Thursday, April 23, 2015

Easter Touches and a Few Other Goings On

Checking in with a bit of the {pretty, happy, funny, real} over at Like Mother, Like Daughter on this very chilly April day.  (Seriously…snow in the air.)

My Easter mantel was finally done this week.  I realized I have more Lent decor than Easter and that just doesn't seem right so I made a colorful little banner and finally added some fresh flowers.  They're already dying but for the couple dollars I spent, it was worth it.  Plus, now I get to plant them outside for next year.  White tulips are one of my favorites.

I needed some Easter color.  I think I like how it turned out, although the colors in real life are a little bit brighter than I thought they'd be.

A little behind the scenes.  Burlap is lovely but so very messy.

Our table which is in process of being retransformed into the changing table.

And a kitchen message

John Paul made this cross a few years ago all on his own and now I love that we can put it up on Good Friday (though this year it was pouring so it waited until Saturday).  On Easter we add the white cloth.  John Paul wove a crown out of willow branches to add.

The rain hasn't been as bad as they keep predicting and my yard and I are very very grateful for that.  We even got a rainbow out of it the other evening.  The boys were so excited :)

We've even had a couple of days of very springish weather the last few weeks!  Look at that sky!!  It feels so good to be outside in the sun and the hens are so very very glad to not be quite literally cooped up anymore.  The yard is still pretty mushy but sun.  Oh, the sun feels so nice.

One of the things I'd really like to have done before baby is getting the porch set up.  Brian painted the floor over the weekend (yes, we have to paint it every year…the wood is OLD and the winter is brutal on it).  Once there's no longer a freeze danger I can grab some hanging flowers and get it all set for spring and summer porch relaxing.  So happy!

These boys.  They're crazy and adorable and exhausting.  We were hanging out waiting for Mass to begin in the church and they were running all over the stage at our school day.  Those faces get me.

John Paul and Michael finished up their guitar lessons.  This was their big closing concert ;)  It was quite hysterical to see these two little homeschool preppy boys on the stage with their guitars jamming (word used very very loosely) to Yellow Submarine and Get Up, Stand Up.  I really hope we can keep up with practicing and learning because it's a skill I'd really like them to have.

Birth supply organization in progress does not hamper lesson time :)
I actually really like this part of nesting…getting all the supplies and things ready.  And it definitely makes it all more real.

How's your Thursday?

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

This Post Brought to You by Pregnancy Insomnia

"I can't wait til the baby's born so I can sleep again."
Filed under:  Crazy things people with pregnancy insomnia say.

And it's really really true.  The last two babies (and dear God, please with this one) I have slept so much better after the baby is born than before.  Yes, you're waking up more BUT you can get right back to sleep when the nursing/changing/whatevering is done.  Not so when you're pregnant and insomnia hits like clockwork at 1:30 or 2 a.m. most nights and NO MATTER HOW BONE TIRED YOU ARE you cannot get back to sleep and you toss and turn your massively large stomach over and over in bed thinking about the following extremely productive things:

-why your husband will probably get cancer

-how you need to wash baby clothes but don't really want to (and feel guilty)

-how to put all the countries of the world in alphabetical order

-intermittently remembering to pray the Rosary

-the babies that are probably crying somewhere and feeling sad for them

-the laundry sitting in the dryer because you were too tired to fold before bed

-the blog posts you'd like to write

-the people you're praying for

and so on and so forth…

I've been up since 3:30 a.m. and it is now nearing 6 p.m.
Pregnancy insomnia.
BUT in its defense, today I've at least gotten a whole lot of things done.  Some days after a rough night, I'm pretty much a blob all day.  Today was one of those times when I ended up finally giving up at around 4:45 a.m. and (after a self-pitying cry) by 7:30, I had baked four loaves of bread, folded all the laundry, caught up on email,  bought a ceiling fan and curtain off Ebay, started washing all those baby clothes and two sets of sheets, and made breakfast.

By this evening I made three more loaves of bread (thanks to Rosie's recommended recipe), made a pot of soup (that totally failed…I will never succeed at lentils), brought down and organized all my birth supplies, taught the boys and got them through all their lessons, finished the baby clothes, washed two comforters, watched the boys through piano lessons, sold a wicker couch through Craigslist, began setting up the changing table, and figured out a new dinner all in time to get the boys off to baseball practice.

I mean, that's not the most productive day, but comparatively speaking to recent days and weeks, it was pretty darn good.
So I guess it has it's perks. 

Want to know some other things that made me cry this pregnancy?  Just for fun?  Sure you do.  It's fun to laugh at hormonal pregnant ladies (provided she's laughing with you…otherwise, I would offer a word of warning for your own protection ;)  I've been keeping a list for your amusement and my records of crazy pregnant memories:

-We started singing the wrong verse of "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" one evening during Advent.

-I was reading the ending of Jotham's Journey aloud to the boys.  (It's very touching, okay?)

-There was a girl playing the piano really well at our co-op.

-I thought about soldiers.

-I was tired - crazy tired but didn't even realize it until I stopped moving - one evening out and my sister innocently asked me how I was doing.  Like a giant two year old, I was.  

-Every time I saw another batch of #prayforpaul photos and, of course, when he passed.

-I found out that my sister-in-law was pregnant!  (Pray for her and her tiny little one, would you?)

-I watched a Parenthood episode.  (Fine.  Every time I watched a Parenthood episode.)

-My husband was about to make a joke about me eating too many Hershey's kisses.

-Every time someone came out for their final reveal at the Biggest Loser finale.

-I was receiving my ashes on Ash Wednesday.

-I thought about giving birth again.

-People cancelled party plans.

-During Confession

-I heard a story of a girl dying from cancer on the radio.

-I watched the opening scenes of Up.

-I saw the weather forecast predicting a full week of rain.

-My husband fell asleep faster than I did. 

-I felt huge and ugly.

-My husband started rubbing my feet and it felt so. good.

So, yeah, the hormones are abundant in sleeplessness and tears around these parts.  
And I'm not complaining, for real.  I find great amusement over my own dramatics and know that I am truly truly blessed.  This baby is such a gift.  And this baby is so crazy active.  Watching my stomach roll is weirdly fascinating and I love when the boys get to see it or feel it, too.  I don't know if I'll ever be pregnant again.  I've been through enough to know that we just never really do know what will happen or where God will lead our family and that each child is pure gift.  So although this pregnancy has been crazy hard, I'm doing my best to remind myself what a blessing and gift it all is.

Because really, it all is…dramatic tears and sleepless nights included…it's all gift.

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Saturday, April 18, 2015

20 Random Things That You Probably Don't Want to Know

So there's this thing going around Instagram tagging people to share twenty random things about themselves.  I've been tagged a bunch of times but the idea of typing all that on my phone makes me want to strangle something before even starting.  Give me a good old fashioned keyboard, please ;)  So I thought I'd share here (might as well make it an official post if I'm gonna do all that thinking and typing, amiright?) and then I can copy and paste to the IG, too.  

Speaking of Instagram, I ended up making my account private after reading and hearing some very concerning and ugly things about the safety of our kids and pictures.  I'd love to have you follow me and if you look non-suspicious I'll accept your request.  But gotta do what I can to protect these little people, you know?  Sorry the feed is no longer available in the sidebar or for those not on IG :(  Tell Instagram that they need to do a better job of safeguarding our images and I will totally change it back to public.

Okay, on to twenty things you never knew you wanted to know about me...

I picked my Confirmation name because it was pretty.  Bernadette.  I'm still waiting to feel some sort of connection with her and I feel guilty that I kind of wish I had picked something with a bit more personal meaning.  Not that she's not awesome but I probably should have had a deeper meaning to my choice, huh?

My nicknames growing up were Goose, Mary-Tware, Ant, Shotgun, Kiwi, Foze, and Mofo.

I've never broken a real bone but in one year in high school, I managed to have my nose broken and my ACL torn.  The nose incident happened in my friend Megan's pool when someone jumped in and I was underwater where they jumped.  I still feel badly about the blood and the mess they must've had to clean up while I went to the E.R.  You can still see a tiny bump and scar on my nose.  The knee required only arthroscopic surgery to "clean things up" but I don't have a real ligament in my right knee.  It still acts up from time to time.

In high school I think I attended four Barenaked Ladies concerts.  They were my fave.  But I never threw macaroni and cheese because that's just gross.

I am definitely a sufferer of Angry Resting Face.  (I know, others prefer to call it by a stronger name but I don't like swearing….which doesn't mean I don't sometimes do it in a heat of the moment thing but I don't like using it in normal convo, you know?)  My lips naturally turn down and even when I may be perfectly fine and just thinking, I look way too serious and I think people really get the wrong impression of me sometimes.  It makes me sad.  Seriously, people, it's just my face. #thestruggleisreal

I love throwing things away.  Not in a wasteful way but I gain a lot of satisfaction by detaching myself from clutter and if I may say so, I am really really good at keeping clutter out of my home and inbox and life.

But I am very bad at making small decisions.  Choosing the restaurant, what to order on the menu, color choices, clothes shopping.  They put me in a small state of panic.  Malls are my purgatory…all the choices!

My first car was a boxy VW Jetta that I bought myself and I loved it.  When I finally had to sell it, I got $200 for it.  I've also owned a Mazda Protege (stick), Mazda 626, Nissan Altima (short-lived…got rear ended and it was totaled), Hyundai Santa Fe, Toyota Sienna, and now a Hyundai Entourage (that I need to hit with an umbrella to make start).

Despite growing up in a house with five sisters, I am abysmally bad at things like makeup and hair and putting outfits together.

Which is probably because I was mostly a tomboy growing up, though I don't really like that word.  I loved collecting bugs, climbing trees, playing with my brother, and finding or buying various creature pets to keep in my room…hamsters, fish, salamanders, rats, mice, cats, stick bugs…  I couldn't stand anything I considered girly.  I used my First Communion money to buy a "science table" (which was really an MDF microwave cart) to store my microscope, ant farm, and various other sciency things.

For several years during that time I wanted to be an entomologist.  I don't at all desire that in the least anymore.

Several times growing up I saw one of our cats give birth.  Looking back, I wonder if that's what helped me to view birth as a normal and really cool thing.

I don't like bananas, pictures of myself, the feel of velvet, wet hair, confrontation, and those stringy, ligamenty things in whales' mouths that they use to filter their food.

I wish in college I had double majored and gotten a nursing degree.  That would put me way ahead now in pursuing a midwifery degree.  At this point, the requirements and time would put me near retirement.

I really wish I had curly hair.  For most of my life it was partly wavy but in the last few years has gotten bone straight.  I think curly hair fits me better.

I have a huge fear of heights.  And while I love the beach, the idea of the ocean totally freaks me out.  So does outer space.

I went through weird period of my life where the idea of heaven completely terrified me.  I was in fourth or fifth grade and would cry in bed thinking about it.  It was something about the idea of eternity and going on and on forever.  A friend of mine recently shared that she went through the same thing and it was surprisingly comforting that I wasn't the only one.  Now I can't wait for it.  Rest and all.

Okay, now another way weirder phase…for a short bit of time I used to pull off my toenails.  I think I did it five or six times.  Isn't that messed up?  Seriously, though.  What was wrong with me?

I first started college with a pre-law major.  I would have made a heck of a lawyer.

I love singing.  I will never ever be a soloist but I can carry a tune.  I was once asked when I felt most alive and the first thing that came to me is when I am singing praise and worship with a safe and like-minded group of people.

So…that's it.  Now you can tell me one random thing about you so I don't feel so weird :)

Oh, I'm supposed to include a photo, huh?  Instagram and all…
No, but seriously, pictures of yourself are the worst. 
 #blackandwhiteismoreflattering #swollenpregnantface #doneramblingaboutmyselfnow

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

This Month in Boys - April 2015

-a monthly recap of some of the things I just don't want to forget-

John Paul

-scored a 97 on his Junior Festival piano performance.
-finished the guitar class he was taking with Michael.
-has been all into the new obsession of domino and block tracks and recording them ALL with my phone.
-has been rereading all the Mistmantle books.
-is a Seattle Mariner this year.
-made $26.25 picking up sticks and leaves in the yard.  We only pay them one penny for small sticks, a dime for huge branches, and a quarter per wheelbarrow of leaves.  Which should show you what a mess this winter left our yard.  Totally worth it.
-always wants to altar serve and will check at every Mass if there is someone there or not.
-predicts that the baby is a girl, will be seven lbs. four oz., and will be born May 17.


-scored a 98 (and didn't make one mistake!) on his Junior Festival (and first ever public) performance!
-is very excited to start baseball and will be playing on the Rays.
-despite being the one who prompted my putting them into guitar, was less than enthusiastic about the actual practicing and work involved.
-has decided to read The Hobbit.  He's gotten through page one.  But just the very fact that he's motivated to read something on his own is a very good thing.
-used to eat like a bird and now is more than making up for it.  He still has the tiniest frame but he's definitely getting taller.
-made $8.50 with his yard work contributions.
-is sure the baby is a girl, will weigh about seven pounds, and will be born on Papa's birthday (May 19).


-inspired by Michael Jr., has been keeping his bear (or really, the bear from my childhood) as his baby and wanting to bring him everywhere.
-was sick for Easter Sunday :(
-grossed $2.77 in yard work duty.
-all day on Holy Saturday and during the first part of the Vigil kept asking over and over if it was time to finally get to say Alleluia.
-is on lesson 70 in the 100 Easy Lessons reading book and is doing fabulously.  I can't even believe that he'll soon be six and I will need to start reporting him to the district next year.
-was signed up for tee ball until I came to my senses and realized that it starts the same week I'm due, I'm already overwhelmed with baseball for two, and he'll only be six and six year olds don't need to be playing on league teams and are easily distractible with other fun things (like new babies).
-loves playing "the floor is lava" game with Michael and Luke.
-thinks the baby is a girl, will be four pounds, and will be born the Sunday after his birthday (which would be May 10).


-is now a member of the big boy room.  Four boys in one 12x12 room.  It's cute and not going all that badly, surprisingly.
-Mama:  "Well, maybe if we pray, God might blow the clouds away."
Luke:  "Papa would blow the clouds away.  He's the best blower….Or John Paul.  He's a big blower machine."
-has been officially potty trained during the day for about a month.  Not night time all the way yet, but close.  He's my first where it didn't all just coincide.  With the others, one of the first signs they were ready was waking up dry.
-has really turned a corner with his behavior…except when he's overtired.  He still gives that impish little look when he knows he's doing something wrong and is trying to get away with something.  I'm more than a little nervous about the thought of taking care of him PLUS a new baby.
-raked in 79 cents with his stick work.
-is slowly losing his aversion to chocolate.  But judging from the bedtime after he had some, we'll probably keep its distance for a good long while.
-predicts the baby is a boy, will weigh in at four inches and will be born "at Lent…I mean, after my birthday (which is in...December)."

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