who knows where the time goes

Recently I recalled, “Wow, I used to have just two kids, and one of them was in school three days a week and I was home with the [arguably easier] one.  What did I do with my time??”

Oh yeah, I had a blog.

I miss those days but these days are better.

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And I am not alone while my love is near me
I know it will be so until it’s time to go
So come the storms of winter and then the birds in spring again
I have no fear of time
For who knows how my love grows?
And who knows where the time goes?

Happy New Year!

Happy new year, friends!  A lot has happened since I last wrote here.  Most significantly, Little Guy arrived in mid-December:

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We are all in love with him.

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I’ve been determined to Take It Easy this postpartum time, for once.  So far, so good.  I’m feeling a lot like a glued-to-the-couch cow,

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but Little Guy is napping well today, so maybe we’ve turned a corner, maybe.  And I’m so happy not to be pregnant anymore.

Seriously, I’ve left the house for two pediatrician appointments, Christmas day Mass, Christmas dinner at my in-laws, and one walk around the neighborhood.  That’s it!  Even my homebody self is getting cabin fever, but this postpartum experience is so much better than the last two, so I’m sticking with what works.

These days I’m

reading:

Lactivism: How Feminists and Fundamentalists, Hippies and Yuppies, and Physicians and Politicians Made Breastfeeding Big Business and Bad Policy

(Pretty ironic reading this while nursing almost constantly. What’s going on here in my subconscious? . . . I read an interesting review in the Wall Street Journal before Little Guy was born, so anyway.)

The Conflict: How Modern Motherhood Undermines the Status of Women (I don’t agree with a lot of her premises but it’s interesting reading a modern feminist/ French perspective on the low-birth-rate crisis in the West.)

I Believe in LoveA Personal Retreat Based on the Teaching of St. Thérèse of Lisieux

watching:

Homeland.  So addicted.  I’m beginning Season 3, which is not the best, but I hear it improves in Seasons 4 and 5.  Claire Danes is so good, as is Inigo Montoya, uh, I mean, Mandy Pitinkin.

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Damien Lewis is good too, but I’m sick of the whole Brody/Carrie thing.  I’m inclined to agree with Saul (pardon the French):

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During the day, I watch a whole bunch of Strawberry Shortcake Berry Bitty Adventures

and The Magic Schoolbus.  Over and over and over and over and . . .

We’re so ready for school to start back up.

eating:

whatever delicious meals my kind friends make me, plus Cliff bars and lots of yogurt

wearing:

ratty old yoga pants and tee-shirts and pajama pants.  I just ordered the Metro Skinny pants from Athleta (currently on sale), hoping they’ll do the trick when it’s time to go out into the world.

Baby’s sureto wake up any minute so I’ll leave off here.  Thanks to everyone out there still reading this blog!

Recently . . .

Getting back to “normal” after a visit with my family in FL last week.  The primary reason for the trip was my grandma’s funeral.  She actually passed away and was buried several weeks ago, but the service was held later.  I think I’m still at the beginning of wrapping my mind around her passing.  I do think taking an SSRI dulls my emotions and that’s troubling a bit.  But b/c of the meds I’m not so troubled about being not troubled.  So weird.  Also, her death was a long, slow one at age 95 so it wasn’t a shock.  Still . . . we had a great time, including a day at the beach.  It was even worth the 2 a.m. arrival home the other night.

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Dealing with insomnia.  Coughing, hacking children don’t help.  Waiting for Benadryl to kick in (for me!)

Reading

Brooklyn by Colm Toibin and Lit by Mary Karr.  Finished both recently and recommend them both.  Looking forward to the movie adaptation of the former, which will be released soon. . . .

Also the Wall Street Journal.  I❤ the Wall Street Journal.  It’s almost my only source of news, which probably gives me a lopsided perspective.  I pride myself that I don’t agree with all their editorials.  Not yet.  . . .

I’m mostly skipping coverage of the presidential race.  Can. Not. Stand. to listen to or read about politicians in all their politicianyness more than I have to.  Once the race narrows down I’ll read a bit and figure out who to vote for. . . .

I also enjoyed reading “How to Stay Catholic” by Michelle Arnold at Catholic Answers.

Various American Girl books–Molly, Samantha, and Addy–outloud to the girls.  And the Ramona books.  Always the Ramona books.

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Painting our fireplace.  Can you believe it??  I had a bit of energy one recent Saturday afternoon, and the girls were playing nicely so I went for it (Pat had to spend a couple hours helping me finish later that night).  Like most of my DIY projects, I prioritized Just Doing It over doing it just right.  And it shows.  Kind of scary with something so permanent.  . . . Common wisdom is to mix latex paint and water 50/50.  I didn’t add enough water so it went on thicker than I expected.  I might go back and even it out later.  But I’m happy I did it.  Hoping eventually to order a mantle like The Nester’s.  Possibly these guys could make it.

Before:

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After:

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I cleaned the sooty areas of the brick with Scrubbing Bubbles, which worked well, as you can see here (right side washed left side not):

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Watching nothing in particular since we finished the last episode of Dark Matter on Netflix. . .

Watched a few episodes of “World’s Worst Chef” on Netflix and it was entertaining. . . .

I checked out the 2010 movie adaptation of Ramona and Beezus from the library.  The girls have watched it a couple times and, from what I can see, it’s pretty good.  Not great, but pretty good.  . . .I have fond memories of the PBS television series made in 1988 from the Ramona books, starring Sarah Polley.  As far as I can tell, the only way to get them now is to find the VHS copies that pop up on eBay.

They’ve also watched the newer, live action Charlotte’s Web movie.  It’s been ages since I read the book, so I don’t remember how close it hews, but I like it. . . . Recently I watched Big Eyes with Amy Adams (apparently a true story with a fun Tim Burton style) and Philomena with Judi Dench (also based on a true story, not sure how accurate).  Thought they were both good.

Cooking very very basic, boring meals:

Spaghetti and meat sauce (browned ground beef with a jar of marinara sauce),

frozen chicken breasts stuck in the oven at 400 with some baby carrots and bottled Italian dressing drizzled on top

beef stew (browned stew beef, chopped onion, baby carrots, simmered in a crock pot or on the stove with beef broth, worcestershire, and tomato paste),

Sometimes I’ll fry a steak. . . .  We still have pounds and pounds of beef in the deep freeze from the half a cow we bought from some rancher friends.

Tacos

Chili

*snore*

Shopping online.  Subscribe and Save from Amazon works for a lot of staple household products.  I order peanut butter from Soap.com (aka Diapers.com . . . a subsidiary of Amazon but for some reason with better prices on Smucker’s creamy naturay).  Some supplements from Vitacost.  And I just finished Christmas shopping for the girls at Jet.com.  It’s interesting seeing how Jet compares with Amazon.  The prices are often better, though the selection isn’t as big.  Also, the shipping is really fast and the web interface is very clean and less overwhelming than Amazon’s.

Still pondering what to name this little guy inside me.

Feeling huge.  I fear this baby will be BIG.  Girl 1 was 7.5 pounds.  Girl 2 was 8.5 pounds.  See where this is headed??

Hoping you all have a lovely week and a fun Halloween!  And that you don’t mind all the affiliate links in this post.

Third Tri[mester]’s the Charm

Hello Friends, How have you been?

I’ve been . . .

Feeling tired but better the last few weeks since realizing (a) I need to keep taking my Floradix iron supplement and (b) need to be drinking a LOT more water.  Those two changes, plus a few trips to the chiropractor, and I’m feeling better than I was most of the second trimester.  Not what I was expecting!

Leading a more Luddite life. I’v removed almost all apps from my phone, and removed my primary email account from my phone too.  And the laptop is in a separate room from the main living area.  Overall it feels good, calmer.

Eating So Delicious chocolate coconut milk “ice cream” because dairy seems to give me heartburn.  It really is delicious.

Watching my sugars, because my blood glucose levels are a little high (although often I felt more like they were low . . . I don’t know what’s going on).  So, I try to make sure to watch as the coconut ice cream disappears . . . . Ha ha.

Also watching Dark Matter on Netflix.  Somehow it’s holding my interest, even though I’m such a snob and it’s all I can do to keep from commenting every other minute about how dumb the dialogue is.  (It’s a lot like Firefly, which I also enjoyed despite myself.)  It’s fun to have a show Pat and I can watch together in the evenings.  For a little while there it was Rehab Addict but we quickly got through the one season Netflix has.

Reading A Walk in the Woods, about a guy who tries to hike the Appalachian Trail.  I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought, especially the first half, which made me frequently laugh out loud.  I’m wondering how the movie is?  I don’t see enough material in there for a movie, but I’m curious  . . . . Now I’m reading Mere Christianity.  Is it heresy to say I’m finding C.S. Lewis a little priggish, or something?  I’m not feeling it.  Also about to start I Believe in Love–about the saint I don’t get.

Wearing maternity leggings and a dress or tunic (I have about five of them).  Every day.  So simple.  Again, much better than the second trimester, when it was too hot to wear leggings.  I’m trying to forget the outfits I wore this summer.

Also wearing Superga sneakers in a gray/silvery color.  Every year around this time I look for the perfect shoe and wind up with something in some garish color or another.  Glad I avoided that trap this year.

Singing “All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth,” because Girl 1 just lost hers.  She listened intently and then exclaimed, “But that’s not all I want!”

Preoccupied with this house.  I have a list titled, “Things That Will Drive Me Crazy If Not Done Before the Baby Arrives.”  “We” are making good progress.  Meaning, Pat asks me every weekend and most evenings, “What do you want me to do now?” . . . I feel like all my creative energy is going into this house–and this baby.  Haven’t felt much like writing lately, although I do miss it.

Here’s some of the good:

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remember the before for this room?

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the bad and the ugly

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The fireplace will look nice once I get around to whitewashing it (kind of like Jill’s, maybe a little whiter), don’t you think?

Laughing at the positions I find Barbies scattered around the house every day. They’re usually in various stages of undress though so it’s a little . . . inappropriate.

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Struggling with insomnia.  It helps if I stay off of computer screens and my phone in the evenings.  So with that . . . good night and thanks for reading!

(I’ll link up with Kelly for 7 Quick Takes, even though I’ve got more than seven here.)

It’s not just the same old song

That’s my brother folks!!

CNS Blog

Pope and bishops at midday prayer at St. Matthew Cathedral. (CNS photo/Toni L. Sandys, pool) Pope and bishops at prayer at St. Matthew Cathedral. (CNS photo/Toni L. Sandys, pool)

For midday prayer Sept. 23 at the St. Matthew Cathedral in Washington, one might think the musical program would be fairly stuffed with Gregorian chant and the musical stylings of the Renaissance. But you would be wrong.

It’s true that there were a few selections from the  Renaissance era, but the 20th-century was fairly well represented, with works by Francis Poulenc, Pierre Villette and Gustav Holst. There were even pieces from living composers, Robert LeBlanc and Daniel Gawthrop among them.

One of those living composers has a chance to make a mark on the 21st century, since he is only 24 years old. John Henderson composed an antiphon to Psalm 17, replete with vocal, brass and organ arrangements.

Henderson picked up his bachelor’s degree at The Catholic University of America in Washington in composition, although he…

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Still alive!

We are alive and well and we have moved to our new-to-us house!

The new house is much improved, thanks to weeks of grueling labor by Pat and many family members.

I let the girls “help” paint their room pink.  We had a blast (minus the time Girl 1 got separated from me at Lowe’s during a paint-purchasing trip and I had to be paged to the customer service desk).  . . . Girl 2 still has paint stuck in her curls.  We’re all looking bedraggled these days.

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We have wonderful friends and family who have helped us move, provided us with moving boxes, made us meals, and watched the girls so we could pack.

My mother-in-law and sister-in-law both stopped by today, just to help me clean and unpack.

My new/old kitchen is a work in progress.  So many cabinets left to de-grime and eventually paint.  But already I enjoy using it much more than I did the tiny old one.

My brother joined us for most of last week and helped us with whatever was needed.

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This included his being the nanny on a trip to IKEA.  (We needed a wooden countertop last minute, and no one has them in stock, that I know of, other than IKEA.  Oh darn.  ;-)  Girl 1 exclaimed, “This place is the best place ever!  Better than the kids’ museum, better than Chick Fil A, better than McDonald’s!)

I’m hobbling/waddling along at almost 6 months pregnant.  After talking to my doctor, I finally realized that I’m experiencing pregnancy-induced hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), especially in the morning.  I think I’ve experienced hypoglycemia in small degrees before, but this pregnancy it’s hit me more than ever.  If I don’t eat right, especially in the mornings, I’m useless for at least half the day.  It’s a pain, but good to know what’s going on, and it doesn’t have the same risks that gestational diabetes has (they’re opposite conditions, as I understand it).  But anyway, between that and the bad back, I’m not able to do as much as I’d like.

I wish I were more of a photographer, because before and after photos are so fun.  For now I just have “before” and “a little bit later” for the family room:

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Crappy pictures, but you can see the improvement, right?  Since then, we’ve taken out half of the wall above. (By “we” I mean an extended family member’s construction crew.) The family room now opens into the kitchen, with a peninsula countertop/ breakfast bar on the half wall.  Pendant lights and a vent hood are still to come.

I’m going to whitewash the fireplace eventually . . . hopefully.

And in other news, the blue toilet is gone!  The blue tub/shower unit is still there but apparently these can be painted (though not by me)!  We have four bathrooms, three with complete walls, three working sinks, three working toilets (one in the basement that we never use), one toilet in the master bath waiting to be installed, one functional shower and no functioning bathtubs.  Also–bats still in the attic.  We are overrun with first world problems over here.

Our attentions now are focused on the old house, which needs some work before it’s ready to be rented out.  We’re planning to start showing it this weekend and have it rented on Sept. 1 or as soon as possible after that.

Good night everyone.  Thanks for reading!

P.S. If you need 60 boxes of Pergo flooring, and you have a construction team scheduled to start installing it on Monday, you shouldn’t wait until Saturday to check whether Lowe’s has it in stock.

(As it turns out, just because a certain kind of flooring is on display doesn’t mean it’s actually in stock.  [Who knew??])

That is, unless your long-suffering husband enjoys making two 200 mile round trips over the course of one weekend.  Because carrying all 60 boxes in one trip would weigh down the minivan too much.  Just sayin’, is all.

That’s My Bag–Quick Takes August 7, 2015

Mom Bag contents

Contents include: Eyeglasses case, wallet, Vinylux nail polish top coat, Tootsie Roll pop wrapper, two nail clippers, two pair tweezers, two Cover Girl concealers, two lipsticks, one Burt’s Bees lip gloss in Rose, hand sanitizer, fake flower, plastic flower ring, perfume sample, hand lotion sample, moisturizing oil sample, “Z” cut-out from library story time craft, one pair socks, two checkbooks (one from account that had been closed), advertisement for a kids’ play on dinosaurs, half-eaten bagel, Wall Street Journal, Kindle, and a Target receipt.

  1. Remember that “what’s in your purse” thing that was going popular with a lot of blogs a year or two ago?  A few days ago it occurred to me that I won at that game because I–no joke–had a bottle of champagne in my purse for most of the day.  Just toting it around like a boss, along with 1233267809 items of crap.

2. I would love to figure out an outfit I could wear every day for a year.  Maybe when I’m not pregnant, not postpartum, and not gaining weight for no discernable reason?

3. I got an email from one of our babysitters last week and it made my day week month year:

Hi Mrs. ————-,
I feel badly that there are times that I am not doing anything, when you are paying me, since the girls are so well-behaved. Is there something else that I could be doing for you, such as laundry, making dinners, etc.? I really want to be helpful. See you tomorrow

Apparently my little brats darlings are good for people, just not good for Pat and me.  . . . If you live in my area and are looking for a babysitter, I might just share this young lady’s info.  But only if you can convince me you won’t woo her away from me.

4. Speaking of Pat, he’s been working his tail off–every moment he’s not working his actual job–on the house.  Funny how little things–things that are !just cosmetic! we assured ourselves at the outset–end up taking days and days and days.  Like painting the whole. dang. house.

5. We’ve made a lot of progress though.  For one thing: we unfinished the finished basement!  Woohoo!

Before:

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After:

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Kind of ironic right?

The thing is, along with the paneling and the nasty carpet, a lot of surface mold was removed by professional mold-remover people.  So, truly, it is progress.

6. P.S. I’m glad I’m not British, because I have enough trouble with U.S.-style small talk.  This is yet another reason I can look on Her Royal Highness Practically Perfect In Every Way without a twinge of jealousy because she does small talk for a living.  I’m really glad I don’t have to.

7.  Check in with This Ain’t’ the Lyceum for more quick take posts.  Happy weekend!

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Princess Dizzy, our rabbit, bids you good night.

Friday Quick Takes: Lots of New Additions!

And lots of blue, because . . .

1. We are having a BOY!

2. We bought a HOUSE!  Closed this morning.

3. We also recently got a RABBIT, our first family pet (and she’s very much alive–ha ha . . .)

The girls LOVE the bunny.  The bunny tolerates the girls.

The girls LOVE the bunny. The bunny tolerates the girls.

4. There’s a bunch of work we* need to do on the house before we move in.  Right now, it’s full of potential, and I’m dreaming of white walls with wood  accents and lots of light and space.  Ahhh, space.

* We = Pat.

5. I’m 100% absolutely positively sure our house soon will look like this:

via Pinterest

6. Right now, it’s looking more like this:

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Not kind of like this.  Exactly like this.  As in, this is the house we bought today.  I now own a blue toilet and shower.  And lots of potential.

7.  Have a lovely weekend. Click over to This Ain’t the Lyceum for more quick takes.

Weekend Link Love, July 25, 2015: Death Penalty, Rejection, and Parenting

But not all at the same time . . . .

Hello Friends,  Real quick-like, here are a few choice picks from the internet of the past few weeks:

1. Check out this article on how a Mexican drug lord recently succeeded in a meticulously planned prison escape.  It made me think about the death penalty and Catholic Church teaching on it and whether need for the death penalty is really so rare.  In Mexico anyway?  I dunno.

2. I loved this article from Money Saving Mom.  My daughters already have to deal with feeling rejected by other kids from time to time.  I know what it’s like to feel rejected.  I’d give anything to shield them from it, but I can’t.  Crystal discusses how to handle it constructively.  

Honestly, as a mom, I wanted to rush in and scoop them up and protect them. I wanted to express anger and frustration and say things like, “That was so rude and mean… You can never play with those girls ever again!!”

I hurt for them. But I knew deep down in my heart that trying coddle and bubble wrap my kids is doing them a disservice. I cannot shield them from hard things forever.

. . . .

Because there’s a world out there that will crush you in two if you don’t develop backbone, stand strong, know the truth that you’re enough, and lovingly forgive and believe the best about people.

So part of growing up is learning to love others even when they do unloving things to you. It’s forgiving when you are slighted or skipped over — whether intentional or accidental. It’s not harboring bitterness and anger toward people who don’t treat us fairly.

. . . .

I also told the girls that the best remedy for times when you feel lonely and left out is to do something for someone else. Reach out to someone else. Be interested in other people’s lives. Look for ways to serve. Find opportunities to show love.

3. I learned a lot from this article from this Wall Street Journal about the Confederate battle flag brouhaha in South Carolina.  I’ve been seeing a lot more of those flags flying in our town.  I didn’t have a strong opinion on the flag earlier.  My feeling before was, “Just take it down already.”  I have a soft spot for federalism though (or states rights, but that phrase has a negative connotation), and there seemed to be some connection.  I honestly had no idea that the flag was resurrected in the mid-1900s in reaction to the civil rights movement.  And now . . . yeah, seriously, take it down already.

4. On a lighter note, here’s a good resource showing proportionally how much electricity various household items use, and how much energy-saving strategies actually save. It’s something I’ve been thinking about because it looks like we actually will be moving to a bigger house soon, and I’m not looking forward to those utility bills.

5. Remember that singer, Jewel, and her album Pieces of You?  I know some of you remember it.  And that song “Sensitive,” where she whines in her little girl falsetto,

Please be careful with me/ I’m sensitive and I’d like to stay that wa-ay.

Anyway, that makes me roll my eyes and think, “Just get over yourself already.”  But, as Modern Mrs. Darcy explains well, there really is something to “highly sensitive persons” and parenting one is quite a challenge.  So much of the characteristics she describes her son having are also things we’ve noticed and–um– been challenged by with Girl 1.  It’s not so much an issue of having your feelings hurt easily, a la Jewel, but of having overactive physical senses.

6. Speaking of parenting, this funny article by Rob LaZabnik, a writer for the Simpsons, made me laugh: “They’re Back! How to Cope with Returned College Graduates.”

So the time has come for you to cut the cord. And by that I mean: Take your kid off your Netflix account. He will be confused and upset at first, not understanding why this is happening to him, but it’s a great opportunity for him to sign up for something all by himself.

Which brings us to money. It’s finally time to channel your Angela Merkel and get tough with your young Alexis Tsipras.

It also make me think, “No God, please no.”  Also, who is Alexis Tsipras?  I don’t even know, but I still laughed.

7.  Hope you’re having a lovely weekend. Click over to This Ain’t the Lyceum for more quick takes.