Simple Woman’s Daybook (5.17.10)

Monday, May 17, 2010 – Happy Birthday, GG!! :)
Outside My Window…

It is sunny & warm – I should be able to say that from now through Halloween! Highs of 85 to 90 this week. We tried the squirt guns from Uncle Nathan for the first time yesterday afternoon. Everyone had a good time & dried off quickly! We’re really excited to turn the backyard into a sprinkler park with the other portion of his last birthday gift to the girls.
I am thinking…

about our upcoming travel plans. In my last daybook I lamented that we would probably not be able to do all the traveling I’d hoped to do this year, but it is looking like we will! I had a wonderful solo trip to my cousin’s wedding back in April and we have two big trips coming up. First, we are headed to Washington at the end of this month to visit my new nephew and soon-to-be godson, Sean Patrick Kane. The girls are super excited to spend some quality time with Sean’s big sister, Morgan (who is in between Molly & Livy). We are also tacking on a 2 night stay in San Francisco to visit Sr. Rosalie. Our first real vacation as a family – yeah! Three weeks after we get back from WA/CA, we’ll go home to NE for the 4th of July and stay a week with the grandparents & extended families. At the tail end of the summer, we have beach house reservations with friends for a weekend and finally, Rachel is expecting the girls & I when her little bundle of blue is born in October. Hopefully, there will be enough money & vacation days left to go back to NE for Christmas, too! It is our most ambitious travel schedule ever, but it seems like this is the year to go when the girls are young enough to have the freedom to go (and Violet young enough to fly free), but they are also old enough to enjoy traveling & be easier to travel with.
I am thankful for…

so many things! It is so easy to think about what I don’t have, but I am really quite spoiled when I sit down and think about it. Thank you, God, for my beloved husband and beautiful daughters. Thank you for our common faith, JR’s good job, our comfortable home, our health, our ability to travel, our friends & family. We are truly blessed.
We are learning…

Violet: what a big girl! She is extremely verbal and carries on full conversations with us. She loves to be in the mix with her big sisters and is finally getting old enough to be an active member of the playgroup rather than just a spectator. She would be a TV junky if we let her – she really enjoys Dora and says all the right things on cue. It is super cute to hear her yell, “Map! or “Salta! (jump)” She has a really good Spanish accent so she is inspiring me to use more Spanish with the girls in the hopes that they will all have a good ear for it.
Molly: our little mother! Molly’s favorite passtime lately is playing house. She sweetly informs us of all of her baby’s wants & desires – “My baby doesn’t like to be out in the rain. My baby likes to drive fast.” I’m starting to think Molly & her babies have a whole lot in common. Just the other day, I noticed a smattering of freckles on her nose. For a minute I worried it meant I wasn’t applying sunscreen properly, but now we are just enjoying the additional cuteness.
Olivia: no more naps! Last night, Olivia was up at 11pm wide-eyed & asking if she could have a snack. I guess it’s finally time for her to give up naps. It’s so sad, because even now at 4.5 she is my best napper! We took Liv for a ‘summer cut’ this week and she looks so much older without her long baby hair. She’s been talking about getting a summer cut for weeks and was excited to sit in the chair for her new style. However, several times on the way there she clarified, “For my summer cut, I want it short like Reese’s (her friend), but not short like Daddy’s.” I guess you never know what this crazy mama will do. One of her favorite passtimes lately is arranging flowers. At CGS, they learned how to cut flowers & place them in vases and she loves to go on nature walks collecting pretty things to fill her vases. She also picked up a few silk flower remnants at Garden Ridge and can now have cut flowers at her play kitchen table. :)
From the kitchen…

I have the ingredients for Apricot-Glazed Ham With Potatoes and Asparagus and it keeps getting postponed so hopefully I will get that made this week. Thanks to Grandpa Andrews, there is a fresh stock of NaturALL steaks in the deep freeze -  the first batch of ribeyes came out excellent on the grill, if I do say so myself. JR got me a new instant read digital thermometer and it makes grilling so easy. I’m thinking maybe we should get one of those prime rib roasts out of the freezer for JR’s birthday . . .
I am wearing…

well, I had to stop here and get dressed, but now I am wearing flip flops, shorts, and a Big Bend tank top from my first primitive camping trip with JR back in 2002.
I am creating…

photo albums for March & April, packing lists, a daily schedule for the summer (trying to finally get that Rule of Life implemented and have some rhythm & order in our life)!
I am working on …

preparations for our trip – hotel reservation in San Francisco, vaccinations for Red so she can go to the “dog hotel”, things to occupy the girls on the plane, etc. Also, just trying to keep up with the girls’ clothes – take the long sleeves & long pants out of their closets, and make sure they have enough summer gear to get them to October! I’m starting to wonder how long it will take before Molly catches up to Livy and they are in the same size – they’re just about one and half sizes different now. In high school, they could easily all 3 be the same size. Not sure if that is a good thing or not.
I am reading…

Introduction to the Devout Life and Getting Things Done (if having those two books on your nightstand for several weeks in a row counts for “reading”). Hope to make progress on both in the coming weeks.
I am hoping…

to settle into a nice rhythm this summer and truly enjoy the girls now that their schedules are finally synchronized, they are much more independent and awfully entertaining.

I am hearing…

Livy & Molly compare their latest artistic creations at the table & Violet filling the silo of her Little People farm with all the animals.
Around the house…

We did switch the girls’ rooms and the big girls got bunk beds from Ikea. So far, so good. Everyone adapted extremely well to their new room. Now we just need to finish/stain the bunk beds and hang stuff on the wall for the final touch. I think our room is next – complete with new bedroom furniture and a revamp of our aquarium. It has so much potential, but really needs some TLC (the room & the aquarium!). Poor little neglected fishes are at the bottom of the family totem pole. The other project will be planting the flower beds to finish our landscaping as it seems our landscaper is not available to do it for us.
One of my favorite things…

My new backyard. I really can’t say that enough. We had the family of one of Olivia’s best little friends from preschool over yesterday. The kids played with squirt guns & watering cans and the adults visited at the patio table and it was so great. A little warm at first, and a few too many flies, but other than that, perfect! It truly makes me happy just to look out the backdoor. It is that inviting and beautiful.
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:

This is our last week of preschool – Thursday is the Spring Program. Also the last week of meeting a friend at the Brushy Creek trail for a run during school. Since I don’t have a triple jogger, I’ll have to come up with a new exercise plan for the summer. The girls have Swim School this week & next and then we will not have any daily commitments for the summer! With our travel schedule, that is probably for the best. There is a Dad’s Night Out and a Mom’s Night Out this week so hopefully, everything will work out for JR & I to both get out and have a little fun. Last but not least, this is Daddy’s birthday weekend and we are going camping with good buddies!! :) Oh, and Sunday is Pentecost and the last day of the Easter season so this year, we’ll be singing Happy Birthday to Daddy & the Church on the same day!
Here is a picture thought I am sharing…

What’s better than being 1.5 years old and placed in a field of strawberries?

Be sure to visit Peggy for links to more daybooks.

Simple Woman’s Daybook (3.8.10)

Monday, March 8, 2010
Outside My Window…

It is cloudy and 61 degrees. There are a few days of thunderstorms forecasted for this week, but otherwise, it will be sunny with highs around 70. This is my absolute favorite weather month to live in Austin and I am thrilled that the landscaping is all complete and we can enjoy the beautiful weather on the new playscape & patio!!
I am thinking…

about all the places I’d like to go this year – a family wedding in NE in April, to the west coast to meet my new nephew (due to arrive mid-April), to the beach with good friends, home to NE to visit grandparents & extended family, to Kansas City to visit my sister & her family, and back to NE for Christmas. Unfortunately, JR does not have the vacation time to do it all – and I’m not sure I’d have the stamina for that many trips anyway, but it is so hard to choose!
I am thankful for…

babies! We have several of our friends & family who have had new babies in the last few months or are currently expecting – it is odd that we are out of the baby loop, but fun to watch our friends & family grow!
We are learning…

Violet – even more talking! Violet does not want to be a parrot, so she rarely repeats something when we ask her to, but on her own, she will choose to repeat lots of things. She has all the family members’ names down now (though Molly & Mommy sound the same), including Red. She loves to play with the big girls and really is quite shocked when people think she is a baby – in her mind I’d say she’s about 7.
Molly: potty training! Molly has graduated to big girl panties and is officially out of diapers. This provides Mama only one baby to change – hallelujah!! She also started Swim School – her first activity without Mama & Daddy!! Read all about it here. We did registration for next year and she is really excited to join Livy at preschool & Catechisis. I can’t believe Violet will be right behind her the following year!
Olivia: growing up before our eyes! Olivia is really blossoming into a sweet girl – a big girl who wants to choose her own clothes, do her own hair, create elaborate pretend play with her dolls & stuffed animals, teach her sisters how to be grown up and has a special interest in spiritual things. Her favorite pastime is reading and her favorite book these days is a children’s Bible. She loves to tell Molly all about the plagues of Egypt and the “mean guy” (Pharaoh) who will not let the people go!
From the kitchen…

there is salmon to be grilled, leftover spaghetti bake, haven’t planned the rest yet. We are sticking to our eggs for breakfast thing, though. Ever since our time in Nebraska we have eggs for breakfast almost everyday!
I am wearing…

jeans and a new tshirt, flip flops & a ponytail – pretty much my standard getup.
I am creating…

photo albums for January & February – trying to stay up to date this year; a new wardrobe – after recent weight loss I am almost starting from scratch – it’s been fun!
I am working on …

reorganizing what was in our closets. JR built-in custom closet organizers for us, so everything had to come out and now must be sorted through and reconsidered and reorganized for storage.
I am reading…

I am hoping…

for a fruitful Lent & a happy birthday month.
I am hearing…

Salsa videos – a really fun Christmas gift from Uncle Dan & Aunt Michelle. We are really interested in all things Spanish lately.
Around the house…

Still working on organizing & decluttering – will that ever be done? We are also working on some decorating. We are planning to switch the girls’ bedrooms. JR is going to build mini bunk beds and we purchased the owl bedding from Target for the big girls – it is SO cute! Wow, when I put in that link, I saw that the quilt sets we bought the girls are on sale this week – better get back to price match – yeah! We can save 25% on those and that hedgehog bean bag is awfully cute. I may just have to use the rest of the girls’ Christmas/birthday money and get him, too.
One of my favorite things…

frozen margaritas. Texans really know how to make good margaritas. Did you know margarita means daisy? There’s a little Spanish trivia for you this morning! Hmmm, is it a bad sign that I’m thinking about margaritas at 10:22m on a Monday?
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:

Today I plan to watch the installation of our new Bishop while catching up on laundry. Molly has Swim School tonight; besides the typical preschool & Catechisis schedule, we have a playdate with friends tomorrow afternoon and I will be keeping my friends’ little girl (same age as Violet) on Thursday. JR & Livy are excited for “Donuts with Dad” at school this Thursday.
Here is a picture thought I am sharing…

We’re changing how we put up pictures in posts so I’ll have to wait for JR to remind me of the new system before I add pictures – we did update the photo album with September through December, though, so go and enjoy those! January & February to come soon!

Be sure to visit Peggy for links to more daybooks.

Simple Woman’s Daybook (New Year Edition – 2010)

Monday, January 4, 2010
Outside My Window…
It is sunny and 33 degrees. The 10-day forecast says most days this week will be sunny and 50s, but Thursday the high will only be 38. It’s been awfully chilly around here lately. I’m not sure if I just don’t remember it being chilly over Christmas or if this is more chilly than usual.
I am thinking…
about the coming year and what sort of adventures it will hold for us. We have a few plans for the everyday, but at this point, the year is wide open – no scheduled trips, no major life changes that we’re aware of now, nothing big in the works. Of course, I fully expect that we will take trips and life will change dramatically in one way or another, but we don’t know yet in which way we will be taken.
I am thankful for…
my three adorable, healthy, & happy little girls and their hero of a father who is putting the finishing touches on their backyard playscape.
We are learning…
Violet – talking! Our little peanut has started repeating all kinds of things and is turning into a little chatterbox. She says “wa-wa” for drink and is getting pretty good at the names of the family members. She also is starting to play with her sisters. She has always enjoyed watching them and letting them entertain her, but as of late, she joins right in and hangs out with them. She doesn’t always get what’s going on, but wants to be in the mix.
Molly: potty training! Molly is finally and suddenly interested in potty training. She has been toying with the idea for months, but just this morning she seems to have decided she’s ready. We’ll see how long it lasts, but I’m ready & hoping this is it! She is also becoming a really funny storyteller – all of her stories end with “that’s so silly.”
Olivia: coloring and exercising! Livy’s two latest interests are coloring – specifically coloring in the lines and drawing more and more complicated pictures – and exercising. JR & I started P90X and have been doing some weight lifting & other exercise videos. Livy is an addict and is determined to be Molly’s personal trainer. As I type this, Livy is instructing Molly to take a water break and then they are going to get back to their 1lb. pink weights that Daddy brought home for them.
From the kitchen…
lots of protein and vegetables (as demanded by the P90X diet); taking dinner to friends with a new baby tomorrow; hoping to get back into meal planning this year.
I am wearing…
jeans and a t-shirt with a ponytail; hoping to get the living room cleaned up today to take some pictures of the house decorated for Christmas for posterity’s sake and then put it all away over the course of the week.
I am creating…
several things are in the works – a daily schedule, a belated Christmas/New Year’s card, updated photo albums, blog posts . . .
I am working on …
getting more organized, getting more healthy, being more happy.
I am reading…
The Shack, Real Simple & Parents magazines, several blogs (you can see my favorites in the shared items on the right) . . .
I am hoping…
to be more organized/structured in the new year, and that that will make life more simple & more calm, which in turn makes us all more happy.
I am hearing…
Pandora play some lovely Christmas music (just a few more days left in the season – Epiphany is Jan. 6th), Livy & Molly pretending to drive to Nebraska in the living room (they have their little chairs all lined up like they’re in the van).
Around the house…
Picking up, staging the house for Christmas photos, taking down the Christmas decorations, organizing & decluttering.
One of my favorite things…
nativities. I have a collection of nativities (including Fontanini, Willow Tree, and Heartwood Creek – though not complete sets of any of them and several non-name brand sets as well). The girls also have the Little People nativity and they each received their own nativities from St. Nick this year. It’s a good time of year to buy nativities, so happy shopping to those who are in the market for extra pieces for your special set.
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:
Liv starts back to preschool & catechesis, Epiphany is Wednesday, and “Madoninnas Mothers” rosary group on Thursday morning. Oh, that and start everyday with a P90X workout at 6am!!
Here is a picture thought I am sharing…
Happy Birthday, Baby Jesus! Thanks for not complaining about the pink bassinet – we’ll try to get it painted blue for you for next year!!

Be sure to visit Peggy for links to more daybooks.

Simple Woman’s Daybook (4.20.09)

Monday, April 20, 2009
Outside My Window…
it is dark because it is Sunday night. JR has to do some work from home so I figured I’d get a head start on this post and actually get one published this week! The ten day forecast says sunny and 80-90 during the week; showers for the weekend.
I am thinking…
about Susan Boyle. I’m sure many of you have seen clips of her on the news or YouTube. The thing that gets me is that no one thought she had any singing talent because she didn’t look like a pop star – because we all know that singing talent is physically visible (just a hint of sarcasm there)! I guess I should just be grateful that this beautiful woman got the chance to show the world her talent and was appropriately applauded for it. I hope the world takes note – everyone of us is valuable and has our own gifts. It is not possible to see the vast majority of gifts by looking at someone.
I am thankful for…
my Mom. Her birthday was a couple weeks ago and I didn’t get a post up that week so I want to take the opportunity to give her a little tribute now. I have lots of warm, happy memories of my childhood, most of which include my mother right along side me. I remember making crafts, homemade treats, and singing together. Mom tirelessly devoted herself to every one of our childhood endeavors – girls scouts, 4-H, church choir, and every fundraiser our schools ever put on. When we got to junior high and there was no Catholic camp for junior high kids, my entrepreneur mother & her friends started one that still goes on today. There was nothing she wouldn’t do for us. Thank you, Mom, for the beautiful woman you have always been – inside & out. Thank you for your loving devotion to our family, for your countless hours serving the community, and for always being my biggest fan.
i00066
Happy Birthday, Grandma!!
We are learning…
Violet is growing & changing so fast! Well, maybe not growing so fast – she’s still a little peanut, but that peanut can now crawl around the room, sit up when she gets somewhere she wants to hang out for awhile, and then mosey on her way. She is loving solid foods (so far she’s had avocados, bananas, pears, rice cereal, squash, and sweet potatoes). Oh, and she LOVES puffs. I have to make a video of her crying in the high chair. All I have to do is walk over and grab the puffs off the top of the refrigerator (I have to keep them there or her sisters will feed them to her until she explodes) and she instantly stops crying and starts clapping!
Molly is communicating more and more. Tonight she was calling for her baby doll, “Baby, where are you? where are you?” And when she found her she scooped her up and cuddled her and said “There you are!” She was so excited to run around the room showing all of us she had found her baby. Another sweet thing is watching her read books & do puzzles. She will sit for longer & longer stretches of time (we’re talking almost 10 FULL MINUTES here people!) concentrating on her work. And she started singing, too. I haven’t figured out what she’s trying to sing – maybe Happy Birthday or maybe Twinkle Twinkle Little Star? Anyway, she makes really serious faces and tries to sing like her big sister.
Olivia is curious about EVERYTHING these days. There seems to be no end to the questioning, especially in the van. Where are we going? What are we going to do there? Who else is coming? Where does that road go? Why can’t we go there? What are they making over there? Who is that man? What is he doing? It’s great to see her healthy sense of curiosity. It can also be exhausting. At that point, I’m grateful for the really sweet Bible Songs CD she got from our friend Lisa! Which, by the way, made her a little star at preschool music class because she already knew all the words to “Praise, Him, Praise Him all you little children, God is love, God is love!” and “I’ve got that joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart . . .” It’s been really fun to teach her the sweet children’s songs that I knew & loved. Makes me want to learn guitar so the girls & I can have our own little choir!
From the kitchen…
we had a pretty big Easter so we were eating leftovers all of last week. We are working on an Easter post that will give all the details (one of the benefits of being Catholic – Easter is a 50-day season!). We had our favorite ribs tonight & I’ve been craving a good hamburger so we’ll have those tomorrow. I need to take a meal to a family that had a baby a couple weeks ago and I ALWAYS take cranberry chicken because it is super easy to make two batches and always a big hit! How can it not be when it has 1 cup of Dorothy Lynch? :) I’m also planning to make my first batch of homemade biter biscuits for Violet this week. I could use something for her to gnaw on that takes some time. She hoovers those puffs!
I am wearing…
“play clothes” (aka around the house clothes) – Columbia khakis, an old green tshirt & crocs.
I am creating…
several things are underway, but somehow nothing seems to get finished. Today we finally got some of Olivia’s artwork into envelopes to mail to her grandparents. I’ll drop those in the mail tomorrow (using my drive-thru post office – yeah, I know you’re jealous!) and will at least be able to cross one thing off my list. Too bad I added a dozen more last night!
I am still working on …
getting in the 5 basic things I must do to be a healthy person in order that I might serve my family better – pray, shower, eat, exercise, & sleep.
I am definitely better in every area, but still finessing things to get it all into a more natural routine.
I am reading…
not a whole lot these days.
I am hoping…
that all goes well for JR’s cousin Jane & her family. She & her husband went to Uganda today to pursue the adoption of 3 & 6 year-old orphan brothers. They will join 4 & 2 year old brothers at home. May God bless all of them with the best transition possible, a safe journey & a most happy homecoming!
I am hearing…
the clicking of JR writing a post on the laptop & a UFC fight he’s watching in the background.
Around the house…
I am still working on creating order through daily & weekly routines.
DEW Each Morning:
Dishes (empty dishwasher & wash dishes by hand)
Eat (plan meals for the day)
Wash (get the laundry going)
3 Ss each Evening:
Set the dishwasher to run overnight.
Set out stuff for tomorrow.
Straighten up.
And I will add only checking email & blogs in the morning & evening as part of the new routine. I’ve allowed myself to feel connected to the world by checking for new emails or blog posts throughout the day, but I’ve read enough now to think there is something to the idea that if you allow yourself to be interrupted by email & blogs all day long, you will be less productive at processing email & blogs (let alone less productive at the rest of your tasks!). More thoughts on creating order are coming in a series of posts about my first few years as a full-time homemaker.

One of my favorite things…

meeting Mariana from preschool. She has a son in Livy’s class and approached me one day saying that she had noticed me getting all 3 girls in and out of the van every morning & afternoon and wondered if she couldn’t help me, especially when it is raining or one of the babies is sleeping or I’m just too tired. It’s awesome! If I need a hand, I just call her cell on my way there and she will wait for us and then walk Olivia in with her son or bring Olivia out with her son. She has been such a gift to us! And I learned recently that her son will be in Livy’s class next year, too, so I look forward to our continued friendship (and maybe being able to help her out for a change)!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:
Livy has preschool Tuesday & Thursday – only 5 weeks ’til summer break, better try to be productive! Thursday is Western Day so I am feeling the pressure for Olivia to be the most prepared in her class – afterall, she is the daughter of two farm kids! We may go to the park with a friend Wednesday morning – this is prime park weather in these parts (tomorrow will be 90)! I have my group session with my personal trainer Wednesday evening & 5K training Saturday morning. I’m looking forward to going out with some girlfriends Thursday night. Friday is my baby brother’s 20th birthday! Shocking!! Saturday we’re having friends to dinner.
Here is a picture thought I am sharing…
img_2641_edited-11
Olivia & her classmate, Ethan after their performance at the Church Festival. Both Molly & Olivia enjoyed two pony rides after the performance. And, of course, my memory card was full! I managed to delete enough photos to get some shots of their second ride, but their smiles were not nearly as bright as the first time around! :(

Simple Woman’s Daybook (3.31.09)

Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Outside My Window…
it is absolutely gorgeous. Now THIS is the weather I was talking about when I said March was my favorite month to live in Central Texas!! We had severe weather last week, though, and a serious hail storm did enough damage to require a new roof & body work to both vehicles. It was golf ball sized or larger hail & pretty wicked looking.
img_2544
img_2545
I am thinking…
about JR and the deadlines he is under at work. I am thinking how long it has been since I was working and had deadlines. It is so easy to forget how challenging working can be. I don’t miss working, but I do miss the camaraderie of my team, the setting & accomplishing of goals, the challenge of stretching myself, and the satisfaction of a completed project. Those are all relevant to mothering to some degree, but in a very different way. Oh, and the paychecks were nice, too!
I am thankful for…
my Dad. Today is his 58th birthday and I am grateful for the wonderful man that he is and the loving, devoted father he has always been to me. Thank you for your lighthearted spirit, your fun-loving attitude, your generous & kind soul. I have been thinking about my Dad lately as I see my girls with their Daddy. I remember the special way a little girl lovingly admires her father. I remember dancing on his toes at weddings & thinking he was king of the world! I love you, Daddy!
img_1789_edited-1Happy Birthday, Grandpa Goofball!!
(If you look closely, you’ll see Livy’s face is covered in chocolate thanks to the candy cane full of M&Ms from Grandpa)
We are learning…
Violet has started eating solids. I wasn’t in any rush (and we’ve always waited until 6 months anyway), but we have some friends who had babies (baby Benett & little Roxy) more than a month after Violet was born and they were both eating cereal long before she was so we were starting to feel like we were behind! Violet had rice cereal for the first time on my birthday and was so excited to be eating like a big girl. Time to load up on all the baby veggies and get the freezer stocked with sweet potato, squash & avocado! She is also a serious scooter/crawler now and will even follow us from room to room (albeit slowly). I can’t believe our little Peanut is moving around!! I guess being petite has its advantages!
img_2129
Molly is at a really adorable age. At 19 months, she is old enough to mimic big sister and play house, but not old enough to be very naughty (that is not to say she doesn’t have a mind of her own, just that she is not trying to be ornery)! She is a very sweet little mama and loves to rock her babies, nurse her babies & put them down for naps. She is such a happy little thing and always greets Violet with a cheery “Hey, baby!!” which apparently is what I say when I get Violet from her crib. :) Molly still calls Livy “Mama” and misses her big sister whenever they are apart. She is really starting to talk a lot (though JR & I are the only who knows what she’s saying). Yesterday, she dumped her cookies out of the bag and I asked her to put them back. “No, Mama,” she said, “I want cookies in bag.” Yikes!
img_2171
Olivia was the special child at school today. The themes were green & square so she took green jell-o jigglers and her shamrock pillowcase from Grandma Andrews for show & tell. She also wore a Jolly Green Giant t-shirt from Grandma Kane to be sure to look festive. I am just amazed at how grown-up she is already. There is nothing she enjoys more than helping Mom & Dad so she regularly empties the silverware from the dishwasher, sets the table, “makes” salads (by putting the spinach in bowls), picks up toys, & helps her sisters. I am really proud of her devotion to the little girls.
img_2543_edited-1
This is a picture of Olivia wearing the dress I wore for my Aunt Teri’s wedding (oh, about 28 years ago!). My sister, Rachel, was the flower girl & had this dress in purple. All my little girl cousins & I got to have a matching dress in a different color! I doubt my Mom has time to scan the picture of all of us cousins from the wedding & email it to me for posting (she’s a tax preparer, so this is obviously a hectic time), but if Grandma or one of the aunts can do it, I’d love to show how Liv compares to the previous generation!! Oh, and I don’t know why she’s giving such a tortured look. She was having fun trying on dresses, I swear!
From the kitchen…
there is not a lot exciting going on these days. JR is working long hours this week so I am taking advantage and not doing much for dinners. Last night, the girls & I had grilled hot dogs & pasta salad! :)
I am wearing…
black slacks, a turquoise t-shirt & flip flops. I’ve thought about stretching myself & trying another type of footwear but change is hard & summer is HOT!!
I am creating…
what I can. I hit some more hiccups in my plans for Violet’s announcements and have accepted that they will get out soon, but not on my original time line (or the 1st alternate or 2nd alternate or 3rd alternate . . . .). I’m conflicted about it, but I’m trying to find the balance between setting goals/deadlines & realizing that life happens and doing what I can when I can. Sometimes arbitrary deadlines aren’t helpful, but if there is never a due date, it can be over 6 months before a birth announcement goes out!
I am getting pretty good at …
getting in the 5 basic things I must do to be a healthy person in order that I might serve my family better – pray, shower, eat, exercise, & sleep. In fact, I started a 5k training program last Saturday and have 12 weeks to be race ready for a 5K. This will technically be my second 5k, but since I erased the first one from my memory (yes, it was that bad), this is officially my first running endeavor. I’m excited to have a date on the calendar and something to work toward. I’ll admit I’ve been inspired by JR’s commitment to his marathon training (he’s doing the FULL Lincoln Marathon on May 3rd). Two of my brothers are natural runners and were quite competitive in Cross Country in their day (Nathan even ran in college). I also have an aunt who runs everyday, so there is something in my genes that says I could be a runner . . . we shall see!
I am reading…
I think it’s time to be honest in this section. So far, I’ve been putting the title of a book that’s on my nightstand thinking that I will pick it up and read it in the week ahead. So far that has not happened. So honestly, I am not reading anything except stories with my little ones. The ironic thing is that I love collecting books and my house is full of books I’ve yet to read!
I am hoping…
that my friend Tanya’s daughter, Ana, will have a miraculous healing from her cancer. I am hoping that God will not call her to Himself just yet. I am hoping & praying that God will give her the opportunity to have a long & happy life. I am praying for a miracle. Please join me.
I am hearing…
Jack Johnson on Pandora – decided to shake things up a bit!
Around the house…
I am working on creating daily & weekly routines. I have pretty much been operating in crisis mode & putting out fires for the last year and I am ready to have a more peaceful flow to things. I know that having regular routines will make life easier on me & the girls so we are starting to play with our schedule (or lack there of) to figure out what fits and what I can do when. There are a lot of suggestions out there and it’s a matter of finding what fits with our lifestyle. I’m also trying to build up to something respectable by starting step by step. One example I liked is as follows (this is my Step 1 starting today):
DEW Each Morning:
Dishes (empty dishwasher & wash dishes by hand)
Eat (plan meals for the day)
Wash (get the laundry going)
3 Ss each Evening:
Set the dishwasher to run overnight.
Set out stuff for tomorrow.
Straighten up.

One of my favorite things…

my husband. I don’t tell him enough, or reflect on it enough, but I simply adore this man! Here are my top 5 favorite things about the man I married:

  • dependable provider – he excels at his current job and meets all of our needs, but I know if circumstances were to change, he would do ANYTHING he had to to take care of us
  • impressive athlete – this marathon training is incredible. Last Monday he ran 16 miles BEFORE going to work!
  • handsome devil – he’s always been a looker, but the marathon training is definitely noticeable!!
  • handiest handy man you could ever hope for
  • devoted Daddy – there are not words to describe what it means to see the love he has for his girls and the joy he finds in being with them.

img_2116_edited-2Daddy & the “big” girls watching a show about tiny, but deadly jellyfish (they find the most bizarre shows to watch).

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:
Today I’ll call my Dad & cousin Holley who celebrate birthdays today – Happy Birthday!! Livy has preschool today & Thursday and it’s a big week because she gets to take snack & bring show & tell. Tomorrow a friend is dropping by with her 2 year-old Sara Beth so that we can get acquainted better in case we are called on to keep Sara Beth while her new baby brother or sister is born next weekend! I have my group session with my personal trainer Wednesday evening & 5K training Saturday morning. Might attend the strength class at NI on Friday morning (it’s at 6:15am, and believe it or not, I did make it there on my birthday last Friday!). I’m looking forward to meeting with Madonninas Mothers (my mommy prayer group) on Thursday morning. Sunday is my Mom’s birthday so hopefully, we can do a videochat with the birthday grandparents this week!!
Here is a picture thought I am sharing…
Decided to add pictures throughout this time so you’ve already seen everything! Hopefully, we can get the on-line photo album updated soon – we are seriously behind now . . .

Simple Woman’s Daybook (3.16.09)

Monday, March 16, 2009
Outside My Window…
it is sunny, & warm again! Last week we had a cold snap in the 40s and I was a little bitter that my favorite weather month had started out too warm (high 80s for a week) and then too cold (in the 40s the next week). I guess I sound a bit like Goldilocks, don’t I? I think this week will be quite pleasant, though, with the forecast sunny most days and 75-80 all week. The perfect weather for eating out on the patio (too bad I don’t have one . . . yet!).
I am thinking…
about the last year and what a blur it is. A year ago this month, Livy had just turned two, Molly was seven months old, and I was starting my second trimester with Violet. Then we caught a horrible, terrible, no good, very bad flu bug and I never really recovered . . . well maybe not never, but it was a long, long time. Stay tuned for the rest of the story in a separate blog post!
I am thankful for…
good health, the ability to exercise & the abundance of healthy food at my disposal.
We are learning…
So much for Violet sleeping through the night! Let’s just say we’ve hit a bump in that road, but on a positive note, she IS learning to scoot & crawl! Last night she took two “steps” forward (on hands & knees) to get to a book. Seems she is most motivated by paper & books, not so much toys. Grandma Andrews says JR was the same way and loved newspaper, especially. We’ll have to see what we can do there, we don’t get the paper! As a comparison, the older girls didn’t crawl until the more typical age of 9 months, so Violet crawling at 6 months is quite the accomplishment!
Molly‘s language development is really blossoming. She’s stringing three words into sentences quite easily these days. Here is what we hear most often:
“I did it!”
“Give it back!”
“I want milk (or more or apple or whatever is the object of her desire).”
“Baby night night (referring either to Violet or her baby dolls).”
She is also known to shout one word commands like “Out!”; “Eat!”; and “Mine!”
Olivia continues to amaze me with her understanding of the world and interest in all things grown-up. She is really in to painting & coloring lately and has started actually drawing faces (this is the first that her artwork is not just scribbles!). And she has started finding “O for Olivia” everywhere – on signs, in menus, and in her books!
From the kitchen…
Our fancy roasted chicken turned out yummy, but we think our rotisserie chickens off the grill are probably comparable. This week I put a lot of regular favorites on the meal calendar – grilled chicken breasts, teriyaki sirloin kabobs, hamburger gravy over mashed potatoes, & grilled pork steaks. We’ll probably go to the parish fish fry this Friday night because a lot of friends will be there (though JR will likely eat a PB&J before we go as he doesn’t eat fish!). And since we haven’t had one in awhile, a roast for Sunday dinner. :)
Oh, and I got a Cooking Light 5 Ingredient 15 Minute Cookbook from Amazon and plan to use it primarily for healthy lunches for the girls & I.
I am wearing…
a blue t-shirt, khaki shorts & flip flops.
I am creating…
labels for Violet’s announcements. We had a hiccup in the design as Costco changed the dimensions of their announcement card so it had to be laid out again and that was delayed due to JR’s race. At any rate, we are moving full speed ahead for mailing soon!! And finally, I will be able to talk about something else in this space!
I am (still) going…
to focus on the 5 basic things I must do to be a healthy person in order that I might serve my family better – pray, shower, eat, exercise, & sleep.
I am really focusing on exercise the last couple weeks since starting a training program through NI’s gym. You’ll be pleased to know that daily exercise has required daily showering as well! I meet for a group session with a personal trainer on Wednesday afternoons and will be getting up early to workout on Mondays & Fridays and then add something during Livy’s preschool on Tuesdays & Thursdays. It has been quite a hurdle to get in five opportunities for exercise each week! But everyone keeps telling me that once it is part of your routine it will be so much easier!
I am reading…
still trying to get through the Montessori book. For a lighter read, I picked up Amazing Grace for Mothers the other night when I couldn’t get to sleep. It’s similar to the Chicken Soup for the Soul books. Unfortunately, the little story I read was about a mother who lost a child to SIDS at four months. Needless to say, it didn’t help me fall asleep!!!!
I am hoping…
the dermatologist we see tomorrow will have a quick, easy fix for Olivia’s rash that just won’t go away!
I am hearing…
the Olivia show. After painting a few pictures, Liv is watching a TV treat while the babies take a nap! It’s not the best show on TV, but Livy really gets a kick out of the fact that the star is “Olivia!” The theme song is really cute, too! Of course, she chose “Olivia paints” from the episodes we have on the DVR. We’re planning to cancel the cable this month – I’ll really miss the DVR :( but we expect to be watching less TV and that is a good thing.
Around the house…
stuff is everywhere! We had a full & fun weekend and that leaves a lot of clean up this morning. Saturday we put a good faith effort into finishing the clean up of the office to decorate Violet’s room. We made a lot of progress, but didn’t quite get to the painting. Sunday we went to Macy’s after Mass and took advantage of all the girls falling asleep in the van for me to do some shopping for a dress for an upcoming wedding. When the girls woke up we grabbed some lunch and then headed back to Macy’s for Easter dresses for the girls & some casual clothes for me! :)
One of my favorite things…
out-of-town visitors. For various reasons, no one is planning to visit us this year. :( After a record number of visitors last year it is a bummer to not have that to look forward to this year. It is especially sweet to have family come visit because when we are home for the holidays it is really hard (okay impossible) to get enough quality time in with everyone we want to. When they come to us we can devote all our time & attention to spending quality time together!
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:
This is Spring Break week so Livy is off from preschool. We have nothing planned today. Tomorrow I’ll take Liv (and the babies will come along) to the dermatologist and try to do something festive for St. Patrick’s Day (including lounging & napping with our new St. Patrick’s Day pillowcases from Grandma Andrews – thank you!). Wednesday I meet with my trainer, and Thursday I have my rosary group (Madonninas Mothers). Friday we are supposed to host the bilingual playgroup. I’m thinking we might try to meet at a park, weather permitting. Friday night is a send off at the parish fish fry for our friend who is entering a contemplative order of sisters. Saturday our friends are keeping the big girls while JR, Violet & I got to a wedding (the daughter of a friend of JR’s from work). I’m looking forward to a nice evening out in the country (the wedding & reception will be on the family’s acreage). :)
Here is a picture thought I am sharing…
The Perfect Pair
img_20301
Violet Frances at 6 months
pix-046-corr-4x6Max Benedict (our godson) at 6 months
(he’s one week older than Violet and probably a head taller!)

Be sure to visit Peggy for links to more daybooks.

Simple Woman’s Daybook (3.3.09)

Tuesday, March 3 2009
Outside My Window…
it is sunny, breezy & 73. I am so pleased to have typed March above because this is my most favorite month to live in Austin. This is our Spring and by far the best weather month we have – and it’s also my birthday month!
I am thinking…
about the different choices that each family makes for educating their children. We have recently signed Livy up for another year of Mother’s Day Out (though it is going to have more preschool elements to it next year and will be called St. William’s Early Childhood Development Center) and Catechisis of the Good Shepherd. She will be at MDO Tuesdays & Thursdays from 9:30 to 1:30 and CGS on Wednesdays from 9:30 to 11:30. I am really excited about both programs and the things that Livy will learn & enjoy in each of them. I have several friends who are sending their children to one or both of these programs and several who have opted out of both of them. It’s interesting to me why each family makes the choices they do. Ultimately, we are each considering our family situation, our children’s needs, and our own needs as mothers, which are all different, of course, and require different things. It gets even more interesting as people talk about what to do with school-age children with some doing public school, some Catholic school, and some homeschool. I definitely think this is one of those areas were there is no ‘one size fits all’ answer. Each family will choose what is most fitting for them.
I am thankful for…
quiet time when Olivia is enjoying herself at Mother’s Day Out and the babies are sleeping.
We are learning…
Violet is learning how to sleep through the night. Last night she went from 9pm to 5:30am without eating (but she did wake once). Molly is learning how to make up her own mind and get her point across. There have been several instances lately with Livy where Molly is very clear about what she wants and it is different than what Livy wants. Livy is not so sure she likes this development. She liked it much better when Molly followed mother hen like a good little chick! Olivia is a non-stop talker these days and is constantly telling stories. They usually end with – “that’s so silly.” She adores her sisters and really wants to mother them. My favorite thing is to hear her praising them “Good job, Molly, you did it!”
From the kitchen…
We had a lot of food prep going on last night and will be having a butterflied roasted chicken brined & stuffed with compound butter later this week. JR found the recipe and it looks delicious so I was happy to have his help preparing the brine & compound butter last night (after I made hamburger helper – a little weak by comparison!). We’ll have our chicken Wednesday night, JR is doing a spaghetti dinner Thursday night to get in a bunch of carbs before his big race Saturday & Sunday.  My crazy husband will be running a relay with 9 other crazy people who are each taking 4 legs (5 miles each) of a 200 mile race!! I hope to finish up our favorite meals list on one of my solo evenings this week. Oh, and because I started a new program called Healthy Eating Every Day we are not counting Weight Watchers Points anymore. I’m just getting started with HEED so I’ll share more later.
I am wearing…
black slacks (down one size!), a new pink t-shirt, Merrells & a smile :)
I am creating…
a happy home AND a mailing list for Violet’s birth announcements – woohoo!! JR saved me and designed a breathtaking announcement Sunday night – have I told you lately that I love you?? :)
I am (still) going…
to focus on the 5 basic things I must do to be a healthy person in order that I might serve my family better – pray, shower, eat, exercise, & sleep. I am starting to see some good habits in their infancy stage and it feels good to be headed in the right direction. I am hoping to have them really ingrained by Easter.
I am reading…
less blogs for Lent (only 30 minutes a day for the internet – excluding writing my posts). For now, I think I am going to pick up my Maria Montessori book again. I think I ended up with a more philisophical one than a practical one, but I am going to try to get through it. It seems Montessori is a big buzz word these days with all different kinds of thinking about the practical applications of her philosophy so it would be interesting to understand better where she was coming from. Okay, I went to Amazon to find a link to the book and found the following review – I guess that’s why I’ve found it hard to get into! Maybe I’ll look for The Child in the Family at the library for an easier read . . .
This is Montessori’s last book, and the most in-depth discussion of her theory based on decades of scientific observation of children. It discusses the special mind of the child, and how nurturing the special potentialities that only children have is the only way to change (and save) humanity. Montessori’s theories are particularly interesting today in light of recent neurological discoveries, especially those related to critical periods and language.

This is a very dense book, and requires a good deal of concentration and time to read. I would recommend The Child in the Family as the first book for one wanting an overview of Montessori ideas.

I am hoping…
to have fun tonight at dinner with my bilingual friends for a Mom’s Night Out – and not make a fool of myself with my Spanish when I won’t have the children to distract everyone from my mistakes!
I am hearing…
Violet babbling & Pandora playing my Norah Jones station.
Around the house…
baby stuff everywhere – especially baby dolls – in a fairly neat order, but still making it obvious there are a lot of tiny girls living & playing here.
One of my favorite things…
visiting. I really love to sit & chat – with old friends & new, with relatives young & old, with other moms on the way into preschool, with the lady next to me in line at the grocery store. I am such a conversationalist and that is probably one of the most challenging things for me staying at home – no one to visit with!
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:
Livy has preschool today & Thursday. I’m going out with Mamas Bilingues tonight, we have a landscaper coming in the morning to give us ideas on what to do with the barren back yard (which has complete shade coverage from our big, beautiful trees but won’t grow grass), I will meet with my trainer tomorrow night for a work out, and host my rosary group (Madonninas Mothers) Thursday morning. JR goes to a spaghetti feed that night. Confession on Friday and hopefully, a playdate late Friday afternoon. JR will be at the race all weekend, so the girls & I will be attending two birthday parties for our little friends and going to Mass on our own – should be interesting!
Here is a picture thought I am sharing…
Oh Happy Day
04840142

Be sure to visit Peggy for links to more daybooks.

Simple Woman’s Daybook – Fat Tuesday edition (2.24.09)

Fat Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Outside My Window…
it is dark and still quite warm (71). It was 80 today and expected to be warmer tomorrow. After playing outside for a bit and then coming in to start supper (and the oven), I turned on the AC. I’m weak and it was fat Tuesday!
I am thinking…
about these quotes I read earlier this evening on Catholic Culture
No Lent is worthy of the name without a personal effort of self-reformation, of leading a life more in accordance with God’s commands and an attempt by some kind of voluntary self-denial to make reparation for past negligence.
Lent should be a long retreat, one in which under the guidance of the Church we are led to the practice of a more perfect Christian life.
I am thankful for…
my life. It is not always easy or exciting, but I am living my dream – I spend my days caring for my three beautiful, healthy daughters while my dear husband brings home the bacon and then returns home to actively engage himself in family life.
We are learning…
Violet is coming into her own these last few weeks. She is settling into a morning, afternoon & evening nap routine and as a result, she is super pleasant most of the time. She is also super mobile – much more than I remember her older sisters being at this age. She rolls both ways with ease and scoots all over the place on her belly. She has even gotten up and rocked back & forth on her hands & knees a few times. Whew – now I need to babyproof again!! Molly is talking more and more. She’s been babbling non-stop for quite awhile, but some of it actually makes sense now. She can say apple, all done, baby, backpack, banana, bath, book, bye-bye, Dada, dog, door, Dora, Elmo, eye, kitty, Mama, me (when she wants a turn), milk, mine, more, mouth, no, nose, please, poo-poo, pop, thank you, uh-oh, up & yeah – at least that’s what I can think of right now. Her catch phrase is “I want _____.” Oh, I almost forgot my favorites! Molly says “Amen” at the end of prayers and ever so sweetly folds her hands and bows her head while praying. And she says” I yuv you” too!! Olivia is loving school and especially “singing at chapel.” She is learning how to test the limits and suffer the consequences. We are serious about our discipline charts these days and she usually uses up all three warning spaces and starts losing privileges. On a positive note, she is super imaginative & talkative lately. Our living room is apparently FULL of crocodiles that she must shoot, kill & eat (apparently the hunting Daddy did over Christmas break made a BIG impression). It is really fun to watch her pretend and try to draw Molly into the game. They are just about ready to be super playmates – Molly needs just a couple more months to mature and things will really be a lot of fun.
From the kitchen…
We finally had Monica’s meatballs (my sister-in-law’s mother-in-law’s recipe!) tonight for fat Tuesday (with the mashed potatoes & corn, it’s a pretty heavy meal). Tomorrow will be a meatless day due to Ash Wednesday and I am thinking I’ll just make an easy cheese pizza for supper. I am working on an updated list of our favorite foods so that I can just glance through and pick a few things each week. We’ve had some pretty good stuff lately – especially some great things off the grill last week so that is inspiring me to keep things going.
I am wearing…
jeans, a purple top, & flip flops with a ponytail.
I am creating…
a plan for Lent (though Violet’s birth announcements are mocking me since they are STILL not done – I am one of those ‘better late than never’ people but I think it’s time to drop the perfectionism because if it’s not done soon, we will miss the window altogether).
I am (still) going…
to focus on the 5 basic things I must do to be a healthy person in order that I might serve my family better – pray, shower, eat, exercise, & sleep. I have made some progress on sleeping & showering and am hoping to make significant progress on praying during Lent. The exercise & eating components should start to take life, too, as the fitness program I started at NI kicks off tomorrow. Could I really have good habits developed in each of these key areas by Easter? Let’s hope!
I am reading…
I am hoping to read an actual book for Lent! Jennifer recommended several good ones for spiritual development and I’m thinking of picking one up.
I am hoping…
for a really meaningful Lent where good habits are developed and I arrive at Easter a more balanced & healthy person.
I am hearing…
Obama’s address to Congress. He is quite the gifted speaker. The country is sure in a pickle. I’m not sure I’m on board with his solutions. I’m concerned about where we will get all the money to do all of that. I’m concerned about Iraq and prematurely ending the war only to have great unrest in a critical region. I will continue to pray for our country and our leadership and hope for good things.
Around the house…
we had a very lazy fat Tuesday. It was nice – I even took a good, long nap! It’s been ages since that happened.
One of my favorite things…
baths. There’s no better way to finish the day than a nice long soak in a super hot tub.
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:
We had an appointment with the pediatrician Monday for an ongoing skin issue for Livy. Today was preschool. Tomorrow we will go to Mass for Ash Wednesday (even though it is not a day of obligation). Tomorrow is my first workout with the personal trainer through my new fitness program. Possibly a playdate with the Bebes Bilingues on Friday and then Mass again on Sunday.
Here is a picture thought I am sharing…
My Joy
img_1899

Be sure to visit Peggy for links to more daybooks.

Simple Woman’s Daybook (2.9.09)

Monday, February 9, 2009
Outside My Window…
it was dark & rainy this morning when I started writing, but it is sunny (70s) this afternoon and we have the windows open. Makes you northerners want to come visit, doesn’t it? Hurry up before it gets HOT!
I am thinking…
we have a lot to do today – better make this a quick post. We had two sickie bears last week so much of what was mentioned last week is still on my plate this week.
I am thankful for…
our cozy little home. Sometimes I dream about a house with a playroom & bigger bedrooms & a neighborhood with a nice park & pool, and someday I will probably have all that. But for now, this is enough house to clean and enough house to keep us all cozy & comfortable.
We are learning…
Violet is learning to play independently (as independently as one can be with two older sisters anxious to provide you with an unending supply of toys). She is happy for longer & longer stretches lying on a blanket on the floor watching the girls whirl by. Molly has two loves these days – building towers with Duplo blocks & reading books on her own. Both are super sweet to watch. Olivia continues to be fascinated with letters and is humoring me a bit with a few Spanish words & sounds, too.
From the kitchen…
Still need to make a meal calendar for this week, but I expect we’ll see the swiss steak that never got made last week and maybe some of Monica’s meatballs. I need to get a good list going of our favorites so that I can just glance through and pick a few things each week. I also need to re-order the deep freeze in the garage which is stocked completely full of meat from home (thanks Grandma & Grandpa A) as well as the last Costco purchases so I know what I have and can rotate through somewhat orderly. I’ve also been thinking of getting the Cooking Light 5 Ingredients, 15 Minutes cookbook. A few friends that have tried it just rave about its simplicity & flavors – and they’re healthy meals to boot!
I am wearing…
jeans that my sister loaned me, a blue t-shirt, & NEW shoes! :) I am a huge Merrell fan. My last pair lasted me about five or six years and were the most comfortable pair of shoes I’ve ever had. The girls are also wearing their new shoes – Superballs from Stride Rite. Livy even got tennis shoes with laces – she looks so grown up!!
I am creating…
We didn’t make much progress on Violet’s birth announcements last week, so I am going to kick it into high gear in the hopes of getting them out this week . . .
I am (still) going…
to focus on the 5 basic things I must do to be a healthy person in order that I might serve my family better – pray, shower, eat, exercise, & sleep. I found it quite challenging to make the 10:30 bedtime last week. Will try harder this week to make it a reality. Also switching things up & showering at night to make it one less thing to accomplish in the morning. Bonus – my hair actually looks better the next day than when it’s washed in the morning!
I am reading…
I have been reading a few parenting magazines & other super light reading lately. I really enjoy my Faith & Family Magazine. Also, check out my shared items in the right sidebar for some interesting articles from the Times (see doesn’t that make me sound sophisticated? It’s not just mommy blogs!).
I am hoping…
for a lighthearted, happy Valentine’s week. We have no big plans for Saturday, but I’m hoping to come up with little warm fuzzy ways to enjoy the holiday. A few weeks ago Amazon had a special on the entire series of Everybody Loves Raymond. We decided to get that for our gift to one another and have been enjoying watching the early, early episodes. I just love the simple humor and I’m a huge Patricia Heaton fan – she’s a spokeswoman for Feminists for Life!
I am hearing…
Sleeping Beauty – as a special treat, the big girls are watching Sleeping Beauty while Violet naps so I can finish getting some packages ready for the post office and finish this post!
Around the house…
there is still laundry to be done, toys to be sorted, dusting that is long overdue . . . we had two girls sick last week so not much housekeeping got done. However, we did spend a good chunk of the day Saturday on the garage and JR did an amazing job sorting through all the junk and clearing a huge space for projects & play.
One of my favorite things…
my new minivan. I don’t know how I survived without it!
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:
As usual, Livy will go to preschool Tuesday & Thursday morning. I have a pre-assessment at the Fitness Center Tuesday morning to get a record of where I’m starting from. I decided to go ahead and do the 14-week program they are offering with exercise & diet components. They will be meeting twice a week, but the director is really good about being flexible with me coming when I can (and participating from home when I can’t). Friday morning is the bilingual playgroup – I always take a wait & see attitude with this one because I never know what Fridays are going to be like. The only plan we have for the weekend is Mass on Sunday.
Here is a picture thought I am sharing…
Girls at Play

img_2276

Be sure to visit Peggy for links to more daybooks.

Simple Woman’s Daybook (2.2.09)

Monday, February 2, 2009
Outside My Window…
It’s going to be fairly warm & sunny again (almost 60). Apparently, this weather (strong winds, low humidity, and warm temperatures) makes for good fires so we are under a burn ban. It is also bulky trash week where the city collects large items (such as furniture, tires or appliances) so our neighborhood will be littered with all sorts of odds & ends that folks are getting rid of. And interestingly enough, there will be people driving through the neighborhoods looking for something useful. One man’s trash really is another man’s treasure!
I am thinking…
about the retreat I went to on Saturday and the wisdom I gained. I am thinking, especially, about the Holy Spirit and inviting Him to play a bigger part in my life.
I am thankful for…
three beautiful, healthy daughters. After a miscarriage and an ectopic pregnancy, I really didn’t believe I would ever have all of this. It can be a bit (okay even more than a bit) overwhelming at times, but I am grateful beyond words for the gift of these girls. And for their father who loves us so very much.
We are learning…
Violet is learning how to settle into a routine. More accurately, I am learning what Violet’s natural daily rhythm is – how many naps, when & for how long. Molly is also re-evaluating her routine. She is still on two naps a day, mostly because it works well for having to take Livy to school and pick her up, but I think Molly would be happier going to one longer nap so we are trying to figure out how to make that work. Olivia & Daddy have been working on letters this weekend. We inherited a great alphabet mat from Elizabeth & David that Daddy set up for the first time while I was on retreat. Livy has been picking up a letter & asking “What does O sound like?” ever since.
From the kitchen…
I am trying to build enthusiasm for planning meals for the week and writing down what I eat and calculating points. It was sorta fun the first week, and then really annoying last week. Tonight, we will have barbecue ribs (one of Liv’s favorites), later in the week I think we’ll try Grandpa A’s beef stew recipe, grill chicken breasts & maybe swiss steak. I need to do better at alternating the meals that produce leftovers with those that don’t so that everything flows more smoothly. A few more thoughts on Weight Watchers – in most cases, what I’m eating is not near as important as how much of it I’m eating. Also, the little useless foods here and there are really what adds up (the handful of teddy grahams I just ate comes to mind).
I am wearing…
whatever was clean – I need to do laundry!
I am creating…
Violet’s birth announcements in the hopes of getting them out by Valentine’s Day . . .
I am (still) going…
to focus on the 5 basic things I must do to be a healthy person in order that I might serve my family better – pray, shower, eat, exercise, & sleep. This week I’m focusing on sleep – strict bedtime of 10:30 is in place.
I am reading…
I realized that it wasn’t entirely true to say I don’t read much. Truth is, I just don’t read very much that is written on paper anymore. I read quite a bit online, most of which are blogs by other Catholic mothers (some of which are well-known authors and some of which are just my friends – and some who are both!). I find it easier to read blogs than books, it seems. Maybe because the posts are usually pretty short and I can quickly read a few for a little break. I’ve also gotten attached to the “characters” after reading the blogs for awhile and want to hear what they’re up to. And there is a sort of kindred spirit amongst us since most of them are home raising small souls, too.
I am hoping…
this is a good week – that little by little I can take steps to make our home more joyful, more beautiful & more peaceful.
I am hearing…
“Como te llamas . . . Me llamo Manuel . . . ” the girls are playing  CD on learning Spanish that they got from a kids’ meal. And, of course, Pandora which is back to my Nora Jones station.
Around the house…
there is laundry to be done, toys to be sorted, dusting that is long overdue . . .
One of my favorite things…
is my Catholic faith. It has always been a source of strength & comfort for me. The retreat on Saturday reminded me how natural it is for me to live my Catholic faith and how much I miss being actively involved in retreats, especially. I LOVED my days at SKY Camp and TEC. I miss those days. What a blessing it was to grow up in that environment.
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:
Once again, Livy will go to “school” Tuesday & Thursday morning. JR, Livy & I are all going to the dentist Tuesday afternoon (Livy’s first time!). I’m going on a mom’s night out Tuesday with my bilingual group. Thursday my Catholic mom’s group meets for prayer & social time. Friday morning is the bilingual playgroup – I always take a wait & see attitude with this one because I never know what Fridays are going to be like. This weekend is the Special Olympics Winter Games for Central Texas and as new donors this year, we’re hoping to go check out our dollars at work! Anyone want to join us? And, of course, Sunday we’ll be at Mass. Livy has started asking why we go to Mass on Sundays. My best answer so far is because God asked us to and because we love Him and want to receive Him in the Holy Eucharist.
Here is a picture thought I am sharing…

img_2253

Be sure to visit Peggy for links to more daybooks.