Monday, February 28

February Ends

I'd bet that other bloggers go through their days composing posts in their heads as events transpire, making mental note of witty captions or off-beat thoughts.  I find that I'm the most lyrical right before I fall asleep, sometimes so often that I half-dream that I've grabbed a pen and paper and jotted down my thoughts.  Then the next morning, the alarm goes off (aka Jack pulls my hair or screeches in my face), there's no scrap of paper with my scribble, and I've lost every sane thought from the previous night.  Another day begins.

my valentine's day orchid in the morning sun

Saturday, February 26

Beautiful Days

a crawfish hole.  our yard is full of these things.  they're annoying but the good thing is that it provides food for our hawk, who has been making some appearances lately!

beth has learned how to pump herself, and can get some major air!

Wednesday, February 23

Tuesday, February 22


Self-feeding is one of those "ahhhh" moments in parenting for me.  A chance to take a step back and watch baby do some of the work.  Work for me, but for him it's just fun!  Of course Gerber Puffs, aka "Baby Junk Food," are his favorite.  I've been pretty good about making most of Jack's food, and now that he's tried just about everything I'm even starting to let him have some of what we eat.  Another "ahhhh" moment!  He usually eats three times a day, and might have a nibble of my snack too!  I think he'll be a big eater just like his older siblings!

Sunday, February 20

"Read More"

I'm going to start inserting "jump breaks" into my long posts, so that you don't have to just keep scrolling if you're looking to see an older post.  Just click "read more" at the bottom of the post, and it will show you the whole post!

I guess I'm doing alright.

It's been one of those weeks, but I am happy to report I am doing just fine.

This week:
  • We've been a one-car family.  I stayed home Tuesday through Friday, which was hard for me.  I am thankful his car will be fixed soon, that we can afford repairs, and that it was a nice week so we could spend a lot of time outside.
  • I dropped my cell phone in water, but revived it overnight in a pyrex full of dry rice.  I am thankful it's alive!

Tuesday, February 15

Our Valentine's Day

gluten-free cupcakes, my first attempt at fondant!
We celebrated with our home school group by attending the annual Valentine's Day party.  It was held at a local park on a beautiful day!  We made Valentines to share, brought some homemade gluten-free cupcakes to share, and spent most of the time playing at the park!

Birthday Dog

best dog ever
a haiku by stephanie

a dog we all love
sits, stands, shakes but not much more
dumb, but loveable

plays with kids inside
doesn't go outside ever
stinky dogs aren't cool

 65-pound dog
lazy boy, sleeps through the day
 he loves his big crate

wrestles with daddy
likes playing the part of "wolf"
when the kids attack

nights spent staying near
following from room to room
sleeps by mommy's side

finley we love you
more than you will ever know
what a good doggy

beth opens his birthday card from grandma and grandpa!

a morning scratch before daddy leaves for work
contemplating licking jack... he doesn't do it.
he's already graying!

decides he trusts jack... a mistake.

daddy covered him up on a cold night, he actually slept this way for a few hours!

good boy.

Sunday, February 13

Valentine Cookies

Thursday night, Beth and I made a batch of homemade sugar cookie dough, and Friday morning we spent a good hour cutting and decorating our cookies.  Beth and Luke had sooo much fun, Jack didn't particularly care for sitting in his high chair so Mommy could help and take pictures!  They both worked very carefully and very intently, learning how to press the cutters into the dough to make perfect shapes, peel the dough off the wax paper and place it on the cookie sheet.  I think they enjoyed decorating the most, and I'm pretty sure Luke kept sneaking the frosting when I wasn't looking!  After we were done, they had a few to eat.  Beth ate hers in a fairly neat fashion, but Luke crumbled his cookies into one of the containers with leftover frosting.  A boy after my own heart? 

Saturday, February 12

Too many picutures?

So I just came online to upload pictures and I've been told by Blogger that I've exceeded the amount of space allotted to me.  So either I purchase more space or can't upload pictures the simple way anymore.  What a pain.

The only way I can see around this is to upload my pictures to an image hosting site (like Flickr) and then use that instead of the Blogger default host (Picasa).  I think it's going to be more work for me, and I'm in the mood to simplify, remember?

Another option is to go through ALL of my pictures and reduce their sizes.  This will also be work, and take a lot of time.

So I don't know what to do.  I have a lot of cute pics to upload from the other day but it'll have to wait. :-/

Anyone experience this before?  Ideas?

Thursday, February 10

There it is!

You see it?  No?  Hardly at all, maybe just a teeny weeny bit?  It's Jack's third tooth, and this one has been a booger.  I think the fourth is about to cut it's way out too, but only time will tell.  I am very disappointed that no one has told me the wondrous joys of Orajel before, why did I think it was a ripoff?  Because it works.  Better than infant's Tylenol.

For something soooo tiny to cause so much disruption in everyone's life... Well, it's beyond me.  I am grateful that God allows the rough times in our lives to be muddled out in our memories.  Otherwise I'm sure no woman would have more than one child!

I am also grateful for this baby.  He's in pain but he smiles at me, he laughs at his siblings, and he keeps on growing.  He doesn't know that teething probably isn't the worst he'll feel in his life, or that Mommy and Daddy just need more sleep.  He's just a baby.  He drives me crazy sometimes but I'm pretty sure that's part of the process that I need to go through, as his mom, to become a better woman.  For him, teething is part of growing up. For me, it's a chance to be stripped down and broken to be made stronger and new again.

Lord give me strength to serve when I just don't want to.

Wednesday, February 9

Tuesday, February 8

Simple February

It's odd that I should sit here and write about simplicity on a day like today.  So many things have gone wrong today...Very wrong.  But that's not what this post it about, it's about my struggle for simplicity.

I am following Small Steps for Catholic Moms, and this month's virtue is simplicity.  I am reminded through short daily meditations to take small steps toward holiness, toward filling my heart with more love for Him.  For me, it starts off with gratitude, thankfulness for the things I have in my life.  Not just the obvious things- family, a house, food- but the things that I might otherwise see as a burden.  A messy kitchen.  A toy-filled playroom.  Icky bathrooms and diapers that need to be washed.

I take a step back and look at my life in terms of my vocation as a wife and mother.  Are these things holding me back?  Do they take up space in my mind, pushing out God?  Too often for me, the answer is yes.

So I want to simplify.  Simplify my thoughts, my life, my words, my actions.  I want to point everything I do toward Christ.  That means clicking off the  "multi-tasking" button in my brain, and doing everything I do intentionally.  My dishes, to be done in prayer with a smile in my heart.  My family, to be served meals prepared with love and not in bitter haste.  Even abstaining from vices, offered up and moved along.

As I move through February practicing simplicity, I will remember that everything I do in my day should move me closer to God, not move me away from Him.  Join me?

Monday, February 7

Last week

I'm not even sure how to begin to tell you of all the things we did this weekend.  Ryan had Friday, our ice day, off from work but I'd hardly say he didn't "work!"  I suppose I'll start from the very beginning (a very good place to start!).

Last Monday, January 31, was Luke's doctor appointment with our pediatric GI.  We'd been waiting about two months for this appointment, no joke.  We went in and I described my poor Luke's symptoms of chronic constipation, experiencing no relief from Miralax, and more icky details I won't pollute your mind with.  He decided to take an x-ray of his midsection, which Luke did not enjoy.  I was getting Luke dressed in our little room when I heard a gasp from the next room, and the doctor came to get me.  He showed me the xray, pointed out Luke's bones and then he said, "See all that gauzy looking stuff all over the place?"  "Yeah?" "That's all poop!"  Luke's colon was so swollen and full of, ahem, the gross stuff, the doctor said he hadn't seen anything quite like that before.  To make a long story short, Luke needed a drastic colon cleanse.  Two enemas and a 7-dose Miralax-Gatorade cocktail later, he's now pooping on a daily basis again, now to the opposite extreme.   We have to keep things running smoothly for a few months to allow his colon time to shrink back down to normal size, then maybe we can start talking about potty training!  I am so thankful I took him... Hearing him cry every time he made a dirty diaper and at every diaper change was so difficult for both him and me.  I only wish I'd taken him to the minor ER instead of waiting so long for this doctor appointment.  (Note to self: Always trust Mommy instinct.)

So my week started of filled with many, many, MANY dirty diapers.  He's probably lost five pounds!  The rest of the week went by relatively uneventful as we got excited for the pending "snow day" that didn't happen.  The good thing about an ice day was Ryan still stayed home from work, and he and I got an itch and got busy in the house.  We rearranged our bedroom, put together and organized new-to-us bookshelves upstairs in the game room (purchased from a friend!), cleaned out our closet, and still managed to maintain the household.

The upstairs looks great, I am so happy to finally have a place for all of our school and office stuff!  I wanted to paint very badly but Ryan, still traumatized from the yellow bathroom, vetoed that project.  Another day!  We've also fired out Ryan's old college computer for the kids, we hope to use it for some of Beth's learning programs, movies, and music.  First I think we need to clear it all off and upgrade from Windows XP!  My ideas for the future of this room include a sofa or two, floor cushions, a couple of projects to decorate the walls, and a long wooden table for our work.  I want it to be a dual-purpose, very cozy space that invites the children to learn on one side and read and play on the other side.

While the change in our bedroom hasn't been that drastic, I do like the furniture layout a lot better now.  I have room for a (future) pretty chair and lamp in front of the window, and we moved the desk out and upstairs so there's no media in the room.  We also still need to paint this room but again... Another day!  Sometime in the next couple of months I hope to go out and buy some nice pretty touches like candles, curtains, and art.  We will probably wait to put our pictures back up on the wall until I get around to that.

The closet clean out was nice too because we were able to find things we'd been looking for since before the move... Like my Sansa mp3 player!  We have old CDs coming out of our ears (anyone need any bad 90's country CDs?), sooo many pictures (is there any reason to keep a million negatives?) and textbooks.  Yes, college textbooks.  Why we have these, I don't know, but someone please tell my husband that he will never need these books again?

Saturday, February 5

Ice Day

Thursday night and Friday morning we were promised snow.  The kids were excited, Ryan didn't have to go to work on Friday, and I was looking forward to waking up to look out the window and see our yard blanketed in fresh snow.  They said 2-3 inches!  Instead, we got ice.  Even though the kids were sad they didn't see snow, I think they were almost as excited to go break off icicles.

They were surprised to walk in the grass and hear it crunch.  This turned into lots of giggles and jumping, until I warned them they might slip.  Time to break icicles instead.

 That's right, Luke wasn't wearing gloves.  Frankly, I had no idea where they were because they play with their gloves quite often and they never get put back where I want to keep them.  The one day of the year he actually needed them, and they were nowhere to be found.  Figures.  But you know what?  He survived.

They had fun kicking everything and hearing the ice crack, the first few times they looked at me worried that they'd broken something!  Then it became a game, and it was lots of fun until Beth's shin met the side of the plastic fort.  Conveniently, Luke's hands were a nice shade of pink so it was time to go inside anyway.  They were sad to see the ice was gone this morning, but it was okay because we were still able to go outside and play this afternoon in the nice, almost-warm afternoon sun.  (For the record, I was wearing shorts today.)  Only in Texas!
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