Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Five Favs (vol. 3)

Five Favorites, hosted at

In honor of spending the week at home, this five fav's is dedicated to my favorite memories from my parents house!

The Trampoline

Wow, did my sisters and I spend a lot of time in the backyard on our trampoline.  We'd have friends over and be out there all afternoon.  When I think of childhood summers, I think of black feet and "butt jumps." We would put the sprinkler under it on really hot days and lay on it to watch the stars at night.  It was kicked to the curb at the beginning of this summer (RIP) because of how old and potentially life-threatening it became but I will always fondly remember the fun it brought us!

Our Bedrooms

I am the oldest of three girls and there were two bedrooms for us to share.  We switched off who had their own room and who was sharing every year or so.  I have to say that looking back I am so glad that I was made to share a room for much of my life.  There are so many memories I have, like chatting with Lauren after it was "lights out" (and my mom having to come in multiple times to tell us to go to sleep already!) making forts out of the bunkbeds, and having to take an entire day to clean the pig-sty of a mess we had created in our room.  Now this arrangement definitely didn't come without it's fair share of sisterly-love bickering, regarding mostly space and clothing as we got older (if someone else was wearing it, then it was most definitely not hers and they needed to remove said article of clothing immediately because she did not ask!!)

Maybe we get along so well now because of all those arguments over whose shirt/shoes/skirt it really was?

The Bread

Okay, so this is weird.  I am revealing a big secret here that my family is, in fact, crazy. We were really trying to keep that under-wraps, but the time has come.  Sooo...there was this one time after the Easter Vigil.  It's a tradition around here that we attend the Easter Vigil and then come home and throw a little party/celebration, with any foods someone in the family may have given up for Lent and also all foods that will clog your arteries immediately and all drinks that are delicious. (One year we had pomegranate martinis.  They are as glorious as they sound and yes, we know we're really great at celebrating Jesus' ressurection!) SO one year, we came home, put mozzarella sticks and other deep-fried things in the oven and were hanging out gorging on ice cream or something when we noticed this beautiful loaf of bakery bread my mom had bought sitting on the counter.  Turns out it had been sitting there for too long, though, and was as hard as a rock.  What's a family to do?  Well, play hot potato with it, of course.  I kid you not, someone turned around so they couldn't see the circle and sang while we passed chucked this exceptionally stale bread around.  Then we got bored with it so we decided to play football with it. I "hiked!" it to Lauren and she threw it to Tori who threw it back to Lauren who punted it and this loaf of rock bread flew across the room and hit my mom in the mouth.  (wo)Man down! Penalty on the field!  
Oh, and did I mention Brandon was there watching all of this unfold? And we had only been dating about 3 months? What a brave soul to not walk out the door right then and there, never returning to this cray-cray family who plays sports in the kitchen with old bread.

Oh how I wish I had a picture of the bread.

High School Dances

Almost every High School Dance pre-party was held at my parents house.  In the afternoon a few girls would show up and I would do their hair (I sorta have a knack/love for doing up-do's!) and then about an hour before the dance other friends and their parents as well as my grandparents would show up.  My mom always had hors d'oeurves and "kid wine" aka Welch's Sparkling Grape Juice for us and we'd take tons of pictures.  There were definitely around 50 people here for some dances and it was super chaotic and just as fun!  I have always treasured that my mom made sure that our house always felt open to everyone, and not just on dance nights.  It was known among my friends--and my sister's friends--that they could always drop on by and hang out on the red, comfy couch in our living room. I can only hope that our home feels so welcoming to our children and their friends some day!

Oh, high school.  Here's a pre-dance picture on the infamous red couch!

Getting Ready for Our Wedding

On my wedding day I got ready entirely at my parent's house.  It was so special to have my hair and makeup done in their bathroom, put my dress and jewelry on in my parent's room, and take pictures in our living room.  It was truly a little bit like all of those HS dances, and that was just the way I wanted it.  I was so at peace and comfortable on the morning of our wedding, in part because of who I married, but also because I was in a place where I spent so much time: my home!

Despite the look on my face, I was actually having a great day.

And there you have it--my five favorite memories of mi casa.  Head on over to Hallie's for more Five Favorites!


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

On growing fonder.

"Absence makes the heart grow fonder."

This idiom has been one that Brandon and I would say a lot when we were long distance--which was all of our dating and engaged relationship.  It was supposed to be comforting in the face of "suffering" the distance between us, a reminder that maybe the distance was actually enhancing our relationship.  How true is this phrase, though? Could being away from one another actually increase our love/relationship?

Today I was wondering where this phrase is derived from.  After a quick google search, turns out it was included as the first line of a poem by an anonymous writer back in 1602, and then borrowed by and popularized by a poem written in 1844 by Thomas Haynes Bayly entitled "Isle of Beauty."  It's crazy how this one line, first written over 200 years ago, has had a lasting impact on our culture. Have you ever heard any other part of either poem included along with that stanza? I know I sure haven't. I wonder if there is a part of a song or line from a book written today that will be popular 200 years from now!

The reason this phrase is on my heart today is because the hubs is at home, about 3 1/2 hours away, while I'm at my parents house with Silas for the week.  Now, it's not as though I'm sitting around pouting about the fact that we're apart--it's actually been really enjoyable to spend so much time with my sisters and parents and I'm so glad that I have the flexibility in my life to take advantage of the opportunity to be here this week! It's just that this 4-day hiatus from one another has me noticing how much I really do enjoy his presence in my daily life.  When suddenly a normal part of your life is missing you have a chance to reflect on it, and I'm realizing that maybe I take for granted our relationship on a daily basis.  It's so easy to do that when you have something/someone available to you every day, isn't it?

I'm noticing how much I look forward to him waking me up in the morning for breakfast and prayer.  I realize how much I anticipate when he'll be home from work for the evening.  I love how good his is with Silas, who instantly stops what he's doing to look at Brandon when he walks in the room.  I have missed our pillow talk, one of my favorite parts of our evening routine. And although we've been chatting on the phone, it's just not the same as holding hands while sleepily having a few last words before sleep comes over me. (and it's usually me who falls asleep in the middle of a conversation...)

So does being from him really make my heart grow fonder?  Well, maybe not--I think it just reminds me how fond my heart already is.  And that small reminder and the opportunity to reflect on my fondness of him while we're apart may actually help to deepen our relationship.  How? Gratitude has a way of increasing my desire to make sacrifices for his sake and enhancing interactions when we're reunited. So I'll take this week and enjoy being here with my family, because next week it will be them I'm away from!


Sunday, July 28, 2013

When 6=7.

Have you ever read a blog post out-loud to someone else?  Have you ever had one of your posts read out-loud to you?  I endured both today as my silly family requested me to read a post using the same inflections that I used in my thoughts when writing it.  Then my sister wanted to read a post to me in the way she "hears" them when she reads.  It's really quite a different experience to have a live audience, an instant response to things I wrote, actually hearing them laugh and seeing them smile.  It was encouraging and humbling, and I actually encourage everyone who writes anything to try this out sometime.  Maybe having a "live audience" would be a good way to proofread/edit any writing you've done.

Today ends my 7 posts in 7 days with Jen over at Conversion Diary, which actually ended up as 6 posts in 7 days.  There were a few other bloggers who admittedly had much busier days than my Friday and still managed to get a post you I say "Bravo!" and to me I say "Better Luck Next Time!"

You just can't win them all right?  Except I never used to accept that as an answer.  It seems as though my perfectionist tendencies have been digressing in the last year or so, and I'm not really sure if that's a good or bad thing.  Probably good for my sanity, bad for my productivity.  If you would have asked me 3 years ago if I was okay with not meeting a deadline or someone's expectations, I would have told you absolutely not--especially if it was something I had "challenged" myself to. Perhaps I've chilled out a little bit.  I do think I look at life's troubles a little bit more in the correct realm of reality now.  And so I'm accepting the fact that, for me, 6 posts in 7 days is just going to have to be good enough.

Wishing you a fabulous week ahead. (and wishing Jennie a very Happy Wedding Week!!)


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Whoops...and 7QT

Well, I think the intention of "7 posts in 7 days" was to do a post a day...that's not exactly how it's going to shake out here, though.  I'll still do 7 posts, there will just be a day with two!

Yesterday ended up wayyy crazier than I thought it could have been, with not one single moment to sit at a computer.  So, Happy Saturday! and 7 Quick Takes...just about 10 hours late...


Yesterday required coffee.  Actually, the last 4 days required caffeine of some sort as little man thought it appropriate to wake up a little more often and I thought it appropriate to not go to sleep until about 2 hours after he had already been asleep. I've been trying not to drink it everyday, as it seems like some of the "experts" recommend not as much caffeine when you're nursing. But it also seems that the experts want you to be awake long enough to care for your child, true?


I'm staying at my parents for a whole 9 days!  This is probably the longest consecutive stretch of days I have been here since...oh...junior year of college?  But my youngest sister had complete ACL repair surgery on the 17th, and needed a "nurse" to be around to do little things like put her on the ice machine, get her food, etc.  So this week I'll be doing multiple types of "nursing".  I'm kinda excited to spend so much time with the fam (and I know they're excited to spend so much time with Silas) but I will definitely miss seeing the hubs every night!


The reason it worked out so well for me to be here this week is because I have the privilege of being the Matron of Honor in a wedding near my parent's house next weekend and the Bachelorette party is today! (woot!!)  So fortunately Brandon is in town both weekends, but will just have to make the 3 1/2 hour drive back and forth by himself.


Silas will be hanging out with Dad and GG (my mom) this evening while I go to the Bachelorette party.  Next Saturday we are leaving him with GG and his aunts again. This will be the first time I have ever been away from him for more than a few hours.  While I'm super excited for being out with the girls tonight and getting to just focus on my lovely friend the Bride for the wedding, it will be so weird not having 100% focus on Silas during these times.  It's not that I'm nervous, perse (I know he's in really good hands!), it just seems weird to be away from him after I haven't for so long!


We forgot the milk.  Yes, the one thing little man needs to stay alive. Don't worry, we remembered other silly things, like his Bumbo seat and some toys....ugh.  I had been pumping this week to ensure that we had enough for the Bachelorette party and wedding...and it's sitting nice and frozen 3 1/2 hours away in our freezer. fail. So now I am frantically trying to pump after every feeding and having a bit of a supply issue (although I'm sure by tomorrow I sure won't after pumping so often today!)  I really hope we get enough for him to eat while I'm gone. Brandon might have to drive to the Bachelorette location in order to pick up some freshly pumped milk. Such is life. (I still can't believe we forgot the milk...)


In better sounding things, I really am so excited to celebrate my dear friend Jennie today.  We met in college and I'm pretty sure we first bonded over the fact that we are "lame" aka really like to just hang out over a cup of coffee and talk about life as opposed to party-hardy and all of that un-lame stuff.  Since then we have spent much time together and basically were involved in all of the same things in college.  She was my church buddy and my travel buddy (Colorado, Mexico, Florida, the gym) and I am just so blessed for her presence in my life--and now she's marrying the love of her life!!  


It's freaking cold out.  A high of 66 at the end of July in the Midwest?  This cannot be real.  But I am absolutely not wishing it was 95 and humid, don't get me wrong.  I guess I should've just looked at the weather when packing my shorts and tank tops.

Check out more 7 quick takers who probably posted them on time!

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, July 25, 2013


Let it be known among all nations that although the day is only half-through, I have already deemed it a success.

1. I ate breakfast this morning with my husband.  This only happens about half of the time...or maybe even less.  Every morning once he is showered and dressed, he gently wakes me up to see if I'd like to join him for the most important meal of the day.  Some  Most days I whisper "no" and immediately fall back into dream-land.  But then I get woken up by a hungry baby and have to nurse before I've eaten, the whole time hearing from my stomach who is cursing my earlier laziness.  So today I dined with the hubs before 7am. And I'm not really sure we said more than two sentences the whole time, but time spent together in silence is better than no time at all, right?

2. Silas woke up smiling like he'd won the lottery and about 45 minutes before he was due to eat.  So I hurried and dressed us both, threw him in the stroller, and walked into the sunrise...ok, you know it wasn't that early, but I was so impressed with myself when we walked up the driveway at 7:50am.  And I was a girl on a mission because we walked to my absolute favorite coffee place and I got myself a latte, and the special none the less: Almond Amaretto.  Yes, it was indeed as good as it sounds. (and yes, I did happen to spill it all over my phone and the stroller and a baby blanket as I was trying to one-handedly push the stroller while sipping my latte.  But it was worth it, dang-it!)

3. Baby Boy was hungry by the time we got home, but only politely fussed while I pulled the weeds in front of our house, which probably haven't been pulled at all this whole summer.  And when you own a weed-eater but it doesn't want to stay running for more than 2 minutes, they probably should've been pulled 2 months ago.  So I felt pretty proud of myself for knocking that off of the to-do list.

4. Silas was kind enough to allow me to saunter around Hobby Lobby with little more than one squeak.  I was able to adequately interpret said squeak to mean, "Excuse me mom, but I'd like my pacifier so that I can take a little nap while you wander around and look at things you don't need for the next half hour."  He then graciously gave me permission to run to the mall to do a bit of gift-buying for a certain Bachelorette party this weekend, so I strapped him in the Ergo carrier (boy, do I love that thing) and off we went!

5. I have consumed lunch and have plans to make dinner, and they don't include 5-minute boiled ravioli and spaghetti sauce from a jar (my husband will be pleased!)  Actually, I'm going to make Creamy White Chicken and Artichoke Lasagna.  If you asked Brandon he'd probably want to say, "It's about time because we bought the ingredients over 2 weeks ago," but he wouldn't say that because he's really patient and nice to me.

So, yes. Today is a success.  And maybe I should reward myself with a nap.  I wouldn't want to set the bar too high for tomorrow.


(I'm writing everyday this week thanks to encouragement from Jen. Check out her page to see others who are taking up the challenge!)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

My husband, the complimenter.

Post-baby I've been feeling a little bit like I have nothing to wear.  Now, this is probably not all that true. The nugget of truth is that my body has just shifted a little bit, and so things I used to feel great in really don't do it for me anymore.  Also, I need to make sure everything I wear is nursing friendly (I never thought I'd ever be wondering if a particular shirt allowed me to get my boobs out quickly enough!)

So I took advantage of a sale going on at Old Navy and a rewards card I had.  We don't have an ON in town anymore, so I treated myself to a little bit of online shopping one afternoon.  About a week later, 10 different shirts (for just around $50--can you believe it?!) showed up on my doorstep.

So, of course, I've been wearing said shirts for the last few days.

It's Friday afternoon. Danielle greets Brandon as he gets home from work.  She is wearing a black maxi skirt and blue-and-white striped shirt.
Brandon: Hi darling! You like nice today.
Danielle: Aww, thank you.
B: You almost look like someone from the Sound of Music.
D: ...
B: Like you're ready for the Swiss Alps!
D: that a good thing?
B: Ya, definitely!

Um, okay, so my husband has a strange affinity for the Sound of Music??

But wait. He continues with more compliments just days later.

It's now Monday afternoon, and again Brandon returns home from work.  Danielle is at the top of the stairs as Brandon enters the house, wearing jeans and a button-up shirt of a brightly colored plaid pattern.  It happens to be tied at the bottom because it was easier than ironing the wrinkles out of that spot, with a pink tank top peeking out of the bottom.

B: *excitedly* You look like you belong on that Beverly Hillbillies show!
D:*raises eyebrows*
B: Or kinda like Daisy Duke. Only without the short-shorts.
D: Is this a compliment?
B: Ya! They only pick good looking girls for those roles.
D:...Thank you...?

Now, I do appreciate how blessed I am to have a husband who gives many (very honest) compliments. After long days of being spit up on and hanging out on the floor, it's nice to hear that he still finds me attractive.  His comparisons, though, are quite unique, dontcha think?


(I'm writing everyday this week thanks to encouragement from Jen. Check her page out to see others who are taking up the challenge!) 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Choosing Favorites

Have you ever come in contact with someone who just a little bit annoys the heck out of you and you're not quite sure why?  And post-hanging out with said person, you feel really awful because you realized that pretty much the whole time you were being a judgmental jerk?

Ya, I've been there too.

I have to say that the one things that gets to me the most is when someone tries to "win" in every conversation.  You know the kind.  During the course of every conversation you find out that you definitely weren't as successful as they were in high school, you could not have possibly been more stressed out than they were when planning your wedding, your weekend was surely not as awesome as the one time they...

I'm pretty sure that it's my own pride which is annoyed by this kind of person.  I don't like being told that I had it way better or had it way worse, and I defensively decide that person is trying to "win" that conversation.  And yet, the thing that annoys me is when I feel like other people are prideful.  Obviously I exude the exact same "character flaws" that I am judging in others. Actually, I am probably 320 times more prideful than they are, which is exactly why that trait bothers me about them--because I can't get away from it in myself.  Talk about seeing the speck in your neighbors eye when you have a beam in your own.

So I've been trying something new lately.  When I feel like I am beginning to be annoyed and/or judgmental in a conversation, I just decide that the person I am sitting across is my absolute favorite and I don't get to see them often.  Because, think about it, when someone is your favorite, you totally let those little things go. You enjoy every moment you have with them.  You aren't sitting there being annoyed, thinking about how they are saying something or if they are trying to outdo you.  Instead, you just really want to know what's going on in their life, you hang onto what they are saying because it's bound to be great, because you want to remember it later.  When someone is your favorite, you love them past their flaws and many times don't even see them!  Not only does this "choosing favorites" help keep me less judgmental, it also has the capability to exponentially improve my relationship with that person!  I know I am more likely to show them compassion and charity, as they deserve.

Because, truly, when someone else annoys me, it has nothing to do with them and everything to do with me.


(I'm writing everyday this week thanks to encouragement from Jen. Check her page out to see others who are taking up the challenge!) 

Monday, July 22, 2013

NFP and Me...or Us, rather.

So, this week (7/21-7/27) is National Natural Family Planning Awareness Week and in honor of it, I've decided to tell our story along with some of the reasons we've become pretty passionate about fertility awareness.

(Note: Fertility awareness and NFP are the exact same thing.  However, I think some people equate NFP with the rhythm method, which it is not, and sorta has a bad reputation.  Being aware of one's fertility and the signs that go along with it are exactly what Natural Family Planning is, whether or not not that person actually has a "family" in mind at the moment.)

This story starts out with the fact that I was a whopping 21 years old when I found out that Natural Family Planning was a thing.  It seems crazy to me, but somehow I missed that the church isn't okay with birth control.  I missed it, or didn't care at the time so I ignored it.  As someone who decided early on that it "don't mean a thing if you ain't got that ring"--aka: I was waiting for marriage--I guess it was a subject I didn't really need to know about either.

It was at the FOCUS Conference in Orlando, FL over New Year's when I was a senior in college that I heard for the first time what birth control really did to a woman's body.  It was at this same conference that I heard the term "NFP" thrown around as an answer to this.  It was during a session at this conference that I came to understand just how serious the church was about not using birth control.  It was also during this conference that I met the man who would be my husband.  Divine intervention, much?

So I get home from this fabulous conference (which really didn't focus on fertility issues, I just happened to attend a few speakers who talked about it!) and am "talking to" this wonderful guy, and the subject comes up.  I remember Brandon saying that he knows his wife will never be on birth control.

woah.  Either this man is crazy or wants 23 children. I didn't think that I agreed, so pushed him on it, although I'm not truly sure where the confidence to talk about something like this with a cute guy I had recently met came from.

Conversations continued as we dated, and I began doing lots of research.  Now, if you know me in the "real world," you might know that anytime I ever have a question or concern or thought about anything, I do research.  What this really means is I google my question and read perhaps every article/blog/forum ever written about the subject at hand.  (You can imagine how many times I have googled something since Silas was born three months ago.  If you guessed at least 30 times a day, you'd probably be right.  I just like having information from a variety of sources!) I do typically stay away from wikipedia, because in college my professors told me it was bad, although I'll use it to cross-check information sometimes.

Anyways, over the next year I began looking at things like the USCCB website for Marriage and Family, the Catechism, websites on NFP, listening to "experts" talk, read Good News about Sex and Marriage by Christopher West, and chatted with some women in a Bible study (we happened to be studying the Feminine Genius and JPII's encyclical, Mulieris Dignitatum).

Exactly a year after we met at that conference, Brandon got down on one knee and proposed in the most wonderful way at the most wonderful place and I cried, which rarely happens.  That's another story for another time, I suppose.  My "yes" meant that I got to spend the rest of my life with him, and also meant that I would need to start thinking about this fertility stuff a little harder.

He proposed on that bridge behind us, my favorite on the Riverwalk, where we had our first date.

In the months that we dated I experienced a conversion of sorts.  It's funny how I thought I "disagreed" with the Church, and now so passionately agree with her after doing this extensive research.  It's also funny how the Holy Spirit sure has a way of changing my heart and head.

Three months after we became engaged, I started learning the Creighton Model Fertility Care.  Five months later we were married, and by that point I felt like we had the observing and charting down.

I didn't choose that NFP was right for us solely because that's what Brandon wanted.  The good Lord knows (as does Brandon) that if I disagree with something, I make it known loud and clear.  I also didn't decide NFP was right for us just because the Catholic Church says so.  Perhaps I should be able to do that, but I guess when I was thinking about my own future and that of my family, I was too stubborn to just accept this teaching without asking a million questions first.  I feel so blessed that the Catholic Church encourages questioning!

So why do I choose NFP/fertility awareness?
I choose NFP because it takes the burden off of me and places it onto us.  I watch my body's signs throughout the day and Brandon records them at night.  He has as much of the responsibility of our fertility as I do.  It's not up to me to remember to take that little pill each day.  Also, it's not a conversation about whether I have a "headache" at always has to do with our fertility and whether we're open to children at that time.
I choose NFP because it increases our communication.  Discussing things like mucus signs are awkward at first.  But over time I have found that it increases our ability to relate to one another.  Brandon is able to predict my moods based on our chart.  (I kind of hate that he's always right on...but I kind of love that he is so in tune to my ups and downs that he's able to care for me better because of the information!)
I choose NFP because we're working with our bodies, not against them.   Birth control is one of very few medications that actually makes a woman's body work differently than intended.  NFP is completely natural, no chemicals whatsoever are going into my body.  Which means I have no side-affects and never need to worry that I forgot to take a pill.  wooot.
I choose NFP because it's cheap.  Yes, you have to pay for the introductory session, the follow-up sessions, and the chart materials...but once you know what you're doing, there are very little costs associated!
I choose NFP because it gives me knowledge about my own body.  It is rather incredible how smart God made women's bodies--I absolutely love knowing so much about what is going on in there!  Through the Creighton Model, we've learned how to speak the language of my body/fertility.
I choose NFP because it can be used to avoid or achieve pregnancy.  We used the system to avoid pregnancy for 10 months.  Silas was conceived on our first "try"--boy, are we blessed!  NFP took the guess-work out of it, each and every day you know whether or not you're fertile.
I choose NFP because I can live out my Catholic faith, showing respect for my body and fertility!


(I'm writing everyday this week thanks to encouragement from Jen. Check her page out to see others who are taking up the challenge!) 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

7 Quick Takes (vol. 1!)

Joining Jen over at Conversion Diary for 7 quick takes (although I'm a little late, as it's supposed to be 7QT Friday!)

1-- I never thought I could love interrupted showers so much.  On the weekends when the hubs is home, I don't have to have the baby monitor sitting on the toilet and peek at it between washing and conditioning and loofaing and shaving.  I also never have to jump out mid-shower and run to the crib to put in the pacifier so that I buy enough time to wash the conditioner out of my hair and hope that the suds from the shampoo cleaned off my body enough.  My shower lasted at least 7 minutes, I was able to blow dry my hair, and Brandon soothed Silas to sleep when he had is mid-morning fighting off sleep fussy time.

2--Silas attended his first wedding yesterday and was such a little gentleman.  He fussed a little bit towards the end of mass to let me know that he'd rather me be standing and bouncing, but was absolutely content once that happened.  He also let multiple people pass him around and touch him and goo-goo, gah-gah at him.
Both of my boys ready for the wedding in their white collared shirts.

3--We were standing chatting with some friends during cocktail hour.  An older woman then came up to me holding Silas and said, "Oh my goodness--he is just so pretty.  I could have thought he was a little girl with his big eyes and long eyelashes and perfect little lips! (Makes a squishy, gushy face at Silas) You are just so pretty!"  I said "thank you." What else do you say to a comment like that?!  I know she was trying to be complimentary, but really I just felt a little bit weird.

4-- Ever overhear bathroom stall talk?  And you feel awkward listening to an entire conversation between two other people, but you're in the next stall over and you just can't help it?

Old Woman #1: It's getting so cold in there!
Old Woman #2: Yes, I thought so! But maybe we're just getting old.
OW #1: Oh forheavenssake, my door just opened.  (louder) If someone walks by could you just close my door?...Oh, who cares, everyone has a rear end! I don't care.

Oh, to be old and carefree about who sees your rear end.

5-- I've decided to take on Jen's challenge to blog every day this week.  I've really wanted to be writing more, both because I love to write and it helps me have an "adult" way of expressing myself when my days are so baby-focused.

6--This week (7/21-7/27) is National NFP Awareness Week: "Pro-woman, Pro-man, Pro-child."  Check out the USCCB website for more info.  Planning on posting our "story" later on this week.

7-- Little man hit the 3 month mark on Friday.  What a privilege it has been to be momma to this little guy!

That's it for this beautiful Sunday!  Check back this week as I accept the challenge of posting everyday for 7 days!


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Five Favorites (vol. 2)

Five Favorites, hosted at

Welcome to this week's five favorite featuring my most beloved baby items!


Aden + Anais Swaddle Blanket 

We loveloveLOVE these cute swaddle blankets, although I think I've only used them for swaddling 1-2 times.  The material is thin-yet-strong, lightweight-yet-warm, and oh-so-soft.  I always have one stashed in my diaper bag to use as a light little wrap, nursing cover, or to lay on the ground for Silas to use for tummy time.  We rarely leave the house without one draped over his little legs, because I want to keep the sun off of him, but don't want a big hot blanket on top of him.  I've also used these for very random uses, such as a stroller cover for shading him and perhaps even a burp rag when I forgot one (a girl's gotta improvise!)


Summer SwaddleMe

Speaking of swaddling, we use ours every night!  Silas loves having his hands up by his face when he sleeps, but we very quickly realized (aka: in the hospital) that if we don't swaddle him at night, he wakes himself up by smacking himself across the face.  Not a very pleasant wake-up call.  Because it's summertime, we've used the lightweight versions and love how breathable they are.  Also, I'm awful at using blankets to swaddle, so the velcro is helpful in making sure he stays tight in his little baby straightjacket/potato sack all night!  


Fisher-Price Cradle Swing

It is so hard for me to believe he was this little!
We found this at the garage sale and in full disclosure, I wasn't so convinced at first.  The lady running the garage sale was a little bit too interested in our lives and a lot too pushy about how much we had to have this swing and how good of a deal it was and how she knows it will sell fast and how it's hardly been used.  I was overwhelmed and told Brandon we could buy it if he wanted.  He did. and now I feel grateful for pushy lady because Silas sleeps soundly in his almost every afternoon.  He definitely sleeps longer and seemingly more soundly than if I put him in his crib for the afternoon snooze.  

Some perks to this swing are that it can go side to side or back and forth, is has a cute little mobile (Silas will just stare and stare at the stars spinning around), lighted stars that dance on the fabric sides, and 7 different music settings.  Also, it plugs into the wall so no batteries (we'd go through a pack a week, I'm sure!)


Boppy Pillow

Every nursing mother needs one. seriously.  This pillow was brought to the hospital with us and there has not been a day that has gone by that I haven't used it in some way.  I don't use it for every feeding like I used to, but during late night and early morning feedings when I'm feeling like my eyelids won't stay open, I feel a lot safer using a boppy than trying to hold him up.  We even bring this thing when we travel, and I've used it everywhere from sitting on the ground to feeding him in the car.  We have two different slipcovers so that when he gets his baby juice all over one, we don't have to worry about washing it that very minute.  Praise the woman who invented the Boppy! (because only a woman would invent something so perfect for breastfeeding, right?!)


Cloth Diapers

So I'm most definitely not a pro yet, and we're still trying to get down some of the "logistics of cloth diapering," but for 95.5% of his life he's been in CD (cloth diapers.)  I really prefer them over disposable and now when we have to use them (ie: when away from home for more than one night) I really miss them.  We use Fuzzibunz mostly (pictured above) but were gifted some bumgenius and I like those too.  Besides saving us moolah, producing less trash, and helping us avoid major blow-outs, I just think these little things are so cute on his little bum!

Check out more Five Favs from Hallie and others over at Moxie Wife!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Monday, Monday

Because I knew everyone is so interested in how my Monday morning went, including the happenings of the various excretions of my child, I will indulge.  Oh, I really shouldn't have.  No, really...I probably shouldn't have.

Silas has been a bit fussy lately.  I think he's making up for being the perfect child for the first 10 weeks of his life, he didn't want to set the bar too high for himself.  This morning he made sure that I thought it was going to be an easy morning by only waking up once during the night to nurse.  He probably figured that I'd need some sleep in order to make it through the day today, it being Monday and all (ps-he was right.)  

Fussy little man with crazy little hairs.
Since that one feeding, he's nursed 4 times, making sure that not one of them was normal, aka: nurse on both sides for at least ten minutes.  Instead, he mixed it up a bit and would just nurse one side before becoming extremely exhausted after 6 minutes of sucking.  (I knew you wanted to know.)  He'd fall sound asleep, head draping over my arm, a snoring little fellow.  I look at him endearingly, emit a sigh of relief, knowing that I can possibly get a few things done around the house before he wakes, and head upstairs to lay him down for a looong nap.  

just kidding. 

He woke up every.single.time I put him down.  He must just love me too much today, wants to make sure I don't accidentally go somewhere and forget him.

The funnest part of the morning is when I smelt a little something cooking downstairs, if you know what I mean.  And by funnest I mean funniest...for you, anyway...laughing at my expense. (Warning: a poop story is to follow.  If you are not in the poop mood, you may consider redirecting your browser to a different venue of useless information about other people's lives. May I suggest facebook?)

So I was at the part about smelling something, and it was not the delicious chicken cooking in the crock pot.  Silas must have either smelled it as well or didn't like what was happening in there because he was very whiny.  Then he spit up on me.  Thanks, dude.  I brought the angry little man upstairs to change the underpants and was met with a slimy, sticky mess that was just the most delightful shade of green.  yum.  Mid-wiping the excess of this small gift off of his little toosh, he screams and then begins to pee. Now, if you've ever changed a little boy, you know that this means a golden fountain suddenly springs into the air.  I didn't want it to get on the floor, his face, etc., so I had to redirect it, if you will.  The joys of mommyhood.  And let me tell you, this was no small fountain.  Buckingham Fountain would have been impressed.  It lasted a good 15 seconds and produced a small lake on the changing table, with Silas all but floating in it. But now the screaming stopped and he was smiling.  Perhaps he was just craving a nice warm shower...or thought I needed one?

Here's where a good mom might start running the water for a bath.  I undressed him, but opted for wiping him down with wipes.  Those are sanitizing, right?

After his wipe-bath we went back and forth several times about whether he should nap.  He falls asleep in my arms. I put him in his bed. He knocks he pacifier out of his mouth. He cries, angry at whoever would dare to take his pacifier away. I pick him up and rock him to sleep. and repeat.

Finally, I wised up and brought him down to his swing.  He falls asleep sans-pacifier and mom tiptoes away, patting myself on the back.  Oh, shouldn't have. 


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

My First Link-Up!

For months now I have been yearning to write more often and for months now I have followed many gals blogs who frequent the weekly Five Favorites link-up.  I recently had a revelation: I should participate in link-ups.  *light bulb* followed by *face palm*  Why had I not considered participating in this easy way to get me writing before? the world may never know.

Five Favorites, hosted at

Top 5 Favorite Events Since Silas Joined the Fam


Silas' Baptism

Our little family with Silas' godparents

What a wonderful day this was!  We were surrounded by many family members and friends as Silas James was welcomed into the Catholic Church!  He was all smiles when we first got to church--just couldn't wait to get rid of all that original sin--and did brilliantly the entire time.  He was asleep when Fr. Alan poured the water over his head, but didn't make a peep upon waking up, just calmly looked around.  phew--what a good baby he is!  Afterwards we had a nice little lunch celebration where Silas was passed around from table to table so everyone could see his smiling face.

His little frock was worn by Brandon's mom, all of her brothers and sisters, all of their children, and all of their  grandchildren!  The blanket was used by my sisters and I when we were baptized.  And the booties were a gift from our NFP practitioner.  Such a special outfit!


The first week home 

Brandon took off a week of work to stay home with Silas and I.  What a dream this was.  I never knew having a baby could be so romantic!  Brandon did so much around the house, made sure I had water anytime I was nursing, cooked me three meals/day and loved on Silas all the while.


The second week home

When Brandon had to go back to work, my mom came to take over!  This was SO appreciated and such a blessing to have her here to help.  She also made sure I had 3 meals/day and even made quite a few freezer meals so that I wouldn't have to cook in the weeks following.  What was even more special was spending so much time with her.  Although we chat on the phone everyday, I can't remember when we go to spend so much face-to-face time together!  She's such a fabulous mom and grandma G.G.!


Tori's Graduation Party

My youngest sister graduated from High School this year--craziness.  My mom threw her a party the last week of June, and it was so fun to see family and friends and introduce many of them to our little man for the first time.  I swear that the only time I held him all day was when I was nursing him, because no one else has that capability.  Otherwise, he was not put down and received so much love all day long!


Other various happenings as a family of 3

Okay, so if I tried to include all of my favorites, there'd be more than 5...but it has been super fun to tote Silas around all the places we go (and also a little bit stressful, I'll admit it!)  Going home to the farm, 4th of July weekend, going for walks, heading to the winery, going out to eat--everything feels special because it's always Silas' first time!  Even bath time, although a bit of a chore, is so fun because of how much he likes it and how super cute he is when squeaky clean!

Happy Hump Day!


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th of July!

Is anyone else awful at dressing for holidays?  Today I put on a pair of pink shorts and a black tank-top, obviously not very patirotic.  Last year on Valentine's Day I tried to wear pink, but got to work and realized my sweater was coral-at-best, if not more orange than anything.  Let me tell you, all that does is clash with everyone else's nice pink and red outfits.

I did get a kick out of dressing up Silas for his first experience of our country's birthday, though!  He had received 3 different outfits to don for the 4th! We went to watch the annual air show last night, so I put on his "Happy 4th of July" onesie (yes, on the 3rd...whoops)  This morning he immediately got put into an adorable striped romper-type outfit with a monkey cheerfully waving the American flag, as all monkeys should.  (Side-note: Are monkey's the new thing? So many baby gifts we have received are monkey-laden!  They're adorable, but I'm convinced it's the world's newest trendy animal.  Good-bye owl, hello orangutan.)   

Silas' diaper wicked out onto said cute monkey outfit, which gave us the chance to put him in his third adorable outfit of red, white, and blue!  I have to say, he quickly transitioned into looking like a little man.

We're playing it low-key this year and enjoying take-and-bake pizza and dominoes (the game, not the pizza) with our wonderful in-laws and another dear friend.  What I like best is having the hubs home for a 4-day weekend!

I've been doing laundry today which means now that I've realized how un-patriotic I am, I should go put on the correct colored clothing!

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