning!  


I would have been thankful either way :) 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

What's a good number?

Lately, I keep getting asked how many children Rob and I want to have.  It's interesting because this article on the Duggars recently flew all over facebook and blogs, and I thought it was terrific.

So maybe people are asking because the Duggars are having another child.  In any case, my response is usually the same as Rob's, "We will have as many as God chooses to give us."

But this answer seldom satisfies the person who asked the question.

"Well, what's a good number?"

For me?  In my head it's usually the same answer!  "However many we are blessed with!"  But what I have been saying lately is "five". 

I think five is a great number.  But let me quantify and clarify!

When I was 10, I thought "three" was a good number of kids.  Because I am one of three children in my family.

When I was, oh, about 16, my opinion changed and I thought "four" was a good number.  At that point I thought I was being really generous...I mean FOUR KIDS???  That's a whole lot!  (Or so I thought.)  And my reasoning at the time was that with three children, someone was always a "third wheel", so four would even things out.

My point is, perspective changes over time, and with experience.  Losing babies has made me desire more babies!  Having Isabel made me wish I had started having children sooner.  There is no way to explain the joy that comes with having a  child, and after Isabel, I couldn't wait to see what new creation God might have in store for Rob and I in the addition of another child to our family.  And from my perspective of having lost several pregnancies, I think five might be an ambitious number, just because of my history. 

So I say "five"....but I would be thrilled with six, or seven or get the picture!   It's not my desire to attempt to limit God by saying "this is the limit, we're not open to any more".  And sometimes I think when people talk to me they want to know that I have "a limit". 

Having children comes with great responsibility!  Rob and I take this seriously!  You have to be able to provide for them, among other things!  But would my children suffer if they never got to go on extravagant vacations, instead opting for cheaper family camp-outs in the backyard?  I'm not sure why people are eager for my "limit". 

Would 20 children be too many?  Well, considering my history and age there probably isn't much of a chance of that happening!  Ummm....and we'd definitely need a bigger house.  And what about this BIBLE verse? 

"Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD,
    the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
   are the children of one’s youth.

  Blessed is the man
   who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame
   when he speaks with his enemies in the gate."

Psalm 127:3-5 

That makes you many makes a full quiver??   I think the answer for each family is different and it takes discernment, openness to God's will and some deep prayer with You Know Who!

Just my 2 cents for the day.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday Quick Takes

1.  I'm going longer and longer between posts these days....I'm sure you've noticed! ;)  Not sure if it is just the addition of Ian and less time on my hands, or if I've got less to say these days.  Sometimes I wonder if I should keep this blog going if there's not much to say, but then I am reminded that people discover things when God wants them to....and Mary Grace's story still has relevance for those who are struggling with pregnancy loss, even if I am not currently in that same struggle.

2.  I put Ian on the scale yesterday and he was 15 1/2 pounds!  YAY!  I am just thrilled that he is gaining weight on this high-cal stuff!  The fact that he is gaining outweighs the frustration and sadness I have that I am not exclusively breastfeeding. 

3.  Homeschooling is going well this year and through it, and a book that my mom recommended:  The Way They Learn I am learning to approach her in different ways, and recognize that she has a particular way of learning that may in fact be different from the way I learn!!! (How novel!)  It has been really useful.  Isabel really likes to do things right the first time, even though she may not know how!  So when things aren't perfect the first time she is easily frustrated.  And it doesn't help for me to get frustrated about that.  (I should have already known that, right?)  But I've found the different ways to work through it and help her to persevere! 

4.  I'm pretty sure I ovulated.  More on that in another post...

5.  I'm very excited about eating Thanksgiving dinner.  :)

6.  I found a nativity felt board on Etsy that I am just so thrilled about!  It comes with a pregnant Mary and a "delivered" Mary, and you can put baby Jesus in and out of the crib.  These things may seem trivial, but they are going to be so "big" for Isabel!  I can't wait for it to arrive.

7.  Speaking of being "delivered", there is an abundance of new babies around here!  Several friends have had their babies in the last couple of weeks and I'm so happy for them!  Praise God for safe and healthy deliveries, mommas and babies!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

7 Month Weight Check

Yesterday I took Ian for his 7 month weight check.  He has now been on the high calorie breastmilk and high calorie formula for one month, and he gained 11 1/2 oz over the last month!  At 6 months he was 14lbs 7 oz and yesterday he weighed 15lbs 2.5 oz!  So the high cal stuff is working!

What has not been working is what I suspect to be reflux.  Ian does not spit up really, but over the last month he has started waking multiple times at night, sometimes screaming in pain.  With the screaming in pain, I've noticed a wet, gurgling noise in his throat.  For three days he had really terrible breath, which I thought might be related, but at the time he also had a cold, so I thought it could also be drainage.  But what really made me suspect reflux was the way the child takes a bottle.  Sitting straight up with his head tilted looks ridiculous, but he got to the point where he would no longer take a bottle cradled in your arms (like a normal baby!).... the other alternative position was on the floor, but he would still sort of turn on his side and arch his back. 

So yesterday, the doc put him on Zan.tac.  It did not go over well.  The first dose he vomited everything in his tiny little stomach.  The second dose we tried giving in food...did not really work.  The third dose in one ounce of freshly pumped breastmilk.  Nope.  So I added 2 more ounces of milk, nope.  Wouldn't touch it.  Wasted breast milk.  I was pretty upset at this point.  The doctor has prescribed awful tasting medicine (oh....wait, I didn't mention that we took it back to Target and they flavored the already menthol **think worse than peptobis.mol** medicine with grape....yeah, he still hates it.), my baby won't take the medicine, and now thinks any bottle coming his way is of the devil. 


And then my husband shoves my devotional at me, and I read it. 

"Take all sufferings today and offer them to God in thanksgiving for the many blessings you have received."


Waiting on a call back from the triage nurse to either give me some new tips...or a new prescription.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

"Precious Little One"

Today I looked down at Ian, (who was attempting to crawl underneath our dining room table to all the sharp corners for the umpteenth time)....and as I scooped him up, I thought to myself....he's really here.

This precious little guy who we had waited for....for soooo long, he's really here in front of me.  It's hard sometimes to grasp, even as I'm cleaning up baby spit, having my hair pulled, pulling him out from under the dining room table for the umpteenth time, and washing diapers...he's really here.

I am so blessed.

Yesterday, one of Rob's co-workers asked for the poem we had printed on Mary Grace's funeral cards.  I knew the only place to find it was in The Box.  I knew I had to go in there to get was important.  The co-worker's next door neighbor had just lost her baby at 39 1/2 weeks. 

Oh it makes my heart ache for her.  I just can't imagine the pain of being that close to having a baby in her arms, and then...

And yet, I'm familiar with the pain of losing a baby.

Please send up a prayer for her family, if you have a chance. 
I hope this poem brings her some comfort.

"Precious Little One"
I'm just a precious little one who didn't make it there.
I went straight to be with Jesus,
but I'm waiting for you here.
Many dwelling here where I live waited years to enter in.
Struggled through a world of sorrow,
a world marred with pain and sin.
Thank you for the life you gave me,
it was brief but don't complain.
I have all Heaven's Glory,
suffered none of earth's great pain.
Thank you for the name you gave me.
I'd have loved to bring it fame.
But if I'd lingered in earth's shadows,
I would have suffered just the same.
So sweet family - don't you sorrow.
Wipe those tears and chase the gloom.
I went straight to Jesus' arms
from my loving Mother's womb.
-Author Unknown

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Ian's 6 month check-up...about as I expected.

The poor baby has dropped from 75th% at birth to 5th%..... pretty much as I expected.  He weighed in at a whopping (haha) 14 pounds 7 ounces.  His length is about 40th% and head circumference is still up there too, so the pediatrician was not "overly concerned", but she was concerned enough to agree that we needed to ramp up his calories.

So now, he gets high calorie breastmilk!  That is 3 oz of breastmilk mixed with 1 teaspoon of powdered formula.  Or if I need to do 100% formula at a feeding, then he gets 5 oz of water with 3 scoops of powdered formula...that gives him 24 calories/ounce versus the average 20 calories/ounce of regular formula or breastmilk.  It didn't sound like that much to me, going from 20 calories/ounce to 24/ounce until Rob reminded me that that was a 20% increase in calories per ounce, so yeah, I guess he's right ;)

Now I never knew  you could combine breastmilk and formula powder!  Somewhere I had read that you should swirl, not shake breastmilk as it breaks down something in the breastmilk.  Well, it's kind of difficult to "swirl in" the formula powder.......ahhh....the challenges around here never cease! ;)

The pediatrician said that since Isabel went through the same thing, and went through pretty much every test imaginable and we have found nothing "wrong", then it is likely just genetic...hereditary. 

Yep, just like I gain 50-70lbs each pregnancy, I also grow tiny children. 

Yes, I realize that gaining that much weight during pregnancy is not hereditary!  Wish I could claim that one!

In all seriousness though, I've really had a hard time entrusting this baby to God in the area of weight gain.  In fact, I would say that I haven't done it.  I've been trying to fight this "get my baby to gain weight" battle all on my own, possibly even against God, and let me tell you, it's not been working.  Sometimes it's hard to remember that I can choose to turn each and  every moment over to Him.

When I'm tired.
When I'm making the umpteenth bottle of extra calories.
When the dishes are piling up.
When Isabel doesn't want to focus on her school work.
When the cloth diapers need to be washed, again.
When Ian crawls to the same hard cornered "foot" of the dining room table over and over, and I have to pull him back so that he doesn't bump.
When I get that unexpected bill in the mail.
When the man in the faith formation car pool line yells at me because he thinks I'm not following carpool line directions....
I should have given it all to Him. 

Every moment is a choice. 
God help me, in every moment, to remember to choose You.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Pictures from a lazy Saturday!

Pictures from a lazy Saturday...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

6 months of Ian

Today Ian turned 6 months old!  I absolutely cannot believe he has already been here for 6 months, and yet it is hard to figure out how we got along without him before he arrived.

Ian continues to be a charmer.  His easy smile and happy baby laughs are enough to make me want 10 more!  Okay, well...that probably won't be likely (so don't worry, Mom!). 

At 6 months Ian has 4 teeth (well, the top 2 have broken through, but are not all the way down yet).  He is inchworming everywhere...

"Inchworming??", you ask??

Just watch below:

He's alot faster now....that was a couple weeks ago. 
Now he thinks he should start pulling up on things....
at 6 months.
So far he pulls up just so that he's holding on to something and he's on his knees....he is not actually pulling to a standing position or anything....
pretty good for a 6 month old, huh?

And I finally, yes, finally....
at 6 months....
transitioned him into his own crib....that is, not mine and Robert's bed....that is, not the co-sleeper that was attached to our bed...that is, his own crib in his own bedroom all the way across the playroom.  But he's doing quite well in there!  I'm the one who is having baby withdrawals!  People used to ask me (all the time) if Ian was sleeping through the night and before I had a hard time answering, because he was in the bed with he never fully woke up, but if he started rooting around in the bed, I'd nurse him and he was back to sleep in an instant.   However, now, I can answer, definitely NOT sleeping through the night.  Here is our routine. 

He goes to sleep around 8-9pm in the pack 'n play downstairs (because we are downstairs in the evening watching tv).
I fall asleep on the couch and then go to bed by 11pm.
Rob stays up (he's a night owl) and brings Ian up to the crib between 12am-1am (at which time Ian usually wakes up and nurses).
Then he usually wakes up at 4am and nurses, then back to sleep until about 7:30am.
Sometimes there is one extra "wake up" in there. 

The only issue at 6 months that we are having is that 2 weeks ago, Ian weighed 14lbs on our home scale.  At his 4 month well-visit he was 13lbs 9.5oz.  So he had only gained about a half pound (not even!) over a month and a half.  I was very concerned....actually I've been concerned since his 4 month check-up, because he had already started sliding down the growth chart.  So about a week ago I started him on formula.  I try to get about 10-12oz of formula in him a day and the rest is breastmilk...of course I'm not really pumping all that breastmilk, he is just nursing, so I'm not totally sure how many more ounces he is getting a day.  I was thinking that maybe my milk is just water...well, mostly water. 

Is it possible for some breastmilk to just be lowfat???  Maybe he is not getting enough hindmilk....maybe my hindmilk is really 1% instead of whole milk???  I don't know.  All I know is that the formula seems to be helping because on October 3, I weighed him at 14.8lbs on my home scale and then October 4th, he was 15 even (but wearing his diaper and onesie) still .8 lbs in a week is pretty good in my opinion.  We go to the pediatrician for his 6 month well visit on Monday, so I'm sure she'll have alot to say. 

This is very much a repeat of far as falling off the growth charts.  The only thing I have going for me in Ian's case is that his poor sister went through every test imaginable and they were never able to find anything "wrong".  But when both kids start falling off the charts around 4 months, it does make me wonder about my milk. 

Now I do have to say that I feel pretty rotten about the milk makes me feel pretty inadequate to think that my milk is not supplying enough calories to keep my kids growing!  I'm eating plenty (just ask Rob :) ) and I'm drinking I don't know what else could be eating up the calories unless I'm pregnant!  (Don't worry Mom, that was another joke!)

In that department, I still haven't seen my period.  I had gotten it around 5 months PP with Isabel and I was even exclusively, on-demand breastfeeding with her!

Anyway, I'll leave you with a cute pic of my three sweeties!  It's almost a family pic, except someone had to take the picture :)  Baby doesn't sit still for the camera timer.

Happy 6 months, Ian! 

And as a completely random aside, does anyone know what I could do with winter squash???

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Convicted at church.

Thus says the LORD:
You say, "The LORD's way is not fair!"
Hear now, house of Israel:
Is it my way that is unfair, or rather, are not your ways unfair?
When someone virtuous turns away from virtue to commit iniquity, and dies,
it is because of the iniquity he committed that he must die.
But if he turns from the wickedness he has committed,
he does what is right and just,
he shall preserve his life;
since he has turned away from all the sins that he has committed,
he shall surely live, he shall not die.    Ezekiel 18:25-28

This was the first reading at Mass today.  And it really began to convict me.  It got me thinking about how a person's heart can truly be turned to God at even the very last moment of his life.  If the person will just turn away from sin.  It's hard to understand sometimes, that turning away from money, comfort, and control of your life can actually preserve your life.  
Heaven seems so far off, sometimes.  
God seems so distant sometimes.
And yet both thing could be brought before you in the blink of an eye. 

I was convicted later in Mass during the gospel reading (Matthew 21:28-32), where again the point of conversion was was the story of the man with 2 sons, one of whom said that he would not go work in the vineyard (after being asked by his father), but later changed his mind. 
Something changed in his heart, which allowed him to obey his father. 
And it changed after he had initially rejected making the right choice.

And so it can be with those we love....or maybe even with our own self! 

I have been rejecting an opportunity to forgive.  I received some devotional emails on the topic of forgiveness and have been avoiding them for about a week and a half now.  It's too hard.  It's too much to read.  I thought I already forgave...but why do I still have all these angry feelings?? 

I know what is the right thing to do.  I've been telling the Lord, "it isn't fair", just like in the first reading.   And maybe some things are more difficult to forgive when you are living them.  It's not always a past hurt, but sometimes it is in the present....I guess forgiveness can be in the present too.  Maybe some people have to pray for the strength to forgive on a daily basis...

Good thing God is near.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I'm back and thankful. last post was August 5th, and here we are at September 15th!  Bad blogger! 

I've looked at this website many times over the last month and have almost started writing a post, then stopped. 

I've got what I can call nothing other than a spiritual war going on inside and around me.  Maybe someone out there can relate, but I've just noticed, and have been a part of Satan really trying to attack, tear down and destroy whatever he can of "the family unit"....I've experienced it in my own family, and I've seen it around me. 

And I've had a hard time with it.  I haven't known how to write about it.  I've had lots of anger over it.  I've been struggling with FORGIVENESS, RELEASING situations to God, CHOOSING to LOVE,....and frankly I feel like I've been thrown into a world that I did not know could exist.  A world that I would have never believed God would ever have brought my way, and a world around which the "potholes" so-to-speak, are difficult to navigate.

This sounds really depressing, and it is!  But there are things that I am learning too....

The most amazing, is that for the whole time that Rob and I struggled with losing babies and with trying to get pregnant again, I wondered why all of this was God's plan.  How could it be that He didn't want me to have any of those babies.....the answer many people gave:  "All in God's time", "God's timing is perfect", "Wait on the Lord".  And I believed all of those statements....I just didn't understand. 

But in the situation that I am experiencing now, God is letting me in on His plan...just a little bit. 
While I can't speak on the situation here on this blog, I can say, that God gave me Ian, for this time.  At Adoration one day, that thought came to me.  God wanted me to understand this.

Not only is he a little miracle because we waited so long, and waited through such heartache for him, but he is a miracle who's purpose is to bring a special joy and love, and a reminder of God's EVER-PRESENT LOVE to me and my family during this time in our life. 

This baby is so easy to smile.... he will laugh practically on command....  he is oh-so ticklish!! 
And those baby giggles and smiles are holding me together. 
Oh God is so good.  He knew what I would need before I even knew that I would need it.
He saw a situation from afar, and refined me through fire, and molds and remolds me as I continue my journey. 

God, my husband, and my children.   He knew what I would need! 
And I am so very thankful I have all of them in my life.

Friday, August 5, 2011

What I've been up to this week...

Diaper laundry....although not sure I should have hung them to dry, because now I have leak issues.  :(

Bathtime art.  Isabel's bathtime art, that is.  
Don't know what it is??  
The Crucifixion and Resurrection, of course!  I didn't prompt her either...she drew it all on her own. 

Ian contemplating life from his stroller with Isabel and Rob building in the background. 
We went to the NC Museum of Life and Science on Monday with out-of-town family!
Lots of fun!

Iz and I using geometric pattern blocks!  
We have these at home, but for some reason they are sooooo much cooler at the museum, right?

Fresh "right bite" tomatoes :)  Yum!

Outdoor play with colored water in old plastic bottles...doesn't get more frugal than this! ;)  
I found the idea at one of my favorite blogs:  Frugal Family Fun Blog

And what is this last picture??  Oh, that's how I said the rosary on Wednesday.  
I had to use baby toys instead of rosary beads to keep track of my Hail Marys.  
Hey, stay at home moms have to improvise sometimes! ;)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Because this smile would make anyone's day....

I'm posting it here...

So for any of you who are feeling down....

   Under the weather....

        Burdened by life.....

             Overwhelmed by finances, relationships in turmoil, or some other stressful event.....

Just take a look at this face.  And have your smile for the day.  God has good things in store for you!

"A glad heart makes a cheerful face, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed."
Proverbs 15:13

Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday Quick Takes #8

1.  Number One is that I'm wayyyy over due for a blog post here!  There are lots of reasons.  Little time, too lazy, and it's been hard to come up with some "real" subject matter.  Oh pictures of the kids is "real enough", but I've just been lacking in the meaty-post-writing department lately.

2.  We've I've started cloth diapering.  I'm kinda dragging my husband along into it....which is why I scratched out the "we've".  I have to say I'm a bit giddy about's actually awesome.  How can cloth diapering be fun?  Why am I looking forward to putting a new diaper on Ian at changing time??  Is it the snaps on those cute little cloth diapers??  Is it the bright colors??  I have no idea, but I love it!  I've gotten alot of help from around the blogworld (MoreLikeMaryMoreLikeMe and Andrew and Julie's Adoption Story) as well as from my IRL friend, Emily!  What a huge help!!

3.  Ian has a tooth (actually I think it's 2 teeth) coming in at 3 months!  I'm shocked....sort of.  He's been gnawing on his fists since around 6 weeks, but the pediatrician told me it was not likely to be due to his teeth.  I didn't really believe her.  Sure enough yesterday was a bit of a nightmare  (see pic below).  Poor little guy was just a mess with his sore little gums!  I held him umm....all day?  Okay, a good portion of the day. I don't know if you can really see in the bottom pic those two little white dots on his gums (bottom 2 front teeth), but I promise you they are there!  Iz didn't cut a tooth until 7 months..this is just crazy!  And of course it hasn't really cut through the gums yet...I think he'll feel much better once they do.

4.  Monday was mine and Rob's 8 year wedding anniversary!  Eight years has both flown by and yet it seems like we've always been together :)  What a blessing God has given me in him!

5.  My garden has been more of a failure than a success this year.  Overrun with weeds...(I didn't want to use weed killer for fear it would get my vegetables, and I don't really like weed killer/pesticides/etc.) but it seems like the weeds got the better of me.  I'm not going to show you a picture because it's too embarrassing!  But out of the lettuce, corn, squash, sweet peas, watermelon, tomatoes, peppers and green beans I planted.  We have eaten a few sweet peas, lettuce (although it's turned bitter), 1 squash before the squash bugs got it, a handful of green beans (but thankfully there are more), the watermelons are starting to rot on the bottom before they get big enough to eat (??), and the tomatoes are just now FINALLY starting to turn yellow.  All of these things were from seed...oh and the corn, it grew into stalks, just never produced any cobs.  Go figure. 

6.  It's been killer hot here.  100 degrees feeling like 110.  This is not the NC weather I grew up with.  Today is much more pleasant...we even got to have the screen door open because it was soooo cool!  Happy for cooler (high 88) weather yesterday and today!

7.  I thought this article about Corapi was excellent.  It put all the thoughts I've been having about his situation into the right perspective...I'm glad she wrote it.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Look what I won!

I've been out of town and when I got home Friday, I had received this in the mail:

Isn't it just gorgeous???  Courtesy of Pray, Hope, Don't worry.  I was sooooo thrilled to have been chosen as the winner during her recent giveaway!  And little did she know that the colors she chose for this birthdate print (mounted on canvas) are the same colors in Ian's nursery!!  Amazing! 

It looks so good, I may just have to order one for Isabel too! ;)

Here's a closer look:  I got his name, date of birth, weight and length, the meaning of his name and even a St. Gerard "pray for us" card on there!  She did such a beautiful job.

She sells these prints on as well as personalized onesies, and wedding date prints so go check it out:  Rae's Gifts for baby and home on Etsy.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Ian's Baptism

Here are a couple pictures from Ian's baptism on Saturday, June 11th, 2011.  There were 5 babies total baptized that day.  I was so nervous that Ian would be screaming, but the deacon totally calmed my nerves when he said, "Now sometimes it makes parents anxious when their babies cry, but I love crying not worry!"  WHEW!  But I didn't need to worry anyway, because he slept through the entire thing!

Above is a picture of Isabel holding the baptism picture frame she created for Ian.  It's so cute...we talked about what she might put on it (I suggested a dove, cross, etc.) and she just took the ideas and ran with it!  There is Jesus on the very top (with black hair), two doves, two angels holding tablets (can't remember what she said they said), sheep, baby Jesus in a manger, and Mary and Joseph praying in front of Jesus in the tabernacle!  Love little kid creations!  How precious!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Name That Baby: Baptism Edition! *ANSWER*

So Ian was baptized today, and I will post some pictures soon....but just couldn't believe when we slipped him into the baptismal gown how much he resembled here is Round Two of Name That Baby!

Give me your guesses! 
I promise each pic is of a different baby ;)

ANSWER:  You are all right!  Ian is in the top picture and Isabel is in the bottom picture!  Good job!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Better than a Bumbo

Ummm....we have a real bumbo seat by the way...but this is Daddy's makeshift version:

Disclaimer:  Ian was not left alone at any point in these pillows!

No, not even then!

Daddy thought he was so clever creating this pillow seat that he had to take a picture:

I of course, took a picture of him taking the picture.  ;)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Quick Takes #7

1.  The heat here is just zapping my energy!  Today it is only 86, but for some reason it feels worse than the 95 we had yesterday!  We installed the thermal window film on several of our west facing windows and it has made a HUGE difference in the temperature inside our home...or at least a huge difference on how hard our poor AC unit has to work!  I'm almost giddy to see the electric bill next month to calculate our savings!

2.  My husband surprised me with a new camera for my birthday....okay, it's not my birthday until the 20th, but to get this one, he had to sell my SLR and I kind of couldn't go without a camera for Ian's baptism which is a week from tomorrow!  So I got it early!  It's an Olympus Pen E-PL1 and it's awesome.  I'm in love with it.  I went from an Olympus E-500 to the Pen.

3.  Last night our german shepherd killed a giant rabbit that somehow entered our fenced in backyard.  I was really surprised since Greta does nothing but gently play and herd our cat.  I guess she thought the rabbit was an intruder.  I was kind of upset about it until Rob reminded me that if it had been a fox or coyote, we would have wanted her to get it out of there....still...

4.  My garden is growing really well!  I have tomato plants, corn, zucchini, cucumber, watermelon and sweet peas, oh and lettuce and pepper plants this year.  The only problem I'm having is massive weeds!!!  Not sure how to get rid of them....I'm pulling like crazy, but the more I water, the more they come back.

5.  We are having grilled chicken (marinated in greek dressing) and an orzo tomato pasta salad for dinner tonight and I'm starving.  It's 6:01pm.

6.  Ian is teething.  Did I mention that last week?  Well it's for sure!  He gnaws his fist and has given himself a hickie on his arm from chewing...poor baby can't hold up a teething ring or anything really to chew on yet!  He goes for his 2 month visit on Monday...and gets shots :(

7.  Finally, Isabel and I were watching A Baby Story the other day and the mother-to-be had been adopted when she was a I said to Iz, "She was adopted."  Isabel replied, "From where?....the purgatory?"  I then cracked up....she meant "the orphanage" but Lord knows how she confused "purgatory" with "orphanage" was too funny!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Quick Takes Friday #6

1.  My weight has plateaued.  I've lost 38lbs since having Ian....of the 53 that I gained!!!  And I still have 15 more to go....sadly, it doesn't seem to be going!  The first 35 pounds came off within the first 2 weeks...I'm not exaggerating.  I'm not sure how it happened but I seriously lost 35lbs in 2 weeks...and 3 pounds in the next 4 weeks.  I guess it's time to start exercising, huh? ;)

2.  Ian woke up at 5:30am this morning.  So it's 6:28am as I type this....he's happy...he just doesn't want to sleep...he just wants to lie there...awake...and wiggling.

3.  Yesterday I took both kids to the pool...all by myself!  I felt very accomplished!  Of course Ian did not get in..we camped out in the shade and Isabel played in the shallow end, but I did it and survived.

4.  We picked strawberries this week and so far have made homemade strawberry shortcake (yum!) and strawberry muffins.  I think this morning we will do strawberry bread....frankly I'm running out of strawberry ideas.

5.  Yesterday a solicitor came to our door and rang the doorbell.  Not a big deal, right?  Except that I have a "No Soliciting Here!  Thank You!" sign on the door.  He had the audacity to tell me that he saw my sign (!) but that this was really important.  Do you think I bought any of what he was selling??? ;)  I was fuming when he left!

6.  Ian's baptism is June 11th!  I'm looking forward to it!

7.  Does anyone know of a cheaper alternative to Dreft, the baby detergent?  

Thursday, May 19, 2011

I'm 6 weeks old!

Wanna play a guessing game???

Guess who turned six weeks on Tuesday??? this game boring you??  Don't fall asleep!  It's you!!!

Yes, YOU turned 6 weeks on Tuesday!!!  What you can't believe it either???

It's funny because it's true!  I knew you would like that answer... 
You just love being the center of attention these days...

What??? You have to share the attention with someone??  Who's that?

Awww....I knew you wouldn't mine sharing with her.

Happy six weeks, Ian!  We are so blessed!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A moment of peace.

A moment of peace.....

This is the kind of peace that can only be found in the bathroom with the overhead fan on 
...and the shower running.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Name That Baby! **ANSWER**

Inspired by Leila's comment on my last post about how she was surprised by Ian's dark hair after always seeing Isabel's blonde hair, I've come up with a game that I'll call Name That Baby! ;)  Isabel wasn't always blonde, you see!  I was as surprised as everyone else when she came out with dark hair and it slowly changed over to blonde.

So, one picture is of Isabel and the one is of Ian.  Leave me a comment if you think you know who is who!

ANSWER:  Isabel is in the top picture, Ian is in the bottom!  That was fun!  Might have to be a recurring addition to the ol' blog ;)