Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Even though I am not a big fan of winter and snow and things of that nature, I wouldn't have minded the snow sticking around for a little bit. There is something quite peaceful about snow falling. And I can always use peace.
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Still, we could use more room. I find myself envious of my friends that have a playroom to house a majority of the toys and the like. I am constantly rearranging toys and storage options to maximize the space available and still have it easy for the kids to negotiate. As much as O.H. would like to keep all kid stuff in their rooms, that just doesn't work for us. Some stuff has to be out in the family room--because it is easier to play with it out there and because I really don't have space for it in the kids rooms. And it is not like we have an excessive amount of stuff. I am constantly giving away clothes and toys, throwing out the cheap, junky toys and on and on.
But, we are not getting a new home anytime soon. We are just beginning to recover from O.H.'s last job and the hit in income. Things are 1000 times better jobwise, but we lost so much ground that we are here for a few more years. And there are a number of big changes we would like to make (laminate floors, sprinkler system, tile in the guest bath [i hate linoleum]). Those will have to wait though. We have bigger goals, things we want for our kids (Catholic school is a big one) and ourselves (a real bedroom set). So, I'm trying to find ways to make little changes to make our home as good as it can be in our circumstances.
Actually getting all of the kid pictures in frames.
Painting the guest bathroom.
Repainting the frame on a portrait or finding a new one to go over the fireplace.
Hanging the curtains we bought two years ago!
Painting our bathroom.
Rearranging our computer area (a new desk is a must).
I am trying to tell myself that these smaller things will make a big difference. Because, honestly, our first home is a lot nicer than a lot of first homes. Especially given our ages and family situation when we bought it. I am so grateful that I did not settle on our home purchase, because I can honestly say that I love my home. I love the layout and I really love the master bedroom and bath. It is a beautiful home and I'm blessed to live in it.
But that doesn't stop me from wanting to make it better. Is that ungrateful?
Who are the five Catholic or Christian bloggers that you would like to meet in person and haven't (yet)?
1. Aimee, from the Mother Load
2. Amy Parris from Raising Angels
3. Suzanne Temple from Blessed Among Men
4. Jeana (is that right?) from Days to Come
5. Rachel Swenson Balducci, from Testosterhome
I have met several of the people with blogs on my list that are Catholic. I'm too lazy to link those here. Sorry!
Monday, January 29, 2007
Anyway, moving on to the point (there is one, I promise). O.H. has found himself working later than usual in recent weeks. But I really like grilled food and usually include at least one meal from the grill during the week. So, I have had to learn how to use the grill. It is a gas grill, so it is not like it is complicated. Yet I still have this abiding fear that I will burn the house down. Or at the very least, singe my eyebrows. O.H. has used it for years with no incidents. I have used it a few times with no incident. And still, that feeling lingers. Do I have 911 on speed dial?
I worked out this morning, got the dishwasher and washing machine running and straightened things up that should have been picked up last night. I even made a smoothie for breakfast. But then it happened. The kids came asking for "chicken and fries." We avoided it all last week. Mommy was strong last week. Not so much this week. I succumbed and we had some fast food. I did have iced tea, not soda, but that doesn't really matter. But I don't mind too much. We'll keep plugging along.
My mind is distracted and my heart is hurting, but I remain convinced that all things will be resolved in God's time.
Sorry for the randomness. I am capable of stimulating, interesting thought and conversation. Just not right now apparently.
Saturday, January 27, 2007
Also, O.H. decided to take the kids and me to lunch. So we ate at a real restaurant and the kids were wonderful! We are blessed with fairly well-behaved kids, but that does not stop me from being extra appreciative of those days when things go exceedingly well. Today was one of those days.
I got a nap too. Just a short one, but that is probably best since I want to be able to sleep tonight too. We'll be spending a lazy evening at home.
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Exercise: 6 1/2 miles total this week! And 3 3/4 have been running. Woohoo! I don't know what has gotten into me, but I'm feeling good these days. And I have really been paying attention to what I eat and have deduced that fast food notwithstanding (oooh, fancy word) I actually do okay in that department. So exercise is where it has to happen for weight loss, at least that is the big part.
Prayer: While not in the morning every day, I have made time for reading Scripture and praying daily. And here is where I need your help: For my Catholic readers, please pray the St. Michael prayer for a special intention whenever you feel called to, and for those not Catholic, please just say a prayer for my special intention as often as you would like. The Lord knows who and what you are praying for and that is all that matters. Thanks!
Cleaning: Not as good, but getting it done. I'm feeling very overwhelmed right now by the state of things, and I think that is partly because I started working this week and that has just added to my day. So, I'm getting the bare minimum done but not much else.
Eating Out: So far, so good. I really wanted Chick-fil-A today, but I resisted the siren song and ate at home. Having planned meals for dinner every day certainly helps.
Nail-biting: Some good, some bad. Overall I'm not biting my nails like I used to, but I do still catch myself sometimes.
So far, a good week. I hope it continues.
Now for the Wild Idea! I hope you are still with me.
I am contemplating running a marathon before I turn 30 (I'm 27 now)!!! I know those of you who know me are falling out of your chairs laughing right now, but I'm serious. Well, serious about thinking about it. I have given myself 2 1/2 years to commit and train, so we'll see how it goes.
I bet you're so glad you read all of the boring drivel above to get to that. Ha!
1.I think everyone who knows me knows I’m a sports fan.
2. I am short.
3. My favorite perfume is Pleasures Exotic (because it is the only perfume I own right now).
4. I love the Church.
5. My favorite pastime is reading or sleeping.
6. I am most comortable with my family.
7. When I am stressed I try to complete one task before worrying about another. Or I focus on things I can fix, rather than problems out of my control.
8. I don't like disparaging comments about the size of my family.
9. I am not a very good golfer.
10. My indulgence is shoes, chocolate, Dr. Pepper.
I tag anyone who wants to play along.
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
You’re crying out but you’re breaking in two
When it’s all crashing down on you
When there’s nothing you can do
There is someone who can carry you
Delirious, "Every Little Thing"
We're storming the gates with prayer. You can and you will overcome this battle. We love you.
Monday, January 22, 2007
Saturday, January 20, 2007
Holding a sleeping child in your arms is holding Heaven in your arms. A child sleeps in its parents arms with complete trust, comfort, peace and pleasure. The child is not seeking something better, the child is right where it wants to be. And when I'm holding that child in my arms, I feel like I'm holding Heaven. Because I am right where I want to be, also resting in pleasure, comfort, trust and indescribable peace. Can we feel any closer to our Creator than in that moment? I can't, not yet.
Friday, January 19, 2007
I'm referring to the new agreement between O.H. and myself. The man wants ProTools, some kind of recording equipment for the computer or somesuch. I don't really know precisely what it is, but I do know it plus accessories is expensive. I want him to exercise. So, an agreement has been reached. For every two weeks that he works out at least 3 times a week, he gets 100 dollars (not actually getting the money, but virtually banking it for when he gets the stuff) up until his birthday in October. Not that he needs quite that much money to buy the stuff, but it gives him some room for bad weeks.
We have added to the agreement too. I want an Ipod. Not an off-brand, I want the real thing. It may be silly and irrational and slightly materialistic, but I want the real thing. And I want it before my retreat in mid-April. An Ipod costs considerably less than ProTools. So, I have to exercise 3 times a week from now until April 1 to get my reward. Which means I need to stop blogging and start walking. Or something.
Ipod here I come. Hopefully ProTools will be in our house in October, because that will mean O.H. has finally gotten into a routine that is good for him. Am I a sneaky wife or what?
Thursday, January 18, 2007
I need a new purse/tote. I have my fantastic planner, now I need a bag big enough to carry it in. I am usually a small purse kind of girl. I have always carried a purse and separate diaper bag, however inconvenient that may be. But, I want to have my planner on me at all times, so I need to go up in size. So my dilemma is what color bag to buy. I think I have found what I want in size and style. I just can't decide between brown and black. Actually, I really like the brown one more. The white accent on the black is not my favorite thing. So I can't decide if I should be frugal and just buy one bag, or be a little indulgent and buy both. Or at least, a brown bag and a black one, whether I buy that particular one or not. You see, I like my purses to more or less go with what I am wearing. When I'm sporting a brown motif, I want a brown purse. I know that is a little obsessive, but it is me. And spring and summer see me in a lot of brown. But I still sport black here and there. And I am not a handbag/purse junkie. I have a total of 3 purses. Black, brown and pink/green stripes for fun. So, I don't think it is too much to have two more, especially if they are only 20 bucks a pop. What do y'all think? Do you like the brown one? The black one?
More from the land of shallow thoughts to come I'm sure.
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Monday, January 15, 2007
In other random news, here is another mark of a parent. I suffered an injury during cleaning. Said injury was incurred closing the latch on the dress-up box. The injury was covered with a band-aid adorned with Care Bears. Yes, that's right. I hurt myself on a dress-up box and the remedy of healing is a Care Bears band-aid. No hiding the parenthood here. :)
A new week, but no new goals for me. I didn't do a great job on any of my goals last week, save not biting my nails. So, I'm going to stick with those. The idea here is to have a goal, and once it is a habit, add to it. Or something along those lines.
Call the loony bin and check for openings--I might be checking in tomorrow.
Saturday, January 13, 2007
What are y'all doing this weekend?
Friday, January 12, 2007
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
I just realized why I got a nap two days in a row. Because the sickness was settling in. Foolish me, thinking the naps were a good sign. I should have known they were the harbingers of doom.
Me, dramatic? Never!
I don't know that I have an especially healthy recipe to offer. I cook, and I try to cook good food, but I don't know calories, fat content, etc. So, I'm going to share some of the small things I do that help me on my way to weight loss and a healthier lifestyle.
1) I buy Natural Cheetos for my kids. This satisfies their chip craving (six at a time maximum) and I am not tempted to eat them, because I don't like them.
2) I buy sour cream and Ranch dressing mix and make my own ranch dip. I keep sliced cucumbers, bell peppers, and carrots on hand at all times. If it is already sliced, I am more likely to eat it. I slice them the same day I buy them so there is no excuse to not eat them. The only thing about this is I use regular sour cream. I have tried fat free and the texture just doesn't work well.
3) I buy one thick slice of ham and one of turkey from the deli every week. When I come home, I chop it up into bite-size pieces. The lunch meat, a few pieces of cheese, and the veggies make my lunch almost every day. Again, I don't know calories and fat content, but I know it has to be better than fast food, grilled cheese, and the like. Also, I put the meat with a bagged salad for a little variety.
4) We have stopped eating bread with most of our meals. I used to think we had to have rolls, biscuits, or garlic bread with everything. Now, not so much. Instead, we have more vegetables.
5) I have a 15 minute rule for food that is indulgent. I wait 15 minutes before eating it, and then decide if I still want it. This has helped immensely.
6) I allow myself things I like. If I want a soda one day, and I have one on hand (which is rare), I have one. I don't torture myself with denial. Same goes for the ice cream in my freezer (also rare); I will eat a little each day until it is gone.
7) I cook with fresh veggies more than anything else. I use olive oil, not butter, for flavor. I try to use fresh herbs, no salt, for seasoning. Sauteeing and steaming fresh produce is a little more expensive, but it tastes better and is good for you.
8) I try not to eat anything I won't let my kids eat. For moms, it is easy to enforce good eating habits with our children, but not with ourselves. I try to only eat what I would want my kids to eat. It is not foolproof, but it is helpful.
9) I worry more about portions than content. I try to take a smaller amount than I think I want, and then get more if I still feel hungry. You can always get seconds, but you can't "uneat" what has already gone down the hatch.
10) Finally, I do try to exercise. I don't like it, but I know I need it. What keeps me going most weeks is signing up for a 5k every 6-8 weeks. I'm not trying to beat anyone but my own best time. And even then, it is about finishing, not the time it takes. I'm blessed to have a group of friends doing the races together, which is also good motivation.
That's it. It is not perfect, and I couldn't be on a TV show talking about my amazing weight loss, but I think it is helping.
p.s. My goal is only about 10 pounds, so some may find my tips lacking for serious weight loss goals. This is just what works for me, right now.
For actual recipes and more tips, go here.
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Well, sleep was elusive most of last night. O.H. and I both tossed and turned all night. So, I slept in this morning and the kids are watching cartoons and the treadmill is not even likely and all that was good about yesterday will not happen today. Except I did do my morning prayer while the kids watched Handy Manny in another room.
Such is the life of an undisciplined, stay-home mom of 4.
Monday, January 08, 2007
I have had a nap two days in a row! That's right---two days! God must surely be smiling upon me. The kids have all agreed to sleep at the same time and I have been able to get some much needed rest. If I can get these naps regularly, I'm sure to have an easier time waking up for morning prayer.
[A is for apparitions - your favorite]: The one I know the most about is Fatima, so I'm going with that one.
[B is for Bible - the one you read most often]: New American Study Bible with concordance
[C is for Charism - the one you would most like to have]: wisdom
[D is for Doctor of the Church - your favorite]: B/c I'm going to be spending a lot of time with her in the coming months, St. Teresa of Avila
[E is for Essential Prayer - What's yours?]: Hail, Holy Queen and the Holy Spirit Prayer
[F is for Favorite Hymn]: Ave Maria
[G is for Gospel - your favorite author?]: John
[H is for Holy Communion - How would you describe it, using one word?]: gift
[I is for Inspiration - When do you feel most inspired by God?]: when surrounded by others worshipping with a genuine spirit, also in Adoration sometimes
[J is for Jesus - When did you first meet Him?]: in baptism
[K is for Kindness - Which saint or person has most inspired you by their kindness?] Blessed Mother Theresa, Pope JPII
[L is for liturgical year - your favorite time in the liturgical cycle?]: Easter
[M is for Mary, the Mother of God - Your favorite term of endearment for her]: Blessed Mother
[N is for New Testament - Your favorite passage]: Romans 8: 18-39; it sums it all up and I really love verses 37-39.
[O is for Old Testament - Your favorite Book here]: Sirach
[P is for Psalms - your favorite]: Psalm 51
[Q is for quote - saint quote]: "Our hearts are restless until they rest in you."--and I can't believe this, but I can't remember if it is St. Francis or St. Augustine but I'm going with the latter
[R is for rosary - your favorite mysteries]: Luminous, hands down
[S is for Saint - the one you turn to in time of need - not including the Blessed Virgin Mary]: St. Joseph, St. Anthony
[T is for Tradition - your favorite Catholic tradition]: I don't know--the ritual of the Mass is a favorite, but is that a tradition or something bigger?
[U is for university - Which Catholic University have you attended or are currently attending?] none
[V is for Virtue - the one you wish you had]: patience (very closely followed by kindness and humility!)
[W is for Way of the Cross - Which station can you most relate to?]: 6th--Jesus and Veronica--it inspires me to try to step out in faith more often
[X is for Xaverian Brothers - Do you know who they are?]: No.
[Y is for your favorite Catholic musician]: Matt Maher
[Z is for Zeal for the faith]: You definitely have a lot of zeal for the faith if you have made it this far.
I tag anyone who wishes to participate. I really need to brush up on my basic Catholic knowledge.
That says it all. Jesus wants our hearts, freely given. When he has that, all the other things, prayer, service, love of fellow man, all that follows. But, oh , how hard it is to keep our hearts at his feet. Every morning we have a chance to start in the right place, and each day is a struggle to stay there. But maybe, if we can keep our hearts where they so ardently desire to be, for just a day, and then two, slowly, we will find it easier to remain there. Maybe.
"Keep my heart upon your altar." That's my prayer for today.
Sunday, January 07, 2007
Spiritual Growth: Morning prayer. This is something I have stopped and started several times. In light of an upcoming retreat assignment, I am renewing my dedication.
Home and Family: Clean the sink, highchair and countertops every night. Also, do some semblance of school with the girls at least 3 days.
Physical: Stop biting my nails! I had long ago broken this habit but it is back and I don't like it. Of course, I will also continue my exercise.
Ministry to Others: Prepare a meal for a friend with a new baby.
Financial: No eating out! I will not succumb to the temptation of Chick-fil-A or anything else.
That's it. I'll keep you posted on progress. I'm also contemplating beginning potty training Buddy. He might be ready, I'm not sure. I bought some Cars underwear as an incentive to learn. He has to practice in his Thomas underwear and can't wear Lightning and friends until he has met success. I just don't know if I'm ready to commit to the time potty training takes. We'll see how I feel tomorrow.
Friday, January 05, 2007
How are y'all doing on your goals/resolutions?
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
Of course, there is also the obligatory resolution to EXERCISE and EAT BETTER. But, I was already working on that, so that doesn't count as a new year resolution. Which means the Chick-fil-A I indulged in today is not breaking any resolution whatsoever. Nope, purely guilt-free chicken nuggets and Dr. Pepper for me.
Also, I asked O.H. for a planner for Christmas. This is an unusually practical request from me, as I typically like my gifts to be completely frivolous and fun. Several friends had mentioned this particular planner though, so I decided to try it out. It is at motherhoodpress.com and it is great so far. If nothing else, it has motivated me to try to get organized and got me started on my weekly goals. If I like it this year and use it, I will get it every year and it won't be a present anymore, just a necessity.
So week one begins and so far, so good. I'm sure to bore you with my progress in different areas as the year goes on. I know you can't wait!
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
Good luck and keep going to all those others striving to improve themselves!
Monday, January 01, 2007
Happy New Year! 2007 will be better--it already is because we started it together!