Friday, November 21, 2014

{7QT v. 74} It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

It's the hap-happiest season of all. And I'm going to use the next 7 to tell you all about it.

And linking up with Kelly.

1. Sunday is the feast of Christ the King. That be my Catholic birthday, yo! I'll be celebrating, as always, with breakfast after Mass and making my favorite dinner -- braised beef shanks -- and enjoying it with my beautiful Catholic family.

2. This week and next are the weeks that poor, forgotten, fabulous Thanksgiving gets its due. For two weeks, we get a taste of the world if we all lived liturgically -- feasting, family, giving thanks, heads bowed in prayer that might never otherwise. I freaking love it!!!!!

3. Thanksgiving is Thursday!!!!!! (See above)

4. Then Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent. I'll being singing "O Come O Come Emmanuel" loud and proud for 4 weeks. More on my thinking on Advent from last year here.

5. Feasts feasts feasts! So many awesome wonderful amazing fantastic feasts during Advent. We focus on a few, but it's so easy to live liturgically during this time of year.

Unrelated, pixelated and cute

6. In the midst of all of that is the happy hustle and bustle of the secular Christmas season. Look, I've spent most of my life being a "bust out the carols on the way home from Thanksgiving dinner" kind of gal. I'm working to find a comfortable balance between "letting Advent be Advent" and celebrating with the world. In but not of. Both and. Finding our way, but I can't let go of the joy that (can) come with the season.

7. At the end of all of that is Christmas Eve. I've talked here and here about my love of the last days of Advent. Praying that I might wait with Joyful Hope as we prepare to meet our Lord.

Have a lovely weekend! :-)
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Monday, November 17, 2014

A Week in My Life 2014 -- Sunday

A bit late, but I did it! It's my last day joining Team Whitaker for a peek into our day-to-day lives. It's also the first time I've successfully completed 7 blog posts in 7 days! Yay!

Previously: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday

Pager - 2 (or was it 3?)
Peter - 3
Clare - 0


Snow my gosh, y'all. We woke up with a mere dusting of snow, but it was still falling and we ended up with a couple inches by lunch time. It was, however, the most magical morning! I don't even know where to begin.

Peter, of course, had never seen snow, because of the whole "infant" thing. But Clare. Clare had only seen old, icy, icky snow that had been hanging around for a few days. She'd never played in fresh snow. She'd never woken up to the magical beauty of pristine snow on the ground. So when she woke up Sunday morning, I had her look out the window. "There's snow everywhere! I will wear and and mittens and I will kiss it!"

She was so excited to get outside that she couldn't wait for breakfast. Or for me to finish my coffee. She could barely stand to wait long enough to get everyone bundled up. There still wasn't much snow and it was still coming down, but they didn't last outside very long. I was telling Clare to catch snow flakes on her tongue, but she didn't think that was as great as it is.

Peter was unimpressed.

So we came in and watched it snow, had breakfast and got Peter down for a nap. By now, it has pretty much stopped, so I begged Clare to get bundled up again so that I could get some better pictures. This time, she had Running and "digging"  and just experiencing ankle-deep snow.


When we came inside, I busted out the big gun I'd been trying to save for the first snowfall, but had decided was happening yesterday regardless -- Clare's first hot chocolate. She is not a sweet beverage drinker (milk and water are all she'll drink), so I didn't think she'd be a big fan, but I wanted her to experience it anyway. As she saw me stirring (when I found out how easy it is to make this summer, I swore off the packets), she, of course, pulled her chair over. "I'll help! I'll help!"

She needed a spoon in her cup, and I asked her to choose a place to sit -- a real chair was too low, so she acquiesced to the booster seat. In the end, she hardly drank more than a few sips. I don't know if it was the sweetness or whether she was scared of it being "hot" (even though hers was lukewarm), but I wasn't surprised. My heart was warmed watching her enjoy the experience!

I know I talk about it a lot, but I feel such joy watching my kids experience the magic of simple things we take for granted, experience the beauty of life. I am so blessed by them, because they help me see the extraordinary in the ordinary, and so bring me closer to God.

I'm pretty proud of that pic with the mug, to be honest.

By then, Peter was awake, so I fed him. I turned on Super Why and decided that since the sun was shining and the kids were happy, I was going to tackle shoveling the driveway. I had never shoveled so much as a flake of snow, so there was a bit of trial and error and learning how heavy that light, fluffy, snow really is. My job wasn't perfect and my shoulder started aching almost immediately, but I did it! I shoveled the driveway! I was truly proud of myself for getting out there and doing it.

With some afternoon sun, it ended up totally cleared off.


After the excitement of the morning, we needed a quiet afternoon. Clare had lunch and went down for a nap. I ate and took a much desired (and deserved) long, hot shower. We played and hung out until it was time to get ready to head to church for a meeting.

Sharing Cheerios

Charles and I are going to be Confirmation teachers this winter/spring. We are so excited. Kids are confirmed their sophomore year of high school here. I'm excited to work with teens again, but in a different setting. I'm excited to get involved in the parish, get to know even more people. We're excited to help with Confirmation, just because it is a big deal. So, there was a meeting last night for that.

Knowing Charles was going to miss the meeting, I had dinner in the crock pot and got the kids ready and headed out.


Gah! The meeting portion of our evening was not the best. I had received an email telling us that we would begin with evening prayer in the church, but I missed the "evening" part of the email. So I didn't show up with my breviary, and instead was fumbling through Shorter Christian Prayer, which I'm not familiar with at all. Plus, I was wrestling two kids all the while, so made silly mistakes all through, because I am so out of practice with the Liturgy of the Hours these days.

Then, while the kids were as good as could be expected during the meeting (I let Clare watch a show on my phone, so that certainly helped.), the meeting was a total waste of time. It ended up being a meeting to discuss things and prepare for another meeting we'll have in a couple of weeks. UGGG!! Meetings about meetings are a pet peeve, especially in the day and age of email. We could have conveyed all the same info via email. Or we could have gotten started on the business of the 2nd meeting at the first. It just felt like a waste of time to bundle and drag two kids around solo for a meeting about a meeting. Bah humbug!

Made it home!

That got us home about 6:15, just in time to bustle around with the usual rush of dinner, baths, jammies, waiting for Charles. He got home about 8, which sounds late, but was so, so exciting, given the amount of work he had to do yesterday. And, as of 6 this morning, his medicine rotation is done, done, done. He has another in a few months, but we're a one thing at a time family right now, and that thing is history! Woo hoo!

We ended up letting Clare stay up way too late and eat Peter's puffs while we were talking -- it was like, now that Medicine was over, we could catch up on everything we hadn't talked about with the craziness of the last few weeks. Once she was in bed, we ate and watched some TV and went to bed later than usual, knowing we could "sleep in" today.  It was the perfect end to the week, and to the rotation.

Take Aways: Committing to blogging first thing in the morning is the best time to make it happen. The kids are most cooperative at letting me type, in part because I usually allow a show or two during that time. Naps are so often full of other stuff and evenings are busy until they aren't, but when they aren't, Charles and I like to spend the time together, even if we're just watching TV.

I feel so lucky to be able to stay home with my kids. I love our time together, even when they make me batty. I love seeing them interact. I love seeing them experience things. I love how much I get to snuggle with them and play with them and be with them.

I really am starting to feel at home here in Wichita. I know people. I have a routine. We love our parish. Even though I had doubts about it in the beginning, God answered our prayers for a real parish home. We can handle a little snow, especially if there is hot chocolate involved.

Thank you, Kathryn, for encouraging us bloggers to do this. I think I will treasure this little memory book for a long time to come and look forward to doing it again next year! :-)

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Sunday, November 16, 2014

A Week in My Life, 2014 -- Saturday

Linking up with Team Whitaker.

Previously -- Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday

Peter -- woke up at 10:30 and ended up in bed with us, so who knows, really.
Pager -- 2, I think
Clare -- 0

 The morning was dominated by one activity that I've been wanting to tackle for a looooong time. Somewhere along the way, I got it in my head that I needed to start making cinnamon rolls, because they are essential (?) to happy holiday memories in childhood. Watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade? Eat cinnamon rolls. Opening presents on Christmas morning? Eat cinnamon rolls? Getting ready for church on Easter Sunday? Eat cinnamon rolls.

This is a totally ridiculous idea, because that is NOT how I grew up, and I have a plethora of perfectly wonderful, joyful childhood holiday memories. But when the mind fixes on something, it fixes on it.

I've tried some alternatives, but they just haven't stuck. So, I tried my hand at some quick cinnamon rolls this morning in anticipation of the coming holiday season.

I used this recipe, and, aside from a few tweaks I'd make in the future, they turned out super yummy!

The process

The rolls: before and after

My taste-tester and Cheerio-eater (complete with pincer grasp!)


It was a low-key afternoon. We had lunch. The kids took naps. I took a long, hot shower. We played. Charles got home at 4:15ish (only to be greeted by like 4 immediate pages), and we got ready for Mass. One blessing (among many) of being Catholic is how many masses are available every weekend. Between the Saturday Vigil, Sunday evening Masses, and the variety of parishes around town, we are almost always able to worship together as a family.

I had good intentions of taking pictures before Mass, but let me tell you, we are great at getting to Mass on time, but time for pictures just never, ever seems to happen. I tried. I did. It's just not in the cards.


Remember when Grace used to grade her kids on their behavior at Mass? I'm going to revive it for a moment:

Peter: A- (minor points lost for fussing after communion)
Clare: F (refusal to obey, sit still, or be quiet; and other general attempts at chaos)

By the time we got home, I was an emotional mess. While I calmed down, we ordered a pizza and hung out over a couple of beers. For the rest of the night, we ate and relaxed and did general evening/bedtime stuff. Peter, of course, woke up riiiiiight as Charles and I crawled into bed, but I was able to get him back to sleep with a good round of butt-patting.

Random Peter Picture

Coming up: Snow? Hot chocolate! A long day of work for Charles to round out the week (and rotation)! 

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Saturday, November 15, 2014

A Week in My LIfe 2014 -- Friday

Previously: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday

Pager -- 1
Peter -- 2 (But that 11 pm bit was a killer!)
Clare -- 0


After a 4am feeding and dozing through Charles' alarm/getting up/getting ready, I "slept in" until 6:30 to try and kick this bug. Of course, I'm still congested and coughing, but at least I feel more human than I did yesterday.

Once everyone was up and moving, we decided it was Waffle Day. About once a week, I make waffles for breakfast. I think of my dad, pouring batter into the waffle iron, doling partial waffles out to hungry plates, eating my own food standing and cooking. It sounds like way less fun than it actually is. The only thing that would make it better is if I had a counter with bar stools for a bit more face time during the waffle process. :)

Food photographer in the making, no? NO.

By the time we were done and the kids were dressed, Peter was ready for a nap, so I put him down and got myself in the shower, dressed and cleaned up. I went into the kitchen to review/revise our meal plan for the week and write a grocery list, only to realize I hadn't done the breakfast dishes. I shifted my attention, got those cleaned up, and got down to meal planning and list making.

Since we're on it, here's my meal plan for the week (though order may change based on Charles' schedule). Also linking up with Nell for the first time, because I can:
  • Friday: Pasta (jarred sauce with added veggies) and garlic bread
  • Saturday: TBD
  • Sunday: Slow cooker chicken, green beans
  • Monday: Chicken tortilla soup, Bread (hopefully homemade)
  • Tuesday: Pork chops with apples and onions, spaghetti squash
  • Wednesday: Tacos, Lime rice
  • Thursday: Meatloaf muffins, corn

Zee list

By then, Peter was up, so we braved the grocery store. It was close to lunch time, but I prefer the store in the mornings, whenever possible. Plus, we were expecting snow Saturday. Growing up, the day before an expected snow storm, the stores were crazy. I have no idea if that happens here, but I didn't feel like finding out. Good news: the difference sun and no wind made in the comfort of being outside was tremendous. Yay! for not being as freezing!


Getting home from the store, we did a quick lunch and naps. Clare required a trip back to bed, but no real fussing, so no harm, no foul. I had lunch, watched a show, and got a little rest before Clare woke up. She was still groggy and snuggly, so we sat on the couch and read books while Peter continued to sleep.

And snuggle selfies

Once he was up, I decided we were going to go play in the basement for a change of pace. I decided today was the day, and straightened/organized the toy disaster in the basement. It was such a spur of the moment decision, that I blogger-failed and didn't get a before picture. So you'll have to take my word for it when I show you the after:

The kids had a blast in the now-useable basement (go figure), and played together for a good two hours, even after I headed upstairs to work on dinner.

Little brothers: messing with sisters' stuff since forever

Bedtime stories


Even though he was admitting patients, Charles was able to get out at 6ish and was home in time for a family dinner, even if it was a bit on the late side. We ate, and started getting the kids ready for bed. Clare was in the bath when I got Peter into his jammies, and I brought him in to "say good-night" before I nursed him and put him down. I "helped" him say "I had fun playing with you, Clare," and she responded totally spontaneously, "I had fun playing with you, too, Peter." Charles and I looked at each other with puddle eyes. We love that these two love each other.

Clare put on Charles' hat when he got home and wanted a picture.

The night wrapped up with dishes and Shark Tank and uncertainty about whether/how much snow was still in the forecast and a million pages and bedtime.

Coming up: Snow? Baking! Vigil Mass!

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Friday, November 14, 2014

A Week in My Life 2014 -- Thursday

Joining Kathryn at Team Whitaker.

Pager - 0
Peter - 1
Clare - 1
It was a miracle night! No pager calls (during sleeping hours)! Peter slept from 11:30-7:00! But I checked on Peter in a cold panic, tossed and turned needing to nurse, waited in vain for Peter to wake up, got Clare back to sleep at 4am, and frantically roused Charles at 5:20 when he had overslept!!


Again, it was cold, cold, cold. I made the conscious decision that, since we didn't have anywhere to go, or anywhere we had to be, we would just have a day at home. I planned to do a bunch of kitchen stuff -- partly to get stuff done, partly to give my morning an "activity" since we didn't have an out-of-house one. It didn't work out that way.

Moms don't get sick days. That has been well established, but do you know/remember those days where you aren't sick enough that you take a sick day, but end up slogging through your day feeling pretty icky? Yeah, that was my morning. I was so congested  and coughing junk up and felt generally yucky. As a result, almost no pictures today. Clare took a few though:


So, I slogged through my morning. I got the kids fed and dressed. I got myself fed and dressed. I got a few other chores done. I tried to sit on the couch, but kept getting manhandled by my kiddos (go figure). Peter, I think, was also feeling poorly, because he slept a lot and was cranky (or Peter's version of cranky). We made it to lunchtime and naptime, and I was able to get Miss Clare to sleep pretty easily. Peter soon followed.


Getting the kids to bed somehow energized me. I realized my cough had subsided somewhat. I changed into decent jeans, put on a smear of make-up, and got my hair out of the messy mess I had had. I know I've beat this drum before, but I cannot tell you how much taking a few minutes to make myself feel pulled together and presentable improves my mood and my attitude.

I did some more odds and ends and sat down to watch Wednesday's Top Chef. It took about 2 hours to watch a 1 hour show. Clare woke up about 25 minutes into the show. For the last 35 minutes, I would watch a couple of minutes, then be presented with another book. Pause. Read. Restart. Lather rinse repeat. I was frustrated at the time, because I just wanted a few minutes to finish the show, but looking back, it was the first time in a while that Clare had brought the parade of books the way she does. That makes me happy.

When Peter woke up, we got two super-cute sibling moments. First, as I was lifting Peter out of his crib, Clare squealed, "Peter, do you want to play princess dolls with me?" Second, I put Peter down for a minute. Clare gave him a hug and said, "Peter is a friend. I love you friend."

Heart = melted

Last highlight of the afternoon was getting to FaceTime with my sister, her baby girl, my dad, and Rhonda (his wife) from San Diego. So nice to "see" everyone. I love technology.


Let's just say it was a long one. Charles didn't get home until 8:15 or so, meaning that I did it all -- dinner, bath, bed -- solo. Thankfully, the kiddos were reasonably cooperative, but tired. On days like that, I work my tail off to get as many routine chores as possible done (save the last minute dinner dishes). That way, once he's home, we can eat and spend a little time together instead of spending time straightening the living room. When he did get here, we were both exhausted -- ate dinner, answered pages, did dishes, fell into bed.

Coming up: Friday! Groceries! Snow?

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Week in My Life 2014 -- Wednesday

Joining Kathryn at Team Whitaker.

Pager -- 2 (or was it 3?)
Baby Peter - 2.5 (one was at 5 -- I got up after nursing, but he went back to sleep)
Clare - 0


Wednesday dawned cold (again -- but highs around freezing and wind chills in the teens might be nothing to northerners, but for us . . . it ain't no joke), and I was still fighting congestion galore from my cold. BUT Wednesday is story time at the downtown library, so we had places to get (slowly, since it doesn't start until 10:30).

Early morning snuggles

We got ready and bundled and headed to the central library, across the street from Clare's "castle" (the historical society museum -- I'm not sure what the building was originally). I didn't get any pictures because I was trying to keep us out of the cold, but I can replay this one from this summer.

Only grey, cold, bundled, and frozen.
Story time on Wednesdays is the best. Miss Nina, the leader is fantastic. I don't anything about her background (she's probably in her 60s), but she is a born kindergarten teacher. She is just so good with the littles. Clare and Peter both love the signing and dancing. It really shows Clare's learning personality, too. She listens so attentively, and really processes new rhymes and hand motions. At story time, it sometimes seems like she's not participating well, but she's absorbing it all. I know because we get home, and she starts doing the new ditty -- and has it down pat!

She also loves staying to play puzzles and letters and read books after story time. Meanwhile, I'm just trying to keep Peter from chowing down on the library's germy, germy goods.

I also love story time because we're getting to know people there. I find myself saying hi to parents in the parking lot who we see week after week. And it really is a small world! I have a couple of play group friends who usually bring their kids. Before our time, they had befriended a frequent story time mom and her littles. On Sunday, we saw each other at Mass, but didn't see one another to talk after, so yesterday, we were able to talk Mass times and behavior. It's just always nice to have those connections.


After we got home from the library, I set to work making Clare's favorite lunch -- macaroni and cheese. While I was boiling water and cooking pasta and cutting fruit, she was playing with a car in the kitchen. The car, apparently, was misbehaving. "Car, that was naughty. Time out. 2 minutes." She sounded just like I must sound when she meets the same fate. Oh, the ways parenting opens your eyes to yourself!! My sweet, good-hearted girl couldn't stand to let the car go the full two minutes before, "Mama, I check on the car." I was laughing and self-reflecting all at once.

Blurry Peter and the "naughty" car

After lunch, both kids went down for naps without a hitch. Thank goodness, because I needed some downtime! I plopped myself on the couch with a hot cup of tea and the computer. I caught up on Project Runway:All Stars (just not the same as the original), and also caught up on some emails and computer stuff. I felt better and rested.

During that time, I totally felt the earthquake near the Oklahoma border. I had never felt one before and it was so weird. The house felt like it "shifted" and then didn't. I had no idea what was going on until a friend mentioned feeling an earthquake on Facebook. Lightbulb!!

I tried the mom blog selfie -- I'm not there yet.

As a result (I think) of feeling more rested, the remainder of the afternoon went as well as can be expected. Lots of playing and a bit of afternoon crankiness. The highlight was starting baked potatoes for dinner, because Clare has decided that washing potatoes is her job. She brought her chair over and pulled up her sleeves and got to work.

One other funny bit from our afternoon and evening: Clare got it in her head that she was going to wear underwear last night. We're potty training soon, and talk about it a lot. She loves looking at her undies, but, you know . . . Anyway, on several occasions, she came out with her panties and various statements of how she was going to get to wear them. At one point, she had them over her pants with two legs in one leg hole, pulled up to below her knees! Soon kiddo! Soon!


Charles didn't have to admit patients or see clinic patients this afternoon, so he used it as a chance to get some work done (always more to do than time to do it, poor guy), and was able to get away a little after 5:30. We were able to have dinner as a family, and had way too much fun playing with the kiddos before bed. After, we were able to wrap up chores and enjoy a little TV together before we went to bed ourselves.

Coming up: a chilly Thursday! Baking! More attempts at a decent selfie!
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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A Week in My Life 2014 -- Tuesday

Joining Kathryn at Team Whitaker as we document the week.



Pager - 1
Baby Peter - 2
Clare - 0


This morning really starts at 2 am, when Peter woke up, nursed and then took an hour of going into his room over and over for patting and shushing and finally falling asleep. I heard him stirring at 5:30, as Charles was getting out the door (sans jacket -- a mistake he won't make on a cold morning again), so I got him up to say good-bye. I don't think he was ready to be up for the day, and it got things started all wrong. He was happy for awhile, but it got his schedule off, and he didn't nap well the rest of the day.

While he played, I blogged about Monday, and hit the coffee. Clare was up about 6:45, and was still thrilled to be wearing her "kitty cat fleece jammies." She's been longing to wear them since I picked them up in, like, September, but it just hadn't been cold enough at night yet to wear them. It's definitely cold enough now.

We went through our morning -- playing, showering, eating breakfast, getting ready, and headed to Target for a few things. I think plenty of people can relate to the the love/hate thing I have with Target. Love, because it's amazing. Hate, because, it's amazing (and the bank account isn't aligned with the amazing-ness of it all). Anyway, Clare was not prepared for the cold (she is an Arizona girl, I'm telling you), but was thrilled to wear her fox hat. She was also thrilled that Peter's panda hat matched her panda shirt. "We're all pandas, Mama."

On the way out, I grabbed my first red cup of gingerbread delight latte of the season. While I was waiting for the barista, I chatted with a kind soul about my kids, their age difference, how Peter had a "boy" look about him (since he's frequently mistaken for a girl, that's music to this mama's ears), and how hers were only 11 months apart. God bless her. Then, she helped another (stranger) patron carry a tray of drinks back to her car. There really are angels among us, folks!


Of course, Mr. No Morning Nap fell asleep on the way home, and stayed asleep until almost 1 . . . when he normally goes down for his afternoon nap. The scenario has trouble written allllllll over it.


Getting home, I put our stuff away, got chicken going in the crock pot -- I cooked a ton to shred and freeze for easy sandwiches, soups, pasta, etc. -- and made Clare's lunch. As we were getting ready for her nap, Peter woke up. Naps didn't go smoothly or last long for either of them, so I ended up with two tired, cranky kids by late afternoon.

We went downstairs to the basement/playroom that has recently received a bunch of our outdoor play stuff to help pass time during the winter. Peter scooted around. Clare read and colored. I decided to start tackling some projects.

Let's be honest, because I think lots of people can relate to this. You move in. You get mostly settled, but there are things that, for one reason or another, just never get finished. Time passes, and you get so used to things the way they are. We haven't hung art in most rooms, because we are sloooooowly repainting. And the playroom is a mess. We aren't used to "basement" living, so we haven't really used the basement for much, but we're really working to fix that. In the next couple of weeks, we're getting art hung, even if it has to be rehung in a couple of months. It's just time to feel more settled.

As I went through frames and shuffled things around and whatnot, the kids played and whined into their witching hour of pre-dinner crankiness. I was feeling like the day would never end.


Suddenly, as I was making carrot salad for dinner (one of Charles' favorites!), things turned around. Clare dragged a chair over to help, but I wasn't ready for her. While she was waiting, she used a dish towel to turn Peter into a turtle, and kept encouraging him to crawl to me. They were laughing and having fun, and I felt the joy of having them play (not cry or whine) at my feet. I knew just how precious these moments are. And the second I started mixing the carrots -- the chair was back, and Clare was up and ready to help. Yes, she tried to use a spoon that had touched raw chicken, but I got a new one, and so far, we're all salmonella free, so . . . win?

I say superhero, but Clare  says turtle.

I helping!

Things went smoothly from there. I was able to get the kids fed, and they finished up just as Charles headed home from the clinic, getting in around 6:30. We talked for a bit -- mostly about the cold -- and divided and conquered baths (one kid per parent and bathroom). Clare was thrilled to get to wear her "cupcake fleece jammies." Our last drama of the day was cleaning up those blasted princess dolls, but we decided to do it after lights out. We did our usual routine of milk, book, prayers and lights out, but Daddy stayed and snuggled Clare for a few minutes to prevent hassle (and get some Clare time in). Meanwhile, I nursed Baby Peter, and he was out like a light.

Grown-up dinner over HGTV, getting ready for bed, and lights out!

Coming up: more cold! Library! Maybe an actual picture of me!

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A Week in my Life 2014 -- Monday

I'm joining Kathryn at Team Whitaker throughout the week.

I'm excited, especially, to capture two times in our life. First, Clare is 2 and Peter is 7 months -- watching them grow up and capturing that is priceless. Second, Charles is on his second of three medicine rotations, during intern year for his family medicine residency. Read: really hard on everyone (except, hopefully, the kids). So, with that in mind, welcome to a week in my life.


Pager* - 0
Baby Peter - 2
Clare - 0

*Charles wasn't on call, so getting paged would have actually been surprising. Just wait. ;-)


4:30 -- Charles' alarm starts going off. He's up and in the shower. I roll over and doze while he gets ready.
5:30 -- He comes to my side of the bed to give me a kiss good-bye.
6:15 -- Finally drag myself up for some morning quiet time. I have mentioned on the blog several times how much I love getting up before the kids when I can and spending some quiet time alone. I drink coffee, blog, catch up on the internet, hopefully go through the daily readings.
6:45 -- I hear Baby Peter stirring, get him up, and nurse him. Take pictures of the trees.

7:15 -- I hear Clare stirring. She patters out and tests the waters until I give her the sign to come out. She runs around the corner, gives me a hug, and asks for a diaper change. Yes, there is potty training in my future. No, it's not this week (you're welcome, reader).

Today, I'm fighting a cold, I'm feeling better than I had on Sunday, but decide to forgo our play group's trip to the zoo, since I don't want to push my luck. Most Mondays, we join a group of fellow resident wives and their kiddos to play. In nice weather, we usually do something outdoors, but once the cold hits, we'll take turns hosting at our houses. This group has been such a blessing to me this year! Within the group, there are five or six little girls who are now 2, and all of them has an infant sibling. You couldn't ask for a group that has much more in common than that.

Because we're not going to the zoo, and because of my lingering cold symptoms (today: coughing junk up, fun!), I decide we're going to have a "lay low" morning. Which is a fancy way of saying the kids play while I do stuff. We had breakfast, cleaned the kitchen, put shredded beef (birria, family) in the crock pot for dinner,  did a bunch of laundry, and got the kids' closets winterized.

Clare and her princess life

Peter in his "fort" (under the coffee table)

Throughout the day, there was a definite lingering "knowledge" in the back of my mind. The weather was turning. Overnight. I was preparing to say good-bye to lovely fall and hello to winter. The big unknown for our family.

Yep. 72 one day. 37 the next.


Our early afternoons are pretty routine, so I'll write about it in greater detail later in the week. But, as usual, we had lunch, and got the kids down for naps (without too much struggle on Peter's end, and only one return to bed on Clare's).  While they were down, I had lunch, and winterized my closet with my not-quite-a-capsule wardrobe. I'm not jumping on the bandwagon. I counted my everyday pieces and ended up with 35, but I know some were in the wash, so . . . take it as you will. Since I have no real experience with winter, I don't have a good sense of what to expect to need, so I didn't want to get rid of too much. I did, however, hang several "question mark" pieces with the hanger facing backwards in my closet. If they haven't been used when I start moving spring pieces back in the closet, they'll head to Goodwill. 

Once Clare crawled out from her nap (literally -- she was being a baby spider), we decided to do some quick mother-daughter pedicures -- our first -- before Peter woke up.

We also got a surprise box in the mail from my sister. You guys! I am so unbelievably blessed by this girl. She lives in San Diego, and we talk every day. Sometimes several times a day. Yesterday, we FaceTimed twice. Whit had grabbed a scarf I left at my dad's when we were in Arizona several weeks ago, and mailed it back -- along with a care package for the kids and me! Such a fun surprise!! *all the emojis*

Once Peter woke up, the wind had picked up, so I decided against a trip to the park, and took the kids out to play in the leaves in our yard instead. Peter was not particularly interested. Clare thought it was fun for about 7 minutes before our thin Arizona blood dragged us inside. But I got some great shots out of it. :-)


At 5:30, I started making rice for dinner, fed Peter, and got Clare eating. On his medicine rotation, but especially on days like today, our rule is that if I haven't heard from Charles by 6pm, I go ahead and feed Clare. If I haven't heard from him by 7, I get both of them in the bath. If I haven't heard from him by 8, I put them to bed (but that, thank God, has only happened once).

Tonight, I get the call at 6:15. Daddy is headed home! The kids are already eating, but I decide, like I usually do, to wait and eat with Charles once the kids are in bed. It's just nice having that time together, and it's nice to eat a communal meal instead of a drill-sergeant one.

He had a long day, so we end up talking through baths, and finally put the kids in jammies and get them to bed on time, another routine I'll flesh out later. Clare fought it, but gave in with only a small bout of hysterics (I'm not ready for this phase. I'm not!) cured by some Daddy snuggles. Charles and I had dinner, finished up chores, and headed to bed.

Coming up: lots of weather talk! Errands! Wild and crazy gets wilder and crazier!

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