Friday, September 23, 2011


If you are about to, or are in the process of eating, may I kindly suggest waiting until later to read this post.  And if you are of the weak of stomach and do not appreciate stories about bodily functions, perhaps skip it all together.  If you are like me, and think baby poop can be fairly comical, read on!  It's not gross or graphic, I promise.

So, the other morning I was downstairs hanging out, and the boys {Augustine and his daddy} were upstairs. 

Luke was in the bathroom shaving and Augustine was playing in his room.

Mid-shave Luke felt Augustine's little body brush behind him into the bathroom.  Augustine proceeded to lift up the toilet lid and throw a wad of paper towel in it.  He then said, "Poo-poo" and reached over to flush the toilet.  Before he could flush, Luke took a closer look, and the "wad" Augustine had thrown in the toilet was actually a big piece of poopy neatly wrapped up in paper towel.
Yes, my son pooped on his bedroom floor, went into the guest bathroom and tore off a piece of paper towel, went back to his room to retrieve said poop, wrapped it up, took it to the bathroom, threw it in the toilet, declared its contents, and flushed the toilet.  
Clearly, not the ideal {= poop deposited directly into toilet} but not a bad alternative, right??  It sure beats me cleaning it up! :)

By the way, Luke immediately washed Augustine's hands, which had no trace of poop on them and then asked Augustine where he had pooped.  Augustine took another piece of paper towel back to his room and starting wiping the carpet, apparently where the deed took place.  Again, no trace of poop anywhere!  But, I took the bleach wipes to the carpet anyway!  {I should mention that our child is completely bare from the waist down like 90% of the time he is at home--it's a potty training thing--, which explains why the poop was on the floor and not in his pants}.

Needless-to-say, Luke and I got a good laugh about it.  Potty training is some crazy stuff.  But we are very lucky that we have not experienced any of the poop smearing, eating, playing horror stories other moms have told me about!!  

My goal is to have Augustine completely potty trained by the time Baby #2 arrives...four months...we can do it!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A New Season

September is bringing about a New Season for me in many ways. 

Perhaps most importantly, I am making renewed efforts at personal and spiritual growth--efforts that were not exactly in full bloom over the summer, as I struggled through the challenges of the first trimester of pregnancy. 

And then we have the literal change of seasons, as summer fades and fall begins.  {Woo-hoo!} 

And finally, our family enters a new season--the {soccer} "off-season." 

And to these changes I say, "Welcome, welcome, and welcome!"

Let's just be honest: first trimesters kick my booty.  Now I know at nearly 20 weeks along, it's a tad late to be pulling the "first-trimester" card, but my nausea tends to stick around long past the typical thirteen weeks...and I also tend to be really tired during early pregnancy...and I am nursing a toddler...and my husband traveled a lot this summer...and it was really, really hot out...=booty kicked!  In the past couple weeks, however, I have had more energy, been getting better sleep, and have felt much less sick to my stomach.  Consequently, I have been getting more done around the house, cooking more tasty and healthy food, and making prayer and weekday Mass more of a priority {as they should be}.  I understand that you can't have second and third trimesters without first trimesters, and I wouldn't trade those weeks of suffering for anything {even though I know it sounded an awful lot like I was complaining a few seconds ago...}.  I am genuinely thankful for my nausea as a little reminder that my wee baby is growing inside of me...but I am also ready to embrace this new season! 

Which brings me to FALL!  Oh, how I love fall!  It wasn't until last year that I fully acknowledged how wonderful autumn is, but my sentiments are only growing stronger.  The candy corn has been purchased and {is being} consumed, my first batch of pumpkin bread will be baking shortly, and I look forward to daily walks in the crisp, fall air.  {Not to mention, I get to bust my Uggs out of the closet--I love my Uggs}. 

Fall also reminds me of being very pregnant with Augustine and all the special times Luke and I spent together during our last months as a family of two.  It's fun to be pregnant again on nearly the same time table.     

And the final transition for us as a family is from Luke being "in season" to being "out of season."  As much as I enjoy soccer and cheering on the Kickers, Augustine and I are both so thankful that Luke won't be traveling without us again until next April.  Him traveling seems to get harder and harder each season.  Already it is anxiety inducing just thinking about him being away next season while I stay home and try to maintain some sense of normalcy and balance with two little ones.  I know his traveling is light compared to many other men out there, and I really am thankful for his job and that he is able to work from home a lot more than most Daddies.  The off-season is also a big time for traveling for us as a family, as we don't do any recreational traveling between April and September.  Our first trip is scheduled for Charleston in early October! 

And then before we know it, it will be time to meet our new baby!!  And we will begin yet another season in our sure to be full of adventures and challenges and love!

I am seriously lacking in the picture department right now--I feel like most things in my life were neglected during my first trimester--so, no, this picture has nothing to do with fall.  But, a picture with Augustine in it is always a good one :-)

Happy {almost} Fall!!

Half Way!

Well, I am half way through this pregnancy! {pretend it is still Thursday...}

20 weeks--I promise it looks bigger in person!
 In terms of symptoms, it has been similar to my pregnancy with Augustine = Super tired for the first trimester. Super nauseous for the first 16-20 weeks.  Lots of cravings and aversions.  Not a lot of weight gain.  No big complaints or complications.

But in other ways, it is different.  I don't have all the time I did when I was pregnant with Augustine to tune into each tiny movement the baby makes or record each, minute milestone in this special period of waiting.  Sometimes it makes me sad when I look at this baby's nearly empty pregnancy journal next to Augustine's bursting at the seams with notes, but lately I have been making more of a conscious effort to get things on paper. 

This pregnancy I know more of what to expect, as well.  I have fewer questions and concerns and almost feel like, aside from labs and ultrasounds, I haven't even needed a doctor. 

With Augustine, as so-totally-excited as I was for him to arrive, I used to cry from time to time over the inevitable changes that having a baby would have on my relationship with Luke and our lifestyle. 

And now with this pregnancy, I realize that our lives and relationships are about to change again.  But, as with Augustine, this new baby will only make our lives more fulfilling and complete.  Even during my fleeting moments of anxiety, I find myself smiling as I remind myself how Augustine is truly and infinitely more incredible than I thought he would be {no offense, Little Guy} and that this baby, too, will surprise us with the joy he or she brings to our lives. 

I think it's  normal to experience a bit of mourning over the loss of what was, in the midst of joyful anticipation of what is to come.

Overall, the pregnancy is going great, and it will be January before I know it!

Can't wait to meet you Little One!!   

Friday, September 9, 2011


So, I was nerd-ish-ly excited to see that Cynthia had tagged me for this fun entry.  Basically, it's like a blog post that I don't have to think {too much} about...and I could use one of those right about now.  I have been a slacker--I know.  You see, I have things I want to write about but never seem to have the time, the pictures, and the energy all at the same time.  I do have a few blogs that I will be posting in the next couple days though--get excited!! 

Until then...

1. What's your occupation right now?  I have fulfilled my childhood dream of becoming a full-time stay at home mom, and I am very thankful.  Honestly, I can't imagine it any other way, even though it can be very challenging at times.  I will never tire of waking up to my sweet baby boy...dishes, on the other hand, I could do without.   

2. What are you listening to right now? It is actually fairly quiet in my house at the moment.  We just tucked the wee one into bed, and my hubby is taking a shower while I relax.

3. What was the last thing you ate?
Chicken salad for was really good...but let's be honest, I am far more excited about the ice cream I am going to eat in a few minutes!!
4. How old are you today? 28 for a few more months.

5. What is your favorite sport to watch on tv?  Soccer.  It used to be football, but it's just not as fun when you live in a part of the country that doesn't air any of the teams you grew up loving.

6. Favorite drink? I think I would have to say red wine, though between pregnancies and nursing I don't have any/much, respectively.  
7. Favorite new song?  I am going to answer on Augustine's behalf on this one and say Adele's Rolling in the Deep.  That song inspires something in my child that no other song does.  When he hears it come on, his whole being perks up and the arms start waving wildly--it's super cute!

8. What is the last movie you watched?  Emma.  We just finished reading it in my book club, so I wanted to watch the movie.  It was one of the only movies my best friend in junior high was allowed to watch, so we "watched" it a lot, but I had never had any idea what was going on.  I think I still would have been confused had I not read the book...   

9. Favorite day of the year? Christmas.  I love the family time and the festivities and the celebration of Jesus' birth.
 10. What was your favorite toy as a child? Baby dolls.  When I was about six, my Mom even took the stuffing out of one of my dolls and replaced it with rocks so the baby would be heavy like a real baby. 
 11. What is your favorite season? Fall.  I used to think it was boring when people said their favorite seasons were fall or spring, but as I have gotten older, I have found less favor in extremes {summer and winter} and have discovered how wonderful fall really is! 
 12. Cherries or blueberries? Blueberries.

13. When was the last time you cried? I am not going to count all the times I hear sentimental songs and scoop Augustine into my arms to dance with him and think of how thankful I am for him since that happens on a bi-weekly, it was on Sunday after I received the Eucharist at Mass.
 14. What is on the floor of your closet?  A few shirts I am deciding whether or not to keep.  A trash can.  Our laundry basket.

15. Who is the friend you have had the longest?  Aside from my sisters, Audra.     
 16. What did you do last night?  Put Augustine to bed, spent a few minutes on the computer, read, and then stayed up for a few hours talking with Luke in bed.       

17. What are you most afraid of?  I am much less afraid of things now than I used to be {I used to be afraid of everything}.  I still worry about things like illness, vaccines, the health of my unborn baby, death, eternity...but this is getting too deep for me right now.  How about venomous snakes??    
 18. How many states have you lived in? Colorado, Wyoming, Minnesota, New Mexico, South Carolina, Virginia--SIX.

19. What is your favorite kind of flower? Roses.

And, I will tag...

Sunday, September 4, 2011

A Refreshing Perspective

With Love. From, God --too cute!
Now that Augustine is old enough to really play with other children and we are interacting more with other Moms, I hear a lot about kids.  Specifically, there is a lot of talk about how many kids people want and what they are doing to ensure that they get exactly how many they want exactly when they want them. 

And, for the most part, they want two kids--preferably a boy and a girl--and only two kids.  {Please note that this in not the consensus of everyone I know, nor it is the mainstream thought among my close friends, but in interacting with casual acquaintances, and even strangers, I have noticed this trend lately}.

At play dates with my Mom's Group, I hear things like, "My husband would be perfectly fine with just the one, but I want another one and then we are definitely finished!,"

And a mom at Augustine's gym class the other day explained that the reason she found out the gender of her second baby {still in utero} is because he is the "last one."

And I know a plethora of couples who "got" their girl and their boy so they are finished,

Flying home from Chicago the other day, the fellow sitting next to me saw Augustine's "Big Brother" shirt and inquired.  "Oh, I am pregnant," I said.  Without missing a beat, he replied, "And that's the last one?" gesturing at my belly.  It was almost awkward to have a man whom I had known for less than 15 minutes assume that before my second child was even born, I, a young lady with plenty of childbearing years left, was "done."  "Oh no, I replied!  My husband is one of eleven, and I am one of five.  We hope to have 4 or 5 or 6."  He didn't ask any more questions about kids.

My perspective on the whole family planning thing has a lot of influences: 
I am from a big family. 
And from a moral standpoint, I can never accept abortion or artificial contraception.  

Yet even if I was from a small family and had no moral objections to birth control, I am also a bit crunchy a fan of the natural.  I like things to be natural.  I like it when people and things do what they were intended and designed to do.  For example, breasts--really and truly--were designed and intended to nourish wee ones...not that they don't enrich lives in other ways...but fundamentally, it is no coincidence that they begin producing milk at just the right time to nurse a new baby {I am not saying all women can breastfeed, just as not all women can have children, but I love God's natural design for us, as women, to be able to provide for our babies in that way}. 

Likewise, I also don't think it's a coincidence that women have the capacity to bear children.  I think it is all part of God's natural plan and that it is not something we were meant to fight against...or plan against...or control through artificial means.  Here we have this incredible gift of fertility, yet before they are even married couples know exactly how many children they want and how far apart they are going to be spaced.  It just seems so unnatural to me.

Anyway, the point of all this is that I ran into someone the other day with a very different perspective than the one I spoke about in the beginning.  This particular lady has been a friend of ours since we moved to Richmond over three years ago.  She was the first person in Virginia to know I was pregnant with Augustine--not because I told her or because I was showing, but because she just had a feeling after overhearing Luke's end of a phone conversation while they were riding home from a soccer game together.  He had urged me to take a nap and get plenty of rest, and apparently, that is all it took for her to know!  She is a 47 year-old woman with six children of her own--all boys, including a set of teenage TWINS!!  A few weeks after the phone call incident, she approached me and asked if I was pregnant and then shared that she had been praying for us and our baby since she first suspected it.  She also evoked Augustine's very first intentional smile with her warm energy and sweet voice.  Needless-to-say, she is wonderful.  From time to time she has mentioned to me that "maybe" they would have another baby at some point.  She often said things like, "you never know" or "I kinda hope so," making it obvious to me that she was leaving the decision up to God. 

Well, the other day I ran into her, and she shared that she may be pregnant.  She figured she probably wasn't, but she thought it was a possibility.  As she spoke, I could see her quiet excitement.  Here she is, at 47 years old with six boys, and she displays such peace with whatever God has in store for her.  It was just so refreshing for me to see someone so open to, and excited, for life, when I so often feel like our world treats life--specifically the life of children--as a burden and as an option. 

I won't find out until I run into her again a few weeks from now whether or not she is indeed pregnant, but in the meantime I am going to pray for her as she prayed for Augustine when he was only a hope and a suspicion in her mind. 

And I pray that I can take her example and always have the same peace and acceptance of God's plan for my family and children as she has for hers.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Reflections after the Week of Natural Disasters

For those of you who didn't know, we had an earthquake right here in Virginia on August 23rd.  It was a surreal experience, though {thankfully!} less eventful than I would have imagined it to be.  And then a few days later, on the 27th, we felt the effects of Hurricane Irene.  Our area was tagged as experiencing "tropical storm" weather, and we lost power from 2:30 pm Saturday afternoon until 5:30 am on Monday {did I mention Luke was out of town from Friday until Sunday evening??  He was enjoying sunny Florida while I was reading stories to our toddler by candlelight...}.  Many people in the Richmond area are still without power.   

Anyway, in the course of these events, here are some of the random thougths that I had...

1)  As annoying as they can sometimes be, battery operated toys that light up and make noise are totally awesome when you are going on almost two full days without electricity!

2)  Spending the evening holed up in your bedroom lit exclusively by candles is only romantic when your significant other is there to enjoy it with you...when he is hundreds of miles away, it's just kind of depressing. 

3)  FYI: When you are in an earthquake, you are supposed to go outside.  Ironically, when my house started shaking--my thoughts jumbled and my body working in slow motion--going outside seemed like the worst idea ever.  I did peek out the window for any indication that the shaking existed beyond the confines of my living room and that I wasn't going insane...but everything looked serene.  Still, the thought of taking Augustine and leaving the "safety" of our house was too scary at the moment.

4)  It's not things like the tv and the internet that you miss most when the power goes out.  The absence of  lights, a functioning refrigerator/freezer, and the power to charge my cell phone, however, were missed very much.

5)  Losing all cell phone reception from my home was also very difficult--especially since my hubby was out of town.  Unfortunately, I lost service just as Augustine was going to I had to wait until the next morning to drive to a location where I could pick up service.  It's really strange going to bed without talking to your husband.

6)  Naps actually seem much more wonderful when there are no clocks to remind you what time it is or when you should get up.  Once my cell phone battery died, the only way I had of checking the time was going out to my car.  I took a really great nap that day.

7)  Throwing away most of the food in your fridge and freezer is sad. 
Initially, so is not having anything warm to eat because you can't cook without power.
Eventually, so is not having anything warm or cold to eat because all the food in your fridge is starting to spoil. 
Peanut butter sandwich, anyone??

8)  God is good.  Life is good.  Always be thankful.