Monday, March 29, 2010

Reasons to Wake Up Early

I thought I'd share this post from Simple Mom with you.

I honestly don't know what I'd do without my mornings to myself. Well, I do, actually. When I don't get this important time, I find myself short-fused, scattered, tired, and unmotivated. I've even been known to put Clare back to bed if she wakes up before I'm ready for her. :)

Friday, March 26, 2010

7 Quick Takes

1. My silent retreat last weekend was AWESOME. James was a trooper and was pretty quiet the whole time so I was actually able to listen to most of the meditations (albeit from the back of the Chapel standing up with James in the Ergo).

2. A resolution from my retreat: rely more on God's grace than my own abilities, especially in the arena of patience. Left to my own devices, I inevitably react to situations rather than respond with patience and charity. This means that I need to pray expectantly,trusting that God desires me to respond with charity even more than I do and that He will grant me the grace to do so when I need it. When I pray for a virtue (patience) I have to act as though He's already given me the grace that I desire.

3. Have you ever noticed that whenever anyone begins a sentence with, "No offense..." or "With all due respect..." they usually proceed to say something that they know will give offense and often times lacks respect? Note: this is not a trend I've noticed personally, but it happens a lot in movies! :)

4. I was thankful that while Tom was in Japan and working 12 hours through the night our little James learned to fall asleep on me in the Ergo as I took care of the house and Clare. It made it sooooo much easier while I was on retreat because he was used to falling asleep with me moving around, not just at home in his bed with the lights off, etc. I'm trying to find the balance right now between a good routine and being flexible with the babies' (especially Clare) bed and nap times.

5. I've got strawberries - lots of them - thanks to our friends Steve & Rose. I'm so excited to find a good spot to plant them so they won't take over, and Clare enjoys taking care of them and watering them. I'm also on the lookout for a few low-bush blueberries that do well in our zone. I noticed that Fred Meyer has them on sale right now, but I'm not sure if they're low-bush or high-bush. I don't want a hedge of blueberries in our front yard! Home Depot has them on sale too, but they're not the best variety for our zone here. Hmmmm...

6. (Hopeful) Spring/Summer project for the Herring family: rebuild our deck. Our goals are: 1)replace the one that is falling apart, and 2)have access to the back yard. Seriously, who builds a house with a deck out the patio door and doesn't put STAIRS on the stupid thing so you can get to the yard???

7. Tom and I are changing insurance policies right now. This entails someone coming to our house tonight to do a short "physical exam" here in our living room. I'm not quite sure what to expect.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Check out these little numbers

I have been working on organizing all our photos and noticed that I have a TON of pictures of Clare's crazy outfits. Here is a sneak peek in to the life of our little fashionista:

Friday, March 19, 2010

7 Quick Takes

Shannon and I are going to a 3-day silent retreat following St. Ignatius's Spiritual Exercises this weekend, and I'm going to be busy packing and getting myself and James all ready to go, so this week's Quick Takes are going to be quick indeed.

1. Happy Birthday, Shanny! Today is my dear sister's birthday. Love you, Shan.

2. Please pray for all the ladies who will be on retreat this weekend - there are about 60 of us going!


Couldn't resist snapping a picture of Clare snuggling with her Jesus in her sleep.


The obligatory "kids on the couch" picture. We had so much fun having Kristine and Avila here to play while Mary and the boys were visiting. You'll notice that Clare and Avila are wearing "princess outfits." :) Clare still wakes up and asks for "Miss Kristine and Avila coming to play." We need to make that happen again, Kris!


We love having Nichole and Marc here! Clare LOVES them both, as you can see by her snuggling right up on the couch with them after her bath. They are awesome, and so patient with us - even with Tom ending up having to work overnight and me falling asleep nursing James before I could get their beds set up (sorry guys!). Imagine my horror when I woke at midnight and realized that I'd left them out in the living room to fend for themselves. They were so gracious and happily left the couches and went to beds once I moved Clare out of her room for them.


Is Clare ready for summer? She doesn't seem to understand how it can be so sunny but not be the time for setting up the swimming pool out in the back yard. She is wearing not one, not two, but three swimsuits here, complete with a sun hat. That's my girl.


A couple of weeks ago, around the 5-month mark, we decided to start experimenting with James and some rice cereal just to see if he was in to it or not. He wasn't. So I would try to give him a little tiny bit every now and again just to see when he was ready. This past week he started really showing interest - gobbling it down like I'd been starving him for the better part of 6 months!

Monday, March 15, 2010

I needed this yesterday

One thing I've learned is that God has a real sense of humor when it comes to answering prayers like, "Lord, please increase in me the virtue of patience." (humility is another killer, too) He's all to happy to provide AMPLE opporutnity for you to put that virtue in to practice.

Yesterday was one of those days for me. I'd decided to wait up for Tom to get home from work watching episodes of BBC's Robin Hood (and yes, I realize how stupid that sounds now that I type it out). Tom had been working overtime (night shift) for the past few weeks and our shedules have just been completely opposite, and I was beginning to feel like I never saw my husband, so I thought it would be great to be awake instead of dead to the world when he got home at 2 AM. Thanks, daylight savings - I thought that maybe he'd get to come home an hour earlier since the time was changing. Not so. :/

Anyway, because of my Robin Hood watching/waiting up for Tom I only got about 4 hours of sleep.

Then, for some unknown reason, Clare chose yesterday to assert her independence in a number of ways that sleepy Mommy found extremely challenging. The worst one for me? Screaming for 2 hours while I was hoping that she'd take a nap so that I could lie down as well.

Then today, along came this post from Simple Mom. Very timely.

Friday, March 12, 2010

7 Quick Takes

1. Some of our favorite rainy day activities:
- Creating landing pads for "cannonballs" off the bed or the couch
- Jumping on the beds while singing "5 Little Monkeys"
- Donning our "rainbow coats" (what Clare calls her raincoat) and going for a walk in the rain
- Finger painting
- Making "tents" around the house
- Chasing each other around the house
- Going to the library
- Dancing around the living room to The Wiggles

2. I've been reading a book called "It's So You" that starts with the fact 90% of American women only wear 25% of their wardrobe and sets out ot help you discover your three elements of style (body type, style personality, and color palette) in order to purge the things from your closet that simply don't work BEST for you and to be purposeful about buying clothing, shoes, accessories that you'll be crazy about and that will be truly flattering. I've loved simplifying, and to be honest, I've been a little surprised to find that the color palette that works best for my skin tone is completely different than what I thought. It's been fun!

3. Things to do while a movie is playing other than watch:
- laundry
- play with the babies
- clean the kitchen
- make dinner/lunch
- tidy up the toddler mess
- change diapers
- nurse James

4. Having two little ones around now, I feel like I have truly embraced multi-tasking. The other night I nursed James, made dinner, got Clare busy fingerpainting, and returned a phone call at the same time.

5. The other night Clare hauled off and bit James. She's never been a biter; I don't know what possesed her to do this. I had to really fight the urge to bite her finger back, but instead I just locked her in her room for a time out and settled James down. She apologized and I think she felt really badly for hurting her baby brother - he was sure crying. Not 5 minutes later, I was getting the bath ready and had put James on my bed for literally 30 seconds while I started the water, and the poor little guy got his head stepped on! Clare had lost her balance trying to turn on our ceiling fan while standing on the bed. Rough night for James.

6. Tom's working crazy hours these days. It's hard on me and the babies - we miss him! But I'm trying to keep a good attitude about it all and be thankful that Tom is a hard worker and always, always, always says yes to overtime when it's available.

7. Mary and the boys are heading back to Louisiana tomorrow. :( We're going to go play this afternoon when Clare wakes up from her nap. It's been great having them here!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tom's picks

Random, I know. Just wanted to share with you a few websites I get a lot of use out of these days. Maybe one or two will be helpful/enjoyable to you too.


Catholic Answers. Perhaps the single greatest Catholic resource on the web. Click on the Radio link at the top and browse 10-years' worth of shows on just about every topic you can think of. Or read past issues of This Rock magazine. The Faith Tracks list under the Library tab is another excellent one-stop-shop for solid answers (and dozens of Early Church Fathers' quotes) to offer skeptics and critics of Catholicism. The Catholic Answers Forums is yet another excellent source of information, especially when it comes to more day-to-day, practical questions.

Scripture Catholic. If you need a good Bible verse (or 30) in support of a Church teaching, this is the place to go.

Dave Armstrong. An impressive one man show, Dave has an incredible amount of apologetics articles and debates uploaded to his site.

Off the Record. As I understand it, Diogenes is a pen-name for multiple contributors. The commentary on current Church affairs, however, is unparalleled. (The Catholic news section of the website is not too bad either.)

WDTPRS. Fr. Z will keep you abreast of Church matters, especially liturgical.

Whispers in the Loggia. For those of us dying to know replacements for phony-Mahony and +Brunett.

Our Lady Star of the Sea. Hey, it looks a lot better with the new facelift than before. And I've even spent some time contributing to it. The Life Teachings and Common Questions pages under the Catholic Resources tab at the top were compiled by yours truly. ;)


Drudge Report. Sure beats the alphabet channels.

Ann Coulter. Hilarious. (Her books are even better; just be sure to order them through Amazon so you can save a few bucks and, even better, don't have to put up with the dirty looks at Barnes & Noble.)

Pat Buchanan. When you want to know how bad things really are. Just make sure you have your Prozac handy.


Dave Ramsey. Real debt help.

My Money Blog. Good tid-bits, and Jonathan keeps you in-the-know about a lot of financial questions. Almost forgot this one, even though I check it at least weekly. If you have multiple accounts (checking/savings, money market, 401k, home loan, school loan, credit cards, etc.), this is a wonderful, free way to keep track of them all in one place, with one password. All of your accounts update automatically when you log in to mint. It has other nice sorting and tracking features so you can see where every dollar is going. If you're already using Quicken or something similar, it probably is not worth switching. But if you find yourself having to dig up paper-statements, or memorize 12 different passwords to check on balances, you might want to set up an account with Mint.

Google Finance. I've tried a few different stock market trackers, and Google just seems simplest to me.

The IRS. Just kidding!


Google Docs. Kind of like my cell phone; not sure how I got by without it. If you've never used it, get a google account and try it out. It's quite handy to have Excel spreadsheets and Word documents stored online, share-able with others, and accessible where ever there is an internet connection.

Google Calendar. Handy for the same reasons as Google Docs. Carrie can add stuff to the calendar from home and I can check it at work. Or vice-versa. You can also have it send you text message reminders, if that's your thing. (I tried it, but eventually turned that feature off.)

Anyway. Just thought I'd share.