Friday, April 20, 2012

Quick Takes Friday #11

 1.  Ian is walking!  And he had his 1 year well visit on April 12th and only weighed 17lbs 14oz....bless his heart.  That puts him in the -5th%....Isabel was around 15lbs at one year, so at least he is beating her weight! ;)  Oy, what can I say?  We make tiny children.  Ian's length and head circumference were around the 50% though, so that is great and the doctor was not really concerned with his weight considering he has an older sibling who did the same.  It is such a difference this time around...with Isabel we had test after test after test, and the pediatrician is so much more laid back with Ian's growth.  But it's interesting too, because Isabel was not a big eater.  Our ped used to say "some kids live to eat and some kids eat to live".  Isabel "ate to live".  Ian, however, "lives to eat" and so it seems a little bizarre to me that he does not weigh more than he does.

2.  Isabel's 6th birthday is coming up in just one week!  We are having a little party at a local playground, and hopefully it can be more about just a joyful, play-filled celebration with cake and ice cream and kids having fun, rather than a present-focused party.  Inevitably as the first of January rolls around (or basically as soon as Christmas is over), Isabel starts to ask about making her birthday list...that is all the gifts she would like to receive for her birthday!  Yes, 4 months before her birthday this starts!  Every store we visit, it becomes "mom, can you put this on my birthday list?"  I thought about countering this with the idea of asking guests to bring a can of food to donate to a food pantry/homeless shelter, in lieu of bringing a gift....and Isabel thought that was a great idea, but then I started thinking that seemed almost like "charging admission"....ugh...when did birthday parties get so complicated?  We ended up just putting "No need to bring a gift, just join us for cake, ice cream and play!"  Hopefully that will work!

3.  I tend to over-think things.  So this Consecration that I'm doing, it's really giving me trouble.  The thing is some days I think I'm doing pretty good, and then other days I'm distracted during the prayers and it just seems like it's not good enough.  I keep hearing people say, "Oh I wish I had done it better"...or "more perfectly", and so some days I feel like I'm already failing at it!  I know I can't do it perfectly because I'm just a human!   So the days that I get distracted, I try to offer that up and hope God understands.  But I'm still thinking in the back of my mind, "could I have done today better?"  I guess the answer is always, yes! ;)

4.  I'm trying out a homemade recipe for laundry detergent thanks to Hebrews.  I actually got it many months ago from her and I've finally run out of my real detergent.  So it was time to make it.  And so far, I love the homemade stuff!
1 bar finely grated fels naptha
1 cup washing soda
1 cup borax
1 cup oxiclean
Combine it all and use 2 Tablespoons for a regular load.   How easy is that?  None of that liquid mess where you have to let it congeal overnight or something.  My mom has tried the Duggar's recipe and wasn't very impressed with it (it's the liquid kind), so we think that the oxiclean is the secret ingredient to making homemade detergent work well! 

5.  Our ancient (read "not cool antique, but old and busted") dining room chairs started breaking one by one about a week before Easter.  Not good because we were hosting Easter dinner.  So, I found these old ladderback chairs off craigslist.  We are craigslist stalkers.  I swear I must look on there about 20 times a day, and Robert is just as bad.  So I found these chairs and drove out to a true farm, down a dirt road and up to an ancient (read "not beautiful, but old and busted") farmhouse which they were "remodeling".  I was a little bit scared to go inside because I thought the porch might give way as I stepped through the door, oh, through the cobwebs of the doorway...I don't think there was an actual door.  Anyway, once we somehow stuffed them (very creatively) into my minivan and I got home, we dusted and cleaned and scraped off spider egg sacks (it was pretty creepy)....and they turned out to be quite pretty....

2 captain's chairs and 6 with no arms....for $10 a piece.  No joke.  I thought this was a steal!  Especially when you see all the detail the chairs have.  No maker's mark, and some of the seats are more worn than others, but I'm just tickled with them!  I think they are gorgeous.  We are keeping our old and busted table until we sell our house and then are hoping to buy a big farm table :)  Then I'm hoping to have many more children to fill the table ;)  Well, I guess first things first. 

6.  Isabel told me again today, "Mom, I want to be a saint."  And then her eyes just instantly filled with tears, even as I was saying, "Isabel, you can be a saint!  We are all called to be saints."  Of course I hugged her close and asked why she was so upset and she said, "It's just like St. Therese.  I feel like it's impossible."  So we had almost the same conversation that we had before....that with God, all things are possible.  I reminded her she could ask Him for help any time, and He would give her His grace to do the right thing and to love Him with all her heart.   After that she was okay....but it was just so strange how she just was overwhelmed with emotion at wanting to become a saint, and the seeming impossibility of it all.  Bless her heart.  She truly has the innocence and love of a little child.  It is so precious to see.  God, help me in my vocation as her mother!  She made this beautiful little resurrection garden right before Easter.

7.  But lest you think it is all 'sweetness and light' at my house, it's not...these kids are just as wild and crazy as they are precious and adorable.  Like in the morning when I'm trying to do this:

and crawling around my legs through the bathroom is this:


I kid you not.  Those are my kids.  Well, it's mostly Isabel in that video, but in the car today??  Oh, if I had had my video camera.  Half the time I was tuning them out, and the other half I was chuckling to myself about how cute they were....all I heard was Ian repeating Isabel and Isabel repeating Ian....bah bah bah bah bah, mamamamamama, uh oh uhhhhhhhh oh, uh oh, uhhhhhhhh oh, gagun gagun gagun gagun.....anything she could get him to repeat and vice versa...they were soooooo noisy!  It was great and crazy all at the same time.   I can't imagine what life would be like with more, and at the same time, I can't not imagine it.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Easter Sin and Cake.

It was Easter Sunday.  We woke up and had a sweet morning letting the kids discover their Easter baskets, taking pictures, having breakfast and actually making it to Easter Mass 30 minutes early (!!!) to get our usual seat.  Ian, (unbelievably) sat through roughly an hour and 15 minutes of the wait and Mass....(this is a record for him!  He's usually out in the atrium before the first 15 minutes of church).  It was a beautiful spring day and we got home to start preparing for Easter dinner and celebrating Ian's first birthday with our family.

I put Ian in his high chair at lunchtime and scrape cut up spaghetti and steamed squash on his plate.  He takes a handful, shoves it into his mouth and starts to scream and cry.  Not because it's hot or painful...but because he doesn't want to eat spaghetti and squash.  How do I know?  Because he begans to scream bloody murder while he throws handfuls of food onto the floor.  Normally Ian throwing food on the floor is no big deal to me, he's a baby, right?... but for some reason, this Easter morning, the screaming and the throwing made me so angry, I was just absolutely overcome with this raging anger.  I told him, "No, we don't throw our food."  And picked him up and set him (gently) on the floor.  To which I got more screaming.  We tried again to eat a few minutes later, and it was more of the same, and I was fuming.  I let him scream hysterically on the floor until Rob took over and calmed him down.  Then I yelled at Isabel when she tried to offer her opinion on why Ian was screaming and not eating...that silenced her, but now she was in tears too. 

I went upstairs and lost it.  Okay, it was the first day of my cycle, but how could I have just gotten so angry at this little baby over eating/not eating lunch?  And how could I have taken it out on my daughter, and oh yeah, I failed to mention my lovely attitude toward my husband during that episode...all on Easter Sunday?!?  I cried and cried.  Then I got it together a little and came downstairs and apologized.  But I was OVERCOME with how awful, how ugly I had been,.... the complete horror of the sinful way I had just acted. 

Thankfully, the baby, my husband and my daughter were quick to forgive me.  As I know God is always quick to forgive, if we just ask.

But I could not shake the horror of it all.

Until I read my Total Consecration for Day 14.  You see, on Day 13 you start a whole new set of prayers, so the night prior I had prayed for the first time, "Holy Ghost, inspire us with the horror of sin." (their emphasis, not mine).  It didn't really mean much to me on Day 13, but when I read it on the night of Day 14, I knew darn well why I was so overcome with emotion. 

The Holy Spirit had in fact, shown me the horror of my sin that day. 

Now as to where all that anger had come from?  I don't know.  Maybe it was Satan.  Maybe it was hormones.  Maybe it was staying up too late the night before to make the beautiful cake that I'll show you below, for little Ian's birthday celebration.  The fact is, it doesn't really matter where the anger came from.  It was what I did with it that was sinful.  Maybe God just wanted me to remember what Easter Sunday was all about....His Son, rising to defeat the sin that we continue to stumble into.

Thank you God, for your forgiveness as I stumble every day, and especially on that most holy day.

And now,
the cake....

Thursday, April 5, 2012

One Year, My Sweet Boy!

Ian, one year ago you were born!  Time flies when you're having fun, and we have sure been having fun since you joined our family.  God has definitely been gracious to bless us with such a sweet a gift as you!

Happy Birthday, Ian Gerard!  We love you with all our heart!