Wednesday, April 28

National Geographic

I finally got a picture of our hawk, whom we've named Humphrey, right before he was chased off by some (very) annoying Blue Jays. We also have some new neighbors, apparently two rabbits have moved in to the empty lot next door. We've seen them (at least one) every day for the past week.

Tonight was the first time we've seen them in our yard together... I say the rabbit was too big for the hawk to eat but Ryan insists that though they're about the same size, he could definitely eat that bunny. I wasn't ready to see that episode of National Geographic played out in my backyard, so I went to the other room!

Sunday, April 25

18 Months Old

My little Luke-ee turned 18 months old on Friday. A year and a half old... I have to admit that this is my favorite age for babies. I love all the discovery, the imitation, the smiles. Even the temper tantrums crack me up!

As Luke continues to discover the world, we're more and more of his personality show through. Since the day he was born, Luke's been a mellow kid, and I still think he's pretty laid-back. He's content chilling at home and playing by himself; it's surprised me how well he plays alone. Of course, there's always a big sister to imitate and bother, and he rarely passes a chance to try to "play" with her. At this point, they still do better playing side-by-side and not together, though I am looking forward to the day when they can interact and play together.

His obsession with cars reminds me a lot of one of my brothers, who I remember sitting and playing with little matchbox cars and making car noises at the fireplace. Luke will do the same thing at the windowsill, just rolling the cars back and forth making noises, for what sometimes seems like forever. I love spying on him from around the corner, and just watching him play.

He also loves playing in the play kitchen, mixing a spoon around in the bowls and taking a big, exaggerated bite. He usually offers me and Beth bites of whatever he's cooking as well! Today I laughed when I saw him bring the spoon and put it up to the mouth of one of the Little People toys he'd been playing with 10 minutes earlier!

Luke loves to play outside, and will run, grab his shoes, and plop down on the floor anytime you mention "outside." He knows that shoes come off when we come in the house, and voluntarily puts them in our shoe basket- just like at bath time he voluntarily takes his dirty clothes to the hamper. I wonder how long that will last. ;-)

I am starting to understand his speech a lot better since his baby words are slowly turning into real words. Car, uh-oh, bus, dog, truck, mama, milk, cup, dada, ball, Beth, snack, cheese- these are a few of his favorite words. He even picked up Beth's Dora backpack the other day and said "bapa"- eek!

He's still sleeping beautifully, better than I could have ever hoped! He only uses his nuks for naptime (and mass), so all I have to do for naptime is go into his room, turn off the light, turn on the fan, give him his nuk and put him in bed. He curls up and passes out without a peep! While it's convenient to be able to put him down so quickly, I really do love to rock and read to him. He's not as into books as Beth was at this age, but he will cuddle up next to me and play with my necklace- rocking him is the sweetest part of my day.

I melt over his smiles and coos, and when he gets upset it's slightly frustrating for me but it's also still sort of cute. He's so dramatic! I am just eating up this stage right now, enjoying every second of it!

playing on his rocket

sweet boy

Thursday, April 22

Booster Chair

I am so done with Luke's high chair. He is such a messy eater, that wiping down the tray and the entire chair after each meal was becoming such a hassle for me! So much so that it wasn't getting done...So I ordered him a booster chair. He fits pretty well! It looks silly to see him sitting at the table, but he absolutely loves it. In fact, he ate dinner really well tonight- a coincidence or not, I don't care- he ate without a fight!

and, oh yes, have i mentioned we don't have any childproofing on the cabinets yet???

Wednesday, April 21


Today I had a busy morning! Grandma came to stay with the kids so I could run out- first stop was my chiropractor since I have been having a hard time walking! After that, and a short stop at the bank, I went to see my midwife. In that practice, there are two midwives, and one of them is pregnant- a few weeks ahead of me. This is the same midwife who delivered Luke, so I'm pretty sad that I know for sure that she won't be the one to deliver this boy too (she was awesome). I've pretty much seen her my entire pregnancy though, and I'm betting today will be my last day to see her before she delivers her baby... Anyway, my weight is absolutely frightening (I'm higher now than I was with the last two, yet I still have 8 weeks left!) but my health is good. Ryan met me for a follow-up ultrasound to check the placement of the placenta, and it's moved very far up so it definitely will not be an issue. Everything else looks good too, we got a good 3D picture of him with his hand by his face- and his foot by his hand! He's really crammed in there! The tech estimated he is 5 lbs 1 oz, quite a bit above what the average 31 week baby should be...Yay. :-b

After that reassuring appointment I stopped by a Carters store to grab a "big brother" and a "big sister" t-shirt for Beth and Luke, then went by Sams to buy a million dollars worth of diapers. Beth only wears her diapers for night time (and the occasional nap) but we haven't put Luke back in cloth yet since we're having some technical issues. Like, the diaper sprayer isn't installed and the hot water isn't working so well on our washing machine. Two things that neither of us can physically fix right now, so I'm trying to let myself not stress out about it. I feel so wasteful spending money on disposable diapers when I have a huge stash sitting her waiting for me, but I'm spoiled (and my son makes very disgusting, very frequent dirty diapers!) so I won't do cloth without my sprayer.

They loved their t-shirts and insisted upon wearing them right away. I grabbed my camera for a pic, but I'll get around to uploading it tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 20

Science Experiment?

Or lazy mama?

Sunday, April 18

Surgery update

Ryan had his surgery on Friday morning. Everything went well, of course! He spent the most of the rest of the day in recovery in bed, and was feeling back to normal for the most part on Saturday. The kids are being very kind to him, though it seems Beth is a little weirded out/grossed out by the whole thing! Ryan's finishing up an antibiotic and is on some pain meds, but he's going back to work tomorrow so that means it's back to normal around here! Though definitely not under ideal circumstances, it was nice having him around a lot last week!

Needless to say, we had a slow relaxing weekend! Today I put the kids to work and had them scrub the floor, it was one of the best ideas I've ever had until Luke stood up, slipped and busted his lip. Honestly, he's busted his lip in his short 18 months more than Beth has in 3 years. But they both love to run around the house with a damp paper towel, wiping things down, so it was a great activity...We just have really slippery tile. :-(

Beth also did another puzzle all by herself (again, I'm super-impressed!):

On Thursday, we took a family trip to Target. I've been wanting to buy Luke a baby doll so we got him one that looks like Beth's doll Eric- I love these dolls because they're sweet looking and cheap. So far it doesn't have a name, but given it's pink collar we think it's a girl:

After we got home from Target, it randomly started pouring rain! It was still very sunny outside, but it was really coming down for just a few minutes. We had our own personal rainbow that spanned the width of our backyard, we could see it go all the way from one side of the yard to the other. It was very cool.

Wednesday, April 14

Backyard Playing

Have I mentioned Beth likes to pick up Luke?

my pretty bouquet Beth picked for me

Monday, April 12


Ryan went in to see a hand surgeon today and the damage has been evaluated: he needs surgery! On Friday, Ryan will be put under and will have a pin placed in his finger to make sure that everything heals as it should. Sadly, he'll lose his nail, but he's been reassured it should grow back. I think I'm more nervous about this than he is... Please continue to keep him in your prayers!

Saturday, April 10


Please pray for Ryan, he broke his finger today while working on one of our weekend projects. :-( This was a random, last-minute project that wasn't planned until last night- our garage door stopped opening. The chain got off the spoke (or something like that) and Ryan's finger got caught somewhere around there. After a few hours at the minor ER, he has to meet with a hand surgeon to figure out the next step. He's in quite a bit of pain, as you can imagine, so please offer up some prayers for him right now!

Friday, April 9


Everyone we see lately has been commenting about how old and grown-up my children look. It's true- just look at this picture of Beth from last August. Some days it's hard to see how much she's changed physically, but what I really notice is her mental and emotional development. She reminds me of a "real" preschooler now, mostly in the way she says the funniest things to me out of the blue. It's like I can see the wheels turning in her brain as she contemplates the world, and now she's noticing new things and picking out different parts of the world to grasp onto.

Ryan and I have tried our hardest to keep her innocent of mean and bad things in the world, so she doesn't watch television (only Dora the Explorer and DVDs we've selected for her like The Wiggles and animated movies on saints). She doesn't watch Disney movies (yet) because even the most innocent of movies somehow turn something that's generally nice into something that causes her stress. Like in Finding Nemo. It was on in the doctor's office waiting room one day and she was totally into it, until the sharks smelled the blood and changed to looking mean. That really bothered her. We also have a coloring book that someone gave to us of Toy Story, the pictures of Sid's demented toys bothered her too. She was flipping through the book and she brought it to me, and said, "Mommy, they're bad. I don't like them," pointing to the page of the toys.

Her interpretation of the world is still expanding, and I truly believe she understands most everything people are saying around her. If she doesn't understand the words, she definitely understands the tone! She's quick to correct me if I sound upset or angry, and if I'm frowning she'll ask me why. Or if I'm using a chipper happy-sounding voice, she'll comment on that too!

She's very into schedules- oh my goodness, what have I done to this child! All day long she asks me "What are we going to do next?" and every night she asks what we're doing the following day. It's to the point of obnoxious, because I know I make very high demands of myself to keep us on a fairly regular meal and snack schedule, and of having my days planned out. I've tried to relax myself on that a little since I do cause myself unnecessary stress, but here comes this little girl asking me what's coming up next!

Once we got pretty busy preparing the house to move, I stopped doing our Alphabet Path home school lessons. I know we need to start again soon, as her little mind is just begging for more knowledge! I think I'll take some time this weekend to prepare Letter D, as that's where we left off!

While this little girl offers me many new challenges that probably come along with most 3-year-old children, her genuine sweetness and loving heart always melt me. Out of the blue she'll tell me how much she loves me, more than anything else ever. Or she'll get excited about feeling Frisbee's kicks, and she'll tell me how much she loves her new brother and give my tummy a kiss. Her interactions with Luke are, for the most part, where our challenges lie (since he's a little headstrong too!), but I have no doubt that growing up with close-in-age siblings will provide her a selflessness that I could have never taught her. John Paul II said, "The greatest gift you can give your child is a sibling," and I wholeheartedly believe that! (Well, clearly, right? ;-)

Here are a few pictures of Beth doing a puzzle handed down to her by her uncles. I only helped her with a few of the pieces, otherwise she did the entire thing herself! I was so proud and so amazed as I didn't think she'd be capable of figuring it out. I give her loads of credit, that's for sure, but she still manages to blow me out of the water sometimes!

Tuesday, April 6

Weekend Project

I think I'll start a series of posts that recap our weekend projects. We will have major and minor projects to do for the next few months (years???) and for the most part, they're fun projects!

This weekend, despite it being Easter weekend, Ryan accomplished a LOT in the yard. It started on Good Friday, when a friend called and offered half a load of black mulch (which turned out to be a LOT!). We'd been planning on adding a couple of garden beds and planting our trees we'd picked up at Arbor Day, so we accepted the mulch and sealed our weekend's fate!

Much of Friday was spent shoveling mulch and planning the bed (we only had enough for one new bed), and Saturday morning Ryan and Beth went to pick out rocks to line the beds. He randomly ran into a friend at the rock yard, and his friend offered to deliver our pallet of rocks, saving us a hefty delivery fee! So thank you! Saturday afternoon was spent at the crawfish boil, so the actual rock placement happened on Easter Sunday, after mass and lunch. It was a good way to spend the day (says she who had to do absolutely nothing) because the kids spent the afternoon outside. Ryan, being the amazing husband that he is, asked nothing of me since I'm at the point in pregnancy where just about everything is uncomfortable. So I told him what an amazing job he was doing. :-)

The beds look fantastic, I really think it dresses up our yard and takes it to the next level! We have rocks for another bed and will get around to that on another beautiful weekend!

Our pallet of rocks, mostly empty at this point

bed #1, completed. this bed existed, but consisted of dirt around the trees. the mulch and rocks make it stand out.

finishing up the brand new bed.

the big tree in the middle was, ahem, "transplanted" from the garden bed right next to the house. we don't know what kind of tree it is, but it was going to get huge like the other tree in our yard- and it was planted two feet from the house! it would have had to come out eventually, so hopefully it'll survive the move! other trees are planted around it- i'm not sure exactly what went in the bed, but we had crab apple, red maple, red bud, white oak, pines, tulip poplar, and a river birch. we still need to buy some deer fencing to protect them while they're little!

a big helper, pulling a rock in her little wagon!

claimed his territory, he didn't like the wagon being used for official business, haha

Monday, April 5

Mud Bugs

Every year my side of the family has a crawfish boil on Holy Saturday. This year my aunt and uncle hosted and threw an awesome party! I know we all had a really great time. It was Luke's first experience around the live crawfish (last year he was really too little to play with them) and Beth still kept her distance. They both had a great time running around and playing with the other kids, dying and hunting eggs, and I introduced Frisbee to the wonderful world of spicy mud bugs. ;-)

Sunday, April 4

Happy Easter!

Here are a few photos from our morning! After mass (we got stuck in the overflow mass this year, even though we arrived 15 minutes early!) we tried to sneak in a few pictures with the kids. Considering they were both a little grumpy, these are some pretty cute pics in my opinion! After mass, they both got Easter baskets filled with sidewalk chalk, books and Easter eggs (each filled with a few M&Ms). We had Easter lunch with part of my family and my grandmother, then came home and all took loooong much-needed naps! Yesterday was the family's annual crawfish boil- I'll post pics of that soon!

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