Friday, October 31, 2008
You should check it out - you will be impressed.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
I just read the post a Conversion Diary about money and living beyond our means and I guess that needs to be added to the list of things freakin' me out. But I'm going to make a guess that many of my friends are in a pretty similar boat as Travis and I - living paycheck to paycheck and currently putting nothing into savings. The savings thing is what really scares me. But THANK GOD we have MVV living with us. With his awesome rent (and I mean, seriously - $200 a month for your own place and the best landlords ever!) and 1/3 of the utilities we are spending less than 50% of our monthly income on fixed expenses. This is good.
So now, instead of freaking out, I'm going to make a list of all the VERY GOOD things we are doing to be financially smart.
- cutting up extra credit cards and paying off all balances
- spending no more than $65 a week on groceries unless it is a stock up week.
- begin using only cash or debit cards
- finding more recipes for tuna
- making my own bread products (this includes wheat bread and tortillas)
- buying store brands
- using coupons
Along with those things we are also
- trying to be generous with what we do have
- working on increasing our tithing to a full 10%
- making a point to thank God every morning for everything we have: our home, insurance, our cars, our health, Travis' job and job security, my job, MVV, our friends and family. This last bit is the most important, I believe.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Okay, breastfeeding - it's super easy, it's super quick, it's super good for mom and baby. It creates a bond, it soothes, studies show it makes kids healthier and smarter. Breastfeeding is pretty much an absolute GOOD. But it makes for a LOT of personal contact and often, by the end of the day, I am ready to not hold my daughter any more. It's not that I don't love her, or think she's absolutely wonderful and adorable, it's just that I want to not have to touch anyone.
So that's my little secret. As much of a breastfeeding activist that I am, I don't love doing it.
Because of all that, Travis and I recently decided to try getting Lydia to sleep by being rocked or just held. But the new bedtime routine of dinner (cereal), bath, book and cuddle hasn't been working very well and in the end, after much fussing, I just end up nursing her anyways.
Last night, though, we decided to try "Crying it out." It was clear that she was tired when we put her in the crib but after 50 minutes she was still crying and I felt like a JERK. (We did the method where you go back and soothe without picking up after certain periods of time.) But in the end I picked her up, apologized for leaving her alone, asked for her forgiveness, let her snuggle into my chest and eventually nursed her to sleep.
I'm not quite sure if we're succeeding as parents in this area or failing, but I think it just depends on which camp you ask. I do know this, it will be awhile before we try "crying it out" again, if we ever do.
Any words of encouragement or advice?
Sunday, October 26, 2008
This one was taken in my dorm room at my "I'm going to San Francisco for the Summer" party.
This one was taken at the Senior Boat Party. I swear, even though it looks like he's touching me, he never did. Jacob is a perfect gentleman, which you maybe couldn't tell by his red boxers and his hat that reads, "Wisconsin: Land of Cowshit and Beer Farts."
Thursday, October 23, 2008
- pay the taxes on it
- tithe to the St. Francis Newman Center
- pay off my college debts, Travis' college debts, and the mortgage.
- buy a hybrid car
- buy a Chevelle for Travis (since he sold his for the down payment on the house)
- buy a new vacuum cleaner (ours is a hand-me-down and doesn't work very well)
- buy an ipod
- buy some Wellies
- buy a cute trench coat
- buy all the bumGenius 3.0 diapers I could ever want (which is really like 10 more)
- buy a new digital camera
- buy a KitchenAid mixer
- buy a tv (ours needs a converter box and isn't even ours - it's my brother's)
- buy a Wii
- pay someone to finish the house
- buy a new computer because Travis really wants a new one, even though I don't think it's necessary
Now, if my estimations are correct, we would still have more money left over than Travis makes in a year. That would go in the bank.
What about you, what would you do if you had a $1,000,000?
2) She did not sleep through the night so it did not work. Dang it.
3) She has not done so well eating the cereal since that first time. Perhaps the novelty wore off.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
Just to fill in some details:
- Wooden blocks would be great, along with other wooden toys.
- bumGenius has some new colors in their pocket diapers and we're big fans of them. They can be ordered online from a lot of places, however, there's a store in B/N called Pinstripes & Polkadots. You can go there, call or order online. Even if you just buy ONE you'll be helping us out so much!
- Baby Legs are adorable leg warmers. They make diaper changing much, much easier and are what we use in place of tights since baby tights don't fit over cloth diapers and Travis hates them.
- Children's books: The Hungry Caterpillar, Where the Wild Things Are, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie (and it's sister books), From Head to Toe, We're Going on a Bear Hunt... these are all good. :) Board books are good but not necessary. We also LOVE Sandra Boynton.
- Clothes: warm clothes to get her through the winter and spring would be lovely.
2 - We turned on the heat. It was just too cold for the baby (though I'm not complaining!). First, though, Trav had to hook up a few more vents. Last winter we had just 2 vents: one in the bedroom and one in the dining room. We were cold, but our bills were low.
3 - WIU had its Homecoming this past weekend. We headed back to Macomb but we didn't go to the game. We did tailgating with the Newman Center and then came home. It was really good to see old friends, though. And Lydia was a hit. ;)
4- I completely forgot about my friend's daughter's first birthday party. Dang it.
5 - My daughter no longer sleeps through the night and it drives me crazy!!!!!!!!!
6 - This week is Eureka's Homecoming and for the first time ever I plan on going to the parade and football game.
7 - Lydia has a tiger costume and we'll be trick or treating for Unicef this year. We have 3 reasons for doing this: a- show off our cute daughter, b - raise money for a good cause, c - hopefully score some candy for ourselves.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
Thursday, October 9, 2008
I know this is a catholic thing and that I don't need to understand. It's probably none of my business, but I'm really confused by this. If the church advocates this NFP system, why do you feel guilty about having a "contraceptive mindset"? Doesn't the name of the system imply that you are meant to use it to plan your family? I don't understand why the system is in place at all if you aren't supposed to have a "contraceptive mindset." Why not just ignore all your biological signs, go about your business, and have babies as they come? If the church says NFP is okay, why do you feel conflicted about planning your family? Feel free to ignore this inquiry. Again, I know I don't need to grasp this. I guess I'm just curious.
It's a good question and deserving of an answer. I'm going to borrow very heavily from Christopher West, a Catholic theologian who basically takes John Paul the Great's Theology of the Body and writes the "For Dummies" version. He states:
Pope Paul VI stated clearly that those are considered “to exercise responsible parenthood who prudently and generously decide to have a large family, or who, for serious reasons and with due respect to the moral law, choose to have no more children for the time being or even for an indeterminate period” (HV 10). Notice that large families should result from prudent reflection, not “chance.” Notice too that couples must have “serious reasons” to avoid pregnancy and must respect the moral law.
...The Church has always recognized that the only method of “birth control” that respects the language of divine love is “self-control.”
...Contraception, by definition, is the choice to engage in an act of intercourse, but then do something else to render it sterile...
Couples who use natural family planning (NFP) when they have a just reason to avoid pregnancy never render their sexual acts sterile; they never contracept...
To some people this seems like splitting hairs. “What’s the big difference,” they ask, “between rendering the union sterile yourself and just waiting until it’s naturally infertile? The end result is the same: both couples avoid children.” To which I respond, what’s the big difference between killing Grandma and just waiting until she dies naturally? End result’s the same thing: dead Grandma. Yes, but one is a serious sin called murder, and the other is an act of God.
So hopefully that will explain the Catholic perspective of NFP a little better.
And now to the "contraceptive mentality" bit. Some people have a very good reason to not get pregnant and to use NFP to not do so. For example, after I miscarried I was told to wait a few cycles before we tried again. We wanted to get pregnant but we also knew that for my health and for the health of the next baby we should wait. So we were "open to life" and would have rejoiced at a pregnancy, but we felt like it was very important to wait. You can also have good reasons involving money, housing, schooling, health, depression, etc. In these circumstances you are not wanting the act to be sterile - you are not trying to change sex.
But - and this is where my struggle comes in - to engage in the marital act and to not be open to life, to not want there to be any chance of a baby, this is having a "contraceptive mentality." This is the line I have to discern every time Travis and I consummate our marriage.
Maybe I've just muddied the water even more. You can read the entire Christopher West article here. Also, if my fellow Catholics feel I got it wrong, please correct me! I would love to be shown the Truth!
Halloween Tree = story. I was a bridesmaid in my friend, Margaret's wedding. After the rehearsal dinner I crashed at her parents' house and could not keep my eyes off this tree. Everyone would be chatting about the wedding and honeymoon and in a moment of silence I would say something like, "How much do you think it weighs?" as I'd reach down and pick it up. Margaret's mom teased me about stealing it, and the next day, after the wedding I did hide it behind the sofa.
This ghost with jack-o-lantern was a bunco gift that my mom won years and years ago. I have always loved it and the way it marked the beginning of fall throughout my childhood. Last time I was at my parents' house I told my mom that a) I wanted it when she died and b) if some day she came home and it was missing, she would know where it was. And then she gave it to me!
And this is just a really super cute picture of my 5 month old baby girl.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Please select all that apply when you're voting.
2. What color are your socks right now? I'm barefoot.
3. What are you listening to right now? hum of the fan.
4. What was the last thing that you ate? beany wrap stuffing
5. Can you drive a stick shift? no.
6. Last person you spoke to on the phone? My mom.
7. Do you like the person who sent this to you? Stephani
8. How old are you today? 27
9. What is your favorite sport to watch on TV? I generally hate watching sports on TV, the only exception is the Olympics.
10. What is your favorite drink? rum & coke, Dr. Pepper, water
11. Have you ever dyed your hair? once, in 6th grade - it was red highlights
12. Favorite food? Can you really have a favorite? Maybe green apples and PB, or homemade bread and honey, or my monster cookies, or my pizza, or my mom's round steak with mushroom gravy.
13. What is the last movie you watched? Shane. "Shane! Come back!"
14. Favorite day of the year? Christmas.
15. How do you vent anger? I have recently taken to beating the crap out of my sofa or bed. I also let people have it... in my head.
16. What was your favorite toy as a child? Barbies
17. What is your favorite season? Yuletide, with Halloween a close second.
18. Cherries or Blueberries? Fresh - cherries, in baked goods - blueberries
19. Living arrangements? 2 story fixer-upper with my husband and daughter and MVV who rents the upstairs.
20. When was the last time you cried? Friday night with Katie.
21. What is on the floor of your closet? a pack-n-play
22. Who is the friend you have had the longest? Hedda - we've been friends since kindergarten.
23. What did you do last night? Baked chocolate chip cookies, packed my husbands lunch and watched Heroes and Life.
24. What are you most afraid of? Travis' death, followed by Lydia's death, followed by my Mom's.
25. How many states have you lived in? 3ish - one summer in California, half a summer in Wisconsin and the rest of it in good ole Illinois.
26. What is your favorite kind of flower? Tulips, I think.
Monday, October 6, 2008
The Bad: I think Lydia is teething and she is a fussy, fussy baby.
The Ugly: She's been waking up every 2 hours to nurse. Crying. Fussing. Nursing for comfort every two hours. I'm so tired.
Friday, October 3, 2008
Real Welsh Scones
2 & 1/4 C flour
1/3 C sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick butter, cut into 12 sections
1/2 C milk
Mix the dry ingredients, then cut in butter until mixture is mealy.
Beat egg and milk together in seperate dish.
Toss the wet and dry together.
Gently knead 4 times.
Make 2 6" discs on parchment paper.
Using a floured knife cut half way through the discs making 8 sections.
Bake 12-15 mins at 450.
I added some craisins to one of mine and sprinkled them with some sugar to make them a bit prettier.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Have any of you encountered this before? Why is it happening and how long did it last? We know she's not wet, hungry, hurt or cold.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Travis doesn't really think about the Big Thing any more. He feels like it served its purpose and got him to where he was supposed to be: Catholic and happily married to me. In fact, he tells me the only times he does think about the Big Thing is when I bring it up.
And I do bring it up, in one way or another, at least once a week. But honestly, I think about it every day. At least once. every. single. day.
And when I hear the Big Thing referenced by others I wonder what Travis would be like if he hadn't let go of it. From a distance I can look at the Big Thing and see that we make his life very different. I wonder, is Travis really happier? He says yes.
But, and especially with all my struggles adjusting to motherhood, I don't always trust that. I am jealous of how long he had the Big Thing and how much he loved it while it was his.
To him it's a pretty Little Thing. I am the one who makes it Big by thinking of it so often. Yet, it's bigness is why I think of it so much. To me it is a large reference point in our lives. It makes me feel like I am not quite right or enough. In fact, the Big Thing is part of the cause of my struggles in adjusting to motherhood. Travis doesn't really care for the Big Thing too much any more, perhaps more so because of how I feel about it.
If you see us, Travis' arms are wide open; mine are clinging the very thing I hate the most.
- I cleaned the floors.
- I dusted the living room.
- I packed away clothing Lydia has outgrown.
- I went to the bank.
- I went to the Lake and walked the trails, running into an old co-worker on her lunch break.
- I made manicotti for the first time and it turned out really well.
- I baked a galette, using up apples and pears.
- I wrapped some presents.
- I paid the bills.
- I wrote the last of the Thank You's.
Lydia played by herself or sat with me. She was great on the walk and in the car. We had a super day. And I knew all day long that it wouldn't last, that today would be horrible.
And it hasn't been horrible, but it hasn't been great. First, Lydia didn't really sleep much last night. She eventually just came to bed with Travis and I because if we weren't holding her she was crying. Then all morning she fussed and fussed. She's finally down for a nap, so maybe things will turn around now for me.
I think life has never been consistent, but it's much more pronounced now that I'm a mom.