Friday, May 30, 2014

7 Quick Takes Friday: Sick Baby (Sort of), Prayer Group Resurrected, The Zoo and Large Family Comments, and Adventures in Poop


Last week we had a sick baby. Poor guy was not too happy Tuesday. He did well on Wednesday with the help of some Tylenol, but we went on in to the doctor on Thursday and found out he had an ear infection. We got an antibiotic. I'm not crazy about going that route, but the poor guy is so little and I felt bad for him. Well, I shouldn't have felt bad. I couldn't figure out how to get the stupid medicine in him. We tried a dropper (about 25% effective), a syringe (0% effective), and mixing it with breast milk in a bottle (50% effective). So by Saturday night I was done. We tried with a bottle on Sunday morning since that method had actually worked once, and he completely refused it. At that point I figured the antibiotic was pretty useless anyway. And Silas was doing great. So we moved on.


Up until this week, I was about 4 or 5 days ahead of Silas in terms of stored breast milk in the fridge. It was nice to have a buffer and every once in a while I would freeze some so I didn't have an overabundance in the fridge. Last Tuesday I pumped once at work before I got the phone call that baby was sick. I ended up home the rest of the week and then we had a three day weekend. So by this Tuesday I had moved a lot of the milk from the fridge into the freezer and all I had left was the 4 ounce bottle from the previous Tuesday. So I'm slowly catching back up again this week. He's had plenty to drink each day between what I had in the fridge, taking out a frozen bag from four months ago, and pumping each day. My pumping sessions basically get me just enough for him for the next day, but sometimes I'm a little short. This is why I really liked having that buffer. Tuesday I pumped 7 ounces; he normally eats around 8 ounces during the time he's at day care. By some miracle I managed to get about 9 ounces on Wednesday. So now I have a tiny bit extra. Maybe I can build up that buffer again. 

I will say too, I was actually wondering if I really needed this buffer and if I was ever going to use all the milk I keep freezing. (One day I need to go through all the frozen stuff and see how much I have, I'm very curious!) I learned this week that this is why I need that buffer and why I have all this frozen milk. It will get used. Eventually.


My Cursillo small group has gotten back together again! It has been over a year since we last met, maybe longer. It was so nice to get together again, share what we've been doing, how we're growing closer to Christ, and to pray together. We're now meeting once a month, early on a Saturday morning so as to not interfere with the day too much (translation: not leave the kids with the husbands for too long), and I think this is going to work out great. Very much looking forward to this continuing!


Saturday (after my Cursillo group met) we packed up the kids and headed up 75 to the Cincinnati Zoo. We had last been there in October, so the boys are a bit older now and seem much more interested. Plus, I was 7 months pregnant then, so I was kind of tired on that trip and moving slowly. This was a perfect time to go. The boys had a great time (they got to ride the train!!) and they loved the animals. I also got to wear Silas in the ring sling and he fell asleep while he was in it. He is so cute when he falls asleep in the sling. He has the most contented look on his face. I love it so much!!


While at the zoo we were heading up a ramp towards the area where the giraffes are and we passed a family on their way down. I really didn't notice them too much because I was pushing the stroller, had Silas in the sling on me, and was trying to keep Ethan from running into someone (he was holding a handle attached to the stroller, which I think makes him feel secure enough that he doesn't think he needs to look forward, so he's often walking way off to the side as far as the handle's cord will stretch and looking off at things to the side or behind us; thus, I spend a lot of time with my hand on his head guiding him forward and keeping him from running into other people or other things).  Hubby was just ahead of us with Peter and the wagon, but close enough that it was obvious that we were all together (each of us with a toddler that look identical to each other probably gave it away too). Anyway, this family passes us, but like I said, I didn't notice them too much (I mean, come on, it's the zoo on a Saturday, there are a lot of people around). But I looked up when this girl said something obviously directed at us. She couldn't have been more than 11 or 12 years old, but she distinctly made a comment in our direction about the number of children we had. Her exact words:

"Three kids?! What a pain!"

Seriously? It's only three. Even the family behind us heard and the woman behind me commented on how rude the girl's comment was. I was just speechless! But it really made me wonder about this girl's parents. What in the world are they saying in front of their child that an 11 or 12 year old girl is commenting on someone's "large" family? Or that an 11 or 12 year old girl even has it in her head that three kids is too many? For Pete's sake, it's only three kids! I know so many people with way more than three!

I think that was my first encounter with a rude "too many children" comment. I just never expected it to come from someone so young. How sad.


A Catholic moms group I'm in often has a "Toddlers in the Pew" thread on Sundays. We certainly have our share of adventures there, but this past Sunday it was the 5 month old who showed everyone up. It was during Communion, we had already received and gotten back to the pew, had knelt to pray; Silas was a little antsy so I sat back on the edge of the pew with him just to change position a little bit. Then I heard a familiar noise and quickly moved my hand off his bottom. I've been there too many times: he poops, my hand is right there, the poop goes right up his back. Only this time it did not go up his back. It somehow managed to go out his legs ... and then got on my shirt ... my pants ... and, yes, even my shoes. *Big heavy sigh.* Very quickly I put him in his car seat, grabbed the diaper bag and my purse and left immediately. I mumbled something quickly to Hubby as I rushed out, leaving him with both of the boys.

So I head out of the church, trying not to knock over people waiting in the communion lines as I try to get out as quickly as possible. I head toward the hallway down which the bathrooms are located and where I know there is a real changing table, not just one of those pull down things, and I pull on the door and it doesn't budge. It tried a few more times and nothing. How could the door be locked!! I was mortified!

Now, let me pause here and say this. I have never known this door to be locked, particular when there are lots of people in the building. Several hours after this event happened, I was thinking about it and, in the heat of the moment, I realize I wasn't thinking clearly. I distinctly remember looking between the doors and did not see the deadbolt between them. And yet I couldn't open the door. Why? It's possible the door should have been pushed and not pulled. Once again: *Big heavy sigh.*

But since at the time I thought the door was locked, I panicked, momentarily. Then I realized that the nursery was across the hall and I knew they would have a changing table. Plus really nice volunteers, mostly all moms themselves, who would take pity on me. Until I got Silas on the changing table, I didn't realize the extent of the mess. Ick! It was bad.

On top of all that, by the time I had us cleaned up (as much as I could anyway), Mass was over and I wasn't seeing the rest of my family leaving the church. So I hauled Silas back in to find Hubby still in the pew. I was a bit annoyed at first until I realized that he stayed there because there was also poop on the kneeler and the floor.

Yep, it was bad. 


Finally, this is birthday season around here! Wednesday was Hubby's 43rd birthday. Happy Birthday, Honey! And today is the boys 3rd birthday! Can you believe they are already 3 years old? We're having a small party (not even really a party, but that's what we're calling it) on Saturday with just us and both sets of grandparents. This is such a fun age for birthdays! It's the first time they really understand it. As much as a 3 year old can understand these things. It should be fun and I promise to take some pictures. We're having a purple and yellow themed birthday party for them. I can explain why later.

Have a great weekend and check out Jen's 7 Quick Takes over at Conversion Diary. Thanks for hosting, Jen!!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Small Success Thursday, No. 7

Wow, April 10 was the last time I did a "Small Success" post. Time is totally getting away from me these days! My days are full, seem chaotic, and the failures often loom large. There are so many failures or things forgotten. It's precisely for that reason that I need to try and take some time every now and then to recognize the things that have been successes, however small. And believe me, my successes are teeny tiny these days!

So here we go:

I shaved my legs. [Small successes, right?] Seriously, this hasn't been done in a long time. I was pregnant, we moved, the shower in our bathroom is small, winter happened (and who really needs to shave in winter, #amiright?), and then we planned a trip to the zoo and it's gotten hot. So yeah, I finally broke down and used the tub in the other bathroom. It felt so good!!

A small success at work: I finally cataloged a music score that had been sitting on a shelf by my desk for *coughcough* almost 4 years *coughcough*. Don't know why I left this particular one for so long. Just one of those things that gets forgotten. But it felt great to get it done and pass it on and see an empty space on a shelf. An empty space that I expect will get filled up pretty quickly again.

Last night I turned the TV off at 8:00 PM. This is a big deal. I often feed the baby around 7 PM and turn on the TV to watch Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy. Once the TV is on, it tends to stay on, which means I don't get a whole lot done the rest of the evening. Last night I turned it off once Jeopardy ended [have you been watching it, I've been cheering on the champion now for weeks, love it!]. The boys went to bed a little after 8 PM and I was able to get the dishes finished, clean off the kitchen table, vacuum under it, get Silas' bottles ready for the next day, switch the laundry to the drier, and feed the baby one last time and get him to bed, all by 10:30 PM. I then was able to sit back and read from A Well-Built Faith and write up a short blog post on chapter 1. It felt great to get all that stuff done early in the evening and then have some time to myself rather than what I've been doing, which is the reverse and is very stressful.

Those are mine for this week. How about you? Join in on the fun over at

Lawn Chair Catechism, Week 1: Part 1, Chapter 1

This summer I am challenging myself to read and keep up with the Lawn Chair Catechism book being discussed over at The book this summer is A Well-Built Faith: A Catholic's Guide to Knowing and Sharing What We Believe by Joe Paprocki.

If you want to join in, the complete schedule is at the Lawn Chair Catechism page and includes a link to the Leader's Guide (where the weekly discussion questions can be found). It's not too late if you want to join in. Just get the book and start reading and jump in whenever you can.

So here we go:

My first thought, when I saw the acronym H.E.L.P., I got worried. It often takes me a while to remember what an acronym stands for, especially when it's not just one word for each initial, as is the case with this one. But, just one chapter in and I think I'm getting the hang of it. Maybe! I'm sure I'll be flipping back to the Introduction throughout my reading of the book to constantly refresh my memory.

But I like the idea of it:
H = Holding onto the faith (the Creed)
E = Expressing the faith (sacraments)
L = Living the faith (Catholic morality)
P = Praying the faith (prayer)

By the end of the book, I may have this well ingrained in my head. Let's hope!

Tonight, before I got around to reading this first chapter, I was nursing the baby in his room before putting him to bed. As I rocked in the glider and he ate I realized that I did not bring my iPod Touch up with me as I usually do. I got over the initial disappointment rather quickly as I came to the realization that this was a perfect time for some prayer time with God. A good time to speak with him and try to listen as well.

It was hard at first. Unfortunately I don't do this often enough. I hate to admit that, but what better time for a little honesty, right? So I found myself contemplating the intellectual knowledge of God versus the emotional or "heart knowledge" of God. I always feel like I understand things on an intellectual level and I accept them on that level, but that I lack in the area of pure emotional love for God.

Imagine my surprise when I started reading and got to the part where Paprocki discusses ideas versus beliefs. It was all right there! To believe requires both head and heart. The head part is easy for me; the heart part I find a little tougher. I often find myself asking God, "Lord, I believe, help my unbelief."

In the little of this book I have read so far, I think it will speak well to my thirst for head knowledge. On the other hand, I can see that it will likely help foster my desire for my heart to swell with a greater belief in our beautiful faith, too. It's there now, it's just not as balanced as it should be.

This first chapter establishes what the four pillars of the Catholic Church are. I'm looking forward to getting deeper into each pillar and the richness found within each.

To wrap this up, this section from the Introduction chapter speaks to me strongly and gets to the heart of my own need to balance things:

"God is actively present in our lives, shaping us into the person that reflects his divine image. Learning about our faith is not simply an intellectual exercise. It is a movement of the heart. St. Anselm taught that theology can be thought of as 'faith seeking understanding.'" (pg. xiv)

This reminds me that I am right where God wants me to be. I may be more drawn to learning about the faith on an intellectual level, but God will use that to help shape me to accept more and more with my heart. It strikes me in a powerful way. It makes me wonder what all God has in store for me!

How exciting!!

This post is linked up to Part 1: The Creed and Chapter 1: Laying a Firm Foundation {Lawn Chair Catechism} at Come on over and check out the discussion.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Growing Kids and (Hopefully) Veggies

Everything is growing around here. It's spring!!

Silas is now 5 months old, as of Monday. Here's the picture I took of him:

I've been playing around with the website The above picture is the result of playing around with several different features. Fun, right?

Anyway, he's getting so big. And he's such a happy baby, too. He's a little under the weather this week, but generally he is so good and smiles so easily.

The boys are hitting an interesting phase. They are almost three and I think I'm becoming a believer in the "Terrible Threes." Without going into detail, things have just been ... well, challenging, for lack of a better word. Hopefully we'll all survive this next year.

Besides our growing boys we're also hoping to have a garden this year. We're getting a late start, but since it was actually cool this last week, it seems to be a late starting growing season this year anyway. Not that I really know, I've never done this before. But Hubby has been hard at work building our raised garden beds.

The house we bought last summer had a garden spot already that was overgrown and obviously neglected. Hubby cleaned it up and it's been sitting there ever since, waiting for us to do something with it.

Hubby working on the raised beds (the frame is upside down in these pictures):

He has two of these almost done now, which will give us four spaces of about 4 feet by 4 feet each. I plan on documenting more of this endeavor, so expect more pictures soon.

And one last picture. I tried taking some pictures of Silas and I using our new ring sling. Selfies aren't really my thing, but here's the best I could do:
He looks like a redhead here, but he's definitely a blondie (for now)
Bonus picture, the boys were in the backyard while I was taking pictures of the garden area and they insisted I take their picture too:

Friday, May 16, 2014

Today's Post at Catholic Sistas

I have a post today over at Catholic Sistas. I decided to do another "The Catechism at Random" post. These are always fun. Put the last paragraph number form the Catechism into and it spits out a number. I go to that paragraph and that's where I get my post topic from.

This one was a little difficult at first, but ended up being a good reflection. At least for me.

If you are not familiar with the Catechism or you're not Catholic and don't know what the Catechism is, let me share what it is briefly. Basically, it contains all of the teachings of the Catholic Church. Practically everything in there has references to the Bible or to the writings of the early Church fathers.

If you're curious about the Catholic Church and her teachings I would recommended checking out this online version found at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church's website. You can also get a version here or check out your public library.

Anything you ever wanted to know about what Catholics believe can be found here. And don't forget to check out my post as well on The Catechism at Random. I'm thinking I might do more of these posts in the future, too. It's a great way for me to learn as well. There is always something new to learn in our vast and rich Catholic faith.

Hope you enjoy!

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Tuesday's Awesome Mail Delivery

Tuesday I shared on Facebook that I had received two packages in the mail that day. I took a picture of the two items I received and then my iPod died. So I couldn't post the picture. So I left everyone hanging in suspense. Aren't I nice? Haha!

I was so excited to get home on Tuesday and see some packages on the front stoop. Here's what I found when I opened them all up:

It was an exciting day!

I'm so excited to get Jen Fulwiler's book, Something Other Than God. I've been reading her blog now for a long time and following the drama of her book writing. And I'm always so fascinated by conversion stories. So I've been looking forward to reading Jen's for almost as long as she's been talking about writing it. I'm anticipating several very late nights as I try to squeeze in time to read it between when the baby goes to bed and when I do. Maybe one day I'll figure out how to hold a book while nursing. Um, yeah ... probably not. One way or another, this book is near the top of my reading list at the moment.

My other fun package was the pretty Maya Ring Sling that also arrived on Tuesday. You all know that I also write for Catholic Sistas, which grew out of a Catholic online community I am a part of. I was looking for a used ring sling and one of my Catholic Sistas offered me this one. Totally free! Can you believe it?! I'm so grateful and so touched by this awesome community. One day I will reciprocate in some way. Don't know how or when, but I trust God will take care of the details.

So for those of you who are friends with me on Facebook and saw my mysterious status update, this was the reason for my excitement! A new book, hot off the press by one of my favorite Catholic bloggers and a new ring sling from a wonderful Catholic friend. It was Catholic gift Tuesday here!

Friday, May 02, 2014

7 Quick Takes Friday: Babies, Babywearing, Breastmilk woes, and Books


Can you believe it is already May?!? How did that happen. I'm still sometimes writing 2013. But May is a great month. It signals that Spring is truly here. We may still have some cool days here and there, but the grass has finally greened up, the tulips are out, trees are flowering, you can feel the humidity in the air when it rains rather than that dank chill, and neighbors start emerging from their homes and everyone catches up on life since winter set in. May is also when we remember our daughter Brigit, we celebrate Hubby's birthday and the twin's birthday, and we recognize all mothers. And speaking of mothers, May is also Mary's month. Our beautiful, heavenly mother. The Mother of God. In honor of Mary's month, I put together a 7 Quick Takes post on Catholic Sistas on Lesser Known Marian Titles. I found some interesting ones. You may know some or most of the ones on my list, but I hope there will be at least one that is new to you. Come on over and check it out (but don't forget to come back here, too).


Baby Silas has decided that Mommy has had it too easy lately, so he's mixed up his schedule for me. Ah, the joy! Don't you just love the ever changing schedules of babies? Just when you think you know what's coming next they change things up. Way to keep mom on her toes! Lately, Silas has decided he doesn't need to eat as much during the day and instead eats for five hours straight (sort of) when we get home. It makes for a long evening. I either get nothing done at all or I stay up until 2 in the morning in order to make sure we have clean clothes for everyone. At the moment, I have one side of the couch piled with folded laundry that's been there since Wednesday night and a load of clean clothes sitting in the drier, also since Wednesday. I told Hubby that if he needed anything he should check the drier. Ha!! It's amazing how such a little person can have complete control over a household!


Wraps, ring slings, and mei tais, oh my! Are you into Babywearing? We didn't try with the twins (well, we had a Baby Bjorn at one point, but we never really liked it and I've since heard that's it's not a very good carrier for babies). With Silas i wanted to be able to wear him some so I could have my hands free for the other two little people I often have to keep up with. I borrowed a wrap before he was born from the local babywearing group but I didn't really care for it. I don't think Silas liked it either. When putting him into it I felt like I was wrapping a furnace around myself. So I returned that. I bought an Infantino Mei Tai and that has actually worked some, though mostly when he's sound asleep. I still like it and want to use it more, I really feel lie he could like it if he gives it a chance. The only issue I have with it is the long tails (which are needed). There's no way I could use it in the parking lot of the grocery store, the tails would be all over the ground while I was getting it on.

So on Sunday I went to a meeting this local babywearing group was having. I got some tips with the mei tai which was really helpful and I learned that people who love their mei tais tend to use something different when they are out (like at the grocery store). Although I was resistant to the idea of a ring sling, I agreed to at least try it. Wouldn't you know, I actually liked it. Silas didn't seem to at first, but then he calmed down and almost fell asleep.
At the babywearing meeting
So I decided to go looking for a used ring sling. I really liked the one I have on in the picture above, so I went searching for that brand specifically. After one failed attempt to acquire one, a friend in Alaska offered me hers as a gift. It's in route now and I can't wait to get it!! I have the most awesome friends!
Peter among all the wraps, slings, and other carriers


The twins LOVE the library! The meeting we went to on Sunday was held in one of the large meeting rooms at our local public library. It happens to be the library that is closest to our house and we've been there many times. When we left the meeting, the boys were holding on to the stroller. The exit was to our left, the entrance to the library was to our right. Peter was on my right and he pointed to the library and said, "That way." I checked the hours quickly and the library was still open for another 30 minutes so we went in. We checked out 4 books and these have been the only books the boys want to read all week. I love that they love books! It's so precious to see them sitting in their car seats in the back of the van, each with a book in his lap, looking like they are reading as we are driving along. It's seriously the cutest thing ever!


And speaking of books, I won a book! The radio show I listen to every evening on my way home from work (on our local Catholic radio station) always has a trivia question and a prize during the hour-long show. I don't usually bother calling in if I know the answer because I'm in and out of the car with day care pick ups and then have children in the back who aren't always quiet. The other day I heard the question, knew the answer, but no one else was calling in. So with just 10 minutes to spare in the show, I finally called and gave them the correct answer. And I won a book!! I got Saint Francis, Pope Francis: A Common Vision. Looking forward to reading it.

The question, by the way: What is the Cathedral parish in Rome? [The answer at the end of this post]


Have I mentioned before how stressful breastfeeding is? Okay, okay, I know, I've mentioned it numerous times. Here's a new stress though: a baby that doesn't want to eat the milk you've pumped, the milk has already been warmed up, and you end up throwing it away. So sad!!! I had been bringing two 4-ounce bottles to day care each day. Now I'm back to four 2-ounce bottles because I was tired of throwing so much away. He's only eating 2-3 ounces while at day care. Thus why he eats so much in the evening (see #2 above). I had read that some babies will do this and that's fine, I just need to plan for it (until he changes again). On top of that I get stressed out when I have a day in which I only pump 7 ounces all day. I feel like I need to be pumping 8 ounces. But now he's not even drinking 8 ounces during the day (he was, just not any longer). I stress about it and then suddenly I have a day where I pump 9 or 10 ounces. I know I shouldn't stress about it, it's all working out so far and we're getting closer and closer to the 6 month mark, but I can't help it. As stressful as this is and as much as I hate pumping and don't necessarily enjoy breastfeeding, I know this is good for him (and for me) and I want him to get as much out of it as he can. Plus I know we're lucky to be able to continue doing this.

So when Hubby poo-poos my stress at throwing milk away and tells me I can "just pump more," I get a little angry. Not proud of it and it's hard for a man to understand the emotions tied up in all that breast milk. But i managed to take a deep breathe and let it go ... eventually. We'll make it through this.


What are your weekend plans? Here in KY the Derby is all important. Hubby had run out of bourbon so he bought a fresh bottle and he might be making some mint juleps this weekend. I may be spending my weekend packing up the maternity clothes and unpacking the boxes of clothes that are still taking up space in my closet from our move last August. I think it's time to finally go through everything and figure out what I have, what I can donate, and what I can pack up for now. It's got to get done before we've been in the house a year. Has to!!!

Have a wonderful weekend. Go check out Conversion Diary for more 7 Quick Takes posts and while you're there congratulate Jen on her book which just came out on Tuesday. I pre-ordered my copy and can't wait for it to arrive. Any day now!