Monday, March 30, 2009


I don't have the mental or emotional clarity to write down little Paul's birth experience at the moment. It was intense, scary, chaotic, and something I haven't quite processed yet. I'm anxious to get it all down at some point, but I'm still trying to make sense of it all in my head. I'm spending the my last night in the hospital alone so Mark can take care of Luke and will soon be asleep with my little boy in my arms. Tomorrow we'll be entering our home as a family of four and trying to adjust to life with a newborn. We're excited for all that is to come. 

While I'm fried in nearly every sense, I still feel the need to find humor in all situations serious and joyful. Having said that, let me poke some fun at myself. Let's take a look at my "Mother's Intuition" 

A. I did not have a huge baby. He was 7lbs 5oz and 18 1/2 inches long. I was smaller than him at birth. 

B. I did not, as I swore I would, have a long labor. My insistence of having a long, drawn-out labor makes for a crazy story now, but my stubbornness on Sunday night caused quite a few problems and some very intense moments. 

C. I didn't have the baby early. I was convinced this whole pregnancy that I would deliver at least two weeks early. Paul was born a day before his due date, but in my head it was as if he were already ten days late.  

Now, in true mother spirit, I admit that while the adrenaline is still pumping, I'm exhausted. 

Goodnight :)

Paul Joseph

We're tired, happy, and completely in love. 

Saturday, March 28, 2009


Baby #2 is still packing on the pounds while I am reaching the point where I can hardly walk. I know that in a couple weeks once the baby is delivered and my body is returning back to normal that I'll forget the way I've felt for the past ten days. Until then, another day past is another day closer, if only I knew where the finish line was. 

Fortunately, Luke has been an angel during this time and has been more than patient with my limitations. A tough day is made a lot easier with a little boy so willing to cooperate and give you all the hugs, kisses and cuddles you need. 

Have a wonderful weekend. Baby or not, you probably won't see me, I've reached a state of seclusion and am avoiding the public eye as much as possible. You understand.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Just in case you're wondering, self-induction techniques don't work on me. 

I've tried them. 

All of them. 


That post awhile back about Lenten sacrifices seems to ringing particularly true today.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Yesterday I started putting away the plaid, tweed, wool and snowflake-decorated articles of clothing that occupy our closets and dressers. I replaced them with linen, cotton, and light-colored clothes that had been sitting in rubbermaids for months. Taking the effort to do this, I somehow knew that while technically Spring hit at the beginning of the week, that the day I decided to springify our wardrobe that the snow cloud of doom would be lurking overhead mocking me for believing that winter was over. 

It's snowing today, and I feel I am the one that needs to take responsibility. I confess, I'm the one who dared to put carpris in the dresser and sandals in the closet.  

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Hidden Blessings

In the midst of another sleepless night, I noticed that the bathroom light had turned off. With flooding rain and heavy winds, I assumed the power went out and continued to focus on trying to get back to sleep. 

Once the morning hit the power hadn't returned, and using my sleuthing skills I noticed that the neighboring homes had their lights on and were leaving their houses with dry hair and ironed clothes. 

Long story short, we ended up needing to call an electrician to put a temporary electric line to our house. Apparently we have a gopher problem, and gophers like to chew underground electric lines, who knew? Once the ground thaws we'll have a bigger problem on our hands when we have to decide how to permanently fix the problem. 

Although solved in a relatively short amount of time, waking up and spending the entire morning in a dark, silent house and cold house was stressful for both me and Luke at home and Mark at work while we collaboratively tried to fix the electricity. 

During my tossing and turning last night I got to a point where the insomnia took over and I walked the halls for a few minutes. I prayed I would go into labor, that my water would break, that something productive would happen to make my discomfort feel like it was accomplishing something. Nothing happened. Now, hours later, I can thank God that our little baby stayed put last night. 

Sometimes we think we know best, and last night I would have bet the world that the best thing for me would have been to start labor. I was wrong, God knew better. He knew that I would have wanted a hot shower and to shave my legs before heading to the hospital. He knew that I would want light in the bathroom, light anywhere for that matter, and that I would insist the dishes be done before leaving the house. This, and a thousand other tasks were running through my head this morning as I made phone calls. Thank you God, for knowing better, and for electricians who know how important a stove, oven, and Playhouse Disney are for a mom at home.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Rainy Days and Mondays

There's a song by The Carpenter's with a line, "Hanging around, nothing to do but frown. Rainy days and Mondays always get me down." Today's a double-whammy, it's raining and a Monday. We've been taking advantage of the spring-like weather the past few days with lots of walks outside and many clothes-changes from puddle-jumping, but not today, it's just too wet and cold, with water coming from up, down and all-around. 

Our remedy for the Rainy Day Mondays:

Morning: John Deere coloring books, playing silly songs on the piano, and building a Duplo tower as high as we could make it. 

Afternoon: Thomas and Friends, and LOTS of popcorn. 

We haven't reached evening yet, but I'm guessing it will consist of blanket and cushion forts, and lots of reading.

Still Here

It's Monday, and there's still no baby. I shouldn't complain since I'm officially now a week from my due date, but I am admittedly pretty uncomfortable and very ready to have this baby with us! 

Unfortunately, I can't blog about much, because the elephant in the room is the baby on the way, it's all consuming and has now taken over all my thoughts, actions and decisions. Mark is on board now and is just as anxious as I am. 

Since I've done every preparation I can think of, the only two projects left to keep me busy are to clean out the garage, or start putting away winter clothes and replacing them with spring clothes. Both are big, no fun jobs, and I'm bound to start them and not get them completed before the baby comes, which is why I haven't considered them until now. Maybe starting a big project that will undoubtedly remain unfinished for months after the baby is born is what will do the trick, who knows. 

Until then, sorry for my lame blog posts. All my creativity is bottled up in nervous energy, and our family life is revolving around the axis of the baby on the way. 


Friday, March 20, 2009

Great Fun

My new favorite website is

Under "Household Tips" there is a category called "Frugal Living." Many of my ideas for homemade detergent and cleaning products are from this site, but there are so many other helpful categories all with the intention of making life easier and run smoother. 

Also, Mark and I stumbled upon this website sometime ago. Let's just say that we never pay shipping or full price for anything that we buy online. We bought Christmas presents last year exclusively online and saved 5%-30% and had free shipping on everything. It takes planning and time to surf online to find the best deal, but it's worth it.

Have fun!

Small Wonders

There's nothing like sipping hot, french vanilla creamed coffee, watching the morning news and overhearing your son playing blissfully in the background. 

From the television I hear, "AIG...outrage...economy...recession...taxpayer...bailout."

From Luke I hear trains clashing together and a small voice chugging, "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can. Whoa, I made it up the mountain! Boys and girls get toys and strawberries. Yeah!"

If I'm feeling down about life or the world I'm just not looking close enough at those innocent moments that  can inspire us if we only take a second to recognize them. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Waiting Game

I've hauled the vacuum up four flights of stairs and vacuumed every room of the house. 
I've mopped the floor, washed the woodwork and bleached the sinks.
I've cooked seven meals to freeze in addition to our regular dinners. 
I've washed the sheets, cleaned the fridge, stocked up on stamps, toilet paper,cat food, toothpaste and food of every sort. 
I've got lanolin, a breast pump, nursing pads, vaseline, rubbing alcohol, diapers, wipes, and a nail clipper all within arm's reach.
I've cut and colored my hair.
We've washed the cars and have assembled the infant carseat
We've packed our hospital bags with everything short of our toothbrushes. 

We're ready. 

Come on, baby!


Fact: I vomited for the entire duration of my 21 hour labor with Luke. 

Fact: Three weeks ago when I got insanely sick the last thing I had eaten before I got sick were Doritos. It was gross. 

Fact: Although I love Doritos, I have not been able to look at them since. 

Fact: This afternoon I'm eating a small bowl of Doritos, albeit a different flavor. 

Conclusion: I will most likely vomit during my upcoming labor. If I go into labor today I will never eat Doritos again. 

Yes, I'm dumb for eating them, and yes I'm gross for sharing. 

Have a good, sun-shiny afternoon!


I may be labeled as an unfit mother after this post. That, or at least an unfit homemaker, but I guess we already knew that. 

Yesterday after naptime I got started on my bulk cooking and freezing of after-baby dinners. I made sure to give Luke lots of attention and fresh air to ensure my time uninterrupted in the kitchen, and I was happy with him as he played nicely while I chopped, boiled, cooked and cooked and cooked. 

I had the chicken wild rice soup cooking on low when I heard a crack. I looked around for the culprit, and when I heard sizzles and smelled burning I realized my roux was leaking through a huge crack in the pot. Utterly confused, I reacted too quicklyand burned my fingers on the scalding bowl as I tried to transport the existing soup into a separate pot. 

How could this happen? Well, I have red appliances and red accessories in the kitchen. Upon closer inspection I realized that what I thought was my red cast-iron dutch oven was actually the red ceramic bowl we use for popcorn. I sadly took the bowl out the trash, upset at my stupidity, but trying to be thankful that my more valueable dutch oven was unscathed. 

In the midst of my kitchen plunders, Luke was sitting nicely on the floor putting together a puzzle. With the XM radio in the background playing a station I can describe best as "Adult Alternative," I was slowly regaining composure in the kitchen. Obviously unaware of the music that had been playing during the previous fiasco, I was alarmed when Luke looked at me and started singing the words "Hope it gives you Hell," over and over and over again. 

Of all the songs on the radio, that's the one that stuck. Although appalled at my negligence, I found the song strangely appropriate as I battled my demons in the kitchen. 

In true Pollyanna spirit, I can be glad this song wasn't on the radio.  

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Nest

Sitting at a desk all weekend got me thinking, and worrying, about everything we've overlooked or have yet to do before this baby comes, which I remind you, could be any day. 

Both Mark and I got caught with the nesting bug this weekend, because when I got home from work late last night, the Little Giant was displayed in the living room and the trim on unmentionable parts of our high ceilings were painted after nearly six months of neglect from painting burnout. Walking through the house, our toilet paper holder was installed, mini blinds and curtains were put up in two bedrooms, and burnt-out lights were replaced. 

On my end, since I have a great fear of leaving the house, ever, with two children, again stocked up on house supplies. This time it was food. After Mass we filled our cart to overflowing at Wal-Mart with convenience foods-something we try to avoid, but with a deep freezer in the garage and immutable sleep deprivation on the way, it's something I'll definitely concede on for the next couple weeks...months...however long it takes. Now we have a three month supply of corn dogs, fish sticks, chicken nuggets and frozen pizzas to get us through those days when just preheating the oven will be considered an accomplishment. 

Today I have another shopping tripped planned, to my real grocery store, to buy real food. My plan, if I can remain motivated enough, is to make three lasagnas, three homemade macaroni casseroles, and a big pot of chicken wild rice soup--all to freeze in disposable containers. I found easy recipes, and although in the past few days I've definitely started along the path of the miserable pregnant woman, I feel strangely motivated to get these preparations done. 

All of this, along with the generous help of our families I'm hoping will allow for a peaceful transition in our home. Until then, I'll keep thinking, planning and working.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A Word of Caution

"Goodnight, Luke," I say as I tuck him in bed, turn off the lights and head for the door. 

"Mommy," the little voice says, "be careful."

"Be careful of what sweetheart?" 

"Booby traps." 

"Okay," I respond with a confused look on my face. I have yet to encounter the said booby trap, but I'm waiting for it at every corner. 

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Fair and Balanced

Now that I'm done pouting, here are some things I'm thankful for today. 

1. Our gas bill is down another sixty dollars this month. That's after it was down sixty dollars the month before. We've saved $120 in the last two months and it's -20 below right now!

2. My husband doesn't care if we have cereal for dinner, if that's what the day calls for. 

3. Mark puts Luke to bed...almost every night, it's amazing. 

4. I started a new book today about King Henry II (think Thomas Becket), and I have a feeling it's going to be very good, so I'm excited. 

5. I can be thankful that my baby will not be premature or have low birth weight ;)

6. I've had an abnormal number of great hair days and my skin has never looked better, yeah for pregnancy! 

7. I having a smokin' HOT PINK tote bag to haul once the baby is born. So what if I'll have two boys, everyone needs a hot bag, and this one happens to be pink. 

8. This is my last weekend working until after the baby is born. I'll be exhausted on Monday, but will be excited knowing that I'm done for awhile. 

9. March 19th is the Feast of St. Joseph, and March 25 is the Feast of the Annunciation. I wouldn't mind having the baby on either of those days, or between them.

10. We got our tax refund today. 'Nuff said. 

Say a little...

If you're blogging this afternoon, say a little prayer for me, please. Everything is okay, baby is fine, and we're all healthy, I'm just not doing my best as a mom today. My patience is being tested beyond my limits and I'm finding it very difficult at this precise moment to enjoy being at home and caring for my toddler. 

But, this is where I am, and this is what I was given to do today.  Please pray that we can bounce back soon and that I am given the grace to cope with the task at hand. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Daylight Savings = Daylight Nightmares

We haven't quite adjusted to Daylight Savings yet, and it's been a rough week. I've got a grumpy, sleep-deprived two-year old who is getting up too early, cutting his naps too short, and testing me heavily at bedtime. I've dealt with more tantrums, outbursts, and total meltdowns in the past four days than in the last month. 

Who would have thought that one measly hour could make such a difference? I thought that today he would have snapped out of it and we'd be back to our fun and games, but I was wrong and had to display extra patience at 9am when the first tantrum happened, and then again and again as the day wore on. When naptime only lasted an hour I was ready to blow. I fought with him as I tried to get him back to sleep, but it was no use. My only consolation was that once I gave up with the nap idea Luke requested to put his jammies on, which I happily complied with, making the expected fight at bedtime a little easier. 

Days like these I worry in my head, "How do I deal with this when I have a baby in the other room to care for? How do I drag a two year old across the floor in the middle of screaming fit when I need to nurse the blameless, hungry infant?" And especially, "How do I win sleep battles when I simply won't have the time to struggle with the big boy?" 

All of these questions will soon have answers, but on off weeks, like the one we're having, all the wonderful excitement I've been feeling is being replaced by worry and reluctance. I don't want to feel worried, but fear of the unknown is grasping at my waning patience and the calm I was beginning to feel about the upcoming arrival of our baby. 

I have a few hours left of this day to make the best of, cranky kid and all, and then the gift of sleep before bracing myself for tomorrow. Whatever it brings, I will try as hard as I can to make the best of it, and to not become further disappointed if things take a turn for the worst. These days, a good book, bath, or a white chocolate mocha can do wonders for my optimism and state of mind. Tonight the remedy is Chinese take-out, tomorrow it will be #4 of my vampire books. 

Now it's time to take a deep breath and let the crazy two-year old jump on the couch cushions and throw balls in the house, at least he's not screaming on the floor. I might even play, too, it's been a while since I made a fort using couch cushions. Hey, on days like these, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


He can't use a fork but he can build a pyramid.
I have a lot to learn about boys.

Monday, March 9, 2009


I can't understand it. I try, but I can't. I sit and think and attempt to challenge my thoughts, beliefs and feelings, try to put myself in a different lifestyle, with different values, and I still can't do it.

The only way I can wrap my head around it is if I simply don't care, like it doesn't matter, that we have no responsibility, no accountability, and that any means are necessary and acceptable regardless to the cost of humanity.

The President will overturn Bush's veto on embryonic stem-cell research. Tax dollars will now go toward the cultivation, experimentation, and ultimate destruction of human embryos. The President will help our society reduce human life to the status of lab rats.

As hard as I try, and as open-minded as I try to be, I cannot understand people who believe differently than me. Call me close-minded, call me a bigot, a conservative, uneducated, or a moral-based thinker, I can't do it. I don't understand and doubt I ever will.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Guilty Pleasures

I'm reading Eclipse, the third book in the Twilight series. I've kept the fact that I'm reading these books a big, dark secret. Now you know. 
Are they ridiculous? Yes
Are they entertaining? Yes
Do I hide the cover of the book at the dr's office out of embarrassment? Yes
Do I wish I could blog about how cultured I am and we could all have a discussion about War and Peace? Yes

I sold out, and I'm trying to be like the cool kids. 

It's naptime, it's Sunday, and I'm reading Eclipse. 

I start Harry Potter next week. 

Friday, March 6, 2009


Some nights are good, some nights are bad.
Some nights bedtime is rushed; teeth aren't brushed, prayers aren't said, the cuddles don't last, the songs aren't sung. We rush because we're tired. We rush because we want peace and quiet, because we don't want to miss the beginning of our favorite show, or, dare I say, we've had enough of parenthood for one day.

Tonight I'm going to say an extra prayer, give an extra hug, cuddle another minute, say I love you a few more times, and sing to his heart's desire. I'll never know, and never care what I'm missing.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


My due date is March 31st. Luke's concept of time is that Baby's "Happy Birthday" is in March, along with Mommy's. To preface what happened today I have to explain that Luke, for two and a half, is pretty good with numbers. He counts everything and can concentrate for long periods by lining up objects and counting them. Even with this fascination he is limited to a one-to-one correspondence between 11 and 15. So, I was shocked this afternoon when Mark and Luke had this dialogue.

"Luke, when is our baby going to be born?"
"Baby's Happy Birthday in March."
"Yes, I know, but what day in March?"

Both Mark and I looked at each other, jaw-dropped at how much sense Luke made without him knowing how accurate his prediction might be. We were both a little perplexed at where he heard the number twenty-two, because even for liking numbers, Luke's certainly not counting that high yet.

There's Luke's two cents. We'll see if he's right. I'm posting this as proof of his prediction.


Okay, okay, so it's been awhile since I've blogged, but I've got my excuses. Today is the first day in a week I've felt decent enough to leave the house to exercise and run errands. Our taxes, which were my goal to complete last week, were completed today, and slowly but surely I'm starting to get back into the groove and regain the energy that I've been so blessed with these final weeks of pregnancy.

I can now say, with about 95% confidence that we are READY and waiting for this baby to make his showcase. The clothes are washed and waiting, the nursery is equipped with rubbing alcohol and vaseline, the darkening curtain is up, a fan is in place for white noise, and the carseat is waiting in the van with a hand-crocheted blanket.

Two days ago I was daydreaming and the thought occurred to me that although my due date is at the end of the month and that while we typically don't associate late March and April with snow and frigid cold, that this is MINNESOTA. The banks are thick with multiple feet of snow, and we will have to continue to wear hats, mittens, boots and winter coats for quite a long time. Now I'm in a panic because I completely overlooked the fact that my little newborn has nothing of the sort for outerwear and I don't have so much as hat for his head!

The last two days I've been digging through racks at our meager department stores and scoping out our options online. A solution is in sight, but will most likely entail me begging baby to stay put until UPS can ship to our house since the one bunting I found on clearance at Kohl's today was just too hideous to buy.

Random thought for the day: I have never liked oranges. I don't know how to peel an orange, and if I eat an orange wedge I've never quite been able to swallow it. In the last month I've discovered a new way to slice an orange, which is to slice it into small crescents. Now, I love oranges and find myself eating them as a snack almost everyday. I realize this is ridiculous, but I'm excited to share because for someone as picky as me, to eat a new (and healthy) food is a small milestone, and hey, when you're up fifty pounds and you have exactly two items of clothing that fit you, you have to count every success, no matter how small.