October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween from........

a pretty princess ballerina and a serious little kitty cat!

And at "school" yesterday, Hattie and her classmates celebrated Halloween a day early with an animal parade. Here's my little piggy after the parade.

It was entirely impossible to get a shot of all the "little animals." This is the best I got (or I should say the best another mommy got since I had a bad mommy moment and forgot my camera):

Now it'll be interesting tonight to see how H. does with trick-or-treating since she is in the fearful, everything is scary, stage. I'm sure the first kid in costume that we pass will be the end of our trick-or-treating jaunt!

October 29, 2008

All About Sean

I saw this on Amanda's blog and thought why not! I'm always blogging about the babies, so here's a little somethin' about the hubster, the one who makes it possible for me to be able to blog in the middle of the day whilst mi bebes nap!

All about Sean:

1. He is sitting in front of the TV, what is he watching?Football, a prison documentary, or some old 80s movie
2. You are out to eat, what kind of dressing does he get on his salad?
He usually goes for a Caesar salad but Ranch would be his dressing of choice on a regular salad.
3. What’s one food he doesn’t like?most vegetables
4. You go out to a bar, what does he order?
Vodka Cranberry
5. Where did he go to High School?Richland and Newton
6. What size shoe does he wear?um, not sure…….maybe 11?
7. If he were to collect anything, what would it be?books about Catholicism or books written by other Catholics (he already has a bit of a collection!)
8. What is his favorite sandwich?peanut butter with grape jelly on soft white bread, and he insisted that only his mother could make them for him until about 2 years ago (eye-rolling).
9. What would he eat every day if he could?He HAS to have coffee everyday. He would eat ice-cream every day if not for all the calories, I think.
10. What is his favorite cereal?Life or Frosted Mini Wheats
11. What would he never wear?
those skinny jeans that young guys are wearing now. He hates them.
12. What is his favorite sports team?AGGIES
13. Who will he vote for?
14. Who is his best friend?best guy friend – it’s a tie between his brother and Andy, I think.
15. What is something you do that he wishes you wouldn’t do?Without a doubt, it’s NAG him.
16. How many states has he lived in?3 – Kansas, Maine, Texas
17. What is his heritage?He’s a European mutt
18. You bake him a cake for his birthday, what kind of cake is it?
chocolate cake with white icing.
19. Did he play sports in high school?Nope. His parents wouldn’t let him play football, which he swears is the only mistake they made as parents (pretty nice, I think ). He played drums in the band, and (so you can get acquainted with his inner nerd) he still loves to watch marching bands on t.v.!
20. What could he spend hours doing?
What DOES he spend hours doing? Watching Aggie football or defending Catholicism in the blog-world.

October 24, 2008

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

I just typed this recipe out in an email to a friend who wanted it, so I thought I'd post it on the blog as well. Y'all, this bread is GOOD! It's definitely not low-fat, but just do what I do: bake it, taste it, and then give it all away before you inhale both loaves :).

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread
1 can pumpkin
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup oil
1/2 cup cold water
3 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
3 cups sugar
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 cups chocolate chips

Combine pumpkin, eggs, oil, and water. Mix flour, baking soda, sugar, spices, and salt in separate bowl and then add to pumpkin mixture. Mix well. Fold in chocolate chips. Place batter in 2 well-greased loaf pans and bake at 350 for 1 hour or until done.

*I had to bake mine for almost an hour and a half before they were done. Just do the tooth-pick test since every oven is different.

Fun Facts Friday

I know I’ve been bad about updating the old bloggy blog. We’ve been busy and sick on and off. Not the best combination, I know. So here are some little factoids to update my faithful readers:

1.) Sean got a new (used) car.

After a stalling/smoking incident with the ol’ Honda on his way home from work one day this week, we knew it was time to move on and find something more reliable. Only having one car payment was good while it lasted, but having hubby in a safe car is mucho importante! And car pooling is just not an option in our life right now.

2.) I have pink eye. You know, that annoying infection you got in your eye when you were like 5? Yep, I have that. Neither of my kids nor Sean have it, and I’m hoping to keep it that way, so washing my hands is my new favorite hobby. I have no clue how I got it, but this is just another indication that I have the lowest immune system EVER. Giving my babies my immunities is definitely not the main reason why I nurse.

3.) Hattie has started calling me “Moms” and “Mamaria.” She has started calling her daddy “Uncle Sean.” Weird.

4.) Mary Ellen slept through the night two nights in a row this week, and by slept through the night I mean 7 p.m. to 7 or 8 a.m. Can I get an AMEN! Of course I know that this is not permanent, but I hope it’s a promise of what’s to come in the not so distant future EVERY night!

5.) I’m in the midst of two really awesome bible studies right now. One is with other moms in my church, and we’re studying the Dignity of Women. It’s very challenging for me but so rich in showing me how to be a good Catholic wife and mother, and I absolutely love that I’m developing relationships with about 12 other moms of young ones at my church. This group is an answer to a long prayed prayer.

The other study is Kelly Minter’s No Other Gods. I love it because it’s less challenging than my other study but still chalked full of stuff that I definitely need to hear, and I love the group of girls I’m studying it with – old friends, new friends, some married, some single, women of different faiths, but all strong Christian girls. And one of my fave things about this book is that Kelly has yummy recipes at the end of each chapter. Nourishment for the body and soul!

That’s about it for now. Happy Friday!

October 14, 2008

Taggin' Along

I saw this summary of life on my sister-in-law's blog this morning, so I thought I'd play along.

Where I was 20 years ago (sorry no pic for this one)
I was 7, soon to be 8, livin' life in Mrs. Smith's 2nd grade class. The only thing I remember about school that year is that I got my name on the board for the first time for talking, and I cried hysterically. My perfectionism and need to abide by all rules was already deeply rooted, I guess.

Where I was 10 years ago

I was a senior in high school. It was still fall, so maybe senioritis hadn't completely hit me yet. I was on drill team, so my life was full of practice after school, football games, pep rallies, and lots of katty behavior with some of the 50 other girls on the team. And at some point during my senior year, my best friend would show me her cousin's senior picture, and I would gush inside about how cute he was. Little did I know I'd be marrying him in about 5 years. :)

Where I was 5 years ago

I was 22, engaged, and soon to be married. It was the best and worst time in my life. Hard for reasons I don't wish to share but wonderful, too, because Sean and I were so excited and infatuated and in love. We would spend afternoons dreaming about our life together. He would kiss me and my toes would tingle. We had no money at all, but we were "Livin' on Love," like the song, and we couldn't wait to graduate in December and get married two days after Christmas.

Where I was 3 years ago

Our first home
I was 24; Sean and I were living in our first house, and I say this a little bitterly, but I was the skinniest I had ever been. Sean's job was forcing him to travel a lot, so I was busying myself with working out all the time and teaching 2nd grade. My ability to buy size 2 and 4 pants would last only one more month when I would find out that we were pregnant with our first blessing.

Where I was 1 year ago

She looks like such a baby!
One year ago today was the end of a very, very hard year for me. We closed on our house in mid-October and were moving back here from living in Dallas for a year. That year in Dallas was hard and lonely for me, definitely the most depressing year of my life to date. Luckily, I had a sweet baby who turned into a toddler that year, and she and Sean kept me going. I never want to move away again, and I have never been so thankful and praised God so heavily as when I found out that Sean had an opportunity at work to move close to family again.


Sean and I are hitting the 5 year mark of our marriage, and we have been blessed with two beautiful girls. God has been good and merciful to us. We still feel like we're "Livin' on Love," with not a whole lot to spare at the end of the month, but I'm so proud of Sean's efforts at work, and I am so thankful that I'm able to stay home with our girls thanks to his efforts. We are back near family, we have good friends, and we love our church. Our family is in the midst of many blessings right now.

I hope that tomorrow will look a lot like today. Sean and I may or may not still be in this house, but I imagine a house filled with little souls intrusted to us to protect, teach, and care for on this earth. People always ask me how many kids I want. Honestly, I don't know. I pray for more. I know Sean wants a son :), but we're just taking it one at a time, and since Mary Ellen is so easy and precious, it makes me want more......

That was FUN! Now it's your turn!

{2 Months}

Look who turned 2 months old yesterday!

We went to the doctor this morning for Mary Ellen's two month check up. She is a whopping 11 lbs. 12 oz (75%) and is 22 and 1/4 inches long (50%). I looked at Hattie's chart when we got home to compare the girls at two months, and while their length was the same, Hattie was only 10lbs. 5 oz. at 2 months old. Yep, someone sure enjoys breastfeeding!

Mary Ellen, you are turning out to be such a mild, sweet baby. The second most common comment that everyone makes about you is that you are so cuddly, and you are. The most common thing I hear is always about your craaaaaaaazy hair.

You are cooing and smiling so much, and it just melts my heart. My favorite is your big, open mouth, toothless smile accompanied with your flirty eyes. Your daddy and I turn to mush when we see that combination.

You are actually enjoying time awake that is not spent in my arms now. You are content anywhere I put you, the swing, playmat, floor, bouncer, for atleast ten minutes before you remind us that you would rather be held. The swing is your favorite. You'll hang out in that thing for quite a while these days.

You are a good sleeper, sleeping 6-8 hour stretches at night. You even gave me a ten hour stretch two nights ago. And you usually take 2-4 hour naps at a time.

I love you, my sweet baby girl, and as you sleep in your crib right now, I am fighting the urge to just go in there and pick you up and rock you forever and ever because I know this sweet infant time will pass so quickly, and I will miss it so much with you, and that makes my heart ache a lot. I love you, my precious Mary Ellen.

October 9, 2008

Hattie, the Story-teller

Hattie loves when I tell her stories. Sometimes I tell her traditional ones, and other times, I just make up silly ones, usually about her or me. Today I asked her to tell me a story. This is what she told me:

Once upon a time there was a Hattie named little girl and princess, and she got in trouble and got in time-out. The End.

Yep, that pretty much sums up what consumes our days here:
princesses, getting in trouble, and time-out

And, as a side note, the former reading teacher in me is so proud of my baby for having an introduction, problem, and conclusion in her story. She even has character development. Now we just have to work on plot and detail a little more......:)

October 6, 2008

Mary Ellen's Baptism in pictures

I'm tired. I've had a long Monday, but before I hit the hay, I wanted to post a load of pictures from the baptism yesterday. My sweet girl did such a good job, not making a peep during the ceremony, and she looked like such an angel in her dress. Her big sister did pretty well. She, unlike her sister, made quite a few peeps during the ceremony but overall, did great and looked pretty in pink, I might add.
The cake

The angel

The peeper

Our family

With the deacon who officiated

The godparents

The grandparents who attended

All of the kiddos at the ceremony (minus Luke's head and Gracen). They were all surprisingly good and quiet considering their number and ages.

Mother and daughters shot

Two of the aunties

And now our sweet Mary Ellen is born again! (John 3)

October 3, 2008

Friday, Oh How I Love Thee!

Yes, even stay-at-home mamas love when Fridays roll around. Or maybe it's ESPECIALLY stay-at-home mamas love when Fridays roll around. By Friday I am ready for a break from everything - cleaning and laundry (I do neither on the weekends), cooking - I don't do much of this, though, I manage to do more eating than during the week thanks to my mama who loves to cook for us and my in-laws who like to take us out on Friday night, and kids - Sean is really good about giving me time to myself on Saturday if we don't have much going on.

This Friday is especially fabulous because both girls are asleep right now, and the icing on the cake is that they both put themselves to sleep.

Yes, Miss Mary graduated to a self-soother last night when hubby and I decided that it was time for her to sleep in her own bed. And the most amazing thing about it is that she only fussed for 15-20 minutes when we put her down and then another 15 after her 2 a.m. feeding. That's nothin' compared to her big sister who would cry until I gave up and couldn't take it anymore. The difference: colic. I almost hate to type this in fear that it will change instantly, but Mary Ellen has a MUCH EASIER temperment than baby Hattie. And I hope she stays that way. Gulp.

Hattie is enjoying being back at school. She didn't cry at all when I dropped her off yesterday and was squealing when I picked her up. She even asked me if she could go to school today when she woke up this morning. I think she got in trouble for the first time yesterday because when she got in the car, she said, "Mrs. Johnston was mad today." I said, "Why was she mad?" She responded, "Hattie, better eat your lunch!" Yes. I know. My child has turned into a bit of a pokey eater, so my conclusion is that Hattie was pokin' at lunchtime.

She's started pokin' with everything these days, so mama, and I think Miss Johnston, are trying our best to be patient yet firm with her.

So anyway, I'm glad it's Friday. And this Friday is especially special beyond the simultaneous naps because I get to have brunch with girlfriends tomorrow, my nephew has his one year birthday party on Saturday, and best of all, my little Mary Ellen is being baptized on Sunday. So be ready for pictures on Monday, a day that I don't especially like, but hopefully posting fun pictures from the weekend will make it more bearable.

Have a great weekend!

Wisdom From the Pope

“The inalienable dignity of every human being and the rights which flow from that dignity - in the first place the right to life and the defense of life - are at the heart of the church's message." Pope John Paul ended his address, saying: "In spite of divisions among Christians, 'all those justified by faith through baptism are incorporated into Christ...brothers and sisters in the Lord.'" Pope John Paul 2