Tuesday, August 30, 2011

There is never any quiet... even when they are sleeping

Kyle talks in his sleep. Usually it's about work. He's asking me if the San Francisco flight left on time or if the passengers got their bags. One time he yelled at me to make sure the paperwork was completed and wouldn't let me sleep until I told him it had. And we have extensive conversations. I talk to him about my night, the girls, our plans for the next day. He responds, asks intelligent questions. I ask him several times if he is awake. He responds that he is. The next day he has no recollection of what we discussed.

Tonight, for example, I walked into the room where he had gone to bed an hour before me. As I was plugging in my phone he sits up, checks me out, and goes, "Niiiice." I ask him if he is sleeping and he laughs and responds, "Niiice." So I leave the room cracking up.

But he's passed along this trait to his darling daughter. Madeleine also talks in her sleep and it's almost always about food. Sometimes she says my name or asks for her monkey but usually, it's food. And I have to tell her, "Yes Madeleine. Choco cream (Chocolate Ice Cream)" And the greatest thing about all this is I have heard her in the monitor, run in thinking she is awake, tripping over her toys because I am so sleep deprived, and she's just sleep talking.

So far the only thing out of Juliette at night are more dinosaur noises but the other two make for some very interesting nights and some great stories. I can't wait til Kyle reads this in the morning.

This picture was taken almost six months ago. Maybe they had a conversation during their sleep. Someday I'd like to put Madeleine in the bed with daddy and just listen.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Power outages and other fun adventures

Tropical Storm Irene hit New England. I'll be honest, I wanted to smack every idiot with a status saying something along the lines of "Come on Irene" or "Bring it on Irene". Tropical storms are nothing to be messed with.

Driving around my parent's neighborhood proved that. There was a tree blocking the street going one direction, a tree on a power line blocking another way, and only one way out. And then once you got out of the neighborhood there were more and more trees sitting on power lines. Tropical storms are dangerous. There are tons of people with damaged homes, house fires, no power for at least a week, and then there are the idiots talking about how awesome it is. Those people are lacking a compassion gene.

I was in Connecticut during the storm to get help with the kiddos because Kyle was stuck at the airport all weekend. We lost power early Sunday and it will be out for days. I came back to Massachusetts this afternoon because Kyle was home and our power was back on, but I feel terrible for my parents. They are losing hundreds and hundreds of dollars worth of food, their lawn is trashed, they can't flush their toilets, and they have to other people's houses to shower. Luckily, they are far better off than some people.

We spent the day playing card games in the glow of the flashlights (I dominated) and ate whatever was not in the fridge. Madeleine was horribly confused by the power outage and kept asking for the lights.

And Madeleine has started biting. She bit my arm while sitting on my lap and so I put her in time out. She finally said, "I sorry!" so I scooped her up, told her not to bite again, and hugged her. But we may have to play this daily from now on.

The next two days are Kyle's weekend and so we will be restocking our fridge... the one I just stocked last week. But in all honesty I am just so glad that our home is okay, we are okay, and all the people we love are as well. It could have been a lot worse.

And I am also thankful for the little things like potties that flush and showers that run. And the internet. And that the DVR didn't miss any episodes of CSI Miami. Amen.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Rain Suited Up

Well, the Behrend ladies are heading to Connecticut this weekend to wait out Irene. As in the storm, not the song or person. Kyle has to spend a couple of days at the airport doing damage control so he feels much safer if he knows it isn't just me, the babies, and a few flashlights.

I went out to pick up some disposable diapers to bring with me since it's not easy to use cloth with no power and "rain suited up". This meant my knee high rain boots, my water proof North Face jacket, and my rain hat. I looked adorable according the hubby but it was only drizzling at the time. I really wanted to be safe rather than sorry.

When I walked into Starbucks I got a few looks. I was the crazy girl who "rain suited up" way too early. They were all smug in their shorts and t-shirts and flip flops. Then I went into Rite Aid and by the time I got out five minutes later the sky had opened up and it was freaking pouring.

Guess who's smug now SUCKERS!

Well right now Kyle is bringing in the play house and the sand table and tying down the rocking chairs. Which really won't make too much of a difference when we get projectile pelted from all the crap on our neighbor's porch. But it really is adorable how concerned Kyle is about his girls and our little Behr cave.

I'm not looking forward to driving out to Connecticut in the rain but I am really looking forward to seeing my parents and my sister, Carly. They are heading back from dropping Hannah (the one with the awesome hair) off at Franciscan University and are really missing her. A baby Behr fix will make them feel so much better.

And if anyone is wondering, Hannah is doing very well. She made the tennis team and there are boys following her to and fro. So she is doing an excellent job of continuing the legacy. Get it girl! (And by "it" I mean your MRS degree)

That's about all I've got for today. I am praying hard for all of you who are also getting caught in the storm.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Why I love my girls

Things I love about each of my kids


I love...

...that when she goes to sleep at night she has to have her stuffed monkey with her and if it isn't in her crib when I put her in she cries, "Mooooonkey! Moooonkey!" until I find it and then she lies down in her bed, spooning the monkey, and closes her eyes without a word.

...her deep love of washing her hand and brushing her teeth and generally making sure she is always clean.

...her obsession with all things Glee and how she can recognize a Glee song from other songs when it plays on I-Tunes.

...the fact that she loves the taste of coffee, lattes, and mochas. And that she know the right moment to grab a sip of my drink when she knows I am not looking.

...that if she wakes up before 10:00 she is a cranky little beast.

...that she loves wearing dresses and shopping for shoes.

...that when we go out she brings her purse and puts Bitty Baby in the Bitty Baby car
seat and insists on bringing her too. I mean, it's only fair since I get to bring Juliette.

...that she always, without fail, puts her shoes on the wrong feet.

...that the only signs of jealousy she shows towards her sister are copying her actions. You know, crawling, babbling, wanting to be fed baby food with a spoon. She's picked up on how cute I think it is when her sister does these things and Madeleine is not one to pass up on a way to get attention.

...that when I tell her daddy will be home soon she waits at the window for his car and when she sees him, insists on being let out the front door to run to him.

...how she loves to take care of her baby. She is the first to hear when Juliette wakes up from a nap, always makes sure she has a toy to play with, shushes her when she cries, informs me when she is making her poop noises, tells me to "boobie milk baby".

...how when she goes to bed before her sister she always makes sure to wave "Good bye night night" so her sister knows she is going.

...our prayer time together when she repeats the sign of the cross and says, "Amen".

...how she can't keep her eyes off the older boys at mass.

...that she would exist entirely off of yogurt if I let her.

...that she talks in her sleep, usually about food... last night it was fries.

...that she likes to copy whatever I do. Lately this involves letting me paint her nails, put her hair in a pony tail like mom, and pretend to put makeup on her. She loves me so much and I finally understand how imitation really is flattery.

...that she calls me "mom". It is not, nor has it ever been "momma" or "mommy". I am "mom".

...that when she got in trouble today she knew a sure fire way to get me to forget why I was scolding her was to plant a big kiss on my lips and say "I love". And she melted my heart. She has no idea how much I love her too.


I love...

...how in the blink of an eye she can take every wipe out of the case and shove them ALL in her mouth at once.

...how she can be happily playing but if she makes eye contact with me she will immediately start crawling towards me, crying and laughing at the same time, saying, "Momma! Momma!".

...how much she love to nurse and how she is starting to get that if she pulls on my shirt she can communicate exactly what she needs. And that she knows mommy is always here to feed her.

...how she makes dinosaur noises as she explores so that a simple activity such as crawling sounds like she is making war on the floor.

...how whenever the door to the nursery is open she will crawl in with purpose, head straight to the mirror, where she will spend about 15 minutes making out with her own reflection.

...how hilarious she thinks it is to put her fingers or toys in my mouth. It is a never ending source of entertainment for her

...her huge eyes and how the light up every time I walk into a room.

...how if she is playing and I am standing and don't see her at my feet, that she will headbutt me until I look down. When we finally make eye contact she smiles and lifts her arms in the air to be held.

...how much she loves her big sister. Madeleine had been down for a long nap and woke up groggy but Juliette screamed and squealed and laughed and pounced and grabbed at her until Madeleine was ready to play. Juliette loves playing with her sister and a three hour nap had been way too long to go without seeing her.

...how when daddy gets home from work she immediately crawls over to him with a HUGE smile on her face and won't let him out of her sight, even to go to the bathroom.

...how she likes to fall asleep at night lounging against me like I'm her personal lazy boy.

...the noises she makes when trying to fall asleep and trying to poo.

...that she inspires wonderful nicknames like "Pet", "Petasaurous Pet", and Dinosaur Baby. She is full of personality and so easy to love.

...how she used to sleep through the night but now wakes up to be nursed at around three or four and then seven every day and how even though I want to be groggy most nights all I can do is kiss her little head over and over while she nurses and tell her I love her because I am just so thankful that she is mine.

The are my precious babies. I am finding more and more things to love about them every day.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Playroom

Can I just say how much I love having a playroom? Our old apartment was also a three bedroom and we put a kid in each room. Fools. They still both ended up in our room most nights and the living room looked like we had looted a Babies R Us and still hadn't found a place to pawn our stolen goods. And when we had guests over there was no place to them to stay except for said living room so they would have to push the things to the side of the room, put down the air mattress, and we would pray that no stray puzzle pieces would poke their wooden sides into the mattress causing it to slowly deflate and the guests to wake up on the floor.

That was when we even allowed guests in the house.

Now... we have a PLAYROOM! And it is messy! I try to get Madeleine to help me clean, and she does because she is a perfect angel and loves to please, but we usually find a book to read and end up snuggled on the couch. I have serious cleaning ADD (I'm pretty sure I stopped mid dishes to write this post) so it might take a bit before we get back to the task at hand. If at all. Because there is always something better to do. And to be honest, as long as the rest of the house is orderly I kind of like the playroom a bit messed up. It shows how much fun I have with my kids all day and saves them the trouble of leveling the room again the next morning so we can get down to playing right away.

But the really great things is that when people come over I can just shut the door and they don't have to know. Now, if said guest is staying overnight we have a futon that folds down because not having a crib in there means we have room for that. And there is usually almost nothing on the futon so we just go and swipe the toys onto the floor, lay out some blankets and pillows, and by golly, move over Hilton family. We make your hotels look like a hostel. And from someone who has travel Europe... that is NOT a compliment.

Tonight I snuggled up with Madeleine in the playroom reading the "I love" book while Juliette crawled, scooted, and growled her way from toy to toy looking for something dangerous to put in her mouth. Until she decided snuggling was way more fun than choking and decided to join us as well. It was a perfect evening.

The playroom is a complete and utter disaster but tonight I am just going to shut the door, finish the dishes, and maybe watch a little CSI NY. My kids are happy and so am I.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

My excuse

I went grocery shopping yesterday with both babies. I'm used to it by now. Juliette sits in her infant car seat which goes inside the main part of the shopping cart. Madeleine is sitting in the seat. The food goes anywhere there is room. Occasionally one of my kids gets something in their hands which I don't notice and we end up shoplifting.

My favorite part of the shopping with kids experience is if one of them starts crying in the middle of the trip. Madeleine might throw a completely righteous temper tantrum if she sees something she wants and MEAN MOMMY tells her no. Juliette could decide that she wants to be held even though it is impossible to push a shopping cart full of things (and her sister) and carry her without dropping her. MEAN MOMMY. When those things happen I experience the, "Who are these kids and why are they calling me mommy" moment. It's like the old ladies and women with quiet children come to find you and they just follow you as you hurredly grab the last couple of items, shushing and comforting and pleading and bribing, before heading to check out.

Undoubtedly someone will tell me that I should just pick her up. Or that she is hungry. And I give them angry dagger laser eyes and try to explain calmly to them that I cannot pick up the baby and push the cart or I will drop her. And I cannot leave the cart because it has the toddler in it and all the food she has grown accustomed to eating. And I can't shop without them because my husband is at work and when he gets home I want to spend time with him. And she just ate before we came so that isn't the problem either but thanks for playing. But what I want to scream is, "OMG SHE WILL FREAKING LIVE I JUST NEED TO GRAB THE MILK AND GET OUT OF HERE WITHOUT YOUR JUDGEMENT". Because I haven't slept through the night in two and a half years and I am hormonal and cranky.

Well, yesterday wasn't much different. The toddler was happy because I was buying her cookies and a box of crackers with the characters from "Glee" on the cover. (I know, it's embarrassing that my kid knows and is sold by things with Glee on it but we have dance parties to the music so it's actually not as bad as it seems.) The baby was sleeping most of the time we were inside but woke up when I had only four items on my list left. And she woke up teething.

So I pushed the cart with one hand on the front, guiding it in a sort of zig zag pattern trying to not hit the displays and people and one hand inside her mouth. And when I took my finger out of her mouth and she was unable to chew on it, mommy makes the only exceptable teether, all hell would break loose. The last four items were on the same isle. Milk, creamer, bagels, butter. And there is this guy, probably 50, grocery shopping on his phone with his laptop open in the front. Making a business call. And I take my hand out of baby's mouth to grab the milk and SCREAMING and the guy shoots me a dirty look and says to the person he is on the phone with, "Sorry I can't hear you. There is someone here with an annoying, screaming baby." And let me tell you, I'm not proud, but after I got over my urge to scream profanities at him and pelt him with eggs... I lingered.

I lingered the crap out of that isle. I got all vindictive all up in Price Chopper and I lingered so that dirty look shooting lap topping man couldn't hear his precious phone call. (Five hours of sleep people. Please don't judge.) It was only when my maternal instincts got control of my hormones that I put my finger back in the baby's mouth and lopsidedly pushed the cart to checkout. But not before picking up one last item.

And that, Kyle, is why there are three things of Ben and Jerry's in our freezer. I'm really sorry. The hormones made me do it.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

NFP in real life

I struggle a lot with Natural Family Planning. Mostly because if situations were perfect I would live in a perpetual state of getting pregnant and popping out babies. I'm not really big on the pregnant part but I am HUGE on the baby part. I get the baby itch soon after they are born (well so far) and then Kyle and I take time to discern and pray before having another.

Right now we are trying to avoid but we spend a lot of time fearing pregnancy. Not because of how we would handle it (I don't want to toot my own horn but I am totally a natural at this whole "being a mom" thing and could easily handle another) but because of what people might think. Sure, we have some friends that wonder why we aren't pregnant again already, God bless them, but we know that there would be many others, family, friends, random people in the grocery store, that would completely disapprove.

We are not avoiding because of them. We are avoiding because of finances and because of my health. As far as the first goes, soon enough Kyle will be an employee of Southwest Airlines, his pay will go up, and we will be able to afford another. I mean, we cloth diaper so that wouldn't cost anything. We nurse, so no money for food. If it's a girl we'd have all the clothes we need and with a boy he would get more spoiled that an heir to the throne in Britain so that's a non issue as well. We have car seats, strollers, and cribs as well. We would need very little. The big issues for us are hospital bills, time off of work, etc. I'd also really like to wait until we wouldn't have three in college at one time.

My health is the real issue. I've had major issues with both of my last two pregnancies (and the ectopic before that as well) and so I need to be stronger so I can be a good mommy to both my babies on the outside and the one on the inside. Last time I barely had the strength to get off the couch many days and I when I get pregnant again I would like to be able to be the mommy they have now, just rounder.

I don't buy into waiting because it's better for my first two girls. They are each other's best friends and another baby would only add to their joy. If I want alone time with any of my kids, Kyle gladly babysits so I can have that special mommy and me time. I don't care about fancy vacations and having all sorts of "me time". That could never bring my husband and I more joy than another baby. Even Kyle, who was terrified of kids at first cannot wait until we feel ready to add to our family. Right now we avoid and take each month to pray and discern. We believe that by using Natural Family Planning we are allowing God to be the true head of our family and know what is best for us. If we get pregnant we pray that the people we know will be excited and supportive because as I said before, pregnancy is hard enough for me.

When I think of having a third child I don't really worry about many of the things I think most people do. What I do worry about is what it would be like to wait too long, to have another ectopic pregnancy, to increase my chance of miscarriage, and to live with the regret of not having been open to all God could have given to my family through another child. I think of the names we have picked out for our future babies, of the moment when I first see the face that goes with that name and hold my child for the first time. I think of all God could do through that child and how that child could be a light in a world that could use a lot more light. Nothing else seems important after that

Friday, August 12, 2011

7 Quick takes Friday- Volume One

Since this is my first "Seven Quick Takes" I figured I'd make the theme about me and things most people don't know about me.

1. I'm obsessed with shower products. I currently have 5 pairs of shampoo and conditioner, 3 body washes, 2 face scrubs, and a hydrating hair mask in my shower. And that doesn't include what Kyle and the girls use. I like to change it up and use different things and I pick what I use by which scent I feel in the mood for that day. It's weird, but I love shower products.

2. I've been in an ambulance twice. One time was after I hit a UPS truck with my car at the end of senior year of high school. The other time was at the end of my pregnancy with Juliette when I thought I was in labor at four in the morning and Kyle was at work and I was in way too much pain to drive. It turned out to be a gall bladder attack. Of course the one time I almost died, the ectopic pregnancy, I wouldn't let my husband call an ambulance and told him to drive me. Go figure.

3. I'm not a huge sugar person but I could probably live off of M&M minis. I'm not sure why I love them so much but I am absolutely obsessed. I'd usually rather have them over an other type of candy in the world.

I'm not particularly great at holding down a job. Here is my record.
Remax Winner's Circle- four months until I was fired. That's a blog post in itself.
Stop and Shop- six months until I got bored and quit after they kicked me off the registers because I talked too much and ruined check out times and then kicked me out of the bakery for eating the frosting and stuck me on bagging the groceries duty so I probably wouldn't have last much longer anyway
Dunkin Donuts- two months until I left for college but they had relegated me to the back room on dish duty so I wasn't long for that world anyway
Daycare center who's name I have forgotten- one summer and then I went back to college but I was actually good at the job! Hooray!
Quality Care Daycare Center- One summer and then I got an internship, then took summer classes, and then got married but I was good at this job too so they gave me a lot of reference letters
Jasmine's Coffee House at Franciscan- got hired and never actually started working. I'm pretty sure I left to go get my ID for tax purposes and just never came back
St Luke's Methodist Preschool- 4 months until I got mono and was forced out. I was super pissed.
Ann Taylor- Four months until we moved to Massachusetts. It was a terrible job for me anyway because I just spent all the money I earned.
Youth Minister at Saint Peter's parish- One and a half years. Longest job by far! Go me! I would have stayed longer but the parish went broke and had to cut my job. But that meant..

You kids are stuck with me. MWHAHAHAHAHA

4. My foot is crooked. My right foot turns slightly outward when I walk. I am convinced that this is why I cannot wear heels.

5. When I eat I cannot bite with my front teeth. It weirds me out. I chew everything on the side.

6. I had a mole removed on my right leg when I was about ten years old. They knocked me out and for it I got a big scar, a stuffed pink pig, and my mom took me out for the Italian food that I demanded in my delirious post op state. I may not remember much of the journey home but I do remember my mom joking that every time she went to the hospital she went home with a little pink pig too. Thanks a lot MOM.

7. I invented a drink that I am now going to go partake in. It's called "Mommy's Night In" and it's made up of equal parts orange juice and pineapple juice, a shot of tequila, a shot of vodka, and peach schnapps and blue curacao to taste.

And now, off for the drink!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Ode to Hannah's hair

This poem is dedicated to my sister, Hannah, who has awesome hair.

Ode to Hannah's Hair

There once was a girl named Taylor Swift
Who's pretty blond curls gave her career a lift
Those perfect blond curls made her the toast of the town
But there was even better, blonder hair to be found
Much to Taylor Swift's surprise
Another young girl's hair won the prize
She couldn't afford all the best beauty supplies
But her hair was still a feast for the eyes.
Wherever this young girl would go
A group of male suitors would follow her so
All trying to prove how much they care
To the girl with the glorious, beautiful hair.
"When I go to college" the girl would share
"All of the people there will compliment my hair"
For truly she saw her hair as a gift
Because wherever she'd go people'd say, "OMG it's T Swift!"
You may say, wrongly, that this girl is quite vain
Thinking that her hair will bring her all sorts of fame.
But clearly you don't know, or maybe haven't met
My beautiful sister Hannah Juliette
For as lovely as she is in a mirror
She's even more beautiful if you look even deeper.

I love you so much Hannah and I will miss you when you go to college. Remember to Skype often. Stay close to God because he makes you even more beautiful than you already are. And always remember that my hair is naturally blonder.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Babysitters Club Revival

I'm sitting here in the office in my parents house and I notice a green phone with the words "WHAT'S UP" on the receiver in different colored letters. It's totally not even cordless and IT'S MY BABYSITTERS CLUB PHONE FROM MIDDLE SCHOOL!!!!!!!!!

I think most of us who grew up in the 90s and were female probably dreamed of forming a babysitters club and we probably all wanted a phone in our room with our own phone line just. like. Claudia.

I had my own phone but not my own line and I had all of about three clients. And I'm pretty certain that I was the only one in my club. BUT STILL I was a total Stacy. Or so I thought because I had blonde hair and wasn't some California hippy like Dawn. But really I was much nerdier than Stacy with no discernible math skills and despite living in Connecticut had never been to New York City.

But I fondly remember those days when thirteen seemed so old and mature and I got taken advantage of by the next door neighbors who paid me all of five dollars an hour to watch their two year old triplets. Two girls and a boy (named Kyle) that the parents literally had me lock in their bedroom at night because they were such terrors.

Thank you throwback phone for the fond memories. And childhood Sarah... I would have totally called you to babysit my kids. And I would have paid well too.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

In the Behr cave... or wherever it is that Behrs live

So it's been a while since I've done a post about daily life with the baby Behrs and since I am apparently an insomniac all of a sudden now seems as good of a time as ever.

My day usually begins around 10 am. Go ahead, be jealous of me. Just know that this means that my kids are up until at least 10 pm every night. With Kyle's schedule it just works best for me so you'll just have to trust that it's awesome and that it won't permanently damage them or cause them to be criminals by kindergarten. I wake up to Juliette pouncing on top of me excitedly. I generally have only a vague recollection as to how she ended up in our bed instead of the crib but I nurse her and after a while she's done and ready to dive head first off the side of the bed looking for adventure.

I catch her and carry her to Madeleine's crib and place her next to her sister. Madeleine wakes up, wraps her arms around Juliette, and says "BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAABY!" sometimes tenderly and sometimes with a terrifying amount of enthusiasm. I let them play for a few minutes, start the coffee, and check my email. It's about at this point that the girls realize they are trapped inside the crib, grow restless, and Madeleine tries to remedy the situation but yelling, "MOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMMM" and throwing things out of her crib in protest. I take them out, put them on the floor, and Madeleine and Juliette take off as startling speeds. Madeleine, to see if breakfast is ready and Juliette, to see if there are any small objects she can shove in her mouth before I catch her.

A typical scene is myself, seated, trying to inspire the girls to sit still and join me for story time. Madeleine is in kitten heels, underwear for a necklace, and a purse, pushing Bitty Baby in the doll stroller while Juliette crawls across the room with much determination making sounds that sometimes scare people that don't spend much time with us and don't realize that they come from her. It's this deep growling noise. It's why we call her dinosaur.

Obviously when I start cooking or cleaning that's when they want my attention. Demand my attention. Their very survival depends on my attention. Juliette wants to eat again and Madeleine wants to read or go out. The morning goes on, Kyle gets home around 2:30. The girls are winding down for naps and Kyle wonders why I look so frazzled when they are so relatively calm. All I want to do is sit on the couch while they sleep and spend some time with my good friend Horatio Caine and the CSI team from Miami. Kyle has grand visions of driving the minivan up a mountain. A mountain. With two kids in the back for hours. Awesome plan dude.

I can usually talk Kyle down and get him to relax with me and before we know it the peace we had just begun to enjoy is over and the kids are SO HAPPY TO SEE US. But wait, all of the chores we promised we'd do today are still left undone. No matter! We'll totally clean the car out tomorrow! (It's been months)

Kyle goes to bed around 7:00 and after they finish crying because daddy DARED to leave them to go to sleep, the girls look at me expectantly. GIRL TIME! That's usually when we jet off to Walmart to grab the groceries. Everyone is happy until about the time we reach check out and Juliette starts screaming and Madeleine is trying to shoplift a candy bar and I look exhausted and disheveled as a teenage boy "Mam"s me and I leave the store hurriedly while disapproving older couples look on like their kids NEVER cried in stores. We get home and put away the groceries, play, read, and then (horrors!) I let Madeleine cuddle up to me and watch a show for a few minutes. She starts to conk out, we say our prayers (she loves praying and going to church), get tucked into the crib with our favorite Monkey, and fall quickly to sleep. It's about 10:15 and Juliette realizes that she has me ALL. TO. HERSELF. She can't decide what she wants to do first! Nurse on the left side? Nurse on the right side?

It's ten minutes later and Juliette has passed out drinking yet again. I tuck her into the other crib. I put away the dishes, maybe hang the cloth diapers to dry overnight, perhaps even shower, and finally settle down in front of the TV to make my mind stop. I climb into bed around one thanking God for another wonderful day. My husband and my girls are healthy and thriving and adore me to pieces as I them. I haven't discovered a cure for cancer or fought crime like Horatio but I feel fulfilled.

This is just a general overview of a typical day of the week. We learn, we explore, we eat, we do all the normal things that normal moms do with their kids. As they grow older I will add more and more structure to our days so as to build a foundation for homeschooling. For now though I am trying to enjoy the crud out of them because I hear they don't stay this little forever.

Controversial or just Catholic

Sometimes I feel a litte bit alone in the world. Most of my decisions about life are controversial. Some of them because they go completely against the grain of what is considered "normal" such as getting married at 21, using Natural Family Planning instead of birth control, being pro-life, being pro-traditional marriage, planning on having many homeschooled babies, and really, basically being an orthodox Catholic. Other things are controversial because the people who disagree with me on them tend to be very opinionated. I vaccinate my children, I love me some epidural, I cloth diaper, I stay at home with my kids all day every day, I don't start potty training until my kids shows signs they are ready, and I let Madeleine watch TV for short periods before she was two. I'm not perfect and I don't pretend to be, but with all that controversy, with people coming at you from all sides telling you what you are doing as a mother/wife/woman etc is wrong, how do you develop convictions and hold to them without attacking others in the same breath?

I want to talk about the controversy caused by the first set of things I discussed, the things that go against the grain of society and not just my close set of friends. I don't believe in moral relativity. Not at all. I believe that when it comes to the important things (such as being pro-life, marriage being between a man and a woman, and not using contraception) there is a right and a wrong and I believe that through the teachings of the Catholic Church, it is very clear. I feel blessed to be brought up in a family that taught me right from wrong. I'm glad that they taught me that the right way isn't always the easy way but that the struggles and sacrifice are always worth it in the end. I know that I have to hold myself up to a higher standard than I do anyone else because I can't call anyone on when I know that I am falling in a similar area. But with moral relativity being so predominant in our culture it seems like there is never a good time to share your beliefs with others. It's considered rude. I don't like people coming up to me telling me what I am doing is wrong and yet I know that I am called to evangelize and many people see evangelization as just being nosy.

This is the conclusion I've come to. I have to let the wisdom of the Catholic Church and the Holy Spirit be my guide and I have to live my life as the best example I can because when worldly ways fail someone they are going to be searching for another way and I want to be a light to show them the path to Christ. I want our family to be a beacon of what the Church is all about and our joy and peace to speak for me. I'll always be willing to give my witness in words... I was in fact a catechetics major, but unless I live a good ife it really won't do any good. So I'm going to be the best Catholic I can be, raise my lovely babies to do the same, and just pray that God will use our example to touch just one person. That would be so wonderful.

Monday, August 8, 2011

My kitchen smells like HAPPY

We were having a no good very bad morning until this happened-


Juliette is amazingly adorable but she is made even cuter by holding my Dunkin Donuts french vanilla k-cups!

She wanted to know what all the fuss was about but she won't find out by eating the box. And I am not sharing with ANYONE! Except maybe Kyle if he asks nicely. It's really the little things in life that bring this sleep deprived stay at home mom so much joy.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

CSI Sarah

Last night I had a dream that I was nominated for an Emmy and lost but decided to go to the after parties so I could meet Brad and Angelina and learn how to adopt babies. But then, in my dream, George Clooney told me that there had been a murder and asked me if I would come with him to solve it. So I went and we looked for clues and I found out that one of the police at the scene did it. And in my dream that bad guy threatened me and so I went into hiding for three years until I felt safe and came out of obscurity to make a movie and then I went to the Academy Awards and George Clooney told me if it wasn't for my investigative skills they would never have caught the bad guy. And then we went to the after party and ate mini hot dogs. And then I woke up.

In conclusion I watch too much CSI and have very vivid dreams.

The end

My home girl, Mary Magdalene

I was talking to a friend of mine about my devotion to Mary Magdalene on her feast day (July 22nd) and she told me that I should turn it into a blog post. So here it is.

A lot of times life is like one of those three act chick flicks. In life you are born and everything is a-ok and peaceful. In the movie this is generally the very beginning before the main story line begins. Then life happens and whether you lead a sinful life or a average one, you may not have developed a relationship with Christ and the world can seem overwhelming and you want to go back to when times were simple instead of moving forward into the unknown. This is usually the point in the movie when the girl meets the guy and things get confusing and every force possible tries to keep them apart. (Usually we've been introduced to Christ much earlier than we fall in love with him and the world tries to keep us from him. Just thought I'd explain in case you didn't see my crazy analogy) Then there is the third act where we fall in love with Christ for the first time and in the movie the woman and the man get engaged, married, etc. And then the movie just ends.

From this point we are supposed to assume that the couple in the movie stays in love and married but we know that, tragically, in this day in age that usually isn't the case. And likewise we should assume that once Christ comes into our lives that we stay in love with him and follow him everywhere and anywhere. And even more tragically, that usually isn't the case either. However that is the story of my life and I believe the story of Mary Magdalene. Jesus came into Mary Magdalene's life when she was at her worst and the future seemed the most dim. He loved her, changed her, and she was his forever. That is why she followed him to the cross. And her faithfulness is why she was the first he appeared to at the resurrection. A lot of times people don't make it to the cross in marriage and in their journey's with Christ. That is why they never see the resurrection. Mary trusted in the Love that had transformed her and so was able to endure whatever it took to be by Him. From then on, after he was gone, she lived with his Mother and John the Beloved. I'm not sure if it is anywhere near accurate (I don't get to study these things as much as I would like) but in a way I think she is like the first nun. She fell in love with Christ, stood by his side through everything, and after He was gone she lived with two other people who were also clearly celibate. It may not have had the official titles to it that sisters have today, and even if she wasn't even close to being a nun, I see her as a perfect bride for Christ.

I love Mary Magdalene because this is how the story SHOULD go. Our turning points are all different, mine was right before high school, but once we fall in love with God we should stay in love with Him. Obviously major events can happen on our journey, I got married and became a mother, but those events don't start a new story. They just deepen the one we are already in. I love Mary Magdalene because, like me, this is how her story went. She was transformed by Christ and never left his side. I feel a connection with her because she is exactly the type of bride for Christ that I want to be. She's also exactly the type of bride I want to be for Kyle. All my life Mary Magdalene has been an example to me. I feel like we share a similar spirit but she shows me how to use that spirit to grow closer to God and to be holier than I could on my own. My devotion to her is why I named my first daughter Madeleine.

I hope everyone has a saint who can show them how to love Christ but if you don't, I'd recommend Mary Magdalene. She's pretty amazing.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Busy momma hangover

I've never actually been hungover so I'm not entirely sure what it feels like but it's been described to me as the worst headache ever, nausea, exhaustion, confusion, and all you want to do is curl up in bed and eat a few dozen tacos. After the few weeks I've had that is exactly how I feel. I have a busy momma hangover.

It's been a great few weeks, don't get me wrong. More weddings, giving a talk at a retreat, Green Monster tickets, the visit of my best friend, but I'm pretty sure that my socialization tolerance is way down after all the time I've spent as a stay at home mom and now I am just... spent.

It makes me realize that I really need to find a mom's group, some place where I can just sit and "release the Kragons" (a phrase Kyle and I use when we wake up the babies) on a group on unsuspecting tots, and talk with other moms. Maybe then when we do these marathon weeks of crazy I'll be able to enjoy them with more gusto.

However today I have a busy momma hangover. Kyle took the kids off my hands ad I slept until 11:30. I woke up to both babies in the bed with me, jumping all over me, and screaming, "MOMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!" I used to dream of having such beautiful babies excitedly calling me "MOMMMMMMMMMM!" I'm so glad Kyle let me sleep it off because now I get to enjoy a much more coherent day with them.

Juliette's pink dinosaur pillow pet arrived in the mail today and after Madeleine failed in getting her sister interested in it she decided to ride it. While I've been writing Juliette is crawling around the house looking for something dangerous to shove in her mouth and Kyle is following her saying, "Pet! No!" Every other minute. So clearly I have not swept in a while. Madeleine has taken this time of daddy being distracted to eat handfuls of his Corn Pops while he is not looking. It's still a crazy life but at least for today I'm able to enjoy it from the comfort of my own house. There really is no place like home.

It was a wonderful and exciting few weeks but I'm excited to get back to day to day life. I'm sure that in a while when I've recouped I'll crave more fun adventures and Kyle will convince me to use our flight privileges to fly to Pittsburgh or Baltimore or something. Today is all about having nothing to do except be with my family and I love it.