Monday, March 31, 2014

Loving Casey

It's hard to admit that you have to learn to love your babies. You hear so many women talk about the immense love they have for their children from the first moment they saw them that you feel like a bad mom if you don't experience the same thing.

Then I read an article someone had shared on Facebook recently: 20 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Postpartum. The author admits in this article (#9) that loving her babies after they were born did not happen immediately, it took time. She articulated better than I ever could how it took time for her to grow to love this tiny little human that you are solely responsible for. I was so relieved to read these words! That's me, too!

When all three of my boys came into the world, I was overjoyed to finally get to meet them. I was overjoyed (especially with the twins) that they made it safely! I got a bit emotional over the experience as well. But "love at first sight" it was not. And that's okay. The profound love I have for my children grows over time as I get to know them and experience their presence in my life. It was nice to read that I was not alone in that.

It also got me thinking about loving the children we have lost as well. As someone that has to get to know my children over time, how do I feel love for a child I've never seen? Or only seen for a short time before he was taken away from me?

Six years ago today we said good bye to our first child. Casey Marie was only 8 weeks in the womb when she was miscarried. We never saw her on ultrasound, never held her, barely knew of her existence before she was gone. There was no opportunity to experience her over time. There was no time. So how does one go about loving a child you barely knew?

I've been asking myself this all weekend. How to explain it? Because the fact is, I do love her. But I didn't get to experience being with her in the same way as I have my other children. I never got the opportunity to be with her, to watch her grow, to get to know her as a person.

I came to the realization that although I have not experienced her physically in the here and now, I have still experienced her presence, just in a very different way. The first moments after the miscarriage were covered in grief. That grief persisted for some time. Quite a long time.

But slowly, as time has gone on, I have come to accept her place in heaven away from me (for now). Accepting the loss of Casey doesn't make me forget. Instead I can pray for her soul. I can also ask her for prayers and for her intercession when we need it. Over time I have come to know my child through prayer in a way that is different from how I have gotten to know my living children. And through that I have come to love her.

She is my first child and as her mother, she has a special place in my heart. A place that is full of love for her. And I look forward to the day when we can be reunited and I can tell her face-to-face, "I love you."

Happy Birthday, Casey!

Friday, March 28, 2014

7 Quick Takes Friday: Wacky Weather, Beautiful Babies, and Weekend Plans


Saturday was so nice here!! I even sent the boys out to play without coats. We must have gotten into the 60s.
Two boys working together. And you can tell the sun is out.
Beautiful day!


Sunday was still nice, though slightly more chilly than Saturday. When the sun peeked out from behind the clouds it felt warm. We still went outside to play, but coats were a must.
The boys enjoying the backyard. A bit more cloudy today.


On Tuesday it snowed ... again. This picture was taken around lunch time when the snow had started to melt. Please tell me this is it! I hear it's supposed to be spring now, but I think that's just a rumor.
Around noon, on my way across campus to pump.
Most of the snow from the morning was melting.

Can you see the snow coming down?
On my way to go pump around 3:00 PM.

I told you it was snowing.
Just 20 minutes later, heading back to my office.

It was not a lot of snow this time around and it came in fits and spurts melting some in between. Even so, there was a good thick layer on my car when I left work on Tuesday, I even had to break out the snow scraper.


And speaking of pumping, I took a picture of the set up in the Lactation Room I have been using the past two weeks.  It's not the best set up, being a corner side table, but at least the chairs are comfortable. I make it work. Just grateful to have it!


Silas is a talker. Oh my, this kid! He babbles and he laughs and he smiles and he babbles some more. I'm about 99% certain that the twins were not this talkative at only 3 months old. I don't think they were ever this talkative. It's so cute to get him going. I especially love seeing Hubby talking with him.


I finally got a great picture of all three boys together. After several attempts I finally got one with all of them looking at the camera:
Ethan, Silas, Peter

But I actually really loved this one the best (just wish I had thought to close the curtains sooner):


Plans for the weekend? I'm planning on doing some cleaning and organizing in the house, doing a bit of shopping, and working on a special blog post for Casey for Monday. I may try to find some purple cupcakes for us as well (the boys are into birthdays right now, so why not!). Can't believe it's been six years!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!! Check out more Quick Takes over at Conversion Diary.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Thoughts on the Annunciation

Today the Church celebrates the Annunciation. On this day we commemorate when the angel Gabriel came to Mary to announce that she would conceive a son and He would be the Messiah.
Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with thee.

This morning when I opened my iPod to look up Morning Prayer, I noticed a short essay in my prayer app on the Annunciation. Specifically it was reflecting on whether Mary could have said no. One paragraph in particular struck me:
"When we come to an important decision in our lives, we can easily find our minds clouded by the possible consequences, or, even more, by partial knowledge of them. How can we ever move, when there is so much good and evil whichever way we go? The Annunciation gives us the answer. God's grace will give us the strength to move, even if the fate of the whole world is hanging in the balance. After all, God does not demand that our decisions should be the correct ones (assuming that there even is such a thing), only that they should be rightly made." [Catholic Calendar app for iPod Touch, March 25, 2014] 
This makes me think about how, when faced with a decision, especially between two good things, I can pray about it and never really feel like I get an answer from God. Sometimes I just want God to tell me which I should do. But He won't that's not how he works. Reading the paragraph above makes me realize that I don't always need a clear answer. Very little in life is black and white. There are lots of gray areas. As long as I make decisions in the right way, I will benefit. I might be better for those decisions or I might learn from them. I might find peace or I might be led to make a different decision the next time.

In all, the important point is that decisions are "rightly made." We do this through prayer, seeking appropriate counsel, and evaluating the consequences to both ourselves and others who may also be affected by our decisions. If we so all these things, regardless of what the decision is, we can at least know that we made the decision rightly.

Friday, March 21, 2014

7 Quick Takes Friday, Vol. 56: Double Posting Today, Lenten Mission, Kiddisms, Praying, and More


Rarely do I write a 7 Quick Takes post on a Friday when I also have a post going up over at Catholic Sistas. But apparently I decided that this week was going to be crazy week. So read this post, but please go check out today's post at Catholic Sistas as well: Uniting Our Lenten Sacrifices with Christ Crucified.


Earlier this week was our parish's Lenten Mission. I used to always go to these, all three nights even. But since having kids they have gotten harder to attend. Sometimes I've gone alone, sometimes Hubby goes, sometimes we go together and put the kids in the nursery, or sometimes we skip it altogether. This year we went on Sunday night and put the older boys in the nursery and kept the baby with us. The boys don't care for the nursery. We almost never use it on Sundays, so it is just special talks like this when we use it. Usually they scream and cry and the volunteers have to pry them off of us, but they always end up having a good time.

This time, we tried to bring them over to the train table to help get them interested in something. They were interested, but not enough to forget about us. They were keeping a close eye on us and not getting too close to the train table. Then I pointed out the two play kitchens. That did it! Off they went with no thought at all of us. I grabbed Hubby's arm and said, "Let's go!" and we were out of there.

No screaming, no hanging off of us. And all for a play kitchen. Not the trains. Go figure!


The first night of the Lenten Mission was very good! One of my favorite priests, Fr. Frank, was the speaker on the first night. I spent a lot of time walking around with the baby, but I was still mostly listening. I did step out during the first half to change a diaper and kind of missed the point of what was being discussed (I checked with Hubby later and it was a run-down of evangelization in the early Church) but the second half of the talk was excellent!!

Here is basically what I got out of it. Sometimes, trying to follow Jesus is very difficult. It can sometimes feel so hard that we might give up or declare that we are not "good enough" to be able to follow Him in all things. Fr. Frank pointed out that St. Paul tells the people in one of his letters (I forget which one) to follow him. That's right, follow St. Paul. By this he means that while he is following Christ, we can be following Paul, and others may then follow us and so on and so on. What it basically comes down to is that all the saints are available for us to follow behind in our quest to follow Christ. We're not alone in this journey. He used an analogy of being on a hike and hiking on a trail in a single file line. You are in the middle of the line and you can't see where the group is going. You can only see the person (or the backpack) right in front of you. So you have to follow that person. And the person behind you is following you.

I know I fail at following and imitating Christ all the time. Fr. Frank said to find a saint or two and follow them. And if we are following someone who is helping us to be more like Christ than others may then follow us.


And for a complete change of subject:
Some time ago Hubby taught the boys how to dip their toast into the yoke of a fried egg. They love doing it. And now, every night when we put the boys to bed, as we start heading out of the room, we hear Peter say, "Fried egg? Fried egg?" Every. Single. Night.

Hubby has told me he also asks for a fried egg when he wakes them up in the morning too. This boy loves his fried eggs!!


Teaching kids to pray is so amusing.
Up until now we haven't specifically taught them much in terms of prayer,we mostly demonstrate it for them (which is incredibly important, of course) and we have worked with them on doing the sign of the cross. They are slowly picking things up. Ethan often "prays" with us when we do bedtimes prayers. It sounds like a cross between a drone and a chant. Maybe he'll be a monk one day. Since they have been soaking up the alphabet and counting in both English and Spanish, I decided that maybe now was the time to start teaching them a prayer. My choice was the Hail Mary. For one, they love pointing out "Mama Mary" in pictures or stopping by her statue at our church to say "hi," and secondly, it's a fairly short prayer.

So we got started one morning and I said a few words at a time and had them repeat after me. What I have learned during this process is:

  1. Even a short prayer can feel long when you are doing it a few words at a time.
  2. It's very easy to forget the words yourself when you chop it up into little bits. No matter how well you know the prayer yourself.
  3. When you only do the first half and decide to wait on teaching the second half until another time, you end up inadvertently teaching them that there is applause between the first and second half of the prayer.
  4. Two year olds skip words like: of, the, is, a, you, your. So when I say "is the fruit" all that is repeated back to me is "fruit." Or "of your womb" becomes simply "womb."
  5. Once they start getting it, one child will think that when you say the first set of words his job is to then say the next set of words.
It's a start and I find it incredibly humorous to do this with the boys. We laugh a lot while learning the Hail Mary. I think Mama Mary probably laughs with us.


Went to the dentist on Tuesday
for my regular 6 month cleaning. After having the dentist check everything out, how pleasant to then hear him say, "Well, it's not any worse." Um ... thanks?

On the plus side, he did say we can wait another 12 months before they do X-rays again. They use the child thingys on me and they still make me gag. I really do have a tiny mouth. And can't they come up with a better way of doing X-rays?


I'm going to wrap up this post by sharing my pains from last weekend. I woke up in horrific pain on Saturday morning. I've had a "crick" in the neck before, some worse than others, but Saturday morning's was the worst I've ever had. I can still feel some of the effects of it today (Thursday). By Saturday night I was dreading going to sleep because I knew I would wake up in more pain. It dulled a little over the course of the day Saturday, but not nearly enough. Sure enough, I woke up Sunday in a great deal of pain as well. It's been almost a week and I can still feel a little pain when I turn my head to the right, though it is definitely not nearly as bad as it was. I do not remember ever having a neck/back/shoulder issue like that ever in my life. Ever. I hope that was a once in a lifetime thing!

Pleasant note to end on, right? Ha!! I should have used that pain for good, but the idea of "offering it up" never occurs to me until afterwards, never in the moment.

That's it for today's Quick Takes. Don't forget to check out my post at Catholic Sistas today. And, of course, thanks to Jen for hosting 7 Quick Takes!! Go check her out as well.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Small Success Thursday, No. 4

My first week back at work was last week. Before I even started the week I cancelled my Monday morning meeting. So, I had no meetings first thing in the morning on any day last week. I needed that for my first week back, less stress while I tried to figure out how everything was going to work in the mornings. But I couldn't continue cancelling meetings. So this Monday I had to get moving even earlier than I had last week. But I made it to work just in time for my 9 AM meeting.

Then Tuesday rolled around. No meetings, but Hubby and I decided that I would try doing the whole morning routine on my own. Hubby has an adoration hour at 6 AM on Tuesdays. Since my maternity leave he has been coming home afterwards. But this Tuesday he went straight to work when he left church. I'm please to report, that we actually managed to leave the house by 8:15 AM. It was hard, though. I had to get up at 5:30 AM and I had to be on top of my game to get the baby fed, get myself ready, get breakfast on the table, get the boys up, changed, and dressed, and get everything (lunches, day care bags, breast pump, purse, work bag) and everyone in the car. To be able to leave by 8:15 AM was quite the achievement!

This Lent I am trying to remember to do Morning Prayer (Lauds) from the Liturgy of the Hours each morning. So far I've only missed two mornings. For someone who is really terrible about keeping a regular prayer time, this is a big improvement.

What are your small successes this week?

Check out the Small Success Thursday post at

Friday, March 14, 2014

7 Quick Takes, Vol. 55: Breastfeeding, Lactation Challenges, Work, and More


This week was my first week back at work. I can't say that I was looking forward to it, but it went better than I thought it would. I got back into the swing of things pretty quickly, even attending one meeting and providing an update on my unit's work from the last month. I took some time this week to ignore the administrative part of my job (mostly) and just focus on my main work, the day-to-day stuff that always gets overshadowed by the administrative stuff. It felt good to do those things and this was the perfect week for it.

My suggestion to anyone in a similar boat, when you return to work after a leave, especially a maternity leave, focus first on the part of your job that you love, the part that made you want to do this type of work in the first place. The other stuff can wait. Remember what it is you like about your job and then, once that is back under your fingers like old times, add in the must-do, not-so-fun things. You're welcome.


One of the challenges going back to work is how to deal with breastfeeding. I didn't have this challenge after the boys were born, so this is all new territory for me. I was worried the baby wouldn't take well to a bottle (because I was slack in taking the advise on how to introduce a bottle starting at 6 weeks) and I was worried about how I was going to have milk for him on my first day back. But it all has worked out. He's apparently taking a bottle fine and I had enough frozen milk for him for his first day. It was just so hard knowing how much to bring. I can't measure what he drinks from me, so how was I supposed to know what he would need? I brought 4 bags of frozen milk that first day and he drank three of them. I believe there were roughly 2-3 ounces in each bag. I had to throw one bag away. That was sad.


Silas and I have a good schedule though. I feed him first thing in the morning, then I go about getting myself and all our stuff ready for the day, eat breakfast, pack up the car, and then we all head to day care. Once the twins are settled in their room, I then feed Silas in his room before I leave. This has been great to be able to do!! It means that he really only needs two feedings while I'm gone. By the time I pick them all up, I usually take them home and feed Silas as soon as we get there. Thursday was the only day that I ended up feeding him partially at school before we headed home. Otherwise this seems to be working well.


Pumping at work is interesting. First of all, I do not have a private office. I have a cubicle that sits near the entrance of a heavily used study room and the entrance to a special temperature controlled room for rare or special collections in my library. Inside that room there is actually another door into a professor's office and instead of using the outside door into his office, he uses the Closed Stacks entrance and brings people through the staff area of the library when they come to see him. So, despite my desk being in a back corner where almost no one can see me, it's actually a fairly high traffic area.

All that to say, there is no way I can pump at my desk. I found that the university has four lactation rooms on campus, three on the medical side of campus and one on north campus (where I am). The one in my area is three buildings away. It's not like it's a long walk, but it's not the most convenient spot for me either.
I'm located in the building on the lower part of this map.
The Lactation Room is in the Office Tower on the upper part of the map.
Before I came back to work, I contacted the person who coordinates that room. There are a few people who use it so we had to work out times. I was guessing because I honestly didn't know when I would need to pump. I originally scheduled three slots in that room. At the same time, I asked about any open space in my building, but did not expect an option to be available. Well, much to my surprise something did come up.


I was so excited to have a place to pump right in my building. It was up on the third floor where another college is located, but they were very gracious in letting me use the space. And it worked beautifully. Until Wednesday. :(

Wednesday I got word that they needed the office I was using for a new faculty member. I could use the room through the end of the week, but they needed it back starting next week. 

Lucky for me, when I had cancelled my scheduled times in the room that was a short walk away, I told the person who coordinates it that if anything changed I would let her know. I just didn't expect to have to contact her so soon.


Even so, she must think I'm the biggest flake! I emailed her Wednesday afternoon, told her I needed times there again, and asked if I could come see where the room was so I wouldn't be searching for it on Monday. We worked out a schedule again and set up a time for me to meet her on Thursday. Thursday afternoon around 3:00 pm I suddenly remembered that I was supposed to meet her at 1:30 pm. ::sigh::

She was very nice about it though. I just feel like an idiot. Scheduling to use the room, cancelling that, asking to use it again, asking to come see it, forgetting to actually go. Like I said, she probably thinks I'm a flake. I'm almost embarrassed to run into her.


I think I have a good rhythm down though. Silas eats around 6 am in bed with me. Then around 8:30 am at the day care and then we part ways. I pump around noon and 3 pm and then pick him up around 5 or 5:30. Depending on when he's eaten last, he either eats then before we leave or I take him home and feed him once we get there. So far it's working out well and having two pumping sessions a day instead of three (which is what I originally thought I would need) is going to work well, especially for the various morning meetings I have.

This week has been interesting. I've learned a lot: like that I can get up before 6 am consistently and still function all day. That's been a big surprise! And Silas definitely breastfeeds much more than he eats from a bottle and that will ultimately be best for him, my milk supply, and delaying the return of fertility (hopefully).

There you have it, another Quick Takes post from the slacker blogger. Have a great weekend!! And check out Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Sing with Me: A B C D ...

The boys are in that phase where they are soaking up tons of stuff and repeating things back to you all the time. They love letters and love counting to ten. At not even three years old, I'm amazed at what they know.

For the alphabet they have a DVD from Leap Frog called "The Letter Factory." This is not a review, but I love this video, so if you're looking for something for your kids to help them get to know the alphabet, this is a good one.

As I was saying, we have this video and the boys love it. They pick out random letters on boxes and pieces of paper and books laying around and tell us the letter and sometimes tell us what it sounds like. In the last day or so they both say "pu, pu" every time they see a "P" on something. When they want to watch the video they ask for it by pointing at the TV and saying "A-B-C-D, A-B-C-D."

In school they are also slowly working on letters. They occasionally bring home coloring sheets with a letter on it and three items that all begin with that letter. They obviously love doing this. The sheet for D had a drum on it and whenever I ask them about the letter D and mention a drum they bang on whatever is nearby and say "boom, boom."

Peter will often say "A-B-C-D" just to refer to letters in general, not necessarily the video. He was doing that this morning at breakfast. He said it several times while pointing out the letters on the side of his bowl. And then this conversation occurred:

Peter: A-B-C-D
Me: E-F-G
Peter (with a HUGE smile): H-I-J
Me: [stunned silence, I wasn't expecting him to respond]

I then went on to say a few more letters and he responded with the next few after that. We went through a few more and then I stopped saying any and encouraged him to keep going. I think he said "L-M-N-O-P" as one big word (what kid doesn't) and he may have skipped "X" but otherwise, everything was there.

By the time he got to "Z" I was cheering for him. How did he manage to learn to say the entire alphabet?! He's not yet 3 years old! But he did!

I love how they absorb so much at this age, without you even knowing it. Amazing!!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Returning to Work

After three months of being off from work (a glorious time!) I had to return on this Monday morning. I wish I had known that I would be losing an hour of sleep the weekend right before I went back or I might have worked it out to be a different day. Oh well, what can you do!

Sunday night I made a list for myself of everything I needed to be sure I brought with me. For your amusement, here is the list:

  • Boys' bag with their nap time blankets, the weekly check, and Silas' vaccination form
  • The boys' lunch boxes (don't forget to pack food in it too)
  • Silas' bag containing:
    • diapers
    • wipes
    • diaper cream
    • two changes of clothes
    • three bottles
    • An extra nursing cover (for me to nurse him there)
  • Bags of frozen breast milk for Silas (stick in my lunch bag until we get to day care)
  • My work bag
  • My purse
  • My lunch
  • The breast pump
  • My water bottle
If you're counting, that's 10 bags or groups of items.

I happened to acquire an extra nursing cover recently. I was going to give it away to one of the many people I know who are expecting and then I realized on Sunday evening that I could still use it. So I have one in my diaper bag that I can use when we are out and about. Now with this second one I can keep it with the stuff Silas needs at school each day and I can feed him there and have a nursing cover with me. I was worried about trying to keep up with my nursing cover and accidentally leaving it home one day or leaving it at school over the weekend. So having a second one ended up working out great!

Monday morning rolled around and I was ready. Or, I hoped I was. I had laid out clothes for myself and all three boys the night before. Plus all the stuff I needed to bring was piled up near the garage door. Here's how the morning went:

5:45 am: Phone alarm goes off. I reach over and turn it off, sit up and groggily look at the clock. Wonder if 5:45 is really necessary and then alarm clock alarm goes off. Decide that 5:45 is necessary. Get up, wake baby and change his diaper.

6:00 am: Bring baby into bed and start feeding him. Check iPod and see message from friend, read it, decide to respond later, bring up Morning Prayer to pray while baby eats.

6:20 am: Baby finishes on one side, burps, proceeds to poop, poop goes up his back due to my hand being right on his butt. Get up again and change his diaper and now also his clothes.

6:25 am: Back in bed and feeding baby on second side. Manage to finish up Morning Prayer.

6:35 am: Baby is done, put him back in bed, go downstairs to pump more milk.

6:45 am: Finish pumping, clean everything so I can take it to work, head back upstairs.

7:00 am: Shower, dress, dry hair, etc.

7:30 am: Join Hubby and the boys who are all already at the kitchen table eating breakfast. Realize that the goal of leaving the house at 7:45 am is probably not going to happen.

7:50 am: Finish up breakfast, go back upstairs to brush teeth and get baby from his crib.

8:00 am: Get baby in car seat, jackets on the boys, start loading all my bags into the car.

8:05 am: Finally pull out of the driveway, Hubby stops on the side of the road to bring the trash cans back around to the back of the house. I pull around him knowing that I'll now get to the day care long before him.

8:20 am (or thereabouts): Get to the day care, unload everybody and everything, get to the door and realize that I have forgotten the code again. Nice mom pulling out of the parking lot sees me and tells me what it is. Phew!

8:25 am: Drop off baby and his bag in his room, tell the teachers I'll be right back down, bring check and form to office, take boys upstairs to their room. Hubby shows up to say good bye to the boys.

8:30 am: Hubby and I are back in Silas' room, get everything squared away, say good bye to Hubby, I sit down to feed Silas one last time.

8:55 am: I leave the day care.

9:15 am: I finally find a parking spot and start walking to my building.

9:30 am: I walk into the library. Wonder if maybe 5:45 am isn't early enough. Can I do 5:30 am tomorrow?

By the time I got to work I had had a full day already!! I will say it hasn't been too bad yet. I've had one pumping session so far and I'm praying Silas has enough of my milk for the day. Feeding him when I dropped him off helps. I am hoping he will only need two feedings until I can pick him up again.

I have lots of catch up on. My desk kind of says it all:

Yes, somewhere back there is my desk. You can see the computer monitor off to the right. In front are two book trucks (with the breast pump sitting on top of one of them). Unfortunately, all that clutter, piles of papers, and other crap stuff is not a result of my being off the last three months. Sadly it often looks like this.

What you also don't see are the walls of bookshelves on two sides full of CDs, scores, dissertations and theses, books, and various cataloging tools and reference manuals. Obviously there is plenty to keep me busy.

With that said, I must get back to it. Hope you enjoyed the rundown of my first morning back to work. 

[This post was written in haste and for your amusement. If you are bothered by typos, misspellings, or grammatical failures, please keep them to yourself. Or, if you must say them aloud, share them with a friend as long as that friend is not me. My tired brain thanks you.]

Friday, March 07, 2014

7 Quick Takes Friday, v. 54


Once again, I have gone many months without doing a 7 Quick Takes post here. I've done a few over at Catholic Sistas, but not on my little humble blog. So I thought I'd have a crack at it again while I have a little time. By the way, there is a 7 Quick Takes post at Catholic Sistas today, but not by me. I'm working at trying to share the fun of these posts with the other writers. So one of my fellow ink slingers took a crack at this month's post and she put together a list of 7 meatless meals that do not include seafood or pasta. Love that idea! I'm definitely one who gravitates to seafood or pasta on meatless days. Go on over there and check it out!


My boys are getting so big and they are constantly surprising us with what they say and what they know and what they do. I love hearing them talk. First of all it is just too darn cute whether you can understand them or not. Not too long ago we were sitting down to eat, the boys were in their seats with their food already in front of them. I was still in the working part of the kitchen when the following conversation happened:

Peter: Bunnies [pointing at the kitchen counter]
Me: Bunnies?
Peter: No, bunnies! [very emphatic pointing at nothing I could see]
Me: Where are bunnies?
Peter: No, bunny. Bunnies!
Ethan [now apparently catching on]: Bunnies!

I finally figured out that they meant vitamins. Don't ask me how I finally got "vitamins" out of "bunnies."


The boys also now have two favorite DVDs that they constantly want to watch. They would watch these two DVDs all day long if we let them (which we don't, just to clarify). I don't mind them watching since they are also educational. One is The Letter Factory and the other Numberland, both by Leap Frog. The boys ask for them as "ABCD" and "number." They are also learning some of their letters at day care. Between these DVDs, day care, and the little tiny bit of review we do with them, I'm amazed at how much they are retaining. They did the letter "H" at day care recently and will now tell us "Letter H, hu, hu." They'll point to an "S" and say "sssss" like a snake and they seem to have a special affinity for the letter "A." They aren't even three yet!


As for numbers, they can count to ten and usually stay in order. More often than not they skip the number 7, but everything else makes it in there.


Let me just add, we did not set out to have our kids learn their letters and numbers at such an early age. I bought the DVDs figuring they would enjoy them but not really pay a whole lot of attention quite yet. It really is amazing what little you can do for your kids to learn so much!


Baby Silas (or Baby Sassy, as the boys say) and I went for a walk today. My last weekday home alone with him and we finally manage to get out for a walk. There is still some ice in places and there are mounds of snow on the grass where it was shoveled into big piles, but it felt like spring. I think it was around 60 degrees when we were out. It felt so good!! 


So, yes, I go back to work on Monday. I'm really going to miss the time I had home with Silas. Especially now that the weather is finally warming up again. I already sent an email to my unit to cancel a meeting we have every Monday morning. I need time to get used to things again and not go right in for a meeting first thing. I've been out for long periods of time before, many longer than this one, but I think this one is going to be the hardest to come back from. Pray for me in this transition, please.

This 7 Quick Takes post is linked up at Conversion Diary in the 7 Quick Takes carnival. Check it out for more 7 Quick Takes from tons of other bloggers.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Small Success Thursday, No. 3

I missed a week, but I have a really good excuse:

I was out of town last week. I left two Saturdays ago and returned home this past Sunday. That's nine days total. And I took the baby with me; six hours down, six hours back. I planned the drive around his eating schedule and he mostly slept the whole ride down. Very proud of myself for traveling alone with a baby.

Baby and I went to a conference together. We spent four nights in a hotel (the other part of the trip was spent at my parent's house) and he accompanied me to all my conference sessions and meetings. He attracted a lot of attention as the only baby at the conference. I told people that he was starting his resume early. He was called a music librarian in-the-making a fair number of times. The small success here was that I got very comfortable nursing in public and pretty much got the hang of the nursing cover. I've nursed in public before, but not this frequently for several days in a row. On the last day of the conference I even ran a roundtable meeting while feeding the baby.

As a family we gave up TV for Lent. Once I go back to work (next week ::sigh::) I don't think it'll be that big a deal. I like watching TV in the evenings, but I recognize that it has also become a huge time waster. I'd rather read to decompress than to be staring at the TV screen. However, this week while I'm still home, it's a bit tough. I had a few moments yesterday when I sat down to feed the baby and automatically reached for the remote. But I'm happy to report, that I kept myself in check and did not turn the TV on at all yesterday!! Day one of Lent: success!

What are your small successes this week? Share them over at