Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Answer Me This - Homes, Spicy Crickets, Messy Vans

We are still here I promise... 

1. How long have you lived in your current home?

We've lived in our house now for almost 3.5 years. When I tell people that we accidentally bought it and really didn't mean to be moving when I was 37 weeks pregnant I'm not sure if they believe me.

We stumbled across our house the Saturday after Thanksgiving when we were driving through parts of the county we knew we would like to live (aka not in the city with the CRAZY taxes and public utilities rates). This house was our last stop on the tour. We had seen neighborhoods we liked but not houses we both agreed on. Then we turned onto the street an saw this house and we both had an "Ah ha" moment.

The following Saturday we were touring the house plus two other houses that were both walking distance from it - because we just HAD to see the one house and we didn't want to waste the listing agent's time. The house wasn't perfect but it did have endless - and I mean endless - amounts of closets and storage (one of our major issues with the house we were living in), a HUGE mudroom, 3 bedrooms downstairs which left room for Papa to have an office upstairs, plus a bonus room over the garage which we knew immediately would be the chapel space. We were pretty much placing our furniture. And the other 2 houses just weren't making the makes in fact the last one literally gave Lee and I the creeps - when house hunting bringing some Holy Water to douse any necessary houses.

Well the Saturday after walked through the houses we were signing the dotted line. No joke. We were staying with my parents that weekend and we actually had to drive back to the Mount to sign the contract so it could be officially under contract.

Then we moved 3 weeks before R was born so basically I was responsible for nothing. If you want to have nothing to do with moving then move when you are pregnant - and really pregnant. Having a fantastic husband and mother in law really helps too though.

We've done a few things to the house since we've moved - here's some before pics and here's more after pics - but our house is such a great house and we happen to have some really great neighbors too.

E will tell us that she never wants to move from this house which is so nice to hear especially when I have to spin - the reason Papa works these insane hours over the summer is so that we can live in this house.

We actually went back to our old house a few weeks ago and we were all standing there - it was the first time R and M had been in the house - and I looked at Lee and asked "Can you imagine if we still lived in this house?"

There was a resounding 'No' plus he pointed out he literally would not be able to do the studies/reading/writing he is doing in that house because there wasn't the space. Funny how God (in retrospect) puts you EXACTLY where you need to be. 

2. How do you find out about news and current events?

I check out the local news station's site and CNN.com a few times a day. I TRY and stay up for the 10 pm news but Lee complains that I have the TV on and I rarely ever actually make it to the weather part - but it is kind of our running evening joke. 

3. Would you be able to make change for a twenty right now? For a dollar?

Heck no for a $20. Probably for a dollar if I was in the van and only because one time when my mom (yes, I am ashamed to say) cleaned out the van she put a tiny tupperware container in the ashtray (do they still call them that???) and that houses all my change.

My mom and I have VERY different philosophies regarding car organization - which I respect especially if she is the one who is using the van but I refuse to change my ways. She is a minimalist. I am a realist. She wants to see as little mess/stuff whatever in the car possible. I, well, need random jackets, socks, papers, shoes, books, High Fives... etc there just to survive.

Okay USUALLY it is not that bad but we do have another body a carseat and we are about to have another so... but you get the point - we have the potential...

Case in point, last night we went to church - Hello Sts. Peter and Paul - and R got tossed in the van from rest. Well guess who was not wearing socks. So we found a white sock from church on Sunday but couldn't find a match so we resorted to one of M's tiny blue socks. #winning

4. What's the craziest food you've ever eaten? 

In Mexico I've eaten spicy crickets - those were actually pretty good but lost their crunch after a few days which was a bummer.

In Guatemala, I was served this noodle soup with three or four straw like sticks protruding out from the bowl - which I didn't think much of until I got to the bottom of the bowl and BAM - its chicken feet. Which I was apparently supposed to chew on - but that was not happening. 

5. Which of the commonly removed parts have you had removed? (tonsils, wisdom teeth, appendix, etc.)

I've had my wisdom teeth taken out so there is not much to that story. 

6.  What's your favorite sport to watch on TV? 

Baseball. When we had satellite we got the Washington Nationals channel and we always had the games on at night. But the following summer the tree branches starting blocking the signal and we have to switch to cable and bye-bye Nats. So now we are stuck with whatever is on ESPN - which they really could show more games - but they don't. 

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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Answer Me This - Padres Day

Fatherhood is a shimmering refraction of Divine Paternity from which all fatherhood and blessings come. ~ Fulton Sheen 

PS - Don't you think that quote would make an awesome printable? Maybe Kendra's already done one but if she hasn't its my vote for her next free printable quote : ) 

1. What's the best thing about your dad?

The best thing about my dad is his sense of humor and he has this great ability to make you laugh

My mom has said a few times she married my dad because he made her laugh - amongst other things I'm sure. After 34 years of marriage she definitely knew what she was doing!

2.  If you've got kids, what's the best thing about THEIR dad? (If you don't, feel free to substitute your grandfather or another father figure.)

The best thing about Papa is his dedication. His dedication to his diaconal vocation, his family, and his work. I really don't think the girls will EVER understand this fully but maybe one day when they are grown up they will begin to understand all his does and the sacrifices such dedication takes. 

3. What's the best advice your dad ever gave you?

Honestly, I think that best that was given wasn't necessarily said but done. My dad always encouraged us to DO things rather than just sit around and think about doing things and we were (mostly - within reason) given the freedom to do them. 

You wanna go sledding? Here give it a whirl : ) 

4. What's something you have in common with your dad? 

I'm sure there's a ton of other things but the first thing that comes to mind is that we are savers. I remember going to the bank many times and making deposits and getting the monthly statements checking out how much (or how little) I made that month in interest. 

Silly I know, but being able to place a monetary value on things that must be purchased has probably saved me a bunch of money.

5. What's the manliest thing you know how to do?

I know how to spit pretty far which I really make an effort to ONLY do when I'm running by myself because I think my husband does not want me passing that one onto the girls. 

This isn't a thing I do but a trait - my feet. My feet are big and then after three kids apparently my feet have gotten bigger - so it's not Mexican wives tale, right Nani. I finally broke down and got some new shoes for walking (and post bebe running) and I need a half size bigger. Lemme just crawl up in my turtle shell on that one because I actually have to go to the running store (and announce to the world how big and awkward my feet are because they have to transfer in my size) to buy them too because I require the wide shoes too : ( 

6.  Who is your favorite fictional dad?

Couldn't tell you. I'm racking my brain and it is late and I want to wrap this up so let's say King Triton and call it a night!

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Friday, June 19, 2015

7QTs - Half-eaten fruit, completed puzzles and grazed cars

I'm blogging more than once a week.. It might be that second trimester blast of energy! except I'm pretty sure that hasn't shown up yet! : ( I won't bore you with any more pool pics because I did that yesterday!

--- 1 ---

Seriously R... 

Those were put in the frig for later consumption along with a half eaten (and peanut buttered) banana that E refused to finish until dessert was leveraged. 

--- 2 ---

This kid FINALLY finished a puzzle by herself... It only took her two times of me forcing a timeout on her so she would not breakdown of frustrations...  

I didn't touch a piece of the puzzle just held some of the already put together pieces still so she could connect other pieces to them. It is a cheap puzzle so the pieces don't want to stay together very well.

Let's say she was one happy girl when she finished!

I won't dig through the archives to find out when E did her first puzzle because I KNOW that would be unfair to compare... 

--- 3 ---
Father's Day is coming up and I've got to remember to order the tray of Chik-Fil-A nuggets for after church on Sunday. 

We got our cards and came across these... 

I'm not going there lest anyone be offended...

I've got a FANTASTIC Father's Day quote to share on Father's Day that might have made me tear up when I first heard it. That may or may not have something to do with the Fulton Sheen app I downloaded this week : ) (Side note, his humor in his talks is great!)

--- 4 ---

Saturday I had an overly epic day of laundry which is worthy of it's own post... I did presoak a few items... 


Bet you can't guess what and whose clothes were presoaked : ) 

--- 5 ---

M and her 'muck' and book... 

She's really starting to say things like blew-berry and squ-rrel. Fun stage. Messy stage.

Oh and she'd had several potty successes this week mainly because I'll do anything to not change a dirty diaper - like spent 5 minutes bribing her with mini chocolate bunnies leftover from Easter. Some times I win and sometimes I lose but the wins make it worth my while. Because clearly potty training is all about me : ) 

--- 6 ---

I have this really brilliant idea to help speed up our morning routines for next school year. It's called smoothie and muffin/granola.

Smoothie is full of protein to fill them up with good stuff and muffin/granola to help them feel like they've eaten something.


Because breakfast can be SO SLOW at our house and school starts 30 minutes earlier and I actually need to be on time. So that means we must leave our house 35 minutes sooner.

So I've been testing my smoothies out at dinner...

E liked the berry smoothie but not the peach - probably because I used half plain (gag!) and half vanilla (hello sugar!) yogurt so it was not as sweet. R refused both - and she's my main lollygagger in the mornings so I WISH she'd get on board! M had the most of anyone which is good because some days she eats and eats and eats and other days she just picks at her food. 

They'll probably be good for me with new baby come October (ekkkk that is soon!) since I don't need hands to drink a smoothie. 

I need some good smoothie recipes so hit me up. My thought is 5 smoothies to get us through the week. 

--- 7 ---

I had one of my finer more humbling moments of the week this afternoon.

I had about 50 yards to plan out what I was going to say and here's how it went down:

Me - Ummm.... I grazed your car with the van.
Lee - You what?!?!?!
Me - ...
Lee - You grazed it? What do you mean grazed it?
Me - I think you should come look at it... 

So fortunately his car is one of those plastic body Saturns from back in the day and he was more worried about the van because we have added several new serious scratches to it in the last month. There is one I still cannot figure out and it is definitely not the kids fault.

Hopefully Uncle Kev has some miracle buffer he can use on it - consider yourself warned Kevin : )

Seriously though. Everyday I back in and out of the garage and today was no different. Especially when E is asking 10000 million questions and asking, "Mama... (two words) mama, (five words) mama, (finish question)? Mama, (start next question)' - I CANNOT THINK STRAIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Do I have a back up camera? 


Was I looking at it?

Clearly not.

Was I thinking about the little work van that I was going to have to maneuver around to get out of the driveway because Lee was cutting the grass?

YES. YES. YES. I had even decided the direction I was going to go around it as to not backup over the septic tank.

Did I remember I watched Lee pull his car up from grass and more into the driveway?


See totally messed me up because I NEVER have to worry about a CAR being in my way when backing up.

Nothing like a little puttin' in your place to start the weekend off right!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Maiden Adventure - Our First Swim Meet

First of many I'm sure... 

Ready to take all you even though I won't jump off the blocks : ) 

E and R are just doing the pre-race/pre-scoring squad of swimmers. So it's all or nothing. One lap down the lane with the coach in the water to assist (or in R's case carry). 

They were excited other than R stating she was ready to go right after warm-ups. 

The calm before the storm...

E looked like she actually knew how to dive off the blocks... 

Despite R's tough face she would not have ANYTHING to do with them : ) 

R's face in this pic pretty much sums up my motivation for doing kid activities that take hours and hours of time... work so my kids can have moments like this : ) 

Yay swimming!

Still going... 

Ribbons after the race... which were literally strips of cut ribbon. They were excited 

Fortunately the pre-racers get to leave after they swim which was great because it was insanely hot. We did stick around for them to see a few other races (inspiration for getting better at swimming)

E wasn't convinced and I think the only thing that might convince her is the team swim suit that  I promised and will make good on if/when she joins the ranks of the racing swimmers. 

R is lightyears away from swimming the length by herself by I'm just glad she's in the water and having some fun!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Answer Me This - IT IS BACK!!!

I'm SO glad Kendra is hosting AMT this summer.... 

1. Any big plans for the summer?

The girls and I are headed to le beach for a few days later this summer (we are praying for SUNNY skies as last year's beach trip involved lots of rain). Fortunately Grammy and Grandpa Joe enjoy going to the beach and can take the time off work to do so (whereas Papa does not like the beach and canNOT take off work at all during the summer - pool biz & 60+ hours outside in the heat working each week for a couple months = no likey the beach). I do have big ideas for a family trip now I just have to get a certain Papa on board.

(this is actually from 2 years ago because I never uploaded pics from last year : ) 

Other than that, I have a few quickie work trips before Kindergarten (gasp!) starts and I get too pregnant to travel : ) 

2. What is the strangest thing you believed as a child?

I don't know if it was necessarily a belief but how about a theory... And I'll only divulge because Uncle Kev thinks this is hilarious. At some point around the age of 3-4 - maybe 5, I needed to test my theory regarding the toilet. So what do I do, step right up into the toilet bowl and try (multiple times) to flush myself down the toilet. 


I have no idea. I cannot remember. But if any of the girls were to follow in my theorizing/hypothesizing footsteps I would be proud. Though we have a boring septic tank they'd flush into - I was trying to flush myself into a city's water lines : ) 

3. What is your favorite amusement park ride? (can be a specific one at a specific park or just a type of ride)

I cannot even remember the last time I went on an amusement park ride... Okay it was actually probably my senior year of high school during our physics trip to Busch Gardens. I rode some roller coasters I cannot say I'd get on now. Then we took the girls to the State Fair last year and I can tell you riding the (not-so) kiddie ferris wheel with a 4 yr old and 2 yr old was not a terribly pleasant experience for me because waiting for everyone to get on and off was a bit long for the girls. 

4. What's on your summer reading list?

Errrr... I really don't read enough but here's what remains on my nightstand...

Nani let me borrow Unglued and I probably should give it back to her so she can actually finish it and THEN she can let me borrow it. 

The Divine Ladder of Ascent has been on the nightstand since Lent and I haven't made it through the Introduction (told you I don't read enough) 

Also, we are listening to the Chronicles of Narnia on our weekly drives to church. We started with The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and we are about to finish Prince Caspian. So I guess we are listening to the books in publication order so Voyage of the Dawn Treader is next up. 

And, I don't have the book yet but I'll be reading a Bible Study on 1 John for a neighborhood moms Bible Study which I am looking forward to. 

5. Have you ever fallen asleep in public?

Highly likely during college... Probably sophomore year when I was taking analytical and organic chemistry : ) 

6.  What is your favorite smell?

Brand new baby... There is nothing like it and I'll be smelling a brand new one later this year!

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Friday, June 12, 2015

7QTs - Family Pics, Pool Time, and Frogs in the Street

More of the same busyness and craziness (on repeat until end of July)... 

--- 1 ---

The family pic is now officially old... 

I think I might have mentioned about a month ago that our new bishop was coming to town - which he did and obviously we were there. He kind of tied up all of Lee's time for a few days but I can totally forgive him because he was one of the kindest, most approachable, down to earth people ever - let alone a bishop. 

The girls actually behaved and sang for most of Liturgy - E and R that is. M was doing her normal wandering and sitting as close to the iconostasis as possible. Mostly not a distraction as it is either her sitting RIGHT up front or she is SCREAMING in the back with me  - so take your pick folks. Anyway the bishop was totally unphased by M's need to be super close - though he did take special care not to dip any candle wax on her when he was doing the blessings with the dikrije and trikrije. 

To give you an idea... 

Taken from here...

So anyhow, we were bummed to not get a pic inside the church but we kind of had to clear out of the church and then the bishop had to bless the food in the hall and then it started raining so no pics in vestments but overall I think our eparchy/diocese is VERY blessed to have him as our bishop. 

--- 2 ---

On to more family pics... 

Only this one is definitely the most recent : ) from Lee's family reunion last weekend. 

Goodness there was so MUCH FOOD there and it was all amazing. If you have never had Southern country cooking before you are missing out... big time. 

Oh and there is another family reunion on say October 10 that new bebe might keep me from but I hope someone bring me a leftovers plate home!

--- 3 ---
I've been walking quite a bit this pregnancy - to the tune of 2-3 times a week. At least 2 miles a day and apparently that is not curbing any unnecessary weight gain as I'm tracking right like I was with R's pregnancy - which I find SUPER annoying. 

I've been walking through a rain shower... (which was awesome) 

And making nice with the amphibians that take over the road after dark...

--- 4 ---

M has taken to getting into the big girls things and toting them around like they are hers... 

She's got a while until the 3rd birthday ballerina bag is given but she needed to try it on for size : ) 

--- 5 ---

Our children sleep in the STRANGEST places... 

I could compile 20 different pictures just of them sleeping but I'll spare you!

--- 6 ---

R and M had a quiet afternoon outside as E was stuck inside for punishment...

Among other behavior issues... she WROTE ON THE WALL (fortunately in washable marker) but seriously, seriously... you are FIVE. YOU DON"T FREAKING WRITE ON THE WALLS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

K thanks... 

However last week I was kind of in a funk because Lee is working insane hours, the girls were not being fantastic and a bunch of other stuff that I need not complain about BUT it dawned on me:

How can I expect/ask the kids to have good behavior and nice attitude if I'm setting the example of being a crabby-patty. 

Oh the hypocrite I am. I have really been thinking about how my thoughts, actions and words are effecting them this week and everyone has had an exponentially better week!

--- 7 ---

We have been to the pool not once, not twice but thrice this week... Two times for swim practice and one just because we had an afternoon to kill. Taking dinner there is so easy and I should do it more plus there is ZERO kitchen clean up when we get home which is heavenly...

R wanted to wear her swim cap last night and I looked at here and thought "You are 3 and you are going to freak out when I try and pull this rubber cap over your head." But she didn't and she thought she was one of the big kids... 

E has been sporting her cap ever since she laid hands on it. She is desperate to being on the racing swim team (and not just the one that swims before the racing part of the meet starts). I think she might do it with a few more weeks and maybe an extra lesson or two...

So we've almost made if through another week.

Papa's got a wild and crazy day today and I'll be talking to St. Joseph a lot today for Lee and all the other guys out there helping him.