Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A New Project

So, if anyone who reads this (do people read this??) knows me in real life, they will know that I only wear skirts. There are various reasons for this, but primarily it is because I feel more feminine and because they fit my body better. Since I wear skirts all the time, I'm pretty hard on them. So, I go through them quickly. This has gotten expensive. :-/

I have attempted sewing in the past and it has been....um less than successful. We have a quilt that I made for Jason that is...kind of small, and really crooked. Also, it's ugly. :) But it's warm! I attempted making a dress for a friend's wedding. But when I tried to put the elastic in, well, did you know that you have to stretch out the elastic??? Hmmm, well I didn't. Oh yes, and the cutting. It helps when it's cut straight. So, you're asking, why on earth would I try again?? Well, clothes are expensive. We want a big family. It will be a helpful skill to have to be able to sew some of our clothes.

So, I bought a pattern for a skirt (no elastic), and some fabric (by the way, I don't recommend ordering fabric online. My pattern said "linen" would work and it was cheap so that is what I picked out. It kind of looks like curtains.) online and it has been sitting on our table for a few weeks. Two weeks ago I got the pattern cut out. Today I am washing and drying the fabric. So I might get started this week. Well that's the plan anyway. ;-)

Monday, January 30, 2012

Monday Memories

When Jason and I were engaged his family took me to the Stations of the Cross at San Luis. It was a great experience because it was fun to hike up and it was awesome to see the stations. I obviously have pictures of every station, but I'll just share a few pictures here. Jason told me about how they had walked from the Church in one town all the way to the Stations praying the Rosary. What an awesome experience! I hope we'll get to do something like that with our little family someday.

[caption id="attachment_493" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Jesus falls the first time"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_494" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Jesus falls the third time"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_495" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Jason with his sister"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_496" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="At the top, the last station. Christ on the Crucifix"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_497" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="The chapel at the top"][/caption]

Friday, January 27, 2012

7 Quick Takes (Vol. 1)

--- 1 ---

We were spoiled with Dominic's sleeping habits. OK, I was spoiled. With both Dominic's sleeping habits and the fact that since I was pumping and not breastfeeding Jason could (and did!) get up and help with nighttime feedings. It is hard to be the person who does that. Alone. For every mom that is the sole taker-carer of children at night you deserve a hug. And chocolate. Loooooots of chocolate.

--- 2 ---

I mention the chocolate because I want some. I am calorie counting dieting so I have had some chocolate don't get me wrong. But what I really want to do is bake a batch of homemade brownies with Reese's PB chips in it and eat the whole pan. But I won't.

--- 3 ---

Also, I want chips and salsa and guacamole and I don't want to measure it out.

--- 4 ---

Food is on my mind for sure, it always is when dieting right? I should not think of this as dieting, I am trying really hard to make a complete change in myself. So that in a year or two I can have a brownie and know that it's OK. I just won't eat the whole thing.


--- 5 ---

Our tax information is slowly starting to come in. I'm excited. Obviously because I want all that money that the government is sure to give me (haha!) but also because I'm a nerd and I like doing the taxes. (do you still like me??)

--- 6 ---

Did you know that in Canada the government PAYS you to have babies??? I have it on good authority from a good friend that they do. Come on US, if we're going to try to copy their healthcare, can we at least copy that as well??

--- 7 ---

This Winter has been really mild. I mean it's Colorado so you never know what's going to happen, it could blizzard and May or we might not get any more snow until next year. Oh, they're getting snow in some parts (mountains, foothills) of Colorado, but us on the plains? Nope. (Secretly you thought that all of Colorado was in the mountains or foothills didn't you?)

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

It Turns Out I Just Had to Wake Up...

So Jason has been taking the boys with him to Daily Mass. Something that I have wanted to do, something that we do, but I have just been so tired that I haven't been able to. But now Christopher is definitely in a stage that he will not tolerate being in the car seat for very long and it is kind of hard to hold two wiggly boys during Mass. So, I was going to have to be awake when he left, so I thought this was the perfect opportunity to make myself get up and go. And you know what? Despite the fact that Christopher was up frequently from 1-2:30AM and again from 4-5:30AM, I feel pretty good. I plan to take a nap as soon as Dominic goes down, but I don't feel that horrible.

And I even did the dishes already and have part of dinner cooking. It's like I'm getting good at this domestic stuff or something...

Monday, January 23, 2012

Monday Memories

I am an adult convert to the Catholic faith. I was baptized on September 2, 2009 and received First Holy Communion that day. I had spent my life searching for the Truth, so this truly was the happiest day of my life.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Quiet Prayer in the Midst of My Day....

...uh yeah right. Like I have "quiet". ;-)

Before Dominic was born Jason and I went to Daily Mass together, we often went to Saturday evening Mass as well as Sunday morning. We made it to Confession at least every two weeks if not weekly. We prayed Morning and Evening prayers from Liturgy of the Hours together (as well as midday if we were together and remembered) and prayed the Rosary together.

Now? We are lucky if we pray our regular daily prayers together as a family. We are surprised that it is so hard to fit in, it is humbling as well. Humbling you ask? Well, I think I tended towards pride with how our prayer life was. Now I am happy if I manage to say "Dear Lord please help me" throughout the day. I wish I more frequently said "Thank you Lord". In fact, today I sent a calendar reminder to Jason so that we would remember to pray the Rosary tonight.

We set up a schedule so that we would fit in our daily prayers and even added in time to do some spiritual reading each evening after the boys were in bed. But then Christopher stopped sleeping. :-/ Not completely of course. Just, not for more than 2 hours at a time. Sigh. I am trying so hard to remember that one day I will miss this. I will miss the middle of the night cuddles. We will have plenty of time to pray the LOTH and I will miss the cacophony of musical toys that Dominic sets off and Christopher's nearly constant cooing. We will attend Daily Mass everyday and we will pray for the Faith of our children that we have sent on their own.

So, for now, I will be content with my quick "Lord, please help me" prayers and I will do my best to add more "Thank you Lord" prayers to my day. I will work on asking Our Blessed Mother to help me emulate her in my motherhood. For now, when we don't manage to get our Rosary said, I will be thankful that sometimes Christopher will only go to sleep while listening to me repeat the Hail Mary.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Monday Memories

Check me out...two Mondays in a row. So it's almost like I've got a "thing". :)

So, this last summer Jason had tons of vacay time to use and I really wanted to do a vacation. Well, Jason was working with a gal from NY and she was talking up vacationing there and I'd always wanted to visit. Jason went when he worked for Neoplan but didn't really like it. I was willing to bet that it was just awful because he didn't have his awesome wife and his son with him. :-/ Let me tell you...I'm glad we went to NYC just so I could be certain that I NEVER WANT TO GO BACK.

OK, tons of sucky things happened, we weren't mugged or anything, but it was pretty awful. Dominic was 10 months old and just starting to walk some and I was 6 months pregnant. And NYC is humid, I never knew what humidity felt like. So our flight was as awful as you can imagine with a 10 month old who really just wanted to run, but he finally crashed and slept a couple of hours. When we got there our driver to the hotel was kind of crazy and really angry. He got so upset w/ traffic that he punched the roof of the van. It was scary. Then we go to the hotel and the A/C didn't work. Did I mention it was humid?? And I was 6 months pregnant?? Well, the hotel staff sent up a maintenance guy who was going to remove and replace the unit...at midnight. Ummm, no, Dominic desperately needed to sleep so we suffered through the night. We arrived on a Saturday night so Sunday morning we kind of rushed around and made it to St. Patrick's for Mass. We were expecting the kind of respect that was shown in Europe when it was Mass time. You know, that people weren't allowed in and out. And that people would be wearing clothes. There was this lady in a completely sheer dress, and I *think* she was wearing a bikini underneath. It was just super disrespectful and we did not enjoy it. When we got back to the hotel they told us we could switch rooms, and then Jason had to move everything for us...down 2 flights. It was nuts.

But there were some highlights as well.

[caption id="attachment_457" align="aligncenter" width="384" caption="Dominic being carried in the streets. It was often too crowded for the stroller."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_458" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="Visiting the Lego store."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_459" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="Lego version of Rockefellar Center"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_460" align="aligncenter" width="384" caption="Dominic checking out all the Legos"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_461" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="The famous statue in Rockefellar Center"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_462" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="At one of the toy stores we went to"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_463" align="aligncenter" width="384" caption="1/4# Reese's PB cup. Awesome."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_464" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="Had to visit the famous little shop from the movie of the same name. :)"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_465" align="aligncenter" width="384" caption="Frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity. Very yummy!"][/caption]

Our trip to Serendipity was kind of sad. We couldn't all go in because you can't take in strollers since it is a small place. And I had to wait in line for like 30 minutes to get in. Jason and Dominic wandered up and down the streets while I enjoyed my frozen hot chocolate since Jason had gotten one when he went the last time he let me enjoy that.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Sleep...It's What I Need

Last night was definitely a rough night. Christopher woke up at one point for 2 hours. That is very not like him, so it was super rough. We finally gave him some baby Orajel and that helped a bit (or maybe not and it was coincidence??) and he slept. But, I was so tired this morning. Jason got up with the boys after I nursed Christopher at 5AM and hung out with them and then the three boys went to Mass together.

I have managed to stay on track with some of my mini goals still though so that is positive. The dishes are done and dinner is in the crock-pot. The boys and I are relaxing/playing in the living room waiting for Daddy to get home for lunch.

However, in an online group of Catholic women that I am part of I was whining this morning and someone mentioned something that really stuck. She asked how much caffeine I have in the afternoon/evening. I was thinking I have a cup of generic Diet Mtn. Dew sometimes, but that was it. But...I reflected a bit more and realized that my tried and true drink packets that I love (I hate, hate, hate drinking plain water) have caffeine in them. If I combine all of my drinks in a day I am probably getting about 500mcg of caffeine a day. And so is Christopher. :( Epic fail as a momma. So, I'm cutting out the caffeine. I will cut it out completely (minus chocolate because really I can't lose chocolate!!!) for a couple of weeks and see if that makes a difference in Christopher being able to sleep longer stretches. Hopefully it does make a difference.

Or maybe hopefully it doesn't...I do like caffeine. ;-)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Finding my Rhythm

I think I've got it. I mean, I'm not going to be dancing in the streets anytime soon. But, the last couple of days have given me hope. I am seriously lacking in sleep as Christopher is determined not to sleep more than a couple hours at a time at night still. :( But, I've found yesterday and today that if I give myself little goals things are getting accomplished.

So, while I'm nursing Christopher to go down for his morning nap in my head I'm making a general list of things I want to do today. Then I try to break it down so I don't get overwhelmed. 1) browning the ribs and getting them in the crock pot for dinner tonight 2) writing my blog post while entertaining the baby who didn't want to go down for a nap after all (yes I'm multi-tasking right now!!!) 3) when Dominic wakes up go for a walk with the boys. That'll end the morning. After lunch I'll make a new short list and go from there.

I still have to turn on a movie or SpongeBob to entertain Dominic while trying to get Christopher to sleep sometimes, but you know what? I'm OK w/ that. I know "they" say that too much screen time is bad for kids, but "they" are not in my house dealing with my boys and figuring things out. If I leave Dominic free to roam around in his area, he kind of freaks that he's alone and gets upset. If there is something on he watches it and then I don't have to be completely stressed while nursing Christopher feeling like Dominic is being neglected. And the less stress that I feel, the better I do with everything.

Finding your rhythm with your vocation is hard, being a stay-at-home mom and wife is hard, but I'm sure being a working outside the home mom is hard too just in a different way. Let's face it...parenting is hard work. The Church tells us that our job as parents is to instruct our kids in the Faith and help get them to Heaven, but you know what? I think that they are doing much more to get me to Heaven.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Monday Memories

OK, so I'm making an attempt at some regular type posts. Who knows if this will last because, hey, it's shocking that I've done 3 blog posts in fairly recent days as it is. But, this weekend we stayed in a hotel room and for some reason the smell of the hotel soap/shampoo transported me back to Rome and I was remembering our honeymoon. <3 So, I thought it would be nice to devote some time to reminiscing about fun things that we've done. And, duh, today I'm going to talk a little about our honeymoon.

Jason has been an avid donor to Catholic Answers for a long time, and during my conversion this is where he pointed me to get many an answer. He had frequently read about and heard about all of the Catholic Answers Cruises and he really wanted to go on one. I did too and when the trip to Rome came up we thought it would be so fun! We were not engaged yet, but we booked the trip hoping that we would be able to be married soon and this could be our honeymoon. It was a tight squeeze...our wedding was Friday, September, 25th and we left for Rome the following Wednesday, October 1st.

[caption id="attachment_439" align="aligncenter" width="128" caption="At the airport"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_440" align="aligncenter" width="85" caption="This church quickly became a landmark for us to find our way back to the hotel. I believe it was St. Bartholomew."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_441" align="aligncenter" width="128" caption="The real deal everyone...yes, we met Karl Keating. Here he was lecturing outside of some ruins at the Roman Forum if memory serves correctly"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_442" align="aligncenter" width="128" caption="And here I am, crossing the Tiber!"]

The ever-important Tiber River. Converts to Catholicism sometimes refer to their conversion as "crossing the Tiber".

We saw some really awesome, beautiful churches. I wish I could post all of them, but we took so many pictures between our two cameras, so I'm just going to put in a couple.

[caption id="attachment_444" align="aligncenter" width="199" caption="The crucifix at The Pantheon"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_445" align="aligncenter" width="128" caption="This was some amazing artwork at one of the Churches. "][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_446" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Not many pictures were allowed inside the Vatican so here is a picture of the entrance. Definitely amazing!"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_447" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Entrance to St. Catherine's chamber"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_448" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Inside the chamber."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_449" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="St. Catherine of Sienna."][/caption]

These are just a few highlights. Hopefully someday I'll get all of the pictures organized and I can either post them here, or a link to a slide show. I love looking at the pictures because it reminds us how close we were to some saints. We walked in St. Peter's basilica where St. Peter is actually buried. We entered the chamber where St. Catherine of Sienna died and saw the chamber where they attempted to martyr St. Cecilia. What an amazing experience that I am so thankful for.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Where I'm Going with This Blog

I'd like to have a place to share pictures and stories and life with the boys in general and that's what I'm going to do with this blog. I would also like to work on my writing (because I have a not so secret dream to be able to write professionally, and you can't do that without practice right??) as well as post some random thoughts on pertinent issues such as my faith, NFP, political and social issues as well as whatever else pops up in my mind. I mean it does say "random happenings in the life of the Spanos right"??

So, I guess this post is a warning. If you follow my blog and we don't agree on political, faith, or social justice issues then be prepared to either be shocked or offended. I hope not offended, I hope that we are able to have differences in opinion and remain charitable towards one another and enjoy good, healthy debate.

And for the love of Pete (who is Pete anyway???) make some comments on my blog. :) Please?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New Year's Resolutions...blah, blah, blah

So, for this new year I have resolved to blog more frequently. It is now January 4, 2012 and I am doing my first blog post of the year. Not a total failure. But, not as awesome as I'd like either. Every day is a chance to do better right? :)

I have a strong desire to lose some weight (who doesn't??) and in fact it is more than that for me. I am at a weight that is pretty unhealthy for me in terms of serious health concerns like diabetes. My pregnancy with Christopher showed me that I really need to get my weight down so that I don't have to stress about gestational diabetes. I had it with both pregnancies, but with Christopher it went unchecked for a while and when I was in the hospital for 21 days I ended up needing insulin to control it. So, in order to accomplish said task of weight loss I have a few things to do. 1) Stop sending Jason for ice cream. This is probably the most important thing on my list because I have an awesomely wonderful husband who will always go get ice cream for me. If I ask for it, he will get it. 2) Stop baking chocolate chip cookies, brownies, and banana bread. No I can't count banana bread as my fruit for the day. 3) Decreasing the amount of carb intake daily; unfortunately for Jason this will include him because I have zero self-control so it needs to not be part of dinner. To help with this I joined Jimmy Akin's super cool low carb club to get some recipes. 4) Exercise...figuring out how to do this with a toddler and infant on hand is to be determined. You would think that just having a toddler and infant would be enough exercise, but sadly it is not. I am always sitting down to feed Dominic a snack or nurse Christopher or taking a ohmygoshI'msotiredpleasecanIjustrest?? break.

In my prayer life and vocation I have made pretty strong resolutions to do better. Jason and I had a good system going for a little bit of prayers and spiritual reading that we are planning to get back to. I just need to figure out how to implement it again. Oh yeah, and wake up in the morning before he leaves for work. *sigh* Christopher has not been sleeping awesomely lately. I have a desperate desire to get our house super awesome clean, but then I look around and am like "where the heck do I start??" and so I don't. But, all this is going to change because I've made a resolution to do better.

I might write it on a notepad too.