Monday, May 28

Our First Crawfish

Today Luke found our first live crawfish in our backyard!  The kids were playing in the sprinkler and it was spraying in a low-lying area so the water started to settle on the grass.  Apparently that's all this little guy needed because Luke ran to Daddy to tell him, "There's something out there with pinchers on it and I don't like it AT ALL!"  Ryan caught the crawfish and he had fun showing it to the kids and trying to convince Beth to hold it!

This movie reminds me of the Rolly Polly from so many years ago. :-)

Photos of the Week

7. someone that inspires me

8. a smell you adore

Sunday, May 27

Our Backyard


Most of our fence is done!  It's been a long process that started about a month ago, and Ryan and some generous friends have been working hard to get our fence built.  We hired someone to set the posts (which happened the weekend Ryan and I went to Vegas) and the weekend after that Ryan and our friend Michael added the rest of the frames and started on the slats.  The following weekend Ryan spent finishing up the slats with a friend from work (along with his son), then the next weekend Ryan worked with his dad on the small gate on the right side of the house.  We are now completely sealed off from the empty lot next door, which in theory means the deer probably won't be in our backyard.  Or so I thought... I started to fix up the little gardens we wanted to have on that side, which including planting a potted redbud tree... Two nights later, wouldn't you know most of the leaves had been chewed off?!  By deer- we saw their tracks left in the mud from the storm that night!  Rotten animals!

Saturday, May 19

Blueberry Picking

so excited!
 It was a little early this year for us to pick blueberries, but we thought we'd try to hit up the local farm before it got too hot.  We arrived about 9:15 and it was already too hot!  We found a good shady spot and began picking, while Luke and Jack began eating!  This year, Beth was pretty good about picking her own bucketful- she picked 1.19 lbs on her own!  Between that plus what Ryan and I picked, we had about 12 lbs, which was more than last year. Beth found the fullest bush we'd ever seen, the branches were heavy with completely ripe blueberries!  We cleared out that bush pretty well, and as I switched to the next busy over I felt a crazy painful prick on my finger- and I saw a wasp fly away!  I was stung!  I don't know that I've ever been stung before, at least I don't remember, so I freaked out a little and was wondering if I was going to have some sort of reaction.  I went to the front where the farm workers were and one of them rubbed something on my finger, but I felt the pain move down my pointer finger down into my wrist.  Luckily it stopped there and numbed up after a bit, but I was a pretty worthless picker after that.  Not even a couple of minutes later I found this branch with the tip full of red and white caterpillars, perfectly still but bunched together as if they were trying to mimic a flower or something.  Cool, but eww!  I decided at that point that I'd post on my blog so all blueberry pickers know- shake out your branch before you start picking!  Give those bugs a chance to get out of there!

it took jack about 1 minute to figure out he could eat the berries, and he kept his mouth stuffed the entire time!

luke started picking and putting them in his bucket, but wound up mostly eating them all.

Mother's Day

Mother's Day was last Sunday and I had an absolutely wonderful day.  We went to mass, had a yummy brunch with the new waffle maker Ryan surprised me with, and I got a necklace I'd wanted for a few months.  The kids played nicely and spoiled me with lots of hugs, kisses, and "I love you!" all throughout the day.  I think I even had a nap!  Ryan did the dishes all day long.  We grilled delicious beef fajitas and had a relaxing afternoon.  It was a great, lazy day spent at home with the people who made me a mother. :-)

My necklace has each of the kid's names, a round disc with tiny baby feet, a silver heart, and a little pearl. 

Saturday, May 12

Jack's Baby

Over the past few weeks my nursing relationship has changed with Jack.  We've gone from nursing 6-8 times a day- which was really wearing on me because I couldn't even sit down without him wanting to nurse- to nursing about once a day now.  My absence from him during our trip to Vegas left him unsure about continuing nursing, but once he picked it back up again we were both just fine, nursing 3-4 times a day.  That seemed to work really well for both of us.

Thursday, May 10

Tuesday, May 8

Memory Books

Over the years I've wondered how to turn my blog into something physical.  I hope blogger doesn't disappear anytime soon but it worries me that all of these memories I've recorded online could somehow disappear!  This blog has been almost the only records I've kept of my children's childhood, so somehow turning them into baby books/photo albums/memory books has been a priority for me.  There have been several options I've considered, but I think these books have worked out.  I've created photo book from several websites- usually whichever website has a free book promo, sale, or a Groupon- and given each book a theme.  Initially I intended to just repost my blog word-for-word into these books, but after spending too much time editing I decided to go with the theme route and fill in text boxes with details from my blog.  I love them!

In the photo above, starting at the top, the books are: Beth's pregnancy and birth, our trip to St. Louis last summer, our family's 2011 birthdays, Christmas 2010, Jack's birth and baptism, our beach trip 2007, beach 2009, Luke's 2nd birthday, and our Punta Cana trip from last summer.

While these books are very important to me, the kids love to read them too.  Usually once a week they get them all out and sit looking at the photos.  I do worry that pages will get bent or torn but I know if one book ever gets completely destroyed, I can always order another one since they're all saved online.  (I don't want to, but it's nice knowing the option is there!)  It's made me think that I should create one or two for each of them to keep in their bedrooms, each book filled with special memories and photos of people we don't get to see very often.

I love the alternative to traditional photo albums because this way I don't have to print out photos and somehow add the text.  It's just very simple, convenient, and a fun way to relive some of our most special moments!

Sunday, May 6

Photos of the Week

day 1: peace
day 2: skyline
day 3: something i wore
day 4: bird. no birds around here so... day 4: cat

day 5: fun!

day 6: me
Part one of my May photo-a-day challenge!

Wednesday, May 2

Photos in May

I've chosen to follow this May challange:

I've missed taking photos lately with my DSLR and have been relying on my phone to grab quick pics here and there.  Some of my favorite blog posts I've done in the past are random photo posts, documenting a day or things I love about our home, so when I saw this challenge I thought it'd be fun and would get me using my camera more often.  I have some photo ideas in mind for a few of them but for the most part I'm going to try to make them as organic and random as possible, without setting them up, so to speak.  My photo from yesterday was perfect, I love it!  I think I'll post a week's worth of photos at one time since there's no way I'll be able to upload them every day, but we'll see what happens.  My goal is just to take one pic a day! 

Tuesday, May 1

Beth's Circus Book

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