Thursday, April 16, 2015

You can run...

One of the unmitigated and unintentional perks of this homeschooling gig (and I say unintentional, because I would never home school solely for this purpose) is that the girls' contact with the host of various germs, particularly of the stomach bug variety, is much more limited during the dreaded flu season. This past season seemed especially bad for the vomit-for-a-day-or-two type viruses and every time one of our friends got hit I would count my blessings and hole up in the basement so as to avoid the accursed sicknesses.

That's not to say that we got of Scot free, between Joseph's bronchitis and Lucy's 2 week tonsillectomy ordeal (and the flu for me last fall), we got in on the sickness action, but I've said it before and I will say it again: NOTHING IS AS BAD AS THROW UP WITH LITTLE KIDS. Nothing.

We were pretty legitimate recluses for the last 5 months- no play places, limited play dates with friends, and basically staying home all the time with the exception of the few commitments the girls have: catechesis and choir. I was amazed that they hadn't picked anything up at those 2 places and I found myself saying little prayers in my head on my way to drop them off that they would stay healthy. When it comes to avoiding throw up, I take it all very seriously.

And then yesterday it found us.

I should have known that something was up when I saw Naomi rolling on the floor of the bathroom proclaiming that she was not well, but her penchant for theatrics when it comes to anything illness related kept me hoping that it was nothing.

So I proceeded with what felt like the most pressing of all concerns, sewing some new window treatments for the window in front of our sink, which was previously clad with the ugliest set of horribly sewn (by yours truly) sheer maroon monstrosities:

I begged Naomi to overcome her discomfort and go outside with the little girls while Joseph "napped" (screamed) in the crib and I ran downstairs to sew a quick new something or other for the kitchen window.

I got roughly 8 minutes into the project when Naomi came back in to lay on the couch and Bernadette followed as always. I waited a few minutes and never heard Lucy come back in so I yelled up to asked the girls to check on her and that's when the "shit hit the fan", as they say.

It became clear that Lucy had never gone outside with girls, but instead sneaked into my room to douse both her own face and my bed sheet in my lipstick, bronzer and mascara.

And then Naomi started throwing up and didn't stop for several hours.

I'm going to go ahead and say that the only one with any luck of avoiding getting stricken with this virus is Lucy, whose skills in the stealth department are unmatched thus far in the Hahn home, maybe she can find somewhere to hide.

And because I know you were wondering, I finished my window furnishing project, which is apparently all that matters anyways.

Stay healthy, party people!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Meyer Market Designs Giveaway

Have I mentioned before that my sister owns an etsy shop? I have, many times, but in case you're new or missed it back when I did, I'll start from the beginning.

She started many, many years ago making simple stationary in her shop, and has expanded in insane and wonderful ways and now does pretty much anything you might need in the paper printing realm- from personal stationary, to printable wall art, to invitations and announcements to the most beautiful Christmas cards you've ever seen. She does custom orders too and basically everything she makes is wonderful.

I am so very lucky to be her sister because I am horrible at being cute with invitations, Christmas cards, or wall art and she pretty much has me covered for all of those AND she does all my blog headers with a brand spanking new one coming very soon- she is one talented lady.

Needless to say her home is beautiful and straight out of a Pinterest board, and I am hopeful that one day I will learn a thing or 100 from her knack for all things decorative.

I would highly recommend heading over and clicking through all of her goods, her stationary and invitations are just darling, especially her First Holy Communion selection.

She is graciously giving away $50 dollars worth of goodies to one lucky reader!!

All I can say is good luck choosing.

And good luck rafflecoptering!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

fighting the battle of naps

Wow, is she really doing it? Is she really going to pen an entire post on her baby and his bad napping and post it to the world wide web?

Without shame.

Cue slow boring elevator music.

It's just that I am here again at this place where the baby naps for little 20 minute chunks throughout the day and, just like I did when I only had one nugget napping, I am all in a tizzy over it. I mean, I will give myself a little credit and say that the adult-sized tantrums I used to throw over my ONE child not napping during the day so that could, I don't know, sweep our kitchen and rid it of the 3 crumbs that Mike I and had dropped at dinner the night before have ceased.

I can cope with there not being a break during the day, mostly because we have a fixed bed time and Joseph hits the sac by 7:30 every single night and gives me at least a few hours before I need to hang out with him some more.

The problem is that he is not coping great. He is so tired! As he gets older I keep hoping and praying that maybe he will get into a better nap rhythm (i.e. ANYTHING longer than 25 minutes at a time), but yesterday 2 of his naps clocked in at TEN MINUTES a piece, which was a record and I had gone over my mental expletive limit because of it (what is my limit, you ask? A lot).

See the main problem, among may others, is this:

You see that swing he is sitting in back when he was 2 weeks old? Yes, he still sleeps in that thing as a 20 pound 8-month-old. He was our first colicky baby and it was a really helpful soothing technique that I just never forced out of his life.

Some people have drug addictions, some people need their coffee fix every day, some people can't stop shopping or need to watch afternoon soap operas every day, and Joseph has is swing. He just can't quit it.

I am trying really hard to begin the weaning process, but I have never had a swing sleeper before and it is totally throwing me. Trying to get him down for an afternoon nap sans swing has taken up an hour and fifteen minutes, but an afternoon nap IN the swing? 2 minutes flat and he is out like a light.

But then there is the issue- which I am pretty sure has no solution whatsoever- and that is his pretty consistent 20 minute sleep duration, regardless of where he is sleeping. I am totally ok with being a mean mom and letting him "fuss" himself to sleep, but the ratio of screaming to sleeping (something like 60 minutes to 20 minutes) is never worth it.

You know how I am a big "Rest Time" Nazi, and I will always enforce it because I be crazy like that and I need a tiny bit of sanity time to sit and stare at the wall. But everyday- without fail- "rest time" goes a little something like this:

- Take an eternity nursing Joseph to sleep or give up and get him to sleep in the swing.
-Run like a mad man to get Lucy down, rush through a quick book with her, rock and sing and lay her down (roughly a 6-7 minute process)
- Give Bernadette books on tape in her room (3 minute process)
- Yell downstairs to Naomi to have "have a good rest time" (1 minute)
- grab a cup of Keurig coffee (4 minutes)
- Sit for 4.5 minutes
- Hear Joseph screaming and go get him

And for pictoral proof, here are the many selfies I've snapped during what is supposed to be my short respite spent every day with the J- Man:

It's good quality time, and I actually enjoy it, until in his overly exhausted state he demands that I walk around the house holding his hefty dead weight else he will screech angry screeches sure to disturb the other napping one, which would be the very worst.

I know I've made my proverbial bed and now I need to sleep in it, or sit awake in it whilst holding him, but there must be something I can do to reverse all my bad habit making.

So what do I do? Give me advice that I will probably stink at taking because I am so, so weak. Please help me, after you're done helping the people in your life that have legitimate problems, because I am very aware that this is NOT one.

Monday, April 6, 2015

everybody loves Easter

Is there a Monday that trumps all Mondays like Easter Monday? In the best of ways and the worst. Best because- um, Jesus! And worst because- sugar hangovers for all!

But let's go back to the beginning with Holy Week, which for me can be translated as "do all the things you were supposed to do during Lent but didn't" week. I didn't give anything up for Lent, but I had made some internal resolutions of the prayer variety, one of which was to try to take the kids to daily Mass more. I can count on 2 fingers how many times that happened and both times were major feast days and Mike was with us so- fail.

Until Holy Week!!

I actually succeeded 3! Whole! Times! Although one of the times was on my birthday and Mike was with us and we camped out in the cry room, but I am just marinading in the fact that the 2 times I went solo with the kids they didn't break me. We even hit up the Basilica on campus both of those times where there is NO cry room, and just the thought of the absence of it makes me break out in a panicked sweat, but we did it and even paid a visit to the grotto post Eucharist.

I do not know how you parents with many little people do all the Triduum things with all your kids in tow and some of you even top it off by braving the 3-hour-vigil with them! You are my heros, but heros that I do not care to try to imitate yet, I do not have that level of virtue in my being. Mike brought Naomi along to Holy Thursday Mass and I had a little Mass date with not-so-little J-man for the extra long Good Friday Mass and it was basically amazing.

Holy Saturday I did some un-holy coloring of eggs with them...

And forgot that hard boiled eggs need to be refrigerated and had to throw them all away after about 10 hours of them sitting pretty on our table at room temp. 

We hit up Sunday morning Mass where we parked ourselves in the veeeery front row and managed not to make a total spectacle and then headed home for what is now our traditional backyard Easter egg hunt, which the girls were especially cut-throat about this year. And pictures, naturally.

The celebrating culminated with dinner surrounded by great friends and lots of rambunctious overly-sugared-up kids and all-in-all, I'd say it was an all-around victorious and beautiful Easter for everyone.

Happy Easter Monday!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Out with the old...

camera, not baby.

A couple of weeks ago I took this lady's advice and started scouring Craig's list for a new camera, hopefully of the Canon variety, as a partial birthday gift from my in-laws and partial birthday gift to myself or from Mike. While I hoped real hard that I would find something less than $500, even though they were used, all the Canons were running in the $700 range and I was just starting to get discouraged and give up when I found a listing for a fabulous Canon, with 2 great lenses and lots of other extras for substantially less than $500.

The only downside was that it was located outside of Chicago and almost 3 hours away from us and I was not about to make that trek with all 4 for a camera. But then the guy offered to ship it and I was thisclose to making the purchase via paypal when I realized I was likely walking into a scam, so I started to back out of the puchase when the man surprised me greatly and offered to meet me really close to South Bend the last weekend of March when he would be driving through on his way to see family.

I waited for the 2 weeks assuming that he was going to back out or be some really crazy weird creepo but then he emailed me a couple days before the planned meeting date acting all legit and professional and still had the camera for me to buy!!!! Still holding my breath I drove to our selected VERY PUBLIC meeting place where I prepared myself to be met by a giant red pickup and a guy holding a flip phone that happened to have a camera function on it.

But no! The guy came and he was super nice and sold me his wonderful camera for a major deal and I after gramming embarrassing car selfies with it, I have barely been able to stop photographing everything in our house all weekend. See exhibits a, b and c:

I did take some pictures of actual happenings during our weekend, the most important of which I failed to capture with the new camera, and am shamelessly stealing from my sistas insta:

Because she and her sweet family stopped to visit us on their way back to the Ville and it was definitely the highlight of the weekend.

After they departed I got back to being obsessed with the new camera and commenced a photo sesh with Joseph to test the new machine:

Then Lucy joined us:

And then we all had a tea party:

And I will give you a break now because I am sure you have better things to do than peruse my new pictorals and I am sure I will overloading every blog post for a while with some new, crisp photos because it's been a grainy blurry mess of pictures for far too long.

Have yourself a very blessed Holy Week, and pray for this mom who is foolishly about to load them all up for some daily Mass action. One more for the road because I am excited and so, so lame.

Friday, March 27, 2015

7 Quick Takes: sleep saboteurs, netflix, and special days

Joining Kelly for quick takes because it's Friday and I have a killer sleep hangover, perfect for blogging!

1) Have you ever wondered if your children convene for secret meetings where they hatch plots against your sleep? I have always wondered this and after last night I am pretty sure of it. I'm fairly certain that Lucy is the meeting leader and I picture her at the head of their little school table smoking a cigar and planning out the strategic wake times so that they will overlap as perfectly as possible so as to never actually let me sleep longer than 5 minutes.

2) I imagine that confusing graphs and flow charts exist mapping out the various times that each will wake and for what amount of time, only they wouldn't actually make any sense.

All I know is that Lucy seems to be the ring leader and the one most willing to be awake for the longest amount of time and causing entirely too much commotion to let anyone with ears sleep (disrobing entirely, screaming for cheese, opening the curtains, and the like for a solid 2 hours). And Joseph did an impeccable job of waking up to nurse at each end of her wake time, timing it just so that he started screaming the minute that I actually started to fall back asleep. Even though the older 2 weren't actually awake in the middle of the night, they made sure to do their part by getting up extra early and needing things from me so that all told I clocked a whopping 4 hours of highly interrupted sleep and honestly, I'm not even mad, just impressed as their strategy.


You better BELIEVE that I am hitting the Netflix streaming hard today and completely throwing in the "homeschool" towel- hence the blogplaining. The Fox and the Hound came in real handy at 6 a.m. and requests have already been made for this favorite and with the amount of screaming I currently hear coming from the bowels of the house I am thinking of saying YES.

4) My secret streaming of the Office has died down significantly because I got through the best of it and I am thinking of moving on to some Gilmore Girls. A glut of Friends has been consumed by me and Mike, and we gave Parenthood a go but decided it wasn't for us. What are you watching?

5) Joseph Pio had his big feast day last Thursday, followed quickly by Naomi's birthday on Monday and then another feast day on Wednesday, meaning that I am avoiding our scale at all costs until enough damage control can be done. So much for Lenten penance!

Handmade by Meg K // Chocolate Graham Cracker Eclair cake I would eat you a thousand more times // You like how my balloon + gift set up is the same every single year, don't you? I knew it.

6) You may have noticed that it is giveaway month here on zee blog, and if you are not into giveaways I am sorry and maybe just come back in April. The Bloggers Who Craft giveaway ends tomorrow and I am so excited see who wins and also maybe a little bit jealous of that person. The giveaway train will be running on this giveaway for another week and there is yet another coming up soon that I am also super excited about, so stay tuned!

7) I feel like I owe it to the weather to simultaneously praise it but mostly complain about it for this last take because this morning it was snowing (wtf- that's the complaining part) but just last week we were picnicing in 70 degree weather, oh sweet sweet sunshine, please come back.

I really just wanted to put this picture here because Joseph's hat.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

What's in Your Easter Basket? {with a giveaway!}

This may come as a shock to you but... wait for it... we don't give up sweets for Lent in the Hahn home. I'll give you a second to process that and catch your breath or clean up any liquids inadvertently expelled from the shock.

I know, it's cray. And maybe it's a lazy thing or maybe it's that I don't like doing what everybody else is doing (I'll do a whole 30 in 5 years when it's not cool anymore), but in the case of the kids it is mostly that I just don't think they are at an age where they would get much out of the "sacrifice", plus we really need sweets as incentives for good behavior during the day. Good parents R Us.

And while this does not make our Easter any less glorious and beautiful and exciting, it does mean that the girls baskets are not brimming with processed sugar the way they would be if they had just gone without for 40 days. It also means that I need to really step it up in the creativity department in basket-planning and I am not going to lie, I am a little stumped.

So far I have little packets of Annie's bunny crackers and fabric to make them some cute homemade skirts, but other than that I am really in need of some ideas- that's the part where I need YOU. Help!

And since I am taking advantage of the ever abundant wisdom of the best readers ever, I am also here to give you a couple of great ideas for your baskets this Easter with a bonus giveaway at the end!

Here you go:

Lindsay's beautiful hand made blocks.

Lindsay is a good friend of mine whose husband used to do PhD work at Notre Dame with Mike and Lindsay recently started an etsy shop where she fashions the most adorable blocks with images of Saints and they are just wonderful.

This is the set that she sent over for us to try out, and she very appropriately sent all of our favorite saints, for whom our children are named.

But if you are really looking for a great addition to your Easter basket I would highly recommend her deluxe Easter blocks. I am serious, click over and LOOK AT THESE- the most perfect Easter gift ever.

Aren't they the cutest? Get at it!

And next but not least:

Have you ever thought to yourself that you don't to a great job of explaining correlations between the Old and New Testaments to your little kids? Me neither, but when my mother-in-law gifted me this book and I read it to the girls I realized that I had, indeed, been doing a terrible job.

The End of the Fiery Sword is hands down one of the (if not THE) best Catholic childrens' book I own and I use it frequently as a part of our Catechetical lessons here at home.

Maura McKeegan is the author and I felt kind of star-struck when I realized that she wrote the book because I have seen her from a distance at Mass in Steubenville, which I realize does not mean that I know her, but still.

She does a really wonderful job of clearly, and in a way that even my 4-year-old can understand, showing how the New Testament is hidden in the Old and how the Old is revealed in the New Testament in and through Christ. No small task if you ask me.

If we didn't already have a copy I would be snatching one or two up for the girls baskets this Easter, but we do so instead I am giving 2 readers the opportunity to snatch one up for free here. Enter in the rafflecopter below and even if you don't win, head over and get your copy because it is a great book and SO worth every cent.

a Rafflecopter giveaway