Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Birthday girl

We had so much fun celebrating little Meggie's birthday yesterday. And thank you all so much for the kind comments you left for her! I pretty much followed her around with the camera all day long, but wouldn't you know that I didn't even think to get pictures of the activities in which I was a participant? As such, I have no photographic evidence of the cuteness of her helping to make chocolate candy teddy bears, or of her "helping" to frost her cake. (This entailed large amounts of icing being consumed by all of my children, sometimes squirt directly into their mouths from the bag I was using to decorate the cake. Too, too cute!)

At any rate, here are some of my favorites:

Sweet Sisters

Dylan reading Baby Bear's Surprise, a tradition for every birthday child.

Taking baby shopping with a brand new grocery cart


Playing with Charlie, my brother's new puppy. Isn't he just the cutest?!

And in other wonderful and exciting news, my mom is home! We hadn't seen her since June, so we are all just thrilled that she'll be in town until after Christmas. She spent most of yesterday afternoon and evening at our house, and she offered to babysit for us tomorrow so that Darren and I can celebrate our anniversary! We'll probably use the opportunity to finish up our Christmas shopping, but I think that even that can be wonderfully romantic. Time alone with my hubby, no matter how we choose to spend it, is always a perfect gift!

AND, perhaps the most thrilling thing about yesterday! I had been feeling for the past week or so some vague fluttery sensations that I knew must be the baby moving, but nothing very distinct. Last night, though, after I got into bed, I spread my open hands against the growing swell of my lower belly and immediately felt several definite thumps...little punches or kicks! The absolute wonder of it nearly took my breath away. I couldn't stop grinning! I almost can't wait to go to bed tonight to see if it happens again. :)

Mr. Humbug

I've been noticing over the past few weeks a hysterical number of elves emerging throughout the blogosphere. (I think Michelle's gang was the first, but I could be wrong.) They crack me up, and I kept meaning to "elf" my own kids because I knew they'd find it hilarious, too. This morning I finally had the opportunity to try it out (largely because I was caught in the act of viewing another new set, and there was no way we weren't going to do it once my kids saw the supreme silliness of it all!), but Dylan, my ever investigative thinker, soon realized that we could not only elf ourselves, but we could also Scrooge ourselves, too! And enchanted as he's been lately with Charles Dickens' classic Christmas tale, he just had to try this one, too. I cannot stop laughing! This is just too indescribably funny. Funnier, even, than my little elves!

Monday, December 17, 2007


Happy birthday, baby girl. We love you so much!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Thanks, Aunt Martha!

This is so cute!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Don't worry! We really did celebrate her feast day yesterday...no mixed up dates for us this year! :) We had fun. I spent most of the morning in the kitchen, making a large pot of posole and, for the first time ever in my life, an enormous batch of biscochitos! I used a recipe I found online, and while they could never compete with my Nana's, I was quite pleased with the results of my efforts! And my girls couldn't get enough of them; every time I turned around they were climbing back up onto the counter to sneak a few more! (Dylan tried a few, but wasn't nearly as enthusiastic as his sisters.)

We read The Lady of Guadalupe, and while Meghan was napping, Dylan and Caitlyn made these super cute paper bag tilmas. What a fun and easy project! I'm so glad I came across it a few nights ago while looking for craft ideas. What I loved most about it was that they were able to do almost everything themselves. (All I did was cut out the sides and holes from the sacks.) I know that they were very proud of their tilmas, and I was, too. I especially love the painted on roses they decided to add. :)

Today is going to be a lazy day. Yesterday was pretty exhausting, so, although I am inspired every year by the loveliness of Saint Lucy's Day, I'm just not feeling quite up to the task of such creativity today! Which, of course, plagues me with guilt, so I have to realllly remind myself that it's not how much we do, but how much we love what we do that counts. There are so many beautiful occasions to celebrate at this time of year, but I know that if I were to try to do it all, I would only end up over tired and cranky! And that is so not what I want for myself or my family. So I think what's in order for today is a break from the housework, plenty of snuggling, lots of reading, and a nice, long, after lunch nap for all of us. I have to work tonight...all night. I really need the rest!
A happy feast day to you, friends!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

18 weeks

I find it rather incredible that I've already progressed to nearly the halfway point of this pregnancy. Time is just flying by! Jill recently asked if we planned to find out the baby's gender, but the truth is that I honestly don't know yet! When we were expecting Dylan, we absolutely did not want to know the sex ahead of time. We couldn't wait for the big surprise at the moment of delivery and I will never forget my jubilant exclamation of "It's a BOY!" as the midwife lifted him onto my chest. So when the time came to have a twenty week ultrasound with Caitlyn, we again opted not to find out in favor of the "wait and see" approach. However, an abnormal MSAFP result necessitated serial ultrasounds as my pregnancy progressed and finally, the temptation to find out was just too much. We were thrilled to learn we were having a girl and it was so fun to buy "girly" things as we awaited Caitlyn's birth. With Meghan, we figured that either way, boy or girl, we already had everything we needed in the way of clothes, blankets, and accessories. She would be our "tie breaker", so to speak, so again, we didn't find out. But I was absolutely convinced that she was going to be a boy! I was so shocked when, right after she was born, my midwife announced that we had a girl! Early on in this pregnancy, I felt pretty sure that I would want to find out the baby's sex this time around, if only to avoid that same sense of disorientation that I experienced briefly when Meghan was born. ("What?! A girl?! No, no, that can't be right!") However, as the potential moment of truth draws nearer, my resolve is wavering. I kind of like not knowing. And Darren has remained steadfast in his desire not to know ahead of time. So will we find out? I guess I'd have to say maybe. Eventually, I suppose. But it might not be until the birth!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Celebrating the Feast of St. Nicholas

I fell asleep last night before I could write about the beautiful family day we enjoyed yesterday! Our morning began with a yummy breakfast of waffles and coffee and, of course, gold chocolate coins! We read about St. Nicholas from our book of saints and I also read to the children a cute story found at St. Nicholas Center for kids. While Darren and I got ready, Dylan and Caitlyn took turns playing clever little online games at that same website and then, after Daddy made a quick run to the store for a few key ingredients (how could I have run out of flour?!), we made--for the very first time!--a batch of salt dough ornaments. What fun! My mom still has some that we made when I was little but for some reason, I had never thought to make any with my own kids. Yesterday, though, it seemed the perfect activity, and while I thought at first that we would focus on an actual Saint Nicholas theme, we decided it would be more fun to just get creative. Dylan and Caitlyn discovered quickly that our bell shaped cookie cutter, for instance, created perfect ogre faces. :) Can you spot Shrek and Princess Fiona on our tray of finished products?

I put Meghan down for a nice long nap while our ornaments were baking, and the rest of us took the opportunity to play a game that's been up in our closet for the longest time but which we had never actually played since the kids were so little. Dylan rediscovered it a couple of days ago and just had to try it. And oh my gosh! What a blast!
Later we got started with our outdoor lights and decorations, but discovered (of course!) that we are in need of several replacement light bulbs. And by the time we finally located and sorted through the house lights, it was too dark and windy to actually climb up onto the roof, so those will just have to wait until this weekend. But we've made progress, and we're happy! The kids were just thrilled to be outside "helping", and really, that's what it's all about. It was, to me, the perfect conclusion to a perfect day, and a crackling fire in the fireplace as we readied the children for bed finished it all off beautifully. We are so very blessed.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

More Advent preparations

I has been such a pleasure to witness the ways that other families in the blogosphere have been readying their homes for Advent, so I thought it would be fun to share here a little of what we ourselves have been doing to celebrate this special season.

Pictured first is our Advent wreath, which received an impromptu makeover this year and a new place of honor in our dining area. In years past we've displayed it in the center of our dining room table, but this year I decided to decorate the cabinet at the end of our table and make it a place of honor for our wreath. Displayed along side it are our bible, a gem of a book that I was recently reminded of by a dear friend, and a pretty basket in which all of the necessary supplies for our Jesse tree ornaments are being stored.

Next is this year's Jesse tree. Last year I always had the feeling that I was just sort of improvising as we went along and as such, we were not very consistent in making our ornaments. This year we're using the suggested symbols and bible passages from the above mentioned book to make our own ornaments with card stock and colored pencils. Our ornaments are in duplicate, however, because Caitlyn and Dylan are each making their own to decorate the tree. So although there are four ornaments pictured here, they actually represent only two days of Advent. :) Our plan is to leave the Advent wreath burning after dinner each night while we work on our Jesse tree, first reading from the bible and then coloring our ornaments, and so far, I'm very pleased with how well this is working for us.

We've created a beautiful Christmas corner in the school room and I think that it just might be my favorite spot in our house right now. The Christmas tree is the one so generously given to us by our neighbors last year, and I think it's perfect in the school room! On the bookshelf is the nativity set crafted lovingly by my sweet boys last year, and I'm so happy to have it out once again. On the first shelf below it are all of our Tomie DePaola Christmas books. They had been interspersed with all of our other Tomie DePaola's, rather than being kept with all of our Christmas books (which are still on a separate bookshelf), but I love having these out for easy reading. Below them are our chunky Christmas board books which I like to have available for Meghan to look at whenever she wants (or either of the older kids, too, of course!). There are also a couple of musical Christmas toys on that shelf that my kids just love. On the bottom shelf is our Fisher Price Little People Nativity Set, which all of my kids have been enjoying. In the window is a craft project I did with my kids yesterday, made to resemble stained glass panels. I cut each letter from a square of card stock, and then gave them a pile of tissue paper scraps to decorate the sticky side of self-adhesive laminating sheet. When they were done, we smoothed another sheet over the top of their tissue paper, trimmed them to the same size as our squares, and glued them behind our letter cutouts. Easy, and beautiful! They had so much fun working on them.

I really am trying to keep JOY truly present in our home this Advent. But...why does it feel like such work some days? ;)

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Happy first Sunday of Advent!

I discovered this morning a lovely Advent calendar at AmericanCatholic.org, containing meditations, activities, and peace making ideas for every day of the Christmas season. Our Advent wreath and Jesse tree stand ready and waiting, and now, too, I think I may include their paper chain idea in our family's Christmas preparations!

A blessed day to you, friends! Peace be with you all!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Happy December!

I woke up this morning full of so many ideas of things I wanted to get done today. I thought we could do our Christmas pictures and order cards, finish decorating the house, hang the lights outside, tackle the laundry, get the grocery shopping done...

Well, about two hours and 94 pictures later, we did have some winners for the Christmas cards! And boy, let me tell you: this was no small task! I had mentioned to Jen this morning that I was a little stressed about getting a good group shot, and this was, by far, the hardest part! But I'm really happy now with the one we got, and I can't wait to order cards online tonight!

About the only other thing that gone done today was the shopping (oh, and one tiny load of laundry), but I'm okay with that! I restocked my supply of coffee creamer, feeling almost guilty as I greedily grabbed not one but two large containers of Chocolate Mint Truffle! ;) My sweet husband also surprised me by buying the new Josh Groban CD he knew I just had to have. I'm listening to it right now and it is beautiful. And speaking of beautiful, would you believe these gorgeous roses our neighbor offered us when we got home? In December! Now, if we can just keep the kitty away from them...

Darren's telling me the hamburgers and hot dogs are off the grill, so I guess that's my cue to get off the computer. Happy first of December!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Have I mentioned before how much I love this time of year?! We had an absolutely lovely Thanksgiving with my brothers and my dad's family, eating and drinking late into the afternoon until the mere thought of another bite was almost too much. Feeling sated and sleepy, surrounded by my sweeties, and snug in the comfort of my cozy home, I nearly cried tears of joy when work called on my out the door that night to ask if I wanted to stay home available. YES!!! I never did get called in (holidays are typically pretty slow at the hospital), so I was bright eyed and bushy tailed the next morning when I went to pick up my brother at oh-dark-thirty.

The icy air was delightfully invigorating, and the sound of old familiar Christmas tunes playing in the van put a smile on my face. Our first stop was the new Kohl's that just opened here two weeks ago, and our sister-in-law had agreed to meet up with us after (hopefully) securing her family's big ticket purchase of this year at a different store (she didn't get it!). We all met for breakfast at Village Inn (where I indulged in the most delicious stuffed french toast and rich hot cocoa. Mmmm!) and then headed over to Target. Between the two stores, I got a really great start on my Christmas shopping, but even more, I just really enjoyed the fun time out with my brother and sister-in-law. As a mother who seldom leaves home without her children (with the exception of work, but what fun is that?), this was a rare and special treat!

When I returned home Friday morning, Darren had done an amazing job of cleaning up the house, the kids were all dressed, the Christmas tree was strung with lights, and everyone was eagerly awaiting the placement of ornaments! It was the perfect time to bring in our three enormous storage boxes filled with ornaments from the garage, and this year, instead of closely monitoring every single move, I sat back, unpacking each box, and let the kids carefully hang them wherever they wanted. They did a really great job! (With a little help from Daddy.)

My brothers came over that night for a fancy dinner prepared by Darren, and my kids had so much fun playing with their cousins. It was getting really cold by the time everyone left, and on Saturday morning, we woke up to snow flurries! It was mostly just enough to tease us--not at all enough to play in--but it was still fun to see. For the remainder of the weekend we just stayed close to home, lighting fires in the fireplace, munching cookies, and sipping eggnog. We watched "Home Alone", which for me is a holiday must-see. I loved that movie when I was younger, as did my brothers, and now, too, it will forever remind me of Meghan's birth. It had just begun on TV in my hospital room when I was admitted in labor, and ended just before she was born, so Darren and I were able to enjoy the entire movie together (it was the first time he had seen it from start to finish).

This week I've mostly been trying to finish cleaning and decorating the rest of our house. It's been so nice, with the children eager to help, the scent of hot soups simmering on the stove, skies dark and gray but candles glowing warmly indoors. I just love this, all of it! Even my blog has undergone a Christmas make-over (which would be complete if I could just get Blogger to cooperate with the placement of my header photo. Why won't it let me place it "instead of title" as opposed to "behind title"?! The title is already in my photo...I don't want it placed behind Blogger's title! So for now I've changed my title to a simple ".", which is small enough to remain disguised in my banner until I figure out how to fix the whole thing. Argh!)

I'm eager for December to begin. Meghan's birthday is not far off, our anniversary will closely follow, and my mom will be home for nearly two weeks! Dylan and I are working on finishing up a few of his workbooks and lessons, and then during Advent, I'd like to mostly focus on reading (and re-reading!) the books I've got listed in my side bar, making ornaments for our Jesse tree and reading the appropriate bible passages to go along with them, doing crafts, and baking. (And Jill, how can you know me so well?! Thank you so much, dear friend, for thinking of me. What a sweet surprise to find in my mail yesterday!) I welcome and embrace this slow paced season of waiting. And to that end, I'm off to enjoy a nice hot cup of decaf and the best thing that ever happened to coffee. :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Gobble, Gobble!

I did this little craft with my kids today and we all really enjoyed it. I thought I'd share it here in case any of you would like to try it, too. I think we spent maybe an hour on all three turkeys, and although I did do most of the work, the kids still really enjoyed picking out their own individual pieces and helping me put them all together! I was first inspired to make some of our own turkeys after seeing the beauties that Kristen put together with her girls. (Aren't they just precious?!) But, as I had none of the necessary supplies readily available, I improvised and just used what we had...which was a sack full of pine cones, lots and lots of card stock, some chenille stems, assorted pom poms, different sized googly eyes, and a hot glue gun. We assembled the bodies first, and then I traced each child's hands on orange, red, and yellow card stock to make the tail feathers for their own turkey. I wrote their name and the year on the back of each turkey and I'd love to make a new set each year. What a fun way to record their growth! Meghan's little hand prints, for example, look so small and sweet compared to Dylan's big boy ones! It's hard to believe that one day, hers will be as big as his are now! (And I don't even want to think about how big his will be then!) Our finished products ended up being nothing at all like Kristen's, but I'm so happy to have these little cuties gracing our fireplace mantel. They make me smile every time I walk through the living room!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Thoughts on a Monday afternoon

I'm ashamed of how infrequently I've been posting here. I just looked at my archives and I had thirty-one entries last November. We're more than half way through this month and how many posts do I have? Three! Well, four if you count this one. I just can't seem to get back on track with this blog. Every day there are new stories I'd love to relate, but I just put it off and the next thing I know, I'm dragging my weary body to bed at the end of another long, exhausting day. It's not that there's really so much going on around here, I just used to be so much better at recording all the little things that make me so happy to look back on now.

I am excited about the fun week ahead of us. Darren and I have been busy getting our house, yard, and garage in order and I can't tell you what peace that brings me. We're finishing up a few ongoing projects today so that tomorrow and Wednesday I can just focus on spending time with the kids, getting ready for Thanksgiving by doing little crafts, baking, and reading stories together. We did make a Thanksgiving wreath last week and I really love the way it turned out. I actually had all the supplies I needed in our craft closet, left over from last year. We simply cut a ring from the side of a cardboard box that I had out in the garage, wrapped it with ribbon, tied on a large bow, and then attached fall foam stickers on which Dylan had written things that we are thankful for.

My older brother and his family will be coming down on Thursday and staying through the weekend, and we're having our big dinner at my aunt's house this year with my dad's side of the family. I actually have to work Thanksgiving night until 1:00a.m., and I'm hoping to get at least a couple of hours of sleep after that before hitting the stores with my younger brother and my sister-in-law! I am sooo looking forward to that. It's become a tradition for my brother and me to brave the sales on the morning after Thanksgiving and then enjoy breakfast out together. (One year Darren asked me if I'd be taking newborn Caitlyn along with me and I told him he was crazy. Needless to say, she stayed home, tucked into the warmth of our bed with Darren! I don't think either of them were even awake until after I returned home!) I am so excited that my sister-in-law will be along with us this year!

I think we're going to put our Christmas tree up over the weekend. I can't wait! It's been really cold the past couple of days and so it's finally beginning to feel more like the holidays really are just right around the corner. I bought a few new scented candles a few days ago and I love, love, love the way my house smells right now! I think our homeschooling focus will shift to Advent and Christmas after Thanksgiving, and I'm eager to implement some changes that I plan to make to our curriculum at the start of the new year. I hate to detail them too much right now, as I'm still deciding on a few things, but I feel really good about where we might be headed. I was worried for a while that I might already be burned out with homeschooling, but when I really sat down and tried to figure out the source of my discontent, I realized that it was simply a matter of having already finished much of what I had planned for Dylan's kindergarten year. I realized that I need to present him with just a little more of a challenge in his school work, and that I need more structure than I had originally thought. So that's what we'll be trying. More structured, planned out lessons, at a level that's a bit more advanced. I think it will be better for both Dylan and me.

So that's where things are with me right now. I'm busy, tired, but happy. So very, very happy. And OH! Oh, my goodness! Darren just walked in the door, and showed me a few books he picked up at the bookstore. Included among them are two My First Little House Books: Winter Days in the Big Woods and Christmas in the Big Woods. They are beautiful! I love them! I had no idea this series even existed until about two seconds ago. Oh, yes. I am happy.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Anyone care to come for coffee?

Mine would be decaf, of course.

But I seem to be having one of those days (or one of those weeks, rather) where I'd really love some chatty, warm, and companionable adult females around the house with me. I miss my mom. I can't wait to see my sister-in-law at Thanksgiving. It's been months since I've seen my best friend (through no fault of our own...she lives out of town). And I'm just really craving the company of some like minded ladies around here. To distract me, or maybe save me from myself. (Would you believe I spent all day yesterday rearranging our living room furniture?! By myself! What right minded pregnant woman does that?!)

Oh why, cyber friends, are you all so far flung? I miss you, and I've never even met you. Does that make me crazy? Or is it maybe just some more of those pesky hormones acting up? :)

Hope you're all having a splendid day. I'd invite you over in an instant if I could!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


For my lunch yesterday I prepared a delicate bed of salad greens, tossed a few cubes of cheddar on for good measure, drizzled the whole thing with fat free Blue Cheese Dressing, and then topped it all with a couple of chopped up, crispy Tyson chicken patties (sprinkled first with a verrrry liberal dose of Tabasco sauce. Mmmm!) It was, I think, one of the best lunches I've ever had. I loved it. I couldn't wait to have it again today. So once again, come lunch time, I prepared everything exactly as before, sat down at the dining room table in giddy anticipation of that first taste...

...and nearly gagged on my first bite.

Why, oh why, Crazy Pregnancy Hormones, must you do this to me?

Monday, November 05, 2007

Hello again!

Has it really been nearly two weeks since I last posted here? I just don't see how that can be. I do know, however, that rather than getting better after I last wrote, we all actually took a turn for the worse and spent most of the next week sick! And I remember losing our internet connection for a few unfortunate days after that, and then being busy with work and Halloween preparations...and somehow, time has just gotten away from me!

So what else have we been doing, besides recuperating? Well, let's see. We did make it out to the Pumpkin Patch on it's last open weekend, which was a LOT of fun but which, due to my absentmindedness, I have no pictures of. (Actually, I have the pictures, I'm just unable to transfer them from my camera! My dang USB cable has been highly uncooperative as of late, but rather than special ordering a new one, we opted instead a few weeks ago to just buy a card reader to transfer our pictures to the computer. This works just dandy, when you actually remember to put the card back into the camera when you're done transferring images! Otherwise, all the photos you take the next time will be stored on your camera's internal memory, and there they will stay, until you finally have to special order a new cord, anyway! Sigh.)

Halloween was great fun this year. We opted to keep our own party very low key, in favor of attending a festival at Gym Magic that night. I was really glad we went, because I'm still sometimes plagued by that guilty feeling of depriving my children of the typical school experiences I loved as a child...such as Halloween festivals! We stayed for about an hour before coming home to go trick-or-treating in our neighborhood, which was so much fun! The trick-or-treat containers I had helped the kids make earlier in the day were filled by the time we got home!

On Saturday Dylan and Caitlyn attended their final gymnastics and ballet classes for this term. It was really sweet, and parents were invited to sit in to watch the classes and to see the kids receive certificates. I'm a little sad that it's over, but we've decided to take this next term off to have our weekends free over the holidays, and then we'll re-enroll them in the Spring. Caitlyn says she wants to try gymnastics next time, and Dylan's looking forward to the swimming classes. I'm sure they'll have fun no matter what they choose!

After their classes, we headed over to the park for our annual Renaissance Faire, which we'd been looking forward to for months! This was the first year that Dylan and Caitlyn wore costumes; these clothes from their costume trunk were just so perfect that I couldn't resist dressing them up! We spent the next four hours eating, watching performances, strolling the grounds, and--another first for us--taking a canoe ride on the lake! Dylan really, really wanted to take a ride with Caitlyn, but she wouldn't go unless I went, too...so the three of us hopped on board and enjoyed being paddled around the lake by two friendly Boy Scouts! I love how excited my kids look in these pictures. And I especially love the one of Dylan hugging my (already ridiculously large) bump. Too sweet!

Yesterday, with much help from Darren, I tried to get the house (and the school room in particular) back into order. These past several weeks have just been too unorganized, and I was beginning to feel overwhelmed. With early pregnancy exhaustion and sickness behind me (for the most part) now, I feel like I'm finally ready to get back into some sort of more structured rhythm again. I think the time change will help. We (the kids and I) were all up before seven this morning! I want to work my way back to getting up at 5:30 with Darren like I used to, and I really need to get better about planning our lessons. I know that we are learning every day, but I felt so much more confident and secure when I had actual lessons planned out for each day. I think we're getting there again. I'm considering today a brand new start!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Good Morning, Friends!

I think I'm finally beginning to see the light at the end of the dreary tunnel through which I've been trudging. Having spent the past four days attempting to comfort three sick children, with little sleep or rest in between, this morning has found us all feeling much better. No fevers, coughing at a minimum, few complaints of sore throats, nobody throwing up...and we all actually slept for most of last night! It was cold when we woke up this morning (28 degrees on our backyard thermometer!) and I was so excited by the change in weather that I brewed a steaming pot of Danielle's delicious hot cocoa to serve with our breakfast biscuits. Yum!

We're still in no rush, though, to get ready this morning. Caitlyn and Meghan are playing in the schoolroom, and Dylan is resting in the semi-permanent "nest" I created on our bedroom sofa a few days ago, reading The Littles and the Great Halloween Scare. And, speaking about Halloween, I read a great article a little while ago regarding the Catholic Christian celebration of All Hallows Eve. If any of you question the appropriateness of celebrating this holiday (which, as you all know, is one of our favorites), I would strongly urge you to read this enlightening article!

I hope to not be so absent from this blog in the coming weeks. I'm feeling well, now, much better than I have been recently. I've so missed you, my online friends, and I sincerely apologize for any seeming lack of indifference I may have inadvertently implied by my infrequent posts and comments. Please know that was never my intention! I hope you've not given up on me. I'm feeling much more social now that morning sickness and exhaustion are not my constant companions. :)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

These slow fall days

I am just so very much enjoying this time of my life right now. My kids, my pregnancy, my husband, my home, are all sources of such joy and wonder that I, for the most part, spend my lazy days just basking in the happiness of it all. Darren went with me to my ten week checkup earlier this week and we were so thrilled to once again hear the strong beat of our baby's heart! I still feel so thankful and amazed to find myself expecting again, especially in light of our recent loss, and I am trying so hard to just enjoy every moment of this pregnancy. I often find myself exhausted and frequently experience at least a bit of morning sickness during the day, so lessons these days most usually consist of me and my kids snuggled up together with a big pile of books on my bed. Dylan reads aloud to me, or I to them, and we even found two math books on our recent trip to the library that Dylan really seems to enjoy. It's cozy. It's comfortable. And it makes me so, so happy.

I am also really embracing the feeling of fall that has permeated our home. The weather has cooled sufficiently to finally seem more autumnal, which means more baking, and more soups! Last night I made the year's first pot of posole...a full month earlier than last year! Darren made a delicious butternut squash soup for dinner a few nights ago, and we even lit a small fire in our fireplace that night before bedtime. We piled blankets and pillows onto the floor and read to the kids until it was time to tuck them into their own beds. I am looking forward to many more evenings of this comforting routine!

And the kids and I have been busy decorating for Halloween and planning a party to rival last year's! We're reviewing recipes and planning menus and thinking about costumes, and we're really looking forward to this year's trip to the pumpkin patch! Our schoolroom has been decorated with some really cute posters that my dad gave us over the summer (from the teacher with whom he had been student teaching), and it looks so cute! We've also added posters of ancient Egypt, so the room is looking quite different than when we first started this school year!

With cooler days, we've been playing outside more, too. Two of my friends came over with their kids yesterday, and it was wild and wonderful and fun! I hope to get together with them more often in the near future, as their company is just so enjoyable. I just love these unrushed days. Not much to do, nowhere special to be, just here, doing the things I enjoy with the people I love. What a blessedly wonderful life!