Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Tom's cat Iive might be pregnant.....!!

Let me back up here with some explanation. Tom and I each brought one cat into the marriage. I brought beautiful, strong, masculine, and exceptionally-friendly Siamese kitty Lancelot (usually called Lance).
Sweet baby Lance

Tom brought the mischievous, clumsy, and biggest bully-cat in the world, Iive (prounounced ee-vay. It's Tom's Latinization of the word "jive").

Don't be fooled - she's a meanie

**commence rant against Iive**
I don't like Iive, and I never have. Which is odd, because I'm definitely a cat person. There's rarely a cat I don't like. She's so bad, though. She always ALWAYS get into stuff. If there's anything "new" in the house, she will climb on it, sit in it, open it, etc.. Before Sly was born, she kept sleeping in his crib, his cradle, and on his changing table. And leaving her gross orange fur everywhere. Tom claims she's just curious, but I know better.

And she's so clumsy! Cats are supposed to be the most graceful creatures around. I've watched cats walk across a chessboard in use, stepping carefully between each piece, and not knock over a single one. Iive can't even avoid picture frames on the mantle! Or perhaps she can, she just doesn't care to. Humph.

Every time I open the front door, she runs out. And then two seconds later - completely literally - she wants back in. SO ANNOYING.

And she's so mean to other cats. She HATES other cats. She beats up Lance ALL.THE.TIME. For no reason! She actually waits around corners to pounce on him. Luckily, Lance is stronger than her, and can defend himself. But I can't say as much for the cat she used to live with. When Tom had roommates, they had a tiny delicate little wisp of a cat named Eliza. Iive terrorized the poor thing so much that she wouldn't come out of hiding. Ever. She couldn't access the food or the litter box. She started losing weight and, well, going to the bathroom in places she shouldn't. They had to keep the cats living on separate floors of the house after that, with their own food and litter. As if they each had their own apartment!

And Iive doesn't like any people - except for Tom. She absolutely fawns over him. And he fawns right back. And it's annoying. I think Iive and I are like jealous women, fighting for the affections of the same man.
**okay, rant over**

Anyways. She's never been spayed. And yet she's never been pregnant. She's only been in heat a handful of times, unlike other unspayed females who do so much more often. Tom and I suspect maybe she's infertile. Or it could be that she's so mean to all the other male cats, that none of them want to touch her (hehe). And if she does manage to find a willing male while she's in heat, it's likely that all the male cats wandering around are already neutered. But both of us would love if she got pregnant. Because I LOVE KITTENS!!

Iive was in heat 3 weeks ago, and we saw her gallivanting outside with a black kitty. Now, for the past day or two, she's been acting differently. Much friendlier. She's even been coming to sit on my lap for pets. And she appears a touch pudgier in the belly. Maybe it's all just a coincidence. But my mind can't stop considering the possibility...

Cat gestation is about 2 months, so it won't be long before we know one way or the other. I was talking to Tom last night about how much I would love love love to have a litter of kittens in the house. I said, "you know, I think I'm more excited about the prospect of kittens than I was about the birth of my own baby." He gave me this look to say "wow, you are the most terrible person on the planet for just saying that."

But when I say excited, I mean in that girlish, gleeful, giggly way: "KITTENS!!!!" Of course - of course - a human soul is higher than a cat soul. The birth of my own child was a much more important and momentous event in my life than a litter of kittens in the house could ever be. But all my life I've hoped to have children. Planned for it, expected it to some extent. And then once I was pregnant, I still had nine months to prepare mentally. It was wonderful, but I was at least partially prepared.

But kittens? That would be a sweetly unexpected little surprise. Sly and I would spend all our free time just watching those soft fluffy squeaky little balls of happiness. And I would get so many cute pictures of my baby with the kitty babies. squeeeeeeeee!!

I don't want to get my hopes up too much, though. Iive might just be in a weird mood for some other reason. Anyways, it might be for the best if it didn't happen. I mean, if there were kittens in the house, this blog would probably turn into something that would better be titled: kittenskittenskittenskittensKITTENS!!!!.blogspot.com :-P

Monday, March 28, 2011

Stupid Mommy

And this is how I learned never to turn my back on a baby when he is sitting within reaching distance of a pile of important papers.

These are our federal income tax forms. Thankfully, out of everything in the pile, he chewed on the one item that was just a photocopy.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Someone Has Been Skipping His "Being a Husband: 101" Classes

As mentioned in the past few posts, I've been trying to weed out some excess stuff recently, in a late-start to a 40 Bags in 40 Days Lenten cleanout. I added a particular button-up sweater to the growing pile of giveaways this morning, but later started to have some second thoughts about it. I mean, it's a nice sweater. It's a pretty Spring Green color, and well-made. But it doesn't fit too well. It gapes open a little at the chest, and just hangs excessively all around the waist. I decided to let Tom be the final judge. I quickly tried it on again for him this afternoon, pointing out the problems I saw with it.

Me: "So...did I make the right decision to get rid of this?"
Tom: "Yeah. It makes you look fat."


Okay, I'm really not offended. I think he actually believed he was being helpful. But geez! Isn't that the number one thing all men are taught NEVER to say to their wives?!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Seven Quick Takes 3

1. Sly's personality is really starting to blossom now. Tomorrow, he'll be exactly 7 months old. Such a big boy already! He still has his moments, but he's no longer the perpetually fussy little fussman that he used to be. He now has long stretches of time where he is just happy, smiling, and completely pleasant. And he's such a joy to be around at those times!

2. One of my guilty pleasures is watching the show How I Met Your Mother. I never watch the new episodes. We don't even have cable. But on one of the five-or-so channels we do get, they show reruns in the evenings. It's a great way to unwind some nights after dinner. The show certainly doesn't always promote the best morals (definite promiscuity among certain characters), but the humor is very clever. And, I admit, I kinda have a little crush on Neil Patrick Harris (of Doogie Howser fame). But I'm married, and he's gay, so it wouldn't work out. haha

3. My late start to a "40 Bags in 40 Days"-ish house purging is going well! Yesterday, after posting, I dug around in a few of my high-clutter areas, and produced a nice-sized pile for giveaway. I'd say I could call it about five "bags worth." I finally have a friend who's expecting a baby boy (they've all been pregnant with girls recently!), so I'm going to give her all our excess baby stuff. And I went through all my jackets, coats, scarves, hats, gloves, etc. It makes me a little sad to give away certain scarves, etc. that I knit myself. I mean, I spent all that time on them....However, if I don't wear them anymore, they should go to someone who will, right?

4. On the docket for this weekend: Tom and I will do a major clean-out and reorganization in the basement. I can't wait :-)

5. Came across a great blog the other day, and want to share the goodness: Barefoot and Pregnant

6. I was reading the newspaper yesterday, and saw that there's a special event of sorts going on at the Clayton. This is the historical house of wealthy industrialist Henry Clay Frick from the late 19th century, and they give daily tours of the place. For the next month, they are giving a special focus to all the women of the family - Mrs. Frick and her daughters, and well as the maids and servants. It sounds very interesting. I mentioned it to Tom, and we're thinking of going.

7. Taking a tour of the Frick house was actually what we did on our first date....

And I just started typing up the explanation of how, after 5+ years of being "Just Friends", Tom and I finally arrived to going on our first date. But it turns out that that explanation was longer than is appropriate for a Quick Take, and I've decided to just save it for its own post somewhere down the line. Maybe.

Suffice it to say, despite being pretty sweet in its own right, the Clayton has sentimental value to us. So I want to go back there with my Honey! :-)

Seven Quick Takes hosted at Conversion Diary

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Housecleaning Hang-up

I really love the idea of a clutter-free, more simplified home. I feel a bit envious when I look at all the photos on other blogs of people's beautiful clean houses - where every item they own is intentional and purposeful.

Note: there are four embedded links above, for the curious!

The problem is, both Tom and I are natural packrats. We're both suckers for neat trinkets and good deals, and we are both extremely nostalgic. Neither of us can resist stopping at a garage sale, flea market, or thrift store when we pass by. And it's so hard for us to get rid of things later. Recently, I feel like I'm constantly donating bags of stuff OUT to the thrift store, only to have it replaced again right away!

And while we've definitely cut back on our shopping since our little budget crisis some months ago...I think that mindset of "save money!" has only reinforced our hesitation to get rid of ANYTHING. Because "you never know when you might need it," and who wants to go spend money on something that you already once owned?

Another problem I'm faced with is that Tom doesn't exactly share these purging urges that I'm hit with every so often. Maybe it's because he doesn't have to spend nearly as much time as I do in the house, and to LOOK at the clutter all day. I've shared with him the philosophy that you should only keep an item it you either:
1. Use it.
2. Love it.

There are many many things in this house which probably don't fit either definition. In my moments of strength, I am all for giving such things away. But Tom doesn't agree with this simplified solution. And I can't just get rid of stuff without the approval of my Other Half - it's his stuff too, afterall.

Even now, sitting at the computer desk, I see SO many little cluttered areas that are driving me mad!

It is impossible to fit the scope of our book collection in a single picture
Okay, let me say that I love love love that our family is big on reading, and that we own a lot of books. However...storing and displaying all those books is a challenge. Right now we have five full-height bookcases along the wall of our bedroom. Actually, on the far right, you can see it's actually two short cases just stacked on top of each other. How unclassy! And none of the cases match at all. In places, books are just jammed in where they can fit. And little knickknacks are stuck all over the place.

Tom really enjoys the look of this, but I can't help desiring a little more order. We also have another bookcase in Sly's room which is filled with children's books. I worry about what our book collection will become in future years. Especially if we homeschool, we are surely going to accumulate many more books. We already own more than most people.

When we were first married, Tom made what was a huge sacrifice for him, and let us give away an entire bookcase-worth of books. As nice as that was, it was such a small percentage of the total. I'd love to weed them down more, but it will be very difficult to convince him to purge again.

Then I look to my side of the room, and I see that it's not just Tom's fault! I have no excuse for the amount of clothing I own.

I'm sure I own over 50 skirts - do I really need so many?
Here's a peek into my bedroom closet (and the rod extends further in than you can see, so there are more items than this). I also have an entire bureau filled with clothes, and full plastic drawer-sets in my closet. This closet is large enough that it *should* be able to accommodate both my wardrobe and Tom's. But there's no way. I make him use the closet in Sly's bedroom (hehe).

But I will saw that the small pile of scarves on the ground are things I pulled out the other day for giveaway. Yay!

Sweaters and jackets in a heap, because the shelf in my closet is too high to reach, and I have to just toss things up onto it.

The sad thing is, I went through all my clothes only a couple months ago, and gave away two garbage bags full. And I'm still left with all this! I need to be stricter, don't I? I mean...I wash clothes often enough that I'm never at risk of running out of anything. So I just need to learn to get by with fewer options.

And here's one that really gets to me. Empty CD cases. What do I do with them? A lot of the actual discs are in CD binders right now. Should I hang on to all the cases, or throw them away? I have been puzzling over this for years.

It doesn't take much space store a few CD binders - and I could even keep the little booklets - while getting rid of all the bulky plastic cases themselves. But one day, might I want the cases? Let's say I wanted to resell some of the albums? Or my children wanted them (much as Tom and I have been given vinyl records by our own parents. I can't imagine NOT having the covers as well).

But then I ask myself, how often do I ever listen to an actual CD anymore? Never! As soon as I get one, I rip it immediately onto the computer, and listen to the songs via iTunes. We don't even currently OWN a functioning CD player! So is there a reason to keep the actual hard copy at all? I know it would be wrong to keep the mp3 versions of the songs, and resell the actual CD. But it also seems terribly wasteful to keep the electronic versions, and just throw away the actual CD....What to do, what to do?

Seriously, if anyone has advice about the CD thing, I really want to hear it!

~ In Conclusion ~
It's impossible for a house to be truly clean when there is so much stuff that it cannot possibly be organized well. I'm sorta wishing now I'd embarked on the 40 Bags in 40 Days Lenten Challenge. But I suppose it's not too late to start something now...I'll report back in a few days on how I'm doing.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

What the Heck? Carrots in March?

Yesterday afternoon, Sly and I went out into the backyard to survey the winter damages on our little garden patch. It's pretty bad...

Our Lady is probably shaking her head at this mess

Taking care of the garden over the summer while I was pregnant provided me with a nice diversion. But as I got bigger and bigger (it was my third trimester), it became more difficult to bend over to weed, harvest, etc. Not to mention that even being on my enormously-swollen feet was unpleasant enough. So the garden sort of went to pot towards the end of the summer (see previous post: The Miracle of (Plant) Life).

And then once Sly was actually born at the end of August? Well, all desire to tend to my garden was completely supplanted (no pun intended) by my desire to tend to my new baby.

While we were out there yesterday, I noticed a little orange head peeking at me out of the soil. I dug in to investigate, and sure enough, out came a huge whole beautiful carrot! In March! Then I realized that there were at least 15 more just like it. Laughing, I began to dig in with my bare hands, and had soon produced a nice little harvest of carrots.

My only guess is that they had ripened very late in the summer, in that time after the baby was born and I had stopped checking my garden. I didn't figure there would be any more carrots, since I had planted all the seeds at the same time, and already had a booming crop a few weeks earlier. I'm assuming these carrots just spent the winter out there, frozen in the ground. But the freezing seems to have preserved them well.

They clean up nice

We tasted them last night, and they seem fine. So I guess now I need to start drinking tons of my carrot juice again (see number seven)!

And I'll end this post with a cute picture of my little Muffin, enjoying his first real taste (literally! ack! Those plants in his hands went straight to his mouth right after I snapped this!) of the outdoors :-)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Spring Has Sprung!

"Spring, Sprung, Spring!" sang the frog.
"Spring!" said the groundhog.
"Spring, Spring, Spring!" sang the robin.
It was Spring.
The leaves burst out.
The flowers burst out.
And robins burst out of their eggs.
It was Spring.
In the Spring a bunny came down the road...

~ From one of my favorite children's books, Home For A Bunny, by Margaret Wise Brown
(also author of Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny)

It is a beautiful day outside! 66° and sunny! Sly and I are wearing short sleeves, and got to sit on the front porch for lunch. It is ABOUT TIME. Really, I'm very glad I live in a part of the country that has real winters with real snow. But after months of cold and dreariness, it's so wonderful to get warm weather again!

And I convinced Tom to take me contra dancing tonight!! I haven't been since...I was about four months pregnant. So I am very excited. For those who haven't heard of it, it's basically a type of folk dance where you have a partner and dance in two opposing lines. You do a lot of similar moves as in square dancing (swings, do-si-dos, etc.), but they each have their own contra style to them. There is a caller as well, telling you what to do. Each dance has a set, repeating pattern. Perhaps twelve different moves that repeat over and over (so after several times through, the caller just drops out, and you are expected to have it memorized!). And the music is great - fold music with fiddles, guitars, hammer dulcimers, and the like. Basically, contra dancing is lots of turning and swirling, and grabbing people's hands, and "giving" just the right amount of weight to keep the whole thing in motion.

And a perfect reason to wear your twirliest skirts!

Contra dancing is extraordinary amounts of fun. Tom doesn't completely agree, so it took lots of begging to get him to agree to come tonight. But he finally did! And a friend offered us free babysitting to boot!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

My little leprechaun

Luckily (is that a pun...almost?), it falls on a Thursday in the middle of the Ember Days this year. Which means...no abstinence from meat! The Husband is begging for corned beef and cabbage for dinner. I guess I should look up recipes...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Homemade Jewelry

My husband just loves being "handy" and crafty (crafty in a manly sense. He doesn't like knitting, scrapbooking, or those sorts of things!). I'm not sure whether he overestimates his talents, or if I underestimate them. But I do know that oftentimes, I'll admire something neat in a shop or maybe some architectural feature in someone's house (say, a carved wood fireplace), and Tom will say immediately, "I could make that." I always have some doubt about those statements. And for the most part, he's never gone so far as to actually make the thing he asserts he could make (usually because he claims, legitimately, he doesn't own the proper tools for the job). But still - I probably should have more faith in him...

Being limited in tools and materials to work with, and being interested in re-purposing everyday objects into something new and interesting, Tom occasionally fiddles around with little things down in the basement. He enjoys making me jewelry out of little bits and pieces. I think it gives him a goal and a purpose to his fiddling.

Recently, he's been trying to figure out a good way to make me some jewelry out of Blue Moon bottle caps. Blue Moon is THE one and only type of beer that I actually enjoy.

And look how pretty it is!

Last night, he left his latest prototype on the desk for me:

Yikes! This thing is SHARP. It would be like wearing a miniature deadly ninja star on my body. Plus, any jewelry on me these days is pretty much fair game for the baby's grasping little hands. No thanks!

I sent him back to the workshop :-) Hopefully, he comes up with something a little more practical next time.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Vintage Fisher-Price Toys!

This is what my dish rack looks like right now...Full of old-school Fisher-Price Little People toys!

Shortly after Sly was born, I was lamenting to my mom that the new versions of the Little People toys are not nearly as cool as the ones we had when I was a kid. And since all of ours are long-gone, I was sad we hadn't saved them. Well, Mom was nice enough to buy me (um, I mean Sly, of course...hehe) the Farm set on eBay! It's missing the silo, and a couple other minor pieces that I remember (hay bales, a harness for the horse), etc. But it came with about 8 cows, 5 horses, and 6 pigs - much more than the set originally did! So I guess that makes up for it :-)

Oh yeah! I think I'm definitely more excited to play with it than Sly will be.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Miracle of (Plant) Life

I planted some starter tomato seeds a week or so ago. I've been faithfully watering them everyday, without any sign of sprouting. I checked on them last night before I went to bed, and there was still nothing. But this morning, around 11:30, here's what I saw.

It's amazing how quickly they appear!

Two little green seedlings

I'm looking forward to planting our little garden again this year. I've learned from a few of last summer's mistakes. Most importantly, that you should separate your flower and vegetable areas! The flowers that I planted last year (hyper-engulfing morning glories, and much-too-tall wildflowers) completely overtook some of our vegetable crops.

Our garden, last August. Believe it or not, this is a picture of the fence.
The big lump covered in morning glories is the gate, which could no
longer open!

This year, I think I'll try to get morning glories to grow up and cover the fences along the side of the backyard (should not be difficult at all! And they're very beautiful once they start blooming), but leave the back of the fence vine-free, as that is where we've built our little planting boxes. The crop list so far is carrots, sugar snap peas, tomatoes, and lavender.

Part of last summer's "harvest"

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

New Design

I changed up my background design and the color scheme on here. Just felt like time for a change. Plus, it's been bugging me that the colors in my header photo clashed with the teal-colored background I had.

I found the new design at The Cutest Blog on the Block, if anyone's interested. They have a lot of nice ones to choose from.

I hope you are all having a good start to your Lent!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Overheard 3

We went out after dinner tonight to enjoy an all-you-can-eat ice cream sundae bar to celebrate Mardi Gras. Sly was sitting on the table, grabbing everything in sight, chattering, and being adorable - as always ;-).

An older woman walked past and started oohing and ahhing over the baby. She said that she used to have babies of her own: "PaulCatherineMichealLuke......" she rattled off eight or so names in about a second flat - as if it was just one big long name. "I had a lot of them," she said. "I'm not stupid. I'm Catholic."


Ok, so...I knew it would probably happen. That first day I gave him the pacifier. But at the time, all I cared about was getting him to calm down, and go to sleep - he had been screaming non-stop for over an hour, and it was 3 in the morning, and I was tired. We had been given at least five different types of pacifiers at my baby shower. I had decided that they were too easy to get addicted to, and maybe we should just steer clear of them (except at nighttime, if he wanted one...because of the whole SIDS thing...). But desperate times called for desperate measures. I glanced tentatively at my sleeping husband [okay, so I doubt he could have actually been asleep with all that noise. More like trying desperately to block out the screaming baby, while I took my turn with him], making sure he wasn't witnessing my little indiscretion. I slipped the pacifier into Sly's mouth....And it worked! Beautifully and magically, and so simply. Instantly calm baby. And then he fell asleep. And from that moment on, the pacifier was our new best friend.

He was so fussy those first few months. Tom and I told ourselves over and over that we'd made the right decision about giving him the pacifier. And Sly would get hungry, but get so worked up that he refused to take the breast. Feeding him was a perpetual challenge. Early on, we found that Mr. Pacifier was also helpful there. We could use it to calm him down just enough, and then quickly switch the rubber nipple out for...well, a real one. And he'd happily suck away.

So I don't regret the decision to introduce it in the first place. I really think it was helpful for us. But now he's six months old, and I'm starting to wonder...well, if we'll ever be able to break the habit. I've read that you should wean the baby of the paci sometime between six months and a year and a half (sources vary). Today, experimentally, I tried a few times to have Sly go about his day without putting in the pacifier for him, even when he wanted it. And it was bad! When he gets really worked up (which he does a lot), there seems to be no other way to calm him down. I'm probably giving in too easily. Maybe I should just make him go cold turkey? Put up with a couple awful days?

I think he's still a little young. I'd be okay letting him have the thing a while longer...but this is under the assumption that he will naturally become less dependent on it as he ages and learns how to better self-soothe. If longer time with it only strengthens his desire for it (and retards his ability to self-soothe)...perhaps it's better to start weaning him off it soon. I feel like information on this stuff is so biased to one side or the other, that it's impossible to get real advice. I need to know what real moms have to say.

So....anyone have experience with this at all??

Monday, March 7, 2011

Housekeeping "Cheats"

I expect that for the rest of my life, I will be always learning how to better care for my house, and keep it a peaceful and somewhat-ordered place. Right now, with only one child, I probably have more available time than I will in the future (hard to believe sometimes!), so my time to learn some of the "tricks of the trade" is really right now. Thus far, I've made the fortunate discovery of certain little "tricks" that require minimum effort but maximum effect. These little tasks that are very easy to do every day, but that make SUCH a huge difference to making my house feel ordered, and making ME feel minimally stressed when I glance around it! I like to think of these almost as "cheats," because they are such easy things to do, but bring about dramatic results. Here are some examples of what I mean.

Making the bed every day. This takes about 20 seconds. I don't have to tuck anything in, since Tom and I both hate sleeping with top sheets. I just put the pillows where they belong, and spread the comforter over the top. The bedroom looks 100% nicer because of it.

Keeping the shower curtain closed - all the clutter inside is hidden from view, and the colors of the curtain pick up the colors in the other (minimal) bathroom decor.

Living Room
Putting the throw pillows back to the corners of the couches, and keeping the coffee table empty of clutter.

-I've started to change my dish rag, that hangs over the kitchen faucet, each morning. So nice to have a fresh clean one every day!
-Washing dishes often during the day, to keep the sink mostly empty at all times (especially before bed)
-Wiping down the stovetop and counter right after cooking.
-Keeping the kitchen table empty of clutter.

I think the kitchen tends to be the biggest mess-attractor. Which is why I have to do more things in there to keep it feeling tidy.

If anyone else uses any similar daily cheats to keep their homes looking ordered - tell me about them!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Seven Quick Takes 2: Self-improvement Edition

1. I woke up early today! And surprisingly, I feel like a million bucks. When Tom gets up for work in the mornings, the sound of him getting ready always wakes me up a little. But usually just enough for me to be semi-conscious while he kisses me goodbye. And then I roll over and fall back asleep. But this morning, for some reason, we struck up a conversation about something or other. And then I realized that I needed to use the bathroom. And then once I was out of bed, I felt pretty awake, and decided I should just stay up. This was 7:00am, by the way. A respectable time to wake up!

2. I managed, this morning, to get work done for my cyber school job, shower, eat a leisurely breakfast while reading a book, tend to Sly's needs (feeding, changing, entertainment), do some laundry, go to Mass, take a walk, get a cup of coffee at a coffee shop, pick up a card for my cousin's bridal shower....all before noon! This needs to happen more often!!

3. I've come to an unpleasant realization recently: that I have definitely put on weight since Sly was born. I know, I know - it's to be expected that your body changes after you have a baby. But that's not what I mean. I mean I've been putting on weight since his birth. At my 2-week checkup after he was born, I was already back to pre-pregnancy weight. By one month, I was fitting back in all my old pants and skirts (dresses are a different issue. I still can't get most of them zipped past the chest!). But in the months since then, I've felt myself slowly putting on more and more weight. It didn't make sense at first. Everyone always talks about how breastfeeding is this *magical* way to lose the weight after having a baby. But then it hit me: it's because, while caring for Sly inside the house all day, I have become MUCH more sedentary than I used to be. I've been hardly walking anywhere ("Where would I go with the baby?", "Too cold to have him outside!"), and I definitely never go running anymore.

4. Now that the weather is finally improving, I've been trying to go out for a walk with Sly as often as possible. Even if it's just 20 minutes. It's nice enough just to get some fresh air, and sunlight. Vitamin D!

5. And Tom and I made a plan for these upcoming Spring weekends. We're going to drive to a different park around town each week, and take a long walk (and maybe picnics when it's nice enough).

From last weekend's walk in Highland Park

6. I've also noticed that I've been feeling tired and sapped of energy a lot. I know that's probably how moms feel most of the time (haha), but this was pretty bad. I'd been finding it difficult to get out of bed before 10! I brought it up at the La Leche League meeting I attended the other day, assuming the women would tell me that breastfeeding had that effect on people. But they all shook their heads, and explained to me that I shouldn't be experiencing the energy lack to such an extent. What it comes down to is, I haven't been taking great care of myself.

7. So to that end, I'm starting to pay more attention to my health. I'm trying to drink more water (especially important when you're breastfeeding). Also, I started taking the prenatal vitatmins again which I should have been taking all this time (the bottle says "for pregnant and lactating women"). Oops. The extent of my fruit/veggie consumption recently has been something like one glass of juice in the morning, and one serving of vegetables at dinner. Not enough for me, even. But - and I'm not sure if this is actually true, but it makes sense that it would be - I think my body might give priority of the the vitamins and nutrients to the milk for the baby. And when I don't eat enough of them, I'm left with hardly anything for myself! Which explains why I've been so tired. So, I'm trying to do better with that - eating more of the good, less of the bad. And I've been drinking homemade carrot-apple-parsley juice in the afternoons. It actually tastes pretty good, and is very good for you. It's energizing...and Sly loves it too!


It's nice that this urge to make some positive changes has come upon me right before Lent. I always find it rewarding to be able to connect such sacrifices to the Passion of Christ, and have the extra Lenten spirit helping you to examine your faults and give you the motivation to correct them.

Seven Quick Takes is hosted at Conversion Diary

Thursday, March 3, 2011

This One's For All the Four-Eyes

No, no one is paying me to say this...

If you wear glasses, you need to know about a fantastic website: Zenni Optical. I recently replaced my old, scratched glasses with a new pair from the site. My total cost? $15!

Frames AND prescription lenses = $10 (unheard of!!)
Added non-glare coating = $5

You canNOT beat that! And the prescription is perfect. It really makes you wonder about those $200 pairs that the eye doctors sell you. Obviously, someone is making a killing on the sale of glasses. They don't have to cost that much. Kind of like how movie theaters sell you five cents worth of pop (a.k.a. soda) for $5...

They have almost 3000 different styles to choose from. And there's a neat "frame fit" feature where you can upload a photo of your face to "try on" the glasses you are interested in.

Tom was my guinea pig for buying them this way. Over a year ago, I had convinced him that he should be the brave one to try buying a new pair of glasses from Zenni. And here's the ones he got:

This is such a dumb picture, but the best view of his glasses I could find! They've served him well for a year, so when I had my recent eye appointment, I made sure to ask the doctor for a copy of my prescription. And here are the glasses I picked.

It's a little difficult to tell from the picture, but YES - though are rhinestones in the corners! And the sides are decorated with a zebra-stripe pattern. I love them! Since the glasses were so inexpensive, we both decided to be more adventurous in our choices. And I'm glad I was.

So keep it in mind! Even if you already have perfectly functional glasses, maybe a second "fun" pair could shake things up :-)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Mardi Gras Plans

So we're hosting a Murder Mystery Party at our place on Saturday. I've never done one of these, but they always sounded fun. Tom's sister gave us a kit for Christmas, and since it's a Mardi Gras Murder, we've decided to hold it this week.

You have to assign a role to each of your eight guests before the date of the party. This way, they can all have a chance to 'get into character', as well as to piece together an appropriate costume. As I was deliberating over who should be who (and it took me much more time than it probably should have), I was having a particularly tough time assigning the female roles. Mainly because one of the characters was described as being "trashy and trampy." Since all three women who we invited are good, devout Catholics, I figured it would be pretty difficult for anyone to find something in their wardrobe that could suggest "trampy," while still being appropriately modest enough to wear around the guys! Also...having to be that character? Embarrassing!

So I decided to make myself the martyr. ha ha. I assigned the role to myself, figuring it would be mean of me to make one of the guests have to take it on. I still haven't really thought about what I'm going to wear. But I did inform my mother that I would be over this week to raid her closet because I need an outfit for "a party" I'm going to [guilty smile]. My mother, bless her, has always been my source of crazy clothing and accessories for every Halloween costume or other crazy-outfit need I have had through the years.