Monday, February 29, 2016

a recipe, a song, a photo, a quote.

R E C I P E: We made these spicy Asian noodles last week, and the week before. I love them! Before I had kids I stayed away from recipes that advertised themselves as being "quick and easy" because I thought good food needed to be slaved over. But now I'm all about it, and have happily found many "quick and easy" recipes that are really really tasty and have become new favorites. This dish is one of them.  The second time I made it I added broccoli and beef and it was A-O-K!

S O N G: I heard this song on a Spotify playlist (accoustic winter, or something like that). Then a few days later I heard it on The Current. Now I can't stop singing it. Sometimes we sub in Trixie's name. "Oh, oh, Trixie Belle...."

P H O T O: I feel like if I were a baby I would not like Johnny's attention.  But Trixie doesn't seem to mind his intense affection.  She actually seems to like it.

Q U O T E: From a reflection I read in the February Magnificat, by Bishop Jacques-Benigne Bossuet:
"He is very near....He awaits you.. Run. Fly. Break you chains; break all the bonds that tie you down to flesh and blood."

I'm making this post a link-up.  If you'd like to join in just share a recipe you've been chowing on (link so we can try it), a song you've been digging (link so we can listen), a recent photo from your life, and a quote, from your kid, a book, whatever, just as long as you love it.

Friday, February 26, 2016


"A portrait of my children once a week, every week in 2016."

Johnny /2 yrs. 9 mos/ Trains. We play trains every single day.
Trixie /4 mos / Getting a birds eye view on Papa's shoulder.


 I bought these matching jammies for the kids for Christmas. This was the first time I managed to get a picture of them in them together. The other times they've worn them at the same time someone has either had a blow out or spilled breakfast all over them. 

Here is Johnny lavishing his affection upon Trixie. This is a daily occurrence.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Adventures with Strollers

Thanks to my mother-in-law we now have a double stroller at our disposal. And it has opened up all sorts of new possibilities for us.

Like going to Crate & Barrel to shop my sister's wedding registry.

But let me back up. Crate & Barrel was not our maiden voyage with the double. We used it at Trader Joe's on Tuesday after speech therapy. Trader Joe's seemed like a good place to try something new. We're used to them and I think they're pretty used to us, or at least people like us. 

I don't know if you've noticed this but the shopping carts at TJ's are just a little too small to accommodate the infant car seat. It's too precarious in the front, and yes, it fits in the basket of the cart, but then there is zero room for groceries. I also still need to strap Johnny into something, he's not trust worthy enough to walk around in the store. I could put Trixie in the sling and Johnny in the cart, but it's winter and I'd have to take my coat off to put the sling on, and the Trader Joe's by speech therapy doesn't have underground parking like the one by my house, so I'd have to be outside without a coat and I'm pretty wimpy about the cold. And yes, the agonizing details of how we are going to go to the grocery store are what I lay awake thinking about at night. (That and new knitting projects.)

So anyway, the cart was out, the double stroller was in, and it worked great. Johnny was tickled by the idea of Trixie riding next to him, and Trixie liked being able to see the sights. I took a basket and stuck on top of the stroller and while we probably looked a little out of place ambling through Trader Joe's with that giant stroller, just using the basket prevented me from making too many impulse buys and the children remained quite happy. Win, win. 

Crate & Barrel was a much more serious endeavor. I normally would not have even bothered with carting my children across town to a fancy home furnishings store like that, because what is internet shopping for if not too keep us moms from having to take our kids out in public. But my procrastination in getting a shower gift paired with Alex's dire need for quiet study drove me to this desperate measure. 

It went pretty well, aside from the handicapped entrance being out of order, leaving me to fumble my way through the door. And then when chatting with the sales person I referred to us as the "elephant in the china shop", then realized on the drive home that I confused my expressions. It's "a BULL in a china shop." But I think my sentiment still got across. 

We made it through rows and rows of stemware and dinner plates without anything bad happening. I crammed the double stroller, 2 kids, and 4 Crate & Barrel boxes into my Honda Civic (I'm already seeing the appeal of a minivan) nursed Trixie in the passenger seat, and we headed home. Alex met us in the garage to help carry in all the things. Then I poured myself a nice glass of ice water. Because it's lent. 

All in all, a success. 

You probably didn't expect you'd hear that much about using that double stroller. But you did. Those who stuck with me to the end, I hope it was worth it. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016


A portrait of my children once a week, every week, in 2016.

Johnny/2 yrs. 8 mos.

You carried this little coloring book and red crayon around with you all day today.

Trixie/4 mos.

Baby Takes Flight. Or, Learning to Roll Over.

Saturday, February 13, 2016


the 52 project

"A portrait of my children once a week, every week, for 2016."

Johnny/2 yrs. 8 mos.

We have so many trying moments throughout the day, but here all I can think is, "beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful boy."

Trixie/4 mos.

Being my winter baby, I never get to see her good chubby legs. So when the house feels warm I strip her down and we pretend it's summer.

Friday, February 12, 2016

7 quick takes vol. 23


Alex doesn't have class on Fridays. But he tries to spend most of the day studying, and I try to let him study most of the day, so it's really not much different than a class day. EXCEPT that he doesn't have to get up at 6:30. Today we got sleep in all the way until 6:45 before Johnny woke up. We have sort of given up any hopes of sleeping in any time in the next 10 years. But at least on Fridays we can move a little slower in the mornings and have breakfast together. 


I got my hair cut yesterday! 

I had been growing my hair and bangs out for about a year, using Blake Lively as my long hair inspiration.

Yes. And when I've finished my morning coffee I'll just go up stairs and make my hair look like that. Said no mom ever.  Oh wait! She is a mom. But now I'm just getting off subject. 

My hair, surprisingly, never turned out like that. Blowing it out took forever, having it up gave me headaches, and most days it just got pulled back into a greasy low ponytail. 

Like this! 

So I gave up and embraced the Mom Bob because, after all, I am a mom. But I added bangs because bangs = instant style.

Oh. Did I put on make-up and use some fancy VSCOcam filters to make my after pic look way better than my before pic? 

Absolutely I did. 


So there's been a development in my Walking Dead plans. We had watched through season 5 on Netflix, and then I read something about season 6 premiering this Sunday. I was getting all geared up for our special valentines-walking-dead-stay-home-date and figuring out where we were going to watch it online when I discovered A: that you have to have cable to watch it on and B: this is a MID SEASON premiere! Meaning there are 8 whole episodes out that I have not yet seen!  

What am I going to do? Anyone have any insider tips for where/how I can watch my zombies? 


Want to try something fun? Use a breast pump with a toddler in the same room. 

'Nough said. 


I made pho (pronounced fuh) last week for Alex's birthday! (Sorry, no birthday photos!) It turned out pretty good, except that I forgot to add the soy sauce and fish sauce. Pretty staple Asian flavors. Oops! So I can only imagine that it will be awesome the next time I make it. 


What's Trixie been up to, you may ask? Well, she started rolling over this week. I have no evidence of it. She doesn't perform for the camera, so you'll just have to take my word on that one.

But here she is doing her other new trick: holding on to her feet!


Today Johnny had an appointment with a new speech therapist.  There was nothing wrong with our old therapist; we really liked her. But one week shortly before Trixie was born she was sick so we had a sub instead, and it was the best speech therapy session Johnny has ever had. I can't quite put in to words why except for that she just knew how to work with Johnny. I immediately inquired about her with the scheduler and found out she normally works out of a different location that's about 30 minutes away from us. I'm very spoiled in that everything I have to go to (church, grocery store, pediatrician, speech therapy, even our parents houses) are all about 5 minutes from our house. Driving across the city isn't really something I do. So I just thought, oh well! And then Trixie was born and we continued with our regular therapist.

But with everything that has been going on with Johnny's speech regression and fluid in his ears, Alex and I thought it was worth revisiting the possibility of switching therapists.  So today we made the trek to the far far away clinic and had a trial session just to see if the magic was still there.

And Oh! Gentle Reader. It was there. Johnny was saying words and making sounds he has never said or made before. I couldn't help crying tears of joy because most days things are hard and his progress is so slow and I'm not sure it we're doing the right things for him. But today was good, and I knew we had made the right decision.


for more quick takes visit This Ain't the Lyceum

  keep in touch!



Thursday, February 11, 2016

giving up my anger

Oh, hello Lent!

I almost forgot you were here earlier today when I found a piece and candy in my coat pocket. I did a mental fist-pump, said "score" to myself and was just about to unwrap the little beauty before I remembered my resolve to mortify my flesh for 40 days by denying it the sweets it most constantly craves.

I've been indulging some pretty bad eating habits all in the name of Postpartum and Breastfeeding, and made a plan a few weeks ago to use Lent as an opportunity to reset. You see, my resolve to diet and lose weight is so weak that I can't manage it at all without the help of Catholic Guilt.

 But I know that Lenten Dieting is almost as bad as Missionary Dating (I tried that too once, and ended up being the one to convert. Oops!) so when I read Pope Francis's appeal to give up more than candy and booze I said, "don't worry Papa, I'm all over it."

You see, I've also been indulging in some pretty bad temper tantrums lately, all with the excuse that My Life Is Hard and I'm Entitled To Get Angry.


It takes me, no joke, 20 minutes to leave the house with my two children. Someone will invariably poop and require a new set of drawers. Then Johnny will have a freak out about getting his coat on because it means he has to put down his car for 2 seconds. Then Johnny will poke Trixie in the face while I'm getting my coat on and she will need some comforting.  Then I will realize there are no diapers in the diaper bag. Then I can't find my keys. All the while the decibel level of my voice is soaring to new heights as I give vent to my frustrations.

And I deserve to get mad.

When Trixie is on her fifth night feeding, I deserve to get mad.

When my husband has to study all day Saturday and Sunday, I deserve to get mad.

When Johnny refuses to nap, I really deserve to get mad.

And you know what? I like getting mad.  I like my righteous indignation because it makes me feel like I am the victim, I'm the one who deserves justice, I'm right when everyone else in the world is wrong. And I'm going to get angry about it. What else could I do? NOT get angry?

Actually, I've known for a long time that I need to not get angry. That instead of giving into anger I need to practice the fruits of the Spirit. I've even had a little note card with the fruits of the Spirit printed on it hanging on my bathroom mirror for, oh I don't know, about a year. Needless to say, I still need some work.

So for Lent I am giving up my anger. And like a gentle "yes, this is good" from the Holy Spirit, I read these words in yesterday's first reading.

"Rend your hearts, not your garments,
and return to the LORD, your God.
For gracious and merciful is he,
slow to anger, rich in kindness,
and relenting in punishment."

How patient and slow to anger has the Lord been with me? I am called to do the same with those around me, starting with my own family.

Anyone else feeling the need to give up more than candy and booze?


keep in touch!



Saturday, February 6, 2016


 "A portrait of my children once a week, every week, in 2016."

Johnny/2yrs 8mos
This one's called, "Not Napping".  You're doing a lot of that these days. But still, so precious.

Trixie/ 4mos
This picture captures your personality perfectly; so happy and good-natured. Also, I never understood about headbands on babies, until someone gave you one as a a gift. Then I went out to Target and got several different colors.


keep in touch!




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