Friday, December 20, 2013

7QT: One image sums it all up for me




This one image pretty much sums it up for me. I'll just add some quick takes that will hopefully remind me to eventually  jot down more about our present life journey.

Updates for month 9 and 10 for sweet little Linus are forever overdue. It lingers in my mind. It's there.  A little something reminding me to write it, but I just. can't. do. it. Perhaps it's denial. Perhaps it's the craziness that is our life right now. But, I'm betting it's a combo of both. Regardless, I fully intend on writing his updates! With pictures of his sweet face!

--- 3 ---
Speaking of the little man. Something has been going on. Something that has managed to turn our home upside down. The typically sweet face with the big smile has been clawing at his gums, arching his back, and shedding some mad tears to the point of going hoarse mostly at night and during naps. For the most part if he's awake and distracted he is fine and dandy + drool and chewing on his little chubby fingers. But come night time, it is a new level of heartache and horrible that I have ever encountered. 

At first we were thinking it was reflux. Went to the doctor, did some blood work and describing of the behaviors, and decided this is high on the list of BINGO. Start medicine and see no major difference in the craziness, leads me to think it still may be possible, just need the right med, but something else is going on.

My first son, for the most part, teethed pretty gracefully. But, seeing how Linus has been clawing at his gums, leads me to believe that I haven't seen teething yet! My poor baby feels this pain like none other and it. is. awful. I have had little to no sleep all week and am hanging on by a thread.

But there was some light today! Because of a tidbit of essential oil wisdom I found via a comment Efficient Momma made on Call Her Happy's blog, Linus took to his naptime beautifully. Just like old times! He snuggled, nursed, fell asleep, and went down. It was amazing because he has not done this for most of this week. Nap times and bed times have been twined with tears and struggle. So, a drop of lavender essential oil into a bit of his non-scented baby lotion, rubbed on his little toesies went a long way today! Thank you, Jenna and Rachel!!!

So, with all that, prayers appreciated for the little one and for our little family. That we may have the grace to endure our present with His Strength. Because, let's be honest, I'm a crazy person when it comes to not getting sleep.

--- 4 ---
Ah, sleep. Dear sleep. I miss you.

--- 5 ---
And, supposedly Christmas is next week. Ha. Remember that Christmas tree we were supposed to go out and get? Yup. This did not happen. Pretty sure this will be the first Christmas of my life that I will not have a Christmas tree in the place that I am residing. Sadness. But, life has been taking us for a loop that we are just barely holding on to. When you take a ton of sleep out of the equation (and I mean a ton), everything just seems to start spinning.

On the spinning note, we're supposed to start our Christmas travels tomorrow. Or rather, we were supposed to get our butt into travel gear this evening, but seeing how evenings are the absolute hardest on Linus we thought we'd wait and give tomorrow morning a go.

St. Christopher, Please pray for us.

--- 6 ---
Which means I need to pack. A weeks' worth of life. Oh packing, when will we ever get along?...

--- 7 ---
But, at least there's a light at the end of my sleepy tunnel filled with His Beautiful and Perfect Birth, spending time with family and loved ones, and potentially a new home (if it be His Will that we proceed on this current gem we found).

Prayers for a beautiful and merry Christmas!

&

For more uplifting and joy-filled Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!


Saturday, December 14, 2013

7QT: Memories and Recipes


Ah! Jen is right! Christmas is just a little over a week away! When did that happen? Suppose it's only right that I finally put up our Thanksgiving memories. Photo story ahead along with a few recipes!


The boys.
For starters, we don't have a TV. And my dad and brother felt the only way Thanksgiving could actually be had at our place was with one. So, my brother so generously brought his over. There was football all. day. long. And, Bigfoot just did not know what to do with himself. Haha. Honestly, I'm just glad he didn't knock it over!
Linus, in Linus-fashion, was all over the place. Uninterested in the foreign object that became the center of our living room. He was sweet all day long and held by all!
All in all, these little monkeys had a great day and loved having Papa Ram, Nana, Uncle Godfather, Erin, my cousin and her boyfriend over for the day.
The Fluffs.
This little fluff loved having everyone's tablescraps. She patiently waited around the kitchen and table all day long. Pretty sure she loved it.

This little one mostly slept, snuggled anything for warmth, and kept as much distance between her and the boys as she could. She's not a fan of little ones and their little ways.

Our extended hearts.
This handsome couple loved on the boys and us all week! The boys loved every minute with them (Bigfoot especially loved having free reign of Nana's iPad) and we loved all the help we got from having four extra arms around!
We loved seeing these cuties too! The boys love their Uncle Godfather and enjoy playing with Erin too! Time with them is always such a treat!
My brother's mini-me.
Uncle A's mini-me with my brother.
And we had these two over too! Loved seeing them for Thanksgiving! Karla, even though you aren't a fan of living up here in North Texas, know that I've loved seeing you the few times we have!
Twas uhhh-mazing!!!!
This was my plate. Get a load of that buttered roll!
The stuffing my mom made was so delicious! Best I've ever had! Haha, and you may be thinking that's a funny thing to say, but I honestly never cared for stuffing until a couple years ago. Between this and my sweet potato casserole, my taste-buds were doing a happy dance all day!
This boy was a fan!
Okay, I found this recipe from Gimme Some Oven and it was perfect! I even overcooked the pecan pie a smidge and it was still soooo good! Husband even said it was the best he'd had and pecan pie is his favorite! I look forward to making this recipe again and often!
These pumpkin muffins were had for breakfast and for some daytime snacking. I made half the batch with cranberries and the other half with dark chocolate chunks. These are yummy two ingredient muffins I've been making for years. Just a can of pumpkin and a spice cake mix mixed together and baked for a good 18 minutes. Voila! Yummy and Pumpkin-y! However, I just found this recipe and I think I may try it out next for our annual Bible Study White Elephant party.
There were more desserts that were had. Lots of beer. Lots of wine. And I made a deep red apple cider which I found to be yummy since I love cider. All in all it was a beautiful turnout!

The women.
The men.
Love the boys in this picture. We had to take a number of these. They got old pretty quick, but you do what you have to in order to capture the moments. 
My Mom and I with the boys. Linus was so funny during these pictures. He all of sudden smiling was so much fun! Smiling and the sweetest little pretty eyes blinky thing he never does when asked. Haha. It was great!
The boys were pretty tired come evening. Lots of evening snuggles were had.


Post-Thanksgiving Fun!
Next evening we headed out to Frisco Square for this amazing light show! It was a beautiful little winter wonderland!
Complete with fake snow flurries flying around! So fun!
This little one had fun because he got himself some popcorn from the candy store.
And this sweet little bundle stayed pretty mesmerized by it all despite how cold it was out!
All had fun. Even though we didn't stay terribly long, it was a nice time.
Not sure how long the display stays up but I sure do hope we make it out once more!

All in all, we had such a wonderful Thanksgiving. We celebrated with loved ones we are so very thankful and prayed in thanksgiving for all those blessings that we didn't get to see.

The fall season always brings the holidays in such a rush, but I love how the very seasons themselves are always calling us to slow down. Be present. Be in love. Share. Give. Hope. Be joyful! Wait. Smile. Rejoice!

Another year filled with goodness. Looking forward to celebrating the birth of Our Lord!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!



Thursday, December 12, 2013

TT: A Half-Dozen Build

Joining the fun over at Clan-Donaldson for Theme Thursday! This weeks theme is dozen

My parents brought us up some delicious valley citrus over Thanksgiving break. They brought a bag of oranges for my brother and a bag of grapefruits for me (and my hubby on my more generous days). Grapefruits are my absolute favorite and if I could eat them daily for the rest of my life I would! Since the bags of fruit have arrived, Bigfoot has been getting into them daily so that he can build sumfing.

Bigfoot loves "building" things. He will build up his Lego blocks to all sorts of heights. He'll build his bowling pins into rows for days. He will even build his sandwich with the slice of pickle, crackers, and carrots as much as they will balance; which brings us to the oranges.

Bigfoot was, again, meddling in the citrus bags and taking out the ball-shaped oranges (He knows they are a fruit to eat but is a big fan of all things ball-shaped.). Anyways, he started building the oranges (a half dozen to be precise) on our dining table and decided that the Angel from our little nativity need to come hang out in the little orange fort he built.
So, there you have it. This is my half-dozen Theme Thursday picture. Head on over to Clan-Donaldson to see more beautiful, fun, and creative dozen photos!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Out of the mouths of littles... & WIWS

Linking up with Rosie for What They Said to capture the sweetness/ridiculousness that comes from the mouths of these little monkeys!
Now when we get in the van we get a request to honk the horn often:
Bigfoot: Pop the corn, Dada! Pop the corn!

Bigfoot (after hearing someone else honk their horn): What'th dat? dat? ...Someone popped the kern?

Mama: Yes, son. Someone honked their horn.


Bigfoot's favorite movie right now is Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (Mama loves this!):
Bigfoot: (As he walks to me and gently touches my cheek): Sthoo sthweet.

Bigfoot (at random): Truwee Sthcrumptthoooth...

Bigfoot (at random): I wuvvvv Chiddy Chidd ban ban!

Bigfoot (he's been calling me Mama since he could first say Mama): Mum-mee! Mum-mee!

The little man also loves grabbing his golf club and tries to have a go at the Bamboo Stick choreography. I must say, he really isn't too shabby, either. Consider mama impressed, little man.


This past week:
Mama: Sweetheart, it's time for nap.

Bigfoot: But..but...I sleep last night... I sleep last night.

Glad he's starting to understand the concept of yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Haha.


Anytime I ask him why he is doing [insert whatever ridiculous thing under the sun you can imagine]?
Bigfoot: Uhh.. Becaauuutheee...

Silence. So I think he's thinking about what he's going to say.

But instead more often than not he just takes off running to engage in some other kind of ridiculousness.


After asking for some more popcorn (the actual stuff) nicely:
Bigfoot: I mithss potcornn. I mithsss it.


****


Brothers Edition

First we have Roarversations:
Bigfoot: Rooooaaaarrrrrrrrrr!!!

Linus: Roarrrr! 

Bigfoot: RoooarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!

Linus: (incredibly delicious baby laugh) Roarrrr!


Next, we have Squealversations:
Bigfoot: High Pitch SQUEEEALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!

Linus: Baby SQUEAAALLLLL!!

(on repeat throughout meal times, during play times, and definitely in the evenings)



When Linus wants me to pick him up, carry him, feed him, love him, etc etc etc. You get the picture:
Linus: Mumm mumm mumm mumm...mummm mumm mumm muuu


That's all I have folks. There's probably a ton more, but I've been bad about writing them down. Which means my sleep deprived brain just does not remember right now.



****

What I Wore Sunday linkup


Also, thought I'd link up with Fine Linen & Purple for What I Wore Sunday. I have a photo. Looks mostly like what I wore the previous week but I promise it's not!
Sweater: Express (over 10 years ago)
Dress: Ann Taylor Loft (gift from my Mother-in-Law)
Boots: Mikarose
Leggings: Target?
Jewelry: James Avery (same old, same old)

I also wore this little cutie with our Maya Wrap. Glad we were able to make it to Mass during Icepocalypse 2013 that we have going on over here in the Big D.

In spite of my extreme littleness I still dare to gaze upon the Divine Sun, the Sun of Love, and my heart feels within it all the aspirations of an Eagle. -St. Thérèse of Lisieux

Monday, December 9, 2013

Advent Unplugged: One day at a time

AdventUnplugged


Unplugged Photo Story:
Slowly...
but surely...
filling...
our little home...
with Joy.
In this Christmas box we have all our Advent Christmas tree decor. We have three weeks of purple ornaments and one weeks worth of pink. Ideally, we would put up a weeks set along with the weeks of Advent, but this year we are obviously running a bit behind.

Nonetheless, onward we go! Little by little.
And, here's our little Advent wreath we got a few years ago through the boy scouts at our church. It's held up but needs some help. And somehow Mary and an Angel made their way to the center. Linking up here with the CatholicMom Advent wreath link-up.

Week two is off to a much better start. Just going to keep on keeping on and pray that His Grace meets me where I am, daily! 

Thanks again, Haley, at Carrots for Michaelmas for encouraging us all to keep accountable and to be more present during such a beautiful season!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Advent Unplugged: Come away for a while...

AdventUnplugged
I mentioned last Sunday that I was going to whole-heartedly try to unplug and to be more intentional about my day-to-day to-dos. For the most part things are going alright. Now, let's get specific.

Facebook has been deleted from my phone and the time spent on that little social network/black hole of my time has dramatically changed. I don't think to get on anymore, aside during my possible mini break when both boys are sleeping at the same time (rare) or at night before Linus wakes to nurse. So there has been an upside to this one specific change. Less phone time...kind of.

I try to remember to leave my phone in the kitchen while I'm at the table or in the room playing with the boys, but this one doesn't always happen. I worry that I may miss a call or text from someone that may need a response so I ultimately keep it with me. I have lessened my screen time even though sometimes it doesn't feel like it. This area can definitely use some improvement only because I think to look at my phone often to check for hypothetical texts, calls, or emails.

Now, here is where I am getting into my struggle of unplugging. My brain and selfishness are hard to turn off! As much as there has been less phone time, I am struggling with being as present as I would like. Possibly because I'm going stir-carazzy here with icepocalypse 2013 going on over here in Dallas, but still not an excuse.

Often times I find myself just wanting a little break to sit and watch a show (i.e. not think and be mindless.), which I ultimately do after the boys are in bed during naps or bedtime. And then there's the feeling that I'm just not doing so hot with the potty-training/two-year old toddler stage of life mixed with crawling baby boy who travels at the speed of light to get into anything and everything at the very same time said toddler needs to go to the potty? I mean my tolerance/mama patience wears thin real quick after cleaning up the potty that was meant for the paw-dee. It's yuck. And as much as I can do diapers there's just something about the lack of containment and my toddler who oh-so-easily can become so consumed with whatever he's doing, so much so that he fails to mention he needed to go sit. And then there's me who doesn't just take him because I'm tending to the little guy. Oye! I'm getting tired just writing this out! So, let's just say it's just a combination of it all?


On that crazy note, I've recently and randomly remembered Special K (Sister Katherine) encouraging me to rest in this scripture:
Jesus said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while. 
Mark 6: 31
Sweet Sister, resting is something that my personality definitely lends to, probably too much! I could easily be a professional rest-er. I know very well how to rest. But, I don't think I've been resting the way she meant nor how Christ wants me to. You see, after my tid-bits of "rest", I'm not feeling rejuvenated. So, I must be missing something.

Over Thanksgiving break, there was lots of hustle and bustle around preparing all the incredibly yummy goodness that was had. My mom and I did a lot. We were non-stop. I, mostly, following the lead of my mother who has hosted a number of Thanksgivings (She was awesome!). She knew what to do and she knew how to do it well. It was go-time for most of the day. Even meal-time felt like go-time because we have the littles.

Now, being someone who loves to be in the kitchen, I enjoyed every bit of it. Or rather, I loved the baking portion because that is one thing that just relaxes me and makes me happy. The big bird thing, not so much. I'm with Britt on this one. There's something about handling raw birds that I just don't do - unless I really have to (insert super-hero mom -my mom- who was uh-mazing with the turkey!). 

But, getting back to the resting portion of this post, I felt most rejuvenated when I was with little Linus sitting and nursing him. I treasured sitting with him in the rocker for nursing all throughout Thanksgiving day. And as much as I love our nursing relationship, I loved it in a new way on that day. It made time stand still. I felt like I came away with Him to rest awhile. I reflected. I nourished. It was peaceful. It was life-giving. I prayed. I was thankful. I was happy for the moment to reflect and to snuggle the sweet little life that He blessed us with. I felt the most unplugged then.

The nursing sessions gave me a chance to reflect on all the so many wonderful posts about Advent that all you awesome bloggers put out the week prior to Advent and the week of (yup, I am the least on-time person in the universe). Posts on silence. Posts on waiting. Posts on being present. So many beautiful insights from so many wonderful women trying to set a tone in their home that reflects the amazing journey Our Lady had up to the birth of her beautiful and perfect Son. The journey of her waiting on the Lord.

Be still before the LORD; wait for him.

Psalm 37:7

She waited on Him who was already with her. He was with her before He was in her womb, He was with her in a beautiful way while in her womb, and He was with her in such a special way during His journey. But, the point is He was with her. 

And, the point is He is with me. In all these wonderful ways. I felt most unplugged while I, with my heart, mind, and soul, was with Him. Not on a show. Not while I was complaining. Not while I was not getting stuff done and frustrated that I had so much to get done. Not when I lost my patience for the umpteenth time. It was when I let myself, let Him, fill me with good things. 

Week one of Advent has passed. I missed celebrating the Feast of St. Nicholas (one of my favorites), I am just putting up our Advent wreath, I am just starting to pull out Christmas decorations, and am just behind on all things Advent life, but I am hoping and praying I am more present and intentional in the weeks to come. More unplugging. More stillness internally. The external is going to be crazy. It is going to keep going. It's the inside that I need to keep calm. Keep quiet and still. So that I can share that joy that I feel in my heart about the upcoming birth of our Savior.

With His Grace!

O come o come Emmanuel!

Friday, December 6, 2013

7QT: The W Date Night


We had a date night at fancy shmancy hotel in downtown Dallas. GeekMan's company Christmas party was last night and we had so much fun!

Here we go. Date night/Company Christmas Party in Instagram/iPhone photos:



The fancy-shmancy place I was talking about. The weather was no bueno last night, but we were determined. Even though our babysitter backed out (we had some amazing friends who came to the rescue!) we made our way through the yucky, sleety, rainy weather. Thankfully the roads were pretty empty which made for a quick trip there!
Oh yes! This was taken in the bathroom. Be prepared friends, there is more ridiculous to be had in the photos that proceed. I don't get out much...
That's right! Full ensemble selfie. I loved the dress I was wearing and the bathroom really was like none other I had been in...so I thought, why not. Any dress that has pockets is a major favorite in my book!
My sexy man. Loved being on his arm all night long. We had so much fun!
Reflection-couple selfie! Didn't know they existed but they do now in my book. Here we are looking out at the incredible view we had.
And another couple-selfie on our way out. I blame all the mirrors that are literally everywhere just asking us to take selfies.
Evidence that I wore heals. (For you, mom.) :) I had the hurting footsies to follow for further evidence. Ask, GeekMan. I griped.
A nice co-worker of my husband took this photo. Memory captured! 
The crummy weather we had to look forward to once we drove to our friends' home to pick up the littles (who did so well - Thank you, Jesus!).


Quick shout out to our Guardian Angels who kept us safe all through the night. I think they have a good understanding of the reality that we just don't get out much. Gracias!! Annnnd, so many thank yous to our friends for watching the boys! You blessed us abundantly (as always!)!!!

Thanks for stopping by

&

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

childhood // linus is four

Our resident knight turned four. He is the sweetest little gift jam-packed with adventure, bravery, love, fierceness, courage, creativity, i...