Monday, March 19, 2012

Have you seen my new place?

Did you follow me over to the new blog address?!

Hurry on over there--I've got some giveaways coming up, and you don't want to miss these!

One smells awesome--it's another Scentsy giveaway!

And one is great if you're ready to hear the pitter-patter of little feet--a new baby giveaway complete with giftcards, burp cloths, and more!

So, come on over to the new place!


Monday, February 27, 2012

I'm moving!

I think I'm going to have to bid farewell to Blogger.

No, I'm not giving up on blogging. 

The new web address for the blog will be:

Got that?  No hyphen in the web address anymore, and it's a wordpress address--not blogger.

It's a work in progress, so please have patience with me while I get it set up!

The new blogger layout was not my fave, and I have heard really good things about wordpress, so I finally made the jump.

I hope you all follow me over to the new web address!


Saturday, February 25, 2012

A post where I go bananas bananas.

So, last night after the kids were all in bed, I had this post all written out (using my phone--grrrr), and then something happened, and I lost it all. It didn't even save it like it normally does. I don't know if anyone else out there using Blogger is having issues with this new layour, but I am NOT liking it.  AT ALL.

So, yesterday I was supposed to gear up for grocery shopping with the kids (my FAVORITE!), but I suddenly had to gear up for Tyler the Heater Guy to come back over and fix our non-working furnace, and THEN I had to gear up to fork over another $100 for him to fix the problem.

And THEN Tyler said, "There might be something else going on with your furnace, but that part is going to cost anywhere from $250.00-500.00.  I'm not going to mess with it today.  We'll just see if it goes out on it's own."

Thanks, Tyler!

So, grocery shopping did not get done during the day.

My nice husband was like, "Hey, feed the kids dinner early, and when I get home, we'll ALL go shopping.  This way we can help you lift and bag stuff so you won't be so worn out."
I like that guy.

Going as a family, however, is a stressful event for me.

I have my path, my plan of action, my sane thoughts.  All of those go right out the window if I'm shopping with anybody else.

So, using my new grocery sheets I made, I was ready.  And THEN the food sale ads came before we left.

And I saw that bananas were on sale for $.39/lb. at the super expensive ritzy store we have up here.

I circled the banana price, found butter for super cheap ($1.49/lb.), and found onions for super cheap in the Aldi flyer ($.79/3-lb. bag).

I decided I was going to try something new.  And I was going to do it with three energetic kids and a husband with me.

I was going to put those same items in my basket at Wal-mart and show them the ad to see if they would do the whole "give it to you for the lowest price you find" thing they advertise.

After hitting Aldi (they had tortellini AND the Italian diced tomatoes!  YEA!  Tortellini Soup for dinner, yo!), we went across the street to Wal-mart.

Why didn't I get the onions at Aldi?  Because they weren't looking too great, and I wanted to test out this new way of budgeting.

After getting everything we needed, we headed toward the checkout, and I was nearly sweating with anxiety.

I put everything on the conveyor belt with the butter, onions, and bananas being the very last thing so we could chat about my sale flyers.

"Marian" was not happy that they were sending her home early after only working four hours, so she was perfect for this new adventure.

When she got to the butter, onions, and bananas, I whipped out my sale ads and showed her that the other stores had these items for cheaper.

The bananas at Wal-mart were $.54 a pound.  I showed her the $.39/lb. ad, and she happily typed in the new amount. 

I got over 8 pounds of bananas for a little over $3.00.

Butter?  It was $2.49 at Aldi and almost $3.00 at Wal-mart.  I showed her the ad for the $1.49/lb. butter, and I got all FIVE pounds of butter at the $1.49 price!

The onions?  They were $.79 at Aldi.  Wal-mart had the exact same 3 lb. bag for $2.79.


Those onions went home with me for only $.79.  Even "Marian" was excited by that little bit of savings for me!

So, I'm now hooked on taking the flyers in and making them give me stuff for cheap.  It kind of makes me feel like I stuck it to the man, you know?

I mentioned Tortellini Soup, didn't I?

Well, let me tell you that we had a huge crockpot full of Tortellini Soup for dinner tonight.  Was it vegetarian to comply with our Lenten resolution?  Why, it surely was!  And let me tell you how I did it!

2 packages of Spinach and Ricotta Tortellini from Aldi
1 can Italian diced tomatoes
1 can Northern White Beans, drained and rinsed
8-10 cups of Vegetable Broth (If you still don't believe me that the "Better than Bouillon" veggie broth in a jar is ridiculously good, you seriously need to try it.  I can't stand veggie broth from any other place but out of that "Better than Bouillon" jar.  It's freakin' delicious, people!)
spaghetti sauce, your choice
fresh spinach leaves

Place pasta, tomatoes, beans in crock pot.  Add your broth.  Add 1 cup spaghetti sauce.  Meanwhile, saute some minced garlic and onion in olive oil until translucent.  Add to crock.  Let is sit there on low for 6-8 hours.  Right before serving, throw in a lot of spinach leaves and let them wilt.  Top soup with parmesan cheese once in bowls.

Now, we add a little crushed red pepper to ours (we make a non-spicy version for the kids), and it gives it heat, but not enough heat to take away from the actual flavor.

The broth?  It's ridiculously good.  Make sure to have some bread on hand to soak that stuff up.  I could drink it with a straw.

And it's a vegetarian meal you could have at any time!

What else?

Today I went to Sam's Club to finish up our shopping for the month.

I don't usually check out their clothes, but today I saw that they are already putting their summer stuff out.  Next to the swimsuits they had swimsuit cover-ups.  You know--those sleeveless things that you wear OVER your suit...for some reason.

I started looking at them and realized they were made of jersey knit.

And they just happened to have a super comfy top part that stretched.

The woman beside me looked at me, confused, when I was holding the cover-up to my waist.

Yes.  Today I bought a swimsuit cover-up, made of that awesome, light-weight, and flowy jersey knit.  And I'm wearing it like a skirt. one has to know!

It's turquoise.  And now I want to go back and snag one in purple.

All of my other jersey-knit skirts hit me at the ankle--which I love.

But I am super excited to be able to wear this in June when I'm about ready to have a baby.  And it hits me at mid-calf.

Or right after I have a baby, and it's wicked hot in July.

Swimsuit cover-ups for skirts.  I'm hooked.

Happy Saturday to ya!

Friday, February 24, 2012

It's 3:00 in the morning--do you know where YOUR child is?

This blog post is brought to you by the Parent's Hotline--where parents can call in at any hour and ask questions like, "Why is my 16 month-old awake at 2:45 in the morning?"

Baby Girl has decided to help me out during Lent.

She woke up at midnight, cried for way too long, and finally I went in to check on her.  She was perfectly fine.  I even changed her diaper.  And gave her Ibuprofen in case the 5 teeth she's trying to cut all at once were bothering her.

It's now 2:45 in the morning, and she's walking around the house like a very short drunken sailor as she babbles to me.

We've had some pretty good conversations this morning.

"Mom, what do you think about the whole Presidential candidate nomination process?"

"I think it's ridiculous, child."

"Yeah.  Me, too.  How do you feel about Romney?"

"Don't like him."


"Don't make me laugh."


"We've already discussed him."


"I'm a fan."

"Yeah.  Me, too.  Hey, Mom?  Is the heater working?"

"Well, it says it is set to 70, but yet it's only 64 in the house.  I'm starting to think that's about par for our furnace."

"Do you think I should go wake everyone in the house up by running into the hallway and screaming at the top of my lungs?"

"I really don't."

"Should I make a mess of these toys right here?"

"Go for it."

One of the things I'm focusing on this Lent is purging our house of things we don't need/use.  I had heard a couple years ago about 40 Bags in 40 Days--where you fill one bag a day for 40 days of "stuff" around the house that you could live without.

Call it nesting, but Ash Wednesday and yesterday were quite fruitful when it came to bagging up "stuff." 

One of my other Lenten resolutions is to not get on the Internet until the kids are sleeping.

I have no idea what the current time frame consists of with the entire house sleeping except for me and a 16 month-old, but I'm not counting it.  She's perfectly happy trying to rip the arms off of an army guy right now, and I'm too tired to chat with her about it.

Anyways, right before bed tonight I made the mistake of checking Facebok and looking at the latest news headlines. 

After reading a really mood-lifting article on how the price of gas just keeps going up, I just felt depressed.

It's not the filling up at the pump thing I'm worried about.

It's the cost of food.

Speaking of food, today is grocery shopping day--HOORAY!

And tonight we had Vegetarian Chili for dinner.  Did I post a recipe for this the other day?

I'm too tired and annoyed with the new blogger layout to try and check.

If not, I'll give you a recipe here.

4 cans of beans.  I used kidney, ranch-style, black, and another type that I can't think of right now.
2 cans diced tomatoes
1/2 diced onion, sauteed in olive oil until translucent
2 large carrots, steamed and then pureed
chili seasoning--whatever you want to use

Put in crockpot on high for 4-6 hours.  Serve with cornbread.

And on Ash Wednesday we had pasta with the pesto/alfredo sauce--which is really tasty.

I see Aldi has some cheese tortellini on their shelves this week, and this girl is SUPER happy about making tortellini soup this Lent.

"What's that, daughter?  Is it really 3:00 a.m., and are you really eating crackers, drinking milk, and trying to run into the bedroom where your sleeping brothers are every few minutes?  Why, yes--yes, you are.  Are you enjoying this game?  Good.  I'm so glad."

Sorry.  Where was I?

I'm working on snoods for Spring.  I know you were just holding your breath for that one.  One of these nights when I'm not working on editing engagement photos or photos for and up and coming author, I'll be sewing again.

You remember that article about the dog found that had its throat slit and was skinned?  Remember that post?  You know--the one where I started talking about my fascination for all things serial killer?

Anyways, today I saw the news put out an article saying that after an autopsy on the dog (apparently animals get autopsies.  You learn something every day!) they concluded that the dog had been attacked by a larger dog.

Now, I had the exact same thought that my husband did when I was reading the story as when I told him about it.

When I think of "skinned" I think of someone taking a knife and peeling back the flesh of an animal.  Like if you're prepping a fish for the fryig pan.

I don't think "large dog attacked and mangled smaller dog."  That doesn't say "slit throat" and "skinned" to me unless this larger dog was super talented.

While it's comforting to know that apparently we have a serial killer dog on the loose rather than a human, it never fails to surprise me that the media has come so far and stopped so low to get reader interest.

Have I mentioned that I'm writing this with no light and without my contacts in?  So, if you're itching to hit the comments box with a sarcastic or negative remark about this post, just remember that I can't really see what I'm doing nor do I really KNOW what I'm doing.  I DID mention it's after 3:00 a.m., right?  And the fact that I didn't fall asleep until almost 11:30 only to be awakened by a small child at midnight, right?  So, there's PROBABLY going to be some major typos and spelling errors.  I'm aware of're aware of that.  Okay.  Glad we're on the same page here.

"Hey, Mom?  Is it cool if I smash all of these crackers up and then throw the crumbs on to the floor?  'Cause that's what I'm doing."

"At this point, I don't really care.  I don't plan on vacuuming for at least 5 more hours, so go for it."

"Is it cool if I eat this paper right here?"

"Have at it.  Do you think paper makes kids tired?"

"Doubt it."

In March I'm going back "home" for this AWESOME consignment sale that is in the big city next to my hometown.  They refuse to put clothes out on the racks if the clothes even have so much as a small stain on them.  Last year I managed to grab several "holiday" dresses (this can be read as "super expensive dresses from Dillard's and VonMaur") for only $3.00-$4.00 each.  And the regular clothes were $1.00-$2.00. 

Remember--NO STAINS! 

Isn't that awesome?

This year the kids get to stay at home with my dad while my mom and I head over there together so she can look for boys clothes, and I can look for girl clothes.

Team effort.

"Hey, Mom?  I'm just going to turn around in circles for several minutes in the middle of the living room for absolutely no reason.  Makes me dizzy.  Seems like as good a time as any, right?"

"Yeah, well, how about this.  How about I put you back in bed, you don't cry, and you actually go back to sleep?"

"We'll see."

3:27 a.m.

Child back in bed.

I'm having Braxton Hicks from chasing her around.  And it's possible that it's also because it's 3:27 in the morning, I'm tired, and I need to drink some water.

Our house is a "ranch."  That's fancy realtor terms for "rectangle." 

It also has hardwood floors--which my husband, his brother, and his dad helped him re-do when we moved in. 

"Hardwood floors" is fancy realtor talk for "if you blink, the other side of the house will hear you."

That is why after putting Baby Girl back to bed, I'm now sitting back at my post, not blinking, and typing very quietly.  I don't know how long this will continue.  It's not worth it to breathe or yawn right now in case the child hears me.

So, for now, I shall whisper, "Goodnight!" and sit here until I'm certain she has entered SleepyLand.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Lenten Meatless Meals!

Lent is right around the corner--like, you know, tomorrow!

 My husband is going vegetarian for the 40 days, so I've been trying to stockpile vegetarian recipes to prepare.

 So, let's talk meatless meals, yo!

 Check out meatless recipes here!

  And here!

And here are a few of my favorites that we'll definitely be having this Lent:

  Vegan Farmhouse Pizza

 2 tsp. olive oil
1/4 cup diced onion
1/2 cup chopped apple
 1 cup pre-washed fresh spinach, tightly packed and then chopped
1 (6 in.) pita bread
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. chopped walnuts

 Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Heat the oil in a medium skillet on medium-high heat. Saute the onion for 3 minutes. Add the apple and spinach; cook until the spinach wilts, 3-5 minutes. Press out excess moisture. Lightly toast the pita in the oven for 3 minutes. Remove the pita from the oven and lower the heat to 350 degrees. Carefully slice it in half around its outer edge to yield two equal rounds. In a bowl, combine the spinach mixture and mustard. Spread the topping onto the toasted pita bread. Sprinkle with the walnuts, and warm in the oven for about 5 minutes.

 One of my husband's co-workers, who has to go Vegan for all of Lent due to being Orthodox, gave us this recipe. At first I was nervous to try it. I can tell you it is SO good! I would use 1 pita bread per person in the family eating it. So, you'll have to adjust your other ingredients depending on that number.

  Tomato Lentil Soup

2 T olive oil
 1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
 1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
 2 garlic cloves, minced
5 1/2 cups water
 1 1/2 cups dry lentils
 2 bay leaves
2 T chopped fresh dill, divided
1 dry red chile pepper
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 T balsamic vinegar salt and pepper
3/4 cup feta cheese

 Heat oil in pot. Add veggies and garlic. Cook until tender, stirring frequently. Add water, lentils, and 1 T dill, bay leaves, chile, and tomato sauce. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until tender. Stir in dill, vinegar, and salt and pepper. Discard bay leaves and chile. Sprinkle with cheese to serve.  

Vegan Tuscan White Bean and Spinach Soup

2 tsp. olive oil
 1 garlic clove, finely minced
 1 shallot (or onion), finely diced
3-4 cups vegetable stock (I use "Better than Bouillon" in the jar!)
1 (14 1/2 oz.) can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano
1 (14 1/2 oz.) can white beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup whole wheat pasta shells
1 tsp. rosemary
 3 cups baby spinach, trimmed pepper, to taste
dash crushed red pepper flakes

 Saute onion and garlic in oil in pot. Add broth, tomatoes, beans, and rosemary. Season with peppers. Bring to boil. Add pasta. Cook 12 minutes. Add spinach and cook until wilted.

 THIS IS MY FAVORITE LENT RECIPE OF ALL!!!! SO GOOD! Even though it's "vegan", it's AMAZING!!!

  Angel Hair Pasta with Parmesan, Oil, and Garlic

 1 box angel hair pasta
parmesan cheese
 olive oil
 minced garlic
 salt and pepper to taste

 Cook pasta according to directions. Drain. Throw in olive oil, cheese, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir until fully coated.

  Texas Two Bean Soup

 2 cups onions , chopped
 6 garlic cloves , minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
 1 cup celery , diced
1 cup red bell pepper , chopped
1 cup green bell pepper , chopped
1 small fresh chili pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
 2 teaspoons ground cumin
 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups water
1 (14 ½ ounce) can tomatoes , chopped and undrained
1 (15 ½ ounce) can black-eyed peas, drained or 1 ½ cups cooked black-eyed peas 1 (15 ½ ounce) can pinto beans or 1 (15 ½ ounce) can red kidney beans or 1 (15 ½ ounce) can black beans or 1 ½ cups cooked beans
1/4cup barbecue sauce
 crushed tortilla chips
sour cream (optional)

 In a soup pot, combine the onions and garlic with the oil and salt. Cover and cook on medium heat for 8-10 minutes, or until the onions are soft and translucent, stirring occasionally. Add the celery, bell peppers, chile, oregano, thyme, cumin, and black pepper and saute for 10 minutes, stirring often. Add the water and tomatoes, cover and simmer until the vegies are tender, 10-15 minutes. Add the black-eyed peas, your choice of beans, and the barbecue sauce. Mix well, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add salt to taste. Garnish with crushed tortilla chips and sour cream on top if desired.


Monday, February 20, 2012

We're a mess over here...

This blog post is brought to you directly from your local Stomach Flu Fairy.

What started out with my daughter last Wednesday has now turned into a full-fledged attack on the two boys and myself.

My awesome husband immediately came home to take care of me today, and I was beyond grateful.

I found out a few things today:

1.) My husband makes the best orange jello. And that says a lot since I hate orange jello. I ate the entire bowl when I started to feel better.

2.) St. Charles Borromeo is the patron saint for stomach issues.

3.) Apparently my five year-old has inherited my anxiety about sickness and germs. After he chucked into a trashcan tonight, he looked at us with teary eyes and said, "Am I going to live?" Breaks my dang heart.

4.) I would absolutely hate bed rest. One day has been awful.

5.) While my kids wanted me while they were sick, all I wanted was MY mom. You are never to old to want/need your mom.

Friday, February 17, 2012

St. Anthony's playdough...

Two days ago I had to stop at the store for staple items like cheese and milk.

And food coloring.

I had told the boys we would make another huge batch of playdough soon, but we only had blue and yellow left in our food coloring supply.

I ended up getting "Neon Colors" at the grocery store and was so excited to see what colors of playdough we ended up with.


The boys' faces lit up, and they were SO excited to get started.

I went to the baking cupboard to grab the new food coloring...only to find the food coloring not there.

"Huh," I said, puzzled.

I told the boys I was looking for the food coloring, and they were immediately disappointed.  (Mom Tip #523:  Do not announce your plans until everything is in front of you.)

I said, "Let's stop and ask St. Anthony to pray that we would find the food coloring."

The boys and I sat down in the living room, made the Sign of the Cross, and said, "Good St. Anthony, please come 'round.  Something's lost that can't be found.  Please, St. Anthony, pray for us that we would find the food coloring.  Please help us."

I tore apart the kitchen looking for the food coloring.  This made me say, "Hey, I think we can throw this away...and this...and this...and this cupboard needs to be organized, so why don't I just do that now?"  (Another reason God has given me to be motivated.)

So, after searching cupboards and drawers, the fridge, and even out in the garage, I was out of ideas.

I even grabbed the plastic sacks we keep from grocery trips and had the boys look through them--just to make sure the food coloring box wasn't trapped at the bottom of one of the sacks.

As I came out into the living room, I suddenly thought, "What about my coat pockets?"

But then I realized that I hadn't worn a coat the day we went shopping.  I had just worn a sweater.

Feeling defeated, I opened the coat closet anyway and just stared at the coats.

I then looked down at the mess of shoes on the floor, thinking, "I should really organize this again.  It's been--what--two weeks since I last did that?"

And then I saw it.

The box of food coloring sitting on top of a pile of shoes.

I yelled to the boys, "BOYS!  Come quick!  I found the food coloring!"  The boys hurried in to see the box laying on the shoes.

"Why is it on the shoes?"  P asked.

"I don't know, babe.  And that's the great thing about St. Anthony!  Sometimes you find your lost item in a place that it shouldn't be, and that you KNOW you didn't leave it.  It's like he just kind of...leaves it there for you.  St. Anthony always comes through for us!"

"Like the one time you lost your wallet but then found it in the driveway on snow, but it wasn't wet?"  D asked.

"Yep.  Just like that."

When becoming Catholic, I had heard that many Catholics have particular devotions to one particular saint.  No, they don't worship the saint--they just have this really good...relationship...with the saint, and the saint always comes through for them.

My husband has a devotion to St. Joseph--he's always come through for my husband.  He's helped us find a job, a new house, a new car...

Some have a particular devotion to St. Therese of Liseux, and when their prayer has been answered, they find a rose in a place it shouldn't be.

And I have a particular devotion to St. Anthony of Padua.  He has never let me down, and I know that he's praying for me when I ask him.

There are times when non-Catholics (and some Catholics, sadly) seem to scoff at the idea that God would allow the saints in Heaven to help us.  These people don't think twice about asking their Grandma who died two weeks ago to help them on a test or to watch over them, but asking a saint that you didn't know personally to help you with something just doesn't seem to make sense to them.

God has given these saints special abilities to help us--but only if God allows it.  He has to give them permission to help us.

Isn't God amazing?  To think that He created the world, and to think HOW He created the world, and how He set the whole thing up--it blows my mind. 

Today we nicknamed this batch of playdough "St. Anthony's playdough."  I don't think the boys will forget this favor that was granted to us for a long time.

And I hope that no matter how old they are or where they are in life that they always remember these moments and remember to ask the saints for help.

It's just one of those weeks where I look around and just see God working.  And it's one of those weeks where I'm reminded that even if you don't need help at the moment, you should still thank God for just being God. 

For creating beauty.

For blessing you with good health, a great family, food in your kitche, a roof over your head, great friends, a Church that has Him in it, holy priests, saints that can help us...

What are YOU thankful for today?

Prepare for a bit of random, yo!

1.)  I read a blog called "The Modest Mom." Today she had a post about post-partum tummy wrapping.  In the post, she discusses how she is almost back to her pre-pregnancy weight at 7 weeks post-partum, and she is pretty sure it has to do with the fact that she wrapped her abdomen after having the baby.

Now, the blogger has "normal" births with a mid-wife.

I don't know how women who have babies the "regular" way feel post-partum.  I don't know if your stomach feels like someone has taken a baseball bat to it or what.

I don't know because I've never experienced it.

I WILL say, however, that after this last c-section (#3) my doctor prescribed an "abdominal band" for me.  On about the second day post-partum (while still in the hospital), I tried the band on, and I wanted to HUG my doctor.

If anyone has ever had a c-section, you know that your abdominal muscles have to be cut through to get down to the baby.  Getting up and around can be painful for some women (I have never had issues with pain) but it's also PSYCHOLOGICALLY disturbing to think about actually getting up and moving around when your stomach has been sliced open.  I tend to walk hunched over, thinking that any little move could rip everything open again.

The abdominal band the doc gave me wraps around you and velcroes.  The minute I put it on, I stood up straight and felt that I could walk around so much faster and without worry.


So, the minute someone tells me they had to have a c-section, I all but show up at their door with an abdominal band for them.  Anyone who has had a c-section--these things are life-changing!

Therefore, I thought it was interesting to hear of a woman who had a regular birth using an abdominal band.  And she says she thinks it helped her lose the weight!

Hey, guys--I'm going to say the word "uterus" in this little paragraph a few times.  You've been warned!

2.)  Another thing the blogger has talked about is drinking Red Raspberry Leaf Tea during her pregnancy.  No, this is not the raspberry-flavored tea you find in the store.  It's tea made from the leaves of the red raspberry plant.  Anyways, if you've never heard of the tea, just google it.  This tea is known to be SO good for women from the time they are young girls until they die.  It's particularly good during pregnancy as it thickens the uterine lining and tones the uterus.  For any women reading that might understand, if you drink the Red Raspberry Leaf Tea during pregnancy, it helps to make the uterus clamp down after delivering the baby.  And we all know that THAT is what NEEDS to happen.  I drank it religiously every day during my second pregnancy, and that was THE easiest pregnancy and c-section I've had.  I keep trying to remember to drink it during this pregnancy, but I forget a lot of times--which makes me nervous about the c-section.

3.)  The only thing I crave during pregnancy (generally) is soda.  Yeah, soda.  Couldn't be carrots...or celery...or broccoli.  It's soda.  And when I say "crave" I mean that I want it so bad that my TEETH will start ACHING.  True story.  Water can often times make me gag, so I will drink soda. 

Do you KNOW how much weight you gain when drinking soda?  It's AWFUL!  Seriously--you can drop several pounds in no time if you are a regular soda drinker if you quit drinking it. 

Anyways, I finally realized that it's not the TASTE I crave, but it's the bubbly carbonation that I crave.  Why?  I don't know.

But it's quite possible that we might go into debt buying as much sparkling water as I'm going to need for the next 18 weeks or so.

Anyways, I keep buying Perrier or San Pellegrino and then adding in juice (for flavor) or squeezing lemons and limes into the glass.

Yesterday I went through three bottles of Perrier.


I always say that when your body is craving something during pregnancy, give into it because it means it NEEDS it--unless you're craving cigarettes, alcohol, or drugs.

What it is about carbonation that my body NEEDS, I don't know.

But giving into this craving is so much better than having my teeth ache all day.

I'm hoping, though, that if I just continue to drink the sparkling water the rest of the pregnancy that it will help with the ridiculous weight gain.  Every time when they weigh me, I think, "Yeah--that's a direct result of soda."

And I'm not the only one.  My sister-in-law (we've been pregnant together EVERY.  SINGLE.  TIME.) craves Pepsi during every pregnancy.  So weird!

Does anyone else have this issue with carbonation during pregnancy?  Or did you crave something REALLY weird?

4.)  Completely off the topic of pregnancy (I can hear male readers sighing with relief), I read an article today on our local news' website.

Family Heartbroken After Pet Dog Found Skinned

First of all, I think it's awful that the family found their pet in this condition right in front of their home.  I'm sure that's going to take awhile for the kids to get over.  And the owner who found the dog.


But there are two things about this article that made me get goosebumps.

A.)  That neighborhood  is way too close for our comfort.  We don't have pets, mind you.  We have kids, though.  And when someone can do something like this to an animal, it's not much longer until they try it out on a human.

B.)  Fun fact:  Nearly all serial killers start with animals.  True story.  I studied serial killers for a few years in college, and I STILL am fascinated with any and every fact I can get about them.  I majored in Psychology and minored in Legal Issues in the hopes that one day I would go on to get my PhD and become a Criminal Psychologist.  I THEN wanted to go sit in pristons while interviewing these deranged individuals.

Umm, can you see ME sitting in a PRISON interviewing a man who is talking about how he took a finger bone from his victim as a trophy?

I'd probably just curl up in the fetal position and start calling for my mom.

God's plan was WAY better than my own, people.

But since these facts won't leave my head,  it's SUPER fun to bring up random serial killer facts at dinner with people when there is a pause in conversation, am I right?

Or, you know, when you've had some alcohol at a wedding reception and someone asks you what you wanted to do before becoming a stay-at-home mom.  Either those people were REALLY interested in serial killers, or they just felt bad to cut me off after an hour of talking...

Anyways.  Nearly all serial killers start with animals.  Since sociopaths do not feel emotion (one serial killer has said that "killing a person had as much emotion as if he were carving into a Thanksgiving turkey")  they generally start out testing the waters with poor defenseless animals.  Once THAT gets boring to them, they move up and start looking at people.

So, you can see how when there is a story of a dog who had a hammer taken to its head and then WAS SKINNED that I might get a little nervous.

I told my husband about the story last night.  He then read the article.  I then casually threw out my "serial killers start with animals" fact.  My husband then started looking up houses for sale far, far away from this side of town.

I'm not SAYING there is a serial killer lurking in the neighborhood.  I'm just saying that if--in twenty years--I turn on the t.v. to see a guy being led around in cuffs, and they trace his seven murders back to the neighborhood where he skinned a dog, I'll probably say, "Yep--called that one," before flipping the channel.

Have I mentioned how much we want to MOVE?!

5.)  Baby Girl made it through the rest of the day/evening/night without another vomit episode.  (YEA!)  Today I'm hoping to throw some laundry in, make another batch of homemade playdough (with neon colors!), and just hang out with the kids all day, not worrying about anything else around the house.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Prayer: Be more specific...

God is funny.

You know how yesterday I was all, "I just can't get motivated.  I suck at motherhood!"

Well, today my lovely daughter puked all over the rug in our living room.  And all down the toybox.  And all down herself.  And it just kept coming...and coming.

So, after I got her out of her clothes, I knew I needed to clean the rug.  My good friend, Meg, jumped at the chance to help me move furniture and help me get the rug outside so I could clean it.

And then while the rug was up, I was like, "Why not mop the whole living/dining room area?" 

And then I was like, "Why not purge these toys and organize this area?"

So, today God sent me a reason to get motivated.

It smelled like vomit, but it was a reason.

Deo Gratias.

St. Joan of Arc Academy: The Ten Commandments Project

Part of the religion curriculum we chose includes teaching the child the Ten Commandments.  This particular curriculum shortens the Commandments to make them easier for the child, and I'm struggling with how I feel about this.  I think it's more difficult to learn one way and then have to change it later on.

For example, when I was converting to Catholicism I learned to say, "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit," when making the Sign of the Cross.

To now hear everyone around me say, "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy GHOST," well, I just can't do it.  It just sounds so...foreign.  And weird.  And it makes me feel funny when I try to say it.

And I know why.  If I would have LEARNED the Sign of the Cross with "Holy Ghost" in it, I wouldn't have an issue with it.  It's just that I learned it one way, and it's difficult to change.

Ah, an A+ again for digressing, Delena!

So, anyways--this curriculum tells you to teach the Ten Commandments in shortened phrases.    As I struggle with if I really want P to learn them this way, we went ahead and did a project once he had memorized all ten.

I took two sheets of paper, rounded off the corners at the top, and wrote the Ten Commandments on them--broken into five on each page.

I then dumped a huge amount of instant coffee grounds onto a cookie sheet and poured boiling hot water on top of them.  Then we laid one of the sheets into the now-brown water.

D couldn't help but try to sniff the coffee-smelling water every chance he could get.

After the paper was in there for awhile, I took it out and stuck it on a cooling rack.  The other sheet went in.

Once they were done, the boys took turns holding a hair dryer on the paper to help it dry faster.

I then remembered that my mom said to just nuke the paper in the microwave for even quicker results.  Twenty second in the microwave, we had the Dry Commandments.

And then came the boys' favorite part:  burning the edges to make it look even "older."

I would have taken photos, but I'm terrified enough of fire that I knew I couldn't handle a camera as well.

I highly suggest doing this over the sink with a wet cloth or sponge handy to stamp out the burning edges.

And now our Ten Commandments are done and ready to be posted where the boys can see them!