Saturday, February 24, 2007
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Our parish decided to have a 40 Hour Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament starting on Ash Wednesday through Friday evening. Last year they tried this but only had the Blessed Sacrament out during the day and reposed at night. When they called for volunteers, Chris and I both felt called to sit in adoration. Now obviously with our young brood it would be impossible for us to go together so we decided to go at seperate times, and during hours that it might be harder to be filled (ie. in the middle of the night/early morning).
I signed up to sit from 12:30 - 1:30 a.m. on Thursday morning. Now keep in mind that I have never before sat in adoration in front of the Blessed Sacrament. I've never really known what it was or what it entailed. Heck, I didn't even realize what transubstatiation was until my sister Kellie was confirmed 5 years ago!
Around midnight I packed Colin in the car and we headed out to church. When we arrived, the parking lot was fairly empty - shocking, I know. I grabbed the baby, my bible, my rosary and headed into the church. Colin was fussing a little, so before I left the vestibule I calmed him down. I looked in the church and saw the Blessed Sacrament on the altar with the lights shining on it, and a few people sitting in the pews in the semi-dark. Once Colin was quiet, I went inside and took a seat in the back half of the pews. I put Colin's seat down, laid my bible and rosary down and looked up at the Blessed Sacrament and ....
I began to weep. It was the most beautiful sight I had seen. Christ, sitting on the altar, light shining upon him. I couldn't stop crying. In my head I heard, "Cindy, thank you for sitting with me this hour," and all I could say was "You're welcome, Lord".
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
With Ash Wednesday rapidly approaching, here is my plan for this year's Lenten season.
1. I will attend Mass on either Wednesday or Thursday mornings (whichever day works with Chris' work schedule)
2. Pray the Rosary twice daily - once in the morning, and my regular evening prayers
3. Read about the life of St. Louis de Montfort
4. Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet - I've never prayed this before so I am looking forward to adding this to my spiritual life.
5. I got this idea from Matilda over at Waltzing Matilda - learn Stabat Mater Dolorosa
1. No Starbucks
2. No "full-sugar" drinks (ie. regular Coke)
3. Join my husband in his no-meat Wednesdays
4. Since I'm breastfeeding and should not fast, on days of fasting I will still abstain from meat, but I will not get on the computer all day.
1. Call both of my grandmothers - one each week
2. Spend at least 1/2 hour a day just snuggling/reading/talking with each child on their own -special "mommy" time.
While growing up, my family never lived near any of our extended family, so when we went on vacation, generally it was a long car trip out East to visit family. It was always fun when we got to see our cousins at the same time.
I remember one particular trip to my dad's parents' house. My cousin David and his family were there at the same time. David and I are only 6 months apart in age. When we were growing up I would tease him that I was 6 months older than him. He obviously didn't forget that, and now he teases me that he's 6 months younger than me! David and I were always very close. One night on this trip we were staying up later than our parents knew - we were actually hiding in a closet and talking. I remember that we talked about getting married one day. Actually, I probably told him that we were going to get married since I'm a fairly "assertive" person :-). Little did we know about all those social mores against first cousins marrying each!
We managed to stay close throughout the years despite not getting to see each other that often. He was particularly affected when my brother Brian was killed by a drunk driver, and while he was in college used his experience and feelings to create a program directed at other students. He has been a huge advocate against drinking and driving.
I even ended up (inadvertently) introducing him to his wife. My roommate from college, who was also my roommate at the time, and I went down to Atlanta to visit my friend Karen, and my grandma. David came out to see me, and met Daniella at the same time. They ended up talking on the phone and emailing each other over the next 6 months until he decided to come up to VA to visit. Daniella asked me to take some time off work to spend with David as well. I let her know that he was NOT coming to visit me :-): he had someone else he was more interested in seeing. So, while we didn't ever get married (whew!), I have been incredibly fortunate that he ended up marrying one of my dearest friends and that they live about a half hour from us.
While David and I never married, he has adopted my children as the "kids of his heart". For Christmas he got each of them a set of baseball cards for the past year. This was something his parents did for him while he was growing up, and he wanted my boys to share the experience. He loves my boys so much, and they are so lucky to have him in their lives, just like I have been lucky that he has been in my life.
Sunday, February 18, 2007
I have begun reading a new book, A Mother's Rule of Life: How to Bring Order to Your Home and Peace to Your Soul. So far, I've found that I'm really enjoying Holly Pierlot's practical advice. She really emphasizes the many challenges that moms face, and in addition to offering practical advice, she also shares personal examples from her life .
My goal is to really be able to enjoy my kids and not waste the day away. I've been feeling out of sorts for many months now, and decided that I needed to do something different. For those of you who have known me for years, you'll know I'm not much of a "schedule" person (can we say skipping class?). However, I have decided that for my own peace of mind, as well as helping to make Brian, Sean and Colin's lives easier, I am going to bite the bullet and have a "schedule" for the day. Now, this is just a framework, mind you - nothing is set in stone, ie. I'm not going to pull the boys away from playing with their puzzles at 11:00 just because it's "time" to move on to the next station (insert drill sergeant here!). I just really feel that having this framework to our day will actually free up my time because I won't have to "think" about what we are going to be doing.
And of course the weekends will be a little more relaxed because Daddy will be home. Monday's will be structured a little differently as well since Brian has Atrium in the mornings.
So here is my schedule; I hope that by posting this here, I will feel even more inclined to stick with it!
7:30-8:15 - exercise
8:15-8:30 - daily Bible reading
8:30-8:45 - put laundry in and get boys up and dressed
8:45 - 9:15 - breakfast, and put laundry in dryer
9:15 - 10:30 - school
10:30-11:00 - boys watch Signing Times/Leap Frog video while mom folds laundry
11:00-11:45 - Atrium/religious ed
11:45 - 12:00 - make lunch
12:00-12:30 - eat lunch
12:30-3:00 - nap time/quiet time for boys, mom vacuums, cleans before laying down
3:00 - 3:45 - educational computer games
3:45 - 5:00 - active time (music making, playing outside, etc.)
5:00 - 6:00 - free time, mom makes dinner
6:00 - 6:45 - family dinner
6:45 - 7:15 - baths
7:15 - 7:30 - family rosary/prayers
7:30 - 8:00 - stories and bed for boys
8:00 - 10:30 - available for Chris
10:30-10:45 - get ready for bed
10:45 - 11:00 - rosary
11:00 - 11:30 - news in bed and bedtime
Thanks for keeping me honest here!
Because I haven't had the time to write anything, I took yet another quiz!
|You Are Apple Red|
You're never one to take life too seriously, and because of it, you're a ton of fun.
And although you have a great sense of humor, you are never superficial.
Deep and caring, you do like to get to the core of people - to understand them well.
However, any probing you do is light hearted and fun, sometimes causing people to misjudge you.
Thursday, February 15, 2007
I was feeling a bit overwhelmed the past couple of days. My dear friend Elizabeth sent over her daughter Mary Beth this morning, armed with some tea for me, and 2 willing arms to take care of Brian and Sean so that I could relax. As an aside here, I'm not sure what I have done in this life to deserve a friend like Elizabeth. She will lend me a child at the drop of a hat, give me advice on everything from diapering a baby to how to teach my kids. She is truly a blessing to me.
We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog entry...
So, Mary Beth is here playing with Brian and Sean - who are just tickled to play with Mary Beth by the way. Nap time comes around, and Mary Beth helps me get the boys up to bed and then we wait for her dad to come pick her up. When I went to go get Sean up from his nap, he says, "Hi Mommy. Where Mary Beth?" Later, as I was snuggling with him, I said, "Sean, who's so cute? Sean's response..."Mary Beth"! Aah, young love.
Friday, February 09, 2007
My husband and I have only known each other for 6-1/2 years. Mutual friends of ours set up a meet for happy hour on June 12, 2000. They stayed for about an hour and a half and when they said they had to go, we waved the good-bye. We stayed there for a long time after they left learning all about each other. That was the beginning of this beautiful relationship.
Through these years, my husband has plied me with many romantic moments, so this is my stroll down memory lane/tribute to my honey.
- Shortly after we met, both Chris and I had separate work trips that we had to make. I figured that I would maybe talk to this guy in a few weeks when we were both back in VA. Instead, he totally surprised me and called me almost every night from California and also from Florida where he was visiting his dad for Father's Day.
- July 4th, 2000 - watched fireworks on the banks of the Potomac. He brought music and wine. When the cork broke, he worked diligently to get it out, and was then applauded by all of our new friends.
- We sat talking in a hot tub gazing at the starry night up on Long Island.
- Chris took me to Annapolis where we went on a 2-hour cruise on the Schooner Woodwind.
- He told me he loved me for the first time on Columbus Day (which would end up being the weekend we got married the following year).
- He spent Thanksgiving with my mom's entire extended family only a few months after we had started dating.
- He introduced me to his brother John and his wife Becky over Thanksgiving and told me later how much he missed me when we weren't together during that weekend, which is when he decided that he didn't want to live his life without me.
- He turned what was the worst day of my life - December 27 - into one of the happiest days of my life. I flew down to Florida to meet his family the day after Christmas 2000. On December 27th, which is the day my brother was killed 10 years previously, he took me to a beautiful dinner at Runyons, where my prom date, Joe, from high school is the manager. Afterwards, we went back to his sister's apartment where he lit candles and read me poetry and got down on his knee to ask me to spend the rest of my life with him. I told him, "Yes, a thousand times yes!". It was about an hour later when I finally saw the ring he had for me.
- He took our pre-cana classes, and our faith very seriously.
- He sent me roses on the morning of our wedding.
- After our wedding when we were exchanging gifts with each other, he gave me a watch that he had given his mother and that he had gotten back after she had died. This was one of the most touching presents he has ever given me.
- We went on the most romantic honeymoon ever. Go to Young Island if you ever get the chance - it is so worth it!
- He supported me as I pursued my dream of becoming a teacher.
- He has made me breakfast in bed.
- He brushed my teeth for me when I was too sick to get out of bed.
- He has gone to almost every single OB appointment for all 3 of our children - even the "boring" ones.
- He has held my hand as each of our children was born.
- He helps my parents out when they have a computer/electrical problem.
- He is protective of my little sister Kellie - he doesn't want her to settle for some guy who isn't worthy of her.
- He has helped each of our babies "select" just the right gift to give me after they are born.
- When I'm tired, he takes over and lets me go lay down.
- He cleans the kitchen.
- He took care of everything regarding the operating of the house while I was pregnant with a kidney stone, a stent, and a whole lot of pain.
- He bought me the most beautiful diamond and pearl earrings to thank me for being the mother of his children and for going through all of the pain of this last pregnancy.
- He tells me and shows me he loves me every day.
My good friend Terri came over yesterday evening to (finally) meet Colin. We've just had a hard time coordinating schedules - she has 3 active elementary school kids, and well, I'm a little busy myself in a different way altogether.
I remember when I was pregnant with Brian and there was no one happier for Chris and I (other than our families) than Terri. She has always been such a good friend to me. She tells me like it is, and before I met Chris, she was the one who would never let me sell myself short when it came to relationships. She knew I was worth more and that I deserved someone who would treat me right. She was correct, as usual, and gave Chris the big thumbs up after meeting him.
So back to babies - I have a picture of Terri and Brian when he was around a week old. He's "kissing" her cheek and it's just the cutest thing ever.
So I was thrilled that it finally worked out where she could slip away from work to come meet the newest Kelly. Of course as soon as she came in, she ran to wash her hands and took Colin from me and pretty much didn't put him down the entire time she was here. Terri is a sucker for a baby!
Because she's such a wonderful friend, she picked up a Dr. Pepper for me from McD's and some cookies for the "big" boys. As is the case with men, a way to a little boy's heart is through his tummy. Brian and Sean took Terri downstairs to see their school room. Sean then decided he wanted to go into the bathroom. That alone wasn't a problem - it was when he turned the lock that it became a problem! And of course this isn't the kind of lock that can be popped open with those little keys that sit above your door. Nooo, this is the kind that you have to take the door knob off. So, Tool Time Terri comes to the rescue. She popped that knob off and peeked in to say hello to Sean. While Sean snuggled with me to calm down, Terri put the door back together for us.
We're so glad Terri was around to save the day!
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Last night Colin found his voice. It was around 10 p.m. and he was laying on the couch while Chris and I were watching "Dah Dah Feel" (aka Dr. Phil) when I heard an "aahh" come from my little man. That ended "Dah Dah Feel" for me and started a whole hour of "conversation" with Colin. We just looked at each other and smiled, and cooed. Chris asked if he could join in the conversation too. So there we were, 2 grown adults just making silly noises at out precious child and loving every minute of it!
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Jane, over at Blackberry Brambles, tagged me for this meme. I'm so excited, 'cause this is the first meme I've been tagged for!
Aprons - Y/N
I actually do own an apron. My friend Kary gave it to me for some gift giving occasion many years ago. It's yellow and looks very lovely hanging on the hook in my kitchen. Now, do I remember to use it? Not as often as I should.
Baking - Favorite thing to bake
My favorite thing to bake are brownies. I just use the old box mix and cook them a little less time than they call for and they come out SOO moist and chewy. My husband gets the nod for baking the best cherry pie ever, though!
Clothesline - Y/N
No. Not only do the covenants not allow it in our neighborhood (and I'm on the committee), but I'm all about the convenience of the dryer. I use a little Bounce for that line dried scent :-)
Donuts - Have you ever made them?
No, but I have attempted to make homemade bagels. What a disaster!
Every day - What is one homemaking thing you do every day?
Clean the kitchen and pick up copious amounts of toys. Sometimes by the time my husband gets home it doesn't look like I've done anything, but boy he should see it at nap time!
Freezer - Do you have a deep freeze?
We have an upright freezer in the unfinished area of our basement. This has been one of the best purchases we have made. Right after our second son was born we decided to take the "plunge" - get it, deep freeze, temperatures "plunge" - and it has been a fabulous decision.
Garbage Disposal - Y/N
Yes and am happy to have one.
Handbook - What is your favorite homemaking resource?
Almost 7 years ago some friends gave me Yankee Magazine's Make It Last by Earl Proulx. When I have a question on how to get a stain out of something or to make a repair, I check this book first. Then I hit the Internet.
Ironing - Love it or hate it?
Ironing, what's that? I think we got an iron for our wedding 5 years ago. Actually, my brother-in-law was here for Colin's baptism a couple of weeks ago and used the iron and said it's not really working. Time to buy a new one for those few times a year that ironing happens here. Chris is the one that irons every once in a while; although I do offer to do it for him when I see the ironing board out.
Junk drawer - Y/N
Oh there are more than I can count. 1 official junk drawer and then many others that just keep getting junky.
Kitchen - Design & Decorating?
I have this large print with wine bottles and flowers on it (not doing it justice at all in the description) that sort of became the centerpiece of the color scheme of the kitchen. We had the walls painted a sort of muted sage green. My neighbor then made cornice boards and a roman shade for the windows out of a fabric that has different wine bottles on it. It's very calming to me to be in there.
Love - What is your favorite part of homemaking?
I love being home with my children first and foremost. I also love cooking. I inherited my skills honestly from my mother and I really enjoy making a meal that makes my husband happy - he makes his happy eating noises when he likes something :-)
Mop - Y/N
Now that I have started a new home cleaning routine, there is more mopping. I got Don Aslett's Easy Glide Microfiber Mop and have been using that on the hard wood floors on the main level once a week.
Nylons - Wash by hand or in the washing machine?
I don't wear them very often, (although I am wearing them more now that I'm on this skirt kick) but when I do I wash them in the machine and then hang them to dry.
Oven - Do you use the window or open the oven door to check?
I always open the door. I'd rather do that than bend over to look through the window.
Pizza - What do you put on yours?
It really depends on my mood. Pepperoni and mushroom is a lovely combination. I also am a fan of the Hawaiian pizza (ham and pineapple). And I will admit it, I do like the anchovy (much to my husband's chagrin) along with sausage.
Quiet - What do you do during the day when you get a quiet moment?
With a new little one, I will take a nap. Although lately I've been staying up while all the boys are down and checking email and doing some cleaning around the house.
Recipe card box - Y/N?
I have a couple of them - one of my own, and one I bought for my husband when we were dating. I also own a bunch of cookbooks, although I rarely crack them open. I've been making meals from Dinner Done as of late, or making meals that don't require recipes.
Style of house?
Neo-traditional. We are only on 1/5th of an acre, but there are white (vinyl) picket fences between all the houses on my street. We have the traditional front porch - complete with 2 rocking chairs.
Tablecloths and napkins - Y/N?
We use a tablecloth for our Pre-Thanksgiving dinner, but in general we don't - too much of a temptation for small people to pull down. We do use cloth place mats on our kitchen table with matching cloth napkins (anniversary present from my parents), but Chris insists on paper napkins. Growing up I didn't know paper napkins existed except in the school cafeteria and at McDonald's!
Vacuum - How many times per week?
Once again, now that I'm on this house keeping routine, I'm scheduled to vacuum once per day for 4 days a week - Tuesday is upstairs, Wednesday is the stairs, Thursday is the basement, and Friday is the main level. I just went out and bought a canister vacuum yesterday to help me with the vacuuming of the stairs, and WOW, what a difference it made. It took me about 3 minutes to vacuum the stairs with this thing versus lugging that big, old upright up and down the stairs.
Wash - How many loads of laundry do you do each week?
One load per day:
Monday - Whites
Tuesdays - Neutrals
Wednesdays - Darks
Thursday - Kids clothes (they are still small enough that they all fit in one load)
Friday - Sheets and towels
Although I have to agree with Jane, I don't mind the washing/drying/folding, I'm just not as good about the putting away. Many times the laundry stays in the basket. I've got to get better about that.
X's - Do you keep a daily list of things to do that you cross off?
No, but I really should. I do like that feeling of visually seeing the completion.
Yard - Y/N? Who does what?
Like I said, our yard isn't that big, but works for us. Chris is in charge of the outside it seems. Although Patrick Foss has been the go-to guy for mowing our lawn for the past couple of summers.
Zzz's - What is your last homemaking task for the day before you go to bed?
Making sure that the kitchen is picked up and that there isn't any food items left out.
There you have it - my homemaking meme. Hope you enjoyed it. I'm tagging my sister-in-law, Terry.
Friday, February 02, 2007
Today was a great day. Not only did Colin turn 2 months old (see previous post), but Sean had his cast removed and is walking on his own 2 feet, and we had a great day of "school".
Chris took the morning off to take Sean to have the cast removed. We did this because as strong as I am, I am no match for a 2 year old who does not want to have that saw come anywhere near him! Let me clarify - Sean doesn't like anything about the orthopedists office. The physician's assistant told Chris that everything looks healed; I'm sure she was telling the truth, but there was an ulterior motive - she didn't want the screaming little boy to come back to the office!
Once he got home, Sean was moving and grooving like his normal self. He came downstairs and joined Brian, Colin and I where we had been doing "school".
It was nice to have an hour or 2 alone with Brian to focus on learning. We went down to the schoolroom and got to work. We pulled out our movable alphabet and spelled some words. I asked him to spell "fox", "cat", "dog" and "bus". He spelled them all correctly. Then we moved on to working with opposites. Uncle Michael and Aunt Jennifer sent some opposites cards that I laminated and we laid them out on the floor and worked on matching them together. We also read a dinosaur book that works on numbers. Brian was also quite enchanted with Sean's Fold & Go Barn. Since we have been reading If Jesus Came to My House this week, which has a section on shadows, I tied in Groundhog Day with the book. I showed Brian a picture of a groundhog and explained what the story is behind Groundhog Day. He then followed directions on 2 coloring pages on Groundhog Day, and then we did some "math" pages - he had to count each of the groundhogs, the shadows, and the burrows on each page.
After Sean came home we read about the Presentation of our Lord at the Temple from our child's Rosary book. I compared the presentation to Colin's recent baptism. Brian and Sean then colored a coloring page on the Presentation. Sean was pretty cute about it. I pointed to each of the people in the picture and he enthusiastically repeated them after me - Baby Jesu, Mary, Joes, Sime, and Anna (and no, I didn't misspell those names). He even remembered them this evening when we were showing Daddy what we did today. I was quite impressed with my middlest man.
The day ended by sticking to one of Chris' resolutions - to have one day a week where he doesn't eat any meat (not even seafood). We made a nice romantic dinner of cheese fondue - Yummy!
Today Mr. Colin is 2 months old. How did that happen? It seems like just yesterday that I was in the hospital, and here we are 2 months later. Colin is just the sweetest baby ever. He hardly ever cries...I know if he's crying that there's something he really needs. This is really helpful to have an "easy" baby while I'm chasing Brian and Sean around!
Colin has really come a long way in the past 2 months. He is now sleeping really well at night. Okay, so I just jinxed myself with that :-). But really, he typically will sleep for at least 4 hours straight, and sometimes even 6 hours. He is staying awake more during the day and taking in his world. He loves being held and carried in the Baby Bjorn. We just introduced him to the swing today and he was enchanted with it. He is also getting stronger - he's able to pick his head up for a good stretch of time when on his belly.
The most exciting milestone that Colin has achieved is that he is smiling now! There is nothing better as a parent than to see that first smile. It always seems to come at just the right time - right when you are so tired you can't move - that's when they grace you with that big toothless grin. Stay tuned for more smiley pictures of our littlest man!
Thursday, February 01, 2007
Well, I figure now that it's the start of Month 2 (otherwise known as February to the rest of the world) of my resolutions, I would give a quick update on how I am doing.
1. 14 week house cleaning plan - I missed 1 week due to being REALLY sick, but am on week 3 - the dining room. I have totally cleaned and de-cluttered my coat closet/half bath, and the living room. I also took a crack at the kitchen a little bit early and de-cluttered 1/2 of the pantry, 'cause I know that the kitchen week is going to be a bear!
2. Keep home running with weekly chore list - One night a couple of weeks ago I was having trouble sleeping because of all of the coughing I was doing, so from 2-3 a.m. I was downstairs creating my weekly chart. I have the laundry, the vacuuming of each area of the house divided up between the week and the big jobs (bathroom cleaning/kitchen cleaning) reserved for the weekends. I'm still working on developing this habit, but I'd give myself a C as of today.
3. 36 x 36 - I didn't actually join WW online - I decided to use that money for a different purchase (later in this post). I did however buy the WW calculator which will help in determining how many points a food items has. I haven't been as diligent about what I have been eating thus far, but I am only eating until I'm full even if it leaves food on my plate - big step there.
4. Read bible daily - I get an A+ on this one. I'm in the middle of Exodus, at the end of Matthew, and in the thick of the Psalms and Proverbs. I think that might be why this was my score on the Bible quiz:
Wow! You are awesome! You are a true Biblical scholar, not just a hearer but a personal reader! The books, the characters, the events, the verses - you know it all! You are fantastic!
Ultimate Bible Quiz
Create MySpace Quizzes
5. Go to confession once per month - okay, totally failed on this one in January. How does one go to confession when they have a 3yo, 2 yo and newborn? I know this is an excuse, but I have to figure this one out and get on track.
6. Celebrate the liturgical year with my kids - I'm such a novice at this that I feel like I need a "guide" to be able to do this. I am planning on buying CHC's A Year With God from Elizabeth, but haven't so far been able to get myself down the block to make the transaction. Another excuse, yes; one I'm planning on rectifying in the next week. I'll be better this month.
7. Exercise 30 minutes/day 3 days/week - okay, another one I haven't kept up on - or rather haven't been able to start. As I indicated a little earlier in this post I've been pretty sick this month. Starting around the 6th of January, I got very sick and have had this horrible cough that is still with me - I feel like I'm bruising my ribcage I cough so hard. So I have not exercised as of yet other than running after little people! However, I did purchase the Free Form Rebounder to add to my Pilates machine so that I can get some cardio exercise. What could be better than bouncing on a trampoline while laying down?
8. Play with my kids - Check - doing this one! Yesterday we broke out the art box that I had purchased back in the fall and we painted - Brian and Sean had SOO much fun - and so did their mommy! We've been reading a lot as well. We are currently reading "If Jesus Came to My House". It's such a nice book and we are trying to really work on the manners section together. Chris read it to the boys as one of their bed time stories the other night and came down amazed that they both sat so still during the entire book. It is so rhythmic and such a nice story. If you haven't read it yet, I highly recommend it.
9. Get SU! business back on track - Geez, checking in on myself really shows me how poorly I am doing on these resolutions. Haven't contacted anyone yet on hosting another party. Although I did donate some of my work to my church's silent auction for the gala they are having Saturday night. I left some business cards to be out next to the card organizer so hopefully this will generate some business.
Okay, so I've done well in some areas and not so well in others. Fortunately these are yearly goals and not January's goals! Check back each month for updates. Hopefully February will be better for me in achieving all of my goals.