Sunday, January 28, 2007

What's Your Personality?

Okay, last one today; I promise!

You Are An ENFP

The Inspirer

You love being around people, and you are deeply committed to your friends.
You are also unconventional, irreverant, and unimpressed by authority and rules.
Incredibly perceptive, you can usually sense if someone has hidden motives.
You use lots of colorful language and expressions. You're qutie the storyteller!

You would make an excellent entrepreneur, politician, or journalist.

What Year Do You Belong In?

Just 'cause I'm now addicted to these quizzes...and oh how appropriate seeing as how this is the year I was born!

You Belong in 1971

If you scored...

1950 - 1959: You're fun loving, romantic, and more than a little innocent. See you at the drive in!

1960 - 1969: You are a free spirit with a huge heart. Love, peace, and happiness rule - oh, and drugs too.

1970 - 1979: Bold and brash, you take life by the horns. Whether you're partying or protesting, you give it your all!

1980 - 1989: Wild, over the top, and just a little bit cheesy. You're colorful at night - and successful during the day.

1990 - 1999: With you anything goes! You're grunge one day, ghetto fabulous the next. It's all good!

How's Your Vocabulary?

I'm just having fun with quizzes I'm finding on others' blogs. My dad, who decided to read the dictionary for the heck of it when he was younger, would be so proud!

Your Vocabulary Score: A-

Congratulations on your multifarious vocabulary!
You must be quite an erudite person.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Which Classic Heroine Am I?

Just read this on Jane's blog and decided to take the quiz myself. I think it hits me to a tee!

Anne Shirley

The loveable redhead of "Anne of Green Gables." Anne lives on Prince Edward Island, and never ceases to astonish it's inhabitants. She's a writer, matchmaker, and can generally be found getting into some scrape or the other. Gilbert Blythe, one of her dearest friends, is in love with her, but she refuses to see it for many years.

Which Classic Heroine are You?

Baby Love

There is nothing more precious than when your child falls asleep on you. As I sit here and type this, Colin is laying on my chest sleeping. He won't have it any other way today. I've nursed him and lain him down on the sofa next to me - he won't have that. I've tried putting him in the car seat - nope, not that way either. No, today he wants his mommy and only his mommy.

I sit here in awe of the miracle of life as I breathe in the sweetness of this precious child. How amazing that a year ago he wasn't even alive in any sense of the world. Now, I can't imagine life without him.

How amazing it is that God granted Chris and I these children to care for and raise to be good Catholic men one day. The job is overwhelming when I think about it sometimes. We have such a huge responsibility on use - to prepare these children for heaven. I ferverntly pray every day that we are worthy of this task and that we will be granted the wisdom to achieve success.

I have not always been a good Catholic. When I was a sophomore in college, I was hit by a drunk driver and the crash killed my 3 year old brother Brian.

I remember being at the hospital when our pastor came and told us that God wanted Brian with him. I remember being so angry at Father Mullin that I almost put my hand through the wall - I did actually hit the wall after he said that. I couldn't fathom that God would need a 3 year old boy with Him and not with his family. I stopped going to church except when I was home and my dad made me go. I just didn't like God.

Then I spoke with the chaplain at college. He explained that God doesn't ask us to forgive to point X - he explained that God expects us to get as far on the continuum of forgiveness as we are able to. That really helped me in my dealing with the anger I felt towards the man who killed my brother. But I was still mad.

Then my dad and I talked about the whole "God wanted Brian" concept. My dad's opinion is that the only role God played in the whole crash was that he took Brian instantly so that he wouldn't suffer. He explained to me again about free will and how Jeffrey Bowman was given free will by God and that he chose to drink and get in his car. He explained that God was very sad that this happened, but that he didn't believe that God said, "Okay, time for Brian to come to heaven; let's see how we can make that happen". This really helped me to put God's role in perspective for me. I realized that he was a kind and loving God who didn't want us to hurt, but his primary goal in our crash was to keep Brian from suffering. This made sense to me.

Now you would think that I would rush right back to church. Unfortunately I had been out of the habit too long to just start going back to church on my own. Oh, I wanted to. I tried to go with a couple of friends to the church at Georgetown University since they were supposed to have a very active singles group. That fizzled out as it was a haul to get there. I would go to church with my dad and sister Kellie when I would stay at their house over the weekend. I always felt so good afterwards and resolved that I wanted to feel that way every week. However, then my laziness would set back in. That is, until I met my future husband.

Chris has been such an inspiration to me. When we started dating I found out that he went to the church that my parents had been married in many years before. Now this is significant because my parents were married in Herndon, VA in 1967, but then did not live back in VA until 1998. So it was a very "weird" coincidence for me. So I started to go to church with Chris. And I found God again. He wasn't ever missing - he was just waiting for me to return to him. Going to church with Chris is one of the reasons I knew that we would spend the rest of our lives together. He challenged me (without even knowing he was doing it) to be a better person and a better Catholic. I feel blessed every day that he is in my life and that through him, I came back to the Lord.

When I start to feel overwhelmed about the responsiblity Chris and I have for the spiritual well-being of our children, I remember how Chris helped me return to the Lord, and I feel more confident that we will be able to be good Catholic parents and that our domestic Church will help our children grow closer to God.

I pray that my children will never face the kind of crisis of faith that I suffered, but I know that if they do that Chris and I will be here to help them through, just like my dad helped me.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Snowy Day

Both Brian and Sean love books. This has been one of my greatest hopes for my children: to love books.

I remember when I was a child I would sneak out of bed and go sit in the closet and read every night. My parents would come in and find me reading and send me back to bed. Back to the closet I would go after they left me again! I could never get enough of books. I loved reading the Little House books, Anne of Green Gables, Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew. You name it, I read it.

It is so interesting to see the difference in children raised in the same home. Both of my parents are readers. My sister Lori and I are also voracious readers. However, my brother Michael, and sister Kellie would rather do most anything other than read. It doesn't make any sense to me coming from the same parents, growing up in the same house.

I remember taking a class to get my teaching license in VA called Reading in the Classroom. The point of the class was to help teachers to see how they could integrate reading into their curriculum no matter what they were teaching. One of the first activities we did in the class was to talk about our own experiences and perceptions of reading. It was amazing to see the difference in the adults in the class. We fell into 2 distinct groups: readers and non-readers. When the instructor dug a little deeper, it was evident that the readers were read to as children, and the non-readers were not. It was fascinating to see the impact that parents have on their children from a very young age and how what we do as parents can really affect the children for their whole lives. This was before I even had children of my own, and this has stuck with me ever since.

This week we have hit the ground running with The Snowy Day. I'm taking a relaxed approach with school for the boys. We are mostly just reading together. It is my goal to cultivate an environment of loving books in this house because I know how books can really enhance your life. Brian has really understood the book. I've asked him many questions about the story, and he has been able to answer them and narrate back to me. Even Sean has picked up on the story. He knows which character is Peter (by his red snowsuit). This has been a great book for us to read this week as we have had snow 3 times this week. We haven't had any accumulation, but the boys have really liked watching the "no" falling!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

New Life

This past Saturday was a joyous day in our family. Colin was welcomed into the Catholic Church. He is younger than either of his brothers were when they were baptized, although they all wore the same baptismal outfit - the one my brother Brian wore.

We were so blessed to have both of Colin's godparents in town for the baptism. His godmother is my sister Lori, who was also my maid of honor, and his godfather is Chris' brother John, who was his best man. It was like a reunion of sorts, only we're all older, have more kids, etc. My parents were there, as well as my cousin David and his wife Daniella (who was my college roommate), and our friend Jen, and Elizabeth and most of her children were there as well.

At our new church the baptisms always take place on Saturday after the 5 p.m. Mass. There was a rather large gathering waiting for the baptism to take place, when Father B. started directing everyone to their places. We were second in line with 4 others behind us. Now the funniest part of lining up came when the last people arrived late with their 2 year old. The godparents were there on time and were "holding" their spot. When 2 women arrived with the child, Father B asked if there were 2 mommies! The one woman said no. So then he went on to ask where the daddy was, and she said "He's out of the picture". Talk about an awkward moment! And so began the baptism.

Let me preface this by saying that it truly was a beautiful baptism. We feel very blessed to have had our family and friends there to witness Colin's re-birth into the Catholic faith. That being said, it was a REALLY LONG baptism. Father B is a brilliant man, he knows so much, and decided to share a lot of it with us during the baptism; such as how the Bishop annoints the walls of a new church with chrism, and how shepherds back in Jesus' time used to take shears and make identifiable notches in the ears of their sheep, as well as other anecdotes. All of which are fascinating, but not so much when you have many children to baptize, and your parents don't get to watch any of the baptism because they have to be chasing your 3 and 2 year old around after they sat for an hour in Mass right before this.

I know this sounds like a complaint about the baptism, and it's not meant to be. It's just my attempt to process the whole evening. Both Brian and Sean's baptisms occurred during the middle of Mass, so what I had to compare Colin's baptism to is totally different. It was by no means any less special because we might have had to stand a little longer, or listen to a few more stories.

One of the funniest things that happened during our ceremony happened when Father B. was getting ready to pour the water on Colin's head. Colin was a little bit fussy at this point - not full our crying, but just kind of whiny. So as I have his little head over the basin, and Lori, John and Chris are all holding onto Colin, Father B say, "Don't worry buddy, we're going to get that sin out of you, we'll get the devil right on out of you". I almost burst out laughing at this point.

Baptism is a beautiful sacrament, one we lovingly bring our children to and fully understand the significance of our roles in their lives. Chris and I are blessed that we have the opporunity to be there for Colin, as we are for his brothers, to bring him up as a child of Christ.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Ten Things I Love That Begin With "O"

I saw this meme at Dawn's blog By Sun and Candlelight. Dawn assigned me the letter O, which I thought would be hard, but once I put my thinking cap on I came up with more than 10 but reigned myself in. And so, without further ado, here's my list:

  1. Orange Juice - Okay, this one is purely because of the moment I'm in. I've been sick for the past couple of days, and have consumed about a gallon of the liquid orange.
  2. Ocean - For the past 6 years my parents have rented a house right on the ocean's doorstep in the Outer Banks. It has been the most recuperative week of the year for me every year. When I was a little girl, my dad's dad told me that it was his ocean, and now my kids think that it's "Grampa's Ocean". There is nothing more beautiful than sitting out on the deck watching the sun rise, and seeing all of God's creation moving in rhythm.
  3. Online - I would be remiss if I didn't mention this one. My husband teases me that my name is Compaq :-) Actually I enjoy being online to connect with friends and family.
  4. October - This is the month that Chris and I got married, so it is one of my favorite months of the year. Sean was also born this month.
  5. Oven - I love to cook and bake. This was one of the selling points to my husband from our mutual friends who set us up.
  6. Our - Father who art in heaven...My faith is such an important part of my life, and this reminds me of my devotion to saying the Rosary nightly.
  7. Open - This is how I would descibe my life. From my home being open to friends at any time, to my life being an open book to my friends. Speaking of books, I do love to open a good new book and immerse myself in it.
  8. Oklahoma - This is the place I consider my childhood home. I lived there between the ages of 7 and almost 14. I often have what I call "Oklahoma dreams".
  9. Order - This is one of those goals that I have for myself - to stay organized and keep my house in order. It has always been a struggle for me, but I'm working hard at it.
  10. Oh - Holy Night - one of my favorite Christmas carols. Having just left the Christmas season and moving into Ordinary time has made me realize just how powerful the words to this song are to me.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Schooling While Sick

So, the best laid plans of mice and men...

I had all of these great plans to start with BFIAR this week. But as I learn over and over again, it's not always my call. Tuesday I came down with something pretty ugly and it has knocked me on my tush. Now granted, this is NOTHING like kidney stones and a stent, but as a friend reminded me - Mommies don't get sick days :-)

I found a couple of websites on the 4 Real Board that are pre-school activities. Brian, Sean and I sat down in front of the computer and started playing some games while Colin slept. We looked at animal prints and tried to match them to the correct animal, we also put the animals in their correct habitat. We also played with Play Doh. I was only going to open a couple canisters when Brian came over asking for 2 more to be opened. I told him that he already had 3 colors out. He paused for a moment, looked at me and said, "But Mommy, I want 5". So there was some math for the day.

We are going to have Colin baptized this weekend, so we need to get the house picked up. We all went downstairs to the school room to get things organized again. Everyone picked up and then we did some more "school". I had Sean do a color matching puzzle, and he did really well. Then we took out the lacing animals for the first time and both kids began learning how to lace. Brian is also obsessed with Cars right now, and he made a really long train track and was playing with his trains as if they were race cars. It was awfully cute if I do say so myself. :-)

I proved to myself that even if plans get thrown out the window that there is learning going on all around our house.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Resolutions - will they last?

I know, everyone laughs at resolutions - more often than not they are broken by January 3rd! However, after the crazy 2006 I had, I have decided to set real and measurable expectations for myself for this new year. The Loveliness of New Year's Resolutions has really inspired me to take a hard look at what I want to accomplish this year.

2007 Resolutions

  • Start with 14 week plan to get house clean and organized
    • In my quest to find a plan to get myself organized in regards to keeping up my house, I stumbled across this website -Organized Home It has inspired me to really get my home in order. I have begun a home management notebook, and prepared my weekly plan for cleaning and de-cluttering my home. I started this week with the Entryway/Foyer. Now, since my home doesn't really have a foyer, I have expanded my efforts to the hall closet, half bath, and half of the pantry (I know that the kitchen week is going to be a killer!). I'm definitely a person who needs a checklist so that I can see what I've done and what is left to do. I'm really excited to get my home back in shape after these past few months where I was just getting by day to day.
  • Keep my home running with a weekly chore list
    • This one kind of goes hand in hand with the cleaning and de-cluttering above. In my home management notebook I have a section for the home management - day to day chores to keep the house running. There will be certain days that I do laundry, vacuum the carpets, clean the bathrooms, you get the picture. Once again, if I have a daily list of items I need to accomplish I find it easier to get done. Not saying that I don't ever fall down on the job when I have a list, but I'm much more apt to be successful in I have it written out.
  • 36 X 36
    • After being pregnant or nursing for the past 4 years, I have some weight to lose. I am currently 13 pounds lighter than I was when I got pregnant with Colin (there's got to be some silver lining to having a kidney stone while pregnant, right?). However, I still have 17 pounds to lose to get to my pre-first pregnancy weight. And then, as long as I'm at it, let's just keep going so I can look smokin' hot again :-)! I'll be 36 this summer, and while I'm not really expecting to lose 36 pounds in the next 5 months, it's more of a yearly goal and it has a catchy ring to it. In order to accomplish this goal, I have signed up on the Weight Watchers web site. I've done WW before and have been successful with it. With 3 kids under 4 I really don't have the time to go to the meetings, but as I've said before, I'm a visual person, and the tracking feature on the website will keep me motivated.
  • Read bible daily
    • Fairly self-explanatory. I purchased a Catholic Daily Bible that provides me an Old Testament/New Testament/Psalm and Proverb reading every day. So far, so good. This one came about after I got involved in a 54 day Novena back in September. I have continued to say a daily Rosary, and feel this will only enhance my understanding of my faith.
  • Got to confession once per month
    • This is one area that I really want to improve on. I can actually tell you the last time I went to confession. Okay, you have to promise not to kick me out of the Church - it was October 5, 2001. You know the reason I remember this? Because Chris and I decided that we wanted to go into our marriage "clean", so we each had a confession before our rehearsal for our wedding. My plan is to go each month on or around the 15th of the month. This will be written in the home management master calendar.
  • Celebrate the liturgical year with my kids - at least 1 holy day each month
    • My husband laughs that I'm trying to win "Catholic of the Year", but being surrounded by the wonderful women on the 4 Real board and seeing all of the richness they are bringing into their children's lives has really inspired me. The reasoning behind my "Catholic of the Year" nomination is for another post, but Elizabeth has given me some wonderful ideas and I am utilizing the board as well to bring the Faith alive for my kids. I will choose one holy day each month and start that way.
  • Exercise for at least 30 minutes 3 times per week – use pilates machine as well
    • I have my 6 week post-partum check up tomorrow and am hoping to be released to exercise. I have a Pilates machine that I have had great success with. It's pulled out from under my bed and ready to go. My husband and I are also planning on bundling the kids up and taking walks in the evenings.
  • Play more with my kids
    • I know this is kind of generic, but I really feel bad that I had to stick my kids in front of the t.v. so much during the fall. Now granted, I tried to have them watch some educational shows (Signing Times, Leap Frog, etc.) but I really want to get down on the floor with them now and color, and play with the Legos, the trains, and do our "work" for school. This will be a daily occurance.
  • Get SU! Business back on track
    • Now this one is all about me. I am a Stampin' Up! demonstrator and really slacked off this fall. I love creating things with my rubber stamps, and love to share it with others. I'm planning on contacting all of my previous hostesses to see if they would have another party. I also make cards for people, and want to get that business running. I have a website, and I have begun advertising in the church bulletin. I just finished making 92 birth announcements for Colin, and would love to follow up with the people I don't speak with all that often to see if they would be interested in having me make cards for them.
I know this may seem like a lot, but with the Loveliness of New Year's Resolutions, I really wanted to define my goals for this year. I'm looking forward to growing in my faith, and becoming a "better" Cindy in 2007.

Sunday, January 07, 2007


For Christmas my parents gave me a Fontanini nativity set. I've been wanting a beautiful nativity set for some time now, and am very excited to have a set that I can add pieces to every year. Not only will this be beautiful to create a lovely reminder of the birth of Christ, but I will be able to share this beauty with my children in a very special way.

Today was the Feast of the Epiphany. Well, actually it was yesterday seeing as how it is after midnight now:-). I brought out the Three Kings and brought Brian and Sean over to see the visitors. Brian talked about how they were visiting Jesus' house. He was very meticulous in trying to have each king be inside the stable. It was very cute. Sean was mostly interested in Baby Jesus and wanted to take him out and play with him. When I told him that Baby Jesus needed to go back and be with Mary and Joseph, he said, "No, uh, uh."

It is so nice to be able to share my faith with my children and have them see it, touch it, and feel it. I'm hoping that by experiencing the faith this way that it will have a lasting impression upon them.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Head, Shoulder, Knees and Broken Foot

Sean, my "middlest" child is a bundle of energy. This is my child who can somehow not take a nap and yet stay up and play with his alphabet puzzle until 10 pm.

Somehow on New Year's Day, Sean managed to get hurt. Neither Chris nor I know how it happened. One minute he was happy, the next he was crying and inconsolable. He didn't want to put any weight on his feet. When he woke up on Tuesday, his right foot was very swollen and while he was walking again, he was walking on the outside of his right foot. I called the pediatrician and took him in. They said it looked like a UWA - an unwitnessed accident. I recall a similar phrase in college; an UPW - unidentified party wound - "Hey, where did this bruise come from? What was I doing last night?" But I digress :-)

Sean, Colin and I trooped to the orthopod on Wednesday. The nice thing about registering a toddler at a new doctor is that I could answer "no" to all the questions about smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, and all the "old people" diseases! Let's just say that Sean is not a big fan of getting an x-ray. I had to hold him - fortunately I know that there's no way I'm pregnant at the current time :-) - nothing like a squirmy toddler and trying to get his foot to stay still! When all was said and done, the doctor found a small fracture in the top of his foot. When Dr. Wilson asked if Sean was active, I asked Dr. Wilson if he'd ever met a 2 year old? We decided that it was best to put him in a cast for the next 2 weeks. Sean is also not a fan of casting! He is now sporting a dinosaur half boot. Hardwood floors and casts aren't a really good combination if anyone is wondering. Sean has taken to crawling again.

Since he had such a rough day I decided to spend some extra special "mommy" time with him before he went to bed. We went into the nursery and rocked for awhile; Sean was straddling my left leg and laid his head on my shoulder - I just love the snuggle. I was reminded as we rocked together that this time won't last forever. There will be a day in the not too near future where he doens't want to be held by his mommy, or if he agrees to be held, he won't want to sit there for a long time together. I was just breathing in his essence, when he pulled back a little bit and looked at me. I kept my eyes closed, and the next thing I knew, I felt Sean touching my eye, then my other eye. Next he touched my right ear, followed by my mouth and nose. I then felt a little hand touch the top of my head and then my shoulder followed by a moment of pause while he tried to figure out how to reach down to touch my knees and toes. Yes, my "middlest" man was singing "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes" in his head and wanted to act it out on his mommy! It was just the cutest thing ever and I had a really hard time pretending to still be asleep - I really just wanted to laugh out loud.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Beauty in the most unexpected moments

I've been running through the past week on adrenaline, and an occassional nap. Colin has decided that he wants nothing more than to be held throughout the night, and don't you dare think about putting him in the co-sleeper - he lets everyone know his displeasure at that one.

So on the eve of turning 1 month old, we began our dance again around midnight. I nursed him to sleep (HA!), swaddled him and tucked him into his bed. Moments later he announced that he was through sleeping by himself. I picked him up and snuggled him with me while we watched the end of the crazy Fiesta Bowl where OU managed to choke away the game to some wacky lateral pass touchdown and 2 point conversion by Boise State (home of the Blue field BTW). Chris turns to me after the game is over and says "Why don't you just lay him down?" Oh sure, why didn't I think of that? :-) Of course, 1 minute after being put in his bed, Colin registers his complaint with the management. Chris kindly tried to comfort Colin so that I could get some rest. I ended up telling Chris to go back to the bed and I would take care of the baby.

As I sat in the dark in the nursery rocking my precious child I began to say my nightly rosary - I was saying the Joyful mysteries last night and thought how appropriate to be thinking of the baby Jesus as I held this miracle in my arms. As I was reveling in the beauty of the moment, the wind began to pick up. Now our house is across from an open field and when there is any wind it really blows at our house. The important part of the wind blowing comes in the fact that for my birthday this past summer, Chris gave me the most beautiful wind chimes that sound just like church bells ringing for the evening vespers. As I held my child and contemplated Mary's life with Jesus I listened to the chimes and felt so at peace and so close to God. My exhaustion just flew out the window as I immersed myself in His love for me and the beautiful gifts that He has given me in the form of my loving husband and children.

Monday, January 01, 2007

New Year, New School

Well, it's been a long time since I've posted. It's also been a long time since we have had school here at Kelly's Klassroom. The last trimester of my pregnancy was a tough one. We found out that I had a large kidney stone in my left kidney and was in the hospital twice in a week at the end of September. I had a stent inserted and then spent the next 3 months dealing with the pain of the stent/kidney stone. I was put on Vicodin for the pain. So needless to say, school took a bit of a backseat for the last half of the year.

Baby Colin was born on December 2nd after a tough end of the pregnancy. He was 35 weeks, 5 days when he was born and started out having some difficulty breathing, but that was resolved in the first 8 hours. He was then put on withdrawal watch. The NICU doctors were concerned about withdrawal symptoms from the Vicodin. We were told that it was possible that he would have to remain in the NICU for upwards of 2-3 weeks. Through the many prayers of family and friends, Colin was able to come home with me. Our pediatrician says that he looks perfect. He is our miracle baby.

So school will be beginning in earnest here in January. We will be getting back into BFIAR and starting with The Snowy Day since in theory there could be snow in January! We're going to be doing an art project, making memories, and working with our magnet board to recreate the story. Brian and Sean both received lots of Melissa and Doug "toys" for Christmas, so we will be doing lots of manipulative play together in addition to our reading. The other night I got very motivated and organized our school room which is in the basement. We have a language area, a math area, an art shelf, our religion shelf, puzzles area and manipulatives area. I am now very excited about our new year of learning together.