November Goals

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Hello friends! I didn’t originally intend to take a break for more than half a year when I published my last post. It’s crazy how life and other priorities get in the way sometimes though. I recently went back and read a few older posts and it was fun to reminisce so I thought, why not start back up again? Spring and summer came and went quickly and pretty soon, we’ll be celebrating a new holiday season. Fall has been so fun with celebrating seasonal events with a preschooler and an almost 11 month old! Just this week we made our kids’ costumes, trick or treated in the rain, experienced a roller coaster of emotions with the ASTROS(!!), and just participated in my son’s first All Saints’ Parade (proud CRE moment). I think I’ll eventually post a quick life update, but I thought a great way to jump back in would be to post goals for a NEW MONTH!

I made a list of 30 things I wanted to do during the months of September-January, before I turned 30, so a few of these things are from that list. Admittedly, I am not accomplishing it as well as I had hoped, but I am making progress and that’s what I’m choosing to focus on.

Goals for November:

  1. Run a 3 mile race with my friend, Arielle (registered as of today!).
  2. Host a small dinner with my lady friends.
  3. Order Christmas cards (what’s the most budget friendly way to do this? Last year I won a giveaway!)
  4. Finalize Christmas gift plan
  5. Put up Advent/holiday decor up by the end of the month (not totally liturgically appropriate, but we did this last year and it was nice to have it done).
  6. Start and complete my moms’ group book study (we are reading this). I am getting a late start but I figure it’s not too late to join!

Blessings for November and All Soul’s Day! May the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace!

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Holy Week Links!

I hope you’ve had a peaceful Holy Week! We took an impromptu/somewhat whirlwind trip to San Antonio this weekend and had so much fun, but it was quick and somewhat exhausting! However, I think I want to make San Antonio an every two year tradition because I kind of didn’t want to leave just yet. Thankfully we’ve been laying low for the most part since we have been back. Since the next few days will be packed with all things liturgical, I’m going to try to take an Internet break the next few days so I wanted a share a few links from other areas around the interwebs that I enjoyed reading/listening to!

First things first….we have a four month old and we are officially potty training! When did my babies get replaced with these mini adults? Kidding. 😀

Exploring the San Antonio River Walk this weekend

A few podcasts: Catholic Stuff You Should Know (four super smart and hilarious priests that really bring down sometimes lofty topics of the faith to my level), the Simple Show (I especially love the travel episodes), and the Catholic Feminist (brand new, but she had had some great interviewees already).

This Spring Cleaning link-up. I’m honestly not a naturally tidy person, but after almost 4 years of being married to someone who loves to declutter/clean, I’ve picked up some decent habits. I mentioned that we recently signed someone up to clean once a month, which I definitely takes a huge load off of our shoulders.  I’m trying not to let myself off the hook though and actually maintain what gets cleaned, but it does free up time to do some purging (thanks to some inspiration from the link-up)! My main areas that I’d like to focus on these next few weeks: sorting and organizing kids clothes, changing out the seasonal clothes, purging my dresser, and cleaning out bathroom and kitchen cabinets.

These blog posts: Jen’s challenge on how she rocks motherhood. It’s so easy to think and dwell on the areas where we struggle, but what are the areas that you actually do well? I think I need to let that resonate a bit when reflecting on myself as a mom, because honestly not much came to mind right away! And similarly, Lisa shared five ways she prioritizes marriage as a new parent.

A few simple liturgical ideas I’d like to try for the week: Natural egg dye recipes, coloring eggs with crayons, Divine Mercy Novena, a child-friendly movie on the life of Christ (not sure how this will go as it’s probably best for a little bit older kids, but I think I’ll introduce it, at least). We’re still trying to figure out Easter brunch plans, but there are some egg hunts in our future! And finally, for some reason, talking about Holy Week plans always reminds me of this video.

Prayers for a blessed Triduum and Easter season!

My survival list…

Modern Mrs. Darcy shared a few things that are saving her this time of year last month and it immediately got me thinking about what’s helping me get through life. The idea was that February tends to be the month when things get tough, and the winter blues start to kick in. Fortunately for us, it’s in the 80’s already and Spring Break is over so summer is on the horizon. However, with two small kids and newborn exhaustion still being a very real thing, most of the days seem very long. While this list may change from week to week, here are a few things that are helping me get through them now!

The slow cooker I got for Christmas. It’s big. It’s pretty. It’s efficient. I have put raw ground beef in it and it browns it well in an hour for something like chili. I put frozen chicken in it one morning last week and it was perfectly shred-able by the afternoon. Game-changer.

My double stroller! I love how I can configure it in lots different ways. And I know lots of toddlers aren’t fans of them by the time they get close to age three, but I’m lucky that James enjoys riding in one still. So convenient for when we leave the house (and I have found that leaving the house for a little bit everyday is a game changer itself). Lots of times, I’ll take it shopping and just stick groceries in the roomy storage basket underneath. It’s pricey, but hunt around for a used one or look for a sale. I got it for 20% off and it came with a $100 gift card, which I used for the second seat.

Ergobaby–As of last week Gigi is over the Moby wrap. I panicked a little because I ran over our Graco stroller base that works with the car seat (seriously, mom brain is for reals) and we had a quick trip to Cleveland last week and I didn’t know how I’d transport her in the airport if she wasn’t into baby wearing (I didn’t want to take the aforementioned double stroller). I tried out the Ergo with a rolled up towel as a seat since she’s a little short for it and she almost immediately passed out in it. It ended up working just fine for our trip too.

Park dates with friends. The weather has been great so I am trying to take advantage of these before it’s pretty much sweltering and the mosquitoes come out to hunt in a few weeks. Texas Problems. These are awesome if they are planned well around nap time (in the morning before lunch or later on in the afternoon after Patrick gets home).

Coffee! No explanation needed there.

My library card–I love requesting books in advance and downloading audio books from Hoopla. I keep a long request list going so there is always something new to pick up.

A cleaning service. We actually JUST had a team come in for the first time and it was an amazing difference. They will only come once a month for a good deep clean, but I’m hoping it will get me motivated to maintain it. Watching them made me realize all the places I don’t even think to clean! It’s a stretch financially, but worth it.

Daily prayer–I had grand plans for a more structured prayer life for Lent with a decent list of prayers I wanted to pray every day. I don’t get to all of them, but one thing Patrick and I have stuck with is a rosary together either in the car or before bed. It’s hard, especially when we’re both falling asleep (most nights, to be honest), but good.

Also, Lisa compiled a list of a few moms’ top baby products a few weeks ago for her blog, Something Pretty. I always find it so interesting and helpful to hear what works for other families/babies, especially when there’s so much out there. I plan to try out a few things from it now too! What’s working for you these days?

Three months with Gigi!

Life is flying by these days as Gigi is now three months old! I still haven’t taken my own three month photos of her, but I wanted to share some amazing photos that my super talented sister, Aelish, took! Seriously. If you need pictures and live in Texas, she’s your lady. She does it all!

Stats: Around 13 pounds

Likes: Being held by Patrick (we call it the “choke hold”), her new swing (sometimes), cuddling, when her big brother is around, nap time (normally one  good nap a day, and then a few cat naps), being around people, being outside

Dislikes: the bottle/pacifier (still), the Moby wrap (major bummer. We haven’t been having much luck the last few times we’ve put her in it; maybe I need to try the Ergo?). Overall, she has really leveled out and is pretty low-key! Way less screaming/crying.

Sizes: size two diapers and 3-6 month clothing!

Milestones: she rolls over fairly frequently now and her neck seems to be fairly strong. Lots of drool and a couple teeth nubs are visible.

Compared to last month’s update, she has become way more easy going and it’s so much easier to get her to relax and down for bed at night. She seems to comfort-nurse a lot more, along with the regular dream feeds. I’ve noticed my patience is wearing thin these days and I think  daylight savings, an early rising toddler, and three months of broken sleep is finally taking its toll. Thankfully, there is coffee and I have something tangible I can work on the rest of lent. 🙂

Do you have plans for the weekend? Our Archdiocese has a dispensation for St. Patrick’s tomorrow and it’s my husband’s name day! I’m thinking a fun dinner is in order. 🙂

Seven Quick Takes and another life update!

Good morning, friends! This was my first week back to work (part-time) and although it’s been a weird transition…it’s actually really nice to have a schedule again and AMAZING parents nearby to help make this happen for us. I thought I’d give a small life update, while linking up with Kelly!

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Chilling at the children’s museum this week

(ONE) I’ve been trying (and often failing) to step back from the time/soul suckage of social media to be more present to family/friends/work on goals…and it has paid off in some good ways. One of the goals was to read/listen to more books. I recently read the Nightingale and loved it. I have a few more WWII books on my list after reading this one. And due to several library requests arriving around the same time…I’m currently reading/listening to a few right now: Grace, Not Perfection, Present Over Perfect (on Audio; really loving this one), and Divine Mercy for Moms (with my church book club). Patrick and I also started listening to the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up after I downloaded it when it was free on Audible last month. With Lent coming up, I’m working on a spiritual reading list and I’m definitely open to suggestions!

(TWO) We are currently Whole30-ing again for the month of February and it’s going well. Patrick and I both feel good and I think it’s really helping with the newborn exhaustion. Tiger blood? Not really sure about that, but I am falling asleep much easier at night and sleeping soundly when I am able. Amazing when your little one wakes up a several times a night. I am also feeling less anxious overall, which is a huge win since I’m pretty sure I am prone some sort of postpartum anxiety.

(THREE) Meals are a lot easier to prepare and I think it’s because after last year’s round we kept most of the meals we cook at home mostly paleo-ish, therefore we’re used to cooking this way. We are for the most part keeping meals extra simple and it has worked well for our budget and for the limited time we have due to dinner being so close to what is known as “witching hour”. So lots of slow cooker-type meals or proteins that don’t take a lot of work to prep (burgers, compliant sausage, roasted whole chicken…). Also, no fancy Whole30 snacks this time around (just fruit, nuts, etc.).

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One day last week when Patrick made an amazing frittata!

(FOUR) Gigi is a two month old! We had her well check earlier this week and it’s crazy how fast it’s going by. A friend from grad school had her second baby a month before us and she gave me the tip to just sit more and let the baby sleep on me since it goes by so fast. It’s so tempting to put her down to get stuff done once she’s asleep, but I’ve been grateful for the times I get to do this. She definitely naps better on me anyway! 😉

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(FIVE) Speaking of…homegirl is SO not feeling the bottle/pacifier (of course). We are managing fine, especially since I can go home to feed her at lunch and on evenings/weekends I only work for about 3-4 hours at a time. But I’m willing to try different bottles, if you have recommendations!

(SIX) Patrick and I watched Minimalism on Netflix the other night and really enjoyed it! Have you seen the documentary? I liked how it interviews all sorts of people and how they live the “minimalist” lifestyle differently (tiny house, minimalism as a family with 6 kids, etc.).

(SEVEN) After watching it, we decided to try Project 333 (the founder of the program was featured on the movie). It’s basically a form of a capsule wardrobe (33 pieces of clothing for 3 months) and it’s been actually pretty fun. I was only wearing a few things each day anyway due to only wanting to wear certain things postpartum and while nursing a lot. Mostly looser tops with comfy pants. Plus I was inspired by Kelly’s capsule wardrobe post from last week, so I thought why not?! 😀 I pretty much purged all clothes (with the exception of a couple of nice dresses) that aren’t nursing-friendly when I accepted the fact that’d it’d be over a year until I’d get to use them again, so I might as well just own clothes I’m actually comfortable wearing. It’s also getting me out of my default leggings every day. It’s a little challenging as we go from the 80’s one day to a chilly 50 degrees day. Most of the clothing I have picked can be worn on warm days, with the exception of a down vest and couple cardigans, so I’m trying to make it work!

I hope you have a blessed weekend! We are doing some sort of late Valentine’s day date…maybe a trip to the farmers market to cook lunch together or something. Any weekend plans? Did you do anything fun for Valentine’s day this year? We did a night in and watched the Bachelor (ugh, Nick!). Cheers!

Gigi is 2 Months!

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Showing off her body at the pediatrician’s office!

Stats: 11 pounds, 13 oz; 21.5 inches long

Likes: Being held, seeing people’s faces up close, smiles, baby talk, nursing (of course!), the Moby wrap when it’s wrapped tightly, going to bed early.

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Dislikes: The bottle (Patrick said it just seems to piss her off. lol. I’m seeing lots of lunch breaks at home!) and getting ready for bed. She shrieks for about an hour or so up until we can get her settled then she sleeps like a log (last night she slept from about 7:30pm-1:45pm until she needed to be fed!). Not a huge fan of riding in our double stroller YET, but I am working on this one!

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Sizes: 0-3 months are getting a little snug, so I need to wash the next size up. Size one diapers.

Milestones: She rolled over a few weeks ago! So weird. I put her down on the floor on her back and found her on her tummy. Last week I put her down in her bassinet and she immediately slipped over to her side. The ped also said that teeth might be coming in early since she is drooling a lot, which will also hopefully explain all the fussiness at night.

Overall she can be such a sweetheart, but she is so different than Jimpy who seemed to be so easy going all the time. It was so easy to settle him down at night and for naps (or at least we forgot the tough nights! Hehehe). She makes us work for it! 😀 I see a sassy/stubborn little lady in our future!

One Month!

Hello friends! I’m finally back with some exciting news to share! Our baby girl, Genevieve Guadalupe, was born just over a month ago, December 13, 2016 and 6:29 pm after a quick, but surprisingly calm delivery. Our Christmas season was quiet, but blessed with lots of family time spent at home snuggling our little one and experiencing the season with a two and half year old! I feel like so much has happened in the last month and I thought I’d link up with Kelly’s 7QT while sharing!

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One Month

(1) Having a new baby at Christmas is so fun, you guys! I highly recommend it. 😉 Let’s back up a bit–being full term pregnant during Advent and then with a tiny baby at Christmas truly forced us to slow down and savor the season. Due to the circumstances, Advent was a serious season of waiting. We didn’t feel the urge to run and do Christmas and really felt like we had the obligation to take things slowly and not get too busy, due to my physical limitations (and for my sanity). Once she arrived, we just kept the slow going and spent lots of time on the couch/in bed. Turns out a fresh baby gets you out of all the holiday obligations!

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Christmas Mass

(2) During the rest of Advent and Christmas, almost all of our time was spent quietly at home. Since we delivered at a birth center, we went home about 4 hours after she was born. Thankfully with all the grandparents nearby, Jimp was able to spend 4 nights with grandparents. We missed him, but the quiet(ish) nights were great.

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Christmas Morning

(3) Hopefully I’ll get around to posting her birth story soon! I need to get it down on paper before I forget everything! Like I mentioned, the birth was super quick and actually really peaceful though. It was about an hour and half from when the legit contractions started to when she was delivered. Despite how quick it went, I got to deliver in the tub and everything. I can’t complain and feel super blessed.

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Newborn Exam

(4) We shared the story of Genevieve’s (we call her Gigi) name with Kate at Sancta Nomina and she put the announcement on her blog. If you’re not familiar with her site, she does name consultations for Catholic families and always has great recommendations for baby names. Check it out here. 🙂

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Two Weeks

(5) Gigi was baptized by our dear friend, Deacon Jacob, on December 26th at our parish. Keep him in your prayers as he will be ordained in May! We had several college friends in town who were able to join us for the occasion, along with our families. I hope I can share a few more photos when I get a few more back from my sister in law.

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(6) Patrick and I agree that the thing we were most excited about is seeing Jimp and Gigi together. I was a little worried about jealousy, but I actually haven’t noticed any of that. He kisses her, loves “holding” her, and is always interested in her socks (?). He had a tough time after Patrick went back to work last week (we had 4 weeks together, so I don’t blame him!), but overall I’d say the transition is going pretty well!

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(7) Overall, it has been the sweetest month as a family of FOUR! Cheers to a happy 2017!

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First Family Photo at Birth Center