Dec 2, 2018

Thanksgiving Weekend

Thanksgiving break was such a nice little respite. Well, I had to study for and take an exam but after that it was good.:) It's always nice when you get a little breather you didn't quite realize you needed!

On Thanksgiving morning we went to mass and then headed over to my sister's house for donuts and hot cider, flag football, and a run (I just participated in the donuts). After coming down from our sugar comas at home we went to my parents house for dinner.  I made my usual- Bourbon Sweet Potato Puree and Cran-Apple Crostatas, and on the whole dinner was amazing, as was dessert!

On Friday we hit up a local Catholic store for some shopping. Haha, thankfully Black Friday craziness doesn't make an impact there, but they do have such great inventory that it was hard to hold back. We bought gifts for the newest grandbaby in the family who was baptized that Sunday!

Just before the baptism I asked one of my brothers to snap family photos for us for our Christmas card. Getting a group photo stresses me out! I would love it if we could magically get a candid photo of our family sometime throughout the year that didn't involve gathering everyone, making sure hair is brushed, and outfits have a modicum of decency/ cohesiveness. Anyway, it actually helped that it was Sunday, so the girls were already in nice outfits with their hair did and everyone fed. My brother graciously snapped a BUNCH of photos for us but when I went to check them was blurry because I HAD THE LENS SET ON MANUAL!!! And in several of them I could tell everyone was smiling at the camera, too. So frustrating! We took another hasty photo after the baptism but by then a someone was crying in every photo.

As Tim put it, "Sorry child that's getting thrown under the bus in this year's Christmas card." C'est la vie.

Anyway, have a blessed first week of Advent!

Nov 21, 2018

Life Lately {October - November}

We had a fun family pumpkin patch outing in October! The girls especially enjoyed the playground and cow train, and Cora was enamored with all the "so big, heavy" pumpkins. We never did get around to carving our pumpkin but we made some good memories. :)

Evie had another ER visit in October for breathing issues. She's had some good weeks but more recently we've been trying to keep on top of her symptoms- prayers appreciated!


On Halloween Heidi's pre-k class had Storybook Day and she dressed as Olivia. She was a cute little pig, if I do say so myself. :)

Later that day we went to my parents' for dinner and trick-or-treating with cousins. Evie dressed as a cook (YouTube to the rescue for her hat!), the dress was a lot big on her (my oversight) but Audrey went as Alice in Wonderland, Heidi went as Princess Anna(third year running!), and Cora refused each and every costume option, so subsequently went as a two-year-old. It was a lovely, mild night, and good to see neighbors.


On All Saints' Day we attended mass at the girls' school and then went to Evie's classroom for the 2nd grade Saint presentations.
Halloween through All Souls' Day is always such a special time of year!


After a hiatus since our beach trip, Cora once again began climbing out of her crib during nap time AND climbing over the gate we put in front of her door. After a few insane days of no-napping, Tim converted her crib into a toddler bed. That ameliorated the situation for a bit but some days she still rebels when I put her down for a nap. I ordered a monkey lock, which my sister told me about, and that has helped! When I need to use it she cries for some minutes and tries to open the door but eventually falls asleep in her bed.
Crazy toddler years!

One cute thing about her bed, though, is how proud she is of it. Whenever we're in sight of it she points to it and proudly says, "SEE?".

A few weeks ago Tim and I watched the Mr. Rogers documentary.(Side note- I fondly remember watching his show on "channel two six" before PM Kindergarten when I was little.) We both really liked it a lot; there was one remark I thought was very poignant- I can't quite recall the exact words but the interviewee said something like: people feel the need to categorize others into specific categories and when someone doesn't fit in one of those we become suspect of them. 

The movie relayed how poorly some people perceived him and his work, and how it affected him. It reminded me SO much of part of a documentary about Hollywood Directors and WWII Tim and I watched that involved Frank Capra. Apparently the initial negative reception of "It's a Wonderful Life" stayed with him until his death, and that breaks my heart!
I just wish I could hug them both, tell them how much they matter, and thank them for their work!

On that note- have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Nov 8, 2018

A Moment in the Life

Just gonna lay this one out there...

Things you never want to hear your toddler say when they have a stinky diaper:

"Is it, dirty fingers?"

Nov 6, 2018

Let's Talk Christmas Books!

I think my Christmas love language is picture books. I love perusing Christmas book lists and pulling out ours- sometimes bit by bit, some years all at once- when Advent arrives. A few years ago I was a library requesting fiend and used up all the hold space I had for Christmas picture books (um, starting in October). Seriously, though, the whole of December is like Black Friday lines when it comes to certain library Christmas books.
Over the years we've added to our home collection- a handful from Amazon or as gifts, but most through thrift store finds and library book sales, little by little. Another place we've struck gold (usually in the "off" season) has been a large used book store in our area with a specific Holiday section in the kids' area.
I absolutely love Barbara Cooney's illustrations and I feel like you can't go wrong with books illustrated by her. Also, Tomie dePaolo has approximately 1,000 Christmas related books- I feel like his are great for gifts or a great place to start for a home collection.

So, here are our favorites:

Board books:

The Legend of the Candy Cane (abbreviated since it's in board book form)
The Nutcracker  (the BabyLit version also looks great)
The Nutcracker (These needle-felted illustrated books are too cute)
My First Christmas Carols

Picture Books:
 The Little Drummer Boy
Christmas in the Barn (thanks to Ellen who recommended the Barbara Cooney illustrated version a while back!)
The Cobweb Curtain (just heard about this last year via Stephanie's instagram and found it for sale at our library)
The Night Before Christmas

Christmas Versions of Books:
 The Jolly Christmas Postman (haha, I found this second hand and kudos to the previous family because it had all the little inserts!)


More Tomie dePaola:

The Clown of God (can't NOT tear up every time)
The Legend of Old Befana

Saints + Traditions:

Saint Nicholas (I also love the Demi version)
Candy Canes in Bethlehem (the author was a client of Tim's so she gave us a copy!)

Aaannd that's where we are Christmas book-wise (for now). :)

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