Sunday, March 30

Bluebonnets

Saturday we spent all day working out in the garden! I wish I had some pics to upload but I don't- I'll have to get some taken soon. We bought seedlings since we got started a little late for some of the plants that should be popping up right now- we put in 4 varieties of tomatoes, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, banana pepper, and cilantro. From seed I started a cantalope, cucumber, basil, mint, and spinach. Now it's most likely too late for the spinach to grow well, but it was $1.50 for a seed packet so we'll see. We also bought a Meyer lemon tree and a Mexican lime tree to go by the orange tree we already have. There are already little lemons on the tree but I doubt we'll get any fruit since it's still a pretty tiny tree! But I'm holding out hope! We go through a lot of lemons and limes around here so those two trees will pay off very quickly if all goes well!
Tired dog after a long day outside. This picture cracks me up.

Beth was of course a huge help... Okay, not so much. But we bought her a little plastic baby pool from Wal-Mart and threw some sand in there with some toys. That actually entertained her for quite awhile! I think she's going to have a lot of fun this summer when I add a couple of inches of water!

So that's what we did all day yesterday and some of today. But after Mass today we found a pretty patch of Bluebonnets to take some pictures in. I didn't get any of Beth last year but she posed pretty well today! You'll usually get a smile from her if you tell her to "jump!" or say "down and....up!" That's how we got these incredibly cute pictures! She soon lost interest though, but I'm really glad we got these. I couldn't pick my favorite so all the good ones are here!






Giving a big hug to baby Eric. We're practicing "soft hugs" and being gentle...
It's not going so well!

Friday, March 28

Cravings

I didn't have any cravings during my pregnancy with Beth. Maybe once or twice I had really strong preferences, but other than that I was totally food averse for my whole first trimester. I actually thought that the whole idea of pregnant women having "cravings" was totally a joke so that pregnant women could get what they want. ;-)

Well boy was I wrong! I've definitely had cravings with this baby!

1. Chocolate milkshakes. From Jack in the Box or Chick Fil-A only! Or, the best, Blue Bell's Dutch Chocolate ice cream in a blender with a little bit of milk. HEAVEN!
2. Party foods. Specifically, mango chutney over cream cheese served with Wheat Thins.
3. Sprite & cranberry juice.
4. Cheeseburgers. Just once- the cheeseburger I ate wasn't very good and I felt sick afterward so it was a short-lived craving!
5. Honey Nut Cheerios. I ate them twice a day for a couple of weeks. Now they don't look so good anymore.
6. Banana-Nilla Wafer Pudding. Which is weird, since I hardly every eat that. When I made it, it wasn't so good either so I let everyone else eat the rest.
7. Raw cookie dough. My good ol' husband mixed me up a batch without the eggs so I could eat it raw and not feel the guilt!

I'm sure there are more but I can't think of them right now. Looking at this list may explain why I'm popping out of my fat pants despite the fact that my uterus should still be neatly tucked away within my pelvis. Oops.

Thursday, March 27

Aquadoodle



Beth has a new favorite toy! This was given to her for her birthday and I totally forgot it was in her closet until Monday, when I cleaned it out. She loves it! The "pen" is filled with water and it doesn't leak or write on anything else, so I'm pretty sure this is the world's best toy. It makes me wonder if I should buy her some washable crayons or something but I think Ryan has visions of crayon-colored walls and dressers in his head so maybe we'll wait a little longer for that. ;-)

I feel like she's outgrown a lot of her current toys, so this morning I packed away a lot of her "baby" stuff like rattles and chew things and other things she hasn't played with in a few months. There's more room in her toy basket now so I'm trying to figure out some age-appropriate toys to buy for her now (preferably at the resale shop). Any suggestions? I already know we're going to get her some cars/trains- something safe for her, of course. Maybe some big leggos?

Monday, March 24

Jump!

Uncle Michael taught Beth to "jump!"

Sunday, March 23

Happy Easter!

He is risen! Alleluia!!!
We spent our Good Friday, holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday with Ryan's parents. Everyone had a good time, and of course great food! We didn't have a real "hunt" since it was chilly outside, and we didn't decorate eggs because I honestly just forgot! Next year we'll do both!


Beth's and Daddy's Easter baskets were combined! Ryan had some Jujubes, his favorite candy in the entire world and a book on the history of the Catholic church. Beth got a rubber duck and a book about babies. No candy for Beth though! No one's told her yet that those Easter eggs should have had candy inside...

A new rubber duck. Her old one was decapitated... I'm not kidding.
Let's just say he was well-loved!

Easter eggs are fun to put in the basket!

Grandpa and Grandma got her a beautiful pink purse and a bird that chirped.
Yes, past tense... He's already broken!

After mass.

Ryan and Finley "bonding." They like it.


There's not much better in the world than an N. family rib!

Wednesday, March 19

Rodeo

Well, last week we went to the Rodeo too! I haven't been able to upload photos until now, so these will have to do. I actually don't have a ton of photos because everyone knows what cows, etc, look like. Beth, again, had a nice time! She was really intrigued when we were walking around the cattle area. I could tell she was a little nervous to be so close to them! After walking around, we went to our SUITE to watch the rodeo- yes a suite and yes it was totally awesome! My dad's company set us, my parents, and my brothers up! We were on the 8th level- the highest you can get in that stadium- and were totally pampered by the sweetest lady who worked out suite. She made me a yummy drink- cranberry juice and Sprite. Who knew? I wouldn't have even thought of mixing these two drinks but it is my new craving! She called it a "Hannah Montana"- a modern-day Shirley Temple, lol. The concert that night was by Toby Keith, and no offense to his fans but we could have cared less! Neither Ryan nor I are fans of his, so we stayed for 2 songs just to say we saw him then took off. It was probably 10:00 by then anyways so Beth was ready to go! Yes, she stayed up until the moment I put her in her car seat- within 5 seconds of strapping her in (literally!!!) she was asleep! It was crazy, I've never seen her fall asleep so quickly!
In front of some... cows? Beth was pointing at one just a few feet away from her!

Checking out a pig. A huge but good-looking pig.

My serious baby. Not sure what to think about all this!

Ryan and Beth looking at a rabbit. Ryan saw the biggest rabbit he'd ever seen in his life- 18 lbs! And Beth agreed to pet that rabbit that weighed almost as much as her!

The view from our suite!

Chowing down on the fajitas and other yummies provided for us in the suite. L to R: My brother David, brother Alex, cousin Sean, brother Matthew and Ryan. My dad's in the blue shirt up and my brother Michael is conveniently cut off by the window pane.


A couple more thoughts from the other day. Some of you pointed out some really wonderful things, and I wanted to let y'all know that I'm glad you brought that up! God has given us this earth and the plants and animals on it, and we must be good stewards of his gifts! The Vatican has recently pointed out the sinfulness of pollution, but abusing God's gifts to us has always been sinful. It's one of those things that recently has become an issue in the world, so the Church has defined it just to clear up any misunderstandings. Although I don't know who would think that pollution and not being efficient couldn't be bad!

And with my friend dying on Monday, and it being Holy Week and all, death has been on my mind a lot today and yesterday. It's seemed morbid to me to be thinking about it so much, but honestly I've never lost anyone close to me before, so it's sort of a new experience for me. Tonight I prayed for God to help us see His will in light of such a tragic situation, and I felt that for me His answer was to count my blessings. It's really making me cherish every moment. So after nursing Beth tonight, I rocked her a little longer... Listened to her suck her pacifier... Felt her leg twitch as she was falling asleep... Smelled her clean hair... And thanked Him for such a perfect little being that I would give my life for in a heartbeat! And then I thought... This is how much I love Beth. Imagine how much more Christ loves me! He *did* die for me! I'm having a hard time understanding how I will be able to love another child as much as I love Beth. Other moms have told me the love in your heart multiplies over and over again, and I know it'll happen for me too. I already love and pray for that little blob in my belly (that I could swear I've already felt move!) but it's still not really real yet for me!

Anyways, tonight I'd like to encourage everyone to hug their children and spouses a little tighter tonight, and thank God for such wonderful gifts. :'-)

Tuesday, March 18

Unexpected tragedy

Please pray for the repose of Karen's soul, who died unexpectedly last night from organ failure caused by sepsis. She was in our Familia group and I'm so shocked to think I'll never see her or hear her beautiful words again! Please also pray for her family. She was caring for elderly family members and it was taking a toll on her kids and marriage, she was trying to balance everything out and I can only pray that her DH and kids realize she was wearing herself thin to meet everyone's needs.

May the souls of the faithfully departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace!

Monday, March 17

Holy week thoughts

Once again, it's holy week. Christians are preparing to remember the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Savior. This week I'm trying to focus my thoughts on the upcoming events, and I've found something new to ponder this holy week. My thoughts are scattered, though, so what better place to try and sort them out than on a public blog? ;-)

Something I read challenged my thoughts on the "incidentals" of Easter, which in turn has made me think of other holy days and holidays as well. Now I'd like to think I am a person who has thought out all aspects of my life, especially my belief system- and I really think I have. The wonderful thing is that not everything in our lives are a moral decision- what should we have for a snack, how should I get to the grocery store, where should we travel for vacation? There are some decisions that I believe *are* moral decisions, like how should we raise our children regarding the faith, the usage of artificial birth control, how should we care for the dying and unborn, etc. But God has given us free will to make our own decisions, we can only hope and pray that we follow the path he has set out for us- the path that will lead us to eternal life in heaven!

Regarding holidays though, I've been pondering the usage of silly things like Easter eggs, bunny rabbits, chocolate, and whatever else that seems "secular" about the holiday. There are many things in a Christian's life that have its roots in a pagan or secular tradition, but as Christians we have taken hold of those pagan roots and given them new life. Not unlike the way we are born with original sin, but are given new life and made Christian through the sacrament of Baptism! What I've concluded is that in raising our children, we will bring them up knowing the truth behind Christmas trees, Easter eggs, All Soul's Day, and the many other things that have roots in paganism. (Heck, even the birthday cake was used as an offering to the moon goddess!) But what they will hopefully learn from us is that, while there are many things in this world that does not lead to Christ, these things can help us come to Christ if we give them Christian meaning.

Now I'm still not positive what I want to do about Santa! Part of me thinks the idea of Santa is completely silly, but I don't want to rob my children of a childhood either. ;-) Again, keeping our focus on the Christian seasons and on the practices that bring us to Him will be our goal in our family.

So how does this all relate to holy week? In contemplating the idea of making unholy things holy, I've thought about all of the things in my life that are unholy. Maybe not even unholy, but just lacking holiness, does that make sense? In the mundane-ness of washing dishes, can I use that to bring me to Christ? In playing with my daughter, does my attitude reflect Christ? In my pains of pregnancy, how does that help me focus on Him? I think it is possible to make everything about my life holy, to maintain constant prayer, and to always remember my goal as a wife and mother is to bring my family to Christ- whether it's through sacrificing my comforts, doing extra work with love, or offering up my discomforts for the conversion of sinners and the salvation of souls. This will be my focus this holy week, these few days before Christ died for my sins.

How can I turn the unholy to holy? Through Christ.

Friday, March 14

Random cute photos

Here are some random photos over the past few weeks that haven't made it into a post yet for whatever reason. I plan to upload some videos to YouTube soon also, hopefully I'll get those up this week sometime. Enjoy!

Stealing my shoes already! She could only walk in one at a time!

Cute. :-)

Flipping the coffee table over is really, REALLY exciting stuff around here!

Wrestling.

An action shot of Beth in a little wagon. She's coming at me full speed!

Please? More? Do it again!!!

A pretty sunset out our back window after a rainy day.
This photo did not do it justice!

Thursday, March 13

Zoo

Beth and I went to the zoo (for the first time) on Wednesday with my parents and brothers! Yay for spring break! I think Beth had a really fun time looking at all the "busy" animals- the fish, small animals, the roadrunner- anything that was moving around. The big animals that were just standing there didn't hold her attention very long! She did wonderfully and sat in her stroller contently for a big chunk of the day, but she was also able to run around in the petting zoo (sooo not interested in petting anything!) and around in a grassy area with her crazy uncles. By the time we left in the late afternoon, she hadn't napped all day but was still in a decent mood, she slept all the way home. :-) In all the photos I have of her, she looks so serious! She did smile that day, but when she's taking everything in she gets this serious look on her face and totally blocks out all my attempts to make her smile! I was also exhausted that night, it's hard work walking around all day long!

Looking at the fish.

A nurse shark, I think? She really liked them because they were
swimming around a lot, and look how close she is to them!

Looking at something else exciting, a peacock I think. They were making odd noises!

She didn't so much like being in the eagle's nest!

A terribly exciting goose. He had seriously ugly feet.
That's about as close as she would get to the goats in the petting zoo!
She happily pet Uncle David's head though!

Looking at a tiger. It was literally 6 feet away, they
were feeding him through a cage.

This is a mommy monkey holding a baby monkey. I have often compared Beth to a baby monkey the way she clings on to me for dear life! This totally reminded me of her and me so I had to take a picture! :-) I had to seriously zoom in, which is why the quality is horrible.

Sunday, March 9

Give me some links

I feel like I visit the same old places online over and over again... And like I need a reason to spend more time online (I don't!) but I would like to see where my readers spend your time online! I love looking at my friend's blogs every couple of days, and I visit my NFP chat board everyday, CNN usually... I'd like to find a good Catholic news site and maybe some other fun sites to feed my brain and make me feel like an adult. :-) So... Give me a reply- where you spend your time online?

Saturday, March 8

Development

Tomorrow our baby will be 8 weeks old. :-)
Here's what his perfect little fingers look like right now:

He's over half an inch long!

(and how could anyone not be pro-life???)

For my friends

I added a couple of links to the right about car seat safety. Ive really been looking into this and doing a lot of reading about car seat safety (since were in the market for a new car soon!!!) and I really feel that this is an issue worth pointing out to my friends, and any other random readers of my blog! Please please please consider keeping your child rear-facing as long as your car seat weight limits permit! It is by far the safest way for your child to ride! And if your child is too big to rear-face, please keep him or her in a seat or booster as long as the childs weight and height permits.

PS- my apostrophe key,back slash key and arrow keys arent working right now for some reason, i am not a big doofus! and writing without contractions would seem way too formal so just deal with it! hopefully this isnt a permanent issue...

Thursday, March 6

A new little one

Praise God, after a few months of trying we have a new little miracle! Ryan and I are thrilled, and Beth has no idea what's going on! Of course we don't really expect her to, especially not at this point, but I have stuck her doll under my shirt a couple of times and she seems to think that's funny! My due date is October 19. I am feeling really good, I've gotten into the groove pretty easily (it hasn't been that long!) and other than just feeling really tired, I'm doing pretty well. A little queasiness here and there, but I've discovered that if I eat every 3 hours I can avoid it for now. And I've given myself permission to take naps when Beth naps, which really helps on the days when we're actually home for her to sleep. The house has seen better days, but I'm doing what I've got to do to get by!

The round thing is actually the yolk sac, the baby is the blob
(and I say that ever-so-lovingly) to the left! This ultrasound is from yesterday.
The baby is facing to the left, the head is on top, you can kind of see the
"tail" at the bottom. Right now he's as big as a coffee bean!

And FYI, I will say "he" when referring to the new baby because it's less confusing. Beth is obviously a "she". :-) Part of me hopes for another girl since these two will be about 22 months apart, I have this mother's fantasy that Beth and her younger sis will be best friends! Plus we already have a ton of girl stuff! But on the other hand, I really wouldn't mind shopping for little boy's clothing. So cute!!!

And now, for the Beth update! She has been very interested lately in the things I do around the house- laundry, sweeping, cleaning dishes, vacuuming... So I'm doing what any smart mom would do and putting her to work. :-) I plan to buy her a kid-sized broom and let her have at it. I have been letting her use the big one but today she discovered she can knock very tall things over with it- luckily I noticed before the picture frame fell over! And she already "helps" me with laundry (she pushes the basket) and the dishes (she splashes in the water).Today I got her some plastic tools for digging in the sand, which included a little watering bucket. It'll be great for our gardening adventures right now and then the beach this summer!

Monday, March 3

Sunday, March 2

Beginnings of a Garden

Well we finally got around to starting our garden! We had a beautiful weekend so Saturday we jumped on it by going to Sam's (I got a membership!) and buying a patio table and chairs. Very important step in the garden building process- you've got to have a place to relax and admire your work! We then went by Lowe's and purchased wood for the bed (see below). Then...

Ground breaking. Since we have a very shady yard, we picked the sunniest spot which also happens to be furthest from the house and next to the compost bin.
Beth loved playing in the dirt! This is probably the first time we've ever let her get this dirty, she loved it! Finley was a good boy and let her put dirt on his back, lol. He needed a bath by the time the day was done also!

Removing final bits of grass and measuring out the garden area. It's 12x6, really the best fit for the area considering the path of the sun throughout the day.

Installing the wood frame. The final garden will be a raised bed, 6 inches high. This will promote good drainage and hopefully help us keep weeds out. We will buy good dirt (ours is very sandy) from a local company that specializes in organic gardening mixes, compost, etc.
Since our compost isn't ready yet we'll have to buy that too.

An action shot. He thought this was the greatest hiding place in the world!


Finally, work's over for the day, time to grill and enjoy the new
patio furniture! It's wrought iron. Not sure when/if we'll get an umbrella-
our yard is pretty shady already!
The "pit"- this is where we hope to have Finley trained to go potty very soon. It was only leaves and dirt before, so we added the grass and are hoping it'll take root and live! We didn't get the whole thing filled but we plan to buy some sod or fill in the rest of the area
with grass from when we build the second garden. If he refuses to use this area, I think it'll be a cute little place for a playhouse one day!

Practicing for the upcoming Easter egg hunt. Big kids beware!

Scrubbing off all that dirt! Man was she filthy! She had such a good time though!

So at this point we have to fill in the bed with dirt and plant seeds/seedlings. We need to find a wheelbarrow to borrow since ours is a little on the flimsy side! We'll have to move dirt from the bed of Ryan's truck to the back of the yard, so hopefully we can find one to borrow or we'll have to buy one with a huge capacity. Hopefully we'll fill it with dirt next week and I'll be able to start the seeds soon after that. I have to figure out what to plant now, since our growing season starts much earlier than the rest of the US I only have a few things to pick from right now. I am already looking forward to picking and eating our fresh, homegrown vegetables!
 
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