Friday, May 7, 2021

Excuses, excuses...

Hi friends! Sorry it’s been so long! I started this on Tuesday and I cannot believe it is Friday already! I have many excuses for my absence, and I’ll link up with Kelly to give you all of them now:

Excuse #1) The Easter bunny gave us COVID. Or at least that’s Fred’s favorite way to say that: we all got COVID. And man! It was awful! It hit Lucy first and the poor thing had to miss out on all Easter fun since she was not feeling well, though we did not know yet that it was the dreaded COVID, consequently this is one of our only Easter photos:

Hanging with Lucy and Annie while the other kids have Easter fun.

Then it took Mike down and then... dun dun dun... it came for me. And boy did it come. After 2 weeks of fever, aches, chills, the worst cough of my life, stomach bug symptoms, loss of taste and smell and loads of shortness of breath leaving me thisclose to heading to the ER, I was finally given some steroid meds that got things under control (and also caused the worst and most painful mouth rash I’ve ever had but by that point I was basically in the pits of despair anyway so why not add another bad side effect?!). I had started to slide into the category of people who think COVID is really NBD for most people but you can bet you I’ve slid back to the camp of those who know that is absolutely just not the case. I’ll be hitting those shots hard next year- never again. 

Excuse #2: I’m still pregnant! 

And fairly certain I will be forever. Also did I mention that pregnancy and COVID are not a nice combination? 10 out of 10 do not recommend. I feel like I’m still coming out of all the lingering side effects. But! Baby is doing great,  I’ll be 30 weeks tomorrow and I’m so so thankful for this little guy. 

Excuse #3: These hooligans:

We finished up standardized testing last week and did one last week of wrap up work this week in our actual homeschool. The girls still have 2 weeks of co-op left but I AM DONE HERE FOR NOW (we always do some sort of summer school but that will not be happening for several weeks). Now I get to do all the things I’ve been dreading doing in the back of my mind while I frantically try to get an adequate amount of school in for these kids. These things include but are not limited to: the insane clothing organization of 2021 and the actual clothing swap, scrap book Annie’s baby book before this little one exits the womb, clean all the nasty crevices of this house, etc. It should be LOADS of fun. 

Excuse #4: I planted a garden! I spent way too much money on it! And I love it so so much!!!

Excuse #5: The ALMOST finished attic!!



Which is really not an excuse for taking up time for me personally since Mike and my dad have done all the work but it’s been one of those big looming projects and we are so so close! Eeek!!

Excuse #6: Annie 

She gets her very own take and is an exclusive excuse because she is crazy. Super super cute but also insanely clingy and at that high needs and high intensity 2-year-old stage where she does basically nothing entirely by herself and prefers me to every other human being. Which also does not jive super well with pregnancy. It’s a really good things she is so stinking cute. She had her 2nd birthday right at the tail end of COVID and I was so thankful that I was finally starting to feel better for the day:

Excuse #7: I can’t think of anything else but hopefully I'll be back sooner than later! Have a wonderful weekend!!

Friday, March 26, 2021

Links, bellies, and curls quick takes!

And just like that it’s been a month since my last post- whoops! I’ll link with Kelly to try to remedy this situation!

1) Thanks time a million for all the comments from you wonderful readers letting me know your here and reading- I feel very humbled  and grateful to have so many online buddies to stay connected with even without social media (I feel like blogging is a much more meaningful way of staying connected- is it just me? Maybe I’m just telling myself that to try to keep myself from getting back on social media...) But seriously it feels more meaningful. Anyways I’m just glad your here!

2) I’m not sure there is anything I have missed more since giving up social media than Britt’s updates on how she and Agnes are doing. I was so so thrilled when I saw that she had posted this heartbreakingly beautiful post about her chemo process. It really helped to put my life with its very small-scale struggles into perspective. I highly recommend reading it. 

3) I’m not sure there’s much I loved more than reading this from Jenny this week. Mike used to say he was going to hunt the Canadian geese by our old apartment for meat when we were newlyweds and I was completely supportive because they were everywhere and we were very poor. Also Mike and I are rewatching the Office and so I naturally thought of one of my most favorite scenes of all time:

4) Not much to report with regards to pregnancy news. I’m 23.75 weeks (but who’s counting? Me. I’m always counting) I seriously cannot wait to hold this little buddy.
Belly pic for your enjoyment:

5) I cannot believe we are heading into Holy Week already- it feels like just yesterday we were rushing to the ER on Ash Wednesday with a little concussed Annie.
The day of the concussion event, to commemorate her plight.

My birthday falls this Holy Week so it’s sure to either be one of the most penitential birthdays ever or one of the least penitential Holy Weeks ever. Knowing me it will likely be the latter. I just reeeeeeally want cheesecake. 

6) It may be the stimulus money or the fact that this pregnancy has left me feeling like I just DESERVE ALL THE THINGS but after 6 babies I finally splurged and got myself a Blanqi. Things are just really feeling like they need some extra support and some serious extra smoothing out. I’m obsessively tracking the package because I’m just a tad excited. 

7) It’s gotten more humid here the last couple of days and it is doing fabulous things for Annie’s hair. I’m a tad obsessed with the curls.

Have a great weekend!!

Friday, February 19, 2021

Hot topic quick takes!

 Linking with Kelly for some quick takes about all the hottest topics, hit it.

1) SNOW. Well after my despair over NEEDING it to snow and wanted and praying for it to snow, it snowed. And snowed. And snowed. And snowed some more. I blogged a little less than 3 weeks ago and since then the snow has not left the ground and just keeps piling up. And the thing is, I know it’s all my fault- this is what happens when Ana prays for things. I apologize to you all, I will start praying for spring.

I think Fred’s feelings kind of capture how everyone is feeling about winter now. We’re done.

2) PREGNANCY. I know you’re all (all 2 of you reading) dying to know how this pregnancy is treating me so I will indulge you with some deats. It’s great. I mean terrible. I mean terrible and great. It is so great that this sweet boy is growing and healthy and I think I finally felt some legit kicks in the middle of the night last night (my absolute favorite thing ever!!!) but it turns out that being pregnant this many times is hard and my body seems to hate me for it. I tried to be “healthy “ recently and be consistent with some prenatal workouts and as a result I think I did some major pelvic floor damage. TMI? Sorry. But seriously, as a long-time blog-complainer over all things pregnancy related I can say that young 20-something Ana had absolutely nothing to complain about. Getting old is no fun. With that said,  since my belly is finally catching up with my body in growth I’ll go ahead and document the bump at 18 weeks:

3) LENT. Very fitting, very fitting indeed. Pregnancy during Lent, that is. I woke up this morning to this little reading in my prayer book and it was... timely. 

The daily cross. No day without a cross; not a single day in which we are not to carry the cross of the Lord, in which we are not to accept his yoke. Let this opportunity serve to remind us again that the joy of the resurrection is a consequence of the suffering of the cross.”

That Saint Josemaria is always good for a timely reminder. It’s from Christ is Passing By.  

4) MORE LENT. And we’re only 2 days in! I woke up Wednesday fully intending to kick lent off right with morning mass with the kids. I was attempting to have everyone fed early and dressed when all of the sudden, sweet Annie took a huge fall down our stairs resulting in a trip to the ER, a mild concussion and one extremely terrified and stressed out mother. Right after the fall she seemed like she might lose consciousness and it was one of the scariest moments of my life. So we did not get to mass after all but after reading that above quote I decided I was ok with that being the penitential way God wanted us all to start lent. And Annie is doing great! Or else maybe I wouldn’t have been fine with it...

5) BLOGGING. Getting back to blogging sans social media has been strange because I’m fairly certain 95% of the people who read my blog were reading it because I posted that I blogged on social media. The nice thing is that it totally takes all the pressure off of caring too much about what exactly I write and whether there are typos because I know those of you stopping by are here because you know me and want to be here. With that said though, I’d love to know who is reading and if those of you reading are also blogging so I can check in with you too, so let me know! And thanks for being here:)

6) MORE BLOGS. There are a few blogs I’ve been checking in with of other friends who are still blogging it old school (or who never stopped) and it’s been lovely. Laura, Colleen, Rosie, Jenny and of course Kelly, are my current frequent reads but I’d love to add yours to my brain feed, since I’m not using any actual feed online. 

7) Alright my Freddie Friday idea is kind of a flop since I stink at writing down the funny things he says and also mostly stink at taking good pictures but I’ll still feature at least one recent phone photo to give him his due on the blog. 

Happy Friday!!!

Thursday, January 28, 2021

7QT {Freddie Friday + A GENDER REVEAL!!}

Hello friends! I’m going to give myself a major pat on the back if I actually hit post on this before Friday to link with Kelly, we shall see...

1) There’s a potential big snow storm set to hit our area this weekend and as one member of this family obsessively checks the weather (me!) and that same member is dying for actual legit snow fall, that family member may be a tad crushed if it doesn’t end up *actually* snowing. I love snow and am a little sick of this Mid-Atlantic weather where you have ALL the cold and grey of winter but zero of the beautiful fluffy festive stuff. It must snow or I will cry. The kids will be fine. 

2-3) A big big thanks to you friends who commented with some great dinner ideas and fish advice! I’ve not made any of the new dinners yet but hope to this week, but I DID add one new frog to our tank and so far he is doing great! The kids have named him Titan, which is funny because he’s an African DWARF frog. Also after I got him I realized that our other frog is actually a female and I just plunked a male right in with her. Whoops! If you’re in the market for frog babies hit me up, breeding African dwarf frogs might be in my near future.

4) Mike and I watched Coco together and I have to say it is one of most beautiful movies I’ve seen. I was super skeptical for the first half but once I stopped mentally insisting that it adhere strictly to Catholic doctrine on eternal realities I just thoroughly enjoyed it. We won’t watch it with the kids until they are quite older and won’t be confused by it, and also once they can actually appreciate it.

5) We made some major progress on our attic project over the last 2 weeks. Another before of it just framed:

And behold, drywall!!!!

From the other end...

Drywall makes such a HUGE difference! In my mind all we need to do is paint and put some carpet in (I wanted to try to keep the 200 year old wood floors but alas there are too many massive holes) but whenever I talk to Mike I realize I’m missing quite a few things in there so it will still be a couple of months before it’s totally done. But we’re getting there! 

6) I had an idea last week of trying to squeeze at least one funny/awesome picture or quote from Fred and call it “Freddie Fridays” so here goes my first attempt: 

Joe and Fred were playing some pretend thing in which Joe quickly turned into the bad guy who burns things (naturally). Fred’s response was “NOOOOOO!!!! You cannot do dat!!! It is a MOORWATAL SIN!!!” 

Which also gives you a good glimpse into the personality difference between Joe and Fred. 

7) Last and not least in the slightest! Now that I’m at the “geriatric” age for pregnancy I’ve had to get all sorts of extra blood work done to screen for possible things (so far all tests have come back looking very good!) But one of the tests also happens to do an early screen for the baby’s gender and so without further ado I’m so excited that in July we will be welcoming...




And Anastasia will be right at home:

Thanks for reading, friends! Have a happy Friday and a great (snowy!!!!!) weekend!

Friday, January 15, 2021

Back, baby!

Oh hey! Long time no blog, here’s to my first of hopefully many attempts to revive the blog!

1) First and absolutely foremost: I announced on social media a few weeks ago but failed to bless the old blog with the fact sweet babe #7 is on the way! We are, as always, utterly thrilled and cannot wait to meet this little one in July. 

First family photo of all 9 of us. Joe is thrilled, really. 

2) Speaking of social media, I’ve gone ahead and jumped on the bandwagon of deleting it permanently. I didn’t even realize it was a bandwagon honestly, I’ve just been increasingly weirded out by how much I’m clearly being targeted with advertising and also thrown off by the fact that I just can’t physically NOT get on social media, it is legit addictive. So I pulled off the bandaid BUT when I did I thought I had pulled all my recent messages as well but learned after the deletion that several sweet friends had messaged me with their info to stay in touch that did not get transferred to my phone. If you are one such sweet friend and are reading please let me know so I can write you an email personally. 

3) We had a lovely Christmas here at home, followed by some travel to see family in Ohio. We hadn’t seen our families since June so it was really a long time coming. The boys received their very favorite Christmas gift from my mother-in-law- behold the 2 cutest little Steelers football players alive:

They typically fight violently whenever they *actually* play pretend football together but it is adorable while it lasts. 

4) Another dynamite gift given by the parental constituents was an aquarium for the boys which we filled with 2 aquatic frogs, 3 tetra fish, 1 small catfish and 2 snails. As it stands 1 frog is still alive of all the aquatic animals. Like I said, a dynamite gift given by a dynamite pet keeper. Any and all aquarium advise is welcome. 

5) We have a huge home renovation project in the works in the form of finishing our attic and turning it into the girls room. I will absolutely be updating the blog with before and afters but here is a little teaser of the space after it was all framed: 

It was a totally unfinished attic. Mike cut out the 200 year old beams to raise the ceiling so it won’t feel boxy and did all the electrical work my dad came and put in a bathroom and framed everything. We insulate this weekend and drywall next - it really getting real. I’m just a tad excited.

6) Now that I’m feeling a little less like death I’m actually not totally miserable whilst cooking dinner, but I am, however, at a total loss for new (EASY) recipes. Send them my way, please!

7) I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, but Fred is perhaps the most awesome human being on the planet. 

Case in point. Happy weekend! 

Friday, November 6, 2020

Look who’s blogging!

What is even happening, is this real? The blog is back! For today. Where to even begin?! Linking with Kelly! 

1) I was reading through my blog the other day, reminiscing about my oldest pre-teens being little toddlers and realized it is simply unjust that I’ve given so little blog-attention to my younger half. So here are a few gems:

2) Yesterday all the kids were talking about their belly buttons (naturally) and Joe was pointing out that we ALL have belly buttons (but kept insisting on calling them “navels”) He went around the room identifying that each person had one and once he got to me he said “even mom has a navel! A super OLD and shriveled and wrinkled navel!” 

He’s not wrong.

3) I don’t know if have many good quotes from Fred but I have decided that he is quite possibly the most delightful human being on the face of the earth, and I could sit and converse with him for hours and not get bored. His favorite thing to do is talk incessantly about things that he is actually fairly scared of, most of which he has actually made up himself. 

For instance: he has created several islands in his head that are located “off the coast of Asia” (everything is in Asia in his head) They are called “Souf(like “south but with an F)-A-Fanna” and “Mada-creepy-island” (no relation to Madagascar, surprisingly). Both islands are the home of all the “cweepy fings”, such as: lava monsters (which he also calls “dangerous habits”), skulls, mummies, pirates, dinosaurs, mannequins (he is terrified of mannequins). Maybe this is a coping mechanism, like if he mentally puts all the things that freak him out on far away islands he doesn’t need to worry about them? Either way it’s thorough entertaining, 4-year-olds are the best. 

3) Then there’s Anastasia. Sweet perfect Anastasia who can do no wrong in the world (winketty wink). I actually hopped on my blog to try to jog my memory as to whether my older 3 girls were as insanely clingy as she is (Bernadette and Lucy absolutely were, thank you blog). She had about a week long jag of alwaysalwaysalwayscryingnevernotcrying and I was sure something was wrong but then she suddenly stopped and started saying actual words and having lengthy (albeit unintelligible) conversations with us and I breathed a long sigh of relief that she was just going through a legit development and we would be avoiding sending her to toddler counseling. For now.

4) One of the reasons that these gems have gone undocumented on the Internets is that I went ahead and deactivated the Old Insta-account for now, (and I go back and fourth deactivating and reactivating Facebook depending on the extent to which I desperately need to peruse Facebook marketplace.) At some point I realized that I was constantly thinking about life in Instagram captions and that’s just weird. Also I was totally baffled by why, after 30+ minutes of Instagram scrolling I was spiraling with anxiety (wasn’t actually baffled). Why do I suddenly feel like my house isn’t pretty enough, my husband didn’t bring me enough (or any) breakfast in bed, and my children were all wrong- in all ways? So I decided to take a break and see if it made a difference and it was huge. I got back on for a few days and that’s all it took to see that it just shouldn’t be in my life right now. Maybe one day I will be a totally mature, confident woman with complete self-mastery and no insecurities and will be able to handle it but for now I’ll be mostly off. That being said I’ll probably pop on to post that I wrote this- because let’s be honest, who even knows what blogging is anymore? Hypocrisy thy name is Ana. 

5) Just in case anyone was wondering, daylight  savings does not get any easier the more kids you have. Going on almost a week of 4 am wake times, which is only killing me a little. Also in case you were wondering: you’re never too old to complain about daylight savings.

6) What else? I made these snickerdoodle bars the other day and they were absolutely amazing. I really want to make this cake today because I basically can’t stop baking right now**. Hashtag fall. 

7) Lastly here’s some photographic evidence of all the children on All Saints Day, which is where the above 3 photos were from (I don’t just dress my kids up like that on a daily basis.)

Our lady of Fatima, Saint Cecilia, Saint Kateri Saint Sebastian, Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, and little Saint Jacinta. 

**Since beginning this post I actually baked said cake and it was... OK. I wouldn’t bake it again. I know you were all dying to know how that turned out. You’re welcome.

Until next year, Happy weekend!!

Monday, April 13, 2020

Quaranteaster Quick Takes

Linking up late with Kelly, the ever faithful Friday quick takes hostess.

1) Speaking of linking up, I know I floated the idea of  doing an Easter outfit  link-up but then I realized that it was a very overly-ambitious idea for someone who has shown herself to be the worst, most inconsistent of bloggers. Also there was a decent percentage of our family that only had t-shirts and gym shorts on all day (ahem Joe and Fred) and we never did get a family picture like I had hoped and dreamed. But! I will take this opportunity to showcase my new favorite dress that I did actually wear the entire day, because it is one of my best thrift store purchases and was procured for only $1 (!!) My girls loved it so much and would not stop telling me how beautiful it was all day and our resident 11 year old photographer kept asking me if she could take pictures of me in it. So here you go, just me, in my one dollar dress, no link up, no family picture, sounds about right for this Easter.

2) I attempted to get back to running last week and after one attempt I ended up posting this on Twitter:

I only wish someone had been around recording me because it would have made such a perfect GIF. I was also thoroughly impressed with my own ability to jump back up after wiping out just to escape the eyes of the many onlookers. I took that as my sign that running really is not for me right now and have not attempted another run since. It was a nice idea while it lasted, but I think I'll just stick with my trusty old Jillian workouts where no one can see me.

3) After 3 weeks of zero trips outside the confines of our yard with the kids, we decided to venture to a nearby open field area with a nice walking path next to it and it was utterly glorious. It was so surreal to get into the car with the kids and realize it had been almost a month since we'd done that.

Fred frequently wears clip-on neck ties with his t-shirts. I hope he does it forever. The weather was so gorgeous last week and I'm trying to just focus on my gratitude for that gift instead of complaining about the really crummy weather we've got coming this week, but will likely devote an entire quick take to complaining about it once this week is done.

4) We had a really nice Easter Sunday despite being quarantined, but I would be a lying liar if I said it wasn't kind of crushing to not attend Mass. It definitely was. We are really close to our neighbors (i.e. our house is actually connected to our neighbor's house) and since they are older and were not able to see their grand-kids for Easter they asked if they could fill eggs and hide them in our yard for a little Easter morning egg hunt. It was the sweetest. Then MORE of our friends dropped off eggs for us to hide for another hunt in the afternoon followed by a supper fun ZOOM group chat where we prayed together, so many blessings from a very good God during this weirdest and hardest of times.

5) We spent the better part of Triduum and Easter watching the show The Chosen with the kids and even though I only really caught little bits (Fred the 3-year-old was maybe not its intended audience) it was one of the most well done and beautiful shows about the life of our Lord I've ever seen. I highly recommend.

6) We don't usually take a spring break for our homeschool because I prefer to end early and begin summer sooner but we also don't usually operate under stay at home orders for months on end. So as acting principal and superintendent and the only teacher for all the grade levels of Clairvaux Academy I made a last minute executive decision to have holy week be our spring break. I figure we will just do school a bit longer this year since, well, we won't have anything else to do and the structure is good for these long days in the house. After a week off I have come to the conclusion that I have ever needed a break from homeschooling as much as I needed this one. I got to do things like clean the house and read to the 3 year old without feeling like someone's education was being neglected. Plus we played games during the day and went on bike rides and it was really wonderful. I'll be spending the rest of today planning for the rest of the week and I'm maybe dreading it a tiny bit but I'm sure it'll be ok. I learned a valuable lesson though: let yourself take breaks!

7) I'm making chicken cordon bleu casserole tonight with our Easter ham leftovers and I'm maybe a little bit excited because 1) I LOVE ham leftovers and 2) I'm basically Liz Lemon.

Give me all your favorite Easter ham leftover recipes and have a wonderfully  happy quarantEaster Week!!!