Wednesday, December 28, 2011

For the Feast Day of the Holy Innocents

For today's remembrance of the Holy Innocents, I have a blog post up at Catholic Sistas called Protectors of Life or Threat??  Come on over and visit.  If you like what you read, please consider sharing with others via Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or other social media.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas Day and is still enjoying the Christmas Season.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday, vol. 33



~1~

The boys are doing really well!  They had a doctor appointment earlier this month, 6 month well visit.  They are both progressing well and are very close together in all their measurements.

Peter, 6.5 months
Peter weighed 15 pounds and 4.8 ounces, 10th percentile for his age.  He is also 26 inches long, which is in the 25th percentile.  Pretty good!  I'm pretty sure his stats at his earlier appointments were all in the 5th-10th percentile ranges.  His head is 43 and a half centimeters, which is in the 50th-75th percentile range. Oh my!!  He definitely gets his head size from my side of the family!




Ethan, 6.5 months
Ethan weighed 15 pounds and 5.2 ounces.  Basically the same, only four tenths of a difference from his brother.  Obviously he's in the same percentile range as Peter.  Length-wise he's 25 and a quarter inches, only 3/4 of an inch smaller and yet that puts him in the 5th percentile.  It's amazing what a difference of less than an inch does.  His head is exactly the same as Peter's.  My boys have big heads.  That does not surprise me in the least.  



~2~


Just before Thanksgiving we bought a mini-van.  When we did we did not trade in Hubby's car.  Instead he decided to sell it himself.  He had some leads that didn't work out so finally he put it up on Craig's List.  Within the first 24 hours we had several inquiries.  He made arrangements with someone to come check out the car last Sunday.  Just before they came over, he went to move the car into the driveway and it wouldn't start!  We've never had an issue with the car.  Never!!  He figured it was the battery and told the person who showed up to look at it that he would replace it and let them know so they could come test drive it later.  I was convinced that they wouldn't be back.  But Hubby replaced the battery that day, the potential buyers came back, test drove it, made an offer, and we made the deal!  Monday Hubby took care of the paperwork and when I got home from work that evening the car was gone.  Yay!!

We were so excited to once again sell something on Craig's List quickly!!  Maybe we should put the house on there!



~3~

Speaking of selling the house, our Christmas decorations are minimal this year.  And since we're also traveling south for Christmas we decided not to put the tree up.  However, we have a faux ficus tree in our bedroom that became a temporary alternate Christmas tree while I was wrapping gifts:

2011's temporary "Christmas" Tree


~4~


The boys got out a lot this week.  The bank and the mall with Dad on Monday and then a few parties, errands, and visits with me the rest of the week.  And I should note here that we are finally getting on a nap schedule!!  So with all the trips we have done this week, I've been trying to be in the car when they are tired since they fall asleep anyway.  It makes it easy.  Wednesday worked great!!  When they started getting tired and were ready for a morning nap, I got them in the car and we headed out to my in-law's.  We got there a little over an hour later with two well-rested babies and just in time for lunch.  They were great for a couple hours, got to eat, and then when afternoon nap time approached we headed back home.  It was perfect!

~5~

I had a girl's night out on Wednesday evening.  It was one of the best ever.  And the reason why??  One word: chocolate!!  We met at a friend's house.  Our meal was small, just a simple salad, some meatballs, and goat cheese and pita bread.  It was all yummy.  Oh, and wine, of course!!  But the main part of our gathering was really dessert: chocolate fondue.  We had marshmallows, fruit, pretzels, angel food cake, and some little cookies.  Our hostess's husband also made some chocolate Oreo truffles for us that were amazing.  Chocolate, wine, and good friends!  Doesn't get much better than that.


~6~


I must take a moment to share something serious.

Last week a friend of a friend decided to abort her 20 week baby after a prenatal test showed the baby had Downs Syndrome.  Many, many, MANY friends prayed all weekend for this mom and her baby.  She originally had an appointment last Friday that was cancelled because she was too far along; she was rescheduled for Monday.  She had offers from friends to pay her medical bills and many offers from people willing to adopt the baby.  Lots of prayers went up over the weekend, no word Monday, more prays from countless people, still no update Tuesday ... we all continued praying that she didn't go through with it.  Wednesday we finally got an update.  It was not good news.  Please pray for this mother: she needs prayers as she is in the hospital now with excessive bleeding.  And continued prayers for her as the emotional impact hits her later.

Today about 90% of babies diagnosed with Downs Syndrome are aborted.  Unfortunately, the tests are not 100% conclusive.  I discovered from friends as we all prayed for this girl that many of them had been given Downs diagnoses for their babies only to have the baby born without Downs.  Downs children can live very joyful, healthy lives and bring lots of joy to those around them.  There is also a very long wait list of parents waiting to adopt Downs Syndrome babies.  Abortion is never the answer, it just ends the life of an innocent child.

Please include this mother (because she is a mother whether she accepts that or not) in your prayers.  And please also pray for the little baby girl who is now in Heaven embraced by our Blessed Mother and surrounded by the Father's love.


~7~


Finally, I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas.  I hope you get to spend the holiday with loved ones.  I would like to invite anyone who has not been to church in a while, who has fallen away from their Catholic faith, or who has never attended a Catholic Mass and is interested in Catholicism to come to Mass on Christmas.  The Midnight Mass is wonderful, but if it isn't feasible for you most churches will have several Christmas Eve Masses and will offer at least one or more Masses on Christmas Day.  To find out what Mass times are available at a Catholic Church near you go to www.masstimes.org.  

And if you have been away from the Church for a while, I invite you to give it a try again and make the steps to come back as a regular attendee.  You can find a whole bunch of resources to help you in your journey back home to the Church at www.catholicscomehome.org.

May your celebration of the birth of Our Lord and Savior be a joyful one.  Merry Christmas!

For more Quick Takes, visit Jennifer Fulwiler over at Conversion Diary.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

[Almost] Wordless Wednesday

 Here's what we started in mid-November:




We're still working on it.

(Ethan pictured)

A Cherished Life

It was sad when , after announcing they were expecting their 20th child, the Duggar family received so much criticism.  All children are children of God, from the moment of their conception, and thus their life should be cherished and celebrated.  Why should a family that chooses to welcome however many children God sends to them be so criticized?  It's just sad.

My friend Colleen wrote a very articulate article on this topic in November at Catholic Sistas.  If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it.

Recently, the Duggars lost the baby they were so excited to welcome into their family.  They will be having a memorial service today for the the baby that they named Jubilee Shalom.

This is a family that truly cherishes life!!  Life at all stages.

It's a beautiful thing.

I was so pleased to see that they would be honoring their baby in this way.  Not only that, but it's being reported nationally that they named the baby and are having this memorial service.

Although I find practices like this common in my Catholic circles, I know miscarriage and pregnancy loss is still very much a private and hushed topic in our society overall.  The idea of naming a baby that was lost so early is still a foreign concept to the general population.

I hope the many critics of the Duggars will think twice before they criticize them again.  It is extremely painful to go through a loss, regardless of how many children you have.  A life is a life is a life.  The Duggar family knows this better than most people.

Being a mom of three babies already in heaven, I sympathize with the Duggars; my heart breaks for them right now.  But I also hope that this loss will have a positive impact on those many critics.  I hope the critics will see how precious this little life was.  I hope they will see how special this child, little Jubilee, is to be given a name and thus an identity.  I hope they regret being so critical of a family which has done nothing but love and cherish each child God has put into their care.

And I hope that by naming this child and having a service in remembrance of her that people everywhere will  begin to come to accept this as normal in recognizing a life lost due to miscarriage or pregnancy loss.

Can you imagine how different our world would be if the naming and recognition of all children who die before they are born into this world was more readily accepted??  Think about that!

I have been lucky, I am surrounded by a community that has been nothing but supportive of my family as we struggled through three pregnancy losses.  In thinking about what the Duggars are going through at this time and what they are doing today, I couldn't help but reflect on the burial service we had for our daughter Brigit Ann just a year and a half ago.

I pray that the Duggars will find peace through their suffering and that they will cherish this opportunity to say goodbye to their precious child.  I also pray that others' hearts will be softened by the witness of the Duggar family.

Jubilee Shalom, you were most certainly a cherished life.  I pray that your short life will have a positive impact on our fallen world.  May you rest peacefully in the presence of Our Almighty Father and be comforted in the arms of our Blessed Mother.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Advent Wreath Link-up

Sarah over at Snoring Scholar asked for Advent wreath pictures.  So here's ours:


I took this just before we sat down for dinner on Monday night, as you can see if you look closely at the very bottom of the picture.  Next to the wreath, stuck in the napkin holder is the Magnificat Advent reflections book which, with two small babies around, we almost never get around to reading.

You may also notice that the candles aren't purple.  The day I went out to buy them I forgot to pick some up while I was at our local Catholic book store.  That happens to me a lot when I'm there!  Why?  Because I always run into someone I know, start talking, and then can't remember everything I intended to get.  I remembered later, by which time I was on the opposite side of town running errands.  So I ran into Michael's and burgundy candles were the best I could find.  At least I found a pink one for Guadate Sunday.

By the way, burgundy and pink were our wedding colors!  So it's all good.

I love our Irish wreath with the Celtic crosses on the candle holders and the other Celtic details.  My married name is very German, very different from my maiden name, so now I love incorporating as much Irish stuff into our family as I can.  Around St. Patrick's Day my husband even makes Irish soda bread now using my grandmother's recipe and my Our Lady of Knock rosary now sits on my husband's side of the bed for him to use when we say a rosary at night (which hasn't happened in a loooooooong time!).  Infiltration at it's best!

Happy Advent to everyone!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Blogging, Babies, Cars, and More

I missed Quick Takes this past Friday, but wanted to share a few things on this Sunday night. In the last week:

I wrote another post for Catholic Sistas and it got included in a "Best of Catholic Blogging" post at the National Catholic Register.  Totally blew my mind!  Catholic Sistas is being picked up fairly regularly now by  New Advent and by NCR and a few other Catholic sites.  It's very exciting to see it grow!  And I love being a part of it, all the ladies who are contributors are wonderful women that I love being able to call friends, even though I've never met any of them in person.

We have continued working with the boys on accepting eating rice cereal.  They don't spit it out as much as they did at first, but they aren't enjoying it much either.  The looks on their faces ... priceless!  It's still early, I don't mind taking my time.  It may be that they won't be ready until they are closer to 7 months old.

We bought a minivan.  I've driven it only 2 or 3 times now.  Just haven't had to go anywhere since we bought it and when we have gone somewhere, we were all together and my husband drove.  This is a big thing for me.  I love driving my small cars.  Luckily, the Honda Fit actually feels quite similar to the Honda Odyssey, so the transition isn't so bad.  But in 18 years, I'm going back to a small car!  I know, I know ... everyone tells me that I will love, love, LOVE my minivan and will never go back.  But I know myself, I will always like having a small car to zip around in.

You really can't "zip around" in a minivan.

We had Thanksgiving with a large group at my in-laws.  It was a good time.  And apparently everyone got assigned to bring desserts!  Luckily, Hubby decided to do something non-traditional: a sour cream-blackberry cake (very similar to a cheesecake) and macaroons (because he had lots of egg whites left over from the cake).  I think we may have been the only ones to not bring any of our dessert home with us.  If you were a pumpkin pie lover (which I'm really not) there was a feast of pumpkin pie there!

We also brought a cranberry sauce that Hubby made from real cranberries.  And then we brought most of it home.  So Hubby bought a small turkey on Friday and we had a small Thanksgiving feast ourselves.  When we sat down for dinner on Saturday night with turkey, potatoes, dressing, cranberry sauce, and green beans my husband commented that all this food was a result of wanting to use the cranberry sauce with something!!  Today he decided to make a corn casserole, so we repeated the feast again.

It's no wonder I need to lose weight!!  Has nothing to do with the babies anymore.   But I digress ...

I had hoped to do a Quick Takes on Friday and use it to share the things for which I am thankful.  Since I didn't get a chance to do that, I just wanted to say here how much I am thankful for my family this year.  It has been hard in the last few years to feel very thankful at this time of year.  This year was different!  I'm so thankful to have two little guys in my life and my wonderful husband.  Our lives are forever changed ... and it is a wonderful thing!

Speaking of the boys, we worked hard the last several days on trying to be on more of a schedule and have nap times.  I NEED nap times.  My sabbatical is just over a month away, if I can't get some nap times out of them I will never get any work done.  I think Peter will be easy to get on a schedule, he goes down for naps fairly well and sleeps well.  Ethan does not like naps.  But boy does he need them!!  By evening he becomes insufferable.  You'll probably see more posts on this topic in the future.  They have one more week of daycare and then we're full-throttle into getting into a schedule.

Finally ... Blessed New Year to you!!  Today we celebrate the beginning of a new Church year.  It's the First Sunday of Advent, the first Sunday in which we use the new translation of the Mass, and the first Sunday that my parish community moved back into our newly renovated space!  An exciting day all around.

Out of curiosity: How did using the new translation go for you at your parish today?  Would love to hear your comments, experiences, etc.

Not exactly a short update.  But if you made it this far, thanks for reading along!!  I hope everyone has a blessed and prayerful Advent.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thoughts on the New Translation: Coming Soon to a Parish Near You

Today I have some thoughts on the new translation of the Mass up on Catholic Sistas.  Come on over and check it out.  I hope you'll give me some blog love over there as well and share any of your thoughts on the upcoming implementation of the third Roman Missal.

See you over there!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday, vol. 32


~1~

We're getting to the end of my crazybusy week!  Phew, it's definitely been a full week!  I'm surprised at how well I've made it through.

~2~

We tried giving the boys rice cereal last weekend.  It didn't go all that well.  We opted to wait a bit longer.  It was funny though.  We started with Ethan who had absolutely zero interest and did a lot of crying during the process.  But while I was working with him, Peter was sitting in his highchair nearby watching me.  I saw how interested he seemed and noticed him opening his mouth.  So I tried it with him.  I got the spoon close to his mouth, he opened up, and he let me put some in. One taste, however, and he was no longer interested.  We tried with both of them again on Sunday and decided that we needed to have more time, and the coming week wasn't going to give us the time we needed (see #1 above).  So we'll try again in another week or so.  It'll be easier when one of us is home every day and not rushing off to work and school.

~3~

I ordered Christmas stockings for the boys!!  They are so cute!! I can't wait to put them up.  As a matter of fact, we're going to be out of town for Christmas and I think I'm going to bring their stockings with us.

~4~

I have finally been able to successfully feed both babies at the same time!!  I can save myself about a half hour in the morning by feeding them together.  They are finally at a point where they have more control over their heads and they don't dribble formula while they are eating.  It makes it easier to feed two at once when they aren't so messy.  I love knowing that we have achieved one small step toward a bit of efficiency.

~5~

Catholic Sistas has been getting lots of attention this week.  Monday's post about the Duggar's got a TON of interest with over 3,000 hits!!  All the posts this week have been getting high marks!  In addition, some other sites have picked up on Catholic Sistas posts and have been linking back to the site.  On Wednesday, the front page of New Advent had links to two articles on Catholic Sistas and, on Thursday, the National Catholic Register had an article on the "Best of Catholic Blogging" linking to a variety of blog posts including, at the very top, a guest post on Catholic Sistas.  Also on Thursday was the interview on my local Catholic radio station about the Sistas.  It's been a big week!!

Makes me a little nervous, I'm supposed to post on Monday.  Still working on that.

~6~

Speaking of blog posting, I wrote an article for the Libraries' employee blog that got posted on Wednesday. It's the second article I've written in a serious of articles about what library staff are reading.  Check it out if you have the time: What We're Reading: Sociology, spies, and Wal-Mart.  It was actually a fun conversation and I hope that comes across in the article.

~7~

For more Quick Takes, visit Jen at Conversion Diary.  Have a nice weekend!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tune in for Catholic Sistas

The founder of the Catholic Sistas blog will be doing a radio interview THIS WEEK!  And the best part: you can listen in, no matter where you are.

The interview will be on Thursday November 17 at 4:00pm Eastern time.  You can listen one of three ways.  If you are in the local area (Lexington, KY) you can tune in at either 1380 AM or 94.9 FM.

If you are not in the local area you can go to the website for Real Life Radio and click on the "Listen live" link.

The interview will last about 15 minutes.  We hope you'll tune in and hear more about the Catholic Sistas.  You can help us spread the word too by sharing the Facebook event with your friends list.

Thanks in advance for sharing this with others and for listening in if you can!!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Busy, Crazy, Crazy-busy

Last week went by way too fast.  I know I don't post on a regular basis, but I do usually try to get a Friday Quick Takes post in.  I like that it keeps me writing something, even when I have a busy week.  Last week was definitely busy!!  Suddenly it was Friday, I was walking to my office, and realized that Quick Takes was the last thing on my mind.

Oh well, it happens.  Moving on ...

I'm looking at another crazy-busy week this coming week.  Unfortunately that may mean no posts again.  But I hope that won't be the case.  I have so much I want to write about!!

I may be getting a very early start on my week.  The boys were a handful tonight.  They were obviously tired, but fighting it.  So we had to endure a lot of crying and unhappiness.  Suddenly during dinner they fell asleep.  Ethan was sitting in his highchair crying and suddenly he went silent.  It was so sudden I turned to look at him and was surprised to find him sound asleep.  Ah, to be able to fall asleep like that!!

Peter had been in his rocker chair and was being so fussy that Hubby finally picked him up and had him in his lap while he was eating.  Right after Ethan had zonked out, Peter's eyes started drooping.  He fell asleep on Hubby's lap!

We let them nap a bit, Ethan in his highchair and Peter was moved to a blanket on the floor.  They woke up about 30 minutes later.  A quick change, two bottles made, two babies fed, and they went right to bed.

I don't think we've ever put them down before 8pm.  But I couldn't deal with any more tonight.  So off they went.  I'm expecting them to wake me up at 6am tomorrow morning.

If so, it will probably be a good thing.  I need an early start for this coming week.  It'll definitely be a busy, crazy, and crazy-busy week!!

Friday, November 04, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday, vol. 31


~1~

I forgot to mention here that I had another post go up on Catholic Sistas.  My post, Saints for Life, was my contribution to the Sistas' big Respect Life promotion during the month of October.  I hope you've been following along, there were many excellent posts last month!

~2~

My babies are 5 months old already!!  Peter is rolling over onto his tummy now.  He can't roll back onto his back, but his arms and neck are getting stronger and he doesn't get nearly as upset anymore being on his tummy.  Ethan likes being on his back.  Every morning I find him sleeping with his hands behind his head like he's relaxing on the beach.  Silly baby!

Peter and Ethan, 5 months old

~3~

We've started calling Ethan "Thumper."  When he is in his crib, or really anywhere on his back (the floor, pack 'n' play, etc.) he brings his knees up to his chest and then throws his legs out in front of him, making a thumping noise when his legs hit the mattress.  Sometimes we listen to him doing this over and over and over again when we go to bed at night.  I find it hilarious.  The thumping also causes him to scoot down to the end of the crib every night!  So now I make sure to put his head near one end of the crib when he goes to bed at night.  In the morning, his feet will be at the other end.  Again, such a silly baby!

~4~

Halloween was Monday.  No Trick or Treating for us this year.  But we sat out in our garage and handed out candy.  Well, Hubby did, I was back and forth between there and the house with the boys as they got hungry and tired and needed changing.  But we still had to have fun with the boys and dress them up.  Luckily, I found these cute costumes, which were only worn for a couple of hours, on clearance:  

Our little pumpkins, Ethan and Peter with Daddy

~5~

Can I just vent for one little moment?  I have so much on my plate at work right now!!!  I'm feeling the pressure of putting things in order before I leave for my sabbatical.  I know I can't do everything, but I need to do what I can to not leave a whole bunch of loose ends everywhere for 6 months.  But it's more than that: 
  • I'm in the middle of the hiring process (and praying I get someone who will start before I leave)
  • It's that time of year when I have to read faculty promotion files and write letters (11 files this year)
  • I realized today that I really need to work on staff evaluations this month if I plan on taking a lot of December as vacation
  • I have data to collect for my 2012 article in my professional journal
  • I am getting nervous about another contribution I had to an upcoming publication that has been delayed and they want the contributors to update there stuff (which I have no problem with, but I emailed my section editor and I still haven't heard back from her and I really want to do this BEFORE my sabbatical ... it'll probably end up becoming part of my sabbatical)
  • And then there is just the normal work load ... well a bit more than normal since I'm short one cataloger.  
Okay, I feel better, moving on ....

~6~

Some good news!  We've had several house showings recently.  Got a call last Saturday for a showing that same afternoon that we had to turn down (we were in Indiana for a funeral and did not leave the house in any shape for a viewing).  We got a call Sunday afternoon for a showing that afternoon which we accepted, of course, even though we had one hour to quickly put everything in order and do a quick clean of the obvious stuff.  Then we had a showing Wednesday evening and, finally, got a request on Thursday for a showing on Saturday.  Turns out the showing for this coming Saturday is the person who had wanted to see the house last Saturday.  We had assumed that the Sunday showing was that person, but apparently not.  Our feedback is all positive, so really it's just a matter of the right person finding us.

~7~

Have I ever mentioned that I am a fan of the Food Network?  I've gotten addicted to watching the reality-type, competition style shows on that channel.  Chopped is one of my ongoing favorites.  I love seeing the odd ingredients they often require the chefs to cook with.  More recently I've been watching Sweet Genius, which is a little quirky, the host particularly.  He is very intense and a bit intimidating, but then at the very end of the show when he names the "sweet genius" his demeanor completely changes and it makes me smile!  But the best show that just started has got to be The Next Iron Chef.  Seeing all these chefs who I see as judges and hosts of their own shows now competing against each other to be the next Iron Chef is a lot of fun.  Unlike other reality, competition shows, these people all already know each other and work together for the same network.  So you have none of the weird, tiresome drama that you get when a bunch of strangers are thrown together for a couple months.  These shows are fun.

Do you have any favorite Food Network shows?  Or do you prefer another cable channel?  Any favorite reality shows?

For more Quick Takes, check out Conversion Diary.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Weekend Doings

We have had a very busy past few days.  Very busy!  Here's the quick rundown:

Thursday I dropped the boys off at their daycare and then hit the road to drive north to Indianapolis.  Arrived just in time to have lunch with three other librarians and then get to our 1pm committee meeting.

The rest of Thursday and Friday was conference stuff for me.  I love getting to spend a few days with other music librarians and be able to talk to people who understand!

Hubby got to pick up the boys Thursday evening and take care of all their needs Thursday evening and Friday morning.  One of his sisters came to stay the night on Friday night, so he had some extra help then, which I know he appreciated.

Saturday morning, Hubby got the boys in the car and he and his sister left at 4:30am to head north to Indiana.  We all met about an hour and a half north of Indianapolis for his grandmother's funeral.  I'm so proud of my husband for all the work I know it took to travel four and a half hours with two babies.  Actually, it was longer than four and half hours, that's what it would be without stops.  They had to stop obviously, but they still did very well.

Following the funeral, there was a luncheon and then we headed back to his grandmother's house to  change the babies one last time before hitting the road again.  Sister stayed to come back with her parents on Sunday, so it was just Hubby and I in separate cars traveling back.  We stayed together the whole time with the exception of about a half hour or so when we got separated at the bridge over the Ohio River which included changing highways as well. 

By the way, Cracker Barrel has the coolest chairs for infant seat carriers.  Plus they have a lot more space in their baby changing areas than most places do.  Regular stops at this establishment are definitely in our future.

While at the luncheon after the funeral we got a phone call from the realtor's office.  Someone wanted to see the house that afternoon!!  You can imagine that with everything else, the house was not in shape for viewing.  We asked that the prospective buyers choose another day.  I hate doing that, I always fear we'll lose a potential buyer.

Then Sunday at about 2:45pm we got the call again.  They wanted to come see the house at 4:15.  We scrambled and managed to get the house in order and cleaned in an hour!  One hour!!  We had to listen to the boys scream the whole time, but we got it done, got everything we needed for the boys into the car, and we left to go hang out at the mall.  Phew!!  That was an incredible feat.

Coming up, there's Halloween on Monday (we live on a very popular street) and then All Saints Day on Tuesday.  We haven't figured out which Mass we will go to on Tuesday.

I'm looking forward to Wednesday.  ::smile::

Friday, October 21, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday, vol. 30


~1~

Last week in my Quick Takes post I bragged that Peter had rolled over for the first time.  But then he didn't do it again for several days.  But by Monday or Tuesday he started doing it again.  I now find him on his tummy almost every morning when I go to get him up.  He's also rolled over while at daycare and a couple times while on the floor in our family room.  I think I've only seen him actually roll over once, generally I'm not in the room or happen to look away just when he goes over.  Ethan isn't trying yet, but he is starting to get on his side, so he's probably not far behind.

~2~

I had to share a picture of my boys.  They are 20 weeks old now.  Aren't they cute in their matching polo shirts!!


Peter on left, Ethan right

~3~

Okay, one picture isn't enough!  I thought they looked so cute in these thermal long-johns I had to take a picture.



Peter on left, Ethan right

~4~

We had our first blow-out in the bath tub this week.  Ugh, what a mess!!  It's one thing to have them pee in the tub, but ... ewwww.  Can I realistically hope that this won't happen again??  Yeah, I know ... probably not.

~5~

A miracle has happened!!  Seriously!  The job posting for the staff position in my unit has been posted as of today.  Every time this position has been open I have to wait several months just to get the approval for it to be filled and then there is usually another couple weeks before it gets posted.  This time??  It's being posted a whole 14 DAYS since my former staff member left.  You see why I say this is a miracle!

Know someone who has some library experience (and has some kind of music background) who might be interested in a job??  It's only open for a week.  Click on that link to see more.  Position comes with an awesome supervisor!!

~6~

I would like to ask here for your prayers.  Hubby's grandmother passed away overnight sometime between Wednesday and Thursday this week.  She was 95.  Your prayers for the repose of her soul would be much appreciated as well as for my husband's family as they deal with the loss of their mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother.  She is survived by two children, six grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren with another on the way.  She was preceeded in death by her husband, a daughter who died in infancy, and 7 or 8 more great-grandchildren.  Thank you for your prayers.

~7~

I'll be traveling next week for a conference which also happens to be not too far from where my husband's grandmother lived and where the memorial mass/service will be held.  I'm not sure when services will be held, but it'll probably be during the same time that my conference takes place.  So I'll be missing a day of the conference and my husband will probably drive up to meet me.  Not sure what we'll do with the boys.  We could take them with us ... well, Hubby would be the one traveling with them, but we're not yet prepared for a long trip with them.  We were hoping to have a mini-van before Christmas which we thought would be our first long trip with the boys.  Regardless, we're just waiting to hear what the plans are before we try and figure out what we're going to do. 

Most likely I will not be doing a 7 Quick Takes next week.  Actually, it's not "most likely," I really should say that it won't happen.  Thanks again for your prayers.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Spiritual Productivity

We had an incredibly busy weekend!  On Sunday night I was exhausted and yet I couldn't remember what we had done or whether anything had been accomplished.  I was so tired I couldn't think straight.  Yet, as I layed in bed trying to shut my brain off so I could finally sleep, I was able to start reflecting on what the weekend had consisted of.  It was fairly productive afterall, though maybe not in the way we normally think of productivity.

Or maybe just not in the way I think of being productive.

I like to physically see something accomplished.  An empty hamper because the laundry has been washed, dried, folded, and put away.  An email inbox with very few unread messages.  A full recylcing bin because we've read the paper, magazines, and other publications we get.  A clean kitchen counter because the dishes are all washed and put away.  I could go on ... but you get the picture.

I like to see something.  Check it off the to-do list and see the empty/clean/whatever space around me.

This weekend, although I did do a little laundry and a few other things, most of the weekend's productivity was not visible in any material sense.

Saturday we went to a public rosary event.  Our bishop was leading the praying of the rosary that afternoon on a busy street (one of the busiest in town) near the only abortion clinic here.  We stood on a strip of median between the busy street and the access road, about twenty people or so.  Not a large crowd, but we represented all ages: small children (including our two 4 month olds), some older people, and all ages in between. 

It was wonderful to stand with so many like-minded people to pray.  A couple of men were also holding a big sign that faced the road.  Later I saw a picture of Our Lady of Fatima on it, but I never did get a chance to read what it said.  There were also several passers-by who honked their horns in support (I presume it was in support, they didn;t sound like angry honks).  The babies were both really good as well.  Peter was alert and staring at me the whole time.  Ethan got fussy at one point and I had to pick him up, but he was great after that.

Following the rosary we ran a couple errands.  It's funny walking through stores pushing a double carriage with two infant carriers attached.  People are always stopping to look, pointing the babies out to their children, or doing a double-take when they realize there is not just one baby, but two in the stroller. Some people even stop us to talk and ask questions.  It's something I'm slowly getting used to, but I'm not sure I'll ever be 100% comfortable with it.

Saturday evening I pulled out four candles for the Wave of Light for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.  All four candles came from my church, two from the All Souls Day Mass the years that we lost Zachary and Brigit.  I don't remember how I acquired the other two.  They make the perfect candles for this event.  I really should have taken a picture of them.  Maybe next year.

Sunday was Mass, of course.  But later in the day I took both boys with me and went to the cemetery.  It had been a long, long time since I had been there.  I made sure to bring the grass clippers with me and it was a good thing too.  I couldn't even see Zachary's stone and Brigit's was barely visible.  The boys watched me as I cut away the grass and cleared the dampened, flattened grass clippings from the stones.  It had been a LONG time since I had visited.  I need to go more often.  The cemetery had also added a sign to the baby section, so now it is clear that the section is called "Gabriel's Tears."  I also walked around to visit the other babies.  I cleared some leaves off one of the stones and stood the two little plastic statues back up that were left there.  It is always so sad to see new stones; there were two new stones since the last time I visited.  Before leaving I said some prayers over Zachary and Brigit's graves while Ethan looked on (Peter was asleep by then).

Even though I did get some "productive" things done over the weekend, most of my productivity had more to do with more spiritual things.  A rosary for an end to abortion and the conversion of hearts through Our Lady of Fatima, lighting candles in memory of my children and the children other friends and family have lost, time spent caring for the gravesites of two of my children, and the care and feeding of the two children I have the priviledge of caring for in this life. 

Spiritual productivity may not have the same kind of satisfaction you can get from seeing things checked off a to-do list or seeing a clean space that once was messy, but it is so much better. 

And apparently even more exhausting!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.  For those of us who have lost children during pregnancy or as infants, we never forget.  This day is set aside for all of us to remember those babies.  So I hope you'll take the time time to participate in the Wave of Light today for all those babies lost too soon. 

The Wave of Light happens today at 7:00pm in all timezones.  Light a candle (or two or three) for one hour in remembrance of all the babies who have been lost to miscarriage, stillbirth, or early infant death.  I encourage you, too, if you know someone who has lost a baby, to send them a quick note to just let them know that you are thinking of them and their children waiting for them in Heaven.

Also, today, the Catholic Sistas are sharing stories of loss.  Some are anonymous, others are not.  Go visit and check out the many stories being shared over there today.

Friday, October 14, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday, vol. 29


~1~

Last Friday at work, we said farewell to one of my staff members.  She decided to take a big leap of faith and change career paths.  I think the cake illustrates well her career change:

"From Books to Crooks"

~2~

I promised a picture of the Mary statue that I talked about in my post from Wednesday.  My camera's battery failed me Thursday when I tried to take a picture.  But a wonderful co-worker walked over and took a few pictures for me with his phone.  I really need a phone or new iPod Touch that has a camera on it.  One day!  In the meantime, here is the new Mary statue on campus:

~3~

The Blessed Mother at the University's Newman Center
Photo coutesy of Daniel N.

~4~

Thursday morning I poked my head into the boys room to make sure they were still sleeping before heading downstairs to grab some breakfast.  I found Peter like this:


I can't believe he had rolled over on his own!!  He doesn't like being on his tummy and usually struggles and eventually screams during tummy-time, so I was waiting for him to wake up and be very upset.  Sure enough he was!  I still haven't seen him roll over yet, but I now know he can do it.

~5~

If everything works well with the boys' schedules on Saturday, we'll be taking them to their first public square Rosary.  Our Bishop is leading a Divine Mercy Chaplet and Rosary starting at 3pm across the street from the abortion clinic in town.  I'm not really able to participate in the 40 Days for Life campaign, but I can do this.  So that's where we'll be on Saturday.

~6~


We had a second showing on our house this week, same people from the week before.  Unfortunately, they are not making an offer.  They liked the downstairs and the yard, but felt that the bedrooms were on the small side.  I have to agree.  Why do you think we're moving?

~7~

I hope everyone has a nice weekend!  Fall is finally starting to feel like it is here to stay!  I love it!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Nice Surprises on Campus

My office at the university is not too far from the Catholic Newman Center on campus.  As a matter of fact, I usually park in one of the lots either right next to or just across the street from the Newman Center.  So I walk by it pretty much every day, twice.

Monday when I left work I couldn't help but smile as I walked through the Newman Center parking lot.  Right there in the courtyard area of the Center, right next to the parking lot, was a nice size statue of Mary. 

It must be about 5 feet tall and she faces out to the parking lot.  I loved seeing her there!!  What a wonderful addition to our campus and to the Newman Center.

Tuesday morning as I headed into the office I couldn't help but look for her as I walked by the Newman Center again.  Almost like I thought I had dreamed it the day before. 

But there she was.  And this time she had company.

Just as I was walking by, a group of students came out of the Newman Center and walked right over to Mary.  As I took one last look over my shoulder I noticed them all bowing their heads in prayer.

Almost brings tears to my eyes!  How awesome to see this on a college campus.  There is hope for the future of our Church!

And Mary is leading them!!

Friday, October 07, 2011

7 Quick Takes, vol. 28


~1~

So I just checked my blog and realized that I haven't posted anything since last Friday, also a Quick Takes post.  I apologize for being so slack with the blog.  I have lots of things in my head, but little time.  I'm sure you can guess why!

~2~

One of those ideas in my head is a post for my Parenting after Pregnancy Loss series.  Actually, I have several topics listed, but the first one is proving difficult.  It is started, so hopefully you'll be seeing it soon.

~3~

We had a nice weekend with my parents visiting.  They hadn't seen the boys since their baptism in July.  Obviously the boys have changed a lot.  While they were here, they took some pictures of the boys that my father then shared with his brothers once they got back home.  He sent me an email with a picture that one of his brothers put together from two pictures of each of the boys and a picture of my dad from sometime in the mid-50s (he looks like he's maybe 5 or 6 years old, I think).  What do you think?  Do the boys look like their Papa?

Ethan on left, my dad as a kid in the center, Peter on right.

~4~

We had a showing of the house!!  It was Tuesday, early evening.  We didn't get any feedback the next day, so we thought that was it.  But then I got an email Thursday with a brief comment.  Apparently it was a woman that came to take a look and she liked what she saw, especially the kitchen counters!  Her husband is coming into town early next week and they hope to see it again. That sounds promising!!  I'm afraid to get my hopes up, this was just our first showing, but it really sounds good.

~5~

Wednesday evening I got home from work before my husband.  The babies both needed to eat, but I was alone.  I was hoping that Hubby wasn't far behind.  So I got both diapers changed, the two leftover bottles from daycare in some hot water to warm up, and placed one of the boys in his rocker by my feet.  I've tried to feed them both at the same time and have not been able to do it successfully.  However, before I could sit down to start feeding one of them, the doorbell rang.  I had a leaky bottle I was trying to clean up and fix and one screaming child.  But I went to the door anyway.  A lady was there wondering if we had any brochures of the house.  So I went and grabbed one for her.  She asked if we had a dining room and when I replied yes she seemed very excited.  Then she asked if she could just take a quick peak at it.  Um, Lady, can you not hear the screaming child in the other room???  I said no in a very polite way and she left.  I was then able to start feeding the screaming child, which then meant that the non-screaming child had to pick up where the first left off.  ::sigh::

~6~

I was encouraged by this and let my realtor know that we had another potential interest she might be hearing from.  Then on Thursday I get home from work and Hubby informs me that the same lady came back again.  She pulled into the driveway just behind him when he got home from work, told him she had been here the day before, and asked if he had a brochure on the house.  He asked her, "Didn't my wife give you one yesterday?"  She said yes, but she lost it.  Already??  Hubby is convinced she's just crazy.  Maybe I shouldn't count on her yet.  Oh well!

~7~

My work life is about to change quite a bit.  I have a staff member who's last day is today.  ::sad::  I've been lucky over the years and have always had good people in that position.  Each time I have to refill that position I worry that I won't find someone as good as any of the previous people.  The person I'm losing is no exception.  She'll definitely be missed.  I'll be taking on several of her job responsibilities in addition to my own as well as asking other staff members to handle some things.  The tricky part is that I probably won't get to replace this position right away and then I'm also going on sabbatical for six months beginning in January.  That means my unit will be down two people out of five for six months.  Yep, I'm a little nervous about how things are going to go.  I do trust my unit, but still, three people doing the work of five is not easy.  First and more important, we're going to celebrate the time we did have with the person who is leaving and wish her luck on her new job and new career.  I'll post a picture of the cake next week!!

For more Quick Takes, check out Jen's awesome blog Conversion Diary.

Friday, September 30, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday, vol. 27


~1~

My boys are 4 months old today!!  Here they are, aren't they cute!
Peter and Ethan

~2~

My parents are coming to visit this weekend.  Nanny and Papa haven't seen their grandsons since their baptism in July.  They have grown a lot!  I'm looking forward to the weekend because there will be many more extra hands to help out.

~3~

My next post on the Catholic Sistas blog went up this morning.  You can find it by clicking here.  I hope you'll like it.

~4~

I went by my church yesterday to check out the construction and possibly take some pictures.  No one was in the sanctuary at all, so I was able to walk around and take the pictures I wanted.  I got one of the new tabernacle:
Tabernacle construction on 9/29/2011
I also got a picture looking at the whole sanctuary.  You can't see the tabernacle in this picture because of the wall that currently separates the altar from the construction area.  But there is plastic sheeting all over the place.  You can definitely tell that construction is going on in this picture:
Cathedral of Christ the King, construction 9/29/2011

~5~

Before leaving I drove by the new rectory.  Windows are in and the walls all look like they are up.  No pictures of the rectory since it is at the corner of the church property and I just drove by it.  But I moved my car to the front of the church and got out to check out the Perpetual Adoration Chapel.  As a reminder, here's a picture from the groundbreaking:
Groundbreaking on frozen ground in January with ceremonial dirt brought in.

Now here is the same spot, from a bit further back:
Cathedral of Christ the King, St. Kevin Perpetual Adoration Chapel
9/29/2011

I wish I could show you pictures of the new Baptistry, but I wasn't able to get into that area.  Actually, I didn't really want to attempt to get into where the Baptistry is since there were workers in that area.

~6~


Things at my job are going to be getting tough very soon.  One of my staff members is leaving, she's decided to change career paths.  I'm excited for her because she's excited, and I'm proud of her for making such a big change.  I wish her luck.  I've been down this road before: I'll have to make a case for filling the position, I'll have to fold some of that position's responsibilities into my work, and eventually I'll have to go through the whole advertising the job, reviewing applications, interviewing, and hiring.  Oh, and I'm going to be out of the office for six months beginning in January.  I can already feel the stress building!  But, I've been here before and survived.  We'll survive again.

~7~

Speaking of being out for six months ... I am referring to my sabbatical, which I have previously mentioned in this space.  I need some input from some creative people.  As part of my sabbatical, I want to keep a blog as a way to easily journal the work I'm doing in addition to having a place to link up relevant info or surveys I create or whatever else I think might be good to have a link to.  But I'm stuck on a title/name for the blog.  The project includes: working on a database of all the recital recordings from the university (cleaning it up, mostly), creating records from that database, creating templates for cataloging future recordings, some research on recital program requirements at other Schools of Music, and looking at some digital possibilities.  I want a professional sounding title, probably using Kentucky or University of Kentucky in the title (or subtitle) in some way, but also catchy.  Any creative ideas out there??

Check out more Quick Takes over at Conversion Diary where Jen hosts Quick Takes each week.

Friday, September 23, 2011

A Blog Giveaway

Are you a fan of Catholic Sistas yet???  If not, you need to get over there and start checking it out!

And while you're there check out the first Catholic Sistas giveaway.  A $35 gift certificate to a Catholic Bookstore that can be redeemed online if you don't live in the area where this store is located. 

(And since I live in KY and many of my readers live in KY, you may be interested to know that this particular store is located in Owensboro, KY.  So if you happen to live near Owensboro or have family there, what a great giveaway to enter!  Right??)

Who doesn't like free stuff??  Go on over and enter!!

7 Quick Takes Friday, vol. 26


~1~

I've been sick the past week and very out of the loop.  Luckily, Hubby and Ethan seem to have escaped the sickness.  Peter had a congested cough over the weekend, but no fever and was always in a good mood.  I got a call Monday afternoon from the daycare that he had a low fever.  Despite that, he was still a smiley baby.  Both went back to daycare on Wednesday, by which time I was totally sick.  Still am.  Ugh!

~2~

Due to the sickness in the house this week, I have no new pictures.  But I still laugh at these pictures everytime I see them.  Just way too cute!!

~3~

Being home most of the week and sick, means I've had no energy to do much of anything.  Thus I've been vegging in my recliner watching crap sitcom reruns on TV.  I'm finding it very disturbing how sex and pregnancy is portrayed on TV.  Pregnancy especially.  When did pregnancy become something to be feared and depressed about all. the. time???  I need to go back to watching HGTV and the Food Network.

~4~

My husband showed me this video this week.  If this was popular on Facebook this week and everyone has already seen it, I apologize.  I did mention I've been out of the loop all week.  This is for all the Star Wars fans out there:

So I couldn't figure out how to embed the video here like I have done in the past.  Sorry.  Use this link to go check it out:  http://youtu.be/NtgtMQwr3Ko.  It's very funny!!

~5~

Tuesday we had a well-visit for both boys.  Luckily no one had a fever so both were able to get their shots.  Both boys are growing well.  Peter was 12 pounds, 14 ounces and 23 1/8 inches long.  Ethan was 12 pounds, 12 ounces and 23 inches long.  Pretty identical, wouldn't you say?  I didn't find out what their percentiles were, but found the growth charts in the back of one of the preemie books I had at home.  From what I can tell they are roughly in the 20th-25th percentile for weight and less than 5th percentile for length.  This is for actual age.  My husband was looking at it for their adjusted age (3 months old instead of 4 months old) and they are slightly higher on the chart, but not by a lot.  They really aren't behind by much.

~6~

My next post over at Catholic Sistas is supposed to go up next Friday.  I haven't written anything yet.  I have several ideas that I can't seem to develop into anything worthwhile.  Hopefully something will come together soon.  Like VERY soon.

~7~

It's Friday and it's noon!!  I'm late for a Rosary I'm supposed to be doing ... right. now!  Please pray for a sweet little baby girl who is being born right now with a serious condition of fluid on the brain.  She is facing surgery sometime shortly after her birth and possibly many more procedures.  She comes into a loving family with two wonderful parents, four older sisters and a brother in heaven to pray for her.  Thanks!!

For more quick takes, check out Conversion Diary where Jen hosts Quick Takes each Friday.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Twin Talk at 15 weeks

Peter: Then Mommy takes the bottle ....
Ethan: What are you talking about??

Peter: What?  I tell funny stories!
Ethan: Whatever, dude.

Peter: What's Dad doing?
Ethan: Now, that's funny!!
Check out Friday's Quick Takes post to learn the story behind the bibs the boys are wearing.

Friday, September 16, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday, vol. 25



~1~

The boys are 15 weeks old now and we're starting to find our groove.  They sleep great!!  I kind of hate telling people that because so many lament how their kids never slept so much at such a young age.  Wish I could tell you what we did, but I honestly have no idea.  Sorry! 

~2~

Speaking of the boys, Peter is now able to get over on his side.  He does not seem anywhere close to actually being able to roll over, but does seem to like lying on his side.  I walked into his bedroom one morning and he was awake and on his side.  I thought he had seen me, but apparently not.  I looked down at him and said something and he suddenly splayed out on his back, all limbs extended as far as they would go.  I couldn't help but laugh.  I know it was at my child's expense, but it really was funny!!

~3~

Our house is officially on the market.  Know anyone moving to Lexington, KY?  Anyone in Lexington looking for a new place?  Let me know!  We'd love to sell our house to you.

~4~

We got something cool in the mail this week!!  A note from one of the School Board members for the Catholic School attached to our church congratulating us on the baptism of our boys.  Included was two letters from some 5th graders at the school also congratulating us on the boys' baptism and welcoming them to the Church.  The letters were very cute.  I had no idea they did this, but I love it!!  Oh, and there was a gift included as well ...

~5~

Peter and Ethan in their new Christ the King School bibs.
How cute!!

~6~

Speaking of Christ the King I had written a post back in January about construction beginning at my church.  Last night I attended a meeting to get an update on how things were going.  I was pleasantly surprised when I got there and discovered that it was less of a meeting and more of a tour.  This was good for two reasons: one, I had both boys with me (no "divide and conquer" that night), so moving around and being able to chat with people along the way was way better than trying to keep them quiet and happy during a meeting; and two, I actually got to see the progress rather than just hear about it.  I also meant to bring my camera, but forgot it in the chaos of trying to get out the door (Hubby had Bible Study at the same time, so it was a crazy evening all around).  Luckily, my good friend and our church organist told me he had been taking pictures and would send me some!  Yay!!

 ~7~

And he did!!  Since the pictures I took for the January post about the beginnings of construction were all of the ground breaking for the Adoration Chapel, for comparison sake here is one of the Chapel under construction:
Photo courtesy of Brian Hunt, Christ the King organist and friend.

Thursday night I actually got to walk into this chapel.  The walls are much higher now, I believe they said they are about ready for the roof to go on, and you can see the shape of the chapel and the spot where Jesus' in the Eucharist will be exposed, plus the new baptistry font is in front of it (not shown).  The chapel is expected to be completed by mid-March.  Still a ways to go, but it's all really coming together and that was obvious when I was there last night.  I could write more, but these are supposed to be "quick" takes, so I'll save it for another time ... when I have more pictures too.

Check out Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Alert: Catholic Sistas has moved!!

If you haven't been following the Catholic Sistas Blog [and I'm sure that is no one here, right???] then you may have missed the announcement that it moved to a new web address.  Don't miss anything, change your RSS or blog reader links to the new address: www.catholicsistas.com.

Did you notice how much easier the address is??  We kind of figured we would eventually go this direction, just didn't expect it within the first couple weeks.  But hey, the Holy Spirit leads and we follow!!

I will be going through my posts and sidebar shortly (if I haven't already by the time this post publishes) to redirect all links to the new blog. 

Also, I have a request.  If you have been following Catholic Sistas and enjoying it, we would love to hear your feedback.  Check out the page under "Accollare" (on the left side of the page) for the Readers' Scoop: http://www.catholicsistas.com/2011/09/09/what-readers-are-saying/.  Have a comment to add?  There is a place there to add comments, or let me know either here or in a private email (see sidebar, About Me) and I will share it with our fearless leader.  If you share something with me, you're also giving me permission to use your words.  We won't publish your last name, just first and last initial, or even just first if you prefer.  Really, we'll put you up however you want.  If you want to brag about the Catholic Sistas in a blog post of your own, please share the link with me and we'll be happy to add the link to your post under that same "Accollare" menu.  Just let me know!!

Don't forget to change your RSS links and bookmarks to the new and improved Catholic Sistas blog.  Go check it out!!