Thursday, November 20, 2014

Small Success Thursday, No. 14

It seems all my blogging these days is the weekly Small Success posts. Better than nothing, though, right? And if I'm only going to have time to do one post a week, it might as well be something positive. So let's get to it: my small successes on the week of my 40th birthday:

#1
We had pictures done on Saturday. I had to schedule an afternoon time slot and was very nervous about doing afternoons with three young kids, I usually prefer morning pictures with the kids. So I picked a time and prayed for the best. I managed to get the baby down for a nap at just the right time, Hubby fed the boys lunch a bit early and then gave them each baths. During their baths I woke up the baby, fed him lunch, and then got his clothes changed. By that time Hubby had changed closed and we had 20 minutes before I wanted us all in the car. Just enough time for me to get ready. Mom is always last, right? But we got in the car just a little late and got to the location right on time. It was perfect. I could not have possibly planned it better. And for the most part the kids were good. Silas didn't want to be anywhere but in my arms, but we still managed to get some good pictures. Can't wait to share them.

#2
I've mentioned in the past that nursing has not been super fun for me. I keep doing it because I know it's good for Silas. But I don't enjoy it. Pumping at work each day is also a chore. Lately my daily yield has gone down considerably. Finally, this week, I decided that it was no longer worth it. There was such freedom in making that decision!

We started him on some whole milk on Tuesday evening and he took to it right away. Wednesday I didn't even bother taking the pump to work with me. He had the last two ounces of pumped milk on Wednesday (he had had the last bag of frozen breast milk on Tuesday) and we haven't looked back. I'm still nursing him in the morning and at night, but I plan on dropping the morning session when he hits his first birthday (1 more month!!). I'll keep the night time session for now; if we don't lose it before the end of February, we'll probably drop it then since I'll be out of town for a work conference at that time. But until then, we're now down to two nursing sessions a day and, after 8+ months, I'm no longer pumping! Woohoo!!

#3
Speaking of no longer pumping, I put the pump and all the supplies away today. I had two plastic containers that I had used in the freezer to keep all the frozen milk together. I used those to organize all the various pumping supplies (bottles, bags for freezing milk, and a bunch of other stuff) and nursing stuff I had (all the syringes for supplementing, lanolin, etc.). I also put away the nebulizer machine that's been sitting out for a while and organized all the various parts and extra equipment into one of the plastic containers as well. I put all of these things above the cabinets in my laundry room and used my nifty label maker to label everything. Wow! It looks so much better! There used to be plastic bags of stuff up there, no labels, falling on top of each other. It's so neat and tidy now. I really can be organized when I want to!

Those are my successes this week. How about you? Come join in the fun at CatholicMom.com.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Small Success Thursday, No. 13

If this could be a post about failures, I think it would be much longer than three items. Maybe that's why we only do three? No, I'm sure that's not it! ::winkwink:: It's hard sometimes to see the little successes we all really do have in our lives, because the things we don't do often stick in our minds longer. Regardless, there are plenty of things we can count as successes. So here's my attempt this week:

#1
I spent some time on Saturday doing some vacuuming. Sadly, this is very much a neglected task in my house. My biggest concern was corners, cobwebs, and ceilings. Our main floor looks infinitely better now.

#2
The Vocations Crucifix on our mantle
We have been wanting to start a Vocations Crucifix program at my parish for some time. We used to have one a couple years ago but it didn't get a lot of volunteers and eventually fizzled out. So, I'm on the committee now and we are working on getting this going again. The time when we wanted to get it started suddenly sneaked up on us and I've spent the last couple of weeks putting together a pamphlet, getting the volunteers on the schedule, and working out the logistics. We're still working out some logistics, but this week is the first official week of the program! Of course, the crucifix is at my house, so it was a very soft start to the program, i.e., no one else besides myself and the rest of the committee is even aware of it. Ha! But that's okay, the good news is we started. And, my family has actually been praying each night with the diocesan Vocations Prayer. Definitely a success.

#3
We started composting this week and on Wednesday morning I actually remembered to throw Hubby's coffee grounds in the bowl we keep inside. Sort of insignificant, but I was proud of myself for remembering without him having to remind me.

What are your small successes this week? Come visit Small Success Thursday at CatholicMom.com to share in everyone's weekly successes and to share your own.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Small Success Thursday, No. 12

#1
I cleaned out my email inbox! I had been neglecting it for way too long. I logged in one night recently and saw the number of messages sitting in my inbox and was aghast at how big it had gotten. I proceeded to spend the rest of the evening whittling it down from 1100+ messages to around 200+. I'm on Gmail which now also divides your email into three default tabs. The other two tabs had gotten a little too large as well, so I worked on them, too. It's amazing how light I feel after getting rid of a bunch of virtual junk.

#2
At work I completed the final piece of a project that's been hanging over my head since August. Actually, it was longer ago than that, but August was when I recruited a bunch of people to help me sort through the mess. They did a great job and I just needed to finish the job. I finally did it. I'm such a procrastinator!

#3
Tuesdays are really hard days. Hubby has Adoration at 6 AM those mornings and usually goes right to work after. Which means I am on my own to get myself and the three kids ready and out the door, drop them at daycare, and get myself to work on time. Not an easy task! This time change in the fall helps so much. I always feel so much better at this time of year. Then there was Election Day this week. So, Hubby decided to come home after his Adoration Hour, have breakfast with us, and then we'd all go to our polling place to vote (a fire station!! My boys wanted so bad to climb into the fire trucks parked right next to where we were voting). I'm counting it as a small success that I actually managed to get up at 6:15 AM, feed the baby, get the boys dressed, and set them up in front of the TV while I showered all in a timely manner. When Hubby got home at 7:15, I was in the shower, all three boys were dressed, and the baby was back down for a nap. That is pretty impressive!

What are your small successes this week? Come join in the fun at Small Success Thursday on CatholicMom.com.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Small Success Thursday, No. 11

#1
I finally folded all the clean clothes that were piling up on my dining room table. That always feels good. [We won't mention the clothes that are sitting in the drier right now. Shhhhhh.]

#2
I've managed to read four of the eight faculty files for promotion and/or contract renewal that I am required to read. That's 50% which is great!

#3
Not sure I want to call this a success just yet, but it is something I did this week. So ... I started a new blog. Crazy, right? I can barely keep up with this one. So why did I do this? I wanted a new space to write in, a space that wasn't just about family and my day, and pictures of the kids, and so forth. I haven't even decided if I am going to share it with anyone yet. But, it's been on my mind for a while to do this and I finally took the plunge. Guess that can be considered a small success.

What were your small successes this week? Share here in the comments or go visit Small Success Thursday at CatholicMom.com to read other small success posts and comment there.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Small Success Thursday No. 10

I had this post on my mind since the weekend because I finally felt like I had something to say. And then Thursday completely snuck up on me! But that's okay because the day is only half over. I'm a "glass is half full" kind of girl (for the most part). So let's get to it:

#1
I went shopping! That's a success because it has become incredibly hard to get out of the house without any children in tow. And we all know shopping with children is tow is rather useless. I have needed new clothes for the longest time. But between my pregnancies and nursing Silas and the ups and downs of weight gain and loss and gain again, I was feeling defeated. And I have a really hard time finding clothes and have never particularly enjoyed shopping. But finally, I managed to get out and get some shopping done. I replaced three pairs of shoes that all had holes in them plus bought a fourth pair to help change things up a bit. On another night I went out and bought several tops, a new pair of pants (to replace ones that also had holes in them), and even two skirts. That's right people: SKIRTS! My husband, I think, was particularly shocked to see me in a skirt. I also bought some leggings, my first pair, yes, I am seriously and always way behind the fashion trends, and I bought some sweater tights. The sweater tights are my new favorite thing.

#2
Because of my shopping trip, I did a little closet weeding. It's a work in progress, but I made some good progress. I have a throw away pile and a donate pile and I'm finally getting rid of clothes that have been in my life for far too long. There is still a lot to do, but just the fact that I finally started this is such an improvement!

#3
It's only October but I ordered new Christmas cards for this year. Never have I been so on top of things. I think this will be the first year that all my cards are religious cards. I finally got through all the generic "Happy Holidays" cards that were in my stash. I only had about 12 or so cards left over from last year, all with Mary and the baby Jesus on them, and I added to them with more religious based cards. I can't wait to get started on my Christmas card routine! It'd be great to finish it up before Advent starts, but I'm not holding out hope.

Bonus
Not really a success I had much control over, but as of late the milk I pump for Silas has dwindled down to around 5 ounces a day. I'm ready to be done, so when I finished off a bottle of fenugreek a few weeks ago, I didn't replace it. Things were already heading south anyway and he's starting to drink water and eats plenty of foods, so I'm not worried about his nutrition. Still, I do still hope to get all the way to his first birthday (just two more months!!). And then yesterday, Wednesday, I pumped 5 ounces when I went to pump at noon. I just sat in the little supply closet lactation room staring at it in disbelief. But then I told myself that it probably meant I'd get nothing went I went back at 4 PM, which happened last Friday, although with much less success at my first pumping session. But I was wrong. I did another 3 ounces at 4 and came home with a whopping 8 ounces! I was shocked!

Check out more Small Success fun over at CatholicMom.com.

Monday, October 20, 2014

10 Months Old, Other Baby Updates, and Big Brothers Too

Silas is now 10 months old. He's apparently feeling his age, as you can see:



Now, before you think that I was taking pictures of my child while he was in a bad mood or sick or something, I assure you that was not the case. He was laughing hysterically one minute and then giving me faces like above the next. Such a silly boy. Here's one of the cuter ones:


So, at 10 months old he's crawling faster than you could possibly imagine, getting into everything, has figured out stairs (bring out the baby gates!), and loves walking with his baby walker. He's even stood on his own a few times for just a second or two. I'm not ready for him to start walking, but I have a feeling he'll be doing it much sooner than his brothers did. He's eating a bunch of foods (vegetables, meats, fruits, oatmeal), mostly pureed, but he's also eating pieces of banana, cheerios, and kix. So he's getting plenty of variety and developing some fine motor skills in the process. And he's using a sippy cup!! AND drinking water!! We're still trying to get his older brothers to drink water, so this feels BIG for us.

A few more pictures from the past month:

He's so tiny that I find him walking
like this the most adorable thing ever.

What's going on here?

It's Peter and Ethan!
Speaking of Peter and Ethan, these two just crack me up! They like to walk around with hands folded, singing "Alleluia." If a book is handy, Peter, and sometimes Ethan, will walk around holding it up like he sees the Deacon holding the Book of the Gospels during Mass. They will often step up on the fireplace and stand there with hands folded, singing away. It's very cute. They do it outside too. There are two brooms in our garage that have become candle holders or maybe the crucifix and they march around the backyard with them. They use one of the low walls around some of the garden beds to stand on after their "processional." So cute:


Their "Mass" processional. Altar servers in the making!

They are both doing great and are great big brothers to Silas. Potty training has gone nowhere, although their teacher at school is helping them to at least sit on the potty a few times a day. We do the same thing on the evenings we do baths, but we're not consistently doing it daily. But it really is just sitting there. It's a start, I guess. They are also incredibly silly. A bit of evidence:

Can you guess what they are doing?
And just LOOK at Ethan's face, oh my goodness!

They made these spider hats at school and
apparently wore them the rest of the day.

I have more updates and a few more blog posts in my head that I hope to get out soon. My time for writing seems to have dwindled a lot, but I'm not giving up. Be patient with me, please. More to come ... eventually.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

While I wasn't writing here ...

... I was still contributing over at Catholic Sistas.

Although, I've cut back on my contributions over there slightly. I was handling a 7 Quick Takes post there once a month, but I have handed that on to someone else. I help her out some with it, but mostly just logistics. She's handling the ideas and writing the posts.

My usual once a month post is still there every third Friday and I've apparently been neglecting sharing those posts with my readers here. So I thought I'd share the links to my last few posts.

"7 Quick Takes Friday: Role Model Saints for Dads"

In honor of Father's Day in June, I used my last 7QT post to explore some saints that are good role models for dads. St. Joseph is in there, of course, and 6 other great saints or blesseds.

"Marriage: A Catholic Understanding"

I asked my Catholic friends to describe marriage in 5 words or less and compiled them for this post. I got a whole range of responses and it was fun to see the variety. A couple to whet your appetite:

Two imperfect people walking together.

The foundation of the family.

Two words: redemptive suffering.

I like it a lot.

"The Revolution of John XXIII: The Second Vatican Council [Review]"

My first official review! I was so excited to have this opportunity. This movie appealed to my fascination with both history and the history of the Church. I learned a lot while watching it.

"The Assumption: Finding Mary in the Darkness"

A short excerpt:


At a young age I developed a fear of death. I don’t know what it was that caused me to fixate on this. It wasn't the death of a relative or family friend. Not that I recall, anyway. I would often find myself lying in bed at night thinking about what happens to a person in death. My imagination ran wild during my bouts with insomnia at a young age. Often my mind would zero in on a feeling of complete and utter emptiness or nothingness. For a young girl, this was incredibly scary.


My September post was a short one (I was out of town and didn't finish it prior to my trip, so ...). But I ask an important question and was hoping for some good comments and maybe some discussion. And I did get some good comments. Check it out and leave a comment if you have something to add (or just to say hi).

I hope some of these sound intriguing enough to go check them out. More updates to come very soon. Still trying to come up for air.