Thursday, May 9, 2013

Moms are an intimidating audience

Today was Mother's Day at Madeleine's school which was absolutely fantastic. I've never had a Mother's Day before where my kid's actually realized it was a day (or 15 minutes) about ME! Let's just see how Sunday goes.

They performed a few songs and gave us some crafts that they had made. My darling daughter was absolutely terrified during the performance part but gosh darnit, if she didn't look adorable. Stage fright can apparently manifest in almost-four year olds. Who knew?

This weekend, my mom and I are going dutch treat on a dinner to celebrate us. I am very much looking forward to it.

Oh, and apparently I am STILL very allergic to incense. I tried to go to mass this morning and had to leave after less than a minute because I was coughing and dry heaving. Catholic fail. I'm hoping to talk to an allergist about it and ask my priest if they can invest in allergy free incense or at least have one incense free mass on holidays. This not getting time with Jesus thing is a real bummer.

My favorite is when people are like, "Just cover your mouth and nose with a hanky and you'll be fine." Yes, I've always found that the solution to not being able to breathe is to cover my mouth and nose. I mean, everyone is well meaning but that one cracks me up. Hey, apparently it does work for some people though. I, however, cannot sit in the back of the church, bring water, bring an inhaler, because they don't work. I went to a church that had used incense earlier that afternoon once and I was still feeling very, very ill.

But I don't want to complain. I absolutely love my parish and my priest is very kind and understanding. Not to mention, solidly Catholic, which is harder to find around these parts then one would think.

And finally, last night, Kyle and I had our first Creighton appointment since we were engaged and I learned SO MUCH! NFP IS AWESOME!

Okay... finally, finally... this is a quote from Juliette. I thought it was too cute not to share.

"Madeleine loves me because she is my big sister and I love her too!"


That's all for now! God bless!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Madeleine's favorite field trip

Hey so remember last week when I bought myself some wine to celebrate making it through my husband's three week business trip to Maine?

Well I brought the girls with me on that trip. Obviously. Can't leave such little ones home alone.

That was their first ever outing to a liquor/package store and apparently it was very exciting because now when we drive past Brady's Liquors, Madeleine begins to shout, "LOOK MOMMY! IT'S THE WINE STORE! IT'S OPEN! YOU SHOULD BUY SOME WINE!"

Now I am not a drinker at all. I might have a glass of wine or a cocktail twice a month. Maybe. So this is a bit embarrassing to me. She screams it with the excitement usually only held for the park or her school.

So, you know, this just means I can't invite new people for joy rides around town, lest they believe I am some sort of lush.

Parenting. It's never boring.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Juliette is in detox

 It's been a busy few days. Due to my husband's super weird schedule, we are heading into our weekend, so I am looking forward to some quality family time now that he is finally back from Maine.

We finally, finally got around to taking away Juliette's pacifier yesterday and we also began potty training over the weekend. She has been doing a lot better than I expected but sometimes she looks like a junky trying to get a fix. I, on the other hand, am glad to be rid of the stupid things. I love hearing her talk and those things get in the way! And as for the potty training... well... its going slowly but well. She is quite proud of herself and excited to get her Pinkie Pie when she is all done with baby diapers.

She is growing up so fast! She will be two and a half this month and Madeleine will be four in June. It seems crazy that they are that OLD!

Madeleine has baby fever as well. She has been asking Jesus and Mary to put a baby in my belly nearly every single day. No prompting. It's all her. I'm not sure how long Jesus and Mary can hold out when her prayers are so beautiful and pure. She is the sweetest girl in the world.

I really do adore them.

Madeleine also seems to believe that our priest wants to be updated on her outfit after mass every Sunday. She has us stop by and say goodbye to the statue of Our Lady on our way out and then we wait in line to talk to our priest. When it is our turn, she twirls in her dress, points our her shoes, and updates him on the new details of her life. I think she is going to be a Saint Therese style intercessor for vocations.

Juliette is still pretty much my goofy little girl. Aggressively affections and in such adoration of her big sister. She is also a budding fashionista. At he ripe age of two, she is quite particular in what she wears and what her shoes look like. She won't let mommy put just any dress on her. She prefers Hello Kitty, Minnie Mouse, or other Disney characters and if those are not available, it needs to at least be brightly colored and well accessorized.

These are some pictures from over the weekend. Enjoy! I love em! Nothing cuter than little girls in church clothes.

Oh you know, just tying mommy's shoes on the gate.

Chilling on the front stairs in the sunlight. I love this dress.

Tried getting a picture of both of them. Juliette did not oblige.

Madeleine is pointing to their ball rolling down the street. I dropped the phone and ran after it.

Girls just wanna have fun!

Such beauties!

Obviously Juliette did something absolutely ridiculous right before this was taken. They so remind me of myself and Lauren.

"Juliette, you are SO SILLY!"

Laughing together

I love this shot of Juliette

And this one of Madeleine- my little flower!

Blowing mommy a kiss!

Paparazzi shot

Sleepy girl... I would die for lashes like those.

In their house.

I take a lot of pictures. Guilty. They only stay this little for so long and I want to make as many memories as possible.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

While you were sleeping

Dude I wish with a title like that this entry was about some government conspiracy that unfolded while the masses were unaware. And I would be all like, "Blah, blah, blah, I am such a smarty pants. Blah, blah, blah, you are now enlightened." But nah, it's about what the kids did during my nap time. I love naps. Naps are the best. Government, smovernment- where's my pillow.

So Kyle took the kiddos to the beach park so I could have a little quiet. That's right people. There is such a thing as a beach park. It's a park at a beach and discovering it was one of the most exciting things about moving to Rhode Island. We can pack some snack, picnic on the sand, watch the waves, wet our feet, and then take the kids to play on the monkey bars.

I love living in Rhode Island. Kyle took lots of pictures (the first one is of me napping while Juliette plays with my iPhone, just so the pictures have a linear feel) and I hope you enjoy them. Just don't mind the kids hair. I do brush it occasionally.

Letter to a Princess Phone Toddler

Dear Princess Phone Toddler,

I see you over there, playing on the princess phone that your mom got you at Target, pretending to talk to Grandmom. What you don't see is that your mommy is trying to get your attention.

She is riding a tiny tricycle but you don't look up. You are off in a world of your own imagination, probably telling Grandmom how embarrassing of a daughter she birthed. Your mom looks so impressed with herself but you don't see her.

You father wants to play catch but you just sit there in your toy house pretending to serve up ice cream made of grass. You don't notice as his face falls when he throws the blue bouncy ball and no one runs after it except for the dog.

I know this is the only time I have ever seen you, but some deep dissatisfaction in my own life leads me to judge you.

I don't know about the times you climb on your parents laps and let them read to you for forty-five minutes straight even though you'd rather be climbing the bookshelf of dumping toys in the toilet. I don't know about that hour you spent building the same Lego tower over and over again because it makes daddy so happy. I'm not there so I don't know.

You spend a lot of time entertaining your parents. Being an adorable toddler, well, everyone wants a piece of you. It is a 24/7 job. All you want is 15 minutes to yourself to talk to Grandmom on the princess phone and not have people picking you up and pinching you and kissing your cheeks. This is why you bring your parents to the park, for the fresh air and socialization opportunities.

You are a good daughter. You sacrifice a lot for your parents. Your days completely center around them. However, I don't know about that so I am going to assume the worst. Stop ignoring your parents all day ever day. Judgement.

The stranger at the park who has been watching you for some reason for a good half hour and clearly either ignoring her own kids or just there to watch people which is kind of creepy if you think about it.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

It's wine o'clock on a Tuesday

Kyle comes home from his business trip tomorrow! Woooooooohooooo!

I haven't updated this blog in a while but in December Kyle began working for Southwest Airlines in Providence and we bought a house and moved to Warwick. It's awesome. I love being a homeowner!

And I love my house. I'm determined to "young house love" the crud out of it. Kyle will tell you, all my "blow money" and free time go to decorating, researching, and planning what I want to do with each room. It keeps my mind off the whole "not being pregnant" thing.

Which, by the way, is why I wasn't blogging. Project nĂºmero one was getting my head on straight and growing closer to The Lord in the midst of the mind blowing disappointment and heart break that is "secondary infertility".

But hey, I can drink wine. I don't drink often at all but tonight I decided to stop by the package store on my way home and grab some vino. (For those of you not from New England, package store = liquor store.) And then I composed a tune to pump myself up.

It's wine o'clock on a Tuesday.
The little ones are in bed.
There's a pile of clothes sitting next to me.
But I think I'll start drinking instead.

I said, "Hun could you bring me some Chardonnay?"
I know that you prefer beer.
But it's been a long day, and I was just thinking, "Hey.
I would prefer to keep sitting right here."

I'm really proud of that ditty.

But seriously, despite the hardships, life is utterly joyful. I have hard days but mostly I am overwhelmingly thankful for the blessings in my life.

We love living in Rhode Island. The closest beach is walking distance from our house and our yard smells like ocean. Madeleine goes to an amazing Catholic school and our parish and parish priest are UN FREAKING BELIEVABLE. Truly.

But tonight I will have a (small) toast to me. I made it through the past three weeks, the move, so many health issues. I'm better than ever. God is closer than ever.

And I'm feeeeeeeeeling gooooooooooooood.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Beauty changes the world.

Let me get right into it. Victoria's Secret did not single handedly destroy culture and turn women into half naked tooth picks. Now, I have issues with Victoria's Secret but it has far more to do with what their models are wearing then what they look like.

I know many naturally thin women. And when I say "naturally" I mean they eat candy and pasta and don't weigh more then 110 lbs. I know women of all shapes and sizes. Yes, I believe that it's insane that the modeling industry thinks that only women who are a size two and under are beautiful but I don't fault the women who are that size. What I find issue with is HOW LITTLE THEY ARE WEARING.

And it isn't all Victoria's Secret's fault. The world changed when sex became a commodity rather then a sacred act between a married man and women. Women (and men) became objects to be lusted over rather then people deserving of the whole gift of self given within a holy and loving sacramental marriage.

Women became commodities when sex no longer became associated with motherhood. Sex got stripped from motherhood with Roe v Wade when the creation of new life went from the purpose of sex to an unwelcome consequence. About a year ago a was reading an episode recap from The Office where some people were commenting that Jim should have cheated on his wife Pam because she hadn't lost her baby weight and that his infidelity would "teach her to let herself go". So now we have a generation or two of women who believe that they have a month, maybe two, to lose their baby weight so their husband will still find them attractive.

The models do it, sure. But do you know what goes into their weight loss regiment? Lets just say their isn't much time for them to sit and enjoy their sweet, velvety newborns. I see people online getting competitive about how quickly they can fit into their pre pregnancy pants. That should be the least of our concerns as a new mother and yet, we all worry about it. I sure did. And let's be honest, for most of us, when we lose the weight, we don't actually look the same again. To take it even further, I've heard women say that they don't ever want to get pregnant because they don't want to "lose their bodies". How has culture gotten so far out of hand that women fear motherhood because of their looks? As I have said, we all struggle with vanity in our own ways.

It's not just the curse of mothers either.

Every year prom dresses get more and more immodest, shorts get shorter, bikinis get smaller. Now there is a line of lingerie for middle schoolers. People wonder when it all went so wrong.

Women are over sexualized because in today's culture, sexy and beautiful are interchangeable adjectives.

Sexy is something that reminds you of sex.

Beauty is something that reminds you of God.

They are NOT the same thing.

When you look at the ocean, it is beautiful. When you see a mountain, it is beautiful. The Grand Canyon is beautiful, a sunset is beautiful. And women... We are created to make all of that look like the drawing of a four year old in comparison. There is a reason God created men to be visual creature. Our beauty is supposed to be part of what inspires them to holiness.

However when we focus so much on being sexy, it creates just the opposite effect. It does not help their souls and it does not help ours.

With so much focus on the physical, what can we even do to change it?

I believe that, first of all, as women we take some responsibility. We stop dressing and acting immodestly. We keep our words and actions pure. We pray more and we ask for the intercession of Our Lady to guide us. We don't make excuses. We treat our bodies as temples and try to stay healthy, this means we watch if we are getting too over weight of two under weight as well. Everyone has the place where they are healthy. Don't kill yourself, but try to stay healthy. Your kids and spouse deserve that. However, remember that it is not about a size. It is about health.

If you think a friend is struggling with an eating disorder, talk to a counselor and get her help. Eating disorders can be life threatening and often there is something much deeper going on then a desire to lose weight.

Then we need our men to step up too. Our sons and daughters need to see their fathers adoring their wives. Right after she has given birth, tell her she is beautiful. Tell her every day. Tell her in front of your kids. Girls learn how they deserve to be treated from their fathers. Boys learn how to treat women from you as well. Support your wife. Watch the kids so she can get to the gym, have family meals, let her buy something that makes her feel pretty, bring her home flowers. If your wife feels like she disgusts you she is likely to give up. It's hard to feel beautiful when you spend your days wiping other people's butts. Let her know that she still is.

Pay attention to your daughters as well. There is only a short time when they are in your home. Teach them about what true beauty is. Let the bikini stay at Target. Keep the short dress in Kohl's. Give them freedom but also give them boundaries and talk to them. They are more likely to confide in you if you have a relationship beyond rules. They are also more likely to confide in you if you actually act like a parent instead of trying to be their BFF.

I think this world change starts at home. I don't expect Victorias Secret to change their ways anytime soon but I am going to teach my daughters what beauty is anyway. I am going to teach them to be selfless, generous, loving, kind, honest, patient, and good. I am going to teach them that God loves them and that they were created in His likeness and image. I am going to teach them that physical beauty is not everything but it is a gift and shouldn't be squandered. I am going to let my husband teach them that they deserve to be treated with love and respect and that they deserve a spouse who will bring them closer to God instead of taking them further away,

I don't have delusions about perfection. I have hope in the Lord and a deep respect for Beauty. I'm going to start this revolution at home. Beauty can change the world.