Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Sunday Recipe

This is the first week of my official second trimester and I am more than a little excited about this. While I still manage to complain plenty about the nausea not having completely vanished the day I turned 14 weeks (like it's a birthday), it has undoubtedly gotten much, much better. I can do normal things now like drink COFFEE (so excited about this) and drink my coffee before eating anything in the morning (normal for me) instead of running to the kitchen as soon as I wake to get a bowl of cereal, or piece of ham, or stick of butter or anything to keep me from being hunched over the toilet.

Another normal thing I can now do is cook fun things for the fam without feeling like I am going to hurl when I see the picture of the food in the cookbook, the old Ana and coming back! It's just a matter of time before I bust out my *brand new* birthday sewing machine and sew something awesome... but we'll give that a little more time.

So this morning I made these. I borrowed "the Pioneer Woman Cooks" from the library the other day, so that is why I am all of the sudden posting her recipes, but I will be honest I should always be posting them. They are all amazing and I would like to own this cook book one day. These were the best pancakes I have ever had. Fo realz.

They made for a happy mother and children (and a would-be happy husband if he had not been up til the a.m. hours of the night/morning working on a paper, poor guy, he will eat his later)

To document the happiness:

The other child was happy too, but her face was not as messy and that always makes for a better, or at least more entertaining, picture.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Things you should know about

  1. I finally finished an insane clothing organization project this past week, resulting in my drawers finally closing and many bags of clothing (dating back to high school) being given and thrown away.
  2. Mike has been reading "Little House on the Prairie" to Naomi every evening, which I was pretty sure she was not entirely absorbing, if at all, since she is only just 3 and usually looks pretty spaced out while he is reading. Then, a few days ago, I walked into the restroom with her, and she looked at our plunger in the holder and asked, "Is that a butter churn?" I said "no" and begged her never to try churning butter with it. At least I know Mike's reading is not totally futile.
3. My sister came to visit on Thursday with her Beau, and we got to make lots of great food and go visit my favorite SB hot spot: the history museum, because we're cool and exciting.

4. One of the recipes we made is definitely worth sharing: THIS ONE by the Pioneer Woman. I am still drooling like a teething baby thinking about them, and I am having to restrain myself from going into the kitchen and polishing off the plate of leftovers. I cannot take any credit for actually making them, since my sister did all the work (I was making my first crab bisque), but I did do a bang up job eating them.
Picture from the cookbook because we ate them too quickly to take a picture of our own finished product.
5. Mike spotted these awesome glass canisters at the best thrift store in the world a few days ago and I went back the next day to buy them in order to organize my crazy pantry. AND since no one will see or care about this because it took place inside a pantry that pretty much only I open, I decided to force you to enjoy the glorious results with me:

I think the total for all four canisters was $6. Best. thrift. store. ever. Also shown: my ingenious idea for storing our borrowed library books on tape. I could sit and stare at these pictures all day.

6. And last but not least (I have to stop at six so it doesn't look like I'm trying to do 7 quick takes on a Saturday- never!), I know what you'll probably think when you see that I've posted youtube videos--"oh, it's just a youtube video that she thinks is funny and I don't have time to look at videos other people enjoy, besides she probably has no sense of humor, and I have a life." But seriously, do yourself a favor and watch these, but IN ORDER--the first one is an actual real music video that people apparently like, and the second is a parody. This will ensure that you laugh today. (Warning: there is at least one bleeped out F bomb in the second video that they do a terrible job of actually bleeping out, so perhaps this is not good to watch around young children.)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

It's a miwacle!

Around the time of Bernadette's birth, Mike was out on a weekly thrift store run and found this movie:


... perfect for the upcoming arrival.

We thought that it would be great for when the girls got older, and especially for Bernadette to learn about her namesake. This was a nice thought, but then she was born and it turned out that I needed to plop her older sister in front of it for at least one viewing a day in order to get anything done stay sane.

This has resulted in a wonderful devotion of Naomi to her sister's patroness, which I will never discourage, but it has also resulted in some other habits as well. Such as the one where Naomi, while playing outside, at the playground, in my parents' yard, or anywhere at all, will suddenly kneel down in whatever given spot she has designated as "the grotto" and begin to "pray a rosary" sure that she will see Our Lady. Another habit formed immediately upon first seeing the video is one where if she is in or around water, even just drinking it, she needs to dip her arm in it and lift it out proclaiming "It's a miwacle!" What a little saint we have...
A saint in the making?


You may have heard (by heard, I mean seen) me talk (and by talk I mean type) about my not-so-little super glamorous full body pregnancy rash before (complaining in 3 different posts isn't overkill, is it?). At my last doctor's appointment, the doc took one look at it and said "Oh yeah, that's PUPPS. I am so sorry." When I asked what I could do to make it go away, she quickly and bluntly responded, "Nothing, it will not go away until after pregnancy and there isn't that I can give you to treat it."

And then I fought back bursting into tears for pretty much the entire appointment--I was a leeedle discouraged. So I called Mike when she left the room to have me disrobe and broke the news to him that he would have a nasty, rashy, complainy wife for the next 6 months and I continued to fight back the tears. He said something really encouraging, as he always does, and I ignored it and felt discouraged and bad for myself, as I always do.

When I arrived home from my never-ending doctor's appointment, Mike said that he had an idea. He handed me a bottle of Lourdes water and suggested that I drink some and pour it over my afflicted areas, aka, everywhere, and just pray for Mary's intercession for healing and for the grace to be able to echo her "fiat" to God--"thy will be done." (one helpful, holier-than-me spouse? check.) At this point I would say I was a bit desperate, so as soon as the girls were down for naps, I did just as he suggested, dousing myself and taking shots of the the holy water and seriously praying for a little "miwacle."

I have waited a few weeks to make sure that the thing stayed far away, but I would say within one day it started to improve and within one week my skin went from looking like it had gotten hit with a million skin meteors to now looking normal, and I am no longer scratching myself like a flee ridden dog. I'm not saying it was a miracle (um, maybe I am), but I'm feeling so much better now, and it sure doesn't hurt to feel like I got the hookup from Mama Mary.

Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Prayers for the pregnants

Every single time I sit down to write this, someone poops herself or another MUST have that princess NOW and will not stop screaming/pushing sister/convulsing/raising hell until mother comes to her rescue and gets back the prized princess this instant. I kind of feel like I am trapped in a stinking den of diapers and whining, so much so that just now, as I went to throw away what was perhaps the most heinous smelling diaper in my career as a mom, I walked out of the house to pitch it and noticed that the garbage can was all the way at the end of the drive way because it is trash day, and my excitement was unspeakable. Usually this would bum me out because I have to walk 3 times the distance carrying a nasty diaper, but not today- today it brought me the biggest sense of relief and freedom. The children were trapped in the basement and couldn't do too much harm to themselves in that 3 minute window, and these were I my moments. I walked as slowly as I possibly could to the trash can with the stinky diaper stench wafting in my face from the breeze. I loved every second of it. Anyways, I figured you were wondering about our morning so far and how I am feeling super burnt out and in need of a serious vacation. Serious.

This brings me to my next point- I have been thinking a lot about all my friends (in real life and in the interblogs) who are expecting little babes. As commonplace as pregnancy is in most of the circles I run in, it is a a pretty huge deal overall (you know, creating and bringing fourth new life), and it is also one of the most difficult times--physically, mentally, and spiritually--that we women go through, so it deserves extra recognition and prayers. Whether you are at the tail-end of your pregnancy like Cari and Steph (read these posts), waiting anxiously for your body to catch up with your will to get the baby out, or at the very beginning dealing with the excruciatingly intense nausea like my friend Natalie (this is my least favorite part of pregnancy). Whichever way you slice it, it is so. darn. hard.

After reading my good friend Maureen's post yesterday, things really fell into perspective for me in two ways: 1) my lame problems are just that, lame, and nothing compared to what so many others have to deal with during pregnancy (this does not mean I will stop complaining, but I may try to limit it, we'll see); and 2) I should probably use this blog community (and my little community here in SB) as more of a means to pray for and build up my fellow mother friends. Similarly, I should probably use my burned-out feelings as something to offer up for all you moms rather than just as something new to complain about on my blog.

So that is what I am working on, and every time I actually succeed in thinking to offer up prayers for fellow mom friends, I give myself a big pat on the back--that way I keep it up. Like the other day when I actually remembered to pray for my mucho pregnant friend, Jenny and THAT DAY she had her baby! God knows what he is doing. I never actually remember to do things like this, so it was especially cool. (Jenny, I am not saying that my super efficacious prayers are what responsible for the safe arrival of your little one, but it is worth a thought.) So I will surely be trying to remember to pray for all of you blog friends (and non-blog friends, you're in my head too) bearing babies, those listed above and many others: Dwija, Bridget, Sheena, Ashley, Jillian, Lauren. I know there are more, but these are the ones I can think of now with my nearly useless pregnancy brain (feel free to suggest additions in the combox). To all of you expectant mothers: thoughts and prayers your way.

Of course as I finally finish this post my toddlers are peacefully sitting and reading and being absolute angels- giving credit where it is due, they are pretty awesome.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Pregnant is the new drunk...

Ok, so I might not be slurring when I speak (at least not yet), but I'm pretty sure that my brain is confusing "baby" with "booze," because I. am. not. right.

The thoughts in my head, they just don't stay straight anymore, probably since my short-term memory now only extends about four seconds into the past. This makes intelligent, sophisticated conversations difficult. Who am I kidding- it renders *coherent* conversations completely impossible.

For example, yesterday, or maybe it was last week, I was talking to my friend at playgroup, or perhaps it was my husband, or the neighbor lady who looks like my husband, and we were talking about something about the thing that she was saying and I was like "Oh wow, that's so great!"

Yeah so I don't remember anything about anything.

See, I can follow what's being said, for a moment anyway, but I have no way of keeping track of how to formulate an appropriate response. And because I won't be able to remember what I say anyway, I've started to not even care.

Loss of inhibitions? Check

And I've already talked, um... ad nauseam, about feeling sick.

So, nausea and vomiting? check

Difficulty walking a straight line (or at least staying on my feet)? Check

How did this get here again?

Then there's my short-term memory, which I could swear cuts out like every four seconds so that I can't remember what I've just said or done. Thankfully, there's my trusty camera to capture my moments of greatest triumph. Like when the refrigerator into which I placed the mayonnaise turned into the pantry overnight, probably miraculously.

Oh, and all these preggo hormones have got me feeling alternatingly weepy and crazy sentimental for Mike and girls, so yeah, I maybe cry for no reason and tell everyone around me how much I love them and how great they are.

My brilliant conclusion: Pregnancy = drunk.

Wow, I should probably stop driving now before something like this happens. On the plus side, if I was to get pulled over, that would give SuperFunnyInsightfulMomBloggerHeroSimchaFisher and me something in common, right? Hmmm, on second thought, I do need to get some more mayo, so maybe a trip to the store's in order.

If I could only remember where I left my keys.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Dumb and Unholy

Last night while chatting before my 10 p.m. bedtime, Mike melodramatically sighed and buried his head in his pillow, and when I asked "what's wrong?" he replied gravely (but jokingly),  "You wouldn't understand, you don't even have a Masters degree." Great.

Then, this afternoon, while we were taking Mike to campus, he was pushing for putting on our newly gifted audio recording of the New Testament, but I wanted to listen to a new pop music cd, which I had brought for the occasion. I acceded to his (holier) wishes, albeit while making fun of the voice of Jesus (just a little bit). As we neared the campus I went ahead and put on some Matt Kearney, because he makes me feel good (and that's what is ALL about really, right?). So I put it on and Bernadette and I were quite content.

Not 2 minutes into the song, my other holier-than-me family member (the 3-year-old) asked repeatedly, "Can we please put on the Rosary???"

"Um, ok."

I'm just happy that even though the mother of these children is so *obviously* pagan, their baptismal graces are trumping that.

I may be unholy but I'm not entirely unhealthy:
yup, you're seeing that right, it's a carrot. stop the presses.

What can I say, I am a work in progress.

(*a note: I love the Bible and the Rosary)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Friday through Wednesday blogging

I meant to post a weekend update on Monday from our time in S-town, but since I took zero pictures and I know you would like more deats on my life than just  the weekend, I will instead give you a detailed account of life since Thursday. Ready, set, read:

  • Thursday after wasting much time on my computer, I finally got my shiz together and got us on the road for  said Ville trip. It was glorious, and by glorious I mean nauseatingly exhausting. 
  • Friday: I slept for probably a total of 5-6 hours then began a great day of time with my family, mostly my sisters- always my favorite. For this pregnant wimp of a woman who usually hits the pillow no later than 10 to rise no earlier than 7- the 6 hours were not cutting it and I was done with the fun by 9. 
  • Saturday was wedding time. I will not go into deats- but it was absolutely beautiful- both the wedding and the fact that Mike and I spent almost 8 solid hours sans stinklings- absolutely beautiful.
  • Sunday. Some might call this the day from h-e-double hockey sticks, but I will just call it a bad day. After waking with a migraine and doing some major scrambling to get in the car with all our stuff packed ready to head home shortly after Mass we experienced one of the most horrendous Mass experiences ever. It ended with me carrying a screaming Naomi out during a letter being read by the deacon who STOPPED the letter and STARED at us as we walked out of the PACKED Church. Needless to say Mike and I were both pretty soured on the whole taking our kids to Mass ever ever ever again thing, but we've recovered I think. As if the Mass exhibit were not enough, our 2 short hours spent with Mike's family ended similarly with us carrying a screaming Naomi and Bernadette and throwing them placing them in the car seats and hitting the road with tires screeching and yelling back that we loved everyone and apologized for the embarrassing display... (exaggerated a little.)
  • Monday, after professing that I was pretty sure that I was done with morning sickness, I had quite possibly the worst sick-day thus far, more intense than all the others. It really showed me. Fortunately I found a food item that sounded good (bagel sandwiches) and ate to my little heart's content to stave off constant nausea.
  • Tuesday was much better and I spent the day catching up with a friend and my sister-in-law and eating bagel sandwiches and store brand toaster pastries (another fantastic find). 
  • Wednesday we will be venturing out to the zoo where I am sure I will again take no pictures, but it should be fun. One picture I did take is this one of my rapidly expanding jumbo tummy at 13 weeks, thank you bagel sandwiches and toaster pastries:
Wow, you didn't think a belly picture could get any worse than my last, I am always outdoing myself.
Cardi: super old target brand
Tank: recent gap maternity clearance find (you can't see the orange leopard print on it, your eyes are really missing out.)
Pants: lent by friendly blogger friend, Grace and are easing the pain of already being in maternity pants.

One day I will post something good, I promise.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


My biggest fan and stud of a husband (in blogging and in life) after reading my post yesterday awarded me with this:
during one of his "study breaks" upstairs to say hi to me and tickle the girls, or was it the other way around? yikes, so weird. Anywho, it certainly made me smile and has continued to do so all day, I think I will never take it off of the fridge regardless of people's weird looks. Who am I kidding, what people??!?

Right and so today we are heading back to the Ville (our home town, short for Steubenville, OH) for the wedding of one of Mike's long time friends and some fun with the fams of course. All this means is that I have a crap load to do and instead I am blerging about about certificates and the delayed fun with Easter stickers the girls had this morning (well the fun wasn't delayed, but giving them the stickers was):
they. both. smiled. at the same time. this is monumental.
And to show that I am not a total slacker, here are some things that I have accomplished today:
  1. ate a hot dog
  2. cleaned the bath room. whhhaaaatttttt!!!!!
  3. ate cereal, like 3 times
  4. packed a leeedle
  5. gathered snacks for me us to eat in the car
  6. read all unread items on my google reader (this fill me with a great sense of accomplishment and sadness at the same time...)
  7. took out the trash
  8. checked FB like 12-22 times
  9. took Mike to campus
  10. thought about cleaning the other bathroom
And now that you have enough unwanted info about me to get you through the weekend, I will be back Monday with some fun weekend updates and more much not needed information.
Keep it real.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Mary Poppins Days

A few weeks ago I discovered something that has saved me on many occasions since then: that the movie Mary Poppins is almost 2 and a half hours in duration. This would not have a been a good thing about 6 months ago since that is kind of a ridiculous length of time to plop young minds in front of a screen, but then I miscarried and then 4 weeks later I was pregnant again and then 2 weeks later I could barely get off the couch due to alllllll day sickness.

Ever since this current semester happened (I still measure my life in terms of semesters) I have dubbed way too many days "Mary Poppins Days", a day where I cannot imagine NOT sticking my girls on the couch for this length of time. I will try to spare you all the complainy details of why things are so hard right now, I know you've heard it enough if you've stuck out reading this blog since it's turned into one big pregnancy complaining fest, but suffice it to say that heaping a crazy itchy pregnancy rash (diagnosed recently as PUPPS) and bad cold given to me by 18 month old (who ever said these kids don't give me gifts?) on top of the constant nausea and crazy fatigue -yes, I am the most pathetic pregnant women ever- has made almost every day a "Mary Poppins Day". A day where I need 2 1/2 hours to do things like lay on the couch and blog, which is my only social outlet at all anymore, and maybe eat something without sharing.

The point here is that I am in survival mode, and while I am all too eager to be done "just surviving" every day, it's been helpful to realize that for this season in life, this is ok. I read this post recently which I found as a result of reading Hallie's chapter in this book and really being struck by her identification of different seasons in life and allowing yourself slack in certain seasons. I wrote this post recently about how too much is being asked of me and it all came together this morning that I am the one who is expecting too much of myself (it would have been helpful to put all this together a few weeks ago as I am nearing the "out of the woods" point in terms of nausea). I wake up every morning expecting myself to get out of bed, shower, get dressed for the day, and put makeup on and yet I am so nauseous and exhausted from being up all night scratching my rash that the thought of even getting out of bed kind of crushes me. Then, when all of those tasks are not accomplished, I am beating myself up and getting down on myself for not being the woman of Proverbs 31. What if my only expectation of myself was just get out of bed? Then when it happens, I have accomplished my goal. If I just expect that several days of the week right now are going to be "Mary Poppins days" then when I plop the girls on the couch with their juice and snack cups for the entire morning, the crushing guilt that generally follows for failing to be the mother I am expecting myself to be might be eased a bit since this was the expectation anyways. As soon as I let go of the the expectation of working out everyday while feel like crap, the better I felt at the end of everyday about not doing it. You get the point.

Now I will stop ranting and take advantage of the remainder of my 2 1/2 hours to do some more laying, eating, nothing too productive, etc...

And for your enjoyment

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Embrace the bunny

Don't worry, we don't tell our kids that there is an Easter bunny, but every other year since getting married I have been rabidly anti-bunny at Easter. But then this year I just decided to go with it and buy some bunny peeps and bunny milky ways- because they are cute and that is all, and why run away from it- Jesus still rose from the dead whether bunnies are everywhere or not.

In the spirit of embracing the bunny I made this cake with a pan my mom gave me a few years ago but refused to use:

And we trudged through the morning as gleefully as is possible when your morning starts at 4 a.m. (just as your husband is coming to bed, yes some of us still have husbands who have to pull all nighters for paper deadlines). My ever-so glamorous pregnancy rash as been keeping me up throughout the night and now waking me up at 4, whoever said pregnant women are the most beautiful has never seen me close up during pregnancy. Let's see how much I can mention my rash on the blog- so gross, sorry.

So these are sadly the only pictures I snapped of our Easter:
inhaling smarties
And a bonus video of Naomi finding her basket. Happy Easter!!

naomi's discovery from Ana Hahn on Vimeo.

Friday, April 6, 2012

How much is too much?

I found myself saying a lot this week that "too much is being asked of me". Between constant nausea and fatigue and 2 girls in constant need of attention and for me to get them things (one with the croup all week and sleeping terribly) I have been feeling totally burnt out. We would be outside and trying to enjoy ourselves in the sunshine and all I would be thinking about is how tired and sick I felt, how all I really wanted was to be in my bed not pushing my girls on the swings. Naomi asked me something while I was swinging them and I just said to her "no, too much is being asked of me". I know I said it to Mike on at least one occasion as well. That is how I have felt all week, stretched thin and barely able to function, let alone make life sweet and pleasant for the people I am serving all day.

Fitting, isn't it that I've felt this way the entirety of Holy Week? I've shed quite a few tears because of my own sufferings this week and have not flinched at the sufferings of my Lord for me. I sat to pray this morning. I figured it's Good Friday, I should probably pray. I read this in my little prayer book "In Conversation with God": "He was not content to suffer a little; he wished to drink the chalice to the dregs without leaving a single drop behind, so that we might learn the greatness of his love and the baseness of sin, so that we may be generous in self-giving, in mortification and in service of others". He did not say "too much is being asked of me", he did not stop at the first fall, at the second, at the third. He has given me the only example of generous self-giving that I need.

Jesus did not stop half way through the way of the Cross and say, "no, too much is being asked of me". And as the Lord showers down abundant blessing on me: my husband, my children, my family, no real problems in life, so many blessings, do I ever push them away saying, "no, it's too much". Nope, I take them all, most of the time forgetting to even say "thank you". And when the sufferings come, when the sacrifices are asked of me, sure I take them because I have to- then I make sure to let everyone around me know how much I am giving and how hard it all is. I make sure to say to the Lord and to those around me that "too much is being asked of me". The gifts are not too much, but the sacrifices- too much. Clear evidence that I am not looking to the Cross enough, or following the example I have on every wall my house of being "generous in self-giving, in mortification and in service of others", of Jesus who never said "too much is being asked of me".

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Caged Wisdom

Again, our exposure to the outside population has been extremely limited as of late, so I have had a lot of time to sit around and ponder life (I certainly don't feel good enough to actually DO anything, common!).

Here are some things I have been thinking about:

a) I feel pretty sure that my growth as a result of pregnancy is abnormal at the very least. I wanted to take a picture of myself to ask the general public who read this blog if they think it is normal, or rather if anyone else has been this large by 11 weeks. As soon as I put the camera up to take the picture, my shame and certainty that everyone will comment that no, they were never this big until at least 20 weeks, stops me and I cannot go through with even snapping the picture.

b) I've been looking at my wedding picture a lot recently, and it hit me yesterday that not only was my hair do bad at my wedding, it actually closely resembled a Julia Roberts wedding hair style in Steely Mags:

Just add a little poof to the top and we're twins!
c) I have broken out in a terrible rash all over my legs, which I know you really want to hear about, so that's why I am telling you. I am pretty sure that it is due to pregnancy/hormone changes, but as I was laying in bed for over an hour in the middle of the night last night (also due to preg insomnia, but I am not complaining) I was pretty convinced that it was a result of a banana overdose. So the first that I did upon waking to day was to Google "banana overdose", of course! It turns out that unless I am eating over 15 bananas a day, I am not likely to have banana overdose. So I am back to the drawing board there.

d) Bernadette has a cough that sounds like she's been smoking for 30 years, and this morning I started to freak out that it is pertussis, even though she has been vaccinated for it. SO to ease my anxiety I looked online for a sound bite of what the whooping cough sounds like, I found a link called "the sounds of pertussis" so I clicked. I then proceeded to watch a 2 minute video of a mother grieving the loss of her little son to the disease. Anxiety not eased. But now I know what pertussis sounds like.

e) Last but not least, for your enjoyment (and because I know you'll all be so sweet and make me feel better about myself, or maybe you won't, just don't be too mean) and an attempted explanation of the title of this post, it's still confusing though- sorry.

me at 20 11 weeks


Monday, April 2, 2012

Snapshots and photos

First and foremost, go over to Cari's blog pronto and check out her 5th volume of Sunday Snapshots. They are SO much fun and her blog is primo, top notch, super awesome- go there now.

 And now for some weekend photo recaps from the old b-day.
This first one necessitated me blurring myself out due to very tired/nauseous/swollen face: it was pretty early in the a.m. Also the blurriness really gives you a concrete idea of the haze I am currently always in. But the girls are super cute in it and they were certainly more excited to open my presents than me. 
Good times

Dance party after an evening family viewing of Babe

I pretty much love Bernadette's dance move here, she was really breaking it down

Mike wins the award for best husband on a birthday, he planned a fab day for me complete with sleeping in, birthday donuts, lots of presents including some seriously fantastic maternity shorts for the summer and this book:
We rapped it all up with dinner out + fro yo and a family movie. Yes, he wins.
Have a blessed Holy Week.