Thursday, August 20, 2015

30 before 30

Yesterday marked the beginning of the end of my 20's (read: I turned 29 yesterday). I always get very nostalgic over passing milestones and life chapters and things like that, so I'm feeling a little sentimental over being in the last year of my twenties. My twenties have been great! It was my decade of change, falling in love, becoming a mom.

What will my thirties be? I have no idea, but whatever it is will probably be a little more grown up. Maybe there's a few more things I need to do before I turn 30 to make sure I'm really ready for it. Maybe it's this feeling combined with my love of to-do lists and goal-setting that I have felt the need to make a list of things I'd like to accomplish before I turn 30. I have no idea how many of these I will actually get to in the next year. But it's good to be ambitious, right? It never hurts to aim high. So here goes. I'll let you know how I did one year from now. 

In no particular order:

1. Learn to shoot in manual focus
2. Get a pair of Birkenstocks
3. Have Johnny do a night away
4. Go away for a night with just Alex
5. Make a sweater for everyone in my (immediate) family
6. Read Brideshead Revisted
7. See the Minnesota Orchestra
8. Organize the pantry
9. Purge baby clothes
10. Purge my own clothes
11. Learn to like beer
12. Do an organized, out of the house activity (ie: painting class, piano lessons)
13. Go to the Red Cow
14. Have a regular girls night
15. Buy no new yarn until I have gotten through my current yarn stash
16. Be a part of a Bible study
17. Take some yoga classes
18. Do a weekly holy hour
19. Do a weekly rosary
20. Reread Harry Potter
21. Be more patient
22. Have a good labor and delivery experience
23. Plant some cherry trees
24. Read more
25. Spend less
26. Back up all the pictures on my computer
27 Join a Well Read Mom group
28. Practice piano regularly
29. Develop a good habit of daily prayer
30. Harvest the compost


keep in touch!



Friday, August 14, 2015

7 things that mystify/terrify me about having a second child.

linking up with Kelly for some quick takes


Baby no. 2 is coming in less than two months and it's really starting to set in. We are going to have two kids. All this time we've only had one kid, and we've gotten pretty used to having one kids. And while I'm mostly pretty over the moon excited about the arrival of our baby girl and so looking forward to all the new born snuggles coming my way, sometimes I get a little freaked out about a few things. So now I am here by soliciting the advise of wiser, more experienced mamas.

1. How do you get two kids to nap AT THE SAME TIME? I know it happens because I've heard other moms talk about it. Everyone naps at the same time and then mom gets a nice little hour of solitude. I'm looking for practical stuff here. Do you put the toddler down first and let the baby sit in a bouncy seat and cry? Or do your get the baby down while the toddler is running wild and getting into who knows what? Or have you figured out how to be in two places at once?

2. When the new baby comes and is nursing does the older baby (now toddler) ever want to start nursing again? Johnny was such a strong nurser until I became pregnant and my supply went away. Then he weaned very easily. I wonder if he will remember nursing and get jealous of the new baby? Or do 2-year-olds not remember stuff like that?

3. Cloth diapering mamas, are you just doing laundry all the time? Because of all of Johnny's GI stuff he poops a lot and we wash diapers basically every other day. I'm trying to anticipate the volume of dirty diapers once a newborn enters into the equation. Which brings me to my next question...

Johnny is doing a diaper change on his zebra.
4. Do you put your newborns into cloth diapers right away? Can they really be folded and snapped up small enough for a little tiny newborn bum? We really have no experience with cloth diapering a new born. We used disposables with Johnny for about the first three months, then when we did work up the courage to break out the cloth diapers we were only changing wet ones because Johnny had his colostomy bag until he was 8 months old. Changing a colostomy bag on a new born? No sweat! But changing tiny newborn poopy diapers? This will be new territory for me.

5. How on earth do you get out to the car? It takes me about 15-20 minutes to leave the house with Johnny. Does it get easier with each kid you add? Or do you just add on more time? Ten more minutes for each additional child?

6. Grocery shopping.  I don't even want to think about it. A couple of my girlfriends use a delivery service when things are rough.  Maybe that will be our M.O. for the first few months.

7. How do you ever love that new baby as much as you love your first baby? Sometimes when Johnny is sleeping I just sit by his bed and look at his beautiful face and think there is no way I could love anyone the way I love him. We have been through so much with him. Lord willing, we will never have to go through that with another baby again. But it's created such a bond between us, not to mention Johnny is the one that first made me a mother.  I've heard my friends say things like "the heart makes room," and "You just love your new baby so much, and it makes you love your other kids in a new way." I think they must be right, and it two short (hopefully) months I will be finding out for myself.

Ok, all the sage, motherly advice you possess, ready, set, go!


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Monday, August 10, 2015

7 quick takes vol. 18


We made it through Alex's first semester of school! His last final was last week and now we are enjoying three whole weeks of no homework and lots of family time. As you can imagine, I am excited.

I also just have to say that I am so proud of Alex for all the time, energy and hard work he has put into his schooling thus far. Even though it's been really hard for both of us, I have no doubt in my mind that this is what he's supposed to be doing and am going to try my darnedest to be supportive and helpful for the next two years so that he can be successful. (stress on am going to try my darnedest.)


The week before finals Johnny and I left Alex to his solitary studying and took a last minute trip to the exotic state of Wisconsin to spend a few days with my parents and little brother at a lake. I was a little nervous to be wrangling Johnny in a non-baby proof environment without Alex, but my family was very helpful and I was even able to relax a little bit. Johnny had lots of firsts: first time in a lake, first time on a boat, first time fishing, and first time sleeping in his pack and play. All in all, a success!


A couple weeks ago I posted on Facebook about wanting one of those goofy looking, wrap around your body, pregnancy pillows. Well, when I got home from the cabin Alex had this waiting for me.

 That night I snuggled up with it in my bed (with a memory foam pillow topper that Alex got me when I was pregnant with Johnny) and I was so comfortable I could not stop smiling.  It was divine.  If you are pregnant, or hey, even your're not, I highly recommend a....snoogle.


Are you following along with Haley as she and her family take a 6 week road trip across the country? Well, if you are then you probably noticed that at the beginning of the month the Stewarts were in Minnesota. Haley said on her Facebook page that St. Paul was her favorite city so far on their travels and I had to beam with pride over my hometown. 

My friend Nell hosted a little get together for us MN bloggers (Susanna, Laura, Nancy) and friends, to meet Haley. This was not the first time I have met other bloggers at Nell's house, and every time it's always a little weird to meet someone you've been following online for a while. But it's amazing to me that the internet can bring people together in such a way that after a matter of minutes all weirdness is gone and you feel like fast friends.

By far my favorite thing about blogging is the way it brings women together and allows us to share our experiences with each other.  I don't get to walk out into my neighborhood and talk to other mothers, like women of generations past, but I do have a network of women, close to home and across the country, who are going through the same things I'm going through on the daily. And that's a very comforting thing. And then, when we do get together in the flesh, the conversation and fellowship is truly something amazing.


Last week my college orchestra conductor passed away. She battled cancer for 4 years. and on August 2nd her battle ended. It's been over 2 years since I had seen her. But after seeing a person 4 days a week for 4 years, plus traveling across the country and to Europe on orchestra tours with her, well, you just never forget someone you spent that much time with. 

Current and former students were invited to play in an orchestra at her funeral mass and I was so grateful for the opportunity pay tribute/show my respect/say goodbye in such a fitting way. It was a sad funeral, hard to watch her children (grade school aged) and her husband (looked so strong and at peace, but must be aching so) but hers was such a well lived life, and that's something to rejoice in. 

I heard some one say once that they believed people who undergo great suffering here on earth spend little to no time in purgatory. I'd like to think that's true, and that she's currently praising God face to face. 


We spent this weekend in Chicago with Alex's sister and her family. It was so nice to get out of the house, and even nicer to have Alex with us all the time. Johnny had a blast with his cousins, we saw the Museum of Science and Industry, went to Holy Name Cathedral for mass, and bummed around Navy Pier.

Alex and I even got an evening out.  We had dinner at probably the hippest restaurant I've ever been to, complete with bearded men, phonographs, and to top it off, a guy rode by on a penny-farthing, confirming it's hipness. The food was out of this world. The only bummer, of course, was not being able to imbibe a craft cocktail. Instead I had some fancy pants tonic water. 


Now we are home and settling in to the first of Alex's 3, THREE! weeks off before fall term starts. I keep pinching myself to see if I am dreaming. 

I love to make lists, and this morning I made 4. Grocery shopping list, meal plan list, to-do list for today, and a very lengthy list of all the things I would like to get done while Alex is on break. And we're off to a pretty good start. Today I did some weeding and Alex took the weed wacker to our front side walk and back patio which had become terribly overgrown. We also organized the playroom closet, which houses my yarn stash, gift wrap supplies, and random things that wouldn't otherwise have a home. I would have before and after pictures for you, but I forgot, and it would't have been that impressive looking anyway. 

Hope your week is off to a great start! 

Linking up with Kelly at This Ain't The Lyceum


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Sunday, August 2, 2015

A Letter To Myself When I'm Home Alone

This is one of those rare moments you find yourself at home, alone. 

You probably can't remember the last time this happened. 

In the silence your mind is going to begin to race, trying to decide what to tackle first.  

But JUST STOP  for one moment and listen to me. 

You will look around and notice many unfinished projects. Ignore them.

Baskets of laundry. Don't fold them.

A counter piled with dishes. Don't do them. 

Toys and shoes strewn all over the floor. Ignore those too. 

Don't worry about any of these things. They will get done eventually. 

They don't need to be done this very minute.

In fact, you need to learn to be ok with things being un-done.

Right now there's only one thing you need to do: 

Make yourself a cup of coffee. 

Then sit down and drink it, the whole thing, from start to finish, without being interrupted. 



Be still and be quiet.

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your faithful and kindle in them the fire of Your love.

Send forth Your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.


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