Thursday, December 04, 2014

Small Success Thursday, No. 15


#1
Okay, so this wasn't this week, but it was just last week. And since I didn't do a small success post last week I'm taking the liberty to share more than two weeks worth of success. Since moving into our house a year and a half ago our front hall closet has been a mishmash of stuff. The coats are hung nicely, but everything else was thrown onto the shelf above: summer hats, winter hats, ball caps, scarfs, gloves, and even baby carriers. So I finally organized it all in neat baskets so that we can keep them organized. There are even names on each basket!
So clean looking!
#2
Speaking of organizing, I organized my desk at work. AND cleaned it, too! I wish I had a picture of the clean space. Actually a before and after picture would have been nice, but I didn't think of it at the time. Oh my goodness, the stuff I threw away!! Tons of old papers that had no meaning any longer. Lots and lots and lots of old meeting notes, conference notes, hand outs for programs, workshops, software we no longer use. My desk was so bad that I had asked for an additional new desk organizer a couple months ago and it had arrived and then sat on my desk, on top of stacks of stuff, still in the box, for about two months. Ah, the irony! I've cleaned my desk here and there over the years, but not to this extent. It looks amazing, and yet I don't feel done yet. As we approach Christmas and we get less productive in the office, I want to tackle more of my filing cabinets and the carts sitting around my desk. I'm so motivated now!!

#3
Invitations to our almost one year old's first birthday went out Wednesday. I'm so on top of things! And they are the cutest invitations too. I love them and can't wait for our family members to see them.

What are your small successes this week? Come on over to CatholicMom.com to share in the small success fun!

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

So Many Giveaways!

I don't often enter giveaways, bu every now and then there are some really interesting ones and i figure, why not! If you are a follower of CatholicMom.com at all you may be aware they there are weekly giveaways there. Most I pass up, but every now and then I'll enter just for the heck of it. Which brings me to this week ...

There is a great one there this week! I've made several entries now and figured I'd share. Go check it out HERE and enter yourself.

And speaking of giveaways, there is one happening on Catholic Sistas today and through the rest of the week as well. I'd totally enter this one too if I could. But since I can't you should go enter! Check it out HERE.

And speaking of Catholic Sistas., not a giveaway, but I have a book review over there today. I reviewed Embracing Edith Stein: Wisdom for Women from St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross by Anne Costa. Go check it out when you get a chance. Could be a good Christmas gift for someone you know.

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.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Now on Bloglovin'

I started using the blog reader service Bloglovin'. I was interested in seeing what it was and checking it out, but I still really like Feedly. So I'll be using Feedly mostly, but using Bloglovin' some too just to see how it all works.

Anyway, if you are interested in following me on Bloglovin' check it out here:
Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Coming Up For Air

I'm still here!! Have you been wondering if I had disappeared? I have so many updates, so much has been going on. A quick run down (i.e., what you can look forward to hearing more about soon):

  • I am now a Novice Oblate in the Order of St. Benedict
  • We had a nice vacation in Hilton Head, SC
  • ... and an "interesting" two day drive back home
  • My recent (or not so recent) posts at Catholic Sistas
  • An update on the boys

In the meantime, Silas is now 9 months old. How did that happen? He had his 9 month well-visit this week and he's now up to 16 pounds 10 ounces. He's my peanut. He weighed much more than his brothers at birth, but they were bigger than him by 9 months old. He's so tiny, but crawling, standing, walking along furniture, and even starting to stand for a second or two without holding onto anything. He is the cutest thing, so tiny and doing all these things. Seriously, cuteness everywhere!


That's all for now. More to come. Hopefully soon!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Unintentional Reverse Psychology

This morning's breakfast conversation:

Peter: "I done."

Me: "No, eat some of your Chex."

Peter: "No! I done!"

Me: "I asked you to eat some of your Chex. Eat five pieces, please."

Peter, defiantly: "No!"

I walk over and move five pieces to one side of the plate. "There, just eat those five pieces and then you can be done."

Peter: "No, I eat all."

Me: "Okay, eat them all."

And he did. Completely cleaned the plate. LOL!!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Family Update: Another ER Visit and A Different Diagnosis

Some people know what's been going on with us lately, some know only parts, and others probably have just wondered why I've been a bit absent lately on the blog and other social media (and I apologize for any non-answered emails). I figured an update here was appropriate and I could then easily share the story with anyone who has been wondering about us.

The short story is that after two trips to the ER and one hospital stay in a month, we have a child with asthma. That doesn't really explain a whole lot, so here's the longer version.

In mid-July Peter started not feeling well and we ended up at a doctor appointment, then the ER, and then admitted to the hospital. I mentioned this in a 7 Quick Takes post shortly after it all happened. you can read about it in Take #6 on this post HERE.

So the diagnosis then was pneumonia. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn't.

Fast forward to August 17, almost exactly one month from his hospital stay, and his breathing seemed very labored again. He woke up that morning seeming a little off, so we gave him an albuterol treatment (the nebulizer) before leaving for Mass that morning. By the time we got home he was sounding bad again, so we did another one. But his breathing wasn't improving much and he was starting to get that grunting sound back. So I called the Twilight Clinic to find out if we should bother with them or go straight to the ER (told them we had dealt with this the month previous) and they said go to the ER. So, Hubby and Peter headed out. It was probably around 1:30, maybe 2:00, that afternoon.

I got updates from Hubby here and there and it sounded like Peter was responding well to some breathing treatments. It was looking like he was going to be sent home. During one of our phone conversations was when I first heard mention of possible asthma. Eventually I heard around 8 that evening that they were going to be sent home. They pulled in around 10:30 and I told Peter I'd get him anything he wanted for dinner. He chose yogurt, applesauce, and cinnamon-sugar toast, so that's what he got.

That was a Sunday. I made a follow-up with the pediatrician for Tuesday where we discussed asthma some, did some more nebulizer treatments, and got a new prescription to fill (someone in the ER didn't write one of the prescriptions they gave us correctly and I thought it looked odd when I got it filled so I waited until we saw the pediatrician and she agreed with me). We were also given an appointment for Thursday with the Pediatric Pulmonology Department.

As a side note, I went to the pharmacy on that Sunday to fill a prescription I had from July for more albuterol. I ended up getting the big box which was HUGE! 60 vials huge!! Then I went back on Monday with the two prescriptions from the ER. I went again on Tuesday with the prescription I got from the pediatrician and then again on Thursday (drop off) and Friday (pick up). I've spent a lot of money there recently. AND ... I now recognize the pharmacy's phone number on my phone when I get the automated "your prescriptions are ready" call. Hopefully we are done for a while.

Thursday's Pulmonology appointment was really good. The doctor was very nice and took time with me. We discussed asthma, what it means, a plan for treatment, allergies, and his nurse went over the treatment plan in detail with me as well. Plus they gave me a bunch of information to read. And we go back in three months for a follow-up.

So for now, we have an inhaler that he uses every four hours (albuterol, and I can use either the inhaler or the nebulizer; same medication, just different methods of distribution). Then he has a second inhaler that contains a steroid that is used twice a day, morning and night. Currently we are supposed to do 4 puffs of that one and then wean him down to two. He was on a prednisone for four days which we just finished up on Saturday. And finally he has some Singulair he takes just before bed.

I was taking in so much information this past week that I was starting to feel overwhelmed. It's hard enough to get things done on the weekends and also spend time with my kids without running a bunch more errands and trying to clean the house from top to bottom. I went to work on Thursday afternoon and just could not concentrate! So I made a very last minute decision on Friday morning and took a vacation day. I went and bought impermeable mattress and pillow case encasements for the boys' room, I washed all the sheets from their room (and Silas' room), dusted the furniture, and vacuumed everything, including moving the bed to get under it. I got the encasements all on and remade beds. I haven't yet done much else in the rest of the house, but luckily we had recently had guests so I had cleaned most of the house earlier in the week.

Now I just have to plan to actually change sheets once a week and figure out how to vacuum twice a week. I can vacuum and dust once over the weekend, but how in the world I'm going to find a way to do it once during the week is beyond me. Especially since Peter can not be in the room that is being vacuumed and he can't go into the room for 30 minutes after it is vacuumed. Normally we have about two hours between when we get home and when we start getting kids to bed, and those two hours are pretty packed.

There are a number of other things I hope to do and a few things that won't be happening (like replacing carpet with flooring or switching out our furniture, just can't do those things right now). But I need to get rid of some curtains that we have left hanging up from the previous owners of the house (which won't be sad at all, there are some horribly ugly curtains in our family room that I've been dying to get rid of) and I want to try and wash as many parts of the couches as I can. I've toyed with the idea of getting a cleaning service, even just once a year to do things like blinds and ceiling fans and all those things that are a pain and don't necessarily need to be done frequently, but now I'm seriously considering it. It'd be nice to know that we can get a good deep clean 1-2 times a year while I handle regular maintenance as much as possible.

I'm sure we'll be learning a lot more about asthma and allergies and who knows what as we go forward in the months and years to come. For now, Peter is doing great! He's running around, playing with his brothers, getting into trouble, and just being 3 years old. His breathing is excellent at the moment, I have't heard much coughing at all and definitely no grunting. So we're pleased.

Only thing we need now is tips on how to teach a 3 year old to take a sip of water, keep it in his mouth, swish it around, and spit it out. He needs to do this after the steroid inhaler and he doesn't yet get it. It's so hard to explain something that seems to intuitive to us.

If you've read this whole long story, thank you for sticking it out with me. As a reward, I give you a recent testosterone pile:

Yep, that's all four of my boys piled up there.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Small Success Thursday, No. 9

Eight weeks! That's how long it has been since I last participated in Small Success Thursday. That's entirely too long to go without acknowledging my small successes in my every day life. Often it's because I get caught up in all the things that I don't get done or the failures all around me that I can't even recognize the small things that I have done well.

And that is what Small Success Thursdays are all about at CatholicMom.com. It's the small things!! Let's take a brief moment to celebrate those.

#1
I managed to have all lunches made, breastmilk bottles poured, water bottle filled, and all daycare bags ready to go on Sunday night this week. I can't remember that last time I was that prepared for a Monday morning. And then we made it out of the house right at 8 AM as planned. The best part, was that I didn't have to do any yelling to get us out by 8. Still lots of constant reminders and pushing everyone to keep moving, but not yelling. This one might count as two successes!

#2
I managed to clean off a portion of my desk at work. I hate how cluttered and overgrown my desk is. And it's a big desk too. The desk is in a square shape with three of the four sides being desk space the the fourth is open. On the open side I actually have a library book truck full of stuff too. So I end up with a little walkway between the book truck and the third side of the desk for me to escape from. Monday I finally tackled a large box that was sitting on my desk and finished all the things in it by Tuesday and the box was able to be moved. It opened up the space enough for me to see a few other things sitting in that same area that were relatively easy to get done. And tada! I could see my desk again!!

The best part about cleaning off a section and getting some things accomplished, is that it gets me motivated to tackle a bunch of other things. I'm starting to put some dents in a few other piles of stuff and shelves of materials sitting around my office, not just on my desk. It's amazing!

#3
I have been doing so much better including some form of daily prayer in my day each day. This has always been a struggle for me. Lately, I have been using the Honor Your Inner Monk app and it's been great. The app keeps track of how many times you do the morning and afternoon prayers and at the end of the month gives you an "assessment." It keeps giving me the "wha-wha-whaaa" sound and a message that "You can do better." That may not sound good, but I've been doing the morning prayer practically every day and despite what the app tells me, I'm pleased with that. I have a harder time getting to afternoon prayer. I'll work on that later. #innermonk

Normally I would link up to the Small Success Thursday post at Catholic Sistas. But it has not yet been published (or maybe there isn't one this week?). I'll link it up later if it pops up, but wanted to go ahead and post mine. Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Lawn Chair Catechism, Week 10: Steamrollers

Despite my inability to actually write up a post each week, I am reading along. I have gotten a bit behind here and there but not so much that I couldn't easily catch up. I have to say, this book is perfect for someone like me. The chapters are relatively short and it's an easy read. It's packed full of great information, but presented in an easy to follow way.

That being said, I really wanted to write a post last week but simply ran out of time. Last week's chapter was on the sacraments of initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist). It really had me reflecting on the importance of these sacraments and especially on witnessing my own children's baptisms. I've still not shared pictures from either Baptism, and I have some really nice ones. I may still. One day.

But let's move on to the healing sacraments: Penance and Reconciliation and Anointing of the Sick.


I have a love-hate relationship with the sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation. My first one was in the second grade. For my second, I was in my mid-twenties, probably around 26 or 27 at the time. That's a long time to go without the graces of this sacrament. I remember how wonderful it was to finally go again. I had gotten to a point where I understood the importance of Reconciliation and knew that I needed to go again (after many years of poor catechesis followed by years away from the Church) and wanted to go, but was scared to take that next step. I ended up at a retreat and knew that was my time. I remember being a ball of nerves prior to going in and then feeling amazingly light when I walked out. I totally felt like a new person.

I thought of this when Paprocki says "that at our deepest core, we are unable to sustain ourselves." In other words, we need God's graces to survive in this world. I certainly felt this that day that I went to the sacrament of Reconciliation for the first time in 20 years. We are all sinners and we need Reconciliation to help us grow as Christians. We need to physically voice our sins and hear that we are forgiven. We are physical beings so it only makes sense that we engage all our senses in seeking God's forgiveness.

I'm still not very good about going to this sacrament, but at least I've gotten a bit better. It always takes me a while to get up the gumption to go, but once I'm there I'm always grateful that I made myself do it. It's been harder since I've had little children in my life. I'm pleased to say that my church is adding times for Reconciliation on Sundays, right before and right after the Mass that we usually attend. It's just once a month, but hey, better than nothing and it's very doable for both myself and my husband. I'm already planning on going at one of the next opportunities I have. Can't wait!

I love, too, how this is one of the sacraments of healing. I think we often forget that our soul needs healing as well. Even more reason to not take this sacrament for granted. We need to take advantage of the availability of it and try to go on a regular basis. And I'm talking to myself here too. As I said at the beginning of this reflection, I have a love-hate relationship with this sacrament. It's so hard to make myself go, and yet the wonderful feeling of forgiveness is unbeatable.

The Church needs to see a resurgence in people taking advantage of the sacrament of Reconciliation. Can you imagine how strong the Church would be if more people were receiving the graces of Reconciliation on a regular basis?

This post is being linked up to the Lawn Chair Catechism series on CatholicMom.com. Go check out the post for Week 10 HERE for discussion questions and more discussion and reflection on both the sacraments of Penance and Reconciliation and the Anointing of the Sick.

Friday, July 25, 2014

7 Quick Takes in which I make cookies, brag about babies, and much more


--1--

Sorry for the recent dry spell on the blog. I had quite a run there for a bit in June, but then life got a bit busy. Sometimes it's best for my energies to be elsewhere and the blog suffers. But that's okay. It happens. If you've followed me for very long at all, you know that I always come back. Eventually. So what has been going on lately? Well, let's review ...

--2--

We hosted our group of aspiring Benedictine Oblates for an evening this month. St. Benedict's feast day was July 11, but we couldn't get together that day. So we got together the next day instead. I decided to make cookies for the get together and intended to write a blog post to share my accomplishment, but ... well, see #1 above. So here's the short version. It was a "simple" sugar cookie recipe. "Simple" only applies if you've rolled out dough before, which I had not. Ever. As a matter of fact, I don't think I've ever used the rolling pin for anything but flattening chicken, which requires no actually rolling. And then there was the decorating icing, something else I had never done before. It ended up being a late night. A few pictures of my cookies:
Working on rolling and cutting the cookies
Icing the tops to look like St. Benedict's medal

A close up.

Finished plate. Personally, the chocolate ones were my favorite.

--3--

Silas is now 7 months old. As of this past Saturday. He's such a cutie!!

--4--

As you can see in that picture, he is also starting to get on his hands and knees. He isn't crawling yet, but I bet he will be soon. This kid is always moving. He kicks his legs all the time, does "the Superman" when he's on his belly on the floor, and he's gotten really good at turning himself around to look in different directions. He's so active that I'm a little worried. Once he is mobile, he's probably going to give me a run for my money!

--5--

We have started trying to give Silas solid foods. This week we've given him some banana pieces to play with at dinner. He gets some in his hand and gets a taste, but doesn't seem to want to do more than that. Thursday night after he played for a while with it, I gathered up the pieces, mashed them up, and attempted to let him taste it on a spoon. He has yet to take to a spoon. However, I let Hubby take over and he must have the magic touch. Silas got a good taste after that and seemed to get a bit more interested. We're going to keep working on it and I hope we can get him some avocado, carrots, and sweet potato soon. 

[Side note: he had another appointment Thursday to check his weight and he needs more calories. He's not losing, he is gaining, but not a lot. He's healthy though, so we just need to try to encourage him to up his calorie intake. We're not too worried.]

Silas starting to realize he can eat this stuff Mommy and
Daddy have been giving him all week.

Mmm, that spoon tastes good!

--6--

So, we had an interesting weekend just last weekend. I'll spare you all the details and try to give the short version. Peter was sick on Friday and by lunch time I wasn't sure that he was going to get better on his own, so I called the doctor. We spent 2+ hours at the doctors office, including going down to X-ray and having the pediatrician bring in at least two other pediatricians to listen to him. By 4:30, I told Hubby to meet me there so I could go get the other two from day care (since I knew that Silas, especially, needed to eat and I was the only one who could feed him). So Hubby took Peter to the ER where they spent another 2-3 hours. While in the ER they determined that he had pneumonia and they admitted him (some of that ER time was just waiting for a room up in the Children's Hospital wing). So Peter spent the night (Hubby and I ended up switching places, with help from a friend, and I spent the night with Peter). He was discharged the next day and we were home by lunch time. He has been doing so much better since!!

Since coming home, he has been using the nebulizer three times a day, is on an antibiotic, and is running around playing like any normal 3 year old. He sounds great! Now we're also dealing with a horrible diaper rash (thanks to the antibiotic) which I believe is now also a yeast infection. So we have probiotics to help with that and I need to call and see if I can get a prescription diaper cream. Oh the fun!

The Children's Hospital has a program (unit? something?) called Child's Play. We were visited on Saturday by a lady from the program who asked if she could get us any movies or toys. At that point I knew we were being discharged soon, so I told her maybe a couple puzzles to help us pass the little bit of time we had left. She came back with a pack of three puzzles and a Batman toy. AND ... she said we could keep them. They were all brand new and in the packages still! I was shocked! And grateful. Peter was SO excited. Once we were home he insisted on taking pictures with his new toys.
This is a "monster" truck the pediatrician gave him on Friday.
She was his best friend after that!

Peter with his Batman toy. SO excited!!

--7--

Garden update!! We have stuff growing! Hubby even picked some of the yellow squash:
Our first vegetable harvest! Ever!

BONUS take: I had the opportunity to review a DVD from Ignatius Press! It got published on Catholic Sistas last Friday. Check it out HERE. I enjoyed having the opportunity to do a review for them and I hope I'll get to do some more.

Jen Fulwiler, usual host of 7 Quick Takes, is busy with the Edel Gathering this weekend. I hope there will be more such gatherings in the years to come. You can follow the event at hashtag #edel14. So, filling in for Jen this week is Carolyn Svellinger. I'll be linking up to her post. Go on over and visit and check out all the Quick Takes posts!! It'll be a fun time.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Garden Update

Thursdays are usually for Small Successes at CatholicMom.com, but I'm not feeling all that successful at the moment, even with the small stuff. Instead, how about an update on our little garden!

A few weeks ago I posted pictures HERE of our new garden getting started. Just the finished boxes, put in place, and filled up ready to go. Since then we've been watching it slowly grow. Here are just a few current pictures.



So here is a view of the full garden. My husband put together a cage of sorts with some PVC pipe and a green mesh and put it over the bush beans that you see on the left side of the picture. We have lots of rabbits around here and they like the bean leaves. So far, no rabbits have gotten in. Next to the beans Hubby planted a bell pepper plant and one plant each of yellow squash and zucchini. In the box in the back of the picture are 4 tomato plants (where Hubby is standing) and basil.


It's a teeny tiny bell pepper!! Isn't it cute? It's about an inch tall. I can't believe we are growing things that we'll be able to eat one day. Can you tell I'm a total newbie to this. I'm sure my husband is amused.


We also have the start of some tomatoes. I tried to get a picture, but apparently I wasn't very successful.


And just for fun, here is how my children like to ride their bikes: over to the landscaped corner of the yard where they can play in the dirt. And apparently it is cool to pile the dirt on the seat of the bikes. Doesn't that sound like fun? I don't think so, but I'm not a three year old boy. The three year old boys find it incredibly fun! They crack me up.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Lawn Chair Catechism, Week 6: Union Workers

I gave myself a challenge this summer to read along with CatholicMom.com the book A Well-Built Faith and to blog about it. I knew it would be hard to squeeze in the time to not only read but to also write a blog post each week. And since this is week 6 and it's only my 3rd post, I'm obviously not quite meeting the challenge. But here we are once again, I'm not giving up! So on to our Law Chair Catechism discussion:


This chapter was chock full of information! Full to the brim! I don't even know where to start, so it's good that we have access to the leader's guide with some helpful discussion questions. The first two questions really get to the heart of what I took away from this chapter. I'll just touch on each of those.

What does it mean to say that spirituality is not just a slice of the pie that represents our life, but is the whole pie?

There is an exercise in this chapter where Paprocki lists several things that make up our daily life (work/school, eating, sleeping, play, family, exercise, spirituality, etc.) and asks the reader to create a pie chart in which you show what percentage of your time is spent on each of these things. I've done something similar to this before in leadership/management classes or workshops and in a "Seven Habits," Steve Covey seminar I did once. I was tempted to do it again because it is always an eye opener, but I ended up skipping it. I knew what it would reveal and it wouldn't have been pretty.

What I wasn't expecting was for Paprocki to then tell us that the spirituality component shouldn't be just one small (likely embarrassingly small) slice of the pie, but it should encompass the whole pie. Everything we do should revolve around our spirituality.

Reminds me of when St. Paul tells us to pray without ceasing.

Then I read this question and I thought about recent events. Hold onto your hats, I'm delving into current events:

The Hobby Lobby, Supreme Court lawsuit that came out this week is all a result of people who are trying to live and breath their spirituality. Their religion, their faith, their spirituality has infused itself so much into their daily lives that it influences their work life as well. It is commendable.

It is so easy to check our religion at the door, to keep it to that one hour on Sundays and not bring it home with us. But then we are nothing but frauds. We need to remember always that we are sons and daughters of God. We need to be charitable and loving to all those we come in contact with so that they wonder what makes us so special. We need to let our Catholic faith influence how we do our business, raise our families, and interact with our everyone we meet in our lives. We need to consider what our faith teaches us when we vote for public officials and people to represent us on every level of government.

That is freaking hard! Yes, we are going to fail. But we need to keep trying ("Always we begin again" as St. Benedict says). We should set aside time throughout our days to stop what we are doing and spend even just a few moments in prayer. We should make our work a prayer, whether your work is filing sales reports, cleaning the house, working at a retail store, going to school, changing diapers, running a business, whatever it is offer it up as a prayer.

This is something that will be a difficult challenge for me. But I think (I hope) I'm up for it.

What's the difference between belonging to the Church and being the Church?

It's so easy to think of church in terms of the parish we attend each week. That's the "church" where we know people, where we give our money, and where we spend time each week. We may know intellectually that our one parish is part of a much bigger, universal, world-wide Church, but it's often hard to completely grasp what that means. We don't see it, especially if we live in an area with only one Catholic Church.

I think for me, as I came back into the Church fully, I got a sense of the world-wide Church on a smaller scale by being a member of the Cathedral parish in my diocese. Between that and some involvement I had for a short time on the diocesan level I was able to expand my horizons some and see the Church as a bigger body than just my one parish. Of course, the Church (with a capitol C) is 100+ times bigger than that. But the point is, I, all of us, don't just belong to a parish or belong to the Church, we are the Church.

There would be no Church without the people, you and I, in it. Reminds me of the song that goes "We are all one body ..." (which I realize is based on Scripture, but the song is what popped into my head first). Jesus came to save and he left us a Church so that we could all be one. He didn't leave us a building, he left us a leader. We just celebrated the feast day of St. Peter and St. Paul this past Sunday. Jesus called Peter the "rock" upon which He would build His Church. Peter was just a man, a poor fisherman, but he became the leader of the Apostles and the foundation upon which the Church was built.

How interesting that it was a person. We are all people and together we make up the one body that is the Church. When I think of it that way I really begin to see how much bigger the Church is then just the millions (billions?) of people on this earth who are members of the Catholic faith. Do you see it, too? It's the communion of saints!

The communion of saints: all those who have been received into Heaven, all those who are being cleansed in Purgatory, and all of us here on earth, still fighting the good fight. All of us together, saints in heaven and saints-in-the-making on earth are members of the Church. We ARE the Church.

How cool is that?

For more discussion on Chapter 6 of A Well-Built Faith: A Catholic's Guide to Knowing and Sharing What We Believe by Joe Paprocki, go visit the Week 6 discussion at CatholicMom.com.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Bored Puppy Syndrome and Other Odds and Ends

Recently a friend of mine referred to her young children as bored puppies. The reference was to the craziness that seems to come out of nowhere when it is time for quiet time or nap time or bed time. I immediately realized that I too have a couple of "bored puppies." Every. Single. Night.

We have the same bed time routine every night. It hasn't changed in months and months. But that doesn't matter. Put them to bed, turn out the lights, crack the bedroom door ... and then the partying begins.

Part of the issue is that it is still light outside at this time of year. That certainly doesn't help things. You leave two three year old boys in a semi-dark room for just a couple of minutes and the chatter starts. That chatter quickly escalates, especially if no one goes in to put a stop to the madness!

This was Monday night. Which really isn't any different than most any other night. I was feeding Silas in his room listening to things slowly get out of hand in the room down the hall. Nothing like two bored puppies chewing up everyone's shoes and nothing being done to stop it. At least in this case there was no destruction. But still ...!

By the time I was finally able to put Silas down (who was only half done and didn't care for being stuck in his crib when he wanted his second course) I walked into the other room to find Bored Puppy Syndrome in full bloom: they were in the opposite beds, there was lots of giggling and shrieking, stuffed animals went flying through the air, and bed sheets were all twisted up. Honestly, I have no idea how I managed to NOT laugh at the antics. I play mean mom on TV, but really I'm laughing on the inside.

The amazing thing is how quickly these two little guys can hop back into their beds and have all the stuffed animals back in place. Two seconds flat. Seriously! Those are some mad skillz!

Threats of timeout, a chat with Hubby, and then I managed to get back to Silas. I continued to listen to things escalate once again (they just can't help themselves) and watched as Hubby enforced timeout. Eventually we had two sleeping boys. It just takes us an hour or more to get there. It is so much like watching bored puppies it's surreal.

In other news, Silas is now 6 months old and I did not get a picture of him on the day of. But we're finally having some professional pictures done this coming weekend and I can't wait to see some beautifully done pictures of all three boys! He also had his 6 month well visit and he's doing well. He's growing and gaining weight but apparently plateauing on the growth charts. He's healthy though, so we're not concerned. I'm going to take him back in a month just for a weight check and as long as he's going up we're not going to worry about it. He may just be a peanut. That's okay with me.

We did attempt to start him on some rice cereal, but it didn't go over very well. He was completely confused by the spoon. The boys had no interest until well past 7 months old, so I'm tempted to just put it away and wait. Hubby thinks we should keep trying. "We" would prefer to wait, but "he" is welcome to keep at it if that's what "he" wants to do.

Finally, I forgot to post here that I had an article up on Catholic Sistas this past Friday. Check out Marriage: A Catholic Understanding when you get a chance. I was especially surprised that Big Pulpit linked it up on their Friday Extra post. Never would have guessed that in a million years, but very honored by the link up.

Speaking of Catholic Sistas, if you don't follow the blog, I encourage you to check it out. We're currently working on a series of posts on the Anima Christi prayer (part 5 went up on Monday), there is a series started on Proverbs 31, and this coming Thursday I put up a guest post that is a letter from a mom to her unborn daughter who is not expected to live very long after birth (prayers for all of them, please!). The Thursday post will bring tears to your eyes! I'm amazed too at how this worked out. I won't go into details, but as it turned out, Thursday is also the day this precious baby will be induced. Putting the post up that day is a total coincidence. God works in amazing ways!! Anyway, all I can say is, we have a lot of good stuff going on at the blog. Posts go up usually four days a week and we have a lot of great talent.

There's a brief update on the goings on in these parts. I've been so sporadic with my blogging lately, but I do like to share when I can. I'm hoping to do another Lawn Chair Catechism post this week, too (I missed last week). Hopefully you'll hear more form me soon!

Friday, June 13, 2014

7 Quick Takes: Cinnamon Rolls, Doughnuts, Pizza, and Other Non-Food Takes


--1--

Not food-related: yesterday at Catholic Sistas there was a post all about fathers. It was a post in pictures and it was fun to look through. Sweet pictures, funny pictures, and everything in between. If you get a chance, go on over and check out 12 Things Catholic Fathers Want To Tell You About Themselves. I contributed a picture to the endeavor. I bet it won't be hard to figure out which one it is. 

--2--

Speaking of awesome dads, my little boy's awesome dad took him to a doctor appointment last week. Ethan had to have an echo cardiogram done and the appointment got made for a day and time that would require me to either bring the baby with me and cancel a meeting or ask Hubby to do it. So Hubby agreed to do it and he took Ethan in. I think the two of them had a good time. I was told that Ethan was really good, he brought his "baby" with him (a small blanket with a monkey head in the middle), and he got to watch Curious George during the echo. Hubby said he didn't seem to mind the procedure at all. And then afterwards, Hubby took him to a local bakery for a cinnamon roll before dropping him off at school. The cinnamon roll was definitely a highlight for the boy! He still mentions it and even Peter will randomly tell us, "Ethan doctor, had cinnamon roll." I think Peter is going to need his own "Daddy Date" soon, cinnamon roll included.

By the way, the echo cardiogram was good. He has a heart murmur, but apparently it's nothing to worry about.

--3--

This morning, both of the big boys got to have a little daddy time. Their daycare was having a "Doughnuts with Daddy" time this morning, so Hubby took the boys in a little early for that. I had them take the van and I loaded it up with all the usual stuff I bring every day. Silas and I came a little later and I fed him in his room as normal and then Hubby brought the boys by to say good-bye to me before heading up to their room. We then switched cars in the parking lot and both headed off to work. I like that our daycare does little things like this for the kids and parents. The boys had been looking forward to having doughnut with daddy all week. Although, I think the appeal of the doughnuts was bigger than time spent with dad. But that's okay, they'll still remember it.

--4--

Since the boys got to have doughnuts today I couldn't resist having a little treat myself. So after leaving the daycare I made a quick stop at the same little local bakery that Hubby had taken Ethan to last week. I bought myself a cinnamon roll and the guy running the cash register stuck two in my bag. I almost didn't notice and then he made a "side" comment and I realized what he had done. Two for the price of one! This is why small businesses are so great!! And those cinnamon rolls were so yummy!! Mmmmmm!

--5--

Enough about doughnuts and cinnamon rolls, we went out to dinner last night as a family. For a family with two working parents, it's amazing that we do so well cooking and eating at home for the most part. But every once in a long while we do have to improvise. So last night we went to a local pizza joint. We had gotten a gift card at Christmas time for this place but hadn't had a chance to use it until now. It's very close to campus and a very popular place so we knew we wanted to wait until things slowed down at the university. And it's summer now, so things are definitely slower! The restaurant was still really busy, but at least we managed to find parking.
The whole experience was a comedy of errors. As I approached the restaurant I saw Hubby walking up the sidewalk to the front door. So I expected him to get us a table and I'd be able to walk in and plop the kids right down. After I managed to get all four of us out of the car and arrange how we were going to walk in and slowly make our way to the building, we got in and could not find Hubby anywhere!! I texted him and got no reply. The hostess finally puts us at a table and I happened to look out and see Hubby standing outside at the corner of the building between the two front door. Obviously he hadn't gotten my text so I wasn't sure if I should bother calling him or not. I tried to arrange the toddlers at the table and eventually gave up, left all three kids there, and went and grabbed Hubby. Then we had a cup of milk spill (what is with waiters who grab a bunch of napkins for you and then plop them down right in the middle of the mess? Now how am I supposed to clean this up?). And then Silas didn't want to be left out, so he had to create a pooping mess for me to clean up. Glad the food was good!!

--6--

The funniest thing about our experience out last night was when Ethan decided he was finished eating. He climbed down from the table and told us he was finished. "I done, I done," he kept saying. I was trying to get him back into the booth and out of people's way. We were sitting right near where the wait staff was coming in and out of the kitchen.I was trying to reason with my toddler (which I know is pretty useless anyway) that he still needed to sit with us, that he didn't have to eat anymore if he was done, and that, unlike at home, there was nowhere for him to go. None of that was convincing him. "No! I done, I done." It was crazy and silly all at the same time. I was inwardly laughing at my "creature of habit" toddler while I was trying to keep him from tripping over the people coming in and out of the kitchen area. Eventually we did manage to get him back into the booth and he even ate some more of his pizza too.

--7--

Our weekend plans will hopefully include a trip to the library, some house cleaning, writing some thank you cards, taking Hubby out for breakfast on Sunday, and maybe even me cooking dinner Sunday evening. We'll see about that last one. Hope you have some great weekend plans! Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there!!

This week's Quick Takes fun is being hosted by Kathryn of Team Whitaker. Go visit for more blogging fun!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Small Success Thursday, No. 8

#1
We have our garden boxes done and in place. Admittedly, I had very little to do with this. Unless you count keeping the children out of the way while Hubby worked on the boxes. Which really, that can be quite the task! Especially with a baby. Try keeping two toddlers inside the house while Daddy is outside sawing or painting or doing other things with power tools. So, okay, this is definitely a success for me! I shared a couple pictures of the early stages of the garden boxes in THIS POST. Here's the rest of the pictures:
Painting the concrete board

Finally in place, dirt sitting by ready to go in.
I did help with placement, which took many tries.
And those boxes are much heavier than they look!!

Dirt in and seeds planted. I wasn't home for this part,
Hubby and the boys did all this together. Silas and I went shopping.
The success here is that this is finally all done and 99.8% of the credit goes to Hubby. Can't wait to see what we get out of this!

#2
As of this week I have now been back to work for three months. This also means that I have been successfully pumping for three months! With as much of a struggle as breastfeeding was in the beginning and how much I was not enjoying it, I really, truly thought that we wouldn't continue once I returned to work. But we did. Twice a day every day I leave my office (or I leave a meeting early or interrupt a conversation with a coworker or student or stop doing something right in the middle or ... something), and I walk to a different building to pump milk. And I've been doing that twice a day, every day for three full months now. I never thought I'd last this long. And Baby Silas is doing great!! Isn't he cute?
Almost 6 months old!!

#3
I took a walk on Monday! I finally did what I have been saying I want to do. Monday after dinner and some play time, Hubby took the twins up to do baths and I stuck Silas into the ring sling and we went for a walk. I think I managed to walk about 30-35 minutes. It felt great and Silas got a little snooze in as well. I had a little baseball cap for him that he looked sooooooooooo cute in. Oh my goodness, this boy! I got back home just after the boys had had their evening snack and read some books and Hubby was getting ready to get them upstairs to bed.So far, that's only one day this week, but it's a 100% improvement over last week and the week before that and the week before that and ... well, you get the idea.

Bonus #4
I have finally completed my application to start the process of becoming a Benedictine Oblate through the St. Meinrad Archabbey in Indiana. I've have been praying about this for several months now and have had the application sitting on my desk since March. I finally got it filled out and am handing it over today to be mailed off with several others. Thus starts a new journey! I haven't mentioned this previously and I don't know how much I'll share about it on the blog (at least initially). Eventually I may share a few things, but we'll see how things go. The process to become an Oblate takes at least a year, possibly longer if you're juggling a young family at the same time. Prayers appreciated!

What are your small successes this week? We're all sharing over at CatholicMom.com.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Big Brother "Reading"

I so wish I had a picture to go along with this post. But when this happened I was feeding the baby and I didn't want to intrude on the moment by trying to capture it with a picture. Anyway ...

Saturday I was sitting in our family room feeding the baby when Ethan brought a book over for me to read. I told him I couldn't read right then but that I would once the baby was done.  But he couldn't understand this concept. I'm assuming that at this age there is no concept of time and everything must happen NOW because there is no such thing as later. So far, all evidence points to this conclusion.

After much frustration (on Ethan's part) and many tears, somehow Peter ended up agreeing to "read" the book to Ethan. Ethan was immediately happy again and I watched to see how this would go.

I saw Peter take the book into his lap and Ethan sat down on the floor next to him. With the two of them sitting right next to each other (which by itself is the cutest thing ever), Peter opens the book.

"Someone ripped this book." Peter says. The text block is tearing away from the cover on this book (can you tell I'm a librarian?), Ethan agrees, and I laughed to myself at this exchange.

I found a picture: the book.
Peter proceeds to flip to the first page and says, "One dog." Moving on to the next page he continued with almost the exact words of each page.

I was impressed when I heard him "read" on the page with the picture of a maze, "One dog going in, three dogs going out." And then he got to the first exchange between the two dogs about the hat and it was perfect:

"Hello. Hello. Do you like hat? No, don't like hat. Good-bye. Good-bye."

I was sitting across the room in tears from holding in my laughter. I was enjoying listening to Peter read with a little help from Ethan here and there as they went through this book page by page. And for three year olds, this is a pretty lengthy book.

The kicker for me is that this is a library book. It's been in the house for only about three weeks. But library books are so loved here that we read every single one, every single night. So I've started limiting how many we bring home. And unfortunately we don't get to the library as often as I'd like so we end up keeping them for the whole four week loan period.

I love that the boys love books so much. I also love seeing how well they can get along when they want to (it doesn't happen all the time, I can assure you). And I love that Peter tried to read the book and did a pretty good job at it too. I can't wait until the day when they really can read a book! Oh the worlds that will open up to them.