Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Five Favorites: Children's Books

Rosie loves her some books. I have more pictures than I can count of her pretending to read or being read to because that's one of her absolute favorite things. People have given her books that are...well, tedious, but I have no problem reading some of these over and over again. Generally, the following books are beautifully illustrated and the words are carefully chosen so that they flow wonderfully. I love all of them. Just pretend that I say that before every single one of them.

Disclaimer: all book links and pics are from Amazon, but I don't get diddly squat out of it other than the satisfaction of introducing someone to something awesome.

1. Saint George and the Dragon by Margaret Hodges and Trina Schart Hyman

It took a while for Rosie to actually sit still long enough for me to read through the whole thing - it's kind of wordy - but it's awesome. It's got enough adventure and action that my nephew took it to bed with him when we gave it to his for his birthday last year - I mean, c'mon, it's got a knight fighting a dragon and getting the girl. What's not to love? Oh, and the wedding scene gave me completely unrealistic expectations for wedding dresses. Dropped waist is a mistake on me.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

7QT: Rollercoaster style

So, wow. I haven't written in a while. Things have been a little on the crazy side with holidays and life and stuff (I'm super articulate, too). What better way to get caught up than to just dump it all into some quick takes? In chronological order, though. Gotta keep the flow.

My 10-year high school reunion was last week. I was kind of excited about going, not having seen a bunch of people for so long, but it was in a bar and I'm an old lady, so I ended up leaving earlier than I would have liked simply because I couldn't hear anyone at all. How am I supposed to catch up with peoples' lives when I'm trying to figure out if they were talking about human resources or racehorses?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Wherein I blab about the weather and business suits

Rosie had her first honest-to-goodness cold. She's had sniffles before, but Monday she had a cough and that night she had a fever. She even did that thing where she was looking beyond you instead of at you - just kind of blank and unfocused. It was a bit unsettling. But she slept in and I guess got enough rest that her fever broke, though her cough was still here all day.

This makes me even happier that my mom was able to come over at the last minute to watch the kiddos Monday afternoon so I didn't have to take them out in the cold with me while I ran errands. It was 19 - one-nine - degrees when I checked at 9:30, and while I hate the cold, I hate taking small children out in it more.

I'd be the worst pioneer mom.

Who am I kidding, I'd be the worst pioneer. Full stop. The cold and I are not buds, and you'd better believe I would be less than thrilled at the prospect of not being able to fully thaw and get warm from October (or earlier) to April (or later).

Speaking of which...

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Quick takes Friday

I think I actually (finally) didn't take a ridiculously long time writing these!

My dad had a grandkid itch that needed scratching, so he came over to have some baby time while Nate and I got to see "Thor: The Dark World." I enjoyed it, though the movie seemed to drag until Loki (Tom Hiddleston) finally got more involved in the plot. And man, there is one GREAT cameo that would make rewatching the movie totally worth it.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Five Favorites: Pre-Baby Luxuries

Maybe I'm a little cranky because Freddy decided to wake up sca-REE-HEE-HEAming around 3 am this morning and then again at 7ish, but I spent a little bit thinking of all sorts of things I took for granted before I had kids.

1. Sleeping when I want for as long as I want

Forget just sleeping through the night - I miss being able to go to sleep late (night owl insomniac here) and sleep until I wake myself up, skip breakfast to keep sleeping, sleep sleep sleep. I lurve sleep.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

I like big bundts and I cannot lie

I couldn't resist.

Anyway, I found a few cake recipes that I want to remember to try at some point, and if I put them on people's walls on facebook (or even post them directly to mine) I'm never going to find them again.


I actually have NO idea why I want to try this one so badly - I don't have a huge affinity for pumpkin or maple flavors. But something about it screams fall and I just want my house to smell like that. I asked my BIL if he'd be my guinea pig since Nate isn't a pumpkin fan, either. Perhaps I should make it to take down to my in-laws on Saturday when we go watch the 50th anniversary Doctor Who special since we don't have cable.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Five Favorites: The Zoo!

I took Freddy and Rosie to the zoo for the first time on Monday. Since it was Veteran's Day, both my dad and my FIL had the day off, so they, plus my mom, MIL, BIL, and SIL, were able to come. We would have taken advantage of the sequester to take them before it got cooler, but, well, the zoo got closed then, too. Luckily, the day was sunny and clear, even if it was chilly.

I have to say, I enjoyed the zoo much more as a parent than I have in the past as a teenager or childless adult. I mean, I've always liked seeing the animals and learning about them, but seeing the wonderment of a child is kind of awesome. That said, here are some of my favorite parts of the trip.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Veterans Day 2013

We took advantage of the day off today to take a trip to the zoo, but I want to write about something a little different on this day.

I come from a military family. I know that to most people, that means that you have a parent in one of the branches, but our family takes it to an extreme. For that matter, so does my husband's. Between the two of them, we have 11 service members that I just thought of off the top of my head, 5 of whom are either parents or siblings. Whenever we go to military concerts and the service song medley is played, I stand pretty much the whole time (I get to sit during "Semper Paratus" and, since my aunt and uncle divorced, "Anchors Aweigh"). Some are still active duty - my oldest BIL just came home in July after a yearlong deployment to Afghanistan - but all have sacrificed. My maternal grandfather sacrificed more than most.

Sunday, November 10, 2013


Is this allowed? Am I cheating? It's just been such a busy, busy few days that I didn't get a chance to really sit and write.

My former roommate got married yesterday! Forget "What I Wore Sunday," how about "What She Wore Saturday??"
The deacon she's hugging actually baptized her. 
Priest on the left is our college chaplain. There was actually supposed to be one more, but he didn't make it for some reason.
Seriously, she looked AMAZING. The dress was simultaneously not at all what I was expecting and absolutely 100% perfect. It was a beautiful wedding, and I wish I'd seen and participated a lot more of it - I spent a good amount of time either bouncing a baby or chasing a toddler. When two people meet at a 5 am holy hour, it's going to be a prayerful Mass.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Five Favorites: Hodgepodge

Gotta do this quick, because I don't know how much longer the babies will be down and I still need to make pizza dough for tonight so it can rise, so here's a few things off the top of my head that I'm enjoying.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Googly-Eyed Storytime: How We Started Dating

I figure we can safely say that we've moved past "met" and can get into things like "relationships." No, I'm not hitting on you - I'm talking about Nate and I.

We left off previously with Nate practically proposing to me after knowing me for about a month and me sitting there anxiously trying to figure out how to get this guy out of my car so I could deal with all sorts of confusing feelings (feeeeeeeelings!), namely that this dude was nuts but that maybe it could work. Caught up? Good.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

WIWS Take 1!

You know how you can guarantee awful behavior at Mass? Brag about how well they did last time.

Today was rough. The time change did a number on Freddy. By the time we hit 12:15 Mass, he was way overtired and refused to fall asleep until about 5 minutes before the final blessing. He spent most of Mass in my arms screaming or arching or otherwise making life difficult, so please don't quiz me on the readings or the homily, because I missed all of them. Rosie was a peach, though, and even though she might not have been super quiet and demure, she was at least adorable (dancing and clapping in Nate's lap during the hymns, occasionally singing and chatting in a little voice).

And since the kids were up a little earlier than normal, Nate took them on his walk with Freya so I had time to ::gasp:: take a shower and pick an outfit without any kiddos around! And, even more shocking...I kind of felt cute! What the what. So hey, why don't I actually try to take a picture for "What I Wore Sunday" link-ups?

Friday, November 1, 2013

7QT: Today, all day!

I'm sure that I could be more creative with this title, but honestly, my brain is a little fried, and it's somehow both already and only 11:00 pm. So let's get this party started!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Googly-Eyed Storytime: How We Met pt. 2

So, in our previous installment, I met my future husband in a band room, exchanged phone numbers, and then turned him down when he called me to ask me out because, in a twist no one saw coming (unless you, I don't know, already know the story or were around when it happened), I was dating someone else at the time. Let's continue, shall we?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Five Favorites: Facebook

I'm just going to put it out there: I love creeping on my friends. I love knowing what people are up to and how their lives are going. Don't lie, you know you do, too (as Miss Manners snarkily put it: "No, there is no polite way to tell someone that you want to know their personal business but don’t actually want to talk to them. This phenomenon used to be known as gossip, and in Miss Manners’s opinion, Facebook has ruined its fun for everyone."). But there are a few things that I really, really enjoy more than others.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Adventures with Sleepy Nate

My husband sleepwalks and talks (fun fact: if you tell that to nurses, they will give you your own room in the hospital because they don't want you messing up your roommate's stuff). The first time I experienced this was when we were dating. He had fallen asleep and I was considering heading home when all of a sudden he jumped up, grabbed some random clothes in his closet, threw them at me, and yelled, "Put these on! We gotta go!" I was more than a little freaked out and started asking what was wrong. He then shouted, "There's a bomb in the building! We have to get out!" I suppose he thought the clothes were some kind of special vests or something, but I managed to wake him up and he then profusely apologized.

Now that we actually share a home and a bed, I get a more frequent dose of sleepwalking episodes, and sometimes they're actually worth documenting.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Googly-Eyed Storytime: How We Met

My friend wrote her (very long, multiple installment) how-we-met-and-started-dating-and-now-we-have-4-kids story a little while back and it was actually one of those kicks in the butt to start documenting digitally (I mean, I could have and have written things physically, but there are pros and cons to it, just as with this blog). So, in a hopefully shorter amount of time than "How I Met Your Mother," here is part 1 of Nate's and my story.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

7QT: Media edition

So I normally don't put in too many pictures because, well, I'm lazy and either forget to take said pictures or just don't get around to uploading them from either my camera or my phone and all of a sudden it's been 2 months since I took that really cute picture/video. Well, not this time. Nosirree. We're gonna have stuff in here!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Five Favorites: Shopping Edition

My dad says that he read that self-made millionaires got that way because they never spend more than $10 on a bottle of wine, and though my mom will sometimes sulkily say, "Sometimes I wish you would," I'm convinced that the price usually has fairly little to do with the quality. I actually don't really like spending money, plus getting out and about with very small kids isn't exactly an easy feat; when I have to do it, it's more of a chore than anything. Sometimes, the stores I go to make it very, very worth it. The following places generally help me keep within our budget (me being a SAHM with two kids while we live on a single teacher's salary in an area with one of the highest COLAs in the country) and maybe even make it feel like we're living large. So, here are my 5 favorite brick and mortar places to spend money!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Keep Calm and Play On

A friend posted a link to this article, detailing some of the nutty things people have experienced as musicians. I feel like most of us have at least one good story to tell, and the longer you go, the more you have. So...

Friday, October 18, 2013

And now, my first 7QT!

Another linkup! Who am I??

Freddy is big enough that trying to keep him in the infant prefolds is an exercise in futility. If he isn't soaking through it in 10 minutes, it is a pain to get it on and make sure everything is covered. I'm convinced that while it's harder to clean girls, actually getting the diaper on boys is...a challenge. So to the next size up we go! Now I only have to pack one size of diapers in the bag!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

My First Five Favorites

I've never done a link-up before! How exciting!

In the spirit of Wednesdays in this house (I make pizza and we invite our siblings so the kids get aunt/uncle time), my list theme is Favorite Foods/Drinks to Make. Om nom nom.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Loss and Remembrance

I have a brother-in-law I've never met.

His name is Evan. He's only in Arlington, a short drive from our house. I got to see his place in April. The thing is, Evan only lived for 12 minutes.

Basement Progress and Other Thoughts

Husband of mine has been a busy little bee with our basement. Over the past month, he has ripped out the hideous paneling (side note: it wasn't attached to any drywall. It was just hanging there by itself. Who thought hanging barely 1/4 inch paneling as a wall was a good idea??), ripped out the baseboards and door frames, hung drywall, mudded and sanded about 50 bazillion times, painted, and is currently putting in and painting the trim. His dad has been guiding him a lot through this process and has come over many times to help with various parts. He's even lent a bunch of his tools - we currently have his miter saw, nail gun, and air compressor hanging out downstairs (we also have an old vacuum of theirs since Nate's insistence on not borrowing the shop vac has led to our vacuum becoming so clogged with drywall dust that it doesn't suck anymore. At least, that's my theory, and I'm sticking to it).

Friday, October 11, 2013

It (Sometimes Literally) Takes a Village

I have a low supply.

I learned the hard way to trust my instinct on this one. Every single stinking lactation consultant, doctor, and blog written by either an IBCLC or doctor or will say, "Even if xyz are happening, you probably don't have a low supply." Even if you're checking off every thing on their list, it's probably not low supply, because it's very rare that a woman cannot produce enough milk because it's a supply and demand thing.

Well, I'm that anomaly. It happened to an extreme with Rosie last year. She ended up losing almost half a pound between her 4 and 6 month check-ups. I look back at the pictures and wonder how I didn't see that she was losing weight. The truth is, I did see it. I just was told that I didn't and wanted to believe that I didn't.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Average-ish Day in the Life

I know, these average days are generally boring, and that's probably a good thing, but there's gotta be a constant to compare the anomalies to, right?

We needed groceries, so after breakfast and Freddy's mid-morning nap, we headed off to the grocery stores (I regularly shop at 3 different grocery stores - that's an entirely different post - but we only hit 2 today) and got back as quickly as possible so I could make a phone call discussing responsibilities for this new part time gig I have. I brought in the perishable groceries, tossed Rosie in her crib well past her normal naptime, and crossed my fingers that she and Freddy would stay quiet for my call.

Oddity: Rosie refused to nap. She spent 2+ hours in the dark in her crib playing and chatting and occasionally yelling about how unfair life is. Normally, she'll quiet down after at most 30 minutes and go to sleep, but not today. After the call, I waited, hoping she would sleep, but I had to admit defeat around 5 or 5:30 (also well past when she normally wakes up, but I had to try). However, she was in a super snuggly mood after I got her, so Nate took Freddy on Freya's walk and I got to enjoy some rare cuddle time before I got dinner ready (SUPER simple today - bread I made yesterday, brie, and apples).

Rosie spent most of dinner laughing because....well, I'm going to go with because she was high from sleep deprivation. Everything was funny, and she was leaning over one side of the high chair cracking herself up over nothing. Children are clearly the best entertainment and this is the reason people had so many before electricity and the invention of television.

Before we put her to bed, she decided that she wanted to go to town hugging and kissing Freddy. Rosie's idea of hugging is more like strangling, so we have to keep an eye on her ("What did you do??" "I don't know! I was just hugging him and all of a sudden his head popped off!"), but it is so heartwarming to see that she really does care about her little brother. When I was pregnant, I was terrified that there would be regressive behavior and battles over attention and coup attempts, but I've been very pleasantly surprised.

I have been blessed with pretty easygoing children. They have their moments, and while Rosie was not pleased that we were walking away from the different sample ladies at Costco and Freddy was tired and telling everyone about it at Wegmans before finally passing out in the carrier, such moments are the exception. I'm sure now that I've written that they will prove me horribly wrong. Here's hoping they only prove me wrong at home.

This photo is about 2 months old, but it gives you the general idea of their personalities.
Finally, a story about Nate that I already posted on FB. If you don't know, Nate is a bit of a sleepwalker and talker. Sometimes he'll just kind of mumble or look around, but sometimes I get absolute gems like this from last night:

Nate: [moves arm so that it's almost in my face] [intense stare]

me: ...
Nate: [swoops arm around in a loop to the other side]
me: What are you doing?
Nate: Reading.

He glared at me when I laughed at him, but luckily he has no memory of any of it.

Plus, look at that face. How could you possibly not laugh?
Full disclosure: this picture is from right before Rosie was born. Imagine a lot more exhaustion and joy.

So there you go. A general idea of how a day might go, and thankfully without any pictures of the house, because it's an absolute mess. I could probably do something about it now, but I have the rest of a glass of wine calling me instead. And if it calls, I must answer, and answer it completely uninterrupted, unlike my showers, sleep, and meals.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Beginning

I should confess: this is actually the third blog I've started.

I should explain: one of them was a horrible stream-of-consciousness type blog I started in high school (frankly, I'm not sure if I should be amused or horrified that I thought anything I wrote was worth etching into the internet for eternity) and it had a pretty terrible user interface, so I switched to a livejournal in college. And, well, the second was a livejournal, so that's fairly self-explanatory. Since I already have a gmail account, it will be much easier for the NSA if I just keep everything in one spot. I'm all about efficiency.

I suppose it's also symbolic to be starting a new blog since so much has changed from my last lj entry (which was, I think, about 5 years ago). I met my future husband, I graduated, I got my first job, I moved out of my parents' house, I married my husband, we bought a house, we got a dog, we had two kids and will likely have's a very different life from the one I was living. While some of these changes were huge and definite, so many more were and are gradual. I started tearing up today because Rosie was playing peekaboo from under the table with me and I wanted to make sure I didn't forget moments like these.

The things I want to remember are going to be the little things, and I don't want to miss them. I don't want the little impish grin to fade from memory because she's morphing into a young woman and replacing the toddler before my eyes. I don't want to strain to try to remember the way her little voice sounds, or the way her hair curls in corkscrews, or how gentle and loving she is when she tries to give her little brother a hug and a kiss. I don't want to only remember the temper tantrums and weight worries and sibling squabbles sure to come. I want to Carpe Kairos (for the other Momastery readers), and if I can record some of those moments here, maybe I can do that over and over again. The internet is going to last forever, right?

While this blog is mostly for me, I titled it "Words For Friends" because I do like sharing. Sharing is caring. I also like stomping people in the game "Words With Friends," so this is probably a nicer way of connecting to them (though I got slaughtered recently by a good 200 points by my BIL Kris). And if on the off chance you happen to be one of my kids reading this journal years from this first entry, hi. I love you very much, and I hope I did a good job showing that.

So. Let's begin, shall we?