Thursday, March 28, 2013

Triduum and Easter Blogging Break

 I am taking a planned blogging break from Holy Thursday through the end of the Octave of Easter. 

See you again soon!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Singing in the Rain the Lily Way


Lily, like her brother, likes listening to music.  It seems Little Ish has imparted some of his musical tastes to his little sister.  She has taken to requesting "Singing in the Rain" by grabbing a toy umbrella, putting it on her head like a hat, and saying "Rain?! Rain?!".  Once the music is playing she dances around trying to imitate her brother's imitation of Gene Kelly. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Making Tracks

One of the blessings of being the mother of two toddlers is that I get to witness my children making very obvious developmental leaps on a regular basis.   The train tracks pictured above were one of Little Ish's Christmas gifts this year, and up until this past week, he struggled to put together more than two or three pieces of track.  One evening last week, I walked into the living room to find that he had made a train track across the majority of the room.  It seems as though something clicked for him and now he is spending a lot of time making tracks.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

A Thursday Morning in Early Spring

On Thursday morning, we had snow flurries so of course Little Ish demanded to go out in them.  We've had very little snow this year and the majority of it falling in the middle of the night and gon by morning.  By the time we got outside, the only snow left was on our daffodils.  Since there was no snow to play in, Little Ish thought we should go to the park, and was highly disappointed to find out that snow, like rain, makes everything wet.  We still managed to have a lot of fun running around the playground equipment.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Little Miss Mischief

Liliana's climbing skills have gone from mediocre to hazardously adept.  In the past week she has figured out how to climb onto the couch (without carrying over something to use as a step).  She  now has access to her favorite item in the living room, the lamp.  She loves playing with the beads, an activity that requires close supervision.  She climbs onto the couch and dances her way down to the lamp chanting "Beads! Beads!" in the sweetest high-pitched little baby voice imaginable.  Although it has been quite the task to keep up with her antics this week, she definitely provides me with a lot of opportunities to laugh.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Using My Early Mornings

As I mentioned in my post last night, I do most of my knitting in the early morning between 5:00 and 6:30.  You are probably thinking, why in the world is a mother of 2 toddlers waking up at 5AM when she doesn't have to?!  Well, it all started when my husband started getting up early so he could enjoy using his ipad with out Lily and Little Ish whining and pleading for a turn.  After a few days of him doing this, he commented on how much he enjoyed getting up before the sun.  I wasn't really convinced, but when Crystal over at Money Saving Mom issued her Early to Rise Challenge , I decided I might as well give it a try.  On February 28th, I set my alarm for 5AM and that has been my wake up time nearly every day since.

It only took a couple of days of early rising for me to start seeing a difference in my days.  I have a much easier time pursuing my hobbies and interests on 7 or 8 hours of sleep instead of at the end of a toddler-chasing filled day.  I usually skip getting up early on Sundays as our family is often out late on Saturday nights.  It was that first Sunday of sleeping-in, when I was awoken by the sounds of "Mommy, I want to get out of my crib!" that I realized that as much as I love my children, I do not like being woken up by them in the morning.  I do much better waking up to my alarm and easing into my day with a cup of coffee and some quiet time.  It is much easier to remain focused on my children during the day when I get some alone time every morning. 

One of the things I have done to make my mornings more relaxing for me is to spend the first hour that I am awake unplugged.  I do not go near my computer during that time and it is lovely.  I am not tempted to check or answer my email or frequent social media outlets.  I have a tendency to get sucked into my computer so without this simple guideline for myself, I probably would not enjoy my mornings nearly as much.   I am so glad to have discovered the early morning.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

My Knitting Helper and Even More Fermentation

I do the majority of my knitting while my children are asleep.  Usually I knit between 5AM and 6:30AM.  Sometimes I knit during naptime or on car rides, but most of my knitting is done out of the reach of little hands.  On Sunday, I was knitting while Little Ish played quietly.  Eventually he tired of whatever he was playing and decided to come see what I was up to.  He asked me if he could help me knit.  Since I was knitting a (very long) wrong side row on my shawl I agreed to let him help.  He sat on my lap.  I worked the needles and he took care of wrapping the working yarn around the needle for each knit stitch.  It was a very pleasant way to spend some one on one time with him even if it meant the row took 3 times as long to knit.

The shawl itself is progressing nicely.  I am not moving along particularly fast, but I am pretty sure I can finish by Easter which was my original goal.  I have memorized the pattern at this point, so I don't have to be constantly checking the book for what comes next.  It makes for fairly relaxed knitting.

I am still reading and thoroughly enjoying The Art of Fermentation.  Since I've been so focused on finishing my shawl for Easter, I have been reading this book fairly slowly.  I have yet to ferment anything, but I will be sure to share my experiences when I do.

For more knitting and reading, hop on over to Small Things  for Ginny's Yarn Along!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Building and Reusing

Last night, Little Ish spotted the container of my breast pump parts and a bunch of old bottle parts sitting on top of the microwave.  He decided that they would make good toys and promptly asked to play with them.  Seeing as I haven't been nursing or pumping for almost a year, I decided I'd let him have a go at it.  He played with them for a while before dinner, and had a good amount of fun.  It was this morning though that he really started to get into playing with them.  He made tower after tower.  Sometimes he would count how many different parts he could stack; sometimes he would sort the shields by size.  Who knew breast pump parts could bring so much amusement and joy?

Monday, March 18, 2013


A good friend recently gave Little Ish a ukelele.  Little Ish is very excited by this new acquisition and has already gotten a lot of use out of it.  He really likes that it came with a pick and has been practicing strumming with it.  Liliana has been trying to sneak in a turn here and there, but it is such a prized possession at the moment that when Little Ish allows her to take a turn, it's a pretty big deal.  He has decided to store his ukelele in his bedroom-- a clear sign that he is fond of his new instrument.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

My Wild Irish Lily

Because today is a Sunday, it is liturgically the 5th Sunday of Lent and not St. Patrick's Day (more on that here ).  As an Irish-American, I still saw it fit to dress Liliana in her shamrock dress for Mass today. 

Friday, March 15, 2013

From Bedtime Story to Bedtime Song

I recently picked up a copy of Gregory, the Terrible Eater at a used bookstore.  It is one of my childhood favorites so when I found it for less than $2.00, I jumped at the chance to be able to share such a fun book with my children.  The book has quickly become one of Little Ish's favorites.

When Little Ish latches onto a book, parts of the text often seep into his daily life.  It is not abnormal to overhear him reciting books word for word as he plays.  Sometimes he seamlessly slips a quote or two into his conversations with me and Ish.  Wednesday night at bedtime Gregory, the Terrible Eater brought the carryover from book to daily life to a whole new level.  As I started to sing Little Ish his bedtime songs, he stopped me and requested that I sing a different song. When I asked him what song he would like, he responded, "Gregory, the Terrible Eater".  I told him I didn't know that song, but he persisted in his request.  In hopes of having a peaceful bedtime, I made this little ditty up off the top of my head:

Gregory, the Terrible Eater,
All he wants to do is eat fruits and vegetables

Gregory, the Terrible Eater,
His mom and dad were worried
So they brought him to the doctor

Gregory, the Terrible Eater
Why won’t he just eat a tin can?
(Why won’t he just eat a tin can?)

 Little Ish was pleased and the song is now requested multiple times per day.  As I laid him in his crib that night, his last words to me were, "Mom, I'm an average goat".  Yup, books really do trickle into every corner of life if you let them.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Little Ish's Blueberry Muffins

One of Little Ish's favorite activities is to help me bake; he especially likes to bake muffins.  A few weeks ago when we were making my great-grandmother's blueberry muffins, Little Ish asked me if we could alter the recipe a bit.  He really wanted to add cinnamon.  It sounded good to me so I agreed to try it out.  The results were delicious!  A new favorite recipe has been born.  

Little Ish's Blueberry Muffins
Makes 1 dozen
Preheat Oven to 375°F

 1 ½ c. flour
½ c. sugar
a pinch of salt
1 Tbsp.  baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon

Beat together:
1 egg
½ c. milk
¼ c. oil

Combine wet and dry ingredients.

Only mix them enough to wet all ingredients.

Add 1 cup of fresh or frozen blueberries*. 

Bake for 20-25 minutes

* We have been using  Wyman's Frozen Wild Blueberries as blueberries clearly are not in season right now.