Obligatory Update

Well, it’s been a few weeks since the last post so you know what that means: some sort of vague update is in store!  This time it’s a daybook of sorts.

Reading: Too many things, I’m a little over my head in the book department to be honest!  I’m working on The Importance of Being Little which I am enjoying, but it’s also rather damning in regards to some of my beloved preschool routines and activities.  I’m attempting to keep an open mind.  I also have Acedia and Me, which I am a little scared of starting because I know that acedia is my number one vice.  Hence, why I ordered the book!  I also have The Nesting Place waiting for me at the library, so yeah, lots of things to read!  I’m also dying to reread an old favorite, Coming Home by Rosamund Pilcher. Does anyone else experience this, like a craving for a favorite food, but it’s a book?

Watching:  Downton.  Duh!  (Spoilers ahead) So, I’ve been very “meh” about Downton for the past few years because it was just getting so ridiculous, but this last season has been ah-maz-ing!  But!  Why oh why did Lady Mary get her happy ending before Edith?  I mean, Edith called it like it is.  Mary is a B.

Thinking: Stewing is more like it.  Has anyone else read this article?  I feel so lucky that I’ve been able to nurse my two, but I also know so many women who greatly struggle for various reasons and eventually need to switch to formula.  I hate these types of articles that impose moral guilt on mothers! [Update: Simcha Fisher responds! Thank goodness!  “Women are more than the milk they can make.” Love her.]

Praying:  For sick relatives, for one pregnant sister and her upcoming move and the other formerly pregnant sister and her new baby girl!  Maura Rose was born on February 8th! I can’t wait to hold her little self!

Eating:  (I feel like the following is a bit misleading because I’m not really a crunchy health nut, but it is Lent and I’m trying to stay away from sweets, so I’ve been focusing more on eating healthfully… believe me, I’d rather be baking chocolate chip cookies…and eating the dough…)  I made these homemade apple pie lara bars to snack on and today I made a big batch of quinoa and roasted veggies so I could have veggie bowls for lunch this week.  Oh!  And I made this spinach bacon chicken risotto for dinner last week like a boss! It was so good and so easy, you have to try it!

Playing: Outside!  This weekend was very mild, which was nuts because last weekend it was in the subzero temps!  It’s such a blessing to have these mild days in the middle of winter.  We also went to the indoor trampoline park this morning.  The kids didn’t like it at all.  😉IMG_5534IMG_5541

Wearing:  Too many stripes, probably.  I’m afraid we’re all going to look back on ourselves 10 years from now and shake our heads at all the horizontal stripes.  But I can’t help myself!  And I feel like it must be classy, right?

I mean.      Image

Thankful: As always, for my Dave.  I was able to get away for most of the day Saturday to view several of the Catholic Conference 4 Moms videos with some fellow Catholic moms at a nearby parish.  I came back so refreshed with my extrovert cup filled, and the kids had a great time with Dad of course.  Whenever Gus has too much alone time with Dave, he starts calling me Daddy.  Funny, he doesn’t call Dave Mommy despite me being home with him all the time.  Dad’s just a special guy. 🙂

Looking Forward:  Spring!  I can’t wait to see if the bulbs come up that I frantically planted in November. We also have a lot of house projects on the horizon.  A new roof, new paint job, maybe new paving, and hopefully a nice facelift to our living room too.  We bit the bullet and ordered a new slip cover for our couch because it’s really been looking shabby lately.  We ordered it in a dusky shade of blue instead of the parchment shade of off-white we have already and I’m so excited!  With a new couch (color) and fresh paint on the walls, it will be like a whole new room!

7QT: Frivolous Minutiae

  1. Christy pulled on my heartstrings yesterday with her “I miss blogs” post.  I really miss them too. Needless to say, our little sisters blog here has never and will never be big.  My older sisters have always struggled to find time to blog with their growing families and I’ve been struggling with that too.  More than that, though, I’ve been struggling with what the point is.  I’m not click-baity, I don’t have a major theme or area of expertise, and  I’m also not terribly deep or inspirational. Honestly, I try to keep it light and even frivolous.  But is that okay? Is that allowed? It’s strange how the internet and blogs started out as this place where there were no rules and you could just do your thing, but now it seems like there are rules and you have to play the game right.  I’m not on board with that at all.  Anyway, I’m going to still plug away when I can with my bits and pieces of frivolity. And I hope, if you have a little corner of the internet, that you will keep at it too. 🙂
  2.  I shared on Instagram a while back that I’ve been making this certain dish for lunch for myself.
    Brussles sprouts and onions sauteed in butter with soft boiled eggs on top. Salt 'n peppa!

    Brussles sprouts and onions sauteed in butter with soft boiled eggs on top. Salt ‘n peppa

    I usually aim to eat my lunch after the kiddos are down for a nap (for obvious reasons) but today I made lunch while they were eating and sat down to eat when they were done and supposed to be playing.

  3. Gus is an Oliver type of kid, minus the starving orphan part.  Just the “Please sir, I want some more”, minus the please part.  He most certainly won’t eat my brussles sprouts and eggs, though.  I give him a bite to show him.  But he still won’t stop bothering me and climbing all over the table.

    Gus

    I don’t know that that is, but I want it, Mommy.

  4. Then Sara walks by and says “I fink Gussie has a poopy.” Sure enough, it was a 6 alarm situation in his diaper.  And meanwhile, my beautiful, delicious lunch grew cold on the table.  Lesson learned: no deviating from naptime lunches!
  5. Childbearing ladies of the interwebs, I had to share this recent purchase of mine with you: 

Loft Mosaic Pintucked Shirtdress

I’m super stoked about this dress because not only is it flattering on me now (not pregnant), but it also has room for a first-second trimester bump and it buttons in the front so it’s perfect for nursing.  I consider that a sound investment! Loft is having a 40% sale right now (like always), but maybe if you hold off they’ll have one of their flash sales and it’ll be even cheaper.

6.  I’ve been planning on trying out Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue because it’s name alone sounds like it would help my adolescent skin issues, and also Fran recommends it and she is my fashion and beauty guru.  However, after doing a little research (*cough* googling good BB cream for oily skin *cough*) I stumbled upon Dr. Jart Dis-A-Pore beauty balm and this stuff sounds like magic! Plus it has Dr. in the name, so it will cure my acne, right? Right? Anybody else tried it/heard about it?  I’m waiting to get some Amazon points before I pull the trigger.

7. And, just to make sure this a completely random post, you all really need to make this crockpot soup ASAP.  It’s been a favorite of ours all this fall.

Alrighty, that’s quite enough of my random ramblings.  Check out the other quick takes at This Ain’t the Lyceum!

WIWS & Flag Day

Linking up with Fine Linen and Purple for What I Wore Sunday.

Hellooooo What I wore Sunday! I’ve missed you.

Dress: Gap Shoes: Famous Footwear Belt: Super old H&M

Dress: Gap
Shoes: Famous Footwear
Belt: Super old H&M

If I could only wear navy and cognac for the rest of my life, I would do so happily.  I’m just a big fan of that combo, and I think it looks good no matter what the season.

This dress is pretty much perfect in every way.  The material is light but not see-through, and the waist is gathered and elasticized in a flattering way and the length is just below the knee.  And it has pockets!  I don’t know why pockets make a dress, but they just do.

And my shoes are also a recent purchase and I’m so in love with them.  Remember in the fall when I said I was on the hunt for cognac flats?  Well I never found them and I eventually gave up the hunt because winter descended and I lived in boots for several months.  I pinned these almost identical Frye flats sometime over the winter, but I never thought I’d find something similar that would fit my big wide feet comfortably. When I found these at Famous Footwear, for a fraction of the price of the Fryes but still decent quality and so comfortable, I pounced.

.        .        .       .       .       .       .

So! Did you know that today is Flag Day? If you live in my town you do because my town takes Flag Day very seriously.

We have a parade.

Sara has always loved the parade because she loves vehicles, and she loves waving to people.  This year it was even more exciting because we let her eat the candy that they threw from the floats.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGus enjoyed the parade too. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This is Gus’ first ex-utero flag day parade.  Last year his view was a little obstructed.

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Whew! What a difference a year makes!

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7QT: Blog Angst, Goals and Some Happenings

Here’s hoping that hopping on the 7 Quick Takes train will help me out of my blogging rut!

1. I’ve started and thrown out several posts over the past few weeks.  I lost my groove! First I tried to write about my quest for cute summer sandals, but the quest came to an abrupt end when I succumbed to the siren call of Target’s shoe department.

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Gus is unimpressed.

They’re cute, I like them.  I just always do this.  I cave for the cheapest, easiest buy because the nicer, better made and probably more comfortable pair is so much more expensive! No doubt I will pine over this pair for the rest of the summer. But I made my choice. (Aren’t you glad I saved you all from a post full of this nonsense?)

2. I thought about and even started writing a What I Wore Sunday post about how more often than not, my Mass outfits are not nursing friendly because I’m a heartless mom because Sundays are the only days that I have an excuse to get dressed up nicely and it’s only for an hour, so I don’t see what the big deal is.  And then I decided that, indeed, it is not a big deal, so I trashed that post!

3. I guess I’m having a bit of a blogging existential crisis.

Moving on!

4. Last week was Dave’s birthday, and I made him this cheesecake.IMG_4247

I don’t know which good deed earned me best wife award: making the cake or selflessly leaving the last piece for him.  Anyway, I dun good.

5. The month of May so far has been positively magical.  The garden is thriving, my lilacs are starting to bloom and we’re all beginning to shed our pale ghostly gray complexions and don our summer glows.IMG_4219 IMG_4244IMG_4234 IMG_4261_2

Or, in my case, my first sunspots on my forehead.  Hello sunspots, you go well with my prescription sunglasses and forehead creases. 😉

6. This month I set a fitness goal for myself: run 40 miles in the month of May.  I got my 10 miles done in this first week, so I’m feeling optimistic that I can hit my 40 mile goal.  I’d been plateauing a bit with running because my hamstrings have been killing me. I think my lower back is a mess in general and that’s making my hamstrings tight, but I also have never been the best at stretching, so this week I really focused on stretching after running. I also started drinking coconut water again, since it helped my leg cramps and soreness significantly at the end of my pregnancy last year.  Anyway, if any of you seasoned runners/fit people have any tips about stretches, etc., please let me know! I’m a complete hack at this running thing.

7. What I really need to do is set some housekeeping goals for myself! Gus is almost a year old, which means I don’t really have an excuse any more, huh? I mean, I figured once Gus was sleeping through the night, then I could really get my rear in gear and tackle more than the basics.  Are you laughing yet? Have you figured out the punchline? Gus isn’t sleeping through the night. And the rare nights he does sleep all night, Sara wakes up screaming about losing Minnie or her blankets.  As Jenny brilliantly wrote last week, when it comes to sleep training, there are no victors.  Har har.

Anyway, don’t pity me, I’m not dying from lack of sleep. But I might die from lack of dusting in my bedroom.  Oy! I finally deep cleaned my bedroom this morning and it. was. shameful.  No more! Once a month (hey, maybe the Saturday that I go to confession since I actually have stuck to that New Year’s resolution!) I need to dust and swiffer the bedrooms.  No more neglecting the upstairs since nobody sees it. As the internet is my witness, the dustbunnies will never get that bad again!

Happy Mother’s Day weekend, everyone! And don’t forget to click back to Kelly’s place for more Quick Takes!

 

Winter Momdrobe

Just as sure as the seasons change (at least technically according to the calendar, not according to real life in Boston), Ellen is sure to pen a post or two about fashion.  Not because I’m some sort of expert.  HA! No, because I truly enjoy it, and in some ways I think I have finally figured out what works for me, at least what works for me right now. Right now = the season I’m in in my life & the weather season = in-between pregnancies/at my normal weight & winter.

The key for me has been acceptance.  Try and wish as I might, I have never and will never have long slim legs, a trim waist, a defined jawline and slim arms.  It’s no biggie! So why do I beat myself up for my perceived shortcomings? Dave has always loved how I look, and I take care of my body through exercise and a good diet, so why should I always be down on myself? So lately my goal with my momdrobe has been to accentuate me, not the imaginary, slim, fashionable me I wish to be.  I’ve sought out colors and cuts and styles that I think work for me and that make me feel confident and pulled together. Here’s what’s working for me right now:

Everyday

Looky who figured out how to make collages! I went a little crazy. So, here’s an example of a typical everyday outfit for me. Some of these items I specifically own (the bag and boots were my birthday and Christmas presents) and the other items are similar to what I own. I’ve found that dark skinnys are my jam, especially paired with tall boots of some sort. Together they kind of slim out my bottom half. Looser sweaters (but not too loose!) de-emphasize my midsection which has always been my trouble area, now even more so after the kiddos. And most days you’ll find me wearing my ancient Target pearl studs. They’re simple, they go with everything, and they don’t clash with my glasses.

Everyday Winter

Here’s another everyday example. Same skinnys because they go with everything! I only have 2 pairs of skinnys and a backup pair of bootcuts and that seems to work out. I have knock-off Sorel boots from Old Navy that are several years old; they look the part but they’re only slightly waterproof. I own the tan striped layering shirt from Loft and I wear it under a cream colored sweater and it’s cute and cozy! Don’t own the earrings, but I wish I did. 🙂

Church

 

Here’s an example of a church outfit, a What I Wore Sunday of sorts. 😉 I have very similar items in my closet, down to the bee earrings. I love a subtle jolt of whimsy! Pencil skirts seem to accomplish the same thing as my skinny jeans + boot combo. You’ll notice that all three of these collages involve boots. Folks. I haven’t worn SHOES since the beginning of December! It’s just been too messy, snowy and cold to wear shoes. Oh, and I’ve tried booties, they do nothing for me, or maybe I haven’t found the right pair. Anyway, I don’t need booties when I have nice tall boots. I’m not complaining, it’s been freeing to wear boots every day and not think about it. But I’m ready to get back to my flats and sandals!

And sandals brings us to to where I leave you off till next time. I’m dreading summer because of the clothes. See, I know what works for me in winter wear. I’m all about the boots and the layers. Nobody has to see my arms! Summer dressing is a challenge for me. It takes a lot of creativity, trial and error, and even more acceptance. But, I’ll save that for the next momdrobe post!

7QT: Mostly Clothes, a little Montessori

Linking up with Jen Fulwiler again for 7 quick takes Friday on Saturday!

1. It’s the weekend again, I can’t believe it!  That old cliche about the days being long is so so true, but the weeks, not even years are flying by for me right now!  Gus turned 2 months old on Wednesday and last night he only woke up twice to eat.  Granted he woke up an hour after his last feeding because he was very anxiously working on a poo and needed some comfort. This guy gets so bent out of shape when he’s got a poo coming!

TMI Mom.

TMI Mom.

2.  Thanks to all you ladies who helped me with my mom jean dilemma! After much deliberation and a solo return trip to le Gap to try on the online pair and other pairs back to back, I decided to keep the online pair! I’m still a little weirded out by how high they come up, but holy comfortable!

3. Along with the new jeans, I’ve added a few more items to my momdrobe recently to help usher in the fall.  I got this pair of crops from Old Navy and I’m very pleased with how they fit and look.  I really really really wanted them in the Go Pinot Go color (a burgundy color) but they sold out like hotcakes.  The navy ones I got are really cute though and go with a lot of my neutral wardrobe.

4. Also,

awkward head tilt

awkward head tilt

this tee shirt was $8 at Old Navy. For some reason I’m JUST catching on to the fact that cranberry (especially heathered cranberry like this tee) works really well with my complexion.  And, it goes with pretty much all of the main colors in my wardrobe: navy, white, gray, khaki/beige.  You know, neutrals.  Woot!

5. I also picked up that sweater I tried on with the jeans at Gap.  I ended up getting it in gray because, NEUTRALS. I ordered it online because they had a 45% off online sale this past week, but also because I can get talls online.  This has been a new, awesome discovery of mine: ordering talls.  I’m not technically a tall person, and tall pants would look ridonkulous on me, but tall tops usually look pretty good on me because they hit my hips at that flattering spot.  And, if they shrink a bit in the wash, it doesn’t ruin the fit as drastically.  I also reordered a pair of shorts in tall this summer because the regulars were just too short.  Talls were an inch longer and it made a big difference!

6.  Now, I need your help again friends.  I’m looking for a good pair of cognac leather flats. Have you seen that blog Franish?  I love love love her style and it helps that I’m basically her SAHM doppelganger. Anyway, she’s turned me on to cognac accessories and I’m on the hunt for a pair of flats like her Banana Republic pair, but cheaper.  It seems as though I should be in luck though because cognac flats are everywhere this fall.  But!  I have this little problem of my feet being newly stretched from this past pregnancy.  I already had big size 10 feet.  Now they’re size 10 wide (a difficult size to find!) or just huge old size 11. [ I should take up swimming again.  With these new and improved flippers, I could totally take on Michael Phelps.]

I already tried these:

Via DSW

So cute! So tight!

Then I tried these on in the store and they’re just not comfortable for big wide feet.  Gap sells these but they show a lot of toe cleavage and I’m not a fan.   So, does anyone have any suggestion for wide footed gals?  I really want a pair of simple flats, preferably with a classic little bow like Fran’s.

7.  Confession: I’ve been a bit of a Montessori hater for a few years now.  I learned about Montessori a little in college while working on my Early Childhood Education degree.  All it was presented as was a teaching style.  I didn’t have an issue with any of the methodology I learned then, but since becoming a mom, I’ve realized how much of a thing it is.  I hate things.  I really hate trendy parenting and education practices because people get so bent out of shape when things aren’t perfectly “Montessori!” or “Attachment parenting!” The thing is, I know there is good in these camps, you just have to pick out what works for you and not be bullied into doing things all the way if you don’t agree with everything.  Case in point: apparently something that is considered to be a Montessori practice is giving your 9 month old a glass tumbler for drinking water.  That strikes me as crazy cakes.  But I shouldn’t write off everything Montessori because some things aren’t my cup of tea.  Or glass tumbler of water. 😉

Anyway, where am I going with this?  Now that I’m embarking on this preschool co-op with friends, I’ve wanted to research Montessori more.  I’m still skeptical, but I’m trying to be pragmatic here and do my research.  I know there’s a lot of good in the Montessori method, especially when it comes to implementing things in a home setting.  Whether we decided to homeschool our kids or send them to school, I’ll always be an educator at heart along with being the first and most important teacher to my kids.  That said, I have a desire to continue to learn and develop my personal education philosophy.  Researching and being open to different methods is part of this process.  I’m reading this book now as part of my research. Do any of you have other book recommendations?

Have a great holiday weekend, friends! 🙂

The Great Mom Jean Search

I finally waved the white flag of defeat over my attempts to wear my regular jeans.  Just because pants zip does not mean that they fit! So to the internet I went to do some shopping because that’s how I’m getting things done these days.  Before I get into the nitty gritty and you all wonder why I only shop at the Gap, let me explain why I only shop there (and Old Navy).  [I know I could find better jeans at nicer establishments, but I’m not willing to pay a lot for (hopefully!) transitional jeans!]  When I was first working and living at home (so that I could save money! Funny!) I gave into my darkest materialistic impulses and got myself a Gap credit card.  It was silly then and it’s silly now, EXCEPT, it’s actually been a really good thing in the long run.  All those insane sales that both Gap and Old Navy run on the regular, well they’re even more insane for cardholders.  And I get lots of cash back, so it’s more money I can put back into my… closet.  And Dave’s and SK’s and Gus’ closets! Anyway, I don’t recommend getting store credit cards willy-nilly, but I’ve been faithful to Gap and to paying my bills and they’ve treated me good in return so it’s all worked out.  Right? Right.

So! Online shopping!  I ordered this pair of jeans last week when they were having a 40% off deal.  They had really good reviews and, of course, they look really great in the picture so I figured I’d give em’ a shot.  Here’s what they look like on me:Photo on 8-25-14 at 9.52 AM #3 Photo on 8-25-14 at 9.52 AM #5Not bad!  But here’s the kicker: they’re really high waisted.  That was on-purpose; I need help in that wiggly-jiggly area.  Plus, high-waisted is in now, right?

Photo on 8-25-14 at 9.52 AM #6

17 year old Ellen is screaming in horror.  Look at how long that zip-fly is! All I wanted back then was for Mom to let me wear low-cut jeans like EVERYBODY ELSE!

The thing is, these jeans feel amazing.  Everything is tucked in just so.  But between the wash and thickness of these jeans and how high they come up, I’m getting a big mom jeans vibe.  Physically, I feel great in them.  But emotionally, I feel like I’ve given up. But the saga doesn’t end there…

It’s Monday, so I had a bit of a death wish anyway.  I decided to pack up the kids and the double stroller AND the Bjorn and go shopping.  I wanted to see what else they had in the store that could help me feel tucked in but not geriatric. I apologize for the fuzzy pictures.  I was trying to be quick for the kiddos’ sake.

Ok from the side...

Ok from the side…

Ahhhh!! So awful!

Ahhhh!! So awful!

I have moral reservations about buying pre-ripped jeans.  And this pair had the same crotch situation as the last pair so, no.

I have moral reservations about buying pre-ripped jeans. And this pair had the same crotch situation as the last pair so, no.

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Gus likes them!

Getting warmer? These were really similar to the pair I bought online, but the waist is a little lower. Eh?

Getting warmer? These were really similar to the pair I bought online, but the waist is a little lower.

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This was the best pair, I think.  They're the same as the last one except lighter/more washed out.  I think that makes them look a little more young, don't you think?  And lets talk about that sweater.  It's the same as the gray one but a size larger.  I like the color, but is it too large?

This was the best in-store pair, I think. They’re the same as the last one except lighter/more washed out. I think that makes them look a little more young, don’t you think? And lets talk about that sweater. It’s the same as the gray one but a size larger. I like the color, but is it too large? Does the gray look better? Incidentally, these jeans are the sexy boyfriend jeans that Blythe and Grace both praised to high heaven. Maybe they are magic for all postpartum bodies after all?

I need you, fashionable, lovely internet friends and family!  Should I go with the online purchase or the last pair I tried on in the store?  Please Pretty Please weigh in and tell me your opinions!

 

 

7QT: Whole Lotta Randoms

Linking up for 7 Quick Takes Friday with Jen & the gang.

1. A song for your weekend (and childhood nostalgia trip for me :))

2. Now that we’re a few hours away from his ETA, I guess it’s ok to share that Dave’s been out of town this week.  It’s not a big deal and travel (specifically British travel lucky duck!) is a common thing for Dave with his job and current project.  The hard thing about this trip was it was very last minute so I didn’t have time to get used to the idea and make plans (ideally to visit my mom) to distract us.  It’s actually been a good week, though, and I’m glad I had the opportunity to face my discomfort with being at home alone with the kiddo and I survived!  It helped to have playdates and friends visit, and of course, the farm trip really boosted our moods too!  It really makes me feel for you ladies out there who are single moms, or who deal with deployment or demanding work hours in your husband’s jobs.  We were not meant to do this alone!  And if you have a minute, can you please say a quick prayer for Dave’s flight back today?  The whole Malaysian flight disappearance last week has made me a Nervous Nelly about this trip.

3. When Dave gets home he’s going to need to sleep but I’m afraid he’s going fight it because he’s got some projects he’s feverishly working on here.  One of them is his seedlings and garden prep.  Check out this set-up he’s made for the seedlings in the basement!

photo (18)

 

Yes that’s a heat lamp AND a heating pad.  I’m surprised the neighbors haven’t called the cops on us yet as it clearly looks like we’re trying to grow a special type of garden if you know what I mean.

4. He’s also working on making a play kitchen for SK for her birthday at the beginning of April. In typical Dave fashion, he’s taking this project to the next level of nerdiness, but consequently the end result is going to be amazing.  Here’s some sneak peek pictures.

Yup, those are some light up burners!

Yup, those are some light up burners!

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Oven door

5. I’m so excited for SK’s birthday because I think she’s really going to like her kitchen.  She loves helping in the kitchen and her growing vocabulary reflects that.

Deeyishious! – Just yesterday she started saying that about her play cookies.

Mixin-mixin – That’s what we do with everything we cook.

Other cute words and phrases:

Cuse me, toots – her very polite, but hysterical phrase for when she’s suffering some flatulence.  This phrase was basically the theme of daily Mass yesterday… it’s a good thing it’s mostly elderly folks at daily Mass!

Naaaamie, e aaaaaaaaa yoooouu? – SK has to search for her favorite buddy every day before nap and bedtime.

Oh, and remember how waffels used to have a mysterious h in front of it in SK’s pronunciation?  Well, she recently changed the h to a y so it was “yaffels” but this morning it changed again to just “affels” which doesn’t at all reflect SK’s opinion of that particular breakfast bread product.

Wearing her "sun gasses"

Wearing her “sun gasses”

6. I had a First Communion meeting this week and there I found out for the first time how the First Communion day is going to go.  Well, it was a bit of a rude awakening to discover that because it’s split into two Masses, I’m going to be there and working from about 9am till 3pm.  Of course, this wouldn’t be a big deal except that I’m going to be 32 weeks at that point and probably looking a feeling a little worse for the wear.  It’s a good thing I ordered this leg-hiding dress (taking advantage of Old Navy’s 40% off dresses this week):

7. Obviously, the dress will be paired with my most comfortable arch-supporting shoes, which might end up being my sneakers… You know you’ve really hit adulthood (especially in my family!) when you’re seriously considering taking the plunge and investing in a trusty pair of Birkenstocks to wear with EVERYTHING.

Have a great weekend, everyone!  Despite our crazy wintery day yesterday, we’re supposed to get temps into the 50’s tomorrow!  I can’t wait!  I hope your weekend weather is shaping up nicely too.

WIWS & Some Catechetical Thoughts

It’s the first Sunday of Lent, and I just realized I appropriately wore purple (albeit, very pale purple).  Dumb luck for the win!

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Gap maternity tee & maternity tights (recommended by Dwija), old Loft cardi and old H&M skirt (worn here – yay for elastic waists!) and trusty Corso Como boots.  SK (23 months) is sporting a Gap Outlet dress in 3T.

Speaking of dumb luck, it came to our rescue during Mass today.  We’ve been using the diaper bag as a Mass books/activities bag for a while now and we just keep it in the car in the meantime.  It also has diapers and things in it as well, but we never ever have to use it as a diaper bag because this kid never goes when we’re out of the house.  I’m telling you, it never happens.  But it happened today!  I was so shocked when that tell-tale look came over SK’s face during the prayer of the faithful!  And then I remembered: time change.  Her little body thought it was an hour earlier, and we’re always at home at 8 am, so according to her internal clock it was go time.  Yuck!  But like I said, dumb luck came to our rescue and we were prepared like good  normal parents.

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Yesterday I headed over to church in the afternoon because my second grade CCD students were going to have a tour. My DRE was the one giving the tour so I was just there for crowd control, but I was more than happy to tag along.  In fact, the whole time I was thinking “Why don’t they do tours for the adults as well?”  Now, St. Theresa of Avila in West Roxbury MA is an especially gorgeous church.  And I’m not saying that in a haughty “my church is more gorgeous than your church” way.  Having grown up in an area where many of the traditional older churches were leveled or abandoned for more modern (ok, ugly) barn-like structures, I know it’s the exception and not the rule to have beautiful parish churches. Unfortunately.  But, every Catholic church has certain features that must be there (like the tabernacle and the altar) so there’s always material for instruction.

It struck me when my DRE was teaching the kids how to genuflect and why we genuflect, that this would be a good refresher for all the parishoners!

Image from Cardinal Sean’s blog. The tabernacle at St. Theresa’s pretty much demands that you stop and genuflect!

I assume most parishoners, like myself, don’t have time on Sunday to wander around and actually look at each stained glass window.  Not all stained glass windows are as intricate as the ones in St. Theresa’s maybe, but they are all meant to be catechetical.

It was really neat for the kids to get to go into the sacristy to see all the vestments and candles and the crucifix for the procession.  One of the things that they found really interesting (and I thought adults should know about as well) was how there was a special place for the chalice and ciboria to be cleaned that was separate from the sink where everything else was cleaned.

They had the cutest questions about it all. One little girl asked “where are the angel’s robes?”.  That stumped my DRE but then I asked, “Do you mean the kids who are altar servers who help Monsignor during Mass?” and she shook her head yes.  My DRE explained that when they’re in fourth grade, they could be altar servers if they wanted and they could help at Mass.  One of my students, a really smart little red headed boy, looked very serious and asked “If I want to be an altar server when I’m in fourth grade, does that mean I can’t get married?” Ah, I had to try really hard not to laugh; it was a valid concern in his little head!

Anyway, I share all this to just raise the question of whether church tours should be something that happens at every parish and not just for kids.  I don’t know if it’s practical or if I’m being naive, it just struck me as such a teaching opportunity in this day and age when most church going Catholic adults don’t know some of the most basic and profound truths of our faith.  A lot of it can simply be found within the building and in the artwork and function of the church itself!  What do you think?

Thank you to the lovely ladies at FL&P for hosting! 🙂

Happy Birthday, Joanie! {& WIWS}

Today is a big day.  15 years ago today, our youngest McSister entered the world.  Jane and Rose were in college and Claire, Mary and I were at Irish dancing class and when we came back, Mom had already been whisked away to the hospital with little Jimmy in in tow.  A few hours later, we heard that we had another sister!

For a while it seemed like Joanie would always be the cute kid sister.

This picture was taken yesterday, right??

This picture was taken yesterday, right??

But even when she was a kid, she was always more mature and confident than a little kid should be.  Maybe it was because everyone was so much older than she was.  Joanie was only a year old when Jane and Brandon got married and she was four when her first nephew was born.  So, she’s never really known a time when there weren’t brothers-in-law and boyfriends and weddings and nieces and nephews.  I guess that makes one mature faster.  

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Suddenly, Joanie isn’t a kid anymore.  She is such a lovely young woman. I don’t think I’m offending my fellow McSisters when I say that the rest of us were miserably awkward adolescents battling either acne or chubbiness or both (guilty. And braces.). Joanie seems to have risen above all that.  She’s willowy and poised.  Poised, I tell you! But more importantly than that, she is a hard worker volunteering much of her time at the Little Sisters of the Poor’s home for the elderly, a generous mothers helper to her local sisters with littles, and a sweet daughter, sister and friend.  And you know what else?  She’s cool as a cucumber.  This girl isn’t fazed by anything.  I want to be Joanie when I grow up!

Anyway, Happy Birthday to our big little sister Joanie!  We love you!

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And since it’s Sunday and not fah-reeeeezing, I actually had a decent outfit to share with you today!

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Maternity, she wore.

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Not going to list the clothing deets because, well, it’s all full panel, stretchy, side-ruched boring maternity basics that you can get anywhere, right? Please note, the boots still zip and my calves are not pouring out of the top.  My legs are still hanging in there, even if my face is already puffy! 18 weeks to go, you do the math.

The only bit of outerwear I wore today was that vest and scarf.  Let the thawing commence!

So, we’re going to try to do Jen Fulwiler’s 7 posts in 7 days this week, just FYI.  So, not only will I be spending all of my time reading everyone’s awesome posts EVERY DAY, I will try to be writing some of my own or furiously tracking down the other McSisters and making them contribute.  In other words, Ellen is not getting any housework done this week.  Dave, you’ve been warned.