Posted by: Katherine | March 4, 2010

Small Successes

1. I finished going through, sorting, organizing and de-cluttering our bedroom AND our closet! Wohoo for clean closets!!!

2. Twice I let Cecilia and Felicity play on my bed while Elizabeth played safely in her crib and I got to shower. When did showering become such an inconvenience that it could be a success?

3. I’ve kept up with my Lenten reading. With three little ones I can easily forget something I want to do, especially something like this I try to save for the end of the day when at least two are in bed. But so far so good!

More Small Successes at Faith & Family Live!

Posted by: Katherine | February 26, 2010

Seven Quick Takes

~~~~~~~1~~~~~~~

Why in the world do infant’s clothes have pockets? All Elizabeth collects in them is food she drops on the way to her mouth.

And why would any company make toddler pajamas that need to be washed in cold water? A Sunday dress, okay. But pajamas?

~~~~~~~2~~~~~~~

I recently went to change the empty roll of Quilted Northern for a full roll and thought I was losing my mind when the roll seemed smaller somehow. Nope. I was right.

Somehow I wish they would try to be not so sneaky.

~~~~~~~3~~~~~~~

When Cecilia celebrated her first birthday, my brother gave her a really cute set of blocks with compatible Winnie the Pooh pieces. At Target, we found a big set matching the one we already had so now more and bigger things could be built. The girls and I worked to build this castle.

Or, at least, I thought it was a castle. Turns out, according to Felicity, it is actually a multi-functioning doctor’s office and potty. Felicity helped each of Tigger, Pooh and Piglet go in to use the potty and then, after they washed their hands, they kissed. Then they went back in for a doctor check up. Priceless.

~~~~~~~4~~~~~~~

For several years I’ve had a Golden Retriever mouse pad. It has been chewed by at least two of my kids and suffered much abuse and I thought it was time to get rid of it. I went to my reserves but my Vatican City mousepad bought at least 5 years ago had not yet envisioned a laser mouse and my cursor would bounce all over the screen driving me nuts. So I decided it was definitely time to buy a new one. I’m so happy James had this brilliant idea. I went on Kodak’s website and ordered one with my pictures on it. Elizabeth is the ecstatic baby in the upper left, Felicity is smiling in her Tinker Bell costume in the upper right, Cecilia is my Cinderella princess in the bottom center, and gone but not forgotten beloved pets Stuffy the kitty is in the bottom left and Biscuit the doggy is in the bottom right. And the surface is very laser mouse friendly! I LOVE my new mousepad!!!

~~~~~~~5~~~~~~~

As I mentioned yesterday, the family Liturgical Yearbook is finished. It is 276 pages and took me two years from start to finish. The pages are in protective plastic sheets (I do have three kids) and I can easily move those movable feasts. It would have been printed three weeks ago but our local Staples is, well, incompetent at printing files sent from the internet and a few blizzards slowed us down. Happily, FedEx did a good job. All of the content and pictures are taken from the internet. Unfortunately, since I have no clue about the copyright of all those pictures, I don’t think I can share the files but only use them for personal home use. But I’m so glad it is done. It will be an awesome resource for our family as the girls get older and, since I have the computer files and the pages are movable, I can add in new saints or update it whenever time allows me.

~~~~~~~6~~~~~~~

You may (or may not) have noticed a lack of blogging this past week, including last week’s missing quick takes. I wish it was something so noble as my giving up blogging for the first week of lent, but I can’t say it was of my own intention. Recently I’ve been tired. By the early afternoon I am so exhausted I often need to lay down and believe I shouldn’t drive (not that I generally need to). Of course, three little ones do not let me nap, so by the late afternoon/early evening, I can have a mean headache. I know these symptoms. All too well. So, on Monday, James watched the girls while I ran to my endocrinologist’s office and had blood drawn. I’m almost certain my thyroid levels are off. Hopefully I’ll hear back soon. On the one hand, I’m grateful that being hypothyroid is not a life-threatening condition or anything so scary. But, on the other hand, it can be a royal pain in the rump. Something as small as taking antacids or eating a different amount of fiber can require a dosage change. And the medication has effects lasting a few weeks so, when I do get a dosage change, it is not possible to tell if my levels are good and the dosage the correct one for 4-6 weeks. That can me a lot more time of exhaustion, headaches and other symptoms. Here is hoping I hear from my doc soon!

~~~~~~~7~~~~~~~

I will end this week with some great shots I got of the girls recently. They are getting so big!

More Quick Takes at Jen’s Conversion Diary.

Posted by: Katherine | February 25, 2010

Small Successes

Remembering the little things that actually got done instead of the big ones that didn’t.

1. I finished cleaning out and reorganizing the closet in the girls’ room. I can actually walk all the way to the back wall now!

2. This is as much James’ success as mine. He got my Liturgical Yearbook files printed up and I got the pages in clear sleeves in a binder. Liturgical Yearbook: Done! (I’ll put up a few pictures tomorrow.)

3. I cleaned and reorganized my bureau – clothes and everything else. I can find more than 2 pairs of pajamas now!

More Small Successes at Faith & Family Live!

Posted by: Katherine | February 18, 2010

Small Successes

Celebrating the little things…

1. I put away the swing. 😦 I am always sad to see it go. It is like a confirmation that my newborn is no longer a newborn. This is more like a medium success though – the box for it is in the back corner of the girls’ closet and I have to pull everything out of it to get to it. Right now it is the only box on the floor of their closet. I haven’t put the rest back yet, but the swing is away.

2. I survived Ash Wednesday without any sweets. I’ve given up sweets for lent. I’m going through severe withdrawl. After every meal I’m craving something … anything… sweet. I thought about having fruit for dessert but somehow dessert on Ash Wednesday doesn’t seem to go together even if I can’t officially fast with Elizabeth still nursing.

3. I remembered to get out a book to specifically read for Lent. I’ll still be reading other things of course, but I literally remembered at 9pm on Ash Wednesday but I still got some read last night.

More Small Successes at Faith & Family Live!

Today the great season of Lent begins. And it is the first time in a long time I have not been pregnant  or had a newborn during Lent. Cecilia is also four years old now, which, I think, is old enough to begin understanding a bit more about Lent. So I rallied my spirit and thought it would be a good opportunity to try and make Lent more meaningful for the whole family. But how do you bring Lent to the mind and heart of a 4 year old? a 2 year old? Fortunately my fellow Catholic blogging moms had some good ideas we will be trying out.

Kate at Momopoly had the neat idea of little mice with string tales that get a knot for every sacrifice or good deed done. I’m not sure just yet how this one will work out since small children are still learning the basics but the girls had fun making the mice and hopefully it will help introduce the idea of doing that extra bit on their own.We didn’t make sock mice the way she did but the girls had fun gluing together these felt mice.

Kate also mentioned the Stations of the Cross Box in which each station as a representative item for little ones to find and hold.

We did ours a little different but for the stations we have the following: Jesus is condemned – red string since Jesus was bound, Jesus takes up the cross – two sticks tied together in the shape of a cross, Jesus falls the 1st time – a small bandaid, Jesus meets his mother – a rosary, Simon helps Jesus – a Mr. Potato Head helping hand, Veronica wipes Jesus’ face – a cloth with Jesus’ face drawn on it, Jesus falls the 2nd time – a medium bandaid, Jesus meets the weeping women – a tissue, Jesus falls the 3rd time – a large bandaid, Jesus is stripped – a robe from one of the girls’ Jesus dolls, Jesus is nailed to the cross – a “nail” (it is actually a decorative nail, not a real one and not sharp), Jesus dies on the cross – a small crucifix, Jesus is taken down from the cross – a small statue of the pieta we have, Jesus is buried – a stone, Jesus rises from the dead – the empty box! I plan to do the Stations with the girls each Friday and at each station the girls will take turns pulling out that symbol from the box.

Tracy at Pinewood Castle had the great idea of making your own Path to Calvary putting up one cut out for each day through Lent. I likewise like her idea about the branch and Popsicle stick wreath from which you remove a toothpick every time a good deed is done or a sacrifice is made but I did not have time to get a wreath and Popsicle sticks so we will save that one for another year. Each Sunday has a dark purple “stepping stone” except Palm Sunday which is the palm frond and Easter Sunday which is the white cross. Holy Saturday is the brown bare cross and Good Friday is the red cross. Holy Thursday is the Last Supper plate. St. Patrick’s is the shamrock, St. Joseph is the hammer, the Annunciation is the white angel and James’ birthday will be the birthday cake. All the other days are the lighter purple “stepping stones.” We will put one on the wall each day creating a path through lent and the girls will get to take turns putting them up.

I can honestly say I’m looking forward to sharing this Lent with my girls. I will certainly have to post later how these ideas panned out with my 4 year old and 2 year old.

Posted by: Katherine | February 16, 2010

Valentines Day – Mardi Gras

For Valentine’s Day we celebrated by getting out of the house! After two blizzards, just getting out for Mass was a treat but we picked up Cheesecake Factory for a nice lunch. After cards were exchanged, the girls each got a chocolate rose and we made heart sugar cookies that the girls took turns adding sprinkles to.

Monday we finally ventured into the backyard into the mountains of snow. In addition to the snowfall from two blizzards, we had shoveled the snow from the deck onto the backyard, so the snow was definitely mounting. It was quite fun. The snow could even hold my weight up several feet. The girls had fun climbing all over it and, where my feet made holes, falling into it and needing to be rescued. You can see Felicity is about 3 feet above the ground just on the snow and Cecilia is almost as tall as the gate. In fact she could pull herself up holding on to the top of the gate and look over the other side. If the girls were a bit older they could easily make a snow kingdom back there.

Originally planned for Valentine’s Day but postponed until Mardi Gras, we made chocolate covered strawberries this afternoon. This was my first time making them and I did have a bit of trouble getting the chocolate the right consistency but in the end it was chocolate and strawberries just the same. Next time I may try adding cream. I am definitely not going to try adding butter again though. I found a few recipes online that said to add butter and it made it as thick as fudge. My second attempt was much better though still a bit too thick. In the end though Cecilia ate three and Felicity ate the chocolate off three handing me the strawberries. Ah, kids! She is young.

The next try probably won’t be until the summer but hopefully that will be with fresh in-season strawberries.

Posted by: Katherine | February 13, 2010

For the Snow, Dear God, Thank You!

Dear God,

In the past few weeks, you have given our country a lot of snow. In Maryland, we have gotten over 4 feet of snow. But even places like Dallas with it’s 12.5 inches and many other places from Georgia to New York, places not used to much if any snow have gotten surprise presents of their homes, their cars, their neighborhoods wrapped with beautiful glistening snow. In some places it has even baffled meteorologists how so much snow snuck up on them.

I’ve seen a lot of headlines complaining about the snow, how much money it cost taxpayers, how much of a nuisance it is, etc. You remember when I went to the food store this morning and a total stranger began telling me how tired she was of the snow and that she thought even the snow-lovers have had enough of it. Since she didn’t include herself in that category, I can conclude she is not a snow-lover and was, in fact, trying to speak for … well, for me. I know a lot of people have been grumbling about snow, from north to south and east to west, from a few inches to feet of it. So, Lord, I just wanted to be one person to say, “Thank You.”

Thank you for the beauty of the winter wonderland you created around me. What were gray skies over a brown earth you draped lace of fragile white flakes so fine yet so abundant that Robert Frost would have been speechless. And the snow wasn’t the only beauty. As dangerous as they could be, the icicles were inspiring too. The sun coming through the ice created a shimmering spectacle we had never seen before. Trees once bare upheld your signature on their branches.

Thank you for the benefit to our plants and agriculture. The snow provides a wonderful insulator for plants from the freezing cold and repeated freezing and thawing processes. I look forward to seeing the benefit of all Your wonderful snow in all of Spring’s glorious flowers and produce!

Thank you for the opportunity to slow down. Americans are some of the most stressful people on the planet. You know this too well for the lack of prayer rising from within our borders. Americans can be people who occupy themselves too much and have trouble slowing down. But when the snow came down and even when people lost power, they stopped watching TV or working and worked on needle-crafts, read books and even prayed. Since you created us and You rested on the Seventh Day, you know how important it is for us to rest and the snow helped many people do that who wouldn’t otherwise have done so.

Thank you for the opportunity to chat with my neighbors. After the snow ended, all my neighbors were outside shoveling together. Some played music. When they took breaks, they walked up and down the street saying “Good Morning” to each other. Some helped others. Some neighborhood kids made a few extra dollars the old fashioned way – shoveling snow for their neighbors. Most of the people on our street work all day, most of the week and rarely talk to each other but every time we finish a snowstorm, we all chat while we shovel.

Thank you for useful exercise. I haven’t gotten such a workout doing something purposeful in a while. Sure I can walk or jump or stretch, but shoveling snow? Nothing like it and you helped me lose 2 pounds just shoveling snow! It was great and I really enjoyed it. Thirsty? Grab a fist of (clean!) snow!

Thank you for the joy for our children and the young at heart. Children love snow and it was indeed a true treat for them to build snowmen and snow forts and snow slides and snow angels. A snowball fight in Dupont Circle? That was a nice touch. D.C. needs to lighten up and a snowball fight sounds like a good dose of medicine to me.

Thank you for the opportunity to remember to be considerate. Our street and the street leading to ours is only plowed for one lane. Not one lane each way. One lane. And so cars have to be considerate and let each other pass to get by. People let other people pass or back out and then people wave in thanks.

Thank you for the reminder that You are there. It is all too easy to get distracted in this busy world of ours and this week was definitely one unusual week. It made everyone stop. It made everyone pay attention. Your snow reminded me that You are there.

Now, Lord, I know anyone reading this but not sharing it’s sentiments, will be quick to point out the homeless, those who’s roofs collapsed and others who truly did suffer from your snow. But I want to say thank you for the motivation of the snow to shelter the homeless when people otherwise might not have bothered and the opportunity suffering gives us to draw closer to you and share in your suffering and the encouragement you give us to always trust and rely on You. I know those who suffered from these storms are particularly close to you now.

So, Lord, though you may have gotten a lot of complaints about the snow, I just wanted to be one person who said, “Thank You!”

Posted by: Katherine | February 12, 2010

Seven Quick Takes

~~~~~~~1~~~~~~~

For a long time, because Cecilia called Felicity “Icity,” Felicity would call Cecilia “Icity.” We’d been working hard to help her say each sister’s name. She now knows that only she is “Icity” and she calls Cecilia “Celia” and she calls Elizabeth “Beff”. It is adorable.

~~~~~~~2~~~~~~~

Yesterday, the girls had WagonWheel pasta with homemade alfredo sauce for lunch.

Yeah. That definitely called for a bath afterwards. But she enjoyed her lunch! Laundry this weekend.

~~~~~~~3~~~~~~~

Elizabeth has two teeth broken through and working their way up – the bottom two front teeth. This has made for less than perfect nights of sleep and some sudden wailing but I think she is slowly figuring out how handy they can be when it comes to eating.

~~~~~~~4~~~~~~~

Unable to explain satisfactorily to Elizabeth that laying down is more conducive to sleep than sitting up, I have been walking her to sleep. When she gets cranky at me, I would sing Baby Mine from Disney’s Dumbo. But there are parts that just didn’t work as well as I’d like. So I’ve been singing the rosary to her. I sing the Our Father in Latin and then the Hail Marys from “Hail Mary, Gentle Woman” and it seems to work really well. Anyone know if there is a CD anywhere of the rosary being sung?

~~~~~~~5~~~~~~~

What, do you think, is the best western film ever? I ask because James recently watched a trilogy of westerns, including the famous “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly,” and, well, quite simply, I don’t get it. I mean I only half watched but it didn’t do anything for me. Why do they usually have magic bullets where one bullet kills a person but occasionally there are the Supers who require all 6 founds from a gun? I guess I am just not a westerns fan but I thought I’d ask what the best ones are and see if I like even those. I have seen a couple I like. I do like Tombstone and I remember liking Lonesome Dove though it has been so long since I’ve seen it I don’t remember much – but I will NEVER underestimate Water Moccasin snakes.

~~~~~~~6~~~~~~~

I think we are all done shoveling. … at least until the next snow which is scheduled for Monday. I almost feel like I don’t know what to do without picking up a snow shovel. Good thing I have 3 little girls to keep me busy. lol.

~~~~~~~7~~~~~~~

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!!!

More Quick Takes at Jen’s

Posted by: Katherine | February 11, 2010

Small Successes

Well, it has been a strange but interesting week. But let’s see here….

1. We survived and shoveled out of Blizzard 2010 #1

2. We survived and shoveled out of Blizzard 2010 #2

3. We kept three young children entertained and comfortable through 2 blizzards.

My arms are sore and I’m tired. Do I need more than that? I don’t think so. But to top it off, I’ve put up tons of pictures of the past week too.

Hope everyone had a great week and to my fellow snow-ins, happy shoveling, icicle licking, snowman building, sledding, snowball throwing, and may every day you see the beauty in the snow and thank God for His magnificence. God Bless.

More Small Successes at F&F Live!

Posted by: Katherine | February 11, 2010

Blizzard 2010 II – Putting Down the Shovel

The ruler is 2 yard sticks one on top of the other, so add 36 to the number you see and that is how high the snow is stacked in front of our house.

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