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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Is it spring yet?

I am going to try not to constantly be a negative person this winter, it not only probably annoys everyone who hears me (except for Nina), but it also contributes to me thinking about things that just put me in a bad mood.

But the first day with real snow seemed like a good time to express my true feelings on winter.

It's not that I hate winter, I think it's sort of pretty, I love snow on Christmas, I like sledding and ice skating and building snowmen. But really, I think all of those things can be taken care of in a couple of weeks time, even a month would be fine. It could snow and snow and snow the whole month of December, look great for Christmas and New Year and then warm up to 65 degrees on January 2nd.

Admit it, it looks pretty at first, it's new and exciting, but March and even April most years I am so so tired of scraping my car window every time I want to go anywhere. Putting all 3 kids into coats, and hats, and mittens, and boots. By the time we are all dressed, everyone is crabby and leaving the house seems like a bad idea.

I get tired of constantly having the bottom 4 inches of my pants get soaking wet anytime I walk outside for even a minute. And even better, if you walk on any sidewalks (I guess I won't have to worry about that this year) you get those lovely salt stains that dry on your pants to remind you until you wash them again just how annoying winter can be.

I hate not seeing the sun. I probably have Seasonal Affective Disorder. I'm not just saying it makes me crabby, I genuinely feel better on sunny days, or longer days. So the thought of the days still getting shorter, with the sun rarely making an appearance just makes me want to curl up in bed and do nothing for the next 4 months. 

See, even typing that is sort of depressing. I can look forward to 4 solid months of snow and cold with rarely a break.

I will not even get into how much I dislike being cold. I'm the sort of person who carries around a hoodie in the middle of summer just in case I get a chill. At least I am not pregnant this winter, that just sent me right over the edge. Being cold, and not being able to find clothes that fit properly to keep me warm? Worst. Thing. Ever. Oh and itchy dry stretched out skin. ugh. It's like nails on a chalkboard just remembering.

But like I said in the beginning, I'll try not to make this a daily complaint, but they will definitely be daily thoughts from now until April sometime.

Is it spring yet?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Nathan's first dream

I know the boys have been having dreams for a while, but yesterday was the very first time Nathan woke up and remembered that it happened. It was so exciting to hear him talk about it and explain what went on. I'm pretty sure he thought it was some sort of magical world that took him someplace else, and then brought him back home.

He said that when he closed his eyes he was outside, and he was going to a train station. When he got to the train station he was looking for mom and dad. When he finally found us, he asked me for some fries and pumpkin pie. Which we gave him. Then when he opened his eyes he was back home in his room.

He woke up and that was all he could talk about, like he couldn't believe that it just happened. I can't wait to hear more stories about dreams in the future!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Knitting

I've been slacking a bit on the Thankful posts, weekends are always crazy, and then Monday I just plain forgot.

Today I am thankful for knitting!

It still amazes me after nearly 3 years of knitting, that I can create things from nothing more than yarn, needles and my brain. It's just so neat!

Not to mention relaxing, I'm not sure I would have survived this long through motherhood if I didn't find a hobby as relaxing as knitting.

Unlike sewing, one of my older hobbies, I can carry it with me, set it down in the middle of working on it, work on it while watching a movie, playing with kids, even reading a story. It's such an accommodating hobby which is key when my life isn't exactly predictable and rigid.

Elise is being a stubborn model today, so no pictures of her new sweater just yet, but I promise to get at least one good one of it on Thanksgiving. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Noah 3

1. What is your favorite color? Blue
2. What is your favorite toy? Blocks
3. What is your favorite fruit? Orange
4. What is your favorite tv show? Toy Story
5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Sandwich
6. What is your favorite outfit? Pants and shirts that are blue
7. What is your favorite game? Dr. Suess matching game
8. What is your favorite snack? Cookies
9. What is your favorite animal? Elephants and dogs
10. What is your favorite song? ABC
11. What is your favorite book? Green Eggs and Ham
12. Who is your best friend? Nathan
13. What is your favorite cereal? Blue cereal
14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Go down the slide
15. What is your favorite drink? Orange Juice
16. What is your favorite holiday? Santa (Christmas)
17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? My pillow
18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Pancakes
19. What is your favorite thing to eat for dinner? Stir fry
20. What do you want to be when you grow up? I want to be Spiderman


Nathan 4

I saw this cute idea to ask kids the same questions every year on their birthday. Nathan's birthday was 2 months ago, but I'm doing it anyway instead of waiting 10 months to start! Noah's answers coming soon

1. What is your favorite color? Red
2. What is your favorite toy? The track that has the exploding bridge
3. What is your favorite fruit? Pear
4. What is your favorite tv show? Cars
5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Peanut butter and Jelly sandwiches, and a pretzel and crackers, and peanuts and some apples
6. What is your favorite outfit? The train shirt and train pants
7. What is your favorite game? Candyland
8. What is your favorite snack? Pear
9. What is your favorite animal? Elephant and a giraffe and a monkey
10. What is your favorite song? Candyland (he made it up himself), and the Mall song (Let's go to the mall from How I Met Your Mother)
11. What is your favorite book? The dinosaur one that has a penguin in it
12. Who is your best friend? Uncle Ben and Uncle Joey and Noah bee and Baby Elie and Mommy and Daddy
13. What is your favorite cereal? Blueberry
14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Play basketball
15. What is your favorite drink? Orange Juice and juice boxes and water
16. What is your favorite holiday? Halloween
17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? My nighty night bear
18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Cereal
19. What is your favorite thing to eat for dinner? Soup
20. What do you want to be when you grow up? Buzz Lightyear


Friday, November 18, 2011

Playgroup

Today I am thankful that we have a great church sponsored playgroup to be a part of.

The boys love their time playing with the other kids, and it's nice to have some other moms to talk to as well!

Today they made a hand print ornament to put on our Christmas tree, I can't wait to get out the ornaments they made last year and compare!

Ballet

I forgot to post last night, but yesterday I was thankful for ballet!

I started dancing when I was 8 (well one year of creative movement somewhere in there, but I usually leave it off since it wasn't consecutive with the other years) and I was hooked.

I danced all the way through high school and college with varying intensity, and mostly focusing on ballet, but threw some modern, jazz, swing dancing and some theatrical choreography in there too.

I was never good enough (or had any real desire because of the intensity and short career) to be a professional dancer, but I was really sad when college ended and it seemed my ballet dancing days were over.

About 5 months after Noah was born, I found an adult ballet class being taught by an old family friend and I was hooked again.

A few months later I accepted a position to teach ballet at the same studio, and I absolutely love it!

I still take adult ballet classes with my sister Nina, though most of the time my head remembers the steps better than my body does. But I've had so much fun being able to stay connected to something that I've loved for so long.

It's more than exercise, and it sounds cheesy, but I really feel like it's a way to express myself. Dancing is more than just knowing the steps and executing them, it's about being part of them. The best technique in the world can still make you a boring dancer if you don't put some of yourself into it as well.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Kid Scissors

Today I am thankful for kid scissors.

You know, the kind that barely cut paper? 

And have a difficult time cutting yarn?

Because if they had been real scissors, then this gown I am getting ready to pop in the mail to it's new owner would have been in several pieces.
 

And a certain child of mine would have spent about 3 hours in a time out today instead of 3 minutes. 

And I would have wept openly.

Why is it that kids just really seem to be drawn to cutting things they shouldn't? We have a very strict "scissors are for paper only, but not books" policy in this house. And they are always used under supervision. Though somehow in the 30 seconds it took me to pick the baby up off the floor, Noah was out of this room with scissors and the gown and working on making his first cut.

I screamed so loud (in shock and in an attempt to get him to stop) that I am sure the poor baby is traumatized for life. He dropped those scissors faster than I have ever seen him do anything, and hopefully it startled him enough to never try something like that again.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

St. Anthony

Yes, I know my last post was about Anthony, this one is about St. Anthony and completely unrelated ;)

For the last few years it has been driving me absolutely crazy that I cannot find my copy of St. Faustina's Diary. I was really wondering if it had gotten thrown away, or left somewhere. The last time I remember having it, was in our first house right after we were married, about 4.5 years ago. Since then, no amount of searching has helped me find it.

Even when we moved back in the spring, I looked through each box we packed hoping I would find it, but no such luck.

I was on the verge of purchasing a new copy, since I was feeling like it was time for a read again.

Then, today, in the middle of every mom's worst nightmare, sorting through about a million games, puzzles and toys, I decided to check out the office closet to see if any pieces had made there way in there.

And sitting right out in plain sight, the only thing on top of the box right in front of me when I opened the door, was my copy of St. Faustina's Diary! And then nearby, two medals, St. Michael and St Francis Xavier, each of who have very significant meanings to me!

I asked Anthony (my husband, not the Saint) if he had found them while looking for anything, and he said it's possible, but doesn't have any memory of finding the 700 page book.

So thank you St. Anthony for answering my 4 year long prayer!

Anthony

Oops I forgot to post yesterday. I ended up working for a few hours which I normally don't do on Monday's and it threw my evening schedule off!

Anyway, you may have noticed I don't post about Anthony very often. It's not because he isn't awesome and worth posting about...it's because he hates when I write about him in my blog.

But lately he's been extra awesome, so I have to be extra thankful for him.

I sometimes hear other mom's complain that their husbands don't spend enough time with their kids, or know how to take care of their kids, or help out around the house. I guess it just seemed normal to me that a husband and dad would do all of these things, I had a pretty awesome dad too!


In the last few weeks Anthony has watched all 3 kids (and took them to mass!) while I was helping with the Life Teen retreat. He's made them dinner, fed them and put them to bed 4 of the last 6 nights alone while I was either teaching ballet, helping with Life Teen or even while I got to go paint some pottery with other mom's last week.

He not only changes diapers (which I have heard some dad's won't do) but he changes cloth diapers AND sprays them for me. The few times we've had to use disposable diapers, he comments that he can't wait until we can use "real" diapers again.

He holds the baby in the evenings so I can get some knitting done.


He cleans up around the house, and while I do more by default since I am here all day, he helps out when he's home and there is more work to do.

He knows HOW to clean up around the house, do laundry and cook. I am shocked at the number of adult men who somehow do not have these skills! I never have to worry about leaving him, because he knows how to take care of the kids and the house as well as I do. It's not my house and kids, they are ours.

He even cut the boys hair this week. I've done it before, but he's just so much better at it than I am, I'm glad when he is the one to do it.

And there are a million more reasons I love him, but these are the ones that have popped out in the last week or so. Things that maybe not everyone thinks of as "normal" but things I sometimes take for granted because they have become so normal for us.

And now there will probably not be an Anthony post for a long time :)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Tonight I am thankful for the sleeping baby in my lap. 

The one who refuses to sleep in her crib, who wakes up the second I put her down because she wants to be close to me.

Who smiles when she see my face, and cries if she wakes up and I'm not there.

She might keep me from getting things done, or having "free time" in the evenings, but I really am thankful to be holding her.

I saw this blog for the first time today, and cannot imagine the heartache this family must be feeling tonight.

I'm holding my kids a little bit tighter today, and thankful they are hear to whine and argue and refuse to eat their dinner.



Saturday, November 12, 2011

Pumpkins!

Today I am thankful for pumpkins. Yes, I do realize I just had a whole month devoted to my love of pumpkins...I don't care!

Tonight, a dream one year in the making is coming true!

With the help of my brothers and sister in law, we are finally having a pumpkin party.

I'm drooling just thinking of all of the tasty pumpkin treats we will be eating tonight. I'm making some Pumpkin Oreo Cheesecake.

I'll try and remember to take some pictures of the deliciousness before we eat it all!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Baby Wearing

Today I am thankful for baby wearing, I'm pretty sure Elise would have give up sleep completely without it the last couple of weeks. She's teething, and learning all kinds of new things that are way more important than taking a nap.

At least she's not crabby, she seems perfectly fine not sleeping, but I know she still needs it.

Every afternoon after several failed nap attempts, I throw her up in one of our wraps and she's out within minutes.

That gives me a little bit of time to tidy up the kitchen, or start working on dinner, and she gets in a good nap. Plus I get to snuggle with her a little more which is always nice.

The only downside is that I think Noah is getting just a little bit jealous. The wrap I've been using the most in the house (I have another one and a sling I keep in the car so I'm never without something) is the one I used when I started wearing him. He's come in more than a few times and asked me to put the baby down and wrap him on my back. Poor little guy just doesn't want to grow up some days!

Just before taking a nice nap
She loved being wrapped up from the very beginning
Noah loved his wrap

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Noah A!

Today I am thankful for my youngest brother Noah! (Noah A!)


Even though he has no idea when my birthday is,
and he only weeded half of my flower beds for me,
he's still pretty awesome.


Even though we are 10 years apart, and I left for college when he was only 7, we're still pretty close, and have a lot of fun hanging out (or at least I do, Noah may say differently!)

When he was little he made sure that he gave me a hug every single day. He even came up with his own different kinds of hugs. There were squeeze hugs, backwards hugs, monkey hugs and lots more that I can't even remember anymore. When I would come home for breaks while in college, he made sure to give me lots of extra hugs, explaining they were to make up for the days that he didn't see me. :)

Awesome Arthur shirt

When I was still teaching, he went to the same school, though we were in different parts of the building most of the week, he always made sure to say hi, or at least give me a nod across the library when he saw me.
Typical Noah face


We've been able to spend more time together over the last few years since I started helping with the Life Teen program, and he is now a part of it. I'm always really proud to tell people he is my brother, he's the first one to raise his hand and answer a question, or volunteer to help with something, he wins just about every competition there is, and performs in some pretty great skits.
Same Noah face


He is a lector, and alter server, and has become a great leader in the last 3 years. I can't wait to see what he does next!

Happy Birthday Noah!
Living in a van down by the river

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Squealing

Today I am thankful for Elise's new discovery of her voice. It may drive me crazy in a few weeks, so I better be thankful for it while I still can!

She discovered this week that she can make a high pitched screaming sound when she is happy, and does it A LOT. It is so much fun to hear her expressing herself and trying to talk to us, I can't help but smile every time I hear that happy squeal.

She laid on the floor and just screamed to herself experimenting with different sounds yesterday for a good 20 minutes. I love this age!


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Staying Home

Today I am thankful that I am able to stay home with my kids.

Don't misunderstand me, I LOVED my job and I cannot wait to get back into a classroom in a few years, but for now, I am very thankful that we are in a place where I can stay home and take care of the kids for a while.

When Nathan was a baby, I cried twice a week when I dropped him off to go to work. Not that he wasn't loved and taken care of, I knew he was and had no worries, it just didn't feel right. For months after he was born I had separation anxiety and didn't even like for other people to hold him because it felt like part of me was missing.

Yes I knew even then it was irrational, but you carry someone inside of you for 9 months, and it feels a little weird when they are finally a separate entity and even weirder when that part of you is sitting in another room with someone else.

Then I had Noah, and while I was getting a little more used to giving up my kids, Noah was not. He was extremely attached to me, crying even when Anthony held him for over a year. It made leaving him to go to work painful for everyone involved. Especially since part of this separation anxiety was to not take a bottle, or eat any food at all. Which meant driving home during my lunch and planning period just so I could feed him in the middle of the day. Thank goodness for living nearby and a job that was accommodating or I don't know how we would have survived that year!

With Elise it's been different, there is no daily anxiety, she's relaxed, I'm relaxed, it finally feels good to feel like we are all where we should be.

I'm thankful for this time to stay home and be a teacher to my own kids for a while, before heading back to the classroom.


Monday, November 7, 2011

Napping Children

By nothing less than a miracle, all 3 of my children are napping at the same time!

Unfortunately, I am afraid to move our of fear of waking them up. After this weekend I really need some quiet time. So instead of doing anything productive, I'm sitting very quietly in my dining room.

But the quiet sure is nice!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Life Teen!

Yes that is what I am thankful for today!

In my head I see a post that is tying all of these thoughts in my head together...but I am only minutes home from retreat and my brain is not capable of forming coherent sentences without great thought, much less an inspiring blog post.

Hopefully I'll come back to this later, but here are some disjointed thoughts to hold you over until then.

Time
Inspiration
Prayer
Holy Spirit
Adoration
Growing
Leading
Strong
Regina Angelorum
Knights of the Holy Queen
Friendship
Faith

Life changing in so many ways, not just today, but in reflecting where I was 12 years ago on my first retreat, and how I didn't know it then, but what took place on that weekend was really the start of the life I have now.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Blessed

I am more than thankful tonight, I am blessed. 

Blessed that I had the opportunity for confession.

Blessed to be in the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.

Blessed to be able to help with the high school students who are part of Life Teen. You guys will never know how much YOU inspire me.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Come Holy Spirit

Today I am thankful for the Holy Spirit, particularly tonight as my sister in law was confirmed.

It was obvious in many ways that the Holy Spirit was present, but especially in the way that my 3 children behaved almost perfectly despite having to stand during that hour and a half Mass right during bedtime!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Coffee

This morning I am thankful for coffee, and wondering how it took me so long to decide that I liked it?

I am going to blame it on the sleep deprivation and general worn out feeling that comes with being a mom.

5 years ago I  never would have thought so little sleep could feel so normal.

Thanks coffee!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Perspective

Today I am thankful for Nathan and his crazy 4 year old perspective on things that keeps me on my toes and laughing.

I got the boys doughnuts yesterday morning, a treat we sometimes get after good behavior at Mass. I try not to bribe them to be good all of the time, but I think a little positive reinforcement can go a LONG way.

Anyway, I pulled over and started handing the doughnuts back to the boys so they could eat them in the car.

Nathan taking off his mittens started to tell me something, his speech isn't always the best, but I was having a particularly hard time understanding what he was trying to tell me.

Nathan: Mom, I will take off my mittens so I don't get (insert word I can't understand) on it.

Me: Oh okay, you don't want to get crumbs on your mittens.

Nathan: NO! I don't want to get (there's that word again) on it.

I'm starting to think it's a little weird he is saying "it", instead of "them" he is usually pretty good about that.

Me: Wait, what are you saying?

Nathan: Wawn, I don't want to get wawn on my doughnut. (Pointing to his mittens)

Me: OH you mean you don't want to get YARN on your doughnut!

Nathan: yeah, sometimes the knit stuff, with the yarn comes off and I don't want any yarn on my doughnut.

And here I was thinking he was worried about keeping his mittens clean, all along he was worrying he would be getting yarn on his precious doughnut.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Thankful

Inspired by a few online friends, and because I like blogging themes, for the next month I am going to try and post once a day what I am thankful for.

I've been very focused lately on what I am DOING and I want to step back and just give thanks to God for what he has already given me.

Today I am thankful for the gift of my faith. I've been wanting to go to morning Mass with the kids for a while, and today being All Saints Day, was a perfect opportunity for us to go. I love feast days and being able to celebrate with my small faith community knowing that I am really celebrating with an even larger community all over the world at the same time.

Anytime I start to feel like all of my friends moved away, and I am longing for the feeling of being a part of something, I don't need to anything but attend Mass and to know that this is where I belong. Especially on the day to celebrate those Saints who have gone before us and are interceding for us!

I had a little help from my mom who was at Mass this morning too. But I'm feeling more confident about just going to morning Mass on our own sometime soon.

To make it even easier the boys were actually excited to go this morning when I woke them up!

Hopefully we'll be able to try it again some time soon.

Feel free to add your own daily thanks to the comments!