Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year Reso-flections

Happy New Year Everyone!

I don't usually make New Year's Resolutions because I think ideally if you realize something about your life needs to change you will just do it right then, but I figured I'd examine what I want and try it out.

1. I without a doubt need to make more time for prayer. Having kids keeps me busy but I can't be a good mother without prayer so I can't use my kids as an excuse. I need to find a schedule of what prayers I say and when and stick to it, including some "free style" time, just me and the Big Guy!

2. I need to take some time to leave the house and the kids and do things for me. I am always home with the kids and NEVER leave them. I need to hit the gym more than once a month, go on dates with my hubby, get a pedicure, even just run to the store without them while Kyle is home. I need to trust other people to take care of my kids for me, get a chance to miss them.

3. I need to do more outside.

4. I need to suck it up and learn some crafts. Just because I hate crafts doesn't mean the kids should suffer.

5. I need to throw stuff away. Just go down to my basement and toss what I don't need, one box at a time. Who needs all that stuff anyway?

6. I need to reach out to more people. I tend to keep to a small group of friends that I trust (partly out of laziness, partly because I hate getting burned) but I've learned that closing myself off can be isolating and keeps me from wonderful relationships. I've recently reconnected with one good friend from college that I had been missing (Kristen L) and it has been so wonderful. I made a new friend in town (Ashley). I also connected with an amazing group of Catholic women (Catholics R Us) who have taught me so much and helped me through big and little bumps in the road. I've also tried harder to maintain the friendships that I had grown neglectful of. I can do more. I need people in my life if I want to grow.

7. I need to work on my cussing, especially on the road.

8. I could stand to cut down on the spending... and the starbucks..

9. I'd like to keep in better touch with my grandparents and my aunts and uncles.

This year I am going to just try to be the best I can be. Pray for me!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas 2011- The Great Child Spoiling

Can we wait up for Santa Claus mommy? Please?????


First up... train set. The baby godzilla destroys the city and the two year olds all cry.

Taking a break to pose for pictures. It's crazy that all this beauty can exist in one house at the same time...

Juliette is concerned as to why she was not invited to the Celtics game I am taking my dad to as his Christmas gift.

Uncle Bobby gets a frame to put pictures of my daughters in. I call that a win.

Watch out Auntie Lauren, little Juliette has taken a liking to your new husband. We love having Uncle Nick around!

Matching pajamas for Madeleine and Bitty Baby from Grandmommy and a makeup table from Auntie Carly

Fighting over the mirror. Maybe a foreshadowing of their high school years.

What a lovely little lady!


Auntie Lauren and her little nieces. They missed her so much!

Debating over whether to reheat the pizza in the microwave or the oven of their new kitchen from Grandmom and Granddad

Madeleine says, "If you are small enough to fit in the oven you don't belong in the kitchen."

Love her new hair do!

Back at home hanging out in Bitty Baby's crib!

And of course the greatest gift we gave them was each other!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas Eve

Merry Christmas Eve to all of my family and friends.

May the world be filled with peace, joy and love as we bow before the newborn Son of God. Love to you all.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

How the Mother loves her Son

Most nights Juliette will wake up crying and end up in our bed. Sometimes I nurse her and we both fall back to sleep but on some lovely nights I stay up and just watch her for a while. I kiss her head, rub her hair, listen to her breathe, and just bask in the overwhelming love I feel for her.

Lately though, as Christmas comes closer and closer, I think about how Mary must have done the same thing with her Son. How she must have stayed up at night and just held Him and kissed Him and adored Him. It amazes me even more as a mother how Mary was able to love Jesus like no other person in the world. And if my love for my children seems overwhelming in my imperfection and my sinfulness, I can't even imagine how much she loved Jesus in her freedom from sin and all other impediments to Love. She loved Jesus and a mother and adored him as her God. That must have knocked the breath out of her every, single day.

I'd thought about this before, tried to meditate on what it meant for her to be His mother but honestly couldn't even fathom it. I think as a mother my understanding has only increased one one millionth but when I lie next to my baby and smell her head and watch her eyelids flutter I can just try to ask Mary to show me more how she loves her Son.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


There is no way I could ever doubt the existence of God. He has given me more than I deserve and filled my life with love and beauty and joy. As if it wasn't enough to experience Him in the Eucharist, I am given my husband and daughters to be His presence to me at all times. There isn't much more to say tonight... Just standing in awe of His goodness.

Monday, December 19, 2011


I have to confess my bad wifey-ness to the world. Yesterday I accidentally found out what Kyle got me for Christmas... and it was NOT a dolphin named Patrick!


I am a stay at home momma and have never really desired a smart phone because my computer is basically in the playroom where I spend my days and I thought, "Why wouldn't I just check me email and facebook on that?!"

When the new Iphone came out I was intrigued by SIRI (my love!) and began to learn more. Organization apps? Homeschooling apps? NFP apps? Confession apps? FRUIT NINJA?!?! AMAZING CAMERA?!?! OH DO I DESIRE IT SO! It would be my smart MOMMY phone!

Still, I could not justify the cost of buying one to myself and so I looked at pictures of them on the apple website and thought.... one day... maybe....

Until that STUDLY husband of mine went all secret Christmas ninja on me and bought me one! OH JOY!

Yesterday I noticed some *ahem* charges to our Verizon bills and decided to investigate because I am not a fan of fraudlent charges. Then I saw it... a new phone... white and distinctly IPhone shaped!

I freaked out, then cried because I had ruined the surprise, then freaked out some more, then decided to call Kyle and tell him what I had done.

So we exchanged presents last night and it's a good thing because I would have spent all Christmas wrapped up in my own little 4g world. Now I can be totally focused on the kiddos like a good mommy.

The moral of the story is... I HAVE THE BEST HUSBAND IN THE WORLD!

Thanks babe!

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Eucharist goes in your mouth

IT'S ALMOST CHRISTMAS and boy am I pumped! It's the beautiful Christmas mass with the singing and the holiness and the adorable dressed up kiddos, it's Santa bringing presents. it's family time and having a birthday party for Jesus. I just love it.

Not to mention my husband has apparently gotten my "the best Christmas gift ever" (besides Jesus, of course) and won't even give me a hint as to what it is. Naturally I am a basket case over not knowing and have nagged him non stop to give me a hint. He won't. He's adorable. I've made up a story that he is giving me a dolphin that I will call Patrick. Sure, it may seem unreasonable to ask for a dolphin in a 3 bedroom apartment in the cold northeast but we have a really big bathtub.

We went to the mall Friday to see Santa and had to wait until after his lunch break was over to get in line. The Santa booth was right by the personalized ornaments and so I found the girls an ornament with two hearts that said BFF in the middle. I had them place one of their name's in each heart because they are BFFs and I think it's precious so I hung it in a very prominent spot on the tree as soon as I got home.

But back to the trip to the mall.... FINALLY Santa appeared and we were FIRST IN LINE. Madeleine was excited until it was "go time" and she came down with a massive case of nerves. The picture ended up being Juliette half passed out in Santa's arms, Madeleine on my lap looking PISSED and me smiling for the camera. Not one we will be prominently displaying for years to come but definitely one that we will bring out to embarrass them in front of friends.

In between refusing to look at the camera and staring at the floor Madeleine would turn to Santa and say, "Santa... trains please!" The kid at least knows how that part works.

Today was the final Sunday of Advent and another mass where I missed almost all of the new responses peeling Juliette off the pews and convincing Madeleine that this was NOT a good time to tickle the baby. However, when Madeleine does pay attention it is an amazing thing. During the consecration I told her, "Look at the priest. He is turning the bread into Jesus' body!" She looks at me, eyes wide, and goes, "NO WAY!"

Later I asked her if she knew what the Eucharist was. She nodded. She goes, "The Eucharist goes in your mouth." She may not know that the Eucharist is the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus but she knows that the priest puts the Eucharist in your mouth. I'm very proud of her.

And that's been my weekend so far... not too exciting but I am very joyful.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Picking up my cross

I am so thankful for my doctors up here in Massachusetts. Since I almost died from an ectopic pregnancy about a week before we left Texas I was a bit scared of finding a doctor I could trust. Per the advice of many solid people I found a strong Catholic doctor who is well versed in the Creighton Method of Natural Family Planning, completely pro-life and anti-contraception with a sizable Catholic brood of his own. He is amazing. I was so scared of not being able to have kids after I lost one of my tubes and he helped me find specialists who could determine the underlying causes to my ectopic pregnancy and if I could achieve more pregnancies without risking losing my other tube or if I would need surgery.

After many sessions with him, lots of blood draws, and much more confidence than I had before I had met him I became pregnant with Madeleine. He was too far away to deliver my baby but I saw him through the first trimester. He did weekly blood draws to make sure my HCG levels were doubling properly before they could make certain that the baby was in my uterus by ultrasound. He got me on progesterone because of my extremely low levels and my family history of miscarriages due to low progesterone levels. Even after I migrated to my new (and also fabulous) doctor for my second and third trimesters he kept up with me to make sure I was doing well.

I had an appointment with him today as has become customary after I start to get my cycle back (over share, I know) after I give birth. They monitor my hormone levels to make sure that they don't detect any signs that there could be any problems with my remaining tube. Praise God, so far everything has been perfect.

We talked for a while about the gift that Natural Family Planning is. He gave an amazing analogy that I just wanted to share. When you achieve a pregnancy while doing Natural Family Planning you are aware of your fertility and therefore able to make a decision to receive a new life inside of you. It is like when you go to receive the Eucharist, you walk to the priest or Extraordinary Minister with the intent to receive Jesus inside of you and you are able to prepare yourself. When you use Natural Family Planning you are aware of the holiness of the act of creating a child with your spouse and you are able to prepare yourself for that new life. He said when you don't use Natural Family Planning and you aren't aware of your fertility it's like receiving the Eucharist in your sandwich. All of the holiness and grace are still there but you aren't aware and so you cannot prepare yourself as fully to receive it. It is such a gift to be aware that you may have just made a child and to reflect on that and it is a blessing to make the decision, "Yes, I want to bear new life." A child is always unequivocally a GIFT and a BLESSING but why would you not want to understand your fertility, embrace it, and know and receive the blessings of that gift right from the moment of conception?

We also talked about having large families. He says that he gets frustrated when the mother of many kids complains about hardships and people say to her, "Well maybe you shouldn't have had so many kids." Someone could be stuck in traffic and complaining about that but you wouldn't tell them, "Well maybe you shouldn't have a car." Sometimes mothers get "stuck in traffic" so to speak and struggle but that does not mean that they shouldn't have had their kids. The overall blessings from their child outweigh any hardships greatly. In fact, I would say that the hardships and challenges are what purify us and make marriage and motherhood a vocation that increases holiness.

Back in the day at Franciscan people would talk about "paths". Obviously your vocation is your path to God. Most of the time when I think about paths in a spiritual context I think back to the road Christ had to travel to the cross. That journey was His purpose and he bore His cross along it because of His intense love for the people we would die for.

I relate that to vocations. Until I found Kyle most of the time I found my "path" to be a rather easy one. I felt like I could carry my cross with no issues and was dancing along to God. It wasn't until I loved Kyle that I began to feel the weight of the cross I was carrying, my sinfulness. I could feel how my sins weighed down on me because now that we were one they were also placed on his shoulders. I could clearly see the effects of my sinfulness on him. If I was selfish, it hurt Kyle. If I was vein, it hurt Kyle. That clarity allowed me to see how I also hurt so many other people around me. Suddenly my cross felt more weighty. At the same time however I found new strength to carry it because I had found something I would die for. I'm not really talking about actual martyrdom because that seems like a no-brainer, dying for my faith, but someone I was willing to die to myself for.

Each day in marriage is a day to carry the cross of sin, of illness, and then to die to yourself for the ones you love. I imagine it is the same for a priest, wanting to carry your cross out of love for the Church, the bride of the priest, and being willing to die to yourself for Her. When I became a mother this conviction was taken to an even more intense level. My sins are weighted down on my daughters as well. I don't think that Jesus says His yoke is easy and His burden is light because the struggles you face as a Christian are negligible. I believe He says it because He gives you the ability to truly LOVE and that love gives you the strength to carry your cross. Ultimately in order to love someone you have to be willing to die to yourself.

I don't want to ever look at motherhood or being a wife and say, "I have no time for myself. I can't afford XYZ." There are times when I struggle with those things but if I ever complain I'll tell you now, I'm glad I have the car even though I am stuck in traffic.

Tonight it is two in the morning but I am not asleep. Juliette is having one of those nights where she thinks bed time is nap time and wakes up at 11 refreshed and ready to go. Which, of course, is always fun.

Tonight after she had been put down on the floor to burn off energy she took off for the clean laundry basket, put my underwear around her neck, and walked off screaming for "Na" which is what she calls Madeleine. Sometimes it's "Nani" but usually it's "Na".

So she eventually realized that "Na" was not in the living room or the play room or the kitchen so she beat down the door to the nursery and made her way to Madeleine's crib in the dark as she called out for her. I scooped her up and removed her before she could wake her sister, she cried, and I told her she would just have to settle for playtime with momma.

She fell asleep again just a little while ago and while I am exhausted I wouldn't a trade single smile. Motherhood can be hard, and I'll stumble and fall far more than the three times Christ did, but it itself cannot ever be a cross. It's what I carry my cross for.

Sunday, December 11, 2011


It's 8:08 pm and I just gave both of my kids large cups of chocolate milk. No idea where my brain is today... Sunday is the one day I hope they get to bed on time so I can watch Once Upon a Time in peace, just me and the honey and lemon tea in my Mrs Spencer Reid mug.

Yesterday I took the girls grocery shopping, searched out one of the carts with the cars in front so they would remain happy, and of course after a few minutes they cried mutiny. Naturally. So I gave Juliette my keys to eat and the little scanner from the front of the store to Madeleine. This led to every old lady in the store coming up to me and asking if I really wanted my baby to be chewing on my car keys and Madeleine walking up to a complete stranger (that looked like me) and saying, "Look mom! CRACK!".

Of course the scanner she was holding had a picture of crackers in the display scene and I was wearing my Northface hoodie with my blond hair neatly tucked in a headband so she didn't bat an eyelash. But if it had been a few days ago when I had bags under my eyes so bad I looked like I had been clocked across the face, sweat pants stained with the tears and runny noses of two sick toddlers, and the voice someone who loves her some Palmols, there MAY have been issues. Oh flu/bronchitis you did NOT make for my prettiest days. (I looked like I was on drugs.)

Today was mostly uneventful, teaching Madeleine how to Tebow and hardcore dance parties before daddy got home from work. We all went to mass together arriving 5 minutes late and during the homily. Note to my priest friends, PLEASE do not start mass early. Fifty percent of the time one or both of my kids poops on the way out the door and we arrive five minutes late and it stinks to already be on the homily. Especially when we are still trying to learn the parts to the new mass translation. When in doubt I usually just go with, "And with your spirit."

Now I am across the room from the kids while they play kitchen. Why? One of them smells. PMS makes me queasy so I am trying to gather up the nerve to figure out which one and change them.

Life is good. Madeleine and I took lots of photos of ourselves while the baby napped and just had so much fun together. It helps that we are just sooooo good looking and hilarious. At least we think so. Hate on, haters! Just kidding.

Love me some Kyle butt.

I'm not a creeper


Happy faces!

We have a sense of humor!

Madeleine loves a happy momma!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Sisterhood of the Traveling Behrs

Today was the cutest day ever! We picked up Madeleine from her little vacation to Grandmom's house and although she cried saying goodbye to Grandmom at first and then promptly fell asleep, when we got home it became clear that my daughters are each other's favorite people. in the world. ever.

Juliette heard Madeleine waking up from her nap (we put her right in her crib from the minivan) so she pushed open the door and walked right into their room. Madeleine started squealing, "OH GOSH BABY!!! COME HERE BABY!!!" Juliette walked to the crib giggling and they began reaching through the bars and grabbing each other. I picked up Juliette and placed her in the crib with her sister where she fell on Madeleine's lap. Madeleine wrapped her arms around her sister and began patting her head going, "Ohhhh baby. Ohhhh baby." They stayed wrapped in each other's arms for a few minutes and then stood up and began hug/wrestling.

Finally they got bored of the crib and have followed each other around the house for the rest of the day sharing toys and playing together excitedly. Most recently they were spotted giving each other kisses on the lips.

The bond they share is so incredible. Madeleine and Juliette both seemed happy when they were apart but when they were back together it was just pure joy. I am so thankful that they have each other.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

She's ALIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm alive!!!!

Today is the first day I am finally feeling a bit better, praise God! Madeleine has spent the past two nights and tonight as well at my parent's house so I could recover and only have one kiddo to worry about. It's been nice but I miss that stinky little toddler like crazy and am excited to get her back tomorrow!

Momma and Juliette have been having some fantastic bonding time. Lots of fluids, peekaboo, and snuggling in front of Elmo. She's been an absolute angel.

And Kyle has been an angel as well. He has taken such good care of us while we were all sick and has gotten rather little time to relax himself. He does it all without complaint and is always trying to figure out what else he can do for us. At the same time he is planning some sort of Christmas surprise for me. He asked me a budget and I told him BAGILLION MONEYS!!! He says that isn't a real number and that he will figure it out for himself. It's tempting to snoop since I hate surprises but I have to admit that it's pretty fun having no idea what he is planning for me.

The house is a mess of half done projects. The dishwasher is half loaded or half emptied, the clothes are in the dryer but not folded, the playroom is half cleaned up. I'd start feeling better, get to cleaning, and then get sick again. This is the point at which I'd fall back on the couch and swear I wouldn't try to clean again.

Hopefully now that this is all almost over I can get back into the Christmas spirit with full force! I have cards to send out and presents to wrap and a toddler to catechize so I am busy, busy, busy. Especially with that last part.

But now I'm feeling rather lazy again so I'm off to watch TV and then get some sleep. I can't overdo it. I have the world's sweetest two year old to collect tomorrow and I plan on having the strength to give her the world's biggest hug!

Friday, December 2, 2011

My man and my mocha

Geeze having sick kids is the worst! And being sick with sick kids makes it even harder. That is why I am thankful for Kyle. Yes, he has helped with the dishes and the laundry while we are all down for the count (in fact he usually does the dishes because the OCD in him hates how I load the dishwasher) but he has also gotten me Starbucks every single day I have been sick.

Why is that a big deal for me? We normally only get Starbucks on Sundays and birthdays because it's expensive and we are p-o-o-r but this week he has obliged my cravings. Why? It makes me feel better, it gives me a little bit of energy to care for the kids. Honestly, I'm not sure why it works but mochas are pure magic.

I am just so thankful to have a husband who goes out of his way to take care of me. His love really gives me the strength to be the mother I need to be to my babies. I guess it isn't really the mocha, it's that he cares enough to do what it takes to make me happy. It's that he thinks of the little things that I like.

I've been sick a lot since we got married and every single time he has honored our vows of "in sickness and in health". I couldn't be more grateful to have married someone who loves my in the tougher days and in the little ways. He always tells me what an amazing mother he thinks I am but I wouldn't be able to do it without him.

Where my mind travels to...

What is the purpose of mentally stimulating mobiles for above the baby's bed? Isn't getting them stimulated the opposite of what you want when your baby is in bed?

How do the valet parking guys get back after they drop off the car? I mean, sometimes the lots are super far away and no one is picking up a car yet because it is the start of an event. So how do they get back?

What is the purpose of sheer curtains? Isn't the purpose of a curtain to keep the light out? You can't find a window treatment that looks pretty and does it's job?

Do baby bikinis totally sketch anyone else out?

Have you ever noticed how girls talk behind someone's back about how that person talks behind peoples' backs?

How do the Extreme Coupon people get SO MANY coupons? They must be spending the money they are saving in buying up newspapers.

Where are all my socks?

How do two children manage to do so much damage to my home in such a short amount of time?

Why does coffee out taste so much better than coffee at home?

How dare they delay the delivery of my "Mrs. Spencer Reid" mug by even ONE day?

Was I always this strange?

Oh brain... I'm so sorry for what child rearing has done to you...