Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Piddly Giveaway

Intrigued, aren't you?
SO maybe it's peer pressure (no one is pressuring me) or maybe it is just me trying to be cool and boost my self esteem (likely) but I have decided to do a very little giveaway. I think I may become obsessed with making hair clips. I am working on mastering this one and have decided to let you reap the fruits of my hard, hard labor. You may be thinking "why would I want to go to all this trouble for something so small?" Well I will tell you. You won't be going to much trouble since all that you have to do is
  1. Become a follower if you have not already
  2. Leave a comment saying what size clip you'd like and fabric
And also, since very few people will be trying to win this little item, your chances of winning are really good! Win, win!
So here is the latest result of my efforts:
Mike says that he thinks it is "earthy cute", whatev

I have a couple different fabric patterns you can choose, and you can choose from a package of either 2 large clips (like the one in the picture) or 4 small clips, pick your poison.
The fabric choices are:
  • the one in the picture
  • pink and red hearts (in honor of Valentine's Day, this would be super cute in a smaller clip for little girls)
  • Brown, like in my earlier post, with any number of colored buttons
  • mustard with any color button you like, including the specialty button on the above clip.
Your wish is my command, I just want you to be happy. 

If you live in South Bend and you're a friend of mine, there's no need to try to win as I will probably make you one for your birthday or for Tuesday or whatever.
Good luck!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Under weaknesses you've put eczema.

The British Office will always bring me more joy than it probably should. Not only because Mike and I watched all three seasons on our honeymoon, but because it is hilarious and pure genius (and it is rather crass, so I am not actually recommending it, I am not trying to lead anyone astray here).

This video clip is particularly entertaining for me and rather poignant as I have been up since 4:50 this morning trying to use every ounce of self control in my body to not scratch the delightful patches of eczema I am currently being plagued with- it is evil, pure evil.
In the video David Brent is doing an annual employee review with, Keith (or Kevin, for viewers of the American Office). Anyways, just watch it, it is clean and it will be 3 minutes well spent.

Have a splendid Monday!

And please let me know if you have any good remedies for this affliction, thank you:)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Some things I did today

Took down our Christmas decorations and deep cleaned our house, organized my mess of a closet, began compiling homeschooling materials to start doing with Naomi when she turns 3, hung beautiful picture frames on our walls in our new basement so that it is finally finished, by now you should have caught on that I am lying and did none of these things today...

But we did have a fun day. First we went to Starbucks and got some delicious donuts and coffee, it really set the stage for our Saturday excursion. Then we went to the library where we got a plethora of books on tape and listened to a bit of a beautiful live concert going on in the library lobby- random. Then we snatched up a pass from the library for the History museum, our new favorite place (lest you be duped into thinking we are actually cultured or educated, there is a phenomenal kids play place in the basement of the museum, hence our frequent trips). It is the best:

there is a canoe

and a stable with hay and rocking horses
And an entire mini pioneer village with a little house, a one room school, a post office, a blacksmith, and a store... oh and a covered wagon... and fake hills with a little lake where they can fish for magnetized fish and cook them over a fake fire and there's a tepee. And you get in free with a library card. free. Yet ANOTHER reason you should all move to, or at least visit, SB. Moms and dads can just sit on the benches right there in the middle and let their children run wild and do anything (anything but take the hay out of the stable, you MAY NOT take the hay out of the stable- they are serious about this.) So I sat and drank my starbucks and ate a donut- bliss. We made it home in one piece with only one major tantrum throwing event from the Nomes on our way out but luckily the staff lady came to the rescue with a snowflake made out of q-tips and everyone was happy.

While the wee ones napped I busied myself finishing up altering another pair of old college jeans from Gabriel Brothers, if you've never been to one you have not lived. They're flashy and they have diamonds on them, that's right diamonds:
So here they were the other morning
fresh out of bed with pajama shirt and bed hair
and now they are better, not great, but better
dressed in every day clothes
dressed in something I would never actually wear

While I was sewing these Naomi made her first honest to goodness pun. She looked at me and said "you're sewing jeans. mommy, you're a jean-ious" then burst out laughing, it was awesome. 

Alrighty, and lastly (you did not think you were in for such a looong mother of a post, I am killing like 5 birds with one stone)... we had some fantastic friends over last night and my dear friend Megan was donning what was, in my opinion, the cutest little handmade hair clip I had ever seen. And since my hair is at a super awkward stage where it doesn't fit into a normal looking pony tail and if I don't flat iron it I look like a grungy teenage boy, I have been wanting some cute hair accessories. Every time I go to the store I stand in the isle with the hair clips for at least 5 minutes and pick out a few cute clips and then put them all back because they are so darn expensive. Anyways, I tried my hand at this little fabric number and came up with this.
It is not that great good, but I am going to work on it, like maybe by purchasing some cute colorful fabric and using that instead of this brown on brown combo. Megan's was waaay better, but it is something and it works.

To those of you that stuck out this, I commend you. Good night and God speed.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Things they'll remember...

I started writing this post last week, which is something that rarely happens. It isn't that I am a shallow person, I just tend toward more shallow, short blog posts. I don't generally spend more than 15 minutes writing any one post, that is how I keep this thing going.
So last week when I started to write this I realized that it was going to require some extra thought and probably an extra 15 minutes or so, and I just wasn't sure if it was worth it, I think it is. My last thoughtful post was on our little Ignatius and this post is a little spin off of that, but since I have delayed so in finishing it, it has already changed a bit.

After our recent loss, I found myself spending many more hours of our days just sitting with my girls. Playing with them on the floor gratuitous amounts each day, reading more books to them than I generally do, sitting and eating with them at the breakfast table in stead of loading the remnants of last night's dishes into the dishwasher, just staring at them,. etc, you get the point. I was soaking so much more in than I ever had before and it hit me that of everything that happens in our days, those are the thing they will remember. For almost 2 weeks after our miscarriage, I held my girls more tightly than I ever had. I neglected an overwhelming amount of housework and phones calls to insurance companies to just sit with them. It was the best I ever felt during my time as a mother.

I love my mother with my whole heart and she is the reason that I am who I am today (a Catholic woman, striving to be holy and love the Lord instead of lying dead in a gutter somewhere. Exaggeration? Maybe, but maybe not) My mother is phenomenal. She bore and raised 8 children who are all grown and practicing Catholics- not bad. The main thing that I remember of my mom growing up was how well she kept the house. She was constantly moving, taking care of us, cleaning, feeding us, cleaning, busing us around, cleaning some more. Although I know how well she kept our home, the things that stick out the most to me upon real reflection are the quiet moments spent with her. I remember her homeschooling me through preschool, I remember coming home from school and eating in the kitchen while she talked to us, and her giving me back scratches in the evening before bed. I am sure she wishes that she would have gotten more of those moments with me and my siblings now that we are all grown. I feel sure of this because I already feel this way and I only have a 2 1/2-year-old and a 1-year-old. I can feel the days slipping by and it feels so pointless to have spent any day doing more house work than actually spending time with these precious girls.

But those other duties call and I have to answer: so the juggling has commenced. It breaks my heart that I cannot just sit and have long conversations with Naomi about who she wants to marry more: Robin Hood or Peter Pan (it is a serious struggle for her). Or just hold my little Bernadette on my lap for as long as she will sit there and smother her with as many kisses as she'll let me give. At some point I have to switch the laundry around or it will mildew, I have to load the dishes or the food will harden and attract bugs, I have to clean the bathroom because it smells like urine... These things are good and are helping me work out my salvation, but while I am doing them my heart is with my girls because that is where it is meant to be.

I am sure that the struggle to find and seize quiet moments with my little ones will only get harder, especially if God blesses us with more children, but I will continue to struggle because there is nothing more worth while. I am know how imperfect I am and how many unflattering moments I give them to remember me by each day, I just hope that I can outweigh the not-so-good moments with enough sweet ones for them to remember.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I'll pop your balloon and cowl addendum

Every day I scheme about different things I can do/not do/offer/take away/threaten/etc... in order to get my first born to get into her bed for her regularly scheduled 20 minute afternoon power nap and as of late I have been feeling like a worse and worse mother.
It has gone from me telling her to do it and her obeying out of shear respect for my authority and love for her dear mother (I tell myself that that was how it once was) to me on my knees begging her to go without me having to pick up her solid 40 lbs of dead screaming, kicking weight and put her into her bed. I have offered anything from videos and fruit snacks to trips to the mall play place immediately following her nap (and actually following through on it, pathetic). Then if all offerings do nothing I move on to empty threats, which I just pray I am not forced to have to follow through on because I probably won't.
But then today I discovered what may be the key to our discipline success.
"I will pop your balloon if--- (insert whatever)" and she will do/not do anything.
Cruel and unusual? Maybe, but I would invest in a helium tank if I knew this would continue to work like such a charm. Desperate times...

And yes, that does say "South Bend Chocolate Company" on the balloon, and yes, it is as wonderful as it sounds. You should come here and we'll go eat some chocolate together.

Here's the larger than life button that I added to the lazy little cowl I made:

Have a good one!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The cowardly cowl: for the non-knitter

made by sister
So, I really don't need another scarf. A little while ago I made this lemon buddy from a thrift store sweater, then my ever-so talented sister (who should totally start a blog showcasing her craftiness) crocheted a super cute cowl for me for Christmas, which I have been wearing all the time because I love it and it is so cute and warm.
BUT THEN.... a super duper talented friend of mine posted this on her blog and since I had been seeing some similar things on Pinterest, this one sold me. I felt I must have a cowl with a button. But the problem is I do. not. knit. and I have a bit of a bad taste in my mouth from trying to teach myself. I googled "fear of knitting" in the hopes of finding a good picture to capture how I feel about it, but all I could find was this,
I don't know what is going on but it creeps me out about as much as the idea of trying to teach myself how to knit again.
I was 9 months pregnant with Naomi and trying to convince myself that I was nesting (I have come to the conclusion that I do not, in fact, "nest") when I tried to teach myself to knit, but by the end I just wanted to stab something or someone with the needle. Anger was the only emotion evoked from the experience and I think maybe I need some counseling in order to go back to that place and try again.

Anywho, I love love love these cowls with buttons and I feel like those of us who refuse to can't knit should not be deprived of this cute accessory. 
So I stood in front of my closet for a while yesterday looking around for something that could transform into one and I discovered another thrift store sweater that I bought with the intention of wearing and then it turned out that it simply added about 61/2 lbs to my midsection that I did not need. 
So without further ado, here is the sweater that I sewed into a little button cowl, a cowl for cowards if you will. And if you won't, you should:
Motherhood maternity blue-not my favorite color, but it's better than nothing
If you can hand stitch or use a sewing machine you can do this quickly, I think it took my about 30 minutes.
first I cut off the hood
Then cut down the sides about as wide as I thought I would want it
I cut to about the middle of the sweater because there was a pocket, but you could cut further down if you want a more chunky look
give the leftovers to your child to drape over themselves
Then go ahead and flip in inside out, hem the bottom, then sew up the sides. Then place the button where you want it and sew it on.

nothing fancy and I plan to buy a cooler button next time I am out, but you get the picture

And on me
it works
full length, because you needed it
And that's that
Although a freshly knitted one would undoubtedly be cuter and more comfortable, I feel some odd sense of fulfillment now until I can overcome my knitting fears.

Hasta la vista, baby

Monday, January 23, 2012


Some random things I love:

1) A new found love of going to the grocery store at night. It was the most wonderful thing ever and I am a darn fool for waiting this long to start doing this. No kids, barely any people, great parking, overstaffed store so like 5 college students waiting on me at once (they were running around fetching me things like I was royalty). I almost stopped off for a beer afterwards because it just felt right, but I just ate a candy bar instead.

2) Blogging, what a great outlet, I love reading, I love writing, just love it.

3) My husband, not random, but he's just great

4) Fruit, the only thing that makes cold winters feel a leeetle teeny tiny bit like summer

5) My new new boots that I traded for the ones that I posted about the other day. I am the worst shopper ever and I am always second guessing myself and then returning things I buy, but I feel really good about these. I loved how cute the others were, but since we live in South Bend where rain and snow happen to reside, I felt it was better to get something more practical with some actual tread so I don't fall to my death whilst holding a babe.... (take a breath). Here they are, I love them:
also since I am rarely to be found in anything but jeans and an old sweater/t-shirt, these will be a much more natural fit

6) That my girls are best friends. This, my friends, is what I have been waiting for since the day Beezie was born and at the risk of becoming a ungrateful little brat, I must document how wonderful it is. Yes, they still have about 75 squabbles a day, but they LOVE each other. Naomi is constantly calling out for "Baba" (pronounced bay-ba, a name given to her by said older sister when she was very tiny), Naomi needs her to be by her side all of the time and Bernadette adores Naomi. There were so many months of Naomi being almost completely indifferent to B, and B just getting on Naomi's nerves, and me just trying to keep them apart to keep the peace. But now all of the sudden, the clouds have parted and they are the best of friends and can't be apart. LOVE it.
love to infinity

Ok, I will be done now. Check out Snap Shots from a Sunday over at Cari's awesome blog. She was so sweet to let me join in the fun and it is so fun to get a glimpse into so many other mom's days.

Good night, sleep tight.

Sunday brunch, a must


A month or so ago I started to make food in advance for us to eat after Mass on Sunday.
You see, Sunday morning/late morning/afternoon is always insane and all too frequently I end up with a migraine and ready to pass out from fatigue and famine.

I would wake up with the girls, take care of them as usual, but then have to hap to getting them ready for Mass, getting myself ready, feeding them, laying B down for naps time it just so so that she wakes up right before we leave for Mass so she is such a basket case. Then there is the task of gathering things to make them happy at Mass: juice cups, "mass" books and toys aka anything that mentions Jesus or anything religious at all. Finding their lost shoes, jackets, hats, tights- then loading them into the car and trying not to be the family that is always late, blah, blah, blah... Sundays are hard, they are hard for everyone with kids. I do not think I cherished those days of old when I could spend 45 minutes piking the cutest outfit, curling my hair, doing perfect makeup eating a good breakfast and then being so dumb and irresponsible with my money that I would happily go out to brunch and have someone else make me some food. ahhhh those were the days.

I always forget to eat breakfast and then we would get to the end of Mass and all of us are starving and we get home and there is no food. I usually go to the store on Mondays so Sundays are generally our most depleted day food wise, so then I would be hungry and angry. Hangry, you might say.

So a month or so ago I began preparing all the stuff for some sort of quiche the day or week before and either freezing or refrigerating the ingredients. Then I put it all together and bake it Sunday morning while the girls eat. I just use ready-made pie crusts and cook some sausage early in the week, separate it freezer bags and freeze it, I usually can get 3 quiches out of one tube of sausage. I also use bacon and ham sometimes, but Mike's fav is generally sausage. You could cut up any vegis you would want to use early in the week and freeze them and even shred all of your cheese at once and separate it into bags to use. I just find that there are tons of opportunities the other days of the week and never any on Sunday to actually do these things, so it eliminates the stress of the day that is supposed to be "restful". This way we can promptly inhale it immediately upon arriving home from Mass and all parties are happy and full... especially me.
and this one

You are probably more resourceful and a better SAHM than me and you have already figured this brilliant little idea out, but it has revolutionized our Sundays. 
The amount of peace that food brings me is, I am sure, disordered, but nonetheless, Sundays are a happier, holier day. Now I only have my kids to blame for my utter distraction during Mass since I am no longer scheming the whole time about what random food stuffs we could throw together to call it a Sunday brunch. Because, let's be honest, Sunday brunch is a must.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Snow blogging

Alright neighbor Greg, you win. I will never again attempt to nap as you have apparently memorized our nap schedules and will only run your unbelievably loud snow blower during this time- you must know that I am behind on blogging. I am flattered, I didn't even know you followed me! But for real, I think you should get the muffler on that thing checked. Enough.

So Mike and I sometimes act like chubby college girls and make ridiculously fattening desserts at night for fun and then eat all of it over the course of the next few days. 
Sometimes meaning almost never, but we did last night and this has resulted in me eating death by chocolate for breakfast and lunch today. Needless to say this is not helping with our post-Christmas weight loss endeavors. I think we are going to work on perfecting this one though, because it is pretty awesome.
our finished product
I think we'll use devils food cake with chocolate chips for the cake layer next time and I only had light whipped cream, which was a mistake because it's "death by chocolate" and anything "light" just doesn't fit in there.

I had a lovely long morning break today and went on a little excursion to the mall with a friend to hunt for boots (thank you Hannah). I found these and words can't express the shame I feel for buying anything with the brand name "Jessica Simpson". But they were cute and soooo comfy. I may return them though on principle, we'll see.

 What do we think?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Just for laughs

Second post of the day = a weird mix of pride and embarrassment.

This post is really just to give you a little something to laugh at because I know that everyone could use a good laugh and I am always here to give the people what they want.

I keep looking down and catching a glimpse of myself and laughing and it dawned on me that you might too if you saw me.

I was awoken from my 15 nap by the worst napping children in the world, for real. And decided to dress for success:

"oh, you wanted to take my picture?"
I was hoping to workout while Naomi was in her room talking after a whopping 20 minute cat nap, but then Beezie began a marathon scream sesh and I couldn't take it.

So my plans changed but my outfit did not.

Workout shorts- Dicks clearance about 6 years ago, pretty sure they're walking shorts for old ladies; workout shirt- gifted from mother-in-law; cardi- old navy; crew socks- walmart; NB shoes- Vincent de Paul thrift store $3, that's right baby, high class

Over Christmas break my little sister made fun of me every day that she saw me about to go work out and after a few days of denial, I had to accept the fact that I look ridiculous. One day I will have money to buy expensive, cute work out clothes but until then... enjoy!

Morning regretfuls

Dear Friday,
I really thought you were supposed to be better. At some point in my life I looked so forward to you during the week and it did not matter how you actually went, you lead to the weekend and that was enough.
Not anymore.
Picture completely irrelevant- but from a time in my life when Fridays went much better because I was probably a better person. YES, I am pretending to be a nun outside of the Vatican.

Things I wish I could take back/change about this morning:

1) The hour of waking- you would think that I would get used to being awakened during the 6 a.m. hour after having that be the norm  for almost 3 years now, but I have not. I still dream of sleeping later every. single. morning.

2) The poop, oh the poop. First round at 6:30- changed diaper, laid child back down and told her to sleep until her cow woke up. Before the cow woke, I heard her going "Yuck, yuck!" and I knew it would be bad. I walked in to find foot shaped poop marks all over her floor. I really thought that potty training was supposed to put an end to this, but potty training has disappointed me in every other way possible, so I am not surprised I guess.

3) The urine soaked sleeper I left on the KITCHEN counter for like, 10 minutes. Gross

4) My bad, bitter attitude towards Naomi for pooping all over the floor like a poorly trained animal instead of in the toilet like a civilized person.

5) My bad, bitter attitude toward my dear husband for sleeping later than me, even though he was up for hours after me working hard.

6) My current state of sulking (still quite bitterly) over how stinking tired I am.

7) The fact that every time I have sat down to do my version of "praying" I am screamed at by a small person demanding something from me like "juice!" "pancakes!" "smoothie!", which is my excuse for being such a bitter, bad person this morning.

We'll try again tomorrow, or now, that would probably be better.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Hard day's night

Untitled from Ana Hahn on Vimeo.

I do not know why it has taken me so long to start listening to The Beatles during the day, but it might just change our lives (it helps that it is their Greatest Hits CD). There are definitely a few that Naomi asks me to turn off immediately, but for the most part they are all becoming new favorites. And, seriously, is there anything cuter than a 2 1/2-year-old singing "Love, love me do" all day? I submit that there is not. So there you have it, another glimpse into our day, I know you were dying to get another.


Things are starting to get back to "normal" around here, whatever that means. 

That is the thing about going through trying times with babies and toddlers- they really couldn't care less about your troubles, they have plenty of their own issues like: wanting 7 packs of fruit snacks and only being allowed ONE or preferring to watch 4-5 videos a day and only being plopped in front or 2 or 3. It really is a hard life. 

Although they were the ones in desperate need of come normalcy, I have also been craving some semblance of normal in our days.
So now I am getting dressed every day and even going out and doing some things, which has actually been very nice. I even got back to my whopping 20 minute workout yesterday, watch out. It is literally 20 minutes since I cut out the warm up and cool down to save time, Jillian would be disappointed.

So in my attempt to offer my girls something more fun during the day than me laying on the floor and them sit around me/climbing on me and less mind warping then watching disney movie after disney movie, we ventured out side. We've had a real heat wave the last couple of days with temperatures spiking into the low 40s, and I refuse to go outside in anything colder, so here we are:

hyper and special

Danger: I can fit my hair into a little nub of a pony tail now, life will never be the same

So that's one little slice of the pie of our days recently, stay tuned for more.


Friday, January 13, 2012

Our Christmas with Ignatius John

Sorry for the lack of posting around here. There's been something of a Big Issue that I've been coping with the last week or so and I felt stuck when it came to blogging- I just didn't feel like I could post anything about life without referring to the Big Issue, and I couldn't bring myself to blog about said Big Issue. So I decided it was best not to post anything at all.

Till now.

I had been planning on waiting to post on the current state of things in my life, but the guy next door decided to run his industrial sounding snow blower right in the middle of nap time preventing me from napping and making my anxiety level concerning him waking the slumbering little ones go up about a million notches, so this seems like as good a time as any. The Big Issue is this: last week I learned that I miscarried our newest little one, baby #3, and it has crushed me like no other sorrow I have ever known. In writing about this, I honestly don't know where to begin or what to say, but I want to tell the whole story, even just for the sake of finally putting these thoughts and feelings on (virtual) paper. I will give a disclaimer that I may be crying while typing- this is no rosy blog post and I probably won't be doing much to sugar coat anything. Also, it will be long, to ensure that folks will only read it if they actually care enough to stick out the long read. Ok, here goes.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

snow box

Moving reeaaally slow round here these days. I'm sorry for the absence, but I'll be back some day soon.

We have mostly been trapped nestled snugly in our little nest with colds and swollen eyes (? I am just as confused) running rampant here. However, esterday I let the little crazies out in the back yard. The mid-40 days are the best for letting them play in whatever snow is left on the ground since it isn't so cold that their little phalanges are practically falling off (gloves for babies and toddlers are possibly the dumbest thing ever. they would not.keep.them.on).
Big thanks so sissy April for making their little matching winter head gear- cutest ever

still super cute even with the chin blem

Bernadette was so serious about things

always contemplating

cooking in the kitchen=eating nasty snow, gross

real sandbox or snow, which is better? snow wins, I think
I went for the "sandbox" feel with the snow and let them dig around with some shovels and tried just as hard to get them not to eat the nasty snow as I do to not fill their mouths with sand- changing with the seasons.
Happy Wednesday,

Thursday, January 5, 2012

2nd batch

This will be the last post full of Christmas vacation updates and pictures, I promise. I know you're all dying to get back to the regularly scheduled program of an over-abundance of details about my ever so exciting life.

Things really got better back in the Ville after my last virus post, once the girls got back to full health they were loving every second of cousin/uncle/aunt/grandparent time they could get, plus Bernadette finally stopped acting like she hated everyone else but me and Mike. Here is a taste of Christmas vacation with the Homols:
My new god daughter, Elsabet Theodora

It was a super beautiful Byzantine baptismal rite

best dad ever

older broski

what's going on here?!?!

20 something grandkids 9 and under= mayhem
hot sisters, hot mom

So that's it. The girls are sleeping much worse since getting home and were completely underwhelmed to be back at our house- they much prefer constant stimulation and distraction by uncles, cousins and grandparents to their boring parents. Anywho, it is good to be back home, hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and New Year- you should read this, it was pretty funny, as she always is.

Happy Thursday