Monday, January 30, 2012

Anthropologie loafers to Artisan bread to scrubbing walls.

I just wanted to first confess my love for these Anthro loafers. I think I would wear these everyday. I'm torn between the polka dots and the zebra print...I love me some zebra print!

I just spent a half hour and almost a whole magic eraser cleaning my mom's walls from where Luke went on a pencil "drawing" rampage on Friday. He's now being taught to repeat "I can draw only on paper, I can draw only on paper..."
I got out of the house on Friday! It was momentous. The hubby and I got to go shopping a little. He has obviously been feeling sorry for me not being able to get out of the house for the last month or so to even consider shopping with me, but it was very nice of him! He quashed every attempt I made at buying anything white ceramic...

And I read Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day over the weekend (clearly there was no football and I was thus left with free time to not wallow on the couch). Now I'm totally pumped to become a bread making nerd! This book is so intense and talks about things like keeping your crumb moist. I sounds dirty...but I'm pretty sure it isn't and its just related to baking bread. So hopefully this week I can put this strange enthusiasm into practice...I'll let ya know!


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Racy ladies!

(photos by Kristen Schuller; as seen on a lovely being)

I had to post these pictures because of their sheer prettiness! I want to get dressed up and look this pretty and girly right now! Unfortunately my closet of silk dresses is not this extensive, and aren't the hats fabulous?? This spread was from the May 2011 issue of Tatler and entitled "Racy Ladies" which rather adds to the fun of it don't you think?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

My big pile o' Christmas books...

So I'm a little behind the times but I thought I'd post my haul of books I got for Christmas! 
I'm a sucker for books as Christmas gifts, mostly because I don't usually splurge on cookbooks or design books just because, and I get so excited receiving them as gifts! Here's the rundown:

A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms by Lisa Hendey. This book doesn't really need an explanation on why I'd want it, because any new book about saints is pretty much straight up my alley. This book includes 52 different saints and Lisa has written each chapter in such a way that you can focus on one saint per week and so far I really like it! Its nice to look at aspects of different saints lives as relates directly to motherhood, so far I've already been surprised at different ways saints can relate to me, yay!

 Catholicism: A Journey to the Heart of Faith by Fr. Robert Barron. My hubby gave this one to me and I'm looking forward to getting a chance to read it, its gotten rave reviews everywhere! Of course, I love everything Fr. Barron does...I'm a little obsessed. 

Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James. I've been looking forward to reading this book for a while now, I love P.D. James. I've started it, but since I get about 5 minutes to read every couple days I've been moving very slowly through it. Attention spans while getting little sleep and breastfeeding are microscopic! 

The Pioneer Woman Cooks by Ree Drummond. I'm the last person in the world to get this cookbook probably, and just when she's coming out with a new one. My husband also gave this to me...mainly because he loves eating her recipes.

Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. I wanted this book because I kinda don't believe this is possible. We're not the biggest bread eaters because, well, gluten is evil. But I like a challenge and who doesn't love homemade bread. I have no idea when I'll have time to put this into practice though!

The Perfectly Imperfectly Home by Deborah Needleman. Can't wait to read this cover to cover. I love vicariously designing...

Design*Sponge at Home by Grace Bonney. I'm a Design*Sponge nerd. And I don't care who knows it.

Remember how I'm in "survival" mode right now?? Well that means that it may be a while till I get some actual time to read, cook, and enjoy these books, but they're giving me happiness already seeing them on my shelves!

Friday, January 20, 2012

More Great Mothering Inspiration!

I just wanted to pop by and give some blog love to a couple more great articles written about the thrive/survive reality of motherhood. Over at Faith & Family Arwen Mosher has written a great article about thriving in motherhood and makes the great point that we should acknowledge how much we do during a day, and how we should not let the outside world define "thriving". 

This is a great reminder. I may not get all of my fantasy wants and desires fitted into my day, but chances are I've changed a lot of diapers, made some decent meals, and hopefully treated my kids with some love, kindness, and patience. Heck, somedays I feel accomplished by just the last on the list. 

Also; its good to set goals by priority of how you enjoy different things. Sometimes one of my daily goals is to do some reading. I'm a nerd. I feel better about myself if I get half an hour of reading in. Sometimes its cooking. I love cooking but hardly ever find time to devout to a new recipe, but if I make it a priority or a goal for just one day I can usually pull off some magic and get it accomplished. It really makes a great improvement to your attitude to do something you want to do and to actually get it done. Yes, these are little goals, but when you have small kids and are in the grind of the middle of the week these small things make a huge difference!

Over at Betty Beguiles Hallie writes a beautiful post on how the survival/thrive periods of motherhood can look a lot like the feasting and fasting seasons of the Church. I love the idea that as God calls us to extreme self sacrifice at different times in motherhood but also calls us to rejuvenation and joy at all times as well. I can testify to this and think its such an important reality that we shouldn't lose sight of. I really don't want to lose sight of the idea of different seasons in motherhood, because I've been in the trenches of pregnancy,birth, postpartum, nursing-repeat, repeat, repeat, for the last 4 years. Sometimes I swear there can't be anything other than baby and toddlerhood. But there are different seasons, keep telling me that!

Go read and have a wonderful weekend!!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Surviving the young days of Motherhood

Good Night Arthur J. Elsley

There has been two great articles written in the last couple weeks about being a mom and all the work and sacrifice it takes on a daily basis. Don't Carpe Diem written over at the blog Momastery talks about how it is an impossible ideal to always enjoy being a mom especially to young children. Her point is a good one, we can't always enjoy every single second like the old grannies tell us too, but we can appreciate and value the beauty that is our children and the gift of being able to raise them. Its a fine line of course, and usually for me the times where I look at my kids and wonder how I can possibly be the mother to such perfect beings is followed within minutes of screaming, demanding, and general chaos. In other words, being a mom to young kids can feel like you're somewhere between a never ending hard place and the most beautiful, comforting, and special place you couldn't even imagine. Its a place of severe opposites somehow co-existing. 

But just because it can be a super tough slog through the toddler years doesn't mean moms should have to sacrifice living a happy full life. Jennifer Fulwiler writes a great article about how moms of young kids shouldn't have to wait until the babies are school age in order to have goals and aspirations aside from their kids. She encourages moms to thrive instead of just survive. And speaking from the very depths of the "survival" mode right now, I have to agree!

The survival mode is a non-negotionable part of motherhood. I just can't imagine a mom not going through this at one time or another. It usually happens after having a baby, and you survive through the tough newborn stage of very little sleep and adjusting to a new person in your family. Survival to me means barely getting the dishes done and only the dishes done in the course of one whole day because the baby is crying so much, or taking care of more than one child on less than two hours sleep, or the fact that you don't have any other interest than finding more sleep. This time in life was super tough for me especially after the births of my first two babies. I remember thinking that this is what parenthood must be like-I was doomed for the rest of my life!

Thank goodness the survival mode doesn't last forever. Somehow over the course of a couple months newborn grow and somehow you can carve out time to do things that interest you, hang out with your older kids, and spend good quality time with the husband again. You slowly realize you can be a human being AND a mother. Its a revelation! 

I know some moms though that seem to buy into survival mode completely. They give up what interested them before babies, or cultivating new interests, stop trying to dress well, get out of the house, etc. etc. I wish everyone could know that even with small children not every goal, interest, and passion has to go by the wayside. Carving out time a little bit at a time to do something for yourself, or a hobby, or something thats just fun is possible! 

We all need a little encouragement in that direction from time to time. Sometimes the impossible tough moments take over motherhood and all else seems lost in the clouds of tantrums and diaper changing. We've got to keep reminding ourselves of the good moments in our days and keep the inspiration to continue what we enjoy through the tough toddler days!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Our Adventurous Weekend

Last night as we were getting ready for bed, at the late hour of 9:30 pm, my husband commented on how much he likes our "adventurous weekends". And I burst out laughing because we didn't even leave our house for the three days my husband had off. 

Our adventurous weekend involved lots of laundry, not so much sleep, and a house full of sick kids. Thursday night we shifted off getting up and cleaning up after each kid would throw up about every half hour. It was a heck of a night.

As the boys were sick again Friday night and Saturday night we spent the days taking care of sad babies and shifting off naps between the two of us. Our adventure was dramatically banding together to somehow keep our home afloat in a sea of sickness and laundry. Teamwork can somehow feel adventurous. Especially when you're working together for the sake of your little family.

In actuality our weekend really didn't seem that bad. We somehow both didn't become complete grumps, kept our kids somewhat happy (visits from grandparents helped out there as well), and fit in some of our favourite things to do like play board games on the iPad and watch a lot of football. You know you married the right person when you can spend a weekend cleaning up baby throw-up with someone and still have a good time! 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Life with a newborn-random thoughts.

People stay up all night for fun??!!?

First of all, lets just establish that staying up all night is not fun. My problem may be that no alcohol was involved in my couple of sleepless nights over the last couple days. There may be something to that...

This beautiful newborn stuff can be rough. So far he's a dream baby during the day and will sleep, nurse, poop without so much as a small cry. Then 9 pm hits and all he wants to do is cry in burpy agony. For about 6-8 hours. 

The thing is I'm terrible on small amounts of sleep. I become a huge emotional mess that hardly can get her own children a breakfast of cold cereal. I'm fearing giving this up-all-night stuff the name of "colic". I've had two colic-y babies who for about 6-8 weeks gave me very little sleep at night. Also with those two babies I had pretty brutal postpartum depression. So I'm scared of no sleep+feeling awful+trying to take care of 3 other babies and the newborn! I'm trying to take it one day at a time and not to imagine weeks of sleeplessness. But sometimes I imagine it and go cry in a hot bath. 

However(!), he's remarkably beautiful and changing already! Someone stop him! His face is growing chubby, he's already longer, and is moving and looking around more. He's so little and cuddly. I can't believe how much I forget about this beautiful teeny tiny stage! I had a teeny tiny newborn only two years ago, and yet its still such a new and exciting feeling to just hold a little bundle. 

And confession: I hate co-sleeping. How do people do it throughout toddlerhood? My guess is only through exhaustion. Max isn't even two weeks old and I'm already crossing my fingers this sleep thing can get better and I can have more than 6 inches of my bed! Ridiculous. 

Well, those are some random thoughts for the day. I'm off to cuddle and nurse the little munchkin and pray I'll get a couple hours sleep tonight! 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Baby is here!

Here's the baby!
We welcomed baby Maximilian Paul last Wednesday, December 28, 2011, at 6:55 am.
It was an amazingly quick labour that I still cannot believe happened-we made it to the birthing centre in the city with all of 25 minutes to spare! 
He arrived about 2 weeks early, but is perfect in every way and so far is sleeping like a dream, if not somewhat noisily at night. 
The kids love him and can't help but swarm him whenever his little eyes are open. 
I'm off to go wake him up and make him nurse!


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