Tenacious Pink Eye & Other Happenings

Don’t worry, you can’t catch pink eye from reading a blog post…

or can you???

As the title suggests, we have a particularly stubborn case of pink eye going through our family at the moment.  It all started last month when we stayed at Claire’s house over Christmas and Jackie came down with pink eye. Well, Gus brought it home and it’s been through almost every member of both of our families since then.  Claire texted me a goopy-eyed selfie this morning to alert me of it’s new victim, but I’m a nice sister so I won’t share that with you.  Dave is the last man standing in our house, and he is literally quaking in his boots with apprehension.


How to pink eye like a boss: wear shades everywhere. No, actually, just stay home.

But on a happier note, today is Rose’s birthday!  Happy birthday to our high-achiever of a sister who is an artist, dance master, wife and mother extraordinaire.  She’s currently putting the finishing touches on her fourth grand masterpiece, so please keep her in your prayers as she approaches her due date on Valentine’s Day!

And in related news, our oldest sister Jane is expecting her 5th this June, and we just found out she’s having a boy! Rose doesn’t know the gender of her little one yet, but if she has a boy the grandkid gender scale will be even at 7 boys and 7 girls!

This is from the last time Jane and Rose were pregnant at the same time, in 2009!

This is from the last time Jane and Rose were pregnant at the same time, in 2009! 

Last and least, I’m just finishing up Secrets From The Eating Lab by Traci Mann.  I ordered it from the library after reading Modern Mrs. Darcy’s take, and I breezed through it this weekend.  It’s very interesting! Before reading, I was gearing up to do a Whole 30 during Lent this year but now I’m on the fence.  I know I’m the last person in the world to try a Whole 30, so those of you who have done it, what are your thoughts?  I’d love to hear!

Gotta go while it’s still naptime!


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.


    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!

Mom Pictures

(or, I’m ready for my closeup!)

“Hey Dave, can you take a decent picture of me with the kiddos since we’re having such a nice time at the farm?”


Never mind.

(And yes, we’re crouching next to a cow’s buttocks.  The picture was doomed from the get-go.)

Full Panel Pregnancy Talk

 I’m a full panel kinda girl.  I require the all-torso-encompassing support of the full panel, as I don’t grow a belly first, so much as I grow a second butt and insane handles of the not so lovely variety.  I’m beginning to think that my babies start growing in my tush and then migrate via my impressive muffin top to the belly and they settle and continue growing there around week 20.  It’s the only thing that explains how and why my body packs it on in such a way.  

Another more poetic way to think of it is that my body is like one of the great gothic cathedrals of Europe.  They have flying buttresses which help support the massiveness and beauty of the cathedrals by arching out and down, thus redistributing the weight.  

See?  That’s exactly what my rear end and love handles are doing.  They’re a support structure for the beauty and the majesty and the enormity of my growing baby and belly.  They’re just not as attractive.

Who am I fooling?  They’re not supporting the belly, they’re just biding their time until they can fuel my milk ducts.  Poetic thought indeed.

Back to panels.  I recently ordered a pair of full panel maternity skinny jeans. Biggest oxymoron of the century!



Keeping it real {wiws}

(I’m just going to pretend that Christmas never happened and it hasn’t been a month since I’ve blogged, ok? Ok.)

Happy feast of the Bathtism of the Lord! I gave my second graders their homework assignment that came directly from Papa Francis:

“Find out the day on which you were born to the Church, and give thanks to the Lord, because at Baptism he has opened the door of his Church to us.” read the rest here.

Its always nice when the Pope helps a poor catechist out!

Now, I thought I’d take the plunge back in fashion land and record what I wore today because I didn’t feel too frumpy and fat.  Its all thanks to my trusty black jersey knit dress from a million years ago.  Every mother should own one.  The funny thing is I bought this dress when I was single because I thought I looked foxy in it!  Haha, little did I know that it’s Mama’s best friend with it’s stretchyness and blackness.

Be warned, these photos show my incredibly embarrassing guest bedroom/office/craft table  JUNK room complete with it’s filthy mirror.  If I had written a New Years resolution post, I would harken back to it and my promise to be more “authentic” on the blog. Or my resolution to be a better housekeeper.  Or my resolution to take better photographs.  I’m failing at this New Years thing already!

The happy thing is that no husbands were involved and, hence, annoyed by the taking of these photos.

IMG_2112Speaking of husbands, my husband just came back from Manchester, England, and he picked me up that scarf while he was there.  He’s a keeper.


“Maybe if I squeeze three pictures into one, it’ll minimize the JUNK factor.”

And no, that’s not a 25 week baby bump, it’s a 15 weeker.  This post is all about keeping it real, right?  

[Scratch that! I went back and checked and I’m actually 16 weeks! Whew!]

Ok, that’s quite enough of that!  For better pictures, outfits and blogs, check out Fine Linen and Purple for What I Wore Sunday.

7QT Back to Reality

Linking up with Jen at Conversion Diary to share my 7 randoms.  You should too!

1. Well helloooo there! The Johnsons have been all over the place lately which is why I’ve been mostly absent on the blog.  But lucky for me and everyone, my sisters have been picking up the slack.  I’m loving Claire’s posts about her house renovations and (of course) her mouthy kiddos.  And Jane’s post yesterday on the trials and blessings of motherhood was exactly what I needed to read.  Everyone should just skip these takes and read their stuff. 😉

2. Last weekend (well, Thursday to Monday) we were in Minnesota for my friend Pam’s wedding.  Pam is my dearest, fiercest friend from college and beyond.  I was so thrilled when she called me last year to tell me about James, this guy she had met.  Talking to her, I could tell that a switch had flipped and James was the one.  They had a lovely wedding ceremony and the reception was at the fairgrounds in the town.  Pam even treated the bridal party and their significants to a pontoon boat ride on the lake in between the ceremony and the reception!  It was a lot of fun.


Don’t mind the photobombing first mate back there.

3. There were a few other Steubenville friends at the wedding, including Francine! IMG_1802We also met up with other college friends while we were in Minnesota. It was wonderful to just pick up where we left off so easily, even with kids in tow. Sometimes I worry that I’ll never have friends as close as college friends because we don’t have that shared background of living together.  And we don’t have the time anymore to spend with other people! Everyone has jobs and kids, and most significantly, different backgrounds.  It definitely takes more work and and time. I think it’s worth it, but it is so refreshing to get together with other Franciscan alum friends and just be.

4. Sigh.  Well, I have my work cut out for me since we came back.  For some reason, fall is the time of year that I really get the itch to clean and organize and purge.  I think it’s the teacher in me.  I have to get moving and doing things in the fall or I feel like a completely useless human being. The majority of our living space is reasonably clean most of the time, but there are crap zones in our house that have gotten more craptacular as time has gone on.  The spare bedroom is the main culprit. The worst part about the spare bedroom is the closet in that room is my closet, and the door broke. Of all the closets in the house! The hinge had been wonky the whole time we’ve been here and some time this summer it just gave way.  So that stinks.  The attic is a mess too.  Ugh.

Anyway, my plan of attack is this: make a list (and I hate hate hate making lists) of little tasks that need to be done, nothing huge, and just tackle them one by one.  I did one yesterday.  I finally cleaned the top of the fridge for the first time since we moved here two years ago!  Clearly, Suzy homemaker I am not.

5. To keep me company while I clean/organize/purge, I’ve been listening to Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers.  It’s for a book club I’m a part of, and I have to have it finished by next Saturday.  I feel kinda like a cheater for listening to it… but here’s the thing: I’m a really slow reader.  I guess I’ve had two months to read the book, but I didn’t get on it right away and then it was the end of August and I knew I wouldn’t finish it on time.  So I decided to listen to it, since there are so many times during the day (dishes, cleaning, driving, running, dishes, dishes…) that I could be engaging my mind a little more.

6. Speaking of engaging!  It’s been really hard to listen to this book!  Not because it’s not good, but because it’s been hard making my mind switch gears and really focus on what I’m listening to.  I’m going to cop out of the obvious (I’m a bad listener) and blame all the technology!  My mind is so used to multitasking, from watching tv and being on the internet at the same time, or listening to music while being on the internet… well, doing anything while being on the internet.  I’m so programed now to just gloss over everything to take in the maximum amount of information.  It’s been hard for me to settle and focus on what I’m listening to and to turn on my imagination while I’m listening.  There are so many other things floating around in my head!  Anyway, it’s been a good learning experience for me and I’m finally getting into the book. It takes place in Oxford!  I’ve been to there! Maybe after I’m done with it and we’ve had our book club I can do a little post on it.  I haven’t participated yet in Housewifespice’s What We’re Reading Wednesday because the thought of writing about books makes me revisit homeschool anxieties from doing Seton in high school. [And that’s not to say I had a bad homeschooling experience or a bad experience with Seton, I was just a bad homeschooler ;)]

7. SWITCHING GEARS. When I was in Costco today, I saw this:IMG_1803

So, of course, I immediately took a picture (duh) and sent it to my brother Jim, because that’s what you do when you see something gross.



Happy Weekend, everyone!

Celebrations, Cravings, Carsick {7QT & Womb Service}

It’s Friiiiiiiday, Friiiiiiday.

1. I hope everyone had a great Fourth of July yesterday.  We enjoyed our double celebration of the Fourth and our anniversary.  We all went out for a nice lunch together and then later we went to our friend’s house for a delicious BBQ. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA You know, when we set July 4th as the date for our wedding, we weren’t absolutely thrilled with it because it seemed kind of kitschy, but in retrospect it was a really good decision.  Dave always has the day off from work and there’s always fun to be had.  Hence it’s always a really special day.

2. We were relieved to make it to our friend’s house (which is about 40 minutes away) yesterday in one piece because we’ve been experiencing some technical difficulties with car travel lately.  It all started last week when we decided SK was ready for a big girl forward facing car seat.  She seemed pretty excited about this transition too!  That is, until we took our first 10 minute car trip to Costo.  We barely made it to the parking lot before she ‘sploded her snack all over the beautiful new Graco Nautilus.  I was in a panic. Was she sick? We had a date that night!  Was this carsickness?  Couldn’t be! We were in the car for 10 minutes!  Well, we very cautiously took very short trips all weekend and watched her like a hawk.  She never got fully sick again, but most car trips, even the quickest ones, made her very upset and she would cough-gag by the time we got to our destination.  Since we stupidly got a seat that only faces forward, we decided we would get another car seat that had a rear-facing option in hopes that it would help her nausea.  So far so good! But I’m feeling mostly cautious, not so much optimistic though.  Especially since we have lots of car trips planned for this summer.

3. Well, it’s a terrible segue, but I figured since I was writing about nausea, I could join up with Katrina’s Womb Service link-up and reminisce about what foods kept my nausea at bay when I was in the “family way”.  In some ways, I was totally that pregnant woman.  I loved pickles!  I always love pickles, especially a good bread and butter pickle, but when I was pregnant, it was only dill pickles for me.  Dill pickles with slices of sharp cheddar.  Dave loved a smooch after I had that snack! Towards the end, I had a terrible horrible no good very bad eating habit.  I had some frosting left over from making St. Patrick Day cookies and I would eat the frosting with ritz crackers!  It was awful!  And I wonder why SK was 9 1/2 pounds!  That’s all I can remember specifically.  I wish I was one of those ladies who craved fruit.  I never crave fruit, pregnant or not.  And I wonder why I’m ____ pounds!

Pregnant women don't get free beer at the Sam Adams brewery :(

Pregnant women don’t get free beer at the Sam Adams brewery 🙁

Oh, and speaking of beer, I think Rose has her current cravings to share for Katrina’s link-up too!


Teehee. Don’t kill me, Rose.

4. Our garden is doing so well!  IMG_1521 IMG_1522We’ve had snap peas for the past 3 weeks or so, so of course I made this dinner with them.  So delicious!

5. I wish I had progress to report about our chair reupholstery project.  It’s kind of in limbo right now.  Dave still needs to finish stripping and re-staining the wood and I need to start cutting pieces, making new cording and sewing the cushion cover.  It’s just not on the top of our priorities and wants now that summer is here.  The last thing I want to do in the summer is spend hours inside sewing! It’s shameful though, I know.  I’m going to make weekly chair goals for myself so that we have a little progress soon, I promise!

6. You’re not going to believe this but we are far from being done celebrating birthdays and anniversaries this month!  Next up is Miss Ruthie’s birthday on July 7th, then Jack’s on July 8th. Our Grandma’s birthday is July 14th, Jane and Brandon’s 13th wedding anniversary is the 15th and Lucy’s birthday is the 16th!

7. And on top of all that, Coming up next weekend is the long-anticipated McFamily reunion.  My Mom and Grandma have been working non-stop on planning this shin-dig for at least a year and it’s finally almost here!  Along with descendants of our beloved late Grandpa McMahon, there will also be descendants of his siblings in attendance, making for a very merry McFamily get-together.  And get this.  We get tee shirts!  Jane and her brood are coming so almost all of the McSisters will be together; we’ll be missing our Sister-sister Mary though.  Maybe someone got around to making a Sr. Theresa cardboard cutout?

That’s all she wrote.  And it’s quite enough! Linking with the beautiful Katrina and Jen today because that’s a-what-I-do 😉

How it happened: An abbreviated tale of Carmela’s birthday

So after telling me all my blog entries are disgusting, and creating a special category just for me, Ellen has been begging me to write up Carmela’s birth story and join in Grace’s link up.


Carmela adopts a suspicious expression as she looks at her mother for the first time.

Oh the irony!

Carmela’s birth story is pretty boring, though. All 9 pounds 12 ounces of her came out without incident about five hours after we checked in at the hospital. To keep ourselves busy during labor, DJ and I watched  a health channel show about morbidly obese people. I found the show motivating.

I was disappointed with the hospital, though. This was my third experience at this particular hospital and you’d think they’d be more attentive to labor and delivery patients since most have the potential to be repeat customers. However, after giving birth I was treated to a hospital room with no rocking chair, one pillow and a television I had to pay $8 a day for. The internet stunk, too. I had a brand new iPad (thanks, husband!) and its internet was practically useless thanks to the hospitals shoddy wireless service.

My other recollections about Carmela’s birth:

1). DJ kept eating all my ice chips.

2). I had a nurse named Taffey.

3). I really, really hate the word “fundus.”


While on the phone with Ellen yesterday, she informed me she had added a blog category called “gross” just for my posts.

“Just in time!” I exclaimed. “Tomorrow, I plan on posting about my feet!”

Really, I have nothing particular about my feet to say, except that they’re sort of gross, may be categorized as a hazardous material and are slightly smelly. I can’t control many aspects of my personal appearance right now since hormones and the world’s most ungainly third-trimester abdomen are getting in the way, but I can do something about my feet. Well, sort of. I need a lot of help reaching them and haven’t worn socks in about five months since putting them on is a contortionist act worthy of the best Cirque du Soleil acrobat.

I decided to do a pinterest search on what would help my foot situation and came up with a process that involved shaving cream, listerine and warm water. The ever-patient DJ helped me to apply the mixture to my feet (after lots of under-his-breath mutterings about voodoo) and I ended up sitting with my feet like this for a half hour:


And I really have nothing else to say about this project except that after about 25 minutes, the smell was intense and my feet felt like they were burning off. Also, it didn’t work. Hmmmm, maybe my feet are sort of green this a.m., but other than that, they still are sporting their dry skin. Well, I guess they smell slightly less, too. That’s an upside, though — maybe while in labor the nurses won’t notice anything I say or do so much as they notice the intense minty freshness of my feet.

Satan is a Silverfish

I really have nothing to add to this title except:


They are an inch long. Some people have found them in bags of unopened cereal. We typically find three a day but yesterday we found 11 and the day before we found five. We’ve had Terminix here seven times and today Orkin is coming for the first time.

Please, all ye readers, help us by invoking the prayers of St. Dominic against these things. Seriously: We’re going crazy and poor trying to get rid of them.