Tuesday, September 29, 2009

No time

Phew.... as I sit here, yes sit here, I cannot believe that I actually have a few minutes to write a post.  Life has been crazy.  The few blogging minutes I have had have been spent here, The Food Hub.  This is my other blog that Thomas and I contribute to.
Ultimately, I have not adjusted to having a child in school.  The afternoon run to pick him up is so not fun.  It occurs at just the time of the day when the baby is taking a nap, the kid is vegged out on the couch watching a movie and I am enjoying a well-earned cup of coffee (and maybe writing a blog post!)  Unfortunately, afternoons like these are now few and far between.  Now I have to wake up a sleeping baby (brutal!) and drag the kid into the car.  The coffee has to wait until we are home, finished with homework (in KINDERGARTEN?!!), have a snack, change clothes etc.  Then before I know it, it's time to make dinner.
I am going to try to post more regularly, but life beckons.  I hear it calling me now....the phone just rang, hubby's on his way home and I have to go make dinner!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Love Hate Relationship

I had a baby almost 6 months ago.  During my pregnancy, I lived it up.  This is my third baby, I should know that the more I eat when I'm pregnant the more I will suffer when it is over.  BUT, I never seem to learn, I am sure this will happen all over again during my next pregnancy.  I only gained 38 pounds this time.  However, I was up a few too many to start with.  Thus began my completely unenjoyable journey of losing the weight....again.  UGH!
My wonderful husband and  I started a program called P90X in June. It is a 13 week extreme fitness program.  I lost a little over 20 pounds in the first phase, but am only halfway there.  We decided to take 2 weeks off because it is extremely taxing on your body to not take a break before starting again.  I love the results, but hate the work.
So today, we begin again.  A carefully planned 13 weeks that will end one week before Christmas, so that I can promptly gain back 5-7 pounds!  I am really trying to get motivated for these next three months.  I don't mind the exercise, but I hate dieting.  I just love food too much.  It is mind over matter and it is tough.  I absolutely am NOT going to quit before I reach my goal.  I will keep you posted on my progress!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Bonding....finally!




These are my two youngest boys, Henry and Oliver.  This picture is such a relief to me, considering that the first months of Oliver's life he was terrified of Henry!  Henry is, how do you say it.... very BOISTEROUS?  He is sweet, but he is very rough, physical and sometimes the sounds that he can produce make my entire body cringe.  Obviously, to a newborn this is frightening.  Everytime Henry came near Oliver or touched him he would start crying.  This would lead Henry to yell in his face "WHAT'S THE MATTER OLIVER?" and "OLIVER STOP CRYING!"  He meant well, but only made it worse.  As you can see in the picture, Oliver has gotten used to the decibel level in Henry's voice, as well as his rowdiness and is pretty happy being with his big brother!

Woops

It came to my attention that the comment section was not working properly, it has been fixed!  PLEASE leave your comments :-)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Garbage Can Discipline

A conversation while walking through Walmart......

Me: Awww, Henry what am I going to do with you? (as I lovingly pat him on the head.)
Henry:  Throw him in the garbage can and leave him there for 35 years?
Me: Huh???!

I promise I have NEVER threatened to put my boys in the garbage can!  Although....sometimes maybe not a bad idea? :-)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Taken over by Transformers

It dawned on me while I was browsing the kids selection of Netflix, that my boys would probably love the old 1984 version of The Transformers.  Well, it turns out that I was right, really, really right.  They absolutely LOVE it.  Unfortunately, they have been watching it so much that everyone in the family is walking around humming  "Transformers, more than meets the eye."   The first time I popped that DVD in I was immediately taken back to my childhood.  Then, of course, Thomas and I started discussing how "they just don't make cartoons like that anymore."   Well, I have decided that I will continue to rent more of the old cartoons from our childhood.  They are much more innocent than many of the cartoons that are on Saturday mornings now.  They are also fun for the boys and for Thomas and I!

Here is the link for those of you who want to take a walk down memory lane!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_AIFoBRIny0

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Apple Cream Cheese Pie

It's fall and in our house that means seasonal desserts!  I love baking apple, pumpkin and spice desserts during this, my favorite, season.  This is a spectacular recipe from Pillsbury for Apple Cream Cheese Pie.  One change that I am going to make the next time I bake this, is to make a homemade crust and not use the refrigerated one.  I also used low-fat cream cheese.  If you don't have apple pie spice, a recipe for it follows in the ingredients list.  Enjoy and Happy Fall!



Crust:
1 refrigerated pie crust

Streusel:
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
3/4 teaspoon apple pie spice
1/3 cup butter

Apple Layer:
3 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced thinly
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon apple pie spice

Cream Cheese Layer:
1- 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Apple Pie Spice (makes 2 tablespoons):
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
1 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon cloves


Heat the oven to 450 degrees.  Follow the directions on the pie crust box for a one-crust baked pie shell.  Using a 9 inch pie pan, roll out crust and prick the bottom and sides.  Bake for 9 minutes.  Reduce oven to 350 degrees.


Meanwhile, stir together streusel ingredients, except the butter.  Cut up the butter into pieces and cut in with a pastry blender, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Set aside.


Gently mix apple layer ingredients; set aside.


Next, beat the cream cheese and 1/4 cup granulated sugar on low speed until well-blended.  Add egg and vanilla; beat well.


Spread the cream cheese filling into the baked pie crust.
Spoon apple mixture evenly over cream cheese layer.


Sprinkle the streusel on top of the apple layer.
Bake 50 to 60 minutes until the streusel layer is golden brown.  If necessary cover the edges of the pie with a crust cover or with tin foil to prevent overbrowning.  Cool at least 1 hour before serving.

Soccer Saturday


Well, it looks as though every Saturday for the next month and a half is going to be Soccer Saturday.  Joseph and Henry are playing for the first time this fall and had their first game today.  I have to admit, soccer wasn't my first choice for them to play.  I was envisioning basketball, baseball and even football before soccer.  BUT, 4 and 5 year olds can't really handle more than kicking a ball down a field, plus the rules are pretty easy to understand!
So we dragged them (literally) onto the field today.  I was a little upset with them because Joseph was being his usual stubborn self and wouldn't go onto the field.  He did end up having a lot of fun though and scored a goal!
I was disappointed to learn that they don't keep score?!  I am all for not making kids feel badly but I hate the mentality these days of letting "everyone win."  It is okay for there to be a winner and a loser.  I played a lot of sports while growing up and was very competitive.  I guess I was expecting the boys to be a little more competitive but Thomas had to remind me that they are only 4 and 5.  It will be a season of me biting my tongue and letting them "have fun."  I said to Thomas, "well we have 3 boys, one of them should like sports, right?"  I hope they learn to love sports like I do, but if they don't I can hopefully get just as much joy out of going to a boy scouts event or an academic bowl....right?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

My boys

To homeschool or to Catholic school? That is the question.

I clearly remember in college meeting families who homeschooled ( I went to Franciscan University of Steubenville which is a mecca of homeschooling families) and saying "I could NEVER do that."  Well, fast foward 6 years and there I was pondering the possibility of homeschooling.  There were many, many pros in my mind for doing this but many cons also.
First of all , and in my mind the most important, was the ability to shelter my kids from all of the "bad stuff" in the culture around us.  I would be able to control pretty much what toys they played with, movies they watched, language they heard, at least for a couple of years.  I would be surrounded by other homeschooling families who agreed with my values and faith.  Academically my boys would be far ahead of their peers in regular school.  Results of homeschooled kids testing is routinely published and they perform extremely well.  Also, financially homeschooling could save us big bucks instead of paying Catholic school tuition.  We would have the freedom as a family to travel when we wanted, take days off when we liked and the boys would able to be in a lot of other extracurricular activities due to them having more time in their day.
The cons though would be me not really getting a break.  I'm a little bit of a control freak and not always the most patient mom, so I didn't know how I would be as my kids teacher.  Another con would be not being able to work or run errands by myself, and this was a BIGGY! Also, having to tell family and friends who DO NOT understand that we were homeschooling would be difficult.  Another thing that just bothered me was the thought of never seeing my boys in those cute little programs at Thanksgiving or Christmas,  them not having class pictures or getting ready for their first day of school.
We knew that public school was not an option for us, so after a lot of talking and praying my husband and I decided to give it a go.  He has been a proponent of the idea for awhile and I agreed to do a "trial year."  I began homeschooling Joseph last year with a kindergarten curriculum because he was just past the cut off to start school.  By September I told my husband that I was not doing this next year!  The reality of having all of my kids home, all of the time, started to sink in.  Realizing that ALL of my shopping trips for the next 10 years would include ALL of my children.  Also, coming to terms with the fact that I would not be able to work outside of the home again was a little depressing to me.
So we pushed through the year and academically Joseph did very, very well . He learned to read, he learned all of his kindergarten sight words, phonograms, numbers to 100.  BUT, he was a bear to teach.  He was so stubborn, fighting me in the mornings, he just wanted to play and not "do" school.
So, to make a long story kind of short, we enrolled Joseph in a Catholic school this year for kindergarten.  Now, I struggle with that decision.  I miss having all of my boys around.  I miss being able to teach him and to know exactly what he is learning and where he needs help.  He is WAY ahead of the class this year because we already did most of what he is doing last year.  Also, financially we aren't sure how we are going to put 3 (and counting) kids through Catholic school.
So, I am at a crossroads. Do I want to really put my whole heart into homeschooling and just go for it?  Forgo my own wants (a career, not having the stigma of a homeschooling family etc.), really sacrifice it all and teach my kids on my own?  Or do I want to continue at a Catholic school where we will definitely have to sacrifice in many other parts of our life?  Any thoughts? Can anyone relate?
For now, I just pray and ask God to lead me and give me an answer (preferably by February :-)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Welcome to my new blog!

 I am a 30 year old stay-at-home Catholic mom.  I struggle daily with trying to make the right decisions for my family.  I have been married to my husband for 6 1/2 years.  I have three amazing, exhausting, and adorable boys.  Joseph is 5 almost 6, Henry is 4 and Oliver is 5 months.
I have been attempting to start a blog for many months. Unfortunately, I was so hung up on picking a name for this darn thing that I kept putting it off.  So, I have finally decided on a name, not my favorite, but I realized it didn't matter.  The point of this blog is so that I can record events in our family for the future.  I have a horrible memory and want to preserve as much of the time when my kids are young as I can.
I don't anticipate many followers but if you do read this, welcome and thank you!!