Monday, March 31, 2008

Out Like a Lion

Old Man Winter decided to give Minnesota one last punch. Yesterday we recorded our highest temperature of 2008 -- a whopping 52 degrees. And today, no doubt, we will record our largest snowfall of 2008. A bit of irony in this crazy weather region we live in.

But oddly enough my spirits are still high. Maybe it's because of the plethora of items I have to cross of my to-do list. Too much to be done indoors to even think about enjoying any sunshine. Or more likely it's because Mama Nash's forecast says I'll be experiencing a high of 72 degrees with a 0% chance of having to change a poopy diaper as early as Wednesday.

That's right, folks. I'm heading out to the lovely Las Vegas on Wednesday morning. It will be my third time in Sin City. My mom and sister will be accompanying me and I'm almost more excited for them than I am for myself as it will be their first trip to this famous American city.

William will also be on vacation. His destination of choice? Eau Claire, Wisconsin with Nana and Papa Nash. I will be away from William for 4 nights and 4 days; the longest ever. And I think I'm experiencing the same emotions any mother of any-aged children will have. I'm very excited to get away from the monotony of everyday life. But I'm also apprehensive about being away from my baby and that same routine that I'm trying to take a vacation from.

To me, the hardest times to be away from William are in the morning and at bedtime. The morning brings the happiest baby in the world. He always greets me standing in his crib, eyes bright and a smile that's a mile long. Bedtime brings snuggles and kisses. Priceless.

But I'm a firm believer that even a short time away from your husband, your children or both makes you a better wife and mother upon your return. So I will say goodbye to William and my hubby and the snow and say hello to sunshine, palm trees and...hmmm...well...c'mon, it's Vegas, baby! The sky's the limit!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Thursday Night Recap: March 27

Eats: We broke a cardinal Thursday night rule and ordered out. We had a pizza from Papa Murphy's.

Dessert: A few Mini Cadbury Eggs

Drink: We tasted some of those home-brews Brian received this week from his Confirmation candidate.

Entertainment: No Country For Old Men -- maybe it's just me but I thought this movie was really lame. I have no idea why it won the Academy Award for Best Picture.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Naughty Little Monkey

Just when I thought I had nothing to post this morning, this is the scene I walked into. Thoughts that went through my head:

1. What?! How did you do you that?!

2. Thank God I made it in time before there were any major spills.

3. Also thank God that I had just finished uploading pictures onto our computer and therefore had our digital camera in my hand to capture this.

4. When did he start being able to climb things other than the stairs?

5. Wasn't he just a little baby in a bouncy seat, like, um, yesterday?

6. Crap. Now I can't really let him play by himself while I do the breakfast dishes, or really anything in the kitchen.

As soon as I pulled him down (which, by the way, was like an amusement park ride in itself) and told him that what he did was extremely naughty and a huge no-no it took a nanosecond for me to capture this series of pictures. Sigh.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Scraping the Bottom of the Barrel

There's not much to report on the homefront. We're just truckin' along waiting for the first 60-degree weather day so we can really get outside for longer than an hour. Here's all the bits I could round up:
  • William has his fourth ear infection. We caught it early and were able to treat it with antibiotics right away. I'm starting to roll my eyes at all the people who are flaunting the fact that they breastfed their child and are happy to say that their kid has never had an ear infection. I'm one of the biggest advocates I know for breastfeeding. It's benefits are endless. William never received an ounce of formula and I breastfed him up to 12 1/2 months of age. Still, he is plagued with this horrible recurrence of an infection. But then again, maybe it could have been a lot worse had I not been so adamant about breastfeeding?

  • Brian and I are celebrating the end of Lent and the resurgence of our Caribou Latte/Mocha obsession. That's what we gave up. I'm pretty sure I saw a dip in their stock prices during those six weeks when we were not the loyal patrons we usually are.

  • This morning I asked Brian for suggestions for this blog explaining that I had nothing to write about. He really wanted me to share with all of you that he received eight bottles of home-brewed beer last night at his RCIA meeting. It was a gift from the guy for whom Brian was his confirmation sponsor this past weekend. Brian thought it was the coolest "sponsor thank you" gift in the history of confirmation.

  • We're all about American Idol. In case you haven't heard I've got my own little fantasy contest going on. Click here to see the standings. Things are really heating up!

  • My brother Joey will be stopping in this afternoon. He goes to college about four hours northwest of us so we don't get to see him that often. In fact, the last time he saw William was over Christmas. He will be visiting a much different William now that he is walking/running/talking all over the place. We've been practicing saying "Jooooo-ey" all morning. So far we've got it down to "Go-wee." Good enough for me!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Spring Picture

Well I've finally replaced my profile picture that you see off to the right. The snow was making me depressed. But unfortunately even though the calendar says spring we woke up to six inches of snow this morning. So this is the best I could come up with for a spring picture. Brian shot this of the two of us. We're sitting on the leather chair in front of our living room window. We're looking outside. Longing and hoping for blue skies, green grass and dandelions. Because I didn't have my makeup on for the day, I decided to convert it to sepia, minus our eyes and my wedding ring. So for now, that's all the color you're going to get until everything starts bloomin'!

Friday, March 21, 2008

What I Learned at the Mass of our Lord's Supper... that my son refuses to sleep anywhere except his crib or his carseat.

As much as I knew it was going to be a painful experience, we attended mass as a family last night for Holy Thursday. Mass started at 7:00 which is usually William's bedtime. And this was a longer mass than most Sundays or weekdays because of the Washing of the Feet and some extended hymns. It lasted one hour and 45 minutes to be exact. But not that I'm counting or anything.

You might be reading this and thinking that I'm crazy for even attempting to go with my son in tow but I did so with the knowledge that this was the only mass he needed to attend with us during the Triduum.

At first he was fine. Reading his books, smiling at the people behind us. But when that 8 o'clock hour hit he had had it. I tried to lay his head on my shoulder but as soon as I removed my hand, his head popped back up. I tried to cradle him as if he were a newborn but he got so angry at me his face turned red. I settled on just letting him suck on his pacifier and hold his blankie. And he was fine with that. But every so often his exhaustion would return and he would grunt and arch his back with frustration that he wasn't in bed.

This afternoon I'm so excited to be able to go to Good Friday mass by myself. My sister-in-law has so graciously offered to watch William this afternoon and then again tomorrow evening for the Vigil.

We can all thank God for that!


Thursday Night Recap: March 20

Eats: Barbqued pulled pork in the slow cooker and a cesear salad.

Dessert: Just a few early sneaks of chocolate candy from the Easter baskets.

Drink: None for either of us. We didn't get home from Holy Thursday Mass until after 9:00.

Entertainment: The Mass of our Lord's Supper (which really wasn't entertainment because it was way past William's bedtime so you can imagine how that went) and some odds and ends on television.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Being a Proud Catholic

I thought this post would be appropriate for Holy Thursday. And I don't mean to get on a soap box here. I just think it's important to really be cognizant of the issue of whether or not the Catholic Church is being fairly represented in the media. Many times I find myself envious of Evangelical Christians for not being afraid to tout their faith regardless of the repercussions it may have in the "real world" outside of the church walls.

If you're Catholic, hopefully you'll go away holding your head a bit higher. And if you're not, hopefully you'll go away with just a bit more respect for the Catholic Church.

The following are excerpts of a speech by well known Cleveland businessman Sam Miller at the City Club of Cleveland, given on March 6, 2008. It is important to point out that Miller is of the Jewish faith. It was published in the May-June issue of the Buckeye Bulletin. To see the full speech click here. Hat tip goes to my mother-in-law for passing this along to me.

Why would newspapers carry on a vendetta on one of the most important institutions that we have today in the United States, namely the Catholic Church?

Do you know - the Catholic Church educates 2.6 million students everyday at the cost to your Church of 10 billion dollars, and a savings on the other hand to the American taxpayer of 18 billion dollars. Your graduates go on to graduate studies at the rate of 92%, all at a cost to you. To the rest of the Americans it's free.

The Church has 230 colleges and universities in the U.S. with an enrollment of 700,000 students. The Catholic Church has a non-profit hospital system of 637 hospitals, which account for hospital treatment of 1 out of every 5 people - not just Catholics - in the United States today.

But the press is vindictive and trying to totally denigrate in every way the Catholic Church in this country. They have blamed the disease of pedophilia on the Catholic Church, which is as irresponsible as blaming adultery on the institution of marriage. Let me give you some figures that you as Catholics should know and remember. For example, 12% of the 300 Protestant clergy surveyed admitted to sexual intercourse with a parishioner; 38% acknowledged other inappropriate sexual contact in a study by the United Methodist Church, 41.8 % of clergywomen reported unwanted sexual behavior; 17% of laywomen have been sexually harassed. Meanwhile, 1.7% of the Catholic clergy has been found guilty of pedophilia. 10% of the Protestant ministers have been found guilty of pedophilia. This is not a Catholic Problem.

A study of American priests showed that most are happy in the priesthood and find it even better than they had expected, and that most, if given the choice, would choose to be priests again in face of all this obnoxious PR the church has been receiving.

The Catholic Church is bleeding from self-inflicted wounds. The agony that Catholics have felt and suffered is not necessarily the fault of the Church. You have been hurt by a small number of wayward priests that have probably been totally weeded out by now.

Walk with your shoulders high and you head higher. Be a proud member of the most important non-governmental agency in the United States. Then remember what Jeremiah said: "Stand by the roads, and look and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is and walk in it, and find rest for your souls". Be proud to speak up for your faith with pride and reverence and learn what your Church does for all other religions. Be proud that you're a Catholic.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Cooking with William

This is from last Thursday night. As you can tell from my pantsless little boy, it was another puddle-jumping day outside.

First we have to beat the eggs.

Then we put the bread in the egg mixture.

Then we let the bread soak.

"Mmmmm... Thanks for letting me have syrup this time, mama."

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's + 1 Day!

I know I'm late with this post so I'm going to make it up with a lot of pictures. We were out of town at Brian's parent's house this weekend. Brian's sister Meaghan who is from New York City was in town with her son Patrick. Brian thought it would be a good occasion to take a day off work and spend some time with them. Now that William is getting older the 5-month age gap between him and his cousin Patrick seems like a lot less so it's fun to watch them play and interact together. As promised, here are the pictures!

Irish cousins.

"Green cheeeeeeeese!"

"Yep, I've got my green on!"

"And so do Nana and Papa!"

"Ahhhhh! My Aunt Jenny is attacking me with kisses!"

Cousins don't shake hands, cousins gotta hug!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Thursday Night Recap: March 13

WARNING: This one's not very exciting folks!

Eats: Homemade French toast. Which means, I forgot to thaw the roast I was going to make.

Drink: Nothing for me. I didn't get home from shopping until almost 9:00 so I was already tired. But I believe Brian made himself a drink and had a beer.

Dessert: One Skinny Cow Mint Ice Cream Sandwich

Entertainment: Shopping by myself, Lipstick Jungle and the 10 o'clock News. The Nashes are CRAZY WILD, I know.

Not What I Meant!

Last night I got some shopping time to myself while Brian went through William's bedtime routine. As I was making my way into a shop I saw a young dad struggling to get his newborn's stroller in the door. I ran up to hold the door for him.

I said, "I have a baby. I know, it sucks."

He just gave me a little smile.

I walked about 50 feet into the store before I realized what I had said. I wanted to turn around, run, find the man and say, "Hey! That's not what I meant! Really!"

I didn't mean, "it sucks" with it equaling having a baby. I meant, "it sucks" with it equaling the difficulty it takes getting in and out of doors by yourself with a huge travel system.

I figured he would think I was even more of a crazy person if I ran after him to explain so instead I just continued shopping while biting the foot that was in my mouth.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Law of Waking and Sleeping

I'm usually not one to nap during the day. Even when William was a newborn I never took that "sleep when the baby sleeps" advice. I view William's nap as a time to get stuff done around the house without any disruptions. So this morning when I had a throbbing headache it was very much out of my routine to lay down when William was about an hour into his nap.

But every mother knows that every child has a secret wire tap hidden underneath her pillow so that just as she slides her achy legs into those soft sheets and lets her head relax into the marshmallow fluff and slowly, slowly closes her eyelids, that's when she hears it. It's either the saddest cry you've ever heard in the whole world or the most wide-awake babbling of catch phrases. I got the latter.

I sighed, threw off the covers and flung each leg over the edge. At least I was being forced out of bed by a happy baby, I thought.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The March "Post-Outside-Play" Outfit

If you've ever raised a child in a colder climate you will know exactly what is going on in the pictures below. Spring has finally sprung in Minnesota! It was 50 degrees today which is quite a feat for March 11.

William and I ran errands all morning and into the early afternoon. I let him walk by himself to and from the car. He had a quick hour and a half nap and then we were back outside running around in the yard until daddy came home. It's such a (pardon the pun) breath of fresh air to be somewhere other than the four walls of our house.

These pictures were taken post puddle-jumping and bum-falling-into-the-mud. My laundry load, no doubt, will increase if the weather stays this nice. But it's a small price to pay to see my baby boy's smiling face shining in the sun.

Monday, March 10, 2008

On the Fourth Day of My Birthday My True Love Gave to Me...

I know this blog is supposed to be all about motherhood and the kiddies but I'm going to take just a little time to brag about my husband and all the wonderfulness he brought to my birthday this year.

Brian's never been bad about my birthday. He always remembers and he always gets me a thing or two. But in the past everything has always been, well, predictable. (Do you hear me, ladies?) This year, aside from the dinner reservations we had already made together, I saw none of it coming.

He decided to do the Four Days of my Birthday. So each day leading up to March 7th he brought home a little surprise singing, "On the first day of your birthday your true love gave to you..."

On the first day I got a big bouquet of pink tulips -- my fave! On the second day he brought me home a little bag of Godiva truffles. (Remember the dessert from my Thursday night recap?) And on the third day he wrote me a poem. **Sigh**

The fourth day was my birthday and I really had no idea what to expect. That morning I woke up to the usual sounds of William chatting away in his crib. As is routine, Brian had already left for work. So I grabbed the baby and headed down the stairs for breakfast. Brian had put my gift at the bottom of the stairs and I couldn't believe my eyes. It was a framed layout of our wedding photos.

Now this might not seem like an extraordinary gift because you probably don't know the background. Brian and I never got our wedding photos. Sure we received the proofs a couple months after we got married but unfortunately our photographer was impossible to get a hold of so we never got the negatives or were able to order any prints. He is not a very easy man to work with. So after awhile we just gave up. A little more than a year and a half after we got married I became pregnant and then our wedding seemed like a distant memory. We knew that after the baby was born he would adorn all the picture frames we owned.

Unbeknown to me, Brian (with the help of my mom) tracked down the photographer and met with him a few weeks ago. I am happy to report that we should be receiving all of our negatives some time this week. Cross your fingers.

None of the gifts Brian gave me were worth all that much money. An important point in this one-income family. But with a little creativity and sincerity he was able to make my birthday feel so special and in turn make me feel so loved and appreciated.

Friday, March 7, 2008


Today I turn 27.

I've been thinking about it and I think 27 is just about the perfect age.

I'm young enough that I am still not quite sure what life has in store for me. And that's pretty exciting.

But I think I'm old enough and little more experienced that people are starting to take me a bit more seriously. (You know that eye roll you used to get when you were first out of college and you'd try to stick in your two cents?)

I'm still young enough that I can go out and get crazy and wild and have a good time without thinking, "Am I too old for this?"

But I'm old enough that I don't get too much static if I decide to stay home for entire weekend and spend time with my family.

I'm young enough to not know that exact number of children I want to have.

But I'm old enough (and blessed enough) to have one beautiful shining son!

I'm young enough to still have the lingering effects of a newlywed.

But I'm old enough to have great conversation with my husband and know this is the man I will be with forever.

In 27 years, God has blessed me. There isn't any where or any age I'd rather be right now. And I can't wait to see what's in store for the next year.

Thursday Night Recap: March 6

Eats: Lobster Ravioli with my homemade sauce which includes sauteed garlic, onions and mushrooms with pureed sweet potatoes, marinara sauce and a dollop of mascarpone cheese.

Dessert: 5 Godiva truffles split between Brian and myself.

Drink: A couple glasses of Ravenswood Zinfandel.

Entertainment: The elimination show of American Idol, a few minutes of Thelma & Loise and the latest episode of Lipstick Jungle.

Forecast: Chance of Flurries

This morning it snowed in our kitchen. By that, I mean, William found an open box of dried mashed potatoes in the lazy susan and began to shake it like a maraca.

Must Love Dogs

If I haven't mentioned it before, William loves dogs. I mean LOOOOOOVES dogs. Gets crazy excited when he sees one. So lately during mealtime clean up we've learned a cool trick. If we search on YouTube for a barking dog, it will buy us about five minutes to get the kitchen cleaned up. Here is a video Brian shot of William watching a barking dog on the computer. Notice how William mimics the dog's every move.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Ice Cream Sandwich

Trader Joe's: Inspiring Variety in William's Diet

Yesterday after our ECFE class William and I ventured over to our local Trader Joe's store. Although this store isn't a complete replacement of a traditional grocery store, it's a great place to pick up fresh, organic foods at incredibly low prices. Of every two or three grocery store trips, I try to make one of those destinations to Trader Joe's.

As I was making my way through the aisles I made a stop at the deli where they were serving a sample dish. By just looking at it I wasn't exactly sure what it was but I've always been one to try something before declaring that I don't like it. So I did. It tasted like chicken with spicy black and baked beans, almost like a Moroccan or Indian dish. I later found out the dish did contain chicken but included neither black nor baked beans. As I was doing my tasting there was a little guy sitting in the front seat of my cart yelling, "Peassssse!"

I said, "It's spicy buddy so I don't think you're going to like it."

Response: "PEASSSSSSSE!"

So I gave in. And I was shocked. This kid, who can barely make it through a bowl of rice, could not get enough! After he was finished I asked for and purchased all the ingredients to make this meal. And he ate it again for dinner.

Yesterday afternoon I learned that being a parent sometimes means standing back and letting your kids make their own decisions and never turning down an opportunity to at least give something a try. Too often I think we let our assumptions or our own past experiences lead the decisions we make for our children.

"He's too little for that."

"He won't like it."

"He's not going to understand how that works."

In the whirlwind of every day life, it's difficult to remember that our children are their own individuals and not exact replicas of ourselves. And thank God for that!

So now you're wondering what was in the dish, right? Ok here it is. Unfortunately I haven't seen a lot of these specific ingredients at regular grocery stores but I guess it's worth a shot!

  • 2 pouches of the fully cooked Pilaf (This one had tomatoes, onions, garlic, soy beans, cracked wheat and chili in it but every pilaf is a bit different.)

  • 1 pouch of fully cooked lentils (In case you're not familiar with lentils, they taste like tiny black beans. This pouch contains 18 grams of fiber per serving!)

  • 1 pound of ground chicken

    1. In a skillet cook the chicken until it is no longer pink.
    2. Add the pilaf and lentils and heat through.

  • That's it! It literally took me less than 10 minutes. And the best part is that it contains all the healthy stuff that is often lacking from William's meals. He's not a big meat eater so I was thrilled that he was getting a high dose of protein. And the fiber? Well it's almost unheard of to get that much in one dish.

    Thanks, Trader Joe's!

    Monday, March 3, 2008

    Crawling into Spring

    This morning I was filling in important dates on my planner (swimming lessons, dinner reservations, out-of-town plans, etc.) when I noticed that Daylight Savings Time begins this Saturday already. I know that they (who is "they" by the way?) recently changed this so that DST begins earlier and ends later now. I love this idea! It's so hard to wake up in the morning without natural daylight and it's so much more difficult to do anything but camp out on the sofa in the evening when you can only find your way by moonlight and streetlights.

    A couple more page-turns and I realized that Easter is only three weeks away. This, too, is earlier than usual. All these days are supposed to cue the entrance of spring, right? Then why does my Weather Bug still gloat 13 degrees? And why did I have to buy pants and long-sleeves for William's Easter outfit? In fact, I'm considering just saving that outfit for some other event and opting to reuse his Christmas sweater and corduroys!

    But in all honesty I have felt the shift even if it is ever so slight. My mood is a bit lifted. I don't feel so daunted anymore when I need to go outside. Lately William's been able to join me in my mail run followed by 10-15 paces up and down the driveway. It's done wonders for his mood as well. But the problem is that all this taste of Spring just makes me want it to come faster. But the seasons will change on their own clock and so we wait patiently. Before you know it I'll be back to my hot weather posts! Either that or I'll be posting about our latest 6 inches of a snow storm...
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